A/N: I just HAD to write his after reading a horrible comment a reviewer wrote, in response to someone's story, about our beloved Ron. The reviewer said that in their story, (which was Draco/Hermione, if I may add), they played it out so that Ron raped poor Hermione, so that "everyone would hate Ron as much as they did," because he was "stupid" or something or other. It really annoys me when people hate Ron, just for the simple acting of hating him. It annoys me even more when they make Ron out to be some spineless, bumbling idiot, with the intellect of a rock. Yeah, Ron does some pretty stupid things sometimes, but by no means is he actually stupid. At least in my opinion. Anyway, this story hopefully gives some much needed credit and insight to a character often underestimated. It's in three little parts. All set during sixth year. Last one at Dumbledore's funeral. R&R!


I.

He sits and stares, pieces of his hair lingering in his eyes and suddenly transforming into a makeshift curtain. Blocking his emotions, hiding his true intentions, almost isolating the burning light trembling beneath his velvety orbs. His sits and watches, because his tongue is too thick and heavy to form coherent words.

Every time he attempts to start a conversation, he stumbles and falls all over himself, his innermost thoughts twisting and reshaping into lengthy lamentations of pseudo anger and spite. But every time they argue and bicker, his heart is about to pop out of his chest and his ears turn so red, they're hot to the touch. He can't control himself, he can't control his emotions.

He's on a train with a bumpy track, a loose caboose without a conductor, blazing down the tracks, illuminated by its inevitable doom. He is a puppet on a string, a liar wearing a mask made out of steel and the fists that are clenched by his side only want to reach out and get lost in her mess of a mane. He's a complete and total catastrophe, a walking disaster, bumbling and fumbling with his vowels and consonants. Compliments taste funny on the tip of his tongue, so he swallows them with newfound vigor, until they land in the pit of his stomach.

They do this every year, this sick cycle. But somehow, it's different. The atmosphere is electric. They're on the brink of something big. Is he trying to run from a conclusion that's set in stone? Or maybe he's throwing himself into fits of denial, because he doesn't want to fully grasp the harsh coarseness of actuality.

How pathetic.

How sad.

How humiliating.

She says something and it sounds like buzzing. He tilts his head, his lanky frame overpowering her. She throws up her hands and lets out a frustrated sigh. He's still staring. He's a mess and he thinks he loves it.


II.

She gets angry when she learns that he's lost all common sense and started snogging Lavender Brown. She pretends that she doesn't care, but he somehow knows that he's gotten under her skin. So their arguments take on another motivation, genuine intentions cleverly veiled by the standard routine.

They use the usual lines and they play the same parts, and he wonders if the latest production will finish with an unscripted ending. He doesn't really fancy Lavender, but he can't tell her that. He won't. Lavender is a parasite and he desperately wants to untangle himself from her spidery limbs. But he can't.

He just keeps on attackingLavender's lips, shutting his eyes so tightly that it hurts, so he won't have to look at her face. And when Hermione glares at him with undescribable animosity, he wants to chuckle at the irony. And she knows, because she always knows. She knows everything.

He wishes that he could open up and let the words flow from his mouth until his throat ran dry. But all he can do is answer her questions with malevolence or silence. He hates the way she always has to be right and yet he's proud of her unapologetic intellect. He hates the way she can underestimate him, yet his legs turn to jelly when she cracks the hint of a smile.

Even her frowns are a mirror of some unspeakable and admirable passion of conviction, bewildering magnificence in painfully slow motion. He shakes his head, thinks that he's too pathetic to save. If this isn't love, then what is?


III.

Harry's off with Ginny and he doesn't care. Because he's sitting next to her and the abundance of white that surrounds them reminds him that somehow, somewhere, purity and goodness still have a place in the ever-changing universe. He thinks about his family; his Mum and his Dad and his brothers and his sister.

He suddenly realizes that mortality should not be taken for granted, that death cannot be exchanged like an unwanted Christmas gift and the blood that runs through his veins is just as delicate as the flesh that covers his hands and face. They are not invincible; you cannot stop the hands of time.

Seconds are a race against the shedding of minutes, the ticking of minutes a marathon against the running hours, the hours competing against the sailing days.

He shifts in his seat, the echo of random sobs ringing in his ears. He realizes how stupid he's been, how foolish and childish he's acted for the past few months, for the past few years. They are not children anymore. They are floating among the thin membranes of adulthood and adolescence, somewhere stuck in the foggy between. And she doesn't say anything. But she glances up at his face, his somber mood reflecting his stony expression.

She looks at him, eyes consumed by her tears, her complexion amazingly paler than he could ever remember. Her shoulders shake like tin foil in a tornado and he draws her closer, secretly indulging in the warmth of her body.

She suddenly seems so small, like a little child. And he wishes that he could protect her from the evils and the corruption of the great world beyond, but he knows that he can only clutch her hand as they face them together.

He recalls incidents when he was younger, when Ginny used to be afraid of the ravenous monsters that lurked under her bed. She wasn't terrified of the imaginary monsters; she was just personifying the darkness. Who really knew what lived in such a bleary and pitch-black forest?

This isn't chess, where you can walk away without a wound. They have put away the games and the knick-knacks of their short youth and traded them in for wands loaded with stunning spells and unforgivable curses.

He wants to be brave, because he knows that's all he can be. There isn't any time for apprehension or fear. You can't think. Your body goes into overdrive and you've just got to trust your instincts. All of them.

Hermione whispers "Ron" without making any noise and he nods. Her lips quaver like symbols and she buries her head in the broad valley of his shoulders. He gently pats her back and somehow, the grievances of the past are behind them.

Dumped onto the side of a conquered road, like an old sack. It doesn't matter anymore, it doesn't matter about Lavender or Krum or anything. He is here with her and that's all that matters. She is all that matters.

Why did it take so long for him to get his head on straight? He wants to thank her for maintaining some sort of faith in him, because he had lost it. The world is a wild and raw place, full of apparent savagery that threatens the structured definition of civilization. He wants innocence to beat out the brutality; he wants to cover his eyes to the death and destruction that reign by force and tyranny.

More than anything, he wishes that he could go back and hide in the pockets of nostalgia and the past; letting his nose fill with the smell of his Mum's cooking. Or even the night that Harry and he discovered Hermione in the bathroom, paralyzed with anxiety by that stupid troll. He thought he was a hero, in that moment. Now he knew that some of the best heroes had only been zealous fools.

So instead, he lets her cry on his shoulder, soaking his shirt with relentless saline. He shuts his eyes and lets his chin rest on the tip of her head. Tomorrow is a new day. Maybe tomorrow he'll tell her; confess everything, every demon, every worry, and every concern that's been hovering in his clouded conscience.

Maybe tomorrow he will look her in the eye and whisper those words and maybe she will cry again, but with happiness instead of grief.

The world, as they knew it, was disappearing. Together, they'd watch it burn and then gather the ashes and then move on. Because that's all you could do. That's all you could ever do. He gazed down at her, awed by her disheveled beauty. She was sniffling now, still clinging onto his shirt, her head bent low.

Maybe tomorrow he'd put his mouth close to her ear and unlock the chains that had captured the vault to his vocabulary.

And tomorrow, maybe he'd just kiss her instead.