A/N: Yes, it's really me. I know I haven't updated for ages and I'm really sorry, especially since I can't even give you a good explanation like I had much work, I was ill, I was traveling or something like that. I simply had a total writers block because real life has been quite depressing and I simply wasn't in the mood to write. I've graduated from university several months ago and have been looking for a job since then. I have good grades (As in all exams and a B in my final thesis), but I keep getting rejections because I don't have any practical experience. I couldn't stay in my dorm after graduating and I can't afford my own place because I don't have a job, so I'm sleeping on the couch of my mother with whom I have a very difficult relationship. So, I've been in a really bad mood most of the time and couldn't get myself to write. I want to thank all my readers for their reviews and their patience while waiting for an update. That meant a lot to me.
Harry's first impulse was to go after Hermione immediately, but then he remembered that he should talk to Madame Pomfrey before their Portkey left tomorrow morning. He wanted to ask the school nurse for a potion that helped with Hermione's morning sickness and he needed to make sure that it was safe for Hermione to travel by Portkey.
15 minutes later Harry left the infirmary with a supply of anti-nausea potions for Hermione and the reassurance that she and the baby were perfectly healthy and there was nothing speaking against travelling by Portkey.
When Harry had reached the Common Room there was a spontaneous party going on to celebrate the end of the exams. Ron, who was looking grumpy but more sober than when Harry had last seen him, was sitting on one of the couches.
"Harry, can't you tell them to turn the volume of the music down, being Head Boy and all? I can't sleep with all the noise," Ron complained.
"Have you seen Hermione?" Harry asked, ignoring Ron's request.
"She went to the Head's quarters. Just ran past me without saying a word," Ron told Harry.
Harry quickly made his way to the Head's quarters, followed by Ron.
"Hey, what's wrong with you guys?" Ron asked.
Harry went straight to Hermione's bedroom and knocked. "Hermione, it's me, Harry. Please open the door and let me explain," Harry begged. When he didn't get a reply he tried to open the door with "Alohomora", but it didn't work. Hermione had probably protected her door with a password.
"What's going on here?" Ron asked irritated.
Harry sighed and turned around to face his friend. "Hermione knows about the soul bounding."
"I guess she didn't take it very well. I told you so," Ron said.
Harry shot him an angry glance, but didn't say anything. He knew Ron was right.
"So, how did she find out?" Ron asked, not bothering to lecture Harry further.
"I told her," Harry said, pausing, not knowing how Ron would react to the rest of the story. Ron had realized that he and Hermione weren't meant to be together, but he still felt protective towards his female best friend. Harry didn't know how Ron would react to the news that he had gotten Hermione pregnant.
"You told her? When? Where?" Ron asked surprised.
"I told her after Madame Pomfrey examined Hermione. I wanted to make sure that she really goes, so I accompanied her," Harry answered.
Even Ron, who was one of the most insensitive people Harry knew, realized that Harry was leaving something out.
"She isn't seriously ill, is she?" Ron asked alarmed.
"No, she isn't ill," Harry reassured Ron. "She's pregnant."
"What?! But how… I mean I know how, but… You were the only one Hermione has slept with and you used protection. You did use protection, right?"
Harry blushed and looked to the ground. "Yes, we did use protection. Sort of. Professor McGonagall took our wands, so Madame Pomfrey performed the anti-pregnancy charm on Hermione before the wedding, but the spell only lasts three hours…"
"And?" Ron asked. "Did you need more than three hours to figure out what to do or what?!"
"Ron! I knew how this works, okay?!" Harry exclaimed, offended. "We… we slept with each other again the next morning," Harry muttered.
"What?! You had sex with Hermione when the anti-pregnancy charm had worn off?! How could you be so stupid?!" Ron exclaimed.
"I got distracted! I didn't think, okay?" Harry said in a shrill tone.
"No, it's not okay! What are you going to do about this?" Ron asked.
"I know what I want, but it's Hermione's decision and I doubt she wants the same. I want to ask Hermione to marry me for real, to move in with me and raise our child together. I want us to be a family, but Hermione doesn't even want to talk to me She thinks I didn't tell her about our marriage because I don't see her as anything else than a friend," Harry said sadly.
"Oh sure, you only see her as a friend and that's why you couldn't wait to shag her again the next morning," Ron said sarcastically.
Harry gave his friend an angry look and he shrugged. "What?! That should be proof enough that you want more than friendship from her. Girls can be so illogical," Ron complained.
"Hermione isn't able to think logical right now. She is so upset and it's all my fault," Harry said, looking down.
Ron looked at Harry intently before he spoke again. "You really love her, do you?" Ron asked in a friendlier tone.
Harry nodded. "I love her with all my heart and if she didn't hate me I would be overjoyed because she is carrying my child."
"She doesn't hate you, Harry, she's just mad. Don't drive yourself crazy about that. She just needs some time to cool off," Ron reassured Harry.
"She is so upset, Ron. This stress isn't good for her in her state," Harry said worriedly.
"She's pregnant, not deathly ill, Harry. Hey, my mum already had five children, two of them being Fred and George, when she was pregnant with me. Stress was her daily routine and she and I are perfectly healthy. You're worrying too much. Just give Hermione a few hours to calm down and then talk to her," Ron advised.
"Thanks, Ron. Both for the advice and for not hexing me," Harry said sincerely.
"No problem. Oh, and congratulations," Ron said, before leaving to give Harry and Hermione some privacy.
Hermione was crying on her bed when she heard a knock on the door and Harry's voice. He asked her to open the door and let him explain, but she didn't want to hear his explanations. He had kept the information that they were married and magically bound to each other to him. How did he want to explain that anyway? Was there another explanation than that he wanted to go back to their platonic friendship. On the other hand he did mention that they slept with each other again after the consummation of the marriage. That meant Harry must feel some kind of attraction to her. That didn't say much though. Harry was a male teenager after all and weren't those known to get horny when they see a naked female? Hermione was so confused. Harry had been incredibly sweet and caring towards her. Did this mean his feelings for her went beyond friendship or was it just the way he was? Would he have been as concerned and caring if it had been Ron who lost his memory? Probably not, but that was an inappropriate comparison. Ron was a guy and Harry was a gentleman. Would he be so protective of any female friend? Hermione couldn't answer that question based on the last two months and the memories she had already seen in the Pensieve, so she took the necklace off and pointed her wand at it, randomly selecting a scene. Maybe she could answer her questions by seeing more memories of her and Harry's past. She could try and see his interaction with her with the eyes of an outsider; that might help her to gain clarity about Harry's feelings for her.
Hermione spent the next hours randomly watching scenes from the Pensieve.
She saw many scenes she had already seen with Harry and Ron, but some new ones, too. She watched Harry holding her hand while she was lying in a hospital bed, petrified, in second year. She saw Harry's concerned expression in third year, when Hermione had been stressed by her immense work load and the constant arguments with Ron. She saw the terror in Harry's eyes when he watched her get injured during the Battle at the Department of Mystery. She watched how Harry comforted her when she had been upset because of Ron and Lavender. So she had fancied Ron?! The thought was more than a little disturbing. She liked Ron, but she could never imagine having a relationship with him. Obviously, her taste had become better during the last year. Harry had always been there for her and had comforted her when Ron hadn't even noticed that she was upset. Hermione was surprised that it had taken her seven years to fall in love with him. By now Hermione felt guilty for snapping at Harry like that. She should have given him the opportunity to explain why he had kept the information about the soul bounding from him. He had always been such a good friend; he must have had a good reason not to tell her something that important.
Hermione stood up, intending to go and talk to Harry, but stopped when she had reached the door. She still didn't know how Harry felt about her.
Hermione sat down on her bed and grabbed her wand and Pensieve again. There had to be some memories which told her how Harry felt about her.
Hermione looked through the memories in her Pensieve, not really knowing what she was looking for. After a few minutes she spotted a memory she hadn't seen before. She and Harry were sitting in a room she didn't recognize, having a candle light dinner. Hermione was surprised. The scene looked like a date. Had she and Harry dated before she lost her memory? Intrigued, Hermione started watching the whole memory. After a quiet dinner, memory Harry gave memory Hermione a gift which she recognized as the Pensieve necklace she was holding. "I know this isn't a real wedding, but I want to give you a wedding gift nevertheless," memory Harry said. Hermione gasped. Harry had given her the necklace as a wedding gift. The scene she was watching took place during their wedding night! Hermione held her breath, eagerly waiting for the rest of the memory. She watched the memory versions of her and Harry exchanging a hug before memory Hermione led a very sheepish Harry to a big bed. Hermione blushed when she watched the memory version of her slowly seducing Harry, who seemed to be enjoying himself very much considering his facial expression and the growing bulge in his pants. Hermione felt tears in her eyes when Harry confessed that he felt guilty because she had to sleep with him. He was so sweet. It was obvious that Harry desired her, but her wellbeing was more important to him than his pleasure. Hermione watched memory Harry giving in and passionately returning memory Hermione's kisses after Hermione had reassured him that she was fine. Watching Harry kissing her and caressing her naked breasts was the most erotic thing Hermione had ever seen. She could actually feel her lips tingling from his kisses and she thought she felt his fingers brushing over her nibbles. Hermione moaned when memory Harry started caressing memory Hermione between her legs. Hermione knew where Harry was touching her although she couldn't see it from her position and she knew how it had felt being touched there by him. When Harry entered Hermione in the memory she remembered. She remembered the pleasure and the pain she had felt when Harry had entered her. She remembered the confusing but intimate feeling of being able to share Harry's emotions during and after the union. She remembered how it had felt to hold Harry after they had made love. She remembered the second time they had made love, the time when they had created the baby she was carrying. She remembered the wedding and Harry's declaration of love. She remembered everything.
Hermione felt incredibly sorry when she remembered the accusations she had thrown at Harry in the hospital wing. Harry had confessed his love to her, hoping she would reciprocate his feelings before she had lost her memory. It must have been awful for him to love a woman who didn't even remember him, but he had always been there for her nevertheless and now she accused him of not loving her.
Hermione looked at the clock on her nightstand. It was already past midnight. Hermione hoped that Harry was still awake despite of the late hour. She needed to apologize to him and she needed to hear his explanation for not telling her about the soul bounding.
When Hermione opened the door she was surprised to find Harry sitting on the floor next to it. He quickly sat up when he saw that the door was opened.
"Harry, what are you doing here?" Hermione asked surprised. "How long have you been sitting here?"
"Ever since I came back from the hospital wing. Well, nearly since then, because I've talked to Ron for a few minutes first, but that's not the point. I have been waiting for you to open the door, because I really need to talk to you. Hermione, I love you," Harry said desperately.
"I know," Hermione told a surprised Harry. "I've put my memories of our wedding, the wedding night and our talk the next morning in the Pensieve and I saw them tonight. I remember, Harry. Seeing the memory of our wedding night somehow stirred all my other memories."
"You remember everything?" Harry asked hopefully and Hermione nodded.
"I'm sorry, Harry. I should have never doubted that you love me. But why didn't you tell me about the soul bounding?"
"I'm sorry, too. I should have told you the truth right away. I just… I thought it would be too much for you. You had to deal with your memory loss and all the NEWT stress and I thought it would be too much of a shock for you to learn that you are married and soul bound to somebody who was a complete stranger to you. And to be completely honest, I was afraid. I was afraid of your reaction. I thought if I wait with telling you until we had the time to rebuild our friendship we could stay friends even after I told you everything. And I was going to tell you, I swear. You deserve to know about the soul bounding and you deserve to know that I love you," Harry explained.
"I love you, too, Harry. I think I have for a long time, I was just too blind to notice it," Hermione confessed.
"Really?" Harry asked hopefully.
"Yes, really," Hermione reassured Harry. "But that doesn't mean I'm not mad at you anymore," she added in a stern tone. "I'm not made of glass, Harry, I can handle the truth!"
"I know, Hermione. I should have been honest with you. I know you're strong and you can handle whatever you have to. It's just… I still want to protect you, although I know you can care for yourself. I love you so much and I don't want you to suffer if there's anything I can do to prevent it. But I messed it up and ended up hurting you. I'm so sorry," Harry said.
"Apology accepted. Just don't keep something important from me again," Hermione demanded.
"I promise," Harry agreed gladly and hugged Hermione tightly but carefully.
Hermione returned the hug and snuggled against Harry. She closed her eyes and enjoyed to be held by Harry for a few precious moments.
"What do we do now?" Hermione asked. "We're barely of age and have just finished school. I thought about starting at the Ministry or maybe as a healer at St. Mungo, but when we get the results of the NEWTs in September I will probably start showing. And who hires a pregnant woman? They will know that I had to go in maternity leave after a few months. But how can I care for a baby if I don't earn money? And who will care for the baby when I get a job eventually? You will have just started an education as well when the baby will be born and you won't earn much during that time."
Harry smiled reassuringly. "Don't worry about money, Hermione. I was at Gringotts the day we came back from Hogwarts to claim my inheritance from my parents and Sirius. We have enough money to support us and as many children we want for as long as we live. You can stay at home with our baby as long as you want if that's what you want. But of course you don't have to. We can hire a good nanny and you can start an education as soon as you feel up to it after the birth," Harry reassured Hermione.
"So you want the baby?" Hermione asked.
Harry looked hurt at the question. "Of course I want the baby! All I've ever wanted is a family. I love you and having a family with you will be wonderful. Don't you want it?"
"Oh, Harry, of course I do! It's not really the best time to start a family, but I want this baby. How could I not love something that is a part of you and me, a product of our love?"
Harry beamed and kissed Hermione passionately. "I love you so much," he whispered when he had caught his breath again.
Before Hermione could say anything Harry took a small box from the pocket of his robes.
"I've got something for you," Harry said and handed her the box.
Hermione opened the box and gasped surprised when she saw the most beautiful ring she had ever seen. It was a gold ring with a perfect diamond. It was fairly large, but still tasteful. The oval jewel was embedded in a beautiful, intricately carved setting, making the ring look very old. It was the most beautiful piece of jewelry Hermione had ever seen, but Hermione only gave it a short glance because all her attention was captured by Harry when he went down on one knee in front of her.
"Hermione, I am not very good with words, but I want you to know that I love you more than words can say. I love you more than I've ever loved anyone else, more than my own life. You would make me the happiest man on earth if you agreed to spend the rest of your life with me. Hermione Jean Granger, do you want to marry me for real?"
Hermione felt tears of joy streaming down her face. She didn't trust her voice, so she simply nodded and bent down to take Harry's hands, gently pulling him up. When Harry and Hermione were on eye level again Hermione threw her arms around Harry's neck and kissed him passionately. Hermione put everything she felt for Harry in this one kiss. The joy his proposal had brought her, the happiness about finally remembering everything they had shared during these last seven years, the relieve she felt because Voldemort was gone and she didn't have to fear for Harry's life anymore, the excitement about their future and the family they were starting, the passion, the trust and most of all the love she felt for Harry. She put all the feelings she couldn't word right now in this one kiss and hoped Harry would understand.
After what felt like an eternity but still was too short, Harry pulled away and he and Hermione caught their breaths.
"So, I assume that was a yes," Harry said with a big grin.
Hermione smiled brightly. "That was most definitely a yes," Hermione confirmed.
Harry took the ring from the box Hermione was still holding and gently placed the engagement ring on her right hand. "It's the engagement ring my father gave my mother. It's a family heirloom. I took it from Gringotts the day after we got back from Hogwarts. I didn't know if you would accept my proposal back then, but I wanted you to have this ring no matter if you said yes or no. You've always been the most important girl in my life and you're the only woman I want to wear my mother's ring."
"You're giving me your mother's ring?" Hermione asked amazed. She knew how important every precious connection he had to his parents was to Harry and she was very touched that he gave one of these rare treasures to her.
Harry nodded. "I'm sure my parents would be very proud to see you wearing it. Of course you can have another ring, if you'd like that better," Harry quickly added. "You can pick your own engagement ring if you'd rather have something modern."
"Oh, Harry, no! The ring is perfect and I feel honored because you gave it to me," Hermione reassured Harry.
"Do you have any idea how happy you make me?" Harry asked, pulling Hermione in his arms.
"I think I have," Hermione answered with a smile. "And I'm happy that I am able to make you feel this way. You deserve all the happiness in the world."
"I will do whatever I can to make you as happy as you make me," Harry promised.
Hermione grinned mischievously. "Really? I know the perfect way for you to start."
Before Harry could say anything Hermione kissed him again and let her hands wander under Harry's shirt, caressing his chest. Harry responded with the same passion Hermione showed, but stopped when she started to unbutton his shirt.
"Hermione, are you sure this is a good idea in your state? Won't we hurt the baby?" Harry asked concerned.
Hermione rolled her eyes. "I'm pregnant, Harry, not ill. The baby is perfectly safe."
"You're sure?" Harry asked hopefully.
Hermione grinned. She could feel Harry's excitement – both physically in form of the obvious erection pressing against her belly and emotionally through the bound they shared. She knew he wanted this as much as she.
"Yes, Harry, I'm sure that we won't hurt the baby," Hermione reassured him.
Harry didn't need further encouragement. He kissed Hermione again, but this time it was a slow and sweet kiss. Harry unbuttoned Hermione's blouse without breaking the kiss. When he had opened all buttons he slid the piece of fabric off Hermione's shoulders and carelessly threw it on the floor. When Hermione pulled back for air Harry gently kissed Hermione's forehead, her cheek, her shoulder and the soft skin behind her ear before kneeling down in front of her again. Harry gave Hermione's belly several butterfly kisses and light caresses. "I love you so much," Harry whispered and Hermione wasn't sure if he was talking to her or the baby growing inside of her.
After a few moments of kissing and caressing her still flat belly Harry stood back up, picked Hermione up and carried her to her bedroom where he gently laid her down. They started kissing again, only letting go of each other long enough to remove the rest of their clothes. When they were completely naked Harry's kisses moved from Hermione's lips to her throat and neck while his hands wandered further south. Hermione moaned loudly when she felt Harry's hand on her breasts. The combined sensation of Harry's lips on her neck and his fingers circling her nipples was overwhelming, but she needed more. She didn't know if it was because she had watched the memories of their wedding night, because of the pregnancy hormones or simply because she was a teenager who was just discovering the pleasures of sex, but she was incredibly horny.
"Harry, I need you," Hermione moaned.
Harry grinned and obviously decided to tease her a little longer, because he continued kissing her naked skin. Torturously slowly Harry formed a trail of kisses from Hermione's neck to her breasts. Harry gave Hermione's nibbles a few light kisses before he started sucking on her left nibble while massaging its twin with his thumb and index finger. When Hermione thought she couldn't take this sweet torture any longer Harry gently spread her legs with his hands and started stroking her lower lips with his thumbs, avoiding the spot where she wanted to be touched most.
"Harry, please!" Hermione moaned and Harry obviously decided to be nice and stopped teasing her. He gently started massaging her clit, using exactly the right amount of pressure. Harry surely was a fast learner.
"Harry," Hermione moaned, not being able to say anything coherent. Harry increased the pressure and speed of his ministrations and Hermione started panting. He inserted two fingers and Hermione gasped at the feeling of being filled. When Hermione thought it couldn't become any better his fingers hit a certain spot inside her and Hermione knew it must have been her G-spot. She had read about this mysterious spot but she hadn't thought anything could feel as good as Harry stroking her G-spot and her clit simultaneously. "Oh god!" Hermione moaned and a few moments later the built up tension in her groin exploded into an intense orgasm.
When Hermione came back to earth the first thing she noticed was that Harry was lying next to her, gently stroking her hair.
"Wow," Hermione said. "What happened to the shy guy I had to literally drag to bed on our wedding night?"
Harry smiled warmly. "This time, I had no doubt that you wanted this. Wanted me. This makes all the difference in the world," Harry explained. "And that I could feel how much you enjoyed this didn't hurt either," he added with a coy smile.
"Yes, this soul bounding thing does come in handy, doesn't it? Although I don't need a mystique connection to know how much you want me right now," Hermione said, looking at Harry's obvious hard-on. "It's your turn," she told him, smiling suggestively.
Hermione sat down between Harry's legs, leaning forward to give him a perfect view of her breasts. She smiled when she saw the lust in his eyes. Hermione didn't consider herself a beauty, but when Harry looked at her like this she felt sexy and desirable. With all the confidence this feeling gave her Hermione began to stroke Harry's cock with both hands causing him to moan. Hermione could feel Harry's arousal, she saw his eyes darken with lust and could hear his breathing becoming labored. Seeing Harry like this and knowing that it was her who made him feel like this was an immense turn-on. Hermione started to massage the sensitive tip of Harry's penis with one hand while stroking his balls with the other one.
"Oh god … Hermione … so good… " Harry panted. Hermione could feel Harry losing it and she knew it would only be a matter of seconds before he would reach his climax. Hermione abruptly stopped her ministrations and chuckled at Harry's confused and disappointed expression.
"Not so fast," she said, grinning. "I want you to come inside of me."
Before Harry could formulate a reply Hermione positioned herself above Harry and gently guided him inside of her. Hermione moaned when Harry thrust into her. She loved it when he pleasured her with his hands, but nothing could ever feel as good as being joined with Harry in the most intimate way. It was as if they were one person instead of two separate human beings. During these precious moments they were truly one – their hearts, minds and bodies worked in perfect synch. Harry met her movements in perfect harmony, with just the right force, hitting all the right spots. Within a few minutes Hermione was panting and moaning incoherently. She was very close and she could feel that Harry was as desperate for release as she was. "Hermione!" Harry moaned and a moment later he came hard, pulling her over the edge with him.
Hermione collapsed on Harry's chest and enjoyed his lazy caresses on her back while they caught their breaths. She didn't know if they had lain like that for a few minutes or for hours when she felt Harry's lips on her forehead. Hermione opened her eyes and met Harry's loving gaze.
"Are you okay?" Harry asked and Hermione smiled brightly.
"More than okay," she reassured him and shifted a little, so she was lying half next to and half on top of Harry.
Harry pulled the covers over him and Hermione and put his arms around her. They just lay like this for a few minutes and Hermione enjoyed listening to the steady rhythm of Harry's heart while he gently caressed her back.
"Hermione?" Harry asked eventually. "Do you think I'll be a good father? I mean, I can't remember my own father and I don't really know what I'm supposed to do," he confessed.
Hermione looked up to meet Harry's gaze. "Harry, you'll be a great dad. Our baby is very lucky to have you as a father. You are the most caring man I know and you already love this baby so much. I'll probably have to keep you from spoiling him or her rotten, but aside from that you'll do great."
"You mean you won't let me spoil our kid?" Harry asked, sounding very disappointed.
Hermione laughed. "You may spoil him or her a little."
Harry smiled and the mischievous look in his eyes told her that they would have many discussions about the meaning of "a little".
"May I spoil you?" Harry asked.
"Harry, you don't have to spoil me. I've already got everything I want," Hermione said.
"So you're happy?" Harry asked, letting his hand rest on Hermione's belly.
Hermione smiled. "Yes, Harry, I'm happy. I'm overwhelmed and a little scared, because everything is moving so fast. I would have never thought I'd be married and a mother with 19, but I am happy. I just hope my parents won't get a heart attack when I tell them that they missed my wedding and that they'll be grandparents in seven months."
"We could have a muggle wedding with your parents and whoever else you want to have there. Our marriage is only legal in the wizarding world, so we could have a muggle ceremony, too," Harry suggested.
Hermione smiled. "That would be great. I would love to have a real wedding with my whole family. Not that I don't consider our marriage real," Hermione quickly added. "We already have a deeper bound than a piece of paper could create. But I want to make it official. I want to say yes to you knowing that you and everybody else know that I mean every word."
"I want that, too. I want everybody in the muggle and wizarding world to know that we belong together. And I want you to have the wedding you deserve," Harry said.
Hermione smiled and snuggled even closer to Harry. She imagined the wedding they would have. This time there would be no doubt that this was the real thing. There would be flower girls, crying mothers and grandmothers, music, dancing and everything that made a wedding perfect. But that wasn't what Hermione was really looking forward to. When she imagined their wedding she envisioned her and Harry exchanging their vows and renewing their promises to each other knowing that they did this for no other reason than their love for each other.