Disclaimer – The world of Harry Potter is owned by JK Rowling and various publishers. I make no claim to ownership.
A/N: Thanks to my beta Vettesr, and those kind enough to review.
Chapter One: At the Dursleys
The ride back home from Kings Cross station was a sad one for Harry Potter. He missed his friends already, especially the bushy haired witch with the soft chocolate brown eyes. He might not see his girlfriend Hermione for two weeks. Ron had asked him to visit him at the Burrow, but he had to spend at least two weeks with his aunt and uncle to renew the blood protection his mother had given him on her death.
He hated the Dursleys: Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and his fat cousin Dudley. They had treated him as a servant, making him do all the household chores, while his cousin loafed around. They didn't know he couldn't do magic out of school, so he had a bit of an advantage. They were scared he'd turn them into a toad, so they tended to ignore them as much as possible. He still had to do chores, but he didn't mind that too much. At least it kept him occupied.
Aunt Petunia seemed quite a bit more pleasant than usual, but Uncle Vernon was his usual nasty self.
He sorely missed all the friends he made at school and couldn't wait to go back again in September. Thinking of Hermione, Harry wondered when he'd see her. Of course, they could still talk to one another in their heads, but he ached to see her.
Hermione, Harry asked, will you be able to come to the Burrow?
Yes, Harry, I've asked my parents and they said it's alright to visit The Burrow in August. I miss you already! Maybe I could visit you at your place.
Much as I'd love to see you, I don't think the Dursleys would exactly welcome you. I'll work on it, and see. Maybe I can tell them that I need your help with homework. They don't know how far away you live, so it might work. You could use the floo network to Mrs. Figg's. You'd have to find a floo at your end though.
Dumbledore arranged to have our fireplace connected to the floo network. It's a secure floo that will connect only Mrs. Figg's, Hogwarts and The Burrow to my parents place. Harry brightened at the prospect of seeing his girlfriend. She was an amazing girl: pretty, smart and fun to be with and any time they were separated was agony. Last term he had learned the meaning of love after having none of it at the Dursley's. It had been hard to accept that someone might love him, but after the bonding with Hermione, they had grown very close over the school year until he had to admit they were indeed in love. The bond had continued to strengthen until it was impossible for them to deny their love any longer. The hardest part was convincing Hermione's parents that they were truly meant for each other and were soul bonded for life. Hermione's father had not taken it well, but between the Headmaster, Professor McGonagall and her mother, they had finally got a grudging acceptance that they belonged together.
Hermione was devastated that she would be without her boyfriend for even two weeks. She missed his beautiful green eyes and messy hair. It was a good thing they could still talk to each other, or she thought she'd go mad. He was the bravest boy she had ever known. Defeating the Dark Lord Voldemort, a second time was almost more than she could bear to think about. True, she, Ron and Neville had helped, but he had faced Voldemort alone at the end. That he had killed him yet again was no small comfort; for Dumbledore had said that he might be able to come back.
Harry set to work to convince his uncle to let Hermione visit. Uncle Vernon would have none of it though.
"You'll not have those freaks visiting my house," stormed Uncle Vernon. "What would the neighbors think? In any case, you have a load of chores to do this summer. The garden is a mess and you know your Aunt prides herself on her garden. Oh, you'll be too busy for visits by freaks this summer."
"She has Muggle parents too. You'd never know she was a witch. Besides, I need her to help with my homework, she's the smartest witch in our year," entreated Harry.
"I'm having important guests for dinner tonight. If you stay out of the way in your bedroom, I might consider it," his uncle said.
Harry retained a hope, albeit a small one, that the dinner would go smoothly. He seemed to have more than his share of bad luck when it came to staying out of trouble with his relatives.
That night, as he entered his bedroom to stay out of the way and make no noise, he jumped when he saw a small ragged creature with large eyes and a long pointed nose sitting on his bed.
"Harry Potter, sir, such an honour it is to meet you!" said the creature.
"Who are you?" Harry asked.
"Dobby, sir," replied the creature, Dobby the House Elf."
"Not to seem rude," Harry said, "but now is not a good time for you to be here."
"Dobby is sorry to intrude, but Dobby has come to warn Harry Potter sir!"
"Warn me? About what?" enquired Harry.
"Most terrible things are to happen at Hogwarts this year! Harry Potter must not go back."
"What things, Dobby?"
"Dobby…can't…say…" Dobby looked like he was struggling even to get that much out.
"I must go back Dobby, I promise I'll be careful."
"No, it is too dangerous Harry Potter sir!"
"Hogwarts is my home Dobby, I don't belong here!" said Harry forcefully.
"Harry Potter is hoping his girlfriend will visit him here?" Dobby said slyly.
"Dobby, you wouldn't prevent Hermione from coming!" pleaded Harry.
"Not if Harry Potter promises not to go back to Hogwarts," replied the elf.
"But Dobby, we love each other, I'd die if I didn't see Hermione at school.
"Dobby is sorry sir, but Harry Potter must not go back, it is too dangerous."
"You don't understand Dobby, We would both die, if we are separated! We must maintain contact, we are Soul Bonded."
"S-Soul Bonded? The great Harry Potter is Soul Bonded? Dobby does not know what to do," he wailed, twisting his large floppy ears. "Harry Potter is too important to risk his life, but Dobby has done his best to warn him. Be very careful Harry Potter, Dobby can tell you no more." With a crack, Dobby disappeared.
What do you suppose that was about Harry? asked Hermione.
I dunno, it sounds like Hogwarts is going to be even more dangerous this year.
Fortunately, Uncle Vernon had not heard anything and the dinner went off without a hitch.
A clear blue sky greeted Harry the next morning. It was already warm and after finishing his chores, he carefully approached his uncle.
"So is it alright for Hermione to visit?"
"As long as I don't have to see you two. And no funny business between you two, or else," Uncle Vernon promised.
Alright! Harry thought. If you can come over today, we can spend the day together. We'll still have to be careful though. Uncle Vernon has a very nasty temper.
That's great Harry! I think I can manage to be there in a couple of hours. We should be able to maintain contact until we get to The Burrow. Ron and his mum have invited us there after your birthday. I miss you terribly, even though it's been only a day!
It's agony for me too Hermione, I don't think I could take being separated from you for the rest of the summer! How are your parents, now that they know about us? I was afraid they would insist on removing you from school last term when we told them. Fortunately, Dumbledore explained, and they seemed to accept me.
They've calmed down a lot Harry. They were very upset at first, but they came to realise that in the wizarding world, children grow up faster. They still think we're too young, but at least they've come to accept that we would die without each other. You haven't told the Dursleys yet, have you?
No, and I'm not going to. They definitely wouldn't understand. Don't let Dudley see you if you can help it. He can't stand for me to have anything nice, and you definitely fit that description!
Not jealous are you Harry? she smirked.
Not of Dudley, just what he may attempt to do if he sees a pretty girl.
Hermione blushed and Harry could feel the reaction. That's sweet of you to say that Harry.
The bond was definitely getting stronger, since he could feel her emotions over the long distance from her home.
Two hours later, Harry saw Hermione walking up to Number 4 Privet Drive. He ran down to greet her, before she could knock. "Let's go to the park, it's a bit more private there," suggested Harry.
It was a large park with lots of trees. A few children and mothers were on the far side, with the children playing on the swings and roundabout. Harry and Hermione walked to a secluded spot away from the other people.
OK, I brought us a picnic lunch. Let's find a bit of grass near the trees, away from prying eyes, Hermione slyly said.
Harry was only too quick to agree, hoping to snog her senseless.
Missed me did you! she smirked. As she settled down on the grass, Harry nodded and pulled her close. As their lips met, they quickly deepened the kiss. Harry was learning fast and Hermione was eager to learn as well.
Coming up for air, he gasped, You have no idea! I feared my uncle would keep us apart just for spite.
I missed you too Harry. I thought I'd go mad without you this week.
They settled down and opened the picnic basket. Hermione had packed quite a spread. There was chicken, ham, French bread, cheese, apples and a nice tart. She even brought a tasty salad. Digging in, they talked about the just completed school year. So much had happened, they could hardly believe it. From their first meeting and the Soul Bonding, to flying and Quiddich, to the Philosopher's Stone, and defeating Voldemort; they talked for hours.
Settling back on the grass for a good snog, they failed to notice the approach of Dudley.
"Oi, you two…" and then with a gasp he saw Harry. "I heard that Dad allowed you to bring a girl over to help with your homework. He didn't mention that it was a girlfriend! You don't want to have anything to do with that freak, I can show you…"
Harry and Hermione sat up caught in a compromising situation. Harry was first to recover and spat angrily at Dudley. "Mind your own business Dudders, or I'll hex you into next week. Fancy having another tail? I've learned a lot this past year. If you even think of telling anyone, it'll be worse for you! I could turn you into a toad!"
Dudley stammered and beat a hasty retreat, holding his hands over his large behind.
Hermione was worried. "Think he'll spoil everything Harry?"
"He'd better not, he doesn't know I'm underage and not supposed to do magic, so I'm going to use that to our advantage."
Let's move a little deeper into the trees so we won't be seen, Hermione suggested.
It was quite cool in the deep shade, and Harry wrapped a blanket he had brought around them. Giggling, Hermione snuggled up to Harry and began tickling him. Her hands reached under his shirt and found a sensitive spot under his ribs. Squirming away, Harry started to tickle her as well. Giggling furiously, they managed to trap themselves in the blanket.
Suddenly they turned serious, and Hermione crushed her lips against his. As the kiss deepened, Hermione's tongue searched for a moment against his lips until he opened his mouth for her to explore. Tongues flashed back and forth, teasing one another, lips swollen with passion, their bodies on fire. They finally came up for air, gasping for breath.
That was fantastic Hermione, Harrybreathed. Where did you learn to kiss like that?
Hermione, after regaining her senses, agreed with him. Well, I do read, you know, she smirked, and my mother has these romantic novels… That was absolutely wonderful, Harry, you're a great kisser, but we still have to be careful. It's much harder to control ourselves now. Any loss of control now would be disastrous. We'd need two days at least, of no interruptions to finish the bonding, and where are we going to find that? And of course, Dumbledore warned us we're still too young.
They lay back and basked in the glow of their snog session. True, there had been nothing more intimate than their kisses, but they were glad to relieve the pressure that had been building between them for most of the week.
The soul bond strengthened, unnoticed by the two. They would not be able to be separated now for more than a few days.
"Did you bring any of your school books," asked Harry.
"Yes, we have a Potions essay Snape wants as soon as we're back in September. We could get started on that, since it'll be the hardest."
In the bottom of the picnic basket Harry saw a potions textbook, some parchment, and two quills. "Good girl, I figured we'd best do as much homework while we can. Once we get to The Burrow, I'm not sure how much we'll get done."
After a long session with the books, they had accomplished quite a bit of Snape's potion homework.
"We should be able to finish our homework in a couple of days at this rate Harry."
"I've an idea what we can do after we finished. I found out from Dudley that there's a village fair in town. It's just a small local show, but it would be fun to go. I've never been to one before. I might have trouble getting permission though, my relatives hate to see me have fun."
"That sounds wonderful Harry. I'll see if mum and dad will escort us. I think your relatives might let you go if my parents took us."
Giving Harry a tender kiss, Hermione got up to go home. I'll see you tomorrow, love.
The next day, Hermione arrived with the news that her mum would be happy to take them to the fair on Saturday. Now it was Harry's turn to pass on the news that he had convinced his aunt to talk his uncle into letting them go.
"She's been really good, these past few days, Hermione. It's strange, I think she has finally come to terms with my magic. I think she misses my mother. They were very close until mum got her letter for Hogwarts. She admitted she was jealous. She talks to me when Uncle Vernon's at work. I think she feels badly that they've treated me unfairly all these years.
Saturday came at last and Hermione and her mum drove up to number 4. Harry was waiting eagerly, greeting them before they got to the door. Aunt Petunia peeked out the window with a small smile on her lips and gave a tiny wave; quickly disappearing before Vernon could see.
"Hello Mrs. Granger, hi Hermione, I'm all set."
"Hello Harry dear, I can see you're anxious to go."
Harry, this is great, we can be together all day. How did you get out of your chores?
I told Aunt Petunia that I would do extra chores to make up for today, but she said she'd take care of it with Uncle Vernon, since he's away on a business trip. Dudley put up a bit of a fuss, but Aunt Petunia said she'd take him to the zoo again.
Setting off for the village fair, they quickly found it on the far side of town. Their first stop was for sweets at one of the booths, where Mrs. Granger treated them to ice cream cones.
Exploring the fair, they came across a Ferris wheel. Harry had never rode one before, so he and Hermione climbed aboard and shrieked with delight when they reached the top, Harry clinging tightly to Hermione, while her mum watched, grinning.
After a long day at the fair, where Harry was introduced to new foods and watched several performers putting on a skit, it was time to return home.
"Mrs. Granger, that was the most fun I've ever had for summer holidays, thanks for taking me and Hermione."
"You're very welcome Harry, I can see you've enjoyed the outing. We're looking forward to having you stay with us in a few weeks."
A tight hug and a quick kiss from Hermione, and they departed; leaving Harry happy, but wishing the day could have lasted forever.
The lazy days of summer passed pleasantly, with Harry meeting Hermione everyday deep in the park. They would snog and explore each other, Hermione leading the way. Each day brought a new experience. Then they would work on their homework.
July passed in a haze and it was almost Harry's birthday. He would be twelve tomorrow, Hermione had already had her twelfth birthday late last year.
They were looking forward to visiting The Burrow. Ron's dad was coming to pick them up.