A/N: I just wrote this right now, to procure for myself some delicious Ron/Hermione fluff before I went to bed, because Ron/Hermione fluff is like the most wonderful comfort food. And so now that it is done and posted, I'm going to sleep. Sleep is good. Aaah. Yay.
Her screams echoed painfully in his mind, haunting him. He could be certain that he had never been more terrified in his life than he was during that agonizing period spent at the Malfoy's manor. His heart was still pulsing throughout his entire system, and it was making him ill. He gazed upon her, his eyes watering with horror at how limp her body was. Her face was placid. As he watched her, his hope that she'd awake boiled inside of him. He prayed to see her eyelids flicker, or her parted lips twitch, but they did not. Her arm flopped lamely at her side as he shook her desperately. "Hermione," he called, "Hermione… can you hear me?" She did not move. Her body remained lifeless, except for the slow beat that was her weak heart. It did not calm him. He wanted her to wake up. "Hermione," he cried, his face barely an inch from hers, now, in his desperation. "Please."
She still didn't wake, but still he waited. The silence of his wait seemed to suffocate him, and his chest felt constricted by his own impatience and need for her to be okay. After several minutes of ringing silence, in which Hermione did not improve, he let out the tense breath he was containing. His concerned sigh went unheard by Hermione, even as he scrutinized her face. Never had he loved anyone—or anything—as much as he loved the girl lying before him. She was hardly a girl at all, though; she was the most beautiful, and the most intelligent woman that he had ever met. He loved her endlessly.
His heart swelled with adoration for every inch of her, from her absolutely enormous hair to the very tips of her delicate toes. A small, sorrowful smile crossed his lips as he watched her, taking in every detail of her exquisite features. He reveled in the bossiness that lingered around her expression, even in an unconscious state. His smile widened into a grin, ecstasy possessing him as he bathed in her radiant perfection. If only she would wake up. He had left her once, and disappointed her many times before that, and still, he hadn't told her how much he loved her.
He closed his eyes, breathing deeply, and sinking into the memory of being locked in the basement of the Malfoy's manor. He could hear Hermione's distant shrieks of physical agony, a sound that overwhelmed his senses, sending him into an overdrive of despairing emotions. He had to be with her… he had to help her… to save her! He had let her down too many times, and he wouldn't do it again. She needed him! He was heaving with violent breaths of unadulterated terror, and he was screaming for her, trying to promise her a rescue. He snapped his eyes open in horror at the memory, staring back down at Hermione's limp body. This body—Hermione's beautiful, wonderful body—would have been thrown to Fenrir Greyback without another thought, like leftovers. He blinked back tears at the thought of those teeth piercing Hermione's soft flesh, her blood spilling over the werewolf's greedy tongue as he devoured her. The repulsing images plagued him horribly. He buried his face in his hands, feeling sick to imagine something so horrifying.
"Oh god," he groaned miserably to his fingers. "Hermione, please wake up." As expected, she didn't budge. He lowered his hands as he looked back at her again. He reached out a hand to caress her motionless face, giving in to the overpowering desire to touch her. His fingers brushed her skin lightly, absorbing the gentle softness of her face, and he smiled at the touch. Her cheek was warm, though scraped and streaked with dry blood. Retracting his hand from her after a moment, he sighed, and his eyes traveled to the thin wound on her throat that Bellatrix Lestrange had inflicted upon her. It enraged him to look at it. Hermione was so innocent, and so wonderful, and he couldn't imagine what it would take for a person to ever want to do her harm. "Hermione," he whispered, taking her tiny, limp hand in his own wide one, "please wake up. I need you, Hermione. I don't think I can survive this war without you." His thumb stroked the back of her hand lightly, the gesture sweet and loving. "Hermione," he breathed, leaning close to her, "I want you back. I need you back, 'Mione. Please." He tightened his desperate grasp on her soft hand. It remained unmoving in his palm, like a wilted shell of what she was. "Please," he said again, even more quietly, "I… I love you, Hermione."
Without warning, an eyelid twitched. His heart expanded with disbelief and ecstatic anticipation. Her little finger gave a spasm within his clutches, and he let go of her with a gasp of excitement. "Hermione?" he said, his voice breaking with relief. "Hermione, you're…" She smiled, and her eyes squinted open at him. "Oh, thank god, Hermione… you're alright!"
Her smile slid into a feeble, but glowing grin. Her dark eyes were soft as they peered at him from beneath heavy, tired lids. "I'm alright," she confirmed weakly. Her voice kissed his ears like the sweetest antidote for his anxiety, and he gave a crazed squeak of relief at the sound.
"God, Hermione… I was so worried."
"I know," she breathed. She stretched a shaking hand into the air, and as her fingertips collided with his heated, freckled cheek, bliss shot through him. He closed his eyes at the sensation, and his lips parted slightly in a timid grin, delighted to feel the life in her hand.
He shivered fully with gladness to feel her so alive, and so well. "I'm so happy you're okay, Hermione," he cooed, placing his own hand atop hers. He clutched her fingers to his cheek, and inhaled deeply through his smiling mouth, tasting her closeness on the air. "You were brilliant," he told her softly. "You were absolutely wonderful. You stayed so strong. I'm so proud of you." His voice wavered as he spoke, filled with an all-consuming delight that didn't seem to be able to leave him.
Her smile was watery and emotional. "Thanks," she said quietly.
"Ronald!" cried a sudden voice from behind him. He spun around in his chair wildly, nearly falling onto Hermione's body. She gave a frightened squeak as he threw out his arm to catch himself, and stood. He swiveled around, and nearly fell over again at the breathtaking sight of Fleur. His knees trembled with the shock of her sudden, overwhelmingly beautiful presence, and he gave a slight groan of irritation at her interruption of his moment with Hermione.
"What do you want?" he asked, his tone annoyed.
"I am 'ere to 'elp 'Ermione," Fleur said, rushing over. Ron stepped aside, revealing Hermione to her view. "You should go back to 'Arry and zee ozzers."
"Er… no, really, that's alright, I'll stay—"
"No," she told him firmly, "you must go! Do not worry! I weel take good care of your 'Ermione."
Ron blushed to hear your Hermione. His stomach churned to leave her, but Harry would probably be wanting his support. He nodded weakly. "Okay," he told her, before turning back to Hermione. "I'm glad you're alright," he whispered to her, and she smiled. The sight of her sweet smile made his breath catch. At that moment, he would have liked nothing more than to kiss her then, finally, after all their years of waiting. Fleur was already shooing him away, however, and fussing over Hermione's state like a madwoman, and he was forced to retreat, and join Harry. Hope flooded him as he went. Hermione was alright. He grinned, picturing her face. With her by his side, he would be alright, too, and he knew it. With her by his side, he was sure that they would survive this. And he knew that he would stay with her, by her side forever, so that when it was all over, their powerful love could finally have its chance to flourish.
A/N: Hey, thanks so much for reading! I appreciate it!