Chapter Eight: To Err is Human, To Forgive is Divine
Love is an act of endless forgiveness. - Peter Ustinov
Even if it was dark he didn’t dare to look at her. Only by her painful words had he realised what he had truly done. Instead of protecting the one who meant so much to him he had hurt her more than he could bear.
“I’m so sorry, Hermione. It wasn’t my intention to hurt you like that. You must believe me. I didn’t mean to.” His voice sounded so heartily he could hardly bear it.
After Harry got used to the darkness, he saw her face, which showed a familiar frown and faint tears in her eyes. She was about to shake her head once again as he drew her into his arms.
Tiredly she struggled against him, but soon she gave in. “Can you ever forgive me for this? All I ever wanted was to protect you. Last year I-I nearly lost you, too. I thought you were dead even if it was just for seconds. I knew I could never bear no longer having you at my side. A-After Sirius died and after we returned to Hogwarts, Dumbledore told me all about the prophecy.” An uncomfortable silence fell after he had said this.
Harry could feel how Hermione tensed in his arms. She was obviously thinking about what he just meant with these words. But he didn’t want to tell her. Softly, he kissed her cheek, then her neck. More and more his hands caressed her body. She felt so warm in his arms that he didn’t want anything but to hold her and pleasure her.
Finally his hands found their way to her face, which he held gently as he stroked his thumbs across her cheeks. Hermione’s face held no sign of a frown now. Slowly he closed the distance and placed his lips on hers. Harry just nibbled at her lips at first. Then Hermione gave him access and, gently, his tongue met hers. A kiss which was meant to be an easy one, a more innocent one, turned quickly into an intense one. Without knowing that he was moving he suddenly felt that a table was directly behind Hermione. For a brief moment he stopped kissing her and lifted her on the table. Hermione’s mouth was slightly open as she gazed at him. Slowly she regained her breath, yet before she could say anything Harry was kissing her again.
As if to take away every pain, as if trying in vain to forget his own burden, he dwelled on her lips. As though they had a mind of they own, his hands found a way to the buttons of her blouse. But, unexpectedly, Hermione stopped him with her own hands. Open-mouthed he nibbled on her skin, slightly sucking as he felt how her heartbeat quickened under his touch.
“Let me love you, Hermione,” Harry murmured against her neck.
“What does it say?” Hermione asked finally.
Abruptly he stopped and looked straight into her eyes.
“You really want to know? You’ll happier if you don’t. Because of me you’re already far too deep in all this.” His voice was barely above a whisper.
“It doesn’t matter anymore, does it? I’ve been in this all along because I love you, Harry.” At these words Harry closed his eyes tightly.
Would she still love him if he became a murderer? He leaned his forehead against hers heavily and sighed as her hands went through his hair. “I-I have to become a murderer or I’ll be killed. Neither can live while the others survive. Will you still love me if I become a murderer, Hermione?” His voice shook in fear as he told her about it. Harry breathed her scent in deeply as if to remember that she was still there, still had her hands in his hair.
She said nothing, no words found their way past her lips. She remained still, remained as if she hadn’t heard him as if she hadn’t understood him. Her eyes bored unblinking in his own and with a sigh he closed his eyelids again. Hermione’s hands suddenly stopped and drew him to her with a strength that was impossible to resist. He rested his head on her shoulder which quivered slightly. Her arms were tightly around him, so very tightly as if she never intended to let him go. At first, he wasn’t aware of this change, but soon he felt how Hermione nuzzled his neck, how her hands started to travel his back, travelling further up to his neck.
It was peace. Finally his burden didn’t seem too heavy anymore. She hadn’t pushed him away. All she did was hold him more tightly against her. Harry loved this woman. He loved and admired her so completely that all of his fears, all his grief, had no power over him anymore.
“Can you forgive me?” he murmured in her ear. To his disappointment she pulled away and searched his eyes, which had started to burn.
Soft hands framed his face before he heard her say, “How could I not, Harry?” Hermione kissed him. “How could I not?” she whispered with a broken voice as she was about to kiss him again, but he beat her to it.
With an enormous hunger, he sought her warmth. Never before he had a stronger desire to feel as close as possible to her. Feverish his tongue met hers. Finally, his hands started to unbutton her blouse, but before he could feel her bare skin he felt how her hands were caressing his chest, which was now bare. Absently, he wondered how she had managed to get his pyjama top unbuttoned so quickly. He trailed his fingers along the outline of her breast and she took a sharp breath before his hand was placed firmly on her breast.
Astounded, he stopped kissing Hermione and looked into her face.
“Just touch me,” she mouthed to his unasked question.
Carefully he squeezed her breast causing her heavy eyelids to drop shut as she bite her lip lightly. Again he searched her full lips just to taste them once more, before he placed an open mouthed kissed along her jaw, over her throat, and finally to her collarbone. Before he reached her bra it was already loose. All he need to do was free her breasts from it. He marvelled her impatience. But he was relieved that it wasn’t just he who was overcome with a passionate need to be with her.
As Hermione pressed him more tightly against her own hips he couldn’t suppress a groan. Soon, indeed, very soon, both were sweating and panting for more air. Harry was standing with undone trousers between Hermione’s legs. The only thing she was still wearing were her knickers a piece of clothing which she would lose very soon as well. Yet before his hands found their way between her legs, he could feel her small hands closing around his aroused member. He breathed in sharply as she started to stroke him.
One day she would be the death of him, he thought, as she sucked lightly his earlobe. From her breasts to down between her legs, he ran his hands over her body until he leaned so close that he forced her to lie down on the table. The old wood creaked loudly as their weight landed fully on it. Longingly, Harry gazed into Hermione’s eyes before he finally took care of her remaining piece of clothing, before he laid himself between her spread legs. Heat and dampness he were emanating from her and the warmth was still increasing as he closed the space between them.
As he entered her tightness he closed his eyes to control himself. Hermione’s hands were rooming over his damp back as she laid her legs around his waist and pulled him as close as possible to her. Harry heard her sighing as he kissed her cheek. For a few seconds he just enjoyed this feeling of completeness before he kissed her urgently and started to move. Skin on skin, body on body, they moved like one. Secretly, Harry wondered how long it would take them, if someone might catch them. But he didn’t care as long he felt her heartbeat against his own, as long he could hear her muffled moans and know they were together.
It's the way of the world and its motion
And no ocean can keep us apart
When the moment is right and you're holding me tight
You capture the beat of my heart
In my heart there's a fire always burning
And there isn't a thing I can't do
I'm resigned to the fact that there's no turning back
And I'll never regret loving you
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