It was late December a few years after the end of the war, when everyone has had some time to heal and forgive. Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy had been tried and were serving their time in Azkaban. But maybe this year Draco can spend Christmas with family again?
Draco walked briskly through Diagon Alley, arms wrapped tightly around him, his head bent against the wind. He bumped into someone's shoulder as they came out of one of the shops.
"Sorry," he muttered and kept walking.
"Draco, darling, is that you?"
Draco spun on his heel. Mrs. Weasley was standing behind him smiling cheerfully, wrapped in a brightly colored scarf.
"Oh...hi," Draco stared at the ground and fidgeted with his hands.
"It's good to see you, dear."
Draco gave a small nod.
"How about we warm up with a nice cup of tea and catch up a bit?"
Draco glanced up at her.
"Uh, no. I-I couldn't. I should really be going..."
"Draco. Come on, it'll be my treat."
His head shot up.
"No -" Mrs. Weasley grabbed his arm and was already dragging him down the street to the nearest coffee shop.
They were sitting at a table by the frosted window. Mrs. Weasley sipped her tea, but Draco hadn't touched the hot chocolate he had ordered. He had been completely silent while Mrs. Weasley talked about the kids lives and how she had grand-babies now.
"How have you been doing, Draco?" she asked sweetly. He traced the handle of his mug with his thumb.
"My parents... well you know what happened, it was all over the prophet," his voice was bitter as if those words stung him. "I got lucky, I- " he stopped, "I'd rather not talk about it." He had heard the stories of Azkaban, what it did to people. The thought of his mother there. How could he tell the woman in front of him that so many times he wished that his parents had died so that they could be spared from this?
"So, what are you doing now?"
Draco hesitated. What exactly was he doing?
"I'm trying to make things right, to be better," his voice was barely a whisper, "it's hard."
Mrs. Weasley suddenly had an idea.
"You should come over for Christmas."
"Huh! No, no I..."
"Draco Malfoy, I am inviting you to Christmas," her tone suggested that he didn't have much of a choice, "After all, you're family."
"Teddy is Tonks's son and her mother, Andromeda, is your mother's sister and Harry is Teddy's godfather." She said this very matter-of-factly. "You don't have to come, not if you don't want to, but think about it. You're welcome to come by anytime."
Draco agreed to think about it and stood to leave. He dropped a couple galleons on the table.
"I couldn't very well let you pay, now could I?" he said quietly. "It wouldn't be right." And with that he walked out the door and shivered at the blast of cold wind.
Molly Weasley watched him walk down the street. He hadn't once made eye contact with her, which was strange for the usually confident Malfoy boy. She did hope that he would come for Christmas.
Inside the burrow Molly Weasley bustled about preparing all of the dishes for the days meal. Most everyone had arrived and were sitting in the living room. There was a feeling of warmth and happiness that filled the holes left by those they had lost. It was still hard to live without them, but, under no circumstances, was Molly going to let that prevent them from enjoying Christmas. Someone knocked at the door.
"Ron, dear, would you answer the door?"
Draco waited on the front step and the door creaked open.
"What do you want, Malfoy?" Ron's voice was less than inviting. Draco turned to leave.
"Never mind, this was a bad idea. I'll just be go-" Mrs. Weasley popped her head out of the kitchen.
"Draco, come on in dear," she shot a look at Ron. "Everyone's in the living room."
Draco took off his coat and laid it neatly on the chair by the door. He walked into the room and stopped in the doorway. Everyone turned to look at him and once again his eyes were glued to the floor and his hands were fidgeting with the hem of his shirt. Ginny was the first to speak.
"Happy Christmas, Malfoy."
"Happy Christmas," he responded.
They had eaten dinner and it was time to open the presents. Draco sat on the floor with his legs crossed and watched as various Weasley children opened their gifts. He gave a small smile as Teddy came over to him and his eyes widened when a soft package was held out to him.
"Is this for me?" he asked quietly. Teddy nodded. Draco took it and carefully unwrapped it to find a knitted wool sweater.
"I'm afraid it might be a bit big on you, I wasn't sure of your size," Mrs. Weasley said, a smile on her face. Draco held up the sweater. It was dark, forest green and had the letter D on the front in gold.
"Well put it on then," George said. Draco slipped the sweater over his head and was surprised at how warm and soft it was. He stared down at his hands, the sleeves covering most of his palms.
"Ah yes I figured they would be too long, I can use magic to shrink them a bit if you..." Mrs. Weasley stopped when she noticed Draco's face.
"I'm sorry," he whispered and buried his face is his hands and cried.
Harry walked Draco to the door.
"Draco, listen I -" Draco held up his hand to stop him.
"You don't need to forgive me, I don't expect that you ever could, but I am sorry." He grabbed his coat and opened the door.
"Happy Christmas, Potter," he said as he apparated off the front step.
Harry closed the door and went back to the living room.
"Look! There's more presents!" Teddy said excitedly. Harry turned and, sure enough, there was a box of neatly wrapped presents behind the couch. Harry picked one up and looked at the tag. In emerald green ink was written,
'To: Mrs. Weasley
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