Well, last weekend was fun! lol Here's my first post DH writings and it contains spoilers for the book so don't read on if you haven't read the end yet! I'll get back to 'Searching' soon, just have to get any other random plot bunnies out my system first! Enjoy!
Waiting In Line
She had lost sight of him and was panicking slightly. She supposed that was natural to some extent considering what they had been through, in the past months and the last day. It was enough stress and heartache for a lifetime.
She looked around and was surprised to see there weren't as many people in the common room as she initially thought. Ginny was there, keeping a tight hold of Harry, not that he was complaining, he seemed to be keeping just as tight a hold on her in return. Dean and Seamus were talking loudly, and Luna was stood a little way behind them, looking around the Gryffindor common room with an air of curiosity, her wide eyes taking in every detail of the décor and subjects of the paintings on the wall.
Apart from Ginny, there was no other trace of Weasley red hair in the room. Molly, Arthur, Bill, Charlie, Percy and George were all downstairs comforting each other over the loss of their son and brother. Out of all of them, she worried for George the most. They were always together. Fred and George. It was always the both of them. Together. Always.
Tears started to burn her eyes but she blinked them back into submission before they fell.
It was the lack of red hair that was the cause of her small panic. Ron was nowhere to be seen. She glimpsed at Harry and she thought he had realised the absence of his best friend as well. He caught her looking at him and gave her a small smile, trying to cover the look of concern he had worn moments earlier.
She mouthed the words 'I'll find him' at Harry and his smile widened and he nodded at her, obviously glad that it wasn't just him who had found Ron's lack of presence unnerving.
Hermione turned and set off quickly and quietly for the boys dormitory. Now she thought about it, she remembered seeing a foot disappearing up the stairs earlier on, but had been taken in to conversation with Dean before she could think on it any more.
She carried on up the stairs until she found the door that had the gold plaque saying 'Seventh Years'. She slowly turned the handle and pushed the door open listening for any sound at all. She stepped further into the room and automatically looked at Ron's bed. He had half pulled the hangings around his bed so she could still see him. His shoulders were hunched and he was shaking.
She stepped forwards.
'Ron?' she said quietly.
He looked over his shoulder and caught her eye. He turned back away from her and her heart sank. Then he raised his arm and reached behind him, silently asking her for her hand.
She walked towards the bed and manoeuvred herself around the half open hangings and took Ron's hand. He squeezed her hand and pulled her towards him. When she was standing in front of him he pushed himself off the bed so he was towering over her and wrapped his arms around her. She couldn't help but give a small smile when she felt him bury his face in her hair and rest his chin on her shoulder. But when she felt him still shaking under her hands her smile slipped.
Ron sniffed and Hermione knew he was trying his hardest not to cry. Ever since he had come back to them he had tried to be positive about everything, always insisting there was hope and trying to never let either of them see he was concerned or scared. Even when it was all over he was trying to be strong for her.
'It's okay to cry, Ron,' she whispered to him.
She felt him shake his head the smallest amount. Still he insisted on protesting.
She didn't say any more, just stood in front of Ron, supporting him, holding him, until he was ready to let go. For once, they had all the time in the world.
After what had to be at least five minutes, Ron pulled back and sat down on the bed. He looked up at Hermione through damp eyes and patted the bed next to him. She smiled at him and sat next to him. She took her wand, well, it wasn't her wand anymore – even after all this time of her not having her wand, she still felt a pang of sadness about losing it. She mentally rolled her eyes at herself, after everything that had happened, everyone they had lost tonight and all she could think about was a stick of wood. She rolled it in her fingers and then flicked it at the curtains around the bed. The closed fully and she put the wand in her robes.
'People…people will think we're…up to…no good!' Ron said with an apologetic smile.
She turned to face him and returned the gesture. 'I don't really care if they do.'
Without thinking about it she leaned forwards, but stopped herself, not wanting Ron to misinterpret her actions.
Before she could think Ron had pressed his lips against hers and was pulling her too him. She returned his kiss but then gasped involuntarily when Ron kissed her harder. He was crushing her lips with his and it was starting to hurt.
'Ron,' she said, the words muffled.
Either Ron didn't hear her, or he ignored her.
She pulled back and managed to hold him away from her.
'Ron, stop!' she said firmly.
His eyes opened and looked deep into hers. His eyes dropped and looked at her lips. He saw they were red and his eyes widened. Instinctively her tongue ran over her bottom lip, which was still stinging slightly.
'I…I hurt you!' Ron said. He was obviously mortified.
'No, not really. Ron, tell me what's wrong. I mean— Obviously everything's wrong but I know—'
'I hurt you!' he repeated and he pulled away from her before she could grab hold of him. He struggled with the hangings around his bed, trying to get out, but failing to find the break in the material.
'Ronald Weasley don't you dare leave me!'
She hadn't meant her tone to be that harsh, but somewhere deep down, she knew it as necessary.
Ron stopped fighting with the heavy material and his arms slumped to his sides.
''M sorry. I didn't mean to…to hurt you. I just need to…to…'
Hermione was quite impressed at how he could pace in the tiny space between the bed and the hangings but he was managing very well.
'Ron?' Hermione said quietly. Instantly he stopped his pacing and turned to look at her. 'Will you lie with me? Please?'
She curled up on the bed and looked him in the eye. He didn't move.
'After all this time I…I don't think I can sleep without anyone else close by. Please, Ron.'
He nodded and lay down on the bed next to her curling towards her and closing his eyes for a second. Hermione could see the comfort in his face, she felt it too. They were finally safe.
He opened his eyes and looked straight into Hermione's. Again his eyes dropped to her still pink lip. He brought his hand to her face and lightly brushed her lip with his thumb.
'I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you, to…do anything you didn't—'
Her arm moved with the speed it had moved earlier when she was defending herself and those around her with the borrowed wand. She put her finger to his lips and stopped him talking.
'Stop that, now. I know you didn't mean anything by it. But telling me what's got you in this state will help, you know it will.'
She thought she had a good idea as to why Ron was turning in on himself. She would probably do the same if she had lost a family member. She could never know how Ron felt, being an only child, but they all knew to some extent the feeling of loss. She would never tell Ron this, but when he left them, she didn't know how she was going to carry on. It had taken all her mental strength to not disapparate when he had walked out the tent and try to find him, but she knew she couldn't. She hated the part of her that was being logical and thinking about the bigger picture. At that moment in time her picture only had Ron in it, he was the only thing that was keeping her sane, and when he had gone, there was just a gaping hole, and nothing could take his place.
'I just…I—' he sighed and rolled over. Hermione thought he was about to leave but he just rolled on to his back and stared at the ceiling. 'When it…happened…the explosion…I didn't know anything. We were all just standing there, laughing and the next second I was on the floor. The first…' he squirmed and fidgeted, first crossing his arms across his chest and then stretching them above his head. He compromised by leaving his right arm where it was and laying his left across his stomach.
He glanced across at Hermione, saw she was still looking at him and continued to glare at the ceiling, his brow furrowed.
'The first thing I thought was, are Hermione and Harry alright?'
He swallowed hard and seemed to set his face ready for a burst of outrage from Hermione.
'Okay,' she replied.
'Is that it?' Ron asked, his voice cracking. 'Okay?'
'What do you want me to say to you, Ron? I don't know why wondering whether me and Harry were fine is such a bad thing.'
'But it is!' Ron exclaimed before frowning. 'I mean…no, of course it's not, but you're not…and Fred…he is…I should've…I—'
He suddenly deflated and Hermione noticed tears had appeared in his eyes once more. She took his left hand in hers and kissed his knuckles softly.
'You're feeling guilty because your first thought was of your friends and not your family,' Hermione said quietly.
Ron swallowed and nodded his head frantically.
'I'm not…I'm not saying that you two aren't like family, you are! Of course you are! Harry's practically my brother and you…you're…you mean the world to me, you know that!'
Hermione nodded her head, hoping to calm Ron down a little.
'Of course I do.'
'But still, Fred…and Percy, they're my brothers and only when I saw you and Harry were alive did I think to check that they were, and then I saw…'
He hastily wiped his eyes and face with his right arm, his grip automatically tightening on Hermione hand.
'Ron,' Hermione said firmly, 'for the most part of the last year it has only been us three and we have only had the other two to worry about and make sure are okay whenever anything happened. Every morning when I woke up when we were in Grimmauld Place, or camping in forests, even when we were all safe with Bill and Fleur in Shell Cottage, my first thoughts were of you and Harry. It was like my brain refused to function until I knew you were okay.'
Ron squirmed again.
'It's not the same though, is it? Your…' he looked reluctant to complete his sentence but carried on regardless. 'Your parents are safe and well, you didn't have any family members to worry over, just me and Harry.'
Hermione nodded. 'I know that, but you're ignoring the point I'm trying to make. I think I'm right in saying that when you woke up when we were searching the first thing you thought about was our safety. I'm right aren't I?'
Ron nodded, although it was obvious it was with reluctance.
'Well, it's hard to just drop out of a habit when you've become accustomed to doing it for months. When the explosion happened your first thoughts were of Harry and me because it's what you've been doing for a long time before hand. It is nothing to feel guilty about, and you are not going to let this get you down, Ron. Okay?'
'Well, if you're gonna use logic, then I can't argue with you, can I?' His smile was forced. Hermione raised her eyebrows at him.
'Answer me, Ron. You won't keep going over this, will you? Promise me.'
Ron looked Hermione in the eye and after a few seconds shook his head. 'I won't. Promise.'
Hermione leaned over and kissed him gently.
'Thanks.' Ron mumbled. 'For, you know, sorting me out.'
'My pleasure,' she said with a smile.
Ron smiled back at her and she couldn't help but turn her smile into a beam.
She snuggled into his side and he turned towards her, wrapping his arms around her.
'Do you mind if we just fall asleep. Here. For a little while?' Ron asked Hermione's hair.
'Only if you promise it won't be the last time we fall asleep together.'
Hermione smiled as she felt Ron kiss the top of her head.
'Where do you think Fred is, Hermione?'
Hermione didn't move, just tightened her grip around Ron ever so slightly.
'Wherever he is, it'll be calm and peaceful.'
She felt Ron shake and thought for a second he was crying again.
'You mean it was calm and peaceful. With him there, it'll be anything but!'
Hermione couldn't help but chuckle.
'With fireworks, of course!' she said through her giggles.
'Of course! Do you think he's charging spectators yet?'
'It won't be long before he is, if he hasn't already started!'
Their giggles subsided and they lay once again in silence.
'He'd want to be remembered with a smile, wouldn't he?' Ron asked Hermione, his voice uncertain.
Hermione shuffled so she could look at Ron's eyes.
'Always, Ron. Always.'