Well, it's been forever since I last wrote a fanfic, but as I listened to the HP7 audio book this little idea suddenly came into my head. It takes place when Ron comes back to them, destroying the Horcrux and then talking/fighting with Hermione and explaining everything that has happened.

I don't own Harry Potter, and I'm kind of glad I don't, to be honest. But enjoy!

As Harry lifted the protective charm between Ron and herself, she suddenly felt… tired. Ron was back and she needed to think about that, and she needed to think about everything that he had told them, and what had just happened with the locket. After so many weeks of fruitless contemplation on the location of other Horcruxes, the fact that one of them had just been destroyed was too much to contemplate.

Harry and Ron continued to talk, but she did not listen to them. As she got up to return to her bed, though, she noticed that their conversation had paused. Without looking or talking to them, she got into her bed, burying herself in the blankets as she suddenly felt cold.

'About the best you can hope for, I think', she heard Harry say softly. She almost smiled. She knew he was thrilled that Ron was back, having forgiven him – even though they had not discussed it – earlier than Hermione. She was not sure where she stood when it came to forgiveness.

'Yeah', Ron replied. 'Could've been worse. Remember those birds she set on me?'

Shesurely remembered; it was both a moment she was ashamed and proud of, and before she could stop herself, she replied, 'I still haven't ruled it out.'

It was silent after that for a while. Ron did not reply, but she heard sounds that suggested he was rummaging in his rucksack. After a while, he continued talking to Harry, and she closed her eyes, content to listen to the voice she had not heard for so long. The murmurs were too soft now for her to hear, but she could clearly hear both Ron and Harry's relief. The atmosphere in the tent had become lighter, somehow, in the last half hour.

But she was still angry with Ron. He had left them, unjustly in her eyes. Yes, she had felt frustration similar to his. She too, had pictured their hunt for Horcruxes to be more… active. But she did not blame Harry for this; she knew it was not his fault. That Ron had done so had initially taken her breath away. How dare he accuse him? Couldn't he see that Harry, too, was desperate for a breakthrough? It was not just anger she felt towards Ron; it was betrayal, too. It had felt like Ron had turned his back on over six years of friendship, and that was what had hurt the most. No matter the feelings she had for him, or he for her (which she had grown more sure of in the past months), their friendshipshould have meant more to him.

Therefore, his return meant the world to her. It wasn't just the destruction of a Horcrux, finally, but the fact that he had deemed them important enough to want to return immediately – and she believed him on that. It gave her a sliver of hope that grew larger as she listened to Harry and Ron's continued conversation. She heard a murmur that could be her name and listened more intently, but could not discern more than a few words. 'Cried… really angry… never.'

'It was just in the back of my mind, you know?' she heard Ron say, louder than Harry. 'And the locket made it worse… It was like it knew everything, out there tonight. It was scary…'

Harry's response was softer, unintelligible. She continued to listen, because suddenly, she wondered if they had not told her the whole story of what happened earlier. The locket had screamed, Harry had said. For all the evil it had in itself, and the way it had affected all of them, she wondered if that had been all. Mere screaming did not justify the evilness of the thing; she had felt it every time she had put the thing around her neck, an oppressive blanket of dark thoughts. It had been, like Ron said, like it had brought out all her questions, her insecurities, but in a way that made everything worse. She was incredibly happy they would not have to wear the locket again; she could only imagine how the others must have been affected by it. If it played upon the person's feelings, then how had it reacted to its destruction? How had it reacted to Ron?

What were the thoughts in the back of his mind? Could they – her heart leapt a little – have anything to do with her? She was, by this point, fairly certain of his feelings towards her. At least, she thought his feelings about her entailed more than friendship. There were countless little moments that had contributed to that thought, until Hermione was sure it was not just wishful thinking. Viktor and Lavender were just two factors; there was the end of last year, moments during the summer, their wonderful, wonderfultime on the dance floor at Bill and Fleur's wedding, and stolen looks in the tent.

Of course, there were the Horcruxes now, and Voldemort, and Muggleborns on the run and countless other things to worry about. Romance was, usually, the last thing on her mind. Only during moments like this, in bed, did she sometimes think, dream… hope.

But tonight, those thoughts, dreams and hopes seemed a little more bright.

Reviews will be very much appreciated!