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Chapter 13: Happy Holidays

The following few weeks went by for Draco and Hermione just like they used to when the couple first got together. They were hardly ever separated and when they were it was usually either doing final minute preparations for Christmas Dinner or the New Years party that the D.O was putting on for everyone or checking to make sure certain Christmas gifts were getting done.

Bethany and Dianne took Hermione out the week before Christmas to pick up a few things for Christmas, including a couple new dresses for each of them as well as a few last minute gifts and, much to Hermione’s constant arguments, new baby things for the upcoming newborn. The women of the D.O were practically spoiling her child before it was even born, buying and making everything the little one could ever want or need.

As Hermione stood on a stool in Madame Malkin’s robe shop in Diagon Alley, Bethany snuck out and rushed out into muggle London to get a gift for Hermione that she hoped would go over very well. She walked briskly to the nearby jewelry store and, glancing around like she were a spy looking for someone watching her, swept into the shop.

“Yes, miss? May I help you with anything today?” The pleasant elderly woman behind the counter addressed Bethany as she walked into the store.

“Yes, ma’am. Actually I’m here to pick up something I’ve had made. Under the name Potter please.” Bethany replied.

The woman disappeared into the back room and returned only a moment later carry a blue velvet tray on which was placed a very beautiful and intricately detailed gold ring. The woman placed it on the counter for Bethany to examine and after careful examination to ensure that every detail was in place, Bethany smiled and nodded at the woman letting her know that it was perfect. The woman promptly packaged and bagged the delicate piece and handed over to Bethany who thanked her profusely and left the store, having paid for the ring many months prior when she initially put in the order.

Bethany rushed back to Diagon Alley and met up with Hermione and Dianne just as the women were coming out of the robe shop. At the same moment Bethany came up to them, another person joined them as well.

“ Hermione Granger?” The stranger asked, putting all three women on alert and each grabbed their wands, keeping them tightly in case they were needed.

“I am, and you are?” Hermione asked bravely, stepping forward from the other two slightly.

The stranger didn’t reply but simply handed Hermione a small plainly wrapped package and walked off, not saying another word to the confused looking women watching after him. Hermione looked at the small package in her hands and, glancing at Bethany and Dianne, put the box delicately in her purse to open later at the mansion where it was probably safer than opening it right here in the middle of busy Diagon Alley.

The three women tried to shrug off the encounter and began to make their way back to the apparation point at the end of the Alley. Reaching it, they joined hands and apparated back to Bethany’s mansion, leaving their packages by the front door. Hermione immediately rushed up the stairs to their wing and through the study door, having a feeling that’s where Draco was…and she was right. There he was, sitting idly at his desk, staring off into space, twirling an expensive phoenix feather quill in his hand. Hermione snuck up behind him and clamped her hands over his eyes, but not getting the surprised reaction from him that she was hoping for.

“You’re home Mia.” Draco said simply, pulling her hands from his eyes gently and turning around to face her, smiling at her attempt.

“Oh you suck, Draco! Cant you just turn off your stupid radar for once?” Hermione asked exasperatedly, faking her anger and trying without success to scowl which simply caused Draco to laugh at her.

“Nope, sorry.” He answered simply, smiling at her attempt to feign anger. Draco pulled Hermione into his lap and kissed her deeply. “I missed you though.”

Hermione smiled back at this. “I was only gone for a couple hours! But I’m glad you did anyway coz I missed you too.”

“So….” Draco said, a look of mischief on his handsome features. “What did you get me?” He said smiling an innocent smile.

“Draco!” Hermione exclaimed, punching him playfully on the arm and jumped off his lap.

“Ouch, woman!” He answered, trying to feign injury but failing miserably since his smile gave himself away.

Their laughter continued almost nonstop until Christmas morning when they were awakened bright and early by Bethany who let them know that breakfast was being served and then they were gathering in the living room for presents and stuff. Hermione cuddled closer to Draco after Bethany left the room and she felt his hot breath on her neck.

“Happy Christmas, mi amour.” Draco whispered to Hermione, reaching back under his pillow and pulling out a long black box wrapped in silver and crimson and handed it to her.

Hermione turned herself and sat up next to him, her lips forming in a sensual smile as she reached slowly into her bedside table drawer and pulled back with a small box of her own, wrapped in hunter green and gold and handed it to him.

Like a little boy at Christmas, Draco jumped up to a sitting position and began stripping the paper off of the box, throwing it to the side of the bed to reveal a simple black ring box. Looking back at Hermione, who smiled at him lovingly, he opened the box and a single tear fell from the corner of his eye when he saw what was in it.

There, sitting amongst the black green velvet lining, sat a magnificent platinum serpent band encasing around a large 2-ct. mystical black diamond encrusted with the Malfoy family crest and surrounded by .5 ct emeralds….exactly like the one his father used to wear. He turned to look again at Hermione, this time with confusion and question in his blue eyes but Hermione simply nodded and he took the ring from the box, noticing an inscription inside of it---

Draco Lucius Malfoy and Hermione Jane Malfoy

It was exactly like the one his father had worn except that the inscription on his father’s read ‘Lucius Leviticus Malfoy and Narcissa Helvetica Malfoy’. This was the Malfoy marriage ring passed down from generation to generation of Malfoy males. The inscription changed with each generation to read the names of the male and their life partner.

Normally, however, this ring was not presented until the couple’s wedding day by the Malfoy elder but since Lucius was not around, though still alive somehow, Hermione had somehow obtained it from Narcissa, who, surprisingly enough, took to Hermione as if she were her own daughter.

This touched Draco to the bone because having this meant that he and Hermione now had the Malfoy blessing, something not attained easily and never before given to a muggleborn.

“How?” Was all Draco could muster to come out of his shocked mouth as he just stared disbelievingly at the ring in his hand.

Hermione smiled. “Well apparently your mother seems to like me. She gave it to me to give to you.”

Draco practically tackled her on the bed, kissing her passionately.

“Thank you so much baby. This means so much, you just have no clue.” Draco said.

“I think I have some idea how much.” Hermione said, smiling again as Draco slid the ring onto his left hand then turned to her.

“Okay, Mia. Your turn.” Draco said pointing to the present still laying on Hermione’s bulging belly.

She sat herself up again and carefully, almost delicately, peeled the wrapping from the box. Opening the box, Hermione gasped slightly. Inside the box was delicate gold chain, with a single charm hanging from it….a golden snitch. Lined up against the edge of the box were four more charms--a black onyx number 12, a platinum Triquentra, a silver serpent with sparkling emerald eyes and a gold lion head with glittering ruby eyes. Draco leaned forward and took the chain from the box, along with the other charms and went forth, connecting each charm to the bracelet while telling Hermione about the gift.

“This charm bracelet symbolizes our courtship, Mia. The serpent for me and the lion for you, of course. The Triquentra representing the connection that lies between our souls. The number 12 is for Grimmauld Place, the place we first kissed, sparking our love for one another. And the snitch, well that’s for Harry because without Harry Potter, we probably would never have gotten as far as we have.” Draco told her, connecting the bracelet to Hermione’s outstretched wrist and looking up into her honey brown eyes, seeing them glistening with tears, as a soft smile played on her tender lips.

The happy couple kissed lovingly and it almost escalated into a recount of the previous night’s events but before they could start, another knock came at the door again from Bethany signaling that everyone was waiting for them downstairs for breakfast. They glanced at each other and laughed then got up and threw on a couple of robes (expensive silk robes mind you, only the best for a Malfoy after all) and headed downstairs, Hermione holding onto Draco’s arm down the stairs to keep herself from falling accidentally.

After a long and loud breakfast, the entire group (well at least the fifteen of them that were staying in the mansion over the holidays) receded into the living room where Bethany, Hermione and a couple of the other girls had set up and decorated a ‘normal’ Christmas-y type setting complete with a large decorated tree with lots of candles and winter decorations around the room.

Hermione and Draco were ushered over onto one of the comfy loveseats while everyone else sat around on the other chairs, sofas and even the floor. Two of the girls, red headed twins about sixteen years old named Jessica and Jasmine Davies (Hermione had learned that they were related to former Hogwarts student Roger Davies) began passing around the gifts till everyone seemed to have their own pile of presents (most of which were at least 15-25 packages a piece), Hermione with what appeared to be the largest pile.

They all talked, laughed, gossiped and joked for the next couple hours till everyone had finally finished unwrapping all their presents. Hermione had given Bethany Harry’s old Triwizard jersey (one of them anyway since Hermione still owned the other, the one that still had a small stain of Cedric’s blood on it from the third task) as well as his magical photo album, the same one Hagrid had given to him after his first year containing pictures of their parents as well as a few of him, Ron, and Hermione.

Bethany had cried joyfully at her gifts, telling Hermione that they were some of the best things anyone could’ve ever given her. Bethany had even pulled Hermione aside after opening her gifts from the girl to give Hermione her own gift, the one she had picked up while they were in Diagon Alley a short while ago….it was an intricately detailed, delicate gold ring that contained three stones--a Ruby (July’s birthstone for Harry), an Aquamarine (March--for Ron) and a blue sapphire (September--Hermione)-- placed strategically on each point of a Wiccan Triquentra (just like the one on the chain from Dumbledore and on the bracelet from Draco). Bethany told her that it represented the three of them, the ‘Golden Trio’ as they had been dubbed, and their cumulative power and friendship. Hermione wept happily at the gift, hugging Harry’s sister for such a thoughtful present.

After awhile, Hermione grew tired from all the activities of the morning and draco helped her upstairs to rest. When she got there, she remembered the package that had been handed to her in Diagon Alley and retrieved it from her cloak pocket. Settling on the bed with Draco at her feet, rubbing them tenderly, she opened the package carefully, not really knowing what to expect but something told her that it was safe.

She released the small box from it’s plain wrappings and saw that it was a very nice, very shiny gold box with her name scrawled intricately on it’s top in gold calligraphy. Looking at draco, wondering if it was some sort of surprise from him but getting a look of sheer confusion and curiosity back, she slowly lifted the lid to reveal a note placed atop of a sheer layer of gold chiffon amidst the crimson satin lining.

Miss Granger~

I hope that this gift will come in handy during your upcoming battles. You know the responsibilities that come with it, both the dangers and the rules if used inappropriately. If you should ever need a little more ‘time’ you know what to do. Good luck with everything, you truly are the best student I’ve ever had.

Professor Minerva McGonagall and
Professor Albus Dumbledore

Hermione stared at the small piece of parchment in amazement and curiosity. Setting it down beside her, she gently moved the chiffon from her way and gasped at what she saw inside the crimson lining----a Time Turner, engraved with the words ‘Property of Hermione Granger’.

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