Teddy had been looking forward to this day for ages. Literally ages. Well… at least since last weekend, when Uncle Harry had first promised to take him, so maybe not ages… But it did feel like it, though. He’d even counted down the days on the calendar grandma ‘Dromeda kept on her fridge; crossing out one day each evening at bedtime — until this morning, when he’d woken up and it was finally — finally — Saturday.
Grandma must’ve found a way to stop time or something, ‘cause Uncle Harry had said he’d come by to pick him up at half eleven and still there must’ve been at least fifteen hours after breakfast when his godfather finally stepped out of the fireplace.
“Hi there, Teddy,” Harry chuckled, almost toppling over from the impact of an impatient five-year-old attacking him with outstretched arms just as he squatted down to greet him. “Are you ready to go have lunch?”
Lunch? Sure, but… “…and visit Santa?”
Harry grinned and ruffled Teddy’s unruly shock of hair. “Yeah, absolutely, cutie cub. I promised you, didn’t I?”
“Yeah, you did,” Teddy nodded enthusiastically, then frowned. “But will he still be there? You’re so late, maybe he’s gone home already?”
“No, I’m sure he’ll wait for us to get there.” Harry stood and looked around the sitting room. “Still no Christmas Tree, eh?”
“No,” Teddy pouted, “grandma says there won’t be any this year since she’ll be in France.”
Grandma was going with Cousin Draco to visit Great-Aunt Cissa over the holidays and the initial plan had been for Teddy to come with them too. When he’d realised that would leave his godfather all alone on Christmas, though, Teddy had insisted on staying in London with him.
“Yeah, that’s right,” Uncle Harry said, “but you’ll be staying with me, won’t you?” Teddy nodded thoughtfully. “And you know what? I already have the perfect Christmas Tree standing in the corner by the telly.”
Teddy perked up at the thought. “With fairy lights?”
“Yeah, darling, with fairy lights. And tinsel, and baubles and—”
“—and those garlands we made last time?”
“Yeah, those too,” Harry laughed. “Now, where’s your grandma?”
“Dunno,” Teddy said slowly, trying to remember where he’d last seen her. Maybe upstairs? “Grandma?” he yelled, “Grandma? Uncle Harry’s here!”
“Shhh, Teddy,” Harry reproved, “remember what we’ve said about shouting?”
Teddy stilled and looked up at his godfather. The black-haired man was staring back at him, with furrowed brows and hands on his hips, trying his best to look all serious and disapproving. Teddy could see the amused affection in those bright green eyes, though, could see the slight twitch at the corners of his mouth, and quickly played along.
Putting on his most regretful face — you know, the one with those large puppy dog eyes that no grownup had ever been able to resist — Teddy murmured, “That I shouldn’t do it?”
“That’s right,” Harry winked and turned around just in time to greet grandma as she came down the stairs.
“Hello Harry, my dear. How are you?”
“I’m just fine, thank you,” Uncle Harry said and wrapped her in a big hug.
They started talking about grandma’s trip. And packing. And the weather. And— a bunch of other stuff that wasn’t important in the least; especially not right now, when Santa was already expecting them. Teddy prodded Harry’s side with a finger, trying to gain his attention, but this just resulted in Harry laying a placating hand on Teddy’s shoulder.
Blah blah blah… They didn’t even stop their incessant rambling to look down at him.
Teddy sighed and tried again, this time tugging on the hem of Harry’s black woollen coat.
Blah blah blah…
“…tell me if there’s anything… Hey, easy there, Teddy, what do you—”
“We need to go, or we’ll miss him!” Teddy said. Why must grownups always be so hopeless? “You can talk later…”
“Yeah, sure. Sorry,” Harry grinned, flicking his gaze at grandma who gave him a furtive smile. Teddy didn’t understand why grownups always seemed to think he didn’t notice stuff like that, and if it weren’t for their very important meeting with Santa, maybe he’d have time to ask them about it, but—
“Teddy,” grandma said, “why don’t you go put on your new boots? You can do that by yourself now, can’t you dear?”
“You can?” Harry exclaimed, surprised.
“Yeah, I can,” Teddy preened and straightened up.
He was almost as long as his uncle now. Almost. Well… If he stretched his arm, he could almost reach high enough to touch Harry’s shoulder. He didn’t even have to stand on his tiptoes anymore.
“Then, why don’t you show me? Go put them on and I’ll be there in a sec to help you with the coat, okay?”
“Okay—” Teddy grinned, already rushing towards the hall, “—but hurry up!”
“Yeah, yeah,” Harry laughed; as if he weren’t at all worried about missing Santa.
Grownups are so strange sometimes.
Grandma had gotten Teddy a brand-new pair of boots this year since his feet had grown so much over the summer the old black ones didn’t fit him anymore. These new ones were a light brown leather, kinda like the same colour as gravy, and they had all this white fluffy stuff on the inside to keep his feet perfectly warm no matter what.
They were a little tricky to put on, though, since you had to make sure the zip didn’t catch in the trousers, but Teddy knew exactly how to do it by now — he’d been practising — and today it didn’t take him long at all. At least not compared to that ‘sec’ it took his uncle to finish talking to grandma. When Harry finally came to help him fetch his coat from its hanger, Teddy was already wearing his boots and his matched set of scarf, hat and mittens. Aunt Molly had knitted them for him. She’d even let him choose the colours of the stripes; green for grandma and red for Uncle Harry — his two favourite people in the world.
“So, have you decided what you wanna ask Santa for?” Harry said as he knelt in front of Teddy to button up his coat. Teddy could’ve easily done it himself if it weren’t for the mittens.
“Yup!” he said, nodding hard enough to almost make his hat fall off. He reached up with both hands to replace it on his head as he continued. “A broom and the new Magical Creatures book.”
“Perfect,” Harry said, standing up and offering his hand, “then, guess what?”
“What?” Teddy said, looking up at his godfather expectantly.
“Well, Teddy… I think you’re ready to go see Santa Claus.”