A/N: It has been an extremely long time since I updated this story and I owe you all a big apology. This hasn't been the easiest of years and this story wasn't high on my priority list. I'm slowly getting myself back together and plan to write more frequently. I can't promise regular updates but I won't be giving up!

I've had so much support from the Harry Potter community and this has meant the world to me. I want to thank each and every one of you for reading, reviewing and sending me messages.

I hope you enjoy this chapter!


Chapter Forty-Two: Comfort and Care

The door creaked shut as Harry quickly vacated the old drawing room. Ron glanced over at Hermione and gave her a weak smile. They had managed to escape the Death Eaters and find sanctuary in Grimmauld Place. To top it all, his family were safe. He would sleep a little easier tonight.

'Are you alright?' Ron asked Hermione, as she sat beside him with a shaky sigh.

'It's just a lot to take in,' Hermione whispered. She looked very pale.

'It happened way too quickly,' Ron muttered with a nod. 'I'm just glad everyone is safe.'

'For now,' Hermione said softly, resting her head on his shoulder.

'Fuck knows what we do now,' Ron replied, feeling a little lost.

'I don't think tonight is the right time to decide,' Hermione admitted, 'I think we need to sleep and talk about it all in the morning.'

'I'm sure Harry has already started forming some sort of plan,' Ron said, lacing his hand with hers.

'I'll go and check on him,' Hermione agreed, giving Ron's hand a quick squeeze and jumping back up. Ron felt slightly put out by her eagerness to move away from him so quickly.

'I'm sure he's perfectly fine,' Ron muttered, watching Hermione rummage in her magical bag. She pulled out Harry's toothbrush.

'Even so, I don't think any of us should be wandering around on our own tonight.'

'You've checked the house and it is safe,' Ron replied, standing as Hermione headed for the door. 'Besides, he probably wants to be on his own.'

'I'm just going to check he is okay,' Hermione said, frowning slightly. 'He left far too quickly for my liking.'

'Yeah, he has just left his family to Merlin knows what,' Ron muttered with a frown of his own.

'Ron,' Hermione said softly, 'I'm just going to check he's okay and give him his toothbrush. I'll be back within minutes.'

Ron watched as she quickly exited the room and suddenly felt stupid. Why was he getting annoyed by Hermione leaving him to check on their best mate? He should be running up the stairs to check on Harry himself, not stropping over Hermione doing what they both should have been doing.

He sighed and sat back down on the sofa. He was an absolute twat. Now was not the time to start falling apart. He took a deep breath and grabbed for Hermione's magical bag. Ron gradually located his pyjamas and put them on, as the feeling of being completely ridiculous took over him.

Hermione re-entered the room as Ron pulled his pyjama shirt over his head.

'He's coming back down,' she muttered, quickly extracting her own pyjamas from the bag and turning away from him to change.

'Is he alright?' Ron asked carefully, trying and failing to not look at her as she pulled her pyjama bottoms on and whipped her dress off to expose her graceful back.

'You know what he's like,' she sighed, pulling her vest top on. 'That scar of his is definitely bothering him.'

'Should I go and see him?' Ron asked quietly as she turned to face him with pink cheeks.

'Do you want to?' Hermione said, raising her eyebrow and moving to arrange the sofa pillows.

'I was just being a dick earlier,' Ron replied, 'I dunno what came over me.'

'You're worried about your family,' Hermione sighed.

'I was being a dick,' Ron repeated firmly, 'I should have been right behind you.'

'Forget about it,' Hermione shrugged, 'everything is just a bit intense right now. We will all feel better once we've got some rest.'

Ron nodded as Harry re-entered the room, looking pale and sweaty. The poor bloke looked like shit. He glanced at Hermione and noticed that she also looked extremely peaky. A fact which made Ron feel even more guilty for his little fit of jealousy. His friends needed him just as much as he needed them.

Hermione pulled three sets of sleeping bags from her wondrous little bag and passed them around.

'You don't mind if we all stay in here tonight?' She asked them nervously. 'I don't fancy being in a room by myself.'

'Course we don't,' Ron replied, pulling the cushions off the sofa and putting them in a neat line on the dusty floor, 'and I reckon you should sleep on those.'

'I'm perfectly fine with the floor,' Hermione smiled. 'I don't need special treatment. Contrary to what most boys think, girls are perfectly capable of roughing it.'

Ron laughed and shook his head. 'I'm not saying that, I just think you should have the cushions.'

'Ron's right,' Harry muttered, throwing his sleeping bag onto the floor closest to the door. 'You should have them. We are gonna have plenty of opportunities to rough it.'

'Exactly,' Ron agreed, putting his own sleeping bag close to the pile of cushions and getting in.

Hermione rolled her eyes but said no more on the subject. Within minutes all three were tucked up and ready for sleep. Ron silently reached for his Deluminator and clicked the lights out of the room, leaving them in total darkness.

An uneasy feeling fell on the three friends and Ron couldn't help letting out a sad sigh. This was the start of their Horcrux hunt. Merlin only knew when he'd see his family again; if ever.

Hermione's warm hand found his in the darkness and squeezed reassuringly.

They didn't fall asleep for a long time.



'Ron, get up!' Someone hissed, giving him a nudge.


A coursing pain shot through his right arm, causing him to groan and sit up.

'What d'ya do that for?' He muttered, opening his eyes and rubbing his arm as it tingled painfully.

'Look!' Hermione murmured, pointing towards the end of her sleeping bag.

Ron glanced towards it and yelped. Staring up at them, with a fierce look in its many eyes, was an enormous spider.

'It's huge,' Hermione whispered, pulling at his arm painfully. 'Get it away from my sleeping bag for me!'

'Me?' Ron gulped, trying to wiggle away from her grasp. 'I'm the one with a phobia of spiders!'

'What if it attacks me?'

'So you would rather I be attacked by the thing?' Ron asked, eyeing it with revulsion. 'It looks like it wants to eat me.'

'You're supposed to protect me!' Hermione said keeping her eyes trained on the ugly arachnid.

'Yeah, from Death eaters,' Ron breathed, 'back fired spells, crazy people –'

' – and dangerous creatures!'

'It is the size of a dinner plate,' Ron argued, not breaking eye contact with the beast and feeling around for his wand. 'Besides, you said you could rough it last night.'

'Just move the bloody thing away from the sleeping bag so I can get out from under it,' Hermione huffed, 'I don't want to move in case it thinks I'm a threat.'

'Well how am I supposed to move it without being a threat as well?' Ron asked, glancing at the pretty brunette with a raised eyebrow. It was rare to hear her use any kind of foul language, even if it was something as mild as bloody. For some reason it always made Ron feel slightly horny.

'Do it!' Hermione exclaimed, poking him in the ribs for good measure.

Ron carefully gripped his wand and aimed it at the vile thing. It had the cheek to continue to stare at him.

'Should I kill it?' Ron asked feeling unnerved by so many black eyes.

'No,' Hermione frowned, 'just trap it in a glass and we'll let it outside'.

Ron nodded and carefully transfigured the cushion he'd been using as a pillow into a glass jar. Slowly, he climbed out from his sleeping bag and crept towards the giant. It kept perfectly still, watching the scene unfold. Ron took a deep breath and quickly slammed the jar down and Hermione scrambled over to examine his handy work. She gave Ron a quick hug and slipped a piece of parchment under the glass.

'Thank you,' she breathed, 'now carefully pick it up and I'll open a window. We'll release it onto the windowsill.'

'So it can terrorise the muggle world,' Ron muttered, doing as told and following Hermione with a firm grip on the jar and paper. He didn't hesitate to turn the jar upside down, as soon as the window was open. The large spider fell quickly towards the street below.

'That wasn't the windowsill,' Hermione sighed, as Ron pulled his hand back in and slammed the window shut.

'I got rid of it didn't I?' Ron replied, placing the jar on a small table and shivering in disgust.

'Do you think there are more of them?' Hermione asked, surveying the room carefully.

'I don't want to think about it,' Ron replied with a frown.

Hermione smiled at him, 'thank you.'

She walked towards him in her cute pyjamas and gave him another hug. 'I'm usually better with stuff like that.'

Ron quickly took advantage of being so close to her and inhaled deeply. He loved the smell of her and couldn't resist pulling her into a deeper hug. She laughed against him but didn't pull away.

'I'm probably not the best person to deal with shit like that though,' he admitted, rubbing his cheek against her hair affectionately.

'No, I suppose next time I should ask Harry,' Hermione agreed, before halting and quickly pulling away from him. 'Where is Harry?'

They spent the next half hour frantically searching, only to find him outside R.A.B's room. The tale of how the locket had been taken quickly unfolded and Kreacher had agreed to find Mundungus Fletcher for them.

All in all Ron went to bed that night feeling far more positive than the previous evening. Although he did find himself glancing around the entire drawing room before outing the lights, something which Hermione noticed but said nothing about. She did, however, move her cushions closer to Ron's sleeping bag. Ron smiled into the darkness and found her small hand.

They feel asleep for a second night with their hands interlinked.


It had been an eventful day. Kreacher had found Mundungus, who had revealed that Umbridge had the locket, and Lupin had paid them an explosive visit which had resulted in an exchange of heated words.

As Ron settled into his sleeping bag, he couldn't help but wonder if Lupin had returned to Tonks. He hoped he had. Ron couldn't imagine how worried Tonks would be, what with a baby on the way as well.

The drawing room door creaked open and Hermione quietly made her way over to their makeshift beds. She placed her toothbrush back into her beaded bag and settled onto the old cushions with a sigh. Harry had decided to sleep in Sirius' old room and Ron had a sneaking suspicion that he was feeling guilty for the way things had gone with their old professor. The room felt odd without his presence.

'You alright?' Ron asked as Hermione turned towards him.

She nodded, 'I checked on Harry and he's adamant that he wants to sleep upstairs.'

'I think he still feels embarrassed over the fight with Lupin,' Ron replied, turning to mirror her.

'I feel uneasy not having him close by,' Hermione admitted, 'if we needed to leave in a hurry –'

'– He would get to us in time.'

'Do you think Lupin went back to Tonks?'

'If he had any sense,' Ron said, picking at a loose thread on the cushion closest to him. 'I dunno how he could leave his wife and baby. If it was me, I'd wanna keep them as close by as possible.'

'That's because you're a wonderful person,' Hermione said softly. 'You have always protected the ones you love without question.'

Ron felt his ears heat up and was glad it was dark, 'I dunno about that.'

'Well, you need a little push when spiders are involved,' Hermione teased.

Ron gave her a small nudge and she giggled.

'I've faced Aragog for you!' Ron replied with a grin. 'That is pretty epic.'

Hermione continued to laugh and pulled his arm across her belly so that they were cuddling. Ron gladly moved closer to her and snuggled against her side. They were at a slight disadvantage because she was raised higher than him, but Ron wasn't going to let an opportunity to be this close pass by.

'I'll tell everyone at the Ministry that we're related if I have to,' he muttered against her shoulder, after a few minutes of peaceful silence.

'I doubt you'll need to do that,' Hermione whispered, 'I imagine if we're caught we'll be sent straight to the Death eaters.'

'I feel on edge knowing they're just outside,' Ron admitted quietly, thinking about the four cloaked figures he'd spotted when he had shut the drawing room curtains earlier in the evening.

Hermione nodded before shifting away from him. Ron gave her a quizzical look as she pulled back her sleeping bag and gave his arm a shy tug. He slowly followed her and felt his pulse quicken as their bodies connected with each other in the small space. She pulled at the zip so that they were both encased in the same material. Ron couldn't resist running a hand along her cheek and into her hair. This seemed to cause a reaction inside Hermione because before he had chance to react, she was kissing him.

Hard insistent kisses covered his mouth and caused Ron to moan in delight.

'Shhh!' Hermione whispered against him, 'Harry might hear.'

'Harry is miles away,' Ron replied, rolling Hermione onto her back and deepening the kiss. It was Hermione's turn to moan. Ron smiled against her.

Her hands ran up his back and Ron couldn't resist pressing into her. Hermione gasped at the feel of his erect cock but didn't push him away. Instead she did something utterly amazing and pressed into him. Ron gripped the edge of the cushion above her head and closed his eyes blissfully. How did they get from talking to this?

Hermione continued to kiss him insistently; her bossiness evident even when doing something like this. Heat burned within him and his spare hand found expanses of skin beneath her vest to fuel the fire. She pressed against him again, or did he press against her? Ron found he couldn't form a coherent thought as every fibre of his being told him to grind into her. Wonderful sounds filled the room and made the whole experience even more intoxicating. All thoughts of Death eaters and Horcruxes quickly left their thoughts as they gave in to their desires.

Their tongues duelled enthusiastically and their hands touched and kneaded new places. Ron slid his hand down Hermione's side and beneath her pyjama bottoms, causing them both to freeze as he connected with her bare arse.

'You're not wearing any –'

Hermione bit her lip and nodded timidly.

'I didn't realise,' Ron gulped, beginning to pull his hand away.

'Don't stop,' Hermione breathed, gripping his arm and guiding him back to her soft bum.

Ron kept his eyes trained to hers as he squeezed experimentally. Hermione's eyes fluttered shut in the most endearing way and Ron couldn't stop himself from swooping down to claim her lips again. He lavished her with hungry, wet kisses and continued to massage her glorious behind. Hermione seemed to enjoy the experience because she became louder and more desperate for his touch. She even trailed her hands under his pyjama bottoms and delicately cupped his own arse.

Ron chuckled against her lips and pushed further into her. He was the luckiest wizard on Earth.

Hermione then did something even more amazing and pulled at his t-shirt. Ron obeyed dutifully and took it off in one quick motion. Her hands quickly travelled around to his chest and Ron felt as if he were a treasured gem as Hermione lovingly touched him. Ron shut his eyes and adjusted his weight against her, all the while trying to calm his beating heart. He leaned his forehead against her shoulder and planted warm caresses against the skin he found there. Hermione sighed happily and continued her assault of his torso.

Feeling brave, Ron traced a line of kisses along Hermione's collarbone and down towards her chest. He paused as he reached the fabric of her vest and hesitantly pulled the garment up. Hermione willingly obliged; blushing as she took it off to reveal her bare chest.

Ron felt his breath hitch in his throat as he gazed at the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen; semi-naked Hermione Granger.

'Say something,' Hermione whispered, looking extremely vulnerable.

'Y-you are,' Ron stammered, bringing up a hand to gently cup a magnificent breast, 'gorgeous.'

'I don't know about that,' she admitted quietly, watching him stare at her in wonder.

'Hermione, you're perfect.'

She smiled up at him, 'thank you.'

'No,' Ron smiled, continuing his path of kisses, 'thank you.'

Hermione giggled as his stubble grazed against her soft chest and Ron knew he'd never want for anything, but her, ever again.

Ron spent the next hour of his life kissing, sucking and nipping at Hermione's delectable body. She moaned long and hard when he took one of her hardened nipples into his mouth. Ron shushed her with a heated snog, before attacking her other nipple. Hermione weaved her hands into his messy hair and arched against him. Ron retaliated by grinding against her. His cock strained against Hermione's warmth and Ron knew he wouldn't be able to take much more without cumming.

'W-we need t-to stop,' he panted, trying to still himself and failing.

'We do?' Hermione asked, gazing up at him with big brown eyes and arching as they made contact again.

Ron moaned and it was all too late. He felt his body relax as the sexual tension he'd been feeling was erased. Hermione kissed his cheek as he rested against her bare shoulder with closed eyes.

'I'm so sorry,' he muttered as his face reddened, 'I'm so, so sorry.'

Hermione gave him another peck and gave a nervous laugh, 'don't worry. I-I shouldn't have been so forward.'

Once his heart rate had returned to normal, Ron carefully peeled himself off her and grabbed for his wand. 'I tried to stop myself, but –'

'- Honestly, its fine,' Hermione soothed as he hastily cleaned himself up with his wand.

He turned back towards her and smiled gratefully. Hermione had pulled her vest back on and was looking extremely flushed. Ron instantly felt as if a rock had settled in his gut.

He'd cum in his pyjama bottoms.

Ron Weasley had cum in his pyjama bottoms whilst grinding against Hermione Granger.

Oh sweet Merlin, his mother would kill him if she ever found out.

'Hermione,' he muttered, lifting his knees up so that he could rest upon them.

'Please don't apologise again,' Hermione begged, bringing her knees up to mirror him. 'I started it.'

'Yeh, but I –'

'Comforted me and made me feel alive,' Hermione whispered, shaking her head. 'Please don't apologise.'

Ron pulled her into a soft cuddle. 'You are honestly the most wonderful person.'

Hermione smiled sadly and snuggled closer to him. They carefully settled themselves back under the covers and said no more. Ron felt somewhat comforted by Hermione's light grip around his middle. The feeling of shame for cumming in his pyjamas slowly dispersed and was replaced by contentment. He had a wonderful girl in his arms and nothing could make him happier.

For one glorious night, Ron felt like a normal wizard.

If he had known how quickly things would change, Ron would have done everything in his power to stop time.