"No! Absolutely not!", Harry yelled, trying to get through that thick head. His eyes were blazing with rage similar to the famous temper outbursts of when he'd been younger and frustrated. The redhead standing in front of him was equally fuming mad.
"What the hell is your problem, Harry?", Ginny shrieked. "We're together, and everyone knows we're going to be married! Why the hell can't I have access to your account? It's not like I have a job or anything! I'm sick of wearing second-hand clothes!" She was almost in tears, and her face was becoming redder by the minute.
Harry just glared at her. "I've been giving you money every week. I've never asked what you do with it, but it appears you aren't spending it on clothes. The money I've given you in the last six months is more than I've ever spent on myself in my entire life! Until you can tell me honestly what the hell is going on, you are absolutely not getting into my vault, and we are definitely not going to be married. Is that clear!" A frustrated scream was his only answer, and she disappeared with a flash of green flames through the floo.
That had been three weeks ago, and he was still as angry about the argument now as he'd been then. He'd immersed himself at work, as being new to the law department had involved way more reading than he'd ever been used to. This was turning into one of the biggest frustrations of a relationship he ever dreamt he could be in.
She swept through the alley, head covered against the cold, thankful for the excuse to cover her easily distinguishable hair. Head down, her eyes swept back and forth checking that no one who knew her was in the immediate area. Seeing she was alone, she whirled and slipped down the dirty alley. From the shadows a pair of slate grey eyes topped by nearly white blond hair watched her impassively. Unseen, he drew his hood over his head, and discreetly followed the shorter woman.
His talent for skulking was coming in handy as he slipped from shadow to shadow down Knockaturn Alley, curiousity etched on his haughty features. Finding a darkened alcove he cast a Disillusionment Charm on himself, and settled in to see exactly how long she was going to spend in Borgin's. Almost an hour later he was rewarded by a flurry of movement, and a flash of red hair before a hood was drawn over her pale features. Watching her slip back the way she came, he waited an extra half hour before slipping into the store, drawing his wand as he went. "This is going to be very interesting!", he thought, as he shut the door behind him, locking it with an imperturable charm.
Meeting the eyes of the shocked storekeeper, he let his features slip into a cruel mask. "We are going to have a talk, you and I!"
Hermione was buried up to her eyebrows in paperwork, a wrinkled brow furrowing her normally serene features. After graduation she'd been offered a position with the Unspeakable's, where they counted on her skill and brilliant mind to tackle magical puzzles that counfounded many other more experienced witches and wizards. It also came with the chore of wading through reams of books, scraps of parchment, research papers, and just plain 'winging it' spells, hastily scribbled down in almost illegible handwriting. The two upsides of her job were the satisfaction of solving mysteries, and she was able to have lunch daily with her best friend of over nine years, Harry Potter. Running her hands through her tangled mop of hair, she glanced at the clock on the top of her bookshelf, squeaking in alarm as she realized she was running late for her lunch date.
Dashing out of her office to head to the washroom, she literally ran into someone she rarely saw anymore. Bouncing back, she looked up into a pair of cold grey eyes topped by white blond hair.
"Granger!", he said, lip curling in distaste. Hermione was startled, as Draco had changed sides during the last battle, and had been on much more friendly terms with both her and Harry, so his sudden change in demeanor was disconcerting.
"Malfoy?", she answered, confused. He was surrounded by several of his compatriots of the undercover Auror squad he was part of. "You're not supposed to be down her, you know!", she informed him, haughtily. As always, she was still a stickler for rules and regulations, something Draco was counting on.
"Here's that book you requested from my library!", he snarled, shoving it into her chest. "Next time just ask, rather than filling out a search warrent!" Disdain etched on his features, with a swirl of his robes swept down the hall, followed by his co-workers in tow.
"What the hell...?", Hermione asked of no one in particular, book in question clutched to her chest. Puzzled, she looked around the now empty corridor. As it was lunchtime, most of her co-workers were now on their way to nearby pubs and restaurants, leaving the sparsley populated department virtually empty.
In the years since the last battle, she, Harry, and many other's had formed a sort of truce with the Malfoy's. Since his conversion that had aided the side of light during the fight, they'd decided to let bygones be bygones, choosing to take things at face value rather than assuming he was plotting to overthrow the world or it's government. His accosting her in the corridor outside her office though, that was decidedly out of the norm. Sensing something was amiss, she raced to the washroom, tidied her hair and changed into the more comfortable pant-suit she wore during work when in the muggle world. The book safely stored in her expanded handbag she rushed to the floo's in the atrium, and with a flash of green disappeared in a cloud of smoke.
As usual, Harry was waiting for her at the Leaky Cauldron, taking her hand as she stepped from the fireplace. Letting her gain her bearings, as floo travel caused momentary disorientation, he waited for her to steady herself before casting another handful of powder into the flames, taking them to Grimmauld Place, Harry's home since graduation. Giving her the customary chaste kiss on her lips, he was about to lead them outside to where they'd walk to a nearby bistro for their weekday lunch. Harry was startled when she grabbed his arm, stopping him.
"Harry!", she snapped, urgency in her voice. "We might have a problem!"
On the way to meet him Hermione's mind hadn't shut down, whirling through all potential possibilities, and the only conclusion she'd been able to come to was not good. Something big was going down! There was no other explanation for the shift in Draco's mannerisms. They'd never be the best of friends, but in recent years he'd always been friendly with both her and Harry. The logical explanation she'd come to was that he expected her to react suspiciously, and that was her only clue.
She drew Harry into the libary, and quickly ran him through what had just happened. His brow furrowed in concentration, he motioned for her to stay sitting, and disappeared into the back of the house. Clinking and banging noises indicated he was throwing together a lunch for them, so she turned her attention to the book handed her by Draco, now sitting on the small table in front of her.
The aged, cracked leather gave no indication of it's contents, but there seemed a malovelent darkness to the weighty book. Drawing her wand from it's wrist sheath, she began casting charms on the book, trying to determine whether it was cursed in any way. Satisfied after several attempts that there were no dangerous traps for anyone to open the book, she was just lifting the cover when Harry returned with a tray of food and drinks, placing it on the table beside the book. Absent mindedly they each grabbed one of the sandwiches, as Harry joined her on the loveseat, his thigh resting against hers. Ignoring the tingle at his touch, Hermione flipped the book open, discovering a note.
Picking the letter up, she heard an intake of breath beside her, and looked at Harry's face. He was somewhat ashen faced, as his eyes locked on the title page inside the cover. She followed his gaze, and sat back, shocked. "Blood Bindings and Rituals", was the title, and the drawing underneath indicated it wasn't for the faint-of-heart. A manacled and staked out naked figure appeared to be mounted by another, surrounded by runes, a pentagram, and a containment circle.
"What the...!", breathed Harry, turning his head, meeting her eyes. He finally noticed the parchment in her shaking hand, and plucked it from her fingers. Opening it, both their gazes turned to the somewhat familiar handwriting.
'My Dearest Hermione and Harry,' it started:
'This letter and book may come to be somewhat of a shock to you both, but trust me, the manner in which I gave it to Hermione was for a very good reason.
On a recent foray into Knockaturn Alley, I was surprised when I saw a small woman, with shockingly red hair, slip into a shop I am sure you are both familiar with. With no idea of what was transpiring, I put aside my primary mission and sought to find out what was going on. I had to wait over an hour before she emerged, and left, before I could begin investigating.
On interrogation the shopkeep informed me that the woman who had entered had been searching for a specific book, and this is a copy of the very one she purchased.
Harry, I have no idea what Ginny Weasley has intended for you, or how far you two have "gone" in your relationship, but her purchase of this book does not bode well for you. I believe that she is planning on a blood-binding marriage which would subjugate you entirely to her will. In essence, you would become a spineless slave, obedient to her every wish. I've marked the section on Marriage Bonding, and each ritual is darker than the last. I hope you and Hermione can find a counter to whatever she's planning, because the alternative means you could lose your very soul.
As they'd read, their sandwiches fell to the floor, forgotten. Hermione's hand had found Harry's, intertwining their fingers. In times of great stress they'd always found themselves drawn to the other, and end up holding each other in unspoken support and comfort. Over the years their friendship had deepend until the bond between the two went deeper than most marriages, a fact they both just accepted, even though it upset the other people in their lives. Ron would rant and rave, while Ginny threw tantrums that were borderline psychotic. Now, once again, it was the two of them against an unknown threat, and they'd need each other in a way neither had ever expected.
Harry leaned back into the arm of the loveseat, and Hermione drew her legs up, curling up against his warmth as a sudden chill of dread made her start to shiver. "Ha...ha...harry?", she questioned, voice shaking uncontrollably. He felt moisture begin to threaten his composure, and wrapped his arms around his best friend, the distress of the potential betrayal shaking him to his very core.
As Hermione had read the words, her love for Harry had leapt to the forefront of her emotions, with the fear that once again his life was in danger. She'd given in to the fact years ago that no one could ever supplant Harry in her heart. Not Ron, her parents, no one. He'd risked life and limb, given of himself unconditionally, and for all his sacrafices was now facing the ultimate betrayal of someone who'd claimed she'd loved him, and wanted to be his wife.
"What are we going to do, Hermione?", asked Harry, his voice gravelly with emotion. He held her protectively as he'd done so many times, his heart almost bursting as her tears always hurt him in a way he'd never really understood. In answer she burrowed closer into his embrace, her bushy hair tickling his nose. Under his head her tremors subsided slowly, as the thump-thump of his steady heartbeat calmed her, reassurring her he was safe and alive. His body heat and closeness stirred feelings she'd long surpressed, never knowing he'd had to do the same many times.
Her muffled voice came to him, her face buried against his now-damp shirt. "The same as we always have, I guess. Fight!", her hands curled, grasping his shirt collar in defiance. "Nothing is going to take you from me! Nothing, and no one!", she reaffirmed.
Ever since the last battle they'd been there for each other. Facing fans, the press, unwanted suitors and stalkers. Even their supposed future spouses. Ron and Ginny had had the sanctuary of the Burrow, but with the recent loss of their brother neither Harry nor Hermione had wanted to intrude on the family grief. Both being raised as essentially only children, they'd always felt like outsiders, and so had turned to each other for comfort and support. They'd spent six months at Grimmauld Place, taking out their frustrations and anger at the world on the house, literally blasting the crap out of many of the aged furnishings and disgusting decor. If any had been able to see past the re-cast concealment charms they'd have been alarmed at the blazing bonfire of rubbish and disgusting things they'd cleaned out of the old place. Each half-tanked, passing a bottle back and forth, they'd sat in conjured lounging chairs staring into the flames with tears often leaking from their eyes. As each day dawned they awoke, often curled around each other in the same bed, to face the next day.
Ron and Ginny had screamed and ranted at the pair of them, until being told in no uncertain terms if they didn't calm down they'd disappear, and would never be seen again. Eventually Ron had seen the value of their friendship, but it had cost him any trust he and Hermione had re-forged. Luckily, he'd been picked up as a keeper for Puddlemere, and was able to vent his frustrations on the game, rather than his long-time friends.
Ginny, on the other hand, had calmed down, and had grudgingly seemed to accept their relationship, though she'd often been caught mumbling under her breath. Now, they finally had an explanation that fit more with her actions. She'd never accepted that Hermione came first, and had obviously come up with some plan to get her own way.
As the two 'friends' calmed each other, the red-headed girl of Harry's life was confronting her next oldest brother.
"Why did you give up, damn you?", she cursed, pacing back and forth in his flat. Ron, flummoxed as always by women, was unaware how dark his sisters mindset had been of late.
He shrugged nonchalantly from where he reclined on his sofa, eyes following her movements. "Dunno", he answered, searching his mind for the words. "Seemed better to have my best mates back, then try to force a relationship that wasn't really working. Too much fighting! Nothing was ever going to separate them, you know that?", he ended, posing the question to the still pacing form of his sister.
Ron had always known his sister was obsessive, but this was getting a little out of hand. He sat forward on the sofa, intending to confront her, his stomach knotting at the thought. "Ginny...", he started, hesitantly.
As she whirled, wand in her hand, a demonic snarl on her face, Ronald Weasley had one final last confused look on his face before her spell hit him directly in the chest. "That, dear brother, is for betraying your family!", she spat, and sat down waiting for him to wake. He was crucial to her plans, and was the only one who could possibly help her get what she needed without raising suspicions. Any who knew her would have been shocked at the look of pure hatred plastered on her face as she waited for her stupid-ass brother to wake.
"Do you think we should contact Draco?", asked Harry, turning another page in the book. The spells and rituals in the book weren't extremely numerous, but the exacting detail with which they were written were alarming. It seemed whoever had created them were looking for ways to completely subjugate another completely to their will.
Hermione was shaking her head. "I don't think so. He went out on a limb here, and risked blowing his cover. Without knowing exactly what she's planning, we're going to have to sit and plan for every contingency. For instance", her finger pointed to a list she'd been making, "it seems that most of the spells require pieces of the target of the spell. Hair, saliva, and, ah urm...", she blushed, unable to say the word in front of Harry. As it came from only one place on a man, it was understandable for her to be blushing. She and Harry had been very close, virtually naked in each other's arms many times, but fear had kept desire under control.
Harry felt his own face reddening, and chuckled. "It would seem that I am not going to be able to be alone at any time. You have a problem with that?", he squeazed Hermione in an embrace. Nuzzling against his neck, she kissed him, lovingly.
"I don't see a single problem with that at all!" Since the revelation that Harry was being betrayed by a woman who'd supposedly loved him, Hermione had thrown caution to the wind and gave in to her feelings more and more. The last couple of days they'd barricaded themselves inside Grimmauld Place, shutting off the floo, and casting anti-apparition wards over the property and cul-de-sac. At this point they'd opted to trust no one but Draco, and since he'd risked his job and safety getting them the book and message, decided to rely on each other once again. It had started with them cuddling in front of the fireplace the first evening, after calling in to work they'd be taking indefinite leaves of absence. Their fame soothed any ruffled feathers.
Near the end of the night, both their eyes drooping with tiredness, Harry had looked at Hermione, his respect, admiration, and love for her evident in his face. Unsure of the feelings he was experiencing, he'd looked down at Hermione's upturned face, and realized what he'd been ignoring for years. As she'd turned her head, sensing he was watching her, she'd been surpised when he captured her lips with his. As their lips met, the surpressed feelings shot to the forefront and drowned out anything else they'd been fooling themselves with for years.
Hermione had moaned against his mouth, causing Harry to deepen the kiss. Moments later, breathless, he'd pulled back, searching her face for any sign of disapproval. Instead, he was rewarded with a small smile. "I've been waiting for years for you to do that!", she whispered. This time, she turned in his arms, bearing them both to the rug in front of the fireplace. Her hands intertwined at the back of his neck, while his arms encircled her small waist. They spent the next several hours kissing, exploring with hands and mouth each other's bodies. Finally the stress and exhaustion overtook them, and fell asleep in each other's arms on the floor, fireplace crackling almost silently, the light from the flames dancing over their entwined bodies.
The next morning Harry had awoken to see a pair of golden, honey-brown eyes studying him lovingly. Her head was resing on his chest, with his arm supporting her upper body, holding her tight against him, while she stroked his cheek gently. "I love you!", she whispered, a tear excaping her eye, trickling down her face.
"I love you too, Hermione!", he'd gently smiled, pulling her upwards for a kiss. "I am just wondering what the hell is wrong with me it takes a threat of enslavement for me to recognize what I've felt for you for years!" She'd chuckled in response, her tear-dampened lips gently capturing his.
"I personally think you're a bit mental!", she said, smiling. "But that's ok, 'cause I've been mental over you for years!"
Deciding to forego reading the book for a while, they gotten cleaned up, separating to different washrooms for a shower. Now was not the time to give in to their feelings, but soon, said their unspoken words, as they parted.
Over breakfast they'd conversed, slowly at first, confessing to each other when they'd felt that their friendship was more than what it appeared. As it turned out, it was near the same time for each. "Since fourth year!", Harry had exclaimed, wonderingly.
Sipping her coffee, she'd nodded. "When you faced that dragon I felt like I was dying inside. Each time it came close to you I nearly fainted!"
It had turned out as they talked that each had turned the Weasley's for comfort, as they'd suspected that the other had had no feelings for them that way. They'd each just wanted to belong to the wonderful world of magical Britain, and due to their own insecurities hadn't the courage to look elsewhere for love.
Now though, with their feelings disclosed, Hermione felt no misgivings as she nipped, licked and trailed kisses along Harry's neck. As her fingernails scraped a tantalizing path down his bare stomach, she revelled in the feeling of power as he shivered at her touch, his heartrate increasing its beat under her other hand. She was definitely getting used to this!
Harry growled, finally grasping her gently, forcing her lips away from him, and snorted at her feigned pout, like a child denied her favorite toy. "Woman!", he chastised, "You are driving me crazy!" He was rewarded with a throaty chuckle, and a lust filled look that made him gulp at the promise hidden the depth of her eyes.
"We have work to do, my love. Later!", he promised, leaning in to kiss her gently. With one last look of longing, Hermione sat back into his arms, resuming their study of the spells.
She was seated beside Harry on the loveseat again, as they neared the end of the book. The warmth of his bare chest was almost scalding against her side, as she tried to ignore her rising desire. Soon though, the puzzle that threatened Harry's life and freedom enabled her to concentrate on the problem.
Two hours later, the book finished, she had a completed list of precautions they'd have to be wary of. Silently they both stared at the paper, finally unsure of which direction to take. Hermione sighed, frustration evident in the tone. "We need something else Harry! There are just too many variables!" Only his hands rubbing her shoulders and upper back soothed her, and she groaned at how good they felt. If only they didn't have this damned problem she'd drag him into the nearest chapel and... She froze at the thought. Jumping to her feet, she rushed to the bookshelves, searching for a book she remembered stumbling across, ignoring Harry's puzzled look.
Realizing his brilliant 'girlfriend!', he smiled at the thought, was off on one of her brainstorms, he sat silently, watching in amazement. It wasn't just how much she knew that always astounded him, but the fact that she was able to keep things catalogued in her mind, able to sift through them at any time, recalling facts she might have read years before. During their enforced confinement in Grimmauld years before, Hermione had ensconced erself in the library, combing through volume after volume. Apparently there was something she had buried in that wonderful head of hers she believed might help them. All he had to do was sit and wait for her to come to him with a possible solution.
As he watched her move, he was amazed at how he felt, able to express his long-hidden feelings. Her long hair swayed, as she inched along the shelves, the light from the lamps causing the highlights to shimmer. Her long slim legs were hidden under tight jeans, trailing up to a small, very firm bum. Her breasts were hidden under one of Harry's old quidditch jerseys, all of which she had claimed before they'd left school that final time. He'd been amused and mystified at the time, as she'd come bustling in, rummaging through his trunk as he was stowing the last of his possessions. As he'd only had two practice and two game ones left, having claimed all his other one's as he'd outgrown them, he'd met her eyes as she stood, the shirts in her arms. She'd shot him a smirk, and sauntered out, leaving him wondering. Now, three years later, he finally knew. She'd just wanted to have something of his that he loved.
Before barricading themselves in the house she'd gone to grab a bunch of clothes from her flat, Crookshanks, and her advanced spellbooks. As she was telling her parents to take an impromptu vacation, he'd been stocking up on supplies for the house. Various foodstuffs, potion ingredients, and two dragon-hide vests that could be hidden under their clothes. Neither knew now what Ginny was willing to do, or how far she'd go to accomplish her goal. Being prepared was something they both were used to doing, and felt the precautions necessary.
"Aha!", brought Harry out of his reverie, as Hermione came over to him, a small book in her hands. "This might be the key!", she exclaimed, plopping herself onto his lap. Absentmindedly she turned her head, kissing his neck, before drawing his attention to the title. The book was no larger than Riddle's former diary, encased in dark red leather. The title, 'Sympathetic Magic' embossed on it's cover gave no hint of it's contents.
Before Harry could ask, she started explaining. "Remember when we were running, and we'd come here to grab whatever we could to help?" Sensing his nod, she continued. "Well", she said, placing her hand on the cover, "do you remember anything about physics?" She felt, rather than saw, his shrug.
"Not really. It was a few years before we got into that in muggle school."
"Okay, basically one of the fundamental laws is simply this. 'For every action, there is an equal, and opposite, reaction.' It basically means in our world", she explained, her hand patting the book, "that if there is a spell that performs one thing..."
"There is another that can perform the opposite!", Harry finished, getting excited. "So if there is a dark magic to bind a soul against someone's will, there must be another equal to do the same, willingly! So what is it?", he asked, and was disheartened at her sigh.
"I don't know, Harry!", she lied. "But I think the key is in this. We just need to find a way to craft something. Spell creation to bind you...", she stopped, unwilling to continue. She suspected that Harry might not want to do what she was thinking, and didn't want to hurt him or drive him away from their newly developing relationship.
Behind her, Harry tensed, as he naturally followed her train of thought. His chest consticted in a sudden unexplained fear, before he began analyzing the implications. Binding. Two souls. Equal. As in...love? Marriage? "Hermione?", he asked, and she stiffened. He reached around her, grasping her face in his hand, forcing her to face him. Turning, she kept her eyes down, afraid of what she might see. Rejection from him would kill her, after the recent mutual acknowledgement of their feelings.
Harry forced her chin up. "Look at me, Hermione!", he demanded gently. Reluctantly, she did, and was taken aback by the warmth shining from his eyes. "Would you possibly have any idea who would be willing to bond themselves to me? Hmmm?" The twinkle in his eyes gave her the courage to slowly nod, a shy smile starting. She gave a startled 'eeep!', as he extricated himself from her, and kneeled on the floor, taking her hands in his.
"Hermione, I love you", he started, and he smiled as he felt her start to tremble. "Would you do me the honour of becoming my wife? In name, love, and with the gift of your very heart?" As he spoke, the tears he'd been holding back spilled over, running down his face as the emotions hit him. The only answer he got was to be buried under a mound of bushy hair, as she threw herself off the loveseat, wrapping her arms and legs around him, knocking them both over.
As he'd knelt Hermione literally felt her heart stop, as he spoke words she'd dreamt of for years. With a strangled cry, she lept on him, as her throat was too choked up to speak. The only answer she could give was with herself. As kisses went, Harry felt this was even wetter than the one he'd experienced with Cho, but with a much different emotional aspect. It was some time before Hermione lifted her lips off his and screamed "YES! YES! YES!", before her lips captured his again, tongues battling for dominance.
An hour later, panting, they lay on the floor, Hermione on his chest, and he swore to himself later that he felt her purring! They'd not yet given in to the temptation of physical pleasure, but there was no way either would last the week, if what each was feeling was any evidence.
In an office near downtown London, the GM of Puddlemere was puzzled. His trainer and Captain of the team had both just sent in the news that Ronald Weasley had missed two practices. "It's not like him sir", they both explained. "We tried contacting his family, and there was a vague explanation of some trouble with his sister." After conferring with them for an hour, they resolved to let the matter slide for now. The lad was a good keeper. Not the best, but threw his heart into each game as if it were his last. His only concern was that the fans he drew with his fame of being one of the Golden Trio might decide to not buy tickets if word got out he was missing practices. At his orders the press were kicked out of the practices temporarily, under the guise of trying new tactics. Little did he know that Ron's participation in the Trio's exploits were greatly exaggereated, and if he didn't start performing his new master's wishes, he wouldn't ever be playing quidditch again.
"What do you mean you can't get in?", Ginny yelled. She glared at her Imperiused brother. His glazed eyes offered little by way of explanation. "Well, I guess the stupid git will get to serve one last purpose", she cursed to herself. Drawing her wand, she began to cast, glad she'd put a drain in the center of the room, as the blood began to flow.
Panting, she gathered the pieces into a package, and sealed it. Eyeing the note she'd penned, satisfied, she summoned the owl and sent her last and final package to her former love. "You're mine now, you heartless bastard! You're mine!", she whispered to herself, her eyes gleaming with madness, watching the owl wing it's way off into the night.
Harry and Hermione were now standing in front of their former Headmistress, as she stared at them, shock evident on her face.
"Ginny Weasley?", she'd croaked, and slowly lowered herself into her chair.
Hermione, with Harry's hand in hers, explained every conclusion they'd come to. "We believe that somehow, when Riddle was possessing her, it corrupted her somehow. With years of jealously, and always wanting more, we can only conclude she's finally...", her finger made a swirling motion near her temple.
Minerva knew only too well how a witch or wizard could easily go dark. Over the years she'd had to hand over far too many student records to the Ministry, as proof of mindset or premeditation. It was often the determining factor between commitment or the lifelong imprisonment of Azkaban.
Steeling herself she looked to her two most beloved students, taking notice of their entwined hands. Her only expression was a small smile, and one raised eyebrow. "I take it you two have a plan?" At their nod, she beckoned for them to continue. As they spoke her smile widened, until she was all but beaming.
"Excellent! You two will never cease to amaze me! Now, what do you need from us?" She looked from one to the other, her love for her favorite students shining from her eyes.
Ginny couldn't believe her eyes as she sat, reading the paper the next day. The wedding announcement was driving her blood pressure through the roof, and she had to rush, as all her plans were about to go down the tubes. With an enraged curse she threw the paper down, and hustled around her brother's flat, gathering her supplies. She'd waited too long, but no longer. She'd be Mrs. Harry Potter, even if she had to do it over his dying body!
With one last glance around, a small 'pop' was the only sign she'd ever been there, if one didn't notice the magical containment unit by the wall, entombing her brother's final remains.
"Everyone set?", asked Harry, breathless. They'd rushed through the marital arrangements, calling in favors. The disturbing box containing red hair and fingers had almost sickened them, but pushing their grief aside had bulled through. There were six concealed Auror's present, with one standing directly beside where he and Hermione would exchange vows, hidden under Harry's invisibility cloak. Only Moody with his magical eye would have been able to perceive anyone was there.
As the hour neared, Hermione rushed to Harry's side, wand in hand. Once they began the ceremony it couldn't be interrupted, and it was crucial it was finished before Ginny arrived. They'd posted that the ceremony would take place an hour later than it was actually being performed, so both she and Harry would benefit from it's protection.
Though it was rushed due to the impending threat, none present could deny the love the two in front of them shared, wand's drawn, as they exchanged final vows. As the glow of the joined wands lit their faces, it began to spread, evidence of true love shared fully, binding hearts and souls for the remainder of their lives.
Exchanging the binding kiss, they broke apart, everyone scattering to their positions, expecting all hell to break loose within the hour.
Thirty minutes later they got their first sign. "She's here!", a voice whispered in Hermione's ear. Nodding shakily, she assumed her position, grasping her father's arm. As the strains of the wedding march began to play, interrupted by a scream.
"YOU BITCH!", snarled Ginny, as she began laying about with her wand, curses and hexes flying. Later, witnesses would attest you could see the madness in her eyes, spittle flying from her mouth as she literally was foaming in rage.
Fortunately, the trap had been well laid, and Auror's began popping into view. Sensing everything was going amiss, Ginny, frantic, began casting her last and final spell. Bending down, she quickly drew a pentagram with her wand, muttering words of the spell she'd learned by rote. As the spell grew in power, protection of the caster became apparent as the stunning spells shot at her rebounded. With a final mad scream, she threw the finally completed spell at Harry, attempting to draw her to him. Surprise lit her features as it hit him, and a warm glow suffused his body. With a power none present could have predicted, the beginning of the subjugation spell rebounded, smashing through the protective pentagram hitting Ginny fully in her chest, crushing it almost instantly.
Hermione, ignoring her former friend, ran into Harry's arms, as they both stood, stunned into disbelief, as the product of immaturity, jealousy, and rage lay on the ground. Surrounded by Aurors, all with wands drawn, only a few heard her last, dying, bloody words.
"She can't have him! He's mine...!", she choked out, blood bubbling from her lips.
An aged Auror woman stepped forward, disgust written over her features. "No, you stupid witch!", she snarled. "He's always been hers! It was their love and marriage bond that protected him!" With one last hurtful, confused look, Ginny Weasley died.
One year later.
Hermione waddled into the kitchen, her belly making every step awkward. Seeing her discomfort, Molly Weasley rushed forward, helping the younger woman to her seat.
The love and caring on her face was a marked difference from when she'd been informed of her youngest's mad plan after her death. She'd bawled for days, until the autopsy report showed that she'd indeed suffered some sort of brain damage from her possession by Riddle. It had taken several weeks before the Weasley clan had come to grips with her and Ron's death. The only closure they had was Ron had died while having fulfilled his childhood dream of becoming a professional quidditch player. Ginny, it seemed, would have had to have been confined for the remainder of her life in a secure cell in St. Mungo's, as she'd have never been able to function on her own. With weary hearts, the funerals were held, many of the details squashed for the sake of the family. Once more, two had died as a result of Riddle's insane quest for immortality.
Right now though, Harry and Hermione were waiting with bated breath, among lifelong friends for her first labour pains to start.
They'd disappeared immediately after the wedding, once Ginny's remains had been removed. With saddened hearts they'd travelled out of the country, and it wasn't until several nights later they'd finally consummated the marriage. Repeatedly.
As they both had come from single child families, they had agreed that until they were satisfied they had enough children Hermione would not use birth control. The result; less than three months after the wedding Hermione realized she was pregnant, and it suited her well. Each time she and Harry had made love, there was a discernable glow around them, as they both became the epitome of true love, surrounded by the physical reminder of their bond.