The Stand @theactualrealone
Christmas Vacation

AN: Rishi does underage magic because the ministry can't tell who performs magic in a pureblood household.

"Molly" Dumbledore stared at the matriarch of House Weasley "Lemon drop?"

Molly shook her head "We have to go soon so can we make this quick?"

Dumbledore nodded "I need to know what happened at the station? From what I've seen, Ron and Harry aren't friends. In fact, Harry seems to rather despise him."

Molly sputtered "We never saw him! We did everything you said! We talked about magic out loud! And he never sought us out! You said we was raised by Muggles!"

Pulling out his wand, Dumbledore brought a sheet to Molly's attention "This is a sheet we keep of all our Muggleborn and Muggle-raised students. This way, we know who we need visits for. Harry does not appear on the list. Someone introduced him to the Wizarding World."

This didn't soften Molly's glare which was directed at Dumbledore at the moment "Where is our money?"

Dumbledore sighed and bluffed "It's coming." He knew of the Weasleys' devotion to him. They'd believe anything he told them. He could buy time. But eventually, their greed would become too strong."

After a period of silence between the two, Dumbledore looked at Molly once more "I want you to send Harry gifts. Put compulsions charms and loyalty potions in them. That way, he'll become more loyal to me and you."

Molly nodded and left for the Burrow* through the Floo.

Elsewhere in the castle, Harry was finishing his packing for the return to Gopal Manor. Despite Ron's pleas and a few suggestion which Dumbledore put in his head, Harry was going to return home for Christmas. He and Rishi would leave together today. On Christmas, they would have their usual celebrations and that night, would attend the Malfoys' Christmas Ball. The day after Fred and George would visit for a day, so they could meet Sirius. Harry was a man of his word. Harry still remembered the first Christmas at Gopal Manor. It was one of his favorite memories.

Everyone but Harry woke up early. Then they all surprised him with gifts. The Gopals told him that they didn't celebrate Christmas so Harry didn't get them anything at their request. However, they saw it fit to celebrate it for Harry's sake. As Rishi eloquently put it "If Harry has to suffer through all our holidays, we should celebrate his."

Harry and Rishi boarded the Express for their return home. Unlike their first trip, this one was much quieter. They entertained simple discussions. When they emerged from the train. They found Mr and Mrs Gopal along with Sirius and a man who Harry didn't recognize. As the boys approached, the new man's eyes filled with tears "Hello Harry."

Harry looked at him quizzically while the Gopals reunited "I don't mean to be rude, but who are you?"

Sirius gave a wide grin, reminiscent of the ones he and James had during their time at Hogwarts "Harry, this is Remus Lupin. Also known as Moony."

Harry look shocked "Really?"

Rishi stuck out his hand "I'm Rishi. It's honor to meet you. From what I've heard, you were the sane Maurader."

Remus laughed "It's good to meet you too, Rishi."

Sirius smiled at Harry's growing grin "I had trouble thinking of a gift. Then I realized you never met Moony. So, I decided my gift was for you to meet Moony!"

Harry gave Sirius a giant hug as the group apparated back to Gopal Manor. As everyone went to freshen up, Lupin pulled Harry aside "There's something I want to show you."

Lupin brought out a small journal "I found all our pictures. Not just of our pranks. Pictures of your parents while they dated. Pictures of their wedding. Pictures of them holding you. Here you go."

He handed to over to Harry, who had tears forming in his eyes "Thank you."

Lupin gave Harry a smile "How's school?"

Christmas day arrived quickly with time flying by. Harry and Rishi spent their vacation hanging with their family. On occasion, they'd go to the Patils or Longbottoms for dinner. Sirius and Lupin showed Harry the old journals of the Marauders. In there, they kept ideas for spells and potions that could be used for pranks. Harry in return told them of the Weasley Twins, who aspired to be like the Marauders. Harry decided to send the journals to the twins as a gift.

Harry also made the decision to invite Snape over. He knew Sirius and Snape were closer to enemies than they were to friends. When Harry asked Lupin, he was told that Lupin and Snape made amends over the behavior of the Marauders. Sirius and Snape never did. And while Lupin didn't hurt Snape that much, Sirius was on the other end of that spectrum.

On Christmas, Harry and Rishi ran downstairs from their rooms to find the adults sitting on sofas, waiting for their arrival. Since Rishi, and his parents had no gifts at their request, Remus went first. Sirius gave him a new pair of robes with the note "You really need some." After the laughter died down, Remus opened his present from Harry and Rishi which was a set of stuffed animals which resembled the Marauders (except Peter). The Gopals got Remus a book on Wizarding Law related to Half-Breeds.

Sirius went next. Remus got him assorted Zonkos items while Harry and Rishi called in a favor from the Twins and got some of their products which Sirius deemed "Amazing." The Gopals gave him pensive memories of some Marauders pranks which Sirius accepted with a wide grin. Finally, came Harry.

Before Harry could start however, Severus Snape emerged from the floo. Sirius shot up at his arrival "What're you doing here Snivellus?"

Snape glared at him "Black. I see you've been unable to find new insults."

Sirius snarled "You dungeon bat! Come here and..."

Harry got up before this could escalate "I invited Snape here."

Sirius turned to Harry "Him? Why?"

Harry sighed "He's become like an uncle to me. He's looked out for me at Hogwarts and has started giving me extra lessons at potions. Instead of hating me because I was the son of his old bully, he gave me a chance to be different."

Sirius also sighed and he turned to Snape "I hate you. And you hate me. But, for Harry's sake, I'll try to get along." He put out his hand.

Snape looked at Harry, then back at Sirius "I indeed hate you. However, I will attempt to tolerate you." He shook Sirius' hand.

Harry then began opening his presents. He started with the 2 presents nobody recognized. The first was a invisibility cloak which Harry knew was given by Dumbledore. The other was the sweater from the Weasleys. Since Harry and Ron were far from friends, nobody understood why the Weasleys gave Harry a sweater. Snape grabbed it from Harry and checked for spells and potions. Snape's eyes widened and he turned to Harry "This sweater is laced with loyalty potions towards the Weasleys and Dumbledore. There is also a compulsion charm on it. I suggest we burn it."

Harry grinned and cast an Incendio on the sweater. He then let it burn before tossing it into the garbage. After that spectacle, Harry went back to opening his gifts. Rishi gave him a potions textbook which Harry had stared in Flourish and Blotts. Sirius and Lupin gave Harry a book on Animagus transformations. The Gopals gave Harry a Nimbus 2000 for Quidditch since he hadn't bought a broom yet. Finally, Snape handed Harry his present.

Harry began unwrapping it and once the wrapping paper was off, found himself staring at a portrait of his mom and dad. Snape gave Harry a smile "This is your parents' official portrait. The one that can speak. Lily asked me to give it you whenever I got a chance."

After giving Snape a hug, Harry looked at Mr and Mrs Gopal "Can I hang it in my room for now? Until I move out."

He received a nod in return and ran upstairs to hang it. He eventually chose to put it next to his desk. After staring at it for a moment, waiting for it to speak, he left the room.

"Why didn't it speak" Harry asked when he came back down.

"You need to activate it" Snape replied "Which we can't do. We can head to Gringotts to do that."

The day went by quietly until the Christmas Ball at Malfoy Manor. After putting on their formal robes, everyone went through the floo into Malfoy Manor, which was decked out in holiday decorations. After telling the kids to behave, Mr and Mrs Gopal went to greet the Malfoys as did Snape which Remus badgered Sirius about giving Lucius a chance. Rishi and Harry stood around a bit before Neville and Draco found them.

The 4 boys then met up with Parvati and Padma who were talking with Daphne. The 7 first-years then began talking about school and Quidditch. They were all planning out the nuances of a Quidditch friendly when Lucius Malfoy found them "Draco, care to introduce to me?"

Draco nodded "Father, this is Heir Rishi Gopal, Heir Neville Longbottom, Lord Harry Potter, Heir Padma Patil, Parvati Patil and Heir Daphne Greengrass."

Lucius nodded slowly "I see you've managed to stop that Parkinson girl from badgering you."

The group chuckled as Lucius continued "I am Lord Lucius Malfoy. It is an honor to meet the friends of my son."

Harry bowed "The honor belongs to us, Lord Malfoy."

Draco sighed and pointed to the fireplace which was spitting out the 4 oldest Weasleys "Father, why are they here?"

Lucius sighed "In reality, the 2 oldest children aren't so bad. Bill Weasley is a respectable curse-breaker for Gringotts and Charlie Weasley is a respected dragon expert. Arthur Weasley, though I don't approve of his division, is a good man. However, Molly Weasley is a different case. I must see the Minister now. Good day to you."

Harry looked at the Weasleys and turned to see Molly stomping over to them "Here comes the banshee."

Molly walked over and gave Harry a hug which he quickly escaped "Harry dear, it's been so long! Come with me! You should meet Arthur!"

After escaping the hug, Harry turned to Draco "How do we create teams?"

Draco shrugged "We can have a draft."

Molly steamed at being ignored "Harry, why don't you leave these children and come with me?"

Harry turned back to her and crossed his arms "Why would I do that?"

"These children aren't safe" Molly replied, unaware of the volume that her voice reached "They are children of very bad people, dear. Come on now."

Daphne walked up to Molly "Do you know who you're talking to? Each of us is of a higher status than you. It would very bad if everyone heard the matriarch of House Weasley bash houses above her."

Molly looked around and saw everyone staring at her. Sensing trouble, Arthur came forward "Lord Potter, I am so sorry about my wife's actions."

Harry shook his head "It isn't your fault. Every house has a few rotten eggs."

Lucius came forward "I believe you and your wife should leave, Lord Weasley."

Nodding, Arthur began dragging his wife. She attempted to grab Harry's hand to bring him but he shook her off "Get off if you know what's best for you."

Fear entering her brain, Molly allowed herself to be dragged into the floo by Arthur. Afterwards, Lucius publicly apologized to the parents for what Molly said about them and their children. All was forgiven and the party continued on.

*Totally unrelated but after watching the NFL Draft, I can't write Burrow without writing Joe before it. I feel like that's a problem. Is it? Let me know.

Thanks for reading. Leave a review please.

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