Title: 12 Days Until Midnight: A Harry Potter Christmas
Genre: Humor, A/U, OOC-ness, Slash, Romance
Rating: Hard R to NC17
Pairing: Draco/Harry (main), Ron/Pansy (minor) & Hermione/Blaise (minor)
Summary: It's the 7th and final year for Harry and his friends. The war with Voldemort ended during Harry's summer vacation after his 6th year, when he found and destroyed the final Horcrux. The new Headmistress, Professor McGonagall has announced a 12 Days of Christmas Celebration. New relationships form, while those still hidden come into the light. For Draco, this means a chance to give the person he loves the best Christmas ever. But will it be enough?
A/N: With the exception of the Horcruxes and Dumbledore's death, most of HBP and events before it did not happen at all. This story takes place in 1997, Harry's final year of school so my calendar dates are for December 1997. This fic is based on the concept of the traditional "Twelve Days of Christmas" song and NSYNC's "Kiss Me At Midnight". As of January 1, 2006, This story has been re-edited in a few chapters to correct some minor mistakes.
Disclaimer: I am not the fabulous JK Rowling, nor do I wish to be (ok maybe a little). Harry Potter belongs to her and her alone. I am not making any money from this story nor do I intend to. I'm just playing within the world she has so wonderfully created. The following story is a figment of my own imagination and I fully intend to put Harry and his friends back, unharmed and alive, gay, lesbian and straight, when I'm done. Thank you.
Chapter 1: The Announcement
"Welcome students new and old to another year at Hogwarts. I have a very special announcement to make. In order to continue House Unity, there will be a 12 Days of Christmas Celebration in mid-December. Each of you will draw a name and will give that student a gift for each of the those 12 days, leading up to the last gift on Christmas Day. But there is a catch." She waited until the excited chatter died down. "Students in Hufflepuff will only draw names from Ravenclaw while Gryffindor will draw names from Slytherin. There will be an unbreakable Unspeakable charm set in place that won't allow any student to reveal their chosen name to any of their housemates, teachers or any adult within their presence, verbal or otherwise. Christmas night, there will be a masquerade ball where you will exchange your final gifts and reveal yourself to your chosen person. We hope this will be loads of fun for you. You've all definitely earned it." She ended her announcement and the Welcoming Feast officially began. The students chatter began again as they began to eat.
"Merlin! I hope I don't end up with Crabbe or Goyle." Ron muttered, tucking into his food.
"Oh come on, Ron. We're doing this to preserve House Unity." Hermione, ever the sensible one, told him. "It's what Dumbledore wanted."
"Your luck, you'd end up with that Blaise bloke." Ron snickered.
"Is that a problem?" she scowled.
"What?" Ron was shocked. "Hermione you can't be serious? Bloody hell! He's a Slytherin!"
"And just what if I am, Ronald Weasley?"
"Harry!" Ron looked at his best friend. "Talk some sense into her. You see what I'm getting at, don't you?" Harry took a sip of his juice before answering.
"She's making perfect sense to me. Honestly, Ron, the Slytherins aren't that bad a group. Why should it be a problem?" Ron stared at Harry like Voldemort had risen from beyond the grave again and Harry had asked Ron to battle him Ron tried a different idea.
"How about Draco Malfoy for starters?"
"What about him?"
"Slytherin Crown Prince. Son of a Death Eater. Mean, poncy git to us for the last 6 years. Ring any bells?"
"No." Harry answered. Ron's eyes widened and he did his best impersonation of a fish out of water. "You saw him in The Final Battle, Ron. I can't believe you'd still judge him after that." Draco had saved the lives of both Hermione and Ron that day by killing his own father when he'd put the Cruciatus on them.
"You're both mad!" Ron exclaimed. "Completely and utterly insane! Are you under a spell or something? That's it, isn't it?"
"No, Ron. For the first time in my life, I'm thinking for and being true to myself. I refuse to bow to the dictates of others any longer. And I'm telling you this once so listen good. Draco Malfoy is not, and I repeat, NOT his father." Ron looked at Hermione.
"Can't you try and talk some sense into him?"
"He's making perfect sense to me." Hermione repeated Harry's earlier assessment. "It's you who's being an arse about it." Ron's eyes widened some more.
"Look around you, Ron." Harry said, pointing to where there were Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws sitting with Gryffindors and Slytherins and vice versa all the way around. "Open your eyes for once and think with your heart. Not that stubborn head of yours." Harry pushed his plate away and stood. He left the Great Hall, Hermione hot on his heels. Ron, stubborn fool that he was, kept his eyes on his food, but for once, he was no longer hungry.
Meanwhile, across the hall at the Slytherin table, a not-so-similar discussion was taking place.
"Draco, have you thought about what would happen if you end up with Harry's name?" Pansy asked him.
"What makes you think I will?" he countered.
"I don't know. But what if you do? Knowing how you feel about him and all." It was no secret to the other 7th years that Draco had went and fallen in love with Harry near the end of 5th year - and had yet to tell him.
"Make the best of it, I guess." Draco shrugged.
"It's not like he's going to return Draco's feelings, Pans." Blaise added.
"I know that, Blaise. Potter's practically oblivious when it comes to other people's feelings about him. Plus he's straighter than an arrow. It's like forbidden territory or something."
"Now where is it written that a gay man can't have sex with a straight one?" Crabbe asked. Everyone within hearing range looked at him. It was rare for him to make a coherent sentence.
"Since said straight man is Harry bloody Potter, Boy Hero of the Wizarding World." Draco answered.
"Malfoy, your problem is you're chicken." Pansy dared to say. He scowled at her.
"Pot, kettle, black, Parkinson."
"Weasley." was all he said. Pansy blushed and quickly closed her mouth. Satisfied, Draco turned back to eat. He looked up in time to see Harry and Hermione leave The Great Hall. Weasley sat alone, looking like he had swallowed something he didn't like.
Wonder what that was about? Draco wondered.
As she was still head of Gryffindor House, McGonagall gathered everyone in the common room. Ron sat away from Harry and Hermione - they were still mad at him. McGonagall set a small indescribable goblet on the table in the center of the room.
"We will be using a method similar to the one used during the Triwizard Tournament." she explained. "This goblet will find a compatible match for each of you and the selections are charmed to your magical signature. Ready?" Everyone nodded and she tapped the goblet with her wand.
"Reveal thyself!" she intoned. Small slips of paper exploded from the cup and floated around the room, locating their owners. Harry's landed in his lap. He picked it up and watched the name slowly appear. He suppressed the urge to grin. Once the name was known, the paper burst into flame and was gone. This was followed by the immediate sensation of cotton being shoved into his mouth.
"Must be the muffling charm the Headmistress spoke of." Hermione stated beside him, her face scrunched up in a grimace.
"The first day of gift giving starts December 14th. That gives you plenty of time to plan your gifts. Have a pleasant evening." And then she left. Ron immediately confronted the two.
"So who did you end up with?"
"You know we can't say, Ron." Hermione admonished.
"Bollocks. She was just saying that to scare us."
"Then who did you get, if you're so sure about the spell?" Harry asked, a bit nastily.
"I got - oh ugh!" Ron screwed his face up in a grimace.
"What?" Hermione wondered.
"I feel like something crawled into my mouth and died."
"It's the spell." Harry said. "Try writing it." Ron took up a quill and some parchment and quickly wrote the name. Before he could hand it to them, the paper burst into flame.
"Told you so." Hermione stated. "I'm going to bed. Good night, Harry."
"Night, 'Mione." Without a word to Ron, she went up to her room.
"I can't believe her! I said it before and I'll say it again...she needs to sort out her priorities." Ron sighed.
"Ron. Please shut up before I say or do something I'll regret." Harry sighed, heading up to bed himself. Feeling a bit bewildered and more than a little lost about the changes in his friends, Ron went up to bed. Harry had already closed his curtains around his bed - this was their universal code for "Fuck off and leave me alone." Ron quickly changed into his pajamas and crawled into bed. He drifted off to sleep thinking about what he would get for the name he'd chosen.
In the Dungeons...
The common room door snapped open and crashed against the wall with a thud, causing some of the first years to shriek in surprise. Snape strode into the middle of the room, perpetual frown in place.
"Stop that caterwauling this instant!" he scowled. Instant silence was what he got. From his spot in the corner, Draco smirked at his uncle. Snape plunked a large black cauldron down on the table. "You know about the spell, you know about the gifts. I don't need to remind you that we're doing this for House Unity so don't mess it up. I will not hesitate to take away points or give out serious detentions to members of my own house as much as it would behoove me to do. I don't play favorites," he looked at Draco, "even if they are related to me." Draco saluted him. Snape simply shook his head at the boy and tapped his wand on the edge of the cauldron. Instantly small slips of paper flew from it and littered the room like confetti. Draco, completely bored with the whole thing, retreated to his room without waiting for his.
He had just closed the curtains on his bed when the slip of paper zoomed between them and smacked him in the middle of the forehead. Grumbling and rubbing the sore spot, he snatched it and watched the name appear. He gasped, shocked. The paper disappeared from his hand in a burst of flame and the muffling spell took hold.
"Will wonders never cease?" he asked the empty room. He heard his dorm mates returning and Blaise yanked open his curtains, flopping down on Draco's bed as if he belonged there. Pansy was more delicate about it and sat down next to Draco without trying to shove him off onto the floor.
"Who did you get, Drae?" she asked.
"You know I can't tell you that, Pans." Draco answered.
"Not even a little hint?" Blaise teased. Draco thought about it for a minute. There was always a loophole involved with spells.
"Remember what we were talking about at dinner?" he finally asked. Both Pansy and Blaise gaped at him.
"You didn't?" Blaise asked.
"I most certainly did!" Draco nodded. Pansy clapped her hands with glee.
"Oh this is going to be fun!' she giggled.
"What are you going to get for presents then?" Blaise wondered.
"That's going to take some thinking. Kind of hard to figure out what one wants when one isn't on friendly speaking terms and whatnot." Draco replied with finesse.
"Smooth, Drake. Very smooth." Pansy giggled.
"I'm a Malfoy. It's what I do." he grinned. "And dear Pansy, who did you get?" Her blush was all the information he needed. "Blaise?"
"Who did you get?"
"Well...um...it was the last person I expected to get." Blaise stammered, uncharacteristically. This piqued Draco's interest.
"I'm assuming it's a girl then. I know you aren't into blokes."
"Yes it's a girl you twit." Blaise groaned.
"Stab in the dark...wouldn't happen to be a certain know-it-all would it?"
"Say no more, Blaise." Draco grinned. "Seems the 3 of us were destined for this. What is it they called us? The Unholy Trio? Seems fitting that The Unholy Trio get The Golden Trio."
"You think McGonagall set us up?" Pansy wondered. "Not that I'm complaining or anything."
"McGonagall was Dumbledore's right hand gal. She probably picked up all kinds of Dumbledore-ness." Blaise shrugged. "If her eyes start twinkling, I'm going to A-K myself and be done with it." His friends had a good laugh at that. They discussed their plans for the first Hogsmead trip before getting ready for bed.
Once the lights were out and everyone was settled, Draco dug out his journal and made an entry.
I had to make this entry before drifting off to Dreamland. The Welcoming Feast went on as usual. McGonagall announced a Christmas Celebration to take place in mid-December and ending on Christmas. We're doing the whole Secret Santa thing. And I got HIS name. Can you believe the luck? Maybe now is my chance to finally mend the broken bridge that came between us 1st year. It's what I want more than anything. Well except maybe for him to love me back as much as I love him but beggar's can't be choosers, right? Sometimes my feelings threaten to overwhelm me, especially when I'm around him. I want to shout it to the world but I don't in fear of being locked up in St. Mungo's. Thank Salazar, Pansy and Blaise understand what I feel so I'm not completely alone in this. Maybe I'll dream about him. I can only hope...
He closed and relocked his journal then turned out his light. He fell asleep thinking about bright emerald eyes and black hair.
To be continued...