Opening a New Book
And so it goes on.
The last of the dead wood - swept away. The fragile life of spring, so close to suffering from the elements - finally taking hold and sprouting up towards the summer sun.
It was the time when everything tilted away from the dark and into the light.
The chill was as biting as winter but the breeze was gentle. Under a thick blanket the three of them huddled together, faces bathed in the bluish luminance that preceded the dawn and made their skin glow like Patronuses.
She was squeezed between her two boys as they sat on the little wooden fishing deck at the lakeside. She would be leaving for another hemisphere that afternoon and they'd just spent their last night together for quite some time.
She felt a warm, strong hand rubbing up and down the inside of her thigh and a heavy head of red hair settling upon her shoulder with a sigh.
On her other side an arm curled around her waist and squeezed her into the other man, his knuckles rubbing against the hip of his fellow bookend.
She had seen off the night and was welcoming the day, along with her own night and day, darkness and sunshine, and while blackbirds began to sing their song as they rose with the fiery orb on the horizon a fox moved silently along the other side of the bank and paused to drink water from the cool lake.
Hermione held her breath and tried to freeze the moment. The sound was perfect peace with a sweet and subtle tune. The sight was dark shadows, monochrome tinged light melting into warm honey. The scent was fresh and clean while as mature and familiar as ever.
It was a new dawn, a new day, a new life.
"Here it comes," Ron said, lifting his head just enough to rest him chin upon her shoulder and watch the slither of golden light pushing its way over the hills.
"I can feel it already," Harry smiled, "just from that little bit of sun, I can feel it getting warmer."
The light bathed them gradually, changed them in the same way their smiles would transform their faces, and as all the blue was de-saturated by the yellow flooding across the landscape towards them they felt as if they'd just witnessed the start of something with limitless potential.
"It's like the next chapter," Hermione sighed to herself.
"No," Harry shook his head, "a whole new book. It's a book with a different theme and new characters."
"A sequel?" Ron asked, eyebrows raising.
"No," Hermione scoffed her disapproval, "sequels are always a disappointment, they ruin everything you loved about the first story."
"A spin-off!" Harry proposed.
Ron scrunched up his nose and Hermione agreed with him.
"It could be the next generation of a great dynasty," she proposed, eyes lighting up.
Ron groaned and flung himself back on the deck while Harry nudged Hermione with his shoulder.
"The Malfoys have Dynasties, the noble house of Black; I don't want to start one with the Potter name. Can you imagine the circus?"
"And us Weasley's are already a dynasty, we're already too big, if we grow any more we'll be more common than pigeons!" Ron said with a lazy chuckle.
Hermione placed her hand upon his chest and shook him.
"Don't you doze off."
"But its warm now," he yawned, "and the sun's out. Can't we just have a kip?"
"Ron, I will not allow you to pack it in for the day at..." she looked at her watch, "a quarter past five in the morning!"
Ron growled, grunted and pushed himself back up on his elbows.
"But what if this next book of our lives is a bedtime story?"
"Wake yourself up," Hermione said with her most authoritative tone.
"Right," Ron said as he sat up straight, "I will do."
He got to his feet and pulled his jumper over his head while toeing off his trainers.
"Oh my God." Harry began to laugh.
"What are you doing?"
"I'm doing what I do when I need to wake up in the morning," Ron said with a smirk before catching Harry's eye, "or when dopey-arsed friends of mine throw themselves into icy ponds with evil jewellery around their neck."
Ron jerked his flies open and then let his loose jeans, the only loose pair he had left thanks to Hermione and her accidental shrinking accidents when it was her turn to do the washing, drop down to his knees. While Harry shielded his eyes against the dazzling white legs and Hermione flushed, Ron wriggled his legs to shake the jeans the rest of the way down and then stepped out of them.
"Dashing," Hermione said, sarcasm wavering a little in the face of Ron in only his pants, "I think the mismatched socks really make it."
Ron gave a tut and hopped from foot to foot to yank the orange and maroon socks off his feet. Then he slipped his thumbs inside the waistband of his pants and waggled his eyebrows before easing them down.
Hermione looked away and Harry rolled his eyes and shook his head.
"Pickles makes another impromptu appearance eh? Y'know what, Ron?" Harry teased, "You should learn how to hold a quill with it and then it can sign autographs for its many fans."
"Don't call him an 'it'," Ron said, using his cupped hands to shield his penis from Harry's barbs.
Just as Hermione snuck a peek back at the dangling subject, Ron turned and dove into the lake, cleanly and with minimal splashing.
"He's getting good at that." Harry nodded, impressed.
Ron's head broke the surface of the water and he gasped.
"Fuck me, it's freezing!"
Harry burst out laughing and Hermione grinned, widely.
"Ah but I bet you don't feel sleepy anymore do you?" She called over his sputters.
Ron spat some of his own hair from his mouth and then launched himself through the water towards her. Hermione squealed as Ron pulled himself up with one arm and reached for her leg with the other.
"No! Don't you dare!"
Ron pulled his arm back and lifted himself half out of the water, both palms flat on the wooden slats of the deck and elbows locked. Water ran down from his shoulders to pool around his splayed hands. A drip hung from the end of his long nose. His fair eyelashes were darker and clumped together by tiny beads of moisture. His hair was plastered to the sides of his face and he sucked upon his own bottom lip before giving Hermione a lopsided smile.
"Fine, leave me and my inverted private parts to swim alone," he said with a tilt of the head, "but you could at least gimme a kiss."
Hermione looked at Ron, suspiciously, before moving closer and leaning forward to peck him on the lips.
"So it's jump in and make my tackle so cold it jumps up inside my body or kiss you?" Harry pondered aloud. "I'd better get my kit off then!"
Ron chuckled as Harry began stripping and, while Hermione was distracted, he grabbed her about the waist and pulled her into the water with him.
She was still screaming at him when Harry jumped in and found his voice raised a few octaves. They splashed and swam and peeled off Hermione's wet clothes before she shoved Ron in the chest and he fell into Harry's, who held him steady and then slid his arms all the way around his body to settle against the freckled back.
Hermione arched an eyebrow as she looked at them.
"Oh I know what the next book is going to be," she said, teeth chattering.
"Oh yeah?" Ron and Harry said as one.
Hermione nodded before doggie paddling over to them and pressing herself against them to share their body heat.
"A really dirty book!"
A/N Happy Summer Solstice to you all!