Author's Note: Okay. So…first off, happy 2012! Secondly, I should tell you that I'm so incredibly nervous about posting the first chapter of this, my second multi-chapter story. And that's because I haven't finished it yet. I've only got six chapters completed. I've never in my life shared anything that wasn't already complete and I'm a tad freaked out about screwing up somewhere in the storyline and forgetting something vital, therefore compromising a portion of the plot. But I have ideas written down and the general plot of the story is stored within my head, which is usually the safest place for me to hold information. Essentially, I'm taking a huge chance here, but I'm itching to share what I got. Lastly, I hope you'll enjoy.

Disclaimer: not mine.

Chapter One: The Possibility of Mortification at its Finest

The tension was thick. Almost sickeningly so.

Hermione Granger had been on the run with Ronald Weasley and Harry Potter for months now, and although the three of them were best friends, Hermione was finding it extremely difficult to share a tent with two boys.

As brilliant as she was considered to be by several of her peers in both the Muggle and Wizarding worlds, there were some things she hadn't really considered when she'd made the decision to aid Harry in locating the missing Horcruxes. These "things" could actually be summed in one very simple and very obvious point – Hermione was a girl, and Ron and Harry were boys.

Simple, yet Hermione found it difficult. And obvious, yet she hadn't thought about what it meant until the actual living arrangements began. This was different from when they were on holidays at the Burrow or Grimmauld Place. This meant sharing the same bathroom with two boys. This meant having to hide her discomfort when she was having her monthly period. This meant having to be careful about where she changed her clothes lest the boys accidentally see something they shouldn't.

But all of this she could live with if not for one hugely inconvenient problem. For sharing a small space with Harry and Ron meant that Hermione had no privacy whatsoever to relieve herself of her constant sexual frustration.

Today was a particularly bad day. No matter how hard she attempted to concentrate on her book, her mind inevitably wandered. Visions of the red-haired wizard she once considered her best friend assaulted her conscience and she scowled in frustration.

He had turned up a few days ago, weeks after he'd abandoned them. And regardless of her anger with him, the same night he'd returned, coincidentally so did her sexual desires. It had almost entirely disappeared with his absence, but only because Hermione had been too preoccupied with being miserable.

She had known since their second year at Hogwarts that she liked Ron much differently from the way she liked Harry. And now, in what should have been their seventh and final year, she knew she loved Ron in a way she would never love Harry, or any other man for that matter.

She was in love with Ron. She'd never met anyone who could make her feel so much at one time. And she knew it would always be this way.

Tonight was a perfect example. She was torn between wanting to punch him, insult him, kiss him, cry on him, and have sex with him – all at the same time. And it had always been for Hermione that the angrier she was with Ron, the more she wanted him. Badly.

She rubbed her thighs together in an attempt to dull the ache between her legs and sighed in frustration when it only heightened her sensitivity.

'To hell with this,' she whispered to herself, and stepped out of the tent with the intention of going for a walk.

The fresh winter air soothed her heated skin, and she closed her eyes in momentary relief before having to face Ron and Harry sitting a few feet away from the entrance of the tent. She almost considered leaving without telling them but knew it would only cause unnecessary panic if they discovered her missing.

She opened her eyes and gave herself a few moments to look at Ron. She hadn't spoken to him since the night he'd come back. It hurt her but she couldn't trust him anymore. And so each day he'd been back, she allowed herself a moment when she could stare at him unabashedly and dream about things being different. Ron would have never left; he'd tell her he loved her; and then he'd be inside of her, where even he believed he belonged.

She shook her head, looked towards Harry and called out his name.

'Yeah, Hermione?' Harry answered.

She could feel Ron's eyes on her and used all of her willpower not to turn her head.

'I'm going for a short walk around the forest,' she said. 'I've got my wand, and I won't be long. I just … I just need some air.'

She felt Ron's eyes burning into the side of her face and she took a deep breath in an effort to calm herself.

'Okay, Hermione. Please be careful.' Harry said.

'I will,' she promised. And as she turned to leave, her resolve broke and she chanced a quick look at Ron.

There was something in his expression she couldn't read. He gazed at her expectantly, and Hermione abruptly turned around and walked away, missing the frown on his face.

With every step she took, she felt calmer but, oddly enough, no less frustrated. She moved further away from the tent until she could only see it in the distance. Still, she knew she had to be quick as there was no telling how soon Ron or Harry would come looking for her.

She found a spot amongst the trees which she deemed safe enough to do what she needed to do. Slowly, she lowered herself to the ground and lay down on her back, shivering against the light frost underneath her. She slid her hands over her breasts, and then moved lower until she reached the hem of her jumper. She pushed it up until her bra was exposed, and then pulled down the cups, freeing her breasts. She licked her fingers and pinched and pulled at her nipples, envisioning them being encased in Ron's wet and warm mouth. Her back arched and she moaned as her mind conjured visions of Ron touching her in ways she'd dreamed about for years.

She moved her right hand down to the button of her jeans, undoing it, and then pulled down the zip. Her hand snaked beneath the fabric of her knickers and her fingers moved over her clit, causing her to gasp aloud. They moved in a familiar rhythm and she had to bite her lip to keep herself from panting out Ron's name. That was something she never allowed herself to do. The idea of calling out his name only for him to never hear it was unbearable. Rather, she moaned louder as she moved her fingers inside of her, imagining what Ron's cock would feel like instead. She was very close to coming and knew that this final thought would push her over the edge.

Her moans and whimpers increased in volume, and she bit down on her free hand to stifle the sound, remembering she hadn't cast a silencing charm. But she was too far-gone to do anything about it now. She was so incredibly close.


Her eyes shot open, and with a speed almost inhumanly possible, she pulled up her bra, yanked down her jumper, cast a cleaning spell on her fingers, and zipped up her jeans.

Panting, she sat up, her eyes scanning for Ron. Oh, Merlin, please, please tell me didn't see me, she thought desperately. Her head moved frantically in every direction until she finally spotted him standing not too far away from where she remained hidden. He was looking to his left with a worried expression on his face.

'Hermione!' he called again. He still hadn't noticed her.

Breathing a sigh of relief, she stood up.

'What do you want?' she asked.

She was angry that he had interrupted her just as she was about to come. That, coupled with the fact that she still hadn't forgiven him, left her extremely irritated.

His head whipped around as he heard her voice, and his shoulders sagged in relief. He licked his lips as he stared at her, and the ache in her core throbbed painfully.

'Well?' she demanded. Regardless of how she felt on the inside, over the years she had mastered the art of masking her need for Ron through her anger.

'I'm sorry,' he whispered, his voice hoarse. 'I – I just wanted to see if you were okay.'

She wanted to melt in his arms, but kept up her façade.

'And what made you think I wasn't?' she asked, as she crossed her arms over her breasts.

For a moment, Ron's gaze dropped to her chest, and she felt her nipples tighten at the look on his face. It's only because you're the only girl around to look at, she silently scolded herself. The cold truth only angered her further and she stomped her foot in frustration, causing Ron's head to snap up.

'I asked you a question, Ronald,' she snapped.

His features glazed over with rage.

'Fuck, Hermione!' he yelled. 'I'm fucking sorry for bothering you, but I was worried, okay?'

She snorted in disgust, as her irritation grew.

'What about? That I'd leave? Like you did?' she retorted.

As soon as the words left her mouth, she wished she could take them back.

Ron gasped in shock, and stared at her for a long moment before his features crumpled, and he dropped his head in shame. His stance spoke of a man defeated before he'd barely begun the battle. Hermione's heart broke for him, but she couldn't back down. Not now. Not after what he'd put her through.

'I'll never forgive myself for leaving,' he murmured, after what seemed like hours of silence. Hermione could only wait quietly, not trusting herself to speak calmly.

'I hate that I did that to you … and Harry. You have to believe that,' he almost begged. He looked up at her then, a man broken by his own stupidity, and she wanted to hold him. Stubbornly, she remained rooted to her spot.

'I came out here to find you. I wanted to apologise again and just – just talk to you. I … I missed that. I missed you.' He paused and swallowed hard.

Her whole body screamed at her to move closer to him, but her mind reminded her ever so bluntly that his words were born out of his love for her as a friend and nothing more.

'But then I heard you moaning, and I panicked. That's why I was worried. That's why I asked if you were okay. I thought you were in pain,' he said.

Hermione's body warmed with embarrassment as she realised just how close she was to getting caught masturbating by Ron, of all people. She hoped he wouldn't notice her blush.

'But I can see you're fine,' he continued, oblivious to her reddening face. 'And you obviously still don't wanna talk to me. Sorry for bothering you.' And he turned away from her.

The sight of his back to her recalled the memory of the very night he left. She'd run after him, calling his name, and he hadn't even given her the courtesy of facing her. Her rage bubbled up to the surface.

'Leaving again, Ron?' she screamed.

He froze mid-step, and whipped around to face her. Angrily, he strode over to her until they were separated by only a few feet.

'Damn it, Hermione! What the bloody fuck do you want from me? How many times can I say I'm sorry? You don't wanna hear it. Fuck, you don't even wanna talk to me!' he yelled.

She opened her mouth to reply, but he cut her off.

'Harry's forgiven me. What do I have to fucking do to get you to do the same? Tell me!' He stopped then, and closed his eyes, breathing heavily.

Hermione didn't know how to answer him. How could she tell him that she'd forgive him in a heartbeat if he told her he loved her and wanted her just as much as she loved and wanted him? Her vision blurred.

'Hermione,' Ron said calmly, his blue eyes boring into hers. 'Tell me what I have to do. You're my best friend. You have to know that I'd do anything for you. Just … fuck, just tell me.'

She couldn't tell him. She wouldn't tell him.

'Ron,' she whispered brokenly. 'Leave me alone.'

She couldn't stop the sob that escaped her, and buried her head in her hands, unable to watch him walk away from her yet again.

She heard him move, refusing to lift her head, and then gasped in shock as she felt his arms wrap around her.

'Never,' he said, and held her tightly against him.

Before she could control herself, her hands were on his chest, gripping his jumper as if her life depended on it, and she cried freely against him.

'Promise,' she sobbed as her body shook with her pain.

'I promise,' he whispered. 'I'll never leave you again. Even if you threaten to hex my bloody bits off.'

She chuckled and relaxed into his embrace, best friends once more.