Chapter 10 : Christmas
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In Charms class, Professor Selwyn had them lighting the inside of ornaments with the lumos charm. As they were doing the work, she explained that light created by magical means could be trapped within an object, so she often had first- years light the inside of ornaments to put in the great hall.
Albus was thinking about this as he was skipping down the corridors towards the Great Hall for dinner. He passed Professor Fuchs on the way, and he was humming “Jingle Bells.” When he got to the Great Hall, he spotted Art eating breakfast, and Albus went to go join him.
“Is David or Rose up yet?” Art asked Al. He shook his head.
“David sleeps like a log, and Rose stayed up late last night studying for the Herbology quiz.” Albus gazed out at the snow on the enchanted window. “Do you think we’ll have a white Christmas?”
Art shrugged his shoulders. “There hasn’t been a white Christmas for years,” Art recalled. “I doubt it.”
Albus sighed. He fantasized of having a white Christmas, but it was highly unlikely. He missed snow. Albus, James, and Lily loved playing in the snow. Albus liked forts and igloos. He recalled one year that his parents built an igloo with the help of magic. That had been the best winter ever!
Lily, however, liked building snowwizards. Albus and James were usually forced to help her, since she wasn’t strong enough to make a big one. Lily always decorated it by herself though.
James loved snowball fights. Since Albus and Lily always refused to participate because James always won, he would always chuck snowballs at Albus and Lily at random moments.
“What are you daydreaming about?” David asked as he approached the table. Albus squirmed in his seat; he hadn’t realized it had been that obvious.
“Snow,” he replied wistfully. David nodded knowledgably.
“I never played much in the snow, since I live in London, but I liked seeing it fall outside my window.”
“I also live in London, so we usually went to Rose’s house,” Albus replied. He scarfed down some food, and David, Art, and Al wandered up to the common room. Rose was already in the common room, since she ate early so she could finish her homework.
Albus sighed as he plopped down on the couch. He didn’t feel like doing homework. Instead he wrote up a list of what he wanted to buy for his friends for Christmas. He decided to buy a book he saw the last time in Flourish and Blotts about the Hogwarts grounds for Rose, give Art several packs of Chocolate frogs so he could start collecting, and give David a pack of skiving snackboxes from Uncle George’s shop. He decided to send owl order forms to all of those shops tomorrow morning. He hated that Filch was watching the mail, but at least ordering Christmas presents wasn’t suspicious.
“What do wizards do for Christmas?” Art asked. “I wonder what a wizard Christmas would be like.”
“Each family celebrates Christmas differently,” Rose explained. “I can tell you what my family does for Christmas though.”
“Let’s hear it!” David exclaimed eagerly. Rose grinned and began to speak.
“Well, all of our families each have actual Christmas day by ourselves. Usually it’s just sort of quiet, while Hugo and I open our presents from our parents and mess around with them. A day later however, the entire Weasley family meets at Grandma Weasley’s house.”
“Ooh, fun!” exclaimed David, with a wild expression on his face. Albus took over explaining.
“Everything gets really crowded though, since all of my aunt and uncles and cousins are there, plus more people. Usually Neville and Hannah come and stop by-“
“You mean Professor Longbottom? He comes by for Christmas?” David butted in.
“Yeah, but we call him Neville at home,” Albus explained.
“Anyway, multiple people stop by,” Rose added. “Besides Neville and Hannah, Luna, Rolf, six-year-old Lorcan, four-year-old Lysander, Andromeda, and Teddy Lupin usually come too. Usually other friends come too, I was only naming a few. Last year one of James’s school friends came, John. So we usually get a lot of presents since we have so many relatives. It’s usually very fun though, since there are so many kids around. And that’s it really.” Rose said. “What do the two of you do for Christmas?”
“I just get up early, open my presents, play with them, and then later have Christmas dinner,” David said, shrugging. “It’s not very interesting.”
“We usually gather around the fireplace.” Art said. “Our Christmas tree is usually next to it. The tree is always beautiful, since our parents are friends with the owners of the tree orchard nearby. Mum usually hand- makes our presents, but we don’t mind much. Then later, we have Christmas dinner where my brothers fight over who gets the most food.”
“It’s odd that they haven’t passed around the list of whose staying at Hogwarts,” Rose commented. “According to Molly and Lucy, they should have passed out the list of students who are staying at Christmas by now.”
Albus stifled a yawn, but it was still noticeable to them. Art blushed, and muttered that he was kind of boring.
“It’s not you.” Albus assured Art. “It’s just getting late, that’s all.” Albus stifled another yawn and said, “I’m going to bed.” He collapsed wearily into bed and began to dream about mistletoes and tree orchards.
The next morning made Albus wish for Christmas even more. The Great Hall was decorated in Christmas decorations and everyone looked jolly. James was talking to everyone of the new broomstick he wanted to get for Christmas.
“A Nimbus Eight-Thousand would be nice, but it would be really cool to get the new Lightningstar,” James said excitedly.
“It isn’t out yet, it comes out January first; don’t you remember?” Albus replied. He was always looking for updates on new broomsticks.
“That’s stupid, having it come out after Christmas. Usually they come out before,” James complained.
Albus agreed with James, but he was a little happier about it than James. It would be out in time for his birthday.
Al’s birthday was on January twelfth, so his aunt and uncles usually gave him his birthday presents on Christmas. Albus found this a bit annoying, since he then had to wait another entire year until he got presents again. The kids with summer birthdays got presents every six months.
“What are you thinking about Albus?” Rose asked. Albus blushed. He hated getting caught daydreaming, because it gave him the impression of being oblivious.
“Just my birthday,” he replied.
“Oh yeah, I nearly forgot,” Rose said. “Isn’t it January twelfth?”
“Whose birthday is January twelfth?” David asked, who had just wandered over to Gryffindor table.
“Mine,” Albus replied simply.
“Dang it, now I need to get you a present,” David groaned. “Anybody else have a birthday coming up?”
“Mine, its January seventh,” Art said.
“Merlin, now there are two birthdays coming up.” David moaned. “I sure hope your birthday isn’t coming up soon, Rose.”
Rose grinned. “Don’t worry, it’s not until June.”
“Thank goodness.” David grumbled, as he shoved a cinnamon bun into his mouth.
“Attention, I have an announcement to make,” said a small squeaky voice. Albus turned and saw that it was Professor Flitwick. All of the eyes in the room turned and fell on Professor Flitwick. “In order to create more Hogwarts unification, the staff and I have decided that we wish you to stay at Hogwarts for Christmas this year. Thank you.”
Shouts and angry jeers erupted from the Great Hall. The Weasleys were especially angry, since Christmas was the only time when they all got together. Even Victoire was angry.
“That’s rubbish!” she pouted furiously, tossing her silvery blonde hair. “Christmas is special for the Weasley family! I was hoping to spend time with Teddy!”
Albus’s mind was spinning. Christmas without his family? He could not remember a single Christmas when he hadn’t had Christmas without the Weasleys. It wasn’t fair. All because of this ‘Hogwarts Unity’ rubbish! Now it was going to be even harder to adjust to Hogwarts.
In midst of all the uproar, Rose motioned for Albus, David, and Art to follow her. Confusedly, Albus slowly followed her, while sending curious looks at David and Art. David and Art looked as confused as Al felt.
Once they were in a deserted corridor, Rose blurted out, “What a load of rubbish! No way is anyone going to buy that excuse.”
“What do you mean by that ‘excuse’?” David asked. She turned sharply around at David.
“Isn’t it obvious?” Rose exclaimed, shooting glances at the rest of them.
“What is obvious?” Albus asked, exasperated. Rose responded with a look of fury.
“Can either one of you use your brains? Or are you just mindless creatures who are fed any piece of information given to you?”
“We are kind of mindless, yeah.” Art agreed. “Can you just tell us?”
“Fine.” She sighed. “One thing I’ve been thinking all week about is that Albus will get to see his dad during Christmas, so he’ll be able to tell Uncle Harry everything.”
“I hadn’t even realized that.” Albus said in wonder.
She continued, “So its obvious, isn’t it? Flitwick’s under the imperius curse. That man- Zajecfer- must have realized that too. So he made everyone, including Albus, stay at Hogwarts so Albus couldn’t contact his dad. The Hogwarts unity thing is just an excuse.”
“You’re amazing,” David sighed.
“Yeah,” Albus agreed. “I don’t know what we would do without you.”
“What can we do?” Art asked urgently. He was perhaps the most worried of all of them.
“I can’t think of anything,” Rose sighed. “If others were going home I might be able to figure out something, but everyone is staying. Not one person is leaving. We’ll just have to wait. Come on back to the great hall, we don’t want people getting suspicious,” she said, leading them back to the great hall. David, Art, and Albus followed her, but lagged behind.
“I’m still excited about Christmas, even though it’s at Hogwarts.” David said.
“Me too.” Albus agreed.
“It’s going to be a long week.” Art moaned.
And right he was. The week passed extremely slowly. Each day inched along like a slow turtle, except this turtle was even slower than normal. Even though he couldn’t go home for Christmas, he heard that the Christmas’s at Hogwarts were pretty good.
On Christmas Eve, when Albus and his friends were sitting in the common room, Fred and Louis walked around handing small bits of parchment. He noticed that they were handed out to all of the Weasley cousins. When Louis handed one piece to Albus, he realized that they were invitations.
It was an invitation inviting him and all of the Weasley cousins to have a Christmas gathering in the Room of Requirement at ten o’clock on Christmas day.
“And make sure you don’t open your presents yet.” Louis told him later. “You can open the ones from your friends and parents, but save the ones from your aunt and uncles.”
Everybody went to bed early on Christmas Eve; obviously hoping the next day would come faster. Al doubted they had all gone asleep yet; they were probably all awake with excitement.
Albus was awake for a long time that night. He was wide-awake thinking if he would get a new broom, since he was currently riding a Nimbus One-Thousand. He also wondered what everyone else was going to give him. And finally, he thought about what Christmas at Hogwarts would be like.
“Wake up!” a voice yelled. “Wake up, it’s Christmas!”
Christmas… Albus sat upright on his bed. He blinked as the sunlight flooded into the room.
“It's Christmas!” yelled David as he pounced on Albus.
“I’m getting up!” Albus yelled as he wearily climbed out of bed. He would love to go back to sleep, but he couldn’t since it was now Christmas. It was Christmas!
Albus quickly pulled his robes on as David pounced on Art. Al laughed easily when Art shrieked like a girl when he saw David on top of him. In a flash, all three of them were dressed.
“Hey, there are my presents!” Art yelled pointing at the stack at the foot of his bed. Albus saw a large pile of gifts at the foot of his own bed. Marc and Rob quickly got up and pounced at the gifts they got. Al quickly sorted the presents he was going to open with his cousins, and he then pounced at the rest of the pile.
Riiiipp. The next few minutes were chaos as wrapping paper flew all over the room. David quickly unwrapped his parents present and he quickly stuffed it underneath his bed, and said something that sounded like, “Rubbish present.”
Albus tackled the presents from his friends first. David got him an Arrows t-shirt that Albus quickly put on underneath his robes, and Rose gave him a book that included spells that explained how to write Hogwarts essays.
Finally, he opened his present from Art. It was a beautiful painting of Albus riding his broom on the Quidditch pitch. It was gorgeous; Albus suddenly wished he had given his friend something better than lots of chocolate frogs.
“Wow Art!” Albus exclaimed. “How did you get this!” Art visibly blushed.
“I made it.” Art whispered. Albus had never known that his friend was such a great artist. David was admiring a portrait Art had painted showing David laughing while holding his boxing telescope.
“This is brilliant!” David exclaimed. “Thanks Art.”
Rose burst in the common room brandishing a picture. It showed Rose smiling in a Hogwarts corridor, carrying a pile of books.
“Did you make this?” Rose asked Art. He slowly nodded, looking embarrassed but happy.
“Oh, Albus, thanks for the chocolate frogs.” Art said as he stuffed them in his mouth. “Did I ever tell you that I’m addicted to chocolate?”
Albus giggled as he watched Art stuff frog after frog into his mouth.
“No.” Al replied.
“David, what is this?” Art asked. Albus saw Art holding up a small bottle that David had apparently gotten him.
“Itching cream.” David replied calmly. “You put it on your skin, and it makes that spot really itchy. Usually you get a rash from itching it so much.” Art raised his eyebrows in disgust.
“And why would anyone bother to invent itching cream?” Art asked. “Usually people invent things to make life better, not worse.” David rolled his eyes as though the answer was obvious.
“You wouldn’t use it on yourself. That would be plain stupid. Itching cream is usually used for pranks. I can give you a demonstration.” Before Art could react, David had opened the itching cream and squirted a blob on Art’s arm.
Art immediately ran to the nearest sink to wash it off. When he came back however, he was itching his arm like crazy.
“I washed it off, but its still itching terribly!” Art moaned. “Thanks for ruining my Christmas, David.”
“You’re welcome.” David said pleasantly. This made Art giggle, even though his arm was itchy.
“Albus, you haven’t opened your parents’ presents yet,” Rose pointed out.
“Oh, yeah, I almost forgot,” Albus replied. In midst of the excitement from getting his portrait from Art and the itching cream, Albus had almost forgotten to open his parents’ present yet.
Albus tore of the wrapper and gasped at what he saw. It was a broomstick. It wasn’t just a broomstick, however, it was a beautiful one. Al saw it said Nimbus 8000 written in the corner.
“A Nimbus 8000?” David said curiously. “That just came out last year!”
Albus nodded and stared at it. Everything about the broomstick was perfect. It was shiny and polished, each twig was in line perfectly, and had a very fancy wood. He was slightly crest-fallen that he didn’t get the Lightningstar, but it probably cost hundreds of galleons.
“I wonder if James got one too,” Albus wondered out loud.
Rose, who didn’t care about broomsticks, tugged his arm and said lightly, “We have to go to the Room of Requirement soon,” Albus looked at Rose’s watch and saw that it was nearly ten o’clock.
“See you later,” Al told David and Art, and then he trotted behind Rose, out of the dormitory.
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Obviously, next chapter they are going to have a Weasley gathering, so here is a quick family tree with their ages:
Bill and Fleur: Victoire, 7th year, Dominique, 6th year, and Louis, 4th year
Percy and Audrey: Molly and Lucy, (twins) 5th year
George and Angelina: Fred, 4th year, and Roxanne, 3rd year
Ron and Hermione: Rose, 1st year, Hugo, 9 years old
Harry and Ginny: James, 2nd year, Albus, 1st year, and Lily, 9 years old
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