DEC 15, Harry Potter, More than a Legend H/D (5/6)
I missed a few days :( I'll be combining prompts for these last two chapters. LOL I hope to have the final chapter done by New Year's. :)
Title: More than a Legend Prompts: Holly and Ivy Author:roma_fics Fandom: Harry Potter Characters: Harry/Draco Rating: R Word total: 2700 Warning(s): No Grinches Allowed Summary: Harry volunteers to be Father Christmas, without truly understanding what it entails. Disclaimer: This is a work of fanfiction set in the Harry Potter universe – all recognisable characters and settings are the property of J. K. Rowling and her associates. No copyright infringement is intended. No profit is made from this work. Please observe your local laws with regards to the age-limit and content of this work. Beta: The most awesome eeyore9990
More than a Legend Part 5
The sky was on fire. Draco had seen the Northern Lights from Scotland, but never had he seen such a show as Mother Nature was putting on upon their arrival. The frozen white ground sparkled in red, green, and blue as flames moved through the sky. It was cold, bitter cold, but he felt warm in his winter robes and boots. They were on the edge of a forest, the trees heavily blanketed in snow such that they looked like lumps of melted marshmallows. Behind him were hills without a speck of Muggle lights emanating from them. The valley was not without life, though; there was movement in the trees.
"Shh," Harry whispered and then reached into his pocket. Crab apples were tossed into the crisp air. A rustle came from the woods, clumps of snow fell to the ground, and then a bellow echoed through the valley. Harry put his arm in front of Draco. Draco wasn't sure if it was for his protection or for the beasts stampeding out of the winter forest; his fingers wrapped around his wand. Harry's other hand was multiplying the small red fruits littered on the snow with a few flicks of his holly wand.
"If they start flying, I'm going to commit myself to St. Mungo's," Draco mumbled.
Harry belted out a laugh. Heads rose and antlers clattered together. The reindeer stirred up the fresh powdered snow as they raced towards Harry and Draco. They circled around them and Harry patted them on their heads and flanks as they ate their Christmas treats. Draco was beginning to wonder if he was dreaming, if the last day was just his imagination playing games with his head. His answer came with a headbutt to his thigh, flinging him forward into the snow. Harry roared and then admonished the reindeer with stern kindness. He held out his gloved hand and helped Draco up.
"Come on, they'll be waiting for us."
Draco wanted to stomp his feet and demand to know who was waiting for them, but each step brought him knee-deep in snow. The ice crystals were making their way into his boots. He jumped as Harry gave a loud whistle. The reindeer's ears perked up and then stepped to the sides of Harry and Draco, forming an aisle for them to walk through. Draco didn't see how this helped the situation until he heard a sound that made him give an uncontrolled smile. Sleigh bells. In the distance, from the forest, he could spot more reindeer which were harnessed and pulling a sleigh. His eyes widened as the lights from the sky reflected off the highly polished silver rails. The eight reindeer stopped in front of them and stood proudly. Harry gave each of them an apple and nuzzled into their necks.
"After you," Harry said and motioned towards the open sleigh, which to his delight contained blankets he couldn't wait to cover his legs with. Harry scooted next to him on the padded bench seat. Initially, Draco was surprised that the sleigh wasn't grander in decoration, but then he inspected it further as Harry laid the fur blankets over their laps and grabbed the reins. The sleigh was sleek. Made for speed and comfort, not grandeur.
"So, um, did you use this on your adventure last night?" Draco asked, removing his mistletoe wreath and pulling his robe hood over his head.
Harry gave another shrill whistle and they headed towards the forest. The herd of reindeer followed them.
"No, of course not," Harry replied. "Reindeer don't fly, Draco."
Draco shook his head. "Okay, just asking—Oh shit!" he yelled as they reached the forest's edge and swore they were headed straight into a tree. Before he could scream again, the tree moved out of the way and a path lay before them. Fairies swarmed in and lit the trail by twinkling from snow-covered limbs.
His cheeks were reddening from the frosty air. He pulled the blanket up around his shoulders. Harry turned his head and smiled widely. "We'll be there soon."
"You've done this before?" Draco asked. Part of him was still frightened, the other part just wanted to snuggle in the blankets and soak in the winter wonderland. The sleigh jerked and then sped at a great speed. The pounding of the reindeer's hooves on the well-worn path, their snorting breaths, and jingling of bells made Harry's answer hard to hear.
"What?" Draco yelled.
"Hundreds of times!" Harry said and then pulled on the reins, slowing the sleigh down. The forest's silence replaced the racketing sounds. "Sorry, I was just anxious to get here."
"Potter!" Draco said and pulled on Harry's robed arm. The scene before him was beyond his imagination even when he was a child. He had pictured an ice castle or maybe a Victorian mansion, but never a stone manor. The home of Father Christmas was awash in garlands of holly draping from snow-packed window boxes and balconies. Ivy, still green, climbed the walls and high, bare-branched trees were covered in mistletoe laden with berries. Fairies lit in the branches, their silver lights flickering. A thick blanket of snow covered the rooflines, and swirls of smoke climbed to the sky from more chimneys than he could count. Silhouettes behind curtained arched windows had him wondering who else was occupying the home.
The sleigh pulled up in front of a wide set of freshly-cleared granulites stairs, which led up to the portico. Draco had no doubts that that the gold veins and garnet crystals embedded in the granite were genuine. A single large lantern light hung from the centre of the covered porch, highlighting two large wooden doors with tarnished, circular knockers. "Come on," Harry said anxiously as he hopped out of the sleigh. He held out his hand for Draco to take. Normally, Draco mused, he would have told Potter to shove it, that he wasn't a girl, but as he stood, his legs were wobbling.
Harry stamped his feet on the welcoming mat, knocking off the caked snow from his boots. Draco followed the example. "Ready?" Harry asked, his eyes showing even more excitement as they reflected the lantern's strong flame.
"Yes—yes, I think so," Draco said, reaching up and wiping the frozen crystals from Harry's short beard. Surprisingly, he was growing quite fond of it.
Harry smiled and then brought his hands up and lowered Draco's hood. His fingers gently traced the outline of the elfin ears. Draco shivered. "I'm going to miss these tomorrow," he whispered and then leant forward, pressing his lips against Draco's. Draco hadn't realised how insecure he was feeling, despite all of the reassurances from the gifts given earlier in the morning. This was possibly too much for him to accept. It had taken three months for him to even accept Potter wanting to have a pint with him, six months to notice that Potter didn't touch his other friends like he touched him: an arm around the shoulder, a grasp on his robe sleeve, and the brushing back of his hair when he wanted to whisper a joke. The first kiss, only one year ago, had been a drunken one, which didn't stop with a quick snog but ended up with Draco in Harry's bed at Grimmauld Place. Words were never spoken in the morning; neither had run away or pretended it didn't happen. One day they were a little more than casual friends and the next they were a couple. He still couldn't fathom why Harry wanted him and, now, the contrast between them was even greater than before.
The sound of bells jingling distanced as the reindeer pulled the sleigh away while they kissed. It was meant to be a quick one, but as usual, it never was. Harry's arms wrapped around him, pulling him in closer. It was a gesture Potter did often, as if he were afraid Draco would run away or Vanish. It was something in the beginning that baffled Draco, but questioning Potter was out of the question. It always seemed the less said the better between them, not that they fought with words, but it was as if discussing what they shared between them would tarnish it or possibly weaken it. This morning's conversation was the deepest they'd ever had.
With reluctance, Draco pulled away from the kiss. Sometimes, the emotions that ran through him became too strong. The one he was feeling would take him a while to digest. Potter had said love in his note, and, despite never having felt it before, Draco was sure that was what was attacking his heart. Harry's head tilted and looked at him questioningly and then a broad smile crossed his face.
"Me too," he whispered and then turned towards the doors, raising his wand. Ribbons of silver and gold emerged from the tip and covered the doors' handles. The tarnish washed away, and the heavy golden circles gleamed. The doors swung open. Draco squinted, not understanding what he was seeing.
Harry removed his gloves and grasped Draco's, leading him inside. The panelled vestibule was spacious with enough hooks to hold dozens of cloaks and hats. Harry removed his green robes, hung them up with care, and then walked under the arch, which led to a massive room. The lack of interior furnishings and decorations had Draco puzzled. Large chandeliers dangled from the ceiling, candles appearing to be recently lit. He undid his first clasp and then quickly noted that he was still bare underneath. Without turning around, Draco watched as a green trail of light left Harry's wand and spiralled towards him, circling him before disappearing. He glanced down, the tunic was back, but this time the colour was as green as holly leaves.
Draco stepped into the room where Harry stood in the middle, looking up and around. The only relief from the three-story walls of stone were the blankets of windows on one side and a massive fireplace on the other. A log, rather a tree trunk, filled it. Draco jumped as the log blazed up in flames, creating a wave of heat that warmed his bones of their chill. A large wooden polished staircase bisected the view of the far wall. It led up to a landing, but it too was devoid of any design, besides the railing curving at the end. He wondered where the people moving behind curtains were that he had seen while outside. Besides the crackle of the fire, the place was eerily quiet.
"Harry," Draco said. His voice echoed. "Where is everyone?"
Harry spun around. "The elves are in the kitchen and probably making up our room for our stay."
"I meant the people I saw from the outside... we're staying? For how long?"
"Only if you want to stay, Draco, and as to how long, my holiday is over on the second of the New Year. I'm sure Kingsley will be thinking twice about forcing me to take time off by then."
"And the people?" Draco asked again as he joined Harry in the middle of the room whose size rivalled that of the Ministry's lobby. He hid the tinge of feeling calmer that Harry had mentioned their real life back in London.
"There aren't any people, Draco. Just us and a dozen or so elves," Harry said and then stopped and looked at Draco. "Um, not house-elves. They're different... you'll see."
"But... but I saw people moving," Draco protested.
Harry shook his head. "No, what you saw were images of holidays from the past.
"Would Master Draco like to see the rooms? Will he be helping Master Harry choose?"
Draco's head jerked to the side. Before him was an elf that looked more human, more like a wizard with pointy ears, but shorter than a first-year.
"I'm sorry, sir, I didn't mean to startle you. My name is Prancer and I'm the head elf of Master Harry's estate."
Draco blinked his eyes. Prancer? The elf's clothing was some of the finest he'd ever seen. Instead of grimy, baggy pillowcases, the elf wore a tunic that shimmered iridescently from the fire's flames. A simple sash appeared to be spun of silver and gold. A single sprig of holly was tucked behind his ear.
"Yes, Prancer, I think that is a brilliant idea. First, I'd like to go to our room. It was a long night after all."
The elf laughed. It was light and full of mirth. "I understand, Master. Your room is ready and if there is anything else you would like just ring the bells. Vixen will be happy to serve you."
"Thank you," Harry said and then took Draco's hand in his and led him towards the stairs.
"You're tired?" Draco asked, as they climbed the stairs.
"A bit," Harry said as they reached the landing. Draco noticed two archways: one on the left and one on the right. Harry led him to the right. A long hallway, covered in dark panels with sconces, led the way. Carpet of red, green, and gold warmed the feel of the manor. They reached the end, without seeing a door along the way. The one before them was engraved with runes resembling those he'd seen on the box a few hours before, which now seemed like days ago. Harry turned the glass doorknob, showing Draco in.
"This is more like it," Draco blurted out.
"Thought you'd like it," Harry said. "I saw the way you looked at our quarters at Hogwarts. I added some windows, though. I wanted to be able to see the snowfall and watch the Northern Lights.
"It's beautiful, Harry," Draco said, removing his boots, which he was sure had looked silly with the tunic. The thick rug warmed his feet. He walked over to the fireplace, to warm the rest of him. He smiled seeing that the elves had provided sandwiches and hot tea on a platter by the bed. The bed was larger than theirs at Grimmauld.
Harry approached him from behind. Draco melted to the touch of his hands on his waist, playing with the tied rope sash. It fell to the ground. "Not tired," Harry whispered in his ear. Hands ruffled up the green material and soon were exploring his warming bum and hardening shaft.
"Your incorrigible, Potter. I still say Father Christmas wouldn't be doing this."
Harry's hand cupped his balls, playing with each one. "You'd be surprised what these rooms will tell you of holidays past."
For the second time in less than an hour, Draco felt his knees give way. Harry lowered him to the carpet in front of the fire and lay down next to him and then scooted down and let his tongue explore where his hands had just ventured.
Draco's fingers stretched into thick black hair, not pulling it, but encouraging Potter to continue. Draco bit his lower lip as saliva laced with peppermint made him quiver. With an arched back and silent scream, the day's tension was released.
"I should return the favour," Draco said with a yawn.
Harry raised a brow. "Later," he said and manoeuvred up next to Draco. His hands stroked Draco's exposed stomach and thighs. "Just knowing I can do this when I want to is gift enough." With a snap of Harry's fingers, the tray of food and tea landed in front of them. Without giving his usual reminder, Harry poured Draco's tea and added the two spoons of sugar and splash of milk. "We'll have brandy later tonight, in the main room," Harry said, while pouring his own cup of tea.
"It seemed rather bleak," Draco said. He reached for a sandwich and lifted the bread to inspect its contents. Thick slices of roast beef met his approval.
"It won't be after we visit the rooms and make our choices. You will help me decide, won't you?"
"Decide what the future of the holiday should be," Harry said and took a sip of tea.