CHAPTER NINE

Epilogue

"Welcome to the Seaside Estates. How may I help you?" The clerk said with a signature smile plastered on his face.

"Are you sure, Hermione?" Harry asked for the hundredth time. "After what ..."

"Yes, we'd like a room, please." Hermione said confidently.

"You seem to be in luck, Ma'am, Sir, we have one room left. How will you be paying?"

Hermione handed him her credit card and smiled her thanks. "Two days, please."

"Ah, Miss Granger, very well." He shuffled around from the computer terminal to the credit card machine then handed her card and room key back.

"Let me guess ... Room three-hundred thirty-three." Harry said with a mischievous grin.

"Very good guess, sir." The clerk said with his faux smile. "Will you need your luggage brought to your room?"

"No, thank you." Hermione said with a smile. "Could you send up two house specials? I'm rather famished." She added as she looked to Harry.

"Of course, Miss Granger." The clerk said cheerfully. "The pamphlet has the directions, enjoy your stay."

Harry and Hermione smiled in return and crossed to the bank of elevators.

"How did you know which room we were in?"

"I'll tell you in a little bit." Harry said with a smile. "I don't know if I can keep my hands to myself for much longer."

"Why are you stopping yourself?" She said with a gleam in her eye that Harry hadn't seen before.

Harry smiled and pulled her into a kiss just as the elevator bell rang the car's arrival. They didn't break contact as they slid into the vertical carriage and Harry fumbled with a few of the buttons. He growled and looked at the panel and hit the button for the proper floor.

He didn't have much time to admire his handiwork with Hermione pulling him back to her lips. He was surprised with the urgency she seemed to express in her kisses. Harry didn't question that aspect and deep down, he felt the same: They had wasted enough time already and now they were making up for it.

They reached their floor after hitting the first and second as well and the new couple moved as quickly as they could without running to find their room. Without hesitation, the door was opened and they poured through the portal, ensnared in another kiss.

"Mmm, Harry ..." Hermione mumbled against his lips. "I need to take a shower ..." Harry groaned in protest until she pulled away from him. "I feel gritty because of all the sand ... please let me take a shower!"

He kissed her again, but didn't linger for long. "I need one too, how about we save some water?" He raised his eyebrows suggestively and flashed her a roguish smile.

"I won't be clean if we did that!" She squealed as he pulled her to him. "I won't be long, I promise."

Harry sighed in defeat. "I'll grab one after you're finished then." He said with a smile.

She leaned in quickly and with a deep intake of air, kissed him once more. "Be right back ..." She said dreamily and rushed into the bathroom.

Harry looked around the spacious room and walked to the bed. He sat and let out a content moan as he lay back over the comforter. "I need to tell her." He whispered quietly to the ceiling. The heat of the place started to sink in and he turned the air conditioning on before taking off his shoes and socks.

I'm surprised nobody wondered why we were wearing jumpers and long pants ... Harry mused as he pulled off the offending garment. The time turner fell to the floor and he stooped to pick it up. Does she need to know? He wondered to himself. There has to be some way to ... He shook his head at the thought of deceiving her further, she needed to know as soon as possible.

He heard the shower turn off and a few moments later, Hermione stepped from the steamy bathroom in her robe. She waved her wand and her hair dried quickly. "Shower's all yours, Harry." She said with a wide smile. "Just let me grab my clothes."

The sight of her in a simple terrycloth robe gave him pause. When she turned back into the bathroom, he crossed the room and followed behind her. Before she could bend over, he wrapped his arms around her and buried his face in the side of her neck and began to kiss her moist, warm skin.

"Harry ..." She moaned seductively and slid a hand into his hair.

"I couldn't resist." He said in a whisper across her now bare shoulder, causing gooseflesh to appear and Hermione to shiver.

"If you keep that up, there won't be any time for a shower, I'll have to keep ... mmm ... you trapped in the bed ..."

"Is that so bad?"

"Aside from the sweat? You bet your life it isn't!" She said with a soft chuckle.

"Give me a few minutes, I'll be right out." He said with a kiss to her lips. She left the room with a smile and closed the door behind her.

In a mad dash to be out there as quickly as possible, Harry nearly tore at his clothes. Within minutes, he was in the shower, clean, and in a robe of his own. He stepped into the chilled room and stared open-mouthed at the sight of her lounging on the bed. She hadn't pulled the robe over her shoulder and she'd untied the belt, revealing just enough to make his mind go into imaginative overdrive.

"Harry, don't stare." Hermione said with a blush. Harry found that her blushes went a bit further down than her face and neck and her shy smile became infectious.

"S-sorry." He stammered as he walked over to the bed and sat next to her. "I-I guess I'm still stunned that this is really happening."

"D-Do you not want it to?" She asked quietly.

Harry nodded slowly and cupped her cheek with his hand. Ever so gently, he pulled her to him and kissed her tenderly. "Oh, I want to, Hermione ..." He whispered huskily. His fingers dove into her hair and he crawled up next to her. He couldn't get enough and kissed down her neck to her shoulders. Hermione let out a moan and then the mewling sounds she had the last time he'd kissed her when she was Connie.

"Oh, don't stop." Hermione said seductively, bringing him back to the here and now. She slid her hand down the front of his robe and he moaned at her touch and worked his way to her breasts.

There was a knock at the door and Harry looked up, suddenly realizing the events that were currently playing out.

"Room service!" A man's muffled voice rang from the hall.

"Just a moment!" Hermione replied quickly. She looked apologetically to Harry and rushed to the door.

He could be seen from the hall if he stayed where he was and as quickly as he could, he crossed to the bathroom. Harry pulled the Time Turner from Hermione's clothes and put the one he used in its place while he scurried to his hiding spot. With a wave of his hand, he levitated it just above the floor by the door.

Hermione opened the door a crack and peeked out. She stepped into the hall then led the bellboy into the room. As the bellboy retreated, he quickly moved the device into the hall and smiled.

Hermione looked over to him and laughed as he ran towards her. With his arms wrapping around her, Harry pounced her into the bed. "Harry!" She squealed as they fell back and laughed.

"Save the food for later." He said hungrily, working his way to where he was before they were so rudely interrupted. She moaned in anticipation as he slid her robe fully from her shoulders. Hermione seemed to find the situation unfair and somehow pulled his off as well.

It was a bright, sunny day in London when Harry finally apparated to the den of his flat. There was a large, goofy grin plastered across his face as he hung up his jumper and walked into the sitting room.

"Did you find her?" Ron asked concernedly as Harry stepped into the room.

"What? Oh, yes, I found her." Harry said with a dismissive wave.

"Well, where was she?"

"We went to St. Thomas for the weekend." Harry said absently as he walked into the kitchen. The smile was still on his face as he went to the cooler for a butterbeer.

"Enjoy your weekend, Harry?" Luna said with a smile from the stove.

"The best weekend of my life." He said with that same goofy grin on his face. He went back to the sitting room and slumped into a chair in a daze and took a sip of the cool beverage.

"Well?!" Ron hissed impatiently.

"There was someone in the room with her." Harry said with a chuckle.

"WHAT?!" Ron shot from his seat in surprise. "Do you know who it was?"

Harry nodded and pointed to himself. "Ron, it's a bit complicated, but Hermione and I have started dating." He said with a wide grin. "Can you imagine? Me and Hermione?" He shook his head and stood. "I need a shower, we're going out to dinner in an hour." With a clap on his confused friend's shoulder, Harry walked casually to his room to get ready.

"Wait! You caught yourself in a room with Hermione?!" Ron bellowed after his friend. Harry's laugh was the only reply he received.

Six Months Later

Harry tugged at the tuxedo jacket he was wearing and smiled at his terrified best friend. Ron was standing nervously in front of him looking down the velvet path to his childhood home.

"Don't worry, Ron, everything will be fine!" Harry whispered to him in amusement.

"Quit laughing, Harry! I'm bloody terrified!" Ron hissed back out the corner of his mouth. "She can still back out, you know!"

"Luna? Back out of the dream she's been in since we've known her? Possibly longer?" Harry said with a grin. "Relax, you'll be married before you know it and on your way to Australia with your wife ..."

Ron blushed as his mind wandered to the wedding night when the music suddenly changed. He glanced to the door to see Mr. Lovegood step outside and offer his arm to his daughter.

Harry smiled at the open-mouthed stare Ron was currently sporting. "Ron, smile, close your mouth ... Remember what Luna said about that!" He quickly instructed and Ron automatically went from stunned to smiling as if he'd been practicing in the mirror.

Harry clapped him on the shoulder and watched as Luna walked down the carpet with her father, but his attention wasn't on the bride, it was on the maid of honor. Hermione looked fantastic, even in the cotton candy pink dress robes that Luna had made her wear. His girlfriend winked at him playfully as she took her position next to the bride.

The ceremony went off without a hitch, much to the relief of Ron, who wasn't looking forward to spending his honeymoon hexed to high heaven. The Weasleys knew how to celebrate and with the sheer number of them at the final Weasley male wedding, the noise levels were beyond reproach.

Harry spent the entire evening dancing with the woman he loved and stopped to dance with his adopted sister once or twice. Ginny and Draco had long been separated and Harry smiled when she accepted an offer to dance from a Mr. Neville Longbottom.

"Those two look good together, don't you think?" Hermione whispered to him as they waltzed around the dance floor once again.

"Let's hope she sees him for what he is this time, we had a talk before you claimed your prize that night."

"Prize? I didn't win you, Mr. Potter, I bought you, I own you." She said with a playful laugh as Harry dipped her.

"Be that as it may, I think you paid too much." He said with a grin.

"I think it was a bargain." She replied quickly, not missing a beat.

"Is it almost time?" He asked with a glance at his watch.

"One more dance, the signal hasn't gone off yet." She said with a quick look to the altar where Ron and Luna had exchanged their vows earlier that morning.

The sun sank lower and soon the sky had become an amazing rainbow of pinks, oranges, and reds.

"Time to throw the bouquet!" Mrs. Weasley said excitedly from the altar. Harry took his position and smiled as Luna turned her back on the growing crowd of women. There was a countdown and when it reached one, Luna threw the bouquet over her shoulder. There was a terrific race for the flying bundle of flowers and it somehow, magically, landed in the arms of Hermione Granger.

There's the signal. Harry thought with a grin. The minister was already standing at the ready and Harry motioned for Ron. The redhead took his position with a grin and Luna easily stepped into the spot occupied by her new role for the evening.

People looked around the garden in confusion as the music signaled the bridal march again and Mrs. Weasley brought her hands to her mouth with a cry of surprise. Like a wave, everyone looked where she did to see Remus Lupin standing at the end of the velvet path with Hermione in a beautiful, white wedding gown.

As one, the attendees looked to the dais and as if in a trance, they took their previous seats. Harry smiled at his fiancée and as the realization of what was happening sank in, Hermione's engagement ring lost its disillusionment charm.

Those closest to her gasped as she walked by, the glitter from her ring sparkling merrily in the dying light that was quickly becoming dusk. By the time she'd reached Harry's side, the stars were out in full force, one star in particular was shining merrily from the heavens as Harry and Hermione exchanged their vows under its watchful gaze.

The celebration began once again with a renewed sense of vigor. The newest married couple laughed as they were congratulated by their surprised guests. Dancing began again and soon the bouquet was thrown for the second time that day. Molly Weasley's face lit dramatically when Ginny caught the tumbling bundle and the young woman blushed profusely at her seeming luck.

"Where to this time, Mr. Potter?" Hermione asked with a wide smile as they twirled around the dance floor once again.

"I have the perfect place in mind, Mrs. Potter." Harry said with the mirror image of his wife's smile.

"Can't you give me a hint?" She pouted playfully.

"There was a time when things could have turned for the worst and I would have paid the price for letting you slip through my fingers." He said cryptically as he dipped her low to the ground. "I don't think we'll need any luggage this time either."

Hermione's eyes brightened with his last declaration and she gasped as he pulled her to him.

"I love you, Hermione." He said in a whisper, mere inches from her lips.

"I love you too, Harry." She replied breathlessly as their lips met once again.

The stars twinkled above as the party died down. Friends and family began blinking out of existence as they magically transported themselves home. Harry and Hermione were still on the dance floor in one another's arms as the last of the guests disapparated and the lights began winking out at the Burrow.

Without a sound, the newlyweds disappeared with a pop and continued their dance on the white sandy beaches of St. Thomas.

A/N: Thanks for joining me on this wild ride in time and angst ;) I hope the ending is satisfactory, I know I enjoyed writing it ;) Sorry it was shorter than the rest, but that's all that needed to be said!