It was winter in Hogwarts. The lawns were beautifully white. Fifth year students were having exams and they were just dying to get them over with, go outside and enjoy the snow.
One Ron Weasley was in the common room, with none other than his (soon-to-be) girlfriend, Hermione Granger and his best friend, Harry Potter. Other Gryffindor fifth years were studying here and there in the common room. Ron Weasley was bored out of his mind. They had studied the whole weekend and his brain was asking for a break. So was Harry Potter's, but Hermione Granger insisted.
"It is not the time to slack off, if you don't study now you will never be able to remember what we've studied at the beginning of the year for the OWLs"
"But Hermione, we've done nothing but studying for a week! Don't you think we deserve a break?" complained Ron, and then added "Just look at the beautiful snow outside!"
"Ronald Weasley! I am not compromising my future just to go play with the snow! And, it's freezing outside!" retorted Hermione.
"Come on, Hermione, we need it. You'll get a full mark anyway. And it's too late now to study, the exam is tomorrow." intervened Harry.
"That's what you think. Imagine they ask The Question I haven't been able to study?"
"Oh, come on! That will never happen, and you know it" responded Ron.
Seamus, who had been immersed in a Transfiguration book right next to them, shouted "Shut up now, if you want to go out, go on your own, you're distracting me!"
So Ron and Harry got up and went on a walk, around the castle.
"I cannot take it anymore. We need something to distract us. Christmas is just around the corner and I have yet to feel the Christmas spirit in anyone! Everyone is studying nonstop!" complained Ron.
"What do you want to do about it?" asked Harry.
"Well, the exams end in two days. We could… bring some fun to celebrate the end of the exams."
"And how do you want us to do that?"
"I know just the right people." said Ron mysteriously.
Harry knew all too well who he was talking about.
The evening after the exams Ron received a beautiful eagle owl with a huge package that had an official Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes stamp in the dorm.
"It's huge! What did they send you?" asked Harry, curious.
"A Hogwarts Christmas Package my brothers have created especially for the occasion."
"Well, what are you waiting for? Open it!". Harry's curiosity was growing.
"No Harry. This is also going to be a surprise for you. Wait and see. It's going to be brilliant".
Harry smiled wickedly and got ready to sleep.
And indeed brilliant it was. The next few days, chaos reigned in Hogwarts. All kind of traps, spells, and magical objects could be found in the castle. A lot of students had started ordering Hogwarts Christmas Packages, and now they were everywhere. Very few were the people who could walk through the castle without something happening to them. Blue glittering skin, pig noses and horse tails were a normal sight in the castle. You could also find people trapped in a compromising position, for everybody to see. Not even the teachers could escape them all. The Gryffindor fifth year students would never forget the day Professor Flitwick appeared in class with a bright tight leather rainbow outfit.
And yet the worst of all were the mistletoes. They were everywhere, especially at the places you less expected them to be. They had the particularity of not letting the two poor people under it go until they had kissed. There were different kind of mistletoes. The ones that had a white ribbon only required a peck on the cheek to let you go. The ones with a yellow ribbon required a peck on the mouth, the ones with an orange ribbon required a one minute closed-mouthed kiss and finally, the ones with a red ribbon required a three minute snog.
Needless to say that all established couples used them as an excuse to snog each other in front of everyone. There were also lots of students who tried to use them to kiss their crush.
Strange couples had been created because of the mistletoes. Nobody would ever get used to seeing Professor McGonagall and Professor Snape kiss the daylights out of each other in public. It wasn't the only surprise. Crabbe and Goyle had once been caught under an orange ribbon mistletoe.
"You mean they weren't already together?"
"I know right? I couldn't believe it at first!"
Harry Potter was amused. He couldn't get bored of watching the weird looks people had, the indecent living statues in the corridors and most of all, the people who ended under a red ribbon mistletoe, especially when they hated each other. He himself hadn't been caught too much by the Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes artifacts. His seeker's reflexes had helped a lot with that. He had had a closed-mouthed kiss with Ginny though (even though they were under a yellow ribbon mistletoe).
They had been walking down a corridor, and Ginny had noticed a statue trap to their right at the last moment. She had pushed Harry to the left, but Harry had noticed a mistletoe exactly where they were headed. He tried to push Ginny to the right, but Ginny lost her balance and started to fall. Harry saved her from flattening her face, but they got caught by the mistletoe. He was relieved it had been Ginny and not somebody else.
It wasn't a big deal anyway. Ginny and he had gone out a few weeks at the beginning of the year, but things hadn't really worked out, so they had decided to go back to being friends.
But apart from this incident, Harry had only had to kiss Colin Creevey on the cheek (Creevey had fainted), been an indecent statue twice and had had cat ears for a day. He had been very lucky.
So Harry was pretty content with this new sort of amusement. It gave him some sort of distraction, since Ron and Hermione had gotten together (hurray for mistletoes!) and needed some alone time. He was therefore walking on his own in a deserted corridor. He then turned a corner and crashed into someone.
"Oops sorry. You alright?"
"Potter" he heard, full of disdain.
"Oh just perfect." He said with sarcasm. "Malfoy. Here to brighten my day up."
Draco Malfoy was standing in the middle of the corridor, something wrapped in a cloth in his hand.
"I should be the one to say that. You were the one who ran into me."
"You weren't looking either." Harry tried to interject.
"As always, like an animal, Potter. A lonely animal from what I can see. Where are your loyal puppies?" continued Malfoy.
"Who knows. Snogging in a cupboard. Not far away from your minions, I suppose. Anyway, what were you doing standing in the middle of the corridor?"
"None of your business." He said, holding closer the wrapped up thing.
"None. Of. Your. Business. Leave me alone already!"
"My pleasure." And Harry stepped aside and went his way, but as soon as he had taken a step, he banged against an invisible barrier. A sense of dread started spreading through him. He turned to look at Draco and saw him watching him, wide-eyed.
"Tell me it's not a mistletoe." Begged Harry. Draco gulped and avoided his eyes. Harry tried to calm down. "What colour is the ribbon?"
Seeing no other option, Draco unwrapped the mistletoe. It rose high in the air, hovering over their heads, a proud red ribbon attached to it.