He held her broken body in his arms, screaming into the deafening wind.
"YOU DID THIS, YOU DID THIS, YOU MONSTER." Ronald Weasley was yelling at a ghost, at a memory, at a dead body. He was weeping onto his young lover, or who he thought had been his lover. Hermione's last words had been "I love you." But they had not been said to him, they had been said to Draco Malfoy.
Draco Malfoy, the dirty Death Eater. He had seduced her, used her for information. She was a pawn in his scheme of things. She had just been a wall to knock down on his way to defeating famous Potter.
Ron was still weeping. He had no reason to live. He had half a mind to pitch himself off of the cliff after Malfoy, but he didn't want to die like that. He wanted to die finishing this, finishing the war Malfoy had just put into motion. He stood up, unsteadily, clutching at Hermione, as if letting go of her, would mean losing her forever. He never even used the locomoter charm. He carried her up a hill, and apparated to Shell Cottage, where he, Harry, and Hermione had been staying.
He knocked on the door, and Harry answered, beard growing on his grey, aged face.
"Where have you be-" He stopped mid-sentence, eyes glued to his two best friends, one sobbing, and one dead. Harry yelped, stood aside, and helped carry Hermione to the couch, calling for Bill and Fleur. They came running, worry streaked across their faces.
The four all crouched over her. All but Bill were weeping. Harry and Ron silently, Fleur was sobbing quietly.
"There's nothing we can do." He turned on Ron, "What happened?"
Ron breathed deeply, trying to even his intake, opening his mouth, then closing it, because every time he tried to speak, Hermione's last words flew across his brain, and a knot formed in his throat.
"It's okay, mate." On Harry's last word his voice broke. His anguish etched in his already fatigued appearance.
"I know- I just- She said… she said she loved Malfoy." All three heads turned quickly to face him, all shocked and speechless.
"Malfoy? Malfoy? Where were you, why was Malfoy there?" Harry sputtered.
"I'll tell you… the whole story." He panted, glad he could get it all of his chest.
"We left this morning to have a picnic, just the two of us, you know? I set everything out, and she left, she said she had to do something, that she'd be back in a minute. And when she came back, she had Malfoy with her. She's apparated to his house. They, she, he, they-they were with each other! She told me about how she'd kept it a secret, about how she couldn't tell anyone, how she wanted to protect me." His voice cracked. Harry patted him on the back, and Ron continued.
"Then he started talking, I was so shocked, I can barely remember what he said. But it wasn't very nice. He insulted me, all of us. And I stood up, walked toward him, I was shaking, too. Then he… he erm, took her. Took her by her collar, and stuck his wand right in her face. I was scared, really scared about what he might do, I though he'd fancied her. But I never stopped thinking for a second that he might kill her, torture her… torture me. Both. Then she started laughing, thinking he was teasing her. But… then i looked in his eyes. There was no play in those eyes. They looked like a ghost, he meant business. Then-then," He couldn't say it, he couldn't tell them how Draco whipped her body around, Hermione still grinning playfully up at him. About how she'd stopped dead, uttered her last words, then was struck dead. Ron didn't start again for a while. He was unable. His whole body shook with massive, silent sobs.
About 30 minutes later he started again.
"After he, after this," He said gesturing at his lost love, "He threw her onto me. Like a ragdoll. Then he said to me, i remember these words, he said 'One mudblood, and one Pureblood. Together we will rot, and together we shall end it all. Enjoy fighting, weasel.' Then he jumped. Jumped off the cliff. He's dead… dead like…" He trailed off. "But he deserves it. He deserves more than death." Harry nodded, and Rn noticed waves of tears caught in his beard.
"I know what he meant, Ron. We have to end this. We have to kill Voldemort."
"Yes. I'm killing everything Malfoy ever treasured." And with those last words, the group huddled over their fallen friend and planned and mourned. For with death, comes the opportunity for life.