One could say that it started with his fame.

That would be a lie.

He was addicted to the prick of the needle, the sensation of falling asleep, the oddness and glory of dreamscapes.

One could say that he was forced into it.

Oh no. He took the plunge to this criminal underground wide-eyed and bushy tailed. He knew what he was getting into.

It had started when the bitch took his children. Small time jobs at first, breaking and entering. Then, when his best friend took the bitch's side, it escalated. Quickly.

Assault.

Aggravated Assault without use of a wand.

Aggravated Assault with use of a wand.

Murder.

Theft.

The list went on and on until his so-called friend yanked him aside after he had gotten himself fired. "Ron, I can't keep covering for you anymore!" Harry said, his eyes wild and his hair sticking straight up. "You killed that-."

Ron met his eyes, sneered, and broke his wand in front of his lying face. Then, as effectively revoking his citizenship to the magical world, he punched the famous Man-Who-Won in the face.

+.+.+

Ron took the job with them because he was bored. Cobb and Arthur were looking for an architect for this gig, and he was the only one in Ireland when they were looking.

"Alder Wess," Ron said, shaking the hand of Cobb, "Nice to meet you face to face."

"Likewise," Cobb said, distracted. He was constantly glancing around, looking for something or someone. The man standing behind him looked faintly pained.

"Arthur," Cobb introduced, gesturing behind him, "My partner."

"Right," Ron said, "Shall we get on with it?"

+.+.+

The practice runs went fine.

The first level of a three level dream went fine.

It was the second level where it all went to shit.

Ron was out in the first three minutes of that level, taken out by a headshot by a demented French female projection, and had to kick the others. They had to go out through a bloody window to get away!

"The fuck was that!" He shouted as soon as they were back to home base, slamming the door shut as soon as Cobb and Arthur were through it. "She shouldn't have even fucking reacted! We hadn't triggered anything! What did you do?" He slammed a hand down on the table. Behind him, a lightbulb started to shake.

"It won't happen again," Arthur said flatly. " , the mark does not suspect a thing. We can go back."

Ron glared at him. Then, he looked at Cobb. The man was a mess, his shirt was crumpled, his hair was out of it's usual careful array. A realization dawned. "You knew the projection."

Cobb glanced up, "No." He said, but he was looking guilty.

Ron snarled in disbelief. "You knew her. What did you do?" The light shattered. Arthur looked up in surprise.

"Nothing!" Cobb snapped, "It was an accident and it won't happen again!"

Ron snorted. "You're setting up the kick on the first level," he said flatly. Cobb looked relieved that he wasn't refusing to work with them. Arthur was watching him carefully.

+.+.+

Despite what Arthur had said, the mark was on the lookout for them. Despite waking up in his office without anything amiss, something must have set it off. It took much longer than it should have to engineer a situation that left the mark alone for several hours.

Cobb stayed on the first level, and from there it was easy to get what they needed. Too easy. Ron was on edge when he woke up, gritting his teeth. Something was going to happen and soon.

They parted ways after establishing that Ron wouldn't be working with them unless Cobb got rid of the projection following him around like a lost puppy, and shook off their most sincere apologies. Ron didn't really care. He had gotten the fifty thousand dollars he was promised, and he was flying to Bermuda for a well deserved break.

+.+.+

Living life without magic wasn't difficult as everyone claimed. It was the culture shock that got you, and Ron knew how the muggle world worked after the year on the run.

He was good.

It would be so much better if the bitch would let him see his children. Ron scowled and started sketching a dreamscape.

THE END