So now I'm left with an empty bed
Characters: Hermione, Crookshanks, Ron Status: complete
Hermione came awake with a gasp. Something large and heavy had landed on the bed, and her wand was in her hand by reflex as it walked thudded up the mattress toward her.
She blew a lock of hair out of her eyes and stared into her cat's face. Crookshanks gave her his best disdainful look and began to wash one fluffy paw, occasionally glancing up at her with a sneer that would have done Professor Snape proud.
"You can't possibly be hungry, it's - " Hermione grimaced at the time on the clock. "It's 2:30! You know you don't get fed until 6:00!"
Crookshanks mraowed again and butted his head against her wrist. Hermione braced herself for the inevitable "shut 'im up, I gotta sleep" from the other side of the bed. Ron had never liked being disturbed, ever, and even though he tolerated the cat he still -
She cocked her head, then rolled over. The covers were thrown back, the pillow mashed into a ball. The Ron-shaped depression was empty and cool to the touch.
"Lumos," Hermione said. She automatically murmured the spell to check the wards and was absurdly relieved that they were intact; she wasn't part of the field rotation these days, but that didn't mean that she lacked enemies. "Ron? Are you all right?"
There was no answer. Hermione thrust her feet into her slippers and padded quietly into the hall. A quick glance showed that Leila was asleep, face scrunched into an adorable frown, and that the fire was banked for the night.
"Ron? Where are you?"
Sitting room, loo, kitchen, dining room, her study - all were empty. She checked the usual places where Ron might have left a note, from the bathroom mirror to under the sugar bowl - nothing.
I will not panic. I will not panic. He would have wakened her if something had happened to Harry, or his parents, or if the twins' shop had burned down, or -
There was a soft click from the front door, and Hermione spun about, wand out. "Who - Ronald?"
He stared at her for a second, then shut the door and re-warded the flat. "Hermione? What are you doing up?"
"Crooks woke me up. Where were you? I looked everywhere!"
Ron shook his head as if trying to clear it, and absently scratched his forearm. "Sorry, just needed some air." He shuffled toward the bedroom, yawning until his jaw cracked. "Didn't mean to scare you."
"You - " Hermione stared after him. "Ron? Are you all right?"
"Why wouldn't I be?" Ron began scratching the other arm. "I just needed a little fresh air." His expression softened, and he smiled at her. "Come on back to bed. It's too late for you to be up."
"I could say the same!" Hermione let him guide her down the hall to their room, Crookshanks trotting in their wake. "Sorry about being so paranoid - just leave me a note if you ever get the urge again?"
"Will do." Ron gave her a vague, almost distant smile and bussed her on the forehead before flopping back into bed. "Night, love."
"Good night." Hermione stared at him for a moment, then doused the lights and settled down next to him. I wonder if he's done this before? Need to owl Molly in the morning -
She was asleep before she could notice Crookshanks crouched at the foot of the bed, intent on Ron as if he'd never seen him before.