“I found some wool for Mrs. Weasley!” I said excitedly as I took it out of one of the desk drawers.
“Magenta light worsted knitting wool! I think Mrs. Weasley will be quite pleased,” Rowan replied with a voice full of joy.
“I wish I could get them something myself…” I said. It would be nice to get them something memorable, something that would make them happy.
“The Christmas Feast starts soon. What do you want to do for Mr. and Mrs. Weasley?” Rowan wondered.
To be fair, they should be arriving fairly soon, and I don’t have much time to think. Maybe… maybe I could introduce her to them…
“I should bring someone special. The more the merrier, especially during the Christmas holidays.” I answered with a cheeky smile.
“But hardly anyone is left at Hogwarts besides our friends, and they’ll already be going…” Rowan said confusedly. Apparently, he didn’t expect that I’d be asking her to join us.
“There’s one other person…” I replied with a semi-serious look, trying to hide the slight grin from my friend.
I hope that she’ll agree to join us during the feast. After all, it would make everyone happy… I thought to myself as I was leaving the Common Room. I know that most of my friends dislike her, and for a good reason, but I couldn’t stand to have her all alone while the rest of us are having fun. It simply wouldn’t be right.
I took another glance at the corridors as I was walking. They were so empty… so quiet… so… lonely… No, I can’t let her stay in sorrow and solitude… all alone. I have to do something. Now that I think of it, it might be a bit selfish of me to do this, but I am sure my friends won’t mind. I mean, no one should be alone at Christmas.
But will she be willing to join the feast? What if she simply declines my offer? Perhaps I could do something special to persuade her. But every time I am near her, I get so nervous… My legs start shaking, and my mind gets all fuzzy. What if I say something stupid…
And then it hit me. That’s it, she likes to sing. She was pretty happy with the songbook I gave her. Maybe if I write her a song, she’ll agree to join us… And I can do that alone, clear of any distractions. Perhaps… yes, the Artefact Room! I hurried there, determined to put my plan into fruition.
Since Ben was spending his Holidays back home, the Artefact Room was empty. I took my notebook and quill and I started writing.
“The snowflakes are slowly falling on the ground,
Creating a wonderful snowy curtain.
Everything’s so quiet, there’s not even a sound,
Other than my heart whispering I should be certain
that without you, Christmas won’t be the same.
Every time you’re near me, my heart is rushing,
Every time someone mentions your name,
I cannot hide the fact that I’m blushing,
Nor can I pretend that I don’t care.
Even if they start to ponder,
Even if they start to stare,
I just cannot help but wonder,
How joyful it would be to have you by my side,
During this year’s Christmas feast.
I understand that you are full of pride,
But please, consider this at least.
I am aware that chances are small,
I know that some dreams just don’t come true.
But regardless of that, I’ll be in Great Hall,
Waiting for the one and only – you.
Will she like it? Hmm, I can’t really say. I never asked her what sort of songs does she like. I should’ve checked that songbook that I gave her earlier. Now is too late I guess… I’d better go see her before Mr. and Mrs. Weasly arrive.
I quickly took the page with a song and placed it inside my pocket. Hopefully, I’ll get a good opportunity to give it to her. It’s time to meet her at the Courtyard. I had a feeling that each step took longer than the previous one. The eternity passed before I finally arrived at the Clocktower Courtyard. And there she was… staring at the sky. She had her back turned to me. It didn’t take long until she realized I was there. She quickly turned and gave me one of her usual greetings.
“What are you doing here, Edwards?” she said with a calm, cold voice.
“I was going to ask you the same thing.” I quickly replied. “Why are you out here in the freezing cold all by yourself?”
“I don’t want to talk about it. Especially with you,” she answered with an icy tone.
“That’s fine. I just wanted to see if you’d eat with us at the Christmas Feast…” I said, hoping she’d say yes.
“Why?” she asked, clearly confused at my sudden question.
“Because I’d hate to see anyone all alone on Christmas,” I answered. Especially you, I thought to myself, but didn’t dare to say it out loud.
“I hate to see you at all,” she said, with a voice full of disappointment.
Did she expect some different answer? Perhaps she wanted to see if I would be honest and tell her the real reason I’m here. I was so scared… I wanted to say it, but the words just couldn’t come out…
“Come on, Merula…” I said as I was trying to pull myself together.
“I can’t go to the Christmas Feast until I cast the Snowflake-Making Spell. It’s… a tradition,” she calmly replied.
“Will you teach it to me?” I quickly asked, hoping to change the awkward subject.
“Will you leave me alone if I do?” she asked, with a cold, serious tone.
That question pierced my chest like a spear. So much it suddenly started to hurt. More and more with each passing moment.
“If that’s what you want…” I slowly answered…
“Fine…” she said. The tone of her voice suggested that she can’t wait to get rid of me. “I suppose I owe you something for getting me that songbook…”
You don’t owe me a thing. Seeing you smile as you opened that present was the greatest gift I could ask for. I couldn’t get myself to say those words. I wanted to… so much, but I was just standing there, terrified.
“The Snowflake-Making Spell is a Weather-Modifying Charm. Obviously,” she started lecturing me while she was pointing the wand movements I should make.
“I’ve used this spell since I was a little girl, so you should be able to work it out,” she continued.
I couldn’t say if she was boasting or just pointing that this charm is really easy to learn. Perhaps it was a bit of both.
Occasionally, I was staring at her, instead of watching my movements. She was so cute while lecturing me. I should mind my form. I don’t want something other than snow falling from the sky.
“I think you have it, Edwards. Try casting the Snowflake-Making Charm…” she said after a while.
I waved my wand just as she showed me and then, the snowflakes slowly started falling around us. It truly was a magnificent sight to behold.
I noticed that she was watching it with a lot of focus. Now is the time, I thought to myself as I quickly slipped the page with a song inside one of the pockets in her robe.
“Not bad, Edwards. Not bad…” she said, proud of her teaching skills. I guess she would make an excellent teacher, should she decide to pursue that career. I could imagine students fearing her even more than Professor Snape, which made me chuckle slightly.
“Why didn’t you go home for the Christmas holidays, Merula?” I asked her, trying to understand the reason she stayed at Hogwarts.
“I don’t have anything to go home to…” she calmly replied. “My parents are in Azkaban… My house is empty…” she stated the obvious facts that I clearly didn’t think of.
“My life is ruined…” she continued.
I could see tears slowly forming in her eyes. Apparently, I touched a very sensitive subject. Dylan, you fool, why did you ask her that! Now’s too late to undo that question.
“My mum taught me that spell when I was just a little girl, and we’d use it every Christmas.” She said, with tears slowly dripping down her cheeks.
“It’s the only spell she ever taught me that couldn’t be used to hurt someone.” She added.
Now I could clearly hear her sobbing. I am such an idiot… I should’ve never asked her this…
“I’m sorry, Merula,” I said quietly as if trying to atone myself for making her sad.
Suddenly, her expression changed completely.
“I don’t want your pity, Edwards. I just want to be left alone…” She said to me, with a voice full of anger.
I ruined it… I ruined everything… Just why did I ask her that question. I’m such a fool.
“I wish you’d come with me to the Christmas Feast…” I said, with a desperate voice, trying one last time to convince her to join the celebration.
“We don’t always get what we wish for, Edwards.” She replied, this time with a calm, icy-cold tone.
“Happy Christmas.” She added.
I am certain that she doesn’t want to see me again. I wish I could somehow turn back time and undo what I’ve done… but I cannot.
And then she slowly walked away. I watched her as she was leaving the Courtyard when I felt something wet on my cheeks…