The sun had only risen a short time before, but Hermione Granger was already delving deep into her books and meters of parchment. She checked and re-checked facts and dates and swore under her breath when she couldn't find the exact class notes she was looking for. As the morning ticked by, she didn't notice the steady flow of Gryffindor students entering the Common Room. She had moved from her usual chair to the floor so it would be easier to spread everything out in front of her.
Other students were chatting excitedly about the first Hogsmeade trip of the year. First and Second Year students gazed up at the schedule on the bulletin board with envy. Third Years looked at their younger classmates with an air of smug superiority.
I don't what they're so excited about, Hermione thought, it's not for two more weeks and I'm trying to study!
As she shifted books around her hair insisted on falling in her face. Exasperated, she threw it up into a toussled pile on top of her head and secured it with a hair band. Her eyes burned from the blur of words she had read. Suddenly there was a cup of steaming tea in front of her and she stared at it, wondering how long it had been there.
"Hermione?" Ginny had been standing over her.
"Oh! Ginny! Good Morning!" she said pleasantly, but went right back into her notes.
"I thought you could use some tea - have you been up all night?" Ginny asked.
"Oh, the tea! I'm sorry, Gin. Just really distracted." Hermione said, finally putting her parchment down and looking up at Ginny. She took a long sip and felt it seep in, warming her all over.
Ginny crouched down next to Hermione and surveyed the daunting pile of work in front of her. She knew Hermione would never admit it, but Ginny felt she had bitten off far more than she could chew.
"Oh, that is just lovely, Ginny. I feel better now." Hermione placed the half-empty cup back in the saucer.
"So, what are you going to wear today? You might want to start getting ready, we're leaving in an hour..." Ginny said.
Hermione tilted her head, What are you talking about? Ginny returned Hermione's quizzical look - was it possible she had forgotten? They awkwardly stared at each other until a wash of realization came over Hermione -
"Merlin's pants! It's not today is it?!" Ginny nodded and Hermione scrambled to throw all of her notes and books together in a stack neat enough to carry, knocking her pot of ink over in the process.
"Oh fucking fuck!" Hermione shouted, causing several younger Gryffindors nearby to jump. Ginny waved her wand and set the pot of ink right and helped Hermione clean up the mess.
"My brother's dirty mouth is rubbing off on you, Hermione." Ginny teased. It was true, she had certainly started swearing more. Her parents would be really upset to hear the way expletives had started rolling off of Hermione's tongue but they were still in Australia. They still didn't remember they had a daughter at all.
It wasn't an easy decision to come to. Hermione missed them desperately but she decided not to restore their memories until after she had finished her Seventh Year. The Second War had only been over since May; there was madness and chaos in the Wizarding World. Families were still in mourning, wounds were still healing. She knew as soon as she restored her parents' memories she would have to recount everything that had happened and she was truly in no rush to do that. She also didn't want to be so far away from Ron. They'd had a bittersweet parting at King's Cross, both shedding tears. The Christmas holidays never felt further away as the Hogwarts Express left the station. With Hermione returning to school and Ron heading off with Harry to begin training to be an Auror it would be the longest stretch of time they had ever been apart. Her heart ached further at the thought of leaving him behind when she left for Australia.
"I'll write all the time." Ron said as he brushed her hair out of her tear-stained eyes. "If I can get in a visit, I will." True to his word, Ron had written but the letters were a poor substitute for his lips, his arms. She knew Ginny felt the same about Harry. He had been writing regularly but Ginny always looked sadder right after reading one of Harry's letters.
"Come on, let's go get ready. It'll be good to get outside, away from all this rubbish." Ginny declared, pulling Hermione to her feet. Together they carried all of Hermione's things back up their dormitory and Hermione opened her trunk. The scent of Ron's aftershave wafted up from within it. She had taken one of his old jumpers with her to school. It was also a poor substitute for the real thing, but she found a lot of comfort in laying in her bed with the jumper, smelling him as she drifted off to sleep.
Many nights she'd dream of him. They were on a beautiful white sand beach. He chased her into the water and held her around the waist as they kissed, tasting the salt water on each others' lips. In one version of this dream, he'd taken her swimsuit top and run off with it; leaving her clutching one hand around herself to cover up and the other hand scrambling for her wand while yelling at him. She woke up and smiled - even in her dreams Ronald Weasley was a pain her arse. But he was hers.
Ginny pulled a pair of jeans and a pale blue cable-knit jumper from Hermione's trunk. "Here, put these on." she said. She went over to her own trunk and pulled out a pair of knee-high brown leather boots. "And these, here. That'll look really nice." Ginny dressed in a casual knee length grey skirt and long-sleeved cotton shirt in dark purple. Hermione pulled her clothes on and ran a brush through her hair. Ginny separated Hermione's hair into three sections and wove a long plait down her back. Hermione looked at herself in the mirror. The soft jumper stopped just above the waistline of her jeans. If she lifted her arms above her head her midriff would peak out revealing a small beauty spot below her navel. Her mind swiftly found its way back to Ron softly tracing his finger around the spot as they lay in bed. He'd kissed it and tickled it with his tongue.
"Hermione! Come on!" Ginny called to her at the door. The girls grabbed their Gryffindor scarves from the hooks near the door and raced down to the Great Hall where Professor Sprout was getting ready to escort the large group of students into Hogsmeade. It was a perfect autumn day. The October air was crisp and fresh, but not yet too cold to be outdoors without a coat. With the relief of an entire afternoon away from the pressure of school, Hermione linked her arm with Ginny's and they happily chatted all the way into town.
A number of new shops had opened in Hogsmeade. Many of them were selling Muggle curiousities like ballpoint pens and automatic coffee pots. Ginny had heard a rumor about a particular shop that she was excited to visit and she pulled Hermione along the street past the Three Broomsticks.
And there it was. In all it's glory (much to the shock and dismay of the more traditional witches and wizards in town), a bright pink storefront bearing the sign "Naughty Knickers". Ginny and Hermione stood agog at the front window displaying barely-there under things.
"Naughty Knickers?! " Hermione laughed. "Even in the Muggle world, that would cause quite a stir!"
Unable to resist, the girls pushed into the store and it was truly a feast for the eyes. Some of the skimpiest things Hermione had ever seen were displayed on stone-faced mannequins. The mannequins moved awkwardly, shifting their weight from one hip to the other. They had clearly been designed in an attempt to mimic Muggle fashion models but the jerky motions in conjunction with the dead-looking eyes gave off a highly unnatural and disquieting effect.
Ginny shuffled through a rack of red and black bras while Hermione looked at the mesh and lace thongs laid out on a table. As she wandered around the shop, running her fingers along the different textures on the racks, Hermione got the eerie feeling of eyes on her. She looked around but didn't see anyone in particular looking her way. Ginny was across the room now looking at lingerie in the colors of each of the Houses of Hogwarts: red and gold, yellow and black, blue and bronze and green and silver.
Hermione picked up a pair of pink lace bikinis and held them out in front of her. All of a sudden, a scent filled her nostrils and she inhaled it down into her toes. The voice came as a whisper but it made her stomach flip over:
"When can I take those off of you?" She knew that voice anywhere. Ron!
She spun on her heel and there he was, a devilish grin stretched across his face. Hermione tossed the knickers over her shoulder embarassed but wrapped her arms around Ron's neck, holding back excited tears.
"Surprise!" He said returning the hug, lifting her up off the floor a little. They crushed their lips together and he held her in place with his hands on her hips.
"But, I didn't think you would be able to get away until Christmas! What a brilliant surprise!" Hermione finally said. She held him at arms length and looked at him like she hadn't seen him in years. When he hugged her she felt strong muscles against her body. Auror training was carving Ron's long and lean physique out of stone.
"Well, we don't have long, but we managed a weekend pass. It's one of the advantages of being in with Shacklebolt." Ron said. The Minister of Magic accepted Harry and Ron's Auror applications without a second thought. They clearly possessed the necessary skills to catch dark wizards.
"Ron!" Ginny bounded towards him and gave him a big hug. "Is Harry...are you alone?" She said looking wildly around the shop. She stopped to survey Ron's face and he gave her a smirk and nodded towards the front door of the store. A wide smile spreading across her face, Ginny crossed to the door and swung it wide open with anticipation. The squeal of delight she exclaimed told them both that she was in Harry's arms almost immediately.
The rest of the afternoon was a blur. The four of them wandered aimlessly around Hogsmeade laughing without a care or worry in the world. They ate and drank, window shopped and ended up on the grass in the shade of a patch of trees. Harry and Ron told the girls all about Auror training and the girls told them about life at Hogwarts. The ancient castle had been badly damaged in the battle with Voldemort and his Death Eaters, but the restoration was remarkable. It almost looked the same as before. Hermione told them about the new potraits of Professor Dumbledore and Professor Snape and a bronze plaque engraved with the names of those who died in the castle during the battle which were displayed prominently on a wall in the Great Hall. Ron's glorious blue eyes came over cloudy. He knew Fred's name must be on the plaque. He looked at Ginny and she nodded her head and gave a pained smile.
"It's a beautiful dedication, Ron. There's talk of a candlelight vigil for the one-year anniversary. Mum and Dad and George said they'd come. Maybe you'll be able to get away again." Ginny offered. Ron chewed on the inside of his cheek.
Ron shook his head in a non-committed fashion that Hermione knew meant "maybe".
Hermione looked at her watch and sadly said, "I can't believe we have to get back to the castle already." Ron and Harry exchanged conspiratorial looks.
"No you don't." Harry said mysteriously, surpressing a smile.
"Yes we do, Professor Sprout said..." Ginny started.
"Well, Professor McGonagall said, " Harry interrupted, "that she could hardly refuse our request to chaperone you ladies for the night."
"McGonagall said what?!" Hermione squealed looking at Ron.
"We've rented rooms at the Three Broomsticks." He said.
This morning all she could think about were her classes but now it was like a dream - a night in Ron's arms. Hermione felt like her heart was about to pop right out of her chest. Ron interlaced his fingers with hers and got lost in the caramel pools of her eyes. There were a thousand things he wanted to tell her, he couldn't decide where to begin. They spoke quietly amongst themselves for a while as if speaking too loudly would undo their plans for the night.
Harry and Ginny had grown quiet. It had been a long separation for them, too. They sat very close together on the grass. As they watched the sun set and cold air gave Ginny a shiver down her spine, Harry wrapped her in his arms.
"Let's leave them." Ron quietly said to Hermione, sensing the snogging was about to commence and he certainly didn't want to witness his best mate sucking his little sister's face off. "Erm, Harry, we'll see you for dinner, yeah?" But Harry didn't reply. Without breaking eye contact with Harry, Ginny motioned with her hand to Ron: Go away!
the second Ron slammed the door shut behind them. She yanked his lightweight jacket off his back as he pushed his tongue in her mouth. He picked her up off the floor and she wrapped her legs around his waist. Her back was against a wall and Ron's mouth was exploring her neck. She ran her fingers through his hair, the scent of his body thrilled her to the core. She released her legs from his waist and stood on her own power. Her hands went for the buttons on his shirt and she quickly had them undone. He pulled her jumper up over her head and dropped to his knees. She leaned her back against the wall as he kissed her stomach, his hands running up the back of her legs to her bottom.
She closed her eyes and relished every brush of his tongue on her bare skin. Ron moved his mouth up her torso, finally landing at her collarbone and he reached a hand around to unhook her bra. The garment fell to the floor but Hermione covered herself and pushed him away. Confused, he stared wide-eyed at her while she walked around him towards the bed. She sat on the bed and leaned back on her arms. Ron eyed her like a ravenous lion. His eyes flashed hot blue flames of lust. He bit his lip as he removed his open button-down shirt and the t-shirt underneath it. Hermione's eyes opened wide.
Ron's chest and abdomen were much more defined than they had been the last time she'd seen him. The muscles in his biceps begged for her mouth. She saw hundreds of cinnamon-colored speckles all over his shoulders. She resolved to draw lines from each one to the next with her tongue. He took his belt off and let it fall to the floor and he approached her. Only a few steps away from her he pulled his wand out of his pocket and cast locking and silencing charms on the door.
He knelt in front of her again and pulled the long zipper down the back of each of her boots. He discarded them and playfully pulled her socks off. She had painted her toenails a bubblegum pink and he placed chaste kisses on each toe before putting her feet back down on the floor.
The next thing she knew, he was on top of her. He supported his weight on a knee placed in between her legs. He kissed and licked her breasts and she dug her nails into his bare back. She pulled his mouth to hers, "I missed you so much."
She felt him unbutton her jeans and dip his fingers just below the waistband of her knickers. A hot lustful gush surged through her veins to feel him so close. He pushed his hand down into her jeans and teased her through the thin cotton. They were both moaning and breathing heavily. He pulled his hand out and used it instead to mold her breast. She reached down and stroked him over his trousers, sending shivers shooting out all over his body.
In a flash she had his trousers undone and he pulled them and his boxers off in one quick movement. He stood up and pulled her jeans down, marvelling at her nearly-nude body. Hermione licked her lips and sat up. A moment later, she slid out of her last remaining article of clothing. Ron crawled up on the bed next to her and pulled her on top of him. She straddled him and gyrated her hips in a circle. Taking hold of her with a growl, Ron flipped over and spread her legs. She gasped and moaned when he pushed himself into her. She felt every inch of him slide in and out and she lifted her hips off the bed to meet his every thrust.
They were in a steady rhythm. Ron loved to watch the expressions on Hermione's face when he surprised her with a more forceful thrust. She arched her back and grasped the headboard. The memory of the sounds of pleasure he got her to make were enough to give him a rock-hard erection when he was alone. He knew the sound he wanted to hear, he needed it right now. He pushed himself up off the bed, knelt at its edge and pulled her pelvis towards his face. He locked a grip on her legs and buried his face in her. She squealed and bucked wildly as he licked and sucked on her. Her sweet aroma enveloped him and she moaned, "oh please...please...Ron...please".
Releasing one hand from her, he pushed two fingers inside her while he massaged her clit with his tongue, that's what she was asking for and he knew it. As she came she moaned his name and tightened her thighs around his head.
Without giving her a chance to catch her breath, he was back inside her. Her fingernails raked down his back and he came with a loud "wannafuckyouallnightfuckfuckfuck."
Completely spent and satisfied, they laid side by side, facing each other.
He wiped the sweat from his forehead back into his hair. "I love you, you know." He said.
"I know you do. I love you more." She replied.
"I'm coming with you when you go to Australia." He said matter-of-a-factly. The lights in her eyes flashed.
"Really?" She had never even thought to ask him to go with her.
"Of course I am. Like I'm going to let you go all the way to the other side of the world where some damn Aussie Muggle prat could steal you away from me." He rolled onto his back and supported his head with his hand. Hermione moved towards him and laid on her stomach resting her head on his bicep.
"That wouldn't happen, Ron." She kissed his chest. "Not ever."
He smiled to himself. He knew that. But he was still going to Australia. He had a very important matter to discuss with her dad. It might take a while before he considered himself worthy of her, but it would be the first step.