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[personal profile] compos_dementis
This is to vent my depression. Just a warning.

Title: Before I Sleep
Author: compos_dementis
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Harry/Ron gen
Rated: PG
Warnings: I don’t warn.
Disclaimer: The characters and universe are the sole property of JK Rowling. This story was not for profit.
Summary: “Miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep…”


“Ron?”

Breathed silently through chapped lips, while bright green eyes scanned for any sign of injury, any trace of pain. Trembling fingers checked him, tucked beneath the fabric of his shirt to check for bruises or scratches, worrying his skin with their tenderness.

“I’m okay,” was whispered back. It had been such a long time, so many weeks, since they had even talked. Ron’s voice was hoarse from screaming, his tongue heavy from lack of sleep.

“You’re hurt,” Harry said, feeling the wetness of the blood beneath his fingertips, the warmth of the wound. It wasn’t too deep, but it was deep enough, and Ron could almost hear the increased beating of Harry’s heart.

“It’s fine,” Ron tied to tell him, pain shooting through him with every word, but Harry would have none of it.

“You’re not fine,” he said, angrily, just like he’d sounded the night before Ron left. “You’re in pain.”

Ron closed his eyes and watched patterns of color blossom behind his eyelids. “Where’s Hermione?” he asked, already dreading the answer.

The reply was clear in Harry’s face, which was covered in dirt and not much better than Ron’s own. He’d spent so many years looking at that face, detailing it, but all those years seemed lost now in the span of a second, when Harry averted his eyes and that mouth lost its frown of worry.

“She, erm… She didn’t make it.”

Ron just nodded slowly to show he understood the statement, his own pain suddenly unimportant. He’d known loss before, the feeling wasn’t new to him, but the chill of it in the pit of his stomach was still uncomfortable to handle. He had known she was going to die for months, just from the way she looked at him.

He swallowed dryly, his throat scratchy from water deprivation, and he absently reached up to feel his hair. The blood there was dry now, crusting over the strands of ginger that weren’t caked in dirt already, and the wound had closed up long ago.

He was cold. He knew that he wouldn’t survive much longer if he was kept uncovered out here, in addition to the hole the sword had carved into his ribs. He couldn’t bring himself to tell Harry to cover him, and was willing to just sit out here while he thought things over.

Harry sniffed softly and began to take off his own jacket to lay over Ron. “You’re cold,” he said. It wasn’t a question.

“Yes,” Ron replied, and allowed the warmth, however brief, to tingle down his spine.

Harry sat down in the mud with his back against a tree beside Ron and laid his head on Ron’s shoulder. It was too late now to try and save Ron, and they both knew it. The damage was beyond repair.

“Don’t leave,” Harry whispered, and it was nearly lost in the rustling of the wind in the trees. “At least not until I fall asleep.”

“I won’t,” Ron said. “I won’t leave you.”

“Don’t let go,” Harry muttered, and then closed his eyes, breathing steady against Ron’s cheek.

Ron held on, fingers gripping Harry’s shirt for some sort of handle. “I won’t leave you,” he said softly, but Harry was already asleep.

And then he drifted, although he tried so hard to stay awake, and he fell into the arms of sleep.

He didn’t wake up.
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May 2008

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