Harry Potter fic:

Pairing - Harry/Hermione ... although could be perceived as Ron/Hermione to start with.

Disclaimer - I own nothing .. J.K. Rowling original work.

Spoilers - HBP and DH.

Summary - Ron has left the tent ... how do Harry and Hermione cope? and will a late night conversation resolve anything?

This is my first story guys, so i hope you take it into account whilst reading this. I apologise for any errors, if there are any. Please don't forget to review afterwards, i'd love to hear what you think :) thank-you. Hope you enjoy!! :D

Mushrooms and Musings

The mood inside the tent, located in the middle of the forest, was as gloomy as ever. It had been over a week since Ron had walked out and left Harry and Hermione alone to deal with finding the remaining horcruxes. Hermione had not been herself since Ron's desertion, she constantly wanted to be left alone and when Harry did attempt to talk to her, she always seemed so distant.

Harry was sitting on one of the chairs in the middle of the tent, just holding his broken wand in his hands, trying to think of a way to mend it. Whilst Hermione had gone out an hour ago to find mushrooms to cook later. Harry was so sick of just eating mushrooms, and secretly he knew Hermione was too, but there was nothing either of them could do about it.

The normality of going to a muggle supermarket now seemed like a very distant memory to both Hermione and Harry, something they had both taken for granted over the summers away from Hogwarts. It was way too dangerous for either of them to be venturing that far away from the tent, even under disguises. Harry and Hermione learnt that fact all too well after the almost fatal day at Godric's Hollow two days previously.

Harry looked up from his sixth attempt to sellotape his wand back together, as he heard Hermione coming back into the tent, holding a small basket of mushrooms.

"You alright?" Harry asked tentatively, as he put his wand on the sort of coffee table in the middle of the seating area.

"What makes you think I'm not alright?" Hermione responded snappily.

"Nothing … I just asked if you were alright that's all."

"Well there is no need, I'm fine" she dumped the basket of mushrooms onto a table and went into her bedroom part of the tent to get changed.

Harry gave a huffy sigh and rubbed his forehead.

Hermione had been in this mood ever since Ron had left. Harry wished more than anything that Hermione would feel happy again; even just cracking a sincere smile would lighten the atmosphere between them. Harry knew in his heart of hearts that Hermione was missing Ron. She had feelings for him, that was evident enough, yet Harry would do anything for it all to go back to the way it was. For Hermione to confide in him again like she always used to. Harry was even starting to miss her constant nagging. The memory of the old Hermione nagging him made Harry smile and he gave a quiet laugh.

This, however, caught the attention of Hermione who had now reappeared into the main room. She looked somewhat stunned at Harry.

"How can you be laughing?"

Harry's look faltered instantly and he looked seriously at her "What?"

"You were just laughing, Harry. How can you think that this situation is funny?"

"I wasn…"

Hermione cut him off "Because if you think that - hiding from our family and friends, living in a tent whilst constantly on the move, missing out on our last year at Hogwarts, getting absolutely nowhere in the hunt for the horcruxes, and our so called best friend deserting us - is funny and just one big joke to you, then you need your head looking at!"

Harry looked stunned at her "Hermione I wasn't thinking th …"

"Damn right you weren't thinking Harry!" Hermione interrupted again "you never think; it's always down to me all the time isn't it? I'm the one coming up with the plans, and going out foraging for the little food I can find."

"Well I didn't ask you to do any of that" the instant the words came out of his mouth, Harry immediately regretted saying them.

"How dare you!" Hermione shouted angrily at him "How can you sit there and be so bloody ungrateful! I work my fingers to the bone to help you and this is the thanks I get!"

"Hermione if you are that unhappy then why don't you just let me deal with all of this…" Harry said a lot more calmly "the horcruxes, everything. If you want to go back to school and be with Ron…"

"It's not about Ron…"

"Are you sure about that Hermione?" Harry asked quite sternly as he got up from his chair to face her properly "Because ever since Ron left, you've been acting like this. When he was here you were never behaving like you are at the moment…"

"That's a completely separate issue."

"No it isn't Hermione and you know it" Harry's tone then softened slightly "Why are you lying to me? … what happened to you always confiding in me and trusting me with things that are bothering you?…"

"Harry I never lie to you" Hermione looked hurt at his very suggestion "So let me get this straight, you now think I'm a liar aswell as someone who gets in the way?"

"No I'm not saying that at all!" Harry protested as he took a few steps closer to her.

"Well that's the impression I'm getting!" Hermione sighed "Look Harry, I'm going to bed, I'll see you in the morning."

She turned and fled back into her bedroom area, behind the huge flap part of the tent Hermione was using as a divider.

"But Hermione… what about your food?" as Harry said this aloud his voice became quieter as he knew there was no point in him even trying anymore.

Hermione lay on her bed and cried herself to sleep that night; she was so fed up with the life that she had been leading over the past five months. She was missing her parents terribly, but the thoughts of Ron and Harry's behaviour towards her made Hermione feel even more miserable.

**

It was late in the night and Hermione awoke without knowing why, she looked at her watch that she was still wearing. 2:17am. She moaned to herself and got off the bed, realising she was still in her everyday clothes she changed into her blue pyjamas and put on her slippers.

Her stomach gave a very loud grumble. Regretting going to bed on an empty stomach, Hermione ventured back into the main area of the tent to find food, but stopped immediately at what she saw before her.

Harry was in his pyjamas; sitting on the two seater sofa (if you could call it that, it was barely big enough to fit two people) he was lying in a foetal position and was crying quietly. Only muffled sobs could be heard.

Hermione walked very quietly and slowly as she approached him.

"Harry?" she said gently as she crouched down next to him.

Harry did not move a muscle, only his eyes moved to look at Hermione. His emerald green eyes swimming with tears.

Hermione was close enough to Harry now, that she could see in his hand he was clutching a picture of the trio together. A picture taken during the summer after 5th year, the three of them looked so happy and they were smiling and laughing in the moving picture.

Harry let her hold the picture after some encouragement. Hermione gave a sad smile at it; she looked between the picture and Harry, instantly developing an overwhelming feeling of guilt and sadness.

"Aww Harry" she stroked his arm, the one he wasn't using as a pillow for his head "Come here" Hermione put the picture down and gently encouraged Harry to sit up. The two of them sat on the tiny sofa and clung to eachother tightly, in a well overdue comforting hug.

They sat in this position for a long time, up to an hour, maybe even more. Harry had stopped crying and the two of them just sat in eachother's arms quietly, not uttering a word. Until Hermione's stomach gave a loud grumble and Harry released himself from her embrace to look at her with a slightly amused expression.

"Was that your stomach?"

Hermione cracked the first proper smile in weeks "Yeah" she even gave a chuckle "Sorry, I must be hungrier than I thought."

Harry smiled back at her "I made some stew with the mushrooms and plants you brought back earlier. I saved your half, it's on the counter over there."

Hermione gave a grateful look "Thank-you…do you mind if I have it now?"

"Be my guest" Harry responded with a smile.

Hermione ate her stew at a remarkably fast rate, acknowledging how hungry she really was, before sitting back down closely next to Harry on the sofa.

"It was really nice Harry, thanks for saving me some."

"It's only fair, you got the food after all…I just used a bit of my 'Harry Potter culinary skills on it' and wa-la you have yourself a meal."

Hermione chuckled and nudged his ribs.

Harry looked at her happily "It's so nice to hear you laughing again Hermione…I've really missed you laughing and smiling."

Hermione looked slightly uncomfortable as she played with the stray end of one of her pyjama top sleeves "Well there hasn't been that much to laugh and smile about lately."

Harry looked sadly down at the floor "I know…I'm sorry."

Silence fell between the two of them for a long moment before Harry spoke again.

"I really am sorry Hermione…"

Hermione turned to look at Harry as he continued.

"I know I'm not the easiest person to live with… and I'm so sorry that I've been insensitive and I came across as ungrateful earlier … it's just" He looked directly at Hermione now "I'm really concerned for you …"

"You don't need to be Harry, honestly."

"Yes I do. Of course I do. I dragged you into this horrible situation I have got us into…and it isn't fair on you…you shouldn't have to be here. You should be at Hogwarts doing brilliantly in your exams, and I'm more than certain that you would have been made Head Girl. You're missing out on so much, just to be here with me."

"None of that matters Harry" Hermione said sincerely and took one of his hands in hers "And I wasn't dragged into this; I came of my own accord. I want to help you Harry…how can I let you face all of this all on your own, what kind of friend would that make me?"

"A sensible one, for staying away from potentially life threatening situations. I wouldn't blame you at all if you wanted to leave, like Ron did."

"But I don't want to leave, Harry. Can't you see that? You need someone, Harry" Hermione looked away from him and down at her feet "and to be truthfully honest, I need you."

Harry frowned "Why do you need me Hermione? I'm not exactly the best person to be around at the moment. I've been so horrible to you and you don't deserve it, you really don't. I know you are just trying to help me. You are the only person who has always believed in me, and you are the one who I can trust with anything … it's been killing me these past few weeks that we have not been able to talk to eachother like we used to."

"Same here" Hermione admitted gently, and in response Harry rubbed a thumb over the top of her hand that he was still holding as he said "I'm sorry for making you think that you are no use to me here, because Hermione I swear on my own life, that you are incredible and I really do need you here with me." Harry gave a smile "You do absolutely everything and you are such an asset to have when trying to figure out clues for the horcruxes… I doubt I would have got this far, or even still be alive, if it wasn't for you … I just …I guess I have taken you for granted. I'm really sorry for behaving like an idiot and saying such horrible, insensitive things. I really am very sorry, Hermione. Please forgive me."

Hermione gave a small smile "Apology accepted, Harry." She brought him into a tight hug and let go to look at him again.

"And I must apologise too, I've been really horrible and distant from you for ages now. You don't deserve to be treated like that, it's the last thing you need right now."

"It's okay Hermione… I understand about your feelings for Ron and his leaving has upset you a lot … you can talk about it all to me, you know that."

Hermione frowned "Harry, I don't have feelings for Ron."

It was Harry's turn to look confused "Yeah you do, it's so obvious. Especially these past few months we've all been together."

"Harry … I've never really had any feelings for Ron."

"What? But…" Harry was extremely perplexed "But at the wedding? And everything, and all that dealings with Ron and Lavender last year in school?"

"If I'm being honest I was trying to like him, in the same way I knew he felt for me (maybe due to the expectations of others, I don't know). But that all changed when he got together with Lavender. It angered me because I thought, 'well how could he be dating her if he liked me?' If Ron liked me that much, he should have just asked me out, instead of trying to make me jealous. Nevertheless, when he and Lavender eventually split up, and still nothing happened, I gave up trying. I didn't want to waste my time, or any potential future feelings of my heart, on him anymore. And when he deserted us the other week I knew for definite that Ron and I were never meant to be. How could I be with a guy who could be so selfish and treat you so badly, Harry?"

Harry was actually quite stunned "I … I don't really know what to say…" it took Harry a moment to reorganise his thoughts in his head after learning the full truth of Ron and Hermione's (clearly non-existent) relationship.

"So all of that, is the reason why you have been acting so strangely since Ron left?"

Hermione nodded "Yes that is the main reason."

"What is the other reason?"

Hermione looked down at their still joined hands and was quite reluctant to answer at first, but she did eventually summon the courage to speak what she was really feeling.

"I … I miss being around all our friends at Hogwarts, and knowing that my parents are living on the other side of the world … and as far as they are concerned … I don't even exist … it just breaks my heart!"

Hermione developed tears in her eyes as she said this and Harry felt a flood of guilt enter into the pit of his stomach again "Aww Hermione, I'm so sorry."

He brought her into a hug and let her cry for a while.

"I promise you, we'll find your parents again when this is all over. It is all going to be okay…" after saying this Harry actually kissed the top of Hermione's head, in a comforting gesture, and Hermione recovered from her crying within a minute of this.

"Thank-you, Harry."

Harry actually nearly laughed in shock "Why are you thanking me Hermione? It's because of me that you feel like this, because of what I've made you resort to, has made you cry … that is not right."

"Harry it's fine, honestly" Hermione said as she used a tissue to wipe her eyes "I've learnt to deal with it, really, I don't want you feeling guilty. I want you to concentrate on finding the horcruxes and to defeat Voldermort."

Harry looked saddened "I know…and I am trying…it's just so difficult when there is just so little information for us to go on."

"I know" Hermione said quietly and she took his hand again "I know."

They stayed silent for a while, both just thinking things over in their heads.

"We've got a lot to deal with this coming year Hermione" Harry said as he looked at her again "It's going to get even harder, and life is not going to get any easier for either of us. Are you sure you want to continue helping me?"

Hermione gave his hand a squeeze "I will do everything in my power to help you Harry. I am going nowhere, d'ya understand me? Even when things get too tough to handle, I am never going to desert you, not ever. I promise you."

"Thank-you" Harry said so sincerely "That means so much Hermione."

He reached over and kissed her cheek and enveloped her into, yet another, heart-warming hug.

"I'm sorry again about your wand" Hermione said, as they had withdrawn from the hug and Hermione had she spotted it, still broken, on the table near the sofa.

"It's alright…we'll fix it somehow. You saved my life Hermione, that's much more important than my wand."

Hermione smiled and the two of them lapsed back into silence for a while.

"D'ya know what I was actually laughing at earlier?" Harry said as they cuddled together on the sofa.

Hermione urged for him to continue.

"I was thinking about you … I was just recalling the times you used to nag me to do my essays and practice for our exams."

Hermione lifted her head off his shoulder to look at him, bewildered "But you've always hated me nagging you?"

Harry chuckled "Well … yeah … but I do kind of miss it. It is part of who you are Hermione, and I just want you to go back to the way you were, because I really miss the real Hermione. I want her back."

Hermione smiled "That is very sweet" she squeezed his hand again "And from now on I'll try to nag you a bit more, and if you moan, then you've only got yourself to blame" she giggled.

Harry chuckled "I've walked right into that one now haven't I?"

Hermione giggled "You certainly have Mr. Potter."

Hermione cuddled up to Harry again.

The amount of feelings that had been lifted off the pair of them, after having this long talk, was absolutely remarkable. Harry and Hermione felt so much more relaxed and at ease with eachother again. The mood in the tent had lifted considerably. Yet still in the back of their minds, the dark cloud of harsh and difficult times that still lay ahead, was still hauntingly prevalent.

"Y'know Hermione" Harry said as he sat up straighter and Hermione moved herself to look at him "No matter what happens now, I'm so glad I've spent this time with you and I'm so glad we've talked about all of this."

"Me too, Harry" Hermione responded gladly "And what happens if Ron wants to come back, or if Ginny wants to see you?" Hermione inquired, intriguingly.

"If Ron wants to come back then … well it's up to him, I'll accept his decision either way."

"And Ginny?" Hermione asked cautiously, yet extremely curiously.

"Ginny and I are over. I don't have feelings for her anymore…"

"Really? How come?"

"I have had feelings for someone else, for quite a while now" he admitted with a smile at Hermione.

"Who? Do I know her?" Hermione wondered in confusion, with the sound of jealously present in her voice, also.

"You're the brightest witch of your age Hermione; you'll soon figure it out."

Hermione laid back against Harry's chest again as she thought, and then it suddenly occured to her. Hermione looked back up at Harry from where she was lying, to find he was looking at her lovingly.

Without needing to say a single word Hermione knew who Harry meant, and she leant up and kissed him tenderly on the lips.

Dark and difficult times were almost certainly ahead for Harry and Hermione, but for this special moment, in a tent in the middle of nowhere, they were at peace. Together.

***

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