He watched her enter the Great Hall and wonder how she would react this year, he was again the only one from their year, still at school. Last year they had been friends for the day, but that had changed this year. He had put a divisible line between them. When he had gone home for summer break and his father had heard about the small friendship he had made with her, he went ballistic, sprouting on and on about blood purity, it was hard for the message not to sink in. it had been an accident, he hadn't meant to call her a mudblood, but she was defending Potter so adamantly.
He watched her slowly walk over to him, with a small smile gracing her features
"Hi" he looked up at her in surprise, she was talking to him
"You're talking to me?" he asked confused, he knew he should have spat an insult at her. But it was Christmas and he couldn't bring himself to hurt her. He knew he had made her cry the times he had said it before and he didn't want that reaction today
"I told you last year. I don't like being alone on Christmas, but I want you to apologise and promise me you wont call me that again, you told me last year it didn't matter and it hurt Draco. A lot"
"I'm sorry Hermione. I promise" he yielded to her request
She sat down and smiled at him
"So why do you stay back? Why don't you go home?"
he smirked slightly "My parents have a big ball at this time in the year, and I'm too much trouble to have around. What about you?"
"My parents go on a holiday mid way through December and they don't get back till mid January. They go on the trip every year, they used to take me, but now it would mean pulling me out of school, and I don't want that"
they ate together silently for a moment before the silence got too much for Hermione
"So what did you get for Christmas?" she asked
"The nimbus 2001 you saw me with earlier in the year, it was an early Christmas present, so I could play Quidditch. And no I didn't ask my father to buy the team brooms so he could buy me on to the team, he just thought it would help us beat everyone. I actually worked my arse off to get on the team. It's why potter and you pissed me off so much that day"
Hermione looked over at him with a sad expression on her face
"I'm sorry. I didn't realise, you were just being cruel to Harry I had to defend him somehow"
"And I had to defend myself" he replied slightly agitated
she looked away "mudblood" she whispered
"Hey look its Christmas, I apologised, we had fun last year. Cant we for one-day just hang out?" he asked hopefully
"of course, I'm sorry I didn't mean to put a downer on Christmas"
"Soo what did you get for Christmas?" he asked looking over at her
"Books, its all everyone thinks I like, not that I mind, but what am I going to do with 'calligraphy for dummies'?"
"so all you got, were books?"
"Yup" he started laughing at this
"What?" she demanded
"Come on, we are going to have fun today instead of you being completely alone with books" he grabbed her hand and pulled her towards the door "I learnt some new stuff to do in the snow, it's going to be great" she heard him laughing but all she could think about is how warm his hands were against hers
they were headed towards the black lake, but instead of it's normal murky water, it had a thick layer of ice on top.
"My aunt taught me to skate last time I went home, she told me it was a noble type thing to do. I thought it was fun, have you ever ice skated?"
she shook her head. He pointed at her shoes and whispered "patí sobre" her shoes suddenly had a thin line of metal on the bottom of them, he turned his wand on his own shoes and repeated the spell
"Come on" he held his hand out to her again, which she took reluctantly "You can trust me, promise"
he guided her onto the lake and slowly helped her learn how to balance and the correct motions that needed to be taken to create momentum. After an hour she had got the main gist of it. she watched him glide gracefully around her coaxing her to try go a little faster, not long after they were racing up and down the ice. Slowly they got tired and just began slowly sliding next to each other
"Are you afraid?" he asked, unfortunately she knew what he was talking about. She didn't answer straight away, they just slowly continued sliding next to each other
and then very quietly answered "Yes. I mean it was a muggleborn last time, what if it's me this time" she was too afraid to look at his face to see his reaction
he gently took her hand in his. It had the same warmth that she experienced before
"It'll be okay in the end. I'm sure of it"
"How can you be so sure?" she looked up at him with sad eyes
"Just a feeling" he replied absently "Do you think Potter is the heir?"
"No" she answered straight away without even having to think
"Neither do I" she looked over at him in surprise
"I thought you would?"
"No the person who is the heir would have to be in Slytherin, it's the only thing that makes sense"
they continued skating together making more polite conversation, then the dark one they had entered into not to long before. The pair skated for hours, not noticing the time, or the fact they were starving, or the fact that they hadn't eaten in hours. It wasn't until Draco looked up that he realised
"Come on it's getting dark, we should go back up to the castle" as soon as they stepped off the ice, the thin layer of metal disappeared from under their shoes.
Together, side by side, they walked up to the castle, every so often bumping against each other. once inside the castle they made their way to the great hall where the feast was in full swing. Hermione and Draco made their way to the second year table and started gobbling as much food into their mouths as possible
"Are you going to read to me again?" he asked curiously
"Well I'm going to the library after dinner if that's what you mean, you can join me if you want"
"Of course!" he replied a little to quickly and she couldn't help but giggle at his eagerness
He didn't know why he was so comfortable around her at Christmas, but it seemed like that one time a year he could be completely honest and not have to worry about being judged.
They walked together to the library, where they returned to the spot they had read together last year. This year Hermione returned with a small old looking book.
"What is it this year?" he asked, wondering what she would read this year
"It's called a little princess, it's a classic"
"What's it about?"
"A girl who believes she's more then what society deems she is after her father dies"
"Sounds interesting" he told her absently, and then closed his eyes, so he could listen to her voice as she started to read
Again, she closed the book 10 minutes before curfew. He didn't ask her why she stopped, just simply stood up and offered her his hand.
Once outside the library Hermione turned to give him a hug, one he returned, they stood there for a moment hugging, before they pulled apart. She turned to leave
"Hermione wait" she turned to she him put his wand away "here"
he placed a small rose in the palm of her hand
"My father taught me the spell, if I did it right, it should change colour with the weather" she just smiled and pulled him into another hug
"Thank you Draco" she placed a small peck on the side of his check before beginning to walk away
"Happy Christmas Draco"
"Happy Christmas Hermione"