"So why did you change your mind?" Draco asked as he and Hermione walked out of the hall together.
"Well, I mean I just thought it would be fun to string Ron and Harry a long for a bit, considering the fact that they were so childish as to come up with something as stupid as ways to annoy you. Honestly, I don't know what they think sometimes. But I suppose it is kind of mean of us…" Hermione felt flushed – for some reason, she felt horrible about lying to Draco.
"Yeah well I just think…never mind."
"What?" Hermione pressed, "Tell me."
"I just think that it's a bit weird that you hang out with them. Someone like you should…um…well, I think you need better friends than that."
"They are great friends!"
"I just think you deserve something a bit better," Draco mumbled.
"Well thank you but I enjoy their company very much and I'd appreciate it if you'd keep such ridiculous opinions to yourself," she huffed, clearly annoyed with his accusation.
"That was rude," Draco bowed his head with what could almost have been mistaken for remorse, "I apologize."
"You apologize?" Hermione scoffed with surprise, "Who are you?"
Draco just shrugged a reply before heading up the stairs, "So when do you want to tell them?"
"Tell them what?" Hermione asked.
"That this is all fake."
"I don't know," Hermione blushed, realizing that someday she would have to tell Draco Malfoy that it was all a joke. But it was a joke, wasn't it? They were supposed to be doing this to make Ron and Harry upset. So it wasn't really a joke if it was all a joke to begin with, right?
"Well we're pretty good at making it look real I guess," Draco adverted his gaze, "So whenever."
"Whenever works for me," Hermione nodded. Draco said nothing more and retired to his chambers.
Upon entering his room, he found a folded parchment upon his bed. Unfolding it, he discovered that it was a note from his father. Draco was taken back that his father had actually taken the time to OWL him, usually Narcissa was the one who kept in contact with her son during the school year.
Draco began to read:
My meeting with them is over to give time for the Christmas holiday. I will be returning home tomorrow and was hoping that you would join me.
Draco stared at the letter, if it could even be called that, with complete shock. His father's meeting with the Death Eaters had ended earlier to allow for Christmas holiday? For some reason Draco found that disgustingly ironic. So now he would be expected to return to the Manor and spend his holiday with his father – Draco's dream of a perfect Christmas. He crumpled the parchment in his hand and tossed it at the wall.
Draco turned to see Hermione standing in the doorway. "What do you want," he asked.
"You left your book in the dining hall. I thought I'd return it to you. What's wrong?"
"Nothing," Draco crinkled his nose is disgust, "Now put the book down and go."
"Look, I don't want to talk about it right now, Granger. It's just…I should be used to it I guess."
"Used to what?"
"To my Christmas holidays being miserable," he sat down on the bed and put his head in his hands with a frustrated sigh, "My father just OWLED me to tell say that he will be returning tomorrow and actually wants me to come home to spend Christmas with him."
"Well maybe that's good," Hermione said, trying to be positive.
"It's never good when my father is concerned. He probable only wants me home to yell at me for something. It will be such a bore, sitting there in between Mother and Father in utter silence while we pick at some turkey the elves prepared. How incredibly memorable."
Hermione stood at the end of his bed, not really knowing what to say. Before she could stop herself, she voiced a suggestion, "Draco, would it better if you didn't have to spend it with just your parents?"
"I suppose," Draco eyed her suspiciously, "Why?"
"I was just wondering if you would mind if I invited myself over for Christmas."
Draco stared at her trying to take in what she had just said, "You want to come to my house and spend Christmas with my family? Granger, my father and mother don't like mud…muggles very much and…"
"Would you be happier if I were there with you so that it wasn't just you and your parents?" She asked again.
"Answer the question, Malfoy."
Draco mentally slapped himself for saying, "Sure. Why not?"
And so it was settled. Hermione packed her bags and would be spending her Christmas with Draco Malfoy of all people. She began to wonder just how Ron and Harry would take the news…