The first Christmas after the battle was hard. The cheerfulness was but a shallow mask that everyone could see through. No one missed the momentary hurt on Mrs. Weasley's face when she had done a headcount to determine food quantity.
Hermione sat on the couch, staring into her cocoa, wishing impossible things from it. This wasn't right.
Presents had been opened, food eaten and mistletoe hung (to Ginny and Harry's delight). Things were out of order. And Hermione couldn't fix it like she had for countless essays of Harry and Ron's.
"Hermione!" Harry called from the back porch. She set down her mug and slowly walked to the door.
There stood Harry and Ron, each in a coat and gloves. Ron held her parka and one of her old elf hats.
"Are we going somewhere? At 11:00 on Christmas?" She didn't know what the boys were planning, but it couldn't be good, knowing them.
"Put your coat on already. We're obviously going outside." Ron said, holding out her parka. Curious, she obeyed and followed them out the back door.
Much to Hermione's amazement, it was snowing. She looked up at the sky and therefore didn't see the boys trade a mischievous look behind her back.
In seconds, she was off her feet, Ron having grabbed her by the waist. Harry scooped up a handful of fresh snow. Hermione's eyes widened. They hadn't done this to her since fourth year…
"So, Hermione, in the face," Harry began casually.
"Or down the collar?" finished Ron.
"Harry James Potter, don't you dare!" She yelled, extremely irritated, "And Ronald Bilius Weasley, put me down now!"
Harry grinned wickedly. "Choose." Ron merely tightened his hold.
Hermione sighed. "I'm not getting out of this, am I?"
Ron laughed. "No, Miss Hermione Jean Granger, you are not. Choose."
She sighed again and said begrudgingly, "Face." Her eyes closed as she waited for the cold impact.
It didn't fail. Face covered in snow, Hermione was put back on her feet. She wiped off the melting powder and glared at them.
"I hate you two."
"Nah, you love us both." Ron winked, "But mostly me, right?"
They didn't see the snow levitating above them until it was too late. Hermione giggled.
"Yeah, mostly you, Ron.