Chapter 1 : Big Meanie
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I don't like being near lots of people. Freddie says I'm being a baby, sulking over nothing, but it's not my fault they all come with icky germs and wanting to hug me. I only like it when Theo hugs me; he smells like bath time. And it's not just me; my brother James is claust-phobic, he cries when too many people come. He's with Daddy now, won't let go of Daddy's leg. Daddy will pick him up soon.
I am not with Daddy, or Mummy, or any of my family. They'll try to hug me. I looked for Theo before, but I couldn't find him. So, I'm standing in the corner, all on my own; no one comes into the corner. That's were freaky lone people go; I think that's what Louis said.
I'm a freaky lone person.
And I like it.
But I wish I could sit down; my legs are sore from standing up since dinner and I can't sit in the living room. That's crazy! And I'm not crazy, I don't care what Uncle George says.
I wrap my arms around me and pull a face; people near me walk away. Someone tells my daddy and he prob-ly thinks I'm sulking because he pulls a face, too, he always pulls a face when he thinks I'm sulking, and he waves his hand at me to go to him.
I stop pulling the face and smile at him; it makes him feel better and I don't have to move. My daddy knows, he'll just tell Mummy I had a bad thought. He says that sometimes.
I love my daddy; he's big and strong and he gives good hugs when he's clean. Lots of people love my daddy; they think he's a big hero because he saved them before I was born. I don't know all of that story, he tells us different stories. I like when he comes home and can read to us; not every night, he has a big, important job catching bad guys and sometimes he works late, but lots of nights.
He will tonight, after the party. He never works on Christmas and New Year and we always have parties because then they can see people they haven't seen since the last one. We can't stay up for the whole party, but Mummy and Daddy let's us watch the fireworks, so it's a later bedtime than the other days, and then he takes us home and reads to us so Mummy can stay and enjoy the party.
I love Mummy, she bakes us cakes and helps us with homework, but I really love it when Daddy reads to us the most - he tells us about adventures and magic and dragons. And he does voices. The Aunt 'Mione voice is the best. And the goblin. Yeah, that's good, too.
When I grow up I want to be just like Daddy. Except without the people.
I want this silly Christmas party to be over so he will take me home now. But we only finished Christmas dinner before and people are still coming; Daddy won't take me home for a while yet.
I pull a face again, squeeze my arms tighter. People move again. Good.
"What you doing?"
I look up and make sure my... scowl, Mummy calls it, is worse, so she'll go away. But she doesn't. Lexi is not scared of anything, not even my scowl, which Grandma Molly says scares the monsters under the beds and keeps them away.
Lexi is Theo's. He calls her his Angel, but that's not true. Sometimes, when Mummy and Daddy and Theo can't find people to look after us, they take us to Daddy's work and we sit in the big room where they have meetings and stuff. They give us toys and paper and crayons to keep us quiet. Kieron, Lexi's big brother, reads and everyone leaves him alone, but Lexi doesn't leave me alone. She kicks me in the leg when I don't talk to her.
She's not an angel, she's a big meanie.
"Go away, Lexi."
I turn my head away, so I don't have to look at her, but she just moves as well. I try to find Theo; Lexi keeps following me.
"What you doing?" she says again.
I shrug. Mummy doesn't like it when I shrug, she says I should use my words. So I do. "I don't know."
"Are you hiding?" I shake my head and Lexi laughs at me. "Good because you suck. I found you easy."
I think I have to push her, then she will stop thinking that she's bigger and better than me because she's just turned seven and I'm still only six, but my daddy and her daddy are watching now and I don't want to be in trouble. If I do, Daddy won't read to me at bedtime.
"Go away, Lexi."
She doesn't. She moves from side to side so her white dress flaps like wings and her hair, which is almost black like mine, covers her face. She has a gold bow in her hair; it twinkles. Lexi smiles at me and she looks very pretty, an angel like Theo says.
I hate it.
"Daddy said," she whispers, biting her lip 'cause she's trying to remember all the words. "Daddy said to get you out of the corner."
"But Daddy said!" she shouts at me.
I shrug again. "I like it here." Lexi puts her hands into fists and and her eyes go really small; she looks at me like that all the time. "If you kick me, I'll tell on you."
She doesn't. She just shouts more. "You are so... so... infuriating," she says, proud of her use of big words.
I don't know what it means, but it sounds bad and I don't like it. "Then go away."
I don't know why Lexi starts laughing at me and I want her to stop, but I don't want to tell her in case she shouts again. Like Daddy says, girls are complicated. I'm glad I'm a boy.
"The flower is moving," Lexi says, pointing up. So, that's why she's laughing. "What is it, Albus?"
I look up at the flower, which doesn't look like a flower at all; it's just green leaves with a red berry in the middle. I don't think it's real. But I know what it is. Uncle George puts magic on them every Christmas; they fly around and when two people are under it, they have to kiss or they can't move.
"Mistletoe." That's what he called it. "You have to kiss under it."
"Teddy said it's grown up stuff." I tell her happily. I know more stuff than she does. "If you don't kiss, you can't move."
"That sounds very bad," Lexi says, nodding her head. I think so, too. "I don't want to kiss you."
I scowl at her. Why is she talking about kissing me? Lexi points up again, above our heads this time, and the scowl goes away. Uh oh. I try to move my feet and get scared when I can't. I hate this. I hate Lexi. And I hate Christmas parties.
I want Daddy to stop laughing and to look upset like Theo does.
Then it all goes away. Once, James found Daddy's wand and tried to do magic, then Lily tried to take it and the magic hit me, made me stop. I couldn't move anything until Daddy took off the stupid spell. I feel like that again when Lexi kisses me. It's very quick; her mouth is warm and tastes of chocolate cake.
The flower goes away and Lexi's face is red. She puts her hands on her mouth and laughs, then she runs away.
I wipe away the germs she gave me and go to Theo. He lifts me up and gives me a hug; he smells like bath time.
"Give it time," Daddy says to him, but I don't know why.
I shake my head at them and tell them that Lexi is a really big meanie for kissing me.
A/N: For the 2013 Winter Writer's Duel. Prompt 3 - Under the Mistletoe.
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