A/N: Written for the Prompt of the Day Bah! Humbug! on the Hogwarts Online forum. I'm actually quite fond of this story - especially Mrs. Norris! But I'm a cat person, so there you are.
Disclaimer: I own nothing and am making no money from this story.
Bah! Humbug! - Ebenezer Scrooge
The Hogwarts students have learned over the years not to get on Argus Filch's bad side during the Christmas season.
It's generally considered a bad idea to get on his bad side, despoiling his castle or otherwise annoying him, at any time, but at some point the students noticed that his punishments got more and more creative – and much worse – the closer they got to Christmas. So the word was passed on from student to student, from year to year, to head the other way whenever he was spotted around Christmas, no matter what that other way might be, because whatever that brought you would be nothing compared to the wrath of Argus Filch if he found you dripping muddy water on his floors or something. He would make up any rule he wanted and say you were breaking it just to be able to cook up a punishment.
After Quidditch practice or games it was the worst, because players were almost always wet and cold during winter and it was as though he would lie in wait, just out of sight of the entrance way, and leap out as players were returning.
"Dripping on my floors!" He would snarl, shuffling around and waving a finger at whatever unlucky person happened to be standing there. "Defacing the castle with mud and grass and snow! Oh, what I'm going to tell the Headmaster… You come along, I'll hang you by your feet for sure this time, just you wait…"
One time Fred and George Weasley asked him about it.
"Say, Filch," said one – he never could tell them apart, which they seemed to find very funny – "why are you always so much worse at Christmas?"
"Yeah," said the other, "usually you would just make us clean this up ourselves, without using magic, but today you're making us clean up after ourselves and clean up the entire Great Hall."
Filch spluttered as he tried to think of an answer, but the twins just kept talking right over him.
Together, they chorused, "Why don't you like Christmas?"
"It's such a happy time," said the first one, "with family, and friends, and lots of good food-"
"Why do you insist on making us unhappy?"
Filch stood and stared at them for a minute or two, at their identical grinning faces. Then he flung his arms into the air. "BAH!" He burst out, and both twins raised their eyebrows. "Bah, humbug," he said more quietly, and shuffled off, Mrs. Norris following after a hiss at the twins.
On the way back to his office, he happened to pass by the library. He must have been muttering to himself, because Madam Pince stuck her head out the door and frowned at him. "Argus? What's wrong?"
"Those Weasley twins again!" He grumbled, frowning menacingly. "They dripped all over my floors!" And with that, he continued on his way, Madam Pince frowning even more deeply at his retreating back.
Later that night, there was a knock on Filch's office door. He flung it open, ready to punish whatever unsuspecting student stood behind it, but upon seeing who it was, he was struck dumb with astonishment. Madam Pince stood there, Fred and George Weasley in tow, a somewhat evil smile upon her face.
"Mr. Filch," she said, "I've just caught these two boys preparing to set off a dung bomb in my library! I thought that you might be able to help me punish them."
Filch stood up and shuffled in front of his desk.
"Oh, yes, Irma – er, Madam Pince – I believe I can help you with that," he said. "You sit down, filthy students-" the two boys shared a grin "-and I'll see what I can come up with… I'll have you cleaning the entire library, I'll have you cleaning the Great Hall, I'll have you hanging in my office, I'll…"
A few hours later, after he had supervised a lot of cleaning, scrubbing, and swearing, there was another knock on his door. Feeling very satisfied, Filch opened it to come face-to-face with Madam Pince yet again. She looked a bit nervous this time.
"Come in, come in," Filch said, standing to the side and then closing the door behind her. "Do you have more students you need punished?"
"No," Madam Pince said, "not yet. I have-" she cleared her throat nervously "treats for your cat." She placed them on Filch's desk, blushing furiously. "I hope Mrs. Norris enjoys them." Filch couldn't think of a thing to say. Madam Pince hesitated, then leaned forward and kissed him on the cheek. "Happy Christmas, Argus," she whispered, and fled his office.
"Bah, humbug," whispered Filch, but his heart wasn't in it anymore. Maybe there was more merit to the Christmas season than he had previously thought. Mrs. Norris leaped onto his desk and pawed at the treats.
"Happy Christmas, my pretty," Argus Filch said for the first time in his life, and his cat meowed.
A/N: Please leave a review!