Side by Side

Disclaimer: One day I will wake up and find that I am JKR…well, at least as rich as her. Oh, who am I kidding?

Another contest entry for the Hideaway, a 400-800 word fic about something that happens on Easter Sunday. This is my first Filius/Pomona fic and it is nothing on the one written by OSUSprinks… (Read it if you haven't already) but she demanded that I try. Some feedback would be great, if you can get past the sickly fluffiness.

Pomona Sprout was in greenhouse three poring over a tattered book written by the muggle gardener Alan Titchmarsh. Muggle plants had long been an interest of hers and she had been researching a very special project.

Pomona had a very taxing day. It was Easter Sunday and she had spent the morning supervising the annual Easter egg hunt for those students who stayed behind during the holiday. As she predicted there had been one or two mishaps…and Poppy had been called to mend Dennis Creavy's left leg after he fell from the Astronomy tower.

Having risen before dawn to re-pot her Mandrakes and feed her Fanged Geraniums, Pomona felt she had done a full days work before mid-day. Sunday lunch had been a delight though. She and Filius had been the only staff present at the table and he had been in fine form. She had enjoyed their conversation immensely. He had promised to visit her in the greenhouse later that afternoon with hot cross buns, Baking was one of their shared interests and they would occasionally spend afternoons in the kitchens, ending up covered in flour or jam.

She closed the book's well thumbed pages, having memorised the chapter entitled 'Herbaceous Plants' and settled down in a concealed corner of the greenhouse to plant the seedlings her muggle friend Miriam had sent. Pomona loved the feel of earth between her fingers, it calmed her. While to many her job seemed less stressful than some other professors, the constant demands made by Severus and Poppy for various plants, as well as teaching, left little time for recreation.

"Good thing I love my plants" Pomona chuckled to herself.

Then she sighed, her plants weren't the only thing she loved.

Pomona hadn't fallen immediately in love with Filius Flitwick. It began as a working relationship that had developed into a close friendship. Pomona admired his duelling skills and even temper; he seemed to appreciate her sense of humour. Lately she had come to realise she felt more than friendship for Filius and had begun to wonder if he returned her feelings. He invited her to dinner more often and the settings had become more intimate. Grinning, she remembered the night he had introduced her to his (and now her) favourite drink, Cherry syrup and soda…with ice and an umbrella naturally.

Immersed in her plants and thoughts of Filius, Pomona worked steadily through the afternoon. Having removed her patched and frayed hat, as it kept falling into the flowerbed; Pomona's wavy grey hair was sprinkled with soil. The spicy cinnamon aroma of hot cross buns first alerted her to Filius' arrival.

"Hello Mona dear…muggle plants? Well I never, they're fascinating aren't they? Tell me, what are these called?"

Pomona blushed a deep crimson and stuttered as she explained… She hadn't wanted to show him the flowers just yet, not until she was sure how he felt.

"w…w…well they're Calendula. Muggles have a tradition called birth flowers. Calendula is birth flower for October."

Filius blinked myopically "October you say? What a coincidence, my birthday happens to be October the 17th."

Pomona didn't miss his gently teasing tone and smiled shyly. He continued "It really is a coincidence…you see I've brought you a present…apart from the buns of course."

Filius presented Pomona with a small yellow pot. In it stood a plant with large green leaves and delicate white bell-shaped flowers. He coloured slightly as Pomona gasped.

"Lilly of the Valley…My favourite, how did you know?"

"A little research; the birth flower for May and, I was reliably informed by three witches who shall remain nameless, a particular favourite of those born on the 15th."

Pomona was lost for words; he had gone to all the trouble of finding out her favourite flower and then acquiring one. Filius didn't know any muggles, so she guessed he had great difficulties.

"Thank you" She mumbled, placing the pot next to the flowerbed. Rising to her feet Pomona felt gentle fingers pick a leaf from her tousled hair and a thumb brush softly over her forehead; wiping a smudge of dirt away she supposed.

"I like it there" He whispered, stepping closer. "Together…side by side."

She couldn't breathe as Filius' hazel eyes darkened and he leaned slowly in to kiss her. Pomona tilted her face upward to meet his lips. When the need to breathe became too great they broke apart, panting heavily, foreheads touching. Filius traced a finger across her lips.

"Side by side," she muttered and beamed as she threw her arms around his diminutive shoulders.

"Yes Mona love." Filius chuckled, drawing her closer to him. "Side by side…forever."