The Hogwarts Express has a lot of compartments. It has to take about 400 students back and forth between Scotland and London every year; that means a long train. This particular compartment contains a boy, looking like someone took a normal eleven-year-old and put a Stretching Jinx on his spine, staring out the window and twisting his long black wand in his fingers. He looks painfully bored.
"Tintin, if you please. I suppose if my parents were secret agents from a secret society in hiding from the government I might like them better."
"Tintin, right, sorry. Anyway point is, I have no reason to care what this God person wants, right?"
"I am sure you do not."
"So this whole thing is really weird," he concludes.
"I will not argue that it is not weird. People take it very seriously, though. -what kind of holidays do wizards have, if you have never heard of Christianity?"
"Uh... Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's? I guess?"
Tintin looks absolutely bewildered.
"How do you have Christmas without Christ?"
"What's a Christ?"
"The son of God. Whose birth you celebrate every December 25. Do you understand why I am confused."
"...that's not what Christmas is, Christmas is for presents and family and stuff." He turns to David. "Right?"
"...I mean, birthdays are also about presents and family... I wonder if our Christmases might come from the same root? Like how English has the word 'rendezvous' even though it was a French word originally, or how the French word for beef is 'boeuf'? Wizards and muggles weren't always separated. And the muggles put their religion in it, and the wizards just have a big party with presents."
Tintin looks profoundly unsatisfied by this compromise.
"So like... wizards got this - what is your Christmas like, then?"
"Well, it is... a big party, and your family comes to visit, and you eat lots of good food and give each other gifts. And sing songs, and give to the poor. And you go to church and listen to the priest talk about how very important Jesus Christ was, and there is a little play about his birth. Also you decorate a tree."
"Okay... we have those except the priest and Jesus Christ things. I guess giving to the poor, I'm not sure there is a lot of that?"
"There is not as much of that as the nuns would like in the muggle world either," Tintin says. "Anyway, enough talk about Christmas in September. What is Hogwarts like, do you know? I was not allowed to visit before term started, they wanted to let me say goodbye to the friends I did not have."
"Oh it's so cool, my sister's two years older and she tells me all sorts of cool things. The walls and stairs all change and there are secret passages and the ghosts all over - she said there's no way to explain it, you gotta be there, but I'm so excited."
"Secret passages! Ghosts! I think that is even better than learning magic, maybe - a place like that sounds made for adventure!"
"Moving walls sound a bit inconvenient, honestly, but it does sound interesting."
"I know, right???" he says, beaming at Tintin. "Do you know what House you'll be?" he asks, straightening back up a bit to direct the question to both of them. I wondered but Deborah said if I am put anywhere but Gryffindor it's because someone bribed the Hat - there's a talking hat, did you know? It figures out where you go.""
"Wizards have such ideas - I do not know, no one told me about Houses. It sounds very English, frankly."
"Green's my best color," David says noncommittally.
James thinks that's very committal, personally.
"So Gryffindor is the one for brave people who like adventures, Ravenclaw is smart people who like books and learning and discovering things, Slytherin is ambitious people who are good at secrets, and Hufflepuff is friendly people who like building communities." He hikes a thumb in David's direction. "Green is Slytherin's color."