Christmas Surprises c2

Hermione just stared at the paper, her mouth agape. Then she looked at Ron, her mouth still open. For once, she, Hermione Granger, the brightest witch of her age, was at loss for words.

She stared at the paper, then at Ron, then at the paper, then at Ron. With one last look at the paper, Hermione finally whispered "No."

Ron's brain was having a hard time processing what Hermione said over the wailing shattering noises coming from his heart. His eyes lost the pleading and desperation in them, and was replaced by deep sadness. He suddenly found the floor interesting.

When he looked up at Hermione, she was smiling.

"What?" He asked in a defeated tone. Hermione tackled Ron in a big hug.

"Yes." she whispered in his ear.

Hermione finally finished packing with Ron's help, who occasionally stopped to get a bar of chocolate from her fridge. By the time Ron had finished his 7th chocolate bar, Hermione was ready to leave. And together, they apparated to the Burrow.

In the middle of her afternoon snack of hot chocolate and banana muffins with Ron, Hermione noticed the sun setting. She immediately stopped eating.

"Um, Ron, I think I've forgotten something in my apartment." Hermione lied. "I'll go and get it."

"I'll come with you." Ron said.

"Oh, no, it's okay Ron. I'll be fine." Hermione panicked. She didn't wait for his reply. Hermione dashed out of the Burrow, and apparated into Hogsmeade.

When her feet touched the ground, Hermione sprinted in the direction of the hill overlooking the Shrieking Shack.

By the time Hermione spotted Draco, she had stitches on both sides. She trudged toward the Malfoy, who was sitting on a tree stump.

He must've heard her panting because he turned around just when she was supposed to tap him. A grin spread across Draco's face.

He looked the same as always, silvery-blonde hair, pale skin, storm-gray eyes. The only difference was the light. His eyes shone with great intensity. They radiated happiness and excitement, which made one curious.

"Sorry. . .I'm. . .late. . ." Hermione panted. She took a seat on the tree stump. She exhaled a long breath.

"It's okay. Listen, I have something to tell you." Draco started. He wrung his hands, a small movement all men do when they're nervous, it appears to Hermione. "Um, have you heard the saying that if someone annoys you or is mean to you , it means that they like you?"

Hermione stopped panting, and looked into his eyes. They were filled with joy and anxiety. She saw something else under it.

"Then, I remembered the letter you gave me a few years ago. Dear Malfoy, if I wasn't a mudblood, will you go out with me? Well, the truth is, I would've. But I couldn't, because my father forbade it. Then during dinner last night, my father finally saw the effect it made on me. So, he- he lifted it last night. And- and -"

Draco fished for something in his pocket. He pulled out a small velvet box. Hermione's eyes grew big.

"Draco, Draco, no." Hermione put a hand on top of his, which was about to open the box. Draco looked up at her.

Hermione took a shaky breath, barely audible against her pounding heart. "Draco, I can't."

"What's wrong?" He inquired, his eyes full of concern and worry.

"I - I-" there were tears in Hermione's eyes. She choked back a sob.

"I just can't accept it, Draco. Have you heard the lyrics 'Even the strongest men fall because of love that could have lasted a lifetime, but never lasted at all. Please, cross my name off your wall'? Well, um, please do so. I can't do this." The tears were flowing freely now. "Maybe we were meant to be in another life, just not this one. I'm sorry." She sniffed and hugged him tightly, then walked away.

She turned back once, and found a hurtful expression on his face.

Hermione wiped away her tears and apparated back to the Burrow. It was only when her feet touched the grassy field that she realized what was in his eyes before she turned him down.

It was love.

Hermione entered the Burrow, and found the Weasleys' living room turned into a party zone.

In the living room, Bill, Fleur, Arthur, and Molly, were dancing to one of the songs by the Weird Sisters. Ron was laughing along with the twins, Charlie, and Harry, with Ginny tagging along.

Hermione realized that this was her new family, yet she still felt a little foreign.

She went to one corner and sulked, not knowing what else to do. She thought about Ron, the desperation and pleading in his eyes, and how relieved he was when Hermione said yes. Then she thought about Draco, the happiness, joy, and hope in his eyes when he saw her coming, and the hurtful expression on his face when she had turned him down.

Her thoughts were interrupted when she heart a soft THUMP! beside her. She turned to see the smiling face of Ginny.

"Hey Hermione, Happy Christmas!" She said.

"Happy Christmas Ginny." Hermione replied, with a hint of sadness.

"Why so sad?" Ginny questioned her. "What happened?"

Hermione sighed, there was no use in stepping away from this conversation. "Love. Love happened. And in the process, I learned that if you like someone, you tell him, because he won't wait forever." Then tears began to form in Hermione's eyes.

"Aww, 'Mione." Ginny reached to hug her friend. "Did someone break your heart?"

"I think so, I'm not sure anymore. And I also managed to break his heart." Hermione sniffed.

"That better not be my brother." Ginny piped up with sudden defensiveness, causing Hermione to laugh a little and wipe away her tears.

"No, I didn't break your brother's heart." Hermione assured Ginny with a nervous laugh. He just made me tear mine into two.