Title: Twelve Dates of Christmas ( 3 of 15)

Pairing: Blaise Zabini/ Hermione Granger, Harry/ Ginny

Rating: T (to be safe, most chapters less)

Disclaimer: The character's are JK's. I am just borrowing.

Summary: Hermione wants some romance in her life this Christmas holiday but none of the complications that come with love. Her co-worker as well as friend, Blaise Zabini, is share in some romance with her because what are the chances it will lead to more. So, they agree for twelve love-free romantic dates but things are never that simple.

** Chapter 3 - Belle **

Hermione stepped out of the museum with Blaise at her side as she wrapped her cloak a bit tighter and they exited the stone building. He continued his reminisced on his favorite places to go in France, "I go to that museum about once a month. Also I just love this little, quiet town too. Everytime I come here, it's so comforting because it never changes. There is this shop that sells the best croissants."

As they came upon a small fountain, Hermione began to hum with a small smiles as she watched the people in the village going around their daily business. She took a seat at the fountain as Blaise stood in front of her and asked, "I don't know the tune you are singing."

"Oh, it's just a song from one of my favorite movies from when I was growing up," Hermione admitted and watched three lovely blondes call out to her date by his name. She stated, "You really do come here a lot."

Blaise rolled his eyes in the direction and ignored them as he asked, "What is the song about?"

Hermione looked off in the distance as she spoke, "It about how there is this beautiful girl who lives in a small village that thinks she is odd because she is does not fit in. She is always reading books and daydreaming of more of a life than that proviental life."

She tucked a stray of hair behind her ear as she rose from the fountain and Hermione admitted, "Actually I really identify with the her because I have never truly fit in at Hogwarts or anywhere. Well, minus being a beauty, of course."

He tisked her as he lead the way to his favorite book shop in the town and said, "You are beautiful."

With a doubtful look, Hermione posed, "I am nothing like those girls."

"No, you are much better than those girls - most girls really. They are a dime-a-dozen. Just a few french hens," said Blaise as he took her by the elbow to placed her hand in his as he continued, "I actually find your natural beauty to be so much more than what they can do with spells and magical products. Don't ever change, Hermione. Oh, up around the corner is a book store, you simply have to check out."

As he kept describing past trips to her as they walked, Hermione didn't really listen to much of it as she tried to keep from crying as no one had ever called her beautiful. Date after date she continued to learn more about her friend and also had to stop from getting too attached. Maybe these kind of dates where not going as she planned but she couldn't stop herself now. She just couldn't.

*** To be continued ***

A/N: Of course, I had to do a Beauty and the Beast reference. She is a natural Belle and Emma did a great job in the role. IMHO.