After the war ended, the world flew by quickly in Hermione’s perspective. She often felt as if she was inside of the telly, and someone unbeknownst to her was pressing fast forward on her life. Oh, she experienced her life moments and embraced them with a sense of grateful excitement; she just believed things moved a tad too quick for her tastes. She blinked, and everything changed.
The year prior, Ron and Hermione decided that they were better apart than together, romantically. They still loved each other of course, however, after a frank discussion and possibly one too many bottles of firewhisky, they decided on an amicable divorce. The pieces of himself she once felt complimented the pieces of her, now seemed less fitting and perfectly crafted. His personality now felt heavy, and suffocating. If Hermione was being honest, her emotions were worn and her soul tired from trying to fix his insecurities and deal with her own. Ron himself felt equally as worn down trying to be the version of him he thought she wanted.
The divorce was simple as divorces go. Thanks to the monetary supplements they both received from the ministry after the war and of course their respective jobs, they each had more than enough resources to take care of not only themselves but the kids without argument. Both Hugo and Rose were in Hogwarts throughout the school year and outside of the school year? Well, Hugo and Rose were teenagers. Ron and Hermione both allowed them to choose who they wanted to be with, within reason. This year they decided to stay with their father winter holiday, and she would meet them for the Solstice festivities at the burrow. Just the implication of being surrounded by all of their family and friends brought Hermione’s mind back to her current thought, the movement of time.
She was not unhappy with her life or the choices she had made with them. So why did she feel as if something was missing? That she had possibly made a wrong turn somewhere while navigating her life? She was stagnant. She needed a spark. Or better yet, she needed to relight the spark that she hadn’t felt in years.
A memory was tugging at the corners of her mind. A flicker of a flame started to ignite in her belly as she thought of it. Hermione shook her head quickly, causing the memory to flee as soon as it surfaced.
“Bugger this” she mumbled to herself as she wiped her hands on the apron around her waist. She didn’t know why she insisted on baking, she was horrible at it, and her mind wandered constantly.
Wasn’t baking supposed to be relaxing? Not a time to torment herself with things neither here nor there?
She wasn’t quite sure what her subconscious was trying to hint at, but she was doing her best to not focus on things that weren’t meant to be. Quite like these dollops of gingerbread which were meant to be yule logs, but honestly were more like blobs. She didn’t even know why she was trying. Everyone knew that Molly was the baker in the family; no-one expected her to bring anything.
He mentioned gingerbread was one of his favorite treats though
“Hush,” she chastised herself.
So what? So what if Remus had mentioned once upon a time that he enjoyed gingerbread? Why was it that tidbit of information kept popping up in her brain, tempting her to gather the ingredients for this ill-advised baking adventure? She knew he would be at the festivities for Solstice, just like he was every year. It would not be any different than her spending the holiday season with any of the rest of the brood.
‘Except this year…. This year, he took you on a date’, she thought.
Remembering that moment made her smile, and that tiny spark of a flame started once more.
“It wasn’t a date.” She repeated to herself and her subconscious as she placed the cookie tray into the oven, bending down to reach the middle rack.
“What wasn’t a date?” a thick voice behind her asked.
“EEP!” The oven door closed louder than anticipated with a resounding ‘thud’ as she jumped up, startled from the voice.
As she registered whom the voice belonged to her nerves became alit with the mild fear from being caught off guard and the slow-burning feeling of… what is that? Arousal? It had been a while since she felt that long lost feeling of excitement burning in the depths of herself. She spun quickly coming face to face with the occupant of her thoughts.
“Remus” she breathed, her senses coming back quickly as she registered the sight of him in front of her, in her home, holding… groceries? She quirked an eyebrow in question.
“Your door was unlocked. I knocked, but there was no answer. I thought I’d come in and drop these off at Rose’s request.” He answered her unspoken question, raising the groceries he was holding up in acknowledgement.
Remus reached over Hermione’s shoulder to place the bags on the counter-top, not wanting to step away from the convenient placement of her body caught between his and the oven.
“Rose said you mentioned that you were out of cinnamon and cloves. She was going to package them up and send it by owl, but I offered to take it instead.”
“Oh I was unaware you were already at the burrow.”
“Teddy wanted to see Harry, and I was trying to run into you. At first, I was disappointed, but now I realize this was a better option.”
She didn’t respond. She didn’t think she could. Thoughts ran through her head, as that pesky flame of desire started to burn up through her fingertips, threatening to devour her whole. Was she blushing? She felt as if she was blushing.
“What wasn’t a date?” She heard him ask once more, a tone of teasing laced with something else under his words.
“Oh nothing. I was just- talking out loud, I guess. Thank you for bringing these.”
She gathered her wits together, using her hands to push herself away from the stove; and away from him. His hand shot out and grabbed her wrist, pulling her forward so that she was no longer against the oven but also now thoroughly flush against Remus. A low moan rumbled through his chest as her eyes raked up his body, devouring his appearance.
“Are you sure you weren’t talking about me?” oh hell
“From my memory, it was very much a date-like night.”
“Well, yes, I was, and yes, it was. But no. I was not trying to presume anything, and what are you doing? Fuck..”
He had moved them. With the swiftness of a wolf hunting their prey he had lifted her quickly and placed her so that her butt was on the countertop; the flour-covered countertop, she might add, and he very comfortably situated himself between her legs.
“’Mione, if it looked like a date and felt like a date, why wouldn’t it have been a date?”
She noticed now that what she had heard in his voice, was jealousy, and having confirmed that the person whom she was speaking about was indeed him, the hint of jealousy she had heard was now replaced with a hardness, a determination.
“Well, Remus. It looked like what we do every other Friday night, which is visiting Flourish and Botts to rummage through their new stock. Yes, this time you picked me up at my door and brought me those lovely flowers. However, as you had not mentioned anything of it being a date no matter how rather lovely it felt, I had no reason to believe it was a date and not you just being kind.”
“Should I have kissed you then?” um, what? Her brain was going to short-circuit.
“Well, as first dates typically end in a kiss goodnight should I have ended the night with one? Would that have helped you determine whether it was a date or not?”
“Well, it certainly would’ve helped.”
His smirk grew as he looked her over. That mouth of hers drove him nuts. That spark, that fire she always seemed to have even when he had her tongue-tied. He was pleasantly surprised that sneaking up on her was working out in his favor. He was half convinced as he headed over that he would be met with her wand. The war might’ve been over but her quick reflexes never dulled.
“My apologies madam. So were you baking these cookies as a bribe?”
“A bribe for what?”
“Obviously, a cookie for a kiss.”
“What makes you think these cookies were for you?” she answered with an eye roll trying to throw him off her trail. His eyes flashed gold, just long enough for her to catch it. If she weren’t busy memorizing every inch of his face she wouldn’t have seen the flicker. He moved closer, his lips almost touching hers.
“I don’t know of anyone else who enjoys gingerbread, but you’re right. Who am I to presume?” His words sounded teasing, but she had known him long enough to notice the sting of rejection in them. He stepped away quickly, her body instinctively moving forward to reach him.
“No, Remus, I was teasing. They were for you, of course, they were. But I wasn’t going to bribe you for a kiss. That’s what Molly’s mistletoe is for” Her hand reached out and grabbed the lapel of his shirt, trying to pull him closer. Pull him back to her.
“Yeah, what was the bribe for?”
Having successfully pulled him back to her, she locked her legs around his waist, naively believing her thighs could keep him pinned against his will. They could, but she didn’t know that yet. She didn’t know the things her body could convince him to do.
“I figured if the first date was a date, then a second date...”
“If it wasn’t?”
“If it wasn’t, then I was hoping the cookies would snag me one. Although thinking now, baking isn’t my strong suit. It’s not what I should do to convince you.”
“What makes you think you would need to convince me?” His hands were back on her, her hair, her face, causing her to make eye contact with him. At the sight of his gold irises, she held back a moan, not realizing she had tightened her hold on him. His lips were so close...
“Well, what are you waiting for?” she asked him.
He didn’t speak. His lips grazed hers softly once before he pulled away, only to return with renewed vigor as he realized she was responding to him. Their lips moved in sync, and she moved as close as she could to him with the number of clothes separating them. Her subconscious acknowledged the taste of him, the flame that had been building steadily, sped up and engulfed her. She melded into him, pleading with time to slow the moment down so she could stay inside of it completely.
Time had another idea.
All too quickly, Remus pulled away “Mione, love. Not to worry you but is something burning?”
She unlocked her legs and slid off the counter-top, maneuvering around Remus so she could very quickly grab the mittens and pull the now burnt gingerbread out of the oven. As soon as they were safely on the counter, Remus moved to wrap his arms around her lithe frame. A chuckle escaped him at the cute pout on her face
“So much for that bribe.”
“There’s always next year” he announced, “Next solstice we’ll just use magic.”
“Next year?” she asked, turning her body to face him. “but I have nothing to bribe you with.”
A smirk appeared on his lips as he cupped her chin and moved his lips to hers.
“You already have me, Hermione. Although, if you insist on a bribe, I’m sure a deal can be worked out.”
He lowered his lips back to hers, and at this moment, Hermione did not care if the rest of the holiday was spent basking in the warmth of his body, allowing time to be frozen and the flame he ignited within her to burn her to ash.
Remus knew this and planned to take full advantage of what she was allowing him to take. After all, it was the holiday season, and he was sure the family wouldn’t mind if they were a little late to the celebration.Start writing here…
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