So, I was in a Christmassy mood (over Christmas, who would have thought it)

and this is the result. Don't tell me it's stuffed with anachronisms, I know and I don't care.

That's because this story is not about life in the 19th century.

And of course, the brothers are not mine, although they are by now more inspired by other fanfics than the movie which I saw months ago and can't remember that well …

1

Wilhelm Grimm was feeling amazingly good today. He and his younger brother Jacob had successfully "safed" a town from the raving-mad Petermännchen(1) and now had enough money to enjoy the immanent Christmas without having to worry much about anything.

On top of that it was an especially beautiful day, with a clear blue sky and brilliant sunrays reflecting on the snowy-white landscape.

In an unusual feeling of generousness towards the world he had immediately agreed to accompany Jake to take a look at the old "Wasserburg"(2), which was said to be enchanted.

"Wow, enchanted castle. Well, ain't that a surprise?" he'd quipped, but he didn't feel like picking a fight today, a walk seemed a lovely idea and he'd actually like to spend some free time with his brother.

And he had to admit the castle was actually quite a pretty sight, enchanted or not, though he tended to have his eyes on something else …

"Isn't that absolutely amazing?" Jacob asked, turning enthusiastically blazing eyes on his older brother.

Wilhelm had to smile at his brother's keen fascination. He looked like a child sometimes. Deep grey eyes full of marvellous joy. Thinking about it, it had been far too long since he had last seen Jake so radiant and joyful.

"Will? Are you even listening? What do you think?" Jacob's voice shook him out of the momentarily daze.

"Yeah." he answered softly, but with deep-felt affection. "Really beautiful.Utterly stunning."

"Ah ja?" came his brother's surprised and doubting voice. "Since when do you have an aesthetic appreciation for architecture?"

"It's a really amazing sight." Wilhelm insisted in a sincere tone that made Jacob look once more doubtful at him. Then he shrugged and gave his older brother a hearty smile:

"Well, glad you like it."

When they made their way back to town, they passed the place where some townspeople were busily ice-skating on the frozen lake.

Wilhelm didn't really feel like going back to their grubby inn and taken by a sudden fancy, grabbed his brother's arm with a childish grin:

"Let's go ice-skating."

Jacob, not quite believing his ears, turned and met his brother's eyes that twinkled with mischievous delight. "What?"

"Ice-skating. I'd like to go ice-skating." his brother repeated, still grinning from ear to ear.

"I, um, I don't think I can skate." Jake ventured, obviously not all too thrilled by the prospect.

But Wilhelm wasn't about to let go: "Of course you can, I distinctly remember teaching it to you myself." And with a broad smirk he added: "Don't tell me hours of my precious youth were wasted on you."

Jake sighed at the older one's insistence: "Oh Will, please, I know I'm gonna fall and then you're going to yell at me."

Wilhelm made a quick move, taking his brother's arms and looking him deep in the eyes.

"I promise I'm not going to yell at you. All right?" he said sincerely but still with the same cheerful undertone.

"Oh, all right." The younger one gave in, feeling a little dazed. It was hard to deny Will anything when he looked at him like that. Not that he did very often …

He seemed to be in an unusual good mood today, and now something new had caught his attention:

„Oh, look, they're selling hot wine over there. Let's get some hot wine."

Will already started to hurry over to the booth, but was held back when his brother grabbed him firmly by the arm.

Turning back he saw Jacob's face suddenly all serious and taking on a suspicious look. Only in the depth of his eyes there seemed to be a smirk lurking.

"All right. " Jake said in a slow and calculating voice that nevertheless carried just a hint of amusement. "Who are you and what have you done to my brother?"

Not quite knowing what his brother was getting at, Will started "What? I just …" but was interrupted by the younger one.

"You might think you're putting up quite a good show, but you made one big mistake there." Jake went on, now visibly fighting to keep a straight face. "My brother would never trust me on skates, with a hot drink. And alcohol at that."

He grinned at Will's slightly baffled look, that slowly turned to taxing.

"Yeah, you're right." The older man conceded. "Skate first, hot wine later. Come on."

And with these last words he grabbed Jacob's hand pulling him onto the ice-sheet where he very graciously slipped and landed flatly on his butt.

Jake, who with some luck had managed not to be dragged down after his brother, tried to fight a laughing fit but only succeeded in turning it into some kind of giggly cough.

"Hey. Oh, very funny, thanks. Why didn't you steady me?" Will shot his brother an accusing look while he struggled to get back on his feet.

"Sorry Will, but you know you're heavier than me." Still chuckling Jacob reached out his hands to help his older brother.

"Why, thank you!" Wilhelm replied, faking offence and pouting in a very childlike manner.

At that moment a young woman came sliding alongside them.

She was a rather eye-pleasing sight, chestnut-curls emerging from her thick, woolly bonnet and moved with absolute grace on the ice. Coming to a halt, she put a mitten-wrapped hand on Wilhelm's black overcoat. "Why, Sir, first time on the ice?" she asked with an altogether too sugary voice. "May I offer you a helping hand?"

And batting long black lashes at Will she gave both men a broad smile.

'So, that's why he wanted to go ice-skating.' thought Jake. 'I really should have guessed.'

"Thank you, my lady, that is most kind of you." answered Will, flashing a winning smile of his own. "But I really think your assistance is not needed. I happen to be a right artist on the ice. Just have to get back in form, that's all."

Saying this, he took the woman's hand off his arm, with a slightly stiff bow brought his lips to the mitten and assuming to have thus solved the matter, turned around.

But the pretty ice-skater didn't give up so easily. In one movement she was in front of him again and, now fully ignoring Jacob, took both of Wilhelm's arms to pull him closer.

"Oh, but I mustn't allow that. What if you fall and hurt yourself?" she purred.

Will looked confused and also slightly put out to find his vision suddenly occupied by her eager face again and tried to politely pull out of her grip:

"My dear lady, I am Wilhelm Grimm. I am no stranger to danger and I deal with it by facing it. Now if you don't mind …"

Another chuckling broke his speech and peeking over the woman's shoulder he saw Jake shake his head in amusement:

"It's alright Will, I got some work to do anyway. And when I meet you back at the inn I don't want to hear your whining about how your bruises hurt .So you'd better take the offer of that charming lady, right?" and winking at his brother he already turned and left, leaving Wilhelm baffled and disappointed in the hands of the beaming woman.

"But … Jake?"

(1) The "Petermännchen" is a folk tale from the region where I live. It's not from the brother's Grimm fairytales.

I chose that one, cause it was the first to come to my mind and to me it's a funny allusion.

There are a lot of things named after the "Petermännchen" around here, which is kind of weird, considering that it is an evil spirit. I saw a play on it as kid and couldn't sleep for a week. Getting rid of it would be a good thing.

If I remember correctly it's about this guy called Peter who treats people very badly and even murders a few and gets turned into this evil spirit, the "Petermännchen".

Which is not very clever, since he just goes on killing people only know he has supernatural powers and is kind of immortal ...

And then there is something about a treasure, that is hidden under the "seventh pillar" but there are only five pillars and they stand in a circle, so everybody who tries to retrieve the treasure and fails, is found with a broken neck the next morning, killed by the "Petermännchen".

Hm, writing it down, the story seems to be rather weird.

Maybe I should do a companion piece, about how Will and Jake actually got rid of the "Petermännchen", could be funny ...

But then I'm not very good when it comes to stories that have an actual plot .

Well, let's see ...

(2) "Wasserburg" translates word-by-word into „water castle". It's a kind of castle, that is surrounded by water, either natural (a river, a lake or something) or artificially created (a "moat" is the word my dictionary gives me, never heard that before)