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Chapter 1 : Concealed Thoughts and Feelings
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Hermione felt it. She knew it. They all knew. The bubbling and churning of the tension in the tent they were currently living in. Times were dark and quite difficult. One could not walk freely anymore in the Wizarding World. Oh even in the Muggle world. It was a horrible palpable tension; one that could fill your whole self with anxiety that seemed to last an eternity.
She wished it would all be over. That Voldemort would be defeated and they could live peacefully for once. And yet it seemed that they would never get this sliver of a chance. Even hope itself had abandoned them. She watched Ron and Harry carefully. They were too caught up in their own living hell to notice. Once, those two had been so close, and now they would walk away when the other was near. It was a saddening thing to see.
Harry was so distant and remote; very quiet. Ron was also distant but he was very loud and prone to fits of complaining. Hermione just silently watched, hoping the air would be free of that terrible thick tension. So she searched.
Hermione searched for a flame. A spark of hope. A little something that would renew their faith that they could win. Because if she didn't find it soon, then she was sure, it couldn't get any worse than that. It pained her to wake up to this depressing sight everyday. She longed for the days back when things were a little simpler. When they weren't fighting for the world and themselves.
The questions- Why us? Do we even know what we're up against? Is this what we really should be doing? What if we don't win? What if we lose everything? What will become of us? Of everyone?
Those questions filled the air. It seeped through their dreams. It was indestructible. The hope that had once kindled bright in the three's eyes, now grew dim and was almost out. Hermione would give anything to bring it back to life. And so she still searched relentlessly. Sometimes long after the boys had gone to bed.
Then came the day where she found something. She found it. Hermione had found that something to bring them back,"Harry! The sword! The sword of Gryffindor!" she shouted suddenly. She was just thinking about it when, as clear as day, it popped into her brain.
"Okay..." Harry said looking at her uncertainly. He was sitting with his head down on the table just before then. She rolled her eyes impatiently and went off into a long explanation.
"Wait- So the sword- Hermione you're brilliant. Really brilliant!" Harry said excitedly, clasping her hand in his. She was about to respond when the light flicked off. Then on again.
"Ron! Look what Hermione's just found out it's-" Harry began, his eyes sparkling like emeralds.
"So remembered me have you?" Ron asked, his face stony.
"What?!" Harry asked incredulously, looking to Hermione for an explanation. but Hermione just shook her head, her eyebrows knit together.
"Go on then. Don't let me spoil your fun." He said moodily. That's the last thing Hermione heard before she tuned them out. It couldn't be. Ron couldn't be angry. This was supposed to bring them together, not tear them apart. They had found a clue! And an important one at that! He could not be this way. She stood stock still, her eyes wide and nervous. Ron was kidding. He had to be joking. Then she heard Ron say it.
"No you don't know how it feels! Your parents are dead, you have no family!" Ron had said that. Hermione gasped. What was wrong with him? That was terrible of him. He knew how Harry felt. Ron knew how hard it was for him!
Then Harry lunged at Ron,"Stop!" I shouted,"Protego!" an invisible force field slammed them both back. Hermione's heart pounded nervously.
"Leave then." Harry snarled at Ron.
"And you?" it took a moment for Hermione to realize that Ron was talking to her. She blinked.
"But-Ron," she looked back at Harry,"Yes- yes I'm staying. We- we both said we'd help him." Hermione said, anguish passing over her face. She breathed in shakily. she didn't hear Ron's next words, but he was already gone. She couldn't believe it,"Ron!" she called, running out of the tent,"Come back! Ron!" She looked for him for several minutes, then gave up.
Harry looked up when she came back in. She collapsed in a chair, her eyes watering,"He's gone." Hermione started to sob wretchedly. He could be hurt or someone could've caught him!
A day later....
Hermione was unfeeling. She was numb and cold. She couldn't bear to think of Ron and how he deserted them. Harry seemed to skirt around her. She was utterly miserable. And the thing was, she didn't know if she would make it out alive or what was going to happen in the near future.
Then a little later into the evening, the lights went out. And Harry and she had left their wands on a nightstand where they couldn't possibly reach when it happened,"Harry!"
"Hermione where are you?" he asked, somewhere to her left. She had been reading a book and was wrapped up in a blanket.
"Here," she said softly, setting her book down.
He moved to where she was cautiously,but he tripped over something and landed awkwardly on top of her. How typical,"Sorry." he said quickly, and sat up. Her eyes were slowly adjusting to the light and she could make out his glasses gleaming.
She sat up too but didn't respond for a moment. She had felt an odd stirring in her stomach when he had fallen on her. It troubled her, but at the same time made her feel more awake. As she breathed out she was suddenly reminded of all the things that she might not be able to do because she wouldn't live that long. The silence was lengthy and brooding between them.
Hermione might not be able to get a job, travel the world, get married, have kids, have a family. She bit her lip and her thoughts strayed to the one person sitting next to her, whom given the chance could give her most of that. Right there, right that moment. They could stay hidden forever and ever. No one would have to know. But then... How could she live with herself? How could Harry live with himself?
"Hermione-" he began, his voice was brooding too. She got the feeling that he was thinking along the same lines as him. That they could just say "To hell with it" and jump off the wagon. They could do it.
She sighed outwardly; Hermione prayed that she was doing the right thing. And that they would make it out alive. So it was with a heavy heart that she did was she knew to be right. And simply said,"I know."
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