I was reading a bunch of really cute stories by Romantic Silence (if you like Harry/Hermione fics she's wonderful at portraying their relationship in a realistic manner) and that combined with avoiding homework to produce this.
Disclaimer: I do not claim ownership of Harry Potter or even flowers. My mother has killed everything except one hearty Christmas Cactus. I fear for its life.
Throughout his childhood, Harry had never gotten to participate in St. Valentine's Day. The only cards he got were the ones he had to receive because the teachers had a rule that if you were giving one to one person in the class, you had to give them to everyone. He never got to give anything to anyone because he didn't have the money and even if he scraped together all the money he found under the couch cushions to buy the cheapest cards he could find, Dudley would tell on him and his Aunt and Uncle would punish him for stealing from them.
This year, he was determined to change that. He knew that Ron felt holiday was 'icky and girly' and didn't really see the point in it. Hermione had grown up in the muggle world like him and understood that it wasn't always about romance and love. Sometimes it was about telling a friend you appreciated her. His only problem this year was getting something since he couldn't go to Hogsmeade and he didn't have anything besides some parchment to make a card out of. He couldn't give her candy because she didn't eat it.
The day before Valentine's Day was a Thursday, and the day that Harry had Herbology. After class he stayed behind, telling Ron and Hermione he'd meet up with them in a bit. When everyone else had left, he went up to Professor Sprout, hoping she would help him.
"Professor? I was wondering if you could help me with something." He asked the woman as she removed her gloves.
"Yes, Mr. Potter? What is it?" She asked, looking at the first year curiously.
"'sDayandI''." He said in one breath.
"You want a flower to give to Miss Granger?" The professor clarified that she had understood what Harry had said. It was sweet, she thought, that he wanted to give his friend a flower for a holiday that was usually for couples. He nodded.
"Do you know what type of flower you want to give her?" Professor Sprout said, leading him out of Greenhouse 1. Harry relaxed a bit at this; glad she was going to help him. He thought about it. Aunt Petunia had taught him how to garden so that he could tend her flower beds, but in the process had also taught him the meanings of some flowers. He remembered that both chrysanthemums and oak-leaf geraniums meant friendship.
"Do you have any Oak-Leaf Geraniums?" He asked timidly.
"I do. You know the meanings of flowers?" The professor inquired. Not many did these days and of those that did even less were boys and eleven year olds.
"Some, my Aunt taught me. Those and chrysanthemums mean friendship." Harry replied.
"Very good." The two entered Greenhouse A, which was not used for classes. It was Professor Sprout's private greenhouse and it contained blooms of normal variety- roses, lilies, lilacs- in every color of the visible spectrum.
"It's beautiful." Harry whispered, shocked at the sight before him.
"Thank you." The grey-haired witched said softly, then led the boy down the aisle to where the flower he wanted rested. She pulled out a pair of clippers from her apron and handed them to him.
"Go ahead." He took the tool reverently and snipped off one flower on a long stem. The stem was fuzzy and yellow tinted green, capped by a flower with five petals, each a lavender-pink color with dark pink veins. Hiding below one of the petals was a bud that had not yet opened. Professor Sprout handed him a piece of cloth she soaked in water but Harry shook his head. He'd wanted to make sure the flower would last so he'd spent some time in the library looking up preservation charms.
Harry bit his lip as he concentrated on exactly what he wanted to do, visualizing the wand movement as he pulled his wand out. "Conservare Aeternitas," he intoned, moving his wand in a figure eight pattern over the cut flower.
The herbology professor watched as the boy preserved the flower with his magic. She knew the spell; it should have been difficult if not impossible for a boy of his age, still new to the world of magic. Yet she could tell it worked as a shimmer of gold flowed out of the wand to coat and seep into the gift.
"You came prepared." She murmured. The spell would not only keep the flower looking the same for as long as the magic lasted –and that depended on the caster- but would prevent it from being crushed or affected by the weather. She watched as the boy placed it carefully on top of his things in his bag and gently covered it with the flap.
"Thank you very much Professor." He gave her a beaming smile. He could finally give a friend a gift. He just hoped Hermione would like it.
"You're welcome Mr. Potter. If you ever need another for Miss Granger, you can ask me." She told the boy. His smile widened. "Now off you go, I'm sure your friends are looking for you."
"Goodbye, Professor, and thanks again!" He called to her as he ran off through the snow, heading towards the castle. She smiled. The last Potter may look like his father but his heart was all his mothers.
"You'd be proud of your son, Lily." She murmured as she returned to her flowers. She looked at one pot she'd planted the night of Lily's death, a grouping of day lilies and calla lilies for motherhood and beauty. "Already he has your kindness."
The next afternoon, while he and Hermione were working on Snape's essay in the Library (which Ron was avoiding by playing exploding snap in the common room) he pulled out the flower and the card he'd designed to go with it.
"Hermione?" Harry spoke nervously. The bushy haired brunette looked up at him and he handed her both items.
"Happy Valentine's Day." He told her and in return he got a smile showing all her teeth. She carefully read the card and then turned to the flower, fingering its petals and sniffing it.
"What type of flower is it? It's lovely." She asked him.
"An oak-leaf geranium, they mean friendship." Harry told her, then added, "I put a spell on it, it's supposed to preserve it and keep it from being crushed, but I don't know how long it will last."
Hermione nodded, then bit her lip in the way she was apt to do when deciding something, usually whether or not to help him or Ron on their homework. She ducked below the table and when she reappeared, she shoved something at him.
It was a card made of red construction paper and a box of sugar-free caramels. "Happy Valentine's Day, Harry," Hermione smiled at him.
"Thank you, Hermione." He gave her a grin in return.
"You're Welcome. Thank you for the flower." She bit her lip again. "Will you teach me the spell you used on it?"
He grinned and shook his head at her typical desire to know everything. "Sure." He said and began to explain it to her.