This will be the last story I post for probably a year, if all goes well. I am taking a year-long hiatus from writing fanfic in order to pursue writing original fiction. Wish me luck! I will be back eventually. Thank you and much love... Captainraychill
This story was written for the D/HR Advent Fest 2013, from the prompt "holly". I do not own Harry Potter; no profit is being made by me.
Warnings: Implicit sexual situations, strong profanity
Thank you to my wonderful beta, UnseenLibrarian!
BUG THE MAGNIFICENT
Hermione Granger stared scornfully at Draco Malfoy's concept of holiday décor. The Heads' Common Room was a winter palace, dripping with icy crystals. Knife-like, cold and colorless. Even the hearth fire was palest blue. Hols at the Manor must be as cozy as an icicle up the arse.
Coppery sparks sizzled, and the room transformed into a red-and-green wonderland, festive with holly and warm with candles. An evergreen tree was trimmed with twinkling lights, ornaments and garland. And the fire was fire-colored. Hermione sighed. This was so much better.
"Granger, were you raised in a barn? That tree skirt looks like a horse blanket. Crystal!"
"Malfoy, are you an ice princess? Should I conjure you a pretty tiara? Holly!"
"I refuse to host a party in a room gaudier than Trelawney!"
"No, you'd rather freeze everyone's bits off on a glacial sofa!"
"You know I'm going to win -"
"You are not!"
"- so you should just give up!"
This intelligent discussion continued until McGonagall's silvery cat Patronus leapt through a wall and ordered an immediate cease fire. Sparks had blown open the door to their balcony and were raining, six stories down, into the Black Lake. The Giant Squid had protested by sinking the first year boats.
"I expect you to personally raise those boats out of the frozen depths by noon tomorrow," the glowing cat said sternly. "The Merpeople might interpret this as an act of war."
With that, the ghostly cat leapt through another wall, disappearing, and Hermione scooped Crookshanks up into her arms.
"Lake," she snapped. "Eleven o'clock tomorrow."
"Have fun swimming in December. In Scotland."
"Lake! Eleven o'clock! Tomorrow!"
As Hermione marched past Draco, Crookshanks hissed.
Draco felt restless after Hermione slammed the door to her quarters. Most of their arguments ended like this, with her storming upstairs - her cheeks pink, her skirt swinging like a bell on Sunday and her dark hair crackling with fascinating, red flashes of magic. Trying to sleep would be useless. He'd just lie in bed, feeling feverish. Wanking once or twice usually took the raw edge off his emotions.
"Crystal," he whispered. The room became tasteful again. He was not an ice princess, and Granger could bloody well dredge up those boats alone.
Once in bed, Draco cast a reflexive Silencing Charm and proceeded with Wank Number One. It was an angry wank, quick and intense. After the bright rush of climax, he felt blissful and lazy. A moment later, his mind supplied the solution to his holly problem.
The plan was brilliant. He grinned, anticipating the shock on Hermione's face.
Wank Number Two was a slow fire that smoldered for half an hour before it flared into a long, breathtaking orgasm. Draco cried out when he came, mindless with pleasure yet, somehow, still thinking of Hermione's face.
At dawn, Draco sent an owl to his mother, asking about his talented Great Aunt Walburga. That afternoon, he heard Hermione practically growl the Heads' Dorm password.
"Goodness, dear!" exclaimed the portrait of the Lady in Yellow. "You look positively savage."
Draco smiled and tweaked one of Crookshanks' ears. The half-Kneazle stood up, gave a shivering stretch and hopped off the sofa. Draco cast a quick spell to remove ginger hair from his clothes. All this was a well-rehearsed routine. Appearances must be maintained.
When Hermione stomped into the room, Draco burst out laughing. She did look savage. Strands of seaweed were braided through her bushy hair, and she held a primitive spear.
"Shut it!" she snapped. "Because of you, I'm now Hogwarts' ambassador to the Mer kingdom at the bottom of the lake. In December. In Scotland."
"You speak Mermish?"
"Only a few expletives I learned today."
"Really? How do you say Fuck You in -"
"Not another word, Malfoy, or I will skewer you through the heart!"
Draco could think of a few more words that would be highly pleasurable to say, like "Congratulations, Ambassador." Instead, he remained silent, waiting for his enemy to realize that she'd been conquered.
Hermione grabbed Crookshanks and flounced upstairs. Before she slammed her door, her gaze swept over the Common Room. It was the sparkling crystal that Draco preferred. She shifted Crooks to her spear arm, drew her wand and shouted, "Holly!"
The room remained white, shimmering and beautiful.
She frowned. "Holly!"
She dropped the spear and Crooks. "Holly! Holly! HOLLY!"
Draco didn't speak. After all, she'd threatened him with a good skewering if he did. He just let victory glitter in his not-uncrystalline eyes.
Hermione glared at him, her dark eyes furious and red sparks flashing like lightning through her plaits. Draco felt the heat of triumph curl in his abdomen. His skin was hot, and his heart beat fast. Aunt Walburga's powerful Permanent Sticking Charm (with some diluting adjustments) held strong.
He had won.
He winked at Hermione, then reclined and pretended to nap on the sparkling pillows of his glacial sofa (which was actually quite comfortable). Hermione made a shrill screeching noise, and Draco wondered, with delight, if he'd just been called an "arse" in Mermish.
When Hermione had learned Draco was Head Boy, her heart had plummeted. Three hours into their tenure, they'd fought about division of responsibilities. She'd never been part of such a ferocious argument, standing nose to nose and screaming with fury. The conflict had left her trembling and tense. She couldn't sleep, her skin hot under the sheets. The next morning, only a well-placed showerhead and a bone-melting orgasm had allowed her to relax.
After her third argument with Draco, Hermione noticed something curious. Clearly, he was enraged with her - his gray eyes blazing and his cheeks flushing pink – but he didn't call her a Mudblood or even a Muggle-born. Blood was never mentioned. It was no longer a consideration.
Somehow, Malfoy's core beliefs had changed.
He was also more intelligent than she had thought him. Two days after their latest fight, the Heads' Common Room was still a silvery ice palace. Hermione couldn't reverse, transfigure, melt, sublimate, shatter, bombard or reduce the crystalline décor. She couldn't even mask it behind her vision of the perfect, cozy Christmas with candles and holly.
She supposed she could have decorated her private quarters to her liking, but that would be admitting defeat. She refused to yield. The Heads' holiday party for professors, staff, prefects and Eighth Years was only a week away. That was her deadline to outwit Malfoy and win.
And win she would, by any means, which was why she shrank herself to the size of Pygmy Puff and dedicated an afternoon to spying on Draco from a bookshelf in the Common Room. If she was lucky, he would reveal some clue – an incantation or wand movement - to help her Vanish his ice.
When he entered the dorm after lunch, her heart gave a leap. He went to his quarters for five minutes, then returned with one of his useless Quidditch magazines and flopped onto an icy couch.
Flopped? Draco Malfoy never flopped. He sat, reclined or leaned indolently with lanky grace. But not only did he flop, he grunted when he flopped! Draco Malfoy had grunted like a pig.
Grinning, Hermione sat on a stack of books to watch her flopping, grunting roommate read his magazine. She realized he acted differently when alone and unobserved. He didn't sneer or smirk or wear a look of jaded contempt. She'd caught glimpses of Draco's rare, unguarded expressions before, glancing at him across the Common Room as they studied separately, in silence. But now, his face was a natural she'd never seen before and very handsome. He laughed at something he read, and Hermione's stomach quivered. That was strange.
A moment later, Crookshanks meowed, trotting across the room toward Draco.
"Kick my cat, and I will hurt you," Hermione muttered.
"Fuck off," Draco said dispassionately.
After Crooks meowed five more times, Draco sighed. "Fine, you fat, old, dirty, Weasley-colored carpet. Come on up."
Come on up?
The instant Draco tossed away the magazine, Crooks jumped onto his chest. Draco grunted again.
Astonished, Hermione watched as her pet snuggled with the enemy, purring loudly. Draco turned on the wireless with his wand, stroked Crooks' ginger fur and started to doze. Ten minutes later, after another meow, he summoned a house-elf and asked her to bring Crooks his usual.
These were cubes of baked chicken, strawberry yogurt and a porcelain bowl filled with cream.
"You fluffy, little traitor," Hermione murmured. When she returned to her proper size, she'd kick Crooks herself. Her cat and Draco were liars, both of them - all the hisses, proclamations of hate and death threats mere bluster.
Somehow, in addition to outgrowing his bigotry, Draco Malfoy had grown a heart.
A heart I can exploit, Hermione thought with a wicked smile.
"What is that?" Draco asked with disdain.
"A gift," Hermione answered.
Draco gazed warily at the box in her palm. It was a green pyramid about six inches tall. White ribbon and a sprig of holly decorated the top.
"Why?" he asked.
"Because I don't want to fight anymore, Malfoy. It's exhausting. You win. We'll live in this ice palace for Christmas."
Draco stared at Hermione, suspicious. This wasn't possible. She had never backed down from a battle in her entire life. Well, he was ready for whatever amateur tricks she had planned. There was only one Slytherin in this room, and it wasn't Ambassador Granger.
"Thank you, Hermione," he said, flashing his charming, boyish smile. Draco had many smiles, and he knew how to use them all to his advantage.
Hermione smiled back, blushing, and Draco felt his heart slam in his chest. That was strange. When he reached for the green box, it moved, teetering side to side. That was also strange. The box jerked again, and he heard a faint, high-pitched eeep.
"You'd better hurry," Hermione said. "I think she's impatient."
Intrigued, Draco took the now-shuddering box out of Hermione's hand and tugged one end of the white ribbon. The four sides of the pyramid fell away to reveal a tiny girl with glittering, pale green wings. Realizing she'd been freed, she let out a joyous "Eeep!" and fluttered up into the air. She was dressed in red and green and was barely larger than a hummingbird.
"A fairy?" Draco said, disbelieving.
"A holly fairy. Isn't she beautiful? Well, Happy Christmas, Draco. I'm off to Arithmancy." Hermione was gone before he could blink.
Draco studied the holly fairy, who seemed to study him right back. She looked like a child with an elfish face and wavy, blonde hair. Her eyes were so tiny he couldn't discern their color. Her hands were smaller than his pinky nails. He realized her outfit declared her a holly fairy. The skirt had holly-leaf panniers, and her spiky, green collar and slippers were decorated with scarlet berries.
"Eeep eeep," she said. Though high, the sound was pleasant and gentle.
Draco smiled without realizing it.
"What am I going to do with you?" he asked.
The fairy answered by dive-bombing his face. He almost swatted her away on instinct, which might have killed the fragile thing. Her bones couldn't be any thicker than daisy stems. Instead, he relaxed his hand and captured her against his face, holding her with a soft but encompassing grip. She smelled like snow.
"Eeep! Eeep! Eeep!" She stamped her tiny feet on the bridge of his nose. Let me go. No translation needed.
Draco released the fairy. Instead of flitting away, she hovered near. He held still as she placed her toes on the tip of his nose and her palms just under his lower eyelashes. Her wings flapped slowly. He stared at her cross-eyed and saw that her eyes were a vivid green. She gazed at him intently, first into one eye, then the other.
"Eeep," she said, nodding briskly, before fluttering backwards.
"All right," Draco said, also nodding. "Eeep."
The fairy rolled her eyes and snorted before flying around the room, darting with the same quick, stop-and-start movement of a Golden Snitch. She was curious about everything, but the shimmering icicles hanging from the chandelier mesmerized her. She wove through them, staring at the liquid flow of her distorted reflection.
"So, you can say more than eeep."
Draco searched for the package she'd come in, hoping to find instructions: The Care and Feeding of Your Bloody Holly Fairy. The box had already been whisked away, holly sprig and all, by a silent house-elf.
The holly fairy ignored him. She'd found a superior icicle and was using it as a carnival mirror to make silly faces.
"I'm going to the library."
She stuck her thumbs in her ears and waggled her fingers at her elongated reflection.
"You look like a deranged reindeer."
Quick as a blink, she twisted around and wiggled her tiny bum at the icicle.
"Lee-lee-lee-lee-leeeeeeeee!" That was her ridiculous laugh.
"Daft bug," Draco muttered as he left the Common Room. Again, he failed to notice that he was smiling. He also failed to notice there was a spring in his step.
The library had loaned its copy of Teegaurden's definitive work on flora fairies to Beauxbatons, so Draco had to make do with a basic textbook. It had a drawing of a holly fairy not nearly as pretty as Bug, and the information was sketchy at best. Two sentences into the brief description, he knew why Hermione had given him this gift.
A holly fairy thrives in the presence of holly. It will become listless when deprived of its namesake plant.
"Ha!" Draco shouted, earning a tyrannical hush from Pince.
"Clever, Granger," he murmured. "But you still lose." Then and there, he swore not to allow a single sprig of holly into the dorm until after the Heads' Christmas party this Saturday. He didn't care how listless Bug became. He pulled a piece of parchment from his bag to take notes.
Though it looks and acts like a child (no shit) a holly fairy may live more than 1000 years (Bug the Immortal). A common trait among fairies associated with evergreen plants.
Highly perceptive. Will stare into a person's eyes upon first contact (done). If a fairy deems a person worthy, she may choose to remain in his company (I am so worthy) often until said person's death (oh shit). Holly fairies immediately flee from dark souls (i.e., Moldy Voldy).
Fairy may accept a state of domestication because it loves certain luxuries. For example, survives on berries, leaves and dew in the wild but prefers other food when "tamed" – including salted peanuts, marshmallows and beer (Bug the Drunk). Can drink 20 times its weight (Bug's weight same as one Galleon) without becoming inebriated (Take Bug to pub, place bets).
A holly fairy's power and energy is strongest in wintertime, particularly near Christmas. In summer, will enter a state of near-hibernation called "torpor".
Playful but not malicious, staunch, loyal (damn, is Bug a Hufflepuff?) emotional, empathetic, sensitive, dramatic.
Just ask Neville Longbottom.
Draco added the last because it had been written in the margins of the book eight times.
Granger wasn't home when Draco returned to the dorm after supper.
When the fairy didn't answer, he glanced up at the icy chandelier, wondering if she was still making faces at her reflection. She wasn't. Draco felt a frisson of panic. Where was she? What if she'd flown too close to the fire and burned to death? What is the house-elves had mistaken her a pest and exterminated her? What if Crooks had eaten her alive? Damn it, why hadn't he put her someplace safe?
"Bug!" Draco shouted. "Crookshanks!"
Crookshanks galloped across the Common Room floor, faster than Draco had ever seen him move. Bug sat on top of the cat's head, her tiny hands clutching tufts of his ginger fur. The holly berry on her pointed collar bounced merrily. Draco felt a rush of relief.
At his rider's signal, Crooks began to bound on icy sofas and tabletops with surprising agility. The look on Bug's face was pure joy. She never lost her grip. When the cat took a particularly daring leap off a wingback chair, she lifted one arm into the air and squealed.
That was when Draco realized that Bug was a Gryffindor and that he had fallen a little bit in love with her.
True to the text, Bug loved salted peanuts, marshmallows and beer, which she drank out of a thimble with a red "B" painted on it. One night, Draco watched her down thirty thimbles full in two hours. She flew straight and never appeared drunk, but she did belch after every drink (tiny, sweet, delicate belches) which made them both laugh until they cried. He couldn't wait to take her to The Three Broomsticks and place a few bets. She'd drink them all, even Zabini, under the table.
She never lost her fascination with her reflection, especially if it was distorted. Draco crafted a mobile of spoons for her, and she fluttered around it for hours, making silly faces at herself. Every time she saw herself upside down in the concave side of a spoon, she cooed and kicked her feet until she was upside down, too. Which, of course, was an endless cycle. Her other hobbies included riding Crookshanks, carving patterns in Draco's green apples with toothpicks and jumping on things, most often the glittering, white ottoman near the fireplace. She liked soft fabric and slept in a bowl lined with one of Draco's silk pajama tops.
However, the day before the Heads' Christmas party, Bug didn't jump, carve apples, stare at spoons or ride Crookshanks. She refused salted peanuts, marshmallows and beer. She just lay on the white ottoman. Listless.
"What's wrong?" Draco asked.
"Eeep," she replied forlornly. She pointed at the red berries on her slippers and the glossy, green leaves on her skirt. I want holly.
Draco looked down into her pleading, green eyes and felt his resolve weaken. Couldn't he smuggle one branch of holly into his private quarters? No, he couldn't. That would be admitting defeat, and he refused to yield. He had to win.
"Bug, you don't understand. I won an argument with Hermione Granger. That's incredible. I can't back down until after tomorrow night's party. It's only one more day."
At that, Bug glared at him and made some complicated gesture with her hands, which he assumed meant Fuck You in Fairy. Then she fluttered up into the chandelier and ignored him all night. When he didn't see her Saturday morning, he left out a marshmallow. After lunch, when he returned to the dorm, he heard Crookshanks' desperate howls through the portrait entrance.
"He's been caterwauling for hours," complained the Lady in Yellow. "No pun intended."
Draco shouted the password and rushed through the door. Crooks was already sprinting toward the fireplace, and Draco followed at a run. His heart thundered with dread. He hadn't taken care of her. He'd waited too long, for the sake of his stupid pride. If she was hurt, if she…
Crooks leapt onto the corner of Bug's glittering, white ottoman.
She lay upon it, pale and still, her green eyes closed. The holly leaves and berries on her outfit had faded to a brittle brown. Crooks meowed again, pitifully, and nudged her tiny leg gently with his paw. She didn't move. She didn't breath.
Bug was dead.
Hermione had told Neville about Draco's ice palace and Bug. He'd warned her that holly fairies could thrive up to three weeks without so much as a berry. Therefore, he was surprised when Malfoy stumbled into Greenhouse Number Three, his eyes frantic and his hair askew, holding out both hands as if offering a healing potion to his dying mother.
"Just ask Neville Longbottom," Draco whispered madly.
"Tell me I haven't killed her. Please!"
Neville gazed down at the fairy in Draco's trembling hands. She definitely wasn't dead. She wasn't even sick despite her pallor and withered dress. On a hunch, Neville carefully took her little hand between his thumb and forefinger and lifted her arm up two inches. When he let go, her arm remained raised, frozen in the air.
"Bloody hell," Draco said.
Waxy flexibility, Neville thought. A classic sign of self-induced torpor in flora fairies. Seems like the cute, little thing was a more devious Slytherin than Malfoy himself. Neville decided to keep Bug's secret. He picked her up by one foot and tossed her into a nearby holly bush.
An anguished, almost animal sound ripped from Draco's throat, and Neville found himself thrown back against the cold greenhouse door with a wand pressed hard against his throat.
"She's alive," he choked out. "She's just in a state of torpor."
"What the fuck is that?!"
"Hibernation. Give her a minute."
Draco stepped back quickly but lowered his wand slowly. He gazed at the holly bush with a strange mixture of despair, doubt and hope. After a moment, he began to sift through its dense growth, searching and swearing softly when the pointy leaves pricked his skin.
"Haven't you read Teegauarden's Field Guide to Flora Fairies?" Neville asked.
"Loaned to Beauxbatons."
"Ah, that explains why you have no clue. In part."
"Care to give me a brief synopsis, Longbottom?"
Neville shared the two facts he found most interesting about holly fairies.
First, they were truth seers. That was why they stared intently into someone's eyes upon meeting them and fled from dark souls. And it was amazing, the things they somehow just knew at a glance. Memories, wishes, fears – they could see into the very heart of a person.
Second, most flora fairies understood human speech. Because of their long lives, evergreen fairies often understood multiple languages. But holly fairies had the rare ability to be understood, for a half hour at a time, if a human ingested one holly berry.
"But only one a day," Neville said. "The berries can make you sick. A big handful might kill you."
"So Bug is saying more than eeep?" Draco asked.
Without warning, a flash of vivid red and green streaked out of the holly bush. It flew around the greenhouse like a Snitch, so fast it was a blur.
Blimey. Neville had never seen Malfoy so happy. It was unsettling for the arrogant git to look… giddy. Neville would rather face Voldemort and Nagini, wandless and in his smalls, than witness a tearful reunion between Draco Malfoy and his fairy.
"Right," he mumbled. "Plants to plant." He grabbed a leafless, potted Shrivelfig and rushed out into the snow.
Bug looked magnificent.
Her holly was fresh again, bright scarlet and glossy green. Her cheeks were pink, and her blonde hair gleamed. She glittered like winter sunlight on snow, her wings casting prismatic rainbows through the greenhouse as she flew in wild loops and swoops.
This time, when she dive-bombed his face, Draco just closed his eyes and smiled in deep gratitude. He felt her wings tickle his cheeks and the delicate rain of her kisses on his nose. Not only was she alive, she'd forgiven him. He felt a lump in his throat and thanked the gods that Longbottom had run.
"Bug," he whispered. "I'm sorry."
"Eeep! Eeep! Eeep!"
When he opened his eyes, she was hopping on the holly bush, bouncing from leaf to leaf, turning somersaults. She paused to pluck a red berry and drop-kicked it toward him. He caught it and popped it in his mouth. It was bitter, but he chewed it thoroughly and swallowed every bit. Then he sat on a rickety chair next to Bug, who had landed on a dirt-strewn potting table.
"Eeep eeep," she began.
"I can't -"
"Eeep eeep finally pulled your head out of your arse?"
"Arse! I mean, yes. I understand you."
The translation was surreal. Draco could still hear faint eeeps, like a voice across the room. At the same time, inside his head, he heard English words in Bug's soft, gentle voice.
Excellent, my Draco, because we haven't much time. Your Hermione needs us.
"My Hermione?" Draco's heart beat faster. His skin flushed with a burning heat. He cast his eyes down, wondering just how much truth Bug could see.
I see it all, my Draco. How lonely you were. How you're still afraid sometimes. Do not fear. You have a good heart. I would not love you if you didn't.
Draco felt Bug's tiny hand touch one of his knuckles. He leaned down to rest his chin against the edge of the table so they were face to face.
I also see what you're only just beginning to acknowledge when your heart beats faster and your blood grows hot. Remember, I've seen your Hermione's truths. I've looked into her eyes, too.
I know what's in her heart, and I will tell you soon because you're my Draco. I am loyal to you. But first, you must to know about Hermione's mother and father and what the holly means.
Hermione had brokered a tenuous peace between the Merpeople and the Giant Squid. The Merpeople had even granted her honorary citizenship and a new name, Mal'arkwin, which roughly translated into Sparky. She should feel satisfied, but she didn't.
She had lost.
Draco adored Bug. The way he looked when he was happy… it took her breath away. But he hadn't brought a single holly leaf into the dorm, and Bug didn't seem to miss it yet, just as Neville had predicted. Within an hour, the Heads' holiday party would be held in the cold, crystalline elegance of an ice palace.
"Bloody ice princess."
Together, Hermione and Crookshanks regarded her reflection in a mirror. Her long gown was a dramatically rich red which set off her dark hair and eyes. She wore red heels, red lipstick and a defiant sprig of holly in her upswept curls.
The Granger Family had certain Christmas traditions. Her father wore tacky holiday jumpers. Her mother used silly wrapping paper featuring surfing reindeer or Santa in pajamas. But for some reason, this year, Hermione was particularly nostalgic for holly. Every Christmas of her childhood, her mother had clipped the holly bushes in their backyard. She'd woven glossy, green wreaths and garlands, bright with red berries and ribbon. She'd even placed a sprig of holly on each of their stockings.
Now, her parents didn't remember they had a daughter. She'd tried and failed to remind them all summer. She knew she should go see them on Christmas Day, that she should try again. But she was terrified of failing and of crumbling apart with grief and remorse.
Hermione glanced at the holly branch that lay on her desk. Tomorrow, she'd embellish it with pretty ribbon and give it to Bug. But now, it was time to lose gracefully. She walked to her door, opened it and stepped into the Common Room.
Which was filled with holly.
Draco made a mental note to thank the house-elves. Holly garlands and wreaths adorned the walls and mantle. A dozen Christmas trees made of holly grew right out of the floor like a forest. There were even holly topiaries on each tabletop – shaped like lions, snakes, badgers and eagles. It was a beribboned, red-and-green hell, garish and awful. But it was what Hermione needed.
Draco understood need. His mother had decorated Malfoy Manor with her shimmering, icy crystals every Christmas of his life until last year, when their home had been occupied by Voldemort. Three hours before dawn on Christmas, she had led Draco and his father up into the dark, dusty attic, where she had dared to cast her crystal spell upon a stack of trunks and discarded furniture. They had sat around the glittering light, not knowing what to say, but together.
Draco felt Bug land lightly on his shoulder and kiss his cheek.
"Thank you, Bug."
"Thank you, Bug the Magnificent."
She had insisted he introduce her by this title at the party. She was magnificent, like a queen. Her red and green gown brushed her slippers now, and she wore a crown, a slightly transfigured ruby ring from the Malfoy vaults. He wore formal, black dress robes. They were a gorgeous couple.
Hermione's voice made Draco's heart give a violent thump. He turned, saw her just a few steps away and lost the ability to speak. She was gorgeous in red. When she smiled at him - her face bright with a lovely, vulnerable happiness - she became something beyond gorgeous, something he didn't have the words to describe.
He could only think of one, rote response.
The décor remained unchanged, and Hermione raised an eyebrow. Her smile became a sly grin. She took a step closer to him, her dark eyes gleaming with challenge.
Draco felt a tiny foot kick his left buttock, and he took a step closer to Hermione.
They stood nose to nose now, so tantalizingly close to touching. The intimate stance was a parody of their passionate arguments. Draco felt overcome by a seductive, dreamy bliss, as if he'd been placed under a trance that he never wanted to escape.
"Were you raised in a barn, Granger?" he murmured, placing a possessive hand against the graceful curve of Hermione's back. She gasped, and Draco trailed his touch slowly up her spine.
"No. Are - are you an ice princess?"
"No." His fingers teased the soft skin at the nape of her neck with delicate strokes. Hermione's eyes widened and then fluttered closed as her body arched against his, her hands gripping his biceps. She made a sound Draco had only ever heard during sex, and he barely resisted the urge to throw her to the floor.
"Granger," he rasped. They were breath to breath now, trembling and tense, their lips grazing softly with each word. "You know I'm going to win -"
"You are not."
"- so you should just give up."
After her whisper, Hermione licked Draco's bottom lip, and he lost all control.
Bug the Magnificent bounced on a holly garland, gleefully watching her Draco kiss his Hermione. He certainly didn't waste time once he had a weapon at his disposal.
Before the berry he'd eaten had lost its power, Bug had told him how the back of Hermione's neck was highly sensitive and that she often stroked it when she pleasured herself.
"Bug!" Draco had cried out, blushing.
"My Draco. Don't be such a lily blossom. I am 764 years old, and I -"
"And now you're eeeping again."
Well, they could kiss until the first guests arrived and no longer. Bug was too excited about the party. She wanted to meet new people, show off her pretty crown and drink Zabini under the table, whoever Zabini was.
Below, Draco and Hermione fell onto a sofa, gasping and moaning. Her curls had tumbled from their pins. He had red lipstick on his lips, earlobe and throat. Crookshanks watched them, his head tilted to one side in curiosity. Bug fluttered up to her spoons to make kissy faces at her reflection.
This was going to be such a happy Christmas!
I borrowed the name Teeguarden from an herbalist's website. His name sounded Potter-ish to me. Holly symbolizes truth in heraldry. This led to making holly fairies truth seers in this story.
Thank you for reading. Comments are welcomed! :)