Ron’s been missing for a while now.Everything is not okay.
Graphic Depictions Of ViolenceHarry Potter/Ron WeasleyHarry Potter Ron Weasley Hermione Granger The Weasley Family Zacharias Smith Neville LongbottomHurt/Comfort Past Violence Past Harry Potter/Ginny Weasley Past Hermione Granger/Ron Weasley Auror Harry Potter Auror Ron Weasley Head Auror Harry Potter being an auror is dangerous Minor Character Death
Ron’s been missing for a while now.Everything is not okay.very ron-centric because Ron Weasley needs more love.
The first week, it’s like always.
It wasn’t the first time that one of the aurors was one or a few days late and most of the time there was no reason to panic.
Ron was a seasoned auror, Harry told himself as he nervously flicked ash from his cigarette. He knew that sometimes missions take a little longer than anticipated and sometimes things don’t go as planned. He told himself, that he trusted Ron and knows how he works from countless missions and Ron always came back.
No matter what, Ron had always come back and everything turned out more or less fine.
Harry finished his cigarette and went from the magical balcony showing the cold November air of London back to his office in the Auror department. He checked the magical map to see of the patrols were all safe and stared at the hole that the missing orange pin had left. The one that usually read “Ronald Weasley”.
It was fine, he trusted Ron. The redhead would probably breeze in the office in just a few hours grinning brightly and unaware of that ugly thing in Harry’s chest that screeched in panic of losing another important person. The next week went by and there was still no new information.
Harry slept in the office now.
He charmed the map to send an alarm on his forearm, so he wouldn’t miss any life signs. Maybe that wasn’t proper protocol for the head of auror department but as Ron’s best mate it seemed total reasonable, no matter what Hermione said.
Harry had reread the briefing so often the edges of the file started to fray and he still couldn’t find any explanation why an auror with Ron’s experience would get lost on such a simple mission.
It was meant to be just a short surveillance case with an eventual arrest. The culprit was not expected to be difficult, but he was expected to bolt if he’d noticed law enforcement which was the reason why Ron had gone alone and not with a full team.
Though he was a tall redhead and to Harry always seemed to stand out in the crowd, Ron was exceptionally good when it came to undercover work. He was good at stealth and strategies and knew how to get things done without being detected.In mid November, almost three weeks after Ron when MIA, Harry was forced to finally make it official and inform the family.
After the first words left his mouth the Burrow felt like grave.
Molly Weasley knew that her youngest son had a dangerous job and she was aware of the low life expectation of aurors. Her mouth opened in a silent wail before she hid her face in her hands. Her whole body was shaking under her sobs and Harry bit his lips to not cry with her.
That night, on his old couch in the office with his feet dangling over the arm rest, he dreamt of Ron.
In his dream he played chess against his friend. They were in the Gryffindor common room and Ron sat on one of the old grandfather chairs wearing threadbare pyjama bottoms and one of his well-worn knitted jumpers.
The light from the fireplace flickered in Ron hair as they played and Harry was way too distracted by staring at him to be a real opponent to Ron.
It was as if he’d never seen his friend for real.
He’d always known Ron had pretty hands, because he had once heard the girls at Hogwarts fawn over them once, but he’d never really noticed how elegant and strong those long, careful fingers were and how much he wanted to be touched by them.
“I miss you.” said Harry and tried to grab Ron’s hand, who was suddenly standing and and turning away. The room was gone and there was just the blackness of a broken house that felt vaguely familiar.
Ron stared quietly at him a sad smile on his lips and gently floated out of reach before he disappeared in the mist behind a broken wall.
Harry screamed hoarsely and stumbled over bricks and burst wood as he tried to follow him, but he was alone.
He woke up screaming.In week four since Ron went missing the team he had sent to search for Ron came back.
They brought little information.
Ron was still gone.
A woman working in a pub close to the target’s house had confirmed him as one of the customer, but she hadn’t seen him for weeks. He’d just been there once or twice. The safe house in that area was completely untouched and there was no other sign that Ron had ever been in this part of the country.
The target person was equally gone without a trace and while Harry rationally knew that if there was no sign Ron in the safe house the his friend probably had a good reason for covering his tracks, his mind still played one terrible scenario after the other in head.
That evening Percy visited his office and demanded to see the full file.
Harry couldn’t deny it.
He got drunk that night, desperately trying to forget the way Percy had crumbled over the paper. How broken he whispered his younger brother’s name as he searched for something… anything they could have overlooked.
There was nothing.
Harry cried that night for the first time since Fred’s funeral.
He swayed under the cold drizzle of the communal shower and howled like a wounded animal as the night shift stayed as far away from the room as possible.
Afterwards he groggily pulled his sweaty robes back on and locked himself in his office and slept at his desk, his head pillowed on the file.It was already December and people around him started to wear their winter robes and put mistletoe above the doors of the ministry. Harry wanted to punch those stupid grins out of their faces and shake the jolly Christmas joy out of their ugly heads.
He knew that Bill and Charlie had taken time off to search for their lost brother, combing though the magical communities on the continent.
Harry only slept when he passed out from exhaustion. He ran on tea and cigarettes and that stupid hope that made him stare expectantly at the door every time someone knocked.
Ron never entered the room.
Being without him made him positively sick.
Sometimes Percy or Hermione tried to make him eat by dragging him to the ministry cafeteria, but it was more often than not that even if he choked down a couple of bites he threw them up afterwards.
He still tried to do his job though.
Ron wouldn’t forgive him if people got hurt because he wasn’t able to deal with the grief of losing him. Once he dreamt of the lake.
He thought he was dying and Ron jumped after him and pulled him out of the water and dragged him over the ice to the land.
It was so cold that Ron’s brown jumper was frozen stiff in seconds and neither of them thought of warming charms. There was the locket but different than back then, Harry wasn’t tentative and when he saw his friend break down next to the destroyed horcrux, he pulled him in his arms and they cried together.
In his dream Harry was honest. He croaked and choked on his words as he told Ron how much he missed him and how he couldn’t keep going without him and his friend clawed his hands in the fabric on Harry’s back and was eerily quiet. Ron shivered in his arms and his skin was like ice against the side if his face.Ron was lagging behind him as Harry lead them back to the tent.
It was so dark they barely managed to avoid the tree roots and Ron had a giant backpack to carry.
When Harry turned back to ask his friend to hurry, the redhead was gone.
Harry woke up screaming. After seven weeks aurors usually get declared dead and they stop searching for someone missing in action. A much shorter period than for any other wizard or witch.
There is no big ceremony. Just a lot of paper work and a small black-framed photo on a dedicated wall in the office.
Harry picked the photo himself. The portrait was taken just after they’d become senior officers. Ron had just become father and looked so happy and soft and Harry would have loved to just crawl through the frame.
That night Harry went home to the Grimmauld Place for the first time in weeks. Kreacher was ecstatic and cooked a giant feast but Harry just fell in his bed and wanted to be dead.
Hermione was standing in his room at midnight and they got very drunk.
Around two they were joined by George.
Bill and Charlie sent an owl the next day. They wouldn’t stop.
Just a week from Christmas George closed his shop and when to look for the missing Weasley, like his older brothers.
The last of Ron’s older brothers hadn’t been seen by his family since that evening he went to visit Harry. Another auror had told him that Percy was camping out in the ministry archive hoping to find a lead.Christmas Harry went to the Burrow. Molly had tried her hardest to make a feast and prepare for the holiday, the food still felt like cardboards against Harry’s tongue and everyone was well aware of the empty chairs around them.
Ginny was the only of the Weasley children that was around. Harry’s ex-wife had lost a significant amount of weight and her eyes stared hollow down on her plate. There were new silver strands in her bright red hair and a tremor in her hands that hadn’t been there before.
Rose took it surprisingly well. She’d always been strong. Ron’s son Hugo however was too broken to even look at his presents. He just sat there likea thirteen-year-old rag doll and stared quietly out of the window as if Ron would stand outside every second.
Harry felt incapable to console anyone.
He thought of the poison in the cabinet over the sink at home.
He thought of how angry Ron would be if he knew his thoughts.That night Harry dreamt of his friend. They were in Ron’s first flat and Harry remembered sitting many afternoons on the tattered couch in the living room listening to the game on the radio.
There was half-eaten take-away and a couple of empty beer bottles on the coffee table and Harry had a lapful of Ron’s feet in hand-knitted socks.
Ron laughed soundless and triumphant when the Cannons made a surprisingly good play and Harry just watched him with a smile until the redhead started to look at him quizzically.
Harry cried in that dream and Ron pulled him his arms so that his face was hidden in that ugly brown jumper of his. Unlike the last dream, Ron was warm and the woollen material was soft and well-worn.
Ron kissed his temple before he disappeared in a swirl of golden afternoon light. Harry apparated to the Diagon Alley as soon as he woke up. He didn’t even notice the coldness if the cobblestones under his bare feet when he landed in front Ron’s current flat above George’s shop. Like many wizard homes, Ron’s door was charmed to open to the people close to the owner and so Harry barely touched the wood and the it sprang open.
The heating charms had worn off and it was chilly in the rooms, but everything still was how the resident had left them behind. There was mouldy tea in a mug by the desk and a number of files that Harry’d already been missing for quite a while. In the light of the moon Harry could see one of Ron’s many maroon-coloured jumpers over the back of the chair and without thinking pulled it over his pyjama.
Though faintly, it still smelled like Ron.
Harry had to be careful as he went from room to room. Ron had never been the most organised person and the remains of his magic made his cutlery a little shifty. Softly he padded from room to room, not even knowing what he wanted to find until he finally reached Ron’s bedroom.
There were a lot of pictures on Ron’s flat. Dozens of photos and a couple of early drawings from his children, tons of pictures from his brothers and their families and a whole bunch of snapshots from his friends, co-workers and of course Harry and Hermione. Some of them were muggle pictures but most of them smiling and moving wizard photographs.
In Ron’s bedroom however was just one photo.
It was small and the frame and glass was smudged with fingerprints.
Harry sat on the edge of the bed and stared in his own face.
Young and uncharacteristically carefree his own portrait grinned back at him. The red-clothed arm with leathery forearm guards around his younger self’s shoulders told him with was from his time in the Gryffindor quidditch team and he couldn’t help but smile and an unrealistic wave of hope flooded through him.
Ron knew how much Harry needed him and Ron had always come back no matter what.Two days after New Year Bill, Charlie and George came back to Britain.
Harry still thought of the vial in his cabinet everyday but he started to shower more regularly and made an effort to eat at least once a day.
Maybe he was in denial, but there were still people that needed him and he wouldn’t be Harry Potter if he didn’t try his best.
At night he wore Ron’s jumper even though it stopped smelling like him and was just a stupid piece of clothing in desperate need of a wash.For a moment he thought he was dreaming again when suddenly there was light flooding his bedroom and there was a tall dangerously thin silhouette in the door frame.
Before he could react Ron stumbled the last steps to the bed and collapsed half on the mattress half in Harry’s arms. He smelled of decay and dirt and his lips pressed feverishly against his cheeks, hair and neck.
Like in Harry’s dreams, Ron didn’t talk except of choked sobs and stuttering breaths. The redhead kept pushing clammy fingers under the threadbare fabric of the jumper until it finally ripped apart at the side seam and the muddy wet robe pressed roughly against the bar skin of his ribcage.
Harry muttered the name of his friend like a broken record hands restless grabbing in red overgrown hair and smelly fabric until the shock slowly subsided and he felt Ron’s breathing grow more steady and calm. Only then he was able to to push the fellow auror away far enough to see why he wasn’t talking.
There was dried blood around Ron’s mouth and it was easy to see that he was missing several teeth. With a soft curse under his breath Harry gently pried the mouth open and redhead horrifyingly passive let him manipulate his jaw to take a closer look.they’d cut it off. Whoever had kept Ron from coming home had cut his fucking tongue off!Swearing and muttering Harry started to search Ron’s body for further injuries getting rid of the dirty cloths in the process. There were new cuts and still healing ones, a stab wound that was already several weeks old and infected, and his hands and fingers were raw and open like he’d used them to claw himself out of wherever he had been held captive.
Hastily Harry threw the blanket around the disturbingly skinny shoulders and tried to pull Ron to his feet but quickly noticed that the redhead couldn’t stand.
“It’s alright… I’ll get help…please don’t pass out…” he mumbled as Ron’s head grew heavy against his shoulder and he finally send his SOS spell to the hospital.After that things got busy in his bedroom. There was a whole team of healers and nurses stabilising their patient to move him to St. Mungo’s and the head of the team only very grudgingly accepted Harry accompany them, as they noticed that even in unconsciousness Ron started to panic as soon as he felt his partner leaving his side.
Ron’s fist still clawed around his torn jumper as Harry watched the healers work. The redhead stiffened from time to time and he grunted when something was extremely painful but otherwise he was freakishly docile for someone that usually threw a giant fit as soon as you suggested to put him in a hospital bed (Harry had to wrestle him to St. Mungo’s more than once after he got hurt on the job).
After the basic healing charms were in place, all wounds where cleaned and the broken leg treated, they finally had Ron stable enough to even try to grow back his tongue. They had attempted to inform Ron that it was unlikely that the potion would work, since it had already been sometime that the injury happened but the auror was unresponsively staring at the ceiling.
Harry listened though and as the healer went to fetch the potion and a few more disinfection bandages and they were alone for a short moment Harry thought of boyish jokes, of softly uttered secrets and whispered strategical instructions. He remembered hummed songs as Charlie played the guitar at the fireplace and excited cheers and his eyes brimmed over at the thought of never hearing Ron speak again.
Blue gentle eyes where on him as soon as he made a sound and there was a surprising amount of strength left in those gaunt arms as they pulled him next to his partner in the narrow hospital bed.
Not being able to assure him with words Ron made soft rumbling noises that vibrated in his his chest as he soothing rubbed his hand over the back of Harry’s neck the tears ebbed away and left him empty tired.
The healer didn’t even acknowledge the change in position, he just pushed the potion in Harry’s hand telling him to assist “his boyfriend” with the drinking process while he’d change the bandages for one of the cuts on the right leg which had already bled through the old one.Harry hadn’t slept with Ron in the same bed since they were tiny little Hogwarts students, but it was something he could get used to. Ron still smelled of illness and dirt but under that there was the same homely smell that’s typical for his partner.
It was already past noon when he woke up and found Hermione knitting in the chair next to the bed. Her and Molly were still listed as Ron’s emergency contacts so it was only natural for her to be informed after he was rushed to the hospital.
“Hi, ‘Mione.” he rasped and she lifted her gaze to smile at him over the maroon-coloured knitting in her hands.
“Did he wake up in the meantime?”
“Only for a moment. He instantly fell asleep again when he noticed that we’re here.” she whispered and shuffled a little closer on her chair. Harry turned slightly to watch his sleeping friend. It was confusing how you could so happy to have him back but at the same time so scared for all his wounds at the same time. When he tried to sit up Ron ripped his eyes open in terror and wildly stared around him until he understood where he was and settled against Harry side against, hiding his face in his flank.
Hermione put down her knitting and gently gripped their Ron’s hand. The one that was still missing his fingernails from the war.
“It’s over, Ron. We’re here now. Nothing’s gonna hurt you.”