LbN: So Ron's colors were the winners of the last poll. Here's his story!

True Colors: Ron

He felt hollow. Ignoring the torrent of rain that was currently pouring down on his head, Ron continued walking. The fact that he had to walk through a park to get to his destination just seemed to be mocking him; parks were for fun. At least the trees were giving him a little cover from the rain; the leaves grew thick here. A small yellow flower made the mistake of growing in his path, and got a kick for it. Ron could take the green of the trees, vibrant but dark enough to suit his mood; but yellow was too much. He finally made his way out of the shelter of the trees and back onto the street. It wasn't very much farther.

The townhouse on the corner was made of red brick and had little window gardens. Ron had always said that it looked far too normal for the man who'd picked it, but hey, people surprise you sometimes. He rang the bell and waited patiently, even though he was drenched and it was still raining. Footsteps approached the door and a pair of blue eyes peeked out of the curtain at him, before turning and yelling something about not being able to reach the door. A moment later, Katie Bell appeared, holding the hand of Ron's niece, Cassidy.

"Unc' Ron!" the three year old cried with a comic expression of shock. "You gonna catch 'monia!"

He let the little girl pull him into the foyer and smiled as she ran off to get towels. Katie gave him a look, but before she could ask any of the obvious questions, he cut her off.

"Is George home?" he asked.

"Sure," she nodded. "George! Feel like telling me why you didn't Apparate or Floo over here instead?"

"Needed the walk. I wanted to clear my head a bit."

"If you say so," Katie shook her head as she wrung the water out of his robe. With a flick of her wand, she dried the clothes he had on. She summoned the mop, but Ron took it from her as she went to start cleaning.

"I made the mess," he smiled sadly.

"Ron?" George appeared at the top of the stairs, hair slightly singed. At the inquisitive looks he was receiving, he grinned and said, "Not to worry. Just a slight miscalculation in the lab."

"Come on Cas, help me start lunch," Katie picked her up and carried her into the kitchen.

"What's going on Ron?" George asked, opening the door to the study. The two of them went in and sat down on the small couch.

"I was…er…wondering, could I stay here a while?" Ron asked, not meeting George's gaze.

"Why? Aren't you staying at the dorms?"

"Not anymore," Ron shook his head. "I flunked out of the Auror program…"

"Huh?"

"I failed Stealth and Tracking, and almost failed Defensive Tactics. Apparently they don't think I'm cut out for it."

The resignation in Ron's voice was heartbreaking. He sounded as if someone had told him there'd be no more birthdays or rainbows ever again…George was trying to think of something consoling to say when Ron spoke again.

"They told me I had a week to make arrangements, but I really don't want to go home. I can't handle Mum right now. I know she means well, but…I really wanted this, and it's my fault I didn't make it; no one else's. Her getting aggravated on my behalf'll just rub it in."

"Course you can stay, Ron," George squeezed his shoulder. "You can take the guest room."

"Katie'll be okay with this?"

"Sure she will. Let's go grab lunch; they're probably done with it."

"Actually George, I'm a little tired. Okay if I skive off? I'll be more social at dinner," Ron smiled.

"That's fine," George chuckled. "See you at dinner."

With a sneeze, Ron exited the office and began climbing the stairs. He smiled when he heard a worried whisper below him.

"Unc' Ron gonna catch 'monia?"

"No sweetie," Katie answered. "He'll be fine."

Despite hearing this reassurance, Ron went to sleep with his most recent shortcoming on his mind…

LbN: It'll get happier, I promise! Review please!!