Disclaimer: I own nothing... especially not Harry Potter
Blinded by the Light
Harry burst through the door of St. Mungo's, his robes covered with blood. He turned frantically around, as if looking for something. Suddenly, he turned and was overwhelmed by a bushy-haired Hermione Granger. She jumped and wrapped her arms around his neck, sobbing hysterically. Hermione, too, was covered in the debris of battle. Harry held her tight, as only a best friend could, for he knew that he should expect the worst news. Hermione let Harry go, and stood before him, trying to regain her composure. She wiped a tear from her eye.
"I'm sorry I couldn't stay," she said gingerly, sniffing, "but I had to see…"
Harry put a hand on her shoulder and nodded gravely.
"It's alright," he said quietly, soothingly, "It's over now anyway. It's done."
Hermione looked up at him, a questioning look on her face.
"It's over? You mean he's really gone?" she inquired, almost surprised.
Harry nodded and a look of relief came over Hermione's face. She hugged him again.
"Harry! That's amazing!" she said, hugging him tighter, "Fantastic!"
She pulled herself away and looked up at the eighteen-year-old Harry Potter; the boy who lived, the chosen one – none of the titles seemed to matter much to him at this point.
"Where is he? Did you see him yet?" Harry said, with a hint of urgency in his voice.
"No. I think he's this way; I think he just got out of emergency care, and he's in a room now. I don't know which one, though. Let's ask a Healer, shall we?"
Harry nodded vigorously and they set off down the hall. The two of them walked over to the check- in office, where they saw a stressed looking Healer, who was flipping through the mountains of papers on her desk. She looked up, and jumped at the sight of Harry.
"Blimey!" she said excitedly, holding out her hand, "It's Harry Potter! Destroyer of Lord Voldemort!"
Harry smiled politely and shook her hand. The Healer regained her composure and tried to look professional.
"How can I help you?" she said.
"Well, we have a friend, name of –" Hermione started, but was cut off.
"Deary, don't bother giving me a name," the Healer said, "there are so many emergencies today, what with the battle having ended merely an hour ago, we don't have any names written. However, if you can describe your friend, I would gladly be able to direct you."
"Right," Hermione said, "Well, he's got red hair, freckles, and I think that he just got out of the emergency ward."
The Healer seemed to pale.
"Ah, yes. I know who you're talking about," the Healer said, looking sort of grave, "He's in room 204. May I take his name down?"
"Weasley – Ronald Weasley." Harry said.
He said a hurried 'thank you' and grabbed Hermione's hand. They started off at a quick pace to room 204; Harry didn't even notice that people were staring at him as he walked – he was in a hurry.
Harry opened the door and entered the room with Hermione in hot pursuit, and was greeted by a group of Healers, all whom seemed to jump at the arrival of Harry.
"Harry Potter and Hermione Granger!" one Healer said, and took off his mask, "I wondered when you'd arrive."
The Healer was none other than Dean Thomas. Hermione hugged him and Harry shook his hand.
"How is he?" Hermione asked, looking up at the curtain that blocked Ron from view.
Dean shifted uncomfortably.
"Well," he said, fingering is mask and looking down at the floor, "We're not exactly sure yet. We've done the best we can."
The other Healers cleared the room, so that Harry, Hermione, and Dean were alone. Dean pulled back the curtain and Hermione let out a strangled cry. Harry felt his stomach lurch. Ron was lying unconscious on the bed; a bandage was wrapped around his head, covering his eyes. He, like his friends, looked battle-worn. His robes were bloody and dirty, and his face was scratched in several places.
"Ron!" Hermione whimpered and ran to his side.
She stroked his fiery hair and put a blanket on his cold body.
Dean cleared his throat.
"He's going to live," Dean said, and Harry felt the ice cube in his stomach melt a little, "but we don't know how he's going to act when he wakes up."
"Why?" Harry croaked, staring at Ron's pale, expressionless face.
"Well, he's been oblivitated," said Dean, "and shot in the eyes with a powerful dark hex. We don't know if he'll remember anything, because we don't know how powerful the charm was."
"And what about his eyes?" Harry asked, now watching as Hermione fussed over Ron's body, trying to make him comfortable.
"Uhm," Dean said, "well, we think he was probably blinded. We don't have an antidote or a counter-jinx to fix him."
Hermione began to sob, and Harry couldn't comfort her. Hermione stood up and grabbed Harry around the waist, and sobbed into his chest. Harry screwed up his face and tried not to cry, but he failed. Nobody noticed Dean leave the room. Soon, both of them were sobbing hysterically, for all of their pains. Ron was injured, many people had died over the course of the last few years, and they were relieved that it was over. Harry didn't care that he was being seen crying – but neither did Hermione. Every emotion was being felt, and they had just managed to calm down when the door burst open again. Several people came into the room, and all of them stopped talking at once. Arthur and Molly Weasley, Fred and George, and Ginny all stood in the room, looking shocked. Arthur and Molly looked shabbier than usual, the twins looked as if they might pass out, for they looked beaten, and Ginny was expressionless. Ginny looked almost perfectly fine, except for the dark circles under her eyes and a severely burned hand.
Molly shrieked and ran to her son's side, planting kisses on his forehead, and then hugged Hermione tightly.
"Is it true?" Molly asked, letting go of Hermione, "Will he remember us?"
Hermione looked down at the floor, and Harry said, "We don't know, Mrs. Weasley. We don't know anything yet."
Arthur went over to his wife and hugged her. Ginny found Harry's side and gave his hand a squeeze. Harry looked down on her, and she looked back up, her eyes sparkling with tears.
Harry glanced back at Hermione, and she nodded. They left the room, wanting to give the Weasleys some time to mourn over their losses.
Ron felt a strange sensation come over him, and he opened his eyes. He could feel a fabric blocking his line of vision; it was dark, wherever he was. But he could feel the warmth of the sun on him, and he struggled to sit up.
"Ron?" a bewildered voice called out to him, "Ron! Oh my – Harry! He's awake!"
Ron heard footsteps, and then felt himself being put into a bone-crushing hug.
"Wuzzgoinon?" Ron mumbled, trying to remove the band from around his head.
"Ron? Can you hear me?" the voice called. It was familiar – extremely familiar.
"Huhmione?" Ron struggled to say, but couldn't seem to find the strength.
"Yes! Ron, it's Hermione! Do you remember anything?" Hermione sounded as if she were in tears.
"Of course I do," Ron grumbled in reply, sitting up and attempting to look around.
"Harry, he remembers!" Hermione said excitedly.
"I can ruddy well see that, Hermione, now let him talk." Harry replied, and Ron could tell that Harry was only trying to be frustrated.
Ron could almost feel the smile radiating off Harry.
"How do you feel, Ron?" another voice that he didn't know said.
Ron suddenly realized how different he felt. His senses seemed to be energized, though he still could not see.
"Fine," Ron replied, "I feel fine."
"Good. Now Ron, I need you to listen to me," the Healer said (at least, Ron imagined it was a Healer), "I'm going to take this band off of you, but I don't want to be surprised at what you see… or rather, what you don't see."
Ron didn't say anything; he just leaned his back against the bed board and allowed the Healer to take the band off from around his head.
Ron prepared to be blinded by the light of day, but it never came. Instead, all he could see was darkness.
He began to panic.
"What's going on?" Ron said nervously, "Why can't I see anything? How long have I been here?"
Ron heard Hermione whimper, and then felt a hand – Hermione's hand, as he knew – take his, and he jumped. His sense of touch seemed to be shockingly enhanced. He then realized that all of his senses, other than sight, seemed to have been enhanced. Ron could smell the smell of coffee, and hear things that were going on outside.
"Ron, you can't see anything because you've been jinxed by a death eater. Do you remember? In battle? You've been here a week."
"Death eater? Battle?" Ron said.
Harry sighed next to him.
"What is the last thing you remember?"
Ron thought carefully, and then it came to him.
"I remember the last horcrux." Ron said, "And then nothing else."
Hermione, who seemed to have been holding her breath, let it out with a gasp. Ron felt her warm breath come over him, and he wasn't afraid anymore – well, as afraid.
Harry watched Ron apprehensively, noting the confused and scared look on his face.
"You seem to have gotten off lucky," the Healer said, "you have been obliviated back a month. Since you remember, the dark lord has fallen."
Ron sat up straighter in his bed, blue eyes open, but unseeing.
"He's gone? And Harry's okay?" Ron said, seeming to accept that he had been obliviated.
"Yes, Ron, I'm right here," Harry said, resting a hand on his friend's shoulder.
"So, am I… you know, blind?" Ron said, nervous.
"It seems so, yes," the Healer said, "but I can do something to help you."
The Healer stood up and took out his wand. He muttered an incantation and Ron jumped a little. Ron blinked a few times and looked around.
"Wow." Ron said in awe.
"You can now see dim shadows of things – nothing compared to sight, I mind you – but helpful nonetheless," the Healer said, "you will also notice that all your other senses seem to be stronger. This is because you can no longer see. Your senses have always been like this, but since one of them has failed you, the others will work harder."
Ron didn't say anything, and Harry knew that Ron was wondering how he'd learn to live this new life.
It was late, and she knew that she was not supposed to be there, but Hermione couldn't help herself. She had to see him, be alone with him – even if he could not see her back. It had been a week since Ron had woken up. Hermione tip-toed down the hallway, past the doors of the hospital, until she reached Ron's room. She opened the door, and discovered that Ron was not sleeping. He sat up in bed and groped for his wand.
"Who's there?" he hissed, and furrowed his brow, "Is that you, Hermione?"
Hermione closed the door soundlessly behind her and sat down on the edge of the bed. Ron was wearing a pair of dark sunglasses, which Hermione would have thought humorous if it weren't for the situation.
"Yes, it's just me, Ron," she replied softly.
"Good," Ron replied, relaxing a little and putting his wand down on the bedside table with a sigh, "I could use some company."
Seeing Ron in such a state was strange for Hermione, and she took his hand in hers.
"Why did you come?" Ron inquired, not moving otherwise.
He looked so helpless.
"I wanted to see you," Hermione replied, "and talk to you…"
"I don't know." She said.
Ron shifted his position.
"Did you see?" He asked, "Did you see it happen?"
Hermione sighed and squeezed his hand a little.
"Yes, I did see it happen. It was Lestrange. You two were dueling, and you were dueling fabulously, mind you."
"And then she hexed you – hit you straight in the eyes, and you stumbled. You were completely vulnerable. She modified your memory and you just kind of – well, you know what it looks like when someone obliviates another."
"Why would she do that?" Ron asked, "Modify my memory, and then do nothing about it?"
"Well," Hermione said, "she was about to kill you, I think, but Neville got her from behind."
"Neville did? Good for him. He deserved revenge on her anyway."
"Yes. Then I got you here, and I didn't see you until Harry arrived, fresh from killing Voldemort."
Ron heard her sniffle, and he reached out for her other hand. He pulled her close in a hug, and only wished he could see her for real – not just this stupid blur of darkness.
"Oh Ron, we were so scared that you wouldn't remember us! I don't know what I would have done with myself! I'd give anything to get you back to normal, even now."
"Even your personal library?" Ron asked with a chuckle.
"Yes, even that. Nothing I've read seems to be able to help you now." She replied, holding him tighter.
"I'll be fine." Ron replied, "It'll just take some getting used to; I don't know how I can live in my house anymore, though. I get out of here on Tuesday, you see, but I don't know how I can look after myself as well as I used to. You saw how I couldn't find my wand when you walked in; if you had been a Death Eater, then I would be dead now."
Hermione giggled in spite of herself and said, "If I had been a Death Eater, you would have died a long time ago."
Ron rolled his eyes behind his glasses.
"Besides," Hermione continued, "I know where you can stay."
"My house, of course." She replied, as if it were completely obvious.
"But what about Ginny?" Ron said, "She's not going to stand for it. It's her house too, you know."
Hermione dismissed him with a wave of her hand that, for a moment, she forgot he could not see.
"She moved out two days after the war ended," Hermione said plainly, "and I must admit I have been very lonely since then. Since I work at home, I have nobody to talk to – or help, for that matter."
"You know I would love to live with you, but I don't want to be a nuisance. I mean, I won't be able to work for a while, obviously, and for that time, I'll just be sucking in galleons from you, and I don't want to do that."
Hermione laughed and kissed Ron, who almost fell off of the bed – he was not yet used to having such enhances senses. Hermione laughed again at the startled expression on Ron's face.
"Okay, fine, I'll live with you." He said, also laughing quietly.
"Good," Hermione replied, reaching into her handbag and pulling out a book.
She got up and threw the book down in front of Ron on the bed; he picked it up and frowned.
"Hermione, I'm almost offended! You know I can't read now!" he said, holding the book up with one hand.
She smiled, reached out, and opened the book with one hand, while the other one took Ron's hand and placed it on a page.
"It's Braille," she said, "I'm going to teach you how to read. Think of it as your rent pay."
Ron chuckled as his hand swept over the page.
"Good old Hermione," he mused, "You're just the same as ever – blindness is no excuse for not reading."
"So, I take it you definitely want me to live with you? I mean I –" Ron started, but Hermione kissed him on the mouth again and he was silenced.
"I wouldn't have it any other way." She said lightly, opening the door, "See you Tuesday."