Harry Potter did not want to wake up that day. His bed wasn't warm or soft, nor was it comforting or homely. Even still, he wanted to stay there, stubbornly clinging to the false hope that he could sleep his way through the day without anyone noticing. They would notice. He was Harry Potter, after all. And this was His day.

Of course, there weren't many days Harry did want to wake up lately. In fact, he could not remember the last time he rushed out of bed, eager to experience all the world had to offer him, and offer back what he could. Nevertheless, he had to to his duty. He was already awake - the morning owl delivering the Daily Prophet had ensured that. What the Prophet's first page would tell on this day was no surprise either:

Seven year anniversary of VOLDEMORT's demise!

Today marks the seven year anniversary of the evil wizard's defeat at the hands of The Boy Who Lived, Harry James Potter. The memory of those dark times still lingers in the minds of all who were there to endure it, though even heavier are the memories of the loved ones we lost along the way…

Voldemort, previously only referred to as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, had…

Now head of the Auror department at the Ministry of Magic, Harry Potter…

He skimmed the rest, only subconsciously picking up names such as Neville, Weasley & Granger, and even Ginny once or twice. It still stung a bit, reading her name. The passion between them never returned after Harry had reluctantly broken things off between them in the days before his Horcrux-hunt had begun. They tried, but.. It just wasn't the same. After Fred died, Ginny wasn't the same. And, though she did not know it, Harry had also died that very same day. And he wasn't the same either. Ginny had moved on since then, married, a couple of children, a large house right next to the Burrow… It was all that Harry wanted once. Still? No, not with her. But still… It stung.

Forcing himself from his self-pitying thoughts, he rose from his lonely bed in his small London apartment to eat something resembling breakfast. With not even a hint of an appetite, he settled for an apple and a coffee, imagining the scolding Molly Weasley would be giving him if she knew how bad his eating habits were. "I don't care if you're the chosen one or not, I'll shove food down your throat if I have to!"

A slight smile spread on his face as he took a banana to go, just to placate his mind's Mrs. Weasley. He was already late to his morning meeting with the rest of the Aurors, which was bad enough as he was their boss.


'All right there, Harry? You look a bit... Congrats by the -" said a faceless voice as Harry hurried through the ministry from the fireplace he arrived.

'No time, sorry!' he half-heartedly replied as his feet increased their pace from below him.

Several more people, more than usual (which was saying something, especially on this day), turned and spoke to him (at him, rather) as he rushed through the crowd of morning commuters on their way to work. It had become quite a habit to arrive late. Not only did it provide an excellent excuse to skip smalltalk and ignore well-wishers and fans alike, it also gave him the sense of being busier than he was. In truth, being an Auror wasn't half as exciting as he thought it would be, not least after the fall of Voldemort. Mostly, it consisted of paperwork, following false leads, bossing people around (alright, that wasn't always too bad, he admitted), and being a bodyguard to people who did not even know he was there. At least he had Ron with him, who always had a way to brighten his mood. Well, almost always. Harry had to concede that even Ron seemed to be in a bit of a rut lately, probably due to him also slowly realizing that the life of an Auror wasn't as glamorous as they both had thought as children. And, as he found out a while ago, now Hermione wanted children. But Ron… Ron wasn't ready yet. It's what he told Harry in any case, though Harry had suspicions that they had tried for a while without success - but he did not want to think about that. He'd even rather think about what today would bring, as he entered the Auror conference room to address his colleagues.

'Morning, boss,' said John, no… Jack! He really shouldn't be forgetting the names of his Aurors, even if they were newly employed.

'All well, Jack?' he politely replied. The rest of the Aurors glanced around nervously, except Ron, who gave a short laugh.

'Er- it's John, boss…' Jack (JOHN!), said.

'Oh, uhm.. Sorry Ja… John. Busy morning, busy mind! All right lads and ladies, settle down.' He commanded, as Ron's laugh had spread to the rest of the Aurors. As usual, they obeyed quickly. 'You all know what today brings, we've been through this before. Well, not all of us. This is John's first anniversary. And Decima's as well, I believe.' He nodded towards the young, black haired girl sitting at the back of the long, oval room. She had joined the team less than a year ago, having graduated a Ravenclaw with top marks and captaining the Quidditch team as a Seeker. Her reputation had preceded her when she applied to be an Auror - Harry had even heard Professor Neville comparing Decima to The-Boy-Who-Lived in more ways than Quidditch and skill at Defence Against the Dark Arts. She even had the same emerald green eyes as him! Though, he knew, it wasn't very likely that they were related. Which probably was for the best, as Decima wasn't shy about her intentions with Harry. She smiled brightly as he nodded. Was she wearing more makeup than usual? He should probably start speaking again, he thought as gave a fake cough.

'At one o'clock, the memorial will start by the Hogwarts Lake, where Ronald and I will be posted at the back of the crowd. Decima, John, Linus, and Averbo. You will be guarding Dumbledore's tomb incognito at the center of the crowd. I believe Sophia has concocted more than enough Polyjuice Potion for the whole day, and you have your assignments on your desks. Speaking of, Sophia and Jean will be…' Averbo's hand shot up. He was a tall, burly man with a far too grim look on his face. Harry didn't really know him too well, except that he was professional, strict, and good, excellent actually, at his work. All the same, he did often and loudly question Harry's decisions. Not wanting his team to believe the wanted them to blindly follow orders, he often humored the man. He sighed, and gave the approval for the large man to talk.

'Thank you, Mr. Potter. Ahem, I believe I would be more of use in the air, on a broomstick with you. We could be guarding the whole proceeding from above. Why should you-'

'Thank you, Mr. Lind, but unfortunately..' He sighed again. 'I am expected to be on the ground, welcoming honored guests, being seen grieving, comforting, shaking hands, and so on… Trust me when I say I would rather feel the air breeze through my hair, sitting on a broom as far away as possible.' Ron gave him a mean look, before he quickly added: 'While still ensuring the safety of my friends, of course!'

Harry was sure nothing out of the ordinary would happen. Nothing ever did, ever since the day they were now having an anniversary for. Sure, then and now some small troubles brewed in the aftermath, though not for a long time… And, not for the first time, he felt a twinge of shameful guilt as he caught himself longing for the adventurous times of past. The days when his adrenaline was so palpable and his heart beat so loud he could actually feel them. Taste them. He did miss it, no matter how much he tried convincing himself he shouldn't. Everyone was happier now. Everyone, but him?

Averbo quieted after that, and no more interruption occurred as they finished preparing for the day.


Lunch. Lunch was easy, quick, painless. He would often sneak into different (always empty) rooms with a small bag of whatever his stomach fancied and whatever he could find on the muggle streets of London. But, as with everything else on this damned anniversary, today had a way of complicating things. Ron had forced Harry to eat lunch with him, which was rather unusual. He would always make a point of meeting up with his wife Hermione and eat a home cooked meal. At least that's what Harry thought, as they sat down in the same conference room they just had their meeting in. The rest of the Aurors had left, and weren't coming back for some time, so this was a good opportunity to catch up with his old friend on more personal matters, at the very least.

'So, what are we eating today?' Harry wondered.

'Oh, roasted 'taters, grilled ham, boiled vegetables.. 'tever you want, Boss!' he added with a glint. Harry had ordered him not to call him that, but Ron thought it was too funny to stop. 'Mum and Hermione always pack too much and you hardly eat a lot anyway.'

'Why aren't you eating with her? Had a row or something? She should come here, actually, I haven't seen her in ages!' Harry said, now noticing Ron seemed to look down rather quickly on his plate after he suggested they had a row.

'Yeah I know, she wants me to remind you that you are in fact not banished from visiting us any time you want. She has given up on owls, you know. What with you not responding to more and more of them. Do you even read them, Harry?'

Guilt piled up as Ron spoke. He did read them! Not very carefully, he admitted to himself… And, maybe he had skipped a few lately. But it couldn't have been too many. Though it was a while since he last wrote anything back. And it wasn't as if they had visited his apartment in some time.

'I mean, yeah, 'course I do. I'll visit, promise! Is everything alright between you? Is she alright?'

Ron looked at him, looking like he was trying hard to be angry at him. He failed miserably. He looked more sad than anything resembling anger. Harry felt his throat clench. His best friends… How could he have been so self-occupied?

'It's… She's alright. She actually moved out a while ago, but she's back now.'

'What?! When? Why?!'

'Easy, easy Harry. We just haven't really… We haven't been on the same page. You know, she wants kids, I kind of want them too, but it just… I don't think she believes me when I say I want kids too. I mean, it's been seven years. Ginny's got three kids now, and…' Ron looked up, red cheeked and looking a bit embarrassed.

'It's alright. You're right, it has been seven years. Blimey… I am glad Ginny's happy. I just wish you guys were as well. Don't you want any children, at all? Even down the road?'

'I - I don't know. I thought I did, and I want her to be happy but I'm just so… I've been so happy with her. She took care of me, she cooked, cleaned, the whole thing. I don't want anything to change. I think she wants it though. Change.'

'Sounds like you should help out a bit more at home, though.' Harry suggested. 'Maybe start there?'

'I've tried, I'm just not good at it!'

'You don't have to be good at it, trying - doing your best should be enough.'

Harry realized this was probably the most personal talk they had had since their time at Hogwarts. It wasn't… all bad. Maybe he should try it more often. It did sound like Ron needed it, and he would do anything for him. Ron toyed with his food, hardly eating anything. His cheeks and chin were sloppily shaved, and he had dark bags under his eyes.

'Though what do I know about relationships.' He added, trying to cheer up his friend. 'My last girlfriend was your sister. Voldemort was still alive back then!' That famous Ron Weasley smile came back, albeit short-lived and slightly faint. At last, his red-headed friend took a bite of food. 'I bet even Voldemort knew more about girls than I do!' Ron spat out the potato, laughing so hard he nearly choked on his tongue.


The clock read 12.24 as Harry and his Aurors were finalizing the protective spells around Dumbledore's tomb, and the path towards Hogwarts castle, where they would later continue the anniversary. In six minutes, half of the Auror force would disperse to their respective tasks while the six remaining were to stay on the ground as planned. The spells demanded some concentration, though it was mind-numbingly boring and, Harry thought, probably not necessary. Next to him, Ron seemed quite tense and focused - more so than he used to be when performing such menial tasks.

'Everything alright there, Ron?' Harry asked. Maybe Ron looked forward to the anniversary even less than Harry did. He had lost a brother on this day. It must've felt weird for him to see so many people smile as if the day was a happy one. Not all people smiled, of course. Nearly all who were there at the Battle of Hogwarts showed no sign of happiness at least until after the ceremony by their old Headmaster's tomb. Well, maybe not Luna Lovegood, but she was… different, after all.

'Yeah, it's just… Promise not to be angry, mate, but… Ginny's coming here today. Hermione too, I think.'

Oh. It wasn't the day that caused Ron tension. It was the looming awkwardness of being between his sister, and her former lover. Former lover of seven years ago, Ron he wanted to remind him. Yet, his mind traveled back to the stinging feeling of reading her name in the Daily Prophet. He wasn't over her entirely, he knew. Ginny wasn't one to appear at these anniversaries, not since the first one. Harry turned to face his so-called best friend.

'And you thought to tell me when, now? When exactly are they coming? We aren't done with the preparations yet!'

'Well, that's really not what I was worried about mate, trust me. It gets worse. She's - er… she's…'

'Pregnant.'

Something took over Harry at that realization. Something cold and still. Not an icy feeling, but one devoid of warmth and time. As if a dementor had swooped in on him unawares. It really shouldn't bother him, it was her fourth child for goodness sake. But it did. And she did. And her husband did. Jealousy wasn't the right word, because he truly wasn't. It was envy. Envy, and a sense of injustice. Envy for the life he did not have. Injustice for the future that had been stolen from him while he tried to do the right thing. While he sacrificed himself and his relationship with Ginny for the greater good. But… What about his greater good? He could almost feel his blood boiling as made-up images of a large mansion next to the Burrow appeared in his mind, where three little red-headed children ran around being chased by a handsome father and a beautiful, and very pregnant, wife. Ron had said something blurred in the background of his preoccupied mind that jolted Harry back to reality.

'Harry, you alright? You've been standing there for a full minute, mate.'

When had Harry become so…bitter? What happened to the young boy who was so overwhelmed with joy and wonder at the magical world? He might have eventually survived that fateful day seven years ago, but it was beginning to become more clear to Harry that some part of him had died. Whether it would return, he did not know. What he knew, though, was that he could not, would not, continue to think such hateful thoughts. Something had to be done. What that was, he did not yet know.

'Yeah, I'm… I'm alright. I will be, at least. So, when are they coming?'

'Er-'

'Hi there, Harry! Long time, eh?' she hugged him, as he turned around. It was a careful hug, and her very-much pregnant belly graced his not-so pregnant counterpart, but he could still smell her flowery-scented hair. She was as beautiful as she ever had been. And she looked happy, which was good enough for now. Her pretty black dress showed more curves than just that of her stomach, though, which teased him ever so slightly.

'Oh, hi Gin - I mean Ginny.' He gave a nervous laugh. 'Yeah, too long. How many kids have I missed, nine? Ten?' it felt a bit forced, but, she laughed. Oh, how he had missed that sound. Her sweet, almost snorted laughter.

'Three actually, coming up on four as you can see. But that's it, no more. Can't do it any longer. You guys are so lucky that you don't have to do this. Honestly! How in hell did our mum do this seven times?'

'She did it six times, Ginny. Twins, remember?' Ron said. An awkward silence followed as their minds went to Fred, but Ginny's mood did not seem to falter, which pleased Harry more than it probably should.

'So. Harry! You've been knocking up any unfortunate girls lately?'

'Ginny!' Ron looked at his sister with a gaping mouth, not believing what he heard. 'Merlin's beard, woman. I know your hormones are all worked up -'

'Oh, come off it, Ronald. Go on, Harry, tell me which witches I need to curse and hex should they mistreat my favorite ex-boyfriend! I'm sure you've broken a few more hearts since this one!' her smile was so infectious that he could not stop himself from grinning ear to ear, even though he could not believe what she was saying. It was nice that Ginny hadn't lost her sense of humor, though. But he knew she didn't really think Harry had any children. The Daily Prophet would report any and all spousal activities about their precious chosen one.

'Favorite ex-boyfriend, huh? That's saying something, considering how many…' she punched his arm playfully, laughing with him as if no time had passed since they last made each other laugh like that.

'Guys, stop it! This is embarrassing!' Ron was now pleading.

'What's embarrassing?'

They all turned around to find Hermione Jean Granger, taking a few nervous steps towards the three of them. She looked a bit unsure, as if she thought they were having a row or arguing about something.

'Hermione! Oh, I've missed you!' Ginny flew into a hug with the smartly dressed best friend of Harry, showing surprising agility for a pregnant woman. 'Nothing's embarrassing, really. Me and Harry are just reminiscing about old times and your precious Won-Won here thinks we're making a scene or something! You know that I haven't seen this little git in - blimey… what? Five, six years?' she nodded towards Harry, and he felt his cheeks redden and that old familiar guilt bubble up. Hermione gave him an angry look as well, though it was at least partly mixed with sadness and disappointment. Harry had to look away as to not crumble in guilt.

'Yes, he has a habit of… doing that.' She said. 'But - Oh Ginny, you look wonderful! How do you manage to pull of that dress while that pregnant?! I can't even do that now, and I'm not even a little bit pregnant!' Ron and Harry shared knowing looks. They sidestepped and walked some paces to the side.

'You sure you're alright? Ron asked again.

'Yeah. Yeah, I'm glad actually. She seems very happy. She deserves that.'

'So do you, mate. Don't forget that. I know what you gave up for her, I won't ever forget that. But please, try and… Try and show up to my and Hermione's once and a while, alright? We - we miss you more than you think.'

'How about you then, are you alright? Hermione seems quite keen on the whole pregnancy thing, I have to admit.' They looked over to the two chatting girls. They had grown into beautiful, strong women. Harry knew he loved them both, and admired them. And wished that Hermione would look as happy as Ginny did. 'Maybe it is time that you, you know, knocked her up.' He winked, not minding the slightly too hard second punch to his arm.

'What are you too talking about, then?' Hermione popped in, eying them both with a look that reminded Harry far too much of Professor McGonagall.

'Talking smack about you, of course!' Harry joked. He gave her a hug, which she seemed a bit reluctant to return. Though when she did, she squeezed a bit extra hard at the end, as if she did not want to let go.

'I'm still angry with you, young man!' now she really reminded him of McGonagall.

'I know… Sorry Hermione, it's just been... It's been hard.' He didn't really want to make excuses, but he needed to defend himself somehow.

'Hard?! Harry, I'm - we're your friends. We're supposed to be, anyway. If something's hard you're supposed to talk to us! Not disappear for weeks, months at a time! Merlin, I haven't seen you since… You missed my birthday!'

'Sorry! Sorry! You know I'm terrible at that stuff. I never celebrated birthdays when I was little, you know…' he tried.

'That's not going to work on me, Potter! I expected more of you. I've…I missed you, you idiot!' she hugged him again, tears now wettening her cheeks.

'I missed you too, Hermione… I'm sorry.'

Ron stood beside them, backing away slowly to his sister. Harry noticed Ginny was smiling, as if she was enjoying the scolding Harry was receiving. That smile… It would never stop making him happy.

'Let me make it up to you today.' He said. Hermione looked up at him, still tight in their hug. She dried her tears on his shirt, which he didn't mind at all.

'It's going to take more than one day's work, Harry. You've missed so much, you know.'

'I've heard bits and pieces from Ron. We work together, remember?'

'Has he told you I'm going back to Hogwarts?'

'What?!'

'Thought so. I'm… I accepted a teaching job. I'll be taking over after Professor McGonagall as teacher of Transfiguration. She's Headmaster now full time, and needed someone to assume teaching duties.'

'That's great, Hermione! You'll be great! The kid's will love you!'

He wasn't sure that last part would be true, but she would probably be respected. For her famous name and deeds, if nothing else.

'Thanks… I'm a bit nervous, actually. I've never taught before, and -'

'Nonsense! You taught me and Ron every single school day for six years. Trust me, if you could handle us when you were that age, you'd have no problem teaching a classroom of Peevees'!' she laughed, wiping away the last moisture on her red cheeks. 'Listen, I am really sorry. Truly. I've been a terrible friend. But -' he looked over to Ginny, who by now was talking with Ron and some other old friends of theirs. Seamus and Dean were there, of course.

Hermione seemed to notice.

'I know it can't have been easy, Harry. It's… it's not fair. What you did, what you gave up for everyone else but you to be happy… It's not fair.' She repeated. Hermione did always have a way of putting precise words to abstract thoughts. How right she was, he thought.

'I am happy for her, Hermione. I want to be happy for you and Ron too! But, I just - I don't think I can handle the thought of losing you too. When you start a family of your own. It's like… I'm conflicted between wanting what's best for you two, and selfishly wanting what's best for me. I know it's awful and all -'

'It's not! I get it, I do. Not that you need to know it, but I don't think we're starting a family any time soon, so there's really no need to worry on that account.' Her frown betrayed her somewhat annoyed feelings at the truth of that. Harry knew it, of course, but said nothing. 'And the teaching job isn't exactly going to help, with me missing for the better parts of the year…'

'Hermione. You'll be great. And I'll make sure Ron makes sure you're happy.' He smiled at her, as genuine as he could. The world's longest hug finally coming to an end when Ron came back to ask for his wife back and reminding Harry that the first event of the day was about to begin.


The Great Hall was as magical as ever, repaired to her former glory long ago and still glistening with the stars and planets of the night's sky when looking up between the floating candles. Smaller tables covered the floor, replacing the long tables of the Hogwarts houses for the day. Harry was seated with Hermione, Ron, Neville, Luna, Seamus, Dean, and Ginny, who sat to his right (when she wasn't running off to pee half the time, at least). The ceremony at the tomb had been quite somber, but the dinner in the Great Hall was always a somewhat more jovial affair. Neville was telling Hermione all about being teachers, what to expect and how to prepare, while Luna and Ginny talked about their pregnancies. Ron, Seamus, and Dean talked about Quidditch, which Harry sometimes joined in on, but more often, he found his eyes wandering around the room, to the different people gathered to celebrate their momentous victory, to his Aurors stationed around the room, and often to the enchanted ceiling above, which filled him with nostalgic feelings of happiness and longing. More so than during any other anniversary had done so far. Seven really was the magical number, it seemed. Or was he just really missing this place?

'Are you feeling quite well, Harry?' asked Luna as Harry rose from the table.

'Yeah, just - you know, powdering the ol' nose a bit, Luna.' Ginny giggled. 'Won't be long!'

'That's a lie, Harry Potter!' Luna cried after him, with her dreamy voice as calm as ever.

He didn't really know where he was going, so Luna had been telling the truth. Decima stood by the entrance though, looking like a completely different person under the influence of Polyjuice Potion. She was wearing the skin of a young blond muggle, with a round nose and blue eyes. Her bumpy forehead and chubby chin were a far cry from her normally glowing skin and sharp cheekbones. Harry walked towards her, acting as if he was going to check up on how her duty was going.

'Hi, Hannah.' He made the name up. 'Fancy seeing you here.'

Decima turned around, smiling knowingly towards her boss.

'Hey Boss. No one can hear us, you know. I cast a silencing charm around the entrance.'

'Clever. And the others? Noticed anything odd?'

'Not really. Linus and John are investigating some noise in the corridors, though.'

'Right. Well, keep at it. Good work.'

He turned around, only to come face-to-face with Professor McGonagall.

'Potter. A word, if you please?'

'Of course, Professor.'

'Minerva will do, to you I'm no Professor any longer. In fact, that is what I wish to speak to you about. We're a teacher short, Potter.'

Decima's fake face looked a bit worried at this, though Harry turned his attention back to his old professor when he had processed what she had said.

'Oh. Sorry to hear that, prof… Minerva.'

'Don't be sorry, Potter. Be the solution. It's the Defence Against the Dark Arts position.'

'And?' he asked. McGonagall looked incredulously over at "Hannah".

'Has he always been this slow? I'm sure you were a bit more quick thinking when I taught you, Potter. I wish for you to become a teacher. Here. At Hogwarts.'

'I - what?'

'You've already done it once before, when we had… Umbridge,' she cringed at the name. 'And I know being an Auror is what you dreamed about, but I can't fill the position without at least having asked you about it.'

He was stunned to silence. Return to Hogwarts? It wouldn't be the same, of course. It'd be… different. Maybe different was what he needed? Maybe this was the change, the new beginning he sought, served on a platter for him to grab. And Hermione would be here! But… Ron. He wouldn't miss his job, but he would miss his best friend.

'Do you need an answer now?'

'Heaven's sake no, but consider it at least. I'll need the answer tomorrow,' she said, nodding to Decima and striding off.

It was… Too much to ponder at this moment. Too big of a decision to make now. It needed time to settle, time to rest in his mind and to be contemplated thoroughly. Even though parts of him wanted to scream after her that he accepted, other parts thought about his best friend. The red-headed one, that is. Could he do that to him? Ron had grown to dislike the ministry job as much as him, and he knew that he would be quite cross with him if he left. Especially if he left with his wife. Harry had not forgotten that night all those years ago, when Ron had returned to destroy the locket, their first Horcrux. The visions of Harry and Hermione, the kissing, the lying… It was playing to his jealousy, to his fears. Fears that Harry knew were extinguished by now, but… They could always be rekindled.

'Are you going to do it?' Decima asked, snapping Harry back to the Great Hall. Harry had forgotten she was there, jumping at the unexpected words.

'Do what?'

'I'd miss you, you know. Ron too. You're a good boss.'

'Oh. Yes, thanks.' He fumbled awkwardly. 'Not really decided yet, to be honest. I'd probably miss my better half too much!' he said, though whether he spoke of staying and missing Hermione, or leaving and missing Ron, he could not say.


The day was coming to an end, and after Ginny had said good night and lightly slapped Harry again for "acting like a stranger", the former classmates agreed to continue the evening with two or three rounds of butterbeers in Hogsmeade. Harry dismissed his remaining Aurors, except the ones who were still following some strange lead in the castle. Decima followed the classmates, having now returned to her former and prettier self, much to the amusement of the rest of the gang sitting around the table in the Hog's Head who saw it happen live. The alcohol and the laughter gave way to glancing touches between Decima and Harry, sometimes followed by knowing looks, leading to more and more physical contact until it no longer was a surprise that they all of a sudden found themselves tangled up in Decima's bed, turning the last moments of the night into a blur of kisses, exposed skin, firm grabs, and even some light spanking, though he might've dreamt that part.
What Harry was surprised by was the fact that he was still there when Decima woke up - he would usually leave before his partner of the night had a chance to see him again. A habit he wasn't particularly proud of, yet seemed to be for the best. Yesterday's events had urged him to stay, to change his ways, he thought. Or maybe it was something else. Was he falling for this girl? It didn't feel like his last love, Ginny… but it felt more real and passionate than any of the other women he had been with since. At least, he did not want to hurt Decima as he knew he must have hurt others. Though the night had been amazing, he didn't feel compelled to make this a regular occurrence with her.

'Good morning,' she said, her naked body edging close to his. Her breasts stroked his chest as she cuddled up closer, and her soft legs and hands caressed his skin lovingly.

'Good morning, Decima,' he replied, sounding a bit colder than he had intended. He quickly gave her a kiss on her forehead. 'Last night was… amazing,' he felt as he repeated himself. 'Did we… did I spank you?' he nervously asked. Decima laughed at him.

'I think I told you to but you didn't do it. Coward!' she laughed again, tickling him in the ribs.

'I didn't want to hurt you! Besides, I'm your boss, and -'

'Not last night, you weren't,' she said. Harry messed up her hair and laughed at her petty attempt to "win" last night's tussle.

'Don't think I won't wrestle you into submission, you sly little fox!'

'Don't think I wouldn't mind, Boss.' She winked. 'How'd you know my Patronus?'

The morning was as good as the night had been. An excellent breakfast of eggs and bacon (Harry made the eggs) followed more endeavors in the bedroom.