Disclaimer: I have never and never will own Harry Potter. If I did, I would change quite a few things and it probably wouldn't be nearly as successful so we probably wouldn't write fan fiction about it. Oh, the horror!
See You There
The Second War was over, Lord Voldemort had been vanquished. The savior of the wizarding world, Harry Potter, surveyed the scene with haunted, emerald-green eyes that had seen the death of too many people for a seventeen-year-old (to be eighteen in a little more than a month) - his parents, Cedric, Sirius, Dumbledore, Hagrid, Fred, and George. He knew that he wouldn't be able to bear anymore deaths of those he loved.
"Ron! Hermione! Ginny!" he called, as he scouted through the blood and body-strewn battlefield, searching for his two best friends and his girlfriend.
"I'm here, Harry," Ginny said, walking toward him through the dispersing mist, mist that had come from thousands upon thousands of dementors. The redhead was sporting a bloody nose and she limped slightly, but this didn't hinder her pride as she was holding her head high like a homecoming queen. Though Harry was worried, he knew that Madam Pomfrey, the Hogwarts nurse would be able to fix her up in a second.
Before Harry could even ask, "Are you alright?", as was his wont, even though he knew that Ginny was fine, a girl came running toward them with her bushy, brown hair all frazzled. "Harry, Ginny, oh, come quick!" she said frantically, tears streaming down her cheeks.
"What is it, Hermione?" Ginny asked. "Come on and tell us. Deep breaths, now, deep breaths."
Hermione followed her friend's instruction, then said, "It's Ron, he's terribly injured. I don't have any idea, what's wrong with him, everyone else is there, and, oh, Ginny, you're mother's frantic. She says that she can't lose any more children and she's oh, so worried, so I said I would go and look for you."
"How's Ron?" Harry asked, immediately setting off in the direction that Hermione had come. Ron was his best friend, he couldn't lose Ron.
"He's . . . he's terrible, Harry!" Hermione burst out. "A bunch of Death Eaters got to him and I couldn't do anything, Harry, they were so quick and I was afraid I'd hit Ron. He's bleeding horribly, and he's barely breathing."
"Can't we take him back to Hogwarts or to St. Mungo's?" Ginny asked desperately.
"Someone sent an owl to Madam Pomfrey and we're waiting for her to come. We're in the middle of nowhere if you haven't noticed," Hermione replied snappishly, yet her anger didn't totally mask her worry for her boyfriend. "In the meantime, we can't move him, because it would cause him way too much pain, so we have to wait for Madam Pomfrey to care for him, if it isn't. . . ."
"It won't be too late!" Harry and Ginny said simultaneously as they neared the crowd of Order members. Upon seeing her daughter, Mrs. Weasley burst into tears.
"It's alright, Mum. I'm alright!" Ginny said, running over to her mother and embracing her.
"I thought I'd lost you," Molly said, running her hands through Ginny's long, silky hair, now full of soot from the battle. "Oh, my child. Thank goodness you're safe." Ginny nodded, patting her mother's hand as she turned to Harry.
Harry had walked over to Ron, who was lying on the ground, his eyes closed and gasping for air. Upon hearing approaching footsteps, he opened his eyes and saw Harry. "Harry," he wheezed, wincing at the pain that saying that simple word inflicted upon him.
"Hey, mate," Harry said, kneeling down beside his best friend and taking Ron's bloody hand in his own blood-encrusted one.
"So you killed him?" Ron asked conversationally, as if this were a sunny day under the beech tree at Hogwarts, rather than him lying on the ground of some unknown place, bleeding his guts out.
"Yeah," Harry said, scanning his friend's body with his eyes. Hermione was right, he did look terrible, he was bleeding from numerous wounds and his eyes were somewhat glazed already as if he were near . . . no, don't think that, he berated himself. Ron is going to live. "Yeah, I killed him."
"Great job," Ron said with as much as a smile as he could manage (though it looked more like a grimace).
"I heard that you were just as great," Harry encouraged.
"Nah, I wasn't able to defeat the most evil wizard of all time," Ron teased. "That's your job, isn't it?"
"Yeah, but you brought some Death Eaters down, didn't you?"
"Yup," Ron said, with a cocky grin-grimace. "Bellatrix Lestrange and Malfoy."
"The bouncing ferret one." Harry chuckled, well remembering Malfoy's encounter with the imposter "Mad-Eye" Moody in their fourth year. There was an awkward silence for a while, then, "Does it hurt, Harry?"
"Does what hurt?" Harry asked, and, even though he didn't want to admit it, he thought he knew the answer already.
"Dying," Ron answered. "Do you think it hurts?"
Harry felt his eyes fill with tears. "You aren't going to die, Ron," he said, his voice strained. "Madam Pomfrey is going to get here and take care of you. You'll live and you'll marry Hermione and I'll marry Ginny and you'll be godfather to my kids and I'll be godfather to yours. We'll both become Aurors together or . . . or we'll play Quidditch for the Chudley Cannons. You can't die, Ron, you aren't going to die." Tears were streaming freely down his face now and he didn't even give a damn about it.
Ron actually seemed to smile at this. "It's my time, Harry," he said. "I can feel it, I'm fading." Here he was interrupted by a fit of coughing and he coughed up a great amount of blood. "I know I'm going to die."
"No, Ron, you're not," Harry said, grasping Ron's hand tightly, then loosening his grip quickly as he heard his friend gasp in pain.
"Harry, don't make this any harder than it has to be," Ron said. "I don't want to leave, I don't want to leave Quidditch and wizard chess and Hermione and you and my family, but I have to." Harry had never seen his best friend act so serious.
"But, Ron. . . ."
"Harry, please, just let me go," Ron pleaded, tears falling down his own cheeks and mixing with the congealed blood. Harry nodded and continued to hold Ron's hand in his. "I love you, mate," he gasped.
"I love you, too," Harry said, his voice choked as he struggled to speak past the Ron-sized lump in his throat. "And it won't hurt," he added, in answer to Ron's question.
Ron nodded, his eyes closing for longer and longer periods of time. "I'll see you there," he said. "Because you'll be there, hardly anyone deserves the other place."
"See you there," Harry replied, squeezing his best friend's hand. Ron squeezed back and gave a final shuddering breath before his eyes closed for the final time and his grip in Harry's hand went taut.
Harry hung his head and let the tears fall unabashedly down his face as he felt the sun's rays warming his back. Looking up, he saw the sun piercing through the mist and creating a heavenly aura for all those on the battlefield that dreary summer's evening. "Hey, mate," Harry said again. "I see that you're there."