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Story Notes:

For our_innocence’s prompt: bonfires. Also for 100quills prompt: Victory

Originally Posted: Sep 3, 2006

“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?”

“Yes, it is,“ Hermione says without looking away from the bonfires that are scattered all over the land for as far as she can see. She wonders how many there are and considers counting them, smiling as she envisions riding through the sky on a dragon so she can count bonfires.

“You find them amusing?”

The warning tone causes her to finally look away and focus on Him. Her smile doesn’t fade because she refuses to allow Him such power over her. He already has nearly everything, willingly given by her and others throughout the years, but she retains pieces here and there so she never risks losing herself in Him. “I find them amazing, my Lord,” she murmurs as she looks at Him steadily. He flinches at her use of those two words, which is all she needs to see to relax. As long as there are still pieces of Harry within Him, the world is as it should be.

“Don’t call me that,” He mutters softly as He reaches out and brushes a stray curl of hair back from her cheek. “Why were you smiling?”

“Is she no longer allowed to have thoughts of her own, my Lord?”

Hermione feels a strong arm wrap around her waist as she is pulled back into the safety of her husband’s arms. He smells of smoke and fire and sweat, which makes her eyes flutter and her heart race as her body warms. His tone is respectful but she can hear the underlying danger, knows he can sometimes not blur the lines quite so easily as she. When He looks at Charlie, there is a restless tension in Him that she knows must be alleviated for the balance of their dynamic to be restored.

“She can speak for herself,” He says simply. For a moment, He looks vulnerable as He stares at her and Charlie. Then He looks at her and she knows what to do because it’s instinctive and has been for years.

“The bonfires celebrate victory and are a symbol of trust and respect,” she says as she reaches her hand out to caress His jaw and moves her fingers along Charlie’s arm. She smiles as she pulls Him towards them. “There are so many that I entertained the idea of flying over them to count.”

His finger traces the curve of her lips, and He slowly smiles as the tension begins to recede. “I should have expected you to come up with such an idea.”

Charlie’s arm tightens around her before he speaks. “We will take one of the dragons out later,” he says quietly before he kisses her neck and raises his hand, tangling his fingers in shaggy black hair as He lowers his head to kiss her lips. The celebrations for the latest victory continue as she restores the balance between them.