Disclaimer: I own nothing you recognize. Any future kids in this story will technically be mine, but y'all get the point, right? It would make no sense to sue me since I've got no money for you anyway. I used to thank all the wonderful people behind the HP world. Well, I guess thanks for creating the early versions. They're great clay to mold.
A/N: Ok, ok, here it is, you crazy kids! After 2 one-shots, I finally am posting "Love of a Lifetime." It's the sequel to "Wedding of the Century." I don't think you need to read that one first, but it would certainly help.
I guess here is where I put my brief soapbox rant. First, I want to say that I don't care what any books or any interviews say, this ship is my favorite ship of all time and I will NEVER stray from it. I don't care how delusional that makes me. I'm going to live in Camp Delusional if I have to. This story is going to follow the same story line as "Wedding," so I suppose it's completely AU now, but oh well. Sirius is here, Dumbledore is here, Hermione's got a stepmom, and oh yeah, NO Hermione/Ron or Harry/Ginny moments! Second, I want to thank everyone who has stayed true to this pairing. There's no need to run away! We can live in our fantasy world, which is ironic because usually fantasy worlds make less sense than reality, not the other way around. But it's all good! Right, friends? Lastly, I want to thank those who have followed along on the last story and are continuing on with this one. My heartfelt thanks to my reviewers and supporters. There are several pumpkin pies in the oven and they'll be ready soon, anyone care for a slice?
And let me warn you: this story has nothing to do with Half Blood Prince, but there are a lot of HBP spoilers in this chapter. If you haven't read it … turn back now! But please come back later!
Also, this story will remain in Hermione's POV, but Harry will probably make a guest appearance.
As I slowly begin to wake, I notice Harry staring at me.
"Good morning," I whisper with a "just woke up" rasp to my voice.
"Good morning, beautiful," he replies. "Last night was …"
"Amazing?" I offer.
"Wonderful. And well worth the wait!"
"Mione, don't blush. That was the greatest night of my life. You expressed your love for me without words. I've never felt like that before … like I was complete with you."
I can't help it, I start to cry.
"Oh, Merlin, what did I say?" he worries.
"No, nothing wrong. That was beautiful!" I say with a sniffle.
"Come here." He says, pulling me a bit so my head is resting on his chest. He lightly strokes my hair. "I meant every word of that. I always wondered what the big deal was about the whole sex thing. No one ever really explained it to me until I got to Hogwarts and then hearing it from Dean, Seamus and Ron, well, that kinda made it seem all the worse. I didn't particularly care if I ever did it. But then I fell for you … and suddenly it didn't sound so bad."
I giggle a bit.
"But I'm glad we waited, in case you're wondering," he says. And he's right, I was. "Last night was absolutely perfect."
"Even when we got your glasses stuck on your shirt taking it off?"
"Even then. Because, let's face it, that was a very "us" moment."
"Good point. So, how did you sleep?"
"I slept great. But I had the strangest dream," he says.
"Well, strange dreams are nothing new for you. What happened?"
"It started off when I was at the Dursleys. It was our sixth year and Dumbledore came to get me, like he did. But then the dream got weird. The year went on and Snape got the Defense position and the new teacher took over Potions. I trusted a stupid book and it got me in real trouble. You and Ron actually didn't believe me when I told you Malfoy was up to something and then it got really weird: I dated Ginny!"
"I'm sorry, what?"
"Yeah, and you had a thing for Ron! You got so jealous when he was sucking face with Lavender."
"Oh I remember that! Not the jealousy, but the face sucking. It's a wonder they both still have teeth! Thank Merlin he started dating Luna the next year!"
"Too right, but the dream got worse. Snape killed Dumbledore!"
My jaw drops. We may have never liked Snape, but he was a valuable asset to the Order.
"Yeah, I know. It was all very strange," Harry says.
"Well, of course it was! I mean, me with Ron? You with Ginny? Would that leave Luna and Neville together?" I laugh out loud. "Can you picture us? We'd be like one big happy Weasley family. Now that's a crazy thought!"
Harry laughs as well. "That's ridiculous! You'd kill Ron within a week!"
"And you're a bit … well, old-fashioned for Ginny."
"Oh, Harry, you know what I mean. You asked my father's permission to marry me! That's just not Ginny's world. I personally think you're just right for me!"
Harry seems better with that statement. "I agree … Mrs. Potter."
"Mrs. Potter. Well, I could get used to that!"
"Well, good then, Mrs. Potter, what is on today's agenda?"
"Seeing as how we're at Disney World, I say we visit the park!"
"I like the way you think … but I think there's something we should do before we get going."
"And that would be?"
"Guess," Harry says as he kisses me passionately.
Yes, this is a good idea as well …
Two hours later, we're showered and quite happy. I'm ready to greet the world with a smile on my face.
We make our way to the gate, enter the park and then look at the map.
"Well, I say we try to tackle Tomorrowland and Adventureland today, since they're in the front of the park," I suggest.
"I was really hoping that we could ride It's a Small World today."
I suppress my urge to laugh. It's not that I think it's funny, just adorable. He's such a big kid. This is what I wanted to give to him – a chance to behave like a kid, not a slave or a savior.
"Ok, fine. Fantasyland and Frontierland today. Tomorrowland and Adventureland tomorrow."
"Great!" he shouts and takes off.
"Harry! Wait for me!"
We hurry back to It's a Small World and wait in line. Finally it's our turn. We step into the boats and begin our journey "around the world."
It's cute, I'll admit to that … but that song is really … really repetitive.
As we exit the ride, Harry is happily singing the tune. I have to keep reminding myself that I love him.
"What next?" I ask.
"Let's ride that again!"
"Um … let's see what else there is before we double ride, ok?"
"Ok, you're right. Let's go on Peter Pan, then!"
"Sounds good," I reply. But before I can even finish my sentence, Harry is off again. This is going to be a long day.
The ride is relaxing and I enjoy it. We then hop on to Cinderella's Golden Carousel, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Snow White's Scary Adventures and the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. We visit Cinderella's Castle and Ariel's Grotto and finally take a rest.
"Harry, aren't you the least bit tired?" I ask as we finish our lunch (at Pinocchio Village Haus of all places).
"Nope! I'm ready for the Teacups! Let's go, Mione!"
And like a stubborn child, he pulls me to my feet and tries to drag me to the Mad Tea Party.
"Harry! No Teacups right after lunch!" I screech.
He slumps a bit. "You're right. Now what?"
"Well, we can just stroll over to Frontierland. Might be nice to just walk, instead of stand or ride."
"We can do that." He takes my hand and we just leisurely walk to the next "land."
I find the Hall of Presidents in Liberty Square along the way and drag Harry onto that.
"It'll be a fascinating look into American culture!" I say as we get in line. "And it's not a ride. So our stomachs can continue their rest."
After that and the Haunted Mansion (which Harry now loves), we try Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain. We watch the Country Bear Jamboree and even play a while at the arcade.
Before long it's almost dinnertime. Once more on the Haunted Mansion and then we stop at the Liberty Tree Tavern (trying our best to conceal our accents) and then it's back to Fantasyland for one more trip through It's a Small World and finally the Teacups.
Finally, it's time for the fireworks, which Harry is delighted to watch. Then we line up for the parade. Harry is having a great time waving to all of the characters. If I had doubts earlier that he would make a great dad (which I didn't), they'd be gone now.
It feels so late now and I'm sure I've got another long day ahead of me tomorrow. But as we reach the room, Harry jumps onto the bed.
"Not now, Harry. I'm really tired," I say as I get ready for bed.
"We don't have to make love tonight. I'm just excited!"
I smile. "About what?"
"Everything! Mione, this was so much fun! And we've still got 6 more days to go!"
"Yep. More Magic Kingdom tomorrow. Then Epcot, MGM and Animal Kingdom. So, let's get to sleep. Big days ahead of us!"
Harry strips down and climbs into bed.
"I love you so much. Have I told you that lately?" he asks.
"Well, I do. I love you so much. I love you especially now because you put up with me all day today."
"Harry, you were having fun, so I was having fun!"
"Even on the second go-round through It's a Small World?" he says with a grin.
"Well, less then, but I was still having some fun!"
"Then thank you all the more! Hermione, this is probably the most fun I've ever had. And I mean ever."
"Then I'm very happy that I got to help you out."
Suddenly, I yawn.
"I'm sorry, Mione, you must be exhausted!"
"It's ok, Harry. It's a good kind of tired. But the time change and the Apparation-lag, well, it's tuckered me out."
"Fair enough. Get some rest, sweetheart. 'Cause I'm going to drag you all over that park again tomorrow!"
"Sounds perfect," I say as I turn off the light. "Good night, Harry. I love you."
"Good night. I love you, too."
This morning, I'm awake before Harry. I stare down at his sleeping form and smile. It's not like I haven't watched him sleep before, but now it's different somehow. I'm married to this man. I'm actually someone's wife. For years and years, I figured I would be alone for the rest of my life, but by some miracle, Harry actually fell in love with me. He looks so peaceful sleeping. There were times where I worried that he'd never have another restful night. But, then it happened … Voldemort was gone. Evil still existed, but it took a huge hit.
From then, it was such a different story for Harry. Sure, he was still famous for another defeat of Tom Riddle, but now he could live without the worry. He had surpassed Dumbledore when it came to power, but no one really mentioned that (except Albus himself, who thought it was hysterical – for whatever reason). And now, when he slept, he could dream, not dread the coming nightmares.
How did I get so lucky to get this wonderful man in my life? The comfort, the laughter, the security, the fun he brings to my life everyday is more than I could thank any possible deity for. I truly am blessed.
He's stirring now. Still another minute until he'll wake. He's a pretty heavy sleeper now that he's free of that awful connection.
But, we've got another full day ahead of us, so I decided to speed up the process. I ruffle his hair lightly and place a kiss to his lips.
"Mmm, Mione …" he mumbles.
I blush slightly. Better wake him up before that dream gets too far.
"Harry," I say softly. "Harry, wake up."
"Time to get up, honey. Big day ahead of us! Space Mountain!"
His eyes shoot open.
"That's right!" He presses a kiss to my lips and then jumps out of bed, trying to drag me with him. "Come on! Shower time! Then we can go!"
After an invigorating shower, it's back to the Magic Kingdom.
"Ok, where to first?" he asks me.
"Oh I actually get to choose?" I tease.
"Yes, yes. Make a decision quickly before I do it myself!"
I laugh and check the map. "Well, the first thing I see is The Timekeeper. It's a bit of a show ride. Shall we start off a bit slow?"
"Fine, let's go!" And he's practically running again. He's so cute.
After that (which was very interesting), it's off to Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. I let Harry control the laser gun and he actually did a pretty good job with it.
And after the Astro Orbiter (which was a bit too high for my taste) and three trips on Space Mountain, I'm ready for a sit down on the Carousel of Progress. I'm pretty impressed with how educational this trip has been as well as fun. Finally, another relaxing ride, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority, a nice ride through Tomorrowland. We catch a quick show at the Galaxy Palace Theater and then it's time for lunch at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Café.
Now we're heading towards Adventureland. First stop, the Swiss Family Treehouse. I'm having a great time here, but Harry pulls me away to ride the Magic Carpets of Aladdin. Great … another high ride. After that, we head to the Enchanted Tiki Room. Then we're off to the Jungle Cruise and the Pirates of the Caribbean.
After 3 runs through Pirates, it's time for dinner. We stop at the Pecos Bill Café. We've got some time on our hands so we run to the Haunted Mansion. After that (and some convincing), Harry drags me back to It's a Small World. I drag him back onto Snow White and it's time for the fireworks again. We wait for the parade once more and then it's time to get to bed again.
"Tomorrow's MGM, right?" Harry asks as we climb into bed.
"Sure. Wherever you want to go."
"Yeah, I'm saving Epcot for last."
"I don't know. I just think of that big white ball and I want to see it last."
"Ok, sweetheart. If that's what you want, no problem!"
We kiss good night and fall fast asleep.
(A/N: Ok, here's where I have to jump in and put a slight detour in the story. I haven't been to Disney World since I was about 7 – and that was 18 years ago – so I know nothing about MGM and Animal Kingdom. So, at this point, imagine that Harry and Hermione had a wonderful time in those two parks! Also, after visiting some websites, I can see that I barely know anything about Epcot anymore, so I'm just going to breeze over it … Sorry!)
On our final day, we're returning to Epcot. We came yesterday and all we did was explore the villages. How strange it was to see them all lined up like this. Almost like walking through a more mature It's a Small World (and without the song). It was strange to see the United Kingdom portion of the lot, but we avoided eating there, rationalizing that we have that every day.
So, today we're here to ride and bid farewell to our Fairy Tale honeymoon.
But since we're here for now, first up is Spaceship Earth. It's a wonderful trip through history and innovation! I'm loving this vacation! Next, we head over to the Universe of Energy and then ride the Test Track. We then walk through Innoventions and catch a quick bite to eat at the Garden Grill. Next, we enjoy all the attractions at The Land Pavilion. And then it's off to The Living Seas. It was positively breathtaking there and completely fascinating.
Finally it's time to ride the one thing Harry's been waiting for even more than the giant white ball – Journey into Imagination (the one with Figment). He told me that once, the Dursleys went to Disney (without him of course) and all Dudley could talk about upon their return was Figment, the wonderful purple dragon, waving around the giant stuffed version his parents purchased for him. Who would have guessed that 10 years later, Harry himself would be here (and after meeting several real dragons in the meantime!).
"I've wanted to see this for years now," Harry says solemnly as we wait in the queue.
"I know, sweetheart. And now you'll get to ride it. And I'll even buy you a big Figment at the end," I reply.
He smiles at me and grabs my hand. If this is the way I can help him overcome those awful years, then we'll do things like this every day for the rest of our lives.
Finally, we get to board the ride and we're off. Harry is as wide-eyed as the children around us and I couldn't be happier.
When the ride is over, I think Harry's about to cry.
"Harry, what's wrong? Are you ok?"
He nods. "Mione, I just had the best time on that ride! Can we go on again?"
"Of course, let's go."
We ride it twice more before it's time for dinner. (And then I buy him his stuffed Figment.) We sit down at the Coral Reef and talk about the day. I smile brightly as Harry tells me what a fantastic time he's had, and how he can't wait to bring our kids here someday.
Once we're done, it's one more trip on Spaceship Earth, another walk through the Living Seas and finally, one last ride on Journey into Imagination.
We watch the Illuminations fireworks show and then it's back to the hotel. We're staying one last night and leaving in the morning. (Not safe to Apparate when we're this tired.)
Once we get to the room, Harry gets that look in his eye.
"Can I help you, sir?" I ask.
"Why yes, my dear lady, I believe you can," he replies.
"And how could I do that?"
With those Seeker reflexes, he pulls me close and kisses me hard.
"Oh," I sigh as we break apart. "I think I'd love to help you with that."
We tumble down as we spend the last night of our honeymoon in wedded bliss.
As I wake up this morning, I see that Harry is just starting to wake as well.
"Good morning," he mumbles.
"Good morning," I reply. "Are you ready to get going?"
"I know. But you know we can come back and we will! Ok?"
"Good, now, let's finish packing," I say as I climb out of bed.
He follows me and we begin to make sure we have everything. Once I'm certain we have all our belongings packed, we check out via the very convenient TV checkout and Apparate home.
Now that we're both at the flat, it seems like forever since we've been here. We're home now as husband and wife.
"Seems different now, doesn't it?" Harry asks.
"Yeah, it does for some reason. It's still the same flat, but now it's … different."
He nods. "It's always been 'home,' but now it's even more than that. It's great."
"It really is."
"Shall we owl the Weasleys and parents and tell them we're home?"
"Nah, let's have a quick bite to eat, then we'll owl them. Then maybe we'll take the film to be developed!"
"Fair enough," he says as he heads for the kitchen.
I follow him and think about the last week. I learned even more about him during those days in the parks. I always knew that little boy was still inside of Harry, but I didn't know how desperate he was to get out for a while. I can't begin to say how happy I am that I was able to share this time with him.
I only hope I can continue to make him this happy from now on.
A/N: Ok, I think Journey into Imagination was closed when Harry and Hermione would have visited, but I don't care because that is my absolute favorite ride. When I was little and we went, I just desperately wanted to see "Figgy" (Figment the dragon). So, how could I not include it?
I'm sorry if I got things wrong, but it's still difficult to work with 18 year old knowledge of a place that always changes, even withcool websites.
Ok, I hope the beginning of the new story met with your approval. I hope to at some point write about the birth of some children, maybe some things at Hogwarts, etc. If there's anything you'd like to see, let me know and we'll see what I can fit in!