Character(s): Ron, Hermione
Prompt #35 Sixth Sense
Prompt #25 Nightmare for Gamma Orionis' OTP Boot Camp on HPFC
Hermione had just known something was going to go wrong that day. It had been a feeling sitting at the bottom of her stomach from the moment she woke up. There had been that niggling feeling in the back of her mind, telling her not to get out of bed; telling her not to let Ron go to work.
But he wouldn't have taken her seriously, she knew that.
So she didn't say anything. They both got up, said good morning to Rose and Hugo, who had stumbled sleepily from their beds and into the kitchen in search of breakfast. Hugo had immediately sat at the table and waited patiently, but Rose – being the Daddy's girl that she was – threw herself into Ron's arms, giving him a tight hug that warmed every part of him.
They had such a wonderful family, Hermione observed, and although at that point it wasn't clear what was going to go wrong, she knew that by the end of the day their family would be torn apart. She couldn't explain it; not even to Ron. It was a sixth sense – something that made her want to hold all three of them in her arms and not let them go.
She just wanted them to be safe.
"Just... be careful, alright?" Hermione said to Ron as he went to leave for a two day mission. Maybe that was why it felt strange – she always worried when he went on missions.
"We've done this a million times before," Ron chuckled, kissing her goodbye. "Everything will be okay and I will see you in two days time." He kissed her again, this time more passionately. "I love you," he said to her. "And I love you too," he added, kissing Rose and Hugo each in turn.
So, Hermione let him leave against her better judgement. She let him Apparate away to their secret spot he was never allowed to tell her about. She savoured that last kiss, because something told her it really was going to be their last.
The day went on and nothing happened. She had the day off and she decided to take Rose and Hugo to the park down the street. She had heard no news and as far as she was concerned, no news was good news.
Ron rarely contacted her when he was away. He was always so busy with his job that he never had the time. If he went away for weeks, then he would write, but he was only on a mission for two days.
It was quite normal for him not to write to her at all.
The park had a few Muggle families playing; one being friends of Rose and Hugo. Rose beamed at the two children who were kicking a football around. Hermione waved to their mother, who was watching from a bench.
It was in that moment Hermione wished that she knew of their magical heritage. She wanted to be able to tell her of her fears, what she was afraid of. But she couldn't. She was friends with so many of the Muggle families in the street, yet none of them knew who she really was.
Rose and Hugo joined the two children in their game, while Hermione came to sit with the mother. They said hello, they asked how each other were and they talked a little about their children. There wasn't much to the conversation; Hermione didn't feel like talking.
"I'm hungry, Mummy," Rose said after an hour of playing. "Can we go home?"
Hermione ran her fingers through her daughter's red hair. She looked so much like Ron – both her children did. They were both such happy, carefree kids. She couldn't help but wonder what she would have done without them. Her life would have felt empty.
"We can go home, sweetheart," she said kindly. "Hugo."
She said goodbye to her Muggle friend and took Rose and Hugo back to their house. Still, nothing had happened. There was no news and as far as she knew, Ron was okay.
That was always good.
The rest of the day went by slowly. She played with her children, constructing a smaller version of Hogwarts out of boxes. She used magic to help put it together and moved it to the corner of the living room.
Although it looked small from the outside, inside, even she was able to stand up and have plenty of room to spare.
Rose and Hugo found some sticks in the backyard to use as wands and began saying the spells they had heard their parents say time and time again.
"I can't wait to go to Hogwarts," Rose said. "Then I can learn to do real magic."
"Three more years, sweetheart," Hermione told her. "And then you can."
Rose looked at her, seeming to debate whether or not to say something else. Hermione waited patiently and sure enough, she ended up confessing.
"Did you know Daddy teaches me sometimes?" she said. "He told me not to tell you."
"I know," Hermione replied. "He shouldn't be doing that, but I know you both love it so much."
Rose nodded enthusiastically. "It's so much fun! I hope he brings me a present when he comes home."
"He always does," Hermione said. "He'd never forget." Of that, Hermione was sure. Wherever he went, Ron would always find something to bring home to Rose and Hugo. Whether he actually bought it, or simply brought home a rock from that place, the pair of them treasured every gift he gave them.
By dinner time, Hermione had come to the conclusion that her feeling of dread had been nothing but a horrible nightmare. Ron had been on missions many times before and he had always come out unscathed. He had fought Lord Voldemort when he was just eighteen.
Nothing would happen.
Just as she was clearing away Rose and Hugo's half-eaten meals, she heard the familiar sound of someone arriving via the fireplace. She froze. That wasn't good.
"Hermione?" It was Kingsley. "Hermione, where are you?"
"He... here," she stumbled, choking on her words. She put down the plates and moved into the living room, where the Minister met her in the doorway. He had a frantic look on his face and the moment she saw it, she knew she should have told Ron not to go.
Regret ate away at her and Kingsley hadn't even confirmed anything. But she knew; she had known all along.
"What happened?" she asked. She wasn't asking what was wrong, she was asking what had happened to Ron.
"There was an accident, we weren't prepared. It was so unexpected. We..."
Tears feel freely, but she didn't care. Rose and Hugo were in the next room, blissfully unaware of what had happened. They were still waiting for their dad to get home; to bring them his usual gift.
"Where is he?" she demanded. "Kingsley, where is he?"
Kingsley didn't reply. He simply looked at her with as much grief as she felt. "There was nothing any of us could do," he said softly.
"I knew it, I told him to be careful. I knew. I just knew something was going to happen to him. I didn't want him to go, but I knew... I knew..." More tears fell and she had to sit down.
Kingsley sat beside her, patting her back. He didn't say anything; he was just there to comfort her.
"How did it happen?" she managed to ask after a long time.
"There were more of them than we thought. We were outnumbered three to one. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Hermione shook her head. They had been through so much and a simple mission – something he had done countless times – had killed him. It wasn't fair.
She looked at Kingsley. "Rose... Hugo... how do I tell them? They loved him so much; I loved him so much."
"I know," Kingsley replied. "I know you did. And he loved you." He put an arm across her shoulders. "But we're all here for you. We lost a great member of the Ministry today; we lost three actually. We're here for you."
Hermione didn't care about that. She simply wanted Ron to be there. She wanted to be able to go back in time and tell him not to go and for him to stay with her. If she had just listened to what her heart was telling her, he'd still be alive.
He'd still be with her.
The reality was worse than any nightmare. The pain ate away at her and there was nothing she could do about it. He was gone, he was never coming back and she was left without a husband and her children were left without their father.
All because the Aurors had gone in unprepared.
"Whoever killed him," she said to Kingsley, "find them and put them in Azkaban. I will do my very best to make sure they suffer in there."
Kingsley squeezed her shoulder. "And I'll do my very best to catch them."
This goes hand in hand with chapter 10. I swear, I love Ron. I really do! I just enjoy torturing my OTPs. *sheepish look*. I hope you liked it and I would love your reviews. Also, again, please leave suggestions of what you would like to see.