The Sugar Quill
Author: SacBeagle  Story: Hermione & Ron: Potion Magic  Chapter: Chapter 1: Problems with Potions
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Hermione & Ron: Potion Magic

Author’s Note – Many grateful thanks to Night Zephyr, my beta!  This is my first fanfic...tell me what you think! 



Hermione & Ron:  Potion Magic



Chapter 1 – Problems with Potions


Hermione Granger was twirling a stray lock of golden brown hair, completely engrossed in Snape’s lecture on the uses of fenugreek, when there was a sudden snickering behind her.  Rows of Gryffindor heads snapped around to see what was so funny.  Much to her horror, behind and above her head was a large, leafy fenugreek tuber.  It gave the effect of gigantic green leafy rabbit ears.  Hermione jumped up out of her chair, just as the large plant stalk came crashing back down on her head.  “Ouch!” she cried.  The Slytherins dissolved into fits of laughter.


Much to Hermione’s dismay, her friend, Ron Weasley, was fighting hard not to laugh and was losing the battle.  His mouth was clamped shut to force back the laughter, and his face was turning redder by the second.   Harry was not laughing, but was trying to figure out who or what might have caused the tuber to levitate. 


Snape was furious that his lecture had been interrupted, and exclaimed, “When I find out who did this to Miss Granger, the responsible parties will be dealt with swiftly and will be as sorry as that knot on her head!”  With that, Hermione’s eyes filled with tears, and Ron stopped sniggering.  Indeed, he looked at her in such as way as to convey an apology, but she just glared in return.


Undaunted, Snape continued his Potions lecture.  He demonstrated how to dice the fenugreek root, first lengthwise and then into tiny slivers, before adding it to the cauldron.  He explained that the root had many uses, but was most often used to make Hasty Read Draught, a potion that would transfigure the taker into a veritable “study machine”, able to read hundreds of pages of text within an hour’s time.  Hermione’s eyes lit up at such a prospect.  To think that she could become a speed-reader!  Her hand shot up in the air.  “Professor Snape, will you be showing us how to make Hasty Read Draught?” Hermione asked hopefully.  His answer chilled her to the bones.  “I suppose you would like an unfair advantage over your fellow students, to be able to read more than they can.  No, Miss Granger, I will not be teaching you how to brew a study stimulant for yourself.” 


Hermione’s shoulders drooped and she was crestfallen -- she didn’t mean it like that!  She didn’t want an unfair advantage over the other students, over her friends.  Hermione just wanted to find a way to get more studying done within the time she had.   Why didn’t anyone understand?


Ron and Harry shot Hermione a look of understanding and sympathy.  Hermione gave a small smile back and then remembered that she was supposed to be mad at Ron.  He had laughed at her!  Well, he did look sorry, but still!


The class was dismissed to their workstations.   They were brewing a simple Sundown potion, which would alleviate the pain and redness of sunburn.  Standing next to her cauldron, Hermione was across from Ron, who was next to Harry.  When Snape wasn’t looking she whispered, “Do you have any idea who made that tuber levitate over my head?”  Ron and Harry both shook their heads ‘no’, and quickly tried to appear engrossed in their work as Snape walked by. 


Hermione grated Red Cedar bark into her cauldron and added four laurel leaves and a sprig of eucalyptus.   Hurriedly, she diced her fenugreek, wanting to be the first one done in their group.  Unfortunately, in her haste, she missed Snape’s next announcement:  “Do not add the fenugreek until the other ingredients have been at a full boil for at least three minutes.” 


Hermione stepped back and said, “What happens if I added my fenugreek too soon?” 


Snape yelled, “Everyone duck! Fire in the Hole!  Cover your eyes!”  There was a loud explosion from Hermione’s cauldron, which sent a large spray of potion around the room.


Hermione dropped into a tight tuck, covering her head with her hands.  She felt the heat from the boiling potion as it spewed out of her cauldron, and heard whimpers from her friends.  Horrified and humiliated, she opened her eyes to see that Ron had been hit full on in the face with the bubbling, orange goop. 


Moaning, he was trying to rub the solution off of his eyes.  Snape came running over to assist and cajole, “Well done, Miss Granger, you’ve blinded Mr. Weasley!  Take him to the hospital wing and see if Madam Pomphrey can restore his sight.  It would be so sad if your friend was blinded by YOUR ambition!” 


Ron muttered under his breath, “She didn’t do it on purpose”.  But his lament was lost in the whispers of horror at the large orange boils erupting all over his face. 


Hermione took his hand into hers and said, “Come with me.  I’ll take you to the hospital wing.” 


Ron answered, “Are you sure you can lead me there without making me fall out a window or down the stairs?” 


With that, Hermione burst into tears.  “I didn’t mean to hurt you, Ron!  It was an accident.  I wouldn’t hurt you for anything! I DIDN’T DO IT ON PURPOSE!!!!”  Hermione stopped in the hallway, clutching Ron’s hand.  She was crying so hard that she couldn’t speak. 


Ron managed to force a weak chuckle through his pain. “Hey, hey, it’s OK - I know that you didn’t do it on purpose.  If you were planning to do it, you should have aimed for Malfoy!”  Hermione laughed through her tears, and squeezed Ron’s hand, leading him down toward the east staircase.


Ron was not able to move very quickly, and as they approached the staircase, Hermione steered him toward the large stone railing so that he could hold on to it with one hand as she held on to the other.  They had taken about ten slow steps together, when the staircase began to move!  “Bat Feathers!” shouted Hermione. “We need this staircase to go back to the East Wing, not the South Wing!” 


The sudden movement caused Ron to lurch toward Hermione, and as he lost his balance, they both fell together down three more steps.  He landed in her lap, his blinded eyes gazing toward her in fear of falling farther.  Hermione grabbed Ron tightly around the waist and said, “I won’t let go.  I won’t let you fall.  You’re safe here.  The staircase will be done moving in just a second.  Hold on tight.” 


Joking, Ron replied, “ I thought you promised that if you took me to the hospital wing that you wouldn’t throw me down the stairs!” 


Hermione exclaimed, “Ronald Weasley, that’s not funny!  You are going to make me cry again!” 


Unable to see her, Ron reached up to Hermione’s face and placed his fingertips against her moist cheek.  Feeling her tears in his hands made him realize the depth of her anguish. “Please don’t cry.  I don’t ever want to make you cry.  Let’s get up and try again.”  With that, she gave Ron a hug, guided him down the staircase again.




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