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I heard once that if you love someone, let them go. Let them fly into the distance, let them meet new people - and if they truly love you, they'll return. But the problem is, I'm frightened to let go. Frightened that once I let go, they're gone forever, out of my heart and mind. I realize it probably sounds insane: to think that just by letting someone's face out of my mind means they're gone forever, but it's true.

I'm scared because I feel as soon as I let Ron drift away, he'll be gone forever, left to be just another name on the neverending list of lost ones in the war. That once I move on and begin to see new people, Ron isn't going to be remembered anymore. No one will be asking if I feel okay because of my loss. Instead, they'll be asking how my new boyfriend is.

And that's what I'm scared of. Getting a new boyfriend. Moving on.

It's impossible, for me, to even think about finding a new man to share my life with. Someone who understands me as much as I understand him. I'm a very complex person; I have so many inner-workings every man who's ever been close to me has gotten too scared away after peeling away three of my layers... when I still had so many left. Everyone gave up, however, except Ron. He was the only one who kept peeling until there was nothing else to peel. Nothing else to reveal. Just me in everything that I was. Just Hermione.

And suddenly, I now feel like what I was isn't the same. What I was is difficult to explain. I was a bookworm, and I loved explaining things. It was hard for me to pinpoint one exact definition to something when there were so many other things to think about. I wasn't boy-crazy at all, nor was I a party animal. I never even realized how much I wanted to be loved until I found out Ronald's feelings for me.

I guess I realized it in 6th year, but was too shy to do anything about it. In 7th year, however... we got together. We never were one of those show-off-y couples, who would make out in a "Ha, I have a boyfriend and we snog and you don't!" kind of way. No, we weren't like that at all. We were embarrased of everything, shy to the new experiences. And when we graduated, what seemed like weeks later but was really a month later, he proposed to me. I wondered why he would ask me to marry him, me of all people, but he told me why.To him, I was still just Hermione, the girl he'd loved since first year. To me, he was everything. Life, love, trust, friendship, loyalty. Everything I'd ever wanted, right in front of me for so many years.

I always felt I should kick myself for not realizing it sooner. I mean, honestly: he had always been there. Always. And yet I was still looking - searching for someone who could make me complete... and I didn't see the only boy who had told me I was complete to begin with. I wasted so many years looking... which gave me less time to be with Ronald before... the war. Before it tore my heart apart, ripped me to shreds.

It's not as if the war came by surprise. We knew it was coming eventually; the only way Harry could live a normal life was if he killed Voldemort himself. It was a difficult truth, but it had to be done. So when the war was announced... none of us were shocked. Nervous, yes, but not shocked.

We all had to do something to help. Ron and I, obviously, were going to fight side-by-side with Harry. Ginny wanted to, but Harry wouldn't let her. She was so in love with him... it was sweet. She was so willing to give her life for him, as I was for Ron. I was prepared to jump in front of any shooting bullet or curse for him.

The fighting was long, hard, and grueling - not to mention gruesome. I saw so many innocent lives lost that I would constantly break down into tears. The adults would look at me scathingly as if to ask, 'why bring such an emotional girl to war?' But Ron would stick up for me, saying it's only natural to cry when you someone die. If only he knew in such short hours, I would be crying over him...

It had been a long day. The fighting was even worse, and I was so tired I could barely stand. Harry had gotten seperated from Ron and I, and we were extremely nervous about what was happening to him. But we had to continue: staying in one place seemed to be dangerous. I was so weak that Ron had both arms around me, dragging me upward as he walked. I knew I slowed him down, but he wouldn't let go of me. I remember looking into his face as he walked. The serious expression frightened me, for it had pretty much never been used before. I knew something was up, something was going to happen. He wouldn't tell me what, but I think he knew one of us was going to die.

The rest is a blur filled with tears and spells yelled out of nowhere. As we turned a corner, we caught two Death Eaters about to murder Remus Lupin. I remember screaming, to take the Death Eater's attention off Lupin. It worked, but soon he was attacking me. As I faltered to think of a curse that would knock him off his feet, Ron was quicker than I. He yelled a complicated spell that I had never heard before, one that caused the man to begin to shake, his wand nearly falling out of his hand. The man, however, still had the stability to try and kill me. As he growled "avada kedavra," Ron pushed me out of the way. I remember screaming "Ronald!" quickly, hurridly. The thought running through my mind was don't leave me.

As Ron fell, in what seemed like slow motion, Remus gained his strength and killed the man. I sobbed, going on my knees and putting Ron's head in my lap. I knew the spell killed instantly, but I was expecting one of those endings like you read in books, filled with final I love you's and last goodbyes. No...I got a final look, his eyes boring into mine before they glazed over. I felt the tears come immediatly as I yelled, screaming at the night sky. I grabbed his hair, brushing his long red locks out of his face. I traced my fingers against his eyebrows, his lips, and his nose. I leaned down and put my forehead to his, my tears dripping down my face. I tried to think of something to say, because I knew Remus was standing there, out of place. But as soon as I opened my mouth, all that came out was, "Don't leave me." As I sobbed, it was the last time I let myself cry.

As I sit in my armchair, the one where I had sat on Ron's lap, talking about our future together, I can't help denying the tears to fall. I'm frightened of the tears, because I know by crying, I'm just giving in to the fact that Ron's never coming back. Ginny has told me that when she cries, it makes her feel better, but I know that's only because Harry can pat her on the shoulder, wrap her up in his arms and tell her it's okay. I have no one to wrap me up, to brush away the tears. When I will cry, the tears will fall, and then I'll be left with myself. Alone, lonely, and crying.

I walk to our room, immediatly overthrown with memories. The room is still how we left it before we went off to wore. The calendar on the wall is still set to July/August, with a big red circle around August eighth. There are still the hearts I had doodled in it. In Ronald's slightly messy cursive, he wrote our wedding. My mind mentally circles July twentieth, Ron's death.

I look over at my dresser. The first thing my eyes notice is the picture frame: red and lacy. Inside is a picture of Ron and I, too close to the camera. It was taken on a cold wintery evening, and I still remember all that happened.

It was quiet, and Ron and I were in the house alone. It had been a long day, finally finishing up the plans for our wedding. Ron and I were on the couch, curled into one another. He was beginning to fall asleep but I was too happy to close my eyes. I looked toward the window and noticed that snow was beginning to fall, slowly at first, then began to fall quickly.

"Ron! Get up, it's snowing!" I said, and so he did...slowly. We got dressed and I dragged him outside into our tiny backyard. It really is small: only has one tree that occasionally blooms small blossoms and a bench underneath it. The yard floor was barely covered in white, but enough to make the familiar crunch sound of the first snowfall.

Like a child, I ran away from Ron and put my head up to the sky, closing my eyes slightly and sticking out my tounge to catch snowflakes. After a few seconds I felt his arms around my waist through my thin coat, and I turned around. He immediatly leaned in and kissed me, the coldness from outside dissapearing to become warm from his touch. My cheeks began to burn, becoming red, and he put his hands over them. I still don't know how long the kiss lasted: could have been seconds, minutes, days, but all I know is that when it stopped, all I wanted was for it to come again.

"Don't," I whispered, kissing him lightly again. "Please."

"Don't what, 'Mione?" He answered quietly between kisses.

I kissed him again. "Don't ever leave me."

But Ronald left me, as all people do eventually. He expected it, risked it, did it. Lived life and risked life for me. And I guess that's how he would have prefered to go: risking life. Being the hero. But in my eyes, he always was the hero.

As the tears fall from my eyes for the first time in a year, I don't feel Ron slipping away from me. Instead, I can almost feel him patting my shoulder and wishing he could wrap me up in his arms, telling me it's okay.

Fin

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