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Story Notes:

ABC Challenge b - breathe for vagrantben. Hope you enjoy this little 'missing scene'!

Originally Posted: February 7, 2007

The sound of waves lightly crashing against the shore greeted her as she woke up. It took Hermione a minute to remember where she was as she stirred from her nap, but the heavy arm around her waist, the warm breath against her neck and the sound of the ocean quickly reminded her. She opened her eyes slowly, hesitant to end the moment by facing reality.

The sky overheard was dark, clouds concealing the moon even as it fought to shine through, and she heard the call of birds in the distance. She hadn’t intended to fall asleep, but they’d been lying there talking for hours, it seemed, and Roger’s body pressed against hers had been warm and comforting. She’d felt safe enough, for once, to drift into dreams that weren’t haunted by maniacal laughter or visions of the past mixing with a distorted present to create a horrific future.

Roger shifted and murmured in his sleep, tightening his arm around her waist before he let out a soft breath and calmed once again. She turned her head and was surprised to find his face so close to her own. It was too dark to make out his features, but she knew them well enough to not need light to see through the shadows. Despite having slept in a similar position with Harry and Ron throughout the years, there was something different about this, something different about Roger.

Instead of feeling comfortable being held by her best friend, as she felt when snuggled against Harry or Ron, she was fully aware of things she was best not thinking about. It was comfortable for reasons that had nothing to do with friendship, which confused her and made her sleepy mind rebel at her attempted analysis. Think about it tomorrow, her mind argued, but she knew she wouldn’t because she wasn’t ready, he wasn’t ready, it was complicated and scary. They were friends who were attracted to each other. That’s all. It wasn’t worth the risk to their friendship to consider more, not now when this was new and they were busy and needed time to adjust and heal.

Besides, attraction didn’t mean there was anything else there. He’d not shown any signs of wanting more than just friendship and might never want to complicate things by seeing what might happen. She respected that, of course, as she knew he’d been through a lot and lost someone he loved. It wasn’t as if she had any interest in pursuing anything more than friendship right now either. Regardless of Ron’s advice, trying to balance life and friends was difficult enough without possibly adding something as perplexing and unknown as a romantic relationship. No, it was better to not think about it and just let things happen naturally. Despite their admitted attraction and close friendship, only time would tell if it was meant to be more or if they were just destined to be really good friends.

She murmured the words to a warming charm since the one they’d cast earlier at the start of their picnic had weakened with time but snuggled closer to him anyway. She listened to the sound of Roger breathing and the ocean, lightly touching his face and sighing softly as she relaxed once again. Soon, her breathing matched his as she closed her eyes and moved her to rest on top of the arm he had wrapped around her waist. They should probably go as the drive back home would be long, especially at this late hour, but she was a selfish creature at times and didn’t want to wake him yet. Home wasn’t going anywhere, after all, so there was no reason to not just enjoy this perfect evening a little longer.