No one must ever know

Disclaimer: I don't own Harry or any of the characters, places or situations in the Harry Potter series. This is just for fun.

Chapter One: Firewhisky and Hot Chocolate

12 Grimmauld Place. One year after The Fall of Voldermort

"What a dreadful evening!" Hemione sat down on the lounge sofa, watching Harry as he poured himself a large firewhisky from the decanter on the sideboard. He looked enquiringly at his wife, and at her nod, poured a glass for her.

"Thanks." Hermione took a small sip of the golden liquid as Harry slumped down beside her. The couple sat together in silence for several minutes, unwinding from the tension of the last few hours.

They had just returned from a Ministry Ball given in honour of Harry's defeat of Voldermort. It was meant to be a joyous occasion but the two of them had found the entire evening a trial. Hermione had soon become tired of warning off women who wanted to get their claws into the Famous Harry Potter, regardless of the fact that he was there with his wife. Harry's temper had got increasingly frayed as people kept pressing him for details of his fight with Voldermort, and was irritated by the way people ignored the part Hermione had played in the war, although she insisted it wasn't important.

"I don't know why they keep going on about it!." Harry sudden outburst startled Hermione who jumped nervously "Sorry love" he continued in a softer voice " but it really gets under my skin. Why can't they just forget about it?"

Hermione shrugged. "Morbid curiosity, I guess." She took another sip of her drink "Or maybe they just want to be sure he really is gone."

Harry was silent for a moment. "I still don't how I killed him" his voice was quiet and puzzled. "He had me beaten Hermione. I'd thrown everything I had at him. Every offensive spell I knew and he countered them without even breathing hard. Even the killing curse, he just summoned a chunk of rubble in the way to block it. He was laughing at me, mocking me!"

Hermione rested her hand on his arm but said nothing. She knew better than to interrupt, having heard this story many times before. But she was prepared to listen again, to listen as many times as he needed to tell it.

"And then he struck back." Harry hunched forward on the sofa his face white and strained. "I dodged his spells as long as I could, then he got me with a Bombardment Hex. It ripped right through my shield and shattered my wand and I was helpless. He spent the next ten minutes torturing me, playing with me like a cat with a mouse. I knew then I was going to die!"

He swallowed hard, pausing for a moment before continuing. "And then." he paused again for a minute and then went on "I still don't really understand it. I felt a sudden surge of magic inside me. It was so powerful I felt for a moment I was going to burn up. I never dreamed power like that could even exist, let alone I could have it. It almost felt like it was coming from outside me, not from me, as though I was just the channel for it, not the source."

Harry took a deep breath and went on. "Riddle used the Avada Kedavra, but I just waved my hand and conjured a floating block of stone to intercept it." He grinned humourlessly. "I saw the shock in his eyes. Before he could do anything I cast a wandless Incendio at him. He raised a shield charm but my spell tore through it like tissue paper and he just exploded into a ball of flames. In a few seconds there was nothing left of him but ashes." Harry laughed bitterly. "Only the most powerful wizards can perform wandless magic. People have called me the greatest wizard of the age, but that was the first and last time I've ever been able to do controlled wandless magic!"

Hermione took a large gulp of firewhisky and muttered, "I've never been able to do it at all!"

Harry turned to look at his wife, and seeing her frowning, downcast face his own expression softened. He knew how much she hated failing at anything and guessed her inability to do wandless magic was a very sore point.

Harry put his arm round her, drawing her towards him so her head fell onto his shoulder. "I'm sorry love."

"What for?" she looked at him puzzled.

"For burdening you with my bad memories" he murmured, kissing her forehead.

Hermione gently caressed his cheek. "That's why I'm here Harry. I'm your wife. I'll listen as many times as you need me to."

"I don't deserve you," Harry replied.

"No, you don't!" she agreed with him, a mischievous smile appearing on her face, "But I'm afraid you're stuck with me Mister!"

"Good" Harry whispered, kissing her forehead again softly, and then for several moments there was silence, apart from the crackling of burning logs in the fireplace.

With a sight Hermione extricated herself from her husbands embrace. "Harry, I'd love to stay here with you all night, but I really must get that report finished."

Harry chuckled "Still the same old bookworm" he teased and Hermione snorted at his words, putting on an offended expression, but the twinkle in her eyes gave the lie to her pretence.

They both rose to their feet, kissing briefly but tenderly. "Don't work too late love" Harry implored her.

Hermione brushed the dishevelled hair form his eyes "Don't worry, I won't"

She watched smiling as he made his way out of the room and upstairs to bed. Sometimes she still could not believe she was actually Harry's wife; it was beyond anything she had expected out of life.

With another sigh Hermione walked slowly to the small downstairs room that had been set aside as her study, and settled down to work. Following her graduation from Hogwarts with record NEWT scores Hermione had landed a position as an Unspeakable at the Department of Mysteries. She had just completed her first independent project, a new charm that accelerated personal time for the caster, so they could experience hours in what for others was a few seconds. The development and testing completed successfully she now only had to write up her findings. Although she appreciated the care the Ministry exercised in testing new spells, Hermione sometimes felt their caution hindered new developments in magic.

She was finding it hard to concentrate. Over an hour had passed and she had written no more than a few sentences. Hermione was still thinking of her conversation with Harry. Hearing his account of Voldermort's death always left her restless and troubled

Hermione decided a cup of hot chocolate would help her relax but her foray into the kitchen brought disappointment. The only packet in the cupboard was empty and when she decided to simply conjure up the desired beverage, realised she had left her wand upstairs in the bedroom, when she changed our of her formal dress robes. Harry would certainly be asleep by now and she didn't want to wake him.

Hermione bit her lip in uncertainty. There was no one around to see, she thought. It couldn't do any harm. Hemione casually flicked a finger and a steaming mug of hot chocolate appeared on the kitchen table. She returned to her study sipping the drink thoughtfully, but Hermione's mind was still not really on her work. She was recalling that fateful day at the beginning of her Sixth Year at Hogwarts, when her destiny, and that of so many others, had been decided.