An Unlikely Hero, by DoofusPrime
Notes: Hey, everyone. This is my first Harry Potter fic, taking place during the climax of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Hope you enjoy it.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. This work was not created for profit. No copyright infringement is intended.
They had fought valiantly, but their enemies were too powerful. Hogwarts lay in ruins, and the dead and dying littered the Great Hall as Ron and Hermione passed through it in a daze. All their efforts, all their spells and magic, had come to this. Voldemort and his army had retreated to the Forbidden Forest, but only to give them one last chance. One last chance to give up the boy who lived.
"Harry will succeed," said Hermione, squeezing Ron's shoulder. "I know it."
Ron knew her words were an attempt to reassure both of them. He hoped they gave her hope, because he couldn't help feeling that this was the end of the line. Harry had given himself up, heading out into the forest so he could surrender to Voldemort – or carry out the final phase of his plan, whatever that was. But Voldemort was so powerful, so colossal a foe, wielding the kind of magic only their former headmaster could match. How could mere Hogwarts students like themselves hope to defeat him? How could Harry hope to defeat him, who was no mere student, but a student nonetheless? Ron wanted to believe in his friend, which was why he had stood by and watched as Harry walked bravely into what seemed like certain death. But a part of him couldn't help worrying. A voice in the back of his mind had been whispering ever since they had started their mission to find the Horcruxes:
There's no way a few children can succeed against the magic of the Dark Lord.
And that was why he had his secret weapon.
The Great Hall echoed with the moans of the injured as Ron and Hermione stopped, looking blankly around them. Ron had already seen his brother. Laid down by Voldemort's forces, like so many others he knew. He didn't want to linger any longer. There was a commotion outside in the courtyard, and the two of them headed out to see what was going on. They passed through crowds of their fellow students, their teachers, all looking beaten and defeated as they watched something happening in the middle of the courtyard. Ron reached an opening at the edge of the crowd and saw what everyone was looking at. Hermione's gasp joined his own as a wail rose up from the crowd.
It was the Dark Lord, heading what looked like a funeral procession over the bridge. Nagini coiled back and forth around his legs as he walked at the head of his army. Behind him was Bellatrix, Draco's family, Death Eaters, and his other minions, grinning viciously as they strode into the courtyard like conquerors.
And hanging limply in Voldemort's hands was Harry Potter.
"Here he is," said Voldemort, his voice a hiss that cut through the air. "Here is the boy who lived. The boy you thought could protect you. The boy who dared to oppose me. And what is he now?"
The fighters gathered around the courtyard were silent.
"The boy who died! Come on, people."
Bellatrix and some of the Death Eaters broke out in a few laughs, but muffled themselves when Voldemort swung around and glared indignantly at their interruption. He turned back to Hogwart's defenders, who watched with baited breath, unable to believe Harry Potter had been defeated, much less killed. It looked like Voldemort was on the verge of delivering an ultimatum, but then – Ron couldn't believe his eyes – Harry leaped out of his grasp and landed on his feet, suddenly alive and well.
"Joke's on you, Voldemort!" he yelled.
The Dark Lord's eyes looked like they were about to burst out of his head. Which was a saying a lot, considering his eyes were usually sunk so far back in their dark sockets that it was hard to see them in the first place. "What is this?" he said in a voice tinged with range. "I killed you, Harry Potter!"
"You tried, Voldemort. Just like last time. That's two strikes."
Harry smirked, and a whisper of adoration rose up from the crowd of spectators – particularly the female ones. Ron was feeling a surge of excitement at this sudden turn of events. Voldemort said something else, but he didn't hear it. He was too busy breathing a sigh of relief. The knot of despair that had coiled in his stomach began to uncurl itself. His friend was safe, and that meant they still had a chance. Voldemort's minions were many, but the Dark Lord didn't know about his secret weapon.
Ron didn't know what Harry had planned, but his friend's apparent death was too close a call; it was time for action. It was time for Ron to take things into his own hands. He would make sure no more of his friends could be harmed by this monster.
"You may think you have the upper hand," he said, taking a step forward and interrupting a speech Harry was making. Voldemort, who had been shooting daggers at Harry (not literal magicky ones, just the idiomatic kind you made with your eyes) did a double take and looked at Ron, as if not recognizing him. "And maybe we don't have a first year's chance of defeating your black magic," Ron continued. "But there's something you haven't considered."
Voldemort let out a cruel laugh, which echoed through the courtyard's broken columns and scattered rubble. "You think you have a chance just because the boy who lived – well, happened to live? I'd kill you right now, boy, but you've made me curious. I wish to be amused. What is it you think I haven't considered?"
Everyone else looked like they wanted to know, too.
"If we can't beat you with magic," said Ron, "then maybe magic isn't the answer."
A silence fell over the courtyard. Voldemort narrowed his eyes and furrowed his brow, apparently confused by Ron's reply. Even the other students glanced at him. They were probably wondering where he was going with the whole magic not being the answer thing. He wasn't surprised; this was the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, after all. Magic was the answer to just about everything at Hogwarts. But Ron happened to have a slightly different perspective than most of his fellow students. He had his father to thank for that.
Hermione gave him another squeeze on the arm; she didn't know all the details of his plan, but she knew he had one, and she had faith in him. Ron smiled and held out his wand. He'd have to put it away right after he cast his spell, because after that, all he needed was a pair of hands for his secret weapon.
Ron holstered his wand and got ready. He had hidden the grenade launcher close by, so it would be flying through the air and smacking into his hands at any moment. The pause was still long enough that his enemies could have retaliated, perhaps cast a killing curse, but Ron's spell looked like it had caught Voldemort and his minions off guard. Voldemort hesitated for just a moment. It was long enough for the grenade launcher to finish its downward flight from a window of the common room of Gryffindor tower and land perfectly in Ron's grasp. Harry sensed what was going on and ran for cover while Hermione cast a quick shield for shrapnel that Ron had told her to be ready for.
He aimed and fired.
Voldemort barely had time to blink. The blast was strong enough to send the students stumbling back in surprise, and a ripple of distortion went off through Hermione's magic shielding as fragments of stone bounced off it. Where Voldemort and Nagini had been, a bright flash of orange flame rose up into the air, curling and roiling like a badly cast fire spell as it turned into black smoke. Hermione's shielding spell fizzled out. The smoke cleared, revealing a dark crater in the stone courtyard grounds. It was clear there was nothing left where Voldemort and his snake had once stood. Nothing except what looked like maybe a foot.
"You did it, Ron!" cried Hermione.
Bellatrix and the rest of Voldemort's minions gaped at the crater where their master had stood just a moment ago, frozen with shock. The circle of students ringing the courtyard were also paralyzed at the sight. Ron was about to take action when he caught sight of his mother emerging from the crowd, her face a mask of triumphant fury. She pointed her wand at Bellatrix just as the witch turned to face her.
"Avada Kedavra, bitch!"
A bolt of green energy shot out of the wand like lightning, catching Bellatrix in the chest and sending her flying backwards, straight into the crater that held the smoking remains of Voldemort and Nagini. A pair of stockinged feet hung out of the hole, unmoving. Bellatrix Lestrange was no more. For just a moment, the courtyard fell into an eerie silence as the rest of Voldemort's forces and Hogwart's surviving defenders stared at each other.
And then, something snapped.
Neville Longbottom charged at the nearest Death Eater with the sword of Gryffindor in his hand, swinging wildly, which was enough to rouse the rest of the crowd into a vengeful roar. They surged forward at the frightened remnants of Voldemort's army as spells fired left and right, sending rockets of colored sparks and flame through the air. Ron could see some of the Death Eaters teleporting away immediately – now that their leader were gone, there was no reason for them to sacrifice themselves. Those who remained would not last long.
"Harry!" said Hermione, rushing over to their friend. "Are you okay?"
"I think so, thanks."
The two of them helped Harry up from the ground. Even with the magic shielding Hermione had cast, he had been knocked to the ground by the force of the grenade's explosion. Ron felt a bit guilty; he hadn't actually tried the grenade launcher before now, so he hadn't been entirely sure of what to expect. It was a good thing he hadn't accidentally killed the boy who lived. If he had, he didn't think he'd be living that one down anytime soon. Harry dusted himself off and drew his wand, ready to join the attack in liberating Hogwarts from the forces of evil. But before he did, he glanced at the contraption Ron was still holding in his hand.
"What is that thing?"
Ron hefted the weapon. "This? It's a grenade launcher. Something my dad had laying around the house – it was one of the few things that survived the fire, actually. I remember him telling me it's a kind of Muggle weapon, something they like to use instead of magic wands. My dad and I thought if Voldemort couldn't be defeated by magic, maybe we could learn something from the Muggles. So my mom brought it here to Hogwarts."
"Well, it was bloody brilliant," said Harry. Ron laughed as his friend slapped him on the back. "Are you two ready to finish this?" he asked.
Hermione nodded resolutely after wiping a chunk of Voldemort gore from her face, which must have sailed over her magic shielding after the explosion. Ron placed the grenade launcher on a stone slab – it wouldn't be very useful now, as there had only been one round to fire from the thing. It didn't look like the greatest weapon to use with Hogwart's students running around willy nilly, anyway. "You know I am!" he said, drawing his wand.
The three of them smiled at each other before heading off to join the others. Despite all the tragedy that had passed that day, Ron couldn't repress his excitement. The Dark Lord was dead as a doornail, Hogwarts was saved, and the battle was won, all thanks to him. Who'd have guessed?
Night had fallen, and a small group of merrymakers gathered around a bonfire in front of Hagrid's hut, sharing tales of the battle. The dead had been buried and the wounded were being healed at Hogwarts; now that the war was over, it was time to celebrate. Hagrid stirred the fire with a gnarled stick as Ron told his tale of bravery to a group of girls hanging closely around him, although Hermione was trying her best to keep them from running their hands over him.
"So what was when I shot the grenade straight at him! Let me tell you, he didn't see that coming. The snake either! And since Nagini was the final horcrux, that meant that exploding Voldemort was the final blow. What can I say - I was just in the right place at the right time."
The girls laughed and tittered at the story. Hermione rolled her eyes, having heard Ron say pretty much the same thing several times already. There wasn't really much to the story. She swatted one girl who was getting too close and wrapped an arm around Ron to let them know the boy was taken. Ron, oblivious to Hermione's jealousy, was enjoying all the attention he was getting. It wasn't often that Ron Weasley was the man of the hour.
"It was amazing how you aimed so well," said Neville. "There was nothing left of him! I was really hoping to kill Nagini with the Sword of Godric Gryffindor, but that's alright."
"Yes, it was quite a good show," said Horace Slughorn, who had followed the small group of students out to Hagrid's hut in order to share in the revelry and hopefully have some of Ron's newfound celebrity rub off on him. "You know, I'd like to think a little of my teaching may have soaked in to our dear boy Weasley during some his classes, and perhaps played some small part in defeating the Dark Lord."
"So, did I tell everyone about my plan?" asked Harry. "See, I met Dumbledore in a kind of dream state or alternate dimension, I'm not quite sure, and apparently I stopped being a horcrux when Voldemort cast the killing curse on me. I pretended to be dead, so when we got back to the courtyard I could come back to life, give a rousing speech, and then-"
Romilda Vane waved a hand dismissively. "Yes, that's nice, Harry. We want to hear more from the boy who killed!"
The girls clamored for more stories. Ron laughed; they had been calling him 'the boy who killed' ever since they raised him up on their shoulders and paraded him back to Hogwarts once they had hunted down the remnants of Voldemort's forces. It had a certain ring to it. "There's not much more to tell," he said.
"Come on, Ron! How did you know how to use that thing?"
"Just intuition, that's all. As soon as it hit my hands, I knew just what to do."
That was stretching the truth, of course, but Ron felt himself goaded into exaggerating. It was hard to resist the urge to gloat when you had a group of girls hanging on your every word. Not that he was enjoying the attention too much – Hermione was the only girl for him. No doubt about that. He gave her a nervous smile as she glared at him, as if he was going something wrong. If they wanted to congratulate him on saving the day, who could blame them, really?
While he spoke, Ron noticed Harry seated on a log on the other side of the bonfire, arms crossed and looking peeved. He knew why: his friend had been expecting to save the day before Ron intervened. He could understand Harry's bad mood, as his friend was used to being in the spotlight. And he supposed it was only natural for the boy who lived to defeat the one who had tried to kill him. Most everyone had been expecting something to happen when Harry came back to life in Voldemort's arms, but Ron hadn't wanted to take any chances.
Once Hagrid started roasting some of the mutton and passing out the tankards of Butterbeer he had waiting in his hut, Ron knew Harry would start to cheer up. He was surprised at how quickly he was starting to cheer up himself. The day's victory had come at a high price, and burying their friends and fellow warriors had been a grim business. Ron knew that Fred's death would always leave a hole in him. But then, that was the good thing about having twin siblings, wasn't it? If you lost one, the other was pretty much the same.
Hagrid stood up and threw another log on the fire, sending out a shower of sparks that made the girls squeal and draw back and shield their eyes with their arms. "Alright," he thundered. "It's time for dinner!"
A cheer went up around the little party gathered by the fire as Hagrid went into his hut. When he returned a moment later, passing out tankards of Butterbeer, Ron smiled in satisfaction and took a drink. He felt its warmth spread through his body and mingle with the warmth of Hermione curled by his side. Harry had gotten his time in the sun. Tonight was Ron's hour of glory. Thanks to a little Muggle help - and his own ingenuity, of course - Voldemort and his Death Eaters were defeated, and the wizarding world was finally free from fear.
It was good to be Ron Weasley.
Notes: That's it! Hope you guys liked it, and reviews are always appreciated. I can't help thinking I might have written this entire fic as an excuse to use the line "Accio M79", hehe.
Also, while I don't have any other Harry Potter stories, I do have a variety of stories for other shows such as Kim Possible, Hey Arnold, The Office, Buffy and Angel, etc. Check them out if you are interested.