Harry and Hermione have an Island getaway. Paul has a problem
Chapter 7 - One Island to Another
Paul Kemp woke up in a strange house. He was seated at someone else's kitchen table, face down on the Formica. That was disturbing. What was really disturbing was the fact that he didn't know where he was or how he'd gotten there - or why he was griping the handle of a large carving knife.
Paul was a neat freak; apparently whoever lived here was too. He placed the great knife in its proper place on the above-counter rack. Cautiously, quietly moving to the kitchen door he exited through a neat little shared garden area. The garden gate led to a street that ran parallel and one street down from his.
He nervously walked around the block to his flat and realized that he'd entered the Weasley's, his neighbors across the street. Paul had never been in their home. Well, not before this morning, but they were friendly enough folk, talking when they met on the street. "Nodding acquaintances" his mum would have called them.
Paul entered his own front door and breathed a heavy sigh.
"Just how much did I drink last night?"he mused.
"Oh well, no harm, no foul. I wasn't discovered in a strange house and I had all my clothes on."
He felt suddenly cold and looked around. "Bit o' the hair of the dog I think."
Yes, a morning bracer was definitely in order. He poured a small whiskey, looked at the mostly empty glass, shrugged and filled the glass half full.
"Hey, it has to be after five somewhere, right?" he announced to the empty room with a smirk and threw back the glass.
The mantle clock reminded him that he had just over an hour to get ready for work. A quick shower was in order, he felt a bit 'whiffy.'
The warm water stung his neck and back, so much so that when he exited the small shower stall he checked his reflection in the mirror. Along the side of his neck and back he could see small welts, like angry red little whip marks.
"What the bloody hell are those?"
He promised himself that he'd see adoctor if the welts didn't go down by the end of the day.
Paul dressed quickly, foregoing the tie, thank you, and quick-walked to the underground.
Hermione woke up feeling better than she had for the past few months. Well, the parts she could remember, that is. Coffee and bacon drew her out of bed and down to the kitchen. She wished for a camera to capture the scene in the kitchen.
Harry stood in his house robe, flipping home fries in a small omelet pan, as bacon sizzled in another pan and a small mountain of scrambled eggs kept warm in yet another.
Kreacher stood by with forced patience as the master of the house did his own cooking. His tiny arms folded around adish towel, his bare foot tapping on the floor tile. The little old elf's face was a study in tolerance under extreme duress.
He practically lit up when he spotted Hermione in the doorway.
"Would the mistress like tea or coffee this morning?" He asked with relieved dignity.
"Um, either, Kreacher. But I can't have caffeine, y'know."
"I remember from two times before, mistress, I have Earl Grey sans caffeine?"
"That's perfect, thank you, Kreacher!"
"Good morning, sunshine!" Harry said, placing a heaping breakfast plate on the table.
"This smells so good!"
"It's my favorite meal to cook, breakfast. Come by anytime, I'm always open."
"It's the one meal Rose isn't fussy about. Sometimes I'll make breakfast for tea or dinner just to get her to eat something."
"I guess she didn't inherit her father's appetite?"
"Nope, she gets it all from me, except of course, the Weasley Hair."
Harry chuckled, "I pity poor Albie. He's got Ginny's red hair and my unruly locks. The only way to get it to behave is to have it too long or too short."
"I like your hair long."
"Yeah, well, maybe when I'm not in the field anymore, I'll grow it out."
"You're giving up field work?"
"Yeah, after this one case, y'know?"
She nodded, and he continued.
"I'm going to teach at the academy - maybe moonlight at Hogwarts as a flying instructor."
Hermione beamed "Oh that would be brilliant," then her face fell, "but you love field work."
"I used to." He admitted.
Harry sat down heavily. "I used to love going after the bad guys and bringing them in, but I've seen so much - I don't know - ugliness, cruelty, brutality. I've seen things and I've had to do things that made me sick. I did what I had to do because it had to be done, but I always knew Ginny would be home, minding the boys, y'know?"
"Now it's just Jimmy and Albie and me."
Hermione put a reassuring hand on his forearm. "You know I'll take care of the boys, right? I have to; I'm their Mummy now."
"Can you take some time off work - maybe just a few days?"
"Well, I'm taking maternity leave when the littlest Weasley makes her debut."
She thought she saw a fleeting look of desolation on Harry's face just before he said, "No worries, just an idea."
"Come to think on it, I haven't taken avacation since Rose was born, and I've been recently reminded that it's been two years!"
The look on Harry's face made it okay that there would be a literal mountain of paperwork waiting for her when she returned.
"Where are we going?"
Harry smiled and nodded, then asked, "How long will it take you to pack?"
She looked thoughtful.
Harry gave her a mock exasperated sigh,"Hermione, we're card-carrying mages; all we need is a wand and a toothbrush!"
She smirked, "Fine for you, Harry. Now, picture yourself traveling across ten time zones with three children and a pregnant woman with nothing but a "wand and a toothbrush"?"
"Right. After breakfast I'll get the boys packed and you get Rose's stuff and we'll meet at Heathrow in say, two hours?"
"It's a date, Mister Potter!"
Two hours later Hermione arrived at Heathrow's magical departure point carrying a duffle over her shoulder and dragging a wheeled case that looked to be the size of a steamer trunk. Rose perched atop the wheeled luggage like a miniature coachman.
Harry stood holding James and Albus by the hand.
"Where's your luggage?" Hermione asked.
The three Potters grinned as each, in what was obviously a practiced, synchronized motion, pulled a toothbrush from their shirt pockets.
Hermione shook her head and exhaled exasperatedly. "Honestly!"
Harry grabbed up his squealing niece and said, "Actually I've already sent our luggage through; it's waiting for us at the Hilton."
He took the duffle from Hermione's shoulder and pulled the Brobdingnagian suitcase to the luggage counter.
"Two to follow mine, please."
"Right you are, sir!" chirped the cute, petite ticket clerk. "You'll be staying at the Hawaiian Village, then?"
"Oh yes, looking forward to it!"
"I'll be there when my shift is over. .." the girl said somewhat hopefully.
Hermione, who had been tying her daughter's trainers, stood and was puzzled as Harry drew her into a close embrace, "I'm really flattered, love, but y'see, this is our second honeymoon before sprog number four so. . ."
The girl at the counter had the good graces to blush but soldiered on, "Do enjoy your stay, Mr. Potter, Mrs. Potter."
Hermione's eyebrows shot up to her hairline, but then she wrapped her arms around Harry's middle and said in alow, sultry voice, "Oh, he will. . ."
Clarke, the attendant at the gate smiled at the family coming toward him - he saw two hard working mages with three children taking a well earned holiday, he saw the love there and thought for the thousandth time, I need to get Vera to take a few days off with me in paradise, that's just the ticket, while we're both still young enough to enjoy travelling.
He was startled by the raven-haired man softly clearing his throat.
"Sorry sir, I was sky-larking there for a mo." Then he just had to say, "I was taken by you and your missus, you are so much in love and it made me think about my own wife at home and, well . . ."
Clarke shook himself and stood tall,"Sorry sir, not my place," and held out his hand, "Tickets, please!"
Hermione handed the tickets over and said, "Your missus is a very lucky woman, you have all these young distractions parading about the terminal and yet your first thought is of her."
Clarke smiled and said, "Of course, ma'am." Then he added, as an aside to Harry, "Me Vera don' care where I get me appetite, so long as I always take my meals at home."
The three adults had a good laugh at that.
"Come along Granger-Weasley-Potters!" Harry said, jovially.
The "family" of five passed through the gate - and stepped into the lobby of the Hawaiian Village Hilton in Waikiki.
Harry beamed. "I love Gateway travel, no 'hook behind the navel,' no 'squeeze me through a great rubber hosepipe.' Just step through to your destination."
It was dark outside, but you'd have to walk well away from the reception desks to prove it. Tiki torches, fluorescent and flood lights turned the Hawaiian night into day.
The lobby was a spacious outdoor breezeway with a long curved desk.
"May I help your sir?"
"Potter Family, Rainbow Tower, thirteenth floor, ocean view?"
The clerk looked confused, but smiled gamely, "Ah, sir, we don't have a thirteenth floor . . ."
"I'll take this one Lucas!" a well tanned girl with long black hair and amber eyes smiled at the British family.
Harry noticed the waxing-full-waning moon symbol on her name tag indicating that she catered to magical clientele. He also noticed her name was Amber.
"Mahalo nui loa na ho'olaule'a me la kaua! Welcome and thank you for celebrating your honeymoon with us!"
Hermione looked at Harry who was chuckling, "Mahalo, but it's not really our honeymoon."
"A'ole pilikia, - no problem - Liz, the ticket agent, said that this was your second honeymoon."
This time both Harry and Hermione had the good graces to blush, "Well . . ." Harry started to clarify.
"Its fine," Hermione interrupted sweetly. "Might we see the rooms?"
"Right away, just take the small elevator in the Rainbow Tower on the East side, that's the side facing the ocean. Your luggage is already up there, aloha!"
As the two adults and three children walked toward the Rainbow Tower Hermione asked, "What was all that about, Harry?"
Harry smiled, "Ginny and I planned this trip seven months ago, I was going to cancel it but then I thought, no, it'd be good for the boys. It's a suite of rooms, two bedrooms and a common kitchen and living area. The boys were going to be in one room while Ginny and I took the other. We can have a boy's room and a girl's room this way."
They boarded the elevator and pushed the buttons for floors twelve and fourteen simultaneously. Hermione stood up on her toes and kissed Harry's cheek, "I think it's brilliant, thank you for including us."
"Just one small problem." Harry said, frowning.
"Well, we left London at ten AM, and here in Honolulu it's just midnight."
Hermione smirked, "That's why it was clever of you to bring me along Mister Potter!"
The elevator stopped between floors twelve and fourteen and the blended family stepped out.
"Here we are - room 1314." Opening the door Harry announced "Boy's dorm to the left, girl's to the right!"
"Just like Hogwarts." Hermione mused.
"Boys, meet Rose and me in the common room in five minutes, be sure to have your jammies on!"
All three children pouted at that, "But we just got here!" Jamie winged.
But all five were in the common room at the appointed time to find three "sippy" cups and two cocktail glasses on the coffee table.
Hermione raised her glass and said,"Cheers!"
They all drank their potions, smacking their lips at the wonderful flavors.
"Dark and Stormy, good one Hermione!"
"Mine's Pina Colada. All right now, everyone to bed, you'll fall over in five minutes no matter where you are, and then we get to start today all over again, only we'll be fresh and recharged! Let's go, come on!"
There was a wild scramble as the boys scampered into one of the twin beds in their room and Rose jumped into the queen sized in the girl's room.
Hermione sat on the couch and patted the cushion next to her. Harry sat.
"How long do we really have?" he asked.
"Ten or fifteen minutes, I'd guess. Iwanted to thank you for inviting us. We all need a change of scenery right now and this is, well, perfect. Although, I think you may have been better off coming without me."
"I saw the way that little tart at the ticket counter looked at you; you could have had a petite blonde on this couch if I hadn't bollixed it up for you."
"I'm exactly where I want to be Missus Granger-Weasley, and I'm with the girl . . . of . . . my . . ."
Harry fell back on the cushions and Hermione thought for just a moment "Maybe I didn't time the potion all . . .that . . . well . . ."
Hermione collapsed onto Harry, who instinctively stretched out on the cushions, pulling the unresisting woman on top of him. She snuggled into his chest, purred like a contented cat and slept the sleep of the just.
Harry woke feeling fresh and rested and felt a nice warm body on his and a soft, yet firm buttock in his hand.
Hermione smirked and said, "Nice grip there, Harry."
Ten-thousand volts couldn't have moved his hand away with more alacrity.
"Hermione! I'm so sor . . ."
She smiled and placed a finger in his lips, "It's okay - I was just a little heavy handed with the essence of asphodel. We well and truly konked out, didn't we?"
Harry chuckled, "That we did. Um, Hermione?"
"Could you let me up please? I need to . . ." he looked in the direction of the loo.
"And they say pregnant women have small bladders!"
"Well, it's been a while, since, y'know."
"You should have thought of that before we left!"
"I know, I know, um, please?"
She groaned and got up; loathe to leave the warmth and comfort and security of Harry.
As she stood her expression went pale. "Oh!"she said, then ran to the bathroom and slammed the door.
"Sorry!" she said through the closed door. What followed was the sound of a strong stream in the toilet bowl.
After two or three agonizing minutes she came out and sing-songed, "All yours!"
"Thank you!" he groaned - and practically ran into the W.C. to alleviate his own internal hydrostatic pressure.
The three potty-trained Potter-Granger-Weasley kids were in and out in short order.
When Rose finished she bounded into the room and demanded "Brekkers!"
"Boys, shirts, shorts and trainers!"
"Yay!" the Potter boys enthused and started pulling at their PJs.
"Let's get dressed, shall we, Rose?"
Half an hour passed and Harry and the boys were on the couch waiting for the girls.
"Dad, why's it take so long for girls to get dressed?"
Harry shrugged, "They just want to look good for us."
James nodded, but didn't really understand.
When Hermione and Rose opened the door to their room Harry's jaw dropped.
Mother and daughter were in matching short dresses, deep green with hibiscus flowers. Harry had never seen his best friend look so beautiful. Rose was a tiny copy of her mother. Both wore their hair up with a single orchid behind the right ear. Both looked to Harry for his approval.
He stood and said, "Stand up boys; we always stand when beautiful ladies enter the room."
James looked confused but did as he was told, Albus stood and stared at Rose and said, "Pretty."
Mother and daughter performed a little curtsey and said, "Thank you, kind sir."
Harry stepped up to Hermione and touched the flower.
He gently pulled the orchid from her right ear and placed it behind her left.
She looked confused.
"Right ear means you're available. Left ear means your heart already belongs to someone."
"I should have known that."
He offered his arm, "Shall we?"
Albus held the crook of his elbow to his cousin and said "Please?"
Both girls took the proffered arms and headed down to breakfast.
"Albie is going to be a heart-breaker."
"You can already tell?"
Paul Kemp had had an interesting day. Waking up in someone else's flat for starters. He'd enjoyed a two-martini lunch with a client, and then gone straight to his favorite pub after work to"decompress."
A few more drinks and he'd started to notice brunettes in the crowd. Something about them appealed to his libido. He'd managed to chat up one or two before his alcohol intake over-rode his common courtesy, decency and common sense.
Okay, granted, grabbing the lass's bum as she was dancing with her rugby blindside-flanker boyfriend was not the smartest thing he could have done.
Number Six was not amused.
The good news was that Paul didn't feel the punch.
The bad news was that he would feel it in the morning. The worst news was that he'd wake up in his neighbor's house again.
"Dark and Stormy" refers to one of the signature drinks of Bermuda, the authentic Dark and Stormy is made with Black Seal rum and ginger beer. I guess at some point Harry has been to Bermuda.
Notice any similarities between Ron and Paul? I'm trying to give the real bad guy(s) some subtlety in this story.
For those of you not familiar with the ruffian's game - played by ruffians, each position in a rugby union team gets a number. Number one is always the Loosehead prop, number two is always the Hooker. You know that gets a lot of snickers.
Three is the Tighthead prop, Four and Five are the Locks, Six is the Blindside flanker, Seven is the Openside flanker and between Six and Seven you'll find Number Eight, simply Number Eight - go figure. The higher numbers are halves, centers and wings, Number Fifteen is always the Fullback.
I played, briefly, when I was in college, but couldn't keep up the schedule and my classes, all of which had labs and/or recitations.
I was amazed at how few injuries there were, considering you've got thirty guys running at each other, full tilt, and no one is wearing helmets or any kind of padding.
I'd love to see the NFL try that!