(1941-12-20) Do You Want to Build a Snow Dragon?
Details for Do You Want to Build a Snow Dragon?
Summary: A spontaneous outbreak of snowmen building became a full holiday event with Christmas carols, dancing gingerbread men, and cocoa. But just as a snowball fight broke out, curious snowflakes started falling. And somehow, the snowmen (and the snow dragon) came to life. And snowmen see, snowmen do. A full-scale snowball battle soon broke out.
Date: December 20, 1941
Location: Merlin's Square
Plot: Snowpocalypse Now

If the joyous singing of Christmas Carolers doesn't draw you in, the wonderful smell of baked goodies will. What started as a spontaneous outbreak of snowmen building soon exploded into quite the holiday event. A banner draping across the park's entrance proclaims, "Snowman Building Contest - sponsored by the Holiday Cheer Committee." By now, dozens of people have gathered to build snowmen of all sizes and shapes will coal smiles and lopsided hats.

Around the edges of the field of snowmen, the best of the District are giving out holiday delights. Candy canes with swirling stripes. Sugar cookies that sparkle with the tinkling of bells. Chocolate reindeer prance and skip. And a gingerbread man the size of a grown man, is handing out tiny, dancing versions of itself. This one is Boniface's Fortescue's pride and joy. He stands beside it encouraging all to try and sample one of the smaller versions.

Meanwhile, members of the Holiday Cheer committee mingle with the snowmen builders bearing trays of hot cocoa. Their calls of cheerful encouragement and exclamations of delight lift above the carols drifting through the contest field. Carol of the Bells lifts in joyous harmony.

Gaily they ring, while people sing
Songs of good cheer, Christmas is here!
Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas!
Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas!

Zoe hops from footprint to footprint through the snow of Merlin's Square. Her nose and cheeks are quite pink - having been out in the cold for a while now. But she's bundled up warm in a red scarf that winds round and round her neck and trails almost to her ankles. And her traveller's cloak looks quite warm. Pausing at the edge of the contest field, she smiles bright, so pleased to see so many families and friends out to enjoy the first real snow of the season.

Bundled up in a thick moleskin coat, his Gryffindor scarf, earmuffs, and wool mittens, Rubeus Hagrid stands patiently in line at Fortescue's stand, eyeing that gigantic gingerbread man hungrily. If anyone could devour that massive biscuit, it would be the half-giant lad.

Her Hogwarts days are behind her, but there is nothing like coming home for Christmas. A trip to The District is a must, as well. Her dark hair pulled over one shoulder in its usual braid, Elspeth has let the hood of her caped coat that can fit into the muggle world fall back as she looks up and around, a quiet smile and air of contentment to her as she looks around at the snowmen, perhaps scoping out a space to create her own masterpiece.

Aiden comes strolling up his black cloak with a green lining and silver fastenings his Slytherin scarf about his neck. The young lad stops and stands in the background for a moment his arms crossed a smirk curling his lips. Aiden does so love this time of year though his parents have let him wander off on his own at the moment and this can spell mischief.

Zoe hides a smile behind a mitten as she catches Rubeus eyeing the gingerbread man. It's hard not to notice the half-giant of a boy, standing taller than the enormous gingerbread itself. Little Zoe darts around. Appearing at his side, she smiles up at him. "Hello! Do you want to build a snow man?"

Nia doesn't seem to be having the best day. The littlest Pritchard looks harried as she pushes her way out from between the jostling bodies of a handful of young men of varying ages and resemblance to her, escaping many a pinched cheek and a hearty chuckle with just a winsome smile thrown over her shoulder at them. Her eyes rake the scene for any escape, focusing on the snowman display and beginning a cutting beeline.

John is bundled up quite effectively against the cold, his black cloak pulled tightly around himself and his Slytherin scarf bundled about his neck and up to his chin. He stops on his wandering about the district just in view of the display of snowmen, looking around for any faces he might recognize amongst those gathered around the Square.

Aiden notices John and raises a hand to wave at him. Hes still just eyeing the scene and watching whats happening with a mild interest. "Well this be a noice lookin, se' up though I do believe somethin' may jus' be missin'." He says to himself a mischievous grin coming to his mouth.

Rubeus glances around at the sound of Zoe's cheery greeting, smiling joyously down at her when he finds her. "Oh! Hello. I do want ter build a snowman. But…those gingerbread men smell so good." Finally he glances to the gingerbread men actually being offered to eat, rather than the gigantic one. "Um…did yeh need help with one?"

Zoe leans to peer past Hagrid at the dancing gingerbread men. Then she peeks up at the gingerbread man offering them to her. She blinks, exclaiming softly in Cantonese. But with a little grin, she scampers around Hagrid to take on. "Thank you!" she says, offering a quick bow before whirling back around to Hagrid. "Yes! I need your help. I want to build a big, biiig snowman. Can you help me?"

With a chocolate reindeer in hand, Elspeth holds up her hands so that it can dance from to the other before the charm wears out. Then she tucks it away in her shopping bag. Her gaze flows past Nia with a brief pause, then finds the only firstie that was ever taller than her, and she smiles. "Hagrid," she greets stepping up to him, and then looks down to Zoe skipping around him. "Hullo, a big biiiig snowman sounds fun. I am sure Hagrid can be helping you. Perhaps I can as well, if you are liking that?"

Elly is very festive in bright royal purple skirts and overcoat trimmed in fur with matching fur ear muffs and mantle, she looks very Mrs. Claus, big belly used to help hold the tray of chocolate mugs that don't melt in the hand or under the temperatures of the hot cocoa steaming within. Some have a candy cane stirrer, denoting the cocoa has a peppermint flare other have cinnamon sticks others have chocolate spoons that do melt. "Cuppa Hot Cocoa loverlies?" The wench addresses a gathering of contestants and gawkers.

John offers Aiden a brief smile from across the way before he begins to move once more, weaving casually about the various snowmen that have been built and those that are still in progress and looking on the whole gathering rather thoughtfully. He pauses here and there, as if considering whether or not he wants to join in on the snowman building that has broken out across the square.

Rubeus finally reaches the head of the queue, and one might swear that the enormous gingerbread man does a double-take. Thankfully, the gigantic lad doesn't try to eat him, instead reaching for one of the smaller ones. With a polite "thank you", he steps out of line and rejoins Zoe, giving Elspeth a smile and a little wave of his thick fingers. "I was plannin' ter make a big one, too. Actually," he bends over and lowers his voice conspiratorially, "I was goin' ter try an' make a snow dragon." He wiggles excitedly (and a tad dangerously).

Aiden moves off through the snowmen and gets closer to John. "'ow ya doin this foine day?" he asks when close enough. "I was thinkin' o' possibly tryin tae build one but Im not so very good a' buildin' thin's ye' know?" Aiden says with a laugh as he looks at all the snowmen that have been built.

Zoe smiles bright up at Elspeth. "Yes! Please do!" She almost bows with the enthusiasm of her nod. But Rubeus' conspiratory confession makes her stop, staring up at him. "That. That is an /amazing/ idea!" she breathes. She whirls to Elpseth. "Let's do it! Can we do it?" And back up at Hagrid. "That is perfect!"

"That is sounding like a wonderful idea," Elspeth enthuses to Hagrid's plan of a dragon. "It will certainly be unique, and that will catch the eyes of the judges." She nods once. "I'm Rosen. Would you like to find us the perfect spot?"

Rubeus gives another little wave to the two ladies. "I'm Rubeus Hagrid," he says, mostly to Zoe, as Elspeth seems to remember him. He peers over most of the heads nearby, then points to a spot nearby. "I think I see a good spot. This'll be great! Um…do either of yeh know how ter make a snow dragon? Cuz…I don't."

Nia approaches the snowman field at a brisk pace, all business, straightening her heavy robes once she reaches the outskirts of the display area. To no one in particular, she gruffs, "How do we enter? Just build? Where is this Holiday Committee," before succumbing reluctantly to holiday cheer and setting to work on a snowman of her own, pushing heaps of snow together with gloved hands. From a pile, a base begins to form.

"Mister Merrythought," John says to Aiden by way of greeting. "I'm not doing too bad, just having a walk around the district and all the snowmen caught my eye." He looks around then, perhaps somewhat distracted, before looking to Aiden once more. "I'm considering making one myself, though I probably should be getting back home before too much longer…having a good break?"

Zoe nods as Elspeth offers her name. Though she was well familiar with the other girl by sight, a name reminder is always good. Grinning up at Rubeus, she shrugs. "I've made a sand alligator before. Might not be too different. The wings will just need to be folded. C'mon!" Zoe turns and scampers off to find as wide-open a space that she can. It just so happens to be where John and Aiden are standing. "Hello! Would you mind if we started building here?"

At Nia's question, a member of the Holiday Cheer Committee swoops in. "Yes, dear. I'm on the committee. Just pick a place and start building. Or join with a friend. Whatever you like. And don't forget to try the Leaky Cauldron's cocoa!"

Cackling and childish laughter comes from a crowd of hoodlums that are going from a big circle with garbage lids, bits of wood, anything that can be used as a shovel that's not a shovel. Working in unison they go from a big circle to a littler one, plowing the thick snow on the ground into a large pile in the middle. The laughter is at the expense of a little boy that was standing in the middle and is now thusly packed with snow. "Come on ye lil tossers. Give Ken a break aye?" Colton smacks a few of the other Quinnland boys upside the head as he steps over their plowing to reach and scoop the boy out of his snowy prison.

For all his heroics Colton gets smacked on the head with the boys cap, "I liked it!" Kennedy complains to his big brother. "Fine, your way then…" Back into the snow the boy gets plopped and a scoop of snow is also plunked down onto the boy's bare head before Colton snatches the lads cap and shoves it over the snowball head. "Wotcher makin' lads?" One of the other Traveller Boys cries out, "A nekkid lady!" This has Colton chuckling and shaking his head as he steps back. "Cannah wait to see the judges faces on tha one Kelly." Colton is there to supervise the Quinnland Kids in so much that they don't get themselves killed or maimed too very badly. Boys making naked lady snowmen, that is something that's not something to interfere on. "I'm gonna be the head!" Kennedy cries out excitedly about his idea to make their snowman a winner. "Ugliest bird in all London is gonna win the prize then?" Colton rebuttles as he leans against a bench while lighting up a cigarette.

Aiden nods to John. "Aye i's been a blast it 'as. Me parents were o' course happy tae see me an' decked ou' me room in Slytherin stuff fer me. Really suppor'ive they are. How abou' you are ye' havin' a goo' break?"

"I do not know about that. Is this a no magic snowman contest?" Elspeth asks as they make their way towards the spot Hagrid mentioned, snagging a cup off Elly's cocoa with a cinnamon stick as they go, with a warm smile for the bar wench. "If we can use magic, wings could be spread out… or we can make them go straight up as if they are meeting together at the top of their sweep… did you have a breed in mind, Hagrid?"

John gives a bit of a start after a moment, his gaze snapping to Zoe. "Ah! No, go right ahead," he answers, reaching up and rubbing at the back of his scarf-covered neck in what could only be described as an awkward, if not embarrassed manner. "I'm sure there's plenty of spots to pick if either of us decide to build," he continues, shrugging his shoulders.

Nia turns to meet the cheerful woman with a strained smile of her own, thanking her through her teeth and settling back to work. After a few moments, she stands and appraises her work, deeming the base workable, and begins to roll an actual snowball up to size. The powder collects easily, taking her past group after interesting group - a rowdy bunch of boys, a notably quieter group of boys, as well as Rubeus Hagrid with some rather pretty girls. Interesting evening. She stops at the purple cocoa woman with her ball and takes things in for a moment, calmly blowing steam off the top of the cup.

Aiden looks at Zoe and he backc off a bit with a shy smile. "Aye yea, tha's foine lassie. I wasn' abou' tae actually use tha' spot fer nothin anyway." He says with an awkward smile.

Rubeus nods eagerly to Elspeth. "A Hebridean Black," he says without missing a beat. "Look, I even brought some purple gumballs for its eyes!" He fishes the sweets out of his pocket: a pair of huge gumballs, nearly the size of eggs.

Zoe smiles bright at Aidan and offers over a dancing gingerbread man. "Thank you! Here, have this. I haven't touched it yet. Would you like to help us? We're going to be building a dragon." She glances over, grinning as Rubeus and Elspeth arrive. "That's perfect! I guess we should start gathering snow though. Lots of it. Heaps!"

Colton, keeping it classy makes a little wolf whistle that comes with a plume of exhaled smoke and steam in the general direction of Zoe. "Kels, I don believe Kens can breath. Don be an arse." The casual 'chide' gets an eye-roll from Kelly and the snow is smacked at til Kennedy's pink nose and cheeks are revealed again. "Nice, some blush n' rouge fer the lady ay?" Colton blows air smooches at his brothers from his perch several feet away and gets wet raspberries in return. "Saucy minx ain'tcha?" Thick Shelta accent is then aimed at Zoe's group again. "Oi! Yer dragon could be after our Damsel in distress 'ere."

Horatio wouldn't have left the relative safety of his temporary hideaway - certainly not for carolers and snowmen, nor even for a magicked gingerbread man. But he /does/ have a very good reason for needing to be out: money. He paces idly down the cobblestone street as he nears Merlin Square, then stops and stares in annoyed astonishment when he sees the proceedings, his greenish-brown eyes widening as a scowl traces itself onto his lips. "Ah, hell," he curses under his breath, stuffing his hands into the pockets of his overcoat. "Perfect." Amidst the hordes of congregants, he hasn't yet noticed anyone in particular, and so he simply wends his way towards the center of the square with slow deliberation.

"You lot enjoy yourselves," John states, offering a small smile and rubbing his hands over his arms. "I think it's about time for me to head inside." He glances towards the pair with Zoe before nodding once at Aiden. "Enjoy the rest of the break, Merryweather," he murmurs before turning to head off.

Aiden nods his head a bit. "Well, Im no' very good a' buildin thin's tae be honest with ya. Im no' sure how much help Id be if any." He says with a smile as he watches people work. "Especially on somethin' so complex as a Snow Dragon, I think I might be jus' holdin' ye back tae be honest." Aiden says with a smile.

Zoe blinks and glances over at the shrill wolf-whistle. But catching the familiar shelta accent, her lips break into a delighted smile. "Colton!" she squeals, scampering over for a hug.

"Hebridean Black," Elsepth muses, a little smile tugs at the corner of her lips. "You can still be helping us," she offers to Aiden. "We need help gathering snow, patting it into place…" she nods to Zoe, and then sets out to do just that, pulling her wand out to give a little whisk that brings some now from the area closer to their spot, to beging pushing it up. Tipping her head from her work momentarily, she grins over to the others. "Higgins, any girl in your general vicinity can be considered in distress," she tells him cheerfully.

Rubeus's bright smile fades a bit at Zoe's invitation to Aiden, but he just looks away. When the Slytherin boy declines, the half-giant lets out a sigh of relief, his breath puffing in vapor before him. He busies himself with scooping up enormous armloads of snow and dumping them into a central pile to start forming the dragon's body.

Nia finishes her cocoa with a grateful smile and then finishes a full round, ending up right back where she started. This has formed a nice round middle for the trunk of the snowman, which she struggles slightly to lift atop the base. Its large and shes small, but she comes out the winner in the end, almost ending up with her arse in the snow for her trouble. She takes a moment in victory, hearing talk of a snow dragon and a damsel kicking up nearby and looks over, grinning slightly. After a beat, she pushes her freshly rolled ball off of her old base and rolls it over to the others, eyes lighting over them each in turn. "Can you use this for anything?" She offers, blinking. "I'm shite at building things as well and ought to contribute to a greater cause."

Colton pulls the cigarette out of his lips and opens up his arms to return the hug and scoop Zoe up and off of her feet. "Ay there Tiger." He then attempts a dipping of Zoe while smirking up at Elspeth, "Aye, in danger o swoonin' righ off!" He winks to the former Prefect and then rights up Zoe. "So let's get dragon makin'." Colton invites himself along to help the older kids, cause that Rubeus fellow, he's got to be a graduate or at least an upperclassman. He leaves his kin to pack shapely curves around Kennedy. Kelly seems rather perplexed when their snow woman's left breast just keeps falling off. Right Off. "Uh, Amazon in Distress we'll call it lads!" Colton slings one arm around Zoe's shoulders to escort her back to the dragon makers. "Can call over some o me minions for snow gatherin'…?"

Zoe squeaks as Colton dips her with all the swagger and charm only he could pull off. Head tilted back, she dissolves into giggles until she rights her at last. "Yes! More the better. We're starting late, aren't we?" Content under Colton's arm, Zoe heads back with him to where the dragon is taking shape. "Sure! Although, they look like they're having fun, don't they?"

After pacing fretfully towards the towering monument to Merlin, Horatio - who is hopefully not being watched - glances up at the ancient Wizarding legend and stands directly underneath his upraised hand, turning so that he's facing precisely the direction that the statue is. 'Three dozen paces ahead', or so the instructions read, and then all he'd need is a well-cast Accio to retrieve the package from wherever it's been buried… except that there are a mess of people where he's now looking, not to mention the lumpish beginnings of the snow-dragon. Horatio fights the urge to slap a hand against his forehead and moves forward slowly, hoping to avoid the attention of everyone present… until he spots Zoe, at which point he freezes in place, staring at her in utter surprise. Abruptly, a poorly-aimed snowball from a group of children having a fight halfway across the square catches him directly in the side of the face, and he spins about with an angry snarl. "Hey! You bloody brats! That's right - you'd better run!"

Things are just not going Horatio's way today.

As the group grows, Elspeth smiles, and nods to Nia. "That would be wonderful. Right now we are mostly needing snow pushed upwards," she encourages the newcomers as she suits actions to words. Her wand is back in her sleeve as she begins working on the opposite side of Hagrid to push the snow up into a body like shape.

Aiden smiles at the others awkwardly. "Iffin yer sure I wont be in the way I can try tae help ye' but I cannae promise nothin ye know?"

Rubeus drops another massive armload of snow behind the dragon. "For a tail," he explains. He looks at the way the pile is forming. "I think it should be sittin' up. That way we can make it really tall. Righ'?" He starts pushing the snow together into a massive pile…a small hill, almost. Moreover, the half-giant's efforts do quite a job of tightly packing the snow, providing a solid foundation for finer details to be built on.

Zoe smiles over at Aiden as she approaches under Colton's arm. "Of course! You're most welcome. Or if you like, you can help build a knight snowman to do battle with our dragon." Horatio's angry snarl makes Zoe slow and cover her mouth with her mitten. SPLAT! Zoe squeaks as a snowball hits her dead center in the back. She whirls around at the same band of children. "Hey!" More snowballs incoming, she tries to hide behind Colton. "Noo!" she laughs. "A sneak attack!"

A light snow has been fluttering to earth for some time, adding to the available snow for the growing number of snowmen. But now, the snowflakes are getting larger and larger still. At this point, the glittering ice-crystals fluttering to earth are as big as one's hand. They look more like artistic illustrations of snowflakes than the real things.

Nia had started in on the opposite side of Rubeus, pushing (smaller) heaps of snow over toward where the dragon seemed to be taking shape. Then a man curses loudly and she looks up, blinking owlishly, curiosity plain on her face, just in time to dodge a flying snowball. She hits the deck, coming to a crouch and trying to stay behind the burgeoning dragon hill. The relative safety gives her a moment to appreciate a particularly ornate snowflake, sputtering as it flies straight into her face.

More snowballs incoming - indeed. Another whizzes by Horatio's ear even as he finishes shouting (the same that hits Zoe). He grins as yet another comes his way, this time sidestepping it deftly. After brushing the snow away from his cheek, he bends down to pick up a handful that he forms into his own piece of ammunition, then heaves it back at the band of mischief-makers. He is not, however, quite as playful as he appears to be; he's already slipped his wand into his hand, and as he paces swiftly around the edge of the snow-dragon, his eyes continuously flit between the ground and the group of youthful antagonists. Since he's still evidently gone relatively unnoticed, he kneels and lowers the wand, muttering a quick spell. A half-second later something bursts through the snow just to his left and flies into his hand; he grins and pockets its quickly, breathing a sigh of relief as he does.

Aiden dives with his own pile of snow behind the dragon as snow balls start to fly. "Ach, does anyone else, know how tae make a goo' snowball an' star' returnin fire?" He asks as he makes a couple and throws them in the direction the snowballs are flying at them from.

Elspeth ducks down, grinning, using her dragon as a shield. She pulls in some of the flake as they begin to get bigger, padding out the neck of the dragon as she gives a nod to Hagrid. "That is being a good idea," she agrees. But, as the flakes become even bigger, and begin to resemble human art work, she slows, and the looks at them, a puzzled, slightly troubled look on her face as the muggle side of her becomes a bit apprehensive.

More snowballs! Splat. SPLUT. Splat. But these aren't coming from the little battalion of children. "My word! Did that one just move?" Exclamations rise behind the dragon makers. "Yes! That one too! It threw a snow ball. I saw it!" Though skepticism remains. "I think you've had enough eggnog, Fred."

This is Morgana's normal route home when she feels like walking home instead of taking the quick and easy route. She stands out against the snowy background with her inky black robes and dark hair. She's about to pass the square by when she hears the commotion and spots the snowmen being built. Tilting her head to the side she takes a few steps closer and notices the oversized snowflakes. Catching one in her hand she looks it over. "Well, it looks like I'll be putting in some overtime." She says to herself.

Being one of the largest targets available, Rubeus is pelted by several snowballs, but doesn't seem to mind…or notice. His focus is on bringing his dream of a snow dragon to life. His sculpting skills leave a bit to be desired, but the basic shape is there. As the head starts to come together, he produces the purple gumballs that he brought along, insert them and packing snow around the "eyes".

Horatio is absorbed briefly in his success, standing up straight even as stray snowballs go hurtling around him and breathing a sigh of relief. He briefly glances at Zoe, perhaps tempted to say something to her, but then thinks better of it and spins on his heel, quickly walking away even as the people behind him become involved in the ad-hoc battle. But when the huge, mysterious snowflakes suddenly begin to descend, he stops and catches one in his hand, looking up with furrowed brows. "What is…?"

Nia suddenly finds herself with a couple of rather close neighbors and blinks, grinning. "I don't suppose there's a way to talk this thing out." She admits, resigned, and begins packing snowballs in bulk. She keeps them coming though she doesn't throw any, ball after ball churned out, crouched low and ducking when bursts of snow come close to their shelter. The first cries go up and she chances a look around, eyes searching for anything suspicious. She squints, ducking another ball, and squints again.

The moment Rubeus packs the purple gumball eyes into place, they blink. The snow dragon's head tilts and it seems to stare straight up into the half-giant boy's own eyes. It blinks. Or does it wink? Slowly, its massive snow body begins to shift, shuffling as it comes to life.

The snow damsels and quite a few other snowmen bestir across the contest field. More snowballs fly as the waking snowmen follow the examples the humans set around them. All the while, the mysterious snowflakes fall across the field. Should they land in a person's hair, they break apart into dozens of glittering little gems.

Aiden starts making more snowballs and just keeps firing snowball after snowball back. "Ach this is fun I mean a snowball war Im thinkin i's time tae get more people on our soide no?"

Rubeus's jaw drops likea head weight. "It…did yeh…" he stammers in shock, seeing the snow dragon coming to life. Suddenly his round face lights up like a Christmas tree. "He's alive! Look! Rosen! He knows me! He knows 'is mummy!" With no sign of caution, Rubeus reaching up to pet the dragon's neck. "I've always wanted a dragon of me own. I'll call you Barney."

As the giant wings that Elspeth were shaping move and come to life, she falls over backwards. She's sprawled in the snow, the red of her hair glistening as she shakes her head. "It.. does he… are you sure, Hagrid? It might not be." she looks around at the others stirring, and finishes, "a good idea to pet it."

Zoe crouches low to avoid the flying snowballs and packs a few of her own for a counter attack. Gathering them up in one arm, she scampers over to Horatio. "Here!" she chirps, offering one of the snowballs. "I can cover you if you need to escape. Or, we can fight our way over to a shelter!" SPLAT. She squeaks as another snowball hits her in the side. Giggling, she scampers around to hide on Horatio's other side. Diamonds already sparkle in her hair from where one of the huge snowflakes landed.

Nia, once leaning up against the now-shifting form of the snow dragon, springs up and backs away rapidly. With the shelter on the move she takes it upon herself to start another one, until she realizes oh, yes, actually, that snow dragon just came to life. She stares, dumbfounded, and nods to Aiden. "Think we can get the kids on our side against the snowfolk?" She still hasnt taken a snowball to the face yet, dodging and weaving as need be. "If we can reach them, maybe we can-"

Colton nods to Aiden, "Roight!" Fingers go up into his mouth and he lets out a whistle. It must be a magical whistle for how immediate a reaction it garners from every member of the Quinnland Clan in attendance. Not just the boys. All of the Travellers present form ranks and with their trash can lids and pieces of crates and wood all but one of the Quinnlands line up and two lines of them kneel down behind those with shields and quickly start to make snowballs to lob over their shield protectors shoulders. "COOOOOLLLLTOOOOOOOOOON!" Kennedy cries for his big brother as the ice around him in the shape of a naked woman starts to jiggle run about trying to escape the dragon.

The snow dragon, newly christened 'Barney', lifts its head up off the ground. Its first act in life is to nudge against Rubeus' side. Almost an affectionate nuzzle. But when a snowball smacks Rubeus across the cheek, it pauses. It came from the direction of Quinnlands. Maybe it was them. Maybe it was a damsel that did it. Regardless, the dragon rises. Opening its mouth, it bellows an enormous plume of wind and snow, covering them all in a fresh layer of it.

Aiden steps back a few steps noticing the snow dragon coming to life now, he stumbles and falls backwards landing on his backside in the snow. "Ummm…..Well I' never seen nothin' li'e tha' 'efore tae be sure." He says making more snowballs. "Lad I don' think ye shoul' touch tha'" Aiden gets out trying to get Rubeus's attention before snapping back towards Coltons voice. "Aye Roight, need tae ge' me 'ead back inna foight yea?" He calls out as he lobs another couple of snow balls taking one to the chest as he stands to throw.

It isn't snowmen versus humans. It would seem that the newborn creations are keen to protect their creators. One snowman has somehow slushed up behind Aiden and Nia. In its twig and bramble arms, it holds snowballs of its own. But instead of attacking them, it hurls them off at others of its own kind advancing on them.

In truth, Horatio wasn't even aware that Zoe had noticed him. After staring up at the bizarre-yet-beautiful super-sized snowflakes for an instant, he turns when the young woman suddenly appears at his side. Smirking, he reaches out and takes the proferred snowball, surprised and yet not entirely surprised - he's learning to expect the unexpected from the strange girl. "Zoe - hullo! I…" A snowball whips by him, leaving a white patch on his nose, and he sneezes reflexively, then spins and is suddenly faced with the prospect of the rising snow-dragon. It seems the attackers on the other side of the square are getting completely pummeled, now. Horatio grins; subtlety appears to be completely out the window. He glances over his shoulder at Zoe and grins. "Surprise attack?" he says, smiling. His wand - still in his hand - is given a quick flick. From the snow at his feet, a bevy of self-forming balls suddenly form and hurtle themselves towards Colton, Aiden, and Elspeth. Horatio himself pauses, then playfully whips the one he's holding at Zoe.

Off to the side resting her back and swollen ankles Elly was just enjoying the sights and sounds of Merlin Square. A blond bit of fringe shifts out of her eyes as her head tilts. "Hmm." Part of the view she was admiring was the ring of buildings around the park and all of the chimney stacks that are like spike along the skyline. Sky blue eyes squint some as her focus concentrates on the Fortescue's Shop's chimney that is glowing a bit brightly in contrast to other simple smoky stacks. She opens her mouth to point it out to her husband who's building a rather simple and traditional snowman wit their son a few feet away. But her opened mouth is soon filled with snow and she balks and then shouts in a rather 'gonna get it!' way, "Jack Dodderidge!" She instinctively blames the scamp she married for the face of snow, but blinks to find Jack is scooping up their son and is as quickly as him bum leg will let him bringing Squidge to his Mum's arms and then takes her around the lower back with one arm to get his pregnant wife and child out of the middle of the warzone. Even with it just being snow balls, Jack is having some shell shock trouble and Elly is very happy to help him get home and calmed down again.

Zoe giggles and flings her own snowballs off at random, hitting no one in particular. It's enough to join the fun! But then Horatio's snowball catches her right on the shoulder. With a cry of mock dismay, she whirls around, dramatic as if she'd been wounded, and teeters off into the snowbank. She goes pretty deep into the fluffy snow, making a Zoe-shaped hole.

Nia is startled, distracted away from uniting forces with the children, suddenly finding herself with a self-firing snowball cannon of her own. The pacifists struggle resolved, she sets back to churning out snowballs as fast as the snowman can throw them, suddenly taken by laughter. Rubeus and Barney keep her eyes occupied, and at the ice-blast she lets out a triumphant yell, swept up in childish wonder.

Rubeus is so enthralled by the snow dragon that it take three snowballs to the side of his face before he realises that he is right in the middle of a war. "Ooow…who…?" As the large boy looks around for his attackers, Barney the Snow Dragon lets out a roar, rearing up to its full height — a good 10 feet, at least. Then, narrowing its purple gumball eyes at Colton's group, it opens its jaws and unleashing a devastating flurry of snowballs from its mouth!

"Qian," Elspeth gives a concerned call as the girl disappears. Ordinarily, she wouldn't worry, but this is no ordinary snow. She crawls under Barney, "easy boy," she murmurs, to get to the Zoe shaped hole and offer a hand out.

Aiden makes more snow balls lobbing more as he notices his own snow ball firing squad of one snowman but its a really good one snowman. He starts to make his way back towards the dragon. "Ack this be gettin a wee bit ridiculous don' ye' thin' I mean I keep…" Hes cut short as a snowball pelts him in the mouth and in mach dramatic flare he stumbles backwards and falls into a snow drift.

Nia seems to have decided that a 10 foot ice dragon is one of her favorite things. The flurry of snowballs causes her to whoop and throw a fist in the air. "Attaboy, Barney!" She crows, laughing and packing more snowballs for her launchers. Then theres a man down and she turns, mimicking Elspeth and heading for their fallen brethren. She leans over, an arm over her head to protect herself. "Yalright?" She cries over the hubbub, extending her free arm. "Up we go, lad!" She laughs.

Horatio blinks as Zoe disappears into the snowbank, slowly approaching the place where she'd fallen one hand behind his back, his wand still clutched between two fingers. He peers in towards her and smirks. "Finished already?" But when the dragon begins its impressive display of snowy aggression, he turns to stare at it, wide-mouthed.

Zoe's impish laughter bubbles up out of her hole in the snowbank. She wrinkles her nose up at Horatio before clinging to Elspeth's hand, accepting her help back out of the snow. "Thank you. That was deeper than I thought." She waves to her comrads, Nia and the others, signalling that she's alright. But covered in white powdery snow, she almost looks like a snowman herself. "Brrrr, it's soaking through a bit!" She twists and turns, trying to brush herself off all over as best she can. The diamonds of the large snowflake still glitter in her hair.

The huge snowflakes fall fewer now. Only one or two flutter to earth. The last one lands in Elspeth's hair. But the diamonds don't last long. Soon hers and Zoe's both melt away. And as these melt away, the movements of the snowmen grow sluggish. The snowballs they fling fly, but not far.

Aiden takes Nias hand his loyal sno minion soldier still cranking out those snow balls and firing back. "Aye Im goo' jus' a wee bit surproised tha' one got me in the face is all." He says with a laugh getting back to his feet.

Nia pulls the lad to his feet and laughs as well, fussy nature forcing her to instinctively reach to straighten his scarf before realizing this isnt a thing strangers do. The beginnings of a rushed apology on her mouth are stemmed quickly - she turns suddenly, watching her arsenal literally fall apart before her eyes. "Oh, no, no!" She cries, realizing what comes next, eyes fixed on the snowy wonder of the dragon. "Oh no!"

After helping Zoe to her feet, Elspeth looks around, her eyes going up to the proud head of the dragon over her. She pushes back the whisps of hair crusted with diamonds, but by the time she tucks it behind her ear, it seems they are simply damp from melted snow. "Well, then…"

Horatio takes a final look around at the others, then grins and retreats. Snow dragons are impressive, but he /does/ have an agenda to keep. He winks at Zoe before slipping off down the street, the package he'd obtained earlier tucked firmly into his pocket.

Barney's rampage upon the hapless Travelers finally begins to slow. The large and well-packed dragon seems to have a little more stamina than the other snow creations, but not by much. As the crystalline snowflakes end, even Barney evenetually slumps to the ground with a heavy sigh.

Rubeus looks on with tears forming in his eyes. "Aw….aw no, Barney. Don'…don' go yet." He rushes to the snow dragon's side, gently petting the dragon's neck as its gumball eyes close at last.

Zoe watches Horatio go with an impish little grin. Taking up a final snowball, she flings it at his back. It would have hit him dead center - if she hadn't missed. It wizzes past his left shoulder. Oh well. Shaking her head, she looks back off to the dragon. Even from a distance, she catches Rubeus' dismay. Biting her lower lip, she approaches the half-giant boy.

Colton is making quite the lewd scene as he has been chasing after the naked woman snowman that's encasing his baby brother and has finally tackled it and is gropping and entangling it with his legs to try to get a grip on it enough to try and pry his brother out of the snow. All the whiles he is getting pelted in the middle of the warzone. "Gaaaah!"

Aiden looks around noticing how its all kind of slowing down he gets a disappointed look on his face. "Well… tha's not…. Well tha's a shame now innit?" He asks his face going from childlike wonder and glee to disappointment.

As the snowmen fall still, the full-sized gingerbread man is the only creation still flinging snowballs. It takes Boniface Fortescue and a couple of his helpers to calm it down. Shouting apologies to its snow-splattered victims, the guide off out of Merlin's Square, heading for Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour.

As their joint creation decides to take a nap, Elspeth walks over to place a hand on Hagrid's shoulder, or elbow, as he pats Barney. "I am sorry, Hagrid. Barney was a good guardian." She looks around, wondering what is happening with the contest and the other creations.

From what Nia can gather from Barneys passing, feelings are about to happen. Perfect. She stands awkwardly off to the side, darting a hopeless look over at Aiden, and intertwines her hands in a way that looks somewhat painful. Then, all of a sudden, the screech of a boy trapped in ice distracts from the scene, and she lets out a loud laugh at that one. "Merlins ruddy-" She rumbles, laughing so hard she almost doubles over. "What on-"

Rubeus looks up (over?) at Zoe and Elspeth, his beetle-black eyes glistening. "Do yeh think he…he was real?"

Aiden pats Nia on the back awkwardly hes not exactly good with the feelings thing anyway he backs up slightly. "I ummm…Yea Im no' so goo' with the teary eyed feelin' thin' so Ill jus' let ye' folks take care o' tha'" He says and when he hears Nia laughing he turns and almost doubles over laughing as well.

Zoe tugs gently at Rubeus' arm, and if she can, she tries to tug it into a hug. Glancing up at Rubeus, she smiles with gentle warmth. "Yes. I think so. For a little while. A snow-breathing dragon." As laughter rises nearby from Aiden and Nia, Zoe can't help but grin. Glancing from them back to Hagrid, she takes his hand in both her mittens and squeezes it.

Colton goes from a bit of bawdy comedy to actually lookin a bit like a crazy murderer as he bashes away at the ice and snow that surrounds his brother as he realizes that his brother was pretty frightened. "It's salrigh Kenny. Gotcha I do." Colton alternates between Shelta and English but as he gets more and more consoling and thus sappy, he leans more into Shelta so those who are't kin around them won't know that he's being a big sappy and protective big brother. Scooping his brother up he wraps him up inside of his winter robes with himself and bounces some as he walks the three year old back to the Quinnlands who have started to turn on each other with the snowballs. It will be dawn before they give up the fight!

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