Chapter 17

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Ron's POV

Everybody seemed nervous about what had happened. Nico was able to leave the hospital wing after a few days but he still seemed a little weak, not fully recovered. The seven others visited him a lot when he was still barely conscious, despite Madam Pomfrey's insistence on them letting him rest as much as possible. Harry, Hermione, and Ron had also dropped by a few times too, but looking at him, barely able to move or speak, was hard to bare.

"There's something about the eight of them we don't know about," Ron sat at a chair in the library

Harry sighed, "Well, we have that figured out, it's just everything else that we haven't."

"I've been talking to Professor Lupin a bit more. He's lent me some books to look through but I still haven't found anything that matches up perfectly. Mermaids no, Giants, no. I've honestly spent hours looking for answers," Hermione said as she flipped the page of one of her books.

Ron had spent more time in the library reading and researching than he ever thought was healthy. He wondered how Hermione ever managed to do that, to live through the boringness of it all

After about half an hour more of talking, they decided to go back to the common room to take a break. When they walked through the portrait door, they saw that the room was empty.

"Hey, I'm quickly going to grab a couple of chocolate frogs from my bag," Ron said, as he pointed towards the dormitories.

"You're always hungry," Hermione said.

"You say that like we don't already know," Harry joked.

When he stepped inside the room, his mind was set on chocolate and trading cards so he was surprised to see Percy, Jason, Frank, and Leo standing there, talking to each other.

They looked up, "Hey Ron," Percy nodded.

"Hey. I didn't know you guys were here."

"Well, there's no class today and the girls are planning a picnic so we're just getting ready," Jason said. As he got up to get his glasses, Ron noticed something on his wrist. He couldn't see it clearly but it had looked like a black mark or design drawn on his skin, a tattoo.

"Harry and Hermione are waiting for me so I've gotta go now," Ron stammered, hoping that they didn't notice that he had seen anything. He quickly walked back to were the two were sitting by the fireplace.

"Where are the chocolate fro-," Harry stopped mid-sentence when he saw his face. "What's wrong?"

"Shhh," Ron hushed aside the question as the four walked down.

"Hey guys, come join us if you want to," Leo waved. Ron noticed how he didn't have the mark on his wrist, unlike Jason.

The three nodded and waved back, trying to act natural as they left the room.

Ron waited a few seconds before saying anything. "Death Eaters have a tattoo on their wrists, right?" Ron fumbled into an armchair.

"Yea, but where are you going with this?" Harry asked.

"Well I'm pretty sure I saw one on Jason's."

Hermione looked worried, "Are you sure?"

Ron thought about it, "I didn't see it very clearly but for a second I could swear I saw something."

They looked at each other, silent. Hermione finally broke the silence, "I also found something you might want to hear about." Ron and Harry looked at her curious, as she took out a couple of news papers. From the frozen pictures, Ron could tell that they were muggle ones. She had bent a page in each, bookmarking the articles she had found. She opened it up and showed it to them.

They stared at it wide-eyed. It only took a couple seconds to recognize the little twelve year old's face as  a younger Percy's. Ron quickly read over both articles. "What are we going to do? Confront them?"

Hermione sighed, "Well I've been thinking about it ever since they got here and I think that we should. Maybe not now, but sometime soon. We can't go around asking direct questions, but we still need to get answers."

Ron nodded, "I guess, but what about now?"

"We gain their trust. We tell them our story," Harry said.

Ron looked at him to make sure he was serious, "They're keeping secrets and we just go and tell them everything about us?"

He shrugged, "We've gotta do something and we did tell them that we would."

When they got outside, they found the eight of them talking and laughing on the grass near the lake. When they noticed them walking over, they smiled and made room on the picnic blanket which seemed to have a surprising amount of food on it. Ron wanted to ask where they had gotten all of it because they probably didn't know about the pear you had to tickle to get into the kitchen, but he put it aside after remembering why they were there.

"We're going to tell you our story and talk to you about the Great Wizarding War that happened at Hogwarts not even a year ago," Harry went straight to the point.

The others expressions became serious as they leaned in and stopped talking. The three of them tried to explain as much as they could, which took a lot longer than Ron had expected, but luckily they had food to munch on during the whole thing. The eight listened carefully, barely interrupting, as they told them about the last seven years plus everything else that was relevant and important.

"Woah," Leo said after they were done.

Though they seemed surprised by everything that they had just told them, their reactions were different from most other people they told. Most people were usually completely amazed, which they seemed to be, but the look of complete disbelief was missing.

The three sat with the seven during dinner at the Great Hall. Ron wanted to take a better look at Jason's wrist but he had put on a jacket, completely covering it up. In fact, the only ones not wearing a jacket or long sleeve was Leo, Annabeth, and Piper and Ron had looked at their forearms for any marks with no luck at all.

A couple hours later while Ron was heading up to the dorm from the common room, Percy called his name from behind, "Hey Ron, I just wanted to thank you."

"For what?"

"For telling us the story. The eight of us, you could say, have gone through a lot, so hearing your guys' story was really cool. I never knew about all that stuff."

Ron hesitated, "When you say you guys have gone through a lot, what do you mean by that?"

He watch Percy as he answered, "Well, I've been expelled from a bunch of schools and had to live with this jerk as my stepdad for years because my actual dad had to leave when I was a baby, before I was born actually."

"Is that all?"

"What do you mean?" Percy asked uncomfortably.

"Well we found these newspapers in the library from a few years back," Ron said, choosing his words carefully, "and there were some articles about you. About how you went missing after a car accident, but how you were found with a kidnapper and a couple of other kids. How you single-handedly beat him in a duel, invloving guns. All of this when you were just twelve."

Percy looked back at him, silent for a few seconds, "It's a really long story, but it explains it all in the articles."

"Is that all?" Ron asked.

"Yep," Percy turned around and walked away, spinning a ball point pen in his hand like a good luck charm.

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