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Chapter 21: Inviting warmth
'warm....' Hermione felt strange, like she could float away, but there was something, something warm, almost holding her hand, keeping her grounded. Hermione slowly opened her eyes flinching at the brightness of the room...if it was a room. Hermione looked down at her hand, there was nothing there, but she could have sworn there was someone holding it.
'where...am ...I dead?' She thought as she glanced around the area never lifting her head, she was too tired, and comfortable. If this was indeed death, then she didnt mind it. she returned her eyes to her hand staring blankly at it as she thought. She didnt mind dying, there wasnt anything really left for her, her family was dead, she had played her part in the war and in the end she lost everything. She had been strong too long, she wanted to rest.
"what else is there?" she whispered as she began to shut her eyes, sleep becoming impossible to resist. She didnt exactly want to die but she wouldnt object. beside she was just shutting her eyes for a few, what harm sould that really do?
"Hermione....wake up Hermione." a familiar and warm voice called out to her. Hermione simply laid there not responding.
"Hermione..." it said again.
'just a little longer....' she pleaded silently not opening her eyes. The warmth on her hand grew.
"Please Hermione, you need to open your eyes..." it said, it was urgent yet somewhat dreamy or maybe just distant, reminding Hermione of her classmate from Hogwarts. Hermione slowly opened her eyes a little, immediately looking down at her hand, you could faintly see the outline of a familiar hand, but just faintly, the warmth was obviously there but nothing else. Why does this warmth feel so familiar, and that voice too, sounding both familiar and comforting.
"you have to get up Hermione, it time to go back..." Hermione stared at her hand.
"Back?..." she whispered shifting her eyes around again. there wasnt anyone there. the place was empty it was white, and she was lying on the ground yet it wasnt solid, maybe she was floating. but it didnt matter, because there was no one there, just Hermione, the voice , and exhaustion...she felt completely, utterly alone.
"Yes Hermione, back. Please you have to get up ok, I..need you." Hermione opened her eyes a little more as realization hit her. She knew who the voice belong to...
"Fred...." she whispered. the warmth on her hand growing stronger, not burning her but like a blanket, comforting.
"...Hermione" it said, not comforming verbally and yet it was all Hermione needed to hear to know it was him. Hermione looked at her hand and remembered, she did have something worth living for.
"Fred..." She smiled, she didnt feel so lonely and yet it didnt completely go away.
"Fred where.......whats happening?" she called out still lying on the ground, her throat feeling raspy as she tried to speak above a whisper.
"...Its ok Hermione, you will be alright just listen to me ok?" he said hesitantly. Hermione stared at her hand and nodded as if her hand, the warmth was Fred himself.
"Thats my girl, now I need you to try and get up ok, dont fall asleep..." he said obvious relief in his voice. Hermione hesitated for a moment, sleep sounding so inviting at the moment, but Fred was more important. She nodded and closed her hand around the warmth, it gave her hope. Hermione slowly sat up pulling her hands in close to her like she was holding on to Fred scared to let go.
"Good Thats good, now stand up you can do this Hermione." almost on cue the exhaustion Hermione felt before, grew ten times. Hermione gasped at the forceful weight.
"Fred..." she whispered.
"I know Hermione I know, dont give up ok? please just...just try ok?" the warmth growing as the urgency in his voice became obvious to Hermione. she nodded then tried to sit up onto her knees, she looked down and noticed she wasnt dressed as she was before, her soaked muddy clothing was gone and a white dress replaced it, but only paid attention for a moment before realizing she was shaking. It felt like she was trying to stand with 10 elephants on her shoulders. after what felt like an hour of trying to sit up she gave up and fell back down.
"Fred!....." she felt scared and alone.
"Its ok Hermione, Im here, im here." Hermione felt a few tears fall from her as she listened to his words, she knew what he said was true but she couldnt help but still feel lonely. she was scared, she didnt care for death anymore, she just wanted to see Fred, to hug him and tell him she was sorry and she forgave him, that she wasnt mad anymore, she wanted to say it to his face....
" Fred....." she felt like giving up.
"Please Hermione there isnt much time left, ....I need you.." Hermione felt the warmth on her hand grow. she sat there staring at the nothingness surrounding her. She didnt want to give up, but she just couldnt fight anymore it was too hard.
"I...I cant Fred...I just cant!" she cried letting a few more tears fall.
"....I know it must be hard, after what happened to your family, it must be hard to trust, and to believe in something you cant see, something without certainty,but please just trust me ok? because i am Certain, I can Not live without you Hermione....I love you." Hermione could feel the warmth squeeze her hand. Hermione grasped her hand and hugged it close and sat back up. She was scared, she knew dying would have been so simply so much easier and yet, if not for her then at least for the people who need her, and the people she needed, she would live.....
She stood up.