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A Touch of Tinsel
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November 18th, 1890 — Ruskin Home; Evening

Sophie's lack of inclination toward religion had always faded somewhat around Christmastime. The lush scents of winter permeating the air, the crisp white snowfall, and - especially as a girl - the promise of presents. This year felt better than the last two. She had been stuck in the worst of mourning, a widowed mother with her young children in Canterbury.

This year, she was not only living in town - oh, she'd adored Hogsmeade since its founding - but was once more married, and better still, she was with child. There was a something in the air as she strode down the corridor, wand already in hand and a tune on her lips. It was time, at least, for the first decorations to make their way onto the walls. Nothing much, nor too fancy, but something that said "the holiday spirit has arrived." It might not yet be the heart of winter, but she certainly felt as though it had come early!

Oh, and she had so many gifts to purchase this year. Each of the children, Sherah, her younger sisters...and, of course, Martin. Small new things, and something old for each. Something that either had been hers as a girl, or, in Sherah's case, something that she had once bought for her sister during her infancy. She was so grateful that her mother had sent along the rattle, and felt it would be an interesting trinket to present her now-grown sister with.

Still, Sophie wouldn't be decorating the entire home today. No, the rest would wait until Chrysanta, Orinda, and Dunstan came home for holiday, but she wanted to get a jump on it.

The majority of her day had been spent hunting through the home for a box of decorations, stored aside to be used year after year. So upon finding it, she sat it open in a corner of the corridor and began using a combination of the Levitation Charm and a simple Sticking Charm to hang tinsel along the crown molding as she hummed Joy To The World.


[Image: agr8A1.jpg]
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Ariel had escaped the nursery. Well. Not exactly escaped but she had slipped out while Zail was otherwise occupied and since she'd done it with such purpose and with her violin in hand she'd been allowed to go. She was seeking a nice quiet place to practice away from people, or at least her little sister Gazardiel because Zail was too distracting and she wanted to get it right to show everyone (especially Orinda when she got home and who was so much better) how good she was and to be able to do that she had been told that to do that she needed to practice alot more.

She was seeking a nice, good spot to practice in when she came across her mother doing something very strange in the hall - it looked like she was decorating for a party though to do it with the shiny, sparkly stuff wasn't something Ariel was used to.

"Are we having a party?" She asked curiously and then realized that talking may result in her mother telling her to go back to the nursery and to her nurse even though she wanted to practice her violin.
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She was about to levitate another section into place when she heard her daughter's curious voice from behind her. Turning her head to smile at Ariel, she tried not to laugh. Of course Ariel would think it was party decorations. Anything she would recall of the season would be of nothing, save the tree that Sophie knew the groundskeeper had hauled in and the maid had decorated at the Sherington home in Canterbury. the home that was now, technically, Malachai's.

"Perhaps, but not today," she replied, returning her gaze to her task, affixing another section of sparkling tinsel into place against the crown molding. "No, this is...I learned this from my mother. The sooner one decorates for Christmas, the more joyful the season will be. And this year, I've finally caught the holiday spirit, as it were."

Sophie would never tell her daughter to return to the nursery for merely asking a question. She understood that her children were individuals, and curious at that. However. "What brings you out of the nursery, Ariel?"


[Image: agr8A1.jpg]
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