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I Will Follow You Into The Dark by Ridikulus

Format: Song fic
Chapters: 1
Word Count: 3,133

Rating: 15+
Warnings: Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme

Genres: Romance
Characters: Ron, Hermione
Pairings: Ron/Hermione

First Published: 04/24/2006
Last Chapter: 06/17/2006
Last Updated: 06/17/2006

Thanks to Day Dream Charm for the beautiful banner! There was always a spark between them; Ron and Hermione were meant to be together. The bond they share is stronger than any evil sent from the end of a wand. But as strong and beautiful as it may seem, Ron learns that the best things in life just never seem to last forever...

Chapter 1: My Beloved
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Ron rapped on the door as lightly as possible, hoping that if she was asleep, then he wouldn’t wake her up. There was no answer. He sighed heavily, gripped the doorknob with a trembling hand- as it always was nowadays- and slowly pushed the door open. He was grateful that he had finally remembered to fix the hinge- it had always squeaked when he entered this room, and it had been such a nuisance to his slumbering wife.

Ron peeked around the doorframe to see that her eyes were closed- thankfully, he had not managed to wake her from her well-needed sleep. Her hands were clasped together and resting across her chest, which rose and fell lightly as she slept. Ron walked as softly as possible with each step as he crossed the bedroom. He had forgotten to close the curtains; warm summer sunshine flooded across the paneled wood floor and bed, causing him to wince at its intense brightness. He groaned at his forgetfulness and rushed over. He yanked the curtains closed and instantly the room became darker. Shadows crept up the walls and in the corners; but Ron Weasley was no longer afraid of the dark or shadows- his only fear was the inevitable destiny for his beloved wife.

Ron walked over slowly to the bedside. There, he disregarded the dried up flowers in the vase with a wave of his wand. Then, with shaking hands, he replaced them with a fresh bouquet of red roses so that they would be the first thing to notice in the room. Then, he took his solitary position in his chair at the side of her bed and waited for when she would awake. The seat of his chair was worn and faded from the days and days he had spent there in that same position, holding his wife’s hand, only too afraid of what could happen if he were to let go.

Love of mine, Someday you will die.

He had to accept it long ago. His beloved wife, Hermione Granger, was dying. The thought of losing her was like a burden on his shoulders that became heavier with each day, never lessening in the slightest. But the fact that her condition was something he could not stop with all of his magical training- that was the real burden that pushed on his very heart and soul. For Hermione Granger was not dying from a potion gone awry or an accident in her Auror training- her wounds weren’t even from a legendary fight to the death with Lord Voldemort himself. The killer was on the inside- spreading to her every cell. She was dying from something called cancer. Harry had tried to explain what this filthy muggle illness was, but Ron hadn’t listened; he hadn’t cared. But it didn’t matter anyway- it was too late for anyone to save her now.

But I’ll be close behind. I’ll follow you into the dark.

Ron couldn’t let go of her- not yet. They had only been married for three years! They had been scared of their love for one another during their school days, but both of them had always known that it was there. And now, when their time could be as minimal as seconds, Ron only wished he could have told her the first day he laid eyes on her.

But it wouldn’t happen. He could not turn back time and warn her- this was something that had meant to have come to pass. Ron could see that much- Hermione would never want him to change everything for her in the risk of ruining everything else. But all Ron really wanted to do was be with her always and forever.

No blinding lights. Or tunnels to gates of white.

Ron didn’t care where that led them; all he wanted was to feel her hand in his whenever he needed her. He wanted to feel her breath on his neck as she whispered into his ear, sweet words of their young love. He wanted to smell the familiar scent that radiated from her, reminding him of their love whenever the memory drifted across his mind. The road ahead was foggy, but Ron was not afraid to tread it- if only Hermione could be there by his side.

Just our hands clasped so tight, waiting for the hint of a spark.

That spark that had ignited their love on that first day on the Hogwarts Express. Many times, Ron had evaluated his position with Hermione, and yet he had never had the guts to do anything about it. Harry had probably always known his soft spot for her in his heart (even though he didn’t always show it) but he was grateful that Harry hadn’t ever questioned him. After all, it wasn’t like Hermione had been waiting patiently (he would never forget the Yule Ball and Viktor Krum). But Ron was sure that their love was much deeper than what had shown on the dance floor of the Great Hall when they were fourteen.

When Heaven and Hell decide that they both are satisfied and illuminate the ‘NOs’ on their vacancy signs; If there’s no one beside you when your soul embarks, then I’ll follow you into the dark.

Ron shivered. He was scared, so scared- scared of what Hermione was soon to face when he could no longer follow her. What would happen to her when her soul had left him behind to be trapped amongst muggles? Why was she going somewhere that he couldn’t possibly follow? Why was she leaving him? They still had so much to live for! He knew he would never forget her. He knew he could never forget the memories they had shared in the last ten years of their lives, but he wanted to add to that with memories they should be sharing of their future!

Was he not allowed to have children with Hermione- living reminders of how far love can really stretch? Was he destined to live his life alone for the rest of his days- alone and miserable as the others moved on without him? There were so many memories of love that they should have! What about memories like that of when he had proposed to her?

They had just graduated from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Hermione had been the top student in their year, leaving the school with the highest of honors and wonderful acceptance into the Ministry of Magic itself. Ron and Harry had scraped through as well, not far behind her. They had done it- they had all made it through school and were off to live in the real world. The real world where anything could happen… As Dumbledore had delivered his leaving speech to the seventh years, Ron had sat silently, absentmindedly playing with the diamond ring in his pocket. His mind had been reeling all day, the same question playing in his head: Do I ask her or not? He had gazed at her throughout the ceremony with no other thought on his mind. He couldn’t remember much of Dumbledore’s speech to this day, but that hadn’t mattered.

Even as they had walked out of the Great Hall for the last time and were stomping down the stone steps and off across the grounds, he still wasn’t really focusing. His feet did the traveling for him as he only seemed to be interested in Harry’s conversation beside him. He just kept glancing at Hermione out of the corner of his eye, his heart burning. And that’s when he had done it.

He stopped in his tracks and stood before Hermione in the middle of the crowd, the entire lawn filled with students. Then he had knelt down on one knee, extended the ring in his outstretched hand, and whispered, “Hermione, I know I never told you how I really feel. In words, anyway. There were so many times since our first day at school that I wanted to tell you how I felt about you- but I could never do it. Every time I got close, I worried that you would say no. But now, the love I have bottled up inside of me for seven years has finally burst. I am kneeling before you now- in front of everyone that we have grown up with- to ask you if you have the same feelings for me. I’m ready to prove that I am capable of love- but that love is only made for you. So, please, with all of these people as my witnesses, let me know how you feel for me.”

Her answer had been simple. She had stared at him in wonder for what seemed like eternity as the rest of the people remained silent. Ron could hear the sound of his own heartbeat sounding through his chest. He didn’t dare chance a look at Harry, who was standing behind him, watching with amazement. He only had eyes for Hermione. When Ron felt as if his heart was about to plummet with disappointment, she had fallen into his arms, crying hysterically, and kissing him wherever she could reach. They had fallen back onto the grass together, rolling over the lawn, laughing, crying, and kissing as Harry and all the others cheered in the background…

You and me have seen everything to see, from London and back to Surrey. And the soles of your shoes are all worn down.

They had been through so much together since then. They had traveled the world together, their love reaching farther than any man could travel. With Harry and Ginny by their sides, they had all successfully completed their Auror training and lived to save others. The look of triumph on Hermione’s face when she had outsmarted the Death Eaters or another servant of the Dark Lord had made Ron’s heart soar even higher. He had admitted his fears of the Dark Lord and his ways only truly to Hermione- he knew that only she would understand. It wasn’t that he was afraid of being tortured or killed by Voldemort or his followers… After all, Harry had been living with that weight on his shoulders since he was one year old! The only thing Ron really worried about was if his beloved wife would be killed. If his Hermione had been taken from him by the evil doings of Lord Voldemort… Ron shuddered every time he thought about it, unable to conclude even his own feelings about that unwanted happening. Hermione was everything to him. Sure, he had a giant family that loved him- although Fred and George would always be obnoxious and Percy, well Percy was out of the picture now in Ron’s mind. And of course he had Harry. Harry was his best friend, and everyone knew that. The two of them had even gone through an extra year of Auror training together because of what they knew they would one day possibly find themselves up against. And he had been willing to go through with that because of the respect he had for Harry and his destiny- and because he wanted to be more than prepared to save himself and his wife from losing each other at the hands of evil. After all, Hermione was more than a friend to Ron now. She was a part of Ron that would always be there. She was part of his heart... his body... his will… his very soul…

He couldn’t have ever asked for more from Hermione. Yes, he had wanted children. He had always known that one day he would have a family of his own to share with his Hermione. Perhaps not as nearly as large as his own, but he only wanted children to spread the love to that he felt for Hermione. Perhaps a little girl with the same bouncy brown hair and stubborn studiousness that her mother had always possessed? Or maybe a son, who would have his red hair but his mother’s determination and perseverance that had somehow sidestepped Ron? He only wanted to be able to give a kiss goodnight on top of a rosy cheek that belonged to his child. His child that would always serve not only as everlasting love, but as something to remember Hermione by… Someone that would always have Hermione’s eyes, or her wits, or her long brown hair. Someone to remind Ron of the love he would never forget. But he was lucky with what they had shared together, no matter how much time they had been given. That much he was sure of.

The time for sleep is now… It’s nothing to cry about.

Ron had to tell himself everyday that he would move on. No, Hermione would no longer be with him as she was now, but her spirit would always be there. He would feel her presence with him every day of his life- he would speak to her when he needed her unwavering guidance. And yet, he couldn’t imagine a life without her. The girl who had always bailed him out of trouble, the girl that had always had the answer… The girl that had finally showed stubborn Ron Weasley what love really was.

Suddenly, Hermione stirred. Ron held his breath as she slowly tilted her head on her soft pillow. Ron looked down into her face and couldn’t help but smile just at the sight of her. He could trace every line of her skin, every curve of her face, every shade in her eyes, and every curl in her brown hair. Hermione slept on as Ron gazed at the face that had enchanted him for years and years. He didn’t really know for sure when the first time he had realized what Hermione had meant to him. He couldn’t have possibly been thinking about true love when they had been first years…? But when did he really realize what true love was? Perhaps it had been when he had seen her with Krum, knowing deep down inside of him that he should be the one out there, holding her close to him as they danced the night away? And now, as he gazed at her face, he wondered why it had actually taken that long for him to understand. What wasn’t there to love about Hermione Granger?

We’ll hold each other soon in the blackest of rooms.

She was breathing slowly, and yet her face held no sign of pain. Ron was grateful for that- otherwise, it would have been more than he could bear. He knew the end had come- he had known it for nearly a year- but couldn’t possible be prepared to say goodbye. The only thought that comforted him was that the separation didn’t last forever. There was always hope. That was the last thing Hermione had taught him… Or perhaps she had always had that as one of her many underlying messages…? Hope was what had kept the two of them fighting together- right until the very end. Hope was what enabled them to accept the inevitable, no matter what form it came in. Hermione had readily accepted her fate, and Ron couldn’t recall a time that she had ever complained about what was going to happen to her. It had been harder on him. He just couldn’t comprehend the lack of her presence. Just thinking about the death of his wife made his heart freeze in pain.

If there’s no one beside you when your soul embarks… Then I’ll follow you into the dark.

Ron heard Hermione moan. He leaned forward in his chair, grasping her hand tightly in his own. Her breathing was labored and her chest rose and fell with extreme effort. Ron closed his eyes for a moment to brace himself. Then he snapped them open, worried that he may never see her face again. “Hermione…?” He whispered softly. He was sure that she could hear him- he knew that she would be able to hear him. But he also knew that she wouldn’t respond. “No, Hermione… No…” He begged… pleaded with her. Anything to make her stay with him longer. He wasn’t ready to say goodbye. He wasn’t ready to let go.

But he had to.

He heard her take her final breath. He watched as her chest fell softly, but did not rise again. The color remained in her face as her body remained motionless, nestled in the warm bed.

“No, Hermione… Come back… Don’t leave me…” Ron couldn’t help it. He couldn’t deny the tears that longed to burst. So without hesitating, he let them come. The warm drops ran down his face as he leaned forward and kissed her forehead. He grasped her hand as tightly as possible, not daring to imagine that same hand that would soon become cold and lifeless right beneath his own grasp. He wept out loud, his cries of anguish echoing throughout the hollowed room, as he slowly lifted Hermione’s bed covers. Then, with as much delicacy as possible, he lifted his legs- which felt like lead- and slid into bed next to her lifeless form. He draped the covers over the two of them and snuggled close to her. Very gingerly, he wrapped his arms around her and buried his face into her hair. He could smell that familiar scent that had become natural in his mind for the past several years. He recognized the softness of her skin as he held her shoulders tight to his own quivering body. He leaned forward and kissed her forehead again, his own tears falling onto her pale skin.

“I love you Hermione,” he whispered ever so softly into her ear. “Wait for me, will you? You can’t go on without me. I need to be with you. Wait for me… I’ll come for you, Hermione. With every fiber of my being, I love you, Hermione Granger. I always did and I always will. Now and forever…”

And he rested his head onto the pillows, his face still engulfed in the curls of her long hair. He breathed softly, his eyes closed, listening to the sound of birds outside the window. And in the darkness of his room, Ron Weasley did not move for a very long time. Beneath the shadows and the covers, Ron Weasley laid close to his Hermione, his beloved wife…

I will follow you into the dark…

A/N: Hope You Enjoyed This! The song in this story was based on, ‘I Will Follow You Into the Dark’ by Death Cab for Cutie. I changed one line in it to fit with the Harry Potter world, (From London and back to Surrey…) just to let you know, but Death Cab definitely deserves credit for their beautiful lyrics!