Pure, white snow covered the peaceful town of Hogsmeade. The town was however in turmoil as Hogwarts students run up and down its old paths, shouting and laughing without a worry in the world. Christmas was after all a very special time when they could break free from the rigidness of classes and the stern look on Professor McGonagall’s face.
One shop loved in particular by everybody, was, like every year in full activity. Honeydukes, the sweets shop loved by young and old alike was buzzing with people. Chocolate frogs, Pumpkin Pasties, Pixie Puffs or Chocolate Cauldrons, all of them were vanishing from the shelves as if enchanted. Behind the bar, Mr. and Mrs. Flume had no time to breathe as students came to buy away their stuff. But Mr. Flume had reasons to worry, for this year was the third year when the number of clients continued to drop. This time, Honedukes had competition.
Mr. Marbh appeared three years ago, seemingly out of nowhere and set up a sweet shop just four houses away from Honeydukes. Being on the main street and bringing new and exotic sweets, the Jelly Horse was quick to gain attention from the eager students of Hogwarts. Mr. Marbh himself was a rather normal old man, with gray hair and jolly mood. If it weren’t for his peculiar habit of eating some of his sweets, he would go unnoticed. Year after year, the Jelly Horse gained more and more clients, sending shivers down poor Mr. Flume’s back.
One early morning the students were having breakfast in the Great Hall as it is the norm at Hogwarts. However, uneasy rumors spread across the school and the teachers showed signs of unrest. Dan O’Rayley from Slytherin still didn’t recover his normal age. Dan was found four days ago standing in front of the entrance to the Slytherin house common room, long, white beard and wrinkles as if he had aged 70 years at once. He was not moving or saying anything as if trying to remember the password to the entrance. The prefect of Slytherin believed Dan had fooling around with Aging Potions again so he only led him to the Hospital Wing. However, none of Madam Pomfrey’s potions worked and it was worrying everybody for there seemed to be no way to turn the poor student back to his age.