Epilogue: And the Mountains Should Crumble to the Sea

Hermione awoke to the sound of someone crying out. She was disoriented at first. Where was she? The pain in her side was piercing and her left arm was bound across her body. There was a moment of panic before she recognized that she was in St. Mungo's. She looked down to see that her left arm was in a sling designed to keep her from moving her shoulder. She had no idea how she'd gotten there.

The voice cried out again and she knew it was Ron. With great difficulty she propped herself up on her right arm to see where he was. Three beds over, he was thrashing about, clearly in the throws of a nightmare. Hermione pushed back her covers and set her feet on the cold floor. She stood slowly, but stars exploded behind her eyes as the pain in her side shot up and down her whole body. She steadied herself against the bed for a moment before starting a slow journey toward Ron. She had to brace herself on the beds she passed, too exhausted and too focused on getting to Ron, to even look to see who occupied them. Her mind felt foggy as if she'd been drugged. Probably sleeping potion, she thought. She knew there had been a battle but the specifics seemed beyond her reach for the moment.

It took forever to make it across the room. Finally, she stood by Ron's bed, her breathing ragged from the effort. He moaned pitifully in his sleep.

"I'm here, Ron," she said, pulling his covers back and climbing in next to him. She was careful to avoid his heavily bandaged left side. "I'm right here." She kissed his bare shoulder and he seemed to calm some. "I'm right here," she repeated as she fell asleep.


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