When Charlie sleeps, he takes over the entire bed. He usually sleeps on his belly with his legs and arms sprawled across the mattress. Sometimes, he'll sleep on his side but he still somehow manages to be everywhere at once. He rarely sleeps on his back unless he's had a rough day at the colony and is too sore to move once he's fallen asleep. He hates heavy blankets, even on the coldest nights, and doesn't usually use more than a sheet that is rarely pulled higher than his waist.
Charlie snores except when he's dreaming. It's a low snore, more of an occasional snort followed by little bursts of breath, always more than two but never more than five. If he's dreaming, he's quiet save for his even breathing and, depending on what type of dream, a whimper or moan. It isn't often anymore that he whines in his sleep, the signal that he's having a bad dream. If he does have a nightmare, he holds her tight against his chest and buries his face in her hair while he shivers and makes soft whining noises that make her want to make everything better.
When they first began their relationship, Hermione got used to the tight holds and whines. It was in the midst of the war when nightmares and bad dreams couldn't be told apart from waking life. They became friends when their paths crossed on several missions. He was Ron's older brother, the one she didn't know very well that spent his time working with dragons, the one Ron constantly talked about in regards to Quidditch glory, the shorter, muscular one that was covered in freckles and burns from his work. He was different than she'd expected: more serious but with a mischievous streak and a friendliness that she found appealing in such dark times. They were just friends, though she had been attracted to him from the time he first smiled at her.
They became lovers after an attack on Diagon Alley that left many wounded or dead when there was nothing they could do to save them. It had been six months into their friendship, and they'd become closer as they spent time together on missions and reconnaissance. Her relationship with Ron had been brief, occurring the summer after their sixth year at school, and he'd moved on to realize he had feelings for Harry so it left her as the odd one out, which meant she spent more time with Charlie. When the Diagon Alley attack happened, Hermione had felt frustrated and helpless. She had sought comfort and an outlet for that frustration, finding both with Charlie.
It had been fucking, rough and desperate, and they'd been even more bruised and sore after. When it was over, she'd cried and he'd held her. She'd felt safe for the first time in years, and they'd fallen asleep knowing that something had changed. In the morning, she'd woken first and that had begun her habit of watching Charlie sleep.
Seven years have passed since that first night. The war is over now. The nightmares that often filled the nights during the first months of their relationship have faded. They've been married for four years, though they lived together for a few years before they took that next step. And Hermione still wakes early in the morning just to watch him sleep.
She loves the way he seems to surround her when they're in bed, taking over all the space but making her part of him instead of pushing her out. His eyelashes are a pale ginger and longer than he cares for since he claims it makes him girly, as if Charlie, strong, muscular, brawny Charlie, could ever be considered girly. When he's asleep, they flutter and brush against his sun-kissed skin. He has a freckle beneath his right eyelid and another at the corner of his left eye. His nose is crooked from where he broke it falling out of a tree when he was six, after he decided he was old enough to fly, with or without a broom. There's a burn on his cheekbone near his ear that he got when he was in his first year training to be a handler.
Over the years, Hermione has learned him. He's her favorite subject, possibly because it often requires hands-on participation. Touching Charlie, after all, is the only thing better than watching him. She learns more every day, it seems, and she loves that she can't ever learn everything. He constantly surprises her, whether it's with a thought, a new freckle or burn, or something more random. She gets embarrassed when he catches her looking, even though he looks at her, so these quiet moments in the morning have become routine.
He sleeps naked, though he will occasionally wear a pair of shorts sometimes that ride low on his hipbones and are usually novelty from the most recent holiday and always a gift from Bill, who thinks it's funny to buy Charlie silly shorts. They tend to only come out of the drawer when she's having her monthly, a time when sleepy sex and being cuddled by a strong naked man isn't high on her list when compared to cramp potions and chocolate, or when they have guests, just in case Charlie gets out of bed in the middle of the night and wanders to the kitchen for milk.
Today, the sheet is low on his back, covering part of the tattoo that is inked on his hip and curls around onto his back. She knows the shades of ink that cover his body in three places, and will learn the fourth after he gets the one he plans to have tattooed onto his shoulder-blade. She listens to his snores as she watches him sleep. There's drool on his pillow, which makes her smile, and his hair is sticking up in various directions. He needs a haircut, she notes, as his hair is brushing against the back of his neck. He has to keep it short to avoid it catching fire, but she doesn't mind. She likes it long enough on top to grip when they're making love and doesn't care if it's any longer.
His leg is tangled with hers, the soft hairs rubbing against her skin as he shifts in his sleep. His arm is around her waist, his hand lying on her hip now that she's rolled onto her side. She usually sleeps on her back, and he has a habit of using her breast as a hand rest in his sleep. She teases him about it, which makes him smile sheepishly before he teases her back in ways that make her forget what she was talking about in the first place. When she can't sleep, she watches Charlie in the dark, knowing him well enough that she doesn't need light to see. There's something about him that calms her and settles her mind, makes the bad dreams go away, and she curls around him until sleep overtakes her once more.
Hermione likes that they fit together so well. His body molds to her in a way that doesn't possible when she's all round curves and soft edges and he's all hard angles and sharp edges. They make it work, somehow, and there's nothing quite like having her skin against his. She'd originally worried that they'd not be able to fit together anymore as time passed, but they adapt and adjust and it's still a perfect fit.
Charlie snorts and lets our three soft breaths in quick succession as his arm moves. His hand rests on her belly, which seems to be replacing her breast as his favorite resting spot recently. He mutters her name in his sleep and rolls onto his side before he snores again. She smiles when he moves towards her in his sleep, his legs entwined with hers as he pulls her closer until he's snuggled against her. Her belly rubs against his and he sighs before he relaxes and continues to sleep.
The baby kicks, and Hermione watches Charlie's cheek twitch as he feels it against his belly. He smacks his lips before he slowly opens his eyes. She can see the sleep gathered in the corner and knows he's not yet awake. It's early, after all, and he's been working extra hours to gather enough time so he can take off in a couple of months when she has the baby. His eyes are a deep green that remind her of fresh grass and summer days. Charlie's like that, to her. He brings warmth and light to her life, makes her enjoy the small things like smelling flowers and a sunny day.
He smiles a sleepy smile that causes his dimples to show and his eyes to crinkle at the corners. He's only thirty-five and could still pass for much younger, especially when he smiles, but he has laugh lines that show he's not one for dwelling on the negative or being pessimistic about things. Because of him, she'll eventually have similar lines of her own, but she can't complain.
"'m still sleeping," he murmurs in a voice that is low and husky from sleep.
"Yes, you are," she whispers back as she reaches up to wipe the drool from the corner of his mouth.
"Baby kicked," he tells her before he yawns and pulls her closer.
"Get some sleep," he says as he looks down at her belly. "Mummy needs her rest."
A kick follows his words, which makes her smile. "I think that's a no."
"Gonna be as stubborn as its mum," he mutters before he lightly kisses her, neither one caring about sleep-mouth or teeth that need brushing. He pulls his head back and grins as he touches her face. "You're beautiful and you're mine."
He closes his eyes and snuggles closer. He's asleep again before she can confirm that she is, indeed, his. She smiles as she rests her head on the pillow and watches him sleep. It isn't that long before her eyes drift shut. She listens to the easy rhythm of his breathing and soft snores as she drifts back to sleep in his arms.