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‘He’s g-g-gone! Disapparated!’

She threw herself into a chair, curled up and started to cry.

Harry felt dazed. He stooped, picked up the Horcrux and placed it around his own neck. He dragged blankets off Ron’s bed and threw them over Hermione. Then he climbed on to his own bed and stared up at the dark canvas roof, listening to the pounding of the rain.
-End of Chapter Fifteen, The Deathly Hallows

When Hermione woke it was still dark, and it was still raining.

When she pulled the blankets with her and crawled into Harry’s bed, her hair was still wet, her cheeks and shoulders and jeans still damp from running out after Ron in the rain.

He hooked her hair behind her ears and looked at her, hurt.

‘Harry, Harry I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean it like that-’

He started speaking at the same time. ‘Sorry you’re disappointed, I – I forget that it’s not your fight. I’m sorry there’s nothing left to research and nothing left to strategize and you and Ron had nothing left to do.’

‘Harry – ’ she felt her face crumple.

‘I do worry about Ginny you know? All the time, all of them, being under Snape’s thumb.’

The tent slanted in over Harry’s head, above them there was only some type of cloth, blankets then canvas. His hand was in the small of her back, she rubbed her hand up and down his arm.

‘But there’s nothing I can think of to do – ’

‘There’s nothing we can do,’ she told him. And she took the Horcrux from around his neck and placed it around her own.

They lay there for a bit, and Hermione cried again, then stopped, then whispered, ‘I can’t believe he left us,’ and Harry’s fingers traced circles in the space between her shirt and her jeans.

And the sex was physically awkward, and his eyes were so full of hurt and confusion but Hermione could do nothing for that when she knew her eyes were the same.

She was above him the entire time – there was no space on Harry’s bed to choose another position – and the Horcrux dangled from her neck and rested on his breastbone . The air was dark and smelt of rain and gas from the light and the tent was yellowed and too big for two people in one bed.

She ran her fingertips over his jaw – he needed to shave, only just – her nails had dirt under them, they were all about the same length, but only for being left to grow together. They were slightly too square for her liking. Her hair hung over her shoulder and her face and she wished he would push it back. Her hair stuck to the back of her neck and she could feel it down her back.

He kept his glasses on, and they made her feel naked.

When they were done she cried again, quiet, and Harry said her name and she whisper-choked ‘I know, I know,’ and then they fell asleep.

***

When Harry woke the following day, it was several seconds before he remembered what had happened. Then he hoped, childishly, that it had been a dream, that Ron was still there and had never left. Yet by turning his head on his pillow he could see Ron’s deserted bunk. It was like a dead body in the way it seemed to draw his eyes. Harry jumped down from his own bed, keeping his eyes averted from Ron’s. Hermione, who was already busy in the kitchen, did not wish Harry a good morning, but turned her face away quickly as he went by.
-Start of Chapter Sixteen, The Deathly Hallows

They spent the next week - save the first day in their new location, when Hermione didn’t talk - talking about possible locations of Gryffindor’s real sword.

They did not talk about the night Ron left; Harry out of determination to never acknowledge Ron again, and Hermione because she couldn’t bring herself to acknowledge the events of that night.

She watched Harry watch the Marauder’s Map over the corner of Confronting the Faceless. He had started checking over each day, to find Ron’s name, but as he’d never mentioned finding him, and never stopped looking, Hermione assumed Ron was not yet in Hogwarts. But Harry was lingering over it in recent nights, and, after he left it on the table to go pee the previous night, Hermione found the map focused over the Gryffindor’s girl’s dorm room, and Ginny’s name.

She wondered if this was a little creepy, but dismissed it as what was probably likely after months of isolation from varied human interaction.

After the first week, she got out the portrait of Phineas Nigellus, and they found new things to talk about, Ginny and her DA, how much Snape knew about Dumbledoor’s activities.

After the next week, Hermione was quiet for a day.

‘What’s wrong?’

‘Do you remember last month, when I wore the Horcrux, and it was worse than normal, and I screamed at you’ and Ron ‘about cutlery, and how much I miss it?’

‘Yes,’ and then, because he wanted to make sure she knew or something, ‘I forgave you.’

She glanced up at him from a space above her lap and smiled the smile that she normally accompanied the words oh, Harry with.

‘And do you remember, about two months ago, when I ran around re-making the beds after telling you off about not doing it yourself and then I cried because of the fish you caught?’

‘Yes,’ and he still didn’t understand, but that was understandable, she was being vague, ‘do you not want me to catch another fish? Because food is hard to make enough of without fish.’

‘No, no, I don’t mind the fish. But – ’ She glanced up and down again, ‘- I was emotional each month for a reason.’ Harry started to look slightly awkward at the topic of conversation. ‘But I’m not emotional like that this month.’

She touched the space below her breasts.

And then he got it, because he was Harry, and it surprised her, before she realised she was waiting for Ron not to get it. And then she almost laughed, but she didn’t because that would have freaked out Harry, Harry who understood.

***

She had never expected to be ready for a baby, not really. She’d expected to plan it and have a room for it and know about nutrition and local schools. But she’d expected that she and her partner would not know what they were letting themselves in for until they actually had a physical child to hold, and maybe not even then.

‘I can take care of it,’ she offered after a moment of silence, and the link between their eyes of understanding, ‘I can find a spell.’

‘Wha-what?’ Harry stepped forward, touching her arm, ‘no, no. You don’t want to-’

‘Well, I’m not sure it’s a question of want, I –’ she started softly.

He looked into her eyes, and his voice wasn’t as soft but it was quiet. ‘Of course it’s a question of want. You don’t want to-’

‘Of course I don’t want to!’ her voice would have echoed back if not for the canvas of the tent that absorbed sound. ‘But we have to be reasonable –’

‘No you don’t. Not with this. You shouldn’t go find a spell just because you think you should, like it’s some kind of duty. This is honestly one of the times when following your heart really is the best way to stay happy, Hermione.’

And she looked at him, so earnest. And realised that she’d only ever imagined a child one way, a way with a house and a graduation from Hogwarts and Mrs Weasley as a mother-in-law and no-one being ready. But this way there was someone ready.

He’d probably always been ready. Her Harry, who’d never known the happy family home, and was therefore immediately willing to build her one. And all she had to do was ask.

‘Oh, Harry,’ she whispered, and ran her fingers through his hair and hooked it behind his ear.

He was a child in too many ways. She and Ron feared the concept of their own children, in a way, because of the pain and arguments about children they heard from adults as children, the jokes about their parents losing their freedom, the jokes about certain kids being mistakes; unwanted. But Harry was ready, maybe for all the wrong reasons, but he was ready. She wasn’t sure why she had expected otherwise.

***

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
equipoised
Dec. 13th, 2010 11:46 pm (UTC)
Aww, this is really good! Usually I'm not a Harry/Hermione shipper, but the summary sounded interesting and I ended up really liking this.
ang_the_adverse
Dec. 14th, 2010 12:18 am (UTC)
Thank you! To be honest, neither am I, usually, but then I got to the scene in the movie where Ron leaves and I was like, well, if I was JKR, there's no way I'd have been able to stop them.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )