So, after a couple requests, I've finally decided to continue this story! This will be the last part though (for real this time) ;) I hope you enjoy! :)
Ron Weasley walked through a pitch-black passageway. He squinted his eyes, searching ahead for a door or at least the end of the seemingly endless hallway. Finally, out of nowhere, a door appeared to his left. Hesitantly, he pushed it open and peeked his head through to observe the room on the other side.
It was lit only by an enormous fireplace and seemed to be unoccupied. But as his eyes roamed the floor, his heart fell to the pit of his stomach. Lying in front of the fireplace was the crumpled, motionless body of Hermione Granger. Without thinking about any possible danger, Ron opened the door all the way and dashed over to Hermione's limp form. He fell to his knees and turned her over so that her face was staring back at him, her eyes wide and glazed over.
"No..." Ron whispered in horror and disbelief. He grabbed her face in his hands, and started to sob when he felt that it was cold. "Hermione, please... wake up...," he choked out. Tears dripped down onto her pale cheek as Ron knelt beside her, the pain paralyzing him. Then, out of nowhere, Hermione's body started to crumble. Ron watched powerlessly as she disintegrated into a pile of dust. And as the room filled with a familiar green light, Ron screamed Hermione's name one last time...
Ron let out a sharp gasp as he was torn from his nightmare and back to reality. He looked around the sitting room that he, Harry, and Dean were sleeping in, and his heavy breathing lessened as he realized that it had only been a dream. He looked down to see that his hands were trembling uncontrollably. He waited until his heartbeat had slowed down to normal before he slipped out of his sleeping bag, stepped over Harry and Dean, and headed up the stairs. Even though he knew it had been a nightmare, he wouldn't be able to sleep until he had seen Hermione peacefully asleep and unharmed.
When Ron reached her room, he slowly pushed the door open. He didn't want to wake her, so he only stuck his head inside the room. He could just make out her sleeping form in the dark room, and soon he realized that she was shaking. Alarmed, he pushed the door farther open and stepped all the way inside. He approached her bed, and as he got closer, he heard a small whimpering noise coming from her.
When he reached the side of her bed, he put his hand on her shoulder for only a moment before she jolted awake. She looked around wildly for a few seconds before her eyes focused on Ron standing over her. She immediately burst into tears. He sat on the edge of her mattress and she threw her arms around him in a tight embrace, weeping into his shoulder. He held her small form closely, his heart racing, until she calmed down almost five minutes later. She pulled away and stared at him, still sniffling slightly. It was only when Ron reached out and wiped away the tears hovering on her cheeks that she found her voice.
"I'm so sorry, Ron," she quavered, just loudly enough for him to hear her.
"You don't have anything to be sorry about," he said firmly.
"It was just a nightmare after all, I don't know why I made such a big fuss."
"It's fine, after the day you've had—"
"You must think I'm really stupid right now. It's just like me to make a big deal over something so small."
"Wait, I don't think you're—"
"I hope I didn't wake you up, I'd hate to think I—"
"Hermione! I'm fine, it's you I'm worried about. Obviously you had a bad nightmare, you don't need to apologize."
Hermione stared back at him again. After awhile, she quietly said, "It was horrible."
"Would you like to talk about it?" asked Ron.
Hermione hesitated, and then nodded slightly. "I guess it might help. All right, I was back in Malfoy Manor, and Bellatrix had just finished... torturing me." She winced at the memory. "I was lying on the floor, almost unconscious, when Bellatrix had you brought upstairs. She asked you the same questions she'd asked me, but you stuck to my story. I thought you'd be sent back downstairs, but Bellatrix decided that she'd gotten all the information she could from us. She ordered Greyback to... finish us. He went for you first. And I watched as he... tore you apart... and you were screaming... and... and..."
Hermione's voice was shaking and her eyes were wide. Ron quickly pulled her to him as she began sobbing again, and held her as tightly as he could while still being mindful of her injuries. "It's all right, Hermione," he said softly. "I'm all right. We're all right."
Tears trickled down Hermione's cheeks as she wrapped her arms tightly around Ron's neck. He rubbed her back soothingly, unsure of how to effectively comfort her. After a few moments, he heard her quietly murmur, "I couldn't bare it if something like that happened to you, Ron. I... I need you."
When he heard this, Ron only held her tighter and firmly said, "Well, you don't have to worry about that Hermione. I'll never leave you alone like that, not ever. As long as you want me around, I'll be here."
Hermione pulled back slowly, looked directly into Ron's eyes, and said, "I'll always want you around, Ron Weasley. Always."
A small smile lit up Ron's face. He carefully wiped away her tears for the second time that night, and after a moment of hesitation, he leaned down and gently kissed her forehead. Her eyes closed at his touch. A few seconds later, he slowly stood up from her bed, saying, "You'd better get some sleep."
"You're probably right...," she said, staring at him with a kind of calmness that he'd desperately missed seeing from her. He started walking towards the door, when he heard her call his name. He turned around, and he could just make out a slight blush as she asked, "Do you think you could maybe stay with me...? Just for tonight."
There was only a moment of uncertainty before he nodded and made his way back over to her bed. She lifted up the covers, and he slid in beside her. He laid down facing her on his side, wishing he could hold her again, unsure if she wanted him to. But he was left in no doubt when she laid down facing the same way as him and carefully leaned back against his chest. He moved his arms gently around her and held her cradled against him.
As her breathing started slowing down and becoming more peaceful, Ron silently considered what had happened during the last ten minutes. The night had certainly taken a turn he hadn't expected, and he honestly wasn't sure if he'd managed to help Hermione or not. But then he remembered her calm, almost happy expression gazing back at him. And as he held her safely in his arms, just for once, Ron Weasley thought he might have done something right.