Disclaimer: All of Harrys wonderful, magical world belongs to J.K.
Rowling, with her truly incredible imagination, and the writing skills
to present it perfectly.
A/N: The story takes place during fifth year, when the wizarding world
is far more unsettled than it was when Ron, Harry, and Hermione first
arrived at Hogwarts. Rated PG-13 for bits of language, violence, and,
well, the characters celebration of the fact that there are two
genders. (R/H)(Its just destiny)
Also, I would like to thank my beta-reader Christina Teresa. There seems
to be no end to her great ideas, journalistic expertise, and most importantly
for my writing, patience and dedication. You are the best!!
This story is dedicated to all those Ron Weasleys who
have passed through my classroom over the years. While poor in financial
terms, they are rich in spirit and personality, always caring and loyal,
and more than willing to share whatever little they have. Each one brings
his own special gift--just that some get their gift open later
rather than sooner. May all their gifts one day take them past the Point
of No Return where they never have to fall back and face the anguish
of being uncertain about their place in the world again.
~ Chapter 1 ~
Fate of the Crystal Ball
Ron snapped his head up so quickly that a neck muscle twinged sharply.
He rubbed it as he glanced around the Divination classroom. Apparently
no one had noticed he had drifted off. In fact, except for Lavender and
Parvati, who seemed entranced in Professor Trelawneys lecture about
how to interpret colors of mist in crystal balls, many of the other students
looked a bit bleary-eyed as well.
Ron looked over at Harry sitting next to him. Harry had ingeniously propped
his arm against his stack of books so that his head couldnt fall
over; his gaze was even aimed toward the milky bluish crystal ball at
the center of their shared circular table. But Ron silently sniggered
as he actually looked into Harrys face. Leaning on his hand to hold
up his head, Harrys eyes were closed and his cheek was pushed up
on one side, his round black-rimmed glasses seriously askew. Ron could
hear the slow, even breaths escaping from his best friends half-open
Harry! he whispered tensely. Harry, wake up! No
response. Professor Trelawney was wandering closer to their table as she
Ron, pretending to stretch, reached his long arms straight up so as not
to bump anyone at the tables or chairs crowded next to them in the warm,
stuffy classroom. He reached his long leg to the left and kicked Harry
sharply on the shin.
Ow! Wha... mmphfff! Harry was awake now, announcing it a little
Ron noticed Dean and Seamus stirring and looking their way, along with
Professor Trelawney. He began to cough very vigorously, hoping it would
give Harry a moment to rejoin them on Earth and provide enough of a distraction.
It seemed to work.
Lavender and Parvati glared back at Ron for interrupting the lecture.
Sorry, he apologized sarcastically, grinning sweetly at them,
even though apologizing was not in his nature. Probably not a good
time to attract more attention to myself, he thought.
At almost precisely the same moment, the two girls, seated at the table
closest to Ron and Harry, swung their noses around through the air to
face forward again.
Thanks, Harry muttered under his breath, shifting around in
his seat. Its really bad in here today.
Yeah--cant even keep my first two eyes open, much less another,
Professor Trelawney always kept the room like this --darkened and very
warm, smelling of heavy perfume. She felt this type of room environment
greatly enhanced the power of a persons Inner Eye (even
though it more often invited closed eyes, instead).
Sybill Trelawney was aware that many of the other faculty members at Hogwarts
felt that her specialty, Divination, was a very imprecise form of magic,
at best. But the science was enjoying a rebirth, of sorts, due to the
return of Voldemort, and the importance of trying to determine what evil
scheme the Dark Lord might try to put into play next. The Ministry of
Magic was even said to be bringing in those who were especially talented
in giving knowledge of the future, so the Professor felt it her duty to
either make the Ministry aware of her own talents, or to contribute an
exceptional student to the cause (who would give due credit to her
training, of course).
Ron listened to the droning voice talking about the degree of clarity
of the vision in the crystal ball. He had tried to keep his long limbs
rolled up under the table and his mind and body at attention until the
end of class, but a cramp in his leg made it impossible to sit still.
Even though it was difficult to do, he found just enough room between
Lavenders and Parvatis poufy stools to stretch his legs out
in front without hitting their table. In spite of himself, Ron began to
feel very heavy, very relaxed. He sank further into the cushy armchair.
He was, indeed, losing the battle with his eyelids again.
Im staying awake! he thought. Im staying awake! Hey,
maybe this is working! Look, even the room seems lighter! Its not
*But where did this parchment come from? A test? Oh, no! But I didnt
study! Bugger, I never did study!*
But theres no test today in Divination! his mind argued with
itself.The fear of failure began to wash over him in spite of the conflict
in his mind.
*I knew I shouldnt have played Exploding Snap with Neville so
long last night!!*
Exploding Snap with Neville?
*And Im already getting such poor marks in this class. What will
Mum and Dad say? No one in our family has ever outright failed this class!!!
Maybe I can just reach my notes under the desk--pull them out just a little--just
to get me started. Potions always did confuse me!!*
Potions? This is Divination!
*Okay, good, if I look just like this, I dont think hell
notice. And if I pull my hair forward...*
How did my hair get SO LONG?
*Oh no! Hes coming over here!*
He? He who?
*Snape will expel me if he catches me!*
SNAPE? Whats HE doing here?!
* Miss Weasley. *
Okay, Snape, thats going too far-- nobody calls me Miss!!
* Kindly pass those notes to me NOW! Miss Weasley!!...Miss Weasley!!
...Mr. Weasley!! MR. WEASLEY!! snapped Professor Trelawney.
Rons eyes popped open and every limb on his body flew in a different
Harry, startled out of his own stupor, only just managed to catch their
crystal ball as it toppled from its holder and rolled loudly across the
table, landing squarely in his lap. He breathed a loud sigh of relief,
instantly considering the alternative.
But the crystal ball from Lavender and Parvatis table was to meet
its own fate that day. As Rons legs shot out to their tables
center post, the table turned over and the holder went with it, but the
crystal ball itself flew like a Bludger into the air, pausing for a moment,
then hurtling toward the floor. It smashed on impact into what seemed
like a million pieces, with only a puff of pale purple smoke in the air
where it had been.
After the sounds of crashing, tinkling, rolling, dripping, and gasping
subsided (some time later), the room was left in silence. Most silent
of all was Ron, who wished it was he who had been smashed to the floor
and could be just whisked away to the rubbish bin.
Er...sorry? he said sheepishly. Ron was still trying to clarify
in his mind what had just happened. A moment ago, he was in Potions (?),
very afraid to take a test he didnt study for (??), hiding
behind his long hair (???), and Snape was about to catch him...Okay,
okay, okay, he thought, that dream was just too weird. But it FELT
so bloody real!!
Mr. Weasley! began Professor Trelawney, bringing Ron back
to reality and to the enormous mess hed made of the classroom. He
glanced sideways to see Harry watching him sympathetically. I will
thank you to return all of the furniture to its upright position. Mr.
Potter, you will share your crystal ball with Miss Brown and Miss Patil
at their table. Mr. Weasley, you will not be needing one for the remainder
of class, as I am sure it will take you that time and more to finish cleaning
up everything that does not belong on the floor!!
Ron looked miserably at the smashed crystal, a number of bottles of spilled
ink, and a teacup or two that had fallen from the shelf as students jumped
up in reaction to the noise. He slowly stood to his full six-foot height,
and reached back to the chair for his wand.
This disaster was created without magic--it will be made right without
Professor Trelawney seemed insulted that Ron had been dozing during her
Professor Trelawney waited impatiently as Ron set any overturned tables
aright. She then continued with her lecture while he dragged himself over
to get the brush, the dustpan, and the sponge.
As Ron crawled around on hands and knees on the floor, picking up the
large pieces of shattered crystal (and hoping he wasnt picking up
too many small splinters of it in his knees), class continued.
Harry, now sitting with the two girls, wasnt afraid of falling asleep
again since he had to work so hard to ignore their giggles.
Originally aghast that Ron had destroyed their crystal, Lavender and Parvati
now seemed to be enjoying the fact that he had to clean their area without
magic, waiting on them hand and foot as it were, even if it hadnt
been their doing. When Ron was nearly under their table, Lavender chose
that moment to curtly cross her legs and adjust her robes, accidentally
on purpose brushing her ankle momentarily along Rons arm.
Ron pointedly avoided looking over. Now what was that about? I KNOW
she did that on purpose! he thought, first puzzled, then irritated.
Girls! Ill never understand them!!
Didnt Arithmancy end like twenty minutes ago? groused
Ron, still upset about his bad luck, tired from scrubbing the floor, and
fighting a growling stomach.
Harry and Ron were waiting just outside the Great Hall for Hermione, so
they could all go in to dinner together, as they almost always did.
Yeah, but you know Hermione, answered Harry. Its
probably one of those days she had a list of questions to clear up with
the professor after class.
Ron slumped against the wall. Patience was not his strong suit. Ill
give her three more minutes-- and thats it! His mind
wandered back to the dream he had had in class and he decided it was even
too strange to tell Harry about--and Harry was famous for strange dreams.
Or was it a dream? What he remembered most about the dream was the strength
of the feelings he had--the fear of failure, of being caught, of letting
his parents down. These were all feelings he was very familiar
with, so he recognized them in himself. But in his so-called dream, he
felt different, he wasnt himself, or didnt seem to be. Your
mind can play such weird tricks on you, he thought, dismissing it
Harry looked down the corridor behind Ron to see Lavender, Parvati, and
several other Gryffindor girls walking towards the Great Hall for dinner,
talking loudly and giggling. As they approached, Lavender recognized the
height and hair color of the boy leaning against the wall.
Hey, Ron! You did a great job cleaning up in Divination today. Our
dorm rooms kind of messy, maybe you could have a go at that later.
Lavender spoke loudly enough so that anyone within fifty feet could hear,
but since dinner was just beginning, that meant a mere seventy or eighty
people were present. All the girls in Lavenders group stared at
Ron and then looked back at each other, giggling. A number of other people
in the crowd sniggered as well to one another.
Rons ears went almost purple. Yeah, yeah, he drawled.
Ron was too tired, hungry, and involved in his own thoughts to make his
usual snappy comeback.
Harry, surprised that there was no shouting or smoke wafting from his
best friends ears (or at the least swearing under his breath), saw
Hermione emerge from the crowd. She was staring after the Gryffindor girls,
and then back at Ron and Harry.
What was that all about? she asked curiously. She had been
close enough to hear the girls comments and was also aware that
those girls rarely got past Ron with anything said at his expense, so
she could sense something unusual had happened.
Well let Ron tell you all about it later. But I think wed
better feed him first,
Harry said, still eyeing his friend as if he might explode at any moment.
walked into the Great Hall and headed toward the Gryffindor table for
Entertaining people in the halls again, little brother? George
asked, already seated at the table and grinning. We could hear something
fun going on, and we missed it! What happened?
Shut up! muttered Ron sullenly.
Oh, man, see? We did miss something, said Fred to his twin.
And it must have been pretty good if he sounds like that.
Shut up ! Ron growled louder.
Well, next time, Ronniekins, do send invitations so we can
see the act, George persisted.
Ron glared at the twins, pushing his way irritably down the table to let
Harry and Hermione sit next to, and deal with, Fred and George. It was
just too much after his day today. He settled next to his little sister.
So how was your day, oh my favorite family member?
Ron asked her loudly, pointedly turning his back to Fred and George.
Yuck, Ginny replied quietly.
Oh? That good? Bet mine was worse, Ron countered.
No, mine was.
No, mine was.
No, mine was.
No, mine was.
No, mine was.
No, mine was.
Ginny sighed. Okay, yours was. Have it your way.
Ron looked at her closely. Her head was down and she did look pretty sad.
Okay, then. You gave in first, yours must have really been
the worst. What happened?
I got a detention, Ginny mused.
You?! You got a detention?! Ron blurted out.
Ginny glared at him and knew the others heard, but Harry and Hermione
were polite enough to pretend they didnt, and Fred and George were
just being quiet to find out what the detention was for (harassment material
for later, of course).
Ron looked around at everyone, noticing why Ginny was glaring, and then
said much more quietly, You got a detention? For what? But
then he kept on. From who? Isnt that your first one ever?
When do you have to do it? Do you know?
Which answer do you want first?! Ginny snapped. Then she took
a deep breath and began. Well, we had a test in Potions. I mean,
I knew we had a test, but I forgot. I mean, I didnt exactly forget
at first, but I was putting off studying and then I decided to walk down
to the common room to clear my mind, and I... well, I guess that worked,
because then Neville was down there, and had just finished his homework,
and he wanted to play a game of Exploding Snap. So I agreed to play, and
we played quite a while, and then it got late and I got tired, and I just
went up and went to bed. Oh, yeah, I cleared my mind, all right...
Even though Ginny was speaking so fast that the words ran together, Rons
memory sprang to life as she spoke. But he was still unwilling to think
what he thought he was thinking.
So I got into Potions, Ginny continued, and Im
already doing poorly in there, and Snape passed out the test, and I--I
panicked, because what would Mum and Dad say if I failed? So I thought,
if I could just slip my notes on the floor out from under the desk, and
pull my hair forward...
At that, Rons brain went into overdrive. No, it couldnt
be. Could it? I was there. But I wasnt there! I was in Divination--
the whole time --even while I was...But I pulled my long hair?..No, it
couldnt be. It was just some ruddy coincidence .
But Ginny continued to explain how Snape had found her looking at
her notes on the floor, and all of the horrible emotions that had coursed
through her. In order, exactly the way, Ron thought, they happened
in my dream!
...and so, he took my notes, and failed me on the test, and gave
me a detention, Ginny finished, looking miserable. What will
I tell Mum and Dad?
Ron wanted to drill her with more questions about what happened, to try
and find some difference between her experience and his that would make
him feel better, so he could explain to himself what was going on.
But he had felt just how miserable she was then, and all of the
fear, guilt, and humiliation she had endured that day. So he chose to
ignore the chaos in his own brain and tried to cheer her up.
Well, poor marks in Potions are practically a Weasley tradition,
you know, Ron began. And Mum and Dad know you never do anything
like that. I mean, well, its like a first offense, really. Just
compare it to how many detentions weve all had- Fred and George
and me. Well, not Percy, naturally, but we all know none of Percys
behavior is normal, so he doesnt really count at all. And
besides, youre so smart. Look, Gin, just do the detention-- maybe
even Snape wont give you anything too bad the first time-- and then
get on with it. Study a bit and your marks will come up--I know it.
The big brother talk seemed to be improving Ginnys mood, and Rons
mood right along with it. Then he added, Oh, and one more thing:
just avoid Neville whenever youre having a test, or, actually, avoiding
Neville all the time isnt so bad, either.
Ginny looked up and slapped Ron lightly on the arm. Dont be
so mean to Neville! she scolded. But she was smiling a little.
Ron grabbed his shoulder in mock pain, but he noticed the smile. Oh,
Gin, dont worry so much about Neville. Hed feel bad if I wasnt
mean--he expects it from me!
Somewhat relieved now, Ginny returned to her meal. Ron felt a bit better,
too, but he wouldnt feel exactly relieved until he could better
explain what had happened in Trelawneys, (or was it Snapes?)
class earlier that day.