Unofficial Portkey Archive

The Unofficial Portkey Archive API

The Unofficial Portkey Archive has an API for retrieving stories - this is aimed at people who want to grab the content & metadata for a story for use with other tools.

Please don't use this for big bulk downloads - the whole database is available to download.

GET /api/v1/author/<author id>

For example: GET /api/v1/author/14

Examples

Not found:
{
    "result": "error",
    "error": "Author not found!"
}
Successful:
{
    "result": "success",
    "author": {
        "id": 14,
        "name": "E. C. R. Potter",
        "stories": [
            {
                "id": 7717,
                "author": {
                    "id": 14,
                    "name": "E. C. R. Potter"
                },
                "title": "More Than Meets the Eye",
                "chapter_count": 31,
                "word_count": 62738,
                "publish_date": 1192924800,
                "update_date": 1252800000,
                "rating": "PG13",
                "genres": [
                    "Action & Adventure",
                    "Mystery"
                ],
                "pairing": "Harry & Hermione",
                "canon": "Books 1 - 7",
                "status": "completed",
                "summary": "Having barely recovered from the post Voldemort war, the Wizarding World is suddenly caught in between another war fought between mysterious \u201cabnomalies\u201d who transform into various muggle contraptions.  Ignores DH epilogue.  H\/Hr, R\/LL.  Harry Potter\/Transformers crossover.",
                "formats": {
                    "json": "\/api\/v1\/story\/7717",
                    "html": "\/story\/7717",
                    "epub": "\/story\/7717\/epub",
                    "mobi": "\/story\/7717\/mobi"
                }
            },
            {
                "id": 6242,
                "author": {
                    "id": 14,
                    "name": "E. C. R. Potter"
                },
                "title": "A Fractured Fairy Tale",
                "chapter_count": 1,
                "word_count": 25312,
                "publish_date": 1151971200,
                "update_date": 1151971200,
                "rating": "PG",
                "genres": [
                    "Humor",
                    "Romance"
                ],
                "pairing": "Harry & Hermione",
                "canon": "Books 1 - 6",
                "status": "completed",
                "summary": "Draco as Prince Charming?  Hedwig an expert at Raptor Martial Arts?  Snape in Bunny Slippers?  Has the world lost its mind?  Well, where else are you going to find Ron and Neville singing \u2018Livin\u2019 La Vida Loca\u2019?  Read and find out in this Shrek\/Shrek 2 inspired parody featuring everything from the Death Eater Mafia to the Marauders Rock band.  Featuring several ships including H\/Hr (of course), R\/LL, L\/J, D\/anything in a skirt, and H\/C (though not the one everybody thinks).",
                "formats": {
                    "json": "\/api\/v1\/story\/6242",
                    "html": "\/story\/6242",
                    "epub": "\/story\/6242\/epub",
                    "mobi": "\/story\/6242\/mobi"
                }
            },
            {
                "id": 2504,
                "author": {
                    "id": 14,
                    "name": "E. C. R. Potter"
                },
                "title": "Heir of Elessar",
                "chapter_count": 30,
                "word_count": 71635,
                "publish_date": 1089331200,
                "update_date": 1149552000,
                "rating": "PG13",
                "genres": [
                    "Action & Adventure",
                    "Romance"
                ],
                "pairing": "Harry & Hermione",
                "canon": "Books 1 - 5",
                "status": "completed",
                "summary": "2 years into the Second Magical War, Voldemort leads his followers to a long lost volcano.  There, he makes a final pact with an ancient evil, granting him more powers than anyone could\u2019ve ever imagined.  Now, there is no one who can stand against the reborn Dark Lord save one: the heir of the ancient king Aragorn Elessar Telcontar, Harry Potter.  HP\/LOTR Crossover.",
                "formats": {
                    "json": "\/api\/v1\/story\/2504",
                    "html": "\/story\/2504",
                    "epub": "\/story\/2504\/epub",
                    "mobi": "\/story\/2504\/mobi"
                }
            },
            {
                "id": 970,
                "author": {
                    "id": 14,
                    "name": "E. C. R. Potter"
                },
                "title": "Over the Rainbow",
                "chapter_count": 15,
                "word_count": 36045,
                "publish_date": 1062806400,
                "update_date": 1082764800,
                "rating": "PG",
                "genres": [
                    "Action & Adventure",
                    "Romance"
                ],
                "pairing": "Harry & Hermione",
                "canon": "Books 1 - 5",
                "status": "completed",
                "summary": "At the beginning of Harry's sixth year, a freak tornado suddenly blows he and his friends to a land far away, over the rainbow.  A Harry Potter\/Wizard of Oz crossover.",
                "formats": {
                    "json": "\/api\/v1\/story\/970",
                    "html": "\/story\/970",
                    "epub": "\/story\/970\/epub",
                    "mobi": "\/story\/970\/mobi"
                }
            },
            {
                "id": 33,
                "author": {
                    "id": 14,
                    "name": "E. C. R. Potter"
                },
                "title": "Different Paths",
                "chapter_count": 27,
                "word_count": 109298,
                "publish_date": 1039305600,
                "update_date": 1074211200,
                "rating": "PG13",
                "genres": [
                    "Action & Adventure",
                    "Drama"
                ],
                "pairing": "Harry & Hermione",
                "canon": "Books 1 - 4",
                "status": "completed",
                "summary": "COMPLETED!  Tom Marvolo Riddle, Harry James Potter.  Two wizards, with incredibly similar beginnings, who journeyed on different paths.  Such different paths that inevitably, they could only lead to a collision course.  And collide, they do.",
                "formats": {
                    "json": "\/api\/v1\/story\/33",
                    "html": "\/story\/33",
                    "epub": "\/story\/33\/epub",
                    "mobi": "\/story\/33\/mobi"
                }
            },
            {
                "id": 230,
                "author": {
                    "id": 14,
                    "name": "E. C. R. Potter"
                },
                "title": "Chocolate For Him",
                "chapter_count": 1,
                "word_count": 3837,
                "publish_date": 1045267200,
                "update_date": 1045267200,
                "rating": "G",
                "genres": [
                    "Humor",
                    "Romance"
                ],
                "pairing": "Harry & Hermione",
                "canon": "Books 1 - 4",
                "status": "completed",
                "summary": "A St. Valentine's Day special set in Fifth Year. Hermione makes some hand made chocolate for Harry. But will she be able to give it to him? Strictly H\/H.",
                "formats": {
                    "json": "\/api\/v1\/story\/230",
                    "html": "\/story\/230",
                    "epub": "\/story\/230\/epub",
                    "mobi": "\/story\/230\/mobi"
                }
            },
            {
                "id": 224,
                "author": {
                    "id": 14,
                    "name": "E. C. R. Potter"
                },
                "title": "The Crystal of Tempest",
                "chapter_count": 17,
                "word_count": 37579,
                "publish_date": 1045094400,
                "update_date": 1045267200,
                "rating": "PG",
                "genres": [
                    "Action & Adventure",
                    "Romance"
                ],
                "pairing": "Harry & Hermione",
                "canon": "Books 1 - 4",
                "status": "completed",
                "summary": "Third installment of \u201cThe Mage Knights\u201d series. Peace has returned to Magiterran, and happiness reigns throughout the Four-Kingdom Alliance. Yet, there is a shadow on the horizon for evil has survived, in the form of an ancient crystal.",
                "formats": {
                    "json": "\/api\/v1\/story\/224",
                    "html": "\/story\/224",
                    "epub": "\/story\/224\/epub",
                    "mobi": "\/story\/224\/mobi"
                }
            },
            {
                "id": 168,
                "author": {
                    "id": 14,
                    "name": "E. C. R. Potter"
                },
                "title": "Random Statement",
                "chapter_count": 1,
                "word_count": 818,
                "publish_date": 1043712000,
                "update_date": 1043712000,
                "rating": "G",
                "genres": [
                    "Romance"
                ],
                "pairing": "Harry & Hermione",
                "canon": "Books 1 - 4",
                "status": "completed",
                "summary": "While visiting Loch Ness, Harry says a random statement to Hermione that will change their lives.",
                "formats": {
                    "json": "\/api\/v1\/story\/168",
                    "html": "\/story\/168",
                    "epub": "\/story\/168\/epub",
                    "mobi": "\/story\/168\/mobi"
                }
            },
            {
                "id": 146,
                "author": {
                    "id": 14,
                    "name": "E. C. R. Potter"
                },
                "title": "Return of the Lion",
                "chapter_count": 16,
                "word_count": 38310,
                "publish_date": 1042934400,
                "update_date": 1043539200,
                "rating": "PG13",
                "genres": [
                    "Action & Adventure",
                    "Romance"
                ],
                "pairing": "Harry & Hermione",
                "canon": "Books 1 - 4",
                "status": "completed",
                "summary": "In the future, Voldemort has conquered all of Europe and has set his sights on the rest of the world. But there is a light of hope when Harry Potter returns after a two-year absence to challenge the Dark Lord. H\/H and R\/OC.",
                "formats": {
                    "json": "\/api\/v1\/story\/146",
                    "html": "\/story\/146",
                    "epub": "\/story\/146\/epub",
                    "mobi": "\/story\/146\/mobi"
                }
            },
            {
                "id": 128,
                "author": {
                    "id": 14,
                    "name": "E. C. R. Potter"
                },
                "title": "Betrothed",
                "chapter_count": 7,
                "word_count": 12031,
                "publish_date": 1042329600,
                "update_date": 1042675200,
                "rating": "PG",
                "genres": [
                    "Horror",
                    "Romance"
                ],
                "pairing": "Harry & Hermione",
                "canon": "Books 1 - 4",
                "status": "completed",
                "summary": "A transfer student comes to Hogwarts in the trio's sixth year and claims to be Harry Potter's betrothed since childhood: his future wife. Things start to get suspicious however when people start falling into comas. Will contain H\/H.",
                "formats": {
                    "json": "\/api\/v1\/story\/128",
                    "html": "\/story\/128",
                    "epub": "\/story\/128\/epub",
                    "mobi": "\/story\/128\/mobi"
                }
            },
            {
                "id": 123,
                "author": {
                    "id": 14,
                    "name": "E. C. R. Potter"
                },
                "title": "War against Magiterran",
                "chapter_count": 19,
                "word_count": 33430,
                "publish_date": 1042156800,
                "update_date": 1042156800,
                "rating": "PG",
                "genres": [
                    "Action & Adventure",
                    "Romance"
                ],
                "pairing": "Harry & Hermione",
                "canon": "Books 1 - 4",
                "status": "completed",
                "summary": "Sequel to \"The Mage Knights\".  Two years after the defeat of Voldemort and the Death Eaters, a new threat arises from across the ocean to challenge the four-kingdom alliance: specifically, the Gryffindor Royal Family.  Their homeland in danger, the Mage Knights once again take up arms to fight an all too familiar enemy.",
                "formats": {
                    "json": "\/api\/v1\/story\/123",
                    "html": "\/story\/123",
                    "epub": "\/story\/123\/epub",
                    "mobi": "\/story\/123\/mobi"
                }
            },
            {
                "id": 113,
                "author": {
                    "id": 14,
                    "name": "E. C. R. Potter"
                },
                "title": "A Coded Parchment",
                "chapter_count": 10,
                "word_count": 10889,
                "publish_date": 1041724800,
                "update_date": 1041724800,
                "rating": "PG",
                "genres": [
                    "Action & Adventure",
                    "Mystery"
                ],
                "pairing": "Harry & Hermione",
                "canon": "Books 1 - 4",
                "status": "completed",
                "summary": "Post Hogwarts fic. 4 years after graduation from Hogwarts, Harry Potter is an Unspeakable. With the help of Hermione and Ron, Harry uncovers a conspiracy that could affect the future of the wizarding world. H\/Hr and R\/OC.",
                "formats": {
                    "json": "\/api\/v1\/story\/113",
                    "html": "\/story\/113",
                    "epub": "\/story\/113\/epub",
                    "mobi": "\/story\/113\/mobi"
                }
            },
            {
                "id": 103,
                "author": {
                    "id": 14,
                    "name": "E. C. R. Potter"
                },
                "title": "Perfect Beauty",
                "chapter_count": 1,
                "word_count": 4127,
                "publish_date": 1041638400,
                "update_date": 1041638400,
                "rating": "PG",
                "genres": [
                    "Humor",
                    "Romance"
                ],
                "pairing": "Harry & Hermione",
                "canon": "Books 1 - 4",
                "status": "completed",
                "summary": "Harry, Hermione, and the Weasleys vacation in Japan where they meet an artist searching for the \u201cPerfect Beauty\u201d.",
                "formats": {
                    "json": "\/api\/v1\/story\/103",
                    "html": "\/story\/103",
                    "epub": "\/story\/103\/epub",
                    "mobi": "\/story\/103\/mobi"
                }
            },
            {
                "id": 101,
                "author": {
                    "id": 14,
                    "name": "E. C. R. Potter"
                },
                "title": "Coming with you",
                "chapter_count": 1,
                "word_count": 1556,
                "publish_date": 1041552000,
                "update_date": 1041552000,
                "rating": "G",
                "genres": [
                    "Romance"
                ],
                "pairing": "Harry & Hermione",
                "canon": "Books 1 - 4",
                "status": "completed",
                "summary": "After the defeat of Voldemort, Harry is going to leave the wizarding world forever. What is Hermione going to do?",
                "formats": {
                    "json": "\/api\/v1\/story\/101",
                    "html": "\/story\/101",
                    "epub": "\/story\/101\/epub",
                    "mobi": "\/story\/101\/mobi"
                }
            },
            {
                "id": 92,
                "author": {
                    "id": 14,
                    "name": "E. C. R. Potter"
                },
                "title": "Uninvited Guest at the Wedding",
                "chapter_count": 1,
                "word_count": 2512,
                "publish_date": 1041206400,
                "update_date": 1041206400,
                "rating": "G",
                "genres": [
                    "Humor",
                    "Romance"
                ],
                "pairing": "Harry & Hermione",
                "canon": "Books 1 - 4",
                "status": "completed",
                "summary": "When a transfer student arrives a week early at Hogwarts, she ends up as the uninvited guest at the wedding of Harry Potter. Chaos ensues. H\/H wedding.",
                "formats": {
                    "json": "\/api\/v1\/story\/92",
                    "html": "\/story\/92",
                    "epub": "\/story\/92\/epub",
                    "mobi": "\/story\/92\/mobi"
                }
            },
            {
                "id": 76,
                "author": {
                    "id": 14,
                    "name": "E. C. R. Potter"
                },
                "title": "A Christmas Tale",
                "chapter_count": 1,
                "word_count": 1900,
                "publish_date": 1040860800,
                "update_date": 1040860800,
                "rating": "G",
                "genres": [
                    "Romance"
                ],
                "pairing": "Harry & Hermione",
                "canon": "Books 1 - 4",
                "status": "completed",
                "summary": "A Christmas special from yours truly.  When Harry is depressed during Christmas, Hermione has a word of comfort for him.  H\/H.",
                "formats": {
                    "json": "\/api\/v1\/story\/76",
                    "html": "\/story\/76",
                    "epub": "\/story\/76\/epub",
                    "mobi": "\/story\/76\/mobi"
                }
            },
            {
                "id": 56,
                "author": {
                    "id": 14,
                    "name": "E. C. R. Potter"
                },
                "title": "The Mage Knights",
                "chapter_count": 21,
                "word_count": 33710,
                "publish_date": 1040083200,
                "update_date": 1040083200,
                "rating": "PG",
                "genres": [
                    "Action & Adventure",
                    "Romance"
                ],
                "pairing": "Harry & Hermione",
                "canon": "Books 1 - 4",
                "status": "completed",
                "summary": "Farm Girl Hermione's life changes forever when she meets Sir Harry Potter and the Mage Knights. A complete medieval type fantasy world of knights and swordfights, of quests and adventure, and of kings and kingdoms. H\/Hr romance epic.",
                "formats": {
                    "json": "\/api\/v1\/story\/56",
                    "html": "\/story\/56",
                    "epub": "\/story\/56\/epub",
                    "mobi": "\/story\/56\/mobi"
                }
            },
            {
                "id": 47,
                "author": {
                    "id": 14,
                    "name": "E. C. R. Potter"
                },
                "title": "Love in Blindness",
                "chapter_count": 4,
                "word_count": 5871,
                "publish_date": 1039824000,
                "update_date": 1039824000,
                "rating": "PG",
                "genres": [
                    "Angst",
                    "Romance"
                ],
                "pairing": "Harry & Hermione",
                "canon": "Books 1 - 4",
                "status": "completed",
                "summary": "With his dying breath, Voldemort takes away something precious from Hermione. Now, through her loss, Hermione with Harry's help discovers something to make up the loss. Slightly angsty H\/H.",
                "formats": {
                    "json": "\/api\/v1\/story\/47",
                    "html": "\/story\/47",
                    "epub": "\/story\/47\/epub",
                    "mobi": "\/story\/47\/mobi"
                }
            }
        ]
    }
}

GET /api/v1/story/<story id>

For example: GET /api/v1/story/1

Examples

Not found:
{
    "result": "error",
    "error": "Story not found!"
}
Successful:
{
    "result": "success",
    "story": {
        "id": 1,
        "author": {
            "id": 3,
            "name": "Professor Granger"
        },
        "title": "Out of the Shadows and Into the Night",
        "chapter_count": 4,
        "word_count": 12347,
        "publish_date": 1036800000,
        "update_date": 1042156800,
        "rating": "PG13",
        "genres": [
            "Angst"
        ],
        "pairing": "Harry & Hermione",
        "canon": "Books 1 - 4",
        "status": "paused",
        "summary": "Ron Weasley has been overshadowed by his brothers as far as he can remember. At Hogwarts, he was always in Harry's shadow. How far will he go to escape the shadows? A story of betrayal and redemption.",
        "formats": {
            "json": "\/api\/v1\/story\/1",
            "html": "\/story\/1",
            "epub": "\/story\/1\/epub",
            "mobi": "\/story\/1\/mobi"
        },
        "chapters": [
            {
                "number": 1,
                "title": "A New Face",
                "automated_import": 0,
                "known_broken": 0,
                "text": "\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n

Out of the Shadows and Into the\nNight<\/p>\n\n

Disclaimer: Harry Potter & Co.\ndon’t belong to me. They belong to JK Rowling.<\/p>\n\n

Chapter 1: A New Face<\/p>\n\n

Ron Weasley sat up in his bed\nthinking. He was about to enter his seventh and final year of Hogwarts school\nof Witchcraft and Wizardry.  One year\nleft.  That was it.  It was his last chance to prove that he was\njust as good as his brothers. Each had left behind a unique legacy, and would\nalways be remembered by name.  He knew\nthat before Harry came along, it had been Charlie that\nwas mentioned as the great Gryffindor Seeker, his legacy surpassing that of\nJames Potter.  Bill had been the first\nof the family to attend Hogwarts.  His\nlegacy was in academics, his 12 OWLs, which were finally lived down by\nHermione, and his position as a prefect, and later, Head Boy, the first in the\nfamily.  Percy was known for his\nperfection, his OWL score (12, like Bill) and as the second Head Boy in the\nfamily.  Fred and George’s jokes were\nlegendary, although they didn’t beat the Marauder’s number of detentions,\nthough if there been only 2 marauders, Fred and George would have cleaned\nup.  They had received a personal\ncongratulation from Padfoot himself, although they hadn’t figured out who he\nreally was.<\/p>\n\n

Now it was Ron’s turn. He was just\nthe youngest Weasley boy, Harry Potter’s sidekick. It was the only thing that\npeople ever saw about him. In his eyes, being friends with the famous Harry\nPotter was nothing to brag about. Harry had lots of friends. The problem was\nthat almost none of them saw the man behind the scar. He knew that Harry found\nit frustrating. His natural ability for Quidditch, fighting evil and just magic\nin general made it worse for him. To the wizarding world, he was “The Boy Who\nLived”, “Gryffindor’s Seeker and Captain”, or “James and Lily Potter’s son.” No\nmatter how hard he tried, Harry was never able to escape the titles.  To Ron, Harry was just his friend.  The fact that he was an extraordinarily\npowerful wizard was secondary.  Ever\nsince they had met on the train, Ron had been envious of Harry, although he\nconcealed it well.  Hermione knew, of\ncourse, but she had figured it out on her own. \nEven when confronted by either of his two friends, he denied it.  Harry believed it.  He put too much trust into his friends.  Hermione didn’t.   She was\ntoo smart for her own good.<\/p>\n\n

Ron had longed for so long to have\nHarry’s power, and Hermione’s intellect. \nHe knew that he would never be smart. \nHe was just a mediocre student. \nWell, Harry was too, but Ron half suspected that Harry only did it to\nmake Ron feel better.  He could have\neasily matched or bettered Hermione’s marks.<\/p>\n\n

If only I had that power! He\nknew that there were ways of stealing someone’s power, but the spells were\ncomplicated and he knew that he wouldn’t be able to perform them.  What if someone else performed the\nspell?  Hermione would never consent to\ndo it, and neither would Harry.  He\ncouldn’t consider anyone else at Hogwarts. \nThey would immediately go to Dumbledore, and he would most likely be\nexpelled.  He needed to do it secretly.<\/p>\n\n

That left one option.  Voldemort.  The man who had been trying to kill his best friend for sixteen\nyears was the only person who could help him escape the shadows that had been\nholding him since he was born.<\/p>\n\n

It was the only way, but the problem\nwas that he didn’t know a way to contact any of the Death Eaters.  Granted, he only knew a few names, but that\nwas better than nothing.  His name was\nanother problem.  The Weasley family had\nalways been outspoken against Voldemort, so it would take some convincing to\nmake them believe that he really wanted to do this.  He would do whatever it took, just as long as he got to where he\nwanted to be.<\/p>\n\n

Finally, he decided that he would\nwrite to Malfoy.  He was almost certain\nthat he was a Death Eater.  Even if he\nhadn’t formally become one yet, he knew that the Slytherin would become one\neventually.  With those thoughts, he sat\ndown to write a letter to the person who he thought could pull the strings to\nget to where he wanted to be.<\/p>\n\n

Draco Malfoy-<\/p>\n\n

I do not know the initiation\nprocedures for those wanting to enter the Dark Lord’s service, but I have heard\nthat you are one person I could contact with my request.  I would like to enter the Dark Lord’s ranks,\nand as soon as possible.  Send the\nanswer by return owl, as I am not willing to put my name on this paper.  Thank you for your help, if indeed you can\nhelp.<\/p>\n\n

He sent Errol off with the letter,\nknowing that he wouldn’t be recognized. He eagerly waited for a reply. <\/p>\n\n

For three days, Ron was on pins and\nneedles waiting for the answer. \nFinally, he couldn’t stand it anymore. \nHe had just sat down to write another letter when an exhausted gray\nfeather duster flew through his open window. A piece of parchment attached to\nit.  Finally! He thought.  He knew that it was probably Errol’s fault,\nthe owl was really old, and could hardly deliver anymore.<\/p>\n\n

Ron tore open the letter.  The answer was better than he expected.  Part of him was expecting an outright\nrefusal, and another part was expecting a letter demanding to know who he was,\nand if he really wanted to be a Death Eater, not just a spy for Dumbledore.<\/p>\n\n

I have presented this matter to My\nLord, and he has agreed to meet you and welcome you into his service.  I do not require your name at this time, but\nknow that the Dark Lord will.  Beware,\nif you intend to join in order to help Dumbledore’s cause, you will suffer, my\nMaster has ways of determining if you are loyal or not.  A portkey will be sent to you tomorrow,\nactivated at midnight.  This will bring\nyou to the meeting where you will be initiated.  If you have any second thoughts, do not use the portkey.  The Dark Lord does not deal kindly with\ntraitors.<\/p>\n\n

The letter was not signed.  Instead, the bottom of the parchment was\nmarked with the picture of a skull with a snake protruding from its mouth drawn\nin dark green ink.<\/p>\n\n

To Ron, the next day seemed to be\nabout forty hours long.  He re-read the\nletter at least ten times.  And he was\nstarting to feel slight misgivings over what he was about to do.  He didn’t really want to kill or torture\nanyone, and he didn’t see what was wrong with Muggles or Muggle-borns.  All he wanted was the power.  Was killing and torturing too high a price\nto pay just so he could be free of the shadows?<\/p>\n\n

He was on the verge of throwing away\nthe portkey when there was a tapping on his window.  He turned to see Harry’s snowy owl, Hedwig, perched on the sill\nwith a letter tied to her leg.  He\nopened the window immediately to read his friends letter.  As he started to read, he almost felt guilty\nabout what he was about to do.<\/p>\n\n

Dear\nRon,<\/p>\n\n

I\ndon’t know how both Hermione and I overlooked this fact for so long, but\napparently we live in the same neighborhood, two doors away as a matter of\nfact.  I have started jogging as a way\nto clear my head in the morning (even though it has been two years since Cedric\ndied, that night still haunts my dreams). \nSo, I was out jogging one morning, and was so focused on not thinking\nabout the dream, that I ran straight into a girl, knocking her down, nearly\nfalling myself.  I offered her my hand\nto help her up, when I noticed how pretty she was.  I mean downright beautiful.  \nShe took my hand and when she was standing and had finally cleared her\nhair out of her face she took a step back, still looking at the ground,\nembarrassed that she hadn’t seen me coming. \nI stammered out an “I’m sorry,” and finally, she looked up.  As you can guess, we were both surprised\nthat we had run into each other.<\/p>\n\n

Anyway,\nto make a long story short, I have spent most of my summer over at her house,\ndoing homework and just relaxing.  There\nis something about her that just makes me let go of everything.  Well, yesterday, I finally got up enough\ncourage to ask her out, and she said yes. \nYou probably don’t want to know, but we spent a good portion of the day\nsnogging.  <\/p>\n\n

That’s\nmy big story of the summer.  I am\nlooking foreword to going back to Hogwarts so I can see you again.  The only reason I can stay at Hermione’s is\nbecause it is so close to the Dursley’s house that the wards still work.<\/p>\n\n

That’s\nall I have to say for now, so watch out for Fred and George, and I’ll see you\nin a month.<\/p>\n\n

Harry.<\/p>\n\n

Dammit!  Harry always got what he wanted.  All of the guilt he had felt was replaced\ninstantly by bitter jealousy.  So they\nwere a couple now!  It was one more\nthing that would shove him on the back burner for the rest of the year.  They deserved what was coming to them.  <\/p>\n\n

‘I really need a change,’ Ron thought.<\/p>\n\n

***** <\/p>\n\n

Finally,\nafter the longest day of Ron’s life, it was 11:59.  He pulled the hood of his cloak up, and firmly grasped the\nportkey, an enchanted galleon.  The\nclock started striking, far two slowly for Ron’s taste.  As it hit the last note, he felt a tug from\nsomewhere behind his navel.  He had been\nattached to the portkey for what felt like forever, when he felt his feet slam\nto the ground.<\/p>\n\n

Draco was waiting for him when he\narrived at Malfoy Manor. He had a blank expression, which, Ron noticed, was\nrather tense.  Draco’s eyes gave his\nexpression away.  Ron could tell that he\nwas deadly curious about who the new person was.<\/p>\n\n

“I see that you have a cloak with a\nhood,” Draco said.  He held out a black\nmask, “Here, put this on.  If you don’t\nwant to be known yet, then turn your back.”<\/p>\n\n

Ron wisely said nothing, preferring\nto stay silent in the company of his worst enemy.  He didn’t want to know what Draco would do to him if his real\nidentity were revealed before they reached the Dark Lord.<\/p>\n\n

Nothing else was spoken between\nthem.  When Ron turned around again, the\nmask covered his face, and the hood of his cloak covered his hair.  Draco made a motion for him to follow, and\nhe did.<\/p>\n\n

He had no idea what to expect.  His very limited dealings with the dark arts\nwere all done from Harry’s side.  He\ndidn’t know what Voldemort would expect him to do.  A feeling started in the pit of his stomach and slowly spread\nthrough his limbs.  It was similar to\nwhat he had felt before he was sorted on their first night at Hogwarts.<\/p>\n\n

They soon reached a door.  Draco knocked once to announce their arrival\nbefore pulling out his wand and muttering a password.  Slowly the doors creaked open to reveal a large and richly\nfurnished room.  The walls were hung\nwith deep green tapestries.  The\npatterns were so complex that Ron could not make them out from his position\njust inside the doors.  The floor was\ncovered in a black plush carpet.  Ron\ncould feel how thick it was through the soles of his boots.  At the far end of the room was a\nthrone.  It was black and set with\nblood-red rubies.  <\/p>\n\n

In the chair was the most repulsive\nman Ron had ever laid eyes on.  Ron could\ntell that he was tall, even though he was sitting down.  He was made of nothing but flesh and bone, a\nfact that showed clearly through his long, black robes.  His long spindly fingers were clearly\nvisible from the other side of the room. \nBut it was his face that made him truly repulsive.  His skin was pure white, a stark contrast to\nhis jet-black hair.  Instead of a nose,\nhe had two flat slits, which reminded Ron of a snake.  He had blood-red eyes that were pointed at the corners.  He didn’t have any marks or blemishes on his\nface.  Ron had to look closely to\nascertain that he had a mouth; no lips were visible.  Curled up on the rug at his feet was a giant snake.  Ron recoiled slightly.  He wasn’t afraid of snakes, but they still\ndidn’t sit to well with him.<\/p>\n\n

Draco moved toward the throne and\nbowed low, kissing the hem of Voldemort’s robes.<\/p>\n\n

“Rise, Draco,” Voldemort spoke in a\ncold, high-pitched voice.  “I see you\nhave a new servant for me.”<\/p>\n\n

“Yes, My Lord,” Draco spoke, bowing\nonce more.  Draco motioned Ron to his\nside, bowed a final time, backed away from the throne and left, closing the\ndoor as he left.<\/p>\n\n

Ron was almost visibly shaking\nnow.  Following Draco’s example, he\nbowed low and kissed the hem of Voldemort’s robes.  He straitened up to find himself looking directly into the Dark\nLord’s red eyes.<\/p>\n\n

“You have nothing to fear if you\ncome to me out of loyalty to my cause,” Voldemort addressed him directly for\nthe first time.  Ron’s physical\ntrembling stopped, and Voldemort seemed satisfied, although he didn’t break eye\ncontact.<\/p>\n\n

After what seemed like an eternity,\nhe spoke again, “Is your blood pure?”<\/p>\n\n

“Yes, My Lord.”<\/p>\n\n

“What is your surname?  People have a habit of lying about this\nparticular trait.”<\/p>\n\n

“I am a Weasley, My Lord.  There has never been a Mudblood in our\nfamily tree.”<\/p>\n\n

The name caught Voldemort’s\nattention.  <\/p>\n\n

“A Weasley? Interesting.  And you are not spying for Dumbledore?” Ron\nshook his head.  “I am compelled to\nbelieve you.  Which Weasley are\nyou?  If you are in school, then you\nwill be highly useful to me.”<\/p>\n\n

“I am Ron Weasley, My Lord.  I am in my final year at Hogwarts.”<\/p>\n\n

“The same year as Harry Potter.  What house are you in?”<\/p>\n\n

“Gryffindor, my Lord.”<\/p>\n\n

“Better and better.  I am assuming that Harry Potter is also in\nGryffindor?” Ron nodded.  “A Gryffindor\nwill not be suspected of being treacherous. \nYou might prove to be my most valuable servant.  What brings a brave Gryffindor like yourself\nto my service?”  His voice was laden\nwith sarcasm.<\/p>\n\n

Ron was a little daunted by his\ntone, but continued anyway.  After all,\nthe Dark Lord knew his name now.  <\/p>\n\n

“I came to you because I want power,\nMy Lord.  You are the only one who can\nprovide me with the power that I want.”<\/p>\n\n

“You have much potential.  A perfect servant.”  Voldemort stayed silent for a long\ntime.  He seemed to be contemplating the\nboy who stood in front of him.<\/p>\n\n

“Kneel, boy,” he said at last.  Ron followed his instructions.<\/p>\n\n

“You say that you want power, but in\norder for me to give that to you, you have to offer me your powers, for me to\nuse as I see fit.  Are you willing to\nmake this offer?”<\/p>\n\n

“Yes, My Lord”<\/p>\n\n

“Are you willing to give up your\nlife for me?  It is the thing that most\nhumans value above all else.”<\/p>\n\n

“Yes, My Lord, I will give up my\nlife for you, if that is necessary to help your cause.”<\/p>\n\n

“You claim that you have not\nbeen sent by Dumbledore, is that correct?”<\/p>\n\n

“Yes, My Lord.”<\/p>\n\n

“Because of your name, I doubt\nthat claim.  Crucio.”<\/p>\n\n

A pain worse than anything Ron\nimagined ripped through his body.  It\nwas as if the curse were tearing him apart from the inside out.  Time slowed to almost a stop as the pain\ntook over his senses.  After far too\nlong, Voldemort removed the curse, and Ron staggered to his feet.  He swayed for a few seconds as he tried to\nregain his equilibrium.<\/p>\n\n

Voldemort spoke, “Do you still\nmaintain that you are loyal to me?”<\/p>\n\n

“Yes, My Lord.”  Ron’s voice surprised him.  It felt colder and harsher than what he had\nknown his voice to be before.  Maybe it\nwas just an effect of the Cruciatus Curse.<\/p>\n\n

“I\nfind that you are a suitable servant for me. \nHold out your left arm.”<\/p>\n\n

Silently, Ron did as he was\ninstructed. Voldemort placed his long, spidery hand over Ron’s forearm, just\ninside the elbow and murmured a spell. When he removed his hand, a skull with a\nsnake protruding from its mouth was burned into Ron’s arm. He let his hand\nfall, and his sleeve covered the mark.<\/p>\n\n

“There are several spells that you\nmust learn, but first, I promised you power, did I not?”<\/p>\n\n

“Yes, my lord.”<\/p>\n\n

Voldemort raised his wand and\npointed it at Ron’s chest.  <\/p>\n\n

“Tout a un prix. Vous vous êtes\ndonnés me, je vous donnez votre souhait. Puissance,” he\nspoke; his voice void of all emotion, of all life.  A blood-red mist poured out of his wand and surrounded Ron.  He felt a surge of energy as the mist\ninvaded his body.  It was the best\nfeeling he had ever experienced.<\/p>\n\n

Slowly, Voldemort lowered his\nwand.  Ron looked him in the eye for a\nsecond.  Then, he bowed, once again\nkissing the hem of his master’s robes.<\/p>\n\n

“Thank you, My Lord.  I am honored to be in your service.”<\/p>\n\n

“You must speak of this to no one,\nnot even Draco.  You do not know if the\nenemy is listening.  You are\nexcused.  You will be summoned.”<\/p>\n\n

Ron made his final bow, and walked\nbackward to the door.  He did not turn\naround until he was outside, and the door was closed.  This would be his year. \nHe now had the power he craved. \nNo one, not even Harry, would be able to beat him.<\/p>\n\n\n\n\n\n\n" }, { "number": 2, "title": "Treading on Quicksand", "automated_import": 0, "known_broken": 0, "text": "\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n

Chapter 2: Treading on quicksand<\/p>\n\n

 <\/p>\n\n

Back at home, sitting on the bed, Ron could feel the\npower coursing through him.  It was the\nmost incredible thing that he had ever felt. \nHe felt alive.  There was no\nother word for it.  He could do\nanything, without needing to sleep or eat ever again.  Maybe that’s why Harry eats so little.  <\/p>\n\n

But no matter what he felt like, he still had to keep\nup appearances for his family.  He\npretended that he was just his normal, cheerful, invisible self.  The twins paid some attention to him, but it\nwas only to use him as a subject.  Ever\nsince they had gotten their hands on some money two years ago (who would be\nso foolish as to give those two money?), their number of pranks and\ninventions had skyrocketed.  Now that\nthey were on out of school, they were planning to buy a shop in Diagon\nAlley.  They had increased their\noriginal amount by selling products to Zonko’s, and were now fairly well\noff.  <\/p>\n\n

‘Just another reason to cast me into the shadows,’\nRon thought bitterly.  <\/p>\n\n

He privately considered himself a very good actor,\nsince no one had even hinted that he wasn’t his normal self.  They seemed to think he was his normal self\nagain, and were treating him as such. \nNone of them perceived the air of power that was now in him.  Typical that they wouldn’t notice.  What his family thought was of no importance\nto him anymore.  The Dark Lord thought\nthat he was worthy enough to receive the mark despite his family’s reputation.  It was only his Master’s opinion that\nmattered, after all.<\/p>\n\n

 <\/p>\n\n

******** <\/p>\n\n

 <\/p>\n\n

It had been two weeks since his initiation and Ron was\ngetting very irritated with his new master. \nHe had been reading the newspapers and there had been several attacks on\nMuggle homes, and on some Muggle-borns. \nRon hadn’t been summoned for any of them.  I joined to help Voldemort, and he doesn’t even summon me when\nhe plans an attack.  I thought that I\nwould be getting some recognition when I joined.  Apparently not.  <\/p>\n\n

The next morning, when he went downstairs for\nbreakfast, he picked up the paper, as was his new habit.  The cover story was another attack on Muggles,\nthis time in Surrey.  The name rung a\nbell in Ron’s head, but he didn’t think much of it.  He was always forgetting something.  He looked at the date to be sure that it was current, and to\nremind himself of what day it was.  July\n31.  Another alarm bell went off in his\nhead, but again, he ignored it, and continued to read the paper.<\/p>\n\n

 <\/p>\n\n

Muggle dies protecting her cats<\/p>\n\n

Death\neaters attacked Madeline Figg in her home in Surrey yesterday morning.<\/p>\n\n

The\nwoman was a muggle, and the mother of Arabella Figg, best friend of the late\nLily Potter, and extremely talented Auror. \nAccording to the neighbors, Figg has an obsession with cats, never\nhaving less than ten in her home.  She\nhad been warned by her daughter to be careful of leaving the house because of\nYou-Know-Who’s rebirth.  Despite some\nclose calls, Figg remained unharmed until yesterday.  She was found with her body on top of two live cats.  Authorities concluded that she tried to save\nher cats even in death.<\/p>\n\n

The\ndark mark was reported anonymously by one of the neighboring boys.  Authorities have not found the source of the\ninformation yet.  Since the owl arrived\nso soon after the attack, authorities suspect that it was sent by a death eater\nto lure authorities out of the ministry. \nAs of now, nothing is known about the informant, or the attack.<\/p>\n\n

 <\/p>\n\n

Once again, alarm bells started ringing in Ron’s\nhead.  Instead of ignoring them, he\nthought about the names mentioned in the article.  He did know Arabella Figg, she had been their Defense Against the\nDark Arts professor in fifth year.  He\nvaguely remembered someone mentioning that Old Mrs. Figg was a Muggle who loved\ncats.  He just couldn’t think of who it\nwas.  Maybe Hermione.  She was a Muggle born, but Ron wasn’t quite\nsure of where she lived.  Someone he\nknew lived in Surrey.  It was probably\nHermione.  Oh well.  He flipped to the Quidditch section.  The Cannons were at the top of the league\nfor the second year.  Ever since Oliver\nWood had been drafted as keeper.  Ron\nsmiled at that.  Wood was probably\ngiving the coach pointers about how to run the team.  He had led Gryffindor to the Quidditch cup his last year, even\nthough they lost one match.  The fact\nthat he had coached the famous Boy-Who-Lived didn’t hurt.<\/p>\n\n

Scanning the rest of the paper, Ron found nothing else\ninteresting.  He put his dishes into the\nsink and climbed the multiple flights of steps up to his room.  When he was satisfied that no one would\nbarge into his room, he rolled up his left sleeve and fingered the blood-red\nmark that was imbedded on his forearm. \nIt had turned black several times, but it never burned.  He had not been summoned to join the Dark Lord\nyet.  Sure, he had been initiated, but\nwhat good does the initiation do if you aren’t going to be serving?  He was starting to get anxious about when\nthe Dark Lord was going to call him.  He\ncouldn’t go in the middle of the day, someone might see him leaving, or\ndiscover that he was gone.  He would\nthen have to answer a deluge of questions, mostly from his mother, who never\nstopped pestering him.  Ginny would pipe\nup a vague note of concern when she was roused from her daydreams about Harry,\nand the Twins would just tease him mercilessly about his rendezvous with\nHermione or some local girl that they had noticed.  If he was called at night, it would be ok for the time being, but\nonce Harry arrived (and Hermione for that matter), it would be impossible.  Harry was a light sleeper due to a lifetime\nof abuse from his relatives, and years of being hunted by the Dark Lord.  <\/p>\n\n

But wait, Harry wouldn’t be coming this summer,\nagain.  He was spending the summer over\nat Hermione’s, snogging and doing homework. \nWhat fun.  So he could be\ncalled at night and go undetected.  He\nsmiled at the thought.  It was his first\nsmile in a day.<\/p>\n\n

 <\/p>\n\n

******* <\/p>\n\n

 <\/p>\n\n

Ron was drifting in his thoughts when he heard a knock\non the door.  He hastily stood up and\ncovered his mark.  He would be handed\nstraight to the ministry if his family found out.  <\/p>\n\n

Ron was expecting his mother to be at the door, but to\nhis surprise it was Ginny. <\/p>\n\n

“Ron, are you ok?” she asked, her eyes full of concern\nfor her older brother.<\/p>\n\n

“I’m fine.” <\/p>\n\n

Even though no one had asked about his well being yet,\nhe was a bit short-tempered.<\/p>\n\n

“Because I noticed that you didn’t send Harry a\nbirthday present.  He turned 17 today,\nyou know.”<\/p>\n\n

“Oh bugger.  I\ncompletely forgot.  I’ll send him a card\nand get a present before we go back to school. \nThanks, Gin, I completely forgot.” \nHe mentally slapped himself.  He\nknew why the alarms had gone off in his head while reading the newspaper.  Harry lived in Surrey too, and Mrs. Figg had\nbeen his babysitter when he was little.<\/p>\n\n

“What’s up with you? \nYou’ve been really preoccupied lately, and I don’t think I have ever\nseen you read the paper before.  It\nlooks like Hermione is rubbing off on you.” \nGinny joked, trying to improve Ron’s mood.  After all, he did seem distant.<\/p>\n\n

“No, she’s probably doing that to Harry right\nnow.  I don’t hear much from Harry\nduring the summer, and since You-Know-Who is so active now, I want to know if\nhe is hurt.  The paper is the only way\nto do it.”  He lied, about the paper\nanyway.  For all he knew, Hermione\nreally was rubbing Harry right now.<\/p>\n\n

“Ok then.  It\njust doesn’t seem like you to forget your best friend’s birthday.”  With that, she left, pulling the door closed\nbehind her.<\/p>\n\n

Ron sat back down on the bed and rolled up his sleeve\nagain.  This year he wouldn’t have to\nworry about anything, other than pretending to be on Dumbledore’s side.  The man could see through almost any\ndisguise or lie.  Just his luck that the\nfool was his headmaster.  I’ll just\nhave to stay out of trouble.  I can\navoid getting sent to Dumbledore’s office if I really try.  Harry is the one that is always in there.<\/p>\n\n

 <\/p>\n\n

Hermione is the same. \nShe had always been able to read Ron’s emotions and thoughts like a\nbook.  Well, he would have to avoid her\nas much as he could.  There was no other\nsolution to the problem.  No matter what\nhis relationship had been with her previously, she was a Muggle-born, and would\neventually be killed.  He didn’t want to\nbe close to her when that happened.  She\nhad been his friend for the last six years.<\/p>\n\n

 <\/p>\n\n

******** <\/p>\n\n

 <\/p>\n\n

Ron woke up in the middle of the night because his arm\nfelt like it was splitting open.  He\nmoved over to the window and pushed his sleeve up above the mark.  It was black, and the lines seemed to be\ngetting deeper in his skin.  He pressed\nhis hand over it and closed his eyes in an attempt to block out some of the\npain.  To his great surprise, it\nworked.  Be slowly opened his eyes and\nlooked at the tattoo.  It had reverted\nback to its regular red.   He looked\naround his room, but was startled to find that it wasn’t his room anymore.  Next to him were a cloak and a mask.  Finally, I’ve been summoned.  Took him long enough.  Ron put on the items left for him and moved\nto the door of Voldemort’s room.  Both\ndoors stood open, and inside, a circle of people was assembling.  There was an empty spot close to his\nmaster’s side, and silently, he walked over and filled it.  Before he took his place, he bowed low, and\nkissed the hem of his master’s robes, as he had seen the others do.  Slowly, the circle was filled with people,\nand when there were no empty spots left, Voldemort spoke.<\/p>\n\n

 <\/p>\n\n

“Tonight, we will start to our plan to defeat Albus\nDumbledore and the Order of the Phoenix,” he said.   “Part of that will be defeating Harry Potter.  We do not have much more time to find him\noutside of school.  He is very well\nprotected, and if he is still at his relatives, then he cannot be touched.  Not even by Ronald.  For although he is Mr. Potter’s friend, the\nwards will not let him pass since he now bears the Mark.”  Voldemort paused and looked around the\ncircle at the hidden faces of his servants.<\/p>\n\n

 <\/p>\n\n

“We now have two people inside of Hogwarts.  A student and a teacher.  It will be their job to find out a way to\nbreak the spells guarding the castle.” \nHe looked into Ron’s eyes, and Ron flinched slightly.  Not enough to be detected by his master, but\nthe look still gave him chills.  He\ndidn’t know how Harry could survive multiple encounters with the creature of\nalmost pure evil power that was standing in front of him.  He was glad that he was on the stronger\nside, should it come to war.  The other\nside’s strongest warriors were an old man and a young man.  Harry hadn’t been trained to fight, and\nDumbledore was past fighting age. \nStanding around him were at least 30 able bodied men, all at the peak of\ntheir strength.  The others fighting\nwith the old fool were not half as powerful as the people around him.  He allowed himself to smile slightly, and\nthen turned his attention back to the meeting.<\/p>\n\n

 <\/p>\n\n

“Wormtail, you will accompany Ronald back to Hogwarts\nas his pet.  That way, I will have three\nof my servants inside the castle.”<\/p>\n\n

 <\/p>\n\n

Ron stepped foreward. \n“My Lord,” he said, bowing, “It would not do to have Wormtail accompany\nme as a pet for the year.  He was my pet\nat one time, and both Harry and Hermione, as well as Sirius Black, Remus Lupin,\nand Dumbledore know who he really is.  I\nhave no doubt that one of those people would recognize who he really is and\neither kill him or turn him in.”  Ron\ngave another deep bow, and stepped back to his place in the circle.<\/p>\n\n

 <\/p>\n\n

“You make an excellent point.  What do you suggest we do about this?”\nVoldemort asked.<\/p>\n\n

Ron thought for a minute.  He did not want to risk upsetting his master.  He had already seen the punishments for\nthose whom Voldemort disapproved of. \nSlowly, he stepped forward.  <\/p>\n\n

 <\/p>\n\n

“My Lord, Wormtail should accompany me back to the\ncastle, but not as a pet.  He could\npretend to be just another rat.  As long\nas he stays out of the way of Harry, Hermione, Sirius, and Remus, he will be\nsafe.  Dumbledore has never seen him as\na rat, and will not recognize him.  This\nway, he can snoop around the castle, and he will not be caught.”  <\/p>\n\n

Ron bowed once again and stepped back to his place,\nonce again blending into the crowd.  It\nwas no easy matter to place an idea in front of the Dark Lord.  For just this once, he liked to be part of\nthe crowd.<\/p>\n\n

 <\/p>\n\n

“An excellent idea, Ronald.  Wormtail, I trust that it is not too much for you to get to\nHogwarts on your own?  You will report\nto Severus if you find any useful information. \nThat is all for the meeting, you are dismissed.”<\/p>\n\n

 <\/p>\n\n

As a group, they backed out of Voldemort’s throne\nroom, bowing before they stirred one step. \nWhen the door was closed, Ron rolled up his sleeve, and pressed his hand\nover it.  When he opened his eyes, he\nwas back in his orange room at the Burrow. \nHe looked at the clock, 3:42.  He\ngroaned.  He would need a lot of sleep\nto be ready to face the day of acting in front of his parents.  And his mum never looked well on having a\nlie-in.  Well, he could just pretend\nthat he wasn’t feeling well.  That always\nworked.  But then again, if he tried\nthat, he would have his mother on his back all day, babying him.  It wasn’t something that he really wanted.  Resolving to work it out in the morning, he\ncrawled into bed feeling completely drained. \nHe was asleep almost before his head hit the pillow.<\/p>\n\n

 <\/p>\n\n

******** <\/p>\n\n

 <\/p>\n\n

Ron was back at Hogwarts with Harry and Hermione.  They were snogging in a chair by the fire in\nthe common room.  He tried clearing his\nthroat to get their attention, but they just ignored it, and kept up their\nactivities.  <\/p>\n\n

He shivered. \nHe was pretty close to the fire. \nThe seventh years always got the good armchairs, but even though he was\nnext to the fire, he was freezing cold. \nAnd no matter how loud he shouted, his two best friends continued to\nignore him.  <\/p>\n\n

Suddenly, he spotted a figure slowly standing up\nbehind them.  Time slowed to a crawl as\nthe figure straightened.  He was hardly\ntaller than Harry and Hermione, even though they were sitting down.<\/p>\n\n

Ron stared in horror as a glint of sliver became visible\nin the mystery person’s hand.  The\nhigher he brought his hand, the longer the object seemed to grow.  It tapered to a point, and finally, it was\nraised high enough into the shadow that all that was visible was a gleaming\nsilver point, held in a gleaming silver hand.<\/p>\n\n

Realization slowly dawned on Ron that this was\nWormtail.  And he was about to kill his\ntwo friends.<\/p>\n\n

“Harry! Hermione! Run!  Wormtail is behind you!” \nHe screamed at them. \nProgressively growing louder and shriller as the point of the knife was\nbrought closer and closer to Hermione’s back.<\/p>\n\n

After what seemed like an eternity, they looked over\nat him.  The expression on their faces\nscared him.  They weren’t the smiling,\nfriendly faces of the people that he had been friends with for six years.  What was there was a cold shell of\nindifference, which was barely masking the pure hatred flashing in their eyes.<\/p>\n\n

“And why should we believe you?” Harry asked\ncoldly.  “You are just like him.  You betrayed us just like Wormtail betrayed\nmy parents.  You don’t belong in\nGryffindor.  Pack your stuff and move to\nSlytherin, where you belong.”  He\ncontinued to glare at Ron for another minute.<\/p>\n\n

Ron tried to speak, to argue his case.  <\/p>\n\n

“I would have been killed if I had said no,” he\nmanaged to stammer out.  As soon as the\nwords left his mouth he regretted it.<\/p>\n\n

“THEN YOU SHOULD HAVE DIED!” roared Harry.  “DIED RATHER THAN BETRAY YOUR FRIENDS, AS WE\nWOULD HAVE DONE FOR YOU!”  For a moment,\nboth Harry and Hermione’s faces shifted into the faces of Sirius and Remus on\nthat far away day in the shrieking shack.<\/p>\n\n

As soon as he blinked, Harry and Hermione’s faces had\nreturned to normal, and they were both glaring at him with a hatred that he had\nonly ever seen in his master’s eyes.<\/p>\n\n

They simultaneously pulled out their wands to curse\nhim, but he held up his hand to stop them.<\/p>\n\n

“Don’t bother. \nI’ll leave.  I’ll go and pack,\nand talk to Dumbledore about transferring houses.  Then neither of you has to put up with me again.”  He sighed. \nHe would be moving to a place where his family name was hated, where he\nwould never be a part of them.  Sure, he\nwas a servant of the Dark Lord, but he knew that his six years in Gryffindor\nwould keep them from trusting him fully; just as he two ex-friends didn’t trust\nhim now.<\/p>\n\n

He looked back at them.  They had resumed where they left off, and Harry’s hand had slid\nup underneath Hermione’s shirt.  Ron\ncouldn’t see Wormtail behind them anymore.<\/p>\n\n

Slowly, he got up from his seat, shivering, and made\nhis way up to the seventh year boy’s dorm. \nHe opened his trunk and started to pile his things into it.  He shrunk it, put it into his pocket, and\nwalked out of the dorm he had shared with Harry, Neville, Dean and Seamus for\nsix years.  He slowly descended the\nstairs to find that Hermione was now sitting at a table studying, and Harry was\nsitting in a chair staring into the fire. \n<\/p>\n\n

As Ron crossed to the portrait hole, Harry got up and\nwalked over to him.  His face was\nfriendly again.  Nothing remained of the\nmask of hatred that he had been wearing earlier.<\/p>\n\n

“Ron, where are you going?” He asked.<\/p>\n\n

“I told you, I am moving to Slytherin as soon as I\ntalk to Dumbledore about it.  Good-bye,\nHarry.”  <\/p>\n\n

“Nonesense.  I\ndidn’t tell you to do anything as drastic as that.  I just wanted you to leave us alone for a minute.  I didn’t want you to pack and move to our\nopposing house.”  Harry replied\ncheerfully.<\/p>\n\n

Ron saw a flash of silver close to Harry’s left\near.  With horror, he realized that\nWormtail had returned with his knife.<\/p>\n\n

“Harry! Watch out!” he screamed.<\/p>\n\n

“What are you talking about—” Harry’s words were cut\noff as a knife plunged through his back. \nHis body fell forward onto Ron. \nHe put up his hands to keep himself from being crushed by his friend’s\nbody.  He could only hold him up for a\nlittle, and Harry’s head soon hit the floor with a loud thump.<\/p>\n\n

Hermione rushed forward and cradled him in her arms,\nsobbing.  Ron stared unbelievingly at\nthe hands that had been unable to support his friend.  They were soaked in blood; Harry’s blood; the blood of thousands\nof people that had been murdered by his master.<\/p>\n\n

Hermione looked up at him.  <\/p>\n\n

“How could you, Ronald Judas Weasley?”<\/p>\n\n

He just stared at her, unable to answer.<\/p>\n\n

She continued. \n<\/p>\n\n

“And what did you get out of it, hm?  I hope something more than just thirty sickles.”  She turned her back on him, bent down to\npick up Harry, and carried him down into the great hall, so that everyone could\nsee what he had done.  Ron followed.  <\/p>\n\n

She stretched out Harry’s body on the Gryffindor\ntable, and with a flick of her wand turned all of the hangings around the hall\nblack.  She climbed to the top of the\ntable and looked out at the people around her. \nShe spotted Ron and pointed him out for everyone to see.  <\/p>\n\n

“I give you Ronald Judas Weasley, the betrayer, who is\nno better than his old pet rat.”  With\nthat, she pulled out a knife out of her robes and held it to her chest.  She looked down at Harry, “my love, I am\njoining you now and forever.”  With\nthose final words, she stabbed herself, her body falling and covering Harry’s.<\/p>\n\n

The crowd of students pushed Ron back into the darkest\ncorner in the hall, and no matter how hard he tried, he could not escape the\ndarkness around him.  He continued to\nstruggle for days, but to no avail.<\/p>\n\n

 <\/p>\n\n

******* <\/p>\n\n

 <\/p>\n\n

With a start, Ron woke up,\nhis body covered in sweat and shaking. \nIt was the worst dream that he had ever experienced, but he couldn’t\nremember the details.  No matter how\nhard he tried to remember what had gone on, it didn’t work.  <\/p>\n\n

Eventually, he gave\nup.  Tomorrow is another day.  I’ll\nthink about it tomorrow.  And with that, he fell asleep again.<\/p>\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n" }, { "number": 3, "title": "Ankle Deep", "automated_import": 0, "known_broken": 0, "text": "\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nChapter 3: Ankle Deep\n\n

September 1st was rapidly approaching\nand Ron was starting to feel very nervous. \nWormtail had been at the castle for a few weeks, following Snape at the\nend of the professor’s summer holidays. \nNot that he needs to get the feel of the castle, Ron thought.<\/p>\n\n

What was really bugging him was the fact\nthat he would have to face Harry and Hermione again.  Being a death-eater was fine away from the castle, but once he\nwas back, it would be a lot more work to keep up the façade in front of the two\npeople that knew him best.  He started\nto make a mental checklist of things that he couldn’t do around his two\nfriends.  1: no pulling up my sleeve,\nI need to keep long sleeves on at all times. \n2: avoid the shower when it is full. \n3: avoid talking about the Dark Lord. \n4: Avoid trouble so that I don’t get sent to Dumbledore’s office.  <\/p>\n\n

When he was satisfied that he had a\nthorough list, he stood up and started packing his things.  Maybe the year would be fun after all.<\/p>\n\n

*                    *                    *<\/p>\n\n

Once he was on the Hogwarts Express, Ron\nbreathed a sigh of relief.  It had taken\nall of his will not to walk around and find Harry and Hermione.  He knew where they would be: the prefect and\nhead student compartments at the front of the train.  For that reason, he chose a compartment towards the back that was\nmercifully empty.  Hopefully Harry and\nHermione would be too involved in their snogging to notice that he hadn’t seen\nthem.  If they did walk in, he had an\nexcuse prepared: He wasn’t a prefect or head boy, so he wasn’t allowed in their\ncompartment.  Satisfied that they would\nbelieve his excuse, he conjured a pillow and blanket, stretched out on the\nbench, and drifted off to sleep.<\/p>\n\n

Several hours later, he was rudely\nawakened by the force of the door slamming open.  In an instant, his wand was in his hand, and a hex on his lips.  It was only Malfoy.<\/p>\n\n

“What do you want, Malfoy?”  He asked irritably.  At the same time, he waved his wand to clear\naway his comfortable bedding.<\/p>\n\n

“We need to talk, Weasley,” Malfoy said\nin his typical drawling, snobby voice. \n“The Dark Lord may approve of you and your plans, but you are a\nGryffindor, and I don’t trust you.  I\ndon’t care what Voldemort thinks.” He spat the word ‘Gryffindor’ with his\ncharacteristic hatred.<\/p>\n\n

“If that’s all you wanted to say, then I\nsuggest you leave.  Unless you want a\nrepeat of the incident from three years ago.” \nRon snarled.  Once again, his\nvoice surprised him.  Maybe it wasn’t\njust from the curse.<\/p>\n\n

“Fine. \nJust remember, I don’t trust you farther than I can spit.”  With those final words, he left, slamming\nthe door a second time.<\/p>\n\n

Ron conjured the pillows and blankets\nagain; hoping that this time, whoever woke him would be nicer about it.<\/p>\n\n

He was right about the kindness of the\nsecond, but it was Harry, the one person he wasn’t ready to face.  He quickly looked down to check that his arm\nwas covered, and was immensely relieved to see that it was.<\/p>\n\n

“Ron! Where have you been!  Hermione’s been worried sick that you missed\nthe train, or something.  Why didn’t you\nfind us when you got on?” Harry asked. \nHis expression was a mixture of relief and puzzlement.<\/p>\n\n

“I … I didn’t think that I would be able\nto be in your compartment.  It’s\nreserved for prefects and heads, isn’t it?” \nDespite his well-prepared excuse, he stuttered a little bit, feeling\nguilty about lying to Harry.<\/p>\n\n

“You know that you are welcome anytime,\ndon’t you?  I mean even if we are the\nhead students, you are still our best friend.” \nHarry said.<\/p>\n\n

“Sorry, but I did need to catch up on\nsome sleep.  I haven’t been sleeping\nwell for a while.” He wasn’t lying this time. \nVoldemort often called in the dead of night, but Ron had been excluded\nfrom most of the meetings.  But once he\nwas awakened because of the burning in the mark, he often found it hard to\nreturn to sleep.  Half of him was angry\nthat Voldemort wasn’t calling him, and the other half carried twinges of guilt\nabout betraying his friends, family, professors, and Dumbledore.  He always managed to brush away those\nfeelings, and it was mostly the anger that kept him up at night.<\/p>\n\n

“Well, wake up, we’re almost there.  I’ll let you get changed on your own.”  For the first time, Ron noticed that Harry\nwas in his school uniform, complete with the Head Boy badge, still shiny from\nthe countless times Percy had polished it, and the Quidditch captain pin,\ncovered in dirt, reminiscent of Oliver Wood.<\/p>\n\n

Harry gave him one last smile before\nwalking out and gently closing the door behind him.  As soon as the door clicked into place, Ron breathed a sigh of\nrelief.  One down, one to go.  Acting normal in front of Hermione would be\nharder, she was always so much more observant than Harry.  He would have to be very careful in front of\nher.  And Harry, for that matter, since\nhe would probably be discussing everything with her.  He would just have to watch what he said and did carefully when\nhe was around either of them.  While he\nwas changing, he mentally ran through his checklist, and when he was fully\nclothed, he was confident that he could act normally in front of the rest of\nthe house, and most likely in front of Harry and Hermione, but hopefully they\nwould be too wrapped up in each other to notice any off behavior on his\npart.  Just remember Weasley, keep\nyour arm covered.<\/p>\n\n

He glanced once more at his arm, as\nthough expecting the mark to show through the sleeve, when it didn’t, he took a\ndeep breath and walked out of the compartment to try to find his fellow\nGryffindors.<\/p>\n\n

*                    *                    *<\/p>\n\n

“Ron!” <\/p>\n\n

Ron looked around in the direction his\nname came from.  Great.  Just whom I wanted to see.  Harry and Hermione came running up the path\nfrom the front of the train.<\/p>\n\n

“There you are!” Harry exclaimed, out of\nbreath.  Ron scowled internally as he\nnoticed his friends’ fingers intertwined between them.  He pretended to be happy, and smiled at them.  He hoped that they wouldn’t notice how\nforced it was.<\/p>\n\n

Hermione dropped Harry’s hand, and gave\nRon a quick hug.  Harry gave him a quick\none before joining hands with Hermione again. \nHe noticed Hermione was also wearing the Head Girl badge, though it\nwasn’t as shiny as Harry’s.<\/p>\n\n

“Well,” Ron started as a way to break the\nsilence, “why are we standing around?  I\nbelieve that the feast is about to start. \nI’m starving!”<\/p>\n\n

“Always thinking of your stomach, eh\nRon?”  Harry joked, giving Ron a playful\npunch in the shoulder.<\/p>\n\n

Ron winced as Harry’s fist connected with\nhim.  Even though it was through his\nclothes, Ron could feel the slight burn of Harry’s tough.  5: don’t touch Harry.   After committing the last item on his\nchecklist to memory, he followed Harry and Hermione to the carriages, hoping\nthat Harry wouldn’t see Wormtail during the feast.<\/p>\n\n

*                    *                    *<\/p>\n\n

The feast went better than he had hoped,\nand soon he found himself once again trailing Harry and Hermione up to\nGryffindor Tower.  By the time they\nreached the fat lady, Ron had started to feel somewhat guilty.  He didn’t belong in Gryffindor anymore.  He belonged with Malfoy and Crabbe and Goyle\nin Slytherin.  But then he thought of\nthe advantages he would be able to provide for his master.  A way into Harry Potter’s room and life.<\/p>\n\n

For the rest of the night, he sat and\nstared into the fire while Harry and Hermione chatted.  To make them think that he was really paying\nattention, he interjected a few comments here and there, mostly about the\nlooming war, and the attacks that had happened over the summer.  He could tell that Harry felt guilty about\nnot being able to save the people that had died, but he saw that it was\nHermione’s job to comfort him.<\/p>\n\n

Finally, around 11pm, Harry and Hermione\nstood up to go to bed.  Instead of\nseparating at the bottom of the separate boy’s and girl’s staircases, they went\ntogether to a tapestry between the two. \nHarry muttered something under his breath, and a door appeared.  They disappeared inside, together.<\/p>\n\n

Damn. \nMaster won’t be too pleased at this. \nI can get someone into the common room, and locate their door, but I\ncan’t get inside.  Maybe this is going\nto be harder than I thought.  He would just have to make sure that they\nstill trusted him enough to give him their password.  It would take every bit of energy he had to convince them that he\nwas still their friend, when he wanted nothing more than to stay away from\nthem.  <\/p>\n\n

He sat staring into the fire for a few\nmore hours before he realized that the common room was deserted.  He yawned, stretched, and headed to\nbed.  He almost screamed when he saw the\nrat curled up on his pillow.  He knew\nright away that it was Wormtail, but he welcomed the rat’s presence.  Maybe, just for one night, he could pretend\nthat everything was the same as it used to be. \nHarry asleep in the bed next to him (he noticed that there were only 4\nbeds in the dormitory this year), Hermione in her dormitory, and Scabbers\nasleep in his bed.  While he knew that\nthe first two couldn’t possibly happen this year, Scabbers really was in his bed,\nand even though he knew what the rat really was, it was a comfort to have his\nold pet back.<\/p>\n\n

*                    *                    *<\/p>\n\n

The next morning was worse than he\nthough.  Ron woke up to Harry’s\npersistent poking, and he knew that when he went to shower, there would be\nlittle fingerprint-sized burns on his skin.<\/p>\n\n

“Go away, Potter!” he said crankily.  Quickly, he realized what he said.  Luckily for him, Harry seemed to take it as\nhis normal morning grumpiness.<\/p>\n\n

“Ron, if you don’t hurry up, you’ll miss\nbreakfast, then Hermione and I will have to listen to you complaining about\nyour stomach all morning.  So get up!”<\/p>\n\n

Ron groaned, and Harry took that as a\nyes.  At least, he left the room, and\nleft Ron to his own devices.  Ron\ndressed quickly, and went downstairs to find Harry and Hermione engaged in a\nmorning snog.  Without a word, he walked\npast them, and headed down to breakfast, his stomach growling in agreement.<\/p>\n\n

When his friends showed up a few (15)\nminutes later, they acted as though they were surprised to see him there.  <\/p>\n\n

“We didn’t know you were already down\nhere.  We waited for you for a while,\nbut you never showed up,” Hermione commented, “I guess that’s because you left\nbefore us.”<\/p>\n\n

Does snogging kill that may brain\ncells?  Before they were together, she\nwouldn’t have felt the need for such a useless comment.  Guess Harry’s obliviousness has been rubbing\noff on her.  Instead of voicing his thoughts, he gave\nthem a quick smile, and placed the rest of his concentration of eating his\nbreakfast.<\/p>\n\n

When he was finished, he mumbled some\nexcuse about having to go get his stuff up in the tower (which was true, he HAD\nleft all of his books there), and quickly left the table, aware of the two\npairs of eyes, one green and one brown, boring a hole into his back.<\/p>\n\n

He looked at his schedule, which he had\ngrabbed before leaving the table, to see what classes he had today.  Potions, damn it, paired with slytherin\nagain.  Herbology, double with\nHufflepuff.  Divination.  History of Magic.  When he reached is dorms, he grabbed all of his necessary books\nand his wand, and made his way down to potions early.<\/p>\n\n

Even though he had left breakfast early,\nthe trip to the tower took longer than he thought, and he had to make a mad\ndash to be on time for potions.  Even\nthough Snape was on his side, he knew that to keep pretenses up, his tardiness\nwould cost points.  He managed to make\nit into the room about two seconds before the bell rang, and the only seat left\nwas the one his friends had saved for him, right next to them.<\/p>\n\n

The period was torturous.  They had each been given individual\nassignments, and it seemed that Snape was trying to target all of their\nweaknesses.  His potion was a\npain-reducing potion, Harry was making a power-inducing potion that was fairly\ncomplex, and Hermione was brewing a universal protection potion, which was\nstrong enough to protect the drinker from Avada Kedavara, if brewed\ncorrectly.  <\/p>\n\n

He knew Snape was out for vengeance with\nthat one, since no one had brewed it correctly for over five hundred years,\naccording to the history books.  And\nfrom what he could see of Hermione’s concentration, she wouldn’t do it\neither.  Harry, on the other hand,\nseemed to be completely absorbed in his task. \nRon thought that he possibly had a chance to do it correctly.<\/p>\n\n

Since Ron was completely wrapped up in\nthinking about his friend’s possible failures, he failed to notice that he had\nbotched his own.  In an instant, his\ncauldron had melted Neville-style, and his potion was flowing through the\ndungeon.<\/p>\n\n

“Weasley!  I thought that only Longbottom was capable of melting a cauldron\nwith such a simple potion.  Thirty\npoints from Gryffindor, and detention with me tonight.  Class dismissed.”<\/p>\n\n

The rest of the day was as bad as potions\nhad been.  He got tangled in a Devil’s\nsnare in herbology, received a death prediction from Trelawney (he would die at\nHarry’s side, after they had defeated he-who-must-not-be-named (Ron laughed at\nthe irony)), and was hit by a quiz in history of magic.<\/p>\n\n

And no matter how hard he tried, he\ncouldn’t avoid Harry and Hermione.  They\ninsisted on tagging along after him no matter how much he told them to go and\nhave some time to themselves.<\/p>\n\n

“But Ron,” Harry protested, “we had time\ntogether all summer, and we missed you.”<\/p>\n\n

“Really, Harry, just go and enjoy your\ntime with Hermione,” her replied every time Harry hit him with the\nprotest.  In the end, Harry caved, but\nsoon Hermione started bugging him, too. \nIt was harder to lie to her.<\/p>\n\n

About a hundred repetitions of his\nprotest later, it was time for his detention. \nHe made a show of not wanting to go spend a few hours with Snape, and\nleft quickly.  He was almost in the\ndungeon classroom when the mark started to burn.  He met Snape at the door, and was quickly pulled inside, the door\nlocked, and the fireplace lit.<\/p>\n\n

Snape didn’t say anything.  He just stepped into the fire and touched\nhis mark.  Ron followed his example, and\nsoon found himself in the somewhat familiar chambers of the Dark Lord.<\/p>\n\n

“Welcome back, my faithful servants…”<\/p>\n\n

*                    *                    *                    *                    *<\/p>\n\n

A\/N: Yes, I had to leave the chapter in a\ncliffhanger; it was the only way for me to believably set up the next\nchapter.  Hope you liked it.<\/p>\n\n

Cheers!<\/p>\n\n

~*~Professor Granger~*~<\/p>\n\n\n\n\n\n\n" }, { "number": 4, "title": "I'm Falling", "automated_import": 0, "known_broken": 0, "text": "\n\n\n\n

I’m Falling<\/p>\n\n

*                       *                       *<\/p>\n\n

 <\/p>\n\n

            “Welcome\nback, my faithful servants.  I know that\nthis meeting time is inconvenient for some of you,” he looked at three of the\nrobed figures standing silently in front of him.  “I have a treat for my newest servant.  It will prove his loyalty to me. \nIf he fails, then he will be killed. \nThe task is not impossible, nor is it hard, unless my servant is a\ntraitor.”  Voldemort paused for effect,\nstaring into the black eyes of all of the masks in front of him.  “Weasley! Snape! Step forward.”<\/p>\n\n

            With hesitation, Ron did.  It made him nervous that the dark lord might\nconsider him a traitor already, when he had only attended two meetings.  It must be the fact that I’m in\nGryffindor with Harry Potter, he thought. \nBut Wormtail was in Gryffindor, too, and as far as I know, he’s\nloyal.<\/p>\n\n

            He didn’t look to the side, but he\ncould feel Snape’s overpowering presence next to him.  It was every bit as intimidating as it was in the Potions\nclassroom, and it was almost as strong as his Master’s was.  Together, they knelt in front of the Dark\nLord, kissed his robes, and retreated a few steps in silence.  Ron stared straight ahead, keeping his face\nas blank as possible, even though it was covered by his mask, and shaded by his\nhood.<\/p>\n\n

            The dark lord made a motion with his\nhands, and Wormtail stepped out from behind the throne, dragging three people\nbehind him.  One was a middle-aged,\nlarge and beefy man.  Ron struggled to\nkeep his face blank as he recognized who it was, and who the other two must\nbe.  It was Harry’s muggle relatives,\nthe ones that he had to live with over the summer, who hated him.<\/p>\n\n

            “Weasley, we are going to play a\nlittle game.  Snape has played many\ntimes, as have all of my other servants.” Voldemort smiled sadistically.  “I am giving you the gift of three\nmuggles.  You may do with them as you\nlike, but keep them alive.  When you are\ndone, they will be returned to their home, with their memory intact.  It will serve my purpose of destroying\nPotter.” <\/p>\n\n

            Those that didn’t know exactly who the\nthree muggles were were puzzled by the Dark Lord’s statement.  How could torturing three stupid muggles\nbring down Harry Potter?  Ron knew the\nanswer to that one.  Over the summer, he\nwas safe from Voldemort while he was at his relative’s house, but he wasn’t\nsafe from his relatives.  It was\ningenious.<\/p>\n\n

            Remembering a story Harry had once\ntold him about the boa constrictor at the Zoo, Ron slowly drew his wand and\nhissed, “serpensortia!”  Slowly,\na large black snake fell out of his wand. \nIt spied its new targets, and moved menacingly forward, circling them\nslowly.<\/p>\n\n

            Ron felt instinctively that he had\ncontrol over the snake, as though he had cast the Imperious Curse on it.  He thought about what he wanted it to do,\nand watched with some amusement as it followed his orders.<\/p>\n\n

            It continued to circle, getting\ncloser to the muggles every time. \nFinally, it was brushing their feet every time it passed, and Ron felt a\nsmall bit of satisfaction as he watched the muggles trembling with fear.  It circled a few more times, before curling\nup in front of Harry’s annoying cousin. \nIt raised itself until it was looking straight into the frightened boy’s\neyes and bared its fangs, as though it was about to strike.  Ron noticed the small, rank smelling pool\nthat had formed at the boy’s feet.  Typical,\ncowardly muggle. He thought.  It\nbrought a smile to his face.<\/p>\n\n

            My father’s a fool to like them\nso much, he thought.  He called his\nmind back to the present, and watched as the boy passed out in fright, almost\nlanding on his mother, who had done the same thing a few minutes before.  He hit the ground with a resounding\nthud.  Harry’s uncle looked down at his\nwife and child and screamed.  Ron\nlaughed and sent a minor pain spell his way. \nNot as strong as an unforgivable, but enough.  The muggle didn’t know the difference, and continued to scream\nuntil his throat was completely dry. \nFinally, Ron released him, banished the snake, bowed to Voldemort, and\nbacked up so that he was once again standing in the circle of silent, black\nfigures.<\/p>\n\n

            He smiled, glad that his mask\nprevented anyone from seeing his emotions. \nHe knew that Harry would be happy about the little episode, until he\nwent home for the summer.  Then he would\nregret ever having defeated the Dark Lord in the first place.  <\/p>\n\n

Wormtail levitated the bodies out of the\nchamber, and Voldemort let out a high, cruel laugh.  Harry had described it to him before, but it was nothing like he\nhad ever imagined.  It rang with\ncruelty, power, and malice.  Once again,\nRon felt himself smiling.  He liked the\nsound.<\/p>\n\n

Finally, Voldemort spoke again.  “Weasley, you are indeed a faithful servant,\na very impressive show.  Thank you,”\nVoldemort clapped his hands for a few seconds, and abruptly stopped.  The sound echoed for a few seconds, before\nthe room fell into a strangled silence. \n“Weasley, I want you to continue to find ways to bring down Potter, you\nare closest to him, and he trusts you. \nMake sure you don’t betray that trust,” He let out a short, harsh laugh,\nand the sound died the instant he stopped. \nThe room was once again silent for a while before Voldemort barked\n“Dismissed!”<\/p>\n\n

Ron followed Snape out of the room, and\nback to the fireplace.  Within seconds,\nhe slammed into the ground in the Potion master’s dungeon, and scrambled out of\nthe way, so that Snape could return as well.<\/p>\n\n

“Well done, Weasley.” He said as he came\nout of the floo.  “I didn’t expect that\nfrom you.”<\/p>\n\n

Without saying a word, Ron took off his\nmask, handed it to Snape, and left.<\/p>\n\n

*                       *                       *<\/p>\n\n

Back in the Gryffindor Common room, Ron\nsat in front of the fire thinking about what he had just done.  He had never thought that he would be a\nperson to torture muggles, especially given what his dad thought about\nthem.  He would be disappointed in me,\nRon thought.  But he probably won’t\never find out.  <\/p>\n\n

He sighed and continued to stare into the\nfire, getting lost in the swirling, dancing colors.  Hours passed and he didn’t notice.  He wasn’t asleep, but he had stopped thinking hours ago.  His mind was locked in a fierce battle, but\nhe wasn’t even aware of it anymore.  It\ndidn’t matter.  He would serve his\nmaster no matter what.  He had pledged\nhis life, and he would give it.<\/p>\n\n

“Ron!” <\/p>\n\n

Ron started, and looked around to see\nwhom it was.  It was Hermione, standing\nin her doorway.  He cursed himself for\nforgetting that she was an early riser. \nShe liked to have the peace and quiet before the daily grind of classes,\nas she always told him and Harry.  It\nwas the one thing that she did that she didn’t try to persuade them to join\nher.<\/p>\n\n

“Hey, Hermione.”  Ron looked guiltily at her.  He didn’t want to talk to anyone, especially\nher, but he couldn’t get out of the conversation now, he had returned the\ngreeting.<\/p>\n\n

“What are you doing out here?” she\nasked.  “I thought you would still be in\nbed.  You’re never up early.”<\/p>\n\n

“I couldn’t sleep after detention last\nnight,” he said.  It was true, he\nmused.  He couldn’t sleep.  Hadn’t slept.  “so I just sat down and fell asleep in the chair.”  That was a lie.  He couldn’t remember any other time that he had lied to her, but\nshe couldn’t know what he did, or he wouldn’t be able to follow his\norders.  If he didn’t, it would be\ndisaster.  “I’m sorry if I’m intruding\non your personal time, Hermione.” He looked at her with the most sincere\nexpression he could put on.  He really\nwas sorry.  If it were his time, he\nwould have blown up at the offender.  As\nit was, Hermione searched his face, and sat down in the chair next to him.<\/p>\n\n

“It’s ok, Ron.  I want to talk to you anyway.” <\/p>\n\n

Ron cringed, turning his face away from\nher so that she wouldn’t see the expression. \nShe couldn’t have figured anything out this quickly.  He had only been to three meetings, and one\nduring his supposed detention time.  <\/p>\n\n

She continued, not noticing his\nsilence.  “I’m sorry Harry and I have\nbeen spending so much time together. \nWe’re both concerned that you’ve been feeling left out.”  She looked at him much more carefully this\ntime.  “If you do have a problem, just\ntell us, and we’ll behave.  I promise.”\nShe smiled, and gave his hand a small squeeze.<\/p>\n\n

“It’s ok, Hermione.  I promise. \nI’ve just been thinking a lot lately. \nI hardly noticed the change.”  That’s\na lie, he thought.  I\nnoticed as soon as I saw you on the train. \nYou couldn’t wait to get away from me so that you could be alone\ntogether.  If you think that’s the\ntruth, then something happened to you.  He\nlooked at her with what he hoped was a sincere expression.  Serving the Dark Lord really does have\nbenefits.  At least I learned how to\ncontrol my facial expressions.  <\/p>\n\n

She smiled and nodded, obviously thinking\nabout something that she wasn’t ready to put into words yet.  They sat there for a while in dead silence\nbefore Hermione spoke again.<\/p>\n\n

“You’ve changed, Ron.  I don’t know what happened to you, but\nsomething did.  Is it your family?” She\nasked.<\/p>\n\n

Damn. \nBreath.  Think.  Lie.  “No, I think it’s\njust that it’s the last year of school. \nIt’s strange to think that the next time we leave the castle it will be\nfor good.  Unless, of course, you come\nback to teach.  I don’t think either\nHarry or I are fit for the job.  We\nwouldn’t assign homework, and we’d constantly have McGonagall on our backs for\nit.”  Breathe Weasley.  Don’t let her see that you are lying.<\/p>\n\n

“I never thought that you would be sad at\nthe thought of leaving school.  Just\nthink: after the next nine months, we won’t have to see Snape ever again.”<\/p>\n\n

Oh yes I will.  If I’m going to continue to be in the Dark Lord’s service after\nschool, then I’m going to have to see him. \nHe really isn’t that bad.  “Thank god for that.  I don’t know why he continues to teach.  The students don’t like him, and no one ever\nunderstands what’s going on.”  <\/p>\n\n

“Oh Ron, If you would pay attention in\nclass instead of trying to plot ways to sabotage his class then you might get\nbetter marks.”  She laughed at her own\njoke.<\/p>\n\n

“Not that you can pay attention in any\nclass we share with our savior, Mr. Potter.” \nHe put an extraordinary amount of emphasis on savior, but she\ntook it as nothing more than it used to be: a jab at everyone’s view of Harry.<\/p>\n\n

But Ron had meant it in a different\nway.  Sure, the wizarding world saw him\nas a hero for blocking the curse of the Dark Lord once, but to keep thinking\nthat he was a hero when he had actually helped the Dark Lord to rise\nagain was absurd.  And there was also\nthe issue of how fast he would fall now that his “best friend” had betrayed\nhim.  Had been for two months without\nanyone knowing any differently.  He\nsnickered quietly.<\/p>\n\n

Finally, Hermione gave up trying to talk\nto him, seeing that he clearly wasn’t in the mood for it.  She squeezed his hand again, and left,\npresumably to go back to her room to say good morning to Harry.<\/p>\n\n

Ron wiped his hand on his pants as soon\nas she was gone.  He really liked\nHermione.  She was smart, funny, kind,\nbeautiful and several other adjectives that came to his mind, but hurt too much\nto think.  But she was muggle-born, and\ncould never live up to proper wizarding standards.  As much as he liked her and respected her abilities,  he still had to watch himself when he was\naround her.  Her attention to details\nwas as good as ever, and now that she suspected he was acting strangely, she\nwould stop at nothing to find out what was wrong.  Unless he managed to stay out of her way, so that she could\noccupy herself with Harry.  If he couldn’t\nstay away from her, then there would be nothing he could do to keep his secret\nfrom her.<\/p>\n\n

He knew that he would never be able to\nharm her.  She had once been his best\nfriend (besides Potter).  He had talked\nto her about everything from potions homework to their first love interests\n(his had been her), and they had been on a few stumbling dates before they had\nrealized that they truly were just friends.  Even if she wasn’t a proper witch, she shouldn’t be killed.  Her intellect was superior, and if she\nmarried a proper, pure-blooded wizard, their children could be legendary.  He might even persuade them to follow in\ntheir “Uncle Ron’s” footsteps.  <\/p>\n\n

He knew that Draco Malfoy was bent on\ngetting her killed.  He just had to make\nsure that he never attempted anything. \nHe could argue that she was too close to Potter, and would bring his\nattention to them before they were ready for a fight.<\/p>\n\n

Harry, Potter, deserved to die.  He had defeated the Dark Lord too many\ntimes, and he needed to be taken down a peg, even if the only way to do it was\nto kill him.  He couldn’t be allowed to\nsurvive in the regime the Dark Lord wanted to build.  No doubt he would be a foolish Gryffindor and lead a puny\nresistance, only to be crushed along with his small legions.  It was too risky to keep him around.  He would find some way to take them all down.\n The only way to prevent that was to\ntake him down first.  Simple, really,\nwhich is why Harry would never expect it.  It saddened him that he was thinking about his former best friend\nin this manner, but it was all for the general good of the wizarding world.  After all, their supposed savior was a\nhalf-blood anyway.  He ignored the fact\nthat he was currently serving a Master whose blood was less pure than Harry’s.<\/p>\n\n

He had pledged his life to the Dark Lord,\nand he would give it if necessary.  He\nwas willing to make the sacrifice for a worthy cause, and it truly was.  It would give all wizards something to be\nproud of.  They wouldn’t have to hide\nfrom the muggles.  They would eventually\nkill all of them, and populate the world with wizards.  And they would all be pure-blooded.  No more contamination of the\npopulation.  Squibs wouldn’t be allowed\nto reproduce, since they were as worthless as muggles.  The only difference was that they knew about\nthe wizarding world.  <\/p>\n\n

Oh well, he thought, Time to get on with my\nday.  Rule number 1 Weasley: Don’t show\nyour arm, and Rule number 2: Pretend you aren’t a servant of the Dark\nLord.  You can’t afford to slip up so\nsoon.<\/p>\n\n

With a sigh, he got up to get changed\n(without showing his left forarm).  It\nwas time to face the day in the way he always did: As the Great Harry Potter’s\nsidekick.  He knew that one day that it\nwould change.  That Potter would be\nfollowing him around, preferably in chains. \nBut it would be better if he was just plain dead.  <\/p>\n\n

As he was leaving the dorm, and idea\nstruck him.  Why not capture Sirius\nBlack?  They could hand him over to the\nministry, and no one would know who did it. \nBlack would immediately get the Kiss, and Potter would be ruined.  Then they could work on Lupin, one by one, taking\naway all of the people that had been close to Lily and James Potter.  It would kill Harry, and he would have less\nwork to do.  It was too easy.  But then I have to find Black first.  And if he even suspects that anyone is after\nhim, he’ll run.  But Dumbledore…  A much easier target.  Harry’s beloved mentor must be brought down.<\/p>\n\n\n\n\n\n\n" } ] } }