Story: The story of Ron and Hermione's developing relationship while they search for her parents also will have a healthy dose of H/G and their relationship.

Chapter Summary: A day after the battle of Hogwarts

Spoilers: Will utilize elements from both the books and the movies that I feel help on the story I am telling, sorry to all the purists out there.

Rated M: For language and eventual sex between young adults, areas with sex in them will be marked as such, so if this offends you or you are underage please do not read

Disclaimer: Don't own anything about HP and am not making a cent, if I was getting a percentage I would likely not have to work.

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This is my first HP writing; I am a fan of both of the two main cannon relationships. While this story is marked as R/HR I am also going to include a great deal of H/G.

My favorite character is Ron, simply because he was the least flashy of the three, but he made a hell of difference because of his courage. I will try to keep the characters in character and avoid some of what I consider the more common mistakes (perfect Heroine for example). None of these people are perfect, but all of them are basically descent people, well except for Draco, he is still a prick.

This is an aftermath story on how the two relationships develop, both emotionally and physically. Yeah I know there are a ton of these, but I wanted to try my hand at it and hopefully avoid some of the things that bother me about some of the stories (although many of them are excellent). I am a middle of the road type of guy, I don't go for surgery fluff or hard core angst (no love triangles for example, find that plot device over used). I hope to have romance, drama, a bit of humor and some action.

I hope you give a chance and provide feedback. In addition I am an American, I will try to write these characters like they are British, but I am sure I will slip up here and there, it not intentional.

Thanks

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Aftermath

24 hours after the battle for Hogwarts

Hermione Granger, heroin of the second wizard war, most brilliant witch of her age was in serious need of a long hot shower and about three days of sleep. She was bone tired and almost every muscle was sore, she also knew she looked a mess and was filthy.

She was leaning against the wall in the main hall (what remained of it) and chuckled almost bitterly to herself, she had seen her reflection in a surprisingly unbroken mirror a couple hours ago and had seen the bane of existence, her hair, standing up like she had stuck her finger in a muggle light socket and electrocuted herself.

But she was alive, which was a major plus and the two people closest to her were also alive. Unfortunately the same could not be said for almost fifty others, including people she knew well and even considered her friends.

In pain she closed her eyes and saw the faces of people like Tonks, Remus, Colin Creevey, Fred and even Snape. Fred was especially painful; Hermione had developed an extremely strong sense of affection for the entire Weasley family, especially their youngest son, and knew the loss of Fred was a horrible wound. Plus she had always liked Fred and George, despite trying to counter some of their more insane ideas over the years.

She opened her eyes and looked through the hall; the most severely wounded had been moved to St. Mungo's and the dead had been given to their families. Even so the hall was filled with cots and makeshift beds with the less severely wounded, along with the people attending them or attempting to perform temporary repairs.

Everyone was exhausted; she saw Hagrid and Filch were moving rubble away from one of the stairs. Hermione noted even the bear like Hagrid looked like he was going to collapse.

She looked around and was relieved to see the Malfoys were no longer there, they had switched sides at the last minute, but she didn't for a second think they were trustful.

Especially Draco, he had done too many vile things to Harry, Ginny, herself and especially Ron for Hermione to feel any forgiveness towards the little cockroach.

Almost murdering Ron was especially unforgivable, Ginny still talked about cutting off parts of Draco to punish him for that crime, which Hermione thought might not be a bad idea.

Maybe in a decade or two Hermione might feel forgiveness but not now.

She looked for people she did want to see, she knew Arthur and Charlie Weasley had taken Fred's body and were making funeral arrangements. Both Molly and George stated they wanted to do this chore, but Hermione thought it correct when Arthur and Charlie insisted they take care of it.

She saw Molly moving through the cots carrying potions to the healers tending the wounded. Molly like the rest of her family was devastated by Fred's death and like the rest of the family she went through periods of staying busy and other times when she simply broke down.

Hermione had stumbled across Molly by herself in a class room crying her eyes out over her dead son, it had been shortly after Arthur and Charlie had taken Fred's body to be prepared. Hermione had left her alone with her grief, figuring she needed a bit of time, less than an hour later Molly was back working with the wounded, helping as she could.

Hermione had seen all the Weasleys go through cycles of grief and attempting to be useful. George would seem like himself one minute and then be crying over his lost twin. Surprisingly it was Percy who always moved forward to provide comfort to George.

Hermione figured Percy still felt guilty, rightfully so in her opinion, about abandoning his family. She was happy he had at least seen Fred before he died, to be at odds with your brother when he died would have made this even more tragic.

Ginny also had kept busy throughout the day trying to help the wounded but she would breakdown every once in a while and cry in Harry's, one of her brother's or even Hermione's arms.

The look on Harry's face when he was holding a crying Ginny was especially hard to watch. Hermione knew the man who was like a brother to her in everything but blood and knew he blamed himself for the deaths here.

That was of course idiotic, but that was Harry.

She would talk to Ginny and Ron and ensure Harry didn't push the people who cared about him away like he had tendency to do when he felt misplaced guilt.

From her vantage point she saw Harry was sitting against a wall and Ginny was leaning against him looking like she was asleep. Bill and Fleur were not far from them in a similar position. It was actually a sweet site amongst all this destruction.

Hermione hoped people would remember the Weasley's actions during this battle. The entire family had taken part in the battle and had paid a horrible price. Comparing their actions to some of the richer more "established" families showed the Weasleys were in Hermione's opinion what a wizard family should be.

She also saw other friendly faces; Neville and Luna were sitting on a step talking. Dean and Seamus were carrying blankets among the cots, although Seamus seemed to be looking a specific cot worriedly, cot with a young woman with blond hair laying on it. She had heard rumors that Seamus and Lavender were involved.

However Hermione felt a spike in jealousy when she saw Ron carrying water to Lavenders cot. She almost instantly regretted her jealousy, Ron and Lavender dating was almost a year and half in the past and they only dated for three months, however that had been a painful and to be honest embarrassing period in Hermione's life.

Plus all Ron was doing was showing kindness to a fellow Gryfindor member who had shown the courage to stay during the battle. Lavender had fought, while many others had run, Hermione didn't think she ever would be close friends with "Lav-Lav" but for her own self-respect she needed to give Lavender credit for her actions.

Even so she found herself moving closer to what she perceived as a threat.

She and Ron really had not discussed what was changed by the kiss, but Ron had called her his girlfriend (which she had to admit delighted her) and she thinks they are starting on something serious, but she cannot help feeling the same insecurities she has always felt towards Ron.

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Ron slowly walked up to Lavender carrying a bucket of clean water and a cup. Partially too simply offer her a drink, but also he felt the need to talk to her and apologize.

Ron knew he felt no romantic or even sexual desire towards Lavender (although he had to admit at one time there had been a definite sexual desire present), however he did feel what could be best called affection towards the young woman. She had been the first girl to openly show an interest in him, so that in a way made her special to Ron.

Unfortunately for both of them she had not been the girl Ron really wanted to show interest. But that situation seemed to be finally working in Ron's favor.

Ron couldn't help smiling for a second over the kiss Hermione and he had shared only a short day ago.

Almost instantly though Ron felt guilty, how could he be happy when his brother was dead along with many others and so many people's lives were in shambles?

He also felt really bad to what had happened to Lavender, she was scared for life and her life would be changed by the attack by Greyback. Fortunately the attack did not happen on a full moon, so Lavender wouldn't become a werewolf, but she would have "wolfish" urges for the rest of her life.

Bill, bless him, had sat for an hour or two earlier today and explained to Lavender what she could expect and that it wasn't the end of the world. Bill said it would likely take her a while to accept things, but he felt she was strong enough to face it.

Ron had also noticed that Seamus had shown concern for the girl; Ron figured that was a good thing. First if Lavender had someone that cared for her like that it would make it easier to accept what happened to her. The second reason was more selfish, if Lavender was happily involved with someone else; it was less likely to become an issue between him and Hermione.

Ron knelt down beside the girl "Hey Lavender would you like some water?"

She turned over and looked at him. Ron could see the bulge of the bandages on her shoulder, plus she had a bandage on her cheek. The scar would not be as pronounced as Bill's, but Ron know it would be clearly visible.

She nodded and started to sit up; Ron helped her to a sitting position and gave her the cup for her to drink.

"Thanks Ron"

Ron smiled "No worries, I am just trying to be useful here."

Ron started rubbing the back of his neck, this would be a bit embarrassing, but he wanted to get off his chest.

"Listen Lavender, I wanted to tell you something."

Lavender looked at him with puzzlement "Oh what is that."

"I wanted to apologize for how things ended between us."

Lavender looked at him with shock then narrowed her eyes at him.

Ron for once understood what a woman was thinking and quickly stuttered "I am not hitting on you …. Well I think I am involved with someone … well I mean I am involved with someone."

Ron knew what he thought his and Hermione's relationship was, but it was still a bit vague.

Then Ron grinned "Besides I understand you have a certain Irishman who you have been stepping out with."

Lavender touched her cheek and said "If he wants to be seen with me anymore after this"

Ron snorted "Crap, I don't think Seamus is that stupid to worry about some scars, and if he is then fuck him. We all have scars, so in that sense you're not that special. Besides you are still going to be pretty and you gained those scars showing you had guts. That's something a lot of people didn't show, it's fine to hate the scars, but be proud of how you got them."

Lavender smiled at him and said "Thanks Ron"

Ron looked a bit embarrassed, but then went to what he felt he needed to say "Look what I mean about be sorry about how things ended between us is that well when I realized we weren't going to work out I should have had the guts to tell you directly versus avoiding you."

Lavender looked at him and said "Your right you should have, leaving me hanging like that was mean Ron."

"Yeah I know, I wasn't sure how to do it and like a coward I ran from it, defiantly not my finest moment."

Lavender stared at him for a few seconds then responded "Well, thanks for apologizing I know it must have been difficult."

Ron chuckled "A bit, but I least don't feel like a total git now."

Lavender nodded and looked a bit embarrassed herself "I know why we didn't work out."

"Oh, why?"

"Well first you hated the nickname Won-Won didn't you?"

Ron chuckled "Yeah I did find that a bit annoying."

Lavender smiled "Plus you were and if I am not mistaken still are mad about Hermione Granger"

Ron smiled "Yeah I am."

Ron then noticed Hermione standing not too far from them trying to seem like she was not actually looking at them while Ron was sure she was watching them like a hawk and heard everything, for once he hadn't stuck his foot in his mouth.

He also noticed Seamus looking at them; Ron waved at Seamus and stood up, trying to make clear he was in no way interested in Lavender beyond friendship.

Both Seamus and Dean wondered over, they looked as tired as Ron felt.

Hermione also wondered over and stood next to Ron. It was almost like she was stacking her claim on him, which Ron had to admit to himself, was kind of hot.

Ron looked to Seamus and Dean and asked "Hey guys, it's good to see you all mostly in one piece."

Dean snorted "If in one piece you mean almost killed by death eaters a bloody dozen times, dead tired and sore in places a bloke should not be sore in, yeah I guess you could say that."

Hermione spoke up "They are supposedly bringing in some people to give us all a break shortly."

Seamus smiled as he sat down beside Lavender "Well a break would be nice after all the fucking shit that's been thrown at us over the last year."

Both Lavender and Hermione looked at Seamus and said "Language!" then they looked shocked they had responded the same way.

Of course the three men just snorted and ignored them.

Dean looked over at Harry and Ginny and asked "How are they doing, Harry has to be … I don't know maybe conflicted …. His whole life has been almost groomed to defeat You-Know …. I mean Voldemort."

Ron chuckled "Let's make it easy, let's just call him the dead arsehole."

Hermione glared at him "Ronald Weasley!"

"What it's perfectly true, he's dead and he was a complete arsehole!"

Even Hermione had to chuckle a bit at that "True, but it still is vulgar to say it out loud."

Hermione turned serious immediately "Harry is going to have a tough time in the near future."

She almost timidly looked at Ron out of the corner of her eye and continued "We are going to have to bury our dead and we know Harry will blame himself."

Ron didn't say anything, but he did cringe.

Lavender who out of the five people present was the least close to Harry asked "Why, Harry wasn't to blame, You-Know …" then she giggled despite herself "The dead arsehole and his followers were to blame, not Harry."

Ron responded "First congratulations on following my excellent lead on the name for our fallen foe, but to answer your question, we fought under Harry's name, even though he didn't ask for it, he was the center of all this so in his mind everyone killed or hurt was due to his actions. It's barmy, but it's Harry we are talking about."

Hermione nodded "I will talk to Ginny later, but we all have to keep an eye on him, I will talk to the other DA members as well. He will want to pull back from everyone; everyone just has to not let him.

Ron frowned a bit about Ginny and Harry in the same sentence. He knew they were back to being a couple again and while he trusted Harry, the idea of his best mate and his sister snogging (or Merlin knows what else) was a bit much to take in.

Hermione noticed of course "Ron, this is Harry; you know you can trust him!"

"Yeah, yeah, but that doesn't change the fact she is my sister, I am supposed to be a bastard about it"

Dean snorted "I can attest to him being that"

Ron gave him the two fingered salute.

Hermione sighed "Whatever, Ginny is happy with him and Harry really likes her."

Hermione winced and looked at Dean "Sorry that might be a bit insensitive towards you Dean"

Dean shrugged "No worries, it was over a year ago and Ginny and I got back to being friends, mind you now, no bloke likes getting dumped, but I got over it."

Hermione nodded and looked over "I will also talk to Neville and Luna, both of them are close to Harry."

Seamus laughed out loud while massaging Lavender's back with his hand in a circular motion "Looks like they are getting close to each other even more"

Everyone looked over to the stairs the two were sitting; Luna had her dreamy look speaking in a manner indicating she was going on one of her spiels about magical creatures none of them had heard of. Neville was smiling and listening attentively.

Hermione smiled "Good for them, Luna can do a lot worse, Neville is a sweetheart."

She half expected the males to make disparaging remarks, but none did. Neville's actions over the last couple years cumulating with his killing Vodemort's snake had gained him a great deal of respect.

Seamus stated "Well you and Ron are the closest to Harry so it will mostly fall to you. Then Seamus gave an evil grin "Well closest except for Ron's sister now."

"Fuck you git"

Both Hermione and Lavender sighed and said "Boys!"

The guys just chuckled in response.

Seamus then turned to Lavender "Luv there are some beds up Gryffindor, they say you're well enough to move, if you want I can escort you up there where you can get a good night's sleep."

Lavender nodded "Thanks, but first I would like to talk to Hermione in private please, just for minute if she is willing."

Hermione looked confused but nodded her agreement.

Dean and Seamus wondered off, and Ron handed his water to another student and then walked over to where Harry and Ginny were. During the conversation somehow Ginny was laid down with her head in Harry's lap. Hermione could see Harry gently stroking her hair as she slept.

She hoped Ron wouldn't cause trouble.

Lavender took a deep breath "First I heard I have you to thank for me still being here. You knocked Greyback off of me."

Hermione shrugged "Lavender, no reason to thank me, I would have saved anyone from that monster."

"Still, I want to thank you."

Hermione smiled "Your welcome."

"I also want to apologize to you, Ron just told me he was sorry, least I can do the same for you."

"Apologize for what?"

Lavender looked embarrassed "I know you liked Ron a lot and I tried to get him anyway."

"How did you know I liked him?"

Lavender smiled "Well, despite the fact that a lot of people think you and Harry are an item, I could see you looked at Ron differently then you did Harry."

Then Lavender actually grinned "Plus you talk in your sleep sometimes, I never pictured you as randy one."

Hermione blushed at that statement, she remembered many of her dreams about Ron, and if she verbalized some of her fantasies in her sleep, well to say that was embarrassing was an understatement.

Hermione forced herself to ask "Why did you then?" then winched because it came across as bit bitchier then she planned.

"Because he interested me, he's smarter than people give him credit for, also Harry gets credit for being brave, but from what I have seen and heard Ron was always there with Harry, kind of shows Ron has courage also."

Hermione nodded "Of course he does!"

Lavender shrugged "Really didn't matter, we never got much deeper then snogging, which was fun. Problem was he liked you and he hadn't gotten over you."

"If he had feelings for me then why did he date you?"

Lavender shrugged "You will have to ask him, but my guess is he didn't think you wanted to be with him in that way. To be honest Hermione it seemed you found it easier to compliment Harry then Ron. I think he just wanted someone to appreciate him."

Hermione wanted to deny this, but she had to admit there was some truth to Lavender's comments. She loved both guys, but in totally different ways, her emotions towards Harry were a great deal less threatening then her feelings and passion towards Ron. So she had a tendency to point out Ron's flaws and was less likely to point to his good qualities, because that seemed safer.

Hermione nodded "I will talk to him about this."

Lavender smiled "So how long have you two been together?"

Hermione blushed "Well officially, like 36 hours."

"What! You mean to tell me that the two of you were out in the wilds in a tent and you never got it on?"

"It's not nearly as romantic as it sounds, first we were sharing said tent with Harry Potter, second Ron was injured a portion of the time and third we were running from snatchers and death eaters!"

Lavender blushed "Sorry I didn't mean for it to come across like that. Ron was injured?"

Hermione nodded "Yes, he got splinched when we escaped from the Ministry."

"I take it he is alright now?"

"He has some more scars, but yeah he is doing better."

Lavender sighed "I am glad; I guess I sometimes forget other people have had a horrible year as well."

Hermione looked sharply at Lavender "You really have changed Lavender."

Lavender sighed bitterly "Live under the Carrows and you have to grow up some. Neville and Seamus received the most abuse from them, but we all felt their loving touch."

Hermione simply nodded "We all have had a tough time lately."

Lavender seemed to shake the mood off "Well I said what I needed to; I hope we can get along better in the future."

Hermione nodded "I think we can, well I better find Ron before he makes an ass of himself and berates Harry for liking Ginny."

Lavender smiled "Good Luck"

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Harry Potter, savior of the wizard world, was leaning against a wall in pile of rubble half a sleep with his quasi girlfriend's head in his lap. His exhaustion and the close contact with a pretty girl he really liked gave him an almost comfortable warm feeling despite the surroundings he was in.

Harry knew Ginny and he had a lot to work out, he suspected she was still miffed about him breaking things off after Dumbledore's funeral. They seemed to be back together again, but he knew Ginny would demand her say on what had transpired before everything was done.

His feelings for Ginny had developed over time, for the longest time she was Ron's nice but slightly annoying little sister. But she eventually got past her hero worship of Harry Potter "The Boy who Lived" and became an actual friend to simply Harry Potter.

Even then Ginny was kind of like the forbidden fruit, due to her being the only sister to his best mate, who along with her many other brothers had a tendency to be protective towards her, much to Ginny's annoyance.

In the sixth year is when Harry recognized he really liked her beyond friendship, plus he found her sexy as hell. Unfortunately Ginny got tired of waiting around and had started dating a Dean, Harry was not at all upset when they broke up.

Harry reasons for breaking things off with Ginny were for the noblest of reasons, but he was sure Ginny would not see it in that light. Plus he was half expecting Ginny and the rest of Weasley family to break off all contact due to Fred's death.

He knew the Weasleys considered him family as well, but he couldn't see how they would not blame him for Fred dying, since he blamed himself. In fact Fred's death was one of many deaths Harry thought he was responsible for.

He was freaking 17 years old; he never wanted anyone fighting, being injured and even dying under the banner of fucking Harry Potter. But they had and he bore responsibility for that.

He knew he would be seeing their faces in his dreams for a long time, possibly the rest of his life.

He heard someone approaching, Harry cracked open his eyes and saw Ron standing in front of him. Ron had raised an eyebrow to the position Harry and Ginny were in.

Harry softly said "Hey Ron"

"Harry, how you hanging in there mate?"

Harry yawned and responded "Dead tired, sore, and feeling like us winning wasn't much better than losing"

Ron frowned "It's better we won trust me, but in war winning carries a tough price, just not as bad as losing."

"I know, but Merlin, so many dead."

Ron squatted down to be face to face with Harry "It's not your fault mate; those people sacrificed themselves so we wouldn't have to live under the thumb of that dead arsehole!"

"Dead arsehole?"

Ron shrugged "It's my new name for Voldemort for a couple reasons, first I think it shows the contempt I have for that evil bastard."

"What's the other reason?"

Ron grinned "It annoys Hermione"

Harry actually chuckled "Sounds like a good reason."

Ron looked down at Ginny sleeping in Harry's lap and joked "You're not doing anything inappropriate with my sister there are you Harry."

"Ron I am too freaking exhausted to be anything but a gentleman!"

Ron snorted "Let's keep it that way Harry."

Ginny then responded without opening her eyes "Ron, Harry has been very sweet and it is really none of your bloody business anyway."

Ron looked surprised then grinned at Harry. He then asked "How you doing Ginny?"

Ginny responded in a much smaller voice "Tired, sore, and heart broken."

Ron felt like crying himself, he had been running on adrenaline for the last day and keeping busy to stop himself from crying over Fred. When he thought of Fred dying he went from extremes of feeling rage to just feeling depressed. He also knew all of his family was going through this, especially his Mum and George.

Ron reached over and squeezed Ginny's shoulder "I know what you mean Ginny."

Ginny looked up at Ron and softly said "We will survive this we are Weasleys"

"Yeah we will"

Hermione walked up at that point "Hey guys"

Harry smiled tiredly at her "Hey Hermione"

Ginny mumbled "Hey"

Hermione looked at them and was relieved that Ron didn't seem upset about the two being in such an intimate position.

"You guys might want to see if there are any beds in the tower open."

Ron frowned and shivered at the picture that statement brought to his mind.

Harry responded "Nah, I am too tired to move and there are people that need them more than we do"

Hermione nodded "I understand"

Hermione looked uncomfortable but asked anyway "Harry if you want to talk about what has happened; you know we are here for you, you're not alone."

Harry looked at her "I am not ready yet, but thank you for the offer"

Ginny reached up and grasped the hand on her head "Yes, you're not alone Harry, we all have to deal with this."

Harry sighed "I know luv."

Hermione said to Ron "Let's go for a walk Ron and let them get some sleep."

Ron nodded and said "See you guys in a bit"

Harry watched as the two walked out of the hall, at the door way Ron reached over and grasped Hermione's hand.

Ginny mumbled "You don't think they are going to find a classroom and snog or something more, do you?"

Harry laughed "Well they have like six years of sexual tension you know."

Ginny grunted "That is a horrible thought"

Harry couldn't help laughing "You enjoy Ron being uncomfortable about us, why do Ron and Hermione bother you so."

"That's different, Ron being uncomfortable about me and you is proper and it's fun making him squirm, me thinking about Ron getting busy with Hermione is just so wrong in so many ways."

Harry laughed again, although he had to admit thinking about the young woman who was like his sister getting on with his best mate was a bit disturbing.

TBC