AUTHOR'S NOTES: March 1 (or 1 March if you live outside the U.S.) is Ron Weasley's birthday. Ron Weasley has quickly become one of my favorite fictional characters of all time since first reading about him in February of 2008. That being said, how could I not write a story to celebrate Ron's birthday? After all, I did one for Hermione's birthday last September, and Ron deserves at least equal treatment.
This story takes place in the universe I "created" for my Aftermath story, just like Happy Birthday, Hermione and other one-shots I've written. There are some references to the main Aftermath story, but you can get by without actually reading it. I mean, if you know the characters, and you know the HP universe in general, then you really shouldn't have any problem with this story.
I know some of you read my stories not just for the stories but to see what ridiculous sort of ranting author's notes I'll have this time around; so I want to apologize right now for not being funny here, now. I just received a phone call about ten minutes ago, telling me my favorite cousin died in his sleep last night, so I'm not really feeling the funny right now.
I do want to take a moment to thank my Beta, CutewithAcapital-Q for looking this over and helping me to tighten it up a bit. You're a big help to me, Cutie. Thanks.
DISCLAIMER: JKR owns HP and RW and everything else.
Happy Birthday, Dear Wheezy
Ronald Weasley awoke with a start as someone Apparated noisily into his bedroom. As he grabbed his wand and rolled out of bed, crouching down on the floor, Ron couldn't help thinking that this sort of thing wasn't supposed to happen. The flat had anti-Apparition wards in place to prevent these kinds of unannounced visits…so whoever had just invaded his bedroom must be powerful enough to take down those wards.
Ron felt cold sweat trickle down his back and he couldn't help feeling extremely exposed as he crouched behind his bed in nothing but the boxers with little broomsticks on them that Hermione had given him for Christmas, gripping his wand tightly and wondering when the mysterious intruder planned to strike.
The bed shuddered slightly against Ron's back and he realized a split-second later that whoever was in the room with him had just jumped up onto the bed. Moving as quickly as he could, Ron rolled away from the bed and came up onto his knees, wand aimed directly at the bedroom invader. Ron nearly dropped his wand as he found himself face-to-face with a house-elf in some sort of bizarre costume.
The elf had on a bushy wig that was even redder than the fiery-hued hair atop Ron's head; it wore a polka-dot jumpsuit with large shoes that had to be larger even than the elf's own floppy feet. Its face was painted and a large red ball adorned the tip of its nose; and in its hands, the elf held a package wrapped in colored paper with a large orange balloon tied to it.
Before Ron could question the odd-looking elf, it opened its mouth and began screeching the most horrible birthday song Ron had ever heard in his life.
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday dear Wheezy
Happy birthday to you!
When the song was finished, the elf bowed at Ron, placed the package amid the mess of bed linens at its feet, and then Disapparated with a room-shaking crack! Ron sat on his knees on the floor, his mouth gaping wide at what had just happened. It took him several moments to come to his senses, due in no small part to the pain in his knees pressing into the wooden floor beneath him.
Grunting slightly from the discomfort, Ron got up and made his way to the wrapped package on his bed. He poked at it with his wand for a second, wondering who in the bloody blue Hell would have sent him a present with a singing house-elf. Obvious suspects included George and Ginny, and Ron couldn't help remembering the singing cupid who had jumped Harry during their Second Year only to recite him a Valentine poem.
"Heh…fresh-pickled toads," Ron chuckled at the memory of the horrible poem before dropping down onto the bed and picking up the gift. He smiled as he thought of the many other gifts he might get today; it was his day…his alone…and he didn't have to share it with anybody!
Untying the balloon and letting it float up towards the ceiling, Ron began to rip into the wrapping paper covering the package. Seconds later, he held a hard leather case in his hands; the case was black and embossed with the symbol of the Auror Corps.
"Harry," Ron said with a smile, as he opened the case. Inside he found an odd-looking pair of glasses and a note. The glasses were dark, like a pair of Muggle sunglasses, but the lenses had eyes on them. Curious as to the nature of the glasses, Ron quickly unfolded the note to find his assumption confirmed by the familiar scrawl of his best friend.
Happy birthday, Ron! I hope Kreacher didn't scare you too badly. I had him dress up as a Muggle clown in honor of your birthday (Muggle children sometimes have clowns at their birthday parties…they can be a bit scary, though). He wasn't too happy about it, so let me know if he throws anything at you after he sings "Happy Birthday".
You're probably wondering about your gift. They're official Auror-issue "Mad-Eye Specs". They work a bit like old Mad-Eye Moody's mad eye…hence the name! Although, I don't think they're as good as Moody's eye…you can't see out the back of your head…but they are pretty amazing.
Just don't let George get ahold of them, or he'll want to start selling them, and no one is supposed to have these outside of the Auror Corps…if anyone finds out I nicked them for you, well, I'm sure someone will be arse-over-tit in trouble!
Anyway, Happy Birthday, mate! I'll see you in July when I have a two-week holiday!
PS: Instructions on how to work the glasses are inside the case!
"Wicked!" Ron smiled broadly as he took the glasses out of the leather case and slipped them on. They made the room look dark, but other than that he could see perfectly fine. He reached into the case and pulled out the piece of parchment with the glasses operating instructions on it.
"Oculus Revelio!" Ron said, after reading the instructions.
Suddenly, the far wall of Ron's bedroom became transparent and he now looking out into the hallway and the doors to the bathroom and George's bedroom that lay on the other side of the small corridor.
"Wicked!!" Ron exclaims again, looking all around his room, through all four walls, the ceiling, the floor; he can't help but wish he'd had these while at Hogwarts, imagining what he might have seen were he to look up towards the girls' dorms at just the right moment.
Ron spent the next half hour trying out the various settings on the Made-Eye Specs, having more fun than really seemed appropriate for someone using official Auror field equipment.
Oculus Scopeo allowed him to switch between being able to see over great distances – which would have made cheating during tests at Hogwarts a breeze, even from across the room – and to magnify small objects so they seemed huge – which seemed like a good thing until he spotted a tiny spider in the corner that looked bigger than a full-grown Acromantula and made Ron scream in a less-than-manly way.
Oculus Nocturnum was supposed to make the darkest night seem as bright as day; of course, when he tested this function of the Specs, Ron nearly blinded himself and decided that this particular function should never again be tested in a well-lit room during the light of day.
There was one final function of the glasses, Oculus Veritas, that would reveal to true nature of an object or a person that was currently hidden or disguised. Of course, since there was no one around currently that was either Polyjuiced or invisible – or otherwise concealed – Ron couldn't adequately test this function. He made a mental note to test this function when Harry was on holiday this summer, along with his invisibility cloak.
Placing the glasses back in their case, and heading off to the bathroom in search of a shower, Ron couldn't help smiling. This year his birthday was shaping up to be one of the best, and so far he'd only received one gift; the little boy in him couldn't help thinking about what other wonders the day might yet hold.
Following his shower, Ron had dressed and made his way out into the flat; George's bedroom door, which had been closed when Ron entered the bathroom, was now open and there was no sign of his brother anywhere in the flat. He knew George wouldn't be down in the shop as it was Sunday, and Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes was closed on Sundays.
They were supposed to be leaving for the Burrow in a few minutes to attend the weekly Weasley family Sunday brunch, but that wasn't why Ron was searching for George. He was looking for his brother because there was a brightly colored box sitting on the kitchen table with a note that said, simply, "Open Me".
Birthday etiquette amongst the Weasleys was to open a present in front of the person who gave the gift…unless, of course, that person wasn't around – like Harry. It was only polite, after all, to allow the gift-giver the pleasure of seeing their present opened.
However, George was not around, and the colorful box on the table seemed to be calling out to him. Brushing the "Open Me" note aside, Ron picked up the box and shook it to see if he could get some idea of its contents by the sound whatever was inside made; the contents were silent, however, so that didn't help him at all.
"George won't mind," Ron reasoned, as he started to tear at the colorful paper that decorated the box, "After all, the not was telling me to open it!"
Shedding the paper from the box, Ron broke the wax seal that was holding the box-flaps closed, quickly opened it up and peered inside. As suddenly flash blinded him, and he was soon engulfed in a cloud of smoke…as if a photographer's flash powder had just gone off in his face.
Coughing and choking on the acrid smoke, Ron dropped the box and backed away from it, silently cursing George for pulling another one of his stupid practical jokes on him…and on his birthday no less.
The sound of someone laughing behind him drew Ron's attention and his ire, and he soon found his "missing" brother standing in the doorway to the kitchen, an amused look on his face as he continued to laugh at Ron.
"That was brilliant, Ronnie!" George laughed so hard he had tears in his eyes, "I've never seen the testing of a Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes product go so perfectly before!"
"Testing?!" Ron growled, advancing on his older brother, "You're using me as a bloody guinea pig again?!"
"Someone had to test it, Ron," George said with a bright smile as he got his laughter under control, "Lee refuses to test anything else until his dreadlocks grow back…who knew hair could catch fire that fast?"
"George…!" Ron had now reached his brother and was glowering at him menacingly, "What did you do to me, George?!"
"Go see for yourself, Ronnie!" George chirped, slapping Ron on the shoulder.
Shooting an angry glare at his brother, Ron stomped off towards the flat's bathroom. Once there he looked at himself in the mirror and was appalled at what he saw. His face, while covered a bit in soot from the flash-powder going off in his face, was covered in sparkling glitter and there was multi-colored confetti strewn about his hair. Worst of all, in glowing, flashing letters, the words "Birthday Boy" were written across his forehead.
The sound of sniggering drew Ron's attention away from his image and he turned to look for George, only to realize the laughter was coming from the mirror and not his older brother.
"Happy Birthday, deary," the mirror said to Ron with barely contained laughter, "Many happy returns!"
"Sod off, mirror," Ron growled turning to leave the bathroom.
"Hear now, there's no call for that sort of language!" the mirror called after him, indignantly.
Ron's only reply was a rude gesture made over his shoulder as he entered the hallway intent on beating the life out of his brother.
"Well, honestly," the mirror harped in a huff, "I never!"
Sunday brunch at the Burrow had officially been turned into a birthday party for Ron, and Molly had gone all-out for it. This was, after all, the first time Ron had been home for his birthday since he was eleven. So, besides cooking up a storm and baking a large chocolate cake which was decorated in orange and black icing with a Chudley Cannons logo in the middle, the back garden had been decorated in a similar color scheme with balloons and streamers and floating banners that flashed "Happy Birthday, Ronnie" in bright, golden letters.
Most of the Weasleys were in attendance with a few notable exceptions. Harry, of course, was still in his first year of training at the Auror Academy, and Hermione and Ginny were still at Hogwarts, finishing up their final year.
Even though their daughter couldn't be at the party, John and Elizabeth Granger – even more an unofficial part of the Weasley family now that Ron and Hermione were engaged – were in attendance and looking extremely happy to be spending time, once again, with their daughter's future in-laws.
Of course, this being a Weasley family brunch, nothing went off without a hitch. The moment Ron walked into the Burrow Molly screamed in disapproval at the state of his face and hair.
"Get yourself upstairs immediately, and make yourself presentable!" Molly said with her hands on her hips, "I don't care it is your birthday, Ronald, I'll not have a child of mine looking like one of those Weird Sisters!"
Ron just grumbled and cut his eyes at George who stood next to him, laughing, with his arm around Angelina Johnson.
"He can't wash it off, Mum," George said, beaming, "It's stuck on him until midnight…at which point it'll disappear on its own."
"George Gideon Weasley, what did you do?!" Molly snapped, turning her anger towards her second-youngest son.
George cringed a bit at having his mother use his middle name while castigating him. She hardly ever did that for him, having come to expect these sort of antics from the twins; but today was special…she'd had to wait eight years to get to celebrate Ron's birthday with him again, and she didn't want it ruined.
"It's one of our new products," George explained, "It works on the same principle as Party-in-a-Box…except instead of decorating a whole room, it decorates one person. I call it Birthday-Boy-(or-Girl)-in-a-Box."
"So your poor brother…on his birthday…is going to have to go around looking so…" Molly paused in her rant, searching for a good word to describe Ron's current state.
"Sparkly…" Ron interjected, grumbling angrily as he did so, his arms folded across his chest.
"Festive!" Angelina added, trying to be helpful…although she wasn't quite sure if she was trying to make Ron feel better about the way he looked, or if she was trying to help dig George out of the hole he'd dug himself into.
"Gawdy!" Molly said, finally coming to word she'd been searching for, "This is his day, George!! You'd think you could rein in these shenanigans of yours for just one day!!"
Molly's berating of George went for several more minutes before with a cluck of her tongue, she sent him outside to set the table and help his brothers finish the preparations for the party while she continued preparing all of Ron's favorite brunch foods.
Soon enough, the meal was over, the cake had been served, and the pile of presents that had been sitting off to the side on their own table had been ripped into. Ron had to admit that it was a pretty good haul this year.
The gift from Ron's parents had been hidden under a sheet and sat next to the table, as it was too large to fit on top with the rest of the gifts. Arthur practically beamed while Ron moved to unwrap it, while Molly rolled her eyes and clucked her tongue at her husband. When he lifted the sheet, Ron was more than just a tad bit surprised to see a Muggle television set before him.
His father explained that he had been tinkering with it in the shed for some time now and had recently gotten it to work with a charm that allowed the TV to run without the use of ekletricity. His mother was torn between being glad that there was one less broken Muggle device collecting dust in the shed, and being worried that her youngest son might become as obsessed with Muggle objects as his father.
Ron, however, having grown to enjoy television during his time spent at the Grangers', thought the thing was brilliant, and made a point of telling his parents so in no uncertain terms. His only lament was that they didn't show Quidditch matches on the television.
The package from Mr. and Mrs. Granger was an impeccably wrapped shirt-box in festive blue, red, and yellow Happy Birthday wrapping paper, and inside was an officially licensed (according to the tags hanging from it) Manchester United football jersey. John Granger grinned broadly when Ron opened it, telling him to wear it whenever the got together to watch a match, while Elizabeth merely rolled her eyes; obviously she'd thought a more sensible gift might be in order. Ron thanked his in-laws with a smile of genuine appreciation and vowed to wear it to the very next match.
Bill and Fleur's package had to have been wrapped by Fleur as there was no way Bill could have wrapped the present in such a manner. Bill wrapped presents in a typically male Weasley style – quickly and sloppily. The gift Ron was presented with was wrapped in shiny, silver paper that practically glowed in the late morning sunlight. The box was slightly heavy, and as Ron ripped through the paper he understood why; it was a new chess set, so new that the wood of the board was nearly as shiny and reflective as the paper it had been wrapped in.
The board was decorated with hieroglyphics, the likes of which Ron had seen during the family's trip to Egypt the summer before his Third Year. The chessmen, too, were Egyptian themed, with pharaohs and chariots and pyramids and Nile princesses. He smiled gratefully at his brother and sister-in-law for the gift, and offered Bill the privilege of being the first to lose against him with this new set.
Charlie's gift was in a box similar to the one the Granger's had given him, though larger and heavier, and not nearly as impeccably wrapped. In fact, there was no wrapping paper, merely a box with Spello-tape wrapped around it over and over again. Ron had needed to use his wand to cut through the tape which caused his family to chuckle in amusement while Ron glared at Charlie. Upon opening the box, however, that glare was replaced by a look of shocked gratitude as he pulled out a black dragonskin jacket; genuine Hebridean black, according to Charlie.
Percy and Audrey's gift was even more immaculately wrapped than the Grangers' gift had been, if that was at all possible. Ron tore the perfect wrapping away from the gift with a perverse sense of glee; inside was a wand-case. Ron tried not to let his face fall as he looked at the gift, as it was expensive from the looks of it: dark cherry wood with his initials on a golden nameplate on the lid; inside, there lay a bed of velvety material with an indentation the exact size and shape of his wand. He smiled at Percy; this gift was so like him.
Angelina's gift was simply an envelope with "Ron" written across the front. He cocked an eyebrow at her and she grinned back at him. He opened the envelope and found two tickets to an upcoming Puddlemere United match; he was a bit unenthusiastic until he saw that the seats were in the owner's luxury box, and that Puddlemere's opponents that day would be the Chudley Cannons! When asked how she scored such prime tickets, Angelina revealed her source to be her roommate Katie's new boyfriend Oliver, reserve Keeper for the United.
Ginny's gift wasn't nearly as perfectly wrapped as Percy's, but it was still much neater than Ron, himself, could've done. He smiled broadly as he opened his sister's gift and found an assortment of Honeydukes' sweets inside; all his favorites were there, and even some new varieties he wasn't familiar with…but would be more than happy to try out. Ron made a mental note to send his sister an owl, thanking her for feeding his sweet tooth.
Soon enough, the only present left in front of Ron was Hermione's. Unsurprisingly, it was wrapped just as miraculously neatly as her parents' gift; he felt a little bad ripping the paper, since Hermione had obviously taken time and great care to make his birthday gift look so pleasing to the eye. The guilt over destroying the outer wrapping of Hermione's gift lasted all of five seconds, and then he was rapidly shredding the paper to reveal a box and a note.
Happy nineteenth birthday!! I hope all your birthday wishes come true. In fact, my gift to you might help one of your wishes come true tonight; it's a Daydream Charm from George's shop…but it's been customized a bit and linked to a second Daydream Charm that I have here with me.
Since they've been linked, when the charms are used, the two people using them will share the same daydream. I'm sure you can imagine what this means, Ron. I will be using my charm tonight at 10:00 sharp! Hope to see you there, birthday boy!
All my love,
Ron grinned and blushed heavily as he read the note from Hermione. He could well imagine what a shared daydream with his fiancée might mean; it would be the next best thing to her being there. Ten O'clock, sharp! He checked his watch…he had almost ten hours to wait! Still, it would be well worth it.
The sound of George coughing loudly and clearing his throat brought Ron out of his thoughts and back to reality. Everyone was looking at him funny, no doubt wondering about the strange smile on his face; everyone except George, that is…he wore a knowing smirk that quickly turned mischievous.
"Once you're done daydreaming about Hermione," George quipped, causing Ron to blush deeply, "I'd like to go and give you my gift in private."
"I think you've done enough to me already, George," Ron grumbled, briskly running his hand back-and-forth through his hair, causing bits of colored confetti to fall onto the table.
"Come on, Ronnie, be a brick," George said, reaching over and slapping him on the back, "I promise…no funny business. Come on."
"Don't go making promises you can't keep, George," Ron shot at him a bit pointedly before getting to his feet and following his brother.
The rest of the assembled Weasleys and guests watched the two young men stride off down the garden in the direction of an immaculate plot of ground inhabited by two rose bushes and a stone marker.
"Why are we at Fred's grave, George?" Ron asked, giving his brother a confused and worried look.
It took a few moments before George answered, and when he did, his back was to Ron and he faced his twin's gravestone. "I thought I should give you our gift in Fred's presence, Ronnie, that's all."
"Ronnie…I know about the Auror Academy," George said bluntly, turning and looking Ron dead in the eye, "Harry told me about the offer Kingsley made you last year."
"That scar-headed prat," Ron grumbled, angry that Harry would reveal that secret to George.
"Mum was right, Ron; you're always putting everybody's needs above your own," George was reminding Ron of a conversation he'd had with his mother in their flat last August, "You've had my back and pulled me back from the brink after Fred died, and while I'm not about to declare you a hero like Mum did, I did want to give you a token of my appreciation."
George pulled an envelope out of his pocket and handed it to his brother, "You're no longer an employee of Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes; Happy Birthday, ickle Ronnikins."
"You're firing me?!" Ron exclaimed, unable to believe his ears.
"Open the envelope, Ron," George urged him, his mouth turning up slightly at the corner.
Ron was more than a bit disgruntled as he ripped the envelope open and pulled out a folded sheet of parchment. When he unfolded it, he found it was an official-looking document complete with the seal of the Ministry of Magic's Department of Magical Commerce, granting Ron half-ownership of Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes.
"George, what the Hell are you doing?" Ron asked, stunned, "This is your shop. I can't…"
"The name on the shop says 'Weasleys', Ronnie…as in plural. There's supposed to be two of us," George said, indicating Fred's tombstone, "Fred would want it this way, I want it this way…you've earned it."
"George…I don't know what to say," Ron said honestly; he was nearly stunned into silence.
"Don't say anything," George said with a smile, "Just make sure you look professional when you show up for work tomorrow; you're no longer my employee, you're my partner."
"Actually, George," Ron said with a smirk as he put his arm around his brother, "I believe my official job title was 'minion, peon, and all-around lackey'."
"I guess we'll just have to hire a new lackey," George said, slapping Ron on the back.
Ron gave him his cheekiest smile, "Well…Ginny will need a job when she finishes Hogwarts!"
The two brothers laughed heartily as they made their way back to the rest of the family assembled around the brunch table.
AUTHOR'S END NOTES: There you have it. Hope you enjoyed it. Review if you like.