Don't you Dare
By: Amilia Padfoot
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters in this Fic only the idea for the story.
Summary: Ron briefly visits his friend in hospital. Better than it sounds.
A/N: Second fan fiction Published ever! I actually began writing this one first. Please enjoy...
"The whole departments a mess and quite frankly I don't know what to do and if you could just wake up and answer my question then I can get the form filled out in triplicate-"
"-and then maybe I can start getting a little more-"
"What! Oh it's you Weasley, what do you want?"
"I don't think he can here you Smith. You know 'cause he's unconscious!"
"What oh, um I'll- I'll come back later then". Ron Weasley just rolled his eyes as he sat down on the edge of his best mate's hospital bed. He looked pale, deathly pale, a deep scar that ran down his left cheek stood out vividly against his sallow completion. Ron waited for Smith to leave completely then reached over and took his companion's limp hand in his, not caring how it looked. He sighed and impulsively started to get up deciding to leave; no longer able to bear seeing his friend like this, when he felt the hand in his move slightly. He froze and then smiled, relief washing over him like a wave. He let go of his hand then whispered,
"It's okay, he's gone now". Harry Potter's eyes flickered open.
"You sure?" He asked hesitantly, his voice barely a whisper. Ron nodded. "Thank god, he was doing my bloody nut in, he was". Ron chuckled, glad to see his friend acting a little more like himself, let alone conscious. He was never going to forget the feeling of utter helplessness he had felt when he ran alongside his friend as he'd been carted down the white halls of St Mungo's. Nor the sheer panic he had felt as he watched the Medi-Witches and Wizards trying to revive him. That had been three nights ago. He shook his head trying to rid him-self of the memories. He's ok. He told himself.He's alive and his going to be ok. It would take more than a couple of crucios to take down Harry freaking Potter! Ahh but it nearly did replied a nasty voice in the back of his head, he nearly died that night, he could have died, and whose fault was that, mm?
"Ron? You okay?" Ron looked up at his friend and to both his relief and worry he saw that he was trying to sit up.
"Mate, maybe you should lie down" he suggested while gently griping Harry's shoulder.
"I'm fine Ron" He said through gritted teeth, waving off his friends concern.
"Of course you are" he replied while gently but firmly pushing his friend back down into a lying position. Harry scowled at him but he ignored it.
"You didn't answer my question"
"What? Oh, yea I'm fine"
"Of course you are"
"Hey, you can't use my own words against me!" he mock protested trying to lighten the mood. He knew at once it had worked when he saw a flicker of a smile cross his friends face, but the feeling was short lived for as soon as smile came it was gone. He noticed that his friend's face had suddenly become serious. His emerald eyes were cool and calculating. Ron felt as if they were x-raying his very soul. It was a look, he knew, Harry had picked up from Dumbledore and Ron had to check the urge to shiver, recalling a certain incident with a flying car and a not so smooth landing.
"Am I in trouble?" he asked mimicking James or perhaps even Lily's 'innocent' domineer when their father pinned them with such a look.
"Kingsley came by earlier." Ron felt a stab of annoyance that Kinsley had not told him Harry was awake. He had visited Harry as often as he could sometimes staying for hours on end until one of the nurses would gently but firmly tell him visiting hours were over. It had taken Ginny a bit more than a little persuasion though and he wondered briefly if she and the kids knew Harry had woken up. "He told me how the rest of the mission went" Ron just nodded, not seeing where this was going. The dark Wizards they had ambushed had all been either captured or killed in the end. There had been few casualties on their side, Harry being the only serious case – which could have easily been avoided, Ron thought bitterly.
"You didn't miss much. Back up arrived pretty quickly and..." he trailed off, not wanting to remember how, what should have been a simple ambush, had gone so horribly wrong.
"Ron" he looked up at his friend's voice. It was gentle and full of concern and Ron idly noted that it should probably be the other way round seeing as Harry was the one lying in the hospital bed not him, but the thought was easily pushed aside when he noticed a slight flicker of something in his friend's eyes. Was it annoyance, anger perhaps? He once again suppressed the urge to shiver and he wondered how by saying a single word, his friend could make him feels such emotions. He felt a hot surge off guilt flow through him mixed with a tingle of apprehension. He blames me. He thought. And rightfully so. He could have died. How could I have been so carless! "Kinsley told me that you blame yourself for what happened." Ron gulped. Harry's voice was still gentle but it had and hardened age to it. His eyes were blazing now. They were boring into him, daring him to confirm this notion.
"Well, yea..." he began but was abruptly cut off
"Don't you dare" Ron nearly jumped at the force his friend put behind those three words. He had only seen Harry look like this on one other occasion. Harry and Ginny had had their work cut out when Lily had been born. Taking care of two children was no easy task. Add a new born screaming baby to the equation... They had been so busy trying to balance their time between the new baby, little Al and James that James had begun to feel left out. It had been him and Harry who had found James half way through an open window with a rucksack on his back one morning. To say that they were shocked was an understatement. With much coaxing they managed to get James away from the window and to talk to them. When James told Harry that he thought he was merely a burden to him and Ginny and that with Lily around they would not want him anymore, Ron swore that he would never forget the look on Harry's face nor the fierceness in which he said "Don't you dare say that James Sirius Potter, you are a part of this family and a huge part of my and your mum's life." He had said it with such a passion and with such conviction that James had no trouble believing him.
"Um, what?" Was Harry mad at him for nearly getting him killed or was he mad at him for blaming himself?
"Don't you dare" he repeated with just as much force. "It was my choice. You did not force me to do what I did so don't you bloody dare even think about blaming yourself." The latter then.
"No Ron" Harry folded his arms across his chest and glared at Ron with a look of utter defiance, daring him to contradict him. Ron knew from bitter experience that to argue with Harry when he was like this was futile and if you were stupid enough not to realise that it could become border line suicidal.
Though, just because he knew better than to argue with his friend did not mean to say he believed him. He could not stop the guilt that was gnawing away at him. Yes it had been Harry's choice. There was not a hope in hell nor any situation ever created, that would lead Ron to fling Harry in between himself and a fret of any kind. If Harry was right about one thing it was that it had been his choice, but if it wasn't for him being so careless Harry would not have had the opportunity to take that choice in the first place. They had been secluded from the rest of the squad, the enemy closing in. The last thing he had done with his wand was to send for backup via patronus. He had been distracted and easily disarmed.
If he had been lucky throughout the second Wizarding war it was in the sense that he had never felt the cruciatus curse. He knew that Harry had experienced it at the mere age of fourteen and that was not the last time. He more than knew his beloved wife Hermione had for he had heard her screams that terrible day in Malfoy Manor. It still gave him nightmares. But he had never felt it and he would never admit it to himself, let alone anyone else, but he was glad. He would neverask Harry how it felt, the haunted look in his eyes that would appear whenever the curse was mentioned was enough to tell him how truly horrible it was, and that night in the forest he was sure, beyond a shadow of a doubt, when the hooded figure had approached him, his wand drawn out, the curse ready on his lips, that he was going to feel it. Even with the surrounding trees blocking out the dim light from the moon above he could seen the twisted look of satisfaction upon his opponents face. He had tensed, readying him-self for the blow, mentally ordering him-self not to scream, not to give them the satisfaction. He had heard the curse fall from the man's lips, almost lazily, and screwed his eyes shut expecting the unbelievable pain to overcome him. But it hadn't come. He had felt no pain. Slowly he opened his eyes and the sight before him would give him nightmares for a long time to come. His friend, his best friend in the whole world was writhing on the leaf covered floor in front of him. No scream had escaped his friend's lips, but the look of sheer pain and terror that had been etched across Harry's face had been like a dagger through his very heart. He had known there and then. He did not even need the fact that Harry was lying directly in his path to tell him that Harry had flung himself in front of him, taking the crucio for him. What had probably been minuets had seemed like hours. He had screamed at the Dark Wizard to stop, to take him instead but he had merely laughed; a menacing, almost deranged laugh that echoed around the forest. Ron had felt a hot surge of animosity bubble within him. How dare this man laugh! How dare he laugh with such amusement when he was bringing his friend pain! Had Harry not felt enough pain in his life? He did not need to suffer more because he let his guard down for one second. He had wanted to strike this animal down, to kill him. But he had been disarmed, surrounded and the backup had not arrived. Soon more dark wizards arrived. Not noticing Ron in the joy of having Harry Potter at their feet, they had soon joined in with the torture.
Ron was abruptly shaken out off his flashback. "Ron, mate, are you alright? I've been calling you for ages" Ron blinked, the hospital coming back into focus. He met Harry's eyes, solicitude was written across his friend's face. He could not help but note that three days ago the same eyes that now pierced him with a calculating yet concerned look had been full of torment and pure, immaculate pain, soon to be replaced by a glazed-over and unresponsive look as the Medi-Wizards had tried to get his heart going again. He shuddered at the thought that they were so nearly unsuccessful. "You don't believe me, do you?" His tone was once more gentle yet Ron could hear the accusation in his friend's statement. Yes, although posed as a question, it was a statement. There was no use in dining it. He did not believe Harry and Harry knew it.
"It should have been me Harry. That curse was meant for me"
"And if it were meant for me you would not have done the same?" he challenged fiercely.
"Of course I would have!"
"No! Not exactly! I wouldn't of had to because you didn't lose you're wand now did you?"
"It could have happened to anyone"
"It shouldn't have happened!" he was on his feet now, his head spinning, Harry's scream as the sixth of seventh curio had hit him, finally breaking his struggle to not call out, still rang in his head. "I let my guard down for one second, one lousy second and look what happened. You could have died Harry-"
"Like that's never happened before" Harry cut in hotly, but Ron ignored him.
"-You could have died, and for what? Why did you have to jump in front of me?"
"Are you mental? Do you really need to ask me that? Do you really think I would just let you be tortured? If it was any other spell Ron I would have put a shield charm on you, but there's only one way to block an unforgiveable" With a body, Ron thought bitterly. He sat down, breathing heavily. "I only did what you would have done for me" Harry added lightly.
"I didn't help you though did I? I just-"
"Who called for backup Ron? Who?" he demanded
"I did, but that's not the-"
"I didn't think of that Ron. I should have done it the moment we got separated from our lads." Ron knew immediately that 'our lads' meant the Aurors under Harry's command. Some of them were hardly 'lads' but Harry was incredibly protective and fond of them, (as they were of him), some of them in particular were like semi-sons to him and Harry would often refer to them as 'the lads' or 'our lads' when he was with the captain of the squad-Ron. "We both would have died if you hadn't have sent that patronus. We all make mistakes Ron." Ron was about to ague back, albeit weakly for he knew there was no point, he had to admit Harry was usually right when it came to such things, but he was rudely interrupted.
"Ah Potter! You're awake!" It was Smith. Ron bit back a groan. Harry shot him a look that quite plainly said 'Oh god no! Help me!' Ron's annoyance with Smith soon evaporated.
"Well Smith obviously has something important to tell you so I'll leave you two alone to talk shall I?" He said standing up. The look on Harry's face was priceless. He smirked at his friend, ignoring the glare Harry was sending him.
"Oh no, Ron, do stay. I'm sure Smith would like to fill you in too" Ron was glad to note that there was a slight tinge of panic showing though his forced politeness.
"I think I'll pass. Lots to do back at the office. The departments mental without you, didn't Smith tell you?"
Please review! I'd love to know what people think! Critique most welcome. Personally I'm not too fond of the ending. Ending stories has always been my weakness. If anyone actually wants me to continue this I will, after I finished writing something else that will just not leave my head and I don't want to be distracted if I do continue this. I guess it depends on how many reviews I get. Hint Hint.