It didn't take a long time before Ron remembered being Stunned from behind back at the Department of Mysteries. He couldn't believe it happened again, and this time it was the Order of the Phoenix. Both his wrists and upper body were roped tightly, and he didn't need any notice that his wand was taken away. Right now, he was stuck and Ron was pissed. "Where am I?" he questioned them.

"None of your business," growled Moody. "We're the ones asking questions here."

"Right, and you think I'm going to speak up," sneered back Ron. He couldn't help himself. It was like Malfoy Manor all over again.

"You think," began the Ex-Auror, slowly walking up to him, "That you'll be able to fool everyone with cover-up? Not me." He pointed at his magical eye which spun wildly before settling on Ron. "I can see through your disguise."

"Mad-Eye," said Sirius, looking alarmed.

"Black, you're good with Transfiguration," continued Moody. "You'll see it for yourself."

As Sirius raised his wand and spoke the counter-spell for human transfiguration, Ron knew all too well how they would react. He could feel the changes he made on his face fading, and so the only thing he could do was to throw glares at the two adult wizards in front of him.

Sirius looked stunned. "Ron Weasley?"

Ron pointedly ignored him. "I would've called you Professor, but obviously you've barely taught us," he said snippily. "Let me go."

"And why should I do that?" growled the other wizard. "Death Eater."

"What? Death Eater?" Sirius's head whipped between Moody and Ron. "He's underage! He can't possibly be -"

"There's that ugly mark, even if he tries to hide it." Moody gave him a look of disgust which Ron didn't appreciate. "I'm surprised a son of Arthur would even side with Voldemort -"

The Ex-Auror's words certainly pissed him off. "Shut your trap!" snarled Ron. "You don't have any idea what happened! You weren't even there to help me or Percy – you Order lot are useless and pathetic at best! You couldn't even – let me go or you'll pay for this!" His anger and frustration were all mixed up inside him Ron couldn't think straight. He was furious beyond rationale.

"You don't get to order us around," snapped Moody. "Black, contact Albus and Arthur here."

The younger wizard in the room let out a triumphant shout. "Go on, then! Bring Professor Dumbledore. You'll see how stupid you'll be when he comes here. But as for my dad, he's out of this and the headmaster agreed to that." Ron turned to the former Azkaban prisoner and said evenly, "Black, you owe me your life. You wouldn't be alive and free if it weren't for me!"

Sirius looked at him with a frown on his face. "Ron, I don't -"

"Who do you think cast that Shield Charm in front of you when Lestrange was about to kill you? Who made sure that all of them, including Potter, had time for them to protect themselves while you guys weren't there? Who was it who made it possible for you to clear your name? You know that. You. Owe. Me."

"Don't listen to him, Black -"

"Mad-Eye," cut across Sirius. "He's not lying. A Shield Charm appeared when Bellatrix was about to hex me. And besides," he glanced over to the redhead, "I do owe him. He helped me become a free man - that I can at least acknowledge."

"At least we agreed on something. Now go call him. He owes me as well," snapped Ron, his patience already out.

Both Moody and Sirius shared a perplexed look. "Alright. We'll bring Dumbledore here." Sirius raised his wand and uttered, "Expecto Patronum." A silver dog similar to the caster's Animagus form burst from the tip of the wand and bounded across the room before standing in front of Sirius. "Tell Dumbledore to come over to headquarters. It's urgent."

The silver dog vanished on spot.

Ron stared at the scene. It was something he had not encountered during his search for spells and hexes. He vaguely remembered Dumbledore did something like that back in his third year, but his had the form of a Phoenix. He should probably ask both Daphne and Theodore about it. Not a moment later, the Hogwarts headmaster had arrived. Ron couldn't help but say, "Hullo Professor Dumbledore. Can you please tell them to lay off me and let me go? I don't have the time to explain everything."

"Mr. Weasley, my apologies this had to happen to you the second time." Dumbledore waved his wand without uttering a spell and the ropes that bounded Ron vanished.

"Dumbledore, what's going on?" asked Sirius.

"Considering that you have not stayed in the castle as Severus instructed you, this is technically your fault," continued the headmaster as if talking about the weather, ignoring Sirius Black and Mad-Eye Moody.

Ron scowled as he remained seated. "I get it! It was reckless of me, but I did what I had to do. I already saved Cedric and I'm not going to let another one die since I have the power to prevent it," He said stubbornly. "Be thankful you didn't lose one of your members."

It was then Sirius figured out what they were talking about. "Me? I was going to die back there?"

"Yeah, you can say that, but I figured it's wouldn't be nice for Potter to have to go back to his magic-hating Muggle relatives," said the redhead nonchalantly. "And you're not the main reason. The reason I went to the Ministry was that your godson had to drag both Ginny and Luna. Look here, I don't really care on what he does, but he better keep his adventures away from my sister and friend," He finished, having let out his annoyance at the wizard's godson. For him, it was Potter's fault.

"Of course, Severus has surmised as much," Dumbledore nodded. "I suppose you wanted to Obliviate both Alastor and Sirius –"

"What?!" Sirius and Moody snapped their heads to face the headmaster. "What do you mean by that?"

"Albus, you better give us one valid reason or I won't hesitate to duel you myself and bring Weasley to the Ministry," growled the Ex-Auror.

Dumbledore's gaze didn't stray off from Ron, who looked smug. "I'm afraid I cannot do that, Mr. Weasley." Seeing the redhead's expression turned ugly, he continued, "I do suggest they will do a Wizarding Oath."

"No. I'm sorry Professor, but that won't do. It's either they get Obliviated or they take an Unbreakable Vow," said Ron defiantly, hoping Dumbledore would select the former. "If I can keep my secret for as long as I can, then I'd do any means necessary."

"Clearly there's a huge secret you're keeping and Dumbledore knows about it, but there's no way we'd agree on either option unless you provide us a reason - a truthful and valid one - before you can tell us what to do. Because as much as I know I owe my freedom thanks to you, that's about it. You're still underage and we can Obliviate you because you're at our headquarters at the very least," said Sirius hotly.

"Now, either you tell why we should agree to your terms or we'll get to decide what to do with you. Dumbledore has already said you can't decide to remove our memories."

Ron bit his inner cheek. Obliviating them was no option as Dumbledore didn't agree. He thought he had everything go his way, but realized that was not the case. He should've known that. He had a Dark Mark on his arm as proof. He heaved a sigh. Might as well be honest. There's still that Unbreakable Vow. "Fine. You win." He stood up. "This is the first and last time I'm going to say this so listen up. I'm a Seer. Last year, I was forcibly taken from Hogsmeade by Malfoy Sr. and had no choice but become a Death Eater because they had Percy hostage who - by the way - I had to Obliviate so he wouldn't remember anything that happened. Happy?"

Both Sirius and Moody stared at him. Dumbledore seemed to be enjoying himself which annoyed the Slytherin. "He's telling the truth."

"Can we now do the Unbreakable Vow?" said Ron, tapping his foot impatiently.

Dumbledore decided to inform the two of other details and what was happening since third year, the reason for Sirius's freedom, the events during the Triwizard Tournament, and the approach the Order had taken. Sirius couldn't believe what he had heard just now. "I -"

"No need to thank me," interrupted Ron dismissively. "Dad says to help people if you can. I did what I had to do."

"And you landed yourself in Slytherin?"

"The Sorting Hat said I'll get all the help and resources I need there," was all he said.

A thought came across Sirius and blurted out, "And do your parents know -?"

"- nothing of the sort, and it stays that way," cut across Ron with a steely glare, turning around to face the older wizard. "I'm well aware they're part of the Order, same with Bill and Charlie. It's their choice. And this…this is my choice. I hope we have that clear before we start with the vow." Shooting Dumbledore an irritated glare, he asked, "Were you really in France, Professor?"

"I suppose Severus mentioned that to you, Ron," chuckled Dumbledore. "I did receive an urgent owl about a meeting there; however I declined to go and instead went to meet someone who needed my help."

Ron, Sirius, and Mad-Eye waited for him to provide the answer. "It was Amelia."

"Amelia Bones?" repeated Moody. "What happened to her?"

"Ron and I had a discussion before on the possibility that our dear Minister is Imperiused," explained the headmaster. "Ever since she had passed the Wizarding Security Law, I had kept a close eye on her and her movements. So yesterday I went to meet with her and our guess turned out to be correct."

"And what happened next? Where's the Minister?" questioned Ron.

"She is one of my former students, and I know how gifted she is, so naturally I have to subdue her without harm. Fortunately, I managed to disarm and put her to sleep," answered Dumbledore cheerfully. "She's currently in one of the rooms here if that's all right with you Sirius. I cannot place her at Hogwarts because it might cause an uproar."

"It's not a problem, I suppose," grimaced Sirius. "How long -?"

"I'm afraid as long as she's still under the Imperius curse, which I believed was Voldemort's doing -" Ron flinched at the name, "- she will have to be in that state because it would be more difficult for us if we were to fight against her head-on once the war is in full front," said Dumbledore with finality.

"And that would land us with a missing Minister of Magic, Albus," grunted Moody. "The next one in line would be Scrimgeour -"

A silver patronus in the form of a Lynx suddenly appeared and a deep voice spoke through it. "Mad-Eye, come to the Ministry. Hurry."

"I believe it's now time to do the vow," said Dumbledore, fishing out his wand. "Alastor, you will go first."

"You'd better hope you've chosen the right decision, Weasley," Moody stepped forward and raised his right hand, outstretched.

"Mister Weasley, hold out your hand as well."

Ron did as he was told and both wizards grasped each other's hand with their right arm. Dumbledore took between the two, his wand already alight, and Sirius stood a few feet away, watching with a conflicting expression. Dumbledore placed the tip of his wand on the linked hands, watching the two. "Ron, are you sure -?" asked Sirius.

"Nothing can change my mind," said Ron resolutely, his heart beating fast against his chest. He looked straight at Moody and said, "Will you keep the secret of me being a Seer?"

"I will," grunted the Ex-Auror.

A thin flame slithered out from Dumbledore's wand and wove its way around the linked hands like a rope. "And will you not tell a soul who is not in this room tonight on what you have found out in relation to me?" continued the redhead Slytherin, his voice steady.

"I will." Another thin flame shot out and encircled the linked hands.

"And…in case my secret is found out," Ron glanced up at Dumbledore momentarily, "will you do what it takes to make them forget it unless I decided they can be allowed to know?"

Moody's magical eye zoomed in all directions while his other eye stared straight at Ron's direction. "I will," he responded. A third flame came out from Dumbledore's wand and intertwined around like the first two flames. The light brightened and then faded. "Well then, I'd better be off," he said gnarly, letting go of Ron and turning to Dumbledore. "The next meeting will be later tonight?"

"Of course," confirmed the headmaster. "Sirius, you're next. Harry is worried for you."

Both Ron and Sirius clasped their right hand together and the Unbreakable Vow happened once more, with Ron repeating the words and Sirius giving his word. Once done, Sirius said, "I'll be going to Hogwarts to see Harry and the others." He faced Ron and said, "I wanted to say thank you for saving my life again. I'm sure both Arthur and Molly as well as your siblings will be very proud of you if you just let them know." Knowing Ron would snap back at him, he added quickly, "Let me lead you too out of the house. While you're not part of the Order - well, anyone under the age of seventeen is not allowed to join - I should make sure you're not going anywhere you shouldn't be."

Ron snorted, "Right."

As they left of the room, Ron noted how gloomy and dark the hallway was. His face scrunched up upon seeing the beheaded House-elves hung on the walls, which Sirius caught. "Well, we don't have much time cleaning this place. It hasn't been inhabited for over ten years," he said with a grimace.

They descended from the staircase and Ron got a glimpse of the living area where one hunched House-elf lurked and seemed to be muttering a string of words. "Is that -?" he uttered. The House-elf seemed to be holding something silver.

"- a piece of uselessness? Yes," sniped the Dog Animagus.

Ron stopped to squint further at the object. His eyes widened. "Wait, that's Slytherin's locket!"

Both Dumbledore and Sirius halted their footsteps. "Slytherin's locket?" repeated Sirius.

"It's imperative that we acquire the locket," said Dumbledore urgently who knew the importance of the magical artifact. "Sirius, order Kreacher to give us the locket and we'll probably need to ask a number of questions on how he had it." Sirius looked perplexed but nodded. They watched as Sirius order the House-elf named Kreacher to come forward and hand over the object he had with him. Kreacher looked as if he wanted to nothing more than to escape.

Once they had the locket, Kreacher was forced to tell them what transpired.

It was too much for Sirius Black to handle in one night. After having found out his godson had fallen into a trap set by Voldemort to go to the Department of Mysteries, him nearly dying back at the Ministry of Magic, finding out the youngest son of Arthur and Molly Weasley was a Seer and was now a Death Eater against his will, was forced to take an Unbreakable Vow to keep the youngest Weasley son's secret, and now he heard the truth of his younger brother's death from Kreacher's confession as well as the importance of Slytherin's locket. "Reggie defected -" he choked, shaking his head slightly.

"With your brother's sacrifice, we are closer to defeating Voldemort," said Dumbledore solemnly. "You did very well, Kreacher. Your master's death will not be in vain."

Kreacher slowly up, his beady eyes staring at the old wizard. "The blood traitors will destroy the locket?"

"We will," nodded Ron. "You have helped us a great deal."

Sirius cleared his throat and watched the House-elf he detested. The look of disgust seemingly disappeared. "They are right, Kreacher. You did excellent in protecting the locket up until the right time it will be destroyed. That is – that was Reggie's last wish. We'll fulfill it. For him." At those last words, Kreacher the House-elf fell to his knees and wept noisily. "I assume Harry will be let known about this?" he asked Dumbledore before stealing a short glance at Ron.

"Of course, that is part of the next plan," nodded Dumbledore. "Harry Potter must be informed about the existence of Horcruxes. And he will be informed tonight of the Prophecy."

Ron rolled his eyes. "About time. I've already told you before it's better to tell him about it."

"After he had successfully pushed out Voldemort from his mind tonight, I believe it's the best time to tell him the truth," chuckled Dumbledore merrily. "Let us go to Hogwarts. I'm sure Mr. Nott and Miss Greengrass are anxious to know your whereabouts."

"Nott? His son knows?" questioned Sirius.

"He's the first one to know," sighed Ron. "But he's trustworthy." He saw Dumbledore holding out his hand, and Ron took it, and both have arrived at Hogsmeade, just outside Hog's Head. Sirius apparated next to them.

"You may go in first, Mr. Weasley. Sirius and I will have to discuss some Order matters," instructed the headmaster.

Ron nodded and walked ahead of the two older wizards.

"Are you sure it's wise to keep Ron's secret from his family?" asked Sirius to the older wizard.

"We have to understand Mr. Weasley's decision is based on his knowledge and feelings that it would be safer if his family does not know about it," responded Dumbledore forlornly. "It is my hope he would realize it is in his best interest to tell them the truth but we cannot force him. The only thing we can do is to make sure he is safe and we give him the tools to protect himself."

The stone wall slid open and Ron stepped in. It was still nighttime though Ron could tell it was past midnight. He saw Daphne and Theodore were in the common room, near the fireplace. The Greengrass heiress snapped her head upon hearing the entrance open up and called out, "Ronald! Where have you been -?"

Theodore quickly stood up, walked toward Ron who expected the same old lecture but was surprised when the weedy teen raised his fist and punched the redhead across the face. Daphne gasped, her eyes wide. "Theodore!"

"You lied to us," growled Theodore, towering over Ron who was on the floor. "You went out on your own way again. How many times do I have to tell you to not do things on your own?"

"What do you expect me to do? Stay here and do nothing?" lashed out Ron, standing up and glaring at Theodore straight in the eye.

"You could've told us what happened; you could've told us the truth -"

"And then what? Stop me from leaving?"

"Stop arguing you two!" cried out Daphne who came in the middle of the two teens. "You two are not supposed to be fighting each other!"

"We could've come with you and help," answered the weedy teen quietly that Ron wasn't unable to catch it. "But you didn't give us that opportunity and went on your own," he said coldly, pushing Daphne aside and throwing another punch at Ron again. Ron was able to regain his footing and returned in kind.

"Stop! Stop!" Daphne pulled out her wand and nonverbally cast a Shield Charm between the two. "Stop fighting! I agree with Theodore, you should've told us! We could've done something for you just like back in third year! I thought we're -" she stopped herself as she realized what she was about to say and looked away. "I thought we're friends," she whispered.

Ron and Theodore stared at her. "Friends?" repeated Theodore.

The redhead would have never thought to hear that word in Slytherin. He knew Daphne is close with Tracey Davis, but that was a given. He knew their parents had known each other. But the three of them as friends? Preposterous. Her cheeks still tinged in pink, Daphne tilted her head up and said, "Yes. We've been through so much, known each other, so I believe we're friends. This – this isn't about alliances anymore. Theodore, you wouldn't be this upset if you don't see Ronald as someone important. And it's not because he's a Seer. And you," she faced Ron, "Do you not see us as friends? Are we not important to you?"

Ron opened his mouth but shut it close. He didn't want to admit it, much less acknowledge it, but he knew all too well he wouldn't be able to reach this far without those two. These two were the ones the Sorting Hat mentioned would help him. Those he would treat as his equals. His friends. And if he didn't care enough, he wouldn't be too concerned about Daphne's impending death, or Theodore's opinions. "…you're right," he admitted, lowering his fists. "I was too stubborn to realize and accept it."

Daphne gave Theodore a hard stare. "What?" said Theodore defensively, his face reddening. "I -"

"It's fine, you're not the type to say things like that," snorted Ron. "I figured it as much since you too shy to admit your feelings to Davis -"

"I am not shy," said the weedy teen through gritted teeth. "And I do not have feelings for Tracey -"

"First-name basis, see?" Ron rolled his eyes, but his eyes twinkled. "I'm sorry for leaving you two in the dark. I didn't want the same thing that happened back in second year to happen again. It was too much for me to handle it. I had to leave this place as soon as possible," He said, his demeanor changing to show he was sincere with his words. He was never the apologetic type, but he was taught to accept his mistakes and make amends.

"You should've known that we'd never stop you," scoffed Theodore. "We don't want you to push yourself, but if you want something done, just tell us and the three of us will figure out the best way to execute it."

"I'll keep that in mind."

Daphne smiled widely at the exchange. "I'm glad you two stopped arguing -" she faced Ron and smacked him on the arm. "Don't you ever leave us uninformed, Ronald! Or I'll use that hex that removes your precious bits."

Ron gulped upon hearing the threat but nodded. "I suppose you Silenced the whole common room, huh?"

"At least you figured that out," Theodore sat down to the nearest sofa and gave Ron a look, "So what happened at the Ministry?"

The redhead grimaced. "It's a long story, there's a lot to cover."

The following days, news about what happened at the Ministry of Magic spread across the castle grounds like wildfire; it was dubbed "Battle of the Ministry of Magic" and the Daily Prophet published what had transpired that night. The captured Death Eaters were posted, and news of Lucius Malfoy as a Death Eater and his untimely death was also in the newspaper. Draco Malfoy's expression was white and he was last seen rushing back inside the dungeons with Crabbe, Goyle, and Pansy in his wake that morning.

Naturally, the Daily Prophet never failed to mention Harry Potter, who was spotted by Ministry officials and so a lot of students wanted to hear from his version of events. Harry Potter and his cohorts were not to be seen, as they figured to hide for the meantime.

Ron, Daphne, and Theodore were at the school grounds near the lake, lounging and enjoying the quietness the place had provided. Daphne was the only one reading the newspaper while Ron and Theodore listened. "They haven't published anything about Amelia Bones' disappearance," remarked the blonde teenager.

"They'd probably do it after a week," shrugged Theodore, using his wand to make the leaves flutter like a butterfly. "I assume they're going to declare her dead since the Order is holding her for the meantime while she's still under the Imperius Curse."

"Black said Scrimgeour would replace her -" remembered Ron but Daphne interrupted her.

"Tough luck on that," she turned the newspaper and showed the two, "He's found dead in his home with his wife."

Ron flinched as he sat up. "So who's going to be our Minister of Magic?"

"Could be anyone under the Department of Magical Law and Enforcement, but we can't say for sure now," sighed Daphne, folding the newspaper and putting it down. "There's going to be a lot of changes in the coming months."


"A bit," she admitted, looking up the sky and looking thoughtful. "But I have you two, so I feel it's going to be alright," Daphne gave both Theodore and Ron a small smile.

Ron looked away, his ears turning pink. He felt guilty for not telling her about what he had seen about her, her death. It could happen in a few years. He was sure of it. And why couldn't he tell her? He knew he couldn't bring himself to scare her, to give her no hope for the future. And it was up to him to do something about it. "Daphne, I -"

His words were cut off when he saw Ginny and the twins walking toward them. His insides began to plummet. "We need to talk," said George before shooting a warning glance at Ginny.

Theodore and Daphne gave Ron an inquiring look. Ron sighed. There was no helping it. "You guys can go. I'll catch up right after," he said lowly to them. As soon as the two Slytherins left, Ron faced his siblings. "What do you want?"

"You're still talking to Nott? You do know his dad is a Death Eater, right?" sniped Ginny.

"Do I look like I'm stupid? I've known that for two years, he told me himself," snorted Ron. "And you don't him personally. Has he sprouted anti-Muggle sentiments for the past five years? I haven't heard anything from him. If he really is just like his dad, I wouldn't be talking to him. So if that's all you cared about, questioning me about who I should be talking with, I think we're done."

"Ron, wait don't go," said George hastily. "Gin, I've told you to keep your mouth shut if we want to do this right -"

"What is right anyway?" sneered Ron. "Come on, tell me. What is right by your standards?" He had no time for this.

"I wanted to say sorry -" began Fred but Ron laughed humorlessly.

"Took you like what? Eight months? And what about you said back at the Burrow, eh? I still remember that," he hissed as he began to walk around them. "I don't give a rat's arse anymore. I'm done walking around eggshells just to please you three. You haven't even asked me how I was doing. You think everything's dandy for me? You haven't thought about me because it's really simple: I'm not that important. I'm just poor, old Ron Weasley who got landed in Slytherin. And everything you've suspected about me being converted into a Muggle-hating wizard seems more appealing each day – oh shut it, that's all that you're thinking."

He didn't need to see their expressions. Right now, he was too hurt and he was letting out everything he had been feeling about them. "So pray tell, what is right?"

"I - I was wrong," said Fred, looking stricken at the words thrown at them by their youngest brother. "I should've figured out you only wanted to play Quidditch. You weren't the Keeper at the final game, and you weren't at the stands watching. I was stupid to let my anger take over my judgment."

"We wanted to do right by making up to you," continued George. "We shouldn't have fought over Quidditch. Family's more important."

Ron regarded the twins for a moment, his eyes narrowing. "Alright, then. Let's say I accepted your apology. Just not Gin here," he said, gesturing toward their youngest sibling who looked ready to spit flames. "You don't exactly look like you wanted to say sorry."

"Gin -" warned George.

"Damn right you are!" shouted Ginny. "Why should I say sorry? Why do we have to? You don't exactly look sorry yourself!"

"What exactly should I be sorry?" questioned Ron, his anger boiling at the pit of his stomach.

"Everything! Maybe you should've pulled out of Hogwarts the moment you landed yourself in Slytherin! Or when you're making connections with the snakes, accepting as a substitute in your House team - I don't see you putting effort!"

"You think it's so easy to pull out from Hogwarts? You think our parents can pull money out on thin air? You're so naïve," he said while shaking his head. "You don't get to experience being surrounded by people who liked to wave their privilege every single day, being reminded that our family's dirt poor, you're too sheltered. Or rather, you'd rather ignore the problems we have and pretend everything's all rainbows and butterflies."

"Don't you call me naïve!" said Ginny angrily. "If you didn't know, I was there at the Ministry of Magic, fighting Death Eaters whose children are the ones you're mingling with!"

"Well congratulations for fighting a couple of Death Eaters while barely trained and almost got yourself hurt by being careless," said Ron coolly while clapping his hands in mock-applause, "Good thing you have others like Luna and Bones watching your back to cover your mistake."

Ginny's eyes widened. "How -?"

"And now you've wasted my time. That's it, we're done." Ron stretched his arms and let out a yawn. "I'll accept your apologies, Fred and George. Just this time only. See you later Gin." So he walked off at a much faster pace, and once he turned to the nearest corner, he cast himself the Disillusionment Charm to cover his tracks. Maybe he said too much but it didn't matter anymore. As much as he wanted to go things the way they were before, he preferred it happen this way. At least everyone was honest with their feelings.

The sun was up and shining, and students were busying themselves as it was the day they would be riding the Hogwarts Express back to King's Cross station for the summer holidays. None of the seventh-year students were seen as they were at the school grounds beside the Black Lake for their graduation. The parents and guardians were invited, so naturally, since it was the twins' final year, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley had come. Ron was determined to not show up and avoided the venue. He already packed his belongings and so the only thing he needed to do was walk towards the gates where the carriages awaited them. "Are you ready to go?" asked Daphne after knocking the door.

"In a minute," he said without looking back. The redhead wanted to sure he had everything. He heard the door creaked open and he said, "I said -"

"Weasley," the familiar voice of his dreaded Housemate called him.

Ron turned around and saw Draco Malfoy standing in front of the door. "Malfoy," he responded curtly, his right hand, moving slightly to his wand.

"I want you to answer my question."

"Awfully presumptuous of you I'll be willing to answer," scoffed Ron. It was odd that Malfoy that chosen the time to actually corner him and he had an inkling what his question would be.

"Have you foreseen it? About my father's death?"

And so that was the question. In some ways, he had pitied his fellow Housemate who had lost his father. It was more painful that there was no body to bury considering Lucius Malfoy went through the veil at the Department of Mysteries. On the other hand, he felt he and his father deserved suffering, especially for having him forced to become a Death Eater. Then again, he was raised not to be vindictive and cruel.

"No, I have not," he answered simply. "I do not get visions about every single thing, Malfoy. All I know is that your family will suffer greatly only because you continued to follow a power-hungry Half-blood such as You-Know-Who. Did you know he was a Half-blood? I bet you didn't." He shut his trunk and straightened his robes. "Your father had chosen which side he felt would benefit him and his family the most and death was what he received in the end."

"My father did not deserve to die!" shouted Malfoy, his eyes filled with anguish and anger.

"I didn't say that," Ron shook his head. "Your father just betted on the wrong side. And now it's your turn to decide which side would benefit you and your mother."

"I thought you have been converted," said the blonde Slytherin lowly. "The Dark Lord should've known if you're lying."

"It just means he can be fooled with a bit of effort," said Ron airily. "You-Know-Who isn't that powerful. He can't see my visions using Legilimency, so whatever I say is considered truth."

"I can tell him you're lying -"

"Sure you can, but are you willing to lose a lot more of the things you hold dear?" he questioned him as he passed him by and opened the door. "It's not going to bring your father back, and your mother is alone at your home hosting Snakeface. Think about it."

"What are you trying to say?"

"You're not stupid, Malfoy. You know what you should do."

Ron walked down from the boy's dormitory and joined with Theodore and Daphne. "What happened?" asked Daphne.

The redhead Slytherin glanced upstairs before shaking his head. "Nothing much. Malfoy wanted to clarify something with me. Let's go now." The three set off to the carriages. Along the way, Tracey joined them and the four conversed as they reached the destination. Ron blinked a couple of times as he found himself staring at bony four-legged creatures with leathery wings.

"What are you looking at?" said Tracey, noticing Ron's expression.

"Maybe he was admiring the way Filch looks today," said Daphne in dry humor. "Let's climb in," she shot Theodore a look before turning away.

"I guess you can see them," whispered Theodore, capturing Ron's attention.

"Yeah, those are Thestrals, right?"

"Yes, pretty tame so I guess the gamekeeper did a fine job domesticating them."

Both boys got in the carriage and they have set off toward Hogsmeade station. Daphne insisted Theodore sit beside Tracey and Ron managed not to roll his eyes at her attempt at matchmaking. Theodore was throwing daggers at her while keeping his mouth shut throughout the short ride. As they arrived in front of the station, Ron could see his trunk parked along with the others. He took it and pulled it inside the train with Daphne, Tracey, and Theodore who had theirs as well to find an empty compartment.

"Hello Ron," greeted Luna who was walking inside. "There's an empty one at the rightmost end if you like. Hello Greengrass, Nott."

"Thanks, Luna," said Ron with a grin while Daphne and Theodore gave short nods.

"You three seem to have fewer Wrackspurts," she hummed. "That's a good thing." Then she went inside one compartment.

"What are Wrackspurts?" asked Tracey slowly, glancing back where Luna Lovegood was last seen.

"Er they are creatures that make your mind fussy, that's what Luna says," told Ron as he opened the compartment that Luna suggested and pushed his trunk inside. "Wrackspurts that attracted to those who had a lot of things in mind -"

"Sounds about right when it comes to you," snorted Theodore, taking out his wand and levitating his trunk up on the overhead rack.


After a couple of minutes, the sound of the whistle was heard and it was time to go. The trip back to King's Cross station for this year was the second most pleasant one Ron had experienced. He and the others didn't have to talk about the more serious topics and it was the only time it felt that they didn't have too many burdens, especially to Ron. They discussed OWLs, what subjects they were willing to drop, and what they would be doing for the summer holidays.

For a moment, Ron wished the train would never reach its destination. Internally, he wasn't sure how would his summer holidays turn out. He had forgiven the twins, but Ginny was another subject. She was every bit as stubborn as a Weasley, and she was never the type to apologise considering she was the youngest and the only girl in the family.

He sighed. "You alright?" prodded Daphne. Ron looked around and saw Tracey was not inside. "She went to the loo. We're nearing King's Cross in 20 minutes."

"Oh." So he had 20 minutes left of peace.

"Are you worried about the summer holidays?"

"I'd be lying if I said no," grimaced Ron. "I'm sure my parents won't give me a hard time, and the twins apologized, but I don't know about the others. Gin's definitely frosty up until now."

Theodore and Daphne shared a look. "I think we can figure out how to make it more bearable," she said.

"Can't help you in that department," shrugged Theodore.

"Wait, but you'll be alone, right?" Daphne turned to face the other occupant. "With your father's in Azkaban, it's going to be very lonely -"

"It's not a big deal," he rolled his eyes.

"- so why not stay at my place?" she insisted, ignoring Theodore's words. "Also you Ron, won't that be nice?"

"Er," said Ron hesitantly. He wasn't sure he was going to enjoy it. He only got to stay at Daphne's home was because he ran away and she wouldn't accept no for an answer. "I'll think about it -"

"Then it's decided!" Daphne clapped her hands enthusiastically. "I'll send you both invitations sometime in July, and I'll prepare your rooms! I'm sure my parents will be thrilled to see you again, Ronald. And they would like to know more about you Theodore -" Ron and Theodore internally groaned. There was no stopping her. And so they spent the remaining minutes of the ride bickering and playing Exploding Snap, with Theodore in the lead and Ron taking last place as usual with his fringe smoking from the explosive card game.

As soon as the train came to a stop, the sounds of doors opening and students moving out signaled the end of the train ride. Ron took a deep breath, and then Daphne and Theodore clapped him on the back and gave him reassuring nods. It's going to be all right.

Stepping out the train, it was not hard to find his parents with their trademark flaming red hair. His hands were clammy and yet, he knew he couldn't avoid it anymore. He began walking toward them. Mr. Weasley easily spotted his youngest and couldn't help holding back his smile as he saw him approaching them. Mrs. Weasley was nearly in tears and rushed forward to embrace him. "Oh Ron dear," she cried, causing him to drop his trunk.

"Hullo Mum," he whispered, returning the embrace. "Dad," he added to glance up to his father.

"Did – did you have a good term?" he asked tentatively.

Ron could tell them what happened, he could be honest. But he was a danger to any person who would know the truth. He made a new promise that he would tell them the truth when everything is over, and he would come clean. Right now, he just needed to lie a bit longer. "I did. Thanks for asking, Dad."

The twins and Ginny appeared not long after and Mrs. Weasley was more relieved when she saw the twins weren't as hostile as they were months ago. But she noticed her youngest daughter was less receptive but was trying to mind her words, so she hoped that they would make up soon. They just needed more time. "Let's go home, everyone," she said and everyone nodded.

Ron missed his family, the Burrow, and his pet Damon. Reconnecting with them, he was more determined to see his plans through.

And I'm done with year five!

I'm sorry for taking nearly a year to post this chapter. I had a lot of things in mind. And I know I posted 3 chapters of Close To Heart. Ugh I feel so guilty but here it is! From 6 pages, just this week, I added an additional 8 pages. 14 pages in total! I thought this would never end.

The twins apologied but Ginny feels she did nothing wrong. That's normal for sibling fights. Some siblings do not apologise. And that's the reality. I'm not justifying it, I know it's bad. It is what it is. She will have some sort of redemption, maybe it could be late. Haha. It'd be a spoiler if I say anything further.

I would like to say thank you for the 1k reviews! I've never thought I'd reach it.

I cannot promise when I'll post the next chapter, the sixth book is my least favorite out of the seven. If I could skip to seventh year, I'd do it. But I have to go through it. Anyway, that's it from me!