A Magical Roleplaying Experience 

 #20951  by Katharine Costa
Location: Emily's home, Suffolk • Date: Christmas Day, 2002

True to her nature, Matilde Costa had flaked on Christmas Day with her children once again. Emerson had made the noises that maybe she'd pop by after dinner, but after almost three days without so much as a floo-call, Kat had given up hope. Not that it had stopped Mariya from asking after her, mind you.

Desperate to distract herself, Kat had offered to help Emily cook the Christmas Dinner, which was why she was now stood in the kitchen, apron tied firmly around her thin waist, pushing her aunt's girlfriend towards the door and out of the room. Kat was less of a 'helper' and more of a 'control freak'. Having Emily and Katharine both fighting over dinner was enough to send anyone loopy. "I promise you, everything is absolutely under control," she promised. "I'll let you know when dinner's ready."
 #20952  by Emily Anderson
Emily Anderson did not appreciate being thrown out of her own kitchen, but if it kept Katharine happy and not want to murder her, unlike Emerson's boys, then she was happy to oblige. The tree in her living room was still piled high with presents that the children had not finished unwrapping yet. When Emerson had glared at her as the boys tore into their broom-shaped presents, Emily had smiled sweetly and whispered, "it's Christmas," with a shrug.

Now, Emily was a bit sheepish as she approached her girlfriend. "Young Miss Costa has decided she is in charge of the kitchen," Emily informed Emerson.
 #20968  by Alessio Toscano
"I just don't understand why it had to be here," the grumpy teenager huffed for the twelveth time since they had arrived. Feeling that his mother had not taken his or Leo's feelings into consideration when she had made their Christmas plans, the young Hufflepuff had spent the better part of the afternoon arguing with her. It had started with shouts when they had still been in his mom's flat and had dissolved into hushed tones as soon as they had walked into the blonde's house.

Rolling his eyes dramatically as he noticed Emily approaching them, Alessio grunted before he left his mother's side and joined his cousin in the kitchen.
 #20969  by Emerson Toscano
"My flat just isn't big enough to contain our joyful holiday spirit," Emerson whispered back, her tone serving as a warning, she had had enough of his bad attitude. "Just be appreciative." She had expected her sons to push back, but Alessio's complete close-mindedness was somewhat of a surprise, especially now that it was threatening to ruin Christmas, a Holiday her son had always loved.

She sighed heavily when the boy finally left her side. Her mood barely got better when Emily joined her. "Over-gifters lose their kitchen privileges." Not quite sure if she was teasing or being reproachful, Emerson frowned.
 #20973  by Andrea Carter
Unknown to her mother, after presents had been given, Andrea had returned upstairs to spend the morning with her head down the toilet. She had known for the better part of a month now that she was pregnant, yet the young woman hadn't brought herself to tell Emily. Now that she was sure the worst of her morning sickness was over, she appeared in the living room, surprised to see Emily there too. She had expected her mother to be busying herself with cooking the dinner, yet that did not appear to be the case.

The atmosphere in the room felt strange, completely unlike any Christmas she had experienced before. Perhaps she was better off spending the day upstairs, away from everything. She sat down heavily in a chair across from where Emerson sat. A few hours previously, Andrea had watched as Emily had gifted Emerson's sons with a beautiful broomstick each - not that Andrea believed they deserved them, given how rude they'd been to her - and now it appeared as if Emerson was in a huff with her too.

"C'mon, Emerson, she's doing the best she can," Andrea intruded, raising an eyebrow at her mother's girlfriend.
 #20974  by Katharine Costa
Katharine turned her head towards the door as she heard Alessio enter. "Cheer up, things could be far worse," she informed him. "You could be spending Christmas without your mother too." She chuckled darkly.

Kat pointed towards the drawer. "Hey, can you find me the peeler in there, please?" she asked her cousin. If he was going to interrupt her cooking, then he might as well make himself useful.
 #20975  by Emily Anderson
Feeling herself deflate a little as Alessio slunk away, Emily delicately placed herself into the seat next to Emerson and sighed. This was not the family Christmas she had been hoping for. She tried to keep her voice bright as she said, "that must be why you've lost your kitchen privileges too," hinting towards Emerson about the amount of presents she had bought for Katharine and Mariya.

Seeing Andrea enter the room out of the corner of her eye, Emily turned to face her daughter. Noticing the pallor of Andrea's face, concern filled her features. "What's wrong, love?" she asked, standing instantly and moving towards her daughter's side. She placed a hand against Andrea's forehead. "Are you sick?"
 #20976  by Leo Toscano
Leo Toscano was not impressed that he was spending Christmas Day with his mother's girlfriend, but he wasn't as perturbed by the situation as his brother appeared to be. He was pretty easy to win over, and the broomstick that Emily had gifted him was the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen. Crafted in France and delicately painted by hand, it was a thing of great beauty. The blonde was certainly winning him over and Leo wasn't even ashamed that he'd been bought.

He was sat in the armchair, however, ignoring the goings on around him, aside from his little cousin at his feet. He'd tried to put her off to the best of his ability, but given that he was closest in age to her, he had sort of been given the job of keeping her entertained. This was why he was sat with a leg thrown over the armchair, shifting through a pile of chocolate frog cards, whilst Mariya painted his toenails a pretty pink colour.

He glanced up when he heard Emily fret over Andrea, chiming in with: "You do look pretty pale."
 #20979  by Emerson Toscano
"She is." Emerson agreed with Andrea. "But they are not." She pointed toward her sons. As far as she was concerned they had not deserved Emily's generosity. To a certain extent, they didn't even deserve her patience, though Emerson was far too grateful for that one to mention it. The boys were still adjusting to their parents' divorce, eventually, they would hopefully warm up to Emily, how could they not? She was so kind and patient.

Emerson shrugged off Emily's insinuation. The two situations were so different that she was not even willing to compare them.

Noticing Andrea's pale features Emerson's concern went towards the young woman.
 #20980  by Alessio Toscano
Without a word, the boy started looking for a peeler. Seeing many spices and condiments as he looked for the instruments, the boy started fantasizing about adding the many ingredients to Emily's plate. If he spoilt her meal maybe she would understand how he felt about her presence.

"Kat, I know you can cook, but this is..." Looking around the boy realized the extent of the meal her cousin was taking on. Maybe he wouldn't have to add extra flavor to the meal to spoilt it.
 #20981  by Andrea Carter
Andrea glanced towards Leo. She didn't mind him so much, because she felt as if she could influence him in some way. Alessio was more diffiicult, and she didn't like his attitude. If he wasn't careful, he'd be getting a mouthful from Andrea about how he should be treating Emily. As she did not want to make the atmosphere even more tense, she had decided not to say anything - yet. "It'll take some time," she replied weakly.

Andrea waved away her mother's concern. "I'm fine, just tired from working so hard." She gave her mother a reassuring smile. Nobody could argue with that.

She had suffered through three weeks without telling her mother because she was too scared, and Christmas Day was most certainly not the one to share her news. She'd deal with it soon, just not yet - certainly not today.

She turned her attention towards their youngest guest. "Mariya, you're welcome to paint my nails when you're done with Leo's."
 #20982  by Katharine Costa
"I have it under control," Kat assured Alessio as she chopped. "The turkey will be done in precisely..." She glanced towards the clock. "Crikey, is that the time already?" she chuckled awkwardly, dropping her knife on the chopping board to move towards the oven. She opened the door, not expecting to be hit in the face by a blast of grey smoke. Coughing and spluttering, she wafted the air around the oven with the tea towel, and reached across to switch the oven off.

"It might be a little overdone," she mumbled in Alessio's direction.
 #20987  by Alessio Toscano
Alessio waved his hand around in an attempt to disperse the smoke and catch a glimpse of their meal. "A Little overdone?" He coughed in disbelief.

Hoping the smell wouldn't alarm the adults, he rushed to open a window. "Think they'll notice if we serve the meal without turkey?" There seemed to be so many dishes.
 #20988  by Katharine Costa
Kat gave Al a cutting gaze. "I'm pretty sure I heard Emily mention that this turkey cost her more galleons than she cared to mention but that it was 'worth it' because of how perfect this meal must be." She sat down heavily on a stool. "Face it, I've ruined Christmas Dinner, Al." She glanced around at the many dishes they'd prepared, feeling a heavy guilt settle in her stomach. She was fed up of not being able to do anything right.

Standing, Katharine wandered over to the fridge and opened the door. The appliance was filled with various Christmas foods. More food than Katharine was sure she had ever seen in her life, including in the Great Hall. "There's some chicken breasts here," she mumbled as she shuffled through the food. "If we reheat them and cut them into slices, maybe nobody would notice?"
 #20989  by Alessio Toscano
Alessio winced, he had been of the opinion that his mother had ruined Christmas the moment she had announced that they would be spending it at Emily's, but hearing the sadness in his cousin's voice when she claimed to have ruined it herself, Alessio felt his entire attitude shift. He couldn't let Katharine think she had ruined Christmas, not when his mother so clearly deserved that title.

Looking over her shoulder he stared into the fridge. "Emily likes to be super nice, surely she wouldn't dare accuse you of ruining dinner." He could hear the disdain in his voice when he mentioned Emily's quality, but he meant it as a solution to his cousin's problem. "Let's try it."