He stood watching them his eyes cold, and he hated them. There they were, the saviours of the wizarding world about to destroy it with their notions of what was right. He had seen it all and now he was here in a last ditch attempt to stop them.
"The boy is too dangerous," Moody said pointedly to the other members of the Order at the meeting, "we can't let it go on."
"Malfoy is just like his father," Kingsley agreed firmly, "he knows more about the Dark Arts than half of the Death Eaters in Azkaban."
There were murmurs of agreement around the table and the watcher continued his silent vigil seething inside.
"But Harry sees something in him," Remus Lupin added quietly. "It is possible that the death of his father in the escape attempt changed Draco. He was not the same child I knew when he returned to school after the funeral, in fact he was no longer a child at all."
"The boy has his claws into Harry," Moody said acidly, "he will betray him to Voldemort at the first chance he gets."
Lupin opened his mouth to reply to the accusation but was stopped with a look. It was more than the man watching them could take.
"How dare you," he hissed and revealed himself to the group.
The seven wizards in the room all rounded on him with their wands drawn and he dropped the powerful charm that had hidden him completely. Then he laughed at their shock.
Ron Weasley no longer looked the way he had at school: twenty years of hard fighting had changed him and he knew the long scar down the side of his face gave his a wild uncontrolled look.
"Who the hell are you? How did you get in?" Kingsley demanded as a stunned silence descended on the room.
"I'm exactly who you think I am," Ron said coldly, "I'm your future and I'm here to stop you making the biggest mistake in your self-righteous little lives."
"You're a boggart," the redhead was not impressed with his mother's deduction.
Ron fixed her with eyes that had seen too much tragedy.
"Try again, Mum," the ex-Gryffindor said shortly, "I'm not going to change if you cast Riddikulus against me."
The redhead looked around the room, making sure he had the attention of every person there. Moody glared back at him suspiciously; Tonks did not seem to believe what she was seeing; Kingsley appeared at a loss to explain Ron; Lupin looked partially relieved for some reason; his parents were both aghast; and Dumbledore appeared as calm as usual.
"I have a simple message for you," he said pointedly, "don't kill Draco Malfoy."
The room rumbled with sound as the members of the Order hotly denied that they were thinking anything of the kind.
"I've seen it," Ron shot back hotly, "I saw you try and break them apart and how it threw them together. I saw your good intensions take Malfoy and corner him so he had no choice but to fight you and I saw him fall. Then I saw Harry Potter die inside."
The years of pain and anguish came out in his words and the redhead seared the room with them.
"I saw you take away the only thing left that he truly loved," the warrior said viciously, "and it killed the young man I knew. Your meddling destroyed my best friend."
"Voldemort won?" the question was whispered by Tonks.
That caused a bitter laugh to escape from Ron.
"Oh if only it was that simple," the redhead spat at those in front of him. "Oh you had what you wanted for a while: you created the ultimate warrior in Harry, he had nothing else to live for and he thought the Death Eaters killed his lover. He went into battle against Voldemort with a smile on his face and he took his revenge: they never stood a chance against the righteous anger in Harry. For just a little while everything was wonderful, except The Boy Who Lived of course, since his reason for life was over. But then he found a new one: he found out what you did."
Ron fixed them all with his glare so they understood. This was the last chance to change the nightmare that had come of meddling fools and the ex-Gryffindor wanted to make sure they understood.
"Harry killed Dumbledore first," the redhead said icily. "He walked into the Great Hall on the first day of the new school year and cast the Death Curse. No one could stand against him: the great Harry Potter, the killing machine that turned on his makers. He disappeared for a while after that and every now and then a member of the Order would turn up dead. What no one seemed to realise is that those he didn't kill he cast Imperio on and they were in his pocket. By the time we woke up to what he was doing he had the wizarding world at his beck and call. You thought Voldemort was bad: you haven't seen Harry after his soul died."
He laughed again at the shock disbelieving expressions on their faces.
"We fought long and hard," Ron told them shortly, "but it was never enough. I'm the last one left, the only member of the Order of the Phoenix still alive. You'd be amazed at the advances we've made in magic just to keep one step ahead of the Warlord: that's what they call him now: the Warlord. This is our last gasp; the last stand to try and stop it all. In a few minutes they'll find me and I'll die but not before you see this."
Raising his hands the redhead threw an apparition in the room. The figure was tall and familiar dark hair topped a pale face with green eyes and a lightening bolt scar. The eyes were what would catch the attention of those in the room, Ron knew: the empty, soulless eyes that held no mercy. The Warlord wore the colours of his youth; red and gold over black leather armour; in a gloved hand he held his wand and in the other a sword with a black blade.
"He never sleeps and his army of puppets doesn't rest," the messenger from the future said hotly. "He has destroyed our world and it's because you betrayed him. I don't know what Draco Malfoy will do, I don't know if he's using Harry but I do know if you interfere you will kill us all."
The pain ripped through the warrior's chest and he laughed at the irony of the timing. The blade passed through his chest and out of his back causing blood to bubble up with the chuckle. The vision of the Warlord in the room dissolved as power and life began to slip from the ex-Gryffindor and Ron collapsed to his knees. He had done all he could and the room faded out around him as the spell he had cast fell apart. The present returned and he was on his knees in front of Harry Potter, the man every wizard hated.
"The last to die," the green eyed angel of death said without emotion, "I'm surprised you are the only one left."
"They all wanted to save you," Ron said as he looked up at the man who had murdered half of Britain, "I just wanted to stop you existing."
There was no anger in the Warlord at the redhead's words, which was one of the worst things: nothing Harry had done had been with emotion. He had eradicated everything good in the wizarding world without a shred of humanity left in him.
"What did you do?" he asked in a perfectly calm tone.
"Told them not to do it," Ron said feeling the life slowly leaving him.
"Not to do what?" the Warlord asked flatly.
"Not to kill Draco Malfoy," the redhead replied honestly: there was nothing that anyone could do to change it now and he didn't care.
Then he saw it, just a flicker of something on the impassive face. Ron would have laughed again if he'd had the strength, but he was dying too fast.
"Good," the Warlord said evenly and then raised his sword.
The last thing Ron saw was the killing blow coming towards his neck and then he no longer existed.