“Last Christmas, I gave you my heart.”
Hermione gasped in awe at the hall around her. The Ministry of Magic’s grand atrium was sparkling. Snow fell from a magical ceiling which opened up into the winter night. She could see the bright moon and the flickering stars dotting the dark sky. Large chandeliers floated in place and dripped with crystal icicles which illuminated the place in dazzling light. Tall fir trees lined the circumference of the hall with freshly fallen snow on their branches. Round tables covered in white cloth were arranged in a round leaving the middle empty for a dance floor. A large bouquet of white roses, amaryllis, and carnations sprouted from the centre of each table. The largest fir tree of all stood smack in the middle of the hall and was decorated with Christmas ornaments and silver and gold garlands. A shining golden star was at its pinnacle.
She felt as though as she had stepped into a winter wonderland. There was even snow underfoot though she felt no colder now than she did at home.
I love magic , Hermione thought, and her eyes scanned the crowd for one particular person. Most of the guests were already on the dance floor, the tables standing empty after being abandoned since the dinner service had ended. Hermione had missed the first half of the ball due to a Christmas Eve feast at her parents’, but she knew she would have still gone anyway even if she was only there for the last five minutes.
She couldn’t miss the ball for she couldn’t miss seeing him .
Her eyes scanned the crowd, passing over the colourful ensembles of the women and the stark dress robes of the men. People were swaying and dancing as a live band played entertained with the latest music. She stood by the entrance of the hall, her head sweeping from left to right and looking for any signs of the familiar black hair and those bright green eyes.
Harry had been away on a mission for the last month and his latest owl only said that he would see her at the ball. She missed her best friend dearly and was eager to see him. She surveyed the crowd again. There was Madam Bones talking to her boss, Head Unspeakable Gareth Greengrass. When they noticed her gaze, they gave a smile and a wave. Amongst the people dancing she spied Neville. He looked very handsome in his dress robes and in his arms was… Luna? Hermione smiled when she saw the pair. It seemed like Neville finally got the courage to ask the magizoologist out on a date. Her eyes continued searching until she was looking at the far end of the atrium. She spotted Ron with his bright red hair along with Lavender in a beautiful gown the colour of her namesake and…
She breathed. There he was, the person she was looking for. She immediately knew it was him and smiled when she saw the figure run a hand through his messy, black hair. She saw as his head tilted back in a laugh at something the couple said.
She felt the pull and the next second she was heading in their direction. The crystal heels her mum told her to wear carried her across the hall. She nimbly avoided the bodies around her, said hi to those who greeted her, and told the men who approached her that she would try and save them a dance later just to get them out of her way. Her eyes never wavered from his form.
She felt the tug and like a magnet drawn towards its opposite, she walked towards him.
He was listening to Ron and Lavender’s story about their latest holiday to Spain and barked out a laugh when Ron told him his mishap over some Spanish words. He ran a hand through his hair and grinned at the couple. Suddenly, as if a switch had been turned on, he became aware that someone was watching him and he looked at her direction.
He completely missed the next part of Ron’s story for he couldn’t take his eyes away from the vision in white. He watched Hermione as she walked towards them, towards him , in a stunning snow-white gown. It was a simple floor-length dress with a high slit up one thigh. The long sleeves hung low on her shoulders and Harry could see the necklace he had given her two years ago resting against her collar bones. He gulped when he saw the dangerously high crystal sandals on her feet. Her brown curls cascaded over one shoulder and a dazzling smile were on her lips.
He remembered murmuring something to Ron and Lavender before he was walking towards her. He gravitated to her like a moth to a flame. He felt the invisible pull of her presence draw him ever closer and he followed with no regret.
He murmured replies to the people who blocked his path, his eyes never once leaving hers from across the dance floor. He smiled respectfully but continued along when some of the higher-ranking members of the Auror Office congratulated him on the latest mission. He had somewhere to be, someone to see, and he couldn’t wait.
There was only a couple of feet between them now and he watched her smile drop from her face. With a gasp, Hermione rushed forward and suddenly she was in his arms with her hand tenderly caressing his cheek.
“Oh, Harry!” Hermione cried. “What happened to you?” She asked in distraught. She was finally able to see the bruise on his cheek and the cut on his jaw. The fact that he had gotten thinner since the last time she had seen him worried her as well. Her hand shakily touched his cheek and lightly traced the pattern of the bruise.
He took hold of her hand and kissed her fingers. Hermione breathed at the touch and sighed when he wrapped her arm around his waist and brought her close once again. Harry buried his face into her curls and felt himself ease.
His last assignment was, to put it simply, really fucking difficult. There were times when he felt that he wouldn't be able to return home to London and that thought frightened him. How could he be such a terrible godfather to Teddy? How could he miss Ron’s wedding where he was supposed to be the Best Man? How could he… how could he leave Hermione behind?
During his undercover stint as one of the highest-ranking members of a wizard smuggling ring, Harry found himself thinking a lot about the answers to those questions. At least his will had been signed, sealed, and delivered to his lawyer. There would be no question about the guardianship of Teddy and how his many assets would be divided. But the more he thought about it the more Harry realized he really didn't want to die. There were so many things he didn't get to do. There were so many things he had to live for.
And one such reason to live was to finally tell her how he truly felt.
That thought kept him up at night.
How could he die and not tell Hermione everything ?
How could he die and not tell her he loved her?
She would never know, and that idea terrified him more than her possible reaction to his confession.
The witch fussed over him and he smiled. She was agitated in his arms, remarking over and over again that she would do bodily harm to Kingsley Shacklebolt, Head Auror, for sending him somewhere dangerous. She cupped his cheek and looked up into his eyes.
“Are you okay?” She whispered, her eyes projecting worry and concern.
With the snow falling around them, Harry took hold of her hands and gave her a dazzling smile.
“I’m okay, Hermione,” he said softly. She breathed a sigh of relief and gave him a small smile in return. “But I need to tell you something.”
“What is it?” She asked and her brows furrowed in question.
The soft melody of an acoustic version of It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year started to play in the background. Harry drew her into his embrace and started to sway to the music. Hermione wordlessly wrapped her arms around his waist and rested her head against his chest.
“I realized something when I was away on my mission,” Harry whispered into her ear. She nodded, prompting him to continue. “I really didn't like what I was doing. I don't like being in that dangerous position risking my life when… when I have so many people waiting at home for me,” he said. Hermione looked up at him with questioning eyes. “I told Shacklebolt I was quitting,” he remarked.
Hermione gasped and Harry barked out a small laugh. “Yeah, that was his reaction too. He begged me to stay and I said I would only do that if I don’t have to go on those assignments anymore. He agreed… and gave me a promotion.”
Her eyes widened and her mouth gaped. Harry found himself smiling at her reaction. She was always so invested in his stories - so invested in him - and he greatly appreciated that. “What does this mean, Harry?” She asked when she had processed what he said.
He winked at her playfully. “I guess it means I’ll be staying at the Ministry a little while longer. And I guess it means that I’ll be home a lot more too.”
Hermione grinned at him then, her eyes sparkling. “I know a little boy who will be very happy to hear that,” she remarked.
Harry pulled her closer and rested his cheek against her curls. “He’s one of the reasons, you know? I should be there for Teddy. I should be more present. I can’t… I can’t even imagine what he’d go through if one day... I don’t come home. I can’t do the dangerous assignments anymore. It’s unfair to him.”
She sighed and he felt her nod. “I know,” she said gently.
Harry closed his eyes briefly and his grip on her tightened. “He’s not the only one,” he whispered.
There was movement and suddenly he was looking at her brown eyes. They were laced with confusion as she looked towards him. The music in the background had changed but he couldn’t decipher what it was. He didn’t really care either as he carefully considered his next words.
“Being present for Teddy wasn’t my only reason,” he clarified. Their swaying stopped and they stood there in each other’s arms. “When I was away, I couldn’t… I couldn’t stop thinking about you .”
Hermione’s eyes widened at his words and Harry continued on. “There were times when I thought I was going to die and that really pissed me off since… I wouldn’t be able to tell you how I feel.”
She gasped and her grip around his waist tightened. “What are you saying, Harry?” She asked.
Harry closed his eyes and engulfed her in an embrace. He moulded his body against hers and relished in her warmth and in her softness. There, in her arms, was his home. He breathed and told her the words he had been holding on to for years.
“ I love you , Hermione,” he confessed. She completely stilled in his arms but Harry trudged on. “I’ve loved you for years . I’ve loved you since we were kids . You’re the reason I do so well at my job because you’re the reason I want to keep coming home. I just… I thought you should know.”
Harry closed his eyes and waited for her reply. It felt like he waited for an eternity until he felt her soft hands on his cheeks. He opened his eyes as she tilted his head downwards.
She was glowing. Her face was beaming with a bright smile and her eyes were sparkling with joy. He didn’t get another word in because at that moment she kissed him.
In the middle of the dance floor amidst everyone in the Ministry; as the clock chimed that it was midnight and Christmas Eve turned to Christmas Day; Hermione Granger kissed Harry Potter. Her arms snaked around his head and her hands tangled in his hair. His arms circled her waist and drew her even closer. Their eyes were closed that they didn’t see the stunned looks of everyone around them. They didn’t see Ron’s sly grin and Luna’s dreamy sigh. They most certainly didn’t see the flash of a camera as Rita Skeeter’s magical pen furiously scribbled on its notepad.
Nor did they care. Because at that moment, all that mattered was the new understanding between the two of them. All that mattered was this new promise which they have promptly sealed with a kiss.
When they broke apart, Harry laid his forehead against hers and nuzzled her nose with his. “So,” he whispered with upturned lips. “What do you have to say to what I’ve just confessed?”
As the magical snow fell around them, Hermione smiled and said the words he had longed to hear for so long.
“I love you too, Harry.”
“Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum.”
The steady beat woke Hermione up from her slumber. Her groggy eyes drifted to the nightstand and she smiled when her gaze fell on the moving image of her and Harry during last year’s Ministry Yule Ball. Someone had captured a photograph of the two of them as they shared their first kiss in the middle of the dance floor underneath the grand Christmas tree.
Pum pum pum
She groaned and closed her eyes. Hermione burrowed her face into her pillow and made a silent promise that she was going to kill a certain redhead for what he had done. With a sigh, Hermione rose from between the covers of the large bed and walked to the wardrobe to grab her robe. She wrapped the cotton over her nightclothes, slipped her feet into warm, fuzzy slippers, and exited the master bedroom.
The house was just waking up around her. Or rather, most of its occupants were just waking up save for one. Hermione followed the sound of the drum to the opposite end of the wing. She passed by the large bay window which contained her favourite reading nook on the upstairs floor and saw a light snowfall starting to cover the village of Godric’s Hollow. She smiled, and her steps hurried just a little bit towards the bedroom at the end of the hall.
As she walked closer, the sound of the drums grew louder. Vaguely she heard some singing mixed into the beats and she shook her head in amusement.
Hermione reached the door and knocked softly. After no response (probably because the drum beats were deafeningly loud), she twisted the doorknob and peeked her head inside.
One of the shining stars of her life was sat in front of a small drum set, beating one of the snares with his wooden sticks, and banging his head to the rhythm.
“Mr. Teddy, it's seven in the morning!” Hermione said above the noise. The grin on her face widened when the child stopped his playing (though she used that term loosely) and his head swivelled to face her.
“Minny!” He squealed. Hermione watched as his hair turned to a dark shade of brown and curled a bit though his eyes remained a startling green. The boy of barely seven years old rose from the little seat and rushed to Hermione’s side. Tiny arms enveloped her waist and Hermione crouched down to take the boy into her arms. “Good morning, Auntie Minny!”
“You're going to wake the whole cottage, sweetheart,” Hermione lightly admonished. “Winky would be quite cranky with you,” she said. She ruffled his hair and straightened his pajamas patterned with Christmas trees and falling snow.
Teddy had the decency to blush and he burrowed his head into the crook of her arms. “I knoooow,” she heard him say. “But Uncle Ron said that I need to practice a lot so I can be really good!”
Hermione made another mental note to hex the sodding oaf.
“While that's true , Teddy, we also need to be considerate of other people and beings. You don't want to wake up Winky’s babies now, do you?”
Teddy shook his head frantically and hugged Hermione tighter. “Of course not!” He exclaimed.
Hermione nodded sagely and picked the boy up. Teddy immediately wrapped his legs around her waist and clung on tighter to his favourite aunt. “Tell you what,” Hermione began. “Why don't you and I make breakfast, and then we can go visit the Christmas market? You can continue practicing after lunch.”
The boy squealed enthusiastically and immediately nodded his head. “Oh yes, yes, yes please !”
Hermione grinned and, with Teddy still in her arms, turned from the door and made her way back down the corridor. They descended the spiralling staircase with Teddy chatting away at all of the things he wanted to see in the market. They entered the large kitchen and Hermione sat Teddy down on the marble island. Immediately the boy turned to the display on the middle of the island where three chocolate Advent calendars were propped beside a picture frame. His little hands grabbed one of the calendars and swiftly pried open the door marked “7”. He grinned toothily at Hermione who was cracking some eggs into a pan and popped the small sweet into his mouth.
“Mmmm, can I do yours as well, Auntie Minny?” The little boy asked with shining eyes.
Hermione smiled. Having been raised by dentists, she never got to indulge on chocolate Advent calendars when she was growing up. They weren't popular either in the magical community. Even now, she knew that her mum would chide her for having sweets before breakfast. But when Hermione saw the little calendars on her latest trip to the grocery store last week, she couldn't resist grabbing a couple for she knew she had people at home who would enjoy them immensely.
Two of the Advent calendars were already opened, but one remained completely sealed with all of its doors closed. Hermione winked at Teddy. “I think I would love it if you open the door for me today, Mr. Teddy.”
The little boy giggled and did as Hermione asked. He opened the little door and gently removed the chocolate inside. He unwrapped the sweet and popped it into Hermione’s mouth when she leaned close. Hermione chewed on the chocolate, savoured its flavour (dark chocolate cherry for today), and pecked Teddy on the cheek making him laugh.
When Hermione turned back to preparing the food, little Teddy frowned at the unopened box of chocolates.
“Auntie Minny, when will Uncle Harry be back?” She heard him ask softly from behind.
Casting a simple charm to keep the food cooking safely, Hermione turned her back on the stove and faced the boy. His grin was gone this time and instead his lips were in a pout. He was looking forlornly at the picture frame with scrunched eyebrows.
Hermione approached him and laid her hands on either side of Teddy. Her heart clenched not only at the look on his face but at her own longing.
“I miss him too, sweetheart,” she said softly. Teddy bit his lip and circled his arms around her neck once again. Hermione embraced him and stroked his curly hair. “And I’m sure he misses us too, especially you. He said on his last owl that he’ll be back in a week.”
“Why does he have to be gone for so long ?” Teddy grumbled into her chest.
Hermione sighed and stroked his back. Following Harry’s proclamation during last year’s Yule Ball, Shacklebolt followed through with his promise of a promotion so Harry would stay on his team sans missions. Now, Harry commanded a team of his own and hardly had to get away for fieldwork. But, at Hermione’s urging, he also decided to pursue one of the projects close to his heart. He started the Patronus Foundation whose goal was to protect magical children born to abusive families no matter the blood status. It was his active role in the Foundation as its chief executive officer which drew him away from home and away from Teddy and Hermione.
He had been gone for almost a week and his presence was greatly missed. The Potter cottage of Godric’s Hollow always felt less lively without its master around.
“He's helping kids in need of loving families, Teddy,” Hermione explained gently. “Do you remember what he told you before he went?”
Teddy nodded against her chest and he mumbled softly. “He said that every kid should be loved like me . Like how you and Uncle Harry and Grandma Andie and everyone else loves me. That's why he had to go away for a while because… because he had some important things to present to those wizards of the IQW .”
Hermione giggled softly at his response. Harry was indeed away to pitch his newly found organization at a conference to the International Confederation of Wizards for support and budget considerations.
“He’ll be home soon,” Hermione whispered. She felt Teddy nod his head and watched as he drew away from her embrace.
He smiled at her shyly and her heart clenched at the next words he said. “I love you Auntie Minny. Thanks for loving me too.”
“Of course, sweetheart,” Hermione murmured, stroking the little boy’s cheek. “You don't have to thank me for that.”
The little Metamorphmagus with his curly brown hair and bright green eyes grinned at her widely. “Can we eat now, Auntie Minny? And then we can go to the Christmas market?”
Hermione winked at Teddy and turned from the boy to check on her cooking. The bacon was ready and she made quick work on the eggs. She toasted some bread and levitated the whole spread to the dining table. She went back to where Teddy was sat on the island and made a show of snatching him up in her arms making the boy giggle uncontrollably.
They ate contentedly while Teddy talked nonstop about the very early Christmas gift he had gotten from Uncle Ron. When Hermione allowed the boy to open the little box which Ron handed him, the last thing she expected to see was a full drum kit magiced to expand to size when opened. She very nearly hexed Ron but the joy and excitement on Teddy’s face when he saw the musical instrument kept her from reacting negatively towards the gift.
Harry would be in for one hell of a surprise when he got home, Hermione mused. Teddy was excitedly learning how to play his gift so he could perform for his beloved godfather.
Hermione looked past the happily chatting boy and towards the many picture frames which hung on the wall. She saw so many of her life moments captured in those photographs and Hermione revelled at the feel of it all.
Who would have thought that she would be here at Godric’s Hollow, in the Potter Cottage, not only as Harry Potter’s best friend but also as his girlfriend ? She had dreamt of it before, of course, but she had no idea her dreams would come true last Yule. Harry’s confession was completely unexpected and... perfect.
And she couldn’t imagine her life any differently. She looked at Teddy who was stabbing his eggs with a fork and smiled. She moved into Potter Cottage that summer following Harry’s insistence. She was hesitant to do so at first since she didn’t want to overwhelm Teddy. But the boy, after sitting him down for a “grown-up” conversation about her moving into the cottage with him and his godfather, excitedly told her and Harry that her moving in would be the best thing ever.
And it really was. Her relationship with Harry blossomed and she grew so much closer to Teddy.
She found the place where she belonged and she couldn’t be happier.
“You should be here with me. Baby, please come home.”
Teddy Lupin, for reasons unknown to his godfather and favourite aunt, was one incredibly early riser. He would be up at the crack of dawn causing mischief in his room even before anyone else in the house was awake. So, as per usual, when the first ray of sunlight filtered through the window, the little boy’s eyes snapped wide open. He grinned and immediately threw the covers off. He rose from the bed, slipped his feet into dinosaur slippers, and ran to his bathroom.
Grandma Andie and Auntie Minny always said to brush his teeth first thing in the morning. And because Teddy was a very good boy, he did just that. He didn’t even rush the process either and instead recited the alphabet in his head twice (like how he was instructed by Auntie Minny) before he spat out the toothpaste. He rinsed his mouth and dashed out of the bathroom like a small tornado.
He looked at the drum set amongst his other toys and pouted a little bit. He so badly wanted to practice his playing for when Uncle Harry came back home but he knew he shouldn’t. Auntie Minny said he needed to wait until at least after lunch to not wake anybody else up at home. But after lunch today they were going to visit Grandma Andie so he wouldn't even get to practice until that evening! But that was no matter, Teddy thought. He loved seeing his grandmother and she would always slip sweets into his pockets whenever Minny wasn't looking.
Teddy glanced to the window and grinned at the snowfall. He moved towards the glass and sat on top of the ledge he used for reading his favourite books.
He loved Godric's Hollow. He loved the little village and the town square and all of its inhabitants, wizard or Muggle. He used to live with Grandma Andie in London but as she got older she found it more and more difficult to take care of the rambunctious little boy. Two years ago, when Teddy was five years old, he came to officially live with Uncle Harry in Potter Cottage at Godric's Hollow. It was different than what he was used to in London. Grandma Andie was very active in society and she had a lot of tea parties and brunches with older witches which he would sometimes be forced to go to. He had to wear stuffy dress robes and eat little sandwiches and drink tea in cups he couldn't just slam down on the table since they were too delicate. It was no fun for the little boy at all.
When he moved in with Uncle Harry, everything changed. He started going to preschool ! It was a Muggle preschool in the village so he had to make sure not to change his appearance at all but he made friends and learned new things and it was amazing for the little boy since he absolutely loved learning.
And then earlier that year… Teddy smiled at the thought. That summer, his favourite person in the whole world (apart from Uncle Harry and Grandma, of course) came to live with them! She was the person Teddy decided he was going to marry when he was as big and as tall as Uncle Harry.
There was the slight complication that Auntie Minny and Uncle Harry were “together” right now, though. But Teddy didn't dwell on that. He knew just how smart Hermione Granger was (his godfather would talk about it all the time) so she would know what to do when he’s all grown up. He could wait. Besides, he had pre-school and his new drum set to worry about right now.
Because he was a very good boy, Teddy wanted to surprise Auntie Minny. With one last glance to the large bay window in his room, he turned on his heels and silently made his way to the door. He opened it a crack, looked to see if someone was in the hall, and quietly tiptoed outside. He didn’t want to wake her or Winky up.
Teddy made his way to the kitchen. The large windows which spanned one wall of the kitchen and dining room allowed natural light to filter into the home. He threw open the refrigerator door and peeked inside. There were eggs, and bacon, and some colourful stuff which looked to be vegetables (ew), as well as glass bottles of different types of juices. He considered making her eggs, but he had no idea how to use the stove (nor was he allowed to), so he grabbed the milk jug instead. Maybe he could surprise her with a bowl of cereal. Just as Teddy placed the milk jug on the kitchen island, he heard the front door creak open.
He frowned. Auntie Minny was still asleep and it seemed like Winky was as well. Grandma Andie never used the front door for she would always travel by floo so who could this be? Feeling more brave than before (he had to protect the house and everyone in it while Uncle Harry was away!), Teddy reached into a drawer and pulled out a wooden spatula. He squared his shoulders, held the spatula like a bat, and slowly and quietly walked towards the kitchen entrance.
Teddy leaned against the wall and took a deep breath in. This was it. He would confront whichever hooligan (he learned that word recently) decided to invade their home. They would pay and Teddy would see to it that everyone was safe.
Slowly, he glanced around the corner. The man at the door was tall and Teddy watched as he removed his long, black coat and hung it on one of the hooks. His head bent and he dusted the snow off his black hair. There was a travel bag at the man’s feet and Teddy squinted his eyes since the bag sure looked familiar to him. The man raised his head and Teddy gasped aloud.
“Uncle Harry!” The little boy squealed in delight.
Harry Potter looked down the hall to see his godson racing towards him with a wooden spatula on hand. He laughed and crouched low just as Teddy leapt into his arms. The little boy burrowed his face into his neck and Harry stood up bringing Teddy with him in his embrace.
“Hullo, Mr. Lupin,” Harry said softly.
Teddy giggled. “Hullo, Mr. Potter,” he responded in kind. “What are you doing here? You’re back so early! Auntie Minny said you won’t be back til later! I’ve missed you so much. How was your trip? Did you have fun? Did you bring me back anything? Did you… did you miss me?”
Harry laughed aloud at his godson’s rambling. “Slow down,” he said with a grin. “I’m back early because I did miss you too much. I wanted to be home so I could spend more time with you,” he answered.
The boy grinned broadly. “I’m so happy you’re back!” He said once again. He squeezed Harry tight and the spatula dug into his godfather’s back.
“Now, what are you doing with a spatula and why are you up so early?” Harry asked. “It’s barely seven!”
Teddy smiled innocently. “I wanted to surprise Auntie Minny with breakfast. She’s still asleep,” Teddy answered.
At the mention of Hermione, Harry’s face softened. She was another reason why he wanted to be home. He missed her too much.
“Why don’t I help you with breakfast and we can surprise her together?” Harry offered.
Teddy nodded enthusiastically. The two wizards walked to the kitchen and Harry set Teddy down. He placed a pan on top of the stove and made pancake batter on the side as the pan heated up. He summoned a step stool for Teddy so the boy could see the stovetop and started making pancakes. As the stack grew higher, Harry listened to his godson’s retelling of the past week. Apparently, Teddy had a surprise for him which would have to wait for after lunch which greatly piqued Harry’s interest. The boy also told him about the Advent calendars which Hermione got for the three of them (and he even pointed to the kitchen island where they were proudly displayed) and told him all about what they did at the Christmas market. He said he met some of his preschool friends in the park under the supervision of his favourite aunt and that Grandma Andie even visited them for afternoon tea one day. Teddy also mentioned that Auntie Minny was still sleeping because she was really tired last night. The witch had been working from home during the past week to take care of Teddy and starting tomorrow she would be on her Christmas holidays. She was up late the previous evening finishing up all necessary work before her vacation.
They soon finished making pancakes and Harry summoned a wooden tray from one of the cupboards. Teddy neatly arranged the plate in the middle of the tray and poured orange juice into a glass. Harry placed a bottle of maple syrup on the side while Teddy arranged the cutlery as well. Harry grabbed a small vase from one of the drawers, filled it with water, and placed it on one corner of the tray. With a few simple words, he summoned a single red rose and put it on the vase. Teddy giggled at the display of wandless magic and silently thought that his godfather was so cool .
Harry carefully picked up the tray and gestured with his head for Teddy to follow him. Silently like a mouse, the duo tiptoed up the stairs of the cottage and towards the second floor where all bedrooms were located. They passed by Teddy's room and the little boy sneakily glanced at his closed door thinking of the surprise he had planned for his godfather's homecoming. They passed by the large bay window looking out into the front gardens of Potter Cottage and finally stopped in front of a set of white French doors.
Harry winked at his godson. He nodded silently at the little boy and Teddy giggled. His little hands grasped the matching handles of the doors and carefully pried them apart. He peeked his head in and grinned at the figure on the bed, still sleeping and completely unaware of the shenanigans of the two masters of the house.
Hermione slowly woke up from a wonderful dream about Harry to the feel of someone playing with her curls. She heard giggles as well and she allowed a smile to grace her lips. She opened her eyes and saw a set of bright green eyes she loved so much staring right back at her.
The little boy encased her in a hug and burrowed himself to her side. Hermione sighed contently and ruffled his curly brown hair.
“Good morning, Teddy,” Hermione said.
The little boy giggled again. “Good morning, Auntie Minny,” he replied.
Hermione turned her head and looked down at the boy. “What got you so excited today?” She asked with a quirked eyebrow.
Teddy grinned broadly at her. “I’ve got a surprise for you,” he said slyly.
Hermione smiled slightly. “Oh yea? Well what is this surprise of yours, Mr. Teddy?”
“Pancakes,” the boy said seriously.
Hermione's eyes widened. “You made pancakes on your own?!” She asked, half in awe and half in mortification at the boy using the stove. She was already thinking of ways to magic the very Muggle gas stove that wouldn't make it completely useless when the boy giggled again.
“Of course not, Auntie Minny,” Teddy said exasperatedly. “I know I'm not allowed.”
Hermione turned on Teddy and started to tickle his sides. He squealed and laughed gleefully until Hermione decided to cease her attack. With an inquisitive look, Hermione asked, “So where did you get the pancakes then?”
Teddy smiled innocently and she saw him look past her and behind her. Hermione turned her head to the door of the master bedroom and gasped.
Harry Potter stood standing by the door with a breakfast tray in hand. He was wearing dark denim trousers, a fitted grey jumper, and was sporting a grin so wide it lit up his whole face.
Hermione was suddenly on her feet and they carried her to the man who made her life brighter. His Auror reflexes levitated the breakfast tray right before she threw herself into his embrace.
She savoured the feel of his body as he hugged her. With gentle fingers, Harry tilted her head up and met her lips in a kiss. Hermione sighed against his lips and melted in his warmth.
Harry was home . With her . With Teddy. She didn't realize just how much she missed him until she saw him again. Hermione ran her hands through his hair and brought his head closer. She nipped at his bottom lip, making him gasp, and Hermione took advantage of the opening and assaulted his tongue with hers.
“Eeeeeeew,” they heard from behind.
Harry and Hermione broke apart, panting. They glanced towards the bed where their favourite little boy was grinning slyly at them. He made a show of scrunching his face in disgust before burying his head in the covers. Harry laughed throatily and squeezed Hermione tighter.
“I missed you,” he whispered in her ear.
“I missed you too,” she replied. The blush was high in her cheeks and her chest heaved from their kiss. Harry brought one of her hands to his lips and kissed it. He tugged her towards the bed and she followed with the breakfast tray levitating alongside her.
Hermione watched as Harry jumped on the bed and squeeze Teddy close. The little boy laughed and the man did as well as they play fought each other atop the pillows. Her heart clenched at the sight and sound.
She could never tire of this, she thought, as she watched the two wrestle with each other.
Harry was home and her family and her heart felt complete once again.
“The evening has been so very nice."
The fire crackled loudly in the hearth. Sparks jumped from between the burning wood and the blaze spun tendrils of light in the darkness. The halls were devoid of any drum beats since Potter Cottage's young master was staying the night at his grandmother’s. There were only two souls in the house and they were oblivious to the blizzard raging outside.
Hermione laid on the plush carpet by the fireside, naked and wanting. Harry marvelled at the shadows dancing on her skin and traced them with his digits. She sighed when his fingertips grazed the bare skin of her hips.
“You're killing me, Harry,” she whispered.
He laughed, low and deep. He withdrew his hand and hovered his own naked body on top of hers. She moaned when the hardened peaks of her breasts rubbed against his firm chest.
“You're so beautiful,” Harry murmured, almost in awe. She seemed to be glowing in the firelight. Her curls were splayed on the carpet like a halo. Hermione blushed deep and she closed her eyes when she felt his hand playing against her skin once again.
He stroked her waist, then his hand moved to her stomach. He traced the circumference of her navel before his hand travelled lower. She gasped when his hand reached the top of her thighs.
“Spread your legs for me, sweetheart,” Harry whispered against her lips.
She breathed deeply and obeyed. Her parted lips allowed entry to Harry’s tongue just as his fingers stroked her aching core.
His lips left her mouth and trailed kisses down her exposed neck. All the while his fingers continued their delicious stroking against her entrance. Hermione moaned as Harry sucked at the base of her neck. He was touching her so gently and she needed more .
His lips left her pulse point and closed around one nipple. Hermione cried out his name and he finally gave in to what she wanted and sunk a finger deep inside her warmth. Her hips rose to meet his hand and she clenched around his finger.
“Oh, Harry,” she moaned. Harry bit on her peak and she cried out in pain and pleasure. Another digit joined the one inside her and she mewled at being stretched.
He smiled against her skin and gave the same attention to the other nipple. His thumb started to caress her bundle of nerves as his fingers continued their slow, torturous pumping in and out of her core. Hermione’s body was squirming below him and delicious sounds of pleasure left her mouth.
He loved making her crazy. He relished in giving her pleasure. He was painfully hard but he wanted - needed - to drive her over the edge.
Harry’s name had turned into a chant. Her hands clawed at the carpet and the fire sizzled beside her. Hermione’s eyes were shut tight and she was lost in the moment, engulfed by the warmth of the fire and by his ministrations. There was a pause and suddenly both of his hands were gripping her hips. Her eyes flew open as his large hands placed her thighs on his shoulders and his mouth descended on her core.
“Oh, Harry, fuck ,” she groaned. He was kneeling now, both hands holding onto her buttocks to keep her in place as he feasted on her. From her position, Hermione could see everything. Past her heaving breasts and stomach, she could see her thighs wrapped around Harry’s head as he pleasured her with his mouth. His eyes were closed as his tongue pistoned in and out of her warmth. The sight was so erotic that she found her hands reaching for her nipples. She twisted and pulled at the peaks and begged for more. Her eyes shut tight and she could feel herself reaching the edge.
Harry opened his eyes briefly and looked at the writhing goddess below him. He thought it was impossible for him to get even harder but the sight of her pleasuring herself as she murmured his name only spurned him on. An index finger stroked along her slit and wetness coated his digit. Hermione groaned deeply and he felt her shake. The same index finger teased her tight rosebud and she stilled against his actions. Gently he pushed his finger passed the tight ring of muscle as he licked her clit.
She came undone. Hermione yelled out his name as she thrashed and fell from her high. She rode her orgasm and barely felt Harry remove his mouth from her core. With quick movements, she found her pussy filled with his thick, hard cock and she moaned deeply once again. He pistoned in and out of her warmth and Hermione felt another wave of orgasm wash over her.
“Yes! Oh yes!” She screamed.
“ Hermione ,” he grunted. He stopped thrusting for a second and she found herself being turned onto her stomach. Her hard nipples brushed against the carpet before his cock filled her once more.
Another orgasm. She was delirious from the pleasure and his deep, hard thrusts inside of her didn’t do anything to abate her senses. She cried out and fell once more from the peak when she felt him erupt inside her.
He withdrew and Hermione felt Harry cover her body with his own. She snuggled into his embrace and he pulled her deeper into the warmth of his body. His arms wrapped around her waist as their legs tangled with one another.
“ Wow ,” Hermione breathed. Harry’s chest rumbled against her back as he laughed. “That was inspired , Mr. Potter.”
“What can I say?” Harry mused aloud. “ I’ve missed you ,” he said earnestly.
Hermione smiled and turned her body so she was facing him. His eyes were alight not only with the fire from the hearth but with so much intensity and emotion.
“I love you, Harry,” she murmured. A slow, lazy smile graced his lips and he bent his head so their lips could meet.
“I love you, too,” he replied.
It was cold outside as the blizzard raged on, but they felt none of that as they held each other in the warmth.
“I don't want a lot for Christmas. There is just one thing I need.”
The party at the Burrow was in full swing. Hermione laughed and watched as Harry was chased by Teddy and the youngest Weasleys around the Christmas tree. It was December 23rd, Christmas Eve Eve , and the whole Weasley clan, as well as their extended families, were at the Burrow celebrating.
Hermione felt a presence at her side and turned to see Lavender. The witch was in jeans and wearing a bright red jumper with a picture of a snowman. Lavender stood next to her and together they looked at the rowdy group consisting of kids and men since Ron had joined in on the chase.
“They’re going to be good fathers,” Lavender mused, her eyes softening as she looked at her fiance now on the ground with a giggling Victoire in his arms.
Hermione smiled at that and her eyes remained on Harry as Teddy piled on top of him. He began to tickle the boy mercilessly and Teddy’s giggles reached her ears. He would make a good father - a great one, in fact - and that thought made her weak in the knees. They had never explicitly discussed children or even marriage but she knew for certain that he wanted both of those things. And she did as well. Moreover, she wanted all of that with him .
“Yes,” she agreed with Lavender aloud. “And they’re going to be such troublemakers. I shudder to think of all the trouble Harry would cause and drag the kids into. He already gets Teddy in so much trouble!”
“Mhmm, but at least
be there to discipline them,” Lavender replied with a wink.
“ Both the dad and the children.”
Hermione blushed as Lavender giggled at her. The image of her and Harry’s future kids made her heart clench. She could almost picture them perfectly. They’d have the wildest hair ever, what with her curls and Harry’s messy locks. She wished that at least one of them will have Harry’s eyes since she loved his green eyes so much. She imagined herself reading to them at night and sharing with them her love for books and learning. She smiled since she pictured Harry teaching them how to fly a broom and play Quidditch with the help of their older brother Teddy.
At the thought of Teddy her smile grew. Hermione watched as the group resumed their game of tag with Harry now the one giving chase.
Harry spoke to her privately one night and told her his intentions of adopting Teddy, both legally and magically. That conversation brought tears to her eyes. Harry told her that he didn't want Teddy to grow up as he did. He wanted the boy to feel loved and secure at every moment of his life. He wanted Teddy to have a family. There was also Andromeda, of course, and her contributions to raising Teddy shouldn't be discounted after the war. But the witch was older now, and a growing boy needed more interactions than the house elves who served her. He needed to be around other kids his age. He needed to be able to run around or play the drums loudly whenever he wanted. He needed to be like a kid and feel like a kid and Harry wanted the same for his godson.
“You’re right,” Hermione said, her eyes soft.
Lavender smiled and put an arm around her. Slyly, the blonde leaned close to Hermione to whisper in her ear. “I think you and Mr. Potter will have the cutest and smartest children.”
Hermione laughed and swatted the blonde on the arm. “Oh Lavender, honestly!”
Lavender shrugged modestly. “It’s true! I can just imagine a little girl with your curls but Harry’s eyes. She’ll look a lot like Teddy, actually. He’s basically already a spitting image of you two!”
Hermione smiled. Teddy did look like her and Harry combined.
“And you know what that means…” Lavender started, raising an eyebrow.
“What?” Hermione asked.
Lavender smiled widely showing her full set of pearly white teeth. “It means that you’re half-way there! You already have one child, now you just need to get married!”
“You’re incorrigible,” Hermione muttered.
“That may be,” Lavender said. “But I’m serious. Teddy already thinks of you and Harry as his parents, despite whatever he calls you two. And I know you feel the same way. You love Harry. You love Teddy. They love you. What’s so complicated with that?”
Nothing , Hermione thought, as Mrs. Weasley called everyone around the table for dinner.
There was nothing complicated with that at all.
Mr. Weasley had recently learned the Muggle custom of wearing “ugly Christmas jumpers” and had requested everyone to wear one. Harry came up next to Hermione and she snorted once again at the jumper he chose to wear. It was a forest green sweater decorated like a Christmas tree. Garlands and lights (which he charmed to flicker and blink) adorned the tree as well as very festive Christmas baubles in red, silver, green, and gold. But Harry wanted more baubles, and magical ones at that, so he charmed some to look like a Golden Snitch (which flew the path of the garland it hung on), a flying broom (which chased the Snitch), and a house elf (which Hermione was certain was modelled after Dobby). Harry’s sweater was very merry, and ghastly, and bright and Mr. Weasley was absolutely thrilled when he laid eyes on it.
The whole Weasley clan and their extended family, ugly jumpers and all, gathered around the Burrow’s dining table charmed with all sorts of durability spells and magiced to be longer. The whole table had actually been transported outside to the Burrow’s back garden to hold the feast and Harry had helped cast a warming charm around the whole lot to make it more comfortable for guests to be outside. The table buckled at the weight of the spread Mrs. Weasley prepared for the night. There were two gigantic roasted turkeys, roast beef, ham, and a large bowl of prawn cocktail. There was also Yorkshire pudding, stuffing, leek and potato soup, pigs in a blanket, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and all sorts of vegetable side dishes like brussels sprouts and salads. Teddy’s stomach grumbled loudly and Hermione laughed beside him.
“It looks sooo good,” Teddy whispered and Hermione could see his eyes rake over the large table and then to the smaller table next to it where all of the desserts were placed.
“Come on and have a seat, everyone!” Mrs. Weasley yelled at the crowd. There was shuffling as everyone sat around the table. Hermione sat next to Teddy and on his other side was Harry. Across from the piles of food in front of her was Ron. He gave her a wink when he saw her look and she grinned.
When everyone was sat down, Mr. Weasley rose from the head of the table. He was absentmindedly stroking the fluffy white beard of the Santa Claus drawing on his jumper as he surveyed his guests.
“I just want to say a few words before we begin,” he started. Everyone in attendance turned so they were facing him. “Molly and I knew we always wanted a big family. When Ginny was born, we thought it best to stop at seven kids… one for each day of the week, right?” He said, which drew laughter around the table. “But we never thought our family would grow to this size. We… we lost one along the way,” his voice cracked when he said this and the table quieted. Hermione could see Angelina squeeze George’s shoulder from down the table. “And we gained so many more. Fred could never be replaced but each of your presence here helps fill the gap his absence made. So, I want to say thank you ,” Mr. Weasley said passionately. “Thank you for being here with us and for celebrating Christmas with us. Thank you for agreeing to this old man’s request of wearing ugly Christmas jumpers. Moreover, thank you for being our family. Merry Christmas.” He raised his goblet filled with wine and everyone else did as well. Teddy raised his juice glass and very maturely clinked it against Hermione’s while murmurs of “Merry Christmas” drifted around the table.
The clinking of metal against porcelain started and everyone dug into the food. Hermione surveyed those in attendance. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley were occupying the head of the table. Bill and Fleur were seated close by with Victoire between them and baby Dominique in her mum’s arms. Charlie was chatting with a very pretty witch who, according to Lavender, was his latest girlfriend Amy. Charlie hadn’t yet settled down but apparently, this witch was the first date he had ever brought to a family gathering so that might be changing soon. Percy and Audrey were sitting side by side with George and Angelina across the table from them and little Roxanne was in her high chair. Lee Jordan and his very pregnant wife Alicia Spinnet Jordan were talking to George and Angelina. Further down the table were Ginny and her new muggle-born boyfriend Lukas. She could see Neville and Luna nearby and the blonde witch was showing Lukas a copy of The Quibbler much to the wizard’s confusion. Neville was looking at Luna so tenderly. Across from her were Ron and Lavender, and the redhead was in the middle of retelling a Quidditch game he had been to recently to Harry and Teddy who was eagerly listening.
Hermione smiled and ate the mashed potatoes and roast on her plate. George had enchanted a radio and soft melodies of Christmas music fluttered in the background. Beside her, she watched Teddy making faces down the length of the table to Victoire. Ron’s Quidditch story was over and now the little boy had found something else to keep himself occupied. Victoire was giving it as good as she was getting and was contorting her pretty face into silly grins. Hermione saw Teddy laugh, and the young Metamorphmagus fluidly grew a pig’s nose. Victoire giggled loudly down the table.
Hermione lifted her head and she saw Harry looking at her fondly. His eyes were soft and warm as he gave her a gentle smile. There were Christmas lights twinkling behind him and she felt the breath catch in her throat. The love and happiness she felt in her chest magnified at that moment when she saw how he was looking at her.
“What do you want for Christmas, Hermione?” He asked. There was so much chatter around them, and music, and giggles and laughter. Harry was speaking softly too but Hermione heard him loud and clear.
“I already have everything I could ever want, Harry,” she answered.
From above Teddy’s head, he smiled. And Hermione knew she had spoken the truth. For at that moment, her heart was full.
She had everything she had ever wanted.
She had him.
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”
Sunlight streamed through the windows and shone on her face. Hermione blinked awake and smiled. She felt the arm around her torso tug and bring her closer to his warmth. She burrowed deep into Harry’s chest and sighed contentedly.
“Happy Christmas,” she heard him say from above.
She tilted her head back to look at his face. His hair was mussed and there was still sleep in his eyes. But the smile which greeted her was happy and bright. Hermione brought a hand up to caress his cheek and he nuzzled her palm.
“Happy Christmas, love,” she replied.
Harry bent his head and kissed her. Hermione sighed and looped both of her arms around his neck, drawing him closer. She savoured the kiss and playfully nipped at his lower lip. He groaned and his arms pulled her closer when a small snore sounded from behind him.
Hermione bit her lip to keep herself from laughing as Harry groaned. She peeked over Harry’s shoulder to see Teddy asleep against his back. The little boy was sprawled out on one side of the bed fast asleep. His chest rose and fell in deep slumber as he laid completely oblivious that it was Christmas morning.
Harry, Hermione, and Teddy spent Christmas Eve doing Muggle activities around London. Hermione taught her two favourite boys how to ice skate in Somerset House. It amazed her how utterly uncoordinated Harry was on skates while Teddy took to the activity immediately. The boy was quickly skating circles around them, literally, as Hermione laughed and tried to help Harry back on his feet after falling on his bum for the tenth time. To escape from the cold, they retreated to a small cafe around the ice rink and settled into hot chocolate topped with little marshmallows. Teddy chatted happily away and sang along to the group of carolers out on the street spreading Christmas joy. After that, they took the tube to Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland. The massive outdoor park was lit up with Christmas lights. There were fair rides and games and different kinds of food stalls. Teddy was in heaven as he tried to win some stuffed animals for Hermione. He even sat on Santa’s lap and secretly told him what he wished for while he slyly eyed Harry and Hermione waiting for him in the wings of the made-up North Pole.
They had the best time. Hermione marvelled at how celebrating Christmas with a young child was so much more fun and magical. It was like rediscovering Christmas all over again and she was even more grateful that Harry was there beside her making it so much more special.
They returned to Godric’s Hollow really late that night and opened one Christmas present each (as was tradition) before they crashed in bed.
Harry winked at Hermione before he turned around to face the sleeping boy. Hermione shook her head and rose from the bed to sit on its edge. She watched as Harry’s fingers descended on Teddy’s sides and start to tickle him mercilessly.
There was a yelp as Teddy woke up before shrieks of laughter erupted from his little body. “Mi-Minny!” He yelled from between his laughs. “Help me!”
A sly smile graced her lips. Hermione’s hands found Harry’s sides and soon there was a tickle war of epic proportions between the three of them in bed. They didn’t hear when Winky popped into the bedroom to announce that breakfast was served. They didn’t notice when the house elf shook her head in amusement before popping away too.
It was Christmas morning and Harry, Hermione, and Teddy were starting it in the best way possible.
Teddy sat on his favourite chair in the dining room table as they ate. Winky prepared a full English breakfast spread along with some hot chocolate. He obediently spooned the eggs into his mouth while his eyes kept darting to the Advent calendars on the kitchen island. There was only one more door left to open since it was finally Christmas. He would have eaten the sweet immediately if he had any say in it (like what he had done for the previous twenty-four days), but he had promised a certain someone that he wouldn’t rush. He sneakily glanced at his godfather who was having a conversation with Minny.
After the party at the Burrow and Auntie Minny was asleep, Uncle Harry sat Teddy down for a very serious discussion. His godfather told him his intention of adopting Teddy and asked the young boy for permission. Teddy was absolutely gobsmacked. He knew his parents died fighting in the war Uncle Harry fought as well when he was still a baby. He didn’t think he ever called anyone “dad” or “mum” since he was too young when his parents died and it had always been Grandma Andie and Uncle Harry who were with him. The two always told him stories about his parents (like explaining to him what he could do with his appearance because of his mum) and reminded him how much they loved him, but he had next to no real memories of them. Which bothered him at first, especially when he started preschool and his new classmates kept talking about their parents. But after school, his godfather and his girlfriend picked him up. He filed outside after his classmates and saw their bright faces and all worry left his body. He may not have parents, but he had Uncle Harry and Auntie Minny.
And that was okay with him. He could see that they love him and he loved them back so that was all that mattered.
When Uncle Harry asked him if it was okay for him to be Teddy’s dad officially, the little boy almost cried. He ran into his godfather’s arms and told him that he loved the idea and asked when it would happen.
Uncle Harry squeezed him tight after that and a deep, rumbling laugh left his chest. Uncle Harry told Teddy that he was relieved Teddy liked the idea (which Teddy found silly , since of course he would like the idea), but he said that there was one more thing he needed to ask him.
Uncle Harry’s next proposition gave Teddy a long pause. It completely threw off Teddy’s plans for the future but he was a smart little boy. He knew when to call it quits. He knew when he was defeated... which he couldn’t even be that mad about since if he was to lose to someone he would much rather have that someone be Uncle Harry.
So he agreed to Uncle Harry’s suggestion and he went to bed that night with a smile on his face.
Teddy glanced at Auntie Minny’s plate and saw that it was almost finished. His eyes shifted to his godfather and saw Uncle Harry’s knees bouncing nervously under the table. He had to bite down on his lip to keep a giggle from erupting.
“That was a wonderful breakfast,” Hermione commented. Winky popped in and smiled graciously at her.
“Winky is glad Miss Hermione enjoyed the food!” The elf replied. Hermione grinned and Winky disappeared all of the plates with a snap of her fingers. “Now Winky go and look after the little troublemakers. Have fun at Miss Andie’s today, sirs and ma’am. Merry Christmas!”
There was a chorus of Merry Christmas around the table and the house elf popped away. Hermione rose from the table and looked at her two boys.
“Shall we start getting ready?” She asked. “We need to pack up all of the gifts before we go to London and we have to remember to bring the trifle Winky made as well. Teddy, have you decided what you are going to wear? How about you, Harry? You know how particular Andromeda is about her parties-”
“Wait a second, Auntie Minny!” Teddy said. He hopped up from his seat and grabbed her hand. “We’re forgetting something!”
Hermione smiled at the little boy and crouched down. She straightened the collars of his Christmas print pyjamas and ruffled his hair. “And what is it that we are we forgetting, Mr. Teddy?”
His eyes shifted quickly to his godfather before landing back on her pretty face. “We haven’t opened our Advent calendars yet! It’s the last day!”
Hermione giggled and nodded her head. She lifted Teddy up into her arms and carried him to the kitchen island. She set him down next to the propped up calendars and gestured with her head for him to start.
Uncle Harry had joined them and he was standing close to Auntie Minny. Teddy smiled brightly and grabbed his calendar from the display. His little fingers pried open the door marked with “25” and carefully removed the chocolate from inside. It was much larger than the other sweets and he showed it proudly to Harry and Hermione before he popped it into his mouth. He closed his eyes and hummed at the sweet taste, savouring its flavour.
“I guess it’s my turn next,” Harry whispered from behind her. Hermione turned her head and saw him looking at her with such intensity. Harry reached around her and grabbed his own calendar. He and Teddy spent one night opening all of the doors he missed while away and eating the chocolates in one sitting much to Hermione’s disapproval. Harry made quick work of the last door and extracted the bonbon from within. He unwrapped the sweet and took a bite of the dark chocolate.
He closed his eyes and breathed.
“Your turn, Auntie Minny!” Harry heard Teddy say.
This was it.
“You can open the door, Teddy,” Hermione said softly with a smile. Teddy had opened all 24 of her calendar doors since he enjoyed it so much. Harry opened his eyes to see Teddy shake his head. The little boy was grinning and he caught Harry’s eyes. The smile grew.
“Uh uh. It’s the last day, Auntie Minny. You have to do it!” Teddy urged. He was vibrating with excitement and his legs were swinging back and forth as he sat on top of the counter.
Hermione looked back at Harry in amusement and shrugged. “Well, alright then,” she acquiesced.
Hermione reached for her own calendar and quickly scanned its surface for the unopened door. She found the one marked with “25” and her fingers traced the dotted line to break it open.
The door popped open and there was a clink as something hard and shiny fell on top of the marble.
Hermione felt Harry reach around her to grab the ring.
Her breath hitched when he turned her around.
His eyes were ablaze with so much emotion. He was looking at her with so much love and devotion that the tears immediately pooled when he grabbed her hands and got down on one knee.
“Hermione,” he said, voice thick with feeling. “You are the best thing that has ever happened to me,” he began. He watched as she trembled and the tears fell down her cheeks. “You make me the happiest person alive and there is no one else I would rather be with than you. I want to spend the rest of my days with you. I want to build a family with you. I think we already have a pretty good start with Teddy,” Harry said, and he heard Teddy giggle. The boy’s laughter brought a smile to his face and he watched as a teary smile graced her lips as well. “I want that, and more , with you. I can’t… I can’t imagine not having you in my life, Hermione. I can’t imagine not having you in our lives,” he said.
He took a deep breath and asked her the question he had wanted to ask her every day since exactly one year ago.
“Will you marry me?”
A choked sob left the witch and Hermione nodded her head furiously. She tugged on Harry’s hands to bring him to his feet. Her arms looped around his neck and she stood on her tiptoes to kiss him. Harry sighed against her lips and his arms circled her waist to bring her closer.
Their kiss was all sorts of perfect imperfection. It was incredibly wet for Hermione was still crying and their clothes were in disarray for they were still in their pyjamas. But none of that mattered since they were together, there in each other’s arms, in the home they have built, with the family that they have developed.
There was giggling to the side and the two looked to see Teddy smiling brightly on his perch on the counter.
“Sooo, Auntie Minny,” the little boy said. “Was that a yes?” He asked cheekily.
The question was so joyful and so innocent that unexpected laughter erupted from Hermione. She turned to the boy and scooped him into her arms.
“Yes, Teddy,” Hermione said with a smile. “It was definitely a yes.”
She nuzzled his cheek and felt Harry grab her hand. He slipped the ring onto her finger and embraced them.
The small family stood there in each other’s arms, hearts glowing and revelling in the warmth.
All of their wishes came true.
It was truly the most wonderful time of the year.