The Sugar Quill
Author: AfterThoughts823  Story: If I Had Never  Chapter: Default
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Three days after the ordeal at the Ministry, Hermione and Ron were still lying in the hospital wing recovering from the spells

Three days after the ordeal at the Ministry, Hermione and Ron were still lying in the hospital wing recovering from the spells that had been thrown at them. Ron certainly felt like he was doing better. There were scars where the brain had wrapped itself around him, he sometimes had trouble breathing, and was getting antidotes and potions three times a day but other than that he considered himself almost healed. Hermione, on the other hand, wasn’t doing as well. She had only awoken from the spell the day before and Madam Pomfrey had inundated her with so many potions that she had fallen straight back to sleep. Today was the first day she had gotten up and eaten and spoke. Everyone had been worried for her until she had asked Harry to pick her up a book from the library. Then they had known things were returning to normal. At that moment she was reading yet another rather thick book noted Occulmency at It’s Best. Ron heaved a great, quite obvious sigh and finally got her attention. She set the book down in her lap.

                “Want to talk about it?” she asked, trying to sit up.

                “Wait, wait, don’t move,” he said, seeing her wince. He quickly slid from his bed and took a seat at the edge of hers.

                For a few minutes, neither of them said anything. Ron fiddled with the blanket strings and Hermione flipped the corners of her book. Unexpectantly, she took his wrist in her hand and studied the welts made by the brain. They no longer hurt, but the memories still did. Soon Ron began to speak.

                “I couldn’t believe what I was hearing when those Death Eaters were talking about the prophecy. Actually I really couldn’t understand most of it. Then all of a sudden spells where shooting everywhere. I tried to grab your hand but you were gone already so I just ran, hoping you were the one running in front of me. It turned out to be Luna, but when I realized that, I almost lost it. That’s why I got hit with that spell, I wasn’t paying attention,” Ron said this all very fast, as if he was afraid it would all happen again if he dragged it out.

                “But you knew I was with Harry and Neville,” Hermione consoled. “You know they would have protected me as much as you would.”
                “That was the problem,” Ron shrugged. “I didn’t know that you were with Harry. For all I knew, those Death Eaters could have caught you when we were all running away. I just lost concentration. Before I knew that spell had hit me and suddenly, whoosh, everything was just all so…funny. I felt like I had had one too many butterbeers.”

                “And how would you know what it is like to have one too many butterbeers?” Hermione asked in a reproving, but somewhat amused tone.

                “Well… you know… there was a bit of a party after the Quidditch final, but, that’s not the point,” Ron said hastily, a slight blush coming over his cheek. “Anyway the next thing I know we met up with you, Harry, and Neville. I was still pretty out of it, and I didn’t even notice you at first. Then I looked over and saw Neville laying you down on the ground. You were so pale, and you… you weren’t moving at all. Even through that spell, I remember thinking ‘Wow, she looks pretty bad off, hope she’s okay’. Then everything started blurring together. I know when I woke up in here Madam Pomfrey was standing over you. Just by the way she was looking… I could tell it was bad. Hermione… I thought… I thought you were dead. I really did. I couldn’t move very much so I said your name and Madam Pomfrey came over and told me that you were going to be okay. Then she gave me some thick green potion and the next thing I know I woke up and you were awake too.”

                “Yes, that is about where I remember things from too,” Hermione said, shivering. Her voice was mournful and soft. “I can’t believe Sirius is dead. We all could be dead. And I wasn’t even there to help.”

                Ron looked at her with vague shock. “Hermione, you, me, Harry, Sirius, we were all victims in this. If you think that by being awake you could have saved Sirius, you’re wrong. What happened to Sirius… none of us could have stopped it.”

                “I know, you’re right, I just wish there was more we could have done,” Hermione sniffled.

                “You and me both,” Ron said.

                “Oh, Ron, thank God I didn’t lose you or Harry, I don’t know what I would have done,” Hermione said, still more tears overwhelming her eyes. She held her arms open to him and, for the first time in all his five years of knowing her, he willingly gave into her warmhearted embrace.

                “Ron, promise you’ll never leave,” Hermione said into his shoulder, choking back sobs.

                “I promise Hermione,” Ron said.

They sat together a long time that night. Hermione continued to have the same nightmare every time her eyes closed that night and every time, Ron came over and sat with her. Finally he gave up and made himself comfortable next to her. After that, Hermione slept peacefully.

 

                                                                                *********     *********

 

                “Mr. Weasley.”

“Ugh…five more minutes Mum,” Ron groaned, rubbing his eyes.

“Mr. Weasley,” the voice said more insistently.

Ron reluctantly opened his and saw Madam Pomfrey looking down at him, with a sad smile on her face. Something moved next to Ron and he realized that he was still lying with Hermione. He jumped off the bed so quickly you would think someone had set it on fire.

“Madam Pomfrey I was just…nothing hap… she kept having nightmares… we were just talking,” Ron was stuttering when Madam Pomfrey lifted up her hand to stop him.

“If it were under any other circumstances I would surely question it however, after yesterday, I can understand it,” she said in a gentle, very un-Pomfrey-like way.

“Thank you,” was all Ron could choke out, hoping his face wasn’t as flushed as it felt.

“Now,” she said in a voice much more like her own. “Get back in your bed, I need to apply more potion to those welts.

As Ron sat in his bed, waiting for his medicine, he looked over to Hermione and realized what a step this was for them. They were best friends, but it always seemed that there was something keeping them from being close. A kind of awkwardness. Hermione had always been comfortable showing affection to Harry because she thought of him as a brother. But when it came to Ron, well that was just different. It took a time of great emotion and sadness to bring them together, which made Ron feel a little guilty. He had little more time to think of it though, because the day from there on out became very hectic.

Firstly, Umbridge had been brought into the hospital wing. This put a damper on talking privately with Hermione, although Ron found it amusing to torture Professor Umbridge by clip-clopping his tongue softly, causing her to shoot up in bed in panic. Next, Dumbledore came to talk with them.

“I know that by now you two realize how dangerous it can sometimes be to be friends with Harry, and I wanted to tell you how brave and loyal you both are,” Dumbledore said with a smile. “Hard times are upon us and Harry is going to need you now more than ever, especially with Sirius gone.”

“We understand Professor,” Hermione said quietly, trying to keep her emotions hidden.

Ron nodded in agreement, “We’ll stick with Harry till the end and after that too.”

Dumbledore smiled and stood up. “Well, I take it you two are feeling a little better?”

“Much,” Hermione answered with a smile.

“Wonderful to hear,” Dumbledore said. “As you know things are extremely busy right now and I have plenty of things to keep me busy, but I did want to tell you how proud everyone is of you two. I also know that Harry is going to be reluctant to talk about things at first. Just give him time. I know he’ll come around eventually.”

“Oh, Professor, before you leave, may I ask you two things?” Hermione said.

“Of course Miss Granger, ask away.”

“I really would like to keep up with my studies and could you please have whatever we are learning sent here?” Hermione asked.

“That I can do. What else?” Dumbledore replied.

“Well, I wanted to know what would happen with Ron and my prefect duties?” she asked hesitantly.

“No need to worry, they will be waiting for you when you are ready,” Dumbledore said with a smile.

“Thank you Professor,” Hermione said.

“Hermioneee,” Ron groaned after Dumbledore had left.

“What?” she asked genuinely confused.

“Did you have to ask for homework?” Ron whined. “We are in the “hos-pi-tal”. Shouldn’t that give us a reason not to do homework?”

“Really Ron sometimes you sound so much like Fred and George it scares me,” Hermione said, shaking her head and picking up a book.

“At least I don’t sound like a like a walking encyclopedia,” Ron whispered under his breath.

“What was that!” Hermione asked slamming down her book.

There was a sudden cough by the door and a voice said, “Bad time?”

Both Ron and Hermione looked sheepish as Harry, Luna, Ginny, and Neville filed into the hospital wing and sat down around.

“No, Harry, actually it’s a perfect time,” Hermione said, glaring at Ron.

“Uh, we brought food,” Ginny said, holding up a large Honeydukes bag.

Ron’s eyes got wide and he grabbed the bag from Ginny. As Ron poured the bag onto the bedside table Harry said, “Well at least one thing’s the same. You can still eat like a horse.”

Harry and the other three stayed for quite a while until Harry went to see Hagrid and the others went down to dinner. Ron was staring longingly out the window at the Quidditch pitch when he heard Hermione say, “Ron?”

He turned toward her, “Yeah?”

“I’m sorry about yelling at you today,” she said with her head down. “With everything happening like it is we shouldn’t be fighting. I would hate it if something happened and we were fighting with each other.”

Ron paused for a moment, took a deep breath and said, “Hermione… I… um… now that you mention that, there’s… something I want to tell you.”

“What?” she asked.

He got up and walked over to her bed, sitting down beside her. “You were saying that you would hate if something happened and we were mad at each other. Well, I would hate it even more if something happened and I had never done this.”
                Then Ron leaned down and kissed Hermione softly on the lips. It was a short kiss, but it meant more than anything else would. When Ron moved back, he looked down at Hermione for her reaction. She looked stunned but then a smile formed on her face and she hugged him.

“I would have hated if you had never done that too,” she whispered.

 

                                                   _&_&_&_&_&_&_&_&_&_&_&_&

 

 

**Okay, I think I changed just about everything you mentioned. Thanks for all the feedback. My weak spot is definitely grammar and dialogue.

     Sorry, I mustn’t have copied the whole story into the email last time. I hope you get it all now. I am not going to have any additional chapters (I didn’t think I put it on the form, sorry) but I do want to do a little series of Ron and Hermione’s missing moments through the books, but they’d be separate stories.

      Thanks again, hope to hear back soon!

 

 

//
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