The Man Who Wasn't There
(A Companion piece to 'Lost in Parasomnia')
A/N I will attempt to keep the narrative as independent of the original as possible but still recommend to new readers who stumble upon this fic to first read Lost In Parasomnia...if for nothing else then to enjoy the most evil cliff-hanger I've ever written (and this is the woman who actually had Ron jump off a cliff in one of her fics!) So please enjoy and if you are one of the wonderful souls who review it would be a great help if you could tell me whether you are reading this pre or post LIP, although this obviously doesn't apply to my regulars, thanks a lot!
Dedication - This is for Wayne and Amy in Australia.
The people who make the biggest difference in our lives are the ones you least expect. So for everybody who loves and relates to Ron Weasley...this is yours as well. Shari
"C'mon Ronniekins, time to go walkies!"
"He's not a dog!"
"He knows I'm only teasing."
"Well be nice about it, we've only got half an hour and we need him to be in a good mood so he just comes with us and doesn't ask more questions."
"I hate it when you make a valid point."
"Ah well it's a foreign concept to you isn't it?"
He was trying to ignore them, he really was, just like him mummy had told him to. Ignore them and they'll go away she would always say after tucking him into bed at night and he would always frown and ask her 'ignore who?' and she would just look sad and kiss him goodnight. Now he knew what she had been talking about. They were here and they were trying to wake him up. He had been awake ever since the twins arrived and he tried to stay as still as possible and keep his eyes closed and hoped that they would go away as promised.
"Molls," one of the twins grumbled, "she's working on him before he goes to bed, I told you she'd notice straight away."
"Well you've hardly been subtle with him have you? We never get caught when I'm showing him the way."
"No but we get lost!"
Ron had enough of this, he let out a frustrated growl, like a baby fox cub attempting ferocity for the first time in its life, and opened his eyes and sat up in bed.
"Go away!" he grumbled.
The pair of bickering red heads turned to look at him and their faces lit up.
"Ah there you are little man Prewitt, nice of you to join us this evening, come on get out of bed and follow me."
The twins moved to the bedroom door and waited eagerly for him to join them. He knew who they were but couldn't quite work out why they were here. He also knew that he couldn't get out of bed even if he had wanted to, his mother had put several charms on the bed and on the room as a whole to prevent him from going on his night time wanders, and he decided to point this out to his over enthusiastic uncles.
"But mum's done magic on me so I can't go sleepwalking anymore, I have to stay here."
Fabian Prewitt let out a huff and turned to his twin brother with annoyance.
"Why is she doing this Gids? She knows it's us, she knows we'd look after him, we have been looking after him."
Gideon Prewitt was about to respond to his brother when Ron pushed back the covers and sat up a little more before interrupting him.
"Uncle Fabian," the twins looked at their little nephew and Fabian smiled.
"What is it Ronnie?" he asked while his brother looked annoyed at all this time wasting.
"Mummy told me you were dead."
He kept the same smile on his face and nodded.
"Yeah Ron, we both are."
"But I'm talking to you."
Fabian smiled again, a little broader this time, and took a step closer.
"That's because we're special, the three of us, mummy's family are special people and we can do things like that. We can break wards and charms without wands as well see?" Fabian waved his hand and nodded at Ron to do the same with his.
A swirl of magical power flowed from Fabian into Ron and he sent it out through his fingertips and felt the charms on himself and the door dissolve.
"Wow!" he gasped.
"Now I can explain it to you some more if you like but we need to take you outside and show you something."
"Yeah Ronnie," Gideon said, smiling at Ron himself now and extending his hand in Ron's direction, "we're going to go looking for buried treasure!"
Ron grinned and bounced off the bed.
"Like pirates?" he said, the Weasley sense of adventure and the Prewitt gift mingling into one unstoppable eight year old boy.
"Yeah," Gideon grinned, as if finally seeing the person he wanted to see before his eyes instead of the confused little mummy's boy he had been letting Fabian deal with up to this point, "but we need you to help us find it Ron, you're the only one who can help us find the treasure and make your family rich and happy. You don't like being poor do you Ronnie?"
Ron was shaking his head sadly while Fabian scowled and hissed at his brother.
"Gids that's not nice, she's doing her best you know that."
"Well it isn't good enough Fabian!" Ron jumped as he saw his uncle Gideon snap back at his twin before putting the smile back on his face and bending over to talk to Ron again, "Mummy wants us to help her, and for us to be able to help her you need to help us, and you want to help mummy don't you Ron?"
Ron nodded and walked over to the bedroom door to let the three of them out.
"Low Gids," Fabian was saying, "you're sinking low these days."
"We want to find our stash as soon as possible and we can't keep talking to him as often as we have been...you know what'll happen."
"We agreed never to go past fifteen nights, play it extra safe 'cause he's only a kid, we agreed on that Gids."
Ron opened the door and watched his uncles arguing over him before one of them glanced out the door and jumped with shock.
"Do you seriously think I'd...Whoa shit!" Gideon flinched.
"Um Ron can you look out into the hall and say the words 'go to bed' for me please?" Fabian asked the bewildered little boy calmly.
Ron didn't know what was going on but followed the instructions nevertheless.
"Go to bed."
He looked back at his uncles for their approval and Fabian nodded and smiled. Gideon bent over and whispered to him.
"Pretend its Ginny standing there and she wants to come with us. We don't want her to come and we don't want her to tell on us for going so make her think you're just going for a glass of water ok?"
Ron nodded and looked back out at the empty hallway and tried to picture Ginny in front of him, bugging him to know what was going on.
"I'm going to get a glass of water, go back to bed and leave me alone, and don't wake anybody. Be quiet."
"Good boy. Now come on, let's go."
He felt warm hands around his shoulders and he heard his mother screaming, that was what made Ron finally decide to open his eyes.
"Blankets, quickly Percy, and Arthur give me your coat!"
He saw brilliant white everywhere around him and felt himself being lifted up and smothered in warm dry fabric. That was when he realised that he was actually very cold and quite wet. He wanted to ask his mother what was going on but he couldn't speak, he could only shiver.
"Mummy is he dead? I'm sorry mummy, he told me he was getting a drink and not to tell anyone, he's not dead is he?" Ginny's voice was filled with tears and sniffles.
"Fred, George, I told you to keep her inside!" Ron heard his mother screech while his body began to bob along rapidly, he thought he was being carried.
"We heard you screaming and...Mum he's not dead is he?" George asked, sounding far away.
Ron's eyes were heavy and he tried to sink further into the blanket that was wrapped tightly around him to sleep and he jerked up and down quite harshly. Whoever was carrying him was obviously running now.
"Get her back inside boys," Ron's father's voice made him jump as it yelled out directly above him, "light a fire and one of you floo St Mungo's and ask for a mediwizard to come to the Burrow immediately."
"I'll do it dad," Percy's voice said and Ron didn't want to stay awake any more.
"Ron! Ron, it's dad," he felt himself being shaken and opened his eyes, they were inside the Burrow now, he was beside a roaring fire and his mother and Ginny were both crying in another room somewhere, "Ron stay awake for me please, just until the mediwizard gets here, can you do that for me?"
Ron tried to nod but his eyes were closing again.
"Oi Ron, the Chudley Cannons are crap!" one of the twins shouted out and he blinked and looked around the room for them but could only see his father's face looking down at him.
"That's it Ron, that's my boy, why'd you go wandering off in the snow like that eh? You're freezing cold," his father smiled and began to rub Ron's arms and legs vigorously.
"D-D-Dad?" he tried to speak, to find out what on earth was going on? The last thing he remembered was snuggling into his bed and promising his mother he would ignore anybody who tried to wake him up.
"That's it son, you're going to be ok, you'll just have a nasty cold for a little while won't you? You're fine, everything's going to be fine," his father was beginning to shake now.
Ron wondered whether his father was cold too and tried to share his blanket with him.
"No no you keep yourself covered up, keep yourself nice and warm there and Percy'll be here with the mediwizard any second now."
As soon as his father had spoken those words the fireplace blazed green and Percy and a healer Ron had seen before when part of his tongue had been burnt away by one of the twin's pranks stepped out and brushed themselves down.
"Arthur, your boy tells me he's been out there all night, have you tried to warm him?"
Ron felt more warm hands on his skin and looked at Percy who was trying to smile at him before his eyelids felt heavy again.
"Just blankets and we lit the fire but Molly was saying something about not warming him too fast...his heart, she said something about stopping his heart so we waited."
"Good, she was right, here let me see him properly."
Ron felt the warmth of the coat and the blankets leave him and his ever present shiver worsened.
"My word, he wasn't out there dressed like this was he?" the healer gasped.
"He was sleepwalking, he was barefoot in the snow and I've been rubbing his feet but they're awfully pale, is there something I can do to...?" Ron's father asked frantically before being interrupted.
"Why don't you set him down for me and take the children next door with their mother? I'll get started and you can look after the rest of your family alright Arthur?"
Ron felt a hand linger upon his own and he drifted off to sleep again.
He only heard one thing while he was sleeping off his hypothermia that day.
"Oh shit Gids, what did we do?"
"If we weren't dead already Molls would kill us."