Passions Maelstrom: Undeniable

The castle was still. Not because it was late and students were asleep. Nor that Filch had ceased his patrolling of the corridors hours ago. The house elves, having long completed their duties, had called it a well-worked day and settled down in their nests. The stillness came from the very air. The overcast sky seemed to be holding its breath waiting for something to happen. Something significant.

The stifling humidity visibly wafted into the valley the day before and had reached its apex as the cloaked moon rose. Students were irritable and professors impatient. Robes stuck to bodies and socks became soggy messes in the bottoms of shoes.

Harry stretched to his full length on the bed and purposely kept his arms and legs from touching his body. His privacy drapes were pulled wide as not to hinder the first breath of breeze – should one occur. He knew it would. It would have to. Nothing can stay the same for long. Let alone the weather. He felt that EVERYTHING was on the cusp of changing. And it not only had to do with the beads of sweat that were prickling the fine hairs around his ears and sliding down to the nape of his neck.

'Adventures' in his life had taught him to expect the unexpected. Whenever he was pressed for a specific example, his standard response would be recounting the day he found out he was (of all things) a wizard after being subjugated for years by his only living blood relatives, the Dursley's. There was something about this night, though, that had him shifting as he lay on top of his covers. Somewhere deep inside there was some aspect of himself that wanted to be – needed to be – part of whatever was going to happen. Yet, he was loath to get out of bed. His mind drew a parallel between his reluctance to rise and the latent guilt he felt when his footsteps were the first to mar freshly fallen snow. But, that small part of him would not let him be. It became more and more insistent until he graduated to feeling restless. Which is NOT a sleep-conducive frame of mind.

Conceding defeat, Harry swung his feet over the side of the bed and sat up in one fluid motion. Leaving his dressing robe draped over his trunk, he opted to add a pair of house slippers to the t-shirt and shorts he had donned as bedclothes. He had enough experience sneaking out after curfew that none of his four roommates stirred when he left the room. Balancing on the balls of his feet, he rapidly descended the stone stairs that led to the common room. Silently gaining the large room with its cozy couches, squishy armchairs and sturdy study tables, he glanced about and noticed that all the scattered, empty butter-beer bottles, crumpled pieces of parchments that didn't quite make it into the fireplace and all the other refuse left by his fellow Gryffindors had been cleared.

It was enough that he was out of bed and moving about. He could not, however bring himself to speak. Instead, he silently gave thanks to the conscientious house elves assigned to the Tower and throughout Hogwarts. In fact, he mused, how could anyone NOT feel a sense of allegiance to the school – regardless of your specific species?

Sweeping his gaze around the room one more time, Harry spied Crookshanks on a far tabletop. Not quite sure what he was seeing, Harry crossed the room to get a better look at the half-cat/half-kneazle - which had shed more than a few ginger hairs on his black school robes. Closer inspection revealed a sight that was almost enough to make Harry chuckle out loud. It took only moments to understand why the bottlebrush-tailed cat chose to sleep where he was. The smooth, polished wood was (in all likelihood) the coolest surface in the dormitory. What was astonishing was the position Crookshanks had contorted himself into. The feline was on his back with his neck bent and his head cocked to an unbelievable angle. His body was slightly bowed. Forelegs were resting on the well-worn tabletop and his paws pointed up towards the ceiling. Those hind legs! They were completely splayed out in a manner that would be considered…. obscene if he were human. That's what pricked Harry's sense of humor most of all. All in all, Crookshanks had as much of his body pressed against the cool wood as possible while leaving himself exposed (again, he had to fight the snicker that bubbled in his chest) to the relief that he knew was coming.

Clever kitty.

Clever Harry. That animal would be his means of getting past the Fat Lady's portrait without being noticed.

Rousing Crookshanks with scratches to all of his favourite places (behind his ears, under his chin, just to the outside of his whiskers) brought a second, involuntary smile to Harry's face in as many minutes. How many times had he caught Hermione lavishing attention on her beloved cat when she didn't think anyone was paying any attention to her? Mentally sighing, Harry knew that she always caught his attention. Oh, well.

Pushing that thought aside for another time, Harry could see why Hermione got that "look" on her face whenever she spent some one-on-one time with her pet. The simple act of bestowing the gift of pure pleasure and affection without looking for anything in return solely because you want to physically manifest the feelings you have was a sudden flash of insight for Harry. Come to think of it, there isn't a week that goes by when Hermione doesn't help me understand a theory, diagram a Transfiguration in a way that allows me to understand the process more clearly or surprise me with her grasp of the materials in Advance Potions. Now, she was teaching him a lesson he was surprised he didn't already know. En Absensia.

Crookshanks stretched and pulled on his muscles as he became more awake. Harry could only imagine the kinks his own body would have if he ever managed to twist himself into that position.

Still not wanting to disturb the quiet, Harry merely looked down and made eye contact with Hermione's familiar. Harry was caught off guard when he saw recognition cross the cat's face.

Flexing his paws, Crookshanks dropped off the table and nimbly landed without making any noise what so ever.

Harry followed and paced his strides in time with the animal's footfalls. He watched as Crookshanks rubbed his body three times against a knot in the portrait door before it swung inward. He heard, rather than saw, the Fat Lady grumble tiredly - but without reproach - when she saw the familiar gingered-coloured feline. Harry, for his part, barely crossed the threshold before the door closed again. Pressing his body as flat as possible against the wall he waited. For what, he really didn't know. That is, until Crookshanks gave him a look through his bottlebrush tail and over a furry shoulder. Harry cocked his head quizzically. Crookshanks stamped his forelegs. Harry still didn't understand. Twisting his ears one at a time (like he was trying to dislodge something), Crookshanks gave himself a mighty shake that started with his nose and ended with an impatient swish of his tail. Turning completely around, he faced Harry squarely and blinked both his eyes at the same time. Twice. Now Harry got it. The woman in the portrait had gone back asleep! Nodding his head in a gesture of thanks, he gave the cat a jaunty 3-fingered salute and headed down the corridor in confidence. Harry couldn't help but hope that his cohort would soon find another cool place to rest until the weather broke.

Harry moved lightly through the castle. His slipper-shod feet tread silently on the warm stone. He wasn't ready to venture beyond the ancient structure but he wanted – needed - to be able to survey not only the castle but the grounds as well. With no particular destination in mind, he wasn't surprised to find himself climbing flights of stairs to the Astronomy Tower.


Chapter 2

Pulling himself over the last rung of the ladder and landing with a flourish, Harry saw that all the schools' telescopes were still focused on whichever star was last viewed by the previously scheduled class to leave the Astronomy Tower. Mentally picturing the star chart that decorated the roof of his four-poster bed (another one of Hermione's brilliant ideas) Harry made a game of trying to guess which heavenly body had been last observed by all the different lenses scattered across the open air Observation Deck.

For no overtly obvious reason, his concentration was suddenly shattered. Something is different. Something had changed. He could feel it. But what was 'it'?

He knew that nothing had yet to move in the castle. Everyone and everything in the castle was still in a state of lethargy. The 'it' had something to do with the very air itself. It felt… charged. Not to the extent that aroused any feelings of anxiety. Groping for the correct context, he would have to admit that he felt like his senses were in a slightly more heightened state. Several metaphors crossed Harry's mind before he put his mental fingers on the description that seem the most… appropriate. It reminded him of the time he had been watching someone who had been holding their breath and was feeling the first licks of panic - knowing that shortly they would either be forced to exhale or pass out.

A slow movement caught the corner of his eye. That's odd – one of the telescopes is no longer pointing up at the stars. Harry crossed to the errant piece of equipment and crouched down. Aligning his line of sight with the new angle of the lens, Harry tried to make out as to where he was now looking. Not seeing anything but the lake, Harry fitted his left eye to the barrel of the scope and adjusted the focus. What he saw was a nook along the lake's edge that he hadn't noticed before – not in all the years that he had been at Hogwarts.

Heat lightening flashed over the distant mountains that flanked the valley. Harry's night vision was unaffected because it was too far off to do anything but make its presence known. Or was it? He could have sworn that in the instant that followed the flash, he saw something glint in the water along the far side of the quiet nook. Whatever it was, it glistened silvery every time there was a burst of lightening.

Wanting to eliminate the possibility that somehow the glare of his glasses was what he saw, Harry slipped them off his nose and carefully placed the folded frames into his shorts' pocket. Readjusting the focus, he waited.


Disappointed, he was a heartbeat away from disengaging himself when another distant flash went off. That is when he saw that shimmering silver gleam for a second time. Wanting to be absolutely sure that it wasn't the glare of the lake refracting off of one of the numerous storey-high picture windows, which dotted the exterior of Hogwarts, he waited for the next unhurried burst of lightening. His patience was rewarded with not one but two pulses of cloud-to-cloud light where that latter flash was more pronounced than the first. The second flash illuminated a silvery ripple that marred the lake's glass like surface.

Stealthily following the paths that would lead him to that discreet area of the lake, it became more apparent that it was more than curiosity that drew him across the school grounds.

The grass was dry against his house slippers. The summers' heat had prevented rain but the lake leached enough moisture into the soil to keep the grass supple and silent.

Deciding that a full frontal approach may not be the wisest course of action – after all who knows what I might encounter – he altered his track slightly as he come up on the shrub and tree formation that he had viewed from the Tower. Being able to inspect the area much more closely, Harry could see why this part of the lakeshore was so unfamiliar. It was so well concealed that it gave credence to his speculation that someone would have to be invited into the sanctuary that the nook provided rather than the cove allowing itself to be discovered by deliberate exploration.

Stepping through the thick shrubs, underbrush and intertwining tree boughs, the screen like foliage offered almost no resistance to the dark-haired boy's questing hands.

Another round of heat lightening afforded Harry a better look at the shimmering, silvery unknown that had beckoned to the seventeen year old all the way from the Observation Deck. This time, the lightening pulsed three times and Harry's un-bespectacled gaze never left what he caught sight of in the water.

Whatever it was, it was something that he had never seen before. Beautiful was the first word that Harry's mind used to describe what was in front of him. Mini waves of silver lapped at one another. And where the ripples met was where the shimmering, silvery light had the greatest concentration. His eyes followed one particular series of ripples as they journeyed across the surface of the lake and attached themselves in an ever-thickening ribbon of beauty on the moss-covered bank. Harry could just make out the contrasting evergreen trees that only served to compliment the sight before him. Taking in a deep breath, he knew that if he had stayed a-bed, he would have truly regretted not experiencing this phenomenon. He couldn't help but think that if his mates heard his thoughts they would not hesitate to rib him for weeks!

Bringing his attention to the water's edge, he squinted into the darkness. There is something about those ripples. They were coming ashore in regular intervals. Not that there were the same amount of waves to each set – but there was a definite rhythm. An unexplained tension began to grip him. The waves were travelling much more closely together and their silent lapping was increasingly more insistent. Then, inexplicably - they stopped all together.

A thousand cries of dismay echoed in Harry's head. He knew that he hadn't been seen – at least not yet. The trunk of the tree he was leaning against was an ideal shield. What happened? He didn't dare breathe lest that was the cause. Was it simply over? Was what he saw all there was? What…

The flurry of questions that crowded his mind came to a screeching halt. He saw what he had been waiting for – without knowing WHAT he was waiting for.

Lightening was flashing in pulses of two and three. For the first time Harry heard the distant growl of thunder echo quietly through the valley. And then he saw it.

It was a female.

She was beautiful.

A beautiful (again that was the only adjective that came to his sexually awakened befuddled mind) female form arose from the depths of the lake and broke the water's surface. From his vantage point, Harry could not see her face but the merest of profiles she presented left him with a loss for words. He watched with bated breath as her curved form emerged from the lake swathed in shimmering, living silver.

He realized that she had deliberately angled her head when she broke the surface to prevent her hair from becoming hopelessly entangled. Instead, her long hair was pulled flush against the sides and back of her head and laid flat against her back. The silver that tripped over her fingers as she moved her hands over her hair to squeeze off the excess lake water captivated him. He watched the play of her muscles as she swung her arms to stabilize her self as her perfectly tapered legs gained purchase on the root re-enforced bank. Without breaking her gait, she gathered her hair one more time and gave it another twist. Harry's imagination did not have to stretch far to envision the flow of silver that would have travelled down the groove of her spine. Perfect silver footprints traced her path from the water's edge to where she paused before a woven blanket that had been smoothed evenly over the softly aromatic, cushioning moss.

Her long fingers moved as one as she brought one hand and then the other down her arms. Harry's breathing hitched as he watched the same hands move to the top most slopes of her breasts, over the tightly budded tips and chase increasingly thickening streams of silver down her midriff. Over the slight concave of her stomach only to witness the silver develop into full-fledged rivers complete with the rapids that were where her hips joined her thighs and cascade the length of those wonderfully formed legs.

A moment of honesty flared behind Harry's eyes. He was glad that he could not see all of her, whatever she may be. He rather liked the fact that he only saw the profile of her face, neck, breast, stomach, buttocks and leg. At the very least, it would make the conversation he would have with Hagrid on the morrow (as to what she might be) leaving him just short of stammering for words and blushing to the roots of his hair.

The movement of her bending forward erased any thoughts of his friend from his mind. The gentle swaying of her breasts in the pulsing lightening as she turned her attention to her legs forced Harry to remember that he had to first to exhale the air he drew into his body before he could inhale his next breath. Her hands wrapped themselves around her thighs, down to the tender indentations behind her knees only to press the remaining silvered water off her calves that flowed over her ankles.

Thunder growled more loudly but he doubted that she heard it. She was now completely bent in half and was finger combing her long hair. Without warning, she straightened her body and flipped her hair back. Waves of wet tresses flowed down her back and splayed around her shoulders. She was highlighted in living shimmering silver. Even the gentle waves of her hair glinted with silver at every crest and trough. And where she had made the effort to 'dry' herself, a sheen was left on her skin that lead Harry to believe that her glimmering body had to be the result of silver flowing through her veins and illuminating her flesh from the inside out.

Again, the rumble of thunder echoed in the valley. This time it was even closer to where this enthralling creature stood and the tree that provided such an effective blind for Harry. Heat lightening pulsed erratically and with more intensity. And because she was standing perpendicular to him, Harry was left to surmise on his own as to whether or not her private curls glinted like the hair on her head.

Displaying an evident inherent grace, the arrestingly ethereal creature stepped on to and lowered her body onto the prepared blanket. In settling herself, her volumes of hair obscured her face in the fraction of a moment that Harry thought her countenance was going to be revealed. Instead, he appreciated the way she crooked her knees and rested her bottom and the small of her back on the plushly covered moss. Her feet were pressed flat to the ground and she supported her remaining weight on her forearms.

Another growl of thunder sounded and lightening preceded its mate by seconds. Silvered water glinted brightly in the darkness and the subtle glow her body emanated only added more layers of mystery for Harry to ponder as to who she was and what she was doing on a night such as this. He could only stand there and speculate as to what she would do next. She did not keep him waiting long as she lifted her head expectantly to the sky. He could tell that the powerful forces of nature were very much attuned to the quivering that fluttered along the long lines of her body.

More thunder – it was now coming in peals. The lightening that had – until now - been pre-empting the booming that now vibrated the very leaves of the tree where he sheltered was hard pressed to keep ahead of it's spouse. The air temperature changed – it had cooled ever so slightly. Somewhere beyond the tallest trees in the Dark Forest, the merest whisper of a wind began to chase the clouds that cloaked the sky. The first few fat raindrops began to fall.

Stillness had enveloped the valley, the school and it's inhabitants for hours. Harry was absolutely positive that she – whomever, whatever her origins – she was the FIRST to break the silence in a way that all the thundering could not. She laughed. She laughed with pure, joyful abandon as each drop struck her body.

This was HER time. THIS was what she had been awaiting. THIS was a part of who and what she was.

The longer she laughed, the more she enjoyed the rain. As her enjoyment escalated, the rain seemed to pick up in intensity and tempo. His eyes followed the outline of one breast as it rose and bounced every time she drew breath. He had never seen anything like this before; how her laughter travelled down the length of her body, caused her thighs to tremble and that her mirth reached the very bottoms of her feet. Her silver skin complimented rather than competed with the pearly gleam of her smile. She was… as part of her surroundings as she was unique unto herself.

The first few drops stayed on her body exactly where they landed. As the rain steadily increased, Harry was shocked to see her silver skin peel away. No, that isn't right, he thought. It's melting off her. Reprimanding himself for not knowing the right words to convey what was happening just a few yards away; Harry concentrated on the creature revelling on her blanket. He saw silver-rich drops detail something akin to a comet's tail as they raced down the planes of her body. Then, the skies really opened up and the deluge began.

Raising herself off of her forearms, Harry thought that she was going to flee for the shelter. He could not have been more wrong. She lifted her arms high and spread them beyond the width of her shoulders as she turned her palms to the treetops. Water wound it's way around her body like a river surging down stream. It flowed over her curves and sped across her stomach pushing the living silver into and out of her navel before coming to rest – like an eddy – on her blanket. Fingers were once again raked through her hair – but this time she used the rain like a rinse to rid her locks of their silvering.

What was she? Was she some sort of lake-maid? A naiad that had somehow found herself in a remote body of water far from the open sea that she called home? Perhaps she was the only remaining half of some tragic love that could not bring herself to leave the very place where her heart met its demise. Who else - what else - could swim naked in a lake inhabited with territorial merpeople and a giant squid in the darkest part of the night?

To find abandon in a storm…

To have her silver skin fall away to reveal…

Did she only come out at night? Was he the only person to have watched her emerge from the water? Ever? Or, was he the thousandth? Resting his forehead against the wet tree trunk, time lost all meaning. He could have been out of bed for five minutes or for five hours. She filled his senses and his mind and he had just begun to take in all that she presented – let alone what remained to be discovered. It did occur to him that the rain had slackened and that the thunderstorm had moved further down the valley.

A grumble sounded in the distance – there would be more than one storm breaking on this night…


Chapter 3

A grumble of thunder sounded in the distance. Another storm would be on their, her sanctuary before long. The tapering rain became gentle and caressing.

Harry's hiding spot had provided him with enough cover to keep him relatively dry. She, on the other hand, had chosen to be completely out in the open and was now just as wet as when she first climbed out of the lake encased in living, shimmering silver.

The silver that had once coated her was now pooled around her body, which rested on a blanket. He could not repress the twinge of disappointment that coursed through him as he watched her sit all the way up and pull her feet underneath her thighs. Rotating her ankles, she transferred her weight to her toes, flexed her leg muscles and pushed her self-upright. Edginess crept into a corner of Harry's mind as her saturated hair began separating itself into frustratingly screening waves. Stepping backwards until she was no longer standing on her blanket, Harry took in the sight of her bending at the knees, jutting her bottom out as she grasped the decorative fringe that made up the perimeter of her ground covering. Then he heard her murmur. Was she casting a spell?

Ending almost as soon as it started, there was a blur of movement that Harry's mind had to instantly replay to fully comprehend as to what had just occurred.

When she took hold of the blanket – she did whisper a spell. Then she raised her arms only as high as her waist and gave the blanket such a 'snap' that if Harry hadn't seen it with his own eyes, he would have sworn someone cracked a whip somewhere in his general vicinity.

Droplets of that shimmering, living silver splattered in every direction. Every low lying branch, individual blades of grass, the leaves on the shrubs and even intertwining coils of moss glowed as if a full moon was suspended in a cloudless night sky. Despite the precipitation that still fell, the silvered droplets adhered to the surfaces on which they landed. The combination of the snap and the vision that was now before him caught Harry off guard. He inhaled sharply. The quiet of the rain only amplified that ragged breath he drew into his body.

Harry froze.

He prayed that she did not hear him.

His prayer went unheeded - he knew that she had heard him when she stopped smoothing the creases in the newly settled blanket. I'm busted.

Pressing his left shoulder into the tree, he twisted to his right. Looking up and seeing wet bark and leaves drooping heavily with rainwater, he listened to his heart pound painfully in his chest as his mouth went dry. He had no choice but to do one of three things. One: he could remain absolutely still and hope for the best. Two: he could try to sneak away un-noticed and hope for the best. Or three: he could present himself and pray that the worst wouldn't happen. The story of Artemis and the hunter instantly came to mind. He couldn't think that being hunted, chased and killed by his own hounds could constitute as being a good thing.

Harry willed his legs not to fold as he pushed himself way from his tree. The next few moments passed quickly, but for Harry, it seemed like someone kept engaging a time-turner – every movement, exchange and inevitable spoken words were exaggerated and drawn out.

At the same time, his naiad drew herself to her full height and kept her gaze fixed on the lake. She gave no indication that there was anything amiss in her refuge.

Harry stepped completely clear of the foliage that had screened him for so long. He watched as she squared her body and began to adopt a defensive stance - she kept herself perpendicular to him and her right hand out of sight. The strategist in him congratulated her – clever girl.

Drawing a deep breath, it took the span of two more just like it for Harry to force himself to move forward. He was a lot closer to her than he thought. Even without his glasses, there would be nothing about her that would - or could - happen between them that would escape his notice.

She pulled her hip first and then her shoulder to the left so that she was facing him fully. Knowing that he was in the wrong for trespassing into her sanctuary, he tried to keep his eyes respectfully down cast as to not embarrass her or himself. He hurriedly thought of apologies and excuses, but his attempt at gentlemanly honour only lasted for a moment. His hormones turned out to be his undoing – he took in all the delights he knew her body possessed. His eyes reached the creamy expanse of her shoulders just as she brought that specific part of her body in alignment with her hips. His gaze rose to her neck as she tossed her hair down her back with a well-practised lift of her chin. His frantically rehearsed platitudes never got passed his lips when he looked at her face.

The naiad was HERMIONE!

Harry's jaw popped in its socket as his mouth opened and shut without a word being said. Recognition seared his mind. He knew no language that could translate the silvered water goddess into his best friend – best FEMALE friend – in the whole world.

For her part, from what Harry could see – Hermione relaxed her stance as soon as she realized exactly who challenged her solitude. A corner of her mouth pulled back in a grin Harry would bet a month's worth of Potions homework that he had NEVER seen before in all the years they had been in each other's company.

He however could not make himself move. He was firmly planted where he stood. He watched – mesmerized – as she strode the few steps necessary to stand directly in front of him. Hermione's eyes and her body language spoke volumes though her mouth never moved. Bringing her arms forward she encircled his wrists with her long fingers. Retracing her steps and moving backwards was the encouragement Harry needed to put one foot in front of another. He was acutely aware of everything: the rain that pattered softly on his face; the warmth of her hands on his captured wrists; the smell of… green… all around him.

Harry knew that his eyes and body asked so many questions in those first few moments that it would take years for Hermione to answer them all. For now, he was content to accept the replies she was giving him on the most urgent queries of the moment. The first of which she chose to answer by bringing the backside of her fingers to one of his temples and trace a path along the length of his jaw.

Taking his cue form her, he brought the backside of his fingers to one of her temples. The moment his skin touched hers – their eyes locked onto one another. Her cinnamon hued eyes met his emerald irises unflinchingly. He could not – would not – look anywhere else. And, for her part, she didn't look away but kept her gaze encouraging and even. He felt the slight protrusion of her cheekbone, the soft skin that was to the side of her mouth before coming to rest on her jaw as well. He knew that she could feel him work his jaw beneath her fingers as he struggled to rein in all the emotions that were competing for his attention.

Her turn.

Turning her hand so that her fingertips grazed the stubble that peppered his jaw and neck, Harry had to smile as she discovered and tested the different textures that at first gave her pause. He felt delicious shivers race along his spine as he felt her brush the area from every direction – marvelling at how with a flick of her wrist - he could feel so smooth and yet so very raspy in the same exact spot. As Hermione explored, he found it increasingly difficult to repress what he was physically feeling as she uncovered sensitive areas on his throat that he himself did not know he possessed until her questing fingers awakened dormant nerve endings.

His turn.

Keeping his gaze as steadily on her face as possible he let his fingertips grazed the underside of her jaw. A feeling of… he couldn't identify it but when she lifted her head to give him better access to the sensitive areas of her neck, the feeling surged. Breaking eye contact, Harry watched Hermione's heart beat at the hollow of her throat. Sensing that she was asking him another question, he brought his green gaze back to a set of orbs flecked with amber. His answered her question by lifting his arms away from his body. Hermione reached for the hem of his sodden shirt and pulled it over his head. He heard – rather than saw – it land on the moss-covered lakeshore. Then she did something he did not expect. She stepped back and withheld her next question.

It was his turn.

Not to do something to her – but to do something for himself.

The look on her face told that if he chose to walk way, there would be no permanent damage to their friendship. He had to decide – for himself – what he wanted – for himself. He had to make a decision about how he felt about the emergence of a 'them'. It was an astounding gift. He knew that at anytime she could seize control, envelope him in a passionate embrace and engage his sexuality. But that is not her style – she is not a Veela, Harry mused. Engage in tricks and ploys? That is not how Hermione thinks – unless she is defending those she loves. There was no denying that she was tapping into a reservoir of Hermio-courage. She was able to make it obvious to him that it was Harry – all of Harry - that Hermione wanted. It was equally important for her to know that he wanted her as well – but on the one condition that was even more vital if her gamble were to come to fruition. Harry would have to know that Harry wanted her – beyond an isolated sexual encounter. Realization and acceptance of what he wanted would elevate anything that may happen between them above and beyond the carnal level.

The moment stretched.

Thunder pealed and lightening flashed.

Rain fell on their bodies.

Harry saw her rib cage swell as she drew a deep steadying breath in preparation of stepping back and making the barest of amends.

Now, it truly was his turn.

Now it was his turn to pull back the corner of his mouth and mirror the same grin she gave him moments before.

Sliding his feet free of his slippers, he was surprised to find the wet moss springy and coolly refreshing between his toes. Using his thumbs, he hooked both his shorts and the waistband of his skivvies and simultaneously tugged them down so that they pooled around his ankles. Stepping free of the last of his clothes, he brought his gaze level with hers conveying the answer she was waiting for – yes, Hermione – I KNOW that you are the one that I want.

For the first time in a long time, he consciously lowered his guard and in return he was the first to receive complete access to all that Hermione was offering.

The feeling that he could not name surged again – more powerfully than before. She re-asked for the permission he had already granted. She answered his same question again.

A combination of curiosity and fascination fuelled the pads her fingers as she traced the length of his collarbone. She reached for his shoulders and stretched her hand around the corded muscle. She flicked her eyes back to his face and saw that he was focused on her facial expressions rather than what she was doing as she continued her journey around his triceps, down his forearm and back up to that tender spot on the inside of his elbow. She squeezed the bulk of his bicep and found no play in the muscle that resided there. Her fingers returned to his collarbone and confirmed that his other arm was just as sound.

Harry indulged in a moment of slyness – it would only be a matter of time before she knew the true extent of their capabilities.


Chapter 4

It was his turn and he wasn't going to relinquish his advantage any time soon. In fact - if he had his way - he could practically guarantee that it would be a while before Hermione would have her wicked way with him.

Her skin was rain slicked, which aided him in sliding his calloused fingers and palms over her collarbones. He was so close to her that he could tell when the goose bumps his touch raised receded. She was also much stronger than he would have guessed. He could feel the muscles in her shoulders flex under his ministrations. Gliding down the outside of her arm, he turned his attention to the inside of her elbow in hope of discovering if she were as sensitive as he proved to be. His hands came to rest where her upper arm joined the rest of her portioned body.

Looking back at her face, he saw a new expression come over her. Which caused another tidal wash of that feeling to rise – this time it seemed to be part of his very blood. Her focus danced between his eyes, hands and lips. For Harry, it was her eyes, full bottom lips and the hollow at the base of her throat that commandeered his immediate attention. They stepped together to time that the thunder kept. Lightening kept their sanctuary illuminated. The rain kept their skins slick and lips smooth.

For the first time since going to bed hours ago, Harry spoke, "Hermione?" He said her name as a question as well as a command; enticingly and yet full of reassurance.

Hermione's voice was so sensual that her transformation from best friend to 'something more' was complete. It was laden with as much emotion as five letters could carry. "Harry."

Two pulses of lightening and a crack of thunder broke her concentration. Excitement flooded her veins and shook her body. Her lips spread wide and her eyes became triangles as the next storm broke around them and encompassed her refuge. He could feel her body thrum with exhilaration as the rolling overhead clouds clashed.

Harry found himself looking at the sky as well. Not feeling the same sensation of freedom that Hermione was demonstrating, he found her enthusiasm infectious none the less. He found himself responding in a way that compelled him want to share in her exuberance. He reached down, bent his knees, grasped her hips and lifted her as high as he could into the heavens.

The squeak, squeal and subsequent bubbling laughter told Harry that she approved. After her riotously, slightly panicked bewilderment was replaced with joyful abandon, that is.

Hermione is so light! Nor did he mind being up close and personal with the concave of her abdomen. Especially as he saw her skin twitch when his warm breath dried the drops of water that clung to the very fine hairs that preceded their southern cousins. Her toes were brushing against the fine down that covered his legs and… She was slipping! And she knew it! How could she not? She was wet and slippery and it would be impossible for Harry to keep any kind of firm grip on her for any length of time. As her body began to slide downward, she instinctively dug her fingertips into his shoulders as a last ditch effort to support herself and maintain Harry's embrace. Acting on impulse, she opened her knees and hooked both her legs around the raven haired boy's waist as her palms latched onto his upper arms.

Deciding that he liked Hermione right where she was, Harry promised himself that she wouldn't be going anywhere any time soon.

For Hermione, the initial shock of being so intimately splayed led to a sexually induced haze as Harry stabilized her by cupping her two bottom cheeks in each of his large hands. Harry could barely accept the fact that the most beautiful, sensual, NAKED creatures to have ever walked the Earth was right now warm, pliable and pulled intimately against his unclothed body.

Laughter became swallowed chuckles as meaningful expressions were exchanged. Only to be renew by a mutual fit of giggles. It was during this second set of giggles that Harry James Potter deliberately and purposely kissed Hermione Jane Granger for the very first time. NOT as one friend would kiss another friend. And NOT because he was afraid that pressing his lips to hers what he was supposed to do. His physical response was definitely NOT as a means of distraction as to avoid something disastrous. He kissed her because he was happy she was in his arms. He felt her kiss him back because that was the best way she knew how to tell him just how happy she was at that moment in time.

Somewhere Hermione had tapped that enchanted brick that revealed all that was Harry. Somehow the barricade of self-protection Hermione had erected around herself had been breeched by Harry. Not because he had laid siege to her psyche or used subversive tactics. It was more the fact that it was now a matter of NO unpleasantness, projected false expectations or empty promises lying between them. In Hermione's world, kissing Harry Potter was just the most natural thing to do. He was as sure of that as he knew that the sky was blue and that his hair was black.

The kiss was so chaste! Two sets of lips merged only to pull away as quickly as they came together. Harry opened eyes he didn't remember closing to see Hermione's eyes wide open and looking intensely into his face. They kissed again. They kissed because it was their moment.

The staccato of raindrops on flora increased in tempo. Peals of thunder were audibly catching up with the lightening. Harry had Hermione in an embrace that knew no rival. Again and again they brought their lips together in rapid succession. Laughter tickled the back of his throat as the snapping noise of their lips pulling a part reached his ears. Her response only fuelled and fanned Harry's confidence. His kisses grew longer. His tongue strove for the treasures that lurked in the back of her mouth. He felt Hermione became more ardent in pressing every soft contour she possessed against his body and his mouth. Very quickly, neither one of them had the breath for laughter.

Her thighs were spread wide to maintain her grip around his waist. His hands were interlocked underneath her bottom to shore her up. Her hands were roaming everywhere – her explorations only limited by what she could reach. Tangling his hair, teasing the nape of his neck, stroking the base of his throat, massaging his shoulders and lightly raking his back with her fingernails. Her touch was setting off acres of goose bumps in the warm rain that fell around them.

Clever girl – she wrested my advantage without me even realizing that she had done so in the first place.

Pulling back from a particularly deep kiss, Harry looked up at a face he had seen for years and revelled in what he saw. Her damp hair hung in waves around her face, shoulders and back. Gone was the slightly knit look that haunted her brow ever since the first trial of the quest for the Philosopher's Stone – an adventure took place in their first year at Hogwarts. Her eyes did not have that all but veiled look of concern that was always there in varying degrees every time she looked at him. Her mouth did not have a quill pressed against it nor was the inside of her lip being chewed upon while trying to figure something out. Her back was not bowed with the extra twenty pounds of tomes she carried in addition to her full complement of schoolbooks.

She wasn't worrying about him. She wasn't focused on her grades. She wasn't feeling the weight of other students' glares because she was the most prepared student in any of her classes. There was no dilemma or nefarious plot threatening anyone she cared about. He was witnessing a Hermione – unbound. And it was good. It is better than good.

That unnamed feeling SOARED. It was now reaching the backs of his eyes. Amazement was the best description to come to Harry as he witnessed Hermione in all her sensual splendour. He was a Seeker and she was his Snitch – which he now held triumphantly in his arms. The loudest roaring crowd cheering as the House Cup was being awarded after a hard fought competition was nothing compared to the rain, thunder, lightening and the life giving breath they each strove for every time his lips met her descending mouth.

Harry's chest was heaving with exertion but it did not stop him from wanting to reach for breasts that bobbed so enticingly below her chin. Hermione's nipples reminded Harry of the raspberries – still warm from the sun – that he had picked in the backyard of the Burrow a couple of summers back. He remembered how he had placed a berry on each of his fingers and proceeded to eat each succulent fruit by its individual seed. Hermione's areolas were dusty pink and wonderfully crinkly – they were perched so high on her upturned breasts that occasionally their hardened points would graze his chest has the beautiful girl in his arms tried to press as much of herself against him as possible. He had to find out what she tasted like.

Deliberately alternating between sucking on her passion-swollen lips and stroking the backs of her teeth with his tongue – Harry drew Hermione into the most prolonged and fervent kiss yet. Unlocking his hands, he let his fingers slide to underside of her thighs and ever so slightly opened her up some more. He wasn't sure when she realized he had released her, but the feline-esque purr that vibrated his palates echoed his own when his erection slid along the rain and arousal slicked path between the base of her bottom and through the plump folds of her kittie. He smiled and rested his fore head against hers as his cock brushed against the bundle of nerves tucked inside their resting place her as her toes slowly touched the ground.

A low growl of approval and an arched back told Harry that lightly stroking her sides on the way to her firm breasts was definitely a good thing to do. So he did it again - and again. He stopped her from moving in and prevented her obtaining any more contact with his person. It was only fair! She had more time to explore him than he had of learning her body. Now was the time to make up for his learning curve. Or, better yet – learning Hermione's curves.

He used the moisture that coated her body to travel up and over the indentation of her waist. Fanning his fingers over her rib cage he angled his wrists so that his calloused palm caressed the outside of her breasts. He was surprised and yet pleased to see the contrast between his sun-tanned hands and the milky expanse of skin he was now touching that almost never had been touched by the sun.

Hermione may have made the first move. She might have kissed him first – back in Fourth Year – at Platform 9 ¾. She was definitely the only one he wanted to be pressed against him and exploring his body – but that was all going to change. Eminently. After all – it was still his turn.

Chapter 5: Passion's Maelstrom

Overhead, the third storm of the night descended on the far side of the valley.

Faster moving and more powerful than its predecessors, the effects of this squall would have students pressing their noses to the windowpanes as they were awakened from a heat and humidity-induced lethargy.

Lightening chased Thunder. Rain and Wind played a ferocious game of tag. Nature's on-coming vortex was on a collision course with a maelstrom of passion generated by two seventeen year-olds who were drawn together by circumstance, magic and desire.

Fingers made it a hobby to form rivulets of rainwater to tease the skin. Splayed hands glided over body parts and committed contours to memory. Kisses paved and smoothed the way to increased levels of pleasure.

That unnamed feeling pulsed with power underneath his skin. What ever it was, it was capable of stealing words from his tongue, robbing him of all modesty and stripping him of any selfishness.

The grove had no shadows as thousands of water droplets glowed with living, shimmering silver. Words had no place on the bank of the lakeshore. Looking down at where his hands came to rest, Harry knew that adjectives, similes and metaphors would be trite. Modesty was a substitute for fear. There was nothing to be afraid of: he knew what he wanted. How could he justify selfishness now that he had been presented with the most amazing gift of all: the opportunity to love and be loved?

A sensual game of 'Do as I Do' began. Harry mimicked every tender caress Hermione placed on his body. Where her lips touched his skin, he emulated the amount of time and pressure she spent. She ran her hands through his sodden hair and raked the nape of his neck. He wrapped her locks around the back of his hand and fashioned the second game of the night. Pressing hot, opened mouth kisses to all her pulse points between the hollow of her throat and the back of her ear, he wanted to see just how long his heated applications would last before he would have the privilege of re-warming the same spots. Not that he was a connoisseur of sexual pleasure, but just because he couldn't speak did not mean that he was deaf to Hermione's moans of approval or blind to the way she twisted her head to offer him increased access to places that she enjoyed having him touch. Trading the right side of her neck for the neglected left section coincided with her fingers reaching around his leg and stroking the most personal area of his inner thigh.

His knees buckled. So did hers. Her right hand stayed where it was – he caught a glimpse of her left wrist dancing in the air. Suddenly, the speed of their fall diminished as they both came to rest on the blanket.

This is dry! Harry's surprise did not last long. After all – look at whom I am with! Recalling the unintelligible murmuring that he had seen her mouth earlier, it now made sense to the dark haired boy. So, she cast THAT spell when she snapped her ground covering.

Pushing her shoulders back onto the softly woven blanket, Hermione's cushion was the richly piled moss that grew above the sandy lakeshore. Pressing her hands down when she went to reach for him, he let her taste a little of the strength his arms possessed when he once again denied her access. Her eyes flared wickedly as she tested the grip he had on her wrists. For the moment that is, he promised.

Looking up, he saw the tops of the trees begin to sway. A telling grip on his forearm brought his gaze to Hermione's face – which was transfixed by something going on behind him. The only thing behind me is the lake, he thought. Craning his neck, he followed Hermione's line-of-sight.

The entire surface of the lake seemed to be rising and falling to the cadence of the wind. There were no whitecaps transferring their angry, foamy tips across the breadth of the lake. Instead, he and Hermione watched in awe as great, beautiful crests and troughs of silver rose, fell and splashed against each other. The effect would be the same if someone had strewn a million moonstones into the lake only to have the creamy glow of the stones burst from the water in a sparkling silver upsurge.

Movement caught his right eye. Hermione had settled her shoulders flat against the blanket. He smiled as she lifted her neck and tried to free her hair from her collarbones. Releasing her wrists, Harry leaned forward. Using the pads of his thumbs, he glided over her mouth, nose, and eyebrows and pushed the rainwater off her face before lifting her drenched locks from underneath her body and arraying the tendrils on the ground covering.

There were no words to convey how her body was aglow from the silver all around them, a language to translate the expression on her face as she looked up at him, or explain the sensations of increasingly harder falling pellets of rain running off his back nor the way the element driven globules made her skin jump as the drops fell on her skin. That unnamed feeling pressed his fingernails deeper into his cuticles and had replaced his bright green eyes with the colour of the storm-whipped lake.

Harry felt Hermione's lesson rush through his body. Recalling his own words as they pertained to Hermione and Crookshanks, the lesson was immediately personified. The simple actions of bestowing the gift of pure pleasure and affection without looking for anything in return solely because I want to physically manifest the feelings I have for Hermione.

Prior experience in pleasing a woman did not exist for Harry Potter. However, he was a Grand Master in the area of self-gratification. Taking a cue from what pleased him that was the reference point he used for Hermione.

Spreading the fingers of one hand wide, all five tips traced the graceful lines of her throat. Bringing the same digits together at where her heartbeat could visibly be seen, he twisted his wrist. Following the midline of her body, the back of his hand only stopped when her body dipped inward instead of down. Her knees fell slack and the hinged joints rested flat against the woven ground covering. Her head tilted to the side and her mouth had started to form words that the wind flung to the treetops.

Resurrecting what he enjoyed when he had the dorm room himself or an empty shower room, Harry lavished on Hermione all the pleasures he had ever heaped upon his own body. Recalling the sensual feeling of cool air on his cock, he reached down and spread her nether lips wide. Her head twisted from side to side as the influx of cool air wafted over her liquid heat. Not really understanding all that he was looking at, he was able to cobble together a similarity between his erections and the way Hermione swelled with the impact of hard, heavy raindrops against her protected cove. Knowing that he enjoyed the way his hand massaged his balls, he covered her entire mound and applied pressure. Remembering how good it feels when a wet thumb circles the head of a flaccid penis, he slid the same digit against the bundle of nerves that had escaped its mooring. Reliving the sensations of rolling and pulling his own nipples when he slid his own hand up and down his cock, Harry reached forward and swapped twisting for squeezing as each of Hermione's hard peaks were given their sensual due. He exchanged five fingers for two fingers and treated the girl lying on the blanket to the rhythms that sent him over the edge time and again.

Momentarily closing his eyes to make sure he got the sequence correct, Harry looked down and seized Hermione's centre. He stroked her as if he stroked himself: sliding from the base to the very top, circling the top and squeezing the soft, pulpy flesh with a firm forefinger and thumb. His other hand was not idle – it was busy 'harvesting' the life-ripened raspberries perched on a pair of beautiful breasts.

The storm was almost on them; Hermione was thrashing. The lightening, the thunder, the earth and rain; her cries united the four elements.

Insight flared as he watched her climb to higher sensual peaks every time lightening blazed a path across the clouds. That unnamed power roared with approval as Hermione reacted to Harry pinching a nipple and her clit at the same time a flash of lightening split the sky. Instinctively, he pressed down – HARD – on her clit with his whole palm when the thunder rumbled. The way she pulled on her hair and reached for his body was enough to convey that she was close to coming undone. Her fingers rolling the twin treasures encased in their thickening, protective sack told Hermione that Harry was just strokes away from his own climax.

FLASH! That unnamed feeling was now talking to him. Pinch her clit, Potter!

RUMBLE! Grind her pussy – see, she loves it!

Orion's Eye, Hermione – don't do that! Her mind mastered his contribution to her pleasure and she was now translating it to a language her hand taught his cock. NOT YET! His body barely heeded the command not to erupt.


Pinch! Pinch! Grind! Pinch! Grind!


The sky exploded as a bolt of lightening pierced the thundercloud that broke over their heads.

Hermione SCREAMED with the onslaught of sensations that broke over her body.

Harry HOWELED because the unnamed feeling broke through its chains of restraint as it refused to be caged for another moment as the woman in Hermione was unleashed.

Rapture in the moment unified the thunder, lightening, wind, rain, and passion into a maelstrom that was barely alluded too in the footnotes of the Annuls of Lov

That unnamed feeling that replaced blood in Harry's veins was PASSION.

Passion had led him to the lakeshore. Passion had unveiled the ability to receive and give love. Passion activated the man inside Harry James Potter.

Swiftly changing position, Harry was between Hermione's legs. Pressing his own calves flat against the blanket, he tugged Hermione to her knees. His legs were slick with rainwater. Her body had heated the moisture on her skin to a scalding temperature. Spreading her thighs, he reached for her waist and lifted her so that she could find balance on her toes. He had her opening lined up with his erection, but this part she would have to do herself. The passion was all encompassing but not blinding. Kisses tucked apprehensions aside. Caresses eased trembling limbs. Feeling her take a deep breath, Harry made good on his promise to sample Hermione's raspberries.

Looking up from where he had one nipple stretched between her breast and his teeth, he heard the growl of clashing lions just as another sequence of lightening fired the sky. Biting down, he felt Hermione's heat kiss his cock. Switching to her other nipple, he pulled on the ends of her hair that trailed down her back. Letting her lean back just a bit, Harry used the hand tangled in her hair to support her while he snaked his other hand between their wet bodies.

FLASH! Pinch.

Rumble! Grind.

Lips came together. Abdomens pressed together. Harry inhaled when he could as her wet breast sealed his nose time and again.

FLASH! FLASH! FLASH! Pinch. Pinch. Pinch.

Oh Holy Merlin!

She was all the way down – he was fully imbedded in her. His fingers were still gripped around her clit; her nipple had slipped from his mouth. Her mouth was wide open and he could see when she swallowed the falling rain. Rising and crashing down as the wind whipped their hair in every direction; the full-fledged fury of the storm had arrived.

She looked down at him from her perch. Shifting a hand from his shoulder where she braced herself against her undulations, she yanked the hand from her kittie. Pulling his wrinkled fingers to her mouth, he watched as she ran her tongue – in one continuous swipe – from the base of his palm to the top of his middle finger. Incapable of slowing down, it was all Harry could do to clap his hand together with hers and intertwine their fingers. Let alone have the ability to repeat the same action.

He felt her toes brace themselves against the underside of his thighs. He wondered how she was going to continue if she kept leaning back the way she did – until he felt her strength press against his palms as she began to post with more intensity. He was thrusting harder than before because just as she pushed against him, he could press against her and they would both find the necessary leverage pushing against each other. The brightest witch of our age is also the most cunning lover of our age.

His hair was whipped in every direction. Her hair was streaming in the direction of the wind. Harry watched rain drip from every part of both their bodies. She was rising and falling in direct opposition to his thrusts. Their hands were at shoulder height and they clung to each other as much as they used each other for purchase.

He lapped in earnest at the steady flow of rainwater off Hermione's breasts. He groaned into those sopping raspberries when her posting took on a more circular pattern and he felt her scalding heat against the seam that ran up his scrotum and separated his balls. His eyelashes were spiky with the rain that clumped them together. He could see the underside of Hermione's jaw as her head was thrown back. He could feel the rainwater that ran off the ends of her hair as it dripped on his knees. He tasted his own sweat as the boiling in his sack reached the same fervour as the kisses her kittie gave his cock. Somewhere, the smell of the lake merged with the scent of the forest only to become one with the aroma of love. Every sound had its own identity as much as it was fused with the cacophony of the storm and their passion.

Harry had no more time for thought. The passion inside him had put a mantra in his head that was impossible to overcome: thrust, thrust, thrust! Hermione's breasts were bouncing so hard that they started to take on an elliptical course. Her fingers spread. His hand opened to lock her into place.

CRACK! Simultaneously, lightening challenged thunder for supremacy.

CRACK! Grappling with the very foundations of the earth, neither giant was going to back down.

C R A C K! A clash of wills between giants that have been around since the birth of the world took place as two seventeen year-olds made love.

A tree branch, severed by the storm, crashed to the forest floor. Somewhere to their left Harry heard a great rock splash in to the lake – its' stabilizing soil washed away by the torrential rains that fell from the sky. Behind them, great upsurges of silver cast silver sparkles into the air, as the droplets of living, shimmering silver took longer to fall into the churning water.

Hermione came undone with a cry that not only shook her body but vibrated the more than six feet that made up Harry. A near sob broke from Harry's chest as his head swept from side to side when the intensity of his orgasm launched him upright. He pulled Hermione's body tightly against his thrumming, trembling person.

The storm that had ravaged the countryside was THEIR STORM. THEY, they were the storm. What had been waiting on change was directly linked to Harry and Hermione. Denial, sidestepping, faked ignorance and all the other pretences they presented to each other and the worlds they lived in had stifled the very air that they breathed. Passion, desire, true friendship, respect, love, lust, separation, anxiety and need are all volatile ingredients unto themselves. However, coupled with longing, denial, forbiddance and fear – the meaning of the word volatile becomes the understatement for explosive.

That was the last cognizant thought Harry had as the storm slackened around he and Hermione. There was no more room for thought as he wiped tears of joy from his love's face.

Joyous giggles – apparently boys DO giggle! – accompanied him loosing his balance toppling over with Hermione onto her blanket. Kisses were the best apologies he knew for breaking their intimate connection.

Pausing from kissing for just a moment, Harry had the strength to manage a wry smile when Hermione promised, "Next time, it is your turn Mr. Potter."