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Without you - Matt
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Disclaimer: All characters belong to JKR, but lucky for me I do own the scripts and events in this fanfic, that unlike the last chapter is totally original and non-copied.

Stumbling he went through the door, the sight of paintings greeted his eyes, the paintings he had known for seven years now, but never was he so happy to see them. He was alive – for that he was thankful – but there was still something missing. His legs gained strength with every step that he took and soon he was running trough the corridors of his beloved Hogwarts.

He had been kept in the hospital wing, for how long he didn’t know and he actually didn’t care. Where was everybody, it made sense it was quiet here, it had to be summer break by now. The Final Battle took place two days after their graduation, so that would mean he was down for at least a week – for that was when the Hogwarts-Express would be leaving. He mentally scolded himself for letting his thoughts drift off; more important matters were at hand.

His legs had unconsciously carried him to the Gryffindor Common Room and before he registered it he was inside, after his mouth had again unbeknownst to him spoken the password (‘Fatum!’).

To his surprise, though he should have expected it, Ron was sitting – or rather sleeping and drawling over his robe – in one of the armchairs by the fire. But as he came closer, not wanting to wake his best friend, he saw to his great relief Ginny was in the chair opposite to Ron, sleeping too.

It seemed she was having nightmares though as she kept stirring and moving from one side to the other; not wasting any time he quickly waked her.

‘Ginny, wake up,’ he whispered, unfortunately with no effect, ’Ginny! You have to wake up, it’s just a nightmare.’

‘NO! Don’t… please don’t be dead, Harry!’ she moaned, still asleep and moving restlessly.

Harry decided for more drastic measures as he couldn’t watch her going on like that, he wasn’t afraid for Voldemort, but this; it was different - he couldn’t stand to see her in such pain. He shook her awake rather violently and finally she opened her eyes.

‘Harry!’ she shouted surprised, causing a small stir from Rons side, though not enough to wake him up.

‘Yes, it’s me, finally decided to some back to senses. It was rather lonely there, you know,’ he responded lightly.

She got up and hugged him like only a Weasley could do - though usually it was her mother that did the bone crushing hugs, he definitely preferred this one.

‘Ron! Wake up, Harry’s awake!’

‘Wha-,‘ Ron stared around looking a bit dazed, it took him some time to realize his best mate was no longer out cold, but standing right before his eyes.

‘Harry! Good to see you mate, already began to worry you’d never wake up,’ his tone was light, but Harry could see in his eyes he really had been worried. It was great to be back again, but something was still missing and he quickly figured what that was – or better who that was.

‘So where’s Hermione? Thought she’d be here with you guys, or -‘ he didn’t finish that thought, not wanting it to be true. His question was followed by an unpleasant silence and worried glances between the Weasley siblings.

‘She isn’t - ,’ Harry choked on saying the word, he feared most.

‘No, no, she’s alive,’ Ron quickly said, but on hearing his tone, he knew there was more. It was the same tone he heard when Mr Weasley almost died by the snake bite, it was the same tone he heard when Bill was bitten by Greyback, it was the same tone he heard when Hagrid was brought in a few months ago.

He couldn’t bring himself to ask what it was, it was like saying it would make it more real and he didn’t want it to be real. She couldn’t, no there was no way, no way at all.

Silence followed, neither of the Weasleys nor Harry wanting to speak – not knowing what to say, not knowing what to do. Ron fumbled with his cards, Ginny played with her hair and Harry just sat there, for what seemed like ages. Finally he pulled himself together, he had to know, maybe there was something he could do, maybe it wasn’t too late.

‘So…,’ he started, still getting no response, ‘so what’s wrong with her.’

A long silence followed once again and more nervous glances, it was killing Harry, why couldn’t they just say it?

‘Come on guys! I have to know, I have to know if there’s a chance she might get through, to know if there’s something I can do to save her.’

‘She’s,’ Ron began, but after that he fell into muttering, none of which Harry could understand.

‘In the name of Merlin, just tell me!’ Harry spat.

‘Harry,’ Ginny said softly, ‘H-Hermione won’t make it, she’s been brought to St. Holisto’s, but there’s nothing we can do anymore.’

‘Why are we still sitting here? We should be there – we should be there for her, like she’d be here for us, why did you come here, why aren’t you there to support her. She’s the one needing support, not me,’ Harry burst out, loosing his temper.

‘Now, you listen to me, Harry Potter,’ Ginny said, temper also rising, ‘don’t accuse us for not caring, because we do. As much as we’d rather be with her – no offense to you of course – we aren’t allowed to. We’ve tried, believe me, but it’s no use; they’ve put her in a dark room, the Healers have practically given up on her and seeing as there are cases that can be saved, it’s maybe better this way.’

‘No – they didn’t,’ Harry said defeated, ‘Not after all the things she has done to save their lives, she saved them all for god’s sake, without her Voldemort would happily be ruling the world by now.’

‘We know, Harry,’ Ron spoke, his voice on the point of breaking, ‘but she wouldn’t want them to spend days trying to save her life, when they could be saving many others in the same amount of time.’

‘I don’t care, I’m going there now. Let’s see if they can say no to me, the bloody Boy Who Lived,’ he said bitterly.

‘Not to mention the Boy Who Saved Our Sorry Asses,’ said Ginny, trying to lighten the mood. And she succeeded a bit as both Ron and Harry’s face lost a bit of their sadness, though it definitely was still there.


Harry and Ron apparated to the main entrance of St. Holisto’s, leaving Ginny at Hogwarts to tell the others at Hogwarts where they had gone; she wasn’t allowed to apparate yet and though she could Floo her way to St. Holisto’s, she said she didn’t mind being left alone at Hogwarts.

As Harry felt the floating sensation of being pushed through a tight tube lift, he was immediately surrounded by hundreds of waiting wizards congratulating him on his victory.

‘We owe you, Harry’ ‘Thanks for everything, Harry’ ‘Way to go, Harry’

He started to panic, of course he should’ve known this was going to happen, but it was too late now. More and more people seemed to gather around him and Luckily there was Ron to save the day.

‘People, could you please give Harry some space, we’re here to see our best friend.’

The people must have been reading the papers printing articles about the hopeless situation of Harry Potter’s best friend, because after Ron’s warning they immediately moved out of the way and made excuses.

‘It’s okay, don’t worry,’ Harry said as soon as he had enough breathing space, ‘But can someone please tell me in which department Hermione Granger is?’

‘Spell damage, fifth floor, ward 52, sir,’ the woman behind the desk answered a bit white from all the sudden attention of everyone in the room.

Harry murmured a quick ‘thank you’ and practically ran up the stairs taking two or three steps at a time and nearly running over two old ladies coming down the stairs. He burst through the doors of ward 52 and finally saw her. She was in a separate room a large glass window keeping them separated. The peacefulness of the sight broke his heart and he had to push himself to it to walk to her.

Her face was white and her body stiff, but still it looked like she was just sleeping. Harry didn’t want to admit it, but Dumbledore looked quite the same the night he was murdered by his most loyal friend.

He tried opening the door, but it didn’t gave in.

‘We can’t go in, remember,’ said Ron.

‘Oh yes, I forgot. Portapendula!’

The door clicked open and Harry walked in.

‘Hey, you’re not supposed to do that!’ a man a few beds further yelled. But once again it was Ron to stand up for him at a moment he knew Harry couldn’t.

‘Do you know who you’re talking to, my dear friend? That’s Harry Potter,’ Ron said and it had the desired effect, the man grew white, ‘Yes, you heard me: thé Harry Potter, the one who saved us from being reign by an evil madman.’

‘I-I’m so sorry, go ahead, you have every right to go in,’ the man answered softly, though still a bit white.

‘I’m going to get some coffee, be right back,’ whispered Ron and he walked away, but Harry didn’t really register him. He sat down in the chair beside Hermione’s bed and took her hand.

‘Please, Hermione…’ but his voice failed him, he couldn’t find the words. Somehow he never thought that it would be this way. Yes, he did know there were risks, but he always thought it was far more likely that he would be in the position Hermione was now instead of the way it was now.

It took all of his willpower not to break down right there; it wasn’t that he was afraid to cry, it was that he somehow knew that Hermione could feel his presence and he would be strong for her, he wouldn’t show her the weakness he carried at the moment. If only he could transfer his own energy just to bring her back again, but maybe it wasn’t energy she was lacking but rather a possibility to break out of wherever she was.

A Mediwizard stepped inside and walked to the bed.

‘Mister Potter, I presume.’

‘Yes, that would be me,’ answered Harry and he made half a try to force a friendly smile.

‘I’m Brian Silvercave and as much as I admire what you have done for us, you’re still not allowed to approach the patient.’

‘And may I ask why,’ Harry asked, maybe pushing his luck.

‘We can’t take any risks, we don’t know what hit her; it could be dangerous for you too…’

‘So what if I don’t care, because I don’t. I don’t care if some curse gets me too, I don’t care if I die. I just can’t let her stay here all by herself, she needs the support.’

‘She won’t feel you’re here if that’s what you mean…’

‘And how do you know that? I’d rather not take the risk that she in fact can feel her surroundings and she would feel alone because I wasn’t there.’

Mr. Silvercave seemed to process the situation, but Harry wasn’t planning on leaving even if the mediwizard would decide on having him removed.

‘Okay, mister Potter, you can stay. I feel that’s the least we can do to thank you for saving the world.’

Harry nodded and though he normally would feel uncomfortable by having his name open up all the doors for him, he wouldn’t complain now.

Mr. Silvercave left the room and went to some other patient, leaving Harry alone with his thoughts at Hermione’s bed.

Harry was trying to recall the events since he killed Voldemort, only to learn that there was nothing but darkness between then and him waking up. He did remember a dream though, a dream with a voice calling out for help…

And then it hit him, it wasn’t Ginny’s voice he heard in his dream; it was Hermione after all. But even that knowledge couldn’t help her since he didn’t know where it was or how he got there. He tried to replay the events in his dream, but the harder he tried the faster it seemed to slip away. As he set back in his chair he felt the exhaustion coming over him and he surrendered himself to it.

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