Chapter Fifteen

Normality (For Ron Anyway)

Disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot to this story.  Any characters you recognize belong to J.K. Rowling, Scholastic, and all them people.

Author's Note: I'm very sorry for the long delay in posting.  I apologize sincerely for not getting this up sooner, but here's the next chapter.  I hope you enjoy!  Thanks so much for the reviews!  I really, really appreciate them.  ~*Carey*~

            Ron pulled on his new maroon sweater that his mother had just given him.  She had still made a sweater for him for Christmas, after all.  Ron had always taken the sweaters his mother made every Christmas for granted, hated them, and complained about them, but because he didn't think he would be getting one for Christmas had greatly appreciated it this year.  His mother had still taken the time to make him his sweater, and after he thought she had hated him, so Ron knew that his mother still loved him.

            Ron went downstairs to breakfast where his mother was cooking.  She turned around once she heard him enter the kitchen.  She smiled happily seeing Ron wearing the sweater she had made him.  She knew he had liked his sweaters the least of all his presents, but he still wore it, and he didn't have to.  She didn't expect him to anyway.  All of his other laundry was clean, and she told him that he didn't have to wear it, because she didn't deserve his respect after everything that happened, but still he wore it.

            Ron's maroon sweater… maroon was always the best color on Ron, Mrs. Weasley thought.  He never liked the color, but it was his color, that was certain.  Mrs. Weasley had made maroon colored sweaters for him since he was at least four.  Arthur had always said that Ron reminded him of his younger brother Roy, and Mrs. Weasley had seen many pictures of her late brother-in-law, and agreed that Ron looked very much like Roy, though she could see more of Arthur in him, and maroon looked best on Roy, as it did Ron.  Ron might not ever see it, but he looked very handsome in maroon.

            "That sweater looks good on you."  Mrs. Weasley said happily.

            "It fits good too, and it's comfortable and warm.  Thank you."  Ron said hugging his mother gratefully.

            "Sweetheart, your more than welcome."  Mrs. Weasley said.  She pulled away from him and handed him his plate of breakfast.

            Ron grinned gratefully and took his seat to eat.

            Percy apparated downstairs and entered the kitchen.  "Good morning mother.  Good morning Ron, how are you today?"  Percy asked.

            "Better thanks."  Ron said happily.

            "This month's big for me at the Ministry."  Percy said happily.

            "I hate the Ministry.  I hate anybody who works for Fudge, except you of course, because I can't hate you.  I wish you wouldn't work there, though."  Ron said taking a bite of bacon.

            "I think you'll change your mind once you find out what I've been promoted to."  Percy said smiling.

            "If you've replaced Fudge I might consider changing my mind."  Ron said.

            "Well, I'm not Minister, and I don't think Fudge is ready to leave yet, though I know you'll be glad about my position when you find out."  Percy said.

            "So are you going to tell me anytime soon?"  Ron asked.

            "Nope, it's a surprise.  Just remember, the one thing I've always been good at will do some good for once."  Percy said.

            "Which one thing are you talking about?  You're great at everything!  You're great at assignments, reading, writing…. You're great at following rules… You're great at almost everything except Quidditch, and you're probably great at that too, but you were always studying or working too much for me to see."  Ron said.

            Percy looked surprised at his brother.  He hadn't expected Ron to give him credit to everything he was good at.  It was almost as if Ron was complimenting him.

            "No, Percy will be the only one of us to never touch a broomstick unless it's to sweep with."  Charlie yawned entering the kitchen and smirking at Percy.  He looked at Ron and added, "Nice sweater."

            "Thanks."  Ron said.

            "So do you go back to school today?"  Charlie asked.

            "Tomorrow morning."  Ron said.

            "Are you going to be all right going back?"  Percy asked concernedly.

            "Yes, as long as I can control my temper and stay out of trouble, I reckon I will be all right."  Ron said.

            "Malfoy's trouble, just don't let him get to you.  I know he's prejudice against Hermione, and to be honest with you I don't disagree with your actions, not that I would ever do that, but the point is Hermione's a smart girl.  She can take care of herself."  Percy said.

            "I know, but I didn't mean to explode like I did… I mean I knew I was in trouble, and I didn't need anymore.  Flipping out at another student in front of the Minister wasn't a smart idea, but I just lost it.  I couldn't help it."  Ron said.

            "I'm not mad at you!"  Percy said quickly.  "I was just giving you advice to not to sink to their level.  Are you going to be all right with everybody else though?"

            "Harry, Hermione, and I are all okay now, so as long as we're on good terms, I don't see a problem."  Ron said.

            Ron arrived at Hogwarts the next morning before classes started.  Ron walked up to the gargoyle statue that was in front of the passageway to Dumbledore's office and guessed many different sweets for the password, finally guessing the right one.  The gargoyle leapt aside allowing Ron up the spiral staircase to Professor Dumbledore's door.  Ron knocked.

            After a few seconds, the door opened and Professor Dumbledore was standing, as was Lucious Malfoy.  Ron cowered a bit seeing the Death Eater, after tricking him.  He was right to do so, as Lucious was looking daggers at him.

            "Well, I'll be speaking to you later Professor."  Lucious hissed, and he left not taking his eyes off of Ron until he was out the door.

            "Good morning Mr. Weasley, what may I do for you?"  Professor Dumbledore asked.

            "I was just making sure I was allowed back."  Ron said looking out of the corner of his eye to see that Mr. Malfoy had left.

            "Mr. Weasley, I remember telling you that under no circumstance, should you feel that you're not allowed to learn here."  Professor Dumbledore said.

            "Yes sir, but I remember the time you also said that even the best of you must sometimes eat your words."  Ron said nervously.

            "Yes, but not in this case."  Professor Dumbledore said.

            "Thank you Professor."  Ron said gratefully.

            Professor Dumbledore nodded.

            Ron arrived in the Transfiguration classroom before the rest of his classmates.  He took a seat in the back and waited for everybody to come in.  He braced himself for Malfoy's taunts.

            Everybody entered, and Harry noticed Ron before anybody else.  He took a seat next to him, and Hermione took a seat next to Neville at a table in front of them, though she did look eager to speak to him.

            Malfoy sat down, but just as he went to open his mouth, to tease Ron no doubt, Professor McGonagall entered and went straight to the board, where she began to write the day's notes down that they were to copy.

            "Are you all right?"  Harry asked in a whisper.  He was looking very concerned.

            "Yea, I'm fine."  Ron said with a smile.

            "Are you sure?"  Harry asked.

            "Yea, my mum came and got me out of Azkaban, before Fudge wanted.  She slapped him across the face, and he let me out."  Ron said happily.

            "But I thought-" Harry was going to explain what he had heard from Sirius, but was cut short by Professor McGonagall.

            "All right, the notes are on the board, and- Mr. Weasley, are you sure your all right to be back so soon?"  Professor McGonagall asked.

            "Professor Dumbledore didn't have any objections.  Do you want me to go get a pass or something?  I mean I was on time, but if I'm not supposed to be here, I'll go get a pass from Professor Dumbledore."  Ron said embarrassed at having attention drawn to him.

            "No, if the Headmaster knows, then… Copy your notes, and we'll get on with the lesson."  Professor McGonagall said.

            Ron's first day back had gone a bit smoother than he had expected it to, but wasn't surprised when it was much rougher in Potions.

            Ron was cutting up his ingredients as he was instructed to, when Malfoy had to start.

            "So Weasley, how was Azkaban the second time around?  Did the dementors miss you?"  Malfoy asked.

            "No, but I can see you did.  Who did you pick on the week I was gone?"  Ron asked.

            "Please, I was too busy dealing with your sister to bother anybody."  Malfoy said.

            "Do you want me to flip your table again?  I mean do you like crying like a little baby?"  Ron asked without looking up.

            "Weasley, that's ten points from Gryffindor.  There is no talking in my classroom."  Professor Snape said.

            "All right."  Ron said.

            "That's fifteen points, I just said no talking."  Professor Snape said.

            "And I said all right."  Ron said.

            "Exactly, stop talking!  That's twenty points from Gryffindor."  Professor Snape said with his eyes flashing maliciously.

            "That's all right, you were going to take them away anyway."  Ron muttered.

            "Weasley, shut your mouth!"  Professor Snape snapped.

            "I wasn't even talking to you."  Ron said rolling his eyes.

            "I said no talking!  That's now forty points!"  Professor Snape said.

            Ron didn't say anything, but Harry could see he was ready to bust out with laughter.  Surprisingly, he controlled himself and concentrated on his potion.

            "So, what's the story with your fat mum?  Did she take you back?  Is that why you're not still peeing your pants?  I heard she got some sense and left you and your dad for her rich father."  Malfoy said.

            "That's nice of you to be so concerned of my mum, but don't you think you ought to be worrying about your own?"  Ron asked in a mischievous tone.

            Harry could see a grin spreading slowly across Ron's face, and it wasn't the old familiar grin Harry knew, it sort of resembled the twins' grins when they were up to something.

            "What are you on about?"  Malfoy asked, suddenly serious.

            "Oh nothing, it's just you know how there's death eaters in Azkaban?"  Ron asked.

            "Spit it out Weasley."  Malfoy said dangerously.

            "Well they say things when the dementors go away.  It seems they miss your mother.  Apparently she's slept with all of them, I bet even Snape got with her.  It's no wonder he's nice to you… I bet he was awfully friendly with your mother.  And you go on about my sister getting around… at least she's not supposed to be married to anybody… What does your dad say about that?  Or doesn't he know?"  Ron whispered wickedly.

            Harry quickly tore his gaze from Ron and Draco to look behind him.  Dean and Seamus were covering their mouths with disbelief, and trying not to laugh, but Harry could see that like himself, they were also scared for Ron.

            Malfoy pushed his chair back loudly as he got up.  He was looking daggers at Ron.  He pulled out his wand and pointed it at Ron.

            "You take that back, or I swear… I will kill you!"  Malfoy said dangerously.

            "Well, I'm not taking it back, so I guess you have to do what you have to do."  Ron said smirking at Malfoy as he leaned back making himself comfortable in his chair.  Harry looked at Ron incredulously.  Ron's wand was in his pocket, and if Malfoy were to try anything, Ron wouldn't be able to pull his wand out in time!

            "Ron, apologize…" Harry whispered urgently.

            "I'm not going to apologize.  If his dad can't keep his mother happy, somebody has too… and it's not as if it were me, therefore I have nothing to apologize for.  Sometimes, people just have to come to grips with reality.  Truth hurts, doesn't it Malfoy?"  Ron asked raising his eyebrows.

            "Mr. Malfoy sit down now!"  Professor Snape said lazily from the front of the classroom.

            "Ron, seriously… apologize!"  Harry cried.

            "No, because not only do I have nothing to be sorry for, but because Malfoy's not going to do anything.  He doesn't have the guts to kill.  It's just another one of his threats, which by definition are empty promises.  And if he were to kill me, or try to, he would've done it by now.  He's just trying to get Snape to come up here."  Ron said.

            "I swear, Weasley, if you don't apologize to me, right now…" Malfoy said under his breath with anger and hurt in his eyes.

            "I won't apologize to a ferret."  Ron said.

            "AVADA KEDAV-"

            "EXPELLIARMUS!"  Professor Snape yelled causing Malfoy's wand to fly into his hands with a green flash of light.

            Professor Snape looked disbelievingly at Malfoy.  If Malfoy had pronounced the whole spell, there was no doubt in Snape's mind that he would've killed Ron.

            Everybody was silent and staring in shock.  Even Harry was pale.  Ron was quiet but he seemed untroubled by it all.

            "Mr. Malfoy, Weasley…" Snape pointed to the door.  "Go wait in the hall for me.  Expelliarmus!" Snape cried and Ron's wand flew out of his pocket into his hands.

            Ron picked up his bag and left the classroom smirking with his eyebrows raised when he passed Draco.

            "I need to take care of this, therefore you will finish your potions in silence…" Professor Snape said, and then he looked meaningfully at Crabbe and Goyle.  "Should there be anymore fighting, while I'm taking care of them, all of you will be serving detention by digging up Gillyweed from the freezing lake.  None of you are to leave this classroom until I return, and Ms. Granger, should Mr. Longbottom screw his potion up, as I don't doubt he will, you'll be held responsible."

            Professor Snape pushed Malfoy out of the dungeon door.

            "Mr. Malfoy, I don't think even I can get you out of this mess."  Professor Snape said.

            Ron had already gone ahead to Dumbledore's office.

            At the gargoyle statue, Professor Snape gave the password and they entered Professor Dumbledore's office.

            Ron was already there, though he wasn't talking, he was fidgeting nervously with his fingers, and he was looking out the window.

            "Ah, Professor Snape, and Mr. Malfoy, what brings you two here?  As I was told, you sent Mr. Weasley here, but he has yet to tell me why."  Professor Dumbledore said.

            "I disrupted the Potions lesson, and I think he's going to kick me out.  He even brought Malfoy as a witness to prove my outburst and he can tell you as well as anybody else, why I should not be in this school."  Ron said.

            Professor Snape looked at Ron suspiciously.  Malfoy, who had entered the Headmaster's office looking angry, was now looking dumbfounded but also suspicious.

            "Is this true?"  Professor Dumbledore asked Professor Snape.

            "Why does everybody think I'm a liar?"  Ron muttered.

            Professor Snape looked at Malfoy for a moment.

            "Yes, I can't teach a Potions lesson with Mr. Weasley making comments every five seconds.  It not only disrupts the other students, it disrupts me.  I can't teach him in my classroom, therefore I don't see any other way than to expel him."  Professor Snape said.

            "Professor, you know very well that making comments every five seconds is not an excuse to expel a student, and I already made my decision not to expel Mr. Weasley.  If I had wanted Mr. Weasley expelled, he would've been gone when he threw a cauldron at your face, yet he is still here, and will remain a student at Hogwarts.  However, I know of a witch who is in need of a job, and is willing to catch Mr. Weasley up on his assignments as well as teach him Potions if you want him out of your classroom."  Professor Dumbledore said.

            "Who?"  Professor Snape asked.

            Ron gave an odd cough that sounded like, 'Your Girlfriend'.

            Professor Dumbledore seemed amuse by this, but nevertheless answered his question.

            "Ms. Watson."  Professor Dumbledore said.

            Ron did notice the weird look on Professor Snape's face.  Perhaps, Professor Snape did like her, or perhaps he was afraid of her.

            "Perhaps she could teach Mr. Potter too."  Professor Snape said.

            "I think she'll have her hands full with just Mr. Weasley."  Professor Dumbledore said.

            "Well as long as Mr. Weasley's not going to be disrupting my lessons anymore…" Professor Snape said.

            "Not until September at least."  Professor Dumbledore said with a twinkle in his eye.

            "Well then there's not anymore problems, or are there Mr. Weasley?"  Professor Snape asked.

            "Nope, I don't have you for a Professor anymore, I don't see any problems, at least not until September."  Ron said grinning.

            Ron stood up.  "Thank you Professor."  Ron said to Dumbledore and crossed the room leaving the Headmaster's office.

            Ron was starting off down the hall when Snape stopped him.

            "Weasley!"  Professor Snape called.

            Ron stopped and turned around to see Professor Snape and Malfoy walking quickly to catch up to him.

            "Why did you lie?"  Professor Snape asked.

            "Why didn't I tell Professor Dumbledore that I provoked Malfoy to try and kill me?  Because one, he didn't kill me, and two I would be in trouble, not Malfoy."  Ron said.  "I may act stupid, but I'm really not that dumb."

            "Really?  All you had to say was that he said the curse back there, Professor Dumbledore would've asked to check his wand, and it would've resulted in Mr. Malfoy's expulsion."  Professor Snape said.

            "He didn't complete the curse, you stopped him.  He didn't kill anybody.  But if Professor Dumbledore did expel him, he would've become a death eater like his father, and one of them would've gotten their revenge by killing one of the remaining members of my family.  I've got enough problems without losing another member of my family, so I lied to protect my mum, though I'm sure it won't matter anyway.  I lied for me, not Malfoy.  He doesn't owe me anything, I'm not going to blackmail him I'm not that low!"  Ron turned to Malfoy.  "However, I still refuse to apologize, although I was only joking."

            Ron turned to walk away.

            "Weasley!"  Snape called yet again.

            Ron turned around again.

            Professor Snape threw him his wand.  "I witnessed a verbal agreement that this situation was dropped.  You can no longer bring what happened in Potions up at any time."  Professor Snape said.

            "If I were going to speak about it, the only time it would matter was in Professor Dumbledore's office a few moments ago."  Ron said and he made his way to the Great Hall.

            "Are you mad?"  Dean asked Ron at dinner after overhearing Ron's conversation with Hermione.  "You could've had him expelled, and you didn't?"

            "Yea, but he proved he could kill me.  Expel him, and he'll get his revenge.  I already lost my dad because of a Malfoy.  My mum's at home all day by herself, cooking or cleaning.  She wouldn't hear anybody sneak in.  I'm not risking the lives of my family members for Malfoy to be expelled."  Ron said.

            "That's only because you don't have to be in Potions with him anymore."  Seamus joked.

            Harry entered the Great Hall, but he didn't sit down.  He got two plates of food; one for Sirius, and left the Great Hall, but not before giving meaningful looks at Ron and Hermione to follow him.

            Ron and Hermione finished their dinners quicker than they would've liked and followed Harry up to the Gryffindor common room where Sirius was.

            "What's going on?"  Ron asked.

            "We just found out who's doing the questioning at my trial."  Sirius said.

            Ron looked to Harry who looked nervous.  "Fudge?"  Ron asked praying that it wasn't him.

            "Percy."  Harry corrected.

            "Oh."  Ron said.  He remembered what Percy had said about his new job.  'Remember the one thing I'm good at.'  What was the one thing that Percy was good at that would have made Ron happy about his new position at the Ministry.  Listening…  Solving Problems… Putting pieces together in a puzzle…

            Ron smiled.  "You have nothing to worry about then."  Ron said confidently.  No wonder Ron would be happy about Percy's position.  Percy would be fair, and he would know the truth no matter what.  Sirius would be under the influence of a Veritaserum too, so there really wouldn't be a problem.

            "Ron, you know Percy… you know how he's kind of dedicated to the Ministry…" Harry said.

            "I know my brother.  Sirius won't have to worry about anything… well except how he's going to support you when he's free.  But the Ministry will probably give him a lot of money."  Ron said.

            Sirius smiled happily at that.

            "Don't get my hopes up."  Harry said.

            "Harry, trust me… A month ago, I would've told you not to, but I know Percy.  So you can start writing your farewells to the Dursley's."  Ron said.

            Harry bit his lip trying to suppress his grin.  "Ron, if you're right…"

            "I'm right."  Ron said grinning.

            "I hope so."  Harry said excitedly.  "Oh by the way, what did Dumbledore do to Malfoy?  Please tell me you milked it for all it's worth and got him expelled!"  Harry said.

            "No, listen to what this git did!"  Hermione said frustratingly.

            Ron raised his eyebrows at Hermione.

            "What did you do?"  Harry asked.

            "I lied… to protect my family."  Ron said.

            "Your mum has enough protection!"  Hermione cried.

            "Enough helped my dad a lot didn't it?"  Ron asked evenly.

            "I…" Hermione started.

            "Forget it."  Ron said.

            "What do you mean you lied?  You didn't at least get him suspended, a detention?"  Harry asked.

            "No, but I don't have Potions with Snape anymore.  His nice girlfriend will be catching me up on all of my assignments and teaching me Potions."  Ron said.

            "Snape's got a girlfriend?  Who?"  Sirius asked with interest.

            "That Hit Witch I unintentionally got fired.  Diane Watson.  She needed a job, and Professor Dumbledore reckons she's smart enough to teach me."  Ron said.

            "Wait!  Snape's seeing Diane?"  Sirius asked incredulously.

            "Er… I don't think he's actually seeing her, but I know he likes her, because he becomes almost nice when she's around."  Ron said.

            "Well who wouldn't like her?"  Sirius asked.

            "Me for one.  She left me to the dementors the night before my trial."  Ron said.

            "Wait, we're getting off track, what happened in Dumbledore's office, how did you lie?"  Harry asked.

            "I told him that I had been disrupting Snape's class and he wanted to throw me out and brought Malfoy as a witness to my disruptiveness, and Snape just took it from there."  Ron said.

            "So you've got a lifelong favor from Malfoy."  Harry said.

            "No I don't, and I wouldn't want anything from him anyway.  He didn't complete the curse, I'm not dead, and there's nothing that would've gotten Malfoy expelled."  Ron said.

            "What curse?"  Sirius asked.

            "The killing curse, Malfoy tried to kill Ron in class.  He would've succeeded, but Snape disarmed him just seconds before… And the scary part is he could've killed him too, and it wasn't anything to Ron."  Hermione said.

            "I didn't think he had it in him."  Ron said rolling his eyes.

            "If he had tried it, Dumbledore would've thrown him out."  Sirius said seriously.

            "Yea, he would've expelled him.  Malfoy just showed everyone he's capable of killing me, so if he were expelled, he would've joined his father and You-know-who and became a death eater.  He knows all he has to do is kill my mum, I'll have nowhere to go.  Crabbe or Goyle would start a fight with me, and the Minister would send me back to Azkaban.  So then I'd be responsible for my mum's death, because that would be Malfoy's revenge, and then the twins and Ginny would have nowhere…" Ron stopped speaking.

            Harry and Hermione looked at Ron who was staring at the curtain in front of him as if he were watching something.  They looked at the curtain.  Nothing interesting.

            Ron suddenly came to and gasped.  "Ginny!"  Ron ran out of the Gryffindor common room as fast as his legs would bring him, and as he had long legs and was extremely quick, he was gone in a flash.

            Harry and Hermione exchanged a look but decided to follow.

            "We'll be right back."  Harry called to Sirius.

            Harry and Hermione ran out of the common room looking for a glimpse of Ron.  There was not a sign of him being there.  "Where would Ginny be?"  Hermione asked quickly.

            "Ron!"  Harry called.

            "Downstairs."  Hermione said pulling Harry down the staircase with her explaining her guess breathlessly as they ran down the stairs.  "Ginny was at dinner with us."

            Ron was now on the fourth floor right outside the library.  He saw his sister cornered by Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle.

            "Go away!"  Ginny said struggling to get away from Malfoy who had his hands on the wall on both sides of shoulders.  She tried ducking to get away from him, but he just grabbed her arm and pushed her back up.

            "LEAVE ME ALONE!"  Ginny cried pulling her wand out of her bag.

            "Thanks."  Crabbe said taking the wand from her hand.

            Goyle pulled Ginny's bag off of her shoulder roughly.

            "Hey!"  Ginny cried.  "Put them down right now!"

            "Sure thing."  Crabbe said.

            Crabbe threw Ginny's wand over the banister.

            Goyle dumped the contents out of Ginny's bag to floors below before tossing the bag over the banister as well.

            Tears filled Ginny's eyes.

            "Let me go!"  Ginny pleaded to Malfoy as tears fell down her face.

            "Pathetic."  Malfoy said.


            Ginny covered her stinging cheek where Malfoy had hit her.  Tears fell uncontrollably down her cheeks as Crabbe and Goyle laughed at her.


            Nobody was laughing now.

            Ron had made his way down to the third floor and tackled Malfoy to the ground crashing into Crabbe and Goyle's legs on the way down so that they too would fall.

            Ginny stood stunned.  Ron got up quickly and grabbed Ginny's arm.  "Ginny, come on, let's go."  Ron said urgently.

            "My stuff, th-th-they…"

            "I'll get your stuff.  Just go to the common room, all right?"  Ron asked as they climbed the stairs quickly.

            "What happened?"  Hermione asked as she and Harry met them on the stairs.

            "Take Ginny to the common room, will you?"  Ron asked.

            "What hap-"

            "Just take her to the common room, please!"  Ron snapped.

            "Come on Ginny."  Harry said and started running back up the stairs.

            Ron thought a moment.  He couldn't afford a confrontation with Malfoy if he wanted to get Ginny's things, which he needed to do.  It seemed as though they were already racing for her things.  Five years here, Ron knew there had to be some way to get downstairs without using the stairs, or at least the main stairs.  There were staircases in certain rooms, like in order to get to Dumbledore's office; maybe there was a back way to get downstairs.  Ron couldn't afford to hope to find a way now he needed to get going.  Ron thought another moment and then acted without thinking any longer.

            Ron jumped on the banister to the staircase praying that he wouldn't fall, although it would be a quicker way down… Ron rolled over deliberately and flew to the ground putting his hands down to break his fall…

            Crack!  He fell hard onto his arm.  He felt the bone in his arm snap and his arm dislocate as he fell.

            Ron sat up, and his butt hurt too.  He couldn't have broken his butt!  Ron stood up with sharp pains jolting his body.  Ron bit his lip and grabbed his wand (with his thankfully unbroken right arm), of all things, not broken and used the summoning spell to collect Ginny's bag and wand.  He found her papers and books and put them back inside Ginny's bag.  Unfortunately there had been an inkbottle in the bag and the bottle had broken and the ink had spilled all over the floor.  Ron repaired the inkbottle and used a cleaning spell to remove the ink from the floor.  He summoned anything else that might've spilled but he seemed to have had everything.

            "You know, you Weasley's really are pathetic."  Malfoy said nastily from behind Ron.

            "What were you saying Malfoy?"  Fred called from the doors of the Great Hall.

            "I think he was saying he wanted us to beat him up."  George said.

            "That's what I heard."  Lee said.

            "I don't know, I think he kind of wants Angelina to beat him up like last time…" Fred said.

            "Oh Angelina!"  Lee said loudly.

            Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle quickly left for the dungeons.

            "Hey, Ron, are you all right?"  Fred asked concernedly.

            "No."  Ron said.

            "What's wrong?"  George asked.

            "I think I broke my butt."  Ron said.

            "Yes, Mr. Weasley, not only have you managed to dislocate your arm and break it, you have also managed to break your tailbone.  Be grateful it wasn't your neck."  Madam Pomfrey said.

            "He seriously broke his butt?"  Lee asked.

            "Mr. Jordan, Mr. Weasley has broken the bone in his butt, called the tailbone, and I can assure you it is very painful."  Madam Pomfrey snapped.

            "Well can you please just heal it so I can bring my sister her stuff… I mean I did break my butt to get it for her."  Ron said.

            "Drink this."  Madam Pomfrey said handing Ron a goblet.

            Ron gulped down the potion and looked disgusted.

            Madam Pomfrey muttered three spells, and Ron's bones mended properly in an instant.

             "Thanks."  Ron said.  Ron went to sit up, but gasped in pain.  "I thought you fixed my butt bone."

            "I did, but I don't doubt it's bruised, and the only thing that will heal that is time."  Madam Pomfrey said.

            "Right."  Ron said biting his bottom lip as he got out of bed.  He grabbed Ginny's bag and wand and made his way to Gryffindor tower with Lee, Fred, and George.

            Ron entered the common room to find Ginny sitting restlessly in a chair in the corner of the room by a window fidgeting with a hem in the bottom of her sweater.  There was a slight gray bruise across her right cheek where Malfoy had hit her.  Her face was still tear-stained, and she looked exhausted.

            Harry and Hermione were in the two armchairs in front of the fire looking at their watches every now, but mostly reading or writing essays.

            Ron saw Sirius teaching Angelina, Alicia, and Katie some sort of charm or curse that they could use on the Slytherins or maybe even Fred and George.  The Gryffindors all trusted Sirius, and they loved listening to stories about his years at Hogwarts with all the pranks he pulled on Snape.

            "Gin, I got your stuff.  I think it's all here."  Ron said wincing with every step he took.  He handed Ginny her wand and her bag.

            Ginny looked down in her bag and then back up at her brother.  "Are you all right?  What did Malfoy do to you?"  Ginny asked.

            "Genius here is responsible for injuring himself."  Fred said laughing.

            "What did you do?"  Ginny asked.

            "I slid down the banister, but figured it was quicker if I just fell.  I thought I could break my fall with my hands, but my butt didn't see it that way."  Ron said.

            "He broke his butt."  Lee laughed.  "But it's okay because in Ron's world, he can fall four stories and not injure himself in anyway, because his hands will break his fall." 

            "You should go to Madam Pomfrey."  Ginny said.

            "Already did.  She can't do anything for bruised butts."  George laughed.

            Ron rolled his eyes.

            "Gin, are you all right?"  Ron asked looking at the bruise on the side of her face.

            "Yes."  Ginny said looking down; her hair fell in front of her face.  Ron knew she wasn't all right.

            "All right, you know the spell to turn yourself back, right?  Maybe you should transfigure the chair into a cat again, just to be safe."  Professor Watson said nervously one evening two weeks later when tutoring Ron.

            "I can do this, I know I can."  Ron said.

            "All right then…" Professor Watson said hesitantly.

            Ron closed his eyes and saw himself, and then he saw the red fox.  Concentrating on the animal, Ron muttered the spell and he began changing.  His bones were shrinking… He was becoming closer to the ground… Such a weird sensation was going through his body.  Ron opened his eyes.  He looked up and saw a very happy Professor staring at him.  He could smell everything in the room, and hear extremely well too.

            Ron trotted around the room smelling everything from dust to the Professor's perfume, and stepped out into the hallway to listen for anybody.  He heard the softest footsteps and then smelled… a cat.  Mrs. Norris was coming around the corner.  A hand pulled Ron back in the class by the scruff of his neck.

            "Change back now."  Professor Watson said.

            Ron concentrated and suddenly grew into his body again.

            "That was the coolest thing!"  Ron said excitedly.

            "Thank God you're human again."  Professor Watson said with a laugh.

            "You didn't believe I could do that."  Ron said.  "I could smell and hear everything I never would've been able to otherwise.  It was so weird!"

            "That's Animagi for you.  You should register when you're older."  Professor Watson said.

            "Did I look like a fox, or could you still see my robes?"  Ron asked.

            "Sounds like you don't have confidence in yourself.  I didn't correct you, did I?  It was as if you had just come out of the forest."  Professor Watson said happily.

            There was a knock on the classroom door.  Ron opened it to find Remus Lupin.

            "Professor?"  Ron asked, confused.

            "Hello, Ron, but I'm not a Professor anymore, so Remus will do just fine."  Remus said.

            "So you haven't come back to teach?"  Ron asked.

            "Unfortunately not.  How have you been?"  Remus asked.

            "All right."  Ron said.

            "Remus, what brings you here?"  Professor Watson asked interrupting Ron and Remus.

            "Sirius, I've come to relay the trial news to Professor Dumbledore, and he's informed me that you're a teacher here, and I just wanted to stop by and say hi."  Remus said.

            Ron could see the strong connection between the two pairs of eyes and didn't want to ruin the moment, but didn't want to watch it either.  He started ever so slowly towards the door, but stopped as Professor Watson leaned in towards Remus and kissed him.  Ron's jaw dropped.  Ron edged out of the classroom.

            "RON GET BACK IN HERE, RIGHT NOW!"  Professor Watson shouted.

            Ron entered the room grinning.  "I was just going to get Madam Pomfrey, but I see you've revived him."  Ron said.

            "Ron…" Professor Watson said warningly.

            "I was just kidding.  I was going to give you two some privacy and then I was going to go get Snape.  Heaven knows he'd be pissed.  Professor Lupin's always getting what Snape wants I mean first his job, then his crush.  Damn, now I know why Snape's so sour all the time."  Ron said.

            "Watch your language!"  Professor Watson said warningly.

            "I'm sorry."  Ron said honestly.  "Professor, what happened to Sirius?  Did my brother do all right?"

            "I'm no longer your Professor."  Remus said.

            "When I leave here and see any of my Professors in Hogsmeade or something, I'm still going to refer to them as my Professors."  Ron said.

            "That's because they'll still be teaching."  Remus argued.

            "Not McGonagall, she's old, by the time I finally get out of here, she'll have retired."  Ron said.

            "But I'm not a Professor Ron."  Remus said.

            "But you were.  And you should be too.  You should ask to help Professor Watson with teaching me.  She only teaches me two days of week, and I still have a lot to catch up on, and you're a good Professor."  Ron said.

            "I'm not a Professor anymore."  Remus said.

            "Well you should be.  Seriously, you should help teach me.  It's not like you'd be teaching the whole school, so no parents would complain, and I'm not really a bad student.  I'm lazy, but I work for Professor Watson."  Ron said.

            "I'll talk to Dumbledore."  Remus said lazily.

            "Seriously, because you're a really good teacher."  Ron said.  "Speaking of Sirius, what happened?  And how did my brother do?" 

            "Your brother saved Sirius' life.  He had Sirius put under the Veritaserum and everything was told.  Sirius is now looking for a house for him and Harry in Hogsmeade.  Your brother ordered the Ministry to pay Sirius more money than they have.  They're going to be paying Sirius a lot of money over the years."  Remus said.

            "I knew he'd come through."  Ron said happily.  "Professor Watson, you should let me go interrupt Snape's class so I can go tell Harry.  I promise not to say a word about you kissing Professor Lupin, but he ought to know about Sirius.  And I could give you two more time to do whatever."

            "I think I'd better tell him."  Remus said.

            "Are you going to talk to Dumbledore?"  Ron asked.

            "Yes, I will tell him your request."  Remus said.

            "Wait!  I only asked, because I thought you wanted to teach."  Ron said.

            "And I do."  Remus said.

            Ron smiled.

            "Tell Harry I was right about Percy!"  Ron called before Remus left.

This is the end of the story of Ron's life and the summer that he was misunderstood.

Author's Note: This is really the end.  I'm sorry if you're not satisfied, but that's how I want to end it.  It's better than the other abrupt endings in my opinion.  I really appreciate every review I received!  You reviewers made my days, and I'm glad if you enjoyed my story.  I'm terribly sorry if you didn't.

Here are some answers to any questions you might have about my story.

If you're wondering why Mr. Malfoy didn't have a trial my reasoning is that he was probably unavailable at the time and couldn't be found as he was working for the Dark Lord, and he may have paid money to the Ministry to put off the trial.

If you're wondering why Fudge is still the Minister my reasoning is because I think he'll be Minister until he's killed, which didn't happen in my story.

If you're wondering if Professor Lupin returned to help tutor Ron, know that the answer is yes, at least in my fic.

If you're wondering if Professor Lupin and Professor Watson got together, know that they did in my fic.

If you're wondering if Harry left the Dursley's, know that he did.

As for Ron, he did go home to the burrow for the summer, though he did spend many nights in Hogsmeade over Harry's (Sirius') house.