I dedicate this chapter to…uhh…Alyss over at Carter-Carter. Although she never goes on FanFiction from what I gather, so it's just wasted airspace. Blagh, Alyss, get online more!
Disclaimer: I own only the plot and…ugh, it's Christmas already? Again?
Hermione blinked her eyes slowly open, finding Alice smiling happily at her. She closed her eyes and sighed, smiling back at her, "Good morning, Alice."
"Happy Christmas," she whispered gleefully, "I've missed you."
"I can tell," she smiled, opening her eyes again, "I've missed you too."
"Oh!" she sighed as she sat up, Hermione groggily following her lead, "I remember our last Christmas together."
She squinted at her, "The one at Hogwarts or the one where Marlene got me drunk?"
"I was thinking the happier of the two," she snorted before smiling at her, "Do you remember the other one?"
"Vaguely," she waved her hand as she slipped out of bed and hissed at the cold floor, "Why, what happened?"
"Oh, nothing, you just blabbled on and on about nonsense," she snorted and waved her hands, "Something about a gold butterfly."
Hermione froze a little but shook it off, "And that is why I don't get drunk."
"Often," she added cheekily as they began to go down the stairs.
"At all," she corrected with a frown.
"Annie Romy!" Harry said, squirming in his sleepy father's hold and reaching out for her, "Annie Romy!"
Hermione smiled and took Harry out of James' grasp, sitting down in an overstuffed chair and hugging him tightly. He squealed happily and hugged her back, burying into her hair as Neville looked around blearily from sitting in Sirius' lap.
"Alright, let's give the boys their presents and put them back to bed," Lily said, yawning and sitting down next to James, "Who got us up at five anyway?"
"It's five?" Hermione hissed.
"Ha'ee Kiffma'!" Harry giggled happily as she frowned slightly down at him.
"Harry James Potter, did you wake everybody up?"
"Ha'ee Kiffma'!" he repeated, picking through her hair.
She sighed and shook her head, dropping it down on Harry's lightly.
Once Neville and Harry had been given their presents and sent back to bed, Lily and Alice yawned their way back to the living room, finding Hermione lying on the floor with her eyes shut, Remus on the couch with James sitting in the chair. Sirius was laying on the ottoman as a dog, wagging his tail sleepily at the two as Frank snored underneath the tree.
"Alright, those two have good reasons," Alice hissed to Lily, pointing at James and Frank, "Hermione and Remus too if we want to be really nice. But you, Sirius Black – "
She was cut off as he whimpered at her, flattening his ears against his head. She sighed and turned back to Lily.
"Let's just leave them," Lily smiled, making the other girl nod and the two climb up the stairs to go to their respective beds.
Hermione felt the air rush out of her lungs, making her gasp as Sirius jumped off of her back and shifted back to being human, leaning down to wince at her apologetically.
"Sorry," he hissed as she coughed and woke the three other boys up.
"Bad wake up call?" James asked weakly, rubbing his eyes and searching around for his glasses, only to see that Lily had perched them on the top of his head as she'd left.
"My ribs…" she wheezed out, shaking a little with laughter. "Merlin, Sirius, how much do you weigh?"
"It's muscle!" he shouted indignantly.
"Hmm," Remus hummed from the couch, closing his eyes once more as Hermione got up to her feet. She frowned at him before smirking and diving into his stomach, making the air whoosh out of him as well.
"This is totally for yesterday," she told him with a grin as he glared up at her.
"I am dunking your head in a snow bank," he declared, making her laugh and get off of him, mussing up his hair before she left. She let out a shriek a few silent moments later, making her fly back into the room and beam at everybody, who were smirking back at her.
"So I take it that you like it?" Sirius asked as he took the necklace from her and held it to the light, "You've got no idea how hard it was to find something that you'd like."
"I love it, I love it, I love all of you," she beamed at them as Lily and Alice walked down the stairs and smiled at each other. "You're all massively brilliant."
"We wanted to surprise you," Frank shrugged as he sat up, "Putting it in the tea leaves was the best idea who could come up with."
"Happy Christmas, Hermione," Lily grinned as she sat on the arm of James's chair.
Hermione looked down at it. It was, frankly, just a locket. It was silver and studded with a sapphire, the chain rather long but not too long. Inside, though, it held pictures of all of her friends, pages turning whenever she tilted the locket. Her breath hitched when she caught pictures of Marlene, or Fred or George.
She hooked it around her neck, looking down at the pages with a smile before looking up at the real deal. "You guys are brilliant. I love all of you."
Sirius stepped forward and picked her up, making her scream and laugh as he twirled her around. He pecked her hair before setting her on her feet, hugging her tightly, "We love you too, Romy."
"I don't want to be back," Remus announced in the Great Hall, tilting back in his chair as Hermione stared out at the swarm of kids, who looked just as grumpy as they did.
"Only a little bit longer until Easter, Remus," she patted his hand absentmindedly, although in all honesty she fully agreed with him.
"But it'll stretch on until forever though, won't it? And exams," he groaned, pulling his hand from her grasp and rubbing his face, "I think I'm getting too old for this."
She rolled her eyes at him, smiling, "You're only twenty."
"I feel old," he opened an eye to frown at her.
She gave a soft laugh, grinning wider at him, "So are you calling me old by default then?"
He sighed, frowning at her and rolling his eyes, "No, I'm not. Now don't put anything in my trunk again, I was doing class when I opened it up and did this weird dancing and screaming thing. Charlie loved it though."
"It was for changing my hair again," she shrugged as she took a sip of her pumpkin juice.
He smirked, leaning back in his chair again, "I thought the lime green was a nice change."
She cut her eyes across to him in a glare, "I didn't."
"I know," he chuckled as she sighed, smiling faintly at the memory.
I just felt really guilty about not putting anything up in a very long time. Sorry about that guys.
Soo…anybody else notice that I accidentally skipped over Hermione's birthday again, or was that just me?
Oops? *shrug* My bad.