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Chapter 2 : Returning Home
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“You are going to let me help you guys, I hope, with your NEWTs and everything… right? If I know you two at all, you’re both going to desperately need my help.” Hermione said, breaking the silence.
“Erm… Sure.” Said Ron, tentatively and looked around nervously.
“Yeah, please. You know I need your help.” Said Harry, smiling a little, happy that things were returning to a slight state of normalcy. Hermione turned a little pink and smiled at him and, without realising it, took one of Ron’s hands between hers and blushed even further. Ron looked down and his whole face flushed a bright crimson and Harry could tell they wanted to be alone.
“I’ll, erm, go talk to Luna. Be back later,” Harry said, getting up as Ron flashed him an embarrassed but thankful smile. Harry couldn’t help grinning as he left the compartment, happy that Ron and Hermione were okay together.
Ron took a deep breath and thought of what to say, and he gulped. Hermione looked up at him slowly and smiled, still holding his hand which was significantly larger than hers.
“So…” he began awkwardly, as he felt a thousand butterflies flying aggressively in his stomach. Even after all this time had passed, she still gave his stomach butterflies.
“You’re really bad at this you know,” she said, smiling. He blushed a little more and looked slightly down.
“Sorry…” he began, and before he could say another word, Hermione kissed him full on in the mouth and threw her arms around his neck. The kiss felt like it lasted forever to Ron, but in a good way; a way he never wanted to end. Something he felt much more with her than he had ever felt with… Lavender. He did his best never to let her return to his mind. Hermione was the only person that meant that much to him. She eventually pulled away and she was bright pink, and beaming. He stayed silent for a moment, so happy he felt like he might pass out, or vomit, and then he took a deep breath.
“Wow, th-thanks for that.” Was all he could manage.
“Anytime.” She looked into his bright blue eyes and smiled; she then quickly looked down and brushed a stray strand of hair from her face. “I…” she began, with a faint voice.
“Yeah, ‘Mione?” he asked, straining to hear her.
“I-I love you. I really love you.” She said looking up into his eyes again, her own slightly moist. He couldn’t help but turn scarlet with a feeble smile and he hugged her as tight as he could. He would never let anything happen to her. Ever. She was all his, safe and next to him. He always wanted it that way. Her arms were always so warm and caring, like they could take all his worried away. Whenever he was in them it felt like nothing else mattered, only Hermione. It felt like complete happiness, and safety, and he hoped she felt the same way.
“I love you, too, Hermione.” He said with a soft voice, kissing her forehead. She buried her face into his chest, and smiled to herself, listening to his heart beat in his chest, feeling warm and incredibly safe and protected. As she pressed her head against his chest, he finally understood. She had always been, and always would be, the tiny ball of light that belonged in his heart.
Harry had not gone to see Luna, but Ginny rather, knowing Ron would not approve had he said that, so he had said Luna’s name in her place, and he knew Ginny wouldn’t bring it up so he felt safe about it. He and Ginny had spoken for a few minutes about unimportant things like what subjects they would each be taking and about the weather, but after that they had kissed for a few moments, which Harry had loved every moment of.
Rain began pounding against the side of the train and he made his way back to the compartment he had shared with Ron and Hermione. As the sun went lower in the sky, it became darker and more grey dark clouds surrounded the train. When he came in, he saw Hermione burying her face in Ron’s chest and Ron’s head was on top of hers as he smiled to himself and turned crimson as Harry walked in. Harry did his best to be quiet as he came in and sat down across from them, feeling minimally awkward but smiling to Ron nonetheless. He tried not feeling too bad, though, because he was happy that they were finally together. He had known for a while that Hermione had fancied Ron even before Ron himself had figured it out. Ron could be so blatantly oblivious sometimes. After a few moments, Hermione raised her head, looked into Ron’s eyes and then looked over with a short gasp.
“Harry! How long have you been there?! I’m sorry, that must’ve-” Hermione said, flustered and embarrassed as Harry cut across her and she turned pink.
“It’s alright, Hermione. I haven’t been here too long.” He grinned at her embarrassment and adjusted his glasses a little. Ron chuckled a little and put his arm around her. After a moment Hermione got up and pulled a few galleons out of her pocket.
“I’m hungry; I'm going to get something off the trolley. Are either of you hungry?” she asked, taking some money out of her pocket.
“Starving.” Replied Ron, rubbing his stomach and handing her a few sickles, thinking longingly of the snacks on the trolley. Harry nodded and gave her a few galleons, and he caught a small envious glace from Ron at the sight of the gold, which quickly vanished as he looked over at him.
“Alright, what do you want then?” she asked, raising her eyebrows.
“I dunno, surprise me.” Said Ron, and she looked at Harry.
“Whatever he’s having.” He said, shrugging. She nodded and left the compartment.
“That was quite a touching moment you two were having,” teased Harry, raising his eyebrows after she was safely out of the compartment.
“Oh, come off it.” Ron muttered, his ears and face turning red but unable to help smiling. Harry and Ron laughed for a moment and more rain pounded the side of the Hogwarts Express.
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