Disclaimer: The following story uses characters out of a book series called Custodes Noctis. Characters and locations used with permission.

Author's Note: Well I tried for a drabble but didn't quite make it. Then again this is shorter than most of my stories. Written for the occasion of Galen and Rob's birthday. Wee Emry's here and some fluff. Will be xposted to Live Journal. Happy Halloween.

by infinite shadow

Galen looked over the item on the table at his little brother.

"Are you sure?" Rob asked trying not to sound nervous.

"Pretty sure, brat," Galen said somewhat shakily. "Unless you want to do it."

Rob looked at the shiny item then back at the thing on the table. "No. You do it," he said pushing Galen's hand back at him. He glanced over at the empty stair well knowing any minute his father and uncle would be returning.

Galen nodded. "Ok. I know. It's now or never," he said and with one last glance up at his little brother he plunged the knife into the thing. He was almost all the way through when he heard someone clear his throat behind him. He glanced up from where he was hunched over the item and saw Rob's eyes grow huge as he started to back away from the table.

Bobby walked over to the table. "Not your best choice," he said evenly as he looked over at Perry.

Perry shook his head. "My ritual knife? Really? Galen we have a cupboard full of knifes and this is what you chose?"

Galen could feel his cheeks grow hot with embarrassment.

"Now is not the time to keep quiet, kiddo," Bobby said softly.

Galen swallowed heavily as he saw Bobby stand by Rob and put a hand at the base of his neck. He straightened up and turned to look at his father. "I... uh... Well..." he started and scratched his head while he searched for the words.

"It's my fault," Rob said softly and shakily pulled out a piece of paper out of his pocket.

"Well now where'd you find this?" Bobby asked as he gently took the piece of paper and then looked up to meet his brother's eyes.

"I... I saw it... Uh on the pumpkin when Galen brought it in," Rob said and bit his lip.

"Well now I think we can do this," Bobby said giving the youngest boy a gentle squeeze at the base of his neck to get him to calm down. "Yeah but maybe without your father's ritual knife."

"No. It has to be a ritual knife. It's evil," Rob said.

"Rob it's just a pumpkin. No matter what story someone has told you," Perry said giving his eldest son a disapproving gaze.

"I didn't tell him anything. He told me," Galen said.

"He's not lying," Bobby said to Perry then turned to Rob. "It's just a big orange gourd. It has no powers or anything special going on. There's no reason to use the knife."

"But look, just look at it!" Rob said snatching back the paper and moved to stand next to his brother.

"I've seen it brat," Galen said gently. "Show dad."

Rob nodded and gave the crinkled paper to his father then stepped back to be next to his big brother. He leaned into his side feeling warmth flowing into him at the touch making him relax a little.

"Wow. I forget how well you draw sometimes, son," Perry said softly appreciating the fine detail to the picture. "It's a very good rendition of a vampire. We can definitely do this on the pumpkin."

"Of course we can," Rob huffed. "It's after that's the problem."

Galen almost laughed at the implied well duh tone that flowed out of his brother. He could see his father holding back his laughter as well.

Perry nodded. "I'm afraid I don't know what you're referring to here. Can you tell me?"

"If the pumpkin isn't done properly the spirit of what you carved it will come alive. It will summon the devil and do really bad things," Rob said.

Bobby's eye brows rose into his hair. He moved from where he was just watching to stand by Perry. "I've never read that anywhere. Where did you find that?"

Rob shrugged as he looked down.

Galen gave him a gentle nudge then put his arm over his shoulder. "There's a vague reference in one of the saga's about the carving of gourds. His foster parents won't let them carve anything scary in their pumpkins and you know the stuff he's read on the internet. He kinda mashed it all together and well..." he shrugged as Bobby grinned.

"You think that if we carve the vampire face, that you see here," Bobby said as he pointed at the pumpkin lying on its back, "that it will turn into an actual vampire if we don't use the ritual knife?"

Rob nodded

"Hey in his defence he told me his foster father won't let them carve until the blade's been cleansed in holy water and the pumpkin has salt in the bottom," Galen said. "I um called him."

"You what?" Rob asked his head whipping up to look at his brother.

"Yeah. You were so freaked out that I wanted to know why," Galen said and shrugged again. "It's just they thought it made the day more you know halloweeny."

"Halloweeny?" Parry repeated with a grin.

Bobby did his best to swallow back the laughter that tried to burst forth.

"Yeah," Galen said softly mostly ignoring them and looking down at his brother. "So. We have the blessed knife. Salts on the table. We do it your way."

"Forget it. It's stupid."

"No," Parry said with a grin. "It's a great idea. Galen give Rob the knife. I believe the artist needs to do the carving. When you're done we'll put the salt in the pumpkin and light it."

Rob looked at each of them in turn. "Really?"

"Yeah, really."

Bobby smiled. "Actually we didn't want to miss this."

"He got two tickets on the way over. One for speeding and one for going through a yellow light," Parry laughed then sobered a little. "It's the first time we get you two here on your birthday. If we hadn't forgotten to get candy we wouldn't have left you two alone. It's a long time till Christmas."

Rob smiled. "Yeah."

"Here you go, Brat. Don't cut yourself," Galen said.

Rob beamed as he wrapped his small hand around the handle of the engraved handle of the knife. He took a deep breath and began to carve. An hour later he looked up and handed the blade to his brother. "What do you think?"

"I think it looks amazing," Galen said softly.

Rob blushed and looked over at his father and uncle. Bobby was already opening the bag of salt.

"A handful each?" Parry suggested as he put the candle down on the table.

Rob nodded and waited for each to rub in a handful into the sides of the pumpkin. He spread his along the bottom and then put the white candle in. He took the long matches from Galen and lit the candle before putting the top back on. He grinned even wider as the lights were turned off and the faint glow of the pumpkin filled the room.

It was silent for a few seconds before Bobby turned the lights back on. "Ok. Who wants candy?"

The end.