A/N: I don't own Harry Potter and related characters. They are the property of J.K. Rowling. She is just kind enough to let the fans play with them.
"It's the most wonderful time of the year!" Hermione sang as she decorated her small apartment.
"What is that noise coming from in here?" Harry Potter asked as he entered the apartment.
"Ass." Hermione shouted before going back to singing louder than she had been.
Harry chuckled as he shut the door and walked into the small living room where Hermione was putting lights on the tiny Christmas tree. He wrapped his arms around her and gave her a peck on the cheek. Hermione stopped putting lights up long enough to turn around and give him a hug in return. She turned back around and continued in her task.
"The place looks good, Hermione." Harry commented as he looked at the greenery that was adorning the living room. She had placed green, red, and white candles in silver candlesticks on the mantle amidst holly and ivy. On the hearth she had put a pot of rosemary which was giving the room a wonderful scent. The coffee table had a small arrangement of white pillar candles of differing heights on a mirrored tray. She had placed ornaments of different shapes and sizes around the candles. The pillows on her small couch and the few chairs in the room had been replaced with more seasonal pillows. But instead of being Christmas themed, they were neutral and of a heavier weight.
Harry went on an exploration of the rest of the place. Her tiny dining area was decorated also, but it was located to the table. The table that sat only four people had a silver candelabra in the middle that held white candles. The ivy and holly was also making its presence be known in here. The holly was what the candelabra was sitting on and the ivy was wound up around the candelabra. She had changed out the place settings and had put down silver chargers with white plates. She had red glasses out instead of the usual clear. There was also a bundle of rosemary with a name card attached to the ribbon.
He peaked in the bathroom and saw the only thing done in there was soap that smelled like pine and the decorative towels had designs of mistletoe. He peaked in the bedroom and saw nothing had been done in there. He closed the door and went to the kitchen where Hermione had a roast cooking in the oven. She had a cooked a couple of side dishes which were ready. Harry made his way back into the living room where the lights were finally on the tree.
"Anything I can help do?" Harry asked.
"Light all of the candles. Never mind. Wait about ten minutes before doing that." Hermione said hurriedly. "Did I put the wreath on the door? No, I didn't. Please do that." She said pointing to the wreath in the corner.
Harry nodded as he went to do his job and Hermione started putting ornaments on the tree. He was soon finished and Hermione gave him the job of finishing the tree so she could get ready for the small dinner party she was hosting.
An hour later she emerged dressed and ready to entertain. Her hair was pulled away from her face with small curls framing her face. She was wearing a simple black cotton dressed that tastefully accented her curves. Her makeup was light and natural. The only way that you could tell she was wearing any was that her face had a little more color and her lips had a light shimmer that was noticeable in the candlelight. She was wearing silver chandelier earrings and that was the only jewelry.
Harry gave her a small appraisal when he saw her. She moved from being a plain, bookish girl to a woman who knew how to accent her beauty in simple ways. The clothes were no longer plain, but simple and elegant. She wore simple jewelry and very little makeup. She had turned into a beautiful woman who did not flaunt her intelligence.
A knock at the door caused Harry to turn from Hermione who headed to the kitchen and saw that the roast had been taken from the oven and everything was in serving dishes. She smiled and went to greet her guests.
She walked in and gave a warm smile to who she considered to be two of her closest friends. Harry was helping Luna out of orange overcoat. Neville was standing behind her and holding a gift. Hermione walked over to give them both hugs. It was a little difficult giving Luna a hug who was almost nine months pregnant with her and Neville's first child. As she gave the hug, she was greeted with a small kick in return. Luna giggled and said, "He wanted to greet you to, Hermione!"
Hermione laughed and patted Luna's stomach a couple of times. She then moved to Neville and gave him a hug also. He held out the present he bought. Hermione grinned and said, "Thanks, Neville!"
"You can go ahead and open it."
Hermione quickly opened the gift and smiled. It was a bottle of wine and a picture of Neville and Luna. It was when they had visited Hong Kong the previous summer. They were on a nineteenth century junk. They had considered moving there but decided that they would miss their family and friends too much. Instead, they had decided to visit as often as possible.
"We were planning on going over break, but this put a stop to that." Luna said as she motioned to her stomach.
Hermione led them into the dining room and asked them to take a seat. Harry followed her into the kitchen to help bring out the food. After the food was out, Hermione went and brought out the drinks- wine for her, Harry, and Neville, and water for Luna.
As they ate, they caught up on each other's lives.
"How are the students this year, Neville?" Harry asked.
"Usual. Most don't give a damn about herbology, except for a few students. Those are the ones that make this worth while."
"I don't know how you can teach." Harry said. "I know how we were. I can only imagine how the kids are now."
"We weren't bad." Luna started saying, "We just had more to deal with. By the way, Hermione, do you have pudding?"
Hermione laughed, "Of course, Luna. By the way, who is going to be putting out The Quibbler when you can't do it?"
"Dean Thomas. I had to convince him though. I bribed him with free food." Luna said smugly.
"I think you'll have a house guest for a long time." Harry told Neville.
"At least I won't be cooking." Neville told Harry.
"There are times when I do miss the house elves." Hermione said quickly.
"Can you repeat that?" Harry asked a twinkle in his eye.
"No. You heard me the first time." Hermione said her face turning a light shade of red.
"But what about S.P.E.W.? Won't that violate your terms?"
Neville caught the look on Hermione's face and told Harry, "I think you might want to quit, Harry."
Harry caught the look on Hermione's face and quickly tried to make amends. "I'm sorry, Hermione."
Hermione sighed, "It's okay, Harry. I guess I set myself up for that."
They finished eating and Hermione told everyone to go sit in the living room for desert. "Coffee or tea?" She asked.
"Tea." Neville said.
"Coffee." Harry said.
"Pumpkin juice." Luna said.
"Okay. I'll be in there in a minute. Don't open the gifts without me!" Hermione said as she went to the kitchen.
She soon appeared in the living room with a tray full of things. There were three cups and glass, a small coffee service, a small tea service, and a small pitcher of pumpkin juice. She set that down and went back to the kitchen. She soon came back with the bread pudding and plates. She served everyone before turning to the tree which had a small pile of presents under it. She turned to Harry who said, "While you were dressing." She nodded and asked, "Would you like to open presents now or after we eat?"
"Now!" Luna said enthusiastically.
"That would be now, Hermione." Harry said with a smile as he ate his dessert.
"Okay. The first one is for Neville." Hermione said as she handed him a gift bag.
He opened it and said, "Thanks, Hermione!" as he admired the book of Asian herbs.
"I figured that would be best in case you did decide to pick up and move to Hong Kong." Hermione said with a smile.
Hermione then handed Luna her present. She opened it with the delight of a child. "A bracelet!"
Luna examined the silver bracelet that had jade flowers. The middle of the flowers was glass. "You can put pictures where the glass is." Hermione said. "They will be tiny, but…" She trailed off.
"It is wonderful!" Luna said with a smile.
Hermione turned to the tree again. "Harry and I got you a gift together. Actually, not so much for you, but for the baby."
She handed it to Luna who put it between her and Neville. They opened it at the same time and pulled out a mobile. A sheet of paper came out with it and there was an incantation on it. "You have to say that spell to make it work." Harry said.
Luna performed the spell as Neville held the mobile up. It was of the planets with the sun in the middle. They barely glowed which would allow the baby to sleep. There were also stars that twinkled.
Hermione then passed Harry's gift to Neville and Luna. There were two certificates, one for a baby store and one for a local adult shop. Neville's eyes almost bugged out of his head in shock at the last one, but Luna giggled a little. "Thanks, Harry. I don't know when the last one will be used, but it will be."
Neville managed to say, "Thanks, Harry."
Hermione then gave Harry his gift. It was three pictures. One was of the marauders, minus Peter Pettigrew and plus Lily, the other was of Sirius and Harry from Harry's fifth year, and the other was of the Golden Trio. Harry stood up and pulled Hermione into a tight hug. "Thanks, Hermione." He said his voice husky.
"You're welcome, Harry." Hermione said with a sad smile.
They were both thinking of Ron who had died three years after the final battle with Voldemort. The car he had bewitched to fly had crashed as he was going to visit his parents. Arthur Weasley had suffered a heart attack and had wanted to go home instead of staying in the hospital. Ron had crashed two miles from the Burrow. The news quickly killed Arthur, leaving Molly with a husband and a son. It had also left Ron's wife, Susan Bones, a widow and mother of two.
Not only was Harry thinking of his best friend, but also of the parents he had lost. The godfather he had lost. The former professor and mentor he had lost. He took a deep breath to calm down.
Harry pulled Hermione's gift out of his pocket. "I was intentionally going to give you this on Christmas day, but a week before seems good." He smiled a bit nervously before handing Hermione a small box. She opened it and saw a ring. She gasped in shock as Harry got down on his knee and took Hermione's free hand, "Hermione Granger, will you marry me?"
Hermione nodded her head and squeaked "yes" before dropping to her knees and throwing her arms around Harry.
Neville and Luna shared a look and smiled. Neville stood up and helped Luna up. Hermione turned around and said, "Don't leave yet!" before getting up and going to get some glasses and an unopened bottle of wine, part of Neville and Luna's present to her. "We've got to toast this!" She said excitedly.
They all raised their glasses of wine, except Luna who raised her glass of water, and Harry said, "A toast to my future wife. A person who is intelligent, beautiful, a wonderful friend, and the person who I want to spend the rest of my life with."
Hermione smiled as her eyes glassed over with unshed tears. "Thank you, Harry." She said as they leaned in for a quick kiss.
They broke the kiss when there was a groan from Luna. Everyone turned to look at her. "I think someone is ready to come to live with us." She said with a smile. Then she turned to Neville and said, "Bring my serving on pudding." With that they were soon on their way, pudding in tow.
Two days later Hermione was awakened to knocking on her door. "Make it go away." She mumbled against Harry's chest.
"Can't do that." He said back, his voice gravelly from not having been used all night.
Hermione rolled out the bed and hit the floor. "Ow!" She said as she picked herself up. She slid a robe on as she went to the door. She opened it to see an excited Neville. "I'm a father!" He almost shouted.
"Congratulations!" Hermione said as she pulled Neville into a hug.
"Is it a boy or girl?"
"A little girl. She's so pretty. And tiny." Neville said wonder now in his voice.
"What's her name?"
Hermione smiled, "You need to get back to Luna. We'll be by to see the three of you later on. Tell Luna and Olivia I said hello."
"Okay, Hermione." Neville said as he left to go back to St. Mungos.
Hermione shook her head a little and shut the door. She went back to the bedroom and climbed in the bed and snuggled against Harry. "Luna had a little girl. Her name is Olivia Rae."
"That's great. You told him that we would go see them today."
Hermione smiled. "Yes."
"Okay. But first, we have other business to attend to." Harry smirked and rolled on top of Hermione who giggled from pure happiness.
She finally had what she wanted. She knew who she was. She knew what she was doing with her life. She had come into herself and was confident. And now Hermione Granger was engaged to the man she had dated for two years and had loved longer than that. Hermione now had a life that while it wasn't perfect, it was perfect enough for her.