Now that We're Alone

It was hard to fall asleep. It was cold, it was dark, they were alone… Oh yeah, and Hermione was crying her eyes out. That didn't really help either. Her heart wrenching sobs cut their way through Harry like a Basilisk fang cuts through flesh. And if anyone knew just how deep a cut like that could go it was Harry. But for some reason the memory of the Basilisk lodged in his arm seemed less horrible than what he was facing now; a crying girl who just happened to be his best friend. And he couldn't really say that it wasn't his fault that she was crying. He hadn't exactly done anything to make Ron stay, had he? And now it was just the two of them. All alone.

He turned around to watch Hermione. Though the tent was dark, Hermione had left her little flame in a jar on the floor next to her. It clearly illuminated her back and her shoulders, which were moving up and down frantically every time a sob tore through her. It was close to torture. Harry sighed and rolled onto his back. Staring into the ceiling of the tent he tried to let go of everything around him. He tried to forget about the abandonment he felt or the guilt that welled up inside of him every time Hermione hiccupped. But he couldn't.

Turning back around towards Hermione he gently called out, "Hermione?"

He saw how her back stiffened and the sobs stopped dead in a sharp intake of breath.

"Hermione?" he repeated a little more concerned this time.

"I'm sorry I woke you up, Harry," she said, her voice thick with her yet unshed tears.

"You didn't," he said calmly. "I was just… well, I'm worried about you."

"I'm fine," she lied. "Completely fine. Don't worry about me, okay? It doesn't matter anyway."

"Hermione…" Harry pleaded but Hermione cut him off.

"I said I'm fine Harry, now let it go!"

There was a finality to her voice that told him that she didn't want to continue the conversation. But he also knew when she was lying; 6 years of friendship had its benefits after all. Quietly he rolled out of bed and hunched down next to Hermione's flame.

"Hermione, I know when you're fine and I know when you're not fine. This is a 'not' time."

"Go to sleep, Harry," she commanded, but there was no force behind the command. Only a tired, scared girl. Harry took a deep breath before making his next move. Then he crawled into Hermione's bed, his chest against her back, and draped his arm around her waist. He felt her stiffen in his embrace, but he didn't move away or let go.

"Harry, what are you going?" she exclaimed.

"I'm going to sleep," he answered into her hair.

"I meant in your own bed!"

"I think this is better for the both of us."

At those words he felt how Hermione's tension eased up a little. Then she sighed as if she was surrendering.

"I think you're right," she whispered and sniffed a little. "Thank you."

Harry smiled and hugged her closer. This time she snuggled into his embrace.

"I'm always here for you," he answered. "Just like I know you're always here for me."

Hermione moved her hand to rest upon his. She squeezed it lightly before bringing it to her lips. As she kissed his palm Harry felt a strange tuck in his stomach. He almost gasped but managed to conceal the sound. Instead he buried his face in her unruly hair. When he found the nape of her neck he couldn't keep himself from rubbing his nose against it, savouring the comforting smell of her; the smell of parchment, jasmines and citrus. A shiver went through her body.

"Are you cold?" Harry asked, worried.

"Perhaps a little," she whispered in answer. Harry smiled into her hair, knowing that it wasn't the cold that had her shivering, but decided not to comment on it. He took a hold of her blanket and pulled it over himself as well. When he tucked it protectively around her body, he heard her sigh a little. Yet again he felt that unknown tuck in his stomach, as if every organ he had had decided to do a jig at the same time.

"Better?"

She turned her head a little to give him a smile as she answered, "Loads."

For a moment they smiled at each other until suddenly Hermione's smile crumbled. A strangled sob tore from her lips. Harry saw that tears were about to fall again and laid a soothing hand on her cheek.

"I miss him so much," she whimpered.

"I know," Harry whispered, feeling a lump form in his own throat. "I miss him too. But at least we have each other."

"Always," Hermione said with a little appreciative smile. And then she did the most unlikely thing ever: she leaned into him and kissed his mouth. It probably wasn't meant to be a romantic kiss, but once Harry felt her lips on his he couldn't let her draw away. He held her still with his hand still on her cheek. She didn't try to pull away. She rolled over to face him completely and laid her small hands against his chest. When they drew apart there were questions in Hermione's eyes, but Harry silenced her with another kiss. But of course not even a kiss could silence Hermione Granger when she was faced with a mystery.

"What are we doing, Harry?" she asked.

"I thought that was fairly obvious," Harry said with a smug smile. It earned him a little tug at the corners of Hermione's lips, but it faded as quickly as it had appeared.

"You know what I meant. Do you really think this is a good idea?"

Harry sighed as he pondered her question.

"You know," he started as he tucked on one of her curls, "you think a lot." When he saw that she was about to protest he put a finger over her lips to ensure her continuing silence. "Perhaps just this once you should can the questions and live in the moment."

She was silent for a few seconds before she yanked on his shirt while rolling over on her back, pulling him with her so that he was lying on top of her. Her intent was clear and with a grin Harry leaned down and kissed her soft lips once more. Then he gently kissed her forehead, her fluttering eyelids, her cheeks, her jawbone and all the way down her throat until he reached her collarbone. Here he hesitated and glanced up at Hermione's face for approval to continue. Her eyes were shut close; he took that to be a green light to keep on going. He reached down for the hem of her pyjama top and with a little help he pulled it over her head. She wasn't wearing a bra. He had never thought he was going to see Hermione's breasts, but now that he had them in front of her, he knew that he was never going to forget the sight. They were not exactly big, but they couldn't be called small either. To Harry they were just the right size. Tryingly he reached down and covered them both with his hands. At this Hermione's eyes flew open. Instantly Harry drew back.

"I'm sorry, did I go too far?"

She just looked at him before she shook her head.

"I was just a little surprised. I've… I've never… you know."

Harry gave her a little, reassuring smile.

"I haven't either," he confessed, making Hermione relax. She took his hands and placed them back on her breasts.

"I'm done thinking," she said. With a smile he leaned down and kissed her while he tryingly kneaded her peeks, pinching her tender nipples once in a while as well. When the kiss ended he sat back on his knees between her separated thighs and pulled off his shirt. Hermione pushed herself up from the mattress to sit in front of him. Hesitantly she ran a finger over his exposed chest making little goose bumps erupt all over his body. For a while they just looked at each other until Harry hooked his fingers in the elastic waist of his pants. As he started pulling them down Hermione mimicked his action. Now they were both almost completely naked, only of scrap of underwear kept them clothed. Hermione was the one to start undressing this time, taking a hold of her yellow panties and manoeuvred them down her hips. Harry was quick to follow her lead and then suddenly they were naked. Tension threatened to settle in, but Harry beat it off by trailing his fingers over her cheek down her chest, giving her nipple a little teasing pinch, over her stomach till he settled between her thighs, reaching her most sacred spot. He felt her moisture, her clit and her opening. At first he was just feeling around, noting every time her face betrayed pleasure or indifference. But when she reached over and grabbed a hold of his strained erection he decided that the time for exploration had ended. He instantly went straight for her clit as she started working her hand up and down his shaft.

They held eye contact as their orgasms approached. Just before he felt himself lose control Harry pulled away from Hermione. She sent him a questioning stare, but it faded as he gently pushed her to lie down. Her eyes were apprehensive so he sent her his most reassuring smile as he positioned himself against her entrance. Tryingly he pushed forward a little so that his head entered her. He saw her bite her lip and stopped there.

"Are you okay?" he whispered and she nodded.

"Just go slow," she cautioned him.

Then he slowly pushed further into her, all the while watching her eyes and stopping when he sensed that she was in pain. Soon he reached her hymn. Reaching out to cup her cheek he pulled almost all the way out before he forcefully drove himself into her to the hilt. She flinched in pain and a little whimper escaped from her lips, but when she opened his eyes, he saw relief.

"That wasn't as bad as I'd thought it would be," she said a little breathlessly.

"I'm glad."

He ran his thumb over her cheekbone a couple of times before he finally started moving his hips again. He groaned as her tightness enveloped him, making him come closer to climax with each thrust. Hermione was lightly moaning every time he hit bottom. Not before long he lost control as shot his seeds within her. When he came to again, he noticed how Hermione was squirming beneath him. He blinked a couple of times before realising that she hadn't yet found her release. Reaching in between them he found her nub which he massaged lightly, accompanied by a series of shallow thrusts, which was all that he could muster right about now. Luckily it was enough to give Hermione what she wanted. She came with a little shriek, allowing Harry to finally collapse next to her.

He reached out to her and embraced her fiercely. She sighed and inched closer while she pulled the covers over them. They didn't say a word; no words needed saying. They fell asleep listening to each other's steady breathing.

This was a request from Kitty-Kat378 who wanted a Hermione/Harry story set in the 7th book after Ron left them. I was a little afraid of having this story turn out exactly like the other story I did with these perimeters, 'Nightmares'. I hope I managed to make them both unique, though they have the many of the same themes.

Well, I sure hope you enjoyed this one! Please review like you always do and request! For Merlin's sake, request! I only have one request waiting now and then I don't know what to do! So help me, please. I'm begging you!

(Was that too needy?)