Here's the last part of your fic, urbanmama1! *smooches*
I own nothing Harry Potter.
Thanks again to tristelamar_23 for being awesome!
The door clicked shut behind him mere seconds before he crashed against the wall, pinned there by delicate hands shockingly strong in their insistence.
She was practically climbing him like a bloody tree, her high heels scraping against his trouser leg as she fought to reach his lips. He grinned, scooping her up against him, his hands nearly spanning her waist as he lifted her from the floor.
She was brilliant, unbelievable, absolutely-Fuck!
Her fingers dug into his shoulder as she raised her thighs to wrap around his hips, her mouth opening beneath his to suck gently on his tongue.
He started walking immediately, carrying her to the bedroom as she licked and nibbled on his jaw, rubbing herself against him. He moaned softly as she pressed her teeth lightly into his throat. Perhaps it was a good thing he had been defeated by that bloody necktie...
He stumbled into the bedroom, nearly throwing her down on the mattress before tossing his jacket to the floor and pulling his shirt off over his head, not bothering with the many buttons down the front. He took a step toward her, ready to pounce, but she was sitting up now, looking around with her bottom lip caught between her teeth.
There was something small and timid in her voice when she called his name.
He released a loud breath, trying to calm down enough to form words again. His voice was rough, embarrassingly thick with need when he answered.
She ran her hand over the bedspread, lifting something between her fingers to examine closely.
"I...can't believe you did this."
Shit, what had he done? He had planned everything, what had gone wrong? He was-Oh!
"You mean the, uh, rose petals, yeah?"
She nodded slowly, her eyes beginning to glisten with a dangerous hint of wetness.
Ron rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly, something in his chest pulling him another faltering step closer to her like a line had been strung tight between them.
"I, uh...I sorta read about it. The petals thing. I guess I thought that you might-that you'd like it if I did something like that."
Hermione's eyes were most definitely damp now as they searched his face with nearly feverish intensity, her body held perfectly motionless with her fingers still cradling a single rose petal. Her voice was steady, though still strangely small as if she were speaking from some distance away.
"You read about it."
He dipped his head in a very slight nod, hoping that she wouldn't ask him just where he had read about such a thing. He wasn't sure that his ego could sustain the blow to his masculinity of admitting that he had pilfered the idea from a women's magazine. She continued, not seeming to notice his discomfort.
"And you thought that I would like it?"
His stomach twisted unpleasantly at the emphasis she placed on the word like. He was such a berk, of course a brilliant witch like Hermione would be above such cheap displays. He suppressed the urge to hang his head, his arms crossing over his chest as he suddenly felt his nakedness.
Hermione seemed to be talking to herself now, looking down at the rose petal in her hand as she rubbed it between her fingers. Ron found himself mesmerized by the rhythmic motion of those graceful digits.
"Rose petals. You read about rose petals and then you...because you thought..."
Ron wished that he had a Time Turner so he could go back and stop himself from flinging dead bits of plant all over his bed in such a demented manner. In fact, while he was at it, he could-
He tumbled forward onto the bed as nimble little fingers hooked under his belt buckle and tugged forcefully, setting him off-balance. His arms shot out to catch himself before he crushed Hermione beneath him, palms landing flat on either side of her head, rose petals flying everywhere like a flurry of snow around them.
Her eyes caught his, trapping his gaze in an impenetrable cage of flaming desire. His very breath deserted him, the air in his lungs burned away under the heat of her stare.
Tears drifted slowly down her cheeks, sparkling on her skin as they lay frozen for a moment.
The atmosphere seemed to crackle an instant before she arched up beneath him, her hand clamping around the base of his neck to pull him down to her. Her lips were hot and frantic on his, attacking with a ferocity that sent a primal thrill down his spine.
He clambered the rest of the way on to the mattress, yanking her up under him with one arm around her waist so that they never had to break apart, his knees throwing hers open with an aggressive nudge.
She raised her knees, digging her heels into the mattress as she pressed hard against him. His hands slid down the silken length of her legs, pushing her shoes off before she impaled him with them, growling low in his throat as she sucked his bottom lip into her mouth, biting playfully.
Fuck, he loved it when she got like this. Absolutely, achingly, desperately loved it.
No one ever got Hermione to completely lose control. No one but him.
An intense wave of possession washed over him, his long fingers wrapping loosely about her wrists, dragging her hands up over her head. The immediate flash in her eyes told him he was on the right track.
She left her hands where he had placed them as he trailed the back of his knuckles slowly down the side of her face and throat, her compliance filling him with purely masculine satisfaction.
He raised himself up on one elbow, turning his hand to gently cup her breast as he continued his tour of her body. His groin tightened as he discovered that he had been correct earlier, there was nothing but woman underneath this dress. It was a damn good thing his musings had not been confirmed until they got back to his flat or he would have taken her right there at the restaurant, plates of fancy french cuisine sent flying as he bent her over the spotless linen tablecloth.
His hand grew increasingly rough on her soft flesh at the thought of it, squeezing and rolling her tightly budded nipple between his fingertips through the thin layers of material. She caught her breath, her hands coming down on his shoulders as she pressed into his grasp, her lips finding his once more.
He hooked his fingers under one of the ridiculous little straps of her dress, dragging it carefully down her shoulder, afraid that it would break in his big clumsy hands. He wanted her to wear this dress again. Again, and again, and again. Merlin knew she would be wearing it in his dreams for years to come. Well, she would be wearing it very briefly in his dreams, as she inevitably wound up completely starkers.
A state which would be entirely appropriate to their current situation, actually. He nobly resolved to help her achieve that state as quickly as possible.
He was a little less careful with the other strap but thankfully it survived as he shoved it down her arm, pulling on the top of her dress until her breasts were exposed, pausing for a moment at the feel of them pressing against his naked chest with every breath before he grabbed a fistful of the slinky red fabric, tugging hard until it caught around her hips.
She broke away, laughter coloring her voice as she twisted her body, turning her hips to the side to reach behind her. Ron was immediately distracted by the way this unusual position thrust her breasts into his face.
"Ron-wait! There's a zip in the back, just let me-oh!"
He flicked his eyes up to her face as he continued to explore her breasts with his mouth, something raw and wonderful roaring through his being as she watched him with wide eyes, her lips gently parted as her breathing grew ragged.
The dress slid easily down her hips now as he pushed it to the floor, lifting her in his arms just as easily to deposit her higher on the bed, leaving room for him to lick and nibble his way down the gentle curve of her stomach.
She made a tiny noise as he reached the lace band of her knickers, her hand coming down to rest on his head, slightly tremulous fingers brushing his hair out of his eyes.
There was a single rose petal just to the side of her navel and he blew it away noisily, earning surprised laughter that made her body jiggle hypnotically as she smiled down at him.
He lowered his eyes back to her knickers, his lips kicking up on one side as he considered them, letting his fingers trail lazy patterns on her hips.
Hermione had never, ever worn red knickers for him before. Black, white, all sorts of lovely bright and pastel colors and patterns, but never red. Red was almost...premeditated. It was somehow comforting, gratifying, even, to know that as much as he had been planning for this night, she had been planning too. He looked up at her, smirking appreciatively.
"Red knickers? A bloke could get ideas, Hermione."
She blushed all the way down to her chest, a blush belied by the answering grin on her face.
"They coordinated with the dress. I'm quite certain that the dress code at Coq d'Argent requires perfectly coordinating knickers. Anything less would have been in bad taste."
He nodded distractedly, words escaping him as he examined her tastefully coordinating knickers. Her fingers tightened in his hair as she sensed his renewed intensity, playfulness swept away in the blaze.
He traced the delicate lace waistband with one calloused fingertip, resting his painstakingly close-shaven cheek against her thigh as he watched her stomach quiver in reaction. He had decided long ago, sometime before he had ever gotten to see Hermione's knickers but sometime after he had gotten to taste her skin, to feel her pressed tightly against him; that Hermione's body, each individually perfect piece wrapped into this gorgeous whole, was his own personal shrine. His own body, imperfect parts strung together into a ridiculous lanky whole, was simply the instrument he used to worship.
He sat up on his knees, removing her knickers carefully to drop them on the floor, another clothing item he wanted to save for future viewing...and removing.
Lowering himself back to his former position, he urged her legs to open for him with gentle hands, rubbing his cheek against her thigh as she slowly bent her knees, both hands now running through his hair, her fingers fluttering over his face.
He kissed each of her thighs softly before lowering his head between her legs and beginning to worship in earnest.
Her soft cries drove him on, whipping him into a frenzy along with her as they rode the storm together. This was one of his most favorite parts of them, of what they were together. The intimacy of this, the trust and love and pure animalistic joy. The scent and taste and silken give of her beneath his lips filled his soul with something so great, so colossal and magnificent that he sometimes felt like he may burst with it.
Her body began to shake as she rose up tight against him, chanting his name like she may be worshipping along with him, her hands pulling his hair as he felt the storm break.
He kissed his way up her body, writhing beneath him as she ran her mouth and hands over any bits of his skin available to her, her clever fingers making quick work of his trousers before she shoved them down his legs with her tiny feet, tangling their limbs together in a beautiful jumble.
He barely had time to rasp his love for her against the sweat-slicked skin of her forehead before she was tilting her hips, melding their bodies together and drowning him in that love.
Sinking into her was like nothing else. It was like home and heaven and sunlight and laughter and yet it was none of these things. It was just, it was...
Ron opened his eyes lazily, looking down at the hilarious mass of curls overflowing his chest. Hermione was muttering quietly to herself, tugging at the sheet Ron had managed to twist tightly around himself in his sleep.
He grinned, his voice rough with sleep and satisfaction.
"Oi, what exactly d'you think you're doing there, woman?"
She tossed her hair out of her face, making him laugh as mangled rose petals flew in every direction.
"I'm trying to open my birthday present!"
Ron shot up like a rocket, knocking her over onto her back with a cloud of falling rose petals and a loud squeak of indignation. Swinging his legs over the side of the bed, he dropped to the floor to search for his jacket, growling a continuous stream of increasingly vicious curses.
How the almighty fuck had he forgotten? He was such a-he didn't even have a word in his rather extensively brutal vocabulary for what he was. His fingers closed around a rectangular object wrapped in shiny paper tucked into the breast pocket of his jacket.
He stood, glancing at the clock beside his bed. Well thank Merlin that it was still her birthday, at least. Ron would not have been surprised to discover that he had managed to sleep through it. Unbelievably angry with himself, but not terribly surprised.
He turned to face the bed, unconcerned for his own nakedness as he appreciated Hermione's. She had half-heartedly pulled the sheet up around her, but it dipped down to her waist on one side, leaving one perfect breast exposed. His heart thumped harder just from seeing her sitting there in all of her glory, decorated in crushed rose petals and wild hair.
He slid back onto the bed, sitting across from her as he held out his gift as casually as he could manage.
This was not how he had planned it. He was going to give it to her after they ordered dessert at the restaurant, but then she had ordered that weird mousse cream stuff and...well.
She lifted the package with both hands, seeming to weigh it for a moment while looking at him quizzically. Ho loved to watch her open presents. She was like a little detective, examining it for clues before carefully unveiling what lay inside. Ron took a more tornado-like approach to opening gifts, ripping gleefully at the paper until his present lay exposed in the wreckage. Hermione untied the thin satin ribbon that had been only slightly crushed in his pocket, carefully unfolding the paper without making a single tear.
Ron's heart was definitely beating faster now. His eyes flickered between her face and hands, not wanting to miss a moment of her reaction. He was almost praying, hoping that it was something she wanted, that it was perfect.
She paused when the paper revealed the wooden presentation box, her eyes shooting up to his as a smile bloomed across her face. Lifting the box from the paper, she examined it from every angle, tracing her fingertips over the carving. After a few moments she placed it in her lap, leaning forward to pull him into her arms, smiling against his shoulder.
"It's lovely, Ron! Where on earth did you-"
Ron set his hands on her shoulders, pushing her gently away. She quieted immediately, her eyes questioning him. He picked up the box, holding it out to her insistently.
"No. I... it's not-open it."
She took it back with a grin, opening the box with an exaggerated flourish. Hermione went completely still as she stared into the box, the grin slowly fading from her face. Ron went still as well, anxiety and anticipation burning along his skin in dueling trails of fire. She opened her mouth like she was going to speak, but then she only looked at him. Ron shifted nervously, beginning to worry about his heart, all of this mad thumping had to be bad for it or something.
She looked back down at the box, wrinkling her forehead before looking back at him, opening her mouth a few more times for good measure. He couldn't take it anymore, words violently bursting from his mouth like a mighty sneeze.
She looked back down into the box, blinking hard as she reached one hand to hover over the bracelet, almost as if she was afraid to touch it. Her head shot up to stare at him, her eyes burning into his, seeming to search for something important.
"I-do I...Oh, Ron."
She lunged at him, her gift falling from her lap as she twined her arms around him, burying her face into his neck as she peppered him with kisses. His heart gave one last thump of relief before settling into a healthier pattern as he continued to set her away from him, laughing as she scrambled to hug him again, climbing into his lap and wrapping her legs around his waist when he tried to sit her back across from him.
"Hermione-oof, watch your knee-Hermione, love, you haven't even tried it on yet!"
She pulled back to look at him like he was a bloody genius or something, scrambling to get back to her abandoned gift, her chaotic motions offering him an intensely wonderful view of her arse as she bounced across the bed.
She picked up the box and brought it to him, thrusting it into his hands before looking at him expectantly.
He just stared back at her until she rolled her eyes playfully and held out her wrist, one eyebrow arched at him pointedly.
He grinned, lifting the delicate bracelet from the box and clasping it about her wrist, going still as he felt something enormous rush through him the moment it made contact with her skin. His grin fell away as he met her eyes, wide now and pinned to his face.
"Ron, did you-did you feel that?"
He swallowed, nodding slowly. The rush had left a pleasant warm feeling throughout his body, but he was slightly uneasy. There was something...oddly familiar about the sensation, almost like he had felt it before, in another time and another place. Something flashed in his mind, a fleeting impression of laughter and Hermione's ankles running through tall grass...and then nothing. He couldn't...it was just out of his grasp...
Hermione examined the bracelet.
"It's magical, isn't it?"
He nodded, but she continued without looking at him.
"It isn't goblin-made...there are no enchantments that I can detect...it feels like...it feels like old magic, powerful...Ron, what-?"
He lifted her wrist to his face, kissing her skin just below the bracelet.
"No enchantments. It's the metal. The man who made it has a special process that, um, that infuses the metal with...magic. Good magic."
Hermione turned her wrist slowly back and forth, watching the light sparkle on the stones and glimmer across the intricately worked metal. Her eyes lifted back to his.
He looked at her oddly, knowing his confusion had to be written across his face. She gestured with her wrist, lifting the bracelet close to his face as her eyes darted between them.
"The stones. They match your eyes...flawlessly. How did you-?"
Ron felt a bit bemused, shrugging slightly as he took a closer look at the stones.
"Do they really? I hadn't noticed, actually. Mr. Plimsky chose the stones and-"
Her head shot up like she had been hit by a stinging curse.
"Ron, did you say Mr. Plimsky?"
Her voice was calm, but he could sense that his answer was very important to her. He nodded slowly, watching in horror as her face drained of color. She stared at the bracelet again, seeming to search it for answers before looking back up at him.
Ron shook his head in bewilderment.
"I found his shop a few months ago and he helped me out. He even let me have a say in designing your bracelet."
Now she shook her head, speaking slowly and carefully.
"No, Ron. Artemesius Plimsky disappeared a long time ago, before the first War. He was very well known. In fact, he is considered to be one of the greatest magimetalworkers of all time. He wrote the definitive text "Magical Metallurgy Theory and Application" fifty years ago and then he just...vanished."
Ron felt a chill run down his spine, and he pulled the bedspread across his lap.
"No, I swear. I was just at his shop this morning. It's off Diagon Alley, kind of pinched in the space between two buildings."
Hermione didn't seem to hear him, twisting the bracelet around and around her wrist as those mighty gears turned in her head.
"Ron, you said that the man who-that Mr. Plimsky had made this out of magically infused metal...do you mean- he didn't mention Memenamaturgy, did he?"
Ron tried to wrap his tongue around the phrase she had so easily rattled off, finding it not nearly long enough to go all the way around the strange word.
"No. He just said something about trade secrets."
Hermione ran her finger over the bracelet, closing her eyes for a few seconds.
"When I touch this bracelet, I feel..."
She opened her eyes, spearing him with her gaze.
"I feel love, Ron. I feel you."
He reached out to rest his hand on her knee, tracing circles on her soft skin.
"That's … good, isn't it?"
He tried to sound sure, but he knew that the rising note of hope in his voice betrayed him.
She nodded solemnly, her fingers tracing the bracelet over and over again as she stared into his face.
"This magic … it has to be Memenamaturgy. But that's … utterly impossible. It was only a theory he was working on before he disappeared, a perfect fusion of metal and strong positive emotion extracted from-"
Her breath hissed between her teeth as her eyes darted across his face, obviously searching for something. Whatever she was looking for, he was sure that she would find it. She was amazing like that. She leaned forward, her eyes still searching as she rested a delicate hand on his chest.
"Ron, is there anything you would like to tell me? Perhaps something about the manner in which you paid for this bracelet...?"
Ron drew back from her touch, unable to avoid taking offense at her words. He was still sensitive when it came to money, a small part of him terrified that he would never be able to provide her with everything she needed and wanted and more, no matter how hard he tried.
He looked away from her, fisting a bit of the sheet in his hand.
"I bloody well paid for it, if that's what you're asking. I didn't steal the fucking thi-"
"No! No, I wasn't-I know that you would never...Ron. Look at me, please."
His head was turning before he could even think about it, his body as ever a slave to her wishes. It even went so far as to shiver in delight as she pressed her hands to his cheeks, her eyes diving into his.
"Of course you didn't steal it, I know you better than that. I was only asking if Mr. Plimsky required anything more … unusual in the form of payment."
Ron creased his brow, his mind suddenly growing fuzzy about the edges as he tried to remember... it was like that part of the morning had been packed away in cotton wool, kept concealed and separate from the rest of his memory. He could remember leaving Wheezes to pick up his package, bag of gold in his jacket pocket... then there was a strange swirling void and he was walking out again, one bag of gold lighter, Hermione's present tucked carefully against his chest.
He shook his head slowly, watching her eyes grow unaccountably sad as she read the vague confusion on his face.
"No. Nothing unusual. Why?"
She studied the bracelet with renewed interest, closing her eyes as she stroked the metal once again.
When her eyes lifted back to his, he was baffled to see tears shining there. She traced her fingers over his forehead, lifting his fringe away from his face. He lifted an eyebrow as she began to mutter quietly to herself, almost too softly for him to hear.
"...you would. Of course you would, there is nothing you wouldn't...I just can't believe...for me."
He twisted his lips to the side in confusion, screwing up his face until she laughed. That sound, the gasping, surprised, throaty sound of Hermione's laughter trickled through him, warming the hidden reaches of his soul. That was what this whole thing had been about, after all. Making her happy.
His witch. On her birthday.
He held both of her hands against his cheeks, twisting to kiss each one in turn. She made an odd sound, almost like a sob packaged in laughter. She whispered his name, leaning in for a long kiss that grew deeper and more dangerous with each passing second. She was pulling him under the surface once more, into their own private world. He found himself glorying in his defeat.
They rolled together until she lay on top of him, her eyes fixed firmly to his face.
"I love you."
His face split into a wide, slow grin, his hands silently appreciating her soft skin.
"So I've heard. Nasty habit, that."
She smiled back at him, the last traces of sadness finally banished from her eyes. He lifted his head from the pillow, nipping at the tip of her nose.
"Happy Birthday, Hermione."
Her lips fell on his like a sudden rain, the essence of her spreading through him from that single point of contact with stunning alacrity. She seemed to be putting extra effort into pouring herself into him, her small hands grasping at him with an edge of desperation.
That edge proved to be utterly contagious and soon he was gasping and surging beneath her as she slid against him, onto him, joining their frantic desperation into a single writhing entity.
Words flowed between them in crashing waves, disconnected yet all together weaving a magnificent message that passed between them equally.
"I love you" … "Always" … "Mine" … "Beautiful"...
He ran his hand down her arm, gasping as he hit the ring of metal on her wrist, the rush from before bursting into liquid flame, burning away the cotton wool in his mind.
A memory. He had given a memory for her, for this. But then … how could he... ?
He remembered. Everything. He remembered the tree pendant in the glass case, the way it had triggered a memory of summer moments hiding from his family. He remembered the exact moment he had chosen, chasing Hermione through the grass and trees as she laughed with utter abandon, her wild hair streaming behind her like a fairy queen. She had let him catch her deliberately, swinging her through the air before they both collapsed to the ground, lost in each other's eyes.
He met her eyes now, her body still and quiet on his. There were tears drifting down her cheeks as she gazed into his face, her lips moving before she managed to speak.
"You-I saw...Ron, tell me that was real. What just happened, between us."
He nodded, watching the familiar light of fascinated discovery suffuse her gorgeous face, lighting her up faster than his Deluminator had ever lit a room.
She sat back on him, ignoring his moan as he slid even deeper inside her. She lifted her arm, staring at her birthday present.
"I can't believe it. It was only a theory-experts everywhere agreed that it was completely impossible in practice. I mean, considering the inherent properties of -how did he ever manage to infuse the metal without depleting-"
Ron bit his lip, his hips twitching beneath hers with the urge to move.
"Hermione! For fucks sake, could you please do your research later, we're kind of in the middle of something, here."
She actually blushed, a lovely wash of pink covering her face and neck as she looked down at him in apology.
He rolled her beneath him, her focus now entirely on him as he started to move once more. They rose and fell together in a driving frenzy, words left behind now as they spoke instead with eyes and skin, the message remaining the same regardless.
He somehow managed to hold out until she shivered and flared beneath him, her explosion triggering his as he pressed himself deeper inside her, shuddering as she found his lips with hers.
Falling to the side, he gathered her tight against him, burrowing his face in her hopelessly tangled hair as he breathed her in.
He was a damn lucky man.
Hermione lifted her hand, holding her wrist closer under the light on her desk. For once the mountain of papers cluttering the surface were ignored in favor of more important considerations.
Ron had given her an amazing gift. Not because it was a beautiful piece of jewelry, but because of the meaning he had infused it with. Literally.
She had left early for work, stopping by the library to borrow every book that so much as mentioned Artemesius Plimsky and his wild theories.
It should have been impossible. All of it. Plimsky had not been sighted in decades, and even before that his theories had never been proven. She planned to ask Ron to take her to the little shop, but she would not be surprised to discover that it had vanished as though it had never existed. In fact, she would be more surprised to find it still there.
The most amazing part of all was Ron himself. For the process to even have the slightest chance of working, the emotion involved had to be so pure, so true that it rendered the entire process a near impossibility in its rarity alone.
The fact that it had worked meant … so much. She already knew, of course. Ron had always worn his emotions on his sleeve, but this kind of concrete affirmation... it was humbling.
Then there was the manner in which he had gotten it. She knew that Memenamaturgy required a memory, a strong and wonderful memory, much like the Patronus. Only, in theory, the memory would be entirely depleted and all but erased.
Ron must have known this, and yet he had still...
Well, she certainly wasn't surprised that he had made such a grand sacrifice on her behalf. She vividly remembered the willingness with which he sacrificed himself even as a young boy, sending himself across that giant chessboard without a second thought.
He was truly astonishing, far more astonishing than any magical theory or process, and she was honored and thrilled that she was the one who got to discover him, over and over across the years.
The blue glimmer of stones made her smile softly, though the shining stone could never match the twinkle of his eyes.
She was a very lucky witch, indeed.
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