A/N: Ron Stone and Sphinx had been warned about the knot in their future even before they cast the spell that would link them. They discussed it and went ahead and did it, knowing the dangers. They also made another agreement, within their link. They would all write letters to their families, to be delivered only if something happened to them. This is Ron's letter.
Letters from Beyond the Veil
Mr. Stone looked at the parchment in his hands, hesitating. He had picked up the letter several times since Sphinx had brought Ron home, but he'd never had the courage to open it. Richard March had handed it to him the day they brought Ron home. "Ron wrote this, Sir, in case something happened to him. He asked that I deliver to you." Mr. Stone had numbly taken the letter and placed it on his desk.
They had buried Ron this morning, and his mother was finally sleeping in the next room. She'd taken the death of their oldest child hard, not really accepting it until she saw him lowered into the ground today. He quit avoiding the reality of the letter and opened it. Two separate parchments fell out, one dated almost three years ago, and one dated this summer. Mr. Stone picked up the older letter and examined it.
The ink on this part of the letter is faded, and the parchment has creases in it, as if it had been folded up and put away for some time. Mr. Stone opened it slowly and began to read.
Earlier today I cast a spell, linking me with five other people. You know about Manticore by now, as I have come home for the last time. You know why Manticore was formed, and what we face. I hope you understand why I had to do this, even though I couldn't tell you about it.
I cannot see the future, and I do not know what happened to me, but somebody does, and James Evans will make sure you know what happened. We were told that if we joined Manticore, there was a place in our futures where our Seer could not see what would happen to us clearly. We all discussed it and decided to join anyway.
We had a lot of different reasons, and I am certain that at least a couple of the others had reasons that they didn't state, even as I had one that I didn't mention. On the wall of our house is a picture of Uncle Norman and his family, six people I never met since they were killed in the Voldemort war.
Our Seer says that Sphinx will be good for the Manticores right up until the knot in our futures, and it may be something we do that keeps more families from having pictures like ours. This knot, this possibility in front of us is three years away, and it is not certain that anything will happen at all. We could all die, some of us could die or nothing at all could happen. I will not back down because of a possibility. This Yank, James Evans came to Hogwarts knowing that if he was one of the Soul bonded, he would be dead before he turned twenty-seven. Not could be, would be.
With that as an example, how can I turn away and let others die?
Don't get me wrong, this thing we're doing is scary, but I would not be able to look in a mirror if I walked away.
I love you all and I hope you understand why I did this, and why I couldn't tell any of you about what I am doing. Please, be safe, because when it comes right down to it, that is why I am here now, to keep you all safe.
You loving son and brother,
Mr. Stone wiped away tears, and carefully folded the letter, putting it away for saving. He picked up the second one, looking at it. It is newer, and the date on it is the last day of the previous school year. The writing has changed as well, being firmer, more precise and heavier.
Tomorrow, Manticore will leave on a mission, a real mission, not the training of the last two years. Sphinx has been told that we can go to America on the training mission with the unattached Manticores if we wish, as the knot that befuddles the Seer's sight is right in the middle of our mission.
James has asked us to go to America personally, and we turned him down. We will go on this mission. You have met all of my team, and you know them. We sat down and discussed it quite seriously before making the decision.
In the end, we chose to go into the giant lands for one reason. The Manticores are our comrades, and we cannot desert them when they need us. What we go to do is dangerous, and if we sat it out, we could cause the mission to fail.
We chose to go, because we could not face the consequences if we didn't go and someone died. James and Tiffany may live out their entire lives, if this thing we do works, instead of dying before they are thirty and yet, when we told him about it, James' first response was to say no, we're not going.
He felt that the chance of one of us being hurt was not worth fifty years of life to him. Rose had to threaten to drag him up there in chains to get him to agree to it. This is someone who will do anything to help us, and I cannot let him down when he needs me.
I also need to know that my team and I can do what we need to do, before the war begins, and this is the only way to do it. We have trained, sweated and sometimes bled for this, and now, we have to do it.
You are my family and I love you all. Manticore is also my family, and I will help them in any way I can, without counting the cost. Richard, Sharon, Maynard, Alex and James are my family, as much as if they were your children. You fought in the Voldemort war, father, and you know the bonds that form between people fighting for a cause. I go into this danger, not for thrills or adventure, but because someone has to, and we stand the best chance of coming back.
Hopefully, you will never see this note, but if something happens, remember that I love you all, and that I would risk far more than mere death to keep you safe.
Your loving son and brother,