A/N: This is a what if One-Shot. I do not own Harry Potter.
My first foray into this fandom, so if it's a bit off, please be kind. Will do better, promise.
For once, he was dressed in a natty outfit.
It was a gift from his mother. He almost didn't bother picking it up as his mother had taken the mistimed humor of putting the directions of where to get the suit in a stinking howler. Ron grimaced. Sometimes, his mum needed to have her head check. Seeing the howler almost gave him a heart attack. And when all that came out of the letter first were nothing but shrill – but oddly happy - laughter, his eyes crossed in confusion.
Then his mother's voice said in a soft soprano, "Ronald Bilius Weasley…lovie-dearest, I know how hard it's been for you. I know, dear. You rarely say it but…I know. So, I've splurged and bought you a suit for that dance that Ginny mentioned. Check the bottom drawer of your closet, okay dear? And do have fun…Love, Mum."
He did as instructed and sure enough, the suit was there. How his mother placed it there was a mystery that - to be frank – he honestly did not want to know.
But, geez…using a howler?
His family was going insane by the minute.
"It's my entire brother's fault," he muttered. Everything was the bloke's fault nowadays.
Even the fact that Hermione was going with Harry to the ball was his brother's fault.
To think otherwise would mean he would have to blame either Hermione or Harry.
"I don't hate them. They have every right to be together," he said hollowly.
It was the ultimate low: When a man was reduced lying to himself and forcing himself to accept the hurtful words.
This was why instead of the Great Hall, Ronald Weasley found himself inside the clock tower, sitting among the intricate cogs and wheels. He wore the suit, because his mum must have spent a fortune for it, but he could not bring himself to see his best friends falling in love. In that lonely spot he had all to himself he told himself this was how it was meant to be.
Did he really think he could defeat a Prince? For sure, Harry was the unofficial darling of the Wizard community. The Boy That Lived. Harry who was the one who was able to complete the game of the Goblet of Fire. Harry Potter who defeated the Basilisk. Harry who could send a legion of Death Eaters packing with tails tucked between their legs…if they have one. "Perfect Harry," he whispered.
Where as Ronald Weasley, the ever bumbling sidekick, only became Head boy by default. Add the knowledge he was Quidditch player due to the fact Harry had vouched for him, and well…
There were times when the weight of always being constantly with Harry became so tiring it made Ron want to puke his last dinner. Preferably in Harry's face.
The only sounds to accompany his traitorous thoughts were the sound of machinery moving and the clock forever ticking, forever tocking.
"Shut up," he murmured, his head still held in his hands, his body crouched to the ground, trying to erase the image of Harry and Hermione together, dancing away, and looking so bloody perfect with each other.
Ron's head lifted up and he glared darkly at the cause of the noise.
"I told you," he said with a scowl on his usually cheerful face. "To shut the fuck up."
In a flash of light, the face of the clock tower was destroyed.
No intricate words were needed. For once, Ron got the spell right.
And in the very centre, now standing among the useless wheels and cogs, was Ronald Weasley, wearing a tailor made suit of deep black silk, a single tear falling from his left eye, and his right hand holding aloft a still smoking tipped wand. As the wind buffeted him where it was able to come in from the newly made opening, he whispered the words brokenly.
"I give up, Harry," Ron said, knowing nobody would hear. Glad that nobody would hear. "She's all yours. I- I give up…I could never protect her anyway, the way you could."
Because he knew, even in the world of love potions and magic, there was no such thing as a fairytale. At least, he knew this truth now.
Before, he may have harboured a slice of hope, but no more.
The girl would never choose the frog over the Prince.
The wind howled, and more tears started falling.