A Magical Christmas Surprise

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"Wake up, Tuney, wake up!" Lily's voice was rapt with excitement as she shook her twin sister's shoulder. "Oh do wake up Tuney. Wait 'til you see!" She scrambled away from the bed excitedly, unable to stand still long enough for Petunia to wake up all the way.

When Pentunia pushed back the bed curtains that surrounded her four-poster, she found quite a scene indeed... "What - what is all this?" she stammered, looking about... for the girls' bedroom had become a miniature winter wonderland, with snowflakes falling gently from a tiny cloud that hung by the ceiling fan overhead. Lily was already excitedly working on rolling out the body of a snowman.

It was Christmas and the weather had been uncharacteristically warm for the winter, not a single flake of snow had fallen yet out of doors. Petunia, whose favorite thing about Christmas was the snow, had been telling Lily not even a week ago how sad she was feeling without the snow fall that usually came with winter, and now here it was... their own personal blizzard. Outside the window, the grass was still dead and rotting on the lawn, but inside the finest powder, perfect for snowball fights and fort building, had fallen overnight. Like magic.

Lily grinned happily at her sister. "Surprise!" she gasped, then covered her mouth with her fingers, giggling to herself with nervous glances at the door to the hallway. She didn't want to wake up their parents, afraid they'd be angry about the snow inside the house. Lily's eyes were dancing with enthusiasm, though. "It's my Christmas present to you, Tuney!" she whispered. "Happy Christmas!"

Petunia was sitting on the very edge of her bed. She stared at the sparking flakes around her. "But - but how?" she asked.

"Magic," whispered Lily.

Petunia frowned. "Stop that lying, Lily, and tell me how."

"I'm not lying and you know it, Tuney," Lily replied. "I told Sev about how you wanted the snow for Christmas and he showed me a spell to make it. I made the snow myself, just for you, Tuney." She smiled, quite proud of herself, then waved an arm eagerly, "C'mon. Come help me with this snowman. We'll make him look really cool and show mummy and da. C'mon. It's not cold, really."

Petunia hesitated, torn between telling off Lily and joining her. Finally, she was overcome by temptation and slipped out of bed in her nightgown and walked gingerly to where Lily was kneeling by the ends of their beds. Lily was right; the snow wasn't cold, it just looked like it ought to be. In reality, it was as warm and squishy between Petunia's toes as beach sand would be. It was the most amazing thing she had ever experienced. Her eyes were wide and her hands trembled with excitement as she joined Lily in pushing a giant ball of snow around the room, forming the base of their snowman. They worked together, petting and pawing at the snow, until they'd formed the most handsome snowman either of them had ever seen before. Lily shoved a school pencil in for a nose and a couple of spare buttons from her wool coat pocket for eyes. The two sisters stood back and stared at their creation, giggling at him happily. They fell back onto the floor and made snow angels before laying quiet, side by side, staring up at the ceiling breathlessly.

"Sev will be really proud," Lily commented. "I can't wait to tell him the spell worked." She grinned and rolled over to look at Petunia.

At this, Petunia frowned. "Sev?" she said shrilly, then, "Not that boy from Spinner's End?"

Lily sat up. "So what if he's from Spinner's End?"

Petunia made a face. "Lily, Spinner's End is where the poor people live. They're filthy there. They have cockroaches and smell funny because they don't take baths."

Lily's eyebrows came together in concern, "Sev can't help where he's from, Petunia."

"His hair is always filthy."

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