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[Fic]: A Handfasting in Little Whinging, Part Two of Two (13,800 words total) - My Life and Hard Times [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
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[Fic]: A Handfasting in Little Whinging, Part Two of Two (13,800 words total) [Feb. 2nd, 2014|11:50 pm]
ap_aelfwine

Hermione radiated delight, so he supposed she must have already thought of a brilliant solution. He was lucky to have a wife who, on top of her not caring that he was a freak, even to the point of getting handfasted with him, and being the nicest and the prettiest girl he'd ever met, was so very smart.

They went to the cupboard that was now their cupboard, rather than only Harry's. Harry got his things, and Hermione took something out of her bag that Harry assumed must be her pyjamas and whatever else a girl might need in the bath. Hand in hand, they climbed the stairs to the bathroom, Harry leading the way.

But once they were in front of the door, he was completely lost. "Err... do you want the first bath, Hermione? I can wait out here, I suppose."

"But Harry, if they see you, you'll get in trouble for not taking your bath as your aunt told you."

"But..."

"Please, come inside. I don't want my husband to get screamed at or hit on our wedding night."

"Okay." He let her draw him in, and they closed the door behind them. They stood beside the tub and looked at each other. "So," he said, "how will we do this? I could stand with my face in the corner whilst you're getting undressed and having your bath, and then when you're done you could tell me and I could take my turn."

"Thank you, Harry, but I don't want to leave you staring at the wall when I'm in the tub. That wouldn't be at all comfortable. How could I enjoy my wedding night bath if my husband had to stand in the corner as if he were being punished the whole time I was having it?"

"Well, I suppose I could sit on the lid of the toilet and close my eyes, or you could blindfold me with my shirt or something."

"Harry, my beloved husband, we're married. Married people don't have to be shy with each other. And that's a nice big tub, more than big enough for us to share it."

"I suppose if we had swimming costumes..."

"I've not got one any more, and I seriously doubt you've got one, either. Even if we did you can't get clean if you take a bath wearing a cozzie. Married people can be completely naked bare in front of each other, Harry, and they can look at and even touch each other when they are that way. We might be young, and I know we're not going to do the things that grown-up married people do with each other, but don't you think it's a little bit silly for us to be shy? I mean, we've looked into each other's eyes and souls, and we've seen thousands of years of each other's families, and after that it seems as if seeing all of each other's skin is pretty mild. More than that, it almost seems to me as if we should see all of each other's skin, because it's natural that a couple who know each other's minds should also know each other's bodies. I hope that's all right?"

Despite her bravado, Harry could tell that Hermione felt just as nervous as he did. But at the same time he knew she was correct. "If it's all right with you. I don't want you to feel forced, Hermione."

"I don't feel forced at all, Harry. More than that, I want to be in the bathtub with my husband on our wedding night, and I'd really like it if he'd scrub my back for me and if I could scrub his for him. Please? I mean, I don't want you to feel forced, either, but... we're married."

She was right. Once he thought about it, he didn't really want to be shy with Hermione, and he was glad she trusted him so much that she didn't want to be shy with him. "As you wish." He didn't know why Hermione giggled when he said that, but it was a very nice and sweet and loving giggle and he was glad that what he'd said made her feel like giggling that way. It was a sound he looked forward to hearing every day for the rest of his life. They hugged each other very tightly and kissed.

At last they broke the kiss, and Hermione whispered "Let's start the water running, my husband."

"Let's do, my wife." It seemed surprisingly natural to stand there holding hands with a girl as he reached down and plugged the drain and turned on the water. It felt especially nice to turn on the hot water, rather than the cold that was all he was usually allowed. And of course the fact that he was turning on the water and running a bath so that Hermione, his very own wife, could wash herself was wonderful beyond all description.

When the temperature was where they wanted it to be, Harry and Hermione stood and looked at each other. "So, how should we, well, do this?"

"Maybe we should turn our backs and undress, and then when we've both stripped off completely we'll count to three and turn round? That might be more comfortable than taking our clothes off whilst looking at each other when we've never even been barefoot together before, I think."

"That sounds good, Hermione. And I think my clever wife deserves a hug and a kiss for thinking up such a brilliant solution."

"Well, if you insist..."

"I do."

"Oh, you're too good to me, Harry." They held each other for a moment before and after the kiss. "You know, Harry, when we're grown up I think we'll sometimes just have to take each others' clothes off. Mum's secret vice was romance novels, and I couldn't resist reading them when she wasn't looking. There were some simply lovely scenes where couples did things like that. But for now, I think we'd better let each other go so we can undress and take our bath."

"Right. Let's."

"Okay." They released each other from the embrace and turned their backs. It felt strange to take off his clothes with somebody else in the room. But that somebody else was his own wife, so he knew it was okay. More than that, it was right. He unbuttoned his shirt and folded it up and laid it on the toilet tank, and then his trousers and his socks. He could hear the rustling behind him as Hermione took off her own blouse and skirt and whatever other mysterious garments girls wore. He was down to his underpants.

In the back of his mind he felt the sympathy of generations of his ancestors. It was true that most of them had been older on their wedding nights and some of them had, for one reason or another, had the advantage of it not being the first time they and their spouses had been nude in front of each other, but they wanted him to know they'd all been nervous as well in their time. Some of the ancestors gently suggested that he and Hermione should consider themselves lucky they weren't being conveyed directly to bed, in a state of complete undress, by all of their family and friends, including drunken old uncles and aunts singing dirty songs.

But they all sympathised, and they wished him and Hermione all the very best, and they reminded him that it would go well, because as long as he and Hermione remembered to take care of each other they couldn't go wrong. He slipped his thumbs into the elastic waistband and pulled them down. His underpants were the only item of dress he possessed that had been bought for him, because Dudley's, aside from being too big, had always fallen apart by the time he was done with them. Even the Dursleys could recognise that underwear was a necessity on the same level as allowing their nephew to go to the doctor and get his National Health glasses, something that they couldn't get away with denying him. They were the cheapest possible kind of underpants, of course. But that didn't matter any more, if it ever had mattered to begin with, because Harry had Hermione, Hermione had Harry, and that was the central fact of their universe.

“Harry,” she said softly, whispering even though they were alone in the bathroom and in any event her husband was the only person in the house who could hear her voice, “are you, well, ready?”

“Yeah. Are you?”

“Yes. On three?”

“Okay. Would you start the count, Hermione, please?”

“Sure. One. And two. And three.” Harry counted with her.

They turned and faced each other in the very same instant, almost as if they'd practised it. He locked his eyes on Hermione's face. She was blushing, and he knew his face would be very much the same shade. “It... it's okay to look down, Harry. I don't mind.”

“It's okay for you to look down as well, Hermione.”

“Oh. Right.” She gave him a wan little smile. “Do try not to laugh, Harry, please? I mean, I know I'm not much to look at, and we're young, and...”

“Hermione. You're beautiful.” She was. He'd not really thought too much about what girls would look like naked, although at school they'd been shown pictures on an overhead projector during the lessons about human sexuality, which gave him some idea of what their bodies looked like in an abstract sense, at least to the degree of understanding that they had different parts under their clothes. Lots of the boys had tittered during those lessons, or made fake being-sick noises until the teacher glared at them, or said stupid ugly phrases they'd learnt from older boys. Harry's primary emotion at the time had been gratitude that Dudley and Piers were too busy snickering to take advantage of the dimmed lights and hit him, although he had thought briefly that there was something very graceful about the plain line drawings.

But what Hermione looked like was so much more striking than the pictures. She was real. She was amazing. Most of all, she was Hermione, which meant by definition that she was perfect. For instance, she had three brown little moles right above her bellybutton, which Harry knew was exactly the place where they belonged.

“Oh, Harry. You're so kind. But I know I'm a little scrawny, except for my belly and my bottom which are a bit too plump, and my skin's not very clear, and I've practically got a farmer's tan on my arms and the back of my neck from reading outside and doing gardening but I've got no tan anywhere else cos we didn't go on a beach holiday this year and I didn't get to go bathing in a pool very much this summer either...”

He put his finger on her lips. “You're beautiful, Hermione. And I think that as your husband I've a right to say so. I might not be much to look at, but you're gorgeous.”

She smiled and kissed his fingertip. “You're amazingly handsome, actually, Harry. And thank you. Thank you so much.”

“Thank you, Hermione. So, shall we take our bath?”

“It's about time I washed my hair, and your aunt said you should wash yours, so, would you, well, like to brush it for me first, maybe? I mean, I can brush it myself if you'd rather go ahead and get in the tub, but I remember my dad used to brush my mum's hair so I imagined maybe that was something men would like to do. It's all right if you'd rather not.”

“I'd love to, Hermione. You'll have to tell me how to do it, but I'd like nothing better than to brush your hair.”

"Thank you, Harry." She'd had her hair tied back in a tail, but now she freed it from the soft band of cloth and elastic and let it spill down her back. It was beautiful. Well, Harry had already known Hermione's hair was lovely, but somehow the rich mass of soft brown curls was even more beautiful falling freely about his wife's bare shoulders than it was when it was tied up and she was dressed. She picked up a brush from amongst her things and gathered her hair in one hand, tugging it over her shoulder. "So, you start here at the ends. And then you brush it a little further up, and you work your way up to my scalp. Do you want to give it a try?"

He wrapped his hand about her hair, just above hers. His knuckles touched the skin of her belly. She shivered, and he would have let go and backed away if it hadn't been for her soft smile and the way she moved forward into the contact. "That's fine, Harry. Very fine. Go on, take the brush, now, please? Just try it."

He brushed the ends of her hair, carefully, not wanting to pull too hard. "Is that okay?"

"Yes. Now when my dad would brush my mum's hair, she'd stand or sit with her back to him. I think that might work better, if it's all right?"

"Of course, Hermione." And it did. He made his way up the length, until he reached her scalp. It was the nicest thing he'd ever been asked to do, other than getting handfasted with Hermione. And that had been more a matter of them asking each other, of course. "Is that it? Or should I keep brushing?"

"I'd not mind if you did. We've still got time to bathe, right?"

"Could you look at my watch, since you're closer?"

"Sure. And that's good, Harry, we've plenty of time. Just the brushing you've already done felt so lovely I was sure we'd spent half the night on it. Thank you."

"Thank you, Hermione. You have wonderful hair. I want to brush it every day for the rest of our lives."

"Thank you, Harry. My aunt hated my hair. She said it was so woolly that she wondered if my mother had African ancestry, and I could tell that she would have used a much more hateful word for black people if she could have thought of one that didn't sound too 'common' for what she sees as her place in society. Which is particularly funny when you consider that my hair is very much like my dad's in texture, but Aunt Vivian isn't much for logic, not when it comes to saying mean things about my mum and me. In any case, she thought I should chop most of it off and have what was left straightened with some sort of nasty chemicals."

Harry wanted to use one of those ugly words that he didn't like to hear and really didn't want to say in front of Hermione. He also wanted to turn Hermione's aunt into a frog and feed her to an alligator, or maybe to a big snake that would swallow her whole. "That's awful. I think your hair is wonderful."

"Thank you, my love. After she said that, all I could think was that I'd like to grow it all the way down past my bottom."

"Some of our ancestors had hair like that. I think it would look brilliant if you did. Not that you have to, of course."

"Mm... if you'd not mind brushing it, my husband, I'd love to."

"I'd never mind brushing your hair, my wife."

"Thank you."

"And that's another thing we have in common, kind of. My aunt hacked off all my hair when I was maybe nine, because she said it was a ghastly mess. She only left me a fringe, so it would cover up my scar. But it all had grown back by morning."

"I'm glad it did, because I think you have wonderful hair, and also because she deserved to be thwarted like that. I'm really looking forward to tangling my fingers in your hair, Harry. And, actually, do you think that could have been magic, just like when I made it so mean people couldn't see me?"

"It must have been. I'm glad we've got magic, Hermione."

"So am I. Magic's brought me a wonderful husband who brushes my hair and cooks as well as a chef in a really nice restaurant and gives me such lovely compliments."

"You know, the funny thing is that my hair always stays at just this length. When I was five or six I thought my hair was just like this because it was how boys' hair grew, and that Aunt Petunia only took Dudley to get his hair cut because it was some sort of pampering he got for being a good boy and not a freak like me. I know that sounds silly..."

"It was a perfectly reasonable hypothesis, Harry, especially for a little boy. Dudley's a horrible boy, and he'll be a horrible man. You, on the other hand, are a wonderful boy who is growing up into a wonderful man, and I thank all that's good that I get to have you for my husband."

"Thank you, Hermione. You're an incredible girl, and you'll be an incredible woman, and I'm thankful that I get to have you for my wife."

"Oh, Harry. You know... it's up to you, but I noticed that a good number of your male ancestors had long hair, including some with much the same looks as you have. I can't help thinking that, at least when we're grown up and your aunt's not there to bother you about it, it would look awfully nice if you would grow your hair long as well. I hope that's not too silly of me?"

"Not at all, Hermione. I thought my great-great-great grandfather looked like, well, the sort of man I'd like to grow up to be."

"I imagine you'll look a lot like him when you're grown, since he was a very handsome man. And so was your lots of more greats grandfather, the one with the torc and the enormous moustache, although I hope you'll never have all those scars and I'd be happier if you don't get quite as many tattoos, either, although if by some chance you do I'll still love you every bit as much as I do."

"Never fear. I've got this feeling they meant something that most people's tattoos today don't mean, if that makes sense?"

Hermione giggled. "Yes. His wives certainly seemed to think they were attractive. I was glad they were all such very good friends and perfectly happy to share their husband with each other, but I was a bit worried that the four of them would start doing something we really wouldn't want to see anyone doing, most especially our ancestors."

"Yes. They're awfully nice people, and I'm sure we could get used to living with them if for some reason we had to go back in time to when they were alive, but it would be kind of awkward, because somehow I know their house was just a big open room that everybody lived in together."

"I think they hadn't anything like the same sense of privacy that people have today. Which is fine for them, but I don't especially want to see them, err... doing the sort of things that we're not going to do until we're older."

"Yes. So, my wife, your bath awaits." He would've liked to brush Hermione's hair all night, but he understood he'd got it right by how silky soft and smooth it felt when he ran his fingers through. They needed to get done with their bath before too much longer than an hour had gone by. He put down the brush and gathered her hair in both hands for the sheer pleasure of feeling it, then let it spill back down her back.

"Our bath, my husband. And that feels wonderful. Thank you so much. May I brush your hair?"

"If you'd like to. I'm not sure it'll do much good, but I'd not mind."

"Of course I'd like to, Harry." Hermione turned about, and they hugged each other again. "And if you'll turn your back to me, please?"

He did. Hermione brushing his hair felt very nice. She was slightly taller than him, as a lot of girls were, although he had a feeling that he'd be a little taller than her when they were both grown up. It was fine in any case, of course, because she was Hermione and Hermione was by definition the finest person on the planet. That wouldn't change, even if Harry only got to be five foot five and she grew up to be six foot six. "That feels grand," he said.

"It feels grand doing it, Harry. I'm glad you like it. And... you've definitely got a very handsome bottom."

"Thanks. And so do you."

"Thank you." She hugged him from behind, wrapping her arms about his arms and letting her hands rest on his belly. "I love you, Harry. Shall we get in the bath?"

He squeezed her joined hands, hugging them to him. "I love you, Hermione. Let's."

It was a big tub, because Uncle Vernon said that his family should always have the best and the biggest was always the best. Privately, Harry suspected his uncle was worried that Dudley would grow so fat he'd get stuck in an ordinary bath, if not at ten years of age then certainly by the time he was fifteen. Uncle Vernon himself would have got stuck in a tub that was any smaller than this one, although he and Aunt Petunia never used it, having an ensuite bath of their own attached to their bedroom. There was more than enough room for Harry and Hermione; then again, he knew they'd have been fine in anything that they could both fit into. That said, he was glad she didn't have to sit in his lap, as much as he loved being close to her, because something made him think doing that when they weren't dressed would take them a bit too close to the things that they shouldn't do until they were grown up and something more like the age at which other people got married.

Harry took off his glasses and laid them on top of his shirt. Hermione was just as pretty when she looked kind of blurry as when she didn't. They sat in the tub, facing each other, passing the soap back and forth. It felt a little awkward when it came time to wash down there, and he could tell it was the same for Hermione, but after a moment the awkwardness passed. They needed to be clean, and it was simply a fact of life. They were married, and married people took their baths together. Well, maybe Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia didn't, since they couldn't both fit in a bath that was any smaller than a swimming pool, but married people like Harry and Hermione did, and that was the important thing.

"Do my back, Harry, please?"

"Of course, Hermione." She turned about and flipped her hair over her shoulder, and he rubbed soap all over her back and then rinsed it clean with the flannel.

"My turn," she said. He turned about, and she washed his back, ending with a little pat between his shoulderblades and a tiny kiss on the nape of his neck.

"Time for our hair, you reckon?" he said.

"Yes." It felt very nice to massage the shampoo into Hermione's scalp, and it would have felt nice even if she'd not made such very happy little sounds as he was doing it. She let it sit whilst she shampooed his hair, and then he helped her to rinse it out.

They were sitting in the tub with wet hair, holding hands and smiling at each other, when a fist rapped at the door. Harry had been wondering if it would be all right to kiss Hermione right then or if he should wait until they had their pyjamas on. For a moment he was terrified that Aunt Petunia would barge in and find him in the bath with a naked girl, despite the fact that she'd been completely unable to see Hermione when she was dressed and surely that wouldn't have changed just because his wife had taken her clothes off.

"I had better not see you out of there for another half an hour, boy. That filthy hide of yours needs the dirt soaked out of it."

"Yes, Aunt Petunia."

Hermione giggled. "It's almost as if she were actually trying to make sure we could have a nice long bath, Harry. I certainly wouldn't mind soaking with my husband for a while longer, if my husband doesn't mind soaking with me, even though his skin is very clean and extremely attractive and certainly doesn't have any any dirt that needs to be soaked out of it."

"Of course I don't mind, Hermione. Any time I can spend in the bath, or anywhere else, with my wonderful wife is my favourite time in the world."

“How fortunate! My favourite time in the world is any time I can spend with my wonderful husband. And I do have to say that the bath is a particularly nice place to spend that time.” They leant forward and kissed on the lips.

When at last they got out of the tub, Harry pulled the plug out of the drain. They towelled off, and then Hermione laid her towel down and took out a comb. “It's better not to brush hair when it's wet, Harry, but it does need combed out a bit. Would you? It works much the same as brushing my hair does.”

“Sure.” He put his towel with Hermione's and set to combing her hair. “How's that?”

“It's perfect, Harry. Thank you.”

When he was done, he hugged her from behind, just as she'd hugged him after brushing his hair. “I love you, Hermione.”

“I love you, Harry. So, my turn to comb your hair?”

“As you wish.”

“I so love it when you say that, Harry. Did you ever see The Princess Bride, or did you read the book?”

“No, actually.”

“That's too bad, because it's a great film and a really good book. Someday I'll show it you, and I'll get you a copy of the book as well. In any case, that's what the hero, Wesley, always says when the heroine asks him to do things.” She squeezed his hands. “So, if you'll give me the comb and turn about so I can do my wifely duty?”

He parted her hair enough to kiss her on the nape of her neck. She giggled happily. And when she was done with combing his hair, she kissed him there as well. “Well, I suppose now it's back to the cupboard for us?”

“Yes. This is the first time I've ever really looked forward to going in there. I'm only sorry I've not got a better place for your sake.”

“Someday we'll have our own house, Harry, and our own bedroom, with a real bed in it. Maybe one with a canopy and curtains, because I've always thought those looked lovely. But any bed I can share with my husband is perfect for me, even if it is just an old mattress and some blankets on the floor.” Her face went pink. “Err... I suppose we should use the toilet before we go downstairs?”

“Yes. I'll put on my pyjamas and step outside so you can have your privacy.”

“But you need the toilet as well, don't you, Harry? And I'm sure as soon as they know you're out in the corridor your relatives will want you in the cupboard, and I'd really rather not be alone in this house. So... would you just turn your back for a minute, please? And then I'll do the same for you.”

“Okay.” He knew his face was the same shade as Hermione's. But she was right. He stared at the wall and tried not to listen.

“All done, Harry. Thanks. I'll just wash my hands, and then we'll change places?” The sink ran for a minute, and then Hermione gave him a quick one-armed hug. “Your turn, love.”

“Thanks.” He tried not to think about the fact that she couldn't not hear. It was easier than he would have expected. Then again, Hermione was his wife, and this was simply another thing they were sharing. It wasn't pleasant in the way that kisses, hugs, baths, and meals were, but it was necessary. He flushed the toilet and washed his hands, and then he hugged his Hermione. “All done, love.”

“Okay. So, time for clothes, and then for bed.” It was amazing how natural it felt to stand side by side and get dressed, as if they'd done it every night for years. Harry realised after he'd pulled on his pyjamas that Hermione was wearing something like a long shirt that went down almost to her knees. Somehow he'd always thought girls would wear pyjamas just as boys did, or perhaps it was more accurate to say that he'd never really thought of the possibility that they might wear something different.

“Do you like my nightgown, Harry?” Hermione turned herself about in a circle.

“Yes. Although I have to say that I like you in everything I've seen you wearing.”

“Including nothing at all?”

“Yes.”

She hugged him. “That's good. I like you in everything I've seen you in as well. Most definitely including nothing at all, although I am looking forward to the day when we can go shopping and buy you proper clothes of your own to wear instead of your cousin's old ones. Because we will, you know that, Harry? We'll have our own money, someday, and we'll be able to use it for what we need. And sometimes even just for fun things that we'd like to have, like holidays.”

"My relatives go on holidays in the summer. When they come back, Uncle Vernon always complains about the place being full of foreigners, Aunt Petunia says the water smelled all funny, and Dudley says they hadn't enough sweets in the shops and they were all strange nasty ones that didn't taste right besides, so I'm not sure why they keep going on them."

"Someday we'll go on holiday together, Harry, and I know you'll love it. Mummy and Daddy used to take me to France and Spain, and there are so many wonderful places I'd love to show you."

"As long as you're there with me, I'm sure I'll love them."

Hand in hand, with their folded clothes tucked under their arms, they left the bathroom and headed down to the cupboard under the stairs. On the way, they passed Aunt Petunia. "You took your bath, boy? No faking?" She gripped Harry by the shoulder and looked sharply at him. "Well, you're cleaner than you were, at least. Go to your cupboard, and don't make noise when people are trying to sleep."

"Good night, Aunt Petunia." She didn't say anything, but that was probably just as well.

Harry opened the door for Hermione. "Thank you, my husband. I think you're actually meant to carry me in, but there's not enough room for us to do that, is there?"

"No. I'm sorry."

"Don't be. You're my husband, and you've nothing to be sorry for. You can carry me over the threshold when we've got a place of our own at last. For now, this is perfect, because you're here with me."

"I would've said it was perfect because you were here with me." He turned on the little lamp the Dursleys allowed him, and closed the door.

"How about we say it's perfect because we're both here together?"

"That sounds good to me. I love you, Hermione."

"I love you, Harry."

The cupboard was high enough that they could stand up together right next to the door. Hermione nuzzled at his lips, and they kissed.

"I've got this intuition that when we're older that's going to feel even better than it does now, but I almost can't imagine how it could," she whispered when they were done.

"Yes. Well, we'll find out."

"We will. Are you sleepy, Harry?"

"A little bit. You?"

"Kind of. And I'm really looking forward to sleeping in my husband's arms."

Harry folded back the ragged duvet. "I hope you'll not be too cold, Hermione. I know it's not much."

"It's home, Harry, because you're here. And we'll be warm, because we'll be together."

"We will be."

"I didn't grow up in a praying household, Harry, but... somehow it seems as if maybe we should. Does that make sense to you?"

"I don't know how to, but I think you're right. We know there's something good out there, because we're together, so it seems polite, doesn't it?"

"Yes. And I don't know how to pray, either, Harry, but we'll manage, because we're together and we always do."

They knelt side by side at the end of the mattress, where there was just enough room. "Um... I don't know what I should call you, Good Power, but I thank you for bringing me and Hermione together and I thank you for this day and I ask you to watch over us and to help us to take care of each other."

"And I'm not sure what I should call you, either, but I know you're there and I thank you for bringing Harry and me together and for this wonderful day. I ask that you continue to watch over us and over those lovely old people at the park who could see us together. Amen."

"Amen." Harry had never been sure what that word meant, but he'd heard it a few times. Right now he knew it was the right word to say.

They got into bed. "Would you like to read together a bit before we go to sleep, Harry? I've got my copy of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and I was thinking that I'd like to start rereading it."

"Could we? I loved that book. I knew I could never be seen with it, but I read it at the library and I thought it was really good."

"Oh, Harry. Of course we can." They opened the book and sat together, their legs under the duvet, arms about each other. They read aloud through the first chapter, switching off every couple of pages.

Outside, Harry could hear the Dursleys moving round and Dudley complaining about being told to go to bed. "I suppose it's time we slept?"

"I suppose it is. I love you, Harry. Thank you for getting handfasted to me." Hermione marked their place and put the book away.

"I love you, Hermione. Thank you for getting handfasted to me." He put his glasses away in the little metal box that he'd scrounged and lined with rags so he'd have a place to keep them safe from being crushed in the close confines of the closet, and turned off the lamp. That done, he and Hermione drew the duvet up to their necks and cuddled together. Harry had never really thought about what it would be like to sleep in the same bed with another person. He'd had a vague feeling that it would be awkward, uncomfortable, or something like that. But he was sleeping with Hermione, so of course it felt natural and right.

She kissed his lips and murmured "Good night and sweet dreams, my husband."

"Good night and sweet dreams, my wife." They snuggled closer into each others' embrace, their heads together on Harry's thin old pillow, and drifted off to sleep.
###
I hope nobody reading this will have taken offense at them taking their bath together, but I don't see what else they could have done. I don't see it as a sexualised situation, because of their ages, although it is, of course, an intensely romantic situation. I hope I've successfully got that across.

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Comments:
[User Picture]From: dukebrymin
2014-03-28 03:41 pm (UTC)
Love the mention of the possible shivaree.

Very age-appropriate, which you always do rather well.

Let's see, Hermione's perhaps a little too accepting of the Dursleys' treatement of Harry, but then she might just be overwhelmed with all the changes that have just happened to her. And her small insecurites about her perceived physical imperfections are cute--only in that they will probably disappear with Harry being an attentive husband, which will allow her to grow into a much more self-assured and self-confident woman.

Perhaps one of the things I like most about this is the feel of family--both the Harry/Hermione-ness of it, and the ancestral family feel.

So, will we be expecting any more in this universe?
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