Inlaws, Bylaws and Just DessertsAuthor:
Gingerbread House Warnings:
After two years of dating Draco, Hermione is sure she’s ready for a holiday dinner with Draco’s folks. A/N:
Hey. Look at me. I actually wrote something that’s only 2000 words. And HOLY CRAP, it’s rated G. Try and spot all of the places where I had to hold myself back from writing something inappropriate. I think this may have inspired me to do more drabbles.
The magnum opus of her baking skills was almost sixty centimeters long, thirty centimeters wide, thirty centimeters tall and dripping with sweet white frosting. She’d used chocolate bricks as shingles for the rooftop, lined the door and windows with candy cane pieces, and used peppermints and gumdrops and hard candies for color, before dusting the whole thing with powdered sugar.
It was gorgeous.
“What in Merlin’s name are you doing?”
Hermione popped another M&M in her mouth and mentally patted herself on the back for not jumping out of her skin. Without glancing back at Draco, she slapped the pale hand that automatically reached around her to grab at the piles of candy on the counter top.
“OW!” And received a hard tug on her hair in retribution and when she did turn around, ready to scold, she got a hard, wet smack of lips on lips before he darted out of striking distance.
They scowled warily at each other, but Hermione conceded the impasse and turned back to her task.
“I’m making your parents a Muggle confectionary centerpiece-slash-dessert.” She answered his question.
“Oooo, that’s fantastic! They’ll hate
it!” Draco chortled gleefully and, deeming it safe to approach, snuck forward again to see.
“Your father thinks he’s got me cornered.” Hermione explained matter-of-factly, ignoring him coming up behind her and placing his hands on either side of her—quite literally breathing down her neck. “According to the laws of Pureblood etiquette, if I bring food to his table it’s an insult to his household saying that he’s too poor and weak to adequately feed a guest. But if I don’t
bring some sort of sweet food as a gift then it’s an insult to his household saying not only that I have no regard for him and his family but that I expect them to serve me.” She huffed and picked up a green square of hard candy and slipped it between Draco’s lips—she knew better than to try and give him yellow or red. He hummed happily. “Honestly, if your precious Pureblood rules aren’t ridiculous, then they’re completely contradictory.”
“It makes perfect sense to me.” Draco shrugged, sucking on his candy.
“It would.” Hermione muttered darkly.
“It’s so we always have the option in any given situation to choose whether or not to be offended.” He told her blithely. “You can’t just cut someone down at the dinner table while they pass the peas just because the mood strikes you. You need a legitimate fake reason to blame your homicidal tendencies on.”
I believe. Thus, I give to you: Gingerbread House. It’s a sweet, but it’s usually only for decoration, but it can be eaten. So if Lucius tries to be offended that I brought food to his table, then I tell him it’s a decoration. If he tries to be offended that I didn’t bring food, then it’s food. Plus, it’s handmade, which is an insult because I didn’t use magic—and Purebloods must do absolutely everything with magic—but it’s also a very great compliment because I took the time to do it without magic. Either way he can’t complain without seriously offending my household and his own beloved rules of etiquette.”
Draco opened his mouth but she shut him up with a marshmallow. He munched on it happily and Hermione thought stupidly that maybe he hadn’t been going to say anything. Maybe he’d just opened his mouth like a baby bird and she’d responded appropriately.
“I already checked on the Muggle thing.” She explained anyway, “No Pureblood worth his salt would ever ever EVER bring Muggle food to a Pureblood home so there’s no rule against it.” She said proudly.
“Kinda small, isn’t it?” Draco noted idly, leaning heavily against her back and curling his lip disdainfully, “It’s not really a house. It’s more like a shack. A gingerbread shack. Probably full of gingerbread Weasleys.”
Hermione stared moodily at her beautiful masterpiece that had taken her hours to complete and tried hard not to be annoyed and/or smack Draco in the head. He’d grown up in a mansion after all.
“Yes.” She agreed sourly, brutally honest with herself, “It’s very small. Tiny in fact. Tiny like your father’s shriveled black heart.”
“Ouch.” Draco gasped out a surprised laugh.
To Hermione’s delight, Draco seemed very curious about her project and they spent the rest of the afternoon putting the finishing touches on the gingerbread house and then decorating some gingerbread men. He, of course, had to make a wholesome activity into a perverted debacle and Hermione was forced to vanish several obscene cookies before they were through.
But on the whole, she felt very accomplished.
----- ----- ----- ----- -----
“AAAGH! Uurg! I mean . . . just . . . GAH!” Hermione shook clenched fists, stomping furiously through the light blanket of powdered snow that covered the grounds of the Malfoy’s property. Her orange face was screwed up in rage and her extra-long, warty nose bobbed up and down as she stomped, dripping leeches and frogs in a glistening trail. The moon was bright, shining off the snow and lighting their path as they stumbled in shameful defeat from the manor.
Or rather she
stumbled. It was probably hard to walk gracefully with a hunchback after all, Draco thought sympathetically.
Draco strolled along beside her much more casually, his long perky rabbit ears—well they could have been donkey ears but Draco was 90% certain they were rabbit ears—twitching about as he kept an eye on the white peacocks. The peacocks, which seemed impervious to the cold, raised their heads to watch them as they passed and Draco stepped closer to Hermione, thinking he saw a glint here and there of blue light. He’d never told Hermione that the beasts could shoot beams of blue fire from their eyes to incinerate intruders.
He didn’t want to scare her.
Hermione was still ranting in incoherent half-sentences, “How could . . . how did . . . and then that . . . and we . . . AAGH!” she stopped for a moment to jump up and down in one place, dropping frogs and leeches like a piñata dropped candy.
Draco knew better than to snort.
She turned on him anyway, spindly nose flopping comically, “There was no ‘Celebration of King Audenberry’ last year! So I don’t see how we ‘offended his memory’ by not bringing an offering of incense and two tickets to the next Holyhead Harpies match.”
“Oh! My mother loves the Holyhead Harpies!” Draco piped up, then immediately wilted at the look
Hermione continued her rant, “And what in the world is the ‘Eidenbreck Ceremony’? Who the hell is Grimlow Murdoon and what was he smoking when he came up with that . . . that completely ridiculous, that utterly preposterous
set of etiquette rules?”
Without waiting for an answer she wheeled away and continued tromping towards the front gates.
Draco waited patiently and sure enough, she hadn’t gone twelve paces when she whipped back around.
“Folding your napkin in your lap is NOT a death threat to the host. No Pureblood I ever spoke to said ANYTHING about what angle my spoon was supposed to be held at in relation to the alignment of the planets. Shooting infertility spells at me under the table and spitting in my drink is NOT a compliment. And Astoria—Merlin, I’m going to bust that girl’s face open—Astoria Herpes Von Gangrene Ass
is NOT allowed to grope you for ‘blessings of good fertility’ just because she has a chaperone present. AGH! I studied for this ALL year! I was so sure I HAD him!” she punched the air a couple of times like a boxer. Draco noted idly that she had great form. This did not bode well for the future of Astoria’s face.
“Father studied for it all year as well.” Draco reminded her placidly. “I’m certain he worked himself into quite a froth after you nearly made it out of the manor alive last year without any serious injuries or infractions. And remember, he has fifteen-hundred years of history to draw on.”
“Yes!” Hermione hissed, clenching her hairy, clawed fingers in front of her face with a, quite frankly, alarming expression on her face, “At least this year I’m allowed to walk out in disgrace after he banished us instead of them putting hoods over our heads and having the House Elves hurl us into the Pit-of-Despair-from-whence-no-one-return
“Yes, wasn’t that nice of father?” He consoled cheerily, “And I really think Uncle Lucifer is warming up to you. He only cursed our posterity with a thousand years of darkness. That’s almost like blessing our union. So you see, it wasn’t all bad. Didn’t you see how much my mother hated your gingerbread house? I don’t know about you, but it certainly made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.”
Hermione started to brighten slightly but it turned into a grimace. She flicked a clinging frog off her dress, “Was it really necessary for your mother to dress in full mourning regalia, pretend you were dead, cry and wail all over a photograph of you throughout dinner and then give you a drunken eulogy over dessert.”
Draco only smiled a little.
Hermione whacked him on the arm with her purse, sending frogs and leeches flying everywhere, “She called me ‘that dirty tart’ the whole time and you said nothing to stop her.”
Draco shrugged, “I was ‘dead’, she couldn’t hear me.”
“That’s no excuse! I felt like I was alone in there! You completely abandoned me!” Her eyes narrowed in sudden suspicion and her arms crossed, “You know, this isn’t like you. At all. You set Blaise Zabini on fire
last year because he said powder blue wasn’t your color but tonight you just sat there and it was a bloody nightmare. Your father utterly humiliated you and ME six ways to Sunday in front of half the Pureblood nation. Even now, he’s in there cackling at our expense and you’re so . . . so serene
. Have you been guzzling Calming Draught or something? Not that I blame you, but at least you could have shared.”
He smiled gently, “Hermione. I’m a true Pureblood and it is beneath me to sink to their level. My father had to obsessively dig through musty old tomes for months to do what he did tonight, if not outright make up rules to ‘catch’ you breaking them. Doesn’t that seem at all pathetic to you? We’re better than him and he knows it.”
Hermione stared at him, jaw slack. “Dear Merlin, you’re on drugs.”
There was a sudden deep muffled WHUMF from the manor and a shockwave of power rippled through the air, causing Hermione to teeter slightly in surprise, her mucky seaweed hair blowing wildly for a second or two.
Draco’s serene smile twisted into something psychotic. “Aaaaaaand I rigged your gingerbread house to explode. We should really run away now.”
“Huh? W-what?” she said stupidly.
There were angry shrieks and screams from inside the manor.
The two of them bolted like mad for the gates at the front of the property, sending peacocks flapping out of their way with startled cries and, to Hermione’s confusion, setting off several blasts of strange blue lights, the origins of which Hermione couldn’t see. Furious yelling caused Hermione to glance over her shoulder back at the manor and she gaped. Draco laughed manically beside her.
The Malfoy manor was now an absolutely dazzling, candy-coated gingerbread masterpiece that filled Hermione’s little heart with gingerbread envy. A giant gingerbread man with long white frosting hair stood at the door of the manor, licorice eyebrows slanted down over sparkling, sugary ice-blue gumdrop eyes as it shouted angrily and shook its large brown arm at them.
They barely squeezed through the wrought iron gates before the bars slammed together and Draco used her momentum to sweep her quickly up into his arms, “And as for the ‘dirty tart’ thing, I always kinda liked that about you.”
And he Apparated them away until next Christmas.
AN: Albino peacocks that enjoy subzero temperatures and shoot laser beams from their eyes. Deal with it.