Teaspoons Of Disappointment (And A Cup Of Bile)
by MelWil

The house was quiet. Deadly quiet. Surprisingly quiet.

Ron hung his cloak from the hook in the hall and pulled off his heavy, mud caked boots. His mother would kill him if he tramped mud through the house.

He didn't need anyone else threatening to kill him.

He pulled his coffee tin out of the cupboard, from its all too obvious hiding place behind the tea leaves. His favourite mug was sitting on the shelf and he spooned in three teaspoons of coffee. It would keep him awake all night, but Ron wasn't in the mood for sleep anyway.

Sleep meant dreams and he'd had enough of nightmares.

"Hello Ron."

He almost shouted as he whirled around; reached for his wand with the force of habit; was ready to confront whoever was waiting for him at the kitchen table. Ready to attack if necessary. Ready to kill.

It was Percy. Percy with his mussed up hair and his navy blue robes. With his stupid glasses (why couldn't he try a new style?) and a look that managed to be smug and superior and sheepish all at the same time.

"What are you doing here?" Ron demanded.

Percy held up his own steaming cup. Tea, Ron thought, it would be English Breakfast tea. "I visit," Percy said. "I like to come home from time to time."

Ron added hot water to his mug and gulped a scalding mouthful. "You hate coming home," he said. "Anyway, I thought you were supposed to be in Europe?"

Percy ignored the question. "Why did they let you become an auror anyway?" he demanded. "Your grades were never good enough to be an auror."

Ron felt his jaw tighten. "Life experience."

"You mean the stuff you did when you worked with Harry and Hermione?" Percy shrugged. "I never thought you'd be the remaining member of your little trio."

Ron burnt his tongue on his coffee. "Hermione's still alive."

"Yeah, but she's stuck up at Hogwarts, a common teacher. She's not exactly saving the world anymore, is she?"

"We all have different ways of helping."

"And Harry went and got himself killed, didn't he. Unfortunate, that." Percy pushed his glasses up his nose. "He's not much help to us now. And I never picked Ginny as the type to run away from it all, even after that unfortunate business in her first year."

"Percy." Ron's voice was too calm and he knew he was only seconds away from explosion. "Is there anyone who hasn't disappointed you?"

His brother looked down into his cup. "What you have to realise, Ron, is that a lot of the time I'm right."

Ron felt his face burn. "Get out," he commanded.

"You can't order me away."

Ron pulled his wand out and pointed it at his older brother. "Get out now."

Percy jumped to his feet. "Fine." He picked up his cloak from the back of the chair and wrapped it around his shoulders. He marched to the door and Ron followed, his wand still drawn.

"You might want to have another coffee," Percy sneered as he opened the door. "You wouldn't want to have nightmares now, would you Ron?"

Ron slammed the door before he could watch his brother walk away.


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