Unofficial Portkey Archive

trapped by ayumi-nb



Well, here it is, the companion piece to my last story. It relates all those things I wanted to write about in "iw" but couldn't because it didn't fit with the tone of the story, nor the POVs.

This is told entirely from H/Hr's POVs, it explains many of the issues touched in the previous story, and gives greater details to other.

It's both fluffy and angsty, so I hope you like it!



(post-dh, companion to "innocent wisdom" // Hermione wonders when her ingrained habit of following the rules started being used against her. Harry just wants this nightmare to end.)

1351 July 30th, 1999 - The Burrow, Ottery St. Catchpole.

She doesn't realize she's moving until the kitchen's door slams closed behind her.

Hermione thinks, for a very brief moment, that she probably should go back inside, but doesn't and keeps chasing her best friend.


Her call goes unanswered, and Harry seems to hasten his pace after that. His longer legs and fast pace widen the distance between them and Hermione becomes anxious that he'll be out of the Burrow's wards before she can stop him. So, she hastens her own pace, ending up trotting to make up for the length of their steps' difference.

He crosses the wards anyway.

"Harry, please, wait!"

This time, though, her desperate plea is answered as Harry stops abruptly. Soon, she reaches his side, thinking that this whole mess might be solved, perhaps, if she talks to him, if she lets him rant some. It's the least she can do for her future in-laws, for Harry-for his happiness.

However, as soon as her hand lands on his arm, the tight squeeze of Apparition overcomes her senses.

"Are you excited about tomorrow, Harry?"

"…Ah? Er… I guess. I'm… more nervous actually."

"Well, that's normal. Marriage… it is a huge step."

"I guess."

"I… I'm just glad you're happy, Harry. You deserve it."

"I-I… Yeah… yeah. Thanks, Hermione."

When they land she's surprised to see the entrance hall of Grimmauld Place. She turns to Harry, but her question dies in her lips as they lock eyes. He's looking worriedly at her, and after a few seconds he finally releases the hand she hadn't realized he'd been holding.

He walks away then, and of course, Hermione follows him.

The hallway's candles don't give much light, and even when it's a very sunny day, the house is uncomfortably dark. Hermione realizes with a start that Harry is leading her to the sitting room, that he's yet to speak a word. The moment they walk into the room, the curtains move aside, letting in the sun's light.

Hermione lets out a breath she hadn't known she'd been holding. "I thought you got rid of this house."

Harry freezes briefly, suddenly, that Hermione fears she might have insulted him, but then he moves slowly towards the window facing the street. His answer comes in the form of a whisper. "I couldn't."

Two words, yet Hermione hears the whole explanation clearly. His pained tone says it all. He'd tried but couldn't get rid of the only place where he'd shared his last happy memories with Sirius, even if this house haunts him, even if Sirius hated this place.

It is that simple.

She moves closer, longing to hug him, ease his pain away, but not knowing if she's allowed anymore. He's married now, is their closeness still permitted? Will it be frowned upon, reviled? She doesn't want to… to think about it now. He's married (but she's not) and his wife is responsible for his pain now. So, Hermione closes the remaining distance between them and slides her arms around his waist, pressing her mouth on his back.

"How did you know?" Her voice, it is only a whisper, as she doesn't want to break the sudden entrancing atmosphere.

Harry takes a deep breath. "I told her, on our Wedding night, that I wanted to wait before we had any children. I wanted to finish my Auror training first, you know? I wanted to settle into married life before, well…" His voice, just as soft as hers, still manages to convey how very angry and hurt he feels. "She said it was okay, but didn't do the contraceptive Charm right away, said it had to be done right before… you know."

She does know. Hermione had researched enough about that Charm to understand the ins and outs. It has to be performed right before the initial penetration, otherwise it might not work. It wouldn't matter, however, to do it while pregnant; a baby would render the magic useless, obviously.

The silence prolongs, and Hermione gives his waist a squeeze to tell him she understands, tell him to go on. She wants to know what happened, to make Harry so angry, to make act so coldly to the woman he loves (but, has he ever said he loves Ginny?).

"We were… doing stuff, and apparently she couldn't think clearly because she forgot the Charm, but I reminded her and she did it. And during our Honeymoon, she always forgot… Every night, I had to remind her, and after the first week, I stopped and did the Charm myself… We were protected, Hermione."

Unbidden, a ferocious heat swells within her; just thinking of what her best friend Harry-dear, brave, sweet Harry-could have possibly done to his wife, every day, to leave her mindless-oblivious to anything. And she knows, without a shadow of doubt, Harry is not bragging, does not have the presence of mind to brag. He's merely stating the facts and if whatever he is capable of during… during sex is enough to leave a sharp woman like Ginny struggling to remember a simple Charm-a Charm that should come to her like a second nature now…

Hermione feels a jolt run down her spine, making her shiver, and Harry obviously feels it as he turns around, within the circle of her arms, and embraces her tightly. Sweet, sweet Harry, probably thinks she's cold… The heat intensifies, quickly making its way to her face, and it's all she can do to keep it hidden. Lucky her, Harry takes her sudden action as an opening to rest his chin on the top of her head.

He's gotten taller…


"So… that's how I knew."

"Oh, Harry…"

When had his arms started to feel so good, so… right, wrapped around her? Is it a recent thing… or has it been like that for a while (forever)? No, certainly, it's a fluke. He's hurting right now and she… she's been feeling… vulnerable, nervous, due to her upcoming Wedding… yes, that's all.

It means nothing, really, that Hermione feels as if his hands leave a hot trail of-something as the move over her back. It means nothing that she recognizes her body trembles not out of cold, but-nothing. Nothing. She's just being silly. Tis all.

She's just being silly, and stupidly hopeful. Letting her delusions get away from their perfectly constructed cage.

This will pass.

Just as soon as she steps away from him. That's all.

Any minute now.

Harry stops moving his hands, fisting them both on her jumper, and presses his mouth to the top of her head. He breathes deeply and slowly. If possible, he pulls her body closer. "I should've never-I should've known this was…"

Unconsciously, her hands repeat Harry's actions, fisting on his sweater. Hermione tilts her head back, her eyes asking for an explanation for his unfinished sentence. "Harry…?"

He looks back unflinchingly, almost as if debating with himself whether to submit to her unspoken demands, his green eyes move over her face, searching for something, until they come to rest on her own eyes again. For a moment, it seems as if he's going to talk, but in the end he says nothing. He smiles a little sadly, leans forward and places a tender kiss on her forehead.

An usually friendly gesture, but now, Hermione is sure there's more to that kiss-there's more to Harry, but… she can't quite put her finger on it…

Harry breaks the embrace, and steps away from her, turning around to his previous position.

Suddenly, Hermione feels that something inside her breaks.

2219 August 6th, 1999 - Number Twelve Grimmauld Place, London.

Harry sits quietly in the dark, his eyes riveted to the Wedding Band on his finger. He frowns and tries, once again, to pull it off.

He can't.

Growling in frustration, he feels like punching something but refrains, thinking the furniture and walls have no fault in the matter. No. The fault is his, for going into yet another aspect about the Wizarding World without learning about it first.

No divorces. Mrs Weasley had said the Wizarding World has no divorces, that the Marriage Bonding is forever. He hadn't wanted to believe her, had thought she'd only said that because he had expressed his desire to leave Ginny.

Apparently, if his inability to take off his Ring is any indication, she'd said the truth.

It can't be too late.

Oh, but it is.

Harry looks out the window, noticing the streetlight filtering through. It's not enough to light up the room, and he refuses to command the candles to do their job within the house. Why would he bother, anyway, the dark suits his mood perfectly.

Right now Ron and Hermione are probably in the process of completing the Binding Ritual, the last step to their Marriage Ceremony. And tomorrow they will be off to their Honeymoon, to spend it pretty much like he spent his with Ginny.

So why does that bother him?

Frowning angrily, Harry grabs his Wedding Band and tries with a vicious force to pull it off, to no avail. Still, he keeps trying, even when his finger starts to bleed, he doesn't stop.

It shouldn't bother me.

And really, it shouldn't.

So what if Hermione had been looking at him when speaking her Sacred Vows, what if her eyes had filled with tears for a brief moment? What if she had smiled at him, this little, prefect smile he now realizes has always been for him and him alone.

"…To love and to hold… For eternity and beyond…"

So what? She hadn't said yes to him, it had never been him (and he tries, valiantly, to ignore the little voice in the back of his head, whispering, accusing, that he never gave her the chance to choose him).

Letting out enraged scream, Harry leaps to his feet and kicks the centre table, sending it flying across the room to shatter to tiny little pieces against the wall.

Just like his suddenly broken heart.

The blood drips down his finger, hitting the carpeted floor with an almost ominous sound, and Harry thinks, for a moment, if it wouldn't be better to go back to his wife, if he shouldn't at least try to fix his broken Marriage. As it's obvious now, it is the only chance he'll ever get at having a family. Wouldn't it be better if he tries to make it work?

So, yes, maybe he had been manipulated into marrying someone he hadn't been sure was really The One. Maybe, he had been denied the chance to live his life as he saw fit. But, then, some of it had been his fault, he could have refused. He could have simply said no.

Only, all he can remember seeing, when confronted with the Weasleys was Fred-lying broken in the middle of the Great Hall-and George, drifting, broken, without his better half. Harry honestly thinks he'd had no other choice. Even now, the guilt still consumes him, even after a year.

But a single year has never been enough to get over the loss of his loved ones-of the innocent.

He ought to try; it's all he can do now. There's no other choice. Hermione is married now, and she would never cheat on her husband, no matter the circumstances, she would never cheat (even if he would, Harry thinks guiltily-for her, he would).

With a flick of his hand, he conjures up a handkerchief to wrap around his bleeding hand, and slowly, moves around the house towards the front door.

So imagine his surprise, when he opens the front door to find Hermione, still clad in her Wedding dress, with her hand posed to knock.

He stares stupidly, but she takes no notice of that and simply smiles in obvious relief before rushing into his arms.

"Oh-I'm so glad you're here!" Her voice sounds happy and clearly relieved, perhaps more than it should, but he's not one to complain, as he finally returns her gesture. "I thought maybe you would've gone with Ginny, but I wasn't sure and-oh, Harry, I'm really glad you're here!"

Harry manages to gather enough of his wits to pull her completely inside the house before closing the door firmly behind her. Not wanting to break their embrace, he walks carefully backwards, pulling her along, until Hermione seems to realize what she's doing and steps away from him. But, he realizes, only a little. She casts suspicious looks around the darkened hallways, and he's about to ask what happened to make her come here-still dressed in her Wedding regalia-when she beats him to it.

"Oh, honestly, Harry, you need to stop this brooding-in-the-dark thing of yours. It's starting to get creepy," she says, turning to give him a stern look, before dissolving into a sweet smile. "And I don't like creepy."

"Oh, right, I-sure, I'll… fix that."

A single snap of his fingers and the whole house is alight with life again, the candles flickering merrily to some unheard tune. Hermione nods lightly, her smile still in place, and grabs his hand as she turns to walk towards the sitting room, dragging him along.

It is only when they walk in that Harry remembers the mess he left behind; the absence of the centre table and the bloodstains are hard to miss. Hermione stops, takes a few seconds to inspect the apparent disaster, before she turns around and brings his hands up, closer to her face. Her smile is replaced by a frown, briefly, but then she gives him a fond look and, with a quick flick of her wand, heals his injury.

He can't stand not knowing anymore. "Hermione, what happened? Why are you here? I thought you'd be-shouldn't you be con… completing the Bonding?"

Hermione sighs in resignation, dropping onto the couch. "Ron stormed off." She extends her closed hand to him, waiting.

He responds in kind, not quite knowing what to expect. When she releases the object into his open hand, the only words he can get out is a strangled, "what?"

"He left me alone."

Hermione goes on, explaining how they had barely crossed the threshold of their hotel room when Ron had instigated a fight. Throwing mostly empty accusations, to which, after trying to keep calm, Hermione answered as is the norm between her and Ron, with the same amount of anger only, her accusations actually had ground where to stand. Then, he had stormed off, somewhere, and Hermione chose to come to him.

Harry remained oblivious to most of her rant, picking bits and pieces, enough to understand one vital thing. His eyes focused on the golden Band sitting on his open hand.

No Bonding had been completed. It's not too late.

"So, you're… you're not married?"


He nods, looks up into her eyes, slowly coming to sit next to her. "Who… who else knows?"

She shrugs. "No one, everyone? I honestly don't know, Harry. Ron could have gone to The Burrow, or not. And I honestly don't care."

"How…" And here, Harry hesitates long enough to catch her attention. "How are you feeling about… this?"

"I ought to feel distraught, don't I? I ought to be devastated, watching him leave like that. I ought to be trying to find him, but…" Hermione looks at her hand, free on any jewellery, then back up at him. "I actually feel relieved. I can honestly say now, I didn't want this. So, I'm relieved."


His mind is still reeling due to recent events, mainly Hermione showing up at his doorstep, Wedding dress still on, to essentially tell him she is unattached. The fact that he is currently attached doesn't quite make it across his mind.



"Would you do something for me?"

The way she looks now, so lovely as she bits on her lower lip, makes him realize he'd probably do anything she asks regardless of how idiotic or dangerous it might be. It is with wonder that he questions the past years in her company; had his friendship with Ron really been that important, even when he proved, over and over, to be a fickle friend? Had he really been so blind to this lovely girl, that he willingly handed her over in a silver platter?

Well, no more.

"Anything, you know I'd do anything for you, Hermione."

She nods and shifts closer to him, until their thighs are pressed together and the only space between them is the one that can't be closed without doing some very improper things. But Hermione is not quite done, and he doesn't really catch her intentions until she brushes her lips against his once.

Then she kisses him, for real.

And any lingering doubts disappear like smoke in the air.

2036 September 19th, 1999 - Number Twelve Grimmauld Place, London.

If someone had told her a few years ago, that there would come a time when Harry would hold her tenderly, would love her in every sense of the word-she would have probably hexed the one who dared, before fleeing to her room and battle against the tears.

Why? Because for years, she'd battled against her feelings for her green-eyed best friend, going from delighting, savouring them to refusing to acknowledge them. Her feelings for Harry had been both a blessing and a curse, and she'd been hurt enough to finally understand he would never see her as anything more than his friend.

Only, she'd been partially wrong.

It's not that Harry hadn't been able to see her as a girl he might fancy, it's that he'd needed her so much he never risked it-because for him, fancying a girl back then meant a break from all the drama that surrounded his life during Hogwarts, a distraction.

"You could have never been a distraction to me, Hermione. And I wasn't ready for more back then."

And it's true. She ought to know, of course, Hermione had been involved in his life as much as humanly possible.

But that's fine, she has him now.

Not completely.

But she has him in the only way that really matters. She might never carry his name, but she now knows she has his heart and soul, just like he has hers, for as long as they live. And because Hermione refuses to admit defeat, refuses to give Harry up (again), she'll scour every inch of the world for a way for him to undo his Bonding.

Mrs Weasley may have been right, in that there are no divorces in this world, but she knows every law has its loophole, and she's determined to find this one.

Harry's hands slid across her slightly rounded abdomen in a sensual caress, sending shivers up her spine, and then pull her closer to his chest. "Stop thinking, love, we need to finish celebrating your birthday before it's time to go to your parents' house."

She chuckles and grinds her bum into his groin, getting a moan out of him. "I thought we already did that?"

"I'm not done with you yet," he says, in that husky voice she's come to love.

Growling playfully, he manoeuvres them so that she ends up on her back with his delightful form looming over her. Harry smirks at her, in such a way that suddenly makes her remember that day during Third Year, when he was daring her to tell the Professors of his rule-breaking, when he snuck out of the castle under his Cloak.

Her face must've shown something, because Harry gives her a slightly confused look. "What?"

Hermione smiles, her love for him swelling within her heart, and she reaches out to touch his cheek lightly, barely grazing his skin with the tips of her fingers. "I love you so much, Harry."

It makes her heart ache every time she says it and he looks back in surprise, almost as if he isn't expecting such a confession. She knows, of course, the source of such surprise, the dark origins of his sometimes dangerously low self-stem. Eventually he smiles tentatively, and leans down to kiss her lips sweetly, whispering his response, so only she can hear it, even when there's no one else around.

The heated moment now behind them, Harry looks into her eyes and then at her still relatively flat tummy in wonder, smiling almost with a childish delight.

"I still can't believe you're pregnant, it feels…"


"Yeah…" He trails his fingers over and around her navel. "It's going to be a girl."

She laughs, shaking her head. "It's going to be a boy."

Harry grins at her, darting forward for a kiss before rolling to the side and pulling her on top of him. "Honestly, it's a girl. But really, as long as everything turns out fine I don't really care. It's yours and mine and it'll be healthy and perfect. That's enough."

It's been years since she's seen Harry this genuinely happy, and Hermione is determined to keep it that way. No one, no one is going to take this joy away from Harry, not if she has anything to do about it.

This makes her think of last week, and what happened at The Burrow, when she'd announced her pregnancy and the truth about her Marriage to Ron. She loathes to discuss her problems with an audience, and luckily only George and Bill had been present, no wives, so it hadn't felt to uncomfortable when she told Mrs Weasley off.

It had felt excessively good, letting her Wedding Band slid to the floor. Way too good to walk out of the house she once thought as her home. It had been for the best; Mr Weasley had apologized for letting his wife manipulate her into doing something she clearly hadn't wanted, and Hermione had accepted because her current issues had nothing to do with him, but with her wife and youngest daughter, mainly.

Still, Hermione knows her victory is going to be short lived. Somehow, she knows it with a stark certainty; Mrs Weasley, for all the fight she has put up when it comes to Harry and Ginny staying together, she had let her go too quietly.

But, not knowing what could happen, Hermione is left with no other option than to prepare for the worse.

At least, I have Harry by my side.

Hermione lets out a sudden squeal as Harry pinches her bum, giving her a small swat for good measure. "Harry!"

"You're thinking again," he says, and then kisses her temple. "Let it go, Hermione. If Mrs Weasley actually does try something, I'll be there for you, protecting you if necessary. You know, we're in this together."

She can't really help the sadness that descends on her now. "Not completely."

"Hey, none of that now," he says. Harry sighs and pulls her up against him, moving his hands down her back. "I trust you, Hermione. If you say you'll find a loophole to this stupid Law, I know you will. I want an out as much as you, and now… now we have another reason to find it."

Smiling is really all she can do, and kiss him too, perhaps, so that's what she does. Honestly, Harry can be too cute sometimes. As Hermione breaks the kiss, resting her head on his chest, he resumes his caresses, and slowly, almost deliberately, too much in fact, he lets his hands wander lower until he has a firm grip of her bum.

"You don't suppose we have enough time for one more round of passionate sex, do you?"

Really, there's only one way to answer that, and Hermione does it by grinning wickedly as she slides down his body, murmuring that it's her turn to make him squirm.

2357 August 1st, 2000 - Number Twelve Grimmauld Place, London.

He can't quite believe it's been a little over two month now, since Hermione went into labour. Harry chuckles lightly, his eyes moving from one side to another, alight with love and wonder. He's a father now.

Seems we were both right.

Twins. A boy and a girl. Of course it would be like this.

The babies shift a little, and little Rose starts pouting in her sleep, but before letting out her, by now, entirely loud scream, little Alexander rolls towards her and grabs the sleeve of her pyjamas.

"Good job, Alexander, protecting your sister will be your duty, as her older brother. Just like it's my job to protect you both and your Mum." Harry pauses, then smiles wryly. "Alexander is an awfully long name, it'll be hard for little Rose to pronounce once you start talking. But then, she is Hermione's daughter so…" Chuckling softly, he reaches out to caress their chubby little cheeks tenderly. "Still, maybe something shorter, for now, Alex, that sounds good, right? Or Al. I guess, you can decide later, after all, it is your name."

There's a soft rustling noise behind him, and then a sob. Harry looks over the bed, where Hermione is sleeping, only to find her curled up and hugging herself, crying. She's asleep but obviously distressed. He leans over the crib, kissing each baby on the forehead, before going to her.

Seeing her like this sends equal waves of both distress and anger coursing through his body. He feels kind of responsible for her pain, yet incredibly angry with the person who caused it.

Mrs Weasley had timed her delivery perfectly.

"Harry, Hermione, a word, before you leave?"

"What is it, Mrs Weasley? We need to put the babies to bed."

"Oh, I know, Hermione dear. In fact, what I want to say, it's about the babies."

"What about them?"

He feels the rage bubbling within him but stamps it down forcefully, not really wanting to throw a temper tantrum now. No, he needs to be calm to deal with this. They shouldn't have agreed to go celebrate his birthday to The Burrow. They should've stayed away. But Mrs Weasley had done nothing during Hermione's pregnancy or even after the babies were born. So, they thought, maybe…

Idiot, that's what he is. A bloody idiot, who remains to be too bloody trusting.

Calm and collected. I need to be calm and collected, for their sake.

Only, hearing Hermione sobbing in her sleep, seeing her tremble in anguish, it breaks something in him. She's hurting, and he can't help her. She's hurting and there's nothing he can possibly think of doing that might make this right.

Sitting next to her, he leans over to kiss her temple, caressing her face tenderly. Hoping, wishing, his mere presence were enough to drive her fears again. It seems to help, she stops trembling, but the tears are relentless. Never-ending.

Pain and fear grip his heart, just thinking about what Mrs Weasley said. Her explanation, the way she'd delivered her message, it had been so… unlike the woman he once thought of as a mother.

Cold, calculating.

"Oh, you must know, Harry dear, how the Law works in our world. Hermione, she is just a muggleborn. Being a single mother is bad enough in our society, but for those children to have been fathered by a married man? Inexcusable."

"Just a muggleborn? What are you saying, Mrs Weasley."

"I'm just explaining our Laws to you. Marriage, it is Sacred act to us. Children more so. My Ginny, coming from a long line of purebloods, she can invoke the Marriage Law and force you, Harry, to takes the children away from a single, muggleborn mother. They are, after all, yours. That way, they can be raised within a respectable, happy home."

"You can't…"

"Of course I can't, Hermione dear, but Ginny can put forth a complaint. And the Marriage Law, and those who govern our society, can take those children away from you. They can even forbid you from ever seeing them again. Such is our Law."

"I will never do that to Hermione!"

"The Marriage Law will force you, Harry… Oh, dear, don't look at me like that, I'm only trying to help! See? It is fortunate that your little boy looks so much like you, and this precious little girl, already with a tuff of red hair. Oh, Ron and Ginny will be so happy to know you'll soon be back to them, and with a child! And we will be a Happy Family again."

She'd managed to ruin the rest of their day, and probably the rest of their lives.

He growls in frustration, thinking about the unfairness of it all. It just-just when Hermione had managed to find something to give them hope! A book that explained, in great detail, why there was apparently no divorces in the Wizarding World.

Seven years. The couple had to spend seven years living under the same roof, with no physical contact whatsoever, and only then the Bonding would break. Seven years don't sound too bad, when they also found out that living-under-the-same-roof doesn't translate to spending every night there. They had tested it, he'd been able to go up to two week before the Wedding Band on his finger started to burn, signifying that he needed to go back, and then it was only for a few days.

They had already made plans to work around this condition, they'd been happy thinking they would have, at the very least, a somewhat normal life.

But now it's all ruined, their plans, and hopes. Everything.


A delicate hand grabs his, startling him. Harry looks down to find a pair of brown eyes blinking slowly; Hermione wakes up, coming out of her pain-filled dreams slowly, her eyes are dry now, but not for long, as soon, almost as if remembering her dreams-her nightmare, they fill up with tears again.


"Hey…" He lies down, pulling her into his arms, as there's not much else to do. "Hey, now, don't cry. Hermione, everything's going to be fine."

She chokes back a sob, albeit unsuccessfully. "Please, don't let them take my babies away from me. Harry, I'll die if they do, I can't-"

"No one is going to touch our babies, I won't let them. They'll have their Mum, they'll have you for their whole lives. I… I'll find something, I'll fix this." Harry presses his forehead to hers, looking deep into her eyes, willing his own tears to hold off for now. "I promise you, I'll fix it."

Hermione nods a little, burrowing into him, looking for the comfort he can provide. Harry is all too happy to give her anything she needs. Stroking her head, his hands travel slowly further down and over her back.

"I promise, I'll find a way. No one is going to take our babies away, no one will hurt them, I won't let them… I won't let them hurt you."

Time, he realizes, it's what they need now. Time. And help, from someone who can actually do something about these Laws, someone who ought to knows them. Someone they can trust.

McGonagall will help them, he knows, she'd been the one to lend her the book Hermione needed to find the loophole that gave them hope. She can help them again. And maybe Kingsley; he's the Minister now, he has a way in to find this Laws and its loopholes, he ought to know too.

Tomorrow, he'll talk it over with Hermione tomorrow. They can think of a plan, tomorrow.

Tonight, they'll simply find solace in each other.

1307 June 26th, 2004 - Ron's and Hermione's Residence, Ottery St. Catchpole.

It is amazing how a person can feel so many emotions in one single moment.

Take this instant for example. Hermione looks at her babies and feels the smile on her face widen, her hearts swells with love and protectiveness for them; she's immensely happy simply by hearing them laugh and be children. It's all perfect and beautiful.

But then it's not.

The stabs of pain come unbidden every time they call each other cousin, tears at her heart knowing they might never know the truth about the precious connection they share. They're happy, but her little boy doesn't know she's his mother, just like her little girl doesn't know Harry is her father. To Al, she's simply Aunt Hermione; and to Rose, he's Uncle Harry. Both very loved, but not in the way they both desired.

Shaking her head, Hermione decides she will enjoy this day with her children, regardless of the current situation. It helps that she knows, Harry has told her, that Al is not really fond of Ginny as his Mother; while her boy is never insolent, he goes out of his way to spend as little time possible with the red-haired woman, choosing to come over this house to play with Rose or even going as far as asking Harry to take him to work when he doesn't have any field work.

It really helps, just as it helps Harry that Rose is pretty much the same, but, and Hermione loathes to admit it, it' could never be enough.

"So, you're absolutely sure?"

"Yes, Harry, the contact that you need to avoid in order to break your Bonding is the sexual kind, even little kisses, as those can lead to more."

"Yeah, well, don't we know it."

"Focus, Harry."

"Right, sorry. So, if we go to these Balls, and I grab her arm or touch her back, it should be safe?"

"Yes, you will."

"I guess that will appease Mrs Weasley enough to leave us alone… I hate the fact that she keeps threatening us with the children…"

"It'll be over soon, Harry…"

"The next five years are going to be a nightmare."

"We'll manage… because the alternative is not an option, for either of us."

She walks into the kitchen, thinking she ought to start making lunch now, as the little ones will be demanding food soon. Being in there makes her think of Ron, and how he never ceases to surprise her, sometimes in a good way, but mostly in bad-horrible ways.

It'd been sheer luck, or maybe another calculated move of Mrs Weasley, that she and Harry managed to postpone separating their children for two years. Hermione thinks it was planned, because when the time came for it, when Mrs Weasley gave them an ultimatum, saying Ron and Ginny wanted to meet their future child, the twins were old enough not to suffer from the sudden separation but not old enough to remember things clearly, so that they would never question anything.

They, she and Harry, had exhausted every resource they had to see if there was a way around this Law, they found none. Although an alternative came up, but it would make their main goal come to a quick and painful end.

"…I found something, that could prevent Mrs Weasley to force this Law on me…"

"…You don't sound too happy. It not a very good option, is it?"

"Not really-I don't know. Hermione, it will prevent them from forcing me to take the twins away from you, but…"


"But, it would require me to acknowledge my Marriage to Ginny, in a way that will stop the breaking of the Bonding. I can take you as my Mistress, or even as a second Wife, you know because…"

"You're the Heir to both the Potter and Black Houses."

"Yes, but to do both, since I married Ginny first, I need her approval. To seek her approval will mean I am honouring the Bonding and won't be able to break it ever again. And if I ask, she will say yes-"

"-if only to keep you as her husband. Right."

Ultimately, they decided to tough it out. Time flies, so they'd thought they would make it, and for the most part they had. But it got hard sometimes.

It gets hard, every other day.

It's fortunate, that as soon as it had been decided they go along with this farce, Harry had purchased the house next to his and Ginny's, and offered it to her and Ron, as a present, only she had had the house to herself for almost a year before Ron turned up-with a little surprise of his own.

Little Hugo is so much like his father, it's scary.

Shaking her head to dispel those unwanted thoughts, Hermione's resolute to enjoy her day off with the twins. With lunch now ready, she's about to call her children when someone starts pounding on the door. Frowning, she casts a Stasis Charm on the food, and moves quickly to the front door. Opening it quickly, and with a scathing word poised to come out, Hermione is left frozen on the spot at the sight of an extremely flushed Harry, who's obviously sick if his swaying from side to side says anything. Anger swept aside, she reaches out to him and before she can even open her mouth to speak, he acts.

Moving quickly, astoundingly so, Harry crosses the threshold, closes the door, and has her trapped against the wall, devouring her with his mouth. Hermione has enough time to mutter that the children are playing outside, that they might come in at any moment, before he shuts her up again with his mouth.

His kisses always manage to drive any and all thoughts out of her mind, with surprising efficacy. Always, Harry manages to drive her to the brink of pleasure with few kisses, and now it's not an exception. If anything, it seems the heady passion of every press of his mouth against hers leaves her in a mindless bliss, so much so, that she completely misses the sudden squeeze of Apparition, only to realize what happened when he slams her against another wall.

Her room, she barely recognizes it as Harry forces a moan out of her while anxiously tearing at her clothes. Hermione wants to ask what happened to make him this eager, but something about the way his eyes darken more and more tell her it's something beyond a spontaneous desire to see her.

Finally, getting tired and frustrated with his lack of progress, he vanishes her clothes, and making quick work of his trousers, picks her up and enters her in one swift thrust.

The intrusion is sudden enough to elicit a gasp out of her, but having him hit that sweet spot makes her moan loudly, and for a second she worries it might be heard by their little children. But Harry doesn't stop, doesn't seem inclined to quieten her, actually seems to revel in the fact he can make react so strongly (she's never been so loud before), so she kisses him, engaging him in battle for domination she loses quickly-Harry keeps thrusting almost with a desperate need.

His tight grip on her hips will leave marks, she knows, but really doesn't care. She trembles in pleasure; Harry is always passionate when they make love, but now he's so being rough-it makes her head spin with excitement. His rumbling groans making her moan in response to his enthusiasm.

He picks up his pace, grabbing her bum and shifting her until he reaches deeper inside. Tearing his mouth from her with another deep groan, he bends a little to reach her chest, fastening on one of her nipples, sucking and tugging it for a while before switching to the other. Hermione is left to clenching her jaw to stop herself from screaming. The sensations were too much.

Good Lord, whatever made him like this…

All too soon in her opinion, his thrusts become jerky, a sign that he's close to orgasm. Luckily, so is she, if not quite there yet, but Harry's always been considerate, and letting go of her bum with one of his hands, he slides it between their sweaty bodies and rubs her clit with enough force to send her over the edge. He lets go of her breasts and buries his face in the crook of her neck, and suddenly Harry bites her shoulder hard enough to make her cry out as he shoots out his release. He keeps thrusting until she feels him soften inside her, and then, on unsteady legs, he walks backwards, carrying her along, until they fall on her bed.

There's a prolonged silence, in which his hands start massaging her abused hips and bum, before he talks. "I'm sorry…"

But that apology, she is not expecting. "What?"

The sudden knock on her door startles them into shock, and it's only when there's another knock, closely followed by their daughter's voice that Hermione springs into action. Quickly rolling off Harry, she grabs her bathrobe and puts it on, throwing a blanket over the partially dressed man lying trembling on her bed.

Oh, this can't be good for my sanity.

After she's sure her bathrobes covers her properly, Hermione opens the door a little to see the twins staring up at her, she shifts slightly to ensure neither can sneak a peek into her bedroom. "What is it, sweetie?"

"We're hungry, Mum," says Rose, enunciating each word perfectly, as she always does (she really is too much like her).

Al nods next to her, before posing a question of his own. "We wanted to know if my Dad is going to come home soon, Aunt Hermione."

Hermione blinks owlishly at them, suddenly acutely aware of Harry's presence a few meters behind her. She opts to answer Al's question first. "I don't know if your Dad can take the afternoon off, sweetie, but I will ask him. After lunch, okay?" She gets a quick okay from both of them. "Now, go wash your hands and wait for me in the kitchen, I'll be with you in a moment."

"Yes, Mum!"

"Yes, Aunt Hermione!"

Sighing in relief, she walks back to Harry, sitting on the edge of the bed, closer to his head. He's still trembling, she doesn't understand why, doing the only thing that comes to mind that might help him relax. She slowly strokes his hair out of his face.

"I'm sorry, for biting you, and most likely bruising you as well…" He says, opening his eyes to stare at her. His green eyes, they waver between his normally bright green to the dark green of arousal.

Hermione doesn't know what to think. "That's… okay, I don't mind. But what happened to you?"

A violent shiver runs through him as he clutches the blanket covering the lower half of his body. "Ginny."


Harry tightens his jaw, and closes his eyes, taking deep breaths. "She came to my office, brought lunch. I couldn't exactly send her away, as she cornered me in front of my colleagues. So we ate, I practically inhaled the food, so she would leave soon. But I started to feel feverish all of a sudden and she was looking at me too intently, so I knew she did something."

His recount of those facts sparks some long acquired knowledge to come forward in her mind, and suddenly she knows what is happening. "Harry…"

"I sent her away, actually threatened her, and then Flooed to St. Mungo's. They checked me, found a very strong and peculiar Lust Potion. The Healer said it was nothing short of amazing that I wasn't going mad with lust, as that was the objective of the Potion if one tries to resist. Said they couldn't heal me, that I had to let it run its course."

Hermione is nodding along his explanation, already thinking how to do damage-control, as they have a pair of extremely curious little kids in the house, and Harry has to work off his needs until the Potion has run its course. "So you came to me."

"Of course, Hermione. Even if I knew I ran the risk of seriously hurting you, the alternative was finding some random woman, or Ginny. And that's not possible. We only have two more years before this nightmare can end; I wasn't going to throw it down the drain." He opens his eyes then, already a dark, forest green. "I'm just sorry I forced myself on you like that…"

"It's not your fault, and… well, I didn't mind… I… I actually quite liked it; it was so… rough, hot…"

He groans in response to that. "You're not making it any easier on me… Hermione, I don't think I can't resist another minute-"

She blushes hot and drops her bathrobe. Grabbing his hand, she places it between her legs and lets him work his magic for a while, and then pulls away to his protesting moans. "Masturbate, Harry. It won't do much, but it'll help you control your urges for now. Let me tend to the twins and then I'll drop them off at my parent's and… we'll work on getting rid of the Potion's effects."

She barely manages to stand when Harry is upon her again, she curses herself, thinking she might have overdone it when Harry thrust inside her again, then a couple of times more and then he quickly steps back. His trembling intensifies.

"I'll wait for you at Grimmauld Place…"

Then he's gone.

Half an hour later, Hermione Apparates into Black Manor, and she has enough time to close the door before Harry is pressing her up against the hallway's wall.

They spend the rest of the day oblivious to the world, taking care of more important things.

1857 July 31st, 2007 - Potter Manor, Cardigan Bay.

It is with tired, yet happy kind of sigh that Harry sees the last of his guests leave.

Finally, for a while there he'd stated thinking his friends would never leave.

He smiles when a pair of arms wrap around his waist, followed by a warm and entirely enticing body pressing against his back. His smile widens when he looks down at the hands grabbing his shirt, small and delicate, and spots the beautiful Engagement Ring adorning one of those delicate fingers.

"Alright, Harry?"

He looks over his shoulder to find the smiling face of his current Fiancée, at least for another three months. "Alright."

Hermione grins at him, tugging on his waist until he relents and turn around with a laugh. She tiptoes to place a kiss on his lips, and he can swear he feels her love for him seeping through such small gesture.

"It was a good day," she says after breaking the kiss.

Harry hums contently, hugging her tightly. Still-he still feels like he'll wake up any minute now to find himself trapped in the nightmare of the previous years. But, and he has to stop the urge to pinch himself, it's real.

They're free now.

"It was… I thought it'd be awkward, you know, but… it wasn't."

"Because of Ron?"

"Yeah. But, he was good. He's been good."

"He has. I think he finally managed to let go of his issues enough to grow up into the man he's turning into now." Hermione makes a pause, darts in to give him another kiss, and then grabs his hands to drag him towards the back of their home, we they'd held his birthday party. "He's dating Luna now."

"Wasn't she married?"

"She was a widow. Her husband had an accident, during one of his travels. As far as I know, Luna decided to honour the memory of him by focusing on their twin boys."

"Uh, did not know that."

They walk out, into the backyard, and sit on the steps. Content to watch their playing children. Happy that Rose and Al have had no problems from going from cousins to siblings in such a short time.

A year is never enough to get over this kind of things. But-they try.

After his Bonding with Ginny was broken, Harry talked it over with Mr Weasley and they both decided the best way to break the news, was to give an Interview. Rita Skeeter had been chosen simply because not choosing her could have led to unsavoury stories that were complete bullshit.

The Interview, it spoke of mislead teenagers who thought they'd found their soul-mate only to realize they had been wrong all along. It spoke of seven years of courteous behaviour, of a man and a woman determined to get back their lives-their freedom. It then went on to explain of a love found between best friends (and here, Rita did her thing by reminding her readers of her correct assumption way-back-when). It was made clear, though, that the realization came too late for one, but not for the other.

It spoke of bravery and friendship and (-oh, Harry, be careful) love.

Their aim was always to paint their story in the most benign way, to show that neither Harry nor the Weasleys planned this, that they both regretted deeply, but wasn't it for the better? Didn't their saviour deserved to be with the woman who stood by him through thick and thin?

Of course, the identity of Rose had to be released, as the identity of Al's real mother. But again, Harry cut enough of a deal with Rita to encourage her to tell that story in the best possible way.

It hadn't helped, as articles in Witch Weakly spent about a month speculating exactly how that happened, when it was implied Harry was faithful to his Wife until the breaking of the Bonding. Running unsavoury stories about Hermione, and sometime painting Ginny as the victim.

Other times, Ginny was ridiculed for not being able to keep the Boy-Who-Lived.

That's when things with Ron took a sudden turn.

He gave an Interview, right in the middle of Diagon Alley.

"They're calling it a moment of weakness."


"Rose and Al. They're calling them a moment of weakness on your part. Apparently, according to very reliable sources, you came to confess your feelings to me, I reciprocated tearfully, but said we couldn't be because you were married."


"Then you kissed me and we lost ourselves in our love. Afterwards, we were truly sorry for doing that to Ginny, and the guilt only intensified after finding out about my pregnancy. But eventually, we were happy about the news, we're having a baby! Babies are always a blessing. So, we decided to hide it until your situation could be sorted out, to spare Ginny, our dear friend, the humiliation."

"You're having me on, aren't you?"

"Not really."

"Who's the source?"


When they had bumped into Ron a few weeks later, he'd looked better, but still incredibly awkward to be in their presence. When Hermione asked why he gave the Interview, he answered honestly he had done it to spare his sister any more pain. And after a long silence, had said he'd also done it because he felt guilty for not stopping his mother for making them all miserable. He said he knew of Hermione's feeling for a while, and that he'd also realized Harry's sometime before his Wedding to Ginny, but said nothing.

"You're the best friends I could ever had, and I'm so sorry I let things get to what they are now," he'd said, looking truly regretful. "So, I thought, I need to grow up, eh? Move on. I have a kid now, I can't be one myself anymore. Hugo needs me."

It'd been their fractured relationship what stopped Hermione from hugging him, Harr knows. He'd wanted to hug him as well. So, they settled for second best and made plans to get together sometimes, to try to rebuild their friendships, that at one point was the strongest of them all.

Of course, it hasn't been easy, trying to go back to normal never is. But Ron proved one day he's actually smart when he wants to be, and suggested they all start from the beginning again.

"Hi, I'm Ron. Ron Weasley."

It's better now.

Harry pulls Hermione into his lap and gives her a deep kiss, feeling too happy to do anything else. When he breaks away he smiles, and is delighted to see her return it with one of her own smiles-that smile, his smile.

They're together now, will be for the rest of their lives, and come the end of October, nobody will separate them. Ever.

"I love you," he says, softly.

She kissed him softly again, and whispers her love in kind.

The sweet moment, Harry knows, is about to be broken most rudely, but he can't really help his grin. Hermione give him a confused look, one he returns in mild amusement, because a second later she's screaming her surprise as a yet of water hits them unexpectedly.

"We got you! We got you!"

The twins hop around the yard chanting their triumph at having finally caught them unaware.

Hermione gives him a reproachful glare. "You had to teach them that, didn't you?"

He laughs because they're partially right. Both the twins and Hermione. Yes, he had taught them how to control their magic, but it's been their idea to use their control to pull pranks on people. And yes, the twins had caught them unaware, a little, because he felt the shift in their magic but hadn't paid enough attention to it.

He laughs because his life is finally perfect. Watching Hermione chase their children around, promising, in jest, a painful punishment once she catches them makes him feel like the happiest man in the world.

He laughs because he's free, he's loved and he loves.

At last.




Yes, Molly turned out to be a pretty manipulative bitch, eh? But then, this is the woman who landed her husband by the use of a Love Potion, so that tells me she is capable of anything to get what she wants.

And if she thinks she's helping the daughter who's been groomed to love the Boy-Who-Lived get the Hero, and helping her son get what he wants, I don't think it's to far-fetched for her to do what she did in this story.

I redeemed Ron. Ginny's fate is up to you.

Thanks for reading, and please comment!

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