TITLE: The Day After Now
WARNING: Character death, AU, Trio!fic
WORD COUNT: 389
SUMMARY: You have me now, and the day after now, and the day after the day after now.
They hovered a short distance away. Thick, murky grief swirled around Hermione, separating her from the group, the strength of her emotions creating a miasma of uncontrolled magic between them.
Only one person was brave enough to wade through it—Harry pushed on bravely, jaw firmed with concentration, his grief complementing hers. Arms wrapped around her, strong and warm, and pulled her back against a strong chest, anchoring her to this place, this time.
She didn’t want to be here, now. Hermione keened, a piercing sound, and struggled, trying to throw herself back onto the body she had been clinging too. Harry didn’t let go, however, pulling her more firmly against him.
“Shhh, shhh, Hermione. You have to calm down now. We need to take care of Ron’s… Ron’s body.” Hermione collapsed inward at the words, sobbing. Harry pulled her into his lap, wrapping himself around her like a warm cloak, a favored child’s security blanket. “Please, Hermione. Please.”
It was only with that last begging please that Hermione realized that he was just as upset as she was. Logically, she’d known he would be—the three of them loved each other unconditionally. They were committed to each other, in and out of the war. But she had selfishly been mired in her own grief when Ron had been struck down, caught up only in her pain.
But now, with Harry’s glasses digging into her temple, his tears mingling with hers on her cheek, his grief touched her. Her soul hurt even worse now, guilt for her selfishness and pain for Harry’s pain throbbing inside of her.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered, again and again, the mantra of a broken heart.
“I know, I know,” he murmured back just as brokenly. “But we have each other. You have me now, and the day after now, and the day after the day after now.”
Hermione clung to him, wanting desperately to believe him. The war wasn’t over, though—there was still so much to do, so much potential to lose him, too. “You have me forever,” she promised fervently. To believe otherwise was to lose hope, and hope was all they had left.
They had to go on, without Ron—but with each other, they had a chance, and they clung to that—for now, and all the nows to come.