A/N - This is my final Christmas one-shot for this year, and very likely my last story of 2017. This is just a fun, lighthearted story, and even though Dramione are the main couple in the story the other Slytherins and Gryffindors play a major role, so this one is more of an ensemble piece.
Since this is likely my last story of the year, I just want to wish my loyal supporters, and everyone else who reads this story a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. As always, I've received an awful lot of support from my readers this year, and I just want to say how amazed I still am at having so much support, and how much I appreciate all your kind words. The reviews I get from so many familiar names on all my stories, really do keep me inspired and keep my desire to post new stories going. I hope people continue to enjoy my work, and I hope people will join me next year when I'll have some new stories to publish. But for now, thank you for a great year and I hope everyone has a great festive season. See you in 2018.
When Hogwarts Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, announced a series of Christmas parties for the students, they were thrilled at the festive offering. The parties were split into three, with the first years and second years sharing one evening, followed by the third, fourth and fifth years having a separate party and finally the sixth and seventh years would share the final party.
However, rather than just having normal parties, Dumbledore decided to theme each party. For the sixth and seventh years they were slightly dismayed to find that Dumbledore intended to use their party to promote house unity. He decided that all the boys would wear Santa outfits, and a spell on the Great Hall would prevent them from revealing who they were to the girls. The idea was that students would spend time with people they wouldn't normally as the girls would have no idea which boy they were talking to.
Not that the students were overly impressed with the idea, and the boys especially weren't keen on dressing up as a muggle mythical figure. However, Dumbledore wouldn't be moved on the idea and anyone not willing to dress up would not be admitted to the party. He'd even promised that he and the male staff would also don Santa suits for the party, so it wasn't just the students in disguise.
On the afternoon of the party there was still scepticism among the sixth and seventh year boys, yet not one of them failed to turn up in the transfiguration classroom when Dumbledore summoned them to collect their Santa outfits. Since he wanted all the boys to look alike, he'd ordered the outfits and embedded them with magic that would ensure that they perfectly fit whichever boy was wearing them.
"Well these are just hideous," Blaise Zabini grumbled as the outfits, complete with hats and false beards, were passed around.
"I have to agree with Zabini here," Ron Weasley said begrudgingly. "I think these are even worse than the dress robes I wore for the Yule Ball."
"I wouldn't go that far, Weasley," Draco Malfoy drawled from beside Blaise. "I'm not sure you could get worse than that dress you wore in fourth year."
"It wasn't a dress, it was robes," Ron muttered, his face turning almost as red as his hair.
"Looked like a dress to me," Draco retorted with a shrug.
"Yeah well, you looked like a vicar in your dress robes," Harry Potter said, jumping to his best friend's defence.
"What's a vicar?" Theo Nott asked with a frown.
"Some muggle religious dude," Draco replied with a dismissive wave of his hand.
"I bet dressing as a vicar is better than dressing as Santa," Blaise grouched, barely taking in that his pureblood best friend knew something about muggles as he was too caught up in the awful outfit he was expected to wear. "Seriously, who would wear this much red?"
"Come on now boys, let's get into the festive spirit," Dumbledore cajoled as he continued to hand around the outfits. "As you know each outfit is enchanted to fit the wearer," he explained to the entire group. "Once you've entered the Great Hall in your outfits, you'll be unable to remove your hat and beard and won't be able to reveal your identity to the girls. Now this is your chance to get to know people regardless of house, so make the most of it. Enjoy yourselves tonight, and remember, no boy will gain entrance to the Great Hall unless they're fully dressed in their outfit."
"I can't believe the only way to get into the party is to wear this," Draco complained as Dumbledore dismissed them and allowed them a few hours to get ready for the party. "I don't do hats, they mess with my hair."
"I've seen you wear hats before," Gregory Goyle piped up.
"Yeah, you had a bloody ugly one in third year," Vincent Crabbe chuckled.
"That was then, and this is now," Draco snarled, glaring at his two oldest friends. "I no longer wear hats, or anything else on my head."
"Apart from tonight when you'll be forced to wear this junk," Theo said, waving his Santa suit under Draco's nose.
"Maybe I'll skip the party," Draco shrugged. "It's not like I'm going to impress any girl dressed like a red balloon."
"You can't miss the party, Draco," Blaise said. "We may have to go dressed like idiots, but it should still be fun."
"Okay, I'll be there," Draco conceded with a sigh, even though he'd never had any intention of missing the party. He may not have liked the outfit Dumbledore was forcing them to wear, but it did mean he would be able to spend time with his secret girlfriend without anyone causing a fuss as no-one would know who he was under the Santa suit. Or at least they wouldn't until the end of the night, when he fully planned on revealing himself and taking his romance public.
The Great Hall was transformed into a winter wonderland for the sixth and seventh year's party. Enchanted icicles hung from the ceiling and fake snow covered the floor. The usual tables had been removed, aside from one placed along the back of the hall, which was stacked with food and drinks. A magical sound system was set up behind the giant Christmas tree, pumping out a selection of wizarding and muggle music.
As per Dumbledore's instructions all the boys were gathered in the Great Hall shortly before the girls were admitted. Despite their complaints, everyone had turned up and everyone was wearing their outfits. Even Dumbledore, who was wearing his outfit minus the fake beard as he had his own real one, was struggling to tell the boys apart. And aside from Professor Flitwick, who obviously stood out because of his height, Dumbledore couldn't even pick out his male Professors in the midst of the students.
At half past seven exactly, the doors to the Great Hall swung open and Professor McGonagall entered with the girls. Unlike the boys, who were all in identical Santa suits, the girls were dressed as they desired and each girl was distinctive in her unique outfit. The different outfit's certainly added colour to the evening and Dumbledore watched in satisfaction as the Santa's began to disperse and engage the girls in conversation. Smiling at his successful he felt the evening was going to be, he made a bee-line for McGonagall and whisked her out onto the dancefloor.
While Dumbledore wasn't able to differentiate between the male students, most of them had arrived with their friends and until they got lost in the crowds, they knew who they were. Two Santa's who had stuck together were Blaise and Theo. Almost immediately they'd lost Draco, and Vince and Greg had muttered something about food before disappearing in the direction of the buffet.
"Well, who do you like the look of?" Blaise asked Theo, surveying the room and admiring the stunning girls at the party.
"Pansy is looking good," Theo remarked, his eyes scrutinising his old friend, who was wearing a lavish emerald green ball gown.
"She is," Blaise agreed, wondering if Pansy had padded her dress as she looked as though she had more up top than usual. "So is the Weasley girl," he added, nodding his head in the direction of the sixth year, Ginny Weasley, who was looking ravishing in a glittering brown dress.
"Yeah, little Weaselette is pretty hot these days," Theo said admiringly.
"So is Granger," Blaise said, his attention continuing to drift around the room to the Head Girl, Hermione Granger, who was wearing a deep blue dress that clung to normally hidden curves.
"Although it looks as though someone else thinks so as well," Theo chuckled. "Some Santa is trying his luck with her."
Blaise chuckled along with Theo as he watched one of the other Santa's making a move on Hermione. As far as he knew the Head Girl was single, and he had been thinking of chancing his own luck with her, but it looked as though whoever had gotten their first was impressing her. She certainly looked happy enough chatting to the Santa, and Blaise watched as a few minutes later she headed onto the dancefloor with him and happily stepped into his embrace.
"Go Santa," Theo laughed as the Santa Hermione was dancing with, pulled her even closer so they were pressed right against each other.
"Looks like someone will be getting lucky tonight," Blaise remarked.
"Speaking of getting lucky, have you seen Daphne?" Theo questioned. He'd had a long term crush on his fellow Slytherin, Daphne Greengrass, and was hoping that he might finally have a chance with his gorgeous friend.
"Sorry Theo, it looks like you're out of luck," Blaise said sympathetically, clapping his friend on the shoulder. "She's over there, looking very cosy with Santa."
"Damn these slimly Santa's," Theo cursed, watching as Daphne giggled and blushed adorably as she chatted with a Santa standing very close to her. "What's that Santa got that I haven't?"
"Maybe his sack is larger than yours," Blaise joked.
"Idiot," Theo retorted with a roll of his eyes. "Well, the night's still young. Just because Daphne is looking cosy with Santa right this moment, doesn't mean they're going to stay together all evening. The second she's free, I'm going to pounce."
"You do that," Blaise muttered, his attention distracted by a stunning looking Padma Patil standing nearby. "Got to go Theo, Santa has work to do."
Theo watched as Blaise wandered up to Padma and immediately said something that had her laughing. Knowing that Blaise was set for the evening, Theo returned his attention to Daphne and her mystery Santa. Wondering just who had captivated Daphne's attention, and how long it would be before he wandered off and Theo himself could get a chance to woo Daphne, Theo grabbed a drink and picked at a few cubes of cheese, his eyes never leaving the couple across the room.
Unaware that they were the focus of Theo's attention, Daphne and her mystery Santa were thoroughly enjoying their time together. Unlike some witches in the room, who had no idea who was under the Santa suit, Daphne was well aware of who she was with. Even though the spells Dumbledore had erected around the room, prevented her Santa from revealing his name, theirs was a prearranged meeting and even if it wasn't, Daphne would have recognised the wizard under the suit as she knew him so very well.
"Did you do as I said?" her mystery Santa asked her in a low voice.
"I did," Daphne replied. "I've got a partner all set for the final dance."
"Good," her Santa replied with a slight nod. "We're taking enough risks as it is. I can't be with you for the final dance when Dumbledore is going to have people remove their hats and beards."
"I understand," Daphne said with a smile. "But we're just going to have to make the most of the rest of our evening. And I suggest we do that with a dance."
"I don't really dance," her Santa replied warily.
"I've always said that dancing is very much like a form of foreplay, and I know you're very skilled in the bedroom department," Daphne replied saucily. "So come on, dance with me?"
Unable to resist the pouting witch in front of him, Daphne's Santa let her lead him out onto the dancefloor. Across the room Theo watched them wrap their arms around each other with a sigh, and finally deciding tonight wasn't his night with Daphne, he turned his attention away from the couple and wondered if there was any other good looking girls he could have a bit of fun with.
While Theo set off to forget about Daphne and have a bit of fun, he passed a Santa standing beside the buffet table, filling a plate full of food. Underneath the Santa suit was Ron, and after filling up his plate he headed back over to where another Santa was sitting on one of the chairs backed against the far wall of the Great Hall.
"Harry?" he checked before sitting down. He'd left his best friend sitting beside the wall, but with everyone wearing the same outfit it was easy to get confused.
"Yeah, it's me," Harry muttered, plucking a pumpkin pasty from Ron's plate.
"What's wrong?" Ron asked. Even though the outfit wasn't great, he was still having a good time and when he left Harry, his friend had also been in the festive spirit.
"Ginny," Harry answered with a sigh, directing Ron's gaze to where his sister was swaying snugly in the arms of a Santa.
"Oh," Ron replied gently. He knew his best friend fancied his sister, and he'd thought the feeling was mutual. "I'm sorry Harry."
"Me too," Harry said. "I should have gotten in there quickly."
"Why didn't you?" Ron asked.
"I didn't think some other Santa would swoop in as quickly," Harry admitted.
"There seems to be a lot of it around," Ron remarked. "Have you seen Hermione? A Santa pounced on her almost as soon as she entered the room."
"I can't say I've seen her," Harry replied, searching for his best friend. "Where is she?"
"Over there," Ron answered with a grimace, pointing across the room. "Under the mistletoe."
Harry followed Ron's finger and located his best friend wrapped in a Santa's embrace under a piece of mistletoe. Although it wasn't just a friendly peck on the cheek, they were in a full on snog and Harry felt himself blushing just watching them.
"Wow," Harry muttered, averting his eyes. "Someone's in the festive spirit."
"Do you think she knows who she's kissing?" Ron asked.
"I hope so," Harry replied. Even at a party, he didn't think Hermione was the type to be kissing people without knowing who they were, especially not as passionately as she was doing.
"Speaking of other people in the festive spirit have you seen some of the dancing?" Ron laughed, leaving the topic of their best friend and her mystery Santa alone for the time being.
Harry turned his attention to the dancefloor and laughed at some of the sights that greeted him. While a lot of people were dancing normally, there were a few who looked a bit odd. Professors Dumbledore and McGonagall just seem to be constantly rotating in a circle and Professor Spout was trying to keep up with an enthusiastic Professor Flitwick, who was prancing around thoroughly enjoying himself. However the funniest sight was Luna Lovegood waving her arms around in the air, while her Santa was joining in the fun and mimicking her unorthodox dance moves.
"Neville and Luna are hilarious," Harry laughed.
"How do you know it's Neville?" Ron questioned.
"He rushed off to find Luna as soon as the girls arrived," Harry replied. "Besides, who else would be mad enough to dance like that with Luna?"
"True," Ron laughed. "He must really love her to make such a fool of himself."
"Good for Neville, I say," Harry said as his eyes drifted back over to where Ginny had been dancing with her mystery Santa. Finding no sign of the couple, he searched the Great Hall and let out a sigh when he found her under the mistletoe, indulging in a heated kiss, with her Santa.
"Some people have no decorum," Ron tutted, becoming aware of where Harry's attention was.
"Let her have her fun," Harry said with a sigh. As much as he wished it was him with Ginny, he could see she was having a good time and he didn't resent her having fun.
"And Hermione?" Ron asked, refocusing on their best friend who was now back on the dancefloor with her Santa. "I so want to know who she's with. They seem really friendly already."
"Do you think she's got a secret boyfriend?" Harry questioned.
"Hermione?" Ron laughed. "Nah."
"Even though she already seems pretty friendly with her Santa?" Harry pressed. "That earlier kiss didn't look like a first kiss to me."
"We could always go and ask her," Ron suggested.
"And spoil her fun?" Harry questioned with a frown. "Let her be. I'm sure we'll find out who her mystery Santa is sooner or later."
Agreeing that they should just let Hermione have her fun, Harry and Ron decided to spend the rest of their evening having their own fun. Polishing off their plate of food, the boys then headed for some drinks before heading onto the dancefloor to join Neville and Luna in their mad dancing.
A short distance from where Harry and Ron had joined the fun on the dancefloor, Hermione was dancing with the same wizard who had first approached her that evening. Like Daphne, she was well aware of who she was spending her evening with. As with Daphne and her mystery Santa, the date had been pre-arranged, but even if it hadn't been, Hermione would have easily recognised the wizard she was spending time with as underneath the Santa suit was her secret boyfriend, Draco Malfoy.
"So how are you enjoying yourself, Santa?" Hermione asked as they decided to have a break and grab some drinks.
"I would be enjoying it more if I wasn't wearing this damn suit," Draco muttered. "I dread to think what state my hair will be in when I remove this hat."
"You and your precious hair," Hermione laughed. "You're a proper girl at times."
"I just care about my appearance," Draco countered as he grabbed a couple of drinks and handed one of the glasses of punch to his girlfriend.
"More like you're a vain bugger," Hermione snorted.
"And you wouldn't have me any other way," Draco retorted, shooting Hermione a devastating grin.
"You're so conceited," Hermione muttered with a roll of her eyes, even though he was right and even though he was sometimes annoying and a bit of a git, she wouldn't really change him as then he wouldn't be the wizard she'd fallen in love with.
"Have you decided what we're going to do about the final dance?" Draco asked as the pair settled down in a couple of empty chairs.
"I say we go for it," Hermione replied. "We were going to come out tonight anyway, Dumbledore's fancy dress idea just put our plans on hold. And at least we've had a pretty peaceful evening with no-one asking us any questions."
"True," Draco agreed. "So we're going for it at the end of the evening."
"We are," Hermione confirmed. "But we've still got some time before then. Let's just enjoy the rest of the evening and worry about the big reveal later on."
Draco agreed and the couple headed back to have some more fun, little realising that theirs wouldn't be the only big reveal when the Santa's were finally able to remove their hats and beards. A few other couples would be under scrutiny and there was going to be a few surprises as the final Christmas party of the year came to an end.
The final Christmas party was a huge success, and as the night drew to a close, Dumbledore was feeling pretty happy with himself. All evening he'd watched the Santa's charm the witches in the room, and unless he'd missed something, there'd been no major falling outs or incidents of any kind. The entire evening had run smoothly, and he was just left to hope that the final dance was a success.
"It's time," he said to McGonagall as he stopped the music at the end of a lively song, and amplifying his voice, called for some attention. "I hope you've all had a good evening," he began. "But as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end, and unfortunately it's nearly time to call it a night. But we do have one final dance, so Santa's grab your partners."
Most people already seemed to be with someone else, but there were a few last minute grabbing's of partners. Of course some people were still alone, and seemed content to just watch the action from the side lines, but there was a significant portion of the students partnered up for the final dance.
"Before we wind down for the evening, I also think it's time to reveal ourselves," Dumbledore announced.
"Isn't that called indecent exposure?" one of the students, who sounded a lot like Blaise Zabini, called out.
"Oh, I didn't mean it in that way," Dumbledore muttered, flushing in embarrassment. "I meant it's time to remove our hats and beards." With a flourish he removed his Santa hat, but obviously didn't remove his beard as he wasn't wearing a false one.
All around the Great Hall the Santa's began to remove their hats and beards, revealing their identity to the witch they were dancing with. The Santa closest to Dumbledore was one of the first to remove his hat and beard, and when he did so, the scowling face of Severus Snape was revealed.
"Ah, Severus, have you had a good time?" Dumbledore asked in a merry voice. "I hope you had a dance or two."
"I've been keeping an eye on the students," Severus replied. "Someone had to stop them wandering off and getting up to no good in the dark corners of the castle."
"I'd never considered that possibility," Dumbledore admitted sheepishly. "Thank you for keeping the students in line, Severus."
"It was a pleasure," Severus drawled, not sounding at all sincere.
Not that Dumbledore noticed his Potions Master's dissatisfaction as he was too caught up in watching the girls finally find out who they'd spent the evening with. Spotting the familiar messy black head of Harry potter, he couldn't help but beam widely as he saw him with Ginny Weasley. In his opinion they made a good couple, but little did he know that things weren't running smoothly between Harry and the girl of his affections.
Harry had actually asked Ginny to dance following Dumbledore's announcement of the final dance, when he'd spotted she was all alone. Whoever she'd been with all evening had vanished into thin air, and not wanting her to have her night ruined, Harry had stepped in and asked for the final dance. However, when he'd revealed who he was, he hadn't expected Ginny to throw her arms around him and proclaim to have had the night of her life.
"I'm pleased you've had a good time," he informed her as he extracted himself from her grasp.
"Have you not?" Ginny asked with a pout.
"It's been okay," Harry replied with a shrug. "Ron and I have had some fun."
"Ron?" Ginny frowned. "I haven't seen Ron all evening."
"But I have," Harry retorted. "I've been with him all night."
"If you've been with Ron, then who have I been with?" Ginny asked in confusion. "I thought I'd spent the evening with you."
"This is the first time we've spoken all night," Harry said.
"Oh," Ginny whispered softly. "I was convinced that it was you I was with."
"It wasn't," Harry replied. "Although, I have to say Ginny, I can't quite believe you didn't know that it wasn't me you were with. Surely you know my voice and what I'm like, even if I'm wearing a silly Santa suit."
"I thought I did know," Ginny admitted. "Whoever he was is dark like you, and he sounds rather like you. And he is such an amazing kisser."
"Then it looks like you need to find out who your mystery Santa is," Harry said quietly.
"Maybe," Ginny answered with a slight shrug. "But is he even interested? I mean, we're about to have the final dance and he's vanished. Was he just using me?"
"I don't know Ginny," Harry replied. "I might not have been the Santa you've spent the evening with, but will you still have the last dance with me?"
"Of course, I will," Ginny replied, putting her hand in Harry's as they made their way onto the dancefloor in preparation for the final dance.
As they slipped onto the dancefloor, they were both unaware of Gregory Goyle watching them with a sad smile. Greg had already removed his hat and beard and was preparing to dance with Daphne Greengrass, even though he hadn't spent any of the evening with his beautiful friend.
"I'm sorry," Daphne said gently, following Greg's gaze and drawing some conclusions of her own. "You've spent the night with the Weasley girl, haven't you?"
"I never would have had the guts without this disguise," Greg admitted with a shy smile. "But she didn't know who I was to reject me, and we had a great time."
"Do you want to go and try and have the last dance with her?" Daphne asked.
"No, I promised you we would have the last dance, and we will," Greg replied, squeezing Daphne's hand in his larger one. "Although I am curious as to what happened to your Santa. You haven't been alone all night."
"I told you this afternoon, it's complicated," Daphne replied with a shrug.
"Complicated as in you're going to get your heart broken?" Greg asked in concern.
"I hope not," Daphne answered with a rueful smile. "But I don't want to worry about things that might never happen. Let's just enjoy the final dance, and I can help you come up with a plan to ask Ginny out."
"I can't ask her out, she'd knock me back," Greg said with a snort. "I'm not like Draco, Blaise and Theo, who just have to snap their fingers and girls fall at their feet. I'm not a catch like they are."
"And that is where you are wrong, Greg," Daphne insisted. "You're one of the sweetest people I've ever met, and Ginny, or any other girl for that matter, will be damn lucky to have you."
"Do you really think so?" Greg asked hopefully.
"I know so," Daphne replied, leaning up and pressing a kiss to Greg's cheek.
Blushing at both the kiss and the compliment, Greg swept Daphne into his arms as he vowed to give her a final dance to remember. While Daphne and Greg were quite content to spend the final moments of their evening together, a nearby Theo Nott, was gobsmacked to see the pair together.
After earlier deciding that someone had beaten him to the punch with Daphne, he'd focused on having a good time. As far as he knew, Blaise had spent most of his evening with Padma Patil considering he was still with her for the final dance. That had left Theo alone, but he soon found company in Pansy Parkinson, although she'd guessed who he was almost straight away and warned him that while she was happy to spend time with him, she wasn't interested in any sort of romance, she just saw them as friends. Not that Theo was complaining, as although he'd enjoyed his evening and had really loved spending time with Pansy, he didn't have any romantic feelings for her.
"Wow, I didn't know Greg had it in him," Pansy chuckled. "Fancy him pulling a cracker like Daphne."
"I know," Theo muttered. "How did it happen?"
"It's the Santa suit," Pansy replied. "It obviously gave him confidence he wouldn't normally had, and because he was hidden, Daphne wasn't able to judge him on looks or previous encounters."
"But that would still mean he had to have charmed her, and Greg isn't charming," Theo argued.
"I think you're underestimating him," Pansy chuckled. "I'll admit he doesn't have the looks and charm of you, Blaise and Draco, but he's really sweet and willing to do anything for people he cares about."
"Sweet?" Theo frowned. "Greg is sweet?"
"Underneath his tough enforcer exterior, he is very sweet," Pansy confirmed. "Of course, sweet holds no appeal to me. I'd rather have a wizard with a bit of a dangerous streak."
"Like Draco?" Theo asked, well aware that Pansy harboured a long term crush on their friend.
"Draco isn't dangerous, he's a marshmallow," Pansy chuckled. "He just acts as cold as ice, but we both know he isn't really like that. He's just cautious. Or should I say he's normally cautious."
"What do you mean normally?" Theo asked.
"You haven't seen him, have you?" Pansy replied with a smirk. "If you would tear your eyes away from Daphne and Greg, you will find that half of the hall is looking over there."
Turning Theo's head, Pansy faced him in the direction of his platinum blond friend. Theo quickly located Draco, who'd also removed his Santa hat and beard, and was looking his usual distinctive self. Initially Theo wasn't sure what the big deal was, but then he spotted that his friend had his arm around the Head Girl.
"Bloody hell, Granger," Theo gasped. "I'm sorry Pans," he added, turning to his friend and giving her a sympathetic smile.
"Why does everyone think I'm in love with Draco?" Pansy asked with an exasperated sigh. "I'll admit when we first hit puberty, I had a slight crush on him. But then again, I don't think there were many girls in the school who didn't fancy him. But time moved on, nothing ever happened between us, and I moved on. Besides, it's been clear all year he's been seeing someone."
"It has?" Theo asked.
"Boys," Pansy tutted with a roll of her eyes. "You're so oblivious."
"So you're saying that he's been with Granger all year?" Theo checked.
"Yes," Pansy replied with a nod of her head. "It might have even been going on last year. But they've certainly been together since the start of the year."
"And it doesn't bother you?" Theo asked.
"I've already explained that I have no romantic feelings for Draco," Pansy replied. "And as for the muggleborn thing, you know we're all trying to change. I don't think I'll ever be able to get involved with a muggleborn myself, but it's Draco's life and if he's happy that's good enough for me."
"I wonder if Granger's friends will view things the same way," Theo said, spotting Ron Weasley openly gaping at Draco and Hermione.
Almost as if he'd heard Theo's words, Ron Weasley began to approach his best friend. He'd been one of the students without a partner for the final dance, but he hadn't minded as no-one in the school had really caught his attention. In actual fact, he'd been looking forward to the final dance being over with, so he could get off to bed, when he'd become aware that something that caught a lot of people's attention. What he hadn't expected, was to find it was the sight of his best friend in the arms of the Head Boy which had grabbed the attention.
For a few minutes, Ron had just watched Hermione and Draco, unsure of what to do and how to react. However, he found he couldn't just pretend as though he'd seen nothing, and wanting some answers from his friend, he set off across the hall to where she was swaying in Draco's arms as the final dance finally got underway.
"Hermione," he said, tapping her on the shoulder to grab her attention.
"Do you mind Weasley, we're trying to dance," Draco drawled. In actual fact he was surprised that it had taken so long for someone to approach them once he'd shed the hat and beard are revealed his identity to everyone.
"And have you being doing that all night?" Ron demanded.
"Among other things," Draco answered with a smirk, recalling the couple of kisses they'd shared under the mistletoe.
"Draco," Hermione warned, giving her boyfriend a stern glare before she paused and turned to face her best friend. "You're not going to cause trouble, are you, Ron?"
"No," Ron admitted. "I just have a few questions."
"Okay then, ask away," Hermione replied.
"Did you know you were spending the evening with Malfoy?"
"Yes, I knew. And before you ask, yes, we were already together," Hermione answered. "Our original plan was to attend the party together, but then the Santa suits came into play, so we had to wait until now to reveal our relationship."
"So it is a relationship?" Ron checked in a quiet voice.
"Yes, we're serious about each other, Ron," Hermione replied. "I hope you can accept that."
"It's your choice, Hermione," Ron replied with a small smile and a shrug of the shoulders. "Who you're dating, won't affect the fact that you're still my best friend."
"Thank you Ron," Hermione said with a relived smile. Even though Harry hadn't yet approached her, it had been Ron she'd been more worried about as he was more hot-headed than her other best friend.
"Although, Malfoy, if you hurt Hermione, I will personally make you regret it," Ron warned. "And I won't be alone in that. A lot of people love Hermione, and we won't stand for her being hurt."
"I understand," Draco said with a solemn nod. His first instinct was to laugh at Ron, as he didn't for one minute fear the Gryffindor, but he understood where the redhead was coming from, and respected his desire to protect Hermione. "And I have no intention of hurting Hermione."
"Make sure it stays that way," Ron warned, before wishing the couple all the best and disappearing back into the midst of the party, which was winding down for the evening as the final song began to near its end.
"That was pretty surprising," Draco said to Hermione as he watched Ron leave.
"It was," Hermione agreed. "Of all the people who might react badly, I was sure it was going to be Ron who was the worst."
"Maybe he's not as immature as he seems," Draco suggested.
"No matter the reason for his acceptance, I'm grateful for it," Hermione said. "Do you think everyone else will take the same approach as Ron?"
"I hope so, but even if they don't, then that's their problem," Draco replied with a shrug. "We're together, and happy, and there's nothing anyone can do about it."
Agreeing wholeheartedly with Draco, Hermione enjoyed the final few moments of the party in her boyfriend's arms. No doubt over the course of the next few days they would get everyone's opinions on their romance, but right now they were enjoying a perfect end to a perfect Christmas party.
Much to Hermione and Draco's amusement, in the days following the Christmas party, Dumbledore was taking full credit for bringing the two head students together as a couple. More than once the headmaster had been heard bragging about his idea of secret Santa's at the party had led to the unconventional couple getting together. Even when it was pointed out to him that Draco and Hermione had been together for months before the party, he was still adamant that the Christmas party was the real trigger and it was only because of it that they felt comfortable with taking their romance public.
Leaving Dumbledore to take credit for their romance, Draco and Hermione had focused on their friend's reactions. Thankfully they all took a leaf out of Ron's book and were perfectly accepting. A few people, like Ron and Pansy, stressed that they didn't see the Gryffindors and Slytherins all hanging out together and being friends, but they still had no problems with the relationship between the two head students. The common consensus was that as long as the couple were happy, their friends were happy for them and fully supportive of their romance.
By the time the end of term rolled around, which was less than a week after the Christmas party, the entire school had accepted that Draco and Hermione were a couple. The pair did still get their fair share of attention whenever they were together, especially if they were affectionate with one another, but they didn't let it bother them as they both knew that before long everyone would be used to them being together and no-one would bat an eyelid at the sight of them with each other.
On the final morning of the term, the Slytherins and Gryffindors all found themselves together as they waited for the coaches to take them down to Hogsmeade station. Despite the romance between Draco and Hermione, the two sets of friends were still slightly unsure in each other's presence and stood a small distance away from one another. That was until Greg received a small push from Daphne and he hesitantly made his way over to where Ginny was standing.
"Yes?" Ginny asked when Greg stopped in front of her, but seemed lost for words.
"Go on, Greg," Daphne urged.
"Would you like to go to Hogsmeade with me in the New Year," Greg blurted out, his words all jumbling together in his nervousness.
"Hogsmeade?" Ginny questioned, managing to pick apart the rushed question she'd just been asked.
"It's okay, it was a stupid idea," Greg mumbled as he turned away, his cheeks flaming red with embarrassment.
"Tell her everything, Greg," Daphne said encouragingly.
"What everything?" Ginny asked, grabbing onto Greg's arm to stop him from running off in total embarrassment.
"It was me," Greg whispered shyly. "I was the Santa at the party."
"You spent the evening with Goyle?" Ron spluttered, gaping at his little sister in shock. "And you mistook him for Harry?"
"Really?" Blaise laughed. "You couldn't tell Potter apart from Greg?"
"It was very confusing with those Santa suits," Ginny muttered. "But was it really you?" she asked Greg.
"It was," Greg confirmed with a slight nod of his head as he slowly raised his head to look Ginny in the eye. "And I had a really good night."
"So did I," Ginny admitted, a smile breaking out on her face. "Which means, I would love to go to Hogsmeade with you in the New Year."
"Bloody hell, what is the world coming to. Everyone's dating Slytherins," Ron declared with a shocked shake of his head.
"That's because we're the best," Blaise retorted with a smirk. "Once you've tried a snake, you never go back."
"That sound so gay," Pansy snickered as she and Daphne chuckled at Blaise.
"It really does," Theo agreed when Blaise looked to him for support.
"All I'm saying is that you don't get better than dating a Slytherin," Blaise amended.
"Haven't you got a date over the holidays with a Ravenclaw?" Draco asked his friend.
"I have," Blaise replied with a wide grin. "The lovely Padma had agreed to see me again. Although it was never in any doubt once I'd wowed her in my Santa suit. If she fell for me in that get-up, she'll not be able to get enough of me out of it."
"One day Blaise, you are going to be in for a nasty surprise when you realise your charm doesn't work on every witch," Daphne said.
"You're only jealous that I've never turned it on you," Blaise shot back, giving Daphne a flirtatious smirk.
"As if I need your attention," Daphne snorted.
"Hey, I've just thought of something," Theo suddenly cried. "If Greg spent the party with Weaselette, who were you with all night?"
"Santa," Daphne answered with a slight smirk.
"But who was under the suit?" Theo asked.
"I haven't got a clue," Daphne said with an elegant shrug of her shoulder, just as the next carriage pulled up. "Oh look, here's our ride. Pansy, are you coming? Hermione, Ginny, you can join us as well if you want."
"See you boys," Pansy called as he climbed into the carriage after Daphne, and was followed by Hermione and Ginny. The carriage then whisked them away down to Hogsmeade, leaving all the boys left behind.
"Can you believe that?" Theo spluttered, turning to his friends and the remaining Gryffindors. "Daphne knows who was under that Santa suit, I just know she does."
"Let it go, Theo," Draco advised. "It doesn't really matter, does it?"
"Of course it matters," Theo retorted. "If it wasn't Greg, who was it? It wasn't you, it wasn't Blaise or Vince. And it wasn't Potter and Weasley, was it?"
"It wasn't us," Harry confirmed.
"Maybe it was a Ravenclaw or a Hufflepuff," Blaise suggested.
"Or a younger student," Vince added.
"Face it Theo, you're never going to know who Daphne's mystery Santa was," Draco said. "She's clearly not telling, and there's no other way of knowing who it was."
"I will find out who it was," Theo vowed as another carriage pulled up. "Just watch me. Mark my words, next year I'm going to get to the truth."
"Okay Sherlock, get into the carriage," Draco said, shoving at Theo's back.
"Who's Sherlock?" Blaise asked, following Draco and Theo into the carriage along with Vince and Greg.
"Some muggle detective," Draco answered distractedly as he poked his head out of the window of the carriage. "Do you want to join us?" he asked Harry and Ron. "There's still room."
Accepting the offer, Harry and Ron clambered into the carriage and it took off to Hogsmeade station, with Theo still vowing to find out who Daphne's mystery Santa had been. What he didn't know that if he'd just turned around he would have found the wizard in question supervising the departures from Hogwarts. Professor Severus Snape had heard the entire conversation, and despite Theo's vow, he returned to the castle secure in the knowledge that no-one would ever discover that he was the Santa who had spent the entire evening of the party in the company of his favourite, and loveliest student, Daphne Greengrass.