not your typical annihilatrix (furiosity) wrote,
not your typical annihilatrix

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Fic: A Gryffindor and a Slytherin [genslash, Harry/Draco, R] - 12

Title: A Gryffindor and a Slytherin - Chapter 12 - Holiday Answers
Author: furiosity
Chapter Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: JKR owns. I only play. You do not sue.
Chapter Summary: Hogwarts empties for Christmas break -- or does it? Draco receives some very good news (for a change) and that makes having to spend the holidays at school more bearable. Draco scowls because he has to be civil to Hagrid, but his smirk returns in full force as he encounters an old acquaintance. Features a game of chess, a small silver key, a finicky plant, the eating habits of beetles, a lesson in spin doctoring, and a rather compromising situation.
Beta: cornmouse, evilsource, goneril, oddnari
Concrit: Always welcome and appreciated.

A Gryffindor and a Slytherin
Chapter 12 - Holiday Answers

The following Monday, Draco signed up to stay at Hogwarts over the Christmas holidays. Vincent and Gregory did likewise, of course; as did Blaise. He wasn't wanted at home. Pansy had wanted to stay, too, but she hadn't wanted to disappoint her mother. Mrs. Parkinson had made plans for the two of them to spend the holiday in the Caribbean. The weeks passed by quickly; the approaching holidays seemed to spur their teachers to pile as much work on the sixth-years as humanly possible. Draco couldn't wait until the break began so he could have more time to look into the incidents with the second Snitch and those damnable photos.

The last prefects' meeting of the term was held on the day before most students would leave school for the holidays. The Hufflepuff parties had been such a resounding success that the prefects decided to continue holding them in the second term as well. Draco had abstained from voting on the issue. He seethed when the Quidditch matches were rearranged so that Ravenclaw would play twice in a row at the beginning of next term, to allow Hufflepuff time to organise the parties in advance.

The next day, Hogwarts emptied. The only people left behind were Draco, his friends, a timid third-year Ravenclaw boy, a first-year Hufflepuff girl, and two Gryffindor seventh-year boys. Even Potter and his cronies had left, Draco couldn't imagine where they'd gone, but he was glad they were. It was probably the first year in a long time that there were more Slytherins around at Christmas than students from any other house. The wizarding world was in a state of unease; unexplained Muggle disappearances were mounting, and there were rumours of the Dark Mark being used as a portent of trouble rather than an after-the-fact signature left behind by Death Eaters.

On Christmas Eve, Draco and Blaise were playing wizards' chess in the Slytherin common room. Vincent and Gregory had gone up to the Owlery to send off the Potions booklets they'd made for the first-year Slytherins at Professor Snape's behest. There was homework to be done for the next term, but no one was bothering. The school had been decorated weeks earlier; Draco had arranged for a medium-sized Christmas tree to be put into the common room. The scent of pine needles mingled with the aroma of spice and fruit that permeated the whole castle, and even Draco couldn't help but look forward to the holiday.

Blaise was frowning at the chessboard. Draco had taken his queen on the previous move, and the situation was desperate for the white pieces. Draco linked his fingers behind his head and leant back in the carved armchair, smirking. Blaise scowled up at him.

"Just surrender," Draco said. "You know you want to."

Blaise gave him a dark look. "How do you manage to infuse everything you say with innuendo?"

Draco sniggered. "Maybe it's you who manages to hear innuendo every time I open my mouth."

"There you go again," Blaise said, grinning now.

Draco rolled his eyes. As pleasant as it was to have his best friend back, their one-night stand still loomed like a shadow in the back of his mind. The only reason Draco had allowed it to happen was that he'd hoped his... morbid fascination with Potter had been due to sexual frustration rather than anything else. Unfortunately, he discovered differently. The morning after and in the following weeks, his mind would wander to that afternoon in the Forbidden Forest, then to the morning of the Ravenclaw versus Hufflepuff game. What was most unsettling wasn't the wandering; it was the dwelling.

He looked at Blaise, who had gone back to perusing the chessboard with the air of a martyr. Something tugged at Draco's memory, something he'd been meaning to ask Blaise. In the weeks that passed since those photographs had turned up in the Great Hall, the Italian boy had developed a habit of looking everywhere but at people.

The Great Hall. That was it.

"Say, Blaise?"

"Hmm?" the Italian boy looked up from the chessboard.

"Since when are you on a first-name basis with Potter's minions?"

"Minions? Oh, them. Well, I'm in the same study group as Harry and they come around sometimes to study with us."

"I see. Who's the other Slytherin in your group?"

"Nott, why?"

Draco pursed his lips, ignoring Blaise's question. He would start joining Blaise for his study groups. That'd let him get closer to Nott, and it ought to keep Granger and Weasel far away. The sixth-year Slytherins had grown closer since the emergency House meeting two weeks ago. Pansy was being civil to Queenie, and Draco had recruited Sheridan Roper to help with his Defence Against the Dark Arts project. Nott remained the only sixth-year with no allegiances to the group, and that had to change.

Blaise finally made his move, and Draco promptly checked him. Three turns later, Draco won. There was much to be said for distracting one's opponent during a game.


Christmas morning brought a pleasant surprise. Draco, Blaise, Vincent, and Gregory came out to the common room to open presents and saw four identical stockings pinned to the mantelpiece. As Draco shook out chocolate Galleons and several satsuma oranges from a stocking with his name embroidered in silver on the rim, a small note fluttered to the floor. Draco picked it up.

Happy Christmas! I hope you lot will at least try to have fun. Enjoy your presents, and make sure the common room's still there when I come back.


P.S. The house elves had better put these up.

Draco peeled the skin off a satsuma and broke off a section, grinning at Blaise, who was taking the golden wrapper off a chocolate Galleon. Vincent and Gregory were tearing apart their presents from home. Draco glanced at his pile of presents with some trepidation, but he was surprised to see that it was no smaller than usual. His chest tightened and he wondered if his parents had been able to send anything, and whether it had been dangerous for them to do so. He'd convinced himself that his mother had gone to join his father -- there really couldn't have been any other explanation.

Gregory had given him a set of peacock-feather quills tinted black so that the pattern on the feathers could still be seen but didn't seem garish. Vincent had got him a huge box filled with different kinds of Honeydukes sweets: slabs of chocolate, flavoured ice squares. Blaise's gift was unusually thoughtful: it was an illustrated book on owl psychology. In the past weeks, Draco had complained about Pandora several times; she was offended by the fact that he didn't visit her as often and he didn't know how to get back in her good graces. Pansy's present was, as usual, odd. It was an intricately carved ebony box that contained four identical dark green potion bottles, with grapevines etched into the thick glass.

His parents had sent him presents. No one other than his mother would have sent him Numbers and Ideograms -- it was a ridiculously rare Arithmancy tome. He'd mentioned it casually in the last letter he'd written home, before his mother had disappeared. Then there were the usual clothes, books, and sweets from various extended family members; Draco opened these and put them aside.

The very last present he opened was small box wrapped with a black silk ribbon. As he removed the top, he saw a small silver key resting atop a piece of thin parchment. Draco picked them both up and unfolded the note.


Under the present circumstances, I thought it best to give you your birthday present early. When you were born, I had a vault created in your name at Gringotts. Every month since then, I have deposited various sums of money in it, to give you as a gift when you became an adult wizard. The key you're holding opens that vault. Happy Christmas.

Keep safe. Mum says she hopes you enjoy the book. I wish I could say we'll be in touch, but I can't. You're a grown boy now, I'm sure you'll understand.

Make sure you destroy this after reading it.


Draco reread the note three times, still clutching the tiny key. So they were both fine, and they were together somewhere. His mother was all right. Until that moment, Draco had had reservations about Christmas -- he had only spent the holiday without his family twice before and neither had been a happy occasion. He was very much a creature of habit and he'd always preferred the routines of Christmas at Malfoy Manor to the Hogwarts way of celebrating. However, just knowing that his parents were fine buoyed him and he was now almost prepared to be pleasant at the noonday feast.

The feast was fantastic, even by Draco's standards. The Hogwarts house-elves prepared turkey instead of the goose he was accustomed to at home, but it was delicious. The chestnut stuffing was better than anything he'd ever tried before; Professor Sprout told them that it had been made with Chinese chestnuts -- she'd been growing them in Greenhouse One and didn't want them to go to waste.

Dumbledore was sounding even more inane than usual by the end of the feast; Draco suspected it was all the brandy in the Christmas pudding. The Headmaster made them all pull wizarding crackers with him, chuckling as Draco's cracker produced a toy serpent with bright blue eyes. Dumbledore named the serpent Vincenzo, insisting it appeared very Italian. Blaise looked offended. Despite himself, Draco was amused, and Vincenzo took up permanent residence on his bedside table, on top of the ebony box he'd got from Pansy. As he pulled the hangings shut around his bed that night, he could have sworn the toy snake had winked at him.

On Boxing Day, Draco went to check on a Xenodragon plant. Pansy and her study group were doing an extra-credit Herbology project that involved research and care of the plant in captivity. Draco had promised her he'd stop by to check on it a few times a week. He pulled his cloak's hood over his head and strolled towards the greenhouses. This year, Christmas hadn't brought any snow with it and Hogwarts grounds were a rather depressing sight. The lawns were a drab brown, which together with the dark grey of the stone walkways, and the castle, made everything look unkempt and almost macabre.

Gnashing his teeth, he knocked on the door to the half-giant's hut and hoped the great oaf would be in. Pansy had better make this worth his while. She'd promised she would, but girls were so untrustworthy. The door opened and the beastly dog bounded out. Draco stepped aside quickly to prevent the animal from smashing into him. Hagrid's great hairy face appeared from behind the door.

"Mornin'. Can I help yeh with summat?" he said in a gruff voice, looking suspicious.

Draco wasn't sure how extensive half-giants' memory capacities were, and he hoped Hagrid wouldn't still remember the Hippogriff incident. He assumed the most deferential expression and polite tone he could muster.

"I was wondering if I could have a key to greenhouse three, please."

"What do yeh need it fer?"

"I need to check on a project for a classmate. You know, one of the Ravenclaw study groups, for house unity?"

The gamekeeper's enormous eyebrows knotted for a moment. "I'll unlock it fer yeh. Jus' lemme get me coat."

They walked across the grounds to greenhouse three. Hagrid unlocked the doors and waved him in, saying that he'd wait until he was done. Draco walked in quickly, relaxing as he went -- it was pleasantly warm in the greenhouse and he no longer needed to tug his cloak around himself. He looked around for the Xenodragon and spotted it in the far right corner.

It was a large, deep purple-coloured vine-like plant with fingerlike tentacles covered in fine silver hairs. These hairs were one of the main ingredients in the Fearlessness Formula they'd learned to brew in Potions last term. Xenodragons were unique because unlike most other wizarding plants, they were allergic to dragon dung. Considering the amounts of the fertiliser that were used in Herbology lessons, Draco thought it was a wonder the girls had managed to keep the plant alive as long as they had.

He stepped closer and bent down to inspect a tentacle. The Xenodragon reared up, sticking its thick vines straight out; one of them almost hit Draco on the nose and he recoiled. He'd forgotten how aggressively defensive these plants were. He knew it wouldn't actually attack him, but the sudden movement caused his heart to patter wildly against his ribs. He exhaled and backed away a little more, which seemed to mollify the plant; its tentacles retracted slightly. Draco took a critical look at the thicket of vines and noticed a small spider making its way down from one of the appendages. He took out his wand and pointed it at the insect.

"Evanesco," he muttered.

The spider disappeared, along with the silvery thread from which it had hung. Draco made sure there were no other insects anywhere near the plant and left the greenhouse. Hagrid was standing with his back to the doors, his enormous form obscuring the grounds beyond. Draco coughed and he turned around.

"Thank you," Draco said, keeping his tone carefully neutral. He hadn't liked the fact that the great oaf hadn't just let him have the key, but he'd need to get into the greenhouse again later.

"Don' mention it," the groundskeeper replied, locked the door, and took off towards his hut.

Draco hurried back to the castle, shivering. He cut across the lawn and went for the courtyard -- it was closer than having to go around the castle to the main entrance. As he passed through the enclosure, frowning into the wind, he glanced at the statue of Circe on the corner. A small beetle sat just left of the mud-splattered plaque. Draco stopped dead. This was definitely not beetle season, and the markings around the beetle's eyes looked very familiar, even though it had been nearly two years since he'd last seen this particular insect.

Something clicked in his mind and he reached out to grab the beetle. It struggled against his hand, its many feet tickling his palm unpleasantly. Draco shuddered in disgust, but shoved his hand in his pocket and hurried inside. He didn't stop until he reached the Slytherin common room. He took his hand out of his pocket and threw the writhing beetle to the floor, his eyes narrowing as it immediately began to transform into Rita Skeeter. Blaise gave a cry of surprise from the sofa, where he'd been scribbling something on a piece of parchment.

The last thing to disappear were Skeeter's antennae; they retracted rapidly into her temples and she surveyed the common room with a critical stare.

"Not much has changed, I see," she remarked with a smirk. "Good old Slytherin. Do you still have the Sunday house meetings?"

"You were in Slytherin?" Draco couldn't help asking.

She turned to him with a scowl. "Of course I was, you silly boy. Three years ahead of your father, hasn't he told you?"

Draco shook his head, thrown by her mention of his father.

"You haven't heard from your father, have you, Draco?" Skeeter asked in a sing-song voice, reaching for her handbag.

"No comment," he replied, composing himself. She hadn't mentioned his mother. It had to mean she didn't know.

"Like father like son, I see." Skeeter turned to Blaise. "So you're one of the loverboys, then?"

"The name's Zabini," he replied with a scowl.

Draco could see his jaw working and realised that Blaise had made the same deduction he had.

"Have you lot found out who did it yet? Or is this most unceremonious way of bringing me here your way of asking for help?"

"Wait a minute, you don't know who took them?"

Skeeter gave him a perfectly blank look. "No. Should I?" Her eyes suddenly lit up with false mirth. "Oh, you thought I did it? Do you really think I'd still be in this room if I had?"

Blaise sat up, his back ramrod-straight. "You can't Apparate out of the school," he said in a low voice.

"I can run, dear. It goes with the territory." She made a vague gesture with her hand, blood-red nails flashing.

"What do you want here?" Draco asked.

She smiled broadly at him. "Well, your teachers have been most ineffective in discovering who's behind that unfortunate second Snitch incident of two months ago. The 'dirty pictures at Hogwarts' angle is icing on the cake. I'm just doing my job."

"You think you can find out who did it?"

"I can find out anything I like," she said with a wide smile, "as you well know."

"You're not allowed on school grounds, though," Draco pointed out.

"Uncooperative officials are an unfortunate drawback of my profession. Tell me, Draco, whatever are you doing in school? Shouldn't you be with your mother?"

"I stayed to keep Blaise company. Mother understands," Draco answered at once.

In a way, the photographs had been a boon, because Blaise's current situation could be used to explain why the Malfoy heir was spending Christmas at Hogwarts.

Rita looked impressed. "I'm going to mention this in my article."

"By all means, do," Draco said with a knowing smirk. Rita's part of their deal in fourth year had been to make sure Slytherins were portrayed in the best light possible in the articles about Hogwarts.

"Back to business as usual then?" she asked, looking smug.

"Only we'll need to find a different place to meet," Draco said.

"I rather like the statue of Circe, don't you?"

Draco nodded and turned to Blaise, who was looking skeptically at Rita.

"So you're hanging around Hogwarts in your Animagus form? All the time?" he asked.

She scoffed. "Not all the time, that would be ridiculous. I only came today because I'd hoped to take a look around while the castle's virtually empty."

"What about when it isn't?"

"I sometimes spend a few days as a beetle, if I'm following a lead."

"How do you survive?"

"The greenhouses are rather useful," she said with a smirk. Blaise looked blank. "Insects, Mr. Zabini. Ground beetles eat insects."

Draco made a face, remembering the spider he'd Vanished earlier, and shuddered.

They shared some pumpkin pasties and leftover Christmas cake with Rita. Vincent and Gregory, whom Draco had dispatched to send thank-you notes to everyone's relatives and friends, returned shortly and produced Butterbeer from their stash. Draco recounted his experiences during the ill-fated Quidditch game against Gryffindor while Rita's Quick Quote Quill took furious notes. Before the boys had to go to lunch, Rita transformed into her Animagus form and Draco took her back out to the courtyard.

It had turned out to be one of the most interesting and educational Christmases Draco had ever had. He hadn't thought about Potter at all, except perhaps right before going to sleep. That didn't count, anyway.


On the last Sunday of Christmas break, a mangy-looking barn owl brought Draco a note signed R.S. that instructed him to check the sports section of the day's paper. He reached over for the Sunday Prophet that he hadn't bothered with earlier and flipped the pages.

January 5, 1997


As Quidditch teams in the remotest corners of the world replace their old Snitches with the now-perfected Singleton series types, the Prophet's Rita Skeeter has managed to talk to a Hogwarts student who witnessed the game that started it all. The student requested anonymity to avoid the wrath of Headmaster Albus Dumbledore, who many believe has become dangerous and unstable following considerable brain damage sustained during his encounter with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named last year. For the first time since the historic match took place, here is the full account.

The Slytherin versus Gryffindor game began as any other. Draco Malfoy, the talented Captain and Seeker for the Slytherin team, had put together a strong offence. In a cunning move, he recruited Chaser Millicent Bulstrode, the first female Slytherin player in over fifty years. It was one of the wisest decisions in school-league Quidditch lately; Bulstrode's skill on a broom and sure aim far outstrips those of all three Gryffindor Chasers put together. Together with Malcolm Baddock and Andrew Bartlett, Bulstrode proceeded to put Slytherin into a sure lead, which was helped along by the team's promising new Keeper, Blaise Zabini.

Just as Beater Gregory Goyle sent a Bludger at one of the Gryffindor Chasers, Seeker Malfoy spotted the Golden Snitch and dove for it. Almost half a minute later, the Gryffindor Seeker spotted the second Snitch and raced for it. The Slytherin Seeker had caught the Snitch -- but so had the Gryffindor Seeker. As confused onlookers rushed onto the pitch, the Gryffindor captain was overheard accusing the Slytherin team of cheating. This reporter considers that to be rather poor sportsmanship, considering that Slytherin's Seeker had clearly caught the Snitch first.

The referee called the game on points scored and the win went rightfully to Slytherin. Here, at last, we have the story behind the scandal. Hogwarts officials had, for unfathomable reasons, refused to allow the Prophet's reporter to interview the match participants. It's not altogether surprising, considering Gryffindor's lamentable performance -- the Deputy Headmistress is head of Gryffindor house...

Draco was chuckling by the time he finished reading the article, which segued into a synopsis of the story Rita had written about McGonagall's stormy youth. He hadn't appreciated Rita's skill before, but she had managed to make the Gryffindors look like complete buffoons without making a single deliberate swipe at any of them. He supposed she was still being blackmailed by Granger. Draco made a face. Uppity Mudblood, blackmailing a pure-blood witch while turning up her nose at Slytherins. How Gryffindors failed to see their own hypocrisy, he would never know.

The Hogwarts Express arrived that evening. Pansy was all ears at dinner as Draco and Blaise filled her in on what had happened in her absence. She oohed and aahed when they recounted the events of Boxing Day, then pouted because her own holiday in the Caribbean had not been nearly as exciting. She was, however, sporting a nice tan which drew many jealous looks from most of the other girls.

After dinner, Draco headed out of the Great Hall with Pansy on his arm. Blaise, Vincent, and Gregory followed close behind. There were some whispers and stares at Blaise as they passed and Draco distributed death glares liberally. As he fixed a third-year Ravenclaw with a "Just Try It" look, he collided with someone.

"Watch where you're going, Malfoy," the person said.

Draco looked up into the scowling face of Weasley and smirked. "Oh, it's you. No need to apologise then."

Potter was walking in behind Weasley, accompanied by Granger. Draco wondered why they were late for dinner. Potter glanced up with an indifferent expression, but his eyes widened, then immediately narrowed at the sight of Draco.

"Been talking to Rita Skeeter again, Malfoy?" he asked.

Draco raised both eyebrows. "Me? For your information, I was at Hogwarts over the holidays. Besides, don't try to tell me that article is anything but the truth."

Weasley turned beet-red. "I'll show you truth, you smarmy--"

"Ron, no!" Granger screeched. Amazingly, Weasley's fists unclenched.

There was an awkward silence that Draco didn't like. This wasn't how these encounters were supposed to go. He kept staring at Potter, for no reason, really, other than that Potter's hair was sticking up in the back and Draco wanted to see if he could make it lie flat. He cursed himself inwardly -- what the hell was he thinking? He forced himself to look from Potter to Granger. At least her hair stuck up everywhere and it was surely hopeless to do anything to it without a potion.

"Have you got any closer to finding out who did it?" Potter asked suddenly.

Draco shook his head.

"Well, er, Colin brought his -- things," Potter said to Blaise. "Except he said it'll take a week for him to -- er -- sort things out."

Blaise nodded, and Draco wondered why he was getting irritated by the fact that Potter was paying attention to Blaise and not him.

He tugged on Blaise's arm. "Let's go," he said. Blaise obeyed and they set off again. As Draco walked past Potter, he paused and turned slightly.

"You know your way to the dungeon, Potter. Just come get Blaise when he's needed," he said. Potter blinked at him and for a moment Draco wanted to be alone in the dungeon with Potter. He blamed the broccoli he'd eaten at dinner. Broccoli always gave him a funny feeling in his stomach; maybe it had hallucinogenic properties too.


Draco and Blaise had lingered at the dinner table on the first Saturday after winter term started, and were returning to the dungeon later than everyone else. Blaise had promised to help Draco with his Transfiguration essay earlier that week. They descended the steps to the dungeon as Blaise speculated on why he was needed for whatever it was Creevey had planned to do with the photographs.

Sniggering filthily, Blaise suggested that they'd probably ask him and Smith to pose for the camera or something along those lines.

"He said we'll have to lead him to wherever the picture was originally taken."

"Both of you?"

"Yeah. Something to do with magical signatures being stronger."

Draco snorted. "I just hope he doesn't make you show up in your Quidditch robes and insist on taking pictures for a calendar." He raised both eyebrows and imitated Creevey's voice. "It'll be brilliant! Slytherin and Hufflepuff, true sign of house unity!"

Blaise guffawed. "Oh, but in that case I shall have to practise my moves," he said, suddenly turning sideways and pressing Draco against the wall. They were next to the Slytherin common room by then. Blaise placed a hand on the wall on Draco's left. His voice dropped several octaves and he affected a lisp. "I'll be the Thlytherin thtar, reprethenting uth to the world," he murmured into his ear. Draco grinned and pressed his hand against Blaise's chest to push him away.

He heard a sharp intake of breath from his left and turned to look. Potter was standing not a foot away, holding a large piece of yellowed parchment in his hands. He was staring, slack-jawed, at the two of them. Draco supposed that considering Blaise's recently-made-public sexual orientation, he must have thought Merlin knew what about the two of them now. Blaise turned to look as well, detaching himself from the wall as he did so.

"Hi, Harry," he said. Potter continued to gape, but managed a nod in response.

"You're spending far too much time in the dungeons, Potter," said Draco. "It's not doing much for your complexion."

Blaise smirked and muttered the password to the common room under his breath. The door slid open and he disappeared behind it. Draco started to follow him.

"Wait," said Potter.

Draco turned around and raised an eyebrow. Behind him, the door to the Slytherin common room closed with a soft thump. He took a step aside so as not to block the entrance and turned to Potter, who was stuffing the parchment he held into his pocket.

"Shocked, Potter?"

"I didn't mean-- I'm not--" Potter broke off and looked away, staring moodily at something no doubt fascinating at the end of the hallway.

"I haven't got all day, Potter. Is this actually important?"

"It's bloody well important," Potter exploded suddenly, taking a threatening step towards Draco, who backed away quickly. He felt a chill on his back from the dungeon wall.

"Why Potter, you dog, you," he drawled, genuinely amused as he remembered their previous encounter in the dungeon. "You just can't resist, can you?"

"Shut. Up. Malfoy," Potter spat. Draco flinched and made an elaborate show of wiping his right eye with his hand.

"Make me, Potter," he taunted.

Potter's eyes widened and his lips parted slightly, releasing a warm puff of breath that caressed Draco's cheek pleasantly.

"Malfoy, I--"

Draco lifted his right hand and brushed two fingers over Potter's bottom lip, dragging it down a little. Potter made a small noise and flinched, eyes widening even further. Draco's mouth curved into a smirk and he bit his own bottom lip. Potter just stared.

"You what, Potter?"

"Oh hell," Potter breathed, and took off down the corridor, shoulders hunched slightly as he walked.

Draco gazed after him, his smirk a huge grin by the time Potter was out of sight.

Draco Malfoy's diary, January 11th
I am amused. I do believe Potter has a crush on me. It's just a little gratifying, I have to admit. It's one thing to idly fantasise about Potter, it's quite another thing to see the arrogant prat so conflicted. To think I hadn't even planned this!
That we still have not found out who distributed those vile photos is beyond vexing.

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Chapter Notes:
1. Thanks to hp_britglish for the info on British Christmas traditions.
2. Boxing Day is December 26th. Snopes has more information about the day than you can shake a stick at.
3. The Xenodragon plant description and properties are taken from One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi, compiled by ProfStark.
4. Draco and broccoli -- this is a nod to lisikat's post-Hogwarts H/D fic, Twelve Steps, where Draco made creative use of broccoli.
Tags: fic:hp:a gryffindor and a slytherin
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