The Glass Onion Text too small or too big? You can change it! Ctrl+ (bigger), Ctrl- (smaller)
or click on View in your browser and look for font or text size settings.

Home/Quicksearch  +   Random  +   Upload  +   Search  +   Contact  +   GO List

door, The

by Te

The door
by Te
August 19, 2003

Disclaimers: No one here is mine.

Spoilers: Big ones for OotP, minor ones for the rest.

Summary: Ron's spending a lot of time alone.

Ratings Note: R.

Author's Note: First line from Deb. We luf her.

Acknowledgments: To Deb, for audiencing. We luf her even more.

Feedback: Craved.


The lights never came on and the door was always locked.

Not that there was anything particularly weird about that -- wizarding houses always had their little quirks -- but, somehow, it was just a little bit extra ominous at Grimmauld Place.

Ron understood that they had to spend a certain amount of time there, that his parents didn't have the resources to keep the Burrow open and keep Order headquarters habitable, but...

He really didn't want to be there.

It was bad enough when Sirius was around to stomp through the halls and having screaming matches with the portraits -- and he would never, ever, repeat that thought to Harry -- but now it was just...

It was like one of those places you'd read about in the better textbooks. Houses that were waiting to be haunted, old fields where battles were once fought and now nothing ever grew quite right. Something like living in a story that his mum would say he was too young to watch.

Which was more than a little disturbing, and he didn't mind saying that -- even though there was really no one to say it to. Hermione was off on holiday with her folks, and all the adults were too busy doing important things about You-Know-Who, or pretending not to grieve when anyone was looking.

He was alone a lot.

And even that wasn't too out of the ordinary -- there were always ways to hide from his brothers and sister even at the Burrow, but he was always used to having to work at it.

Sometimes, he wondered if Percy missed the noise. The good kind of noise that meant that everybody was home and healthy.

Most of the time, he read his Quidditch magazines and daydreamed about being good enough next year (even though he probably wouldn't get to play) that no one but the other Gryffindors sang about him, and Harry would clap him on the back, and Hermione would do that thing where she pretended not to care about sports but gave him those funny, wonderful little looks over whatever tome she was memorizing.

And watched the door.

No one ever really said anything about it, or said bad things about the house at all, even though there were always infestations to clear out and all of the portraits were bad-tempered, and nobody's wireless ever quite worked right, and Kreacher's eyes followed you wherever you went despite the fact that he'd somehow managed to get himself nailed to the wall with the other house-elves.

It was like... he thought maybe people were afraid that if they said anything about what an awful house it was, they'd have to also talk about Sirius, and how he was dead, and how they were fighting a war where other people would probably die, too.

Like it was all interconnected somehow, and if anyone said the wrong thing, all those other wrong things would have to be true, too.

Which didn't make any sense, as far as he was concerned. It wasn't like you could be in this house and not be all serious-minded and let's-get-You-Know-Who.

This wasn't the kind of house you could just live in. You had to be about something, or else...

Sometimes, he thought he could see a light under the door.

There wasn't that much of a crack -- the house was put together far too well for that, but there was a little one. Like maybe there'd been a rug in the hallway at some point.

And it wasn't that much of a light, either. Not warm and buttery and flickering like a torch, and not like moonlight or sunlight when he was looking during the day.

But a light just the same.

It was also really hard to keep track of time. Sometimes it just sort of felt like May, even though it'd been years since he'd not been in school in May. Something about the quality of the light, or the smell of the air.

Or something else entirely, because Grimmauld place had more shadows than Snape's dungeon, and the air always, always smelled stale.

Like the whole house was just an attic waiting to happen, only without the cool stuff and waving photographs or extra beds for when your brothers came back for a visit.

The house was huge, really, and Ron was used to that, too. The way wizarding houses could sort of fold in and on themselves like great, cozy flowers.

He didn't want to know what sort of flower Grimmauld place would be.

Something like what Snape would use to poison them all when the war was over, probably.

And it was funny how Snape never stayed long. It wasn't as though Ron really thought of him as the social type, even if he had sort of gotten used to the idea that the man wasn't actually evil. And he wouldn't have wanted the greasy old bastard to stick around.

It just seemed like the sort of place he'd be comfortable in, what with all the gloom and mean-spiritedness and hatred for everything Ron and his family stood for.

He could probably make the house feel less empty, just by sneering the portraits into submission and generally fitting in with the nastiness.

"What are you doing?"


Ginny was looking at him curiously, and Ron realized he was standing in the hallway with his hand on the door. Funny, that.

"Oh, I was... um."

"That door never opens," she said, and wandered away again.

Sometimes, he dreamed about walking through the door. Nothing ever really happened in those dreams. There were no ghosts or anything, and there weren't even any spelled windows looking out on cemeteries or scenes of unspeakable torture.

He was never alone in those dreams, though.

He spent most of a day (in July? It was probably July) helping his mum and Shacklebolt renew the wards. It was interesting, in that way where he thought it might be cool to be an Auror one day, or something else useful. The old wards, the ones that were there before any of them were, were a lot nastier, and self-renewing.

By accident, they found one on the front door that would hex any muggles that touched it, and then spent at least half their time carefully undoing traps and tricks all over the house.

The twins came by to help, and by the end of the day they were pale as milk under their freckles.

Ron thought that some of the traps probably weren't all that different from things they'd done in the name of practical joking.

Nobody ever liked to think that the things they did could be evil.

There wasn't anything on the door -- that door. Just a lock that didn't respond to any of the unlocking charms Shacklebolt used.

"Aren't there other ones?" he'd asked.

Shacklebolt frowned and tapped the door with his wand. "There are, but there would be a kind of resonance to the door, a sense of several powerful wards. This... is just a door." He frowned again.

His mother said there was probably a reason for the door to be locked, and that she knew none of her children would go poking about where there could be danger. And then she'd given them all a look that suggested that Shacklebolt was maybe one of her children, too, and that Molly Weasley's children just better know what's good for them or else she'd have to teach them.

And then they'd done the rest of the house, and had a stuffed turkey for dinner, despite it being August.

Was school about to start?

He thought he should probably do something useful like figure out what classes to take, and which to drop for electives that would maybe help him with his career as a... whatever the hell he would be, but he wasn't sure if the owls had arrived with any school stuff yet.

And that was definitely strange, but it wasn't as if his mum would let him forget anything important he had to do, and besides, he was tired.

Or not really tired so much as...

There was an odd kind of feeling in his head, like he had dreamed something important the night before, and if he looked at his bed in just the right way, or rested his head on the pillow in just the right position, he'd remember what it was.

There'd be a resonance, like Shacklebolt said, and his head would hum with knowledge and everything would make sense. More sense than it ever had.

He fell asleep with a smile on his face, and dreamed himself into the room. The light was silver-blue, like moonlight drawn by a child, and there was no furniture, but the rugs were clean and soft.

He sat down, and then lay down and stretched out like he was on a great, soft hill of grass instead of on a carpet depicting some battle or another.

There was something important about that, about the way the soldiers' swords and lances seemed to almost, but not quite, cut through the nap of the rug and stab him. But really, it was like sitting in one of Dumbledore's massaging chairs, only better, because he never, ever had to leave.

Hermione rolled over onto her side, pushing a mass of messy, sweet-smelling hair over her shoulder.

She smiled at him. "You came back."

"Was I gone, then?"

She nodded solemnly, though her eyes were sparkling like he'd told a wonderful joke. "A long time. It's a long, long time in here."

"Well, I'm here now," he said, and felt stupid because, well, that was obvious, but Hermione just giggled and kissed him.

Soft and soft and it filled him up inside, made him hard, yes, but also made him feel wide open. Like Hermione could tumble right inside him and he'd never be alone again.

And then there was pain, and Hermione pulled away, blood shining on her lip.

"What... you bit me?"

She smiled, blood shining in spots on her teeth. "The oldest magic, the truest magic, is in the blood. Don't you ever pay attention?"

And then she ruffled his hair, and he rolled her over and tickled her, and the light was blue and the battle raged and Ron woke up with a sore mouth and more than a little confused.

It wasn't as though he hadn't dreamed of snogging Hermione before. He did that rather a lot, actually, whether or not he was asleep. It was just... it felt like there was something he was forgetting, even with all the details he remembered. Cartoon light and the smell of her hair.

It was like when someone wakes you up in the middle of a dream, and you spend the whole day trying to make all the pieces fit.

He had all the pieces, and they did all fit, but... He shook it off and went down to breakfast.

Tonks was there, which was always great, because she was so ridiculous. She was a walking Riddikulus counter-curse, and the house was just a particularly large boggart when she was there. She floo'ed Ron and Ginny out to the countryside, and Ron got to fly.

Ginny had some good ideas about Quidditch, too.

By the time they got home, Ron was exhausted and absolutely convinced he'd be the best keeper Gryffindor ever had, and Ginny was smiling so wide that everyone just sort of ignored Mrs. Black and let them babble about their day.

And yeah, maybe it was a little childish, all "look, mum, I found a three-legged toad!" but it also kind of wasn't. Even Lupin looked a little less gloomy by the time they sat down to dinner, and Ron felt like he could maybe understand how that worked.

They all needed proof that life went on, that children laughed, that disaster wasn't looming over every good time.

He could play that role.

He only spared a single look for the door when he went up to bed. There was no light, and the door itself was as solid and blank as ever, and he curled up under the sheets and thought about ways he could maybe get in there. Experiment like the twins, or like Hermione when she made those amazing leaps of comprehension that left the rest of them feeling like village idiots.

Except, all he really wanted to do was open the door. See what was inside.

He fell asleep and dreamed, and when he found himself in the room, it was something like day. It was strange, but he thought he knew what time it was. It was late afternoon, on a pretty fall day where it was still warm and the breezes were gentle with their messages of impending winter, and everyone you loved was outside, cooking out and making messes, and there was something loud and bright on the wireless.

Except that the light was still very crude, and he wondered if the magic that made this room had ever really been outside at all.

"You think too much." And Harry thumped him on the back before sitting down beside him on the churning rug. He was grinning.

"Yeah, tell the profs that, why don't you?"

And then they were grinning at each other, and Harry was looking at him, really looking at him, like Ron didn't think he had all year. Like there was nothing more important than their friendship, and even if there was, it wasn't like Ron couldn't come along.

He looked happy.

That was new, too.

"You know I need you, right, Ron?"

It squeezes something inside. He knows what dreams are. Not the Divinations crap, but the real ones. The ones that bubble up inside you and make you spill all your secrets to yourself, even if you don't want to hear them. Especially then.

Another thump, more of a push, really, and Harry was on top of him, staring into his eyes and it was like he was trying to hypnotize Ron, that those green eyes were used for more than just looking at things. "You're still thinking too much."

"Yeah, well, give me something else to think about."

And Harry smiled like it was their first Christmas at Hogwarts again, and Ron had given him something stupid that nonetheless made Harry light up like a little person-shaped sun.

And the kiss is a surprise, and definitely weird, but it's also Harry. Harry who should always be happy, and Harry who kisses like he knows what he's doing, even though Ron has no idea who might have taught him. Slick heat in his mouth, and the rug undulating beneath him like the world's most violent controlled sea.

Ron spread his legs and Harry's thigh was between his own and Harry kissed him and kissed him. The pain was just another part of it, heating him up even more somehow, and then Harry pulled away.

Blood on his swollen, red mouth.

Ron blinked. "The truest, most important magic," he said, and it wasn't a question, because something in Ron that didn't have anything to do with books and school understood.

"The blood is the way," Harry said, and picked up Ron's hand and kissed blood all over the fingertips. Hot and strange and it was making him hard. Harder.

When he opened his eyes, Harry was fading away, and the light was no more special than the sunlight in Ron's room. "Harry?"

"We need you," he said, and was gone.

Ron woke up with blood on his fingers.

And in the warm light of day, with the sounds of his mum and whoever else she'd enlisted getting breakfast done, it was definitely creepy.

But he didn't even know what day it was, and the house was more like a fly-trap than a flower, and there was something behind that door.

He wanted to see.

He eased out of bed, careful not to smear the blood on his sheets and waited until he couldn't hear anyone out in the hall. His mum would be calling for him soon.

He walked across the hall in his pajama bottoms, and touched the door with his clean hand. Nothing happened, but he thought...

He thought he could hear voices.

Ron swallowed hard and touched the doorknob with his bloody fingertips, and there was a jolt of power that he felt in his toes, and he thought his hair was standing on end, but none of that was important when the door swung open.

On... nothing.

Or, not nothing, because no matter how dark a room was, there was never a wall of solid black when you opened a door from a lighted hallway.

"I just want to see," he said to himself, and pushed his way through the black.

And saw.



He drew the light as he remembered it. Something like the inside of a lemon, only sweet and inviting.

He pushed it into the black.

And joined his new friends.


If you enjoyed this story, please send feedback to Te

Home/QuickSearch  +   Random  +   Upload  +   Search  +   Contact  +   GO List