Disclaimer: Everything is JKR's. I'm simply playing. :)

Summary: "I love snow," she said as she stopped spinning, opening her eyes and looking at him. "It's so perfect and wonderful; completely innocent and pure. When I was little, I used to run outside when the snow was falling and I'd lie down and make snow angels. At those moments, I felt at total peace." A short fluffy/angsty one-shot where Hermione gets Harry to play in the snow with her and finally come to a realization.

Author's Note: Horrible summary, I know, but I really don't know how to describe this little fic. The inspiration for it came to me as I was reading the various new Christmas fics popping up on It's completely random and sort of pointless, but hey, I think it might make you smile.I'd appreciate any comments youleave, excluding flames because those are just nasty andno reader likes to get angry words thrown at them.Enjoy this quick piece and I hope everyone's winter is going wonderfully so far!

Snow Angels

Hermione's breath misted out before her in small clouds, the cold causing her to shiver and grip her cloak tighter around her body. Snowflakes fell lazily from the gray sky above, clinging to her eyelashes and her bushy hair as she stared out across the dazzling white landscape. A deep silence that could only accompany winter reached her ears, broken only by the crunching noise of a thick pile of snow falling from the barren branches of the surrounding trees.

Number 12, Grimmauld Place had never looked so breathtaking.

Dark circled shadowed underneath Hermione's eyes, which mirrored all of the fatigue and pain she felt. For three weeks now, she, Harry, and Ron had been at the former headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix, searching through the immense library and trying to catch some minimal rest. The Trio's hunt for the Horcruxes was being put on a brief pause so they could at least try to celebrate Christmas, which was next week.

Their search had so far been endless and frustrating. The joy at finding the locket of Slytherin hidden away in a cupboard at Grimmauld had been shattered when every attempt to destroy it had been useless. The locket still remained on the worn kitchen table, mocking them every time they saw it. Finding books on Horcruxes had become almost as hopeless, only two books so far giving a small mention of the word.

The Trio was exhausted; it could be seen clearly in all of their eyes. But neither Hermione nor Ron were as exhausted as Harry, whose face became more drawn and pale with each passing day. He was barely eating and talking even less, his shoulders always slumped from some invisible weight. His once vibrant green eyes were now dead and hollow; no sign of the boy Hermione once knew shining through. Her worry for him grew steadily until now only a constant ache resided in her heart.

She had tried so desperately to reach out to him, but he turned away every time. Harry took to locking himself in Sirius' old bedroom almost constantly now, mainly coming out for sporadic meals and stops to the library. Ron had seen the way she watched him, and though he worried as well he simply told her to let it go for now; Harry would come around on his own.

But that was just the point. Hermione didn't truly think Harry could come around on his own. Christmas was a time for happiness and peace, not the depression and war that was raging down upon them all. Unless she talked to him soon, she knew he would just continue to sink deeper and deeper into grief, pulling farther away from her.

"What are you doing out here, Hermione?"

The sound of the voice behind her literally caused her to jump before spinning around.

"Merlin, Harry!" she exclaimed, clenching her hands together. "Don't sneak up on me like that!"

"Sorry," he muttered, moving forward to stand next to her.

Hermione eyed him a second, taking in his thin form before following his gaze.

"I was just enjoying the view," she said finally.

"Hmmm…" He responded, his eyes never straying from the small band of trees several meters away.

Hermione sighed and bit her lip, not knowing how to speak to him. Their friendship had been unstable ever since their sixth year, still reeling from the lack of trust she had put in Harry. Neither knew how to mend the damage, which, though not permanent, still hurt them both in the end. They had been best friends for almost seven years now, yet they acted like strangers.

"How are you, Harry?" she managed to ask him after being unable to bear his silence any longer.

"Repetitive question, Hermione. You'll get the same answer every time," he said back, his words sounding strangely harsh.

She flinched at his tone, wrinkling her nose, and turned to stare at his profile. Her gaze brushed over his features, trying to figure out when everything had turned out so wrong.

"Don't look at me like that," he said, finally turning to face her. "I don't need you judging me."

"Why do you never speak to me anymore?" she whispered abruptly, catching him off guard.

"Never speak to you?" Harry asked. "What do you think this is right now?"

Hermione's eyes flashed with anger and she crossed her arms.

"Don't be smart with me, Harry; you know perfectly well what I am implying."

Harry glared right back at her.

"I haven't the slightest idea what you meant by that comment," he said indignantly.

"Don't be ridiculous, Harry," she snapped, clearly frustrated. "Are we friends or not?"

"Now that's ridiculous," he replied, turning away from her.

Tears glistened in Hermione's eyes as she watched him look away. To have her best friend tearing her up inside was one thing, but to have her love do this to her now was another. For despite all of Hermione's uncharacteristic antics from the previous school year and despite acting as if she had fallen for Ron, her heart and her love had only belonged to one person all along. The boy that was before her.

Hermione couldn't say when she had fallen in love with Harry, she just had. The realization had come to her as naturally as breathing and she had embraced the feeling. She loved him for everything he was and for everything he was not, and she knew she would wait for him forever if she had to. She was growing tired though, tired of dodging around his mood swings, and tired of trying to keep her feelings to herself. If only she could do something to make him happier and forget his hurt for a while.

"I wish I could take all your pain away," she whispered finally.

Harry stiffened at her words and turned his head slightly to the side, looking at her from the corner of his eye.

"Why?" he asked.

"Because I…I want you to be happy," she said softly. "It's almost Christmas, Harry, and yet you're still so sad and holding so much in. Please, talk to me; let me take some of that grief of yours away."

Harry sighed and turned back around to look at her, his green eyes clouded with emotion.

"Why do you even care, Hermione?"

Hermione seemed frozen in terror, not knowing how to even answer his question. His gaze was unwavering as he simply waited. Not being able to look him in the eyes anymore, she turned her gaze to the snow covered landscape, watching as more snowflakes drifted down and settled with their companions. A sudden idea popped into her head, one of total randomness that made her smile despite the seriousness of the moment.

She looked back at him, smiling wider when she saw the confusion crossing his features.

"Come play in the snow with me, Harry," she said, lifting her hand out to him.

His jaw dropped at her request, bewildered that Hermione had completely ignored his question and just asked him to go play in the snow. She was rarely spontaneous and her sudden comment had thrown him off guard.

"What?" he said, not able to keep the disbelief out of his voice.

"Come play in the snow with me," she repeated calmly.

"Well…I…" he fumbled around for his words, shuffling his feet.

Rolling her eyes, Hermione leapt forward and grabbed his hand in her own, blushing faintly at the contact. His hand felt warm in her cold one, sending a shiver down her spine. Before he could protest, she pulled him forward and down the stone steps to the snow covered yard. Their feet made tracks in the perfect sloping drifts, the snowflakes dancing and falling all around them.

Hermione let go of Harry's hand and spun around in a circle, her arms outstretched and her eyes closed in bliss. Harry watched her in shock, his hands shoved in his pockets and his head bowed.

"I love snow," she said as she stopped spinning, opening her eyes and looking at him. "It's so perfect and wonderful; completely innocent and pure. When I was little, I used to run outside when the snow was falling and I'd lie down and make snow angels. At those moments, I felt at total peace."

"Snow angels, Hermione?" Harry asked, his lips twitching in amusement.

"Don't you dare laugh at me, Harry Potter," she said, putting her hands on her hips. "I'll have you know that I love making snow angels."

With those words, she lay right down in the snow and started to make one. She swung her arms and legs back and forth through the snow as Harry continued to stand over her, simply raising his eyebrows.

"You're getting all wet," he said.

"Well, obviously," Hermione replied, sitting up and staring at him.

Snow clung to her back and her hair was bushier than ever, clumps of melting snow sticking to it. Her cheeks were rosy red and her eyes were glistening brightly. Harry found himself thinking that he had never found her to be more beautiful.

"Come on," she continued, lying back down. "Make one with me."

Harry eyed her disgruntlingly. "Men don't make snow angels."

Hermione let out a sharp laugh, unsuccessfully stifling it with her hand.

"And besides," Harry continued, ignoring her, "it looks silly."

"Well that's the whole point," Hermione said, still chuckling. "You're supposed to look silly. Come on, Harry, have a little fun."

Running a hand through his messy hair, Harry sighed very loudly before plopping himself down into the snow next to her. Hermione smiled brightly at him, sitting up once more.

"Eck, I'm all wet now," he muttered, lying down. "And I feel stupid."

"We'll be stupid together then," Hermione said, still smiling, a feeling a joy washing over her as she looked at Harry.

A smile was starting to make its way across his lips, which he was desperately trying to fight. Snow was falling onto his face, clinging to his black bangs and his eyelashes. The effect they gave to his features caused Hermione to blush once more and she quickly lay back down so he wouldn't see her face.

"Now what do I do?" he said, his voice low.

"Just as I did before. Stick your arms and legs out and simply swing then back and forth. It's simple."

Still feeling incredibly foolish, Harry did as Hermione instructed, creating a snow angel next to her. What surprised him the most was that Hermione was right, a certain amount of calm passed over him as he stared up at the gray leaden sky and watched the snow fall all around him. The feel of the icy coldness drifting over his skin made him realize how alive he was, no matter how dead he felt inside. Such a strong thought connected to such a simple event.

Harry stopped his movement and turned his head to look at Hermione, noticing that her eyes were already locked on to him.

"Did you feel it?" she said quietly.

Harry swallowed and nodded. "Yes," he rasped out.

Her smile returned, lighting up her face and causing Harry to smile back at her with his first true smile in months.

"Thank you," he said, averting his eyes. "You made me feel again."

Hermione didn't respond, her eyes filled with sympathy and understanding. She reached her hand out for his, which he took, their fingers interlocking. Carefully, they rose to a standing position and turned to look at their snow angels. Neither took notice that snow was dripping down their backs or that their clothes were soaked and were starting to freeze. They simply reveled in the beauty and silence of the moment, hands still clasped together.

"You never answered my question from earlier," Harry said, breaking through Hermione's thoughts.

A sad smile flitted across her face as her gaze never left the snow angels. Harry faced her, reaching for her other hand and taking it in his own. Her breath caught in her throat and she forced herself to raise her head and look up at him. Harry's eyes were suddenly hopeful, staring straight back into her own, as if seeing her soul.

"Why do I care?" she said, tilting her head to the side, a few snowflakes falling from her hair. "I would think that would be obvious, Harry. I need you. I can't imagine my life without you. Each day I see you makes me hurt even more and makes my heart ache because of all the pain I see written all over your face and in your eyes. The farther you pull away from me the more it tears me up inside."

A tear started to trickle down her cheek and Harry reached up, brushing it away with his fingers. His hand then trailed down and tenderly took hold of her chin. Hermione closed her eyes at the sensation, feeling his warm breath on her face.

"And you think it doesn't hurt me?" Harry whispered, his forehead touching hers. "To see what I'm doing to you, but knowing I can't stop it. I need you as well. Whenever I feel myself giving up, I look to you and I keep going. I was blinded last year, never seeing that what was right, what felt right, was in front of me all along. I can't go on without you, Hermione. I can't lose you."

Hermione choked back her sobs, her arms wrapping around his waist and holding him tightly to her.

"I can't lose you either," she said, her voice muffled against his shirt. "But I can't ignore what I feel anymore. I don't care what you say, this is right, we are right. Don't push me away anymore, Harry."

"If you get hurt…." Harry began fiercely.

Hermione snapped her head up and grabbed his face in her hands, forcing him to look straight at her.

"I will take that chance, Harry," she said firmly. "For you I will take that chance. Because I love you."

And then she kissed him, winding her arms around his neck and pulling him towards her. He responded immediately, wrapping his arms around her waist and pouring everything he couldn't say into that one kiss.

When they broke apart, Harry simply stared at Hermione with pure love and affection. His heart swelled and he knew he had found what he had been missing for so long. His grief was still present and would never fully disappear, but he now had Hermione at his side, more fully than she had ever been before.

"And I, you," he whispered to her before leaning down for another kiss.

With only the falling snow and the snow angels as their witness, Harry and Hermione confessed their love for each other, realizing that neither had felt alive until that moment. No matter how much pain and suffering would come their way, they had each other, and that was all that counted.