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Harry Potter and the Final Riddle by Timechild
Chapter 18 : Hermione's Confession
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 11


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Eloise’ Granger stared into the eyes of her only child in total disbelief. She could not believe what she had just heard her say one minute ago.

“When?” She asked Hermione.

“It was just after Spring Term had started in the third grade.” Hermione responded.

“We never knew…” Philip Granger spoke.

“He kept his word…why should I be surprised, he always does.” Hermione looked at her parents with a face of embarrassment and a bit of shame. “I meant what I said, I deserved it all. I pushed him farther than I should ever have pushed him. He gave me every chance to calm down and set things right, and warned me as he did Pansy just now, and I didn’t heed it either.”

“I can’t conceive of what you could have done…” Mother Granger said.

“You know that scar behind his left ear…I gave it to him.” Hermione said softly. Her parents gasped.

“But how? Why? You were never violent…” Philip said.

“By third grade, I was getting angrier and angrier. All the older kids were teasing me because I was considered a bookworm. The larger kids were relentless, and I felt powerless. It finally got to be too much, and I took it out on Jayson when I shouldn’t have. He got that scar, and I got a lesson in what can happen when you lose control.”

Ron came over to Hermione and kissed her cheek. “Hey, if you only got “it” once ever, you got me beat by boatloads. My parents were firm…though fair.” He hugged her tightly. “Parkinson is getting what she deserves, and off lightly if you ask me for trying to kill everyone.”

“No, my love, she isn’t. If anything, she probably wishes she had been cursed.” Hermione said. Ron raised his eyebrows.

“Well, I have got to go in there and stop this!” Fudge exclaimed. Hermione shook her head.

“Don’t bother headmaster, you can’t stop him, not now.”

“Hermione, I know this may be hard, but could you…maybe…” McGonagall asked.

“Tell you the whole story? Why not, maybe it is time I confessed this sin. Better yet, let you see it, if you would bring a Pensieve please.”

She pulled a silver thread from her forehead, placed it in the Pensieve, and began to stir. Everyone looked around at the silver bowl as it began to take form. They saw a very small Hermione with her face twisted in anger, pounding her fists on the floor.

“I hate them, I hate them all! I am not only good for homework and being teacher’s pet. I hate them…”

“Wow! Is that really her at eight?” Ginny asked.

“That’s her, but I have never seen this side of her.” Her mother looked shocked.

“We all have a darker side, Eloise’. It is part of being human.” Molly Weasley said. “My word, you really were upset, weren’t you?” Hermione nodded. “Ginny has had that look before, and quite recently too, due to my silliness.”

The picture shifts up to add a thinner, younger Jayson walking up to her with two cups of hot chocolate. Her back is to him, so he cannot see her face. His fourteen-year-old face easily shows his love for her.

“I never realized what that look meant…” Hermione said on the side.

In the memory, Jayson has just put down the cups and started to talk to Hermione.

“Mi-Mi, brought you hot chocolate, your favorite flavor added too.”

“Leave me alone! I don’t want anything, just left alone!” The younger Hermione screamed aloud. Her face was blazing with rage.

Jayson stepped back in surprise; it was obvious that he did not see this side of her very often. In fact, he does not remember seeing this side ever – until just now. “Mi-Mi? What’s wrong, sweetheart?” He reaches out to touch her shoulder. “I have never seen you so angry…it wasn’t because of me, was it? I hope I haven’t goofed somewhere.”

“Leave me alone!!!” Hermione shouted louder. All she was feeling was the anger, the resentment, and she could not see the concern and shock in the eyes of her friend. In all their years together, there had never been so much as a single heated word, nor a raised voice. This was worrying Jayson as he had no clue what caused it.

“Hermione, what’s wrong? You can tell me…maybe I can help?” He pleaded with her to let him in on the problem. She had no way of letting him in, as she had gone past the point of no return.

“There was no way he could have known. None of us would have ever expected this from Hermione. Maybe that was the problem.” Mrs. Granger said softly as she rested her arm on her daughter’s shoulder. “I never realized how much responsibility I put on you, dear. I just stopped thinking that you were a child. That’s was where I went wrong.”

“I enjoyed being thought of as better by all the adults. Some of the older kids made me pay for it though.” Hermione replied.

The scene in the pensive shifted very rapidly at that point. All of a sudden, the eight-year-old Hermione had finally exploded. She was throwing things, hitting, kicking, screaming at the top of her lungs. Jayson’s shock quickly turned to disappointment, and then to anger of his own.

“I never thought I would ever say this to you, Hermione, but that is strike one.” He looked at her with grim determination. “What is the matter with you?”

Strikes two and three came shortly after. Strike three caused the Hermione of today to start crying again because, in her explosion, she had connected with her fingernails on the side of Jayson’s face just under his left ear. His eyes flashed as he reached up and felt the blood trickling from under his ear. He then exploded into action himself; grabbing both Hermione and a paddle that was close by in one fluid motion. He was experienced at this movement to be sure, but the look in his eyes was both anger and disbelief; he probably never thought that this would happen with her. The scenes shift very rapidly now until they see the younger Hermione crying and jumping in the corner of her bedroom, still angry and almost cursing for what had just happened. Her thoughts turning to say one more time she was helpless. In fact she wasn’t, for she had put up an incredible fight; something that had surprised Jayson even more.

“You will stay in that corner until you tell me why you did that when I have done nothing to you to cause this…” His voice was angry, but his face was almost in tears himself. It was obvious to everyone that he was almost broken-hearted at having to do what he had to do to stop her.

They all could hear the child’s thoughts as she went through her mind. ‘How dare he ask me that? He knows what he did, just like everyone else did, pick on me because I am small!’ This went on for several minutes until the thought occurred to her that he hadn’t attacked her at all. In fact, he had tried to comfort her and get to the root of the problem. She was the one at fault. The other kids had hurt her, not Jayson. He had never hurt her. She then realized that, in her misplaced anger, she had lashed out and attacked her only friend.

“OH MY GOD! WHAT HAVE I DONE?” She screamed, followed by a sound so guttural that it could have been confused to an animal that had been gravely wounded. She was crying hysterically now in that same sound until Jayson came running into the room; half-expecting to see that she had hurt herself.

“What the bloody hell is going on???” He got out when Hermione literally leaped into his arms and grabbed him around the neck still hysterical.

“Please don’t hate me, please don’t hate me!!! I’m so sorry! It wasn’t you, I swear, I feel so helpless! I didn’t mean it! Please don’t hate me!!! Please!!! Please!!!” She was repeating over and over to him.

Jayson pulled her back and looked in her eyes. He was still angry and, to her horror, still bleeding. “Do you realize what you did today?”

“I attacked and hurt the only friend I have in the world, and he didn’t deserve it…though I deserved the punishment totally for being so cruel to you.” She stared at him with tear-stained eyes. “Oh, Jayson, I don’t know what to do, I am so fu@#-ed up and I can’t handle this. I am supposed to and I can’t.”

“You must be really fu@#-ed up as you said the word to my face.” He replied with a small smirk. Hermione gasped and put her hand over her mouth. She had never used such language; before or since. Everyone watching were equally shocked.

Didn’t know you had it in you, my love…” Ron said quietly, and then kissed her. When she turned to him, he said further, “I’ve done worse, believe me.”

“Believe him.” Mrs. Weasley said nodding.

The scene from there took a strange turn. Jayson picked up Hermione and went to the bathtub, where he filled it with cold water. He deposited her in it, butt first. She yelped when the cold water hit her hot rear end.

“Until the proper moment, stay there.” Was all he said, and then he walked out of the bathroom.

She stayed there for almost half an hour. When Jayson came back in, he saw her shivering and beginning to turn blue from the cold.

“You’re still in there?” He asked shocked.

“I’m not letting you down again…,” she said thru chattering teeth.

“I put you in there to take away the sting…oh, Shards!” He ran in and began to turn on the hot water to warm her. He noticed that the cold water had become very dirty, so he touched her hair. He was aghast to find that dirt fell out. “Sheesh, Mi-Mi, you practically have half the playground in your hair!”

“You’ve forgiven me!” She squealed at hearing him again say her nickname.

“I will…if you tell me what all this is about?” He looked at her scared face and a thought registered. “Who did this to you? Who has you so scared that you won’t tell me?”

Hermione shook with fear, because she remembered the boys, not one but three, who had been tormenting her. Jayson’s gentle prodding, however, finally got her to mention a name. “Simmons…”

“Roger Simmons, the gorilla armed freak and his two fat friends?” He asked. She nodded. “For crying out loud, they go to my school! What gave you the notion you could handle them???”

“I’m supposed to rise above this type…” she said, but he put fingers to her lips and stopped her.

“I think I need to talk to Mom and Dad. Mi-Mi, for all that you have accomplished, you need to remember the truth. That truth is that you are eight-years-old…and a small eight at that. You are a child. You cannot stand up to those three…no one your age could. No wonder they have seemed so happy lately. How long has this been going on? All week?”

Hermione went meek and shook her head.

“All month?” Jayson was looking concerned.

She shook her head again, knowing the next question was the right one.

“ALL YEAR?!?!?!?” When she nodded, he fell backwards to the wall and shook his head. “Good Grief! Why didn’t you tell me? You went through all that??”

“They said if I told they would hurt whomever I told it to…”

“Oh did they now? Well, they have a surprise coming. It ends tomorrow, my promise to you and the Holy Father.” He smiled at her. Despite her fear, she began to believe him. “Now, we get you clean, as you are already in the tub.” He went and got a leaning chair and put it in the tub and had Hermione turn around and lean in it so that she was facing away from the faucet. He reached for the shower handle. “Hair first, no more scratching for you…”

It took four washings of her hair and two of the rest of her for Hermione to finally get clean enough for him. She was feeling much better, but still upset at what she had done. He saw her face.

“Tell me, Mi-Mi, have you learned anything from this night?” He asked.

“Yes, I have.” She said, rubbing her rear end to emphasize that she knew exactly what he meant. He laughed.

“Then we shall never speak of it again, and you are forgiven. I also need to shoulder some of the blame.”

“You? Why?” She looked confused.

“For forgetting you are eight. You act so much like my age that I never stopped to consider that you’re not. Like I said, no more of Simmons and his little gang after tomorrow. I have some surprises just for that gorilla head. Now, you are all clean, and covered in a clean set of clothes…even if it is my shirt. To bed with you, for I need to formulate how to talk to the parental units.

She went without a peep, just the kiss she always did when they parted. “I am so sorry, Jayson. I know better.”

“Now you do, true. As long as what you know is to talk about it, not bottle it in, understood?”

“Yes…” She put her head into his shoulder and snuggled a little. He gulped a little at this, then slowly carried her into the bedroom and tucked her in just as he had done three days ago – complete with the same song. She barely hears Jayson talking to her Parents when they want to know why she was bathed.

“Because she had dirt caked into her hair, and it took four washings before the rinse water wasn’t black, that’s why? There is something else we need to discuss…” The scene goes black.

“I don’t know what was said, I fell asleep.” Hermione added here.

“Jayson told us about the bullies, and that HE would take care of it so that she never has to deal with them again. I never knew what he meant.” Philip Granger stated.

“That’s next.” Hermione replied and stirred the pensive again. The scene shift to Hermione, dressed impeccably in a sundress with her hair combed, singing while walking home. Then the three bullies accosted her, laughing on how they were going to enjoy dirtying her hair again and messing up her clothes. The biggest one reached for Hermione, but had his arm grabbed in mid air.

“Guess again, Simmons!” Jayson announced and walked in between Hermione and the trio of ruffians.

“Out of the way, Livermore, she’s ours!” Simmons grabs Jayson to move him and he moves, but not how the thug meant. Hermione gasps as she sees Jayson swinging at a speed she can barely follow. Thirty seconds later, the three bullies are on the ground and Jayson has his knee in Simmons’s throat.

“If you ever so much as look at her cross-eyed again, Simmons, they will have to suck up your remains off the ground with a wet vacuum!”

“That will not be necessary, Mr. Livermore, for I think these three are going far away for quite a while…” said a voice from behind. Jayson and Hermione turned to see the truant constable standing there, with his familiar pad out scribbling. “For once, Jayson, it isn’t about you. I will need statements though.”

“Hello Smitty! Tell you what…” Jayson walked over and scribbled something on the officer’s pad. “Go to that address and we will both give statements. Right now, I leave you them to haul away…sorry about the trash detail (Smitty chuckles)…I am taking her there, which is her home. See you in about half an hour?”

“Done! See you then.” The constable replied.

Jayson then looks at Hermione and says, “Up you go!” Hermione squeals as Jayson picks her up and shifts her into piggyback position.

“Jayson, I don’t do this, it’s undignified, it’s embarrassing, it’s…”

“Play…and you have done too little of it. Today we play.” He replied as he starts the piggyback ride. Hermione protests for about a minute until the twists and turns that Jayson adds has her squealing and giggling all the way home. They continue to talk as he is carrying her.

“As long as I am here, you are safe…if you tell me.” Jayson said. He ruffles her hair as he swings her around. She laughs aloud for a while, and then looks him in the eye seriously.

“Can you ever forgive me for what I did last night?” She asked solemnly.

“I already have, why do you keep asking?” She reaches up and shows him the blood on his neck.

“You will not always be here, Jayson. You leave for college soon. Those bullies will still be here.” Her look was one of concern.

When they arrive at the door, Mrs. Granger is waiting at the front.

“And what are you doing out of school, young man? It is way too early for you to be out.” She looks at Jayson with eyes of reproach.

“Necessary, Mother Granger, and we need to talk inside before the Constable arrives to take our statements.” Jayson replies quickly.

“Constable? Jayson, what is going on?” Jayson steers both women in and explains quickly the details.

“Oh my word! Jayson!!! How did this happen? Is she okay?? My baby!!!”

“Everything is alright…Smitty is coming to take statements, that’s all. The culprits are being taken into custody.”

“Smitty? He is the truant officer! Jayson…”

“All is fine mother, he followed and saw what was going on and realized the scene...now, on to future problems.”

“What do you mean?” Mrs. Granger asked, her eyebrows rising.

“As Hermione so aptly put it, I am not much longer for this neighborhood, but the bullies are. I would like your permission to teach her judo. That way she at least has a chance of defending herself after I have left for University or wherever…”

Mrs. Granger thought about that for a moment, and then finally said. “I guess that would be wise.”

“I tend to agree, as I can’t keep letting him slip out of school, even to save her.” Smitty said. Everyone turned around. Jayson and Hermione laughed while Mrs. Granger offered tea to the officer. The mists of the pensive became cloudy after that.

Hermione sighed and there were still tears down her cheek. Ron hugged her again. “Why? He forgave you. And we all have screwed-up Hermione.”

“Has he? Ron, haven’t you seen his face. That scar that is under his ear even now is because of me!”

“Yes, I have! Let it go Mi-Mi!” They both heard in their heads. Ron and Hermione jumped as the voice rang out. Suddenly they heard a crash at the door and everyone sees Pansy Parkinson running out with tears streaming down her face. She ran headlong into a group of Slytherins, headed by McLaggen.

“Got your arse smacked good, eh slut?” He shouted at her with a very venomous tone. The other boys started laughing and calling her equally disgusting terms. Jayson came out the door still mad and was about to grab Parkinson to haul her back in when he saw and heard the boys taunts. His face grew even redder than it had been previously. Parkinson looked at Jayson, then back at the laughing boys, and finally ran towards the dorms crying hysterically.

“That’s not going to save you, slut!” One of the other boys called out.

Hermione walked quietly over to Jayson and whispered…“Bullies at twelve o’clock. You get them; I am going to talk to Pansy.”

“What the bloody hell for?” He thought to her.

“I get to do something I never have before…try to make peace with a Slytherin. Can you take care of those punks?” She asked.

Jayson pulled out his sword. “Consider them taken care of – Ka-Chaken!!!” Lightning came out of the sky and hit his sword, which he promptly pointed at the hill the Slytherin boys were suddenly hiding behind. The whole hill exploded. When the smoke cleared, there was no hill and several dazed boys. “Just stunned, Mi-Mi.”

“Showoff…” She said as she made her way to the Dorms.

***

Professor Slughorn escorted her to the Ladies Dorms of the Slytherin house despite protestations from all the boys. She was carrying a small box with her. The protestations suddenly ceased when Jayson, Harry, Ron & Ginny entered the room followed by McGonagall close behind. Slughorn pointed to the Dorm room. The others sat down, but Jayson leaned in and listened carefully; hoping for something that would tell him what Hermione was planning.

It took Hermione several tries to find the room where Pansy was. When she looked in, she was amazed at what she found. Most of the dorms in Slytherin were opulent and luxurious. She found Pansy’s to be quite simple. Pansy was face down on her bed, still sobbing hysterically. Hermione sat at the edge of the bed and opened the box. Inside was a yellowish gel. She lifted Pansy’s dress just a little and almost gasped. Her backside was very red – to the point of purple. She will have to talk to Jayson about going overboard.

“Please…no more! I give up, you win! I am just some worthless slut! Just no more pain…” Parkinson cried.

“Actually Pansy, I intend just the opposite. This is extract from Murtlap Tentacles. Hold still please…” She began to dab a bit of the ointment onto Pansy with a clean cloth. The effect was nearly instantaneous. Pansy’s eyes bugged out with the relief, and then sighed as the cooling effect spread all over the affected area. As Hermione finished, Pansy turned to say thank you and almost jumped out of her skin when she saw whom it was.

“What??? Why are you helping me? I tried to kill you. And he…the one with the sword…” She stuttered out, her face still in complete shock.

“Yes, I know…and I know exactly what Jayson did. You see, we have something in common, you and I.” Hermione said with a smirk.

“What?” Pansy asked puzzled.

“We have both been on the receiving end of Jayson’s…ah…wrath.”

“YOU??? Little Miss Perfect??? You got….he actually….when?”

“Nine years ago. Needless to say, he a made a serious impression on me as well. Only with me he used a paddle.”

“Why are you telling me this?” Pansy was still confused.

“Because you look like you could use a friend. We don’t have to be enemies, you know? Just because we are of different Houses, doesn’t mean we have to hate each other…”

“But that’s all I know!” She was still crying. “You don’t understand, do you? Everything I have ever said to you…is all I have ever been taught. My father preached it, my mother preached it, Draco and his father preached it to me. I have done everything to please them, especially Draco. I gave him everything…” She points to the simple surroundings. “Including me.”

“I take that to mean that you and Draco Malfoy were intimate.”

“No, it means I slept with him. I know now there was no intimacy to it. That’s what all those boys meant out there. I have lost everything. I gave it to Draco thinking he loved me, and here I am alone and empty. Your balm cannot cool that hurt Mud… Gran… Hermione.”

“I was not aware that your…attitudes…were taught at birth.” Hermione said stoically. “I can see that it was really hard for you to use my first name.”

“If my father saw you here, I would be dead. I might as well be, when he finds out what I did with Draco without a ring on my finger, I am finished anyways. My parents are as big into ‘pure blood’ as the Malfoy’s. Now that I am not with Draco, I am worthless to anyone.”

“One measures one’s worth by what they do when things are hard, not when they are easy.” Hermione said back. “Perhaps this is where your real value begins? You are not relying on anyone else now. You are a talented witch, no one has ever denied that. You have just been led astray by those who were supposed to love you.”

“I can understand that really well.” Came a voice from the doorway. The girls looked up to see Jayson standing there. Pansy curled back in fear, but Hermione caught her.

“Jayson, no more…she has been through enough. You made your point.” She said to him.

“I see that and, as you can see, I do not have anything in my hands. I have even the sword sheathed.” He showed his empty hands. “I seem to be suffering from de ja vu’ here. I distinctly remember going through this same sequence of events before…” His smirk said that, although he was being quite serious, his levity and sense of humor had returned.

“You did, brother dear, and you made just as good an impression on Pansy today as you did on me when I was eight. Now can you give her a chance to redeem herself as well?” She asked with a finger on his ear, lightly touching the scar.

“When do you redeem yourself, Mi-Mi? I let that go a long time ago. You were eight years old. This is a reminder that I should have taken that into account back then a whole lot sooner than I did.” He looked at her with loving eyes and took her hand. “The debt was settled then. I never would have mentioned it to anyone.”

“Yes, that’s why I did. It is now finally over for me. I held it in too long. I should have told…Mom and Dad…a long time ago. Guilt is a hard thing to hold in.”

Jayson turned to Pansy and looked sternly. “Well now, young lady, have you learned your lesson?”

“Yes sir, I have; more than you know. I am left with nothing, not even my self-respect. Draco took that when he abandoned me to fend with you alone. I…He had promised to come for me. It is obvious now that he never intended to keep that promise.”

“So I hear. You and I are going to talk…seriously…in a moment.” Pansy cowered at this. “I mean talk, as in words…but first I have something I need to do with Hermione.”

“What?” Hermione asked. Jayson took out his sword and then laid her hand on the hilt.

“This…I desire that the curse I see on this lady be nullified…”

The effect here was also instant. Hermione let out an “Oh” as she suddenly looked as if a major pain had just subsided. She then asked Jayson what he had just done.

“I nullified…your Vow…it had twisted into a curse. You are now free of the curse, as is Mr. Weasley; although it took several attempts to get it right with him. I wish this thing came with an owner’s manual.”

Hermione chuckled at that one.

“As for your commitment, that is up to the two of you. However, I believe there is a Red-Headed gentleman outside who wants to plant a very large kiss on you.” He gestured toward the courtyard. “And you, young lady, are with me until I say otherwise...” He gestured for Pansy to rise, and she obeyed immediately.

“Yes sir.” She said meekly.

“I have a lot of work to do with this one, I see.” He thought aloud. He then raised an eyebrow in Hermione’s direction. “Any hints?”

“Well…here is what she said to me…if this helps.” Hermione replayed the conversation in its entirety as they made their way to the courtyard. As they passed the Slytherin Common Room, some of the students started to snicker, then immediately ceased when Jayson rested his hand on his sword.

***

Ron did indeed have a large kiss to plant on Hermione as soon as she emerged from the dorms, to the astonished eyes of everyone watching. Mrs. Granger turned to thank Jayson yet again, but stopped when she saw him pointing in a direction and Pansy Parkinson heading that way looking very timid.

“What is he doing with her?” Eloise’ asked her daughter.

“If I know Jayson…” She managed to get out between two of Ron’s very exuberant yet heart-felt snogs, “pretty much the same thing he did with me…except she’s almost a decade older. It is going to be interesting to see what happens.”

“Yes…it is…little sister. Now let me to it without a running commentary…” He thought at her…

She made a funny face at him…

“Phhbbt!” He raspberries back at her.

Then they both just laughed. The last of the tension between them had evaporated.

Hermione and Ron managed to find a reason to snog somewhere about two hundred times that day (two-hundred-seventy-one if you believed Ginny, who claimed to be keeping count.) By evening, they were all curled up together at the fireplace at Grimmauld Place; Ron with Hermione and Ginny with Harry. Ginny was beaming, for she was doubly happy. She no longer had to restrain herself in front of Hermione as it no longer affected her anymore and, even better, Hermione wasn’t in pain. Once, just to get a reaction from the boys, Ginny reached over and kissed Hermione on the neck.

“That was mean Ginny.” Hermione said to her as Ron made a face of complete disgust. Ginny pointed to Harry, whose face showed something completely different.

“Not to Harry it isn’t. You see, Harry is not your brother. Therefore, my doing that gave him a different reaction. My duty is to turn on my Husband…Ron is yours to do that with…Good night!” With that, she took Harry by the hand and went upstairs. That completely wicked smile completely on her face.

“Oh my God, are they…” Hermione began to ask.

“Yeah, I would reasonably wager they are…” Ron replied with a smile. Hermione saw the look in his eye, and realized that the thought had also crossed his mind. It just had not occurred to her, until that exact moment that Ron was not only in love with her, but also in complete lust. It wasn’t that she didn’t want him too, but the feelings had always been blocked by something. If it had not their perpetual jealousy at each other’s “friends”, it had been the Vow gone awry. Today was the first time that nothing stood in the way of the passion they have both been feeling. The same passion that had gotten Hermione almost to the point of death was now free to express…and she cried at the thought.

“Hermione? What’s the matter?” Ron asked as he touched her shoulder, she let out a moan unconsciously. After all they had gone through, it was final. This was her Husband, she was his Wife, and nothing would change that….and yet.

“Ron…this is so hard to say.”

“Take it slow, Hermione…” Ron started to say.

“I can’t take it slow!!! Not with those two upstairs!!!” She screamed before she planted the biggest kiss yet tonight. Ron had been hoping for this, and yet was caught completely unaware when she did it. Finally, she let go and what she had been trying to say came out. “Ron, I want you so bad at this moment, it hurts. If you try even the slightest amount at all, I will not be able to resist you and we will be lovers completely tonight…”

Ron held up two fingers and placed them on her lips. “And yet, you want me to restrain myself for a few more days until our wedding night. Yes, my love, I knew. It was just…you.”

“What do you mean ‘just me’?”

“You make commitments, you keep them. That was a commitment, and one made for a very deep reason. I knew sometime tonight that we were going to draw a line that we will not cross until that Sunday night.” He suddenly felt a wave of passion from upstairs. “However we better draw that line liberally or we are not going to survive the next few days with those two going at it.”

“How liberal?” She asked, and he had a smile almost as wicked as Ginny’s.

“Liberal enough that we can…ahem…burn off some of that energy they are going to hit us with…and maybe send some of it back to them.” He replied.

Hermione thought for about three seconds, then a wave hit her she knew had to be coming from Ginny. “We had better talk fast…” She said with a wicked grin of her own.
***


The next morning Ginny was sitting at the dining table, singing to herself and playing with a coffee cup, when Dobby appeared.

“Breakfast, Mrs. Potter?” He asked warmly. She regarded him with equal affection. Dobby was not a servant in this house; he was a trusted friend who assumed the duty of taking care of not only the house, but them as well. Ginny agreed with Hermione, House-Elves deserved better, but only disagreed that few got it. What Dobby does was from love, and it was obvious from the smile of his face.

“Thank you Dobby, maybe just a sweet roll until every one else comes down; I don’t want to completely start without them.” He said back fondly.

“No need to wait, my love, for we are coming down.” Harry announced as he hit the bottom of the stairs. Ginny stood up to kiss him sweetly, which he returned with equal affection.

“Could you two wait until after breakfast, Sheesh?” Ron said as he came down in his pajama pants and a tank-top shirt; rubbing sleep out of his eyes. “Morning, Dobby! May I have some coffee, please; some very strong coffee?”

“Of course, Mr. Weasley.” Dobby waved and the pot appeared on the table.

“Thanks, old chap. I am going to need that this morning…”

“Obviously,” Ginny chimed in with a grin, “you lost your pajama tops.” Harry and Ginny started to snicker, until they saw Hermione coming down the steps wearing Ron’s pajama top, along with a pair of pink underwear…and nothing else.

“As you can see, little sister, I know exactly where the rest of my pajamas are. I just decided they looked much better on her than me.” Ron said with a smirk of his own. Harry looked completely stunned, as if he never thought he would see the sight. Ginny got over the initial shock in about twenty seconds, and realized that she liked Hermione dressed that way. She knew this was because of the extraordinary measures she had to do to help Hermione out of the pain that she and Harry had accidentally caused. Nevertheless, she liked what she saw.

“You look completely yummy too, Mi-Mi. I can’t decide between the sweet roll and you.” Ginny thought in Hermione’s direction. Her use of the nickname that Jayson called her told Hermione that Ginny was half joking. The look on Ginny’s face told her she was half-serious. Hermione came over and kissed her soon-to-be sister in law. “Did you lose your pajamas?”

“No Ginny, they are upstairs, but it got a little to warm last night to wear them…thanks in a large part to you two.” She said aloud.

“So you two finally decided to join in, eh? Good for you!” Ginny said with a sudden sincere affection. Above all else, she wanted Ron and Hermione to be as happy as she and Harry were right now.

“Almost, we decided to take a little at a time, going a bit further each night until a certain Sunday when…” Ron said, but left it right there. Hermione stepped in front of him and put her arm behind her around his head.

“Last night we did some…exploring. However, this is what we had on the whole night. It was mainly cuddling, although some heavy cuddling given that you two had us pretty worked up. However, we managed to dispel pretty much all of it. By the times it arrives, we will definitely be ready for our Wedding night.”

Ginny smiled brightly. Leave it to Hermione and Ron to find a way to have last night special and yet still honor their commitment to their Wedding. Harry was also impressed.

“Breakfast is served!” Dobby announced. He brought everything out, and then seated himself at the side chair closest to the kitchen. As part of the bargain Harry made with Dobby, he also had to stay and eat with them at all meals…period. As they enjoyed the meal, Harry brought up the items that they had to cover in the classes today. About a half an hour into breakfast, both Mothers arrived to talk a little about the Wedding plans and stopped short when they saw Hermione. However, Hermione just shook her head. They understood completely, and Eloise’ was actually a little relieved.

“Although I would have completely understood if you had, dear; especially after all you have been through. It is alright with me, and your father I am sure will feel the same way.” She told Hermione as she sat down and accepted a sweet roll when Dobby offered.

“It would not be alright for us. All we went through would be for nothing.” Daughter said to Mother. Eloise’ nodded…she had understood…Hermione knew she would.

They all arrived at the school about eight-thirty when McGonagall approached them.

“We have a small situation. We have not been able to find either Mr. Livermore or Miss Parkinson since dinner. We do not even know where else to look. We know they are somewhere, but no one saw them leave.” She sounded exasperated.

Hermione looked shocked, but Harry just laughed. Everyone looked at him as if he was crazy.

“Jayson is in the secret guest room in the North Tower, right on the bottom floor.” Harry announced.

“And how do you know that?” Ginny asked him.

“Because I showed him both where it was located and the password to get in – He was looking for a place he wouldn’t be disturbed. If you do not use the password, he won’t even hear you. How much so you want to wager he has a good idea where Pansy is?”

They all followed Harry to the North Tower, where he gave the password. Suddenly a door appeared that had not been present previously. Hermione knocked.

“Go away! People are trying to sleep in here!” Came a groggy voice. It was Jayson. Hermione opened the door and went in.

“Wake up big brother, we need to help us find Pansy…she’s missing and…oops!”

Hermione stopped in complete surprise. Jayson was half sitting up in the rather large bed. Next to him was a good-sized lump under the covers. Jayson just shot Hermione a look of total disgust. He then reached over and lightly patted the lump.

“Jig’s up, Milady. Remind me to inquire of Mr. Potter how to activate the “Do Not Disturb” feature. You might as well come out of hiding; she has already pretty much deduced that it’s you. This is Hermione after all.”

Slowly, up from the covers, emerged the head of Pansy Parkinson. Her hair was slightly in a mess and she had a slightly embarrassed look on her face. She waved her fingers.

“Ah…hi Hermione….” She said sheepishly.

Jayson, however, was quite loud, and blunt. “Miss Parkinson will not be attending class today, as she has other lessons to learn instead.” His words were sufficiently heard by the people outside, causing some nervous coughs from some of the elders.

“You were right Harry; Jayson knew exactly where Pansy was.” Ron said with a smirk. Harry started laughing too. Ginny gave both boys a look, walked inside, and shut the door.

“Ignore them, they’re just being…boys” Ginny said to Pansy. “We’re just glad that you’re all right, that’s all.”

“She is, as you can see. Now don’t you two have classes to teach or something?” Jayson said in a tone that was really saying, “Get out”.

“Wait a minute, milord; I have something to ask her.” Pansy said as she touched his arm. She started to pull off the covers.

“Now?” Jayson asked. “Wait!” He pointed to the inside. When Pansy squeaked, he reached over and gave her a Robe to put on. She quickly robed and went over to Hermione.

“Yes, Pansy?” Hermione inquired.

“Well…um…I mean…ah…would you be too upset… um… if I… ah… um…attended your wedding with Jayson on Sunday” Parkinson had said the last part of the sentence so fast that it took Hermione a second to realize what she asked. Ginny actually gasped. “I promise that I will not be any trouble, I swear it!”

“I will also make certain of that.” Jayson said calmly.

“What brought this on?” She thought to Jayson.

“She came to the conclusion about two this morning that she has been misled on quite a many issues. Shortly after, she decided she wanted to go with me. It is your decision, Mi-Mi. She knows she is asking far more than she can expect you to give.” He replied.

“How do you feel about it?” She thought to him, and he smiled. “I see…” He shrugged. She turned to Parkinson. “We would love to have you, Pansy. I would suggest, though, you stay very close to Jayson, that way no one thinks…”

“That I am trying to kill someone again, yeah the thought came to me. Don’t worry, I don’t want to leave his side anytime soon….” She then did something totally unexpected….she hugged Hermione.

“Thank You.” She said.

“You’re Welcome!” Said a shocked Hermione; Ginny was equally floored by the gesture.

“Now that we are done with the ‘girl’ thing, something came for Harry last night. For some reason, the owl did not want to disturb you at the house…I wonder why?” He smirked, and then continued. “Anyway, they found that Fletcher person.”

“WHERE?!?!?” Harry yelled as he came bursting in.

Jayson handed the envelope to Harry. Harry opened it and read.

“Istanbul”



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