A/N: Hello all! Well, I thought I'd follow the trend and add my own Christmas fluffy story! Sure, I'm late, but hey, nobody's perfect! Sorry to all readers of Summer Changes for taking so long in updating. I just have no idea how to get from where I am to where I want to be! It's driving me batty:) I promise it is not abandoned, and the story will be updated at some point. Well, on with the story!
Summary: In fourth year, Harry and Hermione go to the lake for some old-fashioned ice skating, and new feelings develop. Ignores Krum and Cho!
Spoilers: SS (PS) - GoF I guess? Nothing really…
Disclaimer: I neither own Harry Potter nor his universe or other characters. (But I'm not opposed to purchasing it! wink)
I'm never suggesting this again. 15-year-old Hermione thought as she once again fell on the slick ice. She and Harry were ice skating on the Black Lake as they waited for Ron to come back from Hogsmede with Luna. Ron had invited them to come along, but when Harry refused, Hermione elected to stay behind with him. She knew he needed a friend to confide in and thought it would be rather awkward with Ron and Luna alone on their date.
Of course, after sitting in the empty Common Room for about half an hour and doing nothing, Hermione suggested that the two go ice skating on the lake. After all, the lake was always frozen solid during December and early to mid January. After quickly conjuring some skates from thin air, Hermione handed Harry his pair and tried on her pair for herself.
Once the skates were finally the right size, the two slipped back on their shoes and tugged on their heaviest coats. Then, they began the long trek through the halls to the lake. Finally, Harry and Hermione reached the lake and made sure the ice was thick enough to bear their weight. The ice passed the test, and Harry laced his skates tightly as Hermione pulled hers on. After a few wobbly minutes on the ice, Harry soon got the hang of it and started skating in circles across the lake. Watching him for a while, Hermione finally decided it couldn't be too hard and stepped onto the ice, immediately slipping and falling.
Hearing her exclamation of surprise, Harry turned to see her covered in ice shavings and snow from her fall. Of course, this being quite a hilarious sight, Harry burst out laughing and fell to the ground because he was laughing so hard. When Hermione tried to get up, though, he laughed even harder, because within a few seconds of climbing shakily to her feet, Hermione fell flat on her face.
"Oh, ha, ha!" She said sarcastically as he rolled on the ground in hysteria. "Don't try and help the lady up or anything!"
"Lady? I don't see a lady!" Harry responded cheekily.
"HARRY! You're dead!" She exclaimed as her face turned a brilliant shade of vermillion.
"What're you gonna do? Fall on me?"
"You'reimpossible!" She shouted and huffily stood up, only to fall once again. Her falling caused Harry to start laughing uproariously, and she gave him her patented "death glare" for his tremendous sensitivity "Don't just stand there!" She finally sputtered out. "Get over here and help me up!"
Recognizing her fury, Harry practically leapt to his feet in order to help her up. Hermione was not someone to mess with when she was this angry. Hermione offered him her hands, and he took her bare ones in his gloved ones. "Alright, 1… 2… 3!" He counted and pulled as she tried to stand up. After a few tries, he finally managed to help her to her feet.
"Thank you, Harry." Hermione said primly. "Now if you will kindly release me, I will just skate by myself now." Harry awkwardly removed his arms from around her waist, and she proceeded to begin to skate away. Unfortunately, there happened to be a puddle right where she was standing, making the ice more slippery than usual. For this reason, Hermione immediately started to fall backwards.
Before she could fall, however, Hermione accidentally turned her skates so that she turned in a tight circle, regaining her balance. Upon seeing Harry's face, Hermione laughed and said, "Bet you thought I was going to fall back there!" Then, her look of pride turned to one of surprise as she slipped once again and landed directly on her bottom, splashing water all over Harry and a nearby tree.
Harry gaped as he watched Hermione fall in such a spectacular fashion and just barely managed to close his eyes before the freezing water sprayed him in the face. When he opened his eyes and saw her expression, though, he couldn't help laughing once again. He then proceeded to lose his balance and landed directly on top of Hermione. "Oops, sorry. He choked out as his face came within an inch of hers.
"It's alright." Hermione said to him, but she wasn't looking in his eyes. She was staring at his lips. Of course, they were at her eye level, but that didn't mean that she needed to stare with such intensity at his mouth. To break the awkward silence, Harry cleared his throat, and Hermione raised her eyes to meet his. They both stared for an unknown amount of time before Harry realized that the water was rather cold and Hermione was probably freezing.
"Oh, let me help you up." He said quickly and stood in order to take her hands once again and lift her. Although she managed to regain her balance immediately, Harry forgot to let go of her hands as they stood there.
"Er, Harry?" Hermione said awkwardly.
"Why are you holding my hands?" Harry looked down and realized he was still holding her hands. He dropped them as if they were on fire and wiped his own on his jeans nervously.
"Sorry." An awkward silence followed in which they both stood and looked anywhere but at each other. Finally, Hermione broke the silence by asking Harry a question.
"Er… Harry?" Hermione asked nervously.
"Could you please help me skate?" She asked the ground.
She looks so adorable when she's nervous. Harry thought. Wait where did that comment come from? "S-Sure." He stuttered. He took her left hand in his right and started to slowly lead her away from the edge. After about half an hour, they had finally managed to skate around the entire lake with minimum falling.
"Yay!" Hermione exclaimed in delight when she saw what she dubbed "her" puddle. "We made it!" She then proceeded to give Harry a very cold and wet hug that was still somehow warm. Or was that just him? "Hey, Harry?"
"Yeah?" He replied.
"Thank you for helping me. I really appreciate it."
"No biggie." Hermione then suddenly grabbed his face between both her hands.
"Harry,really, thank you." She said, looking him directly in the eye. "It really means a lot to me that you didn't laugh at me too much."
"OK, Hermione, I get it. You're welcome." Hermione held his gaze little while longer before relinquishing his face from her grip.
"That's all I needed to hear. Come on, let's go inside." She then wobbled towards the edge of the lake, only to fall right into Harry's arms. Out of instinct, her arms went around his neck, and they stood there for some time. Finally, the two broke apart, but Harry held her hand for balance as she stepped off the lake. She then proceeded to help him off, and they both sat on a dry-ish rock to take off their skates and put on their shoes.
"This has been really fun, Hermione. Thanks for convincing me to come." Harry said as he laced up one of his trainers.
"You're welcome." Hermione started to shiver. She hadn't really realized how cold it was while they were on the ice. Then again, now she was wet. She felt Harry's body heat where there shoulders were touching, and she looked at him before saying, "You're warm." Instead of giving her a weirded-out look or laughing at her and saying "Yeah, duh!", Harry took one of his arms and put it around her shoulders for warmth.
"Better?" He asked.
Yeah, let's go with that. Hermione thought. "Yeah, thanks." Harry smiled and helped her stand up. Her ankles were rather sore from skating so long, and Hermione could already tell her knees and her right elbow were bruised from landing on the hard ice.
Hermione and Harry hobbled toward the distant castle, and Harry's arm was still around her shoulders when they reached the path to the doors. When they finally made it to the Common Room, it was rather late, and Ron was back from Hogsmede. "What've you to been doing? Swimming?" Ron asked in surprise when he saw Hermione's drenched clothes.
"No, ice skating." Hermione replied. Harry then realized his arm was still around her shoulders and he removed it without Ron noticing. She then turned to Harry and told him she was going upstairs to change. She kissed him gently on the cheek and hurried to put on warm, dry clothes.
"What happened between you two?" Ron asked after she had disappeared.
"Nothing. We're just friends." Harry replied immediately. "Why?"
"You two looked very cutesy-coupley just now."
"That's just your imagination acting up, Ron." Harry said with a weird look in Ron's direction.
"Oh, mate, I figured I'm going to ask Luna to the Yule Ball. Sorry 'bout backin' out on you." Ron said as his ears slowly turned red in embarrassment.
"S'okay. I think I know who I'm going to ask anyway." Harry replied nonchalantly.
"Who? You have to tell me! Please, please, please? I won't ever eat all your chocolate frogs again!" Ron dropped to his knees from the couch. "Please?"
"It was you?" Harry asked with his mouth open in shock. Just then, Hermione appeared at the top of the stairs. Her hair was dry, and she was wearing a clean pair of jeans and a red polo. He thought she had never looked more beautiful. Actually, she looked beautiful all the time, even when she was covered in ink and hunched over a book. Quickly, Harry jumped up from his seat and ran over and whispered something in her ear Ron couldn't hear.
"Oh, Harry, of course I'll go to the Ball with you!" Hermione exclaimed louder than Harry's liking.
"Shh, Romilda Vane may hear you." Harry whispered as he looked everywhere for the maddening third year.
"Oh, I can take her on, trust me." Hermione said as she patted her wand in her pocket.
Hermione and Harry shared a laugh as they walked over to where Ron was sitting. Soon after, the trio walked down to dinner and met up with Luna, who had decided to sit at their table. They stayed up late, talking about nonsense and just enjoying being teenagers. When everyone had gone to bed, Harry and Hermione remained behind in the Common Room.
"Skating was fun today." Hermione stated in contentment as she pulled her legs to her chest.
"Yeah. Although, I'm not gonna lie, I am happy to be inside and dry again." Harry replied as he put his arm around her. He then proceeded to lean down towards Hermione's face.
"Woah there, Don Juan. Who do we think we are? Mr. Smooth?" Hermione asked, and Harry pulled away.
"Sorry, muchacho, but I'm not one of those easy girls who kiss on the first date." Hermione said and stretched as she stood up to go to bed. "Well, g'night, Harry."
"Good night." He replied somewhat put out (HUMPERDINCK! Sorry, I couldn't help it.). Suddenly, Hermione leaned down and kissed him full on the lips.
"Something to keep you looking forward to tomorrow." She smirked and walked away, leaving Harry in a rather stupefied daze. Who knew bookworms could kiss so well?
A/N: Please R&R and no flames! Thank you:) I changed the ending, FYI, to all the readers that have already read this story once.