The Sugar Quill
Author: InsidesOfAPumpkinHead  Story: Don't Be Ridiculous  Chapter: Default
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                                                            Don't Be Ridiculous

 

Disclaimer: The characters and places belong in no way to me. They belong to the brilliant and talented J.K. Rowling. No money is being made through the making of this story. 

 

Summary: Summer after fourth year, Hermione decides to visit Viktor Krum in Bulgaria. But our dear Ron has something to say about it. R/H.

 

            Hermione was up early on the Sunday morning she would be leaving for Bulgaria. As she was packing, her tendency to do things neatly and efficiently was long gone, all because of a hot-tempered insensitive red-head.

 

            "How dare he.... To imply such a thing.... Ridiculous.... Ha, cosy my -- aaargh!" said Hermione fiercely as her clothes refused to fit into her suitcase.

 

            As she picked up a book off her desk to pack into her carry-on, there was a note underneath it. It was the most recent letter Ron had sent her. She eyed it contemptuously, extremely tempted to tear it into a thousand tiny pieces and fling it out the window. In spite of her anger, she chose to read it again.

 

Hermione,

 

Fine, go visit Vicky-Boy if you want to. I hope you have a lovely time. Oh, and I hear the houses in ruddy Bulgaria are a little cramped, so you should be nice and cosy with your boyfriend.

Don't bother worrying about us while you're gone... By us, I mean your best friends, you may remember us you know,  me and Harry, we're only the blokes you've known for four years, but fine, do whatever you wish. I reckon you two'll be announcing your engagement any time now, and I'd just like you to know that I'm extremely happy for you.

 

Ron

 

            Positively fuming, she hastily finished packing and lugged her things down the stairs. When she was half-way through her breakfast, her mother appeared in the kitchen door-way, still in her dressing gown.

 

            "All set to go, dear?" she asked.

 

            "Yes Mum," she answered gloomily.

 

            "What’s wrong? Do you not want to go anymore?" Hermione’s mother asked concertedly.

 

            "No, no. It's just... Nothing, I'm fine," said Hermione.

 

            "All right. Oh, I received this from Mrs. Weasley this morning," said Mrs. Granger pulling a piece of parchment out of her pocket.

 

            Hermione put down her toast, and read the letter her Mum handed her.

 

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Granger,

 

As you know, it has become somewhat of a tradition in our household to have Hermione and Harry over for the last week of the holidays. If it's all right with you both, we would be delighted if Hermione could come. We would of course see her safely on to the train on September 1st, and if it would be convenient, I could also pick up her school things in Diagon-Alley for her. Please send reply by owl as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

Molly Weasley

 

            Hermione gave her mother a fakely sweet look, "That sounds nice, it'll be good to see Harry again!"

 

            "All right..." said Mrs. Granger uncertainly, "I'll send a reply when their owl comes back."

 

*****************

 

            Hermione's parents drove her to the airport, and placed her bags on a trolley. It was a tearful good-bye for Mrs. Granger,

 

            "Oh Ted, our little Hermione is growing up..." she said as she hugged Hermione goodbye.

 

            "Take good care of Crookshanks while I'm gone!" said Hermione as she gave her ticket to the woman at the gate.

 

            "We will!" said Mr. Granger.

           

            Hermione disappeared onto the bridge, and Mrs. Granger broke down completely, then was reluctantly dragged away by her husband.

 

*****************

 

            Once on the plane, Hermione settled into her window seat and removed her Arithmancy book from her bag to read. She then proceeded to cover it in a Muggle magazine to conceal what it really was.

 

            Humming to herself as she read, the lack of sleep from the night before started to catch up with her. She drifted off to sleep only to be awoken a quarter of an hour later by a faint tapping on her window... Ron's owl, Pig was zooming around the plane's window bobbing in and out of sight.

 

            "Oh Pig! What are you doing here?" she hissed, "I can't open the plane's window! I'll be sucked out! How can you possibly fly so fast?"

 

            Pig disappeared with a faint 'pop' and then reappeared on Hermione's lap, hooting incessantly. She stuffed the owl into her carry-on to keep him quiet.

 

            'Oh no! Ron must've done serious magic to have Pig be able to do that! He'll be in a lot of trouble...'  she thought. Then another thought occurred to her, 'Why would Ron need to write me now?'

 

            She plunged her hands into her bag and carefully removed the letter attached to Pig's leg.

 

Hermione,

 

Look, I'm really sorry if my last letter sounded awful, I really do care where you go... Be careful in Bulgaria.

 

Love,

Ron

 

            Hermione was so startled by what the letter said, that she gasped out loud and received more than a few strange looks from the other passengers on the plane. She giggled faintly and looked back into her bag to find Pig, but he was already gone. She looked outside her window, saw him flutter beside the plane, and he dove out of sight. Hermione waved to him.

 

            "Are you all right?" asked the flight attendant bending over to look at Hermione.

 

            "Yes, yes I'm quite fine thank you... Could I please have a cauldron cake?" said Hermione, her voice a little higher than usual.

 

            The flight attendant gave her a strange look, "What--"

 

            "Oh, I mean airline peanuts, peanuts yes..."

 

            Without a word, the flight attendant handed Hermione a package of peanuts, and wheeled the trolley away, shaking her head slightly. Smiling to herself, Hermione settled back into her seat, deep in thought.

 

            'That's a little strange,' she thought, 'Why would he want me to be careful?'

 

            The rest of the flight was uneventful, but ended in the flight attendant hastily stuffing pamphlets about mental health into Hermione’s bag as she walked away. Stepping through the gate into the airport, a large sign was written in a foreign language, with the English words, 'Welcome to Bulgaria' underneath. Hermione collected her bags from 'That roundabout dealy' as her father had called it when describing it to her, and suddenly realized that she didn't know where to go. A little panicky, Hermione started pacing around, looking for any sign of magical person to ask. That was when she spotted Viktor, dressed as a Muggle, waving frantically at her. Deeply relieved, Hermione hurried over to him.

 

            "How haff you been, Herm-own-ninny?" he asked, taking her bags from her immediately.

 

            "Oh, very well thank you," she answered politely.

 

            He led her over to people Hermione assumed was his family, and she immediately found herself being forced over to a public telephone booth.

 

            "This is another means of transport," Viktor told Hermione as he gently pushed her into it. Hermione was surprised to see the telephone booth appear start spinning, and she found herself feeling a little sick. As soon as it started, it was over, and when Hermione opened her eyes, she was startled to see a quaint little town on a hill stretched in front of her. She stepped out of the booth, anticipating that the remainder of the people were also to be travelling the same way. She was right, and seconds later several other people were stepping out of the booth.

 

            They led her to a rather extravagant looking home, and Hermione was settled in. She met the maid, Kitka, who she was delighted to see was human. Viktor later told her that in Bulgaria, the laws on house-elves were different.

 

            Hermione's room was simply decorated, a pale blue. She unpacked, and fell backward onto her big, fluffy four poster bed.

 

            The next day, Hermione’s anger at Ron cooled, and received a letter from Harry:

 

Hermione,

How’s Bulgaria? I'm off to the Burrow tomorrow for the rest of the summer. Great isn't it? Dumbledore was there all day yesterday putting up extra wards. So, Ron seems a little hacked off about you going to Bulgaria, but don't worry about him.  Write me soon, and have a great holiday,

Harry.

 

            Hermione wrote her response, happy to see that Harry was doing well;

 

Harry,

Bulgaria is very educational. Yesterday I went to the museum, and everyone here is dead polite. Guess what? There are no house-elves in Bulgaria! Isn't that fantastic? Oh, that was really good of Dumbledore to do that for you. I won't worry about Ron, although I have no clue why he'd be like that. Anyway, have a great summer! I'll see you in a week.

Love from,

Hermione.

 

***************

 

            The next few days were without incident, consisting of Hermione and Viktor going for walks, and Hermione feeling more than a little uncomfortable around Viktor's family. With a week left to go in the visit, Hermione was told at breakfast one morning that there was an owl waiting for her in the front hallway. Hermione thanked Kitka, and excused herself to go and receive her letter.

 

            The owl was nowhere in sight. Hermione was about to turn back when something hit her in the side of the head.

 

            "Ow," she said rubbing the spot where the thing had hit her.

 

            She looked around and saw the thing, which turned out to be Pig, getting ready for another attack. She reached out and snatched him out of the air. She hastily untied the letter and a small leather pouch that was attached to his leg. She unrolled the letter and read:

 

Hermione,

Urgent... Please come to the Burrow, I'll explain when you get here...

Ron.

 

            A little worried by what the letter said, Hermione opened the pouch. It contained Floo powder.

 

            "Honestly, what could possibly be so urgent?" she said more to reassure herself than for any other reason.

 

            After a minute's deliberation, Hermione resolved to travel to the Burrow. She scrawled a quick note to her parents, explaining what was happening, although trying not to worry them too much. Hermione attached the letter to a twittering Pig, and sent him off. She walked back into the kitchen.

 

            "Herm-own-ninny, you look worried," said Viktor getting up from the table.

 

            "Viktor, I'm so sorry," said Hermione, "I must go back to England as soon as possible, you see it's-"

           

            "Potter," said Viktor fiercely.

 

            "No, Viktor, it's my other friend Ron, he's just sent me some Floo Powder, and told me that it was urgent I come back,"said Hermione.

 

            "Vot, the red-haired boy?" asked Krum.

 

            "Yes," said Hermione.

 

            They stood in silence for a few seconds.

 

            "Vell, if you must go, you must go..." said Viktor quietly.

 

            Hermione hugged Viktor, "Oh thank you, I really am sorry, it's so lovely here in Bulgaria. I really appreciate this," she said sincerely.

 

            Hermione hurried off to her room to pack.

 

            After a late lunch, Hermione was in front of the fire with her bags.

 

            "Thank you so much, I can't apologize enough for this. I had a fantastic time," she said to Viktor's family. Hermione hugged Kitka and Viktor good-bye, then tossed some Floo Powder into the fire and cried, "The Burrow!"

 

            She was immediately spinning, and as this trip was cross-country, it took a lot longer than usual, so Hermione was extremely thankful when she saw the grate of the Burrow. She tumbled out of the fireplace, and saw the concerned face of Ron, sitting on a couch by the fireplace.

 

            "Hermione!" he cried, getting up immediately and helping her up.

 

            "Hallo, Ron!" said Hermione, hugging him.

 

            Ron, grinning, called up the stairs, "Harry! Hermione's here!"

 

            Harry came down the stairs, and said, "Oh, hi, Hermione,"

 

            "Hi, Harry," said Hermione giving him a hug.

 

            Remembering Ron’s letter, Hermione asked, "Ron, what was so urgent?"

 

            Harry stifled a small smile and Ron's ears tinged pink.

 

            "Well, it's, uh, um... ahem," babbled Ron.

 

            "Come in the kitchen and I'll show you," said Harry

 

            Hermione followed Harry into the kitchen. There she found a copy of The Daily Prophet with the headline of, "VAMPIRE ATTACKS IN HUNGARY INCREASING".

 

            "Well, that's it," said Harry still grinning slightly.

 

            "Yes..." said Hermione slowly, "How is that so urgent, Ron?" she asked, as Ron slunk into the kitchen.

 

            "Well, you see," said Ron slowly.

 

            "I think I'll go do my Potions essay," said Harry, as he hurried out of the kitchen.

 

            "Ron?" said Hermione warningly.

 

            "Hermione, here's the way I see it," said Ron confidently, "Vampires are attacking people in Hungary, and that's bloody close to Bulgaria. So, you know... What if You-Know-Who was behind those attacks? Besides, I don't know how safe it is in Krum's place... I didn't want you to get hurt..."

 

            Hermione felt a  stab of annoyance at Ron for dragging her all the way back. "Ron, vampire attacks are always increasing this time of year. It's all in the Ptoly Plants in Europe, they bloom, and send off a scent that is a little like catnip for cats. It drives the vampires crazy, throwing them into a feeding frenzy. If you'd paid attention to Professor Lupin in third year, you'd know that," she said knowledgeably.

 

            Ron gave her a look. "Why don't you go back to ruddy Bulgaria then? If you don't care about your own safety, maybe you should just live there!" Ron then stalked away.

 

            Hermione was furious. What was she going to tell her parents? She had probably worried them. What would she tell Viktor? He might think she didn't want to spend her holiday there. Fuming, Hermione went to ask Harry if she could use Hedwig.

 

            "Sure you can, Hermione," he said, not looking up from his quidditch magazine, "Oh, sorry, wait, she's off delivering a letter To Sirius, I'm sure Ron won't mind it if you use Pig though."

 

            "Thanks anyway, Harry," said Hermione.

 

            Yes, Hermione decied, I think I'll go and use Pig, it's Ron's bloody fault anyway.

 

            Hermione ascended the stairs, and angrily knocked on Ron's door, "RON! I'm in need of an owl, and since it's your fault I need one anyway, I was thinking I could borrow Pig," she said to the closed door.

 

            The door swung open, and Hermione found Ron looking at her with narrowed eyes.

 

            "Well come on in," he said calmly.

 

            Hermione narrowed her eyes at Ron, but continued in. She was writing her letter to her parents while Ron sat back down on his bed to read a book upside-down. She stopped mid-sentence, not being able to concentrate.

 

            "Ron, why did you really call me back here?" she asked gently.

 

            "Why do you think? I obviously felt like ruining your vacation," said Ron sarcastically.

 

            Hermione walked over and sat on the edge of Ron's bed.

 

            "Ron, really, you can tell me," said Hermione.

 

            Ron put down his book and looked at Hermione, "Hermione, I really thought you were in danger," he said sincerely.

 

            "What? The vampire thing?" said Hermione smiling, 'So he really was concerned' she thought.

 

            Ron said, "Yeah," then mumbled something.

 

            "Pardon?" said Hermione.

 

            "I said," said Ron, "That it wasn't a good idea for you to be in Bulgaria anyway... Not at a time like this."

 

            Hermione smiled wider. She understood. There was thick-headed Ron, blinded by his loyalty, not caring how angry Hermione got as long as he didn't have to worry about her.

           

            "Oh, Ron," she half whispered leaning over to hug him.

 

            Ron was caught off guard, but he hugged Hermione back all the same. He smelled a lingering scent of warm green apple in her hair. He had never noticed that before. They stayed in a comfortable embrace for a minute or so, then Hermione drew back.

 

            "I'm serious, Hermione," said Ron bravely taking hold of her hands, "I want to spend as much time as possible with my friends. Before we have to go into anything where one of us might... Y'know... die."

 

            Hermione instantly felt guilty for being mad at Ron. His heart was in the right place, and all she could think of was enjoying her holiday, while Ron was clearly thinking of more important things. Hermione began to cry.

 

            "Hermione, don't. It'll be all right," said Ron hugging her again.

 

            "Ron, I'm really sorry," sobbed Hermione, "I should have thought of you and Harry... I can't believe I've been so stupid.  I'd rather be here anyway..."

 

            Ron pulled back.

 

            "What? What about Krum?" he asked.

 

            "What about Krum?" said Hermione, "He's just a friend. That's all."

 

            Ron started smiling, "You mean you didn't go there for-for him?"

 

            "No," said Hermione steadily, "But I came back for you."

 

            Ron grinned wider, then kissed her. The pent up feelings Hermione had been harbouring for months all came out in that kiss. After a while, not to be counted in time, they both pulled back, and sat there, fore-head to fore-head.

 

            "So I take it you're not going back to Bulgaria, then," said Ron.

 

            Hermione took both his hands in hers and said, "Don't be ridiculous."

 

 

A/N: Like it?? Good. Review, for I'd be ever grateful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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