[a/n: Yesterday I wrote a chapter. FF didn't update with "There was a chapter written", so if you didn't read it yet, page back! Title of this chapter is meant to be a little odd. I miss Cthulu and Lovecraft.]
Harry wasn't unduly surprised when they levitated the trees into Hogwarts proper. It wasn't as if there weren't pine trees outside, after all. Where else were you going to put cut ones. When they turned towards the Great Hall, he'd just thought, "Well, that was where we started the detention."
It was only when Draco had waved open the doors, and Harry had seen the tremendous pile of tinsel, ornaments and candles, that he'd finally put it together.
They were decorating Christmas Trees.
In the Great Hall.
"What kind of detention is this?" Harry said, an incredulous grin on his face.
"The useful kind, apparently," Draco Malfoy said in a droll voice. "For the six years I've been here, Snape's always drawn the 'decorate the halls' straw."
Harry smirked, "What, they're afraid if they let him near children, he'll bite straight through all the Holiday cheer?"
"Quite," Draco Malfoy said, as they continued to set up the six trees. "I think he has an aesthetic hatred for the clashing Yuletide colors, honestly. He never shirks Halloween decorating."
Harry, levitating an ornament onto the nearest tree, smirked, "That does seem to fit his personality better, doesn't it?"
Malfoy nodded, helping Jake steady a trail of tinsel, as he ran circles around the nearest tree.
Harry frowned, deep in the safety of his mind. Halloween, for himself alone, had always seemed a bittersweet thing. Yes, people would celebrate him - but his mother had died for his sake, on that day. And that was very much not something worth celebrating. How much worse must it have been to be Severus Snape, bloody bastard? Then Harry shook his head, as something belatedly came to him: Hagrid made the pumpkins, and the House elves made the pumpkin juice. Snape conjured black bats, and black draperies, and all sorts of things appropriate for mourning.
Harry had been experimenting with creating a Hufflepuff tree (the badgers kept on trying to burrow under the tree, which threatened to topple it), when Minerva McGonagall strode in. She sniffed, and said, "Is he shirking again?" To Harry, this seemed both unfair (no one else had to do the job, apparently), and obvious.
"I was in need of a detention, Professor," Jake said, smiling angelically. He pulled the expression off far better than Malfoy, who tended to look like a weasel in full blown psychotic fit.*
Harry looked up, answering evenly, "He's not even in the castle, now is he? Yet, he's found a prefect to cover for his part."
Prof. McGonagall's lips thinned to a line. "That will be 5 points for your exceptional knowledge of a professor's whereabouts, and 3 points off for being a busybody." Harry looked at her, thinking that's exactly how Snape would have done. Because he was watching closely, he saw the Professor's eyes flick to Malfoy. Oh. Harry thought.
Professor McGonagall walked off, shutting the door quietly behind her.
All three boys burst out in spontaneous laughter.
*Harry's not being fair here, and he's projecting hatred he no longer feels onto Malfoy.
[Severus Snape, misanthrope and general bastard, was how I'd have said it. But Harry doesn't know those words. Dammit, Harry, do i need to enroll you in a freaking Dictonary Course?
In other news, as this has come up with multiple readers: Harry does not actually have a crush on Hermione Granger at this time. Even I'm not daft enough to have him in the midst of a crush, and not spend any time sighing, dreaming, or thinking about her in a generally amorous sort of way.
So, is him telling Hermione to steer clear of Draco, who does have a current crush on her, self-serving? You betcha. It also serves Hermione and Draco well, though, so don't knock it. Not sure Harry's even aware that it might be self-serving, it wasn't part of his calculus.
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Being Jewish, I am not a particular fan of Christmas. So, rest assured, this will not devolve into people pushing Malfoy and Potter under the mistletoe together.]