Meet Me at Midnight
Hermione had dragged herself out of bed only an hour ago, showered, dressed, and left the common room and was now on her way down to breakfast. Three halls away Hermione could already smell the food. Meals at Hogwarts never failed to delight her. Especially not now, around the holidays.
"'Ey 'Mione!" Ron called, his mouth full of toast. Harry turned from Ginny as she approached.
Her other friends greeted her and she sat down, pouring herself a glass of eggnog. She took a sip as she looked around, once again taking in the scenery. The big tree was magnificent although the room looked very plain compared to the way it had been last year during the Triwizard Tournament.
"So, Harry," she said, "What have you guys got planned for the day?" Harry looked down to the other end of the table. During the break all of the students were sitting at a single table, which brought Luna and Cho closer to their small pack of friends. It was fun to have them around of course, but it also brought some unpleasant guests such as Malfoy and his posse.
"Well, yesterday we reserved the quidditch field for an hour, so we are going to head down there and play a little three on two." Harry nodded towards Fred and George and they waved back at Hermione. "How about you? Did you want to come watch the game?"
"Oh, thank you, Harry, but I have plans already. Luna and I are going to do a bit of..." Hermione looked around, checking for Umbridge or any of her little pests. She spotted Draco down at the end of the table looking their way, so she quieted her tone, "We are going to do a bit of practice."
"That's so like you, Hermione… working over the holiday." Ginny chimed in as she took a final sip of her milk. Hermione just laughed and nodded.
"You do realize," Hermione said, serious now, "what is going on right now, I think it is completely reasonable to be practicing, even if it is the holiday." Harry's face grew serious as well and he stood abruptly, pulling Ginny along with him.
"Or we could try and enjoy what little time we may have. Personally I would like to have a little fun over break," Harry's voice was hard but his eyes softened when he realized how angry he sounded. He sighed.
"Well, we should probably get down to the field." Ron shoved another bite of toast in his mouth before standing to meet Harry.
"Yeah, mate, we don't want to waste any of our time. Bye 'Mione." The other two mumbled their partings and they all walked out of the Great Hall murmuring something about snitches. Not too long after they left, the twins ran out past her, shouting their greeting. She could hear McGonagall down near the teachers telling them off.
"Hey, Hermione," came Luna's soft voice. She appeared out of no where from behind her and sat down on her left. "I think you have some post coming."
Before Hermione could question Luna's observation, a dusty grey owl flew in and dropped a small scrap of parchment in front of her. It landed neatly on her plate and was so thin you could see the plate's shape shining through.
"Oh, Hermione! How exciting. What's it say?" Luna peered at the note over Hermione's shoulder. Hermione looked down at the note.
"Meet me at midnight, under the mistletoe." As Hermione read the note she could feel the mystery sink into her. It must be Ron, she thought, how romantic. She folded it up and stuck it in her pocket. The mistletoe. It was hanging in the doorway to the great hall, stuck there by George. The teachers couldn't get it off anyway, so they chose to leave it up in the spirit of the season. They didn't exactly approve of any public displays of affection, but they couldn't stop everyone. And apparently Ron, or whoever sent her this note, knew his way around the teachers.
"Who do you think it is, Hermione?" Luna's eyes searched the hall. Honestly, Hermione's only guess was Ron seeing as how not many guys had stayed for the holiday.
"I don't know, Luna. Uh, do you have a pen?" Luna opened a small bag she had sitting next to her and pulled out a pen. Hermione took it and thanked Luna. She flipped the note over and wrote down her friends' names.
"Who else is here, Luna?" She asked. They stood quickly and looked around. Once they were certain every corner of the hall had been searched they added to the current list.
"Well we can pretty much cross off Goyle," Luna said, looking down to where Draco was sitting next to him and Parkinson.
"And Draco," Hermione said hastily. Luna looked at her and laughed her light, knowing laugh. "What?" Hermione asked.
"I wouldn't go crossing him off yet," Luna said wistfully. "I mean, he's only looked at you every ten seconds since you got here." Hermione turned towards him just in time to catch him turning back to his pug faced girlfriend.
"You've got to be kidding me, Luna." She shrugged.
"You're right Hermione. Maybe it's Neville." Luna laughed at the thought.
"I doubt that, Luna. Neville couldn't be this slick if he wanted to." Hermione didn't mean to be rude, but this didn't seem like Neville's thing.
"Oh, or maybe it's one of the Weasley twins," Luna breathed, her eyes lighting up at the thought, "You would look good with them. Or even Ron."
Hermione was starting to get restless."Whatever, let's go practice." The girls walked out of the great hall and down to the room of requirements.
After about two hours of practicing their charms and spells, the girls headed down to the library before lunch. They both worked towards finishing the novels they had started at the beginning of break. Hermione didn't usually get into such trivial things as girly love stories, but this one had captured her heart. It was a heart wrenching story about a woman who was raised to believe that she was to be a slave who served under men. But the woman didn't think that was right, that couldn't be the way she was supposed to live, and Hermione couldn't help but agree.
"Lunch time, 'Mione." Luna peeked over the top of her book to where Hermione was sitting curled in a ball, a look of shock on her face.
"Just hold on. Let me finish this chapter real quick." Luna laughed at Hermione, sitting in her current state, and went to stand. She walked over to Hermione and peered at the book. Hermione turned the page to discover she had finished the chapter and put a page marker in to keep her from losing her spot.
"Like that book?" Luna joked. Hermione just nodded. The girls walked towards the great hall sharing whispers about who Hermione's 'Mr. Mistletoe' might be. The girls had narrowed the list down some after catching a few couples snogging in the halls or the corner of the library. As of right now the list looked like:
The fact that Draco was still on the list worried Hermione, and she really didn't want him to be Fred either. He was like her brother, but so was Harry. And Neville would probably be awkward, and probably wouldn't be a very romantic kiss. In fact, Hermione didn't really want it to be anyone on that list, except maybe Ron. But, Hermione thought, how often do I actually get what I want? She had no idea anymore who her Mr. M would be.
They arrived in the great hall seemingly right after their friends. They greeted them and chose their seats, Hermione between Ginny and Ron, and Luna on Neville's left.
"So," Harry started, "how did your practicing go?" Hermione smiled and told him of the progress the girls had made on patronesses. They could both cast a full patroness and, along with that, Luna had worked on her protego charm.
"Wonderful, I can't wait until after the holiday when we can start practice again." Harry's eyes shined. The D.A. really was something to be proud of, and Hermione couldn't help but smile at the fact that she was a part of it.
"I really do enjoy when you teach us, Harry," Luna said, making sure to keep her voice down. "Do you think maybe us six could go and practice sometime?" Harry smiled and nodded.
"For sure, Luna." The group laughed. They laughed for no reason other than the bubbly feeling that rose up in their stomachs when they spent time together.
They ate a small lunch before Harry, Ron and Hermione all headed back to the Gryffindor common room. It was nice to sit quietly in front of the fire, reading her book that she was likely to finish before the night was over. Her friends had chosen to occupy their time with a somewhat noisy game of Wizard's Chess, but Hermione didn't particularly mind because by the time they started she was already off in her own world.
It was eleven o'clock at night and Hermione could hardly keep herself in bed. Despite mixed feelings about who might be waiting for her, she couldn't wait to meet her admirer under the mistletoe. Hermione and Ginny were the only Gryffindor Girls left in their quarters and so, being careful not to wake her friend, Hermione crept to the bathroom and showered quickly before pulling on her casual school day outfit and tying her damp hair back into a messy bun.
She walked quietly out into the common room, not stopping until she reached the guys' dormitory. She quietly walked up the stairs and into the room where Harry slept. At the end of his bed was a trunk that Hermione knew had the item she needed at the bottom. As quiet as she could, Hermione pulled out the invisibility cloak and pulled it on over her shoulders before fleeing downstairs.
When Hermione reached the portrait she swung it open quietly and made sure The Fat Lady was sleeping, and she, herself, was covered with the cloak, before stepping out into the halls. It took about ten minutes to reach the door where the mistletoe was located.
Out of nowhere, hands grasped her shoulders and kept her from turning around. She tried to turn her head but she couldn't see anyone.
"Scared you're going to get caught out here? With me?" The question came as a whisper, disguising the man's voice from her.
"Who are you?" she whispered back, feeling the invisibility cloak being lifted off her. "And how did you see me?"
"You don't need to know who I am, but I can tell you how I saw you." The man chuckled. "You do realize you are getting taller, correct?" When Hermione stayed quiet the stranger continued, impatiently. "Your feet are showing."
Hermione sighed. She should have thought of that. How obvious could she get? The stranger released her shoulders only to allow the cloak to drop to the floor. Hermione shut her eyes and when she opened them again she couldn't see anything, but could feel fabric around her head.
"Did you blindfold me!?" Hermione could barely contain her voice to a whisper. Only the fear of being caught kept her from shouting. The man came around in front of her and she reached out to slap him.
"I can't have you knowing who I am, darling. Not just yet." Hermione recognized the man's laugh but couldn't put a name to it. She knew one thing for sure, the man wasn't Ron.
"And why not?" Hermione felt her voice waver, not sure whether to feel romanced or scared.
"Oh, let's leave that discussion for later. It's midnight." Suddenly she was pulled into Mr. Mistletoe's embrace. He was taller than her and it seemed nice to have to look up before the kiss. The man leaned down and their lips met. It was a soft sweet kiss, slow and gentle. Hermione was sad when her mystery man pulled back, undoing her blindfold with it.
It was then that Hermione realized her eyes had been closed, and by the time she opened them Mr. Mistletoe was gone. Hermione felt a tinge of disappointment. She had truly wanted to know who this romantic man was. Hermione picked up the cloak and turned to head back to the Gryffindor tower. A tear slid down her cheek and she heard a soft voice behind her.
"Merry Christmas, Granger." Recognizing the voice, she turned around, searching for him, but Draco was already gone.