Yet More Surprises

Cornelia spent a lot of time with Joe after that, and she helped Joe to catch up on his reading. He was now almost as good as her, and his writing was coming on great too. The elves watched as the girl helped a struggling Joe labour over difficult words, though they didn't understand why they didn't ask for elf magic in getting Joe's literacy skills as good as Cornelia's. Joe had replied that he was well aware that they elves could do it with a snap of their fingers, or just thinking about it, but this was something he wanted to do. The boy wanted to feel like he had done it by hard work and not by any little trick. The elves had stroked their beards and gone off muttering about human oddities. It was a long and drawn out process, but they managed to complete their goal, and the two kids celebrated by Cornelia giving Joe a kiss on the cheek and then going outside to build a giant snowman. This was sometimes the highlight of the days as there were not a lot of parks or playgrounds at the North Pole for them to use. This made Joe think about something, and the pair of them could be seen going around the workshops looking for something.

"I've found it" Cornelia said one day. Joe turned round from where he was to see her looking in an open door. He went over to look at what appeared to be an unoccupied workshop. It was quite a lot smaller then what they had seen before, and seemed as if it had been abandoned after the larger workshop had been constructed. The two of them went off in search of an elf, and came upon Dooley.

"Hello you two" he said, "Is there something I can do for you?" the head elf asked.

"We went looking around because we got slightly bored" Joe said.

"And we found a small workshop that's been cleared out" Cornelia finished.

"Oh that" Dooley said, "Yes, we moved everything into the big workshop after we finished building it. We didn't need this one anymore, but we never got round to disassembling it" he finished. Then his brow wrinkled as if in thought. "Why did you ant to know?" he asked.

"Well we're bored" Cornelia said.

"Bored?" Dooley's surprise was clear in his voice. "I was under the impression that you enjoyed living here" and the two children nodded.

"We do like living here" Joe said, "But there is no chance that we could simply go back to New York and go to see a movie. I don't have any money, but maybe I could, but Cornie couldn't. She would be spotted the moment she stated walking around the city" and he put an arm around his girlfriend.

"I see" Dooley said. "Well if you want to run around in here, I would think that it is perfectly fine to do so. 'The place is yours' as you mortals would say" and the two of them stiffened slightly. They didn't like being reminded that although they lived at the North Pole with the elves, Santa and his wife, they did not get protected by whatever magic made them immortal. When they questioned Dooley about it, the elf had admitted that even he didn't know. Even Patch had not been able to explain it, and the one time they had spoken to the Ancient elf, he had refused to tell them, only that he wouldn't afford them the protection. Joe had called the Ancient Elf "Burgess", and when asked why Joe replied because he looked like a Burgess. He still puzzled her at times, but she accepted it as how he was and liked him for it. Though they got on well, sometimes one would say something that didn't make sense to her. The girl assumed it was because he had a different background and upbringing to herself.

"Thanks" said Cornelia, and the two of them walked off hand in hand. They went to the workshop where they managed to scrounge a tape measure from the elves, then off to their bedroom to get some paper and a pencil. They went back to the workshop, and started taking measurements of the room. They were only 11 years old, but they knew something about construction, and they knew it was good to have plans of a room before doing anything to it. Once they had drawn a small version of the room, Joe and Cornelia took measurements and noted them down. After that, they decided to make plans as only kids can do, and went back to eat and think about stuff. Joe had a problem when he figured that the elves didn't ever make what the pair wanted. When he remarked that it was a pity that Cornelia couldn't just get some money from what her parents had left her, the girl suddenly thought of something.

#

"Can I talk to you?" she asked.

"Well of course you can" Santa said, and he put down the list he was reading and turned in his seat to face her.

"I need your help" Cornelia began. "I know have all my stuff from my room at the house in New York, but…" the girl stopped.

"Yes?" pushed Santa gently.

"Well my parents left me a lot of money when they died, but my Step Uncle said they had told him to give me it when I turned 16" Cornelia said, "And well now that he is most likely dead, I guess that I can get the money" she finished.

"You want to leave the North Pole?" asked Santa.

"Yes and no" was the reply, "My uncle said that I was getting private lessons before his whole thing happened, so nobody saw me for a few weeks. I was wondering if you could take me back to New York and help me to buy some stuff" and when Cornelia had stopped speaking, Santa looked slightly confused.

"Is that all you want my help for?" he asked, not quite getting what she was on about.

"Well it would look very odd if I was on my own, so I was wondering if you could pose as some kind of lawyer person so that I an get the money" she replied, "I don't want to be greedy, but I just want some to have" and Cornelia explained in further what her plan was. For an 11 year old, Santa thought, she sure was intelligent.

"I think I might be able to help you" he said, and the man promised to help her soon. He would have to speak to Dooley about the reindeer, but with a full team now available, it might not be so bad. If they took a little supply of the magic hay they ate, then it might just be possible.

#

"What did you see Santa about?" Joe asked when he saw her again.

"It's a secret" replied Cornelia. Joe made a face before looking back out the window he was looking at. For the whole day, it had been snowing, but then again it always did.

"You okay, Joe?" Cornelia asked.

"I guess" Joe said faintly. He looked out the window for a few moments before turning his back on it. "I just wonder about what we are going to do when we are both older. I mean we're not covered by whatever is protecting the elves and Santa and his wife… I just wonder where we will live. I mean this place is great and all, but I wouldn't want to live here all my life" and Cornelia nodded.

"I know what you mean" she said, "But I guess my step uncle's house is mine now. Actually it is my house - he just lived there for nothing at all. When we want to leave here, we can move to there" and Joe smiled and gave her a tight hug.

"Thanks Cornie" he said. "I didn't know my parents for long until the accident. Then I was put with foster parents for sometime, but they didn't treat me right. That's why I ran away and lived on the streets for a few years" and his girlfriend simply listened. Even now, he didn't talk much about what had happened to his natural parents. She led him to the seat under the window and they both sat down.

"Will you tell me what happened?" Cornelia asked, putting an arm around Joe. He actually seemed to freeze for a moment, but then he started to talk.

"We lived in a little house in the Bronx. My dad owned a store, and my mom would stay at home and look after me. One day we went out to see an airshow which was pretty cool. But on the way back, we got hit by a truck and slammed into the divider. The truck's brakes had broke and he was trying to get to a stop, but he hit us instead of something that would stop him safely. My parents died in the crash, but I wasn't touched at all" and Cornelia held him as he started to cry. It was a fair while before he stopped and apologised for crying in front of her. Cornelia told him it didn't matter and that it helps to talk about difficult things. He wiped his eyes before looking at her. "I know this sounds really cheesy and al, but wherever you are, that's what I will call home" and his girlfriend smiled as he leaned over and gave her a kiss on the cheek.

"To cheer you up, I'll tell you what my secret was going to be" Cornelia said, and she told Joe about everything that she had spoken to Santa about.

"Cornie? Do you mind if I come too?" he asked.

"Of course, but you would have to wear something a bit smarter then what you are wearing now" Cornelia pointed out.

"What's wrong with what I wear?" Joe asked. Cornelia didn't reply – better to be safe then sorry she wisely thought.

#

"We are going to be late" Cornelia said. She was standing in front of the door that led to the bathroom.

"I'm not going" Joe's voice drifted through the door.

"Why not?" asked Cornelia. She had looked through all of the clothes he now owned, and had found nothing wrong with what she had selected. The door opened and she could see Joe dressed in what she had chosen for him.

"I look like a penguin" he complained. Cornelia looked at him and gave a little giggle.

"Well it is the best I could do" she pointed out. Joe looked at his friend and decided that she was right, and that he couldn't really be angry or upset at her.

"I'm sorry" he said. "I'm just not used to your world, you know that Cornie" and the girl nodded.

"Well it will only be for a little while" she said to him, "Then you can get back into your normal clothes" and Joe perked up no end. They held each other's hand as they went off to the launch tunnel. Santa was waiting for them in normal looking suit – made by the elf that did all the tailoring for the inhabitants of the workshop. Santa looked a little slimmer as well, but that might have been elf magic. The two kids didn't know exactly what was possible. The trio climbed into the sleigh and, with a full team of reindeer, headed out into the night.

"There's one thing I'm glad of about going out on the sleigh" Joe said.

"What's that?" asked Santa.

"When this sleigh goes out, then time slows down" Joe replied. Santa glanced at him, and wondered about the two. He and Anya had never had children of their own, so he didn't quite know what to do with Cornelia and Joe. They certainly made good friends, and he hoped that the pair would remain friends for a long time. He knew, as well the pair, that the powers kept them all exactly the same age as they were when they entered the workshops, did not extend to the children. He, Anya, Dooley and the elves knew that one day they would leave – and that would be sad for all. They could come for a little while on a visit, but Santa knew it would only be for a little while. Because of their immortality, Santa and his wife never had any children either, so they would never have grandchildren to love and cherish. They had the chance to find experience a little of what it would have been like, but it was still not enough. He kept his thoughts to himself as he watched the two looking over the side of the sleigh at the scenery rushing underneath them.

#

To save on any complications, the sleigh was parked on the roof of what was now Cornelia's house. Once inside the building, the girl phoned for a taxi to take them to her family's solicitors. While they waited, Cornelia went into the basement where she knew a copy of the will of her parents was kept. By some miracle, the police had missed it during the search of the house, and so she collected it with her. She didn't doubt that her step uncle had altered it so that she got nothing at all. Upon arrival at the rather impressive offices on Wall Street, the trio went up to the receptionist.

"May I help you?" she said to them.

"I'd like to see a Mr H Potter" Cornelia said.

"Do you have an appointment?"

"No, but tell him that Miss Cornelia Marie Summer wants to speak to him. He will know who I am"

"Very well" said the receptionist, and she made a phone call to an office. "Yes sir… she is… with a man and a boy… the man looks to be some kind of person in authority… I'll send them up" and the woman put the phone down. "Mr Potter will see you now. His office is on the 30th floor" and she pointed out the lifts.

"You're scary when you sound posh" Joe said as they went up the lift and to the correct floor.

"A little politeness gets your everywhere" Cornelia replied.

"Right…" said Joe. The lift went directly to the right floor, and they got out and stood in the middle of a large office complex. The offices of the lawyers themselves went along two sides of the wall, with the office workers in the middle. A tall black haired man came towards them, and he shook Cornelia's hand. As he bent down, the two children thought they saw a lightning bolt shaped scar on his forehead, but they couldn't be certain.

"I'm wish we could meet under different circumstances" the man said, "My name is Potter… Harry Potter. You must be Cornelia" and the girl nodded and shook his hand.

"This is one of my teachers, Mr Claus" Cornelia said, and Potter raised an eyebrow.

"Santa?" he asked.

"You wouldn't know how many times I've been called that" Santa said, giving a little chuckle.

"And this is my best friend Joe" and Joe put his hand out to shake Potter's.

"When I heard that you was coming to see me, I went to get all the relevant paperwork. I assume that you don't want to go over them at this moment in time" Potter said.

"No" Cornelia said.

"Well I'll make it simple then. It seems that when your parents died, your parents left instructions that their will was to be read without your presence. They requested that you got what you was supposed to get at a later date" and Potter handed over some paperwork. It matched what the trio had read on the way over from the house.

"Wow…" Joe said.

"This is most interesting" Santa said.

Cornelia rubbed her eyes and looked at the paperwork again. If she was reading this right, then she was worth several million dollars. They dealt with a great many details, but Cornelia as assured that she could instantly access the money later that day. When it came to contact details, Santa came to the help. He said that all letters should be addressed to her house, and they would find their way to her. This seemed to satisfy Potter who gave Cornelia all the paperwork he had, keeping a copy for the vaults. Once the meeting was over with, they went downstairs, and took a cab to the bank where Cornelia handed over a letter explaining who she was, and what she wanted. They left the bank later with a few hundred thousand in cash.

A trip to a toy store was next, with a visit to a shop Cornelia knew sold exactly what she and Joe wanted in the way of furniture. They arranged to have it all delivered to the house. Then they went back to the toy shop where they had another look around. Santa marvelled at all of the toys that could be in factories, and Cornelia went looking for Joe who had gone off in search of some models. When he found what he wanted, he loaded several model planes and a couple of spaceships into the large trolley they had driven round the store. Cornelia wondered why, since it was an air show his parents had died on the way back from. They went round to the Arts and Crafts section and brought a gross lot of paint brushes – at least the elves would no longer have to use their beards to paint all the toys this year. They paid for everything, and then returned home and awaited the arrival of the stuff. Joe balked at the sight of the receipts, but then he reasoned it was because he didn't have much money on the streets. Any he did have was spent trying to keep warm and alive. The delivery men came at the requested times, and they followed the instructions to put everything in the large drawing room.

Once they had gone, Santa touched his nose and everyone and everything was in the sleigh – ready for the ride back. When they arrived at the North Pole, several of the elves helped them load the stuff into carts which Cornelia and Joe pulled back and forth between the launch tunnel and the old workshop. They let everyone know that they claimed the place as their own private domain, and that it reminded them of the life they also lived. They filled the room up with everything they had brought, and the pair of them started to put things in certain places. Soon, a few large cushions littered the floor in the middle of the old workshop with pictures that the two kids had made on the walls. A pair of large wooden tables sat against one wall with paints and glue and stuff on a few shelves that Patch had made and put up for them.

"There" Joe said at last, ""I think that'll do it" and he and Cornelia looked at their handiwork. The two of them had worked for hours putting everything where they wanted it to go, and now they felt completely tired. They forced themselves to have dinner before heading straight to bed. The pair changed into nightclothes and then climbed into the deep and inviting bed.

#

"Anya?"

"Something troubling you, Claus?" Santa's wife replied.

"Do you ever regret agreeing to come here?" he asked. "Do you ever regret not having children and grandchildren?" and Anya considered this for a moment or two.

"There are times I wondered what would have happened if we had not come here" she admitted, "But I don't think of it often. Not for the last few hundred years or so at least" Anya replied. "Why do you ask?" she pressed her husband.

"I just wondered" Santa replied, "Because I was thinking about Cornelia and Joe. The magic that keeps us alive in this place will not extend to them; you know what the Ancient Elf said. if you was to step outside the protection of elves, then you'd age in an instant. I only go out because I am Santa Claus" and he sat down in the large armchair by the fireplace.

"That isn't the thing that is disturbing you is it?" his wife said. Spending at least four or five hundred years had taught Anya to read her husband's moods.

"No" Santa agreed, "I only want happiness for them both, but I regret the day that they decide to leave here. One day, they will want to leave…" and his voice trailed off as he stared into the fire.

#

Joe felt Cornelia shift beside him, and one of her arms flopped over his chest. He was well aware tat it wasn't normal for a boy and a girl to share the same bed together, but they both trusted each other, and they found the idea of anything other then kissing icky. Joe thought about the future, and as he did so, he noticed something in the corner of his eye. He flipped his head round and saw a rapidly vanishing light. Now he would have forgotten about it, but it had been in the shape of a woman. The most confusing and puzzling thing was that Joe suddenly thought he had seen his mother.

A/N:

This is also the first fic in the Santa Claus: The Movie section – I requested it to be added to the movies section.

I made up the stuff about Joe as nothing was explained about his background in the movie. I also made up Cornie's middle and last names as nothing was given in the film, but I doubt it is her step uncles… surname.

And yes, there is a little crossover with my Harry Potter works here. I always add references to other stuff in the HP fics I write, why not do the same with them for a change?

Leave nice comments – if not then Santa will not give you any presents this year.

Regards:

Pixel