Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.

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R&R

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Alanna

Christmas Tree

Conversation in snow

Set during 7th year

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Summary: Draco and Hermione finally made it official that they were engaged to their fellow mates at Hogwarts, and all has spread through the Wizarding World, even Draco's father Lucius.

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Expectations

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It had been exactly one week since Draco and Hermione had announced their engagement to their fellow classmates during dinner. Hoots of congratulations filtered the air as the young couple smiled to their nuptials. Soon after the clinging of goblets echoed the halls and the young couple shrugged while giving each other a kiss on the lips. Now, it was present day, and the young engaged couple was curled up next to the fire in the Head Dorms, while staring at the newly decorated tree.

"I love you," Hermione said softly while kissing him gently on his cheek.

Draco stared at her, giving a look of adore. Hermione knew he loved her too; Draco was never one of compassion. It was very rare that Draco would speak words of endearment to her in public; he wasn't one of those pansies, sappy men.

Draco blessed Hermione with a smile and captured her lips within his. The kiss was slow but sensual, shy but heartwarming. Both were so into each other that they didn't even noticed Blaise and Ginny walking out of Blaise's room.

"Look Blaise, mommy and daddy are kissing," Ginny giggled with a sarcastic tone.

"Don't be daft she-weasel," Draco replied in an annoyed tone.

"Oy vey, get a room before you shag each other to oblivion," Blaise said with an amused look displayed upon his face.

"Excuse me Rigel Blaise Zabini, but just because you and Ginny shag like the never ending Hinkypunks, doesn't mean we will."

"Says the virgin," Blaise said with a wicked grin.

"I'm appalled at your comment Mia!" Ginny said with a faux look of shock, "Hinkypunks are nasty little creatures to be compared to. Now rabbits are understandable."

"Why? Got one in the oven already Weasel-Fem?" Draco asked with a low snicker.

"Gods I hope not!" Blaise exclaimed.

"For shame, all of you!" Hermione yelled with a gasp.

"Why?" Draco mumbled, "at least they shag."

Hermione's face tinted pink as she buried her face into Draco's neck. She whispered something in Draco's ear, causing him to plaster a grin upon his face.

"You promise?"

"Never broke a promise yet love," Hermione said with a smile.

"Actually you promised me that I'd get to see you starkers…" Blaise said with a playful tone.

"BLAISE!" Ginny and Draco screamed in unison.

"Woah, Ginny love, you know I was kidding," Blaise said quickly while giving Ginny a quick kiss.

Draco gave Blaise a death glare. "You better be."

"You want a kiss too mate?" Blaise asked nonchalantly with a teasing grin.

Hermione threw a pillow at Blaise's head. "Don't even try to steal my man."

Their discussion was interrupted by a low tapping at the window. A raven tilted its head while waiting for Blaise to let him in. Draco glowered in dismay as he recognized the bird. Surely enough as he read the envelope, a bold "L.M", was posted on it. Draco opened the letter and read it thoroughly.

Dear Draco,

I've heard about your wonderful news. Well, your mother has invited you and your bride to be over for Christmas dinner on the eve. Much to my displeasure, the girl must come as Narcissa would like to mingle with her about womanly subjects and the wedding.

Lucius Malfoy.

"Bloody hell!" Draco muttered in a low whisper.

"What is it?" Hermione asked in a concerned tone.

"My father," Draco said with a blunt tone.

Silence lingered the air as all stared at Draco. Draco never got along with his father; to Lucius, anything Draco did was either disgraceful or never good enough. Draco was at Lucius's every whim, and yet he was always discouraged by his father. Just last week, Draco received a howler from his father for some blasted reason.

"What does he want?" Hermione asked cautiously.

"He and my mu want you and I to join them for Christmas dinner on the eve."

Hermione paled and trembled lightly, "I don't know…"

"You do know there aren't any options," Draco stated monotonously.

"I was afraid of that."

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Draco and Hermione had awakened earl the following morning and took the train back to Diagon Alley. From there they flooed to a near by village inn, and took a carriage ride towards the Ritz Estates. Draco pointed out the Zabini's home, and the where many of the Malfoy's were buried and such. Finally, they reached the end of the Malfoy estates and came to a large, luxurious home that was simply beautiful.

"Are you ready?" Draco asked gravely while clutching Hermione's hand.

"You sound as if we're going to die," Hermione said meekly.

"Expect the unexpected."

Draco took a chain from around his neck, holding an ancient looking key. He pressed the top part against the keyhole and waited for the doors to open. The large cherry wood doors opened slowly with a creak and there stood a small elf.

"Foofert welcomes mister and miss to the Malfoy Manor. Master and Mistress are awaiting for your arrival in the sitting room. Shall Foofert escort you and miss?"

"No, that's enough, resume your business."

The elf nodded and disappeared in thin air. "Draco, I really can't stand-"

"Hermione, don't start with that tosh about elfish warfare and rights," Draco muttered while shaking off some snow, "it's bad enough we're at my parents home."

Draco and Hermione walked down the long lonely hall, their heels clicking against the hard, marble floors. Hermione followed Draco as he made a sharp turn to the next hall and faced the door on the direct right. He breathed deeply and grabbed her hand once more, giving it a gentle squeeze.

"You ready?"

"You've already asked me that," Hermione stated quietly.

Draco knocked on the door and pushed it open with ease. Hermione was suspecting a dark, dank room, deprived from sunlight like the whole Malfoy family, but what she saw was a surprise. The room was absolutely gorgeous. The sitting room was lavished with colors of silver and lovely shades of complex colors. The silk curtains were wide open, revealing large window, giving a view of the beautiful winter wonderland that was the Malfoy's garden. The fire place was in the shape of a serpent, its large mouth revealing the source of the fire, warming the whole room. By the fire place was a lush Christmas tree decorated with silver, green and some red and gold ornaments.

As the two fully entered, they spotted Narcissa lying upon a sofa, napping, and Lucius reading the Daily Prophet. "Elf, has my son and his fiancée shown up yet?" Lucius asked in his usual sardonic tone, keeping his eyes on the paper.

"As if you couldn't disgrace me enough," Draco muttered while walking to his mother and nudging her awake.

Narcissa's eyes opened gently and she nearly screamed in excitement. "Oh my son," Narcissa cooed while getting up and hugging Draco.

"Hello mum," Draco said while giving her a small kiss and hug. He turned to Lucius and shook his hand.

Lucius's dark gaze darted towards Hermione as he gave an intimidating smile. "And aren't you going to introduce us properly to your fiancée ?"

Draco glared at Lucius and hugged Hermione towards him. "Mum, dad, Hermione Selene Granger."

"Nice to meet you dear," Narcissa said while giving Hermione half of a hug and a bright smile.

"Charmed," Lucius said cynically with a nod.

"Now Hermione, why don't we take a walk in the garden and discuss the wedding, hm?" Narcissa asked while practically dragging Hermione away. "We'll get some tea…"

With that the door closed, and so did Draco's sanity. He stared at the door for a few moments, and then turned to face his father, only to see that his father's body was turned towards the window.

Maybe they weren't going to have a conversation of utter contempt.

"So Draco, I see you're quite as reprehensible as every."

Or maybe they would.

Draco stared menacingly, "And I see you are as judgmental as ever. You're going to have to get use to Hermione and her linage-"

"You fool stop frowning, and this has nothing to do with Miss Granger or her linage," Lucius said while looking out of the window at Hermione and Narcissa smiling and talking while a light snow fell upon the earth. "She's quite acceptable."

"Then what is it if it's not her?"

"You."

Silence once again hit the room as if it were the intermission, foreshadowing an event of unpleasantness.

"Of course," Draco said with a bitter laugh, "It'll always be me. Your failure. Your puppet. Your screw up. Worst of all, your son."

"You truly are as moronic as I thought you were Draco."

"Typical father ," Draco spat maliciously, "I'll never be perfect for you. I'll always be the enemy. I'll always be the object of your despise, the one that held you back. I'll always be the lucky, unlucky son who survived out of all your others. I'll always be your disgrace, your sin, your poison. Let me guess," he roared angrily, "I'll be the death of you as you always use to put it!"

Lucius seemed mildly amused as he picked up his glass of Sherry. "Stop acting like a child, I didn't raise you to be such a whiner."

"You never raised me period," Draco spat while glaring at Lucius.

"Touché," Lucius said with a wry smirk, "Now there's your Malfoy wit."

"I don't even know why I subjected Hermione and myself to your shameful presence. Good-bye."

Lucius whipped around within the second and lashed his cane onto Draco's shoulder lightly just as he use to do before. "Your mother wouldn't let you out of the front door. She'd be in tears and we all know how much you hate to see your mother weep."

Draco turned red with fury and stayed where he was. It was as if he were an insect, dangling by the spider's web, following its command.

"Then I'll just join mum and my fiancée."

"You are no woman, the last I heard."

Draco shook his head, already frustrated with his father's presence. "How is it you remain in such a state of civility?"

"I've aged, gracefully, but aged and I've gained patience, especially when it comes to my hot headed son."

"How is it you can call me your son? Every sentence you say is to either mock or aggravate me. How can you possibly call me your son? Is that what a father does to a son?"

Lucius raised an eyebrow, "Well Draco, when your mother and I married, we didn't just sit at the manor and have tea-"

"Be serious father!"

"Right, well Draco, answer me this, why do you call me father?"

Draco paused for a moment, opened his mouth, closed it, and then paused again.

"Exactly," Lucius said while taking another small sip of his Sherry. "You see Draco, all these years, where you thought I wasn't proud of you, I was."

"You're bleeding insane."

"I'm quite sane thank you," Lucius said while sitting in his large chair, facing the window once more.

"Then if you were so proud, why did you always insult me and punish me for everything and anything I did?"

"That was my way of affection. Gods Draco, I thought you were daft, but not to this extent."

Draco sighed in exasperation, "Then I think your affection was far too extreme for me. You nearly drove me to death at some points."

"I'm teaching you how my father taught me and I ended up understanding it when I had a son of my own," Lucius said, "and you'll do the same."

"I will never treat any of my children the way you treated me," Draco growled spitefully. "Not them or Hermione."

"Riddle me this Draco, how do you treat your fiancée, Hermione?"

"I don't see the relevance-"

"Do you shower her with praise, compassion, love?"

"No, but-"

"Now tell me, do you tease her with words and insult her with phrases even though you know they'll hurt her?"

"Yes, but she understands-"

"And why do you do it? Why do you push her to the edge when it comes to her life and work?"

"To encourage her, because I know she can do better in her life and can go far."

"And there is the answer to your question Draco. What I did to you, you did to Hermione as I did it to your mum. That's why I mocked you, because it makes everything better than a sappy relationship, but I must agree that you shouldn't treat your children like I treated you," Lucius said with a yawn, "I mean they'll have their mother's intelligence, but your naivety, and I don't want them whining to me about why their father hates them."

Draco shook his head and walked around to his father's chair, staring directly at him. "If so, why were you so harsh with me and yet praised all the other kids and Slytherins? Why wasn't I ever good enough?"

Lucius took a deep sigh and the last swig of his Sherry while standing up and walking towards the door, "You'd really like to know?"

"I at least deserve that much out of you."

Lucius walked towards the door and opened it. Just as he was about to walk out he stared into his reflection through Draco's stormy, silver eyes. "Well Draco, I just expected great things from you, and what I expected came true."

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And there you have it folks ;)