"Wow," said Harry, looking around from where he stood, still on the
boards with his head poking up through the trap door of the treehouse.
is great. How come you didn't show me this last summer?"
"Because it was a mess, that's why," said Hermione from where she
sat, still brushing her hands off on her shorts. "It does look much
better since I cleaned out the cobwebs and all those dead twirly-seed
things this morning." She extended a hand toward him. "Dad built it for
me when I was about five. I don't think I've been up here since we
started Hogwarts, though."
Harry, taking her hand, finished pulling himself inside, still
looking around the wooden treehouse. It wasn't tall enough to stand in,
but he could kneel upright without banging his head, and it had four
walls and a lattice roof and seemed very solid, not particularly
affected by twelve years of weather.
"Dudley had one of these, once. Uncle Vernon had someone build it, and
was all painted and had trim and stuff. Dudley put this big "Snot-Faced
Keep Out" sign on it the first day."
"So you never got to go inside it?
Harry snorted. "Dudley barely got to go inside it. He fell
down the trap door the second day. Howled so much you'd have thought
he'd broken his neck. Aunt Petunia insisted Uncle Vernon tear it down,
and then he howled even worse."
Hermione laughed, and Harry closed the trap door. He looked back at
Hermione. "Would it be okay if we had a little light? The moon's up,
but I really want to see you better than that."
"Sure. I don't think you can see much through the cracks in the
and the roof's why Dad didn't need to cut any windows."
Harry didn't take out his wand. He didn't need to, for this one. "Lumos,"
he said softly, and the interior of the treehouse illuminated in a warm
yellow glow, as if the volume of his voice had dictated the intensity
of the light.
"Hey," said Hermione, both pleased and impressed. "That one's
You're getting good at this."
"I practiced a few things in particular."
What astounded him was how not nervous he was. It wasn't as
had asked him to come up to her treehouse and see her etchings. They'd
about it last night, sitting at the campfire in the backyard after
parents had gone back in the house. And she'd looked up and said,
And he didn't really remember the rest of the conversation after
He'd barely been able to keep his hands off of her today. He hadn't
been able to keep his eyes off her. She was wearing this pair of khaki
that showed way more of her legs than he ever got to see, and
had to go back to that twin bed in the Granger's guest room without at
getting to touch those legs, the top of his head was going to explode.
"So you really like it?"
The treehouse. "Yeah, I do. But the nicest thing about it is sitting
in front of me."
An amazing discovery of his: it was true; you didn't need clever
with girls. You just had to tell them the truth.
She crawled toward him, and he moved to meet her, and then they had
their hands around each other's shoulders, and in each other's hair,
and were kissing so hard there were little mmph noises every
time their lips came together. She tasted of cinnamon and of vanilla
ice cream, and he was able to finally touch those glorious legs of
hers... It seemed it had been an eternity of watching her in those
casual togs, instead of school robes, trying to be very
proper about not molesting her in her parents' house, rather than the
days of summer holiday it had been.
When they stopped kissing, her head settling against his chest,
Harry's chin on the top of her head--a position, he had recently found,
he was growing extremely fond of--Harry said, "Two months, three weeks,
one day, and...twenty-one hours. Or so. Don't ask me minutes."
Hermione pulled her head back, a slow smile spreading on her face.
when do you count it from?"
"Oh--the chasm. Just before my sleeve ripped."
"Yeah, I do. I kind of think it was all rolling toward inevitability
after that." He thought he felt Hermione shaking her head against his
chest. "Why? How about you?"
There was a pause. "Three o'clock, one week later."
"Was that the mirror?" He felt her nod. "You've got a good memory. I
think it was as late as three."
Hermione didn't answer. "You're right," he said after a moment,
of me to have started counting at the chasm. I hadn't yet realized how
I didn't deserve you. Don't deserve you."
She looked up at his face. "Oh, you haven't deserved a lot of things
gotten." She reached up to stroke the scar.
Funny how she was the only one who could do that and make him shiver in a nice way.
"Well, as long as you agree with me that I don't deserve you."
She kissed him again, and he realized with no little astonishment
she didn't seem shy either. He pulled her against him very
still unable to believe that this was real, this was her; he
her, she was kissing him, her hand on the back of his neck, and
slid his hand to the back of her knee again, unable to keep from doing
And she'd asked him here to do more than that.
"Are you very sure about this?" he asked her for what had to be the
millionth time. "Because if you're not, this would be about the time to
tell me. I'm not sure I'm going to be able to listen to you in a few
"Yes," she said, her voice, the look in her eyes, gentle as
"Do you know how many times you've come close to death? I've stopped
"I haven't," said Harry. "There was the troll in the
and the night we ran into Fluffy, and--"
Hermione went to silence him with her fingers on his lips, but he
took them and kissed them instead. "I just wanted to point out that
most of the times I've been close to death, you've not exactly
been tucked cozily
into a nice safe bed, either."
"No, that's true too. We aren't the type who usually live long,
"Because of who I am."
She smiled. "You say that like I didn't choose to be with you. Like
spread the danger everywhere. Harry--you inspire people to come
to fight the danger. The sort of people who are--"
"You're talking about me, too, Potter! I should be very insulted."
"Yes, you should be." Suddenly he turned around and lay back so that
his head was in her lap. "Fine, then. Keep me here all night and teach
me some manners."
"Ooh, would you like that?" she teased.
"I'd like this." He reached up, slid his hand to the back of
head, fingers buried in her hair, and pulled her down to kiss her.
When their mouths separated some minutes later, the mockery had gone
from both his face and voice. "Right," he said, a little catch in his
really think that was your last chance to say no, you know."
She shook her head. "No it wasn't. If I believed that, I wouldn't be
love with you."
"Hermione, I'm a Magid, not a monk."
"And I'm neither." She kissed him again.
This time when they stopped, he said, "You might be wrong, you know.
doesn't know everything about everything."
"Harry..." She brought her face close to his again. "I can assure
whatever else is true, this is one thing I am sure of: Dumbledore does
think... I am a monk."
And when they kissed again they were both giggling. It was exactly
they needed to break up the seriousness of it.
Finally Harry said, "Do you want me to...you know... go first?"
Hermione snorted, "No, you prat, I was thinking we'd make love together."
"You know what I mean! All right, that's it." He lunged for her
wrists, got one, and held it away just far enough from her side to
tickle her armpit. Hermione shrieked, tried to pull sideways, but Harry
hung on. "Nope, you were
asking for it, Granger! Now you're in for it..."
It ended with Hermione shaking with laughter on the floor of the
treehouse, with Harry on top of her, digging his fingers into her ribs
(which had turned out to be her most ticklish spot), playfully
demanding, "Give! Give!" while she howled, "Aaaahhh! Unforgivable Curse
number f-four, Potter! I'll have the Ministry on you!" until at
last he desisted and sank down with his chin on her breastbone,
laughter still bubbling out of both of them, but it
was slowing, like soup that someone had just taken off the stove.
When he was at last quiet, when she was at last quiet, and both of
them had just been looking into each other's eyes for a few moments,
Harry slowly moved his head just a little. Keeping his gaze on hers, as
though giving her
a chance to stop him by just changing the look in her eyes, he kissed
slope of her breast.
Her expression did change. But what he saw there was nothing that
him to stop. It was as if all the trust and desire and love that was in
heart was trying to write him a love letter; no, that wasn't quite it,
was a sweetness in it that belied the embarrassing squelchiness of a
letter, more like it wanted to make him the biggest paper Valentine
in the world, with pink cardboard and glitter and little silver foil
and a million X's and O's and one of those arrows coming in the back
going out the front of it. It was a look that melted him to a puddle
yet set him on fire at the same time, like the marshmallow that had
ash over the little campfire they'd had last night.
He sat up, and he was straddling her, and he didn't need to ask how
to proceed now; he began to unbutton the front of her blouse with
fingers that were amazingly steady.
And then he had it undone, and pulled it open, and it was at one and
the same time the most wonderful moment in his life so far and yet so
embarrassing that his new-found confidence almost left him completely.
He stared at the glorious exposure of Hermione's breasts within
nothing but her semi-sheer nylon bra, and swallowed past the catch in
his throat, which was there for two (three? Shame on you, he
thought) very different
"In the front, " she said.
Harry noticed that though she sounded amused, she was smiling with
him, not at him. "Um," he repeated, not sure how to put it into words
that that still wasn't enough information.
But he didn't have to say more. Hermione reached up and took a hold
of his hand, and wordlessly, held his fingers in her own and used them
to open the catch on her bra. Harry knew that was a lesson he was only
going to need once.
He wanted to kiss her breasts, wanted it so much there was a roaring
in his ears, but that would have meant that he would have to stop looking
at them, just as he was now, the way they were now, and that seemed
He became aware he wasn't breathing. He let his breath out; it came
out very shakily. "Twin lilies..." he murmured. "Now I know what that
polygamous old bastard meant."
"What?" asked Hermione.
"Oh..."said Harry, wondering if this was the time for such an
explanation, but he was the one who'd brought it up, hadn't he? "One of
my Uncle Vernon's sisters. My Aunt Edwina. Very religious. The Dursleys
would never tell anyone I was a wizard, of course, but I think Aunt
Petunia told her I was heavily into Satanism. I tried to tell her I'd
never bought Metal music in my life, but..."
"And she kept pushing me to read the bible, saying it would save my
soul. Aunt Petunia threatened to filet me if I didn't do as she said,
so I just memorized about two pages out of The Song of Solomon and
recited it as loud as I could to all of them. You should have seen
their faces. I got nothing to eat for three days but it was bloody
Hermione was shaking underneath him as she giggled. Harry saw what
was doing to her breasts and thought, Oh, my god, I've got to think
something else to make her keep laughing...
But his mouth was too dry to say anything else. She was putting her
arms around his neck again and drawing him down into another kiss, and
this time he could feel the softness of her breasts against his chest,
only one cloth layer away from his own skin--and having them out of
that bra made a remarkable difference; they'd kissed before, and he'd
felt those round pillows brushing his body, but not like this.
And now he pulled his lips away from hers, too impatient to wait
longer and hoping she'd forgive him, and kissed one bare breast, and
then the other, and it seemed almost sacrilegious to kiss those
coin-sized nipples, they seemed
like they were too good for him to kiss, so that when he did it, it was
such reverence that Hermione felt her own heart melt and she actually
herself sob, and she clutched Harry to her suddenly, her arms around
shoulders as he kissed her nipples over and over, not yet daring to
tongue them but just kissing, and she suddenly realized he was
murmuring something between kisses: "... thy two breasts are like twin
roes that feed among the lilies...thou hast ravished my heart, my
sister, my spouse, with one look of thine eyes..." He looked up at her
"What do you know, " Harry said, wonderingly. "I do remember it."
Hermione reached up to touch his face with her fingers. "Do you
she said softly, "how remarkable you are, Harry Potter?"
"Some people keep trying to tell me that," said Harry. "But don't
I have Draco to keep me from getting a fat head."
He kissed her breast again, and now her nipples had stiffened into
little pastilles like those pink candy mints, and now it seemed a shame
not to taste those, so he licked at one nipple, and heard her
inhale, and he wasn't
sure if it was the taste of her skin or the sound of that breath that
better, they were both wonderful, and he licked at it some
she was starting to move and breathe so marvelously under him, her arms
around his shoulders, but now moving down his back, and she'd pulled up
bottom edge of his t-shirt and her hands were touching his skin at his
and suddenly it was way too warm in that treehouse, despite it
after sunset, and he took his hands off her shoulders long enough to
a hold of the shirt himself and pull it up, and he sat up and pulled it
his head--and of course it would have to get caught on his
how bloody predictable, and by the time he'd pulled it free and looked
Hermione was propped up on her elbows, shrugging out of her own shirt
her bra and pushing them off to one corner.
Then there was nothing for it but to lay his full length over hers
and kiss her again, wrapping his arms around her and she hugged him
back so hard he decided that breathing was terribly overrated, and
suddenly he needed to
roll over, taking her with him so that now she was on top of him and he
feel her weight as he kept kissing her, her hair getting
between their faces but he didn't even bother spitting it out of his
as it tried to become part of their kisses, let it, he loved
loved it when it was straight and shining and when it was
to go frizzy at the ends, as it was now, and then he wanted to be on
of her again so he rolled over again, and now her hair really was
tangly in between them, so he stopped and pushed it out of her face,
she was smiling and so was he, and he thought that he'd love to see her
above his again, but they were really out of rolling space in that
unless they went back the other way. And that seemed just a little
for some reason.
He saw Hermione bite her lip, still smiling. "You know, I was so
concerned about making sure we were going to be careful tonight that I
couldn't figure out how to make sure we were going to be comfortable,
too. These boards
"Your dad did do a nice job on them; I don't think either of us is
to be picking splinters out of our bums."
"Maybe not, but still. I didn't want to be too obvious about it; I
told Mum I wanted to show you the treehouse, so she knew why I was
cleaning it up this morning. I think she expected us to be up to some
serious snogging, but I could hardly tell her I meant it to be more
than that. So I could hardly sneak sleeping bags and pillows out here,
"You could have apparated them, you mad girl!"
Hermione shook her head. "No, I couldn't have. They would
had to come from somewhere, and if I'd taken pillows out of our
Mum would have noticed. Believe me, she notices everything."
Harry concentrated on the space next to him. Something began to
materialize. It certainly appeared to be a sleeping bag. It was pink.
"Disney Princesses? Oh, Harry, didn't you learn anything
from Dumbledore in Ireland?"
Sheepishly, Harry said, "It's this bloody treehouse, Hermione. I
getting vibes of what you'd have wanted as a girl."
"Well, try it again. Something less girly."
Obediently--he didn't want Cinderella staring up at him
pointed at the sleeping bag. It did change... to a nice neutral navy
...with trains on it.
Hermione snorted. "So now you're thinking of what I'd have wanted as
boy? And they all look like the Hogwarts Express."
"I'm Harry Potter, Hermione, not trainspotter. I
seen all that many of them to make a nice little collage for your
sleeping bag." The trains faded.
"Much better. You told me your favorite color's blue, didn't you?"
"No." He reached out and put his hands on both sides of her face.
favorite color's the color of your eyes."
"Urfff. That was a terrible line." But she was
as she said it.
Well, sometimes, even the truth didn't work.
But sometimes it did. She leaned in to kiss him, and shortly she was
pulling him on top of her as she leaned back, the sleeping bag under
her this time ("Mmmp--much better," she said as she lay down),
and he went to continue kissing her nipples again, and she let him, but
this time, he sensed a little impatience in her, and he said, "What?"
and she said, "You think you're the only one who wants to kiss
someone's chest?" And with that, she was sliding down until she had her
head at the level of his breastbone, and he had to prop himself up on
his hands, which were none too steady as she kissed him there, and
there, and there, and she started licking his nipples as
well, and he breathed, "Hermione..." because there was nothing
he could say.
Just before his arms gave out, which was surprisingly soon, given
that he'd thought his upper body strength had been improving this year,
he said, "My turn again--please?" hating to be selfish but fuck it, he
was going to fall over anyway, and he pulled Hermione up and
began to kiss her breasts
again, and this time he didn't just lick her nipple, he pulled it into
mouth and caressed it over and over with his tongue, a little afraid he
hurt her--and Hermione could feel that too, that
tenderness in him as he suckled her, that sweetness that made her heart
break a dozen times a day when she was with him, made it impossible for
her to think of him as her love without also needing him as her lover.
Harry didn't think there was much that could distract him from
Hermione's breasts, but his hands were moving all along her exposed
skin, and when the tip of his finger touched the hollow of her navel,
it was as if an entire section of map had started glowing neon, pulling
his attention from the YOU-ARE-HERE-ness of her breasts. With an odd
little jerk of Oh, that's right--there's more,
he moved his mouth to her belly, kissing his way around it,
on her navel like she'd jeweled it with some legendary stone that
its beholder into abject worship.
His fingers were on the waist of her shorts. Somehow he knew it was
right if he didn't ask.
He unbuttoned them, eased the zipper down (thank god he didn't need
in that), but then went no further, not yet; instead he
fingers to her torso, to trace and touch, to divine and translate, to
as much of her flesh as could be learned, given how mutable it was, how
changed with every sound from her throat, every breath from her lungs,
he felt all at once that what he was doing with his fingers, and what
was doing with her body, was conjuring, and he remembered that
was a lot of wizard poetry out there about what it felt like to fly,
what it felt like to perform magic, but that both of those subjects combined
were utterly dwarfed by the sheer volume of poetry they devoted to
You're no poet, Potter, an inner voice said.
Perhaps not, but this was the girl who inspired him to remember
biblical love poetry and understand it for the first time, rather than
just a smarmy piece of dirty stuff to shock his loathsome relatives
His fingertips were just inside the open fly of Hermione's shorts,
grazing the skin, finding the elastic band on the satiny material of
her knickers. That did it.
Though Hermione had been right--Harry would have made himself stop
anytime she asked him to--there was something animal that rose up in
him now, feral and hungry, that abandoned any thoughts of love poetry
and only knew that he needed to get her shorts off right now.
And his jeans, too, yes,
His fingers hooked into the waistband of her shorts, starting to
pull, and she lifted her hips to let him. The sight of Hermione's bare
feet coming free of the shorts as she pulled her knees up to help--when
had she kicked her sandals off? He hadn't noticed--made him feel like
some primitive savage as he pitched her shorts into a corner.
But the sight of her immediately after that--naked but for her
knickers, flesh- colored but lighter than her summer tan, looking up at
him with her hands on the floor behind her--reminded him what a rare
and wonderful thing he had here, and suddenly Worshipful Harry was
back, but Harry didn't mind, he was loads better than Has No Clue What
To Do Harry (who had made such blessedly
short appearances tonight Harry figured he was about bloody due again),
so far Hermione hadn't seemed to mind him.
He gathered Hermione into his arms again, kissing her mouth, and now
for some reason her hands weren't around him, they were curled around
each other just at her throat, and he realized the shyness had just hit
her this time, and he kissed her again, and again, careful to be
gentle, and found himself saying, "If you really aren't sure..." - and
astoundingly, it wasn't a thought that stabbed him to the heart; he
wanted so much to make her happy, if they went no further tonight, he
didn't think he was going to develop rogue
Magid powers and go off and decimate a small town or anything.
But she shook her head, and opened her hands and now she did put her
around his neck, and said, "No, it's all right..."
"Are you cold?"
"No." And he sensed that she was making herself be brave as she
reached for the button on his jeans, but he also knew that for him to
dissuade her was not what she wanted him to do, and so all he
did was put his hand over hers as she undid the button and the zip, and
then she followed suit in what he had done by returning to run her
fingers over his torso, kissing his mouth, his chin, his chest.
It seemed to him he should get rid of his shoes soon, or he was
look a right git trying to get his jeans off over them. He detached a
from Hermione's shoulder to push at the back of his sneaker, sliding it
without bothering to untie it. As an afterthought he got the sock off
well; his jeans would come off over them, but he'd look equally stupid
just those and his briefs.
He repeated the process with his other shoe and sock. Then he
from Hermione, to give him just enough room to start to shimmy the
his own hips, then he got up to his knees to complete the process. And
he had them off, Hermione was on her knees in front of him, and they
for each other at the same time, and as he kissed her, as they pressed
each other, he couldn't let himself shy away from letting his erection
against her belly, aware that it was a test of sorts: if she couldn't
his doing it, if he couldn't, when they were both still partly
then it would be time to reconsider what they were doing. But her hips
move away from his, though he wondered if she was making herself be
again...but then, what did that matter, when he was doing the very same
His mouth knocked against hers, clumsily. "I love you. I love you,
Tell me again if it's okay."
"It is. I love you, Harry, oh, I do..."
There was more, as they kissed, that she murmured, but it seemed
another language, one that had a lot of soft consonants in it and was
meant to be spoken above a whisper. He wanted to get her underwear off,
now, but thought that it really should be him who finished
first; he wouldn't be changing his mind based on what he saw
Hermione was completely naked, but he had to make sure Hermione
even this last opportunity to say no.
He paused in kissing her long enough to say, "I'm going to finish
undressed. Is that okay?"
Mutely she nodded, and he didn't move away any more than he had to
slide his briefs down--he didn't want to be bloody posing; the
view of a seventeen-year-old boy was probably more interesting to other
than it was to girls of a similar age.
But it was she who moved back a little more, to take in the view of
him, naked on his knees. And yes, her eyes were lingering on his hips,
but that was what he wanted, wasn't it? To have her not turn away
gagging in disgust?
"Can I touch it?" she asked.
Harry let out his breath. "Actually don't take this the wrong way--please
don't take it the wrong way, but I'm not sure you should," he finished
She gave a short giggle.
"Just--you know what I mean, I don't think I'll last too long if
"Can I touch you?" he asked, more out of a rising terror
had to change the subject than anything, but meaning that too.
Harry reached out between them. He touched the waistband of her
underwear, and instead of pulling it off, turned his hand palm in
toward her belly and slid it inside. He'd thought the hair there was
supposed to be some curly tangle, but it seemed more a slick pelt,
pressed flat against her lower belly by the material of her knickers.
He moved his hand lower.
He was lost. No, it wasn't poetic, he was really lost.
Just tell them the truth.
"I'm not sure what to do," he whispered. "Will you show me?"
She bit her lip, and took a hold of his wrist. Pulling his hand back
little, she said, "D'you feel that?"
He didn't, but what mattered was if she did. "There?"
Her eyelids fluttered. "Oh... yes. That's--not quite so hard... yes,
He stroked that spot, just the way she'd showed him, and suddenly
were trembling, he could feel it next to his own legs, and he put his
arm around her, and laid her back onto the sleeping bag, his hand still
against her, inside that thin layer of satiny material, still stroking.
Hermione tipped up her hips up toward him, and arched her neck back,
said "Oh..." again, and all he knew was that he had to hear that
syllable come from her lips again, needed it more than air or light or
life, and when he touched her mouth with his again they were these
little pullings of his lips against hers, as though he could coax her
to cry out again by just using his mouth on her mouth, though his
finger still touched that spot between her legs, and whichever one it
was, she was making tiny whimpering sounds, and they made him kiss her
harder, stroke her faster--he wasn't quite sure that he'd call what he
was doing stroking, it was such a small shift
of his finger, to be having that effect on her--and he murmured, "Hermione..."
against her mouth as if it were he who was the one writhing.
He heard her inhale so hard it was a note of music. "Stop for a
He stopped immediately--but he didn't take his hand away; god, he couldn't.
"Am I hurting you?"
"No, just--where did you put my shorts?"
She sat up, took a hold of his wrist, and as she slowly drew his
she kissed his mouth hotly, as if in compensation. Then she crawled the
distance to the corner where Harry'd flung her shorts.
Harry sat back and waited, trying to control his own breathing.
Hermione took a small square foil package out of the pocket of her
shorts, left the shorts where they were, and crawled back to Harry. "I
didn't ask about these last night because I knew I had them and I was
too embarrassed to ask if you did,"she said, all in a rush. She
held the condom out
Instead of taking it, Harry reached up and put both of his hands
around the one she was holding up, enfolding both her hand and the
small package and kissing the tips of her fingers very lightly.
"Hermione," he said, "what if I told you that my Magid abilities meant
we didn't need that at all?"
"I would believe you," she said simply.
He took the package from her fingers. "And when your mum asks you if
lovers, are you going to tell her we are?"
"If she asks, yes, probably."
"I thought so." He tore the foil package open. "Then what's
isn't whether you believe me, it's whether she will when she
you if you're being careful."
Hermione remembered that she'd once thought of him as unperceptive.
he'd been unperceptive.) When had that changed? She wanted to
him again but thought she'd better wait until he finished with what he
Harry got the condom out of its wrapping and wordlessly rolled it
"Okay?" he said, looking at her.
"No--wait a minute, isn't there supposed to be... You're supposed to
a little at the end, you know, for--"
"Oh-- hell." Nice one, Potter. On the other hand, she knew
done this before. "Sorry. Do I just--pull it down, or...?"
"No, I don't think you're supposed to, it might break. It's okay, I
another, just in case--"
"Hermione..." Harry exhaled in a shaky laugh, reached for his
jeans. "I've got nine of them in my pocket."
Hermione looked at him. "You don't need them--because you're a
Magid--but you brought them anyway?" And before Harry could read the
expression on her face--was she angry that he'd presumed?--she said,
and brought her fingers to his face and was kissing him all over again.
When she let go of him he was laughing. "I would have bought the
whole section of the chemist's, if I thought it would have gotten that
They were both laughing now, at the image, and then he kissed her
again, and she put her arms around him and held him to her, and he
kissed her shoulder, starting to get lost in the taste of her skin, but
before he did he said, "Give me a moment..."
He pulled another foil package from his jeans pocket. Before opening
though, he carefully slid the first condom off. "We cannot
to get rid of these."
"You're telling me?"
"Yes, because there isn't much blood going to my brain right
"Well, then..." She extended a hand. "maybe you...should let me do
He looked at her. For a terrifying moment he thought he was going to
If I turn that one down, I might as well tell
to come and get me: there's no reason to go on living. He put the
in her hand.
He leaned back, propping himself up on his elbows, watching her.
Hermione scooted forward a little, opening the package. He saw how she
looked at him, and at the circle of rolled latex in her fingertips, and
he knew she was thinking
of the physics involved, and he thought, I am NOT going to lose
I am NOT going to come getting the fucking condom on! I'm a
Magid, for fuck's sake...
No, he realized. Right now he was just a boy alone with a
he loved, and she was carefully, very carefully, remembering
sliding the thin sheath over his erect cock, and he watched her
him as she did so, the look of innocuous concentration on her face
to make him want to leap up and seize her, rip her knickers off and
her like a stud bull, and also to take her back into his arms and kiss
gently until she wept his name like salt water.
He compromised. When she was done he didn't let her fingers linger
but sat up and pulled her down with him, kissing her mouth, and her
temple, and her closed eyelids, and then he rolled on top of her. He
took a hold of
the elastic waistband, and she did that little hip-arching thing again
that he could get them off over her bum, and that alone almost drove
They moved against each other like it was driving them crazy that
couldn't get all of their skin to contact each other's at the
time: her legs were twining around his, and his arms went around her
and only then did he realize he was still clutching her discarded
in his hand, and he tossed them away, he didn't care where, and then he
tonguing her breasts again (had it really been that long that
been away from them? That was awful), and he felt her hand
over his hip as if to confirm that the muscles in his thigh connected
those in his torso somewhere, and his erection was against her
and it was going to be too much, really it was, he had to make himself wait.
He slid to her side, his hand moving between her legs again. "Open
me, please," he breathed, hardly aware what words he was using,
want to touch you again..." And she put her hand over his again, to
him where, because he still wasn't particularly experienced at this--it
like the bloody bra catch--but his fingers remembered once she showed
and he began to stroke that spot lightly, like the touch you
give to a statue at the museum when you can't resist seeing if the
is as smooth as it looks, despite the guilty thought that you probably
supposed to touch anything in the place, and she turned her face back
his, her eyes closed as she shuddered against him, murmuring, "Harry..."
He pushed his fingers lower into the crevice of her; he couldn't
There was a wetness there that clung to his fingers, warm as she
and again he thought that was going to be the end of his control, but
took a breath, and returned his fingers to the point she'd shown him
her there again, and again, and she moaned his name again, and then
"Oh--stop now, please..."
He didn't ask if he was hurting her. "'Mione," he said, throat so
couldn't even get her entire name out, "I know--this is supposed to
first time... if you want me to keep doing this first..." He hadn't had
courage to say instead, not at this point.
"No--no, it's all right, I know it's not going to be perfect, not
first time, but--"
"It's already perfect, Hermione. I love doing this.
want me to--"
But she shook her head, vehemently, so he could not miss it, and
said, "No. You're ready. I'm ready. Do it now, please. Just--go
And whatever powers Harry had, he was not going to be able to resist
that. He pushed himself up, and spent a few awkward moments
trying to configure his body around hers, finding that his first
impulse to be straddling her hips wasn't going to work, he needed to be
kneeling between her legs, and as much as he wanted to throw himself on
her, he wanted to keep from hurting her, he needed to see what
he was doing.
Instinct led him to the source of the wetness within the petals of
her. But from there he was still no expert; Hermione reached her hand
down to him
and adjusted the angle at which he was trying to enter her, saying,
"There..." - and suddenly the head of his cock was encased by her, and
he knew he wasn't going to last much longer, but when he started to
push forward Hermione inhaled sharply, though she didn't pull away, and
he remembered what he'd been told of the two schools of thought when it
came to female virginity: either get it over with fast or go as slow as
you can, though the latter was said to be no better sometimes, just
prolonging the agony; but he thought that if he just plunged forward
and heard Hermione cry out in pain he'd never forgive himself, and
she'd asked him to go slowly, dammit. If she bloody well
changed her mind she'd tell him so; and so he waited, waited for her to
become accustomed to the feeling of him just inside her, and then
pushed a little further, only a fraction of a distance, and he told
himself that if he didn't think he could hold back like this he would
make himself think of fucking Quidditch, whatever it
took, because she was breathing slowly, not completely at ease but
nowhere near as tensed as she'd been a few moments before, and he moved
inside her again, and said, "Okay?" and she nodded, reaching
out to take a hold of one of his hands in both of hers and kissing it,
he put his other hand on her hip to brace himself, make sure he still
go too quickly, and he was inside her a little deeper, and deeper
and suddenly she'd gripped his hand hard and a tiny little hiss
from her lips and she moved, not away, but against him, pushing her
forward as if to be sure it was going to be done, that that pain wasn't
nothing, and he still did not let himself just plunge inside
slowly, slowly eased himself within her until the front of his hips
moulded against her, and he almost crumpled on top of her, trying to
at her mouth with his even as he let his entire weight settle into his
into her, and Hermione folded her arms around him, pressing her
into the small of his back, and he repeated, "Hermione, Hermione..."
amazed at how wonderfully perfect it was that her name contained the
And then he wanted to tell her that he was sorry, that it was
impossible for him to wait even a moment longer, but he could no longer
speak at all, and he pulled back and thrust once into her, and he heard
her moan, and again he wanted to say sorry, but her knees were
clasping him and he thrust into her again, and again, and the sound
that came from his throat as he ejaculated
was strangled and wordless, and he buried his face against her hair
it was the only thing to do at that moment, other than hold her
melt with her and drown in her.
And at about the moment when Hermione wondered if he really was all
right, he was so still on top of her, except for his breathing, he
moved his face to kiss hers, and shifted his body just enough to be
able to slip his hand between them, without dislodging from inside her,
and he touched her again, exactly right, with no need of
correction from her, and began stroking, and this time she didn't need
to make him stop, she could keep her arms around his neck and moan his
name and murmur, "Faster, yes..." as he stroked her towards
orgasm as well, the images in her head focused on more than just their
entwined bodies, more explicit than she was going to reveal to
Harry--at least today, especially the ones involving the
leather--and she bit her lips together as she arched against him,
whining behind her bitten lips as she came, clutching him so hard that
her first words to him a few minutes later were, "Did I hurt you?"
She heard him snort laughter. "I thought that was my line."
"No--your shoulders, I mean."
"I hope you did." He lifted his head, smiling down at her. "I hope
left scars. That'll give them all something to talk about
my bloody forehead." He bent and kissed her. "I love you, Hermione. I
you because you can make me laugh, and because you're the only one who
me want to fight to be called a hero, rather than be mortified
it." They kissed again. Harry seemed to be unable to keep silent, as
he knew she needed to hear him be himself after the profound intimacy
shared. "D'you understand--I don't love you more after tonight,
not possible, because I already love you so much I couldn't
love you more."
"So... you don't want to do it again?" she teased.
"Well, I didn't say that. You don't think there's eight more
in my jeans pocket just because I was worried about factory defects,
do you?" But he didn't make any move to withdraw. Instead he propped
himself up on one elbow above her, pushed a strand of hair away from
"When Draco comes to visit in three days, he's going to know right
you know," he grinned.
"Wh--Harry!" Hermione laughed, but she couldn't keep the
sound out of it. "How's he possibly going to know that?"
"Hermione, look at this." Harry pointed to his own face. He was
If it had been on anyone's face but Harry's she'd have called it a stupid
"This," Harry said, "is going to be my expression for the
bloody month, Hermione. You think he's not going to figure it
"Oh, you." She kissed the grin. She would have thought it
wasn't possible for someone to kiss back and yet still keep grinning,
but Harry managed
Three days later, Harry was trying to get several of the tree's
smaller branches to grow into a formation that would spell out HP + HG,
when he heard a squeal from the other side of the house. It sounded
like Hermione. It didn't
sound like something drastic had happened, so he took his time walking
to the front.
There was Draco on the front lawn, his hands in Hermione's, who was
chattering something at him delightedly. Surely he hadn't just
apparated to the front
yard of Hermione's house? This was a Muggle
He shook his head. What was he thinking? This was Draco.
he just hadn't cared. Or rather, was making a point of showing that he
be bothered to care.
More amazing discoveries, Harry thought. He was watching Hermione
holding Draco's hands, thrilled to see him, and he didn't feel the
least bit distressed.
His foster brother... god, now that was going to
getting used to.
The two of them turned to see Harry standing there. Hermione gave
a smile that hit him right between the eyes--nope, nothing to worry
there, he thought - and turned quickly back to Draco, saying
else, giving him a hug, and then dashing toward the front door of the
He and Draco faced each other as she went inside. But Draco had been
smiling back at Hermione, and the smile didn't leave his face... it
just got a little sloe-eyed as he approached Harry.
"Potter," Draco drawled. "Found out something last week you should
know: Dumbledore forgot to warn us that Magids should never order
saganaki in a Greek restaurant. You wouldn't believe --"
Really looked at Harry's face.
"You son of a bitch," he laughed. "You two bloody did