Untitled R/Hr Post-Battle Fanfic
This is rather old, but I'm thinking about starting up on it again. I'd like your feedback if you wouldn't mind giving it to me.
Disclaimer: This fanfic contains spoilers for DH. Oh, and just so you know, I'm not J.K. Rowling. I totally do not own Harry Potter. I'm just a loyal (and slightly rabid) fan. SO DON'T SUE ME OR ANYTHING, JO. I HAVE SOME SERIOUS QUESTIONS TO ASK YOU, LIKE HOW DO DEMENTORS BREED. D:
She had made all of the arrangements; the flat was paid for - it was hers - and yet Hermione Granger felt empty inside. It had only been a week since the battle’s end, and things were definitely not back to normal yet. A silence seemed to have fallen over the wizarding world, and the Ministry, now headed by Kingsley, was still not quite back on its feet. The Daily Prophet hadn’t been printed for the longest time, and honestly, Hermione was dreading the day when it was. She knew that when the handsome post owl drifted through one of her windows, it would be bearing the news of the carnage that followed the battle, and she didn’t think she could bear to see it. The obituary pages would be filled from top to bottom and side to side, and she would recognize nearly every name.
Swallowing hard, Hermione tried her best to push down the growing lump in her throat. The battle was over; they should all be celebrating, but it was safe to say that the ending they had imagined was not the ending they had been given. Her grip tightened on the edge of the bathroom sink, and she glanced up at her reflection in the mirror, a long sigh slipping through her slightly parted lips. She did not recognize the face that peered back at her from the streaked glass; her eyes, once bright and full of emotion, were dull and glazed over. Dark circles loomed beneath them, and the cuts and scrapes that adorned her face made her look even more worn and tired than she already was.
Her eyelids closed, and she turned away from the mirror, leaning back against the sink and crossing her arms over her chest. There was a dull pain that ebbed under her ribcage; she could feel her heart beating, and yet it seemed hollow and distant.
Thinking back to the aftermath of the battle, she didn’t know what happened. She couldn’t recall why she hadn’t followed the Weasleys home to the Burrow, but one thing that was completely clear - the one thing that registered in vibrant technicolor - was the look on Ron’s face.
The group of silent redheads (and Harry) proceeded down the path that the horseless carriages usually took, Fred, wrapped in a white sheet, being carried along in their midst. Hermione was with them, though she felt slightly uncomfortable. She was not a part of this family, no matter how badly she wanted to think so, and she felt like she was intruding. She, of course, knew better than to bring this up; she already knew what the rest of the Weasleys would say, and she didn’t want to have to disagree with them. Not now, at least.
As the great iron gate came into view on the gray horizon, Hermione let out the breath she had been unknowingly holding in. As if on cue, she saw the face of the redhead beside her swivel in her direction, and she met him halfway, facing him as well. Behind the cuts and gashes and bruises rested a look of concern, though even that was somewhat masked by the unmistakable twist of grief that seemed glued to Ron’s features. His blue eyes were painful for Hermione to look at; they were ghosts of what they once were. She wanted to say something to him, but although she opened her mouth and closed it several times, she achieved nothing more than looking like a fish out of water.
Ron, however, did not seem to mind. His hand found hers soon enough, and he gave it a squeeze, causing a feeling of security to wash over Hermione. For a moment she doubted her decision to leave - she did not want to abandon this feeling quite yet, let alone Ron - but she knew that in this time of need, he needed his family more than he needed her. And if he disagreed, she would make him see sense; he had to be with his family, because they were suffering far worse than she was.
The group passed through the iron gate, leaving the massive winged boar statues behind. One of them was missing part of its face; even outside the grounds of Hogwarts, the battle had left its mark. They were all able to Disapparate now, and Mr. and Mrs. Weasley had already disappeared with a quick ’pop!’. Everyone else was beginning to leave, but Hermione and Ron held back, still silent as ever. Hermione knew that Ron sensed something, but she couldn’t be sure until she brought her intentions into the light.
Turning to face him, she began, her words flowing out like vomit.
“Ron, I-I think we-”
“Where are you going to live?”
Hermione was stopped mid-sentence, her mouth open and her brows furrowed.
“I - what?”
“Where are you going to live?” Ron repeated, his eyes looking past her and at Harry and Ginny as they Disapparated, arm in arm.
Hermione closed her mouth and swallowed, feeling suddenly defeated. “I…I don’t really know. I expect I’ll find a flat to stay in for a while until I work out how to get my parents back. I have to fetch them back, Ron, I just…I need them to come back.” Her voice had softened to a near whisper, and she averted her gaze from Ron, fixing it on her feet. “I don’t want to leave you, Ron, but…”
Ron’s voice held no emotion, and Hermione willed herself not to look at his face. Of course, after a moment of silence, she lifted her eyes tentatively, and it was only to find his blue ones staring straight into hers, a frown plastered to his lips.
Without so much as a breath, she acted on instinct. Standing on her tip-toes, she wrapped her arms around his neck and buried her face in his shoulder, relishing in the scent that was so uniquely Ron - the scent that she had almost revealed to her entire Potions class during sixth year. He returned her embrace, and she felt his forehead droop down and come to rest on the top of her head. For a moment, she half-expected him to say something, but it seemed as though he could not find words.
Funny. Neither could she.
Her breathing suddenly a bit uneven, Hermione moved out of the bathroom. A lone tear was clinging to her left cheek, and she stubbornly wiped it away. She regretted every moment she spent away from the Burrow after that, and yet she was just too scared to go back. What would Ron say? Would he be angry? She had sent him her address so that he could write if he wanted, and that had been days ago. Pig hadn’t arrived since then, which made the pain beneath Hermione‘s ribcage intensify.
The living room and kitchen of her flat were essentially the same room. The only thing that separated the couches from the pots and pans was the line between the carpet and tile, both of which were checkered in an ugly maroon color. The place was definitely not much, but it was a temporary settlement.
It would do for now.
Dropping onto the mouth-eaten blue couch, she was not surprised to see Crookshanks ambling into the living room, his yellow eyes scrutinizing her every move and his long ginger fur more disheveled than ever. He was her only company for the time being; she had neighbors, yes, but they were a grouchy, bad-tempered young couple who enjoyed letting their evil ankle-biter dog do whatever it wanted.
Which, of course, meant charging at Hermione and chasing her every time she passed by their door. Even now, she could hear it barking at nothing, and she dropped her forehead into her hands.
Re: Untitled R/Hr Post-Battle Fanfic
Intruders and Battered Parchment
Rain pelted down on her from the inky black heavens, and Hermione could barely breathe. The ground, once soft and springy, was covered in mud; she sank with every step she took, and her feet emitted loud popping sounds when she managed to fight them out of the muck. Thunder crashed overhead, and lightning lit up the scene, revealing to Hermione just how far she was from her destination. There, a shadowy, crooked outline on the horizon, stood the Burrow, and she felt a surge of strength rush through her. Gritting her teeth, she ran as fast as she could toward it, tripping in the mud and ignoring the fact that it kept spraying up at her face. She had more important things to worry about.
Hair limp and soaking wet, she charged up to the front door. Her heart was pummeling against her chest as though it was trying to escape, and she panted heavily, clutching at the stitch in her side. As far as she could tell, no one was inside the Burrow; no lights were visible behind the windows, and the entire place seemed devoid of life. This in itself made her brows furrow, and as she staggered onto the porch, she saw something that nearly made her heart stop beating.
There, in red paint on the front door, was a massive letter ’T’. She recognized the handwriting - the way the ’T’ was crossed was all too familiar - and she gasped in spite of herself. Ron had written the ’T’ on the door, and ’T’, every wizard and witch knew, stood for ’Troll’, the lowest assessment grade one could receive. Hermione was shaking, and it had nothing to do with the cold air or the howling wind. Her throat was sore, and she gaped open-mouthed at the message before her, wishing that it would go away.
She had failed him.
Desperately, she tried to open the door, but no matter how hard she pulled, it would not budge.
“No! Please, open!” she cried, pounding on the wood with her fists and struggling to see inside the window.
But, her efforts were fruitless.
She had failed him, and now he was gone.
Hermione woke with a start, covered in a cold sweat and sporting eyes as large as galleons. She was no stranger to nightmares, but this one had been particularly nasty. Signs of her external struggle were everywhere; her blanket was tangled in a ball on the floor, and Crookshanks was glaring at her from his perch on the far couch armrest. She gave him an apologetic look and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear, shaking her head. Why did this keep happening? Was it really such a bad idea to stay away from the Burrow for a while? She’d done it before; she used to do it every summer, in fact, so why was it such an issue now?
She almost snorted in response.
Of course she knew the answer to that question, and she felt stupid for even letting herself ask it.
Suddenly, though, a flurry of activity raged outside her window, causing all thoughts of a certain redhead to zip out of Hermione’s mind. The sound of fluttering wings approached, and, as if on cue, Yippy the Wonderdog next door loudly voiced his opinion on the matter. But, before Hermione could even do so much as get off the couch, the approaching animal screeched in fear and pummeled straight through the window screen, a ball of gray feathers spiraling in its wake.
Hermione couldn’t help herself; all these months of dealing with Death Eaters had caused her to be a bit jumpy, and she emitted a small scream as the creature crashed through her open window, throwing herself sideways and tumbling onto the floor. Crookshanks yowled and leapt from his post, his tail held high, and he dashed into the kitchen, away from the tiny gray puff of feathers that was now fumbling about on the living room carpet.
Heart thundering, Hermione took a split second to get her bearings. Her hand instinctively went to her pocket, and she closed her fingers around her wand. But, with one sideways look at the intruder, she let go of it completely, her eyes wide.
At the sound of his name, the little owl stood up, his massive, luminous eyes fixed on Hermione. He shook his feathers briefly, shedding a few more onto the checkered carpet, but he seemed rather pleased with himself all the same. Rising into a kneeling position, Hermione surveyed him; her eyes immediately gravitated to his leg, which was where she spotted what appeared to be a letter. “What have you got for me?” she asked, and Pigwidgeon hopped forward, puffing out his tiny chest and proudly presenting her with his leg.
Hermione’s hands shook as she untied the letter, and Pig was struggling to keep his balance. She recognized Ron’s handwriting right away, and she couldn’t think of a time when she had been more happy to see his untidy scrawl. Of course, only time would tell if her joy could be justified; everything depended on what he decided to write inside the letter, and truth be told, Hermione was rather scared to find out. Her anxious brown eyes stayed fixed on the envelope as she heaved herself to her feet, and with a deep breath, she ripped it open.
To her surprise, though, two pieces of parchment fell out. One of them had writing on it, and the other didn’t have any at all. It was crinkled and creased all over, and the edges were dog-eared. A quizzical expression worked its way onto her face, and she bent to pick them both up, turning her attention to the one with bearing Ron‘s handwriting.
Sorry this is a bit late - basically my entire family is here for Fred’s funeral, and we just found out that they’ll be staying for a while. Turns out the whole ’having a funeral’ thing is really popular right now, and they’re too backed up to do Fred’s for another couple of days. It’s been a little difficult to write with everyone in the house, so…sorry again.
Anyway, you probably noticed the blank piece of parchment I sent.
DON’T THROW IT AWAY.
I know, it looks like nothing, but George gave it to me and said I needed it more than he did. Remember Riddle’s diary? You know, you’d write something, and then someone else (well, Voldemort) would receive it and write back? That’s how the parchment works, except I’ve got the other one and Voldemort doesn’t. It’s just a way for us to talk faster - Pig is great and everything, but you’re pretty far away and it takes some time for him to go there and back. I mean, you don’t have to use it. I understand if you’re busy figuring out where your parents might be and stuff, but if you want to use it, I’ll be here.
A wave of relief cascaded down upon Hermione, and she sank onto the couch again, allowing herself to breathe. For some reason, it no longer mattered to her that Yippy the Wonderdog was barking; it no longer mattered that Crookshanks was extremely affronted and was refusing to look at her; it no longer mattered that she was miles and miles away from one of the only places she felt safe.
What mattered was the piece of battered parchment in her hand and who it would allow her to connect with.
(And that's all I've got so far.)
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