Prelude to a Kiss

Summary: A moment in time stretches out as each one anticipates the other.

Disclaimer: The world and life of Harry Potter belongs solely to JKR.

Rating: PG-13

A.N: A brief glimpse which begged to be written and reminded us of our favourite couple!

As he leaned into her warmth, he was struck again by the simple beauty of her hair. Her back was turned to him and he spent a long moment following the graceful cascade from the top of her head along a thin, regal neck and over one shoulder to her gently curved chest. Unbidden, his hand rose and caressed her tresses.

With a sharp intake of breath she was suddenly aware of just how close he had moved. She felt his warmth as his fingertips gently traced a lock of hair along the curve of her ear and onto her shoulder. There, his hand rested lightly, but firmly, and she felt its faint tremble. She was startled that he would be as nervous as she now felt. Letting the air out of her lungs, she tilted her head slightly, to allow her hair to shimmer across his hand.

Surprised that she had moved only slightly, he leaned into her more closely. Closing his eyes, he drew in the fragrant aroma that he had previously only caught in wisps, and at a distance. It was a musky scent, with faint traces of spiciness. He found it completely intoxicating as, unbidden, he pulled gently backwards, her shoulders stopping only when they met his chest. He took another deep breath of fragrance and sighed, ever so slightly.

The sound was as surprising as the first touch. The whisper of it fell as softly on her ear as the air from his lips, and just as warmly. The movement across her ear made her heart quicken and she took a quick, slightly ragged breath across lips that were starting to dry out. She quickly alleviated the dryness with a pursing of her lips and a flick of her tongue.

His nervousness was making him weak, but he took another short breath of her scent and braced himself. Gently, but with certainty, he pulled her around until she was facing him. She had her head dropped forward ever so slightly, and his hand lifted from her shoulder, along her jaw to her chin. With a faint hesitation, he lifted her head until their eyes met.

She gazed deeply into his eyes, and saw there something she had never seen before. It was a vulnerability, a weakness that she discovered held complete sway over her heart and her emotions. She struggled briefly to draw another breath as she anticipated what she hoped would come next. She returned the intensity of his look, and she was certain that she saw more.

With his hand gently caressing her chin, he leaned slightly forward, until he was mere inches from her, and hesitated briefly. This was the moment that he feared the most. This was the moment when all of his hopes, dreams, and fears, could all collide and leave his emotions dashed on the rocks of a cold shoulder or a frosty glare. But it was not to be, and her eyes were still gently locked with his.

When the eternity of his hesitation passed, she took a quiet breath and tried to control her pulse and the trembling of her hands. Although they were safely out of view, she was sure that their motion was sending waves up her arms, into her shoulders, and across her entire body. She was certain of her shaking because she could feel the tremble in her heart. Or was it the raggedness of her breathing that was making her heart skip beats?

His eyes caught the quickening of the rise and fall of her chest as he started to move closer. As his lips neared hers, just before her neck disappeared from his view, he thought he saw a flush cross the smooth, pale skin. Then he was pulled into the all-consuming gaze from her eyes, any other thought banished from his awareness. When his lips were almost touching hers, his eyelids drifted shut.

Seeing his eyes close, she quickly glanced across his face, taking in the sights that were so familiar and yet so different - the soft curve of his eyebrows, the color and texture of his skin, and the shape of his nose. Then she was completely surrounded by his presence and his warmth, as his soft lips met hers and the last of her fortitude collapsed in his embrace.

And the kiss began . . .

The End