A half hour later, Ron, Hermione and Harry stood in the middle of the Room of Requirement, staring around at the piles of junk. Harry held the diadem in his hands.
"Well, that's that" Ron said, looking at his friends.
A sudden shout caused them to turn around, barely avoiding the curses throw their way. Malfoy, Zabini and Goyle were standing across from them, throwing curses.
A flash of red light hit the diadem, causing it to fly out of Harry's hands and onto a pile of furniture. Hermione cried out as a curse narrowly missed her shoulder.
"OI!" Ron yelled, running at the Slytherins like a mad bull. "NOT MY WIFE, YOU BASTARDS!" The Slytherins turned and ran.
"...Did I miss something?" Harry asked, turning to Hermione, who was bright red. She held up her left hand, showing him the ring.
Harry grinned, then turned and began to climb up the pile of furniture, beckoning for Hermione to follow him.
His best friends were getting married... After showing no real sign of attraction, they were engaged...
He would have to find Ginny after all this was over, and say a few things that needed to be said.
"They're setting the bloody room on fire!" Ron yelled, tearing back to his friends with fiendfyre right on his heels. The heat blasted them full force, burning all in its path as it raced after Ron.
"Ronald!" Hermione cried, reaching her hand down to him. He dove onto the pile of furniture just as Harry held up the found diadem. The flames licked the bottom of the pile dangerously.
"How are we going to get out?" Ron yelled over the roar of the fire. Harry clambered to the top of the teetering pile of junk, Ron and Hermione following suit. Ron spotted a pile of brooms to their right, still untouched by the inferno below. Across the room, Malfoy and Zabini were perched on their own pile, no sign of Goyle.
"Harry! We need to jump to the other pile, there's brooms we can use to escape there!" Ron yelled. Harry and Hermione nodded. Harry jumped first, landing squarely on an old trunk. Ron jumped next, landing next to Harry. THe pile shook, then stabilized. Ron reached his arms out for Hermione.
The fire swelled and Hermione stepped back, unsure.
"Hermione, jump!" Ron and Harry yelled. Flames began to lick the bottom of the crate where Hermione stood. Ron felt hot tears of fear running down his face.
Hermione took a deep breath, choking on the ash in the air. She ran forwards and leapt off the top of the crate, just in time for it to tumble down into the flames below.
Her feet landed on the very edge of the trunk and she began to fall backwards with a scream. Ron and Harry dove forwards to grab her hands before she fell to her death. They caught her just as she fell, her legs dangling down. The fire hadn't gotten to their pile yet, so they were safe momentarily, but even as they thought this, the flames began to surge up to where Hermione's legs were.
"Hold on" Ron said, grasping her left arm with everything he had. Harry did the same with the right.
"I-I can't" Hermione gasped, her skin bright with sweat. As her hands began to perspire too, she began to slip, the diamond ring digging into Ron's palm.
"I love you both" Hermione whispered.
Then she fell.
"NO!" Ron and Harry screamed.
Hermione's yell was cut short by a thud sound from below. The pile shook a bit. Harry and Ron peered down to see Hermione laying at an odd angle on a metal trunk that had fallen when they jumped. She was unconscious. The fire was burned very near the bottom, heating the metal of the trunk quickly.
Ron jumped down without a second thought, gathering Hermione into his arms as tears streamed down his face. Harry hung over the edge of the top trunk, pulling Hermione up when Ron handed her to him.
Ron was about to climb back up when the metal trunk beneath his feet began to shift, throwing him sideways. He grabbed onto the edge of it, screaming as it burned his hands.
"RON!" Harry yelled, pulling out his wand. He shot a jet of water at the trunk, cooling it a little so Ron could regain his grip. Ron pulled himself up onto the other junk, kicking the metal trunk down into the inferno below. Then, he clambered up to where Harry was kneeling, trying to revive Hermione.
"We have to get her to wake up!" Harry yelled to Ron. Ron nodded and pulled out his wand, pointing it at Hermione's purse.
"Accio smelling salts!" A small bottle flew out of the purse and into Ron's hand. He uncorked it, waving it under Hermione's nose. He sighed when her eyes began to open.
While Ron was reviving Hermione, Harry pulled out three brooms from below his feet. When Hermione was awake, he threw one to her and Ron. Soon, they were soaring above the piles of junk, watching as their beloved Room of Requirement was burned.
A shout came from one of the piles, where Zabini and Malfoy stood.
"We can't leave them!" Harry yelled, swooping down to grab Malfoy. Ron grumbled, but grabbed Zabini just in time.
Together, the five of them, Slytherin and Gryffindor alike, flew at breakneck speed towards the door.
They zoomed out just as the flames billowed to the door, following them. The five tumbled off their brooms, Hermione tossing a Basilisk fang to Harry.
Harry stabbed the diadem, blinking smoke out of his eyes. The diadem burst, spilling evil black vapor from it. Harry tossed the diadem through the door into the fiery inferno that was waiting, collapsing into a nearby wall when the door slammed shut.
Visions of Voldemort's mind flashed before his eyes; shock, rage, anger. He gasped and choked, unable to breathe.
Then the pressure on his chest was gone, and his eyes cleared to the sight of the corridor. Ron, Hermione, Malfoy and Zabini lay on the ground, coughing to clear their lungs.
"Mione?" Came Ron's shaky voice from where the redhead lay on his back. Hermione coughed uncontrollably, trying to pull herself on her stomach to his side.
"Mione!" Ron cried out as he heard Hermione choking. He crawled to where she lay facedown, and pulled her into his arms.
Harry watched the scene between his best friends play out. He had almost lost them both... But it seemed like their brush with death had only brought the other two closer together. There they were, hugging like they hadn't seen each other in a month.
He had to find Ginny... He had to tell her he loved her. He had to say many things... Before the night was over.
Then, he might have a chance for the happiness that his two best friends had found.