A/N Happy holidays Karim ( @honouraryweasley12 )! Hope you enjoy this fic! This is my attempt at writing something fluffy and somewhat Christmas related. Hope it gives you - and anyone reading it - a bit of a laugh and makes you smile!
As Pure As The Driven Snow
Ron and Hermione each have ulterior motives for going on a ski trip.
It was Ron’s idea to spend their first Christmas as a married couple abroad. Though perhaps surprising, considering Ron was a man of habits and enjoyed staying at home in front of the wireless, listening with hope and eventual disappointment to live-commentary of Cannons matches, his suggestion was not altogether unusual. Having had little opportunity to explore beyond Britain during his childhood, as well as the fact that his and his wife’s busy schedules meant there was little time to properly reconnect, it only made sense that Ron wished to provide both himself and his wife a way to spend some quality time together away from their ever-chaotic lives in England.
It was also Ron’s idea to go skiing. Hermione had actually laughed in his face when he suggested it, and it had brought up the debate they’d started in fifth year about how ridiculous the concept of sliding down a mountain on little wooden sticks really was. Hermione seemed awfully reluctant to actually go skiing, despite the fact that she’d spent fifth year – and this argument, now – defending it. But Ron thought, as ridiculous as the activity sounded, it was worth a try. Besides, didn’t Hermione enjoy skiing when she went on that trip with her parents that year?
Finally, he’d convinced her, on the condition that they go to a French ski resort. Hermione enjoyed her visit to France with her parents, and knew enough of the language to get by. She said it would be beautiful to go in winter.
“Plus,” Hermione conceded, “if we spend our Christmas in the snow, we can still keep a bit of the festive spirit with us.” The fact that this retreat would also involve some nice cuddling in front of the fire was also a good selling point, as it brought back fond memories of school years spent in front of a roaring common room fireplace. Ron was able to argue it would be quite “romantic and shi—nice, love,” and this was enough to get her to agree.
The Christmas spirit ignited in Molly Weasley a fervour to prevent this escapade – “how can you miss Christmas dinner?” This was also a very strong argument, which resulted in the compromise that Ron and Hermione would spend a week before Christmas in France, spending Christmas morning there before returning home to England in time for Mrs. Weasley’s delicious roast.
Subsequently, Ron found himself staring at a looming mountain with two skis and two poles standing precariously in the snow in front of him. He allowed himself a moment to take it in, momentarily regretting his suggestion of a ski trip, before turning to his wife to find her slipping her boot-clad foot into one ski, clicking it in place. He jerked his head, startled at the sound.
“What’s wrong?” she asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Sounded like you’d snapped your ruddy leg, just then,” he grumbled, allowing her to place his skis flat on the snow in front of him.
“Honestly, Ron, this is just the click keeping your skis attached to you. The click is good. Better for it to click now rather than later when you’re racing down the mountain.”
Ron shuddered, and not from the cold, but stepped into the skis, clicking them into place. “Now what?”
“We take that chairlift over there,” Hermione said, gesturing to one several metres away, where children and families and instructors were lining up. “We slide up in our skis and then a chair will turn in, we sit back onto it and it’ll carry us up to the top of the mountain.”
They shuffled uncomfortably slowly towards the lift, Ron trying to walk in the skis and Hermione patiently explaining that he needed to do a combination of a walk and a slide, one that she herself was unfortunately not entirely competent enough to demonstrate. Their joy at their successful arrival at the chairlift was short-lived, however, as Ron exclaimed: “How the hell is that wire going to hold us up?”
Hermione attempted to assure him that they would be safe, but Ron did not seem entirely convinced. His fears were only intensified when, not too long after leaving the safety of the chairlift station, the chairlift stopped.
Hermione turned back towards the station, and rubbed Ron’s shoulder comfortingly. “Don’t worry, they just needed to stop the chairlift to help some children get on.”
“Letting us freeze to death here, how thoughtful,” he grumbled, but placed his ski poles into one hand to allow his free arm to wrap around Hermione.
Finally, they’d reached the top of the mountain, and began a trying to go down the small little slope made for children and those beginners testing out the area. Hermione demonstrated the snowplough position, showing this was how beginners stopped, and Ron couldn’t help but be taken back to their Hogwarts years, when Hermione would use that patient tone to teach him and Harry a complex potions theory. But rather than the usual confidence Hermione had when explaining things other people didn’t know, Ron noticed that her back wasn’t as straight as usual, nor were her shoulders as pushed back, and her voice was not entirely as bossy as it usually is when she knows-it-all.
“You do feel okay about skiing, right?” he asked her warily, raising an eyebrow.
Hermione’s eyes widened, only for her face to quickly shift into one of appalled shock. “Of course! I love skiing! Why would you ask?”
Ron only raised his other eyebrow up, shrugging his shoulders. “Nothing, doesn’t matter,” he said, tilting his head down to look at his skis in an attempt to hide his growing smirk. Hermione’s nerves only made him feel more confident, now. “Ready to go down?”
Hermione nodded, and pushed off immediately. Ron smiled, pushing the skis just as she did and letting himself be pulled down the slope by gravity. As uncomfortable and unsettling as it felt, he had to admit it did feel refreshing.
“How was it?” his wife asked him when he joined her.
“That was the weirdest thing I’ve ever done,” he admitted.
Hermione looked relieved. “Well, we don’t have to continue if you don’t want to, did you want to go back to the room?”
“No way, we didn’t come here for no reason!” he exclaimed, and stumbled towards the small travellator that would pull them up the slope. “I’m ready to go down a proper slope,” he declared once they’d reached the top.
“You are?” Hermione asked incredulously. “But you’ve barely even gotten used to the skis!”
“Nah, I’m ready,” he insisted. “I reckon I’ve got the feel of it. Besides, all you do is just keep your balance.”
Hermione looked apprehensive, but followed him as they started down a beginner’s run, barely at an incline at all. Ron breathed in the fresh air as he slid down, slowly but surely. Instinctively, he felt the need to add some weight to his left side, curving smoothly to the side. He grinned, and tilted to the right, feeling a sensation similar to that he felt on a broomstick. The glorious air filling his spirits, the view of the village below, it all gave Ron a feeling of exhilaration he’d almost forgotten existed. By the end of the run, he’d gotten to lost in the feel of skiing, so eerily similar to that on a broom, that he turned abruptly, smoothly coming to a halt with snow billowing around him. As he turned, he saw his wife practically skidding down, her skis in a permanent snowplough position. He raised an eyebrow, unable to hold back a smirk as she came to a, rather ungraceful, stop.
“How did you do that?” was all she said to him, looking rather put out.
“Do what?” he asked innocently.
“That—that… keeping your skis parallel, and doing the turn stop. This is only your first time skiing.”
“Jealous?” he asked.
“No,” she immediately insisted. “I’m just… getting used to the snow.”
They went back up to try again, and this time, Hermione went first. Ron followed slowly behind her – not because he couldn’t go any faster, but because it amused him to watch her try to get the same parallel ski position that he had mastered not long ago, all the while simultaneously attempting to maintain the ever-reliable snowplough position. Gave him a good view of that nice bum of hers too, though she was wearing far too padded ski trousers—
And suddenly, that nice bum of hers was on the ground, as she tumbled forward, skidding down the mountain with her skis getting caught in the snow. Ron cursed and quickly skied over to her, smoothly coming to a halt.
“Oh, could you stop with that?” she huffed, refusing to move from her rather uncomfortable-looking position on the floor, lying flat first on the snow-covered ground, head curved to the side to look at him.
“Did you want some help?” he asked, proffering a ski pole to her to hold.
“No,” she said, waving it away and pushing herself up with her arms, coming into a sitting position. “I can do it myself.”
Ron shrugged and placed the pole back beside him. “If you insist,” he simply replied. “You sure you’re alright though?”
Their eyes met and began a quick war of their own. Hermione looked awfully uncomfortable. Ron stared at her knowingly, one eyebrow raised as he waited for her to crack.
“Alright!” she suddenly exclaimed, throwing her arms in the air, letting them flop into the snow on either side of her. “Skiing’s not really my thing!”
“I knew it!” Ron yelled gleefully, pointing a ski pole at her accusingly.
“You knew?” she repeated. “Why on earth did you suggest we go skiing then?”
“I wanted to see what it was like! It sounds mental, but worth trying, right?” Then Ron paused, raising an eyebrow. He felt his beanie slip over it, and adjusted it. “Wait a minute,” he began slowly,
“if skiing isn’t really your thing… why did you agree to go?”
Hermione pursed her lips and avoided his gaze.
“Hermione,” Ron said knowingly, smirking down at her.
Hermione huffed, her breath turning into mist in the cold air. “I wanted to be right.”
Ron smirked. “Right?”
“Well, you said in fifth year that skiing is stupid, and I’d defended it, and I didn’t want to be caught out.”
“In other words, you didn’t want me to be right?”
Hermione rolled her eyes. “Don’t say it like that.”
“And so, after ten years, you still didn’t want to let it go?” Ron grinned. “Hermione, I’d be impressed if I wasn’t so disappointed in you.”
“Oh, come on!” Hermione exclaimed from the ground, looking more and more ridiculous to Ron by the second. Boy, did he love her. “You only took me to the snow for the very same reason!”
Ron placed his hand, still clutching a ski pole, close to his heart. “Hermione, I am shocked that you would accuse me of such trickery. I merely wanted us to spend our first Christmas as a married couple—
“Our last Christmas,” muttered Hermione.
“–in the snow covered mountains, where we could romantically by the fire.” Ron smiled down at her. “We’re both as pathetic as each other when it comes to our rows and proving each other wrong. Come on, let’s finish this run.” He held out the ski pole to her once more.
Hermione sighed and gave him a reluctant smile. She reached out for the pole, and Ron began to pull up, only to suddenly be dragged down to the ground and landing face first in the snow. He spluttered, pushing himself up with his arms. Hermione wrapped a hand around one of them. “One of the good things about skiing,” she murmured, and Ron wasn’t entirely sure if she’d meant for him to hear that. He couldn’t help but feel a little bit good about himself either way.
“What was that for?” he asked, gesturing to his state in the snow with her.
“Well, I need to have some kind of fun this trip,” she smirked, ruffling his hair through his beanie. “Consider it your Christmas gift to me.”
“Great, I can return your 30 galleon limited edition peacock quill now then,” he said, tilting his head to the side to look up at her. He watched her face soften, looking visibly touched at the thought of the gift she’d had her eye on for a few months now.
“Yeah—ah wait,” he paused. “We’re in France for the next few days and won’t be back in time before their return period ends. Guess you’ll have to keep it.”
Hermione gave him a watery smile and bent down to nuzzle her red nose against his. “Fair enough,” she whispered. “What can I give you in return though?”
Ron thought for a long moment. “Well….” He drawled out. “I could use a good homework planner—“
Hermione rolled her eyes.
“But it’s alright, you’ve already given be the best gift ever this year.”
“What?” she asked her voice softening again, looking at him with that gaze that made Ron almost not say what he said next, even if what she thought he might say – ‘you’, ‘our marriage’ – was, in reality, really and truly the best gift she’d – or anybody – given him, ever. No, alas, Ron couldn’t resist his actual answer:
“Something other than chess that I’m better than you at,” he grinned, pulling himself up from the snow, taking pity on Hermione’s stunned expression long enough to pull her up too, before turning his skis – parallel, of course – and continuing his run, only looking back to ensure she was still joining him.
After all, he still wanted to cuddle later that night, but not yet. He had some skiing to do first.