A/N: Trying something new (for me) here. First, it's written in the first person. Second, it's inspired by a song -does that qualify as a songfic? The song is Ghosts that we Knew by Mumford and Sons. It speaks of love, hope, and some healing after painful events. I thought it fit this Ron/Hermione moment very well. The title from this fic comes from one line in the chorus of the song: Just promise me we'll be all right.

Disclaimer: I need a double one here: I own neither Harry Potter nor Mumford and Sons music... Sigh.


You saw my pain, washed out in the rain

Broken glass, saw the blood run from my veins

But you saw no fault no cracks in my heart

And you knelt beside my hope torn apart

But the ghosts that we knew will flicker from view

And we'll live a long life

So give me hope in the darkness that I will see the light

'Cause oh they gave me such a fright

But I will hold as long as you like

Just promise me we'll be alright

"Hermione, Hermione."

His voice is still raw, from all the screaming I imagine, but there's so much tenderness behind the urgency. Or is it that I want, now more than ever, to hear the tenderness, hear him say my name like it's a sweet song?

I hear his heart, my ear is almost pressed to it as he cradles me like a fussy baby who needs to be lulled to sleep. It beats a fast but steady tattoo, calming me.

I didn't know pain could be that intense, overwhelming and all encompassing. It would have been easy to slip, to just yield to the dark but his voice kept me. He was next if I failed. I would have failed if she had brought him. I would probably have sold Harry and our entire operation to protect him. But she didn't know because Bellatrix will never understand love. Yes, I have no doubt. Actually, there's never been a doubt in my mind: I'll always choose Ron because I love him. I think, or want to believe, he feels the same way.

His hand is on my hair, a soft caress. How many times have I wished he would do just that?

"Hermione," he repeats as I start feeling some rain drops on my face.

The rain, the noise of water crashing, the salt air: we must be by the sea. Maybe he brought us back to Devon or maybe Cornwall. Didn't he mention to Harry that Bill and Fleur have moved to a small village there?

The rain feels good, purifying as it washes away some of the stickiness from my face that I assume is blood. I don't remember much after the pain and screaming. Just something falling on me, glass raining all over me and two strong arms pulling me out, surrounded by a smell of mint and freshly mown grass that I could recognise anywhere. My knight came again.

"Hermione, it's okay. We'll be alright. I promise," he says in rapid and hushed words. "Fuck, you need to hold on, we're safe. We're all right."

I feel I'm being carried a few feet, probably inside the wards of wherever he has taken us. I don't really care where we are so long as I'm with him. He delicately lowers me to the ground and while the soft sand should be a welcome reprise for my body that now seems too numb from pain to even feel it, I just long for him to hold me again. I want to hear his heart, want to make sure, quite sure that despite his promise, he's indeed all right.

I open my eyes and even that simple move hurts but I want to see him. And there he is towering over me, worry clearly etched on his face. I haven't noticed as I've tried not to stare too much at him these past few weeks, but his face has lost any sign of the roundness it held just at the beginning of last summer. It bears a few cuts, probably from that shower of glass, and I notice the red stubble, almost translucent. My Ron has become a man.

"Ron," I croak his name, my own voice hoarse from my yelling.

I want to raise my hand to touch his face but am quickly engulfed in his arms, as his face comes to rest in the mess that must be my hair. It should hurt my already weakened body but it's the best hug I've ever had or wanted. He whispers my name against my hair and I can feel him shake. Is he cold? No, I realise he's sobbing, uncontrollably, as he repeats my name over and over.

"Hermione, I was so scared," he finally tells me.

"That makes two of us," I manage as a barely audible whisper.

He lets go of me and quickly wipes his eyes with the back of his jumper sleeve and sniffles loudly.

A few months ago, Ron would never have cried in front of me. The fact he can and doesn't try to hide it is another evidence of how far he's come.

I close my eyes again, my body still reeling and utterly exhausted. I hear him murmur my name, over and over, while he holds me and it's heavenly. And just like it did less than an hour ago, his voice is a beacon of light, keeping whatever darkness may lurk around us at bay.

I hear the sniffles too and know he's still fighting tears. I want him to be happy. I suppose that's what you want for people you love. I want him to be his normal happy self, the one who always know how to defuse tension with a joke or a laugh. I take a deep breath and just ask him:

"Laugh for me."

"What?" he asks incredulously in a watery voice. "Hermione, you're mad. We almost died."

"I know," I say as I painfully reopen my eyes to see him looking at me in disbelief.

How can I explain it? His laugh has been a constant companion of our friendship. It reminds me of happy, funny Ron. It's just so... Ron.

"And you saved me..." I whisper to him. "Laugh for me. I like when you laugh."

And I don't know why he does it, to please me or to face how preposterous my request is but in one of his laughs, a watery one, he tells me:

"You know, Hermione, you're completely mental. But you're right, we're alive."

"See, that was easy, wasn't it" I say in a tired murmur as he lifts me again and I daringly put my arms around his neck and like so many times before, just repeat his words back at him:

"I'll be all right. We'll be all right, Ron."

So lead me back

Turn south from that place

And close my eyes to my recent disgrace

Cause you know my call

And we'll share my all

And our children come, they will hear me roar

So give me hope in the darkness that I will see the light

Cause oh they gave me such a fright

But I will hold as long as you like

Just promise me that we'll be alright

I catch the wand Harry throws at me and don't have to hear him say to go to already turn my back to the drawing room and concentrate on Disapparating, away, far away from that place.

I don't know why, but for once, Disapparition comes easy, even though it's side along. Hermione weighs almost nothing in my arms. I didn't realise she had lost that much weight, not that I have ever carried her before... except to bed... in my wicked fantasies.

I land on soft sand and can hear the sea roaring behind me. I know I'm in the right place. I make sure she's still securely in my arms. She's barely conscious and I can see the cuts on her face and arms from that bloody chandelier.

Not that I don't appreciate what Dobby did for us, I do, but I wish he had found another way that didn't involve dropping a bloody chandelier on Hermione to get Bellatrix out of the way.

As I think of that mad hag, I feel rage and hatred I didn't even know I could feel. And shame. I failed Hermione again. I wasn't able to take her place. And here she is, in my arms, barely breathing and in pain.

I hope she'll forgive me. We're good at that for two people who aren't even in a love relationship, aren't we? I fuck up and she forgives me.

I feel her give a ragged breath against me as we unfold from the Apparition and all I can do is to repeat her name.

I carry her to a flatter surface and lay her down on the sand. I can hear the waves crashing to shore as I kneel down next to her. She's so small next to me and my giant hands. She looks like she's sleeping and I do something I've wanted to do many times but have never dared: I put my hand on her hair and gently caress it, marvelling at how soft it is under my fingers and removing random shards of glass from the chandelier.

Suddenly, her eyes open and it's blatant this simple move is costing her. She barely says my name, her voice hoarse, and I can't help it, I just embrace her. I am probably smothering her, adding to the intense pain her body must still be in, but I can't let go, no, not again. And then it hits me like a ton of bricks: she almost died. I tighten my hug at this awful realisation and can't help the tears nor stop the violent sobs that rack my body, as I repeat her name, a mantra to make sure she's alive.

I almost lost her.

The words come out of their own accord, telling her how scared I was. Scared doesn't even begin to describe it. Terrified shitless is more like it. And here she is murmuring back to me that that makes two of us. You can always count on Hermione to state things in a logical fashion, well, maybe with the exception of when it comes to our relationship and how she feels about me. Not that I'm any better, mind you.

I wipe my tears with the sleeve of my jumper. As I feel more coming, I try to shift my mind to something else such as the extraordinary fact that my jumper seems completely intact after all the recent action. Maroon as ever, with an 'R' on it. Mum must put some strong enchantment on it. Thinking of Mum doesn't help either. Shit, the tears are starting to fall again.

I focus my attention back on Hermione and see her close her eyes again, as if she's about to fall asleep. I really need to carry her inside. Fleur will be able to take care of her.

I'm about to lift her again when I hear her murmur:

"Laugh for me."

Of all the things she could have said, it's certainly the most unexpected.

I tell her she's mad and that we've almost died. She replies she knows and that we're still alive because I saved her -she really thinks that? Maybe I didn't fuck up after all. She explains she just wants me to laugh and that she likes hearing me laugh. She likes it, really?

For a brief moment, I have another fantasy, one even more unbelievable than all the wicked ones in my wank bank. Hermione, children, me roaring with laughter. And I find I like it even more than the usual wanking fantasies usually involving naked Hermione. And it's easy to give her a watery laugh.

"See, that was easy, wasn't it?" she says in a whisper that still carries bossiness.

I lift her again and she puts her arms around my neck, like I've wished she'd do so many times.

"I'll be all right. We'll be all right, Ron," she tells me as I carry her to Bill's cottage.

And here she is, giving me hope in all the darkness. She's right, always is anyway, and we're alive. Had ourselves quite a fright but as long as she's here in my arms, asking me to laugh, I know I can hold on.