Daphne absentmindedly stroked Gryf's spine as she looked out the windows of the Hogwarts train.
"hey Daphne." Tracey said, walking into the compartment and sat down across from her.
"Hey trace," Daphne greeted, giving her friend a small smile, "how was your time at home?"
"it was great." Tracey said brightly, "I got a new cauldron!"
"that's great." Daphne said, fiddling with her new necklace, "did you get my present?"
"yes, and I absolutely loved it!" she gushed, "how'd you know I wanted a kitten?"
"you only talked about it every other day." Daphne said with an eye roll, "and thanks for the little iron cage for Gryf, though I don't think he likes it."
"good," Tracey said, leaning back in her seat, "little monster needs to learn how to behave, the cage will help him."
Daphne just laughed, making Gryf raise his head and look at her.
"so," Tracey started, "what did Lover boy get you?"
"he got me this," she said, showing Tracey the silver necklace.
"that's cute," Tracey said, feeling it with her fingers, "what does it do?"
"it compliments my eyes," Daphne said, leaning back.
"so…it's just…a necklace?"
"yep." Daphne said, "just an ordinary, mundane muggle necklace, and I love it."
"I bet if he had wrapped a pile of dung and gave it to you, you'd still love it." Tracey said with a giggle.
"I would not!" Daphne objected, blushing slightly.
Tracey just laughed, "you have it bad for him." She said, "have you told your father about him yet?"
Daphne's small smile disappeared, "he…he found out on his own."
"oh god that's not good."
"It wasn't horrible…but it wasn't exactly…good…"
"what exactly does that mean?" Tracey asked.
"it means he blathered on about how my decisions reflected badly on him, and that it wasn't good for business." She shook her head, "he didn't tell me to break it off, but I think it was implied."
"so what are you going to do?" Tracey asked.
"I'm going to continue going out with Harry, so long as he doesn't turn into a complete git."
Tracey laughed, "Might be sooner rather than later Daphne." She said.
Daphne rolled her eyes, but smile good naturedly at her friend, "will you be joining us at meals?" she asked her.
"I'm not sure," Tracey said, suddenly getting nervous, "are you sure that they won't try and string me up on Gryffindor tower?"
"I'm completely sure," she said, "and if they do, I'll be sure to let McGonagall know."
"what!" Tracey exclaimed, "you won't even avenge me!?"
"yes, that's exactly what I need, two houses who completely hate me." Daphne said, smiling slightly when Tracey laughed.
"well, look at what we have here." A snide voice said, making Daphne's good mood disappear instantly, "the two whores of Hogwarts."
"go away Draco," Daphne said pointedly, giving him her best glare, which made Crabbe and Goyle shift uncomfortably.
"or what?" Malfoy asked, crossing his arms smugly, "what will you do? Hex me? I'm sure the prophet would love to hear about that."
"I'm sure the prophet would love to hear you're a git!" someone retorted, making Malfoy turn around in surprise, where both Seamus Finnegan and Dean Thomas were standing with their wands drawn, "so what's it going to be mate?" Seamus asked, "hex or jinx? I just learned a good one from Ginny."
"or maybe a good stun charm will shut the git up." Fred said, coming from the other side of the train, George and Lee Jordan at his side.
'stinging Jinx would make his face look a lot better then it is now," George said, leaning against Fred.
"maybe a leek jinx." Lee Jordan said, waving his wand in the air.
"so, what'll it be?" George asked, "we can be commissioned to do all of the above-'
"-but I don't think you can afford it-"
"-without your greasy father paying for you-"
"why you-" Malfoy started, drawing his wand.
"Expelliarmus!" Daphne exclaimed, sending Malfoy's wand flying into the wall.
"very nice," the twins chorused.
Malfoy glowered at Daphne, "My Father-"
"yes we know," Seamus interrupted, "'my father will hear about this' don't think we care very much."
'he won't hear if we put leeks in his ears." Fred said to George.
"put it on the list Lee."
Malfoy glared at all of them before scooping his wand up and pushing past Seamus and Dean, Crabbe and Goyle followed quickly, Goyle looked back at Fred, who instantly sent a stinging jinx right into Goyle's butt, making the boy howl in pain and run quickly to Malfoy.
"nice, bet I can get his nose," George said, raising his wand.
"thank you," Tracey said, catching the attention of the five Gryffindor's, "for stepping in, they wouldn't of gone away if you hadn't."
"yes, thank you very much Fred, George, lee, Seamus, Dean." Daphne said graciously, nodding to each one.
"anytime Ice Queen." George said.
"yeah, we'd do it again if it meant sticking it to that self-righteous git." Fred said, "now we must be off, come Lee."
Lee followed the twins, waving at Daphne as they left.
Seamus walked up and stood in the compartment doorway, "mind if we sit with ye two?" the Scotsman asked.
"not at all." Tracey said quickly, smiling at Seamus as he and Dean sat down.
"so, what are you two staying all alone on this ride?" Dean asked.
"she's not the most popular person in Slytherin." Tracey said, motioning to Daphne, "and I didn't want to have to listen to Pansy talking about wherever she went this break."
"understandable," Seamus said, leaning back in his seat by Tracey, "I know we were dying listening to Luna talking about blibbering humdingers with Ginny."
"I wasn't." Dean muttered.
"please!" Seamus started, "you were too busy starin' at Ginny with hearts in your eyes!"
Dean turned red while Tracey and Seamus laughed and Daphne raised an eyebrow.
"I-I wasn't looking at her like that." He mumbled.
"please! I was waitin' for you to pronounce your undying love!" Seamus said, making Tracey giggle.
Dean grumbled as he crossed his arms.
"Stop teasing him," Daphne chastised Seamus, "so what if he has a crush?"
Tracey gave her a look, "weren't you the one who always gave Pansy grief for her crush on Draco?"
"well that's because it's Draco." Daphne said.
"makes sense to me." Seamus said, "don't know who would like that prat."
"apparently pansy." Tracey said.
For the rest of the train ride, the four talked and laughed about their breaks, with Tracey and Seamus gossiping about the happenings of the Hogwarts students,
By the end of it they were all much better friends then they had been before.
"I liked them," Tracey said as the two Gryffindor boys walked towards the stairs.
"one more in particular." Daphne teased as she followed her friends gaze directly to Seamus.
"oh shut up." Tracey said, blushing ever so slightly, "ready to go to the dorms?"
"actually, I was going to go meet Harry down by our tree,' Daphne said, pushing a lock of hair out of her face, "I'll catch up with you later, yeah?"
"sure thing, for sure we'll be sitting with the Gryffindor's at dinner."
Daphne nodded, "I'll see you later." She said, walking back outside, Gryf slowly climbing out of her pocket, and unto her shoulder, "bit could out,' Daphne said to Gryf as she shivered slightly, Gryf let out a puff of fire in front of her, making warm air hit her upper body, she smiled slightly, 'Thanks Gryf." She said as she got to the tree, she looked around and couldn't help the small pang of disappointment that crept up on her when she found that Harry wasn't there yet, "guess we'll be waiting then." She said. Leaning against the tree. Shivering once more as the wind picked up.
"you look cold," Harry commented, making her jump a little.
"well, it is the middle of winter." She said, turning to him and smiling when she saw a necklace hanging around his neck, it almost as simple as the necklace he gave her, only the pendant was a snake and a lion intertwined, "nice necklace." She said as she gave him a kiss.
"Same to you." he said with a smile, as he put his arms around her, "how was your Christmas?"
"It was fine," she said, turning in his arms and looking across the lake, "my father…my father found out about us."
Harry tensed slightly, "and…what did he say?"
"he's not happy…but he hasn't given me any rules about staying away from you, so I guess…we're good."
"For now," Harry said, making her smile.
"he also agreed to help Hagrid." She said, "he'll be coming down sometime this week to speak with him.'
"that's great!" Harry exclaimed, giving her a peck on the cheek, "thank you so much for this Daphne."
"it was nothing," she said as she felt herself warm up, "how was your Christmas?"
Harry's smile slowly disappeared, "It…it was great…I got a new broom."
"Really? did you buy it?"
"no, it was a gift…a firebolt."
Daphne looked at him in surprise, "a firebolt?" she asked in disbelief, she may not have known much about quidditch and broomsticks, but even she knew that the firebolt was the best broom there was.
"yeah…I take it you weren't the one who sent it to me."
"I wish I was," she said, "but can you imagine how my father would've reacted if I had spent a small fortune on a broom for a boy?"
"well…it didn't come with a name, or any kind of card, so Hermione thought it might have been Sirius Black who sent it…so…she told Professor McGonagall and had it confiscated so they can strip it down and make sure it's not hexed or cursed."
"oh…well, that's a spot of bad luck." Daphne said, "but I'm sure it'll all turn out fine."
"but I won't be able to practice with it, and our next match against Ravenclaw is coming up; if we don't win we'll lose the cup again!"
"Harry," Daphne said, getting out of his embrace and turning to face him once more, "I don't care if your next match will win you an international game, if that broom isn't entirely safe, then I'd much rather you lose then get thrown off your broom again in the middle of a game!"
Harry bit his tongue, "you sound just like Hermione." He muttered.
"I'm glad someone has some sense in their heads," she said lightly, "Harry, I already saw you almost die once this year, and I'd rather not do it again."
Harry sighed, "I…guess you're right…and I guess I owe Hermione an apology."
"what did you do?" she asked sternly.
"hehe…I'll tell you while we go back to the castle."