It was raining again, and the drops were echoing off the roof in annoying little plunks of noisy wetness that Ron used as an excuse to himself for his insomnia. The truth was that he could feel the painful vibrating in him again, and when he closed his eyes, he saw yellow, but that was a truth that he was better off lying to himself about. He turned his eyes to the window and watched the rain streak odd shadows down the glass for what was likely an hour before he gave up and slid out off bed.

The tile in the kitchen was horribly cold, but he didn't really notice. He was halfway to the refridgerator before he remembered the small flask of firewhiskey in the cupboard above the dinged metal sink. That would do.

He didn't bother with a glass, merely taking long gulps straight from the bottle, wincing at the flare of heat searing down his throat and thanking God that he didn't have to get to work in the morning.

Ron was halfway through the flask before he started to think of Harry again. He tipped the bottle once more, no longer aware of the fire in his mouth, throat and belly, and wondered what it must be like now. Harry lived in a simple, but ghastly huge house on a hill a few miles from Hogsmeade, in complete seclusion from the world. Ron had wondered when Harry bought it whether he'd gotten such a large home to counter living in a dusty, spider-infested (now that was a thought that made Ron's already tingling skin crawl) cupboard for a decade of his life. It was likely, in fact. Definite, he decided after another sip.

"I should visit, really." He'd said it aloud before the thought had even fully formed in his mind. Briefly a flash of Draco's face, pale and tense, when his own visit to the Potter residence was mentioned surfaced in Ron's head, but he briskly, drunkenly, pushed that way. Nonsense. Draco was Harry's tormentor in school, and a reformed Death Eater. Sure, Harry had forgiven him, and even become something one might call 'close' to Draco, but it was nothing compared to the bond of two best mates, and Ron had certainly always been his best mate.

Another glare of yellow behind heavy lids later, and Ron was fumbling with parchment and a quill, trying to pretend the throbbing in his left temple was not there as he scribbled lopsidedly on the paper.

Harry -

I know it's been months now since my last owl, but I've been thinking of you. I've decided a visit to you wouldn't be a bad idea, and I wondered if I might be welcome, if only for a few days. I regret the distance between us lately and would hope

He scratched a bit of it out, squinting to keep his eyes focused.

Sorry we've fallen out of touch, and I was hoping I could come around for us to catch up properly.

- Ron

Satisfied, he folded the note up unevenly and stumbled out of the kitchen, cringing when he knocked over a table in the hallway on his way to the front room.

"Oi, Perri," Ron called thickly as he tapped the bottom of his tawny owl's cage. Perri hooted and peered at him with one bleary red eye. "I've got a letter for you."

Despite Perri's nips and claw-digs to make it clear he was less than happy with being woken up in the middle of the night to deliver a letter in the pouring rain, Ron insisted. Soon the owl was gone and Ron collapsed into bed once more, muttering to himself about the annoying plunkplunkplunk of the rain even as he dozed off.