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Returning from Godric's Hollow, Hermione followed Harry to his room where they carefully placed the two boxes from her beaded bag on his desk.

Hermione said, "I'm going to get cleaned up and changed."

Harry nodded as she left the room.

He began to look at the things they had brought back at a much more leisurely pace. The toy broom was only a little over two feet long. He laid it on his bed and held his hand over it. "Up!" He smiled as the small broom rose slowly into his hand. He lightly willed it to move forward and it responded with a gentle force. He smiled and placed the broom on the shelf over his bed.

Harry removed the picture frame from the box. At his touch, the images of James and Lily appeared.

"Hi Mum, hi Dad."

"Hello Harry," said Lily. "Is this your room?"

"Yeah. Just trying to find the right place for you."

Harry found a place where he would be able to talk to them while lying in his bed.

"Mum, I brought back your diary. May I read it?"

"Yes dear. Just tap it with your wand and say my name."

"Thanks Mum."

Harry was lost in thought as he looked at the treasures of his past. After what seemed like only a minute, he heard a gentle knock on the bedroom door. He turned to see Hermione shyly looking in at him with wet hair and wearing her bathrobe.

"Harry," she said softly, "I'm done using the bathroom. You should shower and get ready so we won't be late to the Weasleys."

Harry's faced became dream-like and he just smiled at her.

With a coy smile she said, "None of that yet, Mister Potter."

Harry made a pouting expression. She laughed and went to her bedroom.

"Is she your girlfriend?" Lily asked with a smile.

"Hermione has been a very close friend since our first year at Hogwarts." After a short pause he added, "Yeah, she's my girlfriend."



"Ready?" said Hermione as she joined Harry in front of the floo. 

"Ladies first."

Smiling broadly at him, she took a pinch of powder and threw it ahead of her into the fireplace. Green flames erupted. She stepped forward saying, "The Burrow!" and vanished from sight an instant later. Harry waited a moment and then did the same.

Harry stepped from the floo into the Weasley kitchen. "Harry dear! There you are!" said Molly as she pulled him into a strong hug. "So good to see you!"

Then she said, "The rest are in there," pointing to the door that led to the living room. "Best go there straight away." Harry nodded and went through the door.

"Happy Birthday!"

Harry was first shocked and then smiled broadly. The room was filled with people who began to laugh, joke and wish him well all at the same time. He saw Arthur tap his old radio with his wand and music began to play.

Arthur moved over to him. Enthusiastically shaking Harry's hand, Arthur said, "Happy Birthday Harry! Missed giving you a proper 'turning of age' party last year. So we're doing it now."

"app ee Berth day arry!" said Fleur as she kissed him on both cheeks.

"Thank you Fleur." Bill clasped Harry's hand. "Happy Birthday Harry!"

"Thanks Bill. And a happy first anniversary to both of you."

Bill and Fleur smiled. Harry heard his name called and he turned to see Ginny smiling at him. Giving him a hug she said, "Happy birthday Harry." She tugged on the hand of someone near her and said, "Harry, do you remember Ben Bradley from the Ravenclaw quidditch team?"

"Yes," said Harry looking at Ben. "You were a chaser that year. Good to see you again."

"Hi Harry." said Ben. "Sorry we never got to play that game together. It was really unfair what they did to you."

"Harry," said Ginny excitedly, "Ben is on a pro quidditch team!"

"Really? Wow, that's great! How long have you been pro?"

"I don't think of myself as pro yet," said Ben with a brief glance at Ginny. "I still have a lot to learn. But I'm working my way up. I'm on the second reserve team of the Cannons right now."

Ginny said, "Ben got me into the stands to watch a tryout session. I picked up a few ideas for the Gryffindor team."

"Fantastic! It should be a great year for Gryffindor." Ginny smiled broadly.

"Hey mate, Happy Birthday! Hope you don't mind too much. Planning got a bit out of control."

"A bit? You must have worked on this for a month. It's really great! Thanks Ron."

"Were you surprised?"

"Absolutely! I didn't have a clue it was going to be like this." Ron smiled.

"Happy Birthday Harry!"

"Katie, how are you?" He noticed Ron slip his arm around her waist. 

"I'm doing really well. I've been helping at the Ministry and Hogwarts getting things ready for the new term in September. So many people have turned out to help. It is very gratifying to see."

"That is really excellent to hear Katie."

"Happy birthday Harry," said George holding out his hand to shake Harry's.

Harry took his hand  ... and George, held it firm. There was a buzzing sensation that tickled his palm, smoke began to rise from their joined hands and Harry had an uncontrollable urge to laugh. He couldn't stop laughing. Of course, George started laughing and then Angelina who stood by him. Then, everybody in the room laughed when they realized George's trick on Harry.

"Ha ha ha," laughed Harry. "That's enough! Ha ha ha. Please! Ha ha ha.  Let go of me! Ha ha ha".

With a smirk, George released his grip and their hands separated with gold sparks and a POP! Everybody applauded, including Harry.

"I can't keep enough of these in stock," said George looking at a small object in his hand. "They really help cheer people up."

"I think it's absolutely brilliant," said Harry. "I need to come by your shop and get one of those."

George held it out in the palm of his hand and tapped it with his wand. It disappeared into a small gift-wrapped box with a bow. "No need to Harry, Happy Birthday." He placed the box in Harry's hand.

Angelina said, "You really fell for that one Harry. You should know George better than that. I have to keep up my guard around him all the time."

"I will definitely remember from now on," said Harry with a smile.

"Harry!" said Hermione.

"There you are, and your Mum and Dad too. How are you?"

Dan said, "Very well. We finally have our floo connected; still learning how to make a call on it though. It's a bit trickier than using a telephone."

"He's having a lot of fun with it," said Emma with a smile. Hermione giggled.

"Is the floo fully functional?"

"Yes. Emma and I can only make calls. But magical people can use it like any other floo and they can bring us along with them. We've floo'd three times now with Hermione. It does take a bit of getting use to."  ...

Everyone at the party had an enjoyable time. There was good food, good drink and a lot of fun. Much later, after the guests had gone home, Harry and Hermione spent time talking to Arthur, Molly, Ron and Ginny. Hermione took her parents home and then came back to the Burrow. They got caught up on the latest news. The Hogwarts rebuilding effort was going well and Aurors were making good progress on recapturing the worst of the dark forces still at large.



It was very late when they returned to the flat. Hermione when to the sofa, removed her shoes and flopped down. Harry sat down beside her and removed his shoes. Then he took hold of her foot and began to massage it as they talked.

"My word," said Hermione. "This was a very eventful day wasn't it?"

" You must be exhausted. How did you manage it all?"

"Ooo ... It was Arthur and Molly who originally suggested it about a month ago. The Weasleys did most of the work, especially Ron and Ginny. Mmm ... My job was to make sure you were ... were there on time. They explained to me that with magical families, coming of age is really a big thing to celebrate. Mmm ... It's like your christening that Will mentioned. They understand our reasons for needing to get away. But you know how very family oriented they are. They really feel we are part of their family."

"Yeah, it does feel that way right now. It seems easier to be a part of their family when it's not every day."

"We have to make it a point to stay in contact and stop by and see them."

"Yeah. Arthur likes to talk to me about muggle electrical things."

She smiled and said, "It made me happy to see you laughing with everybody and having such a good time. I was worried that what we experienced in Godric's Hollow earlier today might have put a damper on your mood."

"I just got swept up in it all. It really didn't seem so much a birthday celebration for me but more a party for everyone that was there. Did your Mum and Dad enjoy it?"

"Yes, they did. I think they're seeing more properly now that most magical people are good, just like muggle people. I saw them spending a lot of time talking to Molly and Arthur."

"So let me make sure I have my understandings correct," said Harry.

"George is with Angelina," Hermione nodded happily and said, "She's so good for him."

"Percy is back with Penelope," she nodded again.

"Ron is with Katie ..."

"And Ginny ... is with Ben."

Hermione said, "My, that's almost perfect."

"Almost?" ... Harry had a questioning look on his face. "Who did I miss?"

With a mischievous smile, she put her arms around his neck and said, "Harry is with Hermione."

She leaned forward and he fell back on the sofa. She landed softly on top of him. She removed his glasses and they looked deeply into each other's eyes.

Harry said, "I really enjoyed being with you today."

"Oh Harry, you always make me feel so special." She then lowered her lips to his.

What followed was a lengthy non-verbal conversation about feelings. There were repeated discussions about lips touching lips, finger tips running through the hair or lightly caressing the forehead and face, the curious response of the skin to an ultra-light touch on the arms and shoulders, of holding a special someone and falling asleep.



Comprehension of his surroundings slowly returned. It was light outside as he blinked and rubbed his eyes. There was a mass of completely out of place brown hair asleep on his shoulder breathing softly and rhythmically. Her body lay against him. Her ruffled skirt revealed a leg entwined around his. She stirred slightly and then her hand gently squeezed his side.



The dream was fading, a softly rolling sea, a place of warmth and security. Now, there was the perception of a hand on her back holding her close. All was cozy and peaceful, she wanted to snuggle in deeper. Her arm was inside a partially unbuttoned shirt, wrapped around him.



She took a deep breath and let it out in a sigh. His arm reached over to her shoulder and his head turned to breath in the sent of her hair. They contented themselves in this half-asleep half-awake condition for several additional minutes. Then, her shoulders and head rolled away from him and her legs tightened. Her face was mostly obscured by hair but it reflected the pleasant feeling of that morning stretch. She blew at her hair in a few unsuccessful attempts to move it from in front of her eyes. He carefully parted her hair with his hand and two brown eyes sparkled back at him. 

"Sleep well?" said Harry.

"Mmm hmm ... Nice and cozy warm," she said with a smile.

"Can you see what time it is?"

She turned her head and looked across the room. "About nine-thirty."

"Slept in a bit did we?" said Harry with a smile.

"We must have been tired," she said with a grin. "I need to go brush my hair so I can see you. I must look frightful."

"No more than when you'd give me the eye for not doing better on my homework."

She poked him in the side.

"Ow, not fair. I don't have my glasses. Be nice now!" said Harry smiling.

Hermione giggled and got up. After handing him his glasses, she went to her room.

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