Word Count: 450
Summary: Every day with Luna is a holiday for Severus.
Disclaimer: This piece is based on characters and situations created by J. K. Rowling, and owned by J. K. Rowling and various publishers, including but not limited to: Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books, Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended by the posting of this fic.
Author's Note: Merry Christmas, flist!
The day dawned, crisp and clear, and Severus woke to an empty, albeit warm bed.
"Luna?" he called, before noticing the note on her pillow.
"Come to the clearing," it read.
Bemused, he dressed and walked down the back lane that led from the cottage into the woods as the light rose behind him. In the quiet half-light of the forest, fairies twinkled as they hung about the branches—if Severus had been a romantic, he would have found the sight so.
Approaching the clearing, he heard the light jingling of bells and caught the scents of meat, mulled cider, and wood smoke in the air.
A Christmas picnic, he thought, pleased by the thought of bacon as he pushed aside the branches and stepped into what had become an extension of their home. Oh.
There were more fairies lighting the canopy of leaves overhead. Garlands of popcorn and cranberry were wound up the trunks of the trees and hanging from the branches, dipping low in the places at which mistletoe had been affixed to them. In the very centre of the clearing was a tree, tall, full, and bedecked with small gift boxes, candles, and golden bows.
Severus had never seen anything so wonderful, not even at Hogwarts, because this tree, he knew, was his.
I don't deserve this, he thought, swallowing against the rising tide of gratitude that swelled within him and feeling like the lucky little boy he'd never been.
He didn't dare speak for fear of breaking the spell. For all he knew, he was dreaming; he'd refused to even entertain the idea of decorating the house, hadn't he?
"Happy Christmas, Severus," Luna whispered, stepping around from behind the glorious tree and carrying a platter almost overflowing with breakfast foods. "I thought you might prefer 'fresh air' to anything—how did you put it? Oh, yes—'obligatorily festive'."
Her smile told him that she didn't bear him any ill will for his customary holiday grumpiness.
"Happy Christmas," he murmured, feeling the tips of his ears warm.
Luna beamed at him and set her tray down at a table to the side of the tree that he'd previously not noticed. "That's right, it is a happy Christmas, and it will only get happier," she told him, her hands stretching out towards him, "because we're going to make our own traditions."
Severus stepped into the circle of Luna's arms and embraced her, finally allowing himself to accept the miracle that had become his life. "I'm sorry about . . . before."
She giggled and stared up at him. "You should be, you old Scrooge. I knew you'd enjoy having a real Christmas. Now then, which first? Presents or breakfast?"
Grinning, Severus replied, "Presents!"