Ron's POV

The adrenaline and the feeling of her body pressed against mine is the only thing that keeps me from wanting to die. My brother is gone. I'm afraid that soon, Harry will be too, and there's nothing I can do about that. I'm afraid for Hermione.

It still takes a lot of courage to grab her hand, but I do it. "Are you alright?" I ask her, trying to avoid her eyes.

"I'm fine," she whispers.

I know that she's not fine. Neither am I. None of us in this bloody battle are fine. But I can't think of any comforting words. No words can make it alright.

All of a sudden, I am startled by the sound of approaching footsteps. We both leap up simultaneously, only to see Harry standing at the top of the stairs. Hermione walks up to him immediately. Even in the dire situation we are in, I feel a sudden pang of jealously.

"Harry," she says simply.

Harry looks grave, determined, as though he's already made up his mind. "No one else is going to die for me."

He's so bloody noble. Always playing the hero. Saving Ginny. Going to "rescue" Sirius from the Department of Mysteries. Even in that damn Triwizard Tournament, when he saved me and Fleur's sister and tried to save Hermione too.

I know what he's going to do.

He's going to sacrifice himself.

I can't bear to think of it. I want to say something to him. I want to go to him and hug him and tell him he doesn't have to do this, that it will all be alright. That even if he does do it, I'll miss him.

But I can't.

The jealousy and the sadness and the hurt and the loss are eating me up from the inside. All I can do is watch the scene play out in front of me. I am almost in a trance. Is this really happening?

I am watching Harry and Hermione, but not truly seeing them.

Suddenly, I am snapped out of my trance. I feel a painful pang in my stomach, caused by the heartfelt, sincere words Hermione has just uttered: "I'll go with you."

She wants to go with him to die.

It hurts so much.

Now they're hugging. I wonder if they'll ever let go. He's whispering something in her ear. They're trying to leave me out of their conversation.

I don't want to feel bitter. I might never see my best friend again, my partner in crime, my accomplice… for so many years, my role model. But it's all I can feel right now.

Now Harry's looking at me over Hermione's shoulder. He's trying to say something with his eyes. I can't exactly tell what he's trying to say. But an unspoken acknowledgement passes between us – I will take care of Hermione and Ginny, no matter what. I need to be strong for them. I feel almost as if he's telling me to just pluck up the courage and tell Hermione how I feel. He's right.

I don't want him to go.

He releases Hermione and gives me one last long look. He knows how I feel. He knows that I will miss him. I'm glad he knows. And even though blokes aren't supposed to say this kind of thing, I do love him.

My eyes are suddenly full of tears. I want to run to Harry, stop him, bring him back. But it's too late, and in the blink of an eye he's gone.


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