Well, all fucking hell had broken loose.

Since the wedding, we had hidden at Grimmauld Place. That first morning started slowly. I woke up and Hermione was still on the sofa, laying there awake for who knows how long. I felt so much better holding her hand before I fell asleep. Harry's my best mate and I love the specky little prick but it's not always easy being his friend; he was very moody and short tempered while all of this was happening. Hermione being there made me feel not so alone.

The Death Eaters were just outside waiting in shifts for us, but we'd become pretty good at Apparating just at the door so we could quickly get inside before one of the gits snatched us. That was comfortable enough, until we found out that Dung Fletcher, scheming, pilfering ponce that he is, had stolen and sold the bloody locket to none other than old ToadFace herself: Umbridge.

I have to say I was proud of the part I played in our infiltration of the Ministry of Magic even if it didn't go strictly according to plan. I was sure that when the news reached them, Fred and George were also very proud and maybe even a little envious of our success. Espionage wasn't really their "thing" but all of the sneaking around Hogwarts they'd done since First Year was child's play compared to what the three of us accomplished.

My arm and my shoulder hurt like hell. I won't mince words: getting splinched royally sucks. I felt like my whole arm was in a constant state of being ripped off by rabid chimpanzees. The only good part about it was Hermione staying ferociously by my side, playing nursemaid. She felt guilty about it – as if it were her fault that I'd been splinched. If I were conscious enough when it first happened I would have tried to explain that even the all-powerful Hermione Granger was allowed to make an Apparition error while in a state of panic. I didn't play up the pain, (believe me, it didn't need embellishment) but I made no effort whatsoever to play it down. If it was the only way I could get her attention away from Harry and the bloody Horcrux, so be it.

Once I was feeling myself again, I asked for a shift with the Horcrux. I needed to pull my weight and feel a part of the team again. As soon as I put that fucking ugly thing on, I knew why they didn't protest much to spending less time with it. It was as if I had a Dementor hanging around my neck when I wore that thing. It felt heavy, like an anchor and I felt like I would never have another reason to smile ever again. It made me see and feel things that in retrospect I knew were not real. I thought I saw Hermione and Harry flirting with each other. Every little laugh, every look that I thought lasted too long was recorded in my mind as an offense. I clenched my fists so hard I ended up with marks in my palms from my nails.

After a particularly hard 12 hours wearing that thing, I felt the need for a bath. A proper one to wash off the dirt, the sweat, and the horribly depressing gloom that came over me when the sodding Horcrux was around my neck. It was Harry's turn and he'd taken to isolating himself as much as he could when he wore it. I carried a change of clothes and a bar of soap to a small pond Harry and I had been hunting around the previous afternoon.

"They've got to come get a drink sometime, Ron." He whispered. We'd been hiding behind the same rotten tree stump for the better part of an hour.

"But Harry, maybe they drink on the other side of the bloody pond. How can you be sure a rabbit is going to come by this way?" I was whining, I admit it. I was hungry and irritable and I whined.

"I can't be sure, Ron. Fuck it. You're right. Come on, mushrooms again." He said rising to his feet.

I'd like to say that I didn't whine again and hold my stomach groaning like a toddler. I'd like to say that, but I can't.

It had been a warm early autumn day and the pond was in the center of a clearing of trees. Since it had full sun exposure in the heat of the day, I hoped the water would still be warm.

I toed off my trainers and socks, rolled up the legs of my trousers and dipped my feet in the water. It was not the lovely heated water in the Prefect's bath at school, but it would serve. I tugged my shirt over my head and stepped away from the water's edge to remove my trousers. I felt better already with just the air on my skin, even if it sent shivers up my back and brought gooseflesh down my arms. If I tried hard, I could picture myself about to wade into the pond near the Burrow, at the back of the property past the orchard. We Weasleys are all fairly strong swimmers, thanks to that pond and the cottage by the sea Bill and Fleur purchased from relatives of ours. I looked around and seeing no one, I threw caution to the wind and dropped my shorts to the ground.

Standing there in the altogether felt really odd, but liberating. It was as if I were waving my bits right in Voldemort's face. I laughed out loud for the first time in days and the dense moss on the ground tickled the arches of my feet as I padded into the water. I swam a few laps, enjoying the first bit of exercise I'd had in a while (other than dodging hexes at the Ministry or otherwise running for my life). I held my breath and pushed forward into a flip. When I came up for air I tilted my head back and pushed the fringe out of my face. I let my feet come up and I floated lazily on my back for a while, staring up at the sky.

Inevitably, I suppose, my thoughts turned to Hermione. If I thought I'd been in love with her before, my feelings had truly deepened as of late. Looking at her at Billy's wedding, all I could think of was marrying her one day. I was sure no one knew Hermione the way I did, not even Harry. I knew her faces; she has thousands of little nuanced faces and a sigh to go with every one of them. It was plain to me, even as thick as I was, that this was no mere crush. I hadn't felt the same about any other girl, not Lavender or anyone.

Then I remembered the night Lavender pulled me up to the Astronomy Tower, (one of our usual secluded snogging places) and told me she'd taken some of Parvati's anti-pregnancy potion. I froze up.

"You know what that means, Ron!" She squealed. My stomach lurched.


"Oh come on, Ron! I've been asking for weeks!" She tucked her icy fingertips up under my t-shirt. I hated how cold her hands always were.

"I dunno, Lav. We might get caught…" I stalled for time. Think of something, Weasley!

"I know that, silly…isn't that exciting though? Come on, Won-Won…" She leaned in to kiss me but I pulled away.

"Not really, Lav. I don't want anyone seeing us…like that…" She grunted, irritated with me.

"Well, we'll go somewhere private then…" She bit her lip and gave me what I assume she thought was a sultry look. To me, it looked more like she had a stomachache.

"Lavender…I've been meaning to tell you…" I'm not in love with you, I'm not going to shag you…ever…

She gave me an expectant look. "Well out with it, then." She said crossing her arms over her chest.

"It's my Mum…she says we shouldn't…you know. Not until marriage. I'm sorry, it's a Pureblood thing." Believe me, it sounded much stupider when I said it.

Lavender rolled her eyes and gave a sarcastic snort. "Well your brothers certainly don't pay attention to your mother. Ginny doesn't, either, from what I hear."

"Don't talk about my sister, please." I snapped through gritted teeth.

As we argued back and forth about "my tone" I was relieved that I'd managed to dodge the subject of my virginity yet again. Mine, mind you, not hers.

We were still arguing when we reached the bottom of the staircase to the Tower and Hermione was walking by with Ginny. Lavender was so focused on being angry with me, she didn't look where she was going and she bumped into Hermione.

"Excuse me." Hermione said quietly.

"Oh, of course you're bloody here! Sneaking around, spying on us again! For Merlin's sake, Hermione. Get a life!" Lavender yelled.

Hermione's eyes opened wide and from the look on her face she was about to ask Lavender what the bleeding fuck she was talking about when Ginny spoke up.

"Fuck off, Lavender! You're always so nasty to Hermione and you've got no reason to be! If my brother had any backbone at all he'd tell you to leave her alone." Ginny turned on her heel, locked her arm with Hermione's and walked away.

Ginny was right of course. I didn't like how nasty Lav could be. She's a pretty girl and there are nice things about her, but her attitude could be so unpredictable. She could be so rude.

"That's the other half of her blood showing." My mother would have said with a somewhat elitist lilt in her voice. I knew Mum truly didn't judge people by their blood status but I cringed when she said things like that. I didn't want her to accidentally slip and make one of those old-fashioned comments around Hermione.

Hermione. As always, my thoughts went back to her; pushy, bossy, irritating, adorable, sweet, sexy Hermione. I was still floating around on my back and I started doing a lazy backstroke across the water. Swimming helped me clear my head like nothing else. I threw my arms back harder, kicked my legs harder. I concentrated on my strokes, my breathing. One, two breathe. One, two breathe.

One thought simply would not leave my mind: I couldn't bear to think of what I would do if something happened to her.

Frustrated, I growled out loud and flung my upper body backward under the cool water and thrust my legs in the air for a backward flip. I held my breath underwater until my lungs burned and broke the surface with a gasp. I slicked my hair back and resolved to just float again. I let my feet pop out of the water and I bobbed up and down like a buoy.

But still, her face wouldn't leave my mind.

That morning, she was awake first and attempted to pull some breakfast together. I woke up and walked into the kitchen area, willing my cock to go down. It's quite inconvenient for your brain to wake up after the rest of your body. I asked Harry once what he did about it and the poor bloke turned so red with embarrassment he didn't need to answer. I, of course, wasn't opposed to the morning wank (even if I said I was, the callused skin of my palm would call me a liar) but honestly; all that time with Hermione, seeing her in her pyjamas…sometimes not wearing a bra with her cute little nipples announcing their existence to the world...I was finding myself unable to satisfy my growing libido.

Anyway, I was rubbing the sleep out of my eyes when I saw Hermione. She was wearing a long t-shirt. A maroon one. Of mine. It was so long on her, it didn't appear she was wearing her usual cotton shorts underneath it. She bent over and I tilted my head to the side and took a long, hard look at her legs and her most perfect arse. To my delight, when she stood up again, she grabbed the hem of the shirt and pulled it all the way tight around her waist. She held the fabric in her hand at the center of her back, twisted it and tied it in a knot above the small of her back. She turned around, still not noticing me, and I got a full view of her taut, white stomach and her navel.

Naturally, I then stubbed my toe hard on the table. I grabbed it and hopped on my other foot until it stopped throbbing. I put my injured foot back on the floor and Hermione was chuckling at me. She had also untied the knot she'd just tied in my shirt and it hung low again. The only good thing about ruining my unobstructed view of Hermione's midsection was that my stiffie went away and I didn't have to worry about hiding it anymore.

I continued floating on my back and closed my eyes remembering watching her little hands tie a knot behind her back. Her black shorts hugged her arse. A lump formed in my throat when I began wondering if she was wearing underwear. Call me naive but I never considered Hermione to be the kind of girl to go without undergarments until the first time I noticed she wasn't wearing a bra under her pyjama top. Harry had already turned in for the night but I was staying up for watch duty. Hermione came out from behind the curtain that separated her sleeping area from ours and she seemed nervous about something. I was sitting on the ratty old sofa with my wand in my hand carelessly levitating gobstones. She sat next to me and had a little smile on her face while she watched. I made one lift off the table and zoom around the room. I showed off a bit; making it do figure 8's around two candles, then I made it circle her head. She held her hand out and I meant to let it drop into her palm but that's when I noticed her nipples poking out from underneath the thin white shirt she was wearing. I froze up and accidentally let it fall down her shirt.

"Shit! Sorry!" I jumped up, beetroot I'm sure.

Hermione laughed good naturedly to my surprise and she stood up next to me. I averted my eyes with my hand when I saw her start to lift the hem of her shirt. Seconds later I heard the small gobstone clatter to the floor.

"I was aiming for your hand…I'm….erm….really sorry, Mione." I peeked through my fingers.

"It's ok, Ron. Not much to see anyway." She said gesturing to her chest with her hands with a self-deprecating laugh.

I opened my mouth to disagree with her; I wanted to tell her I thought her tits were absolutely perfect. I wanted to tell her just how often I thought about running my tongue down her collarbone in between her tits and back up again. I wanted to know what they felt like in my hands; I wanted to take her nipples in between my teeth and see if the noises she made in my dreams were close to her actual moans of arousal. Just as I found myself able to prevent all of that from tumbling from my mouth, one comment slipped out:

"There's more than enough there."

Her eyes widened in surprise and I felt like I wanted to die immediately. Just bang, poof!

"What happened to Ron?"

"Oh, he dropped dead of embarrassment after he told Hermione he liked her tits, that's all."

I swore under my breath and looked away from her, running my fingers through my hair. She surprised me by putting her hand on my arm to stop me from walking away when we heard a noise outside the tent. We both had our wands trained on the tent flap and walked up to it quietly. I looked at her and she nodded before I pushed the flap aside. We pointed our wands outward, ready to strike. The crunching sounds of rapid footsteps was coming out of the dark. I used my free arm protectively to gently push Hermione behind me while I desperately scanned the woods for the source of the noise. She reached up and held my arm, staying behind me but didn't lower her wand. Together we saw a chipmunk scurrying across the piles of twigs and dead leaves near our campsite. We breathed a sigh of relief and chuckled nervously. The cold morning air made her nipples even harder.

The memory of which sent a haze over my brain and seemingly all the blood in my body straight to my cock. I swam closer to the water's edge, where I could plant my feet in the mud with just my shoulders out of the water. I reached my hand down and stroked myself. I closed my eyes and felt my cock getting harder. I changed rhythm, squeezed harder at the base and the head. The only thing that stayed the same was the fantasy of Hermione, it was my favorite.

I pictured us on my bed at home. Not the wildest of my fantasies but it had grown increasingly vivid since the previous summer when she and I had more alone time than we had before. I imagined her climbing into my bed with me after dark. She put her finger across my lips telling me to be quiet and ducked her head under my orange blanket.

I pictured her putting my cock in her mouth. It was an idea I obsessed over ever since I watched her eating grape flavored ice lollies during Fifth Year. She had a sore throat and Dobby brought her heaps of them – just the grape ones since he knew those were her favorite. She licked her upper lip every time she pulled it out of her mouth. My eyes must have bulged out of their sockets the first time I saw her slide the whole thing into her mouth and twist the stick. I never thought I'd have any reason to be jealous of an inanimate object before. My fantasy continued and I pictured pulling her up to me by her arms and kissing her hard while I flipped her onto her back. I had my fist tightened around my cock pumping harder and faster thinking about being on top of Hermione. I imagined watching her tits bounce every time I slid into her; I imagined the moans she made so often I'd practically convinced myself I knew what she really sounded like.

Our mouths and tongues met over and over while I had her legs pinned open over my shoulders. I sucked on her hard little pink nipples and felt her hands in my hair and scratching down my back.

"Fuck, Ron…fuck…" She said in my imagination. Hermione swore very rarely. George planted the idea of Hermione getting a really dirty mouth in bed in my mind. I yelled at him for speaking about Hermione like that but the idea of this prim and proper girl saying 'fuck' really turned me on.

"Fuck me, Ron. Harder."

I curled my toes in the mud and I grunted loudly as I came. I started panting and continued stroking myself until I went almost completely flaccid again.

"Ron? Is that you?" I saw the glowing tip of her wand coming through the trees.

Shit! I knew I didn't have time to do anything but swim out to deeper water. My clothes and my wand were just too far away. I made my way far from the shoreline, splashing far more than was necessary.

"Erm- yeah, Hermione it's just me." I tried to sound casual. She appeared, completely confirming that if I'd tried to make a run for my clothes she would have caught me starkers.

"Just swimming, are you?" She asked, I nodded. She was wearing my long shirt again. The Chudley logo had faded so much over time unless you knew what it looked like, you wouldn't know that's what was printed on the shirt.

"Yeah, you know. Exercise." I said shrugging. She smiled and nodded.