Chapter 1 : Breakdown
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And I make it. I blink several times before I can see properly. I’m lying in a bed. A white bed. I smell that scent. I’m in a hospital, apparently. Those surroundings… oh. I’m in St. Mungo’s. What am I doing here?
“Hermione!” A voice on my right side calls my name.
As I roll around to face the owner of the voice, I wince. My whole body aches, begs me to not move at all, to lay still. I can’t. I have to know what’s going on. Although it seems to be taking half of my strength just to roll over, at the moment.
I face Harry. His black hair is messy as usual and his green eyes are big and frightened. I try to speak to him. My throat is dry. “W- wa- wa- water,” I finally manage to say. Harry conjures a glass with water out of the thin air. I want to smile, to thank him, but I can’t. I need to drink before I can do anything else.
Never has water tasted so good. I drink a whole glass at once. Harry mutters, “Aquamenti,”, and the glass is once again filled with clear, blank, wonderful water.
When I’m finished with that glass, too, I put it down on the little table beside me. “Thanks,” I say, smiling. “Ow!” It hurt so much. If a simple smile could hurt that much, how could I even think of sitting up?
“Are you all right?” Harry asked me, concern written in his face.
“Y- y- yeah…” I stutter weakly. I close my eyes, letting the dark take over my body again…
When I wake up next time, I hear voices.
“She’ll be all right…”
“Yeah, the healers do what they can.”
“She must be all right! I can’t imagine more losses!”
“Calm down. They’re magical healers. They can fix anything.”
“Hi,” I whisper. I’m better now. I feel it. My body is still hurt, but I’m better. An improvement is always welcome.
Harry and Ginny freeze. They turn to look at me.
“Hermione!” Ginny says. “How’re you feeling? Does it feel like you’re dying or something? You’re not allowed to die! Do you hear me? You’re not allowed-”
“Ginny,” I interrupt. “I’m not dying… I feel better than I did last time I was awake, actually.”
Ginny sighs. “That’s good to hear. We were so scared! The healers didn’t know if you were all right or not, and they were afraid you might- oh, Hermione!” She gives me a hug, a big hug.
“Ginny!” Harry says, obviously worried about her hugging me so early.
“It’s okay,” I breathe. The hug did fortunately not hurt me.
“Sorry, Hermione,” Ginny says. “I didn’t think- I just thought- you-”
“It’s okay,” I repeat.
I hear people walking around in the hospital, singing. I hear screams of joy. Then I hear healers shush them down, but they still sound happy. I frown, wondering why these persons were so happy. “What’s going on?” I ask.
Harry and Ginny exchange glances. “They- they’re celebrating,” Harry says slowly.
“Celebra- you mean, you did it? You defeated Voldemort?” I say excitedly, memories of the night I probably had passed out, returning.
“Oh, Harry! That’s just wonderful! Come here!”
Harry leans down to me, and I hug him happily. Voldemort is defeated! People are celebrating, and I would definitely join them if I had the chance. Harry and Ginny don’t look too happy, but I suppose they’re still shaken from the battle. Then it hits me. Ron! Where is Ron?
I let go of Harry and asks him that question. “Where is he? Is he here, too? Is he also hurt? Or is he out celebrating?” I can’t believe it took me so long to remember Ron, but now I can’t wait to see him again. I can’t wait to see those blue eyes, the red hair, the freckles… I can’t wait to feel his touch again, maybe having his arms around me, maybe stroking my hair…
Some nights ago, before the battle, we even talked about getting married. Not that we would rush anything, of course, but we just talked about it. Our wedding, how it should be, how many children we would have, the names of our children…
I come back to the reality, waiting for Harry to answer my question. But when he turns away, my heart sinks. “Is it serious?” I whisper. “Is he seriously hurt? Why aren’t you with him instead of me? I’m fine! Go to him, instead!”
“We can’t,” Ginny says.
My heart throbs. “Why not?”
“He’s not hurt.”
I let out a sigh of relief. “That’s good. But why isn’t he here, then? Doesn’t it matter to him that I’m in a hospital?” I almost feel rejected. Why wouldn’t Ron be here with me, watch over me, as he would normally do?
“Hermione…” Harry says, his voice shaking. I turn my attention to his back since he looks out of the window at the moment. “He’s not hurt.” He turns around, with a pained, sad expression on his face. “He’s d- de- gone.” I can see his eyes fill with tears.
“Gone? What do you mean?” My brain is slow today. I don’t really understand things that I would get right away. I must have been hit by some strong curses.
“He’s dead.” Harry starts to shake. Not only his voice this time, but his whole body.
I feel myself pale, before I start to laugh. “That’s not funny, Harry! I know he’s not dead! I know! This isn’t something you should joke about!”
Ginny looks at me with fear. Clearly this isn’t the expected reaction.
Harry frowns. “Hermione? Are you sure you’re all right?”
I continue to laugh. The laughter sounds insane even in my own ears. “I’m fine! But you’re not! You shouldn’t make jokes about death!”
“What? Do you really think- surely, you can’t- you don’t think I would joke like this?” Harry looks at me, terrfied.
“Well, you do.”
I stop laughing. Now I’m getting angry. “You do!”
“Of course I don’t!”
The anger in me boils. I jump out of bed, not caring about pain any more. “You do, and you shouldn’t!” I begin to hit Harry, with all the strength I can muster. How dare he? How does he dare to say that Ron is dead? I kick and hit my best friend, trying to make him feel a tad of the pain I have inside. Harry’s shocked. I can see him touch his lips, finding red blood there.
Ginny runs away, shouting that she needs help here.
I continue to hit Harry, but I’m growing weaker every second. I soak down to the floor, letting Harry go. I understand. I finally understand. Harry’s not lying. Of course not. He would never lie about this. I must be insane!
I start to cry. The tears flow down my cheeks. I howl.
Ginny and a healer come to help me getting into bed again. I just lie there. I can’t stop crying.
I hear the healer explain something to Harry and Ginny. The only word I really heard was “breakdown”.
I don’t care. All I care about is the death of Ron Weasley. The death of my love. I’ll never see him smile, laugh or making jokes again. I’ll never embrace him, hold him or kiss him again. I’ll never see his eyes light up. I’ll never hear his voice. I’ll never feel his touch again. We’ll never marry. We’ll never have children.
I’ll never forget him. I see a little red-haired boy with dirt on his nose sitting in a train… I see a troll, how Ron manages the Wingardium Leviosa spell… I see him fall down on a big chess board… I see a bookshop where Ron is standing inside, glaring at Gilderoy Lockhart… I see Ron grabbing the card I had under my pillow… I see us fighting over our pets… I see myself break down, hugging a terrified Ron… I see him realising I’m a girl… I see the Yule Ball… I see me kiss his cheek… I see myself getting annoyed with him for being such an idiot… I see us in Herbology where we agree to go to Slughorn’s party together… I see him snog Lavender… I see the two of us in the hospital wing… I see our first kiss… I see Dumbledore’s funeral… I see our journey with Harry around the world to destroy the Horcruxes… I see Ron holding me. We look at the stars above us together. I see him looking at me before a Death Eater hits me with a curse. I see myself going insane, hitting Harry, convinced that Ron isn’t dead…
I see my whole life with Ron.
He’s killed. I’m also killed. Inside. I’ll never get over this. But I have to. I don’t want to. But I’ll do it for Ron, as I know he wouldn’t want me to live like this.
He’s the only reason. I wish he could hear my thoughts now, I wish that he knew how broken, how alone, I am without him.
I’ll never stop loving him.