A/N: This story was written for Marvelously Magical Fanfiction's Holiday Collection: Enchanted Wonders 2019 Edition! The aim of this collection was to create a fun holiday-themed set of stories for the month of December that melded the Harry Potter Universe with the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
My pairing was set to be Hermione Granger & Steve Rogers and the enchanted item I was given was the Knight Bus and my holiday-themed word was a bough of holly. All of these make an appearance in this story in some way.
I hope you enjoy this story as well as the rest of the stories in the collection. I know that many of these authors have worked very hard on all of their collection pieces for this group as well as a few other holiday-themed events going on this time of year.
If you enjoyed my story and would like to check out some of my other works, feel free to search up starrnobella on most social media and you will be able to find a way to contact me outside of AO3/FFN.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Hermione looked at the clock on the wall and shook her head. The one day that she needed Steve to make it home from work on time was, of course, the one day that he was going to find himself working late. If they didn't get on their way out the door, they were going to miss their scheduled bus stop. It wasn't going to be the end of the world if they missed their scheduled stop, but it did mean that there was a chance they were going to be late to the Burrow for dinner and Molly would never let her hear the end of it.
Reaching for her mobile, Hermione sent a quick text off to Ginny explaining that she and Steve would most likely be late to dinner and asked her to pass the message on to Molly with her sincerest apologies. She'd rather be safe than sorry when it came to Molly and her expectations for everyone to be together for Christmas. Since she couldn't spend time with her own family for the holidays, Molly Weasley and family were the best replacements.
She glanced up at the clock once more and let out a heavy sigh. She reached for her mobile once more and started to dial Steve's number to see where he was. Just as she was about to hit call, the doorknob rattled as though someone was trying to get in the door. After a brief moment of rattling, the door popped open, revealing the apologetic face of her beloved, Steve Rodgers.
"I'm so sorry, Hermione. I swear, I tried to leave the office on time, but you know how Tony is, I just couldn't get him off the phone," Steve said, walking through the door and dropping all of his belongings on the floor as he made his way over to her.
He wrapped his arms around her neck and placed a gentle kiss on her cheek as he hugged her tightly. He sighed in relief when he felt her arms reach around his waist, reciprocating her hug. Steve lowered himself down to sit next to her on the couch for a brief moment, and he leaned forward, pressing his lips to hers with a chaste kiss.
"I'll be ready to leave in ten minutes, I swear," he promised, squeezing her knee as he pushed himself up off the couch and walking towards their bedroom.
"I'll hold you to that, Rodgers," she grumbled, collapsing back against the couch. "We have to stop and pick up the holly wreath that I order for the door of the Burrow before we catch the Knight Bus."
Steve popped his head out of the bedroom door, just enough that Hermione caught the sight of his muscular shoulders and biceps as he turned to look at her. She smiled softly to herself as she thought about just how lucky she was to get to sleep next to that gorgeously handsome man every single night for the rest of her life. The glisten of her engagement ring in the lights of their Christmas tree brought a smile to her face.
"Knight Bus?" he asked, raising a brow in confusion as he scrubbed the washcloth over his face and shoulders.
"I told you about this," Hermione replied, rolling her eyes. "It's a magical three-decker bus that can maneuver through London. It's not the safest method of travel, but it's a good time in the end."
"Why can't we just use the fireplace or apparate?" he said, walking back in the bedroom to grab his shirt off the bed and pull it over his head.
"Because the last time we apparated, you got sick all over my shoes," Hermione said, tossing her head back with a laugh when she noticed the face he was making as he returned to the living room, finishing off tying his tie around his neck.
"Oh yeah," he said, shaking his head. "I appreciate not having to travel like that again. How do I look?"
Hermione pushed herself up off the couch and walked up to him. She adjusted his tie slightly and kissed him softly on the lips. "You look very handsome. Let's get going."
"After you, my dear," Steve said, holding the front door open for her as she gathered the last of her belongings.
"Don't forget your coat. It's cold outside," Hermione replied, wrapping her coat around her shoulders and tying a scarf around her neck.
Steve rolled his eyes as he stepped out the door after her, missing the floating object that Hermione had summoned behind her as they left their flat. "You're such a worrier; I'll be fine. It wasn't that bad when I came home from the office."
Hermione grabbed the jack that she had summoned and tucked it through the strap on her purse. Sooner or later, he'd admit that he was cold, and she'd be the one coming to his rescue once again.
The pair made their way down the sidewalk into the center of the city. The flower shop was only a few blocks away from their flat so that they would be on the way to the Burrow in no time. Rounding the corner, Hermione saw the flower shop just up ahead.
"Wait right here; I'll just be a second," she replied, motioning to Steve to wait for her outside the door to the shop. She'd get him to admit that he was cold if it was the last thing she did. She could hear his teeth chattering, and occasionally as they walked, she could feel him shivering beside her.
Steve nodded his head and crossed his arms over his chest in an attempt to keep his body heat on his person rather than escaping into the air. He paced back and forth in place to keep warm.
Hermione exited the shop and saw him standing there, shivering, rubbing his hands up and down his arms. With a heavy sigh, she pulled the jacket out from between the straps of her purse and tossed it at his head. "Here."
Steve turned just in time for the jacket to land covering his face, which resulted in a fit of laughter from Hermione as she watched him pull it off of his head. "Thank you."
"You're welcome," she replied, watching him put the jack on and sighing happily as he adjusted the shoulders. Once it seemed like he was happy with the way the jacket was sitting, she extended the wreath to him. "Can you hold this for a minute? The shopkeeper had an extra bough of holly, so she turned it into a hairpiece. She thought it would look perfect with my outfit, so she gave it to me. I just need to tuck it in behind my bun."
"Of course," Steve said, taking the wreath out of her hand as well as the strap to her purse. He watched as she manipulated the piece into her hair. The shopkeeper was right, it did go perfect with her outfit, but then again, he thought that everything she wore looked perfect on her.
Once she finished fussing with her hair, she turned to him and extended a hand to gather back her purse and the wreath. He gave back the purse, but instead of giving her the wreath, he interlaced his fingers with hers and hung the wreath on his other arm. "So how much further until the bus stop for the Knight Bus?"
"I figured I'd call for it just up ahead here. Out of the sight of any Muggles," she replied, walking along beside him with a smile on her face. "I just need to get my wand out of my purse, and the bus will arrive wherever I call it to."
"And you call it how?" Steve asked, glancing over at her out of the corner of his eye. He figured it was something to do with her wand, but he still had no concept of how her magic really worked and was learning as their relationship progressed.
Hermione looked around and noticed that the sidewalk was empty, so extracting her wand out of her purse, she stepped forward and raised the wand in the air. The streetlights above them flickered, and a gust of wind rose up, causing the leaves in the trees across the street to rustle. A few moments later, Steve heard the honking of a horn before seeing a purple triple-decker bus pulling up in front of them on the sidewalk, lights beaming brightly in their face.
"Well, that answers that question," Steve replied with a shrug.
Hermione looked back over her shoulder and winked at him before walking up to the door. A gentleman in a conductor's hat opened the door to greet her.
"Welcome to the Knight Bus, emergency transport for a witch or wizard in need. My name is Stan Shunpike, and I'll be your conductor for the evening."
His smile made Steven nervous, but he trusted that Hermione was taking them to the Burrow in the safest way possible that wasn't through apparition or the floo network. Hopefully, this way of travel would be less sickening for him.
"Who's this?" Stan asked, nodding his head in Steve's general direction. "We don't normally give rides to Muggles on the Knight Bus."
Hermione smiled and patted him on the shoulder. "It's quite alright, Stan, he's got permission from the Minister himself for magical transport."
"I'll take your word for it, " Stan replied, looking between Hermione and Steve. "Well come on then, we haven't got all night."
"Sorry about that," Steve said, hopping up onto the bus and following closely behind Hermione as she made her way to a cot in the middle of the bus. He was mesmerized by the decorations inside. Looking up, he noticed a chandelier that was decked out in Christmas decorations, holly and what seemed to be mistletoe, but Steve couldn't be sure from the angle he was looking at.
Stan walked up to the pair and printed off a ticket, handing it to Hermione. Steve tried to grab for it, but she shook her head and pulled the payment out of her pocketbook, giving it to Stan.
"You know, you don't always have to pay when we do things the magical way," Steve replied, wrapping an arm around her waist as he placed the wreath down on the cot.
"I know," she said, smiling broadly, "but I like doing it. Now you might want to hold on tight."
"Where are you two headed?" Stan asked, walking back toward the front of the bus.
"The Burrow," Hermione answered quickly as she grabbed onto the post on the side of the cot.
"Take it away, Ern," Stan announced, tapping on the glass. "To the Burrow!"
"Hold on tight; it's gonna be a bumpy ride!" Hermione yelled as the cot slid to the back of the bus, slamming against the wall.
Realizing that she wasn't kidding, Steve picked up the wreath and then grabbed hold of the post on the cot, similarly to how Hermione was holding the one on her side.
The whole trip took about twenty minutes before they were pulling up in front of a place that looked familiar to Steve. In fact, he had never been so happy to see the Burrow in his entire life.
As the two exited the Knight Bus, Hermione bid farewell to Stan and Ernie. As she stepped away from the bus, Steve wrapped her up in a giant hug and held her tight to his chest.
"What's this for?" She asked, looking up at him through her lashes as she turned her head to rest it against his chest.
"The next time we need to travel somewhere quickly, no matter how sick it may make me, can we please apparate there or use the floo?" He asked, kissing the top of her head gently.
Hermione tossed her head back with a laugh and nodded. "Absolutely! That'll teach you to work late on a day that we have places to be."
She pressed up on her tiptoes and kissed him softly. "We better get inside, I can hear whispers of mocking coming from the twins who happen to be watching us from the window."
Steve looked up and watched two familiar redheads disappear quickly from the window sill. He laughed and leaned down to kiss her one last time. "After you."