"It's almost Christmas!" sings Jack as we walk down the hall. "You going home or staying here?"
"Mother says I have to come home," I sigh, wishing I could stay here with Jack, Hiccup, and Merida. It would be so much more fun than the same old thing. "You're staying, right?"
Jack nods sadly. "I want to go home because my dad's in the hospital, but Mama doesn't want me to see him the way he is." My heart hurts for him.
"I'm sorry," I whisper, hugging him tightly. He freezes, but relaxes and hugs me back, gently stroking my hair.
"Thanks, Punzie," he murmurs, and for once, that ridiculous pet name doesn't bother me.
"Oi!" Merida shouts, coming down the hall with Hiccup, a grin on both of their faces. "Do you guys realize where you're standing?" Merida points above our heads, and I groan.
"Mistletoe," Jack mutters, embarrassed.
"What's mistletoe mean?" I ask puzzled.
Merida and Hiccup share knowing looks as Jack's face goes a really deep red. "C'mon, guys," he says. "Let it go."
"I shan't, thank ye kindly," Merida replies. "Mistletoe means ye hafta kiss 'im, Rapunzel."
My heart races and I look at Jack. He nods, looking at his feet. "I'll spare you," he says, leaning forward and kissing my cheek. I feel myself burn, but not to be outdone, pull him close and kiss his cheek, too. Merida whoops and Hiccup laughs.
"Well done!" Merida chortles. "Anyways, Rapunzel, there's a letter here for you." She holds out an envelope and I take it. It's addressed to me, and I've only gotten one other letter. The handwriting matches. I open the envelope and start reading.
I hope you are safe at Hogwarts. I am sending you this letter for two reasons. One, I love you and miss you! Oh, how I wish I could see you! Two, I just wanted to inform you that I have decided that you may stay at Hogwarts for the Christmas holidays. Good luck, and I love you!
"So?" Merida prompts.
"I get to stay for Christmas!" I squeal (which is very unlike me).
"Yes!" This is a unanimous cry emitted from all three of my best friends. We form a group hug, cheering.
Suddenly Merida breaks away and starts skipping off down the hall, calling as she goes, "Rapunzel's staying for Christmas, Rapunzel's staying for Christmas!"
"She's crazy!" I laugh, staring after her. My stance softens. "And she's my best friend."