Hey I took Heartstrings off, because I redid it a bit. Re-read and enjoy!

Ron Weasley hated thinking about the future. To him it meant that he would have to live up to all the expectations that had been placed on his shoulders the moment he was born. His parents wished for him to be just like all five of his older brothers. They wanted him to get a good job, like Bill who was in Egypt cracking curses for Gringotts Wizard Bank. They wanted him to make a difference in the world like Charlie, who worked taming dangerous dragons all over the world. Arthur and Molly Weasley wanted their youngest son to be clever and responsible like Percy had been before he'd disowned his family. They wanted him to show initiative and be brilliant like his favorite twin brothers, Fred and George, who owned their own business. Sure Ron had become a prefect the year before, something that neither Fred or George had done, but that was nothing compared to two Head Boys and a Quidditch Captain in the family. Ron was sick of standing in the shadows of the people around him. Even when he tried to get away from it at school, with his friends, it never happened. He was, after all, best friends with Harry Potter who was born famous. It wasn't always fame that had followed Harry; especially in the last two years, with the Daily Prophet writing horrible lies and misgivings about him. And yet where ever Harry was, attention followed, good or not. His other best friend was Hermione Granger, who was the smartest witch in their year, a favorite to all teachers and the girlfriend of a very famous quidditch player named Viktor Krum. He remained a poor and dirty Weasley.

It wasn't solely his stubborn personality that made him not want to think of the future. Ron knew that if he was going to concentrate on his future at all, he would have to let go of his present day self, and forget his past. Those were some things that Ron would have trouble doing. Letting go and forgetting about things weren't exactly Ron's strong points, especially when he didn't want to. There were a lot of things that littered his past and haunted him presently. Even though it had been nearly three weeks since Sirius Black's funeral, Ron still hadn't been able to get his pale dead face out of his dreams. Ron thought about Sirius constantly. He knew Harry was having a hard time as well, his letters since the start of summer had been so half-heartily written, and very vague. Ron, who was still communicating with Hermione, knew that she too was bothered. He'd invited her to come stay at the Burrow, since the Weasley's had refrained from returning to 12 Grimauld place without Sirius. She'd consented to come for the last month of summer holidays, and would be there in less than a week. He couldn't wait for her to come, he'd missed having a friend around the house, and Ginny, his sister, was becoming boring to talk to. All he and Ginny did was bicker, much to the annoyance of Mrs. Weasley. With Hermione here, there wouldn't be any more bickering. Ron paused, and thought about that. He and Hermione had bickering since the day they had met on the Hogwarts Express, off and on. They would argue over the smallest things, such as pets, teachers and more lately Viktor Krum. It'd taken him nearly 3 years to figure out why, but he finally had, down in the Department of Mysteries at the Ministry of Magic where his father worked.

Ron's thoughts were interrupted by several small explosions that made the floor and his bed shake. They came from the room directly bellow Ron's. He had thought he'd be the only one up this early, but small explosions coming from Fred and George's room (who still lived at home) at any hour weren't uncommon. They were always working on new experiments for their shop Weasley Wizard Wheezes. As the sun began to rise, and shine golden rays into his room lighting up the many posters of his favorite Quidditch team (the Chudley Cannons) that covered the shabby wall of his room, Ron turned over with a sigh. He closed his eyes, thinking back to the terrible time he'd spent at the Ministry not to long ago.

"Ron, come on!" Ginny yelled.

He was sitting on the floor still recovering from the spell that had just knocked him off his feet. Luna Lovegood, a 4th year Ravenclaw girl, had finished off the Death-Eater after he'd shot his spell at Ron. She was now standing against a large desk panting. Ron watched her curious blue eyes dance over the many models of planets that littered the top.

"We need to find Harry, Neville and Hermione!" Luna cried shrilly returning her attention to her friends.

Ginny limped over to her brother; her ankle had been injured in her violent escape from another Death-Eater, who was now slumped against a desk. She tried to pick him up, but Ron was no help, something odd was taking place in his body. He watched her face go pale against her red hair that all the Weasley children had inherited from their parents. She fell to the floor with a gasp of pain clutching at her ankle. Luna ran to her aid, and helped Ginny to her feet,

"I think we need to go through that door over there," she said pointing, and reaching down for Ron's robes.

Ron opened his mouth to protest as she lifted him to his feet; nothing came out but laughter. It was an uncontrollable laughter that giggled and chuckled its way out of Ron's throat. Ginny threw him a furious glare,

"How can you find anything funny right now Ron?" she spat, before wincing in pain, "Please enlighten us."

Ron shook his head, and began to tell her that he couldn't control what was happening, that it must be the spell he was hit with, but what came out was something totally different.

"Ginny!" he cried, with a fit of giggles, "You're ankle is all big and puffy!"

"Ha-ha!" she cried angrily.

Luna's face lit up as she stared at Ron in question,

"You know Ginny, I think Ron's been hit with a Giggle Hex,"

Ginny threw her a look that said, 'Yea Right-It's-Just-My-Brother-Being-A- Jerk' but Ron nodded ferociously and Ginny gave him a reproachful look.

"Right then," she nodded, and Ron knew she understood, "Let's find a way out of here,"

Together Luna, Ginny, and Ron managed to find a door, which seemed to not want to open. They all clutched at the door-knob, pulling and pushing, throwing their body weight at it. Ginny gasped, as she heard more Death- Eater's approaching,

"Hurry!" she cried out, as Ron's laughter filled the room.

Luna reached around in her robes, muttering to herself, looking up with big eyes. Relief passed over her face in a few seconds as she pulled out her wand.

"Alohamora!" she cried, and the door burst open from Ron and Ginny's weight and the three off them toppled onto the floor.

Ron looked up to see Harry dash towards them.

"Harry," he cried, lunging forward and grabbing the front of Harry's robes.

He wanted to ask what was going on, if they had killed, or knocked out all the Death-Eaters but,

"There you are," his eyes became unfocused, "Ha, ha....you look funny, Harry....you're all messed up!"

Ron felt his stomach lurch, and fell to his knees still holding onto Harry's robes. Whatever that Death-Eater had done to him, it was horrible. Liquid filled his mouth and Ron felt it trickling out the side. Harry threw a nervous glace towards Ginny, who was slouched against the wall, still holding her ankle. Ron didn't hear what they said to each other, because his body began to shake once more, and he continued to laugh. He wanted to ask Harry about Neville and Hermione. He needed to know if they were okay,

"Harry," Ron said pulling Harry's ear down to his lips, "You know who this girl is Harry? She's Loony...Loony Lovegood...hahaha!"

Harry grabbed Ron, who was still laughing and carried him awkwardly towards the door, but Death-Eaters broke all around them. Ron felt himself being thrown from Harry threw the threshold, and laughed as he hit the ground hard. Soon they were all in the room, and Ron's eyes rested on a tank full of objects that looked like brains. Was he going insane? He could hear the Death-Eater's scream in frustration as Harry slammed the door in their faces, but Ron knew they were coming. As the Death-Eaters made their way into the room, Ron laughed as he continued to stare at the brains. Luna Lovegood flew past him, and fell over a desk, but Ron only laughed harder.

"Hey!" he called out as he pulled himself to his feet.

Walking was a difficult task for Ron, but he staggered towards Harry anyways, he needed to know about the brains,

"Hey, Harry, there are brains in here...ha ha ha isn't that weird Harry?"

Ron pointed his wand at the tank; he needed to feel one, needed to understand what it was. He found his wand,

"Honest, Harry, they're brains, look, Accio brain!"

The brain popped out of the tank, and came flying at him, unraveling as it flew through the air towards his outstretched hand.

"Ha ha ha, Harry look at it, "Ron laughed, "Harry come and touch it, bet it's weird."

Ron didn't hear Harry protest, but caught the brain easily in his hand. Tentacles began attaching themselves around Ron's body and he giggled uncontrollably.

"Harry look what's happen – No, no, no I don't like it – Stop!"

The feelers began wrapping themselves around Ron's body, squeezing his arms against his ribs. As the ropes piled and piled around him, Ron knew he was going to suffocate. Knew he was going to die. He sank to the floor, the feelers still slithering about him, he closed his eyes.

When Ron opened his eyes again, he was lying face down on the cold stone floor. His body ached all over as Ron tried to push himself off the floor.

"Easy now," a familiar voice muttered, helping Ron turn onto his back.

Ron blinked a few times before he realized he was staring at Remus Lupin, his old Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher.

"Sir?" Ron questioned, feeling a large headache coming on.

"You are fine Ron, you got hit with a giggle hex, and got a little preoccupied with some creature that the Ministry is working with. You nearly suffocated, but luckily I got to you on time." Lupin told him with a serious face.

Ron winced as blinding lights flashed from other rooms, and yells and screams echoed from the dark corridor.

"It will be okay Ron," Lupin said noticing the worried look on Ron's face, "Dumbledore and the Order are here," Ron looked up at him hopefully, "Hermione, Neville, Luna and Ginny are all behind you. Unfortunately you are the only one who is conscious. I need to know, did Harry give the Death- Eater's the prophecy?" Lupin asked.

"I c-can't remember," Ron whispered.

Lupin nodded, patting Ron's shoulder,

"Now that you're okay, I've got to go help the others, I'm going to lock you all in this room, and if the others become conscious just explain to him it's all alright, okay Ron, if anything goes wrong, try to find one of the members of the Order,"

With that Lupin was gone. Ron pulled himself into a sitting position. He looked wearily at Neville, who was twitching, but unconsciously sprawled across the floor. Luna's face had been covered with blood, but her chest was rising and falling. Ginny was quite pale and Ron's heart beat quickened as he crawled over to her, groping for her wrist to feel for a pulse. Once he'd found it, he threw himself against the wall with a sigh of relief, but his eyes sprung open when he thought of Hermione. He searched the room for her, and finally found her lying perfectly still in the darkest corner. Her shallow breaths were shaky and irregular.

"Hermione," Ron whispered, as he came closer, sinking to the floor to sit by her.

What had happened to her? He glanced over her body, his eyes rested on a huge slash across her chest, her robes soaked up with blood. He gasped, and drew back with surprise. She was seriously injured. She looked worse off than any of the others. Was it fatal? He stared at the deep cut, oozing with blood nervously. He'd never seen Madame Pompfrey fix anything this bad before. His heart lunged. He suddenly felt the familiar feelings of when he'd last saw Hermione, pale, cold and unconscious. It had been in his second year when she'd been petrified by the Basalisk. They'd only known each other for two years then, but now he and Hermione had been through much more together. She was his best friend. He felt sorry for all the times he'd yelled at her when her cat, Crookshanks had gone after his pet rat (who was really an evil wizard named Peter Pettigrew) in the third year. He felt his heart twist horribly as he remembered the constant bickering they'd had in their fourth year over Viktor Krum. The worst of these fights had taken place on the night of the Yule Ball. After the dance was over, after Ron had glared at Viktor Krum holding onto his best friend in inappropriate ways, Hermione and he had had the worst fight ever. Viktor Krum had still be a soft spot with Ron this year. He and Hermione had been forced to spend more time with each other because Harry was distant and they were both prefects. He thought back on all the countless and endless fights they'd had with each other and he wondered why. Why had there always been such a tension between them? He stared at Hermione's mangled body, her beautiful frozen face, and her long brown hair, that lay fanned out below her. Why had it taken Ron so long to realize how beautiful she was? Why was he only appreciating her friendship now that she lay here on the floor, inches away from death? He closed his eyes as they filled with tears. Something was happening inside Ron's heart, a realization was coming over him. The sudden jealousy he'd felt for Viktor, the constant bickering, the insensitive comments, they'd all happened for this reason. And as Ron kneeled beside Hermione, tears falling down his cheeks, making wet spots appear all over her dark robes he realized he'd been in love with Hermione since the third year. He seized a handful of her robes, and as she lay motionless underneath him he cried into them, begging, pleading and praying that she would still be alive. He promised himself, as he swallowed a deep sob that rested in his throat, that if the two of them made it out of this, some day he would tell her how he felt.

As Ron lay on his bed, remembering the promise he'd made to himself, he realized that day had never come. She had survived that night alright. Madame Pompfrey had fixed her up. Ron had stayed with her, during the long weeks she spent in the hospital wing, but still that day had never come. Even as she pulled hard on the strings of his heart, Ron knew that Hermione was in love with someone else. Ron knew she'd never love him, she'd never feel the same way as he did when they were together. Hermione was with Viktor Krum and he was everything that Ron wasn't. Ron didn't blame Hermione for not wanting to be with him, he was poor, lonely, pathetic red haired Ron Weasley. He was amazed she was friends with him. For now that was enough.