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A Ron Ficathon where Everyone's a Winner!
Team Gen: Hours, Minutes, Seconds 
17th-Mar-2007 11:03 am
triatharon
Title: Hours, Minutes, Seconds
Author: simmysim
Team: Gen
Prompt: Time
Rating: PG
Characters: Ron, Harry, Hermione
Warnings: Major character death
Length: 1,090
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.

"What?"

"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.

"Adava Kedavra!"

second

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.)



Voting for this fic is now closed!
Comments 
17th-Mar-2007 04:39 pm (UTC)
This is terrific! I love how well you used the prompt, and the short scenes set up the pace beautifully. A few lines stood out for me:

Ron wonders if his mum is still cooking for nine when there are only three to feed. Poor Molly, the forever mum, keeper of worries. :(

Ron tries to ignore Harry's sigh of relief.

I love that bit. Harry's anger is shown so well here! The fact that he's happy Snape suffered, and I adore that Ron knows this is the wrong time to talk to Harry about it.

The last two sections had me holding my breath as I read. Your warning of major character death had me so worried! Awesome, awesome stuff. Ron is very brave and is every inch a hero. Hee, and I loved Hermione's back-ups!
17th-Mar-2007 04:58 pm (UTC)
Hermione's backup plans were great. It is a really Hermione thing to do. The rest is lovely too. The last line was amazingly good.
17th-Mar-2007 04:58 pm (UTC)
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?

That part... just... and especially Ron's reason, it's just...


yeah. :x
17th-Mar-2007 05:59 pm (UTC)
Interesting way of arranging the time - very clever.

They did find Hermione, right?
18th-Mar-2007 12:44 am (UTC)
I love the structure - make for an excellent use of the prompt. The snap-shots made a great build-up for that last scene. Wonderful job!
18th-Mar-2007 01:14 am (UTC)
Oh, you are brilliant! Loved the structure and the ambiguity. Had a horrified minute of reading when I JUST KNEW you were about to kill Ron or something just as bad, but the writing was so damn good and I couldn't stop reading and the relief at the end was almost overwhelming. Ron seems so RON and congrats on your awesome use of the prompt!
18th-Mar-2007 03:44 am (UTC)
This is a gorgeous story. I loved the structure and found myself holding my breath during several parts. Beautiful!
18th-Mar-2007 05:32 pm (UTC)
I really like how you structured this -- and the inclusion of other characters made it feel that much richer. Nice job!
18th-Mar-2007 08:46 pm (UTC)
I liked this immensely – the short passages and shortening time spans create an incredible feeling of tension, and the way you fleshed out the events with images and short glimpses at what's going on inside the characters. In particular, I loved
Ron wonders if his mum is still cooking for nine when there are only three to feed

Imagery was beautiful throughout, and I found it amazing how much you expressed in very few words.

And wow, the 'trio' was so perfectly characterised throughout through Ron's eyes – most of all Harry's chilling reaction to the news of Snape's death (*so* in character after HBP) and the way Ron gulps quietly at it, and Hermione's backup-backup-backup plans (*and* finally the absolutely brilliant detail that that's what makes things work!).

It was a great read, and a wonderful way of handling the prompt!

(But this once again showed me why I hate character death warnings so much – I was totally confused by the ending at first reading, because I'd started out expecting one of the main protagonists to die. It took a careful re-read before I got that you'd been warning about *Snape* in the first place. I really adored the story and it makes perfect sense with an open mind, but the warning spoiled my first reading, which is a pity. Just an aside rant, *not* directed at you at all as it was a required warning.)
19th-Mar-2007 05:06 am (UTC)
I really like the structure you used, counting down to the final moment. Harry's anger was spot-on, and the fact that he was satisfied Snape suffered made me feel sorry for him. I liked the glimpses of all the other character's as well, with Hermione's back up plans, Fred's teasing, and so on.
19th-Mar-2007 07:59 pm (UTC)
Inspired use of the prompt! Excellent work!
21st-Mar-2007 01:09 am (UTC)
This was wonderful. You told so much in so few words. Harry's anger, Hermione's plans, Ron's thoughts. I loved the use of the prompt.

Excellent!
21st-Mar-2007 09:53 am (UTC) - Gen: time
Excellent use of the prompt, and I love the structure you used for telling the story!

Molly's cooking, and the atmospheric details, the encounter with Draco--it's all very vivid.

Great job!
21st-Mar-2007 10:07 pm (UTC)
I liked the roller coaster of emotion and how the time sequence showed how brief a time had been spent but the descriptions showed how long each segment felt in the moment. Brilliant!
11th-Jan-2008 10:51 pm (UTC)
Brava! Excellent snapshooting! :)
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