Just a little Christmas one-shot. I asked for prompts and then picked one out of a hat, and blame-the-nargles-draco's prompt, 'A Christmas during war, Draco is a member of the Order,' popped out, so I hope this is okay! This is kind of a pre-dramione though, so I hope this works okay!
Plot details you need to know: This is Post-Hogwarts and the war is still going on. It begins about a year after the battle of Hogwarts, and certain characters who died in the books are still alive.
Because of the Chestnuts and Cherry Stains.
On the first Christmas Draco spent with the Order of the Phoenix, he'd locked himself inside one of the bedrooms in Grimmauld Place, and refused to leave until the sounds of Arthur Weasley's laughter and the snaps of crackers had faded. When he'd finally emerged some twenty hours later in the early hours of Boxing Day morning, he'd found a plate of Christmas dinner waiting on the table, charmed to stay warm, and at the side had been a little piece of card with his name scribbled across it like a scar.
For reasons he would never understand, it had reminded him of the Dark Mark embedded into his left forearm, and he'd searched the cupboards for something that wasn't remotely festive. After finding a can of beans, which he didn't bother to heat up, he returned to the bedroom and ate them alone in the company of his shadow and silence.
It was only on January 2nd, when Molly Weasley had yanked down the final noose of tinsel, that Draco freed himself of his self-imposed seclusion. Everything went back to normal fairly quickly; food rations became fixed again, smiles gave way to frowns, and the Death Eaters kept killing people.
The only thing that changed, and Draco wouldn't realise it until March, was that Granger never called him 'Ferret' again, and her forever-pensive eyes looked somehow softer.
They reminded him of chestnuts sometimes. Especially when it was cold.
He would also realise in June that Granger's handwriting matched the kind on the card that had been left with the Christmas dinner, and his confusion about that would bother him relentlessly for weeks, but not enough to encourage him to demand her reasoning.
On the second Christmas Draco spent with the Order of the Phoenix, he had intended to repeat his first, and had even managed to stash away a few tins of beans ready. The only issue with that was his roommate; Longbottom. When Grimmauld Place had become a little too crowded, a group of the Order had moved into Remus and Tonks' home, including the Twatty Trio, Longbottom, Lovegood, the Weasley twins, himself, and a few others.
Despite Draco's endless attempts to remind Longbottom that they were far from friends or even acquaintances, Neville still found it necessary on Christmas Day morning to explain the many traditions he enjoyed and various dull Christmas incidents that had happened before.
Before the War.
After Draco had been subjected to yet another tale about Longbottom dropping the turkey on his foot, he was contemplating using a scarf to throttle the nattering Gryffindor, but his murderous thoughts were interrupted by a knock at the door, and Granger walked in without waiting for an invitation.
He scrutinised her carefully from head to toe, as he often did now. Her hair was even wilder and bushier than usual; sticking out at bizarre angles and completely chaotic around her face. Her cheeks were pink and flustered, and even her clothes were a bit ruffled, with multiple food stains. Apparently she'd been helping the Weasley mother with the cooking, and it reminded Draco of all those Potions lessons when she would get completely frazzled, but there would always be a composed hardness to her expression, like she refused to let her stress show on her face.
Perhaps he recognised it because he did the same thing.
"Neville, dinner's ready," she said, folding her arms and resting her weight against the doorframe. And then she grinned lightly and winked. "I've put you next to Luna."
"Hermione, you are a star," Longbottom smiled, heading out of the room. "Are you not coming down?"
"You go ahead, I just want to check something."
Draco studied from beneath his lashes as she lingered by the door, shifting her weight almost nervously a nibbling her bottom lip in that fashion that always made him stare for a moment longer than he liked. Finally, after what felt like an hour, she parted her lips, and he found himself watching that small gesture too intently also.
"Are you not joining us for Christmas dinner, Malfoy?" she asked. "I've made you one if-
Her eyebrows knitted together. "Can I ask why not?"
"You can ask whatever you like," he shrugged. "Whether or not I decide to answer is a completely different matter."
"Well, is it the food itself you don't like? Or the company-
"It's the whole fucking thing," he snapped coldly. "We have food rationing for a reason, and we are at war. We can't afford to waste time or supplies on some stupid little holiday."
"It's just one day in the year-
"One day which the Order could use effectively for planning or restocking. Honestly, Granger, you're supposed to be the sensible and smart one. How can you condone this?"
"Because it does more good than harm," she replied. "Christmas lifts spirits, it calms everyone down, it brings us all together, and we need that every now and then, or half of us would probably go insane-
"You're all already fucking insane," he scoffed. "And not just with this whole Christmas bullshit, I mean with the war. You lot actually think you can win. The line you have drawn between optimism and idiocy gets slimmer everyday with you people."
Hermione pursed her lips. "Then why did you defect? Why did you join our side?"
A small noise rumbled in his chest, something between a bark of laughter and a disgusted grunt. "Because apparently I have a conscience that thought it would be amusing to resurface after nineteen years. Who fucking knew, right?"
"Perhaps it was there the whole time, and you just chose to ignore it."
He tilted his head to look at her properly, exhaling heavily as he did and noting that her gaze was soft. Almost too soft, like she was comfortable. "Perhaps," he conceded nonchalantly. "Why don't you go and join the others, Granger? You will not be able to talk me into coming down for dinner, so you might as well just go."
"Very well," she sighed. "It's your decision, but I'll leave it out for you in case you change your mind-
On the third Christmas Draco spent with the Order of the Phoenix, he was still at Remus and Tonks' home, reading a book on counter potions and spells for Dark Magic, wondering if he should put up a few silencing charms when one of the Weasley twins' bold laughs severed his concentration. He flicked over another page just as Hermione decided to burst into the bedroom, somehow managing to awkwardly juggle two plates and still look purposeful as she marched towards him.
"Granger, what the fuck?" spat Draco. "Don't you knock?"
"How can I knock when I'm carrying two plates in my hands?"
He grumbled something incoherent under his breath, watching her expectantly. "What do you want?"
"I brought you some Christmas dinner, and some pudding," she said, setting down the plates on his rickety dresser. "And don't pretend you don't love mince pies because I saw you snatch one of Luna's yesterday-
"Granger, I am not in the mood for your Christmas shit right now-
"You're never in the mood."
He growled behind his teeth and massaged the bridge of his nose between his fingers. This was evidently his punishment for allowing Granger to become too comfortable in his presence during the past two and a half years. Between her bossy attitude and her inability to take the hint when he attempted to chase her away with some inventive insults, she was undeniably infuriating, but…he would admit she was entertaining on some level. He quite enjoyed riling her up actually; secretly fascinated by the way the pupils of her chestnut eyes would dilate when they bickered, or the way her features would practically dance when she was agitated, and he still found himself staring when she chewed her bottom lip…
"Granger, bugger off. I'm reading."
"So you like your Christmas present then?" she asked with a smug grin.
"You left this outside the door?"
"Of course I did. And before you think of complaining, I didn't buy it. McGonagall gave it to me in sixth year and I practically know it by heart."
He frowned. "Why did you give me this?"
"Because I know you don't have it, and I've watched you recycle your five books over and over again in the last two years," she explained. "Plus, it's a special edition. They didn't even have it in Hogwarts' library, so I guessed you hadn't read it before. Besides, there are some runes in there that I've never quite been able to translate fully. I thought you could give it a go."
"You're admitting defeat?" he asked, his tone a little surprised. "Bloody hell, Granger. I think this war is getting to you."
"I'm not admitting defeat," she defended herself quickly. "I thought we could…well, perhaps work on them together?"
He cocked an eyebrow. "You would accept me working on them with you? You would want my opinion? Are you dying?"
"I know you're smart, Malfoy-
"Still, you are always so stubborn about these kind if things. You get all fidgety and start tapping your foot in that irritating way."
Her eyes widened a fraction. "I wasn't aware you noticed thing like that."
He met her puzzled eyes. "I notice lots of things."
"Are you going to eat you Christmas dinner?" she asked, and he thought it might be to beat an awkward silence.
"And you won't join us downstairs?"
"You know, I have some chestnuts roasting if you'd-
He cringed and looked everywhere but her eyes. "No, absolutely not."
Hermione shrugged. "Fine."
Draco stared at her back as she retreated out the room, and true to his word, he didn't eat the Christmas dinner.
But he did eat the mince pies.
On the fourth Christmas Draco spent with the Order of the Phoenix, there were no rowdy noises coming from downstairs and no attempts from Granger to convince him to eat with the others. On December 23rd, two days ago, Tonks, Remus, Seamus, and Lavender had been killed in a Death Eater ambush. Granger and Shacklebolt had been the only two out of the small group to make it back alive, and as a result, nobody had even mentioned the usual Christmas celebrations or even mumbled a 'Merry Christmas.'
It was slowly shifting into Christmas evening when Draco huffed out a frustrated breath and gave up, allowing his legs and unwelcome concern to carry him to Granger's room, with a plate of mince pies in his hand. He hesitated outside her room and squared his shoulders before he shoved open the door, and an odd sensation invaded his chest as his eyes found her.
She was sat on her bed, clutching her pillow to the chest, and the flickering flame of one lone candle caught the damp tear-tracks on her cheeks. As he stepped into her room, he thought she looked quite haunting; her skin too pale and her eyes too empty. Next to her was a small tub of cherries, and he'd learned in the last three years that cherries were her comfort food, and she would often work her way through several batches when someone was killed or she simply missed her parents.
Her lips were stained with the juice of them; a rich and deep red that reminded him of blood in the erratic candlelight, and he couldn't decide if her mouth looked inviting or foreboding.
His movements were determined as he approached her, resting the place of mince pies on her bedside table before he seated himself on the bed opposite her, almost sighed with relief when she appeared to finally acknowledge him.
"What are you doing here?" she asked, her voice croaky.
"Call it payback. I have come to pester you about eating something Christmas-related. I couldn't be arsed to make a Christmas dinner, so mince pies will have to do."
"I'm not hungry."
"You managed to eat your body weight in cherries."
She made a small noise, but Draco couldn't tell if it was a whimper or a half-hearted laugh. "Draco, I appreciate the effort and-
"Don't feed me that crap," he interrupted. "Just have a mince pie or sing one of those ghastly songs you like. Look, I'll even pretend to clap along-
"Why are you doing this?"
He stopped and rolled her question around in his head. The truth was, he had no idea. Seeing her so troubled had, for some reason, affected him in a negative way, and he recalled a time when witnessing her so upset would have brought him nothing but pleasure. But now…well, now he just felt like a chunk of his chest was in pain, and he let go of a slow breath.
"Because if you give up, then what hope do the rest of us have?" he said instead. "I…Something about seeing you like this just doesn't sit right with me. It makes me feel…unbalanced."
"It was my fault," she blurted suddenly. "I-I broke my Portkey, s-so Tonks had to give me hers. She would be fine right now if it wasn't for me."
"It wasn't your fault."
"Yes, it was-
"Granger," he hissed. "It wasn't. It's their fault. Not yours. You know that, you're just upset."
She sniffed a little and lifted her hands brush away the tears, her fingers trembling as she did. "Will you stay here for a bit with me please?"
"Uh…" he said uncertainly. "Are you sure you don't want me to get Potter or Weasley?"
"No," she shook her head. "I'd like you to stay please. Would you?"
"If that will make you feel better?"
"I think it would."
He nodded his head once. "Alright then"
And somehow, she ended up falling asleep with her head in his lap, and he had absently combed his fingers through her hair until he'd smoothed away all her knots. And after he'd done that, he'd stroked his fingers down her spine and then grazed them across her upper arms, and while his fourth Christmas with the Order had been far from cheerful or merry, he thought it would be one of his most memorable.
On the fifth Christmas Draco spent with the Order of the Phoenix, he was in Shell Cottage. Shortly after Tonks' and Remus' deaths, they'd been moved here, and had stayed ever since. There were less rooms here, and he was sharing with Longbottom again, and Granger was sharing with Lovegood, however, Lovegood and Longbottom had been romantically involved for a couple of years now, and often requested that they be allowed to share. Subsequently, Granger and himself would end up in the same room, although it didn't really bother him anymore. Yes, he preferred privacy, but if he was going to be stuck with someone, he would prefer it be Granger than Potter or, Salazar forbid, Weasley.
At the moment, they were both sat on one of the two beds with several books between them while Granger worked her way through a tub of cherries, and Draco idly picked at the remains of his second mince pie.
"Okay," said Hermione. "I'll swap you Deadly Dragons: How to Train Them for Hogwarts, A History."
He rolled his eyes. "Granger, you've read that about a thousand times."
"It's my favourite."
"I know, but wouldn't you prefer my edition of Aviophobia: A Guide to Flying without Fear? Merlin knows, you could do with it."
She hummed under her breath and then popped another cherry into her mouth, oblivious that Draco watched the action intently. "No, I really do want Hogwarts, A History."
He cleared the scratch in his throat. "Fine, it's your decision."
"Thank you," she smiled, but it fell when she glanced at the clock. "Only ten minutes left of Christmas Day, and then it's back to normal."
"I find it odd you consider fighting Death Eaters normal," he mumbled. "Surely 'back to hell' would be more fitting?"
"I guess it would," she nodded. "I always feel disappointed when Christmas is over. Even when I was little, I used to get the January blues."
"I will never understand your obsession with Christmas."
"It's kind of a universal thing," she pointed out, but then she tilted her head thoughtfully. "But I guess…well, when I wasn't aware that I was a witch and knew nothing of magic, Christmas kind of created that magic. It gives me that same feeling I had when I started to learn about everything in the magical world; you know, that warm feeling in your heart, like anything's possible."
He stayed silent but stared at her; watched the way her chestnut eyes went wistful and distant as she spoke, and then his eyes dropped her lips, which were again tinted with that cherry-juice shade that was so…tempting. She would do this with him all the time now, lose herself in a rant about something personal, like she trusted him, and he would always just watch her and the way her face came alive. She really had no idea how captivating she could be.
"I guess I can't really explain it to you," she went on. "I mean, you were surrounded by magic your entire life, so you're used to it, but for me, I still get excited and fascinated by it all. I still get this warm feeling, and it's…I think it's how love might feel, you know…Does that even make sense?"
He faltered. "I'm not sure."
She laughed softly, yet another thing about her he found charming to observe, and she as she slipped another cherry past her lips, Draco licked his. He watched her sigh when she looked over the clock again.
"Five minutes," she murmured sadly. "Would you like a cherry, Draco?"
His eyes darted back down to her mouth at the mention of the word cherry, and he hesitated for only a moment before he leaned forward and pushed his lips into hers. He kept it gentle, waiting for either her submission or rejection, but when he felt some pressure returned, he pressed harder, licking between the small parting of her lips and sweeping his tongue across hers. He felt her slightly shaking hand rest against the side of his face, her fingernails lightly grazing across his jawbone and the sensitive spot just below his earlobe.
He latched his hand at the back of her, feeling one of her curls coil itself around his ring-finger as he tugged her closer to him, scraping his teeth across her lower lip and smirking when he felt the indentations of her own teeth there. She dragged in a shuddering breath as he clamped his teeth down on it a bit harder, but then it was all pillow-soft lips again, sucking at each other between Hermione barely-there sighs of bliss. The taste of cherries was everywhere in his mouth and hers and Draco drank it all up, until the first of the midnight chimes from Granger's clock made them start.
They broke the kiss but remained close, laboured breaths colliding between them as the second, third, and fourth chimes rang out.
"Eight seconds," said Hermione breathlessly. "Merry Christmas, Draco."
"Merry Christmas, Granger," he echoed back, pecking her mouth again just as the final chime simmered away. He felt her smile more than saw it, and as she slowly pulled herself away, he discovered there was a new spark in her chestnut eyes that he thought suited her perfectly.
"So," she started, almost shyly. "What was I saying?"
"I don't know," he shrugged. "Some crap about magic and love."
a/n: Okay, I know it's short and probably a bit rubbish, but I hope you liked it! Merry Christmas everyone, and I hope you have a wonderful day! The next chapter of iso should be up very soon! Possibly tonight, although that depends on how much bucks fizz I have…But it will be up within a couple of days! Thank you for reading, and I hope it was okay! Read and Review!