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Hermione gazed out of the small, round window of her room in Shell Cottage. It had no curtains or blind and allowed the moon to cast a soft light over her. She lifted a hand and twirled her fingers, watching the shadows they made on the floor. She was alone in this room - Luna and Dean were sleeping downstairs on the squishy old sofas. Fleur had insisted that Hermione take a room to herself after her ‘ordeal’. Hermione was grateful, though she did feel a tug of guilt. Luna had been there for god knew how long. Had probably been through much worse than she had. She twisted herself to look at the bandage on her forearm. Of course Bellatrix had cursed the word into her. She’d used a knife, of course, but Hermione knew it had dark curses imbedded deep within it. Fleur had done her best, but the word was still etched into Hermione’s skin, now as pale silvery white scars. She wondered if it would be there forever and stifled a little sob, curling in on herself.
She felt truly alone for the first time in months. In the tent with Harry and Ron, and then just Harry, she had felt like she had no room to breathe. She and Harry had shared a bed once, after Ron left, and he had held her. It was a small comfort to feel his arms wrapped loosely around her, all jaggy angles and shaky breaths. Harry wasn’t a quiet sleeper, nor was he a still one, always twitching and letting out small, fearful sounds. They hadn’t bothered sharing the bed again. Hermione loved Harry dearly, but she had always felt it was a betrayal, despite the fact that nothing even slightly romantic had ever existed between them. She knew how Ron’s mind worked, knew how he always held himself in second regard to Harry, or everyone. She knew what they had was unspoken, but she couldn’t bear the thought of hurting him.
She sighed, rubbing her eyes. She was about to leave her bed to check out the books on the sparsely filled shelf across the room when she heard a floorboard creak outside her door. Suspecting it was Fleur or Bill looking in to check on her, she quickly rolled over to face the wall, trying to make her breathing sound slow and deep, as if she was sleeping. She heard the door open slowly, a little more light spilling in from the corridor. Then the sound of heavy footsteps attempting to be soft came as the door closed behind them. A soft, low voice whispered, “‘Mione?”
Hermione rolled over to face Ron who stood at the foot of her bed, looking concerned and slightly sheepish. “I’m sorry if I woke you. I just... I thought you might want some company after...”
Hermione nodded gratefully and whispered, “Please.”
Ron let out a sigh of what she suspected was relief and moved to sit in the worn armchair beside her bed. Hermione shook her head and shot him a pleading look in the half-light.
“Not there. Would you mind...?” She trailed off, unable to finish her sentence. Would you mind holding me, she wanted to ask him, holding on tight and not letting me go and not letting them hurt me again.
She shivered once more.
Ron looked at her for a few seconds before nodding slowly and crossing the creaking floorboards to her bed. He slipped in next to her and she lifted her head so he could slide his arms around her. It was a tight squeeze, Hermione’s nose was almost touching the wall. She herself was small and slight, having lost a considerable amount of weight since they’d been travelling. Ron was somehow the opposite, seeming to have filled out even since he had left her and Harry. She wondered silently to herself how she had managed it. She was grateful for it though. He was warm against her back, warm and solid. She couldn’t help but lean back into him.
Ron let out a soft grunt and the tiniest laugh she’d ever heard him utter. “Your hair is tickling my chin.”
She ducked her head, mirroring his miniature laugh. “I’m terribly sorry, would you prefer it if I had a shaved head?” She breathed, her voice so quiet she wasn’t sure he would’ve heard her. She felt his chest rise and fall, could feel his heartbeat against her back. It was slow and steady, rhythmic. Being held by Ron was nothing like being held by Harry, whose jerky movements had matched his erratic heartbeat. She felt more at home in his arms than she could’ve ever remembered feeling. Ron let out another tiny laugh before drawing her in closer.
“I’m so sorry, Hermione,” he breathed into her hair, his arms tightening around her waist. “I should’ve stopped her. I wish I’d...”
Hermione made a gentle shushing sound, wriggling and twisting awkwardly in the tight space as she turned to face him. She pressed her hands to his chest and his found her waist again, giving her a gentle squeeze.
“It wasn’t your fault, Ron. It could’ve been so much worse.”
He let out a shaky breath and closed his eyes. Hermione watched his face, drinking him in. She could feel him trying to control his breathing, see his mind working in the small movement around his eyes. She knew he was picturing the million and one ways it could’ve been worse.
“Ron...” The word came out as barely a whisper. She pressed herself closer to him, closer than they’d ever been. It still wasn’t close enough. Her heartbeat quickened. There was a hot, tight feeling brewing in her chest. She wanted him so close, wanted to feel him, feel something that wasn’t fear and pain and loneliness. She rolled her hips ever so slightly into his and his eyes snapped open. Ron stared into her eyes, she could she his pupils wide in the moonlight that lit up his face.
“‘Mione, I...” his breath hitched and she pressed closer still. She hooked her leg over his slowly, drawing it into her and settling with his leg between her thighs. She could feel him against her stomach, feel him getting hard.
He didn’t move, remaining solid and firm, his hand still clasped loosely at her waist.
“Ron, I... I want...” she trailed off, slightly embarrassed. She knew Ron was getting the picture. His eyes searched her face and he bit his lip. He lifted a hand to gently stroke her cheek and she nuzzled into his touch, letting out a contented sigh.
“Are you sure, Hermione?” Ron asked and she closed her eyes, nodding. He continued, “You have to be really sure, because I, I’ve never. I mean, I’ve done, y’know, but never fully...”
She nodded her head in his hand, pushing down the thoughts of him with Lavender. “No, me too, never fully.”
Ron’s finger brushed her bottom lip and she felt him relax a little. She suspected he thought she and Viktor might have slept together and could tell he was glad they hadn’t.
“I need you to tell me that you want me to... I don’t want you to feel...” Ron broke off and Hermione’s cheeks flushed. His hesitancy and need to make sure that she was sure just made her feel all the more so. Still, it was a difficult thing for her to say.
“Ron, I... I want you to...” The words escaped her and she felt her cheeks flush deeper. Ron gave her hip an encouraging squeeze.
“I want you inside me.”
Ron let out a low groan that made her skin burn. He rolled on top of her, leg pressed tight between her thighs. He leaned over her, hovering for a second and looking into her eyes. She closed them and felt his lips on hers, fire spreading all over her body. This was their first kiss. She felt electric. Ron’s kiss was gently at first, but then his movements hardened and he traced her lips with his tongue, moving it inside her mouth. She fought back the slight surprise at how skilled he was, letting herself belong to this moment, to her body, to his.
Ron pulled away, grinding his hips against hers, eliciting a soft moan from her. His eyes, so darkened with a want she’d never seen on him before, bore into hers so intensely that she felt she might explode. She grabbed his hip with one hand and tugged at his pyjama trousers with the other. He let out that growl that sent hot shivers across her body once again. “Ron, please, now...
Ron shook his head grinning and planting another kiss on her lips before shifting off her, now kneeling between her legs.

“There’s no way you’ll be ready yet...”

He gently pushed her thighs further apart and pulled off her shorts, pausing and looking to her for permission before moving forward. She nodded her head rapidly, breathing fast and raggedly, desperate to feel his touch. This seemed to be all he needed. He grinned again, one hand gently stroking the inside of her thigh as he brought the other hand to his mouth and sucked for a second on his middle finger. Hermione watched him, eyes wide and heart racing against her chest. He bent over her again, his slightly unruly hair brushing her cheek as he did so. He kissed her lips, then moved to her neck, licking and sucking gently before whispering in her ear. “You ready?”
She had barely begun to nod when she felt his finger push inside her. He moved it slowly and held still for a moment, groaning against her neck,
“Fuck, ‘Mione, you’re so wet...”
He moved his finger over a rough spot deep inside her and her hips stuttered.
“Mm...” Ron cooed in her ear. “There we go.”
His confidence was doing something to her.
She fixed his gaze, ruching up her shirt to reveal her breasts, nipples hard. “More,” she moaned.
A little of Ron’s usual bashful self seemed to shine through for a second as he stared, mesmerised at her chest. He moved his finger inside her again, eliciting more moans and moved his other hand to gently rub her nipple.
“You’re fucking beautiful, Hermione,” he whispered, making her blush despite herself.
He shifted slightly, pushing a second finger into her. She felt full, much more so than she had before. Ron seemed to recognise this and he paused, holding his fingers still inside her to her let adjust. Instead, his free hand teased at her nipples, gently rubbing them in turn between his thumb and finger. It only took a minute or two of this before she was pushing herself down on his fingers, moving her hips in ecstasy. She had never known her body could feel like this, this burning, electrifying, alive feeling that seemed to be coarsing through every inch of her, conducted by Ron’s touch.
He pumped his fingers steadily inside of her, rubbing his thumb in small circles on her clit. She could feel herself tightening around him, every muscle aching and needing. All it took then was one look into his eyes, full of desperate need, and she was sent over the edge, falling through a shining cascade of pleasure. She was moaning in earnest as she came on Ron’s fingers, a small part of her in the back of her mind wishing they had cast a muffling charm.
She felt him pull his fingers out of her and couldn’t help but make a small sound of protest. Opening her eyes, she saw his face, the anticipation evident there. They kissed again, Ron now pressed on top of her. The weight of him making her feel safe, like nothing could get past him. Like nothing mattered but those two, their bodies intertwined.
“Please,” she whispered into his ear, planting a little string of kisses on his neck, “Please fuck me.”
He didn’t need telling a second time. He steadied himself with one hand, lining himself up with the other. He paused for the briefest of moments before pushing himself into her, all the way in.
His fingers were nothing compared to the full size of him, filling her, stretching her. It hurt, burned inside her, but it was the kind of pain that was more than bearable. It was such a fucking good hurt. She was alive, and on fire and the boy she loved was inside of her. Like he had before, he stayed still inside her, allowing her body to adjust and peppering her face and neck with little kisses, whispering gentle words of encouragement and praise in her ear.
“You feel so good, doing so well, so tight, so beautiful...”
After a few moments of this Hermione rolled her hips experimentally. It still hurt a little, but she was ready. She kissed Ron, sucking on his bottom lip and biting gently. She felt him moan against her, his hips moving a little and she nodded into the kiss. “Fuck me.”
Ron did as he was bade, drawing himself out and pushing back in again, slow and deep at first, but speeding up. She watched his face, eyes closed, lips slightly parted, and started to match his rhythm, rolling her hips in time with his. The weight of him on top of her, the feeling of his bare chest brushing against hers, occasionally catching against her nipple in little shocks of pleasure. There was nothing in her mind expect him. The pain of it had subsided significantly and she could feel her body tightening again, feel her face flushing. His cock brushed against that spot deep within her and she clamped her hand to her mouth, muffling her own moans. This spurred him on and his movements began to falter, just as she was pushed over the edge a second time, eyes tight shut, seeing stars.
They came almost together, Ron barely seconds after Hermione, emptying himself into her. She felt him twitch inside her as he did so. She had never felt closer to him, more connected. He stayed on top of her for a few moments before rolling off, pulling her close and cradling her in his arms.
It wasn’t silent for long before he spoke, a hint of concern evident in his voice. “Are you okay? Did I hurt you?”
She shook her head, smiling up up at him.

“I’m perfect. You were incredible.”

He kissed her gently, stroking her hair.

“You’re right.” He said quietly, giving her a slightly sheepish look.

“Hmm?” She closed her eyes, nuzzling into his chest as he held her.

He leaned closer and whispered, “You are perfect. I love you, Hermione.”

She stared up into his face, tears of joy, of relief, of years of loving him finally coming to fruition stinging her eyes.

“I love you too, Ron. Never let me go, okay?”

He nodded, pressing a kiss to her forehead.

They held each other closer, though it never quite seemed close enough, peacefully sleeping in each other’s arms until the soft moonlight streaming in through the window gave way to the sun and another day had dawned.