A/N: Many thanks to MrsBates93 and Krissy for being my betas. Enjoy! xx

Disclaimer: JKR owns the world and characters of Harry Potter, not me. I am not making any money from the posting of this story.

A Serious Kind of Something New

I sat beneath the tree, my knees pulled up to my chest. A sob escaped my lips. I let myself cry for a few minutes before wiping the tears away on my sleeve.

I felt a breeze caress me, which made me look up. I watched as a bird flew over the lake, dipping low to try and catch a fish.

Closing my eyes, I took a deep breath.

This was my sanctuary, my place of complete relaxation and peace.

Whenever I was feeling upset, I would come here to the little spot under the tree, close to the Black Lake.

It had offered me comfort many times during my years at Hogwarts. It was a constant in my life.

I let out another shaky sigh. Love sucked. I don't know why I thought that wouldn't be true. Maybe I hoped Charlie was different, but I guess that wasn't the case.

Sometime during my fourth year I started dating Charlie Flint. He was polite, handsome, charming – everything you could want in a boyfriend. We dated for a little over a year when he suddenly broke it off.

I couldn't believe it. I thought our relationship was perfect, but he obviously had a different idea. He just ended it and when I asked for a reason, he simply shrugged.

Words couldn't describe how hurt I felt. My mother always warned me about the dangers of heartbreak, but I never took her seriously. Now I wish I had.

Hearing a branch crack, I turned and saw James approaching me.

He smiled sadly at me, taking a seat beside me on the grass.

James was cute. He was funny and serious at the same time, but most importantly he was the backbone on which our family was built. James was my favourite cousin, probably because he was always there for me. Whenever I was upset, he would take me into his arms and comfort me. When I was bullied, he had beaten the crap out of the Slytherin sixth years. James was the one who helped me become confident in myself. He was the one who helped me see that I was beautiful and that I was worth something to someone. Whenever I needed advice, he was there. I relied on him for so much, and he for me. The bond we had was unbreakable.

Like my special spot, James was another constant in my life. He was the rock on which I built myself, and if he ever left I would be devastated.

Honestly, sometimes it scared me when I thought about how much I needed him. Surely it wasn't healthy, but I couldn't bring myself to care.

James reached over and silently took my hand in his. I turned to him and saw his face filled with sadness. He didn't say anything; he didn't need to. I knew how he felt just by looking in his eyes.

He was sorry that Charlie had broken up with me. He was promising he'd be there for me, just like I knew he would be. He didn't say anything because he knew I'd probably hit him for it.

A tear rolled down my cheek. Reaching forward, James wiped it away. I shivered when I felt his skin touch mine.

Our eyes connected and I felt my spine tingle.

"Dominique," he whispered. "You are so beautiful." His cool breath caressed my face.

The air grew heavy around us. The heat in his eyes caused my stomach to tighten. James's tongue darted out to wet his lips.

Before I realized what was happening, I found myself staring at his lips. My body moved forward. My mind screamed at me to stop, that this was wrong, but I couldn't help it. I wanted to know what his lips felt like. No, I needed to know.

Our lips connected.

It was sweet and innocent. I didn't know who made the first move, but I didn't care. All the years, the pain, and the hurt seemed to melt away in that moment.

Pulling away, James's eyes went wide. The only thing I could hear was the pounding of my heart in my chest.

"This isn't right," I whispered, horrified at what had just happened. I just kissed my cousin. And the worst part was I liked it. Hell, I wanted to do it again.

James bit his lip. "No, it isn't."

The two of us remained quiet, unsure of what to do next.

Without warning, James leaned forward and captured my lips again.

That kiss was even better than the first. Reaching up, I tangled my fingers in the dark hair at the nape of his neck. James snuggled closer so our bodies touched.

His lips parted and I took the opportunity to slip my tongue inside his mouth. James let out a small moan as our tongues began to battle for dominance.

We broke apart, our breathing heavy. I felt as if I was lost inside a tornado of emotion. Looking up, I saw his eyes reflected in mine.

"I like kissing you," I said softly, knowing I wouldn't feel right unless I was honest with myself and with him.

James's eyes widened. "This isn't right, I mean, we're family!"

I lowered my eyes and could feel my lower lip trembling. I was going to cry.

James's hand reached out and touched my chin. As he tilted it upward, I involuntarily met his gaze. "I didn't say I didn't like it," he said softly.

I bit my lower lip.

"Dominique, this is so new to me, but I care for you. I know we shouldn't, but I can't help it. I think you're beautiful, amazing, smart, funny…" he trailed off.

I smiled. At once all my feelings made sense. I thought our bond was one of family and friendship. But the kiss, and everything else that was going on in my life, it all helped me to see the truth. I always went to him because I cared for him. But in a way that he was more than just my cousin or friend. He knew me better than I knew myself.

I knew I should feel ashamed for wanting to be with my own blood intimately, but I didn't. I shouldn't have to feel guilty for the way I feel. I should want to be happy, shouldn't I?

"James, I want this to work. I… kissing you was nice, and I want to do that again."

He grinned, holding my hands. Bringing them up to his lips, he kissed them. "I'd like that too, Dominique."

My heart was still hurting from Charlie's betrayal, but I couldn't help but smile. James was a safe haven. He would be there for me and support me. He would comfort me in every sense of the word.

I may have just lost a love, but I think I found my soul mate as well.

The kiss was an accident, but it started so much more. It created a perfect moment of harmony in my life.

We found each other by pure serendipity.