A/N: Written for D/HR Advent 2018. Beta: dormiensa

My prompt was mince pie. Enjoy!

Ron woke to the annoying chiming of Deck the Halls. This was their first Christmas since moving in together, and he was finding Hermione's holiday spirit a little exhausting. Especially this early in the morning. When the doorbell's tune switched to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, he shouted, "I'm coming!"

"Here," said Fred, shoving a mince pie at him.

"Did Mum make this?" Ron eyed it skeptically. He learned a long time ago you never took anything from the twins without eyeing it skeptically.

George grinned. "We made it."

"With love," Fred added with a wink.

Ron's eyes widened. "I can't take this! Hermione would kill me."

"Come on, Ronnikins," pleaded George. "We can't put out new products without testing them first."

Fred nodded. "That would be unprofessional."

"Ask Harry to test it," Ron suggested. "He's a pushover."

"Harry's no good," said George dismissively. "He's married."

"To our sister," added Fred, making a face. "We don't need to hear any dirty details from her."

"She's very descriptive." George shuddered. "You think we're sick bastards or something?"

"Yes. Yes, I do," Ron replied with certainty.

"He has a point," Fred admitted.

George shrugged indifferently. "Even sick bastards have their limits. We're not giving a passion pie to our sister. We need you."

"Forget it. Hermione hates love potions. And I haven't had the best luck with them either."

"It doesn't make you do anything you don't want to do. And it only works if you're in love. You two are in love, aren't you?"

"Sure," said Ron. "I mean, I think we are."

"Has she said she loves you?"

"Every morning when she kisses me on the cheek."

"She kisses you on the cheek?"

"When she says she loves you?"

"Yeah, so?"

"She might as well be your mother," muttered Fred.

"What about when you're kissing passionately?"

Ron looked uncomfortable. "She doesn't really like to do that. She says snogging is for teenagers, and we're mature adults."

"Congratulations. You've gone from boyfriend back to boy who's a friend."

"We have sex," Ron protested.

"Practical sex?"

"Yeah, practical sex," grumbled Ron.

"One bite of this pie, and it will be anything but practical."


Ron was still staring at the pie when Hermione got home from work.

She looked at him disapprovingly. "Why are you still in your pajamas?"

"I'm on holiday," he said defensively.

"Well, go get dressed. Harry and Ginny will be here in an hour."

"What! Why are they coming over?"

"Because we, meaning you, invited them for dinner."

"Maybe we can uninvite them for dinner. I was hoping we could have a romantic evening... alone."

"You want to do that tonight?" groaned Hermione. "I couldn't possibly. Work was a nightmare. And now I have to cook dinner. Trust me, I am not in the mood for that. At all."

"But I got this pie–"

"I'll serve it at dinner."


"Fine. I won't serve it. Geesh! You're so possessive of your food."

"Well, it's a special pie," said Ron sheepishly. "Just for us. For our romantic evening together." He looked at the pie wistfully.

Hermione sighed. "Okay. We'll do it tomorrow night. We'll go out for dinner. And then we'll come home and... have pie and what not."

Ron grinned, but then his smile faltered. Maybe she wouldn't agree to it. After all, she hated love potions. Then again, maybe she was as bored with their sex life as he was. "About this pie..."

"You can tell me about your pie later. Go get ready." She shooed him upstairs. "I have a million things to do before they get here."


When Frosty the Snowman started playing, Hermione yelled, "Get the door!"

Ron yanked open the door and scowled. "What did you bring him for?"

"Ginny had a headache, and well... he's all alone for the holidays," said Harry apologetically.

"Oh, boo hoo," said Ron unsympathetically. "So, he has to ruin mine?"

"I can't think of anyone else I'd rather ruin them for," Malfoy retorted.

"Can't you two please try to get along?" Harry pleaded. "Before I get a headache."

Ron grunted something unintelligible.

"You have a lovely home," Malfoy finally said grudgingly. "Who threw up Christmas on it?"


"For Merlin's sake, Ron. You don't have to shout!"

"Our guests are here," Ron said sourly.

Hermione froze when she saw him. "Malfoy?"

"Nice apron." Malfoy smirked.

Blushing, Hermione quickly removed the frilly white apron with the gingerbread men on it. "I was just finishing up dinner," she said, sounding flustered. "Where's Ginny?"

"Sorry, she couldn't make it–"

"So, instead of a shrew, he brought a ferret."

"Ron!" gasped Hermione.

"Well, it's true," Ron muttered.

"True or not, we don't say it out loud!" Hermione hissed. Turning to Malfoy, she forced a smile and held out her hand. "Welcome to our home."

Malfoy shoved a bottle of wine into her open hand. "I think we're going to need this."


"Who's ready for dessert?" asked Hermione, feigning cheerfulness after having just endured the most grueling dinner imaginable.

"We have to do dessert, too?" whined Ron. "I need more wine."

"You drank it all," replied Malfoy dryly.

"There's more in the kitchen," replied Hermione wearily.

When Ron returned, Hermione was about to slice into the pie. Ron stared at the pie in horror. "You can't serve that!"

"Why not?"

"Because... Harry hates mince pie," said Ron, thinking quickly.

"No, I don't."

"He's just being nice," said Ron.

"No, really..."

"Shut up, Harry!"

"I like mince pie," said Malfoy. "And I'm sure we can all agree I'm not saying that just to be nice."

"Nobody asked you, Malfoy."

"This is the only dessert I have, so it doesn't really matter who likes it or not." Hermione huffed.

"What about that leftover chocolate cake?" Ron suggested desperately.

"I'm not serving leftover cake."

"I like cake," said Harry, trying to be agreeable.

"There is no cake, Harry," snapped Hermione. "I ate it last night."

"There was half a cake left!" exclaimed Ron.

Hermione glared at him. "Thank you for pointing that out, Ronald. I had a really rough day at work. Something you wouldn't know about. If you want dessert, you can eat pie or nothing at all!"

"Pie is good," assured Harry.

"This pie is not good," insisted Ron.

"How do you know?" snapped Hermione. "You haven't even tried it yet!"

Ron was in full panic mode. It was too late to tell her about the pie now. The only thing left to do was get rid of the evidence. "You want me to try it? Fine!" Sticking his hand into the pie, Ron grabbed a huge hunk.

Hermione's mouth dropped open, and they all watched in disgust as Ron shoved handful after handful of pie into his face.

"I see his manners haven't changed much," commented Malfoy.

"What is wrong with you?" gasped Hermione. "I know my baking can't compare to your mother's, but I worked really hard on that pie."

"You made this?" Ron choked.

"Yes, and now you've ruined it."

"I think I'm going to be sick," said Ron, rushing from the room.

"I guess the pie wasn't good after all," said Malfoy, causing Hermione to scowl even harder.


When Ron finally came back, everyone was quietly eating pie. Glaring at him, Hermione angrily shoved a large forkful into her mouth.

"I'm really sorry, Hermione. I don't know what came over me. Luckily, you made two pies, huh?" Ron joked nervously.

"I did not make two pies," Hermione replied coldly.

"You didn't?"

"No, I didn't. You ate and then threw up the only pie I made. This is your pie. Your special pie. And it's really delicious. Isn't it, Malfoy?"

"Mmmhm," replied Malfoy.

Horrified, Ron swatted the fork from Harry's hand, and it went clattering across the floor.

"Hey!" exclaimed Harry. "I don't know where you got the idea I don't like mince pie, but I do. Especially this one. It's so good; it's sinful."

Ron threw Harry's napkin on the floor.


"Just pick up the frigging napkin!"

When Harry leaned down under the table, Ron followed him and whispered a little too loudly in his ear, "Do you want to have sex with Hermione?"

Taken off guard, Harry bumped his head on the table. "No, of course not!" he exclaimed.

"Shhhh!" said Ron, not wanting Hermione to hear. "How about with Malfoy?"

"No!" exclaimed Harry, looking disgusted. "What's wrong with you!"

"My girlfriend, my best friend and my archnemesis just ate passion pie. That's what's wrong with me!" he hissed.

"Passion pie?"

"Fred and George's latest creation. You and Malfoy need to leave now before something happens."

"Something like that?"

Ron followed Harry's gaze to see Malfoy and Hermione playing footsy under the table.

"Crap! You need to get Fred and George now. Tell them to bring the antidote."

Popping up with his napkin, Harry awkwardly said, "I have to leave now."

"You should go with him, Malfoy," Ron suggested.

"I'm still eating my pie."

"He's still eating his pie, Ron. Quit being rude." Hermione poked her finger in the pie and let Malfoy suck off the juices.

"Holy crap." Harry gaped.

Ron punched him in the arm. "Go!"

Ron dragged over his chair to place between Hermione and Malfoy. He watched in agony as Malfoy, moaning like a harlot, took his sweet time finishing the pie. After thoroughly licking his fork clean, the only thing left of Malfoy's pie was on his chin. Hermione took care of it. With her tongue. Before Ron knew it, they were kissing passionately and his chair was tipping over backward.

"Oh, no you don't!" Ron jumped up and tried to wedge between them. They were fused together and already dry humping, much to his chagrin. After some maneuvering, he finally managed to sandwich himself in. As their hands groped around him, he couldn't help thinking this was his own damn fault. He really hoped that was Hermione's tongue in his ear.


"When we said you should spice things up, we didn't mean have a threesome."

"That's hardcore, man."

Ron glared at his brothers. "I'm not having a threesome," he said, as Hermione and Malfoy grinded against him. "Well, I'm trying very hard not to have a threesome. Did you bring the antidote?"

"There isn't one."


"It's still in the testing process."

"We should probably add a warning," said Fred. "Not intended for dinner parties."

"Right. Idiot proof it," said George.

Ron scowled. "You shouldn't even consider selling this product. It's dangerous. These two don't even like each other and look at them. A little help here, please."

Fred and George hit them with a body binding curse, and Ron sank into his chair in relief. Noticing his brothers staring at him with what looked like pity, he asked, "What?"

"Our product doesn't work like that."

"I hate to break it to you, bro. But your girlfriend and Malfoy are in love."

"That's not possible."

"Did anyone else eat the pie?"

"Harry did."

"And is he acting like a nymphomaniac right now?"

"No," mumbled Ron, not liking where this was going.

"I've always suspected Malfoy had a thing for Hermione," Harry admitted.

"Then why did you invite him to my house!"

"I didn't know you would be serving sex pie!"

"Passion pie," Fred corrected. "We like alliterations. Did you eat any, Ron?"

"No, and I'm not going to."

"But you have to!" exclaimed George.


"How else will you know if you and Hermione are in love?"

"Apparently she loves Malfoy," Ron grumbled.

"Maybe she loves both of you."

"Maybe you love both of them." Fred waggled his eyebrows.

"No way! I'm not a threesome kind of guy. Sure, I've maybe fantasized about it. But with two girls not with Malfoy. I think I'm going to throw up again."

"Just eat the pie," said George. "I'm dying of curiosity."

There was still half of the passion pie left on the table. Just looking at it made Ron nauseated. Tentatively, he took a bite.


"It's good," said Ron, still chewing. "Really good."

"How do you feel?"

"Like I want to go to bed."

"With Hermione? Or Malfoy?" asked George eagerly.

"Or both?" asked Fred, grinning.

"Neither. I just want to go to sleep. I'm exhausted."

"Well, that was anticlimactic," said George in disappointment.


Harry fidgeted in the dining room chair. "Maybe we should move to the living room where we can be more comfortable."

"Do you seriously think anything is going to make this more comfortable?" asked Ron.

Harry got up and stretched. "I should probably be going anyway."

"You can't leave me!"

"Fred and George are here."

"They're in the kitchen making an antidote. I can't be alone with them."

Hermione and Malfoy were laying on opposite sides of the room with a refreshed body bind, talking dirty to each other.

"I don't know how much more I can take," said Harry. "And Ginny has a headache."

"I'm sorry that my girlfriend and Malfoy's dirty talk is making you horny," said Ron sarcastically.

"If the situation were reversed, you'd probably feel the same way," muttered Harry.

"Since you're married to my sister, I pretty much doubt it."

"It's just... they're so graphic. I had no idea that Hermione was into this kind of stuff."

"She's not. Not with me anyway," said Ron glumly.


"It's not your fault. It's mine for not throwing out that stupid pie in the first place. You shouldn't have to suffer, too," said Ron, casting a spell to quiet their voices. Leaning in to hear what Hermione was frantically whispering, he said, "Okay, okay, I'll tell him."

"I'm so not saying that," he muttered as he walked over to Malfoy. "Hermione said she wants to go to the library and read boring books from the literature section."

Ron listened to Malfoy's reply. "Hmm. That's very descriptive, and I'm not entirely sure it's humanly possible but okay."

Walking back to Hermione, he said, "Malfoy wants to eat garlic and burp the alphabet in your face."

"What did he really say?" asked Harry, sounding curious.

"There's no way in hell I'll ever repeat what he just said he wanted to do to Hermione," Ron snarled at Harry. "If you want to know so badly, you can relay their messages back and forth!"

The twins burst into the dining room. "We have the cure!"

"Finally!" said Ron and Harry.

The cure's effect was immediate.

"Where is Ron?" snapped Hermione. "I'm going to kill him!"

"Not if I kill him first," growled Malfoy.

"I think we should leave the body binding curse on a bit longer," suggested Fred.


"Are you breaking up with me?"

"No," said Ron, putting his hand on Hermione's shoulder. "You're breaking up with me."

"No, I'm not."

"Yes, you are," replied Ron with a sad smile. "And it's okay. Really."

"No, it's not okay. We need to talk about this."

"There's nothing to talk about. You're in love with Malfoy."

"I am not in love with Malfoy. It was that stupid pie!"

"Nothing would have happened if you didn't love him. Fred and George said so."

"Fred and George are idiots!" Hermione exclaimed. "No offense."

"None taken," replied Fred. "We get that all of the time."

"Well, a little taken," grumbled George. "But yeah, we do."

"Listen, Hermione. They may be idiots. And their products might make you puke your guts out or turn you into a canary, but they always work. Always. And if their stupid pie says that you and Malfoy are in love, I believe it."

"Where are you going?" asked Hermione in shock.

"To Harry's."

"What?" asked Harry, looking equally as shocked.

"I can't stay here," replied Ron. "That would be a bit awkward, wouldn't it?"

"Why can't you stay with Fred and George?" Harry whined. "It's their fault."

"Because while it looks like I'm handling this really well, I'm really just two Avadas away from a permanent trip to Azkaban."

"I think that's our cue to leave," said Fred.

"Why does the cue always have to be an Avada threat?" George sighed, Disapparating after Fred.

"Thanks for dinner, Hermione," said Harry awkwardly.

"Let's Floo to your house," suggested Ron. "With my luck tonight, I'd probably Splinch myself."

"Don't you dare leave, Ronald Weasley."

"Goodbye, Hermione," said Ron, throwing down the powder.

"This isn't over!" Hermione shouted. "We are not over!"

"That wasn't desperate or anything," Malfoy commented dryly.



"Tell your boyfriend to quit stalking me."

"Pardon?" asked Hermione distractedly, looking up from the book she was reading in Flourish and Blotts. "Oh, it's you. What are you going on about?"

"Your boyfriend. Tell him to quit following me."

"Tell him yourself."

"I did. I told him at breakfast. Then later in the loo. I also told him at Madame Malkin's, the apothecary and the Leaky Cauldron. I finally lost him at Quality Quidditch Supplies. I'm exhausted, and I didn't even get any of my errands done."

"What did he say?"

"Just a load of rubbish. Apparently, you loathe tea with lemon, don't hog the bathroom except on Friday nights when you take excessively long bubble baths, own a frightfully small number of dress robes, have an insane organizational system for your apothecary supplies, get drunk after only two drinks and don't understand Quidditch at all."

"Ugh. He's trying to set us up."

"Seriously? You'd think he'd talk you up a bit more."

Hermione glared. "That was him talking me up."

"Wow. You're really boring."

Hermione glared again.

"Why would he want to set us up?"

"Because apparently we're in love," said Hermione sarcastically. "And because my boyfriend is an idiot."

"Do you really get drunk after only two drinks?"


Two drinks later...

"I love him!" Hermione wailed, crying big fat tears into her drink.

"Bloody hell. He could've warned me you were a sentimental drunk. Those are the worst."

This only made Hermione weep louder.

Embarrassed at the strange looks they were receiving in the Leaky Cauldron, Malfoy cast a distraction spell. "There, there," he said, awkwardly. "Weasel is a loser. He doesn't deserve your love or your tears."

"Ron's not a loser! He's wonderful!"

"But he dumped you."

"Because he loves me!"

"Okay, I can't say I've ever been in love before, but this seems really messed up."

"Don't you see? He's willing to do anything to make me happy including setting us up. And he can't stand you, so he must really love me."

"So, he's trying to set us up because you love me?"

"No. He just thinks I do because of the stupid pie. I can't stand you either."

"So... you love Weasel?" said Malfoy, sounding a little disappointed.

"No. I mean, I love him. I just don't love-love him. Ron was right. We're better off friends. I just wish he didn't have find that out the way he did." She blushed.

Malfoy smirked. "He sure got a show."

Hermione punched him. "That's why we should make it up to him."

"What do you mean 'we'? I didn't do anything."

"I seem to remember you doing a lot of things," said Hermione pointedly.

"Not to him."

"You stuck your tongue in his ear!"

"I was aiming for you!"

"You missed."

"Apparently," grumbled Malfoy. "Okay, what are we going to do?"

"I don't know. I just want him to be happy. Like he thinks I am with you."

"Maybe we should set him up," Malfoy joked.

"That's perfect! I have reservations at his favorite restaurant tonight. We could double date! But who could we find who'd be willing to go on a blind date on Christmas Eve?"

"I might know someone," he said reluctantly. "She's recently divorced and kind of desperate."

"Then it's a date." Hermione held up her glass.

Malfoy clinked glasses and took a big drink. Hesitantly, he said, "That thing about the pie. You don't think it's true, do you? That we're in... love." He practically choked on the word.

Hermione laughed. "Why? Are you secretly in love with me?"

"No! I can't stand you either."

Hermione finished off her drink and stood up a little wobbly. "That's too bad. I was just starting to like you a little bit," she said with a wink.


"Where have you been?" Hermione hissed, pulling Malfoy into a giant plant.

"What's your problem?" Malfoy irritably swiped at the leaves poking his face. "I'm only fashionably late."

"The problem is I've been stuck here with Ron all by myself. You've no idea how awkward it's been. I finally had to make an excuse about going to the loo. I've been hiding here ever since."

"Where is he?"

"At the bar."

"Damn, I wanted a drink before dinner. Now I'll have to do it completely sober."

"Where's Ron's date? Are you sure she's coming?" asked Hermione nervously.

"She'll be here. She's probably just trying to be more fashionably late than me. She's competitive like that."

"Hello, Hermione." Luna poked her head through the plant. "I thought it was you I saw rustling in the leaves. Are there Nargles in here?"

"What are Nargles?" asked Malfoy.

"Hello, Draco. I didn't see you. They're nasty little buggers, but Hermione doesn't believe in them."

"Because I'm not delusional."

"Are you spying on someone?" Luna asked, turning around. "Is it Ronald Weasley?"

"No! Why would we spy on him?"

"Yeah, he's boring. And ugly," added Draco unhelpfully.

"We were, uh..."

"Were you snogging?" Luna giggled.


"It's the Nargle thing," said Malfoy. "Granger's just too embarrassed to admit it."

"Why didn't you say so? I have just the thing." Luna rummaged around in her bag.


"Nargles are attracted to it," Luna explained. "Oh, look! I'm holding it right above you. Now you have to kiss."

"I don't think so," said Malfoy hesitantly, looking at Hermione.

"Definitely not," replied Hermione.

"But it's tradition," said Luna. "And if you don't, the Nargles will hunt you down and kill you in your sleep."

"That's ridic–" Hermione was cut off by Malfoy's warm lips on hers. Her brain immediately went fuzzy and her body turned to goo. Unable to think or respond in any rational manner, she kissed him back.

"Ha!" said Ron, causing them to fly apart. "I was right!"

"It was the mistletoe," Hermione insisted. She looked around for corroboration, but Luna was gone, and Malfoy was completely dumbstruck and no help at all.

Ron rolled his eyes. "Mistletoe, pie. Whatever you want to tell yourself. Come on. Our table is ready. Bring lover boy with you."

Hermione hit Malfoy in the stomach, snapping him out of his coma-like state.

"Ow! What was that for?"

"Why did you have to kiss me? Now he thinks he's right about us."

"The Nargles were going to kill me in my sleep!"

"Well, if Ron's date doesn't get here soon, it's not the Nargles you need to worry about!"


"Pansy is the desperate divorcee you're setting Ron up with!"

"Did you call me desperate?" Pansy scowled at Malfoy.

"Nooo..." Malfoy shook his head. "Maybe."

"Well, I'm not." Pansy pouted. "I didn't even know he was setting me up with you." She looked Ron up and down. "Although you're not as horrible as I remember. I would probably do you. Dear Merlin, maybe I am desperate."

Ron stared at Pansy, and she burst into tears.

Malfoy hailed the waiter. "Wine. We need lots of wine."

"I caught my husband kissing another woman." Pansy dabbed her tears. "Turned out he was in love with the stupid whore. Ever since, I've just felt sort of alone, you know?"

"I do know actually," said Ron sympathetically. "I just went through a very similar situation."

"Wait," said Malfoy. "Am I the stupid whore in this situation?"

"Well, it's certainly not me," said Hermione.

"Those two?" Pansy gasped.

Ron nodded. "They practically had sex right in front of me."

"That was your fault!" Hermione shrieked. "You and your stupid pie!"

"You shouldn't be so judgmental, Granger," Pansy admonished. "I ate a lot of pie after my divorce. But then I realized that the divorce was actually an opportunity to turn over a new leaf and become a better person. So I hired a trainer and bought a whole new wardrobe with my enormous divorce settlement. I still miss the pie though."

"He didn't eat the pie. I did!"

Pansy eyed her critically. "I thought you'd gained weight. I didn't want to say anything. Turning over a new leaf and all. Well, you know what they say, you can't have your pie and eat it, too. Otherwise you get fat." She turned to Ron. "So, what's good here? I'm famished!"


"Why do I have to be here?" whined Malfoy.

"Because Ron invited Pansy to Christmas dinner and if he's inviting someone annoying, so am I," said Hermione, knocking on the door of The Burrow.

"You two have some nerve showing up here," said Fred crossly. "After you ate our mince pie."

"And made mincemeat of our brother's heart," accused George.

"Don't give me that. It was mostly your fault." Hermione huffed. "And Ron's fine. In fact, he's already met someone."

"We know," said Fred sourly.

"Yeah, thanks for that," grumbled George. "She's already insulted our shoes."

"And our faces."

"Apparently, we're freakish," they said in unison.

"She's not wrong," muttered Malfoy.

"Can we come in?" asked Hermione impatiently.

"Fine." Fred moved aside. "But only because I can't wait to see what Mum does to you."

George snickered.

Hermione gulped and stepped inside. When Malfoy didn't follow, she grabbed his hand and yanked him in beside her.

"Hermione, dear. You're here," said Mrs. Weasley.

"Ron broke up with me!" Hermione practically shouted in her face.

"I know, dear."

"We're still friends, but... Wait, you know?"

"Well, the new girlfriend was a bit of a giveaway."

Hermione could hear Fred and George laughing.

"So, is this the young man you replaced Ron with?"

"What? No! This is just Malfoy. He had nowhere to go for Christmas."

"Well, there's the chateau in France and the villa in Italy..." Malfoy trailed off when he noticed Hermione's scowl. "But other than that, nowhere to go. Very sad really."

"So, to reiterate, Ron broke up with me, and Malfoy is not my boyfriend. Oh, and the reason Ron broke up with me was because of one of the twins' joke products."

"Fred! George!" Mrs. Weasley shrilled.


Christmas at the Weasley's was always a raucous affair, but this one took the cake—or rather the pie.

"Some pie, Mr. Malfoy?" Mrs. Weasley asked after dinner.

"No!" exclaimed Malfoy. "Not here. I mean, not right now."

"He probably likes to eat his pie in bed, don't you, Malfoy?" replied Ron snidely.

Malfoy scowled. "Sometimes I like to eat it at my desk. Or in the shower."

"How peculiar," said Mrs. Weasley.

"I particularly enjoy it against the wall. Oof!" grunted Malfoy after receiving a hard jab from Hermione.

"Why would you eat pie in the shower?" asked Ginny. "Wouldn't it get soggy?"

Harry whispered something in her ear and she said, "Seriously? Gross!"

"My thoughts exactly," muttered Ron.

"What's your problem?" asked Malfoy angrily. "You told me to date her!"

"I know, but..."

"Why would you do that, Ronald?" asked Mrs. Weasley.

"Because I love her," said Ron.

"Then why did you sleep with me!" exclaimed Pansy.

"You slept with her!" Hermione shrieked.

"We were broken up."

"Yeah, for a day!"

"Come on, Hermione," said Ron with a sigh. "We've been going through the motions for a while now, and you know it. It's time we both moved on. And if it's Malfoy you decide to move on with, I'll deal with it. I won't like it, but I'll deal with it. Because I love you, and I always will. No matter what."

"I love you, too, Ron!" exclaimed Hermione, bursting into tears.

"Oh for Merlin's sake!" said Malfoy exasperatedly. "Have you been drinking again?"

"Why am I even here?" Pansy pouted.

"Because I like you."

"But you love her." Pansy scowled at Hermione.

"I love her as a friend. I like you as more than a friend."

"I'm listening," replied Pansy haughtily.

"I like the way you say exactly what you're thinking. I like the way you toss your hair over your shoulder when you say something witty. I like the adorable way you pout when you're trying to get your way. And I like the way you..." He leaned in and whispered something.

Pansy giggled.

"But most of all, I like the way you make me feel."

"I like the way you make me feel, too," purred Pansy.

"Well, after that nauseating display, I totally don't feel guilty about dry humping you in front of him anymore," Hermione muttered to Malfoy.

Malfoy smirked. "You have been drinking."

"Do you blame me?"

"No. Why do you think I brought this?" said Malfoy, revealing a flask.

Hermione smiled. "Thank you for coming with me today. I know this probably isn't anything like the way you usually spend Christmas."

"I can't say it is," said Malfoy, looking around. "Malfoy Christmases are usually more quiet and formal. With less groping. No wonder they call this The Burrow."

Hermione followed Malfoy's gaze. Mrs. Weasley was sitting in Mr. Weasley's lap, and they were snogging like teenagers. And they weren't the only ones.

"Oh, no!" exclaimed Hermione. "Mrs. Weasley must have accidentally served one of the twins' pies."

"It's a Weasley Christmas orgy. Pretty much my worst nightmare."

"What should we do?"

"Leave? Before I poke my eyes out."

"Oh my God!" exclaimed Hermione, staring in shock at what her ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend were currently engaged in across the table. "I can't believe Ron and Pansy are in love!"

"You believe it now?"

"It makes sense, I guess. Why else would Ron like Pansy? She's awful." And then it dawned on her. If Ron and Pansy were in love, that meant that she and... "Oh."

"Oh, indeed."

"You don't seem very shocked by this."

Malfoy shrugged. "I've kind of had a crush on you for a while now."

"How long?"

"Since I first met you."

"But that was first year!"

Malfoy smirked. "I told you it's been a while. Let's get out of here."


When they got back to Hermione's place, Malfoy handed her several exquisitely wrapped packages. The first present was a tin filled with assorted teas. "I threw out the lemon ones."

The second present was bubble bath. "For our date on Friday night," he said, with a wink.

The third present was Quidditich tickets which he immediately tore up. "Those were playoff tickets, so that was a pretty big sacrifice."

The fourth present was a first edition Hogwarts: A History. "For a bit of light reading."

The fifth present was a label maker, and Hermione burst into tears.

"Why are you crying about the label maker? The first edition Hogwarts: A History I can maybe understand. The Quidditch tickets I can definitely understand. But the label maker?"

"It's just so... so... thoughtful!" Snuffling, she handed him a present. "All I got you was a quill."

"It's a very nice quill," Malfoy assured her. "And it doesn't matter anyway because all I really wanted for Christmas is you."

Hermione's face lit up. "Hold that thought." When she returned, she was wearing her frilly white apron with the gingerbread men on it and nothing else. But it was what was in her hands that made Malfoy's jaw drop. With a wicked smile, she held up two forks and a pie plate wrapped in tin foil. "I hope you don't mind leftovers."