How Forever Feels

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For millieweasley! A little sappy romance for your birthday! Happy Birthday, honey!

Originally Posted: May 1, 2006

“You don’t have to be scared.”

Hermione looked at Charlie and scowled. “I’m not scared.”

“Then why are you looking at Mina like she’s going to attack you at any moment?” he asked casually as he put on heavy leather gloves.

“I’m not scared of the dragon, Charles,” she said sharply. Maybe if she upset him, he’d decide this was a bad idea. It was worth a possible fight if it meant she got to stay on the ground.

He whistled and glanced at her. “Charles, huh? Don’t usually earn that unless I’m being really bad,” he mused, the leer he shot her giving no doubt as to how wicked he could be to earn the use of his full name.

“Or you’re being an obstinate arse,” she added dryly, giving him a look in return that indicated just how common that occurrence happened to be.

“Looking at it that way, it’s a surprise that I’m ever Charlie to you,” he observed as he walked towards her. “Guess it’s a good thing that it turns me on to hear you say Charles in that snotty tone.”

“I don’t have a snotty tone,” she told him firmly.

“There it is,” he pointed out with a grin. “That snotty, bossy, ‘do as I say or else’ tone that gets me hard.”

“You’re incorrigible,” she informed him as she fought to keep from smiling. He wasn’t going to distract her from her annoyance with that crooked grin and playfulness that always managed to seduce her.

“If it’s not Mina that has you so tense, it must be the flying,” he said as he reached her. He brought his hand up to touch her jaw, the leather of his glove rough against her skin. “You’re scared of flying, aren’t you? Why didn’t you tell me, Hermione?”

“It’s not the flying that scares me,” she murmured as she met his concerned gaze. “It’s the falling from some ridiculous height and going smash or squish that scares me.”

“How did I not know that you were scared of heights?” he asked softly. “We tell each other everything.”

“It’s never come up,” she replied honestly. “It’s not like either of us talk about our fears casually, Charlie.”

“We should,” he said. “I mean, we’re, that is, this between us, it’s not some passing fancy. It’s more than friendship and definitely more than sex so we should talk about the things that scare us the same as we talk about what makes us happy.”

“A passing fancy?” she repeated as she smiled. “You sound very old-fashioned when you talk like that, Mister Weasley.”

“I spent a lot of time with my grandfather when I was a kid. He loved magical creatures and taught me a lot,” Charlie told her. “I learned about dragons from him, you know? He used to tell me about my grandmother, who died after Percy was born, and he said that one day I’d find someone that wouldn’t just be a passing fancy and that’s when I’d know what forever felt like.”

“Oh,” she whispered as he blushed when he realized what he’d said. She licked her lips and shifted, not sure how to reply to that. They’d become friends during the war, when they’d worked together on several missions, and they’d stay in touch in the years since the war.

It was only recently that their friendship had developed into something more, though the attraction had always been present even back then. They’d just not acknowledged it until a few months ago. She knew that she had feelings for him, they’d both said ‘I love you’ at various times during the last few weeks, but she hadn’t realized he was actually serious about her until he mentioned forever.

“Cue awkward silence,” he muttered as he smiled sheepishly.

“Not awkward, Charlie, just surprised,” she correctly gently. She looked at the dragon and studied the saddle and harness that Charlie had put on it. Her, she corrected mentally. She glanced back at him and saw that he looked rather lost after his slip-up. It was adorable to see strong and capable Charlie at such a loss. It was also nice to know that she wasn’t the only one confused and uncertain about how this relationship thing really worked.

“A bad surprise?” he finally asked quietly, looking as if he were ready to be let down gently. The people who seemed so shocked at their relationship, many of whom whispered that it was just physical and wouldn’t last, had no idea that he was such an amazing man.

“Not at all,” she told him before she leaned up and brushed a kiss against his mouth. It was nice that he wasn’t so tall she couldn’t kiss him easily. He was still several inches taller than her, though he was shorter than all his brothers, and his arms were strong and made her feel safe when he held her. She smiled when she pulled back from the kiss that had gone from chaste to passionate in a short time. “I’d like to go flying with you.”

“Hermione, we don’t have to,” he told her. “I didn’t realize you were scared of falling when I suggested it.”

“I’m not scared when I’m with you, Charlie,” she said as she took his hand and walked closer to the dragon. She met his gaze and held it so he’d know she was sincere. “I know you won’t let me fall.”

“I’ll never let you fall,” he promised softly.

She kissed him again, slow and thorough, telling him the best way she knew how that forever sounded good to her. When she felt something wet on her arm, she pulled back and saw that Mina had licked her. She laughed softly as she looked at him. “I think Mina wants a kiss, too.”

“Too bad,” he declared with a grin as he rubbed Mina’s nose. “Mina, this is Hermione. All my kisses are reserved for her. Hermione, this is my second best girl, Mina.”

“Hello, Mina,” she said as she followed Charlie’s example and rubbed the dragon’s nose.

“She’s a good flier,” Charlie told her as he kissed her neck and guided her hand to scratch behind Mina’s ears, which seemed to make the dragon far happier than a kiss. “She won’t let anything happen to us, and I won’t let anything happen to you. We can go back inside and snuggle on the sofa with a glass of wine if you’d rather, though. I won’t be upset or anything.”

“We can save the wine for after,” she murmured as she decided to take a chance, both on flying and on this forever thing with him. She looked at him and smiled gently as she took his hand. “I’m ready, Charlie. Let’s see how forever feels.”

The End