Another contest entry, this one is a songfic based on the song "Patience" by Take That. It is rather angsty, as shown by Sprinkle's tears and jaye's shouts of joy, so be warned.

If you love it/hate it/want to marry me, please leave your comments by clicking the lovely little review button at the bottom.

Disclaimer: I don't own the song lyrics or the characters, so there.

Just hold me close inside your arms tonight
Don't be too hard on my emotions.
Hermione let her head rest on Ron's shoulder and felt his arms surround her. Her mind was screaming for her to pull back before she hurt him again, but her heart was yearning for the security of his embrace.

"I love you, Hermione," he whispered, gently kissing the top of her head.

Hermione tensed at his words.

"Ron, please don't," she begged him.

"It's the truth," Ron answered calmly. "I know you don't feel the same way, that you still loveā€¦him, but I just want you to know that I'll always be here for you. Even if you never return my love."

Hermione's eyes filled with tears.

"I'm sorry Ron, I do love you. But I just can't forget the way I felt about Severus," she could feel the way Ron's body tensed at the name. "I need time to move on, to heal."

Cause I
Need time
My heart is numb, has no feeling
So while I'm still healing
Just try and have a little patience.

Hermione remembered the way it felt to have the older man hold her close, his musky scent and strong arms enveloping her. She could almost feel his fingers brush across her lips and the weight of his gaze upon her face. As a student, Hermione knew that Ron loved her, but she was always drawn to the dark intellect of her Potions master.

Harry and Ron could not understand how she could love Severus Snape, but love him she did. Two tumultuous years passed as they all worked for the Order. Severus and Hermione tried to keep their love and passion hidden from the others, but their relationship was hardly a secret.

The other adults gave their approval through their disinterest and Hermione understood and respected Harry's disgust and confusion, though she appreciated the blind eye he turned to the two lovers. It was Ron's reaction that broke her heart. He was confused and hurt and angry, but when she made it clear a relationship with Severus was what she wanted, he raised no objections. Instead he kissed her gently and promised to love her from a distance, to always be there if she changed her mind.

The war stretched on, Severus was caught between the two sides, trying to maintain appearances with the Dark Lord. It was really only a matter of time before his mask slipped and the Death Eaters discovered where Severus's true loyalties lay.

When that day came, Hermione actually felt her heart shatter. Severus was killed defending what he believed in, what they had both been striving towards, but that knowledge did little to ease her pain.

I really wanna start over again
I know you wanna be my salvation
The one that I can always depend.

It had been almost a month since Severus's death. Hermione was trying to put the pieces of her life back together. It was imperative that she get her life back in order; the war was not yet over and unless she did something soon, Hermione was certain she would lose her mind.

The first thing Hermione did after her time of mourning was to seek out her friends. Harry was far too immersed in the war to do more than give her a sympathetic glance, but Ron was there. She wanted to apologize for turning her back on him but it was Ron who gave the apologies. Apologies for the love she had lost, for her broken heart.

Knowing he still loved her, even after seeing her with someone he so despised, Hermione wept. She had not gone to him looking for love, but that was what she found.

I'll try to be strong
Believe me I'm trying to move on
It's complicated but understand me.

"I still love him," Hermione whispered softly, soothed by Ron's steady breathing and the gentle hand he rested on her back. "I think I always will. But I want to move on, I really do."

"I'll be here for you, 'Mione. I hope you know that."

"I do know that," Hermione assured him. "Thank you for loving me Ron, even after all I've put you through."

Cause the scars run so deep
It's been hard but I have to believe
Just have a little patience

Hermione's eyes filled with tears every time someone mentioned the name, Severus Snape. She still expected him to walk through the door, tired and haunted from another night of masquerading as the Dark Lord's servant. She began sleeping on the couch, because the bed seemed huge and empty without his presence beside her.

Ron was always there to wipe away her tears and to hold her close when she would let him. He seemed to hurt with her, for her, and Hermione wondered what she had ever done to deserve the love of two men in her short lifetime.

Hermione looked to those who had already lost their lovers to the war, people she loved and respected, Minerva McGonagall and Remus Lupin. She wanted them to assure her that her heart would mend, that the pain she felt would eventually lessen and that she would not always be haunted by her shattered dreams. But neither of them could promise her that peace.

You will never forget, they told her sadly, but you must move on.

She tried, one day at a time, and when it was all too much to handle on her own, she turned to Ron.

Have a little patience
My heart is numb, has no feeling
So while I'm still healing
Just try and have a little patience

"Ron, please be patient with me," Hermione pleaded. "I want to love again, I want to feel again."

Ron smiled wryly. "I've been waiting for you for years, Hermione," he told her softly, "I have patience enough to wait a lifetime."