Draco appeared in the parlor of the Manor to find his mother and father sitting together on the couch having tea. “Hello, Mother. Hello, Father.”
Narcissa Malfoy stood up and walked to her son. “Look at you. I swear you’re taller than when you left for school.”
Draco smiled as his mother lightly touched his shoulder. His family wasn’t big on signs of affection. He leaned forward and kissed her on the cheek. “You look radiant as usual, Mother.”
Looking at his father, Draco walked forward and held out his hand. “Father, how are you?”
Lucius Malfoy shook his son’s hand. “I’m doing well. How are things going at school?”
“I’m doing well in all of my classes.”
Delilah spoke from behind Draco. “He has a new girlfriend who almost hexed me before I could explain why I kissed Draco on the cheek.”
Draco turned and shot Delilah a look before he said, “I was going to tell you about Ginny at dinner.”
Narcissa gestured towards a chair and said, “Sit down. Tell us now.”
Draco sat down and looked at his hands. He wasn’t sure what to say. “She’s a year younger, she’s very smart, and she has a fierce temper,” he added with a laugh. He looked up to see his mother smiling, and his father looking thoughtful. “She’s a Pureblood, but her family doesn’t have much money.”
“What is her family name?” Lucius asked a little too casually.
Draco maintained a calm facade. He wasn’t sure what his father thought of the Weasleys. He had heard his father ridicule Ginny’s father before, because of his relatively low position in the Ministry. “She’s the youngest of the Weasleys,” he admitted and waited to see what would happen.
Narcissa Malfoy smiled. “I remember her mother from school. She was a tiny thing with red hair. She seemed smart enough. I do remember something about her temper, though.”
Lucius Malfoy smiled. “I believe she threatened to tie Arthur to the Whomping Willow Tree for some offense. If I remember correctly, she caused a scene in the Great Hall.”
Draco chuckled. “I could see Ginny doing something like that. She was annoyed at her brother the other day at breakfast, so she walked over and sat down at the Slytherin table to eat. She acted like it was no big deal. Then Pansy’s boyfriend came to eat at our table too. It was like she broke through some kind of barrier.
Narcissa looked at her husband before she said, “It sounds like you respect her.”
“That is a welcome change from your attitude towards Pansy,” his mother commented.
Draco felt an odd pang of guilt. “I think Pansy and I brought out the worst in each other. I’m not sure why. She is dating a nice fellow now. He seems to make her happy.”
Narcissa nodded in approval. “That is good. Pansy may not have been right for you, but she deserves to be happy. Now, about your girlfriend, are you getting her a gift?”
“I want to get her the new Nimbus broom.”
Draco watched as his mother’s composure faltered. “A broom? Are you sure? Wouldn’t she prefer a nice piece of jewelry?”
“I don’t think so. We were reading an article about the broom, and she went on and on about it. She asked if I would take her flying if I received one for Christmas.”
Lucius Malfoy spoke in an amused tone, “It sounds like she wants a broom.”
Draco shrugged. “That’s what I thought. I was going to send an owl to Diagon Alley and ask that one be delivered here this afternoon.”
Narcissa sighed. “I guess that is a good idea.” She turned to her husband and said, “If you ever gave me a broom as a gift, I’d have beaten you over the head with it.”
Lucius smirked. “I know.”
Draco watched this interplay between his parents with interest. When he left in the Fall they had been polite to each other. Now, they were behaving rather warmly towards each other. He wondered what was going on.
A House Elf appeared with another tea service for Delilah and Draco. “Tea, Master Draco?” the elf asked as she beamed at him.
“That would be lovely,” Draco informed the House Elf that had been with him since he’d been a child. He watched as she set up the tea service for himself and Delilah, and he wondered what Ginny’s response would be to hearing the Elf refer to him as Master. She’d probably roll on the floor with laughter.
Delilah cleared her throat, and Draco looked up. “Daydreaming about someone?” she asked as she passed him a plate of biscuits.
Draco smirked at her. “Just running through my Christmas list in my head. Are you done shopping?”
Delilah batted her eyes at him as she said, “I’ll never be done shopping.”
Narcissa laughed, and the two women started talking about the latest fashions. Draco looked over to see his father openly admiring his mother. He caught his father’s eye and raised an eyebrow. He was surprised when his father acted like he’d been caught doing something wrong.
After tea, Draco followed his father into his office. As soon as they were seated, his father said, “I have something to discuss with you.”
Draco folded his hands in his lap and waited. His father continued, “You may have noticed that your mother and I are getting along better than usual.” Draco nodded. “Your mother and I have been spending more time together since Allison and I stopped seeing each other.”
“You both seem much happier. I’m glad for you.” Draco wanted to ask what happened to Allison, but he knew that would be pushing the limits of acceptable behavior.
“I wanted to warn you that on Christmas Eve I won’t be going off with the other men. Your mother asked that the three of us stay in the parlor together, and that we encourage the other guests to do the same thing.”
“I’d like that. Ginny told me about her family and how they all sit around together after dinner and talk. I thought it sounded nice.”
“Good, I’ll tell your mother that the matter is settled. She’ll be pleased.”
Draco smirked at his father. “We’ll still get to drink, won’t we? I don’t think I can take an entire evening with Mrs. Zabini if I’m not allowed alcohol.”
Lucius Malfoy smiled at his son. “I think we should serve lots of warm brandy, or perhaps mulled wine.”
“Which has a higher alcohol content?”
His father stood up with a smile. “I do miss your sense of humor when you’re gone.”
“I wasn’t joking.” Draco mock protested as his father ushered him towards the door.
Ginny was happy to be back home. Her mum was bustling about the kitchen, and her father was talking to Ron and Harry out on the porch.
“Mum, how did you know you were in love?” Ginny asked quietly.
Her mum stopped what she was doing and turned around with a smile. “I know this sounds crazy, but I knew your father was the one the first time we kissed. I’d kissed other boys, but none of them made the hair on my arms stand up like your father did.”
Ginny laughed. “ I think I know what you are talking about, but how do you know it’s not just...hormones or something?”
Pouring two cups of tea, Mrs. Weasley sat down at the table and gestured for Ginny to do the same. “That is not easy to answer. I guess it if wears off, it’s just lust, but if it sticks around, it’s more than that.”
Ginny sipped her tea. “I think I might be falling in love.”
Ron moaned from the doorway, “No, no, no. I did not just hear that.” He turned to look at Harry. “Tell me she said something else.”
Harry winked at Ginny. “All right. Let’s see. She said, ‘I think I might be eating a slug.’
Ron smiled. “Thank you, Harry. That makes much more sense.”
Ginny chuckled as Ron and Harry walked by. She looked at her mum. “Poor Ron, this had been hard on him. I know Draco can come off as an insufferable git, but he can also be really nice.”
Molly Weasley chuckled. “You just described all men, darling.”
When she finished laughing, Ginny sighed. “I need to get him a present for Christmas, but I don’t know what to buy him because he has everything already.”
“Well, you could knit him a sweater.”
“With the way I knit? It would almost be worth the look of horror on his face, just to hand him one of my lumpy creations.”
Molly Weasley thought for a moment. “If he has everything money can buy, then you need to give him something money can’t buy.”
“Mum, you lost me.”
“Well, why don’t you send him a package of homemade cookies, warm from the oven? I bet he’s never had that.”
Ginny drank her tea and thought. “If I can’t come up with a better idea, that will have to do.”
“Let’s get to baking, and you can think about your options.”
Ginny stood up and helped her mum clear the table so they would have room to work. “He likes Quidditch. I could get him some type of Quidditch book or something.”
“That might work. After dinner tonight, I’ll go to Diagon Alley with you, and we’ll see what we can come up with.”
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