liptonrm_fic: (hp trio-desdemona_x)
liptonrm_fic ([personal profile] liptonrm_fic) wrote2011-10-13 01:45 pm

To Begin Again

Title: To Begin Again
Fandom: Harry Potter
Rating: General
Disclaimer: No profit was made in the writing or posting of this story.
Author's Note: Timestamp to Burn My Sins Away. Takes place after the events in that story.
Summary: Sometimes you get to pick yourself up again.

Ron jerked at the sound of the chair across from him dragging across the dinged wooden floor. Hot coffee splashed over his fingers. His mouth thinned and he glared, just a little, as he tried to set the tiny little porcelain cup down with steamed fingers. He’d sat in the corner for a reason.

The other chair creaked as a man settled himself into it. He nodded to Ron, pulled out a leather-bound book, pen in hand, and started jotting things down on the already ink-spattered pages. He was an older chap, grey in his hair and faint stress lines on his face. Ron couldn’t tell in one glance if the man was muggle or wizard and it didn’t pay to assume, Ron had made an ass of himself that way more than once in Cairo. It seemed that the rest of the world lived by its own rules as to who may or may not practice magic, and Ron had the embarrassing memories and that one burn mark on his bum to prove it.

Ron turned back to watching people walk by on the street outside. He’d found himself doing that more and more often, just observing people as they lived their lives. There was something comforting about the fact that people still did the same things they’d always done, that the world still turned.

“It’s quite something,” The other man said and nodded towards the dirt-streaked window and the people beyond. “It almost makes up for all of the darkness. Doesn’t it, Mr. Weasley?”

Ron pushed back from the table, hand going to the wand that he no longer had. His heart pounded in his ears, fear bubbling around a hard pulse of anger. He was out, he was done, no one was supposed to know who he was.

The man lifted his hands, palms out in what might be a placating gesture. But Ron knew too well how many horrible things a pair of hands could do. The man’s eyes, washed-out blue behind glass lenses, caught and held Ron’s own, reading something in him that Ron couldn’t see.

The man nodded and slowly lowered his hands. “A few months ago a friend of mine called me,” he began, the cadence of his voice chatty and casual. “He spoke of some unexpected help he received while dispatching a vampire. His description of you as ‘some redheaded English guy with a flair for the fantastic,’ certainly caught my attention.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Ron rasped as the man took a sip from his own miniature cup.

He set the cup carefully back down. “Of course not,” he replied, mouth twisted in amusement. “You’ve seen some of the horrors that the world holds. I regret to inform you that more exists than you ever imagined. And those of us who fight it need all of the help we can get.” He pulled an envelope out of his book and pushed it across the table. “Should you desire to assist in that fight you need only ask.”

The man stood, sliding his book inside his jacket. Ron reached over, his actions automatic, and opened the envelope. Dark pen strokes scored the page, a name and an address set before him. The world stilled between one beat of his heart and the next, the past all he could see, the curl of brown hair and the ragged cut of a lightning-shaped scar. With a crash the world came back into focus and Ron knew what he needed to do. For the first time in a long time he might be able to do something good.

“Mr. Giles,” Ron called, charging across the room, suddenly afraid to let him leave. He didn’t want this to be a dream. Giles turned in the open door, backlit by the daylight beyond. A smile flittered at the edges of his mouth and he looked at Ron the way teachers and adults used to look at Harry or Hermione or Ginny when they’d done something particularly brilliant, a look Ron couldn’t remember ever seeing before directed his way.

“I want to help,” Ron said, not sure what help he could possibly be. The smile blossomed on Giles’ face and he clapped a hand on Ron’s shoulder. Together they walked out into the world.