Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Moments in Love

The Golden Moment

by Gandalfs_Beard 0 reviews

Harry's feelings compel him to make an impetuous proposal... Suggestive Themes

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst,Drama,Romance - Characters: Harry,Hermione - Published: 2017-07-26 - 4712 words

When Ron began to stir on Boxing Day morning, drooling into his pillow, he wondered why he was lying face down, sprawled across his bed-covers, clad only in his boxers - he always wore pyjamas - though "clad" was a generous term, as his boxers were halfway down his thighs.. And why was the wintry light streaming through his window so blinding? His head throbbed painfully as he blinked open his eyes.

As Ron groaned, the first fuzzy recollections began to form in his befogged brain, and he realised that he must have what his parents called a “hangover.” He vaguely remembered Mum warning Dad to take his hangover potion after a rather rowdy New Year’s Eve party one year, and supposed that Madam Pomfrey would have something that would help.

As he shifted to pull up his boxers, Ron felt another stab of pain in his head and spied a magazine on his pillow, opened to a page with a picture of a witch doing something exceedingly scandalous with a broomstick.

Ron heard another moan of pain and peered at the bed next to his - Harry’s old bed - to see Seamus groggily awakening, holding his own aching head. Seamus seemed to be in a similar state as Ron, draped across the bed on top of the messy covers, wearing naught but his briefs dangling from one of his ankles, and one sock. The rest of Seamus’s clothes lay scattered on the floor next to several more of the somewhat rumpled Naughty Witch magazines which Seamus usually kept hidden between his mattresses.

Seamus groaned and blinked at Ron. They both began turning pink, glad that Dean and Neville had already left for breakfast, wondering how much their dorm-mates had seen. One of the curtains was pulled all the way across Harry's old bed, hopefully blocking the view. But neither Ron nor Seamus could remember if either of them had pulled it closed, or if Neville or Dean had.

“Erm... Blimey Seamus!” Ron squeaked anxiously. “What happened last night? Did we... er... you know?”

Seamus wasn’t sure. He shuffled, cringing and blushing furiously, uncertain of himself as his own hazy memories began to tumble into place.

“ I dunno mate... Ye alright Ron?” Seamus peered at his friend nervously.

As Ron strained to remember more, to his own surprise, he couldn’t recall anything which honestly struck him as unpleasant about last night. The worst bit was this bloody hangover and the embarrassment. He shrugged.

“Er...yeah! I suppose I am,” said Ron, half-smirking, “ least I will be after Pomfrey gives me something for this bloody headache.”

Seamus grinned and let out a sigh of relief.


Hermione sighed contentedly as she snuggled closer to Harry, an arm across his bare chest. Despite everything that she had been through with poor Harry, this Christmas had turned out to be the nicest one that Hermione could ever remember having. Thankfully, Ron had apparently been too occupied to spoil things for them at the Yule Ball.

And she was thrilled with how well everything had gone for her and Harry afterwards, even though they had both been anxious. So many things could have gone wrong, but hadn’t. Hermione had heard horror stories of dreadful “first-times” from some of the other girls.

The last thing she wanted was to put Harry off her by making him feel inadequate. Hermione had even practiced a little speech to make Harry feel better if she had experienced any pain, or for if he hadn’t been able to “perform.” She had never been happier to mentally shred prepared material as she felt Harry slumbering beside her.

He seemed so peaceful that Hermione didn’t want to wake him and see him wincing and rubbing at his scar. And as it was Boxing Day, she didn’t see the harm in letting Harry have a nice long lie-in. But despite her best efforts to quietly cuddle him as he slept, Harry began to stir.

Harry’s eyes snapped open wide, suddenly aware that he wasn’t simply having the most wonderful dream of his life. Every kiss, every caress - and more - from the night before, vividly replaying in his dreams, made very real by the waking presence of the naked girl wrapped around him.

Hermione heard Harry gasp; she felt his quickening breath and racing pulse. Her bushy head popped up instantly, eyes wide open with alarm as she peered at Harry’s panic-stricken features.

“Harry, are you alright? Is it your scar?” she asked, almost hopefully.

“’re n...not w...wearing anything...” Harry stammered, his eyes unavoidably drawn to Hermione's bare chest.

Hermione’s heart fell as she quickly tried to unshred the bits of her prepared speech which might be relevant to a panicking Harry. Harry’s anxiety began to increase when Hermione didn’t immediately respond. Speechless Hermione usually wasn’t a good thing.

“Hermione... did we really... er... you know...?” he asked, fairly certain that they had. Hermione smiled, nervously biting her lower lip and nodding vigorously.

Okay, so it really wasn’t a dream, and Hermione was still here, not off crying in the girls bathroom or weeping on Lavender’s or Parvati’s shoulder. That was good, wasn’t it? Except for the fact that she looked a bit upset and seemed momentarily incapable of talking.

“Er... was... was it alright then? I... I didn’t m...make you do anything you d...didn’t want to, did I?” Harry asked a bit squeakily.

Hermione’s head jerked as she tried to answer both questions at once. It quickly became apparent that nodding and shaking her head was just perplexing Harry even more. A sudden inappropriate urge to laugh was added to Hermione’s own roiling cauldron of feelings when it struck her that Harry might only be upset wondering if he’d done something wrong or hurt her in some way.

“It was brilliant... amazing...!” she gasped, suddenly finding her voice as she beamed radiantly. “You were brilliant Harry!” Hermione clarified, kissing him wetly to prove that she meant it.

“I had a lovely time,” she whispered, a golden glimmer in her eyes, “Best Christmas Present Ever...! ”

Harry slumped back against his pillow with relief written all over his face; secure in the fact that Hermione still loved him.

“Me too...” said Harry with a soppy grin as he pulled Hermione closer and heatedly returned her kiss, fingers tangled in her untamed tawny-gold coils of hair. “I love you Hermione...”


Harry didn’t know how it was possible, but he felt all at once soaring and giddy, dazed and yet alert. As he entered the Great Hall for breakfast hand in hand with Hermione, the one thing Harry didn’t feel was pain. He could still sense Voldemort out there, but for the moment at least, his scar didn’t hurt at all.
Luna and Neville waved from the Ravenclaw table across the Hall. As they both waved back, Harry and Hermione caught the eye of Fleur Delacour, who was sitting with a little girl of about eight or nine who looked a lot like her. Fleur seemed much happier than she had during the Yule Ball, giggling and hugging the younger girl when the girl gaped at Harry and whispered something in Fleur’s ear.

“That might be her sister,” said Hermione after returning Fleur’s and the little girl’s smiles. “Maybe she came to visit Fleur for the Christmas Holidays.”

Harry nodded as he and Hermione took seats next to Parvati. Dean and Ginny appeared to have finished breakfast and left already. Harry spotted Ron and Seamus voraciously digging into their eggs and bacon as if it were all going to vanish at any moment. Ron saw Harry looking and gave him a lopsided grin.

Hermione and Harry were rather famished themselves, and truth be told, both eager to finish their own breakfasts as quickly as possible.

Cho whispered in Cedric’s ear when she finally noticed Harry and Hermione at the Gryffindor table. Cedric pushed his chair back and started to get up, then sat back down in disappointment when he realised that Harry and Hermione were leaving already, in the company of Professor Dumbledore. Cedric supposed he would just have to try and catch Harry later.


Dumbledore’s clear blue eyes twinkled warmly as Harry took a seat in the chintz armchair, and Hermione took the one next to him. Keenly aware of the two students’ reason for being in his office, the headmaster’s cheeks turned slightly pink. Harry’s own features flushed as he thought about the “intimacy” which he had engaged in last night with Hermione, and was unable to meet Dumbledore’s gaze. Hermione seemed similarly afflicted, eyelashes fluttering downward as she bit her lip.

The headmaster took a deep breath to steel himself, no less anxious than his students to discuss a subject that would inevitably touch upon a topic which was usually left to the teenagers at Hogwarts and their parents to sort out for themselves. The fact that the teens in question were now both legally adults didn’t make things any easier.

“Thank you for coming Harry, Miss Granger,” said Dumbledore finally after breaking the awkward silence. “First, to Miss Granger, I must apologise. It must have been a bit of a shock no doubt, to receive notice of your emancipation without warning. It was my hope that being aware of the privileges of adulthood bestowed upon you would ameliorate some of the emotional turmoil associated with the sudden announcement.

“And I must apologise to you both for speaking with Miss Granger’s mother and Harry’s godfather without first consulting either of you. I know it must seem an incredible violation of privacy... Under normal circumstances such matters are only discussed with parents and guardians when intimate behaviour among students interferes with their education and the operation of this school, or in regards to acts involving lack of consent.

“My only excuse for not first approaching you both, was that I felt it necessary to allow your relationship to continue flourishing naturally without interference - without being pushed one way or another. I did not wish either of you to feel coerced into an arrangement that neither of you might be comfortable with.

“And it was in part to that end, that I deemed it necessary to ask your mother to grant you the right to make your own decisions in that regard, Miss Granger...”

“Mum said it had something to do with ‘cohabitation,’ Professor Dumbledore,” Hermione interjected, “...and Harry’s nightmare... But I don’t quite understand how they’re related.”

“Indeed,” Dumbledore sighed, his face growing even redder as he considered how best to word things. “To begin with, I must confess that I finally determined to approach your mother because it appeared to me that things between you and Harry had already reached, or were at least very near, the... er... right stage of development.”

Harry scrunched up his face in embarrassment. Hermione took Harry’s hand and gave it a comforting squeeze, her own features scarlet.

“It had been quite apparent since at least the end of your First Year that you had both formed a close attachment - becoming ‘best friends’ if you will,” the headmaster continued. “And I daresay that over the course of your Second and Third Years, it became apparent to the most perceptive that your relationship was growing even closer with leaps and bounds...

“In fact, it seemed quite likely to myself that said relationship was instrumental in fueling two of the most powerful Corporeal Patronuses ever witnessed in the historical record. Not to mention that it is highly improbable that Harry or yourself would have been able to produce any sort of Patronus at your ages otherwise - especially Harry considering his regrettable circumstances - for which I bear no small amount of responsibility.

“Indeed... no words can make up for your many years of suffering Harry. I am profoundly sorry for neglecting you for so long at the Dursleys - for believing that your aunt would treat you with a measure of kindness and protect you - for believing that you were safe from harm, and for not personally looking in on you myself in all that time to check on your well-being.

“That was truly unforgivable of me. I...” the Headmaster’s voice broke, and he tried to compose himself again as a tear glinted in the corner of his eye, “I have no excuse for my behaviour in that regard.”

“Sir, it’s alright, really...” Harry interrupted quickly, not wishing to dwell on how badly he’d been mistreated by the Dursleys, and shaken by Dumbledore’s distress. “I know you had something to do with fixing that situation and getting me emancipated so that I could look after myself with magic if necessary... Please - I don’t care about that anymore...”

“Thank you Harry...” The tear in the corner of Dumbledore’s eye broke free and trickled down his cheek. “That is very kind of you to say. You are truly more gracious than I deserve...

“Very well then, to continue: As I was saying... I would not have interfered with the natural growth of your young relationship, nor discussed it with Mrs Granger at all, had you not brought your so-called ‘nightmares’ regarding Voldemort and Wormtail to me - the one you had during the summer, and your most recent one...

“The nature of the connection which Voldemort established by inadvertently leaving a piece of his soul attached to yours has become even clearer to me. And as we have already discussed, it is this connection which causes you pain when Voldemort or his horcruxes are near you, and which has given you access to his parseltongue ability.

“What was less clear until now, was how much access that connection has granted you to Voldemort’s own consciousness. I believe it is this unprecedented access which allows you to feel what he feels - and to see what he sees - even at great distances.

“This is highly problematic for reasons I will explain momentarily Harry, yet neither of us can deny that we have also benefited greatly from this connection and the knowledge provided by it. Without it, we would both still be in the dark about Voldemort’s movements.

“It is thanks to you that we have been made aware of Voldemort’s return to Britain, and of his plans to restore himself and come after you yet again in an effort to clear his path to taking power, and to seek retribution for his previous defeats. And yet, there is a potential problem...”

Harry and Hermione both glanced at each other, eyes widening as an epiphany struck them both like a bolt of lightning from the blue.

“Voldemort!” Harry gasped, “He might be able to use the connection too - to see what I’m thinking...”

“...and he might be able to use that connection to manipulate you Harry,” Hermione squeaked anxiously. “But then why...?”

“Why has Voldemort not used this connection thusly so far?” Dumbledore nodded. “An excellent question Miss Granger. And it is the answer to that question which led me to eventually concede the need for you to be able to determine your own future without the sorts of constraints generally placed on those your age.

“It is my contention that Voldemort has not discovered this connection thus far, for the same reason that he has apparently not detected the destruction of his horcruxes. Simply put, Voldemort’s soul is too damaged for the level of self-awareness necessary to sense said destruction... Likewise, Voldemort is as yet unaware of Harry’s largely passive receival of his thoughts and emotions.

“However, as Harry’s excursions into Voldemort’s mind become more active, and occur with greater frequency, it is inevitable that Voldemort will eventually discover the connection and attempt to use it to his advantage. Under the best of circumstances, I would simply have Harry begin to learn Occlumency to block his mind from Voldemort, and Legilimency to sharpen his own perception of Voldemort’s mind...

“Unfortunately, Legilimency and Occlumency are very time-consuming, and are quite a complex field of study. Due to Harry’s need to keep his focus on training for the Triwizard tournament, it is simply not feasible for Harry to begin extensive training in what muggles call ‘telepathy’...

“But, there is one other thing which I believe has contributed greatly to preventing Voldemort’s discovery of the connection thus far, and which can hamper it for the foreseeable future. It is related to the reason that the sacrifice of Harry’s mother imbued Harry with certain protections. Self-sacrifice is a supreme act of Love - it is not the only act of Love which produces such a potent magical protection, but it is certainly one of them.

“Certainly, the active, Creative - dare I say life affirming - principles of Love are equally powerful... To give rise to new life - to live for someone - are as powerfully magical as to die in someone’s stead...

“In the case of Harry’s connection to Voldemort, the potential for Love to protect Harry’s mind from detection and invasion by Voldemort is twofold. One is due to the fact that Love is the power of which Voldemort knows nothing! Simply put, he cannot abide its presence, and it is destructive to him.

“The other, is that when Harry’s focus is on the love that he shares with his family, with his friends, and especially with those which he shares something even more sublime - that which he shares with you, Miss Granger - that focus is a Natural Block against the ability of others to invade Harry’s mind.

“That is why Harry experiences far less pain and suffering from his connection to Voldemort when he is with you. Every... erm... intimate moment - every moment of love - shared between you and Harry provides him with a natural immunity which keeps Voldemort at bay... and I have come to believe that one day that love you share together, will be the key to discovering a means of destroying the piece of Voldemort’s soul within Harry without killing Harry himself.”

Harry frowned pensively as something else occurred to him. “But don’t we need that connection sir? ... to keep informed about Voldemort’s plans, and maybe find out if he’s made any more horcruxes, and to hunt them down...?”

“That would appear to be the case Harry,” Dumbledore admitted sadly. “I am afraid that it is the most convenient means we have available to us of locating and defeating Voldemort’s horcruxes, and Voldemort himself...”

“Then I need to keep that piece within me as long as possible, until Voldemort is finished!” Harry asserted firmly, “I can put up with it hurting in the meantime...”

“And as long as I’m with Harry, if it means that it won’t be so awful for him, and that he’ll have better control over that connection, I’ll do wh...whatever I have to do...” said Hermione with crimson cheeks and a spark of conviction in her eyes.

“...then when we’ve got rid of the rest of his horcruxes and done him in - whatever form he’s in - then we can try and get rid of the last piece of Voldemort’s soul in me... and finish him for good!” Harry interjected. “I’ll do whatever it takes to stop him from coming back...”

Harry trailed off, not wanting to say it out loud, knowing that it would only upset Hermione, but in that moment, Harry knew that he would die for her if he had to.

A tear trickled down one of Albus Dumbledore’s cheeks; he felt both proud of and humbled by young Harry Potter and Hermione Granger - whose bravery and wisdom outstripped that of most wizards many times their own age. They were more than willing to do anything it took to help put an end to the most dangerous Dark wizard in many generations, even at the expense of themselves if necessary. But Dumbledore knew he couldn’t let it end there.

“I am so sorry,” Dumbledore said in a creaky voice, “...sorry that you have both been forced by circumstances to assume the responsibilities of adulthood so young. But whatever occurs... it is my determination that you must survive Harry! and Miss Granger both! I believe now - that with the advantage your connection provides us - Voldemort’s eventual demise is a foregone conclusion...

“But evil never truly dies, and - as I know you are both aware - a new threat is emerging which could affect Miss Granger a great deal - a threat perhaps even more dangerous than Voldemort because it remains hidden behind deception and the mask of moderation within the Halls of Power. Such a threat could attain more than even Voldemort - who is ultimately more concerned with his own personal aggrandizement than a stable Pureblood Order - could possibly hope to achieve through brute force alone,

“The threat within the Ministry is growing, and I can see my time guiding the Wizengamot along the path of Progress drawing to a close in the very near future, as the new Minister and her supporters grow more powerful and their ideas take hold. But as yet, the evidence of corruption upon which I might act to nip the threat they represent in the bud, is utterly lacking, and I cannot force the Wizengamot to do my bidding.

“However, Voldemort’s threat is clear to all, and Voldemort by rights is a threat that belongs to a previous generation to put to rest - a job of mine left unfinished - it really is up to me to see to Voldemort’s demise. But the future is up to the young, and I intend to see that you both survive to show the wizard world a better way to live.

“We will discuss this more in the future... but in the meantime, I believe it would be in Harry’s best interests - all of our best interests really - if you would move into Harry’s private chambers Miss Granger. They would be yours as well, for as long as you so wish it...”

“Of course I will,” squeaked Hermione, putting her own embarrassment aside for Harry’s sake. “But... but aren’t there still rules against cohabitation, even for those who are legally of age?”

“Indeed there are Miss Granger - with exceptions generally only made for those who are married,” Dumbledore replied, a twinkle returning to his eyes. “However, there is a loophole which gives the headmaster the right to grant a waiver for the safety or health of the students.

“I used such a waiver to give Harry his own quarters, and now that you are also legally of age - and can be shown to be making a choice of your own free will - I can grant you a waiver to join him on the grounds that you are both at risk of retaliation by the Death Eaters who remained at large and attacked the World cup, and that you are both safer together than apart...

“And I have already obtained an affidavit provided by Madam Bones attesting to that - which is enough proof for the school’s board of governors. Admittedly, Madam Bones was a bit reticent at first, but Mrs Granger’s approval of the arrangement was persuasive.”


Harry was very quiet following the conversation with the headmaster. He braved the snowdrifts with Hermione for a contemplative stroll by the Black Lake. They walked arm in arm, breathing in the crisp winter air as snowflakes lightly drifted around them.
Harry hefted the Golden Egg in his other hand, not entirely certain why he had brought it along, other than the fact that he and Hermione were both anxious about it, and February 24th didn’t look so far away the day after Christmas.

“Penny for your thoughts?”

“Hunh?” Harry stared at Hermione blankly for a moment, not certain that he should give voice to his silly musings, “Oh... er.... just... erm...”

“Please Harry,” said Hermione earnestly, “I know Dumbledore has just given us lots to think about - but that’s exactly why we should talk things through.”

“Yeah,... er... alright then. You’re right Hermione,” Harry nodded, swallowing and taking a deep breath, hoping that his ridiculous daydream wouldn’t be the one thing to finally scare off Hermione. “I... er... to tell you the truth, I was just wondering... erm... I was wondering if this was how marriage is supposed to feel - good like this - like I feel when I'm with you! I mean... I can't stop thinking about it since Moody and Dumbledore have both mentioned it. I suppose... I... erm... I was wondering if you felt the same way...”

Harry waited a moment, hoping that Hermione’s stunned silence was the same sort of speechlessness which had tied her tongue earlier that morning - the not bad sort. He was just about go on when Hermione managed to muster her voice.

“Er... yes...” she said a bit weakly as her heart did little flips, suddenly understanding what Harry was really asking her, “I think it should feel like this Harry. But... but... one day you might feel differently - there’s lots of other nice girls... and... and we’ve got our whole lives ahead of us... ”

Hermione trailed off when she saw Harry wince in pain and absentmindedly rub his scar. Her breath caught and tears sprang to her eyes as the truth of Harry’s uncertain future hit her hard.

“It’s just... I already know that I could never hope to meet anyone nicer than you, Hermione,” said Harry, meeting her gaze with a gentle green look. “I mean sure... there’s loads of other pretty girls, and some of them are sweet too - but none of them could ever measure up to you!”

“You’re beautiful, kind, and smart, and brave, and you’ve stuck by me through everything, even the rubbishy bits... and... and you always keep your promises...” Harry continued.

Hermione flung herself on Harry and interrupted him with a tearful, jubilantly giggly kiss. Harry’s tension melted in the heat of Hermione’s embrace.

“Yes Harry!” she answered, eyes shining. “If you’re absolutely sure that’s what you want, I’ll marry you! We’ll still have to think of the best time and place...”

“How about the next Hogsmeade Day... on New Year's Day - before term starts,” said Harry, bursting with happiness and grinning excitedly. “Just you and me... Let’s just sneak off and do it! Maybe there’s a place in the village...”

Harry knew that they were both very young, and that it was all happening too fast. But he didn’t care. All that mattered at that moment was that Harry loved Hermione utterly, and he wanted nothing more than to make her happy for putting up with a boyfriend who attracted danger like a magnet.

Lost in a euphoric haze, Harry picked up Hermione by the waist and spun her around as they had practiced for the Yule Ball. Hermione giggled madly, snowflakes glittering like diamonds in the golden glow of her tawny tresses.

Harry had briefly forgotten about the Golden Egg. It flew from the pocket of his coat, opening with a loud screech, and tumbled with a plunk and a splash through the cracks in the ice at the shallow edge of the Black Lake.

Harry and Hermione gaped at each other in amazement when the sound of a thousand rusty nails scraping an oil-drum turned into an ethereal choir of muted seraphic voices, as if to serenade the pledging of Harry’s troth.
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