“Now I’ve got you!” Fred called out as he and George cornered an eight year old Ron near the broomshed. “You won’t escape me this time.”
“Any final words?” George added as he and Fred both aimed long pieces of wood directly at Ron’s face.
“Actually, yes,” Ron answered as he triumphantly pulled a wooden stick out of his own back pocket. “Stupefy!” He yelled. Both Fred and George froze in place and Ron pushed his way past them, laughing joyfully at his victory. When he was a good distance away, he called back over his shoulder, “You’ll never catch me, You-Know-Who! I’m Harry Potter, the boy who lived!”
Fred and George simultaneously unfroze and rolled their eyes. “All right, can we finally play something else now?” Fred asked, tossing his makeshift wand on the ground.
“Yeah,” agreed George, “there are only so many times I can handle playing ‘Harry Potter beats You-Know-Who.’ Especially because we know it couldn’t have happened like that. Harry was just a baby, Ron. There’s no way he pulled out a wand and yelled ‘Stupefy.’”
“Come on, George,” Fred interrupted. “Let’s just go find something else to do.” With that, the twins scampered off together, leaving Ron standing alone in the middle of the yard, a lopsided lightning bolt drawn on his forehead and an ordinary twig clenched in his fist.
Ron sank glumly to the grass and began to use his makeshift wand to dig in the dirt. Of course he knew that Harry had only been a baby when he beat You-Know-Who. He knew the story better than anyone, having made his parents tell it to him so many times over the past four years. It was just more exciting to play it this way. He didn’t understand why Fred and George didn’t want to play Harry Potter with him. It was the best game he knew. Harry was a hero, a real one, not like one of the characters in the Bard’s tales.
Ron wished he had a twin brother, or at least a brother closer to his age who would play with him. Bill, Charlie, and Percy were all off at Hogwarts, playing Quidditch and learning to use real wands. They hadn’t played with Ron in years anyway. Bill and Charlie as the oldest spent a lot of their time together. They were too old to be interested in the kind of games that Ron liked, though Bill had taught Ron to play chess last summer. Percy mostly kept to himself, staying in his room with his books. Fred and George were naturally paired off, which left him with just Ginny for company, but what good were sisters really? No, what he needed was another brother. Suddenly an idea popped into his head. It was perfect! He didn’t know how he had never thought of it before. He leapt to his feet, throwing his stick to the side and ran into the Burrow to find his mother.
“Mum!” he called happily as he found her in the kitchen preparing lunch.
“Yes Ron, dear?” she answered, not even glancing at him as she continued her cooking.
“You and dad said that Harry Potter is my age, right?” Molly murmured her assent, used to the constant barrage of Harry Potter related questions her youngest son so often had for her, “And his parent’s died?” Ron continued.
Molly put her wand down and turned to her youngest son. Her eyes settled upon the lightning bolt he had drawn on his forehead and she smiled slightly. “What is this all about?”
“Well, I just thought that since Harry Potter doesn’t have any parents anymore, maybe he could come and live here with us! You and Dad could be his parents. You’re really good at it. I’d even let him share my room and everything!”
Molly stared at him for a moment, an indecipherable look upon her face, then she swept him into a tight embrace. “That is so sweet, Ronnie,” she smiled as she released him. Ron looked at her strangely; he could have sworn that he saw tears brimming in her eyes. “I love you for suggesting it, but I’m sure that Harry is well taken care of, wherever he is. He doesn’t need us. Professor Dumbledore was in charge of making arrangements, so I’m sure that wherever Harry is, he’s happy, loved, and safe.”
Ron’s face fell as he stepped away from his mother. It wasn’t fair. It was such a great idea.
Molly patted him gently on the head. “Don’t be sad, Ronnie. You and Harry are just about the same age. That means that the two of you will almost certainly start at Hogwarts together. I’m sure you’ll get to meet him then.”
Ron's eyes brightened and he smiled up at his mum. It wasn’t quite as good as having Harry for a brother, but as Ron ran off to play, images of him and Harry becoming best friends at Hogwarts danced through his mind.