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She had learnt once that the most stable structures always contained triangles. Not squares like everyone thought. But triangles. A square could be bent, pushed out of shape, but triangles, she read, were immovable. She often imagined that was why the Marauders had collapsed. With four points one would always be unstable.

In their triangle, she had always been the dependable one. The one they both needed. The one they always came to.

After Hogwarts Harry and Ron had (finally) studied hard and become Aurors. They were hardly ever at home, always out somewhere, risking their lives. Voldemort's death had not simplified anything. The war continued, simply resurrected over and over in an infinite number of guises. Secretly she believed people were not happy unless they had something to hate.

She had chosen a job at the Ministry Research Department. She practically lived in the library, buried beneath the endless reach of history. And Harry and Ron were happy to have her safe within those walls of books.

So in those long dim nights, when the rest of the world was asleep and one of them turned up at her door; dirty, broken, shattered, tormented, she was there. Arriving in the dark, usually gone before the dawn, they existed, but only barely, never quite tangible in that half-light. And always, in the bleached harshness of day, their faces remained in her memory tinged in grey, or blue, sometimes lavender.

It seemed the most normal thing really. Having one or the other, occasionally both, in her bed. Their achingly familiar forms, one slim, all long limbs, the other broad shouldered, muscles hard, wrapped around her own.

Sometimes they wouldn't say a word. Sometimes they would talk all night until their throats hurt and their eyes stung from little sleep. Sometimes they would fuck.

Harry, more than Ron, seemed to need that release, that brief exemption from all the anguish he stored within him; he would pour it into her. Often she would ache for days after seeing him, never quite knowing if it was from his pain, or her own.

Ron was always softer, murmuring against her skin how much he missed her and promises of something better, something more. She would whisper back, into that gorgeous flame hair, knowing it meant nothing.

When she was alone, her face often sticky from tears, burnt out candles sending feeble wisps of smoke to halo her head, she would sit up for them, wait, straining to hear the heart achingly familiar beat of their footfalls, winding the way up her stairs. Straining to hear that knock on the door.

As time went on it started to become less frequent. But still Hermione waited, had only, was only, and could only ever be them. The three of them. The trio.


She wished she could see them more. See them under the sun, the glint of dark red in Ron's beard in the sunlight, the pink flush of Harry's cheeks in the wind. But things were the way they were and Hermione was nothing, if not pragmatic. Whatever else, she knew they would always, eventually, come back to her. And that was enough.