Entrapment by Nargle

By Amethyst J.

To Miss Gracie, a true connoisseur of cliché fluff, and a true inspiration as well. ^^


Hermione entered the common room on the morning of Christmas Eve to find that someone had thoroughly decorated it for the holiday. She narrowed her eyes at the copious strands of garland, magical lights, and bits of mistletoe hanging from the ceiling. It looked extremely tacky.

Just as Hermione was about to begin removing some of the mess, Lavender burst into the common room.

"Hermione! How do you like my decorations?" she asked, beaming.

Well, that explains why they're bad decorations, Hermione thought sourly, even as she managed to reply with a rather convincing, "They're very interesting."

Hermione moved under a bit of mistletoe to remove it – as a prefect, she certainly couldn't leave it hanging in the common room – only to find that she couldn't move at all from the neck down.

"Lavender…" Hermione said slowly, gritting her teeth, "Why, exactly, am I incapable of movement?"

Lavender had the decency to look guilty, at least. "Well, um, the…the mistletoe…I charmed it…er…so that, you see, someone has to…er…kiss you…before you can move."

If looks could kill, Lavender would have already died twice – and if Hermione could have moved, Lavender would have died four times. "Get. Me. Out of this. Now," Hermione ground out, and when Lavender stepped forward, she hastily added, "And don't you dare kiss me!"

Lavender quickly stepped back, cowering slightly. "I…um…should I go get Ron to do it, then?"

"No!" Hermione yelled before Lavender could so much as turn her heel. "I refuse to kiss Ron. Besides, he's with Luna now, which everyone seems to be forgetting lately! Ask…" Hermione hesitated, knowing what the impact of her next words would be, "Ask Harry to come."

Lavender's eyebrows shot up into her fringe, but she didn't question it. She rushed up to the boys' dormitory, where, apparently, Harry still was. Hermione, immobilized, was left with only her nerves for company. She desperately wished she could fidget.

Harry would come, she knew. Harry would do anything for her – he had said so himself – though Hermione was sure he had never expected kissing to be one of those things. Nevertheless, he would come, and he would do it, and Hermione wasn't sure just how she would handle that.

She wanted Harry to kiss her. He was by no means a last resort. Whether or not he wanted to kiss her, however, was an entirely different story – one that she was about to see the ending to. Hermione wasn't sure she wanted to know yet.

Lavender came dashing back down the stairs, Harry in tow. They both stopped before her, and Harry could only frown in confusion.

"Um…what, exactly, is the matter?" Harry questioned. Lavender stammered for several seconds before she gave up, shrugged, and pointed helplessly at the mistletoe above Hermione.

Harry was no stranger to mistletoe. It wasn't hard for Hermione to guess where his first kiss had been.

Hermione watched his look of confusion turn into one of terrified understanding. "Wha-bah-buh…you want me to kiss you?"

"I can't move," Hermione explained, "until someone does, thanks to Lavender's charms. It's necessity."

Harry's voice came out in a higher octave than it usually did. "Why can't Ron do it?"

Hermione wanted to throw up her arms in exasperation. "Ron's with Luna, both figuratively and literally right now. He can't very well come and kiss me – besides, I'm not letting Ron anywhere near my mouth. Could you just kiss me and get it over with?"

"I…uh…" Harry looked helplessly from Hermione to Lavender to Hermione again, face flushing violently red.

Hermione sighed. "Lavender, could we get a bit of privacy, please?"

"Oh!" Lavender squeaked, suddenly resembling a house-elf. "Yes, of course." She went back up the stairs to the girls' dormitory, leaving Harry, Hermione, and the tacky decorations alone.

"I understand that you don't want to do this," Hermione said quietly, studying the carpet. "But…well…this is a lot better than trying to save my life, isn't it? Just…just a quick peck, and it will be over with, and we can forget all about it."

Hermione risked a glance at Harry's eyes. She didn't see what she expected to.

Harry nodded. "If that's the way you want it…"

"Of course it's not the way I want it!" Hermione burst out, feeling irritable and overly emotionally due to all the stress of the morning, though the morning had hardly started, and the look in Harry's eyes had knocked away the last ounce of her willpower. "This is my first kiss, and I'd really like it to be something I could remember, but from the way you looked absolutely terrified of the prospect of kissing me, I assumed that you would prefer forgetting the whole thing. But then you had to go and make it sound like I was…robbing you of something and…damnit, I need to be able to move my arms!" she finished weakly. She could feel a few tears streaming down her face, and wished desperately that she could turn away.

But she was trapped there, facing thing demons that had been lurking beneath the surface for years, and, naturally, the only coherent thought she could come up with at the moment was that she'd really like to gesture.

"Hermione," Harry said softly, "do you want me to kiss you?"

"Yes," she admitted just as softly, feeling her face flush. The extent of her Gryffindor bravery still surprised her at times.

Harry's face reddened in reply. "I suppose that now would be the time to say that I'd really like to kiss you as well."

Hermione smiled. "You're not going to keep me waiting all day, then, are you?"

Harry grinned sheepishly and leaned toward her then. Hermione closed her eyes in anticipation, feeling Harry's hand on her neck and his breath on her face. "Open your eyes," Harry whispered.

She did. As their eyes met, so did their lips.

Hermione smiled involuntarily against Harry's mouth. She was really starting to like Lavender's decorations.

They broke apart just moments before the portrait hole opened and Ron walked in, frowning. "Be careful standing under that mistletoe, Hermione," he said. "It's probably full of nargles."

~ Fin