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The weeks had quickly faded into months and in the blink of an eye, it was a day before the Christmas holidays. "Harry, have you decided what you're doing yet? Only mum wants to know how many people to cook for." Ron asked on a snowy Saturday morning.

"No, Hermione's parents haven't written back yet. I assume we will see them for Christmas itself, I've really not got a clue. Have you asked Aoife to stay yet?"

"But you will come and stay? Oh please say you will, I don't want to be trapped with Ginny all holiday." He whined childishly. "No, I never know when the right time to ask her is. I think Professor Curran is staying here over Christmas, so it's not like they're going home and spending Christmas as a family."

"I'm sure we'll visit for a few days." Harry smiled, he loved Christmas with the Weasleys - in his eyes, they did Christmas the proper way. "Oh Ron, just ask her. You've been going on dates since September."

"We haven't made it official yet. What if she turns me down?"

"I'll repeat what I just said, you've been going on dates since September. Next time, you see her, ask her."


"He still hasn't asked you?" Hermione asked. She was sitting crossed legged on her bed whilst Aoife was on her back, leaning on one of the bed posts facing her.

"No, every time I see him, I hint that I have nowhere to go for Christmas. Dad is staying here, so are Aisling, Ardal and Aengus. I just don't want to be stuck with them. Are you and Harry staying with the Weasleys?"

"Yeah, I just got a letter from my parents. They're going to Australia." Hermione said.

"Can I make a quick suggestion?" Ginny asked as she stood up from her packing for a while, "why don't you ask Ron yourself? You could make the first move."

"Like you have done with Aengus?" Aoife asked before they all started laughing.

"That's different, you and Ron have been dating for ages. I've just been silently fancying Aengus for weeks. It was just a suggestion. But you can say I invited you if you want." Ginny shared a habit with Ron, going the colour of her hair when embarrassed. Ginny had admitted to liking Aengus some weeks ago and Hermione was relieved to know she didn't feel a single ounce of jealousy.

"Why don't we invite him too? That way, you can spend time alone with him." Hermione suggested.

"I don't know if he would like that, he doesn't really like taking things off strangers," Aoife informed, "plus, he promised Aisling he would spend Christmas day with her."

"I'll talk to him on my own accord when I feel ready," Ginny whispered, "have you two finished packing yet?"

"I have." Hermione beamed, "I can't wait for a break, it's been harder than I thought, catching up."

"That's because you insist on doing it all at once. You weren't even that far behind and now you're teaching yourself what we haven't been taught yet." Aoife laughed, "so your mum definitely wouldn't mind if I stayed with you?"

"No, the more the merrier with her. I'll send her an owl now." Ginny grinned.

"It's going to be amazing," Aoife said, "I can't wait to see a proper Weasley Christmas."

*

The second Quidditch game would be played out today, Ravenclaw were to take on Slytherin. Harry was looking forward to this game, especially now he had a stronger connection with Ravenclaw. Ron and Harry had decided to sit with Ardal, Aisling and Luna and the rest of the Ravenclaw crowd and would be cheering just as loudly as they would have if it was Gryffindor. The match was due to start in 10 minutes and Ron and Harry were waiting for the girls to come down from the Common Room.

"What do you reckon is taking them so long?" Harry asked, he was beginning to get cold and fed up.

"Hair, clothes, presents." Ron offered.

"Us." Harry joked. He watched amusingly as panic spread across Ron's face. He was about to say something when he saw Aoife, Hermione and Ginny all walk down towards them.

"Harry! We're staying at the Weasley's, my parents are going to Australia." Hermione expressed when they finally reached each other.

"Yeah? That's brilliant news!" Ron exclaimed happily.

"Aoife's staying with us too," Ginny added with a small smirk forming on her face.

"Are you?" He asked for reassurance.

"Yep. Ginny asked if I wanted to stay." She smiled, "are we going to watch the Quidditch or not?" She said as she marched out of the front door.

Harry and Hermione lingered back, "are you okay?" He asked quietly.

"I guess I'll have to be. I need to realise that they have a life out there now. At least I have you." She smiled weakly as she fell into him.

He wrapped his arms around her and said softly, "I'm not going anywhere."


"There you are! I thought you were going to miss this game too." Ron called when Harry and Hermione finally appeared in the stands.

"Sorry, we got lost in the crowd." Hermione lied.

Shortly after Harry and Hermione had turned up, the game had begun. All four of the Currans were cheering when Ravenclaw did anything and booing when Slytherin played their usual dirty game. The score was 50-140 to Slytherin when Harry saw a glitter of gold dancing around Alan McTrevor of Ravenclaw and it wasn't long before he made his move. He stretched out his arm as his broom glided gracefully through the air. Along with all the other spectators, Harry was holding his breath. The crowd took a collective breath when Alan pulled up. He held up his left hand and cheered - the golden Snitch now belonged to his touch. The stand erupted into a huge celebration. A celebration that lasted into the night.

"I can't believe we're celebrating this much!" Harry shouted to Ron over the noise of the music.

"I think we're passed celebrating the match," Ron joked, "even some of Slytherin have joined in. Have you heard? Someone managed to get a whole crate of beer."

"I would blame the Irish for that." Aengus joked, he had one beer in each hand and was dancing with a girl from Ravenclaw.

"I'm going to find Hermione, make sure she's alright," Harry called out to Ron as he looked around the crowded Common Room. He decided to look in the dormitories first, hoping that Hermione would be reading away up there - she wasn't.

He came back downstairs and scanned the room, but like the dormitories, it was Hermione free. He walked out into the corridor but still couldn't find her. "Harry, what are you doing? You're missing the party." Aoife called out from somewhere.

"Have you seen Hermione?" He called back. He heard some rustling and footsteps which resulted in the appearance of Aoife.

"No, she was talking to Luke Harvey about something, that was awhile ago though. Come and dance with us, Hermione will be alright." Aoife was also holding a full bottle of beer in both hands and handed one to Harry, "you've never drunk until you've drunk with an Irish." She winked and dragged him back into the Common Room. "Where's Aengus?" She asked Ron when she saw that he was standing alone with Ginny.

"Oh, he left awhile ago. I think he's gone off with Poppy, the girl he was dancing with." He added when he saw Harry and Aoife's bemused faces. The song slowly faded away and was replaced by a slow one.

"This one is for all you couples out there who have to spend Christmas apart." Ardal joked as he changed the song with a flick of his want. "Care to dance?" He asked Luna, feigning sophistication.

"Aoife, would you please do me the greatest honour and dance with me?" Ron mocked, but Harry wasn't surprised to see Aoife jump at the chance to show off their relationship.

"Well, this is awkward," Ginny grumbled when she was left alone with Harry.

"Why is it awkward, Miss Weasley? Afraid you won't be able to keep up with my dance moves." He joked as he twirled on the spot. Ginny laughed but took his hand to dance, awkwardly, alongside all of the other couples. "I'm sorry to hear about Aengus," Harry said after several silent moments went by.

"How to you kno-?"

"Hermione." Harry laughed, "she couldn't wait to tell me. Don't worry, Ron doesn't know."

"The last friend of his I liked didn't exactly go to plan either," She mumbled under her breath.

"I guess I should be sorry about that, too. I honestly didn't plan on that when we set out." He said as he swayed her from side to side.

"I know, I guess I should have seen it coming really. It was just a big shock for me, finding out like that."

When Harry, Ron and Hermione had left for their hunt, Harry and Ginny were together somewhat. "I know, I am sorry. I didn't expect it to happen, I didn't realise-"

"-you were in love with your best friend." Ginny finished, she tried not to be bitter, she knew that Harry made an innocent mistake, "we weren't technically together, but it was still hard for me."

"I know, I am ashamed of how I handled things, I didn't mean to let you down. You deserve someone who loves you unconditionally and that wasn't me." The song had finally finished and Harry and Ginny instantly moved apart.

"I don't blame you, Harry and I don't blame Hermione. You can't control who you fall in love with and you can't know when or how the truth will come out. Treasure her, Harry, treasure that girl." Ginny said before turning around and walking up to bed.

"Ron! Have you seen Hermione?" Harry called out, walking over to where he was dancing with Aoife.

"I think I saw her go to bed. I'm not sure, though." Ron answered.

So Harry barged through the dancing crowd and headed back upstairs. He looked in on the girl's dorms first, saw Ginny lying in her bed, either trying to get to sleep or already dreaming. He went up to his dormitory and to his relief, saw Hermione sitting in his bed. "Hey." She smiled as she put the book she was reading down.

"There you are. I've been looking for you. Where have you been?" He said whilst making his way over to her.

"I went to the library to find something to read, I left when Ardal and Luna brought out the beer. I bumped into Luke and he told me about a book which was a must read. I saw you dancing with Ginny," she began saying, he was worried where she was going with this, "I'm so glad you've managed to bury the hatchet somewhat with her. It makes everything a whole lot easier." She smiled.

"So am I, I've never really spoken about it with her." He took off his top and jeans a slid into bed next to Hermione. Although the bed was small, it was quite nice sharing as it kept them nice and toasty.

"Neither have I. I hope she understands it wasn't out of malice. I guess I should talk to her too."

"What's the book about?" Harry asked, changing the subject.

"Greek mythology. I thought I would read up before we go." She smiled, leaning over Harry to place the book on the table. She also took Harry's glasses off and put them on top of her book. She lay her head on his chest and traced his abs with her finger.

"You're so cute." She could tell that he was smiling by the way his voice sounded. "What have you found out?"

"Narcissus, Echo and Nemesis. It's fascinating how these myths influence our language. Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection and drowned because of it, that's where the word narcissistic comes from."

Harry loved how Hermione got lost in her own stories. He also liked the feeling of her hair tickling his chin and cheek. To Harry, he was in heaven. He began to trace Hermione's left cheek and closed his eyes. "Was it actually a myth?" He whispered.

"I don't know. A Muggle wrote the book, but it could have actually happened in our world I suppose. It would be interesting to try and find out when we visit Greece." She returned his whisper, knowing that he was about to fall asleep. "Night Harry," She whispered before she closed her eyes.

*

"Hello, dears!" Mrs Weasley squealed when they appeared in the Weasley's kitchen the next afternoon.

"Hi, mum." Ron grinned, giving her a quick hug.

"Ronnie, how are you?" She asked, bringing him back into a longer hug.

"Mum-I-can't-breathe." He gasped.

"Don't be silly," She ordered, "my youngest son has just come home, can't I be happy? Oh! You must be Aoife. It's really nice to meet you." She seemed to push Ron away at the sight of the newest member to the gang.

"Hi. I've heard a lot about you." Aoife smiled sweetly. Mrs Weasley didn't waste any time and pulled both Ron and Aoife close to her.

"Hello, mum." Ginny interrupted, "I'm here too, remember."

"Of course I haven't forgotten about you, Gin. Come here!" She engulfed her only daughter. Once all her bones had been crumbled into powder, Ginny was released from her grasp. "Take your trunks upstairs, lunch will be ready any second now." Mrs Weasley smiled.

Ginny and Ron showed Aoife to her room. "Hi, Mrs Weasley. Thank you for letting us stay." Harry smiled.

"My pleasure, dears. I hear you're feeling a lot better." She smiled. Harry nodded, unsure whether she knew what had happened with Julie. "I'm so glad. I've put you two in the same room as last time."

"Thank you, Mrs Weasley." Hermione smiled, she started lugging her trunk to their room when Mrs Weasley stopped them.

"Harry, Andromeda has contacted me. She wants to invite you over to spend a day with Teddy." Harry gulped, he had tried to avoid mention of his godson, knowing that it would bring back memories of Lupin and Tonks. "She said to pop round tomorrow."

Hermione looked at Harry and tried to study his face, she knew what he was thinking; like her, the image of their former Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher clouded her sight. "How old is he now?" Harry croaked.

"8 months," Mrs Weasley said quietly. Harry nodded slowly, knowing he had a responsibility to this little boy. Like Harry, he was orphaned due to Voldemort, and like Harry, he would have the best godfather the earth had ever seen. "I'll take you there after breakfast tomorrow, at about 11." She beamed at both Harry and Hermione before turning round to prepare the sandwiches.

Harry followed Hermione to the room, slowly. His mind was racing, images of Lupin and Tonks whirled through his mind. He was so young when they had died, they barely had any time together. Harry sat on the bed whilst Hermione busied herself with the unpacking. "Will you come with me?" He whispered.

"Of course, if that's what you want." Hermione smiled. They had dealt with a lot in their time as friends, but never had they been put in charge of a baby. "Don't worry, Harry. Teddy is some light that found his way through the darkness. He won't blame you." She added, knowing how his brain worked.

"How is it you always know what to say?" Harry grinned.

"LUNCH!" The familiar cry of Mrs Weasley echoed around the house.

Hermione put away Harry's last pair of socks and made her way to the door. "Wait," Harry commanded. "I love you," He whispered before placing his lips on hers.

*

The day mostly consisted of eating, talking and playing exploding snap and chess. Hermione was happy to see that Aoife was getting on well with the rest of the Weasley clan. The house was full of laughter and love again. At around 9 o'clock, Ginny disappeared to her room. "Harry, I'm just going to talk to Ginny," She informed, he was in a furious game of exploding snap with George. Hermione was sure he had heard her, but he was too engrossed in the game.

"Ginny?" She called out, lightly tapping her door.

"Come in."

Hermione opened the door and her eyes were greeted by an elegant room. "Can we talk?" She asked delicately.

"Sure, what's the problem?" Ginny was sitting on her bed and signalled for Hermione to join her.

"I want to clear that air between us," Hermione said.

"About Harry? Honestly, Hermione, I'm happy for you." Ginny tried to smile.

"I just want things to go back to normal, I want us to be friends again."

"When you gave me advice to get Harry to notice me, where you in love with him?" Hermione heard a twinge in her voice which indicated she wasn't as happy as she was trying to make out.

"I guess it was my way of trying to move on from him. Ginny, I am so sorry for what happened, I didn't want to take him off you."

"You didn't take him off me, he wasn't mine to take. I'll admit it, I thought that when he got back, when he killed Voldemort, he'd want to be with me. I thought he would take me in his arms and hold me. But he did that with you, he picked you." Hermione didn't say anything, she didn't know what to say. She tried to hold her gaze but the guilt she felt was making it hard. "Honestly Hermione, it's okay. I don't want to fall out over this either, and that's why we haven't. It was hard to see you with him, but now, I'm over it and I'm over him."

"Thanks, Ginny. I know what I did was terrible, but thank you for being so grown up about it."

"It's because I've known you were meant to be together for years. I was kidding myself when I thought we would work together."

"How about I make it up to you and help you with Aengus?" Hermione asked.

"Oh I don't know about him, he went off with Poppy during the party."

"Poppy? Poppy Peetrite? Who said that? He was in the library most of the night."

"Really? Ron and Aoife said they saw him with her. What was he doing in the library?"

"He was reading a book about how to become the perfect Chaser. I think he's taking this Quidditch thing very seriously." Hermione said, she saw Ginny's face light up. "I think he's trying to impress someone." Hermione smiled.

"How am I meant to talk to him? He's so...hypnotising." Ginny swooned.

"He's just human." Hermione laughed, "just talk to him. He'd be a fool not to like you."

"Can you talk to him for me? I want to be sure this time."

"Of course I can. I'll speak to him when we get back."

"Thank you." Ginny squealed, hugging her nearly as tightly as Mrs Weasley.

"You're welcome. I'm going to go back downstairs now, thank you for being so understanding."

"Thank you for coming and talking to me." Ginny smiled. She stood up and walked to her chest-of-draws to find a pair of pyjamas. She thought about the conversation she had just had, thought about what had bothered her about it and the honest answer was that she wasn't over Harry. She had liked him since her first meeting with him. She was aware of the close bond he had formed with Hermione, but she believed that she could break it. Harry had spent a whole year pining after her, but he still picked Hermione. She was jealous, jealous of the stupid things. Jealous that Harry's eyes instantly found Hermione whenever he entered a room. Jealous that Hermione was the one helping him through his latest battle. She wanted him, but she wasn't going to take it out on Hermione. She wasn't going to lose their friendship over it. Aengus was her focus now, she just hoped that her heart would agree with it.


"Harry, Ron and I are thinking about going to the local pub. I think Ron has a taste for Muggle beer." Aoife giggled, "do you want to come?"

"I'll just see if Hermione wants to come," Harry said, walking to Ginny's room. He meet Hermione on the staircase, "Ron and Aoife are going to the pub, do you want to come?"

Hermione silently sighed, she was exhausted but wanted to spend time with Harry, "sure." She feigned a smile. Harry smiled too and took her hand in his.

"You two go without us, I'm really tired and we're looking after Teddy tomorrow. Have a good time." Harry said to Ron and Aoife. They looked slightly disappointed but George said he'd come along and then Mr and Mrs Weasley said they felt like a drink. "It's a family affair." Harry joked as he said goodbye and goodnight to them all.

"Harry, why did you do that? I thought you wanted to go with them?" Hermione asked bewildered.

"Nah, I'd rather stay in with you." He smiled, leading her to their bedroom.

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