Severus Snape strode into the Hogwarts infirmary as the sun was sliding below the horizon.
Inside, Draco Malfoy was - at last - standing up. For the moment, that erect posture had been transformed into a bow.
Apparently the terrors of Gryffindor and Slytherin had been busy, as explaining the proper procedure for greeting Japanese Wizards had quite honestly not crossed Snape's own mind as part of the curriculum.
"Mister Malfoy," Snape said, drawling out the words with a strong measure of insouciance. Malfoy deserved the title, but not the status.
Of course, Draco was still bowing, so it was left to Potter to look over at Snape. Potter's eyes went almost comically wide - with a happiness that was, undoubtedly, less due to his Potion Master's presence, and more to the idea of being relieved of Draco Malfoy's.
"How go the lessons," Snape asked firmly, more of a statement than a question.
"Potter might manage a full sentence before he plants his face in the mud." Draco Malfoy drawled.
"I'm honestly surprised he can manage full sentences." Snape responded lazily.
Harry took a deep breath - they weren't being mean, not really. He just had to respond in kind. "And I'm shocked that the two of you managed two complete sentences without using a five galleon word." Harry said, his smile fighting to break through.
Snape spun to glare at Harry Potter, messy hair and green eyes alike. "Sir," Harry responded, at length.
"We'd best get moving, your father and mother will be waiting." Snape said.
Draco Malfoy smiled thinly then, "An intimate gathering for Christmas Eve?"
"And the traditional Gala on Christmas Day." Snape nodded.
Harry filled in for both of them: Draco wasn't going to have to see the Dark Lord his first night home, but the second, and probably the third day would be full of 'houseguests.'
"Potter, I trust you can find your way to the Weasleys' Burrow without assistance?" Snape sneered. Malfoy's nose wrinkled at the mention of the Weasleys' home. Naturally, he'd never been there - and Harry faintly thought he might find himself allergic to the place.
"Yes," Harry said with a smile.
Snape and Malfoy swept out of the room, and Harry went towards the warmth of the Burrow. The hospital wing always felt too sterile for him anyway.
Harry stepped into the floo, coming out the other side all covered in soot. Ron pulled him up off the floor, clapping him on the back as they embraced - not caring a whit for whether or not he was going to be besooted by Harry's clumsiness. The twins were there, and they were, as always, quick to embrace Harry.
Molly came bustling out of the kitchen, and Art stood up to give Harry a cheery "Hullo there."
It might not have been home to Harry, but he didn't mind too much.
[a/n: Up next, Slytherins talk to each other. Leave a review, if you want updates quicker.]