Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or Doctor Who. Those belong to J.K. Rowling and BBC (and everyone who has ever written or done anything associated with Doctor Who), respectively.
On Death and Choices
His death had not been nice. It was long, drawn out, and painful. Being crushed beneath the rubble of a building was not an easy way to go. It had taken days for him to succumb to dehydration and his internal injuries.
And no one had found him. No one had even bothered to search for him. To be fair, the planet had been very dangerous. So dangerous that he had first dropped off his current companion in her home before flying off to go do…well none of that seemed important anymore.
He had not been careful with that final body either, always willing to throw it in mortal danger without regard. He had forgotten -for a little while it seemed- that he was indeed mortal and therefore able to die at some point.
At this particular point.
In his last moments, the TARDIS bade him a final farewell in his mind. It was sorrowful. She knew her thief was leaving her and that she was the last surviving sentient being from Galifrey. He bid her to go out and find someone worthy of piloting her (someone not Jack Harkness, who was still around) no matter the species.
He remembered people as he died, not just some as when he regenerated. He remembered them all. From Ian and Barbara to that last little lost girl he had come across (and found a home for) in his travels.
He remembered Susan and Jenny, and those hurt more than most. He remembered Rose, who had no doubt lived happily with his double. Rose, her Doctor, and the TARDIS (the baby TARDIS) as it should be.
The darkness encroached on him, and he noted that death (this very permanent death) was not as easy as falling asleep. It was painful, as he became undone from the Universe. All the things one grasped had to be let go of. All of the people.
It wasn't easy for a being who had lived so long he had stopped counting the years.
The darkness did not welcome him. It enveloped him.
He appeared in a corridor, feeling as though centuries or minutes could have passed. Not having to think about it much (once you let go of everything that has ever meant anything to you, picking a door is easy), he found himself going though a particular door for no apparent reason.
There was a room behind it, barely 7 by 7 feet with a low ceiling, wooden panels on the walls, and faded carpet. On one wall, there were more doors two separate ones. A woman stood between the doors. He knew just knew she may have appeared humanoid, but really she could probably have appeared any way to any one who came across her. She appeared as she was expected to.
She smiled at him.
The Doctor frowned "I had thought, that I made sure that name never existed."
The woman smirked "I could call you by your real name. But would not that be too intimate for your tastes?"
The Doctor didn't answer. He felt too old for games. "I've died, haven't I?" he asked, getting to the point.
The woman nodded "Yes. You have. Now, what do you think comes after, hmm?"
The Doctor shrugged. "Heaven? Hell?"
She let out a laugh "Oh Doctor, you're far too old and too well traveled to believe that the after life could be so simple as that! Really, humans are too narrow minded."
"What then? Do I have to spend an eternity talking to you? That seems about the right punishment for my deeds."
The woman cocked her head to the side. "And you believe you need to be punished?"
The Doctor nodded "I was expecting some sort of hell. For all I've done, the people I've killed. I've been expecting it for a while."
She looked at him thoughtfully. "It's not so easy. Murder isn't the same as evil you know. You're talking about being punished for evil. You've done good things too Doctor."
"Of course you have. Most of what you've done has been in the protection of others. Even murder. You've done wicked things in the interest of good."
The Doctor let out a harsh bark of laughter "You have an interesting definition of good."
She shrugged. "That's besides the point. Examining past actions is not the purpose of this interlude." she pointed to the doors "Those are."
"You see Doctor, you're an interesting case. Most people, they live one life, they fulfill that life, they die, come here and go on to the afterlife. But you're different."
The Doctor shifted in his spot. She had turned to him with a penetrating gaze that made him (him, a Time Lord who had gone up against more enemies than were able to be counted) feel as though he were naked.
"Well you haven't fulfilled your life. Your purpose. There's something more that needs to be done. Thousands of years, and you've left something out."
"How do I go about that then?" she was talking in riddles and he felt so tired.
"You get another life. Not a time lord life of course, but a life."
Right, because he had killed the other time lords. Doomed them.
"I don't want another life." The Doctor said forcefully "I've had thirteen of them. That's enough for any person."
"Thirteen years of being the Doctor. You'd get to be someone else here. You would start anew."
"And if I refuse?" he asked, staring at the doors.
She laughed "Well of course you have a choice, Doctor! Everyone gets a choice!"
He noticed as she laughed that her hair was blond, and curly and swayed about her round faced.
"What are my choices?"
"Ah!" the woman said, excited "That's how we get to why we're here. These two doors lead to very different places. This one leads to Paradise." she pointed to the door on her left.
"Paradise?" he asked skeptically.
"You know, your idea of paradise, what you think you deserve. Not any god's notion of what someone should be subjected to."
"And if I think I deserve hell?"
The woman blanched "You probably won't get it. It is paradise, you know."
The Doctor shook his head. None of this made any sense but was too old and too tired to look into it. Too dead.
His time for solving mysteries was over. "The other then?"
Here, the woman smiled again "Possibility." she pointed to the door on her left "It is the life you could lead as someone else. You'd be a part of an existing soul, but you'd fulfill your purpose."
The Doctor frowned "An existing soul?"
The woman waved her hand, as if flicking away his worries "A fetus, whose soul is not yet formed, who needs another soul to survive or because it can only fulfill its life if it has another soul. Don't worry, it doesn't hurt the child any. The extra soul helps it. The children come away more intelligent, more mature, stronger, and more outgoing."
The Doctor was being skeptical again "I don't want another life. I think I'll take paradise."
"Oh Doctor! How silly you are. Do you really believe you can live out the rest of eternity sitting around in paradise knowing you've not fulfilled your purpose?"
The Doctor wanted to say Yes. But that would be lying. Not that he had any reservations about lying, but he didn't feel like he could lie to this creature. Something was stopping him.
"No." He finally said, and felt a shadow of rage flickering in his stomach. (A wonder, he was dead but he could still almost feel as angry as he used to.) Some choice this was turning out to be.
Fine, if some supposed higher authority wanted him to mete out a couple of more decades, he'd do it. But it'd be on his terms.
"I don't want to be a hero." The Doctor said "I want to be a companion. I'll help out every now and then with world saving, but I don't want to be responsible for everything that comes with being a hero. I don't want to be famous. I'd even like to be a bit normal if that's possible. Mortgage, marriage, kids and all that."
The woman nodded
"And I don't want my memories. None of that reincarnation nonsense, where I suddenly remember who I once was, alright? If I'm starting anew, I want to forget the Doctor."
The woman smiled, and produced a pocket watch from out of nowhere. A fob watch. A very particular fob watch. "You can be separated from your memories, but they must follow you. That is a rule. You do not have to know about them though. This," She held up the watch "as you recognize is a place you've stored yourself. It's also a good place for storing memories. Perfectly representative of course. It's not real. But it will be real on Earth, and hidden, very far away from you so that you are away from its influence. Alright?"
Slowly the Doctor nodded.
"Ready then?" the woman stepped back from the doors. The Doctor approached them step by step. Much too soon, he was in front of the left one. He grasped the handle.
"If its not too much trouble." he added a he twisted the knob "I'd like to be ginger."
"Yes of course." she sounded practically triumphant as the door opened. "I knew you'd pick that door, Doctor. You were always meant to pick that one. It's not something that can be undone."
The Doctor could not ask what she meant, because whatever was on the other side of that door sucked him in.
And he knew nothing more.
A Knock in the Night
Molly Weasley felt just a big as a house. It was her 5th pregnancy (hopefully a girl this time) and she was seven months in already. The thought of 2 more months of being this size, with 5 little boys running around the house made Molly very tired.
The baby had taken to kicking Molly early in the morning and so Molly had found herself sitting at the table with a cup of tea and a candle glowing off her face before the sun even rose. Thankfully, the tea seemed to calm the little one. Molly laughed at that, it was very British already!
She was thinking of names (Ralph, maybe, for a boy, Gwen for a girl) when a knock at the door brought her out of her thoughts. It was so sharp and sudden Molly nearly dropped her mug. She remembered then that she was bringing another child into a world at war, a very dangerous world indeed.
Arthur and she had discussed it. After the twins were born and the war really began to pick up, they had talked about stopping at 5. In the end though, they agreed that they wouldn't let the death eaters intimidate them. Life would go on, even when you-know-who was finally dead (and Molly wanted a girl very badly!).
Right at that moment though, Molly was very frightened, and very pregnant. She tied her robe tightly about her stomach as if the thin fabric could give protection to the unborn child. She gripped her wand and tiptoed to the door not wanting to wake up and worry the whole family. Her wand at the ready, Molly very slowly opened the door and peered outside. "Lumos" she whispered. It was dark, but under her wand light she saw no one.
Had it been her imagination? Was all of that stress and fear over having a baby in wartime starting to get to her?
Molly sighed. At least it wasn't a death eater.
Just as she was closing the door something caught her eye. Its metal surface reflected the wand's glow. Strangely intrigued, Molly reached down for it, and once it was in her hand she shut the door, magically locked it, and walked back over to the table.
In the candle light, she examined the object. It was a fob watch of some kind with an intricate design on its surface. Very muggle.
Molly ran some spells over it, but it did not appear to be dark. She was about to open it, but the baby kicked and distracted her. Molly yawned, feeling very tired. Looking down at the watch again, she decided she didn't want her children nor her husband questioning her about it (Arthur would be so fascinated by the device, but how would she explain its sudden appearance on the door step?).
She took it back into the kitchen and levitated it to sit atop one of the highest cabinets (the one with all of the tea and mugs). Yawning again and stretching, Molly made her way back up to her bedroom. She got back into bed next to Arthur to sleep away what was left of the night. She gave the fob watch no more thought.
All was quiet in the Burrow.
If Ronald Billius Weasley really concentrated, he could remember being born. Oh it was not crystal clear or anything (very foggy) nor could he remember the exact words being said at the time (probably screaming), or even the first time he saw his mother (he was probably blind as a bat anyway, not that bats are blind or anything its just…well an expression). However, he could remember a feeling, a certain feeling, one he's never felt since.
As he entered the world, so cold and bright, he felt a rush of joy. It's not that he hasn't felt joy since, but this joy was different. It was excitement and expectation and sheer happiness all rolled into one. It was relief. When he thought back to it, he couldn't rightly say what the relief was about, or any of it really. He was, after all, just a baby. Normal babies shouldn't have feelings at all, except for wants and needs.
But then again, Ron Weasley had never been normal in the least.
Ronald Bilius Weasley was a strange child, even by magical standards. He was smart for one, and even though all of the Weasley children were bright in one way or another, Ron still stood out among them. Mathematics and reading came rather easily to him, and his memory was rather vast for someone his age, no matter what age he was.
He was crazy about books and reading, which was alright. What really shocked people when they met him was his understanding. He wasn't like most kids, who would try to read a big book and grow tired of it, and maybe be able to repeat some facts afterwards. After having read several of his brothers' textbooks, Ron could explain to them concepts in magic they themselves could not yet understand (even if he didn't really agree with the magical explanations at all).
By the time Ron was seven, he had already made his way through all of the books in the house. Often, when his oldest brothers were home from school he would pilfer through their trunks for some more reading material.
He soon became knowledgeable about a wide variety of things (mostly due to his secret trips to the local muggle library): Charms, potions, transfiguration, mathematics, even the muggle sciences (well really, he didn't learn those last two per-say…it was more of a second nature) and outpaced his mother's home schooling very early on.
So yes, Ron was very bright, which would have been alright with everyone if he was simply 'bright' but there were other things too...
Ronald was a very well spoken child, practically babbling since he was out of the womb. He did not have a first word. He had a first sentence.
"Mad man with a blue box." He'd gurgled at eight months old. Molly had dropped her mug that time and had to use her wand to put it back together.
Ron had only smiled.
He continued to use sentences and words in the most well spoken ways. It was never "Mummy, cookies?"
It was "Have you got any cookies mum? I love cookie, yep, love them a lot, almost as much as bananas. Actually, on second thought, have you got any bananas? Or maybe, banana cookies? Yes, have you got any banana cookies, mum?" That same smile was plastered on his face, even at twenty months.
When Ron first recognized himself in a mirror, he was almost two. He waved his chubby hands, and smiled at himself and touched his soft red hair.
"Finally ginger." he said, but didn't know where the words came from.
He was very happy all the same.
The boy was about two and a half when he drew his first recognizable picture. Molly had stared at it curiously. It was a muggle box of some sort? Ron had never been exposed to the muggle world in his life!
"What is that?" Molly asked, holding one year old Ginny on her hip. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see the four year old twins making mischief and six year old Percy was telling them off. Yet here Ron was, quietly drawing a picture.
"A TARDIS of course!" Ron said and looked at his mother as if everyone should know that.
"Now don't be rude, Ronald." Molly admonished.
"Rude and ginger." Ron muttered.
"Hmmm?" Fred and George where tormenting poor Percy. Molly didn't hear what Ron had said as she was telling them off.
"Well it's a very nice picture." she said somewhat awkwardly and turned back to her other sons to deal with the trouble they were creating.
Ron went back to coloring in his picture (the most interesting shade of blue!) and Molly went on with her duties, pushing the picture to the back of her mind, along with other things about Ron she's never wanted to think about.
Ron's next picture was of a dog-like thing, a "robot" (whatever that was). Several more pictures were of young women. Some were red headed, some blonde, some dark skinned, some freckled. They were people that Molly had never seen, but assumed (hoped) they were out of Ron's imagination.
By the time Ron was eight his drawing ability had vastly improved and his walls were covered with pictures.
Molly never really went into Ron's room much. It made her mind itch with memories she'd tried to forget.
The Unusual Nights
Although he seemed happy enough (oblivious enough) during the day, nightmares plagued Ron throughout his childhood. He would often wake up in cold sweat in the middle of the night, throat sore from screaming into his pillow (a habit he developed as to not alert his large family) and his heart heavy with sorrow (a concept no child, no matter how bright should be able to grasp, but he did).
For hours afterward, he wouldn't be able to shake that feeling.
The trouble was, Ron didn't know why he felt that way when he woke up. He had no memory of the nightmare whatsoever, just the sour aftertaste. It was as if something was hiding it from him. He was only left with a few blurry images. Well, the images and the words.
TARDIS (it was always in capitals, as though representing something)…..Time Lord….Pond….River….Galifrey….Susan….Regeneration…Bad Wolf, Bad Wolf, Bad Wolf!
The sorrow would eventually fade during the day, but the words remained.
Once (only once, never again) his mother came into his room in the middle of the night and shook him awake during once of these nightmares. He opened his eyes but he didn't really see her, he was still caught in the nightmare's grasp.
The Time Lords, the Time Lords!
"Ron?" she had asked hesitantly. He was very young (three? Four?) the right age for nightmares, but he looked so…devastated. He still was not quite awake when he slung to his mother and buried his face into her in a desperate way he hadn't in…well he hadn't ever, not even as a baby
"I killed them all!" he cried into his mother's nightgown.
"Who dear?" she asked worriedly. It had been just a nightmare, but still the idea of a child killing anything, even is his dreams is concerning. And he looked so….lost and scared. So unlike her independent little boy.
The Time Lords, the Time Lords!
But he didn't say. He only gripped his mother tighter. Molly peered at the top of her son's head, and pushed it back to look into his teary eyes. They were so dark….stormy…so angry, and yet lost. In the back of her mind, a memory flickered and died…a fob watch….
Molly held her son until he fell back to sleep, but she never went into her son's room during a nightmare again. That was when Ron trained himself to scream into a pillow.
I'm the last
There were good dreams too, though not as often. Those he remembered. There was a place with two suns and grassy meadows and a citadel (yes, that's what it was) enclosed inside glass. Home.
And then there was a blue box, bigger on the inside (not magic though) like tents and pockets and things Ron had encountered. That was home too. A whole lot of people were there, but not all at once. They were all there to listen to him, and to go on adventures with him. Most were girls, and pretty. Like this one blonde…
Oh he loved those adventures in his dreams. It almost felt like he'd really been to Venice (vampires, wouldn't you know? He thought they were native to Africa) or rescued a spaceship full of people from an evil skin graft, or saved earth from some rather….flatulent aliens.
But he hadn't, not really. And sometimes (only sometimes though) that weighed more heavily on him than the sorrow.
On Stories, Rats, and Blondes
Later in his childhood, it seemed Ron grasped concepts he had never been taught. The muggle idea of physics for one. Often his mother could find him staring at her intently as she did magic. He seemed rather frustrated.
"It's just not right." He would say.
"It's magic dear" Molly would answer and look at him like he'd grown a second head (a look Ron received a lot actually).
Ron would sigh and shake his head at his mother, muttering something about fig newtons. Why he was talking about cookies (muggle cookies no less!) or what they had to do with magic, Molly could never figure out.
The first time Ron heard the story of Harry Potter he was five. Molly explained to him and Ginny about the dark lord (you-know-who) and how everyone was afraid, how evil he was, and finally how happy people were when they heard the news that he was dead.
Ginny clapped and smiled, but Ron looked pensive (as pensive as a five year old could, which was a surprising amount).
"That's awful." He finally said.
"Why?" Molly questioned, not really the least bit surprised that Ron would find fault with one of the most famous stories in Wizard history.
"Well his parents are dead. He's an orphan, and now he's saved the world once, but he's just a little baby and now people are going to expect him to do it again and that's a lot of responsibility for a baby! For anyone!" Ron said all in one breath.
"He's not a baby no more!" Ginny cried out, probably frustrated that her weird older brother would criticize her new favorite bedtime story.
Ron shrugged. He was never the type to fight with his siblings. He liked to avoid conflict.
"Yes" Molly agreed after a moment "It's awful for Harry I suppose, but now that dark lord is dead. He can't hurt anyone."
"But what if he comes back? Then Harry has to defeat him again!" (His mother was giving him that two headed look again).
"He won't." Molly said.
"But what if he does? What if no matter how hard Harry tries, he keeps coming back!"
"He can't, he's dead!" Ginny said smugly, although she looked to her mother for conformation. Ginny yawned then, and her mother scooped her up for her afternoon nap.
"I'll be back." She said to her youngest son, eyeing him carefully.
Ron was about ready to cry. Why exactly he couldn't say. It was as if he had just had one of those nightmares. Not even a child as well spoken as him could put into words that sorrow and desolation he felt after those nightmares. There was something, somewhere, deep inside of him, where his love for books and his knowledge of muggle science came from. The nightmares came from there too, and the words he'd never heard, and those images he painted.
Ron had never been the normal child who would clap at the Harry Potter story. He had never had the chance to be that child because of that deep down place.
Molly put Ginny down for her nap, before she dealt with Ron. She sat down on the rug next to him. He had a book open on his lap (about those cookies again too!) but he wasn't really reading it.
"Listen" she said so he looked at her "the world is not going to see things the way you do Ron. You must remember that before you say things. You're smart, but saying that the dark lord will come back is not a good way to make friends." Molly admonished her son.
"I know….I was just….it's sad mum, about Harry."
"Yes. The world can be a terrible place." Molly said gently.
"You're right, it can." Ron agreed solemnly, and his mother had the eerie feeling that he knew exactly what he was talking about, that he had experienced the terribleness of the world. It chilled her, like that night when he'd had that nightmare….
She couldn't have held this conversation with any of her other children at this age, but Ron was different. Ron had always been different.
Ron and his siblings never interacted much. As a result, his siblings (even Percy) thought of him as rather stuffy. The twins didn't even pull tricks on him (as if they knew, instinctively he would do some mischief in return). Ginny was happy to play with her dolls or with her other brothers. Anyone but Ron.
This was alright with him. He preferred to be alone. No, preferred wasn't the right word, he felt he had to be alone. That by playing with them he would be hurting them somehow. He would be being selfish.
(some left me, some got left behind….some died.
I can't do it anymore
Don't make me go back
If it's my last chance to say it…).
Yet still, when Ron was sitting alone in his room, drawing a picture or reading, he yearned for a person, friend (companion?) he could talk to, show off to, someone he would not have to hide his strangeness around (as his mother so often advised him to).
Most of all, Ron wanted to travel, to explore, to get inside a great blue box and…..and what?
Ron knew he was only a child of a poor family. There would be no exploring for him. Only Hogwarts and then a job with the ministry.
That was to be his life
Ron was peering at Scabbers. Scabbers was chewing oats. Ron peered. Scabbers chewed.
"Something's not right." He murmured. Ordinarily, Scabbers would be in Fred and George's room for the summer, but after that incident with some rather badly put together potions ingredients, that room was no longer habitable. At least not for the next few weeks.
Along with the rat, Fred and George were also in Ron's room, but Ron was much more interested in the rat. The twins were outside playing Quidditch anyway.
On his nightstand, Ron had a stick, not a magical stick, just a stick made for poking things. He poked Scabbers lightly with that stick and frightened the creature so much it burrowed into a hole in its cage.
"Still not right."
Ron had never spent much time around Scabbers. He was always off with some brother or another. But he knew that the rat was practically as old as him. Rats didn't typically live for 7 years (not including that time before the family found him).
He poked the creature again, and could have sworn he received a glare in return.
"Ah." Ron whispered "I know what you are."
Ron smiled triumphantly. Actually, Ron had no idea about animagi and limited knowledge about transfiguration of living creatures. He really didn't know what the rat was. But if it understood people when they talked (and by the way it quaked and ran around at Ron's words, it did) then maybe it would give itself away.
Ron clutched the cage in his hands and went downstairs to seek out his mother. She was sitting at the table, braiding Ginny's hair, her back to him.
"Mum." the boy said, setting down the cage on the table "Scabbers isn't a rat."
"No?" Molly asked tiredly and looked over her shoulder "He looks like rat to me."
"What is he then?"
"Not sure, but definitely not a rat."
Fred and George walked in then, followed by Percy who had taken it upon himself to tell them off for playing to rough.
"What's not a rat?" asked Fred (well Ron knew he was Fred, but at the moment he was playing George).
"Scabbers?" asked George (playing Fred).
"Looks like a rat to me." They grinned together.
"It's not a rat, it's something else." Ron insisted.
"Ron," Scoffed Percy "Stop telling stories."
"It's not story. He's really not a rat." Ron said. He wasn't indignant or angry. He never fought with his siblings. No one was listening to him anymore though. Fred and George were chasing Percy around the house, holding something out that he didn't want to touch, and Ginny had joined in on the fun. His mother was busy trying to get things back under control.
Shrugging, Ron picked the cage back up and went upstairs.
"You know," he whispered conspiratorially to Scabbers "I had this weird dream about cat people. Nuns they were. Wouldn't it be great to meet them? Think they eat rats?"
(Well how do you think you look to them all pink and yellow?)
He could have sworn Scabbers quaked at his words.
That night, George, Fred and Ron were woken up by the sound of floor boards creaking in the bedroom. Well, Ron had been having another nightmare so he was awake anyway. In the darkness, the three could see the silhouette of a man walking around the beds to the window. George and Fred screamed. Ron smiled in triumph.
When their parents came running, the man and the rat were both gone.
While he brothers babbled in fright, Ron announced "Ha! I was right!"
(and his mother gave him that look again, like he had two heads. But really, Ron thought, isn't that better than one?).
The Aurors were called in, and the animagi registry searched. All registered rat animagi were questioned (none of them missing a toe of course) and their stories checked out. A search was conducted, but the man wasn't found (or the rat for that matter).
Fred and George were wary the next few nights and the whole family kept giving Ron that two headed look. None of them admitted he had been right of course.
Eventually, the incident was forgotten in the family. Well, if not forgotten exactly, then just pushed to the back of all their minds until Ron did something else strange. This allowed Fred and George to sleep through the night without thinking every creak was another person pretending to be something else. The rest of the family was able to not be paranoid about every critter that walked through the door (they never got another pet though).
Ron, rather than forcing himself to forget it, filed this particular incident away for future reference.
At the age of nine, Ron went to muggle London for the first time (and how familiar it was!). He had been to Diagon alley, and even Hogsmeade many times, but that was all plain old wizard stuff! All ancient and traditional, and hadn't been changed in about a millennia. Stuffy compared to the innovation of muggles!
Ron had never really liked magic. It didn't add up with any laws of physics that he knew. Though, if he really thought about it for a while, he could call magic another kind of science, a science of words. But most of the time he did not like magic, not even his own controlled magic (his mother thought he was a squib until he was five just because he'd had such control that accidental magic wasn't a problem. Of course the banana birthday cake complete with a new bow tie caused him to lose control).
He much preferred the muggle shops to the stuffy wizard stores. All those coffee shops and clothing stores and book stores and everyone picking things up and putting them down.
Yes muggles were quite the industrious people and Ron was fascinated by them. So, having his father take him to muggle London (something having to do with his job) was quite the treat. Like his son, Arthur delighted in muggle things. If nothing else, the two could relate on that level and there was no one else Arthur would rather take with him.
The two "oohed" and "ahhhed" at everything. There was the carousel, the -only- double Decker buses, and the strange red booths at each corner with people inside talking into curved objects.
"Phone booths!" Ron told his father, who nodded thoughtfully. He was never frightened by his son's strangeness. He simply never questioned it, or his good fortune. He could have had another Fred and George!
While his took care of some job things, Ron was allowed to wonder around with the assurance that he would be back at the building at 2. Ron was having a blast, even on his own. He watched the muggles going about their day and sat down on a bench to watch some more.
He was only there a few minutes when he saw her, so small and blonde and (pink and yellow) sad. She was crying. Without much thought, Ron got up off the bench. He walked over to her and knelt beside her.
"Hello Rose, what's wrong?"
Tearful and scared, Rose did not ask how he knew her name "I can't find my mummy." Nodding, Ron took her hand and found some muggle money in his pocket. They went to the nearest food stand (Bad Wolf Burgers) and bought some chips.
Back at the bench, they waited for her mum to appear. Ron got Rose talking so she would stop crying and she babbled and Mickey and her other friends. Ron let his mind wander, which led to Bad Wolf, Bad Wolf, Bad Wolf! She -this Rose- was there in that deep down place, like those words.
(They were one in the same practically, but completely different at the same time.)
(I create myself)
Soon Jackie Tyler (Ron did not bother questioning his own innate knowledge of that. His cheek stung terribly) appeared, worried and rubbing her hands together, calling out her daughter's name. Rose ran into her arms, but Ron was already gone by the time she remembered her new friend and wished to point him out.
From afar, Ron watched as they turned around the block, Rose twisting and trying to find him. She didn't of course, but she was left with a distinct liking towards chips.
"You're going to have a fantastic life, Rose Tyler." (Not just one year, a whole life).
The words came without thought.
(I am bad wolf…I see your atoms….)
Ron looked up to his ceiling that night. A woman, bathed in gold stared down at him. She was similar to the drawing of the pretty blonde lady, but different, completely different.
More powerful…more deadly…Ron drifted off...
(...and I divide them)
(I think you need a doctor).
He dreamed of becoming someone else, of having new teeth (two hearts), of changing clothes and phrases (not just once, many times), of being feared throughout the universe, no matter the face.
After that, Ron started drawing more pictures of men, of all shapes and sizes, ages and looks (with the strangest outfits!). When his mother saw the new additions, she asked about them.
"Who are they?"
"The doctor." Ron wrinkled his nose "That's not his real name of course, but everyone calls him that."
"All of them? They're all the same?"
"Sort of, not really." Ron shrugged "None of them are ginger." he added helpfully.
Letters and Wands and Strange Old Men
When Ron got his Hogwarts letter he was almost disappointed.
Oh, his mother was dancing around the house, baking, being happy (and maybe relieved?), but Ron couldn't feel himself being excited. He knew a lot of course curriculum already (the theory of it at least) so his first year would be boring and predictable. And magic still gave him that unease of being just so…wrong.
It frightened him when he realized that so many people could wield that kind of power with words (like the carrionites from is nightmares). And so close to the defenseless muggles too!
But still, Ron got the letter and he couldn't -not- go. So he went along with it and tried to act happy if only for the sake of his mother. His siblings, Fred, George, and Percy offered him forced smiles. Clearly they didn't think much of having their strange brother going to school with them
Not after that rat incident when he was 7.…
As Ron entered Olivander's shop, he was not particularly looking forward to getting a wand. He preferred his poking stick. The wand seemed so permanent, as if he was taking this giant mantle of being a wizard and now there was no way out of it. Like….settling down. Ron shuddered.
There was also so much one could do with a wand. Sure, there were good things, like cooking and cleaning and animating objects. But there were so many bad things! Hurting people, killing them even. Voldemort (Ron refused to be afraid of a name) used the wand that way and others like him did as well.
To Ron, it would be like carrying around a gun, how he hated that aspect of muggles!
(I killed them, I killed them all!)
Olivander took one look at Ron and then another, and another. He peered closely at the boy.
"In need of a wand, young man?"
"Obviously." Stated Ron "What else would I be doing in a wand shop? Looking for bananas? Actually…have you got any of those? I do love bananas. Really, I'd rather have a banana than a wand."
Molly pointedly smacked Ron in the back of the head. "Don't be rude." she hissed.
(always the mothers)
"Rude and ginger." Ron muttered as he rubbed his head.
Olivander laughed "Quite alright, quite alright." he looked back down at Ron one last, lingering time and turned on his heel to head into the other end of the shop. He came back with several wands and gingerly handed one to Ron.
"Go on. Try that."
Ron did. Several of the wood planks in the shop cracked.
Olivander looked positively delighted. "I thought not, much too young. You need something older."
Ron did not have time to think not hat statement as he was then handed another wand which met with more disastrous consequences. A few more were tried, with no success.
With each failed wand, the grin on Olivander's face grew wider.
"Nothing wrong I hope?" Mrs. Weasley asked, clearly concerned. None of the other boys had taken too many tries. But again, this was Ronald.
"No, no absolutely not. Everything is just right Mrs. Weasley, just right." Olivander answered excitedly.
He went back into the back of the shop, and returned a long five minutes later with another wand. Ron reached out to take it, but Olivander held onto it.
"This, Mr. Weasley is made from a tree, from very, very far away." He spoke so quietly, Ron's mother probably couldn't hear, all the way at the front of the shop, looking on " I knew a man once, very old, probably dead now, who traveled around in a blue box and spoke to me of a far away place. It was his home. As a wand maker of course, I asked what kind of trees grew in that place. So he brought me a single thin piece of wood, which I have fashioned into this wand."
A blue box? Could it be…? Could Olivander had read his mind? Seen into his dreams?
Now Olivander held the wand out to Ron. Ron took a long look at it. It appeared no more special then any of the previous wands, all wood and straight, brown, about 11 inches. Gingerly, Ron took it.
Colors flowed from the tip of the wand like a rainbow.
Ron smiled, he could see how people could love magic now. He felt as though he was connected to the world somehow. Oh the wand just felt so right in his hand, so right, almost like….
(It's a screwdriver, a sonic screwdriver)
His mother was looking into her purse for the 10 galleons to pay for the wand. She was positively red faced when she stopped.
"Very sorry Mr. Olivander. I have to go track down my husband. I'm coming up a bit short."
"Quite alright Mrs. Weasley." Olivander said kindly.
"Stay here. I'll be right back." Molly said to Ron and quickly left the shop.
"Mr. Olivander." Ron addressed the shop owner. "If the wood is from that place, what is the core?"
Olivander smiled "Essence of Time Lord, Mr. Weasley."
Molly came back then, promptly paid the shop owner and took Ron's arm to lead him outside. Ron couldn't take his eyes off of the smiling old man until the door was shut behind them.
That night, Ron painted his wand the same color of the police boxes on his wall.
His mother nearly fainted when she saw. She had wanted to give Ron his uncle's old wand, but her husband had pointed out that their personalities were so different that Ron's spells would probably backfire.
Ginny could have that wand.
With all of his stuff on the train, and his brothers too, Ron was just about ready to get on himself. He look up at his mother, who peered at him with mixed feelings. Eventually, she pulled him into a hug.
"I know you're not like other kids." She whispered to him " and I worry for you all time. I fear people will dislike you, hate you even for being different. I love you, but sometimes I don't understand you."
Ron gave you a sad smile (sometimes he doesn't understand himself.) "Quite right too."
And with that, Ron dashed off to the train. He found an empty compartment to sit in. Well almost. One boy was there.
"Ron Weasley." He introduced himself. For some reason, the name tasted foreign on his tongue. The boy looked up.
"Harry Potter." He said shyly.
Ron frowned. "Sorry about that."
"About what?" Harry asked. Obviously, sympathy was not something the boy faced every day.
"About being Harry Potter. You parents and everything. It's great about defeating Voldemort" (Harry didn't flinch, and Ron was pleased at that)," but that still sucks mate."
Harry gave Ron a look (not the two headed look, just a curious look). Was he doing the strange thing again?
"Thanks." Harry finally said.
Ron nodded and sat down. He took out a book he'd brought with him to read.
"I never knew them." Harry said suddenly "I mean, I was just a year old. I don't have memories or anything of them. But everyone keeps telling me they were brave and…" He looked to Ron as if to affirm this and Ron was reminded that mot people didn't have memories from the time they were infants. Except him.
"My uncle and aunt raised me. They're muggles."
Ron grinned. "Oh I love muggles with their phones and televisions and screw drivers! Muggles are fantastic. Is your family fantastic?"
Harry shook is head.
"No, I hated it there.'
"Oh." Ron frowned "I'm sorry about that then too, but not all muggles are like that, right?"
"I suppose not."
They spent the rest of the trip talking about muggle technology vs. magic (Ron defending the muggle, Harry defending the magic). A girl walked in, asking about a toad at some point. But the two boys were so involved, they didn't notice.
An Interesting Conversation
Ronald Weasley was nearly the last name to be called up for sorting. When the hat was plopped on his head, Ron heard a strange voice speaking into his mind.
-Oh what do we have here? An old soul?
-Yes a very old soul, from very far away. Hidden, but there, deep down.
-You sound like Olivander
-But it is true. A life lived not once, but 13 times. Aren't you cheating, old soul? Is 14 not too many?
-Are you going to sort me now?
(the conversation was beginning to make Ron uncomfortable, and bringing to his mind old nightmares and…dreams)
-I'm not talking to you boy. I'm taking to the part of you you've locked up and hidden away, but still he seeps through affecting you throughout your life, turning you into who you are. Yes you call yourself strange but you haven't the slightest idea how strange you are.
-Very. I am very strange.
-Oh yes, very strange indeed…
-Still need to be sorted, here.
-All in good time, and you know all about that, don't you, my Lord? I so rarely get an interesting mind to sort through. Oh I see you're a traveler, a wondrous traveler!
-the furthest I've ever been from home is here.
-But such sadness, the last of your kind, are you not? You used to wander and wander in a blue box?
(Ron felt himself go very cold. Was the old hat using his dreams against him?)
-Yes a bigger on the inside blue box, a TARDIS! Oh how lovely! But you are so lonely, everyone dies. Bad wolf…the song…adric, and so many more. Whole planets gone, by your own doing.
-Even your own! And a name, Ronald Bilius Weasley indeed! What a farce, a lie, a life you've been given. There's a deeper name…
-Stop it now you blasted hat! (and those words were not his own, those thoughts were not his own. A third person had joined this conversation, from the deep down place).
-Healer? Medic? But even that's a lie
-Sort me right now or I swear, I'll burn you with fiendfyre (those were his own at least).
-Oh well alright, if you insist. I've known all along, but if you insist. Let's see, Ravenclaw would be too static for you. No room for movement there. Hufflepuff would be too blind. Slytherin would suit you well, but for none of the right reasons. Now before I do this, let me just say Mr. Weasley, you can visit me in the headmaster's office any time. I do enjoy a good brain.
-Oh very well. For the oncoming storm it better be…
That table erupted in cheers, even Ron's brothers. Was that acceptance in their eyes? Strangely, it didn't seem as if that had taken as long as it had felt. Was there some sort of time stasis thing going on there?
Time stasis, Ron thought, where had THOSE words come from?
Ron got up from the stool and made his way to Gryffindor table to sit down next to Harry. His legs felt shaky…that third voice, it felt so familiar and yet so…alien. Ron didn't often question the things that came from the deep down place, but that one had practically taken over his mind!
"You looked about ready to blow the hat up." Harry whispered as the next person went up to the stool.
"I didn't like what it was saying" (and neither did he, the other).
"I didn't either." said Harry.
Near the boys sat a girl, whose frizzy hair reminded Ron of a woman he had drawn several pictures of, who didn't have a name…but a song, a melody.
Ron shook his head, he shouldn't have let that hat affect him like this. 14 lives? A wanderer? Had the thing been looking into his dreams and messing with him? It was so impossible the things it said.
(I don't believe in impossible)
Then again, is it anymore impossible than knowing a little girl I've never met? Remembering people who aren't real? Have knowledge of things I've never been taught? 14 lives….13 different men covering my wall.
The words the hat said had clearly resonated with that deep down place. Ron sighed, and waited for the food.
Ron and Harry got on well in the first few months of school. Ron tried not to be too strange around him, but Harry didn't seem to mind the strangeness and he rather appreciated the help Ron could give him in charms and transfiguration.
"Are you sure you've never done this before?" Harry repeated when Ron levitated another feather.
"Never. But I read about the theory. Now repeat after me: Wingardium Levi- o- sa."
Harry did excel at one thing: Quidditch and when he accidentally made seeker after that incident with Malfoy. Ron was happy for him. Ron himself had never been much into sports, but Harry seemed to love it. So that was alright.
When Harry was at Quidditch practice, Ron could be found in the library, trying to learn more about magic: a subject he realized he was going to have to love. It wasn't enough to be good at it, he wanted to accept it too.
It was here that Ron really met Hermione, the girl with the frizzy (song like) hair. She didn't mind his strangeness either and liked books about a much as he did (although he will admit that she had read Hogwarts: a History at least once more than him).
These two were the first friends Ron had ever had, and he found that he liked them, these kids he could be himself around and show off to.
But there was that nagging feeling, that he was being selfish, that somehow (and this was the really confusing part) that they would get hurt simply by being around him. That he was...dangerous?
(He's like fire and ice and rage. He's like the night and the storm in the heart of the sun)
Trio Beneath the Castle
The beginning of the year went by rather smoothly (aside from an incident with a troll where they were all rushed back to their common rooms).
Christmas came and went and Ron found himself fitting in as much as anyone like him could. He excelled in all of his classes (even potions, despite what snarky comments Snape made about the littlest Weasley boy) and tried not to notice anything strange happening.
Tried, being the key word.
And really, he did try. Tried to ignore Quirrell and the strange feeling he got around him whenever DADA class rolled around. Tried not to read the paper that reported the missing sorcerer's stone. He wanted desperately to stay out of it. Hermione and Harry though, could talk of nothing else once they got to know each other (really, a bad idea on Ron's part. Companions should never meet. Never.). It was always the sorcerer's stone this, and Snape that, and oh my there's a three headed dog on a trap door! Ron tried (and again, failed) to ignore the sound of their voices and stay out of the adventure.
Part of him wanted to sink his teeth into this mystery, but most of him was wary. Mysteries of a certain sort often let to…
(Death, loss, desolation…I killed them all….Delete!….exterminate!….I am bad wolf)
No….mysteries were never good. But after that incident with Hermione setting Snape's robes on fire (and really, wasn't Quirrell acting a bit suspicious as well, staring at Harry and whatnot?) Ron realized his friends were going to get hurt whether or not he helped them
So together, the three friends sat down and decided how to best calm down fluffy and what sort of dangers there could be. He and Hermione took over research, Harry got supplies.
(A crew, I've got a crew! Haven't had one of those in a while)
Soon, they were ready to go.
It was not so bad, the plants, the troll, the three headed dog, the keys, the troll, and the chess. At least, they were all conscious when it came to the final stage. Ron ignored the rhyme and looked at each vial. "This one!" he said, holding it up to Harry. Harry looked skeptical and Hermione huffed at him ignoring the riddle.
"How do you know?"
"Just trust me." the truth was, Ron couldn't explain it. It was like a fixed point or something. It just had to be that vial.
(They're all going to die, is that how you see the universe?
All the time)
Something was coming, Ron could feel it. It wouldn't be just the stone they all had to worry about.
Just as Harry was about to drink the vial, Ron stopped him. "You don't have to do this Harry. The whole universe might say you do, there might even be a prophecy out there that predicts you will for all we know, but you don't have to do this."
Harry gave him that look again, that curious look.
"I know. But someone has to."
And he drank the vial. Ron sighed as he stepped through the barrier. "Good luck."
Ron and Hermione didn't wait for Harry to return. Instead, they ran to escape and find someone to help in case Harry got injured, (because Ron could feel that force approaching).
That's when they ran head first into Professor Quirrell, except it wasn't. That same vagueness Ron felt coming Scabbers, and off of Quirrell all year, was now in full force.
"Hermione," said Ron "Get back."
Quirrell smiled a sickly smile at the children "Oh students, were you the ones who got rid of all those traps for me? Thank you so much. Master was pleased, if suspicious. He worried it was Dumbledore. I see now, that is not so."
Carefully, he unwrapped his turban. "Ssssso pleasssed." said something snakelike.
"Hermione." Ron said "Run, I'll hold him off."
"Run!"She didn't need to be told twice. Hermione side stepped Quirrell and ran like the wind. He seemed disinterested in her anyway.
"Ah." said Quirrell "One of the littlest Weasleys? Come to take down the big bad guy?"
Not really, that was supposed to be Harry's job. Ron didn't voice that of course.
"Oh yeah, but I guess I'll take you instead." Ron answered "You and snakey back here."
Quirrell's face became red "How dare you!"
"How dare I what?!" Ron snapped back. He removed his wand from his rob pocket to the amusement of the professor.
"First year? Alright." A string of curses left Quirrell's wand, which Ron deflected.
"Enough of thisss" said the thing on the back of Quirrell's head "Kill the boy."
(What's my name? Say it!
At those words, Ron felt something inside of him snap, like a damn. That deep down place welled up and began to consume him.
(oncoming storm, the oncoming storm and bad wolf, the ponds, striking fear into the heart of creatures with no heart and no fear, I killed them…killed them all!)
He let it out, gladly.
In the end, Quirrell was defeated, turned to dust. Voldemort (the worst ones never stayed dead) had escaped death again (a good thing too…one death was enough for one day).
Ron regretted what had happened very much. He should have stayed out of this mystery. (This was not what he, that entity inside of him had wanted…)
So Ron ran back to the barrier and waited for Harry to come through. He didn't have to wait long. Harry came out, the stone in his pocket, and looking very confused.
"Listen." said Ron "we have to lie."
Ron didn't want to be a savior and neither did Harry, but Harry agreed to be, if only because he already was. And his friend looked so distressed…
"It's just…I hate death Harry. I hate it and I feel like this isn't the first time I've encountered it. I don't want them to ask me to do it again. I don't want to be famous."
Harry understood that part at least, even if the rest was confusing.
"Someone had to do it." Harry said afterwards.
"Yeah, I guess."
When all was said and done, Dumbledore seemed to buy their story and Hermione had been told the truth (though she didn't like or understand the need for a lie) and everything and everyone was alright.
He couldn't sleep that night. He kept on twisting and turning on is bed. There was a whole 10 minutes between him and Quirrell that he couldn't remember. That deep down part had welled up in him and then…and then…Quirrell was no more. It (he) had been angry by those words "Kill the boy." Life should be treasured, all life, and Voldemort was tyrant.
Ron hated tyrants, even if he hadn't encountered them before (not really).
And yet Ron hadn't treasured life either, he'd turned Quirrell into dust!
(…and I divide them…)
But no, he hadn't. The deep down part of him had…he'd taken over, and stolen the memory from Ron. It was like with Rose, where he'd known her name and exactly what to do to calm her down and make her happy. It was instinctual. Ron could zone out and let that part of him take over.
Yet this was so much darker.
During the year, Ron had thought everything was going pretty well. He hardly ever had those strange moments of memory out of nowhere and the nightmares had subsided, as if being away from his home suppressed that deep down part.
But one sentence and he went all…oncoming storm, just as the hat had said.
Ron gripped his head. Those nightmares were too…..too memory like…were they…could they be real?
No! Ron tightened his grip on his head. Impossible. That other part of him…maybe it was just multiple personality disorder. Ron had read an awful lot about that.
But the hat, the nightmares, what had happened to Quirrell….aren't they all saying the same thing?
I am a monster, a harbinger of death. Ron felt himself sob and continued to do so until he fell into his exhausted sleep.
He dreamed of lots of planets, of different universes (the same except with zeppelins), of the stars going out...
(You can change it, you can save them.)
Metal men, living creatures cut off from the world….
(They're gone but they'll be back…they'll always be back)
When Ron woke, he decided he couldn't think about it all, not yet. It was too big, he'd have to push it (Quirrell, the nightmares, Bad wolf, him) all down to that deep down place.
He'd deal with it later, when he was older
(old soul, 14 lives, I met this old man...)
For now, he couldn't let it all drive him insane.
A Long Summer
During the Summer, Ron made an effort to be a kid. This strangeness (this entity inside of him, that he imagined) had stolen the fun and freedom of a childhood. So he was taking it back.
He tried to play quidditch with Fred, George, and Ginny and managed not to fall off his broom. He went swimming the lake, tried to catch the garden gnomes, and played a few pranks with his brothers (who were actually teasing him, rather than avoiding him) while his books collected dust on his shelf.
Ron even allowed himself a couple of minor accidental magic incidents.
None of that got rid of the nightmares though. They had only increased since he'd returned to the burrow, and he felt like a zombie when he tried to be a normal kid.
His mother was giving him worried looks. Ron tried to ignore them. Why should she be concerned when he was being normal, having fun, and not thinking at all about dust or death or time or little red riding hood and….not at all.
And sometimes, he even believed it.
When Ron sat down to write a letter to Harry or Hermione, he couldn't bring himself to lie and say that he was having a great summer: but how to explain what he was feeling (like he was lying to himself, skirting around the big question) without sounding like a loony?
And there was that feeling again, that selfish one, that guilty one. Like something terrible would happen to them because of him.
(I can't anymore, I've got to look after my family,
no please don't, I don't want to go back!
She's standing there, staring at him, kissing him, stranded.
It's all your fault!)
In the end, Ron didn't write any letters at all.
Ron only received any letters from Hermione actually, and she seemed rather concerned that she was hearing back from neither fried. Ron tried not to feel guilty (maybe Harry was away?), but one morning he awoke and looked out the window to find a muggle car parked outside the burrow (not a flying one either).
He ran downstairs where a bushy haired Hermione, her two parents, and Harry were all sitting at the table enjoying a Weasley breakfast.
Hermione ran up to him and Ron opened his arms, but he was not hugged. Instead he was smacked very hard on the shoulder.
"At least Harry had an excuse!" she seethed "You just ignored my letters!"
"I was busy." Ron lied (because what was he really doing? Playing around, lying to himself) and avoided looking Hermione in the eye. She huffed and turned back to the table.
Molly was giving him that worried look again, but she seemed disappointed too. Ron sighed and sat down at the end of the table. He grabbed a plate and some pancakes and listened as Hermione explained what had happened.
When neither of her two friends responded to her letters, Hermione had sat down with her parents and they agreed to go check up on them (after their adventure first year, that seemed smart). First there was Harry who was locked up in his room ("what a fire hazard!" Hermione had exclaimed)! The Dursleys had refused to admit the family into their home, but the Grangers had seen the bar on the windows. They demanded to see Harry or else they'd call the police. When that didn't work, Hermione took out her wand. Then the relatives practically ran to get Harry and his things.
"Then we came here." continued Mrs. Granger. She was fascinated by all of the magic going on around the burrow, as was her husband. The perception filter had worked perfectly on them, they hadn't realized that the old shack was a family home!
Everyone else though, focused on Ron.
"I was busy! It's not a crime to not respond to letters!" Ron exclaimed. Hermione looked rather hurt by that. Ron sighed.
"Look, I'm sorry, really, really sorry. Forgive me?" Ron did his best puppy dog impression and Hermione finally nodded, though she rolled her eyes.
"Well, alright. Just don't do it again."
Ron was a lot happier the rest of the summer with both Harry and Hermione staying over. He could study with Hermione or watch Harry fly (since there were only so many brooms). He didn't need to pretend around them, not when they knew what he was capable of, how strange he was (well not truly, but more than anyone else). Friendship was nice, Ron found. It was something he could do pretty easily when he just let them in a bit (and kept them out more). They could be friends for a good long while, he thought.
(How long are go gonna stay with me?
Piloting a flying car was a lot easier that flying a ….a broom (no, not really, brooms are not big or blue or box-like) and Ron managed not to crash it into anything (not even that whomping willow).
They even made it on time for the feast! Other than the missing car and them not being on the train no one would have noticed a thing (The car flew itself back eventually, and they had had to get to school somehow…). The school did notice though, and the boys were given a thorough talking to by Snape (who thankfully was not their head of house).
If Ron's mother was angry, she didn't let him know through a howler as he'd feared.
Besides, it was rather fun. Yes, fun. Ron decided he would make sure to fly many other things in the future (except maybe brooms…and planes, and all other conventional flying objects).
For the mot part, the year went well. At first.
Like he did with everyone else who annoyed him, Ron ignored the Peroxide blonde Malfoy ( the whole family made a bad name for blondes everywhere!) and when Hermione was insulted by him, Ron did not immediately curse the boy. Instead, he chose words.
"People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. I could think of a few choice words for you too Mr. Peroxide." Ron had said, before grabbing Harry and Hermione and setting to Hagrid's hut at a comfortable pace.
There was that Lockhart character who seemed positively as infatuated with himself as all of the girls were with him. Ron could smell the lies rolling off of him in waves, but he was mostly harmless (if one didn't do something amazing he could take credit for, or insult him in front of Hermione).
Ron honestly thought the year would be peaceful.
Then he'd noticed Ginny. It wasn't so much that something was wrong with her per say, but it was like something was invading her and surrounding her. Ron wanted to ignore it (not this again) but she was his sister even if they didn't really get along very well.
And then Harry began hearing voices in the walls and discovered he was a parselmouth (which Ron thought was pretty cool actually, Voldemort be damned), cats were being petrified, and then people too (Penelope, the kid with the camera).
Ron sighed and dutifully made his way to the library.
Ron and Hermione discovered together what it was, a basilisk (that still didn't explain Ginny but Ron was reading about possessions on the side) and Ron advised Hermione to carry a mirror. He was grateful for that when she turned up petrified rather than dead.
He still missed her though (her frenzied presence her wealth of knowledge, her friendship) and had to continue researching on his own (Harry was rubbish in the library, honestly). To top it all off, Harry had a crazy house elf stalking him.
No, this was not going to be a peaceful year at all.
More Strange Conversations
A girl had taken to sitting near Ron whole he studied (cough, solved mysteries, cough), a girl with blue eyes and pale blonde hair (not Malfoy blonde, thankfully). She was a first year, Ravenclaw: Luna Love good (like a fairytale)
(Amelia Pond, that was a good name. come along Pond, come….)
She didn't really talk, so Ron was not normally bothered by her. But she did stare and the phrases that came out of her mouth when she did speak were eerie.
"Hello old soul." She might greet him, or "Good morning Doctor." or maybe even "Liking the ginger look?" and worse even "14 lives huh? That make you a super cat person?"
At that one Ron had stared at her, thought of fury faced nuns, and shuddered
(Don't stare. Look at you, all pink and yellow….)
He never deigned any of her remarks with a response, and she seemed just fine with that. Ron had promised himself that he would push those thoughts to the back of his mind until he was ready to deal with them. And he had the distinct impression that Luna was not talking to him, but rather…
(I'm not talking to you boy, I'm talking to a part of you, locked away…)
The doctor she had called him, like all of those drawings in his room of those men…that man…
Most of the time when Luna talked, it was about creatures that didn't exist or to make some random comment to him. But once she asked something that confused Ron.
"Can you see the thestrals?"
"The what?" Ron had responded, deep in a book about possession alongside a short how-to book on freeing house elves.
"The thestrals? They pull the carriages. I came on the boat of course, but I know about them."
Yes of course, he'd seen the creatures pulling the carriage. Heck, near Hagrid's hut last year, he'd always see them fly overhead.
"Yes." he said, books forgotten. "Doesn't everyone see them?"
Luna shook her head "Just people that have seen death. I saw my mum die, did you see someone die?" she asked with honest curiosity.
Yes, because I killed him, I didn't eve realize it, but I killed him. I turned him into ash. Ron thought darkly.
But that didn't explain why he could see them before the incident last year…
This was one of the times Ron chose not to answer Luna, and also a rare time when he felt she was really talking to him and not that other (that imaginary other). He pushed the thoughts to the deep down place and went back to reading.
Luna didn't seem to mind.
Because of his frequent use of magic, and visits to the library, Ron become more comfortable with the magical aspect of himself. Though, he still felt rather betrayed by it from when he (the other) had used it as a weapon against Quirrell.
He knew the only way for him to become used to it was by using it often and learning how to control it better so that that way if ever it (the oncoming storm) came back Ron could hang onto his self and not allow his magic to be used for sinister purposes.
The Quest Begins
The adventure into the Chamber of Secrets happened rather quickly. It practically snuck up on Ron, after all of the dread between losing Hermione and trying to gather up enough information for him (Harry) to defeat the basilisk.
To Ron, the heir of Slytherin wasn't important (though Harry may disagree). Without the basilisk, the Heir was nothing. Stopping the petrifications and possible deaths was the important part. Finding the opening even more so, because he had to get to the basilisk somehow. Ron did (after a few conversations with moaning Myrtle and a talk with Harry about a diary Ron didn't trust in the least) eventually find the entrance. He had to neglect his possession texts (not to mention his homework) to do so.
Soon after, Ginny went missing and a wall claimed that her body would lie in the Chamber forever.
Harry and Ron didn't bother to wait for the blithering Lockhart to attempt any rescue, they ran to the 2nd floor girls bathroom. Of course, turning to find Lockhart aiming a wand at their backs was a bit of a surprise. But the man had a hard fall down the tunnel and would probably be out for weeks, if he ever woke up at all. Unfortunately for Ron, Harry was knocked out by the fall as well.
After making sure Harry was alright, Ron gently took the diary from his grasp. He made his way to the entrance of chamber (all the while cursing his crappy luck at falling into situations like this) and by using his rudimentary parseltounge he managed to open the gate and enter.
Ginny was lying on the ground, pale and dying with a very confused looking teenager standing over her. His aura was familiar, and dark like the faint one that had been invading her earlier in the year. It was familiar in another way too, from last year.
"Oh." Ron said flatly "You again."
"You're not the savior, the boy Ginny speaks of so fondly." the boy hissed.
"No, that'd be my best mate Harry."
(Mate, you want a mate?! You're not getting with me sunshine!)
Ron smiled fondly "He's unconscious right now, so you'll have to deal with me, I'm afraid."
"You should be." said Riddle.
"No, I'm afraid for you actually. The last time we met you were on the losing side." Ron shrugged his shoulders.
"That was the Potter boy. " Riddle sneered.
"Was it?" Ron asked innocently.
"I know you now. You're the strange brother the girl detests." Riddle said
Ron ignored his words and glanced Riddle over "You're not corporeal or anything, you're just energy, a vampire of sorts. You're not really living, right?"
"I will be when your sister is dead!" Riddle gave him a very mean smile, which Ron ignored.
"Right. So killing you wouldn't really be killing."
In response, Riddle called out for the basilisk and Ron found himself running, diary in hand. Maybe if he was Harry, some magical phoenix would have helped him out. As it was, he felt almost lucky to have the sorting hat suddenly appear on his head.
-Ah, old soul. You wish for me to pick your brains again?
-Less picking, more helping
-I was not speaking to you boy. I was speaking to the one whose timeline has so many loop and curves. So graceful and yet so jagged.
-Running for my life here. Running for the other guy too you know. If I die, so does he I bet, and then you wouldn't get to pick at all!
-Very well, are you brave and loyal at heart?
-In both my hearts actually (Ron stifled the need to flinch at the voice, or wonder at the comment. He was running for his life after all)
-Then take me off and you'll get a prize
-Oh! I do love prizes is it a ban-
Really Ron thought as he found the sword of Gryffindor and plunged it into the center of the diary (thereby dissolving Tom riddle and leaving the basilisk without a master and no choice by to burrow back into its hole. He supposed Harry would have gutted the basilisk…but well, this way was faster) it could have just given me the sword.
The hat, as it was not on his head, couldn't respond.
A Secret for Two
When Ron returned half carrying, half dragging an unconscious Ginny, Harry was finally awake.
"Listen, remember last year? Well…let's do that again."
Harry agreed after a moment, simply glad that Ron was safe (also relieved he didn't actually have to face Voldemort).
"You know," Harry said thoughtfully, as he kicked the alive but also unconscious Lockhart in the side "we could just blame it on him, say we found him in the girl's bathroom with Ginny or something. Say that he rescued her before climbing back up there. He sure won't deny it if he ever wakes up."
The two boys looked at each other, and burst out into laughter.
"Sorry Harry." Ron said, holding his side "Don't think I could do that one with a straight face."
"Right." Harry said, wiping tears away from his eyes "Bad idea."
With the unconscious figures being dragged (Lockhart) or held (Ginny), they began to search for a way out.
"He keeps coming back." Harry said, after a little while of searching. The mirth from earlier had been forgotten.
"The worst ones always do, in some form or another." Ron responded.
Can't you hear the drums?
I can always hear them.
Gallifrey is returning, earth be damned!)
Harry could only nod in response. Sometimes Ron said things like that, as if he'd done this all before. Harry was willing to take the credit for the amazing, heroic things Ron did that he refused to tell anyone about. Ron was so clearly distressed at the idea of being known for being a hero, something Harry well understood.
If anyone had to be a hero, it might as well be the boy that everyone thought already was.
In the end, the magic bird did show up (a tad late, Ron thought), and managed to carry the four passengers to the surface.
Once again, Ron was able to stand and watch as Harry took the credit. He felt thankful to his friend (who blushed his way through the prepared lie) all the while.
Now, if only Ron could really let Harry save the day. Then everything and everyone would be happy and lie free
For what remained of the school year, the nightmares weren't too frequent and Ron really though he had that deep down place taken care of (aside from a good dream every now and then, which he tried to forget). At least, the other (as Ron had taken to calling him) hadn't spoken.
It helped that he had even fought Riddle in a what could be considered normal second year fashion. Ron hadn't become violent (hadn't let the oncoming storm take over) and even the basilisk was still alive. The only victim had been a phantom.
Ginny, Hermione, and the other (including Mrs. Norris) were alive and healthy.
Letters and an Escapee
The summer before Ron's third year was far better than the previous summer. He was not plagued by nightmares as much as usual There were more good dreams than bad. He also wasn't forced to play Quidditch or swim in a lake as his family was in Egypt for most of the summer. He didn't have to pretend.
Ron regularly communicated with Harry and Hermione, which he found was more helpful for maintaining his sanity than ignoring them.
Somehow Luna Lovegood also managed to send him several short notes, which he felt absolutely no need to respond to (they weren't for him after all).
Good Day, Doctor!
Meet and Bad Wolves lately?
Having a good summer, Theta?
I think there's an oncoming storm on the horizon….
There were others which Ron simply left unopened.
While his parents were in Egypt (a place Ron felt no need be. Why look at the old and decrepit? Ron wanted to see the young and the new) Ron stayed in the Leaky Cauldron (much to his mother's disapproval, but his father had managed to convince her).
At some point, Harry dropped by and stayed in the room next door. He had to returned to the Durselys during the summer (despite the misgivings on the part of the Grangers) and had once again run off as soon as he was able (actually, right after he blew up his aunt, which Ron found particularly amusing).
Together they enjoyed the rest of their summer immensely, with Ron reading and Harry trying to finish his summer work (alright, maybe Ron was the one who enjoyed the rest of his summer immensely).
Ron also did a bit a research about Sirius Black (a name Ron recalled being vaguely mentioned in his childhood) when Harry told him about Fudge wanting him to be safe and what-not. Almost everything he found condemned Black for killing this Peter Pettigrew person (of whom only a single digit was found, a pinkie finger, Ron noted with interest, remembering a rat that was not a rat and an escape in the middle of the night).
Harry also mentioned a dog, a big black dog. It was information which Ron filed away for later use.
Initially, the train ride was alright. The usual. Sure, there was that sleeping man in the teenagers' compartment, but he seemed harmless enough (other than being a werewolf of course, which Ron thought was quite obvious based upon his raggedy appearance
and….. just…well…sometimes Ron just knew). Hermione figured he was the new DADA professor, and Harry and Ron traded bets on how long he would last (Harry said the whole year, Ron said half a year before he turned evil or something).
Then the Dementors came.
Ron had read about Dementors. He knew the theory behind the patronus charm, but his wits were scattered with all of the screaming in his ear.
Oh what he wouldn't do for a sonic…sonic.
-Sonic screw driver, yes that would be helpful right now.
(….Delete, Delete, Delete!
A song of imprisonment
I am the time lord victorious!
A gun shot
I waited for you Doctor, you never came
….and I divide them
He was the darkest part of myself
You are not alone
Regenerate! Regenerate! It's just a bullet
No, I win
He will knock three times
Amy? What happened to Amelia?
Rory the Roman, who was forgotten
Quirrell, turned to dust
I killed them all!
I am the last…)
And that was only a small fraction of it
Groggily, Ron came to, quite confused as to why he was on the floor. Above him, was the face of a worried Hermione.
"What happ-" he couldn't quite get out the full sentence as a pice of chocolate was stuffed into his mouth.
"You and Harry passed out. There were dementors, but Professor Lupin got rid of them."The man in question came into view.
"Ah, thanks." Ron sat up slowly. He looked around the compartment. Harry was getting up to from the seat.
"Did you pass out Hermione?" Ron asked, though he suspected that he already knew the answer. Hermione shook her head.
Of course not. Dementors only really affected those who had experienced something terrible. And apparently, Ron too, who beyond an incident he couldn't remember first year, had never really experienced anything awful. Not, really. Nightmares just didn't make people faint in front of a Dementor.
They don't….unless they are real.
Ron -almost- expected a response from that blasted voice which had commented earlier on the situation. Thankfully, it stayed silent.
Following the disastrous train ride, and the Feast in the Great Hall that followed, Ron was told to see his head of house. It was about the number of classes he was taking.
When McGonagall held the hour glass in front of him. Ron was very much tempted to take it, to grip it in his hands and never let it go. Time travel had always been a fascinating area of study for him….something that resonated deep within him.
"Now, Mr. Weasley as I have explained, you could drop a couple of classes or take this time turner. That is your choice."
Why, why did she have to give him that choice? The very deep, deep down part of Ron wanted to take it so very badly. The freedom, the fun….
The irresponsibility of it all!
"There are rules of course." she continued "Terrible things happen to wizards who meddle with time, you know."
Ron's eyes, previously focusing on the time turner before him jumped to McGonagall's stern face.
(They had rules, but they're gone, I am the master of time, I am the time lord Victorious!
You could save them, save them all)
"No Professor. Terrible things happen to anyone who meddles with time." Longingly, Ron's gaze settled back on the time turner. He sighed. "Guess I'll have to drop some classes then."
"Indeed." The professor agreed. She was giving him that two headed look.
His Worst Fear
Having Dementors roaming around the grounds didn't do Harry or Ron any good. Nor was the idea of Sirius Black running free (which was really more of a troublesome mystery to Harry, who Ron had yet to share his theories with).
The year was not off to any kind of good start, and it only got worse for Ron with the DADA lessons. The ironic part was that Professor Lupin was actually teaching when he was there (and not off recovering from a full moon), but when he wasn't Snape was the substitute. Ron had had enough of Snape not recognizing his talent in potions. He didn't particularly want to deal with being looked down on in this subject as well.
And of course when Lupin was present, he had to find a bogart hidden in the castle, didn't he?
Ron didn't know what his worse fear would be (spiders maybe?), nor did he want to. But he was pushed to the front and what he saw disturbed more than scared him.
It was him, Ronald Weasley standing there. Except not.
His eyes were black, and he floating off the ground. Anger, bitterness, loss, desolation, all rolled off him in waves. Ron's own blue wand was in his hand, and he had it pointed at Ron himself.
Except it wasn't a blue wand, not really. It kept shifting into something smaller and metal.
(The oncoming storm. I killed them, I killed them all!
Kill the boy…
They fed off the darkness inside of me…and had 900 years of it to go on
It' not fair! They always come back!)
Ron watched his worst fear. Was this what Quirrell had seen before his death (disintegration), this lost, pained, angry creature?
Where did it come from? Where….(because this couldn't just be his worst fear, it was coming from that deep down place, that voice)?
"Riddikulus!" Ron cried, aiming his blue wand at the dark image of himself.
The creature exploded into a storm of roses. Ron laughed, more out of relief than anything else, though no one else found it funny. They were all shooting him that oh so familiar two headed look.
Except Harry. From him he received the curious one. Harry was the next to go up. A dementor was seen for about a second, but he was knocked out of the way by Remus. Of course, a moon. Was the professor even trying to keep his secret?
Later that night, Harry approached him in the library. Hermione was nowhere to be found at that moment (she was nowhere to be found ever actually, and Ron suspected the time turner that had been offered to him earlier), so it was just the two of them in the library (really, Harry in a library? Ron should have run when he saw him walking in).
"What was all that about?" he asked quietly, making sure Madam Pince wasn't listening too hard for voices.
"What?" Ron responded, feigning ignorance.
"The…the you floating in the air?"
"Oh. That." Ron frowned, and closed the book he had been reading. "Not really sure. It wasn't my worst fear if that's what you're asking. I mean it frightened me a bit, but I didn't know what it was exactly, so it can't be my worst fear."
"But the bogart, it's supposed to transform into what will scare you most." Harry argued.
Ron shrugged. "Guess it read me wrong then."
"Ron." Harry hesitated before he continued, and glanced over his shoulder again. When he was satisfied that no one was close enough to hear their conversation, he turned back to his friend. "Back in first year, you never…well, you never explained how Quirrell turned to dust. It wasn't the power of love like Dumbledore explained to me, I'm guessing." he seemed almost apologetic to even be bringing the subject up (a subject he knew Ron didn't like), but he was asking all the same.
"I don't remember. I blacked out, actually." Ron answered honestly. No need to mention that it sometimes came back in nightmares. They were just nightmares, after all. No need to mention about the voice, the…(oncoming storm).
"But you have a guess…that thing today-"
"Was nothing." Ron snapped, slamming a book on the table (for which he received a dirty look from Madam Pince). "Just forget it, okay? Forget. It."
Harry shook his head. "No I can't do that Ron. We're friends, and something's up. I need to help you with that."
"Nothing is wrong." Ron insisted. "it was just a fluke. Not all magic is full proof."
"Turned into dust. He's gone, why bring him up at all?"
"Because its all related" Harry's voice rose a notch "and its all bothering you."
"I killed a man, why wouldn't it bother me?"
Ron could feel it, the anger rising up in him. He couldn't control the words that spilled out of his mouth. "Yes intentionally. I didn't even offer him a second chance."
They were not his own. Ron clamped his mouth shut at Harry's shocked face and got up from the table.
"You want to know what that thing was? What I think it was?"
Harry didn't respond.
"The darkest part of myself." Those weren't his words either. Ron quickly exited the library.
Later, in the common room, Harry apologized for his line of questioning. Ron apologized for…well he said he was apologizing for being so closemouthed and angry, but really it was because he had lied to Harry again. Something was definitely wrong with him. Something had always been wrong with him.
It had taken Ron a lot of run-ins with Dementors to get the patronus charm just right without passing out. It was dangerous, but effective. Besides, they practically came running to him all the time so he figured he might as well use it to his advantage.
And if the terrible parts of the nightmares, of the deep down place could be used against him, then he would use the dreams to fend the creatures off.
Everyone at the same moment, thinking the same word, the angel network
Bad wolf running towards him, arms wide open
The sky open, the cars are free
The face of boe, they used to call me
Amelia Pond, sound's like a fairytale…)
What was first mist became corporeal and formed a…dog? No, a wolf, a big bad wolf which chased the Dementors to save him each time. It always came back.
(Except when she doesn't, when you push her out of the TARDIS and she never returns)
Maps and Mysteries Solved
"What's that?" Ron asked peering over Harry's shoulder. Obviously, it was a map…but…
"Are those names?"
Harry shifted on his bed to face Ron.
"Your brothers gave it to me." He looked like he didn't want to say it. Ron shrugged. He had never been close to his siblings, not close enough to expect some magical map from them or anything.
Harry explained how the twins had helped him to sneak into Hogsmeade (of course the Durselys would never have signed something even as relatively normal as a permission slip, if only to make Harry miserable) and passed the map onto him.
He was giving Ron that curious look all the while. He then whispered "I solemnly swear I am up to no good."
"Look" he said and held it up for Ron "That's you."
He pointed at the flickering words moving so fast one couldn't read what they were.
Harry frowned "I think its faulty."
"Yeah." Ron swallowed "Faulty. Did they say how they got it?"
"Found it it Filch's office. Why?" Harry asked.
Ron had read the names that introduced themselves. One struck out the most, and explained the others: Wormtail.
There was a giant dog stalking Harry: pad foot
(The only name he couldn't place was prongs, but that didn't bother him. Much.)
Ron could feel his synapses firing. Pettigrew was certainly not dead. Wormtail was certainly not dead (impressive feat, becoming an animagus while still in school). There were no registered animagi rats with missing toes. And only a finger was found!
With all of these pieces put together, Ron exclaimed "Ha!" and ran off to the library, much to the confusion of Harry, who was still scrutinizing the map and a certain changing name upon it.
"Hello Old Soul." Luna greeted Ron as she sat down across from him in the library.
"Luna." Ron nodded.
Madam Pince shot a look in their direction.
"Got my letters?" she asked dreamily.
"Good." Luna then went on to talk about some creature or another while Ron tried to figure out when the next full moon would be and how long it would last (and weather forecasts too. Clouds could be nasty things to werewolves).
"This is a ridiculous class." Ron whispered to Harry.
"Yeah. The woman's a nutter." he agreed. Trawlney was going on and on about signs in tea leaves and whatnot.
"Can I still drop it?" Ron wondered. Harry shrugged
"Dunno. Hermione did."
"Smart of her." Ron said.
When it came time to predict their futures, Ron looked into his cup and saw nothing. No form, nothing. Harry was rather shaken up when someone told him he had a grim in his cup (with the dog still stalking him), but Ron had told him that was bullocks. Ron knew who that dog was.
Trawlney looked into Ron's cup when he said he couldn't see anything in it. She must have stared into Ron's cup for 5 minutes before she looked back up at him
"Your future boy, is very short. Then it will no longer be yours."
"What? Am I going to die?" Ron drawled.
"No, there is no death here. But your future will not be yours."
"Or divination is a joke." Ron muttered under his breath. Trawlney looked back into his cup, and then up at him. She was giving him that two-headed look. Of all people, she was giving him that felt very strange at that moment.
At the end of class, Ron was the last to leave. He he had dropped and broken his cup accidentally (he maintained that it was an accident, though Harry didn't believe him). As he was leaving, Trawlney grabbed his arm. Her eyes were glassy when he looked at her.
"The darkness, it comes! It comes! He who saves the savior will save us, but he becomes the darkness. The darkness he becomes! It comes!"
Ron wrenched his arm out of Trawlney's grasp and ran out of the classroom at full speed. He caught up with Harry.
"What's wrong mate?"
Ron shook his head "That's it. I'm dropping this class."
He who saved the Savior. Ron assured himself as he ate dinner that night that he had never saved Harry. He'd only fought his battles for him. That was not the same thing.
And future telling was bollocks anyway. Trawlney...had probably just tried to scare him is all.
(The most dangerous thing in the universe….)
Plans are Made
During a Quidditch match, Harry had a disastrous fall. His broom was destroyed. From high up in the stands, Ron could see a black dot moving on the grounds near the pitch. At the next match, he approached the dot, which conveniently turned out to be the dog that had been stalking Harry. Well not a dog really.
"Hey Grimm! Or is it pad foot?" with the disillusionment charm, Black hadn't even known he was there.
Frightened, he growled at Ron.
"Yeah growl at me, bark at me, whatever. Just listen. I know you're innocent, and I know you just want to see Harry. But that's not enough. We need to convince the whole world, including a good friend of yours so…."
Sirius did sit there and listen to Ron's plan. He wandered what the hell Ron actually was, to be to be able to believe in his innocence, something no one had been willing to do. Even his closest friend. Yet this kid managed to put a bunch of random pieces together and call it a completed puzzle!
And this was his god son's best friend. Surely this spoke well of Harry, that he had a brilliant friend who was willing to go to such lengths for him (even if Sirius didn't agree with that one part of keeping Harry in the dark, but he couldn't very well transform in front of Hogwarts castle to respond!).
And Plans Fail
The plan didn't work out quite a well as Ron had intended it to. Plans, Ron thought, are useless.
Initially, things had gone alright. Remus had gone into the shrieking shack for the full moon and Harry had been dragged into the tunnel beneath the Whomping Willow by Sirius. It was all necessary. Ron didn't want Remus in a position where he could run off and get an auror or something without listening to Ron first (Ron calculated this just right so that he wouldn't go all wolfy before they were done). And Harry…well.
Ron had limited reservations of not telling Harry the plan, or what he knew about Sirius. But Harry needed to be there, (of this Ron was certain. It was a point that couldn't be undone) and Ron didn't want to risk Harry refusing to come, or worse wanting to get the aurors. So there the four of them were in the shrieking shack (Hermione was missing again and therefore not included ), Remus and Harry screaming and accusing all over the place while Ron and Sirius were explaining themselves.
Ron had just gotten to the rat animagus in his bedroom (and the wide eyes on Remus's face were priceless) when Snape burst through pointing his wand at everyone.
Of course he was stupefied, but then Remus starting going all wolfy (because of course Snape completely messed up Ron's calculations).
Sirius went after Remus when he broke out of the shrieking shack, and Harry went to follow them. Ron tried to stop him by grabbing his arm, but Harry broke free of Ron's grasp.
"You knew!" Harry accused (it was really more of a statement but the way Harry said it made it sound as if Ron should be tried for a crime of some sort) "You knew about Sirius being innocent, but you didn't tell me! You lied, and tried to trick me!"
Before Ron could respond, Harry had run off after his godfather. Ron tried to run after him but he was knocked off his feet and everything went dark.
When Ron came to, Hermione was there and he was in the hospital wing. Harry was in the bed beside him. They both appeared frenzied and terribly sad. And there was a smell coming off of them...a familiar smell.
"You were hit by a whomping willow." Hermione answered simply. Ron shook his head.
"No, no i mean, what happened. I can see it in your eyes. You've been on an adventure of some sort." A time traveling adventure.
Hermione explained about how she'd visited Harry in the hospital wing, and how he told her what had happened. Then she went on about the time turner and how they rescued Sirius and the hippogriff. Harry told how he banished the dementor from himself and Sirius with a fully formed patronus.
But it did not all work out. With Remus now being known as a werewolf, and Ron just a kid, no one would ever believe Sirius's innocence despite the rat animagus in Ron's bedroom. Sirius and Buckbeak would have to be on the run for a long time.
"Are you still mad at me?" Ron asked.
Harry shrugged. "No. Not anymore. Almost having your soul sucked out by dementors puts a lot into perspective. You were trying to help, I guess. It's just…no more secrets, alright? Never try to manipulate me again."
Ron paused before he smiled, thinking of that deep down place. "Alright."
Harry shook his head "All that time travel, I still don't get it." Hermione looked exasperated. She had probably tried to explain it to Harry already.
Ron said the first thing that came to his mind "Timey Whimey, wibboly wobboly stuff." His two friends looked at each other at that, and shrugged. Ron frowned, thinking of the banished Sirius.
"Sorry Harry. Sorry I failed you. Sorry I didn't tell you. I'm sorry, so sorry."
"Like I said, just no more lies."
I don't think I know who I am, or was or will be, or whatever. Damn those tenses. Ron thought
"Right. No more lies." He agreed.
A Familiar Device
The summer was nearing its end. Ron was wandering around Diagon alley, and let his feet lead him where they may. Eventually, this wandering in Diagon Alley turned into wandering into knock turn alley. It was shady, very shady, and Ron smiled. Oh the interesting people roaming about, all spooky and shadowy…
Ron soon found himself in one particular shop, Borgin & Burkes. His feet, leading him where they may, led him to one particular isle, to one particular item.
"Oh…." Ron said, rolling the band around in his hands.
(It's like, you have a time hopper…)
(Got to fix this so you don't go someplace twice. The second time to apologize)
(Terrible way to travel, without a capsule)
It cost 7 sickles. The shop owner was convinced it was a dark watch of some kind.
A Question of Age
Ron gave the goblet a wary look. Fred and George had come away with beards, but their bodies had been aged. And Ron knew that they got that potion right. The twins were brilliant when it came to trouble making. So that meant that the goblet didn't judge the body's age. It judged the age of the soul.
(How old are you, really?
Doctor, you don't drink wine
I'm 1106, I'm sure I drink wine.…)
Ron moved closer to the goblet. He didn't want to compete, he did want to know. The dreams hadn't bothered him since he'd come back to school, but…Ron thought of wrist band the vortex manipulator. He had never even heard of such a thing! And lately….lately he'd been feeling old, very old when he woke up.
He just wanted to know. In his robe pocket, his thumb ran over a crumpled piece of paper with his name scrawled on it. Ron moved closer to the goblet. His foot was almost over the threshold. Ron could touch the goblet, if he tried.
But what if it accepted his name? What if…it chose him. What if he was the perfect soldier to compete in this terrible game?
What if he won…?
Ron stepped back, turned around, and ran away from the goblet as fast as he could.
Dancing, Dates, and Dead Arachnids
"Mr. Weasley, come here." McGonagall commanded the teen. His brothers and fellow housemates snickered at him, but he obeyed.
"Now put your arms around my waist."
Ron shrugged "Alright. Are we going to dance?"
His head of house flicked her wand and music began playing. "Yes."
"I don't dance." He warned her.
They began to spin, and Ron knew exactly what to do, and where to place his feet. He lifted the professor up at the right intervals and finished with a graceful dip. McGonagall looked shocked to say the least.
"I said that I don't dance, not that I couldn't." Ron smirked, before walking back to Harry and his flabbergasted siblings.
(Don't you dance, Doctor?
Of course not.)
"Got a date for the Yule ball?" Luna asked Ron as he sat in the library to research the riddle Harry had written down from the egg.
"Well…" He had asked Hermione, but it seemed Krum had beat him to it. Hermione was pretty apologetic about it. But oh well, it was just one dance. It's not like he couldn't dance with her just because she'd be showing up with Krum. "No."
"Yes I'll go with you Doctor!"
(Did I mention it travels through time?)
Ron was knocked out soon afterward and submerged in a lake. He suspected Luna of helping with that.
"Crucio!" hissed Mad-eye Moody (or at least the person pretending to be him. Ron could smell the polyjuice potion on his breath), his wand aimed at the spider.
"Stop it!" Ron yelled out, standing up from his seat "Just. Stop it."
Moody spared him a glance "Alright Weasley, tell me then, what's the last curse?"
"What is it Weasley?"
Taking his blue wand, Ron pointed it at Moody.
"Stop. It." he repeated. Annoyance in his eye, Moody whispered the last curse
The spider laid dead, curled in his hand. Class ended then just then. On the way out of the classroom, Ron stopped at the desk the spider had been deposited on.
"I'm sorry, so sorry." he whispered not even bothering to glare at the professor. He felt disgusted and angry. One look at Mad Eye's impersonator, and he might pull his wand back out.
"You didn't have to threaten Moody, It was just a spider." Harry said later.
"And you're just a bloody ape!" Ron snapped at him "Doesn't mean someone should just torture and kill you!"
Harry was giving him that curious look again. Ron sighed.
"It's alright." said Harry.
Hermione put a hand on Ron's arm again. At least she understood. She didn't even tell him off for threatening a professor.
Harry had just…disappeared! Of course…the trophy was a portkey, and Ron had the dreadful feeling that it was related to the not-Moody.
Well magic was really just another kind of science, and the portkey just a teleport (a theory in modern science alright, but one Ron felt he had much experience in).
Perhaps it was a good thing he always carried the vortex manipulator in his robe pocket. He set it on his wrist and (using knowledge he really shouldn't have, but then when did he ever have any knoweldge he felt he should have?) locked into the portkey's transport beam, and pressed a few more buttons.
He landed seconds later in a graveyard, with a splitting headache. At least, he had enough sense to figure out he was just outside a circle of death eaters with Voldemort and Harry at the center. He hid behind a gravestone and watched the events unfold.
Voldemort said some words, Harry responded, and Voldemort cruicoed him. That was when Ron acted.
"Hey snake face!" Ron called out. Voldemort and all of his followers turned. The wizard was raging and probably remembering their previous encounter.
"You." he hissed.
"Yes, me. Good ol' me who keeps on beating you. If you consider disintegrating a phantom teenage version of you out of a diary as beating you, which I do. Well, they say third time's the charm. Care to test that theory?" Voldemort answered with the killing curse, which Ron side stepped.
"Harry, run!" Ron yelled in his most commanding voice. Voldemort was distracted by Ron, so Harry was secondary to him at the moment.
"What about you?!" Harry called back as another curse was thrown Ron's way.
"I'll be fine, got here didn't I!?" Voldemort was so pissed he hardly noticed their conversation
Harry looked like he wanted to protest. "Just run!" Ron told him.
Harry did just that. He ran, grabbed Cedric's body, the portkey and disappeared.
Voldemort shot the killing curse at Harry's back, which really made Ron angry. No, not Ron, the oncoming storm. He could feel the other bubbling to the surface.
(Demons run when good men go to war
Holding a gun in his hand "I would never. When you pick people to lead this planet, pick people who would never."
I killed them all!)
Voldemort's eyes registered recognition and even….maybe…fear? He raised his wand at Voldemort "Petrificus Totalus."
Voldemort blocked the curse.
(I put one in unbreakable chains, another went into a black hole, a third was locked in time as the protector of the fields of England, and the last is in the mirror, every mirror. I was trying to be kind. They wouldn't let me.)
The next curse the oncoming storm sent was silent, nasty looking.
(I still visit the youngest one each year. Maybe one day, I'll forgive her. Maybe.)
Voldemort blocked it, but just barely. Time had slowed for the oncoming storm. Those curses had come in quick succession for everyone else. And then the oncoming storm saw it, the definite fear in Voldemort's eyes. The oncoming storm didn't care, but Ron knew a creature such as Voldemort would not be afraid unless he believed his life was truly in danger.
Disgust filled Ron.
(Quirrell, dust beneath his fingertips)
He turned away from Voldemort, and fingered his vortex manipulator. Ron opened his mouth, but the words that left him were not his own. "Ron doesn't like this. If it weren't for him, if we were not so connected. You would be dead. I won't turn him into a murderer. Again. I think, though, that we shall all meet again."
Ron pressed some button on his manipulator and was gone.
No one noticed that Ron had gone missing, and Harry made sure not to mention his presence. He was busy enough telling everyone about Voldemort's return. Ron hadn't spoken to his friend or anyone else for that matter since he returned. He'd simply run up to his dorm, gotten into his bed, closed the blinds
The nightmares were real! Those men and women were real! That man, the doctor was him! But not him, an aspect of him, a part of him. It had to be because now Ron was certain. Something had clicked when he went up against Voldemort, something he could no longer push away.
The deep down place had welled up and taken over. Ron couldn't deny it any longer.
It was speaking to him, not just throwing in a phrase here and there that Ron could deny ever happened. The doctor was talking in his head, apologizing, trying to calm Ron down. It wasn't working.
Luna, Trelawney, the hat, Olvidander they had all been right. They had all been trying to tell him the same thing.
He could remember dying, remember asking to not to be a hero. Well he was a murderer, a lonely wanderer, and the last of his kind. He had never been a hero.
He'd killed them all
-Ron, Ron please calm down
-Stop. Stop talking to me!
-But the good things, the dreams. They're real too. Think about that. That's what I do when it gets bad.
come along Pond,
it's bigger on the inside…..)
Ron sat up suddenly. This meant the TARDIS was real too! His home, his escape was out there somewhere.
-Yes, she is. Think about it Ron, is this really a big shock? Haven't I always been here? Oh you've denied me, but you've always known.
-I'm still a murderer
-No you're not, I am
-And is that any better? You're a part of me
-So you've come to terms with that then
-Barely. I swear, I'm going to be in therapy for the rest of my life
-I didn't mean for this to happen. I'm sorry, so sorry
-that's my line
-Well, it was mine first.
-How can you be so okay with being a killer? So accepting?
-It comes with age and time. When you've lived long enough, you realize that some aren't worth saving and that the universe is better off with them dead.
-Age and time. Haven't you had a lot of that?
-More than I've ever wanted. I'm just a shell of the man I used to be in here. I am so without passion, without regard for life.
-Just, try not to pass that on to me.
-I'll do my best.
The Sound and the Watch
Ron was on a day trip to London. Maybe his mother had noticed him moping around the house (how could she not notice, really? All he did was lie in bed, read, and try to drown out the blasted voice in his mind) because she practically pushed him out the door with his father, who had some ministry business to take care of.
"Go have fun!" she had said. Well he had tried, anyway, but muggles didn't quite fascinate him anymore.
-I don't think they ever did fascinate you, that was my love for earth and humans seeping in
-I'm going to ignore you.
-Because that works so well
-You're snarky, I don't remember you being snarky in the dreams
-It comes with age
-Right, because you're ancient, and you've made me ancient! I feel like I'm about a 1000 and I've got the memories to prove it
-Didn't I already apologize for that. It wasn't my fault anyway. I didn't ask for this
-And neither did I.
The Doctor did not get to finish that sentence, because Ron became distracted by a very familiar sound. The sound of the -the breaks are on- TARDIS! Ron jumped up and ran.
-Ron, you should stop this.
-Shut it you, can't you hear? She's calling to me!
-Of course I can hear her, but haven't you figured out enough to know not to run to that sound?
-I don't know what you're talking about.
-Yes you do. I don't have any memories of a red headed kid climbing into my TARDIS.
-Maybe you forgot.
-I never forget anything.
"Hey!" Ron cried out. The TARDIS was only just around the corner, and he could still hear her sound! But his legs had stopped responding to him.
-I told you not to go.
-This is so not fair! You've hijacked my body. Let. Me. Go!
-I can't do that and have you messing with the timelines
-Screw the timeless. I want to see my TARDIS
-My TARDIS, you mean
-Ours. You've made it so, don't deny it. She calls to me as she calls to you. I love her as much as you do. She's my home too. Come on, I can hear her fading.
-As she should
-Let me go! I can still hear her!
But then he couldn't. The TARDIS was gone.
-I hate you.
The people that passed by Ron spared him barely a glance. He was standing in the middle of the sidewalk, and they walked around him. Some yelled at him, some glared at him. No one really looked at him. But if they had bothered to, they would have seen a teenage boy, red faced and teary standing stone still. His face was straining to break free even if his legs weren't.
If a consciousness could sigh, the Doctor would have
-Quite right too.
When the Doctor gave Ron back his body, not even the smell (because of course she had a smell, to him) remained.
After that disastrous trip, Ron stomped into his house more moody than before. Luckily, his mother was too busy cooking. His father did notice, but chalked it up to Ron being a teenager.
-Wait, Ron stop. Go back. I can feel something emanating from there, can't you?
Ron could. It was familiar as if it had always been there and he was only now just noticing it.
-Why should I?
-It could be important
-So, I could just take over your body again or you can do this voluntarily
-Ha! Voluntarily? What a joke.
-Fine, you body-napper
The Doctor directed Ron to the tea cabinet.
-Look at the top.
Ron did. His height allowed him to peer at the top of the cabinet. There was something there. Ron grabbed it and wiped off the dust.
-It's a fob watch
-I can see that Ron. It looks like-
-Oh, this is very not good.
-The people you met after you died, they…?
-Yes, they separated me from my memories as they promised.
-Then they put the watch here-
-So that my memories would feed into you.
-So I could consume you
Gingerly, Ron put the watch back where he had found it.
-Nothing we can do about it now anyway.
Help From an Unlikely Source
"Weasley." came Snape's sharp voice. "Stay behind."
As Harry packed his quill and parchment he looked at Ron questioningly. Ron shrugged.
"Yes sir?" Ron asked Snape (Professor Snape) when everyone had left.
"Sit down." Snape snapped, gesturing to the nearest desk. Ron did so and Snape stood up from his desk. Ron had the feeling Snape just wanted to be intimidating. He looked rather bat-like as he put his hands on the desk in front of Ron and stared him in the eye.
"Your occlumency shields are commendable Weasley. Though I doubt you're even aware that they are there. Something else is holding them for you."
Ron could have been horrified that Snape had tried to read his mind, but he was not really all that surprised, not after what Harry had told him about his little "lessons" with Snape.
"Not going to assault my mind then, like you did to Harry?" Ron sneered.
"Couldn't if I tried to." Snape answered, seeming rather frustrated about that.
"What do you want, professor?" He looked into Snape's eyes, daring him to lie, daring him to not ask why his shields were so strong.
-Really Ron, you don't have to treat Severus this way. Though he is being a bit of a pratt
-Severus? As in…
-Oh. That explains a lot you know.
Snape stood up straight, put his hands behind his back and began to pace.
"Weasley. Last year, in the cemetery an entity spoke for you, an entity within you, correct?"
"How do you know that?" Ron asked sharply. No one was supposed to know that! Well, except for the death eaters….but surely….oh. Ron's eyes went as wide as saucers. He had never believed Harry, not really, when he said Snape was evil.
"Answer the question."
Ron hesitated, but Snape already knew the answer. In for a penny, in for a pound….
"And this entity is known as the Doctor?"
-Of course, you had to go pick him up. You always pick up the strays, don't you?
"Correct." Ron admitted.
Snape gave him a sidelong glance. "The Doctor has been with you your whole life, yes?"
"I think so."
"But he has now only been taking over as you've been getting older. He is no longer an entity. He is another self that exists within your mind. A person, almost"
-Not almost, I'm highly offended by that almost
-Too bad. You shouldn't have gotten mixed up with after-life alien creatures.
"I suppose so."
"Alright." Snape turned to Ron "We're going to fix this."
The Doctor sounded gleeful in Ron's mind when he heard that.
-Oh good, I knew Snape was good! All along I've been telling you 'trust Snape' Didn't you notice?
Ron ignored him. "Excuse me?"
Snape began to pace again. "My theory is this: You and the Doctor were once one melded person."
-Yep, right on par old Severus. Brilliant companion he was.
"I haven't the slightest idea how he got into you, but you were once one in the same. Doctor Weasley if you will." he sneered at Ron.
-Snarky though, very snarky
"But then you got older and the Doctor part of you began to seep through, as if some force was pushing him through you."
-The fob watch
-Shhh, I'm trying to listen.
"You had nightmares, I imagine."
Ron gave a short nod.
"Well, your subconscious did the only thing it could do. It piled that Doctor part of you away deep inside your mind. You became two separate people. Doctor and Weasley. It wasn't enough though, not nearly. The Doctor is ancient and powerful. Your young mind couldn't contain him. The nightmares continued and you became influenced by him. Tainted."
Ron (or the Doctor) flinched at that.
"Without that entity, you would not be who you are now. You would be average, normal."
-Right well….normal is boring.
-You're the one that asked for it Doctor. You asked for a life with school and mortgage and kids. Normal.
-And look what they gave me? Wizards. The buggers….
"But professor, the nightmares did stop, not completely, but somewhat when I was 11."
-Ah, an interesting year, that.
Snape nodded "Yes, yes that makes sense. Of course you got older and the Doctor is smart. He was probably adding to your shields against him."
"Except…" Snape continued
"When he gets angry. Then he loses control. I usually get the worst nightmares right after"
"Yes then. And now you are more aware of him than ever. He is a constant presence in your conscious mind."
-If constant is another word for annoying, then yes.
-I'm hardly annoying.
-Says you, body snatcher.
"Professor." Ron intoned "How do you know all of this?"
Snape faced him again and Ron was struck by how tired and drawn the usually fearsome professor seemed.
"I've done my research. Months of it."
"For the Doctor?"
"I owe him a favor."
"Yeah, for the saving you on a full moon when Black tried to play a mean, dangerous trick?"
Snape nodded, not at all surprised that Ron knew.
"And for after. When he showed me the stars. I was away for months, but it had only been twelve hours when I came back."
-Oh Severus. I had such hopes for you, I thought…
-You never went back to visit him? To see what happens to a kid when you take him across the Universe and then throw him back into a world where he has no one?
-Ronald, you have no idea.
"…If I can't repay him directly, then I'll do it through you." Snape was saying. Ron stopped arguing internally with the Doctor to respond.
"And what do you plan on doing about it?"
"We're going to tear down those barriers and unite you two."
Ron swallowed. He could feel the doctor pushing through to the surface.
"I hope you know what you're doing Severus"
Snape paused, recognizing the Doctor.
"I do. You don't have much of a choice anyway. If we don't do this then his consciousness will certainly be destroyed by you. You're too strong."
"Yes, but I am worried about this Severus!" the Doctor continued to speak through Ron.
"Well it can't be worse than using the boy as a phone box." Snape quipped, raising an eyebrow at him.
"It's not like when he was young. All of the memories are there now, and he won't just be a spectator to them, they'll be his, part of his soul. There is much darkness in me."
"Oi!" Ron interrupted "My jaw is getting tired."
Snape and the Doctor communicated telepathically
-I worry I will taint Ron
-No more than you already have. Right now you are two rivers flowing side by side, separated by a rock barrier. You're pushing against that rock and so he takes in all of your anger and hate already. Soon if we do nothing, your river will overcome the rock and he'll be consumed. We however, will be breaking down the barrier ourselves, slowly, letting in a bit at a time. After we do this, he will be combined with you. Your two rivers will flow together. You two will be one, not two separate consciousnesses. Ron will still exist, because you will not pour into him all at once. It will be a process of breaking down the barrier and allowing Ron to adapt. You cannot possibly taint him when his innocence is there to counteract your 'darkness' as you've said.
-Still here : Ron
-There is no other choice: Snape
One week later.
"Alright" Snape addressed Ron "You have barriers and now you have to take them down."
"Easier said than done."
"Just imagine them." Ron did. They were high and strong, and made of brick.
"Now. The Doctor and I are going to be a pick and an ax and you will be pulling the bricks out from one side as we try to cut them down from the other."
Ron tried to grasp hold of a brick. He failed.
Ron did, and failed again. The next few hours went by like this. The Doctor and Snape 'hammering' from the outside of the wall, Ron trying to take it down from within. Sweat was pooling on his forehead before he got a firm grasp on one. It was another hour before he got it out.
Snape let out a deep breath "This is going to take a while." He was right. The next ones went easier, but not by much. It was a month before the wall was nearly down, and another month before it was completely gone.
The Doctor went away like that. Slowly. Gradually, he talked less and less. Ron could still feel him though, as his emotions were his own. It was more of a give and take, than the doctor actually leaving. Ron became less Ron and more Doctor, and yet retained himself. Themselves. It was as Snape said, they were combining. The Doctor couldn't talk to Ron, because their souls were melding again.
He didn't need to talk to Ron because Ron already knew what he would say.
The Doctor was Ron and Ron was the Doctor, but not like the DoctorDonna. Their combining was a slow process after being connected for a lifetime. The DoctorDonna only combined minds. Ron and the Doctor combined souls.
And they became one in the same, once more.
Ron, (as he continued to call himself, because really he was still Ron as he was now the Doctor) managed to stay out of Dumbledore's way and out of site of Voldemort at the Department of Mysteries. He hadn't wanted to face the villain right then, he wasn't ready. Now Voldemort had fled, which was alright by Ron
Against his better judgment, he had followed Harry (who seemed to not the notice the minute change in his friend, he had been so busy with the DA, Umbridge, and now Voldemort) to the ministry. Ron felt that he should have convinced Harry not to go, but Sirius was in trouble! Ron felt he owed Sirius, like he owed so many others (because now the Doctor's debts were his as he was the Doctor).
And now Sirius was dead, like so many others.
Ron was in the Hall of Prophecies. He didn't remember how he had got back in there. He only knew that one was calling to him, whispering to him Doctor, theta, Ronald, no name come to me, come to me
He did. Ron walked down through the isles, scanning each shelf until he found it. The orb was warm in his hands.
The Traveler, the Wanderer
Wants to wander no more
He who saves the savior
Who has saved and slaughtered
Who befriends the boy
If the boy should fail
The dark lord will rise
The wanderer shall be
The savior again
"No." Ron whispered "No!"
He smashed the prophecy against the marble floor, and watched with fascination as the shards flew every which way.
"Doctor?" there was Luna's voice. Yes, dreamily, she had come on this little adventure as well. Ron now identified her as someone he would have gladly taken with him as a companion. Brave, intelligent, and with a strong telepathic ability. She would have worked well. Hermione too.
"Don't call me that." Ron said. He had no TARDIS, there would be no adventures through space and time with the dreamy Lovegood.
"But you are more the Doctor now than you've ever been."
"I am Ron too. I am both." Ron argued back "and I prefer to be called Ron."
He turned to Luna, who smiled at him. He did not smile back.
"Very well, Ron."
Ron closed his eyes and turned back to the smashed prophecy on the floor. He had given up being the savior. He had asked not to be the savior. Specifically. But he kept getting roped into every time.
Harry could handle it. Harry had to handle it (but look at what happens when you let Harry handle it. Third year, he goes chasing after a werewolf and almost gets his soul sucked out. And now….now Sirius is dead because you went along with Harry's plan, a mean little voice whispered into Ron's mind).
"I wanted peace, to be a friend, not a prophesied killer"
Luna touched his shoulder. "Ron, you don't have to be a killer."
"Don't I? I'll get roped into it somehow. I always do."
"Free will exists. You can make your own choices."
Ron let out a bitter laugh. "Can I? Why have I saved the savior? Why have a followed the prophecy word by word already? Yes, I make my own choices, and they keep getting me into situations I don't want to be in, but the Universe makes sure I am. I never wanted this!" Ron exclaimed, thinking back to those damnable after-life alien things.
"You can't think about it like that. You just have to do what you normally would do without thinking about what affect they have on some words read aloud by some tiny little broken orb buried underground." Luna advised
Ron turned back to Luna and blinked several times. This was the most straightforward thing she'd said to him in…well in forever.
"I just hate being manipulated." he said.
Luna nodded, and took his hand. "You can't think about it like that."
They left. Neither heard the continued whispering coming from the smashed orb, faint as it was.
But if the boy should succeed
If the dark lord should fail
Three shall rise from his ashes
Three shall be one
One born of war, death, and pain
He will take revenge
And the universe will pay
The Wanderer will pay
Ron did think about it. He couldn't stop thinking about it. He hadn't signed up for this and had wanted to be unimportant, irresponsible. Ron had been dragged into mystery and death anyway.
And now Sirius was dead. Sirius, who Ron had failed already. It was Ron's fault. He could have figured out Voldemort was manipulating Harry, but he ignored the signs. So many deaths Ron was already responsible for. So many he had killed.
The guilt hung heavily on Ron's heart.
Another Old Companion
Dumbledore knew. He knew who had really faced Voldemort time and time again. He knew it wasn't Harry.
When Ron had been called to the Headmaster's office, he thought it was about him sneaking into the restricted section. He had wanted to research some more about the obvious link between Voldemort, the diary, and Harry's headaches. Getting caught by McGonagall hadn't been part of the plan (oh plans, Ron hated plans), but he had served his extensive detentions.
It appeared though, this had nothing to do with that. From across his desk, Dumbledore smiled kindly and -almost- fondly at Ron.
"Ah, Doctor. I recognized your aura in your first year. Now I see you have come into it." Of course, Albus, of course. I should have known you'd see me.
"My name is Ron. Call me that please. The Doctor…the Doctor is me too. I am both. Just…..call me Ron."
"So you have unlocked them then? Your memories. You've unlocked them and accepted them."
Ron blinked at Dumbledore. "I…no not exactly. I never came into anything. I am still Ronald Weasley, as much as I've ever been, but now I'm also the Doctor, more the Doctor than I ever was. I am not half and half. I am both. It used to be we were two different people, now we're the same. Thanks to Severus."
Dumbledore nodded, looked surprised "I didn't know…."
"Well he helped. He combined us." Ron continued. "I'm not a spectator to the memories as I once was. I act in them now. For instance, I remember, Professor, coming across you twice. Once, when your younger sister created a disturbance in the Universe before she contained it inside herself. The next just before you went up against Grindelwald for the last time. Ronald Weasley never met you then. The Doctor did."
Dumbledore looked mournful.
"But remember sir." Ron continued sharply "I am still Ronald Weasley. I don't just look and talk like him, I am still him and no less him than I've ever been. Severus merely helped me to combine our two souls into one. But I still exist, and so does the Doctor. Just not independently of each other."
"Yes of course I…"
"Sir-" Ron interrupted, not liking at all that Albus had probably decided to drag him into something "if I may ask, what do you want?" Dumbledore sighed. He seemed very old and very tired.
"All this time, you've been defeating Voldemort and preventing him from achieving his goals. Not Harry."
"Yes. Not that Harry didn't try." Ron smirked "I kept on getting in the way."
"I've known since that first year. I couldn't say so, I didn't want to scare you off, Ron. Reading your aura and knowing who you were, I trusted that you would be able to take care of yourself."
Ron did not need to ask how. The old man had used Occlumency, of course. Dumbledore couldn't just let the lies be.
"And recently I heard the prophecy. The one you smashed." Dumbledore continued.
"Trelawney?" Ron guessed. He nodded.
"Taking this all in I feel that I must show you some memories of our dear friend Tom. Harry has seen them as well, but in light of the prophecy I find it prudent that you should see them too."
"Oh?" Ron felt like sneering, a sign he had spent too much time around Severus. Here the prophecy was again. Luna was wrong. He'd never be able to act like it wasn't hanging over his head.
"Yes. You're being set on a path Mr. Weasley and I believe you should know all you can before you proceed."
Dumbledore sighed again. "As you know, if Harry should fail, you must complete the task for him."
"Killing Voldemort, you mean." Ron said. Oh he hated this, being pushed into a little corner where he had no choice. There was a time he could have jumped into his TARDIS and flown away.
Ron closed his eyes and breathed carefully through his nostrils. His fists were clenched when he finally spoke.
"Fine. But before we proceed you're going to tell me everything. Everything you didn't tell Harry, and I'm guessing that is a lot. Alright?"
Dumbledore paused for a moment before nodding.
"You don't want to do this, Draco." Ron said calmly. They were on the Astronomy tower. He had his wand in his pocket and was holding both hands out in front of him. He and Dumbledore had just come back from getting the Locket (the very fake locket, not that Ron would let Albus know after all the headmaster had been through to get it). The old man, as manipulative as he may be, was weak and sick as he looked at Draco (not to mention his dying hand). Ron knew what had to be done, but he didn't want to be done. It was so wasteful! If he could only convince Draco, and then Severus…
"Shut it Weasley! You don't know what you're talking about."
Draco's wand was shakily pointed at the head master.
"I know you orchestrated the whole invasion. I know what Voldemort has asked you to do. You're being manipulated. Draco, just lower your wand."
Around him the death eaters were whispering, some snickering, some looking annoyed.
"You've got no idea!" Draco exclaimed "I've got to or-"
"Any of the things you've been threatened with…do you really think your lord won't do it anyway? You don't want to become a murderer, trust me Draco."
It felt like an eternity. Slowly Draco lowered his wand to his side.
Ron felt breathless "Good, good now-"
Snape pushed his way out of the group of Death Eaters. He and Ron exchanged a look (Ron: Don't do this; Snape: Get the hell out of here you fool!) a he shouted "Avada Kedavra!"
Dumbledore was hit with the sickly green light. His body fell from the tower. Ron caught a quick glimpse of his dead face. It was almost peaceful. Ron envied him. He'd had the chance at peace, and he'd thrown it away for this madness. He turned his bitterness to the man who'd just committed a murder he'd promised the victim to commit.
"Damn it Snape!" Ron yelled at the man. Anger bubbled in his stomach, but the oncoming storm was not released because he was the oncoming storm now. Nothing could over power him. He was in control. Ron knew of the agreement between Snape and Albus, but damn it, he also knew of how ugly murder could make your soul. Still, he managed to keep his anger in check.
Ron did not have time to mourn Albus, who he had helped during two of the toughest times of his life. He turned to Draco, yelled "Expelliarmus!" and hit his Vortex Manipulator before Draco's wand even hit the ground.
He disappeared into the void and reappeared a hundred miles away in the forest where he yelled himself hoarse.
It wasn't fair, it was never fair. He had shown Severus the stars once, a long time ago in a different body. For months they adventured together through the universe.
If only…if only he had never sent him back.
Now Ron felt like this (all of this, everything, every death) was his fault. It was a familiar feeling, but sickening all the same. He zapped back to his dorm and pounded his fists into his pillows.
Sometimes Ron just wanted apple grass (before the cat nuns and Cassandra). He wanted to lay down in and spread his arms out like he was making a snow angel. He wanted Rose (yes Rose Tyler, he could never forget, never not want Rose Tyler) to lay down beside him and say forever.
Ron wished to go back to a little Scottish girl in Leadworth and make sure she never waited more than five minutes. He wanted to eat fish fingers and custard all day and all night for the rest of his life. He wanted his TARDIS, to step into the old girl press some random buttons and launch himself into space and time.
So much else he yearned for. So many people he wanted to save, to stay with. So many lives he wanted to change.
One thing he did not want. One thing he had never wanted, was this life. This terrible continuation of finding people and losing them (whether to death or evil). He hated endings, and he hated himself, now more than ever.
Ron just wanted applegrass. That would make everything all right (no it wouldn't. Nothing would ever -could ever in any time- be alright, not for him).
The Death Eaters looked at the place Ron had left behind, flabbergasted. What a strange way to apparate…
The Locket and Discussion
They were living in a tent, which was bigger on the inside. That was alright by Ron. Albeit, the tent wasn't much bigger on the inside, not infinite or anything, but certainly better than sleeping on the ground.
What wasn't alright was that locket. The real one, not the fake one Dumbledore had risked going mad for. It fed on darkness, that much was obvious, and while Ron was wearing it, it had a lot to go on. Over a millennia. Harry and Hermione would just get grouchy and snap at the others. But Ron…..Ron was something else entirely.
He became cruel, spiteful, merciless. Like the dream lord from so long ago. Ron would hex Harry and Hermione (and apologize profusely afterwards), mock them, throw them biting comments.
"Ron, please…" Hermione would say, that pleading tone in her voice. Ron would sneer at her.
"Please what Ms. Granger? Please stop? I'm sure you never asked Krum to stop hmm? Or Mr. Potter over there. What was it Rita called you two? Lovebirds?"
And he would laugh that cruel laughed as Hermione clenched her fists in anger."Ron, that's enough!" Harry would snap, though he wasn't wearing the locket.
"What is it Mr. Potter? Think you can tell everyone what to do, do you? Just because you're the savior of the wizarding world? Well screw that, I've faced Voldy more times than you have, while you've just sat back and watched and then taken credit for it! Then nerve." His lips would curve into a cold smile.
He hardly remembered these things after the locket was off, though he had the impression Hermione and Harry were angry at him for something he had done during that time.
Eventually, Harry and Hermione agreed that he shouldn't be allowed to wear the locket, or some unforgivables might be sent flying his way.
"You're different." Harry said to Ron during their stay at Shell cottage. The funeral for Dobby had been just that morning. No one was really up for doing much else than laying around the cottage. No plans, no schemes, and certainly no talk about Horcruxes.
"Hmm?" Ron responded, acting like he didn't understand. Of course he was different, he was two people now, melded into one person. But he had hoped -being that Harry was not yet at the point that he could see people's auras- that his friends wouldn't notice.
"It's just, you're not the same anymore. It used to be…you used to….I don't know, get this faraway look in your eyes like you were somewhere else. Now you're focused all the time."
Well, when one did not have to communicate with a voice inside their heads, or wonder about memories that shouldn't be there, one did get focused.
"And you don't have nightmares anymore."
Ron's head snapped in Harry's direction "What's that?"
"Nightmares, you used to get them when we were younger, when I was staying at the burrow. You'd toss and turn in bed or pace around the room. Sometime I heard you scream, but it was muffled by the pillow." Under Ron's penetrating gaze, Harry looked sheepish "I figured you didn't want to talk about them, so I never mentioned it. I'm not stupid you know."
"I never thought-"
"And you can be more cruel too." Harry continued. "I don't think, a few years ago, you wouldn't have acted the way you did with the locket. It's like…you're older now, wiser, but crueler too." Because now I have a millennia of memories I didn't have before.
Ron was silent for a moment. "Has Hermione noticed?" he finally said.
Harry shook his head "No. Maybe. I see her giving you strange looks sometimes."
"Stranger than usual?" Ron smirked.
"Yeah, like she's wondering who you are. I know who you are. I know you're Ron Weasley, my best mate. But sometimes….sometimes it's like you're more…"
Ron stared at Harry for a minute.
"More. More than I used to be. I'm two people now, melded into one. I suppose you deserve to know that." being what I know about your future, friend
Ron went on to explain, as best he could, who he was and what he had been.
Harry listened in silence. It was if he had been waiting for this moment, as if he'd known all along. And those curious looks he used to give were just his way of saying 'come on! Out with it, I know who you are!'
"Listen." Ron said to Harry, before they climbed through the portrait hole into Hogwarts.
"What is it Ron? We haven't the time!" Harry said breathlessly. War was just over there, through the portrait hole. There was war and death and pain.
"There are some things you should know before you do this."
Ron took a deep breath. How was he going to phrase this? Harry had to die and he didn't know he was coming back either. Ron felt his heart (just the one) clench. He loved Harry like a brother. Damn it, he'd been dreading this for months. He didn't want Harry to die, to have to walk alone into a green light. The torment, the fear...Ron swallowed. "You have to die, and you have to disarm me."
Harry paused in his climbing and turned to Ron very slowly.
Ron explained, as best he could about the part of Voldemort living inside of him, about him being a Horcrux. He did not explain about the disarming and elder wand part, but being how angry Harry seemed, that part would probably sort itself out.
Harry stared at Ron. He could see anger flickering behind Harry's eyes, and the fear too...the betrayal "I thought I told you never to keep secrets about me, from me. I thought I told you not to manipulate me. And now I have to die? Do you even give a damn? What kind of friend are you?" Harry's voice nearly broke, and Ron decided that he had been wrong. This had not been the best time, not when he was about to step into battle.
"It's just well…"I have a prophecy too, I know what its like. I couldn't tell you, not when I know what will happen if you should fail.
"I should have told you, you're right. But, hear me out. I don't want my best mate to die. How could I tell you?"
Of course, Harry's death was only going to be temporary, but still….What if he never woke up? What if Dumbledore lied? What if I have to take his place.
Harry was not in the most forgiving mood. He answered Ron's question with a cry of "Expelliarmus!" (which Ron did not block, in fact he was thrown across the room) and climbed through the portrait. Hermione looked at Ron (and now he saw that 'who are you?' question in her eyes) and climbed through the portrait as well.
Ron recovered quickly, grabbed his wand, and followed them.
"Oh Severus." Ron whispered, as he looked down at his once companion.
"Doctor?" Severus whispered. "The boy…I need to tell him…I need to see…"
"Shhh…" Ron leaned down to the man and put a hand on his forehead "He knows. I told him."
Harry was off in the forest, ready to die. He hadn't said a word to Ron. The thought hurt him, but he knew Harry would come back. That was more important than being forgiven.
"His eyes…I wanted…." he looked at Ron now, fear in his eyes "What's is it like to die Doctor?"
"Fine. Painless. Like falling asleep." Ron lied.
Tears were rolling down Snape's cheek. "Collect them!" he cried weakly "A vial or something. For the boy."
Ron obeyed, and put the tears in his pocket. Snape's time was nearing. His heart had nearly stopped.
"I hope…I haven't….disappointed you Doctor….I tried….to be good…but…."
"You could never disappoint me Severus." Ron said. Gently, he supported the man's head in his arms.
"You were like, a father to me. I wanted to stay with you…..forever."
They always do, they always think it will last forever. But forever for a timelord, and forever for everyone else are two very differently things.
"Tell me about the stars, Doctor. Remind me of our adventures when I was a boy."
A lump formed in Ron's throat, too many companions dead. Much too many."Yes of course. There was the lost moon of poosh? Remember? Well not lost then and not lost now, but lost in between. Oh and the cybermen. Had quite a few run ins with them, didn't we? They hated your magic, it scared them silly. All delete, delete one moment and practically running away the next. Then there was the fourth great and bountiful human empire, now didn't they have lots of problems we solved. And Midnight, wasn't…"
Snape had stopped breathing, a serene smile on his face. Gently, Ron laid Severus down and closed his eyes.
Birth and Beginning
Ron was in Voldemort's mind. He hadn't wanted to be in Voldemort's mind, but he had no choice. Voldemort had stared him in the eye, recognizing him, and had tried to break down his shields, to break him. Ron's shields had held, but damn it Voldemort was strong and not gentle either. Soon, Ron had started fighting back. It was a struggle, one pushing back and against the other.
Ron pushed too far. Now he was stuck. It was as if Voldemort had erected barriers around Ron's mind, so he couldn't escape.
As if he knew….
This had all happened in a moment where Harry yelled "Expelliarmus!" and Voldemort used the killing curse. The spell rebounded against Voldemort. His own spell killed him. Ron felt it. He pushed had pushed his way into Voldemort's mind, been trapped, and now the dark lord was dead. His body at least.
The essence of Riddle, what was left of it, latched onto Ron's consciousness. Ron tried to get out. As Riddle died, his barriers fell away, and Ron receded. Except Voldemort followed. Almost, almost Ron lost him, but all around Ron, he could feel people dying, in pain and misery
Born of War and death and pain the mantra echoed in his mind. In Voldemort's. It was a piece of a song, a piece of a riddle that felt very familiar to Ron and yet alien as well. He couldn't concentrate and in his confusion Voldemort pushed through the barriers into his own mind. Ron screamed. He could feel his soul being ripped into two once more. They pressed on his mind, the pressure increasing as another was added.
The Doctor screamed too, angry and frightened.
But if the boy should succeed
If the dark lord should fail
Three shall rise from his ashes
Three shall be one
One born of war, death, and pain
He will take revenge
And the universe will pay
The Doctor will pay
The rest of the prophecy echoed in the minds of the three. Voldemort had heard it, Voldemort knew this was his chance to live again. Dumbledore had known too. He had hoped Harry would not succeed, that Ron would kill Voldemort and that no darkness would rise.
But it did.
Around them, people fought a war. They died and yelled in pain. The three could feel it all, so connected they were to the world around them.
What was left of Ron pushed against the others, but the Doctor was so closely intertwined with him that he couldn't move. Now that he was separated from the Doctor he resented him for ever being a part of his life and dragging him into situations such as these. He hated the Doctor for that.
The Doctor already hated himself for the many things he had done over his lifetime.
(I don't know how you got here, but only one person could hate me as much as you do.)
And Voldemort who sought immortality and feared death above everything else took only from the pain around him a hatred for everyone and everything else.
There could be no room for good thoughts or memories in this war scene. The three souls combined and separated and mixed once more in a terrible tumult of misery and pain, until neither consciousness knew who was who.
The Doctor and Severus had failed to save Ron Weasley. In the end, he was consumed: by himself, the darkest parts of the doctor, and the last shred of a being's soul whose worst fear was death.
Ron Weasley died in the final battle, though no one ever knew that (except Harry and Hermione who soon after began avoiding him like the plague). He was hailed a hero for the short time he was in the wizarding world after that day.
Voldemort's death was celebrated, his victims mourned, his followers imprisoned. The wizards and witches who celebrated that day for centuries afterward never knew they were celebrating a lie.
The Doctor had died long ago and far away in the future. For a while he had lived on sharing a consciousness with a ginger haired child. That day, he died again. And became something else.
On that day, another was born. He came with resentment from whom was once Ron Weasley, self hatred from he who was once the Doctor, and revulsion for everything and everyone, from he who was once Voldemort.
He would remember forever, who he was, and how he came to be. He would soon go mad and disappear from the wizarding world because of this. The first thing he would do is scour the world for a familiar fob watch (because paradoxes are such bothersome things). With the determination that is granted in madness, he would find it. From there, he would go back in time to leave it on the door step of the family of he who was once Ron Weasley after knocking on the door in the early morning light.
Then, he would seek out the Doctor in his anger and madness, because even he remembered that there were certain fixed points in time that couldn't be undone. Attempting his scheme against the doctor (but not scheme no, it would work for him, he would succeed! the madness said) was one of them.
Him being the darkest part of the Doctor, being the Valeyard was another.
Author's Note: Yep, Ron Weasley is the Valeyard. Or, what's left of him anyway.
Harry and Ron have lots of unresolved issues at the end there (I wonder where that vial went...hmmm?), but that's what happens with time travel. Lots of unresolved issues.