Disclaimer: Harry Potter is not mine. Voldemort is not mine. Hermione Granger is not mine. Ron We- what the heck, I don't own anything that you recognize!
The time came at the end of her seventh year- the Final Battle. It was the last Hogsmeade trip for the year and the very last for the seventh years. Harry, Ron, and Hermione were in the Three Broomsticks, enjoying a final round of Butterbeer together.
Hermione had finished her drink before either of the boys, and was idly running her finger around the rim of her Butterbeer bottle. Bored to death, Hermione watched her friends. Harry was staring off into space, and a small smile played about his lips. He’s thinking about Ginny again Hermione thought with a grin on her face, but she thankfully resisted the urge to burst out laughing. Trying to get her mind off of Harry’s thoughts, she shifted her gaze to Ron. Ron was not dreamy at all, but furiously scribbling on a bit of parchment. It seemed as though he couldn’t seem to find the right words to say, because every time he wrote something down, he almost instantly scratched it out and set to the task of writing again.
Hermione once again had to restrain her laughter as she watched Ron. He’s so cute when he concentrates. Ron’s tongue was sticking out of the corner of his mouth, and his eyes never left the scrap of parchment that he was writing on. Why doesn’t Ron share my feelings? Hermione asked herselfwhy can’t he feel the way about me that I feel about him?
Not wanting to dwell on that eternal question once again, Hermione shifted her thoughts once again. She looked out of the window of the Three Broomsticks, looking at the people passing by. Ginny was walking back and forth outside of the building, she was probably supposed to meet Harry there. Sure enough, when Hermione glanced at Harry, he was chugging down the last of his Butterbeer.
“I’ve got to go, guys,” he said hastily as he half-ran out of the door to where Ginny was impatiently waiting for him.
Hermione continued to look out of the windows, though she was not really registering what she saw. In her mind’s eye played the scene of Ron writing on the scrap of parchment, the scene played over and over again. Hermione was glad to be looking outside; it gave her a reason to have the goofy little grin spread across her face. Every once in a while, Hermione dared to shoot another glance at Ron. She was an expert at doing this by now; she had liked him for years now, and had plenty of practice sneaking looks in at Ron. Much to her dismay; however, Ron had never seemed to return the shy glances, or her feelings.
None the less, Hermione could not seem to get that adorable red hair out of her mind. She tried so hard to move on, to get over him, but to no avail. His face continued to haunt her dreams, and she had learned to live with it. So as Hermione watched the Patil twins walk by with the guys of the week, the stab of envy that she would normally feel was not as strong as it used to be. She had seemingly resigned herself to a life of watching Ron in the shadows.
“Do you want to go to Zonko’s or something?” Ron asked suddenly, once he had finished his drink. Hermione was shocked out of her reverie by this sudden question, and nodded her head in agreement.
Ron and Hermione had barely left the Three Broomsticks when she saw them- Death Eaters. She saw them closing in on Harry, cursing people out of the way as they went. Masks on, they were as black as the night. As dark as the bottom of the sea, where sailors’ watery graves are located. Unable to speak at first, Hermione was about to yell out to Harry when Ginny beat her to it.
“Watch out, Harry!” she screeched, and Harry wheeled around to face the Death Eaters. One of them had his wand pointed at Ginny, who was desperately searching her pockets for her wand. A curse was sent her way, but Harry conjured a shield to protect her. As soon as she had found her wand, she was back-to-back with Harry, each protecting the other from curses.
Hermione stopped staring as Death Eaters began to encircle Ron and her. She and Ron began to fight, but there were too many of them. It seemed as though for every Death Eater they stunned, three more appeared in his place. Voldemort must have widened his circle Hermione thought grimly as she faced yet another Death Eater.
But despite the desperate fight that Hermione and Ron put up, the Death Eaters began to overpower them. As Hermione cast a spell at a black-shrouded figure, a curse hit her from behind. The last thing that she remembered was the Death Eater she had hexed falling, before she fell, stunned.
Hermione woke up in the Post Office, with Ron kneeling next to her. His wand was pointed at her, and she knew that it was he who had just revived her. Ron was badly injured. His face was a series of cuts and bruises, and blood splotched his tattered robes. A look of extreme suffering covered his face, which was now a pasty white. Before she could ask if he needed help or how the battle was going, he held out a piece of parchment to her.
Hermione recognized it as the parchment that he had been writing on in the Three Broomsticks, and took it from his bloody hand. Before she read it Ron began to speak, “I’m sorry,” he croaked, now slouched against a wall. Every word seemed to be costing him an incredible effort, “I tried to protect you,” he continued each word seeming to be more and more forced, “…too many of them. Read….”
With trembling fingertips, Hermione opened the note. There were many scribbled out phrases all over the page and Hermione tried to read each of these before moving to the one had not been X-ed out. The message was simple, it read:
I love you, Hermione.
Hermione could hardly dare to believe it. He did care after all! Hermione turned to Ron, sheer joy on her face. “Oh, Ron,” she murmured, “I love you too.”
But her eyes met his. His were misted over, in death. Hermione’s eyes began to fill with tears in turn. “This didn’t happen. Wake up Ron. Wake up! WAKE UP!” Ron made no response, and didn’t even acknowledge that he heard her. She had hoped for a coma, but he was dead. “I was too late, maybe if I would have told him, maybe things would be too different,” she murmured to herself, still looking at Ron.
Her hand pushed his hair out of his face, revealing several more gashes. She ran her now bloodstained hand along his jaw line, not wanting to believe that he was really dead. No pulse pounded in his throat, and Hermione wept all the more.
She could not bear the thought of his body growing cold, alone and abandoned, so she sat next to him. Wrapping her arms around his still-warm flesh, her tears mingled with his blood.
And that was where they found her, twenty-four hours later.
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