This year's Christmas breakfast turned out to be more awkward than Harry, or even Ginny, could have imagined. He had expected some uncomfortable and forced conversation between himself and Ginny, or maybe someone would unintentionally slip by mentioning their former relationship, but he had never imagined that all the awkwardness would belong to Ginny as she blushed throughout breakfast and tried not to make eye contact with Draco.
He wondered what was going on between the two of them, but the perplexed look on Draco's face when he asked her to pass the sausages and she refused to acknowledge him, even though the plate he wanted sat closest to her left hand, convinced Harry that the only person who had a problem was Ginny. Over the course of the meal, she sat silently in her seat, keeping her head down—all the better for her, because Mrs. Weasley's monstrous glares would have knocked her dead had she lifted her eyes and seen them. The glares, mingled with Draco's alarmed expressions of doubt concerning Ginny's intelligence, should have been enough to embarrass her into politeness, but Ginny's lap reassured her that it was quite alright for her to be rude this fine Christmas morning.
“You took the bows off of your face, Mr. Draco,” said Victoire, who had the honorary place at the table between her parents and across from the Unusual Christmas Guest.
“Yes, I did,” Draco said stiffly as he primly cut up a sausage that Hermione had been kind enough to pass him.
“Why?” asked Victoire, tilting her head to one side in question.
Fleur must have been aware of the danger of Victoire's innocent questions because after one look at Draco's face, she was answering for him.
“We only put bows on presents, darling. Mr. Draco is not a present.”
Unfortunately, just as Fleur said this, Ginny was taking advantage of everyone's attention being diverted off of her to gulp down her orange juice, which she promptly spit out all over the table.
“Ginny!” Mrs. Weasley cried while Ginny stared at everyone horror-struck.
“I-I'm sorry,” she muttered, lowering her head once again as she pulled out her wand and cleared the mess she had made.
Mr. Weasley disrupted the uncomfortable silence—embarrassed by his daughter's strange behavior, no doubt—to say, “Hermione! Er – why don't you tell us about some Muggle Christmas traditions, hm?”
Ginny longed to object to this suggestion. The last thing she needed was reminding of the silly letter she'd written to Father Christmas—and the disastrous consequences of such a deed. She knew it would offend Hermione—thereby angering Ron, and, strangely enough, delighting Draco—to protest, so she stayed silent.
“Oh! Well, our traditions aren't too different. Muggles decorate trees and put gifts underneath them, and they have mistletoe, just as you do, though I suppose wizards adopted those traditions from Muggles some time ago. The fundamental difference lies in the history of our celebration of Christmas, and there's also Boxing Day...” She continued to drone on, sounding too much like a textbook to make the topic interesting for anyone except Mr. Weasley.
Ginny drowned Hermione's voice out by shoving food in her mouth, eager to leave the table as soon as possible. Draco watched her shovel down sausages and eggs in amusement, finding her much more fascinating than Hermione's stories about Muggles.
She looked up once and saw Draco eying her intensely. “Um. Loo,” she announced, though no one paid her any mind, as they were all trying to be polite by appearing interested in Hermione's lecture. Ginny dropped her fork and nearly knocked over her chair in her rush to get out of the room.
Draco politely excused himself and followed after her. He found her in the living room standing in front of the Christmas tree muttering to herself; and knowing an opportunity when he saw one, he stalked up behind her to try to catch her words.
“Stupid letter! Never should have written... The most idiotic... ”
“You have been acting rather idiotic today,” he said in her ear, causing her to jump and spin around in alarm.
“W-w-what are you doing here!” she cried, her voice rising with her nervousness. She would have taken a step away from him if not for the brightly lit and overly decorated tree at her back. Draco admired the blush that quickly crept up her neck to her cheeks before answering.
“Potter invited me.” He smirked. He found that smirking annoyed people and made them say funny things in their annoyance. The Weasleys were a bunch to live up to this expectation, always.
“That's not what I meant!”
“Why are you talking to the tree?” he asked, interrupting what would, undoubtedly, have been a humorous attempt to correct the perceived misunderstanding.
“I-I'm... I'm not!” Her indignation amused him and gave him further cause to tease her—not that he needed much encouragement.
“You were.” Draco reached over her shoulder to flick a strand of silver tinsel hanging off a pine cone. “You were telling it how idiotic you were for writing letters, and while I won't contest your idiocy, I find myself a bit curious as to how that makes you an idiot.”
“If you think I'm an idiot, then why did you accept Harry's invitation!”
“Not defending yourself, I see.” This time, when he reached above her to nonchalantly tap an ornamental ball, she flinched and turned her head away.
“Just answer the question,” she muttered. Draco stood so close to her now, he could almost imagine that he could feel the breath of her words through his robes.
“To be honest—and you had better realize what an honor this is, because I am rarely honest—I nearly told Potter to go bugger himself when he invited me. Then I remembered the youngest Weasley and I changed my mind. Thought I'd tag along with him. See what she was up to... how she had changed since I had left Hogwarts.”
He ran a finger down her cheek, turning her face so that she met his eyes. She gulped but didn't look away.
“I noticed you don't seem to like Muggle Christmas traditions,” he said. “I admit that I have no interest in them, myself...” Ginny snorted indelicately. “Ah, you caught on, did you?” The smirk that had found a home on his lips since he'd followed her into the living room turned into a smile. Ginny's eyes widened and she looked like she might faint from the shock of his face's sudden transformation.
He continued. “But there is one tradition of theirs that I can't find any fault with.”
“Um, which one is that?” she asked automatically, her mind too dizzy to realize what she was actually saying.
Which was fine for Draco. He liked his women a little dizzy. His mere presence usually caused their heads to empty and their hearts to flutter, and one good smoldering stare sent them fainting into his arms—just where he liked them to be.
Draco reached above her again, plucking something straight off of the tree and tapping her on the head with it.
Ginny had just enough time to see the piece of mistletoe in his hand before his lips connected with hers. As his arms wrapped around her, tugging her body against his chest, they both figured that some Muggle traditions were worth practicing.
And underneath the Christmas tree, or in the shadow of it, Father Christmas left the best presents.
Author notes: Have a Merry Christmas, everyone! :)
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