Chapter 2 : Love for thoughts
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Chapter 2: Love for Thoughts
Ron and I walked down to the Great Hall, and stepped over the rubble littering the floor. His arm around me was comforting even as we dreaded what we were going to see. I felt like I was dreaming, which fits in a way, because how many times do a days like this happen? I swayed slightly, and leaned in towards Ron. Maybe he’ll just think I’m getting closer or something, and not think I’m about to…
“Hermione, are you alright? You look like you’re about to pass out”
I blinked sleepily, “I’m just tired that’s all. We’ll go up to the tower to rest soon; do you realize we haven’t seen anyone for practically a year? I feel like I’ve been alone for ages, it’ll be nice to be there for each other now that this is over.”
I realize I’m rambling a little, but I don’t really care at this point.
Ron still looked at me and frowned. “Yeah, but I think they would all understand if you're too tired, I don’t want you passing out. I’m pretty tired too, and I don’t think I could hold you up” he said as he gave me a weak halfhearted smile.
“We’ll only be a minute, we’re practically there already. Unless you’re too tired, then we could go--” I argued.
He started to steer me towards the Hall, “No, you want to go, so I’ll go with you--”
“Really Ron, you’re the one who looks-” my face stretched as I yawned, “… Oh, forget it. I’m too tired to argue."
“That’s a first, and probably the last” he smirked.
Even with bags under his eyes it’s still irksome. But I love it.
Once at the Great Hall we went over to Mr. and Mrs. Weasley. They rushed over to Ron with tears in their eyes, grateful that one of their sons came back and was alright. I stood there awkwardly for a minute when Mr. and Mrs. Weasley came over to me next.
“Oh dear, we were so worried about you. If anything had happened it would be like losing another child you know” Mrs. Weasley said, as she gave me her famous hug that could crush you if you weren’t careful.
I welcomed it, and returned the gesture as much as I could. She's like a second mother to me, and if I didn’t have my own parents right now, I was grateful I had the Weasleys’. I hugged Mr. Weasley next and caught his look before he hugged me almost as tight as his wife did. He looked like a daughter had just come home but he couldn’t protect her from the harsh world. I couldn’t be strong anymore, I started crying. I miss my own parents so much right now, I couldn’t help it. Mr. Weasley just kept hugging me and stroked my hair. He made comforting shh-ing sounds until I finally stopped.
He sat me down ‘cause I think I swayed again. Because of his kindness I felt able to calm down. I tried taking deep breathes and after a minute I was able to take in my surroundings.
I expected to go to other people, comfort them, but instead our friends came to Ron and I. Everyone, Luna, Neville, Dean, too many people, I almost couldn’t name them all. They just told us everything we wanted to know. I was so tired I couldn’t take it all in, but they told us who got hurt, and who wasn’t and who was off helping elsewhere. In the fog of everyone around us I heard Luna mention that the castle seemed to be repairing itself. It was intriguing and I vaguely wondered why that wasn’t in Hogwarts: A History but I was just too tired to wonder for too long.
My tired brain understood one thing right then, and for once wasn’t all the information, but the love.
Next thing I knew, I went from sitting at one of the tables, to lying next to Ron in the most comfortable bed I’d been in. But maybe I was only thinking that because we were sleeping on cots for 9 months this year... I squinted from the sun that made its way through the curtains, and turned over to look at Ron, snoring loudly.
How in the world did I not wake up from that sooner? He snored loudly again and turned over and flopped his arm over my side, one of his legs flung over both of mine. I can’t move. He’s snoring in my ear, and I can’t move.
I started laughing at the hilarity of the situation. Not even bothering to keep it down. He’s not going to wake that easily anyway.
“Whossair?” asked a sleepy voice I recognized as Ginny’s.
“It’s me, don’t worry.”
“Hermione? Is that you? Wait, where are you?” I heard the rustle of blankets and assume she was trying to look around for me. It must’ve been hard since her brother obscured me from view.
“I’m next to your brother, he’s sleeping on top of me and I can’t move” I said and giggled again. I couldn’t help it, it’d been too long since I laughed, and for some reason I found it slightly easier to do now.
“Just shove him, he won’t even notice,” Ginny said sleepily.
I gave a half-hearted shove, “I don’t think I have the strength to… Wait, I have a better idea. Turn around a second.”
I smirked, “Well, unless you want to see me snog your brother-“
“Merlin, no! I need to go to the toilet anyway just a sec” I heard her as she rushed away and closed the door.
I looked at him and turned over the best I could to kiss him when his mouth wasn’t all the way open from snoring. It took a minute to get the right angle, but when I did, my mind blanked except for that wonderful lightheadedness.
I kissed his face, and he started to move. So I went back to his lips and hoped he respond this time.
He woke up suddenly, turned over and kissed me properly. He made me breathless. He kissed my face, my neck, and started all over again.
When I pulled away to get some air, I looked up at him drowsily. He looked back at me with his big blue eyes. They were filled with love and I never saw him look at me that way before. It affected me like none of his kisses ever could.
“That was the best way I’ve ever woken up. Usually waking up period is horrible, but that was great” he smiled sweetly and kissed me on the nose.
“How else was I supposed to get up? You were practically sleeping on top of me! Not that I would have wanted to wake you up another way” I turned to snog him again, but Ginny walked back in the room.
She put her hands on her hips and said, “Hey you, are you done snogging your girlfriend yet to give your only sister a hug?”
“Nope” said Ron, and he turned back to pretend to kiss me again just to annoy Ginny.
"Hey!" She yelled at him.
He turned away from me to see her better, "That's what you get for just staring at Harry, after seeing me for the first time in months!" He said, smirking.
Then he sat up properly so he could give Ginny a hug.
As much as it was nice to see the reunion between them, I couldn't help but get butterflies in my stomach. If he didn’t get upset by Ginny’s “girlfriend” remark then…
Ron pulled away from Ginny and looked at her seriously, “That is, if Hermione will agree to being my girlfriend,” he looked so nervous, I nearly laughed again.
I rolled my eyes at him, “Do you really think I’d have woken you up that way otherwise? Still, it’s nice of you to ask…”
He looked exasperated now, “Just tell me already!”
My face broke into a grin and I yelled, “Of course I will you prat!”
My face started to hurt I was smiling so big, “Nice way to talk to your boyfriend! Maybe I’ll just keep this mouth of yours shut,” I was about to kiss the silly grin off Hermione’s face when I heard a grumpy voice behind me.
“Will you two be quiet already? I was sleeping!”
Oops, Harry’s certainly awake now.
“Sorry mate” I said feeling pretty sheepish.
Ginny’s tone was nothing but sarcasm as she said, “Well, besides these two who just seem to want to snog each other’s’ face for breakfast, why don’t me and you call for some actual food eh Harry?”
“Wait, wasn’t it morning when we fell asleep?” Harry asked.
He still looked beat, but I think I would be too if I had done everything he did yesterday. I shoved those thoughts away.
“Yeah, we all must have slept the entire time” I said and stretched. I punctuated that message with a growl from my stomach that said ‘hi everyone.’
“Real subtle Ronald” said Hermione in that annoyed tone I loved. I’m one lucky guy, even if she was teasing me.
“Kreacher?” Asked Harry with another yawn.
A loud pop sounded and the elf appears. I was wondering if it would work since Harry didn’t say it clearly.
“Yes, Master Harry?”
“Could you get us something for breakfast please?” Out of the corner of my eye I saw Hermione grin at Harry’s manners.
“Of course, Master Harry. Oh, I would also like to be telling Miss Ginny that everyone has a few changes of clothes that Kreacher cleaned and pressed Miss.”
“Thank you so much Kreacher, you’ve done great!” Ginny gave him a pat on the head. I expected him to flinch away, but instead he looked rather pleased with himself and with another pop he disappeared.
“I wonder how everyone’s doing. There’re so many people I need to talk to” Harry said as he hung his head.
I bet the loud sound Kreacher made snapped him into thinking about it.
“Hey, don’t worry too much about it Harry, we’ll be with you the whole time” Ginny said soothingly; Harry gave her a small kiss for that.
This was something I hadn’t seen much of. Usually Ginny teases me about one thing or other so I didn’t really think much about her ability to be this soothing. I’m glad Harry has that though, he could use it.
“But Ginny, there’s Andromeda and little Teddy, your parents, and who knows who else…” he started.
“We’ll get through it together Harry, it won’t be easy, but we’ll do it” Hermione said softly. “That will have to include finding my parents. Everyone doesn’t have to come with me, don’t worry. Harry, you have to be here for Teddy and Andromeda, Ginny and Ron you'll have to be here for your family…”
“Don’t be ridiculous, I’m going with you,” I gave her a kiss on the head. “We just need to stay for the service. Dad told me that there’s going to just be one large memorial service that will include everyone who, um, who passed away here at Hogwarts.” I cleared my throat.
I couldn’t continue… Talking about all of it hurt like hell, but it seemed like that was news to everyone so I'm glad I got to be useful.
Hermione laid her hand on mine and picked up where I left off, “Kingsley said the Ministry is taking care of all the costs because they did such a crap job preparing for a war. We won’t have to go anywhere for a while thankfully.”
The room went scarily quiet as we waited for Kreacher. All of us were absorbed in our own thoughts…
A knock on the door made us all jump.
A familiar blonde head peaked around the corner and into the room, “Here you all are; how are you feeling Hermione? It still looks like you have a few Wrackspurts around your head.”
“I’ll feel better when I’ve eaten, thanks Luna” she said with a grateful smile.
“How did you get in anyway?” I asked.
“Great greeting Ronald,” said Ginny as she rolled her eyes at me.
“Shut it, I was going to say hi too.”
“I came in with Neville through the Portrait hole. I didn’t want to sleep in the Ravenclaw tower, this seemed a lot friendlier, there aren’t any bad memories here,” said Luna as she created the familiar awkward silence filled the room.
The kind only Luna could achieve, I almost missed it.
Hermione broke it quickly as usual and asked, “Oh, Luna, is the castle still repairing itself?
“Is the castle still WHAT?” Harry exclaimed, clearly shocked, but happy.
My mouth hung open. I slightly remembered Luna mentioning it before Hermione passed out, but I was too worried about her to really take too much else in.
“Oh, yes, the castle seems to be doing quite well in most places,” said Luna, ignoring Harry’s outburst. “Neville has a group going around helping it along, but we’re not sure what’s wrong with the Room of Requirement. I think I’m going to send an Owl to dad to ask if he has any ideas to help, and to tell him I'm alright of course."
Hermione, Harry and I looked at each other uncomfortably…
"Um, Luna, when was the last time you talked to your father?" Hermione asks slowly.
This might not be good. Luna might not even know about the Death Eaters going there...
She frowned slightly at her and said, "Not since before I was kidnapped, why?"
Hermione took a breath, and cleared her throat. "You might want to sit down a minute Luna. We're sorry we didn't have time to tell you at Shell Cottage, everything was going so crazy," she said softly.
Luna sat, and her face looked more confused now than I've ever seen it. Come to think of it, she never looked confused, seeing the look on her face was a little unnerving. She always seemed to have her own understanding of things, but that wasn’t the case right now. For once Hermione really did know something Luna didn’t.
"Luna, we went to see him earlier that day, before we got to Malfoy Manor, and he tried to turn us in to get you back. Don't think that we hate him or anything for it," Hermione reassured her after she saw Luna open her mouth, about to defend him. "He just seemed like he was going a bit crazy not knowing how you were. He wasn't normal. The thing is, when the Death Eaters came to try to get us, they also started destroying your house. We're not sure what happened to him, we were just trying to escape."
Luna just looked shocked. Not exactly disbelieving, but closer than she had ever looked to disbelieving anything. I'd never seen her this way before.
With a slightly blank look on her face she got up and said, "Well, I'll just go check on him in person then. Thank you for telling me Hermione. It's alright that you didn't tell me earlier or I would have gone sooner when it wasn't safe."
Hermione looked just as uncomfortable as I must look, but called after Luna and said, "Yes, and um, Luna, I'd check with Professor McGonagall about getting there, or maybe Kingsley."
"Oh, that reminds me, Professor McGonagall had just came by saying that we’ll be having a funeral/ memorial service next Sunday, since doing one today would be a bit of short notice."
Tears started running down her face but she didn’t seem to notice.
She sniffed softly and continued, "This will give them time to contact people, and get everything ready of course."
No, she must’ve noticed she's crying since she just wiped some off her face.
Her voice started to crack, but she went on, "I can’t imagine what this week will be like for people telling family someone’s died, it must be horrible."
More tears... I may have the emotional range of a teaspoon sometimes, but I did start to look around for some tissues or something.
She shrugged, "I might help anyway though; it might take some of the burden off the Professors and everyone. I guess I’ll go talk to McGonagall about it while I check about seeing Dad."
She closed her eyes a second which made more tears fall and I still don't see any damn tissues.
Belatedly I thought to myself, we are in the Boys dorm, and men don't cry usually right? Why would we need them?
"I'll see everyone later” and with her dreamy smile, with her eyes filled with tears, she looked like she was about to face a nightmare and turned to leave the room.
"Luna!" Harry called after her, she stopped in the doorway, her back to us.
"If you ever need anyone to talk to, you know how to find us.”
She hid her face in her hands and bent forward. Soft sobs finally managed to grab a hold of her. Ginny got up to give her a hug, Hermione got up next, then Harry and finally, so did I. We tried to give her all the support we could in this hug, and even though it was for her, we all needed it.
It wasn’t exactly like we really had anything to give, but it felt like we could relax, like we were just there for each other. After a whole year of feeling alone, it was a welcome feeling.
She pulled out of the hug after a minute and said, "Thank you all, you've always been so kind. Hugs seem to be the way to get through to someone when they're hurting isn't it? I'll keep that in mind when I talk to McGonagall. I'll talk to you all soon," and with tears still streaming down her face, she gave us a tired and sad smile, and left the room.
We all looked at each other in shock. How could Luna cope through all of this even when she's going through so much herself? I didn't see her as the same dreamy crazy girl anymore. In fact, I'm not sure what I see her as anymore, but I was impressed either way.
After she left our breakfasts appeared and we stopped gaping at each other long enough and dug in for the next hour or so. I had always appreciated food, but after the year we had of eating anything we could find, I would never take it for granted ever again. Food, and Hermione, a few of my most favorite things, and they're both right next to me.
The only thing that would have made this perfect was if my family were whole. I swallowed a lump that formed in my throat, along with piece of sausage, (made it really hard to do). I couldn’t help but think that, if this is as good as it got for now, I’ll take it.
A/N: Another chapter edited, I hope you liked it. I always love writing Luna and Ron, and everybody. Who do you love to read or write?
Thanks for reading, leave a message :)
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