The Golden Trio's final Christmas at Hogwarts is a fairy tale come to true. Too bad it involves having to save an ungrateful git.
A/N: This story was written for D/HR Advent 2015. The very wonderful and lovely dormiensa was nice enough to do the beta work for me. Happy reading. :)
Being summoned to the Headmaster's office was never a cause for celebration, particularly during the holidays. However, with all the Horcruxes destroyed and Voldemort vanquished for good, the trio felt confident they could handle whatever Dumbledore threw at them. A school musical to promote house unity? Sign us up. A Secret Santa exchange between Gryffindors and Slytherins? Bring it on. Magical mistletoe that forces us to kiss someone utterly repulsive? Why the hell not? After Voldemort, everything else seemed like a piece of fruitcake. Of course, considering who their Headmaster was, they really should have known better.
"I'm afraid there's been a prophecy."
They stared at Dumbledore with unblinking eyes, waiting for the punchline. When none came, they slumped in their chairs and said the only thing they could. "Shit."
"It's just like Dumbledore to spring this on us and then not even help," grumbled Ron as they walked back to Gryffindor Tower. "He's the most frigging powerful wizard in the world and yet we're the ones who always get stuck doing all the evil butt kicking."
"Well, to be fair," said Hermione diplomatically, "it's our destiny, not his. It is most inconvenient that it's during N.E.W.T.s though."
"I hate prophecies," Harry grumbled. "Why couldn't it be magical mistletoe? I would rather kiss Millicent Bulstrode than save the world again. I wanted to have a normal Christmas for once."
"Cheer up, Harry. Maybe the prophecy isn't real," Hermione suggested. "Trelawney doesn't have the best track record. Two out of a million doesn't exactly make her the Seer of the year."
"I don't know," Harry replied glumly. "She was using her creepy man voice. I think it's real."
"We'll just have to come up with a plan then," said Hermione, trying to sound optimistic. "With your experience, my brains and Ron's... Ron's... uh... je ne sais quoi, we'll get this prophecy wrapped up in no time and still have time to enjoy the holidays. What do you say?"
"I say my jennysaysquat is ready to kick some ass," said Ron enthusiastically.
They both looked at Harry.
"Um, sure. Okay."
"Scram," said Ron to couple of third years, trying to invade their favorite spot by the fire. "Can't you see we're trying to save the world here?"
The third years rolled their eyes and moved to a couple of chairs across the room.
Hermione added a Repelling Charm to her Muffliato and scolded, "Really, Ron. Can you be any more indiscreet?"
"Like it matters," he said dismissively. "Face it, Hermione. We're the Golden Trio. We could be talking about cheese and everyone would still think we were saving the world."
"Probably because we always are saving the world," Harry replied dryly.
"That may be," said Hermione primly, " but I don't think we need to be throwing it in everyone's faces just to get what we want."
"We're putting our lives on the line for these ungrateful bastards. We may as well get something out of it."
"Isn't the satisfaction of knowing you're doing the right thing enough?"
Ron snorted in response.
Before Hermione drew her wand or, worse, launched into one of her lectures, Harry suggested they listen to the prophecy again. Trelawney's creepy voice emitted from one of the golden eggs left over from the Tri-Wizard Tournament.
The golden three must protect a former enemy or a fairy tale shall come to pass. To reverse the spell, the chosen one must make a sacrifice of the heart. For if the fairest one of all is left forsaken, the princely reins will change from light to dark. Beware the poisoned fruit.
"Well, I think it's obvious," said Hermione.
"It's a prophecy," said Ron. "Prophecies are never obvious."
Looking superior, Hermione said, "Fairy tale, fairest one of all, poisoned fruit. Remind you of anything?"
"Exactly. All we have to do is stop Snow White from eating the apple."
"Maybe," said Ron, skeptically. "But who's Snow White?"
"I think that's also obvious," said Hermione smugly. "Who do we know who is a former enemy, has an unnatural infatuation with apples and just so happens to be the fairest person we know? And by fairest, I mean he's so snow white, he's practically a snowman."
"But isn't Snow White supposed to be pretty? And a girl?" pointed out Ron.
"Don't be sexist," Hermione reprimanded. "The person needing saving doesn't always have to be a girl."
"Well, I don't think Malfoy is pretty. What do you think, Harry?"
"How would I know?"
"Hermione, you're a girl," began Ron.
"Thanks for finally noticing," said Hermione sarcastically.
"So, as a girl, do you find Malfoy attractive?"
Ron and Harry both looked at her expectantly.
"Oh, well, uh..." stammered Hermione, "he's not unattractive, I suppose."
"Gross," said Ron, making a face. "I can't believe you think that ferret is attractive."
"I said he wasn't unattractive. That's totally different," she said defensively.
"So, what do we do next?" asked Harry.
"I think the question is: what do you do next?" said Hermione.
"What do you mean?"
"The prophecy says that the Chosen One–"
"Why is Harry automatically the Chosen One?" Ron interrupted jealously. "This is a new prophecy. Maybe someone else gets chosen this time."
"You want to be the Chosen One?" said Harry. "Go for it. But just so you know, the job sucks."
"I'm not saying I want to be the Chosen One. All I'm saying is that maybe this time everything isn't about you."
"Hmm. Ron has a point," Hermione said.
"The Chosen One could be any one of us. To be safe, we should all make a sacrifice of the heart for Malfoy."
"What!" exclaimed Ron. "I'm not doing that."
"But what if you're the Chosen One this time?"
"Oh, come on," snapped Ron. "We all know it's Harry."
"I don't know," said Harry, trying not to laugh. "You made a good point about it being a new prophecy. Maybe it's finally your time, mate."
"Shut up, Harry. I don't care if the world is at stake. I'm not kissing Malfoy."
"Who says the sacrifice of the heart has to be a kiss?" asked Hermione.
"Every fairy tale ever written," Ron declared. "And not just any kiss. True love's kiss."
They looked at each other for a moment, letting that information sink in. All at once, they called, "Not it!"
"Five more minutes," he mumbled, turning over in his bed.
"No," said Hermione, shaking him. "I need to talk to you now."
"Can't we just snuggle?" asked Malfoy, nuzzling her.
"Ewww! No," said Hermione, pushing him away.
"Okay, you're making this really awkward. You need to wake up. It's important."
"Right. Important," murmured Malfoy before he drifted back to sleep and started snoring.
"Merlin, you're worse than Ron," said Hermione, yanking off his covers. She was hoping the cold would shock him awake, but she was the one who received the shock. Malfoy was completely naked.
"Bloody hell," muttered Hermione, staring down at Malfoy in all his glory. Not knowing what else to do, she quickly covered him back up. After properly tucking him in, she sat down on the bed to compose herself. She was in the middle of taking deep, calming breaths when she heard him stirring behind her.
"Mmmm," moaned Malfoy. "I love it when you do that."
"What are you talking about?" she asked in exasperation.
"Did you just call me Hermione?"
"Oh, yeah. That feels sooo good."
"What are you... Oh, my God. Are you touching yourself?" Hermione gasped. "Stop that! Ugh. I can't believe you dream about me. I did not need to know about this. I could have spent my whole life happily not knowing about this. I am going to kill Harry and Ron for making me come here in the middle of the night."
"Why are you talking so much?" Malfoy murmured. "Am I having a nightmare?"
"It's going to be a nightmare if you don't WAKE UP NOW!"
Malfoy awoke with a start. "Granger?" he said groggily. "What are you doing here?"
"I drew the short straw."
"What do you think is going on in there?" asked Ron, pacing outside the Slytherin dorms.
Harry sighed. "Hopefully, Hermione will just kiss him already, so we can put this stupid prophecy behind us and actually enjoy Christmas this year."
"You think Hermione is the Chosen One then?"
"All I know is if she's not, we're all doomed."
"Do you really think she'll kiss him though? I mean, it's Malfoy."
"She loves useless causes," Harry replied. "So, we have a chance. Malfoy is as useless as they come. We'll just have to hope for the best and leave it to Fate."
Ron gave him a shrewd look. "You fixed it so Hermione drew the short straw, didn't you?"
"I think you've been hanging around Dumbledore too much."
Harry shrugged. "Probably."
"Go away, Granger. I'm not giving you any money to save the homeless house-elves."
"That's not why I'm here, although the alarming rate of homelessness among house-elves is a serious issue that–"
"There's twenty Galleons on the night stand. It's all yours if you just shut up about the frigging house-elves."
Hermione shrugged and took the money. She was running low on yarn.
"What are you doing here?" grumbled Malfoy. "It's the middle of the night. Ten points from Gryffindor for interrupting the Head Boy's sleep."
"You can't take off points from me," Hermione huffed. "I'm the Head Girl. Besides, I'm here to help you."
"Head Girls are not above the rules. Even when they're 'helping'. Another ten points for breaking into my dorm."
"Why you ungrateful–"
"What time is it?"
Hermione looked at her watch. "After midnight."
"And another ten points for being out after curfew."
Hermione glared at him. "Are you through?"
"I'm still debating on whether or not I should take off points for you molesting me."
"You were molesting yourself," Hermione retorted. "And speaking of that, stop dreaming about me. It's creepy."
"You can't dictate what I dream about. And I probably only dreamed about you because you're in my bed. And speaking of that, why are you in my bed? Weasley not getting the job done?"
Hermione gritted her teeth. "There's been a prophecy."
"You're in it."
"I don't believe in prophecies."
"How do you explain what happened with Harry last year then?"
"Sheer stupidity and dumb luck."
"Just shut up and listen."
After the prophecy was finished, Malfoy snorted. "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard."
"Stay away from apples," Hermione warned.
"And if I don't?" said Malfoy, smirking. "What will you do? Kiss me?"
"Why would I do that?" asked Hermione uncomfortably.
"Because that's how fairy tales work. The spell is broken by true love's kiss. So, when the time comes, are you going to kiss me?"
Hermione smiled snidely at him. "That's for the Chosen One to decide, but I'll get Harry some lip balm just in case."
"How did it go?" asked Ron.
"Do you want the good news or the bad news first?"
"The good news," answered Harry.
"Malfoy generously donated twenty Galleons to S.P.E.W."
"Did you kiss him for it?" asked Ron, sounding hopeful.
"No," said Hermione, giving him a funny look. "Why would I do that?"
"Um, I don't know. I just thought you might."
"He only donated it to get rid of me. I don't think it warranted a kiss."
"Well, twenty Galleons is a lot of money," said Ron feebly.
"What's the bad news?" asked Harry warily.
"Malfoy doesn't believe in prophecies and blatantly refuses to stay away from apples. I'm afraid we have our work cut out for us. Oh, and I lost thirty points for Gryffindor."
"I've been thinking about the prophecy," said Hermione the next morning. "And I think it's up for interpretation."
"What do you mean?" asked Ron, yawning loudly. Hermione had made them get up early so they could beat Malfoy to breakfast.
"Maybe the sacrifice of the heart can just be an act of kindness. I'm thinking about knitting him a sweater or perhaps a nice scarf."
"I guess I could let him catch the Snitch," Harry offered. "Now that's a real sacrifice of the heart."
Hermione rolled her eyes. "What about you Ron? Any ideas?"
"Yeah," said Ron. "I think we should use code names."
"Why?" Hermione asked. "Have you finally decided to be more discreet about our world-saving adventures?"
"No. I just thought it would be cool," said Ron. "I'll be the Rock."
"It's not a totally stupid idea," said Hermione. "But I think our code names should be Snow White-themed."
"I guess that makes Malfoy Snow White." Harry laughed.
"And Harry is obviously Doc," said Ron.
"Why does he get to be Doc?" demanded Hermione. "I'm the smart one. No offense, Harry."
"Because he has the glasses. Duh."
"Then who am I going to be?"
"Why am I Grumpy?" Hermione huffed.
"Lack of sleep?" guessed Ron.
Hermione glared. "Well, if I'm Grumpy, then you're–"
"There's no such dwarf as Hungry."
"No, I mean I'm hungry. Let's go to breakfast."
"Dopey can't think on an empty stomach." Harry snickered.
"Look at him sitting there laughing with his friends like the fate of the world isn't resting on his shoulders," said Hermione, staring at Malfoy across the Great Hall.
"Well, it's not really on his shoulders, is it?" said Ron. "We're the ones who have to protect the slimy git."
"Does everyone have their wands ready?" asked Hermione. "There's a tempting bowl of fruit right next to him."
"I wonder what it is with him and apples?" mused Ron.
"Maybe he's constipated," said Hermione snidely.
"That would explain his face," joked Harry.
"Snow White's going for the apple," reported Ron.
"I've got this," said Hermione, pointing her wand at Malfoy. She whispered the spell and watched as the apple disappeared from his hand. Malfoy looked up at her and scowled, immediately grabbing another apple.
"Ooh, let me do this one," said Ron excitedly.
"Remember to flick precisely," Hermione instructed.
"I know how to do it," snapped Ron, casting the spell and accidentally Vanishing Blaise Zabini's lemon scone. "Oops. Let me try again. Got it!"
"This is ridiculous," Hermione said. "I'm going in. Zap him if he tries anything."
"Doc, you watch her left flank. I'll watch her right. Grumpy is moving in."
"Would you stop calling me that!" Hermione hissed. "And don't stare at my flank."
As she headed toward the Slytherin table, she saw a flash of something green. Worried that Doc and Dopey didn't notice because they were too busy staring at her flank, she dove across the table and tackled Malfoy to the floor.
"What the hell are you doing!" sputtered Malfoy.
Pinning him to the floor, Hermione blew the hair out of her face and said triumphantly, "Stopping you from eating that apple, that's what."
"It was a frigging pear!"
Hermione looked at the pear lying next to him. "Oh, well, it looked like an apple from my angle."
She climbed off Malfoy and picked up another piece of fruit as a peace offering. "How about something that looks a little less like an apple?"
"I don't want your damn cherry, Granger!"
The whole Slytherin table burst out laughing.
"You're right," said Hermione, not paying attention. "You should probably stay away from fruit altogether. Just in case."
With an exasperated sigh, Malfoy grabbed her hand and dragged her outside. "Look, I know the war is over and we're not exactly mortal enemies anymore. But we're not friends either. I'm a Slytherin and you're a Gryffindor. Can we please remember that?"
"I'm trying to save you."
"I don't need saving, particularly from you three."
"We could ask for help. After all, there were seven dwarfs."
"No!" exclaimed Malfoy. "Three Gryffindwarves are enough."
Harry and Ron burst through the doors. "Are you all right, Hermione?"
"Oh, look. It's Dopey and Doc to the rescue," drawled Draco.
"You told him our code names?" Ron whined.
"No," replied Hermione. "You told him your code names."
Malfoy snorted. "Your code name is actually Dopey?"
"Why do you assume I'm Dopey?" asked Ron, offended.
"Because he has glasses," said Malfoy, pointing at Harry. "Otherwise it would be a toss up. And who are you?" he asked Hermione. "The princess?"
"The princess was already taken," said Ron. "She's Grumpy."
Malfoy laughed. "That's even better."
"Don't you want to know who the princess is?" asked Hermione, smirking.
"I can assure you it's not me," he replied angrily.
"Please," Hermione scoffed. "You wear more hair products than Lavender and Parvati combined. If the shoe fits..."
"That's the wrong fairy tale," interjected Ron. When they all gave him a funny look, he said, "Well, it is."
"Get this through your thick Gryffindor heads: I'm not interested in joining you on one of your world-saving adventures. I have my own stuff to deal with. And I don't care what you or some stupid prophecy says. I'm the Slytherin Prince, and I will do whatever the hell I want."
"Not on our watch," said Harry.
"You can't watch me all of the time."
Hermione smirked. "You want to bet?"
"He's heading to the kitchens," said Harry, looking up from the Marauder's Map. "We'd better hurry."
"That son of a bitch," said Ron. "Can't he sit still for one minute? We've been running around all day."
"He's doing it on purpose," said Hermione, following Harry and Ron out of the portrait hole. "Because he's an ass."
"Is he there yet?" asked Ron breathlessly as they ran down the corridor.
Harry checked the map. "That's weird. He's just standing there. Like he's frozen."
Hermione snatched the map out of his hands. "Shit! It's happened already. We're too late."
They rounded the corner and came face to face with an incredible sight.
"Bloody hell," said Ron. "He's Frosty the frigging Snowman."
"Oh, my God. He is," said Hermione, grinning at Harry. They both burst into song. "Frosty the Snowman is a fairy tale they say..."
"Shouldn't you leave the insensitive jokes to me?" said Ron.
"It's not a joke, Ron. What if we've had the wrong fairy tale all the time? Maybe we don't have to kiss him. Maybe all we need is a magic hat."
"Where are we going to get a magic hat?" asked Ron.
Hermione and Harry gave him an exasperated look.
"The Sorting Hat, Dopey," replied Hermione.
Harry pulled a two-way mirror out of his pocket. "Mirror, mirror on the wall, do you read me?" At his friends' perplexed expressions, he explained, "Professor Dumbledore wanted a code name, too. He's the Mirror."
"Damn. I wish I would have thought of the Mirror," said Ron jealously.
"The Mirror here. What's up, Doc?" asked Dumbledore, appearing in the mirror.
"The fairy tale has come to pass," reported Harry. "I repeat, the fairy tale has come to pass. We need reinforcements."
"What is your location?" asked Dumbledore.
"We're near the ticklish pear. Hurry. Bring the Sorting Hat."
"We're on our way. Over and out," said Dumbledore, disappearing from the mirror.
"Well, here goes nothing," said Harry, lowering the Sorting Hat on Malfoy the Snowman's head .
Caught off guard, Harry flinched and yanked the hat back. He tried again, but every time he got close, the hat shouted, "Slytherin!" Scowling, Harry cast a Lip Locking Jinx.
"Harry! That was from the Founders!" Hermione admonished.
"It's all right, Harry," said Dumbledore, patting him on the back. "I've used that spell a time or two myself. That hat can be damn annoying."
Harry placed the hat on Malfoy's head and undid the spell.
"Hmm," said the Sorting Hat, thinking. "Icy demeanor, cold heart... Slytherin!"
Ron rolled his eyes. "That was completely unhelpful."
"I guess it's Snow White after all," said Hermione, sounding disappointed.
"So, who's going to make the sacrifice?" asked Ron.
"We could draw straws," suggested Harry.
"Forget it. I fell for that last time," said Hermione, glaring at him.
"Well, I'm not doing it," said Harry. "I don't even like Malfoy."
"No one does," said Hermione. "I'm not asking you to marry him. Just give him a friendly handshake."
"I saved the world last time," said Harry. "Maybe Ron's the Chosen One this time."
"You think so?" said Ron excitedly.
"Sure. Why not?"
"Okay," he said, cracking his knuckles. "I'll do it."
Ron reached out and grabbed Malfoy's stick arm for a firm handshake. Unfortunately, his grip was a little too firm, and he pulled the stick right out of the body. His eyes went wide, and he stared at the stick in shock. "Bloody hell. I pulled off his arm. Oh, my God. I pulled off his arm!"
"Put it back on!" screamed Hermione.
"I don't want to be the Chosen One anymore. You do it, Harry," said Ron, shoving the stick at Harry.
"I don't want it," said Harry, shoving it back. "You're the one who wanted all the glory."
"I don't want it anymore. Glory is gross."
They scuffled for a while and finally the stick flew across the room.
"Ronald Weasley," hissed Hermione. "Get Malfoy's arm. Now."
"I think I'm going to be sick."
"Just get the damn arm!"
"Think of it as a stick," suggested Harry.
"It is a frigging stick!"
"Right. A stick," said Ron, taking a deep breath. "I can do this."
Ron fetched the stick and with closed eyes and shaky hands, shoved it in place. "I did it," he said, opening his eyes in relief.
"You put it in the wrong spot!" snapped Hermione.
Ron inspected his handiwork and shrugged. "It's close enough. If he leans a little bit, no one will even notice."
"I can't. If I pull it out again. I think I'll faint."
"This is a complete disaster," moaned Hermione.
"I've been thinking," said Harry. "Maybe the sacrifice of the heart is an actual sacrifice. The Chosen One might be the huntsman who is supposed to cut out Snow White's heart."
"So Ron pulled off Malfoy's arm and now you want to pull out his heart?"
"No, not me," said Harry. "I'm retired."
"Don't look at me," said Ron, still looking sick. "I'm definitely not cut out to be the Chosen One."
"I make it a point not to get involved in these types of things," said Dumbledore.
"Well, I'm not pulling out his heart," said Hermione. "That's inhumane. Insnowmane?"
"It's either that or kiss him," said Harry.
Hermione went quiet for a moment, considering her options. "Okay, fine," she snapped. "I'll kiss him."
She leaned in and puckered up, but before her lips reached Malfoy's licorice whip mouth, she stopped. "I can't. I feel stupid."
"Why? He's more attractive this way," said Ron. "Kind of jolly."
"I just feel so silly."
"Does that help?" Ron asked, pointing at the mistletoe hanging above Malfoy.
"How does mistletoe help anything?"
"I just thought it would give you a reason for kissing him."
"I have a reason: saving the frigging world!"
"Just kiss him and get it over with," said Harry, losing his patience. "It's really not that big a deal. I had to die for my prophecy."
"Well, we can't all be that lucky, can we?" retorted Hermione.
Taking a deep breath, Hermione went in again, but she had trouble finding the right angle. Her nose kept bumping into his carrot. "Ugh. This is so awkward."
"First kisses always are," said Dumbledore with a sigh.
"Just pretend you're kissing someone else," suggested Harry. "Someone who's not a prat or a snowman."
"And use your tongue," said Ron. "Otherwise it's not a real kiss."
Hermione closed her eyes and tried to picture the man of her dreams. Unfortunately, Malfoy kept popping in her head. And it was impossible to get rid of him.
"Just kiss him already," snapped Harry. "Christmas is going to be over if you wait much longer."
She hated to admit it, but Harry was right. She just needed to get it over with. Before she could talk herself out of it, she pressed her lips to Malfoy's licorice whip mouth and kissed him. The kiss was cold and wet and tasted of strawberries. It wasn't half bad. After she had really put her all into it, because Hermione Granger didn't do anything halfway, she pulled back and looked at him. Nothing. Except for maybe a slightly crooked smile. They all stared at the snowman and waited for him to melt or do something. Anything.
"Well, that was anti-climactic," said Ron.
And then the snowman exploded. Everyone was covered from head to toe in snowman guts. When they wiped the slushy snow from their eyes, they were shocked to see the real Malfoy snogging Hermione.
"This is awkward," muttered Harry.
"Yeah," agreed Ron. "Is it weird that it was less awkward when she was kissing a snowman?"
"Ah, young love." Dumbledore sighed.
"Love?" echoed Harry and Ron. Not for the first time, they looked at Dumbledore like he was crazy.
Dumbledore's eyes twinkled. "There's nothing like a prophecy for bringing people together. Or tearing them apart, as the case may be. Luckily, this time, there is a happily ever after."
Harry and Ron immediately went into full rescue mode. Picking up parts of the obliterated snowman, they quickly molded it into snowballs and began chucking them at the snogging couple. There was no way they were letting their best friend fall in love with that pratty former popsicle.
Getting pelted by snowballs seemed to break whatever spell they were under. They practically flew apart.
Malfoy looked at his watch. "I have to go. I still have time to get Zabini before Christmas."
"Where are you going?" asked Hermione breathlessly, still feeling a little dazed.
"To find Zabini."
"But we need to get you to Madam Pomfrey. In case your arm falls off."
"Never mind," said Hermione quickly. "I just think you should get checked out after what happened."
"I don't have time right now. Zabini probably thinks he's already won. Is he in for a surprise."
"What are you talking about?"
"The Annual Slytherin Prank War. Zabini almost got me this year. But thanks to you, it looks like I'm still going to be the reigning Slytherin Prince after all."
"You mean the prophecy was about a stupid prank war?" said Hermione incredulously.
"I can't believe you kissed a snowman," Malfoy said, shaking his head and laughing. His laughter echoed down the corridor as he ran off in search of Zabini.
The Trio turned to glare at Dumbledore.
"Prophecies are funny things," said Dumbledore with a shrug.
Later that night, Hermione went to the Hospital Wing to check on Malfoy. Not that she cared in particular about Malfoy or any of his appendages. She was just curious is all.
"I see you're in one piece."
"I am now," he said with a scowl. "Apparently my arm was in the wrong place. Know anything about that?"
Hermione shrugged indifferently.
"Madame Pomfrey had to reset it. It was very painful."
Hermione rolled her eyes. Grudgingly, she asked, "So, did you win?"
"I did. Thanks to you." He smirked.
"I can't believe I kissed you," said Hermione in disgust.
"I can't believe you're in love with me."
"Please, you're not that great a kisser."
Malfoy smiled. "So, you admit I'm a great kisser?"
"You were a little frigid," Hermione retorted.
"Can I ask you a question, Malfoy?"
"I don't know, can you?"
Hermione glared. "Why did you kiss me?"
"Because of the mistletoe."
"It was enchanted mistletoe. It's what turned me into a snowman."
"The poisoned fruit. It was the mistletoe berries," said Hermione, the realization finally dawning on her.
Malfoy nodded. "It required a kiss to break the spell, but not just any kiss. True love's kiss."
Hermione snorted again. "You can't be serious."
"Ask Blaise if you don't believe me."
"I am not in love with you."
"I'm afraid deep, deep down, you are."
"But... that's impossible."
"Magic doesn't lie. Witches in denial do." Malfoy smirked.
"Sorry you had to snog a snowman, Hermione," said Harry as they waited for the Christmas feast to begin.
"Me too," grumbled Hermione, glaring across the Great Hall at Malfoy, who was completely ignoring her. "My lips are still chapped."
"Yeah, you really took one for the team," said Ron, clapping her on the back. "Too bad it was all for nothing."
"Thanks for reminding me," replied Hermione sourly.
"I told you being the Chosen One sucked," said Harry.
"In Hermione's case, literally," said Ron. "Get it? Because she was sucking Malfoy's face."
"Shut up, Dopey."
"Well, at least the prophecy is over, and we can enjoy what's left of Christmas," said Harry.
"Not exactly the normal Christmas you were hoping for," Hermione commented.
"It's okay. After all of the adventures we've had, a normal Christmas would probably be pretty boring."
"And it was kind of fun tormenting Malfoy," added Ron.
"Yeah, good times,"said Hermione sarcastically, still feeling bitter about the prophecy being a complete waste of time.
"At least we have some good inside jokes now," said Harry, trying to cheer her up.
"Like what?" grumbled Hermione.
"Remember that time Malfoy gave Ron the cold shoulder?" Harry joked.
"That's not funny, Harry. I still feel like I'm going to hurl."
"Malfoy's fine," said Hermione. "I visited him in the Hospital Wing. He's back to his same horrible self."
"If he bothers you, I'll–"
"Strong-arm him for me?" guessed Hermione, trying to hold back her smile.
"That's Ron," said Harry. "Always willing to go out on a limb."
"I hate you guys," grumbled Ron as his two friends both burst into laughter.
The feast finally appeared on the table and everyone dug in. Conversations ceased as everyone stuffed their faces. Hermione picked up an apple from the fruit bowl and stared at it in contemplation. She couldn't help thinking about Malfoy and true love and wondering what the future held for her. Then she remembered what a joke Divination was and dismissed the whole thing. There couldn't possibly be anything between her and Malfoy. The very thought was ridiculous. With a little laugh, she raised the apple to her lips. She was just about to take a bite out of it when it suddenly vanished from her fingers. She looked over at Malfoy and their eyes locked. Winking, he took a bite out of her apple.