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Goodbye, My Sweet by calorie

Format: One-shot
Chapters: 1
Word Count: 2,884

Rating: 15+
Warnings: Mild Language, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme

Genres: Drama, Romance, Angst
Characters: Ron, Hermione

First Published: 08/03/2006
Last Chapter: 12/12/2006
Last Updated: 12/12/2006

HUGE THANKS to my brilliant betas, ocean_fairy (jess), ridikulus (morgan) and tiger_cruise_ginny (alyssa)! Banner by angel_on_d_outside (aka me!) at TDA :)

The final battle is past...but now Ron has a greater battle to fight; one that no one can save him from...the song featured in this story is Aerosmith's I Don't Want To Miss A Thing :) My first one shot, so PLEASE read and review! thanks! 3rd revision coming!

Chapter 1: I Don't Want To Miss A Thing
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Goodbye, My Sweet - Songfic/One shot

A/N: This amazing song, I Don't Want To Miss A Thing, is by the fantastic Aerosmith, one of the best rock bands ever. The song holds personal memories for me as well, but I thought it would be appropriate for this one-shot story too…anyway, enjoy! And download the song if you've never heard it, it's beautiful : )

The room was plain, but that was to be expected. After all, hospitals aren’t designed to be stylish and decorative. Although compared to the room at their cottage by the sea, the single hospital room was simple and, for want of a better word, sad. There were no bright colours to be found, none of the colourful textiles that he and Hermione had chosen on their Honeymoon to Brazil. Textiles which hung all around their house. Nor were there any of the cute little garden elves which were scattered around their patio and garden. The one thing that reminded him of home was the pot of beautiful lilac orchids, Hermione’s favourite plant. She had lovingly placed them on his bedside table next to all his medications. Taking a moment to admire the gorgeous flowers, he inhaled deeply, feeling their soft scent fill his lungs and relax his mind. These had been the flowers he had chosen for Hermione on the first anniversary of their relationship, in the Seventh year at Hogwarts. He fondly remembered her look of shock when she had received the bouquet, delivered to her by 4 snowy owls at the Gryffindor table at breakfast. She had admired the two elegant stems of orchids that morning, and fell in love with orchids ever since. Hermione knew they were rare and expensive in the muggle world, so she was touched that Ron had put in so much effort into finding her the perfect flowers to match their love for each other.

Ron turned his head in the other direction in order to look at his stunning wife. She really was the most amazing thing that had ever happened to him. Hermione was dozing lightly, her brown curls spilling onto the hospital bed as she lay next to his right leg. He stared dreamily at her sweet face, which held features that suited her as a person. They weren’t spectacular or stunning, but somehow worked on Hermione - and he knew that their love was based on far more than looks anyway. They were beautiful and perfect in each other’s eyes, and that was enough for the both of them.

I could stay awake just to hear you breathing,
Watch you smile while you are sleeping,
While you’re far away and dreaming,
I could spend my life in this sweet surrender,
I could stay lost in this moment forever,
When every moment spent with you is a moment I treasure…

The glowing orange light shining in from the little window in his room was fading fast. Much like me , he thought, gritting his teeth. And yet his jaw was not clenched in bitterness - not even anger. He had accomplished everything he had dreamed of, and more. He had experienced the truest of friendships with both Harry and Hermione, his two best friends. A friendship that Harry had valued above his own life. Harry stayed true until the end, and had sacrificed himself to save both his best friends, as well as the other numerous Order members present on the night of Voldemort‘s downfall. He himself had played a big and continuous part in destroying perhaps the greatest Dark wizard since the beginning of time. He had found his dream job as an Auror, and had been one of the fastest people to qualify. Most importantly, he had truly loved, in every way possible. He had fondly loved the picturesque cottage that he and Hermione had chosen, proud that he paid for it all by himself. He had loved his best friend Harry Potter as much as friends could ever love each other. He had also found his soul mate - there was no other way of describing Hermione. They had been destined for each other from the very beginning, and Ron’s only regret was that he wouldn’t be able to spend much time with her. He knew that time was desperately running out for him. Hermione had known that, and had spent every moment, awake or in dreams, with him since they had found out the dreaded news. He hated falling asleep and not being conscious around her, as he didn’t want to waste a single moment.

I don't wan t to close my eyes,
I don't want to fall asleep,
Cause I'd miss you babe,
And I don't want to miss a thing,
Cause even when I dream of you,
The sweetest dream would never do,
I'd still miss you babe,
And I don't want miss a thing.

Ron suddenly felt the desire to be closer to Hermione, and he tried to work out in his head how to manoeuvre himself so that his head would lie next to hers. He tested his legs, cursing mentally as he felt no response - he needed to swivel them around slightly in order to place his head in the desired position. He valiantly attempted a couple more times, each time failing to control his two lower limbs and shaking the bed slightly. After a few minutes, the slight shaking woke Hermione up. She lifted her head slowly, caught the frustrated expression on Ron’s face, and was immediately worried.

“What are you trying to do? Do you need some help?”, she voiced her concerns gently, so as not to frustrate him.

He noticed that he had woken her up, and felt even worse. “I just wanted to get closer to you. I don’t know how much longer I’ve got, but I just want to spend every moment with you, Herms. I can’t even do anything now. I feel so inadequate and useless…” he tailed off, his face sad and weary.

“Shhh”, Hermione hushed soothingly. Knowing exactly what he needed, she shuffled her chair forwards so that she could lay her head next to his. She positioned her head just beneath his own, and subconsciously drifted off soon after. Ron marvelled at how well she understood him, and it made him even sadder that he would be forced out of her life soon.

His mind wandered back to the day they had discovered his illness. He and Hermione were having a barbeque in the garden when he had suddenly collapsed - faint and pale as a ghost. Hermione, although she had worried, had assumed it was a stroke of some sort, or that it had been due to pressure and tiredness caused by his job. It was to be much worse. His illness was in fact very rare, and there had been no reported cases since the late 17th century. It was a gradual degeneration of muscles, and the Healers at St. Mungo’s had never before tackled any similar cases. They had agreed that it must’ve come from the bite Nagini the snake had given him on his right shin when he and several other members of the Order had been sent to destroy the 5th Horcrux. As it was so obscure, there was no known remedy, and although they had called in numerous potion brewers and healers from all over the world, they had failed to come up with a cure in time. Experimental work was still being done, but he knew, and the Healers knew, that his body would not be able to wait. His fate was inescapable.

Lying close to you,
feeling your heart beating,
And I'm wondering what you're dreaming,
Wondering if it's me you're seeing,
And then I kiss your eyes,
And thank God we're together,
I just want to stay with you in this moment forever,
Forever and ever.

It was already nightfall, and the hospital room was dark. Ron no longer wanted to dwell on such depressing thoughts, and instead chose to look down at Hermione’s head, which was on his chest. He felt it rise and fall rhythmically, and noticed the small but visible smile on her dreaming face. She had not smiled like the carefree girl she used to be for a long time, and he wished that her dream was a happy and hopeful one. He gently kissed her forehead, and then dropped her a few more on her eyelids, nose and lips for old-times sake. Feeling a wave of tiredness overcome his body as well, he closed his eyes and smiled as his dream began.

Ron awoke at around 9 in the morning, and saw two Healers by his bedside. Their expressions were grave, and his mind was worried at once. He indicated that Hermione was still sleeping and that he didn’t want to disturb her. Respecting his wishes, Healer Gregson leaned in towards his ear and whispered the dreaded but expected news in hushed tones.

“The test results from yesterday have come back. The muscles are going fast. We expect that the paralysis will soon spread to your neck and head. I’m so sorry.”

After taking a second to process the news, Ron replied, “Don’t be sorry; you and your team have done your best and more, and I fully appreciate that. I always knew this day would come, but I just wished for some more time…my wife, I don’t want to leave her so soon…”

Both Healers looked incredibly sad. They had seen the young couple’s love firsthand, and knew that it was excruciatingly cruel that they would only have such a short period together before Ron’s passing. Ron had tried so hard, stayed hopeful and cheery for so long, and it broke their hearts to have to finally deliver the final message. Healer Gregson and Healer Fleming both exchanged looks with Ron, and when they saw his expression, two sets of eyes began to water.

Healer Fleming broke down slightly, and stammered, “But it’s so unfair…you deserve to have so much more…” Healer Gregson acquiesced silently with a nod.

“I’ve been given everything I ever wanted in my life. It may be a short one, but everything has sort of slotted in. My life has been a fulfilled one, and I’m neither angry nor upset that you didn’t get a remedy in time. I’ve lived my life to the fullest already. Many who live to their hundreds have not experienced a tenth of what I have. It’s hard to believe it right now, but I AM grateful for everything. I couldn’t have asked for a better life”, Ron quietly said, his own eyes beginning to cloud with tears. “Come by again soon, and don’t cry, David, Millie, you’ve done your best and I will be eternally grateful”.

The tears were running down both Healers’ faces as they quietly left his room.

When Hermione woke up three hours later, Ron had already lost the use of his mouth. He spoke to her with his eyes and his thoughts, and as soon as she realised what had happened, her eyes filled with tears, and she threw herself over his now paralysed body and wept. He watched as her tears stained his shirt, heavy hearted as he realised he could no longer feel them. Hermione cradled his face for a long while, never stopping the delicate movement. Although she spoke of completely random matters, he felt soothed just by her constant stream of words, and she knew it as well. He wanted that one moment in time to freeze, so he would always feel the gentle touch of her warm hands on his face.

And I don't want to miss one smile,
I don't want to miss one kiss,
I just want to be with you,
Right here with you, just like this,
Well I just want to hold you close,
And feel your heart so close to mine,
And just stay here in this moment,
For all the rest of time.

Ron was no longer aware of the time. Healer Fleming came in to check on him at one point, and relayed to Hermione what she had told Ron in the morning. With this new knowledge, Hermione knew that Ron’s life was coming to an end. She needed to tell his family. She wrenched herself off him, pained at the thought of leaving his side even for a split second, and ran outside to ask a nurse to notify the Weasleys to come as soon as possible. She ran back into the room after being away barely five seconds. The tears now came hot and rapidly from her swollen eyes. She returned to the bed, sitting by Ron and hugging his chest whilst quietly crying. Hermione knew she shouldn’t be making Ron any sadder, but she couldn‘t hold back the tears. It was so unfair that they could only have this time together. It was like a perfect dream that was cut short. The couple communicated with their eyes now - Ron had just begun to lose his hearing a moment ago, as he could no longer hear but still see his sobbing wife. Time was really running out for him.

After awhile, his vision began to blur slightly and he felt his heavy eyelids slowly slide shut. His mind asked repeatedly for the pair of eyes to stay open for a just one more moment so that he could look once more at the beautiful face of his beloved wife, but he knew in his heart that they would not, and could not. Dimly he noticed his family of redheads enter the room and stand beside Hermione, everyone’s faces red and puffy from the tears they had all shed. Then his eyes finally gave in, and he saw no more.

I don’t want to close my eyes,
I don’t want to fall asleep,
Cause I’d miss you, babe,
And I don’t want to miss a thing.

Now only awake in his mind, he began to reminisce. All his childhood memories came rushing back at once: him playing in the garden with the twins in summer; his first ever broomstick ride and lesson from Charlie. Being at the hospital when Ginny was born. Watching as his mum struggled with frustration with one of Fred and George’s fake wands. Having summer picnics with the family…

Then came the Hogwarts days, his happiest days - when he first hopped onto the Hogwarts Express only to meet the famous Harry Potter and the great friendship that had begun on that day. Saving Hermione from the mountain troll on Halloween, then finding the Philosopher’s Stone and playing that unforgettable Chess game in that same year. He saw a younger version of himself bewitching a muggle car and escaping from the Acromantula, a younger him meeting Lupin and Sirius in his third year.

The fourth and fifth years followed, filled with even more daring adventures as things began to get tougher for everyone. He had watched the Quidditch World Cup with his family and two best friends, and had met Viktor Krum in person. He had helped Harry in the Triwizard Tournament, and was made Gryffindor prefect in the next year. He remembered joining the DA, annoying the hell out of the horrific Dolores Umbridge, and of course the events in the Department of Mysteries on that fateful night. The sixth and seventh years came next - him being chosen to play Keeper on the Gryffindor Quidditch team. Finding out Hermione reciprocated his feelings, and finally asking her out. Then came Snape’s betrayal and Dumbledore’s death. He had enjoyed Bill and Fleur’s Wedding and reception, and remembered the thrill of hunting for the Horcruxes with Harry and Hermione. Together they had visited Godric’s Hollow afterwards. Shortly afterwards came Harry blocking Voldemort’s Avada Kedavra and saving McGonagall, Lupin, Hermione and himself and many more. He next saw the Order and Hermione and himself vanquishing the Dark Lord…

The flashes continued at the same rapid pace - Harry’s burial at Hogwarts next to Dumbledore. Him rebuilding his life after the battle, going to Auror school and qualifying. Ginny and Dean Thomas’ engagement. Neville becoming Herbology professor at Hogwarts. The happy days of his engagement with Hermione, and their wedding day. His mind lingered on the moment that Hermione took her vows - “…To love him, in sickness and in health, till Death do us part”

That had only been seven short months ago. Then came the shocking discovery of his incurable illness. The last two months he had been confined to his bed - it was strange to think that he had once been strong and fit enough to play Quidditch at a national level. His thoughts drifted back to his wedding, and he knew that he would never stop loving her - death could only part them physically, but his love for her would remain unchanged forever.

He knew Hermione’s hands were still cradling his face, even though he couldn’t feel them anymore. His mind paused on a perfect image of her - the look she had given him as they stood on the altar which told him everything she felt at that second: only unselfish love. Goodbye, my sweet Hermione.

He saw black for a split second, and then there was nothing.

A/N: This was written as a response to 2 challenges: ’Make me cry’ and ’Write something you don’t believe in’. I don’t actually believe in Ron/Hermione, but I wanted to test myself…please please please review! I’ve never written anything remotely as morbid or sad, and I want to know how you felt during and after reading it…Thanks a lot!