The Sugar Quill
Author: Anione Graton  Story: Of Poems and Quidditch  Chapter: Chapter 1
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Chapter 1

Chapter 1

 

“Throw the Quaffle!”

“Answer my question!”

“Wood, throw the Quaffle or I’ll knock you off your broom!”

The green-eyed boy stared at his brown-eyed Quidditch mate. “That’s not it.”

She rolled her eyes, hovering ten feet away from him. “The Hawkshead Formation?”

His large, toothy smile appeared on his face. “Excellent.” He tossed the Quaffle at her. She gripped the end of her Clean Sweep and jolted it upward toward it. With both legs gripping the body of her broom, she reached her arms out and grabbed the flying ball. She tucked it under her arm, dodging underneath Harry and zooming down the pitch.

“Ginny!” he called.

She skidded to a halt and turned her broom around. “What?” she yelled.

He beckoned her to come near and she flew close to him. Their brooms were right next to each other. She tossed the Quaffle to him and stared at him inquisitively. “What?”

Harry was suddenly flustered. This wasn’t something either of them usually came up with each other. Not anymore, at least.

“I-just-uh,” he looked away and found two familiar heads walking to the field below them.

“Is that Ron and Hermione?” Ginny asked curiously.

“Don’t you mean RonandHermione?” Harry said, rolling his eyes. The moment was broken, much to his relief. He turned away from Ginny and headed toward the ground.

Ron looked up and smiled at Harry. Hermione had a book shoved under her arm, but she wasn’t reading it. One of her hands was clasped tightly in Ron’s. Broad smiles were fixed on their faces, as if they were enjoying a hysterical private joke.

“What’s happening, mate?” Ron greeted happily. Harry could tell right off that the angst Ron and Hermione had dealt with in their period of struggling had been worth it. To see the smiles on their faces was to know it had been worth all the tears.

“Just practicing,” he answered. “What are you doing out here?”

Hermione answered this time. “We got bored in the common room and decided to come outside.”

Ron nudged her. “You lie!” he looked back at Harry and said playfully, “I convinced her to stop studying and spend time with me!” He watched her open her mouth to protest, but he answered before she could. “I can’t believe you’d rather spend time with Arithmancy: The Advanced Study of Divinatory Numbers than your own boyfriend!”

“I had full intentions of spending time with you today!”

“When? When you finished reading page five thousand three hundred forty-two for the six thousandth five hundredth―”

“Trouble in paradise already?” came Ginny’s voice from above Harry’s head. She was smiling mischievously at the pair. “It’s only day two. You’ve got a while before you start patronizing each other.”

Harry’s jaw dropped. “Virginia Weasley! Watch your tongue! This is Ron and Hermione. The patronizing started before they knew each other’s names.”

The four laughed heartily as Harry rejoined Ginny and Ron and Hermione took seats on the grass by the stands. Harry consistently threw unexpected questions to Ginny to make sure she had been studying up on Quidditch. It was like he always said (and the saying Ginny loved to mock), ‘A good Quidditch player knows how to play. A great Quidditch player has knowledge of the game.’

Every so often, Harry and Ginny would stop midair to watch Ron and Hermione snogging on the snowy ground. Ginny lifted her wand three or four times but Harry had stopped her before she could conjure a private rainstorm or some kind of distraction.

“Haven’t they been through enough?” Harry pointed out, laughing all the while.

It was true. Ginny had seen it firsthand. Ron and Hermione had gone through such an ordeal during the Christmas season because of the way they felt about each other, that it was only fair they be allowed to spend uninterrupted time together.

“You’re such a prat, Wood.”

“I can’t help it, Miss J. Are you ready to take it in for the day?”

“All too ready,” she said, rolling her eyes, following him to the ground.

They bounced off of their brooms and raced each other off the pitch and over toward Ron and Hermione. It looked as though she had conjured up a blanket for them to lay on. Ron was on his back, trying to take a nap, while Hermione had her head propped on Ron’s chest, reading.

“Done so soon?” Ron asked, not opening his eyes.

“Well, yes, actually. Harry’s decided not to be tyrannical today and he’s letting me go in sooner.” This comment earned Ginny a sharp jab to the shoulder.

Ron opened his eyes and screwed up his face into confusion. “He’s not being… a tyrannosaurus… what?”

“It means he’s not being a ‘Wood,’ ” Hermione piped up, still reading.

Ron rolled his eyes, pointing at Hermione’s head, mouthing to Harry and Ginny, ‘know-it-all.’

“I saw that.”

Ginny shook her head and turned around to walk back into the castle. Harry didn’t realize he was standing by himself until Ginny was nearly inside. He ran to catch up with her.

“J! Wait a sec!”

She stopped in her tracks and turned to face Harry. He was running toward her, broom still in hand. “Wait! Wait! Where are you going?”

“Well, I was going to hit the showers and then go study. Why?”

“Because,” he stopped and looked around. There it was again, that strange feeling that he couldn’t find the right words to say. This feeling had been increasing in his Quidditch practices. He specifically remembered one day before a practice he had caught Ginny’s eye and had been unable to speak for the next ten minutes.

She stared at him expectantly. “Because… I don’t want to be left out here with the Amazing Angsters,” he said, a slight grin showing on his face.

Ginny couldn’t help but be entranced by his smile. She was sure that she had gotten over her crush on the famous Harry Potter two years before. He was always around Ron, and she was always with Hermione, so it was inevitable that what was left of her crush would disappear. It had… for the most part.

Then Ginny Weasley, little Virginia Weasley, had tried out for Quidditch. She could hear her brothers’ encouraging words in her ears.

“Go on, Gin! You’ve got the natural grace of a Chaser. You have to try out!”

“I can’t believe you can fly like that!”

“You are trying out aren’t you?”

“Did you know she could fly like that?”

“She has to try out. She’ll have to compensate for Ron’s not wanting to try out.”

“I can’t even fly like that!”

“Really? We hadn’t noticed.”

“ HEY!”

Ginny laughed to herself as she remembered the day Fred, George, and Ron had invited her to play Quidditch. They were the only four there for the summer holidays. She had been flying everywhere, unbeknownst to her brothers. Her ‘natural grace’ came from months of practice.

It also pleased her to see that Harry had been made Captain in his sixth year. He deserved it very much, and she got along with him well enough for it to be a fun experience on the team. The first few practices had been demanding, but she was a bright girl who caught on quickly.

That was what Harry said, at least.

“Ginny? Are you going into the castle?”

Ginny flew back to reality and stared at Harry. “What?”

“Are you going back into the castle or are you going to stand there and pick mental daisies?”

She shook off her fog and glared at Harry. “You’re mad,” she turned around and walked into the castle. Harry didn’t follow. He instead sat down and watched as Ginny walked away from him. His eyes glazed over as he started to reflect his sixth year at Hogwarts.

The vow he had made to himself and with Ron and Hermione was holding strong. He had decided that his sixth year was going to go well. This year he was going to try to live as normally as possible while working for The Order secretly all the while. He promised himself he wasn’t going to worry himself constantly with Voldemort as he had the previous year. He hadn’t gotten any sleep because of it and the year had been the longest one he’d ever spent at Hogwarts.

He was determined to get it right this year. Harry, Ron, and Hermione had met at Diagon Alley before school started, where Harry had taken both of them aside and told them the promise he had made to himself, and the one he wanted them all to keep. They would only talk about Voldemort when it was truly necessary. They wouldn’t fret over things they had no control over anymore.

Harry had a lot on his mind, but it wasn’t going to weigh him down. Not this year. Not to be conceited, but he was the famous Harry Potter. He had defeated Voldemort in many different ways on various occasions. Allowing him to take over his thoughts and consume him from head to toe was not an option. This year… there was no way.

Again his eyes fixed on the spot where Ginny had been standing. Then there was Ginny. It had been obvious from fifth year on that Ron and Hermione were destined to end up together. Harry had (for lack of a better term) foreseen it. Though Hermione had not returned Ron’s affection for a while, it was still inevitable. He had known that he was eventually going to lose his two best friends to each other.

Ginny and Hermione had begun to grow very close during his fifth year. For almost five years, it had been the infamous trio but since Ginny tagged along so frequently, they gradually became a foursome. Granted there were the occasional sibling bouts between Ginny and Ron where one would not speak to other. There were more frequent times however when it was Ron and Hermione, but these fights were always much easier to deal with.

Harry had developed quite an affinity toward the youngest Weasley. He felt the overwhelming need to protect her. Protecting was the last thing Ginny Weasley needed, though. She had six older brothers and was turning into quite an independent teenager. It pleased him immensely that she had gotten past the point of turning red every time he looked at her. She was now a lot of fun to be around.

Which was what made his new position as Captain that much more bearable. He had been elected Captain the previous year and he was so nervous about it that season that he could barely speak. Of course, all nervousness had been vanquished when he saw Ginny fly the first time.

His jaw had already dropped when Ron informed him he wouldn’t be trying out for the team. Reasons for this were unknown to Ron at the time but utterly obvious to Harry.

“I just don’t…” casting a glance at Hermione quickly, “feel like it.”

But seeing the long, flaming red hair was enough to jerk him to reality. It was obvious that all the Weasleys were great fliers. He was sure in his heart of hearts that even Percy could manage a broomstick if he chose to. He had not expected the pure talent Ginny exhibited after having been friendly with her for an entire year before.

Being Captain in his sixth year was causing a bit of anxiety in the young man. Yet his nervousness had vanished when he saw Ginny on the pitch. It was obvious that this was their year. His and Ginny’s time to shine.

This woke Harry with a start. “WHAT?”

“I don’t know! What?”

Harry spun around to face his best friends staring at him, puzzled. “Are you going into the castle or are you going to sit there and rake mental leaves?”

Hermione’s brows furrowed together as she mouthed the last few words Ron had said. Harry shook his head, standing up. “You know, mate, I spend far too much time with you than is good for me.”

//
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