Fandom: Professor Layton
Word Count: 711
Disclaimer: I don't own Professor Layton. Or his top-hat of awesome.
Teaser: Everyone has their own holiday traditions. Sometimes it’s fun to add a new one.
It was the end of November, and that meant that it was time for one very big, very important, very special day in the Layton household. It was the day that they prepared for Christmas, put up the decorations, and just generally got into the mood of the holidays and the spirit of the season.
In the past, it had always been just Luke and the Professor digging through the boxes and finding everything, and wondering where they had gotten this, and playing the “Where did we put this last year?” game that so many families enjoy around the holidays. No work, no lessons, no worries. Just sprucing up the house and the office for the Yuletide.
But this year, there was a new addition to the family. Flora Reinhold had come to stay with them in the summer; this was her first Christmas away from St. Mystere since the town had been built, and her first holiday season without her parents or the other inhabitants of the town. Layton was privately concerned as to how she would react to it all, as this was a time of year for families. Still, she seemed all right. She even offered to be the one to run out and pick up a few things that they needed for the house, leaving Luke and the Professor to get the rest of it in order.
“Professor…” Luke said, digging into a box. “Did we have this much tinsel last year?”
“I seem to recall you asking me that exact same question last year,” Layton said. His visible amusement turned to outright laughter when Luke managed to actually fall into the box and emerged a moment later with dozens and dozens of shiny metallic strands dangling from his hair and clothes.
Luke gave his mentor a Look. “Don’t say anything.”
Still, in spite of that little mishap, things were quickly taking shape around the house. The wreath with the burgundy ribbon went on the front door, as it always did, along with the thin leather strap that held a row of jingle bells, something Luke had seen somewhere and insisted on having. Small figurines were set out on various surfaces, along with a small tree that was promptly decorated in colorful ornaments and ribbons and the tinsel that Luke had lost that ferocious battle with. Soon there would be several small gifts tucked under that tree.
But that would have to wait until a little closer to the holiday.
“Professor, what does one get a girl for Christmas?” Luke asked at one point.
“Something she’d like, just like anyone else.”
“…but Flora’s a girl,” Luke said in a conspiratorial whisper. “That makes it different.”
Layton resisted the urge to slap himself in the forehead. Luke was such a bright boy, but every now and then he had a moment like this. “Luke, we’ll find you something to give her. Don’t worry about it.”
The front door opened, and Flora’s soft voice called, “I’m back.”
It took a moment for her to appear, as she was shedding her winter outerwear. But when she did, she was holding her shopping bag, as well as a small pot of dark red flowers. “I hope you don’t mind, but I picked up something else…” she said, carefully setting the pot down on a table in the corner and passing the fruits of her shopping trip to the Professor.
“What are they?” Luke asked, peering at the star-shaped leaves, scarlet in color.
“Poinsettias,” Flora said, absently brushing her hands over the leaves. “We always used to have them around Christmas. My father liked them…” She trailed off, her eyes growing a bit distant.
Alarmed, Luke looked back to his mentor, not quite sure what to do. But Layton was smiling. “Why don’t we put them over here?” He asked, picking up the pot and moving it to the table nearest the window. “They’ll be a bit more visible over here.” He shifted the pot, then smiled. “There. It looks perfect.”
It was a simple gesture, adding something that had been a tradition of Flora’s family into their own holiday traditions. But the smile on her face was far warmer than the fire burning on the hearth, and easily twice as bright.