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Forsaken at Christmas

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FORSAKEN AT CHRISTMAS

By: tweety-src-clt9

 

Out of all the joyous occasions scheduled throughout the year, Christmas season is undoubtedly Hermione Granger's favorite. As a person who is obsessed with calendars and sticking to schedules, Hermione's festive mood began to wane when every single one of her Christmas plans got canceled as the days pass.

At first, it was her parents. Last week, her mother informed her during their weekly Saturday lunch date that they cannot join her for Christmas celebrations since her father got invited to join a charity medical mission in Asia which they accepted at the last minute. Since her parents loved helping charitable institutions, she accepted their excuse.

After that, her friends, starting with Ginny, canceled all the little activities she's planned out for the week before and after the 25th of December. In fact, upon checking her calendar, all of her plans have been removed except for her Yule breakfast with Harry and little Teddy scheduled on the 26th. Given how boring this holiday is turning out to be, she would no longer be surprised if she receives a cancelation notice from Harry as well.

Today is the 23rd of December 2008. It's already too late for her to start making plans for a solo Christmas celebration. By now, the hotels, restaurants, shows, and other activities have long been booked. If she could find an open slot for anything, for sure it will be bloody expensive since it will be a last-minute reservation. She might make lots of money but she can't just splurge on something just because everyone else decided to forsake her during her most favorite time of the year.

"I hate being single," she muttered. She could feel herself tearing up at the thought of being left alone for Christmas. She could not imagine being alone at 12 Grimmauld Place with just Crookshanks for company. Even then, she could still be by herself since Crookshanks' girlfriend recently gave birth. So, her grumpy furball is always spending so much time at the house where his little kittens are at. 

What the hell would I do in that large manor by myself?

As the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, she has a very busy schedule for the rest of the year, hence, her obsession with keeping everything organized. So, she feels saddened that her Christmas calendar is cleared out all of a sudden. The Yule season is the one time in the year wherein she indulges herself in relaxing activities with her family and friends after all the stressful demands of work for the last eleven months. If only they gave out their cancelation notice earlier, she would have had time to create contingency plans. But no! It's like the universe is conspiring against her this year. Honestly! It's like everyone is out to remind her that since she's single, she had no one to spend the holidays with.

She was tapping her fingernails on her oak desk thinking about alternative plans for her solo Christmas celebration when she heard a knock on her door.

"Come in!" Her voice betrayed the annoyance that she felt at being left alone on her favorite holiday.

When the door opened, despite her gloomy thoughts, she smiled. Even if she was mentally ranting about being left alone, she could not stop herself from smiling at her best friend of too many years.

"Hey, Hermione!" Harry Potter strutted towards her table after closing the door. He had a lopsided grin on his face. He was dressed ruggedly in a long-sleeved black sweater that hugged his chiseled arms perfectly and some dark denim trousers.

"Harry! What are you doing here?" She greeted cheerfully as she stood up from her seat. He opened his arms and she willingly went to him so they could hug each other. They always greeted each other with warm hugs especially if they haven't seen each other for more than a month. Being a Hit Wizard for the International Confederation of Wizards, Harry is usually away on secret missions all over the world. So, he offered for her to live with him at 12 Grimmauld Place. Seeing the practicality of his suggestion, she relented. Because of that, they had been housemates for the last ten years. Through the years, they have gotten much closer which is why she always misses him when he is away. She reckons it is the same for him since he enjoys their hugs too.

She smiled against Harry's chest as she felt his lips kiss the top of her head. It makes her happy to see Harry finally be at ease with showing affection. When they were younger, he used to get awkward during hugs, but now, it's like he craves them. Given the dark things he sees in his line of work, she perfectly understands his need for a semblance of comfort.

Like her, Harry had been single for so long since he is very focused on his career. After briefly rekindling his romance with Ginny after the war, both of them immediately realized that so much has happened and that they are already very different people. Ginny and Harry parted as friends and the redhead beauty moved on to Neville Longbottom. He was so close to the couple that he even became the best man at Ginny and Neville's wedding six years ago.

When he released her, they smiled at each other. Trust Harry Potter to always put a smile on her face despite the circumstances. They have always understood each other at a subconscious level even at Hogwarts. That never changed after the war, in fact, it even strengthened through the years even if his work causes them to spend a long time apart.

"Please tell me you don't have other Christmas plans, love?" Harry pouted.

"Merlin! You too?" She exclaimed. He had an adorably confused look on his face at her statement.

"What me too?"

"Well you see, it started last week, I guess. You know how organized I am, right?" When he nodded, she continued her rant. "Last week all of my Christmas plans have been canceled one by one and – "

"And now, you are going to be alone. Is that correct?" He interrupted. He was sitting on top of her desk with his arms crossed.

"Yes, that's right," she sighed.

"Well Hermione, it seems that you and I share the same fate this Christmas," Harry remarked as he gently reached for her hand. They laced their fingers together. His calloused hands a stark contrast to her daintier one.

"Even Teddy and Andy have plans?"

"Yes. As you know the Black sisters are trying to rebuild their relationship so they are off to spend the holidays with the Malfoys." He playfully swayed their joined hands back and forth.

"So, what do we do? Do you have a date or something? Back-up plans?" She looked away as she muttered her questions. She did not want him to feel that she was invading his privacy.

Harry snorted. "What date? You know how alike we are. It's all work for me."

"Oh." She could feel her cheeks heating up at her lame attempt at prying.

"We can't continue this forlorn attitude, Hemione! Come now. Talk to me. Let's hear that wonderful mind of yours organize holiday plans for just you and me, eh? How's that sound?" Harry tried to bring cheerfulness in his voice.

"You mean that?" She shyly looked up at him. She gave a little smile as she saw Harry's emerald green eyes sparkling with mischief. She knows that he is only trying to make her feel better.

"Of course, I do. Besides, we can't go someplace else so we might as well enjoy our time together at our little shack at Grimmauld," he joked.

"I have an idea!" She said with a big grin.

"Now there's my 'Mione," he chuckled.

"Don't call me 'Mione!" She huffed. Even if she does not like her name to be shortened, she just allows Harry to do it since he never listens.

"Oh, I am so sorry to have offended you, Madam Granger," he apologized mockingly.

"Honestly!"

"Merlin! I miss your bossiness. You could give my chief a run for his money," he laughed.

"You really could be so annoying sometimes," she muttered.

"But you love me anyway," he smirked and she rolled her eyes.

"Why don't we list the top five things that we want to do for the holidays? Like a bucket list?" She suggested.

"I like that idea… but we should only list ideas that could be done at home. Let's challenge ourselves to get confined to our little shack," he wiggled his eyebrows playfully.

"Hmmm… alright. Sounds like a plan," she mused.

"Brilliant!" He got off her desk and tugged her away.

"Harry! Where are you taking me?" She exclaimed.

"Why off to our little shack, of course. Let's go!" He pulled her away.

"Harry! I have work!" She insisted.

"Do you have any meetings left?" He challenged.

"Well, no..."

"Do you still have some things to do?"

"Not really."

"Then let's go home," he cajoled.

"Fine," she relented. Using her wand, she magically packed her things before stuffing them inside her beaded purse. With a firm hold on her hand, Harry led her out of her office.

 


 

They were lounged on the couch with her legs comfortably placed on Harry's lap. After flooing to 12 Grimmauld Place, Harry told her to just relax and he'll bring some milk and cookies which he bought from their favorite bakery before visiting her at the ministry.

"So? What activities should we do?" Harry asked after taking a bite of his second cookie.

"How about we make a list? Five for you and five for me?"

"Okay… Accio paper and pens," Harry raised his right hand. Coming from a muggle background, both of them joined forces in renovating the old Black Manor into something more modern. It's a way to avenge Sirius for all the harsh treatment he received from his cruel relatives. With Harry's very deep pockets and her ideas, they were able to connect the manor to the modern world by bringing in electricity and Wi-Fi connectivity. The only thing left of the old manor is the fact that it's still hidden by a fidelius charm, connected to the floo network, and have magical housekeepers in Kreacher and Winky. Okay, so the books at the library are still intact since she asked Harry to keep all of them for her reading pleasure. The Black Library is the second reason why she adored being Harry's housemate. The main reason is the owner himself because, through the years, Harry Potter remains to be the very best friend anyone could ever ask for.

"Here," Harry handed her a pen and paper which she gratefully accepted.

"We'll write ten activities, just in case. We'll only do the five most doable ones given the short notice. How's that sound?" She suggested.

"Sounds good, Madam Granger," he winked. She shook her head in exasperation. Ever since she got promoted as head of the DMLE three months ago, Harry loves to call her by the title the rest of the ministry employees have given her. He says that he's just so bloody proud of her for being the youngest person to ever get appointed as head of the largest and most influential department in the ministry. According to Harry, her promotion is a huge slap against pureblood bigotry and he believes that it's just the start of her blossoming political career. Harry tells her that he is confident that she will become Minister of Magic someday.

Staring at her blank paper, she starts to write about things she wants to do with Harry for Christmas this year.

"Hey, 'Mione?"

"Hmmm?"

"Can we write things like, well… organizing an orgy?" He smirked.

"Ha-ha! Very funny," she said sarcastically.

"Okay! Okay! What about beer pong?"

"We could do that for your birthday. Beer pong's more fun with other people present," she suggested.

"Ah, well, you're right," he sighed.

"I'm done with my list. You better start writing yours, Potter," she challenged.

"Give me two more minutes. Some of us are not as brilliant as the Brightest Witch of the Age you know," he snorted.

"Oh, I am so sorry! I seem to have forgotten that some of us are all brawn and power than brains," she said smartly.

"My! That's below the belt! I'll get you for that one, Granger," he feigned offense.

"Just write, Potter!"

"Yes, yes! Madam bossy know-it-all," he huffed.

"Less talk more writing, Mr. brawny Man Who Conquered," she retorted which made him chuckle. She watched Harry bite his bottom lip in concentration as he writes his list. It's such a delight to see him so relaxed and happy. She could always tell what he was feeling through his eyes. Right now, he seems content and at ease.

"All done!" Harry announced with a childish grin.

"Hit me with your first one," she said after eating another cookie.

"Setting the Christmas tree and other decors without using magic," Harry read.

"That's on my list too so we'll add that to our joint bucket list."

"Your turn."

"Nah! Just read your top five and if it's all good, then I'll read mine. We'll leave the other items as extras in case we finish our joint list early," she gestured for him to continue.

"Number two, baking gingerbread cookies," he added.

"Harry, I can't – "

"I know you can't bake, but I can. Please, 'Mione! I've never done this before. Okay, so maybe I did bake them at the Dursleys but well, it's more of making them as their house-elf but I never get to eat any," he looked away as he explained.

"Oh, Harry! We'll do whatever is on your list. Bloody Dursleys! We'll do your one to five, never mind my list," she moved from her comfortable position just so she could hug him.

"Are you sure we'll do everything on my list? What about you?" Harry whispered while they were locked in a warm embrace.

"Never mind that! My list is full of boring stuff you wouldn't enjoy like knit some sweaters or something," she whispered back.

"But – "

"No buts, Harry Potter!" She said with a stern voice upon releasing him. Their eyes locked on each other. Seeing her determination, he sighed in defeat.

"Alright. Thank you, Hermione." His smile was bright and sincere.

"You're welcome… Now, what else is on your list," she prodded.

"Horror movie marathons for number three, four – "

"Horror movie marathons?" She gulped. She hated scary movies because they bring her nightmares.

"Hey! You already agreed," he pouted.

"Fine. But can we add some cheesy feel-good Christmas movies along with the scary ones?" She negotiated.

"Two scary movies for every cheesy one," he bargained.

"Deal."

"You know, you could always sleep with me if you get scared," he wiggled his eyebrows suggestively.

"Right and Kreacher says you sleep naked," she snorted.

"So?"

"Honestly!"

"I could always wear boxers," he shrugged.

"Maybe if the nightmares are too bad. It's not like you're gonna jump me or anything. Besides, I'm not your type, right?"

"Er, yes... Right", he muttered.

"So… What's four and five on your list?"

"Four is a Christmas dinner wherein we're both dressed up and all. Five is to get drunk on eggnog," he completed his top five.

"Seems rather tame for a list by the great Harry James Potter," she teased.

"Well, the great Harry James Potter is too tired from many missions all around the world. So, he just wants to lounge about with his favorite person in their little shack," he said in a childlike voice.

"Alright, then! Let's go!" She clapped her hands as she got off the couch.

"Go where?" He was confused.

"To go buy Christmas decors, ingredients for cookies, dinner, and eggnog."

"Meet you down here in ten minutes? We have to get warm. It's bloody cold outside," he gestured to the window that's coated with snow.

"The last one to return here in the living room gives the winner a massage of their choice," he challenged.

"Deal." She smirked before disapparating to her bedroom. She laughed when she heard Harry call out a loud, 'bloody hell'. She must hurry soon if she's determined to win the foot rubs. Harry Potter gives the best foot massages so she wants to beat him.

 


 

Hermione ran down the stairs while still wrapping a scarf around her neck. To her utter disappointment, Harry Potter is already cockily waiting for her on the couch with his head cradled between his hands. He smirked as he uncrossed his legs.

"I want a full body massage for later," he announced. When she glared at him, the smug prat just laughed.

"How did you get here before me?" She scoffed.

"Women are cursed to take much longer time changing than blokes," he said patronizingly.

"Damn it! And if I won, I would have only asked for foot rubs," she pouted.

"Given the number of shopping bags you're making me carry for you, Granger, I reckon I deserve that body massage," he said as he stood up.

"Fine."

"Let's go find our tree first so that I can apparate it back here. After that, we'll shop for the rest of the décor and the food," he suggested as he extended a hand for her to take.

"Sounds like a plan, Potter," she grinned as she held his hand firmly. With that, they disapparated.

 


 

They were at a muggle shopping district to avoid getting photographed by the wizarding press. Since everyone knows that she has lived with Harry at 12 Grimmauld Place for the last ten years, the press has this cock and bull story that they were secretly together and just want to keep their relationship hidden to protect her from Harry's enemies in his job as a Hit Wizard. While she would have to give the press, headed by Rita Skeeter, some credit for their creative theory, it's so far from the truth. While Harry has never dated anyone after Ginny, she knows that it's impossible for a damn fine bloke like him to not have flings on the side. She reckons that maybe Harry is one of those 'wham, bam, thank you ma'am' types who are just up for one-night stands. Given the nature of his work, it honestly makes so much sense.

She shook her head in amusement as she followed Harry who's busy pushing their shopping cart. Since he was blessed with brilliant cooking skills, she lets him take the reins on grocery shopping. After that, she would take the lead later when they purchase Christmas decors. Harry had already apparated their newly bought pine tree at the manor so their shopping list is nearly finished.

"Hermione, what would you like for me to prepare at our Christmas dinner?" Harry turned to her so she walked closer to him.

"How about some chicken or steak? Maybe pasta?" She suggested a combination of his and her favorites.

"Hmmm… Beef Pasta Puttanesca and some Filet Mignon sound good?"

"Brilliant! I love it when you cook them for me," she smiled brightly.

"Of course!" He winked.

"Excuse me?" Both of them turned around to face an old woman smiling at them.

"Hello, ma'am!" She greeted.

"Hi! I just can't help but notice. You two are such an adorable couple. This one loves you very much, dear. What a keeper! The way he looks at you reminds me of the way my Noah used to look at me," the old woman had a fond smile on her face.

"Er, we – "

"That's so sweet! Thank you, ma'am," Harry winked at her before wrapping an arm around her waist. She could feel her face heating up at the insinuation.

"Well, I wish you both a long and happy life together. Happy Christmas!" With a cheerful wave, the old lady carried on with her purchases. When she disappeared into another alley, she glared at Harry.

"Harry! Why did you have to – "

"I can't bear to break that kind lady's heart, 'Mione. She seems to miss her husband very much," he pouted.

"Good point," she muttered.

"She's right, you know? We do make a good-looking wildly-haired couple," he chuckled which made her huff.

"Let's go to the alcohol section. We need to buy something for the eggnogs."

"Yes, dear!" Harry said cheekily.

After completing their grocery shopping, they left their purchases at the baggage counter so they can buy Christmas decorations. They headed towards the shops that sold furniture and other household ornaments. Hermione felt like being in interior design heaven. She loved these kinds of shops. For her, it's second only to bookstores.

"Oh my! Harry! We should buy those!" She pointed to the orange-colored decorations before dragging him by the hand.

"Really? Orange Christmas balls?" His voice was skeptical.

"What? They are cute! Besides, they remind me of Crooks," she pouted while fluttering her eyelashes at him. Harry Potter could never say no to her innocent pouty face.

"Oh, alright! You're lucky I love you, Granger," he huffed before picking up two dozen orange Christmas balls and placing them in their trolley.

"Yay!"

"I do hope that everything you buy isn't orange," he sighed.

"Of course, not! We'll find a color that would complement it. Maybe shades of brown or forest green," she tapped a finger on her chin.

"Well, I do the cooking and you do the decorating of our little shack so carry on Granger," he gestured for her to move along so she could buy more decors.

"Oh, look! I love those! Let's go, Harry!" She happily walked towards the tinsels. She had her eyes on the white ones.

"Yes, yes! I'm coming," he said with fond exasperation. This is why Harry Potter is the best friend and best landlord in the world. He indulges her every whim.

She eagerly placed some tinsel in their trolley and looked around for other decors she should purchase. When she saw little angels, she grinned. She could already see them placed on their center table.

"Shouldn't we reuse some of our decors from last year?" Harry asked.

"Sure, we will. We just need some new stuff to change how our decors will look this year as compared to last year," she countered.

"Just make sure that what I spend here for the décor does not cost more than my Christmas present for you. I know you, Hermione. You tend to go overboard on books and home décor," he teased.

"I do not!"

"When we renovated Grimmauld, who was it that fluttered her eyelashes so that the already large library could be extended? Also, who was it that went crazy on furniture?" He raised an eyebrow and she blushed.

"I'm sorry about that I – "

"I'm just teasing, 'Mione. You're the mistress of the manor after all," he winked. She was slack-jawed at his statement. He left her to find their Christmas topper for this year. She always lets Harry choose because it's one of his wishes as a child at the Dursley home.

Her heart pounded wildly in her chest as she mentally replayed Harry's statement over and over again. You're the mistress of the manor after all…

What could he possibly mean by that?

 


 

Harry and Hermione apparated back to 12 Grimmauld Place holding one shopping bag each. Because they had magic, before apparating back, they shrunk their purchases. Harry carried the groceries while she carried the décor. Tired from their shopping spree, they lounged on the couch once again.

"What time is it, Harry?"

"Clock says six-thirty in the evening, 'Mione. Should I go buy takeout or should I cook something?"

"Up to you, Harry. We still have some decorating to do though and you know how we agreed to the no magic rule," she reminded him of their agreement.

"Maybe I can call Winky – "

"No, Harry! The house-elves deserve their holiday too," she insisted. Ever since joining the Potter household, Winky and Kreacher have been accustomed to the rather weird orders Harry gives them. They were treated very well just like employees who receive sick leave benefits and compensation.

"Fine. I'll cook us something simple and then we can decorate," he looked at her for confirmation.

"Do you need help?" He gave her a funny look which made her huff.

"You can keep me company but I would have to pass on the help," he chuckled.

"I'm not that bad!"

"No comment," he laughed. She grabbed a throw pillow and hit him on the face.

"You're so mean to me, Potter. After all that I have done for you," she pouted.

"Let's go to the kitchen! You can talk all you want while I cook," he stood up and grabbed the shopping bag filled with grocery items.

"I can unshrink the items and store them in cabinets," she refused to give up on helping him make dinner. 

"Okay, okay!" He shook his head before walking towards the kitchen. She got off the couch and followed him.

Harry set the bag on the countertop and she removed all the items inside it. Once everything is out, she canceled the shrinking charms. He looked at all the items they bought and tapped his chin contemplating on what to make. She stored their purchases in the appropriate drawers and cabinets. The meat products, dairy, and vegetables she stored in the fridge.

"How does spicy chicken teriyaki sound?"

"Sounds delicious," she grinned.

"I'll cook some rice to pair with the chicken. You can slice some fruit for dessert," he added.

"Okay."

She watched Harry marinating the chicken and smiled fondly. Whoever gets to marry Harry James Potter is surely going to be one lucky woman. He honestly has all the traits that any woman could ever want in a man. He was good-looking, brave, loyal, honest, smart, and sexy. On top of that, the man can seriously cook! She would surely miss moments like this when Harry finally settles down with the woman of his dreams.

"Harry?"

"Hmmm?"

"Why are you single?"

"Why are you?"

"Honestly! We're talking about you."

"Fine. Well, I had to make sure that everything is in place first. That's why I don't date," he shrugged.

"Everything in place? What do you mean?"

"The reason why I became a Hit Wizard is that I was recruited by the ICW to capture the escapee Death Eaters. My most recent mission, I and the rest of my comrades assigned on this case, finally captured the last one," he expounded.

"And?"

"That's my last mission, Hermione. I already tendered my resignation. I arrived back to Britain last night but I did not wake you up. Anyway, I visited the ministry because – "

"Oh my! You're the new Head Auror, aren't you?"

"Yes," he chuckled.

"Harry! Congratulations! That's so wonderful!" She wrapped her arms around his waist, her face pressed against his back.

"I want to turn around and hug you but you're gonna smell like chicken," she could feel his back rumbling with laughter.

"That means you're staying in Britain for good," she said happily as she released him.

"Kingsley told me that you were upset about not knowing who the new Head Auror was. Also, he says that you were very pissed that you did not get to interview me," he smirked. She blushed at his statement because indeed what he said was all true.

"Harry, I did not know – "

"You didn't know it was me and you felt betrayed that Kingsley overstepped your position?" He smiled knowingly and she nodded. There was no use denying it for he knew her so well.

"Yes. I thought as the new DMLE Head I should meet you or check your qualifications at the very least," she said sheepishly.

"I was interviewed by Alfred Sylvestre one month before he retired. It was one of his bargaining chips for me to take the role. That I get to work with my best friend, the next DMLE head, which is you." He grinned.

"Oh my! So, you knew about my promotion before anyone else?" She gasped.

"It's one of my main reasons why I took the job, so I could help you. Given your background is at the Department for the Care and Regulation of Magical Creatures and during our talks on the phone, you said that you feel the lack of auror support when you assumed headship of the entire DMLE. So – "

"So, you decided to come help me," she finished for him. He gave her a bashful nod in return.

"Harry! I don't want you to take a job just for me," she insisted. She was touched at his sweetness but it was too much.

"Hermione, believe me, I want this job. It's time for me to serve Britain again. Besides, I want to settle down soon," he smiled at her.

"Oh? You met someone?" This was news to her. Harry never told her about any girl.

"Not someone. The one," he chuckled as his eyes sparkled with mischief.

"Woah! The one. Big words. You seem certain about this," she remarked.

"Oh, believe me, I am," something in his voice made her sad. She is bound to lose him to his future wife soon. She is so accustomed to being the number one woman in Harry Potter's life that she cannot fathom losing that spot to someone else. If it makes Harry happy though, then she must strengthen her resolve to accept that fact.

"I guess there will be a real Mrs. Potter soon. Finally, the salacious rumors circulating about us would be addressed," she joked.

"Yes, I'll be addressing those rumors as soon as I can convince the future Mrs. Potter to be with me," he winked.

"That's not a hard task. You're the wizarding world's most eligible bachelor for Merlin's sake," she rolled her eyes.

"That's not much of an encouragement. This woman doesn't care about my titles," he snorted.

"Harry! Be confident. Besides, you can have any woman you want," she encouraged him.

"Really? Even you?" He challenged as he gave her a deep penetrating stare which makes her feel so flustered.

"Er, I, uh – You already got me. We're best friends," she finally managed to compose herself despite the heat in her cheeks.

"I'll hold you to that then," he muttered.

"Pardon?"

"Nothing. So, tell me about your work at the ministry or anything you want to share," he carried the bowl of marinated chicken as he moved around to look for a pan.

As Harry cooked, she amused him with stories about her job, news on their friends, and the fascinating things she learned from the most recent books she read.

 


 

"Are you ready, Harry?" All their newly bought Christmas decors and their stock of old ones are arranged on the floor. Harry's spicy chicken teriyaki was a huge hit at dinner. They were tired but they have one last thing to accomplish tonight.

"Ready as I'll ever be," he chuckled.

"Let's start with the Christmas tree and move from there," she suggested.

"Three… two… one…go!" With Harry's signal, they each picked up some décor. She picked up the orange Christmas balls and he decided to go with the tinsel. Thirty minutes later, the six-foot pine tree is now covered in beautiful Christmas lights, balls, tinsel, and various ornaments. The only thing missing is the topper. This year, she could see that instead of a star, Harry picked an angel.

"You do the honors, Hermione," he handed the beautiful angel to her.

"Harry… short person problems," she snorted.

"Climb on," he patted his left shoulder with his right hand.

"I'm too heavy," she countered.

"Short person, remember? Besides, let's finish the most important part of our tree together," he insisted.

"If your back hurts, it's not my fault," she chuckled.

"Hey! You owe me a massage so, if my back hurts, I'm covered," he smirked and she rolled her eyes.

"Fine," she pouted.

"Come on," Harry knelt so she reluctantly climbed on his shoulders. When he stood up, she yelped making him chuckle.

"Seriously, 'Mione, it's just six feet from the ground and I got you," he reassured her.

"Okay, okay! Here I go," with slightly shaking hands, she gently placed the angel on top of their Christmas tree. After that, Harry knelt once again so she could climb off him.

"You know, this may be our best tree yet. We should do it with no magic again next year," he remarked as he wrapped an arm around her waist.

"You're right," she sighed as she snuggled closer to him.

"Now for decorating the rest of the living room," Harry said.

"I'll do the wreaths and you do the stockings along with the smaller details?"

"Okay."

"Let's do this thing!" They fist-bumped before getting ready to do their respective assignments.

One hour later, Hermione finished decorating the wreaths so she sat on the couch just relaxing and enjoying the night. Everything seems to be brighter now because of the décor.

"Harry, what are you doing?"

"Mistletoe. It's Christmas tradition. Besides, it gives the room definition, don't you think?" He glanced at her while standing on top of a stool as he arranged the plant by the living room door.

"Oh. Well, you have a point," she shrugged.

"There. All done," he stepped off the stool and walked towards the couch.

"Well, all the effort is worth it," she remarked as her eyes roamed all over the room.

"I agree," he sat beside her.

"I guess we can now cross out Christmas decorations on our list."

"Totally! Now, Granger, I believe you owe me a full body massage," he grinned.

"I'm too tired. Can you just settle for a back massage?" She pleaded.

"Oh, alright," he pouted.

"Brilliant! Accio liniment," she muttered.

"I thought no magic?"

"Only for our Christmas bucket list," she retorted.

"Right…"

"Shirt off, Potter."

"My! Eager are we, Granger?" He teased.

"Shut it! Don't you want that massage or not?" She huffed.

"Yes, ma'am!" He winked before taking his shirt off and turning his back to her.

Damn lucky woman who gets to marry Harry Potter, she mused as she watched the fine contours of his tanned muscular back.

"Er, 'Mione? I'm getting cold, so, er, you should – "

"Right. Right. Sorry," she blushed as she poured some liniment on her palms. She rubbed her hands together before she traced them on Harry's back. Covering the entire surface of his skin and muscles, she started to massage him starting from his shoulders.

"So good," he moaned.

Seriously! I should not think of naughty things, she chastised herself as her hands worked their magic on his back.

"Harder, 'Mione," he groaned. Her fingers pressed on parts where she could feel some tension.

"Lower, 'Mione," she followed his pleas and started massaging his lower back. His innocent pleas of pleasure just sound so wrong, she mused.

After ten minutes of pressing on his tension points and massaging his back, he called out, "Thanks, Hermione. But we should stop now, I don't want you to tire yourself. We still have to start on our third item on the list."

When he put his shirt back on, "We're watching horror movies tonight?" She gulped.

"Of course! For Christmas Eve we'll bake gingerbread cookies in the morning and get started on getting drunk on eggnog at night as we watch more movies," he grinned happily.

"Oh, alright!"

"Brilliant," he pressed the remote control and turned on the telly. After checking different channels, they saw an ad that says The Reaping will start in five minutes.

"Let's watch this one," he grinned and she reluctantly nodded her head.

Ten minutes into the movie, she could already feel herself getting scared. When there was another shocking scene on the telly, she screamed in fear and unconsciously plonked herself on Harry's lap. Feeling his arms wrap around her waist, she blushed.

"Er, sorry. Let me just – "

"No, it's okay... Stay. I know how much these movies bother you. Thanks for indulging me," he whispered to her ear which made her shiver.

"You're welcome." With her back pressed against his solid chest, his warm breath grazing on her nape, she could no longer concentrate on the horror movie. Being close to Harry like this reminds her of something much scarier. She cannot let herself fall for him when he is already set on the woman he intends to pursue. Finally, after two hours of Harry's warmth and her startled yelps, the movie ended.

"Now that wasn't so bad is it?"

"I'm getting nightmares," she snorted.

"It's still eleven. You're up for one more movie?"

"Two scary movies before we watch one cheesy movie, right?"

"Ahuh!"

"Fine. One more scary one for the night so that tomorrow morning, we watch one cheesy movie while eating breakfast by the telly. After that, we'll work on the cookies," she proposed.

"Excellent idea, Madam Granger!"

"Yeah, yeah! Now go find another nightmare-inducing movie," she snorted. To her utter disappointment, Harry found a much scarier movie called The Exorcist. This time around, even the comforting warmth of his body cannot distract her from feeling frightened. In most parts of the movie, she has her face pressed against his chest. I am so getting nightmares tonight!

"That was brilliant, don't you think?" He inquired as the end credits rolled.

"Why do I endure these scary movies?"

"Because you love me."

"Right…"

"Let's go to sleep. You look worn out," he remarked as he glanced at her.

"True. Let's go. I hope I don't get nightmares," she yawned. She got off of him and together they walked up the stairs.

"Good night, Hermione! Pleasant dreams," Harry smiled as they reached her bedroom door.

"I hope the dreams are pleasant," she snorted which made him laugh.

"Good night!" He said with a wave.

"Night, Harry! Thanks for not forsaking me this Christmas," she waved back.

"Likewise," he winked. She closed her door and sighed. I do hope I don't get nightmares…

 


 

She was walking alone in the darkened halls of the ministry. She could feel the hairs on the back of her neck stand up. Suddenly, she saw a shadow pass by and she quickened her steps. Finally, she reached the door to her office.

As she opened the door, she screamed. The scariest demon she had ever seen greeted her saying, "Hello, Hermione!"

"Ahhhhh!" She screamed as her eyes opened. Her silk nightgown drenched in sweat. Her heart is beating wildly in her chest as she panted. Thank Merlin it's just a bloody nightmare!

"That's it! I'm sleeping with Harry! It's his bloody fault why I'm getting nightmares," she huffed as she got out of bed.

Casting a Lumos to light her path, she quickly made her way to Harry's bedroom. She tried turning on the doorknob and to her surprise, it was unlocked. She entered his bedroom and closed the door. Despite being the cause of her nightmare, she had a fond smile on her face as she watched Harry sleeping soundly on the right side of his bed. He was lying on his stomach with his face turned to the left. He had an arm extended out.

She gently moved the covers but gasped when a firm hand gripped her arm.

"He – Hermione?" Harry's eyes opened. He was squinting since he was not wearing glasses.

"Can I sleep with you? I woke up from a nightmare," she said shyly.

"I am so sorry, sweetheart. Of course! Come in," he moved the covers for her.

Comfortably settled on the left side of the bed, Harry wrapped an arm around her waist. Since it was dark, she couldn't see him so she wasn't bothered about their state of undress. The warmth emanating from his body fills her with so much comfort since she's always felt safe with him.

"Sleep Hermione. I'm here," he kissed the top of her head. She snuggled closer to him. Her face pressed against his chest.

"Night, Harry." The last thing running through her head is the fact that she could no longer do this once he marries the woman of his dreams.

 


 

Winky and Kreacher who caused Hermione's nightmares huffed in exasperation as they watched the sleeping couple. They were tasked to finally make a way to bring their master and their chosen mistress together but their first attempt failed.

Master Harry is sleeping naked while their Mistress Hermione is sleeping in a thin nightgown! How could their plan fail?

"Must try for better plan, Kreacher!" Winky muttered.

"Yes! Yes! Must not fail Ginger Weasels and Mistress Grangy Mum's plan," Kreacher said grumpily.

"I got plan!" Winky had an evil grin on her face. Whispering her plan to the older house-elf, they popped away. The presence of newborn witches and wizards in a magical house strengthens house-elf powers. Master Harry and Mistress Hermione should have babies soon! They cannot disappoint their orders. A house-elf never disappoints and fails in a task!

 


 

Hermione Granger woke up feeling happy and warm despite the cold winter morning. She could feel a pair of strong arms wrapped around her. Her face is pressed against a muscular chest with thin raven hairs tickling her face. Harry, she blushed.

Opening her eyes, she glanced up to see him still sleeping with a contented look on his face. She slowly moved his arms away from her waist but his hold on her tightened. He even wrapped a leg around her thighs to keep her in bed. Because of that, she felt his morning wood pressing against her which made her blush, the heat she could feel emanating from his naked skin making her feel flustered. In her many years of friendship with Harry, this is the most intimate situation they have ever shared.

"Hermione," he groaned. She looked up at him and witnessed his emerald green eyes flutter open. He smiled at the sight of her, "Good morning!"

"Morning, Harry," she tried to rein in the blush on her cheeks but she knows it's no use.

"Shit! Sorry, Hermione!" He immediately removed his leg around her as he reddened like a tomato.

"Er, it's alright," she muttered. She bit her bottom lip to stop herself from chuckling as she watched him subtly use a pillow to conceal his morning reaction.

"Er, I'll, er, just shower and then I'll cook breakfast," he tried his best to normalize the awkward situation.

"Yes. Okay. I'll just go take a bath myself," she got out of his bed.

"Right, er, see ya at breakfast." With a shy smile, she made her quick escape to her bedroom. Once inside the safety confines of her bathroom, she giggled like a schoolgirl. It's so adorable to see the most desirable wizard on the planet blushing like a schoolboy.

 


 

Twenty-minutes of soaking herself under the warm water, she got out of the shower and wrapped herself in a towel.

She was pacing around her bedroom, looking for clothes to wear for the day, in nothing but her black lace knickers, when suddenly, an intrusion of cockroaches was scattered on her bed and some were on the floor. Since she is bloody scared of these types of pests, she lost control and just panicked.

"Ahhhh!" She screamed violently which reverberated around the house. She did not hear the frantic footsteps climbing up the stairs since she was just rooted in fear. Some of the cockroaches are flying in the air now.

"Hermione? Are you – "

His statement was halted because she immediately tackled Harry in a desperate hug as she cried on his shoulders. She was too scared to even notice her state of undress and the fact that her naked chest is pressed against his shirt.

"Immobulus! Evanesco!" With Harry's spell combo, all the cockroaches were gone.

"Shhh! It's okay, Hermione. They are all gone now," he reassured her. Hearing that statement, she slowly removed her face from his chest and pulled away.

Harry's eyes immediately glued on her half-naked body. His eyes darkening with lust as his heated stare zoomed on her long legs, sexy black knickers, tight abdomen, and her pert round breasts. When their eyes met, she gasped. Remembering her state of undress, she immediately wrapped an arm around her chest. Her cheeks flushed with arousal and embarrassment.

"It's no use covering them, sweetheart. The memory of your smoking hot body will never be unseen again," he smirked as he slowly walked towards her making her back away. And then, she hit a dead-end, with her back pressed against the wall. She was trapped. He placed one hand on each side of her head as his emerald green eyes stared intently at her own.

"Er, Harry, what are you doing?" She said breathlessly. She was determined to not cave into his seduction. She cannot bear to get a taste of being with him when he was in love with another.

"For ten years, I tortured myself to stop being with you since there are still death eaters out there who could hurt you... because of me. Merlin! I'm an idiot! I should have done this a long time ago!" There was a hint of agitation and frustration in his sensual baritone voice.

"What do you mean?"

"This." He lowered his mouth to capture her lips in a deep and heated kiss. His right hand lowered to cradle her waist as he pushed his tented jeans against her while his left hand groped her bum. She closed her eyes to savor the combined onslaught of his masterful seduction. Now is not the right time to be logical. She just let herself feel. She just wants to savor this moment.

Consequences be damned!

Pulling apart for air, he whispered, "I need you," his lips teased against her cheek as he grinds his erection against her.

"Make love to me," she moaned. With that, Harry apparated them to his bedroom while their lips were still pressed together in a frenzy.

As moans, groans, and wild sounds of ecstasy filled the master bedroom of the renovated Black Manor, two house-elves high-fived at their success. It was time to inform their conspirators that the blind couple is finally together after a decade of being platonic housemates. 

 


 

It's Christmas morning and Hermione Granger is straddling Harry Potter as their lips were locked in a heated kiss. Their plans for Christmas Eve were shattered once the cockroaches attacked her bedroom. Ever since Harry apparated them into the master bedroom, they had spent the rest of the day and the night making love. He screamed how much he's always loved her while roughly thrusting inside of her as he orgasmed the first time they made love. The only breaks they took were for eating, washroom breaks, and sleeping. After that, they resumed their cycle of making love as much as they possibly can. Harry was an insatiable lover who claims that he has ten years to make up for, hence, his very vigorous desire for her.

Right now, Harry is already primed and ready to take her when suddenly, a Jack Russell Terrier Patronus appeared out of nowhere.

"Shit! I fucking hate Ron's timing!" Harry grumbled which made her giggle.

"Hey, Harry! Hey, Hermione! Change of plans! The Weasleys are back in Britain in time for New Year's Eve so we hope to see you at the Burrow. Happy Christmas!" The Patronus floated around them before it disappeared.

"Ronald Weasley is bloody cockblocking me," he said grumpily.

"Poor baby!" She teased.

"Ah, well! He's not here now," with an evil grin, he positioned himself inside of her in one deep thrust which made her moan.

"Harry…"

"How do you want it?" He groaned.

"Go slow…"

"As you wish," he kept his promise by sensually grinding his hips as he thrusts upward to meet her downward movements. While bouncing up and down to impale herself on him, his hands playing with her breasts as their lips would meet in sensual kisses, she could only think of one thing...

This is the best Christmas ever! Who would have thought that being forsaken would turn out to be such a blessing after all?

 


 

"Harry?" She glanced at her new fiancé as they stood in front of the door to the Burrow.

"Yes, sweetheart?"

"Should we tell them about our engagement?"

"Of course, it's a long time coming, don't you agree?"

"I suppose so," she mused.

"They're bound to notice your ring," he shrugged.

"That's true. But what if – "

"Hermione, these are our closest friends who love us like family. They'll be happy for us," he gently squeezed her hand in reassurance.

"You're right. I can't believe I'm getting so worked up about this," she chastised herself.

"Hey! No worries. You wouldn't be my Hermione if you weren't such a worrywart," he teased before kissing her on the cheek.

"Let's do this," she muttered and Harry knocked on the door.

"Darlings!" To their surprise, Emma Granger opened the door.

"Mum?" She gasped.

"Come in, come in! All of us are so excited to see you both," her mother eagerly ushered them inside.

"Congratulations, Harry, Hermione!" Everyone chorused as they entered the house.

"You already know?" Harry addressed all of them. It was unexpected when every single person who bailed out on them at the last minute were all gathered at the Burrow with huge knowing grins on their faces.

"Of course, we know, mate! Kreacher and Winky – " Ron started explaining as he had one arm wrapped around his wife, Luna. When he saw the frown on Hermione's face, he stopped talking and gulped.

"You dragged Kreacher and Winky in all this?" She said angrily. Fearing the eruption of Mt. Hermione, Emma intervened.

"Darling, I want grandbabies and you and Harry are nearing thirty but you are still dancing around each other. I got tired of waiting so I asked Luna, Ron, Neville, and Ginny – "

"Wait a second! You conspired against Harry and me?" Her frown deepened.

"Hermione, let us explain," Ginny said calmly.

"You better start talking Ginny Longbottom," she crossed her arms.

"Well your mum talked to us sometime in November and we had this crazy plan to move things along in your relationship. Honestly! After ten years of living together, one of you should just jump each other's bones and shag already. Anyway, so Ron, Emma, and I talked to Winky – "

"You included the house-elves in your crazy scheme?!"

"Kreacher, Winky?" Harry decided to help their well-meaning conspirators since Hermione's wild curly hair is starting to ripple with her magic.

"Good evening, Master Harry, Mistress 'Mione," the house-elves popped in and curtsied.

"Would you mind telling us what they told you to do?" Harry pointed to the conniving group.

"Ginger Weasels and Mistress Grangy mum told us to bring Master and Mistress together," Kreacher started.

"Yes, master! So Winky and Kreacher give mistress nightmares…"

"And we bring cockroach to her room…"

"You brought the cockroaches?" Harry was astounded.

"We're so sorry, master. We be ironing ears now," Winky sobbed.

"No! I want no punishments. I just want to thank you," Harry knelt to hug Winky which made the female house-elf cry some more. He also did the same to Kreacher which made the old grumpy elf blush.

"We can't thank you enough," Hermione followed Harry's example as she hugged both elves and kissed each of their heads.

"We love you, mistress," Kreacher and Winky each hugged one of her legs making everyone laugh.

"Now you both can join us for tonight's celebration or you could carry on partying with the other house-elves at Hogwarts, you decide," Harry said.

"We party at Hogwarts, master!" Winky replied and Kreacher nodded. When Harry grinned, they popped away after bowing respectfully. 

"The house-elves are off the hook, but you, mother – " Hermione pointed a finger unknowingly showing everyone her sparkling diamond ring.

"You're engaged?!"

"Oops!"

It was indeed a happy new year, when finally, the most oblivious couple in wizarding history, at long last, made their ten-year domestic relationship official by admitting their feelings and deciding to tie the knot.

As everyone talked about wedding plans, Emma Granger had a smug look on her face. I will be having those grandbabies soon… Hmmm… Maybe I should ask the elves to dose them with some sort of fertility treatments…

 


 

Witch Weekly – January 2009 Issue

Potter – Granger Announce Pregnancy and Wedding Plans

By: Rita Skeeter

This reporter always knew from the moment I saw fourteen-year-old Tri-Wizard Champion, Harry James Potter, get mauled by a hug from his brunette best friend, Hermione Jean Granger, that they will always be the ones to walk down the aisle together.

After ten years of living together, and speculations about the true nature of then ICW Hit Wizard and Ministry Crusader's relationship, at last, the new Head Auror and Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement are finally announcing their upcoming nuptials and a baby on the way.

Looking at their adorable photo above, with Granger playfully choking a very happy Potter with her sparkling heirloom diamond ring on display, I could not help but feel smug for having been right all this time. The chemistry between these two is just sizzling hot that it's not a surprise if readers could feel the love shared between them.

Details about the Wedding of the Century will be revealed soon. I could only say that I, along with the rest of the Wizarding Press, am very ecstatic at this happy news. Finally! The Golden Couple admits the true status of their relationship. 

Congratulations Harry and Hermione! I'm afraid to say it, but I told you so.

For excerpts of articles containing speculations of their relationship, turn to Page 2. 

For comments and reactions from the Golden Couple's dear friends, turn to Page 6. 

 

THE END