Hermione Granger stepped through the door to the small flat that was home, and a smile immediately lit up her face as she smelled the wonderful scent of cooking that filled the small apartment. The sounds Boyz II Men filled the air, and her smile grew wider. He had put on her favorite muggle CD just for her. Sometimes, it was so easy to remember why she loved him despite everything. Making her way quietly into the kitchen she stood in the doorway and just watched him. He was putting the last touches on a horribly misshapen cake that had about two pounds more frosting than it needed. There were two plates on the table, mismatched candles, and a bowl of salad that was starting to wilt horribly. Hermione stepped all the way into the kitchen and wrapped her arms around him. “It looks wonderful!” she exclaimed, and was surprised to find she really meant it. He turned and looked at her, the familiar smile melting her heart like it had been doing for the past 10 years. God how she loved this man! Stepping away from him before she decided to snuggle in his arms and let dinner burn, she quickly began to stir the creamy sauce in the pan, noting the lumps in it with amusement. The poor guy never was much of a cook she thought, but this is always the best meal I eat all year. He puts his heart into this meal and it makes it all worth it, even when it tastes like paste. “Happy Birthday ‘Mione” he whispered in her ear while hugging her from behind. She knew he could feel the shiver that raced up her spine from his voice so close to her ear, and he chuckled softly. “Remember the first time we did this?” he asked her, and she nodded, remembering that first year. Things had been hard with the war on, and there was no way that anything special was going to happen for her birthday, or so she thought. When she came home, this awful charred smell hung over the entire apartment, and the fire alert spells were wailing like banshees. Expecting the worst, she had run into the kitchen, only to find him standing there sheepishly holding out a blackened birthday cake. “The dinner that night was sandwiches and biscuits on the front steps if I remember right” she said, laughing at the memory. “They were the best sandwiches I have ever eaten.” She felt him smile against her hair at the memory, and leaned further back against him. “You gave me this CD that night also. I was so mad at you for spending what little money you had on me. I didn’t forgive you until you had found a way to play it and we danced in the living room until the moon came out.” He pulled back from her and moved to face her. His eyes looked seriously into hers, and he asked, almost desperately “You don’t regret it, do you ‘Mione? You don’t wish that you had someone who could give you all the things you deserve do you?” His earnest look, the fear written on his face made her heart crumble. She looked around the small apartment, decorated in a mishmash of style and colors, a place filled with all the things that said home. She looked at the ugly cake with too much frosting, the wilted salad, the small cheap CD player that had carried them through some of the hardest times by dancing their troubles away. Last, she looked into the blue eyes of her best friend, and she smiled. “Who else could have given me a home?” She asked, and meant every word. Just then, the fire alarm spells started to go off, and the creamy sauce had began to smoke. Picking the pan off of the burner, she dropped it in the sink and turned around laughing. “You make the sandwiches, I’ll cut the cake, we’re eating on the porch again this year.”
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