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The concierge said, "Was our service satisfactory?"

"It was very good," said Harry. "We really enjoyed our stay."

"Excellent sir. We look forward to serving you again in the not too distant future. Have a safe and pleasant journey to your next destination."

Harry walked back to where Hermione was seated. "We have a few hours before our travel time. What would you like to do until then?"

"There's a maritime museum not far from here. It has a magical travel point close by."

"That sounds interesting," said Harry as he held out his hand and helped her to stand. "Let's take a pedicab to the museum."

It was early evening when Harry and Hermione walked hand in hand up the walk to the front door of their flat. Their trip home via the magical travel network had been uneventful. Upon reaching the porch, Harry stopped and turned to face Hermione.

He took her hands and said, "So Mrs. Potter, did you have a nice time this last week."

"The absolute best ever Mr. Potter," smiled Hermione. "It will be hard to top because many of my dreams, and some I didn't know I would have, came true."

"I could have never imagined all that has happened this week. It will be an extraordinary and wonderful life being married to you."

They embraced each other and kissed. A moment later, they separated and the lock on the door clicked.

Harry said, "Okay. I want to do this properly. Put your hands around my neck please."

She giggled as Harry picked her up in his arms. The door swung open and he carried her over the threshold. The lights of the room came on and Harry, still carrying Hermione, stopped and stared. Then, they both began to laugh and Harry put Hermione back on her feet.

A large heart shape, like a giant neon sign, was on the far wall. The names 'Harry' and 'Hermione' were floating within it. It twinkled and flashed in many colors each time cupid, a short distance away, shot an arrow at it. When an arrow reached the heart, the names would alternately spin like a top for a short time and say "Oh Harry!" or "Oh Hermione!" A large banner above the fireplace proclaimed, "Congratulations Harry and Hermione." Horns and noisemakers made various odd sounds. Fireworks burst at random around the room and hundreds of small transparent colored bubbles floated everywhere. A wedding bell, hanging in the corner of the room, gently chimed.

Harry took out his wand and said, "Silencio!" The noise stopped but the objects remained active. He looked toward the hallway and grinned. A flashing sign across the entrance held the words, "Do Not Disturb! Family Formation in Progress!"

Hermione looked at Harry and said, "I'm not sure I want to go into our bedroom."

He chuckled and said, "Pluck up some Gryffindor courage." Then, taking her hand said, "Off we go."

He led her slowly across the room and gently brushed the bubbles aside as they went. He reached out to remove the sign but it swung back like a gate to admit them. After they stepped past, it closed again. Hermione shook her head and smiled. Harry cautiously pulled her forward. The door to his room was closed. He smiled at Hermione and then turned the doorknob. He gave it a gentle push and let go. The door swung open, the hinges creaking ominously. ... Nothing happened. They waited. After a moment ... nothing still happened. Wide eyed, they cautiously peeked into the room. 

A small sign floated in the room. It read, "Harry doesn't sleep here anymore." Then it changed to "Unless Hermione is cheesed off at him!" They looked at each other snickering and shaking their heads.

They turned and cautiously stepped toward the other bedroom which also had its door closed. Harry looked at her. Hermione, with eyes wide and biting her lower lip, nodded to Harry. He reached for the doorknob. But before touching it, the doorknob turned by itself and the door swung open with a long foreboding squeak of its hinges.

The room was dimly lit with candlelight. The bed was now heart shaped, white with red ruffled trim around the base. There was also red trim on the ends of the pillows. The scent of rose greeted them as they stepped into the bedroom. Everything else in the room appeared to be in its place.

Hermione said quietly, "This is a set up, he's up to something."

Harry grinned and said, "I guess there's only one way to find out."

Hermione looked apprehensively at him. "How's that?"

"We lie on the bed," smiled Harry.

Harry felt a chill wash over him as Hermione said, "Ooo ... this is worse than no ink on exam day."

Harry chuckled. He let go of her hand and kicked off his shoes. He moved to the bed, got on and lie on his side with his head propped up on his arm. After a moment, nothing happened. With a smirk on his face, Harry looked at Hermione and patted the free side of the bed with his hand. With an unsure look on her face and once again biting her lower lip, Hermione kicked off her shoes. Then, she lie on the bed facing Harry. Her hand reached into his and held it firmly. They looked at each other and waited. ... Nothing happened.

Harry said, "Seems like they were just being romantic in this room."

"I don't believe that for a minute!" said Hermione authoritatively.

"There there my love," said Harry. "Let me change your mind." He leaned over and gently kissed her.

From the corner of the room, cupid appeared and floated in mid-air lightly strumming a harp. Hermione pursed her lips and nodded her head with an expression of "I told you so" on her face. Then, a soft glow illuminated the ceiling above. Looking up, they saw a reflection of them lying on the bed. Hermione started to giggle. Then, the bed began to gently shake and vibrate. They both broke into fits of laughter.

Waves of pleasurable sensations washed over each of them. Both were wiping the tears of laughter from their eyes as Harry's hand brushed the headboard of the bed. The bed stilled itself and cupid disappeared. He took out his wand and pointed it at the electric light switch. The room lights brightened to partial intensity.

Hermione said, "I'm not going to be the first one to use the bathroom. Whipped cream will probably come out of the shower."

This statement caused a far away expression to appear on Harry's face as a mental image of that thought formed. Slowly, a contented smile dawned on Harry's face as he looked at Hermione.

A slight tingle washed over her and she rolled her eyes. Gently hitting him on the arm she said, "Oh, honestly Harry."

Harry laughed. "George got you good!"

Harry reached toward the wall and touched the picture frame of his parents. His parents appeared and Lily was smiling sweetly at them. James had a grin on his face and was holding a large bucket of water.

Hermione reached over and took Harry's left hand with her left hand. Holding them up so that the rings were clearly visible to the portrait, she said in a stern voice, "We're officially married now. Chaperoning will no longer be necessary."

James shoulders slumped and his face had a disappointed pouting expression. Lily and Harry laughed. James sulked off the edge of the frame carrying the bucket sloshing with water. A moment later, he returned holding a bouquet of red roses. He took Lily's hand and they both held the roses.

Looking out at Harry and Hermione, Lily said, "May your new life together be a happy one."

James said, "Congratulations you two."

"Oh, how sweet, thank you!" said Hermione with a smile.

Harry said, "Dad, do you know of anything else we should ... umm ... look out for ... here in the flat?"

"Well ..." said James clearing his throat and looking somewhat uneasy, "That's a tough question for someone like me to answer. The unspoken prankster code of conduct says ..." James was cut off as Lily gently hit him on the arm. Looking at James, Lily frowned slightly shaking her head. Harry and Hermione grinned.

"Oh ... right then." James bounced on his feet a few times and then he said, "Well, ahem, let me see ... we couldn't actually see anything but ... we did hear something mentioned that we didn't quite understand ... What's an extendable ear?"

Hermione's eyes narrowed as she said in a whispered voice, "They're listening to us!"

Hermione looked around the room. After a brief moment, she spotted it. An extendible ear hung partially concealed behind the curtain by the window.

"There," said Hermione pointing to it. Then she said with a loud voice, "I'm going to get you George Weasley! ... Just ... you ... wait!"

From the extendable ear came the sound of roars of laughter.

A moment later, George's voice said, "Hermione, you can't image ... he he ... all of the new Weasley products ... he he ... your marriage has inspired. he he he ... How about those squeaky door hinges? ... And I love that whipped cream idea!"

Harry laughed and even Hermione giggled.

Ron's voice said, "Can we see your flat ... umm ... you know ... with all of the decorations active?"

Harry smiled, flicked his wand and then nodded to Hermione. "Okay. The floo's open. Come on over."

A moment later, there were green flashes of light as friends and family began arriving. There was much laughter and conversation the remainder of the evening.

A few days after their return, Harry and Hermione took Ron and Ginny out for dinner as a thank you for all they had done for them. They gave Ron a clock that kept perfect time and never ran down. The wood of the clock was carved with magical runes. On the face of the clock were magical pictures of Harry, Ron and Hermione wearing their Order of Merlin medals. Ginny received a golden brooch pin of a witch flying on a broom. The witch's hand was outstretched to capture a snitch darting inches from her grasp. The four friends were together well past midnight talking about all that had happened during the bonding ritual.

A few days later, Harry and Hermione took Dan and Emma to see the family tree. They were surprised when Dan and Emma said they wanted to go there by broom. After they floo'd to the Burrow, Dan rode with Hermione on her new broom and Emma rode with Harry. Dan and Emma very much enjoyed the trip and were amazed when they saw the tree and the carvings on its trunk. And just as Arthur had said, a branch with Dan and Emma's names and a flowering bud were now visible on the tree.

Later, back at the Burrow, Arthur and Molly were delighted to receive a thank you gift from Harry and Hermione. The gift was a magic wind chime that played different musical songs and instruments depending on the direction and strength of the wind. Dan and Emma received a domed crystal display with a polished dark green marble base. Within the crystal dome floated two enchanted red roses in full bloom. The roses were surrounded by randomly sparkling points of light. Hermione explained that the beauty of the roses would never fade. And with a half smile, she said that additional roses might appear at times in the future.

When Harry and Hermione resumed classes at Hogwarts, they met with McGonagall in her office. McGonagall was very moved at their words of gratitude to her for helping them begin their union. To her delight, they gifted McGonagall with a bronze sculpture of a griffin. It would rear up on its hind legs and beat its wings when it was touched. The griffin was mounted to a rosewood base that contained a wedding picture of Harry and Hermione and an engraving that read,

   With gratitude for initiating our life together.
   Vinculi Spiritu, Harry and Hermione 1998

Later, Harry and Hermione went to the Great Hall. Friends and classmates were excited to see them and greeted them with congratulations and well wishes. They were talking with a group of friends at one of the long tables when Luna entered the Great Hall.

Luna stopped the moment she caught sight of Harry and Hermione seated at the table. With her mouth half open in astonishment, she just stared at them. Then slowly, Luna walked toward them with a broad and happy smile on her face. She stood behind the group of friends sitting across the table from Harry and Hermione. Her eyes were unblinking and she appeared to be in a trance, which for Luna was fairly normal. Harry and Hermione looked up at her with quizzical expressions. The conversations died away and many of the people turned to look at Luna.

Hermione said, "Hi Luna ... umm ... how are you?"

After a short pause during which her eyes continued to stare, Luna said in a dreamy matter-of-fact voice, "I've never seen auras do that, wrackspurts must be making my brain go fuzzy. Your auras keep moving back and forth between the two of you. There's a third golden one as well. It's all so beautiful."

Harry said, "Umm, Luna, would you like to sit down and join us?"

"No, I'd better go so my wrackspurts don't affect you too." Then, before turning to leave, she said in a quiet and distant voice, "That must be what happens when Gryffindor students marry each other. It's so lovely to behold."

Harry and Hermione glanced at each other as she departed. Their other friends at the table just giggled and snickered.

Watching Luna walk away, Hermione thought to Harry, "Luna is truly gifted with a special way of seeing things. I won't be so quick to dismiss anything she says again."

Harry thought to Hermione, "Yeah. I think we need to sit down with her privately and talk."

Harry and Hermione's love continued to grow and deepen. Despite the chores of school, fledgling careers and the everyday cares of the world, thoughts were shared between them at free times during the day. There were candle lit dinners at their flat and the occasional date to a show, a picnic on a hillside, or a sunset spent together on a broom.

On Christmas Eve, they joined Dan and Emma for dinner and spent the early evening with them exchanging presents. After returning home to their flat, they spent the remainder of the evening with each other exchanging presents and snuggling in front of the fire. On Christmas day, Harry, Hermione and the Grangers joined the Weasley family at the Burrow for Christmas supper. The excitement level at the Burrow went up tenfold when Ron and Katie arrived. There was now an engagement ring on Katie's finger.

The next year brought somewhat regular visits of Harry's godson Teddy Lupin. He was a bundle of energy and kept them happily busy looking after him. They spent time with their friends at Hogwarts, helped with the DA and attended the Gryffindor quidditch games. Under Ginny's leadership, Gryffindor handily won the Hogwarts quidditch cup that year.

While completing school, Hermione began entry-level work in the Department of Mysteries in healing charms development. She enjoyed the work very much since it involved investigation and research into new and unknown areas of magic. She was most often found in the immense Department of Mysteries library. The library contained thousands of books on every aspect of magic imaginable. She also helped set up an innovative retrieval system to help researchers find needed information more quickly.

Harry began work in the MBI while completing his studies at Hogwarts. Initially working as a liaison officer, he began to establish working relationships with his detective counterparts, both magical and muggle, in England and other countries. As a MBI detective, Harry's security clearance gave him access to most restricted areas. So, in addition to crime investigation, he also worked with a team, created by Kingsley, to improve the Ministry of Magic's security. 

On one occasion, Harry had to go on a work related trip to the continent for a few days. This had resulted in a clingy and drawn out goodbye between them. But they found that distance was no barrier to their shared connections. Many lascivious thoughts flowed between them in the evenings. Upon his return, there was an extended reunion. James would have needed a waterfall to cool them down.

After completing school and graduating, they transitioned to full time jobs at the Ministry. A few months later, they moved to a home in the countryside around Godric's Hollow. Friends and family were always welcome and Harry regularly visited Wilbur. It was after moving to Godric's Hollow that unexplained events would sometimes occur.

Late in the night, a nurse at St Mungo's passed through a secured door. It took longer than normal for the door to close behind her but this went unnoticed. After checking up on the two sleeping patients in the dimly lit room, she departed. A moment later, the lock on the door clicked. The male patient had a vacant and strained expression on his face. Two hands holding wands appeared and floated in the air above his head. The wand tips touched and a golden vaporous griffin formed and began to descend toward the man's head. The griffin was rebuffed and shuddered in anguish. With resolve, the light of the griffin grew brighter. Then, a muffled shriek was heard as the griffin dissolved into the head of the man. His face turned very dark and then a black cloud emanated from it and diffused into the air. The man's facial expression relaxed and became peaceful in appearance as he continued to sleep. The wands slowly floated toward the female patient. A short while later, her face was also relaxed and peaceful. The wands disappeared and after a moment, the lock on the door clicked. The door of the room opened and then closed again. A few days later, people noticed that Neville had a new bounce in his step.

Harry and Hermione joyfully shared the day Ron and Katie completed their bonding. Harry acted as the best man for the three-day ritual. As Harry and Hermione always knew, they remained very close friends with Ron and now Katie. Ron and Katie's telepathic ability was not immediate but it quickly developed with help from Harry and Hermione.

Ginny and Hermione remained the best of friends and they frequently met to talk. Ginny and Harry would often talk about quidditch and the rigors of her being a pro level player. Like Hermione and Ron, Harry and Ginny felt like brother and sister. After a few years time playing as a pro for the Harpies, Ginny met Nick and eventually fell deeply in love with him. She transferred to the coaching and management staff to have more time available for him. In this career role, she often worked with Ron at the Ministry. Hermione was the maid of honor for Ginny and Nick's three day bonding ritual.

When George and Angelina married, the celebrations depleted a fair amount of merchandise from the joke shop. But it would go down as the merriest wedding ceremony that anyone could remember. The dancing shoes made everyone laugh hysterically during George and Angelina's first dance as husband and wife. And there was a surprise for George the day he and Angelina returned from their honeymoon. It was the next evening, during a welcome back get together, that they talked about it.

Harry and Hermione stepped from the fireplace into the kitchen of the Burrow. All of the Weasley family was present and they began greeting them. They stopped when they reached George and Angelina who were looking at them warily.

With an innocent smile, Hermione said, "Hi! Welcome back."

"Yes," said George. "That was quite a welcome we received." The room became quiet.

"We?" said Hermione. After a pause, understanding dawned on her face and she began to giggle.

"Yes ... we," said Angelina with a smile and a piercing stare. Harry also began to chuckle.

Hermione said matter-of-factly, "Well, I was honor bound as a fellow Gryffindor to keep my word to George." Then, as if questioning a professor she asked, "Was there a proper time delay before the 'effect' occurred; not until toward the end?"

Both George and Angelina nodded their heads in unison still staring at her.

Hermione beamed, "Oh wonderful! I was particularly proud of that bit of finesse, more of a surprise that way." Then, Hermione smirked and said, "Angelina, it was ... unfortunate ... that you were an innocent causality at the same time." Harry and Hermione began to laugh.

Ron said, "Okay, clue in the rest of us. What happened?"

George said, "Earlier today, tomato sauce came out of the shower in our bathroom." Everyone in the room burst into laughter. And after a moment, George and Angelina also started laughing.

After the laughing died down, George looked at Angelina and said, "It was quite good wasn't it. Though, I might fancy a bit more oregano. Don't you?"

Angelina said, "You need to be careful with oregano as it can easily spoil the overall balance, same with the vinegar. Maybe a bit more garlic instead."

George said, "Yes, quite right. That would be better."

Hermione rolled her eyes and looked at both of them in disbelief.

George said to Hermione, "The bicycle bell ringing was also a nice touch. Overall, it was very good and well done indeed. I congratulate you. Put 'er there." He extended his right hand.

Hermione, with a devious smile, took his hand. They both gripped each other's hand firmly. There was a buzz and a tickling sensation as smoke began to rise from their joined hands. George and Hermione both began to laugh uncontrollably. They tried to stare determinedly at each other as tears of laughter began to fall. The rest of the people in the room laughed hysterically.

When George realized that Hermione was not going to give in, he said still laughing, "Okay, we're even. ... he he he ... On the count of three then ... he he he ... One ... he he ... Two ... he he ... Three!"

Their hands broke apart with many gold sparks and two loud POP's! Everyone in the room was bent over holding their sides in stitches of laughter.

A moment later, still wiping tears from her eyes, Hermione looked at the laugh buzzer Harry had received from George as a birthday present in her right hand. She beamed and said to George, "This is a brilliant product! Really quite fun."

Later in the evening, when they were leaving, Harry and Hermione gave George and Angelina heart felt warm hugs and best wishes for their new life together. Business thrived at the joke shop and George and Angelina always had a smile to share.

The star repeatedly flared, pulsated and sang with a rapturous joy as it consumed itself without concern for its ongoing existence. It toiled unconditionally and without need of recompense to spread light and warmth into the darkness. The light became a guide point reaching out into the universe in all directions. The symphony of its love song touched and slowly organized the remaining fog. Prominences, like arms, stretched out from the star and scooped the dust together. Like clay being molded, a form took shape that glowed red in the golden light of the star. The star became steady and unwavering, infinitely patient to wait for the proper time. It pulled in ice to rain down and cool the molded form. And after a time of travail and persistent effort, the magic deep within the seeds sown by the star at its inception, sprouted into new miraculous life. A dawn of great joy and jubilation occurred.

Two years later, on an eventful and blessed day, their son James was born. In the weeks and months that followed, the daily routines of Harry and Hermione were significantly reprioritized. But practiced hands and knowledgeable advice was always available to them from the Grangers and the Weasleys. There were many happy times and special moments, and a few harder ones also. At the times when it seemed that all of life's demands would overwhelm and consume them, their love would grow in a new way giving them unexpected strength, consolation and resolve. And so it was that a year later, on an equally happy and blessed day, the arrival of their daughter Rose added another special new dimension to their life and love. Harry's godson Teddy became as much a family member as James and Rose. And in the living room of the Granger home, in a special place on the mantle of the fireplace, a domed crystal display now contained five enchanted red roses floating inside.

There were times, as in all married couples lives, when differences needed to be worked out between Harry and Hermione. But these were very few and far between due to the cherished connections they shared with each other. Those connections and secret abilities were honed and perfected. Harry and Hermione became an innate extension of each other. All the pain, hardships of their school years and the war, was forgotten. Their life together was as Ron had toasted; one of love, fulfillment, happiness and peace.

The End


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