A/N: yays here's chapter 3—Hermione's lingering reaction to the disappearance of Ron

A/N: yays here's chapter 3—Hermione's lingering reaction to the disappearance of Ron.

CHAPTER 3

HERMIONE GRANGER

When you're Gone

I've always needed time on my own

I never thought I'd need you there when I cry

And the days feel like years when I'm alone

And the bed where you lied, has made up on your side…..

--

They took Ron. The words tore at her heart, leaving it broken and bleeding. Someone…I dunno who…took him. And Tonks.

Bill's greeting words were imprisoned in Hermione's mind. She was curled up in an old green chair at the Burrow, hugging her cut and bruised knees, forehead resting on them. George had left. He and Fred had disappeared into their room, unable to comfort the family, as their own problems weighed down upon them. Mrs. Weasley had taken to absentmindedly picking up pots and pans in the cluttered kitchen, as if she thought her son was hiding underneath one. The clanks and clangs reached Hermione's ears, but her thoughts dimmed the outside noise.

The curtains fluttered from a draft, and Hermione's eyes followed their every move. The pastel draperies over an old but clean window, covering the cracked windowpane made of wood. Could they be hiding a familiar face? Or are they simply there as decoration, unaware of the misery that surrounded the house?

There was a sound at the doorway leading to the stairs. Hermione's head jerked up hopefully, but it was only Harry. She knew he could see the disappointment etched on her wet face as he edged into the room.

"Hey."

He paused for a moment. Hermione turned her head away and laid her cheek on her knees. A drawn out sigh escaped her lips.

"H-Hermione," Harry began quietly, "I need to ask you something."

He approached her, and tentatively sat himself on the arm of the chair. Hermione swiped a hand across her face, then, slowly, faced him.

"Hmmm?" Her voice cracked, yet she made no move to clear her throat. Harry looked at her, concerned, but went on with his question.

"Hermione, you know…that I still need to look for and destroy horcruxes, with Ron…or not."

Hermione's heart thumped faintly at the sound of Ron's name, and a small smile curved her lips.

"He'll come back," she whispered to her knees, "won't he, now?".

"I don't know if he will come back, Hermione, but…" Harry hesitated, uncomfortable, "but….Horcruxes, right now, are—well, more important."

A rush of angry fury clouded Hermione's heart, and her head whipped around to stare at Harry. Startled, he started to back away.

"No—Hermione, I didn't mean—"

"You know perfectly well what you meant Harry Potter!" Hermione shouted shrilly, tears starting to pour from her eyes. She jumped up, seething hate flowing in her veins, and poked a shaking finger in Harry's chest.

"How could you say that? I thought he was your best mate, your first friend! And now—now Hocruxes are more important?! NOTHING is more important than a friend!"

Harry cringed away from Hermione, backing all the way to the wall. Herimione took a deep breath, not at all done with her tirade at Harry.

"Wait—Hermione, WAIT!"

Harry had his wand out and held it threateningly in Hermione's face. She took one look at the long stick of wood, then let out a crow of laughter, pushing it away from her.

"You really think that'll stop me? You're not even of age!" She whipped out her own, and pushed it against Harry's neck.

"If you don't apologize about what you just said," she said icily, "then perhaps I won't hex you. Repeat after me: Ron is the most important person in the world right now; far more important than those little Horcruxes. Got it?"

Harry, defeated, repeated the words, and after a nasty look from Hermione, slipped out from beneath her wand. Hermione slowly stowed her wand back into her cloak, still watching Harry with great dislike.

"Fine. Go then, Potter," she said, turning away, the fire in her heart starting to die, "go look for your precious Horcruxes. Alone."

She emphasized her last word, and with a flick of her bushy brown hair, stomped away from Harry. She curled back into the green armchair she was in earlier.

"Hermione—" Harry started, apparently still in the room.

"I'm not listening, Potter," Hermione said angrily from her perch.

"Since when did you ever call me Potter?"

"It suits how I feel about you right now. Now get out."

She heard his footsteps leave the room, and a sudden lonliness stole over her. She curled up a bit more, and few seconds later, found herself sobbing. Oh Ron. Oh, Ron, Ron, Ron. What have you done? What have I done? I've hurt Harry, I've hurt myself. Why should it be like this?

And suddenly it all seemed plain. Nothing can go right. Friends can never stay together. And the Weasley family's gotten just a bit too big for nothing to happen to a member.

A/N: So now Hermione won't go searching for Horcruxes. Who'll go in her stead? Or will Harry have to face it all alone?