Chapter One

Sometimes, when Hermione couldn't take it anymore, she went to him. It wasn't because she needed him, or that she loved him. There was nothing emotional in their relationship. Not on his side anyway. Or hers, she always reassured herself. It was just release from the pain of war. It was a place to finally get in her rebellious years and sleep with the man no one would approve of.

Oh, how she fooled herself

She went to him every night, needing his touch to take away the feeling of blood washing over her body. One would think that a war with magic would be a lot less bloody then a real one but hexes and curses caused pain and blood loss as well as death and disfigurement. She needed to feel his body next to hers to feel that she was still alive, still able to feel emotions pouring through her body.

There was no rebellion. Harry and Ron didn't know, but never hated him. His best friend and cousin, yes, but never him. They would have been happy to know that she had found someone during the time of War to help her get though it.

Ron would say it was about time. He was always worried about her. Once it had been a romantic interest but now it was the concern of a friend who was a brother to her and cared for her. He would like the man whose body lay beside hers simply for making Hermione forget that there was a war going on during those hours at night.

Harry would be skeptical at first, but would slowly warm up to the idea. He would welcome his former classmate into the family they had created and would like him because he made her smile again.

She turned to face him on the bed. He had been tired that night and was asleep. Her eyes trailed over his body. His black curls fell against his forehead, almost to his eyes, which when open would be a fiery blue. She had always loved his eyes.

His skin was darker than hers, but because of his Mediterranean heritage and not because of a tan. He was toned and healthy so she could see his muscles. His left arm lay underneath his head while his right lay over her waist. He looked so innocent when he was asleep. Not at all like the ruthless army commander he was during the day.

She sighed and stared at the ceiling. She wished it weren't so hard. She had to stop this. She knew as well as everyone else that her chance of surviving this war lessened each day it lasted and she didn't want to die and leave him behind to pick up the pieces. She didn't want to find out one day that she was a lover left behind. She would die if that happened.

She hated the fact that every day she came closer to the realization that she loved him and wished almost reverently that he would tell her he felt that way about her. She could imagine years together with this man, yet neither had made the move to make this arrangement permanent. She had to quit before someone got hurt or it lost its passion.

She snorted softly. "Losing its passion". That wasn't bloody likely given the way they acted when they saw each other alone. It wasn't just lust either. There were nights when they would just lie beside each other – silent, holding on for dear life knowing that the morning would bring more fighting, more dying, more crying, and more disillusionment.

The boys were lucky. Nicole and Kelly were not fighters so Harry and Ron only had to worry about not returning home to their wives. Nicole led the journalistic movement while Kelly used her American contacts to get around the blocks the Death Eaters created. They helped the way they could, but never had to worry about whether or not they had to die the next day.

She did. He was fighting more then she was. She was more of a planner, while he acted on the plans. He was a planner too, but ever since his best friend had died, he had been ruthless in trying to stop Voldemort. He had this crazy feeling that he had to fight out there. He could die at any moment and he didn't care. He did this for a man and women who died too young to have realized their potential – because of a man who hated himself so much he directed the hate to people like him. A magical Hitler.

He had a death wish, but she tried to ignore it. She didn't want to think about the fact that sometimes he just wanted to die. His best friend was as good as dead, as was the best friend's wife. His parents had died the year before and his younger brother had been killed because he had been in the wrong place at the wrong time. He had no family left.

No, she thought, that wasn't exactly true. He had her, even though neither would admit it. And he had Becky. He didn't know about her yet, and honestly Hermione wasn't completely sure wither it was a Becky or a Brent. She hoped it was a girl. She could just imagine their baby girl, with his hair and eyes, their combined intellect, her face. She would be perfect and Hermione needed to last at least another four months to meet this perfect angel. She was using charms at the moment to hide her pregnancy, but she knew she would have to tell him sooner or later.

Would that change anything? Would he be less reckless with his life, less likely to go out and fight? Chances were he would fight harder, if only to ensure that his child could go to school without the threat of a madman coming after her. He loved kids, but had never told her anything about having them. She had seen how much his face lit up when he visited the orphanage in Hogsmeade with her once a month. Perhaps it was because those children reminded him of his brother, only three when life was cruelly taken from him.

"Hermione, you're thinking. It's too late to think. You're making MY head hurt," he mumbled as he pulled her closer to him, holding her tight. She could feel the cold metal of his family signet ring on her arm, only slightly warmed by his skin.

"Go back to sleep."

"Trying. Couldn't stay up if I wanted to. No coffee."

She smiled and sighed as she allowed his natural body heat to warm her up, suddenly feeling the cold in the room. Maybe she would never admit out loud that she was crazy for this man, but she would never be able to leave him.

The worst thing of all was the realization right before complete unconsciousness. She was bloody in love with Blaise Zabini and nothing she could say or do would change her heart's decision on the matter.

She could only hope he felt the same way.