When I got out of the car, I saw her immediately. She was standing there in her bright orange jacket, up at the ski lift station with the others, Ron, Harry, Ginny, the Weasley twins, Bill and Fleur. They started to wave at me, smiling and I smiled back, holding Astoria tight, pretending I was the happiest man in the world. I wasn’t.
When Astoria’s sister Daphne and Blaise had got out of the car, too, we joined the others and greeted each other. It was so strange. So strange to touch her again. To hold her and kiss her. But not her lips this time. It was strange. No, it was hell. And then to see Ron Weasley’s arm snaking around her… Worse than hell. But I kept smiling.
She had a quick glance at Ron but he didn’t seem to suspect anything. It was still hard for him to accept me as a friend, to try to forget about the past, about MY past, but he did his best. He knew I had suffered much in the war, too, and that finally I chose their friendship, not my parents.
On our way up the snow-covered mountains, in the cable-car, I was watching her. She knew. Oh, how gorgeous she was… The most wonderful girl I had ever met. The Mudblood I used to hate back then… Hermione Granger. Whose one more kiss I would die for.
The chalet was nestled amongst pine trees, we headed for it carrying our luggage and skis while the snow was falling with big flakes. Luna, Neville, Cedric and Cho had arrived earlier and had already started cooking, the pleasant smell of roast turkey filled the air of the cottage.
While Ginny, Astoria and Daphne were setting the huge table, I started to decorate the Christmas tree and I was thinking of Dumbledore, how happy he would have been to see us like this, preparing for Christmas in peace, without hatred and fights, spending the holiday together traditionally, with no magic, with no wands, just fun and laughter… And a bit of romance.
I was about to put a silver tinsel garland on the tree but it slipped out of my hand and fell on the floor, brushing the shoulder of someone who was kneeling at the tree and placing a little glittering angel on a bough below. I bent over to pick up the tinsel when I our eyes met. It was her. It was her and her beautiful brown eyes, the familiar sweet scent of her perfume, the sweet scent of her hair, bewitching me, mesmerising me to no end.
I gulped and wanted to say something, anything, but the door opened and Ron entered with a pile of logs, he looked like a snowman and everybody started cheering madly. She got up and walked over to him, her cheeks a bit red, and Ron kissed her smiling, happily, so naturally… It hurt even minutes later when Astoria cuddled up to me.
Before dinner we had a big snowball fight outside but I couldn’t enjoy it. I kept ogling at her, she was building a snowman with Ginny, I watched the white snowflakes landing on her hair. A huge snow ball caught me off-guard, I heard the twins laugh and some girls scream. I didn’t see anything, just her, her, through my snowy eyelashes.
Harry brought the Christmas pudding to the table, ablaze with blue fire. It was late at night, the ruins of the roast turkey in front of us. The Weasley twins showed us some of their new, crazy inventions, making everyone laugh. Everyone but me.
I watched her and the way she smiled at Ron. When I noticed a brooch on his jacket my heart was shattered in pieces. That brooch… It brought back sad memories. Memories of last Christmas.
We spent last Christmas together, in this chalet. Things were more or less the same as now except that I had no girlfriend. But I didn’t feel lonely. I had my ’new’ friends and they always tried to cheer me up. I talked a lot to Harry… He was really nice to me. And then… I don’t know when it happened exactly but I noticed her. Hermione Granger. I mean, a noticed her beauty. Her eyes. Her smile. Her intelligence. I started to fall for her. Of course, I tried to suppress my feelings… But I couldn’t. She had been living with Ron in London, I think they had been engaged.
On the day before the departure Ron hurt her and behaved in a childish, immature way. She cried all night and in the morning she decided to stay in the chalet for some more days. Alone. She said she didn’t want to see anyone. She wanted to be alone, alone with her pain. So we left without her but on my way home I was thinking of her. Her, being alone in a small cottage in the snowy mountains.
I got out of my car and was about to get my suitcase out when I noticed a small jewelry shop. The jewels were glittering and twinkling magically in the shop window. I walked there and I saw that brooch. A flower shaped brooch. I knew immediately what to do.
I bought it and got back into the car. It was late at night when I arrived at the chalet, my heart was racing madly when I opened the entrance door. Downstairs it was dark and quiet so I crept up the stairs and saw some light coming from the direction of a bedroom.
She was sitting in front of the fire, gazing at the dancing flames, enchanting in her light pink off-the-shoulder pullover. When she saw me standing in the door, she looked shocked but didn’t say anything. I walked slowly up to her and sat down on the carpet, just some inches from her. I looked into her eyes and could see a vulnerable, lonely girl who was craving for some loving, for someone who cares.
I put the small box in her palm, she was surprised but still speechless. Maybe she was too devastated to be rude or nasty to me. I expected a line like ’What do you want, Malfoy?’ but all I could hear was the cracle and pop of logs in the fireplace. Our eyes were locked for some more seconds then she shifted her gaze to the box and opened it curiously.
The brooch was glittering beautifully in her palm. She looked up at me questioningly. I took the jewel out of her hand gently and pinned it on her pullover with slightly trembling hands… On her chest. She didn’t push my hand away but I felt she held her breath. I felt embarrassed, too. She brushed the brooch softly with her fingertips, her eyes met mine and she whispered ’Thank you’ barely audibly.
Then I did something insane. I wrapped my arms around her and held her tight. So tight that I could feel her heartbeat. I wanted to comfort her, I wanted to protect her… I wanted to feel her. She didn’t protest. She closed her eyes and buried her face in my white pullover. I was surprised but happy. Really, really happy.
We were sitting like this for a long time. I wanted this moment last forever. I breathed in her scent, the intoxicating fragrance of her perfume. I couldn’t stop myself and touched her neck with my lips. Gently, very gently. She moaned and it aroused me… I lifted her chin with my thumb, her eyes were still closed… I knew she wanted it, too. I kissed her lips so soft I had never done before with my girlfriends. Her lips parted, she raked her fingers through my blond hair pulling me closer. We were tasting each other, sweetly, slowly, then, as soon as my tongue touched her lower lip she let me deepen the kiss and we lost all self control…
We were making love all night long. I gave her pleasure she had never got from Ron. The next day… It was crazy. We were crazy. We were chasing each other in the snow, running around and laughing like children… Then we went back to the chalet and made love again… I couldn’t get enough of her. We didn’t really talk… We didn’t want to. We lived in a dream and didn’t want it to end. Though we felt this happiness would not last long…
The next morning when I woke up I could find only a letter on the night-table. ’Sorry I can’t do it. I love Ron.’ She was gone. I was alone in the chalet… Me and my broken heart.
I drank my champagne and tried not to look at her… Her and Ron, how happy they were again. Everybody was getting tired, Astoria put her head on my shoulder sleepily.
When I went to the bathroom around midnight, I bumped into someone in the dark corridor. It was her.
’Malfoy… Draco…’ She whispered embarrassed.
’Yes?’ I said and gulped.
’I just wanted to say… Merry christmas,’ she stammered.
’Merry christmas,’ I replied dryly.
’Sorry about the brooch,’ she gasped. ’I… When Ron found it I lied that it was a present for him… From me…’ She blushed. ’I’m so sorry.’
’It’s okay,’ I faked a smile. ’It doesn’t matter now. I hope you’re happy.’
She didn’t answer.
I left her there, standing in the corridor feeling guilty. I got into bed, next to Astoria and tried to sleep. ’Hermione Granger,’ I thought with wildely racing heart. ’I hope Ron will mess it up again… Maybe next christmas…’
A/N: Inspired by the music video of Wham’s Last Christmas, a popular song in the 80s. Wham were a British duo of George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley.