Special thanks to everyone who read and reviewed Semi Charmed Life. Although I like the chorus more than the rest of the Third Eye Blind song, I want something else to get me through this semi-charmed kind of life seemed to fit Sirius. :D. In the first story, he had friends and then a love. Now that he's left school and he and Rosmerta are on holiday, I thought it only fitting another song should inspire. In the summary are lyrics from the Diana Krall song Charmed Life. When I heard take me to that place, the one that puts a smile on my face—that says we lead a charmed, charmed life I thought of, well, I eventually thought of Sirius and Rosmerta and I hope this story puts a smile on every reader's face!
Added Disclaimer: This story was also posted on Simply Undeniable, a site that has a 'Wizengamot' panel that reads and approves stories and their ratings. I emailed and was assured that this was within bounds of a TA rating. It's sexy, with implied intimacy, but not graphic in any way, because Kerichi don't write that, lol.
A Charmed Life
"Desejo-lhe umas boas férias! Have a good holiday!"
Sirius grinned at the old man who had ridden the car ferry over with them from Faial to Flores. He knew the Portuguese angler had enjoyed looking at Rosmerta as much as sharing his opinion on where to find the best fishing holes in the Azores.
"Adeus!" he called back, before easing off the clutch and hitting the gas.
Rosmerta's arms tightened around him as the motorbike eased into the Muggle traffic of the small town of Lajes. Within minutes, they left the scenic fishing port, with its abundance of whitewashed houses and sky blue hydrangeas and travelled a narrow motorway intersecting green fields that sloped down to the sea.
His girlfriend pressed closer to speak over the noise of the engine. "Look! They use flowers to hedge the fields. Everything here is so beautiful!"
She laughed and hugged him. "How do you say 'I love you' in Portuguese?"
"Eu amo-te, Rosmerta!"
"Eu amo-te, Sirius!"
He grinned. Mother had been wrong about him in so many ways. Someone did love him, faults and all, and he could do something right. This holiday proved it.
When Sirius had strolled into a wizarding travel office and charmed a kindly witch into telling him about off-the-beaten-track holiday spots where wizards were scarce, he had feigned interest in a Caribbean island while making a note of one in the Atlantic.
He then found a Muggle travel agency.
Stacie, the woman who had booked his holiday, had showed him pictures of her kids in between assurances that 'rural tourism' was just what he was looking for. After sharing that her getaways involved theme parks, the agent sighed that Flores, in the archipelago of the Azores, was the perfect hideaway for lovers.
Eventually turning off the road that paralleled the rocky coast, Sirius drove through old vineyards to reach the stone-built house that was theirs for two weeks.
Rosmerta fell in love with the place at first sight. The restored Adega had once made wine in its cellar, but now was let to tourists. When the bike rolled to a stop, she said, "Sirius, it's perfect."
"I don't know about that," he said, while she climbed off the bike. "It could be a dump inside, but there are supposed to beautiful sunsets, and the sea is only three hundred metres away, so if we leave our windows open, we should hear the waves at night."
His eyes held hers, dark with promise. At night, in bed, when you're in my arms….
She could feel a blush heating her cheeks. "Do we have to wait for someone to let us in?"
"No. The bloke who owns it, Afonso, left a key under the mat by the side door."
Rosmerta watched him detach the saddlebags, admiring the way he looked in black leather. She felt like a girl playing dress up in her riding gear, but Sirius moved with confidence and a natural grace, totally at ease.
Bet he's just as confident out of that gear…and even scrummier!
He turned and caught her staring. Sirius winked. She hurriedly led the way to what was likely the kitchen door and bent to retrieve the key.
"If it makes you feel better, I stare at your arse too."
Sirius' naughty smile made Rosmerta blush again, but it did make her feel better to know she wasn't lusting alone. She blew him a kiss and opened the door.
The kitchen was very rustic, with a rough stone floor and well-scrubbed wooden table and chairs.
"I guess 'decades of personality' was another way of saying old." Sirius eyed the cracks in the yellow-washed walls.
Rosmerta hooked her arm through his. "It's charming."
He said, "I'm glad you think so," and meant it. Sirius was also relieved, because he could have booked a room at the one hotel on the island, with its tennis courts and seawater swimming pool, and had chosen privacy over tourist amenities.
The Adega was small, with only a kitchen and lounge on the ground floor. On the first floor, they found a bedroom and a lavatory so large; the space must have originally been another bedroom. Sirius approved the remodel, and the enormous tub with a separate shower.
In the bedroom, Rosmerta ran a hand over the coverlet. "Look at the embroidery! This was all done by hand, without magic. Isn't it amazing?"
He dropped the saddlebags onto the floor and nodded toward the windows. "That is what I find amazing—the view!" Vineyard gave way to pasture that unfurled like a carpet until it met the ocean.
Rosmerta slipped her arm around his waist, leaning against him to gaze at the water in the distance. "Have you ever seen such a blue?"
"It doesn't compare to your eyes." The words slipped out, heartfelt.
She looked up and smiled. "I love this place, but most of all, I love being here with you."
Touched, he tried to joke, "Sure you don't miss the pub and all the schoolboys competing for your attention?"
Her hand cupped his cheek. "Mrs. Bouquet will manage my father, my employees will take care of the pub, and in case you forgot, school's out, love."
Sirius felt his smile grow, and hoped it didn't look too wolfish. "That's something I looked forward to for too long to forget."
Rosmerta rose on her tiptoes to brush his lips softly. "Don't ever forget that I love you."
He felt happiness well. "I won't," he promised, bending to take her mouth in a hungry kiss.
Sirius' kisses caused Rosmerta to tremble with the need to feel his lips and tongue exploring her skin. He made love to her mouth in a way that mimicked what she'd been denying herself for so long—the ultimate expression of love and passion. She moaned.
Her hands left his hair to push his leather jacket off his shoulders. When she wriggled out of her own, Sirius said, "Do you want to take a walk? Stretch your legs?"
Rosmerta pulled off her tee. "I want to stretch out on the bed."
"I don't want to rush you. I could go get a bottle of wine from the cellar and…."
"We'll drink it later," she said after another kiss, tugging the hem of his tee out of his jeans. He raised his arms to allow her to pull it off before her fingers reached for the side zippers of his chaps.
"Ladies first," murmured Sirius, kneeling to undo the snaps on her lower legs.
Her legs almost buckled. She whispered, "Why do we have to wear so much gear?" It was frustrating, the amount of items that had to be removed.
"Protection," he said with a smile. "You don't want to be picking bugs off your jeans or trying to clean oil and tar spots."
Rosmerta laughed a little as he slid down the black leather. "Oh. Speaking of protection," she said, "I went by the apothecary and took care of that." She made a rueful face. "Mr. Harris probably thinks I'm a closet sex addict, wanting the longest lasting, most effective potion on the market."
"Addicted to me? I like the sound of that." He rose and kissed her deeply.
She caressed her way up his arms, sweeping her palms over his shoulders and across his smoothly defined chest before dropping her hands to Sirius' belt buckle. "I love the way you feel, and I want to feel your skin with nothing between us."
He ached. There were euphemisms he could have used, more civilised ways to state what he experienced when her fingertips brushed places chaps didn't cover, but he wasn't feeling civilised. Sirius felt primal, consumed with the need he saw shining in Rosmerta's eyes.
He pulled her hips to his, contrarily deciding to prolong the moment when there were no barriers between them. After all the months of skirting the edge of intimacy, he was used to the sweet pain. Unlike the other times they had kissed and caressed until one or both of them rolled away from temptation, this time he would not be heading home to a cold shower.
Sirius took her mouth in a heated kiss. As his lips firmed with passion, hers softened. Rosmerta was so giving, emotionally and physically. He wanted to give her some of the joy she gave him.
He felt her lips curve when he walked them back toward the bed. She sank down onto the mattress, smiling a question when he didn't stretch out beside her.
Sirius knelt and pulled off her leather boot, answering with a roguish smile.
She heard waves in the distance, breaking against the rocks lining the shore. Beneath her ear, Sirius' heart had slowed into a steady rhythm. Rosmerta sighed in happiness.
"Again?" There was a trace of laughter in Sirius' voice when he said, "Blokes my age are thought to be sex machines, but I need time to recuperate."
She trailed her fingertips over his body. "Really?"
He chuckled. "I'm trying to be considerate instead of selfish."
Rosmerta kissed her way up to his lips. "I have never felt more loved or cherished. You are the most unselfish lover."
"Making you happy makes me happy, so there is a great deal of self-interest involved." His tone was light, but Sirius' expression was almost shyly pleased.
She stared down into his face and felt her heartstrings tug so sharply, it was almost a physical pang. "I want to be happy too, so why don't you rest while I help you recuperate?"
While she began kissing her way down his throat, Rosmerta smiled to hear Sirius murmur, "If it will make you happy…."
Aside from the first night, when they lived on love and the welcome basket of fruit, bread, and cheese left by the manager of the Adega, Sirius and Rosmerta ate out every night. They could have bought provisions for each meal when shopping the tiny markets, but they enjoyed meeting people, learning all the places to see on the island and experiencing the local cuisine.
If Rosmerta had wanted to stay in, Sirius would've happily done it—Merlin knew there were an endless variety of ways to pass the time. That she was as sociable and outgoing in her way as he was in his was just another example of their perfect compatibility.
On the fifth night of their holiday, they drove to the restaurant they had discovered the second day and returned to every evening since. The Terra e Mar was small and family run, with a bar filled with locals that reminded them of the Broomsticks.
"Boa tarde!" the chef/owner's wife called when they entered. She was seating another couple in the tiny dining area.
"Good evening Dulce!" Sirius returned, nodding his head to indicate they would have a drink at the bar before dinner. He led Rosmerta through an arched doorway, fully aware that the men who looked up when they entered thought he was a lucky bastard. In the embroidered dress picked up in a village market, she was beautiful and sexy.
He grinned to see their companion from the ferry at the bar. "Olá Joaquim! How was the fishing today?"
The darkly tanned face creased in a wide smile. "The bluefish bream and amberjack jumped into my boat."
Sirius waited for Rosmerta to be seated before perching on a stool beside the old man. "That must have startled your guide."
While Joaquim laughed, the barman wandered over to take their order.
Sipping Rosmerta's choice, vinho de cherio, a kind of strawberry wine produced on the island, Sirius ate a barbecued water chestnut served with it, asking, "Why water chestnuts?"
Raimundo, the barman, shrugged. "Tradition."
Rosmerta leaned forward. "There seems to be more people in town tonight. Is there a festival?"
"Sim, yes," said Raimundo. "The Emigrants Festival, another tradition. Those who leave their island home return matar saudades."
Sirius looked to Joaquim for a translation. Beneath white eyebrows, dark eyes twinkled. "There is no word in English to truly express saudades. Longing, maybe, or yearning for the past. There is no higher compliment than muitas saudades, I miss you very much."
The barman nodded. "Those who leave return to cheer themselves by the sight of what they love. Matar saudades." His gaze shifted to Rosmerta. "There will be music in the square tonight. Do you dance?"
Sirius wrapped an arm around his lover, his fingers caressing her bared shoulder while he answered, "Yes, she does…with me."
Raimundo laughed and walked away to serve another customer. Sirius looked into sparkling blue eyes and smiled wryly. "Am I acting like a jealous dog?"
Rosmerta pressed a light kiss to smiling lips. "Sexy and lovable, too," she said. "And don't think I won't be jealous if that Zara girl serves our food again. If she drools all over you while ignoring me, I may even jinx her."
Masculine satisfaction gleamed in grey eyes, even while he demurred, "I'm sure she won't drool—that would be unprofessional."
She giggled. "We'll see."
Joaquim asked Sirius if he had done any fishing that day. He had not, since they both preferred swimming with fish to catching them. While the men began to chat, a vision rose from the shallow depths of recent memory and played upon the screen of her mind's eye.
Rosmerta looked up and saw sparkles of light where the sun hit the balmy water. She felt a tug on her hand and followed Sirius' pointing finger to see an eel slither through multi-coloured rocks. He flutter kicked webbed feet to propel them toward an underwater cave. She swam beside him, smiling in awe of the beauty around them and the magical properties of saltwater Gillyweed.
After a quick look around the cave, they emerged to begin the swim to shore. Before they reached the shallows, Sirius stopped and began to tread water, holding them in place while he pulled Rosmerta into his arms. Curious, she lightly ran webbed fingers over his gills. They were smooth, like skin, with a slick underside.
She laughed when he returned the favour. Her gills were ticklish!
Sirius reached out to hold her face in his hands. She kissed him eagerly, loving that as long as the Gillyweed lasted; she would never have to come up for air.
There was a dreamy smile on Rosmerta's face that wasn't from being asked if she was ready for dinner. In fact, Sirius didn't think she even heard the question. He leaned over to whisper in her ear, "Are you remembering what happened this afternoon?"
Immediately, her eyes focused on his. A blush stole up her cheeks, pretty and pink. "Yes."
He winked. "How about tomorrow, we see what else we can do underwater?"
Her gaze was starting to become dreamy again, so he asked, "Ready for dinner?"
"Yes." Rosmerta slid off the stool. Her skirt rose too. Damn, she had great legs.
Sirius jerked her hem down, not about to let any other blokes enjoy the view. Her lips jumped up at the corners while he took her hand and escorted her to the dining area.
After Zara brought his spareribs and Rosmerta's sausage and yams, she sighed and began to slowly back away from the table. "Bom apetite!"
Suddenly, the girl tripped and fell backwards onto her arse, to the amusement of other diners.
"She really should watch where she's going," murmured Rosmerta, taking a bite of yam.
"Or watch whose toes she steps on," Sirius said, before his girlfriend's smug look caused him to bark with laughter.
At the end of the meal, Guilherme came out of the kitchen to ask how they had enjoyed the meal. Sirius' approval made the man smile, but Rosmerta's praise made him beam with pleasure.
"Muito obrigado," Sirius imitated, after they had left the restaurant and begun walking toward the town square. "I know what he's really thankful for—the opportunity to look down your bodice."
"Why are you using the word 'bodice'?"
A piratical smile crossed his face to hear the uneasiness in Rosmerta's voice. "I found that romance you stashed between the sofa cushions this morning. A Pirate's Pleasure was very educational."
She pulled back her shoulders, which emphasised the bodice in question. "That's also a historical novel. The English fleet sacked Flores in fifteen hundred-something, and other pirates pillaged the island too, taking whatever they wanted."
Sirius chuckled. "A pirate's life for me!"
The sound of music, heavy on the guitar and mandolin, grew louder as they reached the square where men and women circled each other in a folk dance.
"Before you do any pillaging, Black Dog, you'll have to dance." Rosmerta's hips swayed as she joined the men and women now facing each other in two separate lines.
He hastily broke into the men's line, asking the bloke on his left. "What kind of dance is this?"
Sirius had no idea what that meant, or what he was supposed to do. He followed the lead of the other men, a half-step behind in circling his partner. When they paired up, he said, "I speak pub Portuguese, not enough to follow a caller, but if you don't mind looking like a foolish tourist, I don't either!"
Rosmerta slid her arms around his neck while other couples twirled around them. "I'll be a fool for love any day."
Sirius lifted her up and swung her around before silencing her delighted laughter with a kiss.
When the day came for them to return home, Rosmerta was touched to see the group of people assembled to see them off. Dulce and Guilherme, Joaquim, Raimundo, Zara, and even Afonso, the owner of the Adega they had met the second week of their stay.
"You'll return," Dulce said with a knowing smile. "Once the island is in your heart, saudades will bring you back."
"The Emigrants Festival—is it the same time, every year?" asked Sirius.
"Sim!" Zara said so eagerly, even Rosmerta smiled.
After a final round of goodbyes, the couple boarded the car ferry while the others waved to them from the shore.
"Muitas saudades!" Rosmerta shouted. I miss you very much!
She could see smiles wreathing the faces on shore. "Muitas saudades!" they chorused.
Sirius wrapped his arms around her. "You really did fall in love with Flores."
He said thoughtfully, "I had the best time of my life there, but all that talk about returning home…." He shook his head. "Home isn't a place to me. It's a person. You."
She rose on tiptoes to kiss him. "You're home to me too." Rosmerta was content to stand in the circle of his arms, staring up into the face that meant more to her than anything in the world.
After several moments, Sirius said, "You're staring awfully hard. Do I have a hydrangea blossom in my hair? I only planned to sprinkle a few on the sheets, but I got carried away…."
Rosmerta said, "No, I'm just cheering myself by looking at what I love. Matar saudades, Sirius."
His smile made her heart turn over. "Eu amo-te, Rosmerta."
A/N: Who wants to go to Flores with Sirius? (imagines readers' hands shooting into the air and waving madly in Hermione-esque fashion) I actually know someone who has been to Lajes, and picked their brain as well as read waaayyy more than most people want to know about the island. :D. Will it come up again in the one shot next Friday? Wait and see! The next story won't be as fluffy, but it will have a happy ending. Since I can't resist self promotion, here's the "preview" (and yeah, the title was inspired by the song by Nickleback!)
Far Away, for far too long
The Prisoner of Azkaban has escaped, returning to Hogsmeade for more than his godson. Sirius has come to reclaim the woman he left behind.