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 Ginny sat on the couch in Hermione’s living room and pulled the small notebook Harry had given her full of thoughts he wrote down while hunting for horcruxes from her bag. She flipped to a random page and began to read.

 

It’s awful being here without you or Ron. Hermione is great but she has been trying to pretend that it doesn’t bother her that Ron is gone and I’m really tired of it. It makes me angry because it reminds me of how I acted during my sixth year when I wanted so badly to ask you out but couldn’t allow myself to because of Ron. I spent too much time worrying about what Ron would think about us instead of thinking about how you and I would’ve felt. Now all I can think about is what if I’d asked you earlier. We could’ve had tons of time. I hope you enjoy reading this someday, because I feel like you’re – no I know you’re going to hate me when I get back to you. What I feel for you is so intense – it scares the shit out of me how much I want you. But I’m hoping you’ll read this and understand more about how I feel about you and why I had to break it off before. I’ve been keeping this journal in my shoe. It’s not a great feeling when I’m walking but I feel like it’s the last place someone would look if they caught us, you know? They always search your pockets, but never your shoes! Sorry. My thoughts are always all over the place when I write you. I want to tell you so much but I can’t keep it all straight sometimes, and it comes out like word vomit when I write. Hermione would be shocked if she knew I was writing this much. She’d tell me to apply this type of motivation toward my papers and then I’d do better in school. I would simply explain to her that this is only because I’m away from you and I need you to know how I feel when I return in case you don’t take me back on the spot. It would be fantastic if you did, by the way, but I don’t expect you to, and so this is my backup plan. You’ll read this and come rushing into my arms, we will look into each other’s eyes, I’ll snog you like I never have before – shit I hope Ron never finds this. I hope he comes back soon. Even though he’s being a right git, I do miss him being around. He’s good for Hermione. I’m going to stop writing now because I’ve got to take over watch and I’ve got to stay alert out there. I love you. I miss you. And you’re it. Forever. Until next time. -Harry

 

Ginny sighed, wishing she could believe him. After the war, she was so sure of her future with Harry. Now she didn’t know how they could possibly be right for each other anymore. Ginny gathered her things and walked into the fireplace.

 

“The Burrow,” she said, and disappeared.



 

Harry paced in the waiting room of St. Mungos. He hoped Hermione had the night off and that the Healers wouldn’t call her in. He wasn’t sure how to go about requesting that she not be called in without raising suspicion. Both Ron and Mr. Goyle had been admitted immediately. Harry knew there was no use in hoping the Healers would be able to make sense of Mr. Goyle. He would inevitably end up like Gildroy Lockhart, only he wouldn’t be allowed to stay at St. Mungos/

 

“Harry, you should sit down mate. It’s probably going to be a while,” Dean said from a chair in the corner. He was drinking a cup of tea and moving his leg up and down restlessly.

 

“Excuse me, can you tell me which Healer is on this case?” Harry asked the woman at the reception desk.


 “Mr. Potter I assure you, whoever this mystery patient is, they’re in the best hands. Healer Grant is there right now and he’ll be there until Healer Granger arrives. Just take a seat and we will let you know when we receive more information."

 

“Is it completely necessary that Hermione be called in?”

 

“Yes Mr. Potter, she’s the best.”

 

“Right. Thank you,” Harry said nervously. He walked back into the waiting room and sat down on the other side of Dean.


“There something you want to tell me mate?”


“They’re calling Hermione in. She’s the best Healer here –“


“Isn’t that a conflict of interests?”


“They don’t know who the patient is since his case is classified information. All they know is the hospital is on lockdown for two VIP patients from Azkaban. I don’t know what to do here.”


“Hermione will be fine mate. She’s going to find out Ron is here anyway.”

 

“I just want to be sure that it’s him. No polyjuice potion or disguise or anything. Hermione will be devastated if I tell her we found him and it’s not really him –“


“Harry, you forget. We pass all those enchantments on our way in and out of Azkaban. It’s Ron. Any magical disguises would’ve shown. Shouldn’t you call Ginny? Maybe it would help if she were here with you,” Dean said. He rubbed his eyes tiredly.

 

“I’m going to –“

 

“Mr. Potter, a word please.” Harry looked across the room to find Mr. Gordon standing in the doorway. He stood and the two men left the waiting room and walked down the hall so that they wouldn’t be overheard.

 

“There are aurors stationed on every floor and at every lift. It’s a Level 3 lockdown, no one in and no one out without clearance until we get Goyle back to Azkaban. I’ve been informed that a Ms. Hermione Granger, Healer Specialist in Dark Arts, will be arriving shortly. I understand there is a strong relationship between Ms. Granger, Mr. Weasley, and yourself. Is this going to be a problem for you?”

 

“No sir,” Harry replied without hesitation.

 

“When Ms. Granger arrives, we will debrief her and if she is willing, she will assess Mr. Weasley’s condition and determine if it is conclusive. I want you in the waiting room until she is finished. From this point on, you are allowed to give your opinion when warranted, but you are not to run off on solo excursions regarding this case. I respect your judgment Mr. Potter, but I would respect you more if you used your resources. The Ministry has changed, and there are brilliant and qualified aurors at your disposal. If you can’t be a team player during this case, I’ll take you off of it and you will be forced to take a leave of absence from work. Do I make myself clear?”

 

Harry hesitated. He knew what it was like to have the weight of the wizarding world on his shoulders. It was a difficult adjustment to work closely with other people who weren’t Ron or Hermione, and he’d struggled to find his place as an auror for the past four years. The younger aurors-in-training all wanted him as a teacher, thinking it was amazing that he had defeated Voldemort, participated in the Triwizard Tournament, and been through the Department of Mysteries all before he reached eighteen yaers of age. The older aurors were annoyed that he had been admitted into the Department of Magical Law Enforcement so easily when they had worked hard for years to establish themselves.

 

“Yes sir,” Harry said, “Perfectly clear.”


“Excellent. We expect Ms. Granger any moment now.”

 

“Sir, why does she even need to be here? I’m worried it might be a bit much –“

 

“We don’t know what’s wrong with Mr. Weasley. It is clearly some type of dark magic and Healer Grant hasn’t been able to determine what exactly is going on. Perhaps it doesn't need to be right away, of course we would wait until she feels ready. I wouldn’t ask her if I didn’t think it was necessary.”

 

Harry nodded at the older man. The two men walked until they reached the entrance of St. Mungos’s reception area. After waiting a few moments, Hermione entered with two girls hurrying beside her.

 

“Harry? What are you doing here?”

 

“Erm – We need to talk. In private,” Harry told her as he exchanged a glance with Mr. Gordon.

 

“Why? What’s going on? I have patients to see –“ Harry pulled Hermione through the reception area and down a hallway. He nodded at each auror they passed and pulled her into a vacant office. 

 

“Hermione, I went to Azkaban on a lead I had on Ron’s case –“ Harry began hurriedly. 

 

“Harry, honestly, I thought we were finished with that. Ginny is quite angry with you, you know. How could you leave again after we’d already talked about –" 

 

“Hermione. Listen to me,” Harry interrupted. He pushed Hermione down into one of the chairs in the room and he sat in one across from her. “Ron is here. I found him, and during questioning in Azkaban he passed out and we brought him here.”

 

“Very funny Harry. What is this really about?”

 

“I am not lying. This is not a joke. Why would I joke about something like this?”

 

“He can’t be here. Not just like that,” Hermione said, reaching up to pull her hair into a ponytail.

 

“I wouldn’t say it happened just like that,” Harry said. He recounted the night’s events as quickly as he could. Hermione’s eyes became wide as she took in his words. After Harry finished, Hermione remained silent. She pulled her hands to her face and rubbed her temples.

 

“No. He can’t be.” Hermione insisted. She thought about how it had felt to have Ron taken from her...

 

Hermione sat on Ron’s bed in his bedroom, looking at his ripped posters and clothes on the floor. No one had touched his room since he’d been there last, but she was sure it wouldn’t be long before Mrs. Weasley tidied it up. Hermione glanced around the room hoping to find a sign of where he would have gone. Hermione hoped this time would be similar to when Ron left while they were searching for horcruxes and that he would return after he took some time to himself. Even though it had only been a couple of days, Hermione was beginning to worry. She carefully lowered herself on the bed so that she was lying sideways facing the window. She hugged Ron’s pillow closer to her, longing to smell his scent and feel his warmth. Frustrated, Hermione screamed into Ron’s pillow.

 

“Hermione, what –“ Ginny had pushed the door to Ron’s open and was looking at Hermione with worry etched upon her face.

 

“I just…I can’t,” Hermione choked.

 

“It’s going to be ok –“

 

“It’s not! It’s not going to be ok. I don’t know if I can do this again. I’m so angry with him for leaving me. Why after all that’s happened would he ever believe that I would cheat on him? With Viktor Krum of all people!”

 

“Hermione you know Ron. He’ll come around –"

 

“Not this time. Someone did this on purpose. The three of us just can’t catch a break,” Hermione said angrily, tears pooling in her eyes.

 

“Harry is going to do everything he can. And so will the Ministry,” the younger girl said, trying to be encouraging.

 

“It’s not going to be enough. Whoever did this is playing with us while we’re vulnerable. And it’s working,” Hermione said angrily.

 

“How can you be so sure that Ron didn’t just leave?

 

“No one has seen him, and we just got back from roughing it, and I don't see him returning to the camping lifestyle, especially not by himself. He didn’t leave. He was kidnapped. It’s the only thing that fits. This would be the perfect time for Death Eaters to try something. Harry’s just defeated Voldemort and everyone is vulnerable. What I don’t understand is why they didn’t just take me. They already had me, they shouldn’t have needed Ron –“ Hermione said, her voice breaking. “They could’ve been planning this for weeks! This could’ve been a plan for if Harry just happened to defeat Voldemort. We should’ve been more careful. How could I have gone to Australia and let me guard down just like that. I’m so stupid.”

 

“Hermione. You have to relax. It looks bad but the Ministry will get to the bottom of things –“

 

“I’m going to go find him. I’ll find him and bring him back,” Hermione said, wiping her eyes as she stood to her feet. She quickly left the room and flew down the flight of stairs to the room she shared with Ginny. Ginny followed quickly behind.

 

“You can’t be serious,” Ginny said, disbelief in her voice.

 

“Of course I’m serious! I can’t believe I never thought of this before,” Hermione said as she grabbed a bag from underneath her bed and started pushing clothes into it.

 

“Oh bollocks. Harry!” Ginny called. “Harry, get in here!” Ginny tried to take the bag from Hermione but the older girl pushed her away.

 

“What’s going on?” Harry asked, entering the room. “Hermione what are you doing?"

 

“I’m going to find Ron,” Hermione said easily.

 

“Is she serious?” Harry asked his girlfriend.

 

“Unfortunately yes.”

 

“Look, you two have each other. But I don’t have anyone right now. My parents are gone, and I know I always have things put together and I always have a plan but I wasn’t ready for this. Ron and I barley had a chance. So I’m going because I need him. I’m sure I can find him faster than the Ministry people and Harry can’t go anywhere out in the open yet because he’s still supposed to be lying low.”

 

“Hermione put the bag down. You’re not going anywhere,” Harry said as he walked towards her.

 

“No.”

 

“It’s too dangerous. You have to know that.”

 

“He’s worth it!” Hermione exclaimed. She crossed the room to put some books in her bag when Harry stopped her. Tears were falling freely down her cheeks now. Harry took the bag from her hands and passed it to Ginny who began to unpack Hermione’s things. “When. Will m-m-my heart s-s-stop hurting,” Hermione hiccupped. “I feel like I'm suffocating.” Harry pulled her over to her bed and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. Tears began to fall from Ginny’s eyes as she returned the Hermione’s books to their proper place with her wand. She sat down on the other side of Hermione and took her hand. She and Harry sat with her until she fell into an uneasy sleep.

 

Harry stepped out of the Weasley’s fireplace a few days later to find Hermione pacing in front of him. His father’s invisibility cloak was wound around his arm. He placed it on a chair near him and tried to find the right words to tell Hermione what Minister Kingsley had told him.

 

“Any news?” she asked hesitantly as she tried to meet Harry’s eyes. Her face was tear stained, hair unkempt in a messy ponytail, and her eyes were red. Her arms were crossed in front of her waist. The first couple of days without Ron had been the hardest. At least when she was in Australia she had known he was safe, but now, all she could do was worry and wait.

 

“Hermione, I’m so sorry –“

 

“No. No,” Hermione said, her voice breaking as she sunk to her knees.

 

“Kingsley says they’re doing everything they can. The Ministry will keep working on the case –“

 

“No,” Hermione said, her voice a whisper. She brought her hands to her face and tried to brush away her tears. She was tired of always breaking down in front of everyone. Just when she thought she had cried all the tears she had, more would resurface. Harry moved from in front of the fireplace and pulled Hermione against him.

 

“I promise you I will find him, Hermione. I promise,” Harry told her as he soothingly rubbed her back.

 

“Breathe Hermione, remember to breathe,” Hermione heard Harry telling her.

 

“I. Wow. I don’t know what to say,” Hermione said slowly. “I’m scared. I've always been hopeful but I never thought it would happen this way.”

 

“I'm scared too. If you’re not up for this –“

 

“No. I have to do this. I have to save him. I want to,” Hermione said. “I’m just in shock. I can’t believe this is happening.” Her voice quavered and her hands were shaking in her lap. 

 

Harry thought for a moment and made the decision for her.

 

“You’re not doing this. Come with me,” he said, standing up and grabbing her hand. He led her back down the hallway until the reached the small waiting room where Dean and Mr. Gordon were seated. “She’s not doing this. It’s too much for her. Leave Healer Grant on the case.”

 

“Harry, I need to do this. I’m a Healer. If I can save him –“

 

“You’ll get a chance to see him after Healer Grant is finished. He’s not in any danger of dying. Please just sit down. I’ll owl Ginny and she can stay with you and I’ll let you know if I –“

 

“You haven’t spoken to Ginny yet? You better not owl her. She probably won’t open anything you send.”

 

“What do you mean? Of course she will. I know we had a bit of a falling out –“

 

“She’s hurt Harry. You broke her heart. You had better go find her in person. And quick. She’s going to be livid she was the last one to hear about this. I’ll owl the Weasley’s,” Hermione said, pulling herself together and pushing her emotions for Ron aside.

 

“What if you owl her too?” He knew he'd have to face Ginny's wrath sooner or later, but he thought things had to get better once she found out Ron was back.

 

“Go, Harry.”

 

“Alright. But you’re not to go in until Healer Grant is finished. Dean, please keep an eye on her,” Harry said.

 

“I don’t need a babyitter Harry, I’m plenty responsible.”

 

“Right. Be back soon then,” Harry said. “Mr. Gordon, I –“

 

“You need a favor. You always do. I’ve set up the floo on the fourth floor to be opened for the Weasley’s arrival only. I suppose if you could be quick about getting Ms. Weasley, you can you it as well.”

 

Harry murmured a thank you and took off down the hall towards the lift.




Harry burst through the fireplace when he arrived and immediately started to call Ginny’s name. He couldn’t wait to tell her that he’d done it; he’d finally found Ron. He walked quickly through their flat to their bedroom. When he didn’t find her he walked back to the kitchen and his eyes rested on the small piece of parchment he’d left explaining to Ginny that he would return as soon as he could but that he needed to try to find Ron one last time. As Harry walked closer to the counter, he noticed Ginny’s engagement ring sitting next to the parchment. He sucked in a breath and ran a hand through his hair. She can’t be serious. She knows how much she means to me, Harry thought to himself. He decided she had a right to be angry with him and that she was just probably trying to make a statement. He would go to Hermione’s flat and look for her and then after she found out that Ron was no longer missing, she would take him back. Harry picked up Ginny’s ring, stuffed it in his pocket. Stepping into the fireplace, Harry spoke the words of Hermione’s flat and vanished in the green flames.



 

Hermione stood and began to pace back and forth. After a few minutes of restlessly walking across the room she sat down in a chair again and started to fidget with her hands.

 

“Don’t worry Hermione. He looked good. I really think there’s nothing to worry about. The most important thing will be finding out what happened to him,” Dean told her, looking up from the book he was thumbing through.

 

“You – you saw him?”

 

“Yes. Try to relax,” Dean said with an encouraging smile.

 

“Right. Relax. Erm – what’s it like working in Azkaban?” Hermione asked, trying to make conversation and take her mind off Ron.

 

“It’s different, to say the least. But I feel like it needs to be done, and I’m the guy to learn how to handle a place like that.”

 

“Interesting. And you’re married?” Hermione asked, glancing at the ring on his finger.

 

“Yes. To Lavender Brown actually,” Dean said, his voice smiling.

 

“How is she doing?” Hermione said, trying to hide her excitement. Lavender is married? Well that will improve my mood if nothing else does tonight, Hermione thought to herself.

 

“She’s doing great. We’re expecting our first child actually. Lavender just told me the news a couple weeks ago.”

 

“Dean! That’s fantastic!”

 

“I know we’re really young but I’ve got this job and things have just really gone right for us since the war. I think this is the perfect time,” he told her, his face glowing.

 

“I’m happy for you both. You’ll tell her I said congratulations?”

 

“What are we congratulating?” said a voice from the door.

 

“Ginny? What are you –“

 

Ginny walked inside followed by Mr. and Mrs. Weasley and George.

 

“We only just got the owl. Any news?”

 

“None yet. We’re just waiting.”

 

“Where’s Harry?” Hermione asked.

 

“I don’t know, I was at Mum and Dad’s when the owl came for them so we just came in through the floo,” Ginny explained. George, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley sat down on the other side of the room while Ginny took seats next to Hermione who was taking out her wand.

 

“I’ll just send him my patronous. Did you tell them about Harry?” Hermione whispered.

 

“No. It’ll just upset Mum and she doesn’t need anything else to worry about right now. What’s been going on?” the younger girl asked. Her hair was tied back and she looked tired and worn out. Hermione filled Ginny in on what Harry had told her. She was nearing the end of the story when Harry walked into the room. Ginny purposely avoided his eyes and urged Hermione to keep talking. Harry started to walk over to speak with Mr. and Mrs. Weasley when Healer Grant knocked on the door. Everyone was silent.



 

A/N: I had to leave it there, don't hate me! Thoughts? Please leave a review! 

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