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Author Notes:

This bunny ambushed yesterday morning.   The timing was too perfect to pass up.   It's unbeta'd, though.


And despite all evidence to the contrary, it was NOT done while I was on a sugar buzz.

I think I was eight or so in this one.

I pressed the doorbell and heard the bell go off inside.

The instant the door opened, I held forward my bag and said, "Trick or Treat!"

Mrs. Kominski smiled down at me.   "How cute, Harry!   What are you dressed up as this year?"

"I'm one of Santa's elves!"   I leaned in a little and whispered, "I know this isn't what an elf really looks like, but Mum dressed me this way anyway.   She said this is what Santa's helper elves look like instead of regular elves."

My neighbor's grin got wider.   "Is that so?   Well, I think you look like a proper elf.   But, Harry, if you're one of Santa's helper elves, where's Santa?"

I turned and pointed.

She gaze followed my finger, and her jaw dropped.

There, sitting in front of her house, was a sleigh containing a man wearing a plump red suit and a long, white beard.   A large sack was on the seat next to him.   Pulling the sleigh was a large deer, complete with little bells on the rigging and some sort of greenery woven into his antlers.   Incongruously, he had the most ridiculous red clown nose stuck to the end of his face.   He kept shaking his head, clearly annoyed with the nose and the branches in his antlers.

Santa, seeing her attention, turned and waved at our neighbor cheerfully.

She was still staring.   "Um, Mrs. Kominski?"

She shook her head and blinked down at me.   "Yes?   Oh!   I'm terribly sorry, dear.   Forgot myself for a moment."   She reached to a large bowl on the table next to the door and dropped a handful of candy into my bag.


"Harry?" she asked in an odd tone.


She was looking at Dad and Sirius again.   "Is that . . .   Is that reindeer real?"

Mum and Dad had warned me about this question.   As Mrs. Kominski was a muggle, I gave her that answer.   "He's not a reindeer, but he's a real deer.   Dad found him somewhere and trained him."

"I see."



I ran back to the sleigh, laughing at the reaction she'd had.

As had happened at other streets tonight, a crowd of kids had gathered at the sleigh, all standing agog.   Soldiers, firemen, and what looked like turtles wearing bright colors were mixed among the more common Halloween costumes.

Muggles had the strangest ideas of what witches, goblins, and ghosts looked like.

"Ho!   Ho!   Ho!" Santa called.   "Have all of you little boys and girls been good this year?"

Shouts of, "Yes!" and frantic nodding were the most common reactions.   Some kids simply stared, instead.

"Well, I'll be along to each of your houses in two months.   Meanwhile, I think I have a little treat for each of you to tide you over."   He reached into the large sack and pulled out a handful of small candy canes, the kind of thing you can buy in the store.   Santa cheerfully passed out the candy to the kids, though I saw a few of them go through the line twice.

The crowd finally left and Santa sat back down, taking the reins in his hands.   "Let's go home, Rudolph."

Rudolph turned his head and gave Santa a dirty look before turning back forward and starting us in motion.

Sirius seemed to enjoy the attention we gathered as we went down the streets of Godric's Hollow.   He smiled, waved, and, "Ho!   Ho!   Ho!"'d   all the way back to Potter Manor.

Without bidding, Dad pulled us around the back of the manor and into an empty shed.

Once my eyes adjusted to the dark space, I spotted someone waiting for us there that I hadn't been expecting to see.   "Uncle Moony!"   I ran and jumped up at him.

He caught me easily.   "Heya, Cub.   How're you doing?"   He looked over at the sleigh and his mouth twitched.   "Did you three have fun?"

I giggled.   "Uncle Sirius and I had fun.   I don't think Dad did.   Especially when Uncle Sirius steered us under that pine tree."

Remus put me down and walked over to Prongs, pulling pine boughs out of his antlers.   "James, you actually let this maniac drive?   Don't you know how many charms he has on that motorbike of his?"

Sirius looked up with a hurt expression.   He'd been transfiguring his Santa suit back into jeans and a sweatshirt.   "I'll have you know that I didn't wreck us.   Is it my fault that his antlers stick up ten bloody feet off the ground?"

Remus, standing immediately in front of Dad, was looking up at just over eye level to reach the antlers.   "Ten feet?" he asked, dryly.

Dad looked over at Sirius and snorted.

I laughed at them again and removed the bells from the harness.

Done picking pine branches out of Dad's antlers, Remus lifted the harness off.

Dad immediately changed back to himself.   The big, red nose was still stuck to his face, though.   Glaring at it, and looking very funny going cross-eyed to do it, he pulled out his wand and pointed it at the nose.   "Fidite."  

Nothing happened.

I giggled.   Sirius snickered.

Dad glared at Sirius.   "I 'ate you.   Get dis bloody thig off of by face."

Sirius tried to look innocent.   "Whatever do you mean, James?"

Dad looked murderous.

"Allow me," Remus said.   He pulled his wand out and released the Sticking Spell.

Dad immediately started firing a wide variety of (mostly) harmless spells at Sirius.   Cackling madly, Sirius ran toward the back door, dodging like crazy.

Shaking his head, Remus picked me up and headed the same way at a less reckless pace.   He peeked into my bag.   "What all do you have in there, Cub?   Anything you care to share with your favorite uncle?"

"Sure!" I agreed immediately.   I smiled at him.   "I'll even share some of it with you, too."

"Why, you!" he laughed, tickling me for a moment.   It was a game Sirius, Remus, and I had been playing for as long as I could remember.

"Hey, Uncle Moony," I said when I realized something.   "You aren't wearing a costume."

"Sure I am."

I looked at him doubtfully.   He was wearing normal work robes.

Leaning in to whisper in my ear, he said, "I'm dressed as a werewolf."

I rolled my eyes at him and went back to poking through my candy haul.

Getting inside, Remus called out, "Hey, Lily!   Look what I found.   Can I keep him?"

Mum, hands planted on her hips, was standing over Dad and Sirius who were both sitting on the couch.   The fact that she was wearing an "elf" outfit that matched mine gave the scene just a touch of surrealism.   The general disarray of the room hinted toward exactly WHY the two were in trouble.   I stifled another giggle at their expressions of fear and chagrin as they cowered before "Santa's other helper elf".

Mum looked over at us at Remus's words.   "No.   I want to keep Harry.   HE at least acts his age.   You can take these two," she waved at the two seated men.

Dad and Sirius's expressions brightened immediately.   Glancing at each other, they both jumped to their feet and rushed at us.   "Pop!" they called, barreling into the suddenly wide-eyed Remus and enveloping him into hugs.   Their momentum caused all of us to crash to the floor.

I easily extracted myself from the pile and went over to the couch as all three men tried to pick themselves up.   Sirius "accidentally" tripping one or the other just as they got to their feet probably didn't help.

Mum shook her head.   "What is with you, Sirius?   Act your age, not your I.Q., would you?"

"Ouch," Sirius said, gazing admiringly up at Mum.

"I think he's on a sugar high from all that candy," Dad supplied, finally getting to his feet and nimbly avoiding Sirius's kick.

"That muggle candy is good stuff!" Sirius added, smiling brightly.   His face fell abruptly into a pout.   Glaring up at Lily, he said, "I was the one playing Santa.   Why didn't you let me pick the candy to give away?"

"What would you have picked?" she asked patiently.

"Chocolate frogs," he answered promptly.

Now she looked amused.   "And you don't think that the muggles would've found it strange when their chocolate hopped away from them?"

"Er," Sirius said, blinking rapidly.   His face fell again, and he looked abashed.   "Good point."

Mum shook her head.   "What AM I going to do with you?"

"If you weren't married to that bloke over there," Sirius said, chucking a thumb at Dad, "I could make a few suggestions."   He wiggled his eyebrows at her.

She got a disgusted look on her face.   James leveled a stare at him.

Sirius raised his hands and smiled.   "But since you are, I won't."

Remus rolled his eyes and turned to me.   "How has your Halloween been?"

"The best!" I enthused through a mouth full of chocolate.   "Happy Halloween, Uncle Remus!"

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