Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, just the plot of this story. Read and review!
Hermione's sweater prickled around her arms, as the warmth of the fire boiled the room. Her feet on the coffee table, shouting noises constantly coming from outside. Hermione looked over her shoulder out the window, kids ambling around the snow, small snowmen towering over uneasily. She let out a tired sigh and put her book down.
It was pretty cold outside, the wind whistling in Hermione's ears, but with her scarf and her coat, she kept pretty warm.
She walked around the rocky parts of the snow, glided over the ice patches, and walked between the screaming first years playing tag. She ducked, dodging a snowball hitting an observing Professor on the head. Hermione hurried around the parade of snowmen, rearranged the carrot-nose on one particularly messy one, and struggled up a hill.
Perching herself on the top of the icy slope, Hermione tucked her knees together, and brought her arms around them protectively.
Maybe it was someone meaning to hit someone behind her. Maybe they were hexed. Maybe it was an accident and she would soon hear the bedraggled and embarrassing screams of 'SORRY!' coming up the mountain. But whoever did it; the snowball hit Hermione straight in the back.
Harry stood with his hands behind back, an innocent smile playing over his face, closed with force, since little snickers would emit from his mouth every five seconds.
"You are DEAD, Harry Potter!" Hermione shouted, messily punching together snow and throwing some in his direction, which Harry expertly jumped and ducked at. He climbed up the hill to her breathless.
"Finished your paper then, I presume?" Harry asked mockingly.
"No. I just wanted to come out… for some air."
"Air? You came out into the freezing cold for air? Where were you sitting?"
"Oh, Harry, you always over exaggerate everything I say. Shut your mouth up or I'll stuff a snowball in it." Hermione warned playfully, plopping a small amount of snow on his head.
"Thanks." He said ungratefully, spooning some of his forehead.
"No, it looks cute." Hermione said admiringly, rearranged it to fully cover his head, before shoving it off.
A snowball hit her hard on the shoulder. She immediately scrambled up with a dangerous look glinted in her eye, grabbing for the snow and throwing it after a running Harry.
"NO ESCAPING, POTTER!" She yelled, throwing the icy substance, melting in her hand, still running after the fast boy. It was every once in while when Harry would throw snow over his shoulder, and then plunder on, leaving Hermione breathless.
"Alright, Potter, you win." She said gasping, dropping to the ground. Harry sat down next to her.
A gloved hand entangled it into Hermione's, dragging her up from the ground.
"Come on. You must be freezing."
Five minutes later, the two of them where on a rusty bench outside, by the lake, Hogwarts behind them with plenty of eager witches and witches running around the crisp snow while the two of them drank deeply out of mugs of hot chocolate. The brown swirled around with foamy bubbles in Hermione's drink, but Harry was spooning off some of the whipped cream he had piled on earlier.
"You think you still might go over to your parents for winter break?"
"No. Christmas is too soon to be traveling," Hermione said staring into the mug. "Besides, Mom and me talked about this. I'll be staying here for my last year." Hermione finished.
"Mmm." Harry responded while drinking heartily from his cup.
"I wonder. The snow is still so… fresh. Why isn't it dirty of thrown around yet? Kids are running on it as we speak." Hermione pondered aloud curiously.
"Flitwick bewitched it. 'Posed to stay crisp until the snow melts away."
"Oh." They drank in silence until their cups were empty.
Hermione tilted her head, curiously watching a kid falling into the lake.
"I have an idea," Harry stated walking off the bench. "Come here…" He pulled Hermione towards him, while he walked towards a large patch of cold snow.
"I'm making a snowman and I want you to help me." He said quietly, rolling the snow together.
"I can do that," Hermione said, whipping out her wand nonchalantly and tapping the snow. A perfect base for the snowman appeared. Harry was in awe, still patting the small, dinner roll size amount of snow.
"How… How did you do that?"
"Simple charm." Hermione said wisely with a shrug, repocketing her wand.
With Hermione's simple charm, the base, middle, and head were easily made and flawlessly rounded and impeccably crafted. Harry was smoothing the spot around the snowman's eyes, made of Bertie Bots Every Flavor Beans. The carrot nose was cleanly shaved, and the mouth was made out of treacle tart.
"We just need one more thing." Harry said. And with one unexpected and swift motion, grabbed for Hermione's gold and scarlet scarf, wrapping it around the snowman's neck.
"Now it's a Gryffindor. We couldn't have students thinking we created a Slytherin snowman, now could we?" Harry reasoned, not really waiting for an answer.
"We should name it." Hermione says suddenly.
"You know, something unique."
"Okay. Maybe someone who was already in Gryffindor." Harry suggests.
"Someone famous, or well known. Oooh, like Em–"
"Hmm," Harry interrupts. "What about Dumbledore?" Harry proposes, ignoring Hermione.
"Nah. How about the man we learned about in Professor Binns class, Lo–"
"How about Godric Gryffindor?"
"Why always a male person?" Hermione asks.
"Well, fine, you think of some famous female Gryffindor, Granger."
"Well, we could pick Fiona F–" Hermione starts eagerly again.
"What about we make a mix of our own names?"
"Hmm," Harry had already started. "Potter… Granger… Pranger? Gotter?"
"Oh, Harry that's silly."
"No! You know, our last names aren't that different."
"We could use my first name with your last name. Hotter."
"Hotter? That sounds like–" Harry starts criticizing, but now is Hermione's time to cut him off.
"Or maybe… Well it's definitely a girl." Before Harry could argue, Hermione drew her wand and engraved small eyelashes over the eyes with the tip of her wand. They were visible if you were about two feet away. The wand lit up with hisses every time the tip hit the snow, and after wiping the tip dry again, she put it back in her jacket.
"Fine then. That's irreversible." Harry states bitterly.
"H-How about Lily?" Hermione asks hesitantly, since Harry's expression looks unreadable right now.
"I like that name. We can call her that." Harry says quietly after a few seconds.
The students were starting to shiver with cold, covered in snow, their new boots dirty and used. They were filing in by the hour, until the rest of the playing kids were on the warmer side of the castle. Hermione was sitting by the lake with Harry, her hands on her knees, while Harry sat silently with his legs crossed, swinging rocks into the lake.
Her back prickled against the bark of the large tree behind her.
"The lake ruffles when you do that, Harry." Hermione informs him.
"I know. Do you sometimes wish you could just jump in?" Harry asks. Hermione looks around her uneasily.
"What? Harry, are you suggesting something–"
"There's basically no one around. The sun'll set soon." Harry ignored Hermione's whispered hisses, slowly undressing himself until down to his boxers.
"Harry, you can't possibly be going through this–" Hermione asked panic-stricken.
"No turning back, now, Hermione." Harry said walking around a rock.
"The lake'll be freezing, it's winter, and it's snowing!" Hermione warned.
But she was too late; Harry had taken one giant plunge, sending watery sparks everywhere. Hermione backed away until her back hit the trunk of the tree.
"Come on Hermione… Don't be a spoil-sport." Harry mocked.
"No." Hermione argued persistently, climbing steadily along the rocky border of the lake and sitting with her feet almost dangling into the icy water.
"The water isn't that bad." Harry without thinking, grabbed with a drenched hand on Hermione's jacket, sending the stunned Gryffindor into the lake in shrieks.
She plundered up a moment later, wiping her face from the beads of water.
"HARRY POTTER!" She yelled at the boy smiling at her, swimming around afloat. With his hair in his face, all matted down, his eyes watery in a charming way, Hermione thought that he really was sort of… attractive.
"I just slipped." He replied innocently.
She had noticed this during fourth year when Harry suddenly came over the water's surface, breathless, after completing the second task in the triwizard tournament.
"God, when you're angry you're really dangerous looking." Harry pointed out.
Why hadn't she noticed this before?
With a laugh, Harry splashed around the water.
No. Handsome is the word. Handsome in a slightly charismatic way. He was not attractive. He was the Boy Who Lived.
"Shut up, Potter." Hermione mumbled in his direction.
"Your wish my command." Harry muttered, diving.
Up to her neck, she could walk on the dirty and rocky surface. Her white Hogwarts blouse plastered to her shoulders. It was when she walked forward softly when she felt her foot trip, and body sink under rapidly.
"Hermione!" She heard Harry shout, but it was muffled under the water.
Hermione suddenly felt a strong arm hoist her up, as she gasped for breath. She looked Harry appreciatively in the eye, not able to thank him verbally.
She had barely realized she had just been saved when she realized that Harry's mouth was an inch away from her lips. Every breath he would take would gust against Hermione's jaw. To make it worse, Hermione felt a tingling in both of her hands, looking down at the rippled water seeing a strong grasp of pale hands over her own. Harry seemed to notice this all too, when Hermione was extremely silent, awkwardly casting glances around her. The grip around her wrists lessened and Hermione immediately wriggled away.
"Uh, thank you." Hermione breathed, ambling around the border breathlessly.
"Are… Are you alright?" Harry asked chokingly.
"Yeah, I'm fine." Hermione answered, climbing out of the lake, scarring her knee on one of the rocks.
It was since that moment on that day, where they couldn't be normal around each other. They could not look each other in the eye, or stand near each other. Earlier, when they were walked around the snow, their hands twitched together, brushing lightly against the other, and Harry jerked away.
The moon was over the dark sky, only a dark shade of navy blue taking over the sky. On this clear night, the stars and moon were as clear as a sparkling clean glass. Since the snow was still crisp due to the enchantment, under the moonlight it was shimmering perfectly under the prominent shine of the moon. Hermione's engraved figure was drilled into the snow, her head buried into the milky blanket on the ground. A shadowy figure came out of the darkness and jet-black hair emerged for a second into the light and lay down next to Hermione.
"Hey, Hermione." Harry breathed silently. His head lay next to hers, his eyes following star to star.
Hermione waved her legs and arms around, making a snow angel. Her arm hit Harry's hand on her fourth wave, and she was about to rip it back, but Harry grabbed it protectively.
"It's quite a starry night." Harry commented. Hermione awkwardly thought of something to say in respond to Harry's comment, but was so involved in the fact that Harry's dry hand was squeezing hers.
"The moon is so bright… It just looks beautiful reflecting onto the ice… the snow." Hermione finished, sort of fading away her voice, as out of the corner of her eye seeing Harry intently watching her. It was enough that the blood in her hand was almost completely drained out.
"Ever wonder what makes the moon?" Harry asked.
Hermione looks at him.
"It's made by–"
Harry cut her off with a small laugh.
"You're the smartest witch I have ever known. Muggle-wise and wizard-wise."
"No, really, Hermione. Give yourself credit."
"And how to do I reward myself for doing my homework?" Hermione asked mockingly.
"I don't know about how you can reward yourself but I can."
"What? You could reward me?"
"Certainly." Harry says casually, with a hint of nervousness in his voice.
"And… how?" Where was this leading? Hermione didn't know and she certainly didn't want to.
"Well," Harry seemed to be arguing with himself about what to do. Waiting for an answer, Hermione blinked out of the moonlight. Suddenly, Harry leaned forward, but Hermione didn't know what he was doing, and reluctantly leaned backward onto the snow. The ice seemed to burn through her sweater. She was pretty sure her back was wet by now.
Harry rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly.
It was Hermione who spoke first.
"What… What was that?" Hermione asked, trying to look into his eyes, but he avoided hers.
"Uh – I –" Harry cut himself off himself, grabbing Hermione's face fiercely, smashing his lips on hers.
Hermione at first struggled, trying to talk against his mouth – but then realized what was happening.
Harry ripped off of her mouth.
"Harry…" Hermione gasped with bated breath.
"You still own me an explanation." Hermione said.
"I already showed you." Harry said, holding her jaw gently.
"Huh?" Hermione says barely.
"Do you need me to show you again?" Harry asks quietly, and Hermione can only nod.
Harry kisses her again just more tenderly than last time. He rolls on top of her, sort of absently, and Hermione snakes her arms over his neck. This time the snow melts under her impact, seeping through her jacket. Hermione can only think of that it's going to end soon… soon… and now.
Harry breaks apart from her.
"I… can't breath…" Hermione choked out.
"Breath through your nose." Harry instructs, and kisses her on her mouth softly.
"It's going to get dark soon." Hermione says, eyes still closed.
"The moon is bright."
"God, this snow is cold!" Hermione says, throwing open her eyes.
"I like it more than I did before. I mean, this is sort of special for me. My first…"
"Kiss?" Hermione supplies.
"No. My first… you."
"What?" Hermione blurts out.
"Hermione, I've wanted someone like you. Someone smart to help me when trouble comes, someone who takes risks and doesn't care breaking the rules every once in a while."
"Anyone can see us through a window." Hermione said, interrupting his speech.
"That's a good thing. Maybe Malfoy might stop insulting you if I'm with you."
With the perfect and fresh snow, shimmering in the moonlight, which reflects onto the ripped water of the lake, the only thing you could see would be two shadowy figures glinted against the light.