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It was their locked hands that kept him – and keeps him - from not succumbing to the darkness that lurks nearby.
“You have to give him time, Molly, I’m sure he’ll come around,” she says soothingly and his mum shakes her head in disbelief.
“Hermione... Is this where they have been living?” He asks in disbelief, and she rolls her eyes affectionately. The house is big and modern, but she knows that Ron is taken aback because of its desolate location.
Hermione can’t explain it, anymore than she can explain the meaning of life and death, but there is something vacant inside her chest whenever he’s gone.
Dizzy from everything she feels she has to keep track on, Hermione slouches onto the spare bed, pressing her fingers to her temples.
She is interrupted by a tired looking Harry who has played Quidditch all day with a tireless Ginny. Hermione smiles warmly.
When he does decide to visit The Burrow, he can’t help thinking how abnormally quiet it is, with his mother not recovering and his father trying to make it look as if there’s progression.
He is subconsciously aware that a warm, smooth hand slips into his as he witnesses the scene before him. George stands in front of his parents one second, and in the next, they enclose him in their embrace.
Ron doesn’t know if it’s a dream or not – but his hair is being swept away from his face hesitantly and gingerly, and on occasion, smooth skin caresses his own.
Hermione remembers this particular landing all too well. It was where they had slept that first night they had arrived when on the run, the very first time she and Ron had held hands; she remembers that at the time, there had seemed to be nothing special about it, nothing romantic, only something incredibly natural.
Hogwarts isn’t what it used to be. There are still signs of the war, permanent damages that will most likely always taint the facades of the school until the seasons will consume its walls and towers.
At this, Luna’s face lights up and quite suddenly, she’s chuckling happily and soon enough, both Ginny and Hermione join in, the three of them just happy to be alive, to be together.
The graduation ceremony begins and as Ron’s eyes lands on Hermione his heart floods with adoration and pride, and he’s able to let go of everything that weighs him down, at least for a little while.
She doesn’t say anything, just kisses him swiftly on his lips, knowing full well it’ll calm him down. It never fails to amaze him how well they know each other.
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