The Sugar Quill
Author: LadyAnabelle  Story: Prophecies and Fairytales  Chapter: Chapter One: Send the Pain Below
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

Hermione and Ron exchange a nervous glance as they stood outside the drawing room door

 

Prophecies and Fairy Tales

 

 

“Someone told me

 love would all save us

but how can that be

look what love gave us

a world full of killing

and blood spilling

a world never came.

And they say that a Hero could save us”

Hero-Nickleback

 

 

 

 

Hermione and Ron exchange a nervous glance as they stood outside the drawing room door. 

 

 

They had discussed what they were going to say to Harry and Hermione had agreed to do most of the talking. 

 

Ron took a deep breath and turned the handle of the door. He allowed Hermione to enter the room first and stepped in behind her. 

 

 

“Harry, we want to talk to you.”

 

Ron saw the sour expression that crossed Harry’s face and wondered if talking to them was that distasteful.  Harry had been distant and cold since he arrived at headquarters two weeks ago.  He wasn’t the same Harry that Ron known—he was angry and bitter. He seemed desperate to drive away everyone who loved him.

 

“What is it now Hermione? Come to talk some more about Sirius?”  Harry snapped.

 

 

He gave Hermione a look full of venom. 

 

Ron had to clench  his fist to keep from punching him.  How dare Harry treat Hermione badly especially after all the help she had given him! 

 

Ron could feel his ears go hot with anger and he cleared his throat. “Leave her alone Harry,” he said, trying to rein in his temper, “she’s worried about you, and so am I for that matter.”

 

 

“I don’t want to talk about Sirius.” Harry said and his jaw tightened, “I won’t talk about Sirius.”

 

“Do you really believe you’re the only one hurting here?” Hermione looked at him.

 

“Do you think you’re the only one who can feel the loss?”  Her voice grew louder.

 

“We all feel it- Professor Lupin, Ron, Ginny, and me.  Do you believe you  have sole rights on guilt and grief?”

 

Harry glared up and her.  His lips curled into a snarl and he growled, “You don’t understand, you will never understand! 

You didn’t see it happen.  It wasn’t your fault. It’s all my fault.”

 

“Harry,” Ron said, “It wasn’t your fault.  You, I mean, we did what we thought was right.” 

 

Ron was surprised to hear a bark of laughter come from Harry.   He shared a confused look with Hermione.

 

“Aw, yes, you two always following the Boy Who Lived,” Harry snarled,

 

“Perhaps it’s time you just leave me bloody well alone.” He turned and started to walk towards the door.

 

Ron reached out and snagged his arm before he could go further.

 

“Don’t make me have Hermione, hex you, Harry,” he said his voice rising right along with his temper,

 

“Bloody hell, Harry, we’re your best mates—of  course we’d follow you, even if it means putting ourselves in danger! 

 

Hermione took a step towards them and Ron shook his head indicating he had it under control. 

 

He noticed she was biting her lip and that her eyes welled with tears.

 

“You want to watch me die?” Harry taunted. “That’s what’s going to happen if you stick with me long enough.”

 

Harry wrenched his arm from Ron’s grasp. “Or perhaps you actually fancy having a best mate who’s a murderer.”

 

“WHAT?”

 

Hermione and Ron said in unison, their mouths hanging open.

 

“That’s what it  all boils down to,” Harry said.  “Haven’t I told you about the Prophecy?”  

 

“Harry?”  She reached out her hand to touch his arm, and flinched when he slapped her hand away.

 

 

“I either have to kill Voldemort or be killed!” Harry raged.

 

“What was it Dumbledore said? Ah, yes, I believe it went ‘either must die at the hand of the other, for neither can live while the other survives’.” 

 

He turned and walked to the door, beating his fist against it. 

 

The pounding echoed through the room and with each slam Ron saw Hermione flinch.   Her eyes pleaded with him to do something, to make Harry stop.

 

 Ron found himself rushing to grab Harry’s arm. Ron shook himself and crossed the room to restrain Harry. 

 He struggled to hold him still and finally resorted to locking Harry’s arms behind his back. “I think the door’s had enough, mate.”

 

“You see—you see why you have to stop being my friends?”

 

I’m going to get you killed,” Harry whispered, looking desperately towards Hermione. “You understand, right, Hermione?”

 

 

“I understand you’re being a prat,” Hermione told him calmly. “Do you really believe you can just drive us away…after all we’ve been through?”  She crossed the room to stand in front of him.

 

“You and Ron were my first friends at Hogwarts. Do you honestly believe that I would abandon you now?” 

 

 

“You should! You and Ron both! I don’t want you to die!”

 

 

“Harry, you know what?  Ron said fiercely. I don’t give a damn if  have to kill Voldemort and all his Death Eaters because no matter what you do—no matter how hard you try to push me away—you’re still my best mate.” Ron said fiercely.

 

Ron released his grip on Harry’s arms and met his eyes evenly.  “No matter what,” he whispered softly, “Always.”

 

Ron’s words seemed to penetrate the wall that Harry had attempted to build around himself. 

 

Ron looked helplessly at Hermione when Harry sank to his knees. 

 

Deep shudders racked Harry’s body and his mouth hung open a silent sob seemed to hang there as all the emotions he’d held in check for so long welled to the surface.

 

 

Hermione dropped to her knees in front of Harry and reached out a  shaking hand to stroke his hair. The gesture reminded Ron of how his mother would stroke his hair when he was sick. “Always—Harry,” she whispered and wrapped her arms around him.

 

 

The sound of Harry’s crying filled the room and Ron felt  pieces of his heart break with every tortured sob that came from Harry. 

  

Kneeling down beside the, he laid a tentative hand on Harry’s back, entwining his fingers with Hermione’s. 

His other hand fell to Harry’s shoulder and he squeezed it softly.  Harry continued sobbing until it seemed like he could cry no longer.  His head fell to Hermione’s shoulder.  Eventually, his breathing evened out and Ron could tell he was asleep.

 

“Hermione?” 

 

“Shh…He’s sleeping.”

 

“I know…listen, I’m going to put him to bed.”

 

 

Hermione shot him a puzzled glance.  Ron knew what she was going to say before she opened her mouth.

“I don’t need a wand for everything,” he whispered, unable to suppress the smirk on his face. “I’m going to carry him.”

 

He let his eyes trace over her worried features and then glanced to where their fingers were still entwined.  It felt so good to just hold her hand like this—it made him feel close to her and his heart made a decision he wasn’t sure his mind was ready for.  He couldn’t stop himself and the words left his lips before he could stop them.

 

“Will you wait here?  I really want to talk to you.  Just let me get him to bed.  I’ll ask Ginny to sit with him for a bit.”

 

“It’s awfully late, Ron.”

 

“Please?”

 

“Oh, all right, if you’re sure your Mum won’t be angry.”

 

 

They knelt there for another moment and stared at each other. She didn’t seem any more inclined to untangle their fingers than he did.  His heart raced and he forced himself to clear his throat and speak. “I guess I’d better get on with this then.” 

He reluctantly released her hand, thinking to himself that he was going to hold her hand again as soon as he could.  

 

Ron scooped Harry up as though he were a small child. Hermione rushed to the door to pull it open for him.  He gave her a strained smile before heading down the hall towards the room he shared with Harry.

 

He heard Ginny before he saw her—she was whistling some tune from the wireless—and as she came around the corner she gasped. “Did you hex him, Ron?”

 

 

“Don’t be stupid,” he replied. “He’s asleep and keep your voice down. This is the first time he’s slept since he got here.”

 

He could hear her footsteps following him down the hall and when he reached the door of his room, she darted around him to open it. 

 

Ginny rushed to the bed, pulling the sheets and blanket back, and he could feel her eyes on him when he covered Harry.

 

“You’re a good friend, Ron.”  

 

Ron felt his face go hot with her words and shrugged his shoulders.

 

He turned around and regarded her nervously, wondering if Ginny was really over her crush on Harry like Hermione had said. “Will you sit with him?  I don’t want to leave him alone—he’ll wake up confused and I need to talk to Hermione.”

 

 

“I’ll sit with him,” she answered softly. “Of course I’ll sit with him.”

 

 

“Ginny, you’re a good friend, too.  I owe you one.”

 

 

“I’ll be collecting Ron don’t worry.”  She gave him a mischievious grin and pushed her hair out of her eyes.

 

 

Ron headed towards the door and heard  the bedsprings shift as she sat down on the edge of the bed. 

He turned back when he reached the doorway and watched Ginny fuss over Harry, making sure the blanket was tucked firmly around him.  He was instantly reminded of his Mum fussing over them during the cold winter nights at the Burrow.

 

He saw her lift her hand to brush some stray fringe off Harry’s forehead and knew for certain she still had feelings for Harry—after all,  Hermione hadn’t said that Ginny was over her crush on Harry… only that she’d given up on him.

 

 

He returned to the other room and opened the door to find Hermione staring out the window into the night.   The moonlight filtering in cast a ethereal a glow around her and his heart stopped.  She was beautiful, not in the classic sense of Lavender or Pavarati, but in a way that was hers and hers alone.  He couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think, he simply stared at her back. A sniffle broke him out of his trance and Ron saw her wrap her arms around herself.  

 

 

“Hermione?”

 

 He approached her cautiously and saw her shoulders shake with suppressed sobs. Without stopping to think about his actions, he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her back against his chest.  He felt her hands clutching his and he entwined their fingers together again.

 

“It’s not fair… not fair…” Hermione’s grip tightened on his fingers, “We’re supposed to be teenagers—worried about going out, having fun, and exams.  No one should have to carry the burden Harry does.”

 

 

“It isn’t fair.  I use to be jealous and wish that I was Harry because he was the Boy Who Lived, he said softly against the top of her hair.  Now…I’d trade places with him just to give him a moment”s peace.”

 

 

“Ron, did your Mum ever read you fairytales?” She asked, leaning her head back to look up at him. “You know, the ones where good always wins and love conquers all?”

 

 

Ron nodded his head and waited for her to continue.  Their eyes met and she seemed to be searching for something in his.  He could see the fear there, the sadness, and it made him want to protect her—to keep all this from affecting her. 

 

He couldn’t and he wouldn’t—Harry was going to need them both and, as much as he hated to admit it, they were going to need Hermione.

 

 

“Do you think it’s true? That good always wins and that love will save us?”

 

 

“I like to believe—  ” he started, and then suddenly stopped, biting his lip nervously. “Promise you won’t laugh?”

 

 

“Go on Ron—I promise.”

 

“I like to believe that love will save us—that it’s the only thing that’s stronger than evil.”

 

“I’m sorry,” she whispered, “Ron—I’m really sorry.”

 

 

“You’re going to laugh at me, aren’t you?”   He started to pull back and tried to untangle their fingers.  She simply tightened her fingers around his and stepped back into the circle of his arms again.

 

 

“No—I’m sorry I said that you had the emotional range of a teaspoon.  You amaze me sometimes—the way you handled Harry without losing your temper and what you just said.  I was wrong, and I’m very sorry, Ron.”

 

 

Ron couldn’t speak—no one had ever said anything like that to him and his heart pounded wildly in his chest.  He wanted to tell her how amazing he thought she was—how wonderful she was and how he meant it that night he told her she was the most wonderful person he had ever met.  He opened his mouth to speak but he couldn’t squeeze the words past the lump in his throat.  Instead he did the only other thing he could think of: he lifted one her hands, never loosening his grip on her fingers, and kissed the back of her hand.  His lips tingled at the contact and he heard her breath hitch in her throat.

 

“I’m sorry too,” he whispered, and she leaned her head back to look at him.  He could read the question in her eyes...he continued, “For calling you a nightmare, for blaming you about Scabbers, and for the whole ruddy mess at the Yule Ball.”

 He took a deep breath, drawing oxygen into his nerved-wracked body, and watched as her eyes filled with tears.

 

 

“Ron, bickering is a part of who we are—we just both care…”

 

 

Hermione bit her bottom lip nervously and it drew his attention. 

 

He couldn’t help but wonder if her lips would be soft under his, if she would part them to let him taste her, and if she would return his kisses as passionately as she did everything else.

 

Ron lowered his head without any real thought and he could feel her warm breath against his lips. 

 

He was getting lost in her eyes and he forced his mind to cooperate.  He had to tell her—so she’d know he meant it, that he wasn’t just saying the words, and so she’d understand before he claimed her lips how much he cared about her.

 

“You’re right,” he said murmured, fighting the urge to kiss her with every ounce of strength he had, “I do care—maybe more than I should, and I reckon if you don’t tell me not to, I’m going to kiss you.”

 

 

He closed the space between them and pressed his lips to hers.  He marveled at their softness and, when he heard her whimper, came undone. 

 

Three years of pent-up longing and frustration broke free between the two of them.  What started out as a gentle and chaste kiss quickly erupted into something much more dangerous.   Ron parted her lips with his and shivered when he felt her tongue tentatively slide into his mouth and he eagerly brushed his along hers.  They continued this way for what seemed like hours before they broke apart to draw shuddering breaths.

 

 

She buried her head against his chest and squeezed his fingers. It felt so right to bend and place a kiss on top of her head and he untangled their hands so that he could embrace her fully.  He wrapped his arms around her waist and took a shuddering breath when she let him pull her closer.

 

“I’ve been wanting you to do that,” she whispered, looking up at him. “I’ve been waiting—what took you so long?”

 

 

“I’m a prat,” he said, smiling down at her when she laughed, “but rest assured, Hermione, I won’t make you wait again.”

 

 

He felt her smile against his lips when he claimed them again—  for the first time in his life the he was right where he belonged.

 

 

 

 

 

//
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