"Harry, we're best mates, right?"
"Yes, Ron, what are you saying?" dread filled Harry. Deep down he knew what was coming.
"And I would die for you, and you would die for me, right mate?"
"Yes, of course. Is something wrong, Ron?"
but he continued in that same, dead serious tone of voice.
"But would you kill me if you had to, Harry?"
Harry's brain froze.
"What? I'm sorry I think I misheard you."
Ron looked exasperated.
"We're done with the bullshit here, mate. No more pretending, no more dancing around it, we both love Hermione more than we love each other, and we both know it." Harry tried to contradict him but he cut him off. "No. Don't lie to me anymore Harry, I'm not a fucking child. I'm smarter than you and Hermione put together I just don't care to use it for anything other than chess because I don't handle pressure very well and I'm a lazy bum. I need to know, and I need to know before our privacy ward wears off. If you had to in order to save her life, would you kill me if I asked it of you? Can you be a true friend?"
Harry stared at his friend in growing horror realizing that Ron was the one that had been bound by the magic he had used that night, Ron was the one that he would have to kill in order to save his other friend, and no one could or would ever know the real reason why.
"Why did you do it?" Harry asked, now close to tears. "It didn't have to be you. Ron. Anyone could've-"
"Shut it, Harry. I've never asked you to explain to me why you risk your life for people you don't even know, and you have the gall to ask me why I did that to save the people I love more than my own life? Not. another. word."
For the first time in his life, Harry thought of Severus Snape, and felt sympathy and admiration for the man. He knew now what he had really had to do in order to let Harry win the war. Kill his best friend. Kill Albus.
As Harry thought of all he was about to lose by doing this, most of all, the man standing before him, he realized that deep in his heart, even after Hermione had told him that she loved him and that he deserved love more than anyone else in the world, he still felt he deserved to rot in hell for all the people that had to die on his account, before he was finally ready to destroy Voldemort's darkness.
So now he would. In the form of Azkaban Prison. That's the only place he could go once this was over with. If they knew he had used the forbidden magic to destroy Voldemort they would have no sympathy for him, especially since now he had to kill Ron in order to stop Voldemort from harming his friends, his family even from beyond the grave.
Taking a steadying breath, he fought with all his strength to keep his hands steady, and not cry. He had to put on a show for those outside the wards. So far, it would have looked as if they were fighting. In fact, to those outside it did look like they were fighting, and in fact most of the assembled members of the Order, gathered to celebrate the end of the war, thought it was probably over Hermione, who was watching them, looking like she was about to either cry or join the fight. and then she saw it happen. Harry's face hardened. And he summoned his spear from it's pocket universe. He pointed it threateningly at Ron, who subtly strengthened the ward to prevent Hermione from breaking it right away. He summoned his sword and instantly knocked the spear back. He was going to have to put on a good show if he was going to fool Hermione. She was smart, but so was he, and he was an artist when it came to deception. Harry was doing his part, and for that Ron was experiencing an amazing amount of relief, considering he was about to die. He was only upset that Harry would be blamed. But there was no other way, and he would do everything he could from the other side to help him. He had always been able to count on Harry for anything.
They fought for a few minutes, but everyone who was trying to break into the ward and stop them knew Harry had always won in their training. Suddenly Ron stabbed forward and Harry tripped over a stray fork Ron had knocked off the table as he'd gotten up, causing Harry to parry too late, and letting the cold blade plunge directly into his heart. Ron stood there in shock as Harry's spear skewered him as well. This wasn't supposed to happen. He needed Harry to stay behind and watch over Hermione, even if he couldn't do it openly after 'murdering' him.
At that moment Hermione broke down the ward, and an arrow imbedded itself in the far wall of the Great Hall, released from the bow Hermione was holding. Of all the people watching this spectacle in horror and disbelief, only a few select people knew what was really happening and why aside from Ron and Harry. Unfortunately those few were either ghosts who couldn't reveal what they knew or they were dead and watching from the otherworld. However, one being that was watching was able to do something about it, albeit a harsh solution. As Ron and Harry, two best friends, two comrades, warriors that had saved the world they both loved, and they people they cared about, died together as friends. But as they breathed their last breath, their bodies and spirits together faded away, leaving nothing behind but the sword and spear they had created from their own Patroni. Stag and Wolf they were called. The very weapons that had erased the Dementors from existence, and slain the Dark Lord and his followers along with Hermione's bow, the Eagle.
So now the young woman was left with nothing in the space of a few minutes, her two boys forever lost to her. But she wasn't one to give up so easily, and bodies fading at the time of death was not unprecedented, so she would spend many years learning all she could about where they went and if they were really lost to her.
Meanwhile, our boys find themselves facing a new life. Their next...Great Adventure.