whoo, i finally churned something else out. i hope you enjoy! ps: prepare for an abundance of run-ons, i just can't seem to stay away from them. :)

The first time he saw him he was eleven years old with a face shining red and in awe. He was embarassed and awkward and grateful and delighted.

They were each other's first friend.

The first time he saw her he was immature and scathing and rude and she appeared to take it in stride. She was too smart to like and he was too Ron to respect.

This lasted for only two months.

And his life was changed.

The first time he decided, really decided and made an important choice, was at Dumbledore's funeral. He abandoned his best interests because there was no way in hell that he would let his best friend -- his first friend -- go through anything without him. Harry and him were two halves of an equations (Hermione fit in there, somewhere, perhaps the equal sign or more likely the person with the pencil in hand trying to work it through).

Without one the other really couldn't do much without getting stuck.

The first time he yelled they were at the Burrow, and it was those few days after his brother's wedding that the three were lingering and getting started on some initial "brainstorming" (Hermione called it). It was already past two in the morning, and they had been up all day and night, and tempers were running short and high until finally Hermione and Harry disagreed on a point and it erupted into a fierce - albeit quiet - argument. (A strange thing in itself, since that pasttime was usually owned by Ron and Hermione.)

She was spewing off a hissed whisper, and he was giving short and curt retorts, and he was eventually winning so that made her all the more defensive, and it was all so pointless and annoying that Ron finally erupted himself. He told Hermione to get off her high chair and admit that she was wrong and told Harry to just let it go because he looked williing to continue, and could they just bloody go to bed already?

Ron had shouted before but wasn't heard until then.

The first time he comforted it was August and they had arrived at Godric's Hollow. Harry was silent, looking at the empty lot where his parents were murdered, and Ron stepped forward and from behind put a hand on his shoulder and let it remain there. Harry composed himself, then shook free as if nothing ever had happened.

Ron had never comforted; he had insulted, mocked, and teased any and all who lashed out against his family (blood wasn't the only factor). Comforting was usually Hermione's job but Ron... Ron felt that if any time his was needed as a best friend, it was then.

He never did find out if it worked.

The first time he killed the three of them were stuck in a cold, dingy wizard's tavern with one bed that they all had to squeeze into (which was uncomfortable, for many different reasons). He had managed to fall into a light doze, and then he suddenly felt a bad feeling in his stomach as if he was about to vomit even though he knew he wouldn't.

He woke up quickly and didn't even have the time to ponder why his arm had been across Hermione before he flashed his wand off of the end table and threw a Reductor curse into the farthest and darkest corner.

A dark-cloaked figure crumpled to the floor, the curse which had been pumped full of fear and emotion and stress having hit him in the throat, as Hermione and Harry shot out of bed to check on the body and swear loudly. It had been an unrecognizable man who looked Eastern European that neither of them recognized.

Minutes later, trembling and pale underneath his freckles, he put his wand down.

The first time he kissed her the three of them had been engaged in a fierce and sudden duel, and somehow had survived with one Death Eater dead and the other two retreating, and they were paused and breathing in a way that suggested the collective thought of 'What the hell just happened there?'

And he was pumped full of adrenaline, and scared by the sight of her battling for her life, so he just seized her 'round the shoulders and kissed her hard and fierce until Harry spotted what they were doing and made a strange noise in the back of his throat.

Both of them looked bewildered as they separated.

The first time he achieved something worthy that he can attribute to himself was a time when they were briefly reunited with the Order and everyone but him was engaged in a fierce debate on whether they should Apparate or force their way into a suspected Death Eater hideout.

Feeling utterly foolish while he did so (he wondered if perhaps the point had been discussed while he had been previously dozing off), he suggested to have the Floo network hook the place up so they at least wouldn't have a chance of splinching and there would be the element of surprise.

There was that moment of silence that usually precedes an explosion of laughter at such a stupid idea, but those present just sort of looked at eachother, their faces showing the (pleasant) shock that he felt.

The first time he grieved was a day that he had previously thought could not get any worse. He recieved the letter, read three lines until his knees gave way upon the words that revealed that both his mother and father were dead.

He didn't notice Harry and Hermione walking through the door, he didn't notice the dropped letter being picked up and read and he didn't notice gasps or cries and he must have been sitting there for hours, because the sun was setting and his neck was wet with salty water and he wasn't quite sure how it got there... he didn't notice Harry trying to speak to him, or telling Hermione to help him get Ron off the floor, and he just sat on the couch in silence with his mind pulsating and whirring and there was a headache coming on, he was sure of it.

He noticed one thing, though; Harry put a hand on his shoulder, and it was warm and friendly and there, and he looked back at his best friend whose face was lined with grief and fatigue and he just looked at him until he sank into a stupor of exhaustion and fell sideways onto the couch.

The first time he woke up next to her it was a few months after that dreadful Christmas, and it was a late morning and he felt relaxed, for once. There was a window, and it was cheaply made with the scratches and warps affecting the downpour of light, but it made interesting shadows on her bare shoulder that he enjoyed looking at like he would watch clouds.

She turned over, and it was an oddly chaste morning with the covers covering her body and his and he had no intention of moving them and instead slowly untwined their tangled legs as he woke her up with a kiss near her ear and a poke on her waist. There was a squeal followed by a slap, and she told him crossly to stop touching her, Ronald, she was trying to sleep.

(But her tone was the only cross thing about her that morning.)

The sky was dark and the air was full of flashes of light and color and bangs and explosions, with screams of pain or fury or despair. No one had a clue what was going on, they just focused on the enemy in front of them and tried not to die. He was separated from Harry and Hermione, and he saw Lupin supporting Tonks and attempting to battle off two Death Eaters as well, and Neville was dodging curses and trying to carefully aim at the same time.

He couldn't see much else. His vision was annoyingly narrow as if he was peering down a tunnel, and he was exhausted but he ignored it in favor of controlling his panic and sanity instead.

A voice rose out, and he didn't know how he heard it amidst everything else, and he couldn't tell if it was friend or foe, but all that it said was two words: It's Over. And everyone seemed to have heard it, and everyone stopped save for the fiercest enemies (he continued to throw curses at Lucius Malfoy, his parents' murderer).

Glancing around for the tiniest fraction of a second, he saw what looked like Harry Potter lying on his side, and then he did this strange wrist movement that he didn't even know was something real that sent Lucius flying sideways as he himself flew at his best friend's form.

He reached it, and almost died himself with relief that the chest was moving rapidly and deeply up and down; Harry was gasping. Ron kneeled, turning Harry onto his back. Harry peered at him, looking strange without his glasses that were no doubt lost sometime during the fight, and he seemed awfully bloodied.

"It's over," he repeated.

Ron couldn't comprehend those words; it was like it was two good to be true, it was ridiculous; they had been fighting for this moment and now that it came it was like trying to comprehend Infinity. He knew it was there because it was obvious, but he didn't really believe it because what was life without it being one where they slept with both eyes open?

And someone appeared next to him; a glance told him it was Hermione, and the smile on her face was one of such delight and wonder that everything hit him like a bucket of cold water on a hot day. It was over. Done. No more worrying, no more deaths.


It was, he realized, the first time he would be able to live.