Author's Note: Don't get frightened with the song. The whole "I don't love you anymore" part I mean. They have a meaning, the rest of the lyrics, though.
Without the mask,
Where will you hide?
Can't find yourself,
Lost in your lie,
I know the truth now,
I know how you are,
And I don't love you anymore.
Never was and never will be,
You don't know how you've betrayed me,
And somehow you've got everybody fooled.
Never was and never will be,
You're not real and you can't save me,
And somehow now you're everybody's fool. -Everybody's Fool –Evanescence
Hermione sat with Harry and Ron on the grounds. It was a Saturday and given that it was a Hogsmeade weekend, there were no people in the grounds except them three. The first and second years were in another part of the castle, wandering around and occasionally heading towards the lake. Harry and Hermione sat side-by-side, while Ron sat in front of them. They were joking around and laughing. They enjoyed the solitude these few months. They felt more comfortable like that.
They had decided to not visit Hogsmeade that time because they really didn't feel up to it. Harry hadn't because he was always under constant vigilance, despite how many times he tried to get out of the thousands of eyes looking out for him, and Ron and Hermione decided to keep him company. It was a cloudy day, but not a rainy one. The clouds looked as if they were ready to spill out every last droplet of water, but they didn't do so.
Harry stood up, telling Ron and Hermione that he was going to go get a biscuit from the Great Hall now that it was lunch time. The other two stayed behind as he promised to bring them some too. Hermione stood up from the ground and started walking in the same spot, Ron followed with his gaze. He then stood up as well.
"What are you doing?" he asked, eyeing her strange behavior.
"I'm bored, Ron," she said continuing her weird walk. He shook his head.
Hermione heard the sound of footsteps and looked straight ahead to see a figure walking towards them. She gasped and pulled out her wand as the person drew closer and closer.
Ginny sat up with a jolt in the common room. "No, no, no, this can't be happening!" she whispered as she raced out of the portrait hole and down the stairs towards the Entrance Hall. Sprinting across the length of the hall, she crashed with someone. It was Draco.
"Watch it, Weasley," he spat, standing up from the ground. She glared at him briefly before pushing herself through his side.
"Out of my way, Malfoy." She ran down the stairs towards the ground, where she saw Harry and Hermione kneeling over a red-head. She didn't need to guess who it was. Both Harry and Hermione were filthy, covered in mud, cuts and blood. Their clothes were ragged and dirty as well. Hermione was on the floor, sitting on her knees, panting, her wand clutched in one hand and nursing Ron, who lay on the floor unconscious. Harry stood in front of her, blocking her from something, apparently.
Ginny saw Tom standing before them, looking oddly at something in his right palm. He then disappeared towards the Forbidden Forest and left the trio alone. Harry turned towards Hermione and kneeled next to her. She was holding Ron's left hand on both her own; her wand was now lying forgotten on the floor next to her.
She was weeping and shaking. Harry looked horror-stricken as he looked down at Ron too.
"He will be alright, right?" Harry asked, his voice quivering slightly. At this, Hermione sniffled and looked up, she looked at Ron again and a pained expression came over her ashen-covered face.
"Let us hope," she said and gave a dry, single sob. Harry let himself drop from his knees and fall on the floor completely now. Hermione cleaned her tears with the back of her palm and laid a hand on Harry's shoulder.
"Don't, Hermione. Don't give up on him," said Harry looking up at Hermione, who looked taller given the fact that he was sitting and she was kneeling.
"There's nothing I can do," said Hermione and let go of Ron's hand, she then caressed Ron's face tenderly. "I did all I could do, Harry. There's nothing left to be done by my part. It all depends on him now." She then turned towards Harry and squeezed his shoulder reassuringly "Trust him. He hasn't let you down before."
"Then I hope this isn't the first time he does," Harry said sadly. "I still don't understand what he did to Ron."
"I told you, Harry," said Hermione "He appeared out of nowhere and attacked Ron. Why did he attack Ron?" she whined "Ron hasn't got anything to do with all of this." Ginny started to walk towards them, and then started to run.
"He may," said Harry, looking up to see her running towards them and stopping dead before Ron's figure. Ginny dropped to her knees next to Ron, she pushed Harry and Hermione out of the way, both of them falling side-by-side, and she threw her arms around Ron, weeping bitterly. But then, something caught her attention, she untangled herself from her brother and looked down at him.
Her lip was quivering and Harry and Hermione exchanged looks of curiosity. Ginny turned her gaze towards them, emitting sobs and cries, and spoke in a little voice, her eyes bloodshot from crying. "He's—he's… dead!"
"He's what!" said Harry, looking angry and hopeless. Hermione threw herself on the floor and began crying her eyes out. Harry moved over to her and tried to comfort her.
Ginny was enraged, she closed Ron's eyes, which had been open, and stood up. Like in a trance, she entered the Forbidden Forest and found herself face-to-face with Tom. She was shaking all over, tears spilling from her eyes as she cried hysterically. She spat a mouthful of words to Tom, words she didn't even knew she had and then fell to the floor, weeping.
Tom kneeled and embraced her and she let herself fall to his embrace, despite herself. He caressed her hair as she cried. "It was the only way I knew you would help me," he said. She sniffed and pulled apart. Her hands came to cup his face. He kissed her hands sideways. She let her hands fall to her sides and looked at him, tears still pouring from her eyes.
"I hate you," she hissed, glaring at him slightly. "All you have ever done is brought me pain! Why couldn't you have stayed in your own time in the first place?" She clutched at her robes angrily, her lip quivering. "But I hate myself even more," she added very softly, barely audible for him. "Because… because I still love you, despite everything you've done to me."
He stared at her for a long time. She seemed to be having a big inner conflict. "I never meant to hurt you," he said briefly. "I just can't help it. I don't like hurting you, Ginny. You're everything to me,"
"Don't get sappy, Tom, it doesn't fit you well," she said testily, cleaning her face with the back of her palm.
"I mean it, though," he said standing up. She looked up at him. He extended his hand to her and she looked down for a brief moment that seemed to go on forever. If she took his hand, she was agreeing to help him in his plans. If she didn't take his hand, she was almost certain that he would keep on killing every single person she ever cared for until she indeed decided to help him.
But he had already taken something that was dearly to her. How could she be so thick and love him still? Why was this love stronger than everything else she felt? She had tried to convince herself that he was just a memory. She was even willing to save that memory and cherish it forever. But not live it, no, certainly not live the memory. He had reached her heart in a way she never imagined possible.
He had sacrificed a lot for her, she knew it. She knew it must've taken him a lot of willpower to send her back to her time despite his plans. He had given her time to ponder about it and now he, again, had risked everything to travel forward in time for her. To come to her, at least. He had allowed himself to love her, even if it went against everything he had planned for himself.
And now it was her turn to sacrifice for him.
She took his hand and allowed him to help her stand up. She cupped his face with her free hand, her thumb outlining his lips and then kissed him briefly. When she pulled back, she saw as he opened his eyes and looked at her. "What was that for?"
"Let's just get this over with, Tom," she said as he smirked and hugged her around the waist. But then he pulled back. She heard footsteps and jerked away from him quickly. "What was that?" her voice asked, he looked around wildly.
"Someone knows…" he hissed, eyeing her. She nodded briefly. "You know He knows… you… told him."
"I didn't!" she exclaimed, feeling someone behind her, and she needn't guess who it was. She already knew.
"What are you doing, Weasley?" came Draco's cold tone of voice directed towards her. Ginny bowed her head briefly and turned around to glare at the blond boy behind her.
"Leave me alone, I thought I told you to leave me make my own decisions, you prat. You're nothing to me!" she said, still glaring at him with all the hate she could muster, Tom stirred behind her.
"You are so thick, Weasley, so fucking thick you make me sick!" said Draco, his wand raised whilst he pointed it at Tom. Ginny was between the two, torn between who to protect or to run to. She loved Tom, but Draco had helped her… in his own way, true… but he had helped her nonetheless. But something happened and she looked back at Tom. He was holding her arm and joisting her out of the way.
The next thing she knew, he was stunning Draco. Tom turned towards her in anger. "I'll be back in a year's time. Be smart and wait for me, Ginny. I will find you either way."
"But… where—where are you going?" she asked, suddenly alarmed by his change of attitude, he simply stared at her for a long time.
"A year's time, Ginny." And he disappeared from her sight.
Author's Note Okay… here we go. Ron…. Yes he's dead. I told you guys there would be a death… possibly two in this story. So here's the first one. Don't take me wrong, I don't hate Ron… entirely. I just needed to kill him for the sake of the plot. Also… I know I said there would be more H/Hr and it still hasn't come. I don't know if it will, though I don't think so. But just keep a lookout for if it does. There are only three more chapters left after this one. Yes, the story has already been mapped; I have the "big" events that happen in each chapter already written. So the LiT saga is reaching its end.
You know the drill, my people. Liked it? Hated it? Review and let me know!