A/N Here we are, last chapter in the series. This one deals with scent, although the "sense" is not as central an element as in the other chapters. This is set on the 20th anniversary of Bill and Fleur's wedding, just a month short of the epilogue. It is short and sweet.
Enjoy and please review.
Disclaimer: still not mine
Chapter 5: Soap, Mint, and Chocolate
"Congratulations! Twenty years!" Ron said while patting his older brother on the back. "Fleur..."
Even after all the years, he was still a bit short on words each time he was face to face with his dazzlingly beautiful sister-in-law. Hermione tightened her hold on his arm as she spoke:
"Congratulations to both of you. Twenty years of marriage is quite an accomplishment. We wish you many more years of happiness."
"Thank you. This is so sweet of you." Bill and Fleur gave them a brilliant smile. After twenty years and three children, they still looked madly in love with each other.
Shell Cottage was about to burst at the seams with all the people who had come to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Bill and Fleur's wedding. Hermione remembered vividly the wedding, how Ron and she had shared their first dance and how that tender moment had been abruptly replaced by screams and panic mere minutes later. She remembered the madness that had followed; the constant fear and running. She put her head on Ron's shoulder as they walked through the guests, enjoying the comfortable spot and the familiar scent of him. He wrapped his arm around her waist to bring her closer and kissed the top of her head.
"Maybe we should see what these children of ours are doing," he said.
"They are fine. I checked on them half an hour ago. They were playing in the drawing room with their cousins. It looked like a chess tournament and Rose was leading squarely."
"My dear daughter," Ron said proudly. "Do you fancy a walk on the beach?" he asked Hermione, abruptly changing the subject. He had noticed her slight change of mood after talking with Bill and Fleur and wanted to take her mind off things.
"Why, yes. That sounds lovely," she answered him in a not so subtle flirtatious way.
They walked companionably away from the noisy crowd. They reached the secluded beach a few hundreds of yards away. Hermione removed her high heel shoes and walked barefoot on the sand. Ron lit his wand to provide some light as there was only a sliver of moon shining above the sea. They could still hear the music from where the celebration was still going strong. Ron thought his family could never be the quiet kind and he was glad of it. He took her hand and brought it to his lips.
"Are you alright Love? You seem a bit down," he asked her.
"I am fine. I was just thinking of Bill and Fleur's wedding and what ensued," she answered truthfully.
"Yeah, I know what you mean. It was a mad time, wasn't it?" he replied.
"Indeed it was." She gave a deep sigh. She preferred not to dwell on the past, even if she was proud of what she, Ron, and Harry had done. She looked at him. The light of his wand cast a beautiful aura around him. He had not changed too much in twenty years. A few laugh lines had started to show at the corner of his eyes and there were a few strands of gray among the ginger in his hair. He was nearing forty and was still tall and lean, his freckles and lopsided grin still imparting him a youthful air. She could never grow tired of looking at his face.
She put her head back in the crook of his neck. Then she smelled her favourite scent: a whiff of soap, a hint of mint, and a trace of chocolate. That was what she had smelled years ago, along with freshly mown grass and parchment, when they had been introduced to Amortentia in a potion class. What had comforted her as she felt herself being side-Apparated at this very cottage. What had sustained her, in the form of a borrowed maroon Weasley jumper, through her seventh lonely year at Hogwarts. What she had fallen asleep and woken up to for the last eighteen years. That was pure Ron. The scent of him still made her giddy. She sighed again as she took the comforting and familiar aroma, this time out of contentment.
He gathered her in his arms and asked her softly:
"Would you care to dance?"
She beamed at him as they started swaying to the far away music. She loved dancing with him and the occasions were few and far apart. In the moonlight and alone on the beach, they danced just like they had twenty years before. There was no awkwardness this time, just the comforting familiarity of a long lasting love. They knew each other by heart but the thrill of being close remained. As the music ended, they stopped. Slowly, Ron took her face in his hands, stroking her cheeks with his long fingers. He then lowered his head and kissed her tenderly.
"I love you Hermione, always," he murmured against her lips.
He could still surprise her with the tenderness he could show her.
"I love you too," she replied and she took him in another kiss, slow and seductive, buoyed by the scent of him. The kiss evolved and hands searched under clothing to reach bare skin. He took off his dress robes and put them on the sand before drawing her down with him. They kept disrobing, all the while caressing and kissing. This type of dance needed no other music than their ragged breathing or their hearts drumming hard. They knew each step by heart and had performed it too many times to count.
They found themselves naked and having no care for the world around them at that instant. Hermione ran a hand tenderly over Ron's chest, enjoying the familiar planes, lingering lightly over his flat nipples. She brought her lips to join her fingers, inhaling appreciatively the comforting scent of him. This brought the same anticipation as the smell of old parchment she associated with her favourite, well-read books. She could lose herself the same way, all consumed in an engrossing story or in Ron, her Ron.
He was lying on his back, caressing her hair, her back and her rear idly. Her hands and lips kept roaming down his body, always lower until she took him in her mouth, eliciting a wild groan of pleasure. His hands twisted in her wild hair. She drove him to the brink of madness with slow and lazy caresses. She released him and moved back up his body, raining thousands of light kisses along the way, brushing her nipples teasingly against his flushed skin. She reached his face and kissed his chin, his nose, his forehead before finally taking his mouth possessively. He grabbed her head with both hands and responded with much urgency, ravishing her mouth.
She broke the kiss. She could feel he was very close to his release and wanted to be part of this particular journey. She seized his hand and started directing him down. He needed no further instruction. He used his long fingers to touch her in all the places he knew would build in her the same anticipation there was in him, her soft moans guiding him along the way. Not being able to resist anymore, he grabbed her and flipped her on her back. She opened for him and he dived in, burying himself in her. Their bodies melded seamlessly, with a practised familiarity. They moved in perfect rhythm. In mere moments their chorus of satisfaction echoed loudly as they both got lost in the other.
Hermione could feel Ron's warm body lying on top of her. She loved the warmth of it, the feel of his weight. She ran her hand through his hair. They each held an uncanny fascination with the other's hair. He looked thoroughly spent. She certainly felt thoroughly spent and could probably fall asleep there. She heard him mumble:
"We probably should move."
"Not sure I can," she answered truthfully. "And it's dark," she pointed out. The wand had been extinguished and the night was mostly dark, except for the tiny sliver of moon in the sky.
"Yeah but my arse is naked and it is so white I am sure it can be seen from miles away."
"I like you naked white arse," she answered cheekily.
He turned his head and flashed his trademark lopsided grin at her.
"So you say... so you say. Seriously, Love, we need to move. People will wonder where we disappeared."
"I can't move until you do."
He rose away from her and looked for his wand. He lit it and gave Hermione a hand to help her stand. They dressed back in silence, just smiling at each other with the complicity of long-time lovers.
They walked back hand in hand toward the cottage where the party was still going strong. They passed dancing couples. Hermione smiled when she saw the look of adoration on Arthur's face as he danced with Molly. Harry winked at Hermione with an all knowing grin on his face. She winked back. Ron ignored them pointedly since Harry had one hand possessively placed around Ginny's waist and the other one squarely on her backside.
They looked through the window of the drawing room. Hugo was playing Exploding Snap with Lily. Rose was in an animated discussion with her other two cousins James and Al. Hermione had a slight pinch to her heart thinking that Rose was going to leave for Hogwarts in less than a month. As if reading her mind Ron told her:
"She will be alright. We will be too."
And she knew he was right. She put her head back on his shoulder and was comforted again by the delicious hints of soap, mint, and chocolate that were Ron. It was happiness and it was not going anywhere.
A/N So here you are, this is the end. I end on a happy note because these two deserve happiness since they've had their fair share of bad things early on. I had fun writing this. Please review.