"Have you had any thoughts on where to go on holiday, Draco?" called Hermione. She was wearing a shimmery-brown sleep chemise, lounging on her side across their large, wood-paneled, four-poster bed. She idly paged through a photo album. The bed was festooned with rich, velvet curtains in deep, crimson red, which complemented the warm, dark brown of the wood perfectly. She loved this room. It was the first one she'd redecorated upon moving into the Manor. Warm, sumptuous fabrics and textures, rather reminiscent of the Gryffindor common room, were everywhere, even on the walls. Draco hadn't complained. On the contrary, he'd taken one look at the finished product and had proceeded to drag her down onto the chaise lounge by the fireplace, ravishing her thoroughly. She sucked in her breath and enjoyed a delicious swoop in her belly at the hot little memory. She eyeballed the lounger speculatively.
"Draco? Did you hear me?" she called again.
"Aht di' 'oo 'ay?" came Draco's voice from their en suite bathroom. He leaned out of the door, still vigorously brushing his teeth, and cocked an eyebrow in her direction. He had a ring of foam around his mouth and was wearing nothing but dark green pyjama bottoms, low-slung ones at that. "Aht?" he asked again.
"Careful, love. Don't go out in public like that. People may think you've brought rabies into England," she said with a smile. Draco looked down at himself just as some of the toothpaste fell onto his chest. He scowled, retreated to the sink, and finished his nightly ablutions. He came out a moment or two later, free of foam and drippings. He crossed his arms to show off his pecs and leaned against the doorframe in his best seductive pose, smiling to show off his nice, white teeth.
"Did you remember to floss?" she asked, without looking up. Eyes narrowed, Draco silently turned and stalked back into the bathroom. Hermione chuckled and turned the page.
Her chuckle turned into outright laughter when she saw the next photo. Draco yelled out, a bit sulkily, "It's not like I forget every night!"
"No, Draco, that's not what has me laughing. It's these pictures. Come see!"
Draco came out of the bathroom, swaggered over to the bed, and jumped onto the high mattress behind Hermione, bouncing her a bit as he did so.
"Remember this?" she asked.
He cuddled close, spooning her, and leaned over her shoulder to look at the page she was indicating. He snorted.
The page contained several photos taken at the 2002 Quidditch World Cup. France had been playing England that year. The pictures had been taken by Ginny, and they mostly showed Hermione and Draco furiously dueling with each other, apparently intent on changing the colours of each other's robes.
"Your short-sighted friends started it." Draco said, waving a hand dismissively. "Weasley and Pothead were taunting me for not wearing England's red and white. It wasn't my fault they were too ignorant to realize I was simply supporting my cousin, the Keeper for France."
Hermione sighed. "True. But, you were the one who threw the first Pigmentation Hex."
Draco grinned at the memory. "I've never seen Weasley look so fetching. Blue hair suits him."
Hermione shook her head, laughing, and pointed at the last photo. It depicted the two of them standing nose to nose, panting and glaring. Photo-Draco was dripping with magical red and white sparkles and paint, while Photo-Hermione was sporting baby-blue hair and matching robes, along with a rather fetching beret. "Apparently you thought blue hair would suit me, too."
"Well, if you hadn't come to Weasley's rescue and turned me ginger…" Draco gave her ribs a tickle.
Squealing, Hermione batted his hand away. "Oh, you were furious at me for that. I'd used a Sticking Charm on the colour, too. Frankly, I was flabbergasted when you Owled me a week later and asked me out to dinner."
Draco sniffed. "Hmm. Indeed. My directness gasted my flabber a bit, too, Hermione. But your Charms work had really charmed me, and you did look lovely in that beret." He tweaked one of her myriad curls. "I thought that—just maybe—I should give you a chance."
"Well, you're lucky that I gave you a chance," she said, grinning.
Draco grunted. "Humph. Yes, finally – after I sent you sixteen more owls."
"It wouldn't have been any fun if I'd given in too easily, now, would it?" Hermione smiled at him and kissed his cheek before turning the page. The next photo was of the two of them, standing knee-deep in a pile of crisp, orangey-red leaves, with mussed hair and big grins on their faces. They watched as their photo selves laughed, threw handfuls of leaves in the air, and then Photo-Draco swooped in and dropped a quick peck on the cheek of the giggling Photo-Hermione, who gasped and blushed as red as the leaves.
"Our first date." Hermione traced the edge of the photo. He'd arranged a Portkey to take her to the state of Maine in America, of all places, during the peak of the autumnal leaves display. It was beautiful. She remembered the shiver of delight she'd felt when she learned that, despite his childhood passion for most things Slytherin, his favorite colours were reds and oranges. "The warmer the better," he'd told her as they'd played in the leaves.
After that surprise kiss, he'd taken her to the coast, where they'd eaten their fill of juicy lobster at a rustic seaside restaurant, and then they'd climbed on the rocks as the ocean waves crashed against the shore. They'd ended the evening by snogging in the moonlight, not stopping until the Portkey in Draco's pocket activated automatically to take them home. It had been an absolutely lovely date.
"You can be quite romantic when you want to be, you know," she said.
He nuzzled at her neck and she could feel him smiling against her skin. Draco's hand crept under the hem of her chemise and began to inch its way over her thigh to her hip. "I certainly can," he murmured. He slipped his palm along the soft skin of her waist and rested it on her stomach. He began playfully to nip at her neck and shoulder with his lips.
Hermione gave a little sigh of approval and arched against him. "Remember this one, love?" His eyes flicked to the album. She'd flipped to a page featuring another photo. This time, the photo was Muggle. It had been taken against a glorious sunset on the island of Bora Bora. The two of them were standing on a wooden walkway that connected a series of grass huts. In the picture, Draco had Hermione bent back over his arm and they were locked in a passionate kiss. On her left hand, which was clutching his upper arm, a ring set with rubies and diamonds glittered.
"The night you proposed," Hermione whispered, holding up her left hand to admire the actual ring. "You utterly surprised me, you know."
Draco slid his hand down her stomach and his fingers began to tease and stroke her. "Mmm, I know." He gently bit her earlobe. "It was glorious watching your face change as you realized what was happening." He pressed his growing hardness against her bottom.
"I'm so glad that that man was walking around taking pictures of tourists," she breathed, closing her eyes and leaning back against her husband. "And that you tracked him down and bought the photo from him."
Draco gave a low chuckle. "Yes. I paid an arm and a leg for it, but it was worth two arms, two legs, and a Thestral." He paused in his stroking. "Turn the page, sweetheart," he whispered.
She did with a not-quite-steady hand, and they both smiled at the sight of the emerald green wildness of their honeymoon photos. "I remember this well. Costa Rica was so beautiful," she gasped, urging him on with her hips. "So wonderful. Oh, please, Draco."
"You made it beautiful," Draco said, and he pushed the album aside. "I love you, Hermione." Pressing himself against her back and sliding his left arm underneath her neck to support her, he drew her right leg up over his own and then entered her from behind, thrusting into her with exquisite slowness. Hermione could only moan and pant as he brought her to a delicious orgasm, so easy for her these days. Draco's talents and her rampant hormones worked true magic on her body. She cried out his name as she came, and her clenching muscles brought Draco to climax moments later. They rocked against each other in ecstasy, gradually easing down from the heights of their mutual pleasure. Hermione finally shuddered and went limp, sated. "Oh, Draco, I love you, too."
He kept her firmly tucked against him as he softened inside her. He caressed the swell of her pregnant belly, the round, firm mounds of her swollen breasts. They'd made this miracle, together – right here at home, in this very bed.
"We can go anywhere you want on holiday, my Hermione," he whispered, summoning their duvet to rise and settle over them. "Back to Costa Rica. Back to Bora Bora. Back to Maine. We can even simply remain home on a 'holi-stay'. Wherever we go, we'll make more memories. Be assured that, no matter what, I intend to make mad, passionate love to you, my wife. You can count on it."
She smiled dreamily. "I'll hold you to that, love." She cuddled against him. "I'll remember."
~ FIN ~
Maine in Autumn
COPYRIGHT: Jeff Folger