A.S.R. here... this is my first attempt at Potter fiction. I would like to take a moment to say that I am not the goddess Rowling, therefore the canon characters are not mine, and the plot points taken from The Deathly Hallows are not mine. I only take credit for my own creations and that is it. If you are a fan of my Twilight story, rest assured I am still working on it, but I needed a change of scenery... and my friend Livy is on my ass about this fic lol. Oh yeah, Livy is also a co-writer in this, so I can't take all the genius credit :P

That being said, please enjoy, and don't for get to press that little blue link at the bottom that says, "Review this chapter". Thank you!


Hermione's mouth curved up into the soft smile she always had whenever she heard her lover's soft tone speak her name. "Yes, Ginny?"

"Do you really have to go?"

Hermione stretched out on the grass next to her girlfriend, looking over into the warmest place in her life: Ginny's dark brown eyes. She reached down to lace her fingers through Ginny's, holding the same hand she'd held for nearly three years, and looking as seriously as she could at the only face that could shatter everything in her at any given moment. "You know I do," she replied in a tone to match Ginny's. "I won't leave Harry to do this alone. You trust me, right?"

"I do," Ginny said sadly, tears forming.

"Then know that I'll come home to you when this all over and Voldemort's dead," Hermione whispered, leaning to kiss the tears now sliding silently down Ginny's wind-chapped cheeks. "There's no where in the world I'd rather be than right here with you."

Ginny rolled over to bury her face into Hermione's robes, sobs overtaking her, embarrassed that she couldn't be strong when Hermione needed it most. Hermione held her girlfriend tightly, closing her eyes at her own pain, dreading the task that Professor Dumbledore had left to her and her two best friends. Harry was with Cho as she and Ginny lay in the garden at the Burrow, and Ron was preoccupied with his own obnoxious girlfriend, Lavender. The three of them had spent every chance they had with their significant others, scared that they would never see them again after Bill and Fleur's wedding the next day. That was when the three friends would set out on the most dangerous journey they could ever imagine, finding Voldemort's secret Horcruxes and destroying them one by one. Ginny didn't know the extent of the mission, but nonetheless felt the severity when Hermione broke the news to her that she wouldn't be returning to Hogwarts this year, and that she would be doing something important in the war against the Dark Lord and his followers.

"You're so brave," Ginny whispered, thinking that this was the true reason her genius girlfriend had been placed in bold Gryffindor, rather than brainy Ravenclaw with their friends Maia and Luna. "I admire you so much, yet I hate that you won't let me come with you. I still say I could help."

Hermione couldn't help but chuckle softly at Ginny's defiance beneath the sadness. Ginny was just as brave as Hermione, and a talented witch with powerful wandwork, but this was a journey for Harry, Ron, and Hermione alone. Dumbledore had seen to that before Snape murdered him on the Tower before end of last term. Even if it were possible for Ginny to tag along, Hermione would never have allowed it; it was too dangerous, and she loved Ginny too much. "Bullocks," Hermione whispered playfully. "I'm not brave, Ginny, I'm terrified."

"Me, too," Ginny whispered back, lifting her tear-stained face from the folds of Hermione's robes. "What if you don't come back? What if I have to spend forever wondering where you went, and how it is you never came back?"

Hermione placed a patient finger on Ginny's beautiful mouth, ceasing the depressing words Ginny spoke. Ginny closed her eyes and pressed her lips to that finger softly, then gently moved it away so she capture Hermione's lips instead. They shared a slow and tender kiss, and Hermione left Ginny's lips to kiss her way to her ear. "Then spend that forever knowing that I died to protect you, died because I loved you, and that I'll always be with you, no matter what," she told Ginny, kissing those lips again. When Hermione's intention to make love to her became clear, Ginny stopped the kiss and the hands wandering beneath her own robes.

"We can't, not here. Everyone could see," she protested, and Hermione chuckled, pulling out her wand with an eyebrow cocked.

"You forget who I am," she reminded Ginny. "Salvio Hexia... Protego Totalum... Muffliato!" A few spells later, she smiled down at Ginny as she slid on top of her. "I've learned the art of stealth."

"Always the show off," Ginny teased gently as Hermione placed soft kisses on her face, and her hands wound themselves in the soft, curly tendrils of Hermione's hair.

"I only show off for you, love," Hermione countered with a little grin, covering Ginny's mouth with hers again.

Ginny was a storm of emotions, rooting to the unknown and the fear for her girlfriend, her brother, and one of her best friends. She could not bear to lose any of them, yet it was hard to latch on to that sadness when she felt the warmth of Hermione's mouth move lower and lower down her body, kissing her in places that only Hermione had ever kissed; she'd never want anyone else to kiss her like that... even if Hermione never came home. She would forever belong to the woman who nuzzled her inner thigh right now, the woman who could make her voice rise to a soprano when she finally kissed the juncture between her legs, the woman who spread fire through her body at the slightest touch, the woman who made her tremble uncontrollably before exploding into a beautiful nothingness... yes, she belonged to Hermione in mind, body, and soul.

"MUM! She's doing it again! Make her stop!"

Rowan's voice came floating down the stairs in the Tonks household, followed by a loud thump on the ceiling and a screech of indignance. "You wait until next year when I can do magic outside of school, Nymphadora, you just wait! I'll show you!"

Andromeda smiled softly at the sound of her girls tussling together, and shook her head at Dora's taunting words: "Aw, you little shrimp! You can't hit the broad side of a troll's bum with a hex, much less a trained Auror!" Deciding it was time to intervene before Rowan's temper was pushed too far, Andromeda moved to the stairs to call up them.

"That's enough out of you two! Now, come on down to the kitchen to eat your dinner!" she said, trying to keep the amusement from her voice. A second later, the two girls came thundering down the stairs, and Andromeda had to cover her mouth to hide her smile when Rowan appeared, disgruntled with elephant ears hanging from the sides of her head, and Dora beaming with pride at her spellwork.

"Tell her to reverse it, Mum, please! I can't... I can't go to the Weasley's like this tomorrow!" Rowan whined, throwing a dirty look at her older sister, who laughed heartily at the provocation of the little imp.

"Dora..." Andromeda began to chastise her oldest for preying on the younger's inability to defend herself with a wand, being only sixteen and underage. "You're old enough to know better, dear. Fix your sister's ears, please."

Nymphadora, or Tonks, as she simply liked to be called, rolled her blue eyes and fixed her wand on Rowan again, muttering the counter spell, and Rowan's ears shrank and returned to a normal color. "Right, well, I'm going to eat," Rowan said in a huff, pushing past her older sister to enter the kitchen.

Andromeda raised a questioning eyebrow at Tonks, who shrugged innocently. "She's been locked in her room all summer, being a brat to me when I ask what's wrong, and I figured she could use some excitement in her poor little teenage life," she told her mother, whose lips pursed as she glanced to the kitchen.

"I've noticed a difference in her, as well," Andromeda said lowly, so as Rowan not to hear the words being spoken between the two older Tonks women. "I wonder if she suspects... well, Bellatrix and Rodolphus have been out of Azkaban for a few years, now. Surely she sees the resemblance to her biological mother..." Andromeda broke off at her real daughter's firm head shake and sharp exhale.

"No, that's not it. She knows Bellatrix is your sister, and Mum, you and she favor heavily. Rowan looks more like you than Bellatrix, with the happy grin she gets, rather than the foul expression that... that... harpy displays. I think it's nearly time you tell her, explain to her–"

"No," the older woman stated flatly, with finality. "She will not be recognized for being the daughter of a madwoman and her evil husband. She is my daughter, for all intents and purposes, and your sister."

"Mum," Tonks said quietly, looking away. "She already wonders why she is a Slytherin, when the rest of the family was Ravenclaw and Gryffindor."

"It is true, what I say to her upon being asked," Andromeda said, crossing her arms over her chest stubbornly. "She is the diamond in the rough of that House."

"What are you two whispering about in there?" Rowan called from the kitchen, making her mother and sister jump guiltily at the sound of her voice.

"Nothing, dear, we're coming," Andromeda said, bustling into the kitchen. "Now, have you packed for your trip to the Burrow?"

"Oh! Look, Maia, I can see you in the Pleides!" Luna's voice was like velvet on the ears of her girlfriend, and it was all she could do to tear her hazel eyes away from Luna's angelic features to follow her pointed finger to the diamond sky above them.

"So it is," Maia breathed, smiling softly at being named for one of the stars of the sky. "My father picked my name, you know," she told Luna, who looked back down from the heavens to smile at Maia.

"I'm sure Mr. Prewett knew you were going to be as beautiful as your namesake," Luna replied, making Maia blush heavily. She loved it when Maia blushed.

"Mum says so, too," she answered softly, looking to the stone steps upon which they sat together. "I just wish he could see it for himself."

"His death will be avenged one day, I know it," Luna sighed, wrapping an arm around the older girl's waist. "Harry will take care of his murderer."

Maia smiled at the reassurance, and looked back up at the stars, falling into the comfortable silence that she only ever had with Luna, leaning into the younger girl's side. Minutes later, she gave her own heavy sigh. "What are you going to do without me at school next year? I lament that it's my final year at Hogwarts, and that you are going to be there without me soon."

"Soon? We have a year." Luna's baby blue eyes squinted in question at Maia's demeanor, silently asking the real reason for her melancholy mood, to which Maia answered with a shrug.

"I have so many memories there," she said in almost a whisper, looking back at the sky, as if it held solutions to her sadness. "I don't know how I'm going to be able to travel the world without you, looking for Snorkacks around every corner without you."

"Well, wait for me," Luna said simply. "I'll do the research in school, and you can canvas our routes in the mean time."

"Still..." Maia gave in to the urge and brushed her lips across Luna's, making Luna smile dreamily. "We've spent every minute together since your first year, even before... well, us."

"There's the holidays," Luna reminded her. "And Hogsmeade."

"Every Hogsmeade weekend?" Maia asked hopefully, grinning widely when Luna nodded.

"Of course," Luna said as if it were obvious. "I'll miss my great protector, though."

Maia growled. "Just let them try to tease you while I'm not there. You press the coin, and I'll Apparate outside those gates so quickly Professor McGonagall won't know what hit her when Filch lets me in the grounds."

Luna kissed her sweetly in appreciation for her protective nature. It was what brought them together on the Hogwarts Express five years ago, before Luna was even sorted. She had been small with large eyes and a vacant expression, quietly opinionated, and automatically the Slytherins had fell to tormenting the young witch. Maia, only in her second year at Hogwarts, performed a Jelly Legs Jinx so powerful that one spell had knocked three fourth year Slytherins flat on their faces, gaining laughter and respect from Luna and the two girls sharing the compartment with her; Luna's now best friends, Ginny Weasley and Rowan Tonks.

"I can jinx people all by myself now, Maia, thanks to the D.A. meetings. I owe Harry for being such a wonderful Defense teacher," Luna said thoughtfully as she pulled away from Maia.

Maia grunted, shifting to where she was flush against Luna. "It is still my pleasure to show them who they're messing with. But at least you'll have Ginny and Rowan... the three of you together is a match made by Merlin himself." How ironic the three best friends were in separate Houses, yet were so close, despite Rowan being the one Slytherin everyone adored. You had to love a psycho with a side of playfulness, and that was Rowan in a nutshell. Rowan's fraternization with her Gryffindor and Ravenclaw best friends did not make her popular among her Slytherin brethren; her skill as a Chaser in Quidditch did, though.

"It's getting late," Luna said shyly, looking up at Maia from beneath her long eyelashes, and Maia could read that expression of want anywhere. "Maybe we should head to bed, as we have to be at your cousin's wedding early tomorrow; you promised your aunt that you would help in setting up."

Maia kissed Luna once more, dragging it out, not that Luna was complaining. This was what she had wanted, anyway. The longer they kissed, the more intense it became until Luna pulled away panting in her arousal. "Upstairs, please? Before Daddy notices?"

Maia couldn't help but giggle as she chased Luna up the stone steps and into the house, straight up to her room... "Muffliato!"