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As a whole, things seemed to quieten down a bit after that. It allowed them a chance to breathe. Cassia found time to begin catching up with her non-magical studies, which she was glad of. Between the Dursleys and the wizarding world her knowledge was heavily stunted, but the others were helping her with that.
Hermione was also putting the time towards learning new things- but for her one of her main focuses was driving. Having seen how he drove, she had turned down Tony's offer to give her extra lessons, causing him to pout. But asking him to teach her how to hotwire a car had quickly ended that pout. If the lesson seemed to have taken longer than it was meant to, nobody commentated. It was a good thing her parents had decided to go out for the day, Hermione mused to herself, straightening out her hair as she waited for her instructor to turn up.
However, something dragged Cassia far away from her studies as the weather became bitterly cold, and lights started going up. She grinned as she watched from a coffee shop, as she saw some shop staff members across the street working on their Christmas window display. This would be the first Christmas that she would have the chance to decorate- something that had always looked fun to her. And she had plenty of people to decorate with, and spend Christmas with.
They had agreed to decorate that evening, only after she had discovered that Tony normally hired decorators to do the work. She had not intended to say anything, but the others had picked up on her disappointment, which she had tried to quash. In the end, she had explained it.
"I've never decorated for Christmas before. The Dursley's never wanted me to be apart of their celebrations and at Hogwarts the House Elves did most of it with the Professors overseeing everything. So I thought that perhaps we could all decorate together."
"Then we will!" Tony said. "We may need more decorations then!"
"I'm sure we can go out and get some," Pepper added.
That had been followed by a day of shopping for decorations which Cassia had enjoyed immensely. Now, she was looking forward to decorating the towers residential areas and was infecting the others. It looked like this Christmas may just be her best one yet.
She finished her tea and decided it was time to head back. The others would be expecting her.
Steve grinned as he stood by Tony. Both of them had a drink in their hands, and were watching the others as they put decorations on the large tree and around the penthouse living room. Cassia was sat on Loki's shoulders, while Hermione was on Thor's as they put decorations on at the top of the tree.
"This was a good idea," Steve said to Tony.
"Yeah, well, I just can't believe how much Cassia's missed out on. I mean, look at her, how could they have even denied her this? It wouldn't have cost them a thing to let her just join in."
Steve nodded. "They'll be going to trial next week. At the end of it, they'll be behind bars. Their reputation is in shreds and now they're going away for a long time. And she'll never need to see them again, which is the main thing. It was great, the lawyers being able to set up the video testimony thing. They have it recorded, and she doesn't need to go. We all felt how she reacted in London when Vernon Dursley showed up."
Tony snorted. "Has Loki made any more attempts?"
"Not that I know of," Steve said, his smile grim for a moment. Loki had made two attempts to curse Vernon Dursley before he was interrupted. He really just wanted the man to die painfully. "But he might just be waiting for him to have spent some time in prison. Lose hope, that sort of thing."
"You bought Hermione and Cassia bracelets, right?" Tony lowered his voice this time.
Steve nodded. "Yeah, why?"
"I can get a tracker placed in them, without anyone noticing the change. We know the wizards are still waiting for an opportunity to grab either of them. If they succeed, I want an extra way to track them, rather than just the bond. The magicals might realise that the bond can be blocked with those magic inhibiting cuffs. It's not a fool proof method."
"I'll get them to you later this evening."
"After the film though, yeah?"
"What are we watching again?"
"Home Alone- it's a Christmas classic. Trust me, it's hilarious."
Darcy pulled her coat around her as she viewed the building. This was where the office was listed. She rubbed her wrist. She just hoped she had the right person. She opened the door and went upstairs, and found the door that bore the sign 'Nelson and Murdock'.
She hesitantly raised her hand, before nocking, and then waited. A blonde haired woman opened the door. "Can I help you?"
"Hi, I'm Darcy Lewis, and I was hoping to speak with Matthew Murdock?"
The blonde's eyes widened and she stepped back, opening the door further. "Please come in," she said, smiling.
Darcy stepped inside. If the blonde's reaction was anything to go by, she had the right place. A light brown, almost blonde haired man stepped out of one of the internal offices. "Is it a client, Karen?"
"No, Foggy, this is Darcy Lewis, she's here to speak to Matt," Karen said.
"Oh my god, this is like Christmas has come early! You're the Darcy Lewis, right, not some random Darcy and we're reading too much into this?"
"I am looking for a Matt Murdock because that's the name on my wrist, yes," Darcy nodded.
Foggy then fist pumped. "YES!" He ran across to the other office and all but dragged a darker haired man from the room. "Matt, meet Darcy, she's super hot and has your name on her wrist. Go say hi!" He then pushed the man forward.
Darcy was a bit surprised to see he was wearing sunglasses. "Hello, I'm Darcy," she held out her hand.
The man smiled, and it was the cutest thing she had ever fucking seen, she almost swooned, for crying out loud. "Nice to meet you Darcy, I'm Matt," he stepped forward in her general direction and held out his own hand. Then, she added everything together. Matt Murdock was blind. She stepped the remaining distance forward and took his hand. "Do you want to go get a drink?"
"I'd like that," he grinned. "Though, I am curious how you knew where to find me."
Darcy snorted. "Apparently, Tony Stark helps his friends find their soulmates. And he counts me as a friend."
There was a smash, and Darcy looked round. Foggy had just hit a glass off a desk. "Tony Stark? Iron Man?" Foggy asked.
"The one and only," Darcy said.
"Not now, Foggy," Matt said, before turning his attention back to Darcy. "I'm going to get my stick, and then we'll go. I know somewhere nice for lunch."
"Ok," Darcy felt her smile grow. So far, so good. Tony really had done well. This was his way of repaying her for helping Cassia. When he'd asked her what she wanted, the only thing that had come to mind was meeting her soul mate. After working with JARVIS, Tony had come up with a name in the city, and it was the actual match. She could feel her magic pulling her towards him. Damn she was going to buy Tony a good bottle of whiskey for this.
Cassia curled into Hermione as they watched the snow fall outside the window of the tower. "How's the driving coming along?"
"Good. I'll be taking my test soon, my instructor says. You looking forward to Christmas?"
"This has already been the best one yet. I don't even care what happens on the day."
Hermione kissed her. "Do you want to get an early night?"
Cassia smiled. "I like the idea of that."
Both girls woke to Christmas music playing out of their TV speakers. "Mr Stark would like to inform you both that it is now Christmas morning and that breakfast is being served, before presents are exchanged," The calm voice of JARVIS spoke out of the speakers, the music lowering as he spoke.
"Ok, we're getting up," Hermione said, laughing slightly.
They both left their room, still in pyjama's and with their dressing gowns over the top, before heading out. Dan and Emma were also up, and hugged them both before wishing them a Merry Christmas. The four went upstairs together, to find that JARVIS had been right, breakfast was ready, and the others had beaten them there. They walked to the kitchen, passed the tree, under which was a mass of wrapped presents.
They sat down to breakfast and Cassia recalled her statement to Hermione earlier in the week. This certainly was the best Christmas ever. She did not even care if there was nothing under the tree for her. This was better than anything she could have hoped for.
A/N: So, I started writing this months ago, and life got in the way, sorry about the delay. And, with this heatwave, we're going through here in Britain, I've almost forgotten what it feels like to be cold, so I've published this trying to feel not quite so unbearably hot right now, just by imagining it being cold. Hope you enjoyed.