The Sugar Quill
Author: Jack Ichijouji (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Of Contraceptives and Snogging  Chapter: Chapter Two: Just How Many People Know, Anyway?
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Disclaimer: Do not try this at home

Disclaimer: Do not try this at home. This sort of writing should only be done by JK Rowling and trained professional idiots.

I was dazed all throughout my next couple of classes. Fortunately, said classes were History of Magic and Divination, so no one noticed.

I liked Hermione. Looking back, I suppose it was obvious. Really obvious, in fact. Why didnít I see it? Only took me five bloody years. Hell, after the Yule BallÖ ("And Viktor Krum?") That bloody slimy Bulgarian git had better keep his bloody hands off of her or Iíll rip them off and shove them up hisóoh, shut up, Ginny.

Anyway, no one really noticed that I was acting differently until dinner. Apparently Iím known for eating a lot, though why I was not informed of that is beyond me.

"Whatís wrong, Ron? Youíre not eating like you usually do," Hermione said, leaning across the table to feel my forehead. "You feel a little warm. And youíre flushed. Maybe you should go down to the hospital wing?" Of course I was flushed, she was inches away from my face. Sheís been closer than that, I thought, but it wasnít really registering.

"Yeah, maybe," I said. "Iíll just head up to the common room and snogósnag a couple hours sleep then. Heh. Bye!" I rushed away before I could see if I could fit my entire bloody leg in my mouth. You know, if I bothered to laugh at the times you embarrassed yourself in front of HarryÖ not so funny now, is it?

Hermioneíd set the password for the Fat Lady the day before and it wasnít really something I was about to forget. "Free the house-elves," I muttered as I went in. I ignored the few people in the common room, although I made a note not to sit anywhere near the fireplace until I saw exactly what Fred and George had done to it.


I went upstairs to my dormitory, and, having nothing at all better to do, I got to work on a Transfiguration essay. Did I mention I had nothing better to do?

I got about a foot done before I decided that I would rather hug a Blast-Ended Screwt than continue. I would just do the respectable thing and finish it during lunch the day it was due. I did, incidentally, and Professor McGonagall said it was some of my best work. ("Not that thatís saying much.") Who asked you?

Harry came in after Iíd been staring at the ceiling for about an hour and sat down. "Alright mate, whatís wrong?" he asked.

"What Ďwhatís wrongí? Nothingís wrong. Just realised Iím in love with one of my best friends, and I have been for years," I responded.

"Aww, Iím flattered Ron, but youíre not the Weasley Iím attracted to," Harry smirked. I hit him with a pillow.

"Shut up. Itís Hermione."

"Of course it is. It always has been."

"Wait, you knew? And you didnít tell me?" I was about to hit him again.

"Well, it was rather obvious Ron," he said. I would have told him he sounded like Percy, but he went on. "I mean, in second year, who did you go into the Forbidden Forest for? Who did you throw up slugs for?"

"Hermione," I muttered. Damn him for being soÖ correct.

There was silence for a bit. I really was getting tired, and he was half-asleep soon. "Hey Harry?"

"Yeah?"

"Just how many people know?"

"Go out into the common room. Count the people in there, the people in their beds, and subtract Hermione. That covers it."

"Ah."

~*~

The next day, two days ago if youíre keeping count, I was able to act perfectly normal around Hermione. Of course, I had help.

"Mrnín Mione," I grunted through a mouthful of eggs at breakfast. Laugh if you will, but my elbow was butter-free, thank you. Which is more than you can say around Harry half the time.

"Donít talk with your mouth full," she said instantly. "I see your appetite is back."

"Yeah. Guess I just needed a good nightís sleep." I took a drink of my pumpkin juice and went on. "So, did I miss anything important after I left?"

"No. Just some late post fromójust some late post." Something in the way she said it made me suspicious. Perhaps it was the way she backtracked, or the way she suddenly looked away when she said it. Or maybe it was the way she was blushing like a rose on fire.

"Really? From who?" I asked.

She mumbled something I didnít pick up. "Whatís that?"

She sighed. "Viktor."

"Ooh, post from Vicky." ("Nice, Ron.") Yes, I know I was a prat. Refrain from commenting until Iím done, I got a lot worse.

"His name is Viktor, not Vicky. And he never did anything to you, Ron, for you to dislike him so much."

I scoffed. Truly, he didnít, but still. "I donít care if he snogged Celestina bloody Warbeck. Write to whatever eighteen-year-old Bulgarian gits you want."

"Ron!"

"Hermione!"

"He is not a Ďgití, heís very intelligent, and what a horrible thing for you to say!"

"Okay, Hermione, Iím horrible. Sorry."

"Thatís not what I meant and you know it!"

"Never mind then!"

"Fine!"

"Fine!"

"Fine!"

Harry had, apparently, been watching from the sidelines for a while, and took this moment to hazard a leap into the conversation. "Good morning!" he said far more cheerily than was usual from him.

"Hmph." Hermione turned her face away from me rather sharply and greeted Harry.

I took a piece of toast and used the butter as a flavouring ingredient, and not as an elbow lubricant. Ow! Fine, I wonít mention it any more. No need to hit me.

"So Hermione, are you ready for the Defence Against the Dark Arts test?" Harry asked, probably trying to lighten the mood. With schoolwork. Thatís how bad it was.

"Iím not sure. Professor Renard said the Erectus Charm would be on there, didnít she? She never got through the name without giggling," Hermione responded, flustered.

"Whatís it matter? You know how to do it," I pointed out. "For that matter, you know everything. Thatís one of the perks of being a know-it-all."

Hermione didnít bother to respond, but I imagine she rolled her eyes. She was looking through her bag for her Defence Against the Dark Arts textbook, so I couldnít be sure.

She slammed it on the table and flipped through it. Her brow furrowed as she concentrated on the pages, her fingers swiftly but gently tracing their way through the words, like a swan riding on the clówell, er, thatís not exactly important.

"Ah!" she cried, finding the spell. "The Erectus Charm. It leaves the victim standing perfectly straight, unable to bend his neck, waist, or knees."

"Well whatís the point of that?" Harry pointed out. "They can still use their wand."

"Yes, but you can get out of their way, and itís not as if theyíre about to follow you. They canít move their legs. And thereís no counterspell for it, you just have to let it run its course."

"Well, letís hope sheís not teaching that to the seventh years. Imagine the havoc the twins would wreak with a spell like that," I observed. Just then, the bell rang, and we ran off to be tested on the Erectus Charm and other such temporary-but-incurable curses.

You can yell at me about Krum now.

Really, go ahead.

Nothing?

The snogging will commence soon, never you worry. It just takes time, and patience. Rome wasnít built in a day you know. Thereís been unresolved sexual tension for five years now; they can wait a few more chapters.

//
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