A/N: Well laddies and gentlewomen, this is it. The Final Chapter. 2000+ words, as promised. I have a deliciously long A/N at the end, and I'd appreciate it if you read it. For now, on with the show!
Epilogue: In Which Ron Spews a lot of Waffle (no, not literally)
Well there you have it. In ink. With a small tea stain on page 57, but you can hardly see it. I'm just as surprised as you are.
If you think you might be dreaming, trying whacking yourself in the head with this book. If that hurt: congratulations. If it didn't: you have an astonishingly high tolerance for pain. You should get that checked out.
A few said it couldn't be done... Alright, a hell of a lot of people said it couldn't be done: my entire immediate family, closest friends, Prof. McGonagall, anyone who was at the Leaky that last Friday, to name a few. Now, in the light of it being done, I would like to take a moment to shove it in their faces—I mean, to gloat—erm, celebrate…
HA! HA HA HA! HA-BLOODY-HA!
For the love of Godric's unwashed socks, not the Dance of Victory...
Why've you ducked behind Harry? Oh. Oh my...
For Merlin's sake, Harry! I save you from the Devil's Snare and this is how you repay me?
Sorry, Hermione, but there's just not enough of me for the two of you to hide behind. Besides, that was seven years ago - shouldn't you be over that by now?
That's enough pelvic thrusts for one day, I think.
You know you love it.
Hang on a mo', one more… HA!
That was incredibly satisfying. And Bill? You owe me five galleons.
While we are still on the subject of me being mind-fuckingly fantastic, I would like to take the time to thank the lovely Luna Lovegood, the only person who thought I could do this, the sole fan in my stands, the only soul with enough courage to say "Go, Ron. Go!"
What she actually did was give me a charm to ward off Wrackspurts, but I've learned not to be picky.
When you close this book—not yet, you overeager hippogriffs—you will have unofficially started the rest of your life. (Why 'unofficially'? Well I don't have the time nor will to make up any fancy certificate for you, so you'll have to do without. Nobody's stopping you from making your own.) You are now much better prepared, cleverer, and all around more tolerable than you were at the beginning. And if you're not, well that's your own bloody problem then, innit? (And your mum's, 'cos she's got to admit she's related to you and whatnot.)
Anyway, it's been a long haul, an odyssey of tragically shortened lunches, irritating mates, even more irritating sisters, and hand cramps that make the Cruciatus feel like shiatsu.
…And you've had a fair bit of reading to do, I s'pose. For sticking with me, I hold you all in high esteem (provided you're not a lot of thrill-seeking third years—don't you twits have something better to do, like puberty?). Thanks for going through this entire thing, even if at times it made you want to cry, laugh, wail, shag me, or prod my person with a pointy stick. So yeah... thanks.
In this book I have laid bear my heart and soul—
You mean laid bare?
No, definitely laid bear. I'm that incredibly masculine.
…That was not your cue to laugh, Potter. For all that's good and Dumbledore, you have a rotten sense of timing, haven't you.
Rhetorical question, Potter. Stop putting a damper on my mojo, you two. I'm on a roll.
Merlin forbid anything happens to your mojo.
Like I was saying, in this book, I have completely and unabashedly exposed myself—not like that, you pervy gits—and presented to the world my inner thoughts, tactics, and a cauldron-full of bullshit like you wouldn't believe, on a shiny, leather-bound platter. I poured my sweat and blood into this endeavor. All right, maybe not sweat—it is the middle of January and bloody parky outside. I definitely got some blood on it though (from a particularly nasty paper cut, if you must ask).
In case it is not already blindingly obvious, I haven't really a clue what the hell I'm supposed to write in a conclusion. This is my first experience with one. I never usually get this far in books—if I were so inclined to read the type that would have one, that is. My theory's always been: why kill yourself getting there when you can just ask Hermione? Ouch! That was a bloody joke, woman!
Please kindly remove the tentacles; they make writing rather difficult and awkward.
Now where was I?
Ah yes. Now, this might get a bit awkward—I am losing my conclusion virginity, after all.
I can't imagine why you thought that might be awkward.
I'm holding up two fingers, mate. Guess which ones.
Anyway, Hermione just told me that a conclusion should wrap up the main ideas of the piece, "just like one in an essay, Ron". Now, that's some perfectly sound advice right there, 'cept for the fact that I've never written one of those, either—a conclusion, that is. Well, not really, anyway. You see, whenever I get to the end of my parchment, I typically just scrawl in some rubbish, with pertinent words (i.e. "unicorn blood", "Goblin Wars of 1537", "massive boils", etc.) written legibly (and a fair bit bigger than the rest), thereby giving the reader the impression that I know what I'm talking about and, hopefully, tricking them into thinking that the random ink scratches actually contain some stray bits of intellectual thought.
I've yet to have professor fall for this, but I still think it's a stand-up strategy.
So, I guess I'll just use this bit to review the stuff you've just learned. Honestly, you could've probably skipped right to this bit. Joke's on you!
Just remember: keep your head on in a crisis (preferably attached to your neck, but sometimes it pays not to be too choosy); be your charming and funny self (or at least fake it); and most importantly, try to keep yourself alive, 'cos if you snuff it, you're not much use to anyone (unless, of course, you save the hero's—AKA, your best mate's—life by taking a spell for him. That'd be pretty damn heroic. Girls dig martyrs… Too bad you'd be too dead to enjoy the perks.)
You really ought to write all this down, just in case you need a reminder. A list or something. I wouldn't recommend whipping it out whenever you get in a tight spot, of course; that would distracting and you could end up tripping yourself. Then you'd have to deal with the possibility of imminent death and not even have your dignity to ease you into it.
For some extra practice, Hermione has been generous enough to offer to write up some sample scenarios for you.
When did I do that?
Just go with it please.
No one can tell you're whispering when it's written down, mate.
Situation One: You're forced to abandon your hideout and seek shelter in the forest.
(Well that's original—sorry, sorry!)
In this case, I'd highly recommend a tent; an invisibility cloak (preferably a really famous-slash-mythical one from folk lore, imbibed with supernatural powers, if you can swing it); a Sneakoscope; a really good handbag (honestly, never underestimate the power of a good handbag). The Sword of Gryffindor might help, too, but that's highly individual.
Situation Two: You're trapped in a narrow corridor, with both ways blocked by Death Eaters.
Definitely have on hand a wand; reflexes; and Hermione.
It's bleeding weird when you talk about yourself in the third person, you know.
Just answer the question, Ron.
Because Hermione—I mean, you—solves everything! You're like Spellotape! Not to say that you're clingy or anything, 'cos you're not… Actually, maybe Spellotape's the wrong herbivore—I mean, metaphor… Oh, I've got it: you're like Reparo! That's an easy spell… not saying that you're easy of course! You're definitely not easy! Just the opposite, actually… Not that that's a bad thing…
Merlin, Ron, you charmer. Laying it on a bit thick, you reckon?
Situation Three: You wake up alone on a beach. On the edge of the sand, you can see the beginnings of a lush jungle. You haven't got a wand on you, so Apparation is impossible. Without warning, a large mob of scantily clad, well-muscled men emerge out of the verdant forest. They charge towards you.
Well in this case—HERMIONE!
Is that what all of your escapades are like? If so, you've got to bring me along next time.
Sadly not, Ginny. Ron? Any words of wisdom you're burning to share?
Argh! The both of you!
Like I said in the beginning, all that time ago: sidekicking's not all it's cracked up to be. Nor is having a sister, for that matter. But after reading this book, you are well on your way to achieving a fulfilling and appropriately macho career. Or, if you're reading this for kicks: a rewarding and enlightening Saturday afternoon.
So, erm, with any luck you won't get yourselves offed (that reminds me: please kindly fill out the waivers attached in the last pages of this book, which release Mr Ron B. Weasley from any legal responsibility for your sorry arses.)
I guess this is goodbye, then. Don't take this the wrong way—it's not you; it's me. And my absurdly short attention span. And elevenses. (I quite fancy a nice cuppa, me. Writing is bloody exhausting.) And Hermione's new shorts.
Praise (of sorts) for So You're a Masochist: the Art of Sidekicking, by Ronald B. Weasley:
"I cannot deny that this came as a surprise. If only you had put forth such effort into your schoolwork, Weasley…" – Minerva McGonagall
"I foresaw this" – Sibyl Trelawney
"I owe you nothing, Ron" – Bill Weasley
"You're seriously out of your tree, mate. Bill owes me ten sickles" – Charlie Weasley
"… Nor you, Charlie" – Bill Weasley
"I fervently deny any relation to you" - Percy Weasley
"Mr Weasley has landed himself among the ranks of Shakespeare and Merlin himself. An absolutely spiffing work. A brilliant piece of literature, very rich in meaning and quality and all that tosh. Someone ought to have a national holiday named for this man" – Don Leasey
"Good job, Ron. I'm proud of you. Seriously. Yes, seriously, now stop interrupting! I don't think you're supposed to write book reviews for yourself, though" – Hermione Granger
"I haven't a clue what you're talking about, Hermione. This Don Leasey fellow sounds like a right intelligent, thoughtful chap. I'd quite like to meet him. He's probably insanely attractive (not that I'm into that sort of thing). Absurd accusations..." – The Author
"You're something else, mate, you really are… Can we get back to our chess game, now? It's only been postponed about two weeks now" – Harry Potter
"I cannot believe someone's actually going to publish this. Love you. (They better not put me down as Ginevra; if they do I swear I'll…)" – Ginevra Weasley
"What the hell am I writing? Who are you people? [The rest of this review has been omitted for excessive use of foul language and the word 'parsnip']" – Exceptionally hairy and shit-faced patron of the Leaky Cauldron
"I hope you remembered to decontaminate your quill like I told you… Some marmalade should do the trick, with a dash of oregano, for seasoning. It's okay if you didn't, though; the purple wears off after a while…" – Luna Lovegood (The Quibbler, starred review)
"The best read I've had since I found your journal" – George Weasley
Now, in the immortal words of my mother when she drops me off at King's Cross: "Have a good year! And good luck, dear. I hope you packed extra socks."
That was lovely, Ron.
Haven't you lot got anything better to do?
Honestly? No, not really.
Oh for the love of—
Are we still going? What the hell are you still doing here? You can close the book now. Quit loitering.
A/N: And there you have it! Almost a year of writing (-cringes- sorry for some of those hugely long waits, everyone... but it was worth it, right?) come to an end. I'd like to thank everyone who wrote a review (especially those committed fans who fed my review-whoredom every single chapter). And another thanks to you anonymous reviewers, whom I have for some reason neglected to give a shout-out to until now. I love you all. To all of you who gave this fic a favorite or an alert: you rock Dumbledore's woolen socks. I had oodles of fun writing this, even on days when inspiration seemed as procurable as a snow cone in the Sahara. Writing as Ron was a deep, poignant, and fulfilling exper–Who the hell am I kidding? I got to swear and tell perverted jokes and had a blast doing it XD Keep on the lookout for new stuff from your truly!
Last chance (not really, but it's more dramatic that way) to leave a review and tell me how mind-blowing/wonderful/applesauce this chapter is, and the major effect it had on your life. I'd love it if I could get this to 260. Please? :)
UPDATE (8/16/10): Thank you everyone for helping me reach 260+ reviews (maybe 300 now...?)! You're all fabulous. I've just changed a bit of the 'praise' section, having finally located the document with the original version of it I thought I'd lost (no major changes, but a few extra chuckles here and there). Cheers ;)