The Sugar Quill
Author: Silver Phoenix (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Bury the Hatchet  Chapter: Chapter 3: Ronald Weasley, Auror Extraordinaire
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Author's Notes: Hello all

Author's Notes: Thanks to everyone who's reading and reviewing here, even if you've already done so on – it's so awesome of you! Actually, I've made some changes and added some things to this chapter (which, on, was two chapters – I combined them into one because they were both very short), so it's kind of like BTH…the extended version! I should totally get an audio commentary going too.


Ron: Oh yeah, and this is the part where I crashed into a suit of armour.

Hermione: We laughed and laughed…

Ron: What people don't realize is that the suits of armour are not very well-paid. They were quite cranky on the set. I, personally, believe that the thing tripped me, the stupid *bleeped out*, and I called him that to his face, too.

Hermione: And then Eugene, the suit of armour, got all upset and wouldn't come out of his trailor.




Hermione's brain didn’t seem to function properly for a few moments. All she knew was that her head was spinning from astonishment, and that her heart was pounding for some strange reason.


He looked different, yet very much the same – his hair was still the tousled, bright red mess she remembered, and his eyes still sparkled with mischief as a wild grin played on his lips. But gone was the seventeen-year-old boy Hermione had last seen; this was a fully grown man. There was also some maturity in the mischievous blue eyes, and all of the tall, gangly, awkwardness was gone from his posture.


Hermione stopped analyzing him and, for once, forgot to be the prim, cool, educated professor she was. She did the first thing that came to mind - threw her arms around Ron and gave him a bone-crushing hug.


"Where have you been?!" Hermione squealed, sounding like a sixteen-year-old girl.


"Hello to you, too!" Ron laughed, returning the hug enthusiastically. He held his old friend out at arm’s length to have a good look at her, then whistled and shook his head. "Blimey it's good to see you, Hermione," he said hoarsely.


"Seven years!" Hermione said quite breathlessly, forgetting the fact that just the other night she'd been telling herself she was glad she hadn't kept in contact with Harry or Ron. "You…you two ran off abroad to fight hags and vampires and…you could've been hurt, or…or dead for all I knew!" she said shrilly.


Ron smiled warmly. "Well, well, well. And here I thought you didn't give a damn about us any more since we never got a letter." He suddenly looked a little apprehensive, and his eyes dropped to the floor momentarily. "Er…why didn't you ever write?" he inquired, looking back up at Hermione.


"I…my owls could never find you two," she lied quickly. Hermione suddenly felt horrible for not keeping in touch with her best friends. How could she not have? After all they'd been through, her, Ron, and Harry…


Something occurred to her quite abruptly. "And Harry? Where's Harry?" Hermione looked around wildly, half expecting to see her untidy-haired friend pop out from behind a suit of armour.


"Harry's fine; he's in Canada at the moment on a secretive and deadly mission," Ron said with a wink.


Hermione's eyes widened slightly and she looked a bit pale.


"I was joking, Hermione," Ron explained wryly. "But he is in Canada."


"Oh…right…" Hermione nodded quickly, deciding not to ask what Harry was doing halfway across the world. She took a deep breath. The initial shock of seeing Ron was wearing off, and Hermione abruptly realized how silly she had been acting. Professor Granger took a moment to compose herself. Feeling embarrassed at her immature conduct, she hastily smoothed her hair, which had come out of its neat bun, and brushed off her robes.


"So," Hermione finally said politely, her heart slowing somewhat. "How long will you be staying here at Hogwarts? A week or two?"


"All year," Ron answered promptly, a smile tugging at the corner of his mouth.


Hermione blinked. "I beg your pardon?"


Ron held out his arms and grinned broadly. "You're looking at the new Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher!"


Hermione stared at him incredulously, a sense of foreboding descending upon her. "You're joking," she said slowly.


"Nope!" Ron replied happily. He suddenly clasped Hermione's hands, his eyes bright. "This is going to be brilliant! Ron and Hermione, together again at Hogwarts!"


Hermione quickly wrenched her hands away from his. "What do you mean, together again?" she snapped, feeling panicked. Ron would ruin everything - her carefully planned, peaceful little life. Wherever he went, trouble and mischief always followed. Plus, there was always the issue of her old feelings…that could not start again. She wouldn't allow it to. And yet, her heart was doing that annoying, undeniable flip-flop…


Ron's face fell at her reaction. "Oh…well…I just meant…you know…friends again," he said, his voice sounding strained.


"Of course," Hermione agreed. She took a shaky breath then glanced towards the Great Hall. "Well," she said, a definite edge in her tone. "We should head to the feast."


"Oh," Ron looked disappointed. "Don’t you want to, you know, catch up? I mean, for heaven's sake, I haven't seen you in seven – ruddy – years! Do you know what that's like? I mean, of course you do, but…er, what I meant was…I mean, you were my best friend, Hermione, mine and Harry's. And I don't even - "


"Oh, there'll be plenty of time for catching up and whatnot later, I'm sure," Hermione interrupted briskly. She spun on her heel and started marching away. She could see Ron standing very still out of her peripheral vision, looking lost and disappointed, and felt a tug at her heartstrings. A moment later, she heard his reluctant footsteps follow her into the Great Hall.


Whatever Hermione was feeling or thinking at that moment, it was soon forgotten as every head in the hall swiveled around to stare at the flustered-looking Arithmancy professor and the unfamiliar man with flaming red hair. The two strode up to the Head Table, every pair of eyes staring curiously.


Dumbledore was standing, no doubt already giving his beginning of the year speech. His eyes sparkled as Ron and Hermione took a seat. "Well. Now that everyone has arrived…"


All the students looked down at their plates expectantly.


"…I can introduce the newest member of our staff!" Dumbledore continued pleasantly. There was an audible groan from the ravenous students. "May I introduce Professor Weasley, our new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher!"


The groans immediately disappeared as the student body erupted into murmurs and whispers, which soon got louder and louder until the entire Hall was chattering away excitedly.


"Did he say Weasley?"


"I read about him in the Daily Prophet!"


"The Auror guy, right?"


"No, I think he's one of the ones that plays Quidditch for England…"


"Don't be stupid, it's the Auror. Fred 'n George Weasley are supposed to be playing tonight in Italy, why would one of them be here?"


"Is Harry Potter with you?" Paul White yelled to Ron over the din. Nearly everyone laughed.


Ron was grinning from ear to ear, his disappointment at Hermione's attitude evidently forgotten as he enjoyed the attention. Hermione rolled her eyes at him and glanced down the Head Table to see Charles and the Minister for Magic sitting side by side. Charles spotted Hermione and waved energetically, then blew her a kiss. Hermione smiled weakly and prayed that none of the students or Ron had seen that.


Dumbledore held up his hands for silence, still smiling. "I trust you'll all make your new professor feel welcome. Now, I advise you all to tuck in," he said, holding out his arms. Food appeared on every last plate, and the entire student body dug in with relish.


The headmaster gratefully sunk back into his chair, a momentary expression of weariness flashing over his face. Professor Granger stared at him anxiously, but the moment quickly passed, and soon Dumbledore was eating quite contentedly.


"Dumbledore, Dumbledore…" Ron murmured quietly beside her. Hermione whipped her head around and stared at him, eyebrows raised. Ron wasn't grinning anymore.


"What?" Hermione asked, searching his face.


Ron smiled brightly. "Nothing," he replied, then quickly speared a potato and started shoveling food in his mouth. Rolling her eyes again at Ron's horrible table manners, Hermione began eating daintily. She had been wrong; he hadn't changed at all.


Still, Hermione found herself unconsciously glancing at Ron every now and then all through dinner. She still couldn’t believe he, of all people, would be teaching alongside her at Hogwarts all year.


This is going to be a difficult, dreadful  year, Hermione thought darkly.




For the first time since she had become a teacher, Professor Hermione Granger was a mess.

On the first day of school, her fourth-year students arrived to find a pale-faced, disheveled, irritable witch slumped in a chair at her desk in the Arithmancy classroom.

"Good lord, what in the devil happened to her?" someone whispered loudly as the class took their seats. A few giggles escaped some students.

"Ten points from Hufflepuff, Mr. McKenzie," Hermione snapped. "And a further five points for giggling in class," she said, scowling at her students. The fourth-years slowly sunk lower into their seats to avoid her burning glare.

"Open your textbooks," Hermione began, writing furiously on the board. "To page three hundred and sixty-two…"

"Three hundred and sixty-two!" a red-haired girl burst out. "But that's at the very back of the textbook! It's the first day of class!"

"Another fifteen points from Hufflepuff!" Hermione shouted shrilly, slamming her chalk down with a bang. Several students jumped.

Professor Granger glanced around at her frightened-looking students, then let out her breath slowly, ran a hand through her tousled hair, and sat down at her desk. "I apologize," she said in a clipped voice. "Summarize pages five to eight in your textbooks and answer the questions at the end of the chapter instead."

The class fell into an uneasy silence after that; the only sound that could be heard in the large, open classroom was the scratching of quills on parchment. The familiar sound was almost comforting to Hermione as she stared into space, thinking. She felt angry, confused, and scared, all due to a the presence at the castle of one single person: Ron.

Hermione supposed she was angry at no one other than herself, and confused as well about the way she had behaved yesterday - like a silly little schoolgirl. She was an adult now, with a normal, organized, stable adult life. Ron's presence at the school threatened to destroy what she'd been working towards ever since graduating from Hogwarts - to forget her graduation from Hogwarts, and to be a normal adult with a normal adult life.

It was quite a different thing teaching at the school where she had become a murderer and a celebrity in the same night. Yes, sometimes when she passed the dungeons she felt nauseous and weak, and occasionally when she passed Moaning Myrtle's bathroom she felt a pang of sadness. But those were only places where memories had occurred. Places and memories couldn't hurt her. Hermione could bury memories, forget them, toss them aside and never think about them again.

But Ron was a real, living, breathing memory. She couldn't toss him aside and forget him any more than she could teach Divination. Especially now that she would see him every single day for the rest of the year…

"Professor?" a timid voice said, snapping Hermione out of her stupor. With a jolt she sat upright and stared at the short, curly-haired girl standing in front of her desk. "I was wondering…if…er…"

She glanced back at the rest of the class, who looked impressed with her bravery at approaching the ill-tempered professor. A few kids gave her a thumbs-up sign. "Could you help me with this question?" the girl squeaked out, and then took a quick step backwards, as if she was expecting Professor Granger to explode.

Hermione sighed and mentally kicked herself. She couldn't let Ron's presence at Hogwarts faze her. In fact, she was sure she could avoid Ron most of the time. Feeling a little better, she smiled weakly at the curly-haired student.

"Of course, Miss Longley," Professor Granger replied with false cheerfulness. The students seemed to take heart at her sudden positive change of attitude, and the rest of the class passed quite pleasantly, as did the class after that.


Hermione soon discovered that avoiding Ron would be much more difficult than she had imagined. The teachers ate lunch in the Great Hall along with the students, and it was rather hard to elude someone when you were to be dining right next to them. At noon, a hungry Professor Granger took one step into the Great Hall and promptly froze.

Ron was sitting atop the Gryffindor table, talking animatedly with a huge grin on his face. Students were gathered around him, listening eagerly as Ron recounted some apparently thrilling tale, making huge gestures every now and then.

"Then BLAM!" Ron yelled, smacking his fist into his hand. "I was thrown nearly ten feet into the air, and my wand went flying! And it lands…get ready for this…in quicksand!"

The students' eyes widened as they leaned forward in excited anticipation.

"So here I was," Ron continued, obviously enjoying himself greatly. "Crumpled on the ground after being tossed into the air like a bloody rag doll, and my wand was slowly sinking into quicksand."

"What'd you do?" an over-eager first year squealed.

"The only thing I could do," Ron said solemnly. "I wrestled the brute with my bare hands."

A shocked gasp rose from his adoring audience. Hermione rolled her eyes in disgust, and marched out of the Great Hall.

Professor Granger walked aimlessly through the empty halls. Right now, students and teachers alike were at lunch, eating delicious, filling food, and drinking thick, tasty pumpkin juice…

Hermione's stomach rumbled unceremoniously. With a sigh, she realized she couldn't very well just stop eating in order to avoid Ron. Feeling defeated by her own human need to eat, she turned around and slowly started trudging back towards the Great Hall.

She stopped in her tracks as a thought occurred to her. She hadn't been down there in ages…she wasn't even sure if she remembered what to do…but it was worth a shot. Anything was better than story-time with Ronald Weasley, Auror extraordinaire.

Hermione hurried down a winding staircase, her stomach grumbling. She turned a corner, and started walking down a narrow corridor, searching for a painting of fruit…

"Gah!" she shrieked as someone crashed into her, their arms laden with food. Several chocolate truffles and a cheesecake flew upwards into the air.

"Frizarius!" Professor Granger quickly said, pointing her wand at the airborne desserts. They froze in midair, to the relief of the would-be victims below them. With a wave of her wand, Hermione placed the goodies back into the arms of their original owner…

"Charles?" Hermione said blankly as she finally took a good look at the man who had bumped into her. Her blonde boyfriend was looking slightly pale and was mopping his brow with a handkerchief. "What are you doing here?"

"Why…I came to see you, pumpkin," Charles flashed his perfect smile and laughed good-naturedly, tucking his handkerchief away. "You gave me a fright for a moment there!"

"Sorry," Hermione apologized, glancing at the painting of a bowl of fruit behind him. A doorknob was slowly turning back into a pear. She furrowed her eyebrows, glancing from the painting to Charles and back. "How did you…?"

"Well, I was a boy at Hogwarts once myself, gingersnaps!" Charles chuckled. "Don't think I didn't get into any mischief while I was here! Oh, no, I was quite the trouble-maker…"

Hermione vaguely remembered Charles Griney at Hogwarts. He'd been a good five years ahead of her, but she recalled him being a Prefect and then Head Boy. She almost laughed trying to picture him getting into mischief'.

Instead Hermione just smiled secretly to herself. She grabbed a few truffles from Charles and popped them into her mouth as he rambled on about his trouble-making days at Hogwarts.






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