A/N– so, I've read a lot of fic. Maybe too much, but enough to think that maybe I can do this; maybe I can write fic too. I can form complete sentences. I can use spell check. I've actually read the books my fic is based on. How hard can it be? OK, that's not fair to the really awesome writers, but perhaps a dig at the bad grammar/text speak that some "stories" seem to use.
So here it is my first attempt at a Ron/Hermione fic. I'd come up with my own idea of what happened during that nineteen year gap and even fleshed a fair bit out in my head. But, as I've said, I've read a lot of fic. Suffice it to say, that fic has influenced my own version of things. In some cases, it matched what I had already thought of- in others I liked the authors' idea and altered my own. I have ideas for at least one year in the life of Ron & Hermione and I'm going to attempt to write all those stories. In any of those stories where I remember a particular influence I will gladly cite them in my story. If by some crazy chance someone reads this, and you notice your idea in my story without citation, please let me know. It's not my intention to slight anyone- I just haven't been keeping bibliography notes all this time and likely forgot.
So, since I don't know how far this will go, each story is intended to be independent, yet part of a greater whole. I make no promises of "completing" this story as I'm not sure how long I can keep this up (I'm not a writer, honest). Constructive criticism is always welcome, flamers will be laughed at. J.K. Rowling is to blame for all of this; it's her fault so don't come crying to me. Alrighty, enough of the jabber jawing- here's the story.
A/N2: so, I've begun the slow process of going back and cleaning up the grammar in these early chapters. I'm doing it on my own, using the skills bequeathed to me by HalfASlug. So they're probably not perfect, but should be much better than before.
An Unconventional Fairytale: No Longer Alone
Once upon a time, in a faraway land, a beautiful princess slumbered in a castle tower …
The sunlight peeked through the gap in the scarlet curtains. Hermione cracked open her eyes and gazed at the familiar sight. Her brain automatically tried to conjure up what class would start her day, but it was hazy and classes seemed so distant. As she slowly came to consciousness, she noted how warm she felt and how the sunlight was coming in from the right and not the left side of her bed. She awoke fully when the arm tightened around her waist and she held her breath.
Oh, that's right.
A smile spread across her lips as she remembered how she'd gotten to the boys dormitory and into Ronald's bed…
I've had enough trouble for a lifetime.
It was done. Harry, by coincidence or by plan, had become master of the three hallows and so cheated death one last time and thus defeated the dark wizard whom had marked him his equal sixteen years prior. The price had been terrible. Hermione didn't even know the count, but she knew those closest to her. Professor Lupin, Tonks ... Fred. That thought brought her eyes to the ginger man standing next to her.
When did that happen? When did he turn from boy to man? Was it outside the Room of Requirement when he remembered the house elves and sought to warn them- "We can't order them to die for us." Was it when he would sit in the chair next to her bed at Shell Cottage and hold her hand, "Just 'till you fall asleep," but would inevitably fall asleep himself. Or before that, when he would hold her and stroke her hair and whisper, "It's okay, you're safe now, it's okay." when the nightmares tore her from sleep. Or maybe it was when he carried her limp body, calling Bill's name, begging him to "Help her. You have to help her!" Or, when she clung to life, to sanity, her only thread the sound of his voice- "HERMIONE!"
Yes; all of it. Somewhere in these past months the immature boy with dirt on his nose became the man she knew he could be. It had been frustrating when he would fail, because she knew he was more than capable. He was quite clever, when he wanted to be. Basilisk Fangs- she'd be jealous if she wasn't so proud. She squeezed her hand wrapped his and he looked down at her. Ron glanced at their clasped hands and back to her eyes. He gave a little smile, maybe a smirk. Looking back at Harry, "I don't know which I am more, hungry or tired."
They all let out a chuckle. Harry said quietly, 'Kreacher?" With a crack the ancient house elf appeared.
"Master Harry, Kreacher is glad to see you well."
"And I you, Kreacher." Harry said, kneeling down to closer to eye level. "I trust you're well, no injuries?"
"No Master, Kreacher is fine. Kreacher remembered what Master Harry told him. When the Death Eaters came to my Mistresses house, Kreacher came to Hogwarts straight away to hide, just as Master Harry told him to do."
"Yes, sorry about that. We really were looking forward to that roast. I'm glad you got away and were safe." Harry looked at Hermione a bit sheepishly before asking, "I take it the kitchens here are still intact?"
"They're still functional. Would Master Harry and his friends care for something to eat and drink?"
"That would be great Kreacher- perhaps in the common room? No rush." He added hastily, not to ire Hermione who only smiled wryly.
"Straight away, Master Harry." With a crack he was gone.
They made their way to Gryffindor tower, which was miraculously unscathed. Kreacher appeared with plates of sandwiches and mugs of pumpkin juice. The three friends ate in silence, trying not to consume the food to fast and make themselves sick. Or at least they did after Hermione admonished the boys for shoveling food into their mouths like pigs. Bellies full, Hermione caught Harry looking at them. They were sitting back, Ron's arm along the back of the sofa, slowly descending to be around her shoulders as she gradually sank into his side. Harry couldn't help but smile.
"I'm knackered," muttered Harry, "going up to bed." He lifted himself off the armchair, gave Ron and Hermione one last glance and smile before heading off to bed.
How many nights had she been alone with Ron? Why was this one different? Right, the snogging. "Sleep sounds wonderful." Hermione said. "But there's no way I'm going to bed this filthy."
"Sounds like a plan." Ron replied and stood up. He offered his hand to her and helped her up. They stood at the bottom of the dormitory stairs, neither sure what to do next.
Finally, Hermione turned to him. "I don't want to be alone."
The thought of going up to the girls' dorm, alone, didn't appeal to her. Ron looked into her tired eyes, took a deep breath, and grabbed her hand. He lead her up the stairs, stopping at the second landing with the door marked seven and poked his head into the bathroom. She thought she heard water running, when he pulled her along to the next landing. This door was marked six, and he pulled her inside the deserted bathroom.
It was the exact mirror of the girls' bathrooms- four shower cubicles down one wall, sinks alongside and toilet cubicles along the other, fresh linens lined shelves. Ron led her to the last cubicle. "Take this one. I'll be right here next to you."
As he moved to pull the curtain on his cubicle Hermione stopped him. "Wait." Rummaging in the beaded bag, she pulled out pajamas for both of them.
"Thanks." He muttered as he took the clothes, his hand lingering over hers.
They disappeared behind their respective curtains. Last summer, as she packed the tent, a thought drifted through Hermione's mind that she would soon be alone with two young men. And as quickly as the thought came to her, she dismissed it. That was the last thing she need worry about. Harry was like her younger brother so that wasn't even on the table, and Ron... well, Ron just wouldn't. Not that she didn't think about it whilst showering in the tent- wondering what his hands would feel like on her bare skin. Hermione shook her head and tried not to think about the thin board of shellacked pine that was all that separated her cubicle from his.
As she started to peel the layers of clothes off, all of her injuries started to come into sharp relief. Muscles ached. Cuts and scratches stung. Her shirt adhered to her skin where the Fiendfyre scorched her. At last she stood naked under the warm water and let the ash and blood wash away. She must have whimpered, because Ron's voice drifted over the top of the cubicle. "Are you alright?"
"Yes." She replied. "Just sore."
She bit her lip to keep quiet as she used soap and a cloth to wash away the stubborn bits. She felt a nasty cut across her left shoulder blade and could feel a burn in the middle of her back. She had to wash her hair twice to get most of the smoky smell out. Bits had been burned off. Perhaps she could get Mrs. Weasley to trim it for her later.
She heard Ron's shower stop and soon finished her own. After toweling off, Hermione applied dittany to all the wounds she could, but the cut and burn on her back were out of reach. "Ron?"
"Could you... could you help me?"
He was just outside her curtain. "What do you need?"
"I need you to apply some dittany on my back. You can come in."
She was sitting on the small bench just outside the shower, hair wrapped up in one towel, another wrapped around her body, but dipping down in the back to expose the wounds. Ron looked down at her bare back and gulped. His eyes hardened when he took in all the cuts, burns and abrasions that marred her otherwise perfect skin. He sat behind her and took the dittany bottle. Using a cloth, Ron tenderly dabbed dittany onto her wounds. The cut on her shoulder blade ran from spine to shoulder. There was no gash in her jacket, so it was likely from Gringotts. The burn was probably from the Room of Requirement. As he touched the cloth to it she sucked in her breath.
"Sorry," he muttered.
"It's okay. Just stings a little."
The dittany did its work and the sores started to heal. His eyes became fixated on a couple strands of hair that had escaped the towel on her head and a bead of water dripped onto her back. He brought his fingertip up to catch it, lingering on the smooth skin. Hermione's eyes slid shut at the contact. The breath she was holding slowly released when she felt his lips, tenderly placing a kiss on her shoulder.
"I'll leave you to get dressed." He whispered and left the cubicle.
She dried her hair, dressed and found Ron waiting for her at the door. They walked down to the seventh year's floor and he looked at her, as if searching for an answer. Apparently he found it, because he took her hand again and led her into the bedroom. The curtains on Harry's bed we're closed. Either Ron didn't see Ginny's shoes alongside Harrys under the bed, or he didn't care. He pulled back the covers over what had been his bed and turned back to Hermione. "Still don't want to be alone?"
He nodded and crawled into the bed, laying as far to the right as possible. She knew, after so many months, that they both slept on their right side. Apparently, he noticed too. She crawled in after him and after some limb negotiation they found a comfortable position on their sides, her head over his arm but not pinching off circulation. She lay her right hand into his where it rested on the mattress. She could hear him inhale deeply, as if breathing in the scent of her.
She was warm, it was over and she was exactly where she had always wanted to be.
His arm must have wrapped around her sometime during the night. He hadn't been presumptuous enough to put it there while awake. They had also gotten much closer- 'spooning' as it were. Hermione had read about how boys... men, would develop a, well, they'd be a little ... hard in the morning. (Why was she blushing?) It was perfectly normal, and in fact considered to be a healthy response. It had nothing to do with the fact they had slept together, his arm around her, in his school bed. No, nothing at all. There was nothing to be flattered about. Not at all. Except maybe that they had slept together. In his school bed. His arm, tight around her middle. His erection, pressing against her bum. Was he grinding?!
She smiled. No, nothing to be flattered about at all.
Ron shifted, let out a deep sigh and froze. She took his arm before he could jump away. "Good morning."
He must have realized that he wasn't in trouble and settled back down behind her. "Morning."
They laid like that for several minutes, before Hermione twisted a bit to lie on her back to face him. "Hi."
They stared into each other's eyes, not quite sure what to say, not wanting to ruin the moment.
"How's your back?"
"Oh, fine, I don't even notice it."
His hand was resting on her belly; he hadn't moved it when she turned over. Her top had ridden up just a bit, and where his skin touched hers felt as if it were on fire. Good fire, passion and heat, not scorching and burning. She'd had enough of that. She had to touch him. He had a scratch on his cheek, and her finger was drawn to it. She traced the faint mark and kept going to the corner of his mouth. His lips parted, just a bit and she felt his breath, hot and fast.
Did she say it out loud? Just think it?
His lips closed over hers, softly, tenderly. The fingers on his cheek slid to the nape of his neck, clutching at his long ginger hair. The hand on her belly wrapped around her waist and he held on as if she might slip away. The kiss deepened, someone moaned. She felt the tip of his tongue slide along her lips.
She parted her lips and returned the gesture. He lightly sucked on her bottom lip. Back, forth, tasting, sucking.
They froze, parting; they looked down at his stomach. Another grumble and they both broke into laughter.
"Fuck." He sighed and flopped back on the bed. "Leave it to my stomach to ruin a snog."
Trying to stifle her giggles, Hermione sat up and looked at him. "We probably should be going downstairs anyways - before someone comes looking for us."
They're eyes met. "Yeah, probably a good idea. Don't want the wrong person finding us."
Pulling back the curtains, they found Harry's bed vacant and the beaded bag on his nightstand. They pulled out clean clothes and Hermione changed behind Ron's bed hangings.
As they turned to leave the room, he took her hand and stopped. "Hermione, are you…" He stammered, "I mean would you... do you wanna..."
She reached up, flashed him beautiful smile and caressed his cheek. "Yes Ron, I'm your girlfriend."
He smiled back at her, a goofy, crooked thing looking like the Bludger had come around from yesterday and hit him again.
He bent over to kiss her one more time before heading down the stairs to the Great Hall hand in hand. Together, they would face whatever the future would bring them, which hopefully included breakfast.