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Aftermath

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Author's notes:

This is my first Fanfiction, and also my first completed attempt at writing any story at all. This means that reviews are most welcome.

Oh, and also I wish you happy reading. I hope it wasn't all for naught.


Aftermath

Disclaimer:
This story is written by a fan, for the fans. I make no profit from this story and I am totally fine with that. Harry Potter is the property of J.K. Rowling and I make no claims of ownership regarding him or any other characters, situations, locations or plot points that are part of the Harry Potter universe.

I do however claim ownership of any original characters, situations, locations or plot points that are NOT part of the Harry Potter universe.

• • •

Ron was not sleeping, even though he wanted to. He looked at the clock sitting on his bedside table: Five in the morning. It had been three hours since the battle had ended, but it felt like three ages. He felt a little envious of Harry, and the snoring sounds he produced from the four-poster bed beside him. How could he sleep so easily?

It had been a long day, and Ron lay awake, thinking back, seemingly unable to find a comfortable position. So much had changed during the past few hours. They had defeated the most powerful dark wizard of all time. But it had cost them a lot. They had lost so many good people: Remus Lupin, Nymphadora Tonks, Colin Creevey... and Fred Weasley – one of his older brothers. It pained him deeply to think of it, and he could feel the tears forming in his eyes every time he did; now was no exception. He had somehow never imagined Fred dying, and he definitely had never expected that he would have to witness it.

Fred's final words still rang in his ears. 'You actually are joking, Perce... I don't think I've heard you joke since you were–'

If Fred had said anything else, Ron didn't know. He never would. Fred was dead. The revelation hit him like a fist driven hard into his stomach. Fred was dead, and there was nothing that could bring him back. Tears started rolling down his cheeks, and he made no effort to stop them. That explosion had taken them all by complete surprise, and when the dust had cleared there was nothing anyone could have done.

He felt the anger rising in him again. He had pushed it away temporarily to focus on how to stop Voldemort. It hadn't been easy, but there had been no other way. Now that it was all finished however, the feelings came back. He had wanted to kill them. He didn't deny it. He'd wanted everyone responsible dead. If it weren't for Hermione grabbing him and pulling him away, he probably would have done something stupid and gotten himself killed too. She had probably saved his life yet again.

Hermione. The thought of her seemed to calm him a little. His mind made a complete U-turn and landed on a moment, not so long ago, in the Room of Requirement. She had kissed him, full on the mouth, for the first time. He had dreamt of that moment for a long time. Though in his dreams she was clean, and her clothes were whole. That was no longer the case of course. Being on the run for months had taken a toll on all of their appearances, but she was still beautiful in his eyes. She always had been beautiful, his Hermione.

He often thought of her as his, though he knew only too well that he had no real claim on her. Not yet anyway. He had always been too terrified to act on his feelings, but after today, after the kiss, there just might be a chance. This might be the opportunity he had been waiting for.

He turned over in his bed and looked around the room. There was no one there, except him and Harry, who was still fast asleep. Everyone else must still be in the Great Hall, he thought. He wondered if Hermione was there too, or perhaps she was in her own dormitory. Was she lying awake like him? Did she think of him like he thought of her? He knew from experience that he couldn't just walk up to the girls' dormitories and check; the stairs wouldn't let him pass, but he didn't want to lie here alone, with his head as sole company. He needed to talk to her. He couldn't get any peace in his head until he knew how she felt, even though what she might tell him terrified him. There was already so much pain and suffering inside him, and he didn't want to think about it. The thought of the possibility that the kiss had really meant something filled him with warmth, and that seemed to push the pain away somewhat, but he was still worried that it might just have been a spur-of-the-moment kind of thing. That it had been a desperate act by a person who didn't know if she would survive past the next five minutes. He wanted to know, yet he dreaded the answer. No, he needed to know. And the longer he stayed here the more insecure he would become. It was now or never, and he knew it.

He finally made up his mind and decided to go down to the Great Hall. If Hermione wasn't there, at least someone would be. Someone he could talk to, to pass the time and keep his mind from wandering as he waited for her. He hadn't been in the Great hall since he, Harry, and Hermione had left for the headmaster's office. Had they removed Fred's body yet? A sudden vision of Fred's lifeless body lying on the table appeared in his mind's eye and his insides constricted painfully. He almost threw up.

He would go down to the Great Hall, but he would not stay there. If Hermione weren't there he would keep searching the castle. He would start with the library, then the Room of Requirement – if it still worked, that was. The Fiendfyre had been really brutal. Perhaps she was up in the Astronomy Tower? In any case, the search would keep his mind occupied from the uncomfortable thoughts that would otherwise invade him.

He summoned all the strength and willpower he could muster and forced himself to rise up and pull the covers off himself. He swung his legs around, and let them fall down on the ground and willed himself to stand up. He pulled on the singed and torn pants he had worn for weeks now. Hermione hadn't brought much to change with during the Horcrux hunt, and washing clothes with the Scouring Charm didn't prove entirely efficient. His t-shirt wasn't looking much better, and there was a long rip along the left seam. He reached for his wand on his bedside table, repaired the seam quickly, and put it on.

When he reached the bottom of the stairs, he came to an abrupt halt. He had heard something that sounded like a faint moan and a sniff. He saw a familiar mound of bushy brown hair sticking up from behind a chair, silhouetted by the faint reddish glow of the nearly burnt-out fire in the fireplace.

"Hermione?" His voice sounded deep and tired, as though he had been awake for days.

"Ron?" Her voice was tired too, and it was thick from crying. Ron walked over to the chair and paused behind it, before putting a comforting hand on her shoulder.

"How are you, Hermione?" He didn't really need to ask, and he knew it. She looked as miserable as he felt.

"It's just that," she begun, her voice trembling slightly, "I know I should be happy that You-Know-Who is gone, and I am, but I can't stop thinking of..."

"...the ones who..." Ron tried to finish for her, but he couldn't. "Yes. I know what you mean," he finished lamely

• • •

Hermione looked around into Ron's bright blue eyes, and saw her own sorrow reflected in them. She felt her tear canals fill up again and looked away. She didn't want Ron to see her in this vulnerable state.

She heard his footsteps moving around the chair and stopping in front of her, but she didn't look up. Instead she pretended to study her hands lying in her lap, but she didn't really see them. The tears filling her eyes blurred everything, and she didn't see when two strong hands took hers, but she felt it. It was a gentle, reassuring touch, and she couldn't help looking up.

Without releasing his grip, Ron used his thumbs to wipe away most of her tears, and with her vision now clear, she could see that he was crying too, kneeling in front of her.

"I'm sorry, Ron," she said, dropping her head again.

"Don't be," he replied. "There was nothing anyone could have done."

"You're thinking of Fred, aren't you?" she said looking up into his eyes again so as to gauge his reaction.

"Yes," he said as he lowered his head, averting his eyes.

"Oh, Ron... I wish I could have done something, but it all happened so fast. The whole wall just blew up," she said in a whisper so faint she wasn't even sure he could hear her.

"Yeah. He died quickly. No pain," Ron said, looking up into her eyes again. He looked deep into them as if searching for confirmation that the words he had just spoken were true.

"Yes, I hope so," she said squeezing his hands and stroking his knuckles with her thumb. There was a long silence as they both drifted off into their own heads, but finally Hermione spoke again.

"Ron?"

"Yes?"

"I know... Fred was always teasing you and making jokes at your expense, but he loved you... very much." As do I, she finished in her head.

"Yeah, I hope so," he said.

"And I know so," she said with a weak smile. "And what's more, I..." She was fighting with herself to get the words out. "I..." She knew what she wanted to say, but she couldn't bring herself to do it. It was curious how easy it was to bring out courage to fight, even in the face of certain death, but not here, telling Ron her true feelings for him.

"Ron, I..." Okay, Hermione, she told herself. It's now or never. She rose up from the chair, pulling Ron up with her.

"I... I don't know what I'd done if you'd died," she said, barely noticing that her voice was shaking and a fresh stream of tears was rolling down her face.

"Ron, I... I love you!" she whispered, so low that no sound came out.

"Come again?" Ron said in a low voice. "What did you say?"

"I said that I love you!" Hermione cried as she leapt forward and threw her arms around him.

• • •

Ron was taken aback, quite literally. Hermione had suddenly jumped him and thrown herself at him, making him topple back, lose his balance; fall backwards, and slam onto the floor. Hermione was still keeping a tight grip around his waist as a slight pain made itself noticed where the back of his head had made contact with the floor, but he barely noticed. Hermione's words had momentarily washed all pain away. She loved him?

His eyes had automatically closed as he fell, but now he opened them again. Hermione's face was hovering inches above his, an expression of shock spread across it.

"I'm sorry! I didn't mean to..." she started.

He couldn't help but smile at her. She looked so pretty, even more than usual, despite her state of shock, and her face wet by tears.

"What? Are you hurt?" she asked.

"No," he said, raising his head up slightly so to get a good look at her. "Are you?

Hermione shook her head.

"Good," he said as he moved his hands off the floor and snaked them around her back, pulling her against him

He closed his eyes and put his head down on the ground again, trying to make sense of the situation. There were several conflicting emotions that were threatening to tear his head apart. To begin with he felt relief that the battle was finally over, and Voldemort was no more. He also felt anger that so many people he was close to had died in the fight, and terrible sorrow over his lost brother. Now he also felt happiness that that Hermione had admitted her love for him. He didn't know what feeling to focus on, and it made his hurt and the tears to begin falling again.

"I was right," Ron said finally, in a low but trembling voice.

"About what?" Hermione said questioningly,

"About the fact that one would explode if you feel too much at once," he said miserably. "You better stand clear before I blow," he said, attempting a joke, but his heart wasn't really in it. In fact, it had jumped up and lodged itself somewhere beneath his Adam's apple.

"Oh Ron," she said, as she put her head on his shoulder. "Do you want to talk about it?"

"No," he said. He didn't really want to talk right now. He just wanted to lie there and let the weight and warmth of her body comfort him.

"I have one thing I have to tell you though," he said, opening his eyes again and turning his head so he could look into hers.

"And what is that?"

"That I love you too," he said, closing his eyes when he saw her eyes tear up again.

He felt her breath against him the moment before her lips descended on his. The moment her lips touched his, his heart jolted, and the pain seemed to ebb away slightly, and his body started to relax. It was even better than he remembered it. It was hard to think that it was mere hours ago that Harry had disturbed their first ever kiss.

He hadn't told anyone, especially not her, but he had fancied her ever since second year. Of course he hadn't recognized it as such at the time, but looking back, he was sure there had been something. He smiled into the kiss. This was a dream come true. He and Hermione, alone on the floor of the Gryffindor common room.

The common room!

He pushed her back, breaking the kiss. She had a broad smile on her face.

"Don't stop," she said.

"I don't want to." He paused for a moment. "It's just that... Don't you think this place is a little... Exposed?"

Hermione gave a little giggle and pulled her wand from the belt of the dressing gown she wore. "Is ickle Ronnikins afraid to get caught?" she said in the tone of voice one would adopt when talking to a child.

"Hey!"

"I'm sorry," she said. "Just teasing."

Still smiling at him, she pointed it at the doors and performed some rapid spellwork. Ron didn't recognize the spell, since she rarely needed to say the incantations out loud anymore, but he believed that she had just Imperturbed and locked the doors.

"I don't think anyone will be disturbing us anymore." She smiled a mischievous smile as she put her wand back in her belt.

"I love you, Hermione," Ron said, causing her cheeks to turn a light shade red. "Now where were we?" he asked her with an equally mischievous smile.

"Let me remind you," she said, winking.

Hermione dived at Ron's face again, planting her lips firmly against his. She felt the tip of his tongue stroking her lips, begging for entrance. She happily obliged, parting her lips, letting their tongues play with each other. She felt Ron's strong hand reach into her hair, and she moved her own hand into his, rolling around onto her back as she did so, and put her other hand on his broad shoulder. She had dreamt of this moment for years, but she hadn't had the guts to tell him what she really felt. She actually felt a bit stupid. Now that they lay there rolling on the floor, it was obvious that there had been something between them for quite some time. Why hadn't she seen it? Perhaps, between their studies and saving the Wizarding world, she had simply been too distracted to see these matters clearly. Yes, that must have been it.

• • •

Ron broke the kiss slowly and sat up on his knees, straddling her stomach with his hands now resting on her sides. He looked into her face, and could see that she was in deep thought.

"A knut for your thoughts," he said with a grin.

"Oh, just thinking, you know. About us."

"Are they good thoughts?" he teased.

"How long?" she replied.

"What do you mean?" he asked, slightly bewildered. How long is what? My penis?

"How long have you loved me?"

Oh, of course. Get your mind out of the gutter mate, he thought to himself before answering.

"As long as I can remember," he said. This wasn't completely true, but he had a hard time remembering the details of things as far back as second year, so he hadn't really lied. Not really.

"Then why didn't you ever say anything?"

"I wanted to. A lot. All the time, but I didn't... if you didn't feel..." He felt a fresh surge of tears threatening to burst out, and he bent down and buried his face in her neck. He was already in such an emotional state at the moment that it didn't take much to get them flowing again.

"Everything would change. What if you didn't feel the same? I would rather keep you as a friend than risk chasing you away by telling you what I truly feel."

"I understand," she said, stroking his back gently. "I went through the very same thing. But now that I know we feel the same, I mean, I've always wanted to be able to call you my... my boyfriend."

"I'd like that," he said. "I'd like that a lot." He could feel his lips forming a massive grin against her neck and it felt like a giant boulder had just been lifted from Ron's heart, the empty space it left behind filled with something soft, warm and lovely.

"Hermione Granger. My girlfriend," he said it out loud, as if by doing so he confirmed it as being true.

Hermione giggled. He felt her neck muscles vibrating against the side of his face.

"Ronald Weasley. My boyfriend," she replied, a big smile spreading across her face.

"I'm happy we sorted that out," he said, planting a kiss on her neck. He continued his kisses in a line, going down her neck, along her collarbone and down her left arm. He took her left hand in his right, making his way down towards it, while his left hand stroked her side, just nudging the side of her right breast.

"Just tell me if I'm going too far," he said. "I don't want to force you into anything."

She groaned, which Ron took as a yes, and he continued.

He put his hand tentatively on her breast and looked at her face for reactions. He got them immediately.

"Ron!" she sounded out of breath.

"What?" he released his grip of her breast, wondering if she wanted him to stop already?

"No," she said. "Don't stop."

Ron looked at her questioningly. She started tugging on the belt of her dressing gown and, getting her intentions, he helped her get it off. He looked down at her.

"You aren't wearing a nightdress?" he asked in surprise, his gaze shifting back to her face.

"No. You aren't disappointed, are you?"

Truth be told, he was a bit. He had been looking forward to ripping it off her, but he wasn't about to tell her that.

"No, I'm' not," he said, giving her one of his trademark lopsided smiles. "Though I can't help but wonder why. You were expecting this?"

"No. If I were, I wouldn't wear any underwear either."

Bloody hell, she's teasing me! He thought, as he looked back down at her chest.

She was wearing a plain white cotton bra. He hadn't expected anything else. Not from his Hermione. She wasn't really known for dressing fancy. She was down to earth, and that was the way he liked her.

"You look really good. Really clean," he said with a yet another lopsided grin, thinking of how he himself still hadn't been able to summon the energy to wash and suddenly feeling a bit self-conscious.

"Thank you," she said, breaking him out of his reverie. "I took a shower earlier, and your mother helped me heal the burns," she continued, but Ron hadn't heard the last part. At the mention of the word 'shower' his imagination had taken him for a ride again.

"Ron!" He was jerked back to reality as she said his name. She gave him a knowing smile. "How many times do I have to tell you to concentrate on what you are supposed to be doing?"

"Oh, sorry, love. Didn't mean to... to..." his voice drifted away as he looked at her breast. He was on unfamiliar territory now. Oh god. I'm really doing this, he thought. He had never gotten this far with Lavender; it had never felt right. Now he knew why.

He reached out for her breast again and began to stroke her nipple with his thumb. Or at least where he thought her nipple ought to be. He let his fingertips slide casually off the top of her bra and onto her naked flesh. He closed his eyes, savouring the sensations he got from touching this new part of his new girlfriend. He still had a hard time wrapping his head around it all. Hermione is my girlfriend; she is lying almost naked underneath me; I am touching her breasts, and she is letting me do it. I even think she might be enjoying it. These words, and variations of them, were racing through his head non-stop, but that didn't make his present position any less mind-boggling. But, as always, his body was one step in front of his mind.

"Can I see you?" he asked, looking up into her eyes again. She nodded.

He pulled her into a half-sitting position and ran one hand across her back, the other resting on her side helping her support her weight. Her skin was smooth and he could feel her spine under his fingers. He traced his fingers over it, starting at the bottom, just at the waistline of her knickers, and moved upwards. When he hit the clasp of her bra, he fumbled for some time, but didn't seem to get anywhere closer to getting it unhooked. He reached around with his other hand, causing him to hold her tightly to him, but didn't seem to get any better results.

"How do I get this devilish contraption off you?" he whispered into her ear. Normally he would be embarrassed to admit that he didn't have any experience in removing a woman's bra, but now it seemed to be of little or no importance; possibly because none of the blokes were around to hear it. And a good thing that was too, giving their present position and state of undress.

Hermione didn't answer; instead she reached back and helped him. He just moved his hands out of the way, resting them on the small of her back as he let her work. It was over in a matter of seconds.

"You'll have to show me how to do that sometime," he said in a playful, somewhat teasing tone.

"Yes, but now is not the time," she said with an embarrassed slight smile as she lay back down again.

• • •

If it had been anyone else standing above her, Hermione would probably have been more embarrassed to show off her naked body than she was now, though she couldn't stop the little voice in the back of her head, reminding her that her breasts were nowhere as big as Lavender Brown's. She still had her bra over her breasts, holding it in place with her arm. The self-conscious feeling was getting stronger, and she closed her eyes as to avoid Ron's penetrating stare.

She felt Ron's fingers stroking the arm she used to hold her bra in place, moving up and down a few times and finally sliding down and take her hand, tugging on it lightly. That was all the motivation she needed, because she let him lift her arm away and put a hand back on her breast. She felt his fingers dig under the top of her bra and slowly move it down, off her body.

"How do I look?" she asked timidly, opening her eyes and gauging his reaction. He didn't answer right away, but simply stared at her chest, a far off look in his eyes. She couldn't help feeling a bit flattered, despite how embarrassed she felt.

"You look bloody fantastic," he replied finally.

She took a second to gather her courage, then she grabbed Ron's hands, slowly guiding them back to her firm breasts. "I want you, Ron. I want you right here, right now."

Ron kissed her fully on the mouth again, and she was back in heaven, all embarrassment gone. She didn't ever want to stop. This was where she belonged. In his arms, his hands massaging her breasts, teasing her nipples; his lips kissing hers, their tongues chasing each other around their mouths; and best of all, his heart beating against her chest. It was beating fast with excitement, almost in unison with her own. It was the most wonderful moment of her life to date, and still she wanted more. She had barely thought it when she felt Ron's hand moving down, slowly stroking her soft belly and playing with her bellybutton. She started breathing heavily at the thought of where he was going. She wanted it; she needed it. She could feel the wetness pooling between her thighs, and she was filled with an unbearable, aching desire for him. He moved his lips from hers and trailed his kisses to a point just under her ear and whispered words of affection and admiration between soft kisses.

• • •

Ron felt like he was lying on tenterhooks as his fingers traced the waistline of Hermione's knickers. Eventually his curiosity got the upper hand, and he slid his hand over the soft fabric that was the only thing dividing his fingers from the most private part of her body. He was careful not to seem too forward, making sure she had time to deny him this treat, but she didn't. Instead her whole being seemed to have frozen in anticipation. She didn't move a muscle.

Until he reached his goal, that was. Once he did she gave a shudder, a loud gasp, and her whole body arced. He felt her wetness through the thin fabric and he started to stroke her slowly. Now there was no point in holding anything back any more. He slid his fingers under her knickers, and at the same time he did, Hermione grabbed his t-shirt. It ripped along the side as a result of her violent attempt of getting it off him, but he wasn't surprised. He hadn't really paid attention when he repaired it earlier, so the repair was bound to be less effective than it would be otherwise. The loss was no big deal anyway. Apparently Hermione didn't think so either, for as soon as she had gotten it off him, she threw it carelessly on the floor. In the meantime Ron was struggling to get the dressing gown off her completely, a task which regrettably forced his fingers to leave her hot center for the time being.

As he threw her dressing gown onto the increasing pile of clothes beside them, he heard the sound of wood on stone as her wand, which had been lying on her dressing gown, rolled off the thick carpet they were presently lying on and onto the cold stone floor. Ron didn't bother to retrieve it though. The erotic smell coming from between Hermione's legs had him thoroughly distracted.

He stroked her legs as he positioned himself on his knees between them; they were soft to his touch. He bent down and pressed his lips to her abdomen, encircling her bellybutton with soft kisses, occasionally dipping his tongue inside. Hermione breathed heavily somewhere above him and her stomach moved in time with her breaths. He glanced up and caught sight of her chest heaving, and immediately moved a hand up and grabbed hold of a breast as his other hand slid up from her thigh, through the leg hole of her wet knickers again. He stroked her hot center with his thumb as he massaged a breast with his other hand as his head moved up and his mouth caught the nipple of the previously neglected breast.

"I want to taste you," he said against her skin, hoping she would hear him even though her flesh muffled the sound. When he did not get an answer he looked up, and saw her nodding vigorously.

Not wasting any time he moved his head down again, this time stopping between her legs, right in front of her womanhood. He felt a warmth washing over his face, radiating from Hermione's center, and it was as if his mind had gone blank, and filled with an indistinguishable haze. He had temporarily lost all ability of independent thought, and his body was going on autopilot. He started kissing her inner thighs, all the while breathing in her scent. He barely knew what he was doing, or why he was doing it. All he knew was what he wanted. He wanted Hermione.

He carefully slid a finger underneath her knickers and pulled the fabric aside. The soft curls were wet and inviting, and he traced a trembling finger across her opening. His mind had caught up with him now, and he was staring in awe, taking in this new and exciting part of her. This was not just some dream. If it had been he would probably be shagging her right now. No, this was real, painfully real, and he wanted to do it right. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, both to take in the sexy smell and to steady himself, then tentatively approached her and slid out his tongue. The moment he touched her he heard a sharp intake of air from above him. He had no experience of this at all, and neither had she, he hoped, so he might just as well start with some experimenting.

It didn't take too long to find out how to do it, and soon Hermione half-gasped, half-screamed in delight as he let his tongue play in the wet flesh of her folds. Hermione was gasping and moving ever more frantically as she slid closer and closer to the edge. His tongue was now alternating between flicking her clit and pushing as deep inside her as he could make it go as she screamed somewhere above him.

"YES! YES! YES! RON! I'M, MMMMMMMMmmmmmmmm"

Ron looked up at her as she came. It was an image he would not soon forget. The way her body was shaking and the noises she made as she lost control. He was amazed that he could make her lose it like that. Sure, he had made her lose control lots of times by provoking her and make her shout at him, but this was different, totally different. She hadn't lost control of her temper, but of her whole body, and he was the cause of that.

• • •

It was a wonderful orgasm. Possibly the best one she had ever had. As she lay on the floor, still panting, she thanked Merlin that it was Ron that had given it. Her Ron. She looked down towards him. His face was shiny from her juices and he had a dazed expression on his face, as though someone had just told him he had won ten thousand galleons on the WWN lottery.

"Bloody hell," he whispered in a tiny voice. "Bloody hell, that was fuckin' brilliant, Hermione. I must confess, I have dreamt about seeing you like that for years."

"Have you now?" she asked. "Did I exceed your expectations?" she asked, not bothering to hide her broad grin.

A grin just as wide spread across his face, and he answered with only one word: "Outstanding."

"Have I told you that I love you yet?" he asked her as he crawled up beside, kissed her on the forehead and put an arm around her waist.

"Yes, you might have mentioned it," she answered, correcting her knickers so they were covering her again.

"Well, I do," he said, closing his eyes and enjoying just being with her. "Very much."

• • •

Hermione felt quite content lying naked on the thick carpet in the Gryffindor common room with her boyfriend. She was, however, starting to recover a little, and she wanted to see Ron come undone. He had seen her after all, so it was only fair. Prepared as always, she already had a little plan forming in her mind.

"Are you awake?" she asked

"Mhmm" he said.

"Well, you'll need to be awake for this. And if you aren't now, I guess you'll soon be."

"Why? What are you doing?" he asked a frown on his face as she rose up in a sitting position.

"Let's just say I'm quite interested in whether you score an outstanding too," she said grinning seductively.

He looked at her questioningly for a split second, but then he seemed to catch on and grinned.

"Why don't you go get comfortable in that chair while I go look for my wand?" she said. "But don't you dare undress. That's my job," she said.

Ron gave a small laugh. "No, ma'am."

It took her some time to locate her wand, and she felt Ron's eyes on her all the while she was walking around in in the room looking for it, clad in nothing but her knickers. "Like what you see?" she asked, feeling quite self-conscious again, but doing her best to keep her voice seductive.

"Oh yes," he replied with a strong hint of awe in his voice.

She finally found her wand. It had rolled under the chair opposite the one Ron was sitting in, and she decided on the spot that it would be quite fun to tease him a little more, so she took great care in bending over slowly as she reached for it. His reaction was instantaneous as she heard him shout out from behind her.

"Bloody hell, woman! Are you trying to fucking kill me?"

She picked up her wand and spun around, pointing it in his face, whispering, "Silencio."

Ron gagged on his words, unable to speak. "You know I don't approve of that kind of language, Ronald Weasley," she said, still in a seductive whisper, as she performed a Cleansing Charm on the pair of them. She wasn't sure what had made her cast the Silencing Spell, but now that she had done it she didn't see the any need to remove it. She found she was slowly discovering a now, quite wanton side of herself, and she quite liked it.

"Now just try to relax, Ron," she said as she unbuttoned his jeans. She felt his stiff limb through the fabric, and she wondered how it would feel to hold it. She was curious. She had never seen one for real before. She had seen drawings and photographs in various books of course, but this was something entirely different. She stroked him on the outside of his jeans and looked at his face. It was red, and his features were those of both shock and pleasure. This is going to be fun, she thought to herself as she smiled back at him.

She slowly pulled down the fly, feeling immense satisfaction in teasing him, momentarily denying him what she knew he wanted – what she, too, wanted. But the look on his face was just too good to miss out on.

As she took off his pants, she heard the noise of heavy breathing from above. She had momentarily forgotten that she had cast the Silencing Spell on him, and she grinned mischievously at him. She briefly considered removing it, but changed her mind. She felt a sense of power over him that was intoxicating, and she wanted to keep the feeling just a bit longer.

"Now what to do with you?" she asked, knowing he had no way of answering her. She drew a finger around the outline of the bulge on his underwear as she looked at him with a mock questioning look. Ron however, wasn't paying attention to her face anymore. He had lifted his gaze towards the ceiling, his back arcing, looking as if in terrible agony because of her relentless teasing.

"I wonder..." she said. "How about this?" She reached into his underwear and grabbed the throbbing flesh. Ron threw his head back and hit the back of the chair with a low thud. His cock didn't feel like she expected. While it was indeed hard and nearly unbendable, she was quite surprised at how silky smooth the skin was. She tried to squeeze it a bit, exploring this new part of his anatomy. In Hermione's mind, the only thing better than researching books was, of course, field research. And as a strong believer in the importance of understanding her surroundings, she was determined to study this buried treasure. But first she had to dig it out.

She pulled down his underpants and his cock swung forward, released from its restraints. She had fantasised about it. Actually she had caught herself mentally undressing him just a few days ago at Shell Cottage, but this was even better than she had hoped for. He was much bigger than she had expected. She grabbed it and pulled back, exposing the tip. She hesitated slightly, then lowered her mouth and licked it. She put her lips to it and kissed it, while she inhaled his scent. Ron was now gaping, trying to scream, but he couldn't. She decided to lift the enchantment. He had suffered enough for one evening. Also, she was quite anxious to hear him scream her name as he came.

"Since you have been such a good boy tonight, I have a reward for you," she said, as she picked up her wand again and pointed it at his face. "Finite."

"Hell! Hell! Hell! Hell! Oh my God, Hermione! Just... Just keep doing what you were doing. Don't stop!"

Hermione was in a brief state of light shock – or perhaps severe puzzlement. She had expected him to be at least slightly mad at her. He had always hated when she silenced him without warning, and wasn't much happier on the occasions when she did warn him. But then again, this is yet a different situation, isn't it? She thought, as she complied with Ron's wish and continued her previous activity. She took him fully in her mouth as he groaned and moaned from above. It was not like she had expected. She had thought that oral sex was one of those things that you just did to satisfy your partner, but to her surprise she found that she quite enjoyed the experience as well. There was something erotic in being able to please him in this way.

"Oh hell, where did you learn to do that?" he said, hastily adding, "Sorry, forgot myself."

But Hermione couldn't care less what he said right now. He could have recited a ten foot long list of curse words and she would barely have registered it. Not when she had her mouth full of Ron's cock. She heard panting, changing into a moan, changing into a scream, and he started rocking his hips, shoving himself deeper into her mouth. She felt it hit the back of her mouth and she felt close to regurgitating. She moved her head back to get some space, but didn't pull off him. When he finally came she was happy to hear her own name screamed out loud. She felt the taste of the salty liquid as he emptied his load in her mouth. It was a quite disturbing experience, but decided it was not too bad. She could learn to live with it anyway. Especially as she knew that boys appreciated it, and considered it sexy. She had heard Parvati and Lavender talk about it enough times in their dormitory when they thought she was asleep. She sucked to draw out every last bit of seed, and then pulled off him. She looked into his eyes, made a quick decision, and then swallowed.

"Did you just...?" he asked, his mouth open.

"Always the tone of surprise," she said, winking.

He looked at her in disbelief for a moment, then a grin spread across his face and he said, "Well, how did I do?"

"What? Oh! You got an O too," she said, smiling stupidly.

• • •

Ron sat on the chair, quite exhausted. He felt his limb slacken as he leaned back and closed his eyes for a moment, taking in what had just happened.

An almost naked arse landed itself in his completely naked lap and an arm snaked around his neck. He heard a faint whisper in his ear. It was barely audible, and very sexy.

"Come on now, Ron. Don't tell me you're done already?"

He felt a hand close around his now sloppy dick, and it was not his own. This woman, he thought, is incredible. Who knew that the nerdy, insufferable know-it-all Hermione Granger would have such an unquenchable lust for sex? He was one lucky guy. He felt his dick slowly rise again, but before they did anything else, he had to know something.

"Hermione?" he began tentatively.

"Mhmm."

"Have you ever, you know... with anyone else?"

"Have ever what?" she asked.

"You know... given a... a blowjob." Ron could feel himself blushing at the last word.

"Oh," she said. "No. I haven't. Why?"

"It's just that... well... You were so good. I just thought you might have had some practice." He opened his eyes and looked at her. She was blushing too.

"Well, no, not really." Her face was turning bright red by now.

"What do you mean not really? Have you had fantasies about doing it with someone else? Who is it? Is it Krum?" He was starting to look worried and a little angry. He was trying to hide it of course, but he knew that Hermione had become quite good at reading him.

"No no, nothing like that," she said hurriedly, before he could voice any more accusations. "Now stop being so jealous before you ruin the mood. We've been over this before; I never had any feelings for Viktor. He simply escorted me to the Yule Ball. Nothing happened, and nothing will ever happen between us.

"That's not what Ginny said," he told her, looking accusingly at her.

"WHAT?" she exclaimed. "What did she tell you?" she asked him, crossing her arms across her chest.

"That you snogged Krum"

"Oh for heaven's sake! It wasn't a snog, it was barely a kiss! I can't believe she told you that. That was shared in confidence!"

"Well, that's what she told me,"

"When did she tell you this exactly, anyway?"

"She didn't as much tell me as throw it in my face when I told her off for snogging that git Dean in public last year," he said.

Hermione looked at him as if she just understood something.

"Lavender," she mumbled. "So that's what that was about. You were jealous because you thought I had snogged Viktor, so you latched yourself onto the first woman you could find just to get even! She said with an appalled expression.

"NO!"

"Oh stop it, you've all but confessed already."

"Well, all right, I was jealous, will you stop it already?

"What? You're backing down?"

"Yes I am. You're right and I don't want to talk about it right now."

"But... all right, fine!"

"What are you hacked off about now?"

"Nothing!"

"Then why are you still yelling at me?"

"Perhaps because of the fact that you ran around half our sixth year snogging a girl because you were jealous that I kissed Krum once! You could have just talked to me about it you known and I would have told you it was nothing!" Hermione's voice was starting to get really loud at this point and she stood up, towering above him.

"Oh please. I know how defensive you get at the slightest mention of him."

"That's not true. You must be thinking of yourself!"

"Thinking of myself, am I? Just because I don't want my girlfriend running around snogging other blokes, doesn't mean I'm selfish!

"Honestly! I wasn't your girlfriend back then! I was at complete liberty to snog anyone if I had wanted to!"

"As was I, So I don't see what your problem is!"

"My PROBLEM is that you used Lavender as means to get revenge on me! Do you have ANY idea how much you hurt me?"

"Well, no," he said, and he had the decency to look ashamed, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to make you that upset," he said. "What is done is done, and it won't get any less done just because you are biting my head off. I have learned from my mistakes and, if it will make you feel better, I promise you that it will never happen again. So... are we ok?" he asked, reaching out his hand for her to take.

"Yes, we are for now. Though I'm going to have a talk with Ginny about this," she said as he let him pull her down on his lap again.

"I really am sorry," he said.

"I know. Just don't do it again."

"Don't worry. From now on the only girl I have any intention to snog is you," he told her as his lips descended on hers again.

• • •

He had no idea how long he had been sitting in the chair, his arms holding Hermione in a tight embrace. He thought he must have fallen asleep at some point, for something had definitely woken him. That's when he felt that Hermione was moving. He opened his eyes and found her beautiful brown ones inches from his, and they were moving closer. He closed his eyes again and parted his lips slightly, waiting. As he expected, he soon felt a soft pair of lips against his own. But this wasn't like the kisses they had shared before. This kiss was soft and tender. She spilled her heart out to him without saying a word. Ron felt whole and warm, and as they slowly broke apart he whispered, "I love you, Hermione."

"I love you too, Ron," came her answer as she pulled her arms more tightly around him and rested her head on his shoulder. "I love you so much. I couldn't live without you."

"Without you I'd been dead before I finished first year. Remember the Devil's Snare? First time you saved my life."

She gave a little laugh.

"What's so funny?" he asked.

"There's no wood," she replied as she laughed and blushed wildly.

"Oh come on. You were young and stupid. Well, no, you've never been stupid, but you get my point. Besides, you knew how to get rid of the bloody thing. Neither me nor Harry had any clue."

"OK, fair enough," she said shyly. "But still, if you hadn't saved me from that troll."

"Yeah, you're right. We have been saving each other's lives right from the start. I just hope I'll never have to do it again." He looked down. "The thought of losing you has always been my greatest fear; At least since I understood the nature of my feelings for you," he confessed, "and now so more than ever."

"Oh, Ron." She planted kisses all over his face and down his neck. "Me - too, - I - won't - ever - let - you - leave me," she said between kisses.

"Don't worry," he said. "I won't." He squeezed her body flush against his own as to prove his point.

"No, you most certainly will not," she agreed, laying her head back on his shoulder. "I will not lose you again."

"You never did," he assured her, gently stroking her back.

"I thought I did," she said quietly. "And it was horrible." He felt tears dropping onto his chest. She was crying again.

They hadn't talked about him leaving her and Harry before. Not really. Not like this. He was ashamed of what he had done. Hermione had been very angry with him when he had returned, too, and for a couple of days he thought that he had completely destroyed their friendship, let alone any possibility of ever developing a romantic relationship. The thought of what could have happened caused his own tears to build up.

"I'm sorry," he said again, and he meant it. "How can I make it up to you?"

She looked at him, her eyes still wet, but she was smiling.

"I can think of a few ways," she said.

He grinned. It was amazing how fast she could switch modes from 'Sensitive Hermione' to 'Naughty Hermione'.

"Just tell me," she said, her face serious again.

"What?"

"Well, have you done it with anyone else?" She looked nervous, as though she didn't really want to know the answer anymore.

"No," he said, giving her a reassuring smile.

"What about Lavender?" she asked, still looking quite nervous.

He was quite reluctant to bring her up again, but he thought it might be worse if he didn't answer the question.

"We never got that far," he confessed. "It was mostly just the snogging."

"Good," she said with a smile. "Then this will be new for us both." She grabbed his cock, which was already erect, and started to move to straddle his legs, but Ron took her hand and stopped her.

"Not here. Not like this," he said. "I want to do it right the first time."

"Right?" she asked, fixing him with a curious look.

"Yeah, you know... The normal way."

"Oh," she said. "All right. Come on then."

She slid off him and reached out a hand offering to help him up. He gladly took it. When he had gotten up to a standing position they looked around the room, still hand in hand.

"Yes," she said. "That will do." She pulled him across the room to a sofa that stood against the wall on the opposite side of the room. She laid down on it, letting go of his hand.

"I'll be right back," he said and he went back to the sofa to retrieve his wand from his pants. When he returned to the sofa Hermione had taken her knickers off. He looked at her for a second, taking in the wonderful vision in front of him, then pointed his wand at the sofa and said, "Engorgio." It grew to about twice its original size, and now two people could fit comfortably side by side.

"Good thinking," she said. "Now get over here."

That was an order he didn't have to be given twice. He tossed his wand aside and it rolled across the floor. Before it had come to a full stop, he was already sitting astride her. He was full of tension and anticipation. This was it. The moment. The thing he had done so many times in his dreams. Faced with the real thing, though, his dreams suddenly seemed like a bad attempt at recreating something extraordinary. Like the difference between kids waving wooden sticks, pretending they were wands, and using a real wand.

He leaned down, supporting his upper body on one elbow as he kissed her. His free hand stroked her belly, moving up towards her fine breasts.

"Do you know how many times I've had to almost put a Full Body Bind on myself just to keep me from attacking these?" he asked her. "I've stolen glances at them for years, but they feel much better than I ever thought they would." He was a little embarrassed by his confession, but she was now his girlfriend, and he felt that he should be able to tell her these things.

"Let's not keep any secrets from each other anymore," he said. "I've done enough holding back where you are concerned."

"Yes," she said breathlessly. "Enough holding back."

Merlin she was sexy when she was lying naked under him. He quickly decided that this might not be the time for this conversation. He had more pressing urges at the moment. He replaced his hand with his mouth and sucked on one nipple while pinching and tweaking the other with his free hand. Hermione was breathing heavily above him, moaning his name. His fingers slid down from her breast, travelling over her side, and coming to rest on her hip. His thumb was gently caressing her abdomen as he explored the valley between her breasts with his tongue. She was whimpering now, begging for more, so he moved his hand again, a little to the left, stopping right above her opening. A trembling finger was moving down and gently stroking over her folds, before sliding in. He had never done this before, so he felt it was better to perhaps stretch her a little so it wouldn't hurt so much. Just to be safe.

To be safe...

"Hell," he said, "I forgot the Contraception Charm!"

"It's okay," she said. "I took my potion this morning."

"You're on a potion? You were expecting something like this?" he asked.

"No, of course not. Now shut up and get to it before I make you!"

Ron stared at her, but quickly regained control of himself. He removed his hand from her and licked the juices off his fingers. It tasted sexy. It tasted Hermione. She looked at him, desire shining in her eyes, as she grabbed his cock to guide him to his target. He moved his pelvis slowly forward until he made contact. It was an amazing feeling. He pushed himself forward, entering her with just a few inches, and pulled back. Her mouth was wide open. He pushed in again, a little further this time. He felt her vaginal muscles clenching around him. She moaned, and he could hear his own name in her heavy breathing.

"Does it hurt?" he asked, for her eyes were blank with tears.

"Yes, a little, but don't stop."

Part of him hated himself for continuing. He didn't ever want to hurt her, but he knew that it often hurt the girls the first time. He didn't dare to think what she would do to him if he did stop anyway. Perhaps tie him to a chair and force him to make love to her. Come to think of it, that may not be so bad. Perhaps they could try it sometime – if he dared ask her.

He continued to thrust into her, a little further every time. She was now biting her lip hard, almost to the point of bleeding, and tears trickled down her face. He looked away and his eyes fell on her breasts. He grabbed one and squeezed it in time with his thrusts.

"Oooh, Ron!" she screamed, and he felt his control slipping away. He would come soon, and there was nothing he could do to stop it. He thrust harder, sinking himself all the way into her as he lost it and went over the edge, spilling himself inside her.

When his orgasm had died out they just lay there, exhausted by the night's events. Ron had partially slid off her, now lying over her in an angle so as not to crush her, but was still was inside her, though not as stiff as before. They lay there without speaking, just enjoying each other's company, the feel of their bodies on each other, savouring the sensations of being so close to someone else.

After a lengthy silence Ron asked: "So, should we just sleep here like this tonight then?"

"Yes. I'd like that," she said. Ron pulled out of her and got up to fetch his wand. After lying down beside her again, he conjured a blanket and covered them with it as Hermione borrowed his wand and waved it around the room to remove the Protective Charms she had put up. She then made a flicking motion and their clothes silently flew over to the side of the sofa and folded themselves into two separate piles on the floor.

"You're brilliant, you know that?" he whispered in her ear as he pulled her tight against him. Soon he drifted into the best sleep he had had in ages. Hermione soon followed him.

• • •

Ron woke up some time later. He looked at the clock on the wall: Eight in the morning. Hermione was still sleeping soundly next to him. He propped his head on his elbow and looked at her. She was so peaceful. So beautiful. He picked up a lock of her bushy brown hair and let it slide through his fingers. It was soft and slightly damp from the thin coat of sweat that covered her forehead. He could lie and look at her sleep all day, if it wasn't for the empty feeling in his stomach that told him that it was time to eat. He drew a finger over her cheek and along her jaw line, brushing her lips with his thumb, then he leaned in for a kiss. She gave a little moan as her lips answered to it.

"Good morning, love. Slept well?"

"Mhmm." She opened her eyes and gave him a tired smile. "Better than I have in months."

"Come on. Let's go down to the Great Hall and see if there is anything to eat. I'm starving," he said, smiling back at her hopefully.

"Oh come on, Ron. Is food all you ever think about? Why can't we just lie here for a little while? We can go down later."

"Well, normally I would agree with you, but my stomach is saying otherwise," he said and, as if on cue, it gave a loud rumble. "I haven't eaten anything since supper the day before we broke into Gringotts."

"Okay, fine. Just give me ten minutes to wake up and get ready, and then we'll go down together," she said as she stifled a yawn and stretched her limbs out as far as they could go.

"All right." Ron sat up and shook his head to get the last bit of tiredness out, then got off the sofa and pulled his clothes on. When he was done he sat down on the edge of the sofa again and Hermione sat up beside him with the blanket wrapped around her.

"Stay here while I go up to girl's bathroom and freshen up," she said, giving him a kiss on the cheek.

"Yeah, okay. I think I will go and do that as well," he said. He got up and started to move towards the stairs to the boy's dormitories. "Meet you back here then?" he said, smiling at her.

"Yes, I'll meet you here," she said, smiling back.

When Ron got back, Hermione wasn't there yet. He picked up his wand and banished the blanket and shrunk the sofa back to its original size. He then sat back on it and waited for her to arrive. For the first time in very long he felt that he was truly happy, despite everything that had happened. Part of him dreaded going down to the Great Hall and meeting everybody else. Especially Harry. He hadn't been in his bed when he looked into their dorm, so he must already have gone down to breakfast. And to go there he must have crossed the common room, and there he must have seen them lying together on the enlarged sofa. Had he realized what they had done? Or had he simply thought that they had fallen asleep comforting each other?

Just then Hermione came into view, walking down the stairs to the girl's dormitories. She looked gorgeous; her hair was damp and her skin was glowing.

"You look great!" he said, smiling broadly.

"Oh come on, Ron," she said. "I look just the same as I always do." But she was smiling back nonetheless.

"You always look great to me," he said in a low, slightly embarrassed voice, but he could see that she had heard him from the change of facial expression. She now looked a little embarrassed too.

"Well, you don't look so bad either," she said as she reached him. She stretched out a hand, offering to help him up.

"Come on, let's get down and get something to eat."

Ron took her hand and let her help him up. She gave him a chaste kiss and, still hand in hand, they walked out of the portrait hole.

"So, what should we tell Harry?" he asked as they walked down the marble staircase to the entrance hall. Hermione stopped walking. "He wasn't in his bed, so he is bound to know that we spent the night together, even though he doesn't know the full details of what we did, thank Merlin. But the fact that all our clothes were lying beside the bad ought to have given him some ideas." Ron felt his ears burn a little, and he sat down on the bottom step. Hermione joined him.

"Well in that case, I don't think there is any point in lying to him. You know how he gets if we do," she said, looking as if in deep thought.

"I think we should wait for him to ask us, and when he does, we will answer him truthfully," she said with finality in her tone that told Ron that she had made her decision and wouldn't budge easily.

"Yeah, that sounds okay," Ron said. "Though I wouldn't give him any gory details if I were you. He sees you like a sister, you know, and I certainly don't want to know what he and Ginny have been up to." Ron gave a small shudder at the thought of what his best friend could have done to his sister, but composed himself quickly.

"You ready to go?" he asked, standing up again, tugging at her hand eagerly. "I'm still hungry, you know."

"All right," she said, and let him drag her up from her sitting position. "How open do you want to be with this, though?" she asked. "I mean, do you think we should keep it a secret for now? People are still recovering from the war you know."

"Well, I, for one, have nothing to hide," said Ron. "My whole dormitory knows I fancy you, and I don't think they've kept it to themselves. Well, maybe Harry and Neville have, but I'm pretty sure Seamus and Dean haven't." He started blushing a little at this admission. "Anyway, I think Dumbledore would be happy if he knew there were a little more love in the world."

"Yes, you're probably right," she said in a low voice. "So... what did you tell them about me?" She asked this in a way that sounded as if she really didn't want to know the answer.

"What? I haven't told them anything!" he said incredulously.

"But you just said they knew. I just thought you had talked about me when you had... you know... guy talk." This time it was Hermione's turn to blush.

"Oh no," he said. "I wouldn't dare to talk about you in front of them. It's just... well... I talk in my sleep, all right?"

"Oh," she said. "Well, I've got nothing to hide either. I love you, and if people don't like it, well, they can just... eeh... bugger off." She gave a small smile.

"Hermione! Since when do you talk like that? You better watch yourself before I send a silencing charm your way."

"I guess you've had some bad influence on me," she said with a hint of a wink and a deep blush. At that precise time Ron's stomach gave another loud roar.

"Let's go and get you something to eat, shall we?" she said, pulling him with her across the entrance hall towards the Great Hall and, hopefully, breakfast.