The Sugar Quill
Author: SacBeagle  Story: Hermione & Ron: Potion Magic  Chapter: Chapter 2 - Stumbling Along
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Hermione & Ron: Potion Magic

All the characters, etc. belong to JKR – I merely play in her world.


Muchas Gracias to Night Zephyr, my beta – a continuing source of encouragement




Hermione & Ron: Potion Magic


Chapter 2 – Stumbling Along


As Hermione and Ron stumbled to the bottom of the stairs, she looked about to figure out where they were.  The hallway was familiar, yet something seemed not quite right.    Holding Ron’s hand gently, Hermione guided him down the south hallway, toward the Transfiguration classroom. 


Ron asked where the staircase had moved them to, and when Hermione answered, he said, “You know it’s too bad that you couldn’t just Transfigure me into an old tire or something.  You could just roll me to the hospital wing!” 


“No”, she said, “With the way my luck is going today, I’d just accidentally roll you into the lake.”  Laughing, they walked down the quiet hallway.


Bang!  Crash!  Suddenly, a suit of armor came crashing down behind them, causing Ron to fall down, and Hermione to land on top of him.  Wheeling around to see what was causing the commotion, Ron was greeted by Peeves, blowing big, wet raspberries in his face.  “I can’t see you, Peeves, but I know that that has to be you!  You have the worst breath of any poltergeist in history!”  That did it.  Peeves was provoked, and he began to throw large parts of the suit of armor at Ron and Hermione.


Scrambling to avoid being hit by the shield and a rather large arm sleeve, Hermione pulled the blinded Ron to his feet and tried to lead him away from the onslaught of flying armor. Helmet, spears, boots were crashing all around them.  Peeves was shouting, “Weasley is a pumpkin!  His whole head is orange!  Orange hair, orange face!  Weasley is a pumpkin head!”


“What on earth is making all of this racket?" Professor McGonagall appeared out of a nearby Transfiguration classroom, and took immediate stock of the situation.  “Peeves leave this hallway immediately.  I will report you to Professor Dumbledore and forbid you to associate with the Bloody Baron for an entire month if you do not vacate the premises immediately!”   Crestfallen, Peeves slipped out through a nearby window.


Professor MacGonagall’s gaze then fell upon Ron’s face, covered in orange goop, eyes closed, boils erupting all over his skin.  Her tone of voice instantly softened, “Miss Granger, may I assume that you are taking Mr. Weasley to the hospital wing?  What happened?”  Then McGonagall answered herself, “did you have a fenugreek accident in the Potions lab?  Mr. Weasley, am I right to assume that you are experiencing a great deal of discomfort? 


Ron muttered, “Yes, ma’am, it hurts.” 


Professor McGonagall extracted her wand and a small handkerchief from her pocket.  She tossed the handkerchief high into the air, pointed her wand toward it and said, “Occipitalraptus”.  The handkerchief transformed in mid-air to a long, white bandage.  With her wand pointed at Ron’s poor head, she waved her wand in a circular motion, and the bandage began to wrap itself around the top of Ron’s swollen head, covering his eyes and nose.  Only his mouth could be seen, and he was actually smiling.


“Whoa!  You are wicked cool!  Oh, Professor McGonagall, thank you so much!  That feels so much better.”  Hiding a smirk at the frankness of Ron’s thanksgiving, McGonagall bade them make haste to the hospital wing, and warned Hermione to be extra careful guiding Ron.  She smiled as she watched the pair walk away, holding hands with Hermione talking in a soothing voice.


“Ok, we’re coming up to the next big staircase.  Ron, this time, we have to go up, “ Hermione gently gave the play by play as she led blinded, bandaged Ron down the halls. 


Ron was in greatly improved spirits.  “Ya’ know, that McGonagall is something else.  Here I thought she’d be deducting one hundred points each for all the racket that Peeves was making out in the hall, disturbing her class and all.  And instead, she helps us out and scares the peewaden out of Peeves!  I wish I could have seen it,” Ron said. 


Hermione smiled, “What I wish you could have seen was the look on her face when you told her that she was cool.  Oh Ron, it was too cute.  I swear she almost blushed.”  


“No, Hermione, I think you’re making that up just to make me feel better.” Ron sounded doubtful. 


But Hermione was unshakable.  “No, Ron, she felt the sincerity of your compliment.  You really meant it.  That kind of honesty is what people really like about you.” 


Ron stopped and faced toward her.  “Do you mean that’s what you like about me?”  His voice was teasing, yet conveyed a genuine interest in the response. 


Hermione chose her words carefully:  “I like a lot of things about you Ron – you’re my best friend.”   


Ron was thankful that most of his face was bandaged so that Hermione could not see how crestfallen he was to be called “her friend”.  Not that it was bad to be Hermione’s friend, he just didn’t know how to tell her that he wanted to be a friend that she loved as much as he loved her.  Ron was absolutely certain that he liked her, and had been for some time now.


As they approached the next staircase, the nearby pictures on the wall were all abuzz.  The horseback riders in the fox hunt picture stopped, dismounted their horses, and shouted at Ron and Hermione.  “Hey, I say!  You look like a mummy!  Young lady, what have you done to that young gentleman?  Are you trying to make him eligible for the Headless Hunt?” 


A milk maiden in a nearby picture began to call out, “Excuse me, sir, but you have an orange substance leaking from your head.”


Hermione took a look at Ron’s bandages.  The milkmaid was right.  The bandages were leaking, and as Hermione tried to adjust them, some of the orange Fenugreek Potion ran down her fingers.  She could feel a searing pain, yet something strange happened.   


Ron instantly said, “Hermione, do you feel that?” 


Hermione was cautious, but intrigued.  “I do.  It almost felt...electrical.  When I touched your face with my hands, it felt like a shock ran up and down my body.


Ron said, “What’s an ekelectrical – I can’t ever say that blasted word – shock?”


“Did it tingle?” Hermione asked.


Ron sounded relieved.  “Oh, well, yeah, I did feel that.  It was totally weird.  It was like I could feel you.  There’s something very strange about this orange potion that you made, Hermione.”


At that moment, a large tawny owl began to circle around them.  Screaming and shrieking, the owl was apparently setting off some sort of alarm.  Within moments, Madame Pomphrey came sweeping down the stairs with her assistant, Miss Cuthbert.  She called behind her and said, “We found them,” and clucked at the sight of Ron and Hermione, hobbling along.  “Professor McGonagall dispatched an owl for me to find you.  I was hoping that you had not exposed yourself to the Fenugreek Potion, Miss Granger.  But I can see by the looks of your hands that I am too late.”


Hermione looked at her hands in horror.  They were bright orange, and covered with large nasty boils.  Miss Cuthbert proceeded to wrap her hands in bandages and guided both students toward the hospital wing.


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