So I've made it to one hundred Harry Potter stories, and I thought the hundredth should be something special. In a moment of madness, I mentioned this at The Teachers' Lounge Forum. I said: "My own idea was to write 100 drabbles about different characters/pairings and ask people for a prompt for each chapter without revealing who it would be about." Before I knew it, a thread was started, and the other denizens of the Lounge were plying me with prompts.
So, this will be a series of drabbles and short oneshots based on the prompts from my friends at the Teachers' Lounge and the character list I came up with. If you're looking for a balanced every character story, forget it. This is a celebration, and I'm celebrating my favourite characters and pairings. So there will be an overabandance of Weasleys here! Having said that, I've recently got over my "thing" about all my stories having to agree with each other, so some of these will not fit in with my other stories. There might be some pairings I've never written before; there might even be one I swore I'd never write..."
As always, anything you recognise belongs to the wonderful JKR, to whom be undying gratitude for the wonderful world she has given us to play in.
The first prompt is from Sara Winters: "After a character's death (in canon), his/her will reveals something surprising to a younger character. And the character I had down on my list was Ron. Hope you enjoy it!
It is odd to be back at home, odder still to be in his own room. He supposes he will be sharing it with Harry as usual, but right now Harry is who knows where with Ginny. Ron is glad of it. He needs some time - even if it is only five minutes - to be alone. He plumps down on the bed and leans back against the wall, closing his eyes and giving a long sigh. He wills himself not to think, not to feel, just to be.
Something crackles under his hand. He tries to ignore it, but he can't. He groans, opens his eyes and sits up, scrabbling under the lurid orange bedcover to see what is there. He pulls out a piece of parchment, folded and sealed, with his own name on it. As he holds it up, frowning, more words appear beneath his name.
"Only to be opened if I'm dead and gone, and if George isn't. Don't worry Ickle Ronniekins, you won't be able to open this if that's not the case, so don't bother trying. Fred."
Ron gapes at it. Fred's spiky untidy writing is startlingly familiar, startlingly normal. Almost without thinking, he breaks the seal and begins to read.
"So if you're reading this, I guess I bought it, and that George is still around, which is tough on him. I need you to do something for me, Ron. Dead straight, no kidding. Hear me out.
I need you to look after George for me, Ron.
Yeah, you read that right. It needs to be you, Ron. The others, well... Bill will do the right thing because that's his way, but he has Fleur and no doubt they'll make us uncles before long; Charlie understands us better than most, but you know him and his dragons - he won't have time for anything else; Percy - well, no comment; Ginny's a dear, but she's too young and George won't let his little sister look after him. Mum and Dad will try, but they'll have their own troubles and Mum never understood about the shop. So that leaves you.
You have to look after George. You have to make him keep on with the shop. He has to do that, or everything we've fought for is nonsense. It was our dream, and what's the point of dreams if a little thing like death gets in the way of them? I know it's a lot to ask, but you're our brother, and I suppose that's what family's for.
You may not believe it, given the way we've treated you sometimes (sorry), but I trust you, Ron. More to the point, so does George. He'll be okay in the end, but he'll need a hand for a while.
Do it for me, Ronniekins.
Love (I guess), your brother Fred
Ron read to the end, heaved a deep breath and read it again. It was a lot to ask. He had his own plans - a break for a while; Auror training if they'd have him; maybe, maybe a future with Hermione. Looking after George wasn't going to be a part time thing. The Auror training at least would have to go.
But Fred was relying on him. He trusted him, and so did George. That, in itself was a revelation to Ron. He didn't really have a choice.
He walked to the window, opened it and looked out over the garden and the orchard. It was a clear night.
"I'll do it, Fred," he said into the night. "At least I'll try."
Somewhere an owl hooted and a fox called.
Ron sighed, lay down on his bed and closed his eyes. He was fast asleep by the time Harry came in.