I haven't written a Harry Potter story in a while, so please bear with me.

If you like stories in general, I have a few new ones on my account (qwert)

The snow was gently falling around Harry and Hermione as they strolled around the lake, watching the giant squid lazily circling the water as well. Harry secretly looked towards Hermione, admiring how the bright light reflecting from the snow made Hermione's face shine.

"It's so quiet out," Hermione said in a whisper, not wanting to disturb the peaceful serenity.

"That's because everyone is inside studying for exams," Harry said, half smiling.

"True. Why aren't we two of them, Harry?" Hermione asked. Harry had begged her to go walking outside with him a few minutes before.

"Because. I told you. I need some time away from all the prying eyes. It's exhausting," Harry replied, only telling half the truth. He noticed the worry in Hermione's eyes and felt slightly guilty, but only slightly.

"Do you want to talk about it?" Hermione asked sincerely, putting her hand on Harry's shoulder.

Harry's heart quickened at the gesture. It was now or never. "Hermione?" he asked cautiously.

"Yes, Harry?"

"I have a Christmas present for you," Harry blurted out.

Hermione seemed surprised; Harry figured she was not really expecting that to come out of his mouth, Christmas was still a week away.

"Oh," she said quietly.

Harry nervously scratched his right arm, a tick he had developed around her over the last few months. Hermione noticed.

"Is there any particular reason why you brought me to the lake to tell me this, a week before Christmas?" she asked.

"Yes."

Hermione anxiously looked him in the eyes. Harry knew he was a goner. "Oh," she replied again.

"Is that all you can say, Hermione?" Harry asked, almost laughing.

"Do you… do you like me, Harry?" she managed to get out in a small whisper, not looking at him, but rather at the snow pile on the ground right before her feet.

Harry turned red. He tried not to, but he could not help it. He knew he could never outright lie in front of Hermione.

Hermione nodded slightly to herself. Then, to Harry's amazement, Hermione began to cry. All of a sudden, she turned around and was about to sprint off in the direction of the castle. Luckily for Harry, he was not a seeker for nothing.

"Please don't," Harry pleaded as he grabbed her arm and stopped her from racing off. Hermione reluctantly turned to face him, tears streaming down her cheeks.

Harry stared at her, slightly uncomfortable and then reached out and wiped away the water droplets collecting on her chin. "Harry…" Hermione trailed off, closing her eyes.

"What?" he asked.

"Harry…" she tried again. "Harry, I can't do this. I just can't."

"What do you mean, you can't what?" Harry asked her, taking a step closer to her.

"You're going to fight Lord Voldemort soon. What happens if you don't win? I won't be able to stand losing you if we're together. Not that I stand a good chance if we're not, but still…" Hermione got out before breaking into shoulder-racking sobs.

Then Harry understood. Hermione was afraid of losing him, and instead of spending what precious little time they had together, she found it easier to ignore her feelings and pretend there is nothing between them. Unfortunately for her, Harry found it a lot nicer to spend their remaining time in each other's company.

Harry pulled Hermione towards him and said in a gentle whisper, "Doesn't it make more sense to spend as much time together as possible, if it's what makes us happiest?" Then he leaned down and kissed her softly on the lips.

He opened his eyes and saw Hermione's honey colored ones flutter open as she said simply, "Oh."

Then, to Harry's surprise, Hermione threw her hands up in the air and said, "Screw it" and kissed him again.

Harry grinned when it was over. "Can I give you your present now?" he asked.

"Why can't you wait until Christmas, Harry?" Hermione inquired.

"Because I'm in patient, Hermione, you know that," he replied, laughing. He took out a neatly wrapped package from his pocket and handed it to Hermione.

Hermione slowly unwrapped the present and gasped. "It's beautiful, Harry. I love it, thank you so much!" she exclaimed in obvious delight. It was a delicate snow globe made of crystal and silver with Hogwarts castle in the background. In the foreground were Harry, Hermione, and Ron. Harry and Hermione were holding hands.