AN (1): Well... the semester is over! My classes went well, so I've finally allowed myself to be in the holiday mood. Which translates into this fic, which is probably the fluffiest thing I've ever written, ever, but it's Christmas!Ron talking about Hermione, so what other option did I have? (although it's still full of some good angst. This is me, after all. Who am I kidding?) :) Anyways, props go partly to my wonderful little sister for this idea. I hope you enjoy! And... Reviews are better than presents... ;)
AN (2): Recommended listening: "My Dear Acquaintance" by Regina Spektor.
The Night Before Christmas
Your heart just breaks, that's all. But you can't judge, or point fingers. You just have to be lucky enough to find someone who appreciates you.
— Audrey Hepburn
You take her hand after dinner, your shy smile growing when her smirk conveys innocence and the startling capacity for dirty sex all at once.
You go sit by the fire, and you just listen as she outlines the schedule for her upcoming NEWTs, as Percy talks about the upcoming opening of jobs at the Ministry.
George is quiet - it's the first holiday without Fred - and it hits you in the chest like fingers around your heart.
But then it's late and she's fallen asleep on your shoulder, a puddle of curls and your softest old jumper and sinewy limbs, bird bones (and she melts into you, and isn't that what you've always wanted?). People head off to their various rooms a few at a time, your mother trudges to the kitchen. Your father stands last, with a happy, aching smile.
"You should take her to bed," he says, and you nod gently.
"I don't want to wake her up."
Your father, he understands. He knows. She'd been tortured and so had you, in a very real way, and this is the first holiday for you after that too. So he nods, gently, and squeezes your shoulder once.
"You're so good for her," he tells you softly, gruffly, but it's perfect and true and for once you believe him with your whole heart, because she doesn't have nightmares anymore when she's asleep with you, and her still-small, still-young (and Merlin, it's a blessing, a miracle) features are dreaming.
You swallow the lump in your throat and pick her up in your arms, and it's so similar at once that you want to put her down because no one needs to think of that ever again, but then your father smiles and you smile back because it's now.
You kiss her forehead and she smiles in her sleep.
"Happy Christmas," you tell her, and it's then you realize it's your first one in a very long time.
She reads to Victorie about a lion named Aslan, and boys named Edmond and Peter and girls named Susan and Lucy, and about winter, and Victorie is only two so you're slightly (absolutely) sure she doesn't understand, but her big blue eyes stare up at Hermione with such reverence that you're sure neither of you really care about the story at all.
You can't look away from the little, blond child curled in your girlfriend's arms in front of the warm fire on Christmas evening, after dinner. She reads and Victorie giggles and leans her head back against the small crook between her breasts (that same place that so subtly houses a scar, one that she's still not so sure about), but then Hermione smiles up at you, lightly, quickly, and your heart stops and starts all over again (in the good way, because it always has and now you're just certain why).
Everyone chats and then starts going to bed, and George takes Angelina and you have to smile, and then you glance over at Hermione and Victorie, and they're in a pile in front of the fire, curled and asleep, and it's probably the most beautiful thing you've ever seen.
You stand and Fleur stands, and Bill smiles from his sleepy position on the couch. Fleur comes next to you, leans against you with a smirk.
"You get to have that soon," Bill says.
You don't argue because you're pretty sure he means it as a very wonderful promise.
They go outside to teach Victorie, who is three, how to properly make snow angels, joyfully. Charlie lingers back, pulling on his gloves clumsily.
You move to follow them out the door when his gruff "Ron," stops you.
He clears his throat and then glances fleetingly at Hermione, flailing around on the ground in the snow.
He looks you over (and you're almost as tall as him now, and he's always been the quiet one), and he smiles. "You deserve to be very happy with her," he says.
It's so serious you want to cry, but you just bring your arms around him instead (and maybe the shake you feel in his shoulders is just a shrug, but with yours its a sob you just can't hold back).
He nods with wet eyes and neither of you say anything else and then you go to join her.
Her eyes are closed and she's so still and perfect there in the snow, her arms spread wide and her hair fanning out around her face, she could be asleep. You're certain that this is why snow angels were invented in the first place, and then she looks at you with a smirk, and her eyes are bright.
She's the most beautiful thing you've ever seen.
You trudge into her office, exhausted and slightly angry and mostly hungry, because it was Christmas Eve after all and she was still working (but Ronald Weasley, who is going to do all of this if I don't?). You're stopped in your tracks, though, when you see her asleep, her head down on her desk, an impressively large stack of parchment serving as a pillow.
Her hair is shorter, pinned back (People need to know I'm not eighteen anymore. You're twenty-two, you'd said, and she'd merely nodded) but it still succeeds in making its way free and loose curls wildly fall across her face. Each breath causes the same one to rise and fall across her nose.
A throat-clearing scares you, makes you jump, and Percy laughs once, apologetically.
He comes to stand next to you, smiling gently at Hermione and then you.
"She's so young. You're so young," he tells the air in front of you. "Sometimes I forget."
You nod, studying the floor.
But then Percy takes a deep breath. "We should remember more often."
"It's a great thing, to be young." He looks at you. "Don't waste it."
He walks away and you walk into her office and wake her gently. She smirks at you sleepily, and you sweep her off her feet and kiss her, kiss her for all of the times you should have, and you push her up against her desk and all of her hair breaks loose of its pins and it's so soft through your fingers, and she sighs your name into your collarbone, and you tell her that you love her.
You ask her to marry you.
"Yes," she says, laughs, shouts, and you kiss her again, kiss her until the morning light shows through her window (and you really have all the time in the world, don't you?, because you're RonandHermione, and you don't think you two could really ever be anything but young together).
You'd gotten married in September, because that was her favorite time of year anyways and who were you to say no?, and this was your first Christmas together.
You sneak down early, very early, Christmas morning, to get her small present from its hiding place out in the shed (you'd found her the first tea cozy she ever knitted for Dobby, and its soft pattern in your hand brings such tears to your eyes the first time you see it again that you have to look away from Neville and claim it's just allergies). When you go back into the kitchen, George is standing there, silently, stilly.
There are silent tears down his cheeks, and his eyes are looking towards the rising sun (and at least he doesn't think of his life as sunsets anymore), and you stay still.
"He always wanted you two to be together," he says, although you didn't think he'd seen you. He looks at you then with a smile. "The book was Fred's idea in the first place. You were just such a prat."
George waves a hand as to dismiss you. "We knew it was because she got really pretty really fast -" (you honestly can't argue that one) - "but you really were awful."
"I know," you nod.
He's serious, though, then. "I wish he could see you now."
"I'm sure he does," you say, and you're only sure you actually mean it after you walk back upstairs and see her sleeping form, because she's perfect and someone somewhere is certainly looking out for you.
Ginny's tucked into Harry's arm and Hermione's snuggled in yours, and Harry starts to dose off, his head against the top of your sister's, his glasses crooked. Hermione's long been asleep, snoring lightly against your chest.
Ginny grins at you from across the drawing room, and you can't help but smile back (because you both got everything you've ever wanted, and Hermione's scars are there and so are Harry's, but you have so much to show for them). Ginny closes her eyes and you kiss Hermione's forehead and you fall asleep thanking whatever god may exist for what you have now.
Rose is two days old. You get the healers to let Hermione go home (or really, she assures them that she will be fine because she knows all of the protocol and of course they trust her). You take the Floo with your wife and your daughter to the Burrow for Christmas eve (and it's so different now).
Everyone hugs you and squeals over Rosie, and you eat and smile (and Merlin, it almost hurts to be this happy), and then you sit by the fire.
Everyone leaves, once again, until you and your small (lovely, wonderful, perfect) family are the only ones left.
You think you could watch them forever: the rise and fall of Rosie's tiny, tiny chest against Hermione, Rose's tiny tuft of red hair, her features that (blessedly) are carbon copies of her mother's, delicate and pretty. Rose's fingers curl around one of Hermione's, and your heart breaks in the most happy way possible, because they're just beautiful.
You hear your mother crying very, very softly in the hallway behind you, and you know it's because she's just full, because you are too.
She comes behind you and looks silently at Hermione and Rose, then kisses the top of Hermione's head, then squeezes your shoulder before going to her bedroom.
You wake Hermione gently and take Rose, and you go to bed.
You put Rose in the tiny bassinet (and it looks so strange in your old bedroom) and then curl up with Hermione, kissing the back of her neck and putting your face in her short curls.
She smiles. "Happy Christmas," she tells you, and you can't help but think that it really, really is.
AN: Please leave a review, because I love them just about as much as I love vintage peacoats and going to see the Nutcracker. Which is, like, a lot. Happy Christmas!