“So Mum sent you to check up on me, then?”
“How dare you! I came entirely on my own accord.”
“…Well, she may have suggested my coming, but I was already planning on it without her, or Leila’s, help.”
“I knew it! But, in reward for you grudging honesty, you can buy me an ice cream cone. I think that ought to settle matters.”
Two puffs of condensation appeared on the mullioned window of Loch Village’s local, and only, ice cream parlor as two people stood before it, staring inside, both smiling faintly. After all, it was a LeFay (and not at all a Kelly) tradition to get ice cream when it was just unashamedly unnatural to do so. The taller of the two, soft, feathery chestnut hair falling attractively across his handsome face, shoved his companion, a snort of laughter escaping, causing the window to fog even more.
“Cop on! I will do no such thing. You owe me one as a welcome to our pseudo home gift!”
“Kael…” the younger, auburn haired girl pleaded in a mock, beseeching voice, tugging at his coat sleeve like a child, her expression that of the utmost innocence. “Please?”
Staring down his nose, Kael, piercing blue eyes narrowed slightly as he took in the other, she staring just as determinedly back, finally let out a sigh, a cloud of air signaling his defeat. “Brat.” One staring at the pair, not knowing any better, would have thought him angry with her, but this routine had been done many a time. Clapping her hands happily, Arianna, laughing, threw her arms around him with a “I won! I want the chocolate peppermint swirl!” before disappearing into the parlor.
Ten minutes later, the pair, ice cream cones in hand, could be found strolling down the main road, decorations galore bedecking the surroundings. The crisp winter air, tiny flakes accompanying, swirled about them in breezes and gentle flurries. Arianna, her freckled cheeks pink from the cold air, was keeping up a running commentary as she pointed things out at random intervals, showing the assorted land marks of the town and commenting on the various passers by. “And she’s works at the Goat and Rose Inn. I’ve talked to her a few times when getting breakfast. Very nice, of course, but a bleeding Pollyanna at times. It’s sickening, especially in the early hours of the morning.” She muttered darkly, pale hued, lemongrass as she liked to call them, eyes flicking towards an older woman who just passed by them. “And that one there, on the left,” they moved towards a tiny clump of people, chatting near a lamp post, “works at the ministry. Heard him talking to a friend about it once. Magical Law Enforcement, if I’m not mistaken.”
“You are. Derek Jacobs of Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures.” Corrected her elder brother, scratching at his nose absently. “The bloke on the right is from Magical Law Enforcement.” As they passed the group, a few of the people nodded their heads or raised their hands at Kael in greeting.
“You know them from the office?”
“From the few times a year I’m there,” He chortled, having just waved in return, “Yes.”
The Christmas tree loomed before them, in the middle of town, glistening with faeries, lights, and snow. Licking the ice cream grasped in her hand, the younger LeFay smiled up at it, some of the shimmering reflected in her eyes. “It’s gorgeous, isn’t it?”
“They decorated too early. Everyone knows you decorate two days before and leave it at that.” Kael replied, but he too looked just as happy, if not in features alone, as his sister. It was amazing how such a small act as transforming a town to look like something out a story book could produce such results in people, even the snidest of the lot. The sudden return to child like innocence and awe as one could stand there, mouth agape in gleeful wonder.
With a sly grin, Arianna glanced up, asking, “Dingle doesn’t have even a bauble up yet, then?”
“Nah,” He replied, proudly, throwing an arm around her. “And neither will we. Damn the competiton, I say!”
“I’m sure Eimear and Leila will agree.”
“They’re coming too?” Getting only a devious grin in return, Arianna sighed, but looked pleased all the same. “It’s going to be another insane Christmas after all.”