Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. I do own the situations and characters not associated with the canon.
A/N: Final chapter! Warning* major philosophical musing by the titular character not reflective in the Harry Potter canon and time-skipped to when Ron leaves in Dealthly Hallows. Sirius unmentioned because my focus is when Ron left Harry and Hermione. I also take creative license with some of the memories and flashbacks from previous novels.
I will admit I was going to bring more one-shots and more Ron bashing (I may still do in the future to be honest) but for now this is a closed FanFiction. Enjoy.
Part V: Reap What You Sow
Harry watched dispassionately as Ron stormed out of their shared tent from the Horcrux Hunt. Hermione was sobbing to his right. She rose quickly and ran to her room. Hermione placed a Silencio Charm* on her tent flap door, so she could cry to her heart's content at Ron's dismissal without being heard by Harry. It tore him to see her brokenhearted.
Harry sat back watching the space where Ron had gone. Hedwig ruffled her feathers; and Harry suspected she would have turned up her nose if she could. She landed on his shoulder. Harry absently stroked her soft, warm feathers and leaned into her comfort. "I want you to check on Hermione after bit, OK girl?" Harry asked softly. Hedwig crooned and nibbled Harry's fingertips and silently comforted her master with her presence. She would not leave Harry until she was satisfied he would be alright and Hermione had settled enough. As far as Hedwig was concerned, Ron was every bit a hot-headed traitor as he was in their second year that summer at the Burrow. Thankfully, her master could not hear her thoughts. She glared balefully at where Ron had disappeared.
I guess I should have planned for this. Harry mused. After all, when has Ron not done something below-the-belt? Stubborn, stupid git. How could he throw away years of friendship? Maybe it was the locket?
Harry shook his head slightly. No, the locket merely magnifies our negative emotions. I thought we crossed the Jealousy Card and left it in the past. Harry had an inappropriate urge to laugh.
His emotions were all over the place. A painful wedge deep in his heart started as a dull ache within him as he remembered the conversation from Mr. and Mrs. Weasley telling him he was always wanted. The same insecurity then struck Harry hard and fast now. What if this is all contingent on my friendship with Ron? Bugger that! He would dearly miss the warm hugs and Christmas jumpers from Mrs. Weasley, the paternal affection and curious Muggle questions from Mr. Weasley, the Twins and their antics. Blimey, he would even miss 'Perfect Prefect Percy.' A sweet sister like Ginny whom he could talk Quidditch to came to mind along with the shared experience of Moldyshorts in their heads was a welcome respite. Harry figured Hermione probably liked having the younger girl around because it meant she would not be lonely having another girl in the group. Not to mention Ron's cooler older brothers like Bill and Charlie were just hands-down the best big brothers Harry could imagine.
Harry rubbed his heart with one hand. He felt a schism burn and tear him inside. What is this? He wondered wearily as his shoulders sagged.
Harry paused to examine his heart and leaned to the side of a post in their encampment. He felt betrayed, yes that much was evident. What else? Anger. Angry at Ron for leaving them behind and blaming Harry for 'not having a plan' even when Harry warned him from the beginning that he could do it alone. Not really. Harry mused. I rather like the company but I did warn him to run with his family. As much as I hate to admit it I was selfishly glad he ran with me on the Horcrux Hunt even though I think he should have stayed with his family. I wouldn't want any of the Weasleys to be wiped out…but if they needed Ron's wand then he should have gone with them.
Harry became mulish. As for that matter, we wouldn't've survived without Hermione. All of this she had to think about by herself. And what the bloody hell did I do? I was too busy feeling worried and angry. Well no more. I will protect Hermione. I will find these cursed Horcruxes. I will make sure she is with her parents.
Harry had a very deep-rooted secret fear. What if Hermione left, too? I think I deserved it if she did. Although, I hope to God and Merlin she doesn't. Harry admitted quietly. He took a deep breath. We will move tomorrow. He thought fiercely. Ron doesn't want to be here then he can stay with his family like he always wanted.
"Harry," Hermione said gently to the raven-haired boy sitting by himself in the kitchens with Dobby comforting Harry after a nasty argument with a certain red-haired boy after the Triwizard Tournament Champions were announced. Dobby glanced at her and then placed his hands on his two favorite magical people and Apparated them to the Room of Requirement which immediately became a cozy room with a large sofa in front of the fireplace with tea for two on the coffee table. Hermione smiled at Dobby's thoughtfulness and silently signaled she would take it from there. Dobby bowed to Harry and Hermione and Disapparated.
"Harry, Ron's just in a place right now-and I'm not excusing his behavior." Hermione said quickly seeing Harry's emerald eyes flash angrily. "I mean, let's face it, you and Ron have nasty tempers and you're both jealous of each other." Hermione stared Harry down.
"We are best friends Harry, which means we can tell each other the truth." She pointed out ruthlessly. "He's jealous of you for all the same reasons he was in second year. Now he feels like he's left out and you have the limelight again." Hermione glared at Harry to let her finish. "I know you. I know you didn't ask for any of this. But this is your reality. We're just going to have to do this together. Because we're better together than a part. I'll start researching spells and the like to help you prepare for this horrid Tournament, alright?" Harry nodded.
"I know you feel afraid, alone and frankly betrayed and furious right now." Hermione took a deep breath. "To be honest I'm all of those emotions for you as well." She paused. "You're jealous because Ron has a family and he is never alone. We don't need to beat this in again. But Harry?"
"Yes?" Harry asked tersely.
"We'll always be the best of friends. Always and forever. Ron said that, too. Just keep that in here." Hermione placed her hand on his heart. Harry placed his hand on hers. "I will." Harry looked at her fiercely. "Please don't leave me either Hermione…I really do need you-and not just for your brains on Binns' tests." He said trying to lighten the mood. His heart raced. Hermione was touching him aside from hugs and cameradie?
She smiled sadly. "I will. I know Ron will come around."
The teenagers smiled at each other and she held Harry for an immeasurable moment before they drank tea and spoke of good memories between the Golden Trio.
"Always and forever…" Harry muttered. "Well, that's entirely contingent on you, Ron, now isn't it?" Harry grimaced. He did not like talking to himself but he needed to get it off his chest.
"Even if you come back…you betrayed us. You made Hermione cry." In Harry's book that was a capital offense. "I don't think things'll ever be the same between us. I'll always cherish your family. You're the one that left, Ron. Always and forever were words to you; but everything to me. You were my first friend." Harry snorted derisively because of how well and truly pathetic that was (even if it was entirely Dudley's fault). "I can't believe I forgave you after the Triwizard Tournament. What kind of a friend wouldn't believe me even though I was virtually with him every stinking moment of the day? I forgave you because you remembered your promise to me." Harry did not realize tears trekked silently down his face. "I will always hold your family in the greatest esteem. Hermione, Sirius, Uncle Remus and Hedwig are my family." Harry gritted his teeth. "You're just a lying traitor second to Peter Pettigrew. I loved you. You were supposed to be my brother and best friend always and forever."
Goodbye Ron. Harry thought bitterly. This time Harry looked away from where Ron had gone and buried his face in his arms allowing himself cry. Later, he busied himself around their encampment gathering his composure before checking on Hermione.
Meanwhile, Hedwig agreed with Harry's monologue. Her wingtips carried Harry's tears as she took flight. She was satisfied with her master relinquishing Ron and Ron's influence. She flew toward the sweet girl she knew loved her master and hoped the two would hurry up and realize they did not need Ron. They would be happy and hopeful together.
Hope is the only thing that can battle despair. That, and distance to place hurts in perspective with focus on the future destroying horcruxes. Hedwig nestled next to Hermione and crooned her thoughts to her favorite witch.
A/N: The Silencio Charm is often used to silence rooms and the like by FanFiction authors but according to The Unofficial Harry Potter Spellbook: The Wand Chooses the Wizard by Duncan Levy, it is actually used to silence a person. I shamelessly use the FanFiction author's creative license; but felt I should state what is written for anyone interested. As I said before, this will be where I place all my Ron bashing scenarios in the future. I wanted to work on two other FanFictions I have planned though.
So concludes my second FanFiction, "The Fight." Thank you so much for your patience and reviews. Please let me know if there are any grammar/spelling/punctuation errors I missed because I strive for writing clarity. -JHS.