I want to thank everyone for your continued support for this story, and for me as a writer! It is with your motivating reviews and messages that make me want to continue. You are all awesome!

Even though this plot is slightly AU, with Ron and Hermione already together during DH, I follow book canon. So if you haven't read the book you might feel a bit lost as there are scenes in this chapter that did not happen in the movie. This also means that I use direct quotes from the book, so I want to note that none of it is intended as plagiarism. In other words don't complain to me about their behavior because I am only following what JKR has written.

Also, there is no lemon in this chapter as it picks up where the last one left off. It is chock full of angst, and then more angst. That was your warning.

Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter

Look at Me

Chapter 15

"Ron! Hermione!"

Harry's urgent whisper is close, and a moment later he appears, walking swiftly through the trees in our direction with his wand lit, and his frantic eyes darting in every direction until they land on us.

"Where the hell have you two been?" Harry stops and scolds us as he pushes the bridge of his glasses further up his nose. We hear the voices clearer now, and instead of waiting for a reply he turns on his heel and starts back the way he came. "Nevermind. Come on, they're coming."

"He's pissed off," Ron whispers to me as we follow Harry.

"Yes, I know," I whisper in reply. "We really shouldn't have been out here doing... that." He snorts, and I can tell he's still in a sour mood, but I nudge him with my elbow to keep moving.

We finally reach the tent, and even though I know there is no way we can be seen from the outside, we hurry inside and crouch near the opening. I glance at the sneakoscope that is resting on the table behind us; it is unmoving.

"Sorry, Harry," I say hastily. "It's- Well... We were-"

"Hermione, be quiet, I can hear them now!"

Harry shushes me and I have to bite my tongue, and my temper, because while I understand the urgency there really is no need to be so rude. But he's right: The voices are much clearer, as well as the sounds of snapping twigs and stones being kicked over the loose dirt and wooded slope. We each have our wands drawn and there is a crackle of energy around us; we're anticipating an ambush, but also hoping to glean some information about what is going on in the magical, as well as muggle, world. I can feel Ron's free hand grasp my waist, and I know he's thinking of his family, nervous about what we may soon hear.

Then I remember that I am at least prepared for this, and grab three extendable ears from my beaded bag, handing one to Harry, and then another to Ron. We hurry to insert the fleshy ends into our ears and feed the other ends out of the tent. Within seconds I am able to hear the conversation taking place out of sight and beside the river that is so dangerously close that I pray the enchantments around the tent are strong enough to keep us invisible.

A man's voice summons a salmon from the river, and I hear Ron sigh from behind me, and I know what he's thinking because I am thinking the same thing: Why hadn't we thought of doing that?

Over the next several minutes we learn that there are three wizards and two goblins on the run, together. One of them is Dean Thomas, our fellow Gryffindor, and as nice as it is to hear he is safe and away from snatchers, I know all too well that being on the run is not an ideal alternative, but necessary. Tonks' father is among them, as well as a wizard named Dirk. From their conversation they seem to have just met up recently, trading stories about how they came together.

Then I hear something that I dare not move so as to not miss a word. They mention the Sword of Gryffindor, Snape and then Bill's younger sister, obviously meaning Ginny. She, along with others, had tried stealing the sword! My heart drops and I grip the extendable ear tightly in my fist as Ron sucks in a sharp breath, his fingers now digging into my side. I move my other hand to cover his and burrow my fingers between his, holding on tightly, hoping to seep some calmness into his rigid body.

After learning the sword from Snape's office was a fake, one of the goblins named Griphook says Ginny and the others were punished, cruelly. I suppress a whimper from the news and also from Ron's now painful grip on my body. I shake my head and strain to hear more.

We find out that The Prophet is spewing lies about Harry, but that isn't much of a surprise, is it? We had seen this coming, and I'm grateful to Dean and Ted Tonks for defending him. They stop talking as they finish eating their salmon dinner, put out the fire they had made to cook it, and then head back up the slope. However, my brain is still buzzing about the fake sword and worrying about Ginny and whoever else Snape decided to punish.

XXXXXX

I feel almost numb. What I just heard... I can't seem to react to it just yet. I mean, are Ginny and the others okay? What about the rest of my family? I hadn't heard anything about them. What kind of punishment did she get for trying to steal that sword? It was that traitor arsehole, Snape, doling out the sentence, and I don't even want to imagine what he might've done to her. And who else was she with? Neville, no doubt. Maybe Luna? Why did they have to go and try to steal that fucking sword? I swear, if anything happened to my sister... fucking hell, I could kill something right now just thinking about it.

While I'm seething I realize Hermione is rummaging inside her bloody beaded bag for something, looking excited. A moment later she pulls out a large frame with Harry's help and props it up against the side of the tent. What the fuck is she on about now?

"If somebody swapped the real sword for the fake while it was in Dumbledore's office," she pants, with her wand pointed at the empty painting. "Phineas Nigellus would have seen it happen, he hangs right beside the case!"

Brilliant. She's thinking about the sword while I'm worried about what the hell happened to my sister. I just hope to Merlin this Nigellus bloke saw something...

She blindfolds the old wizard in the portrait then she and Harry carry on asking him question after question, and it isn't until he insults Ginny that I tell him to shut up about her. Who the fuck does he think he is, calling her silly and stupid? He's a smarmy, swotty bloke with a bad attitude, insulting not only Ginny, but Neville, Luna, and even Hagrid. And I want to reach my hand in that painting and throttle him if I could, if he weren't already dead, and a painting...

Then he tells us their punishment was to go with Hagrid into the Forbidden Forest, and I think of my time in that bloody place, when Aragog and his thousand and one giant spider kids attacked me and Harry, and I find no comfort in them being in there. None at all.

He insults Hermione, and before I can come to her defense Harry does, and for some reason that makes me seethe even more. My hands are balled into fists at my side, and my lips are pressed so tightly together I don't think I can speak, because if I do I know for a fact nothing good can come of it.

They keep asking about that damn sword, and while I admit I'm curious, I can't find the energy to feel hopeful about where it is. I can't seem to care as much as Harry and Hermione. My mind is reeling, spiraling into a dark funnel of negative thoughts of what could have happened, and what is happening now, to those I love and can't protect because I'm stuck here in a bloody fucking tent, doing fuck knows what about nothing. I tell myself that at least I know Harry and Hermione are safe, and that should be enough, but what about everyone else? Why the fuck are we out here without a plan, and wandering around aimlessly? What is the fucking point in all of this if we have no clue what the fuck we're doing?

I'm lost in thought, but I hear something about destroying a ring, and I see Hermione and Harry share a silent urgent look, and once again I feel left out of something I should already know.

The portrait is put away and I stand there, staring and trying to stamp down my anger that seems to be boiling, as Harry paces and Hermione is talking excitedly about the sword.

"The sword can destroy Horcruxes! Goblin-made blades imbibe only that which strengthens them," Hermione says to Harry, beaming as only she can when she learns something new. And normally that look would make me proud and want to tease her, but right now it's fucking irritating me. "Harry, that sword's impregnated with basilisk venom!"

I could make a dirty joke about how the basilisk was most likely a bloke and couldn't have babies, but I'm too far gone, too fucking mad, to care about being funny right now. Besides, they are still talking back and forth, and I feel dizzy being on the outside, listening and watching as if taking in a game of pass the quaffle. A game that I have not been invited to play.

XXXXX

This is incredible. Simply incredible! The sword of Gryffindor! Why, oh why, hadn't I thought of that before? It makes so much sense now. Harry killed the basilisk with the sword simultaneously impregnating it with the poisonous venom. The same venom that killed Riddle's diary, which we all know now was a Horcrux! If only I had put it all together before we could have been looking for the sword this entire time as well as Horcruxes. And maybe we could have found it in time to kill the locket... and maybe things wouldn't be so damn tense between the three of us.

And Dumbledore, making a copy, knowing all along... but then where is the real one? The fake sword is in Gringotts and, for all intents and purposes, Snape feels confident that it is safe there. I'm relieved; this means wherever the real one is all we have to do is find where Dumbledore hid it and...

"Think!" I whisper to Harry who is pacing in front of me. "Think! Where would he have left it?"

"Not at Hogwarts," says Harry.

We throw ideas back and forth, and now I'm pacing along with Harry, racking my brain. Think, Hermione, where else would Dumbledore hide such an important artifact? Something so crucial to the quest in destroying Voldemort? Why wouldn't he have just told Harry?

I glance at Harry when I have this last thought. He looks confused, and I'm hoping he isn't thinking the same thing. The last thing we need is Harry doubting Dumbledore. But maybe he has a reason to. With information of this caliber, to keep it from Harry, feels... wrong. Or perhaps he had tried to tell Harry? Did he not have a chance to explain precisely what it can be used for? Of course, he did have time to switch out the real one with the fake... Or perhaps Dumbledore was afraid Voldemort would know if Harry knew? Harry really should have worked harder on Occlumency.

I shake my head and tell myself to concentrate. All of that isn't important right now. Not anymore. Dumbledore is dead, and we can't afford to waste any more time thinking about things that do not need answering right now. Right now I have to think where in the hell is the damn sword?!

"...What do you reckon, Ron? Ron?"

Ron.

I turn around abruptly at Harry addressing him, and I hadn't realized he was no longer standing with us. Come to think of it he hasn't chimed in once with a suggestion. But I shouldn't be surprised, not when I know he's wearing the locket, and how terrible his mood has become lately while wearing it.

My heart starts to pound right away, thinking he's left the tent. But then I see Harry walk toward the bunk and his shoulders slump, and I know Ron's there. I hurry over to stand next to Harry and see Ron lying in the shadow of the bottom bunk. He looks sour, angry.

"Oh, remembered me, have you?" Ron says, and I sigh, feeling suddenly tired.

"What?" Harry asks.

"You two carry on. Don't let me spoil your fun."

Damn it, Ron. Don't do this right now, please.

Harry asks him if he has a problem, to which Ron says there isn't one, not according to Harry. I groan inwardly, and close my eyes, sending a silent prayer for this not escalate. I can feel the tension grow despite my silent pleas.

And then it starts to rain, the first drops hitting the sides of the tent with loud plops and plunks, and I want to curse out loud. As if we need anything more to put a damper on this night. We just found out a very important piece of the puzzle for our mission, and now it's going to wrecked by rain, jealousy and pettiness? I could smack Ron.

And then Harry challenges Ron to spit it out, and now I want to smack the both of them. Why do boys have to be so damn hot-headed?

Ron accuses Harry of not knowing enough, and I see Harry's eyes blaze; clearly this is a sore spot for him, especially after just finding out Dumbledore might have never told him about the sword.

They're both staring daggers at each other. I've seen them row before, they aren't strangers to friction between them, but this something entirely different. This isn't about competing in a tournament, Ginny, or even about leprechaun coins. There has been something stirring for weeks now. And I see the same look in Ron's eyes that he had moments ago, outside, when he was telling me about Harry, before we heard Dean and the rest of them approaching. And I know Harry has been holding back all this time as well. We all have, and for good reason. But now, I can feel it all about to come out, and I want to capture all the negativity and trap it in a bottle, cork it, and throw it into river.

Ron had sat up, his booted feet thumping on the hard canvas floor; the flickering candle beside the bunk casting a shadow of his profile across the tent wall, and his face looks so... mean. This isn't Ron; it can't be.

The rain is continuing to drop around us, over us, even harder now. I can hear the river nearby as the rain adds to the depth of it, and the pattering of the heavy raindrops on the leaves outside on the bank. This is what fills the silence until Ron speaks again, his voice so cold I take a step back, shuddering.

"It's not like I'm not having the time of my life here," he says in what is supposed to be a sarcastic tone, but comes out as cutting. He mentions his mangled arm and I flinch at the reference, still feeling guilty. He told me not to, but how can I not, especially now when he says it like that? Did he always blame me for the splinching? Then there's the complaint about food again, and the cold. But, we're all cold... "I just hoped, you know, after we'd been running round a few weeks, we'd have achieved something."

Oh, no. He's going to tell him everything we've been talking about in private. This isn't the time, not like this. I have to stop him, but my mouth feels dry as I say him name. The rain is steadily coming down, pounding on the tent, and I'm too quiet. I can't properly move and don't dare say anything more as I stare at the young man who doesn't seem to acknowledge I'm here.

"I thought you knew what you signed up for," Harry says.

"Yeah, I thought I did too."

Harry becomes defensive and uses his anger to lash out at Ron, saying Ron should have known what he was in for. I agree with him as we all knew this wasn't going to be easy, but his words are full of bitterness and resentment. I don't know what to say or do as I watch our tiny world crumble around me, around us. This isn't supposed to happen. We are in this together, we promised each other this. Why are they doing this? It's all the locket's fault. Voldemort's fault. I feel as if I can scream from the injustice of it all.

Then Ron is shouting at Harry, his face contorted and looking menacing in the candlelight. "We thought you knew what you were doing!" He finally stands, and I gasp at his words. He said "we", as in me and him. He's bringing me into this, and I should have known he would. I can feel my hands shaking by my sides, even while gripping the hen of my jumper I can't stop them from trembling. "We thought Dumbledore had told you what to do, we though you had a real plan!"

Oh, Merlin.

"Ron!" I find my voice, finally, and shout at him. I know he heard me this time, but still he ignores me. I can't reach him. I can't see my Ron, the one who holds me so gently and brings me pleasure with just his hands and mouth. I can't see the Ron who loves me. He's gone, and I'm about to panic.

Harry talks to him in an eerily calm voice that scares me almost as much as Ron's shouting. If me calling his name doesn't get him to even look at me, what makes Harry think he can make Ron see reason? He tries telling Ron that we've already found a Horcrux, and that he's been straight with us all along, but Ron cuts him off, reminding him that we're nowhere near getting rid of the locket. And at the mention of the Horcrux my mind finally spins into focus and I try once more to alleviate the tension by telling Ron to take off the locket. It's the only way, I'm sure of it.

"You wouldn't be talking like this if you hadn't been wearing it all day."

"Yeah, he would," Harry says to me, still looking at Ron. He accuses us of talking behind his back, that we are already thinking everything Ron just said, and when I try to tell him we weren't Ron yells at me, telling me not to lie. I'm taken aback that he would not only shout at me, but to call me a liar, of all things.

And then he looks at me, and I regret ever wishing he would. His glare feels like it's cutting right through me, and he's right: I am lying, to a certain extent. But this isn't the right time! We can't tell Harry these things, not like this. Those were only concerns, between Ron and I, in private. They weren't meant to be used against him!

"You said it too, you said you were disappointed, you said you'd thought he had a bit more to go on than-"

"I didn't say it like that - Harry, I didn't!" I cried, pleading with Harry to understand. Ron is making it seem much harsher than it was, and I can't think of more to say without sounding like the liar that Ron just accused me of being. I'm crying freely now, tears running down my cheeks as Harry can't even look at me.

"So why are you still here?"

I gasp in a gulp of air, and for a moment I think he's addressing the both of us, Ron and I, but he's only looking at Ron.

"Search me," Ron says.

"Go home then."

I'm dumbfounded. Where did that come from? Why is Ron still here? Go home? Why on Earth would Harry say that to Ron? Can he not see the locket around his neck? Does he not realize how susceptible Ron is to it? Can't he tell this isn't our Ron? Perhaps a bit of him is coming through, but with the help of that Horcrux, only the bad is showing, and Harry should know... he should just know...

"Maybe I will!" Ron shouts and takes several steps in Harry's direction, but Harry doesn't move. And neither can I as my heart is pounding, practically jumping out of my chest. And my eyes are darting back and forth between the two of them. This isn't happening...

XXXXXX

Red. It's all I can see in front of me. Red, and Harry's stupid face with those stupid glasses and that useless scar on his bloody forehead. He can't ever see anything useful. He doesn't know anything, and he doesn't even care that Ginny, the girl he supposedly cares for, my sister, is inside that sorry excuse for a school that's being run by fucking Death Eaters! Maybe he never cared about her after all. Maybe the girl he really wants is already taken. Maybe he's jealous that I got Hermione before he could...

And maybe he should have. Got Hermione, that is. I'm not anything special, am I? The way these two carry on most of the time I might as well not even be here. Maybe Harry regrets bringing me along, only doing so because without me Hermione would never agree to help him. Yeah, that must be it.

But I did come, and for what? To starve? To freeze my bollocks off every night? To get fucking splinched and spend half the time with a useless arm, preventing all of us from apparating anywhere? Maybe they're better off without me.

But I'm so fucking angry at Harry for not knowing anything, and I can't help but feel he's been putting us on, making it seem like he knew more than he let on. I'm angry at Hermione for lying, and for not taking my side. She's my fucking girlfriend! She says she loves me and not once does she back me up? Not once does she tell Harry that I'm right? That we're right? No, of course she wouldn't, because according to her she never said anything like that. Fucking bollocks.

I can feel the rage within me, and it's all focused on Harry as he's cutting into me, and I've had enough. I feel like I can finally speak my mind, and I do. I tell him exactly what I'm thinking, and it's all true. We all know it, so why is he acting so bloody defensive? And why the hell is Hermione taking his side?

Then Harry asks me why I'm still here, and with that one question my doubts are confirmed. He never wanted me here.

I tell him everything; how he doesn't care about Ginny or the rest of my family, for that matter. He gives the excuse of Hagrid being with them, as if that's supposed to make me feel better. The bloke outside had said something about the Weasleys not needing another kid injured, and when Harry stutters his response to that I charge at him.

"Not bothered what it meant, though?"

Then Hermione steps between us, and Harry's lucky she did because I swear to Merlin I was about to punch him.

"Ron!" she says, her hands pushing at my chest, making me take a step back from Harry. "I don't think it means anything new has happened, anything we don't know about..." She goes on listing my family's injuries, thinking she's helping, but only fueling my anger. I glare at her, and think about her parents safely out of the way and about Harry's that are already dead, and I can't help what comes out of my mouth, telling them so.

"My parents are dead!" Harry yells at me, looking more furious that I've ever seen him before, and I feel a strange triumph over that fact. It's foreign inside of my head, these hard, cold feelings, but I'm still shaking with pent up aggression and my head is full of dark holes and piercing thoughts that make me want to vomit. And all I can think about is my mum and dad, and brothers and sisters, possibly dead because I wasn't there.

"And mine could be going the same way!"

"Then GO!" Harry roars at me, and I can feel something inside of me break, somewhere deep in my gut. "Go back to them, pretend you've got over your spattergroit and Mummy'll be able to feed you up and-"

I don't let him finish. I can't. He mentioned my mum, and that's the last straw. Again the red takes over my vision and I make a move for my wand, not even knowing yet what I'm going to do with it, only that I want to stop him from talking. I see him mimic my move, but then suddenly Hermione's voice rings out over the pounding rain.

"Protego!"

An invisible shield is between us, the force of it making me step back a few paces. Harry and I continue to glare at each other, and I can see hatred in his eyes. I had seen that look in him before, but never, in all my life, did I ever think he'd direct it towards me. Am I being an arse? Am I so fucking wrong for being worried about my family, and about the three of us, out here in the middle of nowhere with no food?

And am I that terrible of a person for telling Harry what he already knows? Dumbledore told him less than shit, and he fucking knows it. But let me call it to his attention, and he gets all defensive, acting as if I'm only complaining about missing my mum's food. Bollocks to that. He's right: I didn't sign up for this. I thought we were going to help him, but there is nothing to help because we don't' know what the fuck we're doing.

This shit with the sword means fuck all to me. Their excitement over it just pisses me off. And now he wants to hate me. He looks like he already does, and if that's how he wants it, then so be it.

"Leave the Horcrux."

Right, I'm still wearing the bleedin' thing. I wrench it off from around my neck and and throw it onto the chair. This is it. I can't fight any more. He wants me gone, and I can't hear him tell me to leave again. I have to go- now. I'm breathing heavily as I turn to Hermione, and she looks like a deer caught in headlights as she finds me staring at her.

"What are you doing?" I ask her.

"What do you mean?"

I give her an incredulous look. "Are you staying, or what?" She can't seriously be thinking of staying. Not with Harry, not after everything...

"I..." She's confused, and fuck me if I know why. " Yes- yes, I'm staying. Ron, we said we'd go with Harry, we said we'd help-"

And my heart, along with my gut, is broken. She's staying? She just said she's gonna stay. With Harry. To help him. Nevermind everything he just said, practically forcing me to leave. I never said I was going to leave. It wasn't my idea, was it? This is Harry's mission, given by Dumbledore. Harry wants me to go, can't she see that?

And then the one thing that I thought I was sure of is now feeling like a complete and utter lie. But it can't be because deep down I know Hermione wouldn't lie to me. I'm so fucking confused, but I say it anyway.

"I get it. You choose him."

She chooses Harry, and this fucked up mission, with no plan whatsoever. We had our dark moments in the past few weeks, I admit, but maybe now this is the final test. She doesn't choose me, or saving our relationship. Hermione... doesn't love me, or at least not as much as I thought she once did. Fuck, maybe she never did...

I can't look at her. With my wand still tight in my fist, and my insides shredded to pieces, and without a second look at my former best mate, I turn to leave.

XXXXX

I watch in a daze as Ron turns to leave, and I panic.

"Ron, no - please - come back! Come back!"

He hears me, I know he does, but he ignores me anyway. And then he's gone, out of the tent and into the rain. And for one irrational millisecond I worry about him catching a cold.

I run to follow and swear as my own shield prevents me from doing so. I lose precious seconds as I take it down, and then run out of the tent.

The rain is deafening out here, and there is barely enough light from the moon to see properly through the multitude of wet curtains coming down around me. I'm soaked through within a second of being exposed to the rain. And with tears competing for coverage on my cheeks I shout out to Ron, choking on my own voice through the downpour, screaming at the top of my lungs.

It's so dark, but I swivel my head around, squinting and turning on the spot, my trainers splashing and slipping on the muddy leaved. And then I see him stalking away from me to my right, his normally bright orange hair now a deep red, but still bright enough to be seen.

"Ron!"

I run full pelt at him through the rain, squinting as water falls into my eyes. He's almost at the border of the wards I had set around our campsite. If I don't reach him in time he'll leave, disapprate to who knows where. I'm desperate as my jumper becomes heavier with the added weight of rain and my trainers squelch into the ground, slowing me down.

"Ron! Stop!"

He stops, thanks goodness, but he doesn't turn around to face me. I grab at the sleeve of his jumper and I can cry from relief. He's still here. He hasn't left. He's staying with me. I tug on his jumper and he turns his head slightly, and I see his mouth moving, but can't hear him.

"What?" I shout at him, blinking up at him through droplets of water clinging to my lashes.

"You chose him!"

"No! I didn't!"

He turns around finally, and we're so close, but his expression is so far removed from anything I've ever seen before. I shake my head, at a loss for words.

"Then come with me! Now, Hermione! Let's leave!"

His chest is moving rapidly up and down, and I can see puffs of warm air leaving his mouth into the cold night air. I can't breathe. I gulp in air and shake my head again, grabbing his hand just in case he decides to bolt anyway.

"He didn't mean it, Ron! Just come back, please!"

"He did!"

"He needs us!"

"He made it clear he doesn't-"

"None of us are in our right minds, Ron!"

"Are you coming or not?"

"I can't! We can't! You can't leave!"

"Watch me."

Even through the unrelenting rain his gaze is steady, and I know he's dead set on this. He's leaving. He's going to leave, and I can't do anything about it...

"If you leave... if you leave me here-"

"Then come with me!" He tugs on my hand and our wet jumpers are stuck together. I can feel his heartbeat, and it's faster than the rain, but at an equal pace to mine. He drops my hand, and I let him as he cups my cheek, and then kisses me.

I don't hesitate to kiss him back. Both my hands are on his wet face, and I put everything that I can into this kiss: my heart, my soul, my mind, everything to show him what he would be missing if he goes.

But then he pulls away, and his eyes are still closed, and I know.

"Ron... if you leave-"

"I have to. I can't stay. It's too fucking hard."

"You'll have me. I'll talk to Harry, make him understand."

Something dark crosses his eyes then, he snorts, and that cold look is back. He steps away from me and now I feel cold all over, shivering from head to toe. I've lost contact with him, and when I reach for his hand he pulls it back. I reach for his wand instead and when he takes another step away from me I feel a rage build inside of me. He's being unreasonable, and stupid, and stubborn.

"Don't you dare leave, Ron! If you do... then- then we're over! Finished!"

"You're willing to throw away what we have- for him! For Harry!"

"Not for Harry! And I'm not-"

"Are you coming or not?" His voice is loud and booming, and it makes me gasp, afraid. I'm sobbing again, choking on my words.

"I- No-"

"I'm so fucking sorry," he says in a quieter tone and, with another step back, he is outside of the protective wards.

"No... no!"

With a crack as loud as thunder he's gone.

Just like that, he's disappeared right in front of my eyes. I'm stunned, but my eyes are moving around frantically. I'm stuck to the ground as I blink rapidly against the rain. My hair is plastered to my cheeks and my neck as I continue to shake. I can't believe I let it get this far. I should have seen the signs. I should have done or said something to stop their row sooner. I'm angry at Harry for driving Ron away. At Ron for letting the locket take over, and then actually leaving, and not believing in me or our love enough to stay despite what had happened. I'm angry at him for breaking my heart into a million shattered pieces.

"Ron... Ron!" I'm screaming into the rain and wind. I know it's useless, but I scream for him anyway. I'm hoping he merely disapparated somewhere nearby, and is now watching me and waiting just in case he changes his mind and decides to come back. But then I remember if he did he wouldn't be able to hear or see me due to the enchantments that I had set for us.

I cry out loud, sobbing and not caring if I get sick from being wet and cold. I feel lost and unsure of what to do next; I drop to my knees, and I slam my fists in the mud, feeling reckless and wild with emotion.

I wrap my arms tight against my stomach as I double over, and rain is dripping from the top of my head onto my knees. And something new and foreboding is coursing through my bones, and I hate it; there's an emptiness that I have never experienced before in my entire life, and I know exactly what it means:

He isn't coming back.

XXXXX

A/N: There's an oak tree in my eye, no big deal...

Thank you so much for reading! And please leave a review.