HEM is written exclusively by HiH users
Snow was thick in the air at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry - and it wasn’t the only thing. Festivity buzzed through the crowds of students, leaving trails of hummed carols, excited anticipation, and an excellent reason for the hardworking students slogging away at their classwork to exchange their quills and parchment for wrapping paper and ribbon.
The school was practically bursting with decorations. Holly was found draped over most available surfaces, everlasting icicles adorned banisters, mistletoe developed a habit of growing above the heads of unsuspecting students, and various suits of armor were found to occasionally blurt out rusty but jolly renditions of “God Rest Ye Merry Hippogriffs” and “Cast A Christmas Spell” to entertain the passing student.
And then the Christmas trees themselves. A dozen of them, towering magnificently in all their evergreen glory above the Great Hall, adorned with glittering ornaments and real, alive fairies. The latter fluttered cheerfully between the branches of the trees, earning a number of admiring gasps from the first-years when they saw them for the first time.
Finally, it was Christmas morning. After the piles of presents waiting enticingly at the end of each student’s bed had been thoroughly opened and enjoyed (and, in many cases, devoured), everyone bustled down to the Great Hall, sporting some item of clothing or another they had received as one of their presents.
The house and staff tables had been set aside for the holiday, since so many students had left to visit home over break, and instead two tables had been set up together, where both students and staff would sit. A group of first years were the first to arrive, and spot the heavily laden table, groaning under the weight of the feast that it held, as well as the number of wizard crackers scattered around the plates.
One of them, a young Gryffindor, had a number of siblings in the older years who had regaled him with tales of the splendid things to be found within the Hogwarts crackers, suggested that they pull one or two of them while they were waiting for the rest of their classmates and professors to arrive. The other first-years agreed excitedly - somehow or another, they’d all heard of the interesting prizes usually found within.
Between them, they pulled three crackers. Three bangs went of, like cannon blasts, and each of the first-years experienced a feeling rather like a bucket of cold, slimy molasses being dumped on them. Grimacing, they turned to each other to see that they were all covered with a greenish slime that stuck them firmly to the ground.
“Merry Christmas!” Peeves cackled, swooping out from behind a hanging. “Couldn’t let you lot have all the fun now, could I?” He dropped a candy cane on each of the students heads before swooping off.
Of course, the first-years exclamations of annoyance quickly drew the rest of the students and staff down to the Great Hall, where a few quick incantations by one of the professors was enough to remove the remnants of Peeves’ Christmas prank, free the students, and restore the crackers to their former glory.
Despite the one mishap, the rest of Christmas at Hogwarts went well, and every student finished the day with a the pleasant feeling of a holiday well-spent. Stomachs full, heads full of all the presents they had received and given, everyone slept well that night.