I was reading Twas the Night before Christmas as I do every year, and while I was doing it a plot bunny jumped up and bit me. I couldn't get rid of him. So, here is the result.

Summary: Minerva tells her children the story of Twas the Night before Christmas with a slightly different setting than normal.

I don't own anything here, not even Apollo and Athena. Many stories use those names for their children, so I am just going along with it. I really just like to play in the castle JKR created for awhile. I always return everything when I'm done.

Rating: Probably suitable for anyone over the age of five.

Twas the Night Before Christmas (Hogwart's Style)

by JKMcGonagall

"Mum, read us a Christmas bedtime story, please."

"Alright, which one would you like?"

"This one. Twas the Night before Christmas."

"Good Heavens, again. I think we have read that every night this week."

"But we love it."

"And it is Christmas Eve."

"I have a better idea. Why don't I tell you the story of Twas the Night before Christmas at Hogwarts."

"Cool!"

"Here…at Hogwarts…really."

"Yes. Now settle down and listen."

The two children, Apollo and Athena, (twins, age 8) settled down under the covers of their beds, while Minerva sat at the end of Athena's bed, leaning against one of the posts of the four poster.
She began…

Twas the night before Christmas
At Hogwarts, you know.
Way up in the Highlands
All covered with snow.

The castle was dark,
Not a creature was stirring.
Even Peeves was asleep
And probably snoring.

"Peeves snores. Really, Mum."

"I don't know, Apollo. I have never heard him."

"Oh Mum, he must. He's a poltergeist. They make lots of noise and racket."

"I really don't know. You can ask Papa, he might know. He's known Peeves much longer than I have. Now, on with the story."

The stockings were hung
At the foot of each bed,

"Yeah, instead of the chimney with care."

"How come muggles hang their stockings by the chimney, Mum? It doesn't seem like such a good idea to me. How can they use the Floo, or call their friends?"

"Muggles don't use the Floo, dear. They use their fireplaces to heat their homes and telephones to call their friends."

"Muggles are strange."

"They just have different customs than we do. Let's continue with the story."

The stockings were hung,
At the foot of each bed,
In hopes that Father Christmas
Soon would be there.

" If Hogwarts is unplottable, how does he find it?"

"Father Christmas is able to go anywhere in the world that he needs to. That is part of his magic."

"Is Father Christmas a wizard like Papa?"

"No, he isn't a wizard. He is more of a spirit."

"You mean like Nearly Headless Nick?"

"No, not exactly. He is the spirit of Christmas, and because he is a spirit, he can go anywhere he is needed by children, and he is able to use any magic that he needs to help them. Are you ready to listen to some more of the story?"

The two children nodded.

The students were settled,
All snug in their houses,
Asleep in their four poster beds.
While visions of Christmas Feasts,
And Yule Balls danced in their heads.

"Oh, Mum, I can't wait to be old enough to go to a Yule Ball. It sounds so dreamy."

"Who cares about Yule Balls? They are stupid. Give me the Christmas feast any day. Just think of all the food…roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, and all those lovely desserts!"

"Muuuumm!"

"Children. It's Christmas Eve. It is a time for peace, not arguing. Settle down and let's continue."

The Headmaster in his nightshirt, ("That's Papa.)
And the Deputy Head in her tartan cap, (And you, Mum.)
Had just settled themselves down,
For a long winter's nap.

When outside the castle
There arose such a clatter,
That they sprang from their
Bed to go see what was the matter.

"It is probably just Hagrid doing something in the Forbidden Forest. He can make lots of noise."

"Yeah, it could be. Mum, guess what! Hagrid said he would let me go with him someday in the Forbidden Forest."

Minerva stared at her son.

"No way, on this Earth, are you going to set foot in the Forbidden Forest."

"But Mum, I would be safe with Hagrid, you know that. Besides, I bet Papa will let me go."

"It is too dangerous for you, and I am sure Papa will agree with me."

"I agree with you, Mum. It looks dark and scary in there. Who knows what you would find." Athena's eyes were big and she looked scared. "Why would you want to go in there?"

Minerva almost laughed at the scowl on her son's face. She understood why he wanted to go with Hagrid. He was an active and adventuresome boy, and she made a note to herself that she must mention Hagrid's plan to Albus so he could put an end to it. Hagrid (and Apollo, too) would listen to Albus.

"Do you still want to hear more of the story…then listen."

First they checked all the Houses,
Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff, too,
were all silent and dark.
Slytherin showed no signs of trouble,
And got a good mark.

The corridors of the school
Were all empty, dark and still.
No students were out of bed.
No one was petrified or ill.

"You mean, no one at all, was awake or out of bed? That's hard to believe."

"I know two people who were awake and out of their bed." (Lots of giggling from the children.)

"Oh, you do. Hmmmm, I wonder who it could be."

"You and Papa, Mum."

"I do believe you are right. Want to know what happened next? Well, lay down and listen."

We headed to the Great Hall,
The next stop on our tour,
Of the school at midnight,
(For insomnia, it's a great cure.)
"

"Yeah, along with hot chocolate from the kitchen." the two children snickered.

As they entered the Great Hall,
And looked all around.
Snow fell from the enchanted ceiling,
As light from a bright, full moon shone down.

"Poor Professor Lupin."

"Yeah, no one should have to be a werewolf at Christmas time."

"Especially on Christmas Eve. Maybe Father Christmas could help him."

"That is a sweet thought, little one, but that is beyond, even, the magic of Father Christmas."

"That's too bad. Professor Lupin is so nice. I wish Father Christmas could help him. Tell us more of the story, Mum."

Minerva smiled and continued.

Suddenly, from the front hall
there came a loud clang,
There was a knocking on the doors
And they flew open with a bang.

The Headmaster and his deputy
Thought they were hidden from view,
As Father Christmas strode in
He said, with a jolly laugh, "I see you two."

The children's eyes were wide with excitement as they stared open mouth at their mum.

"He really saw you. Wow"

"That is so exciting! What happened next, Mum?"

"Yes, it was exciting. Now, if you listen, you will find out."

He was dressed in long, green dress robes
That reached to the floor.
They were trimmed all in fur,
He looked prepared for a Yule Ball galore.

He spoke no more words,
But picked up his pack
And headed for the Great Hall,
He did not look back.

We followed him quickly,
Arriving just in time to see,
Presents for all the staff and house elves
Being placed under the trees.

"I always thought that you and Papa put those presents there?"

"We do put the gifts that we give them there, Athena. You've helped us do that, remember."

"Yes, it was fun."

"Mum, does Father Christmas leave Snape a present."

"Well of course he does, and it is Professor Snape, young man. Why would you ask that?"

"All the stories say that Father Christmas brings presents to people who are nice and not naughty. Snape, oh alright, Professor Snape isn't very nice. In fact, he is really mean and nasty sometimes."

"Has he ever been mean to you two?"

"Well...no, not exactly. He glares a lot and sneers at us. He never says much to us. I don't think he likes us."

"I think he is like the Grinch who stole Christmas. His heart is two sizes too small."

"I'm surprised that he doesn't go around saying 'Bah, Humbug' all the time like Mr. Scrooge in that book you read to us."

"Children, enough. Professor Snape may not always be the most pleasant person in the world, or easy to get along with, but your Papa trusts him, and so must we. Now, on with the story."

He went to the fireplace
And the Floo powder he took.
He used it to visit each House
And each and every castle nook.

When he was finished
He returned to the front hall.
Gathering up their Gryffindor courage
The two gave a loud call.

They had their wands lit,
As they called out his name,
"Please, Father Christmas,
Can you wait just for a bit.
"

"You talked to him, oh wow!"

"We won't keep you long,
For you've a long ways to go.
But, how do you do it?
We really would like to know."

"Ah, Headmaster (and deputy, too)
My secrets are mine
But, I'll give you a clue…
I keep turning back time."

"He uses a Time Turner! Bloody …"

"APOLLO!"

(Gulp) "Sorry Mum, really I am."

"She's giving you her teachers stare, Apollo. Ooooohhh! You better be scared."

"Athena, that is enough for now. We will discuss it sometime tomorrow, Apollo."

"Yes, Mum. Mum?"

"What?"

"Will Father Christmas still bring me presents?"

Minerva's severe glare softened as she looked at her son. She smiled at him.

"I'm sure he will. Don't worry about it. But it is getting way past your bedtime. I can tell you are both tired. Lay back down and listen."

"Happy Christmas, to you Headmaster,
And to your deputy, too.
I wish the both of you, and all of your crew
The very best, in the year that is coming and new."

"I have many places to go, so I'm in a bit of a hurry."
He said with a smile, throwing open the door.
He disappeared in a flash,
As they raced across the floor.

They watched as he sprang nimbly
Into his horse drawn sleigh.
With a flick of the reins,
Father Christmas and his team were back on their way.

"I thought (yawn) that he had eight tiny reindeer."

"He really should (yawn) use Thestrals. They are invisible (yawn) and really fast."

Both children were rubbing their eye by now. Minerva knew they were just about to fall asleep.

"Close your eyes now, and listen to the end of the story."

The two children obeyed her. They really were too tired to stay awake much longer.

But we heard him exclaim
As he drove out of sight.
"A Happy Hogwart's Christmas to all,
And to all a good night!"

"Good night, my dears. I hope you have sweet dreams about tomorrow. It will be here before you know it."

The tall witch stood up and smoothed the covers on the beds where the children lay, asleep and dreaming of the next day. She leaned over and kissed both of them good night. She turned to leave the room and gasped.

"Albus, how long have you been standing there?"

"Oh, just long enough to hear most of your enchanting story of Father Christmas and his visit to Hogwarts. You really should write that down. You know they will want to hear it again next year." I think you started a new Christmas tradition tonight."

"I'm not even sure I can remember all of it."

"I think I can help you."

Albus Dumbledore crossed the room to where his wife stood by the children's beds. He too leaned over and kissed both children and whispered good night to them. He put his arm around his wife and together they left the room. She murmured a soft "Nox." and the lights went out.

Once outside of the room, Albus gently took his wife in his arms and kissed her. Minerva relaxed in his embrace. She happened to look up. There, above them, floated a sprig of mistletoe. She had a feeling that Albus had bewitched it to follow them anywhere they went in their rooms. She looked at Albus with sparkling green eyes, and he returned her gaze with an extra special twinkle in his blue ones.

"Hmmm, I believe I see mistletoe. Would really be a shame to waste it, wouldn't it, Tabby?"

"You mean you don't want to go and inspect all the gifts in the living room and try to guess what they are?"

"No. I'm sure most of them are books. I never get what I really want, socks. Anyway, I've got the best gift that I will ever have right here in my arms."

"Oh Albus, you are my best gift too."

"Then, perhaps we should go unwrap our gifts in the bedroom."

Minerva gave him a smile and they both disappeared down the hall to their room. The mistletoe followed them all the way.