Thank you so much to everyone welcoming me back and reviewing the last chapter! It feels so great to have all your support! I have replied to those reviews in a video you can find on my YouTube channel: JesWithOneEss. Exciting stuff!

Huge thanks to Hedwigshero (Otterly Brilliant on AO3) for betaing this chapter, once again helping me piece things together and adding her flare for beautiful writing.

So looks like things are looking up for Ron and Hermione…

This moment is from Deathly Hallows: Chapter 22, The Deathly Hallows

Look at Me

Chapter 17

It is a dreary, depressing and rainy day in March; it has been that way for weeks as we trek and camp along various landscapes: vast open meadows, misty shorelines and dense forests. Tonight we've set up the tent and protective spells on the edge of a clearing. A ring of trees circles us, but provide little shelter; they are bare, with only hints of green on branches. There is a chill in the night air, but it seems even thicker inside as neither Ron nor I have broken the tense silence between us for the past few hours.

After three months of awkward silences and giving him the cold shoulder, I find myself asking the same question: exactly what is the reason behind this heartache and pain? What life lesson could possibly be garnered from the experience of having someone you love walk out on you, only to return, and force you into reliving that heart-wrenching moment day after day? I'm conflicted; the vulnerable side of me wants to forgive him, forget everything and start over. But what good would that do in the long run? Too soon, and the resentment will only grow into a giant ball of fury and rows, and our relationship will be broken beyond repair. I realize he was under the influence of the locket before he left, that he wasn't himself, and that Harry yelling at him to go only helped in his decision. But the fact remains; he did leave, he didn't fight to stay. He didn't fight for us.

As I stew in the complexity of our relationship, my eyes stray to Ron sitting cross-legged on the floor, tapping his 'borrowed' wand on the radio, muttering random words and names under his breath in order to find the correct password for Potterwatch. I shift on my cot as I absentmindedly polish the Sword of Gryffindor, hoping he doesn't notice me glancing his way every so often. Not for the first time since he returned, I imagine the sword in his large capable hands, crashing it down upon the locket with incredible power, killing a piece of Voldemort's soul... The amount of courage and strength that must have taken... I've tried pressing Harry for details, but he was adamant that it is Ron's story to tell, not his. That reply has only succeeded in doubling my curiosity over this unknown event that has obviously been troubling Ron and gnawing at me for months.

"Ron?"

He abruptly stops tapping the radio and his eyes, wide with a mix of surprise, apprehension and hope, are on me in a flash. "Yeah?" he replies, almost timidly, and it hurts to hear him so cautious while talking to me. It doesn't feel natural, doesn't feel like us.

I take a moment to reconsider. I can turn away right now, tell him to forget I said anything. Or I can take the next step towards what we both want: reconciliation. I think about the past few months and how much he's matured, how he's stepped into a leadership role (since Harry's obsessed with the idea of claiming the Deathly Hallows, which is absolutely preposterous since they do not exist, a fact that I have been trying, without success, to convince him of), guiding us to new places where Voldemort may have hidden another Horcrux. He's kept us moving, not staying in one place long enough to dwell on another failed attempt.

I'm really proud of him, of how much he has grown. Maybe it's my turn to grow, to bury my pride a little, and do what i know in my heart is right. I am so tired; it takes a lot of energy to stay angry for so long. I'm ready for a change.

Ron's eyes follow me as I place the sword on the bed, walk over and kneel down, sitting on my heels on the floor across from him. I take a deep breath and meet his eyes, and I'm taken aback by the acute attention he's giving me. He doesn't seem to be breathing as his gaze bores into mine. I struggle to remain in control- strong. Willful.

"I want to know exactly what happened when you destroyed the locket," I say firmly in one breath, then hold it. I really should have thought what to say before speaking...

"Right," he says slowly, then looks away and sighs heavily. "Anything 'cept that."

"But why-"

"Look," he says and holds up a hand to stop me. "It's not that I don't want to." He shakes his head, nervously twirling the wand between his fingers. "It was just so fucked up. I can't talk about it, not with you. Not yet."

"What do you mean, not with me?"

He rubs his hands over his face now, visibly frustrated. "I want to tell you, Hermione. I just can't. Can you please just let it go?"

Given the fact that he's been so agreeable with everything else I say, in order to get on my good side, getting this kind of response only makes me want to know even more. He looks troubled and I feel guilty for bringing it up, but now I have an overwhelming urge to help him, to fix him. I move closer, our knees are touching and I lean forward until he has no choice but to look at me, as painful as it is for him to do so.

"I can't just let it go, you know that," I say softly, trying not to give away how desperate I am for him to tell me. "You can tell me anything, Ron."

At those last words his eyes narrow and he stares back at me, his head cocked to the side. "Really? Then tell me, why is it everytime I've tried to talk to you, you either ignore me or snap back, making me feel like shit?"

His words entrap my thoughts, and my emotions are thrown in the air, struggling to fall back into place and make sense again. I'm taken aback, shocked and affronted by the accusatory tone in his voice, as if I'd done something wrong. My initial reaction is to lash out at him, but then I remind myself of the one word that brought me down here to the floor in front of him: reconciliation.

XXXXX

I shouldn't have said what I did, but I couldn't hold it back. I've tried to give her space, respect her wishes to be left alone. When we do speak it's mostly about food or where the next Horcrux might be. I can't talk to her about what I felt, heard and saw before killing that locket. I couldn't stand it if she were to confirm any of those insecurities, or was too angry to understand. I'm embarrassed, and completely ashamed at how it affected me. But now I'm afraid I've just undone all of my previous attempts to make things up to her with that one stupid question.

"I don't mean- I'm not saying I don't know why-"

"No," she interrupts, and shakes her head as if clearing it. And the anger I just saw in her eyes is fading. "You're right."

"Wait... what?"

"You're right," she says again, then points her finger at me. "Not to say that you shouldn't feel like... shit." My heart soars a bit to hear her swear, but I'm too confused by the switch in moods, to feel the thrill of it. "I'm asking you something you obviously want to keep from me, for whatever reason, and I think I understand why, but I've been avoiding you, making it very clear that I don't want to hear anything you have to say, and then now I demand answers... It really doesn't make much sense, does it?"

She's speaking so fast and I'm not sure if she's looking for a real answer or if it's a rhetorical question, but I'm too stunned by her admission to form a reply, so I stutter and do a sort of nod-head-shaking thing, then make a noncommittal noise with my throat.

"No, it doesn't," she confirms, and now I'm even more confused. She lowers her head and I lean forward; her face is so close to mine I can see every freckle across her small nose, random curls falling over her pink cheeks, flushed from whatever is going on in that barmy mind of hers. And she looks so bloody gorgeous that I have to literally sit on my hands to keep from grabbing her face and either snogging the hell out of it or shaking it to loosen her innermost thoughts.

"Nothing makes sense anymore," she whispers sadly. Then her eyes lock on mine and traps me in a penetrating stare as she continues in the same melancholy tone. "I just want to know why... I want to know what happened- what I did, that made you feel you had to... I wish I knew what happened out there with the sword and the locket, when you came back. It hurts not knowing. Thinking there was some way- something I could have done or said..."

"I... I had no idea you felt that way," I say quietly, my mind reeling.

A tear falls and she doesn't try to hide it. She's letting me see her this way, broken and vulnerable, after three months of layering protective shields around her heart and mind, not letting me in for one second. Not since that intense kiss we shared when I first arrived have I seen her this fragile, her walls finally down; and here she is practically blaming herself? A surge of guilt travels throughout my body, paralyzing me for a moment as her words race around my head.

"I wish," I say as I free my hands and use my thumb to wipe the tear off her cheek, "I had never left." She presses her lips together and I hear a small whimper as she struggles to contain herself. I'm devastated and shocked at how I was able to shatter her so completely, how capable I am of breaking her heart. I'm overwhelmed at how suddenly this moment came about, but most of all I'm scared as hell I'll screw it up somehow. I cup her face with my hand, fingers threading through the hair by her ear, and it feels so good to touch her again without her pushing me away I have to hold back my own tears. I catch her watery eyes in mine. "I'm really, really fucking sorry, Hermione."

She sniffs, then nods. "I know."

"You do?"

She seems to come back to herself and pulls away slightly, swiping at her eyes, but I refuse to let go of the feel of her skin, so I bring my other hand to cup the other side of her face. "Of course I know you're sorry, Ron. You're not a completely heartless bastard."

"Oh right, well, no I'm not... A heartless bastard, I mean. Not completely."

Her mouth twitches into a half-smile and she closes her eyes, unable to move her head since it's in my hands, and it's as if I'm holding a delicate piece of glass, one that I've broken and then haphazardly mended. I'm afraid I will break it again. But somehow, I feel encouraged and more hopeful than I've been in a long time.

XXXXX

"I miss you," he says; the deep rumble of his voice reverberates down my spine. My face is cradled in his hands and I don't pull away, unapologetically sinking into the satisfaction of Ron's touch. I look up into his eyes, two fountains pouring hope from his gaze, and I want to bathe in them, soak up the trust and forgiveness and love, and return it tenfold, without the bitterness and the torment that I feel I am drowning in. I wish that so badly...

"But I'm right here," I say, searching his expression, and there's sadness behind the hope that is tearing my heart apart all over again because I know exactly what he means.

"No, I miss us." His hands slide further into my hair to the back of my neck and we're so close that I fight and fail to find breath and words. But he has plenty of both as his fingers press on my scalp, punctuating his words with passion. "What will it take, Hermione? What do I have to do?"

"I... don't know what the protocols are for this sort of situation," I say, shaking my head. "I just wanted to know..."

"Bugger protocols," Ron says a bit too harshly, and his short nails rake across my neck and he pulls me closer, our foreheads now touching. "Sorry, I just can't." And now I'm breathing so hard I have to lick my dry lips, and my chest is rising and falling so rapidly that our bodies briefly touch and a spasm of electricity goes through us. "I fucked up. Fuck, Hermione. I'm sorry. But I can't be without you. I can't stand the thought of you thinking of me as just a friend, or someone you can't stand to be around. I'm not myself without you. Not now that I know what it's like to finally... I don't want us to end."

His words are tinged with a now-or-never kind of desperation that makes my head swim. My hands reach up to grab his wrists- not to push them away, but to make sure they never leave. "Neither do I," I say in a shuddering breath and shake my head vigorously to make my point clear. "I miss us, too."

He lets out a shaky breath. "Yeah?"

"My feelings, they haven't changed. They've just been altered a bit, that's all."

He relaxes his hands to my shoulders and sits back to look at me; I miss his closeness already. But I worry if letting myself get consumed by him right now is such a great idea. Then he asks me a question that doesn't give me a choice in the matter:

"Do you still love me?"

"Yes," I say without hesitation. Saying no doesn't even cross my mind. It feels good to let go, even for just this moment. And for once I feel there is a chance we can eventually move past this.

His expression hardens, but his eyes are dancing as he grips my hair once more, leaning forward until I can feel his breathy words on my lips. "I'll never stop loving you."

"I know," I nod and feel tears in my eyes again because I realize I've always known- even while he was gone, and this entire time we've been separated by hurt feelings and mistrust, I know he loves me, that he always will. And that is the most wonderful feeling in the world. "And for some ridiculous reason," I say through my tears, then smile and shake my head in disbelief, "I don't think I could ever not love you."

XXXXX

We've just made an unwritten promise that no matter what, we'll always love each other. Hermione's words have filled the hole in my heart, her lips closed the wound and her tears have healed it. I feel whole again.

"That doesn't mean you're forgiven," Hermione says abruptly. "It will take time, and I'm not sure how or when, but-"

"But you're saying there's a chance?" I ask, not bothering to cover the eagerness in my voice. "Listen, you said you love me and, fucking hell, that's enough for me, Hermione."

I can no longer wait to do what I've been dying to do the past few months; Before she can reply I close the gap between us, pulling her torso into my chest. My arms wrap eagerly around her shoulders and back, fingers gathering fistfuls of hair. I bend over and nestle my face into the space between her right ear and shoulder, breathing her in as if I'm dying for lack of oxygen.

I can feel Hermione's breaths coming hard and fast, her heart beating rapidly against my own, and hot tears dampen my neck. She whispers my name and sighs as I pull her into a tight embrace. She is the ball of light that brought me back here; She's been in my heart the entire time, guiding me along this journey...

She gasps at the sudden clench of my arms around her, my hands moving in her hair, pulling gently and then not-so-gently on her massive curls. But I can't let go, I don't want to, not ever. And I thank Merlin when she clings back, her tiny hands fumbling across the back of my jumper, crawling up towards my shoulders and back down again to encircle my waist. Her lashes tickle my ear, her lips graze my skin as she burrows her head into my neck. It's the most intense hug I have ever experienced.

It may be a cold night, but the heat between us is palpable as my hands leave Hermione's hair and travel down her back, pressing her into me even more. We're on our knees, swaying on the spot, swept away by our emotions. I try to remember what she said about taking time to heal and forgive, but the way she's moving with her hips pushing against mine and her hands grabbing my jumper, lifting it up to expose my skin to her nails, scratching... Fuck, I'm so confused about how far to take this, and she's definitely not helping by being so bloody sexy.

"I've missed this," Hermione says breathlessly. Then she's kissing my face along my jaw and my cheek, and I can't suppress the groan that vibrates my throat and escapes as a growl and a hiss, and suddenly I'm being pushed on my back to the floor.

XXXXX

It's too late. I'm gone, lost in Ron; his hands, his breath, his words... My resistance is futile. I tried for months to convince myself that I didn't want him, didn't need him, but I'm entirely too self-aware not to realize that denying Ron in my arms and in my heart would ruin me forever.

But before I fully give in, I make a promise to myself that because we are still broken we need to work hard on mending the pieces of our shattered relationship. But right now, with Ron's tall frame hovering, clinging to me like I'm a lifejacket, I can't let him drown. Everything else falls away and becomes trivial compared to his touch and smell, to him.

"I've missed this," I rasp against his face before licking my lips and dragging them across his jaw and kissing his cheek. I'm struggling for control, mostly out of habit as I'm not sure I even want it anymore. I just want Ron.

I pull back only long enough to plant my palms against his chest and push him to the floor. He's so startled he doesn't resist when his back thumps on the ground, and he's looking up at me with shock and awe. I move to straddle his hips and take a moment to look at him: disheveled hair, flushed cheeks and breathing hard through his nose.

Something lets loose inside of me. Heat and hormones are raging in my abdomen, circling around the idea that now is the time to claim what I've been deprived of for so long. There is no Horcrux, thanks to Ron, to obstruct our thinking and actions. It's only us, and I can tell from the way he's looking at me that he wants it, too.

He reaches up and his grin falls as he traces one finger across my bottom lip, a silent plea. I lower my face to his, my hair darkening our surroundings in a cave of heat and shallow breaths. His finger, wet from the inside of my lip, trails down my chin and down my neck, stopping at the edge of my shirt. His fingers unfurl and his palm lays flat on my throat, thumb rubbing one side of my neck and back up to my chin. I roll my head to the side, pressing into his hand and close my eyes. It all feels so wonderful, so right, and not even the doubt and hurt I still have inside of me is enough to burst through this wanton bubble we've just created.

"Bloody brilliant... Gorgeous," he breathes out, and I let my forehead fall to his, practically panting out of anticipation. I rest my mouth on his, our lips barely touching.

Finally he lifts his head to meet me the rest of the way, pressing his lips to mine, and I moan long and low, not wanting to move. But then he's grabbing at my waist and I'm pushing down with my hips, grinding into him. His hands lower to my bum and squeeze, hard, as the kiss slowly deepens. His hips rise to meet mine and we both gasp, breaking away from the kiss as his hardness, even through his jeans, is tight against the throbbing heat between my legs.

XXXXX

Merlin, fuck! This is amazing.

She's so soft and so hard in all the perfect places. I'm pushing, squeezing and pinching every piece of exposed skin that I can find, eliciting noises from Hermione that are sending my mind into a whirlwind of feverish lust that I'm pretty sure she's pumping directly into me via her mouth. Her tongue is swirling around mine as if she can't taste enough of me, as if she's dying of hunger and I'm her only source of nutrition.

I sit upright with her on my lap as we continue to ravage each other's mouths and bodies. My hands are skimming over her back underneath her shirt and hers are trailing up my stomach, tickling me and sending shivers throughout my entire body. It's overwhelming, euphoric. Familiar, yet new...

And bloody fucking amazing.

I lift her easily and drop her down to the floor, much more gently than she did to me, and waste no time raining kisses and sucking all along her neck, throat, and collarbone.

"Shhh," I tell her when I sense her about to cry out when my fingers brush over her bra-covered nipples. They're hard as pebbles and the feel of them makes me even harder, something I didn't think was possible. I move the bra cups aside and pinch them as I kiss down her stomach. She's panting, raking her nails on my scalp, pulling my hair, making me knead her tits harder and faster.

"I want you, Ron," she moans. I raise my head and blindly find one of her tits with my mouth, pulling the stiff peak inside and suck hard. "Ahhhh... oh god, Ron. Please."

I'm spurred on by her begging as I knead and suck and pinch and lick... but when I feel her hands find their way between our bodies my heart skips a few beats, and I have to stop to take a breath. Then the button on my jeans unsnap and the zipper goes down, and before I know it she's touching me, stroking and pulling, and there's nothing I can do but freeze, momentarily shocked by the surge of pleasure and blood shooting straight through to my dick.

"Oh shit, Hermione, fuck."

"Does that feel good?" I move up so I can see her face and she's staring at me through a haze of heady desire.

"Yeah... so good," I pant, followed by nonsensical grunts and hissing as her hand moves faster. She's biting her lip, concentrating on what her hand is doing to me, and fuck if I can think straight. But then she stops and I panic, wanting her to continue, but worried we went too far, that I did something wrong again. "What- What's wrong?"

She removes her hand and I want to cry, I was so damn close.

"N- Nothing," she says hesitantly. "I think... I'm ready."

"Ready for what?"

"Honestly, Ron. Do you have to ask?" She huffs, but I can hear the nervousness and doubt behind her tone.

"Oh...Oh!"

The next thing I say is something I never thought I'd say in this particular situation: "No. No, no, no." I scramble off of her and tuck myself in and zip my jeans back up. I'm shaking my head, the whole time asking myself why I'm such a fucking tosser. She obviously wants to shag me right here and now, and I'm saying no? Yeah, complete twat. But I can't ignore that voice in my head telling me this isn't right.

"Where are you going?" Hermione asks, sitting up and pulling her shirt back down, looking flustered and confused. "What are you doing? Don't you want this? Don't you want me?"

I look at her like she's gone mad, which I'm not sure is entirely untrue. "What the- of course I do, Hermione! What the fuck kind of question is that?"

She pushes her hair back and positions herself so her legs and arms are crossed. "Well, I dunno. I'm throwing myself at you and you say no! What am I supposed to think?"

I stop to think, to choose my words carefully because as confused as she is, so am I, and I have to find a way to explain myself without digging another deeper hole. So I sit right in front of her and, thankfully, she lets me take her hands in mine.

"Look at me," I say when she turns her face, frowning down at the crackling radio. But she raises her head when I say so and I can see the hurt in her eyes. "I am being completely honest when I say this, so dont get mad at me for it, okay?" She only frowns more so I continue without her promise. "I... I wanna fuck the hell outta you, so bad... I think about it everytime I look at you, or think about you, smell you even!" Her eyes widen and her cheeks instantly turn pink. "I want you so much it fucking hurts, Hermione. Seriously, I have to wank every day just so my bollocks don't turn to stone and fall off. And now, after so long, you tell me you want to... fuck all if I don't want to f- make love to you right now."

"Then why don't you want to then? If I remember correctly it was me putting it off before, making you wait. What's changed?"

I have to laugh. "What's changed? Everything's changed, Hermione! Look me in the eye and tell me that you're not wanting to do this just to try and forget, to make it easier on both of us. Because as much as I want to believe that you've forgiven me, as much as I want this to be over and go back the way it was before, I know that's not true. It can't be that easy, especially not with you." I grin and she rolls her eyes, and I can tell she knows I'm telling the truth. As much it pains me and my bollocks to say all this to her, I've learned my lesson. I've had time to think about things while I was away, and since I came back. I don't want to make any more mistakes. "Are you angry with me?"

She sighs and covers her face with her hands. "No, I'm not angry," she says, her voice muffled. "I'm mortified. I feel like a such a stupid trollop."

"You can't be serious," I say, laughing, and pull her hands from her reddened face. "You're damn beautiful and smart as hell. If anything I feel like a poof for saying no to you. I must be losing my mind, yeah?"

XXXXX

My embarrassment turns to tenderness after Ron makes me feel at ease the only way he knows how; by just being Ron. His honesty and openness have always been what I loved best about him, but there is a certain amount of maturity he's gained this past year, and for that I am thankful, and proud. I tell him so and his ears turn red, his turn to feel embarrassed.

"We're okay then?" he asks.

"We will be."

Just then the tent flap opens and Harry's lit wand appears before he ambles in, rubbing his stomach. "I'm starved," he says, passing us and doesn't seem to notice how close we're sitting on the floor. "Have you two eaten yet?" He walks into the small kitchen and opens a cupboard, searching for I'm not sure what since there is nothing in there.

"Er, no, we haven't," Ron says and we exchange looks, then turn back to Harry, waiting for him to comment on the fact that we're obviously in the middle of something. But I don't mind because this is the happiest I've felt in months. It's not perfect, but what just happened between Ron and I can be considered progress, and I couldn't ask for anything more right now.

"Damn," Harry mutters, then turns to look at us, finally his expression shows some surprise and his brows raise. "Oh, sorry. Were you two... did you make up?"

"Sort of," I answer lightly as I stand up and walk to the chair and reach for my beaded bag. I look back and notice Ron exchange some kind of nod and smile to Harry, confirming what I just said, but in a more... boy-ish way. I roll my eyes and dig around for a can of peaches. "Here you go, Harry. Last one." I toss the can to Harry who catches it and smiles gratefully.

"Cheers, Hermione." Harry says after swallowing his first slice. "Hey, Ron, did you get that radio working yet?"

I look at Ron and catch him staring at me, but then quickly looks away to Harry. "What? Oh, no, I couldn't guess the password."

"Have you tried Albus?"

Ron reaches for the turned over radio and pulls out his wand. "No, lemme see..." He says the name and suddenly the radio comes to life. We stare at each other and huddle around the radio. Then we listen as Lee, Lupin, Kingsley, Fred talk about what's been going on in the wizarding world outside the tent we've been shacked up in. It's a relief to hear that Dean escaped, as well as Hagrid, from Snatchers. I'm devastated to learn that Tonks father has died, as well as so many muggles. Ron reaches for my hand and squeezes it during the moment of silence for those who have fallen. They voice their support for Harry, and my heart swells and tears are running down my face.

And when it's over we're all beaming at each other, just glad to hear familiar and friendly voices, elated at the amount of support for our mission, even when they don't know what it is we're out searching for. It's amazing, really.

XXXXX

Relief. Sadness. Pride in our friends and family for keeping up the fight, for supporting us no matter what. And thankful for those who have managed to escape and hide. I'm holding onto Hermione's hand and she's silently crying.

But then Harry is rambling on about everything and then I realize he's about to say it, the Taboo, and by time I open my mouth to stop him it's too late; he says Voldemort's name, and I shout at him that that's the trigger. That's how the Snatchers and Death Eaters can find us. Our brief relief turns to panic, then we hear several definitive cracks outside the tent, too close for comfort. I take my Deluminator out and chase the lights into it, leaving us in almost-darkness. We hear excited voices and in the dark I see the outline of Hermione as she raises her wand to Harry's face. He gasps and before I can say anything I'm being pulled away from Hermione and dragged outside.

Snatchers! I notice Greyback, the werewolf, among them, and a chill runs down my spine. Hermione is in the arms of another Snatcher and a rage builds up inside of me from the pit of my stomach and all I can think of to say is, "Get - off - her!" I'm rewarded with a punch to my gut and I double over in pain, but I keep my eyes open, set on Hermione and making sure no harm comes to her, or so help me fucking Merlin...

She screams at them not to hurt me, and I try to shake my head at her, to tell her to shut it, but then Greyback touches her face, saying, "...I do enjoy the touch of soft skin..." and I feel like I'm gonna vomit. I'm sickened and scared all at once. I can't let anything happen to her and Harry. I can't. I meant what I said back at Grimmauld Place. If it has to be anyone, it has to be me. So when we're thrown to the ground I start talking, telling them a fake name in order to distract them from Hermione and Harry. My reward is getting punched in the face.

But then one of those twats recognize Hermione from The Daily Prophet and he holds the newspaper next to her face. Even though she vehemently denies it, there is no mistaking it's Hermione in the photo. My heart is beating wildly inside my chest and my mind is working overtime trying to think of a way out of this. I look to Hermione and then to Harry (who's face is barely recognizable thanks to Hermione's stinging jinx) and from their expressions I can tell they're doing the same thing.

But it's no use. We're caught. They decide that since they have Hermione, best friend to Harry Potter, then they must have Harry as well. It doesn't take long for them to deduce that they have me, too. They find the sword inside the tent and my stomach drops even lower and the three of us exchange panicked looks. Then they mention You-Know-Who, and my heart shoots back up into my throat and I'm choking on it.

"They say he's using the Malfoys' place as a base," one of the Snatchers says to another about Voldemort. "We'll take the boy there."

XXXXX

A/N: I will not be writing anything from Malfoy Manor. Next chapter (and probably the one after that since 18 is becoming quite large) will detail moments at Shell Cottage, the aftermath. Only a few more chapters left until the end!

Also, as I mentioned earlier, I have a YouTube channel (JesWithOneEss) where I will be replying to reviews and answering questions. You can ask me anything! And ask me any you want, from inside of a review, a PM, on my Tumblrs (mypatronusisacupcake or RomioneSmut), or myTwitter (JesWithOneEss).

Thank you for reading and please review!