Link to song for this chapter: www[]youtube[]com/watch?v=oWRwAyGq2Hg

You know what to do.

To Be By Your Side

Chapter 33


"All the lights are on and you are alive

But you can't point the way to your heart

So sublime, when the stars are aligned

But you don't know

You don't know the greatness you are."

Blue Eyes – Cary Brothers

Every night after they'd found out about Lavender's death, Ron went to sleep in Hermione's bed. It became an unspoken part of their routine, it was natural for him to do it. If he woke up from a nightmare, she'd be there to comfort him and as the nights wore on, the less he was plagued by gradually became shorter in length until the point where he was no longer having them and he managed to sleep peacefully through the night. That still didn't mean he'd left to sleep in his own bed though.

Hermione was in the middle of a shower one evening when she'd decided to tell him about Dumbledore being responsible for his sorting into Slytherin. It'd been a couple of weeks since Lavender and he seemed to be back to his normal state. At least he was smiling again.

She stepped out of the shower, determination running through her veins as she wrapped a towel around herself, putting her damp hair in a loose bun. She walked out of the bathroom to fetch her pyjamas and nearly jumped at the sight of Ron already sat on her bed.

"Ron! What are you doing here?" She exclaimed, tightening the hold she had on her towel. Ron was flicking through a book of hers half-heartedly so he didn't look up.

"Got bored." He answered, as she pulled out some pyjamas and underwear hurriedly.

"I thought you were working on that essay for Charms?" She assumed.

"Like I said, got bored." He said, smiling lopsidedly and looked up at her for the first time just as she closed the drawers. She blushed, noticing how his gaze slowly ventured down her body and back up again. His mouth hung open, seeing droplets of water trickle down her neck and into her cleavage.

"I'm just going to get changed." She announced, starting to head back into the bathroom but he jumped up and grabbed hold of her hand.

"You know you could just change in here." He offered, swinging their hands in mid-air and she rolled her eyes at him, a smile tugging at her lips.

"I must say that's an incredibly tempting offer." She replied sarcastically, and he held onto her more, pulling her towards him. She raised a hand upto his chest, preventing him from trying to kiss her, and the smile slipped off his face.

"Hermione." He said seriously, drawing all of her attention. He hesitated briefly and swallowed before continuing, "Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I feel like lately you've been holding something back from me."

She tensed, her eyes widening and bit her lip, preparing for his anger.

"I figured you'd just tell me when you're ready or you were waiting for me to be ready or something. But it's been a few weeks now so I thought maybe you needed a bit of a push."

His ears tinged pink, not really sure why it felt so awkward saying this to her. She took a breath and said,

"Do you mind if I get changed before we start talking about this?"

If it wasn't for her deadly serious tone, he probably would have laughed but instead he simply nodded.

When she'd returned, he'd sat back down on the bed so she joined him.

"Okay, before I tell you, you need to know the only reason I haven't told you yet is because of what happened. If anything had been different, I would have told you in an instant." She briefly explained, her nerves starting to get the best of her. She looked down at her hands which laid in her lap and started twiddling her thumbs before continuing, "When I went to Snape's office a couple of weeks ago, he wasn't actually there to begin with so I was alone for awhile and I saw the sorting hat." She saw him visibly tense out of the corner of her eye and she suspected that he was beginning to sense where this conversation was going. "-so I asked it about it's sortings, specifically yours. It said that it initially wanted to put you in Gryffindor but suddenly changed it's mind to put you in Slytherin. It didn't know why it did that so I suggested it might have been possible someone enchanted it and basically only two wizards alive could have done it. One of them was You Know Who and the other's Dumbledore."

She breathed in deeply once she'd finished, having not taken a single breath while explaining. She cautiously looked over at him and saw how he'd paled.

"So, it's all down to Dumbledore? Cause You Know Who was meant to be dead at the time." He asked after awhile, his voice croaking a little.

"Essentially." She replied quietly. He ran a hand through his hair frustratedly and sighed.

"Why didn't you tell me?" He said lowly, and Hermione could tell his temper was steadily rising.

"Because I knew you were hurting already and I didn't know if it would be too much for you." She confessed, preparing herself for the worst.

"That doesn't matter!" He snapped, turning to glare at her. "This is my life! Not yours! You should have told me!"

"I was trying to do what was best for you." She stated, trying to remain calm.

"What's best?" He muttered to himself in disbelief, and stood up abruptly, keeping his back to her. "This may be a shock to you but you're not always right. Only I know what's best for me!"

That put a stop to her calm composure and she looked at him furiously as he turned around to glare at her.

"Don't you dare try and pull that rubbish with me! I've been here for you and helped you through so much, so don't act as if you're the only person in the world who knows you, Ronald!" She retorted resentfully.

"That doesn't change the fact you were wrong! I don't care how I was feeling you should have told me as soon as you found out! You should know how I hate it when people hide stuff from me just because they're worried it'll hurt me in some way." He shouted back, and a pang of guilt hit her. She refused to show it though and stood up.

"But this was different! What was I supposed to do? Tell you that Dumbledore turned out to be the very source of your pain all these years while you were mourning over someone's death? I couldn't do that to you! I was afraid it would push you over the edge."

"What's that supposed to mean? You thought I'd try and commit suicide or something?" He spat, and she flinched from his tone.

"No, just something stupid – I don't know what exactly, but you so often act on your emotions that it can sometimes do you more harm than good." He scoffed in response but didn't say anything. "Look, I'm sorry, I understand that you would have wanted to me to tell you sooner but I promise I was only doing what I thought was best."

He looked her in the eye, something he'd been avoiding doing since they'd started arguing, and she felt her heartbreaking at the sight. He didn't seem angry anymore, he just looked at her as if she'd betrayed him. As if he couldn't recognise who she was.

She wanted to reach out to him and she nearly did, taking a step closer to him but he backed away from her. She couldn't hide how crestfallen it made her and he caught sight of it, his jaw tightening when he did. He shook his head in disbelief, not believing that she could feel hurt after what she'd done to him.

"I need some air." He let out, and started heading towards the door. A sharp jolt of fear spread through her, her eyes widening from his statement. Everytime one of them had walked away from an argument, it always amounted to them not speaking for awhile.

"No, Ron, you need to stay. We have to-" She started, taking hold of his hand but he pulled it out of her grip instantly.

"Don't, Hermione! I know what I need right now and that's to be away from you."

He left the room, slamming the door behind him and she felt as if a great blow had been delivered to her stomach. She shakily sat down on the bed and took her hair out of the bun it had been in. She put a quick drying spell on it, trying not to focus on what had just happened.

It was impossible though. She'd been so sure that she'd done the right thing, but now she wasn't so sure. Ultimately, she'd kept something from him that he'd spent years wanting to have an explanation for. And while it wasn't a full answer, it was still part of it and she'd made him wait longer for that. She honestly didn't know what to think.

She crawled up the length of her bed and got under the covers. She pulled them right upto her chin and clenched onto them as tears started trailing down her cheeks.

At some point, she must have fallen asleep since she found herself being jolted awake by the sound of her door opening. Knowing only one person was able to get through the enchantments she'd placed on it, she remained as she was but kept her eyes open. He moved over to where she lay and she felt the bed dip on his side. She guessed by his shuffling that he was lying down on top of the covers next to her. His arm went over her waist and she felt him softly kiss her behind her ear, making her eyes close, a contented sigh escaped her lips.

"I'm sorry." He whispered, and she opened her eyes, turning her head so she could look at him. She reached up, moving his hair away from his eyes and noticed how glazed over they looked. "I shouldn't have shouted at you like that."

"I'm sorry too." She replied. "I should have told you sooner."

"No, you were right, I do act on my emotions too much-" He started, but she placed a finger on his lips.

"That doesn't change the fact I should have told you and I'm so sorry about that. I promise it'll never happen again." He smiled appreciatively at her and she removed her finger. He softly grazed his thumb over the tear tracks on her cheek, frowning at the thought of her alone and crying over him.

"I'm still sorry though."

She smiled at him and shifted so the covers were also over him before she turned herself towards him. She leant forward and tenderly kissed his lips as she wrapped herself around him, curling her leg around his and sliding her arm around his shoulders. His snaked around her waist as he pulled her on top of him, not breaking their kiss. When she pulled away, they both smiled at eachother again, knowing all had been forgiven and she rested her head on his chest, settling down to sleep once more.

A few days passed where Ron and Hermione were happy. At least as happy as they could be with the situation they were in. They were sat in the library at their usual table, Hermione half-heartedly trying to find more information about Horcruxes. While Ron had been helping at first, he'd quickly given up and was resting his head on the desk.

"Glad it's only two weeks until the Christmas holidays." He mumbled, his eyes closed with his head turned towards her. "This term has been so exhausting."

"I can't argue with that." She agreed, closing the book she'd been reading. Hearing it, he opened his eyes.

"Find anything?" He asked hopefully, but she shook her head.

"Not anything that we didn't know already." She answered disappointedly, and he lifted his head up, smiling sadly.

"Oh well. Do you want to do more research?"

"I don't think I can, do you want to just head up to my room now?"

"Yeah, sounds great."

They put the books she'd used into a couple of piles and were just about to place them back on the shelves when a breathless Ginny hurtled around the corner, drenched in sweat with her skin tinged a sickly colour.

"Thank Merlin you're here. I've been trying to find you for ages!" She exclaimed, coming to an abrupt halt in front of them.

"What's wrong, Gin? What's happened?" Ron asked immediately, placing a reassuring hand on her arm.

"Neville," She swallowed and took a breath, "Neville's just been crucioed."

Hermione felt ice trickle through her from the news, a sense of dread beginning to fill her.

"What? Who did it?" Ron questioned, no longer feeling tired.

"I-I don't know. Seamus and I just found him lying in a corridor barely concious – that was all he could say before he fainted, so Seamus took him upto the Room of Requirement. I just had to get some help and you were the first people I could think of." She rambled, sounding close to hysterical. Hermione forced down her own fear and picked up her bag.

"Well, first thing we'll have to do is go to the hospital wing and get some healing potions." She said matter of factly.

"I already tried that but the Carrows are outside the hospital wing guarding it, to make sure no-one helps him." Ginny replied, making Hermione's hopes sink.

"Should we create a distraction then?" Ron suggested, causing an idea to pop into Hermione's head.

"Ginny, do you still have those posters?"

"Professors!" Hermione exclaimed, running down the corridor that lead to the hospital wing and the Carrows flashed around. "You have to come with me! More of those posters have been put up!"

"What?" Alecto snapped, her anger shooting up to boiling point. "Did you see who did it?"

"No, I don't know how long they've been up, but they're all along the fourth and fifth floors! I'm not sure how to take them down as they've got some kind of sticking charm on them so I thought I should let you know rather than trying to take them down myself." She explained quickly, but it looked as if the Carrows weren't paying attention to her as they were silently communicating with eachother.

"How many were there?" Amycus asked, his eyes never leaving his sister.

"Must be a couple of hundred at least." She replied, and they sighed.

"Lead the way then." Alecto said begrudgingly, and the three of them hurried up to the fourth floor. Both Alecto and Amycus simultaneously tensed at the sight of Harry's face all along the walls accompanied with encouraging messages rather than ones of hate.

"This is going to take all afternoon if there's this many on the other floor." Amycus said furiously, taking out his wand.

"I'll start on the fifth floor." Alecto sighed, and she turned around to go back to the grand staircase.

"I could keep an eye out at the hospital wing if you want." Hermione suggested, making sure she didn't sound too enthusiastic about the idea.

"Yes, just make sure whoever goes in doesn't come out with any healing potions. Apparently that bitch of a healer's been giving them out to anyone who requests them, search their bags if you have to." Amycus instructed, starting to set to work.

"No problem." Hermione said with a grin, and rushed back to the hospital wing. Just as she got there, Ron and Ginny were coming out, both of their school bags looking very full.

"They taking them down now?" Ginny asked, still looking pale.

"Yeah, they should be proccupied for a few hours so I have to stay here until they come back." Hermione explained breathlessly.

"Okay,do you want me to come back here after I drop the potions off?" Ron asked, and she smiled softly at him.

"No, I'll be fine. Just both of you take care of Neville. I'll come up to the room once I'm done here." Hermione said, starting to walk towards the hospital wing.

"All right, see you in a bit then." Ginny said, and the pair of them continued walking.

Hermione sat outside the hospital wing, wanting to read but couldn't, not just because it would be odd with her pretence. She couldn't help but worry about everything that was happening. Why had Neville been tortured? Had it really gotten to the point where it was simply being done for no reason other than as a way of the Carrows to entertain themselves? Or was there more too it? The questions whirled around her mind, none of them getting answered.

She wasn't sure how long she sat there for but at one point she must have fallen asleep as she suddenly awoke, her head slipping off the wall she'd been resting it on. She checked the time, noticing how it was around dinner, and took a sip of her potion. She sat there for another ten minutes or so before Alecto appeared, walking briskly towards her with a disgruntled expression.

"Okay Greengrass, you can go now. I'll take over from here." She said, and Hermione stood up. "Did you catch anyone trying to get any potions?"

"No, no-one came at all." She said, slowly starting to walk away.

"Suppose that's good." Alecto said, more to herself than to Hermione and took her seat. Not knowing what else to say, Hermione left and headed towards the grand staircase. Once out of Alecto's eyesight, she hurried her walking and when she was on the seventh floor she took off into a sprint, not stopping until she was in front of the wall where the Room of Requirement was. She thought of a place where she needed a safe place to heal three times before a door appeared in front of her. Hurrying inside, she was met with the same room that had appeared when they'd brought an injured Seamus and a few first years. Except this time, it was Neville taking Seamus's place in a bed.

Ron, Ginny and Seamus were sat around him with the potions laid out on the bed opposite him. She noticed how two were open on the bedside table next to him and figured that Neville must have woken up during the time she was gone and taken them.

"How is he?" She asked, walking towards them, her eyes never leaving Neville's sleeping form. She was shocked to see how there wasn't an inch of his skin that wasn't tinged black or blue. His face had some scratches on it, giving the impression he'd been dragged across the floor and his right eye looked painfully swollen.

When she didn't hear a response, she turned around to look at the three of them and felt her heart sink to her stomach at the sight. Seamus had his head hung low, his face obscured from her view. Ron was tensed all over, his arm wrapped protectively around Ginny who was sat next to him. It was the young girl's expression which really tore her apart. Ginny had her head resting on Ron's shoulder and there were tear tracks on her cheeks. She still looked horribly pale but now there was an empty look in her eyes, as if she couldn't feel anything anymore.

"What happened?" Hermione asked, unable to stop the tremor in her voice. Ron looked down at Ginny while he started rubbing his hand up and down her arm soothingly, noticing her blank stare that meant she wasn't paying attention to them.

"When Neville woke up, he told us that the reason he'd been crucioed was because he had been with Luna at the time. They were just walking down a corridor heading to the common room when the Carrows appeared out of nowhere and imperiused Luna. He tried to stop them but they just tortured him until he fainted." Ron explained briefly, making Hermione frown.

"But why would they do that?" She asked.

"Because the Death Eaters had finally gotten tired of all the support Xenophilius was giving Harry in the Quibbler." Seamus said, lifting his head up. "Neville'd told me before that he was worried about it, saying they'd been prejudiced towards Luna from the start of the year – giving her detentions for no reason, using her to perform unforgivables on. Guess they'd finally gotten tired of warning Xenophilius to stop and decided the best way to do it was to take her hostage."

"Take her? Take her where?" Hermione said alarmed.

"Your guess is as good as mine. All we know is that she's definitely not here."

Suddenly she understood why Ginny was reacting the way she was. Luna had been the closest friend she'd had and to have her taken away like that, on top of everything else that was happening, it was a miracle she wasn't suffering from some kind of mental breakdown.

She blinked a few times and looked at Hermione, finally realising she was there. She swallowed and took a deep breath, closing her eyes as she did, releasing another tear. Hermione desperately wanted to say something reassuring, to try and comfort her but didn't know how she could with her being Daphne. Seamus couldn't know who she really was and she wasn't about to let him.

"Well, I should probably go. I just came up here to let you know that the Carrows don't suspect anything." She said, shifting her feet awkwardly, trying to appear as if she didn't know how to act around her boyfriend's upset sister.

"Okay, thanks." Ron said appreciatively, giving her a look that he understood why she was leaving.

"I'll see you later."

She pecked his cheek before exitting and let out a long breath, wondering what else could go wrong. She headed back to the Slytherin common room, not knowing what else she could do for the time being, running into Ingrid on the way.

"Oh, hi Daph', where've you been?" Ingrid greeted impatiently, looking disappointed to see her.

"I was just doing some head-girl stuff that the Carrows wanted me to do, where you off too?" Hermione asked, making Ingrid's eyes widen.

"Umm I was – I've got a study session with Eva." She answered hesitantly, and Hermione's eyebrows shot up.

"Okay – actually, would you mind if I tagged along? I've got a Transfiguration essay I could do." Hermione said, itching to do anything that could take her mind of of things.

"No!" Ingrid exclaimed, nearly making her jump. "I mean we're just going to be doing umm Herbology which I'm failing in so I could really do with the time alone with her."

Ingrid's cheeks blushed red and Hermione tried not to show how she knew she was lying.

"All right then. I'll see you later." She said, and Ingrid didn't even say goodbye before rushing off. Hermione continued making her way to the common room, telling herself not to think too much of the odd run in she had. Even though she told herself that, she still couldn't stop herself. Was it possible that Ingrid and Eva were starting to suspect something?

She felt a headache coming on, the stress of everything weighing in on her so she decided to call it an early night and went upto her dormitory straight away. She took a long shower like she was trying to wash away the day completely but still felt it cling onto her. She eventually gave up and dried herself off, changing into some pyjamas.

Frustration was building up inside of her with all these unanswered questions. Could Ingrid and Eva really be thinking that she may not actually be Daphne? If not, why had Ingrid been acting so strange? Where had Luna been taken too? Was she even alive? How would Ginny cope without her? Would Neville heal from the attack okay? And, one that had been plaguing her mind for some time, why had Dumbledore put Ron in Slytherin?

The door opened and Ron came in looking exhausted. She magically dried her hair as he collapsed on the bed beside her, lying on his back with his eyes closed. She lay down as well, feeling all her energy seeping out of her.

"How's Neville doing?" She asked, her eyes closing at their own accord.

"He'd woken up so we just gave him more healing and sleeping potions, he was in too much pain to stay awake for very long. Seamus decided he'd stay in the Room of Requirement with him for the night and Ginny's back in the Gryffindor common room explaining what happened." He informed her, and let out a yawn.

"How is she?" Hermione asked hesitantly, and heard Ron sigh while she turned on her side, facing him.

"Same really as before. I just hope she doesn't get any worse." Ron let out, somehow knowing she would.

"We can be there for her if she does though." She said slowly, making Ron open his eyes. He glanced over her, noting her steady breathing and closed eyes. He smiled softly at the sight and adjusted the duvet so it was covering her.

Days passed with Hermione and Ron coming no closer to answering the questions they so desperately wanted answers for. Neville was still in very poor shape and had only been able to move into the Gryffindor common room with the assistance of Seamus and Ginny. Ever since, he'd practically remained bed ridden; constantly taking pain medication and only stayed awake long enough to eat. Ginny had remained very much the same. She'd essentially closed herself off from feeling anything and walked around with a blank look in her eyes, as if she was awake but didn't know it. But, she could only hold everything in for so long before she broke down.

It was for that reason Hermione found herself alone one night, unable to comfort Ginny properly with her facade and was planning to go back to her dormitory until her patrol with Ron, since Ingrid and Eva still seemed intent on avoiding her.

She'd just rounded the corner to the Slytherin common room entrance when she ran into Draco.

"Oh, hi Draco." She said uncomfortably, stopping her walking.

"Daph', long time no see." He greeted, smiling at her. She felt the look didn't suit him but maybe that was due to how obviously forced it was.

"Yeah, sorry about that. This term's just been a bit hectic, you know?" She replied, sniggering a little and he joined in with her.

"Know what you mean, thing's are definitely different now." He commented with a slight bitter tone. She frowned, assuming he would be pleased, but he quickly added, "Listen, you mind if we talk? Just feel like we should catch-up or something."

"Sure." She said, wanting to say the opposite but knew she couldn't. He turned back around and they headed inside the empty common room.

"So how's Astoria doing?" He asked instantly, as they sat down on a sofa.

"Better but still pretty bad. She has to stay at St Mungo's for another week but they think she should be okay to come home after that." Hermione explained, with a fake smile on her face.
"That's good. You reckon it'd be all right for me to go see her this weekend?" He asked hopefully, making Hermione tense, not expecting him to ask her that.

"Urr I don't think they're letting anyone see her cause of how contagious it is." She lied, saying the first thing that came into her mind.

"Yeah, figured you'd tell me that." He said sighing, hanging his head low. There was such disappointment in his tone that she couldn't hide her surprise, never expecting him to care about Astoria so much.

"Sorry." She apologised half-heartedly, seeing him pinch the bridge of his nose with his eyes shut.
"I'm just worried about her, you know. She's been sick for so long." He let out, making her fidget awkwardly, uncomfortable with how much she was discovering about him. If it had been anyone else she may have felt sympathetic for them. It was that thought in mind which caused her to say,

"She's getting better though."

He took a deep breath and relaxed, opening his eyes again.

"Really? You're not just saying that to make me feel better?" He asked hesitantly, his voice full of doubt. She did her best to put a reassuring smile on her face.

"You know I wouldn't." She said lightly, and his reluctance to believe her dissipated.

"Okay, thanks." He said earnestly.

They sat in silence for a moment or two before Draco remembered why he'd wanted to talk to her.

"Listen, I did actually want to talk to you about something." He announced, sending a cold chill through her.

"Okay." She said, trying to sound nonchalant about it. He seemed to be working his way into a state again which couldn't mean they were about to discuss something pleasant.

"Look, I'm worried about you." He stated, taking her aback.

"Why? I'm doing what I can to show my support to the-the Dark Lord so my family doesn't get hurt. You know I am." She defended, looking at him wide-eyed and innocently.

"It's not about that."

"Then what is it?" She asked, trying not to let her voice give away her suspicions about what the conversation could be alluding too.

"It's – it's about Weasley."

"What about him?" She questioned, still maintaining her innocent composure when an anger was threatening to build up inside of her.

"You're not... you don't actually like him, do you?" He muttered grimacing, sounding as if the the thought of it was one of the most repellant things imaginable. The anger that had been threatening to build up had now virtually consumed her and it took all of her self-control to not unleash it all upon him.

"No, of course I don't." She said, managing to let out a dry laugh which she prayed didn't sound as forced as she imagined it did. She guessed by him raising a brow at her, it did.

"Really? Cause you're spending so much time with him it's hard to tell." Draco snapped condescendingly, and instead of bellowing at him like she longed to, she let out a dramatic sigh.

"I have to make it as believable as possible though. I don't feel anything for him. I hate being with him. It's just something I have to do." She explained, straightening out the pleats in her skirt, sounding miserable. Draco looked as if he was buying it as she noticed him looking at her sympathetically. It vanished quickly though when he edged closer to her.

"But, he's not making you think differently, is he?" He said lowly, making sure no-one else could overhear them.

"What do you mean?" She asked frowning.

"He's not forcing you to become a bloodtraitor like him." Draco said, making her teeth grit. His gaze was fixed upon her as she realised that they'd reached the topic he'd been wanting to talk to her about along.

"No. I mean, he asked me what I think of them but I just changed the subject and we haven't talked about it since." She said casually, and Draco smiled.

"Okay, good. That's all I was really worried about." He admitted, and she reluctantly smiled at him.

"Yeah, you don't need too. I won't be caring about those mudbloods anytime soon." She said, laughing some more, hating herself for having to say that word.

"Great. Certainly a lot off my mind."

He sat back in the sofa and she tried not to show how disgusted she was feeling with herself. She briefly thought of how odd it was that she'd never resorted to saying it before, given the amount of weeks she'd spent being Daphne, but then she'd never had to talk about it. She'd only really talked with Eva and Ingrid as Daphne since they were closest to her and they'd naturally assumed her opinion hadn't changed on them, even though she was with Ron. Either that or they didn't want to bring it up in fear of how she could react.

It was that thought in mind which reminded her of how they'd been with her recently and with her wanting to focus on anything except her anger and disgust, she asked,

"Draco, have you noticed anything odd about Ingrid and Eva lately?"

"Why? They avoiding you or something?" He asked frowning, and she nodded.

"Yeah, I don't get it. We haven't had an argument or anything." She said, that arguably being the most truthful thing she'd said in their conversation.

"I don't know Daph. If it helps I haven't spoken to them lately either or seen them really – so they're probably not avoiding just you. I could ask if Blaise or Pansy's seen them as well if you want." He suggested, not really sounding concerned as he loosened his tie with one hand.

"Thanks Draco, I'd appreciate that." She said, and gently squeezed his hand, trying to ignore how she wanted to recoil from the action. He smiled at her genuinely for the first time and she attempted to return it, holding his gaze despite how strong the temptation was to avoid it. She kept up the contact for a few seconds before letting go of his hand and averted her gaze, glancing at the time.

"Well, I've got to do my patrols now." She announced irritably, when really she was thankful for it.

"All right, I'll see you later." He replied, and she smiled at him before leaving. Once she was out of his sight, she dropped the smile, the nausea remaining in her stomach. She was surprised to see that just as she was exitting through the portrait hole a dripping wet Ron was just coming in.

"Ron! What?" She asked, as he sniffed and rubbed at his red nose.

"Ginny was outside, caught her trying to break into the Quidditch supply room for a broom to go flying." He explained, pulling out his wand and muttered a drying charm.

"In this weather?" She exclaimed, her eyebrows shooting up while she pulled his hands towards her with his palms up.

"Yeah, she just said she wanted to let go of everything and she only felt that way when flying." He replied, as Hermione cast the bluebell flames in his hands to warm him up. She was reminded of how Ron had said a remarkably similar thing on a different occasion but didn't dwell on it.

"How bad was it?" She said hesitantly when they started walking and he let out a sigh.

"I'd just never seen her cry like that – without holding anything back." He murmured, more to himself than her, causing her to look over at him. His eyes misted over as he stared into the flame and all she wanted to do in that moment was alleviate him of his pain and Ginny of hers. It was just so unfair what they were all going through, to say the least. They'd barely been given any peace since they started the year and she wasn't sure how much more any of them could take. The only time she felt like she could breath was when she was with him privately and she'd found herself clinging onto those moments more and more recently, so there was no telling how Ginny could be coping, because the one person she needed couldn't be there for her.

Hermione placed a reassuring hand on Ron's arm, jerking him away from his thoughts.

"I'm sure you did all you could to help her." She said softly, and he smiled sheepishly, the sadness in his face drifting away.

"She did seem better when I left." He admitted.

"You see." She replied, a small smile on her face but his dissolved.

"I mean - she wasn't depressed anymore, just angry."

"How angry?" Hermione asked, sensing this conversation wasn't leading anywhere good.

"Furious. Said she wants to start up a second rebel plan on a much bigger scale."

"Oh, that's great! What did she have in mind?" She asked relieved, oblivious to Ron's nervousness.

"She wants to steal the sword of Gryffindor." He reluctantly told her, knowing she wasn't going to like the idea.

"What? As in breaking into Snape's office?"

"Yeah, kind of." He mumbled, and waved the bluebell flames off his hands, no longer cold. He was deliberately looking at the floor and she narrowed her eyes at him.

"What is it you're not telling me?"

He sighed and ran a hand through his hair.

"Well, I might have mentioned to her that when you went to the office it let you in without the password." He confessed, preparing himself for her outrage.

"But that was just because the door wasn't closed properly! Snape said-"

"And since when is Snape such a trustworthy guy? There's got to be more too it then that." He refuted heatedly, and she looked over him. She'd assumed only Ginny was interested in doing it but it was becoming clearer that Ron was invested in the idea too.

"Wait, do you want to go through with this too?"

"Yeah, why not?"

"There are just so many risks involved! If we get caught, we'll be put in detention for sure and you know what that consists of these days."

"If we don't though, think of what that could do! It'd show that the Carrows and Snape aren't all that powerful and might convince other students to start rebelling too." He said enthusiastically, and she begrudgingly admitted there was truth in his statement.

"I guess it would but what are we doing with the sword once we've got it? The first place they'll look is the Gryffindor dormitories."

Ron's ears tinged pink and he scratched the back of his neck embarassed, reluctant to answer. It only took a second for her to work out what it meant.

"Oh no, you said I could keep hold of it, didn't you?" She said, only able to think about how Eva and Ingrid were possibly suspecting her already. If she got caught with the sword of Gryffindor, that would be all the proof they'd need to know she wasn't Daphne.

"I didn't think it'd be that big of a deal! You've got all those enchantments up anyway and they definitely wouldn't look there."

"But what about getting it through the Slytherin common room? A sword is pretty noticeable and there's no way we can hide it."

"We thought we could just shrink it down and put it in your bag or something."

"What if the spell doesn't work on it though? It is enchanted after all."

"Yeah but you told me that the sword came to Harry through the sorting hat because he needed the help and was a true Gryffindor. We need help, you and Ginny are true Gryffindors – whatever that is – so why wouldn't it cooperate with us?" Ron explained, unable to stop the resentment seeping into his tone when referring to her house.

She chewed her lip absentmindedly, thinking over what he said. She knew he made a very vaild point, but there was just so much at stake.

"Look Hermione, I know you're worried about what could happen if something goes wrong but if we're going to win this war then we need more people on our side, willing to put up a fight. How can we do that if we're not even willing to do that ourselves?"

She blinked several times, his words sinking in and realised how true it was. She couldn't worry about the consequences, she had to do it to help. She couldn't worry about herself.

"You're right." She stated, taking him by surprise.

"Really?" He said in disbelief, thinking it would take more for her to cave in.

"Yes. It'd be hypocritical of me not to do it so, what's the plan?" She asked, ignoring his stunned expression.

"Urr we haven't really thought that up yet properly."

"In that case, we should meet up with her tomorrow and discuss it. Best place would be the Room of Requirement."

"Sounds good."

They walked in a tense silence for a few minutes, thinking over the plan that was soon to be set in motion until Ron awkwardly cleared his throat.

"So, what did you do when I was gone?" He asked, hoping to have a less heated conversation.

She briefly explained the conversation she had with Draco, mentally preparing herself for the inevitable tirade of how much a twat Malfoy was when she was met with silence. She cautiously looked over at Ron and her eyebrows shot up seeing the concerned expression on his face.

"Are you okay? That couldn't have been easy for you to say that." He said, making the edges of her lips curve up. She wondered if she'd ever not be surprised by his concern for her.

"It wasn't but I don't feel as bad now."

"That wanker. I swear all he cares about is being a prejudiced prick." Ron grumbled, saying what she'd first expected he would. While Hermione mostly agreed with him, she couldn't help but remember how distraught Draco'd been when he asked about Astoria's state.

Hermione didn't say anything in response as Ron sighed, trying not to get worked up over it.

"So why'd you think Eva and Ingrid are avoiding you? You don't think it's because they're suspect something, do you?" Ron said, going pale at the mere thought of it being true.

"In all honesty, that's the only explanation I could think for it. I just don't understand why they would have wasted time and not told Snape or someone about it first. I suppose they might be waiting for evidential proof but I've been so careful already, I don't know what else I can do to seem more believable."

"You're doing great okay, don't doubt that. Maybe we shouldn't jump to conclusions. There might be some kind of other explanation for it." Ron's expression showed how even he wasn't really believing the words that were coming out of his mouth.

"Like what?" She asked doubtfully.

"When's Daphne's birthday? They might be planning something and not want you to find out." He internally groaned at his poor example.

"It's not till February." Hermione sighed.

"Oh, but still, we don't have any idea what it could be about so maybe we should-"

Ron stopped abruptly as they both heard something from the nearest classroom. They frowned at eachother, not knowing what it was exactly, but they hesitantly made their way towards the room when they heard a loud giggle. They both let out sighs of relief, knowing what to expect.

"Probably some kids sneaking out." Ron stated, opening the door to have the smile wiped off his face with the sight met before them. In all accounts, their suspicions had been correct but it was who they found which made it so surprising. It was almost hard to tell who it was at first because the couple were wrapped so tightly around eachother, their lips glued together, hands hidden underneath the other's clothing. It was only when they stopped their kissing that Hermione let out a gasp, seeing it was Eva and Ingrid infront of her. Ron's eyes widened and his hold on the door handle tightened.

Eva's flushed face paled instantly and she took a small step away from Ingrid, who was sat propped up on a desk, slipping her hand out from underneath Ingrid's blouse.

"This isn't what it looks like." Eva said immediately with no hint of emotion.

"Oh as if Eva! What's the point in hiding it anymore? I was only going along with it because you didn't want anyone to know for some stupid reason." Ingrid snapped, not feeling the need to pull down her skirt that was hiked up her legs or button up the top buttons on her blouse.

"Excuse me if I don't want everyone knowing about my personal life." Eva retorted, turning her attention back to her.

"That's hypocritical considering you seem to be able to know everybody else's just by the clothes they choose to wear. For all we know, someone might have done the same thing to you."

"Please, no-one here's smart enough to do that aside from me." Eva refuted, sounding as if she was stating a fact rather than being boastful.

"Either way, what does it matter. Daph knows now and she doesn't care, do you Daph?" Ingrid said, looking at Hermione.

"Umm, no, not really." Hermione replied hesitantly, her cheeks turning a brilliant shade of pink.

"You see! And since when do you care about anyone's opinion except for hers and mine?" Ingrid said, turning her attention back to Eva.

"You don't get it! You're used to this kind of attention! You do it all the time, I don't." Eva shouted, pointing her finger accusingly at Ingrid.

"What? Are you honestly saying you're embarassed about-" Ingrid said, stifling a laugh, having never expected that to be the reason.

"Yes! No-one thinks about me in a sexual way and I don't know how to respond when people do!"

"I thought it was because you'd be outed as a lesbian." Ingrid admitted casually, and Eva looked at her as if she'd asked an absurdly stupid question.

"No, why would I care about people knowing that?"

Ingrid shrugged her shoulders.

"I don't know. For the same reason you're embarassed about being viewed as a sexual person, I guess."

"I'm not embarassed about it I just don't know how to respond too it! I'm no good in social situations, you know that."

"Maybe we should leave them too it." Ron said quietly to Hermione, it becoming clear that Ingrid and Eva couldn't care less about the audience they had or were now oblivious too.

"But it's past curfew we're supposed to-" Hermione started, to be cut off by Ingrid's shouting,

"You don't give a damn what anyone thinks of you so why does it matter all of a sudden?"

"I don't know!" Eva screamed back, sounding a tad over-dramatic, causing Ingrid to scrutinise her.

"You're lying, it's because it's me, isn't it? You don't want people to know you're with me!" Ingrid accused, hurt evident in her voice.

"Don't be ridiculous, Ingrid!" Eva replied, waving her off. Ingrid hopped off the desk and took a deep breath.

"I'm not! You think you're so great at not showing your emotions but you've forgotten I know you! I know when you're lying and you're doing it now!"


"Wouldn't want to be seen with a whore like me, right?"

"Actually, I think it's best we do go." Hermione relented, and her and Ron quietly exitted the room. They slowly started walking, neither sure of what to say for awhile.

"Well, at least we don't have to worry about them suspecting something about you." He said lightly.

"Yes, that's a relief." She said dazedly. "Did you ever think anything like that was going on between them?"

"No, had no idea." He admitted, running a hand through his hair.

"Me either."

An awkward silence was brewing between the two, both of them clueless on what to talk about. She looked over at Ron and noticed how his ears were pink and a blush was working its way up his neck. She frowned at him momentarily before it dawned on her what he was thinking about.

"Oh don't tell me you're thinking about them!" She snapped appalled, making his cheeks redden even more.

"What? I can't help it! You saw where her hand was, didn't you? She was fin-"

"Yes, I was well aware of what they were doing, but I'm not thinking about that now and neither should you."


"No, just think for a second. If someone had walked in on me and you doing that, would you want them thinking about it?"

"I guess you're right." He sighed, her question causing another image to appear in his mind. She closed her eyes regretfully, not even having to look at him to know what he was doing.

"You're thinking about us like that now, aren't you?" She said, no longer sounding disappointed since she'd been imagining the very same thing. He sniggered and replied,

"No problem with that, is there?"

"None at all." She replied coyly, making him grin, both of them knowing what was going to happen the second they were back in her room and she'd transformed back into herself.

"Come on then." He said, taking hold of her hand and they sprinted to her dormitory, her unable to stop laughing the entire way.

Luckily, she had been due to take the potion anyway so they barely had to wait a few minutes before she was 'Hermione' again. She had just been kicking off her shoes when she felt Ron's arms encircling her waist from behind and his lips on her neck. She let out a small giggle, reaching up to run her hand through his hair while her other hand lay on top of his on her hip.

"Someone's eager." She noted smirking.

"It's been ages." He murmured against her skin, before trailing kisses up the side of her neck.

"I hardly think two days is 'ages'." She retorted, earning her a sharp nip on her skin from him making the smile vanish off her face, a flood of heat filling her stomach.

"It bloody well is." He said huskily, before licking the spot where he bit her so her mouth fell open, her heart starting to race. She clenched onto his hair, feeling one of his hands edging upwards to undo the buttons on her blouse and she quickly assisted him in getting rid of it. A sigh escaped her lips as he found that pleasurable spot behind her ear and he lay his hands on her bare stomach, exciting her more.

"But if you think you can hold out a bit longer." He teased, his lips so close to her that she could feel his hot breath. He didn't miss how she tensed from it, her teeth clamping down on her bottom lip so she wouldn't let out a moan.

"That depends on whether you can really." She murmured breathlessly, reaching around behind her where she grabbed hold of his trousers, pulling him flush against her. She heard his breath hitch in his throat, feeling the tell tale sign of his arousal against the small of her back. She smiled and deliberately arched her back making him stiffen even more. "Because it seems to me that you might not be able to take much more."

He swallowed and took a breath before lowering his hand to the lining of her skirt and started running the tips of his fingers across her lower abdomen. Pleasurable shivers crept up her spine from the sensation and she did her best to ignore the pulsating of her centre.

"I think I can take it." He murmured huskily, a satisfied smile appearing on his face as it made her tremble. Not wanting him to get the upper-hand, she slowly turned around in his hold so they were face to face and slowly took his shirt off.

"Really?" She questioned, sliding her hands up his chest before wrapping her arms around his neck, bringing them to a more even level as she went on her toes. She mentally readied herself, knowing if what she was about to say was going to be believable then she'd have to make it sound effortless. "So if I said all I wanted to do was make you come, that would have no effect?"

She noticed his eyes widen and he instinctively pulled her even closer to him. He didn't answer, only parting his mouth so he could take deeper breaths.

"Well?" She said, edging her lips closer to his. "Would it?"

It looked as if he was trying to think of a clever retort but he gave up, barely managing to say, "Fuck it," before his lips crashed onto hers.

It wasn't soft and sweet but demanding and hard, desperation clawing through any attempts of seeming so. His hands slid to her arse, tongue sliding into her mouth and she let out a long moan, heat prickling through every inch of her skin. Her toes were beginning to ache from maintaining their position so she started pushing him towards the bed until they were both sprawled on top of it.

She was beginning to feel the familiar ache in her middle when he started grinding his hips against hers as she lay on top of him. She abruptly broke their kissing and sat up, an idea sparking in her mind. His head fell back against the pillow, no longer tilting up to meet hers, making him groan and he asked,

"Why'd you stop?"

Not hearing her respond, he lazily opened his eyes and smiled at the sight of her; her lips plump from their kissing, her cheeks stained red and her hair thoroughly messed. It took him a second to see she was looking a little nervous until he saw her hands were positioned at her back.

She saw his adam's apple bob up and down and he sat up a little, resting back on his forearms. She took in the reassuring smile on his face which gave her the confidence needed to remove her bra completely. Despite how badly she wanted to look away in embarassment, she maintained the gaze, not sure how to feel as she'd never been completely bare before him. He tensed considerably, his breath hitching in his throat. If he thought the sight of her before was a pleasant one, it was nothing compared to this one. She bit her lip anxiously, wanting him to say something but unsure on what. He was just staring at her chest making it tempting for her to cover herself up. He eventually drifted his gaze upwards with nothing but adoration for her written in his features.

"Trust me, you've got nothing to be nervous about." He confessed, making her smile and she leant forward, pulling him in for a slow kiss. His hands moved up from her waist until he was grazing the sides of her breasts. She held her breath in anticipation but he kept his hands where they were, his thumbs stroking her skin. She felt her nipples stiffen from the contact, all her anxiousness melting away as desire pooled over her. Her lips became more insistent on his as she sucked on his bottom one and pushed him back more so he was lying down again. When his thumb finally swept over her nipple, she gasped from the jolt it sent through her, involuntarily stopping their kissing. He used the chance though to roll them over so he was on top of her and he started kissing her neck while he gently massaged her breasts. All she could do was lie breathless beneath him, her fingertips digging into his back as the pleasure he was inducing overwhelmed her.

"So beautiful." He mumbled against her skin, his kisses trailing down her neck. She dug her fingers into his skin even more until she was practically clawing at him, his head now level with her chest.

"Please." She begged, knowing he wouldn't do it without her approval first. When she felt his tongue swirling around her nipple, she couldn't have stopped herself from crying out, the sensation sending sparks of euphoria straight to her core. She wrapped her legs around him, wanting to feel every inch of him against her and arched her back when he started sucking on her. The pounding between her legs was beginning to become unbearable as he began paying attention to her other breast, licking and sucking and nibbling on her tender skin. A burning heat seemed to be flowing through her veins since she started sweating and she swallowed, trying to soothe her dry throat.

"Ron," She whined, sure he knew what she was going through but merely wanted to tease her.

"What do you want, Hermione?" He asked, never stopping his minstrations. She was sure her legs would be trembling if they weren't clamped around him like a vice.

"Please." She moaned, scrambling to unzip her skirt.

"Tell me what you want me to do." He said more insistently, and in some crevice of her mind that wasn't fogged with lust she was sure this was payback for what she did to him earlier.

"You know." She said shakily, untangling her legs from him and he helped her take her skirt off.

"Open your eyes and tell me." He demanded, and she did as instructed to see him directly above her. She swallowed and licked her lips, not missing how his eyes darted down as she did it.

"I want you to make me come." She said, trying to make it sound like a statement rather than a plea. She felt rather than saw what the comment did to him as his hips instinctively bucked against hers.

"Now was that difficult?" He said cheekily, nearly making her scowl at him and she would have responded if he hadn't chosen to instantly start working on the task. She cried out, him not wasting anytime as he'd pushed her underwear aside and thrusted a finger inside of her. He set off a fast pace that was exactly what she wanted making her pant beneath him. They kept their eyes locked on eachother, it somehow increasing the want inside of them both. He didn't wait long before inserting another finger which made her stretch just the right amount. Her legs started trembling as she moved her hips in time with his movements so he went deeper inside. She couldn't help pressing her head back against the pillow more, curling her toes unable to focus on anything except the luscious feeling that was flowing through her body.

She felt his thumb softly stroke her nub, making her gasp, her legs attempting to snap shut but couldn't because he was between them. She saw his pupils dilate considerably, beginning to flush a little himself and when she blinked he'd sealed her lips in an almost bruising kiss. His tongue mimicked the actions he was performing on the lower half of her body and she hummed in delight from it. Her hands moved up into his hair, firmly clenching onto it when he sped up the stroking and thrusting of his own hand, the sparks of her climax reaching the pit of her stomach. Her hips bucked up erratically as if she no longer had any control over her body, it seeking satsifaction all on its own. Sweat glistened against her skin when he tore his lips away from hers to instead lick down the valley between her breasts. She couldn't even comprehend the noises he was eliciting from her; her gasps, moans and cries all molded into one, so when he started sucking on her nipple, flicking her nub at a frenzied pace, the only thing she could do was let out a scream of euphoria when her orgasm hit. She was sure she was gripping onto his hair so hard that she'd torn a few strands out, since he grunted against her and bit the tender skin of her breast. Whether or not it was intentional didn't matter because it sent more jolts of electricity through her, making her climax all the more pleasurable. He helped her ride it out, not stopping his actions until she'd collapsed back onto the bed, feeling weightless. She swallowed, waiting for her heart to stop racing and her breathing to return normal eventually opening her eyes.

She cautiously unclenched her fingers and gasped seeing she had in fact pulled some of his hair out. She heard him groan in response as his forehead was resting against her chest and she softly started stroking his scalp apologetically.

"I'm sorry." She cooed, and he adjusted his head so he could look up at her. She saw the gleam in his eyes and the smirk on his face which proved how needless it was.

"Like you need to apologise. It's actually a compliment when you think about it, since I can drive you into such a state." He said, making her blush and press her lips together.

"That's a shame, because I was just about to make it upto you." She teased, and he lifted his head up, suddenly grimacing.

"Actually, now that you mention it, it hurts like hell." He admitted, so she pulled him up to her level, kissing him softly, massaging his pain away. She smiled against his lips, wondering if she'd ever been this happy. Her love for him and his for her seemed to be consuming her very soul in that moment, which was why she stopped the kiss.

"Ron." She said seriously, "What would you say if I wanted to go all the way right now?"

Her gaze met his and she saw his eyes widen, blinking a few times before he answered,

"Like sex...right now?"

She nodded, a nervous smile spreading across her face. He seemed even more astounded for a second until he looked at her scared.

"You don't mean like as an apology, do you? Cause I was only pulling your leg, it doesn't really hurt that much." He rambled, the tips of his ears pink and she chuckled lightly.

"No, not as an apology. I love you and I know I'm ready now." She stated simply, making him swallow. He was looking at her so nervously that she quickly added, "Unless you don't want too of course. I'd just assumed-"

"Oh no, I want to too. I just – don't want you to regret it later, you know? We haven't really talked about it before." He said waveringly, unsure if what he was saying was the smartest thing.

"But that's what's so good about it. I knew I could trust you completely and would wait till I was ready, so I never felt the need to 'have the conversation'." She explained, and he blushed a little from the proclamation.

"Just as long as you're sure." He said finally.

"I'm sure." She replied confidently. He beamed at her, in turn making her do the same and he kissed her enthusiastically. She wrapped herself around him, laughing in the back of her throat, adjusting them so she was on top of him. She still felt slick and ready from before and a pulsating was already beginning to form again with the prospect of what they were about to do. She reached over to the bedside table and carefully cast the birth control spell Mrs Weasley had taught her all those months ago. When she felt a cooling sensation pass through her stomach, she knew she'd done it correctly and put her wand back down.

She glanced back at Ron to see his eyes were firmly fixed on her chest, making her eyes roll.

"Have you done enough staring now?" She asked, and it seemed as if her question hadn't even gone through his mind, his eyes still fixated on her.

"Ron!" She snapped, unable to prevent the small laugh she let out with it. He immediately looked up at her face and grinned at her.

"I can't help it." He commented, his hands moving to rest on her hips. "They're just so..." his eyes drifted down again, "actually, no words can truly express how beautiful they are."

She snorted, raising an eyebrow up at him as he reluctantly looked back up at her.

"I'm being honest!" He claimed, and she leant down, rolling her eyes at him as she did, pulling him in for a kiss while she palmed his cheek. The kiss went on for much longer than she intended, something that tended to be a habit with their kissing, but she eventually pulled away. She could feel him straining beneath her and, judging by the expression on his face, he was using all his self control not to buck his hips up. She wasn't entirely sure what possessed her to do it but she ground her hips down on his making him release a gutteral moan that made her tense with just how arousing she found it.

Her heart was starting to race with a mixture of nervousness and excitement, while she ran her hands down his chest before fingering his underwear. She felt him twitch beneath her from her teasing and he let out an impatient groan.

"Mione." He whined, making her smile and she shifted so she could take it off. She gulped having never seen him completely naked before. He really was a sight to behold and she didn't even realise she was staring, particularly transfixed by the way his hips lead a path down to his-

"Urrr, Hermione, you okay?" He asked, making her blink several times and she immediately glanced at his face, to see him blushing embarassedly.

"More than okay." She replied waveringly, her nerves getting the best of her as he sat up properly, somehow making her smile dissolve. She couldn't remember a time where he'd looked so intensely at her and it made her breath hitch in her throat. He dove forward, not wasting any time as he pulled her bottom lip between his, knowing the effect it had on her since she whimpered. His tongue slipped in her mouth and she felt everything become hazy around her, utterly losing herself in the moment, in him. She pressed her chest against his, gliding her hands around his neck while she felt his slide down her legs. She barely suppressed a shiver from the contact and when he brought them back up, the tips of his fingers running over the sensitive skin of her inner thighs, the pulsating of her centre changed to a delicious ache. He slowly started lowering her underwear, never stopping their kissing until she had to so she could remove the last piece of clothing separating them.

When she turned back towards him, he stared into her eyes, a slightly guilty expression on his face.

"This is going to hurt you, isn't it?"

"I'll be fine." She replied hesitantly, not entirely sure how painful it would be.

"I love you, you know that – right?" He confessed hastily, and she smiled at him.

"You've made that more than obvious, and I love you too." She said, wrapping her hand around his length, lowering herself slowly. His eyes bulged and he gripped onto her legs more, forcing down all of his instincts. She guided him to her entrance and she sucked in a breath, deciding that it was best to get the painful part over and done with, so when she felt the tip of him, she pushed herself down until he was fully sheathed inside of her.

She instantly regretted doing it so quickly. It was as if someone had torn through her insides and she scrunched her face up, unable to stop the cry of pain from escaping her lips. She didn't move, choosing to remain rigidly still, just wanting the hurt to disappear. She bit her lip, trying not to give away how hurt she was but she couldn't stop herself from whimpering. She wasn't sure how long they remained like that but she soon realised that Ron was literally shaking beneath her. She opened her eyes and saw him trembling, his fists clenching the bed sheets, his forehead prickling with sweat. It dawned on her that he must be feeling the exact opposite of her and she relaxed a little, making him grunt. He opened his eyes and looked at her, sensing her staring.

"W-we can stop if you want." He barely got out, his hold on the bed sheets tightening. She shook her head adamently, taking a few deep breaths.

"No, I think I just need to relax to stop it." She said hoarsely, and he swallowed.

"Think I can do that." He replied, and shakily took hold of her waist in his hands. He started running his hands up and down her sides, admittedly flinching every now and then, making her insides tingle. He got more confident with his movements as they went on until he was massaging her breasts. She let out a soft moan, the pain beginning to ebb away.

"Okay." She said feeling more confident, and experimentally moved her hips for him to groan in response, halting his movements altogether.

"I'm really not going to last long." He mumbled apologetically, his entire face going red.

"Don't worry about it." She said honestly, and he swallowed. He looked at her for a moment and she saw his jaw tighten, a determined expression on his face. Before she could comprehend what he was doing, he'd taken her nipple in his mouth and sucked hard. She choked out, a flood of heat filling her stomach while he flicked her other nipple with his hand. He alternated between licking around her areola and sucking until she was sure she could no longer feel any pain whatsoever. She could now take pleasure in how he was filling her so completely. She rolled her hips again and gasped from the jolt it sent through her. While a little part of her still hurt, it was nothing compared to the fire it sent soaring through her stomach, making her clutch onto him. He lifted his head up to look at her and she beamed down at him, signifying she was ready.

She gently lifted herself off him a little before thrusting back down and they both let out a simultaneous moan. When she did it again, his hips met hers so he somehow went even deeper inside of her. They both started moving their bodies in a continuous rhythm, dissolving into a blur of pants and moans. Even though it was a little clumsy due to their inexperience at first, they quickly learnt what suited them best.

She could tell he was getting close when he started bucking his hips up erratically but he seemed determined not tofinish before her. She could feel her climax mounting but then he started rubbing her nub and she cried out, it doubling the amount of pleasure she was feeling. He pressed down on it harder, flicking it insistently and she dug her nails into his skin, her mouth remaining open as she whimpered. She could feel she was about to explode so she lifted herself off him until just the tip of him remained inside of her and slammed herself down again which tipped her over the edge as she orgasmed powerfully. She couldn't recall it ever being so intense. She literally had no control over her body and her mind went blank, her focus only being on the exquisite pleasure coursing through her. With her walls convulsing around him, he finally let go too as they both clutched onto one another, riding it out until they were both spent.

They collapsed onto the bed, still joined, breathing heavily and slick with sweat. Once they recuperated, she regretably adjusted herself so he was no longer inside of her, and she felt oddly hollow and empty without him there.

"How you feeling?" He asked hoarsely, tucking her hair behind her ears.

"Sore but nothing I can't cope with." She responded smiling, and he let out a sigh of relief.

"How was-"

"Perfect." She interrupted truthfully. "It was perfect."

A:N/ A lot happened in this chapter, hopefully nothing too disappointing though. I thought I'd just let you all know that before when I'd said this fic would be 38 chapters, it's probably going to be around 40 now as I hadn't anticipated how lengthy some sequences would need to be beforehand.

Anyway, thanks for the reviews and everything!