Stay in My Arms Forever

Written By: Freckles Weasley

"Stay awake. Stay awake," Ron told himself in his head. "You must not fall asleep." Gravity pulled viciously at his eyelids and his body felt numb and heavy beneath him. He had paced the doorway, trying to keep himself awake. Now, he didn't even have enough energy to walk.

He heard the soft snores of Hermione and Harry's restless breathing coming from opposite corners of the room. Ron knew that although his best mate was asleep, he wasn't really getting rest; all of his energy was being eaten away by his ongoing nightmares.

Ron turned his head, looking at Harry. A pained look lay permanently on his tired face. He flinched, mumbling something that sounded a lot like, "No. Not them. Take me instead." Ron couldn't bear to watch. He looked at Hermione instead.

Her curly hair fell loosely in front of her face. Her eyebrows were slouched downward and her mouth looked lifeless and sad. Her face had smudges of dirt all over it. Even in this disgruntled state, she still looked absolutely beautiful to Ron. He gazed at her face for a while and looked back at the door for a moment.

Then, he walked over to her and sat down. She moved, trying to make herself more comfortable on the hard floor. Ron put his hand on hers and stroked it gently with his forefinger, tracing the veins that had been brought out during their neverending struggle. She immediately relaxed. A small smile crossed her lips. It was so small that normally one wouldn't have been able to see it; but Ron had lately seen nothing in the sort of a smile, so this was a miraculous moment.

He continued to stroke her hadn before beginning to run his fingers through some small strands of her hair. She breathed out a deep breath. Ron felt the warmth on his hadn.

"Hermione," he said to her quietly so as not to wake her. He needed to say these things whether she was awake or not, and he preferred her to be asleep. "I promise not to let anything happen to you. I don't know if I lost you...or Harry. I love you too much Hermione." Again, a smile spread across her lips, only the smile was more noticable this time. At first, Ron tensed, afraid she was awake, but she was fast asleep.

He held her hand and continued to stroke it with his thumb. Without thinking, Ron lay down beside her, more tired than imaginable. He felt her warm breath on his face.

She moved her arms unconsciously, scootin herself around for comfort. She was now closer to Ron and he could hardly concentrate on his own breathing. Her body was inches from his.

Then, a terrifying thought that had hit him many times before came to him once again. How was he going to live if she died? He felt a silky softness run down his cheek, and then closed off the space between their bodies, wrapping his arms around her protectively. She scooted in unconsciously, folding her arms up to her chest, so that she was closer to him.

Ron felt the tears running off his face into her hair, adding more moisture to her already dampened curls. He was sure he would die if he lost her, one way or another.

Hermione mumbled something into Ron's shirt that he couldn't understand. Ron just stayed where he was. He realized that he should be keeping guard. Harry and Hermione said that he didn't need to, but he insisted. Now, he was entrnced by the very presence of Hermione and decided to stay where he was, protecting her.

Eventually, Ron fell asleep, Hermione in his arms. At one point, Hermione woke up to find herself in Ron's arms and moved as close as she could to him and kissed his cheek before going back to sleep again. For the first time in a while, Hermione felt happy.