A week earlier

“Bloody hell,” Ron panted, leaning down and rubbing his legs from the run they just endured.

Harry dropped to the ground, staring widely up at the sky, hoping to calm his breathing down. He couldn’t believe they were almost caught. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, before turning his head to look at his friend who now lay on the ground a few feet away.

Ron turned his head toward him, taking a deep breath. “I can’t believe we lost them.”

Harry nodded and returned his attention to the sky once more. “We were lucky,” he sighed, “but I fear he has finally realized what we’re up to.”

“How many are still out there?” Ron curiously wondered.

Harry began calculating the number of Horcruxes in his head, trying to figure out which ones were still left. “I think two,” he finally said, turning toward him. “Something from Ravenclaw and, if we’re right about our thoughts, Voldemort’s snake.”

Ron flinched when Harry said his name, still not able to hear it used so casually in conversation. “That will definitely be our hardest challenge, when it’s time to get the snake. He doesn’t go anywhere without that thing,” Ron stated.

Harry nodded and sat up, feeling his breath finally catching up. “I guess we should just try to work on Ravenclaw right now,” he suggested.

Ron sat up, stretching his arms over his head. “Has Hermione had any luck yet?”

Harry shook his head, taking out the piece of parchment from his pocket. He began reading Hermione’s letter again, hoping to find something new. Besides her being their backup if something were to happen, she had been working diligently in the library, finding anything useful about where Voldemort had hidden his Horcruxes. After she would find some possible answers, she would write to them about her findings, where they would then go and search them out. It was actually her bit of information that helped them destroy the latest Horcrux: Hufflepuff’s Cup.

“I’m sure she’ll have something for us tomorrow,” Ron commented. “She’s been really on target with this lately.”

“She really has,” Harry agreed.

“Perhaps she finally came to her senses about Zabini and broke up with him, able to focus more on this stuff,” Ron shrugged.

“Ron,” Harry sighed, knowing where the conversation was heading.

“I’m just saying,” he continued. “It’s a possibility.”

“I thought you had accepted their relationship.”

Ron crossed his arms over his chest and huffed. “Well maybe I lied.”

Harry sighed and lowered his head, staring at the ring on his finger that he was suddenly twisting around. He had a feeling Ron wasn’t being truthful about his thoughts with their relationship, which is why he had stalled telling him about his own. He took another breath before staring over at Ron once more. “You’ll never be able to get over your hatred for him, will you?”

Ron scrunched up his nose and shook his head. “Not bloody likely.”

He continued to twist the ring around his finger, feeling his anger build. He had been ignoring his friend’s bitterness toward his boyfriend for a while now, but it was finally starting to affect him. Sure he had a right not to like him, but him not liking Draco was also saying he didn’t like Harry’s choices, which really irritated him.

He looked over at Ron and took a deep breath, finally making up his decision. “Ron, there’s something I need to tell you,” he softly began.

Ron bit his lower lip, nervously waiting for his best mate to continue. He didn’t know why, but there was this strange feeling in the pit of his stomach that just wouldn’t go away. Whatever his friend was about to tell him was going to be big, and he wasn’t sure if he was really ready for that just yet.

“I just ask that you keep an open mind as I explain,” Harry continued, lowering his eyes to the ring once more.

“Okay,” Ron slowly nodded, still feeling a bit apprehensive.

Harry allowed a few minutes of silence to pass before he looked up at his friend and raised his hand to show him the ring. “You should know that this ring wasn’t from my girlfriend,” he exhaled, “but really my boyfriend.”

Ron furrowed his eyebrows and shook his head, as confusion followed. A few seconds later, his eyes opened wide when it finally dawned on him. “Wait,” he gulped, feeling more nervous at the moment, “you mean to tell me you’re gay?”

Harry took in a big breath before nodding. He had finally gotten through at least one hurdle. It was really the next one that would be the biggest obstacle they had to overcome in their friendship.

Ron scanned over his best friend, not sure what to say in response. He had never known anyone who was gay and had no idea how to react to something like that. On the one hand, it was his best mate. He should be able to accept any decision he made and continue to love him like a friend, as if nothing was different. However, there was another part of him who felt a bit repulsed at the idea of two males together. He wasn’t sure if that was truly his thoughts, though, or perhaps the teachings he was brought up with when he was younger.

“Say something,” Harry pleaded, hating the silence. He had to at least know where he stood before telling him the second part.

“I…I don’t know what to say,” Ron quietly replied, shaking his head. “I mean what do you want me to say?”

Harry shrugged, “That you’re okay with it? That you won’t end our friendship because of my choice of lifestyle?”

Ron quickly shook his head, as if a light went on in his head, realizing how strong their friendship was and how it could handle almost anything. “Harry, you’re my best mate. I’m not going to end it just because you like guys instead of girls. You’re still the same person, right? I mean okay, not totally the same, but mostly the same,” he responded.

Harry smiled, “Yes, I am the same person.”

“Well then there you go,” Ron smiled, before releasing the breath he didn’t realize he was still holding. “Merlin, I knew something was on your mind lately, but I had no idea that this was what it was. No wonder it took you so long to tell me. Although I do wish you felt more comfortable to tell me about this earlier, but I definitely understand why you didn’t. It has to be hard coming out, especially to your friends, not sure how they would react,” he began rambling.

“Ron, there’s something else you need to know,” Harry interrupted, not wanting to stray far from the topic at hand.

“Oh,” he said, before he stopped talking to allow him to finish.

“It’s…it’s about my boyfriend,” he gulped, lowering his eyes to his hand once again to look at the ring.

Ron nervously stared at him, wondering why it was so difficult for him to continue. He figured the first part would be the hardest to say. “Who is he, Harry?” he then asked, trying to help him along.

“You have always trusted me, right?” Harry asked, not wanting to answer his question just yet.

“Of course I have.”

“And you’ve always trusted my judgment with others, right?”

Ron nodded, “Definitely.”

Harry nodded, before slowly looking back up into his best friend’s eyes. “Malfoy,” he whispered.

Ron looked at him in puzzlement. “What about him?” he questioned.

Harry bit his bottom lip and glanced away. Ron kept his gaze on him, still confused why he brought up Malfoy’s name in their conversation. Harry turned back around and sighed, knowing that his friend hadn’t understood.

He raised his hand, showing Ron the ring once more. “He gave me this,” he hesitated.

“Wait, I thought you said your boyfriend gave you that,” Ron said, feeling more baffled.

“He did.”

Seconds later, after he finally put everything together, Ron opened his eyes wide and stared at Harry in disbelief. He had to have heard him wrong because honestly, there was just…“No frigging way!” Ron yelled.

Harry bowed his head, while Ron furiously stood up, staring fiercely in his direction. He couldn’t look up, knowing what he would be facing if he did. He kept his gaze on the grass, afraid of what was going to come next.

Ron started pacing, his fists clenched while breathing heavily. He was sure his face was a deep shade of red from the anger he was holding back. He couldn’t believe his best mate was actually dating the enemy. He couldn’t believe that after everything they had been through, he actually forgave the prat and was now dating him.

“Harry, what the bloody hell are you thinking?” he finally yelled, staring over at his friend.

Harry frowned, looking up at Ron. “Ron, you said you trusted me.”

“That was before I knew you went crazy,” he refuted, shaking his head. “I mean did your brain stop altogether, or did you just decide to let your hormones do all the thinking? It’s frigging Malfoy, Harry! The arrogant, spoiled, wannabe Death Eater, who made our lives a living hell for six years!”

“I know who he was, Ron,” Harry sighed, not sure if anything he said now would get through to his friend.

“Is,” he countered.

“Was,” Harry argued, feeling his anger start to rise. “You’re right that he was all those things before, but he’s different now. And he cares a lot about me, just as I care a lot about him,” he explained. “So if you’re going to keep standing there ridiculing him, then you might as well shut it, because I will not put up with you talking about him like that.”

“Harry, come on,” Ron defended. “You have to understand where I’m coming from.”

Harry shook his head. “No I don’t. It’s just a stupid, childish vendetta you have always had with him, and I can’t stand it anymore.”

Ron glared over at him, not willing to take all the blame. “Don’t forget, Harry, just last year you had the same hatred I did for him. He must be a bloody good shag if he was able to get you to completely change your views of everything you have ever known about that despicable ferret.”

Harry finally had enough. He furiously stood up and rushed toward his best mate, pushing him hard in the chest. Ron lost his footing and fell to the ground in a big thud. On the floor, he wrapped his leg around Harry’s foot and quickly tugged, making him tumble to the ground himself.

The two started scrambling around on the ground, wrestling each other. Harry sat on top of Ron’s chest, pinning his arms over his head. Ron struggled beneath, before lifting up his leg and kneeing Harry in the back. Harry gritted his teeth, flinching from the jab and losing his grip on Ron’s arms. Ron suddenly scratched Harry’s arm, causing it to bleed.

Without a second thought, Harry punched Ron in the face, feeling his arm pain from the deep scratch. Blood started gushing out of Ron’s nose, but it did not deter him. He returned the blow, hitting Harry hard on the side of his head with a rock he found. Harry quickly fell to the side and lay motionless on the ground, as blood seeped out of his gash.

Ron looked over at him in shock, frightened by his stillness. He moved closer and touched Harry’s shoulder, hoping to stir him. He nervously bit on his bottom lip when Harry still hadn’t moved. “Mate, I’m sorry,” he whispered, leaning down closer to him. “You have to get up now, okay? It’s your turn to hit me now,” he trembled.

Ron grabbed Harry’s wrist, feeling a very weak pulse. He sighed in relief, finding him still alive, but knew Harry was not out of trouble yet, seeing the puddle of blood on the ground near his head. He frantically looked around, realizing how alone he was at that moment. Tears started to form in his eyes, knowing Harry needed help.

He stood up and began pacing, while taking small glances over at the body on the ground. He could feel the tears start to roll down his cheeks, and he began to shake. Blood was still dripping from his nose, but he didn’t care. He was so scared and just wanted his friend back.

He dropped to his knees next to Harry’s body, holding him in his arms. “Okay, Harry, you win,” he cried. “I won’t say anything bad about Malfoy ever again. Just wake up, Harry. Please, wake up.”

Except for the cries coming from Ron, silence was all that could be heard. Ron clenched his friend’s body, looking around them. “Help!” he screamed into the air. “Somebody! Anybody! Please help me!”

He looked back down at Harry, noticing his breathing had slowed down considerably. He wiped his tears away, knowing he couldn’t just sit there and do nothing. Finally coming back to his senses, he searched his pockets, trying to locate his wand. He frowned when he came up empty-handed. He searched the ground, finding it a few feet away from him, split in half. He frowned, figuring it had broken when they were shuffling around on the ground.

He searched Harry’s pockets and smiled, when he found his wand still whole. He pointed it at Harry’s cut, ready to heal it, but then quickly brought it down to his side. He had only used another person’s wand once before, and he really made a mess out of things when he did. There was no way he would try to heal Harry without at least doing a few practice spells.

To stop the bleeding from going any further, Ron ripped his sleeve off his shirt and hurriedly tied it around Harry’s head. He figured that should at least hold it until he had gotten used to Harry’s wand, if he got used to it.

He lifted the wand toward a rock, deciding to use a simple spell first. “Wingardium Leviosa,” he chanted, waving the wand in the air.

The wand released a loud spark, causing Ron to fly back a few feet from where he was standing before. He shook his head and gripped the wand tighter, standing back up. He returned to his spot and repeated the action. Again he was flung back in the air, another spark emitting from Harry’s wand.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck,” Ron swore, rubbing his forehead. If he couldn’t even do a simple spell like that, then there was no way he could do any of the harder spells.

He glanced over at Harry, seeing his face becoming much paler. He hurriedly moved toward their tent, searching for a piece of parchment and a quill. He quickly wrote to Hermione, asking her to send help. He tied it to Hedwig’s leg and watched as the owl flew fast through the sky, aware of the urgency in the letter.

He returned to Harry’s body, kneeling next to him. “Help is on the way, Harry. Just hang in there, mate,” he softly spoke, gliding his hand through his hair to ease him.

He looked down at Harry’s hand, seeing the silver ring on his finger. He glanced over at Harry before slipping the ring off his finger and turning it around a few times, staring at it in bewilderment. He shook his head and sighed, still not able to comprehend how it all happened.

He suddenly heard a noise in the distance, causing him to snap his head over toward the area, scared to think that they were not alone. He frantically looked over at the tent and then down at Harry. They were out of bounds of their protective wards, and he knew he had to get them safely back inside their tent.

He hurriedly slipped the ring on his finger, needing to have both his hands free to carry Harry. He slid his hands underneath Harry’s body, slowly lifting him into his arms. He walked steadily toward their tent, hearing the sound of branches breaking on the ground a few feet away. He knew something, or someone, was getting closer. He hurried his steps, careful not to jostle Harry around too much in his hold.

As soon as he entered the tent, the protective spells hid them from view. He fearfully watched from a hole in the tent, seeing five Death Eaters run by. He let out a deep breath, knowing they were at least safe for now.

After rinsing his face, glad the blood had finally stopped dripping from his nose, he moved toward Harry’s cot and sat down next to him, gently gliding his hand along the piece of cloth covering his head. He closed his eyes, praying he would wake up soon. A few minutes later, sleep had finally taken him.

Harry stirred in his sleep, feeling a heavy weight on top of him. “Mm, Draco, I’ve missed you,” he whispered, wrapping his arms around the body on top of him and pulling it closer to his chest.

Ron smiled, returning the hug. “Luna,” he mumbled, nuzzling closer to Harry’s body.

Harry slipped his hand underneath Ron’s shirt, softly gliding his hand along his back. Ron moaned, placing tiny kisses on Harry’s neck. Harry furrowed his eyebrows, noticing something a bit off with Draco’s kisses. Ron paused, realizing how different Luna tasted.

Harry opened his eyes at the same time Ron did, staring wide-eyed at each other. Ron screamed in surprise, leaping away from his best friend. They both closed their eyes and shook their heads, needing to erase the memory of what they just did.

“Bloody hell, mate,” Ron said, spitting on the ground. “You could’ve warned me.”

“You were the one on top of me,” he argued.

Ron rolled his eyes, before turning and staring in wonderment at the boy before him. “Harry!” he suddenly screamed, leaping toward him and wrapping his arms tightly around him in a bear hug.

“Ron, what the hell?” Harry sputtered, not sure why his friend was behaving that way.

Ron backed away, smiling as tears escaped his eyes. “I thought I lost you,” he explained. “You’ve been out all night.”

Harry furrowed his eyebrows, suddenly feeling a sharp sting in the side of his head. He lifted his hand up to his head, wanting to rub the pain away. When he touched his head, he felt a piece of cloth tied around it. “What happened?” he questioned.

Ron sadly looked away, not able to meet his eyes just yet. He still felt so guilty for what he had done and knew that if Harry had died it would have been his fault. “We had a row,” he began to explain, “about Malfoy.”

Harry closed his eyes and nodded, remembering their little fight. He felt another pain in his head and clenched his teeth to numb the pain as best he could.

“My wand broke,” Ron continued, “and unfortunately I wasn’t able to use yours to heal you. Harry, I don’t know what I would have done if you died last night.”

Harry frowned, looking over at Ron. “Was I really that bad off?”

Ron nodded, sniffing back some tears. “Some Death Eaters had shown up too, but thankfully I was able to get us back in here before they spotted us,” he stated. “I was so scared, Harry. I truly thought I lost you.”

Harry motioned for Ron to come closer and gave him a reassuring hug. “I’m okay, Ron,” he whispered, sensing his friend’s sorrow. “Everything is okay now.”

Ron nodded, keeping his head on his best friend’s shoulder. “Harry, I’m sorry for saying those things about Malfoy, and I’m sorry for hitting you,” he mumbled.

Harry took a deep breath and nodded, “I know you are, and apology accepted.”

Ron leaned back and wiped away some of his fresh tears. “So Malfoy, huh?” he then smirked.

Harry chuckled and nodded. Ron shook his head in amazement, standing up from the bed and walking toward the table where he placed Harry’s wand. He returned the wand to his mate and then looked out of one of the holes of the tent.

Harry used the Episkey charm on his head before turning to look at Ron. “Are they still out there?” he wondered.

Ron shook his head, while he continued to stare out the hole. “I don’t think so,” he answered.

“Then we need to get to Ollivander’s,” Harry announced.

Ron furrowed his eyebrows, turning to Harry. “Now?”

Harry shrugged, “You’re not really good to us without a wand, right?”

Ron nodded, knowing Harry was right. He took a deep breath, returning his attention to the hole once more. “How do we know it’s safe to leave?” he asked.

“We don’t,” Harry replied, rolling out of his bed and starting to pack a few things in his bag. “But we can’t stay in here all day either. We’ll just be gone for a few hours.”

The two slowly peeked their heads outside the tent, searching around for anyone waiting for them. They looked over at each other and nodded, knowing the coast was clear. They stepped outside the tent, Harry holding his wand tightly in his hand, and slowly moved further away from their protective charms.

“The Portkey is over there,” Harry stated, pointing over at a crushed can on the ground near one of the shrubs. “It’s a good thing Mr. Ollivander opened up his shop again.”

Ron nodded, following Harry toward the Portkey. “Wish we had gotten our Apparating license before this mission,” Ron grumbled. “It would have been a lot safer and easier to move around.”

Harry nodded, carefully moving forward. He suddenly froze in his stance when he heard a branch crack in the distance. The two closed their eyes, hearing more footsteps shuffling forward.

“H…Harry?” Ron nervously whispered, placing his hand on his best friend’s shoulder. 

“Don’t turn around,” Harry ordered. “We’re almost at the Portkey. Just a few more steps and we’ll be gone.”

He felt his friend grasp his shoulder tighter as they hastened their steps to reach the Portkey in time. The footsteps were growing much louder now, and screams and curses were starting to be thrown. The Death Eaters were close behind them, and they knew they had to make a run for it.

“We’re almost there,” Harry called out, hearing Ron panting behind.

“Harry,” Ron gasped, ducking as a curse almost hit him, “they’re so close.”

Sensing a curse headed his way, Harry jumped, narrowly avoiding it. He saw the crushed can just a few inches away. He turned around and grabbed Ron by the hand. They sped up and reached out to grab the can together.

Fiendfyre!” one of the Death Eaters cursed.


Seconds later, his body landed with a thud in Diagon Alley, having been quickly pulled away by the Portkey. He couldn’t believe what he just saw. He had to get back; he had to save him. He shook his head, realizing the Portkey would not be ready to send him back for another hour.

He covered his hands over his face and wept, knowing there was nothing more he could do. He saw the curse attack him, aware that he couldn’t have survived. He continued to cry, wishing he could return to his side, but knowing he couldn’t since they were probably all waiting for him to return. He had to escape for a while, praying that somebody would eventually find his body, or what was left of it anyway, and give him the proper burial he deserved.

He straightened himself up, wiping the remnants of his tears away. He had to carry on with their mission. His friend would have wanted him to continue, so they could finally end Voldemort’s tyranny once and for all.

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