The Slytherin common room, being in the dungeon, was always cold during this time of year; perhaps a blanket would be an appropriate gift, Draco thought bitterly, if I were Potter's grandmother. There wasn't a thing in the world he could imagine
Harry wanting; as the Golden Boy, he need just say the word and he could have anything he wanted. If I'd been paying him any mind, I might know what he's been talking about lately. Unfortunately for Draco, however, he had not been doing so.
A train whistle sounded, signally the last of the students leaving for holiday. That's it then, Draco pouted to himself. I'm stuck. Harry heard the whistle too, from the heights of Gryffindor Tower. Muttering about how he hoped Neville had
remembered to get on, he began methodically sorting through his trunk, hoping to find some long-lost present he could hopefully regift. Several minutes later, however, and he had had no such luck. Deciding perhaps a nice relaxing bath was in order,
Harry headed to the Prefect's Bathroom. Nobody would be around at this time to stop him, after all, so his only company would be the bubbles and potentially Moaning Myrtle.
Sure enough, Harry heard the familiar sound of a toilet exploding not moments after he turned on the water.
"Hullo, Myrtle," Harry sighed, equal parts glad and annoyed at the company.
"Hello, Harry," Myrtle replied in her usual wide-eyed way, "back again?" With no immediate reply, she went right on. "Why so tense? I can help with that, you know," she added, sidling up next to him hungrily.
"Er - no thanks, Myrtle. I just... don't know what to get someone for Christmas, that's all," Harry replied, resting his head back on the edge of the tub and closing his eyes.
"Ooh, who's the special someone?" inquired Myrtle, continuing to close the space between them. "It must be someone special, otherwise you wouldn't be so worried about getting it right."
Harry sat for a moment, lost in thought. He certainly didn't think Malfoy was special, did he? Not special, just... hard to get something for.
"No, not exactly," he eventually replied, sighing and sitting back up. "He's just... Malfoy."
"Draco?!" Myrtle replied, squealing and swooping once around the room to land back at Harry'sside. "Ooh! Finally!The whole school's been talking about it for years!"
"Wait - what?" Harry started, but before he could finish Myrtle was back at it again.
"Something romantic," she went on; giggling, she added, "but if it doesn't work out between you two, you're always welcome to come share my toilet. A visit every now and again would be nice. I'm always so lonely!" Her words gotlost in a wail
as she dove back into her toilet, and Harry sighed internally. There's the Myrtle I know, he thought to himself.
Settling back into his bath, Harry reflected on what Myrtle had said. Was the whole school really talking about him and Malfoy being... romantic? He found it hard to believe, but stranger things had happened. Aside from Myrtle's suggestion, he still
didn't have any ideas for Malfoy's wasn't much time before Christmas, so he needed to get a move on. A book? he thought, or something from Borgin and Burke's? Racking his brain for anything Malfoy might like, he found
himself coming round to Myrtle's comment again and again. A bouquet of dead roses, perhaps? Exasperated, Harry drained the bath water and got dressed, heading back to the common room none the wiser as to what to get the fiendish blonde.
With only two days left before Christmas, the small group of students left at Hogwarts was abuzz with talk about the gift exchange. Most everyone had already gotten their presents, and those that hadn't at least had an idea. At every meal, Harry and
Draco pointedly avoided each other's gaze, as if ignoring each other would make the problem disappear. The gift exchange was all either of them thought about anymore; havingexhausted all normal options and finding them not suitable, however,
they remained clueless as to what to get each other.
Harry wished desperately that his friends were here. With Ron in Romania visiting Charlie and Hermione on a cruise with her family, however, they were both out of contact until term resumed. He had tried asking Hagrid, but the idea of giving Draco a dragon
egg for Christmas had not seemed very wise. Lost in thought, Harry almost missed the brooding grey eyes of Draco Malfoy staring at him across the Great Hall. Their eyes locked just long enough to acknowledge one another before Draco tore his away.
That night, Harry received an owl. It was carrying a note from Draco, which read:
Meet me in the Prefect's Bathroom at 10:00 on Christmas morning if you want your present.
Harry swore under his breath. He had hoped their shared gaze earlier that day had implied that they just wouldn't get each other anything; apparently, he had been wrong. Harry read the note again; the Prefect's Bathroom? he thought to himself. What an odd place for a gift exchange. Suddenly,
dread filled his heart as he realized Draco might have been spending time there too - and talking to Myrtle. Merlin's beard, he thought, this is going to be quite the gift exchange.
Finally, the day arrived. Christmas morning at Hogwarts was a festive time, albeit much quieter than many of the other holidays. Promptly at 10:00, Harry wandered into the Prefect's Bathroom, unsure of what he might find. True to his word, there sat Draco.
He looked like he hadn't slept well, but he had a small wrapped package sitting behind him on the edge of the tub that Harry could only assume was his present.
"Potter. You came," Draco offered by way of acknowledgement. "I see you got my owl."
"Er - yeah," Harry replied intelligently, "and, um, why are we in the, uh, Prefect's Bathroom?"
"I figured it would be deserted - which it is," Draco replied with a haughty confidence. "I didn't wantanyone getting the wrong idea about our giving gifts to each other."
Harry's heart dropped. So Draco had been talking to Myrtle, then. Whether it was true was yet to be decided, but it certainly made this more uncomfortable.
"Right, then," Harry answered, anxious to get this over with. "Let's get on with it."
Taking his own gift out of the pocket of his robes, Harry thrust his hand forward as an invitation for Draco to take it. He did so, and casually unwrapped it as if it were the most natural thing in the world for the two of them to be exchanging gifts
in a deserted bathroom on Christmas morning. The wrapping fell to the floor, revealing the book Harry had chosen.
"I - uh - hope you like it," Harry said nervously. He really couldn't care less whether Draco liked it or not - he just wanted to leave.
"TheComplete Wizard's Guide to Ghouls, Ghosts, and Goblins: Where to Find Them, How to Catch Them, and What to Do if You Find Them in Your Garden," Draco intoned, reading off the front cover. After a pause, he added, "Where did you
"Borgin and Burke's," Harry replied quickly. "It seemed like something you might like."
After examining it for a moment, Draco shrugged, an unspoken sign of approval. Taking the gift from behind him, he tossed it carelessly towards Harry with the words, "Here's yours."
Harry opened it hurriedly, wanting more for this encounter to be over than to know the contents of the impeccably wrapped present.
"New Quidditch gloves," Draco added by way of explanation. "Your old ones were looking rather worn out."
"Th- thank you," Harry stammered. He honestly hadn't expected such a thoughtful gift. Hastily stuffing the gloves into his pocket, he made to leave - but not before noticing the mistletoe Myrtle had hung on the ceiling between them. Following his gaze
and look of horror, Draco took it upon himself to break the awkward silence.
"Looks like Myrtle is trying to set us up, huh?" he joked 's mouth felt like sandpaper and his limbs felt like he had been petrified. Draco kept right on going, however, as if nothing were wrong.
"I've never had a kiss under the mistletoe," he added thoughtfully. There was almost an air of wistfulness to his voice, though Harry was sure he was imagining it. "Pity, that. Don't you think, Potter?"
Jerked back to reality by the sound of his voice, Harry choked out, "Yeah. Pity."
Suddenly Draco was closing the space between them, a strange look in his eyes. He was walking slowly, as if he himself couldn't quite believe what he was doing.
"Nobody comes up here, you know," he whispered, stepping ever closer to Harry. "It could be our little secret."
Harry felt numb. Is this really happening? He felt helpless to stop it, yet some part of him didn't want it to stop. He'd never kissed another boy, after all...
Draco was just inches from his face now, grey eyes burning. "If you don't want to, just tell me," he was saying, "but if your eyes say anything, I think you do."
Draco was right - Harry did want to, more than anything. The space between them disappeared as Draco planted a soft kiss on Harry's lips.
"Merry Christmas, Harry," he whispered.
"Merry Christmas, Draco," Harry replied. Perhaps this gift exchange wasn't such a bad idea after all.