Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter

A/N: Hmm… I owe a huge apology to those who are reading The Return and waiting for updates. I've… kinda… sorta… hit a brick wall with that one. I know what'll gonna happen but it's not coming out the way I want it to. I'm really sorry… I've also not been able to write for a while. This oneshot took about a month to complete. I hope you like it though… I've been finding it hard to write romance lately though. It's happened each time I get involved with someone actually :S bit weird. Oh well.

On another note, no more updates will be coming in the near future. I'm not stopping writing; I'm just taking a much needed break. I need to concentrate on my final exams and after those I'm off to Melbourne (finally) and then to Europe very soon after that. Also, this hasn't been beta-ed. I'm lazy… want to get this out ASAP. I hope you like it guys… and thank you for the reviews on The Return. Please review when you've finished reading!

Trouble Sleeping

A deep indigo sky, full of bright, twinkling stars. Maybe that was what she would miss most. Maybe it would be the smell of early morning dew on grass… or maybe it would be the sound of rain pitter-pattering down on the roof.

She wasn't sure which she would miss most, but she knew that she would certainly miss these quiet nights. Sitting on the crest of a hill, gazing down at an empty field… gazing up at the star-filled sky. Wondering at the beauty of the natural world… wondering at how everything could seem a million miles away when she was simply gazing at these things.

Hermione sighed and lay down on her back, her eyes searching the sky for some sort of sign that everything really would be okay. She didn't find any though… no; there were no signs in the sky that this war would end in Harry's favour. Although, she reminded herself that there weren't any signs the war would end in Voldemort's favour either.

She wondered if, after the war was over and she was still alive, she would be able to look at things in the same way. She wondered if she would see the sky differently… if she would smell early morning dew differently… or hear the pitter-patter of rain pouring on the roof differently.

"I don't want anything to change," she thought out loud, gritting her teeth and glaring up at the sky.

She simply wanted to lie there forever… maybe with Harry.

Yes, that would be nice.

To have the man she loved lying next to her, holding her tightly and telling her everything was okay. To hear him tell her he loved her too…

"This is stupid," she muttered, closing her eyes and lifting her arms to cover her face with her hands. "We could die tomorrow and I would have never told him."

She jumped slightly as there was a rather loud hooting of an owl in a tree near her. Her heart quickly sped up as she sat up looking around wildly for whatever had disturbed the owl. With her wand drawn, Hermione rolled over onto her stomach and squinted her eyes.

"Stupid owl," she heard a male voice mutter. The figure came into view and walked to where Hermione was lying, concealed by the darkness.

She frowned, not recognising him, and as he came closer jumped up to encircle her arm around his neck from behind, her wand pointed into his lower back. "Who are you?" she whispered furiously.

After struggling for a moment he replied, "I could ask you the same question."

"Answer me," Hermione hissed, pressing her wand closer into his back.

"I could take you down right now," he murmured warningly.

"I won't ask you again," she whispered.

The man sighed softly, "I'm sorry," and quickly twisted his body in her arms, knocking her wand away from his body and moving one hand to hold that wrist away from him. Her other arm was still wrapped around his neck, and they found their faces less than an inch apart.

Hermione's eyes widened with shock as she recognised his emerald green ones, "Harry?"

"Hermione!" he exclaimed, springing back from her immediately and letting go of her wrist. "Oh Hermione, I'm so sorry –"

"No, don't worry," she said, sighing softly in relief, "It was my fault too."

"I didn't hurt you, did I?" he asked, looking terribly worried.

Hermione smiled and shook her head, "No, but I am glad that we're friends."

"I'm really sorry Hermione. Did you want to be left alone?"

She shook her head again, "I suppose some company would be welcome," she said, smiling at him.

He smiled back and they moved to sit back down on the crest of the hill. "Why are you up so late?" he asked softly.

"I've not been sleeping very well lately," she replied, sighing softly and gazing up at the sky again. "You?"

"I just needed to get away from that house. I mean, I love the Burrow, but I'm a little afraid Ginny might try to break into my room." He said this with a smile clearly evident in his voice and Hermione laughed softly,

"Still bugging you about getting back together?"

Harry nodded, "She thinks I just don't want her hurt."

"Well, you don't."

"I know, but I also… I don't really want to be with her."

"Ah," Hermione said, silently jumping for joy. "Have you told her this?"

"Yeah, but I think it went in one ear and out the other."

Hermione nodded, "Alright."

There was a small pause before Harry asked, "What about you and Ron? How's that going?"

She laughed softly, "That was a lost cause to begin with, Harry."

He smiled and turned his head to look at her, "What was wrong with it?"

"Oh you know; everything. We just don't get along, he eats far too much, and when he kissed me it was like he was depositing all of his saliva into my mouth," she shuddered, "Disgusting."

Harry couldn't help but laugh again and he slid an arm around her shoulders to pull her close, "Poor Hermione."

She smiled and laid her head on his shoulder, "Yes, poor Hermione."

"So why are you having trouble sleeping?" he asked softly, letting his arm drop to rest on her hip and pulling her a little closer. She obliged him, sliding her own arm around his waist.

"My brain is too awake. Even if I'm totally exhausted I can't turn it off," she said, sighing softly and closing her eyes. "Besides, I prefer gazing up at the sky to gazing up at the ceiling."

"What were you thinking about before I came out here?"

"How much I don't want anything to change," she replied quietly.

"Some change can be good," he insisted gently, "What if I won?"

"And what if you lost?" she asked, lifting her head off his shoulder to glare directly into his eyes.

He sighed, "Hermione, we've been through this –"

"I know we have," she snapped softly, taking her arm from his waist and shifting her body a little away from him.

"If I could, I'd stop all of this," he said kindly, his body automatically following hers, "I'd take you away with me and we'd be able to live our lives out as normal people. People with normal stresses… but I can't."

"I know, and I know you never wanted any of this to happen," she said, sighing heavily and giving in to his touch, moving closer to him again. "I'm just expressing irritation."

"Come here," he said, pulling her so she was sitting on his lap. They wrapped their arms around each other and Harry buried his face into her neck. "Can we be happy for the moment?" he asked, his face still at her neck, and his hot breath beginning to make Hermione's hormones surface.

"Uh… yes," she said slowly, biting her bottom lip hard and trying very hard to keep the images in her head from influencing her to do anything she would probably regret later.

"Good," he murmured, pressing his cheek against the side of her neck, and secretly marvelling at how soft her skin was. "You smell nice," he said, breathing her scent in deeply, and turning his head so his nose was on her neck.

"Thanks," she mumbled, closing her eyes and, against all her better judgement, swaying slightly closer towards him, so his lips were almost pressed upon her skin.

"Mmm," Harry murmured, closing his eyes too and allowing his lips to touch her. He pouted them slightly in an immediate response, and felt her throat vibrate softly as she made a strangled groan in the back of her throat.

Hermione frowned furiously, trying very hard to not make anymore noise, chewing down on her bottom lip. But she felt him part his lips and poke his tongue through to touch her skin, making her squeak softly. "Harry," she whispered, groaning softly again as he grazed his teeth across her skin, his tongue massaging where he'd bit her.

"Mmm?" he murmured again, not stopping what he was doing.

"We… we shouldn't," she mumbled before opening her mouth in a silent moan as he bit her again, sucking in on her skin.

He moved back from her neck and her stomach dropped as the contact was lost. "You're right," he muttered, frowning, his eyes closed. "I'm sorry Hermione."

"It's okay," she replied, a little breathlessly, breathing hard through her nose.


"That shouldn't have happened," she whispered, turning her head to face him and staring straight into his eyes.

"I know," he replied softly, inching closer and bumping her nose with his.

"This shouldn't happen," she whispered, knowing their lips were less than a centimetre from each other.

"I know," he repeated, making contact with her lips finally, softly and tenderly. It wasn't a terribly long kiss, and it was certainly not long enough for Hermione.

When it ended she whispered desperately, "Why are you doing this to me?"

"What?" he asked, frowning.

"Stop teasing me," she murmured huskily, moving forward to kiss him again, opening her mouth to suck at his bottom lip, and slipping her arms around his neck, sliding one hand up the back of his head to tangle her fingers through his hair.

He felt her shift her body around so she was facing him, her thighs resting either side of his, pulling him closer so that she was pressing herself down into his hips. He slipped his arms around her body to her buttocks, where he pulled her closer, rubbing his hips up to hers.

"Mmm wait," Hermione murmured, breaking the kiss, but still rubbing her hips down into his slowly, in a clockwise rotation.

"What's wrong?" he asked, looking up at her, his eyes looking slightly glazed over.

"What about Ginny?" she asked, chewing on her bottom lip.

"What about Ron?" he asked, raising an eyebrow at her and the glazed look disappearing.

"I don't like him."

"Well, I don't like Ginny. What's the problem?"

Hermione paused. "I suppose there is no problem."

"Don't you want to do this?" he asked, looking apprehensive.

A small grin spread across Hermione's face and she leaned down to kiss his lips tenderly, "Of course I want to do this," she whispered to his lips, kissing him again. "I just wasn't sure about you…"

"Well, be sure," he replied, kissing her back softly. He pulled back for a moment, removed his glasses and then moved back to kissing her again, making Hermione laugh softly in the back of her throat.

The rotation of their hips on one another sped up slightly as their kisses deepened, and Hermione felt Harry's hands inch under her shirt, around to her front. She pulled back from his kisses and ripped her shirt apart, her buttons flying into the grass.

Harry's eyes widened slightly, "Are you sure?"

"I've always been sure," she murmured, her hands going to cup his cheeks and kiss him again, "I want to experience everything I can before I die Harry… I want to experience true love and pleasure… I know you can give that to me."

"It's not like I'm an expert," he mumbled, his eyes dropping from hers.

She laughed softly, and her hands moved to his shirt, tugging it up and over his head. "Do whatever you feel is right," she whispered, leaning forward to kiss him again, and taking his hands to guide them up and around her back, to the clasp holding her bra together.

"I don't know what–"

"Please," she murmured, looking into his eyes and moving her hands away from his arms.

He bit his lip and unhooked her bra, letting it fall apart. He watched her slip it down her shoulders and off her front and couldn't help but grin slightly at he watched her small nipples harden in the cool night air. He looked back up at her face to see her eyebrows raised in slight worry.

"Beautiful," he whispered, leaning up and kissing her lips, letting his hands wander around to her back, pulling her closer to him…

"No one can know," Hermione whispered a long time later, as she lay there in the soft grass in his arms.

Harry sighed and nodded, pulling her a little closer, "You're right."

They were silent for a moment before he spoke again,

"You can't come with me," he whispered, looking down at her.

She frowned and sat up slightly to look at him properly, "What?"

"You can't come with me to find the horcruxes Hermione."

"Why on earth not?"

He frowned and said, "I should think the answer to that question is obvious."

"It's not," she said shortly, narrowing her eyes. "You think that just because we had sex, you can tell me what I'm going to do?"

"If Voldemort found out…"

"Voldemort already wants to kill me! He already knows how much you care about me, and he knows that I'm muggle-born, Harry. Do you really think he won't come for me if I'm not with you?" she asked sharply, shifting her body away from his to fetch her clothing and begin to pull it back on.

"It's not that…"

"And I suppose it's not crossed your mind that I'm probably better protected with you, rather than away from you?" she asked swiftly, cutting across him.

Harry sighed and closed his mouth and reached over to touch her shoulder, "I'm sorry," he said softly, moving closer to her, "You're right."

She sighed and turned around to face him, her underwear now back on and her bra in her hands. "I don't care what Voldemort does to me," she whispered, chewing on her bottom lip, "I am ready to die for you, Harry."

"I hope it doesn't come to that," he replied wearily, pulling her to him and hugging her tightly.

"I do too. But I'm ready," she repeated, pulling back to gaze into his eyes. She smiled weakly and shrugged slightly, "I love you Harry… I honestly do, and I'd do anything for you."

Harry smiled back and leaned forward to kiss her lips softly, "I love you too Hermione."

She smiled happily and said, "So what are we going to do about… us?"

Harry glanced at the house and then back at Hermione. "Keep it a secret for a while at least. Until everything with Ginny and Ron blows over."

"Alright. Should we go back in then?"

Harry grinned slightly and kissed her lips again, "Considering that we won't be able to do much for a while, I'd like to spend some more time with you out here."

She laughed softly and her hands trailed down his back to his buttocks and squeezed him slightly, "Would you?"

"Wouldn't you?"

She smirked and kissed him, sucking on his bottom lip and trailing one hand around to his front, stroking him softly, "Maybe."

"Good," he murmured, before lying back and tugging her down on top of him.

Life that year would not be easy. It certainly wouldn't be a happy year. But they would get through it… no matter what. And Hermione would always be at Harry's side…

The End