Chapter 52 - Boxing Day

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The whole of the Weasley clan arrived via Floo en masse, including Percy, at eleven am precisely. They were all turned out in their Sunday bests and even Ron had his hair brushed. Harry was pleased to see that he wasn't the only one to react to the decoration with jaw dropping awe. At least half of Molly and Arthur's brood did the same. The only one apparently unaffected was Bill, but then he had Fleur on his arm and seemed terribly wrapped up in her.

"Good morning and happy Christmas everyone," Narcissa greeted, "we are so pleased you could come."

"Thank you so much for inviting us, Narcissa," Arthur replied for his family.

"It was such a lovely surprise," Molly added.

"I'm so glad it wasn't too late notice," Narcissa said, stepping forward and greeting first Arthur and then Molly properly. "Finishing the protections was so fraught I was afraid they wouldn't be done."

"And it's so important to get these things right," Molly agreed and presented Narcissa with a huge covered basket after she had kissed both her cheeks.

Harry did his best not to feel guilty that a lot of the extra precautions were probably because of him. Of course it didn't quite work.

[Idiot Gryffindor,] was Draco's only comment on that.

"Oh, Molly," Narcissa said as she peaked under the cloth, "you shouldn't have. These look wonderful. I will have the house elves give them pride of place on the lunch table."

"Oh, you don't have to do that," Molly replied, clearly very pleased with Narcissa's reaction.

"Of course we must," Narcissa insisted, "I have heard so many good things about your cooking. I always wished that I had the knack, but baking is not one of my skills. The only Malfoy who ever showed any promise was Draco."

That surprised Harry.

"The only thing I cook is potions, Mum," Draco said.

"Ah, but not when you were small," Narcissa said, smiling at the memory. "Many was the time I found you in the kitchens covered in flour and bothering the house elves."

"Really?" Draco asked. "I don't remember that."

"You always had such fun mixing things together," Narcissa told him in a very fond tone. "Unfortunately your grandmother disapproved and so a certain person forbade you to continue. He did, however, buy you your first junior potions kit. The rest, shall we say, is history."

"I don't suppose you have any photographic evidence of the flour covered escapades do you?" Harry asked in a bid to distract everyone from the fact Lucius had just been alluded to.

"You know," Narcissa said, tapping her chin thoughtfully, "I may have one or two."

"Mum," Draco warned and his mother just smiled sweetly.

"Anyway, that is for later," she said, turning back to her guests, "please, everyone, come into the sitting room so I may make introductions."

[Here we go,] Draco said as Harry manoeuvred them close to Ron and Ginny.

"This place it amazing," Ginny whispered as the family dutifully followed Narcissa.

"It is isn't it," Harry agreed. "I'm sure I spent hours just gawping."

"I've only seen icicles like that in Diagon Alley," Ron commented as they walked past the bottom of the stairs.

[Go on,] Draco told Harry, [I know you want to.]

Harry grinned and put his hand out to touch the bottom icicle. He pushed the tiniest bit of magic into the chain, as he now had done just about every time they went up or down the stairs, and set the whole lot to tinkling and glowing. Much to his embarrassment everyone turned to watch.

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