A/N: This story was written for Hermione's Holiday Hideaway hosted by Hermione's Haven on Facebook. This collection is to spread the cheer of our favorite Gryffindor as well as the holiday season!

My pairing was set to be Hermione Granger & Dan Humphrey and my location was Natchitoches, Louisiana as well as a holiday themed word which was shawl. All of these make an appearance in this story in some way.

There is a quote adapted from the film, Steel Magnolias towards the end of the story which I have no claim in. I have also taken some liberty with the fact that the screenplay for Steel Magnolias has been released as a book to make it Hermione's favorite story.

I hope you enjoy this story as well as the rest of the stories in the collection. I know that many of these authors have worked very hard on all of their collection pieces for this group as well as a few other holiday themed events going on this time of year.

If you enjoyed my story and would like to check out some of my other works, feel free to search up starrnobella on most social media and you will be able to find a way to contact me outside of FFN.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Love always,
~starr


Hermione looked out at the busy sidewalk on the Upper East Side as she enjoyed her cappuccino in her favorite corner booth of the coffee shop. She was watching the snow that had started to fall a little while ago coat the sidewalks and land in the hair of passersby. This was her favorite time of the year, and she couldn't wait for a break in school to start celebrating.

She glanced down at the watch on her wrist, checking the time quickly. She had been here for about twenty minutes, and within the next ten minutes, Dan's next class would be letting out, and he'd be walking through the door. She smiled to herself as she lifted the cappuccino to her lips, inhaling the scent deeply and taking a sip of the deliciousness. She sighed as she placed the cup back down on the table.

Turning away from the window, she reached into her bag and pulled out the book she had been reading. It was one of her favorites, and she hated to put it down to pay attention in classes. She brushed her thumb over the cover and quickly thumbed through the pages until she found where she had left off. Shimming down a little bit in the booth, she rested her feet on the chair across from her and continued reading.

She allowed herself to get lost in the story and forget about the world for what she thought was only a few minutes. There was a touch on her shoulder, and it caused her to jump, practically throwing the book across the table and knocking her cappuccino over. She snapped her head back to see who had startled her.

"It must have been a good scene," he said with a laugh, leaning down and pressing his lips to her forehead. "I didn't mean to startle you."

Hermione exhaled sharply and closed her book around her finger. "I hate you sometimes, you know that right?"

Chuckling, he squeezed her shoulder and made his way to slide into the booth beside her. He wrapped his arm around her shoulders and dropped his bag on the floor beside him. "Now, now you don't mean that one bit. You just don't like being startled."

"That would be correct," she replied, leaning her head on his shoulder.

"What are you reading anyway?" Dan asked, looking down at the book in her hands. "Steel Magnolias. Isn't that a movie?"

"Yes it is, one of my favorites," Hermione answered, brushing her thumb against the cover once again. "But the book is so much better."

Dan tossed his head back with a laugh and nodded his head. "Yeah, they usually are. What's it about?"

"It's about a group of four women who meet at a beauty shop and bond during a wedding hair styling. They become friends, and they deal with a lot good times, but also a lot of bad ones. It shows how no matter what life throws at you, the friends you've made can help you through it all," she said, running her thumb along the pages, flipping them as she did.

"Sounds…interesting I guess," he said. He turned and kissed her forehead gently. "How was class today?"

"It was alright I guess. I'm just ready for a break to get here so we can go out and enjoy the beautiful weather."

Looking down at her, Dan smiled when she tilted her head back and smiled up at him. He was still struggling to wrap his mind around the fact that he was dating her. She was one of the most beautiful women at NYU, and she wanted to be with him. He'd have to remember to thank Serena for setting the two of them up some day. He wrapped his arm around her tightly and squeezed.

He looked out the window and watched the snow for a few moments. As he watched the snow fall, he thought about what Hermione had said about enjoying the beautiful weather. Maybe they didn't need to experience it in New York. The Upper East Side wasn't really that impressive when it snowed, but he could think of a few places that could be perfect to celebrate the season.

"What do you think about going away for the winter holiday?" Dan mused, leaning back to make eye contact with her.

"Where did you have in mind?" Hermione asked, looking up at him through her lashes.

"I didn't have anything in mind just yet, but I thought it could be fun to go someplace where we could really enjoy the snow and the lights."

"Sounds lovely," she said, pushing up to kiss him softly on the cheek before settling back down against his shoulder and reading through her book once more.

. . . . . . . . .

Dan scrolled through the list of bed and breakfasts he had found online hoping to find the perfect place for him and Hermione to escape to for a few days. However, the more he looked, the less he liked anything he saw. Everything near the Upper East Side was either too expensive or barely big enough to for two people to spend a week in.

He sighed, hanging his head and scrubbing his hands over his face. So much for this brilliant idea. He knew Hermione was really looking forward to this trip and he wanted to surprise her with the perfect spot. If only that perfect spot weren't so hard to find.

As he lowered his hands away from his face, a book on the corner of the kitchen table caught his eye. He was shocked that she had left it lying in such an open space and that it wasn't tucked away in her bag with her while she was out for a few hours. He leaned over and picked it up, flipping through the pages as he examined the cover. It was a boring green cover, and he couldn't figure out for the life of him what appeal she saw in it.

He looked at the book once more and then set it down on the table, sliding his laptop back in front of him. He opened up a search bar and typed in the title of the book as well as the word city. If he were lucky, the story would have been based around a real town rather than a fictional one. Within a matter of moments, he had the results he was looking for and was able to secure the perfect location for his and Hermione's holiday getaway.

Just as he was putting the finishing touches on their trip, he heard Hermione's key in the lock to their apartment. He smiled as he pushed the laptop closed and walked over to greet her on the other side of the door. As she walked through the door, he wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her into his embrace.

"Hello gorgeous," he mumbled into her neck as he picked her up off the ground and spun her around, kicking the door shut behind him.

"Hey you," she giggled, wrapping her arms around his neck, holding on tight. "What's with the extravagant greeting this evening? Did we win the lottery or something?"

"I booked our trip," he replied, setting her back down on the ground, but still keeping his hold around her waist. He smiled when he watched her eyes light up.

"Where are we going?" she asked excitedly. The smile on her face was brighter than any she had ever worn before.

"Natchitoches, Louisiana. The city that -" he started, only to be quickly cut off by his very excitable girlfriend.

"Steel Magnolias is based in! Oh my god, how did you manage to find the perfect place to go see?" she asked, jumping up and down in his arms.

"I saw your book lying on the table, and it gave me the idea," he said, leaning in and kissing her softly before pulling away. "So go pack your bag, we leave in the morning."

"You're the best boyfriend ever," she cheered, kissing him once more before dashing out of his embrace to their bedroom.

. . . . . . . . .

"I can't believe how gorgeous it is down here," Hermione said, pulling her shawl tightly around her shoulders. She smiled when she felt Dan wrap his arms around his shoulder, pulling her tight against him as they made their way along Front Street walking past the beautifully lit storefronts.

"What's gorgeous here is you," he whispered in her ear, kissing her cheek. He smiled when he heard her giggle and he squeezed her tight once more.

The pair continued their way along Front Street, occasionally veering off to check out the novelty stores that they passed along the way. Every so often they would pause in the middle of the street just to watch the snow fall and look at the lights illuminating the street.

It was the picture perfect location to celebrate the holidays. The only thing that could make this moment better was if they never had to leave. Unfortunately, they both knew that their time in Louisiana was quickly coming to an end and they would have to return to celebrate the holidays.

Hermione turned and looked up at Dan with a smile on her face. "We should take a picture to commemorate this exact moment so that it doesn't have to end."

She slipped her hand into her bag and pulled out her camera. She pressed her face up against his and held out the camera. "Three. Two. One."

The flash almost blinded them, causing both of them to burst out in a fit of laughter.

Dan leaned down and pressed his lips to the top of her head. "A few days of something wonderful is better than a lifetime full of nothing."