A/N: Ok, so I realize that I'm terrible about updating Tear You Apart, but this was my first semester of college... Can you blame me? However, I'm on break now for an extended time, so I should be able to update a couple of times soon. But back to this story...

I've always loved Christmas, and so I feel like I should write a Christmas story every year just because I love it. So this is a short little one-shot just for Christmas featuring my two favorite characters... This is not compliant with any of my stories, or cannon for that matter. So enjoy the bit of romance and all that. Love you all!


Christmas hit Hogwarts with exceptional cheer and enthusiasm. The corridors were lined with holly and wreaths, and some windows even held strings of lights. Candles were sheltered in the remaining windows, with spells to keep them from burning out or catching elsewhere. The suits of armor sang Christmas carols when the students passed, and rogue balls of mistletoe were known to stalk some students and occasionally professors.

Severus had already told Dumbledore that if that happened to him, he was incinerating every last ball. Dumbledore simply smiled with that obnoxious twinkle in his eye and turned to his bowl of lemon drops.

As far as Severus was concerned, there was only one woman he would ever kiss under the mistletoe, and he would rather kiss her elsewhere first, just to get her used to the idea. He imagined she would probably slap him if he tried it in public under some damned ball of foliage. Or perhaps he could blame the mistletoe and she could incinerate it after the required kiss.

He shook such thoughts from his mind, knowing that it was futile to think of her in that sort of position. She would never think of him that way, so it was best to just forget it and move on.

If only that chit wasn't so damned interesting! Or so innocent and alluring. Severus raked his hand over his face, trying not to look at the woman. She was seated farther along the staff table, chatting with Minerva and Pomona about something feminine, he was certain. She giggled, her voice melodious and her eyes sparkling honey. She took one delicate hand and covered her pink lips, then used it to pull back a loose curl and tuck it behind her ear.

Severus remembered when her hair had been bushy and her smile had been toothy. She had been young and awkward then, a know-it-all without equal. She had annoyed him to no end, and now he was fascinated with her. He couldn't pinpoint exactly when he had crossed the line between exasperation and adoration, but he was certain that it was somewhere in the time that she had become a woman. A beautiful woman with a sharp mind and inviting curves, he reminded himself. Hermione had transformed from an awkward youth into a confident young woman. She had taken the position of Charms professor after Fillius fell in the final battle. It was fitting, since she had always excelled in the art. She had almost become his apprentice, but had chosen the charms position instead. While he didn't mind (since she would have been entirely too close to him and would have tempted him to no end) he still wondered occasionally if she had made the best choice. She had been excellent at brewing. With more experience, he had no doubt she could have rivaled him.

He shifted his gaze as she turned towards him, as though she had felt his eyes on her. Concentrating on his dinner, he waited until Minerva captured her attention again. He almost looked back at her, but noticed Albus smiling in his direction, and decided that he should probably eat in silence without looking at her for the remainder of the meal.

Aurora Sinistra moved next to him, standing and making her way from the table. This left the seat to his right open, and he couldn't help glancing that way. His eyes met Hermione's curious, golden gaze and held for a moment before he forced himself to look away. He wasn't sure if surprise had been evident in his expression or not. He quickly downed the remainder of his dinner and stood, his robes billowing behind him as he walked away from the table towards the staff exit.

"Severus?" he heard someone call out. He almost pretended he hadn't heard his name, but couldn't deny the sweet voice asking for him. He turned, looking back at Hermione and wondering what she wanted.

"I wanted to ask you something, if you don't mind," she said, taking a few steps closer to him. She was smiling, a blush creeping into her cheeks. Her eyes were downcast, watching the floor as she stepped closer.

Severus nodded; if he spoke his voice might betray him. She looked up then, her warm honey eyes soft and lovely against the cool flint of his dark eyes. "Would you mind terribly if I didn't charm the mistletoe? Albus asked me to fix it for you, since you were worried that it might catch you, but I don't think I should. You see, I'm rather hoping that you do get caught under it."

Severus' eyes grew cold, his anger overpowering the mild warmth that had somehow entered. "You want me embarrassed then?" he asked in a smooth, cold voice. "You want me stuck with someone whom I have no desire to touch, and be forced to kiss them in order to escape the damned mistletoe?"

"Oh. I thought… I thought perhaps, if you were to be caught under it, you wouldn't mind kissing a certain person. It's only charmed to catch you with one."

Severus was mildly taken aback, and almost confused, and some of the cold in his look vanished. "Which one?" he asked, his voice quiet. If it was possible, the charms professor's blush deepened, the flush attractive on her. It reminded Severus of ripened fruit, and he had to keep himself from tasting her right then and there.

"Well, no student of course. Just a professor who is curious as to whether or not you would ever kiss her, and resorting to a charm if that's the only way to get you out of her system. You see, she's rather taken with you, but doesn't think that you would ever return even a hint of the affection." Her eyes refused to meet with his, and didn't see the incredulous look successfully turning the potions master's face rather smooth and warm.

"And whom would this professor be, Hermione?" he wondered, his voice silky and smooth, wrapping around Hermione and seducing an answer from her lips. He took a step towards her, testing her.

"Someone who has admired you for a long time, Severus," she answered, taking a tentative step in his direction. "Someone who likes your snarky sense of humor, your love for knowledge and your work, and can't help but think that your slender, calloused hands are unbearably sexy."

"And this someone entrusted you with these details while asking for your help?" He waited for her response, hoping she would give herself up willingly so he could do all the things that his body was telling him to do to her. Until she admitted it, he couldn't allow himself to move closer to her.

"Well, I suppose you could say that. Perhaps there's a way that I can blame split personalities for my recently discovered masochistic ways." She looked up at him, finally giving him what he wanted. He smiled, a true, no-smirk-evident-anywhere smile that reached his eyes and made them spark with a heat Hermione never thought she would see there.

"Hermione, I've wanted you for a long time now. You never needed mistletoe." The admittance was stark, unembellished and raw. He took her hand, and tugged her closer. She matched his gaze as she moved willingly into his embrace, seeing that he meant what he'd said. "Come with me?"

She nodded, and he made to lead her towards the dungeons when he was stopped abruptly. He looked back at Hermione, and she tilted her head, silently asking what was wrong. He tried again, but found he couldn't move. "What the devil-"

Severus saw Hermione smile and point up. There, hovering innocently above them, he saw a ball of mistletoe. "I told you, only one person. I haven't been able to get close enough to you in a private setting before to catch you. You kept evading me."

"Not anymore," he said, before tilting her chin up and taking her lips with his.

A/N: So, if you liked it, REVIEW! I love hearing from all of you, feedback is always fantastic. I'm sorry if I don't respond... I try to, but lately, I've been slacking big time. So, until my next update,