Chapter 14

Chapter 14 – The Luckiest Witch Alive

Harry held Hermione close as he carefully carried her into the bedroom, kicking the door to the alchemy cell shut with his heel as soon as they were inside, sealing them in. A whoosh of sex magic accompanied the closing door and Hermione let out her first throaty moan of the night as it crashed through her body.

It wouldn’t be her last.

She looked up into Harry’s face, wondering if she should be embarrassed or not. Judging by the fire dancing in his eye, she thought probably not. He looked liked he wanted to devour her. She thrilled at that, dripping in anticipation for that moment. But there would be so many moments tonight, Hermione really couldn’t decide which prospect excited her the most. In any case, when she considered it as a whole, it was quite simply the most mind-blowing proposition she’d ever been faced with.

Harry gently set her on her feet. For a moment they just stared at each other, not really sure how to begin. So, in the pregnant pause, Harry drew his wand. He held it between his palms and closed his eye, taking in deep, steady breaths. Hermione wasn’t sure what was happening, but she could feel a build-up of pressure as Harry pushed out his magic. The air was tautening, congealing, and growing so hot that Hermione could see beads of sweat forming on Harry’s brow. Her insides squirmed and wriggled, her breath halted somewhere between her lungs and lips and blood pumped hard between her legs, as Harry’s magic swept out from him and enveloped her.

And then, as though he were some sort of sonic pulse, Harry literally exploded.

With a dim flash of light, magic erupted from Harry like a bomb. It rushed into all the runes and markings and totems, charging them with his potent sexual energy. It cracked his bedside table in two. The runes buzzed with sex power, the crystals flashed with light and the very air itself vibrated, as the waves of Harry’s magic reverberated off the walls, intensifying like an echo.

But Hermione hadn’t noticed any of this. For the force of Harry’s magical discharge had caused a wave of orgasms in her so powerful that she’d lost all coherency and collapsed.

Harry helped her back to her feet, a look of deep concern in his eye. He looked fearful, as though he’d done something wrong and expected a scolding. And he was physically trembling. His robe was fluttering with it as he wrung his palms together. He had no idea what he was supposed to do next. And it was, for Hermione in that moment, simply the cutest thing she’d ever seen.

Hermione now took the lead. She pressed close to Harry, placed her hands on his shoulders, and kissed him softly. Up close, he looked even more terrified. His eye was wide with nervous fright. He was back to being a teenage boy again.

“This is how this is going to work, sweetheart,” Hermione whispered in a business-like manner. “It’s your first time, so you wont last five minutes if we jump right in. Especially with the magic pumping around in this room. Only, I’ve been waiting for you to fuck me for ten years…so you’d better believe tonight is going to last more than five minutes!

“So, here’s what we’re going to do – I’m going to get you off first, then we’ll give it a few minutes, build you back up and go again. Okay.”

“Okay. I’m all in your hands,” Harry grinned goofily in reply.

“Well, actually, you’ll be in my mouth, but I can get my hands involved, too,” Hermione purred in a sexy rasp. She felt Harry shudder under her palms.

Hermione pulled on the tassel at the back of Harry’s robe and let it fall away. Her eyes popped wide at her first vision of him naked. She was going to take a moment to drink this in. It was just the most…it was…she gave up. Her stolen breath had taken away any words that might have described it adequately. He was quite as tight and toned as she remembered during his Quidditch days at Hogwarts. But, back then, she’d never been allowed to wallow in the beauty of his muscular legs, or his flat stomach. So she was in erotic heaven as she swooned at him now.

Then there was that arse, firm as a peach. She couldn’t resist squeezing it, and Harry tensed for her with a filthy little laugh. Now it was Hermione’s turn to take a spin at trembling. She ran her hands slowly up his back, across the scar tissue of his old dragon wounds, and over his shoulders to the burn that the locket Horcrux had left on his chest. There were other wounds, too, ones he hadn’t told her about yet. She traced her fingertips over them delicately. Harry flinched at her touch, but tried not to show that he did.

“It’s all right,” she whispered gently, brushing a soft kiss to the corner of his mouth. “I wont hurt you. I’ll never hurt you. Your scars are my scars now.”

Then she moved her eyes, and her hands, downwards. Over Harry’s stomach, beneath his waistline. And she got her first look at his penis. And Hermione wondered wildly if it was her birthday. It might have been, it was around that time of year. And what a present this was. He was large, long and wide. He was fully erect and the veins were popping out with the potency of his arousal. Harry gasped, as Hermione wrapped her fingers around his most tender body part for the first time.

It was just the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen or felt. She dropped to her knees…and it became the most beautiful thing she’d ever tasted, too.

She felt the silk of his glistening pre-cum coat her tonsils as she took him fully into her mouth, her lips cupping his shaft gently, as her tongue massaged his tip and dipped beneath his foreskin. Harry’s breaths came in soft, rapid moans and he took handfuls of Hermione’s hair in his fists. She was driven senselessly hot by the sounds he was making.

One of her own hands was between her legs already. The other, which had been alternating between rubbing Harry’s balls and clenching at that ridiculously firm arse, joined it there. She dipped her index finger into the astonishing moistness of her own arousal, then returned it to Harry’s arse, pressing it gently, cautiously, to his anus. He considered and assessed it in one moment, then allowed it the next, giving to it as his body relaxed. Hermione slid her finger in up to the second knuckle, and Harry moaned deeply in a rattling breath and writhed against her hand. She let him settle a minute, to adjust, then began to gently massage his prostate in a rhythmic motion.

Hermione had two fingers thrusting in and out of herself by now, while her thumb span in little circles around her clit. She slid her little finger down to her own arsehole and eased it in, groaning at the sudden increase in pressure and the burst of pleasure that accompanied it. She wasn’t sure if she would be able to fit Harry’s impressive cock in there later, for he was much bigger than the vibrator she normally used, but she was determined to try.

For she didn’t want Harry to miss out on anything tonight, on any type of pleasure, or on any part of her own body.

Just then Harry began to tauten. His fisted grip in Hermione’s hair became firmer and firmer, until he was pulling so hard it was flirting with painful. But she wouldn’t dream of telling him to ease up. She tightened the pressure she was applying with her lips, moving him in and out of her mouth and increasing the speed of her finger pumping. She pulled him closer, encouraged him with more pressure and speed until he lost control.

Harry throbbed, heaved, and Hermione felt him shoot into her, hitting the back of her throat in warm, salty bursts. He must have been full. Obviously, Hermione reasoned, for he been unconscious for days and unable to relieve himself. The vision of him playing with himself, maybe while thinking of her, drove Hermione to hot senselessness. He would so be doing that for her. The very idea was driving her mindlessly wild. She pumped her fingers harder into herself, clenched her eyes shut and came with a rattling orgasm so intense that it caused her to fall over and drag Harry down on top of her.

Neither had noticed that the air had become so dense and hot that the glass in the window had actually cracked and melted. Or that the runes in the walls were genuinely smoking from it.

Hermione was dizzy from the intensity of her orgasm. She held her forehead a moment and tried to catch her breath. But Harry was recovering quickly, roused to primal form now. He scooped Hermione up and placed her gently on the bed. Then he drew his wand and flicked her dress off. She gasped as the sexual intensity of his magic touched her. It prickled over her hot skin and she quivered at it.

“What are you going to do to me?” she breathed lustily, revelling in the waves of sex magic pulsing from Harry’s wand.

“Now it’s your turn,” he said breathily, his eye sparkling with intensity.

Harry flicked his wand and Hermione’s arms and legs snapped apart until she was star-fished. She giggled in excitement. It seemed to drive Harry mental. He licked his lips and pounced on her, his plan forgotten a moment. Their lips met and battled roughly, tongues duelling ferociously. Hermione started in shock – she’d forgotten to cast a cleaning charm on her mouth. She wondered what Harry thought about tasting the residue of his own semen.

If the passion of his tongue-thrusting kisses was anything to go by, he didn’t seem to mind. If anything, it was stirring him to yet new heights of desire.

Harry pulled away from Hermione, and took up his wand again. He cast a silent spell, causing Hermione to rise a full foot into the air.

Good Merlin, what’s he going to do to me? Hermione thought vapidly. Anything and everything please.

Harry moved around her slowly, admiring her so intensely it felt, to Hermione, as if he were actually absorbing the vision of her into his very being. She could see him thinking so many things, so many wonderful things, about her as he looked. She was shy about accepting his pure adoration of her form. How could he think all that about her? It was just the most wonderful thing.

Then he pressed the cool tip of his wand to her skin, drawing tiny pictorial spells onto her belly, tickling her crazily. He eased some of his magic into them, and pushed them into her body, into her very ovaries. She had no choice but to cry out at the surge of pleasure they caused. It was breathtaking. Harry moved onto her breasts and did the same thing, causing her nipples to spring up and her boobs to swell as blood rushed into them. She thrust her chest out on reflex, begging Harry to give it his attention.

But he just smiled wickedly at her and kept up with his casting. He moved to her inner thighs, her arse, and finally onto her clit and labia. Hermione couldn’t be sure, she’d have to do some research, but she was reasonably convinced that no woman, in the history of the human race, had ever been in the throes of such intense sexual pleasure as she was right now.

She was so mindless she didn’t even know what planet she was on anymore.

And Harry wasn’t even touching her. But she was insane as to what it would be like when he did. For he had turned his wand on himself now, drawing yet more runes onto his hands and fingers, his tongue, and eventually onto his cock. Hermione felt sure she was going to lose consciousness with the rabid anticipation, with the promise.

She knew she’d pass out when Harry eventually got around to fucking her.

But, first off, he was just going to taste every single inch of her it seemed. He started at her neck, nibbling at her skin and driving her crazy, before sucking on her earlobes and flicking his tongue against that absurdly sensitive piece of flesh just behind it. Hermione blinked at the pleasure, she had to stay cogent for this. But it was a hard run thing.

Then Harry moved, finally, down to Hermione’s chest, with a trail of hot little kisses across her collarbone. He licked up the outside of her right breast, which was so sexily ticklish that Hermione almost came again just from the contact there. Then Harry just let his mouth hover over her erect nipple a moment, his hot breath driving her crazy. He flicked his eye to hers, moistened his tongue, gave her a dirty little wink and moved in slowly.

Harry knew what was coming, what was about to happen. Hermione didn’t. She was hopelessly unprepared.

For as soon as Harry’s tongue touched her nipple, and the runic spells on each met, Hermione exploded in a screaming orgasm of such ferocious power that she caused the bookcase to completely disintegrate. Books cascaded to the floor, some flew out and smashed into the walls opposite, as intense magic and pleasure burst free from her in pulsating waves. It was so overwhelming, she had to wandlessly push Harry’s head away from her a moment, just to strive for a few lungfuls of clean air.

Hermione snapped her head up to stare at him.

“Are you f-fucking kidding me?” she panted out. “You could have warned me!”

“And missed that look on your face!” Harry chortled. “You asked for a sex ritual, I’m only doing as I’m told. Which is what you wanted, from what I’ve heard.”

“I did, I did,” Hermione agreed, gulping hard. “This is all my fault.”

“More?”

“Oh fucking hell yes!”

Harry clamped his mouth down onto Hermione’s other nipple, sucking it in hungrily and flicking it deftly with his tongue. There was a distant tinkle of breaking china in the breakfast room, as Hermione’s pleasure spilled out of her again, and Harry looked mildly concerned. The wards and runes were clearly supposed to contain their passion for much longer than this. But it couldn’t be helped.

They’d just have to face the consequences in the morning, and hope they had a palace left to call home.

Harry moved away from Hermione’s breasts and resumed his hot kisses on a downward trajectory. He took his time, too, moving left and right and driving her to the edge of a mental breakdown. She writhed and arched and made such filthy keening sounds that she hadn’t thought herself capable of before. The delicious frustration at being restrained and under Harry’s mercy was turning her feral.

Hermione hadn’t expected to find this so hot. She felt racily naughty, like she was flirting with the forbidden.

And her language was appalling…the torrent of utter filth coming out of her mouth, well…if the others could see and hear her now…she wouldn’t be able to look any of them in the face ever again. White Queen indeed! She was actually terrified of what would happen when Harry eventually reached her clit and fanny.

It wasn’t the expected loss of consciousness, that would definitely happen, especially as Harry’s runic-enhanced fingertips had joined forces against Hermione’s runic-spelled nipples, teasing and pinching with devastating effects to her psyche. As well as the general vicinity around her. The bed had shifted at least three feet from its usual position, due to the shaking vibrations she was causing. And she was still hovering a good foot above it.

She was sure, that when Harry reached that moist spot between her legs, life would be lost somewhere in the palace. Maybe her own. But, she reasoned, there were worse ways to go…

And then Harry’s tongue dipped inside her, flicked teasingly at her clit, before he enveloped her with his whole mouth and began sucking hard. It was like he was trying to drink her. Little pinpricks of light popped before Hermione’s eyes as the first pleasure waves crashed through her wracked skull. Harry was ridiculously good at this. A natural at his first try.

Luckiest witch indeed! Hermione thought.

Which was quite the miracle in itself, as thought was beyond any of her powers just now. She just floated there, in and out of her body at once, dizzy but content. She noticed that sound had left the room, and motion, too. That swirling magic, like a fierce breeze, seemed to have dissipated and Hermione wondered idly where it had gone, but she was too mindlessly content to really be bothered by it.

“Rennervate!”

Hermione blinked her eyes open. Harry was looming over her, looking fitfully concerned. She felt the cool of his sheets beneath her white-hot skin.

“Hermione…h-honey…a-are you okay?” Harry stammered. His voice was tiny.

Hermione blinked again. Sensation came rushing back. She throbbed and ached passionately between her legs, her heart was speeding at all her pulse points and she was wildly exhilarated…but Harry was dabbing a cold cloth to her sweaty forehead. And he looked so worried for her.

“I’m so sorry,” he was saying, in that frightfully agonised tone. “I knew this was too much…I’m sorry…I just wanted…now it’s all gone wrong…”

Harry was looking so fraught with guilt that Hermione’s heart bled at his distress. Of all the things she knew about him, of all the darkness and pain she knew he carried inside, to think that he could be loathing himself for going to such lengths for her pleasure…that he blamed himself for a mistake on their wedding night…it was a thousand kinds of wrong in Hermione’s world. She had to soothe his agitation fast, before it became another addition to his dark, mental plane. She had to pull him back…before she lost him to his misery. She reached up and cupped his head gently.

“Hey..hey,” said Hermione softly, smoothing his cheek. “I’m all right.”

“No, no, I’m so sorry…this was far too much…I was stupid…I just thought…I wanted…”

Harry looked pitiful, distraught beyond the telling of it.

“Hey, come here,” Hermione whispered tenderly, in genuine, heartbreaking surprise at how badly Harry was being affected by this, her concerned tone gossamer-soft and lyrical. She pulled herself up, then drew Harry as tightly to her as she could, his head on her shoulder, and began threading her fingers rhythmically through his hair, soothing him as best she could. She gave him a moment, hugging him close, whispering soft words of reassurance into his ear. Harry relaxed into her embrace, his body sagging against her arms, and, for a minute, he seemed content to just let Hermione hold him.

However, once she was satisfied that the dark moment had passed, Hermione was stirred to playfulness again. “Now…don’t you think you’re getting away that easily,” she purred flirtatiously into her ear. “I want you inside me. Now.”

Harry pulled back, cautious and unsure.

“What? A-are…are you sure?”

“I said now, Harry,” said Hermione, winking sexily.

Harry hesitated, so Hermione pulled him down to her, feeling his weight as he settled on top of her. She reached down for his cock, which had lost its potency in his worry. She teased it against her soaked entrance, pulling his mouth back to hers with her free hand. Harry simply moaned against her lips. She felt him re-harden in a moment and it was a startling sensation, to feel him grow against her fingers. It was a positive affirmation, too, for Hermione now knew she had the power to arouse Harry at will.

That wasn’t a magic she’d ever give up.

And then, with a slight readjustment of her hips, Hermione eased Harry into position…and guided him in.

If she could ever define completion in her life, this moment would be it for Hermione Jane Potter. Harry fit inside her perfectly, filled her up, as if his shape had been designed with her in mind. She gasped at its symmetry. He touched her everywhere, on all her sides, and she was sent into wondrous raptures as she clenched around him.

Hermione chanced a look up at him, to gauge his reaction. Harry’s eye was wide with innocent surprise, all of these sensations brand new things to him. Hermione just thought it the most insanely sweet thing, that she was able to give him these first experiences with her…the only one he’d ever wanted to share them with. She’d never felt so possessively covetous of anything in her whole life. Hermione smiled up at Harry, feeling so obscenely in love that it pulsed around her body as powerfully as any of her earth-shattering orgasms had.

But, it was high time she got back to those.

Hermione gave Harry a second to acclimatise, then encouraged him to move. He let her guide him, soon falling into a rhythm that suited them both. Hermione’s mind disappeared into the stratosphere, swept away in the overpowering tempest of lust that now powered through her. She became a slave to sensation, narrowed her perception to just that space that she and Harry were occupying in the world. A space of ferocious, indefinable pleasure.

Hermione squeaked in surprise as Harry, emboldened by his performance, took control. He flipped her into different positions, moved around, experienced her in new ways as they explored their bodies together. All the while stirring that dirty, sex kitten side of Hermione he’d roused earlier. She invented new obscenities to scream to the heavens, to try and do it justice. But failed spectacularly. Harry plunged into depths Hermione never knew she had. But it was like he belonged there, was built purely to find these new spots on her, born only to bring these new desires to her surface.

Though Hermione was scorching hot and struggling to breathe with them a bit by this point. The air in the bedroom was ridiculously dry and dense and she needed something fresher. She could only imagine what was happening to the rest of the palace. Then, she got a slight clue, as she glanced over Harry’s shoulder at the melted window, which was now just a blob of gooey glass oozing down the side of the house.

And Hermione was hit with an idea.

She flipped Harry over, straddled him, and he laughed in surprise. Hermione began to ride him expertly, rolling her lower back like a practiced lover, till she shuddered to another thundering orgasm and collapsed atop him. This was getting obscene. Hermione thought it should probably be illegal. Harry’s magic, and the spells he’d cast on them both, had intensified the natural sensitivity of their bodies to such a fever pitch that he could make her come on command it seemed. A handful of thrusts and she was a mess again.

And she was loving it.

But Hermione still needed to breathe, so she slowly eased Harry out of her. She felt him go with a profound sense of loss so fierce she yelped at it, as though stabbed by a physical pain. She hopped up quickly, pulling him to the gap where the window had been. And she leant out into the cool, night air. It washed over her searing skin in beautiful, breezy little tickles. Hermione turned her head over her shoulder, flicked her hair down her back, and gave Harry a sultry, wanton look, beckoning him to her.

This time, he knew what to do.

Harry pressed close to her back, easing in gently as Hermione parted her legs for him. He groaned, she gasped, he pounded into her relentlessly, till she writhed and screamed lustily again, causing the bottom two floors of the palace to shake violently. Then Harry began to move again, slowly at first, reaching around to cup Hermione’s breasts, pulling on her rock-hard nipples as he thrust deeper into her. Hermione threw her head up and arched her back. She came twice more before she could even count to ten. She amazed herself that she even remembered what numbers were anymore, in this world of delirium. And she knew she was almost at breaking point.

But Hermione wasn’t quite done.

She let the shuddering waves of her last orgasm dissipate through her a moment, then reached around again. She withdrew Harry slowly, rubbing his tip against her torrent of wetness, to slicken him as much as possible. Then she guided him gently upwards.

When Harry’s purple hot bell-end touched her anus, Hermione had to bite her lip in astonishment. Her sensitivity there was incredible. The touch sent little electric pulses shooting all through her. Harry seemed to have frozen, unsure of himself again. But Hermione had just had to feel his heat in her bum. So she worked him around in little circles, pushing with increasing firmness on each rotation, until finally she was stretched enough, and Harry slid through and entered her arse.

Hermione moaned with such throaty filth at the penetration that she could have sworn she heard a little nervous laugh escape from Harry. She pushed back, practically growling with each inch that she took into herself, until finally she felt his balls slap up against her open, throbbing cunt. For that’s what it was called now. All its cutesy names had followed her head out of the window. She threw her head around like a feral cat, resumed her stream of gutter verbiage like a bout of sexual tourettes, and realised, with a stirring jolt, just how far down the ground was from the seventh floor.

And then, her fear of heights kicked in and she recoiled, pushing back harder onto the heat of Harry’s cock.

This worked for Hermione. Harry still wasn’t sure if he was supposed to pound the fuck out of her anally or not. She would have to educate him on just how much she loved this. So he stayed relatively still in his uncertainty. In response, Hermione forced herself to look out the window, then baulk back in fear, then repeat the process over and over. So they fell into a sort of grunting rhythm. Hermione made a mental note of this for the future. The contrasting stimulations were sending her wild, Harry’s moans had gone up a sexy octave, and the orgasm building in her loins promised to blow her head off her shoulders.

Whether it was the pressure, the tightness, the movement, the erotic naughtiness of fucking Hermione’s arse or her guttural noises, maybe a combination of the lot, but it proved far too much stimulus for poor, inexperienced Harry. He felt the surge coming, tried to grip onto Hermione’s waist to regain control, but he’d reached a natural finish point. It was how Hermione wanted it for him. So she thrust on him harder, reached back to grab his hips and encouraged Harry to let go and shoot into her.

She didn’t expect him to roar like a lion when he did it. Or that his sudden increase in size would send her so far over the edge that most of the power crystals in the room shattered, as she came like an out-of-control steam locomotive.

Harry hadn’t transformed, which Hermione was pleased about, as that was just too weird a concept, but Harry had channelled all his inner animal into her. It was a good job he was grabbing so tightly onto her hips, Hermione thought, as Harry’s explosive orgasm might have sent her toppling through the window frame. He breathed hard, panting restlessly, before falling down on top of her, nibbling her ear from behind as he huffed lustily into it. That drove her senseless, too. They stayed like that, heaving lungfuls of air together, until Harry lost all his firmness and slipped easily out of Hermione’s arse. She eased him back and led him to the bed, where they lay together in utter contentment.

“Well…that was…that was…” she panted out, shaking her head with dizzy astonishment.

“I have no frame of reference obviously,” Harry breathed back, still gulping for air. “But that was the single most incredible experience of my life. You’re amazing at this!”

Hermione smiled deeply. That wasn’t a compliment she’d been expecting. She had hoped that she and Harry would be sexually compatible – to compliment all the other ways in which they were so perfectly suited – but this flawlessness was beyond her wildest dreams. For Harry to just come out and say it…it set her heart to dreamy flutters.

“No, actually, we’re amazing at this,” she corrected him. “Doing it together. Harry – you’ve left me utterly breathless!” Hermione reached over and brushed Harry’s sweaty hair back from his forehead. “Oh…and because I forgot to tell you when you said it earlier…I love you, too.”

Harry laughed at her. “How can you even remember that? I don’t even know what fucking day it is right now!”

“It’s the best day of my life,” said Hermione lovingly, stroking his cheek, carefully avoiding his scar. “Thank you, Mister Potter.”

“No, thank you,” said Harry. “Missus Potter.”

Hermione swooned at the words and hugged Harry close a moment, before admiring her wedding ring again in the soft light still strobing from the runes in the walls. The ones which weren’t just scorched, burnt out remnants anyway. She flicked her eyes up and met Harry’s gaze, determined not to cry again. For she was desperately close. He looked the same. His adoring eye tinged with moisture. Hermione noticed, with a curious bolt, that the tear duct on Harry’s shattered eye socket still worked. There was a single tear glistening there. That was bizarre.

“We’ll give ourselves half an hour, sweetheart,” said Hermione, steadying herself. “We’ll summon Rhian for some water, and maybe some fruit and a bottle of wine or two. Then we’ll be soppy and emotional for a bit, and get it out of our systems, okay?”

“And then what?” Harry asked mischievously.

Hermione’s eyes flashed naughtily. “I cant tell you that. You kept that bloody rune spell thing from me, now it’s my turn to surprise you. See if I cant blow your mind, too.”

“Half an hour,” Harry parroted. Then he looked around at the carnage they’d already wreaked in the bedroom, and sighed deeply. “You call Rhian…I’d better recharge these wards!”

* * *

“Do you think they’ll ever stop?”

Enola asked the question and looked up, her eyes bright and her cheeks flushed. She watched Neville pulling on his underwear and lifting baby Ally from her cot for her feed. Enola was still trying to catch her breath. She didn’t understand where Neville was getting this stamina from. She reasoned he must be trying to make amends for lost time.

Not that she was complaining. He’d screwed her senseless a couple of times yesterday in Harry’s wonderful sex-charged room, and now he’d seen to her twice more, in the time since Harry and Hermione had sealed their marital chamber for their own long awaited sexual union.

It was a union that was fast becoming a marathon. For they’d been at it for fully seven hours now.

And it showed no signs of relenting. Neville had been going around putting out fires for hours. Literally. The air was positively equatorial in the palace and anything made of textile or wood was vulnerable to spontaneous combustion. Neither he nor Enola could come close to even imagining what it must be like on the seventh floor. It might have burned to a crisp for all they knew. Neville had tried to get up there, but the air was so hot, so dense with sex, from the fifth floor up, that he couldn’t endure it.

But Neville didn’t want to waste the perfectly good erection it gave him. So Enola was finding herself a very lucky girl tonight.

“They’ll have to give it a rest soon, surely,” Neville pondered, proffering a bottle to Alison.

“I don’t know,” said Enola, thoughtfully. She was sat up in bed, involuntarily pinching her exposed nipples, driven by the sexually-charged air still soaking through the entire house. She didn’t even notice she was doing it, until she caught Neville just gawking at her. But she had no intention of stopping. “Min has been waiting for Harry to take her to bed since she was, what? Thirteen? Fourteen? That’s a lot of sexual tension to work out. Oi…stop staring! Cheeky!”

Neville grinned at his wife’s faux complaint. “Then stop doing it!”

“I can’t,” said Enola, smirking sexily, though her complaint was a little more sincere. “I’m just so turned on. I can’t switch it off.”

“You and everyone else around this place,” said Neville bluntly. “There’s so much sex in the air…it’s like a bloody whore house out there.”

Enola giggled. “Did you repower the wards?”

“Yep,” Neville nodded, rocking Alison gently. “Didn’t make an ounce of difference. Whatever Harry and Hermione are conjuring up there, my magic is decimated by it. I might as well have been using a rice paper shield against an incoming asteroid for all the good it did.”

“Poor Min, she wont be able to walk by the time they do take a break,” said Enola dreamily.

“If the intensity of the atmosphere out there is anything to go by, I don’t think she’ll mind that one jot,” said Neville. “But I’ll have to do something if they don’t ease up. Give it another hour and even pieces of the furniture will start fucking each other!”

“Is it that bad?”

“Well, put it this way,” said Neville. “I went to put out a blaze on the fourth floor. It was near Susan Bones’ room…and her door had been blown off its hinges…and, well, you’ll never guess?”

“Her and Cassie?” Enola quirked with a grin.

“Oh. You know,” said Neville, disappointed that his piece of hot gossip was ruined. “Anyway, Sue had Cassie’s head smushed so hard between her legs it looked like she was giving birth to her! So I thought I’d better take Angharad her pain relief potions…as Cassie was obviously busy. So I did, only to find that Ann was having a different kind of pain relief, herself. Namely, that she was on all-fours and Myfanwy had lost her entire fist inside her! Her whole fist, En! Up to her wrist! That must take some stretching.”

Enola laughed. “So, you’ve had a few eyefuls then!”

“More than enough for one night, thanks,” said Neville, huffing. “I’ve passed on fire marshal duties to Pat and my dad, while Owain is going around collecting all the tiles that keep flying off the roof. Sir David and Lord Kelvin are busy trying to repair the windows on the lower floors. Harry and Hermione just keep smashing them.”

“Poor Min,” Enola laughed. “She must be like a quivering jelly up there.”

“The worst part is, Harry’s been researching a whole load about sex magic,” said Neville. “He can spell himself to stay hard without ejaculating, apparently. They could be at this until they physically exhaust themselves and just pass out. This could last days.”

“Ah well, maybe we should just get some provisions in and bivouac down, ride it out,” said Enola. “On the other hand, you have given me nine or ten orgasms in the last few hours. We could just stay in bed and aim to make it a Baker’s Dozen!”

“Well, let me just finish feeding our daughter her bottle,” said Neville, his eyes flaming lustily. “Then you can give me a teat to put in my mouth, too.”

Enola giggled naughtily, then burrowed down into her sheets to wait.

* * *

Harry woke gently and looked around. It was light, which meant he’d been making love to Hermione all night. Making love to his wife all night. The thought sent his mind into a tailspin and, for a moment, he just stared up at his ceiling, fighting the urge to kick his legs up and down with the ecstasy of it. Harry noticed the plaster on the ceiling was cracked and blistering.

Like it had been exposed to some serious heat.

He laughed quietly to himself at that. He didn’t want to wake his wife, fast asleep next to him. His wife. Harry grinned widely and decided he wasn’t going to use her name for a while. Just her new role title. It made him stupidly happy just to think it. He wasn’t supposed to be this euphoric. It wasn’t even contentment. It was bliss. Enraptured, exalted bliss. But he was Harry Potter. Dark, broody, tough saviour of the world.

Mindless joy wasn’t supposed to be on the menu.

Harry slipped quietly from the bed and eased on his dressing gown. It was, remarkably, in one piece. It must have been one of the few items left in the room that could make such a claim. The place was a state. There was actual debris littered around Harry’s feet. He found the sight ridiculously funny. He bit down on the sleeve of the dressing gown to offset a fit of hysterics that threatened him, as he looked around at the charred walls, broken furniture, the aftermath of his sex-shattered domain.

Harry Potter had never seen a funnier sight in all his days.

He pulled the dressing gown around his shoulders, black and red, the Gryffindor badge emblazoned on the right breast. He didn’t bother tying it, as the air was still stiflingly hot. He’d better open the window, in case his wife needed a bit of a breeze. It might blow the heady aroma of sex from her sticky skin. Oh…oh yeah. There was no window! Harry just stared at the vacant square in the wall, remembered what he’d been doing there a few hours before…

And Harry smacked his lips at the luscious memory. He turned to look at his partner in that sexy crime, spread-eagled on his tangled sheets, naked as the day she was born. She was so beautiful. This was definitely Harry’s favourite outfit for her. He wondered vaguely how often she would wear it for him.

Every day…for the rest of my life…as long as she doesn’t mind.

The truth of the thought careened into him, and he was back to grinning like a dopey teenager again. Harry picked up one of the wine bottles Rhian had brought them last night and slurped down its remnants. It may have been a bit early to start drinking, but Harry was parched and in a celebratory mood. Then he spotted the other bottle, wedged firmly between the splintered remains of his bedside table. He remembered, with a flashed memory of learning the lubrication charm, some of the other uses he and the wife had found for that particular item. Who knew she’d turn out to be so kinky?

Or that he would be, either!

They’d decided it was just another element of their perfection, the compliment to each other. They would have no boundaries, no limits. Nothing was off the table. If it might give them pleasure, it was worth a couple of tries. That meant boundless possibilities and Harry was pointedly keen to begin that voyage of exploration.

But, not all aspects of the world had changed overnight. It was still full of darkness and fucktards and people who needed, quite simply, to be destroyed. Today, they were all going to get a free pass, a day off. Harry was going to enjoy the day after his wedding like a normal man would. It would be a bit backwards, with a feast and a party and excessive alcohol consumption a day after the wedding itself, but, as Harry reasoned, his life had never been straightforward, so why would be expect his wedding day to be any different.

Then, after that, he was going to go full tilt at his enemies. They had been allowed to regroup and re-strategise long enough. He wondered what they thought he was doing, being so idle as he was. He assumed, by now, that Riddle would know about Hermione. Her awesome display at the ICW had been a thing of beauty, but Harry knew the spies and traitors among their ranks would have sent word to that snake-blowing cunt as soon as they could.

Harry didn’t really care. He wanted the world to know Hermione was his anyway. If only so, when the time came, their enemies would know exactly what they were being butchered for. Harry had returned to this mortal plane to marry and protect Hermione. He hadn’t had a fucking clue how it was going to happen, but thank the Gods it somehow had. She was his wife, his soul mate, he would burn to ashes the world that threatened her.

There was also this exciting little detail of her wanting a baby with him as soon as possible.

If there was anything worth destroying and rebuilding a world for, it was that wonderful prospect. A baby…with Hermione! Harry grinned at his wife’s alluring naked form and wondered just when she’d bring up this nugget of information with him.

She’d prefer a girl. Even if she’d debated it with herself, Harry had felt the truth with undoubted force. He was slightly concerned that his wife might want to steal little Celesca Lovegood, and he was genuinely considering putting an elfish security detail on Luna – lest she come to meet her end by some unfortunate accident – but he was also tempered by the fact that Hermione had come around to the idea of babies so swiftly.

For being in Hermione’s mind had been an illuminating, if at times horrific, experience for Harry. He would have to get into mediation within the next forty-eight hours and siphon off some of the worse things he’d seen. The fresh, pulsing euphoria of his marriage was only masking the abject horror of some of the memories he’d witnessed, of Ron’s abuses to his beautiful girl. Scenes that Harry was now trying desperately hard not to dwell on.

They’d already decimated so much of the palace with their relentless love-making, Harry’s angry rage was more than capable of taking care of the rest.

So he forced the memories aside and made his way through to his alchemy cell. He smirked at the ashen remains of the bookcase-door, the singed pages of books which once adorned its shelves. Harry chuckled to himself. Hermione would be so horrified to learn she had damaged books! He rather hoped she wouldn’t mind too much in this case. It had been worth it.

He cast a look back at her, drank in the vision of her naked body.

I smashed that, he thought proudly, nodding to himself. He tapped his flaccid cock to acknowledge a job well done, then began drawing a bath into the large copper tub.

Harry turned back to his dresser and frowned. Not having a door on the room made this a risk, and he couldn’t be bothered going back for his wand to cast a concealment spell. But this was something he didn’t want Hermione to know about. It wasn’t a secret, he wasn’t keeping things from his new wife, but this was a shame he wasn’t ready to share with her just yet.

Harry huffed out a breath, he would just have to chance it. He opened his potion drawer and took out the six vials he needed. Two of them were a sort of bubble bath, brewed from phoenix tears. Harry added them to the splashing water, watching critically as his bath turned a pale sort of yellow hue. It was the colour of urine, hardly alluring. But his deeply wounded bones would be thankful of the healing properties later.

One potion was for pain-relief in his scar. He found a pippet and began pinging droplets of it over his face and into his hollow eye-socket. The rest he sprinkled onto one of his shawls, that he luckily found in a drawer. The droplets on his skin burned and seared like icy acid and Harry lashed around, biting down hard on his tongue to keep in a hissing cry.

He drew blood he was so intent on staying quiet.

He turned and picked up the scarf, stared hard at it, took three swift breaths for courage, and quickly wrapped his face. He was hit with, and fought to absorb, another fresh wave of agony on the contact, and lurched back against the dresser, swearing lowly under his breath through gritted teeth. He turned his knuckles white, such was his death grip on the dresser’s washbasin, as he tried to offset the excruciating torment that was his treatment. But soon, his face was numbed and he sucked in a rattling breath, then looked quickly over at his slumbering wife.

She was still sleeping. She hadn’t seen a thing.

Three potions remained. Two helped his mental controls, calming and clarifying his mind. He felt pretty clear today, in all honesty, but he didn’t want to take the risk. This was a day he just had to be alert for. He knocked them back. They tasted like cherry this time. She was a good girl was Cassie, she was always making little additions like this for him.

The last potion was to clean his blood. The dark poison oozing around in the scar on his face was infectious, it had to be controlled. Well, as much as that potent a level of Dark Magic could be. The stench from his scar right now was vile. Genuinely, gut-churningly offensive. It lingered in Harry’s throat and he dry retched at it. It can’t have been cleaned for days, he reasoned.

There would be consequences with that. Harry glanced over at the calendar on his wall. Well, he called it a calender, but maybe countdown would be more accurate. It was nearly time to have himself checked again. Might as well get Narcissa to do it while she was here.

She could tell him how far the infection had spread now.

But Harry didn’t want to think about at the moment. He turned back to his bath, which was nearly full…and winced as something stabbed into the underside of his toe. He reached down and picked it up. Or, rather, picked them up. And scowled viciously.

The two halves of Hermione’s old wedding ring, left exactly where they’d fallen from her finger.

Harry could sense the slime of the Weasley signature in his very hand. He closed his eye and drew their magic towards himself. It made him feel more nauseated than the fetid stink of his rotting facial flesh. This had been a family heirloom. Nothing much, just a piece of random tin that Arthur’s grandmother had once owned. It had no value. Ron wouldn’t have parted with anything significant to bind his marriage to Hermione. But this was Weasley enough. It allowed Hermione to be controlled by him, tracked by him, spelled from afar. By any of them. The link was strong enough for that.

And, as Harry stunningly realised through his quick meditative assessment, it was still strong enough to allow him to get to them.

Harry clenched his fist around it hard, in something bordering jubilated triumph. Hermione made an odd sort of snort from the bedroom, but she was just shifting in her sleep. She turned onto her side, so her bare arse and the sexy curve of her back were now pointing at Harry. He grinned wickedly. Now he could have a nice little perv on her from his bath. He slipped the two ring halves into a side drawer, pricked his finger with one of his alchemy tools and sealed the drawer with a blood spell. Now only he would be able to open it. He nodded in satisfaction, angled himself to best ogle his gorgeous wife, then slid into the warm bath with a deep, contented sigh.

* * *

Hermione blinked her eyes open and stretched her body out. It was indecent to feel this relaxed, she decided that in seconds. But this new decadence was the definitely way to go for her. It was the future. She immediately felt a stabbing sense of cold though, as she thought, for a second, that she was alone. Harry wasn’t by her side.

But he was close. She could feel him, like he was a gorgeous new limb she’d just grown.

“There she is, my beautiful bride. Hey wife.”

Harry’s voice was like honey to her, an elixir to that fleeting worry. Hermione looked up and found him, sitting on the window ledge, his dressing gown…his open dressing down…fluttering against a light breeze. She swooned at his part-exposed torso a moment, her mind wandering with her darting eyes. Harry was lounging against the remnants of the window frame, eating a slice of watermelon. He looked so peacefully content that Hermione’s heart actually throbbed with joy as she looked at him.

Then she frowned. “What’s with the scarf?”

“Er…I’m an ugly cunt without it?” Harry offered.

“Harry,” said Hermione crossly. “I thought we agreed you wouldn’t wear it anymore.”

“When? I agreed to no such thing,” Harry protested playfully. “I did say I’d take it off to kiss you senseless, but that was it. And, as much as I’d love to be, I cant be kissing you senseless all of the time.”

“I don’t see why not,” Hermione grinned, stretching again. “Sounds like a fine way to live.”

“It would be,” Harry agreed, then he smirked at her. “But, the point was, you said I agreed never to wear my shawls again. Which I didn’t.”

“Why don’t we call it an unspoken covenant, between a wife and her husband,” said Hermione patiently. “Take it off.”

“No.”

“Take it off so I can see your face.”

No.

“Harry.” said Hermione sternly. “Take it off, let me see your face, then come here and give me a kiss.”

“Hey…that’s just cheating,” Harry protested weakly. “That’s bribery.”

“No, I prefer to think of it as blackmail,” Hermione quirked smoothly. “Because I wont give you a kiss if you don’t do as you’re told!”

“Then we’ll both miss out on kisses,” said Harry dramatically.

“Harry…”

Hermione,” Harry aped, sighing. “Look, I was out of it for days. My scar hasn’t been treated in that time and I have cleansing spells on my shawl. It fucking stinks when it gets to this state. Trust me, honey, it’s better this way. You’ll just have to accept that there will be times when I have to wear my wrappings. So, why don’t you scoot that sexy arse of yours over here to me, enjoy the view from the window and help me eat some of this buffet the elves have made for us.”

“You know I don’t like heights, Harry.”

“You didn’t seem to mind last night…”

Hermione blushed scarlet. “There were a lot of things I didn’t mind last night, I’ll have you know. But your sassy mouth wasn’t one of them! Now come here!”

Harry sighed, accepted defeat, and conceded to Hermione. He looked over at her cute, bossy expression. He couldn’t win. She was too adorableDespite being pretty much his own personal dictator. Harry was completely under her sway, and he could never deny her anything that it was within his power to provide. Hermione exerted total dominance over him, and he gave to her whims happily, like she was some sort of tyrannic puppy that it was his honour to pet.

Hermione grinned and lorded her victory, as Harry crossed to the bed and stretched himself out languidly next to her.

“That was pathetic, sweetheart!” said Hermione, giggling. “I told Luna that I’d eventually get you to do whatever I asked, but I expected you to put up a bit more of a fight than that!”

Harry shrugged. “What can I say? You’re naked. I’m powerless against that inducement.”

“That’s good to know,” said Hermione, turning and snuggling next to him for a moment. Then she sat back and eyed him playfully. “Well, chop chop. If you’ve gone to all this trouble to bring me breakfast in bed, you might as well pour me a cup of tea!”

Harry guffawed and set to work, busying himself at the large trolley full of fruit and pastries and drinks that the house elves had placed next to the bed. “Well, I can’t really call it breakfast in bed, seeing as it’s about two or three in the afternoon. But, here’s your tea.”

“Oh dear, is it really that late?” asked Hermione, blowing the liquid to cool it. “You should have woken me sooner.”

“Like fuck I should have,” Harry countered, laying back down at Hermione’s side. “Watching you sleep is just the most beautiful thing. I find it very therapeutic. I’m looking forward to doing it a lot more.”

Hermione blushed. “That’s a little creepy, but okay,” she teased. “So, what have you been doing all morning?”

Hermione looked over as Harry shifted suspiciously. “Nothing much.”

“Harry?”

“Okay, you broke me,” said Harry in mock indignation. “I’ve been assessing the damage we did to the house, if you must know.”

“How bad is it?” Hermione smirked.

“Well, most of the crockery and furniture on this floor has been totally annihilated,” Harry began, with a thoughtful grin, propping himself up on his elbow. “And we burst all of the plumbing in the bathroom, so the entire floor was flooded. But there’s good and bad with that.”

“Good and bad?”

“Well, we caused flash fires on the sixth floor, which combined into something of a localised inferno, but the flood waters from seven seeped through the ceiling and put most of it out, so I’m seeing that as a total win. We won’t be able to use the sixth floor for at least a month, though. We were experimenting with some potion-based weaponry down there and that’s all gone up in flames…leaving the air unbreathable. I wouldn’t advise going onto that floor…unless you want to have your insides melted or your bodily organs explode in sequence.”

“Oh, sweet Merlin!”

“But, the most important thing I was doing was checking that we’ve still got somewhere we can hold the party.”

“What party?”

“Your birthday party, of course,” said Harry. “It’s not every day my wife turns twenty-four.”

Hermione gasped aloud. “Is it really today?”

“Yep,” Harry grinned. He drew his wand and summoned his calender, which hung in the air before them a moment. Today’s date shone before them, highlighted in emerald green. “September the nineteenth, see? Hmmm, it’s on a Saturday this year. We should see if there’s a musical on in the West End or something…I know a guy, he’ll do us a good deal on tickets…”

“Harry.”

“Look, I’m just trying to play normal,” said Harry with warm sincerity. “I fucking hate that I’ve left the world so fucked up for you for so long. Next year, for your twenty-fifth, we’ll do something really special. I promise.”

“Promise?” asked Hermione, her accent loaded with meaning.

They looked at each other, fierce, blazing intensity in both their gazes. And they silently agreed. This time next year, this would all be over, the darkness would have passed. The private oath settled between them like a spell.

“Promise,” said Harry calmly.

“Well, I certainly picked a good time to get married to you, didn’t I?” Hermione grinned. “So…have you got me a present?”

Harry chortled at her. “Of course. Rhian!”

“You can’t give me Rhian,” Hermione teased. “That contravenes elven fealty laws. Besides, she’s already mine!”

“Be quiet, you,” Harry returned, scrunching his eyebrows at her.

Rhian popped next to the bed. She smiled warmly at the newly-weds. “Hellos Master Potter…and Mistress Potter. Yous might want to put yous boobies away, Mistress!”

Hermione squealed and pulled the bedsheet over herself, as Harry howled with laughter next to her and slapped the mattress in his mirth. Hermione glowered at him till he stopped.

“Rhian, could you please fetch that package I left in your care, the one for Lady Potter’s birthday.”

“Ooh, ooh, yes Master Harry,” said Rhian excitedly. She popped away and back again in a matter of minutes. She handed a thin package to Harry. “Happy birthday, Mistress Hermione Potter. We’s save yous other prezzies till yous party later. Mistress…Rhian have a question.”

“Fire away,” said Hermione.

“Does Mistress mind if elves calls her Mistress Hermione? Only Master Harry lets us use his first name and elves like to use yous first name, too. But we calls you Mistress Potter if yous prefer.”

Hermione blushed. For some reason, this question of formal propriety set her heart to wild flutters again. It made her feel more like Harry’s real wife than ever.

“Actually, Rhian, I’d really like you all to call me Mistress Hermione,” she replied with a warm smile. “I’m your Mistress now…but I’d like to be your friend, too.”

Rhian clapped her hands and gasped. “That be exactly what Master Harry say when we ask him years ago! Master Harry…yous done very well on picking a wife.”

“I know I have, Rhian, thank you.” Harry smiled at Hermione and winked. “But, if you could give us some privacy…I have to give my wife her birthday present.”

“Very good, Master Harry. Rhian get back to helping with the party.”

And with that she popped away.

“What have you gotten me then, Harry?” Hermione grinned, clapping her hands excitedly.

“Now, I could be all modest and say it isn’t much,” said Harry, smirking. “But that would just be a downright lie. So, here. Happy birthday, Hermione.”

Hermione took the long, thin box from him. She had a wild notion that it might be a new wand. It looked the right shape. But it wasn’t. She opened it up to reveal a slender, golden key. Rubies were set into the hilt and it was rather heavy.

“Harry – as you left this under the magical care of a house-elf – I’m guessing this key opens a lock that contains something either very expensive or very dangerous,” said Hermione. “And you shouldn’t have gotten me either!”

Harry laughed. “That key opens the door to a hidden chamber, on the third floor, beneath this palace. Whether that’s dangerous or not…only time will tell.”

Third?” Hermione queried. “I thought there were only two? Your Ritual Room, Resonator Stone and things like that are on sub-level one, the catacombs, cellars and crypt are on two. What’s on three?”

“The Merlinic Line…or Potter family vaults,” said Harry simply. “Or, if you prefer, our family vaults.”

Hermione gasped. First off, she definitely did prefer. And second, “What’s kept in our vaults?”

“Pretty much everything you’ll ever need to know about our family,” said Harry. “Its history and family tree, our unique magic and how to use it, family jewellery and heirlooms, stuff about our connections to the Order of Merlin and the Knights of St David…oh, and our family fortune.”

Hermione’s eyes bulged involuntarily. She felt instantly ashamed. She’d never been a slave to money. She didn’t intend to start now. But still…fortune?

“I removed all of my wealth from Gringotts as soon as I could,” Harry went on. “You don’t need me to tell you how badly the bank was pilfered and extorted, as a ‘reward’ for Riddle and his fucking clan when they took over.”

“No,” said Hermione angrily. “I know that’s precisely how Ron suddenly became part of the super-rich.”

“Do you? Do you know precisely?” asked Harry quietly, delicately.

Hermione swallowed hard. The truth was, she didn’t. Ron had been rewarded handsomely by Riddle, but she’d never quite known for what. But, judging by the look in Harry’s eye, he did know. And it wouldn’t be a pleasant story to tell.

“I don’t want to know, do I? I’m not going to like it. I can tell.”

“He turned Minerva McGonagall over to the Death Eaters,” said Harry bitterly. He had to stand and pace to offset his bubbling rage. “She was sheltering at The Burrow. My Knights and the Order had helped set up a Ratway – an underground network to shuttle magicals out of Britain, once the European Council of Magic closed the borders to the continent. The Burrow was used as a safehouse in the early days, a stop off point if you like. Magicals would go there, get new identities, and then be taken to a point where they could safely cross into Europe, or board Muggle ships to the Americas.

“But, after Bill and Arthur fled, taking the Ratway themselves, Ron and Ginny starting using it for a slightly different purpose.”

“Which was?” Hermione fumed, fighting her own rage at just this introduction to the story.

Harry punched the windowsill as he tried to master the frightful anger this memory stirred. Hermione felt it prickle over her skin in dark waves and she was desperate to go to him, to soothe him. But she felt she should wait.

“Ron and Ginny kept the Ratway going,” Harry ground out acidically. “They kept our underground communication channels open, and frightened, desperate magicals kept coming to them for help. All the ones being hunted, persecuted by Riddle and his followers. Ron and Ginny they…they told them…”

Angry magic burst free from Harry and cracked the wall in front of him. Hermione dug her fists into the bedsheets to stop herself from jumping up to go to him.

“They told them,” Harry breathed in deeply, fruitlessly trying to steady himself. “To bring all their gold, all their possessions, everything of value. They said they would store it, then send it on later. They said that it was getting too dangerous to carry very much along the Ratway. Fear does the most terrible things to people, Hermione. The magicals were so desperate to escape, most forgot they could probably transfigure everything they owned and put into a box no bigger than that one on your lap.

“They did what Ron and Ginny told them. The Weasleys fed the escapees all sorts of sob stories about themselves – how they were helpless slaves, too, to justify their own treacherousness. The same ones Ron had you believing for a while. Ginny Weasley is the most accomplished liar I’ve ever met. The role was perfect for her.

“So, frightened magicals would come along, hand over all their earthly possessions to the Weasleys, in return for being smuggled along the Ratway to a new, safe life abroad. Husbands protecting their wives…parents doing anything, sacrificing everything to save their terrified children…It’s what had happened…they trusted the Weasleys…they trusted me and the escape route I’d set up for them… But Ron and Ginny they…they…”

Harry’s breaths were coming in shallow troughs now. Hermione’s restlessness was making her frantic.

“Ron and Ginny would take the magicals along the Ratway, promising them freedom,” Harry went on. Hermione didn’t know how he was still able to talk. She could feel the hate pounding through his words, pouring out of his mouth like acid. “But, in fact, they were simply delivering them to Death Eater kill squads. They didn’t even do the dirty work themselves. Then they’d just return to The Burrow and divide up the spoils between them. I…I’ve heard stories…stories that they even pulled gold teeth implants from the corpses of Muggleborns and their families…to melt down and sell.”

Hermione cried out in abject horror. Tears flowed freely and she gave in to her imperative need to soothe her husband. She leapt up and drew him to her. Harry’s anger flowed out in surging waves, but Hermione’s concerned need to comfort him seemed to create a barrier that stopped it escaping. It was confined to the space of their embrace and Hermione could absorb it, use it to fuel her own determination to calm her husband.

But, in the intensity of the situation, neither really noticed that this was happening.

“They lured Minerva to the Burrow, for one last hurrah,” Harry spat. “Ron was about to become the poster child for Riddle’s insane magical purification regime, Ginny on the verge of spawning her first abominable child with him. Once they were exposed, the Ratway would cease to serve them.

“I never knew quite how Minerva had died…until…until we saw it in that decoy Horcrux. I didn’t know Riddle had actually gone to the Burrow himself, to do it personally. Fuck me, Hermione…I’ve let so many people down…”

Hermione was wild with her concern for Harry. She clutched his head to her shoulder with everything she had. She knew what he was thinking. He blamed himself for all of this. He’d set up this escape route…created hope for those who needed it most…only to have it so disgustingly perverted by the Weasleys. At the cost of Minerva McGonagall’s life into the bargain. Hermione was frenetic in her need to reassure him, but she knew this wasn’t the time. While the perpetrators were still at large, he would have no closure.

Ron…Ginny…Dolohov…the list of people Hermione was going to slaughter with abominable violence was forming clearly in her mind.

She couldn’t soothe Harry of this, but maybe distraction would be the next best thing.

“Hey, are you all right?” she asked gently, cupping his good cheek. He sighed deeply, and nodded. “So tell me how you were involved in this Ratway thing…how did you manage to help so many people when you were still in hiding? Even you’re not that good!”

It was a shot at positive reinforcement. Turn it around, lighten the mood. It seemed to work, as Harry grinned weakly and his shoulders relaxed a little.

“I feel I can trust you with any secret, so here’s my first one,” he began slowly. “The wizard Merlin, my ancestor, was born in a coastal cave near the town of Carmarthen in eastern Wales. It left an imprint on the atmosphere in that area. The magic created by his birth is so ridiculously intense that no other magic can infiltrate the space there. When the ECM erected the wards around Britain, they had no choice but to leave a gap open in that spot. That was where the Ratway finished in Britain, a little doorway to freedom, at a cove in East Wales.”

“Wow, Harry,” said Hermione. “That’s a hell of a secret to hold!”

“Which is why the ECM needed one hell of a Secret Keeper to protect it,” said Harry.

Hermione fixed him with a curious stare for all of three seconds. Then she gasped aloud again. “You?!”

Harry nodded. “I erected a secondary ward on our side of the ECM’s one, near the cove where the cave can be found. When a magical made it there to escape, I could turn up under my dad’s old cloak, open the ward in secret and let them through. I was part of the team that erected the wards outside as well, so their signature is practically identical. Anyone trying to curse-break the wards would have no idea that I was part of it, unless they dug really deep into the ward near Merlin’s Cave.”

“So that’s why you can move through the wards!” Hermione exclaimed. “You have a pass through them, as you created them! It’s nothing to do with special crossing points at all! That’s just a ruse…even from Neville?”

Harry marvelled at her. “You really are singularly brilliant! Why the hell have you married me? I’m such a downgrade for you.”

Hermione smiled. “Shut up, Harry. I love you. That’s why I married you. Your beautiful cock is also a bonus. Just saying.”

Harry grinned at her. “Thanks. I kept it just for you.”

“And I’ll be forever grateful,” Hermione blushed. “But, why tell Nev about the fake crossings at all? I don’t understand.”

Harry sighed. There was deep guilt embedded in it. “I had to assume Neville would be captured at some point,” he said lowly. “He’s good, but few are good enough against the enemies out there. Especially alone. If Nev got captured, he wouldn’t endure a proper interrogation for long. Not if someone like Malfoy had gotten hold of him, or that bitch Lestrange. His mental defences are pretty flimsy.”

Hermione looked over at him suspiciously. “What did you do, Harry?”

He retuned her stare dolefully. “You wont ever hate me, will you?”

“Of course not.”

“Good. This is will probably be as close as you come, though.”

Harry heaved a weighty breath and leant on the windowsill. Hermione returned to her place on the bed. She had a feeling she ought to be sat down for this.

“I took Neville into ritual…hit him with a Celtic runic spell straight from the Potter dialect archives,” Harry began. “It was a spell so powerful that it makes the Imperious Curse look like a gentle suggestion charm. I implanted the idea in his mind that there were weak crossing points to the international wards. Implanted it so deeply, so perfectly, that it would seem like a legitimate piece of his own world knowledge, just as if he’d read it in a textbook.”

“Okay.” said Hermione. She assessed it in a breath, and accepted it in the next. “That’s a violation, but I’m assuming you had good reason?”

Harry nodded. “The location I told him is actually where the ward is the strongest. French wizards are employed full time on the other side, to reinforce them daily. Good work on subduing them, by the way. They are generally quite accomplished wizards.

“But anyway,” Harry continued, trying vainly to ignore Hermione’s confused expression. His veiled compliment had sailed completely over her head. “I implanted the idea, made him forget all about the ritual with a few memory charms and went from there. I knew, if he was captured, the Death Eaters or Section Seven would extract that information easily. But, no matter how deep they drilled into his mind, to try and see if it was an attempt at deception, they would see it as the truth.

“And they’d believe it because I told him it. I crossed at that location purposely…so he’d see me crossing it. The Death Eaters would extract those memories, show them to Riddle, who in turn would make them forget the part about me. Or just kill them. Which is no loss to anyone. Then he’d direct his curse-breakers to those points.”

“Utterly wasting their time,” said Hermione thoughtfully. “Or otherwise distracting them from whatever else you might be up to.”

Harry nodded. “That was the idea.”

Then Hermione gasped. “But, Harry…that would mean that Riddle knows you’re still alive! That he’s always known!

Harry just sighed at her. “I’ve always assumed that, Hermione. In private, anyway. He isn’t stupid. We are linked by prophecy, that’s extremely potent energy. I can feel him alive. It’s like a dull ache that never goes away. It goes kind of haywire when I’m near one his Horcruxes, but then drops to background noise all other times. I can only assume he has the same sense of me.”

“But then…why not hunt you? Declare open war against you?”

“What? And tell the world I’ve survived his most powerful curse twice? Admit that he can’t kill me? Come on, Hermione, you’re cleverer than that.”

Hermione huffed. She wanted to be cross, but Harry meant that complimentarily, Hermione was sensible of that. “I get it. He puts out all this propaganda about his majesty…but your survival defies all that. I see.”

“And gives something for resistance to rally around,” said Harry. “Old Tom can’t allow that.”

“So, he kills his some of own most fanatical supporters, his Death Eaters, just because they’ve learned that you are still alive, and he can’t risk that information getting out to the general public?”

“Exactly,” said Harry. “Except for his closest people. The Lestranges, Dolohovs, Weasleys. Ginny’s his favourite concubine…well, as close as he has to a favourite. Tom Riddle doesn’t really like anyone, including himself. I mean, how can he? He ripped his own soul into seven cunting pieces, for fucks sake. But that other lot are the ones he tasks with fighting this private war against me, my Knights and my Order.”

“And now, against your wife,” said Hermione staunchly. She sat up and took a deep breath, which was lucky, as Harry’s fiercely adoring look threatened to take all the air in her lungs. She shivered at being so worshipped. “So, going back to Neville…like with your mum and dad, you took a situation you knew was likely to happen, and manipulated it to your advantage?”

Harry nodded again. “That was where I got the idea from. I wasn’t powerful enough, or well-equipped enough, to go straight after Riddle. You’ve seen an inkling of my fractured mental state…it was a hundred times worse when this all started. I was in no shape for anything, really.

“But I couldn’t stand to be idle. And Nev, well, he got the taste for resistance fighting battling the Carrows at Hogwarts. He’s badass, I don’t know if you’ve noticed. There was no way, once we’d reunited, that he’d leave my side or duck out of a fight. And he had the advantage of not being very well known. He could go places I couldn’t, set up things for us…while I darted around the world getting myself tooled up to lead this war.

“We both knew the risks…he took them willingly.”

“So, has Neville been captured?” Hermione asked quietly.

Harry sighed deeply. Then nodded again. “A few times.”

Hermione gasped in shock, then narrowed her eyes at him. “But he was let go?”

“Yeah,” said Harry. “The Death Eaters have tried to use him to find this place, to find me. They’ve hit him with tracking charms and sent him on his way, hoping he’ll lead them here. They’ve infected him with diseases, hoping he’ll return home and spread them to everyone. They even gave him a suitcase nuke once. Imperius Cursed him, made him think he was a Muggle returning from a business trip. I was actually quite impressed with that one.”

“But you foiled them?”

“Of course,” said Harry blithely. “Fan and Ann were always his handlers, screened him every time. Nothing gets past those witches. And we recruited Ernie MacMillan and others. They gave us a heads up whenever Neville fell into unfriendly hands, delivered him to us if they could. Poor Nev, he became an unwitting pawn in an unspoken duel between me and the Death Eaters.”

Hermione pierced Harry with a penetrating stare. “He doesn’t know, does he? Doesn’t know he’s been captured…any of it?”

Harry shook his head.

“Does Enola?”

Harry nodded. “She’s the one who took the memories from him. She keeps them in her own special mind plane for safe keeping. The guilt…it eats at her, you know. It eats at me, too. Neville’s loss…”

“What did he lose?”

“They castrated him the last time,” said Harry bitterly.

His anger flared violently, shattering the teapot on the trolley. Hermione cleaned the spilling liquid with a flick of her wand.

“They pulled his memories,” said Harry angrily. “It wasn’t that long ago, actually. The last conversation he had, before he left on that mission, was with Ennie. They were discussing how they’d like to give Alison a brother or a sister as soon as they could. They both want a really big brood, you see. And Nev was so excited when he learned that they shared that wish…he was practically floating when he told me about it…

“The Death Eaters used it against him…as they tortured him. Sliced off his penis with Dark Magic. Denied him his greatest desire…because he refused to give me up.”

A single tear spilled from Harry’s good eye socket. Hermione knew there would be another from the ruined side, but Harry’s shawl would absorb it. She wished her own streaming eyes could have the same.

“They sent me his severed cock in a little box…along with his family tattoo…where they’d flayed the skin off from his wrist. Ennie pulled his memory of it when Angharad brought Neville home, so we knew what had happened. Ann’s always been close to him, she wasn’t going to leave him to his fate. She went after him alone.

“The Death Eaters had decided they were done with Neville after that last time. He was my brother, through and through. They had no chance of turning him. They chose to string him up from a gallows they’d erected in Godric’s Hollow…from the very monument to my own demise. Poetic in a way, it would have been quite the message…

“Angharad brutally butchered all six of them that she found there, and hung what remained of their bodies in Neville’s place…rigging them to explode with Fiendfyre if anyone tried to take them down.

“But Enola…she…she went wild. She completely lost her mind when Ann brought Nev’s broken body home. I had to spell Alison’s room so Enola wouldn’t hurt her. She was delirious, she started hallucinating. She thought her own daughter was one of Riddle’s minions sent to spy on her. I had to erect a special ward on the nursery, that increased in power the more violent Enola became. She became so mindlessly enraged that, in the end, I even had to channel my own power from the Resonator Stone, just to reinforce the ward enough to keep her out…and then sit in the nursery myself, to protect Alison in person… “

Hermione gasped and clutched at her racing heart. But Harry wasn’t done.

“You have to know…Enola is a trained, rabid killer. A Hit Witch of the highest power grade. But she cant control her rage when she loses it. She hurt Fan and Ann so many times by accident, when she was part of a triumvirate with them, that in the end the Order banned from any sort of combat work. She’s better than both the other girls, but she’s too high risk.

“After she was kicked out, she was so ashamed of herself she just focused on her mind magic, developing a whole range of control spells and charms, so she could stop indiscriminately killing people who crossed our Order. Narcissa had to subdue her so many times that eventually we were reduced to implanting a notion in Enola’s mind to be rather terrified of Cissa whenever they are together. She agreed to it as a control measure. It’s one of the few things that keeps her calm.”

“And that’s how she developed her mind planes,” Hermione whispered. “And…she did the same for you…after your…resurrection?”

Harry nodded. “She understands…she knows what it’s like to not have full control of your mind and rage…how terrifying it can be. Especially when your magic is so intense it can lash out and hurt the ones around you. Interestingly, it was because of Neville that we learned the only way to really subdue Ennie, to control her intense rage, is through love.”

“How?”

“She fell for Neville instantly, I mean, pretty much from the first time they met,” said Harry fondly. “It was love at first sight for her. It was disgustingly sick. She became like a soppy little puppy around him. I teased her chronically about it at first. I liked her feistiness, maybe because I was the only one powerful enough to control her at her worst, and I sort of missed it when she became all girly. But Nev made her calm, normal. So I had to get them together for both their benefits. As soon as I convinced Neville about her interest, and that I wasn’t taking the piss – I mean Ennie is stunning -“

“She is,” Hermione agreed. “I’d do her.”

Harry laughed nervously. He wasn’t sure how to take that. Hermione kept her expression delightfully neutral.

“Yeah. Well.” Harry stumbled on his words. “I got them together, and Ennie didn’t have another outbreak of fury again. She even closed down almost all of her mind planes.”

“But you said she went crazy…when Nev got…”

Hermione made a callous, scissor-cutting action with her fingers that no woman should ever make to a man, especially not to her husband, when his penis is part of the conversation.

“Yeah,” Harry winced. “But I also told you that love is the most terrifying force in existence. Enola is deeply in love with Neville. It breaks through even her most stringent control measures. If you genuinely hurt Neville, Enola will hurt you back ten fold.”

I hexed Neville, said Hermione, thoughtfully. “I broke his arm. When you were having one of your meltdowns. Ennie didn’t hurt me back.”

Harry looked at her with great patience. “Honey…she couldn’t hurt youyou are much more powerful than Enola. Your innate defences deflected whatever she tried. Merlin, love…you’re probably more powerful than me.”

Hermione looked at him, astonished. He meant every syllable.

“Dont be dumb,” she breathed eventually. “I can’t do half the stuff you can do. You realise that your magic literally takes my breath away these days, don’t you?”

“And long may it continue,” Harry grinned. “But I’ve had years of training and instruction. I’ve used my Time-Turner so much I’m surprised my pubes aren’t grey! Once you’ve had a comparable level of experience and exposure, you’ll be the dominant force in this family.”

Hermione scoffed, before saying, almost pityingly, “Sweetie, I’m already the dominant force in this family! But you did start telling me all about that, about our wealth and things.”

“I actually think I tangented off at you ex-husbands’ ill-gotten gains,” said Harry evenly. “I quite like saying that…ex-husband.”

Hermione frowned angrily. “If you ever put me in a sentence with Ron, or Weasley, and husband again, I’m going to castrate you!”

“That’s an empty threat,” said Harry off handedly. “You said you love my cock.”

“True, I did,” Hermione quipped. “But you showed last night that you’re also an expert with your tongue and fingers. I can cope with the loss.”

“What about children?”

“We’ll adopt.”

“I’m not bumping off Luna so you can have little Cesc,” said Harry warningly.

“You were more fun before we were married,” Hermione complained bitingly. “I don’t know where the magic went…”

Harry shook his head at her. “So…fortunes.”

“The ginger wanker turned in McGonagall, you said?” said Hermione waspishly. “She was my favourite teacher. I’m going to scalp him in her name, make a tartan beret out of it, to honour her memory. How did that make him rich though?”

“Riddle rewarded the traitorous fuckbunny by bequeathing him McGonagall’s large family estate in Ayr, Scotland,” said Harry. “Her brother, who was the Lord of that vast sway of land, was chased out of the country. Luckily, he fled right to me.”

“Lord Angus Kelvin!” Hermione exclaimed. “McGonagall’s brother?”

“Yep,” said Harry, helping himself to a banana from the trolley of food. “Minerva married, obviously, and took her husband’s surname, but the Kelvin’s were a powerful family. Rich, too. Ron was given all their wealth, lands, assets. Became an aristocrat overnight.”

“So that’s why Malfoy and the Death Eaters kept calling him Lord Weasley?!” cried Hermione. “I did wonder.”

“I understand they called him a lot of other names in private,” said Harry. “Respect cant be bought, especially if you are still as big a prick and as mediocre a wizard as he is.”

“I don’t want to talk about him anymore, he’s a cunt,” said Hermione waving her hand impatiently. “Don’t mention him again, unless it’s when you are delivering him to me to cut into little bits.”

“Deal,” Harry grinned.

“So, our fortune,” Hermione queried. “You were saying.”

“What about it?” Harry teased evasively.

“Are you going to tell me how much it is? Or do I have to guess?”

“Guessing might be a laugh, but I doubt you’d ever get it right,” said Harry, popping a bit of banana into his mouth.

“How much is it, Harry?” Hermione asked patiently, taking a sip of cool tea.

Harry tapped his chin dramatically as he swallowed his fruit. “Well, you should know, that I took my parent’s inheritance, which was quite substantial, and invested it in businesses overseas. Not all at once, mind you – stock brokers are dodgy bastards in any world – but, once they started paying off, I invested more. Our annual dividends are very pretty at this point.”

“Harry…don’t make me hex this out of you!”

“Okay, keep your knickers on…oh, wait,” Harry smirked and nodded down at Hermione’s still nude form. She blushed under his wanton gaze. “Well, at last count, we were a few Sickles shy of half a billion Galleons downstairs.”

And Hermione promptly spat out her tea in a comical spray.

“And,” Harry went on, calmly ignoring her spluttering display. “If you include my…I mean, our…assets and property and stock portfolio, both here and abroad, you can scale that number up by…oooh, I don’t know…a factor of, say…seven?”

Harry cocked his head and pretended to guess a number he knew all too well. At his declaration, Hermione toppled sideways off the bed, where she hit the floor with a dull thud. Her tea cup smashed as she fell, blending seamlessly with the rest of the sex debris still scattered around the carpet. Harry hooted with laughter and hurried to help her up. She looked liked she’d been hit by half a billion Stunning spells. Harry just grinned at her.

“Congratulations, Mrs Potter, you have just become the wealthiest witch in Europe, and one of the richest five in the whole world.”

“Oh my…Merlin help me!” Hermione breathed. She sat down in a daze. “Harry…that…that…money….think of all the thingswe could do with that! The things…oh my…”

“I was thinking of using it to bribe Death Eaters and traitors, to get them to switch sides,” said Harry, thoughtfully. “But then I decided I’d just rather just line them all up and slaughter the fucking lot of them.”

“You are not giving our money away to Death Eaters, don’t you even bloody think it!” said Hermione dangerously. “I meant, think of all the good we could do with it. We could set up charities and orphanages, centres for all the battered witch-wives out there. There’s plenty of those. We can help people who…who don’t have much…”

Hermione’s thoughts flew to Luna, and the help she could give her now. Maybe she could buy Celesca from her…maybe a short-term loan. She’d pay a handsome rent…by the hour, annual rate, whatever worked…she was loaded now, after all…she was sure they could work out some sort of time-share deal for her favourite little Seer…

Shut up, Hermione, she thought to herself. Keep your head on!

“I’m happy for you to indulge yourself,” said Harry, blissfully unaware of Hermione’s minor flight of insanity. He sat next to her on the bed. “The vault has a magical ledger which records all incomings and outgoings, but it’s your fortune now. I’m happy for you to spend it as you like. Within reason, of course.”

“What’s within reason?”

“No presents for other men you might want to shag,” said Harry. “Or prostitutes. I warn you, I’m liable to become rabidly possessive where you’re concerned. I don’t want to share you. That’s pretty much it, though.”

“Okay. No presents for sexy wizards,” Hermione swore faithfully. Then she cocked a vampish eyebrow at Harry.”What about sexy witches?”

Hermione watched Harry shiver pleasantly a moment, as the thought flicked across his brain.

“Would you let me draw the memory…so I could watch?”

Now Hermione took a turn at shivering. “Of course…we could watch it together.”

“We’ll take it on a case-by-case basis,” said Harry decisively. Hermione watched him shift, to ease his obvious erection into a more comfortable position. She found it hard to take her eyes off it, once it had popped out of his dressing gown to say hello to her.

“Meaning?” she said, her eyes still angled downwards.

Meaning,” said Harry. “That I’d have to be certain you wouldn’t develop any emotional attachment. As much as the idea of you fucking Enola is pretty much the hottest thing this side of the Sun’s corona, you like her too much. And I’d be stuck with Neville. And, just to be very clear, neither of us are shagging other any men in this marriage.”

“Why would I want to shag other men?” Hermione quipped. “I love you. And only you. Besides…have you seen your own cock? It’s borderline divine, love.”

“Excuse me, but you just threatened to cut it off!”

“Empty threats, sweetie,” said Hermione airily. “I wouldn’t cut off your cock for all the money in our vault. Wow. And that’s a lot of coin. Merlin, I’m such a whore. Who knew?”

“Yeah, but you’re my whore,” said Harry chortling. “There’s value in that.”

Hermione huffed a laugh. “Excuse me, but you are not that special.”

“Who told you that? I’ve not heard that,” said Harry, mock affronted. “All my evidence points to the contrary.”

“Yeah, and it’s all from me,” Hermione winked. “I suppose being your whore wouldn’t be so bad…I did decide to be your wife after all. There’s not much difference.”

“No, you proved that last night,” said Harry grinning. “There was some serious filth going on there. I…I didn’t think you’d be into some of…well…some of those things.”

Hermione narrowed her eyes at him. “You mean the anal stuff, don’t you?”

“I’m not one of your books, stop reading me so easily,” Harry laughed. “But yeah…that was…fucking hot, to tell the truth.”

“Did you expect me to be some sort of prude?” Hermione asked sharply.

“No,” Harry flashed back quickly. “I just meant that I know how well and truly you’ve been fucked over. I didn’t think you’d develop any kind of…well…fetish…not with what you’ve had to endure.

Hermione laughed. But Harry’s serious look quelled her and she took his hands in her own. “Anal isn’t really a fetish. It’s more common than you think. Especially round here. Ennie is fucking addicted to it.”

Harry quirked his eyebrows. “She is?”

“Yep,” Hermione nodded. “She told me. We bonded over our shared love of it. Exchanged notes and things. She and Nev got heavily into it during the latter stages of her pregnancy. He was terrified of hurting the baby, you see, so he wanted to stop having sex altogether until after she was born. But Ennie was super horny over the last trimester. Anal sex was the answer. Now she says she can hardly ever orgasm during intercourse if she doesn’t have something up her arse at the same time.”

“Wow. Okay. That’s probably more than I needed to know.”

“But…Harry, about that,” said Hermione, ploughing right passed Harry’s blatant awkwardness as if it hadn’t happened. “Ennie told me…she and Nev had sex yesterday…twice…before the wedding. How…if his cock was -“

“If you make that action again, I’m going to Stun you,” said Harry, warningly pointing a finger at her. He meant it too.

“Okay. Sorry,” Hermione offered sheepishly. “But…how?”

Harry’s eyes lit up suddenly. “Did they do it in here?”

“I…I don’t know,” said Hermione. “Maybe. Everyone was coming in here to get off once rumour got round. I had to get Rhian to fumigate the place before the wedding ceremony. It stunk of sex in here.”

Harry fell back laughing. It took a full minute for him to regain composure. Hermione just loved the sound of him laughing. It was, perhaps, the thing that made her the happiest in the world. She wasn’t even kidding about that.

“Merlin knows what it must be like now,” Harry managed to say, wiping tears from his cheeks, and clutching his chest. “But, anyway, Neville. You see, here’s the thing. We were able to reattach his cock, but it had been sliced off with Dark Magic. It didn’t work as it should have when we got in back on.

“Ennie was gutted, obviously, but she held out hope. She thought that something had just happened to kill his libido. I think she even convinced herself that was what had happened, in the end, to cope with everything. Eventually, we decided to make him think that, too…it was easier than the truth…for them both.

“You don’t know what it was like when Enola calmed…and remembered what she tried to do to Ally. I had to perform a very intimate mind ritual with her so she could get through the first few days without self-harming. The ritual took twenty hours…required my Welsh Celtic magic, the most ancient form I know…and I had to steal the memory from her…and make the ritual so powerful that everyone else would think I did that…that the ward on Ally’s room was to stop me.”

“Oh, Harry,” Hermione moaned. “I remember now! Neville told me that…said that Ally was the most protected person in the palace.”

“That part, at least, is true,” said Harry, but his tone was laced with darkness. “You see, when her mind is intact, threats to Alison dwarf Ennie’s response to threats against Nev. A mothers’ love, Min, its power is something else, I should know…sorry, I promised I’d never call you that…”

“It’s all right, I don’t mind it,” Hermione smiled. “You were saying…about Ally?”

“Yeah. Right,” said Harry. “When I went mental, after Nev told me Ron was regularly hurting you…I-I totally lost control. I lost my mind wholly. I only remember what happened because Narcissa reconnected my memory of it. I had to know…know what my worst looked like, so that I might learn how to control it. Or, at least, recognise the signs, so I could take myself away from anyone I might hurt.

“Anyway,” Harry ploughed on, ignoring Hermione’s expression of soul-deep shock. “Nev had no chance of reining me in that night. I had lost it completely. I was beyond stopping by any idea of control or pacification.”

“Yeah, you brought a whole tower down on yourself, you silly boy!” Hermione teased, but Harry’s expression stayed dark. This wasn’t a time for lightness. “Sorry.”

“It’s all right,” said Harry. “Well, its not, really. But anyway, Nev didn’t know what to do. I don’t blame him, I was wild. And when I get like that, I’m like a natural disaster. Easier to just get out of my path. But Enola came to me, to see if she could help. And I…I…”

Harry looked away, tears were threatening his cheeks again suddenly.

“You…what?”

“I told her to…I said…I told her to…to kill me,” Harry breathed through stuttering words. “I’d done so much damage, to so many things…to so many people…I needed Ennie to take me down before…before I hurt anyone else…she was the only one who might have been able to…”

Hermione threw her hands up to her mouth, a sharp ache stabbing at her heart. Her poor Harry! How much horror had he been through?”

“And?” Hermione whispered.

“She tried,” said Harry. “She threw her best spells at me, but my natural defensive magic deflected them. It was a hell of a fight. The result was that we broke the tower in two. The roof crushed my legs and I passed out from the pain, but not before I had a moment of clarity..and forced an Apparition on Enola wandlessly..to get her out of there. I didn’t know I’d already undermined the tower’s foundations, or maybe my wandless burst finished the job. The rest came down on top of me, but the roof shelf ended up saving my life.”

Hermione was weeping freely again. Harry was looking everywhere but at her.

“After that, I knew she was capable of it,” said Harry. “Of taking the toughest decisions. She just needed motivation. When Ally came along, I knew she was it. So, every time I got really mad…and the more I learned about Ron’s abuses of you, the more frequent that sort of stuff got…we got into the habit of sending me right to Ally.

“And Enola would defend her…violently. She was able to repel me, and I developed a sort of conditioning to it, I suppose. I always calmed around the baby, almost instantly. This just became a total neutraliser once we conducted a ritual to make me her godfather. I don’t know why. I love the girl fiercely…she’s the closest thing I have to kryptonite. No matter how enraged I get, put me in the same room as Alison Longbottom and I become as docile as a yoghurt.”

Hermione laughed and dried her tears. Though she wasn’t sure the seriousness had passed yet.

“Ennie’s reactions were stunning,” Harry continued fondly. “She’s smashed me out of windows, down the main staircase, developed the only Stunner powerful enough to slow me down. Slow me, mind you, not stop. But it’s usually enough to make me regain my mind sufficiently to calm down.”

“Usually?” Hermione queried. Then she huffed. “Don’t tell me…the night when Malfoy came to get me.”

Harry nodded briefly. “Nothing could have stopped me that night. You could have lined up Riddle, that Dumbledore Zombie, Merlin himself…I was an out of control, indestructible juggernaut. Ennie took Alison away, somewhere far from me. Then, instead of acting like a pussy and trying to stop me, like everyone else was, she summoned Lily…commanded her to take me to you…and Lily obeyed. It’s the only time Lily has ever gone to or obeyed anyone but me. And it’s all because it was for you.

“What I’m trying to say, in case I’m not getting this message across clearly enough…is that you are everything to me…you are my entire world and everything in it. Please…if you understand nothing else ever about me, please understand this.”

Hermione understood. Oh how she understood! The words were throbbing through her with such undeniable truth and the power of Harry’s love for her was so absurdly intense it was in danger of making her explode. She was sobbing and she didn’t even know why. She was the safest, most protected, most loved witch, woman, female of any species, in the entire history of the whole fucking world.

Being the luckiest witch didn’t even scratch the surface of what being Harry Potter’s wife and soul mate truly meant.

She would determinedly make sure everyone knew that. Once she was done kissing him to within an inch of his life. And fucking his brains out. For it had been a few hours since she’d done that.

So her birthday party could wait a little longer. She had to unwrap her best present first anyway…

* * *

An hour or so later, as they lay together, arms and legs hopelessly entangled, shivering deliciously, sweaty and spent on the bedroom floor – for they had shattered the bed into twelve separate pieces, and set fire to seven of them – Hermione turned her head to Harry.

“You never finished telling me how Neville managed to shag Ennie with a broken willy,” she whispered curiously, her voice still fluttering with her afterglow.

“Always the great academic, aren’t you?” Harry quirked fondly. Hermione smiled back shyly. Harry backed up against the nearest wall and drew Hermione to his chest, where she snuggled down cosily. “Well, this is one of my better pieces of magic, actually. And, between you and me, that’s saying something.”

“What did you do?”

“Bit of an experiment, really,” said Harry, propping his head up on his elbow. “I was hoping it would work, so that I could tell Ennie about it. Wouldn’t do for me to tell Neville I was thinking about his cock while casting spells!”

Hermione laughed heartily and clung to Harry.

“What was the spell?”

“Well, you gave me the idea, actually,” said Harry. “When you said about positive magic having an equally powerful, but opposite, effect to negative magic.”

Hermione blushed crazily. That Harry thought her words as worth memorizing as one of her beloved books…Hermione literally had no idea how to respond to that.

“Anyway, I wanted to blow your mind on our wedding night,” Harry went on.

Tick!” Hermione laughed, making the action with her hand.

Harry laughed back. “I realised the key to it was staying hard.”

“Ah, I see where you’re going,” Hermione nodded. “So you reasoned that if you could design a spell to keep an erection for me, it might be adaptable for Neville, too.”

Harry looked at her reverently. “You seriously need to stop doing that. It’s getting frightening.”

“Doing what?”

Reading me like that,” said Harry softly. “I mean…so precisely. It’s not even a guess. You’re exactly right…and you’re doing it all the time lately.”

“I’ve noticed that,” said Hermione, thoughtfully. “I wonder if it’s to do with our marriage. Or from when you were in my head. I do seem to know what’s on your mind most of the time. I like it. Most of it is pure fucking filth, to be honest, but it’s no worse than what I’m thinking about you, so it’s all good. But it also means you can’t lie to me. And I like that, too.”

“I’d never lie to you,” Harry protested.

“Now I know that’s a lie,” said Hermione.

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

Hermione narrowed her eyes at him. “You said you wouldn’t fuck Enola. There isn’t anyone alive who wouldn’t fuck her. I know that because I’ve seen her naked. Hell, even dead people would come back to life for a chance of that!”

Harry eased her head up and looked at her solemnly. He fixed her with his eye as honestly as he could. “I wouldn’t fuck Enola. The only witch I get hard for is you. If you can read me…read that.

Hermione gasped, actually and out loud. She felt Harry’s truth as if it were her own. He truly meant that…how could he mean that? For her? She looked at him in wonder, her mouth just flapping open and closed of its own accord.

“I…Harry, I…” she tried to say. But there were no words yet invented that were good enough.

So she just kissed him deeply instead.

Hermione just wanted to look at Harry, to adore him adoring her. But she was still curious.

“But…hold on…you didn’t cast the spell on Nev, so how did he get an erection again?”

Harry laughed at her persistence. “I created it as a healing spell of a sort,” he explained. “I charged it with the most powerful intent of recovery I could manage. For me, it was to recover enough to make love to you again. For Nev, if its worked, the purity of my intent – as it was designed for your benefit and not mine – has repaired the damage the Dark castration did to him. I etched it into one of the walls, as I didn’t think it would be practical to keep casting spells on my cock in the middle of our passion!”

Hermione giggled. “No, perhaps not, but it does explain your stamina. You did recover very quickly each time, to commit yet more amazing transgressions against my body. But…Harry…how far can we take this?”

“Well…” said Harry, sitting up enthusiastically. Then he started to babble very quickly. “I was thinking…we could get some sex toys and store them in a drawer for you, and maybe do some role-play – Princess Leia in the gold bikini? I’m seeing that – or some light bondage…I quite liked having you restrained and at my mercy…”

“I…er…meant the Light healing magic,” said Hermione awkwardly, before seeing Harry’s face drop and adding quickly, “but all that other stuff? Definitely. As long as we can get you in a white sailor suit. I’ve always been hot for them. Oh…and you have to do me in your Quidditch robe…that was perhaps my top, number one fantasy as a girl…the number of times I wanked over that at Hogwarts…Merlin only knows!”

“I’ll have to get into ritual and ask him!” Harry teased. “We are related, after all.”

Hermione blushed. “Please, don’t. Let’s just keep the sex stuff private between us, okay?”

“Okay,” said Harry, squeezing her hand. “But you’re going to tell Enola everything, aren’t you?”

“Of course I am,” said Hermione giggling. “She’s my best friend. All besties share secrets…especially the naughtiest ones!”

“Oh good Lord!” Harry sighed. “Like your love of anal…you never explained…”

Harry looked terribly worried all of a sudden, as if he wished he hadn’t said anything. Hermione’s heart thundered against her chest again. She just had to stop him looking like this. Seriously, she was literally going to kick the universe right in the face when she met it. Anything that could make her love look so broken deserved to be given just the most serious walloping possible.

“First of all,” said Hermione, pulling herself up to face Harry in a cross-legged position to match his own, taking his hands firmly in hers. “I don’t enjoy anal because it’s the only way Ron fucked me that I actually liked. Or anything like that. I really can see what you’re thinking, you know. And that is totally not it. In fact, its probably the complete opposite.

“This is going to hurt you, and I’m sorry, but I have to say it to make my point. Ron raped me. A lot. He forced me to have sex with him, both through actual force and the fear of what would happen to me if I didn’t do it without protest. And I hated it. Every single time…”

Hermione had to stop, because Harry was crying violently and parts of the ceiling were falling in. She pressed her hand to his chest, then drew his head to her shoulder. She let him rile for her, whispering to him softly, until he mastered himself and stilled. Despite it all, Hermione thrilled at herself. She recalled Harry’s story earlier…and she was awestruck. She had calmed him. And, besides a little cosmetic structural damage, she had done it fairly easily.

That was no mean feat.

“I’m okay. Go on,” said Harry, sitting back up.

“Anyway, in all those times, it was always pretty standard,” Hermione continued. “All the sexual abuse was vaginal. He never once went near my arse. I don’t know why, I always expected him to. It seemed an obvious way to hurt me. But, because he didn’t, it sort of became my own personal thing, a tiny rebellion if you like. To prove I could still enjoy sex, like a woman is supposed to, despite what was happening to me.

“I was always pretty sensitive back there. I remember at Hogwarts once, the first time I tried it, I blew my own mind. The other girls used to nick my hair brushes and potions, you see. Hide them everywhere. They thought it was a great laugh, having me go out looking an oversized piece of road kill everyday. Anyway, one day, I was just desperate to get my hair sorted and I…oh…oh…”

Hermione’s eyes had gone wide in startled surprise.

“What?” asked Harry, who was torn between anger and guilty arousal. He wasn’t sure if he was allowed to be turned on by the idea of his wife getting herself off as a teenager, even if he had been there at the time.

“It’s just, well… it’s just that,” Hermione started, blushed crazily. “I was trying to sort out my hair because…it was the day I was going to meet you. On that Valentine’s Day…when I asked you to leave Cho and come and see me. I really wanted to look as pretty as I could for you. Thinking maybe you’d notice me outside of our normal school environment. I’d even shrunk my jumper for you…I had started to fill out a bit, you see…I didn’t even bother with a bra that day…winter, cold weather, you know what happens…and I so would have let you stare…”

“Min…this is too hot, and I’m not sure it’s allowed to be,” Harry moaned. “But I’m aching again.”

Hermione smiled vampishly, her eyes flicking south. “Don’t fret, honey…we can sort that out a bit later. Anyway, when I was looking for my hair stuff I went through Lavender Brown’s knicker drawer and let’s just say I made a discovery. She had a load of sex toys…as well as some properly sexy underwear. No wonder she got laid all over Gryffindor Tower…”

“Hermione…”

“Sorry. Well, one of her dildos had two parts – a shaft on top and a set of beads underneath. I was fascinated by that and, you know me, ever the great academian…”

“You wanked with Lavender’s dildo?” Harry breathed, trying not to drool. “Before you came to meet me?”

“Eww, no, Harry! That’s minging!” Hermione cried. She eyed him crossly. “Merlin knows where she’d been. I didn’t want that anywhere near my parts. No, I’m a clever witch. So I swiped a couple of pestles from the potions stores, sterilised them with magic and transfigured them into my own version of the dildo. Then…viola!…mind blown!”

Hermione said the last bit in a sing-song voice much unlike her own. Harry, for his part, had lost all notion of coherent thought or speech.

“Fuck dot me dot I love you Hermione – one word – forward slash fuck me dot com!!!” Harry garbled.

Hermione laughed out loud. “You should really underscore ‘I love you Hermione’…search engines will find it easier!”

“Is there a point to this story, or do you just want me to ejaculate all over you?” Harry moaned hopelessly.

“Well, that’s one we haven’t tried,” Hermione winked. “But no, I did have a point. The point being that, from that moment on, I was always keen to have my arse played with. It was always on my own, obviously, but when Ron started raping me -“

“- please…stop saying that,” Harry pleaded.

“Sorry,” Hermione replied, squeezing Harry’s hand. “Okay…when I had to fulfil my contractual bedding duties with Ron, he always left my arse alone. But I was still sensitive there, and learned I could still enjoy sex on my own…and I felt like I was defying him when I did.

“My clit and my fanny sort of…went numb…in the face of his abuses, as though they were reacting to his torture. They stopped reacting to me. I didn’t feel anything at all when he entered me, apart from revulsion, and not just because his dick was so small. But, when I could get myself off by sticking two fingers up my bum, it was like I was sticking two fingers up at him.”

Hermione watched Harry wage war with himself. Fuming, irrepressible rage on one side faced off against profound sympathy on the other…and a sort of self-reproachful arousal was acting as referee. She just wanted to hug the struggle out of him, make him see she was all right now. His concern for her literally took her breath away…but it took her heart, too.

“But…you said…your other bits…your front bum bits,” Harry began.

“Harry…we’re not twelve!” Hermione castigated.

“Okay,” said Harry grinning innocently. “Your clit and cunt? Better? Good. Well…you said…said they went numb…”

Ah, now Hermione could see. She’d forgotten to put on her What’s-Harry-Concerned-About-Me-This-Time-For glasses. She thought she might as well never take them off at this rate. The answer to his woes always seemed to come from that source. So she scooted close, wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him tenderly. He shuddered pleasantly under her attentions.

“Did you see me last night?” she whispered. “Did I look like a girl with any sensitivity problems?”

“You could have been faking,” Harry offered reasonably, adding, when Hermione scowled at him, “For me, I mean. For my benefit. I know you wanted it to be good for me…to make it look like I was doing okay on my first time. So that I’d be happy. And girls can pretend like that…”

She loved this boy. There was just no greater truth on the planet. But she was going to have her work cut out undoing all the damage that had been done to his mind.

“Harry…honey…I was not faking!” Hermione purred. “We melted a fucking window, destroyed most of this floor…it’s going take over a month to repair the damage we’ve done to the rest of the house! And that’s assuming we can keep our hands off each other during that time. Which, I don’t know about you, is numbers one, two and three on my list of Impossible Things That Just Aren’t Going To Happen Ever.”

Harry laughed and rested his forehead against Hermione’s. “Okay.”

“My lady parts switched off, kept me sane by being numb,” said Hermione. “But you…you’ve turned them back on…turned me back on. Harry…you’ve restored my very womanhood.”

Harry had no words. What was any man supposed to say to a declaration like that?

I know you have concerns, I know you have worries,” said Hermione. “But seriously, you have to believe that I’m all right. I’m better than all right, actually. I’m bloody fantastic, if you must know. You’ve taken all my darknesses, all my pains, and delivered me to light and love. You’ve made me your wife. My name is Hermione Jane Potter…but I’m commonly known to others as The Luckiest Witch Alive.

“You’ll always be Master Harry’s Favouritest Witch to me,” Harry grinned.

“That works, too,” Hermione smiled back. “So long as I stay in that role, and stay with you, I don’t mind. And I’m happy. The happiest I’ve ever been in my whole life. And that’s all down to you.

But Hermione had to stop talking after that and just hold Harry close, soothe him with that rhythmic thread of her fingers through his hair that always seemed to work. He was tough, he was stronger than anyone Hermione knew, he carried horrendous darkness inside. But he also had a terrible weakness. For he was easily reduced to crippling tears. It was the simplest thing, too.

All it took was Hermione, his wife, telling him how happy he made her.

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