A/N: So I couldn't leave my favorite pairing out of my Christmas writing fest can I? And who doesn't love a story that's so cliche and fluffy that it hurts, right? Anyway, I want to thank my lovely Beta Ashley, blainesbedroom on tumblr and now I shall let the reading commence!
Draco stared at the package sitting on his trunk at the end of his bed. He had checked it for dark magic and found no trace of any kind on it. He had read the tag hanging from the bow, but To: Draco and From: Your Secret Admirer left no clues as to where the package came from or who the sender was. Draco checked the date again, December 13th. It was too early for his parents to send him gifts. That thought alone sent Draco into another almost fit of rage. How dare his parents force him to stay at Hogwarts for the holidays? They had decided to go to France for the three weeks he had vacation. They had sent an owl saying that he was to stay on the school grounds for the holiday. Draco was furious. No extra presents and bullying the house elf into doing things for him. No, Draco was staying at Hogwarts. And the worst part of all of this? He was stuck there with people like Potter.
Once Draco finished his mental lamenting he turned back to the box. It was wrapped in green metallic paper and topped off with a shiny red bow. Draco didn't know whether he should open the box or not. For all he knew the Weasley twins had wrapped up something nice and mean for him to open and Pansy brought it in for them. Or maybe it was from Pansy, a gift to express her sympathy for her friend who was stuck in Scotland for Christmas.
Draco decided he would chance it. He figured that it was less likely that Pansy was cooperating with any Gryffindor and instead was feeling bad for him. Either way, he picked up the gift gingerly and slowly began to pull at the ends of the bow. When that was done and he was still alive and not impaired he began to rip off the paper. Underneath the paper was a small black box. Draco sat at for a moment, staring at the name embossed in silver on the lid. The small box read Fermen's which happened to be one of his favorite clothing stores in all of England. He lifted the lid and gasped before regaining himself and looking around quickly to see if anyone had seen or heard it. Drawn curtains and light snoring was all he was met with. He knew this was from Pansy. It was a pair of black dragon hide gloves that had been charmed to be soft as silk and constantly warmed the wearer's hand. They also boasted at being 100% waterproof and imported from Switzerland.
He knew they had to be from Pansy because only she knew he wanted them. It was also perfect because he had Care of Magical Creatures this afternoon and Hagrid had said something about working outside. Mainly, Draco just wanted to show them off, seeing how they were magnificently expensive.
Draco sat in the Great Hall staring around at the faces he had seen day after day. He looked up when he heard voices around the room quiet. Oh joy, Potter and two of his sidekicks had entered the room. After six years of this nonsense you really would think people would stop caring about Potter, but no, every time he set foot in the Great Hall, or a classroom, or even outside for Merlin's sake, people would cease talking to stare at him. Apparently they couldn't see Potter hated it, though it was obvious to Draco. Potter looked flustered and the Granger girl was saying something in his ear. Draco watched as Potter shook his head vigorously before sweeping the hall with his gaze and sitting down.
Draco stared at the happy little trio. They were Gryffindor to the bone. He didn't detest them as much as he pretended, but no one needed to know that small fact. Draco grimaced as the Weaselette leaned against Harry but his grimace turned into a smirk as he watched Harry grow stiff at her touch. For some reason Draco felt glee at the fact that Potter no longer reciprocated the ginger menace's feelings. Gods he was being awful Hufflepuff-y this morning, which had to stop.
Draco walked to Care of Magical Creatures with a smirk. Three people had stared at his gloves that afternoon when he walked through the common room. He mentally told himself to send Pansy a very nice thank you note when the day was over. Pansy was waiting for him and Goyle at the castle entrance. "Nice gloves Draco, who gave them to you?"
"Oh please Pansy, like I didn't already figure out it was you."
Pansy looked at Draco strangely. "Draco, I didn't give you anything, especially not gloves that expensive."
"You're the only one who knew I wanted them. It of course was you and your little 'secret admirer' ploy failed, just admit it."
"Draco, listen I swear on Salazar that I didn't give those to you and I have no idea who did." Pansy held up her hands in surrender, trying to show Draco that she was being honest.
"Well who else would have given them to me? Blaise? I didn't know he was gay."
"Nott perhaps? Sometimes the way he looks at you…" Pansy shuddered. "It's creepy, and that's saying a hell of a lot."
"No, Nott wouldn't spend this kind of money. Honestly, I'm surprised he was even put in Slytherin. Potter is more of a Slytherin than Nott." Draco honestly hadn't meant to say Potter's name but for some reason apparently the gods had decided to curse him that day.
"Potter? Really? Draco darling, are you feeling well? Are you sure the gloves weren't cursed?"
Draco turned his hands over, scrutinizing them, wanting to blame them for his mishap. "No Pansy, they aren't cursed."
The three of them had finally made it to the area near Hagrid's hut where their lesson was to be held for the day. Draco looked up and his eyes met a pair of shining green ones. "Potter" he managed between clenched teeth.
"Malfoy" Harry responded and to Draco's surprised Harry smiled at him.
"Can I help you Potter?" Draco asked, staring calmly down at the brunet.
"Nice gloves," was the cryptic answer to Draco's question. With that, Harry turned back around to Weasley and Granger, leaving Draco staring at the back of Harry's head.
"What was that about?" Pansy asked, and for once Draco wished she would leave him alone.
"Nothing" he snapped, replaying the conversation over in his head. True, there hadn't been much to the conversation, but it was interesting to Draco all the same.
"Right, Draco love, I know you better than anyone else. Now come on, what did Potter want?"
"He just complemented me on my gloves" Draco answered, a strange feeling of smugness seeping into his body.
"Potter. Complemented. You. On your gloves?"
"Yes, Pansy, that's what I said, please tell me you're not becoming deaf. You should see Madam Pomfrey about it if that's the case."
"Draco Malfoy, do you, never mind." Pansy was shaking her head and mumbling to herself and Draco certainly did not like the look in his best friend's eyes.
"Pansy, what are you plotting?"
Pansy smiled up at Draco, white teeth glittering in the sun. Draco thought she looked a bit like a cat that had just been caught with its head in the canary cage. Or maybe more like a jackal hunting its prey. "Nothing, Draco." At his incredulous look she added "I swear."
Further conversation was cut off between them as Hagrid ambled up to the group of students, carrying a cage in his large hands.
Hermione whispered to Harry as they worked with the Blast-Ended Skrewts, an animal that no one but Hagrid cared about. "What was that about?"
"What are you talking about?" Harry asked, his eyebrows furrowed in concentration.
"You and Malfoy. You complemented him on his gloves."
"They were nice gloves" Harry countered trying to figure out where Hermione was going with the conversation.
"Harry, it was Malfoy. You barely manage to speak to him without cursing him on a good day. Now you're complementing him on his accessories, are you sure you're ok?"
"I'm not going mental if that's what you think" Harry huffed, turning back to the scaly creature in front of him.
"I-I just wanted to make sure everything was ok." Hermione looked at Harry, trying to read him. He'd been acting strangely for the past few weeks and Hermione had no idea what was going on.
"I'm fine" Harry mumbled, embarrassed he'd snapped at his friend.
Draco sat in one of the oversized armchairs in the Slytherin common room, looking at the note that had been attached to his box once again. He studied it until the words began to blur and yet nothing came to him. He didn't recognize the handwriting, and thought that it may have been spelled on. Draco took out the box that the gloves had come in and after checking it thoroughly he placed the gloves gingerly back into it in order to keep them safe.
"Draco, you have got to stop obsessing over that gift" Pansy's voice rang out across the common room as she stepped through the passage towing Blaise behind her.
"I'm not obsessing" he deplored. "I'm merely assessing it for any possible clues to whom the giver is."
"Right, not obsessing, ok. Draco love, go to bed, maybe they'll leave you another tonight."
Draco narrowed his eyes at Pansy. "Is there something you know that I don't" he demanded.
"No Draco, trust me, I'm just as clueless as you are."
Draco watched as Pansy went up to her dormitory and he heard Blaise sit on the couch near him. "Draco" Blaise began softly, "I don't want to upset you, but as we are Slytherins, you don't think this could be a prank of sorts?"
Draco looked ruffled at the thought. "Pretty expensive prank I would think, these gloves aren't cheap."
"Hey, just a thought" Blaise said, holding his hands up in surrender. "I'm turning in, you coming?"
Draco resigned himself to sleep. He lifted his body from the chair and followed Blaise up to the dormitory they shared. "Night Draco, stop obsessing."
As Draco lay in bed, the green curtains pulled tightly, he pulled out the box and laid it next to his pillow.
"Harry" Ron groaned from his four-poster, "It's midnight, what could possibly be that interesting?" Ron glanced at the paper Harry was holding. "What on earth are you doing looking at a potions catalogue?"
"Hmm? Oh nothing, just looking at cauldrons, interesting actually" Harry answered, not looking up from the catalogue.
"Harry, you've definitely gone mental. Since when do you find cauldrons interesting?"
Harry didn't answer until his gaze was torn away from the catalogue by an impatient huff from Ron. "I, erm, well I just thought maybe I'd like potions more if I had better equipment. Did you know you can buy cauldrons with your favorite Quidditch team emblems on them? Look, here's the Chudley Cannons one." Harry pressed the paper under Ron's nose and there on the page indeed was a bright orange cauldron with pictures of each team member flying around it. Ron also noted that there were several pages that had the corners turned down.
"Harry, what are those pages for?"
Ron swore Harry blushed but it was too dark to really tell. "Oh, just ideas, you know."
Ron didn't let on that no, he in fact did not know, but he turned and pulled his curtains to. "Night Harry" came his voice, muffled through the fabric.
"Night Ron" Harry replied, his nose stuck back into the catalogue.
Now why on earth is Harry taking an interest in cauldrons all of a sudden? Who is Draco's secret admirer? Well, don't think too hard! And reviews would be lovely!