A/N: So, I don't really have an excuse, other than I've been working and moving to a new town and stuff, and I can't really give any promises as to when the next update will be. I do, however, want to thank everyone who reviewed, or favourited, or put this story on alert. It makes me very happy to see that people seem to appreciate what I do.
This chapter was a pain to write, and, thus, is a bit short. I hope you'll enjoy it anyway.
Disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot.
Warnings: Some foul language.
So, this is what it's like being a regular teenager, Ron thought to himself. It kind of sucked.
He really couldn't pinpoint exactly when his life had turned into one of those cheesy romance novels his mother liked to read, but nonetheless it now bore an uncanny resemblance to them. And he didn't like it one bit.
There was the friend who really wasn't a friend anymore but whom he still had feelings for, feelings that were more intense than they should be, considering that all Harry seemed to spare for Ron these days was contempt. Then there was the friend that maybe was somewhat more than a friend, considering he nowadays found himself knowing the insides of Blaise's mouth almost as good as his own.
He never really intended for it to happen, but Blaise was just so nice, and good-looking, and he was there, and Merlin, could that boy kiss. And the Slytherin never seemed to mind. In fact, he was sometimes the instigator of their snogging sessions, and Ron didn't really want it to stop, because it felt good, damn it, and so very few things in his life felt good anymore. Plus he couldn't deny he felt a certain attraction towards the other boy, an attraction he sometimes feared, sometimes hoped, would take things further than just kissing.
So here he was, the centre of this messed up love triangle where one person, the person he loved, didn't want anything to do with him, and the other person, the person he lusted after, sure as hell wanted something to do with him, but where Ron never really could shake the feeling of wrongness.
These facts sifted through Ron's mind as he left yet another "started out just friendly, ended up overly friendly" meeting with Blaise, while he distractedly re-buttoned his shirt and simultaneously tried to flatten his mussed hair. How exactly did normal teenagers cope with all of this?
His thoughts stopped dead in their tracks as the unmistakable sound of sobbing reached his ears, coming from an empty classroom. Blaise is right, Ron thought as he approached the classroom. They really should take more care locking these things at night.
For a moment he debated whether or not he should just leave. The person crying probably wanted to be left alone. But the sobs were so heart wrenching that the redhead couldn't stop himself from curiously peeking inside, not really sure whether he should be surprised or not when he saw Harry slumped over one of the desks, face buried in his arms as his small frame shook with crying.
Ron once again debated leaving, seeing how he was probably the last person Harry wanted to be comforted by at the moment. But seeing the dark haired boy so distressed made Ron's heart ache, because no matter what had transpired between them, Harry was still his friend, and Ron cared about him more than he really wanted to admit. So he took a hesitant step into the classroom, and let out an equally hesitant,
The other boy jerked his head up, an expression of relief and then annoyance gracing his features as he realised who had entered.
"What are you doing here?" he hissed as he wiped his eyes with his sleeve.
"I…I heard you, from outside," Ron answered, gesturing feebly towards the door. "Harry…are you alright?"
For a moment the bespectacled teen just sat there, measuring his former friend with his gaze.
"No," he finally answered, defeated, as if he couldn't muster up the energy for lies or anger. "No, I'm not."
Ron took another few, hesitant steps in Harry's direction.
"Look, I know I'm probably the last person you want to talk to right now, but maybe you can ignore the fact that you hate me and I'll ignore…everything that's happened and I'll just be a concerned friend right now, alright? And then we can just go back to normal, or un-normal, or whatever, after this."
"I don't…alright," Harry sighed.
Ron pulled up a chair and sat himself down across Harry's desk. The raven haired boy's red rimmed eyes and tear streaked cheeks made everything that happened between them over the last couple of weeks seem unimportant. It actually made Ron kind of sad that he hadn't been at Harry's side for him to confide in. What was he doing here, alone in an empty classroom anyway? Why wasn't he with Ginny, or Hermione? It made the redhead feel very worried about his friend.
"So…erm…what's the matter?" Ron asked, realising that a few weeks of estrangement hadn't exactly made it easier to talk to Harry about these kinds of things.
The other boy suddenly became very engulfed in a loose thread at the hem of his robes, seemingly contemplating whether he should answer Ron's question or not.
"Look, I…I don't know if this is really a good idea. It's really…it's nothing," he finally replied.
"It doesn't exactly seem like nothing," the redhead prodded on, carefully.
He knew that he should be mad at Harry for the way he had treated him lately, but right now he was just happy about the tentative bond that seemed to be slowly reforming between them, and worried about how his friend was doing.
Suddenly Harry looked up, meeting Ron's gaze straight on.
"It's just…everything is so wrong and weird, and everyone is acting like nothing really happened, and I can't, I just can't, and I sometimes wish that…"
The bespectacled teen fell silent, once again directing his full attention to that loose thread.
Ron gathered Harry was talking about the war, for he too had had that weird feeling that everyone around them just preferred to pretend it never happened. He even did it himself at times, because it was so much easier to go on living if you didn't dwell on those who did not.
"You sometimes wish what, Harry?" Ron asked softly.
Harry pursed his lips, picking away at the thread with fervour for what seemed like minutes, before he once again met the redhead's gaze and opened his mouth to answer.
And in the Harlequin novel that was now the life of Ron Weasley, Blaise chose this exact moment to peek his head through the door.
"I thought I heard your voice. You left your tie at…oh, hello Potter, fancy meeting you here."
Ron's red and gold tie dangling from the Slytherin's finger could not have seemed more conspicuous, and he suddenly became very aware of his dishevelled looking hair and the fact that he had not fully buttoned his shirt. Harry noticed as well, and unfortunately seemed to draw some very correct conclusions about what had been going on between Ron and Blaise.
The raven-haired teen's features suddenly hardened, and something akin to anger flared in his eyes.
Unfortunately, Blaise decided to make matters worse by speaking.
"Been slipping in here to have a good cry, Potter?" he said, having noticed Harry's red-rimmed eyes. "Sometimes the weight of the world can get a bit much, can't it, Golden Boy?"
"Blaise…," Ron said warningly, but to no avail. Harry was now back to full-fledged contempt.
"That's none of your business, faggot," he bit back.
"Harry," the redhead said in the same kind of warning tone he'd just directed at Blaise.
"Shut up, Ron! You know, what you two poofters do in private is your business, but I'd prefer not to have it paraded in front of me."
Harry seemed a bit taken aback by his own words, and when he finally faced Ron, there was a slightly alarmed and almost apologetic look on his face. Ron would have nothing of it, though.
"Fuck you, Harry, just…fuck you," was all he could coherently form in his state of rage, as he strode out of the classroom. "And fuck you too, Blaise," he told the Slytherin in passing.
He was walking blindly; white, cold rage fuelling his every step. How dare the bigoted arsehole, how dare he? After everything he'd thrown at Ron, this was the last straw. Harry Potter was to be purged from his system, if it so took him a bloody lifetime to do it.
He took out his wand, directing it at paintings and armours along the way, muttering spells to make them tear or explode in clanking piles, scaring the living daylights out of a bunch of first years as they passed him by. As he reached the stairs he let out a frustrated howl, followed by a string of muttered expletives that would have made his mother ground him until his retirement.
"What's the matter, poofter? Had a lover's quarrel with the boyfriend?" he heard a voice drawl behind him.
He turned around only to find himself face to face with Bole and Viridian.
"That's really clever and all, but I'm really not in the mood for this right now, so if you would kindly just back the fuck off, nobody needs to get hurt tonight, alright?"
"Like you could take us," Viridian piped up.
Ron laughed humourlessly.
"I've taken on Voldemort and lived; I think I can handle a couple of pea-brained Slytherin buffoons."
This actually seemed to take the Slytherins aback a bit, long enough for Ron to summon both their wands.
"These things…" he said, waving the pieces of wood in their direction. "…Are really a bit too dangerous for to idiots like yourself to be carrying around, don't you think? Let's see what we can do about that."
He directed his own wand at the two wands in his hands, muttering a spell and savoured the cracking sound of wood splinting. He handed back the two wands, now reduced to nothing more than a pile of toothpicks held together by a piece of string, sighing with relief.
"There, all better. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have places to be. See you around"
Ron turned and made for the stairs, all too wrapped up in his own anger to hear the running steps behind him. He felt two hands being shoved hard against his back, and he had really no chance to find his balance before he found himself tumbling down the stairs.
All he could register was pain throughout his entire body as he hit his head against the floor with a crack that sounded sickening even to his own ringing ears.
As he slowly lost hold of his consciousness, he could hear a worried and very familiar voice nearby.
"Ron? Ron? Can you hear me? Oh, please, Ron, don't do this. Ron? Ron!"
And then there was nothing.