The decorations around the castle were hung. Garlands and trees of assorted colours were everywhere. The mood was light, and a gentle fake snow fell in the Great Hall, covering everything in its way for a moment, then disappearing as quickly as it came. The students were bustling around between classes, trying to get through the last few days and to their first real break of the school year.
Christmas had come to Hogwarts.
Someone, certainly as a joke, had hung a sprig of mistletoe in the corner of the common room of Gryffindor tower. The rumour was that the mistletoe was there in hopes to catch Ron and Hermione under it, so that they might finally stop their constant bickering and start snogging. But other students were certainly making good use of it. Lavendar and Seamus had spent the most time in that part of the room, snogging for hours on end in the evenings. Dean, who had started seeing Parvati after he and Ginny broke up, spent a fair time there, too, with his current girl. No one knew for certain who put the offending branch up, but snickers abounded when others tried to get the corner cleared out so that Ron and Hermione could be lured in. Who knew who else the mistletoe would catch before the end of the holidays.
Ron, Hermione, Harry and Ginny would be spending the Christmas holiday at Hogwarts. Hermione’s parents were going to be out of the country, and she decided she’d prefer to stay at school, getting ready for her NEWTs (which were still over a year away). Ron and Ginny’s parents and older brothers were busy with work for the Order and wouldn’t be home to properly watch them, so they were told to stay at Hogwarts. Nothing was different for Harry – he never went home to the Dursleys’ over Christmas, and this year was no exception. So the four would be left to fend for themselves in Gryffindor tower.
Harry and Ginny had become better friends over the course of Harry’s sixth year. Many nights were spent in the Room of Requirement together, while Ron and Hermione fought over whatever crossed their minds at the time. They usually escaped together – more to get away from the constant bickering and noise than anything, and they would go off to their private hideaway to either study, or eat, or just chat. Harry learned many new secrets about Ron to hold over his head, and Ginny finally got Harry to open up a bit about what goes on in his brain. It was there, over ice cream sundaes one evening, that they concocted the idea of putting up the mistletoe to finally get Ron and Hermione together.
“You know, if we put it up in the corner, they’ll see it and avoid it like the plague,” Ginny said between bites of her hot fudge and vanilla sundae.
“True, but if we try to hide it, they’ll know we were aiming for them,” Harry replied as he watched Ginny steal one of the several cherries on his sundae. He grinned and looked up. “But if we put it out in the open, then one night while they’re fighting move it over them, they’d have no choice but to snog.”
“Well, that might work,” Ginny started, “but you know Hermione is going to suspect the two of us no matter what.”
“But maybe we can have enough people in the room at the time that she and Ron won’t know who it was that moved it. At least if it’s in the room and out in public, others will use it, and it won’t look like it was deliberately put there for the purpose of getting them to snog,” Harry said as he took a cherry off Ginny’s sundae.
“Hey, that’s mine,” the girl said back playfully, reaching over and trying to take the cherry out of Harry’s hand. He popped it in his mouth quickly and grinned at her.
Scowling at him at first, then bursting into laughter, she continued, “Well, we know that Seamus and Lavender will certainly use the mistletoe to their advantage, right? And I’m certain Dean and Parvati will, too.”
“Oh, absolutely. And if Neville could figure out a way to get Luna into the common room, I’m certain we’d find them there too.”
“No!” Ginny sounded astounded. “You don’t think that Neville would publicly snog Luna, do you?”
“Well, probably not,” Harry answered. “Neville’s never been one for public display. And it actually took us forever to get it out of him that he was seeing Luna. Wasn’t it the first Hogsmeade visit when he got up from the table and went over to her?”
“Yep, it was. And I remember the entire Gryffindor table from fifth-years on up standing up and applauding.” Ginny laughed. “It was so funny. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Neville so red in my entire life. He certainly rivalled us Weasleys in the blushing department that day.”
“And they’ve been together ever since. And although they’re not terribly public, you do see them together,” Harry said as he finished off his last bite of ice cream.
“So, do you think it’ll work?” Ginny asked.
“What? The mistletoe? Yeah, I think it will. It’s just a matter of planning, that’s all. And you’re the best planner I know outside of Hermione,” he answered, eyeing the remains of her sundae.
“Gee, Harry, I don’t know if I should be offended or not about that remark,” Ginny said, as she pulled her dish out of Harry’s reach. She took a large bite of ice cream covered in hot fudge and smiled. “I do seem to be able to plan out pranks though. And this one will be a good one, if we can pull it off without them realizing what’s going on.”
“That it will, Gin. Fred and George will be proud, you know.”
The night before the end of term and the start of holidays, Ron and Hermione were having a raucous fight over, what else, revising over their break. Harry and Ginny had decided that this was “the night”. They wanted Ron and Hermione’s first snog to be as public as possible, and since they were the only four staying over the holiday at school, the snog would have to be tonight.
“Bloody hell, Hermione,” Ron said as he glared at the bushy-haired girl in front of him. “School just finished. Do we have to talk about our revising schedule now? Can’t we just relax a bit, and maybe talk Quidditch or something?”
“Ron!” Hermione said. “Watch your language! There are loads of younger students in this room, and you don’t need to swear to get your point across!”
“Yes, I do, Hermione,” Ron said in a voice that was growing louder by the second. “Because you won’t listen to me otherwise!”
“I do so listen to you. You just said…well, you just said something about…Quidditch!” Hermione finished triumphantly. “See, I listen to you!”
Just then a loud crack exploded overhead as Harry, Ginny, Neville, Dean, Parvati, and even Seamus and Lavender (breaking their own kiss to participate) all pointed their wands up toward the mistletoe in an attempt to move it over to where Ron and Hermione were standing. The mixture of all the magic at once caused the explosion, and the mistletoe caught fire and went flying. Before anyone knew what had happened, it was burning above Ron and Hermione’s heads. Someone had the sense to put the flames out, and with the mistletoe smoldering above them, Ron and Hermione looked up, quiet and dumbfounded by all that had happened in the last few seconds.
The entire room was silent and looked at them. Finally after a minute of no movement or noise, Dean called out, “Ron, would you just snog her? We’re all waiting.”
The room broke out in laughter as Ron turned as red as his hair, and Hermione coloured to match.
“I’m not snogging her in front of you gits,” Ron mumbled under his breath.
“Oh, please do, dear brother. Maybe the two of you will stop fighting all the time if you do something else with your lips,” Ginny said, smirking at the couple.
“Ginny!” Hermione exclaimed. “I can’t believe you just said that.”
“Kiss!” The entire Gryffindor room called out together.
Ron turned to Hermione and leaned over, kissing her tenderly. The room erupted in applause. They broke their kiss and looked at their friends sheepishly.
Looking up above them, Ron said, “Look, it’s moved again! It’s above Harry and Ginny now!”
Harry and Ginny both snapped their heads up and looked. The offending branch of mistletoe was indeed over their heads. They looked at each other shyly as Ron called out to his sister, “Seems someone else needs to have a bit of lip action.”
“Who did this?” Ginny asked.
The room was silent.
Ginny looked at Harry, who had a funny look on his face. “Harry,” she started, “you don’t have to kiss me if you don’t want to. I mean, we’ll figure out who did this, and I’ll Bat-Bogey hex them into next week.”
“You mean…you don’t want to kiss me, Gin?” Harry asked, sounding a bit hurt.
“Well, no…I mean, yes…I mean…I wouldn’t mind a kiss from you, but I don’t want you to feel like you have to kiss me,” Ginny said, turning redder than her brother.
“Would you just go ahead and kiss her already, Potter? We haven’t got all night,” called out Seamus, who grinned at them. “We all know you fancy Ginny. Just kiss her so that she knows, too.”
“You…you fancy me, Harry?” Ginny asked quietly, not believing her ears.
“Well, yeah, I do…I guess. I mean, I like spending time with you…and you’re a good friend…and you’re fun to be with…and you’re…pre…pretty and smart,” Harry sputtered out.
“Really?” Ginny’s eyes lit up. “I just thought we’d be friends. I never knew you fancied me.”
“Well, I’m certain you don’t fancy me. I mean…I know you got over that crush you had and all, so if you want to just be friends, we can be….”
“Not on your life, Potter,” Ginny interrupted, pointing a finger at him. “I like you, too, but thought you just wanted to be friends.” Ginny’s eyes twinkled. “Maybe we should try to be more? You know, see what happens.”
“For the love of Merlin, would you two just kiss and get it over with?” complained Dean.
“Do you mind?” Harry tentatively asked Ginny.
She shook her head, unable to form a coherent word as Harry lowered his head so their lips would meet.
The entire room broke out in applause again, as Ron chimed in, “Hey, that’s my sister, you git! You better not break her heart!”
Ginny broke the kiss off just long enough to point her wand at her brother’s face and mutter the Bat-Bogey Hex. Returning to face Harry, she whispered, “He thinks he controls my life, the git. See how Hermione likes kissing him with all those bogeys flying around.” Smirking, she added, “Now, let’s see. Where were we?”
And they resumed their snog, as Ron ran around the common room screaming about the bat bogeys, and as the sprig of charmed mistletoe moved on to another couple.
A/N: Thanks go to my pre-beta, Jen, and to Julie, my wonderful PS beta extraordinaire. I appreciate the quick beta you both did on this, and all your kind words and wonderful support.
Yes, I know, JKR sank the N/L ship, however this was written before she sank it. I left it in, since it was such a minor part.
Happy holidays to my readers! May this season bring peace and joy to your lives. Thank you for reading and reviewing my work. I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart.