Chapter 1: Beautiful & Broken
Chapter 1 - Beautiful & Broken
The unfamiliar sound of waves crashing nearby woke Ron from his dreamy slumber. Was he back at Shell Cottage? He stirred slightly at the soothing sound and involuntarily relaxed at the feel of the soft bed and the luxurious sheets below his naked body. A cool breeze floated over his face and he smiled to himself as his body tingled to the gentle wisps of air passing over him. His eyes fluttered open and he immediately remembered where he was. More importantly, he immediately remembered who was lying next to him and his body seemed to suddenly come to life as a million different senses ran through him.
She was lying against his side, her head snuggled into his shoulder one hand over his stomach and one leg thrown over his. He could feel all of her against him and as he cleared his mind he became acutely aware of each part of her. The feel of her hair falling lightly against his shoulder and neck, her light breathing against his skin, the soft feel of her breasts against his side, the smooth feel of her stomach, the strangely arousing feel of her pubic hair against his bare hip, her inner thigh against his leg and her cold small toes rubbing against the fine hair on his shin.
As he became fully awake, he wondered if there could be anything better than waking up to the world with a naked Hermione Granger lying in bed next to him.
She stirred lightly against him and as he watched her beautiful face he marveled at the change in their lives. Less than two months ago they were in a terrible and vicious war dodging death every second not knowing if a life ahead was possible. Now he was lying in a hotel bed along a beach in the Gold Coast of Australia with the woman he had loved since forever huddled next to him after making sweet and passionate love together for hours the night before.
He had lost a brother and the wizard world has lost many fine wizards and witches and was almost destroyed along the way...but they had won. They had picked themselves up and after a difficult first few days and weeks, his family and friends had continued to build back a normal life for themselves. Hermione and himself had become a real couple and eventual lovers as effortlessly and surely as the waves now washing against the shore outside his window. With the worst behind them and with Harry finally free of Voldemort, they had finally come together with all the love and hidden emotions held back for so many years. It should have surprised him but it felt like the most natural thing for them. They had always been together but just not always a couple...until now.
He was starting his Auror training with Harry in a week and Hermione was going back to school with Ginny to finish her final year in September. All that was left was to retrieve Hermione's parents and this was where they were now. They had used their connections to contact the Australian Ministry of Magic in Sydney and after a detailed search spanning over a week her parents had been located in a small suburb called Robina just outside of the Gold Coast. Arrangements had been made hurriedly and Ron and Hermione had been transported and put in the hands of the Australian Ministry. They had arrived the previous day and put up at a luxury hotel along the beach to rest and recover before being accompanied to "retrieve" her parents.
Hermione had her share of worry from the moment her parents were located. All her fears and doubts about reversing the complicated spells she had woven into their minds made her apprehensive and jittery. When Ron assured her of her capability and that her family would be reunited in a few days, her fears turned to the numerous negative reactions that she expected from her lost parents. He had tried his best to calm her fears and had steadfastly remained by her side as much as he could during the preparations and travel. It appeared that all his attentions had paid off as she visibly relaxed on reaching the hotel and it had culminated in a vigorous and hot session of lovemaking as soon as they retired to their bed. He still wasn't too sure if she was just releasing her pent up feelings about her parents or if she was genuinely glad to be here with him but he was not one to complain especially if he was the recipient of her attention.
He loved her with all of his heart. He was completely and utterly in love with the girl he had grown up with. He loved everything about her and he would do anything for her and ask for nothing in return. It was that simple. He lived in a state of ecstasy when he was with her and even though she had told him a hundred times, he could still not fully comprehend and believe that she loved him just as deeply in return. He was happy...they were happy...and after today she would be even happier with her parents in her life again.
He felt her move against his skin and turned to see her watching him with a small smile on her face.
"Morning sweetheart. Mmm...This bed feels great and you feel absolutely wonderful." she said with her smile as she rubbed up against him.
"I love it when you call me that...it makes me feel special and trust me I have been up for a full ten minutes and nothing feels better than you here next to me." he returned her smile as he leaned over to give her a kiss on her soft lips.
"You are special and I love you. Haven't I told you? and sweet and loving and supportive. Really Ron. I don't know what I would have done without you these last few days. I know I have been a bit of a mop lately but being with you makes everything better and I want you to know that. I just wish I could show you how much you mean to me." she told him lightly as she ran her fingers over his chest.
"Well I think you showed me enough last night love. But if you insist I can be dense at times so you can try again as much as you like." he smirked as a blush appeared on her cheeks.
She was now running her fingers lightly up and down his arm as she looked at him a bit seriously.
"Don't you ever wonder how things have changed so quickly Ron? I mean between...us. Is this really happening? I have to pinch myself sometimes." she said with a light laugh.
"I was thinking the same thing before you woke up. But it feels so easy and natural for me and I think it is the same way for you. I love you Hermione but that simple word can't really convey what I feel for you. I have you ingrained in me like a part of my body and mind and sometimes I just don't know how to tell you...how to let you know what you are to me." he tried to explain.
She sat up slightly her breasts brushing against him as she continued to stare at him.
"I love you too Ron Weasley and I know exactly how you feel because I feel the same way. Who knew you had a way with words." she laughed again as she now leaned over him to give him a long and sweet kiss before resting her chin on his chest. He had to look down at her.
"Hermione It's true. I never was good at words and if I was maybe we would have got together sooner... but not again. I have a plan for us." he informed her. She raised her eyebrows at him immediately.
"You do. Well you really are surprising me Weasley. Let's hear it then?" she asked with another smile.
"Well Harry and I will be going off for a year in training so I won't be earning a living till after. You will have completed your NEWTS by then and will then have to decide which job you will be taking out of the hundreds that will surely be offered to you. We can find a small place to live together...nothing too fancy as we will have to save up for the future you know. Then after awhile and when I have the guts to ask we get married in a beautiful ceremony at the Burrow. Then after maybe a few years of wedded bliss inter spaced with our usual fights and my continued cluelessness we can get a bigger place and have a number of bushy red haired babies to fill our lives and live happily ever after." he stated coolly still looking down into her smiling face.
She was staring back with her eyes wide and now a bit watery.
"Oh Ron. That's the most romantic and wonderful plan I have ever heard. I love it. Especially the happily ever after part." she gushed. "So how many babies are in your plan? or do I get a say it that?" she giggled.
"As much as you want love but more than one for sure." he laughed. "I know you think I'm being presumptuous and thinking too far ahead but having a baby with you would be...the ultimate feeling of joy for me." he said a bit too seriously.
She now moved her body over his straddling him in one smooth swift move as he held her around her small waist then dropping his hands on her soft bum.
"I do think you are planning a bit too far ahead but it's the thought that counts but right now my thoughts are on other things." she informed him as her hands began to caress his body in return.
"What about you parents? Aren't you eager to get going?" he suddenly remembered.
"Everything will work out fine. You said so remember? Besides we have some time and I really need to relax. I'm just following your orders." her lips crashed down on his and he was immediately lost in her.
They were already dressed and waiting in the hotel lobby when the cultural liaison officer from the Ministry came to meet them. Michael Symonds was one of two people from the Ministry who was aware of the special circumstances of their trip and was very sympathetic to Hermione's dilemma. He had gone out of his way to welcome them and had made himself available at any time. He was a pleasant middle age wizard with a daughter of his own and seemed to fully understand the implications and possible outcomes of his mission today.
"Hello Ms. Granger and Mr. Weasley. I hoped you are well rested. We have quite a day ahead." he greeted them with a friendly smile. Hermione tried not to elicit a blush as she replied.
"Hello Mr. Symonds. Yes we had a good night and thank you for putting us up in this nice hotel. Please call us Hermione and Ron." she stated quickly. "How are we traveling to my parents?" she then asked a bit nervously.
"Well I thought that it would be a change to travel by car. Your parents are only about half an hour away and you can get a quick glance at the city along the way. Always doing my job I have to say." he laughed lightly. "Come on we can get going right away the car is just outside."
The three of them left the hotel and bundled into a black limousine parked outside. A young man dressed formally in a suit was already seated in the car.
"Let me introduce Steven Ward, He is an Auror assigned to us today just as a precaution you understand. The four of us will be handling matters today." he explained.
After the formal introductions were over, they were quickly on their way through the city with Mr. Symonds pointing out all the various landmarks and sites along the route. He was really a good choice for cultural officer and the two of them instantly warmed to him. Hermione seemed to actually be in a relaxed state considering what was about to happen.
They soon left the bustling city and were now traveling along a more residential suburb, Mr. Symonds turned to Hermione in a more serious tone.
"OK Ms. Granger...I mean Hermione. Your parents are currently at home alone as today is Sunday so all we have to do is simply knock on the front door and wait for one of them to answer. Do you want to go over the plan again?" he asked.
Hermione fidgeted a bit in her seat and Ron immediately held her hand gently in his. He felt her relax.
"Well I have to make sure that they are awake and together when I reverse the spell so a simply confundus spell on whoever answers the door should allow us to enter. Whoever is nearest will perform the same charm on the other parent once inside and then we sit them down together and I will perform the reverse memory spell as soon as possible." she recited clearly.
"Good. Your parents live in a quiet area in Robina so there should not be a problem. Mr. Ward will knock on the front door and get us in." he quickly looked at his watch. "We should be there in another five minutes. Don't worry Hermione. It will be just fine." he reassured her.
Ron glanced at his girlfriend and knew that she was getting nervous again. He tried to think of something to say that would take her mind away from her obvious thoughts.
"So Mr. Symonds what did you say her parents did in Australia again?" he asked even though he hoped Hermione would answer.
"Honestly Ron. Were you not listening yesterday. They run a small souvenir shop in the city." she sighed loudly.
"How come they did not open another mouth fixing business like back home? he genuinely inquired. He watched as Hermione rolled her eyes slightly.
"It's called a dental clinic Ron and I told you I could not take the chance to falsify they qualifications as someone could have checked and they might have been exposed. I had to alter that part of their memories too so they could start a new life here as quietly as possible." she explained.
Before he could comment, the car pulled up in front of a pretty bungalow with a well maintained front lawn. It was quiet in the neighbourhood and no one appeared to be around.
"Right. Let's get this done quickly." Mr. Symonds quickly opened the door and alighted with the Auror at his side.
Ron gently squeezed the small hand in his and smiled at Hermione.
"Come then love. Let's get back your Mum and Dad." he said sincerely as they followed the two men to the front door.
Auror Ward rang the doorbell and stood slightly back with his wand at his side. Soon the door was opened and a slim well tanned man with slightly greying hair stepped out and received them warmly. Hermione immediately stiffened in recognition at his side and he held on to her hand even tighter.
"Hello. Can I help you?" he asked in a friendly tone.
The Auror quickly raised his wand and muttered the confundus spell before pushing the man inside and signalling the rest to follow.
Mrs. Wilkins (aka Mrs. Granger) was just coming out of the kitchen when she nearly bumped into Mr. Symonds who quickly performed the confundus spell and lead her quickly into the living room area to be seated next to her husband. They both looked quite confused and were gaping at the four strangers silently.
Ron gently pushed Hermione forward when she made no effort to move. She was staring at her parents with a look of anguish and there were tears in her eyes.
"Hurry Hermione. You do not have much time. Just focus and relax. You can do it love." he told her quietly. She seemed to jump out of her trance and pulled out her wand resolutely. She made a step forward facing her parents and raised her wand.
The reverse memory charm that Hermione spoke was one of the longest spells Ron had ever heard. It amazed him that she could remember the string of words that she spoke so clearly and effortlessly. It was over in seconds and he waited while holding his breath.
Mr. Wilkins was the first to speak.
"Who are you young lady and what are these people doing in our house!"