Disclaimer: As always, Harry Potter belongs to J.K. Rowling.
Well, this story is a short story off of Parenting Class. I received quite a number of requests for a Christmas one-shot and I couldn't think of any ideas. Then, I got a few pleas for a Christmas story with Little!Draco and it seemed perfect.
A Merry Little Christmas doesn't tie in at all to One Step at a Time or Parenting Class, meaning that whatever is in here will not be mentioned in either of those fics. It's a side-story that I got in my head. I meant to have it up on my birthday but, alas, I fell behind schedule. Research papers will do that to you. :P
And so, without further ado, the story. I hope you all enjoy it!
"Whereeee areeee yooooou?" Hermione called, her voice singsong as she walked through the drifts of snow, her gold hat pulled snugly down over her ears and a bright red scarf wrapped around her neck. "I know you're out there…"
Draco giggled and covered his mouth with his mittened hands as Harry, crouching next to him behind a large boulder, packed a snowball tightly in his hands, green eyes laughing with mirth. "Got your snowball?" Harry whispered, packing the last bit of snow into his (it now resembled more of a quaffle then a small snowball).
Draco nodded, a large grin on his flushed face. His was nowhere near the size of Harry's, just a little over the size of a potato. Harry gently put his down on the ground and bent over to fix Draco's hat, which was slowly slipping over his eyes.
"You need to be able to see," he chuckled softly, fixing his own hat and wiping snow flecks from his glasses. "And I don't want you to get sick…not right before Christmas."
The child smiled. "I don't want to get sick either," he agreed. "And I don't want you or Hermione to get sick…"
"Don't worry…we're both perfectly bundled up. And after this how about we go visit the kitchens and get some hot chocolate from Dobby?"
Draco bobbed his head up and down. "Really? You mean it?"
Just as Harry was about to answer the soft crunch of snow from right on the other side of the boulder hit both of their ears. Harry readied his snowball and rose from his crouch while Draco ducked behind him to be the second wave.
"Gotcha!" Hermione cried, jumping out in front of the boys, her arms piled high with snowballs.
"Retreat! Retreat!" Harry yelled, stumbling backwards as Hermione's weapons pelted him and broke apart his large piece of ammo. "Head for the fort!"
Laughing and holding onto Harry's hand so he wouldn't sink in the drifts, Draco followed his 'fearless' leader across the grounds towards the snow fort, located under one of the large pine trees, with Hermione plowing along behind and chucking snowballs at the retreating backs.
"Now what?" Draco whispered once he was safely behind the fort, Hermione keeping a small distance since she didn't know what was hidden back there.
"We bring out the real stuff," Harry said, gathering several smaller snowballs that he'd stored behind the wall into his arms. "Here," he said, giving Draco one for each hand. "Now, on the count of three we charge and attack her, okay?"
"Kay!" Draco chirped, looking down at his coat to make sure that Sparkles was still tucked safely inside his pocket. Fortunately, the stuffed dragon was.
"One…two…THREE!" Harry yelled, jumping over the fort and running a full sprint at Hermione, tossing snowballs right and left with Draco a little ways behind him and holding onto his snowballs till the girl was closer in range.
But Hermione hadn't just been sitting around and waiting for an attack. With her own onslaught, she propelled her snowballs at Harry, both being blinded by each other's snowballs. And Draco saw his chance.
Running as fast as his legs could carry him, the boy tackled Hermione around her knees, tipping her off balance and forcing the girl down into the snow (it was a pretty deep area so Hermione suffered no physical damage).
"We win!" Draco cheered, clambering onto Hermione's stomach and waiting for the Gryffindor to admit defeat. "Do you surrender?"
Hermione picked her head up from the snow and glanced at the snowballs clutched in Draco's hands and Harry stumbling toward them with several more.
"I surrender," she said, wriggling her wand out of her pocket and waving it in the air, the white pillowcase they'd tied on earlier whipping back and forth. "You two win."
"We won! We won!" Draco cheered, turning around and diving for Harry, accidentally knocking his teammate over as he bowled into his legs, which were quite unsteady because of the snow. "What are you doing?" he asked Hermione, noticing the girl had started to move her arms and legs in an arc.
"I'm making a snow angel," she replied, "and this time I'm hoping to get out of it okay…last time I smashed it."
"What's a snow angel?"
"It's a pattern you make in the snow," Harry said, now making his own. "Your hands make the wings and your feet make the bottom of the robe thing they wear. The idea is to make it deep enough so that you can see it when you stand up and to be able to stand up without stepping in it."
"Like this?" Draco asked, flopping down in the snow between his guardians and waving his arms.
"Just like that," Hermione grinned, carefully hopping to her feet and turning around to face her angel. "Perfect!"
"Not perfect," Harry said with a frown as he surveyed his own, a large handprint in the right wing where he'd pushed himself up. "How are you doing, Draco?"
"I can't get up!" Draco cried, attempting to jump like Hermione had and failing quite miserably.
"Take a hand," Hermione said, reaching out and taking Draco's left while Harry grabbed the right. "And up we go!" All three turned to survey Draco's snow angel. "Good job," Hermione complimented, giving Draco's shoulder a squeeze.
"Anyone up for hot chocolate now?" Harry asked, looking longingly at the castle. "I'm beat."
"Sounds good," Hermione agreed. "Ready to go, Draco?" The child nodded, slipping a hand into each of his guardians' as they headed towards the kitchens. "Who knows," Hermione mused, "maybe Dobby will even be there."
"Harry said he would," Draco said happily.
Hermione shot Harry a look over Draco's head. "Are you sure?" she asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Hopefully," Harry grinned, giving her a wink. The two of them had to coordinate dates to the kitchens so that Dobby could be wearing a simple pillowcase instead of his Hogwarts uniform and his millions of hats and socks that would immediately alert Draco that something was amiss. So far, the boy hadn't questioned the idea of Dobby getting recipes from Hogwarts and Hermione and Harry were happy to keep it that way.
Entering the foyer, the three pulled off hats and scarves as a blast of hot air hit them from the Great Hall. "It's rather quiet in here today," Hermione remarked as the three made their way down the stairs and towards the kitchens. "I'd have expected it to be a little busier."
"Well, most of the students did go home," Harry pointed out, unzipping his coat and throwing it over his arm. "I wonder how Pansy is liking Neville's gran…"
"I'm sure she's having a wonderful time," Hermione said with a laugh. "I mean, if Neville's grandma can put up with Neville and his accidents then Pansy shouldn't be too hard…"
"We're here!" Draco announced, stopping in front of the bowl of fruit portrait. "Can I tickle the pear? Please?"
"Of course," Harry said, picking the child up so he could reach the entrance. "Now remember…don't jab it this time. Filch was really suspicious about the pear having a bruise." Nodding gravely, Draco lightly ran his finger over the fruit, his grin widening as the pear elicited a laugh and swung open.
Now, many high pitched laughs greeted the trio as they stepped into the kitchens where little swarms of house elves bustled across the floor, already preparing for Christmas dinner which would be happening the next night.
"Is Dobby here?" Harry asked to the nearest passing elf as it scurried by with a plate of raw chocolate chip cookie dough.
The house elf nodded. "Dobby is over by the ovens," it squeaked, indicating where large billows of steam were coming from.
"Thank you!" Harry called as the house elf dashed off again, a chunk of dough missing from its tray and now in Draco's mouth. "Draco…" Harry said warningly.
"Hermione grabbed it," Draco defended, pointing at Hermione, who smiled innocently, all cookie dough gone from sight.
Shaking his head, Harry headed across the kitchens and towards the elf he recognized as Dobby, seeing as the Hogwarts crest wasn't stamped on his clothes. But before he could warn the elf, a blond blur raced by, screaming Dobby at the top of his lungs before crashing into the creature.
"Master Draco!" Dobby squealed fighting vainly to wriggle out from beneath the boy. After a few seconds of being squished, Dobby snapped his fingers and watched as Draco flew into the air and hovered about a foot off the floor.
"Awww," Draco whined, kicking his feet and trying to land on the ground again. "I lost again." Every single time they visited Draco and Dobby had a contest that would last for a minute…if Draco could keep Dobby down for the full minute, he won. If Dobby managed to snap his fingers and get Draco off, then he won.
"Eighteen seconds," Harry said, sticking his watch back in his pocket. "You're getting better…last time it was twelve." Looking around the kitchen, Harry spied a plate of gingerbread cookies making their way out of the ovens and he headed right over.
"I'm sorry, Harry Potter," Dobby apologized, using his magic once more to stop Harry. "Harry Potter is welcome to the cookies, but not those ones. Those cookies are special…for the teachers only."
"How come?" Hermione asked as the group followed Dobby, Draco once more walking alongside his guardians, to a small table in the corner of the room.
Dobby gave a tiny shrug of his shoulders. "Dobby doesn't know, Hermione Granger. Dobby does not work here."
Seconds later, all of them were seated with steaming mugs of hot chocolate and a plate of gingerbread and sugar cookies in the middle of the table.
"I love Hogwarts," Harry sighed happily, munching on a handful of gingerbread men, ignoring their protests as he bit off their heads.
Draco stared wide-eyed as a gingerbread man escaped Harry's grasp and ran across the table, one of its arms missing. "Doesn't that hurt them?" he asked timidly as Harry reached for it and popped the remainder of the cookie in his mouth.
"They're not really alive," Hermione assured. "It's just a charm to make them move and make noise. Don't worry…you can still eat them."
Draco still decided just to stick to the sugar cookies. And anyways, these cookies were prettier since they came in all different shapes.
All too soon the trio had to leave since several house elves came by balancing a huge platter of fruits and the little corner was the only place left to put it.
"It's just as well," Hermione concluded as they headed back to their room. "At that rate we wouldn't have had any room left for dinner."
"I wouldn't have minded," Harry said, looking longingly back at the kitchens as Hermione towed him along. "Those gingerbread were really good…and I'm still hungry."
"Dinner is going to be in two hours," Hermione said. "I'm pretty sure you can hold out until then. Are you hungry, Draco?" After all, it was one thing to starve Harry but starving Draco was out of the question.
"Nope," he said cheerily. "But Hermione?" He reached up and tugged gently on her shirt and she knelt down, letting go of Harry for the time being.
"Can you help me wrap Harry's present when we get back?" Draco whispered.
"Of course," she whispered back. "We'll just stick him in his room and lock the door." Draco shared her evil grin.
"What are you two talking about?" Harry asked nervously as they started down the hall again, an impish smile on Hermione's face.
"Oh nothing important, really," she said airily. "But we do need you to do us a favor, Harry. When we get back to the room, that is."
"Just go into your room and promise not to come out until one of us gets you, okay?"
"Okay…" Harry said uncertainly. "Nothing bad is going to happen…is it?"
"I don't think so," Hermione said. "Unless Pansy somehow gets into the room I'm sure we'll be just fine…but since she's not even in Hogwarts we should have no problems."
Minutes later, they had arrived at the portrait, Leviculus (fully decorated with a Jester!Santa hat, a Santa suit and a wreath around his neck) opened it and Harry was ushered into his room with reprimands from Hermione to work on some homework while he was in there.
The common room wasn't the same as it normally was. Strands of garland (all in red and gold) had been hung up around the entire room and a large Christmas wreath was on every bedroom door. Three stockings hung on the fireplace ledge with sprigs of holly stuffed in every random nook and cranny.
But the finishing touch was the small Christmas tree that Harry had managed to convince Hagrid to let them have (seeing as it was too small for the Great Hall). It too was decorated with garland strands and Christmas lights but Hermione and Draco had colored some paper ornaments and hung them all over it along with a large paper star Hermione had made to sit on top.
And underneath the tree were several gifts already…ones from Draco to Hermione (Harry had helped wrap) gifts to Draco from both Hermione and Harry and then gifts between the two guardians.
"You go get the present and I'll get wrapping paper," Hermione said, neatly hanging both her coat and Draco's on pegs by the portrait.
"So," Hermione said once all the supplies had been gathered. "Which wrapping paper?" She had out a sky blue with snowmen on it, a red and green with a gold leaf pattern, dark blue with snowflakes, and red with different colored Christmas lights.
"That one," Draco said, pointing to the Christmas lights. "We haven't used any of it yet." Gently, he laid a box down on the table, the present snuggled gently inside.
"Can I see what it is?" Hermione asked, fingers already inching across the table.
Draco nodded. "Do you think he'll like it?" he asked worriedly as Hermione examined the present.
"He'll love it," she grinned. "I know he'll most certainly be using it a lot. Now…do you want to put the tape on or do you want to hold the paper?"
"Tape!" And so, with Hermione folding the paper around the box, Draco happily stuck down pieces of tape where Hermione instructed him to do so. And to finish it off, Draco stuck a huge red bow on the corner of it and signed his name on one of the small tags Hermione pulled out of her wrapping supplies.
"You can come out now," Hermione called, rapping lightly on Harry's door. The Gryffindor sprang from the room and dashed to the tree to examine his newest present. Shaking the box he frowned.
"I can't figure out what it is."
"That's the point of wrapping," Hermione said, rolling her eyes. "It's supposed to be a surprise. Now…what should we do till dinner? I'm actually not in the mood to do homework."
Harry's mouth dropped and Draco raised an eyebrow. "You don't want to do homework? You always want to do homework!"
"Well…it is Christmas Eve and I feel like spending time with you too," she smiled, ruffling Draco's hair. "Anyone have any suggestions?"
"Can we read a story?" Draco asked. "One of the Christmas ones you have in your room, Hermione?"
"Sure, why not? Go ahead and pick one out." Eagerly, Draco jumped up and dashed into the girl's room, heading straight to the round can that was filled with all sorts of Christmas books. Choosing two, he headed back to the common room where Harry and Hermione were now on the couch, a space in the middle of the two left for him.
Clambering up, he showed both choices to Hermione. "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer or The Christmas Mouse…hmm…let's read Rudolph first and then if there's time we'll read The Christmas Mouse, okay?"
Draco merely snuggled closer to Hermione, one hand clutching Sparkles and the other pushing the book slightly down so both he and Harry could see the pictures.
And in that way, the rest of the afternoon quietly passed with the fire crackling merrily the entire time in the fireplace.
Around five-thirty Hermione started and sent everyone to go brush their teeth and comb hair- dinner would be soon. Once everyone was once more presentable (it did involve a discussion between Hermione and Harry whether Harry could wear his socks downstairs- Hermione ended up winning) they made their way out, waving good bye to Leviculus.
Entering the room, Hermione was glad to see that now only one large table stood in the Hall and most everyone was already seated. The trio made their way over to Ginny and Ron, Harry sliding in next to Ginny and Hermione sticking Draco between herself and Harry's other side.
"Happy Christmas," Dumbledore greeted them. "Well…it's still a bit early but I don't believe I'll be seeing most of you till our feast tomorrow And now that everyone is here, let us begin."
The plates, as always, filled up with food and Hermione began to gather a plate for Draco, listening to his requests and putting on what she considered the right amount of each. "Where have you been all afternoon?" Ron asked, stealing a chicken drumstick out from beneath Hermione's nose. "We went up to your room and the jester guy told us you weren't in."
"Busy waging a war," Hermione grinned. "Snowball war, mind you. Then we headed to the kitchens and we've been up in our room for a while reading Christmas stories. What did you three do?"
"Well…Terry hasn't been his usual devil-like self so Lav and I were actually able to take him outside and build a snowman with no throwing of sticks or carrots at me. And then we went back to the room and we had a chess tournament. Terry actually isn't half bad."
"You still won all of the games though, right?" Hermione grinned, poking him lightly in the side.
"Of course," Ron grinned. "I've never lost a game of chess in my life." Hermione raised an eyebrow. "Okay, so I lost when I was a kid but I haven't lost since first year."
A joyful shout sounded some time later and Hermione turned to see Harry once more stuffing innocent gingerbread men into his mouth. The girl shook her head and instead opted for a piece of French silk pie while Draco opted for a handful of spritz cookies and another sugar cookie.
Happily stuffed and now a little tired, they once more trudged upstairs to their room and changed into pajamas. "Tomorrow," Hermione yawned, "that tree will be surrounded in presents."
"I hope there's chocolate," Harry grinned, sitting down on the edge of Draco's bed and pulling the blanket up over the boy. "Lots and lots of chocolate."
"Remember though," Hermione cautioned as she gave Draco a soft kiss on his forehead. "No opening presents until everyone is awake. We don't want anyone to feel left out."
And with good nights all around, Hermione and Harry made their way back to their rooms and crawled into bed, visions of presents dancing in their heads (since they weren't certain what sugarplums were).
Draco awoke to the soft sound of his waterfall and blearily rubbed his eyes and glanced at his clock. Seven-sixteen. Preparing to go back to bed (he loved to sleep in) Draco paused as he pulled the covers over his head.
If it was the morning and therefore the next day then it was..
Scrambling out of bed, Draco rushed into the common room and looked at the Christmas tree. The soft glow of magically powered Christmas lights made the spectacular even more stunning as piled all around the base of the tree were presents.
Unfortunately, Harry and Hermione were no where to be seen. The child stood pondering in the middle of the room, chewing on his lower lip. Should he wait an hour and let them wake up on their own or should he go wake them up now?
Well…Hermione did always say to get an early start on things so… making his way to Hermione's room, Draco managed to pull himself and Sparkles onto the bed and then crawled over and sat on Hermione. "Happy Christmas!" he chirped, bouncing lightly.
"W-what?" she yawned, blinking at him.
"It's Christmas! Time to get up!"
Sitting up and watching Draco slide down Hermione gave a grin. "Want to go wake Harry up?" Creeping into the boy's bedroom, they positioned themselves on opposite sides of Harry's head. "On three," Hermione whispered, holding up her fingers and counting down.
"HAPPY CHRISTMAS, HARRY!"
The boy who lived woke up with a yelp and blindly reached for his glasses so he could get a good look at his intruders. Noticing that it was only Hermione and Draco he then tried to interpret what they'd shouted so early in the morning. And then it clicked when he saw the snowman on Hermione's pajama top.
"Christmas!" he shouted, diving out of the bed and sprinting to the common room, eagerly sitting down in front of the tree and bouncing on his foot while he waited for the others to catch up.
"Now, we're going to be civilized about this," Hermione said, taking a seat right next to the presents so she could pass them out. "Harry, at the minute Draco is behaving better. And I think he should open the first present."
Reaching randomly into the pile, Hermione picked up one that said Draco on it, from herself. "Happy Christmas, Draco," she grinned.
The child gave her a grin and then tore open the paper, tossing it neatly into the bag Hermione had conjured. His silver eyes widened with delight as the box was opened. Inside, in a neat array, were different outfits for Sparkles. A scarf, hat, and coat for winter, a pair of swimming trunks for the bathtub, a robe for afterwards, and a little backpack with miniature supplies for the dragon.
"Thank you!" he cried, hugging Hermione tightly. "Sparkles will love them! He's been getting cold when we're outside."
Next present to be opened was to Harry from Hermione (seeing as Harry looked like he was going to start opening everything if he didn't get a present soon). "Awesome!" was his reply at the newest Quidditch book published- this one giving details for every single Quidditch game in the playoffs and World cup, complete with interviews from the players and coaches, tips on some of the moves played, and commentary for everything.
After that, Hermione found the gift Draco had given her an let out a little shriek. "It's perfect! I love it, Draco!" 'It' was in fact a necklace with a charm shaped like a book on the end. The book, however, could hold up to five pages of parchment so that Hermione didn't have to cart so much around with her to classes.
Then Draco went again, this time with Harry's gift. His reply was 'Can I try it out?' and Hermione's was 'Harry! Is that safe?'. Harry's gift was a miniature broomstick, perfect for Draco's size. It was actually a smaller model of his own beloved Firebolt, except this one didn't go quite as fast and it also had parental controls to decided the speed of the broom.
"We can try it out after breakfast," Harry promised. "And relax, Mione. It's perfectly safe. I can set it so it won't go too fast and we'll stay at the Quidditch pitch…no lakes. We don't want to land up in the hospital wing again, do we, Draco?"
"Not on Christmas," the child agreed, hugging the broom. "Is it safe to bring Sparkles?"
"Go ahead…he'll be perfectly safe. Hehe…my turn." Harry took the present Hermione handed him, now from Draco. Harry took a second, reading the label, before his face broke into a wide grin. "This, Draco, is I think the best thing I've ever gotten." This present was also a book…but not an ordinary one. It's cover could change to over four hundred different styles of common books used in Hogwarts with the click of a button and based on the cover a few pages would copy the text so that it looked like the real book. However, the book was actually more of a video camera. With the touch of another button the bookmark lying in the center of the page would act as a video camera and scan the room and focus in on excessive movement or the general area of sound as well as take recordings of all images that were still (for instructions and such). And the book had an audio pick-up so anything said was recorded. Perfect for those who wanted to sleep during class and catch up on notes later.
Next gift was for Hermione from Harry. And of course, like every year, the girl received a book she'd been craving. This time, it was actually a set of four books on animagi and several of the most famous ones. Hermione thanked Harry with a gigantic hug that sent them both tumbling.
After that was the assortment of gifts from friends and family. Harry got a beautiful shaped piece of floss and a pencil from the Dursley's. A lot of chocolate and candy was sent from Neville, Pansy, and Blaise along with a new picture book for Draco from Pansy. Hagrid had sent a large plate of treacle fudge (it was immediately put in the garbage) along with a photo album full of photos of Norbert. It took strength on Harry's part to get it away from Draco so they could finish opening presents.
Mrs. Weasley had of course sent her usual package, along with a sweater for Draco. Hermione and Harry weren't sure if it was because she'd accepted him or that since he was little she'd give him a chance and make him feel like he was also included. A large assortment of tricks came from Fred and George and Draco even got his own little bag full of 'less dangerous' ones. Hermione still insisted on inspecting them all since she wasn't certain that the definition of 'less dangerous' coming from the Weasley twins was safe. It was like Hagrid calling something adorable.
By the time they were done, Draco couldn't figure out what he wanted to do. He really wanted to learn to fly but the book Pansy had sent him looked like a mystery story and he wanted to see Norbert. Hermione made the decision for them all by deciding it was time for breakfast.
The Great Hall was empty when they arrived, everyone else either still sleeping or unwrapping gifts. Fortunately, the house elves were at work and when the group sat down food appeared on their plates. As every year on Christmas morning, it was red and green themed. The milk had been dyed red and the waffles and pancakes were green. The French toast had a sugar design of holly berries and the eggs were red.
"Mmm, looks good," Hermione said, reaching for her blueberry muffin, now a light red color. "Draco, I want you to eat a nice meal but don't overeat…I don't want you getting airsick." Draco nodded and started in on his French toast, ladling syrup over it.
"I think this is the earliest I've ever been up for Christmas," Harry said, reaching over Hermione for the orange juice. "Normally we all get up around nine or so…"
Hermione frowned as Harry took the juice back. "It'd be better to ask if I could pass it to you," she said. "That's what manners are for…but yes, we are up a lot earlier. And we know who to thank…"
"You said it's good to have an early start," Draco beamed, "so I just wanted to make sure we had time to do everything today."
"I do say that, don't I?" she mused. "Well, it is true. We want to do a lot today and the more time we have, the better. I brought down our coats and both of you have your broomsticks so we can head out to learn to fly right after…although don't even try to get me on the broom. I'll watch from the ground."
"Don't you want to learn too, Mione?" Harry grinned, taking his broomstick off the bench next to him and poking her with it. "It'll be fun…"
"Thanks, but no. I'd rather not risk my life."
As soon as breakfast was over, the three trooped out to the Quidditch field, brooms in hand and Sparkles riding happily in Draco's pocket, now dressed in his winter gear.
"Beautiful day for flying," Harry sighed happily. "Barely any wind, clear skies, not too sunny, and not freezing cold."
When they reached the pitch, Harry showed Draco how to mount the broom and call it to him. "That was easy," Draco laughed as the broom eagerly jumped into his hand, although he did nearly fall forward from the sudden weight.
"Okay, now swing one leg over and hold the broom like…this…" Harry said, fixing the boy's hand grip. "Now, I'm going to set your broom on low (aka turtle) speed for right now. We'll see if you do okay with that."
With a flick of his wand, the parental control in front moved from pointing in the middle to all the way to the left. "Now, when you want to fly, kick off the ground and aim for the sky. To fly in a straight line level the broom out and just lean forward slightly. Like this…watch."
Harry mounted his own broom and a second later shot off into the sky, bringing his broom to hover about fifteen feet off the ground. "Now you try," he called down, going a little lower.
Much to Draco's delight the broom rose off the ground (he staying on it) and into the air several feet. After a few tries, he managed to get the broom horizontal to the ground and let out a whoop.
"All right, now," instructed Harry, "just practice going forward by leaning into the broom a little bit. But not too much or else you'll start going down instead of level." And with that, Harry took off into the skies while Hermione watched worriedly from the ground, wand ready to catch Draco if necessary.
"What's the matter, Riza (1)? Come join us," McGonagall called, sitting at the large round table in Dumbledore's office. Upstairs, all of the teachers were having their own bit of Christmas fun by having a party in Dumbledore's room. Surprisingly, Trelawny and McGonagall weren't even fighting.
Madam Hooch looked at the table from her position by the window, her breath steaming up the glass. "Do you know what's out there?" she asked, golden eyes narrowed worriedly. "Potter is! He's teaching Malfoy to fly!"
"Is that a problem?" Filius asked, perched on several seat cushions to reach the table, a large glass of cherry cordial in his hands.
"Yes! Potter? It's not saying I don't trust the boy but…you know he can be reckless at times!"
Dumbledore rose from the table and joined Hooch at the window. "I don't think you have anything to fear, Riza," he comforted. "I don't think Draco is in any trouble. Now, come, join us."
The woman gave another worried glance at the duo in the air. "I'll join you in a few minutes, Albus. I just have this feeling…" To emphasize her point, her hand tightened on her broomstick and she gently pushed the window open a bit so she could launch herself out incase trouble called.
Madam Hooch really had no reason to worry. Draco wasn't going anywhere…literally. His 'turtle' speed was letting him go a few inches a minute. The boy had one elbow propped up on the handle and was resting his chin in his hand as he watched Harry do flips around the course.
Hermione was in no hurry to call Harry and let Draco go faster. At that speed injury was almost impossible unless Draco chose to jump off.
Harry, after a few minutes, slowed his loops and turned to look for Draco, seeing him only a few feet from where he'd left him. "Want to go faster?" he asked, flying in next to him. "You look bored."
"Just a little," Draco admitted.
"I'll turn it up to full blast," Harry said, pulling out his wand. "If that's the slowest then the fastest probably isn't too bad, right?" Flicking his wand, Harry watched happily as the speed meter rose to full potential. "Okay, try that out. Just lean forward again and we'll see how fast it goes."
A split second later, Draco was gone, his body only a blur as he shot across the pitch. Hermione, who'd just begun to relax saw her charge go off like a bullet and did the only thing she could do. She screamed.
Riza, who'd just sat down at the table jumped to her feet when the scream sounded and raced to the window, Snape hot on her heels and all the other teachers crowding around.
Outside, two blurs were running around the Quidditch Field, the one in front, seeing as it was smaller, could only be one person.
"Draco!" Snape gasped, face paling. "What does Potter think he's doing?"
"It would appear teaching him how to fly," Dumbledore chuckled.
"If either of them ends up in the Hospital Wing I'll kill them," Poppy growled, shaking her fist. "I have no students in there at the minute and I'd prefer to keep it that way."
"I just knew something would happen," Hooch said, pushing the window open all the way and hopping on her broom. "I'll go rescue them…and then give Potter a piece of my mind." Leaping nimbly out the window, Hooch took off towards the pitch.
Back on the field, Draco was screaming as he barely managed to avoid crashing into the stands, sometimes even bumping into the wooden platforms. Harry was riding alongside, trying to shoot the parental control so that he could slow it down.
Madam Hooch had a better idea. She flew down and landed next to Hermione, who had stopped screaming and was watching the riders terrified. "Granger," the woman said. "I'm going to pull Malfoy onto my broom…could you try to suspend the broom somehow?"
"I…I could try," Hermione sniffled, hand holding her wand shaking. "You'll get Draco…right?"
"Of course. Now just be ready once you see I have him." Taking flight once more, Hooch also went along the side of the broom opposite Harry. Moving in, she could see that Draco was gripping the broom for dear life. Pulling up so she could reach over, the teacher gently wrapped an arm around Draco's waist and pulled, the boy sliding off the broomstick and on in front of her.
As the duo floated gently back down, Hermione, having been shooting freezing spells after the broom, managed to hit it and the broom plummeted to the ground, Harry diving beneath it and catching it before it could shatter.
"Draco!" Hermione shouted, racing across the field and sweeping him into a hug. "Are you all right?"
"Uh huh," he sniffled, refusing to let go of Hermione. "That was scary," he added after a second. "But it was funner then the slow one."
"More fun," Hermione corrected although she heaved a sigh of relief. No mortal terror of flying, no broken bones, and no trips to the hospital.
Harry joined the group a minute later, carting the broom (now set on zero) and a lecture he received from Hooch.
"There is one thing I have to say," Hooch said as she went to go back to the castle. "If he managed to stay on the broom like that I have no doubt he'll be a very good flyer. Happy Christmas."
"Does that mean I can play Quidditch?" Draco asked, looking in awe at the hoops. "When I get to Hogwarts?"
"Of course you can," Hermione grinned. "You'll probably be one of the best."
"Ready for another try?" Harry asked, holding out the broom to Draco. "It's on an average speed," he defended, noticing Hermione's glare. "Nothing will happen this time."
"Can I, Hermione?" Draco asked, eyes shining. "I promise I'll be careful."
"Oh…all right. But if anything goes wrong I have the right to lock Harry in his room and make him skip Christmas dinner."
"Nothing will go wrong," Harry said, nodding his head.
And true to Harry's word, nothing did go wrong. Draco managed his broom nicely and was even playing tag with Harry towards the end of their practice, managing to catch his guardian several times.
"Hey, Hermione!" Ron called, trudging towards the girl with Lavender and Terry in tow. "Happy Christmas!"
"Same to you," she grinned. "Where are you three off too?"
"Ice skating," he smiled. "Dumbledore said all of the lake that's marked off is safe to skate on. You guys want to join us?"
"If you could get those two out of the sky then sure, we'd love too!" And so, with several well aimed snowballs on Ron's part, Harry and Draco were out of the sky and the group headed out to the lake, Ginny meeting them halfway.
"How could you leave me out?" she demanded of Ron, jabbing him in the chest. "I'm your beloved little sister!"
"I knew you'd come," Ron said, fending her off. "That's the reason we went right past Gryffindor Tower."
"Oh," she said sheepishly, before looping arms with Harry and dragging him off to the ice. Once there, boots were transfigured and everyone stepped out; Terry, Draco and Harry all going down with a loud thump.
"I don't know how to skate," wailed Terry, before seeing Draco next to him and lunging over, teeth bared. The two still hadn't exactly made up…
"None of that," Lavender said, skating gracefully by and catching Terry by his scarf. "Hold on to my hand and I'll help you." Hermione skated over and pulled Draco to his feet, towing him along behind her.
"What about me?" Harry cried, sitting on the ice.
"Big baby," Ginny laughed, coming over. "Here…I'll show you. First, right knee on ice and…"
Skating passed the afternoon away before everyone headed back into the castle to go get ready for dinner. "We all need to wear something nice," Hermione said, rifling through Draco's trunk. "I think this green sweater will work, Draco. And a nice pair of black slacks. Harry, what are you wearing?"
"I was going to wear my sweater from Mrs. Weasley…the one with a lion on it."
"Good…just no jeans. Everyone go get dressed…we'll head down at six. If you have extra time, feel free to do whatever until we're all ready."
That said, Hermione left Draco's room, his outfit laid out neatly on the bed. Draco got dressed and brushed his teeth as fast as he could and then tore into the common room and pulled down the photos of Norbert. Harry joined him a few minutes later.
"Is that Norbert's girlfriend?" Draco asked, pointing at a smaller dragon that was nuzzling its head against him. It looked almost like Norbert except it was a pale shade of purple and had she had red spikes.
Harry flipped the picture over and read the captioning. "Yeah, that's her. Morgan is her name. Norbert and Morgan…hmmm…"
By the time Hermione came out, dressed in a black skirt with a green top, Harry and Draco were only about half-way through, Hagrid having given them over three hundred pictures. "Ready to go?" she asked, sticking a small Santa hat on top of Sparkles.
"We've been waiting for you," Harry said, closing the album. "You're starving us! Of course let's go!"
When they reached the Great Hall, it was even more spectacular then the night before. Now, lights were hung on almost every pillar and the Christmas trees that Hagrid had brought in were glowing with the bobbles that Flitwick had placed on them. The table in the middle was loaded down with so much food it was a wonder it hadn't collapsed.
Once everyone was seated (a group of friends from Hufflepuff the last ones this time) Dumbledore rose. "A very happy Christmas to all of you. I know that you all must be hungry so dig right in and feel free to indulge in the treats placed around the table."
And of course everyone wanted to pull the poppers. Draco was delighted when out of his popped a spray of Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans and Hermione wound up with a Santa hat that she happily put on. Mrs. Norris sat nearby, hoping one would contain mice again. Alas, none did much to her displeasure.
Dessert was even more fabulous than dinner, if that was possible. Pies and cakes of every kind decorated the table with plates of cookies and bowls of puddings and ice cream every few feet. Ron couldn't decide which he wanted so he took a little bit of everything. And, somehow, managed to finish most of it.
As Group three headed back upstairs to their room, their stomachs were close to bursting and all were feeling very sleepy. Changing into pajamas once more, they headed back to the common room armed with blankets since Draco wanted to read one more story.
As Hermione read she felt a gentle tap on her shoulder from Harry as he pointed down. She smiled as she saw Draco fast asleep, his head resting on Harry's side and his feet curled up against her.
"Happy Christmas, Mione," Harry whispered, placing his glasses on the table in front of them and then closing his eyes.
"Happy Christmas," Hermione said softly, snuggling beneath the blanket and wrapping an arm protectively around Draco.
As they drifted off to sleep one thought was on their minds. This was the most memorable Christmas they'd ever had.
1. I looked at Rowling's website and couldn't find a first name for Hooch. So, in one of my favorite animes the nickname of one of the character is Hawkeye and her real name is Riza. Since Hooch was said to have eyes like a hawk she got the name Riza.
Well, this was mean to be a birthday fic to myself (I turned 17 on the 16th! :D) but I ran a little late. Like always. :P I certainly hope everyone enjoyed it as I loved writing it.