Chapter 1 : It is time.
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"Hermione, are you OK?"
Ron turned back. He looked as confused as Harry. As she had neither answered nor lifted her head up, they both run to her.
"Mione, please! What's wrong?" Ron cried. He pushed her hair out of her face to reveal a flinch in it, her eyes completely shut and her lips very tight together. Next thing, she passed out. Ron caught her just in time and looked at Harry, who instantly grabbed his arm as they dissapparated and apparated in the hospital wing.
The two-seconds journey seemed to wake her up.
"Mmm, uhm" she complained.
"It's OK, we're getting help! Just tell us something... What..? What did this?" Ron said this while he was putting her on an empty bed. Harry went to get Madame Pomfrey who was not in sight.
Ginny was a few feet away, magically fixing one of the walls that had been crushed in the battle. She saw Harry rushing past her and screaming his lungs out for Madame Pomfrey and heard her brother speaking. She run to where Ron and Hermione were to see that she was catching her breath and sitting up.
"Ron, what happened to her?"
"I don't know, she was just fine.. and the next minute..!!! I don't know what it was but it seems to be wearing off... Mione?" She still had trouble breathing but seemed not to be in pain any more. She was staring at nothing and seemed unable to hear her friends' questions. Suddenly, she started crying.
"C'mon, please!" Ron was desperate. "Why won't you speak?"
"Can't you see she's in shock?" Ginny grabbed her hands. "It's OK, Hermione. Shh... Everything's OK. The battle's over, we're here in Hogwarts. Hermione?"
Hermione seemed to go back to herself. Tears still came out of her eyes, silently, but her breathing was steady and she was looking into Ginny's eyes, understanding what the read-headed girl was saying.
"I'm sorry, Hermione. Are you OK now?" Ron was almost whispering.
"I don't know... I don't... don't know..."
"What happened?" Ginny was also whispering.
"I'm sorry, Ron" she broke down in heavier crying when she started speaking. "I wasn't sure, it was just a..." she was sobbing loudly "and it was the day of the wedding, so the deatheaters came and we apparated into that diner..." Ron wasn't getting where she was going, or why she was apologising. Hermione could see he was puzzled but she had so many words in her head that she couldn't put in a sentence. "And then more deatheaters, and the woods and I sort of forgot... And I still really didn't know, and you left us!" she wasn't saying it in a hurtful way but as if she was explaining herself. "And then I knew, I knew for sure... because I could feel it."
"What was it? What was it that you knew, Hermione?" Ron was trying to follow her strain of thought, but as usual, he just couldn't.
Hermione looked at Ginny, who was beginning to understand, though she was telling herself that that couldn't be it.
"It was just so bad timing... we had to find and destroy the horcruxes... It was just me and Harry on this mission, I couldn't tell him! Of course... I couldn't leave him alone, could I?"
Just then, Hermione clutched her stomach and made that pain face again. Ron grabbed her by the shoulders because it seemed that she would fall off the bed otherwise.
At that, Ginny understood it. Because there would be no other reason that would trigger Hermione into thinking of abandoning that mission. "Oh, dear Merlin!" She covered her mouth.
Gasping, Hermione started talking. "And then you came back and I was over the moon, and I was so going to tell you." The pain was over. "And then we were taken to the Malfoy's, and then Dobby, and Gringotts, and we were running again" Ron didn't ask anything. He was trying to understand, because the look in Hermione's face was telling him that he was supposed to understand already. And her sister, apparently, had done so... without having been at all those places.
"And there was a time that I didn't think any of us was going to make it". That part, he got. "And there was no point, really. If I told you, you would have sent me away, and we're a team, the three of us... It would't have worked without me as it wasn't working without you!"
That part he got, too. She stopped speaking "Hermione... I'm not following you. What does any of that got to do with this curse or whatever it is you got? Is something Bellatrix did to you when she tortured you?"
"She tortured you?! Did that...? Is it OK?"
"Ginny, of course it's not OK that someone tortures you!!!" Ron was furious. He hadn't understood what her sister was really asking Hermione.
"I don't know..." Hermione said to Ginny and then turned to Ron. "I'm so sorry, I had no right to cover this up, but I also had no choice!"
Now Ron was really baffled.
"What? What do you mean?"
"If I told you, if I compromised the search of the horcruxes and we couldn't kill him... Then we were dead and there had been no point in telling you. But I didn't think that something was going to go wrong after we had actually defeated him. It's all my fault! Agh!!!!!!!!"
This time she actually screamed. Almost as loud as when she was under the Cruciatus curse. She leaned forward and grabbed the sheets that were covering the bed with both hands.
"Why is Harry taking so long?" Ginny asked.
"I don't know, I'm so confused. Hermione, please, just tell me. I promise I forgive you, just tell me so I can help!!!"
But she was in no state of speaking.
Ginny hadn't said anything, because it wasn't her who was supposed to say it, but she saw her brother in a way she had never seen him before. "She's pregnant, Ron".
"WHAT?!" In half a second a million things went through Ron's mind. How could that be possible? They hadn't been together since that only time before they even left The Burrow... It was so long ago and she wasn't showing. Had someone taken advantage of her? Or was it Harry's? He was going to kill someone. But, no... That's why she had been talking so much... She said something about the wedding... that then she wasn't sure, but later she was...
"Mine?" me mumbled.
"Who else's?" said Ginny. "When we were back at The Burrow, she told me about you two..." Ginny was embarrassed to say this to her brother. "She said she was late... But then you left and things started to happen and I thought it might have been a false alarm... and then...then I just.. forgot..."
Just then, Madame Pomfrey and Harry walked into the Hospital Wing. Hermione was just catching her breath and had her eyes locked at Ron, who had his on hers, too.
"Come with me Harry." Ginny said while grabbing his hand. "They need time alone. I'll fill you in."
"Just come.Trust me." Ginny was very solemn.
"Ok, I trust you."
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