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Chapter 5 : Unexpected Company
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It wasn’t a command. It was a request. Gentle yet firm, calling her back. Hermione felt her head swimming as she slowly opened her eyes. Harry was sitting above her staring down at her, worry etched across his face. She slowly smiled up at him, realising it had all been a dream.
“Morning Harry,” she said softly. “What’s the matter?”
“You just passed out because you weren’t breathing, that’s what. And it’s not morning, it’s still the middle of the night.” He replied.
Her smile vanished in a heartbeat. She looked to the side and her window was still filled with the starry night sky. Her heart began to race again as she returned her gaze to Harry. His eyes were fixed upon her face, but his expression was unreadable. She could feel her breath catching again and she suddenly needed to look anywhere but at Harry.
Suddenly her mind shut down again as she felt a pair of lips pressed against hers. The kiss was incredibly gentle and Hermione felt all her anxiety and fear flow out of her. Her head was spinning but in a good way. Hermione felt her hands snake up Harry’s body resting around his neck as she reciprocated the kiss. It lasted for an eternity, but when Harry pulled away Hermione felt it had only been for a fleeting moment. She dared not open her eyes for fear that this was the dream.
“Hermione?” Harry whispered.
Her eyes flickered open and she saw a huge smile spread across his face. She mirrored his expression as her breathing finally began working on its own again. Her mind was slowly winding back up but only one thought managed to work its way to her still tingling lips “Wow.”
“That good, huh?” Harry teased as she tried to sit up.
“But... why?” She finally managed.
“Because I love you too, Hermione.” He stated. “I always have. I just never noticed it.”
Hermione felt herself melt as she gazed deeply into Harry’s eyes. Harry rushed forward as she collapsed back onto the bed. “You ok?” He asked.
“Good.” Harry said.
He leaned back down and their lips collided once more. This time Hermione was ready and her arms moved back around Harry’s neck, her fingers playing with his hair. His lips pressed firmly against hers fitting her perfectly. She opened her mouth slightly and pulled him closer deepening the kiss. Time seemed to freeze once more as they played over each other’s lips, tilting their heads back and forth every now and then.
Her mouth felt naked when Harry finally pulled back breathing deeply as she did the same. She wanted to say something, anything, but her entire body was numb. She couldn’t think straight as she stared up at Harry lovingly.
“You know this changes things.” She finally managed to whisper.
“Yeah.” Harry replied still smiling. “Now we can start acting normally around each other again.”
Hermione just laughed as she rolled onto her side and shuffled back across the bed, leaving Harry room to lie down beside her. He lay down and pulled her into his arms. “So what happens now?” She asked softly.
“Now you close your eyes and fall asleep in my arms.” Harry whispered.
Hermione just smiled as she realised there was nothing in this world she wanted more right now. She snuggled closer to Harry and closed her eyes letting euphoric sleep take her.
Intense light hit Hermione despite the fact her eyes were still shut tightly. She groaned at the light and shuffled to lift the doona higher over her face. A pair of arms tightened about her waist as she moved. Suddenly the night before came back to her in a rush, the awkward conversation downstairs, and the even more awkward moment later in her room. But when she rolled over in the grip, Harry was still lying there just watching her silently. Their eyes met and neither said anything to break the silence.
Hermione squealed loudly as Harry sat bolt upright in the bed, wand out. “Damnit Kreacher.” He yelled. “Don’t scare me like that.”
Kreacher looked in fear at Harry for a moment before bowing low and mumbling apologies as he backed away from the still open door, where he had apparated a moment before hand, to put some towels in the closet, which were now spread across the floor.
“Harry, you shouldn’t yell at him like that.” Hermione said sitting up with him.
“I know, he just scared me to death. I thought it was a Death Eater or something.”
Hermione gave him a you-really-are-dumb-sometimes looks. “You should know Harry no one can...”
“No one can apparate into the building, I remember. I cast the charm, but it’s early and my brain doesn’t start working properly until I have some coffee.” Harry said retrieving his glasses from the nightstand. “I’ll go apologise to him.”
Harry made to move out of the bed but a pair of arms wrapped around his waist and pulled him backwards making him fall awkwardly on the bed. “And where do you think you are going? Hmmm?” Hermione asked looking down at him.
Neither spoke again as they gazed softly into each other’s eyes. Hermione finally broke the gaze as she leant down and took Harry’s lips against hers once more, feeling her heart race as she did so. She still couldn’t believe that Harry loved her. After everything he was finally hers. She was terrified that if she broke that kiss it would all fall apart as Harry’s arms moved around her again. She squealed softly as Harry flipped her over back onto the sheets and pressed himself deeper into the kiss and all Hermione’s anxiety flowed straight out of her. She poured herself into the kiss flicking her tongue softly against Harry’s as the world stood still around them.
Her breath caught as Harry finally pulled back and she licked her lips, tasting him on herself. She tried to say something but her mouth just moved soundlessly as Harry smiled down at her. They both knew what she wanted to say.
“I love you too Hermione.” He said leaning down and giving her a fleeting peck on the lips.
Hermione just nodded, still unable to speak. “Can I go apologise to Kreacher now, or is there something else you need first?” Harry asked playfully.
Again all Hermione could do was shake her head as he gave her another peck and withdrew himself from her arms and walked out of the room. He glanced back at her over his shoulder as he reached the door and subsequently walked into the doorframe, finally eliciting a sound from Hermione as she couldn’t help but laugh at the look on his face.
“Shut up.” Harry chided as he rubbed his head and walked out finally.
Hermione finally managed to settle herself down but still couldn’t move as she was pretty certain her legs were jelly and if she tried to stand up she would suffer a worse fate than Harry had. A million things were rushing through her mind but she cared for one thing. Harry was finally hers. After several minutes of Hermione lying there trying to regain the ability to walk, Harry walked back in carrying a tray loaded with food and juice.
“Breakfast?” He asked as she shuffled into a sitting position.
“Yes please.” She said only now realising how hungry she was. “What time is it?”
“Three o’clock in the afternoon.” Harry replied as he sat next to her and began buttering some toast.
“What?” Hermione asked incredulously. “I’ve never slept in this long.”
“Well I always assumed that was because you never had any reason to stay in bed so long.” Harry replied winking mischievously.
Hermione punched him in the arm and took some toast for herself as Harry just laughed. They could hear Kreacher bounding up the stairs and watched as he slipped on the rug at the top and slid into the wall and bouncing off it. They both choked on their toast as they tried their hardest not to laugh as he brushed himself off and rushed into the room.
“Master, Mistress. Forgive me for intruding.” Kreacher panted.
“It’s alright Kreacher you aren’t really intruding. What is wrong?” Harry asked recovering first.
“There is someone coming, Master. Someone in a black cloak is coming up the pathway as we speak.” Kreacher blurted urgently, stumbling over some of the words.
Hermione grabbed the tray off Harry’s lap not a moment too soon as he leapt out of the bed and grabbed his wand again. “Kreacher, you know what to do.” He said as he raced from the room without a backwards glance this time.
Hermione quickly followed suit, only taking a moment to put the tray down instead of sending it everywhere as Harry would have and grab her own wand from her nightstand. Kreacher was already running down the hall to Harry’s room when she reached the door and heard the most peculiar sound. The doorbell. Whoever had been coming up the path had rung it. She frowned as she slipped down the stairs and took up her position behind the grandfather clock. Why would a Death Eater ring the doorbell? She thought as she saw Harry looking just as puzzled behind the kitchen counter.
The voice was muffled by a mixture of the heavy door and the spells covering the house. Though Harry had forced them to do many drills since moving here, this was actually the first time someone had come to the house. The door handle creaked slightly as the figure turned it pushing the door open. Hermione could see their silhouette but couldn’t make out anything else. But she did notice another puzzling fact; whoever it was didn’t have their wand out. Surely the Death Eaters would come in spells blazing.
“Harry? Hermione?” Came a suddenly familiar, yet shaky voice and Hermione gasped loudly.
There was another loud thump as Harry’s head connected with the edge of the counter and his bum connected with the tile floor.
“Ow!” He yelled eliciting a badly covered laugh from Hermione. “Shut up Hermione. And how the hell did you find us?” He badgered the figure walking angrily towards them.
“You guys really need to give me more credit than that. Hermione was never that good an actress. And you always walk so stiffly when you’re hiding something Harry.”
“Well it still doesn’t explain it.” Harry said though slightly softer than before.
“I’ll explain it all over a nice cup of tea.” The figure said, walking past Harry and into the kitchen.
“Make yourself at home.” Harry grumbled as Hermione moved from her hiding place and followed the others into the kitchen.
“So really, I don’t even get so much as a ‘Hey George, how are you?’” He asked from the bench, pouring three cups of tea and bringing them over to the table.
“We aren’t really used to visitors.” Hermione said before Harry could interject.
Harry simply sat there rubbing the top of his head and looking suspiciously at George.
“Well it helps if people know where to visit.” George said sipping his tea and glancing back and forth between the two. “Mum has been worried sick about you two. Everybody feared the worst after you both vanished after the battle.”
The entire table went silent after that. Each of them had lost so much that night, probably George most of all. They could see he still hadn’t recovered from Fred’s death. They all jumped slightly as a loud crack announced Kreacher’s arrival in the hall.
“Master? Is it safe?” He asked peeking around the corner.
“Yes Kreacher. Come in and sit down. You remember George don’t you?” Harry said, though Hermione could see in his eyes he was hoping the elf might sense any charm or concealment that they may have missed.
“Yes master. I remembers the Weasley boy. Though where is the other one?”
A dark shadow passed in front of George’s face at the statement and Hermione quickly covered for him.
“So George how exactly did you find us?”
“It was easy. When you came into the shop the other day I could sense something wasn’t right, so I gave you a traceable box of Peruvian Darkness Powder. It tracked you to a field some distance from here but then it stopped working. I told Violet to mind the shop for a few days and came out here and looked around for awhile. It took me four days to finally find the house and another day to get through most of the enchantments. You did a really good job on those Hermione.” George commented.
“Actually Harry did all of them. I was still too distraught to do much back then.” She finished in a whisper.
George looked between the two again before continuing. “Well Harry, never knew you had it in you. Thankfully I knew enough about you two to get past the worst of it, and I assume there are some there that only stop those with malicious intent, though I know some of them are to keep the rest of us away too, and then that’s really when I rang the bell. So why are you two hiding up here anyway? I hear that the Minister is looking for you everywhere.”
Harry and Hermione looked at one another as several thoughts ran between them. Were they going to be arrested and sent to Azkaban for rounding up Death Eaters?
“Hello?” George interrupted waving his hand between them both in true Weasley fashion, a completely puzzled look on his face.
Harry looked at him and smiled slightly, Hermione could see he had finally accepted George was who he claimed to be. No Death Eater could act like that. “We didn’t want you all to worry, but there were just a lot of things we needed to sort out and we couldn’t do it if we had you all over for tea every afternoon.” Harry said finally. “And you can NOT tell anyone else where we are.”
George just continued to sit there still looking puzzled. “But you know what mum is like, I can’t keep something like this from her.”
“You have too. At least for a little longer. They can’t know yet.” Harry said, trailing off.
Hermione knew what he meant. There were still several Death Eaters out there and they were the worst ones left. The Weasley’s had been through so much that it wouldn’t be right to put them through that.
“Just trust us on this one George. It is nice to see you again though.” Hermione said getting up and giving him a big hug. “We have missed you all. Even though Harry is too proud to admit it.”
Harry just gave her a dirty look and went back to his musing. “Well I promise I’ll do my best to keep it secret but like I said, you both know my mother and she will sniff out the truth sooner or later. Even though I only have time to talk to her via post at the moment. And I’m going to visit all the time too. To make sure you two are ok.” He finished.
“Thanks George.” Harry said finally breaking his silence. “It is really good to see you again.”
George smiled widely. “It always good to see me!” He said puffing out his chest importantly and they all started laughing, not caring for the first time in ages about anything outside of those four walls.
A/N: Ok so there it is. I’m sorry it took so long but I hated it when I went to post it and had to rewrite it. What do you all think? Was it too rushed? Too cliché? Let me know so I can fix it if necessary. And what about the friendly neighbourhood visitor? Thanks for reading and make sure you leave a review too.
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