Wow. It seems all things really do come to an end. Exams, terms and stories all done at the same time, or close enough as makes no difference…
It's a fond farewell from us to ST, for a while at least, we're off gallivanting, for some or all of the summer, and we have other fanfic projects to pursue before we return to it.
Remember our first summary? The one where we implied the Dream Team would have a good time? Well, we had a promise to keep to Ron…
So, a quote:
"In the end, everything is a gag" - Charlie Chaplin
Epilogue: Hair Today
Ron Weasley was not the least fortunate of his family, not by a considerable stretch. His mother was in Azkaban, the twins were insane and his poor father lived next door to Snape. Ron repressed a shiver. Oh, and no-one knew what had happened to Percy, but everyone was sure it was bad. Nevertheless, Ron was not impressed by his rather copious amounts of ill fortune.
Hit by the sidekick curse, and forced to forever follow Harry like a bad smell, Ron couldn't settle down until Harry did, which seemed unlikely ever to happen. Even worse were the visions he occasionally got – migraine inducing flashes of other times and places. He had wondered if this was a side effect of the curse Avery had used making him dependant on Harry, since visions are a suitable sidekick-y trait, but after a long period of introspection, Ron had realised the visions had been with him since his magic manifested, and he had simply written them off as flights of fancy and the like.
Although, these were becoming less and less frequent of late. Ron didn't know whether to throw a party or to worry. The absence of migraines was nice, but the lack of visions left rather a hole in his life.
To top it all off, he was going bald. It wasn't fair – he was only twenty-five and all his brothers and his dad still had full heads of vividly red hair. Considering his mother's track record for keeping secrets, Ron had almost convinced himself that he wasn't a Weasley either, but then he realised that male pattern baldness was maternally inherited, and he was fairly sure that Molly did indeed give birth to him – after all, there had been witnesses.
Luckily for Ron, the Wizarding World had better solutions to this problem than the Muggle one. Magical toupees were almost impossible to discern, and no amount of Accios or Finite Incantatems would dislodge them against their owner's wishes. Not even magical eyes such as Moody's could tell the difference, since a magical toupee could only replicate the natural colour of the Wizard in question's hair, and had no Dark Arts implications there was simply no need. Even better, the items were free, since dignity was just as important to Wizards as oxygen, or possibly, in the case of older purebloods, more so. A simple and anonymous order form needed to be filled in and a toupee would be delivered the very same day.
There had been experimentation using Wizard hair in toupees, but there had been huge and unavoidable frictions caused between the magical signature of the hair and the head, causing some rather unpleasant results. As such, they had resorted to the least magical creatures in all the Earth, and toupees were now made of horse hair.
The day dawned bright and sunny, but Ron wasn't up to see it. By the time he hauled himself out of bed most of the morning was long gone. He wasn't just terminally lazy; there had been some kind of strange ritual involving the burning of aquatic transportation devices by very drunk people going on outside into the early hours of the morning, so it hadn't exactly been easy to sleep…
He stumbled in the direction of coffee. It was almost ironic really, he mused, that the most widely used spell in the Wizarding world was to create copious amounts of boiling water, and yet every wizard's first choice in a fight to the death with evil was Stupify. He wondered if it was due to some deep seated and poorly understood physiological reason, or if people were just too stupid to see what was right in front of their faces as Snape had always claimed. At the time, of course, Ron had always sniggered and replied, 'there's no missing what's in front of his face – his nose is enormous!', but now he was an adult and didn't do that any more. He giggled at the memory though. Ron decided that philosophy didn't suit him, and resolved never to ponder again.
He was distracted from this train of thought, or more accurately, stream of consciousness, by his owl arriving, clutching a parcel wrapped in non-descript brown paper, and covered with notice-me-not spells. His toupee had arrived, dignity gift-wrapped. This day was shaping up to be pretty good.
He proudly placed the toupee on his head, and watched in the mirror as it changed colour to Weasley red, and styled itself to best frame his face. A quick tug confirmed that the toupee was indeed in place, and was likely to stay there – it was secured with the same sticking spell that kept Mrs Black on the wall at Grimmauld Place.
Ron beamed, and sat down to a leisurely breakfast of kippers and chocolate ice cream. He had just put the first mouthful in his… mouth, when it hit him. Initially, he just assumed the ache in his head was brain freeze, and he should wait to let his ice cream warm up a bit before trying again, when the vision came.
Swirls of colour and the unmistakable scent of tension hit him. There was a bang, and all of a sudden he was running as hard as he could, carrying someone on his back. They were screaming at him, urging him to run faster, they were almost there if he could just go. And so he did. The others that had been running alongside him were left behind, and there was a clear field ahead. He ran until he was spent, and with a last burst of speed, sprinted over a line. He knew that it was ok to stop now, must be wards of some kind. As he woke, he heard an announcement briefly, someone must have left a radio on, he surmised,
"And Wonder Weasel comes from nowhere to win the Aintree Martell Grand National 2005! What a surprise! The people who backed that beauty will certainly be celebrating tonight at odds of 1000-1. Lucky devils, you'd have to be able to see the future to see that one coming…"
The voice faded, and Ron returned to consciousness to find himself head first into his breakfast, covered in flakes of kipper and chocolate mush. His initial puzzlement at what exactly he was supposed to do with this vision melted in a fashion similar to his ice cream when he realised that the Grand National, followed by Wizard and Muggle alike, started in three hours time. Pausing briefly to wipe his face, he headed out to the bookies, stopping at Gringotts first to empty his vault.
He put everything he had on Wonder Weasel, and just smiled knowingly at the woman behind the counter who gave him a sympathetic look. She confided to him that the only other person to bet on that horse in the whole of magical Britain was a D. Malfoy, and he'd only done it because of some, and she quoted "silly childhood nickname thing". And everyone knew he had more money than sense, after all, didn't his family claim to have an invisible desk? So why didn't he bet on Amberleigh House, last year's winner? He politely declined.
Almost three hours later, Ron returned to Gringotts to deposit a thousand times what he had left it with. He grinned like a loon, but the Goblins weren't about to complain.
The visions reoccurred, though now their focus was almost always on big races, and always in time for Ron to see the winner and place a bet. He was investigated briefly by the Ministry, who suspected him of cheating but couldn't prove a thing. After all, since visions aren't controlled by the seer it isn't their fault if all they see is a way to make money. Not that Ron told them about his visions. He just invented a ridiculously long winded system using his old divination homework and a stray crystal ball that he rolled across the parchments to 'find out' which horse would win. Ironically enough, they believed him, and a year later, the FOG prediction kit was the best selling divination tool in the country, and on the Hogwarts Equipment List.
Ron finally came to a conclusion about the shift in emphasis of his visions. The visions had been linked to his hair. (This conclusion isn't as far fetched as it would seem, after all, didn't Samson have hair issues too?) A full head of hair, he concluded, meant regular visions, which was proved when he locked himself in his house for a week and removed the toupee. No visions at all. They returned full force when he replaced the hair piece.
This also went some way to explaining the races he was seeing. The 'piece was made from horse hair, so it was channelling his seer powers into seeing the future of important horses – champions of their species. It was just a lucky side effect that he got to rake it in.
Despite his previous misgivings, Ron once more began to ponder. It was a hard life being ginger, so it stood to reason, he supposed, that as soon as he started to lose his hair his fortunes would improve.
Ten years later, Ron was richer than the Malfoys and bald as a coot. The toupee was safely stored in a private vault at Gringotts. There was no point being greedy after all…
That's it. We're done. Seerius Trouble is finished at long last.
Hannon lle, and well met. Until next time darlings.
A little thank you to all our reviewers, you'll never know how much it means to us that you took the time to review...unless you write fanfic yourself, when you evidently do. SO just ignore the whole last sentence.
To Lady Slone and Rising Waves, thank you for the review, you started well, but sadly fell at the first hurdle. Namely leaving more than one review. Glad I wasn't your jockey.
To Sniffles...well your reviews were fair to middling, so a good complement to our story...no really, our heartfelt appreciation for your time.
To psychoweegie and Dragon Rider. Yep we're crazy. But then so are you. Wouldn't it be crazy if we could all be crazy together.
To Olivia Wood - sorry about how it ended for Percy. But, y'know if you have to endure endless torment, there's worse ways than being the coolest desk in exsistence.
To Silverthreads. Anyone who can use Juxtaposition in a sentence, and make sense, is reassuringly academic. For your next task you should try to do better that including in a University essay 'a herculean task' or 'pharmacologically significant location'. Those have been our two gems of pretensiousness this year.
To John Clease and Harry's Underpants. We know where you live. No-one expects the Spanish Inquisition, so we won't come dressed in natty red uniforms now...
And last, but definitely NOT LEAST
Miss Wiccan PussyKat. What can we say? We have honoured you in fiction, immortalised you in story and will sing your praises until someone tells us to shut up. Considering I can't sing....might not be so long. You are a dream reviewer - we love the way you quote our best lines back at us. And you should go read her story.
Yes, that's it. Review here, go look at your pretty review, and follow the link to PK's bio page and find her story there.
Are you still here?