[written in a strange spiky script, which Attie will recognize as the product of a Dikta-spell cast by their house-elf, Maddie]]
Do you remember that old oak down by the pond? A storm came through on the last of the year and blew it down into the pond, which has frozen up already, as the weather has been unseasonably cold, with strong winds. I have not had a chance to cast the stones the way we used to on the first of the year, either. Maddy tells me that the birds have been flying strangely so far, though.
Therefore, we both hope that the omens are notwithstanding and that this letter finds you well and warm past the Twelfth Night. No doubt you are getting ready to celebrate your birthday. We have a present for you, but as we are not sure that the restrictions on civilian package post have been lifted, we have refrained from sending it to you. It is sitting on my writing desk, waiting for you when you come home.
I am afraid that the canes have indeed gone under for good for I could not find anyone to tie them down in October. Maddy was busy, and I gave it a try, but sliced my thumb rather badly. The geraniums are the only things that will definitely see the spring, as your moondials have died like the rest of your experiments. They might come back, though, if you are back this summer to see to them. We had heard of the negotiations and hoped that you would be able to make it back for Christmas with us, but no doubt you are still needed at the Rabbithole.
Mrs. Parkinson has been very kind and sent several plates of things over even though I could not go to Christmas Mass with her. This notepaper was one of her Christmas presents to me. Isn't it charming? I've always known you were fond of the color pink.
Give my love to Pansy and tell her that her mother wishes she wrote home more often.
Tell C hello for me also, and if you see Adrian and can stand getting within a yard or so of him without hitting him, please tell him that I think of him everytime I see a copy of his newspapers, which is entirely not frequently enough, given how Maddy has taken to censoring my mail. No doubt she will edit this letter too.
We hope to see you soon, Attie