Title: How Draco Malfoy Came To Thoroughly Enjoy His Christmas
Prompt: Fairy lights, pine, and wrapping presents for hd_seasons
Word Count: ~2,000
Rating: T (PG-13) for language
Author's notes: I enjoyed my prompts a great deal, so I hope you all enjoy your 17th of December along with this little ficlet of fluff! Also, I apologize for any Americanisms that sneak into my writing.
Disclaimer: All characters herein belong to The Goddess Rowling. All mistakes are mine.
It was well known around the Auror Department that Draco Malfoy was not the most… amicable wizard one could meet, even less amicable toward a certain other Auror, Harry Potter. Rumour was they'd slept together at Hogwarts and had had a terrible break-up with much angst and heartbreak, and that was why they picked on each other so. However, there was also a rumour that Head Auror Russo wanted to marry her cat, so Aurors Malfoy and Potter probably just didn't like each other very much.
Auror Malfoy agreed wholeheartedly that his and Potter's sniping was due only to mutual dislike, but he couldn't actually disprove the nasty rumour about Head Auror Russo, so there wasn't much he could do about the Ministry gossip other than sulk.
And sneer at Potter when warranted.
Which was why it was so strange to find him spending a good couple of hours in the company of someone the Wizarding world still thought his rival. On Christmas Eve. A date often reserved for family and friends. And Draco had never really considered that he could be included in either category, especially to Harry Potter.
Earlier that evening, Draco had been wishing himself an early death whilst poring over piles of paperwork left to him by those Aurors who had families. He'd grudgingly accepted the overtime, of course, because 1) it was the Slytherin thing to do for all the reluctant thanks and loyalty he would get in exchange and, slightly more importantly, 2) he'd really had nothing better to do. Which was why, when Potter leaned into his cubicle, asking him if he'd like to join him for fish and chips at a Muggle pub close by, Draco didn't protest. Too much.
Harry Potter was currently smiling widely, hair even more of a rat's nest than usual from all the thousands of times he'd ran his fingers through it during the course of their dinner. It had been late when they'd finally stumbled into a taxi, leaning heavily on one another and giggling a bit due to the warm liquor in their stomachs.
Now, Draco was staring quite closely at the funny little finger-made ravines through Potter's hair, cheek pressed to his cab companion's ice cold ear as they swerved around a bend into a new neighbourhood, all the townhouses lit up with holiday cheer.
"Your ears are going to freeze off."
"You say that every time I see you outside, and then you add—"
"Yes, I know, Potter. I'm usually present during our conversations."
"—you add that I should cover them up or you'll freeze them off for me." Potter seemed to puzzle over this for a moment. "It's not very nice, what you say. I want to keep my ears. But I always laugh at you."
"Like the madman you are."
"Because you're funny. I dunno. It's something we share—the repar… the banter. It's fun."
Draco barked out a laugh. "You're more drunk than I thought. You'd never admit to enjoying my company, whatever form it comes in."
Potter's head thumped back against the leather of the back seat. "I asked you out, didn't I?"
"…Asked me…?" Draco trailed off, and it seemed too late to inquire as to what the bloody fuck Potter meant, as the man was now currently fascinated with a loose thread on the seam of his denims.
They passed by a home whose Christmas tree was prominently placed in the bay window, fairy lights intricately arranged and homemade ornaments glinting in the light. For a moment, Draco wished he were still married, just so he'd have something to go home to.
"Hey Malfoy," Potter said around a guffaw.
"Yeah?" Draco asked, prodding Potter until he sat upright again. "What is it now?"
Potter pointed to the rear-view mirror, from which a two-dimensional, green tree hung. "Royal pine," Potter said as if this was some in-joke they shared.
"Uhm," replied Draco.
"The taxi is supposed to smell like 'royal' pine."
Draco took a whiff, but only smelled stale alcohol and maybe very old, very faint traces of vomit. "That doesn't smell at all royal."
"Well," Harry whispered in that way that inebriates do. "You'd need about seven more before this car smelled like anything other than taxi." Potter giggled and patted Draco's knee through his stupid fingerless gloves in a strange bout of affection, and for a moment, Draco actually considered finally giving Potter the gift he'd bought a month ago instead of letting it sit there and look pathetic alongside the lint in his jacket pocket.
The car slid a bit on the snow at a corner, causing Draco to collide with Potter, until the driver slowed to a stop at Grimmauld Place. However, when Draco looked at a loss, Potter smiled and paid the grumbling Muggle in the front seat, wishing him a Merry Christmas and jumping out into the slush on the kerb. Draco followed him out quickly, unprepared for the chill outside that burned his lungs and brought back the memories in the pub: licking the grease off their fingers as the telly shouted in the background, sharing Auror tales and snickering when the waitress had confused them for Muggle detectives, knees brushing constantly under the table until, when they were buzzed enough, they rested comfortably against one another. Draco fingered the terribly wrapped present as they walked in silence to Number 12.
Potter had apparently sobered up, too, for he was no longer giggling silently but looking up at the stars.
"You know, sometimes I wish I could just take the constellations and hang them on my Christmas tree," he said up to the sky, arms gesturing the act like he was draping a blanket over some vaguely large object.
…Or maybe he wasn't so sober.
The fence around Potter's front yard had fir boughs lining it, with festive, velveteen bows holding them up on the metal railings, which Draco hadn't noticed a moment before—even though he could've sworn he'd been looking straight at—
"House's still under a Fidelius Charm, just for privacy. Come in for coffee?"
Draco walked him up to the front steps. "I should…"
"Are you okay to Apparate home?"
Draco looked out onto the street before answering reluctantly, "…No."
"Come in, then." Potter waved him through the large front door.
Before Draco could convince himself otherwise, he was shoving a hand into his pocket, essentially throwing the present at his host, and barging through the small space between Potter and the doorjamb. He looked into two rooms before he'd found the one with the tree in it – except the tree was funny and squat, very unlike a classic Christmas tree. It was very fitting, though—very Potter to want the runt of the litter.
"What's this, then?" Potter called from the hallway.
"It's a present," Draco answered, and scrunched his eyes shut before turning toward Potter, who'd just entered. "I wrapped it myself, which is why it looks like a piece of shit, but I hope you like it. I got it in November."
Draco blinked his eyes open as Potter strolled over to the couch, flopping down without looking away from the hideous, shiny red paper.
"The salesgirl said tape would work when I asked her how to do it, but I only had Spello-Tape, and that was a disaster as you can see—"
"Draco, come sit while I figure out how to open it, and then you can shut up while I enjoy my first Christmas present of the year."
"Er…" Draco blushed furiously. "Yeah, OK. Good idea." He sat next to Potter, hands clenched in the fabric of his trousers before he realized what he was doing and smoothed the wrinkles out, swinging a leg over the other in forced nonchalance.
"Need a bit more light, I think," Potter muttered and waved his wand absently at the hearth, which promptly burst into flames, wood crackling and light flickering against the high ceiling. "Much better. A-ha!"
Draco bit his lip and watched as Potter unwound and unwound and unwound the entire role of Spello-Tape until the wrapping paper was that much brighter. And then he ripped away the paper to reveal a green cashmere beanie hat.
"Do you like it?"
Potter fingered the soft wool for a moment before raising his gaze to Draco's. "It's wonderful. Thank you, Draco. So soft, and I'm sure it's very warm."
Draco frowned. "You look… I mean, I've never seen you get presents, Potter, so I can't tell if this is normal or not but you look disappointed."
Potter shook his head and glanced back at his present. "No! No, it's lovely. It's great. I'm just… sorry it's really stupid and I'm still half-drunk and it's Christmas so I'm bound to sound like a giant, whiny bastard."
"I mean. Well… shit. I won't have an upfront reason for you to talk to me anymore, will I? Once I have a hat. Sorry, it's stupid. I shouldn't have said it."
Draco shifted toward him. "Two things. One: you're babbling, and two: you've not been wearing a hat because I've been barking at you to wear one every day this winter?"
"When you say it like that, it sounds even more idiotic!"
Draco reached out and cupped Potter's jaw with his hand, smooth surface of the narrow-fingered leather glove he was still wearing sweeping over Potter's steadily warming cheek. "Harry, I can make anything you say sound like you're a Neanderthal stuck in modern society."
"Fair point," Harry mumbled, biting his lip.
"Also, I'm sure there's plenty more I can mock you for." Draco kissed him then and, thankfully, Harry melted into the kiss, abandoning the soft cashmere hat for the planes of Draco's chest through his winter jumper.
Their noses brushed when they parted for air, breaths a little laboured, and Draco had to look away before he said something stupid. He grabbed for the hat in Harry's lap and fit it over Harry's head, making sure each ear was covered before kissing Harry again.
"I'm warm already," Harry murmured between kisses.
"That was the point, after all," Draco replied, nosing his way down Potter's neck and pressing a few mouthy kisses to the column of his throat. "Merlin. I should leave before I can't leave. I'll see you tomorrow or something? Unless you don't want to talk about the latest bizarre developments of our relationship."
"Yeah. Yeah, that sounds good. Then we can go on a proper date, instead of one I tricked you into."
They looked at one another for several moments before diving back in again for another, a couple, several kisses.
"I just hope you know, though, that us dating…" Draco gasped after Harry dragged his teeth across a sensitive earlobe. "…does not mean I'll suddenly be treating you like a blushing bride."
Harry leaned back, an expression of disgust on his face. "Oh, good God, no."
Draco wagged a finger at him. "Just saying, I'll probably mock the living daylights out of you until my dying breath."
Harry snickered, "I wouldn't have it any other way."
"Good. Glad we got that sorted." Draco stood up and made his way out into the hall, Harry on his heels as they both walked reluctantly to the front door.
"Oh!" Harry exclaimed when he'd opened the door. "I forgot we were making coffee."
Draco shrugged, leaning in again and pressing one last, lingering kiss on Harry's lips. "Rain check?"
"I'll see you tomorrow, yeah? When?"
"Come to the Manor at eleven for Christmas brunch. My House Elves make the most amazing omelettes."
Harry nodded, fingers passing lightly over the green hat still on his head, if a bit askew. "Happy Christmas, Draco."
"See you," Draco murmured, and walked off the premises, 12 Grimmauld Place fading away behind him, before winking out of sight.
The next morning, Harry Potter arrived at the gates of Malfoy Manor dressed in his new Weasley jumper and green hat, scuffing his snow boots against the gravel until Draco Malfoy went out to greet him.
There were several moments of awkward hellos and season's greetings before Draco rolled his eyes, took Harry's hand covered in those same stupid fingerless gloves and said, "What the hell is it with you and freezing necessary appendages off? These gloves are pointless. Your fingers will get frostbitten."
Harry laughed, surprised, and hugged him, pressing his fingers beneath the folds of Draco's warm winter robes. "I have you to warm them up."
Draco smiled and without a word, led him into his home.
Where hopefully they'd get to have that coffee he'd missed out on last night.
And kiss more and longer as well.
And, on a whole, thoroughly enjoy their Christmas, together.
And hope the rumour mill would stay relatively quiescent until January at least.