Chapter One: The Secret is out

Harry growled in frustrated annoyance, as he made to grab Hermione. She slipped deftly out of reach, in a way that could only be achieved by practice. "No, Harry! You need to rest!"

"I most certainly don't need to rest!" Harry replied impatiently. "I've been suffering this hospital wing for a week now, and couldn't have been more rested if I tried!" He scoffed in the direction of Madame Pomfrey's office, as if that would have made her let him out any earlier.

"Oh, Harry," Hermione sighed sympathetically. She could certainly understand that he was sick and tired of being bedridden, but unfortunately, Madam Pomfrey refused to believe that Harry could have defeated Voldemort and escaped relatively unhurt, so she kept him chained to the bed an extra week for good measure. That, and he really needed to rest.

Tenderly she stroked his hair away from his eyes.

"But more than anything," Harry continued, "I feel terribly alone at night."

She was not so quick to react when he grabbed her wrists and pulled her down, catching her lips in very tender and very ... through ... kiss. She was about to warn him that he should not display his affections so openly - secrets, secrets - as people could come running into the hospital wing without warning, but it was lost when he cupped her face with his hands and proceeded to place butterfly kisses all over her face - and then down her neck. "I miss you, Hermione. I wake up all the time, expecting to find you there, but you aren't."

Hermione shivered. She too missed it.

Harry's eyes met hers, and she felt that all-too-sinful thrill run down her spine - that mischievous look always did that to her. "Remember what we use to do in the mornings? That always gives you such a ravenous appetite when breakfast comes?"

Hermione blushed. "Harry!"

His lips graced her throat. "That lunch hour in the library? Remember that one? I certainly do."

The warmth that rushed to Hermione's cheeks was not out of embarrassment - well, maybe a little.

"Not now!" she hissed, her face quite red. If he continued she would soon do something very naughty, and the hospital wing was not the best place. For the thousandth time this last week, she cursed Harry's hospitalization, and the secrecy they had to be shrouded in. If she openly could show him the affection and comfort that was his due!

As he ran a hand sensually up her neck and into her hair, before he kissed her again, Hermione wondered if it would not be worth it to help him escape Madam Pomfrey…

"You know," Harry said, his voice suddenly light, "Once I get out of here, I'm going straight to my bedroom, and get that stuffy robe off you."

Hermione struggled with herself. Was it really possible to be more hot and bothered than she was right now? But, Harry still needed his rest – taking down Voldemort had been very taxing. 'Note to self; when repeating yourself is becoming a habit, your mind is close to shutdown. Security-measures recommended.' Unfortunately her body did not listen to her head. Nor did Harry.

"You really do look your best with nothing on - or perhaps in that tiny dark green piece that didn't really -"

Harry was interrupted. Later Hermione blamed it all on him. It was he that had disturbed her so that she couldn't think straight - he had a tendency to do that, unfortunately - or, fortunately, depending on how you looked at it - and prevented her from hearing the door opening and closing.

As such, it was all his fault that they got caught in a somewhat compromising situation (yes, he did have his hands under her blouse, the sneaky devil, and yes, she had her head thrown backwards in pleasure, but it was all his doing!). And of course, both Ginny and Ron demanded an explanation - Ron the loudest.


"WHAT ARE YOU DOING! GET YOUR HANDS OF HER YOU BASTARD!"

Sometimes, Hermione mused, Ron's logic wasn't very logical. It was okay that he went into 'big-brother-mode' now and then; it made her feel loved, after all – but not towards his best, male friend. Honestly, he should know that Harry was even more protective of her than he was.

"Ron," she tried, "calm down." It didn't work. It might have something to do with the fact that she was still straddling Harry (all her clothes on, of course. Mind out of the gutter) probably looking rather flustered. 'Oh dear.' Blush.

"CALM DOWN? CALM DOWN! HE HAS HIS HANDS ALL OVER YOU!"
True. Harry's hands were at her waist – he held her in a strong, firm grip. 'Sigh. So good.'

Ginny, on her hand, was just looking back and forth between her and Harry, her eyes wide.

"What is going on here!"

'Uh-oh.'

Mrs Weasley had insisted upon remaining at Hogwarts until Harry was fully recovered from his ordeal. While she was too polite to say anything, Hermione was getting quite annoyed at the woman. Firstly, she annoyed Harry by coddling him so. While he was still young, he was not helpless (which he had proved time and time again) and should not be treated as such. Secondly, taking care of Harry was her task, not Mrs Weasley's!

But of course, she couldn't say anything. Sometimes she hated that secret which seemingly wasn't a secret anymore.

Now, apparently, the woman had heard Ron's not to quiet ... over-protectiveness, and decided to sort things out. She froze, however, when she upon entering the room (Harry had finally gotten a private room all of his own in the Hospital wing) finding the patient and Hermione in a rather interest- inappropriate position.

Hermione braced herself for the inevitable.

"HERMIONE GRANGER! WHAT ARE YOU DOING!"

Arthur Weasley, who had entered behind his wife, gave both her and Harry thumbs up behind his wife's back. "-TAKING ADVANTAGE OF A WOUNDED CHILD-" Hermione almost glared. Harry was no child. 'No, and that he has proved to you, repeatedly.' A smug voice that was not her own whispered in her mind. Her face went flaming red at that. "-ABUSING YOUR FRIENDSHIP-" The woman read 'Witch Weekly' way too often.

As Mrs Weasley paused for breath, Hermione tried to get in a word. To her mortification though, the worst thing happened.

Professor McGonagall, closely followed by Professor Dumbledore, had both heard the racket, and gone to investigate. And now, her esteemed professors had caught the Head Girl of Hogwarts in a very compromising position with the Head Boy.

She whimpered and struggled out of Harry's grip (he hadn't said a word through the entire exchange) only to hide behind him.

To late though. Professor McGonagall had seen. And she was not pleased. "Miss Granger, what do you think you are doing? And you as well, Mr Potter. I must say I had not expected this from any of you." She paused. Hermione noticed that Professor Dumbledore said nothing – he merely twinkled. McGonagall's eyes narrowed. "Such an inappropriate behaviour from the Head students at Hogwarts-"

Harry interrupted her. Hermione noticed that he actually looked quite smug. How did he manage that? After three dressing-downs in as many minutes? "Inappropriate, Professor?" he said innocently. "I would hardly call it inappropriate."

McGonagall's lips thinned even more, if possible. "Mr Potter, you would do well to be quiet. Behaviour such as you have shown here today is not acceptable."

Harry rose from his bed, taking Hermione's hand in his. "Indeed?" How he managed to be so authorative in a pyjama was beyond her, but she didn't really care. Did he have any idea how sexy he was when he took control like that? He tugged her down from the bed and wrapped an arm around her.

Hermione sighed dreamily, without even considering how silly and un-Hermione it was. Now he was possessive...

"I cannot imagine why it should, in any way, be inappropriate if I chose to be affectionate towards my wife."

"Mr Potter, what are you doing out of bed!"

Sometimes, Hermione thought, Madam Pomfrey was a lifesaver.


"If you must know, Albus, I placed twenty galleons on Mr Potter's eighteenth birthday, and another ten on Ms Granger – I apologise; Mrs Potter's nineteenth birthday." Minerva McGonagall did not look too happy as she sat before the Headmaster of Hogwarts, confessing some of her more ... frivolous ... actions.

"Thirty galleons well spent, Minerva," Albus Dumbledore twinkled gaily.

Sometimes, the old coot just delighted in tormenting his employees. 'He is planning something.'

"Yes," she said ironically. "A better investment I have not made." She sniffed disdainfully. She had thought the two youths would not act on their feelings this quickly, seeing as Potter had little to no experience with the opposite sex, and Miss – Mrs Potter had never been very forward when it came to boys.

Dumbledore chuckled. "I myself had 100 galleons on Graduation Day." He idly twiddled his thumbs where he sat, placed comfortably behind his desk. "I would so have liked to have the two of them walk out of Hogwarts, hand in hand." He smiled. "As it is, they probably will."

Professor McGonagall was a bit confused, and quite astounded. "You mean to say that you did not know?" she asked. It was rare that the wizened old Headmaster did not know everything that went on inside Hogwarts – and everywhere else, too. But then again, Harry Potter did have a tendency to surprise everyone – just take a look at his OWL score. After listening to Severus complaining about the boy for five whole years, she had gotten the impression that he had no talent at all for Potions – but lo and behold, did he not get the top score in said subject when the OWLs were graded?

Now that he was looking out to be one of the finest aspiring Potions Masters Hogwarts had ever produced, even the sourly Head of Slytherin had to concur that 'the boy had some talent, after all'.

"Indeed I did not," Albus replied. "It appears as though Amelia was sworn to secrecy."

So the Mistress of Magic was involved? Logically, she should have guessed. Someone would have had to wed the couple, after all, and Harry had saved her life last spring, so she owed him a favour (even though Harry insisted that there was no life debt).

"I am puzzled though," she said. "To my knowledge, wedding ceremonies require witnesses, and no wizard or witch, except their close friends, would have kept this happening a secret, and since it is obvious that none of their close friends knew about it, it cannot have been any of them. The press would have known everything about it before the marriage was even consummated."

Dumbledore chuckled (again). "Which is why the young couple choose Muggles – you did not believe that Harry would marry a young girl before consulting her parents?"

Of course not. Professor McGonagall had to see the logic in that – Mr Potter was a very polite and quite charming young man. There was a question, though. "Albus, how is it that you know all this?" she asked. "You claim not to have had any knowledge about this marriage before this afternoon, when it was revealed to us – in a rather inappropriate manner, I may add," she thought back to the scene in the Hospital wing. "But still you have an awful lot of information about it."

"Oh," the Headmaster said, casually. "I gave Amelia a fire-call. Seeing as she is the only possible person with the authority to do this in absolute secrecy, I knew she was involved, somehow. And now that the secret is out, she is no longer bound by her oath of secrecy."

That explained it then. But she still didn't know why she had been called to the Headmaster's office. Oh, well. He'd come to the point eventually.


Ron was pacing up and down in the boys' dorm, raking a hand through his hair, repeatedly, and muttering to himself. Neville had taken refugee behind his bed-hangings, Dean had, after half a minute of his pacing declared that Ron had gone utterly mad and left, fearing it was infectious. Seamus was probably off somewhere with his last girlfriend.

"They could have told me! I'm their best friend!" Ron raged.

'Yes, but when seeing how you reacted…'

"Don't they trust me!"

'…no.'

"I beg your pardon!" The red-head rounded on the annoying little voice.

'Chill! No need to be upset – they just don't trust the hypothetical person that might, hypothetically, try to pick your hypothetical brain.'

"Oh."

'Does internal voices have the right to relieved sighs?'

"But I'm still their best friend! They should have told me!"

'…haven't we been here already?'

"We're the Golden Trio, aren't we? We're not supposed to have secrets! Hell, we're not supposed to fall in love with each other either!" Ron paused. "Er…"

'Yes, I agree. That sounded very off. Gross, even.

"No matter!" he cried.

'Is this your insecurity complex showing its ugly head? The normal afraid-to-be-let-out-and-pushed-into-the shadows-by-the-oh-so-famous-hunk-who-lived/man-who-won-the-most-charming-wizard-award/man-who-triumphed-and-saved-us-all/boy-who-got-the-girl kinda thing?'

"No."

'Is too.'

"Is not."

'Is too.'

"Is not."

'Is too.'

"This is pointless."

'True.'

"The point is that they hid this from me! For an entire year!"

'Nine months, as a matter of fact.'

"And their explanation?"

'You must agree that it is quite sound.'

"Bollocks! It had nothing to do with wanting to protect Hermione from Voldemort-"

'Don't say the name!'

"-or securing some privacy! Bloody hell; no!"

'What was it then?

"Er…"

'An attempt to throw off the betting pool?'

"No, that's just too cruel."

It was then Ron had a horrible epiphany, just as Seamus returned from whoever he had been snogging. He had obviously overheard some of what had been said, for he looked quizzically at Ron. "Ron, why are you talking to yourself?"

Ron ignored him as the terrible truth hit him straight on. "I lost my bet."

'Talking to oneself is the first sign of madness, you know.'


"You have lost your bet, you know," Luna said absently as Ginny plopped down beside her.

Ginny snorted. "I don't care. I'm glad it happened – here I went and thought they'd never get together, and then they'd been doing it all the time."

Luna didn't bat an eyelash at Ginny's somewhat crude language. "Well, at least it explains Hermione's weird behaviour and all her references to 'Harry teaching her to fly' and 'riding his broomstick' – and that one about wands and polish."

Ginny raised her eyebrows as she too realised what that may have meant. "Oh Merlin. She's one lucky girl."

Luna merely turned the Quibbler and started to read it upside down. "I believe she has broken a few hearts today, catching Harry." The Quibbler front-page flashed the title 'Harry Potter, Wizard or Hunk?' towards Ginny.

She snickered. "No broken hearts, I believe. She's just angered a lot of girls who wanted to be the one to bed 'The Boy-who-lived', or, as Lavender aptly named him; The-boy-who-is-just-beyond-gorgeous."

"I'm not angry," Luna said dreamily. "I wouldn't want to bed him – I like Ron much better."

Ginny chose not to comment on that.


Harry sighed as he dropped into a chair in the Head Boy and Head Girl's common room. He had finally escaped the Hospital wing (yay), since Madame Pomfrey had been distracted by… er … it was something about a bet. He didn't know exactly.

Hermione was still mad at him for managing to spill their secret, but he honestly thought she was being stubborn. It wasn't that often she went into an argument she couldn't win, but he assumed that he was discovering a new side of her – which he didn't mind at all. He loved all sides of her, and if she had moments in which she was unreasonable, he simply found it endearing. She wasn't perfect, and it wasn't like she had to be correct all the time … that would have been very boring after a while. Tiresome, too.

That he secretly enjoyed getting one over her can pass unmentioned. He was convinced that she absolutely loved winning their arguments, and it wasn't that often he was able to outwit her. Not that he minded. He found that smug 'I won' expression of hers totally irrestible.

This one, of course, she couldn't win. He had too many good reasons for that. He would have to forgive her for being cross with him, eventually, when she came to her senses… Harry smirked. That could be fun…

Ahem, anyway, all those good reasons; firstly, Voldie was gone, no more threats on her life because of her connection to him. Secondly, they would sooner or later have been forced to tell the truth – for example if she became pregnant, which he had every intention of helping her with, someday. Thirdly, he knew she had never felt entirely comfortable with hiding this from their friends (he hadn't either, as a matter of fact) and it had made for some amusing and annoying episodes. They had had a rather intense spat when Terry Boot had invited her to Hogsmeade. Harry obviously wasn't the only one who had noticed just how delicious she was, and he'd been jealous. It had been an irrational reaction for his part, but it was bloody difficult to just stand and watch other boys flirting with her, not being able to do anything (It was supposed to be a secret, remember). She was his wife, for goddess sake!
But the making up had been good. 'Oh, yeah…'

Harry quickly decided that he'd go down that road when Hermione had stopped being angry.
So he settled for sitting idly, flipping through the pages of a book, and trying to read a little for his NEWTs. Not that he feared he'd fail them, or anything … his wife had her ways to convince him to study - none of them particularly innocent.

Since Hermione was a very intelligent witch, it didn't take long before she realised that she was in the wrong, and even less time went by before she figured that quarrelling with her husband was rather counter-productive. Therefore, Harry had merely read a few pages before a pair of arms came from behind and encircled his neck, and a kiss was placed on top of his head. "What do you think will happen now?" asked Hermione.

Harry was tempted to ask if she was still mad at him, but thought better of it. She liked to admit defeat just as much as he did, and he knew she had come to the same conclusion as he had; now they had to deal with the consequences.

"Well," Harry said slowly. "We'll have to brace ourselves for the press…" Hermione sniffed disdainfully. "We should probably give Luna an interview," he added. "At least we can trust her not to twist our words." Since he didn't think her position behind him was all that nice (he couldn't see her, nor touch her, nor kiss her) he tugged at her arm and pulled her into his lap.
Hermione nodded, agreeing with his words, her face taking on an expression of determination, which Harry always found incredibly cute.

"I just hope Ron will come around eventually," she said, biting her lip. "He was quite angry with us."

"Oh, he will," Harry assured her. "If not, Ginny will make him. She seemed nothing short of delighted." Did she have to bite her lips when she was thinking? It did funny things to his brain. And blood flows. "One very good thing has come of this, though," he said.

"Oh?" Hermione said, her eyebrows raised. It was obvious that she was still a bit miffed with him – if not only for the sake of appearance.

"I can now exercise my right to throw Terry Boot into the lake should he ever try to flirt with you again." He was not stupid enough to allow her to retaliate.


It was, undoubtly, the worst wake-up call Hermione had ever received.

Their bedroom had been invaded. Hordes of owls, of all colours and sizes circled around the room, hooting, screeching and fluttering.

So Hermione did something which was decidedly unlike her. She screamed.

As it was, that was rather fortunate, for it startled her husband (she liked that word) out of his shock and into action. Since he was a very powerful wizard, it was only a 'whoosh' later and a very disgruntled flock of owls could be seen on their way back to their respective homes, their letters and packages strewn all around a somewhat dazed couple.

It was not over though, for owls continued to enter their room, and Harry was forced to ward their windows, only letting in a few owls at the time. The stream of letters did not seem like it was going to stop very soon, and Hermione suspected that they might not be congratulatory.

Harry, being the practical, determined man he was, started to sort through the letters, and the sensible part of Hermione kicked in. Determined not to act as one of Harry's mindless fan-girls (she actually screamed?) she followed his lead. Several Howlers exploded randomly around them.

There were generally four kinds of letters; the pink, frilly ones, which were for Harry, coming with the most outrageous offers and containing pictures she would certainly burn before Harry saw them. Was this his normal fan-mail? She would have to start censoring it.

Then there was the hate mail, which were mostly bad-mouthing her and begging Harry to reconsider his choice - they were quite rude as well. She found herself described as an 'ugly, attention-seeking hag' and 'a devious, evil witch' who did 'not have what the Boy Who Lived needed' and should be 'discarded and trod upon as the filthy little mudblood she was'. They were quite hurtful, but she had always believed herself to have a strong character, so she decided to ignore them to the best of her ability.

The third kind was the threatening ones. Those letters were addressed to her, and was from people promising that they would kill her in various sadistic and inventive ways if she did not relinquish her claim to the Boy Who Lived. Some of the letters of the second and third kind were Howlers, but Harry and Hermione paid them little attention. They had enough to deal with as it was.

The fourth kind, however, was the worst, at least from her perspective. And seeing how Harry reacted, he thought so as well. She should, of course, have expected it. She had been through it once before, in her fourth year. But she was not at all prepared when the letter she held suddenly exploded in vicious blue flames. Had it not been for Harry she could have been seriously wounded. Fortunately, being the greatest wizard of his generation as well as several other generations, he was able to sense the magic in the letter and was about to interfere just as it erupted. Thus he managed to save her from the flames and heal the minor burns she sustained. It was however, the final straw. This morning had been the worst, ever, and she had to struggle to hold her tears back. When Harry saw that, together with the remains of the letters she had read, he acted ever so sweetly and wrapped his arms around her, pressing her face to his chest and telling her that they were all bloody idiots and that no one could ever compare to her. They were using his bloody title when speaking about him, for God's sake! As if he was some kind of trophy. ("Not that I mind being your trophy, Hermione,")

It didn't take long before she composed herself. Harry always managed to make her feel incredibly safe, so he had that effect on her. That didn't necessarily mean that she pulled back from his embrace - being the weaker sex had to have some advantages; Harry holding her and being all manly and sexy being one of them.

It was an odd sight, though. The two of them sat, embracing in the middle of what remained after the owl-storm, letters scattered around them, and one odd Howler still going off now and then. Hermione sighed heavily. To think it had only been yesterday that they had been discovered... And now they had to get up to face the school. The Gryffindors would probably take it calmly, but she wasn't so sure about the Slytherins. Nah, she opted for staying in Harry's arms instead. Perhaps she could persuade him to stay in bed a bit longer... say, an hour or two - perhaps the rest of the day?

Alas, they could not. No matter how tempting it was, it wouldn't be proper behaviour from the Head students. Besides, they would have to do something about these letters, something Harry had given some thought already.

"I'd say we send it all to my lawyers," he said. The firm 'Wren & Wetra' had been the Potter family's lawyers for centuries, and had a well-deserved reputation as the most dangerous advocates in Wizarding Europe. "They will certainly know what to do, and what steps we need to take. This-" he gestured towards the letter which had exploded on her, frowning "-can not be tolerated. If it had been merely a prank, then we could have let it pass. But this was certainly not only a harmless jinx, and I want the guilty one convicted."

Anyone wonder why Harry made her feel so safe?


When breakfast was over, Harry felt reassured that Hermione was back to her old self again. Her recent mood had, admittedly, confused him a bit, but he soon realised that the events of the last few weeks had been the cause of it. The stress of Voldemort, his own hospitalisation, their marriage being shrouded in secrecy, had sent her into hyper-fretting-mode.

He would have to make it up to her.

Thankfully, breakfast - harassing as it had been - had managed to shake her back to being his voice of reason. As the news of his married status had reached all corners of the school – and the world – already, she could also be his barrier against other girls. In the past, he had had to fend for himself when it came to them, feeling Hermione's burning gaze on him and knowing that if he stepped but an inch out of line, he would pay dearly.

To be honest, the now-visible rings on their fingers, and her fierce glare, were much, much more effective.

The fact that their rings could now be worn in public, and not hidden from the world, was what saved Terry Boot from sharing fate with Voldemort. Had Harry not been so pleased about this, the boy's comment (an uncharacteristic display of brash stupidity, considering that he was a Ravenclaw) 'I bet she's a whore in the sack' would have resulted in more than a temporary impotency hex – temporary in the sense of 'not forever'.

"I would appreciate if you did not refer to my wife as a whore, Mr. Boot," he had, quite icily, replied to that. "While I can admit that I don't have anything to complain about, I would rather that you did not speak of things you know nothing about." The last bit was said quite sarcastically, and Terry was smart enough to catch the insult.

Harry was quite pleased that he'd managed to protect Hermione's dignity, given the other boys around him just enough information about her ability in bed, and insulted Terry Boot (who dared flirt with his wife – the nerve!) in exactly two sentences.


Hermione had a dilemma. On one hand, she did not want to discuss the personal aspects of her marriage with the female population of Hogwarts – who were all very interested in everything Harry-Potterish, especially if it had anything with nakedness and sex to do. On the other hand, she was incredibly pleased about everything in her life that had with Harry Potter to do. In addition, she could not suppress her gossipy side completely – she was a girl after all. No one is perfect.

"Come on! Hermione! What's it like?"

Hermione looked pointedly at Lavender. The girl was not known for being a prude. "You mean you don't know?" Six years of sharing dormitory with the girl had resulted in her knowing a bit more about Seamus's physical abilities than she ever wanted to know.

Lavender merely rolled her eyes. "I've never slept with Harry Potter!"

'Something I'm eternally grateful for – he's mine!' She thought. Then she smiled calmly at the other girls. "I'm not complaining." The girls leaned closer, wanting to hear more. "You know of course, that Harry is of the … practical, open-minded sort." With that, she hid an indulgent smile and proceeded to eat her bacon.

The flock around her twittered delightedly, catching her meaning at once.

"What about his body, Hermy?" Parvati asked, eagerly. "You really can't see much with those robes he's always wearing."

For once, Hermione ignored the way Parvati butchered her name, and hid a grin. "He's an athlete, Parvati, with an athlete's endurance. What do you think?" 'Revenge is sweet,' she thought in satisfaction as Parvati went green with envy and the other girls gasped delightedly. 'Yes, who thought I would ever come to appreciate Quidditch…'

"But how big is he?" somebody asked from the back of the crowd. Everyone snickered and waited expectantly.

For the first time, Hermione blushed. 'Oh God.' It was not because it embarrassed her – far from it. These nine moths had taught her to appreciate the bigger… er, finer things in life. It was the memories… 'Is it hot in here or is it just me?'

Some of the girls giggled. "She's blushing," one muttered. "This gotta be good…"

'Oh yeah,' she thought weakly, feeling the need to … talk … to her husband, as soon as possible – privately, of course.

As much as they tried, they could not get another word out of her on the matter.


The day proved to be quite eventful. Both of them had to endure the eyes that followed them as they walked from class to class, the knowing looks that seemed to say 'We know what you've been doing together.' While true, it annoyed them both to no end. Especially Hermione, who wasn't used to this kind of attention. Harry took most of it in a stride, but kept his hand in hers as often as he could – finally proving to everyone that he was the only one who could claim Hermione. Hermione rolled her eyes at this behaviour, and would never admit that she thought it was cute.

"One should think that marriages was something rare and unheard of," Hermione scoffed and glared at a group of whispering girls. "Do they think it so strange that I'm capable of loosing my virginity?"

Harry, who was in the middle of his lunch, laughed, and consequently choked on his sandwich. Hermione patted him on the back as he tried to catch his breath.

"It's not funny," she said, her glare now directed at him.

"I think it's more strange that Harry Potter got married," he replied, grinning. "I am, after all, the hero of the Wizarding World."

Hermione poked him in the arm. "I'm impressed," she said dryly, sounding all but. "Though I'd think it more strange that Harry Potter was actually capable of getting a girl, clueless as he is."

Harry, knowing that she was teasing him, narrowed his eyes playfully. "You'll pay for that, witch," he said, eyes twinkling.

Hermione's eyebrows went up. "And how exactly do you intent do make me pay, mister?" she asked, her expression suddenly mischievous. With that, she placed a hand on Harry's thigh, and proceeded to trace idle patterns on his leg, dangerously close to...

'Damn…'

While she managed to eat her food and keep a conversation with Ginny, Harry didn't say another word during lunch.


Potions was always a trying lesson. Snape always did his best to get a rise out of Harry, and the fact that Harry had matured and paid less attention to Snape's childishness was a source of annoyance for the Potion's Master. Which again ensured that Snape gave as many detentions and took as many points as he possibly could. For some reason, Harry was sure that his married status would not change things to the better.

While never having done particularly well in Divination class, and only managed to scrape an Acceptable on his OWLs, Harry proved that he was an apt Seer that day. Severus Snape practically billowed into the classroom like an overgrown bat, made his way to the front and immediately sought out Harry. His eyes then flicked to Hermione, and his smirk turned ugly. Placing his hands on his desk, he leant forward.

"How cute," he said. The words jarred in Harry's ears, for he was quite certain that 'cute' had not been a part of Snape's vocabulary. "Our resident newlyweds," Snape continued, and glared a bit more.

He straightened suddenly. "I care not what you do when not in my sight, Potter, but you will behave yourself in my class! Keep your eyes and hands to yourself!" His scowl promised both point reduction and detention.

Harry almost rolled his eyes. Considering the fact that Snape hadn't picked up on the two of them all the nine months they'd been married, one should think that he knew how to behave himself.

Besides, he should save the comment about hands to Hermione.

Snape then continued to make sure that nothing disgusting should happen in his lessons, by moving Harry and Hermione apart. They both had to restrain themselves from speaking up, since they had been working on a rather important project together. However, seven years in Snape's class had taught them that objecting would not work, so they kept silent. Though, Harry lost Gryffindor ten points when he sent Hermione a despairing look. He'd been partnered with Roger Appleby, a Slytherin who should never have been in NEWT Potion class. He was almost as bad as Neville when it came to brewing potions.

"Well, that could have gone better," Hermione stated matter-of-factly when they could finally leave the class.

Harry merely snorted. "I am really, really glad that he won't be grading our NEWTs," he said. Not only had they lost several points for looking at each other – regardless of the fact that Hermione had to look in Harry's general direction when copying from the blackboard, but they had both gotten a T on the project they should've delivered at the end of the class. Snape paid no heed to the fact that him splitting them up had made it totally impossible to complete it, as all groups had different projects.

"So, Potter," a very unwelcome voice drawled. "How utterly predictable. Well, no one has ever accuse you of having good taste."

Harry's wand-hand twitched. After a totally awful Potions lesson, Draco Malfoy was not his idea of fun. Well, hexing him might be fun… "Did your brain cells die with Voldemort, Malfoy, or was it from loneliness?" he ground out, eyes flashing. "Because you're making no sense to me."

Malfoy smirked annoyingly. "I'm talking about the Mudblood, Potter. Who would think the almighty Boy-Who-Lived would settle for something so… dirty?"

It was a very stupid thing to say. One simply did not insult Hermione in front of Harry. It was just not a very intelligent thing to do. But then again, Malfoy was a notoriously slow learner.

"Though, I suppose, she has her uses," he continued, leering at Hermione.

Hermione, who knew the warning signs that Malfoy didn't, managed to stop Harry's hand as he went for his wand. Not that she would mind that Malfoy got a good hexing, but she had noticed what Harry hadn't – that Snape was standing not far from them, just waiting for an excuse to deduct points or assign detention.

Harry met Hermione's eyes, and with the silent method of communiqué that should annoy people around them in years to come, she managed to convey what was about to happen. Her eyes flickered slightly, and Harry understood. He relaxed, and put his wand away.

"Weak, Potter. Whipped already, I see." Malfoy drawled.

Harry, who had calmed down, merely smirked. "Kinky, isn't it?"