A little Christmas Gift to all the wonderful readers out there... FLUFF BOMB INCOMING!
Upon the night of the twenty-fourth in the chilly month of December, there was a strange and eerie stillness that fell over the magical beacon that was Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Not a creature stirred in the various halls and rooms of the castle, not house elf, nor portrait. Neither ghost, nor poltergeist. The castle hummed with magical energy that fuelled the various decorations which gave off enough light that should Father Christmas appear, he could walk safely around.
The students were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of games and feasts played out in their heads. All but two that is, in the Gryffindor Common Room two students had curled up in front of the fire to enjoy a companionable silence on this night of magic and mystery the world over. Hermione was curled around one of her texts, having spent the night studying, while Harry was nearby, a freshly finished assignment turned into an improvised pillow. The two were resting peacefully with their backs pressed against each other, a habit they had taken to using when studying after the Twins had pranked them. This way they could study and keep watch.
Their slumber was cut short when a clatter from the roof stirred them from their rests. Their wands were out before they could realize what was happening, as the noise continued, they sprang from their comfortable place and rushed over to the windows to look and see what new threat was attempting to get at Harry and/or Hogwarts now. What they found when they reached the windows left them gawking.
A silver light was cast upon the scene below as the moon shone over the freshly fallen snow. The reflection of the moonlight gave an illusion of midday to everything they saw before their eyes. After a moment, they found what had been added to the scene which might cause the noise they had woken to hearing. There was an open sleigh nested upon the roof of a hallway, a sleigh with a bright red paint job and golden adornments. At its reins were nine deer which pranced in place as though impatient, however they could make a soft red glow about the lead deer.
Even as they watched, a man appeared out of thin air with nary a whisper of noise. Despite his girth and the long snow white beard, he sprang into the sleigh with an energy that they might have expected from a child of five. Only one thought ran through their heads as he cried out names that were immortalized in songs that burrowed into the mind of all who heard. 'No way... it's Santa!'
"Now Dasher! Now Dancer! Now Prancer and Vixen! On Comet! On Cupid! On Donner and Blitzen! Follow Rudolph to the top of the tower, over the great wall! Now dash away! Dash away all!" the rotund man sang out in a merry voice that should have woken the entire castle, before the reindeer sprinted off the hall and rose in the air towards the very tower where the two observers had been resting in.
As the sleigh rose, in defiance to the large sack of gifts and the driver's own weight, snow drifted off of it almost lazily. As the sleigh vanished from sight, the pair whirled around, to find St. Nicholas leaning against the mantle of the light fireplace with a smirk. He was dressed all in what looked like dyed fur, from the red cap to the white tufts of his shiny black boots. They could tell that he had once been a sight both majestic and clean, however now there was nary an inch of his clothes not dusted with ashes and soot. On his back was a worn sack nearly bursting at the seams with wrapped gifts and presents.
Oh how his eyes twinkled as he regarded them both with a deep chuckle that caused his belly to jiggle like a bowl filled with jelly. The cold couldn't be the only explanation for the bright red of his cheeks and nose, though the huge smile behind his beard might help with that mystery. He put a finger to his lips for a moment before turning towards the tree that had been set up in the Common Room. Several packages went under the evergreen, while a few drifted behind the old man and lowered themselves into the stockings that had been hung there.
Once all the gifts had been placed, the man turned towards them with another chuckle as a finger settled in next to his nose. A quick nod later, and he was up the chimney with nary a whisper. They could almost see him spring into his sleigh, and heard him give a sharp whistle before everything flew off light as a feather. As they made it back to the windows, they could hear him cry out loudly again. "Merry Christmas to all! And to all a good-night!"
Silence once again settled upon the castle. Hermione leaned her head on Harry's shoulder, pulling against him in a hug as his arm curled around her. The two of them knew that they had witnessed something magical, even to the Wizarding World, and they didn't feel like ruining it by speaking. It would be something just for the two of them to share, and that was good enough for them.
As they tried to walk away, they found themselves trapped by some invisible force. Looking around they tried to figure out what had caused the problem, only to find it when they looked above them. Somewhere in all the decorations, someone had placed a sprig of mistletoe above the window.
Harry gave her a soft smile as he leaned in and whispered, "Merry Christmas, Hermione."
"Merry Christmas, Harry," Hermione answered as she closed the distance to kiss him, cancelling the spell of the mistletoe.