Submission from Christina, with a continuation from me :)
Harry and Ron’s relationship undergoes a rocky period when George finally starts to kind of treat Ron as an equal.
Without Fred, George is able to see that Ron’s wit and imagination is on par with his own. They work together, so they spend the most time together.
George stops picking on him so much and they begin to banter and conspire the way he and his twin used to (almost).
Ron, who’d wanted the twins’ approval his whole life, is thrilled. (Thanks, Christina, I love this and I’m super glad to continue it!) He is finally, as he sees it, an adult in the eyes of his now-favorite brother.
As an Auror, Ron had spent nearly every day with Harry, but once he began working full time at the Wheezes (and he calls it for short), he and Harry carved out their own time to see each other. Monday nights with all the kids, and Friday nights without, gave them ample time to hang out and talk about their new lives.
Monday nights, the nights Ron took Rose and Hugo - five and seven - to the Potter house to play with their cousins and to give their Mum a break and a chance to get organized for the week ahead, were the first to go, once George asked Ron to a “collab session” with “the team” every Monday.
Harry held back his hurt. It seemed so perfect for Ron - finally using his creativity, and working with his hands the way he’d loved as an Auror. How could Harry - who had taken so much from him since they were children - possibly object? He takes his niece and nephew anyway, oversees the playdates by himself, unsure what it is inside of him that hurts.
He begins to orient his weeks around Friday nights with Ron. The conversation used to flow naturally, a good-natured ribbing about their respective jobs, their respective wives. Real conversation about their kids. Fun stories from work. Reminiscing, still trying to fit pieces from their childhood together. Since he’d gone back to the Wheezes, though, the talk about work became talk about George. The fun stories were always about George. The talk about their childhood was oriented towards Ron’s feelings of inadequacy against his brothers and how that had all changed, now that he was close with George.
Harry, displaced and untethered without his friendship with his favorite person - finds himself disappearing in their conversation. When Ron invites George along to their favorite Friday night pub, Harry can’t even find the words to object. He feels as if he’s been uprooted from his life - as the man who’s best friends with Ron Weasley - and given some poor substitute for himself.
It fades, as these things do, and things went more or less back to normal, after Hermione confronted them both and explained to Ron why what he was doing was wrong. But it would be years before Harry felt safe his place in the world again.
If Harry ever set up a muggle dating profile, his description would say: Anyone who’s interested message me by replying to this question: If you ever met a very famous person, what would you say to them?
And after getting numerous boring responses he’d get this one:
I do know a very famous person and he’s an asshole. So, I’d probably say ‘Hey, asshole.’
And Harry thinks, this, this is it. This is the kind of man he needs. So he sets up a date with this guy and it turns out to be Draco.
Upon seeing each other they just groan defeatedly.
Imagine twelve year old Harry not even knowing how awful his childhood with Dursleys had been until he gets to the Burrow.
Imagine him seeing Percy asleep with a book on his lap, and being baffled that a kid might feel comfortable enough in his own home to be so vulnerable in the living room.
Imagine Molly coming up to the attic to say goodnight to Ron and Harry, and Harry glancing at Ron when he hears her footsteps, trying to figure out what they had done wrong that day.
Imagine him asking George who does all the house chores, and thinking it’s a joke when George answers, “we all do.”
Imagine Ginny pestering Arthur with questions over the Daily Prophet, and Harry trying to shoot her warning looks to stop it! but then Mr. Weasley looks up and patiently answers every single one.
Imagine Bill popping in for a visit one evening and Harry being floored when Bill stops to chat with him.
Imagine Fred chasing after Harry in the yard, playfighting, but Harry actually begins to run for real fear of being hurt.
Imagine Molly burning something on the stove my accident and tossing it, imagine Harry mentioning to Ron, offhandedly, “she could’ve given that one to me, it’s what I eat at home when I mess up dinner” and not knowing why Ron is horrified.
Imagine Harry seeing what a normal, functioning family looks like, and realizing the absence of love in his own life.
right after Harry finds out a dangerous mass murderer has escaped prison and is trying to kill him he is still more upset about the fact he can’t visit the wizard sweet shop on weekends and this is why I love him