Awakening The Living
She awoke with a start. Dawn had yet to break its way against the darkness of evening according to a quick glance at the closest window. Hermione shivered despite the layers surrounding her; she shivered after reminiscing the previous day's circumstances and the images that still bore holes into her mind. But it was in fact tomorrow, granted, two or three in the early morning of tomorrow, but it remained tomorrow. Evil had not had its way yesterday. They survived.
We survived. Ginny, Harry…
She frantically looked over to the spot in which Ron stole rest residence a few mere hours earlier only to discover his absence. Frightened, she could not resist the irrational thought's invasion.
"Ron?" She managed to squeak quietly.
Hysteria may have been unfounded and unwarranted yet it overtook her in a small extreme as she spun her head in every direction in search of any sign of where Ron might be or where he might have gone. Calmly resolving to take the search afoot, Hermione began remove herself from the comforts of covers and placed her feet, chilled by the night's frost, on a less merciful cold floor. Shocked was she when she found not ground but a body, groaning at the unexpected interruption to his sleep. Hermione gasped.
"Just five more minutes, mum…"
"Ron!" Hermione whispered harshly. She would have screamed his name if the current sleeping arrangements granted permission for there was Harry's peaceful slumber to consider. However, Ron did not stir under Hermione's reprimand though superfluous in his defense. She sighed then, collecting the scattered emotions about the room. She observed Ron again, but this time, no harsh whispers were lashed out only a quiet adoration.
Ron had fabricated a small bed, meager and feeble, at the foot of Hermione's choice of resting place. He utilized his former bed's cushion as a pillow as he slept on his stomach with his mouth in an attractive state of drooling. Hermione resisted the urge to giggle.
Hermione was incredulous to the whole situation until she noticed Ron clutching loosely but obviously clutching nonetheless the ends of Hermione's blanket. Not to steal, of course. It was a gesture only one Hermione Granger could identify unmistakably. Ron had intended to check on her and resulted sleeping by her, if only to keep a tight eye on her safety even if there was no justification to this now that the war was over. Had he, possibly, just wanted to be near her?
Hermione felt the wet sensation of tears fog her eyes as she watched Ron snore. Without a second's hesitation, she stood, careful not to wake him as she did so, stealing with her the blankets and pillow from the couch. Chary until safely beside Ron, Hermione formulated a new bed close to Ron so she too could keep a "tight eye" on him with the only justification as to why was her need to be near him as he had so clearly exhibited to her. She shifted as close as air would allow. This gesture of Hermione's may have been forward and not like her but as Hermione understood there was always room for change. If Ron had certainly altered over the years from a boy to man, she certainly could alter parts of her introverted personality. It was a gesture of reciprocation. A gesture that said in different manners to different observers but as Hermione reached for Ron's hand, similar to how he had at Grimmuald Place eons ago, the gesture could only mean thing.
"I love you too, Ron."
She squeezed his hand gently as sign of confirmation. This stirred Ron into wake.
"Err my nee?" Ron gargled, an eye popping open. She moved impossibly closer, their faces millimeters apart.
Ron hardly succumbed the scene before him, inches from him. He had to be dreaming again. He proceeded to pinch her.
"Sorry, sorry, Hermione! I wasn't sure you were real!"
"I'm real, Ron. Plus, aren't you suppose to pinch yourself?"
"Yeah…right." Ron swallowed, feeling himself ignite into colors of the rainbow, the warmth radiating off Hermione causing him Ron perspire from the forehead. He still hardly believed it and for fleeing moments Ron dodged eye contact with Hermione, attempting to make sense of his impossibly good fortune.
"You okay?" He asked, his voice like a four hundred year old radio.
So don't ruin it.
Ron swallowed again.
So lay with me
I could use the company
You could help me ease
When finally his eyes finalized their spin in his head and the stare above Hermione's eyes, he permitted eye acquaintance, her admiring look so sappy it appeared as syrup. Ron loved syrup. He could never resist syrup. A breath later and their noses grazed, each of their lids wavering and waking sentiments.
"What are you doing, Ron?" Hermione murmured. Ron trembled involuntarily when she brought her hand to his cheek, feeling the contact in his stomach and chest.
"Well, I was trying to sleep…" Ron answered, gulping. He had to be dreaming but the sensation violating his every nerve could not be fantasy enthused or inspired. It undeniably felt real. Insatiable.
Hermione smiled briefly, entirely conscious of her affect on his poor complexion and the tension lying beneath the strawberry coat. "I meant, what are you doing sleeping on the floor?"
Ron could sense his feet evolve into giant red gnomes.
"I, er, you know, just use to sleep on the floor. It's actually more comfortable…"
Another gulp. He lost sight of her eyes as they began wandering aimlessly and admiringly to her lips, throat, curve of her neck…
"Yeah?" He squeaked, barely heeding her words but regarding the way her lips moved when she verbalized his name.
"I thought we moved on from this part of our relationship."
This caught and held Ron's attention.
"You know we've been friends long enough to tell each other the truth."
"Come on, Ron! Answer the question!"
"Shh, you'll wake Harry."
"You can't use Harry as an excuse."
"Me? Me using him as an excuse? Me? Well, that's bloody like you Hermione, blaming me for something you always do."
"What? What I always do?"
"You're the one always using Harry excuse!"
"The Harry excuse? What do you mean? When?"
"You know exactly what I mean!"
"No, Ron, I don't."
"Fine. Let me explain. Shell Cottage, Chamber of Secrets…need I say more?"
Hermione misplaced her argument.
"The reason I'm on the floor, Hermione, to answer your question, is that I wanted to be next to you! Hell, I've slept next you and or at least four and half yards away from you since we left the burrow last year! Honestly, I don't like sleeping away from you, I sleep better if you're next to me, I sleep better if I know you're next to me, that you're safe. And since the war is over now, I really don't need to protect you anymore, so I guess the reason I'm on the floor I guess is because I want to be. Is that so hard to believe? Think about Hermione! You're supposed to be the smart one. And what about you? Why are you on the floor?"
Her features absorbed his sermon and softened into smile, her eyes maple syrup. She kissed his nose that remained nonetheless closer.
"Shh, you'll wake Harry," She echoed blissfully.
His once annoyance sprouted into a ragged breathing mercilessly neglecting his requests of composure and clear sight. Endeavoring to remain a stubborn tranquility, Ron ignored the gesture from Hermione, revealing that outwardly it was ineffective but inwardly left him scathed and coveting for more.
I love the taste
I need its warm rush
"Y-you're avoiding the question, Hermione."
"Why am I sleeping on the floor? Really, Ron, can you be that thick? I'm here because you're here."
Basis for argumentation deteriorated as his stomach abandoned him to the lower levels of Hogwarts, Ron swallowed once again while attempting to detach himself from Hermione's binding spell that was never cast by a wand. He feared himself too weak to remain this close to Hermione and not act upon anything that he may inevitably regret afterward. It only grew additionally insufferable when Hermione kissed enticingly his right jawbone, snuggling closer still while stealing a part of his covering to cover her lower half.
I need the rush
To pulse through my veins
"I thought we moved on…from…c-c-calling each other names. We ha…have been friends long…enough…" Ron exhaled his words incapable and unequipped with strength to inhale anything but Hermione.
This allowed Hermione to raise her head once leaning against his chin to gaze at him. Ron predetermined the result of this statement and regretted instantaneously, punishing himself with a foot kicked into his mouth. Her face appeared disconcerted. Ron's mind wheeled into reverse.
"You said it yourself, Hermione, we've been friends long enough to not lie to each other anymore…"
"I thought we've moved on in our relationship from calling ourselves that…"
Hermione still disengaged eye contact.
"Relationship?" Ron half gasped half replied.
Hermione was insecure and unable to answer. Ron felt the rush, the elation, scream through him as he replayed the kisses she granted him, the hints she gave to him in seconds just previously. She hadn't done that sort of thing to Harry now had she?
"Well, Hermione, I…I know things are going to be tough the next few days…" Ron began, his inhaling more like aching as Hermione looked back at him, "the next few months really. But we'll…we'll be together and that's what counts. You, me, and Harry. We've stuck together this far…right? I mean but then we wont be the same, will we? Things will be different."
"How so?" Hermione replied hopefully, feigning ignorance. Ron reached for Hermione's hand, knotting her fingers firmly within his, deliberately allowing each finger to fall into its place between his.
Oh, but the more I fight
Then the deeper I'm trapped
And I can't break free of this hold that you have
"Well, we wont have to be afraid of death eaters, Voldemort, and…stuff. We'll still be friends. Some things will never change. But there is… something that will change between all of us…"
"Yes?" Hermione injected, impatiently.
"Come off it, Hermione, I wont be snogging Harry!"
It hadn't come out the way he had intended but Hermione laughed nevertheless. When she eventually calmed herself, Ron grinned sheepishly.
"I love your laugh." Ron began to caress Hermione's cheekbone, nearly feeling comfortable with words while feeling hazardously too comfortable with Hermione in such proximity. Hermione's flushed features filled by her guffaw filtered itself into a blush. She watched Ron shyly. Chancing his luck, Ron hesitated momentarily before bringing his head and mouth, tightly attached, closer to Hermione's neck until contact. He pressed gently his lips against her throat, just below her chin, pressing enough to feel the spastic beat of her heart. His hand had left Hermione's and ventured to her hip, subtracting the distance from nothing to something negative. Hermione acknowledged perfectly the fact that if the tension did not break soon, then she would surely.
"I was going to ask you to the Yule Ball. Really, I was."
Miraculously, Hermione, for once, listened and lost wonderfully words she had so well stalked herself over the years.
His lips anxiously vacationed lower down her neck to Bellatrix's scar where Ron cast a healing spell of his own craft, casting it along and across more than necessary.
And I'll love you tonight
Oh I love you tonight
And tomorrow you may just
Feel the same
Hermione hadn't the slightest in what to do with herself, her emotions were in every direction, her nerves, Merlin only knows where they went off to, and her hands began to perspire like a leaky cauldron. Her eyes quivering shut as his affect sunk its teeth but she was removed from the trance when again Ron's lips repositioned to her brow.
"I love the arches your eye brows make when I make you mad."
To her fingers, kissing each tip, his lips went.
"I love how you bite the nail of your index finger when you try to think of an argument to an argument you've already lost."
Suddenly, Ron chuckled while still holding Hermione's breath and hands in captive.
"What?" Hermione wondered, scanning every freckle of his face that seemly reflects a smile of its own.
"I was just thinking when telling Harry…guess who gets the handshake now…"
Hermione laughed in unison with Ron, a soundtrack well overdue.
"I remember that day," Hermione reminisced, her mind traveling back, "I just got back from being statue for days… I remember being thrilled to see Harry but so much more excited to see you which struck me as odd at first then scared me. And then the thought of hugging you sent my wand in a tizzy."
Ron chuckled again.
"Instead I got the handshake. Don't get me wrong though, I only dreamt about getting a handshake from the girl of my dreams. We men fantasize about handshakes," he wiggled his eyebrows suggestively, "a hug would have been way too discreet. Who knows what rumors would have flown around if you, Merlin forbid, gave me a high five."
Before responding, she too kisses Ron's hand still immersed within her own, shaking her head at his witty sarcasm.
"You said when telling Harry… what are we telling Harry?"
"That he gets the handshake and I get the high five."
"No, Ron, I meant what you said before…"
"That you're my girlfriend now?"
And I will know I'm alive
Hermione remembers the complements Ron gifted that nearly sent all her insides ablaze but nothing compared to the inferno she blissfully swims in at present with such ecstasy her toes may explode.
And I will know I'm alive
"I mean only if you want or if you think that's—" Hermione hushed him with a finger to his lips.
"Ron's girlfriend. Ronald Weasley's girlfriend…" Hermione whispered, almost inaudibly, "I like the sound of that."
"Hermione Granger's boyfriend…I love the sound of that."
It was time. It was time to make it official, to sign, finally, the binding contract of souls with a signature or a gesture of some kind. Since they resided a fingernail apart already, it warranted an easy entrance to the finalizing signature of lips and teeth in which they entered gratefully and unanimously. Ron felt lead to commence the first signature, for Hermione had previously done so herself the last two occurrences. He signed once, twice and held longer, thrice a time came, but the fourth stayed. His lips were so gentle they seemed hesitant, as were hers, as if their lips were unbelievers, doubters of the indisputable proof otherwise presented to them upon the world's grandest and largest stages. It was reality and not of some extraordinary dream of sorts with unimaginable feel. Indeed, his lips were real, as were hers. They continued to convince unswervingly to each other the realism until there remained little room for doubt and considering their present proximity, there was not much room for much else.
With each new embrace,
I have tied myself up
Delicate like handling heaven.
They lied on their side facing the other, consuming the other. Ron's hand versed repetitively across Hermione's side from the bottom of her hip to the top of her ribs. With one hand, Hermione clenched the tip of Ron's burning ear, her fingers tied in his hair while her remaining digits tickled teasingly the skin revealed at the bottom of his throat near his collar. Their feet tangled, their hearts wrangled and stolen. They shared the blanket and a final signature; they parted slowly, reluctantly and not parting too far.
"Blimey Hermione. Your a bloody good kisser." Ron was red, his lips, however, were the reddest of all.
"Better than Lavender?" Hardly could she resist the question that haunted her since first observing Ron's consummation of Lavender's face.
"Way better…" He replied breathlessly without a second glance.
Hermione resisted the urge to whoop and scream triumph at the highest volume her lungs would permit.
"Am I…" He grew nervous, "better than Krum?"
"Krum? Viktor Krum? Oh my goodness, Ron. The last time I saw him was our fourth year since the wedding I mean. We wrote occasionally, rarely actually. I only danced with him at the Yule Ball that you were suppose to take me to. I kind of…over exaggerated some things about our relationship but that was to make you mad. I admit, I liked the attention but I never kissed him. He kissed my hand so many times though I thought he liked my hand more than me. I thought about sending a picture of it when we started to write letters."
When he recognized her statement as serious, Ron laughed uncontrollably for ten minutes. After catching his composure, he patted his chest as sign for his lungs to breathe again, his eyes watering.
"Who said I ever kissed Krum?" Hermione inquired suspiciously, ignoring his display of mockery.
Ron considered carefully the words before choosing their order.
"Ginny! Why I…I don't believe…what did she say?"
"That you snogged him."
"What? Rather ridiculous, isn't it to believe…"
"I think she said that only to make me mad."
"Why would she want to make you mad? That's my area of expertise."
"Well, Harry and I caught her snogging a bloke and I got mad, she got mad…"
"I could swear…that Weasley temper. So what did you do? You didn't ask me or at least confront me about it now did you?"
"I…" Ron groaned aloud, the painful remorse resurfacing. "I didn't confront you because I believed Ginny and well, I…went for the closest thing to make you jealous."
Hermione was silent, old scars telling. She stared at Ron.
"Ron…" She uttered finally.
"I'm sorry Hermione."
"Oh Ron, I'm sorry."
"Your sorry? Don't be sorry, I was the bloody prick. I'm sorry."
Hermione laughed softly, connecting her forehead to Ron.
"It doesn't matter, Ron. I have you now don't I?"
"You have me alright. You have all of me. Temper and all."
"Your mine," Hermione echoed, their noses embracing, "I love the sound of that."
Some convincing ensued and as they separated silly smiles plastered their faces.
"I'm yours, Ron." Hermione mumbled against his lips.
"The hand as well?"
She smiled against his kiss.
"Yes and I'll throw the other one in for free."
"Do you feel like you still need to sleep on the floor next to me?"
"I don't need to but I want to."
Ron shrugged, "That's fine by me."
"Tell me a secret, tell me something I don't know."
"My favorite color is brown."
While grinning foolishly and lifting herself on her side slightly, she whispered into the ear Ron did not lie on.
"Do you know what subject I read the most in our sixth year?" She asked. Ron shook his head, incapable of any other response.
"Quidditch. As soon as I found out you were trying out."
"Blimey Hermione, you're insatiable."
"Thank you," She beamed.
"Did…did you ever want to kiss Krum?"
"Ron, I thought we agreed to move on from that."
"We will, I promise but I just wanted to know."
She paused, carefully considering her words.
"In a way I did. It's sounds stupid now but I thought if I did kiss him I might be able to get some practice in case you ever wanted to kiss me. Really foolish, wasn't it? But somehow I always thought you would be really good at kissing. Ironic, actually, when I thought about kissing Krum, I was actually thinking about you."
"Are you disappointed?"
"No, not at all."
Ron appreciated immensely this confession before signing a gesture of relentless devotion on Hermione's delicate blonde eyelash tips.
"Tell me another secret." Hermione insisted.
"I hate mayonnaise but never told my mum."
"Really? Rather silly isn't it, not to tell your mum you don't like mayonnaise. Why didn't you ever tell her?"
He shrugged as he replied, "I don't know, just didn't bother mentioning it. I guess I just got so use to wiping it off so I never bothered to tell her."
Her thoughts chewed on this a moment before she hummed her approval of his confession.
"I just can't manage you disliking anything edible."
"Believe it, Hermione. Now it's your turn. Tell me something I don't know—not anything involving the protection of magical creatures or house elves. I mean tell me something about yourself, something Harry or Ginny don't know."
"For your information, I don't tell Ginny everything and I don't usually confide in Harry for girl problems."
"Alright then, just tell me a secret."
"I've only read one book once."
"You heard me."
"Hermione that's just nutters. What book was it?"
"Dr. Seuss' Cat in the Hat."
"What? Another illness?"
"No, just a muggle book. It's the first book I read by myself and the last book I would read once."
"No offense, Hermione, but don't go telling everyone that, they may think you're a know it all or something."
"Oh do shut up, Ron."
Ron smiled mischievously, his hand holding gently her waist.
"Tell me something else," Hermione whispered against Ron's smile, their distance unloosened.
"I think you have the most perfect eyebrows I have ever seen."
Hermione shook her head, causing her nose to graze slightly against Ron's.
"I already knew that."
"Oh, right. You know everything." Ron rolled his eyes and smirked. Hermione yawned behind her hand, attempting to hide the apparent exhaustion she accompanied.
"You're tired." Ron stated inquisitively.
"You're so smart."
"Here," Ron began, commencing to hold her waist again, "turn the other way."
"What? Afraid of a little morning breath?" Hermione mocked but obeyed.
"No, just 'fraid I wont fall asleep staring at something so beautiful."
Ron could feel her blush burn.
Hesitating before inching closer against the back of Hermione, Ron awkwardly placed his hand in the rivet between her hip and rib. He breathed heavily and loudly. Hermione felt the sentiments of his heart and lungs yelping against her shoulder blades and continued to worsen Ron's chances of survival by interlacing her hand and arm and placing it further across her body onto her stomach.
"Calm down, Ron." Hermione suggested in her authoritative manner.
"Mmmhmm." Ron breathed, his nose digging into her hair. "Sorry, I've only…"
"Dreamt about this forever…" Hermione finished.
"Right." He smiled.
He pressed his hand against her stomach and began to draw elaborate circles with his thumb. Where Ron breathed heavily, Hermione stopped breathing all together, an act not going unnoticed by Ron.
"Calm down, Hermione."
'Twas Hermione's turn to smile.
"It will be."
Ron's sixth Hermione sense saw her rolling her eyes but also a smile perpetually in the wake of her perfect lips.
Heaven is here
And tonight we are the only ones who feel it
Never before had they felt more alive than now with the waking of their hearts and the sleeping of their fears and the unmistakable assurance of the other's existence and their existence forevermore irremovable from each other. A happy funeral. It was a death to their fears and an awakening of their desires, waking it alive.
And I know
I am alive