Author's Note: So… I basically was having problems getting to sleep, and instead of trying to clear my mind and relax like a normal person, I thought up a Dramione. Her and Me fans, hopefully this will tide all of us over until the sequel that I have promised you. In theory, anyway. As of now, I have not even the faintest inkling of a plot.
And, as you will probably be able to tell, I, unlike slightly-OOC Draco, ADORE Christmas.
This fic is four chapters, and I will be updating every two days, at approximately four or five PM Pacific Standard Time, because I am a Pacific Standard kind of girl. Thus will we conclude on the twenty-third, in time for you to have your own Christmas adventures back in the real world. Provided that we even remember what the real world is…
We Wish You a Merry Christmas
Clutching his books and setting his jaw, Draco Malfoy strode through the towering rows of the library shelves, arranging impassivity on his expression as he looked at one table after another. Each specimen was full to capacity of students diligently poring over thick books—or diligently poring over each other on the premise of poring over thick books, toying with their hair and batting their eyelashes.
Draco hated Christmas. All the love and goodwill towards men and excuses for flirting and decorations and festivity and crap like that. It was so… annoying…
Clearly, given the nauseating quality of the season, the unadulterated indignity of wandering the library searching for a place to sit, and the fact that everyone was getting a lovely view of Draco Malfoy meandering aimlessly like an idiot, this couldn't get any worse.
But then, of course, it did.
As it turned out, not all of the tables in the library were full after all. Rather, at the farthest end of the library, buried within the stacks like a forgotten treasure, there was one table that had only a single occupant.
Inwardly fuming like an overzealous smokestack, Draco gritted his teeth, dropped his books onto the tabletop, and sat down across from Hermione Granger.
She spared him a glance and a raised eyebrow before sticking her nose in her own dusty book again. Her utter indifference stung more than a direct insult. If there was one thing Draco couldn't stand, it was not being the center of attention. Accordingly, he batted his book cover open irritably and shuffled through to the page he wanted.
The hours slipped away almost mischievously. Beyond the wide windows, the evening deepened to indigo, then to black, and the candles within the library flared into life. Though Draco could now successfully see the cramped type of the words he was attempting to study, the candles' flames didn't do much for the chill—and, rather, danced mockingly as he glared at them for this egregious shirking of their duties. Draco frowned and huddled a little in his coat, nestling his chin deeper in his scarf, dreaming of central heating.
Before long, his eyes had begun to burn, apparently in protest of their owner's attempts to decipher the tiny print of the textbook. He rubbed at them and glanced up from the page.
Granger was chewing on her cuticle as she read, and her cuticle, in response, was sending forth a trickle of thick crimson liquid.
Draco paused. It was always a tricky decision, whether or not to be a decent human being.
He sighed. Maybe there was a little bit of Christmas spirit in him after all.
"You're bleeding," he reported flatly.
Granger started and blinked at him. "What?"
He pointed. "You're bleeding," he repeated.
She looked at her finger, murmured "Oh," and stuck her fingertip in her mouth.
Draco wrinkled his nose. It was so… unsanitary… Then again, he couldn't expect much better from a girl who lived joined to the Pothead at one hip and to Weasel Boy at the other.
She saw the way he was looking at her and frowned around her finger, which was unbecoming at best. "What are you even doing here, Malfoy?" she inquired.
Brevity was, and ever would be, the soul of wit. Eloquently, he gestured to his book.
Granger frowned a little more, and a bit of a crease appeared between her eyebrows.
"What are you doing here, Granger?" he heard himself inquire airily. "In fact, what are you even doing at this school, since you already know everything there is to learn?"
The faint smile that lighted on Granger's lips made it quite evident that Draco needed to work on his delivery. He had intended that as an insult—something of a slightly more sophisticated and personalized incarnation of "Go home, Granger." Instead, she had apparently taken it—albeit warily, given its source—as a compliment.
Draco's shudder had nothing to do with the cold.
"Well," Granger said then, that hideous smile still darting playfully over her face, "I don't think it's possible to test out of Hogwarts."
"And if it was, you would?" he inquired pointedly.
To his horror and dismay, her smile flickered a little wider and a little stronger. One of her eyebrows trespassed upward into the realm of her forehead guarded by her unruly bangs, which in themselves testified to the fact that the girl couldn't even keep track of her own grooming. "If I didn't know better," she remarked, "I'd think you didn't hate me, Draco Malfoy."
This—this—was just too much.
"You would know much better," he spat, wondering which rock that spitting impulse had been hiding under all this time, "if you had a brain, Mudblood."
The bright glimmer of amusement went out of Granger's eyes, and she pressed her lips into a thin line. Draco, snatching up his books, getting them slightly tangled in his scarf in his hurry, drew himself up to his full height and looked down his nose at her for a moment.
"Good evening," he sniffed. Then he turned on his heel and made for the exit, almost as bewildered as he was incensed.
In the muddle of his reactions, he knew one thing for sure: He was never coming to the library ever again.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
While Draco hadn't really thought that that pledge would hold much water, he had rather hoped it might last more than twelve hours. Of course, he hadn't counted on the indomitable Christmas spirit of one Pansy Parkinson, witch.
As Draco Malfoy discovered the next morning, said Pansy Parkinson, witch, was the most diabolical creature ever to walk the Earth.
When Draco had finished preening in the mirror for about an hour—a necessary activity, if he was to appear in his outward aspect every bit as godlike as merited by his interior mettle—he strolled down the stairs, trailing his fingers along the banister, and entered a common room empty but for three young men, some forlorn-looking wreaths and some gaudy red bows, and a sinful quantity of tinsel.
Crabbe, Goyle, and Zabini were all engaged in death-glaring a red and green paper construction a bit like a Howler, but with wings—which it was utilizing to flap eagerly around the room in a vague circular formation, swooping at the room's occupants at intervals. The flying, however, was nothing more than a nuisance. The root of the real problem—enough to madden a man in minutes—was the singing.
"WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS, WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS, WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS, AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!"
A muscle in Blaise's jaw twitched.
What the contraption's singing lacked in melody and key, it made up for in volume. It was loud, shrill, and imparting good tidings to one and one's kin, and it needed to die.
Draco's bubbling rage stopped his throat, which succeeded in releasing a single, choking word: "Who?"
The other three boys' faces darkened in unison, and together they uttered precisely the name Draco had known they would:
Draco considered the festive fiend darting around the eaves. His eyes narrowed. "Let's kill it," he said.
The chase that ensued would have been supremely comic if it hadn't been even more supremely humiliating. There was a lot of leaping, a lot of diving, a lot of shouting, and a lot of failing to apprehend the monster plaguing the Slytherin stronghold.
"Accio demonic Christmas carol thing!" Draco cried desperately, brandishing his wand as it zeroed in on him, beating its wings hard. "Accio, accio, acci—AUUGH!"
In the process of nudging at his head, possibly in an effort to convince him to sing along, the beast had become stuck in his hair. Stuck in his hair. Stuck in his hair—his beautiful, beautiful, beautiful hair. It began to demand figgy puddings, and Draco felt a bit faint. There were only so many horrors a man could take in one morning.
Flailing, Blaise managed to knock the thing free. He also managed to poke Draco in the eye and slap him across the face, but beggars being assaulted by possessed Christmas decorations could not be choosy.
"Idea," Crabbe announced. Before Draco could express his shock at this unprecedented event, the lumbering boy had jogged up the stairs and, momentarily, returned with a Beater bat.
Draco had never before found himself in awe of Vincent Crabbe's utter brilliance.
And probably never would do again, but that was a different problem.
Crabbe planted his feet shoulder-width apart, raised the bat, and waved it idly, his small, dark eyes following the soaring origami abomination as it performed a loop-de-loop and then came straight for him.
With one perfect, powerful, flattening stroke, Crabbe sent the thing slamming into the opposite wall, where it crumpled and slid to the floor.
All present sucked in a collective joyous breath to release as a wild cheer. It was dead, it was destroyed, it was defeated, it was—
Curled fingers yanking at his hair, Blaise gave a feral howl that degenerated rapidly into a rather girlish scream.
Biting back a similar wail of his own, Draco fled to the library.