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Embracing Tradition

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The pearly white berries stared at Hermione like blind, beady eyes lurking from the doorway.

Of the bathroom.

Half an hour earlier, when she’d encountered the small bunch hanging over the kitchen’s entrance, she had a déjà vu feeling of having seen mistletoe on the hallway when she’d arrived from work. Of course she didn’t have but a split second to question the recurrence, as Ron had already swopped in to kiss the living daylights out of her. Like he’d done the minute Hermione had arrived from work.

Contrary to what they had been looking forward to, instead of their workload slowing down during the holiday season, both Ron and Hermione had been swamped with cases in their respective Departments. I was as if the wizarding community had decided that Christmas time was a great opportunity to go bonkers. So far the days leading up to their first Christmas as a married couple had been sprinkled with frustration, paperwork, and slightly violently ripped bits of wrapping paper. Therefore Hermione wasn’t about to start questioning any extra kisses Ron might have in store for her.

‘Hey love.’ Ron came up from behind and placed a hand on Hermione’s waist, using the other to point at the mistletoe. ‘Look, we have to kiss now!’

‘Really?’ Hermione asked amusedly, turning round to face him.

‘That’s tradition,’ Ron said, smiling innocently. Hermione cupped his face with her hands and brought him down for a kiss, brushing her thumb against Ron’s stubbled cheek.

Ron sucked on her lower lip, running his tongue along it before sliding into her mouth. Hermione noticed how each kiss had casually increased in intensity, even if the first one hadn’t been exactly a chaste peck, as Ron was already pressing against her body.

'Not that anything gives it away, but have you been putting up some last minute decorations?' Hermione panted, feeling Ron’s knuckles kneading the knots on her lower back.

'Ah, yes. It didn't quite feel like Christmas yet.'

'Should I expect more of this particular sort of decoration in our bedroom?'

'Of course. The entire house is decked out; I couldn’t possibly leave the bedroom bare. It would've been un-Christmassy.'

'And we'd hate for that to happen,' Hermione said with a drowsy smile. Ron's fingers were doing wonders for her back without even trying. She was minutes away from melting into a pile of goo in his arms.

'Want to share a bath?' she invited, reaching up to kiss his nose.

'I don't know, Hermione.' Ron looked perfectly serious, which made her suspicious. When had he ever said no to a shared bath, shower or anything that involved both of them naked? 'I don't think that's appropriate. You know I'm a traditional man.'

Hermione raised her eyebrows.

'You are? Since when?'

'Since always,' Ron said, reaching out to open the door of the bathroom and gently pushing her forwards. 'I like sticking to all the traditional values; I’ve always said that—but will you look at that!'

Hermione frowned and leapt forwards at Ron's exclamation, peeking from behind.

The bathroom was lit by about two dozen red and green candles, but even in the soft orange light Hermione could see enchanted snow falling down from the ceiling and heaping up noiselessly on the floor. There was a tray filled with mince pies, a bottle of cider and two glass flutes hovering next to the bubble-filled bath, and from the shower head it hung...

'Mistletoe,' Hermione breathed.

'Yeah! I think I'll have to take up on your offer after all. Y'know, it's tradition after all,' Ron said, giving her a lopsided smile, his eyes twinkling at the look on her face. ‘We’ve got to embrace it.’

Hermione laughed, flinging her arms around his neck and kissing him.

'You are amazing, you know that?'

'Or I spend a tremendous amount of time thinking of new ways to get you naked,' Ron chuckled, kissing her jaw.

'Oh, shut up. I hope you don’t mind if we get a little untraditional there, Ron, because we're doing it anyways.'

Hermione didn’t have the heart to tell Ron that, according to tradition, you had to actually be standing under the mistletoe to be kissed, not near it or purposefully going under it. She also didn’t think she cared much for that. She’d never felt very traditional herself, anyways.