agosto 01, 2011
She had been able to tell herself that the small swell of fear that weighed down on her like chains had been the locket’s influence - that she was really quite fine. She would soldier on. But Hermione had taken the locket off, and now there was nothing inside of her at all; she felt as fragile and as small as a piece of glass, one moment away from splintering into a million pieces and never being whole again.
Deciding that nothing good would come of doing nothing, she cleared a space on the tent floor and emptied out her bag, hoping that sorting through its massive contents would distract her. Turning the radio on, she stacked books and got rid of empty vials and folded clothes, losing herself in the regularity of it, the normality. She turned over another book and her eyes hit on something she had not expected; the sight of it felt like a punch to the stomach.
It was a jumper, soft and full of holes and blazing scarlet, with a bright yellow R stitched on the front. The wind howled and the radio crackled with static beside her, but she remained still, eyeing the jumper, her heart caught somehwere in her throat.
He must have forgotten it, she thought, her fingers tightening in the fabric, he must’ve forgotten it when he left.
Hermione picked it up gingerly, as if it would catch fire if she was too rough with it, noticing for the first time how the red was that very type of Weasley red, like his hair had been in the summer sun.
She had begun to cry; the tears fell thick and unstoppable down her cheeks, and when they hit the fabric she wiped them away furiously, not wanting to ruin it. The tent stretched out for miles at every side, making her feel so small that if she stopped breathing, she might fade away.
Outside, snow whispered down the tent, silent and cold as the grave.
Days went by when he forgot he even had it, but every now and again the Deluminator would burn hot in his bag, and would pull it out, flicking it open and shut, not knowing what he was waiting for.
And then there were the days when he would light matches just to siphon their light and watch it burn in front of him. When he was tired enough, he could pretend he was back with them, and that when he turned around he would see her pouring over her little book, pacing - but when he looked over his shoulder she was always gone.
One cold morning, without really knowing why, Ron had thrown the thing on the table in front of him while he tried to think of places Harry and Hermione would have gone. In the silence of the room around him, the Deluminator seemed to be making a low, keening sort of sound.
Ron strained his ears, and could’ve sworn he heard it: the desolate sound of someone sobbing, alone.
He shook the Deluminator and then held it against his ear; but the sound was gone, as if he had been listening to the ocean through a sea shell and the tide had gone out.
Putting the little device back in his pocket, he turned and walked outside. The first snows had begun to fall, and he could not help but think of Harry and Hermione, shivering in the tent. He hoped they were safe; he hoped he would find them.
But above all, he hoped she was warm.