Title: Nargles
Author: tarotgal
Fandom: Harry Potter, post-DH

Rating: G
Pairing: Harry/Ginny, Remus/Tonks

Disclaimer: Definitely not my world and I don’t make a dime from this!
Summary: Christmases can be difficult for orphans.
Bunnies: #10, #13
Feedback: sure :-)



Harry was busy setting presents out under the Christmas tree when he heard the front door open and close. The footsteps were familiar, and they made Harry grin. “We’re in the living room, Teddy!”


Boots stamped snow off and then thumped, empty, to the floor. A cloak slid off and onto one of the hooks by the door. And a trio of soft, muffled sneezes sounded, echoing in the large foyer.


Teddy appeared in the doorway, rubbing his sleeve cuff at his nose. “I just wanted to stop by and wish you a happy Christmas. I wasn’t planning on staying too long… I don’t want to bother you… heh-Ehshoo!


“Got yourself a little cold there, Teddy?”


Teddy nodded and sank into the couch. “Not the best Christmas present I’ve ever gotten, that’s for sure.” He scrubbed at his nose again.


Ginny finished hanging the stockings up on the mantle and swooped down to grab a tissue box from the side table. She took a seat next to Teddy on the couch and plopped the box on his lap. “You can use these, sweetie.” She touched the back of her hand to his forehead as he snuffled and blew his nose.


Not a minute later, he tensed up. “h’shooo! Hehchoo! Ihchoo-ktchooo!” He could barely catch his breath. “ehtchoo! Ihshoo! Ehchoo! Echshooo! Ketchoooo!” He blew his nose again and rested his head against the back of the couch. “I swear they add pepper to these tissues.”


“Bless you. Well, you’re not feverish, so that’s a good sign. Let me get you some—”


“No Pepper-up!” he exclaimed, his voice like a high-pitched squeal.


“Oh, sweetie.” Ginny kissed the top of his head as she rose from the couch. “I know you can’t have Pepper-up Potion. This isn’t the first time we’ve looked after you when you had a head cold, and I remember how allergic your father was to it. Now just sit tight and I’ll fetch you some tea.”


As Ginny left for the kitchen, Harry looked over his shoulder at Teddy, grinning. “It’s best to humor her. She likes to fuss and she always gets her way. It’s a Weasley thing… or a mother thing. Maybe both.”


Looking down at the tissue box, Teddy quietly whispered, “I wouldn’t know.”


“Hey.” Harry pushed himself up off the floor. “I wouldn’t either.” Teddy wouldn’t meet his gaze, even when Harry settled beside him on the arm of the couch and placed a hand on Teddy’s back. Harry dropped his voice down to a whisper. “I know the holidays can be rough, that’s why every year I insist you spend Christmas here. Your grandmother is a wonderful woman and she and your grandfather were shunned by her family. But I understand what it’s like to not have parents at Christmastime.” Teddy nodded. “And I’d never try to replace your dad. I just want you to know you’re loved and wanted here.”


Teddy nodded almost obediently, as if he’d expected the speech to end like that. Then he pulled a tissue out of the box. “ehh… ehh-heh… heh-Eptchooo! Hehshooo!


“I even want you here when you have a cold in your nose.” Harry ruffled Teddy’s purple-blue hair affectionately. “And if Ginny gets too fussy for you, give me a sign and I’ll think of something to get her out of your hair. Just say the word ‘nargle’ all right?”


Before Teddy could agree or ask what in the world nargles were, Ginny was back with a steaming mug of spiced tea. She handed him the mug. “Just wait until you try this. It’s my own mixture of spices and I added some cinnamon to be festive.” She poked him through the blanket. “Go on. Tell me what you think.”


Teddy tried it and grinned. “That’s…” He took another sip, the liquid still too hot to drink down properly. “That’s amazing.” He took another sip. And another. He closed his eyes and sighed. “So good. Thank you.”


Harry mussed the young man’s hair again. “Hey, I think I’ve got a present for you to open tonight. Sit right here.”


Harry crawled around on the floor for a while, rooting around until he found what he was looking for. He backed out from behind the tree and Lily’s new broomstick, magically transfigured and wrapped so that it looked like a boring old cauldron, with a large, squishy package. He tossed it to the couch and Ginny caught it.


“Good idea, Harry.” She took the mug from Teddy for a moment and switched it for the present. “Go on, open it up. Just don’t tell the little ones we’re letting you open a present before it’s actually Christmas.”


Teddy turned it over and slipped his finger under the tape where the wrapping overlapped. He pried it open without ripping the paper, and peeled the wrappings away to reveal a blanket. It was a conglomeration of various pieces of material—lots of yellow and black and a bit of tweed, but also plenty of other little patches stitched here and there. Teddy ran his fingers over the material. “Is this...”


Harry nodded. “Your gran found one of your mum’s old Hogwarts school robes and this blue here is from the shirt she wore when your father proposed to her. And there are parts of one of your father’s jumpers that she used to patch up for him after the full moon and one of his jackets he wore when he taught at Hogwarts.”


Teddy slid his arms under the heavy, folded blanket and lifted it up so that he could get a closer look at it. Then he lowered it and brought it to his chest. He hugged it close, as if his parents were there to hug him back, and he sniffled. Looking down, Harry saw that it wasn’t his cold that was making his nose run. There were tears in the lad’s eyes.


Harry cleared his throat. “Er, Gin, darling, maybe we should go check out those, ah, nargles in the other room—”


“No,” Teddy whispered. He sniffled again and this time cupped his hand to his nose and mouth. “ehhh-IHSCHhhh! Hihshooh!” Rubbing his shirt cuff at his nose again as he sniffled, he looked up at Harry and then Ginny. “Please stay? I want to spend time with you.”


Harry tucked the blanket warm and tight around his godson and Ginny handed the mug of tea back to him. Ginny finished decorating while Harry rubbed Teddy’s back and offered him tissues whenever he needed to sneeze.