Chapter 18:   Home and Beyond

The concierge said, "Was our service satisfactory?"

"Yes, it was very good," said Harry. "We really enjoyed our stay."

"Excellent sir. We look forward to serving you again in the not too distant future. Have a safe and pleasant journey to your next destination."

Harry walked back to where Hermione was seated. "We have a few hours before our travel time. What would you like to do until then?"

Hermione looked up from the pamphlet she was reading. "There's a maritime museum not far from here. And it has a magical travel point close by."

"That sounds interesting." He held out his hand and helped her to stand. "Let's take a pedicab to the museum."

It was early evening when Harry and Hermione walked hand in hand toward the front door of their flat. Their trip home via the magical travel network had been uneventful. Upon reaching the porch, he stopped, faced her, and took hold of both of her hands.

"So Mrs. Potter, did you have a nice time this last week."

"The absolute best ever Mr. Potter. It will be hard to top because so many of my dreams came true."

"Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined all that has happened this week. We're going to have an extraordinary and wonderful life together."

They warmly embraced and kissed. A moment later, they separated and the lock on the door clicked.

"Okay. I want to do this properly. Put your hands behind my neck please."

She giggled as Harry picked her up in his arms. The door swung open and he carried her over the threshold. The lights of the room came on and Harry, still carrying Hermione, stopped and stared. Then, they both began to laugh. After a moment, he carefully set her back down onto her feet.

A large heart shape, like a giant neon sign, was on the far wall. The names Harry and Hermione were floating and bouncing randomly around within it. Whenever a neon figure of cupid, a short distance away, shot an arrow at the heart, it would twinkle and flash in bright colors. Then the names would alternately spin like a top for a short time and "Oh Harry!" or "Oh Hermione!" was heard.

A banner above the fireplace proclaimed, Congratulations Harry and Hermione! Horns and noisemakers were making various odd sounds. Fireworks burst at random around the room and hundreds of balloon-like colored bubbles floated everywhere. A wedding bell, hanging in the corner of the room, gently chimed.

Harry took out his wand and said, "Silencio!" The noises stopped but the objects remained in motion. He looked toward the hallway and grinned. A flashing sign across the hallway entrance held the words,

Do Not Disturb
Family Formation in Progress

Hermione looked at Harry. "I'm not sure I want to go into our bedroom."

He chuckled and took her by the hand. "Off we go."

Gently brushing bubbles aside, he slowly led her across the room. As he reached out to move the sign, it silently swung aside like a gate to let them pass. After stepping past, the gate closed again. She shook her head and smiled as he cautiously pulled her forward into the dimly lit hallway. They stopped at the closed door of his bedroom.

He glanced at her. Then taking hold of the doorknob and turning it, he gave the door a gentle push and let go. The door slowly swung open, the hinges creaking ominously. They watched with trepidation, but nothing happened. They waited. After a long moment ... nothing still happened. Wide eyed, they cautiously peeked into the room.

A small sign floated in the room. Harry doesn't sleep here anymore.

Then it changed. Unless Hermione is cheesed off at him.

They looked at each other snickering and shaking their heads.

They turned and cautiously stepped toward the other bedroom that also had its door closed. Harry looked at her. Hermione, with eyes wide and biting her lower lip, nodded. He reached for the doorknob. But before touching it, the doorknob turned by itself and the door swung open with a long foreboding squeak of its hinges.

They peered inside. The room was dimly lit by candlelight. The bed was now heart shaped, white with red ruffled trim around the base. Soft folds in the shapes of red roses decorated the pillows. Everything else appeared to be in its place. The delicate scent of rose greeted them as they slowly stepped into the bedroom.

She said quietly, "This is a set-up, he's up to something."

Harry grinned. "Reckon there's only one way to find out."

She looked at him apprehensively. "How's that?"

"We lie on the bed."

He felt a chill wash over him. "Oh ... this is worse than no ink on exam day."

With a smile, he let go of her hand and slipped off his shoes. He moved onto the bed and lie on his side with his head propped up by his arm. After a moment, nothing happened. With a smirk on his face, he looked at Hermione and patted the free side of the bed with his hand. With an unsure look on her face, and once again biting her lower lip, she slipped off her shoes. She got onto the bed and lie down on her side facing him. Her hand reached into his and held it firm. They looked at each other and waited. ... Nothing happened.

"Seems like they were just being romantic in this room."

"I don't believe that for a second," said Hermione authoritatively.

"There there my love, let me change your mind." He leaned over and gently kissed her.

From the corner of the room, cupid appeared and floated in midair lightly strumming a harp. She pursed her lips and nodded her head with an expression of "I told you so" on her face. Then, a soft glow illuminated the ceiling above. Looking up, they saw a reflection of them lying on the bed. She started to giggle. Then, the bed began to gently shake and vibrate. They both broke into fits of laughter.

Waves of pleasurable sensations washed over each of them. Their laughter subsiding, his hand brushed the headboard of the bed. The bed stilled itself and cupid disappeared. He took out his wand and pointed it at the electric light switch. The room lights brightened to partial intensity.

She looked at him apprehensively. "I'm not going to be the first one to use the bathroom. Whipped cream will probably come out of the shower."

His gaze became absent and unfocused. Slowly, a contented smile dawned on his face as a delightful mental image formed.

A tingling sensation washed over her and she rolled her eyes. "Oh, honestly Harry."

He laughed. "George got you good."

He reached toward the wall and touched the picture frame. His parents appeared and Lily was smiling sweetly at them. James wore a big grin on his face and held a large bucket of water.

She reached over and took Harry's left hand with her left hand. Holding them up so that the rings were clearly visible to the portrait, she sternly said, "We're officially married now. Chaperoning will no longer be necessary."

James shoulders slumped and his face became disappointed and pouting. Lily and Harry laughed. James sulked off the edge of the frame carrying the bucket sloshing with water. A moment later, he returned holding a bouquet of red roses. He took Lily's hand and they both held the roses.

Looking warmly at Harry and Hermione, Lily said, "May your bond of love grow deeper each day and last forever."

James said, "May your new life be filled with magic and laughter."

"Oh, how sweet, thank you," said Hermione with a warm smile.

"Dad, do you know of anything else we should ... umm ... look out for ... here in the flat?"

"Well ..." James cleared his throat and looked somewhat uneasy. "That's a tough question for someone like me to answer. The unspoken prankster code of conduct clearly states—" James was cut off as Lily gently swat him on the arm. James looked at Lily. With pressed lips, Lily shook her head. Harry and Hermione grinned.

"Oh ... right then." James bounced on his feet a few times. "Well, ahem, let me think ... we couldn't really see anything but ... we did hear something mentioned that we didn't quite understand. ... What's an extendable ear?"

Hermione's eyes narrowed. She whispered, "They're listening to us."

She glanced around the room. After a moment, she spotted it. An extendible ear hung partially concealed behind the window curtain.

"There," said Hermione pointing to it. Then she said with a firm voice, "I'm going to get you George Weasley! ... Just ... you ... wait!"

From the extendable ear came the sound of roars of laughter.

A moment later, George's voice said, "Hermione, you can't imagine ... he he ... all of the new Weasley products ... he he ... your marriage has inspired. he he he ... How about those squeaky door hinges? ... And I love that whipped cream idea!"

Harry laughed and Hermione giggled.

They heard Ron's voice. "Can we see your flat ... umm ... you know ... with all of the decorations active?"

Harry smiled, flicked his wand, and then nodded to Hermione.

She said, "Okay. The floo's open. Come on over."

A moment later, there were green flashes of light as friends and family began arriving. There was laughter and conversation the remainder of the evening.

A few days later, Harry and Hermione took Ron and Ginny out for dinner to say thank you for all they had done for them. They gave Ron a clock that kept perfect time and never ran down. The wood of the clock was carved with magical runes. On the face of the clock were magical pictures of Harry, Ron, and Hermione wearing their Order of Merlin medals. Ginny received a golden brooch pin of a witch flying on a broom. The witch's hand was outstretched to capture a snitch darting inches from her grasp. The four friends were together well past midnight talking about all that had happened during the bonding ritual.

The following weekend, Harry and Hermione took Dan and Emma to see the family tree. They were surprised when Dan and Emma said they wanted to go there by broom. After they floo'd to the Burrow, Dan rode with Hermione on her new broom and Emma rode with Harry. Dan and Emma very much enjoyed the trip and were amazed when they saw the tree and the carvings on its trunk. And just as Arthur had said, two leaves with Dan and Emma's names, sheltering a flowering bud beneath, were now visible on the tree.

Later, back at the Burrow, Arthur and Molly were delighted to receive a gift from Harry and Hermione, a magical wind chime. It played different musical songs and instruments depending on the strength and direction of the wind. Arthur suggested they hang it by the kitchen window so the music could be heard during meals. Molly wholeheartedly agreed.

Dan and Emma received a crystal cloche bell jar with a polished dark green marble base. Within the crystal jar floated two enchanted red roses in full bloom. Random sparkling points of light surrounded the roses. Hermione explained that the beauty of the roses would never fade. And with a knowing smile, she said additional smaller roses might appear in the future.

When Harry and Hermione resumed classes at Hogwarts, they met with McGonagall in her office. She was very touched by their words of gratitude in helping them begin their special union. To her delight, they gifted her with a bronze sculpture of a griffin. It would rear up on its hind legs and beat its wings when touched. The griffin was mounted to a polished rosewood base that contained a wedding picture of Harry and Hermione and an engraving that read,

With gratitude for initiating our life together
Vinculi Spiritu, Harry and Hermione 1998

Later, Harry and Hermione went to the Great Hall. Friends and classmates were excited to see them and greeted them with congratulations and well wishes. They were talking with a group of friends at one of the long tables when Luna entered the Great Hall.

Luna stopped the moment she caught sight of Harry and Hermione seated at the table. With her mouth half open in astonishment, she just stared at them. Then slowly, Luna walked toward them with a broad and happy smile on her face. She stood behind the group of friends sitting across the table from Harry and Hermione. Her eyes were unblinking and she appeared to be in a trance, which for Luna was a fairly normal appearance. Harry and Hermione looked up at her with quizzical expressions. The conversations died away and many of the people turned to look at Luna.

Hermione said, "Hi Luna ... umm ... how are you?"

After a short pause during which her eyes continued to stare, Luna said in a dreamy matter-of-fact voice, "I've never seen auras do that, wrackspurts must be making my brain go fuzzy. Your auras keep moving back and forth between the two of you. And there's a third golden one as well. It's all so very beautiful."

Harry said, "Umm, Luna, would you like to sit down and join us?"

"No, I'd better go so my wrackspurts don't affect you." Then, before turning to leave, she said in a quiet and distant voice, "That must be what happens when Gryffindor students marry. It's so lovely to behold."

Harry and Hermione glanced at each other as Luna departed. Their other friends at the table just giggled and snickered.

Watching Luna walk away, Hermione thought to Harry, "Luna is truly gifted with a special way of seeing things. I won't be so quick to dismiss anything she says again."

Harry thought to Hermione, "Yeah. I think we should sit down with her privately and talk."

Harry and Hermione's love continued to deepen and grow. Despite the rigors of school, fledgling careers, and the daily cares of the world, thoughts were shared between them at free times during the day. There were candle lit dinners at their flat and the occasional date to a show, a picnic on a hillside, or a sunset spent together on a broom.

On Christmas Eve, they joined Dan and Emma for dinner and spent the early evening with them exchanging presents. After returning to their flat, they spent the remainder of the evening with each other exchanging presents and snuggling with hot cinnamon apple cider by the fire. On Christmas day, Harry, Hermione, and the Grangers joined the Weasley family at the Burrow for Christmas supper. The excitement level at the Burrow went up tenfold when Ron and Katie arrived. There was an engagement ring on Katie's finger.

The new year brought somewhat regular visits of Harry's godson Teddy. He was a bundle of energy and kept them happily busy looking after him. They spent time with their friends at Hogwarts, helped with the D.A. and attended Gryffindor quidditch games. Under Ginny's leadership, Gryffindor handily won the Hogwarts quidditch cup.

While completing her NEWT studies, Hermione began entry-level work in the Department of Mysteries developing healing charms. She enjoyed the work very much. It involved investigation and research into new and unknown areas of magic. More often than not, she could be found in the immense Department of Mysteries library. The library contained thousands of books on every aspect of magic imaginable. She also helped set up an innovative retrieval system to help researchers find needed information more quickly.

Harry began work in the MBI while completing his studies at Hogwarts. Initially, he worked as a liaison officer and forged working relationships with detective counterparts, both magical and muggle. When he became a MBI detective, his security clearance gave him access to most restricted areas. In addition to crime investigation, he worked with a team, created by Kingsley, to improve the Ministry of Magic's security.

On one occasion, Harry had to travel on a work related trip to the continent. This had resulted in a clingy and drawn out goodbye between them. But they soon found that distance was no barrier to their shared connections. Many lascivious thoughts flowed between them in the evenings. Upon his return, there was an extended reunion. James would have needed a waterfall to cool them down.

After completing school and graduating, they transitioned to full time jobs at the Ministry. They moved to a home in the secluded countryside around Godric's Hollow. Friends, family, and especially Teddy, were always welcome. Harry regularly visited Wilbur. It was not long after moving to Godric's Hollow that unexplained events would sometimes occur.

Late in the night, a nurse at St Mungo's passed through a secured door. It took longer than normal for the door to close behind her but this went unnoticed. In the dimly lit room, the nurse checked the condition of the two sleeping patients. Then she tucked away her wand and departed the room. A moment later, the lock on the door clicked.

The male patient had a vacant and strained expression on his face. Two hands holding wands appeared and floated in the air above his head. The wand tips touched and a golden vaporous griffin formed. The griffin began to descend toward the man's head. But the griffin was rebuffed and shuddered in anguish. With firm resolve, the golden light of the griffin grew brighter. A muffled shriek was heard as the griffin dissolved into the man's head. The face of the man turned very dark. Then, a black cloud emanated from it and defused into the air with a long fading scream. The expression on the man's face became relaxed and peaceful as he continued to sleep.

The wands slowly floated toward the female patient. A short while later, her expression was also relaxed and peaceful. The wands disappeared and after a moment, the lock on the door clicked. The door of the room swung opened and shortly thereafter, closed again. A few days later, people noticed that Neville had a new bounce in his step.

Harry and Hermione joyfully shared the day Ron and Katie completed their bonding. Harry was the best man for the three day bonding ritual. As Harry and Hermione always knew, they remained very close friends with Ron and now Katie. Ron and Katie's telepathic ability was not immediate but it quickly developed with help from Harry and Hermione.

Ginny and Hermione remained the best of friends and they frequently met to talk. Ginny and Harry would often talk about quidditch and the rigors of her being a pro level player. Like Hermione and Ron, Harry and Ginny felt like brother and sister. After a few years' time playing as a pro for the Harpies, Ginny met Nick and eventually fell deeply in love with him. She transferred to the coaching and management staff to have more time available for him. In this career role, she often worked with Ron at the Ministry. Hermione was the maid of honor for Ginny and Nick's three day bonding ritual.

When George and Angelina married, the celebrations depleted a fair amount of merchandise from the joke shop. But it would go down as the merriest wedding ceremony that anyone could remember. George and Angelina wore the magic dancing shoes for their first dance as husband and wife. Everyone at the reception laugh hysterically, much to the satisfaction of George and Angelina.

There was a surprise for George the day he and Angelina returned from their honeymoon. It was the next evening, during a welcome back get together at the Burrow, when they talked about it.

Harry and Hermione stepped from the fireplace into the kitchen of the Burrow. All of the Weasley family was present and they began to greet them. As they moved to greet George and Angelina, they saw a scrutinizing stare from the newlyweds.

With an innocent smile Hermione said, "Hi, welcome back."

George looked at her intently. "Yes, that was quite a welcome we received."

The room became quiet.

"We?" After a pause, understanding dawned on her face. She began to giggle.

"Yes ... we," said Angelina with a smile and piercing stare. Harry also began to chuckle.

Matter-of-factly, Hermione said, "Well, as a fellow Gryffindor, I was honor bound to keep my word to George." Then, as if questioning a professor she asked, "Was there a proper time-delay before the effect occurred, not until toward the end?"

Both George and Angelina nodded their heads in unison still staring at her.

She beamed. "Oh wonderful. I was particularly proud of that bit of finesse, more of a surprise that way. Don't you think?"

George and Angelina made no reply.

Hermione smirked. "Angelina, it's ... unfortunate, that you were an innocent casualty." Harry and Hermione began to laugh.

Ron said, "Okay, clue in the rest of us. What happened?"

George said, "Earlier today, tomato sauce came out of the shower in our bathroom."

Everyone burst into laughter. After a moment, George and Angelina laughed too.

When the laughing died down, George looked at Angelina. "It was quite good wasn't it? Though, I might fancy a bit more oregano. What do you think?"

Angelina said, "You have to be careful with the oregano, it can easily spoil the overall balance. Same with the vinegar. Maybe a bit more garlic instead."

"Yes, you're quite right. That would be better."

Hermione rolled her eyes and looked at both of them in disbelief.

George said, "The ringing bicycle bell was also a nice touch. Overall, it was very well done. I congratulate you." He extended his hand. "Put 'er there."

Hermione, with a devious smile, took hold of his hand. They both gripped each other's hand firmly. There was a buzz and a tickling sensation as smoke began to rise from their joined hands. George and Hermione both began to laugh uncontrollably. They tried to stare determinedly at each other as tears of laughter began to fall. Everyone laughed hysterically.

George realized that Hermione was not going to give in. "Okay, we're even. ... he he he ... On the count of three then ... he he he ... One ... he he ... Two ... he he ... Three!"

Their hands broke apart with two loud POPs and a shower of gold sparks. Everyone was bent over holding their sides in stitches of laughter.

A moment later, still wiping tears from her eyes, Hermione looked at the laugh buzzer Harry had received from George in her right hand. She beamed at George. "This is a brilliant product. Really quite fun."

Later, as they were leaving, Harry and Hermione gave George and Angelina heartfelt warm hugs and best wishes for their new life together. Business thrived at the joke shop and George and Angelina always had a smile to share.

The star repeatedly flared, pulsated, and sang with a rapturous joy as it consumed itself without concern for its ongoing existence. It toiled unconditionally, and without need of recompense, to spread light and warmth into the darkness. The light became a guide point reaching out into the universe in all directions. The symphony of its love song touched and slowly organized the remaining fog. Bright prominences, like arms, stretched out from the star and gathered the dust together. Like molded clay, a form gradually took shape that glowed red in the golden light of the star. The star became steady and unwavering, patient to wait for the proper time. Ice rained down to cool the molded form. And after a time of travail and persistent effort, the magic from deep within the seeds sown by the star at its inception, sprouted into a miraculous new life. A dawn of great joy and jubilation occurred.

About two years later, on an eventful and blessed day, their son James was born. In the weeks and months that followed, the daily routines of Harry and Hermione were significantly reprioritized. Nevertheless, knowledgeable advice and practiced hands were always available to them from the Grangers and the Weasleys.

Their son brought about many happy times and special moments, and a few late night taxing ones as well. At the times when it seemed that all of life's demands would overwhelm and consume them, their love would grow in a new way giving them unexpected strength, consolation, and resolve.

And so it was, about a year later, on an equally happy and blessed day, the arrival of their daughter Rose added another new and special dimension to their life and love.

Harry's godson Teddy became as much a family member as James and Rose. And in the living room of the Granger home, occupying a special place on the mantle of the fireplace, the crystal bell jar now enclosed five enchanted red roses floating inside.

There were times, as with all married couples, when a differing opinion or a misunderstanding needed sorting out. But for Harry and Hermione, these were very few and far between. Over time, their shared connections and secret abilities were honed and perfected. Harry and Hermione became an innate extension of each other. The pain and hardship of their school years was forgotten. Their life together became what Ron's words had toasted, one of love, fulfillment, happiness, and peace.

— The End —

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