Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any associated characters. Likewise with Shayne Ward's 'No Promises'.
A/N: This one-shot is roughly based on the music video of Shayne Ward's 'No Promises'. It was a burst of inspiration that came to me when I heard it on the radio the other day. Although I admit it could be better written, but I was in such a hurry to dash it down, so... :o)
And yes, it's terribly fluffly - I'm a hopeless romantic, but oh well. Hope you like it!
Ron Weasley walked down Diagon Alley on a cloudy evening. Most of the shops were shut, although he could see that a few were just starting to close up. Hurrying, he pulled his cloak tighter around him as he weaved his way between the dinner crowds who swarmed the pavements near three of Diagon Alley's top restaurants.
When he finally made it into the candlelit interior of Bacchus, he nodded to the prim wizard who stood at the entrance, then walked in quickly. His eyes searched out the slightly bushy brown curls of his fiancée, and when he finally found her, he bustled over, apologies stumbling from his lips.
To his consternation, Hermione ignored him completely. She idly played with the stem of a crystal goblet and gazed into the distance. A soft cough brought her attention back from her thoughts, and she turned and smiled warmly at the waiter, who then placed a small crystal bowl filled with some sort of chocolate pudding in front of her.
Ron felt a lump in his throat as she turned away from the waiter, the smile dropping. Frowning slightly, she picked up a silver spoon and daintily proceeded to eat the pudding. She still hadn't so much as glanced at Ron.
"Hermione, please, tell me what's wrong," he pleaded, but still she ignored him.
Finally, the pudding was finished and she signalled to the waiter to bring the bill. After scrutinizing the row of numbers, she pressed the tip of her wand to the end of the slim piece of parchment and the waiter bowed, then glided away.
Hermione stood, and Ron hastened to follow her as she left the restaurant after collecting her cloak at the door. She strode confidently along Diagon Alley, making her way to the entrance back to the Muggle world, where Hermione and Ron both owned a small flat.
She stopped at the wall that marked the entrance and brought out her wand again, this time to tap the sequence that was almost instinct now. Brick by brick, the wall moved, eventually forming a large arch. Ron knew that they would be meeting their friends at the pub, but, glancing down at the wristwatch Hermione had given him last Christmas, he knew that they were far too early.
The couple moved through the still empty pub. Even Tom, the bartender wasn't to be seen. In no time at all, they were at the exit, a plain wooden door. Still not showing any sign of acknowledging him, Hermione opened the door and stepped outside. Ron moved to follow, but was stopped by a sudden tingle that moved from his toes and ended on the back of his head.
He paused, staring blankly at Hermione's back. Shaking himself, he took another step, but stopped as he felt the tingle again , but this time far stronger. He gasped, it was as if there was ekletitrity…no, electrinity – electricity was crackling through him!
Suddenly it all came back to him – the battle at Hogsmeade; friends and enemies alike fell that day.
And he remembered seeing that sickly green jet of light streaking across to Hermione; he couldn't let it hit her.
So he jumped. He jumped, with his arms stretched out, and it flashed across his mind briefly that the manoeuvre was not unlike one he used when he guarded the golden hoops in a game of Quidditch.
He remembered Hermione's scream as the green light raced towards his right arm.
And after that, he remembered no more.
He just knew that he had to make it to their anniversary dinner; they always had it at Bacchus.
Now Ron looked sadly at Hermione's back as she stood outside the Leaky Cauldron, under a faintly glowing streetlight, apparently waiting for something. It had started drizzling a few minutes ago, but he couldn't do anything for her; Merlin, he couldn't even feel the rain!
He couldn't help it. Not when she looked so beautiful and sad at the same time.
He reached out and touched her.
There was a sudden jolt, and then he realised that she had turned around and was looking at him, her eyes and mouth both slightly widened.
"Ron?" she said, her voice shaky and her body trembling.
"Hermione," he replied, his voice thick with emotion.
Then he had gathered her into his arms and the raindrops fell on the pair who were entwined around each other.
"Hermione,' he repeated.
She responded by snuggling her head deeper into his chest.
He raised his hand and cupped her cheek gently, slowly tracing a finger down to her chin. Smiling, she raised her head and looked right into his eyes.
He felt as if she were looking into his soul.
Then, in unison, they moved into a kiss, soft at first, then gradually more passionate.
The rain eased off and as if by magic, the clouds too, cleared away.
And perhaps, also by magic, they heard a familiar tune twining its way to their ears. So Ron did what came naturally to him, and he spun Hermione in a waltz, the hem of Hermione's robe flicking water from the puddles into the night air. His own simply glided through the rainwater.
The words of the song came rushing back to him, although to be completely truthful, he'd only ever heard them once; to say twice would be stretching it. But it undoubtedly Their Song.
…I don't wanna run away, baby, you're the one I need tonight; no promises…
"Ron, how can you be back?" she whispered to him as he twirled her into a gentle sway.
"Magic," he replied, tears dotting his eyelashes.
"Ron, don't go away, I need you; I love you," she begged him.
"Neither do I...but...Hermione…I'm dead."
"No. No, you're not, I can feel you, I can touch you." There was a hint of desperation in her words.
But it was too late. He could feel himself fading away, slowly, but surely.
"Ron!" she gasped, as her hands slipped right through him.
"I love you, Hermione Granger…" were the last words she heard as Ron's reassuring warmth and smell dissipated.
She stood in the street outside the Leaky Cauldron just staring at the spot where he stood, tears falling freely from her eyes.
Suddenly, the wooden door swung open, and a young man with messy black hair and glasses stepped out.
"Hermione! Are you alright?" he asked, voice full of concern.
She turned to face him.
"Harry, he was here. Ron…Ron was here," she said, her voice trembling.
"Oh Hermione," said Harry, his eyes filling with tears too when he saw the magnitude of her helplessness. "No, he isn't. He's gone now. Even…even magic can't bring back."
"It did," she insisted. "I danced with him, right here, Harry. He held me, and he told me he loved me. He did," she said, before breaking down completely, sobbing into Harry's shoulder.
Harry held her, held his sister, and whispered words of comfort and reassurance, although whether they were for her or himself, he wasn't entirely certain.
"Hermione, remember, Ron wouldn't want you to spend the rest of your life grieving for him…he loved you so much. He…he'd rather you had a life without him than no life at all. Like my mother and her sacrifice for me."
She didn't reply, but Harry knew that the words brought some form of comfort to her.
"Come on, let's go in," he said, and together, they walked back into the bright lights and magical world behind the simple wooden door; back to live lives that were that bit emptier without Ron Weasley, loving brother, friend and husband-to-be.
Now I need to hold you tight, I just wanna die in your arms…here tonight.