(1937-12-24) Christmas Eve on the Fawley Farm
Details for Christmas Eve on the Fawley Farm
Summary: Camilla, Bannon, Josie, and a rather mopey Lucian enjoy Christmas Eve dinner and some early gift-opening.
Date: December 24, 1937
Location: Fawley Farm
Related: Integrity, Personal Demons, 'Mother', Daughter Talk

Fawley Family Farm, Hogsmeade

Nestled between the Scottish Mountainside and the Forbidden Forest, at the end of a long long gravel road that stretches out a few miles between the end of Crook Road and the property of the Fawley Farm is the largest of the properties in the area and it takes up near 100 acres. It's a beautiful sprawling farm. The property is completely self sustaining with plenty of meadow for the livestock, fields and orchards for growing feed for both the animal and human residents, a brook with cool water that feeds the land and the livestock and a thicket at the edge of the forest and on the mountain rise to the north side of the property. While the Farmhouse with surround porch is relatively quaint all things considered built in the usual Tudor era style it is a two story work of whimsy.

The farm is a busy bustling place. The farm is used by the resident to house and care for creatures both mundane and magical that can not live in the wild or at the Zoo. All manner of species reside in special locations sprawled out over the 100 acre property. Behind the barn that's larger than the farmhouse is a newer addition to the property being a very small lake for marine animals. Quite like a small zoo in itself every species has it's own space that's been modeled to resemble their native habitat.

Camilla is in the kitchen canoodling with Bannon as she puts the last little touches on Christmas Eve dinner. "Josie, stop trying to peek at the presents. Pick one without cheating." She calls to her ward as she has turned to Bannon to smooth out his collar and lapels and preens him like a wife would before an event. "You. You've treated Lucian like shit. That boy is a good boy. But he's on the cusp, you mistreat him any more and you'll one day find him at the end of your wand. Swallow your pride, you did him wrong at the tournament. They were in danger. Just admitting you were wrong sincerely will go a long way into restoring things with him. The man I know and love isn't the sort that does what you did to that young man." She looks into his eyes and it's clear that their own relationship is hinged on his behavior towards Lucian. "There we are." She smooths one little wrinkle on his shoulder and then leans in to kiss him. "Go make sure our daughter isn't cheating. Tell her to go track down Lucian. Dinner is ready."

Between the journal from Ophelia and the grappling-gun that arrived from Phae via Gizmo earlier in the day, Josie's already got more presents than she's gotten in a single Christmas in her entire life. The fact that there's more waiting for her has her quite excited and curious. She doesn't cheat, but she's looking like she wants to. She's pacing back and forth between the dining room and the presents. At Camilla's call, she asks, "I can pick one now?"

Lucian has walked up to the house, and back to the stable, and back to the house about half a dozen times now. He can see the lights and the tree through the windows of the house. He can hear the Christmas cheer, smell the roasting feast. Christmas hasn't been a favourite time of year for a long time now. But every time he nearly makes it back to the stable, he imagines Josie…who has probably never had a proper Christmas. Josie, who he figures had it worse than he did. Josie, who needs proper guidance so she doesn't turn into another cocky Gryffindor. So he never quite makes it before he's turning back toward the house again.

Lucian has walked up to the house, and back to the stable, and back to the house about half a dozen times now. He can see the lights and the tree through the windows of the house. He can hear the Christmas cheer, smell the roasting feast. Christmas hasn't been a favourite time of year for a long time now. But every time he nearly makes it back to the stable, he imagines Josie…who has probably never had a proper Christmas. Josie, who he figures had it worse than he did. Josie, who needs proper guidance so she doesn't turn into another cocky Gryffindor. So he never quite makes it before he's turning back toward the house again. <re>

Bannon shakes his head to Camilla, his jaw hardening, "I did no such thing. What do you honestly think I did to him? I made a judgment involving another competitor that had no effect on him except that he was involved in the initial dispute. My reasoning behind the decision was sound as well. I didn't make him quit the tournament. That was a decision he made on his own accord, after he made a thinly veiled accusation of me rigging the tournament for Gryffindors. The worst thing I said to him, I apologized for. There's nothing more I can do for him, Camilla. If he ends up at the end of my wand, he'll have placed himself there." He turns from her for a moment, placing his hands on the kitchen counter to glare out the window until he continues, "That won't happen however. I could no more go after Lucian than you can. I'm not uncaring towards the boy, but I've done all I can do." The last is said with an air of finality to that. He turns from the counter, making his way towards the door with a nod. He stops at the door, forcing a smile to his face and then rounding the corner out of the kitchen, "Josie, you only picked one, right? Go call Lucian in to dinner. It's ready."

Camilla growls, "Och! You prideful arrogant…you told him that he was perfectly safe. You lied to him. Told him that the killing curse wouldn't have been able to hurt him. Your bravado reminds him of his father. You know the abusive arrogant prideful arsehole that's after my job now that I took his prized toys away from him. Don't get cross with me because I'm trying to help an abused mistreated young man feel like this is someplace he can feel safe, and learn that not all families work like his do. Right now he sees you as no different as his father. Just swallow your pride and show him the man I love, not the man he despised. Please Bannon." She's mostly speaking as quietly as she can so that he'll hear her, but Josie won't as she sets the dining table. "Just one. Hurry and get Lucian honey. This roast won't eat itself." She calls.

Josie is pretty perceptive, she can sense the tension if not the reason for it. She bites her lip, looking up to Bannon, but nods and obediently picks out a present, then runs to the front door, opening it to yell outside, "Lucian! Dinner's ready!"

Lucian had just determined to head back to the stables to spend the evening with Dragon, when Josie's voice summons him. He sighs, turning to look over his shoulder and see the girl in the open doorway. There's no way to get out of it now…and he's not sure he wants to. "Be right there," he calls out to her. He casts a glance skyward, as if searching for something, then kicks the dirt and starts for the house.

Bannon turns back towards Camilla, shaking his head, "That was exaggeration to make a point. I had no idea he was oversensitive to it." He then shakes his head, exasperated, "Camilla, I can show him Charlie Chaplin and all he'll see of me is what he wants to. That boy has things to work through that having me around is counter-productive to. I'll leave you to him for the rest of the holiday. Work with him through his issues with his father, at least then I will have a leg to stand on." He walks over to the table, looking out across the spread and a genuine smile comes to his face, "I haven't had a home cooked meal with a family in over eighteen years."

Camilla moves over to give Bannon a kiss on the lips to show him that it's only skin deep for the moment. "He needs to be shown. Stay around, don't press. Let him see you with Josie. Lucian is very very sensitive. You didn't know then, you know now. I know that you can do this. I don't want to be without you. Just be the man I know. That's all. I love you." She then smiles when the kids come in and she gestures to the table. Where there's a traditional Scottish Christmas Feast laid out. Roast Turkey, served with Roast Potatoes, Roast Parsnips, chestnut stuffing, bacon rolls and chipolata sausages, Brussels sprouts, carrots, peas served with gravy, bread sauce and cranberry jelly. On the buffet behind Bannon's end seat is the Christmas Pudding along with the condiments to go with: brandy butter, rum sauce, custard and fresh cream. Bannon sits on one end, she gestures for Lucian to sit at the other head of the table while she and Josie gets the table sides. "Josie, would you like to start us with a toast?" Yes even the kids get wine tonight.

Josie quickly moves back to the table, hopping slightly to get into her seat. She smiles up to Bannon at his words, and says, "Six years for me." Even with the feasts she's eaten at Hogwarts, she looks impressed by the food on display here. She blinks at Camilla's words, but picks up her glass. "Umm. To being together!"

When Lucian gets into the house, he hovers at the door, uncertain. If he sits with them now, it'll be the first meal he's shared with this family. He's spent his time here in self-imposed exile, and now he's among them. There is a moment of hesitation, when it looks like he might turn around and head back into the night. But Josie's words stop him dead. His eyes go to the girl — her innocent, eternal optimism despite all that she's suffered. They shift to Camilla — the woman that has consistently stood by him, and stood up for him, even when he's been awful to her…and he knows it. Then to Bannon. Whatever he may have said to the man, the two of them fought side by side in a life-or-death struggle. That does something to a person. With a heavy breath, Lucian lays aside his indecision, and quietly assumes his place at the table, and lifts his glass to honour Josie's toast.

Bannon has not quite found his seat yet. Rather, he stands next to it until he espies Lucian at the door. With a smile, Bannon beacons him in and gestures to the chair across from him, "We've been waiting for you Lucian. Come in. Like Camilla said, this roast isn't going to eat itself." Bannon takes his seat then as well, listening to Camilla as she leads Josie to the first toast. He raises his glass, taking a sip of his wine and then setting it down. He smiles towards his daughter, "Well done, Josie. First toast?"

Camilla toasts her glass with a big warm smile. "Being together. I love you all. This could have been a very lonely Christmas for me. But it's turned out to be one of the greatest Christmas' of all. To those that aren't at this table but none the less are here with us in our hearts. Ashley Davies, Margaret Fawley-Kwaito, Zuberi Kwaito, Craig and Agatha Fawley, you are loved and remembered." She then looks towards Lucian. "Would you like to add a toast before Bannon wraps us up?"

Josie smiles happily when Lucian moves to sit down. She sips her drink after her own toast, and nods quickly to Bannon with a smile. "Yeah." She raises her glass and then sips again after Camilla's toast, her smile faltering a little at the mention of her mother and others that have been lost.

Lucian furrows his brow, considering carefully what he'd like to say. Camilla's sentiment seems to touch him, as he adds, "To Ria Sykes, the first person who ever believed in me." There a tangle of emotions in his eyes, as at least Camilla knows that Ria has been out of contact, which has only made Lucian's personal ordeal harder.

Bannon smiles, "Well you did quite well, Josie. Well done." He follows along with the toasts, giving a 'here, here' to Camilla's toast, and toasting Ria Sykes as well. He clears his throat, and raises his glass, "This evening, I raise a toast to my family." He looks towards Camilla, his glass moving through the air to indicate her, "Camilla Fawley, it brings me so much joy to walk through this world with you. Mere mortal words could never express it. In many ways, you are my conscience, my guiding light in this unfamiliar world of love, warmth and family. You are, and forever will be, irreplaceable in my life."

He then moves his glass to indicate Lucian, his eyes measuring Lucian over the edge, but are no less sincere for it, "Lucian Proudmore, there are men who have stood by my side for twenty years and more who did not stand by my side through the levels of adversity that you did that fateful day we were attacked in Hogsmeade. That day, I placed my faith in you when I placed my greatest treasure in your hands. I have not ever regretted placing my faith in you. It is true that you and I have philosophical differences, and that we argue. I want you to know that so many families do, and good ones at that! Because even philosophical differences are no bounds to that strong stuff which ties good families together. You have been here for my family, for our family, and I have faith that you will continue to be a good man, who fights for what he believes in, and is successful in all endeavors."

He then turns his glass to Josie, lowering it slightly so he can look her in the eye, "Josie Davies, I still feel as if I know so little about you, and yet I am certain that you are my greatest accomplishment in addition to my greatest treasure. I know your mother is looking down upon you, so proud of who you are growing up to be. I know this because I look upon you know, also so proud of who you are becoming. We were of like mind on so many things, your mother and I. I know that I will cherish the many years I hope we have together. So many, that the first ten that I've missed will seem like a drop of water in the vastest ocean."

He finally raises his glass higher, "To my…" He pauses, tilting his head to the side in quiet contemplation. He then shakes his head, "I'm so sorry. That is not quite right." He raises his glass a little higher now, "To _our_ family, whom I will love and cherish until the last breath leaves my body… Happy Christmas." He takes a sip of his wine and then lowers his glass, "Now let's eat."

Camilla looks upon Bannon with such respect and adoring as he gives his toast. As he toasts her she reaches over to slide her hand into his free hand and give it a squeeze and caress. When he's done she stands up just enough to lean over and kiss him after she's drunk to his toast. "Thank you. To our family." When she sits down her hands then reach for Lucian and Josie's hands. "Happy Christmas." Then she moves to slide the roast with knife and fork towards Bannon. "Lucian would you pass the sprouts please? We'll pass counter clockwise."

Josie smiles happily at the toast, even more so when Bannon gets to her, nodding in agreement when he mentions how much time they'll have together. She raises her glass and sips again, then puts it down as Camilla reaches for her hand. "Happy Christmas!"

Lucian is the last to drink — not out of any disrespect, but because he is starting at Bannon, momentarily stunned. He drinks, and manages a slight, respectful nod. Camilla's hand on his comes as a surprise, and he mumbles something that might be "Happy Christmas." He may not be the cheeriest person at the table, but it's certainly a step up from avoiding human contact. He serves himself a spoonful of Brussels sprouts, then passes them as asked. Still silent, he cautiously watches the adults for his cues. The closest he has ever come to a dinner like this has been Hogwarts, which isn't exactly the intimate family setting this is.

Bannon returns Camilla's and nods his head, "Of course, my dear." He chuckles as the roast is passed to him, taking up a large fork and a knife to begin carving the roast, "Camilla, are you sure I simply can't transfigure this into a sliced roast?" He shoots a quick glances towards Josie, smiling slightly, then adds to her, "Bring your plate over, Josie." The first slice goes to her, and the second goes on his own plate. He continues to cut several more slices, preparing them for the next member of the family to take one. He places the knife and fork on the platter, and moves it along counter-clockwise, either placing it next to Camilla or moving around Josie to place it next to Lucian. He is back in time to catch the next item of food handed to him, beginning to spoon out potatos and bacon rolls onto his plate before passing that one off as well.

After dinner as everyone is digesting and making room for the Christmas Pudding, Camilla passes out the one present that everyone has picked out for themselves. "You know it was a very very rare Christmas in the Fawley house that we actually didn't just open up every present under the tree. We always promised ourselves 'just one'. But then poof! All gone before we new it. So…who's your present from? Mine's from…" She checks the gift tag…

Camilla opens the tag and beams, "Josie!" With a happy little sound she starts to open up her present from Josie.

Josie grins and sits back, and looks back to Camilla. "Oh, brilliant," she says cheerfully when Camilla picks hers. Inside the package Camilla opens is a locket. A cheap one, of course, given Josie's lack of money, but she says, "It's so you can have pictures of us, even when dad's away with work and Lucian and me are at school." And then she goes to get her own pick, and comes back, "It's from dad!"

Lucian is looking more embarrassed than sullen now. What little money he had from his stipend has long since been depleted on Hogsmeade weekends and gifts for Ria, leaving him nothing for Christmas presents. "I'm…sorry. I didn't get anyone anything." The shame is enough that he hasn't dared choose a present for himself.

Bannon laughs and shakes his head, "Think nothing of it, Lucian. We're all very happy you could join us for Christmas. Your presence is gift enough." He moves over to the pile of gifts, picking one of them out and then walking over to Lucian, "Here you go, lad. This is from all of us. Happy Christmas, Lucian." Upon opening the heavy present, it is revealed to be a book entitled 'Long Odds: The Life and Times of Alberta Toothill.' He then turns to watch Josie open her present, which is also a book, this one entitled 'Twenty Troubleless Transfigurations'. When she opens it, Bannon adds, "Let me know if you have any difficulties with the words, alright?"

Camilla is trying very hard not to cry as she puts the locket on immediately. She's acting like it's truly gold and diamond encrusted. "I'll never take it off." She stands to round about and give Josie a great big snuggle. Kissing the top of her head she gives the girl one more big squnch. "I love you. Happy Christmas." Then she looks over when Bannon picks a present for Lucian. She moves over to him and gives his shoulder a squeeze and his hair a little affectionate ruffling. "So who minds if I give Lucian my present to him tonight too?" She leans down to whisper to him. "You being here is all I need to have a merry night Lucian. Thank you for giving us this chance. For the rest of the night she'll be happily and fondly toying with her locket.

Josie hugs Camilla when she comes around the table, smiling happily again at her reaction. Then, grinning, she quickly tears open her own present. She blinks and reads the title aloud, something that doesn't take nearly as long as it would have taken her a few months ago. "Thanks, dad!" She smiles and says, "I will, I promise. But I've been getting lots and lots of practice at school."

Lucian takes the gift with a hint of reluctance, but have no desire to insult anyone, he accepts, and peels back the paper to reveal the book. For a moment, he stares blankly at the cover, scanning the title. He shuts his eyes, for a moment, taking a deep breath and saying softly, "Thank you." Whatever is going through his head is interrupted by Camilla's affection, which manages to draw a meager smile at the corners of his lips. He glances over at Josie's present, and gestures to the book. "Hey, we should practice together."

Bannon nods to Lucian, "You're welcome. Please enjoy it." He then looks towards Josie, "You're welcome as well. As a matter of fact, what Lucian said isn't a bad idea. If you have a more experienced wizard nearby, that would do wonders for your ability to learn them perfectly."

Camilla having heard no objections to Lucian getting another present she instead of getting one. Gets Three and one goes to Bannon, one goes to Lucian, one goes to Josie. For Josie inside a small box is a silver bracelet that is an ID bracelet, four names are inscribed on charms that dangle from the chain here and there. Each charm looking progressively old. The Oldest is engraved with the name Agatha, the second the name Margaret, the third - Camilla. The newest charm, the fourth is engraved with Josephine. "This bracelet was first worn by my grandmother until she gave it to her daughter, then my mother gave it to me. It's your turn to have it." For Bannon it's a cane, a silver fox head with the rest of the handle sculpted like knotted wood. "This was my grandfather's." She leans over to kiss Bannon before it's finally Lucian's turn. "My father gave this to my mother for their wedding present because the poem reminded her of my grandparents and it helped her feel at home so far away. I hope that you keep it with you and know however far you might go, what ever dragons you might fight. You have a home here. I found it in the attic. It reminded me of You, Dragon and your Lady." Lucian's present is a knight on top of a Hippogriff rescuing a scantily clad maiden from a 'dragon'/'sea serpent'. In the base is a small drawer with the poem of Orlando Furioso within it.

Josie nods quickly to Lucian's offer, still smiling brightly, "Yeah! That'd be great!" Her attention is back on the book, peeking inside a moment until Camilla hands out more presents. She puts the book down and opens her new present just as eagerly. She looks a little confused at first glance. Once she sees the names, and Camilla explains it, though, she's smiling again and hops to give Camilla another hug. "Thanks!"

Lucian lifts the lid from the box, eyes going wide as he takes in the statuette inside. He lifts it as carefully as if it were a sand sculpture about to crumble apart. "This…is fantastic," he breathes. He looks up to Camilla with an expression not often seen on his face: humility. "Thank you."

Bannon receives the gift of a new walking stick from Camilla, looking over it carefully before he sets it aside and gathers Camilla into his arms, "It's beautiful. Thank you so much!" He releases her and turns back to his seat, picking out Josie's present now. He unwraps it, his eyes looking over the device and then smiling towards Josie, "Thank you so much!" He sighs, sitting back for a few minutes while everyone looks over their gifts before he clears his throat, "How about some two-a-side Quidditch?"

Camilla hmms and smiles and sneakily gets out of Quidditch by offering up, "Or, who wants Dessert!?" She claps and then serves her family the christmas pudding, simply cut into fourths for each of them.

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