Christmas Spice



November / December 2003


It was a cold November night. The children were already sleeping in their bedrooms. Severus, Harry and Ginevra were talking in the sitting room. Seeing Ginevra knitting a tablecloth she intended to give Molly for Christmas, something occurred to Severus. "You realise that we won't be able to spend Christmas at the Burrow this year, don't you?"

Ginevra raised her eyes from the knitting. "Oh, it's true. The bloody press won't leave us alone!"

"Well, we can have a quiet Christmas here. Just the six of us," said Harry, who was seated beside her in the sofa, winking at her.

Severus shifted in his armchair and snorted. "Quiet? With the twins?"

Ginevra looked thoughtful. "We should have already started to celebrate Christmas in our own home, in our own way, but I didn't want to hurt mum. Now there's no way out, we'll have to do it."

Their cottage was under Fidelius Charm, with Clara as their Secret Keeper, and it was the only place where they felt protected, not only from the press, but also from their fans and enemies. During the time they had spent in France, they had had the cottage done up. A new floor had been added: the children's bedrooms were now on the second floor; the adults occupied the first floor. On the ground floor, there was a sitting room, a dining room and a kitchen. The apothecary had been moved to the shed, which had been enlarged and adapted - a separate entrance had been added outside to give access to it. The Potions laboratory was in the shed's ample cellar, and an underground passage connected both cellars (the cottage's and the shed's). Severus kept a small laboratory in the cottage's cellar to make potions for their own use.

The press coverage had had at least one positive effect: it had attracted hundreds of new customers to The Simmering Cauldron. In the two months since they had returned from France, they had accumulated enough not only to pay the debts they had contracted to renovate the house, but also to have a comfortable Christmas.

"All right," said Severus. "Do as you wish. But you know very well that I dislike parties. If you can leave me out of the preparations, I would be thankful."

Ginevra and Harry exchanged meaningful looks of disapproval.

"Severus, that won't do," said Ginevra, laying down her knitting on her lap. "Christmas is a very special time for the children. You have to participate too."

"Nonsense," snapped Severus. "Michael and Raphael are just learning to speak. They are too young to understand whatever meaning you assign to this holiday."

Harry shook his head. "But Julia is all excited. Yesterday she asked me how long would it be until Christmas."

Ginevra nodded to Harry, and then turned to Severus. "Michael and Raphael may be too young to understand, but we ought to start the Christmas tradition in our home the right way, that is, with everyone of us participating. Including you, Severus."

"Hmph " grumbled Severus, sinking on his armchair.. He was going to say "Bah, humbug", but he wasn't sure whether Ginevra knew the Muggle culture enough to understand the joke.


Harry and Ginevra spent the afternoon of the last Sunday before Advent making the Plum Pudding. Severus's only contribution was to fulfil the tradition that every member of the family should stir the dough at least once. The hardest thing was to make Michael stop stirring and release the ladle. The boy was a born Potions Master and was already showing his stirring skills, thought Severus proudly.

In truth, Severus's greatest contribution was keeping the children far from the kitchen. He took them to the playroom on the third floor and sat down on the carpet to play with them.

Julia was four years-old now. She loved to play with her dolls, but she liked to play with the twins too. At 18 months, Michael and Raphael were smart, healthy boys. They were rapidly learning new words and wanted to know the name of everything.

"Tell stowy, dad?" asked Raphael, fixing his black eyes on Severus.

Ginevra and Harry usually read stories to the children, but Severus never did. He didn't considered himself a good entertainer, and was afraid to bore the children with his reading. But Raphael was staring at him so expectantly that Severus thought he should say or do something. Raphael could be terribly serious sometimes!

"Kissmas stowy," said Michael, who was always more open about his own feelings than Raphael.

Severus sighed. Harry and Ginevra were filling the children's head with Christmas tales. Severus had a vindictive impulse: he would create his own Christmas story. "All right, children. I'll tell you the fantastic story of Syd Skepticus, the Boy-Who-Hated-Christmas."

And so started the saga of the boy who was so afraid of Christmas that he hid himself in a giant nectarine, where he met some friends: a Pygmy Puff, a Fairy, a Runespoor and a Salamander. The nectarine was kicked by a giant's boot and rolled down a precipice, falling into a river. Syd and his friends were carried away to a distant land, where new adventures were waiting for them.

Syd's story became a never ending series, because the children were always asking for sequels.


Severus was put in charge of buying the Christmas decorations. He had to disguise himself and go to Garnish & Fancy, the greatest decorations store in Hogsmeade. Swallowing his pride, Severus donned a short, brown hair wig and Transfigured his nose into a smaller one.

The loud, crowded store made him even more nervous and irritated, and he started throwing things randomly into his basket: nutcrackers, fairies, sleighs, sleds, drums, drummer boys, candles, reindeer, gingerbread people and gingerbread houses, stars, snowflakes, snowmen, crackers, garlands and evergreen foliage, wreaths of holly and mistletoe... Finally, his patience ran out. He paid for the ornaments, left the store and went to look for a real pine tree in the Forbidden Forest.

When he arrived home with a charming young pine tree and started opening the bags full of Christmas treasures, Julia beamed and bounced. "Dad, it's so beautiful! Look at the fairies! They are real! And the stars twinkle! The snowflakes are as smooth as candy floss!"

Severus studied his daughter. Her eyes shone, and her smile radiated happiness. He loved to see her smile.

"Would you like to help me decorate the house?" he asked her.


The task proved to be more difficult than he had thought, because Raphael and Michael did nothing but hinder them, spreading the ornaments all around, entangling themselves in the garlands, eating the gingerbread houses and scaring the fairies away. Severus and Julia were saved by the arrival of Harry, who lured the twins upstairs on the pretext of showing them something.

"What is it, dad?" asked Julia. "I want to see it too."

"He just wanted to take your brothers away so that we could work in peace. Did you notice that box I put on the mantle? It's full of crackers. Harry took one of them upstairs to show your brothers."

"Can I pull one too?"

Severus squinted at her. But when she looked at him with her sweet dark eyes and coaxing smile, it was impossible to refuse her anything. He produced a cracker from the box and pulled it with her. The cracker split and exploded into a puff of pink smoke, a beautiful feathered hat and a small dragon toy: a Chinese Fireball. Severus checked to see if the fire the dragon breathed out was real. Since it was just a magic fire-coloured light, Severus let Julia keep it.


The evening before Christmas, Ginevra taught the children to hang their stocking on the fireplace. Julia was very excited, and the twins were very curious. When Ginevra sent Julia to bed, the girl protested at first, but eventually obeyed. Harry took the twins to their bedroom. Severus and Ginevra took advantage of the fact that they were alone downstairs to put the presents they had bought into the stockings.

When they finished their task, Ginevra embraced Severus. "It will be a wonderful Christmas."

"Aren't you tired?" he asked.


"Go to bed. I'll fetch Harry."

"All right," she said.

He dropped a tender kiss on her lips, and they climbed the stairs together.

Severus sneaked into the twins' bedroom and found Harry seated on a settee with Raphael on his lap. The bedroom was lit by a single candle, and Michael was peacefully sleeping in his cot.

Harry and Raphael made a beautiful picture together. Raphael seemed to have already fallen asleep too. Severus sat beside them.

"Are you jealous?" Harry whispered.

"Of you or of my dark angel?"

"Don't call him that!"

"Answering your question, no, I'm not jealous. Raphael resembles me. He's introspective, even moody. I'm glad that he has you and Ginevra," said Severus.

"But he adores you!"

"Why do you think so?"

"Well, he talks about you all the time. He was just telling me the story of Syd and the giant nectarine," said Harry, a mischievous smile on his lips.

Severus felt blood flush to his face and was grateful for the dim lights. He touched Raphael's hair with slightly trembling hands. He knew Julia and Michael cared for him - they were affectionate, demonstrative children. But Raphael... Raphael was a clam. Severus was delighted to know that he was important to Raphael too.

Severus raised his face to Harry. The green eyes were shining in the light of the candle, and Severus wanted to kiss him. Apparently Harry had the same idea, and their lips met in the middle. Severus took care not to press against Raphael's little body, lest the boy woke up.

"Let's go to bed," murmured Severus.

"I'll put Raphael in the cot, and then I've got to go downstairs, you know..."

"Hmph. The bloody stockings."


Severus undressed, lay down beside Ginevra and pulled the blankets off her. Oh, she was already naked... He took her into his arms. "Mmm. You smell like cinnamon... cloves... nutmeg... ginger..."

She chuckled. "I was baking spice cakes and gingerbread."

Severus ran his tongue along her throat. "Tastes good..."

"I thought you didn't like sweets."

"But I like spices."

Severus mouthed her breast, scraping his teeth lightly over her nipple.

"Ah..." she said, half moaning, half replying to him.

He could feel her heart thudding under her breast, and his cock twitched.

Harry's voice interrupted them. "Hey, I want to play, too!" Harry stripped naked and joined them with a challenging smile on his lips. He pressed his body against the two of them. "Mmm, you smell like Christmas, Ginny."

They embraced in an entanglement of arms and legs. Severus was pushed and pulled in every direction. "Are you taking me for a cracker?" he asked, pretending to be angry.

Harry laughed. "Oh, yes, because you're twisted at both ends!"

"If you're a cracker, I want to see you explode," said Ginevra, opening her legs to accommodate Severus's cock.

It didn't take long for Severus to find himself sandwiched between them. Harry's mouth on the back of his neck was wet and hot, and his lubed fingers were moving in and out of him, making him ache inside. Suddenly one of those wicked fingers touched a sensitive spot and Severus couldn't do anything but slide deep inside Ginevra in just one move.

He had barely settled inside her when Harry's cock filled him. Ginevra wrapped her arms around him. She was so flushed and beautiful... Severus sucked at her throat between gasps, pounding into her. She held him tight, working her muscles around his cock, and he couldn't stop his hips from moving, couldn't keep himself from grinding down into Ginevra, and then back against Harry.

Oh, God, Harry's inside me, he thought, whimpering into Ginevra's hair. The rare times Severus had let Harry top, he had marvelled at the feeling. He was afraid of getting addicted to that position... Balls-deep in the woman he loved and with his lover's cock up his arse - Severus couldn't think of a better place to be.

"God, you're so tight, Severus, so good," said Harry, fucking him harder and harder and pressing him deeper into Ginevra.

Orgasm hit Severus unexpectedly and fiercely, leaving him with no choice but to lie there, shaking and convulsing between his two lovers. He stayed inside Ginevra as Harry thrust into him a few more times before stiffening and filling Severus with his hot semen.

As much as he enjoyed being there, feeling Harry's weight on his back and hearing Harry's heartbeat slowly returning to normal, Severus still had a special mission to fulfil. As Harry rolled off to lay beside them, Severus started to move in and out of Ginevra again, very slowly. Harry joined them, sucking one of Ginevra's nipples. She clutched Harry's head to her, and Severus covered her hand with his as he filled her to the root and she came with a ragged moan.

Severus would never tire of that. The dazed but happy look on Ginevra's and Harry's faces told him that they felt the same way.


Next morning, Severus woke up to the loud noise of the children downstairs. He groaned. They were probably making a mess, scattering their new toys everywhere. Severus descended the stairs irritably, but when Julia ran to embrace him, he wrapped a caring arm around her. He was pleased to see that Julia had kept Michael and Raphael under control and hadn't let them mess with the adults' stockings. Michael and Raphael were cheerfully playing with their own presents. They looked like two angels - two lovely redhead angels. Severus reached out for them and embraced his three children at the same time.

"Merry Christmas," said Severus.

"Merry Christmas, dad," said Julia.

"Mewi Kissmas," said Michael and Raphael in unison.

Ginevra and Harry joined them, huddling together in a big embrace.

Then it was time for emptying the stockings. Severus didn't care about presents, but he couldn't help being surprised when he produced from his stocking something that could only be a wrapped broomstick.

"Have you gone insane?" he asked, looking at Ginevra, then at Harry.

"Go ahead, open it!" said Harry.

It was a Flashbird, a new broomstick especially designed for personal transportation, but that could be as fast as the best Quidditch broomsticks.

"Which one of you won the lottery?" asked Severus in a reproachful tone.

"We've put our savings together. You needed a broomstick," said Ginevra.

It was true. Severus hadn't had a broomstick since his Hogwarts days. It was a useful present, and he knew he would have to practise if he wanted to be able to fly with his children when they were old enough.

Ginevra beamed when she saw the Swedish Short-Snout skin cloak Severus had given her, and Harry looked happy and elegant with his new dragon hide boots. Maybe it wasn't wise to give presents that would make Ginevra and Harry look even more attractive, but Severus wanted to please them. Besides, he liked to be envied for having such a desirable wife and such a delectable husband...

Ginevra had given an Encyclopaedia of Quidditch to Harry, and Harry had presented Ginevra with a peignoir and nightgown made with Demiguise hair spun into a fine, almost transparent lace*. Severus closed his eyes, imagining how seductive she would look into that nightgown.

Ginevra had also bought three rings with three interwoven bands forming a delicate pattern to symbolise their union, and gave one to each of them. Harry looked very moved when Ginevra put the ring on his finger. Then Harry did the same to Severus, and Severus to Ginevra.

Oblivious to that little intimate ceremony, the children were playing with a magic interactive book Severus had given them. The story could change according to the reader's preferences - the reader just had to tell the book what he or she wanted to happen. Because the twins didn't know many words yet, Julia was clearly conducting the story - but Raphael and Michael were having fun nonetheless.

Breakfast was a banquet, with a Christmas cake and mince pies sent by Molly (along with jumpers for the six of them), spice cakes and a chocolate yule log that Ginevra had baked.

The rest of the morning was hectic. They took turns between the preparing of the Christmas dinner and the care of the children. Around two o'clock, they sat down at the big table and had a typical English Christmas dinner: roast turkey and stuffing, roast potatoes and vegetables, bread sauce, cranberry sauce and gravy. The twins were on their high chairs; Ginevra had chopped the food up into small pieces for them. And Arnold was on Julia's shoulder, stuffing himself with turkey.

At the end of dinner, when Ginevra turned off the lights in the dining room and Harry brought the flaming pudding from the kitchen, Julia clapped her hands and the twins widened their eyes.

Seeing his beloved ones happy, Severus realised, not without embarrassment, that he was happy too. It was strange, to be happy and not to hate Christmas. Severus felt a little scared.

He thought of a happy ending for Syd's story: the giant nectarine, after travelling by land and sea and sky, would land in the Potter-Snape-Weasleys' garden, where Syd and his friends would be happy ever after. But first they would have many adventures, because the best part of the story was... telling the story.

Or perhaps the best part of the story would happen tonight, when Ginevra would put her new nightgown only to be slowly "unwrapped" by him and Harry...

Severus realised he too was like a child in front of a pile of presents, not knowing which one to pick first. He wanted everything, but there was a time for all things. Right now, it was time to savour the pudding and the intimacy of his family.


~The End~

* Demiguise hair is also used to make invisibility cloaks

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Ptyx, November 2006