(A/N)- Hey there! Haven't posted anything new in a while and I started this a couple weeks ago. Big ups to my sister for checking over this and putting her million cents in.
Thanks Yams! (:
Rating: K+- Language and romance.
Part: 1 of 1.
Summary: -Postwar- Hermione intrudes Ron's memories of the day he returns and destroyes the Horcrux...R/Hr
Ginny and Hermione walked down the halls of Hogwarts, smiling and feeling content
Ginny and Hermione walked down the halls of Hogwarts, smiling and feeling content. The war had been over for half a year now and they were enjoying their final year together, as happy as they could ever be.
"I can't wait to ask McGonagall about the DA," Ginny said to Hermione, tossing her head back and sighing deeply in the October air. "I hear there are hundreds of first years who want to join."
"Hopefully we can get McGonagall will agree with us, though."
"Oh she will," Ginny said confidently, stretching her arms lazily. "There's no way she can't. It was a great group and it saved us from that evil cow, Umbridge."
"I suppose…" Hermione trailed off. "Do you think Ron or Harry could come in once in a while to help us with it? They're the main reason why everyone wants to join…round this corner," she reminded Ginny who she thought would doze off mid-step.
"I know, I know," she yawned, turning the corner, "It's Saturday and this weather is so nice…it's making me sleepy…Ron works too often and Harry is busy with the Ministry. They'll never be able to open up their schedule."
"Well I know Harry couldn't, but maybe Ron could. He only works at the shop on weekdays. Here we are, Sugar Quill," Hermione said to the gargoyle and it jumped out of the way immediately. Even after all this time, McGonagall didn't have it in her to change the candy passwords to Dumbledore's old office.
"I dunno, ask him next time you see him."
The girls made their way up the spiral staircase and knocked on the wooden door patiently.
"Come in," McGonagall called from behind the door.
Entering the room, Hermione noticed that McGonagall hadn't changed a single thing of the office. There were silver instruments that spewed smoke on the shelves, portraits of the old Headmasters on the walls, and Fawkes was perched proudly by the desk at the end of the room.
"Girls," the Headmistress smiled warmly. "How are you?"
"Busy," she responded, picking up a stack of books and placing them in a trunk that sat next to the wall.
"Let me do that for you, Professor," Hermione offered, picking up more books.
"Thank you Ms. Granger, but I'm guessing you and Ms. Weasley did not come on a fine day like this to help an old woman with her chores."
"No," Ginny admitted. "We wanted to talk to you about Dumbledore's Army."
"Dumbledore's Army?" McGonagall arched an eyebrow.
"Well, it was such a hit with the students when that ridiculous rule about 'no clubs' was put into play. We learned more in that class than we did in Defense Against the Dark Arts my whole fourth year."
McGonagall stood up and started dusting around the office, "Go on."
"Well, the students really learn a lot in Defense Against the Dark Arts and if we have the DA club it gives them a chance to understand homework if they didn't really understand it in class…or say if they need help on performing a spell…" Ginny grinned at Hermione, knowing she could really sell this idea. She looked back at McGonagall. "It would sorta be a study group for Defense Against the Dark Arts."
The Headmistress nodded slowly.
"Well, Ms. Weasley, I must say that you know how to sell yourself," Ginny beamed, "And that the idea sounds genuine…"
Ginny grinned widely and McGonagall laughed, "I suppose it's a good idea."
Hermione smiled as Ginny punched the air and placed another stack of books into the trunk neatly.
Ginny thanked the Headmistress and looked at the silver clock that hung on the wall, "Oh shoot, I have Quidditch! Are you coming, Hermione?"
"I'll be there in a minute, I'll just finish up here…"
"Oh, Ms. Granger, I've got it-"
Ginny exited the room as a Third Year entered.
"Professor," he said in a startling low voice, interrupting Professor McGonagall. "There's a situation in the Great Hall."
"And what situation is that, Mr. Clark?"
"A couple of Fifth Years got in a fight and…"
McGonagall huffed heavily and stood up from her desk. "Hermione dear, why don't you go enjoy your Saturday while I sort out my students?"
"Oh I'll just finish this up and I'll be out." Hermione said smiling at McGonagall who smiled back and thanked her.
Hermione sighed loudly and finished with the books five minutes later. She stood up and made her way out of the door when she saw a silvery light.
It was the Pensive they had emptied their memories of the war into.
Hermione hesitantly took a step toward it. She knew it was an invasion of privacy, but she heard familiar voices and she leaned forward, recognizing Ron and Harry who stood in the middle of a snow-covered area, apparently freezing half to death.
"It was y-you?" Hermione heard Harry say. He was shivering.
Hermione felt something heavy in her stomach as she drew closer to the Pensive. She knew it was without a doubt wrong, and yet her curiosity was pulling her in.
"My Patronus is a stag."
"Oh yeah. I thought it looked different. No antlers…"
Hermione turned away from the silver bowl. If Ron had entered her personal thoughts she would be absolutely furious, she couldn't do that to him. After all, one's thoughts are the most personal things in the world.
"So how did the sword get in that pool?"
Hermione's ear perked up and realized it was the day that Ron had returned and destroyed the Horcrux. She walked slowly over to the bowl again and saw that Ron was handing the locket that was twitching, over to Harry.
Her eyes went wide and before she knew it, Hermione had plunged head first into the Pensive.
She landed heavily on the snow-covered ground.
"No you should do it."
She sat up and looked up at Ron and Harry who were soaking wet, Ron offering up the Gryffindor sword to Harry.
"What the-?" Hermione stood up and watched what was going on front of her.
"Me?" Ron said, looking shocked. "Why?"
"Because you got the sword out of the pool. I think it's supposed to be you."
Ron looked completely terrified and shook his head and Hermione closer to them, as their voices grew quieter.
"I'm going to open it," said Harry, "and you stab it. Straightaway, okay? Because whatever's in there will put up a fight. The bit of Riddle in the diary tried to kill me."
"How are you going to open it?" Ron asked, eyeing the locket, shaking slightly.
"I'm going to ask it to open, using Parseltongue," Harry said, placing the locket on the rock.
"No!" Ron said, "No, don't open it! I'm serious!"
Hermione looked at him the same way Harry did- confused.
"Why not?" asked Harry. "Let's get rid of the damn thing, it's been months-"
"I can't, Harry, I'm serious- you do it-"
"Because that thing's bad for me!" Ron said and Hermione watched him in utter confusion. "I can't handle it! I'm not making excuses, Harry, for what I was like, but it affects me worse than it affected you and Hermione," Hermione jumped, but remembered that he couldn't see her and she felt a pang of pity toward Ron.
"It made me think stuff- stuff I was thinking anyway, but it made everything worse, I can't explain it, and then I'd take it off and I'd get my head on straight again, and then I'd have to put the effing thing back on- I can't do it Harry!"
Hermione watched as Harry stepped forward, "You can do it, you can! You've just got the sword, I know it's supposed to be you who uses it. Please, just get rid of it, Ron."
Hermione smiled as Ron blinked and swallowed. He faced the rock and nodded at Harry.
"Tell me when."
"On three," Harry said, looking back down at the locket and concentrated hard on it. The contents of the locket rattled like a trapped cockroach and Hermione watched Ron shiver.
"One…two…three…" Hermione had a brief moment of trepidation, realizing that whatever it was residing in that locket, was about to be unleashed on her two best friends…feeling even worse knowing that she was sleeping just a while away, unable to do anything…
Harry hissed suddenly to the locket and the golden doors of the locket swung open.
Behind both of the glass windows within blinked a living eye, just like Tom Riddles.
"Stab," said Harry, holding the locket steady on the rock.
"Stab it, Ron," Hermione said, forgetting again that she was just watching a memory.
Ron raised the sword in his shaking hands: The point dangled over the frantically swiveling eyes. Harry seemed to brace himself for the impact of Ron stabbing the windows.
Suddenly a voice hissed from out of the Horcrux.
"I have seen your heart, and it is mine."
Hermione looked at with wide eyes and Ron's turned glassy.
"Don't listen to it!" Harry said harshly. "Stab it!"
"I have seen your dreams, Ronald Weasley, and I have seen your fears. All you desire is possible, but all that you dread is also possible…."
Hermione shivered in a way that had nothing to do with the cold as she watched the man she loved gaze down into Riddle's eyes terrified.
"Stab!" Harry shouted, and the point of the sword trembled.
"Least loved, always, by the mother who craved a daughter…Least loved, now, by the girl who prefers your friend…Second best, always, eternally overshadowed…"
Tears formed in Hermione's eyes as she watched as Ron raised the sword even higher, and as he did so, Riddle's eyes gleamed scarlet.
All of the sudden, out of the locket's two windows, out of the eyes, there bloomed, two bizarre bubbles, the heads of Harry and Hermione, weirdly distorted.
Hermione yelled the same time Ron did in shock, backing away as the figures blossomed out of the locket and swaying over Ron, the real Harry, and Hermione.
Hermione saw Harry snatch his hands away from the locket and he blew on them as if it were burned.
"Ron, please stab it, please!" Hermione cried, rushing over to him, and she forgot, once again that she was just but a memory. She went right through him and stumbled. Looking back at him, she heard Harry yell Ron's name.
"Ron!" he shouted, but the Riddle-Harry started talking in Voldemort's voice and Ron was gazing, mesmerized, into its face.
"Why return?" The Riddle-Harry said, "We were better without you, happier without you, glad of your absence…. We laughed at your stupidity, your cowardice, your presumption-"
"Presumption!" Hermione heard her Riddle-self shriek. She looked up at her face back down at Ron, hoping he didn't believe anything that was coming out of their mouths. However, he looked horrified yet transfixed, the sword hanging pointlessly at his side. "Who could look at you, who would ever look at you, beside Harry Potter?"
"Ron, I swear its not true!" Hermione yelled at Ron, her heart racing. "Don't believe her!"
"What have you ever done, compared with the Chosen One? What are you, compared with the Boy Who Lived?"
"Ron, stab it, STAB IT!" Harry and Hermione yelled in unison, but Ron did not move: His eyes were wide, and the Riddle-Harry and Hermione were reflected in them, their hair swirling like flames, their eyes shining red, their voices lifted in an evil duet.
"Your mother confessed that she would have preferred me as a son, would be glad to exchange…"
"Who would prefer him, what woman would take you, you are nothing, nothing, nothing to him," crooned Riddle-Hermione.
"Ron, no! I prefer you! I would take you! You are everything!" Hermione screeched at Ron who couldn't hear her.
Hermione looked at herself in the Voldemort form as she stretched over to Riddle-Harry, entwined herself around him, wrapped him in a close embrace, and kissed him romantically.
"Oh God…" Hermione said faintly, feeling revolted by the sight and fell to her knees as she watched Ron whose face filled with anguish. He raised the sword high, his arms shaking.
"Do it, Ron!" Harry yelled from his place in the snow.
Ron looked toward him and Hermione saw something that made her insides flip. His eyes were red, his eyebrows furrowed in an awfully mean and unlike Ron way.
Hermione screamed as Ron's arms plunged toward Harry, but changed his course in mid-thrust. Instead of stabbing Harry, he stabbed the locket between the golden windows.
There was a flash of gold and a long, drawn-out scream, but the Riddle versions of Harry and Hermione were gone.
Ron was standing with the sword held slackly in his hand, looking down at the shattered remains of the locket.
Hermione crawled over to Ron whose eyes were tearing up rapidly; Harry stood up and picked up the Horcrux.
Ron dropped the sword, his body went limp and he fell to his knees, his head in his arms. Hermione noticed he was shaking and went to place her hand on his shoulder, but it went right through him. Instead Harry placed his hand where Hermione had tried to.
"After you left," Harry said in a low voice, "she cried for a week. Probably longer, only she didn't want me to see. There were loads of nights when we never even spoke to each other. With you gone…"
Hermione sobbed as she nodded her head, "Ron, it's true, I was miserable without you."
"She's like my sister," Harry went on and Hermione noticed Ron had stopped shaking, "I love her like a sister and I reckon she feels the same way about me."
"It's true, Ron," Hermione said, uselessly.
"It's always been like that…I thought you knew."
Hermione watched as Ron turned his face away from Harry and blew his nose on his sleeve and Harry stood up and retrieved Ron's rucksack.
Hermione saw Ron take a deep breath and hang his head as Harry walked back.
"I'm sorry," he said thickly, "I'm sorry I left…I know I was a- a-"
He looked around the darkness and Hermione felt like giving him a hug.
"You've sort of made up for it tonight," said Harry. "Getting the sword. Finishing off the Horcrux. Saving my life."
Hermione smiled as Ron said, "That makes me sound a lot cooler than I was."
"Stuff like that always sounds cooler than it really was. I've been trying to tell you that for years." Harry said and Hermione sobbed in happiness as they hugged.
Suddenly she felt herself being sucked out of the memory and she found herself back in McGonagall's office.
Looking around, Hermione saw McGonagall standing behind her. Hermione thought she'd be angry, but instead her face read as compassionate.
"No need to explain, Ms. Granger," the Headmistress said kindly, "I am not angry."
Hermione's mouth opened and closed, she tired to think of something to say. She felt tears streaming down her face and realized she looked a right mess.
"Hermione," McGonagall said, speaking very softly, "You may use my fireplace to Floo to Mr. Weasley's."
Hermione had nothing else to say so she followed her to the fireplace and took a handful of magical powder.
"The Burrow," she squeaked and she was suddenly at the Weasley's house. She breathed in the wonderful scent of the Burrow, spices and vanilla. She suddenly had the warm feeling of comfort and safety.
She barged through the living room and into the kitchen.
"Hermione, dear!" Mrs. Weasley gasped. "What on earth are you doing here?"
"Where's Ron?" she asked, rather rudely.
"He's at the shop with George, but-"
Hermione knew it was inappropriate, but she Apparated right into the Weasley's shop, interrupting Mrs. Weasley.
"Ron!" She called out, opening the door and found George unloading a box of merchandise.
"Hermione!" George smiled, not looking the least bit surprised for some reason. "How are you?"
"Where's Ron?" she asked again.
"In the back-"
Once again Hermione interrupted another Weasley as she sped to the back room and swung open the door.
"Ron?" Hermione asked and she heard a shuffling by the window. She looked over and saw Ron flipping through a Quidditch magazine.
"Hermione, what're you doing here?" Ron asked amazedly and stood up.
Hermione stood where she was, looking at him in a new view. She looked at him in respect. She had always respected him, but not like this…
"Hermione, what's wrong?" Ron asked, making his way toward her. "Are you okay?"
Suddenly, she ran toward him without a second thought in a haze of love and kissed him.
He stood there shocked, but he responded quickly by holding her by the waist and pulled her to him.
"How could you ever think…" Hermione said against his lips, tears rolling down her face.
He broke away from her, "How could I ever think what?"
She looked at his confused face and her heart soared again. Her head shot forward again and she kissed him with such passion Ron took a step backward. She opened her mouth and ran her tongue on his bottom lip.
He broke away again. "Hermione, this is great and everything, but what's wrong? Why are you here?'
"How could you ever think I fancied Harry?" Hermione yelled at him suddenly, pounded her fists against him, and lowered her head, resting it against his chest
"What? Hermione where is this coming from? What happened?" Ron asked confusedly.
"I saw it," she choked through emotions.
"Saw what?" Ron asked, desperate to find out what was causing her so much pain, "Hermione, tell me what's going on!"
She broke away and looked at him in the eyes, "I saw you fight the Horcrux," she said shakily.
Ron's face went blank. "Oh…"
"Ron, I had no idea!" Hermione cried, holding on to him desperately. "I never knew you…and all I did was…I hit you!"
"Hermione, I deserved it!" Ron said, completely embarrassed that she had seen him so weak, "You hit me for leaving and I deserved it. I was supposed to be there for you and Harry and I betrayed both of you. I betrayed your trust…I abandoned you."
Hermione looked up angrily, "Ron!" She slapped him. Ron looked down, ashamed.
"Hermione…I don't deserve you…"
Again she slapped him.
"Okay, enough of that!" Ron said, grabbing her wrist that was flying at his cheek again.
"HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT?" Hermione shrieked, tears blinding her. "HOW CAN YOU SAY YOU DON'T DESERVE ME?"
Ron remained silent and looked down at the floorboards.
"If anything I don't deserve you."
He looked up so fast he thought he fractured his neck.
"You don't deserve me?" Ron asked in incredulity. "Hermione, you didn't leave Harry. You didn't accuse him of not knowing what he was doing. You didn't get possessed by You-Know-Who. I was the weak one. I was out of line. And I should have been the one to-"
Hermione slapped him so hard that he stumbled back.
"You should have been the one to what?" she asked venomously. "If you dare say you should have been the one to die…"
"Hermione, Fred was loyal. He deserved to fight alongside Harry. He didn't leave Harry when he needed me most. I'm a crap friend."
"What are you saying?" Hermione said shakily.
"I'm saying what I just said! I wasn't worthy enough to fight alongside both of you."
Hermione shook her head and sat down, "Well, what do you want?" Hermione looked up at him with tears in her eyes. "Do you want me to say you're right? Do you want me to say you shouldn't have been there? That it should have been Fred? That you didn't deserve to fight along Harry and I? That you don't deserve me?"
Ron's eyes were wide and he swallowed several times. "I…"
"Because Ron, I'll say it. I will. You left us, it's true, but you came back!"
Ron shuffled his feet and looked up at her.
"You came back and you saved Harry. You had the courage to face the locket-"
"Harry convinced me-" Ron interrupted.
"You had enough courage to face Voldemort."
"It was like that-"
"You had enough courage to beat your insecurities."
"HERMIONE!" Ron yelled in her face and she shut her mouth, looking at him with wide eyes.
They were quiet for a moment and Ron started pacing, running his fingers through his hair. Hermione sat down in his chair and watched him silently.
He turned to her suddenly. "I left you. I left you during a war. Where anything could have happened to you. You could have been captured, or kidnapped, or killed and I wouldn't have been there to help."
He kneeled down to her level.
"I could have lost you forever because I was jealous."
She gripped his hand and kissed him on the forehead.
"Ron, you weren't jealous. That locket tortured you."
Ron looked up at her with watery blue eyes.
"You wore that damn thing longer than Harry and I put together. It got into your head, into your insecurities and tortured you! It made you see and think things that weren't true, things you feared the absolute most. It was killing you from the inside and to tell you the truth...I don't think I could have lasted as long as you did."
Ron gave a small smile.
"I love you," Hermione said, looking absolutely serious.
Ron opened his mouth slightly, "I love you t-"
Hermione put a finger against his lips. "Don't say it if you don't mean it."
He looked at her horrified, "I do-"
Again she put her finger on his mouth, "You can't love me if you don't love yourself. When you finally realize how incredible you are, then you can say that you love me as well."
She stood up and helped him up to his towering height. He looked down at her with solemn eyes.
"What's the difference between being cocky and being confident? Because I tried being confident before in sixth year and I believe you sent a flock of canaries my way."
Hermione laughed loudly and hugged him, "Oh, I love you."
Ron squeezed her tightly, "You have no idea how much I want to say that back."
They broke apart, "Then you need to start spending time just relaxing and think about all the amazing things you've done and do things that your good at."
"Like chess or Quidditch or...making me laugh."
Ron grinned down at her, "And when do you suggest I make you laugh? You're always at school and I don't have a reason to ever visit."
She laughed and kissed him again.
"Do you remember the DA?" She asked him with a mischievous smile.
(A/N)- Review please! (: