Hi! Here's a oneshot for you that's a combination of a PG overview of Ron and Hermione's first time, plus their first ILY's, plus some immediate post-Manor and post-Battle bits and bobs! I really hope you like it. Please leave a review- I'd love to hear your thoughts! (There's also a difference between constructive criticism and being an asshole, so please keep that in mind as well) Thanks a ton!
His smoking hot new girlfriend was fast asleep beside him, clothed in skimpy shorts and his oversized t-shirt, but all Ron Weasley could do was sit up against his headboard. He was wide awake and could only think about the fact that the beautiful crescent moon he was staring out through his window was the same moon in the sky when Voldemort died seventeen days ago. That moon saw Fred die and the moon that saw the Weasleys bury him. Saw Dumbledore die. Cedric Diggory too. Harry's parents.
Hell, it was the same moon above their heads as they buried Dobby and said girlfriend was just his best friend, crippled and bruised and broken from a psychopath he couldn't save her from. This was the same moon that would transform Remus Lupin each cycle and the same moon that gave his big brother Bill an itch beneath his skin.
The moon was the same but it just appeared different each night. Thinking back on his past seven years as friends with Harry Potter and Hermione Granger, Ron wondered if he would recognize himself after this intense life change. Would the full moon recognize the crescent or the eclipse or the new moon? Would 11-year old Ron recognize this new war-scratched hero?
He felt very empty, like a sliver of himself compared to his own full moon. But the gap filled when he felt a tiny sigh come from the beautiful brunette to his left, curled up with her head by his hip.
"You're thinking awfully loud," Hermione said without opening her eyes. He looked down at her and grinned, not that she could see.
"Oh, I was thinking too loudly? I'm sorry. But how could you even tell I was awake without opening your eyes?" He questioned with a smirk.
"Do you think I need to see you with my eyes to know when something's going on with you?" She responded simply, her tan skin looking illuminated in the glow from his questionable moon. His heart seemed to overfill and his love for her poured into his chest, filling his whole body.
Before he could ration out how to respond, she opened her eyes slowly and looked right at him but a curl of brown hair lay across her face. He reached down with a tenderness that only she brought out of him and tucked it behind her ear.
"What's on your mind, Ronald Weasley?" She asked with a small smile.
"You," he said unashamed. She was girlfriend now, thank Merlin. No more hiding around himself and his feelings. No more secrets glances he'd throw at her when he thought she was reading. No more nights lying desperately with her on the other side of the tent or on the bunk above him and knowing she was hurting and there was nothing he could do. No more fear to touch her or to kiss her.
He had finally kissed Hermione Jean Granger and he didn't know if he'd be able to stop anytime soon. Not that he wanted to.
Her cheeks flushed and she gave him a sly smile.
"Oh really? What about me?"
"How I can't sleep because I'm too bloody ecstatic about having you in my bed. Finally." That wasn't a lie.
She laughed and he felt accomplished. She curled a little closer to him and then looked up. Her sleep covered eyes looked happy. She sat herself up onto her elbow and crooked her head to look at him.
"As charming and slightly randy as that was, what's really going on?"
Dammit, Hermione and her knowing everything.
"I can't sleep."
"Why?" she asked simply although the answer was fairly obvious and they both knew it .
The night of the Fight for Hogwarts, as the Prophet was referring to it as, Hermione and Ron had curled up together for the very first time in his four-poster bed in Gryffindor Tower and decided two things.
1) They would talk about everything later. They had kissed and fought for their lives all in one night. They needed to tell each other how they feel but not then. They needed sleep and they needed to sleep next to each other.
2) From that moment on, complete honesty. No more secrets, no more lies, no more bottling up emotions until it exploded into a huge row.
So Ron had to tell the truth.
"Because every time I close my eyes, I either see the explosion that killed my brother or hear your screams," he said slowly.
Her beautiful chocolate eyes looked so sad it nearly killed him.
"You can't have anymore of the potion, Ron. You heard what the healers said; it's dangerous and rather addictive." She said in her bookworm tone, except it wasn't with the tone of malice, arrogance, or pity. It was worry in her voice that he heard.
She was referring to Dreamless Sleep Potion that Ron had taken a fancy to in the last seventeen days since the Battle. He was only given a two-week supply and he was already feeling the effects from it's withdrawal. Hermione had a month's prescription from the Healers at St. Mungo's, as well as about half a million other little bottles and potions to help with things such as brain damage (!), memory loss, nerve and tissue damage, cell renewal, curse repair, blood loss (the list goes on and on) from her encounter with Bellatrix Lestrange. They were all things that, of course, Bill and Fleur didn't have handy at Shell Cottage but were the medically-approved recommended doses for those who had undergone the Cruciatus Curse.
That had been our first real row as a couple, two days after the fall of the Dark Lord.
"Hermione, please. Just do this for me." Ron had begged, holding onto her elbow as she had tried to turn away from me in the corridor outside of the Great Hall. It was amazing how much damage was already repaired, magically, but the hallway and most of the castle still lay in ruins.
"No." She said simply, eyes full of fire already.
Professor McGonagall, now Headmistress, had stood in front of the group of survivors and volunteers on behalf of the Healers, giving instructions on how to seek medical treatment for those perhaps embarrassed, ashamed, or unable to admit to pain they'd suffered. She had encouraged them to not only seek professional physical help but to also speak to mental Healers regarding emotional damage. They had already been there to act as grief and trauma counselors but the brain, as McGonagall stated, was especially fragile whilst undergoing the two Unspeakable Curses that affected the living.
While this was in part to students who had been subjected to the Carrow's torments all year, she'd looked right at Hermione during her speech. Ron knew that she knew and Hermione knew that Ron knew that McGonagall knew. Bill must have told her and some of the Weasleys.
His girlfriend has then stormed out of the Great Hall.
"Hermione, it's okay to accept help," Ron reminded her whilst keeping in step with her perfectly as she navigated her way through the rubble.
"No," was her only response.
"'Mione, you heard what McGonagall said-" Ron was cut off.
"Yes, I did. But I'm fine," she interrupted.
"I know you are but it couldn't hurt anything just to double check. I know you're still in pain. Don't deny it," he accused her as he pulled her to a halt by the grand entrance, watching her gaze soften under his words.
"I'm fine, Ron. Bill and Fleur patched me up alright. I was able to break into Gringotts and into Hogwarts just fine. I didn't slow us down. I fought alongside everyone else."
Ron could not believe she was being stubborn regarding her own health. If the situations were reversed, she would have made sure his arse was in a Healer's waiting room the second old Voldy hit the floor.
"Hermione, I know you're fine. You fought beautifully. But your body has gone through immense trauma the past few weeks. Months, actually. You're skin and bones and I know that was in part because you gave me and Harry bigger rations-"
He was once again cut off with an "-Harry and I" correction but he continued on to say, "-because that's the type of selfless human being you are but you were also exceptionally stressed regarding the fact you had to impersonate your torturer."
She looked around quickly to see if anyone was around to hear of these details.
"Yes. The past few months have not been easy and being Polyjuiced as her was not particularly fun but I did it. I just need some good nights sleep and some of your mother's cooking and I'll be good as new," she said fiercely.
"Will you?" Ron asked quietly now, genuinely curious and doubting her self-confidence. "Because I don't feel very healthy, mentally or physically, and I wasn't tortured by a crazy bitch three weeks ago."
She didn't respond right away, just looked up at him with sad eyes.
"I just want to move past it, Ron," she finally admitted it quietly. "I know full well I have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Hell, it's probably worse now. I don't need a diagnosis from a mental healer. I know I'll have nightmares. I know I'm still achy and sore from Malfoy Manor. I know this scar on my arm won't ever go away. I know that I just fought a battle. I know all of that, Ron. I just want to work on moving past this and getting on with my life."
He stood in front of her, taking both of her hands in his and slouching down until he was eye-level with her.
"Hermione, I want that too. I want that for you and I want that for me. But I also want -no- I need to know that you're okay. 100 percent."
"I am okay, Ron," she said with a small, unconvincing smile. "Or at least I'll get there."
"Are you scared?" He asked her the question that's been on his lips since the minute he say McGonagall lock eyes with Hermione. "Are you scared you're not okay? Are you scared the Healers will tell you something?"
He could see her open her mouth to disagree with him but something in his eyes must have made her stop and question herself because her brow softened and her eyes grew sadly. He was right.
"Yes," she said quietly. She rolled her eyes to the ceiling, chin taught, like she always did when she was trying to stop herself from crying. Ron's seen this look a lot recently.
"I mean, I feel fine. I'm tired and I'm covered in scars and bruises but I know that I have a future. I feel like this huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders but this gigantic weight is sitting in my stomach instead."
"I know exactly what you mean." The explosion that killed Fred replayed in his mind as he heard his mother's sobs from his memory.
"I just-" she started to say but stopped. There were tears in her eyes when she looked at him again. "What if I'm not okay?"
Her whisper broke his heart and he tugged on her elbow to bring her to his chest. She followed herself into his arms, tucking her chin down to hide her face against his chest. A small sob escaped her.
"'Mione, you're okay. I know you are. The moment you opened your eyes at Shell Cottage I knew I hadn't lost you, mentally or physically. You're still my Hermione, just a little battered. You're still the smartest witch of your age- Bellatrix didn't take that away from you. You didn't let her."
Her shoulders shook more now and Ron tightened his arms around her, pressing his face against her curls to keep himself composed. He needed to keep himself together, for her.
"You've been so strong, Hermione. Godric Gryffindor must look down on you with such pride," he whispered to her. "Please. Go see the Healers. I'll sit with you and hold your hand the entire time if you need me to. I need to know that you're okay."
Something he had said must have struck a chord with her because she pulled away, eyes shining with wet tears, and kissed him featherlight on his lips.
"Okay," she said with a small sniffle and a nod.
"Okay?" He said, eyebrows raised because she had gotten her to agree rather quickly. He knew she was worried too. She merely nodded again.
He wrapped his arm around her shoulders and led her back inside to the astronomy classroom where mental Healers and general physicians were taking patients that didn't need to be in the 'trauma wing' that had become the infirmary.
He sat next to her on the desk, hands together, as the Healer performed a standard health exam and then began her questions: Where did this scar come from? This one? And this one? How many times was she cursed? Where did the curse hit? What happened after?
Ron's heart stopped when the Healer stopped for a moment to look up from her clipboard.
"Wait a moment," she said with wide eyes. "You were cursed twelve times?"
"Yes, I believe so. That's what Luna told me. She said she was counting," Hermione said nervously. Her grip on Ron's hand was tighter. "Why? What's wrong? Something's wrong, isn't it?"
"No, Ms. Granger. Just the opposite," said the Healer, whose name tag read 'Hadley'. "You seem to be okay, for the most part. Your bones have healed nicely, the bruising will disappear with some topical potions and time. Your scars were predominantly created with dark magic so those cannot be removed but that you knew. You seem to be healing right on schedule. The number of times you were Crucified is what struck a chord with me."
"Why?" Hermione demanded.
"You have near perfect memory of the event. You blacked out, which is normal, but you still have your memory before and after in tact. Your intelligence has not faltered in the slightest," Hadley said, clearly impressed.
"Then why did you look stunned when I said twelve?"
"Because, Ms. Granger, people normally lose their sanity at eight."
"I know. I just got to thinking and I couldn't turn my brain off," Ron said as Hermione touched her hand to his chest and pulled him out of his memory. He leaned forward slightly to press his lips to her forehead, inhaling the scent from her curls at her hairline.
"Don't worry about me. I'm fine. I'll overcome with exhaustion eventually. Go back to sleep." He reassured her.
"I'm awake now. It's you that needs sleep," she said with a raised eyebrow. He didn't want a row. He just wanted the moon that he had when he was 11 and Hogwarts was new and shiny and now crumbled, burnt, and destroyed, way before the girl he was madly in love with was subjected to the most painful curse in magical existence. Twelve times.
All that was too difficult to explain to a 19-year-old girl that had just woken up.
"You need sleep too. You heard what the Healer said," Ron insisted.
"The Healer said a lot of things," Hermione said with an eyeroll.
"You being superior to the rest of the human species was one of them, I know. But you still need sleep," Ron said with a cheeky smile. She blushed and shook her head.
"I honestly don't think that's right," Hermione said, looking determined to prove both Ron and Healer Hadley wrong. "I'm going to have to do some research."
"I think so, 'Mione," Ron said quietly, looking back up at the moon.
Hadley told Hermione that she was the only person known to have survived the Cruciatus Curse that many times. Frank and Alice Longbottom, who also suffered at the end of Bellatrix Lestrange's wand, had lost their ability to function after ten strikes of the curse.
Hermione said she had known this fact during her own torture, using her arm to cover her head so the curse wouldn't strike her brain. This stroke of pure brilliance had saved her life.
Hermione decided not to respond to this. She tugged on his white t-shirt, motioning for him to lay down again. She rolled into him, pressing her face against his neck. He closed his eyes and hugged her tight to him, reveling in the fact that he had imagined laying in this position with her for years.
Yes, he often thought of having Hermione in his bed for drastically different activities then cuddling but Ron had always yearned to hold her.
It was incredible to him at how natural being with Hermione this was felt so natural. He can't deny it- they can both be awkward, bashful people. They stumbled around each other for years but in the span of seventeen days, they had become the most effortless couple.
Perhaps waiting seven years and almost dying makes you realize how desperately you need to be with someone.
"I give you all the credit actually," Hermione said softly a few moments later, causing Ron to open his eyes again and look at her. She was already gazing at him, her expression soft. He could see her love for him in his eyes and he wanted to take a photograph but he realized it had been there all along. He was just too daft to see it.
"Credit for what?"
"For me surviving Bellatrix," she said simply but he could see the apprehension in her stare. "I could hear you yelling my name in the cellar. I know you know why I say your name in my sleep when I don't take the potion. You kept me sane, Ron. I could hear you yelling for me and I just wanted to let you know that I could hear you. I so desperately wanted to yell back but I couldn't. I knew that if I showed weakness, she would bring you up in a heartbeat and hurt you right in front of me to make me tell her about the sword. I could not let that happen. That would have been the thing that killed me."
Hermione paused for a moment to let that sink in. Ron felt dazed but she continued on. She seemed to have been on a mission now.
"Hearing your voice, no matter how panicked I could tell you were, was what kept me fighting. I knew I needed to get out because I was not about to die without telling you that I was in love with you," she said with a sheepish smile.
Ron broke out into an enormous grin.
While Hermione had laid in bed at Shell Cottage, Ron was kneeling by her bedside sobbing. She was unconscious….. or so he thought. Fleur had bandaged her all up and made her take some pain potion and let her rest before she could assess the rest of the damage.
Ron took this time to pour his heart out to a lifeless form of Hermione. He held her limp hand in his and told her everything. He felt so bad about almost getting her killed by the troll. He used to visit her every night when she was petrified. He was a jerk to get mad at her about Crookshanks. He was flat-out jealous of Viktor Krum. When she was injured during the battle in the Department of Mysteries, he had never been more scared in his life (up until that present day.) He only dated Lavender to make her jealous and leaving her was his biggest regret.
It was then she had squeezed his hand, opened her eyes and spoke her first words to him after being tortured. They were:"I love you too."
For a moment, Ron froze. Was she delirious? Was this the pain potion talking? But he could see the clearness in her eyes told him she knew exactly what she was saying. She was in her right mind.
"I love you, Ron. Thank you. Thank you for saving me. I needed to tell you- I love you." It was now her turn to cry and Ron had collapsed against her stomach, sobbing with her and feeling so overjoyed.
He had had a huge, bleeding cut on his top lip from the glass of the chandelier so he didn't lean down to kiss her like he had wanted to. Instead, he cried into her hair and murmured "I love you too. I love you so much, Hermione. I have been in love with you for so long. I thought I lost you. I was so scared. Bloody hell, Hermione."
They had both settled down from their hysterics as Fleur came back into the room and Ron then had to go help Harry dig Dobby's grave, per Hermione's insistence. That night after dinner, they went out to the beach and talked under the moon.
They had wanted to talk all about their feelings but they knew they couldn't. Now was not the time. They needed to be selfless people. They needed to help Harry. They were on a mission that would save the entire wizarding world. They couldn't be wrapped up in their own romance and risk losing. There was too much at stake, especially now.
They did not say it again, the "L" word, until they were in the Chamber of Secrets and ever Harry raised his wand against Voldemort and won, it hasn't stopped.
There was nothing to be afraid of anymore. They didn't have to hide their feelings. They didn't need to wait. They could be together. For real. Forever.
The had begun making a point of saying it as often as possible. They weren't gushy or nauseating. It was always a private moment, when they were alone or no one would hear. They didn't say it every waking moment of everyday. They said it when they needed it. Each morning when they woke up. Each night after they had drunk their potion and drifted off into a deep, dreamless sleep. During the funerals. In between interviews during the press circuit and Ministry interrogations they needed to do with she made him a cup of tea just the way he liked it. When she made him smile when he wanted to cry about his brother.
They said "I love you" because they meant it.
Everytime she said it, though, Ron's brain go fuzzy and all the little hairs on his freckled, gangly, pale arms stand up.
"It was a good thing I was loud in that instance then, huh?" He said, trying to be cheeky because he desperately needed not to think about her torture before he fell asleep without his potion.
He leaned over, laying her flat against the bed so he could hover over her. She giggled. He made Hermione fucking giggle. It was magical. He leaned down so their noses touched and he could hear her catch her breath.
"It's also a good thing I'm madly in love with you too," Ron said before capturing her lips in a kiss.
The same moon that was in the sky that night was the moon that watched as Hermione undressed both him and herself moments later. That night, under tender yet urgent hands, Ron kissed every scar made by Bellatrix Lestrange on her body. Delicately, like she was sacred.
In his tiny attic room, the two of them were alone. (Harry had begun sleeping in Ginny's room, unbenounced to Molly.) They were alone and desperately in love and they showed it. It's safe to say they both slept quite soundly that night so it soon began part of their regular routine. Sex every night before bed- not a bad gig.
That moon was the same moon in the sky when Voldemort had died but it was the same moon in the sky that had hidden away the next morning when they blushed at each other over the breakfast table before sneaking off to refine their techniques in the wildflower fields at the edge of the Weasley property.
It was the same moon that they saw in Australia when they went to retrieve the Grangers. Or on the Greek island where they honeymooned. That moon remained unchanged as they sat in their backyard, drinking firewhiskey on the first night both of their children slept in four-poster beds in Gryffindor Tower.
It was always the same moon because as long as the moon was awake at night, Ron was in love with Hermione.