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Loch Village

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[Nov. 27th, 2005|01:12 am]
Loch Village
Characters Involved: Everyone
Setting: The Village

Something peculiar happens at the end of the November. Without fail, every year, some marvelous transformation occurs across the United Kingdom. One autumn night the whole country goes to sleep, and by the following afternoon, festive holiday décor garnishes the cities, towns, and houses. In one night, the spirit of the season changes from longingly reminiscing about summer to fervently anticipating the end of December. The magical metamorphosis affects wizard and muggle community alike, changing the surroundings as suddenly as that singular strong wind which blows all the vivid hued leaves from their branches. It is as if people are trying to compensate for the lack of foliage, hanging their own colorful displays from every pole and wire in lieu of the bright orange leaves now withering on the grass.

Loch Village was no exception to this holiday phenomenon. Though it might have been one’s first response to think the sleepy little town would be prone to skimping on festive decorations, first glance out frosted window pane this early afternoon would reveal to any skeptic that the community had put forth as much effort as any large city in decking the streets. Evergreen garland dotted with bright red berries spiraled itself around every lamppost, making them appear giant spearmint candy canes lining the streets, while a simple enchantment made a halo of golden sparkles dance around the lanterns. Varying sized bulbs in holiday reds and greens, silvers and golds, were strung between the lamps at intervals – each orb handsomely unique. It seemed everywhere it had been tasteful to do so, a length of tinsel had been wrapped or a cluster of poinsettias had been tucked. And the adornments did not end with those supplied but the town itself. As if determined not to be outdone, most of the store keepers and private home owners took part in a self-imposed decorating “race to arms,” frantic to avoid being the last to bedeck their respective premises. The result was a mixture of elegant trimmings in perfect agreement with those along the streets and vastly over blown ornamentation which bordered on being eyesores. Sprigs of holly wreathed window frames, mistletoe dangled in doorways, and lines of little white lights dotted the eves in classic Christmas fashion. At the same time, there were spelled boughs of evergreen that blinked every color of the rainbow, gaudy toy soldiers three feet high which marched to clapping hands, and replicas of houselves in Santa hats that jigged and jingled bells at passing customers. Everywhere, people seemed in competition with each other to sport the best store front, though nothing could be done to top the center of town.

There, in the middle of the square, stood the tree. At fourteen feet tall, it was quite the site to behold, with each branch splayed and every limb perfect. Not as if any imperfection would have gone noticed anyway, what with all the ornaments on the tree. Strings of golden beads entwined the pine needles, twinkling like sun fire from the tiny sparkling orbs that cast their surroundings in a warm glow. Porcelain and crystal decorations hung next to large, magical snowflakes that would not melt; glass spirals of every color glinted in the light from a hundred fairies hiding in the limbs. Small bunches of silver bells peaked from between the green, and every gust of wind sent them swaying in a musical chime which became only a soft insinuation under the breeze. Tiny little red and gold finches, the tips of their feathers white as if touched with frost, darted from bough to bough, chirping in melody with the bells. There were pinecones and icicles, glittering balls and silver reindeer, gold tinsel and red garland. And at the very top, there sat a ceramic angel garbed in regal white and blue that had been enchanted to sing carols out across the plaza. It seemed as if anything that could be hung on a string – both magical and not – graced the evergreen’s boughs, and it must have been enchantment alone which kept the branches from sagging under the spectacular weight. Yet, every limb had been so well embellished and adorned that instead of looking overstuffed or crowded, it looked simply…

“Amazing.” Miss Hart had been spent most of this afternoon walking the streets and drinking in the holiday cheer. The finely decorated stores and houses had amused her enough, though one would have been hard-pressed to tell given the ever-present frigid look in her eyes. However, the grand tree had struck a chord within her, and the stoic front had cracked to give way to an expression of youthful marvel. She stood staring up at the magnificent sight, cupping a mug of peppermint coffee in her hands and suddenly growing extremely self conscious of the lone wreath gracing her front door.

From: kagen_mccree
2005-12-07 12:04 am (UTC)
"How... curious."

Curious is a adjective that, when used in this comment, means "Arousing interest because of novelty or strangeness." Of course, 'curious' is also a remarkably polite word, raking right up there with the likes of 'eccentric' and 'No, your new haircut looks fine.' When one says 'eccentric' one usually means 'Bizarre beyond all reason' and when one says 'No, your new haircut looks fine' one usually means... 'Bizarre beyond all reason.' Now, upon this fine winter day, Kagen McCree's word 'curious' meant and should have been replaced by the slightly less polite phrase 'What the hell is that?'

Kagen McCree was no stranger to excessive winter decorations; on the contrary, he expected them. He had been a student of Hogwarts, and the school was not one to skimp on the garland. This being so, he was not shocked, but thankful that the village had been decked out in such a way, for it reminded him simpler times. Caught up in the sights, sounds, and smells of Christmas, Kagen had wandered the village in a state of complete peace, and, while he was careful about keeping his merriment hidden behind that stoic mask of his, he could not quite strangle the hitch from his giddyup.

The young man had been pleasantly strolling across cobblestone streets, light eyes taking in every glorious sight, when he rounded a bend and stopped dead in his tracks.

"How... curious."

In the past, Kagen had taken a number of trips to the village. How could he not? A man had to eat. McCree had toured the winding cobblestone pathways on numerous occasions, and he thought he knew the little village quite well, however, this shop planted a wee seed of doubt in the back of the young man’s mind. It had been empty for the longest time, showing not even the slightest signs of inhabitance, and then, over night, the little establishment had burst to life.

Garland, strings of red and green beads, fat round ornaments, popcorn, fruitcake, wrapping paper, ribbons, and bows all dangled, wound, and wrapped their way around the face of the shop and circled a long rectangular window just to the left of the door. Tiny, tiny bursts of color also dotted the dangling greenery, and, taking them to be lights, Kagen leaned a bit closer to inspect them, only to have a little "light" poke its head out of the foliage and stare at him. It was a bird, small as his pinky finger and as bright as any candle.

As he leaned closer to inspect the creatures, which must have numbered in the hundreds, movement from within the shop caught his eye, and Kagen approached the large window to peek inside.

The interior of the shop was equally, if not more decked out than the exterior. Along with the assorted items that decorated the outside of the shop, the inside was alive with bright red and green creatures of all sorts, and, just beyond the window, brightly colored puppies and kittens romped and wrestled amongst one another, each one adorned with a festive golden bow.

The initial shock at seeing the shop had only just begun to fade when a grunt from behind him pulled his attention from the window, and he turned around to glance back. Across the street, lugging far more on her smallish person than seemed appropriate, a young woman all in brown was struggling with a heavy load of trunks, bags, boxes, and, balanced on the top of the pile, a round object covered with a small brown blanket.

Kagen stared at her for a long moment, watching her struggle along inch by laborious inch. This was usually the part where he ignored her and went back to his own business, after all, who was he to say that she should not be trying to heft such a load, to say that she needed a bit of help, perhaps the help of a fit, redheaded ministry worker? McCree shook his head to clear his thoughts and was about to turn to go when the woman's eyes caught his, holding him rooted in place.

McCree almost sighed aloud. He could not very well walk away now.
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