Disclaimer: Do I own Harry Potter? Nah, can't say I do. If I was J. K. Rowling I would be writing something else, like the 8th book in the series.
Ron Weasley had never felt so many things at the same time. His emotional range of a teaspoon had suddenly expanded to a sea of raging emotions. There was grief, which had been dominant ever since Fred had laughed his last laugh. He was lying with Tonks and Lupin, all pale and... and dead. There was anger at the Death Eaters for taking away all these lives. Children would become orphans, parents childless this night. All because of a pale bastard. And to be honest, it pissed him off.
Fear was what he had felt ever since the battle had begun. What he had felt during the months they had been hunting horcruxes, but now it had intensified. Oh yes, he was scared. Scared he would lose more people he loved. Love... he blushed slightly, thinking about the kiss.
But he had never felt as much hopelessness as when Professor McGonagall had screamed. It had been the most terrifying things he had heard all evening. Was it true what You-Know... Voldemort. Was it true what Voldemort had said? Could Harry possibly be dead?
He looked at Hermione and they ran outside, only to see what Ron had feared. There was Voldemort, standing in front of his Death Eaters, but that was not what caught Ron's attention. It was the body lying in Hagrid's arms.
"No!" he yelled. He was vaguely aware of Hermione and Ginny yelling something too, the other survivors joining in, but he couldn't take his eyes of his best friend's body.
He remembered the first time he had laid eyes upon the great Harry Potter on King's Cross. The thin boy wearing far too large clothes and broken glasses. He had been stunned when Fred and George told him that boy was Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, whose story he had heard a million times. Back then, he had never dared to believe he would be his friend, let alone best friend. And now he was dead.
"SILENCE!" Voldemort suddenly yelled. There was a loud bang and they were all silenced. "It is over! Set him down, Hagrid, at my feet where he belongs."
Ron's anger started to bubble again. How dared he humiliate Harry like this? Where he belonged... if only he had had the chance he could have strangled Voldemort right there.
"You see?" Voldemort said and began to stride forwards and backwards beside the place where Harry lay. "Harry Potter is dead! Do you understand now, deluded ones? He was nothing, ever, but a boy who relied on others to sacrifice themselves for him."
Ron couldn't stop himself. "He beat you!" he yelled loudly putting as much venom and hatred behind the words he possibly could, and soon the others joined in, until they were silenced again.
"He was killed while trying to sneak out of the castle grounds," Voldemort said. Ron could see how he savoured every word. See how he enjoyed those filthy little lies of his. "killed while trying to save himself -"
He could feel his anger grow with every lie Voldemort threw in their faces. His eyes continued to drift to the body on the ground. This-this monster was throwing dirt all over Harry's memory. He was ready to tear the friggin bastard apart limb by limb, horcruxes and killing curses be damned, but somebody beat him to it.
He saw someone jump forward, running straight for Voldemort. There was a loud bang as the person was disarmed and as soon as Ron realized who it was he had a strange urge to sigh loudly as the feeling of dread spread through him again. Just how many stupid, self-sacrificing gits did they have to deal with today?
"And who is this? Who has volunteered to demonstrate what happens to those who continue to fight when the battle is lost?" Voldemort's voice was a hiss as he looked at his new opponent. Bellatrix Lestrange laughed, a happy laughter which seemed strangely out of place with the pain and the destruction which surrounded them, but then again, that was probably why she was so happy.
"It's Neville Longbottom, my Lord! The boy who has been giving the Carrows so much trouble! The son of the aurors, remember?" She spoke in a voice like she was reliving the best moment of her life. Ron's fist tightened. He could deal with a lot of things, hell, he had dealt with a lot of things these past few years, but he would not stand here as some crazy bitch talked about his friends like that. He was just about to raise his wand when Hermione put her hand on his wrist.
"Ron, please, don't," she whispered. "I can't lose you too." He looked into her brown eyes and saw the pain and grief she was feeling. And underneath all that was an anger, which matched his own perfectly. He nodded and shifted his attention back to the confrontation, but not without grabbing her hand. He needed her touch to keep him grounded, because if he didn't he would surely follow Neville out there faster than anyone could blink.
"You show spirit and bravery, and you come of noble stock. You will make a very valuable Death Eater. We need your kind, Neville Longbottom." The tone of Voldemort's voice could be described as soft, like he was trying to be nice to Neville. Trying to manipulate him into joining his ranks. He was really an idiot if he thought Neville would ever do that.
"I'll join you when Hell freezes over. Dumbledore's Army!"
Ron smiled weakly as both he and Hermione joined in with the cheering the two words raised. Those were the words of rebellion and hope despite everything. That was what they all needed. Hope.
"Very well," Voldemort, and at the tone of his voice the hope inside Ron wavered, "If that is your choice, Longbottom, we revert to the original plan. On your head be it." He waved is wand and Ron expected a flashing green light and another friend dead. Instead a window shattered and a bundle flew through the air and landed in Voldemort's hand. He shook it, and Ron realized with a start what it was. The Sorting Hat. What on Earth was he planning?
"There will be no more Sorting at Hogwarts School. There will be no more houses. The emblem, shield and colours of my noble ancestor, Salazar Slytherin, will suffice for everyone, won't they, Neville Longbottom?" He poined his wand at Neville who became rigid and still and forced the hat onto his head. Ron did not like this and tried to step forward, but Hermione's irongrip held him back. The Death Eaters all raised their wands, keeping the defenders of Hogwarts in check. Bellatrix was smiling sadistically pointing her wand at different people who flinched. They all knew this witch knew nothing of conscience.
"Neville here is now going to demonstrate what happens to anyone foolish enough to continue to oppose me," Voldemort said. He flicked his wand and suddenly the hat burst into flames.
Beside him Hermione gasped, Ginny yelled loud obscenities at the Death Eaters. Neville couldn't move, couldn't take the hat off. He was going to die, and it would be slow and painful. He looked at Voldemort, the man he had spent most of his life being scared of. Now, there was no more fear, only hatred and fury.
He was going to keep fighting for Harry and for Neville. His brother and friend. And he would stop at nothing, he would go through fire and ice to achieve this. The battle was far from over.