Hey guys! A short little story that just came to me. I don't own anything. Please review!! I promise that I'll love you forever!
It seemed like everything was black, and I guess it was.
Looking across the courtyard of this huge cemetery, the sky, the mourners, the mood of the people around me, the future, seemed completely oblique and opaque. Black, in a word. Except for the numerous dots of flaming red that could be seen every few feet.
"I didn't even know there were this many Weasleys." Harry leaned down to whisper in my ear. Humor. It was all that really kept us going. Unfortunately for me, I was horrible at it. But I suppose that's what friends are for, making up for your weaknesses, keeping you afloat in times…
Well, in times like this. I looked for one friend in particular. Friend? Or so much more? I couldn't discern the difference anymore. It used to be so simple. When did it get hard? I asked Harry this and his only response was a shrug as he caught eyes with Ginny across the gravestones.
"I guess… Geez Hermione, I don't know." His heart wasn't in his answer. He was just trying to get from day to day. I tried to smile up at him.
"It seems it's always been complicated." He tore his eyes away from Ginny.
"Yeah. I'm sorry about that." He looked down sheepishly. I pulled him into a hug before he could get any farther. I rose up on my toes, resting my chin on his shoulder, keeping my eyes open, looking for Ron.
"Harry, if our lives had gone any other way, we wouldn't be the same. And I really like who we are. I have to thank you for that, even if we've had hard times, we'll keep having them. It's just a part of life." Harry hugged me hard, almost too hard for a minute, and pulled away.
"Thanks, Hermione." I smiled at him, but we both knew where we truly wanted to be. For me, at least (and I can't speak for Harry), want is too soft a word. I needed to find Ron, to hold him, hear him say that he needed me, too.
In all the chaos after the war, we rarely had time together. Certainly not the way we were used to. In the past, all I'd had to do was look up and Ron was there, never too far. That's why his abandonment hurt so much. I wasn't used to him not being there.
I turned on my heel, walking back towards the main building. Perhaps he was there. Every once in a while I would nod to someone, or be stopped to talk. People needed words of assurance from me, for some reason. I wanted to scream that it wasn't really me. It had never been me to do anything.
But I was one of the "golden trio". In me, somehow, people had begun to see strength or the future or something. Something that I really had no capacity to give them.
No matter how many times I was stopped, however, my ultimate goal remained in the front of my head. Ron.
While we hadn't had a chance to speak after the battle, it had only been five days. Just long enough to miss him like crazy, and not long enough to worry. But I can't really complain.
Even though we hadn't spoken, doesn't mean we didn't find ways to be together. Either I could feel him watching me as I sat across a room, or feel the light brush of his thumb across my waist as he walked by, just making sure I was there.
And then at night. Nothing could take that away from us: a simple pleasure that had begun in that God forsaken tent. With Harry keeping watch, or asleep, we had crept into bed together. It had started slowly, but soon, I realized that I couldn't sleep without him. Or wouldn't.
Even after he'd left, despite all my anger and confusion, I slipped under his quilt to sleep the very first night he was back, and slept soundly. That hadn't changed with the new circumstances we found ourselves in. Me in Ginny's room, him with Harry in his. No.
Even though it meant tiptoeing around Harry, and him knowing what we were doing, midnight found me creeping into his room, sneaking past Harry's cot, and sliding into Ron's arms.
But he wasn't inside the building. As I looked around, throwing sympathetic smiles at every red-head I saw, I didn't see my red-head. I signaled one of the funeral home staff.
"Is there a fireplace I can…use?" He nodded and pointed discretely towards a door on my right. Sure enough, there was a whole room of them.
God bless wizarding conveniences. I thought, throwing some floo powder in. I knew I was in no shape to apparate. In such a shape, even, that when the burrow came to a spinning stop in front of my eyes, I almost toppled onto the carpet. As it was, I reached a steadying had out, and caught myself.
Keeping my hand on the wall practically the whole time, I dragged myself up to Ron's room. So many stairs. Too many stairs. But I made it. He wasn't there, but then again I hadn't really expected him to be.
I know that, by definition, I hadn't lost my brother like he had. I hadn't lost someone so close to me, I knew people who'd died, and that hurt, but I wasn't related to any of them in reality.
But the thing is, with definitions and reality, which I had relied on so much before all this happened, were letting me down.
The "reality" is that the family I was apart of had lost a member. The "reality" is that it felt hard to breathe, accept when I was wrapped up in Ron. The "reality" is that I had absolutely no idea how to help him or fix him. No spell or potion would do it. That was weighing on me more than anything else.
I collapsed onto his bed, and curled into a ball, dragging his thick, hand-made comforter around me, up to my eyes, wanting to block out the rest of the world. That was where he found me.
I heard the scrape of his door open an hour later, and my eyes popped open. There he was. Simply standing there. It was the first time we'd been alone since before the battle. I had expected something epic, romantic, or, at the very least, emotional.
Instead, it was just quiet. For the first time, I didn't know what to say. I could only lie there on my side, staring up at him. He was staring back. Finally, he reached up and loosened his tie.
His suit didn't fit him well, tight around his shoulders and short in his legs. As he stripped down to his boxers and undershirt, I couldn't help but think of how these clothes would have dwarfed him first year.
We had all been so much smaller. But we were big now. Big enough to save the world, I guess.
He pulled the covers away from me and I moved back to give him some room. He put his arms around me and I arranged myself so that my head was in the perfect little nook between his shoulder and collarbone.
I could breathe again. I felt him bury his nose in my hair, kissing the top of my head before he softly murmured, "Hi."
Again, I guess I'd expected more from our first words to each other in almost a week, but this suited us so much better.
"H." I sighed into his chest, clutching his shirt and trying to pull him closer. He sighed back, still hiding in my hair.
I lifted my head to look at him. "Thank me?" I asked softly, curious. What had I done except sneak in here every night for my own selfish reasons?
"Yeah, you." I could almost see his smile. Almost. But he was still grieving, so all I saw were the sides of his mouth twitch. "You've been…" He pulled me up so that I was laying beside him on the pillow so he could face me. "You've been an angel."
He leaned forward to rest his head under my chin, as if he couldn't help it. My fingers came up to run through his hair. "I'm… I'm not." I was trying to think of what to say. "I'm just a girl."
I felt his lips press to the middle of my chest, making me shiver. His head raised so that he was on top of me, looking straight down into my eyes. He brushed my untidy hair away from my face.
"You're not. You've been absolutely perfect. You…You give me everything I need. Like right now." He lowered his head to the crook of my neck, his lips pressing into the side as he continued to speak.
"All I wanted was to come up here and be with you. No one else. And just sleep. Merlin, I'm tired. And here you are. Like you knew…" My arms came up around him, tracing the strong muscles in his back, but when I would have spoken, he went on.
"And every day, you don't ask me for anything. You're here when I need you, you don't push or pry or try and fix anything…I can't tell you how much it means that you're letting me deal with this on my own. But then at night, exactly when I'm at my lowest, there you are, at least getting me onto another day. Sometimes I even sleep, Hermione. You have no idea…" He breathed out roughly against my throat, again, sending chills all over my body.
"Angel." He whispered like it was a benediction. Like I could truly save him. And the only thing I genuinely could do is tunnel my fingers through his hair and pull him closer, closer, even closer.
But after a few minutes, I couldn't stand it.
"Ron, I really am just a girl." I paused, rubbing my chin over his head. "I…I don't nag you because I don't know what to say to you, or how to help you. And at nights, I'm in here because you help me get through to the mornings. Today, I was in here because I didn't want to deal with the crowds and I just wanted to be with you. I'm tired, too."
He was shaking his head, rubbing his nose back and forth under my ear.
"Wrong." He said, and I had to laugh at that a little. "You're wrong. I know you hate that, but it's true. Now listen." He propped up on his elbow beside me to look at me sternly.
"I know I haven't been the most…observant person in the world, but I feel like I found you, really found you, right when I needed you most. You're perfect, like a miracle or something. I don't deserve that…don't deserve you. That's how I know you're an angel. You're something completely out of my league, like I couldn't even in my wildest dreams imagine you wanting me, but here you are, with me anyways-"
"Of course I want you!" I cut off his rant. "I've wanted you since third year! Ron, I'm normal." I was trying to make him see. All the things he was talking about? That was him to me, not me to him. Didn't he know that?
"Just a girl." He finished, rolling his eyes, giving me the tiniest glimpse of my Ron, the man I'd fallen in love with. He sighed and rolled to the side, settling me back onto his chest. "I can see that there's no convincing you, but it's enough that I know the truth, even if you won't acknowledge it."
But even his voice sounded farther away than usual. He couldn't joke like he used to. But he would, soon.
"Maybe we can just count ourselves lucky that you just happen to need the exact same thing as me." I said loftily, knowing that I was horrible at making jokes, but trying anyways. He surprised me with a small huff of laughter.
"Whatever you say, Angel." He whispered. I waited until his breathing was even and he was finally asleep. Before I, too, drifted off, I brushed a kiss across his jaw.
I knew who was really the angel here, and it certainly wasn't me.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Ok, guys! I'm thinking about adding another chapter of periods in their lives, but if y'all could let me know if it's worth continuing, that would be superb.
I'll just wait till I get a review or two, or am struck suddenly with inspiration.