Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to Harry Potter.
A/N: A Christmas story for the holidays, featuring our favorite brat prince, Draco Malfoy. Dedicated to everyone who is lonely this Christmas, may you find your Christmas Spirit.
Draco was awake, but he didn't open his eyes. Snuggled deep into the plush, warm blankets, Draco would have been content to remain there all day.
"Christmas," he thought absentmindedly, sighing.
Christmas. Now there was a holiday that Draco didn't even want to think about. When everybody else had loving families to go home to, or loving friends to spend the holidays with, Draco found himself always alone and ignored. He didn't bother to go home for Christmas anymore; his parents only spent time with him for a few hours in the morning to watch him open his presents, then they would fade away to do their own thing, not really caring what he did with the rest of his day. They had never really cared in the first place.
Draco listened contently to the sound of silence. All his dorm mates had gone home for the holidays, leaving him alone in sixth-year boy's dormitory. Not that Draco minded, Crabbe and Goyle snored horribly, (he used to put beeswax wrapped in cloth in his ears every night to block out the sound until he learned the silencio charm) and it was quite pleasant to have peaceful silence in the dorm while he slept with out having to hex anyone.
Draco opened his eyes a crack to look at his clock. 8:30 a.m. it read. Closing his eyes again, Draco snuggled deeper into his bed with a shiver. Sleepily he reached for the top of his covers, which had slid off his shoulders while he slept, and pulled them up under his chin.
Draco dozed in and out of sleep, riding the border between reality and dreamland. When he finally opened his eyes next, he found that his clock read 9:30 a.m. Though he would have loved to remain in the warm comfort of his bed all day, Draco found that he was hungry as well as in need of using the loo.
With a groan he sat up, shoving the curtains of his four-poster bed aside roughly as he slid his feet into slippers, something he had found was a good idea a long time ago because of the freezing temperature of the floor. With a shiver he also donned his robe. Casting an uninterested glance at the pile of presents at the foot of his bed, Draco relieved himself and dressed.
Finally he stood before the pile of parcels, and decided to unwrap them just to get it over with. Sitting crossed-legged on the floor, he grabbed the first gift. Carelessly unwrapping it, he found that it was a Golden Snitch; perfect for when he wanted to practice Quidditch separately from his team.
Putting it aside, he reached for the next parcel. He got many more things that would make his fellow Slytherins green with envy, but in truth, Draco didn't care about any of the gifts. They were hollow objects, nothing more to him. There was no love behind them, no meaning. He'd end up selling most of it to his classmates by New Year's Day.
Finished, Draco left them in their pile at the foot of his bed, heading out of the Slytherin common room and upstairs towards the Great Hall.
Sitting down at the Slytherin table, Draco grabbed a piece of toast, looking around at the Great Hall and the few people that remained in it.
Draco realized that while most of the Slytherins had gone home for the holidays, almost the rest of the school remained.
I don't blame them, Draco thought, only the Slytherins could feel safe away from Hogwarts with the Dark Lord back in power; most of their parents are Death Eaters.
Running his fingers through his shoulder-length, bleach-blond hair, Draco returned to his toast.
When he had finished his breakfast, Draco decided that he'd rather go anywhere but back to his dormitory, so instead, he went outside onto the grounds.
Sitting on the steps leading up to the huge oak double doors of Hogwarts Castle, Draco admired the beautiful snow-covered scenery of the grounds.
His eyes scanned the grounds, finally coming to rest on a group of students that had started a snowball fight quite close by.
Draco noticed that the Dream Team (Weasley, Potter and Granger) was among them, as well as many other students that Draco recognized but didn't remember the names of. He knew that not all of them were Gryffindors, and they weren't all in the same year.
He watched them for a while, amused as people got hit in the face with snowballs or tackled into the snow.
Quite suddenly however, Draco realized that Granger had taken to watching him, her expression unreadable.
Draco stared back calmly. He knew Granger, knew that she wouldn't pick a fight with him for simply watching them.
Then, to Draco's great surprise, she came towards him.
The snowballs stopped flying through the air as everyone turned to watch her make her way across the distance that separated them.
Draco didn't move nor speak as she climbed the steps and stood before him.
For a moment they just stared at each other, a kind of cold tension crackling in the air between them. Finally, Granger spoke in a quiet voice that Draco was only just able to hear:
"Do you want to come play with us?"
With those simple words, the tension was gone, replaced instead by shock. Hermione Granger, Gryffindor, bookworm, and cleverest witch in the school, had just asked Draco Malfoy, pureblood brat prince of the Slytherin House, to come join them in a friendly snowball fight.
As soon as the shock of this question had worn off, all 16 years of pureblood Malfoy breeding and training filled Draco's mind. The pureblood voice of reason that had been drilled into his head since before he was born screamed at him every reason why he should say no and call her every foul name that he had ever heard for proposing such a ridiculous notion… but Draco didn't listen. Instead he followed the small voice in his heart, the voice that had always called out to him but he had always pushed away.
"Yes," he finally responded softly.
Whether Granger had been able to hear him or not Draco didn't know, but somehow she knew he had accepted and smiled at him, extending her hand for his.
Shyly he took it, and she pulled him to his feet and led him down the stairs to the others.
Potter came over to him, looking at him intently. Draco looked back.
What happened next neither Draco nor anyone else really understood. Potter extended his hand to Draco.
Draco's icy gray eyes flicked from Potters face to his hand and back again. Then, timidly he placed his own hand in Potter's firm grip.
No words were spoken, for there were none.
No deeds were forgiven, for many were unforgivable.
But in that simple handshake all tension was forgotten, at least for a little while. For a little while, there was no house enmity, no pureblood and mudblood, no Voldemort and his Death Eaters. For a little while they could all just be a group of kids having a snowball fight. For a little while, they could be free.
That Christmas was the best one that Draco had ever had, for they had given him a gift that wasn't material and would break or be forgotten. They had returned to him his Christmas Spirit, and his hope.