I own neither Ron nor Hermione nor the hospital wing. But I do own this story, since it was all a product of my R/Hness and my imagination.
Author's Note: This
happens during the first time Harry falls into a dreamless sleep, thanks to
the potion Madam Pomfrey gave him. It is, of course, a completely R/H fic.
Read ahead, and enjoyJ.....
Outside the Hospital Wing
"Do you think he will be alright?"
Hermione asked. "Harry, I mean."
Ron looked at her in surprise.
They were sitting in the corridor outside the
hospital wing, waiting. Ron
wasn't sure what they were waiting for. Harry was inside, in a dreamless sleep,
and Ron knew he wouldn't wake for quite a while.
But still, they were there,
sitting on the floor, neither of them speaking
very much. It was understandable,
of course. Many things had happened that
night. He and Hermione had
followed every step Harry took inside the maze,
sitting in the stands, biting
their nails. And then, Harry had disappeared. So
suddenly it seemed unreal.
Suddenly he wasn't there. And neither was Cedric.
They had reappeared just as suddenly.
Ron remembered Harry's face falling flat onto the ground, holding the Triwizard
Cup in one hand, and a lifeless Cedric in the other.
Then, the confusion had begun.
Mad-Eye Moody had dragged Harry out of sight, and Ron only expected it was
for the best. But apparently, it hadn' t been for the best. Harry had returned
looking dreadful, and Ron wondered what had really happened since he had left
them to enter the maze. He
was worried. And by the look
on Hermione's face, he could tell she was just as worried as he was.
"You heard him," Ron replied uncomfortably.
"He's fine. He's just tired."
Hermione sighed hard. "He only
said that because he doesn't want us to worry about him."
Ron looked down. It was true.
Harry wasn't fine. When he had entered the hospital wing, hours before, Ron
had known, with only one look at him, that he was terribly... bad. His eyes
were watering, and his gaze seemed empty, as though he was trying hard not
to remember anything. As though he was trying hard to make his mind go blank.
"I think he will be alright,"
Ron said. "Harry's made out of strong stuff."
There was silence again. Hermione
was looking down, her knees pressed against
her chest. Ron stared at her
for a while, trying hard not to imagine what had happened to his friend, but
it was hopeless.
"What do you reckon happened
to him?" Ron asked. He was dying to know what Hermione thought about this.
He was dying to tell her what he
"I don't know," Hermione said,
suddenly stern . "You heard Dumbledore, we
can't ask him until he is ready
That wasn't quite the reaction
Ron had been expecting. "I won't ask him, Hermione, I'm not that thick!" He
felt offended somehow. He knew he couldn't ask Harry, he didn't need reminding
"Oh Ron," Hermione said, kneeling
and turning turn to look at him . "That's not
what I meant."
"I just want to know..." Ron
began, but he trailed off. Maybe it wasn't the right time to speak about it
"I want to know too," she replied,
looking away. "But we need to wait."
Ron nodded. He was still a
bit offended. But he wasn't angry. It was impossible to be mad at Hermione
now. Not now that Harry was inside, and they were outside, together. Alone.
He looked at Hermione
again. She was gazing across the corridor absentmindedly. Her hair was bushier
than ever, and Ron remembered how pretty she had looked at the Yule Ball.
His stomach jumped slightly. He remembered how stupid he had been.
fraternizing with the enemy."
Of all the things he could
have said, he had come up with the stupidest one.
But why Krum? He wanted to know
that. Why, of all the boys she could have gone with, had she picked Krum?
The dumbest and ugliest one of the whole lot. The prat that was competing
against Harry in the tournament. The git who played for Bulgaria. The bloody
one from Dumstrang. Of all the boys... why hadn't she picked him? Ron Weasley?
He realized what he was thinking
and shook his head roughly. That wasn't the point. The point was, she had
dated Krum. And he had invited her to Bulgaria.
Ron wondered if Hermione had
accepted the invitation. She had avoided the
question that day, in Potions,
and they had never spoken about it again.
"I was thinking about inviting
you and Harry to come over for the holidays. To the Burrow I mean..." he said,
blushing. Don't blush, you idiot, don't blush.
"That would be great," Hermione
said, to Ron's delight.
"Really?" Ron said in a low tone.
"But are you sure you're going to have time? I mean... with your trip to Bulgaria
and..." Blushing again. Why? Why do you always have to blush?
"I'm not sure about going to Bulgaria,"
Hermione cut him off.
Ron opened and closed his mouth
like a goldfish out of water several times,
before finding the words and
blurting them out. "But I thought you told Krum you would go..."
"I never told you that ," she
replied uncomfortably. "Viktor invited me, and I said I would think about
"And have you..."
"Yes. But I still need a bit
Ron nodded. Hermione had said
the last words in a tone that told him the
conversation was over.
So she wasn't sure if she wanted
to go. Ron held back a smile. Maybe she
preferred to go over to Ron's
and be with him the whole summer. Maybe he
could talk her into moving
over to his house the whole summer, that way she
wouldn't find time
to go to Bulgaria.
"Next time there's a ball,
ask me before someone else does, and not as a last resort!"
He shook his head again, but
stopped quickly, afraid that Hermione would think he was going nuts or something,
shaking his head to himself all the time. Quotes from their terrible fight
about the Yule Ball were coming to his head more often than he could stand.
But Hermione had missed the
point, of course. If it had been somebody else, not Krum, then Ron wouldn't
have been so mad. If it had been another one... who wasn't competing against
Harry, who wasn't from Dumstrang, who wasn't the enemy... Someone who
was Harry's friend... someone who was Harry's best friend. Ron Weasley,
You're being stupid again, Ron, he thought. Just plain stupid!
"I hope Harry's fine," Hermione
said, and Ron jumped a little, as he was pulled out of his thoughts. "He must've
gone through a great deal. Cedric even...er... died... thank God the same
thing didn't happen to... to... him."
Ron shivered to think about
Cedric's face. The look of terror imprinted in his very eyes. His body stiff
and cold. His mouth open wide. The whole thing seemed too familiar. He had
seen that reaction before... he closed his eyes, remembering hard. The look
of terror... mouth wide open... stiff and cold...
Then, the pieces of the puzzle
fell right into place inside Ron's head.
"It was Avada Kedavra," Ron
said suddenly. Hermione flinched at the words, then turned to look at him,
confused. "What?" she asked.
"Cedric died because of Avada
Kedavra," Ron said again.
Hermione stared at him in amazement.
Ron was beginning to feel uncomfortable when she finally spoke, her voice
quivering slightly. "But, Ron, that's...illegal."
Ron nodded apprehensively,
"Yeah, I know. But he seemed petrified... like that spider in Moody's class..."
"That's awful," Hermione said
slowly. "I mean... when I saw that spider just
that, I never thought it could actually happen to..."
"Cedric," Ron said.
"To anyone. It seemed so distant,
"Unreal," Ron finished for
her, and she nodded.
"But, if he did died because
of that," she went on, "Who... who..?"
"I don't know," Ron said, "and
I prefer not to think about it."
There was silence again. Ron
could hear his mother talking in a hushed whisper inside the hospital wing.
She was talking to Bill. But Bill seemed to be awfully quiet. Just like they
"Harry must be terribly distressed,"
Hermione said, shaking her head slowly.
Distressed wasn't the word to
describe how Harry must be feeling. Ron somehow knew Harry felt just like
he did. Afraid, confused, painfully useless. But Harry was probably feeling
a thousand times more scared than he did. Because he knew what had actually
happened when he had touched the Cup. He saw whatever it was that killed
Cedric. He saw Cedric dying. And Ron shuddered to think what else he had seen...
"I think he's afraid.
Terribly afraid," Ron replied.
And, to his enormous surprise,
Hermione began to cry.
Ron looked at her, not knowing
what to do. Tears were coming down her cheeks. He was feeling more useless
every minute. He wanted to comfort her, to hug her, to kiss her... Kiss
Pull yourself together, Ron
Weasley. She's your friend. Hug her and be
He approached her slowly, with
caution, in a graceless sort of way. He placed an arm awkwardly around her,
before he got a chance to think about what he was doing. His whole body went
terribly tense, as he reached for her hand and took it in his. He felt the
adrenaline rushing throughout his body in a flash.
And, to his great relief, she
rested her head on his shoulder. He could feel his robes going wet with her
tears, but he didn't mind.
In this moment, in which he
was holding Hermione tightly in his arms, nothing mattered.
They stayed like this, for a long
time. Soon, Ron realized Hermione had stopped crying. But she made no effort
to go away, so it didn't matter. Ron felt incredibly warm, and he felt like
staying like this forever, feeling Hermione's hair under his chin, with that
sweet smell that he had noticed so many times before. When she had hugged
him after the first task. When she had hugged him last year. But this time,
he was hugging her, and it felt nice.
Just then, something made both
Ron and Hermione jump. They could hear hurried footsteps coming near, and
voices, yelling at each other.
"HOW DARE YOU BRING THAT THING
INTO THE CASTLE?" It was Professor McGonagall. Hermione immediately pushed
herself away from Ron, and Ron gave a small grunt, which was drowned out by
another voice yelling back.
"IT WAS A GOOD THING I DID!"
Ron recognized Fudge's voice. "THAT MAN WAS A MURDERER!" The footsteps stopped,
as though they had suddenly stopped walking.
Ron looked at Hermione, puzzled.
She shrugged in response, and Ron was about to say that it was Fudge and McGonagall,
when they heard more screaming.
"YOU SHOULD HAVE
CONSULTED DUMBLEDORE FIRST!" screamed Professor McGonagall. "YOU SHOULD'VE
"FOR GOODNESS SAKE, WOMAN!"
Fudge replied irritably. "I AM GOING TO."
"THE DAMAGE IS DONE NOW, CORNELIUS!"
McGonagall told him, apparently stomping her foot on the ground.
"Come on Minerva, Cornelius."
They heard a voice far too familiar. "Let's go and look for Dumbledore and
see what he thinks of this." It was Snape.
They immediately begun to walk
again, the footsteps drawing even closer.
"Maybe we should
go inside," Ron said hurriedly.
Hermione nodded. "Harry must
be waking up any minute now, anyway."
Ron stood up, feeling slightly
dizzy. He held his hand out, to help Hermione stand up. She took it awkwardly
and grinned slightly at him. He grinned back, and stepped into the hospital
wing, closing the door behind them.
P.S. The rest, is history...