Title: Enough For Now
Claim: # 76 - the night before Hermione leaves for Hogwarts without Ron
Claim: # 76 - the night before Hermione leaves for Hogwarts without Ron
Warnings: sexual content, language
Notes: A most heartfelt thanks to the magnificent grownuphermione for being the most awesome beta ever.
“I’m really going without you,” Hermione murmured, closing her trunk and moving it from the bed to the floor with a flick of her wand. “I can’t believe you’re not coming with me or imagine Hogwarts without you and Harry.” Without you, she added mentally as she turned away from him and stared through the window of her room at The Leaky Cauldron; there was a full moon alighting the sky and the now empty streets of Diagon Alley. She knew that she would miss Harry as well, but it was Ron she couldn’t bear the thought of leaving.
She heard the bed shift and Ron’s footsteps as he moved behind her. She leaned back against him when he wrapped his arms around her shoulders and pulled her close, resting his chin on the top of her head.
“Hermione, we’ve been over this a hundred times …”
“I know,” she interrupted. “And I understand why you’re not going back. But it doesn’t change the fact that I’ll miss you terribly.”
The three months that had passed since the Battle of Hogwarts went by in a blur. There were funerals and memorials to attend and her parents to retrieve. Through it all, Ron was at her side, holding her hand and providing her support at every step. But his actions were not reserved exclusively for her; he temporarily moved back into the Burrow at his mum’s request, took over many of Fred’s responsibilities at the shop when George finally reopened it mid-summer, and agreed to join Harry in Auror training.
Time and time again, Ron had proved that the faith she’d always had in him was justified.
When the news came that the repairs were completed and Hogwarts would be open as scheduled, there hadn’t been a doubt in her mind that they would be joining Ginny and returning for their seventh year coursework. They needed their N.E.W.T.s, after all, and it would be near to impossible to pass them without having taken those last year level classes. So Harry and Ron’s announcements that they weren’t going back took her by surprise, and her attempts to convince them otherwise had been met first with deaf ears and finally ended in an argument with both of them being irritated at her for days.
But in the end, she’d acquiesced. Even though she didn’t agree with their decisions not to go back, she understood the reasons why. And after seeing Ron put in long days at the shop as the start of school neared, returning home bone-tired but with a air of accomplishment, Hermione realized he was doing precisely what he needed to be doing, and she respected him even more for it.
Through it all, her relationship with Ron had blossomed, and since that long-awaited first kiss in the Room of Requirement, they’d shared many more kisses: some quick and playful, some deep and fervent. But they’d agreed early on – at Ron’s insistence rather than hers – to take things slowly, and so they had, although Hermione often found herself questioning why she’d agreed to what she had begun to think was a terribly ridiculous notion, especially in light of her leaving the next day for Hogwarts without him. After seeing him almost every day of her life for nearly seven years, after waiting so many years for him to finally see her as more than a friend, and after finally being in his arms, she wasn’t ready to give it up, even temporarily, and she wanted even more – wanted him both emotionally and physically – and was ready to disregard his hesitance altogether.
“I’ll miss you, too, you know.” Ron moved his arms down to her waist and tightened them around her. “And I’ll come visit you whenever I can.”
“And it’ll be lovely when you do,” Hermione agreed, but the thought of seeing him only during Hogsmeade weekends, Christmas, and Easter depressed her even more. “I realize how busy we’ll both be, with you at the shop and in training and me preparing for N.E.W.T.s, and logically, I know it’s only a year, but…” she turned and laced her arms around his neck, “you can’t blame me for wanting you there with me.”
Ron chuckled. “You just can’t stand the thought of not having me there to boss around.”
“Oh yes, that’s it,” Hermione laughed. She reached up and threaded her fingers through his luscious thick hair; she’d memorized the color of it long ago, but having only been allowed to touch it for the previous three months, she took advantage of every opportunity to do so.
Their eyes locked just before Ron leaned down and kissed her gently, caressing her lower lip between his. He wore a serious look when he pulled back. “I … I reckon you know I love you, Hermione,” he said quietly, a flush running up his neck and a flash of uncertainty in his gaze. “I couldn’t let you leave in the morning without saying it.”
Hermione’s fingers stilled, her breath catching in her throat. How many years had she longed to hear those words? She stood on her tiptoes and reached up until their faces were only barely apart. “I love you, too, Ron,” she whispered against his lips, kissing him this time, trying to impart everything she felt for him into it and hoping that he would follow her lead and let things progress.
The desperation and desire in her kiss was matched by his as their lips met again and again, and before she knew it, she was pulling his shirt over his head and he slipped hers off her shoulders. Her mind raced as she ran her hands along his chest, down his arms, across his back; as his hands moved down to her bum, up her spine, over her breasts, and her body was on fire by the time he shifted her around and they fell to the bed, Hermione knowing, in no uncertain terms, that feeling only his bare chest against hers would no longer suffice.
As if reading her mind, Ron’s lips moved from hers and journeyed across her jaw, lingering on her neck, and Hermione shivered when he nipped at the skin just behind her ear, arching into him as he moved between her legs. She watched him intently with heavily lidded eyes when his mouth moved down the front of her neck, slowly raking her fingernails along his arms, over his shoulders, and down his back, moaning softly when his tongue circled around her nipple tentatively and his fingers stroked the other, noting with delight that his movements grew stronger and more confident with every sound she made, that his body pressed enticingly into hers each time she murmured his name.
Ron’s fingers moved down her side, and he shifted slightly, pressing the heel of his hand against her, increasing the ache building within as he massaged her inexpertly before pausing at the button of her shorts. He lifted his head from her breast to meet her gaze, and Hermione's heart swelled at the look of raw desire mixed with trepidation in his eyes, which were bluer than she had ever seen.
She nodded, whispering “Yes,” as she unfastened the button of her shorts and wrapped her hand around his, slipping it inside the waistband, and once again arching up against him. Only then, just as his fingers brushed against her, did she experience a brief surge of panic – he would feel how wet she was, would know how much she wanted him – before being put at ease by Ron’s incredibly sexy groan into her ear.
Emboldened by her daring and Ron’s obvious interest, Hermione opened the zip on his trousers and followed his lead, albeit without seeking his permission, by slipping her hand inside them. Her breath caught when she touched him, surprised as she wrapped her fingers around him by how hot and hard, yet smooth and supple he felt.
“Oh god … oh fuck,” he muttered before kissing her deeply once more, the trusting of his tongue matching that of his fingers as he slid one, then two inside of her.
Hermione felt as if she was flying; her senses were somehow heightened and every sound and smell and touch was magnified. She increased her strokes, tightened her grip as his thrusts into her hand became more erratic, and her body responded to the stimulations of Ron’s mouth and tongue and fingers and legs. When it was too much and she couldn’t hold back any longer – no longer wanted to hold back – she broke their kiss, softly calling his name and crying out when she came. Mere moments later, while her breath was still labored but after she was mindful enough to resume what were now awkward caresses, she felt Ron bury his face into the crook of her neck, felt his breath hot on her skin, and heard his muffled “Fuck, Hermione” just before he came, pulsing between her fingers.
He shifted to his side, removing his hand from inside her shorts and she from his trousers, before pulling her towards him and resting his arm over her waist. Hermione instinctively kissed his lips tenderly, their noses nearly touching when she laid her head on the pillow and met his gaze once more. She touched his face, the tips of her fingers tracing along his cheekbone, down the curve of his nose, and lightly over his lips.
“Brilliant,” Ron murmured against her fingertips, and she smiled.
“Quite lovely indeed,” she agreed, mentally adding, Definitely worth waiting for.
“Bloody brilliant,” he repeated, closing his eyes, and she watched as he drifted off to sleep, giving into his exhaustion from another grueling day at the shop.
It was going to be a long year, but as she laid there, watching him sleep, gently smoothing the hair from his forehead, Hermione struggled to keep her emotions in check. He loves me, she thought gleefully, still amazed and overjoyed that he’d actually told her. And as she recalled the events of the evening in her mind – remembered every word, relived every touch – she realized that she wasn’t alone in wanting more but admitted that Ron had been right after all, that as much as they both wanted to, sex would only complicate things, would make their being apart even more unbearable, and it was best that they continued to wait. But they’d shared a new level of intimacy, a promise of sorts of things to come, and for now, that was enough.