Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter in any way, shape or form. No copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

Young and Daring

They were just children, playing in their nursery; coloring paper flowers and sucking on toffees. Summers in the nursery were always warm and left them with sticky fingers and warm, tangy butterbeer.

Draco was the trouble maker. If anything bad were to happen, or if anything were out of place - it was his fault. Crabbe and Goyle often remember Lucius' thunderous footsteps as he threw open the doors to the nursery, ready to blame his son for the latest scorched garden hedge or missing house elf. But Draco never denied his actions - on the contrary, he reveled in whatever action could make his father look up and take notice of him.

Pansy always admired that. She was a sweet child, with ringlets of honey gold hair and such a loving attitude. Always polite, was our Pansy. Only seven years old and never once did she forget her manners. She secretly loved all the commotion Draco caused, but she would never take part in any of his 'missions' or 'adventures'. No no, not our Pansy. She would never intentionally vie for the anger of the house master.

Crabbe and Goyle were a different matter. They thrived on the spotlight - they relished it to no end. If Draco were caught after one of his capers (and he often was), it was more than likely that they had been spotted fleeing the scene. Crabbe was the quiet one; he took orders and never second guessed his friend.

Goyle, on the other hand, was often weary about young master Malfoy's plans. If, on the odd occasion, he did voice his concerns, Draco would merely pace the length of the room a few times, deeply considering his words, until he finally came to the conclusion that they couldn't possibly end up with a face full of stink sap, or whatever their prized ingredient was, in the face. Of course, Draco was not always right.

Blaise and Pansy would often sit with their dolls at their long wooden table. Narcissa usually let them play with the fine linen and they'd end up dancing and performing theatrics with her attractive lace tablecloths. House Elves would serve them crumpets with jam and whenever the boys would tire of building castles with their blocks; they'd join them. The girls were always trying to get their friends to play house - but to no avail.

"We're men," Draco would say. "We don't play with dollies and dresses. We don't like my Mummy's lace and china."

"You're not men, you're boys!" protested Blaise. "Men are daddies and have special jobs at the Ministry!"

Draco would snort and shove a crumpet into his mouth; trying to think of something intelligent, or perhaps even witty, to say back. But Blaise was the smart one and anything he said would end up proving her point.

Winter always meant warm butterbeer and long sleepovers. Time after time, Draco's companions would insist that they come over and spend the nights in front of his large stone fireplace. Lucius was usually away in Winter, so Draco would give up on his shenanigans for a time and resolve to either read alone or explore the West Wing with Crabbe, Goyle and Flint.

Narcissa would call on them after sunset. She'd tuck the giggling girls into their warm beds and place brief, quick kisses on the foreheads of each boy, before bidding them all good night, closing the door behind her, and disappearing until morning.

Of course, the minute the door had closed and her footsteps had echoed off into the corridor; up they would jump. They'd sit in front of their fireplace and the oldest out of their group, Flint, would tell them stories of knights, dragons and sometimes, even the infamous Lord Voldemort.

Pansy enjoyed his stories the most. Even though every one of them was enraptured by the stories he spun, it was she who would insist for more. Flint would just merely grin his boyish grin, before dragging out a flask of butterbeer and serving them all until sweet teeth were satisfied and their tummies were sore.

They were young and daring. They were free. Nothing mattered but the moment and Draco's guests were never disappointed.

The fire in the fireplace would never die down, for it was bewitched to warm them through even the coldest of winter's nights. The girls would gossip on Pansy's bed until they both drifted off to sleep. Crabbe and Goyle would try and build 'the largest castle ever' with Draco's blocks, until the bronzy warm glow from the fireplace soothed them both and ushered them off into the land of nod.

Draco, however, wouldn't have noticed. He would sit in one of the large, arched window seats and gaze over at the blanketed grounds of his family's estate. Snowflakes drifted slowly to the ground, creating for the young Malfoy, the perfect White Christmas. It was an immaculate winter wonderland.

When the sun rose, they would all put on their woolen mittens and warm winter coats. They'd make snowmen and snowangels. Crabbe and Goyle were bound to start a snowball fight and he would surely end up flat on his back, watching Flint hunt down the enemy with stealthy force.

But that was tomorrow. This was the night before the adventure - the night where every snowflake looked perfect and the moon looked so full that he wished he could freeze it and hold it - to cradle it in his arms. He presses his small, pale palms onto the cold glass. He feels so content in that night; he feels so free spirited and human.

His eyes travel to his friends, each sleeping soundly and each seems so relaxed. All except for Flint of course, who silently lays thick blankets on Crabbe and Goyle; who wakes Blaise up long enough to usher her back to her own bed and tuck her in tightly. He does it because he is the oldest, because it's up to him to care for his friends.

Draco yawns and hugs a green, velvety cushion tightly to his chest. He's so tired, but he refuses to sleep. Not if he never gets to be young again; or to look outside this same arched window and have to see things any differently. Would the snow be any less white? Would the starlight be any dimmer?

He doesn't know. And most of all, he doesn't want to know.

They were just children, playing in their nursery; coloring paper flowers and sucking on toffees.