This takes place the night of the First Task after Harry and Ron are friends again. Harry is asleep. Ron is not.
More Than Just Six of Seven
I should never have doubted him. What was I thinking? How could I have ever thought he could lie to me like that? Hermione was right, I was jealous…I hate it when she's right.
I glance over at him. He's fast asleep in his bed. Well, I suppose I would be pretty exhausted myself if I had just avoided becoming a dragon's dinner. One hand over his forehead…that's the way he always sleeps…almost as if he were trying to protect himself from his nightmares. I can't see his scar but it's there. Always a reminder of how stupid I was when I first met him, asking if he really had that scar. It was an idiotic thing to do but I was so overwhelmed to meet The-Boy-Who-Lived that I failed to see Harry himself. Sure, he smiled and showed it to me and I remember making some lame comment about it but I felt pretty awful about it afterwards. I still do.
Luckily I don't see the scar that often. Usually it's well covered by that mop of black hair on his head. Can't imagine having to see that everyday and know what it means…that you were lucky and your parents weren't. I never did get to see his parents in the Mirror of Erised and, thinking back, why would I? It's his deepest desire, not mine. I mean, I would really like to meet his parents but it's not my deepest desire…not by a long shot.
Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be the only Weasley child. I remember when I was really small, trying to remember all my brothers' names and getting them all mixed up…especially Fred and George although even Mum does that once in a while. I have so much to live up to. I mean each of my brothers seems to be some kind of legendary figure in some way or another.
Bill, the renowned curse-breaker at Gringotts. Travels everywhere. Doesn't give a fig for anyone who looks down on his long hair and dragon-tooth earring. Has an exciting job. Was Head Boy at Hogwarts. I guess he's good looking…the girls seem to think so. Hey, I'm just his brother. What do I know?
Charlie, the dragon tamer. Yeah, I saw how a lot of the seventh year girls were looking at him today. As if they wanted to have him for dinner. Could have played quidditch for England but decided that it was safer working with dragons. He was Captain of the Gryffindor quidditch team that won the House Cup. Another one with a wicked job.
Percy. Yeah, I admit he's an annoying git sometimes but he was Head Boy too and respected by all the professors…even Snape, who doesn't' respect anyone…least of all a Gryffindor. He has a model girlfriend in Penelope and a long career ahead of him in the Ministry. They'll probably get married, have 2.2 children, 3 broomsticks and a comfortable little house somewhere.
Fred and George. Kind of hard to think of one without the other. Everyone loves them…well, anyone who's not a Slytherin. They are fun to be with, full of energy and boy can they come up with some wicked pranks. I think sometimes that everyone is nice to them because they don't want to be on the receiving end of their latest inventions.
Even Ginny has the distinction of being the only girl in our family and she survived being possessed by Riddle in her first year. All the others in her year look at her with something bordering on awe. I still can't accept the fact that she's not my 5-year old kid sister anymore. She's growing up…a teenager now finishing third year. Somehow, I don't think kid sisters should be allowed to grow up quite like that.
And she has a crush on Harry. I smile in spite of myself and glance at Harry again. She's way too young for that sort of thing but…it would be kind of nice to have Harry in the family…well, in a more official sense I guess. Mum treats him just like one of her own kids and, yeah, he is kind of like a brother to me. I just wish I felt better about things right now. I should have known better and I should have listened to her.
My heart skips a beat.
My other best friend.
What is it between Hermione and me?
She's like this puzzle that I can't figure out. Part of the time we are great together…all three of us. We can fight the worst evil known to the wizarding world. We can stick up for one another against all those Slytherins and we have a lot of fun together. Part of the time she is so frustrating because she is so into reading and marks and how to read to get more marks. It's enough to make you go crazy. And then…
And then, part of the time, it's like she's just…I don't know…different. Like she is the girl I know so well but want to know even better. Sometimes I just watch her go up to her dorm and try to think of something that will make her stay with me just a little longer. It doesn't make any sense…it flusters me and that's when I usually get into an argument with her about some stupid thing like NEWTs or OWLs…we are so good at arguing. Harry says we are complete opposites.
But opposites attract, don't they?
It hasn't been all that easy for her, especially in second year. That really scared me. Seeing her in the infirmary, barely alive, I don't think I have ever really gotten over that…it changed things somehow…dunno…
I mean, she is really smart…no doubt about that. Who else could get more than 100% in Potions? I mean…Potions…Potions with Snape!! But that's not it…I…I kind of think she's pretty…sort of…she has this cute way of chewing on her quill when she is thinking really hard about something. I mean, I'm not the only one who notices that, am I? Well, it's not as if I would tell her that. She'd fry me with two slices of bacon if I actually said that to her.
I smile because I have just thought of something funny…Malfoy fried with his two slices of bacon, Crabbe and Goyle. Now there is a slimy git if I ever saw one. Lording it over everyone because he's a stinking Malfoy with gobs of rotten money to waste. I hate him. I hate his family. I hate how he makes me feel worthless. I am not worthless.
"I am not worthless!" I shout in anger, shaking my fist at the imaginary Malfoy standing in front of me.
Harry wakes up and looks around in confusion. He looks so different without his glasses on.
"Ron? What's going on. We being attacked?" he asks while yawning.
"You must have had a nightmare, Harry," I say, "Go back to sleep…we have double Potions tomorrow and we don't want to give Snape any reason to dock a million points from Gryffindor. You know he's going to be itching to do it after what you did today."
He smiles sleepily and lies down again.
"You think I did all right?" he asks as he settles himself on his pillow.
"You did great, Harry."
"Thanks. I'm glad we're friends again."
"G'night," another yawn.
He's already asleep. I get up and walk over to the window and glance over the grounds. The moon is hidden behind the clouds tonight and the air is still. I can hear is the swishing of bat wings and the plaintive hooting of a hungry owl somewhere in the distance. I can also hear the low, angry grumbling of the dragons in their pens…or maybe that's Snape grumbling because Harry didn't even get a half-decent injury.
I smile to myself, thinking about what Harry just said. I don't think he realizes how much it meant to me to hear him say that.
"I'm glad we're friends again too, Harry," I think to myself.
I am Harry's friend. I am Hermione's friend. But, most importantly, I am me…not just a Weasley…me.
I am more than just six of seven.
I am Ron Weasley.
And I am pretty happy about that.
Take that to the bank, Malfoy!!
A/N: Big huge cyber-hugs to my fellow Marauders especially Amy for challenging me and for beta-reading