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The fresh sea breeze and sunlight of another pleasant day filled the room as Harry and Hermione awoke from another restful night's sleep. It was a while before they got out of bed, their drowsiness ebbing away more slowly this morning. After leisurely eating breakfast in their room and changing into swim suits, they made their way out onto the beach with swim fins in hand. A few seagulls were gliding on the wind and calling out to each other. A pelican, with motionless wings, flew passed skimming inches above the turquoise blue water. They waded out into the warm water just beyond the break of the gentle waves. After putting on the swim fins and casting a few charms, they floated face down for a few minuets before diving below the water's surface.

"It seems like we're swimming in an aquarium," thought Harry.

"Yes, it looks so beautify. Look at all the fish and coral!"

"Your bubblehead charm is working great Hermione."

"And being able to thought talk with you comes in really handy too," she thought.

"It's all so beautiful, the warm crystal clear water, the colorful fish, seeing you swimming."

She smiled and thought, "I'm very happy you are enjoying our swim. You make a nice addition to the scenery too. Harry, during the second task, was it like this in the lake?"

"The water here is clear and much warmer; though the gillyweed made the sensation of the cold lake hardly noticeable. I think Fleur, Cedric and Victor used warming charms. It's also far less dangerous here, no grindylows."

"These fish seem quite friendly to us," thought Hermione. "I can almost touch them."

"Look over there by that coral," thought Harry. "Hundreds of little fish in a tight cluster!"

"Harry, look there! A cuttlefish. We need to stay back from it."

"I don't see it."

Hermione thought, "It just changed to match its surroundings. Watch just in front of that red coral for a minute."

"It just moved; I see it now," thought Harry. "It really knows how to blend in with its surroundings! It has a very good invisibility cloak."

... A while later she thought, "Harry, how long do you think we've been swimming?"

He looked at his hands and thought, "A long time by the looks of my fingers. Have you seen enough?"

"Yes, I think so. Let's go in and lie on the beach for a while."

Back on the beach, the warm sun dried them as they rested from their swim.

Harry said, "Do you want to see the magical part of the resort this afternoon?"

"Yes I do. I want to find a magical gift for my parents. I haven't a clue yet what to get them but I want it to be very special. I still feel a bit guilty about all the time I missed as a family with them."

Closing the room door behind them, they turned and walked further down the hallway and around a corner. At the end of the hallway, they came to a door that had no doorknob. Harry touched his portkey to the door. An instant later, the lock clicked and the door swung open. A large sunlit scene greeted them. A winding lane led away from the door in two directions. They stepped in, or was it out? The door closed behind them. They were standing in a small quiet park. Birds sang in the trees and a few people were seated on park benches talking. A short distance away, they could see some of the shops and began leisurely walking toward them. The shops were widely spaced on either side of the lane. Trees, shrubs, tables, seating areas, waterfalls, floating signs and lampposts filled the spaces between the shops. At one of the tables, two men were playing chess. At another table, people were talking and having a bite to eat. There were many other people walking about but it was not as crowded as on the muggle boardwalk.

They made their way along the lane stepping into most of the shops. There were magical displays in most of the shop windows advertising the latest merchandise the shop had to offer. Books, magical toys, T-shirts and hats with moving insignias, a jewelry shop and gift shops with all manner of magical things. The gift shops contained many unique things to look at and they finished picking out thank you gifts. In one of the shops, Hermione was inspired with the perfect gift idea for her parents. They purchased the item. She and Harry would complete the gift after their return home. Walking a little further along the lane, they stopped in front of the broom shop and looked in the front window at the brooms on display.

After a moment, he smiled at her and said, "So how did you like riding my broom at sunset the other day?"

"I liked it a lot. It was easy to control once I got the hang of it and ..." She stopped abruptly with a surprised expression on her face. Then, narrowing her eyes she said, "How do you know I used that broom?"

He grinned and said, "I asked Ron at lunchtime to bring it to me. He brought me Ginny's broom instead. He said Ginny wanted me to use it and then left very quickly."

"That's because I had asked Ginny to bring me your broom earlier in the morning."

"Yeah, after Ron left, I worked that out fairly quickly since only you and I knew it was under my bed."

Hermione smiled. "Ron and Ginny must have had a bit of a panic over that."

"Especially Ron I suspect." He smiled warmly at her. "But it was very touching when I figured out what you were up to. It really meant a lot to me that day ... and it still does."

Hermione shyly smiled and took hold of his hands. "I know how much flying means to you and the freedom you feel. I've also banished a fear in my life and I enjoy it now too."

Harry smiled warmly and gave her a quick kiss. Then he said, "So, do you like that broom? Or, should we go into this shop so you can pick out one for yourself?"

"Really?! ... Yes, I'd like to pick one out, with your expert advice of course."

He smiled and opened the door of the shop for her. For the next hour, Hermione looked at almost every broom in the shop. The sales person mentioned the features and flight characteristics of each broom. The shopkeeper quickly learned, much to Harry's amusement, not to patronize this witch. She knew what she was doing. Hermione asked about the type of wood used for the handle and the aerodynamic properties of the finish used on it. She asked about the type and length of the bristles and how they were attached to the handle. She asked about the witch or wizard who placed the final flying enchantment on the broom and to what degree the enchantment would respond to the flyers control input.

Harry spent most of this time looking at other things in the shop and watching Hermione and the shopkeeper covertly from the other side of the room. He could see that both Hermione and the shopkeeper were enjoying the experience. Being a hotel shop, Harry thought the shopkeeper probably didn't get many customers who wanted to know so much about a broom before making a purchase. The shopkeeper excitedly looked up details to answer Hermione's questions and helped her compare the merits of the different broom models. The shop had a flight test area in the back and Harry watched as she tried four or five brooms. When she had it narrowed down to two brooms, she asked Harry to try them also and give his opinion.

"I like the handling and control of this one better." said Harry.

"I do to. But it's a lot more expensive."

"You'll have the broom for a long time. We should get the one you like best."

"Okay then," said Hermione with a smile. She gave him a quick kiss and said, "Thank you my love."

Hermione's magically extended beaded bag was becoming very full with gifts for their friends and now a broom. A happy shopkeeper smiled and waved as they left the shop. They sat down on a bench to rest a minute.

Harry said, "You really had a good time in there. I didn't realize you knew so much about brooms and what to look for in a good one."

She smiled and said, "I learned most of it from just listening to you, Ron and Ginny talk about quidditch. I've never been much interested in the pro teams, statistics and that sort of thing. But the magic that makes a broom fly has always interested me. The three of you were my teachers."

"You learned your lessons well." With a smirk he added, "No surprise there. You picked out a very good broom. I really enjoyed watching and you also made it a happy day for the shopkeeper."

It was now evening and they decided to have dinner at a wizard restaurant called Hannah's House. It was quiet and there weren't many people present. After seating them, the waitress handed them menus and said, "My name is Sara. The special of the day is turkey dinner with all the trimmings, definitely the best."

Later, after finishing a wonderful dinner, a woman came up to their table and said, "Welcome to Hannah's House." Harry and Hermione recognized her from the dance floor the previous night.

"I am one of the owners of this restaurant. We are happy you chose to dine with us this evening and hope your dinner was enjoyable."

"Very much so," said Harry. "We're stuffed."

"Yes, it was so good," said Hermione. "You have such a nice quiet place. Please give our compliments to the chef."

"I will. The chef is Henry my husband. We've been open for about a year now. We're still building the business. Please tell your friends."

Hermione thought, "I'd like to help them Harry."

"We will," said Harry to Hannah. "Anything else we can do to help spread the word?"

"You are so kind. Would you mind if we took a picture and displayed it on the wall with the other pictures of people who have dined with us?"

Hermione thought, "That's okay with me."

After a glance at Hermione he said, "Yes, that would be okay."

A few minutes later, Henry had snapped a picture and showed it to them. They both smiled their approval and signed the picture "A superb place to dine. Harry and Hermione."

"You two are absolutely wonderful. Thank you so very much." said Hannah.

"You're welcome." said Hermione. "Hope your business does really well for you."

"Have a pleasant evening," said Hannah.

A little later, back outside the restaurant, they began leisurely making their way down the winding lane back toward the entrance door.

Harry said, "It's our last night here. What would you like to do?" 

She smiled and said, "So we'll have some strength for our trip back tomorrow, a snuggle and snog with you on the beach, under the stars, will be just right."

Harry smiled, "That sounds good to me."

The waves rolled onto the beach and the stars twinkled brightly above them. They were quietly enjoying being in each other's arms on the lounge. They shared their thoughts about the vision of the new star. They gazed up at the immense night sky and wondered. Were the stars somehow created by spiritual love? What other worlds or life might exist around each of those points of light? Does magic exist on them? They both thought it would since magic existed in this world in so many different ways, in both the magical and muggle worlds. They were quiet for a while.

Then Harry said, "Hermione, we're able to do two of the three abilities that McGonagall said could occur after we were bonded. We can share our thoughts and our feelings. What do you think about the last ability, combining magical power?"

In a thoughtful voice, she said, "That is an extraordinarily rare ability Harry. McGonagall said it is almost unheard of. I've never read anything about it. It could be dangerous in the same way that the elder wand is the most powerful."

"That is a very good point." He thought for a moment. "We've had access to powerful magic over the years; the stone, the sword of Gryffindor, a time turner and the elder wand. We've always been able to use things like that properly, to help others."

"That's true Harry. And you in particular, have experienced some very extraordinary things, so many of them awful. But you're still the kind gentle man that I love."

He gave her a gentle squeeze.

She said, "So, how do you think we could check for the ability to combine magical power?"

"I have an idea. But first, we should be sure there is no one watching us. Like we did last night."

They both stood and took out their wands. They each moved in a circle around the lounge casting detection charms. After finding nothing, they circled again and cast their own security, muffliato and disillusionment charms.

After they both reclining again on the lounge, Harry said, "Okay, remember that day at the family tree, we each cast our patronus and then merged them. There was a feedback and we each felt a connection. I think we should try that again."

She nodded with a thoughtful expression. Then looking at Harry, she smiled and said, "Expecto Patronum!" The misty silvery otter immediately appeared, very bright and well defined.

Harry looked at Hermione, "Expecto Patronum!" he said with a smile. A very bright vaporous stag appeared a short distance from the otter.

They glanced briefly at each other and then, pointing their wands, the stag and the otter moved toward each other. As they met, the forms began to swirl around each other. Harry and Hermione watched without blinking as a tingling sensation moved up their wand arm. It sent shivers up and down their spines and made the hairs on the back of their necks stand up. The patronus forms gradually became indistinct as the silvery mists merged into a single vaporous cloud. Then, the cloud began to glow red and then golden as it changed into a new more solid form. A majestic creature the size of a centaur now stood before them. Its head, wings and front feet were like an eagle. Behind the feathered wings was the body and hindquarters of a lion. Its tail was long and serpent like.

"It's a griffin!" exclaimed Hermione.

"It's beautiful!" said Harry.

The griffin stood in a silent golden glow looking at them intensely. Harry and Hermione got to their feet and moved to stand, hand in hand, before it. The griffin's gaze bored into them for a long silent moment studying them. Harry and Hermione felt awed and humbled in its powerful presence. They also felt a sense of familiarity, caring and security; like what a young child feels when being held in the arms of a father or mother. The eyes of the griffin softened and a proud, deep and gentle voice came into their heads.

"How wonderful the difference you've made in this world. You are exemplary in character, integrity and compassion. Do you desire confluence of magical power and accept the responsibility it places on you?"

Harry and Hermione turned their heads and their eyes met. There was a gentle squeeze of each other's hand. Their thought responded, "We do."

The voice of the griffin spoke in their heads. "Prerogative is consecrated on the union of your spirits. Call it forth, after thoughtful consideration of consequences, by your unity of spirit in truth. Use it not for personal gain. For on that day, I will depart from you. Compassion will be your guide. Preserve and nurture life."

The griffin then reared up on its hind legs. It opened its beak and the loud cry of an eagle and the roar of a lion sounded around them. They were blown in a great wind by the beating of its wings. The griffin became vaporous again and the golden mist moved to envelope them.

The golden cloud dissolved into them and disappeared from sight. As it did, a mild pain shot through each of them and a hot itching sensation on their skin spread to the extremities of their bodies. Their faces flushed red and grimaced in discomfort. A feeling of electricity and strength invaded each of them forcing itself into the confines of their being. It nearly overwhelmed their thinking. Visions blurred as a cascade of images from their shared experiences flashed in each of their minds eye. They each began to tremble uncontrollably.
Harry and Hermione reached out to hold each other as they settled onto the sand. The new magical energy within each of them jostled to take up a restful place. It seemed to displace and unite itself within each of them. With determination, their minds focused to reign in control of their bodies and magical powers. Holding each other tightly, they breathed deeply trying to calm themselves. Slowly, their minds and visions began to clear and the magical power that invaded each of them was put under control. 

After a moment Harry said, "A..are you ... are you okay H..hermione?"

"Y..yes." said Hermione in a quiet voice. "How a..bout you?"

"Over..w..whelmed but I'm okay."

"K..keep h..holding me Harry."

For a long while, they sat in the sand and held each other. Confidence, courage and soothing flowed between them. The trembling and hot itchy feeling in their skin slowly faded away. They placed their heads against each other and slowly they became tranquil and calm. There was a sense of clarity of mind and sharpness of vision in each of them. They felt very much alive and energized beyond what either of them had ever felt before.

They released their mutual embrace and looked deeply into each other's eyes. They each saw a child happily dancing in delight and excitement.

"YES!" said Hermione with a delighted smile. "This is so amazing! I feel like jumping up and down and squealing with joy! I always felt we'd be able to share thoughts. But this is way beyond anything I imagined. Oh Harry, I'm so happy for us!"

He felt waves of her joy and elation wash over him. Harry grinned and then said, "ACE! … This is absolutely brilliant! Hermione, we achieved all three! We're connected to each other in ways I never dreamed. This is totally awesome!"

She grinned as waves of his delightful happiness washed over her. Then, with a more somber expression on her face said, "Do you think we're possessed now? The griffin dissolved into us."

"No, I never lost a sense of you or our surroundings. And the griffin formed from our combined patronus'. I feel empowered ... like there's an additional source of magical energy to draw upon."

"Then we were overwhelmed by each other's magical energy in addition to our own! At first, it was like a waterfall pouring in on me. It seemed like I was trying to hold onto my own identity. Now, it feels like I have magical strength enough to move a mountain. I've never felt like this before. You are a very powerful wizard Harry."

"The griffin must be the connection joining our magical powers now. I don't think each of us was prepared for that connection being turned on so quickly. It was a bit like a light switch. You are a very powerful witch Hermione. Now I realize just how much magical energy is in you. I think this connection is going to take some getting use to."

Then Hermione looked at Harry with a very serious expression. "Harry, we have to keep this secret, just between the two of us. If or when we choose to use it, we can't draw attention to ourselves. That would be self-serving. It could cause some people to become intimidated or afraid of us. Others would be challenged to try and defeat us or use us for their own self-gain. We would have little peace or solitude."

"I completely agree with you Hermione. That must be why this ability is so rarely heard of. We have to be very careful. What should we say to Ron, Ginny and professor McGonagall if they question us?"

She thought for a moment. "Well, they know we can share thoughts from what happened on our bonding day. I'm not sure about the other guests. If questioned about the other two abilities, we should say that we want to keep it private. The last two abilities did first happen during very private moments between us. I so hope Ron, Ginny and professor McGonagall will understand."

"I think they will. They had to keep information about the ritual from us too. We can also say, at least to Ron and Ginny, we don't want to spoil their experience of the ritual. And for all we know, these abilities might not happen with them. In that case, they would feel hurt."

They each stood up and brushed the sand off. After a moment of thought, she looked at him and said, "I wonder how many have the ability to do special magic for others?"

Harry said, "I think we'll never really know." 

She sighed and then smiling said, "I thought this was going to be a quiet evening of rest and silent conversation with you."

He grinned. "Well, the lounge is there and we certainly have a lot more to think about and discuss."

She put her hands behind his neck and looked at him with an alluring smile. "I feel so energized. Let's continue the discussion indoors where it's more comfortable."

He gazed at the intimate sparkle in her eyes and smiled warmly. Reaching down behind her legs, he whispered "Leviosa!" and then lifted her off the ground. She wrapped her legs around his waist and crossed her feet behind his back. Their lips met in a kiss of hungered passion for each other. He turned and carried her across the sand toward their room. Along the way, she nuzzled his neck and her hand began to undo the buttons of his shirt.

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