Summary: Draco and Hermione spend the Christmas holiday trapped inside a gingerbread castle. The poor castle never stood a chance. Written for D/Hr Advent 2017. Prompt - Gingerbread House
Author's Note: Happy Holidays to all. I do hope you enjoy.
To set the scene: There was no second wizarding war or return of Voldemort. It's 7th year, and Hermione and Draco are Head Girl and Head Boy. The Malfoys abandoned the blood purity cause at the close of the first wizarding war, though Slytherin's Prince and Gryffindor's Princess still share a strained history.
Song lyrics from Wham's "Last Christmas" (RIP George Michael)
Heads' Dorm - Hogwarts' School of Witchcraft and Wizardry - 23 December, 1997
If Hermione Granger was a by-the-book sort of witch during the school year, then she was downright a Yule fairy come Christmastime. Unfortunately, due to their shared living space as Head Boy and Head Girl, Draco Malfoy was forced to put up with the Gryffindor's extra cheeriness as soon as the first of December rolled around.
His fellow Head found it poetically symbolic that their House colors represented goodwill and peace on earth, and set about plastering their shared common room, dinette, and study area with all things tinsel, merry, and bright.
Draco, however, found found it downright tacky. He was used to a single Yule tree, immaculately decorated, in the drawing room. The elves would magically appear gifts on Christmas morn while he and his parents exchanged gifts over scones and coffee.
This was a bit much.
Leaving his bedroom, rhythmic jingle bells and a synthetic tune from the dinette area caught his ear. Taking the stairs two at a time, the Slytherin Prince observed the most atypical scene unfolding before him.
The curly-head witch worked feverishly on their project for the Yule celebrations. Each House was to present a gingerbread house or scene celebrating the upcoming holidays. As Head Boy and Head Girl, they were to present a gingerbread house that represented all of Hogwarts, for unity, or some shit. All five finished products would be displayed in the Great Hall through the New Year.
Draco watched as she waved her wand over a partially-constructed gingerbread wall, and an assortment of colored gum drops fell into place.
The cheesy music played on loop from a nearby sonophone. She sang, off-key, but surprising passionately into a wooden spoon, "Last Christmas, I gave you my heart. But the very next day, you gave it away. This year, to save me from tears, I'll give it to someone special."
Granger's over-sized red sweater hung off one shoulder, revealing the smooth skin beneath, and a red bra strap. She wore those Muggle jeans she was fond of (he was fond of them, too, for a vastly different reason) and her thick curls were piled high atop of her head. Her back to him, she bopped animatedly to the catchy beat, as a magically-aided spoon stirred a vat of white icing beside her partially-constructed creation.
As he approached, he wondered just who was she singing about?
"Once bitten and twice shy," she sang, bending to pull a hot pan out of the oven. "I keep my distance, but you still catch my eye. Tell me, baby, do you recognize me? Well, it's been a year, it doesn't surprise me." The move granted him a generous view of her pert arse as she danced about the small space.
He spied an empty mug of spiced eggnog nearby, the likely culprit for her sudden desire to break into song.
"Happy Christmas!" she whispered to someone only she could see. "I wrapped it up and sent it, with a note saying, 'I love you,' I meant it. Now, I know what a fool I've been. But if you kissed me now, I know you'd fool me again."
Draco couldn't help but smile as he made his presence known. "That is the shittiest thing I've seen in awhile, Granger," he drawled over the infectious tune as he leaned against the dinette counter.
Granger jumped mid-verse, clearly not expecting him to join her. "For Godric's sakes, Malfoy!" she swore, clutching her wooden spoon to her chest.
He chuckled at her surprise and peered at her handiwork so far. "This looks terrible."
She wiped her hands on the back of her jeans, unknowingly depositing white icing over the curve of her arse. He lifted a brow at the particular placement. Something stirred in his trousers at the thought of removing the delectable treat.
Once she regained her breathing, she huffed, "Well, maybe if you'd agreed to help, I wouldn't had to go it alone," she fumed as she returned to her work. The Muggle tune continued in the background.
As she busied herself, he sneered over her shoulder, "Malfoys don't do gingerbread houses." He detected wafts of cinnamon and sweet apple around her. When had she started to wear perfume, he wondered?
Granger rolled her eyes and threw her head towards the icing being mixed down the counter. "Would you mind? Can you tell me if that needs more vanilla?" With her back turned, he quickly stuck in his finger into the vat of icing. "And don't stick your finger in the bowl, Malfoy!" she ordered without turning.
He rolled his eyes. The swot.
Draco grumbled, but grabbed a spoon to sample as ordered. "So, what are you trying to do?" he indicated to where she'd magically shrunk House decals, as he helped himself to some eggnog. If he was going to bloody contribute, then he might as well be properly inebriated.
"Can't you tell? It's Hogwarts!" Granger beamed proudly at her creation. She turned to face him, her cheeks rosy from eggnog and the warmth of the stove.
It was harder than usual to ignore her blatant cheeriness. He hid his smile behind a sip of eggnog. "Right," he deadpanned. "If a first-year made it."
Her smile fell and immediately, he regretted his words. Damn it, he was going to do something a Malfoy never did as he sought to make amends. "But," he reached, "... if you bring that over to the table, I might have the thing to bring life to your … er, art."
She lifted a disbelieving brow, but levitated her work-in-progress to the community table used for studying. Draco disappeared into his room and quickly returned with a small cauldron filled with a simmering potion.
"I confiscated this from a fifth year," he answered her unspoken question as he sat the potion on the table. "Apparently, someone purchased the ingredients from the Weasley's joke shop with the intention of teaching a schoolyard bully a lesson. But since I have it, we can use it."
She sniffed the potion, obviously curious about the golden brew. "What is this?"
He smiled at her curiosity. Draco summoned a cushion from their couch and dunked a corner into the cauldron. Both watched as the pillow shrunk to a fraction of its size. "It's far easier to decorate this way. The potion's effects last two days before the object reverts to its original form." He placed the miniature pillow into the model-sized Great Hall.
The Head Girl wasn't happy with using confiscated booty, but in the end, he convinced her. Even if it was something as inconsequential as a gingerbread house competition, the Head Girl was, if anything, competitive. Besides, this would give him an excuse to work uninterrupted with the witch.
They had developed a business relationship after discovering they would be working and living together for their final year at Hogwarts. He wasn't exactly thrilled when he received the news, but the moment she'd walked into their train compartment in September, something had shifted.
She'd changed, he realized. Oh, she was still as bossy and self-righteous as ever, but there was a subtle confidence that wasn't there before. He found it alluring, and suddenly, he found himself wanting to learn more about her. However, their past history made even a tepid partnership difficult. She had been weary of his initial offer to smooth things over, not that he blamed her. He had teased her and her friends for six years. And there was one time in fifth year ... well. The past was past.
But to his surprise, she'd accepted his apology. After that, the two fell into an easy working relationship, and slowly, he began to notice they were alike in many respects. Their studies came first. Both placed an undue amount of self-inflicted pressure to succeed in everything they did. And both were loyal to their closest friends, even if it was sometimes to their detriment. See she with the wonder-less duo, and he, with his old, family friends.
All of which squared horribly with their last shared trait - both did not suffer fools.
Draco stopped his reminiscing to find Granger deeply immersed with painting the frosting onto the roof. She poured herself into everything she did, even with something as trivial as a holiday food project. He smirked as he secretly watched her work. The two worked in silence. Draco worked on the courtyard, and Hermione worked on Gryffindor and Ravenclaw's towers. Sometime later, both sported icing-covered fingertips, glitter, and were filled with Christmas 'cheer,' courtesy of the spiced eggnog.
"You sounded quite passionate back there," Draco noted with a hint of mirth as he popped a piece of licorice into his mouth.
"Hmm?" Granger asked, her concentration solely on the task before her.
"The song you were singing earlier?"
"Oh, right." She briefly met his eyes before blushing prettily. "It's a Muggle song."
"I figured that. Lamenting over a past love, Granger?"
Save for fire crackling in the hearth, the room suddenly delved into silence. It was common knowledge that Granger's boyfriend, the Weasel, had broken up with her near the start of the term. The unlikely pair had found romance at the close of sixth-year, but with his promotion to Quidditch co-captain, alongside Potter, the ponce had ended things to play the field.
With the slyness of a Slytherin, Granger neatly sidestepped the question and diplomatically replied, "It's one of my favorite holiday songs. It reminds me of home."
Speaking of, "Why aren't you going home this year?" he posited. "This stupid project can't be the reason why you stayed over the break."
She defended, hotly, "It isn't stupid. And why didn't you go home?" she asked instead. "You've usually done so before."
He wasn't going to tell her that his parents were vacationing in the Mediterranean, and he had requested to spend his last holiday at Hogwarts before graduation. He took a generous swallow of eggnog before encouraging them to get back to work. This bloody house was due in a few hours, and now, with candy-coated fingertips, he was determined to see this through.
Well past midnight, the pair were close to finishing when Draco summoned another the mug of eggnog. The combined stress of classwork and Head duties faded into spiced eggnog and gingerbread. Relaxed and completely off-guard, the Heads were too caught up in their work to notice their movements. Granger did her a rather poor impression of Professor Trelawney that had Draco in stitches. Enough so, that his elbow hit the cauldron close to his arm.
Gelatinous liquid spilled liberally onto the table. Both tried and failed to move away, as the potion stained Draco's arm and the contents spilled into Granger's lap. Across the table, they shared one moment of startling realization before both shrunk to one-twelfth of their size. They landed in front of their gingerbread castle with little fanfare. Now, the candy-coated castle dwarfed them in scale.
"Malfoy! What did you do?" Granger accused as she took in their common room, now expansive and huge, from their new vantage point.
"Bloody hell! Accio wand!" Draco frantically tried to summon his wand, but it remained on the dinette counter beside Granger's. Both were too small to magically summon the pieces of wood from across the room.
"We're too small," Granger grimaced in frustration. "Our magic won't work from this height." She waded through stretched cotton, or faux-snow, and candy canes that stood taller than she. "Ugh, how on earth could you be so clumsy?!"
"It wasn't like I did it on purpose!" Draco retorted hotly as he staggered and tripped over a gum drop. "Fuck me, witch, how much liquor did you put in that eggnog?"
Granger growled in frustration. "That's neither here nor there, Malfoy. How long did you say this potion lasts?"
He kicked a peppermint in agitation, then promptly grabbed his foot in pain. "Two days," he growled as he clutched his injured foot.
"Shit," the rare curse slipped out.
"Wait! The submissions are due tonight!"
"This isn't the time to think about the bloody gingerbread house, Granger!"
"No, no! Harry and Ron were going to stop by and help me bring the house to the Great Hall. They'll be here soon. Perhaps, they can help us!"
Exactly to the minute, the portrait door opened to reveal the wonder-less duo.
Draco fumed from the shrunken table littered with candied decorations. "You gave those two our password?!"
Granger waved his anger off. "It was only for emergencies. They must've used it when I didn't answer the door. Harry!" Granger called from the top of her lungs. "Ron!"
Draco watched as Scar-head and Weasel-bee called out for their friend, clearly not hearing their friend's plea for help. "They can't hear you, Granger. Give it up," Malfoy ordered when it became apparent that her friends could not hear her. Malfoy refused to call Potter for aid.
"Where do you suppose they've gone?" Ron's amplified voice reverberated across the room as the two covered their ears. To their shrunken ears, Ron sounded as if he was using a Sonorous charm.
"How should I know? Maybe they're on patrols or something? Look, there's the castle." Harry pointed to their table. "Levitate it, and let's go."
"This room's a right mess." As Ron waved his wand at the castle, Granger yelped and grabbed Draco's hand.
Draco ignored the tightening in his chest as she grabbed his hand, and yelled after her, "What are you doing?!"
Granger pulled them onto the castle's miniature courtyard as it floated up and off the table. "Do you want to be left behind in this room, shrunken and alone, for two days?" Both steadied themselves as the floor of the gingerbread castle rocked as it floated in the air. "We stay with the castle and there's a greater chance someone finds us," she reasonably explained.
Unfortunately, Granger was right. Until someone found them, their best bet was to remain with the candy-coated castle.
On a positive note, at least he had plenty to satisfy his sweet tooth.
It was Christmas Eve and Malfoy was sulking.
"Would you please stop picking at the Head table?" Hermione complained as Malfoy climbed upon a candied display of the Head table within the Great Hall. "I still can't believe they didn't hear us," she muttered, her head in her hands. No matter how loud she yelled, or how hard she threw pieces of gingerbread at Harry and Ron's head, her friends did not hear her. Now, she and Draco were sitting on a display table with four other gingerbread houses outside the Great Hall.
"I can," Malfoy remarked from somewhere behind her. "Everyone knows your beau is slow on the return."
Hermione simmered as Draco helped himself to her handiwork. Marching up to him, she slapped a piece of candy out of his hand. "He's not my beau!" she corrected the blond. "And stop eating that! You'll ruin our work," she snapped, haughtily.
Narrowing his eyes, he purposefully broke off the tip of the candy-corned Sorting Hat. "You misplace your anger. You should be directing your ire to the red-headed git, and not me. What did you ever see in the ponce anyway?"
"Ugh," Hermione complained, walking to sit on a table far away from the blond. "I am not having this conversation with you!"
To her utter disappointment, Malfoy followed her. "Humor me, Granger. It's almost Christmas and we're stuck in a gingerbread house. It's just conversation."
Silence reigned for a few moments more before he pestered her again.
Exasperated, "Really, Malfoy?" Outwardly, Hermione's eyes rolled in agitation. Unexpectedly, her heart raced as he neared. "I'm sure there are other things we can talk about?" she tried to change the subject.
"Too simple to hold a conversation?" Malfoy guessed at her ex-lover's faults as he hopped onto a gingerbread table beside her.
"Malfoy!" she warned, though she did not scoot away from him.
"Sorely lacking in bed?" he postured.
A red face hid behind fingers as Hermione grumbled something intelligible into her hands.
Malfoy laughed. "I'm sorry, I don't think I caught that."
With a determined scowl, she lifted her head from her hands and nearly growled, "I said, he wasn't you!"
Malfoy promptly shut-up and blinked in the resulting silence.
"I told you we weren't having this conversation," she snipped, refusing to meet his bewildered gaze.
"What do you mean?" he asked, clearly befuddled, before recognition took hold. "Surely, you don't mean … the Ravenclaw party, fifth year?!" he asked, incredulously.
Hermione crossed her arms, immediately defensive of the all-too-brief encounter they'd shared. Two years ago, at a party in Ravenclaw tower, somehow both had separated from their friends. Alcohol-induced fighting had quickly morphed into hot and heavy snogging. "It was my first kiss, Malfoy," Hermione informed the stunned-into-silence blond. "Maybe it was meaningless to you, but," she swallowed, before continuing, "… but it wasn't for me. You don't forget that sort of thing." She turned just enough to observe his reaction.
To her surprise, he wasn't smirking or gloating over the admission. In fact, he looked stunned before finally responding, "I was your first kiss? Why didn't you tell me?"
"We were both inebriated … it wasn't an ideal situation. We weren't even friends-"
"Because it was mine, too," he rushed over her excuses.
Now, it was Hermione's turn to gape at Malfoy in surprise. "What?"
"You can close your mouth, Granger. The gaping fish look isn't attractive."
"Surely, you're joking?"
"Why? It's likely there was another witch before you? Well, the sordid truth of the matter is that you were."
Hermione looked away, suddenly shy, as warmth flamed her cheeks. "I still remember it, actually. Drunk as we were," she admitted quietly. She played with the thread of her jeans as the open question hung in the air.
Then, he was standing before her knees, answering her unspoken question, "I remember it, too."
A 'clack' interrupted the positively bewildering moment. The Heads glanced towards the sound outside before returning their attention to the other. Did Malfoy still think about it like she did? She pondered the question as her gaze lowered to pink lips. She had tasted them once before ...
"So, Weasley wasn't me, huh?" he whispered above her head, returning to her earlier admission. Now Malfoy had the gall to look smug as he loomed over her.
"You'll not get anything further from me," she warned lowly, though the internal comparison was already raging within.
Ron was a decent snog, but...
Draco Malfoy had made her toes curl.
Ron made her feel nice and warm, like a worn blanket.
Draco made her feel things she was too ashamed to admit out loud. Wicked, dirty, awful things. Her cheeks heated again with the memory.
Not that she'd ever tell the cocky snake!
Someone walked by the display table, rattling the gingerbread castle enough to shake items loose from the ceiling. Small bits of mistletoe rained onto the teens' lap.
Draco plucked a sprig of mistletoe from her hair, and carefully examined the piece of evergreen before him.
Hermione's mouth ran dry as she offered quietly, "Of course, I'd forgotten about the mistletoe."
Draco closed his fist around the holiday weed as if suddenly emboldened. "What was the line, Granger? From your muggle song? Something about this year, 'giving your heart to someone special'?"
Eyes widened when she caught the meaning, but there was no time to respond as Draco bent to capture her lips in a sweet kiss. For two heartbeats, she savored the sensation of his lips moving against hers before placing her hands on his chest. "Wait." She pushed against his chest, equal parts thrilled and scared to find his heart racing as fast as hers. She had just ended one relationship and wasn't ready to avail herself emotionally to another just yet. Or was she?
Draco paused, waiting for her next move.
She shook her head, displeased with the doubt muddying her thoughts. "Bloody hell, like I care. Let them talk ..." she whispered to herself, as she dragged his head towards hers once more. When he did not move quickly enough, she lifted from her seat to meet him halfway. The angle was awkward, but oh-so rewarding.
Determined to savor every second of his kiss, Hermione tilted her head, granting him access to her mouth. Her stomach twisted in knots, his hands fisted in her sweater, as she dragged him closer. Her hands admitted what her words could not.
Is this really happening?
How do you make me feel this way?
Slowly, Draco pulled back as heavy-lidded eyes searched hers.
"Happy Christmas, Granger," Draco whispered. A hint of chocolate tickled her nose.
Hermione licked her lips in anticipation and met his gaze. The resulting thrill caused her to shudder. "Happy Christmas, Malfoy."
Time stood still before the Heads sank into each other's arms once more. Hermione kissed him soundly, eager to replace the memory of their first kiss with something solid, tangible, and real.
Eyes closed, Draco lifted her from table with ease. Immediately, she locked her legs around his waist for purchase. If he thought her movements too eager, he gave no indication otherwise. Hands insatiably explored the unfamiliar as Draco walked them forward, until her back hit a gingerbread wall. The overwhelming scent of vanilla icing was nothing compared to the sweetness found in his kiss. It was decadent enough that Hermione knew this would lead to a habit.
A wicked, dirty, awful habit.
But it was Christmas, and Hermione would gladly accept the gift offered as she returned the kiss soundly.
The teens broke for air in a gasp. They had one moment to laugh at the absurdity of the situation as they chuckled, forehead to forehead, before Draco possessively captured her mouth once more. Most assuredly, the distant memory of their first kiss faded into the present.
Unbeknownst to pair of teens, the gingerbread wall cracked under the pressure that was Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy.
After a festive brunch on a sleepy Christmas morning, the four Heads of House and the Headmaster gathered the remaining students outside of the Great Hall. It was time to vote on the gingerbread house submissions.
The Transformation Professor cleared her throat. "Now, I'm not sure where our Head Boy and Head Girl have gotten off to." Professor McGonagall glanced about the crowd, searching for a familiar head of honey-colored curls. "I'd expected them to be here as we vote in our first Inter-House Gingerbread competition. Votes will be tallied until tonight…"
"Wait, Professor!" Harry Potter exclaimed from the back of the crowd. "Hermione and Malfoy are here!"
Students looked around, confused, at Harry's sudden announcement.
"Are you sure about this, mate?" Ron whispered beside his friend as the murmurs started.
"Positive. The map never lies," Harry referenced his father's map, hidden in his back pocket. "Hermione and Malfoy have to be here."
Professor McGonagall looked down her nose at her charges. "Mr. Potter, would you care to explain how you arrived at such a conclusion, seeing as the Head Boy and Head Girl are, in fact, not here?"
Before Harry could reply, the Heads' submission suddenly exploded in a wondrous burst of gingerbread, dried icing, and gumdrops. Two half-clad Heads tumbled scandalously into view. Draco laid on top of Hermione, who clung fiercely to him for cover. Both had gingerbread crumbles in their hair, clothes, and their … unmentionables.
"Excellent!" Professor Dumbledore remarked as Professor McGonagall gaped at her Head Girl, nearly topless, beneath the Head Boy. "Now that our Heads are here, we can commence with the voting!"
"... Ms. Granger!" Professor McGonagall exclaimed in shock. "Mr. Malfoy? What on earth are you two doing?!"
The ensuing excuse would go down in infamy among the student populace.
For what it was worth, Hermione Granger spent several weeks trying, and failing, to remove the smell of ginger from her hair.
And her newly minted boyfriend, Draco Malfoy, consequently loved all things ginger.
The five submissions remained on display throughout the holidays: four lovely submissions from each House, and one ruined Hogwarts castle, on behalf of the Head Boy and Head Girl.
The smashed castle sported a pristine, blue first place ribbon.