"Have a safe drive home!" Hermione said as her parents prepared to leave our home. The trip had turned out to be such a pleasant experience that they took the liberty of staying with us in Herefordshire for a few days.
"You too, Dear," her mother responded, not able to wipe the smile off of her face.
As the two girls embraced, Mr. Granger extended his hand to me, and I gladly shook it.
"Take care of my little girl," he said, a hint of a smile on his lips. "And my grandchild."
"Don't worry, Mr. Granger," I responded. "I will."
"Call me Robert, Son," he said, turning on his heels as he did so to join his wife in their car. I watched them leave, a newfound happiness in my heart as I took my wife's hand in mine. For the first time, I was accepted by her parents. It didn't matter that the acceptance came because of a dementor attack—what mattered was that they realized the truth, that I truly cared about their daughter and would do anything to protect her.
I took my wife in my arms and kissed the back of her neck.
"I told you that everything would work out."
Hermione laughed, her sweet laugh. "You had your doubts, just like I did."
"But I was right for once," I teased. "And you were wrong!"
She playfully elbowed me in the stomach and wriggled out of my hold, heading to the kitchen to clean up the fish and chips we'd had for dinner. I watched her, my perfect angel, and felt almost immeasurable joy. If only Harry could be as happy as we were, if he could have Ginny back again…
I forced those thoughts out of my mind and focused on my life, what was going on right now. Without thinking, I stepped into the kitchen and took Hermione in my arms, giving her a passionate kiss. She willingly kissed back, smiling as she did so, and her eyes were shining when we parted, though I was still holding her in my arms.
"What was that for?" she asked.
"I love you," I responded. "And I never want to take you for granted."
She beamed at me and I released her so she could complete her task of picking up the kitchen. I headed to the bedroom and changed into pajamas. I needed to get some rest if I was going to join Harry on his hunt tomorrow. Hermione still wasn't happy about the fact that In was chasing dementors left and right every day, but she understood completely. She regrettably agreed to put aside her own efforts to bring Ginny back for the time being, realizing that it was more important that she keep herself and the baby safe, not that it didn't take a lot of persuading to convince her of this.
As I was about to climb into bed, I heard crackling in the fireplace and turned sharply, just in time to see Harry's face appear amongst the ashes.
"Did you have a nice trip?" he asked, forcing a smile.
"Define nice," I answered, smirking. "What are you doing, Mate?"
"There was an attack in Preston," he answered, his face now completely serious. "I'm going after them."
I grumbled in response. "When are you leaving?"
"Now," he responded, surprised that I would even ask the question.
"All right," I surrendered, reaching for the shirt I took off moments before. "I'll be at the hospital in a couple of minutes."
He smiled painfully, bothered by the fact that I knew he was at the hospital and not in his flat in Dartford. Hermione entered the room as I finished changing back into my clothes, a look of confusion flashing across her face for only a moment before it was replaced with understanding.
"Do you have to go now?" she asked, almost breaking my heart with the sadness in her voice.
I kissed her swiftly as I hurried out the door, just squeezing her hand in response. I ran out the door, apparating almost as soon as I was outside the circle around our house. I didn't even have to enter the wizard hospital—my friend was waiting for me at the entrance, holding a large crate in his hands.
"Ready?" he asked, knowing the answer. I was never really ready, but I had to be, for him.
And for Gin.
I did my best to close the door to our room quietly, not wanting to wake Hermione. I should have known that she would already be awake.
"How many?" she asked, causing me to jump as she turned on the light.
"Why'd you wait up?" I asked, annoyance in my voice.
"How many?" she repeated, not interested in answering my question until I answered hers.
I sighed. "There were seven, but we only caught three. Why are you up, Herm?"
"I can't sleep," she responded, her voice soft. "Not when I know that you're out there battling them face to face—or whatever it is they have. I keep waiting for the day that you don't come home, that Harry comes to tell me that you've taken the empty room next to Ginny's, or worse, someone from the ministry comes to tell me you've both been taken—"
"That's not going to happen," I said authoritatively, even though I knew I couldn't calm her worries with my words. "Harry and I know what we're doing—"
"Plenty of wizards more talented than you have fallen victim to dementors!"
She grew silent as she realized what she'd said. I felt my ears start to grow red, but did my best to hide my feelings, even though I knew she knew what I was feeling. I've always been ashamed of my sensitive feelings—even when I know she doesn't mean to offend me, I always get offended.
"Ron, I'm sorry—"
"Don't worry about it," I muttered. "I know I'm not worthy of you."
"Merlin!" she exclaimed, climbing out of bed to where I was changing into my pajamas for the second time that night. She wrapped her arms around my waste and placed her lips against my neck, letting out a sigh.
"I'm the one who's not worthy of you," she mumbled, kissing my neck sweetly. I breathed deeply, calming myself down.
"Do you really think that I would ever let a dementor take me?" I said at length, placing my hands on top of hers. "There's no way I'd let anything take me away from you and the baby."
"I know," she whispered. "That's what makes you such a better wizard than all of those idiots that let themselves be Kissed by something other than their wives."
I couldn't help but grin and didn't resist her when she turned me around and placed her lips on mine. Though we offended each other easily and often disagreed on what should and shouldn't be done, we both knew one thing—that we loved each other, and nothing could alter how we felt about each other.
I laid awake in my bed a while later, caressing my wonderful wife's arm as she slept. I couldn't help but think about how lucky I was, and how much I wished my best friend had the same thing I did. He and Ginny loved each other possibly even more than Hermione and I; they weren't arguing all the time. It was at that moment that I fully committed myself to his cause—catching and imprisoning all of the dementors, in the hopes that somehow, someday, we might be able to recover Ginny's soul somehow.
That was the whole question: how? We knew that it had happened before because of that Nelson guy Hermione visited, but how in Merlin's name were we supposed to get Ginny back if he couldn't tell us anything about how he got back?
Then again, how could someone survive the killing curse twice?
I smiled and finally found some peace to sleep. If anyone could recover my sister's soul, Harry could.
And he would.
A/N: What did you think? Did you like the writing/character development? Or are you just happy I started posting on this fic again? Anyway, please REVIEW! :D