|Author: Athea (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Title: Forbidden Forest, part 41
Summary: The winter Solstice arrives with a bang.
Date: 8 December 2002
I laughed myself almost sick watching the snowball war in progress. It was the Weasleys versus the Hagrids although some of us couldn't take part this year. Remus was standing in for me while Sirius took Rhea's place. Severus and Albus were officiating but all the rules had pretty much gone out the window when Gersey got smacked with an ice ball. It hadn't really hurt him but Harry had immediately retaliated with a snowball and a mini-whirl wind to scatter it all over George.
It was all out war then and Rhea and I had to hold each other up when our knees went weak from laughter. Mum finally strode out with her hands on her hips and gave a call for breakfast. She got hit from both sides by late throws. I don't think Ron or Harry's eyes could have gotten any bigger when she shook off the snow and lifted them both in the air with a levitating spell before dumping them in a snow bank.
"That's enough of that now, children." She scolded the rest of them and I snickered at the sheepish looks. But Ron and Harry were getting pulled out of the snow by Hermione and Gersey and they were laughing too so everything was getting back to normal.
Rhea pulled me towards the great hall where the house elves had set up a huge buffet. Dobby had even remembered my green olive omelet. I still craved that salty brine taste so he made sure that I had something with them in it every meal. He spoiled me but then so did Remus. I thought about how the family had grown and sighed with happiness. We all fit together although Merlin only knew why.
We'd co-opted two of the Weasley family into ours or maybe it was the other way around. I just knew that we'd grown into a clan all our own. This was the first Solstice that had brought all the Matriarchs together and the power in Hogwarts was astounding. Of course, part of that came from our Harry and our brand new angel, Toby.
I stroked my little ones and thought about the shining power that haloed the smallest Hagrid. He healed with just a smile and I wondered what the next year would bring him. Well, aside from four cousins due to be born by the spring and summer solstice. By then he might well have another cousin on the way.
Harry was quite determined in his studies and Rhea and I were helping as best we could in his thirst for knowledge about pregnancy.
I collected some towels and stood ready to dry off my husband when he came through the doors. His sheepish look was so sweet but he let me tousle his hair, which was sopping wet once he hit the warm air of the great hall. It took almost half an hour before everyone was finally dry and warm. By then all conversation had ceased while the sound of happy moans filled the air instead.
Little Toby had cured me of the morning sickness so I was hungry, too. Siri and I fed each other slowly the way we did most mornings. But this morning was blessed because of having all of us under one roof. That hadn't happened often enough when the family spread out over the Isles. We'd all met once a year either summer or winter but this year was different in so many ways that I could see we'd begun a new tradition.
With the coming of the next generation, we'd bonded closer together than ever before. I just knew that more happiness was on the way for all of us. The destruction of Voldemort had given us back a future free of fear. Our children would inherit a world that might still be dangerous but never hopeless. Perhaps it's one of the reasons that we'd all found our heart-bondeds and gotten pregnant so fast.
Even Arwen looked like she was getting in the mood. For a witch who never let herself look less than perfect, she'd become much more human the last few days. Molly Weasley still looked at her and Bill with a rather jaundiced gaze. What happened when she realized that Hossic was the third leg of that relationship, hardly bode thinking about. I wasn't sure that even wee Toby could heal that explosion.
"Rhea, are you feeling all right?" Sirius asked me anxiously and I smiled down at him.
"Fine, Siri, just thinking about the future." I put another one of Mum's blueberry tarts on my plate.
"The future is so bright that it blinds me." He said softly, taking a long look around the room and all the people in it. "I never thought to survive this long. And I know I never did anything good enough in my life to deserve you and my new family."
I dropped a kiss on his head and took a deep breath of lovely Siri-scent. "You survived to love me, sweetheart. Don't you know that I was just waiting for you to appear so I could give you my heart?"
He blinked and slipped an arm around me. "That still astounds me, Rhea-love, that you were waiting for me to grow up and show up."
That was a new nickname that made me blush and I just had to kiss him in thanks.
I overheard Rhea and Sirius talking and felt like crying. It was so neat that two people who didn't look like they could have anything in common had found love after such a long time. Looking over at Ron talking to Harry, I wondered how much longer I'd have to wait for him to grow up. Knowing what he was going to find out today, I expected it to be some time.
Of course, I was going to be busy apprenticing with Severus so perhaps the time would go quickly. He wanted me to attend the University for a year to get some of the advanced classes outside of Potions out of the way. I was pretty sure the real reason was to expose me to the outside world so I could decide if I really wanted to devote myself to his craft.
That was fine with me, I thought while piling more of the cinnamon-sugar biscuits on my plate. I was growing addicted to them and planned on asking Rubeus to send me some once a month while I was away. Checking the mini-tower on my plate, I regretfully passed on the tarts and found a little room for the frozen grapes that Severus and I loved.
I set everything on the low table near where Severus was nursing Toby. Grabbing a pillow, I sat down on the floor and took my first bite of the light as air biscuit. My little moan couldn't be heard more than two feet away but Severus chuckled anyway. I stuck out my tongue at him and thought about how the world had changed in the last six months.
Who knew that this year would see me apprenticed to Severus, Harry heart-bonded to a giant and Voldemort destroyed for ever. I finished the biscuit and licked my fingers. Ron sat down beside me with two plates full and a quick look at the professor before his eyes dropped to his breakfast. He seemed to be okay with him and Rubeus bonding although I'd seen his disbelief that Severus could be pregnant.
Like I said, I was prepared to wait for him to get over being shocked. Of course, when Charlie and Draco announced their intention to bond after Draco graduated, he was going to go right back into denial. I was just afraid that his mother would follow him and raise a fuss that would hurt both of them. Oddly enough, I'd grown to like Draco. It helped that he had asked me to be on the board of the Magical Potions Agency.
He said that he needed someone intelligent but also nice to balance Severus' disapproval of their slipshod practices. That was a compliment that I'd take any day. My folks were still rather reeling over some of the twists and turns that our lives had taken lately. But they were sitting with the Headmaster and Professor McGonagall and seemed to be enjoying themselves.
I'd have to see about getting them together with Severus a little later.
Albus was being his charming self to the pair of Muggles who'd hatched such a powerful witch. Jan and Peter Granger were doing quite well actually surrounded by a world they'd never known existed and people who practiced magic right in front of them. They were quite nice and pleased about Hermione's scholarship to University.
Severus had used part of his returned fortune to establish four scholarships to the London University of Magic. Hermione didn't know where hers had come from nor would the other three. Ginny Weasley would get one of them when her time came to graduate. The other two were going to Pansy Parkinson and Blaise Zabini.
Since I was thinking of Severus, I checked on him. He was feeding Tobias and chatting with Hermione while Ron listened with wide-eyes. I couldn't forebear a small smile at the unlikely trio. That Severus had found love with Rubeus and carried their child was one of the most amazing things I'd seen in a very long life. That Tobias was an incipient healer and empath was little short of a miracle.
I took another sip of tea and cast my eyes over the crowd gathered in the great hall. It was an amazing sight and I didn't think I'd ever seen a happier group of partiers. Without the fear of the Dark Lord, everyone was more relaxed than I'd ever seen. It felt like a great weight had been lifted from all our shoulders. I know that I had taken no joy in preparing students to face his evil.
Too many had fallen over the years for me to truly rejoice so soon after his defeat. But I found myself smiling more these days and looking ahead with delight instead of dread. Stroking the soft purple scarf around my throat, I luxuriated in the soft cashmere of my present from Albus. We'd exchanged our gifts the night before and I chose to wear it today because it was so very beautiful.
We'd been together for all of my life and a good portion of his. I'd been afraid that he would fall in the struggle against Voldemort and I would lose my best friend. But instead our young had succeeded where we failed and now we were free to live out our lives in peace and contentment. I smiled to myself. The coming graduation was going to loose some powerful wizards onto an unsuspecting world.
I was going to enjoy watching the havoc they would create. Albus was always chiding me on my malicious streak but I'd lived much too long not to give in now and then to watching others make fools of themselves. However, I was genuinely fond of little Remus and wished him nothing but happiness with his new wife and their incipient brood.
Harry, on the other hand, was proving to be a most perplexing young wizard.
This was the best Solstice I'd ever celebrated. The blueberry tarts were delicious. My whole family was here and we were opening our presents a little at a time. I'd been a help in the final battle against Voldemort, Professor McGonagall had said so. And when it came time to graduate, I already had a scholarship to the University. Ripping open another present, I pulled out a book of recipes from Mum Hagrid and I jumped up to give her a hug.
She knew how much I wanted to learn how to cook well. It was kind of like potions lessons but these recipes filled stomachs and made people feel wonderful. I whispered my thanks and she hugged me gently. "Ya'll be a whiz once ya get in the kitchen, little Ginny. There's a school a'cookery in Paris that I can recommend. The wee French don't do ta badly when it comes ta a good sauce."
"I'll remember, Mum." I kissed her cheek and went back to my packages.
We all had more than enough to open and I soon had a lovely pile of books, chocolates and new clothes for the spring semester along with three beautiful hair clips. One was a golden butterfly with gossamer green and blue wings that fluttered once I clasped it around a lock of hair. I'd never had anything so grownup before and although I still wanted to be a professional Quidditch player, maybe I'd dress up now and then after a game.
Ron had given Hermione a pair of gold and green combs for her hair and she looked so surprised when she opened them that I had to hide a giggle. Mom and I had selected them for him since he'd picked out the gaudiest set at the counter. Boys really don't have very good taste when it comes to presents. Of course, he'd gotten me some new broom wax and I really liked that so maybe the exception proved the rule.
'mione had gotten him a book on Quidditch and he really liked it. He was blushing and everything when she kissed his cheek. I wasn't going to have a boyfriend until I was a lot older. Of course, the only one who made my heart beat faster was Gersey Hagrid. I sneaked a peek at him and found him laughing with Harry over another green sweater. So far, he'd gotten four of them, each one different in style but all green.
They were just so sweet together that I didn't begrudge Harry his snagging of the singer. So long as I got to listen to his gorgeous voice every now and then, I'd be satisfied. I sighed happily and went back to watching the others opening their presents. Draco was laughing at something that he'd just uncovered and I craned my neck to see what it was.
It was silver and green, good Slytherin colors. Why in the world would Charlie have given him grandpa's dragon collar?
It was too late. My sweet Charles had gifted that young Malfoy with the dragon collar his grandfather had left to him. My baby had vowed himself to the son of a Death Eater. I thought I'd have more time to show him the error of his choice. He's still so young and Malfoy junior might be a pure blood but he was not at all someone to be an equal partner for my son.
But he'd obviously made his choice and done it publicly. Arthur patted my shoulder and I tried to smile at him but I knew that he didn't understand. No one but another mother could possibly understand why I was so upset. My little boy might be a dragon master but he was still somewhat na´ve when it came to his heart. We hadn't talked about life partners because it never occurred to me that he was looking for one.
I didn't even know that he liked males instead of females. Why had he hidden that from me? I hissed into my husband's ear. "Arthur, do something. He's throwing away his life on that little strumpet."
"Molly!" Arthur frowned at me but kept his voice low. "Charlie knows who he wants in his life. He has chosen Draco. I plan on congratulating both of them. If you can not bring yourself to also do so, at least keep your disapproval to yourself."
I was so taken aback that I watched in silence while he walked over to our son and hugged him close then did the same for Malfoy. How could he, I seethed. Our son Bill came over then and hugged me.
"Mom, I can see you're not too excited about Charlie and Draco." He patted my shoulder and I sniffed a little. "I hate to have to break it to you but I'm involved with a guy, too." I looked up at him in disbelief. "Sorry, but Hossic and I are together now. He and I are going into business together, curse breaking across the wizarding world."
"Hossic Hagrid? I thought you were seeing that giant female, Arwen?" I said faintly
"Yeah, Mom, Hossic." He grinned at me and I tried to smile back at him but he could tell I was shocked. Taking a deep breath, he dropped a kiss on my cheek. "And I'm seeing Arwen Innes also, Mom. She's one of the Matriarchs. Together, we're a triad."
One of the Matriarchs, I thought dazedly. My oldest son was going to bond to a half-giant and a full giant. "Arwen . . . Hossic . . . and you?" I felt a bit faint.
Molly Weasley looked like she'd just choked on a chocolate frog. Bill was looking stoic so I figured that he'd told her about Hossic and Arwen. Arthur was hugging Draco so I finally figured out what the collar must mean. Gersey whispered to me that when a dragon master chose his bonded, he gave him or her a dragon's collar. It was kind of like wearing your house colors showing where you belonged.
Twisting in his arms, I looked up at him. "What will we use, Gersey?"
"What would you like to use, Har'?" He asked me after kissing me softly. "There are all kinds of symbols available to us in this day and age. Rings, ear rings, bracelets, collars, what would you enjoy the most?"
I leaned against him and stroked his arm, wishing that we were alone. "I think I'd like rings, Ger. It's traditional and somehow it just seems right."
"Then that's what we'll do, little love." Gersey hugged me close and I went back to nestling into his side.
This had been the absolutely best holiday in my entire life. Looking around, I saw Draco trying to keep Ss-sarco out of the punch while Charlie took magic pictures of them. I was going to need a whole new picture album after this Solstice was over. Mum had finally gone over to Molly and they were talking earnestly. I hoped that she'd be okay with everything soon.
It seemed a shame to have any bad feelings when everyone was so happy and we had so much to celebrate. I thought about the books and sweaters I'd gotten. The clothes were all made with love so I knew that I'd look good when I wore them. And the books, some fiction but mostly subjects that I was curious about, were going to be interesting to read when Gersey was away and I was finishing up school.
"Ger, are we going to bond after I graduate or are we going to wait until my birthday?" I looked up so I could watch his eyes.
They were serious when they met mine. "We should wait until your birthday, Harry. It seems like forever away, I know but I'd like you to take some time to do some of the traveling you told me about. I promise to show you muggle London and the music studio where I work in between tours. Gration has some moves coming up in May to Ireland and France that you could help with. Dad is going to a wizard's convention in Switzerland in June and you could go with him and Mum."
"That would be brilliant, Ger." I sat up and beamed at him. "I've always wanted to go to Europe. Would you be able to come too?" I held my breath then let it out with a whoosh when he nodded.
"Some of the time, yes I will." He brushed back my hair and cradled my jaw in his warm hand. "But you need some time to explore the world with a few of your friends, Harry. I want you to have a chance to see some other cultures so you can be certain sure that I'm the one you want."
I sighed and shook my head. "I love you, Gersey. I appreciate you thinking of me and trying to give me time to know my own mind. But my heart chose you months ago and it will still be choosing you on July 31st."
He pulled me into another kiss, taking his time and mapping my mouth with his warm tongue. We were both breathing a little harder when we broke apart to breathe. "My heart is yours, Harry and it will still be yours on the 31st. Besides, we need to rest up and plan a bonding ceremony that will top this Solstice."
"That's going to be really hard to do, Ger." I looked around at everyone. "But just think, Royan and Remus' babies will be here and maybe Rhea and Siri's baby, too. That will be even better."
"Harry," he paused and I just knew what he was going to say. "Are you sure that you want to have children right away?"
"Yes, Gersey, I do." I took a deep breath and sat up to really look at him. "Toby is love and joy and a little bit of Severus and Rubeus all in one. He's part of the past but even more a part of the future. I want that with you."
His eyes were misty and he kissed my temple so tenderly that I wanted to cry. "I want that too, little love. I'm honored that you want to carry our children and if that's what you desire then that's what we'll do. But not until you are 17 and not until after we've bonded."
"That's okay, Ger, I was planning on practicing a lot between getting bonded and pregnant. Even though we can't really make love yet, I want to keep practicing you getting me ready. Sev made up some extra special lubricant and he gave me some for the holiday."
His eyes widened and his jaw dropped while I snickered.
It's been the best seven months of my life. Royan had Patrick, Harmonia and Lindir on the 1st of February. Remus was a nervous wreck by the time she'd been in labor for an hour but we were all there for him so he survived. The babies were even smaller than Toby had been but still just as perfect. Severus did the testing and was able to reassure Remus that none of the babies had inherited the werewolf gene.
Gersey and I held him while he wept in happiness.
Draco, Hermione and I passed our NEWTS at the Spring Solstice along with ten others. I spent a week with Gersey in muggle London while he was in the studio with the band. It was great listening to how songs were made. It was more exacting than potion making and they must have practiced each little part a hundred times before recording it for good. But just when I thought that all the joy was gone from making music, they sat down and jammed until midnight.
That was brilliant and I loved every minute of it. But I wasn't going to be a musician, I could tell and so could Ger. He kissed me hard before waving goodbye to the twins and me. Now that was fun, moving wizards from one place to another. Hagrid Movers had four moves to plan and accomplish in four weeks. My scar was fading slowly but surely so I was just Harry, another mover to the people who'd hired them.
Even using some magic, it was mostly heavy labor, picking up something in one place and putting it down somewhere else. I ate everything in sight and Gra' told me mock seriously that I was going to bankrupt the firm with just my food costs. But I was hardening my body at the same time and along with my yoga, I started some serious weight training. Hossic helped me pick out some good equipment.
We moved it into the spare bedroom of Gersey's apartment along with the rest of my stuff. I didn't have much except for books and clothes and they all fit inside my trunk. But little things kept getting added, like a mirror that reminded me of one in Hogwarts and an American Indian flute that one of the moving clients had given me. It didn't intimidate me like some of the more complicated music instruments.
Once Ron passed his NEWTS, I spent a week with the Weasleys just doing fun stuff like flying and testing practical jokes from Fred and George's new Spring line. Ron had gotten more serious now that he had to think about the outside world. We talked a lot since neither of us really knew what we wanted to do with our lives. Without the threat of Voldemort, I felt like I'd fallen into a no-mans-land. He helped me think it out and I helped him make a tentative choice to go to the University with Hermione.
Mum and Dad apparated when it was time to go to Switzerland for the magic conference. Gersey and I took a muggle train so I could see the countryside. That was so much fun that I never wanted the trip to end but the conference was fun in a different way. I didn't understand half of what was said in some of the sessions and I was kind of feeling like an idiot when Ger told me that he understood about one word in ten.
But Dad took me to the wizard equivalent of a jam session after the last conference speech. The room was big and while Mum took care of feeding everyone, they all split up into groups and took a different problem to solve. Now that was fascinating and I even got to contribute something. Gersey was working with a group on harmonics and I was helping Mum hand around drinks to everybody.
A group of two wizards and a witch were talking about a way to extend the reach of a spell beyond the personal energy range of the wizard casting the spell. They ignored me except for a quick 'thank you' when I handed them their drinks. But I listened and remembered something that Gersey had taught me about the effects of sound waves and the amplifiers that muggle musicians used.
I didn't want to interrupt them since I was pretty sure that they'd think I was butting in but I had a little itch that told me I should do something about my idea. Going back to Mum, I told her about it while she listened closely and nodded several times. Then she told me to tell Gersey he had a call waiting. That was our code to get each other out of something boring and all the Hagrids used it once in awhile.
So I tiptoed over and whispered in his ear, making him check his watch and excuse himself from the others. He followed me out of that room to the small bedroom that was part of the suite. We went out on the balcony and he cuddled me real close for a moment while we kissed for the first time that evening. He tasted of Swiss chocolate and just a hint of the bourbon that he'd been slowly sipping all evening.
Finally we broke apart and I told him about their problem and the idea I had. He thought about it, throwing out another idea, which made me remember something from a Transfiguration class in sixth year. He smiled at me then and kissed me hard then took my hand and led me back inside. I hung back and suddenly got the shakes.
"Harry, you are a wizard with a very special talent." He knew why I felt so diffident. "You're younger than everyone else here, that's true. But youth doesn't always mean inexperience. Dr. Able is in that group and he's never so much as heard an Unforgivable curse, let alone survived one. You have and you bring a unique perspective that is just as valuable to those wizards as their maturity."
I nodded still unsure but willing to give it a try. Gersey walked over to their group and sat down while I leaned against the back of his chair. Then he laid out an experiment for them, putting in the elements of sound waves and the use of a harmonic synthesizer. They were very taken aback for a long moment but the witch suddenly postulated a slight change in the wording of the spell.
After that, it was almost like watching a Quidditch match where the beaters weave in and out of traffic and the snitch flies so fast between them that your neck gets sore snapping back and forth. Everybody was smiling when they finally had their experiment down on parchment and the quills had quit writing. That's when Gersey told them that the original breakthrough was my idea. Dr. Able's eyebrow rose really high but he told me 'thank you' and advised me to take Arithmancy with Professor Plum at the University so that I could hone my talent.
That felt good, he thought I had a talent. I'd just kind of thought that I was in the right place at the right time. But Dad Hagrid set me straight about that later when Gersey was telling him about our session. He told me that sometimes a talent could manifest in ways that you didn't expect. And he said that my talent appeared to be the ability to synthesize and combine new elements in unexpected ways.
Gersey chuckled and called me his acoustic amplifier. I stuck out my tongue at him and he kissed me sweetly. On the train trip home, we talked about the future and what we wanted to do. After all the traveling, I knew that wasn't for me. While lying in his arms, I told him what I'd begun to feel.
"I want a home, Ger. I need a place that's always there. It can be big or small, an apartment or a house, in the muggle world or ours, that doesn't matter." I stroked his chest, the red hairs curling around my fingers. "As long as you're there and our friends know where to find us, I don't really have a place in mind. I want us to create a home that brings people together, where everyone feels welcome and nobody wants to leave."
"Sweetheart," he brushed a hand through my hair and I wanted to purr. "I love you and that sounds like a small slice of heaven to me. For now, why don't we buy an apartment in London so I can work with Peter on this album and you can take some courses at the University? And yes," he placed his fingers over my lips, "we'll practice making babies until we get it right."
I licked his index finger and felt him shiver. "Can we get a loft apartment so we can look out over both Londons?"
He chuckled. "Yes, we can. We'll need room for the piano and a very big bed. These dinky little things aren't made for humans, let alone half-giants."
It was my turn to laugh at him. He'd been complaining since we got on the train that he had a permanent crick in his back. There's not much you can do in a muggle sleeper except curl up. But we were curling up together so I didn't really mind. We spent the rest of the trip planning our home and deciding what to do first. My birthday was six weeks away and I could hardly wait.
I stood in the middle of an empty space that echoed with forgotten voices. Mostly they were happy voices and I just knew that we could be happy here, too. Gersey was checking on the utilities but I'd left him and the realtor to come back to this loft at the very top of the building. The view from the single window was nothing but more rooftops. But the closer I looked, the more differences I could see.
There was a fig tree growing on a fire escape a block over and on one tarred roof there was a wrought iron table and two chairs with a bright red geranium sitting on it. I was smiling at the splash of color when I heard Ger calling for me. We met in the middle of the vast space. "Is this the one, Harry?"
I nodded happily. "Yes, I think we can be happy here. Will the piano be okay here? Is it too echo-ey?"
"We'll put up some acoustical tiles and surround it with some magic quieters." He was already planning and I slid my arms around him happily. "We'll fill it with love, Harry, and that will make it perfect."
"Just a week more, Gersey, and then we'll be bonded forever and ever." I sighed against his chest and he dropped a kiss on my head. I'd grown those three inches that he'd predicted but he'd always be taller than me and that was okay. I liked tucking my head under his chin and cuddling close.
"A week, Harry, until then we've got a lot to do. Do you mind if we buy the whole building?" He asked.
I pulled back a bit. "The whole thing? Wouldn't that be too expensive?"
He chuckled. "I've got quite a bit put away, Harry. Since people like my songs, I've made a lot more than most musicians usually do. It would be nice to fix up the whole building and makes spaces for the rest of the family when they come to visit. I'm selfish, Har', I don't want to have to be quiet whenever we have company."
"Me, either." I told him with a nod. "Okay, if it's not too much, let's buy it all. Then we can put the nanny and kids on the next floor down once we start having them."
He laughed out loud and hugged me hard for a moment then led me down to the waiting realtor. It didn't seem to take any time at all to buy a five story building. The ground floor would hold storage and motorbikes. Gration and Hossic loved their Harleys and needed a secure place to store them when they were in London. It was odd but once we told the family about our new home everyone contributed something.
But in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of cleaning, renovating and moving in, the plans for our bonding just quietly kept growing and growing. The only place big enough to hold it was Hogwarts and the Headmaster had offered it with a smile. Mum was cooking for five hundred; Royan and Rhea were decorating up a storm while Draco and Charlie had something planned with the dragons that made me nervous.
Who knew what a Weasley and a Malfoy would come up with? What ever it was, I was pretty sure that fireworks were involved. Severus had promised me healing potions would be readily available so I was resigned to being surprised.
And suddenly it was time to go meet Gersey.
I walked out with Sirius on one side of me and Ron on the other. I wasn't even nervous really. I was going to join the man who held my heart in his warm hands and I was ready to bind myself to him forever. Mum had made me a new set of dress robes in green and gold. I wore them with the most comfortable leather boots I'd ever owned in deep green suede.
Sirius and Ron were in formal robes of red and gold, Gryffindor colors and I thought maybe that my folks were kind of here, too. We walked down to the lake and I didn't see anyone but Gersey waiting for me in a matching set of robes, his beautiful red hair brushed out over his broad shoulders. My hair wasn't messy since Severus had made up a conditioning potion that finally tamed my dark mane.
Gersey still liked messing it up though and I could tell by the look in his eyes that he wanted to do that right now. I felt light as air when I walked up to him and took both of his hands in mine. Dumbledore and everyone was there but they could have all been stark naked and I wouldn't have noticed it.
"We are met on this beautiful summer day to witness Gersey and Harry acknowledge their heart-bond." He said simply.
"I dreamed you, Harry and suddenly there you were. I promise you laughter and joy for all our days to come." Gersey kissed the inside of my left wrist and I wanted to burst into flame.
"I saw you and ached for something that I didn't know how to express. I do now, Gersey. I love you with all my heart and I promise to love and care for you forever." I stood on tiptoe and kissed him gently.
Overhead, five dragons rose above us flaming a fire red heart in the blue sky. And the crackle of fireworks burst from all sides in every color of the rainbow. But I was too busy sliding a sapphire and silver ring on Gersey's hand while he slid an emerald and gold band onto my ring finger.
The cheers were deafening when they answered Dumbledore's call for witnesses. But all I could hear was Gersey saying 'I love you' while I tasted my first kiss from my husband. I could hardly wait for our honeymoon.
Draco hugged me close and I marveled at how far he'd come since our own bonding on his seventeenth birthday. It was a much smaller ceremony than this but that was what Draco wanted and I made sure that he got it. My family was there but there was still some stiffness with Mom while the Hagrids had accepted us completely. My best memory was Hossic and Gration toasting us with a glass of fine aged scotch from the Malfoy cellars.
'Here's to a long life and all the happiness in the world for you both!'
Draco had glowed and I'd just had to kiss him again and again. Even now, I felt like he'd disappear if I couldn't see him. The dragons had performed magnificently and we'd just finished feeding them the kippered herring they loved so we had a moment to ourselves. I raised his face to mine and rejoiced in his happy look. Lowering my mouth to his, I tasted him slowly while he melted into my arms.
We were going slowly in our love-making because sharing his body wasn't something Draco was still quite comfortable with. I wanted to make sure that every touch was welcome and I loved watching him absorb each new sensation with delight. His skin was satin smooth unlike mine which had scars from my dragon handling. But he'd smoothed his love over each one so they no longer bothered me.
"Charlie, are we leaving early?" Draco teased me while slowly undulating his hips against mine. "Is there something about bondings that turn you on?"
I chuckled and thrust back. "Actually, there is but I can wait for another hour or two if you can."
"Hah! I can hold out just as long as you can, Charles Weasley." He said with that supercilious air that Harry always groaned at. It drove some of the board members wild when he pulled it on them with that arrogant look that his father had so perfected.
"Then again, we could slip out past the cake, through the Forest and be back home before anyone else leaves the party." I slipped my hands into the back pockets of his black jeans and pulled him just a little bit closer while he caught his breath and grinned up at me.
"I like that idea, Charlie-love." And he smiled the sweet smile that melted my heart.
This was the bonding of the century and I had a front row seat. But most of my attention was on my date instead of the bonding pair. Dad had some reservations about the fact that Gration was half-giant but speaking as the interested lover, I had none whatsoever. Gra' was tender, loving and intelligent. And he turned me on with a vengeance. I'd never been so satisfied in my life.
Mom and I had a long talk about marriage, children and careers. I'd never known that she could have been a writer but had given it up to support my father in his career with the Ministry and have my brother and me. I told her that I must have gotten my talent from her and she'd blushed. So I hugged her and told her how much I loved her. We don't do that enough in my family.
But the Hagrids hug each other at the drop of a hat. I was getting addicted to giving and receiving them. Today had been no different, moving between laughter and tears both before and after the ceremony. Harry Potter had lived up to his name although I thought maybe the press should change the title slightly to the Man-who-loved instead of Boy-who-lived.
He and Gersey glowed with happiness and I kept getting the urge to cry for no apparent reason. When Ger started singing a love song to Harry, I completely lost it and had to grab for my hankie. While I was sniffling, Gration pulled me close and hummed along in my ear until I had another urge, which included stripping him naked and making another kind of music.
"Dreaming, I must be dreaming.
"Fiona, have we reached the point where I ask you to bond with me and you say yes?" He looked a little uncertain for the first time since I'd known him.
Part of me sighed and I pulled him down so I could look into his eyes. "Yes, you ask me to bond with you."
"Bond with me, sweet Fiona, I love you." Those beautiful blue eyes gazed into mine and I melted.
"Yes, Gration, I'll bond with you." I managed before succumbing to tears again. "I love you, too." And then he swung me up in his arms and kissed me hard.
I wished that James and Lily could have watched Harry bond with Gersey. I know that they'd given their approval after Voldemort's destruction but I hoped with all my heart that some of his joy could reach them. He glowed with it but then so did Gersey. I know they didn't need my permission to bond but I'd given them my love. I couldn't not give them what they'd given to me so freely.
"And oh, I just fall in love again.
Rhea was sniffling a little and I handed her my handkerchief with a smile. There was something about Gersey's voice that had all the women sighing. Harry was looking just a tad smug but also starry eyed. It was a good look for him and one I'd gotten used to seeing.
"Oh," Rhea gasped and I turned back to her. She had the most interesting look on her face. "Siri, could you get Mum for me? I'm so settled in this lovely rocker that I don't think I want to get up right now."
"Love, is something wrong?" I asked in concern. She was nearing her due date and her energy was starting to really flag.
"Not wrong, love, I just need her to answer a question for me." She smiled up at me and I leaned over to kiss her. I could still taste the tart lemon from the bars I'd brought her earlier. She joked about being addicted to them. "And could you bring me another cup of chamomile tea, while you're over there?"
Chuckling, I bowed to her. "Yes, Mi'lady, coming right up."
"Silly Siri," Rhea stuck out her tongue at me and I kissed her hand before leaving to find Mum.
She was talking with her mother and I waited, not wanting to break in to their serious conversation. But Granny saw me and beckoned me closer. "Cum ye over, Sirius. How is wee Rhea doin' in this 'eat?"
"She's got a question for Mum, Granny. She said that she couldn't get out of the rocker we set up for her in the shade." I joked with the elderly giant who gave out such great hugs. "And she wants some more tea."
Harry's bonding was exactly what I wanted when I got married. I was wearing a green dress with gold braid again but this time it was soft and gauzy so the heat wasn't a factor. Maybe a winter ceremony instead of a summer one, I thought to myself while I watched Gersey sing to Harry.
"Magic, it must be magic.
I sighed and wanted to stay there listening for hours. But I was pretty sure that we wouldn't get hours since Harry was looking hot enough to set something on fire. I giggled at the look on Ron's face when he came back carefully carrying two glasses of punch.
"You know, every woman in this crowd is about ready to faint." He said with a kind of bewildered look on his face. "Why is his voice so . . . sexy, was what I heard on the way back to you."
"It's the register and his intonation probably." I took my glass from him. It was frosty cold and I sighed gratefully after my first sip. "And part of it's the fact that he's singing to Harry and they're so in love you can feel it from a mile away."
"I still don't get it completely but then I'm not ready to settle down." He looked rather sad. "I like you, Hermione but lately it feels like we're growing in different directions. I'm willing to go to University but I'm not looking forward to it like you are. I guess I'm feeling restless."
"University may not be what you eventually do with your life, Ron. It's a means to an end for me. I need some more basics before I come back to apprentice with Severus." I wasn't sure if I was saying the right things. I knew my path backwards and forwards but I could see that Ron was really struggling.
He looked ten years older suddenly, more like Charlie. "I'm thinking of learning how to ride a motorbike and taking off on a tour of Europe. I'm not like you and Harry or even Draco. You know what you want and how to get it. I don't."
"Take your time, Ron. Harry and I will still be here when you do decide what it is you want. We'll always be friends, Ron. That won't ever change." I linked arms with him and finally got him to smile.
I held my breath and let go. Toby took a step then another before plopping down with a giggle. Ru joined in and scooped him up for a tickle attack. I said rather dryly. "Well, I don't think we need to worry about him getting very far if he ever runs away from home."
My bonded smiled up at me and I sank down to the soft grass under the willow tree. He looked beautiful to me and I'd told him so while he blushed. "Toby's not goin' ta be runnin' away from 'ome, Sev. He's got to figure out walkin' first. It's 'is balance that's still a bit off. Kind of like Ss-sarco when he hopped over to Dra' that first time."
"True, Rubeus. Rhea says the same and she's a nurse." I knew that I should just accept each step of progress but I worried about him. Mum had told me that was part of being a parent.
"Ma-ma-ma-ma," Toby chanted softly and I held out my hands for him to hold onto. He was immediately up on his feet, clinging to my fingers and putting one foot ahead of the other to take the four steps between Ru and me. Once in my arms, he kissed me sweetly and I melted the way I always did.
This small boy was flesh of my flesh and the greatest gift of my life. He patted my chest with a blazing smile and I chuckled while unbuttoning my shirt enough so he could nurse. I still found that amazingly satisfying and I didn't begrudge a single moment spent feeding him.
"Sev, ya glow when ya do that, did I ever tell ya that?" Rubeus said with a sigh and he moved closer so he could slip an arm around us. "Ya're the most beautiful man here, 'cept for maybe Harry and Gersey."
I leaned into his solid shoulder and watched his brother sing to the young man he'd just bonded with. "They are definitely beautiful, Ru but I think you might be a trifle prejudiced about me."
He kissed me while Toby giggled around my nipple. The baby was used to us and the rest of the family, too. When he pulled away, he brushed a lock of my hair behind one ear. "Nah, I'm just the man who loves ya, Sev. I 'ope that 'arry and Ger are half as happy as we are."
"They deserve all the happiness in the world." I watched them with a smile. "Harry looks like he's about to cry with joy. Do you know the song that Gersey is singing?"
Rubeus shook his head and we kept on listening while our son drowsily nursed.
"And oh, I just fall in love again.
Gersey's voice was like the richest chocolate melting over Harry on this beautiful sunny July day. Half of his audience looked like they were ready to pounce on the other half. I know that I was seriously contemplating grabbing Hossic and Bill and dragging them into the Forest for a quickie.
It looked like it was time for the happy pair to leave for their long awaited honeymoon. If they got any hotter, they were going to set themselves and most of their friends on fire.
"Turnin' you on, is it?" Hossic's arms slid around me from behind and his breath in my left ear just about melted me. "Good thing I've got a couple of his muggle CDs, don't you think?"
I turned in his arms and kissed him, not a 'hi, lover' kind of kiss but a 'let's find the nearest bed' kiss. He started chuckling half way through it and I was prepared to be affronted but then I saw Bill hugging him from behind. Our triad was coming right along and I thought that maybe we'd be having a bonding ceremony of our own one of these days.
"I think Harry is going to be flying without a broom if Gersey sings one more song to him." Bill said with another look at the pair. "And something is up with Rhea, Mum and Granny just did some exclaiming."
Turning back to the shady nook where our most pregnant member was seated, I saw the waves of heat flowing from her body. "Oh good, it's time for the newest Hagrid to be born."
"Really? That's great." Bill chuckled. "What an addition to a beautiful day. No one will ever forget this celebration."
"So true, I'll be right back." I threw a sultry look over my shoulder. "When I do, be ready for me, loves. I'm in the mood to celebrate."
Bill and Hossic got identical looks of loving lust that dampened my silk panties. Hopefully, Rhea would have her daughter in short order so the bonded pair could leave for their trip to Scotland. And the rest of us could start our own celebration.
The song lyrics are from a beautiful song sung by Ann Murray on her 'Songs of the Heart' album. It's called 'I just fall in love again'. The tune and words are attributed to Dorff/Sklerov/Lloyd/Herbstritt whoever they may be. When I heard it today, I could just see and hear Gersey singing it to Harry.
I carried Harry over the threshold of the house where I was born. We were silent, not because we had nothing to say but because our hearts were too full. Rhea had delivered Bonnie Hestia Black two hours after her water broke. Sirius had been speechless ever since. I'd never seen a man so full of joy that he literally could not talk.
Then Gration had announced his intention of marrying his pretty little reporter, Fiona. Granny had just about hugged her to death while Mum looked like she'd explode with happiness. It definitely wasn't a day our family would ever forget. But now I was alone with my bonded and there was just the two of us. We'd been bound for over a year but now it was legal and I could finally stop saying no.
"I love you, Gersey." Harry whispered.
"I love you too, Harry. Would you like to see the house now?" I asked him.
"No, I can look at it later. We're going to be here for two weeks. Right now, I want you to take me to bed so we can make love all night long." He smiled at me and I shivered at the heat in his eyes.
"Then up we go." I carried him up the narrow stairs while having to turn sideways. He laughed at me when I barely missed dumping us both back down the stairs. But then we were in the small room where I'd grown up. I'd slipped away from him while he was shopping with Sirius one day and apparated home to set the stage for our honeymoon.
His eyes were busy on the four walls of the fifteen by fifteen foot room. I had changed the bed clothes to fine Egyptian cotton the same color as his eyes along with the wedding ring quilt that Granny had made for me when I graduated from Oxford. I'd begun to wonder if she'd had a vision of the future when I pulled it out of the trunk where I'd been keeping it.
The main colors were blue and green, like a look from both our eyes. I had left up the posters of foreign lands because they were part of my youthful dreams. The bookcase was full of my childhood favorites and maybe once we were sated with passion, we could go through them to see what he might like to read. The trunk at the foot of the bed was a battered oak with shiny brass fittings.
"I like it, Ger. It looks like you." His eyes came back to me and I chuckled.
"Thank you, Harry, I loved it here especially when I was writing a song." I set him down but didn't let go completely. "I'd curl up in bed and scribble away while the birds sang outside. Up here under the eaves was like being high above the rest of the world."
"That's why you wanted a loft, wasn't it?" Harry leaned against me, his arms around my waist and his head on my shoulder. "I like being up high too and looking out over the world, like being in the top of a tree."
"There's a tree right outside that window and I used to climb out to spend hours sitting on the highest limb." I stroked his hair and breathed him in like one of Mum's roses.
"We're bonded." Harry sounded suddenly breathless and he raised his face to mine. "Make love to me, Gersey. Take me to bed and love me until I pass out."
I kissed him slowly and started unbuttoning his silky shirt while his hands found my buttons and did the same. We undressed each other as if we'd never done it before. And in a certain sense it was all new since now we were bonded. The touch of his skin was like heated satin beneath my fingers. We done so much exploring that there wasn't much we hadn't experienced.
But not like this. This was my Harry and I wanted to imprint myself on every inch of his skin. I had to taste him, learn every bump and scar from the top of his head down to his toes. Then I'd reverse my course and come all the way back up. It should take at least a week, I thought breathlessly.
"Do something, Ger, I'm burning alive." He moaned and I felt the candles I'd set around the room flicker into life.
So I picked him up and laid him down on the soft sheets. He was panting and writhing on the bed, drawing me down between his legs. I was a moth to his flame and I swallowed his cock like I'd been doing it all my life. Perhaps I had, I thought, tasting him intimately and wrapping my tongue around his dripping crown.
"Gersey!" He shouted and came in long spurts down my throat.
I sucked gently, knowing that he'd be too sensitive now if I stimulated him any more. He relaxed all over and I felt his hand come up to stroke my cheek.
"I love you, Gersey Hagrid. Make me yours, Ger, here and now." His voice was smoky with a little rasp that made my spine melt and pool in my cock.
Letting his shaft slowly slip from my lips, I licked away a stray drop or two before answering him. "You are mine, Harry, just the way that I'm yours. For always and forever, little love."
His eyes went just a bit sultry and he smiled. "Yes, we belong to each other but I want all of you, Ger. You promised."
"I did, Har' and heaven knows I want you and have for months." I leaned down and kissed him slowly, taking my time and sharing his taste with him. His hands stroked through the long hair that curtained his beautiful face.
When we had to breathe, we just looked at each other as if we'd never seen us before. Well, we hadn't, had we? Bonded, married, mated, they were all just words for the powerful emotions we'd unleashed. I traced his scar with a single finger and he blinked slowly as if just awakening from a dream.
"I love you, Gersey. All my life I wanted someone to love me, just me. I always felt alone even when I was surrounded by the other Gryffindors. They saw parts of me but never all that I was. But you saw me, you knew me the moment we met." He slowly moved his fingers over my jaw and down my throat, pausing over the pulse in my throat. "Your heart beat is a little fast, Ger. Is it me that makes it beat faster?"
I smiled and kissed the tip of his nose. "Only and ever you, my beautiful little love."
He smiled that luminous smile that lit the room with its radiance. "I have a surprise for you, Ger. While you were talking with Severus, I got myself ready for you."
For a brief moment I didn't understand but then my eyes widened. "You didn't hurt yourself, Harry?"
"No, worrywart, I didn't. I just made sure that I had lots and lots of that special lubricant that Sev makes inside of me as far as I could reach." He grinned just a little cheekily. "But I expect you could get some more in really deep where only you will ever reach."
He was so brave, I thought with a catch in my breath. "I don't suppose that you brought any with you."
Harry laughed out loud and pointed to his pants, "Accio Lubricant." A small vial levitated out of his pockets and over to his fingers. "I'd really like you to put this to good use, Gersey."
Heavens knew I was hard enough to come all over him. "All right, little love, but if it starts to hurt you'll tell me immediately."
"Yes, Gersey, I'll tell you if there's too much pain. I know it will hurt a little just at first." He sighed at my touch. "But I want you deep inside of me, making me so completely yours that we can't tell where one of us starts or ends."
"I want that too, Harry." I poured the viscous liquid over my hands and pulled him slightly up off the bed and onto my thighs so I had access to his opening. "I love you."
I needed him badly but he was still going slowly. I know he didn't want to hurt me but I wanted him inside of me and I wanted him now. But he kept on stroking two fingers in and out of me while my cock perked up and started hardening again. The windows were open and the curtains were moving in the breeze but it felt like my skin was on fire and only Gersey could put out the flames.
Then there was a third finger and I started sizzling. It felt like champagne running through my veins kind of like when we blood-bonded. "Gersey, now, please now." I pleaded with him while I burned. "I love you."
"Gods, Harry, I don't want to hurt you." He sounded like he was in pain and I knew he was hurting as much as I was.
"Amplificare, consummare." I whispered and felt the spell take hold.
Then I felt myself stretch while his crown pressed through the tight muscle. Even with the spell and all the lubricant, I could feel the burn of his entry. But that didn't matter, nothing mattered but the feel of him sliding deeper and deeper inside of me. He was going to reach my heart if he kept going.
"Harry? Are you all right?" His voice sounded strangled and I forced my eyes open to look at him. "Sweetheart?"
"Wow, that's . . ." my brain had melted, "you're inside of me, all the way inside."
"You've got all of me, little love. And I've never felt anything like your heat." He leaned down and kissed me, his cock nudging that gland that made me want to explode.
I sucked on his tongue and moved my hips just a little to see what would happen. He gasped into my mouth and I felt his hands slide over my hips to pull me closer. I wrapped my legs tight around his waist and wiggled again. His little growl made me even harder if that was possible.
Then he was moving slowly out an inch or two before thrusting back in. If I thought that I was hot before now I really knew what heat was. It felt like my skin was crackling with energy and I could have sworn that I felt sparks flying off into the air around us. I was panting in order to get some air into my lungs and I felt dizzy even though I was lying down.
Sweat was dripping off of Gersey's face and onto my skin, making little pops of energy fizz. I slid my hands up his strong arms that were braced on either side of me. I could almost see the red trails of power that I left in my wake. We started to glow and suddenly I needed to move, needed to get him closer . . . deeper . . . harder. His little growl turned me into steel and his thrusts finally began to speed up.
The fire inside of me flowed from head to toe and a reddish golden glow like lava when it first bursts through the earth began to grow everywhere our skin touched. I wondered if the bed would catch fire soon while I clutched his shoulders and tried to stay conscious. I was going to pass out if this kept up. Opening my eyes, I saw his glow like the blue-red of a really hot flame.
"Come for me, Harry." His voice was so deep that it made me shiver.
And I came for him in a burst of white-hot seed that splashed between us. He managed one more thrust and flooded me. For a moment, I felt each little seed burning inside me and I wished with all my heart that one of them would find one of my seeds and start the nucleus of our first child.
Then I passed out.
When I came to, I was lying on top of Gersey with my head tucked under his chin and his cock still inside of me. His big hands stroked my back from my shoulders down to my arse then back up again. He was humming a little and I recognized the song that he'd sung to me earlier. I was so comfortable that I never wanted to move again.
"Love you, Ger." I whispered into his throat before licking away the sweat that had pooled there. "Let's do it again."
His laugh started deep inside of him and broke out at the same time he slipped from me. I let out a little groan before I could stop myself and he rolled us over at once. "Where does it hurt, Harry? Let me up so I can get something."
I held onto him with all my strength. "It doesn't hurt, Ger. It just feels like all my inner muscles have a cramp. Sev said it would ache the first few times until my body got used to having you inside of me. That's all it is, truly."
His big hand cradled my cheeks and gently stroked there. "Truly, Harry? I need to know exactly how it feels. Sev gave me some salve that will help the ache. Let me check and make sure that you're not bleeding."
I let him roll me over onto my stomach so he could check the trickles. His touch tickled just a little when he spread my cheeks. "Oh, that feels good, Ger."
"There's no discharge, Harry." His voice was kind of awed and I peeked over my shoulder to see his expression.
No discharge. I thought about that for a moment before feeling the biggest smile I've ever felt in my life break out. Turning quickly, I sat up and hugged him close. "It worked, Ger. I wished really hard that one of your seeds would find one of mine. It really worked."
He hugged me so tight I squeaked. "Goddess bless, Harry. You're pregnant?"
"I hope so. I know you think it's too soon but it isn't. All my life I wanted to have one person love me and now that you do, I made a new wish." I pulled back just far enough so he'd see my face. "And you've made that one come true, too. I love you so much, Ger."
"Ah, Harry, you're every wish and hope I've ever dreamed." He kissed me slowly, mapping my mouth with his tongue while I started heating up again. He always tastes so very good that I never wanted him to stop. But eventually we had to breathe. He cupped my chin in his warm hand and just looked at me.
"What? Have I got a spot on my nose?" I teased him and watched his smile bloom.
"You're glowing, Harry. It's like a dusting of gold powder over your skin." His thumb brushed over my swollen lips. "We should clean up and have something to eat. I think we're going to need our energy. I want you to come inside of me next."
I bounced and leaned in to kiss him again. Our tongues tangled together first in his mouth and then in mine. He tasted so good that I never wanted to stop. But come to think of it, I was hungry. I'd been too happy to eat much after the ceremony. "Yes, let's eat and take a bath so we can come back here and make love all over again."
Chuckling, he rolled out of bed and held out a hand to help me out. Even at rest, his cock was still slightly firm and remembering how it felt sliding inside of me, I suddenly wanted him again. But sliding out of bed and standing up reminded me of all the muscles that had just gotten such a workout. I couldn't stop from making a face and he immediately swept me up in his arms.
"Soaking in hot water will help, Harry. While you're doing that, I'll fix a tray so we can snack and bathe at the same time." He carried me out of his bedroom and down the hall to a nice bathroom with a big tub.
"Good, then I'll have enough energy to return the favor, Ger." I bit his ear lobe and listened to his laughter with satisfaction. We were just getting started.