Chapter 1 : A Worthless Knight
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This one is for Juls and Em. Juls cos she know fit Dennis and Em cos she knows fit Tom/Dan. Nah, I'm joking, it's because they are both incredible!
A Worthless Hero
‘What in the name of Merlin’s effing pants could he have possibly have been thinking? What a little git! You just wait ‘til Dad hears about this – you’ve never seen Dad angry before, have you? Merlin, he’s worse than mum in one of her worst rants and he’s not going to be angry now, he’ll just be disappointed and it’s-’
Fleur washed her hands thoroughly as she watched her husband angrily pacing up and down the bathroom in the steamy mirror in front of her. She had rarely seen him so angry and never for so futile a reason. She was disappointed with young Ron as well of course, but watching her Bill so furious only made her angry in turn. How could he possibly understand his own brother so little? Especially when she, who had barely spent several months with the boy, could suss him out so easily?
It was often said that an angry Veela became an ugly Veela, but as Fleur observed her husband she noticed that the same could be said werewolves. Quickly, taking advantage of his pause for breath, she jumped in. There was no use in getting him more and more angry.
‘You weel do no such thing, Beell!’
Bill looked up at her incredulously, his flushed face radiating so much anger that it matched his hair.
‘Of course I’m telling Dad! And the Order – they need to know all they can about Harry-’
‘-And what in Merlin’s name makes you theenk that 'e would tell you anytheeng?’
‘He’s angry with them, he’ll-’
‘Beell Weasley! 'Ow ees it zat I know your own bruzzer better than you do? Zat boy ees brave and loyal and stubborn and eef your muzzer couldn’t get anytheeng out of 'im, there ees no chance in ‘ell zat you weell!’
‘Brave? Loyal? Were you not listening to what his said? He’s a spineless scumbag, Fleur! He walked out on them! On Harry and Hermione, Fleur!
‘You don’t understand him, you haven’t heard the stories of what he’s like! Ginny’s told be all about he’s treated the them before! The only reason he went with the two of them in the first place was because he wanted some glory! Honestly, they’re better off without him, the useless lump…’
This was too much. Fleur turned from the mirror and drew her wand. If she has been scared of Bill’s anger before, any sense of fear had completely evaporated. Ron had always been a little annoying, but he was the man’s own brother for Merlin’s sake and for him to say…to think such things was just ridiculous. She understood that he was furious, caught up in the moment and was saying what he didn’t…what he couldn’t mean, but she had to stop him.
‘'ow could you say such theengs? 'E’s your bruzzer, Beell, and eef zere was ever anytheeng I was jealous of you about, eet was 'ow close your family are and 'ow much respect you 'ave for one another! You don’t really believe what you are saying ees true, so for goodness' sake stop-’
‘Oh I wouldn’t be so sure,’ growled Bill bitterly, taking a deep breath. ‘Ginny and the twins have told me all sorts…’
Fleur sighed and rolled her big, beautiful eyes, before deciding to take another approach. She wouldn’t sleep until her berk of a husband saw sense and there was no way she would let him view his brother in such a horrible manner! It was going to be a long night…
‘So tell me, what 'as 'e done? What could ze boy possibly 'ave done to make you theenk 'e doesn’t deserve 'is friends at all? 'E’s sorry for Merlin’s sake! Surely you can see zat 'e’s sorry?’
‘Sorry?’ Bill scoffed. ‘As if that’s enough, Fleur! He’s never deserved those two…you’ve seen his friends, for goodness sakes! You know Hermione Granger – that girl is not only the cleverest witch of our time, but she’s beautiful and stubborn and loyal! She’s an effing muggle-born and she’s still out there doing Merlin knows what to try and save us! You don’t see her running do you?
‘Did you know her and Ron have had a little thing going since they were about thirteen? Neither of them will admit it, but they were both gaga for each other and both bloody delusional! As if their relationship could ever get anywhere and even if it did, Hermione would soon have realised that she’s too good for the idiot! She’s a hero for Melin’s sake, not a bloody tag-along like Ron. Really, if it weren’t for young Ginny, I would have said that her and Harry should…Harry! And that’s his other best friend, for crying out loud, Harry bloody Potter. As if-’
Bill stopped abruptly at the sudden transformation in his wife, who within the space of three of his words had gone from being blazing with anger, to collapsing onto the side of the bathtub in hysterical laughter. His heart lurched and he felt even more rage erupt inside him. She was laughing at him.
‘What?’ he asked dejectedly.
‘You- you just said – you just implied zat – zat 'Arry and – 'Arry and 'Ermione could – zat zey could be-’ Bill cut Fleur off before she could even finish her sentence.
‘Well of course! He’s the lady and she’s the girl! When does the hero not get the girl? And those two hardly ever fight in comparison to Ron and Hermione and…why is it so funny?’
‘Beell, zis eesn’t ze comic book, eet’s real life!’ Fleur managed to sound exasperated through her laughter.
‘Exactly. And in real life, Ron doesn’t deserve those two, just like Percy the Prick doesn’t deserve our family! Fleur, we’re not cowardly Slytherins, we’re brave and loyal and we don’t walk out on our friends!’
‘Yes Beell, we do! Eet ees okay to be scared for ze people you love and by being out zere doing whatever 'e was doing all by 'imself, 'ow worried do you theenk Ron was about ze rest of us? 'E’s not like 'Arry and 'Ermione, who don’t 'ave anyone else fighting in zis horrible war. No! 'Is 'ole bloody family ees tied up in one way or anuzzer and 'e was weethout any means of contacting zem! What do you theenk zat must be like?
‘You know, when I visited 'Ogwarts ze only teeing I was really, truly envious of was zat in Beauxbatons we deed not 'ave zose leettle family-like 'ouses! But now, now I see zat perhaps zat was a good theeng! You see, Beauxbatons students are allowed to be brave and clever and loyal all at ze same time, but zey are also allowed to be scared!’
‘Hogwart’s students can-’
‘Beell, can you possibly imagine what eet must be like for your bruzzer?’
‘Bloody fantastic of course!’ Bill rolled his eyes and audibly snorted. ‘He’s always going off on adventures and having people think of him as a hero, when all he really does is get angry and make stupid remarks! Ginny told me-’
‘Ginny told you what, exactly?’ Fleur felt her voice rising and took a deep breath, preparing herself for the answer.
‘That he stopped talking to Harry after his name came out of the Goblet of Fire!’ Bill’s voice was now even louder than before and he paced the room frantically. ‘That he suddenly stopped talking to Hermione and launched his lips on some random girl just days after he had agreed to go on a date with her! That the was a pants keeper and treated the whole team like shit! That-’
'Beell,’ began Fleur, her quiet voice filled with venom, ‘deed Ginny ever tell you about ze time Ron 'elped save 'er from ze Chamber of Secrets? Save 'er life?’
‘Yes, but Harry did most-’
‘Deed she tell you about how tolerant 'e was when ze very same Mr. 'Arry Potter kissed 'er at a party in front of everyone zere?’
‘What?’ came Bills shocked voice. ‘I thought Ginny only fancied-’
‘Deed Ginny ever tell you, 'ell, deed you even bozzer noticing for yourself 'ow smoothly 'e dealt weeth Veektor Krum at our wedding? What about how maturely 'e asked 'Ermione to dance, showing anytheeng but childish jealousy?’
‘What’s Viktor Krum got to do with anything?’
‘You see!’ raged Fleur. ‘You don’t even know zat Ron probably 'ated zat man more zan Voldemort heemself and yet you go on and abuse 'is relationship weeth 'Ermione! Surely Ginny told you about ze time 'e sacrificed heemself in ze giant chess game when 'e was twelve?
‘No buts, Beell. I wonder eef Ginny ever 'eard about ze time Ron, whilst suffering from a broken leg, threatened Sirius Black theenking 'e was a murderer. Deed Ginny tell you about zat?’
‘He did what? When did Ron have a broken leg? He threatened a murderer?’
‘Exactly, Beell. Now you imagine zis for me. You are ze youngest son out of seven cheeldren. Your older bruzzers are all prefects and Quidditch captains and 'Ead Boys and zey all 'ave exciting jobs and zen zere’s you. Every time you do sometheeng exciting, someone 'as already done it before…eet’s not an achievement and-’
‘It must be even worse for Ginny and she’s turned out all right, hasn’t she?’
‘Ginny ees ze first Weasley girl een seven generations, Beell, of course eet’s not ze same! She 'as older brothers zat spoil 'er rotten and rightly so, but where does zat leave poor Ron? In ze shadows.’
‘But look at all the stuff he’s done, he doesn’t need to feel like that!’ Bill exclaimed.
‘Yes Beell. Look at all ze stuff 'e’s done and yet you’re steell condemning 'im!’
‘He shouldn’t have left them,’ said Bill resolutely.
‘No, 'e shouldn’t 'ave,’ agreed Fleur. ‘But I am willing to bet all ze galleons in ze world zat 'e deedn’t leave over sometheeng petty. Like you said, we 'ave no idea what zey’re facing and fighting out zere and we mustn’t forget zat all the same people 'e’s so greatly jealous of are ze same people 'e loves ze most in zis universe and are ze same people 'e’s worried about. Remember 'ow your mum felt, 'ow worried we all were about not knowing where zey were…where zey are? Well, times zat by at least eight for all ze people Ron deedn’t know about. 'E shouldn’t 'ave left, but really, can you blame 'im for doing so?’
‘Do you think he’ll go back?’ he asked quietly.
Fleur nodded slightly and moved to hold her husband tightly before whispering:
‘I’m sure of eet.’
Outside the room, a tear stricken teenager ran back to his bedroom. He could live without brushing his teeth for one night…or for the rest of his life. It wasn’t as if he would ever see Hermione the dentist’s daughter again and he would certainly never kiss that sweet girl who had run, sobbing, out into the rain to follow him. And after everything he had let her down once again. He had left her.
His leaky eyes progressed into a sob that he didn’t have the energy to stop. He was low and disgusting anyway, who cared if he cried? Who cared if he grew up to be old and toothless? Who cared if when the war was over he went down in history as Ronald the Coward…or if he was left out of the historical documents all together? It didn’t matter anymore. None of it.
Bill didn’t know what he was talking about. It had never been about bloody ‘glory’. Or had it? It seemed he was Slytherin enough as it was – not brave, not clever, not loyal, but a sneaky little arsehole that only thought about himself. Was he really like that? He thought about what Fleur had said, and for the first time he loved her for more than her beauty. She meant well, but he was selfish. How could he worry about himself, his little family, when the rest of the world was at stake? He was selfish, because even now he was not gutted that he had walked out on the mission, but that he had walked out on his friends. He was selfish because he cared what they thought about him and now, because he was crying…
Surely they needed him?
Or perhaps not.
After all, he was worthless.