Try Everything Once, Except...
...incest and Morris Dancing. One should leave the Morris Dancing to the professionals.
Halloween Evening, 2005. Dusk.
There was the crack of apparition, and Alastor Moody reappeared at the end of the driveway with Verity’s arm held in one hand, and Rupert Giles’ held in the other.
“That was certainly something I’ve never seen before,” Giles commented. “And I do appreciate the irony of my having said that.”
“Exciting, wasn’t it, Sir?” Verity beamed. It had been her first time to the dance.
“Indeed,” he replied. “I’ve seen the Morris danced dozens of times, but this was an experience.”
Moody and Verity had taken him to a secluded bit of Scottish moor, where they had walked silently into a wooded acre. They followed the sound of a drum until they came up to a small clearing where there were two small fires flickering in the night and five people dressed entirely in black. They were all elderly men and women, perhaps younger than Moody but defintely older than Giles’ own father would have been. Other people in dark cloaks were gathering around the clearing.
It was about five minutes after they arrived that the drumming changed. The five elderly people began to do a Morris dance, with the odd man out doing the dance with the autumn air. It took a few minutes, but a feminine figure -- much younger than the other participants -- dressed as one might expect to see a washer woman coalesced out of nowhere, twirling and dancing around the others, as the morris side’s fool might before taking the sixth spot. She danced with the old man, and then after a few moments, twirled out of formation and giggled, twirling and dancing around the other dancers, and evaporated away mid-step.
“We call her Modron,” Moody told them. “She’s a very old fertility and harvest Goddess. You may know her better as Ceres or Demeter. The Morris dance you see the muggles doing in the spring is based on the ritual we do calling her to our realm to do her work.”
The lightbulb popped on in Giles’ head. “And now that the harvest is over, she’s no longer needed and that was our releasing her for the winter.”
“Exactly. I’m sure that you noticed the steps were done in reverse. That’s why.”
“Actually, I hadn’t. That’s fascinating.”
Verity followed behind the two men as the group made their way up the driveway to the house. She was still incredibly excited. It was an honor to have gone with them to see the dance; not many people were invited.
She wondered how many people her age had been, and if her new friends would understand the significance. Her ears perked up when she heard mention of one of the stone circle.
“Actually, Esme Weatherwax once told me that they have something similar in her dimension, but they call it the ‘Dark Morris’ instead of the ‘Harvest Morris’, and instead of our one goddess they have two entities that swap places. The Summer Lady, who I suppose is similar to our Modron, and the Wintersmith, who is I suppose roughly equivalent to our Jack Frost.”
“Really? However did you get her to open up about that? That seems like one of those things that ‘don’t get talked about’,” Giles replied.
“Easy. I took her to one of ours.”