The view of the grounds from the Ravenclaw dorm window revealed a nice blanket of snow. The perfect snow for snowman building, thought Danny. He grabbed a heavy coat and the scarf Nicolette had knitted him and dashed down the stairs.
The common room was almost completely empty, save for Rose who had quill in hand and was busily scratching at a roll of parchment. Danny grinned as a thought entered his head.
“Yes, Danny?” The tiny blonde set her quill aside and looked up at him.
“What’re ye workin’ on?” he asked leaning against the couch. “Ah wis gauntae gae ootside an’ mebbes build a snowman or somethin’.”
Very deliberately laying her arm across her parchment, a teasing smile blossomed across Rose’s face. “Well… I’d hate to think of you all alone out in the cold…”
Danny twirled his wand in his hand then pointed at the girls’ dorm stairs. “Accio Rose’s coat.”
She giggled as her fur trimmed coat came flying down toward them. “Give me just a minute though. I need to put this away.” She picked up the quill and parchment and left her coat on a chair to keep him company. “Besides… you forgot my hat and mittens.” With a laugh and a wink, she flounced up the stairs but made sure she didn’t leave him waiting too long.
In minutes she was back downstairs and beaming at him. “I think I’m ready now.”
Together they walked out the common room and down the stairs. As they reached the ground floor, Danny glanced over at his friend. “Whit wur ye writing, anyway? A’d hate tae tak’ ye awa’ frae schuilwork.”
“Oh.” Her cheeks colored and she quickly busied herself with picking the lint off her fuzzy mittens. “It wasn’t schoolwork. It was just a letter. Nothing that can’t wait until later.”
The young man nodded. “Writing tae yuir fowks? Howfur ur thay daein’? An’ Halcyon? How’s th’ seicont cutest bairn lassie ah ken daein’?”
The little prefect smiled and linked her arm through his. “Well, I’m sure my parents are fine. But I was um…” She looked up at him, blushing a little bit more. “Don’t laugh… but I was um… writing to Halcyon.”
Danny blinked. “Dae yer parents read thaim tae her?” He smiled sheepishly. ” Ah mean, ah ken she’s yer sister ‘n’ is gaun tae be smart, bit ah cannae jalouse her reading yet.”
“Well… she’s not reading them yet. I just thought maybe it would be something nice for her to have when she got older. You know… like maybe when she starts Hogwarts.” Rose gave a sheepish little smile, afraid he was going to think she was crazy. “In case she’s homesick at first or something… like I was.”
“Sisterly advice in advance.” Danny thought for a moment as they reached the entrance hall. “That’s richt sweet. A’m sure she’ll appreciate it.”
As his hand reached the door, Danny paused for a moment. The door was the dividing line between the warmth of the castle and the cold of outdoors. “Are ye ready?”
“Of course I’m ready.” She cuddled against him, bracing herself against the cold to come by stealing some of his body heat. “Let’s go make adorable snowmen!”
Danny threw the door open and the Ravenclaw duo walked out into the cold and snow.
“He needs a hat.” The blonde Ravenclaw dusted her snowy mittens off on her legs. Her cheeks were pink with the cold and she was pretty sure that the snow had managed to find a way inside her clothes to make her as cold as possible. But she was outside enjoying time with Danny… it would take a lot more than a little bit of a chill to dampen her spirits. “And a name.”
“Weel,” He reached into the pocket of his jeans and rummaged around a bit before pulling out a pointy wizard hat. “Ah’ve gat the hat gif ye hiv th’ name.”
She took a step back and gave the snowman an appraising look. “Well he’s a boy… and he’s awfully tall.” Tall enough that Danny had been forced to place the head on top of the pile on his own. “So his name is Gus.”
“Yes,” she answered without bothering to give an explanation. She turned to her left to look at their other nearly finished snowman. “And she’s a girl. So, of course, she’s Matilda.”
Danny nodded. “Awricht.” From his left sleeve the young man let the spiral wand drop into his hand. Dan pointed the wand at each of the snowman and each time said “Glacius,” freezing the two snowmen solid.
“Ah need tae figger a way tae keep ’em frozen ’til August,” he said with a laugh.
She laughed with him but shook her head. “August may be a little long. I’m sure they’d get lonely or… bored. Ooo… unless we made a whole family.” Those emerald eyes sparkled with excitement at the thought of their expanding snow village.
“Ah dinnae hiv oney wey tae keep them frozen, hen.” Danny laughed and threw his arm around the girl. “Asides, gif we’re gauntae make too many more, we micht need tae… Oi!”
The young man was cut off mid-sentence as he was smacked in the side of the head with a snowball. Mentally tracing the trajectory back, he saw a cluster of Slytherins packing more of the frozen projectiles.
“Hey!” Reaching up to wipe the snow off his head, Rose glared across the field at the Slytherins. “We didn’t do anything to you.”
Of course her protest brought only another volley of snowballs. Holding Danny’s hand, she ducked behind one of their snowmen, narrowly avoiding a snowball in the face. “They’re gonna hurt our snow people.”
“Nae,” Danny beginning to pack a retaliatory snowball. “Ah’ve frozen ’em solid.” He handed her the finished snowball and quickly slashed his wand, saying, “Parietis!”
At once the snow began to pile up in the same arc Danny had slashed, forming a solid four foot tall snow wall. “Tak’ cover ‘n’ return fire!”
Rose ducked behind the snow wall and looked over at Dan. “Where did you learn that wall thingy?” she asked her friend.
“A beuk aboot Wizard archetecture,” he said with a grin. “Auld Rowena liked tae model wee scale structures afore she built th’ muckle ones. Ah juist figured oot howfur tae…” He paused, searching for the right word. “Overdo it.”
Completely mesmerized by his grin, the blonde forgot about the snowballs flying past their wall. “You really liked the book?” Green eyes shining, she leaned closer to him. “I’m so glad!”
After hurling two snowballs back towards the Slytherins, who were now taking cover behind trees, Danny ducked down again and grinned at Rose. “Ah loue it. Did ye ken Ravenclaw designed Radford Castle as a meetin steid fur th’ Wizard’s Council?”
“Really?” The snowball she’d been forming in her hands–and squeezing a little too hard–crumbled and fell back to the frozen ground. “I never knew that.”
“Aye. It’s a great beuk.” He flung another snowball then glanced back at Rose.
“Here,” he said as he took her hands and helped her pack the snowball, his gloved hands around her mittens. “Ye hiv tae be firm, but gentle.”
“Um… right.” Cheeks coloring, Rose tried again, making sure to give the little snowball her full attention. “I… I think I’ve got it now…”
Danny smiled warmly. “Guid.” He turned back to face the barrage of frozen orbs flying in their direction.
Encouraged by his smile, she threw a couple of snowballs. Then, when they dramatically failed to hit their targets, she decided that maybe throwing wasn’t her strong suit. Instead she popped her head over their wall and did her best to explode the incoming snowballs before they got too close, letting them shower back to the ground in tiny harmless snowflakes.
“Aren’t they tired of this game yet?” she complained, breath steaming in the air.
“If not, they will be,” came a voice from behind them, followed by a furious cascade of snowballs. Rose and Danny turned to see a two of their housemates standing there, wands drawn, magically propelling hunks of snow at the Slytherins.
Danny nodded at them. “Guid work, Douglas.”
“Not a problem, DuMorne. Moira and I happened to see you get ambushed.”
The lady standing next to Brett Douglas nodded. “And we thought we would come to your rescue.”
“You guys are amazing!” Rose gushed, standing up and brushing the snow off her legs. “Thank you so much for helping… because I’m clearly no good in a snowball fight.”
Danny flashed her a lopsided smile and started to speak, but was cut off by Brett. “I’d say you did quite well for someone who wasn’t prepared for the fight.”
“Aye,” Danny said looking at Douglas, his eyes narrow. “She’s a richt talented lady.”
Rose beamed. “Thank you.” She took a step closer to Danny and gave his arm a little hug. “Danny’s totally amazing at this. But I’m still glad you guys rescued us.” She gave a small laugh then looked back at their snowmen and the now-still battlefield. “We should go have hot chocolate now or something.”
Moira’s eyes widened. “We so should!” the other girl said with a smile. “But where are we going to get hot chocolate?”
But Brett was shaking his head. “Maybe some other time,” he told his housemates, taking Moira by the arm. “But we have other plans for the afternoon. We just wanted to help throw a few snowballs.”
Danny raised his eyebrow. “Awricht, Douglas. Hiv a guid efternoon.” He glanced at the little blonde standing beside him and then looked back to watch Brett and Moira walk away through the snowy landscape.
As the reached the castle entrance, he looked back at Rose. “Tha wis weird,” he said with a frown.
“What was?” She brushed the snow off her mittens as she glanced up at him.
He quickly glanced away as their eyes met. Smiling sadly as he looked back at the tracks. “Ah dinnaekin. They were…” He frowned. “They were talkin’ tae Liddell that nicht when Tom came intae the common room as a cat.”
The blonde nodded, painfully aware of her promise to support Tommy in his theories. “I can’t say I noticed. Is that something they don’t usually do?”
“Ah dinnaekin,” he said with a sigh. “An’ turnin’ doun hot chocolate? It’s like they dinnae want tae be… social.”
“I don’t know,” she repeated, smiling as the warmth from the castle flooded over them. “Maybe they really were just busy. They did help us, after all.”
Danny looked at the adorable girl next to him and smiled. “Aye,” he said as the two of them walked up the steps to the front door, kicking snow off of their boots as they went. He had been having a great day up to this point and he didn’t want suspicions to ruin it.
“A’m sure ye’r richt. Tis nae lik’ we dinnae huv plenty o’ homework. Bit ah think someone mentioned het chocolate…”
Rose paused in the middle of the hallway, puddles of snow melting off her boots growing around her feet.”No. I’m sure you’re right,” she said in a tone of great resolve. “If you think it’s suspicious then you should talk to Tommy and work together to figure things out. And we should totally get hot chocolate!”
Grinning at Rose, Danny offered his arm. “I’m sure Gerti will have it ready for us by the time we reach the common room.”
“Sounds perfect.” The sunny blonde beamed as she took his arm. Maybe it wasn’t so bad being just his friend… not as long as they kept having amazing afternoons like this.