Story: Ron's War.
Warning: Drugs, sucide hints
Ron/Mystery charter( Ron's War )
My Prompt: "Crisis:Write a short story focusing on the progress of any kind of crisis--personal or otherwise--using any narrative point of view.”
He lay in the ruins of the once grand house, lank red hair falling around his head like a fiery halo. His body was limp, and his eyes glazed over, as if he were dead. His robes dirty, stained with blood, one sleeve ripped off, the other torn to shreds. A simple gold amulet was on a cord around his neck. Once it had been on a gold chain, but he had pawned that. Only his shallow breathing gave any hint he was alive. For hours he lay there, seeing nothing, wishing he was nothing. As dawn lit the sky, a low moan could be heard, the sound of a dying animal.
Still alive…still without her…
His parents didn’t really understand what had happened to him. All they knew, all anyone knew, was that he’d disappeared a year ago. He had run into Grimmauld Place after he had have been missing for four months, ranting that he had to get back to her, had to save her.No one understood what he meant; they thought he was mad with fever, and in reality, he was. The only part of his fever ramblings they understood was the location of Voldemort. By the time he had recovered, it was too late. Not only had the battle ended, but she had been found dead. She was tortured, they said, a dingy piece of robe stuffed in her mouth to quiet her screams, so she couldn’t cry out for help.
She came in every day to bring him his food. He never knew what time she would come; it was never the same. It was dark down in the dungeon, and he didn’t know if she was bringing him dinner or breakfast or lunch. But he didn’t really care. All he wanted was the food. At first, she just opened the door to leave it inside, not quite coming into his cell. But then, slowly, she came in. They started to let him spend a bit of time with her.
Then one day, she stepped inside, and they closed the door behind her.
“Aren’t you afraid they will lock you in here too?” he asked her.
“No, I never show my fear,” she said.
“Lucky you…” he replied, before grabbing at the tray, wolfing the food down.
She waited until he was finished, then picked the tray back up, knocking on the door to be let out. It continued like this over and over, again with her spending just a bit more time each visit, until he tried to talk to her again.
“So why are they letting you in here?” he asked quietly, afraid that the guards would rush in and take her out if they heard them talking.
“They think that you will talk to me, that you will tell me what they want to know.”
“I won’t, you know, no matter what they do. I won't betray Harry.”
“I know, but they try anyway,” she said, smiling as she left.
Hermione would have recognized what was really going on, but she was dead, killed by Lucius Malfoy. Harry might have recognized it too, but he had died just after he'd cast the Killing Curse on Voldemort, having used his life force to make his magic stronger. His father, for all his Muggle madness, had never been interested in the darker side of Muggle culture, so even when he’d found the fine brown powder, he didn’t know what it was.
Over the next few days, they talked about other subjects. School, Quidditch, even politics. One day, he noticed that he couldn't hear the guards outside his door, waiting for her to come out.
“They…they are gone…they left you here alone!”
“They don’t think I’ll ever talk about Harry, do they?” he asked quietly, almost fearfully.
“No, they’ve given up on that.”
“They…they are going to kill me, aren’t they?”
“Yes, my dear…I’m sorry…”
“If you were really sorry, you would help me escape…but you are just like them!”
“No, Ronald…no, I’m not…maybe I was, but not any more…I…I think I love you.”
“Don’t you feel it? Our magic reaching, yearning for each other?”
“No…yes…no! Hermione, she’s the one I love…not you!”
“Of course, my dear Ronald, of course…” she said. Getting up, she walked over to him. Her hand brushed his dirty face. Ron got up, almost in a trance as he looked at her. He slowly wrapped his arm around her waist, drawing himself towards her sky blue silk clad body. Ron ran his grubby fingers through her hair, marveling at the texture. Finally, he looked into her eyes, into her soul. Ron could see the love she felt for him, and much to his surprise, saw his love reflected back.
He leaned forward, they kissed.
He started going off alone after the war was over. He was withdrawn during the day, never talking to anyone except to yell at them. His eyes were bloodshot every night. His mother merely assumed he wasn’t sleeping. None of his pureblood friends noticed a thing, and he was careful to stay away from the Muggle-born ones. He knew that there was a chance they would see his symptoms and remember what caused them.
“Run! Run, Ronald, he knows I let you out!”
“What? How do you know that he knows?”
“The ring…it always lights up when he wants me, and there is only one reason he wants me…he never calls on me anymore, not since I failed to get the information out of you.”
“Do you…do you think he knows about us?”
“Maybe...maybe…But you must go, run! Quickly, before he takes my amulet out of the ward system!” she said, looking behind her as she ripped the amulet off her slender, pale neck.
“No…wait…what are you doing? How will YOU get out?!”
“I can’t leave him, Ronald…I never could…”
“Why not? I thought you loved me!”
“Because he would hurt my son if I left…now go, stop talking! It may already be too late! RUN!”
“I can’t leave you, he’ll kill you!”
“He’ll kill us both if you stay!”
Ron knew she was right, knew he must go, warn the Order, tell them what he had learned. He knew where Voldemort was, if he could tell that to Order, they might be able to end the war…if he was quick enough, maybe he could get back here in time, get back here to save her before it was too late.
“I love you…never forget that…here, take this,” he said as he ripped a piece of fabric from his robes.
It was dirty, stained with months' worth of dirt and sweat from his incarceration. Nonetheless, she took it, tying it around her wrist as if it were made of the most exquisite gold in the world. He cried out in pain as he wrenched himself away from her, running out the door to freedom. He was able to get out of the wards safely, but was haunted by the tears he had seen in her blue eyes as he ran away.
But that was all in the past now; it didn’t matter to him anymore. The only thing that mattered was dulling the pain of her, escaping the memories of their nights together.
He reached into his pocket, pulling out a scrap of clean sky blue silk, worrying it between his fingers before tying the clean cloth tightly around his arm. Small red dots run along the length of his arm, scar marks from his war.
He left St. Mungo's, escaping from the Healers who kept telling him that he was too sick, too weak, that he must stay longer and heal. But he couldn’t stand it anymore. He had to see it. He had to see where his beloved had died. He Apparated in small leaps across the countryside, until he arrived at the ruins of the once fine house. It had been virtually destroyed in the final battle. He wandered around in the ruins aimlessly, looking for something, but not knowing quite what it was. As he wandered along the western edge of the house, he saw it: a bright patch of blue standing out against the rubble. He ran over, collapsing as he reached the spot. He pulled at the piece of sky blue silk, holding it to his chest as he wept for her.
In his despair, he remembered all their time together, all their words, all the stolen moments. Then he remembered something new. He remembered the name of a Muggle drug Hermione had told him about one time, something called heroin.
He'd been on drugs for over half a year now, taking them each day, taking more and more. At first, he used the money he got as a war hero to buy his drugs. But as he needed more and more, he started to pawn things. His broom, his robes, his wand. The ring Hermione had given him one year and a letter Harry had written him fetched a high price as collector's items. Then he started to steal things from his parents, pawning his mother's jewels. Finally, desperate to get just one more hit, he pawned the chain from the amulet she had given him. He realized he had hit rock bottom when he did that. He had gone back to the ruins, to see her one last time. At first, he thought he was going to give it up after this, tell his parents and get some help. But then he realized that there was even a more permanent solution.
He took out what was left of his stash, heating it with a Muggle lighter and a Muggle spoon. Filling up the syringe until it was almost overflowing, he dropped the spoon and the heroin left on it. Making sure the silk was still tight around his arm, he plunged the needle into a vein, pushing the drug into his blood. As oblivion began to overcome him, he lay back down, letting the needle fall as his hand moved to clutch the amulet. As the last bit of his awareness trickled away, he whispered her name....