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The Mark

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Ronald Weasley was born with a gift. Because being a wizard was not enough of a gift apparently. On his inner left tricep, was a tiny black triangle permanently marked on his skin.

All of Ron’s childhood the point of the mark bugged Ron. Unlike his freckles and red hair, it was not passed down from either of his parents. His parents never really mentioned the triangle, except to tell him it was meant to be private. A secret from everyone, including the rest of the family. Molly called it a gift, saying when he was older he would learn the true meaning of the mark. She said not everyone, wizard or muggle, had such a gift.

Once, when Ron was seven and Charlie was home from Hogwarts, Ron asked his older brother about the mark over a game of chess.

“Charlie, do you have a mark?” Ron asked as he watched an old chess piece magically moved a square. He could faintly hear the sound of water running in the kitchen and knew their mother would not catch Ron speaking about the forbidden topic.

His older brother’s eyebrows knitted together, but he did not raise his eyes off the board, “a mark? Like on parchment?”

“No. A mark on- on your skin.”

“a birthmark?” He asked after his knight captured one of Ron’s. His brown eyes finally left the game and looked at his youngest brother.

“Kinda?” Ron said quietly. Maybe the topic was off limits for a reason. Frustrated, Ron decided to show Charlie what he was talking about. He took his right hand and rolled up the arm of his jumper to display the triangle.

Charlie’s attention focused on the mark. His eyed darted from the triangle to Ron’s face, then back to the triangle before he spoke again. “Maybe it’s a weird freckle? I wouldn’t worry about it Ron.”

But Ron knew differently. Ron had freckles everywhere. All light brown and quite a contrast off his pale skin, but the triangle was too dark, too unique, to be just another freckle. Ron had always looked up to Charlie and the fact that his brother was hiding something scared him.


Fred and George broke the news to Ron shortly after his tenth birthday. The twins had just finished their first year of Hogwarts and the brothers were degnoming the garden. Ron’s sleeve of his Chudley Cannons’ t-shirt had bunched up to reveal the small triangle while he threw one of the gnomes. While Ron watched the gnome sail through the air, Fred took the opportunity to nudge George with his elbow and nod towards Ron.

“Ronnie, what’s that on your arm?” George asked casually.

Ron looked to his tricep and quickly covered the mark with his sleeve. “it’s my mark.” He quietly replied.

The twins exchanged glances. Ron shuffled his feet, hoping the topic would drop. Over the years he had grown self-conscious of the mark and he tried to forget about the mystery, like his Dad suggested. “

You know what it means, don’t you?” Fred asked.

Ron shook his head, scarred. There was a reason no one talked about marks. What if it meant you would die young? Or what if it kept him from being sorted into Gryffindor and left his family disappointed?

“Ron,” Fred started, slowly. “That’s your soulmate mark.”

George kept staring at the now covered mark and nodded in agreeance.

“Soulmate?” Ron’s heart sped up. Soulmates where a good thing.

“Your soulmate is out there with the same mark. It’s a sign that you two are meant to be together. Hopefully one day you guys will meet.” George said simply.

“Poor girl.” Fred added as he kicked a gnome with his sneaker.

“Wait. There’s a chance I won’t even meet her?” Ron asked, shocked. His heart fell to his feet.

“Well there’s always a chance you won’t meet. Maybe she lives far away.” George explained.

“Maybe she dies.” Fred offered.

“Maybe she marries someone else first.”

As the twins listed possibilities, Ron suddenly felt tired. And heartbroken. Even his soulmate would rather marry someone else other than Ron and he would not blame her, he was nothing special. The twins had continued to talk about the soulmate mark. Ron found his way out of his thoughts as Fred described the point of the mark.

“You don’t really discuss the mark though. Not everyone has one. Imagine having a girl and then finding out you guys aren’t soulmates. So some people chose to ignore the mark.”

Ron nodded, accepting the information half-heartedly. “How do I find her?” He asked. Did he contact the Ministry? Was there a class at Hogwarts?

“You don’t.” George shrugged. “You just live your life and you let the universe bring you two together. Try not to think about it.”

Molly chose that exact moment to peak out of the house and announce it was time to wash up for dinner. The boys walked towards the kitchen door while thoughts and questions swirled around Ron’s head.

“Do you all have a mark?” Ron asked quickly, unsure how rare the soulmate mark really was.

“I do.” Said Fred giving a small smile.

George just shook his head. And with that, the conversation was officially over as they reached the house. Ron wondered about when the twins discovered only one of them had a mark. It made sense not to display your mark to anyone, it could get awkward. Ron vowed there that he would try to live his life not thinking about his mark, until maybe one day far off in the future when he and his partner agreed it was time to discuss it and the consequences.

That September Ron started Hogwarts and was happy to know the mark, in fact, did not prevent him from being sorted into Gryffindor. While the year was full of excitement, if you could call The Dark Lord on the back of your professor’s head excitement, Ron forgot about his soulmate mark. He was too young to worry.

The summer before second year was the next time Ron allowed himself to think of the mark. His father had just confirmed Harry Potter would be arriving in a few days to spend the remaining part of the holiday with them. Excitement flooded Ron. The summer had been uneventful and he was ready to be reunited with Harry. Then, a short time later Hermione would be joining them to shop for school supplies in Diagon Alley. Ron was also excited to see the witch, even though he would never voice that out loud.

If Ron thought he was eager about Harry coming to stay, it was nothing compared to how Ginny acted. The whole year his younger sister pestered him with questions about ‘the boy who lived,’ and Bill swore he once found a piece of parchment with the words “Ginny Potter” scribbled on it in her messy cursive.

“Harry Potter.” Ginny marveled as the youngest pair of the Weasley siblings sat at the kitchen table. Molly stacked sandwiches onto a platter, waiting for the others to come in from outside before officially announcing lunch. Ron absentmindedly drummed his fingers against the worn wood.

“I hope he doesn’t have a soulmate mark.” Molly gasped, almost dropping a piece of bread. Ron stopped drumming.

“Ginevra! We do not talk about other people’s marks!” Molly shrieked. “It is none of your business if Harry has a mark.” Ginny’s face grew red and she looked down at the table.

“Sorry mum. I just-”

Molly focused attention on Ron, “did you tell her? About marks?”

Ron shook his head. “No! I swear. It wasn’t me mum.”

Molly sighed, she knew Ron was not her only son with a soulmate mark and figured Fred had told Ginny. She wondered if Fred had also told Ron about the meaning. They would learn once they were at Hogwarts, around others. She could not be mad, not really. The fact that two of her children had soulmates should be exciting, but she did not want their marks to define them or the choices they made. Ginny was way too young to be thinking of soulmates and she could not but help wonder if her only daughter was sad she did not possess such a gift.

It was the end of second year when Ron realized Hermione was different than Harry. Sure, they were both his best friends, but Hermione felt different. He wanted to impress her and every time he made her smile felt better than winning the house cup. The months Hermione had spent petrified were terrible and every morning Ron hoped he would walk into the common room to find her waiting. The day did not come until the end of the semester, after Tom Riddle was destroyed. Ron looked up from the end of the year feast to see the familiar bushy hair entering the dining hall. She smiled at the sight of her two best friends and Ron felt his own huge smile pasted on his face.

Later, on the Hogwarts Express, Ron thought back to the reunion. He convinced himself that he was just happy Hermione was alive. All friends want their friends alive. Nothing special. But, Ron watched as Harry fill in Hermione on Hogwarts events she had missed, he could not help but feel a twig of something deep inside him. Jealousy? No way.

It was fourth year when Ron knew it was jealousy stirring. He watched as Harry was announced a Triwizard Tournament contestant and the rumors started of his romance with Hermione. It would make sense, Harry and Hermione. He was a great wizard; he had defeated Voldemort when he was a baby after all. And Hermione, she was Hermione. She was brilliant and pretty and Ron found his favorite activity was to stare at her as she did her homework.

Ron knew he messed up when he told Hermione she was a girl in attempt to ask her to Yule Ball. She deserved a proper proposal. He should have thought this through, asked Ginny for help maybe instead of listening to the twins. Ron thought he knew what heartbreak was, he was after all a Cannons fan, but he experienced a new level of heartbreak the moment he saw Hermione Granger walk into the Yule Ball on the arm of Viktor Krum. How could he ever think there was a chance Hermione would go with someone like Ron? She deserved someone better than Ron, and she found him.

The spring term went quickly. Before the trio knew it, Easter Holiday had arrived. Ron found it hard to focus on anything with Hermione there, she seemed so mature compared to him. Ron assumed it had to do with Vicky. Harry and Ron had just begun a chess game by the window of the family room while Ginny and Hermione had taken the couch, whispering amongst themselves. Ron loved playing against Harry, it was something Ron could beat him at. One of the few things. He lost focus on the game when he heard Hermione utter the Bulgarian Seeker’s name and his younger sister giggle in response. Straining, Ron could hear what the girls were talking about.

“Do you both have the same mark?” The redhead asked, her voice full of awe. This was the first he had ever thought about the possibility of Hermione having one.

Hermione let out a small gasp but knew she was doing her best to hide the small smile that had formed on her lips. “Gin! I wouldn’t dare bring that up to him!”

Ron risked a quick glance at the couch as Harry decided on a move to see Ginny shrug. “Sorry! I just still can’t believe you have one!” Ginny didn’t look very sorry.

Hermione however looked tense, ready to end the conversation. Ron was also ready for it to end.

“I told you that in secret, don’t mention it to anyone else.” Hermione whispered so softly Ron felt himself leaning back in his chair to try to hear.

“Ron?” Harry asked, looking amused but a tad confused on Ron’s loss of concentration of the game. “I know I’m not very good but can you at least pretend to enjoy playing?” He laughed, causing the girls to stop talking.

Ron knew he was blushing, he only hoped the girls did not guess the reason why.

Harry saw the mark once after quidditch practice during fifth year. The boys were changing in the locker room, taking their time until most of the team was already out. Ron was one of the last to finish showering and was not completely dressed when Harry asked him about the upcoming match against Slytherin.

“Do you reckon we’ll win?” Harry asked, already dressed and cleaning his glasses on his jumper.

Ron turned from his locker, his shirt still in his hands, “I hope. Angelina is a good caption.” Harry put his glasses back on his face, blinked a few times and looked at his best friend.

“Yeah she deserves a-” Harry looked quickly to the floor before he continued, “a win against Slytherin.”

Ron instantly knew Harry had seen the triangle. Ron swiftly put his shirt on, making sure the mark was safely covered. Blushing, Ron decided to explain. He cleared his throat, causing Harry to look at him again. “It- it’s my soulmate mark.” He said simply. Ron did not know if marks were something other friends discussed with each other. He assumed Hermione had not told Harry about her mark either, only choosing to disclose that information to Ginny.

“I’ve heard about those. Congrats mate.” The raven-haired boy gave a small smile and Ron gave a chuckle.

“Do you not have one?” The thought of Hermione telling Harry about her soulmate mark and not Ron put him on edge.

“I don’t. I don’t know anyone else who has one.”

“Yeah, mum told me they’re really rare.” Ron justified, “so that should make it easier to find a girl with a triangle.”

Harry grabbed his bag off a bench and Ron followed suit. Walking out of the tent Ron felt grateful that Harry was now aware of the secret. It felt a bit freeing. Maybe one day he would work up the nerve to bring up the conversation with Hermione. She deserved to know she was not alone in having a mark. The boys marched to the great hall in a comfortable silence, tired from the practice. Upon entrance, they spotted Hermione eating while reading a textbook. Her brown eyes skimmed the pages and her lips silently mouthed some of the words between bites. She glanced up as they sat down on the other side of the table.

“Hey.” Ron said, as he reached for a cup and a pitcher of pumpkin juice.

Hermione gave a smile to the pair, “how was practice?” She asked.

“As expected. The match is quickly approaching.” Harry spoke, though Hermione was watching Ron.

She knew how nervous quidditch made him and worried it would become overwhelming with such a big match coming up. Hermione nodded. These boys and quidditch, she would never understand. She looked at Ron’s still wet hair dripping onto the table as stretched. About to reply, she noticed something.

“Ron? Why is your t-shirt on inside out?”

Blushing, Ron made an excuse and fled the hall to change his shirt back.

The battle at the Ministry had been close. Too close for comfort. Ron sat on his bed, forgoing cleaning his room like his mum had asked. Sirius Black was dead. Voldemort was back, there was no denying it now. Times had never been darker.

And yet all Ron could worry about was Hermione Granger. She was set to arrive any moment. Much to Ron’s pleasure, she would be staying at house for the remainder of the summer. Harry would arrive in a few weeks, allowing Ron to have Hermione’s undivided attention. Anxious, Ron stood back up. Running his hands up and down his jean covered thighs. He glanced down at his hands. He observed the new pale white scars that started just above his wrists and reached up beyond the sleeves of his shirt. He would be the one to get attacked by brains during the most critical moment. Ron raised his left sleeve, checking on his little mark. The triangle was still there, and Ron let out a sign of relief. A scar ran right beside the mark, but left it undisturbed. Deep down Ron knew the mark could not be injured, but he also was concerned that his soulmate would be offended if he let his mark get damaged. At fifteen Ron had thought more about his soulmate than he would admit, but he knew he was still years off from meeting her. Not with Voldemort running around.

Ron heard the fireplace roar to life from below and knew Hermione had arrived. Rushing, Ron ran down the stairs to see Crookshanks jump into one of the vacant armchairs as Hermione hugged Molly. The warm sight stirred something inside Ron.

“So good to have you here dear.” Molly looked up to see her youngest son storm into the room, breathing heavy. “Ron can take your stuff to Ginny’s room, I’m sure you are tired from your travels.”

For the first time, Hermione made eye contact with Ron and gave him a smile. His hair had grown in the past few months and he somehow seemed even taller. “I can get it!” Hermione offered, though she knew her plea would fall onto deaf ears.

“Nonsense, I can get it.” Somehow this one sentence had caused Ron to blush, and he busied himself with picking Hermione’s luggage up off the rug by the Burrow’s fireplace.

Hermione followed Ron to the familiar room. They arrived at the doorway to find it empty, “Ginny’s at the shop.” Ron explained.

Hermione pushed into the room. She had been exchanging letters with Ron and Harry all summer, though they left out certain information in case the mail was being closely monitored. She knew the twins’ joke shop was doing great and was looking forward to seeing their success with her own eyes. While she was going to miss the twins at Hogwarts, she was not going to miss the experiments they pulled on innocent first years when product testing.

“I’m so worried about Harry.” She said absentmindedly as she sat on her bed, Ginny’s spare bed, and the old frame creaked in the process.

Ron’s ears went pink. He wanted to sit beside her, to comfort her. But maybe she wanted Harry’s comfort. He was also worried about their friend, but he did not expect that to be their first conversation.

“He’ll be fine.” He watched Hermione run a hand through her curls, “We’ll all be fine. I know it.”

Hermione looked like she wanted to say something else but just nodded in agreement. Ron thought about the small triangle on his arm. Now was as good as a time as any to tell Hermione.

“Hermione-” He started. She stopped messing with her hair and placed her hands back into her lap. He had her full attention.

That precise moment was the moment Ginny decided to enter, “Hermione!” She screamed, wrapping the older girl in a hug. The moment was gone. The girls separated as Ginny started to describe Weasley Wizard Wheezes to Hermione, sitting them both onto the bed.

Ron was slowly making his way back out of the door. He knew Ginny, the only girl in the family, loved Hermione like a sister and missed her presence. No way would the ginger let Ron have a moment alone with Hermione for the remainder of the day.

“Ron-” Hermione’s voice entered his thoughts, and he turned back towards the bed to see Hermione looking at him, a worried looked sketched upon her face. “We can talk later?”

He nodded. Ginny continued talking and he assumed Hermione went back to listening as he stepped out onto the staircase. Hermione had interrupted Ginny to speak to him. She wanted to talk to him later. A warm feeling filled Ron’s chest as he headed back to his room.

The talk never came. Not on purpose. Well, maybe a little on purpose. Ron had lost his courage. Some Gryffindor he was. Before he knew it, Harry had arrived at the Burrow and summer came to an end on September first. Sixth year had officially begun.

The fall term kept the trio busy. The boys had quidditch, Harry had his private lessons with Dumbledore, and Hermione was busy nagging Harry about the true identity of the Half Blood Prince. Harry and Hermione had both been chosen to be in Professor Slughorn’s prestigious ‘Slug Club.’ Ginny Weasley was also busy with Dean Thomas, much to Harry and Ron’s dismay. It was a very busy few months. Ron hated the Slug Club. Another opportunity for him to be left out of. He was sure Harry and Hermione had plenty of bonding time. He imagined their walks to and from the meetings as uninterrupted flirting, something that sent chills down Ron’s long limbs. At least Hermione had a mark, he had to remind himself. While he knew that mark probably matched Viktor’s, at least it lowered the chances of Harry making a move right in front of Ron’s eyes.

One afternoon Hermione brought up the club, much to Ron’s displeasure. There was to be a Christmas party.

“It's pathetic. Well, I hope you enjoy your party." Hermione could have anyone as a date, she proved that at the Yule Ball.

"We're allowed to bring guests' said Hermione, her cheeks rapidly turning deep red, "and I was going to ask you to come, but if you think it's that stupid then I won't bother!"

Ron could have died right there on the spot. Him? Ronald Weasley?

"You were going to ask me?" He asked. A voice inside him said it was only a pity invite, but Ron’s heart was beating so loudly he was sure Hermione and Harry could both hear it. Maybe Hermione did not see Harry or Viktor fit for her heart after all.

Harry watched as Hermione asked Ron to the party, impressed. For the first time, he wondered if Hermione had a soulmate mark. His best friends deserved each other, he just hoped the universe, and Ron’s attitude, did not get in their way.

The victory was short for Ron. It was all Ginny’s fault really. She was the one kissing her boyfriend in a public space. So really it was Dean’s fault. A bucket of ice cold water had been poured into Ron’s head with his sister’s words. Hermione had kissed Krum. He was hurt, shocked, and mad at himself for ever thinking someone like Hermione would really be interested in Ron. Everyone, even his younger sister, had more experience than Ron. He was sure Percy, the stuck up prat he was, had at least held a girl’s hand before.

Days later, Ron had not gotten over the news. He knew he was overreacting and Hermione did not deserve such icy treatment, but Ron could not overcome it.

Sliding on his boots before the quidditch match, Ron let his mind wonder about Hermione’s soulmate mark. A tiny piece of him had hoped that perhaps she too had a black triangle. She was the only girl he could think about, he longed to hold her and go to that bloody party. They could dance slowly, perhaps accidently dance under some mistletoe and see what happens.

In six years of friendship Ron had never seen her mark. While Ron’s was often hidden, he had the occasional slipup. As he moved to putting his gloves on he thought about where on Hermione’s body the mark was hidden. Most of Hermione’s body was covered in her jumpers and cloaks, leaving a lot of skin to possibly have the mark. Ron glanced across the locker room to Ginny, who was busy with her own uniform, and wondered if his sister would let him in on the secret. Just as Ron started to imagine where exactly the tiny mark, possibly his mark, could be concealed, Harry bumped Ron’s shoulder.

“You alright?” The boy with glasses asked.

Ron shook his head, “lost in thought I guess.” Ron felt embarrassed, if Harry knew Ron was thinking about their other friend in that way it would be awkward. He could not think of Hermione like that. She was not, and never would be, his. He especially could not afford to lose focus during the match.

The game was shortly over, and Gryffindor came out victorious. Ron felt like he was walking on air. If only Hermione would be proud of him. He knew he needed to talk to her, explain. Maybe they could move on. They could still go to the Christmas party together.

The Gryffindor common room was a sight. Everyone in the house was celebrating the win over Slytherin and there was already excitement over the possibility of winning the quidditch cup. Ron accepted pats on the back and congratulations from multiple peers as he searched for Hermione. Halfway to the stairways, Ron felt a tap on his shoulder.

Spinning around, he came face to face with Lavender Brown.

“Ron-” Her voice was sickly sweet. “I wanted to congratulate you on such an amazing game. You were spectacular.”

Lavender had noticed him playing? Her smile was bright and Ron felt her hand gripping his bicep. His bicep. The mark. Hermione. Suddenly Lavender leaned in to kiss him and Ron’s thoughts slipped away.

Harry watched as Ron exited the bathroom, now dressed in just pajama bottoms, and walked toward his bed. Giving a rest to watching Draco Malfoy, just for the moment, Harry placed the marauders map on his bedside table. For weeks Harry, and the rest of the house, had watched Ron and Lavender parade around, and Harry felt curious about the couple. The rest of the dorm was empty, and he did not exactly want another one of the boys to walk in on the conversation.

“Mate.” Harry started.

Ron placed his clothes into his hamper before he settled on top of his covers and flicked his wand between the fingers on his left hand, “yeah?”

“This thing with Lavender…” Ron’s wand stopped. Harry swallowed, continuing. “I hope you don’t mind me asking, but is she- do you-” Harry found the words were hard to find, they were stuck on his tongue.

“Does she have a mark?” Ron finished.

Harry nodded, he thought Ron looked a bit ashamed of himself.

“She told me pretty early on she didn’t have a soulmate. She brought it up out of the blue, took me by complete surprise.”

Harry felt sorry for his best friend. The mark, or the lack thereof, left little to the imagination when it came to love. He only hoped Ron would not settle for someone else when his soulmate was out there.

“Sorry Ron, that sucks.” Harry did not know exactly what to say.

Ron shrugged, “I don’t need a mark to tell me we’re not meant to be together. I just-”

Harry knew how that sentence was going to end. He liked the attention. Something about making Hermione jealous. Harry knew that was a reason, even if Ron did not know it yet himself. Harry, still feeling bold, decided to test his luck a bit more.

“Do you know anyone else with a mark?” He hoped the question was direct enough.

“Fred.” Ron was relieved Harry had asked another question, he did not want to think about Lavender at the moment. Ron thought about telling Harry that Hermione also had one, but that was not a secret that was his to tell. The witch was barely speaking to him and if she found out Ron knew and told Harry, he guaranteed she would never talk to him again. “I think a Hufflepuff chaser too? I’m sure there’s more.”

Harry picked the map back up. “Interesting.” He said more to himself than Ron.

Christmas holiday had come and gone. Much to everyone’s disappointment, months later Ron and Lavender were still together. Harry knew Hermione was still hurting from the sudden match, but she had handled it well. Harry considered Hermione able to withstand being in the same room as the couple ‘well.’

Things were going well, until Ron’s seventeenth birthday. The ginger wizard awoke to many presents surrounding his bed. traditional watch from his parents, keeper gloves from Harry and nothing from Hermione. Trying not to think about the meaning of a lacking gift, Ron opened a box of chocolate cauldrons that had somehow fallen onto the floor between Ron and Harry’s beds.

Harry strolled into the room and Ron was abruptly on top of him, confessing his love of Romilda Vane. The chocolates, Harry realized, contained a strong, and old, love potion. And the chocolates had originally been for him. Thinking on his feet, Harry ushered Ron to Slughorn’s office, hoping the potion master would have a cure. It had only taken a minute and Harry was already sick of hearing about Romilda. Slughorn presented an antidote to Ron and shortly the seventeen-year-old was acting normal.

Embarrassed, Ron took the oak-matured mead from their professor. A ‘pick-me-up’ Slughorn called it and Ron certainly needed it. But with the first sip of mead still on his lips, Ron knew something was wrong.

Harry, glad that Ron was no longer in love with Romilda, also accepted a glass. Before Harry could have a drink, Ron fell to the floor, pulsating. Thinking back to a note scribbled in his potion book, written by the Half-Blood Prince, Harry found a bezoar in a desk drawer and shoved it down his best friend’s throat.

Hours later, Harry realized just how quickly Ron had come to dying. Ron had been moved to the Hospital wing and had laid motionless ever since. Hermione, having heard about the poisoning, ran up to Harry demanding to know what exactly happened. Harry took this as a sign that the house perfect had forgiven the birthday boy for his mistakes. Ginny, the twins and their parents had since arrived. The small mob ushered around Ron’s bedside table.

Ron knew something had happened. He could hear voices speaking somewhere far above him, but his head was too foggy to catch what they were saying. Moving in and out of consciousness Ron wondered if he was about to die. He tried moving his body, but he felt nothing in response.

He was about to die. Ron thought to the triangle on his arm. He thought about his soulmate out there waiting for a meeting that would never come. As he lost consciousness once again, maybe for the last time, Ron hoped she had curly brown hair and kind eyes.


Ron was released a few days later from the hospital wing. He felt lucky to be alive. Harry had caught him up on everything he missed and Ron knew the worst was yet to come. It was clear Hermione was willing to be friends again and Ron wondered what he had done to deserve it- besides almost dying. He only wished there would be a reverse effect on Lavender. When he was still bedridden, Lavender would come to visit and Ron faked sleep each time. Yet she never got the hint and was as clingy as ever. It was weeks later when Lavender finally called the relationship over. Giving her the cold shoulder was not enough, but Ron coming down from the boys’ dorm with Hermione and an invisible Harry was the final straw. He figured Lavender was jealous of Ron’s mysterious soulmate. Ron told Lavender he possessed a mark when she brought it up in the fall. His girlfriend had said she did not need a mark to interrupt fate, but as time worn on it became clear Lavender may not have completely believed her own words.

There were only a few weeks left of the term by now. Katie Bell was back at school and both her and Ron were cleared to play the last quidditch match against Ravenclaw. Ginny and Dean had also broken up, which both Ron and Harry were pleased about. The night after Gryffindor won the quidditch cup, as Ron watched his little sister and best mate kiss, it dawned on him that neither had soulmate marks.

Ron shook his head clear of all the gloomy memories from the last few months. Snape was a spy. The locket was a fake. Four more horcruxes were out there somewhere. Dumbledore, the trio’s only help, was dead. Ron brought himself back to the present August night. He glanced around the large tent, observing the wedding guests continuing the celebration. Bill was married. The oldest Weasley sibling a married man. During the ceremony, as Fleur gave her vows, Ron grasped how this wedding was a light shining brightly into the darkness that had covered the world.

Ron watched as Vicky greeted Hermione and wondered if he would ever have a wedding of his own. Deciding enough was enough, Ron dragged Hermione away from her pen-pal and onto the dance floor.

The band was playing a slower song now, and without thinking too much Ron used his grip to pull Hermione close to him before positioning one hand on either side of her waist. They swayed in silence for a few moments. Ron wondered if this is what the Yule Ball or Slug Club’s Christmas party could have been life.

“Is he your soulmate?” Ron’s voice sounded foreign to his own ears.

It felt like an eternity before the witch spoke, “my soulmate?”

Ron cleared his throat. “I know you have a soulmate mark. If- if it Krum I swear Hermione- I’ll stop.”

The couple continued to dance. For so long he dreamt about holding her, and now that he was, the thought of giving her up filled Ron with dread.

“No! Ron,” Her brown eyes looked different tonight and Ron found himself ready to drown in them. “I don’t know how you found out about my mark, but Viktor shouldn’t be a concern.”

Hermione gripped Ron’s arm tighter and he wondered if she knew about the small triangle that laid right under her hand, separated by the thin material of his dress shirt.

She continued, “Not anymore.”

“Ok.” He murmured, a grin breaking out. Hermione gave one back.

Time stopped. Ron felt his heart about to jump right out of his chest. This was it. For the first time since they started dancing, Hermione’s eyes left Ron’s and glimpsed to his lips. Ron did not know if he and Hermione were meant to spend the rest of their lives together, but there was a good chance they would never make it through this war. A good chance this would be the last chance.

But before Ron could close the distance, a ball of colorless light floated into the tent. Guests all around the couple let out sounds of shock.

“The Ministry has fallen. Scrimgeour is dead. They're coming.”

Mayhem broke out and someone pushed their way between Ron and Hermione. Separated, Ron realized the war had found them. After a few terrorizing seconds, Ron saw Hermione again. She reached him out of breath, a look of fear sketched onto her features. With one arm wrapped around Hermione, Ron weaved through the crowd. Harry.

Ron reminded himself that he was allowed to breath now. Hermione was safe. Every time he blinked he saw her laying half dead in his arms. Every second her screams filled his ears. Ron knew they were safe at Shell Cottage for the time being.

Fleur and Bill was currently tending to Hermione in an upstairs guest room and Ron paced outside the door waiting to get permission to go back in. Ron felt dried blood on his arms, and assumes pieces of the chandelier were still lodges in his skin. Bill had offered to clean Ron up, but he denied it, wanting Hermione to get unbroken attention. He would never leave Hermione again. Not to shower. Not to eat. She was the most important thing in his world and she almost slipped away.

The white door creaked open softly, and the blonde witch appeared followed by her husband.

“she is resting. The next few hours will be crucial.” Fleur spoke, as she gave Ron a reassuring squeeze on the shoulder.

Ron took that as a sign to enter the room, but his oldest brother held his arm in front of the open doorway.

“Ron,” Bill started, “what’s going on?”

“Bill. I can’t. You know I can’t.” Ron did not want to have this conversation. Not again. Bill shut the door to Hermione’s room, leaving the Weasley brothers alone in the small hallway.

“Ron we need to know. You show up out of the blue with a dead house elf, Ollivander and Hermione limp in your arms. Fleur said she was hit with an unforgivable?” Ron knew the last bit was not really a question, Bill knew exactly what spell Hermione was wounded with.

“Bill- like I said at Christmas, we can’t tell anyone. It’s too dangerous.” Ron was frustrated now.

“DANGEROUS? RON SHE WAS TORTURED WITH CRUCIATUS!” Bill ran his hand through his red locks.

 “You don’t think I know that Bill? You don’t think I heard her screaming while I was too far away to do anything? I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO HAVE TO LISTEN TO HERMIONE DIE BECAUSE OF THAT VILE WITCH.” Ron felt tears ready to spill onto his face. He drew a shaky breath. “I begged them to let me take her place.”

Bill looked at his youngest brother. Gone was the immature and quiet Ronnie. Bill understood the trio was fighting Voldemort and his followers head on. He did not grasp to what extent, but also knew Ron would never tell the full story. Upon hearing him admit to wanting to sacrifice himself for Hermione, Bill moved aside from the door.Perhaps, once this war was over Bill would understand what exactly the younger group had faced. Ron, his little brother, was going to see to the downfall to the darkest wizard in history, even if it meant giving his own life.

“Go.” Bill said faintly.

Without another word, Ron nodded towards his brother and opened the door. He could hear Bill’s footsteps fade away, but shut the door behind him anyways. The room was pretty bare. There was a window on the far way with a small bookshelf and white chair, there was a wardrobe on the other far fall. But what drew Ron is was what was placed in the middle of the room. He could not take his eyes off the bed. Hermione laid on her back, her arms at either side. Had it not been for a dozen potion bottles covering the side table, Hermione could have been taking a restful nap.

Almost silently, Ron ushered himself to the right side of the bed. Pulling the wicker chair away from the window, he perched himself right at her head.

“Hermione-” Ron took one of her small hands into both of his own. His eyes looked over her face, waiting for any sign of acknowledgement. Ron sat there until the sunlight behind him became almost nonexistent. The wizard noted how Fleur had changed Hermione out of her clothes and into one of the older witch’s nightgowns. It was a light purple satin. The straps were thin, allowing Ron to openly see Hermione’s collarbone. He realized how much weight she had lost on the hunt for the remaining horcruxes. There, in the dim light on the worst day of Ron’s life, he saw it.

Leaning in as far as he would allow himself, Ron saw a little mark on right below Hermione’s collarbone.

A part of Ron told him not to look, Hermione would be angry if she knew. But Ron’s heart told him it could be his only chance to find out.

Before his eyes could focus on the exact shape, Ron shut them tightly. It did not matter what shape the mark turned out to be. Ron knew, he had always known. Hermione Granger was the love of his life.

The tears which had been fighting to be exposed now flowed freely down his freckled face. Ron brought Hermione’s hand to his lips and kissed it again and again. Watching her chest slowly rise and fall with each breath, Ron thanked whatever deity that had kept them alive this long and pleaded for them both to survive the war. He understood now, why his mum insisted the details of soulmate marks be kept a guarded secret. Every fight, stolen glace and late nights spent studying together suddenly meant so much more. It truly was a gift. He had been so scared, for years, to admit his secret to anyone in fear it would never come true. Ron had spent seven years with his best friend working to deserve her, and every minute was worth it.

Ron had used all of his patience, and he slowly opened his blue eyes back up.

Blinking a few times, Ron looked back to the mark.

His heart stopped, there, etched onto the soft skin was a black and miniscule triangle.