Fic: Silent Night, one shot
Characters: Harry/Ginny, Draco/Hermione, Ron/Susan Bones, Al/Scorpius
Genre: gen, angst, holiday
Word count: 1,900
Summary: The first Christmas following Ron and Hermione’s divorce is a difficult one for the Potter-Weasley family.
AN: I started this fic last Christmas and decided to go ahead and finish it. This is supposed to be in vignette style, as a sort of window into everyone’s lives at the same moment. Let me know what you guys think : )
“I wonder what they’re talking about in there,” Hugo said, peering down the hall from Al’s doorway.
The lights were on in the room down the L-shaped hall, he could see the line of yellow light beneath the door-wedge, but it was impossible to hear what his father and his aunt and uncle were talking about. The door to uncle Harry’s office was shut, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t crouch beside it to listen.
“Don’t bother,” Al said without looking up, like he could hear the plot forming in his cousin’s mind. “The office has a soundproofing charm. There’s no use. You’ve no idea how many times James tried the same thing.”
“Oh. Right then.”
Hugo shut the door to Al’s bedroom before pressing his back to it and sliding down the surface, his legs dragging across the floor.
“There’s another room in the house with a soundproofing charm,” Lily said.
That caught Al’s attention. “Really? Which one?”
“Mum and dad’s bedroom.”
Rose sniggered before quieting herself. Al returned his attention to the ball python curled around his hand, looking less than amused.
At sixteen Hugo understood what it meant for adults to have a soundproofed bedroom, the same way he’d understood what it meant when his older sister told him about his parents’ divorce. It had been at the beginning of the summer when he found out. His uncle George had given him a new broom for his birthday a few months before and he’d wanted to spend the whole holiday flying, practicing Keeping for the Ravenclaw Team tryouts in the fall. Hugo had been looking forward to the long afternoons in the air, playing pick up games with his cousins or practicing dives for when he’d need to retrieve the Quaffle, but once he heard his parents’ news Quidditch hadn’t seemed so important.
“When is Scorpius coming over for the hols?” Lily asked.
Hugo watched Al’s snake curl around his cousin’s arm, impressed with how calm he was around the creature.
“He isn’t,” Albus said, visibly surprising Lily. “His parents separated over the summer. Scorpius is visiting his father over Christmas.”
No one said much after that, but Hugo wouldn’t have noticed either way. He was completely fixated on what Al had just unwittingly confirmed—that Scorpius’ parents had separated over the summer, the same time his own parents had separated. Hugo’s mum and dad had tried their best not to fight in front of him and Rose, but there had been a few conversations that he knew he shouldn’t have heard. One time in particular, when he’d heard his dad yelling the name Malfoy in a tone Hugo had never heard him use before.
Hugo and Scorpius were in Ravenclaw together, but apart form being housemates he didn’t know much about the older boy, besides seeing him with Al around school. He’d never known what started their unlikely friendship, but Ravenclaws and Slytherins did have a lot of classes together. It made sense that they would know each other. People whispered about Scorpius sometimes, that he was a pouf and wasn’t it funny that he spent so much time with that Potter boy, but Hugo had never paid attention to any of it.
He’d never really wondered why his parents were getting divorced. In a way, it hadn’t surprised him. Things between his mum and dad hadn’t been normal for a long time. Sometimes, after seeing Aunt Ginny and Uncle Harry together, he’d wonder why his own parents were never that happy.
Scorpius sat on the hardwood floor outside his father’s study, an extendible ear shoved between the door and the threshold. It was dark in the hallway and his arse was sore, but he could clearly make out what his dad was saying to Hugo’s mum, or Hermione, as she’d asked him to call her.
“But you know he must have cheated as well,” his father said.
Scorpius could even hear the ice cubes clinking around in his father’s whiskey. Weasley products really did work.
“No, I don’t think so,” Hermione said. From the sound of their voices he could tell that she was sitting closer to the door, which meant that his father was in his normal seat by the fire.
“Ron said that he’d come close with Susan, but he said he couldn’t do that to me.”
“Do you really believe him?” his father asked, his tone skeptical.
“Yes. I can tell when Ron’s lying.”
She sounded remorseful, making Scorpius wonder if Hugo’s mum felt bad for her role in this whole thing. Six months ago his mother had left her job at an art gallery to visit their French relatives on the continent. Scorpius hadn’t seen her since June.
He’d hoped that, by Christmas, things would be better at home, maybe his parents would have worked it all out. Al had invited him to spend the holidays with his family but Scorpius couldn’t leave his dad alone on Christmas, it just hadn’t seemed right. At the time, he hadn’t realized that there would be someone else staying.
Mrs. Weasley—no, Hermione, he reminded himself—had been to their home a few times before. She was a solicitor at the firm with his father, and they sometimes worked together on important cases. Scorpius had never met Mr. Weasley but Al had told him that he was an Auror, just like Al’s dad.
The frustrating thing was that he had finally worked up the courage to talk to his parents about the thing he’d been hiding, but with his mother in France and his father wound up in an affair, it didn’t seem like the best time. Was Al still going to tell his parents? Scorpius couldn’t be sure. If he did, would his dad somehow find out? Should he tell him just in case?
“Rose won’t even speak to me,” Hermione said. “She returns my letters unopened.”
“I have no idea what Scorpius thinks. He’s polite, but he won’t tell me anything. Every time I ask how he’s taking the whole thing he just says he doesn’t want to talk about it.”
Scorpius couldn’t bear the thought of his father finding out from someone else, especially Al’s parents. Anxiety trickled over his neck but he remained in his spot on the floor, stiffness creeping into his legs. He’d rehearsed what he was going to say so many times, but how do you tell your parents that you’re gay? His mother had suspected for some time, but his father…It wasn’t just that he was gay, it was that he was dating Al, that’s what his father would have a problem with. The fact that Al was Harry Potter’s son was bound to come up, as if that was the only aspect to Albus’ personality.
The extendible ear had been quiet for some time, but as he listened it dawned on him that the snuffling sound he’d begun to hear was Hermione crying. He heard the rustle of fabric. Was his father rubbing her back, comforting her? It became too personal for him. Scorpius removed the ear from its hiding place and tucked it into the pocket of his pajama trousers.
He stiffly climbed off the floor, walking past the empty living room on his way upstairs. The massive tree was unlit, hardly distinguishable in the dark, cavernous room.
A happy Christmas indeed, he thought.
Ron had never been one to enjoy Christmas.
When he was a kid there had always been an element of disappointment, but that was to be expected with so many siblings. There was always a gift another person received that was better than what he got, or a sweater with a better color, or a better spot at the table during Christmas dinner.
After the War the holidays always reminded him of Fred, and more often than not Ron found himself drinking a bit too much with George instead of facing the reality of another year without his brother. But this year was unique in its disappointment, mostly because his feelings were aimed, not at the circumstances surrounding the holidays, but at himself.
After six months he and Hermione still had not managed to patch things up. In fact, they were barely on speaking terms, preferring to write notes to each other instead of dealing with the pressures of being face-to-face. And then there was Rosie, who all-out refused to see her mother this Christmas no matter how many times Ron tried to talk to her. Hermione never said that she thought him responsible, but Rose had always been her father’s daughter, and Hermione surely thought that he could convince his eldest if he only tried.
“She’s a teenager,” Ginny said, finishing the last of her wine. “She’ll do what she wants.”
His sister set her cup down with a clinking sound. For someone who was normally so coordinated, Ginny easily lost her bearings after a few drinks.
It was late and he had a letter to write to Susan before turning in, thinking that maybe he would invite her for family dinner on New Years. Ron stifled a yawn and bid goodnight to Harry and Ginny.
He hadn’t seen Susan Bones until this past year, when things had really fallen apart with Hermione. Susan was part of the task force deployed by the Department of Magical Law Enforcement to track down illegal potioneers and their products. They’d begun working together when the Auror Office assigned him to work with the task force, and they had hit it off right from the start.
Was that how it always went, then? He’d nearly had an affair with Susan, kissing her in his office and feeling like the most rotten person in the world, and Hermione had cheated on him with Draco Malfoy. To think that they had been married for over fifteen years, only to loose a handle on things so quickly.
She took off her earrings before climbing into bed, carefully placing the pearls on the night table next to her wand. The jewelry had belonged to her mother, who had passed away two years ago from a Muggle illness, leaving just her father as a member of the Granger family. He was spending Christmas with a cousin in Scotland.
That meant she was away from all of her family this year, just Draco, Scorpius, and herself in Malfoy Manor. Hermione pulled the covers up to her chin and felt for Draco’s hand beneath the blankets, squeezing it tightly before rolling over on her side.
She’d written a long letter to both Rose and Hugo, hoping that her daughter might consider the holiday and write back. As Hermione closed her eyes she thought of the last time she’d spent Christmas without Ron—when she was hunting horcruxes with Harry.
But Ron had come back, he’d tried to find them again since the day he left, and she could not say the same about herself. This wasn’t just an argument between herself and Ron, blown out of proportion with their children as collateral damage, it was more systemic. She was used to solving problems and arguing for her side, it was what she did every day at her job, but she couldn’t argue for Ron’s side, she couldn’t bring herself to accept where they had ended up.
Hermione didn’t think she could find her way back this time.