The Letter of Revelation
August 5th 1998
I can't believe I'm actually writing this to you. Especially when it can endanger myself, Harry, Ron and you. But I just have to get this of my chest. I don't know what's going to happen to me tomorrow, in a week or in a month. I can't face the trials to come without telling you this: I'm in love with you, Charlie Weasley.
And I know what you're thinking now – it's just a silly girl crush. But think rationally for a moment please. When have I ever done anything silly or even something girly? You probably don't want to believe what I'm telling you, but it's the truth.
I don't expect you to see me as anything else than your brother's nerdy friend. I don't blame you; I haven't exactly shown you anything else. You don't really know me. Yes, I know, technically I don't know you either but I'm crazy about every single thing that I do know.
Your passion for your work is inspiring and something I can relate to. Your love for your family is strong and warm. Your humour is silly and wonderful. Ron respects you greatly, he see's you as his favourite brother. And of course you're handsome, that's no secret and you know it.
Perhaps you don't feel anything of this sort for me. I'm okay with that, really, I am. I didn't write this letter so that you could suddenly realise that you have feelings for me as well. That's not the purpose of this letter. The only thing I wanted was to tell you how I feel before… I don't know before what. None of us knows. But now I've gotten it off my chest and if I survive this – and you too – perhaps we can talk.
Oh, and you'd probably like to know that we're all okay. We're in hiding, but both Ron and Harry are fine and so am I. Please let your family know and tell them not to worry too much.
I send you all my love
Charlie leaned back in his chair with a heavy sigh. How could he not have seen this coming? He was usually so good at knowing when someone had a thing for him. But with Hermione Granger he hadn't even considered it for a moment. And now that he knew… he didn't even know what he was thinking anymore. He tried to picture her, standing in front of him, but all his imagination could conjure was a small girl with bushy, brown hair and slightly baggy clothes. But that couldn't be how Hermione looked now. She would be almost a woman, 16 years old, same age as his brother. Merlin, he'd just seen her four days ago at Bill and Fleur's wedding, and he still couldn't remember how she looked. He came to the decision that he was a prick for not even noticing her. Good thing he was still at the Burrow.
Only wearing his sweatpants he went downstairs and found the pictures from the wedding. Surely she would be in one of them, wouldn't she? He leafed through the many, many pictures, chuckling lightly when he remembered something funny. Finally he found what he was looking for. A picture of Hermione Granger. And she was absolutely beautiful. He definitely had to cast away the old image he had of her, it did her no justice at all. She was clad in a stunning, red dress that perfectly showed off all the womanly curves he didn't even know she had. Her hair had been arranged into delicate ringlet curls, her chocolaty eyes were accentuated by a delicate amount of mascara and her pink lips sparkled deliciously. First then he realised that she had her head turned towards something with a look of longing on her face. He traced the line of her sight and found… himself. Who else? How in Merlin's pants could he have overlooked a look like that? And a girl like that, even worse!
But he knew the answer, didn't he? He'd never really thought about her at all. She was just there. She was his baby brother's friend who always had her head in a book or a quill in her mouth. She had practically been invisible to him. He felt like kicking himself for not noticing her. He should have! And not just for what she had become but for what she had always been; a sweet, loving and smart person. Merlin, if only he hadn't been so wrapped in his own head he would have known her! At best she was a mirage; a beautiful picture that he could see but not get to. He looked down at the picture again and sighed.
"What are you sighing over, brother?" Fred's voice sounded from right in front of him. Charlie nearly jumped in surprise but managed to keep his cool.
"Just had a little epiphany," he said and hid the picture behind his back. But that didn't outsmart the twin – or twins to be precise. While Charlie was busy with Fred, George had snuck up behind him and now grabbed the picture from his clutch.
"I see!" he said while studying the picture. "You finally figured it out, huh?"
"Yes, I… what?"
"You – finally – figured – it – out!" George repeated slowly.
"I heard you!" Charlie said and lashed out to reclaim the picture, but George was too quick for him. "I'm not daft, alright?"
"You're not?" Fred asked in mock shock. "Well, Charles Weasley, you've certainly had me fooled!"
"Quit it!" Charlie bit at him. "What did you mean about what you said, George? About me finally figuring it out. Figuring out what?"
"That Hermione has it bad for you," he replied like it was the simplest truth in the world.
"You knew?" Charlie asked, completely befuddled.
"Of course we knew," Fred answered. "We all knew. And after the wedding even mum knew."
"Merlin," Charlie sighed and leaned heavily against the kitchen counter. "I am definitely a prick."
"Thanks Merlin!" George exclaimed loudly and threw his hands in the air. "He has finally admitted it! Now we can all rest in peace."
"Shut it, will you?" Charlie hissed at him, reaching his breaking point now. "And give me back that picture!"
George was slightly shaken by the command and the underlying threat in Charlie's voice, so he did as he was told. He gave Charlie back the picture. Charlie resumed looking at it, and the twins decided to doddle off. They had better things to do, after all, than teasing their brother.
As Charlie watched the picture his despair grew. He watched how Hermione was glancing after him, looking like she was trying to gather up the courage to walk over to him. She licked her lips, took a step forward but then took three back again. And all the while he was just standing with Viktor Krum, laughing and not looking at her one single time. It was despicable to say the least. He was utterly ashamed of himself.
He desperately whished that he could find her somehow. Tell her how horrible he'd been to her and ask her to forgive him and then they could… what? What did he really want from her, besides her forgiveness? Did he want to start a relationship with her? What that really what he wanted to do? Looking back down at the picture all he could say for sure was that he really wanted to get to know her. If nothing more, then at least that. With another heavy sigh he went back to his room, put the picture of her on his desk before going to bed. But sleep didn't come easy. He kept envisioning what he should say when she came back. He refused to think of the possibility that she wouldn't come back. She had to. She simply had to.
The next morning he felt heavy and tired when he awoke. He was far from rested, far from satisfied with himself and far from happy. He was gloomy when he ate breakfast with his family. They all looked worriedly at him from the corner of their eyes. Especially his mother. When he had downed the last of his egg he got up from the table without having uttered a simple word to anyone and went back to his room where he sat down at his desk as reread the letter from Hermione with her picture lying out on the table. He felt like screaming! He felt like crumbling. Hell, he even felt like crying. What was wrong with him?
At lunch he didn't come down. Instead his mother brought him some food. He was lying on his bed, starring into the ceiling. She made to say something to him when she sat the tray down, but then she noticed the picture still lying out and she held her tongue. She realised that he was confused enough without her to butt in on him. So she said nothing, just smiled encouragingly at him before she left.
A dinner Charlie wasn't feeling much better, but he went down to eat with his family anyway. While he ate in complete silence, he glanced around at his family. Each of them had known, and he hadn't. And they hadn't told him! They hadn't said a word. But really, what could they have said? If they'd told him he would have dismissed them completely, thinking they were joking. He glanced from the twins to his mother and father and then to Ginny. Hey! Ginny! Wasn't she Hermione's best friend? And Harry's girlfriend – or ex-girlfriend. Perhaps she knew something. Perhaps she had an idea as to where they could be. Filled with a sudden optimism he ate with a little more vigour.
When the meal ended Ginny rose to help her mother clear off the table and Charlie did the same, staling so that he could get his sister alone. Ginny finally declared that she was going to her room and Charlie then did the same, following close by her up the winding stairs. When Ginny went into her room Charlie stood in her doorway and prevented her from closing the door.
"Charlie?" she asked a little confused, but stepped aside to let her brother in.
"I need to talk to you," Charlie said as he sat down on her bed. As he glanced around the room he realised that this was where Hermione slept when she was staying at the Burrow.
"Talk away," Ginny said and sat down next to her, drawing her knees up under her chin.
"You knew about Hermione, didn't you?"
There was no need to elaborate. He could see from the shame on his sister's face that she knew exactly what he was talking about.
"I knew," she admitted with a little blush. "I know I should have told you, but Hermione made me swear that I wouldn't."
"But did you tell the others?"
"No, they figured it out on their own."
Charlie felt a stab of pain in his chest when he heard that. He was the only one who hadn't noticed. Such a prick!
"How did you find out?"
Charlie momentarily forgot about his pain as he again focused on his sister.
"She sent me a letter."
Suddenly Ginny was completely alive. She practically sprang out of her bed in a rush of red hair and excitement.
"She did?" she beamed in joy. "What did she say? Is she alright? What about Harry? And Ron?"
"Relax," Charlie said and pulled her down on the bed again. "They are alright all of them. She just told me about… well, about her feelings for me. Nothing more."
"Oh," Ginny said, sounding a little disappointed. "Well, what do you want to do now?"
"I want to find her."
"You, what?" she almost sprang out of the bed again but Charlie held her down and shushed at her.
"I want to find her," he repeated. "And that's why I need your help."
"I don't know where they are," Ginny said quickly. "They never told me."
"I know that. I just figured that you might have some idea. I mean, you are closer to all three of them than anyone else."
"Huh," Ginny said as she thought about his words. "I guess you're right. Hmm."
Again she pulled her knees up under her chin and Charlie recognised the look on her face. Her brows were drawn together and her little nose was wrinkled. Yeah, she was deep in thought. Charlie waited patiently until she finally got a look of sudden revelation on her face.
"I know it," she whispered incredulously. "I know exactly where they are."
Charlie scooted closer to her to hear her next couple of words, "Grimmauld Place."
He didn't even give her chance to say anything more before he ran out of her room and down the stairs into the kitchen. Here he saw his mother, who was clearly just about to say something to him, but he didn't have the time. He just rushed into the garden and spun apparated right into Remus Lupin's garden. When he arrived Remus, who had been reading a newspaper quite peacefully, jumped from his seat in surprise.
"Charlie!" he exclaimed and threw the paper aside to hug the short Weasley. "What in Merlin's shaggy beard are you doing here?"
"It's about Harry," Charlie said and instantly Remus' face fell flat.
"I don't know anything," he said quite neutrally, but Charlie detected a hint of hurt, as if he wished it was different.
"I do," Charlie said and Remus lighted up a little. "How do I get into Grimmauld Place?"
"That's where they are?" Remus asked sceptically. "How do you know?"
"I don't," Charlie answered truthfully. "But I talked to Ginny, and she believes that that is the most likely place for them to be."
"And you believe her?"
"She's my sister. She's Ron's sister, Hermione's friend and Harry's girlfriend. I believe her."
Remus thought it over before nodding slowly.
"I believe you're right," he mumbled almost to himself. "Okay, I buy it. Come with me."
Together they sat down and Remus told him about how to apparate to the front step of the building – Charlie's already been inside of the place, so he didn't have to gain that access – and then he told him of the three different challenges he needed to go through.
Remus didn't ask Charlie any questions as to why he wanted to find Harry. He just accepted the fact, and Charlie started wondering if it was because he's also known about Hermione. But he didn't tell and Remus didn't ask.
Charlie didn't go back to the Burrow afterwards. He thought about it, but decided against it. There was no use in postponing what he was going to do at some point. Confront Hermione. He still had no clue what so ever as to what he was going to tell her. He was pretty much hoping that when he saw her something would spring to his mind. He apparated to the final step in front of the door to Grimmauld Place 12. He took a deep breath, preparing himself for what was up ahead, before he opened the door. The voice of Alastor Moody thundered in the hall, then he felt his tongue being tied and lastly the 'ghost' of Dumbledore appeared.
"I didn't kill you," Charlie said loudly when the tongue-tie curse lifted and the ghost disappeared as quickly as it had appeared. But all the commotion had made somebody else appear in his place.
"Charlie!" the voice was full of surprise but oh so sweet and almost holy to his ears. How had he never noticed that voice before?
"Hermione," he said softly. She was beautiful, he could see that clearly now. Her face was set in a mask of surprise, her pink lips hanging open, drawing his undivided attention.
"What are you doing here?" she asked, but he nearly missed the words because he was so focused on the movements of her perfect lips.
"I came to see you," he managed to mumble. Her surprise didn't lessen after that revelation. But she turned his words around.
"Harry and Ron aren't here, so you might as well leave again."
The sudden coldness in her words stung like icy needles.
"I'm not here for them. I came to see you."
Hermione starred at him in total disbelief.
"I got your letter."
Her expression turned from disbelief to horror. And then to anger.
"I never should have sent you that letter," she said hotly. "I knew that the minute the owl left with it. It was silly and stupid and I regret it deeply. Don't think that you owe me anything, Charlie. It wasn't meant like that. And now, you are free to leave and never think of me again."
She turned around and he saw her dismissal clearly. He hadn't known what it was he wanted when he came here, but he had hoped for the chance to find out. But now she took away that chance. And Charlie didn't like it one bit.
"I can't do that, Hermione," he said and his words made Hermione freeze in place, on the first step of the stairs. "I can't just walk away and never think of you again." He stepped closer to her. "You shouldn't regret sending me that letter. It made me notice you."
"That's why I regret it," she answered sorrowfully. "I don't want to be noticed because of that, Charlie. I want to be noticed because of me."
"Then give me the chance to notice you like that," he pleaded. "Instead of just pushing me away, then give me the chance to know you."
"Charlie, I can't do this right now," she whispered and he thought he saw the glimmer of a tear in her eyes. He moved closer to her again. Now he was leaning against the banister.
"I know now is not the best time," he said. "But who knows if it's the only time we've got."
"Then what do you propose we do?"
Instead of answering her, he just took the hand that she had placed on the banister and looked her deep in the eyes. Then he brought the hand to his lips, never once breaking eye contact.
"Charlie," she whispered and her voice broke. "Charlie, what is it that you want?"
"I don't know," he whispered back. Then he released her hand and moved around the banister and up the stairs till he was beside her. "I know that I want to know you better."
He was close enough to see how she swallowed hard.
"I know that I want to see you. I know that right now I want nothing more than to put my arms around you and hug you till that sorrow in your eyes disappears."
Before he got the chance to act out his desire on his own, Hermione had leaned forward, burying her face in his chest. On instinct Charlie's arms went around her slim shoulders and he held her close. Hermione's small hands travelled up his back and held on tightly to his shirt. The smell of her shampoo rose to meet his nostrils. It was light and fruity. First now he realised just how small she was. Small enough for him to lean his chin on her head. And he was considered the small Weasley. But compared to Hermione he was almost a giant. It made him want to hold onto her all the more. He wanted to hold her and shield her from every trial she was to face. But he also knew her well enough to know that she wouldn't allow that. She was strong, brave and independent. He had gathered that much from the stories he had heard about her.
"I don't want you to be harmed," he whispered into her hair. "I want to protect you."
"You can't do that," her voice was slightly muffled by his shirt. "I won't allow it."
"I knew that," he whispered back. "I just wanted you to know."
They held onto each other in silence for a little while. But then Hermione pulled back and out of his embrace. She looked him deep in the eyes with questions plastered all over her face. When she opened her mouth to ask one of them, he cut in front of her.
"When are Harry and Ron coming back?"
Her brows furrowed but she answered anyway, "I don't know. It might be some time; they stepped out right before you came."
"I'm guessing that you can't tell me where they are."
"You're right, I can't."
"Then I won't ask. But I'll ask for something else, if I may?"
She looked a little taken aback but she nodded in consent.
"Can I stay with you till they come back?"
Her eyes widened at his question, surprise was eminent in her every feature, but she nodded again. Charlie sighed in relief; he'd been afraid that she'd say no and send him away. For some reason he didn't want to go. He wanted to stay with her, he wanted to hold her again and he wanted to kiss her. He couldn't stop looking at her as these revelations made themselves known to him.
"Charlie," she said softly and waved a hand in front of his face. "Charlie, I think you're nodding off. Did you get enough sleep last night?"
"Not at all," he confessed without thinking.
"Why not?" she asked with concern.
"I was thinking about you."
Again Hermione looked stunned but Charlie also detected a hint of pleasure that he found quite intoxicating. He really wanted to make her happy.
"Well, do you want to borrow a bed?"
"That's not necessary," he said quickly and without thinking his words through he added, "I'd only be interested in a bed if you were in it too."
Instantly he felt heat flood into his cheeks and his heart drop as Hermione looked at him with big, shocked eyes.
"Oh, Merlin!" he gasped in horror. "Hermione, I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to…"
But just then she started laughing, loudly and heartedly. The sound was like nothing he had ever heard before; sweet and uncontrolled, loud and beautiful. She even had a little tear rolling down her cheek.
"It's okay, Charlie," she laughed a little more controlled. "My bed is big enough for two."
She took his hand and started walking up the stairs to a little room at the end of a long hallway. Charlie just followed her without any words. When they entered the little room Charlie quickly saw that the bed was definitely not big enough for two people. At least not if they wanted comfort.
"Er, Hermione…" he said slowly. "That bed does not have enough room for two people."
"Charlie," she said teasingly and smiled cockily "I never said the bed was for sleeping. Two people can sit quite comfortably on it and talk."
Again Charlie felt a redness in his cheeks.
'Perfect, Charles!" he thought to himself. "She probably thinks you're a pervert who just thinks about getting in her pants… hey, she isn't even wearing any pants… wow, she's only wearing a large t-shirt! Holy…"
"Charlie!" Hermione said forcefully and dragged him from his bad spiral of all too lusty thoughts.
"Yeah," he said quite stupidly and shook his head to get back to reality. "You know, I really think I need that bed."
Still a bit out of it Charlie waddled to the bed and sat down heavily. Hermione followed a little more hesitantly but eventually sat down on the far side of the bed. She sat back on the bed with her back against the wall, her legs crossed and her hands in her lap. Charlie couldn't get comfortable.
"I really don't know what I'm doing here," he finally admitted after a few minutes of silence.
"I figured that much," Hermione said slowly. She sighed and closed her eyes. With her head resting against the wall, her hair hanging in soft curls over her cheeks and neck and her lips slightly parted she was the perfect picture. At that moment Charlie realised that, though he may not feel for her precisely as she did for him, he was more than willing to give it a chance. Without another thought, one that would probably tell him that he was stupid or a git, he leaned over and pressed his lips against hers. He felt her jump a little and heard her little yelp of surprise. But not before long he felt her lips moving against his and her small hands in his rugged hair. She was pulling him closer and damn him, he wanted to get closer. He put his hands on her hips and pressed himself closer yet. To his surprise, and pleasure, she uncrossed her legs and allowed him to get completely close. Before he knew it they were pressed together intimately, lying on the much too small bed. She was lying under him with her slender legs wrapped around his own bulkier ones. And he loved it. He loved her fingers tugging on his hair, her small murmurs of satisfaction, the way she rubbed against him sensually and without knowing that she did it. He loved it. And he stopped it.
"Hermione…" he said short of breath as he pulled back slightly to look down upon her. "Perhaps I better go."
She instantly looked disappointed, but she gracefully gathered herself.
"Perhaps that's a good idea," she whispered and bit her bottom lip. The lip that he had just been biting himself. He wanted that lip back!
"Alright, then I'm going."
He got off of her and stepped away from the bed. She didn't move. He looked at her. Her legs were parted slightly, her shirt was riding high and revealing her black knickers. Her hair was ruffled and her lips were red and puffy. He wanted her. She moved to get out of the bed as well, but before she even had the chance to swing her legs over the edge of the bed, Charlie was on her again.
"I can't go," he breathed into her mouth as their lips met again and their tongues found each other with no problem whatsoever. "I just can't."
"Good," Hermione breathed back. "I don't want you to go."
Charlie stopped the kiss and leaned his forehead against hers to stare deep into her eyes.
"Then what do you want?"
She swallowed hard before answering, "You."
The simple answer held so much for the both of them. Charlie started smiling, and his smile made Hermione smile as well.
"What do you want, then?" she asked him in return.
He leaned closer to her, letting their noses meet and his growing erection rub against her revealed knickers.
And with no further discussion they were kissing again. He was very aware that even though he'd said the same as her, his word held something different than hers. Where she meant that she wanted him, all of him, he could only say that he wanted her body, naked and pressed against his own and her friendship. But he couldn't deny that perhaps someday he could be more to her than just a lover and a friend. But for now he was fuelled by desire for her. Their kiss was hot and scorching, sending them both into a swirling pool of need.
Charlie let his fingers travel down her sides till he caught hold of the hem of her t-shirt. Teasingly he moved the t-shirt slowly away from her body, baring the sensitive skin of her stomach. He planned to do nothing more, but Hermione would have none of that. She reached between them and pulled the t-shirt off. And Charlie couldn't feel angry that she denied him his teasing tendencies when he found out that she wasn't wearing a bra. In his own, quiet mind a voice whispered to him that there would be other times for him to tease her till her toes curled in anticipation and lust. But this would not be that time.
Before he could think further about what he was feeling, Hermione had taken a hold of his hands and placed them on her tender breasts. He had never imagined her being this sexually aggressive, but then, to be fair, he hadn't ever really thought of her in a sexual context. But he sure was imagining all sorts of things as he forcefully massaged her tempting breasts while trailing kisses down her neck. He imagined all the different things he could and definitely would do to her sometime. But not now. It wasn't the right moment and they hadn't enough time. Now was the time for plain sex, raw and uninhibited.
He removed one of his hands to draw a pert nipple into his hungry mouth. She arched her back in pleasure making him take in even more of her breast. Her small hands held onto his hair and pressed him closer. He didn't complain, just took everything she offered him. Her fingers scraped his scalp in a desperate need to get him closer still. He changed breasts and latched onto her right nipple as he had done the left. She was squirming and moaning beneath him and the erection pressing into his denim pants warned him that he couldn't keep this up much longer. He forced himself to abandon her beautiful breasts.
When she felt his weight leave her body she opened her eyes and looked at him in surprise, but that quickly dimmed when she saw him start to remove his clothes. She watched intently as he pulled of his own t-shirt, slowly, seductively. She almost gasped out loud when she finally saw his chest. He was perfectly sculptured with hard, slightly tanned planes that just screamed for her to touch. But she didn't. Instead she leaned back comfortably and watched as he let his own, big hands roam over his muscular chest and down to the waistband of his jeans. He held her eyes with his own as got off of the bed and started unfastening his pants, but when the pants and his underwear dropped to the floor she had to look down. The temptation was far too great. And wow, was she glad that she gave in! He was big, there was no denying that. He wasn't particularly long but he was thick and she knew he would give her more pleasure than she'd ever received before. True, she wasn't exactly a veteran in sex, but she wasn't a virgin either, something that really pleased her right now, because she was quite sure he wouldn't have fitted if this had been her first time.
Charlie stood at the side of the bed and stared down at Hermione, who was clearly drinking in the sight of him. He felt powerful and wanted when he saw the look of anticipation and appreciation in her hazy eyes. She licked her lips deviously and he couldn't hold back anymore. He practically threw himself down on the bed and on top of her, ripping of her black knickers in the process, and pressed himself intimately against her already dripping core. She moaned loudly and wriggled against him, needing more of him, needing all of him. He was all too happy to comply. His mouth found the nape of her neck as his fingers travelled down over her body before settling against her slit. Her wetness covered his hand instantly and he could smell her scent invading all his senses. Easily he slid two fingers into her heat in order to prepare her for his size. She clutched herself desperately to his big, sturdy shoulders as his fingers started penetrating her. Charlie chuckled as he felt her fingernails dig into his shoulder blades and her inner muscles clench down around his fingers. She was already so close. But the teaser in Charlie couldn't allow her that orgasm. Not just yet anyway. He withdrew his fingers from her core and backed away slightly so he could look down upon her. Her eyes were hooded with desire, her delicate, sensual mouth was hanging open in loud moans and her brows were furrowed in irritation and surprise at having been denied her release.
"Charlie!" she breathed in shock.
"Just wait for it, love," he whispered to her with a smirk and then he forcefully entered her.
The sudden invasion brought on Hermione's orgasm, hot and searing, and she threw her head back, arched her back and screamed Charlie's name as her climax rolled over her in wonderful waves. Charlie clenched his teeth to hold back his own release, which wasn't easy to do the way her muscles clenched and squeezed him. He was already so close after only a little teasing and a few, hard strokes within her.
As she was coming down from her high Charlie couldn't help staring down at her. She was the perfect picture of desire and lust, but when she opened her eyes and looked at him, it was as if she was looking straight into him. As if she saw every corner of his entire being. She looked at him with such adoration and affection that he was momentarily thrown of his game. He stopped moving inside of her and just looked down at her beautiful face. Within him his heard started pounding, but not from the exhaustion or the excitement. His heart thumbed loudly from the emotional intimacy. And he didn't mind. He was completely flabbergasted to find that he didn't mind the way she looked at him. Normally, when a woman looked at him with that kind of eyes, he would have closed his own and imagined all sorts of other things just to keep his erection going. But when Hermione was the woman in question he was astounded to learn that he didn't mind it the least. On the contrary, it seemed that his erection strained and got even bigger than before.
"Charlie?" Hermione said with concern. "Is something the matter?"
Merlin, even the sound of her sweet, kind voice made his erection harder! He swallowed hard and reached out to stroke her cheek tenderly, something he'd never done during sex.
"Everything is perfectly alright," he reassured her and started thrusting with his hips again, but this time his strokes were less forceful and more tender and careful. He didn't fully understand what made him slow down, all he knew that suddenly she was more than just a face beneath him, writhing in pleasure. She was so much more than any other woman he had ever been with. And he wanted her to feel that. To feel just how special she was and what she meant to him, even though he didn't fully know what that was.
As he started moving his hips slowly and gently, stroking her cheek and looking her deep in the eyes, Hermione knew that this wasn't just another way to tease her. This was Charlie trying to convey his emotions the way he knew best: no words, just actions. And Merlin, was she loving his way of communicating? All of the words left unsaid transformed into gentle touches and breathy moans. Soon Hermione felt herself slipping again. She bit her bottom lip from the force she knew was about to hit her.
Looking down into her face Charlie saw the look of pleasure turning more and more pronounced in her features and he instantly started climaxing. With one last, hard stroke he released himself into her womb and his orgasms immediately triggered hers, making her convulse around him, driving him higher and higher into a state of total bliss.
When it all finally ended he dropped heavily onto her, his face buried into her hair at her neck. He breathed her name with a tenderness he had never voiced any other name before. Her arms snaked around his shoulders and held him close to her heaving chest. He closed his eyes, breathed in her scent and felt completely at home.
"Please tell me you're not regretting this," Hermione whispered anxiously after a few minutes of silence.
Charlie immediately pulled back from her embrace, wanting to look at her face again, but the small bed didn't allow any sudden movements of that kind, so he ended up on the floor instead. He heard Hermione's surprised shriek and then her head appeared hovering over his.
"Are you okay?" she asked in concern.
Charlie coughed a little – all the air had just been knocked out of him – but nodded any way.
"Never better," he said in a strained voice. Hermione's lips parted in a brilliant smile and she scrambled off the bed and laid herself next to him on the floor. He spread his arms in welcome and she crept into his embrace and laid her head on his chest. He closed his arms around her and once again breathed in her shampoo and the pure scent of her skin. "About your question. I don't regret it. At all. What made you think that?"
She shrugged against his chest and said, "I don't know. You were just so quiet. You didn't say anything."
"Because I was content," he whispered and stroked his fingers from her shoulder to her elbow and back up again. Her skin was smooth and slightly sweaty, a combination that Charlie had always loved, but with her it was nothing less than perfection.
"Oh," Hermione whispered but said nothing more after that, which instantly made Charlie's senses scream in alarm. Perhaps he didn't know this woman all that much, but he knew the girl she had been. And he knew that when she was silent she was thinking.
"What are you thinking about?" he asked, slightly afraid of the answer.
Hermione sighed against his chest, sending shivers of delight, but also worry, down his spine.
"Nothing we need to discuss right now," she whispered, but Charlie wasn't satisfied.
"It'll probably be a long time until we get to see each other again," he said sadly. "Perhaps even years. I don't know what kind of adventures you're going on. I don't know what kind of dangers you'll face. I don't even know if I'll ever see you again! Whatever we need to talk about we need to do it now."
He felt how she tensed up in his arms, and he pressed her even closer, trying to protect her at any cost.
"I know it's not fun to think about," he admitted. "Believe me, I know. But we can't just ignore all that goes on outside this room. Though I'd like to."
Hermione sighed again and curled up closer to him.
"I was just wondering about the future," she confessed. "I know it's silly, but I can't help it. You don't want to think about those things and I get that. You live in the moment and I just have to accept that."
Charlie winced at how well she knew him when he knew practically nothing about her. Except that he cared for her. Greatly.
"I don't mind," he said after a moment's thought. "You're not just any other girl, Hermione, and for you I'll make an exception."
She raised her head from his chest to look at him in astonishment.
"You're serious?" she asked, completely astounded.
"Absolutely," he said softly and reached out to tug a stray curl behind her ear. "You're special to me. I need you to know that."
He saw a little tear form in the corner of her eye and against all his better judgment his heart leapt in his chest and a smile broke across his face. Carefully he removed the tear from her eye and pulled her head down for a tender kiss.
"You can be as analytic as you'd please," he said when they broke apart again.
She grinned nervously and a little blush crept into her cheeks.
"I'd rather not," she whispered shyly. "Let's just talk for now."
"Okay," he agreed and claimed another kiss from her soft lips. "We can talk."
"Then I have a question," she said and probed herself up on an elbow resting on his sternum. "When you suddenly paused, you know, earlier…" her blush intensified. "What were you thinking of?"
"I just had an epiphany," he dodged her question slightly. "I've been having quite a few of those all thanks to you."
"You're welcome," she said teasingly, "but you're not answering my question. What was going through your mind?"
"I just realised…" he trailed of uncomfortably and looked away from to her to where her fingers were drawing patterns over his chest. "Hermione, this isn't easy for me. I'm a loner. I don't do relationships. I don't even do feelings. You have completely overwhelmed me with all your revelations. When I came here tonight I was confused and didn't know what to think. More importantly, I didn't know what to feel. But in that moment I knew."
He paused, but Hermione wasn't about to let him get away that easily.
"What did you realise, Charlie?" she asked softly, grabbing his chin and turning his head to face her. "You were the one who said we should talk about these things. You can't chicken out now."
"I realised that you mean something to me," he confessed, feeling vulnerable and suddenly very naked, both emotionally and physically. "I'm not quite sure exactly what you mean to me yet, but I swear to you'll that I'll figure it out. You deserve that. You deserve someone to treat you well, you deserve happiness. I'm not sure if I can give you that, but the thought of losing you…" he paused at the sudden pain he felt lashing through him at that thought. "Well, let's just say that it's not a pleasant image."
"Charlie," she whispered fondly and he could hear the little knot of emotions forming in her throat. "That's the sweetest, dearest thing anyone has ever said to me."
"Wonderful," he said with a crooked smile. "It's the sweetest, dearest thing I've ever said to anyone."
He drew her down for another sweet kiss.
"Any other questions you have for me?" he asked, feeling a little choked himself.
"Just one," she replied with a little, hesitant smile. "Could you possibly see yourself swearing of your bachelor ways… for me?"
Her question was exactly the one he'd refrained from asking himself. He hadn't known the answer, probably hadn't even wanted to know. But as he had her in his arms, looking at her sweet, kind, beautiful face, feeling her naked body pulled flush against his own, the answer came to him as another bright, shining epiphany.
"Absolutely," he answered solemnly. And with those words he pulled her closer than he had ever held anyone before and showed her his feelings with actions and not words, as he did it best.
Whew, this one was difficult to write. It took me some serious time and a lot of breaks to finally finish this. I hope you're all as pleased with this as I am.
Please remember to review and make requests if you have any.