Chapter 8 : Chapter Seven
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“Come on Hermione,” she said, sitting down on the bed when she saw I was awake. “Get up, get up, get up. It is time for to get in the stockings. I want to open mine with you.”
“Fine Ginny,” I said, pushing my covers off. “I’m up.”
I sat up and swung my legs over the edge of my bed and slid my slippers on. Getting up I walked over to the door.
“Come on, let’s go,” I said, grabbing the bag full of presents from where it was sitting by the bed.
Ginny ran toward me and started skipping down the stairs with a huge grin on her face. I chuckled slightly at my friend’s childish behavior and followed her at a much more normal walk. When we reached the bottom of the stairs we found Mrs. Weasley making an elaborate breakfast, numerous pans on the stove cooking eggs, French toast, and pancakes while different pots were simmering with other glorious breakfast items.
“Merry Christmas Hermione,” she said, glancing at me. “Did you sleep well?”
“Merry Christmas Mrs. Weasley,” I said with a smile. “I slept better than I have in a while.
“That’s wonderful dear,” she said, continuing her cooking.
I nodded and continued on my way into the living room. Ginny was already sitting on the couch that we had sat on the night before, holding my stocking along with hers. I walked over to the tree that had been set up in the corner, trying to ignore the feeling of the eyes that I knew belonged to Charlie and Ron on me. I piled up the presents and quickly walked over to sit next to Ginny and Harry.
“Took you long enough,” Ginny said, handing me my stocking and starting to open hers.
I stuck my hand into the stocking and brought out all that I found in it. By the time that I had gotten everything out and in a pile on my lap Ginny was already watching me as she ate out of a box of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans. Looking at the pile I found that I had gotten a similar box of Bertie Bott’s along with a couple of Chocolate Frogs and a small but thick book of Wizarding children stories. The next few minutes I spent flipping through the book as Harry, Ginny, and the Weasley boys talked amongst themselves. The similarities between the Wizarding children stories and the Muggle ones that I had grown up with astounded me and I really didn’t want to put it down when Mrs. Weasley called us all into the kitchen to have breakfast.
“Come on Hermione,” Ginny said when I didn’t get up in response to Mrs. Weasley calling for us.
“I’m coming,” I said, taking note of the page that I was on before setting the book aside.
Breakfast passed in a much more comfortable affair than the dinner the night before. There was just something about knowing I wasn’t alone in the knowledge that I was having for Charlie. There was something in the way that Ginny and Harry were supporting me that made spending time with Charlie and Ron less uncomfortable. I could feel Ginny start shifting in her chair next as we reached the end of breakfast in her excitement that had not died down.
“Can we open presents now?”” she asked when everybody had stopped eating and they were just sitting there talking.
“Of course dear,” Mrs. Weasley said with a laugh. “Everybody to the living room.”
She made a shooing motion with her hands toward the living room but nobody was really paying attention to her, everybody was taken up in the childish abandon of opening presents on Christmas morning, including me. When we were all in the living room we settled into the same spots that we had sat in the previous night. Mr. Wealsey started handing out presents and once everybody had one we all started to dig into the wonderful art of tearing the beautiful wrapping paper.
As the paper fell away on my present I found a two books that looked very old but in pristine condition. Looking at the covers I tentatively ran my fingers over the titles. Pride and Prejudice and Little Women, my two favorite books. I looked at the wrapping paper to find the untidy writing of Ron and Harry. Looking up at each of them it was all that I could do to keep from crying. There were so many emotions coursing through me but the one that was dominant was an immense joy.
“Thank you,” I said, loud enough that each of them could hear me. I couldn’t bring myself to say anything more. I knew without looking in them that they were first edition copies of each of the books. I didn’t know how they had gotten a hold of them but I knew that they were the best gifts that I had ever gotten.
I looked at Harry and Ron to find them just looking at me smiling, despite the fact that they each had a new present in their hands. I soon found that I also had a new present in my hands, this one from Mr. Weasley and Mrs. Wealsey. I ripped off the paper and found a new Weasley sweater, this one forest green with images of small books along the bottom of it.
“I thought that the color would go nicely with your hair and eyes,” Mrs. Weasley said, smiling.
“Thank you Mrs. Weasley, it is lovely,” I said, pulling it on.
“Your welcome dear,” she said.
Mr. Weasley handed me one more present and I knew that it was from Ginny even though she hadn’t written her name on it. She was the only one left that would have gotten me a present. Pulling off the pink and purple swirled paper I found a sparkling crimson halter-top and a rather short denim skirt that had a rhinestone heart on the back right pocket. I thought that was all but there was a box left. Opening it up I found a pair of high heels the same color as the halter-top. I found my face turning the same color as the shoes and shirt as I read the note that lie on top of the shoes.
For that sexy occasion when you need a little extra something get what you want. Your friend, Ginny
I glared at Ginny but her eyes just sparkled with amusement. I knew that she wouldn’t completely laugh out loud at me until later when we weren’t in front of so many people. I folded the clothes carefully and set them all in a pile, allowing the red to fade from my face. I watched as the rest of the people in the room continued to open presents until the only ones that were left underneath the tree were the ones that were from me. Mr. Weasley handed them out and I watched with wide eyes as everybody opened what I had gotten for them, hoping that they would like it. The first ones to have their gifts completely opened were the twins and I smiled at their reactions.
“Thanks Hermione!” they said in unison, pulling the shirts over the Weasley sweaters that they were already wearing.
“Your welcome,” I said, laughing softly at the animated look on their faces.
There was a chorus of thank yous as everybody else got their presents open and I smiled as I watched each person. Everybody talked over each other as they thanked me for their gift, the only ones not saying anything being Ron and Charlie.
Mr. Weasley immediately got the rubber ducks out of the packaging that were my gift to him and started examining them from all angles. Mrs. Weasley was flipping through the pages of the autographed cooking book that I got her, making small noises of excitement every time she ran into a recipe that she wanted to try. Ginny looked lost in space as she thought of different hair styles that she could now try with the products I got her and Harry was acting almost the same as Mrs. Weasley with his book of ancient spells that he could use in his fight against Voldemort. Ron was allowing the miniature members of the Chudley Cannons to fly around him with a look of delight and surprise on his face. It was obvious that he wasn’t expecting to still get something from me after we broke up, even though we had been friends for nearly seven years before we started going out. Charlie was letting the charmed miniatures of dragons walk around on his legs, picking each one of the seven up in turn. I took the look on his face into careful consideration and realized that although he was trying to hide it, he also was surprised that I had gotten him something. That was probably just because I was the friend of the family and wasn’t really obligated to get presents for the entire family.
The rest of Christmas morning passed by in a flurry of festivities with games and each person enjoying the presents that they had gotten. Mrs. Weasley had taken the cook book that I had given her into the kitchen to make some of the recipes for lunch and when she was finally finished with preparing the meal she was extremely excited.
“Come on everybody!” she exclaimed into the living room, her face alight with delight. “It is time for the Christmas ham!”
Everybody started filing out of the room into the kitchen, me taking a little bit longer as I came to a stopping point in the text of my new Wizarding children stories book and marked my page. As I set the book aside and looked up I found myself alone in the room except for Charlie. I felt a small blush raise unbidden to my cheeks and quickly filled my mind with calming thoughts to make it die down.
“So, did I get the dragon species’ right?” I asked as I got up, thinking of how I had tried to get the ones that I had been told by Ron he worked with.
“Yeah,” he said. “That was a really nice gift.”
“Well, I saw it and it seemed like something that you would like so I decided to get it for you for Christmas,” I said, not feeling ready to tell him about my feelings for him.
“You really didn’t have to get that for me,” he said. “I feel bad now because I didn’t get you a gift. How about I get you something and call it a late Christmas present?”
“I was happy to get it for you,” I said, feeling bad that I had made Charlie feel bad. “You don’t need to get me a gift. I just felt in the gift giving mood.”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” he said. “I want to get you a present. What is it that you want?”
“You wouldn’t be able to give me what I want,” I said, fear overcoming me as I thought of even attempting to tell him that what I wanted was him.
“Come on, what do you want for Christmas?” he asked, a smile full of laughter filling up his face.
I just stood there looking at him. It was the time of honesty, it was the time to face my fear. I could feel it, no other time would be as right as that moment. In a split second decision I opened my mouth and put my heart on the line.
“You,” I said, meeting his eyes for a moment before looking away. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to handle it with grace if he rejected me and I was looking at him.
The room was silent except for the conversation that was drifting in from the kitchen. I knew that somebody would probably come looking for us soon but I didn’t care. I needed to let him know how I felt and I needed to know if he felt the same way. The silence coming from him flowed over me, and I could feel the weight of it crushing me. I was about to give up on the hope that he felt the same way but in that moment I felt his callused finger on my chin, gently tipping my head up toward Charlie’s face. I met his eyes and found no rejection there, his hand moving up to cup my face. He leaned down and our lips met, sparks flowing between us in a way that I had never known before. It ended too soon but when he pulled away I found that I was out of breath.
“You can have me,” he said, his eyes locked on mine as a huge smile appeared on my face, matched on his.
With that we kissed again, a moment of passion locked in time in my memory. We kissed a few more times before I rested my head on his chest and breathed in his firey scent as he smoothed my hair. We remained in that position for a minute before I pulled away and slipped my hand into his and started walking toward the kitchen.
I didn’t care what the reactions were going to be once we were in front of the rest of the family, all that mattered to me was that I had gotten all that I had wanted for Christmas.
A/N- And now it is over. I hope that you all enjoyed reading this story as I enjoyed writing it. I am going to continue writing on all of the other stories that I have posted. Please check them out and thank you for reading this story!!!! I love you all!!! Hope to see you on the rest of my stories. ~Crystal