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A/N: I do not own Harry Potter. Nor any of the DC Comics Characters mentioned herein. But you knew that.
A/N2: This is an extremely AU fic. Unusually for a Harry Potter fic, Harry isn't the central character. The 'hero' of this tale is on Ron Weasley. Anyone who reads my stuff knows that I've done some horrible things to Ron over the years, mostly because he is perfectly situated in the story to be 'the bad guy' or the 'comedy relief'. The funny thing is, I like Ron from the books. He was, in my opinion the most realistically portrayed character in the stories. He wasn't the hero, but he was willing to defend the hero, he wasn't a genius, but he was smart enough to recognize when a situation was going south… and stay in the line of fire anyway. Ron of canon was jealous, a goof, judgmental, more than a little reactionary, prejudiced and a good guy. In other words, he was a teenaged boy.
This story is for Ron, for all the crap we Fic Mongers put you through buddy.
My name is Ron Weasley.
What? Yeah, I've got a middle name, but I've always hated it.
It doesn't matter what it is.
No, it doesn't.
All right, fine. It's Billius.
I know, I know, Billius. What were Mum and Dad thinking?
My unfortunate middle name aside, I was standing alongside my two best friends, Harry Potter and Hermione Granger. We were waiting to go to war. When facing something like that you find out things about yourself. Me, I found out that Harry was someone I would die for, and Hermione... Hermione I wanted to live for.
The actual war started before any of us were born, and none of us were really clear on precisely why it had fallen to us to fight it, but there we were, waiting for it to start.
The worst part of was all the waiting. It seemed like I was always waiting. Time drags constantly with my mind racing toward its next thought.
On and on.
Harry had just finished his briefing to the rest of the Defense Association; Voldemort was supposed to be there in half an hour. An eternity.
The DA was deployed throughout the grounds of the castle, it didn't look like the staff was going to be much help, which was typical, but at least this time they were all busy guarding the younger kids.
Hermione was at Harry's side, as usual. Of course, so was I. Voldemort was coming.
Harry said we were ready. I believed him, because he had me on his side.
Don't let this pretty face fool you. I'm very effective in battle. I cheat.
I was ten.
Mum's cousin, the accountant we never spoke of, had contacted her and wanted to reconnect with the family. Mum began exchanging letters with him and somehow Ginny and I ended up going to visit 'Uncle' Ruddie and 'Aunt' Mary at their home in Nebraska.
Nebraska is in the colonies somewhere... Canada I think. I never really paid that much attention, really. The closest town was called 'Blue Valley' even though the valley it was in wasn't particularly blue. My fifteen year old 'cousin' Wally was responsible for showing me around... when he was available. He usually was, but sometimes... It was odd. One second Wally would be with me, and the next he would be gone.
Don't get me wrong, Wally was a good bloke, even if he didn't know his name was an insult. He got his hair from the Prewett side of the family, so he was a proper redhead. He had some seriously cool gear and was generous in sharing it with me. Gin was pretty much out of luck, as Wally did not have a sister and she was not interested in his things so she hung out with Aunt Mary mostly.
The first day we were there, Wally was surprised to find out that I did not know how to ride a bicycle, so he taught me. A bike isn't a broom, but as ways to travel go, it's not bad. On my first solo ride later that afternoon, I looked back smiling in my pride of having mastered the machine and Wally was gone.
That boggled my mind. One second he was there, the next he was gone. Did he apparate? There hadn't been any noise, he was just gone...
Besides, he wasn't supposed to have any magic. This was just... weird.
Our days settled into an easy pattern. We would get up to breakfast and a morning of chores. Nothing particularly different about that, Weasleys learn chores early, and for the most part what chores there were at the West home were minimal, I don't think I saw a gnome the whole time I was in Nebraska. Over lunch, we would talk. Wally would tell us about his school and we would tell him of our lessons with Mum. Aunt Mary and Wally didn't know about magic, so Gin and I had to be careful what we told them. But we weren't the only ones with secrets, there were things that Wally accidentally hinted at a few times, but he usually covered himself well.
If I hadn't grown up with Fred and George I probably would never have spotted his mistakes, but I had, so I did. That said, I figured I had my secrets, so Wally could have his.
We generally spent afternoons just goofing off. I learned that a fifteen year old doesn't 'play' he goofs off. This is important, because of the possibility that he might be seen. It turns that being seen has a potential immediate effect on one's perceived coolness. Apparently, to a fifteen year old, being thought of as 'cool' by his friends was one of the most important things in the world.
After dinner, we were afforded more time to goof off, and then back to the house for some time with a marvelous machine called a television.
In short, life in Blue Valley was great. Wally introduced me around to his friends, portraying me as a burden inflicted upon him by parental whim. I understood, I used much the same attitude when Ginny accompanied me back home.
We had been with the West family for almost three weeks when my life changed. Wally had decided that day to show me the tree house he had built when he was my age. He made the five years that separated us sound like a lifetime, which I suppose it was.
The tree house was actually little more than a platform in the branches of an old walnut tree, but I loved it. Aunt Mary had provided a picnic lunch and Wally brought along his collection of comic books (Muggles have comics... Who knew?) and together we spent the day day-dreaming, reading comics and just having a good time.
Then I looked up from the Adventures of Tin Tin to find that Wally was gone. Utterly gone.
I had spoken with him only seconds before, and there was no way to make the descent to the ground silently, and even if he had, this tree stood alone in a field, I could see a quarter mile in every direction and Wally was nowhere to be seen.
What the heck was going on? Had the family's magic reemerged in my distant cousin? That seemed unlikely. My brother Bill could apparate, and despite being the coolest guy on the planet (just ask him) he couldn't apparate silently. How was Wally doing this?
I decided then and there that I had had enough of this, and I was going to get to the bottom of Wally's disappearances. So I settled back down to wait.
I'd been waiting an hour and a half when the sky started to darken. During our visit to Nebraska Ginny and I had been treated to some of the most impressive storms I'd ever heard of, so I recognized what was coming. I gathered everything together and set out for Wally's house. There was no sense in getting drenched after all, I could wait for Wally in his room.
As soon as I got out from under the tree's canopy, the sky opened up and I was soaked to the bone. Wonderful. I thought for a moment about getting back under the tree, but a crack of thunder convinced me that doing so would be an exceedingly bad idea. The amount of water coming down convinced me that lying in a ditch was probably not the best idea either, so I dropped the picnic things and started to run toward a somewhat higher small furrow that hopefully would allow me to ride out the storm without drowning. I was perhaps two paces away from my hoped for place of safety when the entire universe lit up all around me and my soul was on fire.
I woke to two sensations, motion and an uncontrollable shaking. I opened my eyes to see a world I never even imagined. Everything was seemingly frozen in place and I was somehow moving while face down. It took a short time before I had fully taken in my situation. Someone was carrying me over their shoulder. Someone wearing some sort of red leggings and a yellow shirt. I was facing down and I could see my benefactor's foot prints as we sped along.
That was when I realized that those footprints were in what appeared to be water. Water that was somewhat... solid... but not ice. That struck me as being very odd.
My senses seemed to be coming back to me one at a time. The runner managed to kick up some of the strangely solid water and some of it hit me in the face. On my face, it was very liquid, and very cool, but most definitely not frozen, and it tasted like... well, water.
I was being carried by someone running on a jellied lake or something? How did that make the slightest bit of sense?
I still couldn't move, but my hearing was coming back. I was amazed by the silence. There was a soft swish of the runner's steps on the odd surface, and now that I concentrated on it, the runner was babbling.
"Oh god, I'm sorry Ron, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to do this to you, don't worry, Barry can fix it. Barry can fix it, I promise. Oh god!"
Wally? What was he talking about? He hadn't done anything. I had been struck by lightning. That must be why I had the shakes so bad. Once when Charlie was playing with one of the twin's pranked books a bolt of blue fire erupted from the book and Charlie was shaking for two hours.
Then, of course, once he had regained his muscle control, Charlie beat the stupidity out of Fred and George, but there you go. Pranking family has its cost, as the twins well knew.
In a blink, we weren't over the oddly solid water anymore, but on a paved road, we were passing all these Muggle cars on the road weaving in and out of them. The oddness continued, why were all these cars parked in the road? Where was everyone, and why was it so quiet?
We were suddenly in a building... a building full of statues. Wally stopped suddenly, and began babbling. "Barry! I screwed up; I tried to save him but he's like this and..."
"Not here," another voice said. "My office, I'll be there as soon as I can."
We quickly made our way past the statues to an office. This was nothing like my Dad's office at the ministry; it was large and uncluttered, with only a single desk and several chairs. Wally lowered me onto one of the chairs, and seemed to be overjoyed to find my eyes open.
"Ron?" he pulled me into a hug. "You're a wake, thank god, I wasn't sure if I had killed you or something...."
I tried to talk, but the shaking my body was doing made making any sound seemingly impossible. Somehow, through the lack of control of my own body, I could see the concern in my cousin's eyes. It was only then I noticed that he was wearing some kind of mask. His hair was exposed, but rather than his normal Prewett red, it was a sort of mousy brown. The mask was yellow and wrapped around his head, exposing his eyes and his face from his nose to chin. The mask flowed seamlessly into his yellow shirt. The shirt had a red lightning bolt centered on his chest and there were red wing things over each ear.
In short, he looked like some kind of... well, like a wally.
I sat there trying to understand what was happening to me when a tall blonde man I did not recognize entered the room. "What happened?"
"I don't know. I got a Titan's call and when I got back, I found Ron... Ron is my cousin, he was about to be hit by lightning. I grabbed hold of his shoulder and got him vibrating just as the lightning struck and then he was like this," Wally paused panting a little. Titan's call? Got me vibrating? What did that even mean?"
The tall blond man knelt down to look me in the eye. "Ron, my name is Barry Allen; I'm Wally's uncle on his mother's side. I think something very special has happened to you, I'm going to try and help you, alright?"
I managed to nod, wondering just what might be so 'special' about shaking as if I had freezing charms on my y-fronts.
Barry placed his right hand on my chest, and then reached behind me to put his left on my back. After a few moments he whistled.
"What is it?" Wally asked bouncing from foot to foot.
"Wally, your cousin here has somehow fully synced into the Speed Force, and he's done it quite a bit faster than either you or I did. His problem is that he can't slow down."
'Synced into the Speed Force'? What did that even mean?
"But that doesn't make any sense, both of us were exposed to a chemical bath before being hit by lightning to sync to the Force, how did..."
"I don't know," Barry shrugged. "Maybe it was being in physical contact with you that jump started his acceleration, negating the need for the chemicals." The Barry turned back to me. "Ron, we've got to slow you down,"
Slow me down? That statement puzzled me more than anything that had happened so far that day. I was sitting in a chair. How much slower did I need to be? Still, whatever was wrong with me, Wally was certain that this Barry bloke could fix it, so I just nodded.
The big man placed the palm of his right hand once again against my breastbone and did... something.
A flash of light burst from my chest, brighter than any I had ever managed with Bill's wand that time I swiped it, and suddenly I was not shaking any more.
"Well, that worked," Barry said, a look of confusion on his face. "Not sure why it worked, but it worked." He knelt down in front of me so that we were face to face. "So tell me Ron, what do you know about the Flash?"
"Who?" I asked intelligently. "Is that a person or a thing?" Honestly, the whole idea of Muggle Super Heroes hadn't come up during my visit to Blue Valley, and I'd never heard of this Flash person.
Barry looked over toward Wally, who shrugged.
"Ron's my cousin from England," he explained. "He doesn't seem to know much about a whole lot of things."
"You've honestly never heard of the Flash?" Barry asked me again, clearly perplexed.
"Sorry, no," I replied.
"I was with the Justice League stopping an alien invasion of London just three months ago," the man said, searching my face for any recognition.
My blank expression was all the answer he needed.
"The Justice League? Batman? Wonder Woman? Green Arrow?" He asked while I wondered what any of those words meant together. What was a 'Bat man' I wondered. What was he wondering about a woman? And why would an arrow be green?
"Surely you've heard of Superman?"
Again, I shook my head, wondering if I was going to get into trouble for my lack of Muggle knowledge.
Wally exchanged a glance with his uncle, as if my not knowing of this 'Super Man' was among the oddest things either of them had ever heard.
"All right Ron," Barry said standing up and placing his hand on my shoulder. "None of that really matters. What does matter is that you have been given an exceptional gift." The man smiled at me and I felt somehow special.
"Come on, Ron," Wally said, pulling me to my feet. "Let's go for a run."
"That's the plan," Barry laughed. "It will be easier to show you than to try to explain."
I'll admit, I thought they were crazy, talking about going for a run. Barry produced this red and yellow outfit for me to wear 'to protect my clothes' he said. I struggled into the suit, and was surprised to find that it had a hood that covered my face above the nose... a mask? Unlike Wally's the hood/mask thing covered my hair as well. I looked up to find that Barry was in an identical outfit.
We made our way out of the building full of statues, out into the street full of parked cars... cars that had statues sitting behind the wheels.
Did I say that this was weird? Up to that point, I had no idea that I had such a talent for understatement.
Then we started to run. Back home we Weasleys ran everywhere if we weren't flying, but it was at that moment I discovered that I had never really run before. Time and motion blurred into one. Distance had no meaning. That was when I finally understood. Those weren't statues and the cars weren't parked.
They had all been moving too slowly for me to notice. No. That was wrong. The rest of the world wasn't slow, I was fast. Barry, Wally, and I were fast. It was amazing, it was wonderful, and it was what I was born to do.
I have no idea how long we ran that first time we were out together, just the three of us surrendering to the speed. It is hard to explain to anyone who doesn't hear the Speed Force singing to them with every step. To be one with the speed is a sort of heaven.
From within this heaven, Barry and Wally showed me so much. Within seconds of our run, a building was suddenly in front of me. I hadn't learned to stop or turn yet, so I was sure I was about to run face first into the brick wall. Just before I hit that wall, Barry laid his hand on my shoulder and showed me what to do. I passed through that brick wall, and every other obstacle that came into our path for the rest of that first run as if the obstacles were not there.
It was only later Barry explained what he had shown me. Every solid thing, it seems, is made of tiny things called atoms, and those atoms are mostly empty space. The Speed Force gives you the ability to control each and every atom of your body to the extent that you can consciously vibrate your atoms so that they miss the solid parts of other atoms allowing you to pass right through solid objects.
Now, I know that does not make a bit of sense, but I promise you, it works.
We ran for what seemed to be hours without tiring, without even starting to breathe hard. It was glorious. We ran on roads, we ran across fields, and through cities and towns and over water. We just ran.
The three of us ended up on the road outside of Wally's home, where Barry taught me how to stop. The three of us stood still on the road, and I marveled at how I could see the individual raindrops sparkle as they hit the soft glow of the auras that surrounded us, sliding off leaving us all completely dry.
"What do you think?" Barry asked.
"This is amazing," I answered before I realized how long we had been gone. "Aunt Mary is going to be worried. How do we explain what happened?"
Wally laughed. "Ron," he said, his eyes sparkling behind his mask, "less than two minutes has passed since the lightning bolt hit you."
I guess my eyes bugged out a bit at that news. Prior to this point, I understood we were fast, but it hadn't really sunk in just how fast we were. The three of us gathered in the West family barn and Barry tried to explain what had happened to me.
For me, the hardest concept was the idea that I should take on a 'secret Identity' Barry said that if I went the hero route, my friends and family would be at risk if the world knew who I was and what I could do. And even if I didn't become a hero, there were people who would want to 'study' me to see if they could figure out how I could possibly be so fast.
As if there was ever any question as to what I would do.
We then launched into a long discussion as to what my 'Hero' name should be. Barry was The Flash, and Wally was Kid Flash. Wally suggested that I become 'Little Kid Flash', so I smacked him one. Barry on the other hand offered a long list of heroes from the past with appropriate names. I have to admit that 'Ronnie Quick' really tempted me, but I knew what I wanted.
I knew the perfect name. Despite considering 'Cannonball' as a tribute to the my favorite Quidditch team, I knew I wanted the name that would honor both my magic and my speed.
I was going to be 'The Whiz'!
Wally would never explain why that made him laugh so hard.
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