"Hope" is the thing with feathers – That perches in the soul – And sings the tune without words – And never stops – at all – Emily Dickinson

(A Prose Sonnet)

1. She hates watching the two of them together. She feels punished, betrayed, and hurt by the only person who has the ability to hurt her more than anything or anyone else. He has made his point crystal clear. Isn't that enough?

2. Enough is enough, he thinks, trying desperately to pull away from her. But her lips seem attached as if by magic. She presses herself to him, he pushes away. He doesn't want this type of magic. He wants Hermione's magic...he wants love.

3. "Love is all you need," they say. She scoffs at this. If love was all she needed, she wouldn't cry herself to sleep every night. If love was all she needed, she wouldn't feel this overwhelming sense that maybe this time, they weren't going to be all right in the end.

4. In the end, he knows that he is being a coward. He knows that he should have talked to her, tried to work things out. But he couldn't, not without worrying that she would say no, knowing how that would make him die inside.

5. Inside the hospital wing, she stares down at his still and pale face. So much unlike him. If she didn't know that he was lying there before her, she would think it a mirage, placed there solely to torture her. "Er-my-nee," he croaks, and just like that, he's forgiven.

6. Forgiveness is offered easier than it should be. He opens his eyes and she is there. No explanations are needed, no fighting is necessary. She is simply there. "Hello, Ron." His heart starts beating again, because she is here. And he suddenly understands.

7. He suddenly understands what she has been through. And he will fix it; she doesn't have to ask – the answer is in his eyes. How she'd missed his eyes. They are a brilliant azure, sparkling with relief and joy. It dawns on her that they only sparkle that way when he is looking at her.

8. When he is looking at her, everything is clear, everything is good. It has taken him six years to see clearly but now that he does he refuses to give it up. But words have always been hard for him. So he looks at her, takes her hand, grasps it tightly. She is trembling. And then she smiles.

9. She has missed smiling. She has always depended on him to make her smile, to make her laugh, to make her forget. When she leans over and presses a kiss to his cheek, he leans into her touch. Her spine tingles, her breath is suddenly absent. She realizes this is important.

10. She is important to him. More than chocolate, more than Quidditch...more than his own life. There are Death Eaters at Hogwarts; they could easily die tonight. Which is why he's pulling her towards him, hoping that he isn't squeezing the breath out of her. For her, he will not lose.

11. To lose any loved one is tragic. To lose Albus Dumbledore is devastating. She feels as if all the happiness in the world has vanished. Then suddenly she feels his arms around her, his head bent down to her hair, his tears mixing with her own. He whispers softly.

12. He whispers softly because he is terrified. He is terrified that, once again, he will say something wrong and she – the only happiness he has left – will walk away. But he must say this; tell it to her now because he doesn't know when or if he will have another chance. "I need you, Hermione."

13. Hermione has always loved to dance. And for just this moment at Bill and Fleur's wedding she is going to just dance. With Ron. She knows how hard it is for him to ask her, which is why she doesn't care that he's stepping on her toes. Being held by him is worth it.

14. She is worth it, he thinks late at night, mere hours before they will leave for parts unknown with Harry. Hermione is worth everything to him, every moment of embarrassment, frustration, and anger that he has endured over the years. It is worth it...every argument – especially the arguments.

15. Arguments have defined their relationship. From the dirt on his noise and a yellow rat, to who should lead during the dance at the wedding earlier that day. And now she stands outside his bedroom door, arguing with herself yet again. Does she have the courage?

16. Courage should come naturally to him; he is a Gryffindor after all. Yet when it comes to her, he has none. He will fight for her, will die for her. But he cannot tell her that he loves her. He wants to tell her, wants her next to him.

17. She is next to him, lifting the covers and sliding into the warm bed. Her heart is pounding and she's sure he can hear it. She takes a deep breath. "I'm in love with you." The words, six years in the making, slip from her mouth. He remains silent, and in fear she clenches her hands.

18. His hands are on hers before he realizes it. He grips them tightly, prying them apart so their fingers are entwined. She is shaking so he grabs her closer; soon they are pressed together and he can feel the magic, the right kind of magic. "I love you, too."

19. Too long, she thinks absently as Ron's arms come around her, their legs tangled together. It has taken them far too long to make it to this point. But here they are and for the first time in a long while she feels at peace. She turns her head to meet his lips. And she feels the magic...and the hope.

20. Hope is all they have left. As he kisses her for the first time, he can only hope that it won't be the last time. Hope, on the train the first day that he met her so many years ago, to hope now, that they can get through this. Hope will carry them through.

Author's Note: A prose sonnet is a poem, written often in prose-like form (meaning no rhyme scheme and no verse). Each "stanza" is numbered and the word or phrase at the end of one stanza must somehow begin the following stanza. It is up to the author to add words or change the tense of a verb but ultimately the idea must be the same. I quite enjoy it because it makes me feel like a poet, something which I am most certainly not. Hope you enjoyed!