Chapter 1 : Chapter One: Eyes All Aglow
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Happy New Year!
absolutely amazing image by lilyevanspotter. @ TDA
Chapter One: Eyes All Aglow
At twenty-two years of age, Draco Malfoy had seen his fair share of Christmases. Most of them he preferred not to remember.
Most of them were too dull and dreary and un-festive to want to remember. His best Christmas he could recall consisted of his mother throwing the holiday china at his father after dear Aunt Bellatrix decided to make an inappropriate comment about his father’s less than honourable interactions with a coworker’s wife. Needless to say, Draco was sent to his room early that Christmas to avoid being caught in the crossfire and he thoroughly enjoyed skipping out early. He hadn’t even cared about his presents.
This particular Christmas season had been turning out much like the others, sans the parents and family and talk of Voldemort.
Christmas for Draco had never been something he had looked forward to. This Christmas, however, Draco was certain he’d enjoy because there would be no tree, no presents, no arguing parents, no trouble-causing relatives, and no talk of the Dark Arts or Voldemort
Thrilled to be done with work until at least January second, Draco was absolutely ready to return to his flat and get away from all the nauseating Christmas cheer bedecking the Ministry’s halls. He hadn’t bothered to decorate whatsoever and it was incredibly empowering. There was no one he was trying to impress, let alone wanting to impress, with false holiday cheer. He was ready for a nice quiet day like any other, reading The Daily Prophet and sipping coffee in his pyjamas until three in the afternoon. Or perhaps he would sleep in extraordinarily late with his girlfriend, Asteria. Yes, that sounded wonderfully pleasant.
He was in for a surprise when he Flooed to his flat to smell Christmas. A whole lot of Christmas, in fact.
He took one look around his flat and noticed that not only did it smell like Christmas, it looked like it.
He had dropped his briefcase is astonishment. Who the bloody hell would decorate his flat in all this horrific Christmas junk?
Garlands hung over his doorframes and white and coloured lights were glistening within the garlands. There was mistletoe hanging here and there, much to his dismay. There was a tree in the very middle of his flat. A real, honest-to-god, live tree that had gaudy Christmas ornaments and traditional strings of popcorn and glistening lights. Atop the three was an angel, practically glowing with Heavenly Christmas cheer. His flat smelled like that Christmas tree.
There were even presents under the tree, wrapped in red and green. Beside the blasted tree was a table with a plate waiting to be piled with cookies and a mug that had that white-bearded, red-wearing man’s face on it.
“What the bloody hell?” Draco asked aloud, looking about. This was not something he appreciated. It must be someone cruel, sick joke.
He heard something come from his kitchen so he decided to venture in, his wand at the ready.
“Although it’s been said many times, many ways, a very merry Christmas to – Draco! I hadn’t expected you back so early.”
A tall, beautiful woman turned around, a roast in her hands, ready to be placed in the oven. She was smiling radiantly and looked spectacular. Her cheeks were a candle apple red from the decorating and cooking she had been busy with.
“Asteria, what have you done?”
“Darling, it’s Christmastime and your flat was simply not ready for the season whatsoever and it is Christmas Eve Eve. It needed to be done,” his girlfriend of nearly a year informed his cheerfully.
“Did you ever stop to think that I didn’t want to decorate?” he asked slowly, careful to keep his anger at bay.
“Why would you not want to decorate?” Asteria asked, bewildered. “Christmas is a pleasant, wonderful time with good food and friendly conversation. Everyone loves Christmas.”
“Clearly not everyone. I didn’t want to decorate. I don’t want Christmas. December twenty-fifth was supposed to be just another day for me. I wanted it to pass without any pageantry whatsoever. I didn’t want to have a tree, or presents, or cookies, or mistletoe, or garlands and lights. And I certainly didn’t want any Christmas songs of any kind. I know you were singing that ridiculous Christmas song.”
Asteria was just standing in front of him, roast still in her oven-mitted hands. She was dumbfounded. The man she had fallen in love with didn’t like Christmas? That would not do at all.
“How dare you Draco Malfoy. I just spent my entire day decorating your flat as your present to get you in a better mood. I know this past year has been difficult for you, what with your father going on trial and your mother’s poor mental state and the fact that the Ministry still won’t take you seriously. But I am trying to start a tradition with you and you are failing tremendously in making me believe you want to be with me. I thought that after a year you’d be a little more open with me but it is becoming abundantly clear to me that you aren’t in the least worth fighting for. So I am going to leave and let you become a Scrooge.”
Asteria loudly placed the roast on Draco’s counter and threw the oven mitts on the floor. Hastily, she pushed past Draco into the living room to the fireplace.
“Asteria, darling,” Draco pleaded as he turned around.
“Don’t you “darling” me, Draco. I’m through. I shouldn’t have to work this hard at – oof!”
“Asteria?” Draco questioned her since she stopped so abruptly mid-rant.
“This damn mistletoe!” she cried as Draco turned the corner to catch her stamping her foot petulantly.
Draco began laughing at the sight.
She looked like a spoilt child who didn’t get everything they wanted for Christmas.
“Stop laughing at me and release me so I can go home and tell my mother she was right: you are a lost cause.”
Draco was ready to retort with a solid “no,” but Asteria comment stopped him.
“‘Lost cause?’ How is that?”
“Oh, don’t act like you don’t know,” came the irritated reply.
“I honestly don’t understand what you mean by that.”
“My mother said there was no way that I could possibly thaw your cold, cold heart. And she was right. Christmas was the perfect opportunity; the cheer and the time I would spend with you. I subtly mentioned Christmas plans repeatedly over the season and yet you made no motion that led me to believe you got any of my hints. I then decided to take it into my own hands since you obviously weren’t going to do anything. I thought that it would have been a perfect opportunity to reveal my true feelings for you, especially with the mistletoe everywhere. Of course it would be my luck that after you completely shut me down that I would ironically get stuck – magically, clearly – under the mistletoe.”
She sighed heavily and placed a delicate hand on her hip. “So will you please release me so I may be on my way?”
Draco didn’t move for a few moments. He just ran Asteria’s words through his mind, trying to decipher what she meant. Thaw his cold heart? She hinted at Christmas plans? Revealing her true feelings for him? The mistletoe?
Finally coming to his conclusion, he took determined steps and ended up right in front of her.
“I will do as you wish. And if you would like to leave, you’re more than allowed to.”
Asteria laughed sardonically. “Why, thank you for giving me permission I wasn’t seeking.”
Draco smirked slowly. “You are most welcome.”
He leaned forward and his lips captured Asteria’s.
She had imagined that it would be a quick, dispassionate kiss but that was not the case.
With every fibre of his being, Draco kissed Asteria. He really and truly loved her and he knew that she had indeed thawed his ice cold heart. He had heard the teeny hints about Christmas plans and purposely avoided them. All he could associate with Christmas were his parents’ fights and the discord in the family relations. Nothing was ever joyful with them. But Asteria – Asteria was trying to make it all new for him and he didn’t even let her try.
“Darling,” he finally whispered, his lips barely a breath away from hers, “I want to be able to have happy Christmases with you, for always. I love you and I’m sorry that I couldn’t look into the future Christmases with you instead of dwelling in the past ones with people who were obviously not you.”
Asteria dragged her eyes from his lips and saw that Draco’s eyes were aglow with Christmas spirit and love – for her.
“That’s all I wanted for Christmas,” she finally whispered.
“Now I’ve realised that all I want for Christmas is you.”
Asteria laughed at his absurd use of Christmas songs. “Oh, darling.”
Still standing under the mistletoe, they kissed once more.
“Now, let’s work on those Christmas traditions of ours,” Draco said sweetly.
Hand in hand, they retreated to the kitchen where Asteria had Draco put the roast in oven and help her with the rest of the Christmastime foods.
Now, Draco was looking forward to his fair share of Christmases. He only hoped the rest of them could be as wonderful as he knew this one would be.
AN: Credit goes to Mel Tormé and Bill Wells for writing The Christmas Song, which Asteria sang. The lovely challenge is thanks to Pretty Purple Pelican at the forums.
I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas and I wish everyone the very best New Year!
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