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SIYE Time:2:58 on 17th August 2018


In The House of the Quick and the Hungry
By Laura Laurent

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Category: Post-HBP, Buried Gems
Characters:Harry/Ginny, Other, Ron Weasley
Genres: Angst, Comedy, Drama, Fluff, General, Humor
Warnings: None
Story is Complete
Rating: PG-13
Reviews: 531
Summary: The finer aspects of Ginny Weasley's life, all entwined, in their own way, within the story of how she wound up with Harry Potter.

THIS STORY IS NOW COMPLETE!
Hitcount: Story Total: 43780; Chapter Total: 4010







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For Dan,
Who will be just fine.

~*~

Ron Was Full of Woe


Bill was a handsome Head Boy who got twelve OWLs and went on to become a Curse Breaker for Gringotts. Charlie was a charming, madly attractive Quidditch Captain who could tame dragons. Percy’s grades were more brilliant even than Bill’s and he became the Minister of Magic’s personal assistant, never mind the real reason why. Fred and George were the stuff of Hogwarts legend, their grand exit will be remembered for generations, and they now own quite a successful little outfit in Diagon Alley. And Ron... is Harry Potter’s best mate.

All that is practically conventional wisdom to people who think they know my family. It’s wrong, and sometimes it feels like I spend so much energy trying to even out the cruelties of popular misconception that I don't get to sit back and enjoy any of my brothers for who they actually are. The misconceptions are murder on Mum, as well. She tries so hard not to categorize her children, but to love them all for who they are... but Ron has always been a stumbling block for her.

He’s always the first one to die in all her nightmares, and all he’s ever been a great success at is getting himself into dangerous situations for some greater cause. Or at least this is what I’ve gathered from the words she speaks in her sleep and the things she mutters under her breath when she thinks no one can hear her. She regrets naming him after Uncle Bilius, I know—it’s just one more horrible omen to add to the list of things that suggest that all Ron can do with his life is to throw it away to save something, or someone else. Even before he met Harry, everything Ron possessed had this odd way of dying or getting lost, or breaking beyond repair. I first became aware of it when I began to realize that things that belonged to me were somehow ruined by Ron quite frequently, usually without any malicious intentions on his part, and on a rainy afternoon a few years ago I decided to make a list. It read like this:

Things Ron Has Broken, Trashed, Lost, Incinerated, or Otherwise Destroyed and/or Damaged

1. My left arm

He tries to claim it was an accident, but I find his innocence to be rather tenuous, seeing as he was trying to forcibly stop me from following him up a tree, and I’m fairly sure he intended for me to fall to the ground; whether or not he actually meant for my arm to break seems a bit trivial after that.

2. Most of my baby teeth

...Because that’s just what happens when your mouth is at the perfect height to interfere with his arm swinging tendencies.

3. My left ankle

Broken–a few feet before I broke my arm, and likewise, Ron claims it was an accident.

4. My right ankle

Was sprained when he tried to stop me from running away with his Marvin Miggs thermos, which I was stealing in my quest to avenge...

5. My Gwenog Jones action figure

Which he so cruelly destroyed in his vendetta against me for putting his favorite Chudley Cannons poster out in the rain, which I had done in retaliation for his vicious assault on...

6. My Pride

Which was obliterated when he pantsed me at one of Mum and Dad’s dinner parties. And I don’t even remember what dastardly deed I did to deserve that.

7. My Hair

Ah, yes. The most eagerly awaited milestone in every young wizard’s life is his first sign of magical ability. Mum and Dad didn’t know whether to be immensely pleased at Ronnie-kins’s great show of power, or utterly and completely horrified, because my head was on fire.

8. My favorite purple quill

He’s denied all knowledge of its whereabouts ever since I lost it back in first year, but I’m convinced he “borrowed” it, and, in typical Ron fashion, promptly lost it.

9. My gingham crup

Looks a bit dismal with only two legs. Of all the things he’s ruined, this is probably up there with the most infuriating. I don’t even remember how it happened, but I really loved that dog, and Ron didn’t even seem that sorry when he handed him back to me with only fifty percent of his limbs. Ahh! I’m angry just thinking about it...

10. My pinkie finger

This one was broken in a desperate struggle for occupation of the bathroom at the Burrow, but despite the injury I prevailed and made sure to take an extra long shower before I went to Mum to have it healed.

11. My collarbone

He broke that one in one of our usual childhood brawls. I think in this particular instance, a large piece of pie and a long fall down the stairs (for both of us) were somehow involved. Hermione was quite horrified to hear this story–I guess in the Muggle world these things don’t happen so often among siblings, but as I explained to her, in the house of the quick and the hungry, Healers and Mediwitches just a grate away can mend bones in an instant, but a piece of pie is a piece of pie.

12. My first sentence

He ruined it. I might have said something adorable–something like ‘I love you,’ or, ‘I’m sleepy,’ but instead it was, ‘Ron hit me.’

13. Any chance I might have had with Harry

Gone now... Ron's probably told him all sorts of things about what an annoying little baby I am and whatnot, but even that aside, I think Harry thinks of me as a sister more than anything else, and it’s all because I just had to be related to Ron.

14. My nice white shoes

Except Mum was really more fussed about this than I was, because after all, mud fights are fun!

15. My left ear

The story went like this: once upon a time there was a little girl named Ginny Weasley with lovely peridot earrings she had received from her eldest brother on her fourth birthday, but the flashy little things caught on her youngest brother’s sleeve while the two of them were fighting, and now she has two earlobes... on one ear.

16. My tea table

I had a lovely little table I used to play house with, and I told the great prat he’d break it if he sat on it, but he seemed to have gone temporarily deaf.

17. My jaw

Ah yes, the last great battle of our violent stage. To make short of a long, melodramatic prologue, Ron and I were in the woods in the midst of a vicious brawl when I jumped on his back in an attempt to bring him down. And down he went, but he fell on a small, jagged stump where a small tree had been blown over in a storm. He howled in pain, and promptly rolled over and hit me as hard as he could, which, coincidentally, was very hard. We lay there whimpering in pain together for a few moments as we gathered our wits. I could see that his trousers were ripped just above the knee and blood was oozing out of them.

“You broke my leg,” he groaned.

Not being able to talk through the burning ache in my jaw, I merely whimpered an apology.

“I can’t move- you have to go up to the house, and tell Mum that my leg’s broken-“

I held a hand to my face, which was in agony, and made a strangled noise of protest.

“You can’t talk?” he asked feebly, his brows contorting in despair. I shook my head just a little, I couldn’t move my head very far without suffering excruciating pain.

“Great,” he said. “See what you’ve done? You can’t talk and I can’t move. What’re we going to do?”

I shrugged a little.

“Well, you have to go back to the house, and I’ll stay here and yell as loud as I can.”

I nodded a little as I sat up. He looked so pitiful, laying there on the ground, with his trousers all bloodied and his face ashen. I felt great pangs of remorse, and I did the nicest thing I could think of, I bent low and kissed him on the cheek, my jaw screaming in protest. I straightened up as he made a typical boyish noise of great revulsion and I whimpered another apology and stood, clutching both my hands to my face, trying to keep my head as still as possible as I made my way through the woods to the Burrow, leaving a shouting Ron behind me. As I neared the edge of the forest, I saw Mum running towards me, looking more worried than I’d ever seen her. I cried at the sight of her. It was as though my emotions had been on hiatus for the last few minutes, but when I saw my Mum, I lost it and I began to sob, because it hurt so badly, because I was sorry, because I hoped they wouldn’t have to take Ron’s leg off, and because it’s okay to cry in front of your Mum. She scooped me up and held me for a moment, trying to figure out what in the blazes had happened.

“Where’s Ron, dear?”

By this point I was crying so hard that I was screaming- great, muted screams because I couldn’t open my mouth. She reached out and touched the side of my face, but I jerked away in pain. A great rustle and crunch announced the arrival of someone else. Charlie came bursting through the trees, looking nearly as worried as Mum,

“What happened?”

He panted,

“I don’t know- go find Ron, Ginny can’t seem to talk, I think she’s broken her jaw.”

“Bloody hell- this better not have been a row...”

I looked down shamefacedly and nodded. Charlie swore, and went off to find Ron.

Within twenty minutes Ron and I were being carried into a small muggle clinic in Ottery St. Catchpole which both of us had been to many times before. A tall, lanky man with neatly combed white hair and an equally tidy mustache met us in the lobby.

“Ah, Ginny, Ron, it’s so nice of you to stop by and see us again- by Jove it’s been weeks!”

Mum smiled weakly,

“Yes, I’m afraid so.”

“Well, come on, we’ve got your beds all ready for you.”

Dr. Darrowby had been our family doctor for as long as we’d been a family. He ran a muggle clinic, but he himself was a wizard, and he and a couple of nurses ran a small side operation in magical healing. He showed us through a door that was only visible to wizards, and into a sparkling white ward that we had all to ourselves.

Charlie and Mum carried us to the end, where two small beds that had long ago been christened as ‘Ronald’s Bed,’and ‘Ginevra’s Bed’ waited for us. Organized chaos ensued, as the nurses and Dr. Darrowby scurried around attending to us. My jaw, they discovered, had not been severely broken, and was healed almost immediately, and I’d been administered a mild Pain-Relieving Potion.

Ron was another, more serious matter. His knee had been broken, and that required a slightly more complicated set of healing charms, and the gashes above it from the jagged stump were too deep to be healed without leaving a scar. I watched him in a mild daze as they set about to fix his leg. There was a lot of blood, and his face was white but resolute as he watched them work. He was so brave! It must have hurt terribly, but he never complained, and, as I noticed with a sense of humiliation, he never cried.

I watched as the action surrounding him slowly died away, and soon it had been settled that we would spend the night there, simply because it was quite late and we were too tired to go home. Mum and Charlie bid us goodnight, and said they’d be back in the morning to take us home. Dr. Darrowby and the nurses, save for one, retired for the evening, and the lights in the ward were turned off, and in record time Ron was asleep.

The moonlight streamed in through the windows on the opposite wall, and the shadows cast by the mullions created a large cross above his bed, and another on the blanket covering his sleeping form. Without warning, I was gripped with an almost incomprehensible feeling of leaden unease. A coldness filled my extremities, seeping slowly inwards as a dreadful shudder ran down my spine. I thought back to just hours ago, when he had sat staring bravely at his own blood, how strong and infallible he had seemed to me.

Suddenly–with stinging eyes and a worried heart–I didn’t want to fight with him anymore. Suddenly I didn’t care what Mum was worried about. Suddenly it didn’t matter that Bill was a Curse Breaker, or that Charlie could tame dragons, or that Percy was brilliant, or that Fred and George would go far with their delightful personalities. Suddenly Ron was the greatest of them all.

In years to come, he befriended the Boy Who Lived, he took out a mountain troll, and he risked his life in a game of chess to help his best friend save the world. He followed his greatest fear into a deep dark forest because the girl he loved had been petrified, and then he slid down a long dark tunnel to help slay a giant snake and save my life. He stood on a broken leg between his best friend and a mass murderer and told the man he’d have to kill him first.

Mum has good reason to fear for his safety: the omens have come so close to proving true so many times that I wonder how she can stand to let him out of her sight. But ever since that night in the Dr. Darrowby's ward, I’ve refused to fear for him. I've envied him. What I wouldn’t give to be Ron–to go out and solve the mystery and nearly get myself killed! It sure beats waiting around in the dark and falling victim to the things that lurk there. To be the hero’s best friend–to be the thing he’d miss the most–is better by far than becoming the Dark Lord’s most useful little tool.


So I’ll just let the parents worry about the little things like death. Let them say that Ron was always full of woe. I know what matters, and I know that he’s just fine.




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