It had been six month since Hermione had collapsed into her silent madness and sadly she was showing now signs of improvement. She actually seemed to be getting worse and Harry had suggested on several occasions maybe they should admit her to St. Mungos but every time Draco refused. Harry was concerned that she may never come back to them but he too had not given up all hope and he admired Draco for never seeming to give up optimism that she would make a full recovery.
Harry had not left his friends side for the first two months of her illness, then he learned Ginny was with child and had since been dividing his time between the two women. He loved his wife and unborn child more then life itself yet he could barely pull himself away from his best friend’s side. He remembered that when he had gone mad shortly after his battle with Voldermort, she had never left his side. She held constant vigil as he was now doing for her. He remembered that even though he was far away from the real world, he still heard her voice faintly. He had finally learned the history of Hogwarts because she read him the book while he lay mentally paralyzed in the hospital, she swore when they were younger she would get him to read it; and through her words he had.
A smile escaped his lips as Harry remembered this. He gently brushed a few strands of straight hair out of her eyes then held her hand gently in his.
“No change then,” Draco said bluntly as he entered the room and stared at the two friends. His heart tore with jealousy every time he saw Harry with Hermione, especially when he was affectionate with her.
“No change,” Harry said barely above a whisper never taking his eyes off her.
Draco stared over Harry’s shoulders at the beautiful woman that lay so still in the mahogany canopy bed. The madness had not touched her beauty, if anything it had enhanced it. Her hair was much longer now and slightly curly, but not bushy like when she was a child. Her face and skin where porcelain and so soft. Her lips where pink as the softest rose and her eyes still brown and beautiful as ever.
“She spoke again in her sleep last night,” Harry said turning to look at Draco, but not moving from the chair in which he sat.
“Another nightmare?” Draco asked dismayed.
“No, just soft whispers and too faintly to be heard enough to understand what it was she was saying,” Harry said looking back to Hermione.
“I will sit with her now,” Draco said brushing some toast crumbs off his black house coat.
“Yes I must be checking on Ginny,” Harry said. He squeezed Hermione’s hand, kissed her forehead and reassured her he would be back tomorrow. She blinked but Harry was unsure if that was an acknowledgment or not.
Draco took Harry’s seat and gently touched Hermione’s hand. He hated seeing her this way for it reminded him of how his mother lay mentally ill in St. Mungo’s; and now Hermione.
I seem to damage all that I touch and love. He thought to himself as he watched the only love of his life sleep. He wished he had told her that he loved her but even now he could not find the courage to admit to the words. She seemed so pristine to him so angelic, how had Hermione Granger after all these years step into his life and make his heart feel so full? There had been so many women, but none with her grace and her beauty. She challenged him physically and mentally and he loved that the most about her. She had always been all that he had been seeking and she had always been right in front of him from the very beginning. He had taken a darker path then she, but it was she that saved him in the end.
“I wish you would come back to me,” he whispered to her, “I know it is selfish of me to keep you here when you probably need to be in better care but you are all that keeps me alive and I could not bare to see you laying in some hospital bed with dead flowers surrounding you.”
He lay his head down so that the top of her hand touched his forehead.
“I can not let them see you weak darling, for you are the strongest witch I have ever known and I shall not let the world see you as fragile,” he vowed barely above a whisper.
Suddenly he felt her stir in her sleep he looked to see her beautiful face smiling silently. His heart raced maybe she had heard him, maybe she was going to come out of the shadows and back to him like he prayed to Merlin for every day.
“Ron…” she whispered.
Hermione could feel the sun beating down on her on the hot July day. She hadn’t wished to play quidditch with the boys but Ginny insisted that she did so that she would not have to play alone. Ginny had beat the quaffle of somewhere past the pond and her and Harry had gone to retrieve it, though they seemed to be taking forever. Hermione sat on the bank of the pond and lightly touched the water with one finger, it was cool and refreshing. She contemplated taking a swim but did not feel like dealing with her hair afterwards so shook the thought off.
“What on earth is taking them so long,” Ron asked sitting beside her. The sun made his red hair look ablaze and brought out each and every freckle on his face. Hermione loved his freckles though Ron hated them.
“I think they might have found the quaffle and maybe a little more,” Hermione joked.
“Ugh, Mione I don’t want to think of my best mate and my sister like that,” he said scrunching his face in an odd manner that made Hermione laugh.
“I love you Ronald,” she said touching his face softly. He moved closer and pulled her into his arms. She closed her eyes and breathed him in, she loved being in his arms.
“I love you to Mi,” he said squeezing her.
Hermione slowly untangled one of her hands from their embrace and quickly reached down to the pond water and splashed Ron with as much water as her small hand could manage. He jumped in surprise and she jumped up and splashed him again, this time with her foot. He splashed back but she had started to run and he missed.
The air smelled like fresh bread no doubt from Molly’s kitchen and the sun was so warm that it filled Hermione full of love. She could hear the buzzing of the different insects no doubt they were enjoying the hot summer day. She ran as fast as her feet would allow her taking in every blade of grass she past. The wild flowers that grew around the burrow were in full bloom and also filled the air with their sweet aroma.
She felt Ron’s arm slip around her waist and they came crashing down to the plush grassy earth.
“Trying to out run me again,” he said slightly out of breath. Hermione could only laugh, she was so happy in this moment. After all that they had been through she never thought she would feel this free, this in love and this happy; but she did and she savored the moment.
“You’re my life Mione, you know that right,” Ron said all of a sudden with a very serious look on his face.
Hermione stopped giggling and looked up at him smiling, “You are my life as well Ronald.”
“You know I would never leave you unless I absolutely had to and that would only be if being with me put you in danger,” he vowed.
She looked at him more seriously now, “Do you plan on leaving me Ron?” She asked with an innocent smile.
“Never, unless my life puts yours in danger and even then I would always be with you in heart. I love you Mi, more then you may ever know.” He said.
“Then show me Ronald Weasley, just how much you love me,” she said with a mischievous grin pulling him down on top of her and into a passionate kiss.
Draco filled with rage, he wanted to confess is love for her but even in a mad slumber she called only one name; and it was not his.