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For Hermione's birthday, Harry had suggested they spend the day visiting museums. She was delighted at the suggestion. Harry had further suggested that Ron and Katie join them, which she enthusiastically agreed to also. The plan was to meet Ron and Katie at the British Museum at 10 am. After lunch, they would go to the Science Museum and finally the Chelsea Physic Garden.

Harry had just finished cleaning up after breakfast when Hermione came to the kitchen. "All set," she said. She wore shorts, a scoop neck button down top and comfortable walking shoes. Harry smiled and said, "You look great."


"Just one more thing before we go," said Harry. "I want to give you your birthday present." He held out a small box wrapped with a bow. "Happy birthday."

"Thank you Harry!" Hermione carefully removed the ribbon from the box and opened it. "Oh Harry! It's beautiful."

The inside of the box was lined in black velvet and held a necklace with a golden chain and heart shaped pendant. Within the heart shape, a ruby and a sapphire floated. The sparkling gemstones occasionally bumped into each other. Both were magically held in place by a shimmering golden glow.

Hermione carefully removed the necklace and admired it for a moment. Then she looked up at Harry and said, "Would you please put it on me?"

Harry smiled and took the necklace from her hand. She turned around and held her hair up off her neck. She felt a pleasant sensation as his fingers lightly brushed the back of her neck while he clasped the chain. Harry noticed this and smiled to himself. Then she turned back around and smiled at him.

Harry gazed at the hypnotic glow of the necklace as it lay against the skin of her upper chest. "It looks much better now that you are wearing it."

"Oh Harry, thank you so much." She leaned forward and kissed him. Then she said, "You'll get a better thank you later, when we have more time."

Harry smile broadly. Then he said, "The necklace is okay to wear in muggle places. It looks non-magical to muggles. Shall we go?"

"Yes. I've been so looking forward to this day."

A while later, Harry caught sight of Ron and Katie.

"Hi Ron! Hi Katie!" said Hermione as she hugged them both. "I'm so glad you could join us today."

Ron and Katie each wished her a happy birthday.

"Ooo," said Katie. "That's a lovely necklace."

Hermione beamed. "It's Harry's birthday present to me."

"Well done mate," said Ron.

"Thanks. I've got entrance passes for all of us and muggle money if you see something you want in the gift shop. Ready?"

"You two lead the way," said Ron. "This will be a new experience for Katie and me." 

The British museum was quiet and not crowded. The two couples leisurely strolled the exhibits and quietly talked. There was so much to see and it was all very interesting. Hermione was thoroughly enjoying herself and very happy to have Harry's company. An arm would go around a waist or a chin rest on a shoulder when stopped at an exhibit. Ron and Katie were doing the same. Hermione and Katie occasionally flirted with their respective boyfriend and teased by pressing themselves against an arm while reading an exhibit description. Upon leaving, Harry and Ron felt that overall the museum had indeed been very enjoyable. During lunch, they talked about how many of the artifacts they had seen contained indirect references to the magical world in ways they had not considered before.

"I really liked the cultural exhibit," said Hermione. "Some of the pottery and stone tablets had magical runes on them."

"I was fascinated by the Standard of Ur," said Katie. "My Mum enjoyed studying things like that and I use to look at the pictures her books when I was young. What did you like Ron?

"The Lewis Chessmen. Sure would be great to play a game with those eh mate?"

"Yeah, they were really awesome."

A short while later after lunch, Katie and Hermione excused themselves to go 'powder their nose'.

After they had gone, Harry said, "You and Katie seem to be doing really good. How are things going between you two?"

"I think we both feel we're right for each other. We've become very good friends and seem to have a special connection. It's like the way I feel when I'm with you and Hermione. You know, we can just be ourselves with each other. But more recently, I've started to feel there is something more with Katie. It's hard to describe but ... it just feels right. You know what I mean? I'm always thinking about her and there are times when we seem to read each other's mind. And well, I just want to make her happy."

"That's really great to hear Ron. I'm very sure about Hermione." Harry paused as he spotted their girlfriends in the distance walking back towards them. Harry said, "I can't say more about it now but I have plans in the works. Don't say anything about that to anyone just yet."

Ron nodded as Hermione and Katie returned.

Their next stop was the interactive science center. Ron and Katie were astonished at the things they saw. It seemed to them that electricity was the muggle equivalent of magic. They held hands and smiled broadly as young children took turns jumping on a large piano keyboard on the floor making different sounds and tunes. Ron was totally taken by the computer section and thought it unbelievable that it could play a good game of chess. Harry and Hermione grinned at him.

"Ron, you are so like your father," said Hermione with a smile.

"Maybe, but this is about the best muggle thing I've ever seen. I need to get one."

Katie rolled her eyes smiling. "I can see some other uses besides chess games, like maybe, school work?"

Ron smiled in spite of himself and gave Katie a quick kiss.

They made their way out of the science center and went to the final place Hermione wanted to see, the Chelsea Physic Garden. Hermione said it was very old and the apothecary in Diagon alley likely got many ingredients from there. As they entered, a greeter was handing out self-directed tour pamphlets showing the points of interest and plant identifications. Upon seeing Hermione's necklace, the greeter handed her an additional pamphlet. Then with a wink, he said, "Enchanting."

As they walked further in, Harry said, "What is that second pamphlet Hermione?"

After looking at it for a moment she said, "It's the same as the first one except the plant names also have additional common names. Some of the names I recognize from potions class." She looked at them and said, "How did he know?"

"The necklace," said Katie. "He must be a wizard."

They stopped and turned to look back at the greeter. He smiled and waved at them. They smiled and waved back. They walked leisurely around the grounds enjoying the sights and smells. It was very peaceful and tranquil. Hermione seemed to be in heaven. She was busy marking her pamphlet and mentioning the special healing properties of some of the plants. The tour path looped around and brought them to a café where they all enjoyed some herbal tea.

After finishing their tea, Hermione said, "There is an apothecary shown on the second pamphlet; it's behind the gift shop. I want to go see it and get some things."

"Are you taking potions in seventh year?" said Ron. "I've had quite enough of that subject for a while."

Hermione smiled and said, "No potions class. I think you are still affected by the way Snape taught us lessons."

"You got that right," said Ron with a smile.

"Well, I think it is a fascinating subject and I want to brew some things professor Slughorn mentioned in our sixth year, just for fun. I think there might be a few that would be really useful in certain private situations."

This piqued Katie's interest. She smiled shyly and said, "Hermione, you and I need to talk more about potions."

Hermione nodded and smiled. Then she said, "Well then, are we ready to go have a look?"

The apothecary was enormous compared to the one in Diagon Alley. They had never seen most of the ingredients that were there. Hermione looked in the book section and selected 'Potions for Lovers' and 'Cure for the Common Cold'.

When Hermione and Katie were out of earshot of Harry and Ron, Katie whispered, "Hermione, that book, are you and Harry ... umm ... intimate?"

Hermione smiled and whispered back, "No, neither of us is ready yet for that step in our relationship. I just want to learn about it for now. I like to be prepared."

Katie whispered, "Ron and I are considering that step."

Hermione whispered, "I've been thinking about a ritual I read about called 'vinculi spiritu'. It's a special bonding ceremony that is part of the wedding day. Virginity of both partners is one of the requirements. When the time comes, I'll talk to Harry about it."

"I'd like to read about that," whispered Katie.

"It's in a book called 'Rituals of the Highlands' in the Hogwarts library," whispered Hermione.

Katie smiled warmly and said, "Thank you Hermione. What potion ingredients can I help you collect?"

Harry and Ron were quietly talking and decided to go outside and wait. Hermione stepped up to the counter to pay for her items. The woman behind the counter packaged them up and suggested a few other items she'd need for some of the potions in the books. Hermione nodded and the clerk added them to her purchase. After paying, she placed the packages in her beaded bag and she and Katie rejoined Harry and Ron outside. The sun was low and there was a chill in the air.

Ron said, "Well you two, I think it's time for Katie and me to be going."

Hermione stepped toward Ron and embraced him saying, "Oh Ron, thank you so much for the lovely day." Embracing Katie she said, "I really enjoyed our time today."

"It was fun Hermione. Happy birthday again," said Katie.

Harry put his arm around Hermione and they watched as Ron and Katie walked to the side of the apothecary and then disapparated.

Hermione said, "Katie is happy being with Ron."

Harry looked at Hermione, "Ron is happy being with Katie."

They smiled at each other. Harry said, "Your Mum and Dad want us to come by today. Want to go there now?"

"Okay. But let's stop by our flat long enough for me to drop off the packages and freshen up a bit."

"Shhh ... They're coming! I just got Harry's signal on the coin."

There was a flash of green light. "Mum, Dad we're here."

"Happy Birthday!"

Hermione's hands covered her mouth in surprise. People were laughing and joking as she went to each of them and hugged them. Ginny, Ben, Ron, Katie, George, Angelina, Neville, Luna, Arthur, Molly and of course Dan and Emma Granger. There was food, friends, candles, cake and fun, especially with George to liven things up.

A few hours later, the guests departed. Harry took out his wand and cleaned up the whole house in just a few minutes while Hermione sat with her parents in the living room.

"It's wonderful how you can do that so easily," said Emma. "Thank you so very much Harry."

"You're welcome. Seems your party planning was very effective. I think the guest of honor enjoyed herself."

"She most certainly did," said Hermione. Looking at her parents she said, "When did you decide to do it?"

Dan said, "During Harry's party, we spoke with Arthur and Molly. We've met with them a few times now."

Emma said, "We are learning a lot about the wizard world and becoming good friends with them. They are both very nice."

"It makes me so happy to hear that," said Hermione.

A while later, Harry and Hermione returned to their flat. She led Harry to the sofa where she happily cuddled in his arms.

"This has been the best day ever. I had such a good time."

He smiled. "That makes me very happy. I wanted your day to be special."

With a flirtatious smile and tapping him on the nose she said, "But I still need to thank you properly for my necklace."

She made him lie down on his back on the sofa. Then she sat across his waist with one knee on each side of him. Looking down at him, she undid the upper button of her top. "Would you like to undo the rest of the buttons for me?"

He saw an inviting mischievous look in her eyes. Smiling he said, "I would be very happy to do that for you."

She watched him intently as he slowly worked his way down the buttons. After the last button, he looked into her eyes. She removed the top and dropped it onto the floor.

She softly said, "So ... how does the necklace look now?"

She wore a low cut lace bra and he thought it graced her curves quite nicely. He smiled and said, "Wow! It looks fantastic!"

Hermione giggled watching his eyes take in the details and spend most of the time gazing just below the necklace. After a moment he looked back into her eyes and said, "Maybe you could help me with the buttons on my shirt."

"I most certainly can help you with that."

With the last button undone, she pulled open his shirt, leaned forward, and kissed him. Then she straightened her legs to lie against him. The room became very quiet after that.

The next morning found Harry and Hermione asleep on the sofa in each other's arms. Harry's shirt lie on the floor with Hermione's bra on top of it. An alarm clock began chiming in Hermione's room. They both stirred and felt each other stretch satisfyingly.

With her eyes still closed she said, "Oh ... I don't want to go to class this morning."

He chuckled. "Never dreamed I'd hear Hermione Granger say something like that."

"I just want to stay with you like this." She squeezed him and he lightly caressed her back with his hand.

"You'd get no complaints from me. But McGonagall would likely not accept our current condition as an excuse."

She sighed and reluctantly said, "Probably not ... I suppose I'll have to get up and get ready then." ... The alarm continued to chime.

"Do you have class this evening?" said Hermione.

"Yeah. I'm going early to Hogwarts for dinner. I have to complete my assignment after you leave."

"Well then, I mustn't keep you from your studies." ... The alarm continued to chime.

After another minute, they both sighed deeply and Hermione sat up.

"You look very beautiful this morning," said Harry with a smile.

"Why thank you Harry. Any particular reason?"

"Hmm ..." he said with a thoughtful expression holding his chin. "A few reasons ... but ... it must be that sparkle I see in your eyes."

She snickered. "Yes, that must be it exactly." She pointed to her face. "My eyes are up here."

Harry smiled in spite of himself shaking his head. "Okay, your charms are too powerful. You can stop tormenting me now."

Hermione grinned happily. She picked up her cloths and held them against her chest. After giving Harry a quick appreciative kiss, she went to her room to get ready for class.

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