Title: Secret of Life
Summary: Harry knows. Hermione's just lucky she was smart enough to catch on.
Note: Harry/Hermione one shot, extreme fluff and very, very short, I wrote this while listening to Faith Hill's The Secret of Life so that song as well as the movie City Slickers inspired this.
"Next thing I know you'll be telling me you know the secret to life," Hermione called out to Harry playfully, her chocolate brown eyes sparkling with mischief as she shifted her feet through the piled snow in order to allow her body to lean forward and place a kiss on the corner of his warm cheek.
He didn't say anything for a while, his emerald green eyes simply staring, taking in every single detail, almost like he was memorizing every feature on her face. She cleared her throat, wanting to coax a response from him.
"I do know the secret to life," he smiled secretively, shifting on the cold Victorian styled cement bench they'd found walking down a random snow engulfed street in London. Hermione had refused to sit, it was snowing after all, and she had not wanted to lose the warmth she had managed from the walk.
Harry on the other hand could have cared less about getting his trousers wet and another quick warming spell would take care of the cold. These walks they had started a few months after the war had ended, seemed to becoming longer, more frequent, and he was not getting any younger. Ron had stopped joining them only a year into what became a tradition for Harry and Hermione, they'd now been doing it for five years. The red head, now happily married to Luna Lovegood, still couldn't figure out why the two continued to go, but Harry knew, he just wasn't so sure Hermione's reason was the same. Sometimes Harry wondered why he never said anything to her about his feelings.
Hermione blinked repeatedly while his words continued to register and then snorted with the disbelief when they did. "Oh? Care to enlighten me what this secret to life is?" she chuckled immediately after, but her skepticism was evident.
He slid his teeth into the meat of his bottom lip and got to his feet, reaching forward to loop Hermione's arm with his. He threaded his fingers through hers and popped both of their hands into the warmth of his robe pocket. "Well," he paused for dramatic effect, "it's a secret."
Hermione clucked her tongue and gently gave his hand a warning squeeze. "I don't like this, you knowing something I don't. You have to give me a hint," she demanded, her ruby red lips pouting.
He couldn't help but notice the way his gaze lingered on her lips or how the yearning of wanting to kiss had become so natural. It didn't help that the flurry of tiny snowflakes kept landing on those supple lips wetting them, making them glisten. A kiss on a cold snowy evening wouldn't be too bad.
Harry swallowed, realizing she was waiting for an answer, but could he tell her? Really and truly, after all these years? After all these years of just being her best friend would a transition to lover be possible?
He raised an eyebrow, but decided to oblige her. He nodded after thinking for a moment. "It's one thing," he informed and when he did not continue she frowned.
Harry wanted so desperately to run a hand through those wrinkles on her forehead as she scowled and answered. "And that is?"
He kicked at a clump of snow that had been in his path. "That's the hint. It's just one thing, one thing in your life that makes everything else worthwhile."
Her breath hitched and recognition sparked in her eyes at his comment. "Oh," was all she could manage. A smile tugged at her lips and she turned sideways, wrapping her other arm around his waist. "Am I your secret?"
She was serious, but playful at the same time, so he tried ignoring the rapid fluttering in his heart and he slowly turned his head towards her to smile, while at the same time nudging her forward so that they could start walking down the snow covered street again.
He was going to do this. He was going to tell this absolutely perfect woman that she was what he needed to make the rest of his life, past, present, and future, all of it, worthwhile. That he'd been in love with her for more than four and half years, possibly more since he'd been thinking about their younger years more and more. He was going to do it; he was just so scared that she didn't feel the same.
"Yes," he whispered softly, his hand involuntarily tightening around hers.
She laughed happily, her response was so quick, instant in fact, that he feared she thought he was playing. "Oh Harry, I hope you're serious, because I want to kiss you, right now."
Pausing, he titled his head towards her, curiously watching her smiling face, looking for a sign that this kiss she'd requested was from a friend to a friend, but there was something different in her happy eyes. Something that made his breath catch, something he couldn't put his finger on, but that something let him know that it wasn't a friend asking for a peck, it was a potential lover asking to share a first moment. He knew that this moment would be forever engraved in his mind. The moment that made his life fully start, the moment that made Hermione his. She was Harry's secret of life.
I think I'm better at one shots than I am at longer stuff. I don't update often (as most of the people who read my stuff know), so I'm thinking of doing more one shots. I might even do a Hermione's point of view, to this one with the kissing scene. Who knows?
Let me know if there are any mistakes or possibly something that doesn't make sense and I'll fix it. Please review!