|SIYE Time:5:29 on 17th June 2021|
Love, Secrets, And Organized Elves
By Spenser Hemmingway
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Category: Alternate Universe, Post-HBP, Hogwarts Discovery Challenge (2005-6), Holidays
Genres: Fluff, Humor, Romance
Story is Complete
Summary: ** Honorable Mention in the Hogswarts Discovery Challenge **
Can a secret love be a true love? Of course it can, but only if they can find someplace private to meet. It's Christmas and time to start exploring!
Hitcount: Story Total: 8235; Chapter Total: 2347
Chapter The Second: Filch’s Gift
“Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth, and transport the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home!”–-Charles Dickens
By Miss Ginevra Weasley, as told to Spenser Hemmingway
Once upon a time, not too long ago, nor too far away, there lived a very young Witch named Kelly. Her home was in the magical land of Yorkshire, in the large house that she shared with her parents, her grandmother, and her three uncles, Larry, Moe, and Curly. The house was an older one, but very well-kept, with a thatch roof, a fresh coat of light green paint, and rose bushes planted about the yard. It had a cozy parlor and a large kitchen where the family would gather to share their evening meal and their various stories about each day’s events.
Kelly’s mother worked with her grandmother in the family’s small bakery in another building to the side of their home. There they would magically produce all manner of tasty pies, breads, and pastries. Kelly’s favorite was her grandmother’s famous banana tarts.
Her father worked with her uncle Moe in a broomsmith shop a short distance up the road. Her other uncles once worked there with them but had grown tired of Uncle Moe always accidentally hitting them in the head with his hammer. Now they tended the family’s pumpkin farm and crabapple orchard.
Kelly’s grandfather, who was not a Wizard, although of magical heritage, had left home many years before to seek his fortune at sea. He had never returned, and no one had heard from him in all that time. All Kelly had was an old magical photograph of him with his grandmother, taken when they were very much younger. He seemed to be so full of joy, and the way that he held her grandmother in the picture told her that they had been very much in love.
Kelly had never met him, but dreamed of him often, including one where he came to see her secretly one evening, had held her in his arms, kissed her gently, and placed her in her bed for the night. She knew he loved her, and that one day they would be together again.
Every Christmas season the family made the point of shutting down their various businesses in the days just before and just after the twenty-fifth of December. This was a period of preparation for their yearly celebration, and Kelly’s favorite time of the year. Grandmother would move her baking to the kitchen in their home so that everyone could share in the aroma of the good things she was making. Kelly especially loved the smell of the gingerbread that soon she would be eating, curled up under their large tree.
Her three uncles took the job of decorating the house, which, for some unknown reason, usually involved numerous accidents, healing of injuries, repairs to both ornaments and the house, and endless amusement for the young girl who loved to watch them. Kelly’s mother often commented that their work was so haphazard specifically because they were entertaining the child.
Her father would always bring home a wreath of holly and pine boughs he would put together in his shop. The tree that he found each year would always barely fit through the door, and it was set up in the tallest portion of the house. He and Kelly would be the ones to decorate it. The three uncles were prohibited from touching it. Kelly and her father made all the ornaments themselves, including one upon which her father had placed a musical charm. Whenever the small girl approached the tree, an elf would appear in a glass ball, and play her favorite melody on a golden flute. The angel on top, of course, was Kelly’s likeness carved by her Uncle Larry.
On Christmas day, after a fine meal of roast beast with chestnut dressing, the family would gather around the tree to exchange gifts. This was an exceptionally happy event for Kelly because of another tradition that had begun when she was but two years old. As each of the four brothers presented her with their gift, they shared a special story with her.
From her Uncle Larry, she received a new doll that magically giggled when you tickled its toes.
“Uncle Larry, what was the first gift you ever gave me?” Kelly asked him, as she did very year.
“Kelly, the day you were born I rushed outside, and snatched some stars from the sky. I twirled my wand over them as I danced a jig and sang out a spell about how beautiful you were. I gave them to you, and they are the sparkle we see in your eyes when you laugh.”
Her uncle Moe presented her with a magic flute, very much like the one in her father’s glass ornament.
“Uncle Moe, what was the first gift you ever gave me?” she repeated.
“My dear, on the morning after you were born, I went to speak to all of the little birds in the garden. I told them what a special baby girl you were, and I asked them to teach me all of their songs. I took all of them, and put them inside your head and heart, and now when you sing, their music flows out of you like an enchanted melody.”
A toy broom was the gift from her Uncle Curly, who assured her mother and father that it really would not take off with Kelly. Her grandmother had her doubts.
“Uncle Curly, what was the first gift you ever gave me?”
“On the day you were born, I took my fiddle, and went to play for the fairy folk. They danced about and sang, and we shared stories. I told them all about you, and they taught me the wonderful ways of their mischief. When you dance about in your silly way Kelly, that is a gift from me to you.”
Finally, Kelly’s parents presented her with a wonderful picture book about Quidditch.
“Papa, what was the first gift you ever gave me?” she asked he father.
“Kelly on the day you were born, I took my old wand and pulled all of the magic out of it. I held it in my hand and smiled at your mother as I presented it to you. I see it every time you smile, feel it every time I hold you, and hear it every time you laugh.”
Kelly hugged both of her parents again. This last story was her most favorite of all. She saw Uncle Curly pick up his fiddle, and Uncle Moe his own flute, and as they began to play, Uncle Larry took her hand, and led her in a lively dance around the room. After a moment, Kelly’s parents joined the two of them.
In the middle of the third song, there was a loud rapping at the front door, which startled everyone out of the revelry. Before her father could reach the door, it opened slowly to reveal a man strangely dressed as Father Christmas, holding a single wrapped present, and accompanied by a very curious and oddly colored cat. Could it really be him, Kelly wondered?
The man slowly walked past her father, giving him just a quick look, and approached Kelly. Kneeling down beside her, he presented her with the gift, and then it was his turn to hug her.
“Child…I am so sorry I’ve never been able to visit you on Christmas before. This is my very first gift to you I’m afraid.”
“No it’s not Grandfather, you are my very first gift,” Kelly said, carefully removing his false beard and revealing him to a stunned room.
He stood again, and slowly walked back across the room, trying to smile at each of his four sons, his gaze resting an extra moment on his youngest son’s bride. Then, with a scared expression and sagging shoulders, he approached his wife of many years, the one he had left behind so long ago. He felt that he should avert his eyes, but instead they were locked on her face, studying it, looking for some reaction to his sudden return.
“Martha, dear Martha…could you ever forgive a foolish, foolish old man gone from you for so long? Home now from the sea.”
He had barely finished his words when she embraced him in a strong hug, answering his question with a thousand kisses and many more tears. The rest of his family slowly approached after a minute.
Such a special Christmas Kelly thought. Next year she would ask her question five times instead of only four.
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