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Resonance, Chapter Three

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Jan. 4th, 2011 | 01:32 am

 Chapter Three / Your Arms Like Towers

TIME STAMP: Approx. one month after the Battle at Hogwarts.

In this chapter, Harry considers the meaning of family, and Hermione struggles to cope.



Keep me safe inside,
your arms like towers.

Tower over me.

We are broken,
what must we do to restore our innocence,
and all the promise we adored?

Give us life again,
'cause we just want to be whole.

-We Are Broken, by Paramore





For a very long time, Harry Potter did not understand the idea of a family. The Dursley's were people he lived with, and Lily and James Potter were people in pictures who he longed to have known. Parents were nothing but a foreign concept.

As he grew, Harry learned many things about parents from many different sources. According to Dudley, parents bought you things and fed you. Ron insisted his parents were supportive, although unbearably embarrassing at times. Hermione spoke of guidance, and wisdom. Harry never had any of these things.

In his first few years of knowing the Weasley's, Harry did a lot of thinking. He wondered if his Mother would have been as overbearing yet loving, as Mrs. Weasley. He wondered if his father and Mr. Weasley would have shared the same quirky, yet authoritative nature.

Harry's first true understanding of what a parent should be came from knowing Sirius and Remus. They gave him guidance, they protected him, and more than anything, gave him a connection to the father he didn't get to keep. Often when with them, he would imagine James was there too; looking concerned after a dementor had put him on his ass, or laughing alongside Sirius, the same proud gleam in his eye.

James' friends helped Harry to know what parents were, but it was Mr. and Mrs. Weasley who first made him feel as if he had some. He often recalled the memory of Mrs. Weasley hugging him after Cedric Diggory's death. It was in that moment that he truly understood what a mother was, what Lily Potter should have meant to him.

Over three years after the only mother he had ever known embraced him so lovingly, Harry had come to understand family, to value it, more than he ever thought he would. He'd stopped thinking of the people he loved as just like family, because they weren't really, he had nothing to compare them to in the first place. In reality, they were his family- the only one he'd ever had.

Molly and Arthur Weasley truly were Harry's parents, in every way but blood, and Harry had spilt so much blood, he didn't think that really mattered anymore. He was starting to think he was in love with Ginny Weasley, and worried for a while that this would change the close bond he had with her brothers, but his fears were silenced quickly.

Harry, Ron and Hermione, were a category all their own. A new breed of family, but always friends first. Even with Ron and Hermione's newfound relationship, their dynamic changed very little. There was never awkwardness; no one was ever a third wheel of any kind. And when the situation called for such a thing, all their smaller bonds, titles, disappeared. Brother, sister, lover- all fell away and they were just friends. And it was the truest kind of friendship one could find, a friendship forged through trials and terrors, and the simplicity of growing up together.

One such situation, were Hermione's nightmares. Terrible dreams plagued her, even weeks after the end of the war. The boys would often be woken by Ginny late at night to trek down the hall to her room, and soothe Hermione back to sleep. One night, a month after the end, it wasn't Ginny who woke them, but Hermione herself.

Harry wakes suddenly, and for a moment doesn't know why. It's only as his eyes adjust to the darkness of Ron's room that he spots her, hovering between their beds, just standing in the centre of the room, arms wrapped around her torso, shivering in the early morning chill.

"Hermione?"

She lets out a small gasp, but doesn't turn to face him. Harry sits up and groggily untangles himself from his sheets to stand. Ron has woken by then, and in the darkness Harry sees him squinting as he sits up and slides to the far side of the bed, making room.

"Come on," Harry coaxes, an arm around Hermione as he leads her towards Ron's bed. "Sit down, okay?"

They sit against Ron's headboard, Hermione squished between them, her head against Harry's shoulder, legs draped over Ron's lap. Ron flings his blankets over all of them, tucking them around Hermione, effectively sealing her in a Ron, Harry and blanket cocoon.

"You're okay," he says, "You're safe with us."

It isn't the nightmares. They aren't so bad. It's the episodes of blind panic that follow. Posttraumatic stress and the like were treated with simple Cheering Charms in the wizarding world. When Ron first suggested such a thing Hermione had thrown things at him and ranted about false happiness. Harry didn't blame her. Two days later, Harry caught Ron reading a book of muggle psychology- he's an expert now.

"I'm s-sorry-" Hermione chokes. "I d-didn't mean to w-wake-"

"Shh." Harry rubs her shoulder gently. "Just breathe."

They sit together for a long while, muttering words of comfort and encouragement. Harry pets Hermione's hair and Ron wraps a large hand around her leg in his lap, his thumb running small circles against her calf. She doesn't speak again until her breathing has slowed to a near normal level and her sobbing has turned into the occasional hiccup.

"You wanna talk about it?" Harry asks gently. They always ask. She never offers any insight. Until tonight.

"It was B-belatrix." Hermione whispers. Ron and Harry exchanged a look in the dim light; they had assumed as much.

"She's gone, Hermione." Harry says, twisting his body to turn and face her better. "She can't ever hurt anyone else. Ever."

"I know that!" Hermione says fiercely. She clenches blankets in her fists. "I know. I- I just can't stop f-feeling like this."

"Feeling how?" Ron pushes gently, squeezing her knee. "Talk to us, Hermione."

"I'm just so fr-frightened." Hermione starts to sob again now, as she closes her eyes, bowing her head in shame. "When I close m-my eyes, I see you d-dead, the both of you. And she's standing over me, and I'm j-just waiting t-to die-"

She wipes fiercely at her eyes, and tucks her hair behind one ear.

"I know its done, I know we're out of danger," she says, her voice getting continuously louder. "But we're all here, on lockdown like we're waiting for something, like if anyone leaves they won't ever come back, like he's still out there, waiting to get his chance at us all-"

"Hermione, it's over-"

"IT DOESN'T FEEL LIKE ITS OVER-!" Hermione shrieks. Harry bolts off the bed, lunging for his wand, and quickly sends a soundproofing charm at the door before she can wake anyone. When he turns round Ron has Hermione around the shoulders with one arm, his other hand clapped over her mouth, muffling her cries. When he looks up to meet Harry's eyes, he looks as shaken as Harry feels. Hermione doesn't often loose control this way, and when she did, it was usually out of anger, not agony.

She stops struggling, and goes limp in Ron's arms, crying softly. Harry crawls back onto the bed and she reaches for him, fingers hooking in the hem of his sleep shirt and holding on. Her other hand clutches Ron's arm as he tentatively removes his hand from her face. Her breathing is sharp and fast.

"Ron, sit her up, quick!" Harry says, grabbing the hand Hermione has wrapped in his shirt. "Before she has another spell, like last time."

A few days before, Hermione had gotten upset and began to hyperventilate. George and Ginny's attempts to calm her had failed, and by the time the others had entered the room Hermione had full out fainted on the kitchen floor, much to Ron's terror.

Together, Ron and Harry prop Hermione up against headboard and back up just enough so as not to crowd her. She shakes her head violently as she tries, and fails to catch her breath.

"I- I c-can't-"

"Yes, you can." Harry says firmly, squeezing her hand. "You're going to be fine, Hermione. I'm here, Ron's here. We're going to fix this, ok? You're going to be fine, just concentrate on breathing."

"We're not going anywhere." Ron whispers in agreement, pulling her hair away from her tear-streaked face. "Nothing else is going to happen to you- you're safe. Everyone's safe."

"Should we get someone…?" Harry asks worriedly. At this, Hermione seems to get some sort of hold on herself, straightening her shoulders, trembling lessening just slightly.

"No." she says firmly, sucking in a deep breath and shaking her head. "I'm fine. I- I should go back to my bed n-now."

The look of determination of her face is the first glimpse of true Hermione any of them has seen in days.

"Not bloody likely!" Ron says, his ears turning a bit pink. "You think we're letting you leave after the fit you've just had? Lie down."

"Are you two trying to t-ta-take advantage of me?" Hermione asks, through a yawn. She flops down on the bed, dragging the other two down on either side of her. "That's hardly very tactful."

"Oh Ron's just full of tact," Harry smirks, laying his head against Hermione's shoulder. "Aren't you, mate?"

"Piss off." Ron throws a leg across the bed, kicking Harry in the shin, and then stilling there. "Blimey, she's asleep already."

"She's worn out, mate. She's up like this nearly every night now." Harry says, glancing over Hermione's face, noticing her pale skin and dark circled eyes. She really does look awful.

"Mum's worried she isn't really eating, either…" Ron says softly, running a finger against her cheek, ears' reddening when he realizes Harry is watching.

"Ron… I've been thinking." Harry says cautiously. He's avoided bringing this up to his best mate, worried about the backlash he would receive. "I don't want to just up and leave- I mean, you're lot have been nothing but good to me, and I wouldn't want to upset your Mum. And I certainly don't plan to leave as long as Hermione's in this state… But, I can't stay here forever."

"Thank Merlin." Ron exclaimed, visibly deflating with relief. "Mate, I've only been keeping quite for your sake- their just as much your family as they are mine, and, well, I thought you wanted to stay."

"It's not that I don't want to stay." Harry shakes his head, fiddling with a stray thread on the arm of Hermione's pajama shirt. "But we need some normalcy. And normal isn't living here for the rest of our lives with our Mum crying over all of us."

"She'd do a right side better if she didn't have us here to cry over." Ron says, nodded. "Let's get a flat. Just the three of us."

"You reckon?" Harry asks, surprised.

"What you thought the two of us we're going to up and ditch you?" Ron shakes his head. "No way, mate. I can't handle this one alone, not like this…"

Ron gazes over Hemione's sleeping form. Harry sees him blink tears back, but doesn't judge or tease, he feels the same way.

"She's really not well, is she?"

Harry shakes his head.

"I can't remember the last time I saw her read something. " he says. "She barely left her bed yesterday…"

"Right. Well, that settles it." Ron says, determined. "Tomorrow we pack up all our rubbish and find a place. That way we can stay on top of her, get her better."

"Okay." Harry nods, meeting Ron's eye. "I'm in."

"'Course you're in, bloody sod, " Ron laughs, shoving his face into Hermione's hair. "Face facts, Harry, mate. You'd be lost without us."

This is how Mrs. Weasley will find them the next morning; Hermione curled in the centre of Ron's bed, Harry lying with his head against her shoulder, Ron's face pressed into her hair. One of her hands wound into the fabric of Harry's shirt, the other clasped in Ron's hand across her stomach. Harry and Ron's feet on top of one another near the end of the bed.

The look on Hermione's face is something close to peaceful, and so Mrs. Weasley backs out of the room, a small smile on her lips, leaving the little family alone.







A/N: Hermione's reactions to being hurt and angry throughout canon, have been rather extreme; yelling, throwing things, sending small magical birds after Ron… And I think that her emotional reaction to the aftermath of the ware would be just as extreme.

Wizards or not, after everything they went through, I don't believe all three of them would have escaped without some sort of psychological consequences. Being as calm and collected as Hermione normally is, I felt that showing her lose that collectedness would be the most shocking, and would also allow an opportunity to strengthen the friendship the three of them have, and grow the newly formed relationship between her and Ron.

I hope everyone enjoys how I have tried to portray this; I would love to here feedback on this chapter. Thanks so much for reading!

-Laine.

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from: mopstyle
date: Jan. 5th, 2011 03:02 am (UTC)
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Love it.

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