last01standing: (Default)
[personal profile] last01standing
Title: Playing the Hero (never gets you anywhere)
author:[livejournal.com profile] trolllogicfics
Disclaimer: I am Definitely not JKR.
Characters: Mainly Ron. mention of others
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Let’s see, mild cursing, character death and non-graphic mentions of incest. Not officially AU, but lets face it, this'll never happen.
Summary: When the Harry falls, someone's got to take his place.
author's note: Loosely inspired by a supernatural fic by [livejournal.com profile] trollprincess called This Bloody Road which is really much better than mine.



I.


The grave where they bury Harry bears your name—bold, final letters and a too short span of years. You sit at his grave for hours just staring and sneaking drinks from a flask at your side long after the other mourners have gone, trying not to feel like the Moody imposter that started this whole damn thing.

You nearly snap when the shadow falls over the grave and your wand (only it’s really Harry’s wand) is at Lupin’s throat before you have time to register his soft voice. “You don’t have to do this, Ron”
Your whole body sags in relief and when you croak, “Have you got it?” Your voice sounds strange to your ears.

Maybe that’s because it’s not your voice

Lupin looks at you sadly, and hands you the vial—small reflective glass with no more than a swallow of dark blue liquid in it. “There’s no coming back from this,” he says and doesn’t meet your eyes. “Harry carried a tremendous burden,” his voice drops again. “You could just let him die.”

Fingers clutch at the vial, and you watch them vacantly, mind screaming how it’s not your hand clutching the vial, not your face in the distorted reflection of the glass. It’s all Harry. Harry’s face, Harry’s scar, Harry’s hands. “You know what happens when Harry dies.”

Wizarding world collapses. People lose hope.

Harry can’t die. Because that would mean…


You chug the potion before you can finish the thought. You can hardly taste the bitter sweet liquid running down your throat because you’ve gotten so damn used to essence of Harry polyjuice that nothing else can taste quite as bad.

“Ron,” Lupin starts again, but he can’t get more than your name out and the lone word seems to echo in the graveyard bouncing off the tombs, Ron, Ron, Ron.

Harry's tombstone looms before you, the plot of freshly dug dirt practically laughing in your face. This whole week had gone so horribly wrong. You’re half afraid you'll choke on the smell of flowers if you stay for too long. The overwhelming knowledge that Harry’s death will go unnoticed bites at your spirit. It seems wrong, criminal somehow that Harry should lie in a forgotten grave baring the wrong name even if Harry himself would have enjoyed the anonymity, would have…

The name on the tombstone doesn’t match the owner.

Ron Weasley
1980-2001
Friend, brother, hero


“Ron…” Ron… Ron… Ron…

“Ron’s dead,” you choke, “My name is Harry.”

II.


The first time you face Voldemort, you spend the whole time worrying that he’ll know you’re a fake. Halfway through the battle you realize that the Dark Lord doesn’t have a clue that he doesn’t have a clue he’s fighting an imposter.

You spend the rest of the time gripping Harry’s wand so tightly that you’re afraid it’ll snap and you're scared shitless, dodging out of the way of Killing Curses, waiting for them to disable the anti-apparition wards, thinking all the time that you’re a dead man (and if you think about it too hard, you know its the truth).

But if you die, so does Harry and then the world really is screwed.

III.


No matter how hard you try, you can’t get the mannerisms right. You can’t fake that wide-eyed look of amazement Harry got whenever you showed him a new spell, like he never quite got used to how the magical world looked. Or weary deadened eyes that only came from years of being the boy-who-lived (though the longer you’re in Harry’s shoes, the better you get that one). You can’t match Harry’s controlled paces because you’re so used to having limbs just that much longer so you're constantly overcompensating and tripping over Harry’s too small feet… God forbid they ever put you on a broom.

The only thing you can get right is that look of bewilderment Harry always got when someone knew his name.

It’s the only thing you don’t have to fake.

IV.


They’ve got you teaching Harry’s junior Auror’s class. It only takes you ten minutes before you can't take the wide-eyed adulation, before you want to hit someone and scream about how Harry’s not fucking immortal. That he ended up in a forgotten grave just like all the other Aurors who made a mistake. That in the end, all that is waiting for them is death, pain and misery. You’re getting better and better at keeping that anger in check, but sometimes you feel like you're going to explode.

There are thirty trainees in the class, fresh-faced eighteen year olds right out of their respective schools. When you look out at the class, they look back with admiration and awe. A chill goes down your spine because if the stats are right, only eighteen of those thirty will make it past the first week of field combat and only ten of thirty will still be alive after that first month. You teach them using Harry’s lessons and wonder how many fewer survivors they’ll be because it’s you teaching them and not Harry.

They keep asking you about ‘You-Know-Who’ and your fights with him. So you spend half the time recounting Harry’s sketchy stories of various encounters, feeling like a complete idiot because you’ve never faced him alone. And you can’t help but notice that by the end of the second day of class, you’ve said Voldemort's name more times than you have in your whole life combined.

V.


You tried Harry’s wand once before this all happened and ended up exploding half a room thinking that Malfoy’s wand would probably be a better match than Harry’s.

But the next time you pick up Harry’s wand when its owner is no longer living, you get a jolt of energy you never quite had with your own wand and instead of fire comes warmth. Nothing blows up. You just stand there in shocked silence, Ollivander’s words haunting you: “It’s the wand that chooses the wizard.

And you can’t help but be a little shocked that Harry’s wand has chosen you.

VI.


Sometimes, when you’re alone in the graveyard, you talk to Hermione like she’s there sitting right next to you. You tell her everything, how you were such a stupid little brat for ever being jealous of Harry, how the dreams had started and you can’t sleep without watching someone die, how you wish she were there so she could find an all powerful Voldemort killing curse or just a good pain reliever that could make the dull constant throb in your head just go away so you could get five minutes alone in your own fucking head.

And sometimes you tell her about the little stupid things, like what you had for breakfast or how the class is progressing or what new gag the twins have come up with or just how much you miss having her beside you, telling you off for trading homework with Harry and laughing at your stupid jokes. You feel like Ron again until you get back to your apartment and see Harry’s face in the mirror and reality crashes back full force.

You’ll come back in a few weeks and do the same thing again, just talk to your dead girlfriend until your voice is horse and your back is stiff from sitting against the same grave for hours. You leave when the first light hits her tombstone and bite back the tears of the crushing knowledge that no matter how long you stay, she’ll never ever talk back.

VII.


The second time you face Voldemort, he puts the Imperius Curse on you and you’re sure you’re a dead man even before your mind goes pleasantly numb.

Take your wand and put it to your head.

You moved to do it automatically because you’ve always been shit at fending off Imperius curses even when you only had to deal with it coming from a lackey.

Against Voldemort, you shouldn’t stand a chance.

You would have blown your own head off if you hadn’t heard Harry’s voice. You know he’s not even talking to you. He wants me to kill myself. Too bad I’m dead already.

And the wand freeze halfway up to your head.

It’ll all be over soon, says Tom Riddle’s compelling drawl, you’ll get to stay in this kind of peace forever. Just put your wand to your head and say the words.

You’re better than this Ron, come on, you can’t get taken down by a curse that’s not even meant for you. And for a second you’re sure Harry’s there in your head, pushing Voldemort’s spell back because there’s no way you could throw this thing off on your own.

Voldemort’s voice is faded, static, Just put your wand…

You look up, feral grin crossing your face as you meet his blood red eyes and level your wand at him. When your banishing curse slams him into the far wall and you managed to shake off the remains of the curse and get the hell out of dodge.

VIII.


It takes you a full minute to realize you’re making out with your sister and that only happens because you close your eyes and moan, “Hermione.”

She pulls back and slaps you.

Your vision goes blurry, all of a sudden you’re looking at the world through a god-damned crystal ball. For a second and you’re sure Ginny’s cursed your sight away like she accidentally did that one time when you were five. You reach up to touch your face and the blind terror fades to embarrassment when you realize that she’s just knocked your glasses askew. You straighten them, and stare out at the painfully sharp world to find that your sister, Harry’s girlfriend, (yours now too, and that’s all sorts of wrong,) is standing in front of you having the worst temper tantrum you’ve seen in a good long time.

When she finishes the tirade you croak, “I can’t do this…”

That sets her off screeching again. The same irritating screams you’ve lived with for nearly all your life. “You can’t do this? What about me, Harry?!” There’s that name again, making you feel like an imposter, and it stings. “Hermione was my friend too and Ron, Ron was my brother. I’m not going to wait for you forever, Harry. If you push me away again, I won’t wait!”

You walk away, her screams following you out the door, because you don’t know what else to do.
And you pray to God that little voice telling you to go back, kiss and make up is part of Harry and not a part of you.

IX.


A day after you survive Voldemort’s first attack, the dreams start. The dreams Harry didn’t mentioned to you or Hermione after Sirius died. The reason you used to wake up in the Hogwarts dormitory with Harry’s empty bed beside you.

Now you’re the one who wakes up drenched in sweat with visions of blood and gore racing through your head and Voldemort’s message scorched into your brain: “Come out and finish this, Potter, or more of them die.

And you’re wide awake, splashing water onto Harry’s pale face, staring at the blurry reflection as your scar burns.

Only the scar shouldn’t hurt. You’re not Harry. You’ve never survived a killing curse, you shouldn’t have any physical connection to Voldemort.

But the magic doesn’t work like that and after that first night, the scar’s pain never quite goes away.
And sometimes, when you’re walking down the street, the pain slams into you so hard you double over on the sidewalk, clutching at your forehead, sure that your head is going to split right along that goddamned lightning bolt scar.

And along with the echoes of screams and death, you’re sure you can hear Voldemort laughing.

X.


It was supposed to be a joke. Harry and Ron switching bodies to find out how long they could go without their respective girlfriends noticing. You’d made some polyjuice, feeling that a gut wrenching potion was a fair exchange for a good laugh.

What you didn’t expect was the legion of Death Eaters waiting to crash the party. So when Harry as Ron and Ron as Harry walk into the ballroom, the smiles of a good prank pulled fade quickly as the screams of terror wash over you. Curses are flying through the hall, and all laughter is gone seconds after entry as you both move, wands drawn into the fray.

Hermione’s looking at you and screaming Harry’s name when the spell slams into her back and her whole body hitches before she falls.

You catch a red flash of Ginny's hair and can only pray that she's going to get help.

And before you know it, you and Harry are back to back, the only unmasked ones standing.

And then dark sinister voice comes out of nowhere and hisses, “Kill the spare.” And Harry's body tenses and he's screaming in your voice, something so loud its inaudible. There's a second of blind terror as you feel his body behind you collapse and the deadly green light invades your vision.

When the reinforcements finally arrive, they find you surrounded by a circle of Death Eaters you don’t remember killing. It takes six of them to pin you down and they drag you out, kicking and screaming before you can protest or explain what really happened. I’m not Harry. I’m Ron, it was a joke! Harry! You’ve got to find the real Harry!

The next thing you remember is sitting in a safe house with Lupin, spewing the contents of your stomach into a bucket as you morph back to Ron and try to explain just how you got your best friend killed.

XI.


You remember how, once upon a time, you used to be jealous of Harry. How you used to wish you could just live one day in the shoes of the Boy Who Lived. But after a month of dead friends, no sleep, and the constant throbbing of your scar, you’re wishing you could just go back to being Ron Weasley.

But you made a choice. The choice Harry never got to make. And it just may be the worst decision you’ve ever made, but there’s no turning back now.

You’re going to see this thing through to the end…

XII.


And the next time you face Voldemort, it’ll be the last time. After twenty plus years, Voldemort and Harry have to put an end to this fight. But since Harry’s not here, it’ll be Ron and Voldemort who end it.

And you’ll stand face to face with him, holding Harry’s wand, wearing Harry’s robes, and look at him through Harry’s glasses and “kill the spare" will be ringing in your ears.

In your mind, you'll be watching Harry’s body (your body) falling over and over because that’s what would Harry see if he were there.

And Voldemort will give a slight bow, and say, “Harry.”

And you’ll be smirking when you answer, “Tom.”

And there will be a moment of absolute silence where you'll be sure you can hear Harry’s voice in your ear, “Kick his ass, Ron.

And you’ll win that duel.

Because it’s exactly what Harry would do.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Comments would be nice. Maybe, with enough prompting, I'll write a story where I don't kill or torture Harry. Wouldn't that be fun?

(no subject)

8/7/07 02:09 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] azephirin.livejournal.com
Got to this from a rec (and of course can't remember where it was), but—wow. Dark and intense. Canon Ron kind of bugs me, but I really liked him in this: courageous and unexpectedly competent.

(no subject)

22/7/07 02:45 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
Wow, old fic. First LJ comment too. Glad you found this. It's an old favorite of mine, Ron's problem for me has always been that he's had no plot points since the chess game in book one, I think he can step up when he gets a challenge.

Thanks again for reading!

(no subject)

15/4/11 23:29 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] ninfomana.livejournal.com
I was kind of eerily fond of Harry's voice whispering encouragements.

(no subject)

18/4/11 20:14 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
Glad it worked for you. =)

(Also, mad props for finding such an ancient fic)

(no subject)

18/4/11 21:45 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] ninfomana.livejournal.com
Haha, I just found you, actually, and have worked my way through my interests down your master fic list. :]

(no subject)

19/4/11 20:45 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
oh god, I hope harry potter's not the only interest because some of those fic I wrote when I was like 15 and they're cringe-inducing.

(no subject)

20/4/11 04:21 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] ninfomana.livejournal.com
Doctor Who, Trek, Torchwood, Sherlock. I've been reading a little Merlin lately, even though I haven't watched it before. I think that's how I got here, actually. Maybe? Or Sherlock? Something somewhere. Idk.

(no subject)

1/8/13 22:19 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] kedavranox.livejournal.com
This was absolutely brilliant. How is it not swarmed with 10 million comments?
The premise is ingenious. I've never encountered it before. Really original, well written stuff.
I hope you see this comment in 2013. Lol.

(no subject)

1/8/13 22:53 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
I'm still bouncing around. =)

This one's an old favorite. I'm kind of stunned anyone still runs across it, but I'm glad you liked it.