Hermione gasped and slammed the door shut. “What is he doing here?” she asked herself frantically. She pressed her hands to the side of her face, realizing what she had just done.
“I’m sorry!” She yanked open the door again. Harry wore a stunned expression on his face that quickly turned into a quite endearing smile. “Um…hi.” She forced a smile onto her face and tried to regain her composure.
“Hello, Hermione Granger.” Harry grinned even wider. “You are a most difficult woman to find, you know.”
“Oh really?” Hermione cocked an eyebrow and held open the door a little wider. “Come in, if you like.” She looked around quickly and ashamedly at her home, it was so tiny.
“Thanks.” Harry stepped through the doorway, not once taking his eyes off the beauty in front of him. Even dressed down she took his breath away.
“Can I get you anything?” Hermione asked, closing the door and leaning against it. He was obviously going somewhere after this, he was dressed nicely in a suit and jacket.
“No, thank you.” Harry said. “But you can answer a question for me.”
“And what would that be?” Hermione asked, coming away from the door and up next to him.
“Would you like to have dinner this evening?” Harry asked, producing a single red rose out of thin air.
Hermione looked at him, a smile slowly crossing her face. She put one hand on his chest and pushed him back into the living room. “Sit.” Hermione grabbed the book she had been reading and handed it to him. “Read. I’ll be right with you.”
Harry leaned over to look at her as she dashed up the stairs. Looking down as she reached the landing, she gave him a dazzling smile. About twenty minutes later, she reemerged, her hair done perfectly in long curls that brushed halfway down her back, flawlessly done makeup, and a tiny black dress that made Harry feel like pushing her down on the sofa and snogging her right then and there.
“I just have to leave a note…” Hermione was saying, as she scribbled on a scrap piece of paper. “All right.”
“So…” Harry said. “Do you like Italian food?”
*** *** *** ***
“You know, when you asked me if I liked Italian food, I didn’t realize you were taking me all the way to Venice for it.” Hermione set her fork down on her empty plate. “Not that I mind or anything.” She smiled and Harry laughed.
“Only the best for you.” He flirted, leaning over close by her. She smelled so tantalizingly sweet, like rosebuds.
“So, what brings you to Hogsmeade?” Hermione asked over small dishes of gelato. “I mean, it’s not exactly a place you go to for fun.”
“My father just bought a house near the town for vacation purposes, he asked me to go check it out.” Harry leaned back and smirked. “Who was I to refuse an offer to get away from him for a week or two?”
“You don’t get along very well with your father?” Hermione guessed correctly.
“No, not especially.” Harry replied, looking thoughtful. “He wants me to be exactly like him, but I’m too much of a free spirit.”
“I know that feeling, all too well.” Hermione nodded. “So you don’t go to university or anything? My cousin was accepted to one, but she’s only got a part scholarship, she’s got to save more.”
“I needed a break from school, I’m in training to become an Auror for the Ministry of Magic.” Harry made a face. “I’d rather play professional Quidditch though, my friend Oliver Wood is co captain of Puddlemere United.”
“THE Oliver Wood?” Hermione asked.
“Yes, he was with me the other night, he and his girlfriend are the ones who couldn’t keep their hands off each other at the pool table.” Harry laughed.
“Oh right.” Hermione remembered his other date all too well but didn’t say anything.
“Excuse me, Mr. Potter, I hope you’ve enjoyed your dinner.” The waiter was leaning over the table with a piece of parchment in his hand.
“It was delicious.” Hermione answered. Harry signed the parchment and they left the restaurant.
“Do you need to get back, or would you like to take a walk?” Harry asked, desperately hoping she wanted the latter.
“Oh, I’d love to take a walk.” Hermione replied. “I’ve never been here before so seeing the city should be exciting.”
“It will be.” Harry said, tucking her hand in his and intertwining their fingers. They strolled down the walkways, chatting comfortably. After about a half hour, they came to St. Marks Square.
“Did you know back during the time when witches were feared they used to burn them right here in this square?” Hermione said, looking around. “Not that it affected them, you know. They only felt a tickling sensation and then apparated away slowly so it wasn’t let on that they were still alive.”
Harry stared at her wordlessly.
“What?” she asked.
“I didn’t take you for the knowledge type.” Harry replied. He leaned towards her; his green eyes were deep forest pools. “It only makes you more attractive.”
Hermione blushed and turned away. She never usually felt this flustered around the men she dated. “Most people don’t, because of the way I look.”
“Well I didn’t mean for it to sound that way…” Harry’s tone was apologetic.
“I know you didn’t.” Hermione stopped and turned to face him. She smiled. “It’s all right. I think in a sense, we’re in the same boat.”
“How do you figure?” Harry asked, as they resumed walking.
“Well people make judgments on me because of how I look.” Hermione paused. “The same goes for you, if you think about it. People expect you to act a certain way because of who your father is.”
Harry smirked. “You’re right.” He brought her hand up to his lips and kissed it softly. “But enough about how we’re supposed to act….”
Hermione grinned. “What, we should do something totally outlandish?”
“Maybe just a little.” Harry winked and then stepped up to a small cart loaded with what looked like bags of dried corn. He pulled some Muggle lira out of his pocket and handed them to the girl holding the cart, and she gave him one of the bags.
“What is that for?” Hermione asked, as Harry tore the bag open.
“Watch.” Harry had a devilish look in his eye. “Here, pour it all in my hands.”
Hermione did as he asked, then watched as he threw his hands up high in the air and the corn scattered all over the square, bringing in about a thousand pigeons.
“AHHHH!!!” people screamed as the birds dive-bombed to the ground to eat the corn. Harry grabbed Hermione’s hand and they ran away, laughing hysterically.
“Now that was something unexpected.” Harry said, as they calmed down a few moments later.
“I’ve never seen people run so fast in my life!” Hermione said gleefully. “It was only a few birds!” they laughed again and began once more to stroll along the walkways through the city.
“Oh!” Hermione cried out a few moments later, they had come to a canal and it was lined with a few gondolas. “Gondolas!”
“Would you like to ride in one?” Harry immediately offered.
Hermione turned to him, her eyes sparkling. “Can we?” she asked excitedly. She had always wanted to ride in a gondola, with a gorgeous Italian male pushing her along. Although, riding with Harry, to her, was better than any dream she’d had.
“Of course.” Harry motioned to the gondolier and he pushed away from the dock and towards them. “Anything for you.” He stepped down into the gondola and held his hand out to help her in.
Hermione sat down and straightened out her dress. Night had fallen, above them the sky was covered with stars. Harry squeezed in next to her; it was a tight fit but neither of them minded. He put an arm across the back and on her shoulders and she shivered from his touch.
“Cold?” he asked.
“Not anymore.” Hermione purred, lowering her eyes demurely.
“I bet I could warm you up.” Harry leaned close to her, and marveled at her beauty again.
“And just how do you propose to do that, Mr. Potter?” Hermione asked, knowing exactly what he intended, and she didn’t care, as she was completely lost in his emerald eyes as soon as she looked up.
Without another word, he dipped his head down and gently pressed his lips against hers. His arm left her shoulders and he let his hand caress her bare arm gently. She raised her arm and let her fingers trail through his hair; she was surprised at how soft it was.
Hermione knew how to kiss. At first, she held back, responding but not a lot. She could feel Harry press his mouth harder against hers, hot and wanting. His hands roamed down her body and wrapped around her waist, pulling her to him, as close as possible.
Harry began to lightly stroke her back with his hands, his light touch making her body respond involuntarily. He noticed this and ran his tongue along her closed lips. She opened her mouth underneath his, and he gave a victorious moan as he swept his tongue into her mouth and explored. Harry brought his hands from her back to cup the sides of her face, rubbing his thumb gently across her cheek.
Hermione responded with more vigor, clashing her tongue with his and then wound her hands around the back of his neck, playing with his hair that was sticking up at the base of his head. Her body rose a bit under his, enough so that he could slip his arm back around her waist and pull her body against his.
“Ahhh so nice to see two young people in love…” sighed the gondolier. Harry and Hermione broke apart, and Hermione turned red, but neither bothered to correct the man.
“That was…pleasurable.” Hermione said coyly as they stepped out of the gondola. She smiled up at Harry and he grinned back.
“It certainly was.” He brought his arms up around her waist and pulled her close to him again. “In fact…” he never finished his sentence because Hermione raised herself up and pressed her lips lightly to his.
“Do I have to get you home soon?” Harry regretfully asked as he pulled away a few moments later.
“I don’t know. What time is it?” Hermione asked, turning his arm to look at his watch. She made a face. “Yes, unfortunately. The joys of living with an overprotective mother.”
Harry smiled. “Well there will be other nights, I hope.”
Hermione looked at him from the corner of her eye as they walked to a darker section of the street to use the portkey. “There will be.” She replied with certainty.
Harry produced a small golden key, he had explained earlier that it was his personal portkey, it was a gift from his parents on his 21st birthday and it would take him anywhere in the world he wanted to go. They both touched it and it took them back to the front porch at Hermione’s.
“Well, this is goodnight then.” Harry said, stepping forward. He brought his hand up to take hers, first kissing her hand and then her lips.
“Goodnight.” Hermione said softly, watching him apparate away.