All characters and canon situations belong to JK Rowlings and I make no money from the writing and publishing of this or any other stories. On the other hand, this story is from my own, and not plagiarised. Too bad others can't say the same thing.

How a Malfoy Stole Christmas



("Love Actually" Christmas Challenge for Granger Enchanted" 2010 – prompt - "All I want for Christmas is you," he whispered and pulled her close. But it was an impossible dream, a match made in hell for everyone but the lovers.)

Summary: Draco Malfoy hated Christmas. He hated Christmas wreaths, bows, greenery and garland. He hated presents, sentimental Christmas movies, and even Christmas sweets. Most of all, he hated Christmas songs, even when they were being sung by his next-door neighbor, Hermione Granger. He told her that he hated Christmas, and that there wasn't a single thing she could do to change that.

She was going to try, because she claimed to love Christmas, and everything about it. However, not even her breathtaking smile or her lilting laughter could make him change his mind about Christmas - in fact, he's going to do everything in his power to make her change her feelings on the subject! He's going to do his best to ruin Christmas for her, and he probably wouldn't even have to try very hard.

One –

"Stop that racket over there!" Draco Malfoy pounded on the wall that connected his townhouse to the one next door and he shouted at the top of his lungs for the umpteenth time that day.

All day long, there was excessive, infernal noise coming from his next door neighbor's house and he was close to going mad! First, there was banging. The banging actually started at HIS house, but then it moved over to her house. Then there was general laughing and noise that comes from having fun. That was because his neighbor's friends were there, also making noise!

After the banging, and the laughing and the general noise that comes from having fun, there was some scuffling about, but now, now, the sound was almost unbearable! There was SINGING coming from next door. Singing. He hated singing. In his opinion, the only time someone should sing was if he or she were in the shower or in Hell, one or the other.

If he heard one more 'Fa, la, la, la, la, la' or one more, 'We wish you a Merry Christmas' he would pull out his wand and Avada the whole lot of them!

He placed his hands over his ears, looked down at his Siamese cat, Draco Malfoy the Second, (Draco usually called him 'Number Two') and said, "It's not really murder if one kills to keep ones sanity is it?" The cat didn't answer, being that he was a cat, but he did give him a look of total agreement, so Draco walked back over to the wall, banged on it again, and yelled, "Stop that bloody singing or I'm not responsible for my actions!"

From the house next door he heard, "Jingle all the way…"

Since he wasn't in the shower, there was only one conclusion to make. He was in Hell, that's where he was…Hell.

The noise, in one fashion or another, had been going on for over two hours now. He hated the noise almost as much as he hated the reason for it – Christmas!

He hated everything about Christmas. He hated Christmas trees, wreaths, greenery and bows. He hated mistletoe and holly berries. He hated chestnuts, fruitcakes, snow and candy. He hated games and toys, fat men dressed in bright red suits, Christmas cards, songs, stories and sentimental Christmas movies full of rubbish and false maudlin crap.

In addition, most of all, he hated Christmas carols. He hated traditional ones that told of a baby in a manger. What was a manger anyway? Moreover, who was King Wenceslas, what made him so bloody good, and what was the Feast of Stephen? Whoever heard of giving someone a partridge in a pear tree? Who wanted their halls decked with boughs of holly? None of them made any sense at all.

Moreover, the modern songs were more horrid than the old ones! Jingle bell rock, mommy kissing Santa Claus, and Merlin help him, he even heard one about a grandmother being 'run over' by a reindeer. They were ridiculous and he hated every, last one of them!

Now he was being tortured by having to listen to them repeatedly all day long, which in his opinion, was the epitome of torture! Today, his next door neighbor, aka, the former bane of his existence, and the current star of his nightly dreams, was now running all amuck, decorating not only her house, but also his, and singing Christmas songs at the top of her lungs, all because she looked so damn appealing in a red cashmere scarf.

Let's explain.

Hermione Granger moved in next door to him last summer, on the 25th of July. It was a Tuesday. His house was a large three story townhouse in a swanky section of Muggle London. Imagine his surprise when she bought the house next to his. Not even next to his…attached to his. They shared a common wall. He was the left side, she was the right. He was downright taken aback when he saw her move in, because London was large, and even though the Muggle part was more her foray than his, he still felt slightly put out that she would impose herself on him like she did, even though she seemed as surprised by the whole thing as he did.

They met her first day. She walked over carrying a large bundle under her arm. Knocking on the door with one hand, she actually gasped when he opened the door. Draco, on the other hand, screamed like a little girl and slammed the door in her face. After he composed himself (two minutes or so later), he opened his door and said, "Damn, Granger, what are you doing here? I didn't know anyone knew where I lived."

"I live here too, well, next door. I just bought the house connected to yours," she explained. "And I think your paper has been delivered to my house for probably the last year, although they don't have your name, only your address, but still, I wanted to bring them over."

He promptly slammed the door in her face again.

He didn't see her again for several weeks. For the most part, she was a congenial, low maintenance neighbor. She didn't play loud music – not that it would matter, as he would put up a silencing charm if she did. She didn't have many visitors, not that he cared, as neither did he. She didn't bother him or make much fuss. In fact, he mostly forgot she was there.

They saw each other occasionally by their front doors. She would smile and say, "Hello," and he would nod and grunt hello back to her. Rarely would they meet in the alley behind their back gardens. She would usually be taking out her rubbish, and he would usually be searching for his cat. He would comment that she needed a house elf to do her manual labor. She would comment that he needed a dog, because it would come when called.

One time he came home late from a disastrous date, very pissed, (out of his mind really) and he accidentally Apparated into her back garden instead of his. She was lying on a blanket, late at night, staring at the stars.

She yelped in surprise when she saw him, then laughed when he told her that he thought he was at his home, then to his chagrin, she helped him to his house, even going so far as to help him up his stairs and into his bedroom. She made him hot coffee, pulled off his shoes, and when he lay back on his bed and closed his eyes, he felt her brush his bangs away from his forehead and heard her say, "Goodnight, Draco."

He thought that was rather sweet of her.

Nonetheless, for the most part, he forgot she was there.

That's not true, but he could dream it was. He thought about her quite often, and dreamt of her even more, especially after the drunken, mistaken, Apparition blunder. There was that time, late September, when she asked him if he would like it if she planted the rest of her mums in his window boxes. He didn't even know he had window boxes, and he didn't know what mums looked like, but he said yes.

Then he sat on the steps of his front stoop and watched as she climbed a short stepladder and she planted yellow, red and orange mums in the window boxes of his front windows, to match her window boxes. His cat joined him on the steps and watched as well.

She looked over and asked, "What's your cat's name?"

"Number Two."

She laughed, and when she laughed, he felt it down to his toes. A tingling feeling. It started around his chest area, where some people had a heart, it went throughout his nervous system, and shot down to his toes and out his body, into a million molecules and beyond. It was a lilting, lightweight, musical sound, and he wanted to hear it again and again and again.

"Don't laugh, you'll hurt his feelings," he teased, though he wanted her to laugh some more. "His real name is Draco Malfoy the Second."

She laughed some more. Good. He wanted to hear it again. "You are joking, right?" She turned slightly on the ladder and pointed her spade at him.

"Not at all, Granger. His name is Draco Malfoy the Second, I swear it upon my honor, and before you besmirch my honor, and say that I have no honor to swear upon, let me tell you that I do indeed have honor and no, I'm not lying."

She laughed some more. He could get used to this. Her eyes, really just a normal brown colour, lit up when she laughed and became brighter and sparkled. Her mouth tilted upwards, but then again, didn't everyone's mouth tilt upwards when they laughed? Still, hers tilted upwards and he wanted to kiss the corners. How insane was that?

"But to call him after yourself?" she waned. "And then, to nickname him 'The Second'? You, Draco Malfoy, have no vision. There's a whole host of names you could have called a handsome fellow like him, and you called him Draco Malfoy the Second."

"Yes, after the most handsome man alive," Draco said, partly because he really felt it was true, but also partly because he knew it would make her laugh again. It did.

Then the unthinkable happened – as she laughed at him, her arms started to flap, most unbecomingly, she dropped the spade, reached for the window box, the small stepladder tittered back and forth and she fell backwards.

Right into his arms. He wasn't even aware of springing from the steps, or of catching her.

They stared into each other's eyes and even as she licked her lips and he willed his breathing to slow down, she said, "Thank you," and he asked, "Are you okay," then she insisted, "You can put me down now," and he said, "Stupid ladder," and that was that.

But still, it was a moment that Draco wouldn't soon forget.

Because in that moment he realized that in the fifteen years that he had known Hermione Granger, (ever since she was a little girl) he had disliked her. He had also never, ever given a thought as to whether or not she was pretty or not. He knew she was smart. He always knew that. He always thought of her as the smartest, most irritating swot of his acquaintance, but never once, not in fifteen years, had he thought of her as pretty.

But Merlin's balls, she was. She was exceptionally pretty. Uncommonly, charmingly so. When did that happen?

Then, in November, after October's drunken Apparating incident, she knocked on his backdoor. He didn't even know he had a backdoor. He certainly had never used it before. He walked down the long hallway, past the front living room, past the room next to it that he used to watch Muggle telly in, his dining room, his kitchen, and past the back room that he used for storage and he opened the backdoor.

She stood out there with a cream coloured lightweight coat, a red hat upon her head, a red scarf dangling on her shoulders, jeans tucked into brown boots, and a slight smudge of something brown, (he could only hope it was dirt) upon her cheek, and he STILL found her beautiful. He asked, "What do you want?" in a fake, exasperated tone.

"Malfoy, how are you?"

He leaned against the doorjamb and said, "Did you get dressed in your best finery to come over and ask about my wellbeing?"

"I was working in my back garden," she explained.

"Don't you have hired help?" he asked. He leaned closer, placed his hand on her cheek, so that his fingers touched her jaw, and with his thumb he rubbed the brown dirt spot away. Then he grabbed the stupid red hat from her hair and flipped it against his leg and then threw it to the ground. Her hair fell in soft waves to her shoulders. She shook her hair and he stared at it, mesmerized. She was going to be the death of him.

She began to speak, but he didn't listen. He stared at her hair, soft, brown, with honey-coloured highlights, as it sprang in curls all over her head, and fell upon her shoulders, and down her back. Finally she asked, "Is that okay with you?"

Had she been speaking to him all this time and he not noticed, because he was staring at her hair, and fantasying how soft it might be, and the way it might feel against his chest if they were upstairs in his bedroom, on the bed, under the sheets…

"Okay, so I'll take your silence as a yes," she ended. She started to walk away.

"Granger!" he snapped. "Get your arse back here!" What had his fantasies caused him to agree to this time? "I didn't hear you, repeat yourself, now." He snapped his finger and pointed at her.

Then she laughed. Why did she have to laugh? Her laughter usually did him in right away. "I said that the fence between our back gardens is rotting away and I want your permission to build a new one. I'll have all the work done, and don't worry, I won't do it myself, but I'd like you to share the expense. Is that okay?"

"There's a fence between our lots?" he asked. He looked beyond her shoulder and noticed a broken-down wooden, slat fence that was indeed falling down, between her backyard and his. He straightened up and said, "I don't want to know the details, just have it done, and give me the bill. I'll pay for the whole thing." He turned to go, but she reached out for his arm to stop him.

He looked at the hand on his arm. He turned slowly. Her bare hand on his bare arm was almost more than he could bear. Her touch was so warm and even affectionate. He was the complete opposite – cold, bitter, unfeeling. Knowing when he turned around that he would see her smile, made him almost want to knock her hand off his arm, run away, and slam the door in her face. Ignoring that instinct, he turned slowly, to keep her hand on his arm, and the first thing he noticed was her smile. He knew it.

That smile knocked his socks off – Gads – she was literally, yes, literally, breathtaking. Her nose was slightly red from the cold, and so were her cheeks. She had only a lightweight jacket on, and a red scarf, which wasn't even wrapped around her neck. It was merely hanging loosely. What purpose did a scarf serve her if it wasn't securely around her neck?

He stepped over his threshold and said, "It's cold out here, Granger. You'll catch your death." Looking down, he noticed that she was so much smaller than he was. She was the type of woman that a man wanted to tuck under his arm when they walked down the street. The type of woman who would fit nicely in his arms on the sofa when they watched telly at night. The type of woman who would fit nicely under him, or on top of him, or beside him, or anywhere for that matter, when they made love at night, or in the morning, or in the afternoon.

He could only imagine that her body was glorious. As he wrapped the soft cashmere scarf around her neck, he could smell a rose scent about her, and he could see that she was slim but fit, and when his hands touched her hair he found that it was as soft as he imagined. Was the rest of her as he imagined as well?

His groined tightened as he tied the scarf together, and then his mouth dried as he tucked the ends in her jumper, and then staring into her warm, brown eyes, they seemed to dance with delight, and he realized she was speaking to him again, quite animatedly, but he couldn't hear her, because he was staring at her too intently.

He heard bits and phrases of her speech…something about her favourite time of the year…something about this being her first home and her first Christmas alone, but that was all he heard. At the end of her tirade she seemed so happy that she stood on tiptoes, placed her hands on his shoulders, kissed his cheek and said, "You won't regret it, Malfoy. Just wait until December. It'll be wonderful, I promise! And I'll send you the bill for the fence as soon as it's done."

At the time, he had no clue as to what he agreed to besides the fence, nor did he care. When the new fence went up, he was pleased. It accompanied a newly landscaped back garden and patio area, complete with an outdoor fireplace.

Then, a little over two hours ago, she knocked on his front door and said, "It's almost Christmas."

He frowned. No it wasn't. It was December 1st. How was December the first even remotely ALMOST CHRISTMAS? Before he could dispute her inane statement she asked, "Do you want us to have all white lights on our houses, or multicolored?"

"What?" he asked confused. Why was she asking him about lights and such?

She stepped inside, uninvited, said hello to his cat, and then opened a brown paper bag and took out a large, green wreath with a larger red bow. It wasn't even real. She said, "This is what I got for your front door. Mine is similar. I got greenery for all the windows, and for the scrollwork railings down the front steps. Now, I thought it would look somewhat neat if you would place your tree in the far left window, and I place mine in the far right. That would be more symmetrical, don't you agree?"

"What?" Then everything she was saying crashed down upon him. He was such an idiot. All of this was because he didn't listen to her last month, because he thought she was pretty, and because she had on a red, cashmere scarf.

Without prelude he knocked the fake wreath from her hands and yelled, "I HATE CHRISTMAS!"

"No one hates Christmas, Malfoy. Now don't fear a thing. I'll do all the work. My friends are coming by to help. If you decide you want to help as well, come by later, okay?" she said with her pretty smile. She laughed with her beautiful laugh, picked up the wreath, walked toward his door, swinging her full, pretty hips, and she started to sing, "Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la."

Draco Malfoy was in Hell.

And he did too hate Christmas, so there, Hermione Granger.

(Of course, I wasn't going to post anymore stories on this site, but I decided to end the year with my two Christmas stories. I only hope the latest thief, Yasu09, doesn't steal this or any of my other stories from now on. She stole "Arrogance and Ignorance" and "A Kind and Generous Man" and the site, Indian Forums, probably wouldn't have taken 'my' stories down if the Administrator of Granger Enchanted hadn't written to them on my behalf. If anyone else ever sees one of my stories on another site, (or this site, for that matter) without giving me credit as the author, please let me know. Thanks to Sarah for letting me know about this last plagiarism debacle.

By the way, this story is short - only three parts. Second part will be posted tomorrow.)