Well I hate to tell you this but this is the last one..... yep its the final chapter, hope you all like it.
Hermione was nervous. She was really nervous. The gown she was wearing was unbelievable. It was emerald green, her new favourite colour she realised, and it was strapless. The dress was a Cinderella style ball gown dress with three full layers of tulle on the skirt. It was beautiful and she felt like a princess. The bodice had embroidered beading on it and it hugged her very tightly. She knew madame Maulkin was a fine dress maker, but this dress was extraordinary. She had found some plain court shoes in emerald green with a small row of diamante's on the toe. It suited the dress perfectly and she was holding a matching clutch bag. Since Ginny knew the design of the dress, she designed her hair to be soft and flowing over her shoulders. She stood looking at herself in the mirror and then thought she heard sniffling. She turned to look at Ginny and noticed the tears forming, she hugged her tightly.
"Thank you Gin, I wouldn't have been able to do this with out you."
"You, look, so, beautiful," Ginny was pausing in between the sobs. They heard a knock at the door and realised it was time for Harry to arrive. Hermione took a huge breathe and Ginny went to answer the door. Hermione took a few more calming breathes and walked out into the lounge room where Harry was waiting.
"Harry you look very handsome, make sure she is home by midnight otherwise she turns back into a PA." Ginny and Harry laughed at her joke and then he noticed her standing there. To say he was breathless, was an understatement. He stared at her and then very slowly he started walking towards her. He stood in front of her and slowly reached out his elbow towards her, "Miss Granger, may I have the honour of being paled next to your beauty this evening?" Hermione giggled and Harry thought he had never heard anything so wonderful in all his life.
"Oh Harry, don't be silly." Harry stepped closer and lifted his hand to gently to caress her cheek, she felt the tingles forming where they touched and she ever so slightly leaned in to his touch.
Ginny was smiling and felt that everything she had done was for the right reason, she had never seen her best friend so happy in her life.
"OK love birds, I must go, please have a great evening and don't get up to any mischief... or not." Ginny's interruption was what they needed to get ready to leave. They tended to get caught up in their own world when they were not fighting. Ginny left and Hermione grabbed her hand bag and walked to the door where Harry was waiting.
"OK I will just lock up and we can go."
"Umm Hermione can we talk for a second?" Harry seemed nervous which of course made her nervous.
"Yes, sure Harry what is it?"
"What is going on with you and my brother?" Harry was looking down and his voice was soft and she knew he wasn't looking for a fight.
"Harry, can we please not mess up a lovely evening?" Harry was reaching into his tuxedo pocket and handed her a note. Hermione took it and opened it,
Look after her, and if you hurt her, I will come after you.
Your little bro.
Hermione was completely shocked, she didn't know what to say.
"Harry..." She looked at him but couldn't voice a single thought in her head. Harry took the note and folded it placing it back inside his jacket.
"We better go, Mum will be worrying." Hermione watched him walking out the door, "Harry wait," Harry turned and looked at her, "I broke up with Jake because I didn't love him, I can't be with someone I don't love." That was what he wanted to hear, Harry smiled and walked up to her and hugged her. He pulled back and kissed her lightly on the cheek.
"Did I tell you, you look beautiful?" Hermione smiled and made a joke of it, "Well, I thought you were never going to say it, and thank you for the dress Harry, you shouldn't have but it is beautiful." Harry took her hand in the crook of his elbow and smiled a bright smile, "I have no idea what your talking about, Miss Granger!"
"Hermione I have a gift for you." Hermione shook her head, "No Harry, you have done too much already, this dress would have cost a fortune." Harry reached into his pocket and pulled out a long jewellery case. It was black velvet and Hermione just stared at it in his hand. He opened it and inside on the white velvet cushion sat a diamond necklace that could only be described as extraordinary. It had small hearts all around it joined at each side, coming into the middle where each heart was growing larger till the middle one was the size of a poker chip. Each heart was encrusted with diamonds and the whole necklace would have probably hard 10 carats worth of diamonds in it. Hermione's hand flew to her mouth, she looked at Harry but he was already taking it out of the box to place around her neck.
"Oh Merlin, I don't know what to say.. it's beautiful."
"It was my Grandmother's and she told me to give it to the one person I couldn't live without." Harry nervously fidgeted with the necklace and Hermione's eyes filled with tears. She grabbed his hands with hers and he could feel them trembling.
"Thank you Harry, you have no idea what this means to me."
She reached up and kissed him on the cheek.
As they approached the car, Hermione thought, how on earth would she fit in his car? After a bit of struggling and lots of tucking, Harry had her seated and ready to go. Hermione was very excited and couldn't wait for the night to start. While Harry was driving she took a few minutes to appreciate his attire.
He was wearing a black tuxedo with a white ruffled shirt underneath. He had an emerald green cummerbund on and a matching hanky in his pocket. She wondered why he chose that colour when she chose her colour with Madame Maulkin.
"She told me what you were wearing." Hermione was a bit surprised that he seemed to read her mind but she thought she may have been obvious with her staring.
They arrived at the Potters house and Harry walked around to her door to help her out. James and Lily walked out to greet them and James told his wife not to cry, she would ruin her make-up. Lily took a deep breathe and they walked up to the couple. James noticed his mothers necklace immediately.
"Hermione, you are absolutely stunning sweetheart."
"Thank you Mr Potter, Harry bought the gown for me." James winked at his son and leant in to give Hermione a kiss on the cheek, Lily also gave her a compliment and then hugged her. She hugged Harry next and whispered in his ear,
"Harry, are you sure this time? Please don't hurt her."
"Yes mother, this is it, she's the one." Harry smiled and Lily had to fix her make-up again. Thank Merlin for magic. She kissed her son and then the limousine arrived.
The four of them made their way to the venue and took their places at the front door to greet all the guests arriving. The hall was set up better than any function Hogwarts could ever organise. The tables were decorated with floating candles and baby's breathe flowers scattered all over. The plates and cutlery were gold and all the ribbons around the chairs were gold too. There were stars on the enchanted ceiling and the walls were draped with soft, gold organza. Hermione was absolutely sure she had never seen anything as beautiful in all of her life. Harry walked up behind her and was extremely tempted to wrap his arms around her waist, but he resisted. He decided to stand very close to her, so close that he could smell her perfume and it was a mixture of vanilla and strawberries and Harry found it intoxicating.
"So what do you think?" Hermione felt him behind her before he spoke and her whole body reacted with his proximity.
"It's beautiful." Harry leant over her shoulder so she could feel his puffs of breath against her neck, "You're the only beautiful one that I can see here." Hermione shivered and slowly turned into his voice. She looked deep into his eyes and could see the lust and desire in them. His hand raised to caress her face and it slid down her neck to rest on her shoulder. His other hand rested on her tiny waist and he leant in and FINALLY kissed her. Hermione felt his lips on hers and couldn't believe this was happening again, it felt like she had waited a life time for this. Her hands went up to the front of his jacket and she held onto the lapels for dear life. Harry felt his insides come alive for the first time in his life. He heard his mother talking outside the door and decided he had better end the kiss albeit reluctantly. Her face was flushed but still beautiful.
"Mum will have our neck if she thinks we aren't stressing as much as she is, we can take this up later if you want to?" Hermione laughed and nodded.
James was fussing around as it was getting closer for the formalities to start. He ushered Harry, Hermione, Sirius and his date, and Lily and himself into the small waiting room.
They had some champagne and were standing waiting for the announcement of their entrance. Sirius pulled Hermione aside, "Well aren't you the belle of the ball Miss Granger?"
"Thanks Sirius, I have Harry to thank for the dress and his grandmothers necklace, he sent a dress maker over to have me fitted for it, it really is amazing."
"He must have it for you real bad..." Hermione's cheeks went pink.
"Do you care for him?"
"Yes, Sirius, I do, a lot actually."
"That's all I wanted to hear Hermione because to me, it's obvious he is crazy about you."
"Really Sirius, I don't know."
"Oh my dear, I know, I certainly know." Sirius kissed her on the forehead as Harry approached and he placed his arm around her waist very protectively and stepped in very close to her.
"Doesn't she look beautiful Sirius?" Harry was actually beaming and Sirius was sure he had never seen his Godson so happy.
"Yes she does, son, she certainly does." Sirius leant in and whispered, "I absolutely know!"
"Please welcome Mr Sirius Black and Miss Lenore Lester." The master of ceremonies announced Sirius and his date.
"Please put your hands together for Mr Harry Potter and the beautiful Miss Granger." Hermione looked at Harry and raised her eyebrows. "What? you are beautiful." Harry walked into the ballroom like he was on cloud nine. Hermione was very embarrassed, it wouldn't have been so bad if she didn't have the compliment attached to her introduction.
They were escorted to stand behind their seats while they waited for James and Lily.
"Would everybody please stand and raise your glasses for the entrance of the Minister of Magic, Mr James Potter and the Chief Executive Officer of the Board of Directors, Mrs Lily Potter." James and Lily walked in to a standing ovation and once the crowd quieted down Lily began her speech.
Harry and Hermione had been seated on the left of James and Lily with Sirius and Lenore on their right and there were two free seats which Hermione thought might have been for Jake and his date. Lily's speech was quite involved but not boring. She had a lot of people to thank for their support and also she wanted to inform the beneficiaries of where their hard earned money was being spent. She announced the opening of a new wing in St Mungo's where children would be treated for magical maladies. It was something that was very close to her heart and then she formally announced the arrival of her sister in law Victoria Potter and her niece Jennifer Potter who would be the first patient at the new wing of the hospital.
Everyone stood and watched the large doors open and a lovely woman enter with a gorgeous little 8 year old girl. She had dark hair that was twisted into ringlets. She wore a beautiful light pink dress that had a huge hot pink bow at the back. She walked in and went straight to her aunt and uncle and gave them a curtsey and a kiss on the cheek. She walked over to Sirius and Lenore and curtseyed to them as well. She walked around the table and as everyone watched, she ran into Harry's arms, he lifted her up and spun her around. The whole room broke out in laughter.
"I wore the dress you bought me Harry."
"You look beautiful pumpkin." Harry kissed her cheek and made sure he set her straight on her feet. She turned to Hermione and Hermione leant down to her level.
"Hello Jennifer, how are you?" Jennifer looked at Harry and he nodded and then Jennifer threw her arms around Hermione's neck and hugged her as if her life depended on it. Hermione was shocked and looked at Harry, he shrugged his shoulders and smiled.
"It's so nice to finally meet you Hermione, my cousin REALLY likes you, he didn't stop talking about you the whole time he stayed with us. Man he was boring." Jennifer rolled her eyes for dramatic affect and Hermione laughed. Victoria escorted Jennifer to her seat and then Lily finished her speech. The conversation flowed all through dinner, which was a delicious meal and then the time for dancing came. Harry was just about to ask Hermione to dance with him when a troubled look crossed his face.
"Harry, what's wrong?"
"Hermione I wanted to dance with you but I promised Jen the first dance, is that ok?"
"OF course it's ok Harry, don't worry please go ahead."
Hermione smiled when she saw Harry stand and very with a dramatic bow to Jennifer, he asked for a dance. Jennifer smiled and jumped up to take Harry's hand.
Once out on the dance floor, Harry lifted her up so their heads were even.
"Harry, you have my blessing." Harry looked at his cousin and was puzzled.
"Hermione, I give you my blessing, she is pretty and funny and she likes me, so I give you my blessing." Jennifer was as cute as a button and Harry laughed.
"Thank you Jen, that means a lot to me." Harry tried to keep a straight face so he didn't hurt her feelings.
"Well it looks like Uncle Sirius has stolen her for a dance, so you better cut in, you don't want him to hussle in on her."
"Jennifer Potter, where did you hear talk like that?" Harry was surprised.
"Uncle Sirius has taught me heaps, he is a good uncle."
"I think I better have a talk to that uncle Sirius hey."
Harry and Jennifer walked over to where Sirius and Hermione were dancing, when Lily and James cut in front of them.
"May I have this dance young lady?"
"Of course uncle James."
Harry took his mother's hand and waltzed around the floor with her. They talked briefly when another officiate cut in to dance with Lily which meant of course Harry had to dance with the wife. Five dances later Harry finally made it back to Hermione and asked for her hand.
"Miss Granger, would it be possible to finally have at least one dance with you tonight before you turn into a pumpkin?" Hermione curtseyed down low and Harry took her hand and guided her up. He roughly grabbed her waist and pulled her into his body.
"No one is getting in between us for this whole dance, Miss Granger." Hermione looked at the small space between them and smiled, "No I don't think anyone can get in between us Harry."
"You sure?" Harry was looking deep into her eyes and she felt herself blush, "Yes I am sure, no one comes between us again."
"That's good cause I don't plan on letting you go ever again." Harry wanted to kiss her but he had to remember where he was, tonight was all about his mother. He leant in close to her ear and whispered, "I really want to kiss you Hermione but it's not the place. Sorry." Hermione smiled and nodded. It didn't matter, she was having a wonderful night and nothing could spoil it.
Harry and Hermione actually managed to get in a few dances together before some more speeches were needed. Dessert was served and then everyone said goodnight to Jennifer as it was getting late.
There were lots more dancing, speeches and chatting to dignitaries and Harry's arm barely left Hermione's waist all night and when one of the respected reporters asked who Hermione was to him, he looked at her and said " Well I would like to tell you she is my girlfriend..." "Yes that is exactly what I am, thank you." Hermione said very confidently to the reporter.
"So will we be hearing of wedding bells Mr Potter?"
"I am sure you will know in good time." Harry had such a way with words.
They walked around to the next group of people waiting to talk to them and Harry leant in to Hermione's ear, "Sorry Mione, I wanted to ask you properly, not like that."
"Harry I don't care, I am just glad we are together, that's all that matters to me, I have never been more happy in all my life and it's because of you Mr Potter." Harry kissed her head and the flashes were going off. They continued their official duties and after a while, they finally made it back to their seats and enjoyed a glass of wine.
"A toast Miss Granger?"
"Yes, of course, what would you like to toast Harry?"
"To the most beautiful woman here tonight and to Merlin who finally showed me the way to you." They touched glasses and Hermione hugged him.
"Can I ask you something?"
"OF course, anything you want?"
"Are you happy?" Harry's eyes said it all, "Hermione I have been crazy for you ever since you walked into my office, but I have been too stupid to do the right thing. I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am right now." Hermione smiled a beautiful, bright smile and Harry found that it lit his soul.
"Good, because I really don't think I could be without you Harry, I have been lying to myself for too long and now I want to start living again." James walked over and sat down heavily on the chair next to Harry, "Well glad to see you two have finally got your act together." Harry laughed at his father and Hermione felt herself blush.
"Oh Hermione, don't look so worried, Lily and I couldn't have asked for a better daughter in-law..." James was called away by Lily leaving Hermione's mouth gaping in a very un-ladylike way.
"Did your father just say daughter in-law?"
"Why, is that such a terrible thought?" Harry smiled and raised his wine glass to salute her. Sirius walked over and sat down and started talking about the events of the night. Unfortunately for all of them as they were part of the host family, they had to wait till the last guest left. It was well after 2am when they finally got into their limousine to drive back home. Harry and Hermione held hands all the way home while they listened to Lily talk about the rush of donations that she had received. James had told her that a few Ministers had also pledged money towards the hospital wing. Lily was over the moon that she had exceeded the amounts she had in mind by two times. This was definitely a successful evening, all the hard work she had put into the fund raiser had been more than worth it.
"I just want to say thank you to both of you, it was wonderful to have you there tonight Hermione. I know Harry was pleased." Lily had a cheeky smile on her face, "You're too late darling, they are already together." James gave his wife a hug.
"What did I miss?" Lily was looking between the two of them and then noticed their entwined hands.
"OH, I thought you two would never work it out." She turned and whispered something to James and then James told her to let Hermione plan her own wedding. Hermione laughed, "What is it with you two planning a wedding already, we just started going out together tonight?"
Harry winked at his mother and leant in towards Hermione, "One day remind me to tell you about my dear mother." Hermione looked at him and nodded, wondering what on earth he was talking about.
The limousine pulled up in front of the house and the four of them walked inside for a nightcap. James and Lily had a quick drink and went straight to bed since Lily needed to follow up some donations in the morning. Harry and Hermione were sitting in silence and all of a sudden it felt awkward.
"Why is it awkward all of a sudden?" Hermione took the last sip of her drink and waited for Harry's response. He was looking into the fire with a deep look on his face.
"Well, to be honest Hermione I am fighting a conflict in my head."
"Really, what is it?" He skulled his drink in one go, Hermione waited, she hoped above all hope he didn't regret asking her to be his girlfriend. Things really did move a little too fast tonight.
"I want to spend the night with you, I can't deny my feelings for you any longer but and it's a big but, do I take you home or do you come with me upstairs?" This was Harry's way of asking her if she wanted to stay the night with him, and leaving it up to her to decide. It was very sweet of him and she found herself endeared by this action even more. She stood and took her shoes off. She left her bag on the lounge and slowly walked over to him, her dress ruffling behind her. She had butterflies in her stomach and they were thumping around with army boots on. Harry hadn't moved but she was sure he knew what she was doing, she slowly approached him and noticed the height difference immediately. She ran her small hand slowly up his arm to his neck line, where she took the cuff of the jacket and slowly slipped it off his shoulders, at such a gentle movement, Harry's eyes closed. He felt her turn to stand in front of him and then she took off his loosened tie and cummerbund. He opened his eyes and the darkness of the lust and desire she saw in them, shook her for a minute. She felt her whole body set on fire.
"Hermione, are you sure?" Harry's hands were caressing her shoulders so lightly she felt the tingles running from his fingers through to her core.
"Yes, never more sure of anything Harry." Harry grabbed her waist and pulled her roughly in for a deep kiss. She could feel his desire for her and that made her more determined than ever. He pulled away from the kiss and took her hand, he lead her up stairs and to the right where his old style wooden poster bed waited for the last woman who would ever lay in it with him.
Harry woke up to feel a warm body next to him. He didn't need to open his eyes to know who it was, it was her. The one person he had been dreaming about since he met her. The one person who he had to leave London for because he couldn't bear to be in the same room as her and not hold her as his own. The one person he would happily spend the rest of his life with if she would have him. He felt her stir and he pulled his arm around her tighter, he hoped she would never leave.
"I love you."
Just three words. Only three words but they could change your world. She opened her eyes and for the first time in her life she knew what she needed to say to him.
"I love you too Harry, more than you will ever know."
"Oh Mum I can't believe you went out with Uncle Jake, that is so gross." Robbie stated, "I bet Aunt Ginny was soooo mad."
Lily and Ellen were sitting in their beds listening to their favourite bedtime story of all time, "Mummy it was so nice,.."
.." can we please see your dress tomorrow,"
" please, please?" The girls always spoke together and like typical twins, finished each others sentences.
James and Robbie were not impressed that their sisters overruled them again.
"Oh come on mum, can't dad tell us the one about the triwizard tournament next time, that one is soooooo boring, we have heard it a hundred times." James complained.
Harry was standing in the doorway of his twin daughters bedroom watching the love of his life tell his beautiful children about the time they met. It warmed his heart so much, he never thought he could love another human being as much as he loved Hermione Potter. They had James two years after they married and he was going to Hogwarts next year. Two years later Robert, affectionately known as Robbie, came along then the surprise of all, the twins were born 5 years later, they were only three but they were so cute.
"Come on boys, it's time for bed, aunt Ginny will have my neck if your late for Quidditch practise in the morning." Harry grabbed his younger son Robbie and carried him to his room. James walked along side his dad, "Dad, can't you tell us one of your adventure stories one night, the girls always win, it's either that one or the one when you got married, it's unfair, just because they are the youngest."
"You know what son, my greatest adventure has and always will be, your mother." Harry ruffled his hair and James smiled, his dad always said the same thing.
After the boys were tucked in, Harry made his way downstairs to where he knew she would be waiting. She was curled up with a book next to the giant fireplace. He sat down behind her and she curled into his body like a well rehearsed dance.
"Jennifer rang today." Hermione didn't lift her head, she knew Harry heard her.
"How is she?"
"Good, she wants us to come over to see the wedding plans she has made so far, I told her the twins had been sick but now they were better we would come over." Harry kissed her ear and then moved her hair and kissed her neck.
"Mione, kiss, kiss, would you change anything?" Hermione knew what he meant, he always thought about deep things like this.
"Harry, I love you and I would never change a thing, I love my life but.... maybe one thing.." Harry stopped and turned her around to look at him, his eyes told her the worry she knew would be there.
"Well I would change one thing, I think another baby would be nice." A huge smile graced his face and he attacked her neck and started tickling her then Hermione burst out laughing,
"That, Mrs Potter, we can work on right now." Hermione kissed him and then stood up and used her wand to put out her blazing fire since they wouldn't be needing it. As she turned to walk upstairs after her husband, she looked at the giant magical photo on top of her mantel piece. It had her and Harry in the middle with Jake and Ginny next to them, then James and Lily, followed by her parents. It was the happiest day of her life, before her children were born of course. She smiled at the moving pictures laughing and enjoying themselves and turned to follow her husband up to their room.
I hope you like it, I loved writing this one, it was great to change Harry's attitude as it went along. I want to say a huge thank you to all who have added me as a favourite or on alert, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. To all my reviewers, you guys are totally awesome.
Love always and always Sirius
PS keep an eye out for my new Harry Potter story, it should be up in a few days.