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Downward Spiral

A Small Gift

A Small Gift

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omg het
Title: The Hunter
Pairing: Ron / Tonks
Rating: PG-13
Summary: We don't always find what we're looking for. We don't always look for the things we find.

Author's note: About a lifetime ago (give or take) I promised to write Ron/Tonks for redblaze who wanted to see what I could do with this pairing. I'm sorry it took so long. I've struggled with this one because the image I had in my head didn't fit the words I had on paper. I hope you will forgive the rating -- by the time I got the story right the smut seemed out of place.

Many thanks to abigail89 for all her help. Any remaining errors belong to me.

The Hunter

"I've got another job for you. Ready to hunt?"

He hated Edward Smalls. He hated the smarmy voice that oozed good breeding and bad taste. He hated the buggy brown eyes that always seemed moist and never blinked. He hated the fact that he called what Ron did 'hunting.'

What he hated most of all, however, was that Edward knew Ron loved the job. That he loved tracking his quarry half way around the world, through small towns and big cities, through alleyways and forest glens. He loved that first sighting, when all the leads he followed paid off and he knew they were in his grasp. He loved that look of confusion and incomprehension as he collared them.

Ron stopped needing money a long time ago, but whenever Edward called, Ron went to meet him. Edward always had the most interesting cases, the most challenging, and Ron loved a challenge.


Her body flowed like liquid around the dark, slick pole in the center of the stage. This night her hair was blonde, nearly white, and stretched the length of her back. It moved in soft waves around her face and body, keeping time with her swaying hips and the low sultry music that was playing in the background. Under the motley lights her bare skin glistened as if covered in thousands of diamonds, a bright glittering beacon in the center of the darkened room, daring her transfixed audience to look away. At once, she wrapped her legs around the pole and arched her back sharply so that her full breasts rose high and her long hair nearly touched the ground behind her. The entire audience held its breath.

Through the bitter smelling, smoke-filled room he could see that her eyes remained closed the entire time.

"It's like watching magic," mumbled the drunken and dazed Muggle to his left. Ron Weasley looked at the overcome man who was cupping a half empty draft with one hand and using the other to hold up his face as he stared at the dancer collecting her tips.

"Something like that," he muttered in response. Ron threw back the rest of his drink and absent-mindedly wiped his mouth before getting up and heading to the alley behind the club.

He stood a few yards away from the back door, waiting in a shadowed doorway on the poorly lit street. Off in the distance he heard a police siren blare as it made its way across town. Somewhere else he might have heard a bird's call or the chirping of crickets, but places like this didn't offer that sort of comfort. The music of these streets was a symphony of high-pitched auto alarms and the raucous brawls of the drunken and the rage filled, and he knew the tune by heart.

He leaned his head forward, blocking the wind with a curved hand as he lit a cigarette.

"Got a spare?"

Ron looked up into the glazed eyes of man who could have been twenty or fifty. His clothes were threadbare and dirty, his face covered in a scraggly beard several weeks in the making, and he smelled of smoke and rotted fruit. "Sorry, mate, it's my last."

"Then I suppose you can help me buy another pack." Despite his deteriorating body and decrepit appearance, the hand that held the knife was remarkably steady.

"You don't want to do this, mate," Ron said flatly as he took another drag from his cigarette.

"Then you don't know me very well. Mate. Now turn out your pockets." He shifted the knife so that it glinted in the little bit of light that made it to their murky corner.

Ron gave him a long, hard look before he reached out and mumbled something beneath his breath. The knife went flying out of the man's hand and into Ron's waiting palm. "You were saying?" he said as he winced in pain.

"Wha…what the hell was that?" the stranger stumbled as he backed up and away from Ron.

"Now is not the time for stupid questions. Now is the time you run." He flung the knife to the ground where it shattered against the concrete. "And don't look back."

Ron watched his would-be assailant run as he took another long drag and shook off the pain that accompanied any spell he cast these days. He only looked away when he heard a car door slam across the alley. When he caught the glimmer of white blonde hair in the back seat, he threw down his cigarette and began to run. Before he could reach the car it took off, and in a blink it evaporated into thin air. He knew from experience that she wouldn't come back here.

He was back at square one.


Someone once called him a bounty hunter. Another, less sympathetic person called him a mercenary. He didn't really care much for titles. It was just a job. A way to make a few Galleons and to pass the time. His task was a simple one: When someone managed to get himself lost and someone else was willing to pay generously to get him unlost, Ron found him. Any title would have made it sound noble, and Ron couldn't stand the thought of that.

A series of well-placed and well-planned Death Eater hexes made it painful for him to perform magic, a condition that would plague him for the rest of his life, even when he performed the simplest of spells. When he was first injured, it was like being hit with the Cruciatus each time he picked up his wand. Eventually the pain became bearable but far worse was the change in how he was treated by others, first by his doting parents, then by the other members of the Order, and finally Harry and Hermione.

They worried. They all worried. And when worrying for him nearly caused Harry his life, it was decided that perhaps the front lines weren't the best place for Ron.

After much pleading by his mother, he ended up working at the Ministry for substandard pay and to retain the little bit of self-respect he had left. His time was sent finding Aurors who went missing in action, or helping people recovering from curses who couldn't remember who they were. It was relatively painless, somewhat interesting work, and since his injuries kept him out of the battlefield, he felt like he was still contributing. More over, he was good at it and he needed to be good at something again.

Then the war ended, without his help.

The celebrations began.

A toast for victory. A toast for peace. A toast to the future. Another to the past.

A toast for the injured - may their wounds heal quickly.

A toast to the dead - may their sacrifice be forever immortalized.

A toast to the dying - the rest is a blur.

He never went back to his office.


It was the sort of nondescript pub that only the locals would know about. A small sign in the window proclaiming it 'Open' was the only indication that it wasn't just another old building ready for demolition. Inside were several small tables, a few secluded booths, and a row of stools by the bar. And like most nights each of the seats were occupied by the usual suspects from the neighborhood.

The barmaid wore a tight, long sleeved black shirt, cropped at the belly to highlight the silver ring in her navel. Full spiraling curls of chestnut bounced around a smiling face, a smile that never seemed to reach her eyes. She wore bangle silver and copper bracelets that clattered as she poured drinks and denims that hung low on her hips. The lack of clothing around her midsection revealed a series of tattoos etched along her lower back. Ron wondered how many people knew they were runes.

He was joined at his table by a flirty blonde whose bosom was spilling out of her blouse and whose foot stroked his leg as she droned on about something or other with seemingly little care as to whether he was listening or not. While he drank and his companion's foot moved up his thigh, he watched to the barmaid interact with the patrons she'd come to know well over many months. She joked with the university boys who were home for a holiday and flirted with the salesmen who were winding down their day with a quick brew. She reminded Edgar that his wife would want him home for dinner and Mickey that it was time to go home and feed his cat.

His companion, Tina or Nina or some such, had been remarking that her flat was just down the street when he made to excuse himself. He hadn't quite rose from the table when the barmaid went into the back to get another few bottles of whiskey, commenting loudly how the patrons were going to drink her entire supply before the night was over.

She never came out.


Hermione tried her best to help him. She kept making appointments for him to speak to doctors that specialized in people who'd gone a bit mad. Harry went to them she'd remind him over and over again. Ron only smiled and slowly sipped whatever he was drinking as she frowned. Harry went, begrudgingly, because Ginny made him. Ginny had a way with Harry. She used to have a way with Ron, too, a long time ago, but Ron had outgrown her as he had outgrown everything else from his old life. So he just squeezed Hermione's hand, made a promise he had no intention of keeping, and wandered off looking for things he might never find.

His friends were all beginning new lives. Hermione and Neville were planning a wedding. Harry and Ginny were expecting a child. And Ron…Ron felt in the way most of the time. He knew how much they still worried about him, always worried about him, and he found it all a bit hard to take. His mother owled him once a day. His father kept dropping by his flat as he seemed to always be in the neighborhood. Even Fred and George stopped harassing him which probably bothered him most of all.

He needed something: something to do, something to think about, something to be other than alone and unhappy. He wasn't surprised when the offer came. He was surprised at how badly he wanted to take it.

His former supervisor at the Ministry had a project for him, a special job that called for someone with Ron's gifts. There were people who vanished - Aurors who abandoned their posts or foreign dignitaries who absconded with documents that didn't belong to them. Those who managed to vanish before being sentenced to a lifetime in Azkaban. Spies who turned out to be double agents. Double agents who turned out not to be double agents at all.

Some had to pay for crimes committed. Some had to atone for sins. Some owed money. Some were in the wrong place at the wrong time. All needed to be found.

There was no dignity in the work, but it paid ten times what he had been making before. Dignity was not a commodity he'd seen much of recently, certainly not at the bottom of a bottle of firewhiskey, and he needed the money. A couple of years were all he needed to get on his feet again, to buy himself a fresh start.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.


He meandered through the rows of shelves so laden with books that he wondered what kept them from toppling over. He couldn't help but think how much Hermione would love this place, with its vast and varied volumes and quiet corners where one could leaf through the books undisturbed for hours.

The clerk was short and stout with cropped black and silver hair and oval glasses that always seemed about to fall off the edge of her nose. She sat quietly by the counter reading a thick book between the few customers that deemed to disturb her. While many came into the bookstore, few seemed to buy anything. Instead they perused the store's wares and occasionally asked where a certain title could be found.

Each day began with a cup of blackberry sage tea from a local merchant and a pastry of some sort. She said 'Good morning' to the grocer down the street who always winked at her, and waved to the young boy selling newspapers. She spoke little, usually only when spoken to, and otherwise kept to herself. Her day ended with a quick clean up of the store and occasionally dinner at a small café where she sat behind a small wall of books.

It was a rainy Tuesday morning. Armed with a cup of black coffee, he walked passed the grocer and the young boy selling newspapers, and made his way to the bookstore. She never showed up for work.


"I think I've done it," Edward Smalls rasped, his face contorting into what Ron supposed was a grin.

"What have you done, exactly?" Ron asked as he went for the file.

"I've found a lost soul that you won't be able to find." Edward loved goading Ron, taunting him. Ron made him eat his words every time and this would be no exception.

"We'll see about…." He froze as the opened the folder.

"Nymphadora Tonks. Ex -Auror, recipient of the Order of Merlin, 3rd class-"

"I know who she is," Ron interrupted as he skimmed the file. "Why are you looking for her?"

"Why? You're asking why?" His smile twisted and those damned moist, unblinking eyes brightened.

Ron looked away. He could scarcely tolerate the man, but Edward was simply revolting when he was pleased with himself. "I always ask."

"You used to always ask," Edward corrected him. "In the beginning. When it was only a job."

"When it was only a job?" Ron replied. "What is it now?"

Edward sat back and looked at his beleaguered comrade. "Sustenance," he replied plainly.

Ron just stared back at him, restraining the overwhelming urge to hex the little troll into oblivion. Edward was one of those people who always thought they knew everything about everyone. The ones who considered themselves so far above the rest of the population, so much better than the people they hired to do their dirty work. In another life, Ron would have told Edward to take this file and shove it up his inordinately tight arse. "Humor me," Ron said flatly. "Why are you looking for her?"

"Deserter," he answered and made no attempt to elaborate any further.

"Try again." Ron knew Tonks, knew her to be loyal to a fault. She would never desert her post.

"That's the official story."

He leaned in. "And unofficially?"

"Unofficially," Edward paused, surveying Ron carefully. "Unofficially, she is suspected in the attempted assassination of the Minister of Magic."

"Assassination?" Ron nearly shouted. "Are you out of your bloody mind?"

"You ask too many questions, Ron," Edward remarked pointedly. "It's not good in this line of work."

Ron was suddenly filled with rage. "If I wanted your bloody opinion I'd have asked for it," he snarled. "Where's your proof?"

"We'll have our proof when you find Ms. Tonks."

"So I supply the body and you make up a crime?"

"So indignant, Ron," he said with a bitter laugh and a sigh. "Fair warning, old friend. I gave you this assignment because being an acquaintance of hers you have a better chance than the others. You're also the best I've got and this case…this case is bigger than you and me. There are some very powerful people looking for her. You better hope you find her first."


Armed with a bottle of a particularly ornery bourbon, he went back to his dreary flat he'd let down the street from where she danced. She looked different this time. The things that made her Tonks seemed to vanish more and more each time he found her. Despite being mostly naked when she danced on that stage, her closed eyes made her seem more guarded than he ever remembered seeing her. It pained him to think he was part of anything that might be hurting her. He had always admired her; so young and yet she was a decorated Auror. Over the past year and half that admiration only grew.

As she lost more and more of herself it was getting harder to find her. Soon it would be impossible. Part of him was rooting for her, hoping that she'd be able to vanish and be safe. But part of him hated to think that she'd be lost to him forever. Mostly he just worried that she would lose so much of herself that there would be nothing left to find.

She was foremost in his thoughts, as she had been ever since he saw that blasted file. Still, he wasn't prepared to open his door and be greeted by the sight of a pale young woman with light brown hair and a heart shaped face.

Ron dropped the bottle and it shattered on the floor by his feet.

"You," he said in a strained whisper.

"Me," she replied softly.

He closed the door behind him and moved into the room. "What are you doing here?"

She didn't answer right away. Instead she just stared at him, a sad, almost hurt, look in her big brown eyes. "You've been looking for me for a long time, Ron."

"I have." He felt a tightness in his chest he hadn't felt in years. She looked small and nearly broken. "Why were you running?"

"Does it matter?" She turned away.

He reached out and grabbed her arm. "Of course it matters. What the hell is going on?'

Tonks looked at the hand that held her arm and seemed to sway were she stood. "Can we sit down?" she asked.

She seemed ready to faint and Ron noticed how tired she looked. He realized with a pang of guilt - something else he hadn't felt in years - how exhausted she must be and how much of that was his fault.

"I always seem to get myself in the most precarious predicaments, don't I?" she said with a hollow laugh.

"You wouldn't be the first," he offered.

She looked up at him with dead eyes. "I think this might be a first."


After he left Edward behind Ron spent days looking Tonks's file, taking in each minute detail that shaped this decorated Auror and turned her into a fugitive. The thick dossier contained the things that the record of any Auror would contain: a history of her family going back six generations, the results of her entrance exams, a list of her assignments, her partners. Nothing noteworthy, save the numerous commendations she received towards the end of the war.

It was a promising career, meticulously cataloged since the day she applied to the program. And then suddenly, nothing. The file ended one-year prior with no word as to what happened to her, where she was assigned, whom she worked with. Word was she lost it after Kingsley Shacklebolt was killed. He was her partner for many years and it wasn't a surprise that she took his death so hard. But Kingsley died six months prior and while his loss might explain her absence since then, it didn't explain the time lost before it.

No, as far as Ron could tell, and knowing the inner workings of the Ministry as he did, it was most likely that Tonks was on a very special assignment, one that someone was careful not to leave any evidence of. Perhaps she saw something she shouldn't have. Perhaps she did something she shouldn't have. Either way she pissed someone off. Now they were looking for her and looking to pin some bogus crime on her. And he was to help them do it.


She took a long, deep breath. "I would do anything they needed me to do, Ron. No matter how dangerous, I never turned down an assignment. But things got…funny after the war. Things were supposed to be better, weren't they? After all the death and destruction, things were supposed to be better."

Ron often wondered that as well. What had the war actually changed? Who did it actually save?

Tonks paused to collect her thoughts. "People were making…alliances and all these small groups were starting to form within the Ministry. Before I knew what was happening I got transferred to this new department only to find I was the only operative, separated from the rest of the Aurors. I thought I was being punished for something. Then one day, my superiors informed me that I was to use my natural abilities for a special assignment."

Ron watched her struggle. Whether it was what she was saying or who she was saying it to he wasn't sure.

After a few minutes she found her voice again. "They tried to get me to stand in for the Minister. Impersonate him. Sign some treaties and hand over some land rights. You see, there are safeguards in place for things like Polyjuice or glamour spells that might change someone's appearance. But me, well, they'd never be able to tell, would they? Not really. It's not something you do with a wand. It isn't even magic really. It's me. Flesh and blood. A little training up and they could use me to could control the Ministry."

Ron said nothing as she spoke, he just listened quietly as she filled in the missing pieces to the puzzle that had him stumped since he first saw her face staring back at him from a thick file.

"They made threats. First to my career, which I thought was ridiculous because it would be over the second anyone found out what I had done. Not to mention that it was high treason. Then they began to throw around threats. I thought they were bluffing and threatened to go the Minister himself. Then they…then…" She broke off. Her face was stark white and she was trembling so much Ron thought she'd break apart.

"Then they killed Kingsley," Ron finished for her. Even as he said the words he wasn't sure he believed it but it made sense. The official story was that Kingsley Shacklebolt died of a pre-existing medical problem though no further details were disclosed. Ron had no reason to doubt it at the time but he found it odd that there wasn't more information available. He thought there was more to the story but he never thought that something underhanded had occurred. Why would anyone want to hurt a decorated war hero after all?

Tonks wiped her tear stained face. "They promised to kill everyone else I cared for. One by one. I didn't know what else to do, so I ran. I was afraid they'd go after my mother. Or Remus. He and I hadn't been together for years but still… I hoped that eventually they'd leave me alone and move onto another scheme. But then they sent you and I knew…I knew it would never be over."

She shook her head slightly as if waking herself from a dream. "I've lost, Ron. It doesn't matter where I go or what I do. Someone will find me. It was only a matter of time. I can't live like this--trusting no one, isolated from everyone I love, working at jobs I hate because I have no choice. Feeling so damned trapped. This can't be my life."

Nor mine, Ron thought. At least Tonks had a real reason for it; all he had was old injury that kept him out of the battle and a sense of uselessness he couldn't shake. All he had was guilt over letting his friends die while he sat in an office. All he had was bitterness and resentment and rage he couldn't target toward anyone but himself. This can't be my life.

"What happens now?" she asked.

Her question jolted him to attention. "What?"

"You've got me. You've captured your fugitive. So what happens now?"

He took a deep breath. Yes, what happens now? "Well, I suppose we get you cleared and make sure it's safe for you to come home."

She opened her mouth and then closed it again. "Wha…I don't understand?"

He looked at her and gave her a small smile. "I said I'd find you. I never said I'd turn you in."

"Ron, you can't. …these people…you don't know what they are capable of."

"No, Tonks. It's they who don't know what I am capable of." His lungs suddenly felt clear.

Perhaps it was the look in his eyes that ignited the fire in her but suddenly, the pale cheeks flushed and the dead eyes brightened, and there was hope for two people who never thought they'd find it again.


The stack of documents that landed on her desk every morning seemed twice at thick as the stack before it. Before long Hermione Granger's office would be nothing more than a giant filing cabinet and she would be yet another casualty of the bureaucratic red tape that threatened to drown her each day.

Hermione was so inundated that she didn't realized she had a visitor until she heard the not so subtle clearing of a throat. She looked up to see someone standing in her doorway, a ginger-haired, bright-eyed someone that seemed to step out of her memory.

A whispered "Ron" fell from her lips as if she hadn't meant to say it a loud. It wasn't until he gave her a small smile that she was able to ask: "Is that really you?"

"I'm afraid so," he answered.

The man standing in front of her wasn't the one who hovered at the corners of her life for the past few years, the shadow of a boy she once knew, of a boy she once loved. This man seemed to stand a bit taller. His chin was held a bit higher. And when he walked towards her, he seemed to have purpose in his gait.

"It's been a while." Her voice cracked when she spoke.

"It's been a lifetime, I think," he replied.

She nodded her head. A lifetime seemed more accurate. "Where have you been?"

"For that last two years or the last ten?" he said as he took the seat across from her.

"Don't tease me," she scolded. "How are you doing?"

He stood silent for a moment, his eyes staring a spot just over her shoulder. "I'm…better."

"That's good to hear," she said softly.

"I…I'm here on business."

There was something about his tone that spoke more to Hermione than a thousand words ever could. "What's going on?"

Ron leaned forward. placing his elbows on the desk in front of him. "About two years ago," he began, "I was given this file…."

The story he told seemed too fantastic to believe, too horrifying to comprehend. There were rumors, of course. Always rumors. But Hermione never put much store behind the cackling of hens. Those rumors, however, didn't come close to the sickening truth. A friend was being persecuted for not allowing herself to be used, for refusing to be a puppet and a pawn. Another was dead because it.

"Are you sure about all this?" she asked.

"I'm afraid so," he said gravely, "I still have a few trusted contacts in the Aurors office and they did a bit of digging." He handed Hermione a thick stack of files.

She took the top most one and sat back. She skimmed one right after the other occasionally whispering: "This can't.… "They can't…. "We have to do something."


Ron watched her read through the files. Hermione had a way about her. A righteous indignation that reminded him so vividly of a girl knitting a thousand hats because she thought it would free an enslaved race. He would always adore her for that.

She urged Ron to talk to Harry while she gathered as much information as she could. It wasn't long before the three of them were once again on a mission.

Standing shoulder to shoulder with Harry and Hermione once more melted away the years of pain and bitterness. Once more he was doing something just because it was the right thing to do and that made him feel alive again. Ron found what he'd thought he'd lost so very long ago: he found his friends, he found a purpose, and he found himself.

The trial that ensued took over a year, but once Tonks told her story, others came forward. A few, Ron was ashamed to admit, were among the lost that he'd personally found. But in the end the case was proven, and nearly a dozen high-ranking Ministry officials were convicted of conspiracy, treason, and murder.

Tonks was reinstated as an Auror with full honors but she officially resigned the day she got her papers. That life wasn't hers anymore, nor could it ever be again.


"What are you going to do now?" she asked.

"I haven't the foggiest idea," he answered honestly.

Tonks gave him a broad smile. "I know what you mean. I never thought I'd have this sort of choice again. Now that I can, choose that is, I find myself…."

"Trapped by freedom," he filled in for her, as she didn't seem to know how to finish that sentence.

"I'm not sure I'd put it that way, but yeah."

They were at the Burrow, sitting in the garden, watching the gnomes race across the grass. Tonks stayed there during the trials. Ron spent most of his time building her case but he often came to visit her and make sure she was all right. Their visits became a nightly occurrence that began as minutes and ended as hours. Months after it was all over Tonks remained in the Burrow and the nightly visits never ended.

With Tonks's name cleared, it seemed that she should resume her life, but like Ron she was having difficulty doing so. "I spent the last few years praying for this moment, you know, wanting the nightmare to be over. I so desperately wanted my life back, but there is no going back, is there?"

Ron didn't answer right away; instead he picked up a rock and tossed it at a gnome's head. "Going back isn't all it's cracked up to be. I think that's what was holding me back for so long. I was trying so hard to hold onto who I was, I never got to know who I am. Instead I let myself become the thing I never wanted to be."

She smiled at him. "You've become very wise."

"Not really, I got it from a book. But it did sound good, didn't it?"

He liked that he could make her laugh. Her face changed when she laughed. Her own face. And he was changing it. It was an occurrence that was happening more and more. He was making her eyes shine brightly. He was making her lips part in a joy-filled smile. It warmed him to see her so happy and it was killing him to have to say good-bye.

"So, you're really leaving then," he asked her.

"I think so. Yeah, I mean…yes, I am." She couldn't quite meet his eye. "It'll be nice to go as myself."

He was happy for her he tried to convince himself, but her leaving made him ache in a way he hadn't for a very long time. It hadn't taken long for him to become used to her company.

Hermione talked to him of crossroads and new paths, making it sound like he was going on some sort of trip. In a way he supposed he was. He was leaving a place he lived in for a long time, an empty, barren place that had trapped him for so long. But the only other place he knew was the home of his youth and as much as he would have liked to, he could never dwell there again. Part of him was jealous that Tonks's was finding her way again. "Where are you off to this time?" he asked.

She didn't answer right away, but paused to watch a gnome drag a carrot it liberated from the Weasley garden down a hole to its warren. "I'm not telling." She finally looked up at him, the slightest of smiles playing on her lips. "You'll just have to find me…again."

Ron realized that while it might not have sounded it like, she just asked him a question. "Is that a challenge, Ms. Tonks?"

She simply shrugged. "An invitation, I think." With that soft-spoken answer she leaned forward, pausing just long enough to moisten her lips with a swipe of her tongue, and kissed him. Her lips felt like silk against his and he found she pulled away far too quickly.

"Catch me if you can." And in an instant she was gone.

Ron blinked at the spot where she had just stood. The hunt was on once more but the game had changed. Ron thought he'd like the new rules very much.

  • Oh, this was just lovely! I really enjoyed the feelings threaded throughout, of Ron's hopelessness and how helping Tonks helped him. Just lovely!
  • Bravisimo

    Wonderful! Your Tonks on the run is brilliant. I loved the pacing, and the story telling with the file unfolding all the while Ron is finding her in a new place. Also, brilliant on how everyone is healed by working together again.

    You might not torture poor Ron quite as much as oncelikeshari, but you manage to make us love him just as much.

    • Re: Bravisimo

      This is about as much as I can torture Ron. I just hate to see him unhappy.

      Thanks so much for reading this and being such an active reviewer. I appreciate it more than you know.
  • It doesn't need the smut. This is a wonderful tale all on it's own. I like the characterizations, the ministry, the very real things that could happen once the books are over that you enumerated.

    This is just lovely, and i do think i'll be adding it to my memories to read again and again. :)
    • Thank you so much for your very lovely words.

      I only mentioned the smut thing because the person I write it for hoped for a higher rating. It just wasn't meant to be. :o)
  • Oh, what a lovely idea! And executed in typical Tart style--evocative and endearing. Well done!
  • Much as I like smut, I think it would've ruined this. Lovely!
  • A wonderfully 'noire' piece, especially in the beginning 'hunting' sections. Tightly written and tensely paced and a great read!

  • Oh, I love this. Ron's desperation and longing for
    is so real. And while I never turn down Ron smut, this was just perfect as it is.

    Oh God- only 4 more days to DH! Can you believe it's almost here?
    • Thank you so much for your very kind words. :o)

      And no, I can't believe it's almost here. I'm a bit heartbroken. I'm just not ready.

  • Oh, wow. . .I love this. . . I loved, loved, loved this Ron and you know the way to my heart is through a good, well written Ron. . .

    And you know, every time I read anything by you. . .I'm just blown away. . .You are one of those authors I will forever be jealous of because you weave tales so well. . .You do it all so effortlessly. . .Your prose is beautiful. . .Your characterization is captivating and your plots are intriguing. . .You have a talent that I admire. . . You are, in my humble opinion, one of the very best writers in the fandom and I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

    Needless to say. . I adored the story. . thank you so much for writing it for me! I am touched and extremely honored to have someone SOOO talented write something for me. . .And as I knew you would, you made this pairing AWESOME!



    • You're very sweet. Thank you.

      I'm only glad I finished it before the last book. I can't believe how long it sat, half written, on my computer. I don't have to tell you how difficult it can be to find an hour or two to yourself to write when the world has other plans for you.

      And I wouldn't say anything I've ever written felt effortless to write though I'm thrilled it read that way. Writing was difficult for me but it was a difficulty I relished meeting.

      I thank you again for your kind words. Yours remains some of my favorite fics and to know that you enjoyed my work as well makes me very happy.

      Take care.

      See you after Deathly Hallows breaks my heart.

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