Title: The Trouble with Knees
Characters: Draco/Hermione
Rating: Any Age

The Trouble with Knees

It was one of those days, the perfect kind. The kind that made her stop and think just how beautiful it was. The snow was falling lightly over Hogsmeade, everyone had a smile on their face and a kind word for all they passed. It was right out of the happiest of Christmas stories, it was idyllic. Hermione couldn't believe how beautiful it was, she wanted to just stand in place and watch the happy people surround her. Herself being one of them; she had much to be thankful for, and even more to be excited about. That in itself should have been enough to make her question it, to turn a cynical eye over these proceedings.

She couldn't though, she was too caught up in the fairytale. It was almost like she'd been transported away, and she was more than happy to remain there. That was until someone rather rudely pulled her from her fantasy.

"Jeez, I'm going to freeze my bollocks out here."

And it was gone, "Do you always have to be so crass?"

"Yes Granger, I have this list of things I have to abide by everyday, and what do you know. Offending Hermione Granger, is right up the top of the list."

She growled softly, suddenly the grime on the street shone through the snow, and the smiles were replaced with frowns. "Come on," Hermione said, setting off down the street.

"Yes ma'am," Draco snapped behind her.

She chose to ignore the grumbling, "This isn't my choice either, the least you can do is be bearable for an hour. That's all, hardly a great slice of your time."

"We'll see about that."

"You are the one who volunteered to do this for her aren't you? To trudge through the snow for your dear friend, and do her Christmas shopping while she was stuck at home?" Hermione snapped, shaking her head at the man beside her. "I didn't sign you up for this, so give me a break."

"She's not stuck, it's all Potter's fault. Bed rest, if he wasn't so bloody fertile, she'd be doing this."

"Right," she scoffed. "Pansy is the poor virgin wife, who tries desperately not to shag her husband at every opportunity, no matter where they are."

"She told me she didn't think you had a class that afternoon, she was very adamant."

"Well that's fine, but I've cast hundreds of cleaning charms on that desk and I still can't work comfortably at it," she shuddered. Visions of one pale derrière flashed through her then, some things you shouldn't see your best friend doing. "What are you doing?"

Malfoy didn't look at her as he pulled her into the coffee shop they passed, his grip rather firm on her elbow. "I didn't have breakfast, I'm starving."

"Well that's your own fault," she sighed. "I really can't spend all day doing this, I have assignments I need to mark before I head home for the holidays."

"Granger, did you see the list she gave me?" He smiled, pushing her into a chair, "It's about three foot long, and I believe I saw something from London on it. We are going to be going all day."

"No?" She groaned.

"Afraid so, you hungry?"

"You going to buy me breakfast?"

"No," he smirked slightly, "I'll order for you, but you can pay for it."

"Nothing," she sighed. "I actually ate beforehand."

As Draco was ordering his breakfast, she looked over the list he left on the table. They were in for a long haul, Pansy had given them a slip to hand to the shop assistants so that everything would be charged to her vault, but it was going to be time consuming. There were dozens of items on this list, from every corner of Hogsmeade, and to her horror, several things from London.

"Are you sure she isn't evil?" She asked Draco as he sat down at their small table.

"Positive she isn't, I think," he grinned, stirring his hot chocolate. "The witch has had her moments, but she's settled down these last few years. I think she just wants this Christmas to be perfect, being the first one with Potter and all."

"I suppose we have to do our part then," she rolled up the parchment, putting it in her pocket.

"Yes, we are those wonderful friends after all. No matter how much of a pain in the arse they can be."

"Speak for yourself, Harry is," Hermione stopped as Draco went white in front of her, well whiter than his normal skin tone. "Draco?" She turned to see where he was looking, "What is it?"

"Shit," he grabbed her elbow again, pulling her from her chair, and down under the table. "Whatever you do, not a word!"

Hermione managed to quickly pull her legs up to her chest as her chair was shoved under the table by Draco. She followed along though, not saying anything, especially not when she heard her.

"Draco! What a lovely surprise," she cooed, Hermione gagged under the table.

"Lisa, isn't it just," even though she couldn't see it, the fake smile he was no doubt wearing was showing in his tone. She had overheard him on more than one occasion complaining about Lisa Turpin. The fling of a few years back who was very keen on becoming Mrs. Draco Malfoy, regardless of how Draco felt about her.

"Are you dining alone?"

"Uh, yes, just a quick bite I'm afraid today. Don't have time for anything else," Hermione relaxed slightly, with any luck he'd get rid of her quickly and she could come out. Normally she wouldn't go along with this idiocy, but this was no normal girl. Ginny had informed of the state that one of Draco's unlucky dates had turned up in St. Mungo's after a brush with Lisa at dinner. Hermione herself had become rather attached to her nose, and would prefer to keep it on her face.

"Eating quickly is bad for your digestion, and we haven't caught up in such a long time. How about I join you? A nice leisurely breakfast," the chair pressing up against Hermione's legs started to move backwards. Without thinking she grabbed it with one hand, elbowing Draco's shin with the other arm, a little harder than she intended.

His knee flew up, colliding with the table above, her eyes widened as she saw his mug fall into his lap, hot chocolate quickly spreading through the fabric.

"Are you alright?" Hermione could hear the concern drizzled through her smarmy tone.

"Fine," Draco snapped. "It was practically empty, cold too. You know Lisa, I'm in a dreadful hurry today, another time?"

She sighed dramatically, Hermione rolled her eyes, "Fine. I'm meeting friends anyway, I'm going to hold you to another day Draco Malfoy."

"I'm sure you will," she didn't move as she watched the legs sashay away. "Not yet," Draco said quietly, pressing napkins onto his pants. "You better not be bloody laughing Granger."

"No laughing," she smiled.

"Alright, come out, quick," Hermione pushed her way out, standing beside him. He grabbed her elbow, yet again and started towards the door.

"It wasn't empty."

"No, far from it."

"And it wasn't cold."

"Of course not, they call it hot chocolate for a reason Granger," he said opening the door, and leading her out. "If I remember rightly, you are pretty handy with a healing charm? Because there is a party happening in my pants, a very rowdy one."