So this is so, so cliche, I know, but I had to do it. It called to me. I decided to do this ds106 assignment: The Way It Should Have Been. Basically, it’s a what-if exploration in some sort of book or movie or comic. It’s supposed to be a moment that would make it better, but I try not to think in terms of “better,” just in terms of “different.” After all, “better” is all about point of view, and what people think is good differs from person to person. Heck, it differs on my mood — what I like one day, I may loathe another.
No, I didn’t chose Star Trek, though I thought about it. I ended up with Harry Potter. I thought about a few things, actually — not the least of which was Slytherin!Harry. I also contemplated altering Book Six: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, in that scene where Harry casts the cutting curse at Draco in the bathroom.
In the end, I went back to the whole AlternateHouse! thing. But not Harry. I ended up with Slytherin!Ron.
Why, you may ask — and I’ll oblige, because it does sound a bit off, doesn’t it? Let’s think about this, though. (I’m not doing the sorting, so you don’t have the benefit of the hat, so I should probably explain now.) Ron Weasley, when he looks into the Mirror of Erised in Chapter 12, sees himself as the best, most successful member of his family. He’s Head Boy, and Quidditch Captain, and chances are he’s got the best grades, even better than Percy. He’s also cunning: he’s a chess player, and a good one. He knows that sometimes, you need to make sacrifices to get what you want, and that winning is pretty much the point.
And what are Slytherins know for? Cunning and ambition, and even at eleven, Ron has it in spades. Certainly, he’s brave, and foolhardy, and in many respects the typical Gryffindor. But what if, in that moment, he was thinking about being the best of them all instead of thinking about how much he needed to conform to the standards of his family? What if, instead of being worried to the point of there’s-nothing-but-this, he was frustrated or otherwise upset with the expectations of his family, knowing that whatever he did, he was “nothing special” in terms of everything that there is to be done, they’ve all done it?
Well, we’d have an entirely different story, wouldn’t we? He’d been telling Harry that Slytherins were evil, so their friendship would go flat, at least for a bit, until both realized they were being idiots. (Which, at eleven, it takes awhile.)
In any case.
Since I don’t actually want to rewrite the books from Ron’s perspective (because let’s face it, even if he and Harry do end up as best buds, there are bound to be discrepancies in the way things get done, because Ron will have developed self-preservation instincts — probably — simply because he’d have been living in a very unfriendly environment), I’m going to go from right after the sorting until right before the first class, which I’m making Potions because I don’t actually remember what it is, and I can’t find my book. I hope you don’t mind.
As always, before I post this, I would like to say just a few more things. I do not own the rights to these books, though I do own a copy of each. I do not own these characters, and nothing I do or say can or will, to the best of my knowledge, influence in any way, shape, or form Harry Potter. I am not making any money from writing using these characters.
So, here’s the story, now that you’ve read the process. Read, or don’t read, that’s up to you — though if you do, feel free to tell me what you think of Slytherin!Ron, because, frankly, it kind of amuses me.
Ron Weasley sat frozen upon the stool, the hat still covering his eyes. He couldn’t move, refused to move — the hat must have been joking, or he’d misheard, or something, anything, but it couldn’t have possibly meant what he thought it had said.
Except he was being ushered from the stool, towards the table that was very much not where he, or anyone else judging by the silence, thought he’d be going. He sat away from the other first years — Draco Malfoy was giving him particularly poisonous looks, and the other Slytherins were nearly as hateful. The sorting continued, but Ron didn’t pay any attention to it. He looked towards his brothers, but they looked just as shocked, just as horrified.
Ron dropped his gaze to the table. He didn’t want to look up again. How could this have happened? What kind of Weasley was he, to end up in this house for dark wizards?
He paled. What was his mother going to think?
Dinner appeared, but even that couldn’t cheer Ron up. The Slytherins whispered to themselves, looking sidelong at their out of place new housemate. Ron didn’t know what to say to them, either, so he picked at his potatoes and chicken (he had to put something on his plate, after all, and he wasn’t stupid — he needed to eat something if he was going to have to stave off some sort of attack).
At some point, the Headmaster led them all in song. Ron roused himself enough to sort of mumble along, but with his eyes on the table, he couldn’t see the words. He glanced up, once, but when he saw his brothers and Harry Potter (And now how were they going to be friends? Oh, Harry must hate him now — stupid sorting hat. Stupid Slytherins.) looking at him, still horror struck, he quickly redirected his gaze to the empty table.
The Prefects led them into the dungeons soon after. Ron trailed along after the rest, careful not to get too close. All of them were throwing distrustful looks at him, and he guessed he could understand why, but that didn’t mean he had to like it. Still, it wasn’t like he trusted them, so whatever.
Luckily, they were all sent to bed right after. Even better, the first years were in double rooms, unless there were an odd number, and with seven boys, Ron got his own room. No one wanted to share with him, and he was glad of that, at least. If nothing else, he wouldn’t have to worry about his roommates. After all, they were probably a dark wizard, a Death Eater-to-be, just like all Slyther– but no. That couldn’t be right. Ron was a Slytherin now, too. Unless… was he evil and he just didn’t know until now?
Is that what the hat had seen inside his head? He was evil, or he was going to be, or there was something wrong with him that no one had noticed before?
He got ready for bed, but he spent a long time staring at the ceiling.
Ron woke early. He quickly got ready for the day, and wandered out to the common room. He hoped that someone would be willing to tell him how to get to the Great Hall for breakfast. A few upper year students walked through, but when he moved to follow, or to ask for help, they just glared disdainfully at him until he sat back down.
Eventually, the other first years gathered, and a Prefect led them up the stairs.
The others had clearly decided to ignore his existence. None of his year mates would look at him, and though he asked one of the girls (Millicent? Mandy? M-something, anyway.) to pass the salt for his eggs, no one acknowledged him. Only the Prefect who handed him his scheduled bothered to say anything at all to him, and that was “Here.”
Quickly, he read over it. Ron closed his eyes in resignation. Most of his classes were with Gryffindor. Way to rub it in, he thought. It was like he wasn’t already aware that he was a failure.
Mail came. He froze in fear, hoping he wasn’t going to get a Howler. Luckily, or not, he received nothing. He hoped his parents weren’t too angry.
But who was he kidding? He was a Weasley. Weasleys had always been in Gryffindor. Always. Yes, there must be something wrong with him.
He looked at his schedule again. Potions first, with Gryffindors. Ron grimaced — his brothers had always told him that that teacher favored the Slytherins. Pausing, he reconsidered. It certainly couldn’t hurt him, now, if it were true.
He rose with the other students. It was time for class.