The Matter of Mattering

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There is something to be said about growing up with five older brothers. For one thing, you become quickly acclimatized to the fact that everything you own will have been used before and that there is absolutely nothing you can do that hasn't been done, probably better, by someone else. You learn that no one person is especially important and that you are particularly worthless if you have many other people who look like you and have your name and are better than you in everything. In other words, you realize that you are useless and will always be useless unless you find that special something that makes you better than someone else.

Ron Weasley didn't have that special something, though he did have five older brothers, a room full of hand-me-downs, and the bare minimum of attention from his over-worked parents. He was quite used to being ignored, though it was never very easy. He knew that while each of his brothers had something that made them special he didn't because was simply Ron, and Ron Weasley wasn't built to be good at things.

He wasn't a good friend. He got jealous too easily and didn't like to play the regular games. Ron had grown up playing by himself. All of his brothers thought themselves too cool to play with ickle-Ronnie and his younger sister Ginny thought boys were contagious. So while he knew how to play gobstones and chess and tag they simply were not the games he liked to play, as they took two people to work properly. No, Ron's favorite game was pretend because at least in his mind no one was more important than him. And what good would it do for him to invite another person into his games if they would only steal his spotlight? He much preferred to stick to himself.

He wasn't a good son. He never did his chores, he couldn't do them as good as Percy after all, and his marks were average at best. He never brought home any special awards for being a good speller or counter and on his notes home the teacher never wrote nice notes about him. He forgot his parents' birthdays and cried when things didn't go his way. He always wanted things that his parents simply couldn't afford to buy him and though his parents both loved him, in the backs of their minds neither would ever choose Ron as their favorite son.

He wasn't cute or handsome. He grew like a weed so his ankles always poked out of his pants. His hair wasn't the rich red that his mother and sister had been blessed with and his face was entirely too freckly, even for a Weasley. His eyes always looked half-closed even when he was wide awake and his smile was crooked. His eyes were a boring brown and his face was usually smeared with dirt from when he played outside and fought with the gnomes.

His attitude was bitter and his words were crude. He wasn't polite and he wasn't nice and he didn't much care about making good impressions or keeping everyone happy. Since the time Ron understood that he wasn't ever going to be important he had given up on trying and had turned selfishly inward. When he did something he did it for himself, regardless of how it affected everyone else.

That's why when Ron met Harry Potter (The Harry Potter!) on the train going to his first year at Hogwarts he was amazed. The world practically revolved around The-Boy-Who-Lived. Everyone knew his name and people fell over themselves to be anywhere near him. It was by mere chance that Ron stumbled into Harry Potter's compartment when looking for a seat.

He would forever thank Fred and George for kicking him out of their compartment.

For the first time in his life Ron had something that no one else had ever gotten – friendship with Harry Potter! It was incredible. Soon people had to take notice of Ron Weasley because Ron Weasley was Harry Potter's best friend and what Harry Potter did was always important.

Before long, when the students talked about Harry they said Harry Potter and Ron Weasley! It was the greatest thing that had ever happened to Ron.

And of course Ron had to turn out to be a very bad best friend as well.

He didn't mean to, of course, but he couldn't just stop being bitter and jealous after so many years in his brother's shadows. Soon, not only did Ron become arrogant, his envy soon grew to encompass Harry as well.

Why did he get all the glory anyway? Ron was there when Harry took down Quirrell and when he fought the basilisk and when he went after Sirius Black. Did it matter that he was always taken out before the climax happened? He tried his best to support his friend on all of his dangerous but necessary quests. Didn't that count for something?

Apparently, not, because all people ever remembered about it was what Harry had done. Ron was hardly ever remembered, even less so than Hermione Granger, who had become something of an unwanted third wheel in Ron's mind. He accepted her only because she was a girl and it was a general rule that boy's weren't ever to be best friends with girls. Besides, Ron had still met Harry first and so he was obviously the closer friend.

Then, fourth year happened. Instead of Harry being involved in a life-threatening quest to save the wizarding world he was instead entered (illegally, even!) into the bloody Triwizard Tournament!

Ron could deal with Harry getting the fame for something that had to be done but how could he enter a competition for glory and money – he certainly didn't need any more! Not like Ron desperately did. What made matters worse was the fact that Harry didn't even share how he had cheated the age line with Ron when he knew that Ron would kill for a chance to become a champion.

Ron responded to this act of betrayal the only way he knew how, by shutting everyone out and letting his bitterness smolder into anger. When he was mad he couldn't be unhappy that Hermione sided with Harry and that he was left without any friends in an instant. When he was mad he couldn't be sad that not one of his dorm mates bothered to talk to him even though they were all angry too, after all, they all believed that Ron should have know what Potter was doing. They all believed that he had been merely too chicken to enter the competition or perhaps that he had and was just too unimportant to be chosen. Either way, Ron chose not to see that the moment he stopped being friends with Harry he went right back to being a nobody who everyone disliked and ignored. He shoved it all away and focused on his bitterness. It was better that way.

When the first task arrived Ron was secretly glad that the tournament proved to be so deadly. It gave him an excuse to swallow his pride and slink back to Harry's side like some kind of dog. Harry, being the bloody golden boy that he was, accepted Ron back into the trio without a word about his actions. Hermione however, being a bitch, would never stop shooting him glares and whispering in private with Harry about him. Luckily Harry never listened, but Ron was not about to put his friendship with Harry through that ever, ever again. He proved Hermione wrong ever time and was now even closer to Harry's side than ever before.

He was rewarded by the single, greatest moment in his short life. He was deemed the most important thing in Harry Potter's life. The most important thing!

Ron Weasley decided he would never again settle for merely being Harry Potter's first or best friend. He wanted to ensure that he was Harry's most important thing for life! Thus began Ron's awkward attempt to woo the mighty Harry Potter.

It turned out Ron was not a very good romantic either. He tried getting closer to Harry but Hermione was always there and Harry seemed preoccupied with a slut named Cho Chang in Ravenclaw. Then of course there was the entire stress of the tournament and end of the year, fourth annual, fiasco.

Voldemort was back and there was no time to tell him. The Order of the Phoenix was forming and there was no time to tell him. School began and there was no time to tell him. Umbridge made life hell and there was no time to tell him. The DA formed and there was no time to tell him. Ron's father was attacked and there was no time to tell him. Voldemort had Sirius and there was no time to tell him. The Ministry became a trap and there was no time to tell him. Sirius died and there was no time to tell him.

Summer began and Harry was gone.

Ron moped in his room for an entire month; waiting every day for Harry's letter (they were always too short and vague). He parents never bothered to figure out what was wrong with him and his siblings didn't care. Ron didn't care about them either; his only thoughts were for Harry.

Harry…

When he finally arrived everyone wanted their own piece of him. When finally Ron had Harry to himself, he knew Harry wanted nothing more than to be alone and because he didn't want to be a burden Ron gave him that. He was rewarded by a sincere grin, which were very rare from Harry Potter since Sirius's death. Ron felt ten feet tall for the two seconds it was aimed at him before stinking Hermione barged in and ruined the entire thing.

After that it was impossible to get to Harry, not because he was surrounded by everyone but because he was slowly pulling away – obsessed with his suspicions about Malfoy and his lessons with Dumbledore. It was completely frustrating! All Ron wanted to do was to get his best friend alone for ten minutes so that he could confess his secret! That is was it! But no one was giving it to him.

And at the end of the year with the death of Dumbledore and Snape's betrayal – well, no one dared to approach The-Boy-Who-Lived for days.

But there was hope in the distance. Harry was preparing to leave them and Ron had quickly decided that he would follow. Of course, Hermione had to come to the same conclusion, but still, in only a few days it would be just the three of them hunting horcruxes on a mission no one else knew of. Surely, there would be a time that Harry and he could be alone.

There wasn't. Not one. Not until Voldemort was lying dead at the foot of Hogwarts and Harry, seeking privacy, slipped away from his admires under the invisibility cloak. Ron had been searching for too long for his perfect moment to miss this opportunity. Using the invisibility granted to him without need of any magical cloak he exited the Great Hall unnoticed and went to where he knew Harry would be heading.

It wasn't hard to find him, mainly because Harry was smart and knew Ron was following him all most at once. They had only gone to the second floor when Ron was suddenly pulled into an empty classroom by an invisible force. The door was quickly locked to ensure that they wouldn't be disturbed and Harry threw off the invisibility cloak, looking at Ron with an expectant expression.

"Well?" he prompted, after Ron had hesitated too long. "Are you going to say it or not?"

Ron, being neither smart of tactful could only croak, "Say what?"

Harry rolled his green eyes and fixed Ron was a look that clearly said don't be thick. Then, when Ron again failed to say what was expect of him in good time Harry threw down his hands and approached him furiously.

For a moment Ron expected to be hit – perhaps Harry had wanted privacy a bit more than he had thought – but all thoughts of that were quickly erased as Ron suddenly found Harry's lips on his own.

Harry Potter was kissing him!

The Harry Potter was kissing him!

Ron soon forgot all of everything as he locked lips with his green-eyed best friend. His head swam and he was both hot and cold and dizzy and grounded and happy and confused.

It didn't last long and Harry soon pulled back still wearing that expectant expression. "Well?" he demanded.

Ron quickly stopped being speechless. He pounced on his friend, evoking another chaste and hungry kiss. He should have known that Harry had figured it out.

Harry Potter was neither dumb nor dense. He wasn't ugly, he wasn't useless, and he certainly wasn't a bad friend. Of course he had done what Ron could not and identified his friend's changes as what they were. Unlike Ron, Harry was smart enough to put two and two together and what it came to was good.

Harry Potter the most important and hunted boy on the planet, it was only natural that he would want someone completely opposite his fame. Ron Weasley was least important and impressive person in Harry's world, he desperately seeked something to making him worthwhile. It was a perfect fit and while Ron admired Harry's fame Harry admired Ron's ambiguity.

Because Ron Weasley was and will always be the most important thing in Harry Potter's life and that's just the way it goes.

- The Matter of Mattering -

AN// Ooh, I love writing little things like these. In my other RonXHarry Harry is totally unaccepting, that's why this is the perfect balancing piece.

Hope you enjoyed.

Happy Harry Hunting!