That Damn Mistletoe
Fandom: Harry Potter
POV: 3rd person omniscent
Disclaimer: THIS IS A HARRY POTTER FANFICTION. I don't own Harry Potter. All characters and the magic!universe belongs to JKR. Aside from that, this work is mine.
Imported from fanfiction.net
"Going to go spend some 'quality time' with Ginny?" asked Ron with relish as Harry stood up to leave the compartment.
He flushed as red as Ron's hair. "Something like that," he muttered, ducking quickly through the doors so he didn't glimpse Ron's scandalized look.
"Wait, what? No – Come back!" yelled Ron, but Harry had already disappeared down the hall, which was decorated with assorted Christmas decor. "Git," he mumbled, and sat down, deciding that he would enjoy the solitude while it lasted.
It wasn't long before he heard the familiar jingle of the Trolley Lady's cart as she swept by the compartments near his. His stomach growled hungrily, a beast waiting impatiently to be fed, and dug out three bronze coins from his pocket. He gazed mournfully at the Knuts that lay, gleaming, in his hand, before he heard a sharp rap on the door. He grinned. He may not have had much money on him at the moment, but Harry Potter, his best mate, was considered a "valuable customer" due to the immense amount of money he spent on Ron's candy habits, and he was sure to get a discount and a reprimand to pay back later.
He opened the door, thinking of chocolate frogs and pumpkin pasties—and jumped in surprise when he saw a familiar head of bushy hair and equally startled brown eyes.
"Hello, what would you—Ron?" questioned Hermione in mid-sentence.
"Um, hi?" said Ron hesitantly. It came out like a question.
An awkward silence ensued, until it was finally broken by Hermione, her voice holding the slightest bit of exasperation at herself. The Trolley Lady let you take over her duty because she thought you were smart and caring. The least you could do is at least do is stay calm. "So, what would you like to buy?"
Ron was still a bit nervous when he asked her, "Um, five boxes of chocolate frogs," he said, offering her the Knuts.
Hermione looked down at them in disgust. "There's no way in Merlin's pants that you can buy all that" - She then stopped, remembering her manners. All you need is a little bit of practice, honey, she remembered the Trolley Lady telling her, and you'll be as good as me! - "er, I mean - I think you'll need a bit more than that, sweetie," she finished, giving him a bright smile that looked more like a sickly sweet grimace.
Ron gave her a puzzled look. "Are you sure you haven't escaped from an insane asylum or something? St. Mungo's? Or you could be Hermione's doppelganger." His brows creased and he snapped his fingers. "Wait, evil twin." His face lit up. "Yes. It makes total sense. Hermione would never say what she said just now, and besides, Hermione herself is a horrible - "
Hermione, who was not in the mood for idiotic conspiracies made by idiots, merely glared. She opened her mouth to throw back a biting retort, but then remembered the Trolley Lady's voice: Practice, honey. Practice.
Yes, practice, thought Hermione confidently. All I need is some practice. She gave him another smile, this time holding a concealed venom. "How interesting," she said dryly. "Now, are you going to buy something or not?"
Ron feebly offered her a few Knuts. The sight of them made Hermione snort. She had reviewed the whole catalog for the food three times already, and she knew that the Knuts weren't enough to get him an enchanted pastry. "You're going to have to do better than that, Ronald," she told him.
"I'm a valued customer," Ron weakly protested, but Hermione held up a hand to stop him.
"I'm not a fool, Ron," she said. "No discounts. No benefits. I don't know you." Hermione was determined to do her job right. If an old wrinkled lady could do it, then so could she. Then, realizing that she was required to help her customers with their purchases, she quickly added, "Of course, you might be able to afford a couple of sugar mice or even a licorice whip or two."
Ron's shoulders relaxed with the realization that he could at least partly fill his stomach. "Just give me the most I could afford," said Ron, referring to his meager supply of Knuts.
Hermione, who was not surprised to hear this from her candy-loving friend (the image of him devouring a large pile of sweets, courtesy to Harry, was engraved into her mind), merely let out a huff of annoyance and began to shuffle through the contents of the cart. Peering at the candy, she did some quick calculations in her head and handed him a licorice whip, a small handful of sugar mice and a fun-sized box of Bertie-botts every flavored beans.
Ron stared down at the small pile with disgust. "This is it?" he demanded.
"That's a lot, considering what little money you have," snapped Hermione, giving him a cross look. "You should be grateful for what I gave you." She gave one last huff before swiftly exiting the room, rolling the sugar-laden cart with her.
Ron gazed angrily at her retreating back for a few moments before remembering something important. He dashed after her at top speed and grabbed onto her shoulder. Startled, she turned around to look at him.
"Ron, what are you - " she started before Ron slipped the money into the pocket in her robes.
"There's your money," he said gruffly before turning around, intending to shuffle back to his compartment...and was instead knocked to the ground by an invisible force. "What the bloody hell is going on here?" he demanded to the ceiling.
As if on cue, the wind was knocked out of him as Hermione fell on top of him. "What is Merlin's name just happened?" she muttered to herself, twirling her wand between her fingers and staring at it intently - as if that would help the current situation. "It's like there's some invisible wall that's preventing me from getting out. I wonder what charm it is." She pondered on this for a few seconds before finally noticing the purple-faced redhead beneath her. "Oops, sorry," she said as she moved off him.
Ron gulped in the oxygen eagerly, his hands clutching at his throat. "Need...More...Air…" he gasped.
"Oops," said Hermione, not sounding abashed at all. "Maybe if I can find a - " she froze suddenly, her eyes fixated on something above her. Ron followed her gaze and gaped in horror.
On the ceiling hung a single cluster of mistletoe.
"We have to kiss?" said Ron at the same time Hermione muttered,"Stupid Mistletoe Charm."
"Not if I can help it," said Hermione firmly. The words were meant to be encouraging, but instead left Ron feeling rather miffed.
"Hey!" he complained.
Hermione ignored him and stroked her chin thoughtfully. "Hm, we could do a Vanishing Spell," she mused, "but that might not - "
"Hey, I just had an idea!" cried out Ron. "We can just do a Vanishing Spell!" He snapped his fingers. "Evanesco," he muttered, pointing his wand at the mistletoe.
Hermione rolled her eyes.
"Um, maybe I have to kiss you?" He looked green at the mere thought of it (Hermione was mildly insulted at this) and, squinching his eyes shut, he pecked her on the cheek. Hermione's face flamed and she swatted his hand away, cradling her kissed cheek. "Jeez, 'Mione," said Ron, rubbing his sore hand. "That hurt."
"Well, we're free, at least," said Hermione.
"YAY! WE'RE FREE!" Ron jumped up and ran towards his compartment...only to fall on his face after yet again bumping into the invisible boundary. "DAMMIT!" He stood up and wiped his hands on his jeans. "What is wrong with that damn mistletoe?"
Hermione rolled her eyes. "Oh, for Merlin's sake," she muttered, and grabbed his face and kissed him hard on the mouth.
The kiss was short and brief, but it pulsed through Ron's veins and vibrated through his body. When Hermione pulled away, he stumbled back, still slightly shocked. "Wha - What - " he stuttered.
"Well, Ronald, I hope you're satisfied," she told him angrily, and turned on her heel, taking her rattling sweet cart with her. Ron couldn't help but stand, rooted to the ground in shock.
He wasn't sure if it was his imagination, but he thought he detected a hint of breathlessness in her voice. He grinned.
As Hermione collected money from purchased sweets, she couldn't keep a wide smile from spreading across her face.