Harry found his dreams clouded with thoughts and fantasies that night. A particular segment of his dream was the most memorable and he savored it as he woke up.
Harry was standing up on a cliffside, probably 200 feet up, overlooking a clear blue ocean. He was somewhere tropical, no doubt. The sun was warm on his skin and he was wearing no more than an orange polo and yellow swimming trunks. He stood alone.
Suddenly, Hermione, in a white linen sundress, appeared at his side. She flounced over to him and grasped his right arm in a loving way. She too turned to look at the water.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?” Hermione’s voice came as a whisper.
“Not as beautiful as you,” Harry heard himself murmur back, as he turn to look at her beautiful smile and stroke her cheek.
“Always a charmer, aren’t you?” Hermione said with a giggle.
Harry reached around to wrap his arms around Hermione’s waist, pulling her closer to him. He gave her a quick peck on the cheek before turning back towards the cliff, leaning his head gingerly on hers.
“Why can’t we stay like this forever?” Harry was thinking out loud again.
Hermione sighed and said “Because life happens. It’s waiting at every corner to throw a new challenge at us, redirecting the path we’re on.”
Harry lifted his head just enough to look into her eyes and give her a funny look. “That’s a quote, isn’t it?”
Hermione laughed and smiled at him. “I made it up just now, actually.”
Harry gave her a little squeeze and said “Our little Mione just won’t quit being brilliant, even during holiday.” They both laughed and returned to their loving position, continuing to watch the brilliant blue waves crash below them.
“Do you think we’ll ever be able to tell people how long we’ve been, you know, together?”
“I’m not sure, Hermione. I don’t think they’d understand.”
Hermione burrowed her cheek further into his chest and let out a sigh. “I love you, Harry James Potter.”
Harry didn’t even hesitate. “I love you too, Hermione Jean Granger.”
He leaned over and planted a passionate kiss on her lips, lingering briefly, and pulling away, resting his forehead on hers. She wrapped her arms around his neck as he wrapped is around her waist, resting on her lower back. He pulled her into him, and she placed her lips on his with such force that he gasped in surprise. She let her lips caress his, moving rhythmically with the crash of the waves. He pressed his tongue to her lips, begging for more. She allowed him entry, and he caressed the tip of her tongue gently with his. His hands moved up her back, up her neck, and rested on her face, cupping it gently, but firmly, in his hands. He pulled slightly away, so he could look her in the eyes.
“Hermione, don’t ever let me become the man I was without you.”
“I wouldn’t even dream of it,” Hermione said, offering him a gentle smile, before pulling him into a warm embrace. He kissed her on the forehead before settling into their hug, her head on his shoulder.
Harry woke up and caught himself smiling. He got up and threw on khaki shorts and a green shirt, and walked downstairs, still replaying the dream in his head. He wandered over to the dining table where breakfast was already set up and took a plate of eggs and toast, sitting down between Ron and Ginny. He ate in a silent, Hermione-induced daze.
“That sounds great, doesn’t it, Harry?”
A voice broke Harry from his trance. “I’m sorry, what?” He looked up from his eggs and glanced around the table nervously, only to see everyone’s eyes on him.
“Mum wanted to know if just the two of us wanted to go to Diagon Alley this weekend,” Said Ginny.
“Like a date?” Harry took a sip of pumpkin juice.
“Yes, Harry, like a date.” Ginny was beginning to sound annoyed, her eyes boring into him like sharpened daggers.
Harry directed his eyes towards Mrs.Weasley. “Yes, that sounds wonderful.” He turned to face Ginny again. “I can’t wait,” he said, but Harry couldn’t help but wonder if his eyes betrayed him. He was less than excited to be alone with the girl he’d been deceiving for the last few days, let alone on a date with her. It was Thursday, and his date was this weekend, presumably Saturday. If he could make it on Friday night, it could be over and done with before he knew it.
“How about Friday night instead?”
“Why not? The sooner the better!” Ginny exclaimed next to him in an enthusiastic fashion. She threw her arms around his shoulders and kissed him on the cheek before returning to her own breakfast.
The rest of the day was an uneventful flurry dotted with meaningless conversation and prolonged time alone. Ginny had disappeared all day claiming she had to find the perfect look for her and Harry’s date, so he was without her most of the day. Ron and Hermione canoodled on the living room window seat for the majority of the day, Ron reading her book over her shoulder while she seemed extremely engrossed in the text. She broke briefly, probably between chapters, to give him a peck on the cheek or the lips. Harry absorbed himself in conversation with George and Mr.Weasley about the post-war ministry reform underway. By the time Harry excused himself to go to bed, he was willing himself to dream about Hermione again. To his dismay, no dreams penetrated his mind.
The next day Harry spent in a nervous flurry, attempting to ready himself for his date with Ginny. He finally decided to wear a blue and black, vertical pin-striped, button-down, long-sleeve shirt with dark wash jeans that fit him well. He wore his hair how he regularly would and slipped into a pair of black dress shoes. He walked downstairs towards the fireplace where he and Ginny would be using Floo powder for transport. Before he could get there, Hermione stopped in front of them and began wrestling with his collar.
“Thanks, Hermione,” he muttered, transfixing himself on her beautiful chocolate brown eyes. She continued focusing on his collar, moving her hands down to smooth his shirt down his chest, and glanced up to offer him a smile.
“You’re welcome.” She put her hands on his shoulders and offered him a final glance before walking back to the couch. Harry continued his walk over to the fireplace, glancing at his watch. 5:27, it read. Ginny was supposed to meet him before 5:30 so they could get to the restaurant in time for their reservation. He looked up from his wrist and was suddenly entranced by a marvelous being on the staircase
It was none other than Ginny, dressed in a long, emerald green, satin dress. The bottom was a floor-sweeping wrap-skirt with a train that showed off super high, leg elongating, emerald green high-heeled pumps. The top of the dress had loose cap sleeves that just skimmed her shoulders, with a sweetheart neckline, and the whole bodice of the dress hugged her curves. Her long red hair was styled into voluminous curls that were parted deeply to one side. Her eye make-up was done in the smoky, cat-eye style, accentuating her beautiful green eyes. Harry was speechless as she made her way down the stairs.
He stared at her dumbfounded as she walked towards him. She gave him a cheeky smile.
“So Harry, you’re looking quite nice tonight.” She winked at his surprised look before crossing her arms, giving him an impatient expression.
“Ginny, you look absolutely incredible,” he said, barely audible. He took her into his arms and gingerly put his forehead on hers. Her eyes met his and they exchanged a loving glance.
Ginny pulled back. “Wait! Final touches!” She took out her wand and made a swirling motion around the bottom of the dress, pulling it up until it was transfigured into a full-looking, knee-length version of the trailing bottom from before. The whole ensemble was very classy and date perfect.
Harry smiled at her and offered his arm, which she took, and they strode over to the fireplace together. Harry helped Ginny into the fireplace and offered the flower pot of Floo. She took a handful.
“Harry, where is it exactly that we’re going?” Ginny looked at Harry in curiosity.
“A new restaurant opened in Diagon Alley as part of the reconstruction. It’s a small little joint that serves anything you can imagine. It’s called Odeon.
So Ginny said “Odeon” in a clear tone and dropped her Floo, disappearing in a puff of green fire. Harry stepped into the fireplace, spoke the word “Odeon” and dropped his powder; he too disappeared in a puff of green fire.
When Harry arrived at the restaurant’s fireplace, Ginny was waiting for him, smoothing her dress. She looked up and smiled at him. He stepped down and took her hand, walking her over to the hostess podium.
“Hi, reservations for Potter, 5:30.”
“Yes sir, right this way.”
The hostess walked them through a romantic looking restaurant, complete with wood floors, vaulted ceilings, white table clothes, a red rose on every table, dim lighting, and a live pianist in the center of the room. The hostess stopped at a secluded table in the back corner of the restaurant, handing them each a very small menu before smiling and walking away. Harry looked at the paper. You don’t need a menu! Whatever you feel like today is what we’re making! Harry smiled at the little note.
“I guess you really weren’t lying,” Ginny said from across the table. She looked over at him and smiled.
“You know, I don’t think we’ve ever been out. It’s kinda nice.”
Harry looked for a response. “Yes, it really is.”
The waitress arrived. “What can I get you dears to drink?”
“Just water please,” Harry said.
“I’d love an ice tea,” Ginny answered.
“I’ll be back then.” The waitress left with a smile.
Harry and Ginny carried on with small talk up until the waiter came back with their drinks and was prepared to take their orders. They both ended up ordering chicken seasoned with rosemary.
“So,” Ginny looked at Harry from across the table, “how are Ron and Hermione? They seem happy. You’re closer to them than I am though.”
Harry tried to find an answer. “They seem to be doing well. I’m not really sure; I don’t talk about their relationship with them.” He was afraid his tone would sound too irritated.
“I get it. They’re your best friends. You don’t talk about them dating each other.” Ginny stared down at her glass.
Harry put his hand on hers, and Ginny looked up to meet his eyes.
“That’s not it,” Harry began, “I just don’t ask about their state. All I care about is ours.” Harry held his eye contact, hoping to seem confident, when he was really masking a lie.
“You’re so sweet, Harry.” Ginny smiled at him before leaning over the table to give him a peck on the lips.
The rest of the dinner went on in peace. Harry told the complete story of what happened that year, at Ginny’s request, and Harry heard all about what happened at Hogwarts. Other than the story telling, they made a little small talk regarding the weather and news of the wizarding world reconstruction. After they finished eating, Harry paid the check and they used Floo to transport themselves back to the burrow.
They arrived in an empty living room, holding hands. Ginny turned to face Harry.
“Thank you for the lovely date.” She smiled, and leaned over to gently kiss him on the lips. He wrapped his hands around her waist as she pulled away, and he smiled at her. He leaned over to kiss her on the cheek. “Thank you for coming.”
“I love you,” she said to him with utter confidence.
“I love you too.” Harry walked her up to her room and kissed her once more outside her bedroom door. He wandered to his own bed feeling guilty, and yet he still couldn’t resist thinking about Hermione. The way she walked, her smile, and her figure standing in his doorway. Wait, that’s not my imagination. Harry smiled up at her, poised outside his room, waiting for him.
“How’d it go?” she whispered to him so as not to disturb anyone sleeping.
“It was fine, we had a nice time.”
“Alright. Well get a good night’s sleep okay?” She reached out to hug him and he gratefully accepted her embrace.
“I will,” Harry whispered.
“Goodnight.” Hermione walked towards her own room, leaving Harry’s emotions a wild mess.
A/N: Disclaimer: Odeon is the name of a gourmet restaurant in New York City. I do not take credit for the name.
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