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Time after Time by KristenBlack
Chapter 1 : Time after Time
Rating: 12+Chapter Reviews: 18

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Lying in my bed, I hear the clock tick
And think of you
Caught up in circles of confusion
Is nothing new 

“Well I don’t even know why we’re friends!” Hermione screamed from the stairs, her overwhelming anger causing several windows to shake threateningly. She stormed up the stairs of the Weasley house, the door of Ginny’s room blasting open before she ran inside and threw herself upon the bed. ‘I just don’t understand him!’ she screamed within.

She flipped over on the bed and stared at the ceiling. She thought it was rather strange, how one of the people she most hated was also the one she most loved. It had always been that way though, ever since she had first met him. So many times she had come close to telling him, yet something always happened. That’s usually the way everything was when one of your best friend’s archenemy was the most evil wizard in the history of magic. She knew that was probably why that stupid red head and herself were so high strung at the moment. The golden trio was set to leave in a matter of hours to begin their search for the horcruxes. She had hoped, dreamed really, that before that happened she would get up the courage to finally tell Ronald Weasley just what she though of him because, as much as she hated to think of it, she may not have many more chances left. And even though she was sure Ron was far from loving her the way she loved him, she knew she would always regret it if she didn’t let him know. And yet, every time they had a fight the though of telling him completely vanished. All in all, it was a very frustrating predicament.

Flashback to warm nights
Almost left behind
Suitcase of memories
Time after…

“Go on you lot, get out!” Mrs. Weasley told them, pushing Ron and Hermione out of the kitchen as Order members begin to sit down at the table in preparation for their meeting. Ron and Hermione were quick to rush up the stairs out of sight, only to run back down a few moments later with Fred, George, and Ginny.

“Here you are mates,” George said, handing them all a pair of extendable ears. They eased them down to the door and settled on the steps, ready to hear exactly what the Order might be speaking of tonight.

As interested as Hermione was in exactly what was going on, for one of the first times in her life, she felt herself unable to concentrate. All that could occupy her mind at that moment was the fact that she was sitting very close to Ron, and his leg was ever so slightly leaning against hers. Her cheeks inflamed at these thoughts. She wondered just when she had become one of those silly girls who fawned over boys and could think of nothing else. Those thoughts suddenly grinded to a halt when Ron turned to her and grinned. Her heart completely melted at the sight of it. She didn’t even know what he was smiling about, nor did she really care. It only lasted a moment, but she could have sworn she saw him blush just a little too. And even though it was short, it was nonetheless meaningful to her.

Sometimes you picture me
I’m walking to far ahead
You’re calling to me
I can’t hear just what you said 

“Well I don’t even know why we’re friends!” She screamed before dashing out of sight. Ron made a move to run up after her when Harry grabbed his arm.

“Let her cool off Lover boy,” Harry told him sternly.

Ron just shot him a glare before exclaiming, “Merlin, I’m such an idiot!” as he put his hands over his face.

“Um, yeah, you kind of are,” Harry agreed. “People don’t generally make the person they’re in love with that angry at them.

“I didn’t mean to Harry,” Ron snapped at him.

“Oh yes, calling her, and I quote, ‘an overbearing, annoying, know-it-all female’ is sure not to make her angry.” Said Harry sarcastically.

“Look, sometimes starting a fight is the only way I can keep from telling her. I swear I almost spill everything just when she smiles at me, or when I stare into her beautiful chocolate eyes or –”

Harry suddenly clapped his hands over his ears. “Don’t stay that kind of stuff around me! You know I can’t stand it!”

“At least I never have to worry about you stealing her away,” Ron laughed at his friend’s total disgust.

“You know,” Harry began, looking sly. “I don’t understand why you don’t just tell her. It’s been what, six years now?”

“Yeah, but then it would be awkward between us and we’d never be friends again.” Ron groaned, flopping down on the couch.

Harry cocked an eyebrow and asked, “Are you sure about that? Why don’t you think there’s event he possibility that she might feel the same?”

The red head rolled his eyes. “You heard her, she doesn’t eve want to be my friend, much less something more.”

“You know Hermione, better than anyone I might add. She just got caught up in the moment. Personally, I think she’s liked you for years,” Harry told him with a smirk.

“No Harry. I’m just the dumb little sidekick to her, nothing more,” Ron said, a finality in his voice.

Then you say, “Go slow”
I fall behind
The second hand unwinds…

“I’m sorry Mione,” she heard from the doorway, quite surprising her. Ron rarely apologized, especially when it came to their stupid little fights. “I don’t really think you’re all those things I said. I guess I’m just really stressed at the moment. I mean, we’re about to go out and about with You-know-who’s prime target with no protection!” Hermione turned to look at him to see his fingers going through his hair uncertainly. She stood and walked to him, not knowing what force compelled her. He looked down into her eyes with so many emotions. He gently grabbed onto her hand as the looked at one another, both feeling as if some higher being was controlling their actions.

‘I could tell him now’ Hermione thought feverishly, her heart pounding against her ribs and feeling goose bumps along her arms.

‘What if I tell her’ Ron asked himself, his lungs constricting. ‘No, she’s just scared, and not thinking. She doesn’t really want me holding her hand.’ But neither dropped their gaze, and they held each other’s hands tightly.

“Ron! Hermione!” They heard Mrs. Weasley call. There it was again, the ever-reliable interruption.

They both flushed quickly and stammered incoherent apologies, rushing down the stairs and wondering just what had happened.

If you’re lost you can look and you will find me
Time after Time
If you fall, I will catch you, I will be waiting
Time after Time

“Looks like it’s been deserted,” Hermione whispered, not wanting to disturb the silence of the old shop.

“You’d think business would be booming,” Harry commented dryly.

Hermione approved of Harry’s idea to search “Borgin and Burkes”, but she hadn’t realized it would be so…creepy. She kept close to one of the boys at all times, the fear of something popping out at them very real to her. She wished though, that Ron was the one protecting her all the time, that he was holding her hand, comforting her. And yet, since the three months they had been traveling she had come no closer to telling him than that day at the burrow. They had come close to death a total of seven times now, Hermione was keeping tally. Though they had gotten the real locket, found in Sirius’s house, Helga Hufflepuff’s cup, through the black market of sorts, Harry still felt like he hadn’t really accomplished anything. He was obviously frustrated, even when his best friends tried to talk him down.

There was a sudden flash of light that went straight between Ron and Hermione. Ron, who immediately realized what was happening, pushed her to the ground. “Stay down!” He told her. She could hear Harry fighting with a death eater.

“Let me help!” She demanded, struggling to get up, but Ron kept her down.

“Hermione, I can’t –” A spell hit him square in the back and he fell on top of her as a scream pierced the air.

After your picture fades and darkness has
Turned to Gray
Watching through windows, I’m wondering
If you’re O.K.

“Mr. Potter,” a healer called, gaining the desolate looking boy’s attention. “As we don’t know what spell hit him we can not give you a definite outlook. However, all his vitals are stable so we expect him to be fine.” She smiled trying to reassure him. “Would you like me to contact his family?”

Harry grimly shook his head and went to sit by Hermione. There was silence until Hermione said, “God, I’m such an idiot Harry! How could I let this happen?”

“You are not an idiot Hermione and this isn’t your fault!” Harry replied quickly, putting a comforting arm over her shoulders.

“Maybe not this particularly, but I should have realized our days were numbered!” She said quietly as she squeezed Ron’s unmoving hand.

Harry looked at her with concern. “He’s going to be okay Hermione.”

“What if he’s not next time though?” she yelled at him. “What if next time he’s killed, or I am? What then Harry?” She closed her eyes and took a deep, shattering breath. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to yell at you.” she apologized quietly, tears running down her face. “I’m just so scared at the thought of losing him. I don’t know what I’d do if something happened to him.”

Harry stared at her before saying, “You love him.”

She nodded her head numbly, feeling as though a great weight had been lifted from her. She’s never admitted that to anyone, not even Ginny. When Mrs. Weasley burst into the room Hermione quickly stood up and backed away as fast as possible. As she rushed to the bathroom to freshen up, she didn’t miss the look of longing Harry directed at another young redhead.

Secrets stolen
From deep inside
The drum beats out of time

It was like being a prisoner. He could do absolutely nothing. He knew what was going on though, he could hear and feel everything, he just couldn’t force himself to open his eyes or make any sort of movement. He had no idea how much time had passed as he was aware that he was hearing conversations hours apart with no recollection of going to sleep. He could feel a constant pressure on his hand though and the occasional stroke of his face. He had no idea who it was though, perhaps his mother, maybe Ginny. He wouldn’t even consider Hermione. After that conversation with Harry when he had first begun to hear he lost all hope of her loving him. Her voice had been fuzzy at first, and hard to comprehend, but he knew it was her voice. And then he heard Harry say that she loved him, with no response. Obviously, Hermione had been so disgusted at the thought that she couldn’t even muster a reply.

Depressed as he was by her lack of answer, he didn’t stop trying to get out of his mental imprisonment, his main goal to simply see her face once more.

If you’re lost you can look and you will find me
Time after Time
If you fall I will catch you, I will be waiting
Time after Time 

“Don’t you see Harry? What if that were you?” Ron heard his little sister yell.

“Exactly! I’m constantly in the line of fire Gin! You could get hurt too!” He yelled right back.

“Do you think I care Harry? We have no idea how much time either of us has left and I wasn’t to spend all possible time with you!”

“If I lost you Ginny, I couldn’t go on! I can’t take that chance! I love you, alright!”

Hearing Harry’s revelation seemed to be the final stimulus Ron needed to open his eyes. The light was nearly blinding but he forced himself to keep his them open, in fear of them never opening again. He tried to look to his right without moving his head. He saw Hermione, cheeks red and shining, clasping his hand tightly with her eyes closed.

“Hermione,” he tried to say, hoping she would here his voice over the continued yelling of Harry and Ginny.

Her eyes shot open at the noise and Ron could have sworn he’s never seen a brighter smile on her face. She threw herself on him and as much as it hurt Ron’s creaky body, he didn’t complain. He lifted his weary arms over her back as her tears wetted the front of his hospital gown. “Don’t ever do that to me again Ronald Weasley!” She demanded of him, suddenly raising her head from his chest. He smiled slightly at her tone. “I’ve got to get the others,” She then remembered excitedly, about to go dash to them.

“No,” Ron called out as loud as he could. Which was really no more than a small whimper, but she heard nonetheless. She slowly came back to his bedside and looked at him questioningly. “There’s something I need to tell you,” he began hesitantly. He’d thought a lot about what he was going to say to her. Even though he was absolutely sure she didn’t feel the same way about him the fact that she had been holding his hand gave him some confidence. “I’ve wanted to tell you since our first year Mione, I love you. I know I’ve always been kind of mean to you, but it was just a natural reaction anytime I got close to telling you. I’m so sorry Mione,” Ron said, putting his hand over hers. “I know things will probably be weird between us now but I just –” But he was cut off by Hermione kissing him passionately, which Ron could only assume meant that she wasn’t too upset.

You say, “Go slow”
I fall behind
The second hand unwinds… 
While still being held at St. Mungo’s for observation, Ron learned a few things, like he’d been out for nearly two months, waking up only a few days before Christmas. Harry had also managed to get a hold on the remaining two horcruxs, with the help of Ginny. Ron hated it, he was forced to watch them act like newlyweds or something, snuggling together and cooing to one another as they sat by his bedside, nearly enveloped by flowers from all the well wishers. He tried to ignore it though, Hermione being his main distraction. She never left his side; he just assumed she took care of things any time he nodded off, the effort of speaking and moving quite overwhelming at times. Most often, it was just him and Hermione though, as Harry and Ginny were trying to finish everything they needed to do before the final battle could occur. As depressed as he was at these times when he couldn’t go and help his best mate, he loved them. It was the only time he could tell Hermione just how much he loved her without Harry and Ginny in the background making fun of him. He felt bad though, she was now officially his girl friend, and yet he had no way of going out and getting her a present, especially with only three days left and everyone so busy, nor could he get out of bed and take her on a proper date. But she insisted that their hospital dinner with just the two of them were good enough dates for her.

When Christmas came the only thing he could give her was a makeshift card with a joke of a poem. She immediately declared her love of it and shamelessly kissed him in from of a room full of people, earning several catcalls from Fred and George. From her, he received an album full of pictures from their last six years at Hogwarts.

He made quick progress after his first fortnight with the St. Mungo’s therapist and strengthening solution. On January 11th, he was finally discharged. The first thing he did with his new freedom was take Hermione ice skating, their first official date.

If you’re lost you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall, I will catch you, I will be waiting
Time after time

The refreshing May rain seemed to wash away all that they had done, which was a relief really. They wanted to forget about the people they had hurt, regardless of their morals.

“Why aren’t I more happy?” Harry asked with a sunken look about his face.

Ginny wrapped her arms around him. “No matter how evil he was, he was still a person. I wish for your sake their had been another way to do that.”

Ron shuddered slightly. He could only imagine being in Harry’s place. Yes, Voldermort was evil, and Harry hated him with a passion, but killing was not in his nature, it wasn’t in any of there’s for that matter.

“They’re going to wonder what’s wrong,” Hermione said quietly, referring to all the people inside the looming castle that were celebrating the final downfall of the Dark Lord.

Harry just sat down on the wet grass as rain continued to lightly fall. “I didn’t just kill him though,” he uncharacteristically began, looking thoroughly depressed. “Bellatrix, Avery, and…and Pansy.” The last seemed to bother him most as he actually knew her. 

Ginny soon lay down on the grass beside him, Hermione and Ron following suite. Nobody said anything, they didn’t have to. They simply lay there, trying to will away the numbness that was smothering them.

Ron was startled by Hermione closing her hand around his. Since December, they had become inseparable and they had fallen in even deeper love with each other, but her sudden affection took him a bit off guard.

He looked at the love of his life to see that she was smiling up at the sky, and that smile spread an unidentifiable warmth through him. It was so filled with hope, joy, bliss…it was astounding to him. He knew he couldn’t wait to finally have a normal life with her.

That’s when it came to him, that happiness that he knew he should be feeling. He looked over at his best mate, who was smiling ever so slightly as the true realization hit him too. They were free! After seven long years of a less than wonderful childhood, they were finally free.

Harry shouted in joy, jumping up and dragging Ginny along with him. Hermione and Ron were quick to join in their rapturous shouts and tears of joy. They had their whole lives ahead of them and finally, they were able to live and love without fear.

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