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When I'm Gone by slytheringinny
Chapter 1 : Or Maybe I'm Just Blind...
Rating: 12+Chapter Reviews: 11

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There's another world inside of me
That you may never see
There're secrets in this life
That I can't hide

Ronald Weasley gulped as a quill twirled absentmindedly in his hand. The old desk before him was ink-splotched and old, and needed a thankful scrub-down, however; the red-headed young adult was just too preoccupied to deal with a ruined family heir-loom. The candle off to his left had dropped a steady drip of candle-wax, its light illuminated the desk space and flickering across his loved one's faces behind the glass frame. Many other red-heads smiled back at him, along with a bespectacled, raven haired boy who was lean and had an arm around his only sister. There was one person missing from the photo, the person that Ron wished would be in it so he could look at her. Forever.

But that could already be accomplished if he just tilted his head to the side, and glanced over at the wooden-post bed just out of reach of the licking flames of the candle. She was sleeping, her chest moving lightly under a thin blanket, her eyes fluttering beneath pale lids. Ron noted how tired she looked, yet happy as she had a fragile smile on her face. The lump in Ron's throat grew larger. How was she to deal with him leaving? After all she had already lost Harry, someone who had been like a brother to her.

A sigh escaped his lips, he took the quill and put his fingers poised at the tip, and began to write.

He wrote of tragedy: how hard it would be for him to leave her behind. But he couldn't spare another heart. He didn't have another heart left for him to have. And he wouldn't...shouldn't....couldn't...have her's broken as well. And he was tired of lying to her, telling her that he'd be okay. That the loss the war had brought already wasn't hurting him, when in reality, it was. It was scarring him. And Ronald Weasley didn't like scars that reminded him of what had happened in the past. He wrote of love: how much she meant to him, how much he meant to her. He wrote of sorrow: how sorry he was that he had to leave her...

Somewhere in this darkness
There's a light that I can't find
Maybe it's too far away...
Or maybe I'm just blind...

By the time the ink pot had finally dried out and the parchment was both tear-stained and ink blotted, the candle had burnt out, leaving just a pile of dried wax and a slim wick. The moon has sunk below the horizon and the sun was already working it's way up. Hermione lay in the same position she had, hours before, and the lump in Ron's throat was still evident.

Why? He asked himself. Why did this have to hurt so much? He was only leaving for a while. To get away from it get himself out of the darkness. It was just like that candle, gone out, but he could still feel it. Or rather, feel the need to be near it. Near his Hermione. He rolled up the foot long parchment, the letter wasn't long, not long at all by Hermione's standards, but it explained everything. Everything he wanted to say to her before he left.

The house was silent as he placed the parchment scroll next to the bushy brunette's head, for then it was sure to be noticed right in her was typical Ron to leave something within direct she'd know it was him. Now it was time to gather his things. He had to be quiet about it, and as he began to gently edge his trunk out of the closet, an old broom fell to the floor with a clunk and there was a rattle of paper and sheets as the once gently sleeping figure bolted upright out of bed.

"Ron!" a female voice, drugged over with sleepiness, hissed into the cold air. "What in the name of Merlin are you doing?! You're going to wake the whole Burro - Ron?"

Ron froze, his back hunched over his trunk, and slowly he faced Hermione as if he were preparing to go to the gallows. "Y-Yes Hermione?" his voice quivered with fear, and unshed tears. He was Ron Weasley, he wasn't supposed to cry! But, no...this was just too much of an emotional load.

"R-Ron," her voice shook like-wise, echoing her lover's. Except the muggle-born witch's voice was more of fear than anything. "Were you planning to go somewhere, Ron? And don't lie to me!" Now her voice was stern and shiver free, however still held an inevitable essence of fear. Was Ron leaving her? Why? Had she done something with her know-it-all demeanor again?

His figure slumped and he fell on the floor, sitting, but not casually as Ron normally would be with his lax attitude. A well chosen mumbled phrase slipped out of his mouth.

"What was that Ron? Speak up..." Hermione gently padded out of bed and crawled over to him, frowning at him, her nightdress stretched where her knees met the dusty oak floor. Her accented voice was now etched over with extreme worry. "Is everything alright?" and her eyes matched.

So hold me when I'm here
Right me when I'm wrong
Hold me when I'm scared
And love me when I'm gone

"Yes," he repeated his voice showing warning signs that he was about to let loose the small tears forming in the corners of his blue eyes. His head hung down, and his back was pressed against the cold metal clasp of the trunk uncomfortably, but that didn't matter to him at all.

Hermione's brow creased as she bent her head lower, trying to see into his eyes which were covered over by a lock of thick red hair. "What?"

Ron heaved a sigh. "Yes, I'm planning to go somewhere, Mione..." He sounded almost like a little child being caught in a fib and confessing up that it was he who had placed the spider in the cookie-jar, not Ginny. A firm, yet gentle hand cupped his chin and brought his head to look into deep brown orbs that were flicked by rising sunlight through the window behind him. No gasp echoed from her lips, just silence, the silence of which Ron was afraid.

"Where are you going?" She remained strong...Hermione decided in a split second that she would remain strong, until she had figured out what was going on with him, and where exactly he was planning to go. "If you're going somewhere Ronald Weasley, you had better let me go along!"

Her hand dropped from his chin, but his head stayed up to look into her eyes. It hurt to do so, but it must be done. His strong, athletic arms wrapped around her figure in a surprising hug that drew a small gasp from Hermione. "R-Ron...what's going on? You're scaring me..."

Everything I am
And everything in me
Wants to be the one
You wanted me to be

"I have to leave, Hermione. You've got to understand..." his voice was silent, yet seemed to fill the room with unnatural demanding. "I can't take this anymore, the loss, the grief in this house, it's not what it used to be. You may be able to stand it...but I can't..." He pulled away with a scared look on his face. "I want to be strong for you Hermione...I want to be the one who stays strong. But I can't."

Emotions flickered over her face faster than Ron could count. Fear, love, sadness, anger, deception...worry. "Ron, you can't just run to escape everything you sound like - "

"Like Harry." The lump had grown to an unmeasurable growth in his throat and he remained silent from then on, until Hermione took her own slender arms around his own frame, into a big hug, a soothing hug that only Hermione could give. It wasn't like the breath-taking, rib-snapping hugs Hermione would give at school, to put it lightly, her hugs had tamed down and had become motherly and kind.

"I understand, Ron..."

 I'll never let you down
Even if I could
I'd give up everything
If only for your good
So hold me when I'm here
Right me when I'm wrong
You can hold me when I'm scared
You won't always be there
So love me when I'm gone

The silence went on, and Ron had finally gathered courage to untangle himself from Hermione and finish packing his things. She had fallen asleep in his arms, just as he had always imagined her falling asleep. The scroll had been flatened by her bolting out of bed an hour before, but it was still there. Moving her gently up onto the bed and placing the scroll back into her hands, Ron shrunk the trunk and sighed.

When your education X-Ray
Cannot see under my skin
I won't tell you a damn thing
That I could not tell my friends
Roaming through this darkness
I'm alive but I'm alone
Part of me is fighting this
But part of me is gone

It was time for goodbye...padding through the Burrow, silent as a mouse, he crept in the shadows of each room, pausing at the last, Ginny's. A deep sigh and a kiss on her fore-head was the last remainder that Ronald Weasley was ever in the house.

As the front door creeked shut and a wand was lit outside, a pale hand had clutched the photo on the old desk upstairs, looking out the window...a solemn look on her face and her bushy hair wild...

Author Note:
Lyrics Belong to THREE DOORS DOWN - When I'm Gone

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