Disclaimer: I do NOT own the Harry Potter series. That credit goes to the brilliant mind of J.K. Rowling. Go Jo! I also do not own some of the material used. Again that belongs to Jo and Warner Brothers.
Chapter 10 The Twist
Ron jumped when he felt a tap on his shoulder. It was little after eleven and was standing by the portrait of the Fat Lady.
"Who's there?" Ron asked.
Harry laughed as he took off his cloak to reveal him and Hermione.
"Shhh… it's us," he said.
Ron noticed that Hermione too was now fighting to laugh.
"Oh… I should've known you'd be using the cloak," he said.
The mood then turned serious.
"Hurry up! We need to get there before Snape does," Harry said.
"Right," Ron nodded.
Hermione threw part of the cloak over Ron. They made their way to the third floor. Harry and Hermione looked over at Ron as he gasped.
"Wait a minute. This is the third floor," Ron said.
"And?" Harry asked.
Ron noticed that Hermione now too was giving him a questionable look.
"It's forbidden," he said.
They rolled their eyes and continued walking.
"If you're too scared, then go back," Harry said.
Ron sighed and shook his head. This wasn't going to be good.
"Let's just get this over with," Ron said.
Ron's mouth dropped when they entered the room. There was something big asleep. Ron gasped after realizing what it was.
"You didn't tell me about a three-headed dog," he said, his voice shaky.
Ron noticed that Hermione was looking a little nervous too.
"Stop whining, will you? As long as there's music playing, Fluffy won't wake up," Harry said.
"Fluffy?" Ron asked. "It has a name!"
Ron looked over at the three-headed dog as Harry and Hermione attempted to move one of the legs that were covering a trap door.
"Will you please help me get its leg off the trap door?" Hermione asked.
Ron shook away his thoughts and began helping.
"Alright, I'll go first," he said.
Hermione had fear in her eyes as Harry shook his head.
"No, I will," Harry insisted.
Ron backed away knowing that it was a lost argument.
"Be careful," Hermione said.
Hermione and Ron turned away as Harry jumped in.
"Alright, it's safe," Harry called.
Hermione and Ron took a deep breath.
"One… two… three," they yelled.
When Hermione hit the soft surface, she quickly made her way the edge. The weed looking plants were now wrapping themselves around Harry and Ron.
"Where are we?" Ron asked.
The weeds wrapped around tighter as Harry and Ron continued to move.
"Keep still. The both of you. This is Devil's Snare. If you move, it will only kill you faster," Hermione said.
Ron's eyes grew.
"Kill us faster? Oh, now I can relax," he yelled.
Hermione slipped into the pit. She kept very still and before Harry and Ron knew it, she was being pulled down.
"Hermione," the two yelled.
Ron was now trying even more then ever to get his hands free. Harry was now entering shock.
"Now what do we do?" Ron asked.
"I told you to relax," Hermione's voice echoed.
Where it was because of the shock, Ron didn't know, but he soon saw Harry's body sink.
"Harry! Help," Ron yelled.
Harry felt himself hit hard ground. Without opening his eyes, he felt himself being helped up. He opened his eyes and saw that it was Hermione.
"He's not relaxing, is he?" Hermione asked, looking up.
Harry shook his head as he rubbed his back.
"Apparently not," he said with a little moan.
Harry was too busy tending to his back that all he saw was Hermione point her wand up and a flash of light. Ron fell through and hit the ground. Hermione and Harry quickly helped him up.
"What's that noise?" Ron asked, rubbing his head.
"It sounds like wings," Harry said.
Slowly, they walked through the door and found the sound was coming from flying keys.
"How odd," Hermione said.
Harry walked over to the door to the next room and tried to open it. It did not open.
"We need to get the rusty key like the handle," Harry said.
Ron's eyes grew as he pointed up.
"There," he said.
Harry took the broom that was in the middle of the room and began chasing it down. It didn't help matters that the keys were now moving more actively than they were before.
Catch," Harry yelled.
Hermione grabbed the key and unlocked the door. Ron and Hermione ran in and shut the door quickly after Harry flew in.
"Come on," Harry said breathlessly.
Hermione and Harry were taken aback as Ron suddenly stopped.
"Oh, no," he moaned.
"What is it, Ron?" Hermione asked.
He sighed and turned to face them.
"It's a chess board," Ron said.
Hermione and Harry glanced over and saw a huge chess board in the middle of the room.
"So?" Harry asked.
Ron gave a little laugh. Wizard Chess, while fun in a minimum scale, was surly dangerous at the scale in which it was now. He then realized that Hermione and Harry had come from Muggle families, and were completely oblivious to how wizard games.
"It's obvious, isn't it? We have to play to get through. Harry, take the Bishop's place, Hermione, you'll be the Queen's side Castle," Ron said.
Hermione turned and looked over at he getting into place.
"And you?" she asked.
"I'll be the Knight," Ron said, acting braver than he actually felt.
"You don't think it'll be like Wizard's Chess, do you, Ron?" Harry asked.
Ron turned in shock. Apparently, Harry knew more than he put on.
"Unfortunately, yes," Ron said.
With that, they began playing. Ron had to decide how he wanted the outcome. Did he want to leave them severely weakened, but not enough to Harry to Voldemort? Or did he care anymore and was going to help in anyway he could? With a last glance at Hermione, Ron made his decision.
"Wait a minute…" Harry began, looking over at the pieces then back at Ron.
Ron took a deep breath.
"You know what'll happen. Once I make my move, checkmate the King and leave," he said.
Harry began shaking his head.
"No, Ron," he yelled.
Hermione looked at the pair in confusion.
"What is it?" she asked.
Harry looked over at Hermione, true fear in his eyes.
"He's going to sacrifice himself," he said.
Ron was shock at the shakiness of Harry's voice. He had no idea Harry had truly thought of him as a friend. Ron looked down, knowing his decision was the right one. When he looked up, Hermione's tear filled eyes met his. This frightened him some.
"No, you can't," Hermione cried.
"It's what I deserve," Ron muttered, looking down.
Harry looked at him in confusion.
"What you… what are you talking about?" he asked.
Ron gripped the knight he was sitting on a little harder as he looked down.
"You should've never made it this far. You're supposed to be dead right now, but you're not," he said.
"I don't…" Harry began before Ron looked straight at him, catching him off guard.
"Get the stone and destroy it. Hear me? It has to be you that dose it," Ron said.
He then turned to Hermione. It killed him to look at those angry eyes. Unlike Harry, Hermione knew exactly what Ron was saying.
"How could you?" Hermione asked, her voice showing every trace of being appalled.
Ron turned quickly, wanting to waste no more time.
"Check," he yelled.
The Queen dug her sword straight into the knight, throwing Ron off and knocking him unconscious.
"Ron," Hermione yelled.
Harry gasped as she took a step towards him.
"Hermione, don't move! We're still playing," he said.
He took a deep breath.
"Checkmate," Harry said defiantly.
Ron slowly opened his eyes. He quickly shut them again. Hermione and Professor Dumbledore were standing at the end of his bed in what Ron figured was the Hospital Wing.
"But, Professor…" Hermione began to protest.
He put one up, causing her to be silent.
"Miss Granger, I'm aware," Professor said with a smile.
"Then how could you say to forgive him?" Hermione asked.
"Mr. Weasley never wanted any of this to happen," Professor Dumbledore said.
Ron was fighting the urge to flash his eyes open, but he thought he could feel Hermione's eyes on him.
"How do you know?" Hermione asked.
"Something happened that he didn't expect," Professor Dumbledore said.
Hermione raised her eyebrows. Ron caught his breath, not believing how the Headmaster knew all of this.
"And what was that?" Hermione asked.
"He fell for you," Professor Dumbledore said, smiling broadly.
Hermione had become speechless. Ron became aware that he had stopped breathing. As he tried keep steal, Ron had the strangest feeling that Professor Dumbledore knew he was listening.
"Mr. Weasley knew exactly what he was doing putting you and Mr. Potter in those certain positions on the chess board tonight," Professor Dumbledore said, pausing at Hermione's shocked expression. "He was going to risk his own life to save you and Mr. Potter."
Ron heard Hermione hurried steps walk out. He slowly opened his eyes. Professor Dumbledore turned to him.
"Good afternoon, Mr. Weasley," he smiled.
Ron looked down, feeling a little guilty for eavesdropping.
"Professor Dumbledore…" he began before he was stopped by Professor Dumbledore's head.
"You've had quite the adventure," Professor Dumbledore said.
"Professor, I'm… wait. Where are Harry and Hermione?" Ron asked.
He really didn't know why he asked about Hermione. He and Professor Dumbledore knew perfectly well she had walked out the door not even five minute prior.
"Miss Granger just left. Mr. Potter is right over there," Professor Dumbledore said, pointing to a bed at the far end of the room.
There lying in it, was Harry… sleeping peacefully. Ron sighed and looked down.
"They're never going to forgive me," he muttered, not really wanting the Headmaster to hear.
"So, you knew about my mission?" Ron asked, looking back up.
"Naturally," Professor Dumbledore said as if that was something Ron should have known.
"And my family…" Ron began.
For the first time, Professor Dumbledore's head fell.
"I've known that for quite some time now," he said.
"I'm so sorry," Ron apologized.
The words had come out so fast, Ron had no idea why. Maybe it was the sight of the Headmaster with his head down. Professor Dumbledore looked back at Ron and to his surprised smiled.
"My dear boy, you are forgetting that I too knew what you would in the end," he said.
"So, you knew I'd chicken out?" Ron asked.
He shook his head and sighed. He felt pathetic. Ron shook up his thoughts as he felt the touch of Professor Dumbledore's hand on his shoulder.
"No, I knew you'd do the right thing," Professor Dumbledore said.
Ron smiled, but it wasn't for long as the thought of his parents came to mind.
"What am I going to do? My parents…" he began to panic.
"I assure you that you'll be safe," Professor Dumbledore said.
It took a while for Harry and Hermione to face Ron again. Draco had stopped talking to him completely. As for his parents, they surprised Ron the most. Even though Ron had wound up becoming friends with the supposed enemy and falling a Muggleborn Gryffindor, he had technically brought Harry to Voldemort, so in hindsight, he hadn't failed at the mission at all.
Enjoy the twist? Oh course though, you had to know Ron would turn.