A/N: Character belongs to themselves, right PikaCheeka? 'Cause you never know. We did this at our school once, and it was hell. Don't make me recall the entire story, very painful.

Secret Santa is when you put names in a hat, draw one out, and whose ever name you get you have to get a gift for. But the trick is that no one can find out who you got. It's very horrible if you get the name of a person you hate, or don't know a thing about.

I don't know if I'll do a sequel to 'Of Dementors and Giants'; it took a long time to write. I'm just going to 'slack off' for a while.

A very odd trend had begun at Hogwarts. It started among the paintings, progressed to the ghosts, and suddenly, had infected the entire school. Two simple words that, in later years, would bring a chill of terror to all at Hogwarts;

Secret Santa.

It began harmlessly, a Muggle tradition the crinoline ladies had overheard about in the Muggle Studies class, while hiding in the portrait of a handsome knight.

The crinoline ladies, Cordelia, Henrietta, and Katrina, could be seen in the months before December giggling in pictures up and down the fourth floor. When Sir Cadogan, deeply annoyed, had asked them what exactly was so funny, and if it had anything to do with him, he was told of how they planned to do their own 'Secret Santa' for the portraits this year.

"Well, why jolly not?" he cried upon hearing this, "Sounds fun!"

He told the Pink Lady, who told it to Nearly Headless Nick, who told the grey witch, who threatened Peeves (after he had toppled a suit of arms through her.) that if she got his name for Secret Santa, he would be receiving a kick in the, yes, and Peeves loudly boasted it to the Bloody Baron and the Fat Friar.

The idea spread like wildfire from the ghosts to students and staff. By the second week of November, everyone was talking about it.

"I think we ought to do one for the entire house of Gryffindor," said Angelina Johnson one evening in the common room.

"Like dad always says, you've got to give the Muggles more credit than they get," commented Ron, "Actually smart of them to think of it."

The plan, however, was foiled the next morning at breakfast.

"Students! May I please have your attention," said Dumbledore loudly, banging his goblet on the table. Everyone shut up, though rather reluctantly; "I cannot help but notice this talk of the Muggle Christmas tradition, Secret Santa, has been floating around. Since no one can resist Christmas spirit, I have a proposal to make."

The Hall waited with baited breath, "Hogwarts will be doing it's own version of Secret Santa. As there should be more unity than there is between houses," his eyes flickered between the Slytherin and Gryffindor tables, "the drawing will be between the houses. All the first year's names from all the houses will be put into a cup. Second and third year's names will be put into a cup, fourth and fifth year's names the same, as with sixth and seventh years. We are doing this because of the small number of students in each year. You will choose a name from the cup designated for you, and will give the person, regardless of their house, a gift on Christmas morning.

"We are also going to do a drawing between the paintings, ghosts, and staff. Thank you." The Hall exploded.

"I bet I get Malfoy," moaned Harry.

Ron and Hermione, however, were very excited about it and Harry couldn't help but be, too.

The drawing was to be the next morning. Everyone got up earlier than they normally would and went down to the Great Hall. McGonagall was standing in front of a table with six cups on it; one for first years, second/third year, fourth/fifth years, sixth/seventh years, teachers, and ghosts.

They each went up and tentatively reached into the right cup and pulled out a slip of parchment. Some looked sour, others happy, and the rest a look of disappointment. Malfoy came back with an absolutely disgusted look.

"I hope he didn't get one of us," groaned Hermione softly.

Harry was next; the parchment said...

'Ginny Weasley'

Oh, well, that wasn't too bad, he consoled himself. He knew what to get her, something to do with cats, she adored them.

Harry waited for Ron and Hermione to choose theirs before going back to the table.

"Should we tell each other ours?" said Ron, sitting down by Harry. He looked extremely disappointed

"Only if we didn't get each other," replied Hermione, sitting on Harry's other side.

"I didn't. Look, I got Ginny," Harry unfolded the sheet, his hand around the edge so no one could see.

Ron threw his paper on his plate,"Lucky you. I got Crabbe."

Hermione giggled loudly.

"Shut up!" he hissed.

Harry looked at Hermione, stifling laughter,"And you?"

"Well, I haven't opened mine yet," she gasped through chortles,"You open it, Harry, I'm laughing too hard."

He unfolded the parchment. The two leaned over, Hermione bright red from keeping her laughter in.

"Neville Longbottom," Ron whispered.

Hermione stopped giggling abruptly,"Oh, crud! Neville's so annoying."

"I know what he'd like from you, Hermione," Ron grinned,"A kiss on..."

"Sicko!" Hermione screamed and ran out.

Ron looked confused,"I was only joking. Honestly, she takes everything so seriously."

By then the ghosts had gone up. The teachers were in line for their names, no one very happy looking except Dumbledore, who was chatting cheerfully with Professor Sprout.

Trewlaney let an almighty wail when she saw hers, and ran from the Hall in sobs.

"Maybe she didn't get who she predicted she would," said Harry quietly.

Ron shrugged,"Big deal. Maybe she'll be too upset to teach, we could skip Divination first class!"

Once all the staff had chosen a name, they sat down and breakfast began. Snape looked quite near to hexing someone, and McGonagall had her fists clenched, eyes blazing.

So, happy with their choice or not, everyone at Hogwarts was ablaze with the idea and curiosity of Secret Santas.

Harry bought Ginny a gift on the next Hogsmeade visit; a thick blue jumper with a large white cat on it, and poster of several moving tabby cats.

Ron, bewildered, stood outside Honeydukes, debating out loud with himself whether he could afford a set of weights with his pocket money.

"Crabbe doesn't need more muscles, don't get him weights," reasoned Harry,"He has enough already. And do you really want to blow your money on a gift for Crabbe?"

"Maybe some Blood-Flavoured Lollipops, Crabbe's daft enough to think they're cherry flavoured. But Snape'll give me enough detentions to last the next two terms if he finds out I gave one of Malfoy's friends something like that," Ron said dejectedly.

Hermione also left Hogsmeade without a gift. Clever, smart, resourceful Hermione Granger, best student in the history of Hogwarts, had been stumped by trying to get Neville Longbottom a Christmas gift.

Christmas suddenly appeared nearer, merely a week away. Ron had decided that a jar of Cockroach Cluster was all Crabbe deserved, and had purchased some the week beforehand.

Hermione was frantic, however. She had been unable to find anything in the final Hogsmeade visit of the term, and was now seen pouring over a Wizard's Emporium Christmas catalogue between essay writing in the common room.

On the first day of holidays, when nearly everyone had slept in, she had gone down early to breakfast to get the post, and the half full Hall had seen her receive a mysteriously large package, which she had dragged back to her dormitory while most of Gryffindor was still dozing.

Harry awoke Christmas Day to Ron shaking him, "C'mon, open your presents, we've got to get down to the Great Hall!"

Groggily, Harry tore off the wrapping paper on his gifts, barely noticing what they were, slipped on the green jumper Mrs.Weasley got him every year, and reached for Ginny's gift.

To his horror, the wrapping had been torn as if someone had scratched at it furiously. Shaking, he removed the sweater, only to find it in absolute tatters. The poster had one corner ripped off, and a hole in the middle.

"What the..," he trailed off, looking around. Crookshanks was curled up by Ron's bed, snoozing, and a bit of Ginny's wrapping paper stuck to the fur on his head.

Harry gave a yell and ran after Crookshanks, who bolted out of the dormitory, down the stairs, and into Hermione's arms. She was waiting at the door for Ron and Harry.

"Crookshanks ruined my Secret Santa gift," Harry spat malisiously,"Look!" Hermione gasped.

"Oh, Harry," she whispered solemnly,"I don't think we can fix it..."

"You must know some spell!" bellowed Ron, who had followed Harry down.

Hermione dropped Crookshanks, who hissed at Harry and shot off into the corner, and pulled out her wand. Gingerly lifting the tattered blue wool, which hardly resembled a jumper, she whispered a spell.

There was a pop, and the sweater looked like a sweater, only...

"The cat doesn't have a head!" cried Harry, pointing at the white cat knitted on the front. As he said, the large cat had been decapitated.

"I said it couldn't be fixed," Hermione defended herself, picking up the poster and shaking it,"This is like a photograph, it had moving things on it. I don't know any spells that could repair it without making it so the cats can't move."

Harry gave a moan of anguish,"I'll have to give her the jumper, then. I don't think she'll be very happy..."

Hermione stayed quiet as Harry took the jumper back, grimacing.

"Let's go down to breakfast and get this over with," said Ron angrily.

They walked down, Harry more angry than he had ever been with Hermione. She had failed him, somehow, after all the clever spells she knew, she couldn't fix Ginny's gift. He was so angry, Harry hardly noticed she was dragging a large package with her on the way to the Hall.

The Hall was full and noisy, people everywhere, all trading gifts.

"Look, there's Malfoy!" said Ron suddenly, grabbing Harry's shoulder and pointing. For one, wild moment Harry thought Malfoy was coming towards them, but he was going to...

Colin Creevy.

Colin glared at Malfoy at first, then, once he realised Malfoy was giving him a gift, looked utterly terrified. Draco shoved a roughly wrapped package into Colin's hands, and strode away, disgusted.

"We've got to see this," whispered Ron excitedly, dashing over to Colin with Harry in tow.

Colin removed the paper, shaking, took one look at the gift, and burst into tears. It was a doll with messy black hair, glasses, and a scar painted on its forehead, looking very much like Harry, except that a pin had been stuck through the head, which had been ripped off the neck and was hanging from the doll by a string. A POTTER STINKS badge was pinned to the front of the doll.

"Oh," said Harry quietly. He wasn't sure whether to laugh, or be offended.

"Look, there's Ginny," Ron whirled Harry around,"You might as well get it over with." Grimacing, Harry walked towards the red head, who was standing, looking around eagerly, by a few other fourth years. When she saw Harry coming towards her, her face lit up.

"Er, I'm your Secret Santa," he muttered, handing her the jumper.

She grinned, unfolded the sweater, and her face flickered a bit,"Oh, why Harry, it's...er...lovely..."

"Crookshanks attacked it," Harry explained hastily,"Hermione tried to fix it, but it wasn't that great."

Ginny seemed beyond words, so the two left her to look for Crabbe. He and Goyle were standing by Lavender Brown and Parvati Patil.

"Ergh, what the heck do you mean, you're our Secret Santas?" Parvati was bellowing.

Lavender looked near to fainting, and was holding pair of lurid orange socks, Parvati with lime green ones. They yelled at Crabbe and Goyle a bit more, and stomped off.

"Oi! Crabbe!" shouted Ron, tossing the Cockroach Cluster jar to him,"They're peanuts!"

Laughing, they walked away, looking for Hermione. Harry was cornered by Sahara Moon, a tall Ravenclaw whom he only knew by sight, and given a bottle of rainbow ink. Ron was given a Muggle CD by a bubbly Hufflepuff fourth year with cropped blonde hair.

He fumbled with the CD case,"What the heck is this?"

"A CD," replied Harry, looking over,"Which band?"

"I don't know!" Ron said, annoyed,"Spice Girls? Never heard of 'em." Harry grinned, and decided to let Ron ask Hermione, as Harry was going to start laughing if he opened his mouth.

"Ron! Harry!" Hermione turned up just then.

"What'd you get?"

Hermione winced,"Gerald Flatflam. That dumpy little Slytherin in fourth year, y'know him? Black socks." She held up a package, proclaiming,'JUMBO PACK SOCKS'.

"What'd you give Neville?" said Harry suddenly, remembering the large package she had.

"Melt proof cauldron. Let's go see Hagrid, I want to know who the teachers got."

Hagrid was sitting at the staff table, with a new dragon hide leash for Fang,"Got it from Sprout. She's awful nice ter me. I got Sinistra, gave her a gif' certificate ter Andromeda's Astronomy Boutique. Trewlaney got McGonagall, McGonagall got Trewlaney, neva' seen either o'em so mad. Snape got Filch, and Filch deserved whatever he got."

Half-amused at Trewlaney and McGonagall, half-disappointed over their own gifts, they returned to Gryffindor table. It seemed the whole house had had a bad bout of it all, no one seemed very cheerful, except Neville, who was boasting to anyone who would listen that he wasn't going to fail Potions this year.

Harry decided that if there was another suggestion for Secret Santa, he would scream. Dumbledore announced that he had been slightly disappointed by the outcome of it, and was not planning to have one next year.

The Hall clapped upon this statement. It really had been a Secret Santa from hell.

A/N: If you want to do your own Secret Santa fic, you're welcome to, I won't say it's copying. Just tell me when you post it, 'cause I want to read it, 'kay?