First Date

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Story Notes:

Response to Challenge #3: Snow, A Scarf, Someone slipping on ice, Hot chocolate/warm cider, A kiss.

Note: Yes, I tend to write even more fluff than normal during the winter and holiday season! LOL..Here's some more!

Originally Published: November 17, 2004

Hermione tightened the scarf around her neck before she left her flat. Stepping onto the stairs outside her building, she shivered as a brisk wind chilled her through her coat and winter robes. It was the middle of one of the worst days they’d had yet this season, snow falling at a rapid rate, the streets and buildings blanketed in white. There was very little activity this Saturday afternoon. Most people were smart enough to stay inside where it was warm, she thought crossly, pulling her coat against her as she walked through the snow covered street.

She had planned to stay in this weekend. The weather had forecast snow and cold temperatures so she had bought groceries early and picked up a few new books from her favorite bookstore, the idea of sitting in her warm flat by the fire reading sounding like a relaxing, if not a bit lonely, way to spend her weekend. Then she had received the owl. The poor creature had been sent out on a horrible day to bring her the invitation so it was only proper that she accept. She certainly wouldn’t have agreed to the meeting, calling it a date caused her to feel entirely too feminine and nervous so she had refused to consider it anything more than a meeting since flooing her acceptance that morning, had it not been for that poor owl.

After all, Adrian Pucey had been asking out for coffee for weeks and she’d refused each and every time. He had deliberately sent that poor owl out into the winter morning knowing she would be sympathetic to the creature and that she’d agree to simply avoid having him continue to send out the poor birds in cold temperatures. Adrian might be charming and incredibly handsome, but she knew he wasn’t above manipulation when he wanted something. And for some unknown reason, he wanted to go out with her. The very idea was ludicrous, which she had told him the first time he had asked.

Okay, so the first time he had asked, she’d been too stunned to form a coherent argument to justify her refusal, but she had soon thought that the idea was preposterous so it was close enough to not be a lie. The idea of her dating someone like Adrian was just ridiculous. He was too handsome, for one thing. Thick caramel colored hair that he kept too long on top, possibly to cover his ears was her belief since his ears did stick out and the shaggy hair concealed that slight imperfection that did not detract from his overall appeal, and just barely brushed against his neck. His eyes were a deep green, often gleaming with amusement or mischief, and she was certain she had seen specks of blue around the edge of green, not that she had been looking that closely. His lips were full and entirely too kissable, the bottom lip practically pouty for God’s sake.

As for the rest of him, it was just as well put together as his face. He wasn’t that tall, not much taller than her actually, but his body was well developed. Not that she had noticed the way his shirt emphasized his muscular arms and chest, nor had she noticed when he moved and the shirt had risen to display a stomach that was flat and defined, tan with just a bit of light brown hair on his lower abdomen. She certainly hadn’t let her eyes move along that path of hair to where it disappeared into the top of his trousers and definitely hadn’t looked lower to see other parts that also looked well developed against the material of his pants. And there had been no ogling his firm arse when he’d bent over to pick up a file. Okay, so maybe she had snuck a peak or two, but, really, who would blame her?

Adrian Pucey was a very nice specimen of the male form. Not perfect, but close enough to receive admiring glances from numerous people. He was honestly one of the best looking people she’d ever met, and that included Harry and Ron, who had become right fit as they got older. She’d never thought of Harry or Ron as attractive, the two boys being like brothers and such thoughts never particularly entering her mind, but since she had first met Adrian at Ron and Pansy’s engagement party, she’d been unable to ignore her awareness of the charming wizard. It’s wasn’t just his looks that appealed to her. After all, she had several male friends and most of them were attractive in their own way, yet none of them had made her feel so decidedly feminine with just a smile and wink.

It was ridiculous to consider dating him, though. Not only was he good-looking, he was just too everything. No one had ever looked at her the way Adrian did, as if she was a beautiful woman that he wanted to know better, and she’d certainly never had anyone look at her with such a wicked and naughty gleam in their eyes. She was not sexy nor was she beautiful. Hermione knew her strengths, looks not being one of them. Pretty but plain was how she saw herself, nothing special.

Even now, for this meeting, she had done little more than brush her hair, though it was hard to tell because her curls were often a bit unruly and difficult to manage. She didn’t bother with vanity potions and such nonsense, preferring a natural look free of potions and charms. How could someone that drew attention just by walking into a room possibly want to go out with her? She wasn’t hideous, but she certainly wasn’t stunning or exceptionally attractive.

When he had first met her and started flirting, she’d dismissed his attention as being playful, knowing from Pansy that Adrian was a flirt and was always charming people for his own amusement. She’d refused to fall prey to such flirting, but it was difficult to resist feeling a little flattered when someone so handsome spent so much time focused on her. The flirting had decreased during the wedding preparations, but Adrian was constantly underfoot, and he had asked her out for coffee every time they parted ways. He had continued giving her that look, the one that caused heat to spread to places that didn’t need to be getting hot, the one that made her feel like a desirable woman instead of ‘good old Hermione’, as the other men in her life seemed to view her. And she had gotten to know him during that time, realizing that her first impression of him was wrong.

He was actually rather bright, witty, playful, and very sexy in a way that didn’t come across as arrogant or deliberate. He loved his family, that much evident when he spoke about them or was around Pansy, and he loved to laugh, seeming to really just enjoy the small pleasures in life. He was also cunning, manipulative, unpredictable, and intriguing.

She liked that he bit his fingernails when he was nervous or lost in thought. She liked that he was insecure about his ears and his legs, which he called bony with a sheepish smile. She liked that he was able to charm just about anyone when he set his mind to it but still looked at her with a hint of vulnerability in his eyes that made her think he was just as affected by her as she was by him, even if the idea seemed unbelievable and impossible. To be quite honest, she really just liked Adrian Pucey.

With a sigh, Hermione brushed an errant curl away from her cheek as she neared the café close to her flat where she was meeting Adrian. She had resisted him for weeks, the physical attraction that had been instantaneous upon meeting him developing into something more over the last few weeks as they spent more time together working on the wedding. She liked him, was attracted to him, and it was beginning to no longer matter that the idea of the two of them together seemed ridiculous because it was starting to make perfect sense. She reached the café and had to smile when she saw Adrian pacing in front of the building with his hands in his coat. He looked up and slowly smiled when he saw her, her stomach tightening and her heartbeat increasing at the look in his eyes as he started to walk towards her.

He had nearly reached her when he suddenly slipped on a patch of ice, falling to the ground and landing on his arse. Hermione moved to his side, bending down to check on him, “Are you okay?”

“You’re really here,” Adrian looked up at her and grinned, his hair falling across his forehead as his eyes moved over her face.

“Well, yes. I did accept the invitation,” she reminded, confusion on her face as she looked at him.

“I kept thinking you wouldn’t show up, that you’d decide not to go out with me,” he confessed as he moved his hand along her cheek, using his thumb to brush away the falling snowflakes. His eyes caught hers and he whispered, “I’m glad you finally said yes.”

“Me too,” Hermione said softly, meeting his lips as he leaned forward and kissed her. She closed her eyes, her lips parting as the kiss deepened. He tasted of chocolate, mint, and a flavor that was simply Adrian. When the kiss ended, she blinked as she looked at him, her body warm, oblivious to the falling snowflakes and cold.

“I promised myself that I wouldn’t kiss you today, Kitten,” Adrian smiled sheepishly. “But I’ve wanted to kiss you since I first saw you a month ago. You had ink on your cheek, an annoyed look in your eyes because Pansy kept changing her mind about the colors for the wedding, and your hair was a mass of gorgeous curls.”

“I looked awful,” Hermione recalled that day and how stressed she had been, the highlight of the day being her introduction to Adrian.

“You looked sexy and beautiful,” he corrected with a smile. “I wanted to walk across the room and snog you senseless, but I didn’t even know your name and you didn’t look as if you’d have welcomed my spontaneous advances. In fact, if I recall, you were immune to my charm. It’s taken me nearly a month to get you to go out with me so I promised myself I wouldn’t kiss you no matter how badly I wanted to because I didn’t want you to say no to another date, but I couldn’t resist when I saw you.”

“I was never immune,” she confessed. “I just didn’t think you were serious. And you’re right. I would have hexed you silly if you’d just walked up and kissed me!”

“It would have been worth it,” Adrian winked before stealing another kiss. Reluctantly, he released her lips, admitting, “I’m getting a bit cold sitting on this snow, Hermione. Would you like to go in and get a cup of hot chocolate and something to eat?”

“That sounds like a good idea.” Hermione stood up and helped him to his feet, feeling a bit foolish for forgetting they were snogging in the middle of the sidewalk. She smiled at Adrian and took his hand, following him into the warm café for their first date.

The End