A Christmas-day Romance

Author's Note: This is just a fun little one-shot I wanted to do while I work on my other project that I hope to have posted by next year. I'm going to write the whole story out before I start posting, but keep your sights out for it. This is a Draco and Hermione, Christmas-style one shot. I know that with Christmas just around the corner we all want someone wrapped in a big red bow just for ourselves, so this story is kind of based on two of my favorite Christmas tunes. You might see what they are later. Or not! Enjoy!

Hermione woke up, stretched and then sighed. She didn't look at the foot of her bed like most years, her presents would all be under the big tree that was waiting outside in the dormitory she shared with Draco. A frown settled on her face as she thought about the progression of this year already. How different it had been from all the previous years! Whole concepts had been turned upside down and inside out in the course of a few months; and Hermione wasn't the least bit sorry for any of them. She was thrilled to have new friends, to be able to reach out the olive branch and help people who needed it, who needed her.

Draco fit that bill 100%. His life had been torn apart, then forced back together with pieces that didn't quite fit back together. Perhaps they never had and his family had simply spent 17 years forcing mis-matched pieces to fit into one big piece. They had destroyed their son. He had come back to Hogwarts and outcast in the worst possible way, hated by everyone, shunned for his belief, for his family, for things he never had any control of. Including Hermione. When she had discovered who the Head Boy was she screamed. Why would the Headmistress do this to her? How could she? Draco Malfoy? Head Boy? It didn't make any sense.

Hermione had entered the common room that night with a fixed expression and a planned speech. She required neither of them. The second she stepped through the common room portrait (a beautiful meadow scene with a wild looking witch guarding their passwords) she saw him staring out the floor to ceiling window at the black night, a dark expression on his face that looked to Hermione very much like self hatred. Instead of speaking up she kept her tongue and went straight to her room. It had been like that for a while, they didn't talk unless they had to talk and only occasionally found themselves in the same room at the same time, sometimes reading a book quietly together. It was those little moments that slowly changed Hermione's mind.

If those little moments were working slowly, the most horrifying moment worked the quickest. Hermione had been in the library late in the night working on a particularly nasty essay from Slughorn on a group of slow killing poisons, she still had her nose pressed into a roll of parchment when she walked into the common room. It took her several seconds for her eyes to process what she was seeing. Draco, lying on the carpet bleeding from several wounds, clearly either unconscious or close to it, and looked like he had been beaten to within an inch of his life. Hermione dropped everything and ran to his side, taking his head gingerly in her arms she cried until he hoarsely asked her what the bloody hell was the matter with her. She had barely managed a smile before hovering his body and taking him off to the hospital wing.

When he had recovered some he explained to Hermione what had happened to him. She was mortified that anyone would be so brazen as to attack another student, the Head Boy at that, and expect to get away with it. He waved her down telling her not to make a big deal about it. He seemed uncomfortable with the idea of anyone trying to find the people who did it. Hermione was outraged, but he took her hand and pleaded with her not to go looking for the people who had done it, he didn't want the trouble. She stewed on it but agreed not to go looking for them. She spent every day in the hospital wing until Madam Pomfrey could figure out exactly what they had done to him. The students whispered behind their hands about it; Hermione could have cared less.

After that it was as though a bond had silently sprung up between them. They didn't work so hard to be perfect around each other. Hermione would sit in the common room late into the night in her pajamas reading, perfectly at ease with Draco sitting in the a-joining chair reading or writing. They didn't talk more, or spend any more time together outside of the common room but it was easier. Sometimes one would catch the other's eye and they would smile at each other. Nothing that went unnoticed by their fellow students.

Gossip spread like wild fire across the school that something was going on between Hermione and Draco, none of it was true. Of course that didn't stop Harry and Ron from exploding at Hermione when news of it reached their ears.

"Why would you go out with that smarmy little ferret, Hermione? After everything he's done!" Ron, his face beet red was shouting at her. Hermione stood her ground calmly, looking Ron square in the face.

"And why, Ronald, would I feel the need to lie about dating Draco if I was? So we are friends now, that doesn't constitute as dating last I was informed. I'm allowed to have other friends. There is nothing going on between the two of us. Now will you please calm down and be quiet. You're scaring the first years." Harry had cast Ron a look, Ron simply shrugged and neither of them ever brought it up with Hermione again. She was glad. It was frustrating the way everyone kept talking about her and her life as if she weren't in the room. But she was also tired of people assuming she was dating Draco simply because she had stopped talking poorly of him. He hadn't done a thing to her except treat her with courtesy, why would she do anything but be nice?

Hermione sighed wistfully, glancing out her window at the snow covered grounds. It was still fairly early but she knew Draco would be awake soon. She wanted to open her gifts with him. He had decided to stay behind this Christmas with her, since Harry and Ron were both at the Burrow and Hermione's parents were… well still recovering at St. Mungo's. It was going to be a hard Christmas this year, but better than the year before; at least she would be safe.

Giving one last stretch she got out of bed, pulling on her robe as she made her way out her door. When she peaked into the common room she found Draco already sitting in one of the chairs in front of the fire, he seemed to be reading something. Hermione grinned, walking on tip-toe to sneak up behind him. Very quietly she crept up, put her small hands just over his eyes, leaned forwards and giggled into his ear, "Guess who?" He laughed, setting his book on the small table between the two chairs before tapping a finger to his chin in mock thought. It was nice to see him this way, laughing, carefree, happy. It wasn't often that Hermione got to see him smile.

"I don't know. I'm stumped. But there is one quick way to find out." And without warning, he grabbed her wrists, and pulled her over his head into his lap. "Oh I see, one of Santa's little helpers has come to fetch my presents from under the tree. How thoughtful!" Hermione who was still laughing, slapped his arm playfully.

"Happy Christmas, then, Draco!" She positively beamed up at him. Her laughter and good spirits was contagious, Draco found himself chuckling at her strange antics this morning and grinning right back down at her.

"Happy Christmas, Hermione. I see we're in a good mood." Hermione nodded her head, Draco rested one arm across her lap, the other was resting behind her back. She surprised both of them by leaning in against him. It seemed natural and so easy. She tucked her head under his chin, resting her head against his shoulder.

"Well of course. It's Christmas! You can't be sad on Christmas." Draco merely laughed, giving his head a small shake. He shrugged one shoulder nonchalantly.

"If you say so, then I suppose it must be so. I'm new to this whole 'be jolly on Christmas' thing, so you'll have to show me the proper way to do it." Hermione tilted her head back to look at him, a frown on her lips, the little pucker between her brows alerting Draco to the fact that she was worried about something. "What is it?"

Hermione scanned his face for a second before replying, "Was it always miserable then? At your house for Christmas. I guess I always took for granted that it must be a pleasant place because you always got everything you ever asked for but I suppose that doesn't make your home a happy place to live, does it?" She looked down at her lap, lacing her fingers together. She felt rather than heard Draco sigh.

"They weren't always miserable, Hermione. It just wasn't anything like this. There was no tree, no one bounding to me wishing me a happy Christmas. It was just the three of us, my mother who is as cold as ice, my father who is to apathetic to care, and myself. Yes, I got everything I wanted and that made me happy, but that didn't make the holidays a happy time. I didn't really ever look forward to going home because it just meant being ignored. I think that's why I so surrounded myself with people who would do whatever I wanted because I never got any of that attention at home." Draco turned his head, looking out the window at the snow that was beginning to fall again. His tone had turned bitter and hateful, he knew that, and he always tried to keep that tone out of his voice, for her sake. It wasn't her fault. "To be honest, I was always jealous of you."

Hermione looked up at him surprised. "Jealous of me? How come?" He looked down her, a small smile playing around the corners of his mouth. Gently he placed a hand against her cheek and instinctively she leaned her head into it, letting her eye close for a moment as she took in the feel of his long fingers, the warmth of his head, the subtle strength that she could feel flowing there. It felt nice.

"I was jealous because you had parents who loved you, they may not have been able to give you every tiny thing you asked for, but they loved you. They took you places and were proud of you no matter how well or not you did. You didn't have to be top of the class to make them proud. Just because you were, didn't mean anything to them. You have friends who love and care about you. They send you presents that mean something, because they know you. They worry about you. I was jealous because no matter where you went for the holidays, you were with people who would wish you a happy Christmas, and would sing carols, and open presents and laugh with you. People who would be happy and merry and all the things you're supposed to be on a Christmas day. I wanted those things and I never got them." He watched her face while he talked, trying to keep the tones of bitterness out of his voice but finding it hard.

"Oh Draco!" Hermione threw her arms around his neck and hugged him tightly, burring her face into his neck. Draco was taken by surprise. He hadn't expected this sort of reaction at all. So he hugged her back, leaning his cheek against the top of her head until she pulled back, sitting on his knees now. Her fingers were laced behind his neck as she peered at him, a grin on her lips. "You have me. I will be merry with you and open presents and laugh. And when we have breakfast we will eat together, and later we will eat the Christmas feast together to. I will show you a proper Christmas. If you want to sing carols, I will teach them to you and we can sing all afternoon if you like." Now it was Draco's turn to hug her, he laughed, though, shaking his head a few times.

"You're crazy, Granger, positively looney." Hermione simply shrugged her shoulders and hopped off his lap. She started sorting the gifts into two piles. One seemed to be a bit larger than the other when she was done, she levitated them closer and settled herself back onto his lap like it was the most common thing to do.

They spent the morning opening presents together. Hermione's stack was the larger of the two mostly because it seemed that every member of the Weasley family had bought something for Hermione, then her friends and even her parents who seemed to be enough recovered to remember her and the holiday finally. Draco's gifts were impersonal and expensive as Draco expected. His gift from Hermione was his absolute favorite.

It was a small replica of a dragon, done in gold with ruby eyes and emeralds down the length of its back, it paced, made life-like noises and could even flap its wings. Draco loved it. She also got him a book that she had over heard him talking about one day. It was a massive book about Quidditch. It held all of the teams in the U.K. and the best plays made by those teams over the years, all the way up to present day. He had kissed her temple and hugged her tight when he had opened his gifts from her. She had turned a little pink but seemed positively thrilled that he loved his gifts.

She seemed to like hers as well. It was a circle pendant, on a chain, with an emerald tear drop in the middle. It was only part one, part two would come at the end. He had it in the pocket of his robe and was waiting for the right time to bring it out. Hermione was admiring the pendant, running her fingers over and grinning up at Draco. "It's so beautiful. Thank you. I love it." Draco helped her get it on. Before he knew it she was off his lap. He frowned up at her but she merely grinned. "It's carol singing time! I will be right back, don't move!" Draco made a show of becoming a statue before Hermione ran off.

She was back in no time flat and carrying a small stack of papers. Draco looked at her questioningly but she settled herself back on his lap and showed him what they were. Christmas carols, written out and ready to be read and sung. Draco shook his head in wonder; there was nothing this girl wasn't prepared for. He had to laugh. "What's so funny?" She questioned him, a frown on her lips.

"Just you. It seems like there is nothing that you aren't ready for, no matter how small the chances are of it happening." Hermione laughed then, shrugging her shoulders.

"My family and I used to sing carols all the time. Sometimes we would have to get out the lyrics again because it had been such a long time since we had sang any of the songs. We'd forget the words. We always had extra copies. I brought some this year because I knew I wouldn't be going home for the holidays. Now let's sing!"

Hermione and Draco spent the rest of the morning singing carols, laughing at each other and in general merriment. Draco thought that this was how a Christmas morning ought to be spent and couldn't think of a better Christmas in all his life. No matter what happened now his day had been perfect, all thanks to Hermione. He grinned down at her as they finished another rousing chorus of Jingle Bells. Laughing themselves out, Hermione leaned against Draco and let out a long sigh, it was full of contentment and joy, though and Draco knew just how she felt.

"This has been the best day of my life in quite some time, Draco. I'm so glad I could spend it with you." She tilted her head back and smiled softly up at him. He looked down at her and decided that now was a good time for part two of his gift. Something he had been putting together for a while now. Since that fateful night a couple of months ago.

"I can't think of a more perfect Christmas morning. There is a second part of your gift, if you want it. I've been waiting to give it to you." Hermione looked at him in surprise, but simply nodded her head, looking excited and impatient. Draco smiled, rolling his eyes a little before reaching into the pocket of his robe for the flat, square velvet box. When he pulled it out Hermione's eyebrows rose up, she looked at him questioningly but still didn't say anything, simply waited for him to show her whatever it was. "I had everything made, down to the very last charm." He pulled open the lid of the box and Hermione gasped.

Inside was a charm bracelet with several little charms already attached. Every loop of the band was made of white-gold and interlaced with the next, the catch was a gold-white-gold mix and was intricately woven together, the long bar that would hold it in place was decorated with vines, the ends looked like very small leaves. There were four charms, one of them was a silver heart with emeralds and rubies scattered through it, then there was a silver G in beautiful lettering with a small lion, an M with a serpent wrapped through it, and finally two lettered, intertwined together with a single ruby and a single emerald in each letter, HD. Draco watched Hermione's face anxiously as she took everything in. Her eyes filled with tears she looked up at Draco, then back at the bracelet, lifting it up carefully, looking more carefully at each of the charms before looking back up at him. Words seemed to be failing her.

"If you don't like it I would understand…" Before he could get more than those words out of his mouth Hermione had flung her arms around him again, pressing her lips against his, Draco wrapped his arms back around her, holding her tightly to him while he returned her sudden kiss.

"This is the most beautiful thing anyone has ever given anyone else in the world. I love it more than everything else combined. It's perfect. You are so incredibly thoughtful. Who would have guessed?" Hermione joked. Draco laughed, shrugging his shoulders.

"Some people bring out the best in you, I suppose." Hermione grinned a watery grin and held out her wrist to him imperiously, putting the bracelet in his hand. Rolling his eyes he put the bracelet on her wrist and Hermione positively beamed at him, wrapping her arms around his neck and kissing him once more.

"I got everything I never thought to ask for this Christmas, and I couldn't be happier. But if we don't get dressed we're going to be late for the feast." Draco looked at the time and frowned, it had gone by so quickly. Hermione got up and tugged him with her. "I'm starving from not eating breakfast this morning so let's go. There are plenty of other Christmas activities we can do afterwards." Draco seemed cheered by the idea, but when he went to move got tangled in a ribbon that had come off one of Hermione's gifts.

He toppled over, crashing to the floor. Hermione turned back around to see him lying, wrapped up in a big red ribbon, lying in the middle of the floor. "Oh look, I get to unwrap you for Christmas after-all!" Hermione laughed, and helped get him untangled from the ribbons.

Once they were both wearing their Christmas best, they walked out of the common room hand in hand. Hermione singing a song that Draco had never heard before, probably because it was a muggle song about wanting someone in a big red bow underneath their Christmas tree. He didn't mind, this had been the best day of his life so far, and if he got to keep Hermione out of the deal, then he didn't care what else happened. Let them talk, he got everything he wanted for Christmas and then some.

Walking hand in hand with Draco felt like right, it felt wonderful. Hermione had got everything she wanted this Christmas, including her love in a big red bow. She would figure out everything else when the time came. For now it was her and Draco and that was all that mattered. They were going to make the most of this holiday and every holiday for as long as they were together. Hermione had a feeling it would be many, many more Christmases together and that was alright with her.

Author's Note: I hope you enjoyed it! I know that I had fun writing it. If you can guess the song that I'm referring to in the last part there, kudos to you!! I love that song. Anyways, I was going for fluff, and that's what you got. Obviously ignoring DH to some degree, mostly epilogue. Happy Christmas!!