A/N: Monstrous thanks to WeasleyForMe for the plot.
Hermione sighed, nineteen years old, just another lonely birthday. It'd been ages since she had received a decent present. Her boys seemed to think books were the only thing that she was interested in. She crept through the silent flat to the library. Biting her lip and looking around, she dropped to her knees beside the desk in the corner. She wiggled the loose floorboard, until it popped open. She reached inside and pulled out a small shoe box.
She glanced around, making sure she was still alone before sitting on the couch and opening the box. She shifted a few pictures around and an old necklace her mother had given her. Beneath them all, she found what she was looking for, a beautiful white rose that had been pressed between a piece of parchment and plastic, so that it would keep. She held it to her nose and sniffed, the gentle sweet smell still clung to the flower. She set it aside to remove the note that had been attached to it at one time.
She smiled as she remembered sitting in that lonely common room, in her fifth year. Ron, forgetting her birthday entirely, had been his usual rude self. Harry was preoccupied with the drama that was his life. This left Hermione, friendless and alone to celebrate her sixteenth birthday. Most of the House was outside enjoying the nice weather and day free of classes. Hermione buried the sad feelings as she pulled her parents' present onto her lap. She opened it to find yet another new book, a Muggle biography. A growl tore past her lips and she tossed the book onto the empty seat beside her.
Hermione flung herself down on the couch, pillowing her head on the arm rest. She closed her eyes against the tears that burned her eyes.
"Miss," a squeaky voice said, just inches from her nose.
She opened her eyes to see a long nose almost touching hers. "Oh!" Hermione sat up straight and stared at the little house elf.
"Excuse Blitzy, Miss," the elf big ears trembled as she bowed low to the floor.
"Can I help you, Blitzy?" She watched as the elf held out a single white rose with a piece of parchment attached. "Is that for me?" She excitedly took it from the elf's shaky hand. "Thank you."
"You's very welcomed, Miss. Blitzy is happy to be of service." The elf bowed again, but Hermione stopped her before she had a chance to disappear.
"Blitzy, who gave this to you?"
"Sir says Blitzy must keep his secret from pretty Miss." Blitzy smiled largely at Hermione and leaned forward, lowering her voice. "But Miss should know that Sir is watching her often. Sir is liking Miss very much." With a little crack, the grinning house elf was gone.
Hermione looked over her shoulder, the common room was still empty. She smelled the sweet scent from the petals. Then, curiosity got the best of her and, biting her bottom lip, she pulled the letter from the stem and opened it.
I hope you have a birthday as lovely as you are.
Sitting in the library, three years later, Hermione still didn't know who had made that birthday so much better than any since.
"Whatcha got there?" A deep voice called from the doorway.
Hermione looked up to see Fred leaning against the doorframe. His arms were crossed over his tight, white tank top. "Oh, just a present from a few years ago."
"Mmm," he hummed, entering the room. "A rose? And you kept it all this time?" He sat beside her.
"Yes, it really made my day."
"Of course. Everyone always gives me books," she said. At his raised eyebrows, she hastily added, "Which I love. But that was the first time, well only time, anyone's given me a gift that was…" she searched for the right word.
"Romantic," he supplied.
"Yes, exactly." She smiled that he understood. She raised the petals to smell once more. She loved that beautiful scent.
"So, was it?"
"Was, what?" she asked, confused.
"Was your birthday lovely?"
"Oh, well it was definitely improved. Before that, I-" she cut herself off and looked at the grinning twin. "How do you know about that?" He shrugged his broad shoulders, smirking. "Fred, did you," she paused. "I mean, do you know who-"
"Yup," he said, nodding. She searched his eyes, waiting for him to continue. He laughed lightly. "I saw you lying on that couch, all alone, and you looked so sad. So I found Blitzy and you know the rest."
Hermione swallowed nervously. She hesitated a few seconds before reaching up and kissing his cheek sweetly. "Thank you, Fred."
"Any time." His voice was somewhat rough. He raised a hand to a loose strand of hair and pushed it behind her ear. "Happy birthday, Hermione." She smiled brilliantly at him. "Maybe we could go out to celebrate tonight? Just the two of us."
"I'd like that."
The End. Don't forget to review.