Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters, I just borrow them for fun sometimes!
Summary: Scents have a funny way of affecting one's emotional responses…POV/Missing Moments from Deathly Hallows—Spoilers ahead, you've been warned!
"Emptiness and Evergreen"
"What are you doing?" Ron asks me as he prepares to walk out of the tent.
"What do you mean?"
"Are you staying, or what?"
The question catches me off-guard. How dare he expect me to choose? My head began to reel; how could everything have fallen apart so quickly? We knew that the mission would be dangerous from the very beginning. Ron and I had discussed it countless times before Harry had arrived at the Burrow for the wedding. We knew that it was not going to be easy, but here he is, threatening to abandon us and walk out on Harry, on our mission, and, worst of all…me. I know he wants me to choose, I know he wants me to go with him as a testament to our newfound closeness. A large part of me wants to leave with him.
I'm seventeen and I'm in the fight for not only my own life but the lives of everyone I know. It's a burden that is difficult to bear but I bear it. Sometimes I would rather abandon it and just run to Australia to find my parents and hide with them until it is all over. But I know that I cannot. I have a duty to my family, my friends, and the two people I care most about. Harry needs me and he needs Ron as well. He cannot lose us both at the same time—he should never have to worry about losing us at all.
I look from Harry's rage-filled green eyes to Ron's angry, pleading blue ones. I don't want to choose, and part of me hates Ron for putting me in this position.
"I…yes. Yes, I'm staying. Ron, we said we'd go with Harry, we said we'd help—"
I see his eyes searching mine and with every word, his face falls further.
"I get it. You choose him."
With that, he turns his back on his best friend, he turns his back on me, and walks out of the tent. I scream after him and try to stop him, try to get him to come back and listen to me, but he does not come back. I try to run after him, but my shield charm is in the way. My hands and voice shaking, I attempt several times to remove it. As soon as I am able, I run out of the tent.
I see his form in the distance, at the edge of the boundaries of our protective spells. My mind is spinning, I know that he can't possibly abandon us like this. I know that he is just angry, that the horcrux has poisoned his mind against us temporarily. In ten minutes, the effects will wear off and he will be Ron again. He will know that Harry needs us, he will know how I feel about him—that I didn't "choose" Harry over him but that I have kept my head and I know that we have a duty to fill for our best friend.
"Ron!" I scream out after him. I am soaking wet, the rain plastering my hair across my face. I shake my head to loosen my hair and scream again.
"Ron! Come back! We need you! You can't leave like this!"
His dark form stops slightly, hesitating. I'm sobbing at this point, my tears combining with the rain drops pouring down my face. My heart is a block of ice at the pit of my stomach and I am straining my voice, screaming at him. I know that as soon as he breaks the barrier of our protective spells he won't be able to hear me anymore. His hesitation buys me a second of more pleading.
"RON! Don't leave us! DON'T LEAVE US! Harry needs you! I NEED YOU! Do you hear me, Ron Weasley? I NEED YOU! Please!"
I see him slump slightly and for a fleeting moment, I feel like I have won him over. My breath catches in my throat and I see him turn. Then, he is gone. He was not turning back to me, he was turning to Apparate.
He's gone. He left us. He left me. My sobs begin to rack my body and I have to grab a nearby tree to hold my self up. The rain is pounding against me, soaking me to the bone and only solidifying the despair that is filling my heart. He's gone and I don't know if I'll ever see him again. And, what's worse, I don't know if he even cares. I take a few moments to compose myself, steeling myself for breaking the news to Harry. I don't want to worry him, so I put on my bravest face and ensure that the only wetness on my face comes from the rain.
I make my way back into the tent. Harry looks up expectantly, and his eyes immediately flicker, mirroring my despair.
"He's g-g-gone! Disapparated!"
I see Harry's face fall and disbelief wash over him. Suddenly, I cannot compose myself anymore. I don't care if Harry sees me cry. My heart has broken into a thousand pieces and I can't hide it, nor do I want to. I crawl into the nearest chair and bring my knees to my chest. I lose all sense of composure and I start to sob again.
I blindly feel blankets being thrown over me. I unconsciously grab them and wrap them tightly around myself, breathing heavily. Suddenly, with a sharp inhale, I realize that Harry has thrown Ron's blankets over me. His scent washes over me, and I choke on yet another sob.
The memory rushes upon me cruelly, taunting me. That day in Potions class last year, the first day when Professor Slughorn presented us with a cauldron full of Amortentia.
"…it's supposed to smell differently to each of us, according to what attracts us, and I can smell freshly mown grass and new parchment and—"
I had stopped myself then, but now it is unnecessary. Amortentia smelled like Ron, the very scent that engulfs me now. It's a slow torture, the scent of his soap and his clothing all around me. Normally this scent brings me comfort, it brings me a warm sense of closeness. Now it makes my heart twist in pure anguish, but I cannot bring myself to shake the blankets off. It is a painful reminder, but it is a reminder nonetheless.
With each breath, a new memory crashes to the surface of my head. The first time Ron stood up for me against Malfoy. The time I finally got the nerve to tell him he should have asked me to the Yule Ball first. Sending the flock of canaries at him when I saw him with Lavender. The first time he held me at Dumbledore's funeral. The night I came to the Burrow over the summer, right after I had modified my parent's memories. He was so kind and gentle and knew exactly what to say. For the first time, I felt like there was hope for us yet.
For the thousandth time in the past few months, I am reminded of how our relationship has changed. He and I have finally come to an understanding, our feelings for each other do not need to be expressed explicitly. I know he cares for me as more than a friend. The comforting touches and kind words speak volumes to me.
I can't believe he's gone. When we wake up in the morning, we'll leave and he will have no way of finding us again.
I can't cry anymore tonight. No doubt the tears will come again, but for now I am exhausted. I always thought the phrase "crying oneself to sleep" was something only written in books, but I am learning that it is possible. I close my eyes to sleep so that perhaps I can wake up in the morning and realize this has all been a nightmare.
The last thing I am conscious of before I fall asleep is the evergreen scent of Ron's soap invading my sense. I have to keep hope that one day it won't be his scent on blankets that will lull me to sleep—I have to keep hope that there is a future to look forward to, a future where I will finally fall asleep next to him.