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The Thing You'll Miss The Most
More than friends, closer than brothers....
shadowfiction
shadowfiction
DOING EVERYTHING HE CAN (PG) BY IAMSHADOW
Title: Doing Everything He Can
Author: iamshadow.
Ship: Ron/Kingsley, but fairly gen, really. Ship is secondary to plot.
Word Count: 2,400
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: AU. EWE. Bittersweetness. Mistakes. Little bit of swearing.
Summary: Ron is doing everything he can to keep his head above water. Kingsley is doing everything he can to catch Ron's attention.
A/N: Written for Helmet Fest '08 on ronsexuals for the prompt 'the back room of the Leaky Cauldron'.

This is sort of a sequel to my other Leaky Cauldron story, Take Me Somewhere, but there are big differences. Whereas Take Me Somewhere could conceivably fit within canon, Doing Everything He Can is definately AU. It does take some major elements from DH, but blatantly ignores others, and completely disregards the epilogue and post-DH revelations by JKR.



Ron wiped down the bar for what felt like the thousandth time that evening. The day had gone slowly; indescribably, miserably slowly. It felt like every grain of sand in the hourglass over the bar took an impossibly long amount of time to fall. Though the lower bulb was nearly two thirds full, Ron knew that mean he still had at least an hour to go before he could mop the floor, wash the glasses and stumble into the Floo.

It was all Fred and George’s fault. He was convinced of it. If those bastards would just give him a raise, he wouldn’t have to work two jobs, back to back, from eight in the morning until nearly midnight. In January, they said, his wage would go up by a miserable six Sickles an hour, but Ron had been doing his homework. Those six Sickles would be enough. It would be tight, but he’d be able to cut down his shifts at the Leaky to four days a week, rather than every night.

Then again, it wasn’t really the twins’ fault that the British Wizarding Economy was in a slump, and he knew it. He suspected the only reason they still kept him on was because he was family, and because they knew he desperately needed the money. They’d already had to let Verity go, and streamlined their range down to best-selling items.

“Another, please.”

Ron tucked the rag he was holding into the waistband of his trousers, and took the empty glass.

“Dumnonii Old, wasn’t it?” he asked, flipping the tap expertly. “There you go. Eight Sickles.”

“Thank you,” Kinglsey Shacklebolt said, smiling warmly. He placed the coins straight into Ron’s outstretched hand, fingertips brushing Ron’s palm.

Ron dropped the money into the battered, antique till which had opened itself in anticipation behind him. A lot of magical objects developed sentience of a kind over time. Fortunately, the Leaky’s till was good natured and eager to please. The third toilet from the door in the men’s room was another matter, and Ron inevitably ended up on the receiving end of complaints from guests about it at least once a shift. The regulars knew to avoid it.

“Your brother converted me to this, you know,” Kingsley said, pointing at his pint, after taking an appreciative mouthful.

“Which one?” Ron asked, rolling his eyes, good-humouredly. He wasn’t really in the mood to talk, but he knew it came with the job, and Kingsley was nice enough. He was better than the older wizards who berated him about the failings of magical youth today as though he were personally responsible, or the interfering witches who clucked over his scars, and asked him if he had a girlfriend yet.

“Bill,” said Kingsley, with a reminiscent smile. “We spent a fair bit of time together, not long after he started work at Gringotts.”

Ron nodded, unsurprised. He’d noticed Bill and Kingsley seemed to get on quite well, from the way they interacted at Order meetings. He’d presumed at the time that it was the mutual respect between an Auror and a Curse Breaker - both did dangerous, highly skilled work, after all – but a history of friendship from years ago could account for it just as easily.

“You remind me a lot of him, you know, at that age. What are you? Nineteen?”

“Twenty,” Ron answered, then added, “in March.” He took an empty glass as it was being put down, refilled it, and handed it back to the regular. Ron looked back at Kingsley, who was watching him with a quizzical expression.

“I’ll tip you a Galleon,” Kingsley said slowly, “if you can tell me what that man there is drinking, how many he’s had, and when he’ll want a refill.”

It was an odd request, but Ron had heard stranger, and a Galleon wasn’t to be sneezed at. He peered over at the wizard in question. He wasn’t a regular; in fact, he’d only checked in last night. “Curonian Triple-Distilled Brandy. That’s the same glass I poured him an hour ago. He sips it now and again, but I don’t think he’ll want a refill when he finishes it.”

“And that witch?”

“Black and Orange,” Ron said immediately, after a cursory glance. “She’s had four, and she had trouble counting out the money for the last one. She’s nearly finished, but I already told her she’s had enough.”

“And that wizard in the corner?”

“Hasn’t ordered yet,” Ron said promptly. “He’s been sitting in that corner all evening.”

“Waiting for someone? Fencing?” Kingsley asked.

Ron snorted. “Neither. He’s a novelist. Comes here every now and then to absorb the ‘character’ of the place, whatever that means. He eats here when he does, so we leave him be.” Sure enough, as if on cue, the unobtrusive little man pulled out a scrap of parchment and a bent quill and scribbled something down, feverishly, a satisfied smile on his face.

Kingsley reached into his pocket and pulled out three heavy Galleons, which he laid out in a neat line on the countertop. Ron blanched white.

“I can’t… that’s too much…” Ron gabbled. He itched to pick up the coins, though. They meant a good bit of steak for dinner, a couple of bottles of Butterbeer to wash it down with and maybe a small bar of chocolate from Honeydukes for dessert.

“Take them,” Kingsley insisted.

Ron didn’t need any more encouragement. With a stab of guilt at his transparent need, he swiped them up and tucked them in the pouch he reserved for tips. “Thank you,” he mumbled.

‘You’re welcome,” Kingsley replied with a grin.

Ron refilled Kingsley’s pint again, and caught the Galleon Kingsley tossed him for payment, neatly, with his left hand.

***


“Ever think of being an Auror?” Kingsley asked him, the next day.

Ron shrugged. “Doesn’t everyone? Auror, Quidditch star, big damn hero.” He tried hard to keep the bitterness out of his tone.

“Why don’t you try out, then?” Kingsley asked casually.

“Not got any NEWTs, do I?” Ron said, pouring a Firewhiskey for a goblin, deliberately not meeting Kingsley’s eyes.

“NEWTs aren’t everything,” Kingsley said. “What you did the other day; that’s a gift. It takes some Aurors years to learn to think that way.”

Ron blushed a brilliant crimson.

“Well?” Kingsley asked.

Ron shook his head.

“Why not?” Kingsley asked, looking slightly crestfallen.

“Too dangerous,” Ron said.

“Training minimises the danger of –” Kingsley began.

“I can’t afford to get injured,” Ron said in a tone that brooked no argument. “I have responsibilities.” He flipped a tap off harder than was strictly necessary. His face was stony, but Kingsley decided to push just that little bit more.

“After the first six months, the Senior Aurors recommend the divisions the trainees are best suited for. I think you’d be good out in the field, but with your observation skills, I’d be pushing for you to go into forensics.”

Ron paused, almost comically, in the act of wiping out a glass. “But I’m not clever enough.”

“You’re plenty clever enough,” Kingsley countered, “and you’d be a real asset to the Department. Forensics is a low-risk option. You only go into a scene once the field Aurors have declared it clear. Most of your work is done back at the office.”

Ron looked stricken, as though he were wrestling with indecision.

“Think about it,” Kingsley urged, before leaving Ron alone.

***


“Saw you at work, today,” Kingsley teased. “Changed your mind, did you?”

The tips of Ron’s ears pinked a little as he set the pint in front of Kingsley. “Might have,” he admitted.

“Who’s supervising your entry examination?” Kingsley asked, taking a deep swallow.

“Auror Campester, I think they said.”

Kingsley nodded, approvingly. “Are you nervous?”

Ron laughed. “Petrified.”

“Don’t be. He’s a good man. Fair.”

Ron caught a glimpse of Tom gesturing out of the corner of his eye. He walked the length of the bar to find out what he wanted.

“Check the levels in the back room for me, would you? There’s a good lad,” Tom said.

“Just going out back for a bit,” Ron told Kingsley, giving him a smile and a nod to let him know that they could keep talking once he returned. Kingsley’s answering smile made him blush a little, though he didn’t know why.

Ron didn’t bother lighting his wand. He knew every obstacle and bump on the floor like the back of his hand. He was in here at least once a day for some reason or another. He honed in on the barrel with the indicator charm glowing orange. He tapped the wood smartly with his wand to see the level more accurately. As he’d suspected, the spirit was getting low, but not critically so. They shouldn’t need to fast track the delivery.

Ron was humming to himself tunelessly as he reset the charm, so he didn’t hear somebody sidle up behind him with the noiseless, prowling step of a cat. A gentle caress across his lower back made him yelp, and nearly leap out of his skin.

“Sorry!” said a familiar voice. “Didn’t mean to startle you!”

That was when Ron realised he was holding one of the Ministry’s leading Aurors at wandpoint, and lowered his arm hastily, releasing an unsteady breath.

“Bloody hell! Knock something over to give me some warning, next time, would you?” Ron snapped, buzzing with defused fright.

Through the half-light, Kingsley looked sheepish. “Sorry,” he repeated.

Ron shifted uncomfortably. Kingsley was standing rather close to him. “You know, you’re not supposed to be in here,” he said, as politely as he could when his heart was still pounding erratically.

“I know,” Kingsley said, leaning down and planting a kiss on Ron’s lips.

An exclamation mark of panic shot through Ron’s brain. He stumbled backwards, and then he just stared at Kingsley in shock.

“Fuck! I thought you...and you’re not...” Kingsley trailed off.

Meanwhile, Ron was babbling. “I’m sorry! I really appreciate what you’ve done for me, I really, really do, but I don’t do that, I’m sorry.” He fumbled with his money pouch. “I don’t have it all, but here’s nine Sickles; I’ll pay the rest back, too, I promise.”

Ron held out the coins, but Kingsley didn’t reach out to take them. Instead, he looked disbelieving, and highly embarrassed.

“You thought I was trying to buy you? Like a prostitute?” Kingsley asked, his face aghast. When Ron nodded dumbly, Kingsley rubbed his face with a rough hand and swore quietly. “I’m losing my touch,” he muttered to himself.

“What?” Ron asked, completely confused.

“I was trying to pick you up,” Kingsley admitted, “but not like that. I was hoping for something a bit more... reciprocal.”

“You were trying to ask me out?” Ron asked slowly.

“That’s a rather quaint way of putting it, but essentially, yes,” Kingsley answered. “I’m sorry. I’m generally quite good at choosing people with the same tastes as myself.”

“It’s not your fault,” Ron said, irrationally feeling guilty over the whole mess. “I’m just not –”

“Gay?” Kingsley asked.

“Available,” Ron corrected.

Kingsley winced, shaking his head as if he had just realised something that should have been obvious. “I’m a fool.”

“If I was, though –” Ron began.

Kingsley waved a hand, halting Ron’s attempt to ease the situation. “Don’t worry about it, Ron. Just pour me a Firewhiskey when you finish in here, and we can talk about what you’ve got to look forward to in your entry examination.”

It was Ron’s turn to grimace, this time, and Kingsley laughed at his rueful expression.

The embarrassment between them took a while to dissipate, but by the end of the evening, it had.

***


The flat was cold and dark when Ron Flooed in. After the slightly stifling heat of the Leaky, it was rather like being doused in icy water, and he shivered. He peered into each room, one at a time, until reaching the bedroom and finding what he sought. The bed was piled high with blankets, and in the middle of it all, he could see the bump of someone curled up tight underneath.

Ron undressed as quickly and quietly as he could before sliding beneath the sheets and wrapping himself around the sleeping bundle.

“Y’re warm,” mumbled Harry, stirring from his slumber and nuzzling into Ron.

“You’re freezing,” said Ron in reply, rubbing Harry’s clammy skin briskly with the flat of his hands. “Why didn’t you light the fire?”

“Couldn’t find my wand,” replied Harry. “And I was too tired to go and do it by hand.”

“Why didn’t you call Kreacher to light it for you?” Ron asked, keeping his voice as level and patient as he could.

“Didn’t think of it,” Harry said, yawning hugely.

“It’s what he’s there for, love. Please try and remember, okay?”

“’Kay.”

Ron pressed his lips to Harry’s damp forehead.

After defeating Voldemort the year beforehand, Harry had fallen ill not a week later. All the initial fears of curses and magical maladies were ruled out, one by one, until nothing was left but the simplest explanation. Complete emotional, physical and magical exhaustion. His magic had returned first, initially in trickles, incidents of accidental magic, and then with increasing proficiency. It was almost back to normal, now. His physical health was taking longer. It didn’t help that Gringotts were dragging him through the courts over the break-in and resultant damage to their premises, and had frozen his assets in the mean time. Ron was sure that the stress of appearing in front of the Wizengamot time and time again was eating up the little progress Harry had made.

“Did you take your potions this evening?” he asked, finger-combing Harry’s hair back from his face. It was long again, but Harry had decided that he liked it this way, even if it did get in his eyes.

“Uh huh,” Harry confirmed. “Stayed up for about two hours, too. Listened to the Quidditch. Wimbourne won.”

Ron stopped himself from admonishing Harry for being too stubborn for his own good, and instead asked questions about the match until he heard Harry’s speech beginning to slur, then stop, and his breathing even out. Only then did he allow his own eyes to close, his own body to rest. Even if sleep was long in coming, it didn’t matter. He was home.

***

Author's Afterword
For the curious:

Black and Orange - I'd imagine many people would be familiar with Black and Tan, but what, pray tell, is Black and Orange?

According to Wikipedia, it is
"Stout and pumpkin ale (Also known as a "Black & Blumpkin", or a "Black-O-Blumpkin"[The Gilded Otter Brewpub in New Paltz, New York calls this mixture a Stumpkin], or a "Blackhead" (Half Guinness and half Shipyard Pumpkinhead- Portland, ME)".

From what I can see, pumpkin ale is more or less an American thing, but I figured the British Magical Population would leap at it, given their obsession with pumpkin juice.

And another thing:

Fencing - Not the sport where people dress up like beekeepers. A fence is an individual who acts as an intermediary in the transfer of stolen goods, usually between the thief and the person or shop who sells it to the public as legitimate stock. Mundungus Fletcher has worked as a fence (Ch2, OotP), but is also a thief into the bargain.



<- Take Me Somewhere {TLC}

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Current Mood: accomplished accomplished

29 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
oncelikeshari From: oncelikeshari Date: March 23rd, 2008 05:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
What a wonderfully wonderful Ron of wonderfullness!
shadowfiction From: shadowfiction Date: March 23rd, 2008 05:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! I'm so glad you liked this!

It was supposed to be humourous, but it didn't work out that way.

Ron's trying so hard, the poor boy.
hpuckle From: hpuckle Date: March 23rd, 2008 05:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh wow!

I know at first you were a bit stumped with the prompt but you used it brilliantly! Ron is absolutely adorable here, and his reaction to Kinglsey's kiss was perfect! The Harry/Ron at the end was a lovely surprise, and even if Harry is ill it was wonderful and I know Ron will take care of him and they were so sweet lying there together!

Love this, as always, you are brilliant!

*uses perfect icon*

xxx
shocolate From: shocolate Date: March 23rd, 2008 05:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
my icon loves your icon!
shadowfiction From: shadowfiction Date: March 23rd, 2008 06:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was totally stumped with the prompt, initially. I'm actually really happy I got sidetracked and wrote Take Me Somewhere, because it gave me inspiration for this one.

It was really difficult to have Kingsley be eager and not predatory! I didn't want him to be a creepy old man, but I also wanted to show his chagrin at being that little bit older, and the misconceptions that age gap generates with regards finding a sexual partner. (For example, Ron assumed he was looking for paid company, rather than attempting to seduce him!)

Harry will be alright, eventually. A friend of my mother's worked in a high stress, very competitive job for ten years, and never had a problem. He quit his job to work from home, and was struck down very suddenly with indefinable health problems. He was ill and frail for over a year. It was like his body had saved up all the fatigue and sickness and hit him with it once he had enough time to deal with it. I figured Harry having a similar reaction after defeating Voldemort wouldn't be that unbelievable, considering that he's been groomed for it from the age of eleven.
kath_ballantyne From: kath_ballantyne Date: March 23rd, 2008 07:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ugh, I hope so.
Something like that can also kick into CFS and all the related crap.
*sighs*
shadowfiction From: shadowfiction Date: March 23rd, 2008 07:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
CFS was definitely one of the inspirations for the problems Harry is having to deal with, but depression and post-traumatic stress can have similar effects too. Any of those, or even a combination of all three could easily bring down someone who's been through as much as Harry has.
shocolate From: shocolate Date: March 23rd, 2008 05:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
en-fucking-chanting!

the confusion was much of the wonderful, as was the caretaking and the clever and the going for it.

*hugs*
shadowfiction From: shadowfiction Date: March 23rd, 2008 06:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
The confusion was kind of wonderful, and kind of wince-enducing at the same time. I feel so sorry for Kingsley in the back room. He completely misinterpreted the signals Ron was giving out, and I don't imagine that happens very often to him. He feels pretty awful about it.

There was a lot of caretaking going on in this story. Not only is there the obvious Ron taking care of Harry, but Kingsley is taking care of Ron. He's pushing him to take a chance and do something he'll not only be brilliant at, but will give him a much more substantial and steady income. And there are the twins, who are keeping Ron on, despite not really being able to afford it. They know that it's important for Ron's pride that he do something rather than just being given money, and keeping him on is their way of doing that. Plus they still feel indebted to Harry for giving them their start. Helping Ron is helping Harry, in this instance.

The clever was fun to write! The first story I wrote had Kingsley showing off his fabulous Auror skills for Bill, and it was going to be more of the same, here, but then I had the idea that it would be much better if I showed Kingsley showing Ron how fabulously skilled *he* is.

Yes, the going for it. (I'm assuming you mean going for the job, here.) I think Ron knows very well that he and Harry are just barely hanging on, even with him working two jobs and barely being home at all. He knows the Aurors, if he can get in, will give him a reliable wage that they can live on quite comfortably. Security like that would be hard to find in the wizarding world at a time of economic crisis.
scribhneoir1 From: scribhneoir1 Date: March 23rd, 2008 06:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is fantastic, well done! You've included so much drama, emotion and angst! I really like the fact that you've shown Ron to be so caring and so good at what he does. The dialogue is great and really brings the scene alive. The pace of the story is spot-on, resulting in a perfect ending, with Ron and Harry together. I love the fact that it's not a happy ending, they are indeed doing all they can simply to get by, move on and be happy in a post-war world.

*applauds your wonderful Ron*
shadowfiction From: shadowfiction Date: March 23rd, 2008 06:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!

Ron is a very caring person. that's not to say he can't be empathetically dense at times, but he has a real sense of responsibility for those around him, especially Harry. I can easily see him working himself into the ground just to make sure that Harry is kept safe and secure.

I'm glad the dialogue and the pace worked well! I wanted to show the development of friendship between Ron and Kingsley happening believably over a fairly short space of time. And I'm really happy the ending worked. I was worried it might feel 'tacked on', but I wanted to show why Ron was working so hard, and the responsibilities he had that might lead him to turn down the offer of a job he'd always coveted.

I think one of the reasons the epilogue in canon sets my teeth on edge is because it skims over the realities of living in the aftermath of war. People don't just brush off things and get on with their lives. The effects of war go on years and even decades into the future. Given the disastrous infiltration of the Ministry by Death Eaters, and the damage to Gringotts and goblin relations in general, an economic crisis isn't just likely, it's certain. Also, post-traumatic reactions would be expected in a lot of people affected directly and indirectly by events. I very much doubt Harry would be the only person to collapse so completely once the war ended.
maple_mahogany From: maple_mahogany Date: March 23rd, 2008 06:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
How lovely! I liked a bumbling Kingsley admonishing himself and how you hinted at the old Kingsley/Bill.

When I started reading I hadn't caught that it was a H/R, too. Made it all the better! :)
shadowfiction From: shadowfiction Date: March 23rd, 2008 06:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes! Poor Kingsley. Just proving that even the best occasionally bollox things up. It was tricky writing Kingsley trying to seduce a man nearly half his age without it being creepy, especially considering he was trying to get onto Ron in the same room he'd shagged Bill in ten years earlier!

That's why I deliberately didn't list the pairing up the top. I kind of liked the mystery of Ron working so damn hard, and not knowing until the end exactly why. And because it was non-explicit, I figured it wouldn't be a problem. :)
(Deleted comment)
shadowfiction From: shadowfiction Date: March 23rd, 2008 07:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's actually a good thousand words longer than most of my Teapot 'verse chapters, but it does feel like a shorter piece, probably because of being broken into several scenes. It is about half the length of Take Me Somewhere, though.

I'm glad you liked it so much! *loves you back*
(Deleted comment)
secretsolitaire From: secretsolitaire Date: March 23rd, 2008 07:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, I liked this a lot. I felt kinda bad for Kingsley -- not as smooth as he thinks he is! *pets him*

I was quite surprised by the Harry/Ron at the end. Just curious, will there be more? I'm not saying it needs it or that it doesn't stand on its own, but I'm sort of intrigued by this universe.
shadowfiction From: shadowfiction Date: March 23rd, 2008 07:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes! Poor Kingsley definitely misjudged things this time around.

I have a baaaaad habit of leaving most of my fics open for further development. So yes, I probably could easily write more in this verse if I got the time and inclination. Whether I will ever have the time and bunnies to do so, I can't tell you. I'm really going to be focussing on firstly, my Ron-A-Thon fic that star54kar won from me, and secondly, my ongoing series, namely Teapot 'verse and Of Wolf and Man. After that, maybe!
redsnake05 From: redsnake05 Date: March 23rd, 2008 07:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
*snivels*

I loved it - I loved Ron and his quiet, stubborn determination, his unswerving loyalty, and Kingsley with his faded lines and genuine concern.

But I'm still snivelling. So bittersweet. There are real tears, you know!
shadowfiction From: shadowfiction Date: March 23rd, 2008 08:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ron would do anything for his Harry, even work sixteen hours a day to support a chronically ill partner he never sees except for those few moments immediately before sleeping and after waking. And despite the short term release sex would give him, he's really not interested right now because it's so far down on his list of priorities. He's more worried about how he's going to pay for the rent or Harry's potions. You see that in the hungry way he eyes the Galleons Kingsley offers him. His pride tells him to reject them, but all he can think about is the food he can buy with that amount of money.

Kingsley's fairly complex, here. His motivations are dual. On one hand, he has this older-brotherly, almost fatherly concern for Ron's wellbeing. On the other, he finds Ron attractive, and genuinely would like to sleep with him. A contradiction? Not necessarily. Relationships between older and much younger adults, in particular between gay men, can have a strong element of mentor/protégé, as in Ancient Greek paederasty.

What clouds Kingsley's judgement here is that he's thinking too much about Ron's similarities to Bill, and not his differences. He saw what he wanted to see, and thus interpreted Ron's friendly gesture as an invitation. It was wishful thinking on his part blended with nostalgia, and the moment he realised he'd made an error, he felt very, very guilty about it.

Aww! *hands you tissues and chocolate*
innibis From: innibis Date: March 23rd, 2008 08:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is really nice.

I enjoyed Kingsley and he did not at all come off as a dirty old man.

And you know you had me with the Harry/Ron ending.
shadowfiction From: shadowfiction Date: March 23rd, 2008 08:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I'm so glad Kingsley came off well. He was tricky!

Writing the Harry/Ron was so lovely. *sighs*

One of these day, I'm going to write messed up Ron. I just can't seem to stop hurting Harry though...
mrsquizzical From: mrsquizzical Date: March 23rd, 2008 09:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
that? was fabulous.

really wonderful.
shadowfiction From: shadowfiction Date: March 23rd, 2008 10:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, love.

*squishes you tight*
foretinterdite From: foretinterdite Date: March 25th, 2008 11:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
First, this line was brilliant: Ron shrugged. “Doesn’t everyone? Auror, Quidditch star, big damn hero.” He tried hard to keep the bitterness out of his tone. The way this follows so close on the heels of Ron's trying to be a conversational bartender, and the tension between that expectation and his current situation in life comes through so well.

Also, I love the approach of dealing with problems that can't be embodied in a single "bad guy." I like how you suggest the continuing traumas of the wizarding world (collapsed economy, tension between the magical races, and the problems of veterans) without losing the story in explanatory clauses.

Finally, I was quite fond of Kingsley's "oh, crap, I'm not trying to be a creepy old man" moment.
shadowfiction From: shadowfiction Date: March 25th, 2008 11:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know some people love bartending, but I think it must be an incredibly difficult job. Not only are there the 'on paper' aspects, but you're expected to be some strange mixture of counsellor, best friend, confidante, sounding board and punching bag for every person that walks in and sits down. In short, everyone expects you to try and ease their troubles a little, when in reality, you're working a low-paying job with long hours and could probably do with a little TLC yourself. I don't think I could do it.

The idea that the whole world can be fixed by removing one 'bad guy' or 'bad element' isn't just naive and childish, it's dangerous. Racism and homophobia revolve around it - if we remove all *these* people, the world will be better/safer/more righteous, etc. And one only has to look at history to see what a war, even a short term one can do to a country and a people. Even the 'winners' lose, because the fallout continues well into the future.

Yes, poor Kingsley. It would be rather horrible to have an epiphany like that under those circumstances! It's one thing to go chasing nineteen year olds when you're twenty five. When you're thirty five, things start to get a little on the sleazy side, even if you are a big, important Auror.
nakeefeet From: nakeefeet Date: April 12th, 2008 09:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
*pets Ron*

What a wonderful Ron you have here, taking care of his Harry. His interaction with Kingsley was so well done, with the misreading of the signals and embarrassment.

Love it!
shadowfiction From: shadowfiction Date: October 12th, 2008 05:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ron's a wonderful caretaker here. You really see that stubborn, unstinting loyalty and devotion shining through in what is a very thankless, miserable existence.

Kingsley was very difficult, because I really didn't want him to come out as being sleazy and creepy. I wanted him to be kind, generous, clever and genuinely interested in Ron, but also a bit naive of the effect of the age difference between them and just how "old" Ron perceived him to be. To Kingsley, the gap seemed a little large, but not ridiculous. To Ron, it was almost embarrassing!
juliandahling From: juliandahling Date: September 17th, 2008 07:12 am (UTC) (Link)
This will sound so sappy and stupid, but this fic made me cry. So ridiculous how hard I cried. Had to come back after fifteen minutes to type up a comment! I should probably explain. I have a friend, who's kind of like Harry. Of course, not magical (haha) but he's always been pretty sick. Anorexia, Crohn's disease, you name it, he's got it. And his boyfriend takes care of him. And it's like that. And you just captured something about that kind of relationship. I just can't tell you how touching it was to see that written out. I'm getting all snuffly again, so, I'll just say thank you. Thank you.
shadowfiction From: shadowfiction Date: October 12th, 2008 05:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm so sorry it took me so long to get back to your comment!

I'm sorry I made you cry, but I must say I'm also incredibly flattered that my writing produced such an emotional response. It's wonderful to know that, as a writer, something you've written has touched someone.

My partner also lives with multiple illnesses. Not Crohn's or anorexia, but Coeliac's, Chronic Fatigue, migraines and Fibromyalgia. Most days she's fairly mobile and happy, but there are bad days that are like the one I described above, and I drew on that when I wrote it. So, yes, I know what it's like to care for someone like that, and she's done her share of caring for me, too, when I've had a period of depression.

I'm so glad that what I wrote touched you so profoundly, and thank you for leaving such a wonderful comment. :)

*hugs*
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