Word Count: 1,468
Prompt: Day 24 traditional - big cake
Disclaimer: JK Rowling owns them, not me. This is for mischief's sake, not profit.
Author's Notes: This is for slythindor100 's Christmas challenge picture prompts. Sequel of Part one, Part two, Part three, Part four, Part five, Part six, Part seven, Part eight, Part nine, Part ten, Part eleven, Part twelve, Part thirteen, Part fourteen, Part fifteen, Part sixteen, Part seventeen, Part eighteen, Part nineteen, Part twenty, Part twenty-one, Part twenty-two & Part twenty-three
"Mother wants the dishes over there, Ron." Draco pointed towards the end of the table in the Manor dining hall, and then swished his wand towards the cutlery which obediently flew up in the air.
"I still can't believe Narcissa gave the house-elves the day off!" Hermione stabbed her wand at the napkins which were folding themselves in triangular shapes. "It was quite nice of her."
"Draco's mother sent the house-elves to help Santa," quipped Fred, sipping a goblet filled with mulled cider.
Harry frowned as he remembered Santa's portrait in Grimmauld Place. Narcissa had explained that Phineas Nigellus, that sneaky Black ancestor, had expressly sought her help to save them. Perhaps Santa had done the same and what Fred jokingly told them was true. The elves might be helping Santa.
"Where is Narcissa, by the way, with… Lucius?" said George tentatively.
"They are taking a stroll with Castor and Pollux," Draco said, tilting down his wand to set the cutlery in place. "Which is how they named the puppies; I wish they would've thought of something more elegant!"
Shaking his head at Draco's idea of elegant names, Harry fished inside his robes and took out the Put-Outer which he handed to Ron.
"Thanks, mate," said Ron as he pocketed it and swished his wand at a stack of bowls. "Glad it helped you."
"Why did you lend it to me?" Harry brandished his wand at some goblets which floated in a row like obedient copper soldiers before dashing towards the table.
"You started having problems with your magic," said Ron. "That worried me, and then I remembered how the Put-Outer made me feel confident because Dumbledore left it to me. I recalled how that idea warmed me when I was alone, searching for you and Mione."
"Very nice device," said Draco. "Was pretty handy to turn off the streetlights the first time I went to your place, Harry."
"So that's why you knew how to use it!" said Harry wonderingly. Then he shivered, startled at the ghostly caress against his neck. Glancing down, he saw a spoon floating upwards, touching his chin before darting away towards the table.
"Malfoy, stop molesting Harry with the cutlery!" George smirked and winked at Fred. "By the way, that gives me an idea for a new product."
"Cupid cutlery?" Fred wiggled his eyebrows at his twin. "I like the way you think."
"I wish you would stay for the whole dinner," Narcissa sighed wistfully and took a sip from her goblet, filled with elf wine.
"Mom expect us at the Burrow, Mrs Malfoy," Ron said, glancing at Hermione; he knew Molly wouldn't object too much if they stayed for Christmas dinner, but it was obvious that Hermione still felt uncomfortable in the Manor. Ron smiled at her, knowing that she needed time and space to heal from her gruelling experience in the War. Hermione grinned at him and reached her hand, squeezing Ron's arm as she cocked her head at the other side of the table.
Ron glanced at Harry, who had been touching Draco's arm. He smiled wryly, suspecting that few persons took life by the horns like his best mate. Most people had to wade through their issues.
"Mom expects to see you and Draco," Ron said, nodding at the two of them
"Your mother does?" Draco said in a low voice.
"You saved Fred, which put you in her good graces," Ron said patiently. "You work with Bill and, just now, you helped to save Harry. I'm sure mom will be mad if you don't show up. If you're worried about Fleur, she…"
Ron looked up at the rustling sound of a veritable parliament of owls flying into the hall. The owls were carrying a square package which they set on the table with a soft thudding noise.
"Finally, and just in time, too." Harry glanced at his watch, muttering an explanation, "The bakery assured us it would arrive before Christmas dinner."
"What is it, Potter?" drawled Lucius.
"We found this quaint shop, Lemmer and Lambrick's Magical Bakery, in Diagon Alley," said Draco. "We ordered a special Christmas cake."
"Draco and I compromised," said Harry, brandishing the wand at the box to unpack the baked good. "He wanted the cake to resemble the Manor, but I opted for Grimmauld."
They stared at the cake which was frosted with a coat of sugar on its crenulated roof, forming the tiles, and dripping from the edges like delicious stalactites. Harry's eyes widened at the candy canes that supported the porch; there was a slim confectionery tree next to it. The windows were made of orange rinds, and the ones on the first floor, just above the front door, were a bright yellow which aptly symbolised the warmth of the hearth at Christmastime.
The sugar letters forming 'welcome' on the chocolate steps emphasised the message.
"This looks delicious," said Ron, his mouth watering.
Hermione smiled warmly at Harry and Draco, who were sporting big grins.
"You left me alone when we were about to choose the cake," said Harry accusingly.
"I had to go to Gringotts and talk to Bill," said Draco, trying to appear nonchalant. Then he huffed, "You took off the moment I came back, Potter!"
"I had to check if Kreacher was doing all right," Harry said, somewhat unconvincingly.
"The attic is delicious, I've heard." Draco wiggled his eyebrows.
"You should eat the front parlour," Harry said, fidgeting on his chair.
"The house will fall," Draco pointed out, frowning.
Harry nudged the rim of his glasses, staring at Draco whilst the corner of his mouth twitched upward in a smile. "Scared, Malfoy?"
"You wish, Potter!" Draco leaned towards Harry, his foot caressing Harry's trousers.
"Merlin's beard! You two should simply use magic!" Hermione huffed and swished her wand at the cake to magically cut the pieces Harry and Draco mentioned. Presently, the two slices flew through the air and settled softly on the plates in front of them.
"Spoilsport," growled George.
"Right," said Fred. "We wanted to see if the cake collapsed!"
Meanwhile, Narcissa lifted her goblet in a silent toast directed at her husband. Lucius nodded and smiled briefly at her, the candlelight shining on his long silver mane. They knew precisely what was going on, having been notified by the wards on the Malfoy vaults at Gringotts.
Draco's fork cut a precise swath through the soft, spongy treat before he raised it and bit daintily, staring all the while at Harry with a hungry gaze.
Harry shuddered as he made stabbing motions with his fork, which sank on the cake until it reached something unyielding. Harry used his knife to spread the cake until he glimpsed an incongruous black shape; it was a small jewellery box.
Harry smiled when he heard Draco gasping, knowing what his boyfriend had found in the cake.
Draco lifted his fork, upon which a small box rested. He put it on the plate and took out his wand from beneath his robes, cleaning the two boxes from the cake residue. With a sigh, he nodded at Harry.
The two opened their boxes with trembling fingers.
Harry smiled at the thin golden ring nestled inside the box. It had an emerald in the centre, flanked by two small diamonds. He earnestly hoped Draco would like the heirloom ring he got from Grimmauld Place. It was white-gold and bore the Potter crest of arms.
He tilted down his chin to stare at his boyfriend through his fringe, saying quietly, "Will you marry me, Draco?"
"Of course I will, Harry!"
Draco glanced at Lucius, who nodded at him as he lifted his goblet, saluting the two wizards with a curt nod.
"Draco, in the darkest days of war I despaired of your life," Lucius said quietly, his voice lacking the usual drawl. "I'm glad you found Potter… I mean Harry."
Narcissa touched gently his arm and Lucius turned to nod at her. Then he said in a louder voice, "Having my family alive and by my side is Christmas enough for me; it's why I told Harry about the curse, I trusted he would keep it from coming true."
Then Lucius raised his goblet at Draco. "Son, seeing you happy is the icing on the cake."
Draco grinned at his father as he slipped the engagement ring on Harry's finger
Harry beamed at Draco, his thumb caressing the pale wrist before he did the same with his fiancé.
The two wizards fell to eating the cake, trying to answer the questions his friends shot at them from every side.
The sound of their banter and talk was accompanied by the tinkling of the dishes. The whispers, heated voices, and laughter lent a festive air to this special Christmas in Malfoy Manor.