“He’s g-g-gone! Disapparated!”
She threw herself into a chair, curled up, and started to cry.
Harry felt dazed. He stooped, picked up the Horcrux, and placed it around his own neck. He dragged blankets off Ron’s bunk and threw them over Hermione. Then he climbed onto his own bed and stared up at the canvas roof, listening to the pounding of the rain.
--page 310, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
The blankets smelled like Ron.
It was a combination of musty hand-me-downs, broom pomade, and chocolate. How he continued to smell like that when they hadn’t been in contact with any of it, I had no idea. But I had tried every chance to get as much of that smell as possible during our recent quest.
It was too much to bear, him leaving, shouting, saying all the things aloud that he had whispered to me. It was like something out of one of those Muggle movies I watched with Mum, but nonetheless, I couldn’t help my behavior. As soon as I had removed the spell, I ran outside, trying stupidly to stop him. Somehow, I thought he would wait for me to chase after him, as if he was boarding a steam engine with his hatbox in one hand, and a suitcase in the other. He hadn’t, though.
You know that feeling when you love someone so much, you simply can’t stand it? That feeling that is so strong every second you’re away from them, but the second you look at them, every single emotion flees your body and you just exist, without emotion, simply because they’re there?
That was a rhetorical question.
As I ran out into the rain, screaming his name, searching for the untidy mop of red hair, I felt down my shirt, sure that it was my turn to be wearing the Horcrux. It wasn’t. It was just me and my pitiful heartbreak. How could one person feel this much despair? I collected my thoughts for the first time since our chat with Phineas. I decided to go back inside. I had wandered far beyond the charms surrounding the tent, and Ron was not coming back to us.
He wasn’t coming back to us, or simply, to me.
It was all I could do to make it back to the chair. I curled my legs up to my chest, and ignored the part of my mind still whirring with thought. Only being near Ron seemed to be able to turn that chunk of my brain off. You’re curled up into a fetal ball…what would Freud say? The Muggle doctor had had a lot to say about my behavior with Ron. This only made me sob harder.
I just sat there and cried, Ron’s words replaying in my mind like the broken wireless we found in his room and tried to fix, during the few days before Harry came to the Burrow.
“I get it. You choose him.”
No, you dolt. I chose you! He seemed to have brushed over all the times when Harry was on guard duty and it was just us sitting in the tent, reminding each other that we should go to bed, that we’d regret it in the morning if we didn’t, neither really meaning it. Instead we stayed in the position we had somehow moved into, me with my knitting needles in my hands, sitting on my feet, working on one side of the couch, with Ron, his long legs dangling over the opposite arm of the couch, head propped up on a pillow right by my knees, springing one of my curls whenever it was in arm’s reach. Sure, sometimes I leaned over my pullover a bit longer and a bit more hunched over than I normally would. Sure, I licked my lips once or twice, bit my lip the way the women in the meaningless films I watched with Mum did. But he wasn’t playing fair, why should I? When I woke up on the couch, curled into a ball with my head on the headrest, arms on what appeared to be his chest, Ron’s head resting on my thigh, legs still over the opposite arm rest, arms over the back of the couch and my legs, respectively, why should I play fair? It had been going so well. Well, not the hunt for the Horcruxes, obviously, but me and Ron. It was easier at night, he seemed more at ease, having made it through a day. We would whisper about Harry’s situation with our heads closer than they needed to be, and sometimes forget that the other wasn’t talking, and we’d just be there, silent.
It had been going so well.
Then he went and mucked it all up. How could this ever be fixed? Sure, I wanted to just sit and cry, but I was a list maker. How could the situation ever be resolved? Primarily, how could Ron find us after we left this site, tomorrow? And even if he did eventually track us down, which in the end would not be so comforting if he could, how could I forgive him?
And then I felt the weight of the blankets on me, figuring Harry had taken the open sleeping bag and laid it on top of me, and left Ron’s bed as it was, crumpled and lived in. However, as I drew in a shaky breath and inhaled the scent: that rich and carnal and ridiculous and dirty and heavy and passionate smell, I realized they were Ron’s blankets.
I was strangely comforted, and settled into a dreamless sleep.