Ron let go of Abigail's hand and tapped his chest twice with his thumbs.
"Ready?" Harry asked her.
Abigail nodded and took a deep breath as she stood in the doorway. Ron held his open hand near to his face and then closed it into a fist.
"Remember..." Harry translated before waiting for the rest.
Ron crossed his arms over each other and drew them apart sharply before pointing upward with his little finger. He nodded into the room and smiled.
"...there's nothing bad in there."
Ron put his fingertips together and then flung them outwards and to the sides. He then made small downward movements on his chest with his middle finger before touching his chin with his thumb and moving it away to the right and waving at his surroundings.
"We're going to leave you to live in this lovely place now okay?" Harry asked anxiously.
Abigail bit her lip and leaned inside her new room at the new clinic. She'd been living in the emergency quarantine zone for a month now, as had all the others, and Ron, Harry, Hermione and Neville had only been allowed to go home with a clean bill of health a fortnight ago. Fortunately this time around there was no segregation, everybody was in the same boat.
"I'll be on my own in here yes?" Abigail asked Ron nervously.
Ron frowned and held up his finger while his other hand crossed over from front to back.
"You're going to be lonely?" Harry asked her before adding his own question, "I thought you liked being alone, your little hiding place in the other room...?"
"I'm used to company now." Abigail smiled bashfully, looking away from Ron and Harry.
Ron nodded and pointed past his head behind himself. He pointed from outward in towards himself before gesturing to the crowd gathered in the new day room waiting to be shown their new rooms. He finished up by waving his hand from left to right over his flat palm.
"I understand, would you like to invite one of the others to share with you?" Harry smiled as he watched Abigail's face relax a bit and turn upward to smile at Ron.
She nodded and blushed. Ron put his hand under his fist and lifted it from Abigail towards the crowd of people in the day room.
"You could help them." Harry said with a nod of agreement.
Ron made a snatching motion and pulled his hand towards his forehead before making a bold gesture with his arm as if he was brandishing a sword.
"You could help them recover," Harry said as he beamed from Ron to Abigail.
"Yes," Abigail nodded eagerly, "I'd feel better if I had somebody to take care of."
Ron smiled and gave her a thumbs up before grinning at Harry. It was hard to believe that this gentle sensitive man was the same person who had single-handedly destroyed half the infected people in the old clinic that day. Harry had to put it down to Ron's clinical mind; that part of his brain that was so great at chess and that ordered him to put himself on the line for Harry, without any of the crippling fear he'd experience on seeing a harmless little spider crawling along the wall, and made him exceptionally brave but incredibly human at the same time.
Ron's eyebrows shot up into his hair and he bounded into Abigail's room to show her something. He put his finger to his lips as if he was shushing her and then kicked at the floorboard beside the bed. Abigail followed him inside and leaned forward curiously as Ron shouldered against the portrait above the spot he'd kicked and the whole wall swung open like a door. Abigail gasped and he looked extremely pleased with himself.
Ron rubbed the top of his fist with his palm and crossed his arms over each other. Harry marvelled at what Ron could do behind his back and stepped forward to get a closer look.
"You made her a hideaway?" Harry chuckled, impressed at how much better it was compared to the filthy space between the two walls Abigail used to have.
There was a skylight so the small space wasn't dark and she had a little seat that folded back into the wall and a shelf for anything she might want to have with her in her sanctuary. It wasn't fancy, Harry had more home comforts in his cupboard under the stairs, but it was better than having one of their patients clawing into the wall cavity for privacy.
"It's fantastic!" Abigail said as she threw her arms around Ron and hugged him tight.
Ron's ears blazed bright red and he gave her an awkward pat on the back before Marmalade came bounding in and launched himself between them with a frantically wagging tail.
"Yeah, you'd better watch it," Harry laughed while Abigail patted the happy orange dog, "he won't let anyone get their mitts on Ron apart from Hermione these days."
It appeared that something had sunk in during Ron and Hermione time on either side of the clear barrier. Marmalade and sensed just how much Ron wanted and needed Hermione's physical presence with him and now the animal was very protective of the two of them when they were...well let's say intimate.
Only that morning Harry had been making his way to the bathroom to give Ron a shout that it was time to set off for work when Marmalade appeared from nowhere and dragged Harry away from the bathroom door by the leg of his trousers. As Harry fell arse over tit on the hallway floor and Marmalade promptly sat on his chest and set about licking his face with his dog food scented tongue he realised that there were sounds coming from inside the smallest room of the house.
Ron was in there, Harry had seen him go in himself, and yet there were sounds...finally Harry had realised that Ron and Hermione were showering together and Marmalade was on guard duty. Harry shoved the dog off his chest and reached for his lead, hanging on a special peg by the front door, and fastened it to Marmalade's collar.
"Come on," Harry had said quietly, "I reckon we've got time to take you around the park for a quick walk before we go to work eh?"
Marmalade wagged his tail and they left the showering couple in peace.
Abigail went into the day room to find somebody who looked as if they could use some company to invite them to come and share her room while Ron made a note on his pad for somebody to bring an extra bed in for Abigail's roommate and shook his head at the long list of things he had already written on the to-do list.
"You're gonna be busy for a good long while aren't you Ron?" Harry smirked.
Ron raised his eyebrows and prodded himself in the chest before shaking his head smugly and then bringing tow fingers together sharply and nodding at Harry.
"Okay," Harry conceded as he took Ron's to-do list with a sigh, "we're both going to be busy!"
A/N So there goes another Mute!Ron and Harry story.
I will only post one more multi chap fic before Deathly Hallows comes out and that's going to be the recovery fic to Within These Walls. It will be called Without Walls and don't worry, it won't be nearly as long as WTW was! I'm working on it now, have the first chap written already, and will start posting when I'v got a decent number of chapters written so I don't keep you lot waiting long for updates.
Thanks to everybody who takes the time to review and I'm sorry if I've never responded to you, I try to with everybody at least once but y'know how it is?
'Till next time!
Shari (Solstice Muse)