It was scarcely half-past four, and dusk already showed out the window. It had been hours since Hermione had moved from her place in her boyfriend's sofa, curled around herself and wrapped tightly in a throw blanket, flipping page after page of the book in her lap while her tea grew cold.
Winter that year, as with most years, was wet, and very cold—the aching sort of cold that clung to your bones and refused to leave, no matter how many layers you wore or warm beverages you downed. She thought that her own flat may have been warmer than Fred's, but she still preferred to spend her Saturdays close to him: it was the closest they got to having a day together, because she worked all week and he worked all weekend. And even with him busy most of the time, Saturdays were always a comfort to her. She liked it here. She could pop down to the shop every so often for a chat, and he would always come up for lunch and make tea; he'd drink his too quickly (and have the gall to complain when he burnt his mouth) and she'd take two sips and then forget about it, because curling up to his side warmed her up far more effectively. The only disappointing bit was that lunch was short. Twenty minutes, and then it was time to play the waiting game again, tucked in her sofa-nest and reading a book until the day was over. And this one seemed a longer day than most.
She thought about how it contrasted with the previous week, the last weekend before Christmas, when she'd been down in the shop for all of fourteen hours, keeping shelves well-stocked and running from one end of the shop to the other with a ladder under her arm just to do so. That had also been a long day—though somehow a fast one, as well—and she'd had to escape frequently to the chilly outdoors with a warm mug for company, just to get away from the noise. Hermione had finished the day feeling drained yet satisfied, and Fred in a state of excitement. He'd never been particularly good at shutting down his abundant energy after he'd been exerting himself for so long, and through him she'd discovered that vivacity could be rather contagious. On the busier days like that, 'going to bed' was very rarely a synonym for 'sleep'. And they usually went to bed quite early those days. An exciting night to end an exciting day.
Hermione wasn't sure if it had been two hours or five since the sun had gone down, but he came back finally. He stood in the doorway for several moments taking in the sight of her, still exactly where he'd left her. "Have you even gone to the loo?"
"I'd rather leave you wondering," she said, and Fred chortled. He gave a quick kiss to her forehead and then he was gone again, to wash his face and shed his gaudy work robes. By the time he returned she'd shifted herself to make room for him beside her and abandoned her book on the table. He sat, pushing aside her still-full mug so that he could prop up his feet, and she threw half of her blanket (well, his blanket, technically) over his lap.
They sat in comfortable silence, every so often breaking it with light conversation—"Good day?" "Good, yeah. Slow," "Mm," "You?" "Mm-hm," "Good."—before settling back into quiet, and next thing she knew an hour had passed since he'd come, and twenty minutes had gone without a word spoken. Now Fred's light snoring was the only sound that came from either of them. Hermione wasn't sure if the silence was due to Fred being asleep or if he was asleep due to the silence, but whatever the case, the rhythm of his breathing was an odd comfort to her, lulling her towards sleep as well. The tips of her fingers trailed across his hairline, gently brushing orange strands away from his face.
So, a lazy night to end a lazy day. That seemed just fine.
Her own eyes drifted shut then and she ignored all thought, her focus on the softness of his hair between her fingers, and on the mingling sounds of breathing and harsh wind outside.