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Chapter 13 : A Christmas to Remember
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“What the hell was that for?!” Draco shouted, wiping the blood on his lip.
“What do you think it was bloody for?! You stay away from Hermione! She doesn’t need the likes of you hanging around!” Ron screamed. Draco’s eyes hardened and he stepped towards Ron.
“And what makes you think I even want to be around a filthy mudblood like that? I just feel sorry for her, that’s all it ever was,” he spat. “She is nothing! Someone to speak to because I have hardly anyone else! She’ll always be a mudblood to my family so you have nothing...NOTHING to worry about.” Hermione stopped struggling against Neville’s arms and blinked. Everybody that was crowded around the seventh years gasped quietly. The seventh years froze. Harry and Blaise released their grip on Ron but even he stood still. Draco breathing heavily glanced towards Hermione and blinked. The one person she had begun to really trust was now the one person she never wanted to lay eyes on again. She blinked back the tears welling in her eyes and swallowed the lump rising in her throat. Draco looked like a fish gulping for air as he realised what words had left his mouth.
“Hermione...I...” Draco took a step towards Hermione.
“Don’t....just...don’t,” she whispered. She gathered up the bottom of her dress and in a daze walked briskly out of the great hall, the tears falling from her eyes.
“Sorry, what did you say?”
“Would you like another drink?” He asked but she shook her head gently. “He’s apologised countless times Hermione, you should hear him in the boys dormitory constantly complaining about what he’s done, what you meant to him. I know it’s difficult but will you ever forgive him?”
“I don’t know Neville, I just don’t know” She folded up the blanket on her lap and rose from her seat. “Come on we both need some sleep to prepare ourselves for the early Christmas morning tomorrow,” she smiled and headed to her room. She didn’t know what tomorrow would bring, what new apology Draco would use or how much effort she would make. She crawled into bed and soon fell into a deep sleep.
“Come on mate, time to go down” Blaise grinned.
“What’s the point, nothing’s changed, Hermione still hates me, she won’t want my present, she won’t even look at me and did I mention she still hates me?” Draco sighed.
“Look Malfoy, Hermione can hold a grudge, trust me. But you two were beginning to become close so she’ll forgive you eventually. I may not have liked what you said but it’s clear you’re both depressed over the fact that you haven’t spoken so you need each other. Just try your best,” Harry sighed and stepped out of bed. The boys walked down to the common room to find the others already gathered around the fire.
“Only as one can the light beat the night,”
The final line of the Malfoy prophecy, so Draco truly believed she was the one being spoken about. The girls gasped as they held the necklace in their hands while Hermione opened the next present, a rectangular shape. Her eyes widened slightly as she picked up the soft brown leather brown book tied with a slightly worn cream ribbon. Imprinted on the front in gold lettering was “Romeo and Juliet,” She opened the cover and she gasped at the printing on the first page, “First edition,” She held in her hands the very first printed edition of Romeo and Juliet. Surely the final gift could not be any more extravagant and she was right. It wasn’t extravagant, it wasn’t expensive, it was simple but it was, however, the most personal and thoughtful gift she had ever received. She took the dropper from the glass bottle and squeezed the glistening water onto the deep scar on her wrist and before her eyes it slowly vanished and her skin looked as good as new. She glanced up from her gifts and saw everyone but Draco watching her. Instead he sat fiddling with his thumbs looking anywhere but at her and the gifts. Silently Hermione rose and left the room. Draco leant his head back against the sofa and sighed; it seemed nothing was going to make it up to Hermione. However she soon returned from her room with a present in her hand. She sat down and handed a cautious Draco the gift. He unwrapped the gift and stared at the black bottle in his hands. Nobody said anything until Blaise spoke up.
“I hate to be rude, but...eh...what is it?”
Hermione took the bottle from Draco’s hands and unscrewed the glass lid. Kneeling at his side she rolled the sleeve of his arm up revealing the dark mark that he so often covered. His jaw clenched as Hermione’s fingers brushed over the cold skin. He sat patiently as did everyone else, curious as to what this was all about. Hermione placed Draco’s arm in front of her and slowly poured the white liquid over the dark mark. Draco couldn’t feel anything but a tingling sensation in his arm. The seventh years gasped to themselves as they witnessed the milk liquid bubbling on his arm until it vanished and the dark mark slowly faded away from Draco’s milky skin. Hermione screwed the lid back onto the bottle and sat with her hands in her lap silently. Draco still sat staring at his arm in disbelief, he had tried everything to rid himself of his dark memories and Hermione had done it for him. The girls’ eyes began to tear up as Draco leant forward slowly and wrapped Hermione in his arms. He didn’t expect her to forgive him, he just wanted to say thank you but she soon wrapped her arms around him and buried her face in his jumper.
“I’m sorry,” Hermione whispered.
“You have nothing to apologise about, it was my entire fault,” Draco sighed and let go of Hermione.
“Well I’m glad that’s finally sorted! You could cut the tension with a knife whenever you two were in the same room!” Pansy laughed and collapsed on the sofa.
“Not to mention Draco constantly looking like a lost puppy!” Blaise chuckles but stopped when a pillow came flying towards his face from Draco’s expression.
“It’s snowing!” Padma called from the window and everyone rushed towards the window to get a look as if they had never seen snow before.
“Who’s up for a snowball fight?” Pansy called from the door as she pulled on her Slytherin scarf and gloves, already prepared to run out into the cold air. Nearly everyone agreed apart from Hermione who headed over to the kitchen.
“Actually I think I’m going to stay inside for a bit, write to some of my muggle friends,” Hermione smiled as she pushed the button on the coffee machine. Draco stood up and headed to the fridge,
“I think I might stay in too, catch up on some of the bills for the manor,” Draco sighed.
“Oh wow you two lead such exciting lives,” Pansy laughed as she exited the common room behind Harry and Ron.
“I’ll be back in a second,” Draco smiled and dashed up to his room. Hermione took the opportunity to open the hidden door of the bookshelf and lift out a large and plump turkey. She turned around and noticed that Draco had returned with a turkey the same size. The two looked at each other and laughed.
“ I felt like I needed to keep up the muggle tradition of cooking Christmas dinner,” Hermione smiled and placed the turkey on the counter. “So, what’s your reason?” she asked whilst removing the vegetables from the basket that they hung in.
“Well before the war, Christmas was always the one day that it was just myself, my mother and my father. No extended family and no friends, just us. We would open our presents together by the tree and then all three of us would cook dinner together in the kitchen without house elves. I suppose I wanted to keep up my family tradition,” Draco smiled as he placed the prepared turkeys in the oven. They spoke as if nothing had ever happened between them while they chopped vegetables and wrapped sausages in bacon. They laughed in Christmas spirit when they opened two crackers and told the lame jokes within and placed the thin paper hats on their heads. Muggle crackers were so much less extravagant as magic crackers. It wasn’t long until everything was cooked and they began to prepare the table. A gold table cloth covered the oak table and ten placemats were placed in front of each chair. A turkey was placed perfectly at each end of the table, bowls of vegetables scattered around and bottles of champagne stood in the centre. Draco stood at the end of the table and admired their work.
“It looks perfect,” Hermione smiled and clapped her hands.
“Thanks to you,” Draco grinned looking into her deep brown eyes. Hermione couldn’t help but remember the kiss that they had shared and it was if Draco could read her mind.
“What did you think of that night?” He asked still staring at her.
“I’m sorry, what?” She cocked her head to the side.
“The kiss, what did you...uh...think?” he asked still not taking his eyes form hers. She shrugged.
“I’ve had better,” she smirked and Draco faked a hurt expression.
“Well, I’ll have to do something about that at some point,” he smiled, absent mindedly raising his hand to her chin but was interrupted by the sound of laughter and the common room door opening. Everyone came in with wide, sparkling eyes when they saw the lavish table just as Hermione and Draco stepped apart.
“Wow the house elves really outdid themselves,” Harry said.
“Actually Draco and I spent the morning preparing and cooking this,” Hermione grinned and motioned for everyone to take a seat.
“Since when can you cook Malfoy?” Harry laughed.
“I’ll have you know Potter that I’m a very good cook,” He said taking the last of the vegetables from the kitchen counter to the table. As he did so he saw Hermione stood by the window. The sunlight shone through the frosty window panes highlighting the golden tones in her curly locks. He saw the small smile playing on her delicate lips as she opened the blue velvet jewellery box and stared at the necklace he had given her. Silently he walked behind her and took the necklace from the box. Pushing her hair to the side he placed the necklace on her chest and fastened the clip at the back. She turned around and smiled.
“It look beautiful on you,” Draco smiled and Hermione blushed.
“We better get to the table before Ron gets his way and eats all the food,” Hermione laughed but Draco scowled,
“If I had my way he wouldn’t even be here,” He said in a low voice but they took their seats next to each other anyway. Hermione didn’t say much throughout the meal, instead she sat and observed people like she used to. She saw Padma give Anthony a kiss on a cheek, they had been together since the Casino night and Hermione couldn’t help but smile when she saw them together. She also noticed the closeness between Harry and Pansy.
“So what should we toast to?” Anthony asked raising his glass.
“To relationships,” Padma smiled up at him.
“To new friends,” Harry raised his glass and smiled down at Pansy.
“And to old ones,” Ron added next to Neville
“To our final year,” Hannah raised her glass.
“To the loved one’s we lost,” Blaise raised his glass to Hermione who looked up at Draco,
“To new beginnings,” She smiled.
“And to the struggles we will tackle together,” Draco smiled back down at her and they all clinked glasses together. It wasn’t long after their meal that the sky began to darken and they all left the castle together to watch the fireworks.
“Wow,” Hermione breathed as they reached the edge of the lake. Every tree they passed was filled with enchanted lanterns that softly changed colour under the night sky. Free house elves walked around in Hogwarts scarves voluntarily handing out mugs of hot chocolate to the students. At the edge of the lake Hermione could make out the outline of Hagrid laughing next to the head mistress with a large blanket wrapped around them. Hermione shivered and shoved her hands in her pocket. Draco removed the Slytherin scarf from his own neck and gently wrapped it around Hermione’s. She smiled and buried her face in the warm wool that smelled of Draco’s cologne. Before long Weasley fireworks began to fill the air, green, silver, red, gold, blue and bronze sparks filled the black ink sky with different shapes. All around her was the sound of exploding and a distant owl screeching getting closer and closer until Draco’s eagle sat on his shoulder with a letter in his mouth.
“It’s for you, from the orphanage,” He whispered handing Hermione the letter. She nodded towards a distant tree and Draco followed her so that she could open the letter without anybody else. Draco stood still and watched Hermione as she stared blankly at the envelope.
“This could tell me more about my family but on the other hand the orphanage may know nothing,” she sighed.
“There’s only one way to find out,” he said giving her a comforting smile. With shaking hands she ripped open the envelope and began to read. Draco watched her facial reaction change as she read the letter. It started off with a slight smile which soon turned to a look of anxiety and then one look that he couldn’t mistake. Fear. Hermione’s eyes widened, she dropped the letter and sprinted back to the school alone.
“Hermione!” Draco called after her but she was already too far away. Leaning down he picked up the letter and began to read.
Dear Miss Granger,
Thank you for your enquiry and the enclosed proof of identity. We offer you our condolences for the loss of your mother; she was loved in the orphanage by us all. Unfortunately we do not have any record of your mother’s biological parents but we do however know of who adopted her at a young age. He was in fact a previous child at the orphanage before he began to attend a boarding school in Scotland. His name on record is Tom Marvolo Riddle.
Author's note: Hello all! So I hope you enjoyed Christmas at Hogwarts! There shall be much, much more in the next chapter relating to the ending of this one so I hope you are all on the edge of your seats! I'm been trying my hardest to update and it's going well so far! Thank you for reading and reviews are appreciated :)
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