The Sugar Quill
Author: Anne (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: O Christmas Tree  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

O Christmas Tree

(A Harry Potter fanfiction by Anne)

***The Professors' Bookshelf***

First Annual Sugar Quill Fanfic Tournament Entry

 

Author's Note: Goodness, it seems I've fallen off the proverbial fanfiction planet, doesn't it? Well, I’m making my return with this little (very little) Christmas offering for the Sugar Quill First Task Fanfiction Tournament. For those of you unfamiliar with 'The Quill', it is a fabulous site run by some wonderful and dedicated folks, and is approaching it's first anniversary. And so, I dedicate this to all you Sugar Quillers past, present, and future. Have a Merry Christmas everyone!

***

"Wingardium Levioooooooooooosa!" cried Ron, waving his wand about flamboyantly, "D'you hear that 'oh', Harry?"

"Very impressive," his friend agreed, "But remember," he added, adopting a high falsetto, "You've got to swish and flick! Look," He waved his own wand at the sugar quill that sat before him on the common room coffee table. "Wingardium Leviosa!" The quill rose a few feet in the air.

"What on earth are the two of you up to?" asked Hermione, who had just climbed in the portrait hole.

Ron turned around sheepishly and Harry jumped, causing his quill to fall out of the air and shatter on the table.

"There goes another," he sighed, turning to face Hermione as well.

"What are you two doing?" Hermione repeated her question, arching an eyebrow.

"Reliving one of our favorite charms lessons of all time," Ron answered, with what he obviously thought was a winning grin. Hermione apparently didn't agree.

"Honestly, you two. What are you really doing? Certainly nothing productive, from the looks of it," She walked around the front of the couch and plopped down between them.

"Hermione," Ron rolled his eyes, "It's the first day of the holidays - we're not supposed to be being productive! We're supposed to be enjoying ourselves."

Hermione opened her mouth, probably to tell Ron just what he and Harry ought to be doing with their holidays, but Ron chose exactly that moment to stick a quill in it. A sugar quill in Hermione's mouth, that is.

"No," he held up a hand to keep her from taking the quill out and launching into a tirade, "Hermione, I know it doesn't happen often. In fact, it practically never happens, but you're wrong. It's nearly Christmas, and we are going to spend the afternoon decorating the common room tree. Not working ahead in Transfiguration, not looking up new, complex potions in the library, just decorating the Christmas tree." He took a breath and exhaled heavily, "There, you can yell now."

Hermione pulled the sugar quill out of her mouth, but she didn't yell. To Ron and Harry's immense surprise, she laughed.

"Sounds good to me. We could all certainly use a break from - everything. Have we got any decorations?"

Ron gaped at her, and Harry grinned. "Ginny's gone off to find some," he said, "And she should be back any minute now."

Sure enough, the portrait hole swung open at that moment to reveal Ginny Weasley and three house elves, all loaded down with stacks of boxes.

"Let's put them over there," Ginny was saying, gesturing over at the tall spruce that had taken root in the Gryffindor common room floor. The elves all trooped in and neatly stacked their boxes next to the end of the couch nearest the tree.

"Ooh! Let's see what you've come up with, Ginny," Hermione said, jumping up and opening one of the top boxes. It was filled with miniscule glass teardrops.

"Now, what do you do with those?" Harry asked. "They're too small to hang on the branches."

"No, they're-" Ginny began, as Hermione squealed excitedly, "Oh! I've read about these!"

"Why am I not surprised?" Ron asked, rolling his eyes at Harry.

"They're called dew drops. They are made out of real morning dew, and they're charmed to be permanent. Look." She reached into the box and picked up a dew drop, which shivered between her fingers. She held it up to the very tip of one of the tree branches, and sure enough, a moment later, the dew drop was hanging from the tip of the branch.

"Cool," Harry said, marveling at the tiny drop on the huge tree.

"We'd better get going if we're going to get all these up," Ginny said, scooping up a handful of dew drops. The other's followed suit, and soon they'd covered all the lower branches, as high as even Ron could reach. Then Harry went upstairs and grabbed his Firebolt, and Ginny climbed onto Ron's shoulders. Between the three of them, they polished off the top branches nearly as quickly as the bottom ones. When both Harry and Ginny had returned to the ground, they found Hermione rummaging through another box, marked 'Gryff. Ornaments'.

"Look," she said, quietly pulling out a scarlet ball.

"Hey - that's brilliant! House colors!" Ron said, grinning.

"No, look closer," Hermione said, handing him the ball. On it there was gold writing:

Minerva McGonagall

1939

1922 - present

"There's one for every Gryffindor graduate here," She gestured at all the other boxes. "I think the first date is their year of graduation, and the next two are years of birth and death."

"Hey, Harry! Look!" Ginny giggled, holding up another ball, this one gold with scarlet lettering.

Sirius Black

1972

1954 - present (though there have been near misses)

"These things must have a mind of their own!" Harry said, laughing at his godfather's ornament.

"Oh - here's Percy's," Hermione said, holding one up. "And look, it says Head Boy on it. He'd be so pleased!"

Ron was on the other side of the couch, doubled over with silent laughter.

He held up two balls for Harry to see.

 

 

Gred Weasley

2002 (but only just)

1984 - eternity

and

Forge Weasley

2002 (he went out with a BANG)

1984 - 1884

"How did they manage that?" Harry asked, wiping tears of mirth from the corner of his eye.

"They're Fred and George - it's always better not to ask," Ginny advised through her giggles.

Hermione straightened up, holding a golden ball and looking much more sober than the rest of them. She handed it to Harry.

Lily Evans

Head Girl 1972

1955 - 1981

Harry took that ball and examined it closely, tears brimming in his eyes. He blinked them hastily away, though, and carried it over to the tree, placing it on the highest branch he could reach, right near where he'd hung Sirius'.

They continued to decorate in a companionable silence for a time, commenting every now and then, when they saw someone they knew. Ball after ball was hung - Hagrid's, Dumbledore's, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley's. Harry placed his father's ornament right next to his mother's when the time came, and the two balls - scarlet and gold, glistened in the firelight. Hours later all the balls had been hung, and for once every graduate of Gryffindor was in the common room at the same time, while four current residents of the tower sat in front of the fire.

"You know, this is really what Christmas is all about, isn't it?" Ginny mused, watching the flames dance in the fireplace.

"Hmmm…?" Harry said, sipping a mug of hot cider.

"I mean, gathering and remembering all the people and Christmases that have gone before us, and creating new memories for the ones to come." She said, turning to look at them all.

"Yes, I see what you mean…yes, it really is." Hermione nodded.

"Well, there's one tradition we've forgotten," Ron said, pointedly, from the couch.

"Really? What's that?" Harry asked, looking at his friend.

"The tree - it's got nothing on the top," he said, pointing up.

He was right.

"Oh! I could have sworn there was a star in one of these -" Hermione rustled through some of the empty boxes, "Yes, ah ha!"

She produced a golden star, and held it up as though Harry, Ginny, and Ron were the Magi, following it to the Christ child.

"We'll never reach the top, though," Ginny pointed out.

"Here," Ron said, taking the star from Hermione's hands. He pulled his wand out of his pocket and waved it with a quick swish and flick at the star.

"Wingardium Leviosa!"

The star rose quickly to the top of the tree and settled on the highest branch.

"You know, I think he's got the hang of that," Harry grinned.

"You know, I believe he does." Hermione agreed.

//
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