Disclaimer: It's all JKR's, not mine. Too bad.

If only everything in life were easy. Ronald Weasley couldn't understand why he ever thought his life was hard. Sure, his family was poor, but they always had plenty of love. Then he had gone to Hogwarts, where the Boy-Who-Lived, Harry Potter himself, had picked him, a poor pureblood over Draco Malfoy. What a way to secure Ron's loyalty.

Then he had met Hermione Granger. She was a pain, that much was obvious. She was an insufferable know-it-all, had been from the train on. She constantly had to one-up him, wounding his already delicate self-esteem. So he had resorted to poking fun at her. He didn't mean for her to hear, really. But she had. She had gone to the bathroom to cry. Of course, that's how the Golden Trio was formed. Ron and Harry had saved her from the troll in that very bathroom, and she had covered for their rule breaking. A know-it-all can be a very useful best friend.

They grew up together at Hogwarts: suffered through terrible dark arts teachers, Trelawney's death warnings, Snape's potion classes, detentions, polyjuice potions, and Yule balls. That was when Ron first started feeling differently about Hermione. He couldn't understand why he was so upset about her going with someone else. Sure, he had always felt protective of her; no one could call her mudblood and get away with it. But he finally realized she was a girl. A pretty girl, when she wanted to be. And that was scary.

They had never properly gotten together, really. Sixth year he had to go and get a girlfriend. It worked. She got jealous. But then Dumbledore had died, hurting them all beyond such trivial things as dates. Even Harry and Ginny had been together for a while, until Harry did the most Harryish thing ever—broke it off to protect her from Voldemort.

Of course, seventh year hadn't even been at Hogwarts. They chased after Death Eaters, horcruxes, and Voldemort. So many people had died…it was far too hard on them. Then Voldemort hit the Burrow.

His mom, Fred, Charlie, Bill, and Fleur all gone. Ginny, thank God, had been tailing the Trio for months. George had been working late at the joke shop, for he and Fred had had a disagreement earlier that day. Percy, of course, never ventured to his childhood home unless he wanted something anymore, or so they thought at the time. His dad had been at work. They only hit the Burrow because of Ron. If he had been there…

But his dad was right, he couldn't blame himself. It didn't accomplish anything. If only Ron hadn't left, if only Mr. Weasley had gotten off work on time, if only George and Fred hadn't argued, maybe both the twins would be alive… It got nowhere.

He had gone to the only person who possibly could understand. They had hit Hermione's house the same night. Her muggle parents were completely defenseless. Only they could understand the loss, the all-consuming guilt, the heartbreak. So they had spent that one night together. Then there was the final showdown at Hogwarts. After that, none of the trio wanted any reminders of the horrors of that night. They had fallen apart, lost touch.

Ron regretted that. He still talked to Harry every once in a while. They were both Aurors, but were never assigned to the same missions. There was an unspoken agreement in their department. Don't put Potter and Weasley together. Too much history. Maybe it has to do with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Maybe it has to do with Weasley's sister getting dumped again by Potter. Maybe both. Just keep them apart.

If he missed the old Harry, Ron only missed the old Hermione more. He had heard she was working in Egypt somewhere, apparently filling some of the posts Bill once had. She never even answered his owls. If she even got them, for he never could figure out exactly where she was.

A/N This was my first fanfic, so please be nice. I like criticism, just not New York Times style. Please review. I'll try to update frequently, for I know how annoying it is to sit around waiting for fanfic to update.