Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of the characters.

For Taani S. Hale (aka Devilish Dream),
my Secret Santa baby.

Before Hermione could finally step out of the room, Draco grabbed her hand. Although Draco had much to worry about at that moment—like what he was going to say if she asked why he decided to suddenly take hold of her hand—he was more concerned about the fact that his hands might have been too cold and clammy for her soft, warm ones.

Secret Santa
by Ridley Silverlake

As all his classmates rushed to the centre of the room to take the presents with their names written on them, Draco lagged behind as to not get himself caught in the undesirable crowd. Sure, he liked getting presents on Christmas, but he didn't understand why everyone had to rush to the Christmas tree and push everyone in their way just to get one present that was meant for them from an anonymous giver.

As the crowd dispersed and everyone walked away from the tree with big Christmas decorated boxes that contained their special presents, Draco's Slytherin friends who walked back to their seats looked at him with apologetic looks.

"It's okay, Draco. Goyle and I'll get you a cake for Christmas," said Crabbe, yet everything still remained puzzling to Draco.

Draco walked past his friends, towards the small Christmas tree. To his dismay, all he saw left for him was a box not bigger than his thumb. Was this why his friends felt bad for him? For all anyone could have known, that box could have contained an expensive diamond, or… at least ten galleons. What reason did he have to get upset, though? It was a present from an anonymous classmate he most probably hated anyway.

He leaned in to pick up the tiny box so he could return to his seat, which he hoped hadn't been taken by anyone else.

All around the classroom, Trelawney's students opened their presents, each of which made Draco feel worse and worse about his minuscule gift. Shrugging everyone's joy off, however, he untied the thin ribbon and took the lid off. Expecting at least a plastic candy ring from Honeydukes, Draco was saddened to have found only a small piece of parchment.

meet me in this classroom tomorrow
at 5AM before everyone leaves for the holidays.
Merry Christmas.
–your Secret Santa.

Draco scowled at the note and crumpled it before throwing it back into its box. Whatever git sent him that note was obviously quite ignorant to think Draco would take orders from him.

"Five in the morning?" Draco chuckled. "As if."

The Secret Santa event itself was stupid.

Two weeks ago, just when Draco thought he'd been free from stupid holiday activities, Trelawney planned a Secret Santa event for her class, as an activity for the students to test whatever they'd learned from her. As uninterested as Draco was in Divination, he was pretty sure that trying to predict what your recipient wanted for Christmas was nowhere close to what they had to achieve in class by the end of the term.

Ignoring everything that occurred that day, Draco returned to the Slytherin dormitories at two in the morning right after the Yule Ball—yet another activity he found pointless, leaving aside the pleasure he and his friends took from setting up barriers in the plastic cups so that the punch would spill onto people's dress robes in their attempts to fill their cups up.

Upon returning to the shared bedroom, he took his dress robes off and headed straight to bed. In his cheap attempts to get a good night's rest before heading home for the holidays, he found himself woken by several disturbances, like his roommates returning an hour later, the window with loose bolts swinging open to bring in the cold winter air, and, the worst, Goyle's terrible snoring.

When Crabbe started snoring, creating an unbearable harmony with Goyle's, Draco knew falling asleep would be impossible. He checked the clock on the other side of the room—Four forty-five.

Whether it was because of his being sleep-deprived—causing him to not think straight—or, God forbid, his being extremely curious as to who his Secret Santa was and what he had for him so early in the morning, Draco found himself wrapped in a warm robe, quickly walking towards their Divination classroom, careful enough to not get caught by Filch or Mrs. Norris.

Upon entering the classroom, he sat on one of the elevated seats behind a small circular table covered with a velvety sheet.

Just when the wooden chair started to get warm and he began to feel comfortable, Draco heard the door open and a vaguely familiar voice speak before the moonlight shone on his culprit's face.

"Oh, I didn't think you'd come," he heard her say. This whole time, he'd been thinking the note was from one of his male classmates wanting to play a prank on him. However, this was clearly a planned scheme by one of his admirers to get him alone in a dark classroom.

"You're not getting what you want," he smirked.

"What are you talking about? I'm here to give you your Christmas present," she said. "I had to call you here because I certainly wasn't going to leave your present under Trelawney's dead tree just to have you open it and throw it away once you found out it was from me, resulting in everyone—especially your Slytherin friends—laughing at my face after you'd have proudly announced that the worst gift you'd received this year was from a Mudblood."

Draco raised an eyebrow. When his Secret Santa finally stepped further into the classroom, Draco sniggered at the sight of Hermione Granger carrying a gift box bigger than most of the presents he'd seen in that same room earlier during the day. It had to be about five feet long—but other than the fact that he couldn't wait to see what the box contained, he was more dumbstruck by who his Secret Santa was and that she had him meet her at five in the morning than the size and the possible value of the present he was about to open.

"Granger… You're my Secret Santa?" Draco laughed.

"Shut up, Malfoy. I'm only here because I knew that no matter how good a present I got you, you'd throw it away in a breath in front of everyone because it came from me," Hermione said.

"I thought you were smart," Draco chuckled. If anything, he knew he wouldn't have done anything like that. To Harry Potter, most definitely, but not Hermione Granger. If only she knew.

If she were as smart as she claimed to have been, however, she would have known.

Whether this was, again, because of his being sleep-deprived or the fact that he couldn't hold his emotions in much longer, Draco didn't know, but he felt the urge to let her know how he felt—over the past year, since the moment he received a blow from Hermione's fist to his face, Draco had been feeling an unexplainable displeasing fondness for the Mudblood.

"You'll never truly understand my loathing." Hermione laughed to herself. "Anyway, here's your present. Throw it away if you want, just please don't go announcing to the world how a Muggle-born—"

"Mudblood," Draco arrogantly corrected.

"—gave you the worst Christmas present ever, and then tell them all that that Muggle-born was me."

"Actually, if no one saw this terrible present, I wouldn't have to voice out my dislike for it. So you're in luck today, Granger," Draco stood up and boldly walked to the door where Hermione stood with the massive gift.

Hermione clenched her jaw and raised her eyebrows in disbelief.

"So what's this you've brought for me tonight… err… this morning?" He walked around Hermione to see the box tied with a thick ribbon.

Hermione rolled her eyes. "You have fun opening it. I'm going back to my room. I've got to finish fixing up before I leave in the morning."

"Hold on," Draco said—without looking at her, but instead, at the present—regretting then how eager he sounded asking her to stay.

Hermione, who refused to show any form of obviously being confounded by Draco's request, turned around to face the blonde-haired boy who seemed more than a little anxious to see what the box contained.

Hermione crossed her arms and stood by the door, trying her best to look impatient as Draco untied the ribbon. When Draco lifted the lid off the box, Hermione turned around to leave, thinking Draco wouldn't have noticed her absence as the gift had his full attention.

"You got a Tinderblast," Draco muttered as he took the broomstick and examined it carefully. "This hasn't been produced by Ellerby and Spudmore since 1940."

"I know." As much as Hermione wanted to leave, her prideful intelligence refused to walk away without letting the Slytherin boy know that she, too, knew perfectly well what sat in the box between them. "It isn't as fast as a Cleansweep or a Comet, but I hear it's highly flexible. Although the merchant I bought this from told me its old age would recommend whoever received this as a present to keep it as a collectible instead, rather than to play Quidditch," she said, trying to suppress a smile.

"I didn't know you knew so much about brooms, Granger," Draco chuckled.

"I'm sure there's plenty you don't know about me," she smiled.

"There is, and I'm quite curious about one thing," Draco set the broomstick down. Hermione raised an eyebrow and he continued. "Why didn't you give this to Potter?"

Hermione sighed. "As much as Harry loves Quiddtich, he was raised by Muggles. He hasn't known what Quidditch is for roughly over three years, and he's no idea what value this broomstick has."

"Then why not Weasley?" Draco asked.

"Please," Hrmione laughed. "If I gave him something as precious as this, he'd ruin it from his excitement, that careless ape."

Draco nodded in agreement. Ron Weasley was quite the clumsy fool.

"But isn't your boyfriend currently a Quidditch celebrity?" Draco remembered. "The great Viktor Krum. Surely even with his trophies, he'd enjoy a good collectible broomstick for his glass shelf."

"I… Well… You…" Hermione stuttered irritably. "I mean… Do you not want it?!" She snapped.

"This is mad," Draco shook his head.

"If you think so, then I think I will give it to Viktor," Hermione smirked.

"No!" Draco grabbed the broom. "I mean, if you take this back and give it to Krum, then you'll have to give me a different present, and Trelawney said no one's allowed to send their presents through the post, so… you'll suffer from humiliation in front of my Slytherin friends and all your efforts this morning would go to waste."

"Admit it, Malfoy," Hermione laughed, "you like my present but you're too ashamed to say so."

"Don't think too highly of yourself," Draco smiled smugly. "If you knew Cleansweeps and Comets were faster brooms, you could have gotten me either of those, because Draco Malfoy only settles for the best."

"Well, Hermione Granger doesn't breathe to please Mr. Malfoy," Hermione mimicked Draco's speaking in third person. "Anyway, I'm leaving you here to decide whether or not you're going to give this broom away. Merry Christmas, Malfoy." Hermione grabbed the door and proceeded to let herself out.

Before Hermione could finally step out of the room, Draco grabbed her hand. Although Draco had much to worry about at that moment—like what he was going to say if she asked why he decided to suddenly take hold of her hand—he was more concerned about the fact that his hands might have been too cold and clammy for her soft, warm ones.

"What is it now?" Hermione asked more worriedly—to Draco's surprise—than grumpily.

"I… Err… I'm just…" Draco stammered. He took a deep breath, gulped—swallowing a bit of saliva along with his pride—and softly said, "thank you."

Hermione gave him a warm smile. "You're welcome, Draco. Happy Christmas."

"Happy Christmas," he smiled, and steadily let her hand slip away as she slowly disappeared into the emptiness of the castle's corridors.

In the Hogwarts Express, on her way back home to London for the holidays, Hermione sat silently in the compartment, writing a lit of things she'd need to have done the moment she returns to Hogwarts next term. Halfway through putting into writing her need to help Harry stay alive for and during the Triwizard Tournament, she heard a knock on the glass door.

"Anything from the trolley, dear?"

"No, thank you," Hermione said softly.

"Ah! Miss Granger?" The trolley lady asked.

"Err… Yes?" Hermione looked at her with a puzzled look.

"Ah… Yes, well, Miss Granger, I've something for you today," she said rather excitedly.

Hermione's eyebrows curled.

"Here it is!" She exclaimed after having rummaged through her trolley for a moment, before finding a box that contained, with no doubt, a Christmas gift.

After only having seen it for no more than five seconds, Hermione knew straightaway from whom she had received the present.

"Next time you pass by his compartment, please tell Draco I said thank you," Hermione said before the trolley lady nodded and pushed her trolley forward, leaving Hermione alone in her compartment where she found herself smiling at a package tied with a ribbon of green and silver.

The End.

Happy Christmas. :)

Author's Notes: Finished at last! Haha! I find it frustrating that right when I was just about done with this, I thought of another Christmas plot for Dramione. What's frustrating isn't that I have another plot, but the fact that I probably won't be able to write it soon, and I'd forget about it in the long run. *rage* Me and my bad habits. Ah, well…

Happy Holidays everyone!

Oh, and hello, Secret Santa baby! I'm really sorry for the late present, but I hope you enjoyed it nonetheless.