Dedication: To Harry and Ron, who I torture and tease more often than my brother. And they never complain once.
A/N: This is somewhat AU. I guess it could of happened, but most likely not. It features a very loyal Ron and a very angsty Harry.
"I guess he always knew I'd run out on you."
"No, he always knew you'd want to come back." Harry and Ron, Deathly Hallows
Ron didn't turn around. He knew he'd start crying if he did. He didn't want to cry in front of her. Hermione...she didn't understand. She couldn't. He had to do this.
"Ron, please. Think of your family!"
He kept walking. Harry needed him more. He would be there for Harry. Finally, he looked over his shoulder. God, she was beautiful. Even covered in the blood and dirt from the battle, even though her robes were ripped, even though her hair was coming out of its percise bun, she was beautiful. "I love you, Hermione." he said, quietly, knowing she'd hear him. Hoping she'd understand.
She did. She dropped back. "What about your family?" she tried again, a last-ditch effoert to make him stay.
Ron couldn't listen. Nothing was wrong with his family. They were okay. All of them. Bill was with Fleur, Charlie wasn't even there, the twins --
No, everyone was okay.
Hermione caught his hand as he went to turn around again. She was in tears, tears Ron didn't have himself. He hadn't cried tongiht. He was probably the only one who could say that. "What about me, Ron?"
Gently pulling his hand away, Ron kissed her. The kiss lasted for a few seconds. It was robotic; it had no warmth. "Stay at the Burrow. I love you. We'll see you in a week."
He had to leave. Now He could never leave with her going like this.
"You love me." Hermione said it quietly, knowingly. Of course he loved her. She'd always known that, somewhere. "I understand, Ron." she said to his retreating back. He was leaving her. She knew that. She understood that.
Ron was getting further and further away. He was leaving the school. Leaving the grounds. Leaving her. Because there was someone out there who needed him more. Someone who only Ron could save. Hermione had always promised herself she wouldn't come between Ron's friendship with him. She wouldn't be the girl that broke that up.
So she watched Ron until even his flaming red hair was swallowed into the light. It was only when he was completely gone that she let the tears flow again.
It's supposed to be short. Don't worry, everything else is way longer.