Synopsis: A re-imagining of the scene of Harry's final farewell in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, with the focus on Ron - simply because he is one of the most unappreciated and bashed characters. A take on how Ron would truly have reacted to finding out that his best friend was about to turn himself in to Voldemort.
Written from Harry's POV
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or Warner Bros.
Hermione shook her head almost violently, tears streaming down her face. "I'll come with you."
My heart sunk; I knew Hermione would figure it out sooner or later. She pulled me into a tight embrace, but I shifted away after a moment of taking in her warmth. I couldn't linger now, not when the fate of the entire Wizarding World depended on it.
The brightest witch of her age, Lupin had said.
My heart clenched, and my resolve only strengthened further. I had to do this, I had to make this final walk to the forest to meet my destiny.
Ron – true to his self – looked confused, staring between the two of us.
"What is it?" he asked, dread colouring his voice. "What is it?!"
"H – Harry," said Hermione, not even trying to stem the flow of tears, "He – he's the..."
"I'm the last Horcrux, Ron," I explained, deceptively calm. "He has to kill me for it to end."
Shock, blank shock appeared on Ron's face, before he paled drastically.
"No." He said, shaking his head much like Hermione had been seconds ago. "No, you're lying." His voice cracked, and despite my best efforts, I felt my eyes well up.
"I'm not, Ron," I replied, somehow managing to keep my voice steady, "this is how it ends, this is what I was meant to do."
"No," he repeated dully, before his eyes lit up. "There has to be a solution," he said, before he turned to Hermione, gripping her shoulders wildly. "Hermione, you'll look it up, won't you? We can head over to the library, there has to be something –"
Hermione let out a wail and clutched onto his chest like it was a lifeline.
"There's no time, Ron," I said, "there never was any time, for me. Borrowed time, it was all borrowed."
"But it can't end like this," he pleaded with me, "not like this, not after all we've been through!"
I shook my head, backing away slightly. Panic flared in his eyes, but he didn't move – Hermione was still in his arms.
"Stay," he begged, "his voice cracking. You don't have to go, you could run away – we could run away –"
"He'll never be stopped, Ron," I denied. The tears had somehow started making their way down my face. "This is it; the end."
"Five minutes," he said, his voice barely a whisper, but so thick with emotion that I was tempted to take his advice – run away with them and never face the world again. "Stay for five more minutes –"
I shook my head and steeled myself - I couldn't turn back now. I knew that if I stayed those five minutes, I wouldn't be able to leave again.
With the slightest of smiles, I tilted my head at him; as if I was apologizing.
He collapsed onto the damaged staircase, his sobs joining Hermione's as I gathered every ounce of willpower I had ever possessed and walked away from them.
It felt like their cries were ripping my heart out as I started down the staircase, away from Hermione, away from Ron...
Ron, my first friend. The first person to accept me for who I was, and who had always returned to my side when I had needed him most.
Five more minutes.
I turned, there was still time. I could spare five minutes.
The two of them were shaking silently as I approached, and Ron looked up as I neared. It was heart-rending to see the wild expression of hope on his face, knowing that it was only temporary.
Only five more minutes.
"Anyone sitting there?" I asked him; my voice cracked. "Everywhere else is full."