Day One: I’m going to enjoy christmas dammit
Hermione knew that this Christmas season would be a challenging one. After all, it was coming on the heels of one of the most painful years of her life. Her parents, though they knew she existed, were invested in their new lives in Australia. They loved her, but that was the only thing they had in common any more. She wouldn’t see them this holiday season. She had already sent her Christmas card and hoped for one in return.
Leaving Ron had been incredibly hard. It was certainly why she had put it off as long as she had. She didn’t miss the relationship with him aside from the lingering childhood friendship. She wasn’t cut out to be his wife and settle down in the way in which he hoped. But for this first holiday season, there was simply no way she could attend the festivities at the Burrow this year.
As a result, it would be a fairly solitary Christmas. But like all challenges, Hermione was prepared to take it head on. She would participate in Christmas to its fullest and it would be fun, dammit.
Narcissa had been dreading Christmas this year. Lucius would be off on the continent somewhere with his latest boyfriend. It was liberating to be finally out from under the marriage that was primarily a business contract. They had kept each other safe for decades, but Narcissa wasn’t sure that it had really been living. She was happy for her ex-husband, but that didn’t make her townhouse feel less empty particularly this time of year. And her sweet dragon was growing into his own. He would be spending the holiday in France with Astoria’s family. They would spend New Years with Narcissa, which was the only thing she was really looking forward to.
She realized that her emotional state might be more visible that she would have liked at Andromeda’s intervention. It was decidedly nice to be reunited with her sister, but she wasn’t sure that she wanted to be drug through the holidays. Knowing Andromeda, it was unlikely that she would have any say in the matter once the witch had made up her mind.
Day Two: Ice Skating
Hermione was starting to feel cold. She’d been waiting on the ice rink for about ten minutes now and Tonks was nowhere in sight. It wasn’t a big deal. Tonks was often late, probably had tripped over her broom. But Hermione wasn’t in the best mood anyhow. So she was anxiously texting her friend. Got lost along the way? Surprisingly the response she got was immediate and made her heart sink: Teddy’s sick. Need a rain check. I’m sorry!
Hermione sighed. She texted a short response, that she understood, of course. And then slowly made her way over to the exit of the rink. No point in freezing her ass off alone, really.
She had almost reached the exit when she bumped into a body and both of them went tumbling to the ground. “Oh Merlin, I am so sorry!” Hermione blurted but fell silent when she looked up to see just who had landed on top of her. “Narcissa?”
“Oh, Hermione!” Narcissa replied, equally surprised before pushing herself up more gracefully than should be allowed on ice and helped the younger with you as well. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t see you. Were you just leaving?”
“Tonks ditched me. Apparently Teddy is sick,” Hermione replied.
Narcissa made an understanding face. “Yes, it would seem that the Tonks women have decided to just ditch us both today.”
Hermione took a moment to take in the witch now that the initial panic had passed. Narcissa looked tired and a little sad. While Hermione’s day might not be sunshine and roses, she simply couldn’t let someone suffer in front of her. So she decided to hedge her bets.
“Are you by any chance any good at skating?” She enjoyed the transformation from uncertainty to Slytherin confidence. And the smirk made her heart beat a little faster, though she couldn't say why.
“Of course, I am.” Narcissa’s haughty tone lit up her face. “Come along, Miss Granger. It seems you need some assistance.”
Day Three: Christmas Shopping
Ever being the perfectionist, Hermione had wanted to get her Christmas shopping done early. After all there were a lot of people to consider by now. Just because she was going to spend the holidays alone this year, didn’t mean she didn’t have friends and family. Right now she was on her way to Quality Quidditch Supplies to buy some gifts for both Ginny and Harry. Hermione was still undecided if she should get Ron anything. And if she did , what would it even be?”
She sighed as she passed Flourish & Blotts where a pretty cover of a book caught her eye. Unable to resist, Hermione forgot about her current plans and instead approached the window to have a closer look. It seemed to be a new addition to a book she had read several times while at Hogwarts.
Throwing all previous plans entirely over board, Hermione was already inside the shop before she even realized what she was doing. Once she crossed the threshold, there was no turning back. She inhaled the smell of parchment and old books. It was like heaven.
“Well, imagine finding you here.”
The voice was light with a compelling edge and Hermione was smiling before she had entirely registered that she was. Turning to see Narcissa was an unexpected delight after their time ice skating. The witch was funny and charming. Not to mention intelligent in a way that Hermione rarely encountered.
“I was just out doing a bit of Christmas shopping,” Hermione said in sarcastic defensiveness.
Narcissa smiled the smile that suggested she knew far more than she let on.
“Yes, I can see that,” she drawled. “Would you mind company? I am here to do the same. Though I am witch enough to admit coming in this store is just for me.”
Hermione blushed, but warmed at the thought. She would love some company.
Day Four: Christmas tree lighting
There weren’t many holiday traditions that muggles and wizards alike shared in London but the grand unveiling of the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square was definitely one of them. So Narcissa wasn’t going to miss it. Standing among the crowd of overly excited children and adults trying to calm them down, Narcissa just sipped her hot chocolate. It was just a few minutes now and then the tree would light up and look absolutely breathtaking.
Narcissa almost jumped out of her skin when she heard a voice speak directly behind her.
“Third time in as many days. Are you stalking me, Narcissa?”
The blonde turned around with an amused smile and ignored the brief wave of fear she had just experienced. “I think it is you who approached me, Miss Granger,” she teased in return. “If anyone is stalking someone then you are very clearly stalking me.”
“Touché,” Hermione chuckled. “Do you mind if I join you? Harry couldn’t make it. And I’d rather watch it light up with a friend around.”
Somehow the thought made her heart skip but Narcissa ignored the sensation. “Of course. But don’t get any ideas. I’m not sharing my hot chocolate with you.”
“Perhaps I can talk you into sharing mulled wine later if you are so protective of your hot chocolate,” Hermione answered with a wink.
Narcissa smothered a reaction. Surely the lovey younger witch couldn’t be flirting with her, no matter how much she might wish it to be so.
The music suddenly got louder and the crowd quieted down. Hermione stepped closer until their sides touched. Narcissa fought the instinct to turn and look at her beautiful companion. She couldn’t imagine a more magical moment in such a very muggle way.
Day Five: Ministry Christmas party
Hermione was uncharacteristically excited about the Ministry Christmas Party. It wasn’t the sort of event that she generally enjoyed. She went, of course, because it was a part of her obligation to wizarding society after the war. She wanted to continue to be a force for good in peace times and show the level of reconciliation that was possible with just a little empathy. She had bought a special dress for the occasion. In her daily life, there weren’t many reasons to get dressed up and she was happy to take full advantage.
There was something special about stepping out of the fireplace and seeing the wizarding world in their finery. And then with the beautiful magical decorations, the party was feeling like the perfect ending to what had been a very good week. Narcissa Black was an absolute surprise that seemed to color in the places that the holiday might not be so bright. She was astoundingly intelligent and such a good listener. Even now she found herself looking forward to seeing the witch this evening.
She was talking to Harry when she finally caught sight of the blonde in a stunning green evening dress. For a moment, Hermione wasn’t sure that she even knew words any more. Her mouth was dry and her pulse was racing. She was entirely certain that she had never seen anyone as attractive as Narcissa Black in evening wear.
“Hermione? Hey, Hermione!” Harry tried to get his friend’s attention. “Stop staring at Draco’s mom.” Harry was clearly amused. “I think you were about to drool.”
Hermione flushed furiously. “I don’t know what you mean… but well, I should go over there and say hello…”
“Right, sure. Go over there and be social like the good ministry worker that you are,” Harry teased.
“Oh, shush, Harry…” Hermione grumbled before straightening her shoulders and walking over to the blonde. She came up behind Narcissa and said, “we got to stop meeting like this.”
The older woman jumped a little in surprise but looked rather pleased as she turned around and recognized the voice. “Why would we when each time we do my evening gets so much better, Hermione?”
Hermione seemed ready to panic at the flirtatious tone. She must be imagining things once again. There was no way Narcissa Malfoy would be flirting with her. “Always my pleasure. You look lovely…” she managed to get out relatively smoothly.
“I think it’s time, Hermione, that we stop leaving our meetings to chance. I can think of no one I would rather go on my first sleigh ride with. Would you accompany me?”
Hermione did her very best to think through her gay panic. The blonde’s beautiful face was so hopeful and sincere. Hermione knew she needed to get her brain to form words, because she couldn’t keep Narcissa waiting.
“Of course. I have never been on one either. We can share a first together.”
Narcissa smirked and Hermione knew she was in trouble.
Day Six: Sleigh Ride
It was uncharacteristically cold today, but as was to be expected, there was no snow in sight in good old London. Wrapped in her warm coat, Hermione waited in front of Rosa Lee Teabag’s cafe for Narcissa. Thankfully, the magical community didn’t have to rely on the weather for snow. Or so she had heard.
Rubbing her hands together in an attempt to keep warm, Hermione rubbed her hands together. Just when she was considering heading inside, a gorgeous blonde came into view and Hermione found herself smiling.
“Hey,” she greeted the older witch who was wrapped in a dark green cloak to keep warm.
“I see you decided to be early for our little outing,” Narcissa smiled in return as she stepped close to Hermione. Leaning forward a little, Narcissa pressed a quick kiss to Hermione’s cold cheek, then offered her arm to the other.
The two headed over to the newly set up sleigh ride area which only popped up during the winter months in Diagon Alley. Narcissa paid the wizard who was handling the tickets, much to Hermione’s protests. A moment later they were seated in a richly decorated sleigh, pulled by two beautiful black horses. There was no driver, thanks to the magical perks, and just when the horses appeared to start pulling the sleigh, they were transported into a winter wonderland. Hermione stared in awe. It wasn’t often you saw that much snow in England.
“It’s beautiful…” she said quietly.
“It is,” Narcissa whispered in return.
Her voice was so low, Hermione turned to look at her. It was quite clear that Narcissa had not been looking at the snow. She felt the blush stretch down her neck. She wanted to have words as beautiful as the ones that Narcissa constantly conjured, but with the nearness of the witch she knew she didn’t have a chance. She reached out and took Narcissa’s hand, weaving their fingers together. She held her breath until Narcissa placed her other hand over their connected hands squeezing lightly. Hermione shivered slightly and leaned closer to the blonde’s warmth before returning her attention to the beauty around her.