Chapter 4:   More than Friends

For much of the week, Harry and Hermione were both very busy and saw each other only briefly in the early mornings and late evenings.

With Hermione's help, Dan and Emma completed the many Ministry forms to request connection of their fireplace to the floo network. With the forms submitted and approved by the Floo Network Authority, Dan and Emma began attending the Ministry required floo network training program. The training program included the history of floo powder, floo network etiquette, and motion sickness abatement techniques. Hermione spent each day with her parents, taking them into the Ministry, and helping them locate officials in the unconventional and bewildering organization.

This morning, Hermione had the day to herself and planned to visit Ginny at the Burrow. Harry had gotten up early and was eating a quick breakfast. His day would be filled by trips to Hogwarts, the Ministry, and Diagon Alley. Hermione had just gotten out of bed and entered the kitchen wearing her pajamas and a bathrobe.

"Good morning," said Harry. "Are we still on for our evening out tonight?"

"Good morning. Yes. Am I still to dress formally?"

"Absolutely. I'm sure you've already seen what I will be wearing hanging in my room."

"And what do you have planned?"

He smiled. "It's still a surprise."

"Okay then," she said with a smile. "I'll be ready at five."

"Great. Okay, I gotta go. Have a nice time with Ginny and tell her I said hi. See you later." He walked to the fireplace, took a pinch of floo powder, and tossed it into the opening.

"Bye Harry." He waved and stepped into the green flames.

In the late afternoon, Harry returned to the flat and went straight to his room. He had just enough time to shower and get ready. He paused by the closed door of Hermione's room.

"You okay Hermione?"

"Yes I'm fine, just getting ready," was her reply from behind the door.

"Okay." Then he hurried into the bathroom.

A short while later in his room, he examined his reflection in the mirror. He was dressed and ready to go, tickets in his pocket. He had no memory of ever wearing a muggle suit and tie. His normally unruly hair was mostly in place and neatly combed. Just then, the telephone began to ring.

"Harry, will you get that," called Hermione from her room.

"Got it." He hurried to the kitchen and picked up the receiver. "Hello?"

There was a pause. Then a women's voice from the phone said, "I'm sorry, I've dialed the wrong number."

"That's okay." Harry hung up the phone.

He stepped back into the living room. While adjusting his tie, he heard the door of Hermione's room open. A few seconds later, she slowly emerged from the hallway, took a step into the room, and then stood before him. His gaze became transfixed and his eyes lingered on her taking in all the wondrous details.

She wore a midnight blue evening dress that fit her perfectly in all the right places. It flared slightly and flowed gracefully to her ankles. An iridescent highlight accented each pleat of the skirt. An ivory colored loose knit shawl was wrapped around her shoulders. Her hair, elegant and silky looking, was done up in a flattering style. Her eyes sparkled and softly returned his gaze.

She smiled warmly, enjoying the effect she was having on him. After a long moment of silence she said, "You must like what you see."

"Oh yes, very elegant. You are beautiful."

She beamed. "Thanks. You look very handsome too."

He placed a hand over the wand in his coat pocket. A corsage containing a pink rose appeared in his other hand. He moved close and carefully slipped the corsage onto her wrist while enjoying the delicate scent of her perfume. Raising her wrist, she delighted in the fragrance of the rose.

She reached into her small handbag and withdrew a light red carnation. She slowly placed it into the top buttonhole of his coat. As she stepped back, their eyes briefly met.

He held out his hand toward her. "Ready to go Miss Granger?"

She smiled and placed her hand in his. "Why yes Mister Potter, I am."

The front door of the flat swung open by itself and he led her out onto the porch. The door swung closed and locked itself. Extending his arm to escort her, she smiled and wrapped her hand around it. He looked at her, and after she nodded back to him, they disapparated.

Side-by-side, they approached a small podium and stopped in front of it. The maitre d' looked at Harry and said, "Name sir?"

"James Evans."

"Ah yes, table for two. Please follow me."

The maitre d' seated them in a quiet corner with a view of the city below. "Your waiter will be with you shortly." Then he turned and walked away.

She removed the shawl from her bare shoulders and carefully folded it next to her. When she looked up, his gaze was fixed on her with the same dream-like expression she had seen earlier.

She smiled sweetly. "Am I distracting you Mister Potter?"

He smiled. "Oh yes Miss Granger, you most certainly are. I wouldn't want it any other way."

She giggled. "Oh Harry, this is wonderful. I feel like a fairy tale princess."

He felt happiness at these words.

They enjoyed dinner and the company of each other. They talked about their day and laughed at the funny things that had occurred. There was a feeling of comfort between them and they hardly noticed or heard the people who were dining at the nearby tables.

The waiter had just taken their dessert order, crème brûlée with two spoons, when a middle-aged woman with a camera approached their table.

"You both look lovely. Picture to remember your evening?"

After a brief glance at each other, they nodded. Moving close to sit side-by-side, he put his arm around her. The photographer raised the camera to her eye. But after a quick look through the viewfinder, she lowered it.

"Just one moment, I need to use a different camera." From the bag hanging on her shoulder, she pulled out a small camera-like object.

"Okay, turn slightly to face each other. ... Yes, that's better. On the count of three, I'd like you to turn your heads and look at each other for a moment. Then, turn back and look at my camera. Ready? ... One ... two ... three."

They looked at each other. A soft smile and sparkling expression appeared on each of their faces.

"Look back at the camera now," she said softly. After another moment she said, "Got it. That will be great. I'll be back in just a minute."

Dessert arrived. Continuing to sit next to each other, they began to share it. The photographer returned and handed Harry an envelope. "Here you are. You two are a lovely couple. Have a wonderful evening." She smiled and walked away.

As Hermione watched with her head next to his, Harry opened the envelope and withdrew the photograph. A magical picture of them looking at each other and then out of the photograph, greeted their eyes.

Hermione let out a little gasp. "I thought it would be just a muggle photo. How did she know?"

"Well, your alluring appearance has made my brain a bit fuzzy. Maybe she saw wrackspurts 'round my ears."

She rolled her eyes and giggled. ""

Hermione took the photo and examined it. Harry looked at the envelope. On it was written, The Magic Camera, photography for all occasions. Juliette Anderson. Hermione handed the photo to Harry. He placed it back into the envelope and put it into his coat pocket.

It was after nightfall when they left the restaurant and began walking toward their destination a few blocks away. Arm in arm, they quietly chatted about the people they saw and the things they noticed. As they passed a street vendor, Harry bought a white daisy for her hair. The lights of the city around them danced and twinkled brightly.

Nearly a year earlier, Hermione had brought them here, narrowly escaping the death eaters who had invaded Bill and Fleur's wedding reception at the Burrow. It had marked the beginning of the darkest of times for them, living on the run in doubt and apprehension. Their belief, trust, and commitment in each other had been stressed to the absolute limit. The links between them had held, and grown even stronger. Their focused energy and efforts beyond themselves had made a difference in the world. But now, hand in hand, no thought of that fear and anxiety entered their minds. Each focused only on the present.

As they rounded a corner, the theater marquee came into view. My Fair Lady. She looked at him and softly squealed, excitedly squeezing his hand. The show was one of her favorites. He looked at her and felt a warm satisfaction at the excitement on her face. Entering the theater, his thoughtful care for her as they moved down the steep steps to their seats, warmed her heart. She felt special being with him. They held hands through much of the show.

After the show, they leisurely walked toward the secluded place where they could apparate back to their flat. They were quietly talking about the show, its actors, and the parts they liked best. They laughed and quoted lines to each other, Hermione's "enry iggings" done in a very good Cockney accent. She rolled her eyes when he said that seeing the show with her was "loverly".

It was cooler now and he had his arm around her shoulder holding her close as they walked. They noticed a few other couples ahead who were making their way in the same general direction. The couples occasionally stopped to admire things in the various shop windows. Harry and Hermione thought certain these were other magical couples, out for the evening, and trying not to call attention to themselves as they moved toward the apparition point.

With a subtle whoosh, they apparated about a block away from their flat and leisurely walked hand in hand. The moon was bright and the neighborhood was quiet. He desired to make their date last as long as possible. But all too soon, the walkway leading to the porch of the flat was under their feet.

He stopped at the door and turned to face her. She was somehow more lovely and beautiful than he'd noticed earlier. Her face was radiant, her eyes soft and inviting. He felt his heart begin to beat faster as he took hold of her hands.

"I had a very nice time with you tonight. I hardly noticed the time passing."

"I felt like I was floating on air and had a wonderful time too." Looking at him, she saw on his face the strength and honesty she'd seen many times before. His distinctive green eyes, so familiar and trusting. But ... her heart skipped a beat ... something new.

Their gaze locked on each other's eyes and revealed the desire each had for the other in their heart. Time slowed down. Placing his hands on her waist, he slowly moved close and gave her a delicate kiss on her lips lasting just a few seconds. It felt sweet and warm.

Separating, he opened his eyes to see her with eyes still closed enjoying the lingering sensation and tenderness. She opened her eyes and slowly placed her hands on each side of his neck. His arms slowly encircled her waist and gently drew her close. Heads tilting and eyes closing, their lips met again.

They each felt a tingling sensation and a delicate flutter of the heart. A flush of warmth enveloped each of them as they happily gave their affection to the other. A few unnoticed wisps of silvery vapor floated around their heads.

After a short while, their lips parted. She rested her chin on his shoulder. They held each other breathing deeply, enjoying the pleasant contentment and tranquility that now filled them.

She softly said, "I'm very happy right now."

"It feels so peaceful to hold you."

"Harry, I want our romance to move slowly. I want time to enjoy every single step of our journey together."

"I do too. This is wonderful and I don't want to miss any of it."

After another moment, they reluctantly pulled back and looked into each other's eyes. She moved close again and returned the short delicate kiss he had given her. Then a lock clicked, and the door of the flat swung open. She turned and entered followed by Harry.

Crossing the living room toward the hall, she paused and turned her head to look at him. "Good night Harry. See you in the morning."

"Good night Hermione, sleep well."

"I will Harry," she said with a smile.

He watched as she slowly moved into the hallway and then out of his view. A moment later, he heard the door of her bedroom door click shut.

In her room, she spun around in delight and fell back onto her bed savoring the feelings of her evening with Harry. It could not have been more perfect. She hastily took out her diary and began to write. The words flowed rapidly onto the page while her other hand held the daisy from her hair.

He remained in the living room for a moment, still looking at the place where he had last seen her. It was a delightful beginning. Their friendship and trust was intact, strong as ever. Now, there was a new dimension. A door to her heart was open and she was welcoming him in. He was doing the same for her. He withdrew the photo from his coat pocket and looked at it for a moment, lost in thought and wonder of what the future might bring.

The lock of the front door clicked behind him. He went to his room and slept very well.

Bond of the Spirits is an original fanfiction story based on the seven book series 'Harry Potter' written by J. K. Rowling. Harry Potter, the characters, names and related characters are trademarks of Warner Bros., Inc. Harry Potter publishing rights © J.K.R. This is an unofficial, not for profit site and is in no way connected with J.K. Rowling, Scholastic Books, Bloomsbury Publishing or Warner Bros., Inc. This site is not endorsed by any of these aforementioned parties. Rights to characters and their images is neither claimed nor implied. This fanfiction story is owned by the author and subject to copyright law under transformative use.

Copyright © 2012-2019 Don Buczynski
San Diego, California
Published: 6/24/12
Last Updated: 8/31/19