Chapter 1

You quite hated Hermione, right now.

Glaring at yourself in the mirror, you wondered why she had to be like this. The bathing suit looked fine on you, but that’s not what you were worried about. It was all the little pock marks dotting your body. Effing bubonic plague. Shaking your head, you threw on a shirt that read Product of the 80’s and left the bathroom, going downstairs. Granted, you didn’t really know where you were going in the Granger home, but you thought she’d be somewhere downstairs, in her bathing suit, getting a bag ready. Going down the rich wood stairs, you came to the tile floor at the bottom.

Lisa and Greg Granger were wealthy, and had invested most of their dentistry earned money into their home, which had been a crappy old small mansion when they’d bought it, twenty years ago.

You walked across the white tile floor, through the large, picture decorated entrance hall area. You heard Hermione talking with her mother in the living room, and entered, arms crossed. She looked up.

“Absolutely not!” you said.

Hermione sighed. “Yes, you are going with me. I’m not going with just the boys.”

Greg made a noise behind his paper. You ignored him as Lisa stifled her laughter. “I’ve got so many pock marks it isn’t believable!”

Hermione raised an eyebrow. “Pock marks.”

You nodded. “Yes, I have.”

“The last outbreak of the disease was in medieval ages,” Hermione said matter-of-factly.

You rolled your eyes. She was still the know it all, even though school wasn’t in. It’d been a little over a week since you’d left forever the Hogwarts Express, and you’d been staying with Hermione the past two days, because she needed some “female company.” Except her mother.

“Fine, the Black Death.”

“If you’d caught the bubonic plague, you’d be in a grave right now.”

“You’re quite taking away my excuses!” you said, shooting an exasperated look at Lisa. Lisa shrugged, smiling.

“Because you are coming to the beach with me!”

Sighing, you said, “Would you like me to show you all the grotesque little scars and pock marks on my body that a bikini reveals?!”

Hermione shrugged. “It shouldn’t matter.”

“You haven’t got a scar on your arm that looks like the Dark Mark.”

Hermione grew silent, and her parents looked over, obviously sensing that it was some kind of magical symbol. Lisa set down her morning tea and said, “What’s the Dark Mark?”

A question you dreaded. You glared at Hermione, turning. “I’m going to find my wand to see if I can charm these hidden while you tell your mum about it.”

You quickly went back upstairs and into the spare bedroom, rummaging in your bag for your wand. Ever since you left Hogwarts, you hadn’t really used it much, except for cleaning and so forth. You hoped that your results from N.E.W.T.s came soon, because what with her wedding in five days, Hermione rarely talked about anything else. Somehow she’d convinced Ron to have a traditional Muggle wedding, down to the tee, and you knew Arthur was going to have a hard time containing himself.

Smiling, you found your wand and rolled up your shirt, to see the sort of weird discoloration of skin on your left side abdomen. You remembered the Quidditch match where you’d smashed into the stadiums and had a large piece of wood a foot long sticking through your gut. Shaking your head, you also saw a thin, white, almost invisible scar running about three inches, just above the hem of your bikini. Then of course there was the one on your arm, the discoloration on your legs from your calves down...

In fact, you had healed finely from the incident with the Mori’ksh-Naugs, but your pinkie toes were permanently immobile. Hermione was still wearing a special kind of gloves, with just a wrist band and little strips of material connecting the wrist cuffs to the fingertips, which were covered in material. They were specially designed to help her fingernails grow back, and while she wore the they appeared invisible and made her look as though she had fingernails.

Shaking your head, you tossed your wand aside. Screw it... Scars were always going to be there, and you might as well get used to it if you were going to be an Auror.



Ron glanced over as he pulled a shirt on over his swimming trunks. “What?”

“I never noticed how many scars I’ve gotten over the years,” Harry shrugged, making a face down at a spot above his left elbow, where there was a very large, sort of curricular nasty scar from where the Basilisk had bitten him, way back in second year.

“Ah, well, you’re Harry Potter, right?” Ron chuckled, stepping into some sandals. “You live to get scarred.”

Harry shot him a glare, pulling on a shirt and grabbing flip flops. The both of them left Grimmauld place, waving to Molly, tucking their wands in their trunk pockets, and Apparating to the Granger’s house as soon as they got in the back yard. With a pop they were both standing on the stoop of the Granger’s house on the outskirts of London. Ron reached and rang the bell. Slowly, through the pane glass window, a short, appearing to be misshapen figure approached, talking over their shoulder. The door opened.

“-touches it it makes all the ones on his followers feel pain, and they know to go to him,” Hermione was saying, her mother in the background, listening.

“Isn’t that illegal?” Lisa asked.

Hermione shrugged, “I dunn- Hey! Come in here!” Hermione had only just now turned and seen them standing there.

Shrugging, Ron went in first, and Harry shut the door after him. He looked around, thinking this must have been a nice house to grow up in. He’d been here once before, when they dropped Amelia off (Moody refused to let her go without a guard), and he’d only seen it in night, then. Now, as Ron went over and bent, hugging Lisa and proceeding to the living room to greet Greg, Harry smiled and waved at Mrs. Granger.

“Hello, Harry!” she said, hugging him. “Amelia’s upstairs fussing over her pockmarks...”

Smiling, she rolled her eyes and went into the living room, wearing a light shirt and knee length pants. Harry stared after her for a moment, before shrugging and following her into the room. Greg had put away his morning paper and was talking with Ron, who seemed a little nervous but still at home with the Grangers. Hermione was in-between Lisa and Ron, and Harry took the seat on the opposite end of the couch as Greg. They were talking about grades (which Greg loved to talk about), and N.E.W.T. scores and how they were graded.

“No, Ron, EE stands for Exceeds Expectations,” Hermione said softly, as Ron had said Exceedingly Expected.

“Same difference,” he muttered, rolling his eyes.

Hermione shook her head. “Only you would be a teacher for more than half a year and not know what the grade abbreviations stand for.”

Harry suppressed laughter as Greg now started in on that subject. Hermione got her looks from her mom and her brains from her dad, that was sure. But suddenly a pair of hurried feet made Amelia’s announcement as she hurried in, giving Hermione a look.

“Next time you borrow my skirt, please let me know first,” she said, indicating the skirt she was wearing. “I looked through my bag three times before remembering you said you liked it.”

Hermione shrugged. “Sorry...”

Harry stared at her for a moment or so, unable to help himself. She was wearing a short, jean, cut-off skirt that showed off her wonderful legs, and he had to suppress himself from thinking wrongly. Then she had on a white, sort of tight-ish shirt that read off, in bright green letters, Product of the 80’s. He smiled, all four of them could wear that one... Hermione had stood and was talking.

“...be in Florida if you need us,” she said, smiling at her parents.

They gave her a look. “Hermione, we can’t pop over there like you can!”

Hermione smiled, handing them a post-card. “Write on it and I’ll write back.. It automatically gets sent, like e-mail. Or, if you want me to, I can turn it into a portkey... Oh you’ve never used one... Er, just stick to the writing thing.”

Her parents just nodded, shooting each other quizzical looks. Hermione shrugged, and Ron muttered loudly,

“Yes because portkeys are illegal unless authorized!”

Which earned him a heavy glare from Hermione. She pushed him out of the living room, grabbing a bag on the floor that had towels, sun screen, sunglasses, and food in it (shrunken, of course), and the four of them made their way outside. Hermione shut the door and looked over.

“You do know where you’re going, right?” she asked.

“Yes!” Amelia sighed. “For the fiftieth time. Coquina beach, Bradenton, Florida, the U-nited States of effing America.”

“Just making sure!” Hermione said, giving her a look. “See you there!” Pop.

Ron shrugged. “Toodles.” Pop.

Harry grinned and looked over at Amelia, who was rolling her eyes. “To Florida we go!”

Pop, pop.

When Harry opened his eyes, again, he was standing on a beach, at about one in the afternoon, with white sand and a load of people. Thankfully, they’d apparated into a bit of rocks on the shore, and no one had noticed them. Hermione was already climbing out of the large, rusty looking boulders, and looked back.

“Come on, we’ve only got a few hours here!”

Amelia laughed and grabbed Harry’s hand, pulling him down and after her, Ron heading down himself. He allowed her to pull him over the beach and to the spot a bit from the waves, where Hermione was spreading out a large blanket. Ron was looking out over the water, facing west and shielding his eyes.

“So, this is the Atlantic?” he asked.

Amelia shook her head, kicking off her sandals. “Gulf of Mexico. Florida is a peninsula between the Atlantic and the Gulf. Welcome to America!”


Ron shrugged, smiling. You all got situated with sunscreen, towels, sunglasses, and so forth. Grinning and slightly blushing, you noticed that Harry stared at you out of the corner of his eye as you pulled off your skirt and shirt, tossing them aside carelessly. He smiled and shook his head, before Ron grabbed him off, and they went swimming and tossing a football back and forth. Meanwhile you and Hermione tried to get a bit of a tan for her wedding. As you laid on your stomach, a sudden thought came to you.

“Hermione, how will we keep the tans for a week?”

She smiled and dug into her bag, bringing out the bottle she’d sprayed all over herself and you. It read, in glittering, moving letters, McKormikk’s Magical Tanning Solution. “Spray it on first and you’ll keep the color for about ten days.”

“You’re a genius.”

She smiled, laying back on her stomach. “Thanks.”

Suddenly, Harry, soaking wet and blinking water out of his eyes, ran up, and grabbed Hermione. She made a loud noise as he dragged her into the water, and shoved her at Ron, who laughingly caught her and started splashing her. You watched them all in amusement, and Harry, laughing, came back over and sat down next to you.

“They’re nuts,” you smiled as Hermione and Ron started to water fight. “Why don’t they use their wands and make water balls or something?”

“We’re on a Muggle beach,” Harry reminded you.

“Oh. Iknewthat.”

Harry chuckled softly, and indicated his head at you. “Lisa said you’ve got loads of pock marks. I don’t see anything.”

You rolled your eyes, pointing at the large, sort of fully blossomed rose bud shaped scar on your back. “This one...” flipping over, you showed him it’s counterpart, on your abdomen, “from that Quidditch game, sixth year. Remember that?”

He nodded. “I nearly had a heart attack, I thought for sure you were dead.”

You nodded, then pointed to your legs, which had a slightly different tone. “The little monsters last year...” Now you indicated your left arm. “The Dark Mark from my vision in the beginning of sixth year.” Harry shuddered slightly as you sat up and pointed to the last one, just above your bikini line. “And, of course... the surgery...”

Harry stared at it for a second, shaking his head. “I never really forgave him for that, you know...”

“Neither did I,” you shrugged. Then you noticed a particularly red scar on his biscep, running up his right shoulder, making a long mark from his arm, to his shoulder, and nearly to his back. You traced it. “What the hell’s that from? I’ve never seen that, before... Did Crookshanks maul you, or something?”

Harry laughed and looked down at it. “Nah, that’s from the Hungarian Horntail, in fourth year...” He pointed at a round, sort of shiny circle on the inside of his left arm, above his elbow. “That’s from the Basilisk... This one here,” he pointed at a sort of slit mark on the inside of his right arm, close to his armpit, “Is where Peter Pettigrew stabbed me for blood, to bring back Voldemort.”

You shuddered, gently touching the sort of gray slit mark. “Jerk... I didn’t know he needed your blood to come back.”

Harry nodded. “That’s why I was taken after the third task, during the Triwizard tournament...”

“Ah..” you said, staring at it. Shaking your head, you gently touched your left arm, where your skin got sort of bumpy from the scar. “Yeah, if there’s any of them that I hate, it’s this one.”

Harry traced the one on your stomach, sending a sort of warm sensation through you. “More so than this one?” he asked, looking down at you.

You nodded. “That one just brings back bad memories... This one makes me hate Voldemort, because it’s a constant reminder that he’s out there.”

Harry nodded, tapping the lightning bolt on his forehead. You both lay there for a while in the hot Florida sun, watching as Hermione shrieked and tried to get away from Ron as he laughingly grabbed her and kissed her, before throwing her into the water. You smiled, watching them, before you looked over at Harry.


“Yeah?” he asked, looking over at you.

“I’m glad you’re concerned about me and stuff,” you said. “It really does touch me.”

He gently kissed you. “It’s my job to be concerned about you, I think.”

You nodded, staring him. “But, still, you can take your hand off my stomach.”

“Wha- Oh... yeah, sorry...” Harry said, realizing his hand was still on your bikini line, and took it off.

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