Harry looked at Ron's image in the green water beneath the dock they were sitting on. Ron saw him looking and smiled. "You look lost in thought," he observed. Harry shrugged, wiggling his toes in the lake. "What're you thinking about?"

"The war, mostly," Harry told him, looking up at the sky. "Sirius. I miss him, Ron."

"I know, mate," Ron sighed. "We all do. But you know . . . I think Sirius would want us to move on. He wouldn't want you to be depressed over what happened." Harry knew that Ron knew what he was thinking. "It's not your fault." Harry closed his eyes and leaned over slightly, just enough to rest his head on Ron's shoulder.

"No matter how many times I hear that, I can't help but think that . . . it is. If I hadn't rushed in he wouldn't have been put in danger."

"Oh Harry . . ." Ron put his arms around his best friend as Harry tried to stop the tears welling in his eyes.

"Now my godfather is gone . . . and I took him away from Remus . . ."

"You know no one blames you."

"Do I?" Harry pulled away from Ron and looked into his eyes. "You think Remus hasn't once thought, 'Gods, why did it happen . . . why was he taken from me?' I'd hate the one responsible if . . . if you were taken away from me." The tears spilled over, but Ron was there to wipe them away with a calloused thumb.

"Remus doesn't hate you. And I will never leave your side." Ron held Harry's face in his hands and gave him a sad smile. Harry returned it, feeling better. He knew that some thought Ron was only his friend for the spotlight. He knew Ron loved him every day. He also knew that Ron loved him every night.

He knew.

It was love.

And Ron would never truly leave him.