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Story Notes:

Originally Published: March 12, 2006

The concept is very romantic, in theory. It’s simple: making love on a beautiful beach, gorgeous white sand surrounding them, the sun perched low in the western sky, a slight warm breeze blowing in from the ocean, and Blaise's hands moving over her damp skin as he kisses her all over.

It is something she has thought of since she watched a movie on the telly with her mum when she was younger and saw a couple rolling around on the sand with waves washing over them. To a fourteen year-old who had just begun to realize that boys might not be all that worthless, after all, it was romantic and symbolized something she wanted eventually.

When they decided to take their holiday at the island resort, she looked at the photos in the brochure and ran her fingertip over the images of the beach. She would indulge her fantasy with Blaise, with her new-still-not-used-to-calling-him-that husband. The reality is far different than what she has built up in her mind, however.

The sun is too hot and her body is sticky with sweat in a very unsexy way. The sand itches and clings to places it certainly should never touch, making her want to stop to scratch and brush it away. Blaise keeps cursing under his breath as he, too, gets sand stuck in places that are most uncomfortable. His hair is damp with sweat and he always gets irritable when he's too hot.

The water was too cold when the waves rolled over them and had caused them both to scramble away from the water, but not before she was thoroughly soaked in such a way that her hair was a horrible mess. It's even more unromantic than sneaking away from Harry's birthday party last year and shagging in the smelly loo of a crowded pub, which is saying something.

Hermione is disappointed, cranky, and can't believe she's been so wrong about things. Then Blaise suddenly smiles, one of his rare smiles that lights up his entire face and makes him look younger and even more handsome than usual. A flash of perfect white teeth (that had made both her parents fall in love with him upon first meeting despite his surly moodiness that is usually present) against dark skin catches her attention. She returns his smile and laughs when he does, suddenly seeing the humor in their attempts.

When he kisses her, his smooth fingers brushing away sand from the inside of her thighs, she realizes that she's been wrong. It might not be what she'd expected but the romance is better because it's real, because it's Blaise, and suddenly sweaty skin and itchy sand aren't so important.

The End