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[A/N: Arithmancy_Wiz helped me out of the title rut =)]
[A/N #2: It’s mainly in Kristen’s point of view, but flashbacks are 3rd person. It worked better that way.]
This story is dedicated to LovelyMioneWeasley. She’s a fellow, amazing author on this site (check out her stories, it’s worth your time) and she deserved to have a story of mine dedicated to her!

I grumbled softly as I layered coats of polish on my fingernails, wishing that I was seventeen so that I could use magic during the summer holidays. I had two more years until that day. Rain was beating at the window as it had for days and the frequent flashes of lightning calmed me in a way I hadn’t expected.

I cursed my unsteady hand as I wiped purple polish off of the side of my thumb. I grimaced as I heard the laughter that was floating in from the living room, wondering how they could all be so cheerful, knowing what today was.

I got up and walked to my bedside table, picking up a picture. It was moving and showed two extremely happy-looking people dancing around in the rain, the man sneaking kisses from the woman. I felt a tear slide down my cheek and I quickly brushed it away with a swipe of my rough hand.

“Kristen, come out here!” I heard my mother call from our living room. I took a few steadying breaths and set down my nail polish, heading to the living room.

“Hey, Uncle Harry,” I said, giving my uncle a hug. “Where’s Aunt Ginny?”

“She’s at home, getting the kids ready. They’re going to Floo over.” I nodded and slumped onto the couch, leaning my head onto my mother’s frail body. She wrapped her arm around me weakly and pulled me closer.

I buried my head into her side and gazed at the fireplace, waiting for my beautiful, redheaded Aunt and my beloved cousins to come tripping out of it, coughing from the soot.

Then, as if on cue, a tiny, black haired, blue-eyed boy jumped out of the fireplace and onto Harry’s lap screaming, “Daddy!”

I smiled as my other cousin, ten years old, came bounding out of the fireplace, landing on my lap. “Kristen!” she squealed, tugging on a strand my long, bushy brown hair that contrasted so much with her own straight, fiery locks. Then the graceful figure of my aunt glided out of the fireplace, brushing soot off of the Muggle jeans that she was sporting. In a world of people who were raised by Muggles and children, she had learned to wear Muggle clothing.

Aunt Ginny strode to the couch where my mum and I were sitting and swept her into a bone crushing hug. “Are you all right?” I heard her whisper.

My mother squeezed her eyes and nodded. It wrenched my heart to see her like that and I turned away.

“How are you, kiddo?” Aunt Ginny asked as she settled into the spot next to me.

I gave her a weak smile and shrugged. “There have been better days. I just can’t believe it’s been six years!” I shuddered involuntarily and stared at a lovely piece of carpet.

After that, the room settled into a comfortable silence that was only broken by the noise of the children playing Exploding Snap, I snuggled deep into my sweater and watched them play sleepily.

Soon, the children became tired of playing and crowded around the feet of my aunt, my mum and I.

“Tell me a story, Aunt Hermy!” Lauren said suddenly.

“What about?” my mum inquired, shifting uncomfortably. I know that she didn’t want them to request the usual.
“Uncle Won!” Matthew requested in his six-year-old voice.

My mother gave a protesting sigh, but pulled her feet onto the couch: Her storytelling position.

“Well, which part do you want to hear?” she asked, biting her lip.

“All of it!” Lauren whined, jumping up and down upon the carpet.

My mum sighed. “But you’ve heard the beginning a million times…” she protested.

“But—” began Lauren.

“Just tell the end,” I interrupted firmly, stroking my cousin’s hair.

“Okay…” she said slowly, breathing deeply and closing her eyes. “I guess it all…began…after the Final Battle.”

“We won!” Hermione squealed, running across the field, darkness sweeping them into shadow. “We won…” she whispered, pulling Ron close and running her fingers through his hair, her diamond ring sparkling in the dying light, the symbol of her marriage to Ronald Weasley.

“Watch out, Hermione,” he warned, “not all of the Death Eaters are gone!”

“Nothing can hurt me now…” she assured him. “If I died right now, at least it’d have been with my heart soaring high and my emotions running wild…”

Nodding, he bent down and planted a kiss on her lips, one eye open to watch for Bellatrix, who he knew was still lurking about.

Suddenly pulling away, Hermione screamed, “RON, WATCH OUT!”

In one swift moment, there was a flash of blue light and Ron was knocked out of Hermione’s arms.

“Ron…” she whimpered as she struggled to pull out her wand, her eyes scanning for his attacker.

“I’m over here, Mudblood…” said a cold, drawling voice. “You really should think twice before falling in love with filth.”

Speedily turning, Hermione turned to face Draco, her wand held out fiercely, her head held high. “What’d you do to him, Malfoy?” she asked in a shaking voice, holding her wand out further still.

“Are you going to try to kill me, Granger?” he said in a slightly mocking voice, one hand clasped upon his wand, the other thrown lazily in his pocket. “Don’t bother; you haven’t the guts or the skill.”

Lip quivering, Hermione didn’t lower her wand one bit.

“You won’t do it,” Draco said softly, strolling over to where Ron was collapsed and kicked him slightly with his grimy shoe.

“Don’t…touch…him,” growled Hermione from somewhere deep within her throat.

Chortling, Draco smeared a bit of mud off of his shoe onto Ron’s face.

“AVADA KEDAV—AVADA—” Hermione’s weak attempts were unsuccessful, but left Draco in a dueling position nonetheless.

“See, I told you you couldn’t do it,” he snarled, though his confident demeanor was now replaced with caution.

“AVADA KEDAVRA!” screamed Hermione, tears spilling over her lids onto her dirt dusted cheeks. As Draco collapsed to the ground, she joined him, her hands over her face, unable to move.

“I didn’t want to…” she sobbed as she peered at Draco’s face through her hands. “I’m sorry, Draco, I didn’t want to…”

“Hermione…” two rough hands placed themselves firmly beneath her underarms and lifted her to her feet. Once the owner of the hands found that she could not stand, he shoved his hands behind her knees and lifted her into his arms.

“Thanks, Harry…” she said softly, nothing but a scratchy noise coming out.

“Shh…” he whispered, motioning for the nurses to come over. “It’s going to be fine.”

“I didn’t—wasn’t going t—”

“Take this,” he whispered soothingly, as he handed Hermione a steaming goblet of potion. No sooner than she’d drunk it did she pass out, leaving nothing in her mind but foggy dreams.

“I’ve heard that part many times,” interrupted Lauren as she wiped a couple tears from her intense green eyes embarrassedly.

“We all have,” I said patiently, “but it’s necessary for the rest of the story.”

I averted my eyes from Aunt Ginny’s and my mom’s so I wouldn’t have to see their tears, and they wouldn’t see that I had some unshed tears in my eyes as well.

“Go on,” I suggested, pulling my feet on the couch again and laying my head on my knees.

“Ron?” said Hermione weakly as she awoke, barely noticing the white walls of the hospital room she was in.

Harry, who was at her bedside, touched her hand softly as he sighed.

“Tell her, Harry,” said Ginny weakly, from her chair next to Harry’s. Hermione hadn’t noticed her before.

“Harry, please tell me he’s not dead…” said Hermione softly, her voice cracking dangerously and tears springing into her dark brown eyes.

“He’s not!” said Harry quickly. “He’s — erm…” Harry put his hands over his eyes tiredly and Hermione heard him exhale slowly.

“I need to see Miss Granger alone, if you please…” said a voice suddenly from the door. Harry and Ginny turned to face a kind looking Healer. She had blonde hair, blue eyes, and a wide smile.

“We’ll talk to you later, Hermione,” said Harry quietly.

As the exited the room, they could hear Hermione interrogating the Healer unsuccessfully about Ron.

After almost an hour of sitting in the waiting room, Ginny dozing with her head on Harry’s knee, they were awoken by a loud wail from down the hall.

Harry jumped up. Ginny, jolted by the sudden movement, got to her feet as well, both of them looking inquiringly at the Healer.

“I left her alone for a second,” she was saying, “and she hunted down her husband’s room.”

“Oh no,” whispered Ginny, starting to walk down the hall.

“Wait,” said the Healer urgently, “there’s something you may want to know before you go talk to her…. I’m sure it’s making everything worse…”

“I think it’s time for dinner,” interrupted Aunt Ginny, rising from her seat next to me and leading herself into our kitchen.

“Why don’t you go help?” suggested my mum. As I walked to the kitchen I heard her tell the kids to go play upstairs.

I was on my way to the kitchen, but stopped in my tracks as I heard a soft sobbing noise coming from the living room. I inched my way to the corner of the hall and peered in at my mum and Uncle Harry.

“How are you doing?” he asked, making his way to the couch and sitting near her.

“I’m — I’m fine…” she said softly.

“Okay, how are you REALLY, Hermione?” he said, a knowing look in his eyes.

Shoulders shaking, she let a tear slip down her face and she put her face in her hands. “I’m fine…” she still insisted through sobs.

“You’re not fine…” said Uncle Harry, scooting closer to her and wrapping a comforting hug around her, which she leaned into gratefully.

“I feel so silly,” she choked, “I mean, it’s been so long, and I just can’t let it go…”

“No one expects you to let it go,” he said softly; I strained my ears to hear and stepped as close to the edge of the hallway as I dared. “He was your husband, your best friend.”

“I know…” she murmured, rocking back and forth against his chest. “I just can’t help but feel like I need to give it up…give it up for Kristen…and….”

“Kristen misses Ron as much as you do,” said Uncle Harry firmly. “To erase him from your memory would be an insult to them both.”

She sniffled a little bit, her head still resting against his chest. “I know; you’re right…”

“You just need—” But whatever my mum needed, I never found out. My dog, Sadie, had appeared at my side and begun barking like mad.

“Shh…” I whispered, taking the dog by the scruff of her soft, black neck and beginning to drag her into the kitchen.

Too late. I saw my mum hurriedly get up, wiping her tears as she walked.

“What are you doing, Kristen?” she asked in a voice that made her sound like she had a bad cold.

“Oh, Sadie got out of her cage and I was trying to catch her,” I lied smoothly, still working on dragging the big black lab out of the hallway.

My Aunt Ginny, who had wandered into the hall way during all the commotion, shot me a strange look, but kept her mouth closed and led me back into the kitchen with her.

“What did you hear?” she asked quietly as she waved her wand, putting the knife to work at cutting the carrots.

“Not much,” I said truthfully, unable to wipe the image of my crying mother out of my mind.

“She misses him, you know…” said Aunt Ginny quietly, moving to the sink and dumping the carrots into the salads, then the tomatoes.

“Don’t you?” I asked, making to help her.

“He was my brother,” she said in the same quiet, calm voice. “Of course I do. He was the closest to my age in our family…”

“I just wish I could’ve known him better than I did…” I said in a choked voice, quickly finding knife to busy myself with the onions so that my tears could be easily passed off.

“Oh, he was nothing spectacular,” she said through a hearty laugh. “But there were reasons why he was in Gryffindor…”

I nodded as I aided her in carrying the salad to the table.

“Time to eat!” she said loudly, smirking at me and settling herself in a chair near the window, her reflection oddly distorted by the raindrops.

First Michael and Lauren found their way to the table, followed shortly by my mom and uncle.

Dinner was a quiet affair, no conversation whatsoever. Afterward, the kids were aching for my mom to continue with the story.

“Please, Aunt Hermione?” pleaded Lauren once we’d made our way back into the living room, climbing upon her lap and snuggling her head into my mum’s chest.

“Okay, where was I?” she murmured confusedly, rubbing her temples. “Oh yes…”

“Hermione…” whispered Harry, slipping into the room, his eyes landing on the crumpled form of Hermione slumped across Ron’s bed.

“Why wouldn’t you guys tell me?” she sobbed, clinging to his hand desperately, tears spilling pitifully down her cheeks.

“Hermione, we just wanted to wait until you were better…”

“And you knew I was pregnant, didn’t you?” she accused.

“No,” he said truthfully, beckoning for Ginny to enter the room.

“We really didn’t,” said Ginny almost inaudibly, her eyes puffy. Her blue eyes scanned the sight of her motionless older brother on the bed and her face hardened oddly.

“I can’t believe—” choked Hermione, scooting slowly away from her husband. “They said—”

“—that there’s nothing they can do,” interrupted Harry. “Malfoy.... I can’t believe he would—well yes I can, but I didn’t believe he could kill anyone…”

“Well it’s not technically killing, is it, when it won’t happen for a few years?” said Ginny bitterly.

Harry shook his head and gazed at the couple of Ron and Hermione.

“I can’t believe…” she muttered. Her eyes became misty again the longer she looked at Ron.

“I think you need sleep, Hermione,” said Harry firmly, taking her by the hand and lifting her up.

“No,” she said plainly, pulling back down to the floor with all her might. “I’m not leaving him.”

Ginny and Harry exchanged skeptical glances to which Hermione repeated, “I’m not…”

“And you guys know it from there…” finished my mum as she stood up and stretched.

“No we don’t,” protested Lauren grumpily.

“Lauren,” snapped Aunt Ginny, “Aunt Hermione’s tired!” She checked her watch and said, “Speaking of, it’s time to go home…”

Everyone exchanged goodbye hugs, my mum and uncle sharing an exceptionally long one that ended with a kiss on her cheek, a shoulder squeeze and a reassuring smile.

As the last Potter was swept away through the fire, my mum crumpled onto the couch and placed her hand over her eye.

“Are you all right?” I asked meekly.

“I’m fine,” she answered weakly, shooing me away with a gesture. “I just need some quiet time. Why don’t you go to bed?”

“It’s only—” I began, but stopped mid-sentence and turned on my heel, seeing the distressed state my mother was in.

I fumbled up the stairs blindly, not having turned on the light, and fell onto my bed, looking out the damp window to the glittering moon.

I placed my hands under my head, I couldn’t find my pillow, and stared, relaxed, out the window.

“Dad,” I said in a quiet, nervous voice, peaking into the hall to check that my mum hadn’t slipped upstairs. “I know I haven’t talked to you in a while…”

I cleared my throat, and then squealed a bit as a large form bounded on top of me.

“Sadie!” I squealed, pulling the large dog into my arms and forcing her to sit next to me.

“Anyway,” I said, turning back to the moon, “I know I haven’t talked to you, but things have been so hard without you.

“I know that you were never here.... I mean, how could you be? It’s not your fault; it’s no one’s fault, but mum isn’t making it any easier.”

I made sure my voice was nothing above a hoarse whisper as I continued on, a solitary tear escaping the confines of my eye.

“Dad, you don’t know what it’s been like,” I said, my voice cracking through every syllable. “Mum’s always been a mess, but she’d known what was coming. Why is she doing this?” I pushed the dog over and fished my pillow from behind the bed, fresh tears trickling down my face. “I’m sorry, dad.” I said before my head hit the pillow and I fell instantly asleep.

“Kristen, come on! Visiting hours start in 20 minutes!”

“I’m coming,” shouted Kristen, pulling her hair into a ponytail and sprinting out of the bathroom.

Hermione looked out the window, as her daughter stepped into the living room, at the spitting hail.

“We’ll Floo today, I think,” she said quietly, guiding Kristen to the fireplace and handing her a handful of silvery powder.

No sooner than Kristen had stepped into the fire, thrown the powder and shouted “St. Mungo’s!” did the place appear before her, her mum following closely behind.

“Hello, Mrs. Weasley, Kristen!” greeted a friendly looking witch at the receptionist’s desk with curly blonde hair and a wide smile.

“Oh hello, Dana,” greeted Hermione with a weary smile, Kristen slinking behind her mum.

“You weren’t here yesterday,” she noted, “was there something wrong?”

“No,” said Hermione quietly, inching down the hallway, “we just had some business to attend to.” She gave a last goodbye wave to the woman called Dana and set off down the hallway, coming to a halt in front of the door at the very end of the hall.

“Hello, Mrs. Weasley!” greeted a tall, dark Healer, giving her a pat of the back and a wink to Kristen. “He’s not well today, I’m afraid,” he said, lowering his voice so the young girl could not hear. “No telling what will happen.”

Hermione gave him a strong look, pain etched in her face. “Well, Kristen,” she said, her voice surprisingly strong, “why don’t you go see daddy while I talk to the Healer?”

Kristen nodded and stepped to the door, pushing it open cautiously.

“Daddy! You’re awake today!” she squealed, apparently overjoyed.

The red haired man in the bed gave a weak smile and reached a hand out to his daughter. “Come here, Kristen...”

She willingly jumped into his arms and hugged him, her eyes squeezed tight so she didn’t see the hurt on his face.

“Hey, Kristen,” he said gingerly after about five minutes of having his daughter in his arms, “sit in the chair, I have to talk to you.”

Neither had noticed the small woman with bushy brown hair who had come to stand near the doorway.

“Honey, you know what happened to me nine years ago, right?” said Ron softly, looking at his daughter sadly.

She shook her curly brown head slowly.

“Well, a man that your mother and I had gone to school with didn’t like me very much,” he said, “and he cursed me. That’s why I have to stay in the hospital.”

The little girl nodded; she had understood this much.

“Well honey,” he said even more softly, trying to ignore the tears that had sprung to his eyes, “we don’t know — we don’t know if I’ll live.”

Kristen stared at him, horrified. “Daddy, you’ll be okay,” she reassured him, hugging him again.

“No, Kristen,” he said forcefully, “I’m sorry, honey, but you’ve got to understand this. I might not be around for much longer and you and your mum need to be strong. She’s going to be weak and you need to help her!”

Kristen stared at him blankly, her face sorrowful. “Daddy…” her eyes began to tear up, “you can’t leave. Mum’s a mess without you. You have to get better and come home!”

Ron shook his head and pulled his daughter into his arms, her bushy little brown head, that looked so much like her mother’s when he had met her, resting on his chest.

Hermione, a lone spectator on the sorrow of a father and his daughter, collapsed against the doorframe and sunk to the wall in the hall, engulfed in her sobs.

She saw a few Healers pass, most of them shooting pitying looks her way, but none of them stopped to give her a reassuring hug or even a smile.

“Mummy?” Hermione was brought back to earth by the small voice of her daughter.

“Yes, sweetie?” she said, quickly rising to her feet and wiping her eyes.

“Dad wants to see you…”

“Oh...all right,” she said, still sounding quite like she had a bad cold.

She’d been in the room for no more than two minutes when a loud wail escaped from the room and she was ushered out by the incoming Healers; Ron Weasley was proclaimed dead five minutes later.

I awoke from the dream, my dog at my side, thunder rumbling in the distance, everything normal; it was morning already. I took a calming breath and screwed my brain to remember the dream. I hadn’t known it was possible to have dreams of memories in third person. I wiped the fast forming tears from my eyes and snuck to the edge of the staircase, squinting to see downstairs.

“Kristen, is that you?” came my mom’s call from where I presumed to be the kitchen.

“Yeah,” I said, clearing my throat, “yeah, I’m coming!”

I ran into my room and fished a sweatshirt out of my closet, then shot down the stairs, my nose following the scent of breakfast.

“Hi,” I greeted softly, pulling up a chair and digging into the food in front of me hungrily.

“How was your night?” she asked, her voice sounding slightly hoarse.

I shrugged and looked at the meek sun attempting to outshine the clouds. “Dreams,” I said simply, pouring myself a huge glass of orange juice.

She nodded slightly and gazed out the window. “What about?”

I cleared my throat and shrugged. “Just…um…you know the normal.”

She nodded absently and I wondered what had happened to what used to be a strong mother daughter relationship.

“Mum,” I said suddenly, “you do miss dad, don’t you?”

She looked at me, looking stricken, then nodded suddenly and snapped, “Of course I do.”

I narrowed my eyes. “Do you think it’s MY fault that he’s dead?” I asked suddenly, already feeling guilty.

Without waiting for a response, I pushed my chair back, knocking it onto the floor, and trampled up the stairs noisily, heading for the bed where I had just been moments ago. I sat on it heavily, my breaths coming frequently and loudly.

“Kristen Elaine Weasley!” said my mum’s voice sharply; she had just arrived in my doorway. “What do you think gives you the RIGHT to speak to me like that?”

“Mum,” I said in a choked voice, walking up to her and towering over her small frame, “do you even CARE for anyone but yourself?”

She made to interrupt, but I continued. “Ever since dad died, I haven’t mattered to you! All that’s mattered is yourself and the men you’re trying to drown your sorrows in! I don’t matter!” I finished, abruptly sitting, breathing loudly.

She looked at me blankly, her eyes swimming in unshed tears. “You’re right…” she whispered. “I’m horrible.”

She sunk to the floor and looked blankly at me. “I’ve failed you…”

My jaw dropped as I stared at her, the guilt on my shoulder feeling like a ton of bricks by this time. “Mum, no it’s okay…” I whispered, wandering over to her and putting my arm around her shoulder. “I was—I was wrong…” I said softly. “I just…mum, it’s not easy…”

“I know…” she murmured, her eyes trapped by the picture on my bed stand. “Your father was an amazing person,” she said vaguely. “Has anyone ever told you that?”

“Yeah,” I said thickly, looking out the window at the sun that was finally shining through the clouds.

She opened her mouth to respond, but the sound of a car motor stopped her and she pulled her wand out of her pocket, handing it to me.

“Brad’s here,” she said regretfully. “I promise, we’ll fix this later, but I really do like Brad, you know.”

I nodded gently and moved to my stand. “You have to tell him what we are sometime,” I said sensibly. “You can’t hide this forever.”

She nodded and left as I put her wand and the moving picture in a drawer. I made to follow her, but I stopped in my tracks and made my way back to the stand. I looked out the window vaguely, and then fished the picture out of the drawer, neglecting the wand.

I smiled at the picture of my dad and mum, then, still looking back at the past, I slid down the stairs, where the voices of my mum and her fiancé were floating upstairs joyously.

Disclaimer: Harry Potter was written by JK Rowling, and I am not her. I am merely taking the wonderful world she created for us, and creating my own story :].

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