"What's wrong with me?"

          "Besides the obvious?" I asked wryly in response to his agonized moans. I glanced at him over the top edge of my book, amused smirk lingering in my voice.

          "Hermione, it's not funny! Mum's gunna kill me when she finds out! I mean…" Ron lingered, looking sheepish.

          "Hmm. Poor you. You can't always blame it on Fred and George anymore. And plus, you promised to keep her out of it as much as you could this summer! We deserve it!"

          "I know, I know. But Mum's, well, Mum's just Mum. You know her, 'Mione. You know she's a bit…"

          "Ailed with OCD?" I supplied when he was at a loss for words.

          "OCD? English, please."

          "Obsessive Compulsive Disorder."

          "Yeah, something like what Dudley's got. Only he has it for punching and beating me," Harry called from the hallway where I could hear him shedding his coat.

          "Harry! When did you get here?"

I immediately dropped my book and ran to the foyer of the apartment I shared with my three best friends, jumping into a big bear hug.

          After he dropped me, we walked hand-in-hand to the living room where Ron was now seated with his head in his hands.

          "Oi," he greeted Harry, peering out through a couple of fingers. "I warn you mate, Mum's decided to come over."

          "Oh, brother," he joked. I giggled as I remembered the previous times Molly Weasley had decided to visit this summer. "Ron, you've got to reason with her! We've only been here two weeks and already she's been here eight times! I mean, we do need our privacy sometimes, y'know." He gave me a knowing glance and pulled me into his lap.

          "Ugh. No PDA's here, please," he replied disgustedly, getting up. "I'm going to the kitchen.

          "Ron," Harry called after him. "Have you been reading Hermione's 'Cosmo's again? I never thought you'd ever understand the acronym PDA!"

          "Harry!" I admonished, giggling. "That's mean!"

          "Yeah, well, I can be meaner…" He winked. I giggled.

          It was just three months after the War. As a treat to the three of us, Dumbledore (even though we weren't in school any longer) rented us an all expenses paid summer flat in Muggle London, which I adored. He said we needed a break from everything we've went through: the loss of friends, family, my parents… Wait, don't think about that! I scolded myself, returning to the blissful reality that was Harry.

          He nuzzled my neck as I straddled him on his lap, my knees either side of his Quidditch hardened-thighs.

          "Gods, Harry," I sighed as his nips went to the point just behind my ear, his spot.

          "I hear my name…" he replied disinterestedly against my skin.

          "Yeah, I know you do," I replied with a sharp gasp as he blew on my wet skin. He pulled away and looked at me lazily.

          "Yes, dearest?"

          "Molly's coming. We can't do this now!" I whined. He just grinned and kissed my, probing the already familiar crevices in my mouth. I moaned and ground against him, feeling his erection press through the fabric of his trousers and against mine.

          "Hullo, everyone! Hermione? Harry? Ronniekins! I'm here!"

          "Damnit," Harry softly swore as he gave me one last kiss and deposited me beside him on the couch. I grabbed my latest issue of Cosmopolitan and opened it at random as Harry pulled The Daily Prophet over his lap.

          Molly came bustling in, smothering the two of us with hugs then calling for Ron whose head shot out of the partition between the living/dining room and kitchen at the pronouncement of his name.


          "Oh, hullo! I told you I'd be dropping by, right? I do think that my memories aren't just what they used to be. Oh, and Ginny and the twins are coming."

          "Mum! You should've warned us! We could've gone grocery shopping!"

          "Oh, don't worry about it, dear. I'm cooking. Now go sit and enjoy yourself." With that she shoved Ron into the living room and took his place in the kitchen.

          "Ouch, Ron. Burn," I said, giggling, at his control over his mother.

          "Shut up, 'Mione. Why don't you and Harry go do something that requires lack of voices?"

          "Gladly," Harry replied, scooping me up again and planting me in his lap, banishing the paper back to its place on the glass coffee table.

          He leaned in and gave me a quick peck and I giggled.

          "No fair. You're too quick." I mock-pouted, knowing he wouldn't be able to resist. He looked at my lips with interest as his hands travelled up my sides under my shirt. Just as he reached under the sports bra I was wearing to the pert nipples underneath, he captured my bottom lip, causing me to grip his shoulders with my hands and his thighs with my thighs.

          "Gods, Harry," I breathed for the second time that late July afternoon. "Please, can't we just disappear for awhile? I don't exactly think anyone would miss us…"

          He let go of my lip. "Nope."

          "You're mean," I replied, cocking my head so I could nibble on his ear. I traced a path with my hand down his chest, ending at the bulge in his trousers where his erection was straining. His hands paid full attention to my breasts as his head began to loll about from my ministrations on his lower half, even though I hadn't even gotten under the cotton pants.

          "Okay, you know what? I take back my suggestions and give you guys a new one: get a room!"

          I quickly lifted my hand off Harry's lap and I felt his hands slip out so quickly that I shivered at the presence of air so suddenly. I blushed, looking at Harry's sheepish grin and keeping my stare there as I stayed in his lap.

          "Sorry, Ron."


          "Why'd you two stop? Bloody damned good show! Ron just had to have his way, though, didn't he?"

          I swiveled my head towards Ron to find the twins standing behind him in front of the fireplace, identical, evil, ear-to-ear grins.

          "Fred! George!"

          "Yes, yes, we know it's us. Be dazzled. But Harry, 'Mione, go on! We're not stopping you!"
          I climbed off Harry's lap once more, sitting beside him, my head in the crook of his shoulder and his arm wrapped around me.

          "Damned bloody voyeurs you two are, you know that?" I shot at them playfully. "Why do you need to watch us? Don't get enough women of your own?"

          "Oi, 'Mione. Don't go there," Fred, or maybe George, no wait, it was Fred, replied. "It's one place where angels fear to tread."

          They winked in unison and trooped to the kitchen, looking like mirror images.

          "Hmm. Wonder if they practice that routine," I mused. "Harry, I'm bored."

          "Well, there are numerous things you could do," was his oh-so-dull reply.

          "If they don't involve you right now then I consider them boring."

          "Well, then it narrows your choices down to…" He tapped his chin in a mock-thinking pose. "Lemme think…"

          "Gah! Harry Potter is thinking! Stop the presses! Alert the media! Duck and cover!" Ron chortled with laughter in the armchair he was sitting in at my sarcastic comment.

          "Oi, lay off Granger!" He stuck out his tongue and I had just enough time to give it a small nibble before the twins came tromping back in and settled themselves on the couch, George in between Harry and myself and Fred on Harry's other side.

          "Oi," George greeted, slinging his arm around my shoulders where Harry's had just been.

          "What's up with you all?" Fred asked, doing the same to Harry.

          Gods, where's Ginny when you need her? I thought desperately. Lord, if you're really there, you'll send Ginny along within the next two minutes. Love, Hermione Valencia Granger. Amen.

          I grinned at my prayer, watching the Garfield the Cat's tail swing like a pendulum, ticking away on the opposite wall while the five of us chatted about anything and everything.

          In the last thirty seconds, I was tempted to pray again for Ginny when Fred, George and Ron started analyzing and dissecting mine and Harry's relationship explicitly.

          "You guys! Harry and I are still here, you know!"

          Lord, if you really do love me, Ginny will show up


          "Now," I breathed, hastily getting up to answer the door.

          Without looking through the small glass peephole, I opened the door. I was greeted by a petite yet statuesque auburn-haired woman, who squealed my name at the top of her lungs when she saw my face.



          We hugged tightly and I let her into the foyer.

          "Thank God you're here, Gin. You're brothers have been tearing us to pieces!"


          "Harry and me."

          "Ohhh. Yeah, well, That's Fred and George for you. I can't control them." She grinned, probably keen on joining in on their conversation.

          "Fred, George and Ron, you mean. It's become an interesting topic for them."

          I led her through to the where everyone else was now cheerily conversing about Quidditch after a detour through the kitchen with a warm greeting between her and her mother.

          "Okay," Ginny said, plopping herself on the couch beside me. "Back to the Harry/Hermione conversation!"

          "Way to be blunt, Gin. That and the fact that Harry and I are stuck in a Weasley sandwich." It was true. Our order on the large couch became Fred, Harry, George, myself and Ginny. Ron was sitting in the armchair, smirking at us, almost taunting us with his eyes.

          "Ha ha. Sucks to be you," he quipped.

          "I know, I know," I replied, rolling my eyes at the cliché use of the American Prozzak song.

          After twenty more minutes of agonizing conversation (which consisted mostly of everyone's love lives), Molly called from the kitchen that supper was ready. I gladly excused myself from the verbal diatribe and muttered a spell at the dining table, setting it for a seven person dinner.

          Once everyone was seated, plates piled high (mostly due to the fact that Molly kept nagging us all that we were too thin), we started talking again, about more pleasant topics: work prospects, Weasley's Wizard Wheezes (affectionately known as World War Three), memories, the War… But, as conversation progressed to financial matters, I realized that we never mentioned anyone who had died during the War… So many people; innocents, guilty parties, muggle, wizards and witches, family, friends, enemies, foe…

          As they spoke around me, I let me mind drift to my parents. God, how much I wanted to murder him. Just because he wanted to get me back. But as they say and as I told Draco Malfoy as I had him up against a wall with my bare fists: 'I may forgive, but I'll never forget.'

          "Hermione! Hullo! Earth calling Hermione Valencia Granger!"

          I snapped out of my reverie with the good grace to blush. My eyes caught Harry's and he returned the stare with a flash of worry. He knew I was thinking about them again. I could suddenly see their mangled bodies in front of him and I fought to keep down what I had eaten. Their body parts severed and exchanged, blood everywhere, the stench of burning flesh, oh how I hated that smell, how many times had I tried to rid the stench when it permeated everything around me. I was brought out of my thought again by Ginny's hands on my shoulders, gently shaking me out of my waking nightmares.

          "Sorry, everyone," I mumbled, flushing a deeper shade of crimson. "Excellent dinner, Molly. Sorry I couldn't enjoy it as much as I could." I stood and fled to Harry's bedroom.

          As I launched headfirst into the pillows, I was vaguely aware that I was crying, reliving those days after. The first three were spent crying, everywhere and anywhere, mostly in my room where no one could touch me, where I was vulnerable yet stone. No one could touch me there because of the obvious fact that they couldn't get past the wards and walls. If they did penetrate the physical ones, they'd always have a hell of a time just scratching the Berlin Wall that was wound around my heart. Once that was over, I resolved to something. I knew who it was. I had anger then, yet still keeping my unscathed wall attached. My anger was beyond anger, beyond fury, beyond insanity. I had once thought, when in a brooding mood, that I was so insane that I qualified as sane. Once I had had enough of the inner anger, I let it out at everyone who so much as breathed in my direction. Then, when he had the audacity to even breathe my name in lust, I had him pinned to a wall, saying those words before I left him in a heap on the floor, my strength, fury and feelings putting me in a rage-blackout, not knowing why Draco Malfoy was at my feet, bleeding, and why I was bloodied up as well once it was all over.

          "Gods," I sobbed into the pillow, wishing now more than ever that it was Harry's chest. "Gods… Gods, I've been cursed with this curse…"

          I sobbed into the pillow, twisting the sheets in anger, scratching the mattress with fury, fisting my hair in insanity. I screamed at the top of my lungs, none of the words comprehensible, my voice, my breath smothered with the thick cushion, pushing it against my face wishing that I'd finally have the guts to end it all. But as the final darkness slowly ebbed at the edges of my closed, darkened eyes, Harry's face swam into vision. Then Molly. Ginny, Ron, the twins, Dumbledore, my parents, Arthur, Percy, Charlie, Bill, Moody, Remus, Sirius, Snape…

          I gasped for oxygen as the pillow was lost and my hands flung around like a drowning person. Funny, it felt like I was drowning.

          As I calmly took in more air to my lungs and my brain, the door opened silently. But after living so long with paranoia, I sensed it and flung a curse at the general area in which the movement had come. No scream, no thud, no evidence that it had hit my target. I opened my eyes and turned my head to find Harry crouched patiently near the floor, knowing that I had a habit to fling my curses higher up, most of my attackers being taller. My breathing slowed and he took it as his sign to stand. I strode over to the bed where he kissed my forehead and stroked my cheek. Angry tears welled up and spilled over.

          "How come everyone absolutely refuses to talk about it, Harry? We all need to deal with it. I'm not staying in denial forever."

          "Forever's an awful long time," he replied as he picked up my tears with a finger.

          "I know. That's why. But do they never seem to want to talk about it?"

          "Because they don't want it to seem real. But when they realize that it is, their world's will come crashing down much harder than they'd like."

          "But how come whenever I disappear to let it all out, how come it always feels so…" I searched for the words. "Taboo?"

          "Because they don't understand that what you're doing is healthy."

          "What if this ritual goes on? I have to hide and feel ashamed? What if it's always going to be like this forever?"

          "Forever's an awful long time," he repeated.

          I grasped his hand as he stroked my face.

          "Never leave me, Harry."

          "I never will. Not in all the world. I'll always be with you forever."

          "Forever's an awful long time, Harry James," I replied. The corners of his mouth tugged into a grin.

          "I know. And I wouldn't mind at all if you were there with me in forever."

          I don't know when or how it happened, but he leant down and kissed me one moment, and then next we were both naked, or in the process of.

          "Lord, 'Mione," he gasped as my hand grasped his erection, my lips searing his flesh and my hair tickling every other spot. One of his hands was on my breast, the other slipping off my knickers, his mouth gasping for air as I had done earlier.

          "I'm a lady, Harry, not a lord," I replied with a small smirk as I swirled my tongue across his flat nipple, and kissed a trail across to the other.

          "It doesn't matter to me, as long as I'm the only one who gets to do this to you," he said, tweaking my clit between two fingers. My mouth let go from where it had latched on to his neck and I gave a squeak-ish moan.

          "And this." He rubbed a finger against my swollen nether lips, eliciting a more delicious moan from me.

          "And this." I don't know how he managed to pull his hand away and replace it so quickly with his thick, swollen cock, but he did and I yelped at the unexpected pain/pleasure feeling that jolted me into reality and out into ecstasy.

          I moaned and mewled his name over and over so many times that it seemed like I was breathing him in, breathing in his name as he pushed in and out, loving me like I'd never felt before.

          He flipped me over so that he lay on top of me and he began to move in and out quicker, almost like he wanted to prove something to me.

          As I saw red points in my vision telling me it was closer and closer to drug-free high, one hand twisted the sheets in lust, one hand flung over his shoulder, scratching his back in passion, his right hand fisted in my hair with infatuation as he kissed me. Then the familiar pleasant feeling washed over me as I screamed at the top of my lungs, none of my words comprehensible, smothered by Harry's body, pushing myself into his shoulder, wishing that this feeling, that just this, would never end. But it slowed and eventually did.

          After languidly rolling over so that he cradled my breathless body, he whispered 'I love you' after 'I love you' into my ear as I realized something.

          Hands twisted in the bed sheets in anger, hands twisting in the bed sheets in lust.

          Fingers scratching with fury, fingers scratching with passion.

          Fisted hair in insanity, fisted hair in infatuation.

          Screaming at the top of my lungs into a pillow, screaming at the top of my lungs into his shoulder.

          Wishing that it would all end, wishing that it would never.

          "What are you thinking about?" he asked as he played with a curly strand of hair, winding it around his finger, unwinding it then repeating the whole process over again.

          "Nothing. Just some coincidences."