The Start of the Holiday

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A Heartwarming Christmas

A/N: Here we go! This is the first official chapter of "A Heartwarming Christmas"! So let's roll it!

Chapter 1

The Start of the Holiday

Two years ago...

In the then-dark and dreary castle, Leona the Swinub, Kenny the Prinplup, Zoey the Glameow, and MJ the Bellossom were searching for Dawn, their mistress. She wasn't at breakfast that morning, leaving their guest to eat by himself. Finally, they reached the then-dusty and unused ballroom, with Leona in the lead and everyone else was following close behind.

"Where could she be?" MJ asked.

"We've searched everywhere." Zoey added.

"I'm starting to think that she's not in the castle." Kenny said.

With a strong push upward, Leona jumped up onto the bench that was near the window. Wiping the warm perspiration away from the window with her nose, she saw who they were looking for.

Dawn was outside, romping around aimlessly in the snow, a sullen look on her face. She was still dressed in her thin, Gardevoir-styled dress, but because of the thick fur all over her body, the cold wasn't bothering her very much.

"Found her!" Leona exclaimed.

"Great!" Zoey said with a wide smile.

"Well, there's no time to waste." Kenny added. "We'd better find a way to get those two together."

"Come on, then!" Leona said as she jumped off the bench. "Romance can't wait!"

Everyone else immediately began to follow her.

"You really think he's the one?" MJ asked the Swinub about her thoughts on their guest. "Will he break the spell?"

Leona smiled widely. "I knew it from the moment I set eyes on him!" She said confidently.

"If anyone can reach the mistress, Ash can." Zoey added. "He may be a bit stubborn and brash, but he does have such a kind soul. That's rare in people these days."

"And his looks don't hurt, either." Leona chimed in, slightly giggling.

MJ laughed at that as well, knowing very well that their guest was actually quite attractive, with a pure heart to match. He had both inner and outer beauty, which could prove to be something that their mistress could learn. If she could learn to be kind and charitable, then her inner beauty would shine through her beastly form, and her outer beauty will be restored to her once more.

**********************

Speaking of their guest, he had just left the dining hall after breakfast and was wandering around the castle, about to head over to the library. His trusty Pokémon partner, a male Pikachu, was perched on his right shoulder, as his Trainer was humming a cheerful little ditty happily as he glanced outside to look at the softly falling snow.

Ash Ketchum was then eighteen years old, and he was quite handsome. He had chocolate brown eyes, tan skin with little Z-marks on his upper cheeks, and wild raven-black hair tucked under a red and black cap with a blue Pokéball insignia on the front. Today, he was wearing the outfit that he'd worn during his journey in Sinnoh, which was a white T-shirt under a black vest with a yellow stripe, jeans, and red and black sneakers. On his hands were black fingerless gloves with light green trim.

Even though Ash was a little confused about why Dawn wasn't at breakfast earlier, that didn't deter him from his cheerful and excited mood. Today was a very special day and the elated smile on his face brightened as he turned over to glance at his Pokémon partner.

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