Hermione stood, the Hufflepuff teacup in her hand, looking at me expectantly. For once Moaning Myrtle was nowhere to be seen, or heard for that matter. The broomstick we brought with us lay in the floor beside me. I looked at the basin with the snake engraving, then back at her. A piercing scream echoed through the walls of the castle, followed by a small tremor that shook the ground. I shuddered, and then turned to Hermione. She was listening intently, probably wondering what caused the miniature quake. Her face had gone an off-white colour, mirroring my own. Her eyes shone, the water in them reflecting the fear she usually concealed so well. Feeling slightly awkward, I turned back to the basin, wanting to comfort her, but not knowing what to do. I spoke, remembering the words Harry used to open Salazar’s Locket. After several attempts it finally opened.
The basin sunk, leaving a hole in the ground. Hermione gasped softly; she had been petrified back in second year when Harry and I went into the Chamber of Secrets to save Ginny. I looked Hermione in the eye, silently asking if she was sure about this. She nodded surely, and I knew that she wanted to get this done as quickly as possible, to avoid innocent people getting killed.
I tore my eyes away from her, and stepped into the hole, keeping my grip on the broom. I landed with a crunch on the bones of many rodents and grunted in slight pain.
“Ron? Are you okay?” Hermione’s voice carried down the pipe. She sounded worried.
“Yeah, I’m fine. You can come down now.” I tried to sound assuring, but how it came out I don’t know. A minute later she landed almost on top of me, causing me to stumble back. I caught her in my arms, and once she regained her composure it was awkward for a few moments. I felt my face heating up, and knew that my ears would be turning red. Hermione turned around from embarrassment, but I still saw the blush that crept up on her cheeks.
We ran down the passage, me taking the lead as I had been here before. After opening another door and scrambling up the rock wall that was formed when Lockhart’s memory charm backfired, threw him into the wall, and created a mini quake. When we entered the chamber, I heard Hermione gasp as she saw the size of the Basilisk’s body. I ran to the head of it, and lifted the decaying skin. The fangs of the beast were exposed, and I ripped out as many as I could. Hermione was behind me, and offered the silver cup. I shook my head, wanting her to do it. Harry and I had both destroyed a Horcrux, so Hermione should too. It wouldn’t be fair if she didn’t get any glory, even though she was the mastermind behind our trio.
“You do it. It’s yours to destroy,” I urged her.
“No Ron. It was your idea to come down here. It’s yours to do.”
“Hermione, we need to be up there. Please just do it.”
Hermione huffed, but took the fang from my hand. She stabbed the goblet with a lot of force, and did so again and again. Looking accomplished, she turned to me. A thick liquid oozed out of the wound-like hole the fang created.
“Let’s go,” she said, dropping the fang she used. I decided to keep the ones in my arms, because as far as we knew there was still a couple of Horcruxes to destroy, and the only methods of destroying them were by using basilisk venom or fiendfyre. She grabbed the broom that lay discarded beside us, and I gave her half of the fangs. With my free hand I gripped the broom and clambered on with Hermione behind me. She put an arm around my waist and I slowly hovered up. Hermione wasn’t a fan of flying, so I went rather slowly. After another short quake, she urged me to go faster. Rocks were beginning to fall near the boulder wall that was formed back in my second year. After flying through the narrow gap, I pulled the broom handle up, and we went up the pipe, and back into the girl’s bathroom.
“Ron, that was the best idea you’ve ever had!” Hermione exclaimed, dropping the fangs in her hands and hugging me. My ears were heating up, and I felt my face burn. Feeling stupid, I dropped the broom and fangs in my arms and put my arms around her waist. We both lingered for more than a friendly hug would last, and I realised then that we both felt something more than either of us had been letting on.