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Catherine Smith for Percival Adlard Jr..
The peppiest of widows~
This would have been very disturbing anyway but then Pet's eye popped out and started rolling along the bottom of the boat. Great. Maybe she would be so fortunate as to have a kraken surface nearby and pluck her off the ship with one of its tentacles and kindly drown her. Petra Sleptova in Land, Ho!
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Complete a thread started and set every month for twelve consecutive months. Each thread must have at least ten posts, and at least three must be your own.

Santa Claus is coming to town!
December 21st, 1889— Santas Grotto - Padmore Park

It was one his daughters who had asked him if he would volunteer to play the Santa for the children at the Christmas fair. Their families festive contribution has been to provide the sweet treats and oranges that would be given to the children as a gift from father Christmas, and the sacrifice of their Patriarch to play the role of Father Christmas himself. And it had taken very little coaking to get him to agree in fact the bearded head of Slytherin House had jumped at the chance! His wife had made had made up the costume for him, transfiguring robes to the appropriate shades of green, trimmed with ermine. It helped that it was a fine shade of Slytherin Green, that darling woman knew him so well.

Just after lunchtime on the saturday he had come down stairs bellowing 'Hohoho, Merry Christmas and know me better man!', to the delight of his younger children who had squealed in delight and thrown their arms around him. The family had spent some time enjoying Meserimus' costume before he had been ushered from the house to go about his Father Christmassy duties in the village.

As he had made his way across the square, the charmed sack over his back, and padding at his stomach to give him belly, where he had none, he waved and smiled at the children of the village on his way to the little wooden grotto that would serve as his shelter for the next few hours. He seated himself heavily on the gentlemans chair that had been appointed for Santa, festooned with holly and poinsettas to give it a festive touch.

Within moments, the door opened and the first visitor arrived.

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Bee is amazing
Ever since Billie had stumbled her way into Hogsmeade and the magical world, her dwindling belief in Santa had been rekindled. After all, in a world in which dragons and vampires existed, why not Father Christmas? Last year, Gideon had ensured they took part in everything festive; it had been the best holiday she had ever experienced. She'd even received gifts and was allowed to visit Santa Claus! In the past, Christmas had been marred by her mother's anger and long hours sat in a church. Her excitement for another, wonderful holiday was hard to contain.

However, some of the other children her age were starting to outgrow their childish beliefs, and they were pretty evenly divided between those who thought him to be real and a myth. Jimmy Fletcher, of course, took to mocking those who were dumb enough to still believe. She just had to know what was true. Her doubts were based in logic, but part of her just wanted to hang on. The loss of Santa would mean she'd have to grow up, and growing up meant it was nearing her Hogwarts days. So many things were meant to change, and she wasn't sure she was ready. After all, she had finally found a place she could be happy.

"Do ya think he's here, yet?" She whispered to a friend who met her query with a shrug.

Billie was never early for anything, but, this time, she was the first in line. Her thirst for answers has her nearly dancing in place. When it was finally her turn to go in, she entered at a rather fast scuttle that slowed once she laid eyes on him. He surely looked like Santa Claus. Her footsteps slowed as she drew closer.

"Hello, Mr. Santa Claus."

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Awesome signature by MJ!  Thank yoooou!
Meserimus smiled broadly at the first little visitor, opening his arms wide, inviting them inside. It was a boy, not much before Hogwarts age if he could be counted on to judge his age. Which in fairness was increasingly difficult for Meserimus when 15 merged into 25 and 60 into 80, trying to tell what age people were was difficult when you were nearly 140. But based on height, and the fact that he didnt recognise the boy Meserimus quessefd that in another year or so he would be seeing that little face looking up at him from the potions benches.

'Santa' he corrected the young man joking, 'my father was mister Santa Claus'. he gestured to his knee, or the small stool close by, either of which the children could choose to sit near him, in order to tell him all of desires for Christmas. 'I hope you're excited for the big day?' he enquired.

Adjusting his costume, and stroking the long length of his snow white beard, he looked down at the child over the rim of a pair of gold framed glasses. One of his daughters, dressed in a rather festive green gown, trimmed in ermin, and sporting an old fashioned white cap and apron fussed about as Santa's assistant. At only 20 she was unmarried, but rather deserious of a change of situation, she had had no offers but Meserimus was sure, that with her maternal way she wouldn't be too long in that state. In another world she might have made a fine wife to a man with children already. His daughter sweeped over, with the enchanted sack in hand, passing it to her father with an excited grin.

'You know when I was a lad muggles celebrated Christmas,' he explained. turning his attention back to the young person, and delving into his sack for one of the small string bags of marbles that were to serve as gifts for boys, and a small orange which was the sweet treat. 'it made Christmas very boring altogether!' he explained, 'and we wouldn't have anything like the sort of Christmas dinners we have now, and for a while all of Christmas was banned!' he told her very seriously, his daughter gave a small cough, a warning not to bore children. “I have a lot of stories about being a child because it was the last time I was interesting.” he said aloud, seemingly to Billie, but also so his daughter could hear.

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Bee is amazing
"You had a father?" She blurted out, and then immediately regretted it. Of course Santa ought to have a father. Where else would he have come from? "I...I mean. Was he like you?" What she wanted to know was if that meant his father had also been the embodiment of Christmas kindness.

Billie chose the nearby stool which she plopped onto with enthusiasm. While she was getting better about allowing those she trusted to touch her, strangers were another story. Even Father Christmas.

"Yes! Gideon said we might even go singing." Or, well, he likely meant that she could go with her friends, but she would definitely try her hardest to cajole him into joining the carols.

Perched on the stool, she watched Meserimus carefully. So far, he hadn't given her a reason not to believe, so she took what he was saying at face value. "Banned?! How come it was banned?" She eyed the sack curiously. "Muggle Christmas ain't even that fun or nothin'. It's all church and stuff. Magic Christmas is fun." At least that was her experience. Her mother was a staunchly religious person who outlawed anything remotely fun.

His last comment had Billie tipping her head to the side in confusion. "Huh? 'Course you're interesting."

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Awesome signature by MJ!  Thank yoooou!
’I did indeed’ he said, he had fond memories of his father and mother, but he remembered keenly that he had been longer without his parents than he had with them. ’He was a very good man, for his day, Fathers used to be a lot more strict than now’ he explained gently. ’Very kind, but strict.’ he gave his beard a long slow stroke.

He noted the choice of stool with interest, he had the look of a warey little creature, like a bird who had had one two many close calls with a cat, and he tried to look appropriately delighted as the little one explained they would go caroling. His children were excited for their new dresses, and the toys that would be found around their tree on Christmas morning, this little one wanted to go singing. How so innocent and utterly charming.

Meserimus let out a laugh, ’How very kind of you young one.’ Ordinarily he would have touseled the hair of the child affectionatly but he didn’t seem to want that sort of contact, so instead Meserimus leant back in his chair and continued with his story. ’Muggles thought that Christmas was too showy and not enough about church,’ he explained, trying very hard to find words to explain the interregnum, and the puritanical views which had rules some of his younger years. A period when Christmas, sport, music and plays were banned because they distracted the mind from God. ’I wasn’t allowed to send any presents to muggle children during that period.’ he explained with his fuzzy white eyebrows rising into his hair line as he explained the situation as it had been.

’What age are you now young one? Are you for school next year?’

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Bee is amazing
Billie tipped her head to the side as she listened to 'Santa' describe his father. Her only reference point was Gideon, and, well, he never struck her as a typical father. Then again, he hadn't exactly asked to become one. She assumed Santa knew what he was talking about and bobbed her head along to his words.

Her expression grew a bit sour at the mention of church. Her mother had been devoutly religious, and they had been who she had turned to when Billie started displaying magic. Their solution had been to try and beat it out of her, convinced she must just have some sort of devil in her. "Well, I'm glad that it ain't like that so much anymore. All those things are the fun things."

Billie's smile returned when Meserimus asked her age, and she proudly declared, "Ten!" Or, at least, that was her best guess. She wasn't exactly sure when her birthday was, since it was never celebrated, but her and Gideon figured it was likely in the spring. She'd know for sure when she received her Hogwarts letter.

She frowned slightly at the mention of school. She was simultaneously excited and petrified. She didn't want things to change when she'd finally found a place she loved, and she didn't want to be a girl. Gideon had made the decision long ago that she would have to become one again when it was time for school, and she'd been trying her hardest to make sure that didn't happen. Billie was also a bit skeptical that her remedial reading, writing, and simple maths would be enough to get her through. She was fairly motivated with it, but other children had been practicing for many more years.

"I...I guess."

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