Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. Seriously.
A/N: A sequel to 'Stop Falling', 'To Watch As You Leave', 'My Heart Is Conditioned to the Beat of Hers' and 'Our Bitter Happily Ever After'.
A/N2: This is perhaps the last instalment in the mini Fleur/Hermione series I have inadvertently started. If anyone would like to see this continued, please let me know. I am pleased with how the series has turned out so far. Though I do have ideas for how this might be continued (possibly with the inclusion of characters from 'Listen to Your Heart' which I shall set about to finish in my long summer break).
A/N3: As always, review please. It keeps me happy, it keeps me inspired and it keeps me writing. Cheers!
I wait with bated breath for the sunlight to filter through the curtains (seep through the little gap beneath my eyelids) before I reluctantly let go of the pretension that I am still asleep.
It has been three days since I have left the Burrow with Hermione in tow, since then I have yet to go back to the apartment I share with Bill to collect my belongings. It feels so much easier to just hide in this hotel room with Hermione (to keep my arm around her and to breathe in the scent of her that overpowers the natural fragrance of springtime). Make no mistake, I do not (will not, cannot) regret my actions, but to go forward from this point is daunting nonetheless. I wait for some sort of sign that today will be the day that I stand straight and begin setting up for a life together with my true love.
The little voice in the back of my mind scoffs at my naivety and I cannot help but agree. I must admit I fear for the future, it is not in my nature to wait. In the months we spend together in absolute secrecy, it has always been Hermione that does the waiting. I am afraid that I will disappoint her, that I will hurt her, that –
"Fleur?" Hermione whispers, her hand squeezing around my little finger.
"Oui, mon amour," I respond, nipping the bit of her shoulder that peeks through the sheets.
"You feel tense," Hermione replies, purring a little as I continue to rain down kisses on her increasingly exposed skin (it is warm enough to do without a cover, is it not?).
"I was thinking," I whisper, pausing in my ministration to relish in the glow of her skin under the sunlight (because I have not this luxury before when darkness is the only safe domain for us to profess our love in). "It is nothing to worry you about." It really is not. The moment I sort my thoughts (fears) out, I shall be fine, I shall be dependable once more.
Hermione turns around to face me, her eyes alert even when a hint of sleepiness lurks in the corner. "I can see your frown lines," Hermione declares, running a finger across the aforementioned lines.
"Perhaps I am simply getting on in years," I joke, taking her finger and kissing the tip of it.
"You are thirty-two this year, darling, I don't think so," Hermione says gently. "You don't have to keep your fears to yourself. That's what I'm here for. I want to share with you all the good moments, all the bad, all the moments in between."
I sigh softly. Nothing escapes my beautiful, smart Hermione. "I was just thinking … of the future. I don't know what to expect of it. What if I hurt you in the process? It will break me."
Hermione looks very amused.
"What's so funny?" I ask, slightly miffed. I bite down on the finger I still hold.
"Nothing, nothing," Hermione says quickly, pouting as she inspects the teeth marks around her index finger. I kiss it gently and she smiles brightly at me. "I've been thinking the exact same thoughts recently," she explains. "Doesn't that show that we just care about each other a lot? It's a good thing." Hermione pauses and presses her lips against the side of my face. "Fear gives way to strength." She kisses the corner of my lips. "If I were to get hurt in the process of loving you, if I were to get broken, I believe that you will put my shattered pieces back together." She kisses me on the lips: a lazy, thorough kiss (with not even the slightest of gaps for the sunlight to pass through). "I love you. I'm not going to say I'm not afraid of the future. I am afraid of what we'll have to face, afraid of what my parents will say, what your parents will say, what our friends will say." She takes my hands in hers. "But then I feel your hand in mine or mine in yours and all my fears are assuaged." She kisses my hands haphazardly. "And I look into your eyes and my heart races, my cheeks warm, my mind calms. Remember what I told you three nights ago?"
"How will I ever forget?" I whisper. My eyes are growing hot with tears welling up.
"I'd brave a hundred Voldemorts if I have to," Hermione says fervently. "And I will. I'd brave a hundred pair of shocked, furious parents if I have to, be they muggles or Veelas." There is a quiet streak of defiance in her voice and a stronger one burning in her eyes. Gryffindors.
"I love you," I whisper sincerely, my worries quieted with several words from her. "I was afraid and you fought off my fears. My knight in shining armour," I add, remembering something she has told me so many nights ago.
"Shall the damsel reward this knight with a kiss then?" Hermione asks cheekily, her hand trailing down my arm to rest on the flat of my stomach.
I throw the sheets off of us and straddle her in one fluid motion (some good to come out of participating in the War). "A kiss and so much more," I purr before I descend.
Maybe tomorrow will bring me to finally collect my belongings from Bill's, hers from Ron's, but for now, I shall occupy myself with my beautiful, beautiful beloved.