Author's Notes

The plot bunny got me last night whilst having a bit of "how do I phrase that?" moment with The Headmaster's Wife, and wouldn't leave me alone.

This is a four chapter work. It is written but needs tidying up and will be posted in full by the end of next week. It's not beta'd as my lovely beta has enough to do this week so all errors are my own. Once it's finished I will probably go back over it and clean it all up.

Anyway, this is a SSHG even though the first chapter is about Hermione and someone else.

It is rated M because there will be lemony goodness and swearing in the other chapters.

I own nothing but my imagination (and my OC). My lovely muses belong elsewhere.


Hermione always wondered why she had been so attracted to him. He was surrounded in mystery, but it took her no time at all to find the real him.

Augustus - Gus - was least to her. He was intelligent, sarcastic, and his rapier wit had her spitting out many a drink on a night out. He was six feet of lean muscle, dark hair, strong cheekbones and chin, and had mesmerising dark, inky blue eyes that seemed to penetrate her very soul. He possessed the filthiest mind of anyone she had ever met, and the way his voice and hands caressed her—

He reminded her of somebody, but she could never place them. It wasn't until she lost Gus that she realised who that person was.

It was a cold November morning when Hermione Granger, undersecretary to the Head of Magical Law Enforcement, sat at her desk staring at the man who unbeknown to her - or him for that matter - was to become her husband in a matter of five months.

Augustus Rosier swept into the office with the air of a man who knew his place in the world. He introduced himself, and proceeded to inform the witch, who he'd heard so much about that she was lucky he had decided to move from Russia back to the UK so that she could utilise his formidable skills.

Many would have scoffed at his arrogance, but Hermione somehow saw it simply as self-confidence. It was a confidence that seemed familiar, and somehow, for the first time since the end of the war, she felt a sense of calm descend upon her.

She smiled sheepishly, glancing surreptitiously at the man sat before her as she perused his file. He was thirty eight – they were the same age. His mother was dead; his father still alive. Neither names were mentioned.

"Your parents?" Hermione ventured as she wondered if he was related to the infamous Rosier line.

"Father is an Unspeakable which means I cannot tell you who he is," Augustus drawled. "My Mother...she gave birth to me, but Father's mentor had me taken away after my birth and placed in the care of another family in another country. I attended Durmstrang, but you know that already.

"Both my foster parents died when they stupidly agreed to return to fight in the war. Father used to visit me during the school holidays and I remember him arguing with Papa about it. He urged them not to get involved. He said it was a war that was unlikely to be won, and he was right."

"You were brought up by sympathisers of Voldemort?" Hermione asked urgently. After the war it was not unusual for some of Voldemort's more fringe supporters to offer their services as Aurors, Healers or Unspeakables to keep themselves out of Azkaban. Their training in the dark arts was seen to be invaluable in the still ongoing hunt for, and battles with, rogue Death Eaters. His father, she surmised, must have been one of this number if he'd agreed to send his son to live with supporters of the Dark Lord.

Augustus smirked. "My we are clever, aren't we? Yes, they were. Although I never understood the political arguments. Papa often questioned my parentage because as far as I'm concerned you are either magical or Muggle. Who cares if you're a Muggle or a Pureblood, Half-blood, Muggle-born or Half-breed? I am sorry for the way you were treated, by the way."

"You know how I was treated?" Hermione asked quietly.

"As Father always says 'forewarned is forearmed' and talking of forearmed...can I see?" He asked softly, his voice gliding like warm silk over her. This was the moment, upon reflection that Hermione knew she was falling for him.

She was shocked by Augustus' tenacity, but inexplicably, Hermione found herself pulling up her sleeve to reveal her scar. Even after so many years she was still embarrassed by it and even in the house she kept it covered. It was one of the things that Ron had found infuriating because it meant they'd never made love naked. That said they hadn't made love since he walked out twelve years ago after she turned down yet another marriage proposal.

"I don't normally do this," Hermione mumbled as she looked anywhere but at the man now standing in front of her. She flinched as cold fingers skimmed over the sensitive flesh, tracing each letter slowly almost reverently.

"Then I am truly honoured," his voiced washed over her before he added, "You've never had a Dark Arts expert look at this for you?"

Hermione shook her head. "I think the only person who could have helped died in the war."

The dark-hair wizard whispered smoothly, "I don't think that is entirely true but with your permission I may be able to assist. I am not unfamiliar with this kind of magic."

"Well, yes, thank you," Hermione stuttered before adding, "Only if it's not too much trouble."

"Not at all," Augustus told her and gave her a disarming smile as her eyes finally met his.

Something clicked in that moment, and they continued to look into each other's eyes for longer than was entirely appropriate. In fact, they only stopped when there was a sharp rap on the door which heralded the arrival of the Head of the Auror department.

Startled Hermione looked down as she realised Augustus still had her arm in his hand and was stroking it with his thumb. She pulled it away quickly, adjusting her sleeve just as Harry Potter walked in.

Harry greeted his best friend cheerfully. "Good morning, Undersecretary Granger."

"Good morning, Mr Potter. I trust you and my godchildren had a good weekend," she asked knowingly. She knew the house would be a disaster area as Ginny had just taken over as manager of the Holyhead Harpies, and Harry was left solely in charge at the weekends.

"No one died, and Molly brought over enough food so I didn't have to cook. So, I suppose it was a good weekend," Harry smirked before turning to the dark figure stood before Hermione's desk. There was something familiar about the man, but he shook such notions from his head. "And you must be my latest Auror. Your credentials are impressive, Mr Rosier."

"Indeed, and you are undoubtedly Harry Potter. I have heard so much about you that it is a pleasure to meet you in person at last," Augustus told him quite sincerely.

"I suppose we'd have been at Hogwarts together if you hadn't gone to Durmstrang," Harry mused.

"As we are the same age that would have been true, but I fear I would have upheld the family tradition and been in Slytherin," Augustus smirked before Hermione told them both to sit down and ordered a tray of coffee and biscuits.

"So why have you decided to return to the UK now?" Hermione asked as she continued to review his file. "You were doing extraordinarily well in the Russian Ministry."

Concentrating on his file meant that Hermione could stop herself from stealing glances at the strangely alluring man sat before her. It had been such a long time since anyone had caught her eye that she knew subtlety would have evaded her, and Harry knew her too well not to notice.

Augustus looked at Hermione, knowing that she was deliberately avoiding eye contact and a chuckle rumbled deep in his throat. "I cannot deny that, but the fact is I am not Russian, so the top jobs were not available to me. I have a better chance of making a more permanent mark here than back there."

"After my job are you?" Harry chuckled. "I can see you would have been the perfect Slytherin."

"I believe I come from a line of perfect Slytherins," the bespectacled wizard was informed before being told, "But I would never be head of anything in Russia, so better that I take a few years to prove myself here before I start treading on anyone's toes. Although, Father believes Shacklebolt himself should step aside and give me his job just because I've set foot back in the country."

"You are very lucky to have a father who is so proud of you," Harry told him rueing the fact that, apart from his father-in-law, he didn't have any father figures to tell him such things.

"I am," Augustus acknowledged. "My father was absent for much of my childhood due to work commitments, but I always knew he was there for me even when he seemed more concerned about the welfare of others."

Harry asked, "Your father is...?"

"—An Unspeakable," Hermione interrupted before blushing profusely as she realised Harry had noticed her eagerness to respond on his new Auror's behalf. She stole a glance at Augustus whose eyes flashed playfully at her despite his impassive expression. He used to do that all the time, she thought to herself. Whoever he was, she added.

Harry couldn't wait to inform his wife of this potential development but had to move the meeting on as he had another to attend. "So, you will be working in our Potions division as I believe you are rather handy with dark poisons. Unfortunately, we have seen an increase in their use, in recent years. I'm not sure why—"

"It takes years to perfect the art, and not many have the predisposition, so it is unsurprising that you will see an increase as more practitioners become adept," Augustus interrupted.

Both Hermione and Harry looked at him incredulously. The last time they'd heard someone say something like that was...but no...he didn't have children; he wasn't married and he loved Lily. Even in his dying moments he still loved Harry's mother. And he'd been dead for twenty years so Augustus couldn't even have apprenticed under him.

"You know, you sound like our old Potions professor," Harry mused trying to see if Augustus would take the bait.

"They must have known their stuff," the dark-haired man offered distractedly.

"He did," Harry admitted, his voice full of regret. "I just wish we'd realised it at the time."

Augustus looked at the wizarding world's saviour and said, "I'm sure someone did."

Harry nodded before he stole a glance at Hermione and said, "Well I just popped in to introduce myself. I'm sure we'll have plenty of time to get to know each other, Rosier. My door is always open. But if you will excuse me I have another meeting to attend so I will leave you in the capable hands of Miss Granger." He flashed Hermione a knowing look which had her blushing again.

As Harry stood so did Augustus who extended his hand to his superior and stated courteously, "I look forward to working with you."

Harry simply nodded before smiling at Hermione and leaving the room.

Augustus only sat down once he and Hermione were alone again, and was about to ask her a question when she suddenly blurted out, "Where are you living?"

"I've just bought a flat in Southwark. I was living with Father, but we both need our space. And I didn't like the thought of taking girls to his house. He hasn't had much luck with women, and I didn't want to rub it in," Augustus told her; a wicked grin creeping over his face.

"Do you take girls home often?" Hermione suddenly found herself asking.

"You'd be the first," he whispered.

Hermione could feel the blush reaching her ears. "Would you like to—?"

"Miss Granger, before you go any further I must inform you that I have been brought up in the old ways, and it would be unconscionable for you to ask me out for a drink, dinner or even a night of unbridled passion." Hermione's face dropped in disappointment. "Instead," Augustus continued, "Would you like to go out for dinner with me tomorrow night?"

"I can't tomorrow. What are you doing tonight?" She asked timidly.

"I have plans." Again Hermione's face dropped before he added, "But I've just changed them, and now I'm taking you out to dinner. What time do you finish?"

That night was the start of a whirlwind romance for Hermione and Augustus. He'd been the perfect gentleman for three weeks. Their goodnight kisses had progressed from sweet kisses on the cheek to scorching tongue battles, which always ended in the same achingly slow parting of their lips. And this was only changed when Hermione turned up at his flat unannounced wearing nothing but a long winter coat over a rather tantalising black basque and knicker set with lace-topped stockings.

It hadn't been her idea. Ginerva Potter was a bad influence. She was thankful that she could Apparate into the hallway because there was no way she could have walked in the heels she had on. But she'd bought them and the underwear at Ginny's insistence, who was much more adept at buying such things. No wonder Harry always looks so happy, Hermione mused to herself.

And Augustus looked equally happy over the coming weeks. When they weren't working they were making love, and it was like nothing Hermione had ever experienced. He was an incredibly skilled and passionate lover, and sometimes that scared her. Apart from a couple of disastrous encounters in the years since Ron left, and frankly he was nothing to write home about, she felt a complete novice compared to the dark-haired man who now occupied her bed and house, but he never made her feel like one. He introduced her to completely new experiences, and he never criticised her as Ron had been prone to do. He made her feel special; he made her feel loved.

It was five weeks into their relationship before Hermione blurted out that she loved him in a post-coital haze. He simply chuckled in the deep, rich way that made her melt, and whispered, "I love you too. I think I always have done."

Two weeks later they had a picnic on their living room floor, and as she reached into the bottom of the basket she found a small square box. Just as she was about to pick up the box, long, elegant fingers snatched it away. Gus, as she now called him, mirrored her kneeling position and simply said, "I know this probably seems ridiculous, but I love you Hermione Granger, and I feel like I've known you forever. So will you be with me forever and marry me?"

How could see refuse?

The wedding was beautiful thanks to Ginny. It was at times like this that she really did miss her parents. But when she'd gone to Australia to find them two years after the war, she discovered that they had divorced and were living with new partners. She couldn't bring herself to restore their memories, and a heartbroken Hermione left Wendell and Monica to their new lives.

But on her wedding day she wished that her father was there to give her away, and her mother was there to fuss and cry. Instead, Arthur Weasley gave her away, and Molly and Minerva McGonagall did admirable jobs of the fussing and crying. Ginny, Luna and little Lily were her bridesmaids, and Hermione couldn't help but giggle as she heard Ginny mutter as they walked down the aisle, "Thank you for getting married whilst I can still walk down the aisle, and not have to be pushed by one of my grandchildren."

She tried not to cry as she stood beside the man she had fallen so madly in love. But as Harry stepped forward as Gus' best man to hand over the rings, she felt the tears begin to creep down her cheeks as she realised that this was not some dream but a reality.

The only strange thing about the day, and something that Hermione seemed more upset about than Gus, was that his father wasn't there. Hermione was still waiting to meet the man who her new husband seemed to idolise. She didn't even know his name, and the excuse that he was an Unspeakable and on a mission was starting to wear thin. Sometimes she even wondered if the man actually existed.

But she didn't notice the dark figure slipping into the back of the church after she began to walk up the aisle, and was too preoccupied to notice the same figure slip back out just before the new Mr and Mrs Rosier walked up the aisle together.

Their work schedule hadn't allowed for much of a honeymoon, but they'd agreed to have a proper one in July. And instead of going away for the few days they did have off, the happy couple decided to stay in the comfort of their own home...or rather as Gus put it, their own bed.

As the newlyweds arrived home, all thoughts of Gus' absent father seemed to fade until they quickly perused the pile of presents in on the dining room table.

There, on top of the pile, was a box wrapped simply in green paper with a card pushed under fine silver ribbon.

"Is this from your father?" Hermione asked as she looked at the writing on the envelope and handed it to her husband. She wasn't sure why she thought it was from her father-in-law, but somehow the writing was familiar. It was spiky like Gus', but more practiced.

Gus nodded as he opened the envelope and removed the card, only for a smaller envelope to fall out onto the floor. He picked it up and saw that it was addressed to Mrs Hermione Rosier. As he handed it to Hermione, he chuckled knowingly, "This is for you, sweetheart."

Hermione took the envelope and carefully opened it to reveal a neatly folded piece of parchment. With some trepidation, she unfolded the letter, and was surprised by how moved she was by the words written by a man she had never met.

Dearest Hermione,

After so long it seems strange that I finally have reason to write to you.

I have followed your career with interest over the years, and although I have never been able to approach you, I just wanted to say that I have admired your progress from afar.

My son is happier than I could ever hope for him to be and I know that is entirely down to you. I have always wanted Augustus to have that which, unfortunately, slipped through my fingers so many years ago, and from the moment he told me of your relationship I urged him not to repeat my mistake. Thankfully he listened, and I am delighted that today you have become my daughter-in-law.

The time will come when we can meet, Hermione, but until that day I wish you every happiness.

Your faithful servant

Gus just laughed when Hermione showed the note to him. "Typical Father," he muttered before putting the note down on the table and scooping his new bride up into his arms. "Now Mrs Rosier, all this can wait until the morning because as lovely as your wedding dress is, it has an appointment with our bedroom floor. And then we have an appointment with every stable surface in this house."

That was four months ago, and from that moment, Hermione and Gus had been blissfully happy. They had redecorated the whole house and even discussed which room would become a nursery. They'd spent their evenings with the Potters or the Scamanders, or languishing naked and gasping for breath somewhere in the house.

Their honeymoon had been incredible, and as she sat at her desk reminiscing, life was perfect as far as Hermione Rosier was concerned. Finally she picked up a memo from the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts office. As she read through it she began scribbling notes when there was a sharp rap on the door. The door opened almost instantaneously, but she didn't bother looking up because only two people ever knocked like that and just entered her office.

She knew it was either Harry or Gus. Usually they just sat down and waited for her to finish what she was doing. Today though they stood stock still in front of her desk silently compelling Hermione to look up. When she did she saw her husband's eyes, but they were no longer dark blue. They were black and brimming with tears.

Author's Note 2: Does that count as a cliffie?