She glanced up at Ron with a watery smile.

"I… I understand," Hermione said slowly, averting her eyes but keeping Ron's hands grasped tightly in hers. "We all need time. The kiss… it was something. There was adrenaline, and we were in the middle of the battle, and we both thought that we were going to die. But we didn't. And then… I understand, Ronald, I do."

She met his gaze once more, tears forming in both of their eyes. Tears of relief, tears of unspoken trust, but most of all, tears of grief. Tears that needed to be shed before they could move forward together.

"Yeah?" He tentatively smiled, doing that half-grin with one side of his mouth that Hermione loved so much. She wanted to kiss that corner of his mouth, just there – just to show him how much his smile meant to her. But that would have to wait. Everything between them would.

"Yes," Hermione said with finality.

Later there would be time for kisses, for soft words of appreciation and love, for holding each other close during the night.

Now was the time for grieving those they had lost.