Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter

A/N: Whew… I've been away for a while ey. Sorry about 'The Return' guys… I lost the will to write for a very long time. I'm going to try really hard to finish the next chapter off… no promises though.

I have no idea how this one-shot is (I wrote most of it while in Europe)… it's dedicated to darkspyro for being my inspiration (as always) and a wonderful support during the end of my last year of school. Also dedicated to my wonderful Modern History teacher last year… Who won't read this but meh, she's one of the best teachers I've ever had :)

Many thanks to my very good friend hids for betaing… my usual beta seems to have wandered off again lol. StarAngel613 if you're out there, email me!

Anyone in a long distance relationship could probably relate to this in some way… I know I can sigh. Anyway, I do hope you like it… please remember to review at the end!


Longing

It was the nights and mornings that got to him the most. During the day he was either too busy to think, or it felt as it had before – she was out at work too. But those nights… Harry hated going to bed. He hated waking up alone.

He wanted to feel the comfort of her warm body beside his… he wanted to touch her naked skin one last time… kiss her once more. Their last kiss had been so rushed and desperate… they both wanted more but knew they couldn't.

Harry wanted his Hermione back so much… just to hold her. He remembered the days leading up to his departure…


"I don't want you to go," she whispered.

"I know," he replied just as softly.

She sniffed and rolled over to lie on top of him, hugging him so tightly, it was almost like she wanted to sink into him. "I'm not letting you go," she whispered, her tears escaping her eyes and trickling down his bare shoulder.

"I can't take you with me," he murmured, wrapping his arms tightly around her body.

She sniffed again and shook her head stubbornly, burying her face into his neck.

"Come on," he said, pushing her back slightly, "Let's make the most of my time with you then."

She lifted her head from his neck slowly to look down at his face. She was so beautiful, he thought. Her chocolate brown eyes shone with unshed tears before she closed them, lowering her head to kiss his lips, almost as desperately as her hugs had been.


The memory made Harry's throat feel constricted and he frowned furiously in an attempt to make it go away.

'Last mission,' he thought to himself, as he tried to refocus on the job at hand. "Can you see him yet?" The Irish accent Harry had worked so hard on refining flowed smoothly.

"Yeah, he's just coming out of the pub," his partner replied, watching their target walk down the almost empty street, carrying a thin, brown paper bag under his arm. "Loyalist scum," the man muttered under his breath.

"Don't take your eyes off him," Harry said quickly.

"Keep your shirt on Murphy, we aren't losing this one," Cunningham replied, rolling his eyes.

"Just shut your mouth and let's move."

The two men emerged from their parked car to walk down the sidewalk, following their target at a safe distance. They pursued him up the main street until he turned suddenly into a side alley.

"Quickly," Cunningham murmured. He and Harry walked briskly to the alley and peered around the corner.

Dead end.

"He didn't disapparate," Harry muttered, "We would've heard it."

"He went in there," Cunningham nodded towards a lone door, almost invisible in the darkness. He made to walk to the door but Harry stopped him.

"You don't know what's in there," he whispered sharply, "They could have received a tip."

"We were more careful this time, Murphy. Take your hands off me."

"You're going in first then," Harry said, letting Cunningham go.

"Fine." Cunningham stepped forward to the door, his wand drawn and the other hand outstretched to open the door. Moving closer to the wall, he opened the door, pushing it inwards.

The room was completely dark, so dark that Cunningham couldn't see past the entrance. He glanced back at Harry, shrugged and cautiously stepped into the room.

"Lumous," Cunningham muttered.

As the tip of his wand lit up, he could see a smirking face.

"Fuck."

It happened within a second, but it felt like an age to the IRA man. "Stupefy!" was shouted and the formerly dark room flashed a blinding red. He caught sight of similar smirking faces and tried to turn back to get out and make Murphy run with him.

But before he could, everything went black.


When Cunningham was revived he found he couldn't move his arms or legs.

"Y'know, if it weren't for people like you, both Loyalists and Republicans, we wouldn't have to go to all this trouble, and the conflict would be resolved," a voice said from across the room.

"Where's Murphy?" Cunningham asked sullenly, raising his head to glare at the man.

"You don't need to worry about him anymore," the man said, frowning slightly. "You're under arrest for conspiracy to commit kidnap, theft and murder."

Cunningham didn't say anything.


"He wasn't such a bad guy," Harry said thoughtfully as he listened to the interview with Cunningham, "if you get past the fact he wants to take all Protestants down."

"Mmm," the head of Department, Mr Richard Harrison, murmured. "Well, good job Potter. All I need you to do is go to the infirmary for a psychological analysis and physical. And you have until Monday to finish that report off."

"Alright," Harry said, standing up to leave to walk to the infirmary.


"Perfect health Mr Potter," the nurse said happily, checking a chart she'd just received from the resident healer. "You can go home now!"

Harry grinned and said, "Thanks. I'll see you next time."

"And not any sooner," the nurse said, smiling warmly at Harry.

As Harry walked towards the exit of Auror Headquarters, his mind was fixed on one thought;

Hermione.


Harry sometimes wished the two of them had cell phones so they could contact each other easily. Cell phones were very small and much more easily accessible than an owl or fireplace. It would have been very easy for Harry to just call her up and arrange a meeting time. But he supposed the element of surprise was in his favour.

If his memory served him well, he calculated she had work until 5pm – it was 2:30pm. That gave him three and a half hours to get ready, and give her sufficient time to get home and relax for a little while.

Harry spent his time well. He showered and changed slowly, standing in the shower for at least half an hour, the hot water cascading down onto his naked back.

After that, he went out to choose a good bottle of red wine and pick up a dozen red roses for Hermione.

It was 5:30pm when he arrived back at his own apartment, trying to hold himself back from going straight to hers.

He sat down in his living room, carefully placing the roses on the coffee table in front of him. He leant forward, his forearms resting on his knees, staring at his hands. A small, slightly smug smile spread across his face as he thought about Hermione.

The last time they'd been able to contact each other had been over a month ago, and it was via a secure fireplace. The floo call had lasted only a minute, enough time for Harry to tell Hermione he was fine and that he loved her. He could remember the look of relief on her face as he called her name from the fireplace. She had started crying and knelt down next to him, making Harry wish he could lean up and kiss her.

"The mission's almost finished," he had told her, "I should be back within two or three months."

She nodded, "Be careful. And make sure you do come back. I miss you so much."

Harry smiled a very easy smile, "Don't worry Mione. I love you."

"Love you too."

Harry had made a promise to himself that night that that conversation would not be the last he would have with Hermione. From then on during the mission, he would fight, not for his country or cause, but for her. He fought to stay alive to see Hermione again.

He looked at his watch absentmindedly and realised it was time to apparate to the nearest alley to Hermione's apartment. He collected the roses from the coffee table, picked up the bottle of red wine and stood up to apparate.

In almost no time he found himself walking up the steps to Hermione's apartment. Thankfully, she was on the bottom floor, so he didn't have long to wait from the time he rang the doorbell to the time she opened it.

When she did open the door, it was shut almost as soon as she'd set eyes on him. Harry frowned and called out, "Hermione?"

The door opened very slightly, with Hermione peeking around the edge of it, almost looking scared. "Harry?"

Harry sighed in relief and smiled at her, "Hi."

"Don't… don't you have another month?" she squeaked, watching him with very wide eyes.

"No, I was able to be pulled out early," he said, "Am I allowed to come in?"

"Oh," she said, biting her bottom lip as she opened the door for him and allowed him to step inside.

"So, have you been…?" Harry began to ask if she had been alright since they last spoke, but she suddenly launched herself on him, clinging onto him as though she'd fall to the ground if she let go.

"It's really you," she whispered, screwing her face up against tears and burying her face into his shoulder.

"It's okay honey," he whispered back, hugging her tightly and picking her up off the ground. After a minute he said, "Living room?"

She sniffed softly and nodded, pulling back and leading him into the living room, clinging very tightly onto his hand.

"Are you okay?" Harry asked, looking at her worriedly.

"I can't believe you're here," she whispered after a moment, turning around to hug him again.

"It's okay honey," he said in a low, soothing voice.

"I was so worried," she whispered, cuddling him closer. "Nothing bad happened to you?"

"Nothing," Harry replied.

"A whole year… you're not allowed to be away from me for that long again," she said firmly, looking up at him.

"I know," he said, smiling down at her, "I'm back now though. And these are for you," he said holding out the bouquet of roses he was still holding.

"Oh, thank you Harry," she said, taking them from him and smiling back up at him. "They're beautiful. Let me put these in a vase and find two wine glasses," she said, eyeing the bottle Harry was still carrying.

He laughed and followed her into the kitchen, "So what were your plans for tonight? Anything special?"

"No, just a night at home," she said, placing the roses carefully in a large vase.

"What are your plans now?" Harry asked, a smirk sliding onto his face, watching her as she crossed the kitchen to reach for two wine glasses.

She laughed softly, turning around to face him, "A night at home," she replied, placing the glasses down in front of him and smirking back. "It might be a little more interesting that I had thought though."

"How interesting?" he asked, raising one eyebrow, moving around to stand behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist and resting his head on her shoulder.

She bit her bottom lip, smiling and looking at him out of the corner of her eye, "I have yet to determine that."

Harry smirked and turned his head to kiss the side of her neck softly, "Maybe we should forget about the wine."

"Mmm maybe," she murmured, gasping softly as Harry nibbled the skin of her neck. She twisted around in his arms quickly, looking up at him with a very mischievous glint in her eyes.

"What are you thinking about Ms Granger?" Harry asked, lowering his head so his lips were less than a centimetre away from hers.

"Oh, you know," she whispered, her hands finding their way around to his backside. She pulled his hips into hers rather sharply, making him gasp this time. "I have been deprived of my Harry for a year."

"And you think we should at least attempt to make up for lost time?" he asked, still smirking at her.

She laughed softly, "Sleaze."

"Why thank you," he murmured, closing the remaining distance between them to kiss her lips. Hermione sighed happily, moving her arms up to wrap them around his neck, deepening the kiss.

It ended and Hermione sighed again, hugging him to her tightly, "I've missed you," she whispered.

"I've missed you too," he replied, hugging her back. "Bedroom?"

She laughed softly, "Sexually frustrated?"

"Just a little."

The End