So a quick and short update to start gearing up for Christmas! Usually I write then let it sit a few days before editing to make it better but I was eager to get this out. If I didn't do it now I would probably forget, college is so stressful and makes me forget everything else. I felt like writing, didn't know what exactly to write, then this came out. It has some more Quentin in it! I know its not as good as the others but go easy on me, okay?

I don't know if there is any interest in this anymore, but a big huge thanks to everyone who has reviewed and/or favorited! It always brightens me up and is much appreciated and motivates me to add to this. Might end up adding to my Reminder story as well, but what I want to add might end up here as a one shot too, who knows. I plan on doing something about when Bernard became Head Elf, it will include the crazy old Head Elf Alfred who went mad. So what do you guys think, yay or nay on the idea? As always feel free to shoot any ideas you would like to see.

Also, if anyone likes Death Note I started a story for that, it's a bit darker than this stuff of course.

Beginnings

All of the young elves were rushing to find something to look busy. Santa was dropping by to visit and it was rare that a Santa found time in his busy schedule to visit the young elves that were still learning the ropes. This made it a big occasion for all the young elves. Their teacher, one of the oldest elves at the pole, herded them back to the main classroom. Each elf had a project to work on to show their knowledge, whether it be making something, improving on something, or inventing something.

At his young age, Bernard had never gotten to speak to any of the Santa's before. His father always told him not to worry about it because once he spoke to one Santa, before he knew it there would be a new one. The last 50 years had been lousy for keeping on Santa's. Most had been lasting less than ten years, a very short span of time for Christmas Elves. But apparently the new Santa was a retired teacher who had taken an interest in how the elves were educated and wanted to meet the students. He had already lasted a year and everyone was hoping he would stay on for a while. Having the same Santa for a while made things a bit more stable. Besides, no one enjoyed training and explaining things to a new guy every few years.

Bernard was less than a year away from graduating and moving into working in the workshop full time. He already put in three days a week under close supervision. With Santa coming, this would be a good time to show case his invention and try to get it put into their arsenal of toys. Who better than to market it to than the big guy himself? His excitement was tinged with nervousness though, this Santa was new and he knew nothing about him. He had no idea if he would even be interested. At least he was taking an interest in the students. Some Santas just checked the list and delivered the toys, hence why they had a Head Elf to run things when Santa wasn't around.

"Class, let's work hard and impress Santa," their teacher beamed at him from the front of the large classroom that was riddled with desks and tables with finished and unfinished toys. Their teacher was of average height with a bit of a gut from too many sweets. Everyone called him Mr. Green due to the fact that he only wore the color green. There was debate among the students whether that was his real name or not but no one worried about it too much, the name fit the elf. They had another teacher, Miss. Tinnel who taught the younger students, but today she had stayed home sick.

Bernard sat in the back corner by the windows near the other ten students his age. Altogether they had fifty students, all taught in the same classroom. Usually elves from other departments would come in to talk and teach skills. When they weren't in the busy season, the older students started interning in different departments to find their niche, or in same case niches. it was a new program they were testing out to speed up the transition from student to worker and make it easier. Bernard had spent the last two months in Research and Development, one of his favorite departments. He had also enjoyed making snow globes but found that he preferred it more as a hobby than an everyday thing. He also enjoyed the painting department and carpentry, one of the most dangerous departments where all of the wooden toys were built before being sent to other departments to be finished.

"Santa! Come in come in," Mr. Green ushered the Jolly man inside with glee The man rarely got to interact with Santa, so this was not only a treat for the students but him as well. They started visiting with the younger students first, working their way towards the back. Bernard hurriedly worked on finishing up the second copy of his new invention. Butterflies were beginning to build in his stomach. He wanted so badly to impress. Unlike Quintin, he wasn't any good at sports. He only had academics to earn respect.

"Calm down, Bernard. Keep it up and you'll hurt yourself," Quintin warned from beside him in his accent.

Bernard let out a sigh. "I know. I just really want to get this accepted. He reached up and ran a hand through his messy, curly hair, wishing he hadn't forgotten a hat today. Without a hat he felt vulnerable, and with how messy his hair had gotten he imagined that he probably looked slightly crazed. During their break he had ripped his right sleeve during a game of Tinsel Football. How could he possibly impress Santa when he looked like a mess? He pushed up his sleeves to hide the rip and cool himself down. With how nervous he was getting, the back of his neck was becoming damp with sweat.

"Even if it doesn't get accepted, I'll take one," Quintin grinned at him. "It's kind of fun," his face turned thoughtful. "Have you thought about what department you want to go into when we graduate? I know you seem to be good at almost everything you try, but you should come into Research and Development with me. We could be a team!"

"That'd be nice," Bernard smiled. Quintin was by far his best friend. He didn't tease him for not being any good at sports and respected how crazy he was about his academics. He had gotten offers from both Research and Development and carpentry already. Quintin already had his heart set on the first and he too had been offered a position. Bernard had been torn between his two options, but now that he knew where Quentin was going, he was beginning to think he wanted to join his friend. They already worked there together on their current internship and it was something he would at least like to do for a few years. "I'm leaning towards it."

"We'd be the best team yet, mate!" Quintin excitedly clapped him on the back. "Oh, looks like it's almost our turn," Quintin calmed down and tried to make himself look busy again. Bernard picked up his invention and inspected it.

"These are our last two soon to be graduates Quintin and Bernard. Quentin will be joining the Research and Development Department when he graduates, I've heard nothing but good things from them," Mr. Green smiled brightly as he spoke. Bernard gawked at Santa as if he was meeting a celebrity for the first time. He swallowed down the lump in his throat and wiped his sweaty palms on his pant legs.

"Ah, I hear that Department is one of our smallest. It'd be nice to see it grow with some new graduates going into it," Santa stroked his beard in thought. "I wish you the best of luck."

"Thank you, I'm looking forward to it," Quintin thanked Santa politely.

"Bernard here is my star pupil," Mr. Green exclaimed with pride. "He has already proven himself proficient in multiple departments and has the highest marks in his class. He's also an inventor and I believe he has something he would like to show you."

Bernard blushed and glanced down at his invention.

"What do you have for me, Bernard?" Santa lifted his brow in curiosity.

"It's my first original invention. It's a safe and easy to make toy. I call it a yo-yo," Bernard held up the blue yo-yo and demonstrated. "Quintin has already found special tricks to do with it to make it more fun," he handed it over to Quintin and let him perform them.

Santa's face lit up. "Very nice, I like it. I'll have to stop by Research and Development to see about getting this made for some kids."

Bernard beamed at Santa.

"Bernard here has a very bright future of ahead of him," Mr. Green clapped his hands together with joy.

"He certainly does," Santa agreed. "I thank you for your time Mr. Green, but I must be going now, I've got a list to start checking and a new toy to get out onto the line," Santa winked at Bernard.

"Yes, yes, thank you for coming; the students have been excited to see you."

"I'd like to come back sometime, I'm eager to see some of these bright elves get out into the workshop," Santa sauntered out with a wave to everyone.

"Well congrats, you got what you wanted," Quintin patted Bernard on the back.

"Thanks," Bernard grinned, already eager to get home and tell his dad. Maybe he could even use the good news into talking his dad into getting him the new sled he had his eye on. His current one was beginning to crack, no doubt by the end of the year it would completely bite the dust.

"You have been doing very good Bernard. If you keep up the work you could become a department head someday, or who knows, maybe the Head Elf," Mr. Green smiled pleasantly before turning to dismiss the class. Bernard got up and walked out with Quintin, trailing behind everyone else. The youngest students had taken off running, eager to get out into the snow for a snowball fight.

"Do you think it's possible?"

"Do I think what's possible?" Quintin pulled a pack of gum out from his pocket and popped a piece of pink gum into his mouth. They reached the end of the hallway and headed through the doors and down the steps leading to Elfsburg.

"That I could become a department head someday?" That was something he could aim for. Not Head Elf, that was shooting way too far and practically impossible, but a department head might be a challenge he could attempt to rise to. It would be his biggest challenge yet and the idea excited him

Quintin shrugged. "It's not something I would want, too much work and responsibility. But if it sounds good to you go for it. I could see you in a position like that, you've always been an over achiever. Now come on, let's go get some cocoa and cookies to celebrate. I'll race you," Quintin took off running before Bernard could answer.

"No fair! You know you run faster than me!" Bernard yelled after him, struggling and failing to keep up. He didn't miss the laugh Quintin gave him.

"Come on Mr. Department Head, keep up!"