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Hermione Granger, alone and tired, sat in her small office in the Ministry of Magic. She was the only one who stayed this late, and she knew it. Hers was the only office lit, and it cast an eerie glow on the rest of the cubicles. At least she got a window…

Peck peck peck…

She shook herself. Her eyes had been drooping, and she needed to finish researching for tomorrow’s Order meeting.

Peck peck peck...

She blinked. What was that noise? Glancing at her window, she saw a weary-looking owl holding a dirt-covered letter. It hooted as she opened the window and took the paper from it. She gave it a treat and watched it fly away before turning her attention to the letter. Who would be writing at this hour?

Gasping, she saw it was a letter from Ron. She made sure to sent him and Harry weekly letters, if just to make sure they were still alive. Her heart clenched every time she watched the owl fly away to wherever they happened to be then…

Opening the crinkled letter carefully, she breathed deeply and began to read.

Dear Hermione,

I’m sorry I didn’t write last week. The Death Eaters somehow got close enough to our base that they were able to destroy our supplies tent. (among other things) You wouldn’t believe it, but my very first thought was, “How am I going to get paper to write to Hermione?” Sad, I know.


She grinned. Even on paper, he was still… Ron. And she had been worried. Thankfully, Harry’s letter said nothing of Ron’s death. Still though, they weren’t always at the same places…

Hermione, you wouldn’t believe how wonderful your letters have been. It gives me strength to go on, here in the barracks amid all the destructions. Dead bodies of our classmates, Hermione. They stare at you with unseeing eyes, and… Hermione, thank you. I know how willing you were to help with the war, but I’m honestly glad you stayed back at Hogwarts to help the Order. If you died, Hermione…

She counted the number of times he said her name. Four times. Four times in five sentences. She grinned, rubbing her nose slightly to avoid getting teary.

I can picture it clearly, too. You, as that healer you would have been, could have been, moving determinedly, tirelessly, with all sorts of curses flying back and forward all around you… It gives me shivers, Hermione, it honestly does. Because I know how close you were to choosing that option. I know that, nowadays, it isn’t safe anywhere in the world, but at least knowing you’re not in the direct midst of it gives me hope that someday, the world will be safe, and I can be there with you.

She sighed, breathing deeply. She could not cry. She was used to this. Yes, she will see Ron again. The thought that maybe, just maybe, he wouldn’t return sent shivers down her spine and made her want to vomit. ‘No. Don’t think about that.’ She thought sternly, then smiled despite herself. Ron was right. She did need to lighten up.

I miss home, Hermione. I miss the Burrow. I miss Mum’s homemade meals, and playing Quidditch in that field like there was nothing else in the world. I miss being at Hogwarts, safe in the common room with half an eyebrow singed from playing Exploding Snap. I miss making up dreams with Harry for Divination, and the glares that you never really meant…SPEW, remember that? You were a lunatic, Hermione. Stark raving mad – scratch that, you still are. We all were, back then, what with years of dragon eggs, canaries, werewolves, and gits… yeah, we were all filled with that youthful joy, youthful innocence that made it seem like we could do the impossible. Which we sort of did, in all those years. A brain, a hero, and an average guy. You couldn’t have picked a weirder bunch, or a more perfect one.

In the back of her eyes, Hermione felt a prickle. It was inevitable. Shaking slightly, she leaned back in her chair, reminiscing. How could he do it? How can he still sound so calm in his letters, amidst all that? Her mind brought the memories forward, and she felt a single tear drop…

I guess I never really knew how lucky we were back then. I must have been infuriating – sorry for that. Well, no, not really. Because if I wasn’t infuriating or irritating or sarcastic, things wouldn’t have been the way they were. And I wouldn’t change that for the world.

More tears fell, until she had to wipe her face with her sleeve. She felt her nose scrunching in that way that it does when you’re trying hard not to cry, even though you already are. She smiled through her tears. No one would have changed anything…

I must have infuriated you with this very letter, Hermione, saying “I know this” and “I know that” about you. How can I, Ronald Billius Weasley, possibly understand the mind of Hermione Jane Granger? Don’t doubt that I don’t care about you, Hermione. You can doubt the perfection of a potion, or the loyaltyt of potions masters, but don’t doubt that Harry and I cared for you all those years without question.

Her breath hitched. She reached over for a tissue and blew her nose, shaking her head slightly to herself. Oh, what she wouldn’t give to be with him, right then and there. Ron… She wiped her face again, her sleeve now damp. She gasped as her eyes focused on the next line of the letter…

I love you, Hermione. I wish I didn’t have to say it in a letter, but the war doesn’t seem like it’s going to end anytime soon. I’m going to make it through this for you, if just so at least once, I can say right to you “I love you.”

Ron


No. No, no, no, the letter couldn’t be over yet! Her entire body shook as the truth settled in… She just barely concealed it herself, her desperateness. Only the letters kept her going. She wished again, a new wave of tears pouring out, that she could just be with him for a minutes, for a second. She wanted to know he was all right… but probably, if she did see him, she wouldn’t ever let him go again…

Memories of them all together on platform 9 and ¾ drifted in. Their final time… They had huddled together, mostly at a loss to say. Their time was up; it was time to go into the world and become people. They had been so excited, cheeks flushed, and yet somehow sad at the same time. They didn’t want their time to be up yet, though if they could, I don’t think any of them would have gotten back on the train. They had learned all they could, and all that was left was for them to live, hopefully happily ever after.

Harry had looked to Ron. Ron had looked to Hermione. They all smiled at each other, their bond unbreakable. Hermione heaved a final sob. All the words they never said, and all the words they did…

“We’re going to make it through this, mates.” Ron grinned at them all, his eyes glinting. “We’re going to make it.”


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