Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters. I've written this purely for my own entertainment, as well as yours.
It was quiet except for the shuffling of the morning paper.
A soft gasp of air was followed with an, "Oh shit."
"Ron, don't swear—"
"You just did! Don't be such a nag, Hermione."
There was a soft sigh.
"Do you think it's true?" he asked quietly, looking down at the headlines, not quite believing them.
"Rita Skeeter didn't write it!" she snapped.
"Shit. Buggery fuck!"
His large hand hit the table and Hermione felt the mug in her hands tremble with the weight of his anger. She didn't chastise him for swearing this time.
Ron sat down heavily. He put his head in his hands. She watched his shoulders set in defiance. Then he shifted his body away from her and vomited.
She didn't rush over to him, didn't yell at him and didn't hurry to clean it up.
Hermione sank to her knees with a sob, clutching at her sides, holding herself with shaking arms. Ron came over to her then.
He let her lean into him and she sucked whatever strength he had from his body. He could feel his breaths rush out of his lungs and into hers; their bond was so strong. His hands moved down her back so that he could feel her spine soften as she molded herself to him for comfort.
Harry Potter was dead.
"There's his family!"
Ron sent the witch who had whispered the not-so-quiet comment and threatening glance and tightened his embrace around the two most important women in his life. Hermione pulled away from him in an attempt to be brave, but his sister cuddled closer to him, feeling like she was a twelve-year-old all over again.
"I feel like everyone is staring at us," Ginny whispered.
"That's because they are," Ron sneered. If it had been up to him they would have held a small ceremony.
He looked around the Great Hall and once again marveled at how big it was.
He wouldn't have held the funeral here if he had been in charge. Hogwarts was tainted enough as it was, without it also being the final place he would see his best friend, his best man and brother.
Ron refused to allow himself to look around. He was afraid he would lose it if he did. He didn't want to lose it, not when he was supposed to be the pillar of strength for his wife and sister.
"It's weird being back here," Ginny mused. She threw a sidelong glace at her brother. "I should have put my foot down and just have a small funeral. I think he would have preferred it," she mused as she halfheartedly looked around the full room.
Hermione looked past her husband and tried to fake a reassuring smile. "Your parents wanted to do this for him. The whole Wizarding world wanted this."
Ron squeezed his sister's shoulders and kissed the very top of her auburn hair.
Two witches were huddled in their way, talking quietly—but not quietly enough—about the dearly departed. "He was married, wasn't he? I wonder how his wife is doing?" the shorter, stouter one asked.
Ginny took a deep breath and Ron released her immediately. He would have already hexed them into the next century if he were the widow, but not his sister…no. She was much meaner than that.
She marched herself up to the hags and tapped their shoulders irritably.
They turned toward her, looking just as irritated as she was. "Can we help you?" the taller, slimmer one asked.
Her red head tipped to the side and she smiled bitterly at the two women, looking them both directly in the eye. "Hi, it's nice to meet you. I'm Ginevra Potter, Harry Potter's widow. I just wanted to let you both know, since you seem so keen in knowing, that considering the circumstances, I'm doing fine."
Their jaws dropped to the floor.
Ron would have laughed under different circumstances. The looks on their faces were priceless. He would have felt sorry for them if they hadn't been such wenches; he knew what it was like to be caught in an awkward situation with your face burning up, after all.
"Don't laugh, Ronald," Hermione whispered sternly.
"It's kind of funny," he returned gently. Harry would have laughed.
Hermione sighed and looked away from him. He could tell she was trying to hide her feelings from him. She was still trying to be strong when she couldn't be anymore, even after five years of marriage.
Ginny caught up with them without making a sound. Ron winked at her and smiled wanly as a blush crept along her cheekbones.
"You sit first," he motioned to her.
She obliged and moved to the third inmost seat. Ron watched her hands tremble slightly and cursed under his breath. Hermione didn't make note of it.
The whole Weasley family took up the front row of seats. Former classmates and teachers took up the next row of seats along with drinking buddies and coworkers. Everyone loved Harry, because he was Harry, not because he was "the Boy-Who-Lived."
Ron looked away from the front of the Great Hall, where many years ago he had listened relatively attentively as a First Year to Dumbledore's welcoming speech. Instead, he found himself looking out a great big window and remembering lazy days of playing chess with Harry in order to avoid homework and Hermione's obsessive wrath.
With a blank look, he saw their younger selves meandering down the path toward Hagrid's hut. They weren't totally sure if they were looking forward to Care of Magical Creatures with the great big, loving oaf.
A sharp elbow in his side brought him back to reality.
McGonagall had finished speaking and Ginny was standing up. He could see her mentally preparing to speak and silently gave her props for her courage. If Hermione ever died…Ron didn't know what he would do with himself. Surely he would die with her.
"Thank you all for coming to my husband's funeral," Ginny started in a barely trembling voice. He could see her knuckles whiten and could tell she was at her breaking point.
"I had never imagined this day would come. At least, I wouldn't have thought so for many, many years.
"Harry was a lot of things to a lot of people, magical and Muggle alike. To me, he began as my brother's best friend, an eventual crush. I never thought he could love me in return, nor did I know I would love him to begin with. But eventually, I did come to love him. I came to love him, not as my brother's best friend, but as my friend. Few people can be lucky enough to be in love with their best friend, with their confidante. I was."
She stepped away from the pedestal and took a long, long look at the sad, tear-streaked faces in front of her. "Thank you, Harry."