Characters: Ron, Harry, Hermione
Warnings: Major character death
Summary: Snapshots of a final year.
Author notes: Thank you to onewayfreak and kitakatzz
year - 12 months, 365 days
Ron Weasley's toes, ankles and calves are wet, he's sitting on the dock. He can hear the distant buzz of Ginny and Hermione talking behind him, the rise and fall of excitement in their voices. He knows Harry is dozing against the tree to his right, and Bill and Fleur still sway lazily together even though the music stopped at least an hour ago. Mum's reluctant laughter, and he can recognize the twin's handiwork. The surprise in her voice that she actually found it funny..
The sun is setting before him, and the lake promptly turns all shades of yellow and orange in response. Fireflies dart in and out of the longer weeds, and it's perfect.
quarter - 3 months
Hermione is tightlipped, Harry is hard faced, and they're all exhausted. Hermione thinks of what waits ahead, Harry thinks of what they left behind and Ron wonders if his mum is still cooking for nine when there are only three to feed.
Harry has fits of frustration, and Ron can't say they confuse him. Destroying random, seemingly harmless relics only to hunt down another is tedious at worst, but the weight of their tasks lays heavy on each of them, and when Harry finally gives into his anger, demands to know why him, he gets no response. All they know, all they can know is why they're here. Hermione, because Ron had a smudge on his nose and Quirrell let a troll in the dungeons. Ron, because of Harry. He has no answer to give beyond that, it revolves around Harry, Harry's at the center, and if Harry doesn't have an answer for that, how can they?
month - 28 to 31 days
They have soft beds to sleep in, and Ron laughs that this is worth mentioning. The three of them are buzzing with anticipation, they're so close, it's unbearable, even with their exhaustion and full stomachs, it's difficult to sleep. The three of them, they can do anything. It's something Harry's always seemed to believe, but the realization of it dawning on all of them, it's dizzying.
They laugh as they say their good nights, sweet dreams, sleep tights. Voldemort would be shaking if he knew what he was about to face, and they laugh again.
fortnight - 14 days, two weeks
Ginny presses incessantly for information, Mum hovers, and Hermione reads. Ron practices. "You never mastered the fundamentals, Ronnie," Fred chastises, tsking, and Charlie hides a snort when a wave of Ron's wand knocks him on his backside; George doesn't bother.
Ron wants to work on Darker spells like Hermione suggested, ("it's the only way you'll learn how to properly defend yourself,") wants to practice throwing off Imperious, wants at least a quarter of the work Harry's doing. But when he brings them up, there's just one more trick Fred wants to show him, just one more quick spell George invented.
He has time, he supposes, so he waits, and only when eating that night does it occur to him that they'd looked just a bit frantic.
"They're worried for you," Hermione supplies while they wait for the end of the day, the war. "We're fighting Death Eaters."
Ron supposes so, and while he remembers being scared a lot of the time, feels like quite a Gryffindor all the same.
week - 7 days
Snape is dead and Harry is devastated. Not for long, though.
"Who?" he demands of Malfoy's stricken, grayish face. "Who did it?"
"I -- " his eyes are wild, he tries to swallow twice.
"Malfoy," Hermione prods calmly, a hand on Harry's shoulder, and the fists at Malfoy's collar loosen.
"Dark Lord," Malfoy finally gets out. "Killed him. Snape's dead."
This seems too much for Harry to take, he's clenching his jaw, staring at the ground, hands tight at his side. The fact that he doesn't punch something, someone, astounds Ron. "Did it hurt?" He asks without looking up.
"Did it hurt? Was he in pain?"
Malfoy blinks, doesn't look like he particularly wants to answer, but nods jerkily.
Ron tries to ignore Harry's sigh of relief.
day - 24 hours
They go over the plan, then the go over the back up plan, then they go over the back up back up plan and Hermione is just pulling out another set of scrolls when she glances up and sees their expressions. "I suppose . . . I suppose that's enough?"
"I think if all else fails we can play it by ear," Ron assures her.
She nods, but keeps the back up back up's back up clenched in her hands. "It's not as though . . . You're both full grown Wizards, you know what to do, you can take care of yourselves. We'll be fine. We'll all be fine."
"We'll be fine," Ron agrees firmly, because he's pretty sure she wants to hear someone else say it. "Harry's been facing him his whole life, odds are in his favor, right?"
This was apparently the wrong thing to say. There's a beat of silence, and Hermione opens the back up back up's back up, "So if we can't find Harry after getting past whoever he has here. . . . "
hour - 60 minutes
He can't find Hermione.
He lost track of Harry a while back, that was the plan, but he can't find Hermione. His chest heaves, his hands are slick, all he can hear is his heart, racing, and none of that is helping him find her.
minute - 60 seconds
Ron doesn't think about it. The moment he opens the door, the moment he sees her there, there's no hesitation because, yes, Voldemort is in the room but that's not nearly as important as a wand pointed at his friend.
He moves, keeps moving, doesn't so much as blink when the wand moves to his chest, it's instinct more than bravery; thought has no place here. The deformed, lipless mouth moving in shape of those words, Ron can feel the numbness spreading before it's even finished.
Voldemort falls to the floor. (It's hours later that Ron remembers Harry coming through the south exit was the back up back up's back up.)
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