See chapter one for warnings/disclaimer/summaries. Every chapter will focus on a different character, i.e. (Luna, Severus, Harry, etc.)
PREVIOUSLY: Dumbledore handed out proposal scrolls from a magical creature(a Blood Dragon) to several individuals, Blaise Zabini, Luna Lovegood, Severus Snape, Minerva McGonagall, Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley. Luna has accepted her letter and left that very night, when Samara arrived. Harry has made plans to leave the following night. Severus and Minerva have decided to accept as well. Blaise has declined, as he is with Draco.
Ron lay awake in his bed, steepling his fingers over his chest and thinking of the letter he'd dashed off to his Mum while in history of magic class. He'd been sure to sneak it in when Hermione wasn't watching, because she'd been acting weird all morning and he didn't really want to know what had sent her off on that kind of a tangent.
Hermione was always steady and sure, seeing her off-kilter was like an itch he couldn't scratch. He wondered, briefly, if it was the conversation about the Blood Dragons the night before, then shook it from his head. He'd tried to explain things and he'd even remembered some of the same examples his Mum had used when she'd told him. Hermione was smart. She wouldn't be puzzling over something that he'd already explained. He'd done a very good job of it, if he did say so himself. She was probably already thinking about the end of the year exams for which he was hoping he would not have to take this year.
To accept the proposal would mean leaving school and he was eager for that particular detail to become a reality. Learning wasn't regulated to books and standardized tests, after all, it was what you learned and how you learned it and whether you honestly wanted to learn it. Those happy thoughts floated around inside of his head and Ron smiled up at the canopy on his bed. He did better as a hands-on student, learning from classes that were more practical and less bookwork—not that the bookwork didn't have its place, because it did—but he was happier when he could be moving and trying things out for himself. He would definitely be looking forward to that detail.
A sudden thought registered and he peeked out from behind the curtains, looking out through their dorm room to check that everyone was asleep or at least at their bed-curtains were drawn. His gaze then flickered over to the bed that he knew best. Yes, the curtains were drawn. Ron nearly smiled, then slid out from the warm blankets, before tip-toing over to Harry's bunk. He tapped it, twice, their own little code now, waiting for him to respond. After a moment, a bleary-eyed, messy-haired Harry poked his head out and he squinted up at Ron. "Ron? What-?"
"Shh!" Ron nudged him back and after a moment, slipped in around the curtains to perch on the edge of Harry's bed. "I just had to ask, Harry, because—well, I just had to ask." He hesitated for a moment, hands clenching in his lap and he squared his jaw and look up at his best friend. "Are you accepting that proposal?" He watched Harry grow unnaturally still and then a hint of clarity register in those brilliant green eyes, a look he knew and recognized quite well from their adventures together. This was the brilliance of the true Boy-Who-Lived—who honestly hated that moniker—deciding whether he could trust the person before him with the choice he'd made. Deciding to give him a hint, Ron spoke up so they would both be on the same page. "I-I've already sent off my letter to Mum, you know, telling her about it and everything." Ron looked at the bed curtains and fingered the edge of the fabric. He wasn't sure he could look Harry in the eye, but he didn't think he could stand not to, either. "I've said yes." He said, firmly.
Harry's shoulders half-slumped in relief and he lurched forward, hugging Ron, awkwardly.
Ron found his eyes mysteriously blurry for a moment and then he returned the awkward hug, before they pulled away, unable to keep looking each other in the eye for the moment. That was good news. That was brilliant news, actually. He'd hoped and he'd taken something of a gamble, but he also hadn't wanted to leave Harry and Hermione behind. Something told him, deep down inside, that Hermione most likely would not accept—she was muggleborn and sometimes the beliefs they came with, couldn't be overturned. "I take it you did too, huh?"
Harry cracked a smile. "You know what it's like," he said, softly. Ron did know and that was one of the reason that Harry treasured him as such a dear friend. "You've heard the kind of nightmares I have."
Ron swallowed and nodded. He had. Some of them ranked right up there in sounds and things that he dearly wished he had never heard before in his life. Hearing Harry scream was something that would haunt him for the rest of his life. Things that shouldn't happen to people like Harry, good people who had to do hard things, because there were no other options. Perhaps this Blood Dragon would give them the edge they needed.
"They've heard them too." Harry's smile didn't touch his eyes now, as the light dimmed and he remembered the most recent bout of night terrors he'd had while at the Dursleys. "They'll shout at me to be quiet, not to wake the neighbors and a few times, he hit me hard enough that I blacked out. Apparently I was still screaming when he woke me and that wasn't acceptable." Harry sucked in a breath, drawing his knees up to his chest. "I'm not a charity case. I'm not—someone who needs a—I never wanted anything from them. I wouldn't have cared if they really l-loved me or not. I just would've preferred if they didn't hate me." Thin shoulders hunched forward and Harry leaned back into his pillow. "I guess that was just too much to ask though?"
"It's their loss," Ron said, fiercely. He hated seeing that sad look in Harry's eyes. "They're loss and they'll never know what they're missing."
Harry half-smiled. "Thanks, Ron. See you tomorrow, eh?"
Ron began to slide off the bed. He reached for the curtains before he remembered his original reason for coming over. "When are you leaving?"
There was a pause and then Harry's head appeared from beneath the blanket. The sharp look was back in his green eyes as he seemed to be considering his words. "…tomorrow."
A moment of silence hung between them. "Tomorrow when?" Ron heard himself say. That was sooner than he'd be able to leave, but he supposed it made sense. Harry didn't have family ties to sever the way that he did. Not that he could ever completely forget his Mum, Dad and annoying gaggle of siblings. He'd have to see them all in person, at least once, before he could leave them. He would not, however, begrudge Harry the option of leaving early.
Harry snorted. "Tomorrow—after breakfast. Guess I'll see you soon?"
Ron grinned. "Can't leave on an empty stomach." He flicked a hand at the blanket-covered lump that was Harry's knee. "I'll see you soon." He agreed. "Can't set a date 'til Mum and Dad know everything and they'll want to come up and say goodbye or have me stop in or something. I don't know. I'll be the first one, you know? Not even Bill's done it yet and he's got Fleur." Ron paused. "You tell Hermione?" He almost didn't want to ask, but he couldn't help it.
The blankets rustled, Harry twisted them in his hand. "Not yet."
"Tell her. If she accepts—and if she doesn't—just tell her." He straightened up. Hermione would probably have a weird meltdown or something and he didn't want to be the one to share Harry's news—not when he had news of his own to share anyway. "Night Harry."
A/N: Finally got Ron's chapter done. It was tricky to write him, but I think I managed to hit the points I was aiming for. Since I have a dumb Ron in all my other fics, I thought I'd try my hand at a nice, smart, caring Ron. LOL. We should be cycling around to the characters again, so that means Luna is next. Thanks for reading and the kind reviews/favs/alerts.