“Alright everyone, great practice,” Harry said, motioning everybody to come back to the ground. He himself was already there. “Remember, our match against Hufflepuff is next week.” “We know,” Ron groaned. Dean Thomas and Seamus Finnigan, the new beaters, exchanged a look and grinned. “It’s late, we better go back up,” Ginny whined. “I want to see you here tomorrow, straightaway after breakfast,” Harry said. Protests and snide comments were stopped when he held up a hand. “It’s going to rain soon, go to the castle immediately. I don’t need any of you getting sick, especially since Carter’s still in the Hospital Wing.” “Why is Roxanne in there anyway?” the other chaser apart from Ginny and Roxanne, Garth Ramon, asked. “Flu,” Ginny stated. “Is there any chance that happened because you made us practice during a storm yesterday?” Seamus said, his tone sarcastic. “Probably,” Harry said. “Now, everybody up to the castle.” As the seven players trooped into the changing rooms, Ginny tapped Ron on the shoulder. “Don’t forget Hermione,” she said. “How could I?” Ron grinned. Quickly, he changed, and walked to the place Hermione last sat. But she was nowhere to be seen. “Gotcha!” Hermione cried, hugging Ron from behind. Ron was surprised, but he turned around and hugged her back, even though his chest was heaving quickly. “Scared you, didn’t I?” Hermione laughed. “No, you didn’t, I was just pretending to be scared,” Ron replied, ruffling her hair. “Harry said it’s going to rain, we better be getting in the castle.” But he said it a second too late as raindrops the size of pears fell down from the sky. In less than a minute, the two were drenched to their socks. “You could’ve said something sooner,” Hermione grinned, pushing a layer of sopping hair out of her eyes. “You know you look cute when you’re wet,” Ron said. Hermione pretended to scowl, but she didn’t do a good job since a smile kept tugging on her lips. “You realize you’re so cute when your hair is all over your face, right?” Hermione said. Ron threw his head back as he laughed. “We better get going. Though I’m sure I couldn’t get wetter than this anyway.” Hermione nodded mutely, and allowed Ron to lead her. But not long after, her vision became blurry from all the water, and her hair was in her eyes again. She let go of Ron’s hand, and wiped both hair and water out of her eyes. When she reached back to where Ron’s hand was a minute ago, she couldn’t find it. She searched about blindly, still not able to see anything. She called his name repetitively, but even she couldn’t hear herself, so she shouted in vain. Her ears were pounding with the steady dripping of the rain, and her body was numb from the cold. She had no idea where the castle was, but she was sure Ron was probably there already. It was stupid looking for him, when the rain stopped, they would be together again, in the warmth of the castle. Hermione reminded herself that, but the castle just never seemed to appear. The rain didn’t stop either, it just got heavier, if that was possible. Raindrops were pounding on her head, and her head felt light and hollow. She couldn’t think of any spell that could help in a storm as big as this, she couldn’t even remember which pocket she put her wand in. “Ron, Ron, where are you?” she called out once more. She couldn’t see anything anymore, and darkness was creeping in on her. She closed her eyes, just to find similar gloom there.
Slowly she opened her eyes, and let them adjust for a few seconds before actually taking her surroundings in. It wasn’t raining, in fact, she wasn’t even outside. She was in a dim lit room—The Hospital Wing. Her body ached, and when she moved it, something in her head throbbed. Her voice seemed to be stuck in her throat when she tried to call Madam Pomfrey, only resulting in a inaudible croak.
She couldn’t move her head, it caused to much pain. But she needed to find Ron, make sure he was alright.
“Madam Pomfrey?” she said quietly when her voice came back.
“Oh, you’re awake, dear,” she quickly checked her temperature, on Hermione’s forehead, throat, cheeks, and hand, wincing every time. “You have a guest, but in your condition, please remember, you can only see him for a few minutes.”
When she had said ‘him’ her heart fluttered, she was sure Ron would be peering at her in a few moments. But instead, a pair of shocking emerald green eyes behind dull glasses were the ones looking at her.
“Harry!” she exclaimed. “Where’s Ron?”
He looked gravely at her, opening and closing his mouth a couple of times, looking like a fish out of water. He sighed.
“What?” Hermione asked, suddenly worried and afraid.
“We were hoping you could tell us where he was,” Harry said finally.
“What do you mean Harry?” Hermione stared at him. “I’m afraid I don’t understand.”
“He’s lost, Hermione. Gone, kapoosh.”
A gust of strength went through Hermione as she took Harry by the shoulders and shook him. He just shut his eyes and received all the shaking Hermione could do in her weak condition.
“Tell me this is some cruel evil joke, Harry,” she pleaded. “Tell me he’s right there behind you. Ron!”
“I wish I was, Herm,” he said. “I wish so much I was joking.”
A single tear ran down her pale cheek, with more behind it.
“Hermione, don’t cry, oh no, don’t cry,” Harry said, sounding worried.
“Where is he, Harry?” she asked.
“I don’t know, Hermione,” Harry said with an air of patience. Hermione felt like slapping him. He was talking to her like nothing had happened when his best friend and the man she loved was gone. She was relieved she had no strength to slap him, otherwise she might.
“Is it Voldemort, Harry? Did Voldemort take him?”
Harry looked at Hermione straight in the eye. “We-Ginny, McGonaggal, Dumbledore and I think so.”
Hermione was thankful when at that moment, Madam Pomfrey shooed Harry out.
“I’m sorry, dear,” she said quietly while measuring a blue substance and pouring it in a green jar. Hermione blinked, and the jar was pink. She blinked again, and again it was green.
“What color is that jar, Ma’am?” she asked.
“Which one, this one?” she asked, holding up the now pink jar. Hermione nodded. “It’s black, like all my other jars. Why do you ask?”
Hermione didn’t answer, but she looked very worried. “Did you see it as pink, purple or green, changing every time you looked?”
Hermione nodded, and the matron abandoned her jar and sat by Hermione.
“Miss Granger, you are the smartest witch of your age that I know,” she said quietly.
With all the strength she could muster, Hermione said thank you.
“And you’re also Muggle born. Surely you know what a concussion is?”
“You may have heard of people having mild concussions and such. And you’ve got something like that. Only, it’s far from mild,” she explained.
“But is Ron really missing or was that some crude joke?” she asked quietly.
Madam Pomfrey didn’t seem to be able to catch her eye. She looked everywhere but Hermione’s pair of plain brown eyes.
“Please, ma’am, is it true?” she begged.
Hermione felt giddy, and it was like the hospital wing was spinning around. She was a rational witch who always used her head, and she knew this had to be the effects of her concussion. But she couldn’t help passing out afterwards.
“How did she handle it?” Ginny asked when Harry came into the common room.
“Not so good,” he said. “She refused to believe me. Is there any news?”
She shook her head, and her eyes brimmed with tears. Harry took her hand and stroked it gently, but there was nothing he could do. He was just as broken as she was, maybe even more. But it was Hermione who hurt the most. And both of them knew that.
“How did she look?” Ginny asked, as if dreading the answer. “Tell me the details. I can’t go to her, I just cant.”
“Yes, I know you cant,” Harry said softly. “Her hair was muddy. Her breathing wasn’t steady. She was very pale, and she was way thinner than she was before. I—I just can’t explain.”
“How much damage can a night in the storm do?” Ginny asked, massaging her temples.
“That’s it,” Harry said. “We’re afraid Voldemort tried to take her too, but Ron—you know Ron. He probably did something heroic and stupid to save her…but Voldemort must’ve done a few unforgivable curses before.”
“If only they didn’t love each other like they did,” Ginny mumbled.
“Gin, don’t ever say that again,” Harry ordered.
Ginny mumbled an apology.
“Oh Gin, I’m sorry,” he said. “I didn’t mean it like that. It’s just that…nothing is ever right anymore.”
“Did anybody know what happened?” Ginny asked. “Apart from them?”
Ginny rolled her eyes. “No, seriously.”
“I’m serious, Gin,” he said. She looked in his eyes, but they weren’t teasing. “Trelawney predicted it in Roxanne’s class, Roxanne heard everything, and told me after I visited Hermione. She wasn’t looking much better herself.
“So it’s not the flu?” she asked.
“I don’t know,” Harry said, slamming his fist on the table. “I hate it, I don’t know anything now.”
A/N sorry for saying bye to Ron. It's for now, because otherwise their lives would be to perfect. i demand complications, and got...well, a little to much. hope u like it, n R&R, plz.
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