(1938-12-05) Oh Christmas Tree
Details for Oh Christmas Tree
Summary: Student decorate the Great Hall Christmas tree for the Holidays
Date: December 5, 1938
Location: Great Hall

Braziers that hang by chains from the beaks of griffin gargoyles that line the walls where they meet the high vaulted enchanted ceiling offer warm illuminating blazes. Four long tables are evenly spaced with the heads of the table at the north and south of the room. Each table has a cloth runner down the center and a plush rug underneath of the different House colors indicating to which house the table belongs.
The most westerly table is the Slytherin table. Beside them is the Ravenclaw table. The Gryffindor table is then between the Ravenclaw table to the west and the Hufflepuff table which is the most easterly table. One other table along the northern wall up on a dais for the Professors to sit at and look over all four of the other tables. Also on the dais is one lectern gilded in gold with an owl spreading it's wings at the top of the lectern. Candles line the tops of the owl's wings to illuminate anyone speaking at the lectern. A stool like protrusion comes out of the lectern as well as that's where the first years sit when they are sorted.
There are three sets of doors in the Great Hall. The main exit and entrance that leads to the Entry Hall is a large set of double wooden doors carved with vines and flanked by high stone pedestals each set with a small brazier above the stony 'H' carved in the pedestal. On the eastern wall is a much smaller door just next to the dais that's attached to the antechamber the first years come up from the lake through. Lastly one other door is set into the northwest corner behind the High Table.
As always high above within the obscured stone and wood cathedral like buttresses and crockets the outside weather is reflected in an illusion with all the sound and visuals of the weather, just without the actual effects of it.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Hogwarts! Or at least that's the point of all this. Sometime after dinner the Great Hall as been cleared and all that remains is one lovely evergreen tree at the head of the room. It's only about 15 ft in height and completely devoid of decorations. The ornaments in fact sit in various crates and boxes around the front of the hall. They glitter and gleam in different colors. You have your basic tinsel, ribbon and glass bobules. But there are random decorations as well - live figurines of happy gnomes, croaking frogs, angels dolls whose wings flutter. To get people in the decorating spirit, the sound of wizarding carols echo throughout the room, and Professor Beery has somehow made it snow inside the high ceilinged room. it's nothing but fake snow though, which leaves the cold element out of it. Snacks of all kinds are on each house's table - ciders, cream puffs, cheese and crackers - should anyone get hungry while decorating OR should anyone like to decorate their tree with food! (Not recommended highly perishable)

Ria Sykes is standing with Professor Beery and Aczel as well as Madam Patil chatting away over cider as student pour in.

Andromena enters the Great Hall with Alphard at her side, the pair walking in that slow, meandering nature of youths in no particular rush to go anywhere. Whatever they had been talking about as they'd come through the doors was soon at its end, with Andromena peering upwards to watch the ensorcelled snow flutter ever-downwards. Shortly thereafter she begins to take in the hall as a whole; the tree, the various assorted snacks, as well as the accumulated decorations.
"Let's go say hello to Ria?" Andromena suggests, directing her steps towards the prefect. Alphard would be allowed to go wherever he pleased, of course, but Andromena intended to sneak a greeting to the other girl regardless.

"You go. I'm going to stand here visualizing what the tree should look like," Alphard said. Was he serious? Of course he was. He folded his arms over his chest, jutted his chin just so, and started making plans for the tree. Obviously it was going to end up looking just like he wanted it to, regardless of everybody else's opinions. Right?

Wrong. And who better to convey that truth than Jenny Solomon herself? In she flounced, clean scrubbed and still sporting that shiner on her left cheek like it was some twisted badge of honor for all of her worldly accomplishments. Just as content with the world now, as she had been earlier. Of course Alphard isn't hard to miss, neither is Andormena and it's the latter to whom Jenny waves as the girl gones off further in Ria's direction. Leaving Jenny siddling in alongside Alphard with a, "What are you trying to do, stand there and stare it to death?"

Uniform aside, Elizabeth looks a little peculiar, wearing a rich blue santa hat on top of her jet black braided head. Blue, obviously, for the colors of her house, but she's in the spirit of things. Or at least as much as the quiet bookworm can be. She stares up at the tree thoughtfully (not like Alphard) for a silent moment or so before placing a globed ornament frosted in white upon one of the branches, decisively in the center.

Morgana has been in a foul mood since this weekend, and those who are in her house have been walking softly around her. However, being the Head Girl means that she doesn't get to skip events like this. So for now, she's settle in at the end of the Ravenclaw table, keeping an eye on the masses around her.

Ria looks rather cheery. Christmas seems to rub her the right way, and her usual scowl is replaced with a bright smile upon seeing Mena. She parts with the professors to greet the girl with, "Hello there dearest! What on earth is your boy toy doing?" She quirks a brow at Genevieve and Alphard. And then turning back to Mena, "I was thinking we should have every animal represented on here. Silvery snakes coiling around the tree itself. A few golden badger figures poking their heads out at the foot of the tree. Some bronze eagles fluttering about on the bows." She scratches her chin, "I just don't know how the heck we'll fit lions in. Maybe we should just leave them out?"

Alphard sent Genevieve a sideways look. "Please. I'm trying to decide what it should look like. You can't just throw things on nillywilly like.." he wrinkled his nose and threw a scathingly contemptious lok at Elizabeth. "There. See? Now what was she thinking? This is why letting just anyone help was a mistake. But I suppose the other Houses would be up in arms if they weren't thrown a bone."
Like they were best of friensd, Alphard threw Morgana a casual wave.

"Alphard…," Jenny just, stares a moment. It is all that she can do. She imagines at home, he directs the elf, or his mother, to place each ornament with care, exactly how he wants it. "I…no." And her mouth clamps shut. "It's Christmas, you've got to get into the spirit of the thing! It won't bite. See. I'll show you." And flashing a bemused little grin, the Chaser strode off towards the tree and the assortment of ornaments, until she'd one of every color hooked on the end of her finger, a veritable showing of brightness, with which she intended to attack the tree.
"I like that one," she offered, of Elizabeth's ornament. "It's pretty."

A wave to Jenny when Andromena spies her entry, but for the time being she's content to let Alphard envision his tree. A smile is flashed to Ria when the Slytherin departs from those she had previously been speaking to. A quick look sent Alphard and Genevieve's way when Ria asks her question, to which Andromena can only offer a helpless shrug.
"If I didn't know any better," said thoughtfully. "I'd say he was devising a plan on how best to decorate the tree." Which Andromena finally returns her gaze to. Mulling over Ria's suggestion, she walks toward it, gesturing to its base.
"The lions could lay at the base of it. What do you think?" They could not be left out. Gryffindor feelings aside, some kindly faculty member would see to it that their House was represented…and likely not in the way Ria may have chosen!

"I find the frosted look acceptable." Elizabeth murmurs to Jenny beside her. "It has a 'winter wonderland' appearance that is rather magical." She lifts a brow as she glances over her shoulder at the others. "If we're wishing to include some sort of House theme, House animal statues laying around the base, among the presents would be an option. It would eliminate the need to include such a theme into the ornaments." It's just one thought though. Elizabeth already returns her attention to another frosted globe ornament and places it on another branch, a foot away from the previous.

His mother, the elf, his sister, his father. Of course Alphard directed them all. How else did you ensure a Christmas tree that turned out both classy and cheery?! "What? No, don't-!" But it was too late, and she was gone ahead to completely throw his plans into shambles. Alphard slapped his forhead, sighed, then just plain gave up. With a grunt he trudged over to where Morgana was sitting, slumping into the chair next to her. "It's going to look horrid," he said.

Idrissa is just making her way on into the Great Hall, seems she's a bit on he late side, which really lately that is a bit normal for her actually. She is carrying with her a few boxes that are filled with paper and most likly has other items within it that are hidden from view thanks to the paper that is used to protect what is within the boxes. A little owl flutters in after her carrying a letter which is dropped upon Rissa's boxes before Orion finds himself a perch.

The oh so friendly wave from Alphard is greeted with a raised brow, she doesn't seem keen on being buddy buddy with him today. After all those nasty rumors that have been flying around lately, however he takes a seat next to her and raises her brow. "You get a gathering of small children together and let them loose on a tree and expect it to look nice?" She says with a shrug. "I'm just keeping an eye for any further upstarts, than I am out of here."

"Seems as though he chose not to run away. Good on you, Travers," Andromena says to the first year. Her need for things to be just so has to be tightly controlled on a night such as this. Andromena could well understand that everyone was encouraged to be involved in the decorating, and that the spirit of Christmas should just well up within each and every one for doing so. More, it was the school's tree, not her own personal one! It might well look horrid, sure, especially if last year's was to be any indication.
Give up on that one, too, Black?

"I do too," Jenny replies, tossing a smile Elizabeth's way, promptly before she starts in and yes, just as Alphard predicted, willynilly. Plans in shambles. But Jenny thought it was rather, nice. A hodgepodge of tastes and ideas, collected together and swirled into something that was..well, representative of them all, without looking so micromanaged and controlled as to be frozen and without life. "Do you do themed trees at your house? I can't stand them, personally. It's like trying to arrange the stars. All the inspiration is gone and what you're left with is just…soul-less."

Alphard had infact given up last year's christmas tree, too.
"Not without any direction, I don't." He gave a languid stretch, arms reaching out behind him while his feet sprawled out beneath the table. "Mhmm.. That felt good. So, why so glum faced? Even if the tree is going to look horrid, there's still christmas snacks. Who doesn't like that?"

"Everyone feel free to take some ornaments and have your way," Ria announces to the lot, and immediately some of the younger students take to the odder ornaments. A good time to practice their levitations spells indeed. "Wingardium Leviosa," Ria points to a rather heavy looking crate of bronze painted eagle ornaments with her wand and moves it over to Alphard and Morgana. "Or instead of running off, you can transfigure these to flap and place them about the tree," she calls over and suggest to the Head Girl. Running away when they're so much cheer to be had? Not on Ria's watch!

"Or we could divide the tree into quarters, decorate the branches in each quarter according to the House colors." Elizabeth murmurs thoughtfully. Yet another idea. But it doesn't seem to matter now. She lifts a brow as she glances at Jenny. "The most we do is to match the ornaments' colors and set it in the shop's window. Unsurprisingly, books aren't really a common present to be given at Christmastime. Unless it's a collectable."

"Cute," Andromena says to Ria as she levitates the box of ornaments over to Morgana and Alphard, making sure to keep her grin just out of sight. After a moment, she picks out an ornament for herself and contemplates the tree. Everyone has their own way of doing things, and this was hers. After a moment's careful consideration, the Ravenclaw makes her first move. A slight rustle as the delightful little bulb is place, the needles of the tree brushing against Andromena's hand.
"Ria, it seems to me people are sort of…grouping up. Aside from the four Houses that get to go throughout, why don't we focus on…" She motions to the area where she had put her lonesome trinket. "This area." And defended it like bloody-minded beasts. A glance to Alphard and Morgana, "Come join us!"

Jenny leaned back around a branch, to squint in Elizabeth's direction, "You're making it sound like work. It's supposed to be fun, see?" The first years were certainly getting into it, even if…opp, there one went. Levitation spell gone wrong, when the rather stylish bell lightly bounced against the back of her head, before the little girl got it under the control. Jenny flashed the firstie a wink and then, went to pluck another ornament herself. Though, much like the first years, each placement is attacked without reason. Just as long as it wasn't directly on top of another ornaments space, it was fair game and she never hit the same place twice. "Though, I suppose that makes sense. About the books, anyway. I wouldn't want one for Christmas either, not…unless it happened to be ab..no. I just wouldn't want a book."

"Do you really need to ask me that Black?" Morgana says with a shake of her head and honestly she wants to flee, but Ria shows up, with ornaments and she raises her brow. "You're.. perky." She responds looking down at the eagles. "You'll want someone else to transfigure these, I'm terrible with that spell." When Andromena comes by she finally gets out of her spot and levitates a few of the other ornaments over to the tree, placing them in random spots around the tree.

"It's the holidays. Let done be done, and turn that smile upside down." He leaned in against the older Ravenclaw, and was going to bump her chin with a playful feather-light knuckle if she didn't wriggle out of the way. A cheer up, champ, sort of thing. Then he was on his feet and with his wand out, rolling his eyes at Ria before directing his spell at the flappers like requested.

Ria throws her hands up in the air at Morgana saying, "It's going to be Christmas! Of course I'm perky! Am I not always?" That could be sarcastic. But there seems to be a sincere way she says that. As if she believes she really is perky usually. And then gesturing to Alphard's enthusiasm she nods, "See! There's a man who has the right idea." She leaves Alphard to it. And turning back to Mena she nodnods enthusiastically, "What shall we start putting there?" Her eyes do peek over at Jenny and Elizabeth, curious to see what they're up to as well.

Elizabeth blinks as… an ornament bounces off of Jenny's head, though the other girl is just fine about it. Curious. She rolls a slender shoulder at the mention of the book. "To each his own. Personally, I find books to be individual universes, all of their own." She reaches for another ornament for the tree, though it's oddly curly, coming to a point at the bottom. Elizabeth looks over it curiously as she turns it in her hand, finding it fascinating evidently.

"I was thinking something along the lines of…" And Andromena proceeded to share with Ria her vision, grabbing several ornaments as she did so to better explain her theme for this particular corner of the tree. One of Alphard's transfigured eagles came soaring past, with just enough speed to catch a few locks of her hair on its breeze. "Oh, and you know what would be just grand? These little icicles could be charmed to exude frost."

"Yes, I suspect they're a bit like people in that respect, only…with less life. Or less chance of…actually, I take that back. I do know a few people who have less life than books, they're just, not for me." Jenny has an attention span that is..incredibly short. Six ornaments in, personally hung and she is quite ready to move on to something else. Like that stringy tensil that doesn't rope, but gets throwed out in goops and glops. It's just proving particularly hard to.., "Oh Mena," the girl weaves past one of the younger students and eyes the careful assortment the Ravenclaw is putting together. "That's pretty." Ria too, was flashed an all too cheeky grin before, "Have you seen that…sprinkly stuff?" Surely the Prefect knows just what kind she means.

Morgana shakes her head at Ria. "Oh yes, you're always perky." Thankfully, she does miss out on Alphard's friendly punching as she stands from her chair. "There's nothing wrong with my frown, it is perfectly fine where it is." Taking out her wand she'll wave it at the figures already in motion and send them toward the tree. "I think this tree needs more ribbon, or maybe fake snow. That'll make it festive."

Alphard continued to be helpful with.. spelling things as Ria needed it. And comming with 'helpful' comments. And of course remained super friendly with Morgana whenever some Ravenclaw looked. Just because!

"Ooooo yes, icicles! I think there's a charm to keep them looking pretty and frozen despite the temperature … but I can't think of it for the life of me," Ria looks to Mena expectantly. The girl got higher marks than she in charms that's for sure. In the meantime, she will handle the sneaky snakes. Taking somewhat long strands of silvery rope, she begins to transform each chord into the body of the scaly reptile. "Sprinkly stuff… sprinkly stuff," she taps her finger on her lips and then said to Jenny, "Oh! There are jars of them in that box over there! Only take care, they get onto your hair and clothes and it's quite frankly impossible to get them out!"

"Thank you!" Andromena chimes as Jenny flits by, complimenting her efforts just before asking Ria for said sprinkly stuff. Strangely enough, Andromena is able to guess just what it is Solomon is after, but she herself has no clue as to the item's location. Looks like it would be down to Ria. Or maybe to that second year Hufflepuff that has found himself hopelessly entangled within it. He flops this way and that, fighting with the tinsel as though it were a bed of snakes.

Seeing the hufflepuff struggle with the tinsel, Ria smirks at an opportunity. And muttering her spell, she points it at the stringy delight, intending to turn those into mini snakes hiss and coil about the poor badger. But her spell doesn't go as planned and instead it melts and reforms into a net of rubber bands that the Hufflepuff is now caught in the middle of. Oops! The prefect looks away and continues working on her own little project.

Jenny and Ria certainly seem to be enjoying themselves, the process of decorating the tree. Or maybe they were just on the same wavelength of sorts. Elizabeth certainly isn't the cheery type, but she is in a better mood than usual. Possibly because of the recent gift she received. At that thought, she smiles absently to herself.

Of course, that was just what Jenny needed to get her hands on. Something that…never came off. That was wonderful. "Thanks, Ria!" The problem with asking a Prefect? Now if a bottle goes missing, someone's going to know she took it. Thus, before this crime gains a victim, there really ought to be some on the tree, so she can at least attempt to absolve herself from the guilt and fingerpointing that was bound to come later. She just needed to be careful with it. Which apparently included…
The shrill sounds of the tinseled Hufflepuff in rubberbands caught her attention just as she'd plucked out a handful to throw at the tree. Her head snapped to the side and her aim? Her aim was really, really off. Who knew where it would land.

Heroes? Andromena read books where heroes abounded! And yet she is dating Alphard Pollux Black. That aside, she was too busy charming those cute little icicles to pay any mind to the struggling child much mind. That was, of course, until his puffy grunts turned into sad, sad little pleas for help. What to do, what to do? Andromena looked to the charmed ornaments before her, and decides that they really ought to be put up. Surely she can't be the only person around capable of extricating him from his rubbery prison. Ria is given a sly look, but the Ravenclaw says nothing. Why? Because she saw nothing, nothing!

Oh those pathetic cries for help. Ria cannot hear them! Looking over to Mena she beams brightly in a clueless 'What look?' She's far to preoocupied turning this ropes into snakes. And when they've successfully been transfigured, she bring them to life. One rope rises with a creepy hiss, facing Ria as if she were a snake charmer. "Elizabeth, how good is your leviation spell? I believe there's a glass star in the crate over there and this tree can use a topper." Ria's still playing around with the rope snake, perfecting its fangs and scales. She handles it affectionately like it's her pet.

"A star on top would be lovely," Andromena agrees when Ria directs Elizabeth toward it. So maybe the tree wouldn't be exactly as any one person imagined it, but the Ravenclaw was certainly enjoying herself. Especially since the corner she shared with Ria was coming along so nicely. That made it…pleasant. The prefect's shiny snake is given an appreciative once over.
"I hope none of the animals try to eat one another," she confides in Ria, grinning wryly. "Can you imagine coming in for breakfast, and there are lions devouring badgers and eagles carrying off snakes?" As she says this, someone does indeed come to help the struggling Hufflepuff. The child is none the worse for wear, but those little cheeks had grown quite red, and anybody that looked closely enough might spy a watery sheen to his eyes. Which Andromena does not, because then she'd feel like a horrible monster.
The tree decorating continues without further hitch, everybody that had gathered doing their part to ensure the feeling of Christmas cheer is spread all around. Snacks are eaten, ornaments hung, and friends gather close together. All in all, it was a good night.

Elizabeth turns to glance at Ria when she's addressed, a slender brow quirking. "Adequately enough." She isn't the type to toot her own horn. Behind her wire frames, she looks back to the crate addressed, pausing for a silent moment before turning towards it and bending her knees, looking closer. After a moment, she reaches for the delicate star and rises with it carefully cradled in her hands. "For now, I think it's best that the honor of putting the star on the tree goes to someone more deserving."

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