Disclaimer: anything you recognise from the books belongs to J. K.
Hermione woke with a start on Boxing Day morning, jumping away from Ginny onto her own bed as someone knocked on the door. She relaxed, almost sagging with relief, when she remembered that their secret was out – they didn't have to hide any more. Looking over at the still-sleeping redhead, Hermione smiled in amusement – she'd sleep through a hurricane.
"Come in." She called softly as the knocking came again, but the door didn't open. Frowning, she looked around in confusion – only to see a haughty-looking eagle owl tapping impatiently on the window. She shook her head, a smile tugging her lips, as she realised who the owl belonged to – Minerva's pet had never had very good manners.
Standing up a little self-consciously in her pyjamas, she opened the window and shivered as a blast of cold and snowy air hit her. The owl hopped really quite gracefully onto Ginny's messy desk, knocking a pile of parchment flying (it looked suspiciously like Fred and George's order lists…) and ruffled his feathers, depositing snow where the parchment was. He stuck out his leg, and Hermione could have sworn she saw his eye roll. Chuckling quietly, she undid the package – which, to her excitement, was book-shaped. Digging further into the desk, she produced a couple of treats from somewhere and handed them over; they were met with a look of disdain and a nip on the finger, but they went alright. Hermione watched the bird's graceful silhouette disappear into the pre-dawn half-light.
Turning her attention to the package in her hands, Hermione detached the note with difficulty and slit the seal. Unfolding the note, she began to read.
While there was no need for either of your gifts, I thank you for each. My little model is settled on the bedside table and has an uncanny likeness to another cat we know, which I'm sure was your intention – fantastic work; that is a very advanced spell. I love it! As for your drawing…well, who knew you could draw with such skill? And I worry about your capabilities as a legilimens, as it really was quite accurate…
I will pretend I didn't hear or read the 'idiot Harper' bit of your note; otherwise, my dear, there is no need to thank me. You would have worked everything out yourself anyway, but it may have taken longer; as it is, you are happy and that is all that matters to me.
I hope your plans to tell the Weasley family of your relationship with Ginny have been realised and went well; I wouldn't imagine Molly would have any problems, but I don't know about Arthur; I don't know him quite as well.
I am afraid I am not comfortable receiving your gifts as a teacher; I cannot show favouritism and I try to remain there for my students while also being emotionally a little detached. However I am afraid you scuppered that plan; I will receive them as a friend, as our relationship now goes beyond even mentor and protégé. My trust in you by showing you that photo album should be proof enough of that.
Finally, my apologies for this being late; I had the idea late last night and spent a little while finishing it off. I hope you like it!
With love from your friend,
Hermione couldn't stop the silly smile spreading across her face as she laid the letter aside and reached for the package. Upon opening the photo album, she froze in surprise; them remembering the note she flicked to the back. There, as an addition to her story, Minerva had added memories, photographs and diary entries beginning on Hermione's first day at Hogwarts. Smiling at the first, a memory of all the new (and tiny-looking) pupils, Hermione settled down to read. She blushed with pleasure as she read that Minerva had hoped for her to be a Gryffindor, but expected her to go to Ravenclaw.
Ron hesitated outside the door, but shrugged inwardly and reached forwards. The envelope slotted easily between the door and doorframe; his sister's door had never hung straight, a fact she made sure to bring up whenever there was the possibility of getting it fixed.
Hermione looked up in surprise when something thudded softly to the floor near the door. Seeing the envelope, she frowned in confusion. Placing the album aside, Minerva's note tucked within it as a bookmark, she reached for it and flipped it over. Hermione and Ginny was written across the parchment in a familiar scrawl…Ron.
Looking over at the still-sleeping Ginny, Hermione shrugged and opened it up. As she read, her eyes widened in disbelief and filled with tears.
I'm sorry I've been such a git and I'm sorry for not seeing what everyone else did. This doesn't make you bad, just different – I see that now. I can't believe how horrible I've been, and I would understand if you didn't want to forgive me – but that is what I am asking you to do.
Hermione, I can honestly say that I love you like I love Harry – as the closest friends I have ever had. You mean the world to me, but I couldn't see past everyone else's expectations. Everyone thought that I would be with you in the future, and Harry with Ginny. You ruined that picture, and I was angry about it; but not jealous, not really. I'm sorry for how I treated you.
Ginny, you're my sister. What can I say? I will always be protective of you, and you didn't do what I expected. It scared me that you hadn't felt able to come talk to me – of course, I can see why now. I am sorry for every insult I threw at you, and I hope that one day soon we will have the relationship we once did.
To both of you, I hope this hasn't ruined our friendship. I know I sure as hell don't deserve your forgiveness but still, I hope for it. I'm honestly happy for you both, and I only hope that despite my actions I too can find happiness such as yours one day.
I'm thinking probably one more. The special epilogue thing is working!
Sorry it's been so long, and thank you for the reviews and PMs making me write!