Harry and Hermione enjoy thier holiday. Paul seeks professional help.
Paul sat in the doctor's office fidgeting. He had the haunted look of someone who had gone too long without sleep.
"Four days now I've woken up in someone else's house - my neighbor's across the street. Two days ago I was gifted with this," he pointed to his badly bruised left eye, "and I don't remember what Idid to get it."
The doctor frowned, "Have you had blackouts before?"
"What are these little scars along your neck and back?"
"No idea. I noticed them the first morning I found myself in the neighbor's house."
"I've seen something like them before, when I went diving in the Virgin Islands. They look just like the scars left by a Portuguese Man o' War."
The doctor nodded.
"I've never even been to the Virgin Islands, and I think I'd remember being stung by a bloody great jellyfish if I had."
The doctor shrugged and prescribed acomplete physical.
"Because we don't know anything we'll be checking everything, Mister Kemp."
"You're the doctor."
"If I could afford to live here,"Hermione sighed, "I could live here!"
"I could get used to this too." Harry agreed. They were both beyond relaxed, laying, as they were, just a few feet away from each other on the lanai of the Hawaiian Village's spa being pampered by experts.
Maui-born Lanikai, worked oil deep into Harry's tired muscles. She was an apprentice healer, as was Kaleo, the kane kneading Hermione's sore back. Both native Hawaiians had easy-going personalities that made them easy to talk to.
"So, you have known Kahuna Harry for most of your life?"
"Um-hum." She responded, "Since I was eleven."
"So all your adult life?"
"Um-hum. . ."
Kaleo caught Lanikai's eye and winked.
She asked, "You and the Wahine Hermione are life mates, yes?"
Harry relaxed into the sound of the Waikiki surf and the soothing voice of the island girl.
"Since I can remember - she is my oldest friend in the world."
"Lanikai has the gift of reading auras." Kaleo said.
"And what does your gift tell you?" Harry asked.
"Only those things you already know - and that anyone with eyes can see. You are like two trees that grow in a harsh land. Your roots are interlaced - you both grew up in non-magical homes?"
Harry was alert and listening now, he nodded for her to go on.
"Your trunks are wound about each other just like your deep roots, but not in conflict, rather you support each other. You stand united and strong against the storm, and yet are flexible, forgiving, giving with each other. When there is plenty you share and when there is drought you share. And, most importantly, you cannot be without her anymore than she can be without you."
He looked over and saw Hermione apparently snoozing under her masseuse's practiced ministrations.
"She is the sister I never had."
Lanikai pouted. "Why do you tell yourself this?"
He lowered his voice, "Because I couldn't bear to lose her friendship."
Harry answered with a faint whisper, "My best mate, my other best mate, wanted her that way and I would not poach."
"He is gone now." It wasn't a question, she knew.
"Turn over please."
Of course Hermione had heard. She was the mother of a two year old child; even if she hadn't been a witch she still had the preternatural hearing of a mother with young children.
Kaleo and Lanikai carefully maneuvered the wheeled massage tables so that the couple who didn't yet realize they were a couple could be in close proximity to each other. The Hawaiian shaman smiled as the edges of their auras touched and merged. He began to hum a deep, soothing rhythm as Lanikai sang of the wind and the sea, the Earth and the sky, Pele, goddess of fire and Kanikanihia, goddess of love.
While what they were doing wasn't exactly sanctioned by the tenants of their vows to the Goddess, or their Healer's oaths, they recognized two halves of a shared soul when they saw one and decided that fate or Kanikanihia, or whomever had placed this couple in their hands for areason.
Besides, it's not like they were dosing them with lust potions or anything, they were just nudging the two halves of one broken soul together.
Jimmy, Albie and Rosie ran to their respective parents who were sharing a large hammock stretched between two coconut palms. They weren't exactly cuddling, each had a small paperback novel- his was Clive Cussler, hers was Elizabeth Bear - they read shoulder to shoulder, hip to hip, thigh to thigh. Somehow it just felt right.
The tensile strength of the hammock and ropes was put to the test as two Weasley Potters and one Granger Weasley piled excitedly on the resting couple.
"We was in the water by the jetties!"Rose announced as she bounced on Harry's stomach.
"Fishies sang!" Albus shouted with equal enthusiasm from Harry's legs.
"Kayla showed us how!" James added for clarification from Hermione's formerly dry side.
Kayla, the director of the magical resort's day-care, had taken half-a-dozen children to the jetties, the low sea-wall just off Waikiki, fitted them with lines and bubble head charms and walked serenely into the ocean with her delightedly squealing charges in tow. She taught the children how to listen to the "songs" of the fishes. She helped them hear the snapping shrimp, the 'thrum' of the drum, the hammering of the parrotfish's beaks against the coral and the far-off songs of whales.
Rose lay her head on Harry's shoulder and asked in a small voice, "Do we hafa go home?"
Harry looked to Hermione for help and support. She smirked and said "We do sweetie, but we can come back."
The littlest Weasley looked at her mother with sad eyes, "Do we hafa go home when we go home? I want us ta stay with Daddy Harry."
It was Hermione's turn to look to her best friend for support.
What she got was Harry looking pensive and blurting out, "Why not stay with me and the boys, at least for a while?"
Which was exactly the wrong thing to say at that point in time.
"Pardon me a moment, please?" she said to James, who moved to let her get up.
"Let's get us into some dry clothes, shall we?" She said lifting her protesting daughter from Harry's chest.
Hermione carried Rose away from the hammock without a word of farewell.
"Is Mummy Mynee mad?" James fretted.
Hermione left and Harry felt as though apiece of him had gone with her.
Paul Kemp sat in the uncomfortable chair in the NHS screening room and tried to make sense of the questionnaire.
Does your family have a history of mental illness?
Have you or any member of your family experienced blackouts or times of memory loss?
Have you or any members of your family been diagnosed with schizophrenia or DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder)?
"Mister Kemp, we're going to start you on a daily regime of haloperidol - you don't normally drive, do you?"
"No, no need. I live close to the underground."
"You'll be seeing Dr. Sperry every other week. Can you arrange a morning from Monday through Thursday for the first consultation?"
"Monday would be good; most of the office has a light schedule on Monday mornings, y'know?" Paul fidgeted in his seat, "Doctor, what is wrong with me?"
The NHS physician smiled benignly, "Truth be told, we're not sure, but you show many of the symptoms of multiple personality disorder and we're going to try to treat you from that perspective."
"So I'm off my nut then?"
The doctor smiled, "People who are don't often think so, so that's a good sign, actually."
"Well, thank you for that, Doctor."
"Not at all."
"Hermione, it's almost time - or have you forgotten?"
Hermione stepped out of the girl's room wearing a lavender, tropical floral pattern, tea-length strapless gown that enhanced the swell of her breasts and did nothing to hide the slight "baby bump" in her belly.
Harry had never seen her looking more beautiful. He gasped, then collected himself long enough to hand her the box with her orchid corsage.
"Pin it on for me, Harry?"
He swallowed but soldiered on.
He gently lifted the fabric slightly away from her left breast and tried to not ogle the smooth flesh there. Harry pinned the fragrant flower in place and offered his arm.
The sitter arrived promptly at seven.
They found Amber at the concierge desk who took them to the taxi stand where the island version of the Knight Bus awaited them. Mundanes (as they were called in the States) could not see the plum stretch limo.
"Kiluea Cove, please."
The limo accelerated with a bang, throwing the couple against the back seat.
Hermione grabbed onto Harry for support as he put a reassuring arm around her shoulder.
"I've been missing this today."
He looked worried, "I'm sorry Hermione, I wasn't thinking. Of course you need to establish the parameters of your own life - not have it defined by any man. I know I didn't make it easier by offering to take you and Rose into my home."
Hermione beamed at her best friend,"That's why we'll always be friends, Harry; you know what I'm thinking even before I do.
"I'll admit, I was upset with you earlier - I thought it was because you didn't support me when I was trying to tell Rose that we needed to, as you say, get on with our lives."
Harry felt as though a great weight had lifted from his shoulders.
"Friends?" he asked with a quirky smile.
"The best of friends." She answered snuggling into his chest.
Kiluea Cove was a celebration of the magic traditions of the islands of Polynesia. Tahitians gyrated with sensuous abandon. Much to the delight of the tourists, the native girls wore the traditional, that is to say topless, costume. The Hawaiian girls wore leis and skirts of Ti leaves and, as the suggestive swaying of their hips demonstrated, nothing else.
"Watch the hands, Harry, if you watch the hips you'll get into trouble!" Hermione chided.
The Polynesian witches were drawn to the potent magic radiating from Harry and more than one concentrated her allure in his direction.
But this was Harry Potter, who, as a hormonal teenaged boy, had been able to resist a Veela's considerable charms.
He smiled appreciatively and applauded politely but did not ogle and did not drool.
"Honestly, Harry, if I weren't sitting here with you I think that wahine would be giving you a Hawaiian lap-dance right about now!"
They both laughed, but then Hermione stopped, her face a mask of calm, but beneath, she was horrified. Oh my Goddess, she thought, am I keeping Harry from getting on with his life?
"Maybe I should leave?" she suggested.
But Harry would have none of it.
"But you are sitting here with me, and that means I'm in the company of the one enchantress in the world Iwant to be with most."
Damn you Harry Potter, Hermione thought, do you have any idea what you do to me when you say things like that?
What she said was, "Flatterer!"
And hoped she wasn't leaving a wet spot on her seat as she saw sheer, unadulterated adoration in his emerald green eyes.
Paul couldn't have alcohol with his medications so he resisted the urge to have "just a little bracer" before going home that afternoon.
He began to rethink his behavior over the past week or so, he'd been out drinking four times in as many nights. One or two with the mates after work and then gravitating to a pub or a club off the beaten path, blacking out and waking up with a large head in the neighbor's house. He considered going back to the doctor's office but then thought, no, he'll just chalk it up to latent alcoholic tendencies and put me on antabuse or some such.
He promised himself that he would mention it to the mental health counselor when he saw him or her on Monday next.
A chill wind blew just as he was turning down his own walkway which forced him to hunker into his too light jacket.
He barely missed the thin red tendrils that reached down for him as he sprinted up to his own door.
Author's note: I'm just as desperate for Harry and Hermione to get a clue as anyone, but I refuse to make it easy on them. I love to read the stories where they realize that they've loved each other since they were pre-teens then proceed to rip each other's clothes off, really, feel free to write one or ten. But in my version of the HP universe nice and easy does it.
Antabuse is a drug doctors used to prescribe to fight alcohol dependency.
Haloperidol is a commonly prescribed psycho-pharmaceutical.
Paul Kemp is not the bad guy here, but sometimes bad things happen to good people.