Title: The Quest
Author/Artist: y3llowdaisi3s
Pairing(s): Draco/Hermione
Prompt: 2011 Prompt: Draco loses his wishlist at school. Guess who finds it?
Word Count/: ~1100
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Harry Potter characters are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No profit is being made, and no copyright infringement is intended.
Notes: Thanks to GB for giving me one of the wishlist items. Thanks to Y for warring with me so I could finish this.
Summary:Draco loses track of his wish list, and while looking for it, he finds so much more.

The Quest

Draco was frantic.

If he wasn't a Malfoy, he would have broken a sweat running around the castle in search of what he had lost. Instead he was quickly bustling down the corridors retracing his steps. He held back from muttering aloud but inside his head he was cursing.

He thought that, after the war, his life would be better than what it was before. But of course, the world didn't work that way.

It simply plateaued. It didn't get worse - he wasn't in Azkaban - but it definitely didn't get better.

No, one could say he was in the exact same place. Instead of having to serve an insane despot, he was at the mercy of a vindictive Ministry. Instead of worrying about his mother's safety, he was anxious about ever seeing his father again.

Draco Malfoy was still in a shit spot, and now, the world would know it.

He knew it was a dumb idea. A seriously dumb idea. He was eighteen years old for Salazar's sake. What was he doing making a wish list?

Well, he knew what he was doing. He made it because he had gotten to the point where wishing was the only way he could make it through the day. His list was simple, it really only had a few things on it. 1. Love, 2. Visibility, and 3. Magic. Three things that he knew he wouldn't be getting anytime soon, but three things that would truly make his life worth living.

His room was empty. He was the only Slytherin to come back after the war and he had hoped to find the list in there. He could have misplaced it amongst the four other vacant beds. A House-elf could have put it in one of the empty dressers.

It wasn't there.

Instead, on the top of the only full dresser, there was a note. He was alone so he could admit that he did jump at the sight of it. It startled him. There were never notes in his room. No one came to his room. The younger years avoided it like he had Dragon Pox and the teachers tried to act like he didn't exist.

Merlin, Draco tried to act like he didn't exist. Sometimes he would wake up hoping to find early symptoms of Dragon Pox solely because it would make the world a happier place.

And after all that he had done to the world, he knew he owed them that bit of happiness.

He stood up tall and eyed the note warily. He cast every spell he knew to detect curses, hexes, and dark magic.

It didn't sparkle, didn't glow, didn't anything.

It was clean.

He sighed in relief.

He stepped forward and gently unfolded the note, let some sparkles fall from the note, and read it out loud.

"You are loved. Happy Christmas."

Well, that was weird. He didn't recognize the small neat letters. He already got his cards from his mother - the only person to ever show him love. He was confused but still let a small sappy smile fall on his face.

He was loved.

When the common room was empty of the younger years - there were only two who stayed over the break - he made a break for the couch he liked to sit on. He threw the pillows off it and reached under the cushions.

He found a few sickles, one Galleon, some string, but no list.

He collapsed into the chair and took a deep breath. He rested his head in his hands and shook his head. He wasn't sure what he would do. He knew if that list was found, his meager existance was over. He would walk into the Great Hall a laughing stock. The next Daily Prophetwould exclaim the troubling woes of the Malfoy heir.

He almost wanted to cry.

Yet, before he could even let go of the sob that was lodged in his throat, he heard a pop. He looked up and there was a gilded hand-mirror floating in front of him. "I see you," he mouthed the words that were written in lipstick and smiled at the little doodle of a happy face.

Apparently he wasn't as invisible as he thought.

He lurked in the shadows through the corridor towards the library. He hoped beyond hope that his luck would change and no one would see him. Even with the two pick-me-ups that morning his quest for the list wasn't making his life any easier.

He walked through the doors to the library and saw that Madam Pince was not in her usual place. The room was empty - it was lunch - and for once, everything happened as he planned. He stalked to his usual table in the back corner where he could hide behind Potion books and still see out into the room.

There was no list, but instead sat the one material item that could make him cry.

His wand.

His ten inch hawthorn and unicorn hair wand.

One that he thought he would never see again. The last time he even held it was a day he tried to forget. He shuddered at the thought, but he was still in awe of the fact that his wand was just sitting there.

He must be dreaming. He pinched himself and felt the sharp pain. He scrambled forward to grab his wand - the familiar rush of his magic flowing through the conduit - and caressed it to his cheek.

"Happy Christmas, Draco," a shy squeaky voice said from behind him.

He spun around and saw Hermione Granger blushing up at him, holding his list. He arched his eyebrow at her - he couldn't believe she was the one who orchestrated this whole thing because she found his Christmas list.

Maybe losing the list wasn't so bad afterall.

He shrugged, maybe his life would turnaround for the better. "Happy Christmas, Hermione."

Thank you for reading. Please take the time to review. This is the last of my mini-fest entries, but I'm also in the middle of posting the multi-chap one called Confessions, so have a look if you like. Thanks again for taking the time to read, hope you enjoyed it.