A Forest Walk

A/N: And you all thought I wasn't going to come back, but guess what? I AM back (for those who care). Now, on with the fanfiction! I own no know characters; All goes to the omnipotent JKR. Beginning loosely based of the Samurai X OVA Remembrance Arc. Thanks mucho to my loyal fans!

Ron tied his last shoelace on his kick-around shoes in the dim light of dusk. He fixed his shirt and shorts to make himself look presentable.

Wearing a summer dress and a bouquet of Forget-Me-Nots and lilies in her hands, Hermione called from the door of the Burrow, "Ron, are you ready yet? We have to leave now or it will be too late to walk back home."

"Yes, I'm coming," he answered back. As he approached the door, Ron asked, "You're sure you don't need a jacket? You might get cold."

"I'm sure," Hermione said sternly. "Let's just go now."

School was officially canceled for their 7th year, but Ron and Hermione planned to visit Hogwarts on that 13th day of August.
Hermione turned to go, tugging Ron by the shirt, and met Harry face to face in her turn. Out in front of him he held a jacket. She didn't need it, but Hermione knew it meant something to him.

"I really don't want the two of you going out alone. Not without me," commented Harry.

"But you have to stay here, mate," Ron noted. "It's us that don't want you getting hurt."

"Besides," added Hermione, "Remus will be coming any minute, and he needed to speak with you about something important. Don't worry about Ron and me. I'll make sure Ron doesn't hurt himself."

"You see, nothing to worry about," agreed Ron. He absorbed her comment and then took back his statement. "Hey, wait a minute—"

Hermione continued to drag Ron by his shirt, and all the while passing Harry out the door, never losing eye contact with him until she and Ron apparated.

Outside of the Hogwarts' grounds, Ron and Hermione appear again. It would be along walk until they reached their destination, but it gave them a chance to talk, just the two of them.

Hermione's attention went to the nature around her and to the trees with full green leaves on them. It would be a shame, she thought to herself, for she wouldn't be able to see the leave change into their beautiful colors and watch the fall. How she would miss this place that she thought of as a second home. The school could not, however, sustain itself without the man whose body lay beneath a white coffin. Hermione clutched her bouquet tighter.

Before a tear could be shed, Ron put his hand to her shoulder. His stare was intense and questioning of her emotions. Hermione knew he wanted to know what was wrong. With a weak smile, Hermione erased all of Ron's questioning. However dark the times might be, Hermione always found room for a smile. It was what the world was lacking.

Their destination was within their sight, but Hermione wanted to ask a question before they reached that haunted place.

"Ron," called Hermione, stopping her pace and Ron's as well, "when and if this war ends…where will all of us go?"

Ron stood still, not even turning to face her. He could only guess the look on her face. It was question the provoked his thoughts but didn't want to think about not being there. "Most likely not very far. I still need to stay here, to support my family. No matter how I feel I can never seem to be far from home and not miss it."

"I want to move as far away from here as possible," Hermione almost mumbled. "This place…it will hold too many memories."

Ron summed up his courage and looked her straight in the face. He looked at her eyes, brown like the maple trees surrounding them. They provoked him even more to say what he wanted to even more. "I don't want you to leave."

"Don't ever think I'm going to leave," Hermione reprimanded him, putting her hand to where his heart was. "As long you have this heart of yours, I will never be lost to you."

"C'mon, Hermione," Ron motioned with his head for her to keep moving. "It'll get too dark soon."

Continuing to walk forward, Hermione put on the jacket Harry gave her before she and Ron left. Looking to her, Ron couldn't help butnotice the smile onHermione's face as she embraced her enwrapped body. How he wished he was brave like Harry, somehow like Harry, to be able to make her smile like that and not have his feelings jealousy.

6 feet from the white tombstone, Ron and Hermione halted at sound of a voice behind them. "You shouldn't be out this late."

The harshness and threatening sound of the voice cause both Ron and Hermione to stir. Hermione tightened the grip on her jacket as the air became colder, hands still holding the bouquet of Forget-Me-Nots and lilies.
"Who are you?" questioned Ron as he turned to the unfamiliar voice.