A/N: Okay, this is in response to the Fortnightly Challenge at The Slytherin Corner forum set by thethymeisright. The challenge was to write about a day of significance, with the only requirement that the day is in some way meaningful to the lead character.
my character: Dominique Weasley
of angels and pretty smiles
Dominique Weasley is four (and three-quarter) years old, and she has decided that today, December 19th, is the most special day in her whole life.
Today is Christmas Tree Decorating Day At The Burrow (and yes, the capitals are necessary), and this year is her year.
So the family has this enormous angel that goes on top of the tree every year, and ever since Victoire was born there's been a tradition that every child gets a different year in which it is their turn to put the angel on top of the huge tree.
She stands slightly to the side, longlong curls shifting down her back as she jiggles from foot-to-foot in anticipation, Victoire's old party dress too big for her small frame. Lily comes over to stand next to her, and wordlessly the two little girls join hands.
"They're slow," Lily comments, watching her older brothers fight to get some fairy lights up with the aid of a levitation charm from Uncle Percy. "We could do it better."
"Can't," Dominique replies, frowning slightly. "Got to hold the angel."
Lily reaches out to touch the silky skirts, and Dominique lets her because Lily is her favourite cousin.
"She's pretty," Lily ventures after a short silence, and then a mischievous grin breaks out across her face. "Prettier than 'Toire."
Dominique pauses in her jiggling to think about that for a moment, turning the angel around carefully in her small hands to regard it thoughtfully.
"But 'Toire is blonde," Dominique points out, showing the angel to Lily. "And the angel is red."
"A redhead, Nicky," her father corrects, smiling down at the two girls, pausing in his mission to get a glass snowflake on the tree. "Or ginger. Not red."
Dominique glares at him, and Lily next to her loyally mimics her expression.
"Red," the two girls say simultaneously, arms folding and feet tapping under their pretty party dresses in synch.
"Okay," Bill says neutrally, holding his hands up in surrender. "Red it is."
Dominique turns to Lily and they nod at each other seriously. Then Lily suddenly flops down onto the ground, feet stretching out in front of her, her back against the radiator.
Dominique sits down next to her more carefully, clutching the angel, and taps her feet against Lily's.
"When's your turn?"
Lily gazes enviously at the angel and folds her arms, bottom lip pushing out.
"Not for ages. First it's Fred and Roxie and Hugo, 'cause I'm the littlest."
"You're the same height as me!" Dominique exclaims, outraged on Lily's behalf. "You should be next!"
"It's an age thing, girls," a voice announces to them, and they crane their heads upwards to find Harry smiling down at them, glasses slightly askew from a ten-minute-long battle with some mistletoe and the front door. "That's why Lily has to wait a few years."
"But I'll be old, Dad," Lily complains, and Harry laughs and bends down to pick her up, settling her onto his hip.
"Why don't you come help me put the reindeer up in the kitchen then, huh?"
"Bye, Dom," Lily says, waving as her father carries her away. Dominique can't wave back because she's holding the angel, but she shouts a goodbye to Lily and then returns to watching the room again.
There's her father helping Aunt Ginny and Aunt Angelina with the tinsel, and various cousins running around. Teddy is pretending not to be enjoying himself because he thinks he looks cooler like that, and Victoire is sitting next to him, kicking her legs against the stool, copying Teddy and looking like she couldn't care less.
Dominique thinks they're stupid.
Then there's baby Louis, who is even more annoying than gnomes, getting in everybody's way and trying to eat the glass baubles. And James and Albus are fighting again.
Dominique cheers as Albus clonks James on the head with a wooden Santa, but then James pushes Albus over and Ginny notices and banishes James to the kitchen with Harry and Lily – where a successively larger series of crashes can be heard – and Albus to the upstairs landing with Grandma and Aunt Audrey.
"You're being very good, Nicky, thank you," Ginny comments, bending slightly to pat the little girl's curls.
"Got the angel," Dominique says by way of explanation – usually she'd be the one (with Lily) at the centre of all the chaos. "Got to be careful."
"Well, you're being very careful, I'm very impressed," Ginny replies, and Dominique smiles as Ginny moves away to pick Louis up and save him from Fred and Lucy's rampage on the floor.
"Dom," someone says, and Dominique looks up to find Roxanne standing above her, her glossy dark curls bound back with a white ribbon. "Uncle Charlie is looking for you."
"Oh," Dominique replies, scrambling to her feet. "I'll go see what he wants."
"I'll come," Roxanne decides, and they hold hands to climb the stairs, Roxanne's ivory skirts brushing silkily against Dominique's smoky grey ones.
"Charlie!" Dominique calls, abandoning Roxanne's hand to rush towards her favourite uncle, throwing herself into his arms and giggling as he throws her upwards, catching her neatly on the way down.
"How you doing, Squirt?" he inquires, and she solemnly holds the angel up to show him. "Oh, big responsibility today."
"Yes," Dominique replies seriously, holding the angel in one hand and laying her head on his shoulder. "Will you lift me up? Can't reach by myself."
"Doesn't your dad want to?" Charlie asks, and Dominique raises her head to frown into his eyes.
"I don't know. But I want you to, and today is my day."
Charlie doesn't even bother arguing – Dominique has exactly the same stubborn streak as he does, and he knows how pointless trying to change her mind is.
"Okay, then," he replies easily, hefting her more safely up into his arms and beginning to trek downstairs, taking Roxanne's hand as well on the way down.
"Oh, Charlie," Grandma sighs as the three of them come out onto the landing. Dominique can just see Auntie Audrey half-in one room, apparently trying to extract Albus from the cupboard where he's wedged himself.
"Oh, Merlin, Mum, don't look at me like that," Charlie complains, and Dominique glances down at Roxanne, wondering why Grandma is crying.
"S'okay, Grandma," Roxanne says, dropping Charlie's hand and running towards her to hug her. "Don't be sad. It's nearly Christmas!"
"I know, sweetie, it's just that I worry about Charlie," Grandma tells Roxanne, bending down slightly to stroke her head gently. "I think he's lonely without any children of his own."
Charlie laughs, and Dominique laughs too because when he does it means something is funny.
"Mum, you know the dragons are my whole family," he replies with the air of someone who is sick of repeating the same thing. "And, besides, I have Dom, don't I?"
Dominique nods furiously, risking the angel to wrap her arms around Charlie's neck. "He's my favourite uncle," she confides to Grandma, nestling up against his chest.
"And there you have it," Charlie informs his mother decisively, heading down the stairs, reaching out to take Roxanne's hand again. Grandma lets them go, turning instead to help Auntie Audrey get Albus out of the cupboard.
When the three arrive back down in the sitting room the whole family is assembled, the tree decorated, and a breathless hush falls over the room as Charlie appears. Roxanne lets go of his hand and runs over to her dad, holding her arms up to be picked up.
"Are you ready, baby?" Bill asks, coming over with his arms outstretched.
"Uncle Charlie is going to lift me up," Dominique informs him seriously, clutching the angel tightly in both hands. This is her moment. "I asked him."
Bill catches Charlie's eye briefly, and then gracefully concedes.
"Okay, Nicky, it's your day."
Dominique beams, and Charlie turns her around neatly in his arms and holds her by the middle just as Grandma and Auntie Audrey come back in with Albus, who is looking quite embarrassed.
"Okay, you ready, Dom?" Charlie whispers in her ear, and she nods, her whole being rigid with concentration, as he lifts her up towards the top branch of the tree.
Dominique strains, just able to reach it, and ohsocarefully places the angel on the topmost branch.
Charlie tosses her upwards slightly and then catches her neatly as she falls, giving her a brief hug and then setting her down.
"Well down, Dominique," Grandpa compliments, and Dominique flushes a bright, pleased red as Roxanne and Lily storm towards her to give her a big hug.
"You were great!" Lily exclaims as the three girls dance around in a big mess of an embrace. "You were so good!"
Roxanne echoes the sentiments, and Dominique catches Charlie's eye and beams when he winks before slipping away into the kitchen. She continues smiling as she receives praise after praise, deciding that this is most definitely the most special day ever.
A/N: If you're going to favourite any of these, we beg you to please not do so without reviewing, thank you!