Chapter X: The New Year

Chapter X: The New Year

A Chapter by Ashleigh

Harry has a very exciting New Year's Eve, and Tonks begins the feel the stress of what's going on.


               True to her word, Bellatrix went out the next day with Kreacher and Dobby to get a Christmas tree. Harry had wanted to come, but Bellatrix reminded him that the windows in the sitting room still needed to be repaired, and he was still sore from his fight with Tonks.

                "Reparus Maximus," Harry said as he waved his wand. The shattered pieces of glass all over the room immediately fitted and fused back in place, warming up the room considerably, for a biting wind had been howling through the broken windows since the fight, making the entire mansion rather chilly. He set a fire in the grate, hoping to warm up the place.

                Bored, Harry decided to practice the Dark Arts while Bellatrix was out. He got an ordinary spoon from the kitchen and used an animation charm on it. The spoon began to hop around mindlessly on the counter. Harry stood a few feet back and pointed his wand at the spoon.

                "Crucio," he muttered. The spoon fell with a clatter and began to shake violently. The metal handle started to curve and bend under the curse. Harry pulled his wand away and the spoon began to hop around as mindlessly as before. He pointed his wand at it again. "Imperio," he said firmly. The spoon began to obey his every thought. It danced along the edges of the window above the counter, then twirled in a circle and clattered into the sink, where it began to wash itself in the soapy water Bellatrix had been using to soak the dinner plates earlier that morning. After drying itself with a nearby cloth, Harry made the spoon hop back onto the counter. He didn't really want to perform the last curse, but he knew he needed to become skilled at it if he had any hope of defeating Voldemort. He took a deep breath, pointed his wand at the spoon and... "Avada Kedavra," he announced.

                A flash of green light erupted from his wand, striking the spoon. It immediately clattered to the counter, de-animated. Harry sighed and put the spoon back in the drawer. He leaned against the counter, deep in thought. Would his parents be proud of him right now? The Dark Arts had destroyed his family. His parents had fought viciously against it. What would they say if they knew their son was using the Dark Arts, even if it was for a noble reason like defeating Voldemort? Had Harry stooped as low as his arch-enemy without realizing it?

                "Harry?" Bellatrix was standing in the doorway, looking at him with concern. "Are you alright?" she asked.

                "I'm fine, Bella," Harry answered. Bellatrix smiled faintly at the use of her more personal name. "You got the tree?" he asked.

                "Yes. Kreacher and Dobby are putting it up in the sitting room right now. I told them to wait for us to decorate it," she smiled. Harry nodded and walked over to wrap her into a tight hug.

                "Are you sure you're alright, Harry?" she asked him once again, her electric purple eyes searching his emerald green ones. Harry just smiled and kissed her forehead before going to help Dobby and Kreacher with the tree.

                Over the next couple of weeks, the mansion was brightened up considerably with holiday decorations. Harry had gone all out in honour of his and Bella's first Christmas together and every square inch of the mansion was covered with some sort of festive object. Garlands were wrapped around every banister and mistletoe hung in every doorway (Harry and Bellatrix never passed up an opportunity to walk through a doorway together during those two weeks). Angels and Father Christmases stood in every possible corner and the massive tree in the sitting room truly was a wonder to see. The gothic old mansion looked almost... cheerful. Christmas Eve was peaceful and pleasant and Christmas day was wonderful. Harry almost forgot all about Voldemort and Dumbledore, choosing to just enjoy being happy with Bella.

                "Harry?" Bellatrix asked softly on New Year's Eve. She was reading a book with her head resting on Harry's chest. Harry wrapped his arms around her.

                "Mm?" he responded. It was late and Harry was completely content and at ease. He couldn't remember the last time he felt this calm and peaceful. It seemed Bella was a good influence for him, because he always felt calmer when he was with her.

                "Do you love me?" she asked hesitantly. This was a very heavy question for Harry. He knew the answer, but had avoided saying it out loud for fear of finding out that her answer wouldn't be the same as his. She was gazing at him with a searching stare and Harry decided that now would be as good a time as any to give her a straight answer. He kissed the top of her head and drew her closer to him.

                "Yes," he replied simply. Bella smiled and kissed him back.

                "Me too," she whispered. Just then, Harry's watch gave off a faint chime. If it hadn't been so quiet, neither Bella nor Harry would have heard it. The arm with Harry's watch on it was placed gently around Bella's waist, so she glanced down at it, and looked back up at Harry. "It's midnight. Happy New Year, Harry," she said before slowly getting up to go upstairs to her room. Harry gently pulled her back, not wanting to end the night just yet. As if they could hear each other's thoughts, Harry and Bellatrix went up to Harry's room together.

                Harry woke up the next morning to sunlight streaming through his window onto his face. He gave a slight groan and shielded his eyes before rolling over. Beside him lay Bella, sleeping soundly with the covers hiding the fact that she wasn't wearing anything. He gently reached over and brushed away a strand of hair that had fallen over her face. Harry's eyes were drawn to her face... she looked so beautiful. Harry gave a content sigh before sitting up and realizing that he was also "skyclad". He rubbed his eyes for a moment, every detail of what had happened between them last night came flooding back to him in an instant. A faint smile playing across his face at the memory, he slid out of bed and got dressed. He scribbled a quick note and placed it on the bedside table.


I'll be downstairs making breakfast if you need me.

Love Harry.

                Placing the note on the table and giving her a quick kiss on the forehead before heading downstairs, he met up with Dobby. The house-elf was cleaning an old painting of a forest in one of the main hallways.

                "Good morning, Dobby," Harry yawned. "That painting looks good," he complimented him. Dobby bowed and smiled.

                "Thank you, Harry Potter," he replied. Looking up at his master, he went very red all of a sudden. "This may be none of Dobby's business, Harry Potter, but... Ms. Black..." Harry saved the house-elf the trouble of having to finish what he was trying to say.

                "It's alright, Dobby. Yes, we are," Harry answered. Dobby bowed again, this time his floppy ears brushing against the floor.

                "I see. Harry Potter is in love. That pleases Dobby. Dobby wants the best for his master," Dobby replied happily. Harry smiled and shook his head, somewhat amused.

                "Thanks Dobby, but will you stop calling me your master? You're my friend. I've told you about a hundred times," Harry said before heading to the kitchen to start some pancakes and bacon.

                "Mmm... that smells good," Bella said cheerfully as Harry finished cooking and was setting the food on plates. There were four; one each for Harry, Bella, Dobby and Kreacher. She took her plate from Harry and sat down across the table from him.

                "How did you sleep?" Harry asked her. It was a dumb question, because Harry knew perfectly well that neither of them had slept very much last night. Bellatrix seemed to be thinking this, too because she gave Harry an amused look.

                "Quite well. At least after..." she trailed off, poking absent-mindedly at her food. "Last night was nice," she finished. They both knew this was a massive understatement, but Harry nodded all the same.

                "Yeah, it was," he agreed. He started to cut up his pancakes, feeling strangely at ease. He would have thought that talking to her would be awkward after sleeping with her, but he didn't feel at all embarrassed or nervous around her. It seemed Bella felt the same way, because she was acting perfectly normal as well.

                "I assume the tattoo on your back represents your parents and Sirius?" she asked him, obviously remembering from when he had taken his shirt off the night before. Harry nodded.

                "Yeah," he answered, taking another bite of his breakfast. He looked up to see a shadow cross Bella's face. He swallowed and reached for her hand.

                "You can't keep blaming yourself for what happened to Sirius," Harry told her. "It's not your fault he fell through that veil when you stunned him," he reassured her. Bella shook her head and blinked back tears.

                "It doesn't matter. I still caused his death... and took so much away from so many people," she whispered.

*   *   *

                Tonks was staying at her parent's house for New Year's. They had been delighted to see her. Lately, she had been so consumed with her work that it didn't leave much time for family. She woke up feeling rather happy for the first time in a long time and went downstairs. It was just like she was a little girl again. Her mother was sitting in the living room, using her wand to knit what looked like a scarf, while her father read the muggle paper with a tea in his hand. Andromeda looked up and smiled at her daughter.

                "Hey, Honey. Happy New Year's," she said.

                "Thanks mum," Tonks yawned, sitting down beside her mother to read The Daily Prophet. She looked over at her father's paper, which read Mayor To Decide Transportation Budget At Town Meeting. She shook her head, amused. Muggles, especially her father could be funny at times. "Interesting articles in there, Dad?" she teased. Ted Tonks gave his daughter a stern look.

                "I have to keep in touch with the muggle world, you know. It's hard with your mother around," he replied in a tone of mock indignation. Andromeda sighed and rolled her eyes and Tonks laughed. Andromeda suddenly looked her daughter up and down and frowned.

                "Nymphadora, what on earth would possess you to keep your hair that ghastly shade of pink?" she sighed.

                "What on earth would possess you to name me Nymphadora?" Tonks retorted. Acting as if her daughter hadn't said anything, Andromeda continued.

                "I mean really, dear. It doesn't look ladylike... and those horrible grunge clothes! Do you want to attract people or scare them away?" her mother frowned. Tonks folded her arms defiantly and rolled her eyes.

                "Mother! I'm twenty-three years old! I don't need you to pick out my clothes for me!" Tonks protested. This was a constant ongoing battle between them. Ted looked over the top of his newspaper to settle the matter.

                "Honey, leave the poor girl alone. She's an adult now," Ted reasoned with his wife. He then looked to Tonks. "Now don't go thinking you don't need us anymore just because of that, young lady. You're still our baby girl," he warned. Tonks stood up and stalked out of the room. Sometimes she wondered if her parents realized she wasn't a toddler anymore.

                "Where are you going, Nymphadora?" Andromeda called after her daughter.

                "Work!" Tonks snapped, exasperated.

                "But it's New Year's Day!" Ted protested. Tonks just walked out of the house and took a deep breath. She looked up at the cloudy sky and frowned.

                "Why can't something go right for me?" she groaned.

© 2008 Ashleigh

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Added on December 16, 2008



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