DISCLAIMER: I own none of these characters. I don't own anything related to Harry Potter. My version of Half-Blood Prince in Ron's point of view, with a few twists and turns.

A Dietary Need
Part Fourteen: Another Lament

Ron yawned and rolled over on his side, burying his face in Harry's hair. Through the strands of Harry's dark hair he could see the light streaming in the window, from how bright it was he decided it was mid-day. They had slept for some time; a sleep they well deserved and needed. Ron found it hard to believe what had occurred the night before; it all seemed like a bad nightmare. The Death Eaters, the killing of Dumbledore and the mutilated face of his brother just seemed to be a horrific scene from a play written by someone with cold blood. He knew it had happened, as Harry was clutching the fake Horcrux tightly in his palm. But it all wasn't bad; there was the event that had taken place when Harry had return to the dorm and to him. That wasn't written by someone with cold blood. Ron had never felt so looked after and taken care of in his life, as fair as he could remember. Harry was careful and kind, using soft yet determined strokes. It had been sensual and possibly would be one of Ron's favorite teenage memories. He'd certainly remember it for a long time.

Remembering the better part of yesterday, Ron shuffled closer to Harry who looked to be enjoying his first proper sleep in a long time. There was a little jab of pain when he moved, originating in his puckered hole. Ron ignored it, with a smile too, knowing it was just the side-effects of the wonderful thing that had happened. Having sex for the first time had drawn them closer, drawn Ron closer to Harry anyway. Looking down at the sleeping boy through his mop of hair, Ron knew he wanted to spend every moment possible with his best friend and – at this, Ron smiled too – lover.

Harry stirred next to him and handed Ron the locket, which was hot from Harry's tight grasp. 'Good morning,' Harry said quietly. He sat up, as Ron stretched and pushed at the hangings surrounding the four-poster. Ron peered over his shoulder, seeing who was still in the dorm room.

Only three beds were vacant. Neville was still in the hospital wing, Dean had roused from his bed and Ron could hear running water from the bathroom. Ron's bed was empty since he was tucked away in Harry's.

'It's so nice outside,' Harry muttered, looking at the window.

He looked back to the window and could make out the sunny grounds shinning and the corner of the blue lake glittering. It shouldn't be so nice.

'Glasses,' Harry said, pointing across Ron.

Ron looked over to the bedside table and found them sitting atop Harry's wand. He picked them up and handed them to Harry, who slid them on his face and stared back at Ron bleary eyed.

'How are you?' Ron asked, blushing at how stupid and irrelevant the words sounded once said.

Harry leant back against the propped up pillows again and let out a huge sigh, one that sounded angry. 'I can't believe I let Malfoy get away!'

'Don't forget Snape,' Ron reminded him, putting the Horcrux around Harry's neck.

'Thanks so much, Ron,' Harry said sarcastically and scowling.

'Sorry,' Ron said embarrassedly. 'I screwed up too, Harry.'

'Not as badly as I did.'

'Don't hit yourself about what happened, it was hardly your fault that the Death Eaters got through, you told us you thought something might have happen that night and if it wasn't for the Felix you gave me and Hermione, we might have died! Merlin, Harry you've been the hero as usual. You've done nothing wrong,' his voice wasn't rude or anything of the sort. He may have sounded exasperated, but only a little. 'And bloody hell, I probably would have freaked out if it hadn't been for Felix's help!'

Under the sheets, Harry's hand squeezed Ron's thigh. 'I honestly need to know were you got all this emotion from,' he said.

Ron stuck his tongue out at Harry and wormed out from under the sheets, picking up pieces of his discarded clothing. Harry whistled cheekily, appreciating the view as Ron was still naked. Ron turned around to scowl at him. Neither boy had noticed that the sounds of falling water from the bathroom had stopped and Ron continued to pick up his clothes and chuck them at his own bed. When Ron had found the last missing sock, strangely underneath Harry's pillow, the bathroom door swung open emitting Dean into the room, still towel drying his hair.

The expression of triumph over finding the missing sock on Ron's face faltered as Dean noticed him. Ron's nudity wouldn't have normally bothered him, but with Ron and Harry being together it bothered him very much. Both Ron and Dean turned around to look at Harry whose upper body was naked above the sheets he lay under.

Ron opened his mouth to explain and used the sock to try and cover himself up.

'I don't want to know!' Dean said, pale for such a brown boy. 'I've seen more then enough!'

Ron was staring at him as he walked to his own bed, towel drying his hair again and scowling at what he had seen. He mumbled something incomprehensible over at Dean who ignored it, unable to understand what Ron had said. Ron then turned around, standing as straight as a soldier and practically marched back to Harry's bed, drawing the hangings again and laying down beside him, still clutching his newly re-found sock.

'Something he'll probably never want to see again!' Harry said, laughing at Ron as he sat back down.

'Oi!' Ron said, crossing his arms. 'I'm not that ugly!'

'Never said you were,' Harry said, sitting up and letting the sheets fall around his waist. Ron was pulled reluctantly into his arms, and a kiss was placed on his lips, making him smile widely.

Ron was glad for his new dress robes as he was wearing them to the funeral of Dumbledore, though he would have attended wearing his old dress robes. He had packed in a flurry this morning, stuffing all his belongings hurriedly into his trunk, ripping several of his jersey's in the process. When he proceeded downstairs with Harry and Hermione he found the hall in a silent and some in a teary state. His eyes automatically flicked to the staff table. The chair, which resembled a throne which Dumbledore sat in, had remained empty, out of respect. Their large burly friend was not present; Ron thought that as he had taken news of the death the hardest, he had not been able to face the hall full of students or teachers. He then looked to Snape's place; sitting there now was the Minister of Magic, Rufus Scrimgeour. And too the Minister's right sat Percy; Ron glared and let out a small guttural snarl.

They sat down at the Gryffindor table which was eerily silent and Ron pulled food onto his plate, his appetite thoroughly gone but finding the need to assault something. Using his fork he pictured his older brother's face and stabbed hard down on the food. Ruddy prick had some nerve accompanying the Minister. The thought that Percy too had come to pay respects for his old headmaster never crossed his mind, as far as he was concerning Percy shouldn't be here. He looked over at Ginny a few seats down from Hermione and saw she too was glaring at Percy, her mouth in a taut line. Percy was avoiding looking at them, his eyes were fixated on the plate before him and he occasionally raised his red head and spoke to Scrimgeour.

His thoughts had begun to drift away from how much he disliked his brother when Professor McGonagall rose to her feet, allowing a few seconds for the soft drone of voices to die out. 'It is nearly time,' she said, her voice mournful and her face sullen in the pitch black robes she wore. 'Please follow your Heads of Houses out into the grounds.'

He remembered the Funeral vividly. The odd assortment of people that Dumbledore had met or had an effect on during his life, but what made him smile was that Tonks and Lupin seemed to be holding hands. They sat in a row beside the lake, Ron thought he had been momentarily blinded by the bright light shining off the lake but then he noticed that it was actually the rings on Rita Skeeter's fingers. He scowled deeply as she sat down near the front, determined to hear all, and clutching her notebook.

Then at once, a mournful song began that nearly brought him to tears, he'd been on the brink ever since the funeral had begun. He followed his sisters pointing finger and saw just below surface of the lake, merpeople singing in immaculate chorus. The language they sung in was strange and was nothing that he had ever heard before; though it was in another tongue what they were singing of was clear. It was another lament for Dumbledore, different to that of the Fawke's, but still morose and painfully sad.

Before the song had finished, Harry entwined his fingers in Ron's, fresh tears were streaming silently down his face. Ron felt a pang of sadness, and gave Harry a quick hug before Ginny – observant as ever – nudged him and both he and Harry looked around.

Hagrid was walking slowly, his steps echoing loudly around the silent crowd; in his arms wrapped in a purple velvet material was the body of Dumbledore. Ron breathed out slowly, shock at seeing the body so close absorbed him. All warmth from the hot, sunny day seemed to be sucked out as if a Dementor had kissed the life from everybody present.

The sadness he'd felt all day spilled from his eyes in a single fat tear. Harry's hand tightened around his, and Ron looked across at him. Harry was sitting staring down into his lap, face pale and tried. They both jumped as several people screamed. White flames had engulfed Dumbledore's body, and the table on which he had been rested. Ron let out an awed sigh as strange shapes were formed from the smoke. And then in an instant the fire had gone and replacing it was a white marble tomb, encasing the body forever, the strong magic on it would make it impossible to open.

A scream that belonged to Dolores Umbridge broke through the newly restored silence as a fall of arrows landed at the foot of the tomb. Ron looked around, confused and Harry pointed to the tails of centaur's retreating into the forest having paid tribute.

The funeral was over … and Ron sat with Harry's hand in his, tears dripping down his long nose, unsure of what to do. Harry was one of the first to stand, pulling Ron up with them. They walked towards the lake; the merpeople had sunk back to the depths. Ron could feel Harry shake as he walked, when they were a good way away from the gathered crowd, Harry sat, letting go of Ron's hand.

Harry pulled his knees to his chest and wrapped his arms around them, staring blankly out at the rippling lake. 'I -' he spoke finally, 'he's gone.'

Ron nodded, the tears still leaking from his eyes. He looked up at the castle and then down at the tomb, a shaky smile leaving his lips. He moved closer to Harry to sit behind him and wrap his arms around his shoulders.

'It never really hit me,' Harry choked the words out. 'But now it's all true … he's gone.'

Ron cupped Harry's face in his hands and kissed both his cheeks and then the corner of his mouth before finding the center of his lips and kissing him firmly.

Their private moment was interrupted by the Minister who coughed softly as he stood behind, grabbing their attention.

Harry turned his head around to face the man. 'What?' he asked.

'I was hoping to have a word,' he said, quietly.

'No,' Harry said, turning back around, settling comfortably in Ron's arm.

Scrimgeour ignored his comment and turned his attention to Ron. 'A Weasley, aren't you? If you could give Harry and me a few moments alone, it would be much -'

'No,' Harry said again. 'He stays. What do you want?'

The tone in Harry's voice was full of well hidden rage and Ron had felt his shoulders become rigid.

Scrimgeour looked awkwardly at Ron who had turned around to look at the Minister. 'Word is that you were with him when it, such an awful tragedy, happened. A Death Eater was Stupefied at the Tower top after he died. There were two broomsticks as well. We can add two and two.'

'Where I went with Dumbledore and what we did is my business. He didn't want people to know.'

'Harry!' Scrimgeour said, finally letting his irritation shine through. 'He's gone! Such loyalty is, of course, admirable, but Dumbledore is dead!'

'He will only be gone from the school when none here are loyal to him,' Harry said in a tone that reminded Ron of Luna's wistful speech. Ron shed a few more tears when Harry said this, not caring if the Minister saw him cry.

'Even Dumbledore cannot return from the dead, Harry.'

'I'm not saying he can,' Harry snapped. 'You wouldn't understand, Minister. I have nothing to tell you.'

Scrimgeour took a deep breath and ploughed on. Ron had to admire him for his never-ending persistence. 'The Ministry can and will offer you protection, all sorts you know Harry.'

Harry laughed and Ron chuckled awkwardly, whipping the tears away. 'Voldemort wants to kill me,' Harry said and this time Ron did not flinch. 'He wants to do it himself; a few of your Aurors won't stop him. So thanks, but no thanks.'

'What of the request I made at Christmas?' the Minister asked, his voice as cold as a statue.

'The request were I tell everyone what a great job you're doing, yeah everyone knows you're doing a terrible job. Having me tell lies like that won't do anything for them.'

'You'll raise moral!'

'Released Stan Shunpike yet?'

Scrimgeour turned a nasty shade of blue and Ron, for a moment, thought he might burst.

'I see you are -'

'Dumbledore's man through and through,' said Harry, he had turned around to face the Minister some time ago, and his hands were now firmly placed on Ron's shoulders.

When the Minister slipped away Ron breathed out a sigh of relief. 'What a prick,' he said, glaring at the retreating back. 'I hope we can come back,' he added without a pause, staring up the castle.

'I won't,' Harry said he had turned back around so his back was pressing against Ron's chest. 'I can't.'

'What?' Ron asked shocked, though something in the back of his mind knew this would be the case. 'What will you do?'

'Go back to the Dursley's once more, Dumbledore wanted me to,' Harry said, his hand resting on Ron's knee. 'A short visit, then I'll be gone for good.'

'What will do then?'

'I'll go to Godric's Hollow. It started there, I can visit my parent's graves, and I would like that.'

'Then what?'

'Then I'm going to find the rest of the Horcruxes, I've got to haven't I?'

'I'm coming with you,' Ron said, smiling though Harry couldn't see him. 'To your aunt and uncle's house, and then wherever you are going. I'm coming and I'd guess Hermione will be coming too.'

'Yes,' Hermione was standing behind them, and by the looks of things she had been for some time. 'And don't say no, you said once before we had a time to turn back if we wanted. And we had time, lots of time.'

Ron smiled at her and Harry pushed out of Ron's arms, standing to move beside the lake. Hermione went to stand beside Harry and Ron stood on his other side. All three stared out at the glistening water of the lake for several seconds.

'You can't …' Harry said angrily.

'We can,' Hermione replied. 'And we are going to; we'll follow even if you don't want us to. You can't do this alone, Harry.'

'We're with you through whatever,' Ron added, his eyes still fixated on the sun's dancing reflection. 'And you still have to come to my house before you go anywhere, even to Godric's Hollow.'


'Fleur would be awfully mad if you missed her wedding,' Hermione said, laughing.

'Mm,' Harry said. 'I shouldn't miss that.'

Ron smiled a soft sad smile as he looked back across to Dumbledore's tomb. His heart was heavy with sorrow. But he knew what had to be done, he'd help Harry and kept his promises that he'd made to himself. He would stand beside Harry until his death, weather that be today, in a year, or in ten, he'd never leave Harry's side.

He felt Harry's hand in press into his and touched the cold of the fake Horcrux. Ron smiled at him, kissing his lips softly and then murmuring in his ears. 'I'm coming with you.'

'Thanks,' Harry said. 'I always thought I'd have to do this by myself, I think we can do this.'

'We will,' Hermione added.

'Harry,' Ron said, so softly only Harry could hear it. 'I love you, so much, don't ever forget that.'

'I won't,' Harry promised, hugging Ron to him closely.

This is the end of Half-Blood Prince, and thus the end of this story I have been writing. But I will most certainly do the Deathly Hallows. I think in that book Ron and Harry had such a strong relationship and a romance between them was much easier to see then Harry's supposed love for Ginny. And the Ron and Hermione romance is so obvious it hurts.

I hope you'll read my remake of the Deathly Hallows! Thanks for all the reviews.