EDITED 02/11/2014 because beta finally made a FFN account XD lmao

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, the lovely J K Rowling does and all that jazz… I write for fun, because I enjoy tort...er, "playing" with the cute little characters :D lol I make no money from writing, the only "benefit" is this helps me keep what little sanity I have left…

I have some left, right?

A/N: Okay, someone was complaining about too many OCs and "filler." I have this bad habit of believing "everything happens for a reason" and I find it transfers to my writing. (Even when I don't want it to *grrr* lol ) What might seem like useless OCs and Filler now actually do have purpose, which will become apparent later on. Yes, even the Tea Party in last chapter… Though I'm not going to elaborate for fear of giving too much away XD lol

Special thanks to jeanette9a on AO3 for introducing me to some entertainment (Snake Eyes is an awesome song to type to! XD lol) candy4beth and aspygirlredo on FFN for being so supportive and for chatting with me! (I love fun people :D )

As always, thank you to everyone who has reviewed or added this to your favourites. And yes, a big "Thanks" to all of you who stalk this story and not me personally :P lol ( I'm not a paranoid person or anything, what gave you that idea? Oo;; CONSTANT VIGILANCE! *ducks* lol) I really appreciate it everyone, and I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I have fun writing it! :D

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Chapter Eight: Of Parties, Pranks and Presents

WC: About 6,500 ...

Beta: akumu16 (because she is awesome :D lol)

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'I always thought there was a difference between lack of style and lack of taste… Guess I was wrong.' Rea thought as she looked at the old man in front of her.

He had on neon -we're on a hunting trip- orange robes, which clashed horribly with his blue eyes, and that wasn't the worst of it! The horrid colour was just the BASE fabric for the ensemble. Then the man had added green pinstripes and topped it all off with purple, BOUNCING, polka dots.

He even had a hat to match!

'This man is a fashion DISASTER.' Rea mentally cringed, but showed no outward signs of her revulsion as it would be improper to do so… not matter how tempted.

The raven haired child hated to torture her eyes with such a nauseating display, but the old man seemed determined to approach them. Why? She hadn't the slightest clue, but she hoped it wasn't anything important so the ignorant old man would move on. Quickly.

'How about some fashion advice?' If that were the reason for him seeking an audience with them, then Rea would be more than happy to oblige.

Though sadly she thought the man was beyond redemption in that particular field.

'Your robes are atrocious, your white hair is much too long, one should NOT be able to tuck their beard into their belt because it looks as if it got stuck after using the loo, and if you are trying to look like Merlin you have failed. Miserably.' Merlin had had a majestic look to him, but this guy...

This guy just looked like a kooky old goat who was a few gobstones short of a full set. Why he was at an event as magnificent as the Winter Gala was anybody's guess, but Rea was willing to bet he'd forced his way in somehow.

Or was on his way to a Fashion Faux-Pas Convention and just got horribly lost.

§ The man must be colorblind! Please get us away from this horrid display before it damages our retinas. § Vesta added her two knuts, though she was sure to keep her voice low enough to be mistaken as nothing more than the rustling of one's skirts.

Alarming the people in attendance that her "accessory" was a living, breathing, poisonous snake was not Rea's idea of a good time. Large groups in full panic was something to be avoided… unless one WANTED to try and cause some "accidental" casualties.

"And who might this lovely young lady be?" The Walking-Talking-Fashion-Faux-Pas asked Rea's mum as he moved closer to the duo.

Duo? Seems they were a few members short from their original numbers…

'Did everyone see him coming and run?' Rea had to wonder. If that were the case, she approved… except for the part where they failed to escape WITH HER.

§ Oh shit, does your mother not fear for her eyes? Her instincts should have told her to pick you up and RUN! § The Naga's whining was little more than a whisper, but Rea heard her loud and clear and couldn't agree with the serpent more…

However Zemi, playing the part of the "proper Pureblood," smiled politely and nodded to the man. "Greetings Headmaster Dumbledore, how are you this fine evening?"

"Oh, quite alright my girl!" Dumbledore chuckled before inclined his head towards Rea. "I couldn't help but notice this young lady here, is she the child of a friend?"

Rea almost rolled her eyes. Almost. Apparently the man was not only an eyesore, he was also inconsiderate and completely overstepped his bounds by not even so much as ACKNOWLEDGING the "polite society" custom of inquiring as to one's health before trying to pry into their personal affairs.

Beyond that, referring to a LADY as "my girl" was downright rude, crude, and socially unacceptable! And if all that wasn't bad enough, the bastard had insinuated that Caesarea was someone else's child!

'Because children happily following strangers around is an everyday occurrence.' ...Oh wait. Well there were some rare cases every now and then perhaps, but NOT at a grand Gala!

"This is my daughter,Caesarea." Lady Noir stated and gestured toward the child beside her. "Rea," Zemi started as she made a motion toward the Fashion Disaster, "this is Professor Dumbledore."

Rea fought a smirk at how her mum had demoted him from "Headmaster" to "Professor" in retaliation, but the old coot seemed none the wiser about the rather obvious slight. Some of the Purebloods around them, however, seemed highly amused by it.

"Pleased to meet you, Professor." Rea smiled brightly and curtseyed as she sent up a silent prayer. 'Please tell me Headmasters don't teach, ESPECIALLY not art!' Surely the school had better standards!

"How well mannered!" Dumbledore praised with a grandfatherly smile, though Rea noticed it didn't reach his eyes. "And how old are you, Ms. Noir?"

"I am four, Professor." Rea smiled as she thought about a discussion she and her mum had just the other day. "I was born July thirteenth of nineteen eighty. It was a Sunday, so Mummy says I'm very blessed!" She happily relayed part of said conversation and Zemi gave a small chuckle.

"Oh?" Dumbledore responded and looked at the older female with a raised brow.

"You're the first person she's been able to brag about that to since I told her, seeing as everyone at the house already knows." Zemirea sighed as she answered the unspoken question as to why the child was so forthcoming with the information.

Professor Fashion Disaster laughed, honestly amused judging from his eyes, and nodded in understanding.

"Children are amazing, are they not? Proud of the simple things that we adults take for granted." Dumbledore chuckled and Zemi nodded her agreement. "Though I must say, I'm surprised. I did not realize you had a child…" He trailed off and Rea could tell he was fishing for information.

"You know how rumors are, they tend to make mountains out of nothing." Zemi shook her head. "Just because I did not return from the States after Rea was born, the gossips blew it out of proportion… Granted, we were partially to blame for never speaking of our precious child." She smiled as Rea laid her head against her mother's leg.

Zemi took the hint and started to gently run her fingers through the child's -artificially- long hair. The family had learned not too long ago that the green eyed child loved public displays of affection -they assumed it was a subconscious need to reaffirm her place in their lives- and they were more than happy to give in to her silent demands.

The child was just too cute! How could they possibly resist? Especially since she seemed to have perfected the "puppy eyes" in the past few months...

"Why didn't you speak of her? She is adorable after all, and I'm sure the other families would have loved to know about her sooner. Unless, of course, you were hiding something…"

Rea already disliked the man for his lack of sense, but he seemed determined to be the first -aside from a certain family of Muggles- on her blacklist. The tone he was using with her mother… it almost sounded like the man thought they had done something WRONG!

"I hadn't decided yet." Rea gave a sheepish smile as she shrugged.

Surely the man had heard of Rea's "unique" condition. Pureblood circles tended to be rather thorough, according to her mum, about relaying information which may prove advantageous to them in the future.

Unless the man wasn't a Pureblood. 'Or not accepted among their circles.' And judging from his behaviour and lack of decorum, that was an extremely high probability.

"Decided?" Dumbledore looked at Rea, clearly confused, before he looked at Zemi in hopes she would explain the child's "strange" comment.

"We didn't talk about Rea because we did not wish to force her to choose a gender. We were waiting for her to decide and feared that calling Rea one or the other, even by accident, might pressure her." Zemi stated and looked around for a moment before she leaned closer to the man. "Besides, the longer we kept her away from these Purebloods and their marriage battles, the better in my opinion." She whispered in a conspiratorial fashion.

"That is understandable, and I highly approve." Dumbledore nodded and Rea noticed a twinkle enter is blue eyes. "However the issue of choosing a gender… I'm afraid I'm still not following…"

"Rea is a hermaphrodite, Professor Dumbledore." Lady Malfoy interjected while she confidently approached the trio and a blonde boy proudly walked behind her. "Though as you can see, Caesarea has decided she is most comfortable as a female." The blonde woman smiled at the dark haired child.

"Hello Lady Malfoy, how are you this evening?" Rea curtseyed and smiled, pleased with herself for her "proper" greeting.

Dumbledore could stand to learn a few lessons from HER.

"Wonderful! How are you, Rea? Settling in nicely I hope." Lady Malfoy responded kindly.

From the looks being sent their way, most notably from Lady Zabini, the fact Narcissa addressed the youngest Noir in such a casual manner was not lost on them. In fact, it didn't look like any of the Pureblood Ladies were happy that Rea and the Malfoys seemed to be on friendly terms.

Oh well.

"Yes, I am starting to feel right at home." Her green eyes danced with mirth. 'Sadly, the more comfortable I get the more daring I seem to become.' Which didn't bode well for the party, but…

Well, they would never be able to pin the blame on her.

"Good evening, Lady Malfoy…" Zemi began before said Lady cut in.

"Oh please, call me Narcissa you two!" The blonde woman stated with a teasing tone, as if she'd asked the duo to do so several times in the past.

'Nice move.' Rea could always appreciate a good dance, and the art of "power plays" was by far the most entertaining of all. Better than any Waltz or Tango, that's for sure.

"Of course, Narcissa." Zemi smiled and seemed genuinely pleased at the lack of formality.

Mum never was a fan of titles, though she hid that particular fact splendidly. The woman just thought it could be rather time consuming, and inefficient should someone hold multiple labels, and Rea had to agree.

After all, who wanted to say "Minister of Magic Lord Poppycock the Third, of the Most Silly and Old House of Blah Blah Blah." Regardless, they were a family who would uphold the Old Ways… even if some traditions seemed a bit irritating.

"Thank you for inviting us. Everything is absolutely lovely." Zemi commented and Rea knew her mum meant it.

Rea was just happy for the excuse to talk to someone other than Mr. Fashion Challenged, though she had to admit the Malfoys were experts in the field of Party Planning. The Gala was done up in a "Heaven on Earth" theme, which was simply stunning.

Whites, creams, and golds gave the entire ballroom an ethereal glow. Sheer, flowing fabrics were draped down, some criss crossed, to give the room a soft feel to it as if the place were one with the clouds. Feathers floated down from above around the outer edges of the room, so as not to interfere with the guests, while the illusion of falling feathers could be seen now and again around the dance floor.

Heck, the Malfoys themselves even had wings! Though whether they were an illusion, a spell, or real…

'Something to ask about some other time… though I'm sorely tempted to get Punkin to bring some tar. It would be a shame to waste all these feathers.' Rea mentally chuckled. Even if she knew it would be impossible to pull that off without being caught -not with her current skill level at any rate- it was still a pleasant thought.

Especially when she thought about the orange, green, and purple monstrosity which hadn't moved.

'He doesn't understand when he's been dismissed apparently.' Rea mentally shook her head and turned her full attention to the Malfoys. "Thank you for inviting us, 'Cissa." She blushed when she realized her vocals had failed to properly pronounce the woman's name.

In fact, it appeared her voice had a mind of it's own and skipped the first part of the Lady's name altogether.

Lady Malfoy looked surprised for a moment before a genuine smile graced her features. "It's been ages since someone has called me that…" She mused, a sense of nostalgia in her tone. "Please, feel free to call me 'Cissa any time little Rea."

The young Noir felt extremely relieved to hear that. Insulting the party's hostess was a faux pas far worse than the robes Dumbledore was sporting and that was the last thing Rea wanted to do.

Then again, she was four. Still, she had set rather high standards for herself and would be quite displeased if she fell short.

"I'm happy you all were able to attend. My son, Draco," Narcissa turned to the boy behind her, "has wanted to meet you for some time now." The Lady commented as her Heir moved closer to the young Heiress.

'Sure he has…'

"Draco, would you be so kind as to show Rea to the Children's Room and keep her company?"

"Of course." Draco nodded and closed the distance between them. "My name is Draco Malfoy, pleased to meet you." He greeted politely and held out his hand.

"Caesarea Noir. Please, call me Rea." She responded and offered her hand.

Hey, if they were going to call her Rea anyway, she might as well go with it. Besides, if she told EVERYONE to call her by her nickname, surely it would show that they were all on equal standing as far as she was concerned.

'I can only hope.' Otherwise things could get messy.

True to Pureblood custom, Draco gently took Rea's hand -without hesitation- and bowed slightly so he could lightly kiss it.

'Talk about embarrassing.' Rea thought as she smiled and tried her best not to blush.

"Call me Draco." The boy stated with a genuine smile as he held his arm for her to take.

"Alright Draco." Rea looped her arm through the blonde's, as a proper Lady should when being escorted by a dashing young gentleman, and happily let the young Malfoy Heir take the lead.

"Rea, don't forget your Chaperones." Tubloria's voice could be heard from not too far behind the two kids.

"Wouldn't dream of it." The girl giggled, though inwardly she was rolling her eyes.

Where had they been so far? Unless they were fond of watching from the shadows until they were needed, which was a rather sound plan... aside from the fact that "Vesta's Dimwit Duo" did not really have the proper dispositions for such a -delicate- strategy.

§ Yes, because a bunch of hatchlings are such a threat to your purity. Oh no, watch out! One might try and *gasp* kiss you… on the hand… like he already did. § Vesta's tone screamed sarcasm and Rea had a hard time trying not to laugh.

It would not do to make the other children think her nutters just because she laughed at seemingly "nothing."

'Well, time to get this party started.'

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'Either they talked this over before hand, or Draco takes what his mother says way too seriously.' Why did Rea think that?

Because the boy hadn't left her company since they were introduced.

Granted, the young Heir was highly entertaining and seemed more than happy to discuss Quidditch with her. In fact, he seemed pleasantly surprised to find the dark haired girl liked the game.

And Draco hadn't been the only one.

"I still can't believe a girl likes Quidditch!"

"That's because Rea is just as much a boy and he is a girl." Pansy stated proudly. "I don't mind though. How often do you find a guy that likes to talk fashion?" She giggled happily.

'This is going to make my head spin.' Being referred to as a girl one moment and then a guy the next can't be good for one's health. 'Honestly, can't they settle on one for my sake?' Then again, their parents were probably to blame for the confusion.

The children started to argue amongst themselves as to what gender Rea should be and green eyes could only watch in -masked- horror.

§ Oh yeah, this is going to be a fun night. When is Punkin going to get here? We need a distraction. §

Though the plan had originally been to give the children sugary treats to the point they would be bouncing off the walls, after seeing how they acted NORMALLY and their already rather enthusiastic debate on Rea's gender…

'I don't know if this is such a good idea.' The dark haired child sighed and was about to call for the friendly House Elf when something in the corner of the room caught her eye. 'Too late.'

Sure enough, there on a conveniently placed table -she was sure that particular piece of furniture hadn't been there when they had first entered the room- was a lovely display of delicious, mouthwatering candies and cakes. Treats in which several of the young guests were already helping themselves to.

Rea knew she could not tell Punkin to abort her mission now. To do so would not only expose the House Elf as the culprit, but everyone would likely realize that Rea was the "Mastermind" behind the prank.

That just wouldn't do!

She wished to keep her more… mischievous tendencies to herself for as long as possible. For one it would ensure she was less likely to be caught, and also people tended to place the blame on those they THINK are guilty rather than taking the time to actually investigate a situation. Being falsely accused in the future for pranks not of her fabrication was NOT something that interested her in the slightest.

'Might as well enjoy myself.' Rea thought when she spotted one of her favourite cakes. "I am going to grab some refreshments. Care to join me, Draco?" It would be rude to just walk off without him after all, so it was only proper she invite him along.

"Yes, something to drink would be great." The blonde nodded and offered his arm.

Rea took it without hesitation, while mentally she thanked her Being friends. Axerod especially had drilled public etiquette into her to the point that taking Draco's arm was more due to muscle memory than instinctual response.

Even though Axerod had commented on Rea's excellent instincts, he wasn't the type to leave anything to chance. The young Noir Heiress was a "business endeavour" the goblin was fully "invested" in, and the Being was a rather strict task master.

'Rather than use code, you would think Uncle would just come out and admit that he loves me. It is obvious that he just wants to see me succeed and be the best I can be.'

But apparently for a Goblin to confess aloud that they love something aside from money -or battle- is a sign that the world is ending...

"When did these get here?" Draco's voice snapped Rea out of her thoughts and she looked to the blonde in confusion.

"Whatever do you mean?" She asked while her green eyes stared intently at the cake she would soon have in her possession. 'And in my belly.' Using her manners when faced with such tempting -decadently delightful- strawberry goodness was so hard!

Yet a "proper Lady" had to wait either for the male to ask what she desired, or try and pick something out to suit her tastes.

'Please don't be the latter.' Because if Draco chose something, regardless of whether or not she liked it, she would have to grin and bear it.

Standard Pureblood protocol. Yay…

"I thought for sure Mother had told the House Elves not to serve sweets." Draco stated with a thoughtful look on his face.

"Perhaps she changed her mind? Besides, I know for a fact that the strawberry cake here isn't too terribly sweet."

And it was true! The cake she liked most wasn't overly sugary at all. In fact, the majority of the sweetness came from the strawberries themselves. It was a subtle flavour, with a hint of white chocolate added to the mix, and positively divine!

"Maybe…" The blonde hummed before a smile lit up his features. "What is your favourite type of cake?"

'He's smart.' Getting to know someone's preferences rather than trying to take a blind guess was always a good move. "I like the strawberry one there." She smiled as she motioned towards the one she had spoken of only moments prior.

"Well, that explains how you knew about it." Draco laughed as he acquired a piece and gently handed the plate over to his raven haired companion.

§ You know, showing your Achilles heel so early in the game is not recommended. § Vesta chuckled lowly and Rea had a general idea as to what the Naga was referring, but didn't foresee a problem.

So Rea had a slight weakness for cake, didn't most kids? Besides, it wasn't as if Draco would use that AGAINST her. In fact, chances were she would be getting a lot more dessert in the near future. The Malfoy thought he was being privy to some personal information about her which would give him an advantage in the game his mother is playing, and Rea has a higher chance of eating cake every time she sees the blonde family.

Win-win as far as she was concerned.

"These are Pans' favourites." Draco commented as he picked up a small plate of chocolate cake and a cup of raspberry flavoured sparkling water. "She would be most upset if I did not offer them to her. Would you mind…" He trailed off, silently asking permission to leave her company for a moment without offense.

"Go on, I will be here when you return." Rea waved in a motion that more or less said "get to it already."

"Thank you." Draco smiled and went to deliver the treats to his friend.

'Finally, a moment to myself.' Well, not ENTIRELY to herself. She could still see Tubby and Twiggy in a corner as they watched her… or rather, watched everyone around her. They took protecting Rea's innocence very seriously.

Which was something that made Vesta laugh every time the Naga thought about it for some reason. Rea wasn't completely certain as to how one went about losing their innocence, and why the "D Duo" thought she needed protection in the presence of other children, but whatever… wasn't like she could do anything about it.

Well, perhaps there were a few things Rea COULD do… but she would keep those in mind for another time. The Duo wasn't in the way or causing any harm so there was no point in revealing any tactics now when she could make use of them at a later date.

Rea heard a "pop" and watched an excitable young -male?- House Elf hop about as he pulled on his ears in obvious distress.

"Oh noes, oh noes! Mistress will bes most displeased." The House Elf whined. "Mistress tolds us not to give the young Masters sweets. Dobby will fix it!"

Uh oh.

"Dobby was it?" Rea asked as the Elf went to raise his hands, which caused said Being to pause and look at her instead.

"Yes Young Mistress?" Dobby asked in a low, frightened tone, as he started to pull on his ears once more.

"Please, call me Rea." She smiled and a strange look crossed Dobby's features before he started to cry.

"None has ever asked Dobby to calls them by just their names. Dobby will no bes doing something bad, Dobby bes calling yous Mistress Rea."

"But that's such a mouthful." Rea laughed and shook her head.

This "Dobby" character seemed rather set in his ways -for now- so the green eyed girl would just have to go along with it for the time being.

"Very well, Dobby. As far as the sweets go, your Mistress told the Elves of this household not to serve them is that correct?"

"Yous bes correct Mistress Rea."

"I do not believe the person who brought them to be of this House, so it should be okay right? It's not like any of YOU put them there after all." Rea gave the Being a bright smile and Dobby tentatively returned the expression.

"Yous bes correct again, Mistress Rea." The House Elf nodded, slowly at first but soon picked up to the point he was practically banging his head against the floor with every downward motion.

'Well he seems eager to please. Wonder if I could talk him into helping me with a prank sometime...' Rea's eyes widened slightly as she remembered someone in attendance who deserved to be pranked. 'Pranked to Hell and back.'

Or just Hell…

'Oh, THAT would be brilliant!' And such a lovely plan too, if the Being was willing to lend a hand.

Best part? House Elf magic couldn't be traced like Wands -so the blame could be placed on ANYONE blessed by the Goddess- and since the party consisted of only Magicals… Well the old goat would have to tread lightly. It wouldn't do for him to go around accusing people, and the chances of SEVERAL guests having used "Incendio" to light their fireplaces before they Flooed over was extremely high. Soooo...

Yeah, this was going to be fun!

"Right. So that's one less thing to worry about." Rea hummed. "However, is there a chance you could help me with something?" She smirked and walked closer to the Being. "A little favour, but it would have to be a secret just between us." She whispered to make sure no one would overhear.

"What kinds of favours cans Dobby bes doing for nice Mistress?" The House Elf looked curious, if not a little excited with a hint of apprehension.

"You know that guy with the horrible orange robes? The one with the purple bouncy balls?"

Dobby made a face and Rea could tell the Being knew EXACTLY who she was talking about, and more importantly the House Elf appeared to DISLIKE the Professor almost as much as she did!

"Dumblydoor." Dobby huffed, and then seemed to catch himself and looked worried. "Dobby…"

"Don't worry Dobby, I'm not upset." Rea reassured the House Elf immediately.

She remembered her sessions with Punkin back home and knew positive reinforcement was the best way to go. And praise. It seemed to really embarrass the Beings, but it helped them come out of their shells in the long run.

"In fact, I'm glad you seem to share my feelings on the matter. He greatly insulted my mum and I when we met, and I get the feeling he doesn't like anyone here either."

Dobby nodded. "Dumbly tries to seems nice, but his magics…" The House Elf shivered.

§ Well that explains a few things… § Vesta commented softly and though Rea wasn't sure what either Being meant, she knew that both understood something she didn't about the Headmaster.

And whatever that "something" was... wasn't good.

"So… what are the chances of you lighting a fire under his bum?" The look Dobby gave Rea was priceless, and the events that followed were even better.

Truly the start of a beautiful friendship!

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DUMBLEDORE IS FLAMING!

Or at least his bum was!

Yesterday evening at the much anticipated Winter Gala -held by the prestigious Malfoy family- there was a little mishap. A small fire started, which wasn't all that alarming seeing as most of the Wizarding World is able to put flames out in a matter of seconds.

No, what caused a slight panic was the fact that the blaze started under the chair where Albus Dumbledore -Headmaster at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry- had planted his rump. The Professor had been enjoying a nice cup of tea with Minister Bagnold when the incident occurred. Rather than vanish the flames with a simple spell the Headmaster, seemingly having forgotten the fact he's a Wizard, instead proceeded to hop up and run about.

A tactic which only seemed to make matters worse and caused quite a ruckus!

With a few well placed "Aguamenti" from some level headed guests the fire was extinguished. Sadly, nothing could be done to save the Headmaster's rather colourful robes.

Dumbledore was extremely irate and demanded to know who had cast the Fire-Making Spell, which several of those in attendance had used to light their fireplaces before making their way to the event. The list of guests the Professor inadvertently accused via his demand included -but were not limited to- the Minister for Magic Millicent Bagnold and the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement Bartemius Crouch Sr.

The Professor was asked to leave the Manor and, when contacted, refused to comment about the event. However others weren't so rude and were happy to give this reporter a few moments of their time.

"How could a Professor at a school as well renowned as Hogwarts forget they can use magic? I'm sure even the children, should they be allowed to use magic outside of classes, would have been more than happy to assist the man." Lord Nott, one of the guests who had helped put out the fire, could only shake his head at the Headmaster's antics.

Another helpful visitor, Miss Tubloria Tumblesome, when asked about her brave actions had this to say:

"Well I couldn't very well let the man go up in flames, though it's a shame those atrocious robes he was wearing didn't burn completely. The man shouldn't be allowed to pick out clothing, and whoever made those THINGS should be fired…" The woman had paused before she looked at me with a rather pointed expression. "Not literally, mind you."

I dare say, my dear readers, that this will be a Winter Gala to remember for generations to come!

Rita Skeeter

More on Malfoy's Winter Gala… pg. 2

More on Ministry and Officials… pg. 3

More on Albus Dumbledore… pg. 11

Rea had to contain her laughter as she set the Daily Prophet aside and continued to eat her breakfast.

§ Serves the bastard right. § Vesta chuckled and the mischievous child couldn't agree more.

§ This is only the beginning. Just wait until I get to Hogwarts. §

§ Sounds ominous… §

oOoOoOoOoOo

§ Wake up! It's Christmas! § Not like Vesta really cared about it being Christmas so much as the surprise that awaited the child's parents.

"And I should care... why?" Rea asked in an obvious attempt to try and buy herself more time for sleep.

§ Because you have to give your parents their gift… You know, the one where Axerod will have the camera ready to capture their expressions for all time? §

Rea bolted out of bed so fast it sent the Naga flying across the room. Luckily the entire suite was padded by lush foliage and Vesta's landing had been quite comfortable.

§ Thank Magic the Primals favour you. §

"Huh?"

§ No time. Get a move on before your parents begin to worry. Usually the hatchlings are the ones to arouse them from slumber on this day. The fact they woke up on their own… they are probably worried about your health. § Vesta stated as she moved up Rea's body and wrapped herself around the child's shoulders.

"Have I ever told you that tickles?" Rea inquired offhandedly as she made her way through her rooms and towards the hall, determined to get to her parents and assuage any worries they might have as soon as possible.

§ Why do you think I do it? § Vesta countered with a chuckle and Rea playfully rolled her eyes.

"Figures."

"Rea, it's about time!" Axerod admonished as the raven haired child entered the room.

"Sorry, I thought today would be perfect for sleeping in." She apologized sheepishly and rubbed the back of her head. "Besides, I'd like to think myself above hopping onto beds and waking the whole household at an ungodly hour, thank you." She added with a smirk.

"You don't have to hold back, you're still young Rea."

"I know Mum." Rea smiled as she sat at the table and started to pile on the hash browns. "But I also enjoy my beauty sleep." She added as she tucked into the mountain of potato-ey goodness.

"Does she eat anything else?" Ry inquired. The brunette was usually at work during breakfast hours and rarely got to see what his daughter chose for her morning meals.

"Only if you add it in with the hash browns." Axerod answered and sighed in mock exasperation.

"Which Punkin does! Punkin won't let her Princess' health falter." The House Elf stated from behind the Goblin, which made the Being startle slightly much to everyone's amusement.

"Would you stop doing that?" Axerod hissed and narrowed his eyes at the female House Elf.

"Why? It's fun." Punkin smiled sweetly as she fluttered her eyelashes.

"You've created a monster." Axerod glared at Rea and the green eyed child merely smirked as she gave him a look that said "And?"

"Well, if everyone has had their fill shall we adjourn to the family room?" Ry asked his ladies… and the Goblin, who had somehow become a part of the family.

All the adults watched in amusement as Rea took off like a flash and gave a happy "Wooohooo!" when she reached the room that housed the -rather large- Christmas tree.

"Remind me next year to let Rea and Punkin decorate the tree to their heart's content and not open my big mouth." Ry sighed offhandedly as he rubbed his lower back. "Or at least not the Muggle way." He still couldn't figure out what had possessed him to make such a rash decision.

"Your ass still hurt?" Axerod smirked as he picked up a box from under his chair and followed in Rea's footsteps… so to speak.

"I'm not even going to dignify that with a response." Ry grumbled as they all entered the room, only to find Rea was trying to replicate a pyramid with her presents.

"What?" The child asked when she noticed how everyone looked at her funny. "You were taking too long and I figured I would entertain myself in the meantime." She shrugged.

"Why a Pyramid?" Ry voiced what everyone else was probably thinking.

Rea shrugged. "Didn't think I could pull off a Sphinx just yet."

The brunette opened his mouth only to stop short when the Goblin raised his hand.

"There are certain things you just don't want to ask. Trust me." Axerod warned and Ry just shook his head and decided to heed the man's advice.

"Ready?" Zemi asked excitedly and Rea nodded enthusiastically.

This would be her first REAL Christmas after all. Luckily she hadn't missed too many, but even so… seeing the Muggle gets presents when she hadn't...

'That's another life. A life that's not mine.'

No, Rea hadn't missed any Christmases. In fact, the Noirs usually celebrated Yule. This was a new tradition they had started just for her, to help her better understand different cultures. She would need that knowledge, and she would put it to good use in the near future…

"This one first." And so the cycle began.

Zemi would hand her a present, and Rea would tear the wrapping to shreds. It didn't take long for the others to realize that the child just really enjoyed confetti and had created a rather impressive pile of the paper pieces.

All in attendance sent up a silent prayer and hoped the child didn't have PLANS for said confetti… Well, nothing more than tossing it around her room at least.

Sometime later...

"Yay, a broom! Can I practice the Wronski Feint now?"

Everyone gave a resounding "NO!" Vesta included, much to the surprise of the others.

"Spoilsports." Rea pouted.

"Okay, now that all the presents have been opened, how about we…"

"Not all of them." Axerod cut in with a smirk as he rummaged around in the box he'd brought.

"Oh, you got us something?" Zemi asked in a confused tone. The adults had agreed that this was a day for Rea and they weren't going to get gifts for one another.

"Not me. Rea." The Goblin stated and continued to fiddle with whatever he had stashed away in the container which sat in his lap.

"Rea?" Her parents turned their attention to the child at the same time and she already held out a wrapped gift towards them. "But how… you shouldn't have felt the need to…"

"Uncle Axerod and Punkin helped." She conveniently left out the part where it was the Naga's idea. "And I wanted to." Green eyes danced happily and her parents smiled as they nodded their acceptance and gently took the box from the girl's grasp.

Zemi delicately removed the decorative paper, determined to keep it pristine so she could frame it. This was the first gift their baby had ever given them, aside from her love and just being in their lives of course.

The Magical duo looked at the contents with wide eyes as their brains didn't quite comprehend what they were seeing.

The first thing that registered? The materials were almost entirely blue. The second thing which finally clicked was the fact that it was all baby items. And last, but not least, there was a note perched on top of it all which read:

"It's a Boy!"

The unmistakable flash of a camera shocked them out of their stupor, but by that time it was too late.

The little trickster had already made her escape!

"How… what…"

"I don't understand. How did she know?" Ry voiced the question his wife was still having trouble articulating.

"Vesta told her." Axerod shrugged. "Apparently the serpent could tell the moment Zemi got pregnant. Congratulations, by the way. We have some things to discuss, but that can wait until later." He smirked and made his way toward the door, the camera now firmly back within it's container.

The Goblin stopped in the doorway before he turned around and flashed them a toothy grin.

"By the way, she wants to name him." With that Axerod was off to find his willful Niece and left two rather stunned Magicals behind to figure things out on their own.

Last thing he wanted was to be held for interrogation.

oOoOoOoOoOo

A/N: Late again? Yes. Chapter over 6,000 words? Yes! Forgive me? :)

Don't expect me to update more than once a month from here on ^^;; I will TRY and update more often, but I also wish to give my other stories some attention as well... Like finish Mine to Take and Harry Potter and the Strange Inheritance for instance. They are supposed to be rather short stories (comparatively speaking) so finishing a 10 (or so) chapter story before delving hardcore into a 50+ chapter one is probably a good idea XD lmao

EDIT: When I uploaded this to Doc Manager it said 6,666 words. I thought it rather funny (seeing as this chapter was being evil when I tried to get it out of my head) and decided to share. Hopefully you will get a laugh out of this as well :D lol