The magi, as you know, were
wise men--wonderfully wise men--who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger.
They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts
were no doubt wise ones…O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest.
Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.
The Gift of the Magical Magi
It was the day before the Christmas Holidays were to begin. Harry thought the snow gave the grounds a
more magical feeling than usual, or perhaps it was the holiday spirit in that
abounded everywhere. The air was crisp, and a light dusting of snow was falling
to the already well-covered ground. He, Ron, and Hermione were making their way
back up the great lawn to the castle. Harry smiled to himself wryly; with all
that was going on, he sincerely hopped that this Christmas would be better than
last. Last year, Christmas was almost spoilt by the attack on Mr. Weasley. If
they were lucky, this Christmas would be uneventful. Ron and Hermione, however,
soon interrupted his thoughts.
“So, what colour sweater do you suppose my Mum will
be knitting you this year, Harry?” inquired Ron jovially, “She’s used just
about everything I can think of so far. Seems to me you’re due for sunshiny
Wham! A well-lobbed snowball hit Ron square in the chest. Both Harry and Hermoine broke into laughter. Ron was blinking in disbelief
and jumping in an odd dance. Apparently, the snow was both on his
clothes and under it.
“Maybe,” snorted Harry, “She’ll make me a white sweater to match your new
“Which of you?” Ron sputtered indignantly, as he continued jumping up and down.
In addition, he was now pulling at his shirttails, “Do you have any idea how cold this is? That was below the belt using a Penetrus charm to make the snow go all the way
Ron, don’t be a baby!” laughed Hermione, “It’s not like you’ve never had a
snowball thrown at you before.”
would you know about it, Hermione? It’s now dripping down to my…,”Ron coloured, “never mind!”
rolled his eyes. He knew from experience that this could go on all the way back
to Gryffindor Tower. For a fleeting second he
thought they had stopped. He was wrong. Hermione had merely paused momentarily
to come up for air.
“Serves you right for poking fun at your Mum. Really
Ron, you know she means well. You could show a bit more appreciation.” said
Hermione, sounding a bit like Professor McGonagal as
she continued, “There are plenty of people who get nothing for Christmas!”
“Well then they can have my sweater!” retorted Ron, shaking the last vestiges
of snow from under his shirt, “Besides, at Christmas people who are not well
off have the St. Mungo’s Christmas Relief supply
truck to help them out. It’s not like people have to go without things for the
“How insensitive can you be Ron? You, of all people! That hardly makes up for
not being able to provide for your own family. Can you imagine how it would
feel as a parent if your children knew their presents came from a charity? It’s
humiliating not to be able to give the simplest of things to those you care
about.” Hermione was on a roll now and there was no stopping her. She was
wagging her finger an inch from Ron’s nose, as she continued to scold him, “And
there are people have it far worse than that, you know!”
“Actually, I don’t know Hermione, but I have a feeling you are about to tell
me,” interrupted Ron sarcastically.
So much for this evening being peaceful, thought Harry. He wondered if the two
of them would continue to snap at each other through dinner, or if they would
settle for merely glaring at each other across the table. Walking slightly
ahead of them, dreading the moment one or both of them tried to get him to take
sides, Harry ran his hand through his hair. Sooner or later they’d remember he
was there too, and he better have a plan of action.
was droning on, “People who are alone at Christmas, people who have no one to
share their time with, people who everyone just seems to forget about…It’s a
lot worse to be alone than to not have the money--”
“Well, I wouldn’t know about anyone like that Hermione,” interrupted Ron, who
was obviously growing impatient under today’s tirade, “If I did, I’d do
something about it.”
Harry abruptly stopped in his tracks, nearly causing Ron to trip over him. How
had he never considered this before? How
had none of them ever thought about this before? Finally he spoke, “Actually, I know someone
just like what you’re describing, Hermione. In fact, we all do.”
Hermione and Ron, who had stopped arguing when Ron almost collided into Harry,
looked at him quizzically. Suddenly, Hermione turned beet red and began to apologise, “Oh Harry, I am so sorry. I didn’t mean to imply
that we don’t like spending Christmas here with you!”
“No, mate," Ron said a bit too enthusiastically, “I mean, we like being
here with you, honest. We don’t think of it as a burden…” Hermione smacked the
back of Ron’s head and glared at him.
Harry just grinned at their embarrassment, “It’s not that I don’t appreciate
the apologies you two, but I never thought you were referring to me.” Ron and
Hermione looked blankly at Harry until he continued, “Until now, I never gave
it much thought myself. It’s what Hermione said about ‘people who have no one
to share their time with’ being worse off than the people who lack money. I
thought that it would be really horrible if someone was poor and had no one to
spend the Holidays with.”
“So, who are you talking about then?” asked Ron.
“Think back to last Christmas at headquarters. Who doesn’t have anything-”
A glimmer of recognition came into Hermione’s eyes as she cut Harry off, “How
did we not see it? Why of course you’re right, Harry. He fits both categories.”
“All right, I’ve had enough of the guessing games,” stated a slightly
exasperated Ron, “Would one of you please explain exactly what and who
“Professor Lupin.” Harry and Hermione replied in unison.
“Right then,” said Ron, understanding at last, “So what do you propose we do
about it? You said it yourself, Hermione, ‘It is humiliating not to be able to
give the simplest of things to those you care about.’ How do
we do anything for him without embarrassing him?”
“I have an idea,” said Harry, “We need to work fast. Come on, we have to
see Professor Dumbledore and a few other people if this is going to work.”
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On Christmas Day, Remus Lupin arrived at Hogwarts as requested by Professor
Dumbledore. This worried him, more than just a little. What could be so
pressing that it required discussion on Christmas Day at Hogwarts? He had been
told to come alone. The other members of the Order had not received owls with
letters requiring their presence.
he entered in the Great Hall, Professor Dumbledore, Ron, Harry, and Hermione
were there to meet him. “Good evening to you all, I didn’t realise
there would be more people than Professor Dumbledore and I present.”
“Good evening, Remus,” said Dumbledore, warmly, “Please join
us and take a seat. I trust you had a pleasant walk up to the castle after you Apparated into Hogsmeade?”
“Thank you, the walk was most picturesque,” replied Remus, “If I may ask
Headmaster, I was under the impression that there was business that you needed
to discuss with me?”
“There is indeed a matter of importance, Remus. I, however, am not the one who
is chiefly responsible for this meeting.” Dumbledore’s eyes twinkled as he
spoke, “I am merely here as the host, and as such I need to check on our meal.
I always make it a point to visit the House Elves on Christmas and thank them
for the fine job they have done throughout the year. They are a bit put out at
the moment since they don’t have more people for whom to prepare food. For the
present, I’ll leave you in the quite capable hands of Harry, Ron and Hermione.”
With that final comment, Dumbledore departed for the kitchens.
“I guess we had best explain, Professor.” said Harry taking the lead, “This all
started a with a conversation we had yesterday
and…well…to make a long story short…”
“Well for starters,” continued Ron, since Harry was fumbling for words, “We
couldn’t think of anyone all of us wanted to have Christmas supper with more
than you. It’s because…well, it’s like this…er…”
“We realise that we should have done it long ago, but
better late than never.” said Hermione, seemingly trying to be helpful as she
shot meaningful looks at Harry.
There was a long pause as Remus looked at each of them before saying, “I am
truly sorry, but I don’t believe that I’m following you.”
Regaining the power of articulate speech, Harry held out a small box that was
tied with a ribbon, “Maybe this will explain it better.”
Remus, looking quite puzzled, took the box from Harry and opened it. Inside
were letters from several of the students he had taught four years ago. Many of
the names Remus recognized had formed the original members of the D.A. As he
opened each letter in turn, he realised that they had
all written to thank him for what they had learned from him when he was their
From Ginny: I never thought I’d be able to defend myself after
against anyone larger after what happened in the Chamber of Secrets. You told
me to stand up and to have courage and my spells would work, and that, “Size is
no indication of strength.” My brothers have learned that first hand. I’ve
become quite good at a powerful Bat-Bogey…
From Dean: You never made us Muggleborns
feel inferior, sir. You never made us feel like our questions were stupid or
that we were second class. I learned more from you than anyone…
From Hermione: From you I learned
that there is more to life than just reading books, and that I have to stop
taking myself so seriously all the time. You made me realize that I need time
just to have fun with my friends and appreciate them too…
From Ron: You made me see that I have a lot to learn about prejudice.
There were plenty of things that I just took for granted like all werewolves
being evil and all giants being bloodthirsty. I guess you taught me to think
about what I’ve heard, and to match it up against what I actually see…
From Neville: I don’t know where to start. Unless I was in Herbology, I’ve never felt I could do anything right. That
changed when I was in your class, Professor. You didn’t make me afraid to try…
If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be here. Many of us wouldn’t be here.
Sirius, Hermione, and I would have fallen to the Dementors.
I wouldn’t have had two years with Sirius. I wouldn’t have discovered anything
about my parents. I wouldn’t have my life, as I know it.
You gave me the skills to help people defend themselves. I guess I realised what it meant to me when I saw Neville actually
succeeding because of me. His success meant even more when he said, “ thank you”. I know it’s not a gift money can buy, but I
just felt that we all needed to actually say it. Thank you, even if it is a
Remus looked up from the letters not knowing where to begin. The treasures in
his hands were worth more to him than all the gold in Gringotts.
He could think of no Christmas of his past that he would value more than this
one. He knew the gifts he received this Christmas would be remain
with him for the rest of his life. The man who was never without words, found
himself capable of uttering only two.
“Thank you.” Remus responded at last, sincerely moved.
Those two little words were enough. The Magi smiled; they understood.
AN: This holiday season find a teacher who helped you,
inspired you, gave you that boost when you were down. All the bath soaps,
candles, and Boarders gift certificates don’t mean as much as a sincere thank
you from a student. So go out and drop a teacher, maybe one you haven’t even
seen in years a line, you’ll make their day!