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Chapter 4 : The Ghost Of Christmas Future
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Draco was thinking. Who could the next ghost be? All he knew was that it was female and they seemed to be people he was close to. Pansy had already come, so it wouldn’t be her again. They had also been his friends -Pansy was…kinda - so far so he knew it wasn’t going to be his mother. He didn’t know any more girls he was close to, he knew girls, but none who could be the Ghost of Christmas Future. Draco shut his eyes and rubbed his head. Now was not the time for a migraine.
“Don’t think too hard, your head might explode. Leave the thinking to the professionals."
He knew that voice. Not her. Anyone but her. Draco removed his hands very slowly away from his face and turned to the voice. “Oh no.”
“Weren’t expecting it to be me were you?” Draco just shook his head, “I wonder why?”
“You’re the Ghost of Christmas Future?”
“Yes, do you have a problem with that?”
“No, not that I really have a choice, but still.” He told her out loud, while thinking Why her? Of all the people, it could have been. Is there someone up there who really hates me. “So, is the future any good? Or should you not waste your time and just tell me now?”
“I’m going to show you two possible futures Draco. One that will happen if you keep hating Christmas and the other will happen if you…well…stop hating Christmas,” she told him.
“I don’t hate Christmas, I never have, I just don’t like it. I don’t get why a muggle holiday is necessary for wizards.”
“Maybe Jesus was a wizard, that’s why he could perform all those ‘miracles‘. That would make Christmas a wizarding holiday and muggles would celebrate it because they don’t know about magic and think he was the saviour and Son of God.”
“But he wasn’t a wizard and it’s not a wizarding holiday.”
“How do you know? Where you there?”
“I don’t have to have been there.”
“Why do you always have to be like this Draco?” she asked him.
He answered her with another question, “why do you have to be the Ghost of Christmas Future, Hermione?”
“I asked you first.”
Draco shrugged, to which he received a dead arm and the comment, “you are so annoying.”
The room was silent for a while before Hermione finally asked him the question she had longed to since he said ‘oh no’ when he saw her, “why don’t you want me to be the Ghost of Christmas Future?”
You really should have expected that question, his mind told him. “What makes you think I’m gonna tell you?”
Hermione shrugged, “I don’t really expect you to tell me, I just thought I’d ask.”
Draco was quiet for a while contemplating whether or not he should tell her. He finally decided that he would, he just hoped he wouldn’t regret it. “you won’t tell anyone?”
She shook her head, “no I promise.”
“The real Hermione? Well…I sort of…like…her.”
“I like Hermione, really like her and I don’t want her…you to be the future ghost incase…”
“Incase the future isn’t what you want. You want your future to be with her,” she finished for him.
“A part of me hopes so, but I’m not really holding on to that part just yet. You have to actually be with someone to have a future with them and I haven’t even asked her out. I haven’t got that far. Why are you smiling?”
Hermione nodded in understanding, “no reason. Ok, time to go to future number one.” She stood up, bringing Draco with her and, still holding his hand, took them to the future.
They were in a house; in the living room to be exact. To other people, the house was relatively large, but to Draco, how lived in a manor, it was really small. The room was cream and red; the suites were cream with red cushions and there were two red lamps in diagonal corners. There was a flat screen television on the wall across from the couch and next to the window. It was nice, homey. But was it really Draco?
Red. It can’t be my house, was Draco’s thought.
“Welcome home, Draco.”
Maybe it is.
Draco turned to look at the Ghost and had to ask, “which future is this?”
“This is the future you will have if you continue to not like Christmas,” she answered him and Draco nodded. Hermione turned them both around, “there you are, ten years into the future.”
There sitting at a table at the end of the room was Draco Malfoy at twenty seven years old. “So that’s what I’ll look like in ten years? Not bad.”
Hermione scoffed at Draco’s modest answer (modest in her opinion anyway). In ten years Draco’s hair would be a little longer, just falling over his eyes, his features were sharper and his muscles were more defined, which she could so obviously see through his thin, white shirt. “Not bad? You look hot!”
Draco looked at her strangely, “it’s so strange it hear ’Hermione’ say that to me.”
Hermione was about to say something but a young woman, about Future Draco’s age, came into the room, “Draco?”
“Hmmm?” he replied not turning around.
“I’m going to my mother’s for Christmas now.”
The woman sighed and turned to leave, before she stopped. She turned to look at him again, “are you sure you don’t want to come Draco? You’re more than welcome.”
This time Draco did turn around, “you ask me that every year, you know I won’t go, so why bother?"
She looked down at the floor for a few seconds before looking back at him to answer, “I always hope you will change your mind.”
Draco groaned and his eyes went back to the table, “I have work to do, you should go.”
“Work? Draco, it’s Christmas Eve!”
When Draco didn’t say anything else, she just shook her head and left.
Present Draco looked at Hermione, “who is that woman?”
“Just someone you met. Hannah I think her name is. Future number two?”
Hermione took Draco’s hand and…stayed where they were? It was the same house, the same room.
Draco laughed, “did we even leave?”
“Technically. You bought the house so you live here no matter what future. But the house is brighter with Christmas decorations and you’re not sitting at the table, so we moved.”
Now that Draco looked properly, he realised that the room was covered in decorations and lights, and there was a huge Christmas tree in the corner. “Wow.”
“Yeah, personally I think you all went a little overboard, but even so, it is beautiful.”
Hermione looked at Draco and smiled, “you’ll see. Any minute."
They turned when they heard a woman’s voice in the hall, “come on; living room!”
It was followed by another voice, a younger voice, “I’m coming! I’m coming!”
The woman came into the room, her hair, no longer bushy, was pulled into a ponytail.
“That’s Hermione,” Draco whispered.
Running after her was a little girl, she had the same chocolate brown eyes, but her hair was lighter, “Mummy!”
“We have a daughter.” Draco couldn’t believe this could be his future, it was everything he secretly wanted.
“That’s not all,” Hermione said but before Draco could ask what she was talking about, Future Hermione started speaking, answering his unspoken question, “Gracie, where’s your brother?”
“Mummy!” It came from another room, “Mummy help me!” The boy was laughing.
Then, in walked Future Draco carrying a boy who looked exactly like Draco’s past self. He was giggling uncontrollably as his Father kept tickling him. His face was covered in chocolate.
“What do you need help for Ciaran?”
“Why is he tickling you?”
The young boy looked up at his dad, wanting Draco to answer, “you know I always tell you to make sure the kids can’t reach the food you’ve just baked?” Hermione nodded her head, “well as you can see,” he pointed to his son’s chocolate covered face, “the brownies have cooled down.” They both started laughing causing the children to laugh with them.
Draco put Ciaran down and he ran to his mum, who wiped his face with a conjured tissue. When they were both sure all the chocolate had gone, he ran to the tree and sat next to the presents, “can we open one please.”
Draco laughed as he sat on the floor next to his wife and daughter. Hermione answered her son, “no sweetheart, you have to wait until tomorrow. You know that.”
Present Draco and Ghost Hermione were sat on the couch watching the little boy give his parents the saddest look they had ever seen. “He’s just like you isn’t he?”
“Yeah. How old are they? When did we get married? When did we get together?”
“Ciaran is seven and Grace is five. You proposed just before Hermione became pregnant and, to your Mother’s disappointment, decided to wait till after he was born to get married. Then you had Grace.”
The smile on Draco’s face had gotten wider during the story, though she didn’t know how he could be listening; he was so engrossed with watching his future son beg his parents to let him open a present. “What about when we got together?”
The answer Hermione had in her head made her grin, she had been waiting to tell him this since he told her he liked the real Hermione, “well, you get together soon.” That got her Draco’s undivided attention, “Christmas Day actually. You’re in your seventh year, she’s eighteen as it’s her birthday in September; you’re seventeen.”
“We get together tomorrow?”
She nodded but couldn’t comment, Future Draco interrupted, not being able to take his son’s pleading anymore, “fine, you can open one present. Only one.”
“Mummy if Santa brings the presents, why are they already under the tree?” Grace asked, Draco could see she had a thirst for knowledge; just like her mother.
Hermione smiled but Draco answered, “Santa brings the presents you’ve asked him for, these presents are one’s other people have bought you like your Grandparents.”
“And Uncle Harry and Aunty Ginny?” asked Ciaran, but not looking up as he was too busy looking for a present that was good enough to open.
“Yeah…sure.” Draco sounded sour and Hermione laughed.
“Don’t forget Uncle Ron and Aunty Lavender,” Hermione said still giggling.
“And Uncle Blaise and Uncle Theo!” Grace shouted.
They both finally picked the presents they wanted to open and came back to their parents to open them.
“Come on we can go now,” Hermione stood up and held her hand out for him. Draco took it, still watching the family. His family. Draco was seventeen now, if he and Hermione got together tomorrow then they would have Ciaran in only three years. That thought both scared and excited him.
He had not even noticed that he was now in his common room.
“So…you and Christmas? How do you feel about it now?”
Draco thought. How did he feel now? He still kind of felt the same but different at the same time. He felt different because of his future. To see his children so excited about Santa and presents was different to seeing how people reacted now. He got excited about Christmas because they were excited and Draco loved it. Christmas definitely wasn’t so bad. He would get used to it. He would get excited and he would definitely love Christmas. Draco couldn’t wait for tomorrow.
With the picture of his family in his mind he looked at the Ghost and smiled, “it’s not so bad. I will grow to love it. Next Christmas I’ll be as bad as the rest of them.”
Hermione laughed, “good. I have to go but good luck with Hermione, not that you need it do you?”
Draco lay back onto the couch and closed his eyes.
“Oh, and Draco?” He opened his eyes to see her still here, “Merry Christmas!”
She was gone.
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