The Sugar Quill
Author: Scout  Story: Recalling  Chapter: Default
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Recalling

Recalling

 

 

Disclaimer: I don’t own the characters, but the rest is mine.

 

Author’s Note: This is a bit sadder than my usual stuff, but it has a happy ending, so plunge ahead! Set probably in sixth year. Thanks for reading and (hopefully) reviewing! (Ps – I know I’ve been posting a lot in the past week, but I’m new and have had a few stories finished and waiting to go up for a while now.)

 

 

 

And now that she thinks about it, there was a cool breeze in the air that day, that made her feel as though someone was whispering on the back of her neck. It had made her shiver, but not with cold.

 

She sits back and looks at him. Days and numbers and hours mix and mingle in her head.

 

It is the sixteenth day of the tenth month.

 

She has been here every day for 31 days.

 

744 hours.

 

No change.

 

* * * *

 

“Ron!” She called out to him so he will slow down and wait for her.

 

“Oh. Its you.”

 

“Yes, sorry about that.” She knew what he meant, but couldn’t help the annoyance that fluttered for a moment in her stomach. He didn’t have to sound so disappointed.

 

“You know what I mean. I thought it might have been McGonagall with some news.”

 

“I know. So no word?”

 

“No word.”

 

* * * *

 

She takes her mind even further back. There is one day especially that sticks in her head, throbbing like one of those dull headaches you get when you read too far into the night.

 

She knows that she was sitting with Ron. Was she helping him with an essay? Maybe. There was parchment everywhere. It was a nice day outside, but he had stayed indoors so he could finish….was it an essay? Or just some homework? She searches her head for the detail, and when she can’t find it her mouth purses in dismay. Every single little thing is important now. She must not forget. Not when it’s all she has.

 

They had been sitting, and actually, she remembers him pulling her hair to get her attention. How many times did he do that when she was engrossed in a book? Must have been a thousand. But there were so many thousands.

 

A thousand snowballs in winter.

 

A thousand shared chocolate frogs.

 

A thousand cereal pieces stuck on her jumper when he persisted in throwing them at her across the table at breakfast.

 

And now? She bites the inside of her lip because she will not let any more tears fall.

 

A thousand times his chest has risen, and fallen, while he sleeps.

 

A thousand raindrops on the window while she waits.

 

A thousand deaths she would rather die than live one more day without his stupid, clumsy hands brushing hers as they walked up to their next class.

 

So many thousands.

 

Back to the movie in her head. They sit. Talk every now and then. But look up together as they hear footsteps approaching the common room door, and in strides…Dumbledore? What’s this about?

 

It is she that asks.

 

“Harry’s gone.”

 

Gone. Gone. Gone. 

 

Ron is horrified, and she is on her feet at once, and asking a hundred questions, and she hears him thumping the table in disgust, and none of it really matters but this. Harry’s gone.

 

That was the day. That shoved the course of fate so violently of its path that she wonders how it will ever find its way back, to save her.

 

* * * *

 

“Listen.” He said. His tone was short and she knew something big was coming, and already she felt uneasy. But she listened.

 

“I have to do something. Its so stupid just sitting around here pretending everything is normal while my best friend is who knows where, taken by who knows what and why, and I won’t do it anymore!” He has exploded now, and it all pours out, and the relief must be enormous.

 

She put out her hand to…what? Soothe him? Calm him?

 

Whatever the reason, he had already pulled away, and taken a breath.

 

“I know where the Portkey is.”

 

She stared him, and she was very confused to be honest, because that was just impossible.

 

“I followed them two weeks ago, because I heard Dumbledore say he had a lead, and they all went and he was right. They found it.”

 

She was shocked, absolutely. Not at this discovery, but because she knew what was coming next.

 

“No.” Her conviction was heartfelt, and he knew it.

 

“I have to go. And I have to go without you because if anything ever happened to you it would kill me and I won’t risk it. And you should know that now.”

 

It had all gotten too big, too big for her to comprehend anymore, and his mouth was moving but she had tuned out.

 

“………..don’t ask me to tell you, because I won’t.” He swallowed, and before he turned to run out on her, into the night, to a world that must have been horrible, and far away, he told her how he had cared for her always, always, and not to forget it.

It was the most eloquent thing that had ever come out of his mouth, and she couldn’t even tell him, because in a moment he was gone, and she remembered the breeze she felt on the back of her neck earlier that day, and suddenly she was cold again.

 

* * * *

 

So. That was that.

 

And now she is here, and she thinks about the same thing every day, how if she had just been able to make her legs move, to run after him, everything might be different.

 

She shifts, and watches his eyelids flutter as they sometimes did, and she wonders if he’s thinking about her.

 

Sometimes at night, she prays so hard that she thinks she might actually burst, everything that is herself, that lies inside her, waiting, waiting for him to come back.

 

And she knows she will keep right on praying, even though she feels as though she could send her heart up to heaven for someone to examine the broken pieces, and still there would be no reply.

 

* * * *

 

“Miss Granger.”

 

The voice had rung crisp and clear through the air, and its abruptness, its coldness, made her understand that it was very bad.

 

She was entering her third day of torture, because there is no greater pain then waiting for life to come back. She felt dead. And she knew it was because she had sent her soul with him that day, since she could not send her body, and had in that way sealed a pact with the devil himself.

 

“They have been found, Miss Granger. Both alive. But only Harry is awake.”

 

They explained everything. And there were so many things, so many pieces to the story, that she didn’t even realise, and that Ron, poor Ron, would never have known. But actually, it didn’t really matter, all that.

 

All that mattered was that there was Ron, lying in a cold bed with white linen draped over him and he was breathing all right, don’t try and tell her that he’s not, but where has his mind wandered to? Its just gotten lost, that’s all. But he’ll be back. He’ll be back.

 

And she had touched his face, the face that had embroidered itself onto her heart, and she knew.

 

He would come back for her.

 

* * * *

 

Harry comes in sometimes, but he’s so tired, for a month he’s been so tired. But he’s getting better. And she’s happy that he’s getting better, she truly is.

 

It’s just that……

 

She leans her head against the cool sheets on the bed. She has been holding his hand for so long that she can’t feel where his ends and hers begins.

 

When will it be his turn?

 

She is exhausted, but no one can convince her to leave.

 

* * * *

Rewind.

 

There are so many memories to choose from, but she wants to be sure she picks the right one.

 

Finds it, and stops.

 

There, remember that!

 

She is under the beech tree reading, its morning, because its not too hot yet, and its one of her most favourite books. The sound of the lake lapping the shore fills her ears, and the words from the book fill her head, and she is oblivious to everything.

 

“BOO!”

 

Someone grabs her from behind. Not someone. It could only be one person, and she knows very well who, and he is poking her incessantly and revelling in the glory of having scared her half to death.

 

“Ron!” She exclaims, and even though she secretly likes the poking, she tells him to stop and they end up laughing together for quite some time.

 

Remember that?

 

* * * *

 

She zooms forward about 6 months.

 

This is one she treasures in private, behind the walls she puts up to guard herself with.

 

It’s Christmas Eve. See the decorations? The trees just get bigger every year. Everything is red and gold and green, and there are candles with fat bows wrapped around them in the middle of all the tables in the hall. But the hall is empty at the moment, because in fact, it’s nearly one in the morning.

 

She has snuck out.

 

Its true.

 

She, prefect, most intelligent girl in school, who can (but don’t tell anyone) recite all the school rules off by heart, has snuck out of the dorms.

 

And it feels wonderful.

 

She sits quietly in a corner, and breathes, and exists, and it’s exactly what she wanted. She is surprised to see the candles still lit, but they are probably enchanted, so that would explain it. And everything is glittering and peaceful, and even though it is so very cliché, she knows she can feel that magical feeling that only comes at Christmas time, and she’s loved it since she was too small to even recognise what it was.

 

Someone clears their throat, and the trance is broken.

 

“Ron.”

 

She says it matter of factly, as if she was expecting him.

 

“ What are you doing here?” He asks this accusingly, as if he has been left out of something.

 

“The question, really, is what are your doing?” she answers mildly.

 

“I think I fell asleep on the lounge and you woke me when you came down, and…well, I followed you.”

 

“Hmm. Well now that you’re here, why don’t you take a seat?”

 

She pats the floor next to her, and he makes himself comfortable.

 

“Are we looking at anything in particular?”

 

She smiles and shakes her head.

 

“Just enjoying the spirit of Christmas then are we?” He is sarcastic, and it makes her smile even wider.

 

“Exactly.”

 

He hmph’s, in that way that is his alone, and they both settle back against the wall to enjoy the glow.

 

“So….” He says.

 

A pause.

 

“What’d you get me for Christmas then?”

 

She snorts. “What makes you so sure I got you anything?”

 

He punches her lightly in the shoulder.

 

“C’mon…” he wheedles, “tell me!”

 

“Not a chance.”

 

“Aha! That means you did get me something, your just not telling what it is!”

 

“You’re a regular Sherlock,” she says drily.

 

“What’s a Sherlock?”

 

She laughs quietly. “He’s a famous detective in muggle literature. And he has a side kick named Watson.”

 

“Oh. Is it something sweet?”

 

“What?”

 

“What you got me for Christmas?”

 

She sighs. “No!”

 

“Tricky, tricky….”

 

“Can’t you just wait till morning?”

 

“Well technically…”

 

“It is morning,” she finishes for him, “Ok. But I’m still not telling.”

 

“If you had it here, would you give it to me?”

 

“Do you ever stop? I don’t know. Yes, probably, just to keep you quiet.”

 

“Excellent. Because as it happens….” He reaches behind his back and pulls out a present, wrapped neatly and with his name glaring proudly from card attached.

 

Love, Hermione, it says.

 

“Ron, you tricked me! I take it back, you can’t open it!”

 

“Watch as I solve the mystery, Watson,” he gloats.

 

“I don’t think it’s solve so much as swindle and con,” she says huffily.

 

But he has already started to unwrap, and out it comes.

 

He stares at the chessboard.

 

“Umm…it’s a chessboard….” She says lamely. “I thought, since you liked the game so much, and its really old actually, I found it in Hogsmeade, and the pieces are coloured see, even though it’s a bit faded I guess, but…” she is rambling, because she’s a bit embarrassed about her choice now, and hopes he doesn’t think she’s an idiot.

 

“Its perfect,” he breathes.

 

“Really?” She is surprised at his apparent emotion.

 

“Yeah.” He says it simply. It suddenly dawns on her that he’s probably never owned his own set.

 

“Oh. Well…I’m glad you like it.”

 

He grabs her hand suddenly. Is looking right at her. She hopes he doesn’t notice how red her face has gone, and all she can feel is warmth in her stomach and the roughness of his hand, from practicing quidditch without his gloves on.

 

It’s a perfect hand.

 

And that’s how they sit for a while, in a dreamy, candlelit silence.

 

* * * *

 

It is dark outside now, but the stars seem brighter than usual. She wonders if that’s a good sign.

 

In bed, he is still breathing gently, up and down, but he doesn’t stir. She holds his hand tighter, and tried not to break her concentration with his mind.

 

She has been feeding him memories.

 

It sounded impossible when she first read about it. An ancient belief, not a spell as much as an exercise between minds, but the two minds had to be in sync in just the right moment. If her memories could reach a place in his brain (his heart?) that reminded him of life, of moments that existed that had given him life, than maybe, just maybe, he would find the will to wake up.

 

Impossible really.

 

And yet every fibre of her being thumped with elation at the thought of him awakening, and it was all she could do to keep herself from embracing that book with exhilaration, knowing she would try, try, and try again until she made it work.

 

She sighs.

 

One more then, she thinks, and presses play.

 

* * * *

 

She is zooming through a rush of colours and sounds, but she has to find the right place. She is flying, flying, and…..

 

Stop.

 

There they are.

 

She has gone back only 2 months.

 

She is standing in the courtyard, and it’s quite cold because it’s evening. The night is especially dark, except for the moon, which glows brightly and reassuringly. They took a shortcut from the library, and Ron has dropped all his books, that’s why they’re still out here after Harry has gone in. She had braced the cold and waited for him.

 

He is muttering angrily to himself, but looking up into the sky, she finds herself feeling quite calm, serene even, and she breathes in the fresh air.

 

Up he comes, and stacks his book on the wall beside him.

 

“What are you smiling at?”

 

She turns to face him. “It’s nice out here, don’t you think?”

 

He gives her a look she is well acquainted with, the one that is shows he is questioning her sanity. But instead of arguing about it, she turns again to face the sky.

 

He moves closer, and out of the blue, says, “Your eyelashes are really long.”

 

She blushes, of course, and is frankly startled by such a proclamation.

 

She turns her head and glances his way quickly, and sees he is staring at her intently, and it all feels a little too much and she barks out “What are you looking out?” before she can stop herself.

 

“Nothing!” He begins to walk away, and she thinks she has humiliated him.

 

“Wait, Ron, wait…. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for it to come out like that.”

 

He has stopped, and without warning, swings around and marches up to her purposefully, so that soon her back is up against the wall and he is only an inch from her face.

 

It feels like he is looking at her for an eternity, and her stomach feels funnily like a washing machine, and she can’t control her trembling. Everything around them seems to vanish.

 

“Look,” he says urgently, “do you feel this? Or is it just me? Because if you say you don’t, then I’ll drop it, honestly, but I just can’t shake it off and I just wanted to….to…..check…” his voice trails off pathetically.

 

Her brow furrows in shock, and his face drops instantly.

 

“Ah. Its fine, just forget I mentioned it, cause its really nothing, so, um, whatever, its no big deal.”

 

She hears the hurt in his voice. He turns and walks away, and she is trying desperately to say something, but the words refuse to come out of her mouth.

 

Out of the corner of her eye, she sees his books lying where he left them.

 

“Your books!” She calls out. “You forgot your books!”

 

His shoulders seem to sag, at the thought that this is all she can think say to him. She hurries over with the pile in her hands, and lumps them into his arms and is still for a moment, breathing heavily and blinking back the tears that have come from nowhere, and before she can compile a clear thought in her head, throws herself around him, and whispers frantically into his ear “I feel it too!”

 

* * * *

 

She feels a jolt between her fingers, and jumps.

 

He is turning violently, his head shaking from side to side, and she grabs his arms and yells into his face. She comprehends suddenly that if she can’t wake him now, it might never happen.

 

“RON!”

 

She shakes him, and screams his name, and she is so frightened she almost can’t breathe, but she must, she must do this, because if he slips away again than her life will be over, and she can’t bear the thought of it.

 

“PLEASE, PLEASE RON! TRY, JUST TRY, PLEASE!”

 

She is sobbing uncontrollably, gripping his shoulders, jerking them with all the strength she possesses.

 

All movement stops. There is nothing. Stillness and silence ring around the room with such booming clarity that she thinks she might faint.

 

It’s over. She knows it’s over.

 

Closes her eyes. Wills death to come.

 

When she opens them again, he is staring right at her.

 

She screams.

 

He moans a little, and she realises she is on top of the bed and probably squashing him, and she tumbles off and is gasping for breath, and the she has never felt to wonderful in her life.

 

“Ron?” She pants. She has almost no energy whatsoever, and is wondering if this is a dream.

 

“You’ve been here the whole time.” It is a statement, almost whispered.

 

“Yes.”

 

He nods at this confirmation.

 

“I could hear you. I could see things, but I couldn’t get back until just now, when I dropped my books again so I could hug you back.”

 

“Hug me back….?” She is confused, and thinks back wildly over what has just happened.

 

It dawns on her. The memory.

 

Because yes, that’s what happened next, he dropped his books and moved to put his arms around her, but a shadow moved and there was Harry, coming back to see why they were taking so long.

 

They hadn’t talked about it since. It never seemed like the right time, and then everything happened, and now here they were. She wasn’t even sure if he knew how long he’d been gone.

 

But she didn’t want to talk about it now. There would be plenty of time for that. She laughs out loud. Time! Wasn’t it a wonderful thing! And now there was so much of it, and she was so, so happy, and he looks at her – that look she is so well acquainted with. The one the questions her sanity.

 

She smiles. Takes his hand. Knows now that she’ll never let go, and squeezes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

//
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