Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
- Story Summary:
- It’s Christmas Eve, and Harry & Hermione are enjoying the festivities at the Burrow…but will Hermione get for Christmas the one thing she truly desires?
- Author's Note:
- This ficlet was written in response to the Christmas Challenge at the Seven of Quills yahoo group. The challenge elements were:
5. Someone has to give a quill as a gift. 6. There must be a snowball fight.
7. Someone must say the line "You're looking quite nice this evening. Either that, or someone spiked the egg nog."
"You’re dead, Potter!" Ron roared as another huge snowball struck him on the head. He cupped his hands together and scooped the snow up, quickly forming a snowball as Harry made a run for it to hide behind a tree. The snow fell thickly around them, and Ron scanned the backyard of the Burrow, trying to catch a glimpse of Harry or Hermione, who’d been conspicuous in her absence.
The trio were in their seventh and final year at Hogwarts, and were spending their last Christmas together at the Burrow, an invitation extended by Molly and Arthur Weasley which Harry and Hermione had only been too pleased to accept.
It was Christmas Eve and, having helped Molly bake snowflake and christmas tree shaped biscuits earlier that day, they’d made their way outside to spend the afternoon indulging in a spectacular snowfight which had quickly deteriorated into a serious war. Ron crouched down low and quietly crept across the backyard, having the advantage of knowing the layout much better than the others.
He froze when he heard a noise to his right, and in his peripheral vision he spotted bushy brown hair poking out from underneath a dark green beanie. Grinning, he changed direction and waited until he was a couple of feet away from Hermione, then launched his snowball in his hand, hitting her squarely on the back of the head.
Hermione let out a shriek and spun around. "Ronald!" she screamed, throwing the snowball she was armed with, but it missed Ron altogether. Ron legged it and bolted for the safety of the house, whereupon he slammed the back door shut and locked it with his wand. Hermione made it to the door ten seconds later and attempted to open the door to no avail.
"Ron, let me in this instant!" Hermione said firmly, stamping her foot. She was wet and tired and cold.
Ron grinned at her through the screen. "Not until you say the magic word."
Hermione tutted. "Please?"
"That’s not the magic word."
"How about ‘if you don’t let me in right this instant I’ll turn you into a playmate for Trevor?’"
Ron let out a snort. "That’s more than one word."
"Come on, Ron. It’s cold and I’m tired and wet. Please let me in."
Ron’s face softened for a moment, then he smiled again. "Harry’s still out there, you know. Why don’t you go get him first? He won’t know we’re in here otherwise. I’ll go start the cocoa and marshmallows, okay?"
Hermione sighed. "Okay." She turned around and stepped off the verandah, then trekked back into the yard. "Harry!" she called out. No answer. She looked around some more, but could find no trace of her best friend.
"Harry?" she called out again, coming to a standstill. She looked back at the house, which was now a fair distance away. The Weasleys had a big yard, but still…he couldn’t be far.
Suddenly, a flash of white came out of nowhere as something hard hit her arm. It caught her by surprise and she lost her balance, sprawling inelegantly in the snow. "Dammit," she muttered as raven hair and bright green eyes came into view.
"Having fun down there?" Harry said with a smirk, amusement clearly written all over his face.
"Tonnes." Hermione stuck her tongue out and closed her eyes, too exhausted to move.
"Want a hand?" Harry stood over her and held out mittened hands. Hermione sat up slightly and grabbed his hands, allowing him to pull her up. However, as soon as she was in a standing position, she pushed him backwards and put a boot on his chest to stop him from getting up.
"Hey!" he said, glaring at her. "What are you doing?"
"Aww, what’s the matter, Potter? Bloody cold lying in the snow, isn’t it? Maybe you’ll think twice about getting me next time, hmmm?"
Harry looked up at her for a long moment and Hermione began to feel uneasy. She could always tell when he was up to no good; he got this look in his eyes. Suddenly, he reached up and pulled on her leg. Next thing Hermione knew, she was straddling him, unable to move due to the fact that he had a tight grip on her legs, effectively pinning her to either side of him.
"Let me up," she said, making a half hearted attempt to struggle out of his grasp.
"I don’t think so," Harry said with a grin. "If I have to be wet and cold, so do you. Now, we’ll stay here until you apologise, Granger."
"What for? You hit me!" Hermione wriggled about, trying to unpin her legs.
"Hermione, stop squirming." Something in his voice made Hermione comply, and she looked at him. What she saw in his eyes took her breath away.
Harry let go of one of her legs and waved his hand slightly, then sat up so that they were able to look at each other properly. He slowly slid his arms around her waist, and Hermione’s breathing became shallow and uneven as her heart thumped almost painfully against her ribs. Although it was freezing, with the unrelenting snow falling all around them, a strange warmth made her body begin to tingle. She placed her hands on his chest.
"Look up," he said softly.
Hermione complied and gasped in surprise. A small sprig of mistletoe hovered directly over their heads. "Mistletoe," she breathed, still unable to properly comprehend the turn of events that had occurred in the last few minutes.
"It’s horribly bad luck to break the tradition," Harry’s voice was almost a whisper as his mouth was just inches from hers.
Hermione unconsciously licked her lips and just nodded as Harry leaned in. Her hands moved up and around his neck as he covered her mouth with his, and she hugged him tightly as they kissed. Hermione pulled back as Harry moved his mouth down to the small part of her neck that was visible above her scarf, kissing the bare skin.
The simultaneous sensations of the cold of the snow and the warmth of Harry’s lips on her skin set off fireworks in her stomach. "Harry…" she moaned softly, the overwhelming desire to feel his lips on hers again fast becoming hard to fight. Harry seemed to understand, lying back down and pulling her with him. Their lips met again as his head hit the snow, and Harry ran his tongue along Hermione’s bottom lip until she opened her mouth to him, allowing him access. She let out another moan as he explored her mouth, making her feel like her insides were burning. She placed her hands on his face and kissed him harder.
"Harry! Hermione!" They both heard Ron’s voice at the same time and quickly pulled apart. Harry scrambled to his feet, pulling Hermione up with him. A second later Ron appeared, and Hermione was sure they must have had guilty looks on their faces.
"Are you two okay?" Ron asked, looking from one to the other.
Hermione couldn’t form any words so she merely nodded.
"Yeah, we’re okay. We were just on our way in," Harry said in a slightly uneven voice.
Ron looked at them for a long moment, then shrugged. "The cocoa is ready. I thought we might toast some marshmallows to go with them."
"Sounds good." Harry started towards the house, not bothering to look at the others.
Ron watched Hermione for a moment as she stood there. "You sure you’re okay, Mione?" he asked softly, tilting his head slightly.
Hermione snapped out of her reverie. "I’m fine, Ron." She walked over to him and slipped her hand into his, allowing him to lead her back to the house.
Hermione entered the house to find all of the Weasleys and Harry gathered around the fire in the lounge room.
"And then he said, ‘You're looking quite nice this evening. Either that, or someone spiked the egg nog!’" Fred delivered the punchline and the entire family bellowed with laughter. Hermione smiled as she found an empty place in front of the fire. Ginny handed her a mug and she took a sip of the cocoa, the warmth instantly enveloping her.
"So, Mum," George began. "Have I ever told you how you’re my favourite mother in the whole wide world?"
"I’ve already said no, George," Molly Weasley said firmly. "And no amount of flattery will get you anywhere. You cannot open a present now. It’s not Christmas until tomorrow." A collective groan from all those present sounded.
Nine pairs of eyes shifted hopefully to Arthur, who sighed. "Come along, Molly. Surely one present each wouldn’t hurt. There’ll be plenty left for tomorrow."
Molly looked at her husband sternly. "You’re not going to leave me alone until I say yes, are you lot?"
"No," Fred said quickly.
"Absolutely not," George chimed in.
"Please, Mum?" Ginny begged. Various other pleas of "please, Mum" and "please, Mrs Weasley" were heard until Molly held up a hand.
"Fine," she finally relented. "Fine. One present each, and I mean one. Ginny, you pick one present for each of us." A cheer went through the room and Ginny stood, making her way to the enormous Christmas tree perched in one corner. She carefully moved packages of all shapes and sizes, then began to pick one for each person, handing them out. They waited until everyone had one and Ginny had sat back down with hers, then they all began to unwrap.
Hermione looked at the tag on her present and saw that it was from Harry. With trembling fingers, she carefully unwrapped it. It was a long, thin black box. She slowly opened it and gasped when she saw what laid inside. It was a very rare phoenix quill, one Hermione knew must have been expensive. Feathers from a phoenix were rare, so the ones obtained were usually used to make wands. Hermione knew it was incredibly hard to find one used to make a quill.
She looked up at Harry for the first time since she’d gotten back in the house to find him smiling at her from the other side of the room. She mouthed ‘thank you’ at him, and he blew her a kiss in return, making her grin.
"What did you get, Harry?" Ron asked. Harry held up a pair of socks that had obviously been knitted by Dobby, given that they clashed violently. One was bright orange, the other bright yellow.
"They’re attractive," Ron commented. "How come I didn’t get a pair?"
"You did," Ginny said, pointing to a small parcel under the tree. Ron groaned, and everyone laughed.
Percy leaned over the table and picked up his cocoa. "Feliz Navidad, everybody," he said in a formal tone, holding his mug up in the air.
The twins rolled their eyes. "You’re not in Spain now, Perce, you great prat. Speak English. Everybody knows that’s all the spanish you can speak anyway!" Fred’s retort made all his siblings and Harry and Hermione laugh, and even Molly and Arthur hid smiles behind their hands.
Percy’s face began to go the colour of his hair, and Arthur held his mug up to ward off a pending argument. "Merry Christmas, everyone."
The whole room held up their mugs, and as Hermione once again shifted her gaze to Harry and saw the smile in his eyes, she knew it would be a very merry christmas indeed.