Authors Note: Firstly if you've just pressed the 'go to last chapter' button, there have been two updates today - make sure you're reading the right chapter.

Dedicated to Mary, my love, because sometimes dreams do come true!

Hermione felt the familiar nauseating sensation of apparation cease as her feet touched the ground, she still clung to Minerva, not because of the dizziness but because she was suddenly nervous. The elder woman held her tightly, knowing exactly how Hermione felt. The damp smell of the Scottish moor, normally familiar and comforting, made her feel trapped, somehow afraid.

Feeling the tremble that shook her wife, Hermione nuzzled Minerva's neck, kissing the soft skin she found there. Not for the first time she felt their roles reverse, turning from the comforted into the comforter. Her fingers laced behind the back of Minerva's neck, lips sought contact, reassuring rather than passionate.

She pulled back noticing as she did so the look of physical pain that crossed Minerva's face, it was an expression she had seen several times before in the last few days. "Are you ok?"

"Yes, I'm fine."

"No, you aren't."

Minerva smiled wryly, wondering when she had become so transparent. "I've been getting terrible headaches, very intense but mercifully short-lived."

"And you've been letting me make love to you? You should have been resting."

Minerva's tongue caressed Hermione's lips, dipping inside to caress the roof of her mouth, her tongue. "As I recall 'Mione, I was a more than willing participant."

There was a moan from her wife, "Yes, you were." Standing on the path through the forest, they engaged in the most passionate kiss that they had ever shared. Time seemed to stand still and the Earth to tilt on its axis.

When the kiss broke, they held each other for a few minutes to calm themselves before Hermione pulled back. Taking Minerva by the hand she led her deeper into the forest towards the stone circle.

Minerva's house elf had been busy, lit candles covered every stone bathing the stone circle in flickering light, making it appear as though it was on fire. A blood red cloth covered with ancient runes covered the centre stone, as though for a sacrifice. A cauldron stood atop a small fire, supplies next to it, waiting for them to start the ritual.

Hermione dropped Minerva's hand with a final squeeze, moving to sit on the alter stone. The older witch took her wand from inside her robe, for a moment there was intense eye-contact between them. Moving her wand in an intricate motion Minerva cast a complicated spell that she had memorised weeks before, almost immediately she felt a huge drain on her magic and the physical weakness she had been feeling intensified.

Hermione pulled out her own wand, taking Minerva's outstretched hand. The older woman could feel Hermione's strength flowing across the connection, reinforcing her own, felt the weakness recede somewhat.

Making a similar movement with her wand Hermione cast her own spell, trying not to stumble over the unfamiliar Latin words – unlike normal magic spells this was not one or two words but whole sentences. As her tongue shaped the words, she could feel the magic taking form around them, joining with Minerva's, becoming alive in its own right.

The sky above the circle was clear, the moon shining brightly down upon them. Outside the circle storm clouds were forming, too fast to be natural, the winds sweeping in a circle around the stones. Flashes of lightening began to illuminate the sky as rain began to fall, leaving the circle in which they stood dry and untouched.

The magic began to take its toll on Hermione too now, she began to feel weak and dizzy, the circle started to spin around her. Minerva pulled her closer, scarcely able to keep to her own feet.

More cautiously now she began to cast the next in the series of spells designed to irrevocably bond them together. Exhaustion overwhelming now, she sank onto the fabric covered stone beside Hermione. Hermione could feel the drain from supporting Minerva as well as from her own second spell.

Panting now, they clung together. The consuming magic almost painful now, leaving them both empty and weakened. Minerva barely had the energy to remain sitting but there was still work to be done, she stood up, swaying slightly, taking a step towards the cauldron. After only one step she crumpled to the ground.

Hermione made her way carefully to Minerva's side, unable in that moment to cast even a simple wingardium leviosa charm; she used her weight and all of her remaining strength to pull Minerva to her feet. Helping her wife over to the cauldron, she took her position at the other side.

Minerva had started brewing the potion with Poppy's help almost two weeks prior to this night, meticulous work, as not only her life but Hermione's too depended on getting it right. Only a few more ingredients were needed. Gradually they added them speaking the ritual words, stirring the potion the requisite number of times, raiding or lowering the heat. They had researched the ritual too many times to need to consult a book, it was almost second nature to them now.

Soon there was only one ingredient remaining, faith. Unerringly Minerva's eyes found the chocolate depths of Hermione's, "Hermione, I bond myself to you, forever and always. My life will no longer be complete without you, there will be no one but you. You complete me, without you I am nothing." She placed her hand into the bubbling liquid, with a momentary expression of pain.

A flash of brilliant white light came from the potion, making even the lightning pale in comparison. The liquid within the pewter vessel changed colour became yellow.

"Minerva, I accept your bond and give you mine in return. Together we are stronger than we are alone." Hermione bit her lip, wanting to say more than the traditional response but not daring to deviate. They both held their breath as with a wince she plunged her hand decisively into the yellow liquid, with another flash of light it turned clear, meaning that the potion at least was correct and they could remove their hands.

Hermione leaned over and filled a goblet with the liquid, looking at the transparent potion a little apprehensively. As tradition dictated, they drunk the liquid from the same goblet – both pulling identical faces as the hideous taste made itself known to them at the same moment. A few seconds later another sensation made itself known, a fire building from the inside out.

Minerva gasped as a flash of arousal coursed through her body, a cry that was mirrored by her young wife. Ignoring her weakness, no longer even feeling it, she stepped around the cauldron pulling Hermione into her arms. Mouths crashed together with more force than the thunder breaking outside of the stone ring. The magic surrounding them began to shimmer in time with their thundering heartbeats.

Every cell in her body was screaming at her to throw Hermione to the floor and satiate their need, without further delay. It took more control than she was aware that she possessed, to pull her lips away from Hermione's. Stilling the passionate kiss, she looked into her wife's sparkling brown eyes, gently placing small kisses around her eager lips.

Hands that trembled violently found the lacing at the back of Hermione's wedding gown. "It looks beautiful on you sweetheart but right now I want to see what you're wearing underneath it." The girl shuddered in desire as Minerva's arousal roughened voice broke into her passion-fuelled haze. Normally nimble fingers struggled to unlace the dress, the fumbling from the normally self-assured older woman made Hermione's blood run even hotter.

Minerva removed the dress, forcing herself to be careful with the fabric when all she wanted to do was tear it off. Hermione's bright eyes and heaving breasts told her wife that she felt the same way. Eventually she stood before Minerva wearing a long silk slip, erect nipples poking through the sheer, thin fabric.

Her eyes raked over the nubile young body, spotting something that intrigued her. Teasing fingers caressed from calf to upper thigh, running across a blue tartan garter. She knelt between Hermione's thighs, "And what's this?"

"Hmmm, I believe it's the blue version of your clan tartan."

"Indeed, it's also extremely sexy." Minerva lowered her lips to Hermione's thigh running her tongue under the elastic for just a moment, before skilfully removing it with her teeth.

Now that the preservation of Hermione's wardrobe was a non-issue, Minerva's strong hands slid from their resting place on slender hips, moving up the smooth fabric, softly caressing as they did so, brushing across erect nipples, moving upwards until she grasped each side of the girls neckline in a fist. Lust filled green eyes met daring mocha brown.

"Do it." Hermione whispered, not trusting her voice to speak louder.

The muscles in Minerva's arms bunched as she ripped the delicate fabric in two, tearing the entire length of the garment in a smooth motion. The reality of what she had just done hit both women at the same moment, they both moaned darkly. Hermione began to tug at Minerva's clothes, freeing her from the tartan dress robes frantically.

Almost bare skin met as Minerva's weight settled atop Hermione, she lowered her head and began to lick those tempting nipples through the thin fabric of the girl's bra. "That... Mrs McGonagall... is the flimsiest excuse for underwear that I have ever seen."

"Well you know what to do then." Came the cheeky response.

There was a groan from the older woman before she nipped the stiff nub with her teeth. Mumbling around the flesh between her lips, Minerva's spell rendered them both naked. Not to be outdone Hermione raised a thigh between her wife's thighs, arching her hips rhythmically, hands grabbing ample buttocks, using the leverage to grind her thigh against Minerva's centre.

The older womans lips began to tremble, with pleasure around Hermione's nipple. Neglecting it, she sat up straddling Hermione's thigh, continuing the rocking motion that the girl had instigated. The evidence of Minerva's arousal coated Hermione's thigh, reducing the friction between them, causing a neglected moan to slip from between Minerva's lips.

With a chuckle Hermione slid a hand down her slick thigh and thrust two fingers inside Minerva's eager body. The older woman arched her spine, throwing her head back and beginning to ride Hermione's fingers. Blindly seeking with her hand, Hermione found her wand, knowing that Minerva was doing the same.

In a choked, breathless voice with a brief wave of her wand, Minerva spoke her final words of the ritual, "In fide ambulabimus, in fide inter nos amabimus, in fide semper vivemus." In faith we walk, in faith we love, and in faith we will live forevermore.

Hermione cried out as the magic let her experience what Minerva was feeling, she could have sworn that she was on top, that she was about to tip over the edge into a climax. Her voice was anything but level as she spoke the traditional response, sealing the bond that they had made between them. "Haec est causa quod tibi promitto me dehinc tuam fore in aeternum." That is why I promise you, from this day forward, that I am yours for all eternity.

In that moment it all combined, the magics, the potion, the lusty lovemaking.

In that moment the ritual was completed.

In that moment the storm outside the stone circle reached its crescendo.

In that moment two voices cried out in orgasm.

At that moment two souls entwined, forever becoming one.


A.N. My thanks go out to everyone who has reviewed, helped or commented. Thank you all so much for sharing this experience with me.

The Cure started with one sentence and has grown into a wonderful experience that I wouldn't change for anything.

Don't panic, I have already started on the sequal.