Chapter 3 : The Ghost Of Christmas Present
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Draco still had his eyes shut when he felt the couch fall in; someone was sitting down next to him. He opened his eyes and Blaise was looking at him. “Are you real Blaise or Ghost Blaise?”
“Ghost Blaise. The Ghost of Christmas Present.” Draco only nodded his head.
“Did Past make you feel this way?” Draco gave him a questioning look, wondering why he wanted to know. Misunderstanding why he was given this type of look, Present explained, “did she make you upset? She does that sometimes. Well I say sometimes; I mean most times. You are upset aren’t you? Why are you looking at me funny?”
“Are you always like this?”
“Always like what?” Blaise asked, looking thoroughly confused.
Draco shook his head, “never mind. It doesn’t matter. So, the present, what do you have to show me that his happening right now?”
“What about my friends?”
“They miss you.”
“They see me every day,” he accused, pretending he had no idea what the ghost meant.
But Ghost Blaise saw right through it, “you know what I mean.” Draco couldn’t say anything to counter that. Ghost Blaise stood up, “so you coming or not?”
“You know I was only asking to be polite and you have absolutely no choice in the matter but to come,” Blaise smiled at him.
“I never thought I’d ever say this but I prefer Pansy to you,” Draco told Blaise as he stood up.
“Relish in that fact, after tonight you’ll never say it again.”
The common room disappeared again and instead they were in a room full of people laughing and dancing. There were Christmas decorations everywhere and a huge Christmas tree in the far corner to the right. Draco looked around and noticed that he knew these people; they had all stayed behind this Christmas. He recognised the room too; it was the Great Hall. He was at the Christmas party Blaise and Hermione had tried to get him to go to.
Blaise tapped Draco on the arm and pointed to the left. There, sitting at a table in the corner, were Theodore Nott and the real Blaise. They were talking but Draco was too far to be able to hear them. He found himself walking over to them.
“Come on Blaise, at least have a drink.”
Blaise shook his head. He was sitting with his arms on the table, his head resting on top. It was usually hard to recognise the Slytherin’s emotions but tonight you could clearly tell Blaise Zabini was upset.
“Blaise?” Draco, both Blaises and Theo looked up to see Hermione, “are you alright?”
Again, he shook his head, “Draco should be here.”
Hermione nodded her head but Theo scoffed, “Blaise we’ve known Draco long enough to know he’s a Scrooge.” They stared at him, “yes, I watch muggle movies, I’ve seen the A Christmas Carol. It’s not that big of a shock.”
“I know he doesn’t like Christmas but he could have at least come to the party. He can stand Christmas songs and decorations enough to have a few drinks with his friends.” Even Theo agreed with that.
Draco, sitting in an empty chair at the table, put his head in his heads. He didn’t know just how much it was affecting his friends.
“Affects them more than you thought, doesn’t it?”
“Neither you nor them can make me feel guilty for not wanting to go to a party.”
“But you do.”
“I don’t feel guilt. I do what I want and don’t really care about the consequences.”
“Your friends are your weakness. Blaise and Theo are the only people in the world you trust. And Hermione, though you’ll never admit that to anyone, especially her.”
“I don’t feel guilty!"
“I do! Dammit!”
Ghost Blaise looked at Draco with an extremely smug look on his face. It made Draco really want to punch him, which then made him wonder if he actually could. Would I hit him or would my hand go through him? He decided hitting him wasn’t worth it. It was bad enough he was with a ghost, he didn’t want to be with an angry ghost.
Draco’s friends were still talking, but he wasn’t listening. He couldn’t believe he was feeling guilty about not wanting to come to a party. He couldn’t believe he had admitted he was guilty. What’s happening to me?
As soon as he thought that, he lifted his head up. There was only one thing that could be going on, one thing that could explain what was happening to him and why he was feeling guilt.
“It’s all a dream,” he whispered.
“This has got to be a dream. All of this is a dream, none of it is real. No ghosts, just my imagination.”
“Oh Merlin, you’re in denial! Draco, this is all real. It’s not a dream, you’re not imagining anything. Besides, shouldn’t it be worse if it was your imagination? Instead of ghosts telling you that you should believe in Christmas, you yourself would be telling you.”
“Interesting. Unfortunately that is a very good point. You win; it’s real.”
Ghost Blaise nodded his head, “come on we can go back now.” Draco had never felt so happy to be alone before (yes alone, he was ignoring the ghost - well trying to anyway, he was so annoying!)
“Have you got any Christmas spirit back yet?”
“I got annoyed.”
“You’re a very hard person to turn around. You’re so stubborn.”
“Finally, I was beginning to think you had absolutely no idea who I was. Seriously, don’t you do background checks or something? You must do to know what you’re going to show the person.”
Blaise muttered something that definitely sounded like shut up. There may even have been a few curse words, but Draco didn’t care. He just wanted this night to be over. There was one ghost left; the Ghost of Christmas Future. After that Draco could carry on with his life ghost free. Unless they really did come back next year and maybe every year after that until he started liking Christmas. To see them every year? It was a terrible thought. Maybe Christmas isn’t so bad he mused.
But he knew deep down they needed to prove to him Christmas Spirit was a good thing. So far they hadn’t. They needed to really show him how wonderful Christmas was. Maybe the next ghost would. Maybe it wouldn’t.
“The Ghost of Christmas Future will be here soon. Hopefully she can help you.” Blaise stood up from the couch.
“She? Can you tell me who it’s gonna be?”
Blaise shook his head,” no, you’ll have to wait and see. Bye Draco.” And he was gone.
Draco didn’t tell Ghost Blaise that a part of him hoped the Ghost of Christmas Future could help him too.
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