This is the rather short introduction to a piece that should be 3-4 chapters in length. Inspired by the work of Saint Rowling, patron saint of great fanfiction, and the novel, The Time Traveler's Wife, neither of which I own.

Don't Wait

It had been two months, one week and three days since Ron had last kissed her. If she thought about it, she could probably come up with the hours, minutes and seconds as well. It wouldn't be too hard, since she thought of little else in the precious little "free time" she allotted herself of late.

It was her own stupid fault that they hadn't done more. She wanted to wait. Or at least that's what she told Ron. She didn't think they should be distracted from their mission, from Harry. She hoped he understood how much she wanted him. But after two months, one week and three days of thinking about the one sweet, comforting kiss and the one intense, all-consuming, passionate snog that haunted her dreams, perhaps her sensible plan to wait a bit longer, after five long years of waiting for Ron, had been a bad idea. Now, all she could think of was him. That kiss on the train would have turned into something much more serious very quickly if Ginny hadn't have interrupted them when she did. Prim, proper Hermione Granger would have been complete happy to have Ronald Weasley ravish her on the floor of the Hogwarts Express. Or on the bench, or against the window…

Shaking her head to clear it of the vivid images of the two of them entwined, Hermione turned to the task at hand, trying to sort through the contents of the shelves in the back of Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes in Diagon Alley to see if there were any useful additions to add to the Trio's arsenal. The Hufflecup cup was in the private collection of a very reclusive wizard in Brighton, thanks to the efforts of Mundungus Fletcher, and they had to retrieve it, somehow. Still, her eyes kept drifting across the same room to the broad expanse of shoulders and the longish copper hair that she ached to run her fingers through.

The shop was closed, just for them, and Fred and George had given them carte blanche to take whatever they needed. The three of them had flooed that afternoon, and Ron and she had disappeared in the backroom, leaving Harry alone in the shuttered front room with Ginny, who had snuck out of the Burrow to see him once Hermione had managed to get word to her of their plans. There were no sounds of arguing, as there had been a few minutes ago. The twins had sworn, under pain of the bat bogey hex, to keep to their flat over the store. Maybe Harry and Ginny were happily snogging. That would be wonderful, although Ron would probably not like to be witness to it.

Hermione wondered why she was so determined to get Harry and Ginny back together romantically, when she denied herself and Ron the same thing. Perhaps she was scared. Scared to feel too much, in case she lost in completely. Scared to want him so passionately.

There was a tremendous crash from the front room, and Ron looked up, his faster reflexes allowing him to sprint out of the door and into the front room before Hermione could move a step. By the time she dashed out, the curses were flying, two Death Eaters were already down, and Harry, Ginny and Ron were throwing hexes faster than a snitch could fly.

She crouched behind the counter and did her best. They held out for ten harrowing minutes, the twins running down from their flat and activating a dizzying array of booby-traps, until the shouts of aurors could be heard. The battered group of henchmen who attacked must have realized that they were soon to be outnumbered. Most of them fled, apparating away to face the wrath of Voldemort, but one determined masked spectre pointed his wand directly at her, screaming "Vienata" with what looked like deadly intent.

At the same instant, she brought up her wand with a shield charm strong enough to knock over a shelf of Patented Daydream charms. And Ron, sweet, noble Ron, threw himself in front of her, trying to block anything from hitting her.

The shield charm, the boxes of Daydream charms, and the strange Death Eater's spell converged on Ronald Bilius Weasley. And, as though he had been the victim of a shrinking charm he grew smaller and smaller, until he disappeared without a sound. She screamed, and Harry managed to hit the Death Eater who hit Ron with a stunning spell that would have brought down a troll.

The Death Eaters had all disapparated or lay unconscious. Aurors appeared, after the real battle was done of course, and started asking too many questions. The shop was in shambles, but hadn't been completely destroyed. No one was terribly injured. But Ron was gone, leaving only a pile of his clothes and his wand on the cold stone floor. Hermione sunk to her knees, and wept.

"He can't be gone….he can't be. I haven't told him yet."