Not Like the Others

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Story Notes:
He looked at the book that was open on his lap, staring at the same passage he’d been attempting to read for the past half hour. The hot summer sun caused the air to smell of sweat and tanning creams. He could feel sweat on his back despite his shady position. His eyes kept looking up over the rim of his spectacles, discreetly admiring the pretty brunette who was lying not far from him, basking in the rays of the sun.

While he was sitting beneath a large umbrella to protect his fair skin, she was a gorgeous tribute to the Sun Gods. The scrap of material, what she had laughingly referred to as a ‘sundress’ when he’d stammered that it was indecent and showed far too much skin to be respectable, had no back. Two thin little strings tied around the nape of her neck, the front dipping low and caressing her breasts (round and firm and full, not too small and not too large…perfect) before falling just above her knees. It was far more conservative than anything else being worn around the resort this weekend, but he still wished she’d gone ahead and changed before leaving the hotel room because she was far too tempting.

Percy could see the other men, and even a few women, letting their eyes rake over Hermione in a way that was simply unacceptable. This silly reunion was a wasteland of randy blokes and loose tarts who wanted only to ‘hook up’ as he had heard George call it with a lecherous grin. He just knew they were looking at Hermione, oblivious to the fact that she was brilliant and caring, not giving a knut that she was compassionate and gentle, ignoring the fact that she was stubborn and bossy and interfering, focusing instead on the swell of her breasts and long legs and perfect arse.

It infuriated him that these people looked at her and failed to see what he had seen for years. They saw a rather average witch with brown hair and brown eyes and a right nice figure when she actually showed it off. They didn’t see the plethora of colors in her hair that the sun brought to life, the reds and golds that shown beneath the dark brown. They didn’t see the specks of golden yellow that mixed with the deep brown of her eyes. They didn’t see the freckles that covered her collarbone nor did they notice the scar on her shoulder, a memento from a War that she’d fought in bravely and without hesitation.

They didn’t know that she took her tea with a dab of honey and twist of lemon, smiling as she said she liked the sour to balance the sweet. They didn’t know she left a small light on at night because the dark brought nightmares and memories of a time when she’d been kept in a cell for a week before being saved. They didn’t know that she secretly read Muggle romance novels about happy endings and charming men who swept women like her off their feet. They didn’t know that she organized her personal library alphabetically and that she treated herself to a new book every time she got paid. They didn’t know her, and that, well, that was their loss and his gain, he supposed.

She was lying on her stomach on a large towel, her chin on her folded hands, her eyes watching the ocean. Putting down his book, he left the protection of the ridiculous umbrella and moved to her side. Looking up at him, she smiled, her eyes squinting against the sun far overhead, a trickle of sweat dripping down her forehead, curly hair sticking to her sweaty back. Percy felt his heart make the same jump it had made the first time she’d smiled that smile for him.

“You’re so beautiful,” he told her sincerely, his fingers brushing away the sweat from her face, touching her with the same ‘how did I ever get so lucky’ caress that he’d been using for the past three years. Leaning down, he brushed his lips against hers, her mouth opening beneath his as the tempting minx deepened the kiss.

“Took you long enough,” she teased when she pulled back, her hand drifting over his upper thigh. “I was beginning to think I might have to strip naked to get your attention away from that bloody book, Percy.”

“Really, Hermione, such behavior is improper,” he scolded with a playful smile. His hand drifted down her back before squeezing her arse. “I daresay you must be punished appropriately for toying with me and distracting me from my novel. It is highly unacceptable to tease me with golden skin when I am not in a position to enjoy the delicious body on display.”

“You just enjoy punishing me, you wicked man,” she said knowingly, letting her hand drift higher on his leg.

“We should go in now,” he squeaked, coughing to cover up his reaction to her hand on him there. “That is to say, the sun is getting rather tiresome and I fear you may burn soon.” Looking into her laughing eyes, he growled, “And I’m bloody tired of these people ogling my wife, damn it. Please let me punish you, love?”

Her fingers ran through his hair, playing with a curl, and he was reminded of the first time he actually bothered to look, really look, at her. From that moment on, he was hers. Everyone else failed to see what he saw, failed to see the beautiful, caring, and loving woman that Hermione was, and he was thankful every day that he wasn’t like the others. When she kissed him and then whispered the naughtiest things in his ear regarding just how she wanted to be punished, he couldn’t resist smiling a very smug smile. She was his.

The End