The Sugar Quill
Author: Crookshanks  Story: A Traitor in Their Midst  Chapter: Chapter 4
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Chapter 4: A Traitor in Their Midst

Disclaimer: The characters in this chapter (and this story) belong to J.K. Rowling.

Okay, now the thank yous. Thank you Arabella for beta-reading, and thank you Rachel for reading it and telling me it was good! (Thank god it was, or I wouldn’t be posting it.)

Sorry for the really short chapter. L

Sunday, it was pouring. But that didn’t stop Harry and Hermione from making their way to Azkaban. They had Apparation wards there—and portkeys were not allowed. So, they had to take a rowboat out. Harry was very glad dementors weren’t the guards anymore… now highly skilled wizards were.

‘You want to see Weasley?’ The front guard didn’t look too trusting.

‘Yes.’

‘And your names are…?’

‘Harry Potter and Hermione Granger.’

‘I need to see some identification please.’

Harry retrieved a WID (Wizarding Identification ) card from his pocket and held it out in front of the wizard.

‘Very well. Come with me.’

~*~

‘Mr. Weasley, you have visitors.’ Ron’s head snapped up. His stomach gave a jolt. He hadn’t had any visitors since… well, he hadn’t ever had any visitors.

Two people came into the room. One of the people had bushy, brown hair and dark brown eyes, and the other had jet-black hair, green eyes, glasses, and a lightening-shaped scar on his forehead.

‘Hello, Ron.’

Ron nodded in reply. His throat was too dry. Besides, he hardly ever spoke now. There was no one to talk too. But sometimes, he would pretend to be playing chess with an imaginary person. He really missed chess—he missed everything in the outside world.

Hermione approached the bars slowly, distrust and betrayal in her brown eyes.

‘You’ve been reading my letters to Jenny, haven’t you.’ She said quietly. Her deadly soft sunk into Ron like the venom of a poisonous snake into the flesh of a small mouse.

‘Yeah, I got some letters. Pig delivered them. And I knew they were yours.’ Ron said coolly. Yeah, right down to the ‘Oh, Jenny, there’s so much to tell you. But perhaps I shouldn’t tell you about your father yet.’ Jenny had a bloody well right to know! She should’ve known ages ago…

‘Well, Jenny thinks I’m not writing back to her.’

‘So next time you send her a letter, don’t use Pig! It’s not my fault he only delivers to me. After all, he’s my owl.’ And if you’re not a witch anymore Hermione, why do still have my owl? MY owl!?

‘I want them back.’

‘I don’t have them anymore. The guards took them.’ Yeah, if you’re so smart, why didn’t you bloody figure that out?

Honestly.’ Hermione sniffed, and strode back to Harry.

‘Harry, listen.’ Ron said, pretending Hermione wasn’t there. ‘You’ve got to tell Jenny about me! Please! She has to know about her own father! I know you didn’t until you were eleven, but this is different!’

Harry shook his head. ‘It’s not my job to tell her.’

‘And anyway, why would she want to know if her own father was a murderer? She’ll have nightmares!’

‘No! It’s not like that! Remember what happened with Sirius? That’s what happened to me! Please, believe me! Please!’ Ron pleaded. It was at least worth a try. But he knew they didn’t trust him. They would never trust him. Then his eyes locked with Harry’s. ‘You were my best friend! You know me better than anyone else!’

‘I thought I knew you better than anyone else. Now I’m not so sure.’ Harry doubted Ron was telling the truth, but when he looked into Ron’s eyes, he saw some sort of gleam in them, and Harry could see the old Ron. But it flashed out as soon as it had come.

‘Bloody hell, Harry! If I took a truth potion right now, you’d see I wasn’t lying! But I don’t want you to find out I’m telling the truth that way. I want you to believe me on my word.’ Ron looked fierce with his now dull red hair laying limp and his bright blue eyes glazed with ice. Harry sensed danger in Ron’s eyes.

‘Well, the judges all thought you were guilty. Isn’t that enough for you?’ Hermione cut in.

Ron shook his head, almost laughing. ‘Those gits wouldn’t know a murder even if it danced in front of them wearing Dobby’s tea-cozy!’ Remember Sirius? That name ring a bell, Hermione? Perhaps, by some chance, the same thing MIGHT’VE happened to me?!

‘Yes, but they had all the evidence!’

‘Hermione,’ Ron laughed wryly. ‘Evidence doesn’t prove a thing! Not in this case at least. It was all based on what you had seen.’ Or what you thought you’d seen.

‘Perhaps,’ said Harry, thinking aloud, ‘You did tell the truth. But you didn’t tell the whole truth, and that’s why the judges were able to make you sound guilty.’

‘Anyway, none of it will matter anymore by January ninth.’

‘Why, what will happen then?’

‘On January ninth, I’m going to the gallows.’ Ron said grimly. ‘And you know why? Because you betrayed me, Hermione. You based your answer on what you saw that night. You think you saw something that never really happened. Sometimes,’ He added softly, ‘Things aren’t always what they seem.’ And you’d think that being best friends all through school>

Ron could tell she thought he deserved to die. Well, isn’t that as good as murder?

They all plunged into a long silence, and Ron dreaded it stopping. He slunk back into the shadows and the darkness. Where he belonged. Ron’s eyes turned to the dead, cement wall. He couldn’t look at them. No one trusted him. Not even Harry. At least he would soon be far away from this prison, this hell. Where everything was as good as dead, where everyone deserved to die.

The old Ron, the one deep inside him, suddenly vanished, and would never come back.

~*~

‘Oy! Granger!’ Jenny unwillingly opened her eyes to see Tory sitting at the end of her bed, a newspaper grasped in her hand.

‘S’matter?’ she said groggily. Tory held the newspaper in front of Jenny, and told her to read.

The Daily Prophet

Last night there was a most mysterious escape from Azkaban, writes Rita Skeeter, daily prophet reporter.

Ronald Weasley was put in Azkaban eleven years ago for murdering Colin Creevey, a photographer for the Daily Prophet, and escaped last night. No one knows how, because he left no traces of anything, and it was like he had never even been there.

‘We do not know how he escaped,’ says Terry Boot, an Azkaban guard, ‘But we can guarantee we’ll find ‘im.’

Weasley is indeed the younger brother of Percival Weasley, the Minister of Magic. His wife remains nameless, and was last heard of in the Muggle world. But it came as quite a shock to the public when he was arrested. Indeed, Weasley was the best of friends with someone we all know very well.

As schoolboys, Ronald Weasley and the very Harry Potter were inseparable. As you all know, Harry Potter--

‘Wait…’ Jenny said, ‘Professor Potter was friends with him?!’

‘Yeah, and he also my uncle.’ Tory whispered. ‘A lot of people think our surnames are coincidences. But they’re not, and now everyone’s going to know, ‘cause it’s in this article, and everyone knows my dad is a banker. See? It says right here—

Among the Weasley family (listed youngest to oldest), There is Ms. Ginny Weasley, who works for Madam Malkin in Diagon Alley, Mr. Fred Weasley and Mr. George Weasley, who own a Zonko’s joke shop in Hogsmeade, Mr. Percival Weasley, who as we all know is the Minister of Magic, Mr. Charlie Weasley, who works with dragons in Romania, and Mr. Bill Weasley, who works at Gringotts in Egypt, though his family lives in England.

‘Bill Weasley is my dad.’ Tory said, glaring angrily at the parchment rumpled in her hand. ‘My dad is the eldest brother in the family. And you know what? Ron’s own brother betrayed him. You know, the Minister of Magic. And his wife too. She turned him in, and he announced him guilty at the trial. That’s why I stay away from David, Ben, Samantha, Carrie, Rachel, Fay, Percy jr., Oona and Mavis. Because I’m afraid they’ll do the same thing to me.’

Jenny gasped. ‘They wouldn’t do that! I always thought they were nice—A bit rule-abiding, yes, but not traitors!’

‘I know. But I don’t want to take any chances. And if I knew who Ron Weasley’s daughter was, I’d honestly be afraid of her too.’

Jenny hugged her knees to her chest. ‘Y-you don’t think he’ll come to Hogwarts… do you?’

‘Nah. Anyone with brains wouldn’t come here if they were on the run. There’s loads of teachers, and Snape wouldn’t allow it.’

‘You’re right. I wouldn’t come here if I was on the run.’

‘But Snape shut down the Apparation wards yesterday!’ Tory’s eyes widened into a full circle, and Jenny gasped out loud. Snape had set down the wards the day before! Stupid git thought they weren’t necessary, now that the Dark Lord’s dead.

~*~

//
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