Harry wandered the streets of Diagon Alley, completely at a loss as to what to get Draco for Christmas. It had only been a few days since he finally worked up the nerve to let his colleague know of his interest, so the gift couldn’t be too extravagant. However, Harry didn’t want anything too impersonal either. Something simple and yet something that would show Draco that Harry had put thought into the gift.
Harry sighed heavily. It didn’t help the situation that Draco, with all the resources of the Malfoy fortune at his fingertips, probably had everything he could ever want. Even when he wasn’t present, Draco just had to be difficult.
Harry finally gave up and walked back to the Leaky Cauldron. He idly wandered down the street, noting the colorful holiday decorations that the stores had put up. Nothing like Hogwarts, of course, but Harry enjoyed the Muggle displays none-the-less.
A small door hidden away among the larger shops caught Harry’s attention for its elegance and simplicity. Curious, he went inside and found himself surrounded by stationery and office supplies of every type imaginable. Fascinated, Harry perused the shelves, remembering when he had carried notepads and pencils instead of quills and scrolls. The Wizarding world might have many things that were an improvement over Muggles, but Harry often wished that he had a good pen instead of having to use a quill and ink, which invariably made a mess of whatever he was working on.
“May I help you?” the man behind the counter asked politely as Harry approached.
“No, I’m just looking,” Harry replied. The man nodded with a polite smile and moved away to allow Harry to browse unencumbered. Harry paused when he reached the pen sets. Why should he be stuck with that old fashioned Hogwarts tradition of using quills instead of something easy and reliable like a Muggle pen? Decided, Harry waved to the salesman and asked to see the pen sets.
“I teach school and need something reliable,” Harry explained.
The salesman nodded and laid several pen sets on the counter, allowing Harry to hold them and test their grip. “You may also purchase refills in several different colors,” the salesman added. “I’m sure that a teacher would find that useful.”
Harry had to smile at that. Though he wasn’t as strict as some professors, he had used his fair share of red ink while marking papers. Setting aside the pen set he wanted, Harry asked for both black and red ink cartridges and waited while the clerk gathered the requested items from the drawers beneath the counter.
While he waited, Harry idly perused the more elaborate pen sets at the far end of the display. There was a beautiful set made of a dark wood with silver inlay that immediately brought Draco to mind. Harry could visualize the dark wood held between Draco’s elegant, pale fingers as he worked. His stomach fluttered a bit as he remembered what those fingers had been doing to his body the night before.
Without further thought, Harry asked the clerk to see that pen set as well. As soon as he held it, he knew he’d found Draco’s gift. Something practical and yet thoughtful, not too personal and yet so very Malfoy. Harry added the pen set, which cost several times what his own did, to his purchase and included green ink as well as the black and red.
When he arrived back at Hogwarts, Harry carefully wrapped the gifts he’d purchased, using his new pen to write short notes to attach to each. He was quite pleased to see that he didn’t smudge or dribble ink on any of the notes as he normally did.
Draco’s note proved to be a bit more difficult though. Harry had never been good with words. How to put into words what he’d been thinking when choosing the gift without sounding like a lovesick schoolboy or worse, a salesman for the pen company. Finally, he simply put ‘To Draco, From Harry’ on the card and let it go.
When Christmas day arrived, Harry began to second guess his choice of gifts. He had slipped the gift inside Draco’s bag before Draco had left to spend a few days with his parents at the manor and now wished he had waited. What was he thinking in giving Draco, who still had a disdain for all things Muggle, a pen set? He was surely to detest that overly simplistic present not to mention the pathetic note. Draco would take one look at Harry’s paltry offering and wonder what he’d ever seen in Harry Potter.
By the time Harry returned from dinner at the Weasley’s, he’d worked himself into a frightful state. He was sure that Draco would no longer be interested in seeing him. In fact, Draco would probably never speak to Harry again. Harry tossed and turned all night, quite sure that he had ruined his burgeoning relationship with Draco with his ridiculous choice of gifts.
The next morning, Harry dragged himself to breakfast unsure if he was relieved or disappointed when Draco failed to make an appearance. Harry tried to distract himself by grading papers from the end of the term in preparation for the students’ return. The lack of sleep the previous night and the monotonous parchments turned in by the students worked together to lull Harry to sleep.
“Really, Potter, do wake up. There are much more comfortable places to rest than atop a stack of parchments.”
Harry woke with a start, opening his eyes to stare into the same grey ones that had taken a major role in his dreams. “Draco, what are you doing here?” He tried to surreptitiously wipe the drool from the side of his mouth.
“Keeping you from ruining your student’s paper,” Draco said. He cast a drying charm on the parchment and then picked it up to scan the writing. “Not that it appears worth the effort.”
“I thought you were at the manor with your parents,” Harry said.
“I was, but now I’m here,” Draco said with an amused smile.
“Oh, so how was your Christmas?” Harry asked, uncertainty worming its way back into his thoughts. Draco didn’t seem angry about the gift, but perhaps he hadn’t actually opened it yet.
“As expected,” Draco said. “Though my bed seemed a bit colder than I remembered last night.”
Harry blinked a few times as he tried to work out if Draco were merely stating a fact or flirting with him. “That’s too bad,” he finally said.
“Is it?” Draco asked, moving so close that their mouths were only inches apart.
Harry licked his own lips which were suddenly dry. “Maybe not,” he whispered.
Draco leaned in and captured Harry’s mouth in a slow, but thorough kiss. “Maybe?” he asked, pulling back only far enough to speak.
Harry could feel the warmth from that kiss spreading though his whole body. “It’s definitely warmer here,” he said, slightly out of breath.
Draco smiled, a devious glint in his eyes. “While I wouldn’t mind continuing this on your desk, your students might wonder about the state their papers were in afterwards.”
“We could go to my rooms,” Harry said immediately, waving toward the door that connected his office to his suite.
By morning, Harry’s fears about his gift had disappeared. In fact, he hadn’t once thought of pens the whole night. However, when he woke, the bed was growing cold and his lover was nowhere to be seen. Confused, Harry pulled on some clothes and slippers and stumbled into the sitting room. A pang of fear crept into his belly when he noticed that the door to his office was open. Had Draco left without so much as a note?
As he approached the open door, he heard a scratching sound from the other side and stepped through to find Draco sitting at Harry’s desk. He was writing on a small piece of parchment which he finished and set aside. There was a small stack of similar parchments beside Draco’s hand.
Harry felt his stomach do a small flip in relief. Draco was using the pen he’d given him.
Draco looked up and smiled when he saw Harry watching him. “I didn’t want to wake you. You looked like you could use the sleep.”
“The bed was cold without you,” Harry remarked.
Draco’s eyes took on that devious glint again. “We wouldn’t want that, now would we?”
Harry returned the smile and shook his head.
“I’ll just be a minute,” Draco said. He put the papers he had been writing on into a satchel and then opened a small case to put his pen away, placing it in the satchel as well.
“You liked your present, then,” Harry couldn’t help but ask as Draco approached.
Draco slid into Harry’s arms, kissing him lightly. “It’s quite an improvement over quill and ink. Quite handsome as well.”
“Glad you like it,” Harry said.
“Shall I show you how much?” Draco asked, walking Harry backwards across the floor as his hands worked their way under the clothing Harry had hastily thrown on.
“Please, do,” Harry said breathlessly. His clothes began disappearing and by the time the back of his legs hit the bed, he was naked once again.
Draco pushed Harry backwards onto the bed and then began a slow, tortuous strip-tease that had Harry’s heart beating double-time by the end.
As Draco encouraged Harry to move fully onto the bed and then covered Harry’s body with his own, Harry decided that maybe he wasn’t so bad at this boyfriend stuff after all.
Feedback for CuJo
or email to email@example.com
Return to the Gift Challenge