Chapter 11 : Too Late
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She was scared. Ronald Weasley was there.
Ron, who heard Hermione walk out, still stared at the stars. One in particular twinkled brighter than the others. He watched it intently. The most beautiful things in the world, Ron noticed, were ignored sometimes.
The star reminded him of Hermione Granger, every Hermione Granger he'd known. The Hermione Granger he'd met when he was 11 years old on his first train ride to Hogwarts, the Hermione Granger that punched a now decent Malfoy back in their third year, the Hermione Granger he'd get in rows with, the Hermione Granger that would tease him because he ate so much, the Hermione Granger he tried so desperately to make jealous, the Hermione Granger he had slowly fallen in love with, the Hermione Granger he missed more than anything in the world.
Though Ron's mind was jumbled and twisted in every which way, Ron stayed strong and stood up. He stared out at the scooping hills in the distance for a while before turning to Hermione.
His eyes had the same hurt look. Betrayal softly floating in them. Hermione was having trouble with every thing she could think of, and if she hadn't thought of it yet, when she did she had trouble with it (breathing, blinking, standing, etc.) She had tears in her eyes, but they wouldn't fall, they just stayed there impairing her vision.
“I don’t know what to do,” Ron said when he was only inches from Hermione. “I want to know why you would do something so ridiculous, but then again I don't. I don't want to hear anything from you. I want to know why I'm so hurt. I want to know why I feel like a lost child. I want to know what the sodding hell you were thinking. But more than anything, I want to hate you,” he said sharply. “I want to never forgive you for the hell you put me through,” Ron said.
Hermione listened. Ron laughed to himself and ran his hand through his hair.
"But," Ron was turning around now and then back to Hermione. He sighed heavily and looked to her with everything in him. “But I can’t do that Hermione Granger, because I... I've been falling in love with you since the day I met you and no matter what you do, that will never change, you mean everything to me.” Ron looked to his hands then stepped closer to her. He was still looking to his hands when he raised one up to Hermione's soft cheek.
He stroked her face softly as if memorizing her every feature. His eyes melted into hers and he lowered his lips and kissed hers softly.
Hermione was free.
Hermione draped her arm around his neck and kissed him deeper. Her eyes fluttered when her heart did. Ron's mind was racing and even through everything that had happened, Hermione was forgiven. He wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her closer.
Hermione then stopped abruptly.
“I am so sorry.” She said to him. “If I could kill myself without hurting you I would for what I did, I’m a horrid, repul-“
He put his finger to her lips.
“Don’t leave me again,” he whispered.
“You should never ever forgive me Ronald Weasley,” Hermione said to him. And she meant it. She meant it very much.
“Too late,” Ron said softly. He then reached for her hand.
The night went on. They all ate a great dinner Mrs. Weasley had prepared for them with glee upon her face. The weight of the fuming love and unspoken words tangled with lies and heart ache had been lifted off them all.
Everone felt it.
It was as if a nagging sensation that had sat in their hearts like a block of hard ice had finally melted into their veins, and out through their wide, happy eyes and jubilant laughter. It was as if love had taken over everything.
Keely was sitting on Ron’s lap after dinner. She was drawing his hands with somehow sleepy looking eyes.
Even though Keely didn’t know it, Ron watched her the whole time, trying to memorize every unique quality that flowed from her, like a raging stream. He just wished his eyes could burn through her skull and into her mind where he could put himself in all of her distant memories.
Hermione watched Ron watch Keely and something was finally right.
Perfectly right. Amazingly right. Lovingly right.
Then, instantly, as if he were sorry he had forgotten, Ron looked at Hermione. Hermione was still sitting across the room, staring at him, though Fred jabbered beside her about something Hermione couldn't even recall.
Ron's eyes were deeper than Hermione had ever seen them, somehow. It was as if, beneath the dark pupil and bits of blue and green strewn about his eyes, was a never ending tunnel, filled with memories and thoughts and emotions that he didn't even know he could feel.
His locking gaze gave her butterflies, and then he smiled. There was no remorse in this action that nearly sent Hermione to tears, not even a flicker of it. His smile was daringly true, and it stabbed Hermione with it's realness.
Ron's soft smile spoke many words, right to her heart, like a whisper across the room only Hermione could hear, like a soft melody of words dangling in mid air, her heart as their destination.
And for once, in six years everything seemed to fall into place. This was what Hermione wanted the whole time, she just took the long way in finding it.
“Where is your rest room?” Hermione heard Keely ask Mrs. Weasley.
“Around the corner dear,” said Mrs. Weasley patting her head.
Mrs. Weasley then walked into the living room where everyone sat simply enjoying each other's prescence, and getting intoxicated by it. Molly brought in drinks for everyone, though no one really needed any.
She then lifted her glass when everyone had their own and said “To Hermione," with a smile on her face.
“To Hermione,” Everyone said in unison. Hermione could hear the smiles in their voices.
The drink just slid down Hermione's throat when a loud slam came from the bathroom. Suddenly, her throat burned.
Hermione sprang from where she once sat, and ran to the bathroom as fast as she could, a motherly indtinct drumming in her chest.
Keely lay on the ground, eyes clenched together and blood dripping from her mouth.
Hermione screamed wretchedly, and within an instant it felt as if her world had melted away. Nothing seemed to matter, though her heart knew everything mattered, every single thing.
Ron was soon at Hermione's side, question in his eyes, but when he saw Keely there on the ground, he needed no answer from Hermione. Ron's eyes were wide as he picked Keely up. He stared down at her pale face. Her head lolled on his shoulder, a drop or two of her blood staining his shirt.
Hermione didn’t know what was going on. She felt dizzy and sick. She was still holding Ron’s hand and he was running in a hallway now.
He had apparated to a hospital wing, though Hermione had no recollection of it.
He seemed to know exactly what he was doing, he got a nurse, and they put Keely on a bed and rushed her down the hall. Hermione watched as they took her baby away in a rush.
She wanted her madly beating heart to explode inside her, causing her to fall to the floor just as Keely had. She wanted it more than anything in that moment in time.
Everything was blurry, and nothing was making sense. Suddenly Hermione found herself in Ron's embrace, as racking sobs erupted from her, her face hiding the crimson that was now soaked up by the tiny threads embroided together on Ron's shoulder.
“Keely,” Hermione cried helplessly. “Baby,”
Ron squeezed her hand tight. “It’s going to be okay,” He whispered. Hermione knew his words weren’t certain. She could tell from his voice, how it wavered ever so slightly.
She lay limp in his arms. She wasn't sure where they were, perhaps the waiting room, but it didn't matter to her. Hermione wanted to be gone. She clenched her eyes shut tight, and Ron's voice swam through the air, acting as a sweet lullaby that somehow, through all her inner turmoil, lulled Hermione to another place deep in her mind.
Ron was whispering her name in her ear.
She slowly opened her eyes and saw that she and Ron were the only people around.
The first word that stung her mind was Keely.
“Keely!” she said aloud turning around to Ron. “Where is she?!” she said as she flew up from his lap.
“She’s in room 204. Hermione, the healers, they need to tell us something just sit tight for a minute,”
“Why can’t the bastards tell us now? HELLO?!” Hermione screamed. The two witches at the desk looked up at her and went back to what they were doing.
Hermione could feel her breath shortening and her head pounded in her skull.
Then when she turned back around, she saw one of the healers that had taken her Keely earlier that night.
“What?!” Hermione asked angrily. “What is it?!” The man flinched at her words. Hermione's eyes were horrid to look at, especially through his own, as he knew the truth he would soon have to burden her with.
It would change her life forever.
“What’s the matter with her?!” Hermione asked screamed now, tears gleaming in her honey eyes.
Then Ron was at her side, his strong arm’s around her. The healer finally spoke up.
“Miss, your daughter…She has Leukemia.”
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