The Sugar Quill
Author: Mallaryrose  Story: A Hot Summer Day  Chapter: Chapter One
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The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. It belongs to J.K. Rowling. I am merely writing this for my own pleasure, not for profit.

Authorís note: Thanks to my beta-reader, Yolanda, for helping me with my first ever story on The Quill. She ROX!

~*~*~*~*~*~

Chapter One

"I am not!"

"Are too!" He was going to win this one. He knew it.

"I am not, Ronald Weasley. I never was and I never will be!"

Ron crossed his arms over his chest, staring her down with a smirk. "Prove it then."

"Excuse me?" She raised an eyebrow.

"Prove to me that you are not dating Viktor Krum. You never were, and you never will be. Show me you donít have feelings for the famous Bulgarian Quidditch player." He grinned, knowing he was close to victory.

"Well...I...I." For once, Hermione was wordless. Indeed, it looked as though Ron would win. She stared at him for a while, trying to think of what to say next. Putting her hands on her hips, she glared.

"I donít know why itís any of your business anyway, Ron. Harry doesnít seem to have a problem with Viktor and I being friends." She took a deep breath. "I shouldnít have to prove anything. You are my friend and you should trust me and believe me when I tell you that Iím not his girlfriend."

With that she stormed out of the kitchen, her frizzy hair bobbing with each vigorous step. She only hesitated when she saw the letter Viktor had written to her sitting on the table, the letter that had started the whole argument. She grabbed it and continued on. The door slammed behind her, blowing a cold draft into the room.

"Donít even try to bring Harry into this!" He screamed to the closed door.

Okay, so he didnít win.

Bloody Vicky Krum.

Ron wrinkled his nose, and went outside to de-gnome the garden.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Hermione sat in a slumped position on the edge of Ginnyís bed. Breathing deeply, she brought her knees to her chest and wrapped her arms around them. She glanced out the window.

Ron was down below in the garden, throwing a gnome over the wall, his orange hair glinting vividly in the sun. His long arms tensed as he released the creature from his grasp. He grinned as Harry came out the back door to join him. It looked like Harry was going to hear Ronís side of the argument first. Then, usually, he would listen to Hermione, and attempt to get them to make up. Thatís how it had always worked during the past month at the Burrow. Until then, she would need to occupy herself. Reaching into her pocket, she pulled out the letter Viktor had sent her.

Dear Hermione,

I am very sorry that you cannot come to Bulgaria this summer. I was very much looking forward to seeing you. I cannot write more because I have Quidditch practise shortly. Have a good summer.

-Viktor

Hermione sighed. She really wished she could have gone to Bulgaria. It would have such an interesting and informative trip. But her parents had decided that it was unsafe for her to travel too far from home, what with the return of Voldemort. So Hermione was only allowed her usual visit to the Burrow to see Harry Ron, and Ginny, which she didnít mind, for the most part. Except for when she argued with Ron. She hated that. It left her feeling overwhelmingly empty, like she felt right now.

"What are you doing up here?" Ginnyís voice interrupted her thoughts. Hermione turned around to see Ginny standing in the doorway, shopping bag in hand. Her brown eyes gave her a questioning look.

"Ron." Hermione muttered darkly, pulling a stray curl out of her face.

She rolled her eyes. "He can be such a prat sometimes." Hermione smiled, her head nodding in agreement.

Ginny made her way toward the dresser. "Really, Hermione, I donít know how you and Harry put up with him for four years straight." Opening her drawers, she began to empty the contents of her bag into them. Hermione got up from her spot on the bed to help her.

"I see you had a successful shopping trip," she said, placing a pretty plum colored blouse into the bottom drawer. Glancing down at her own worn-out sundress, Hermione felt a pang of regret. She probably should have gone with Ginny and Mrs.Weasley to get new clothes, but she really hadnít felt like it when they offered.

"Yes," answered Ginny, "Mum found some really good bargains at a Muggle clothes shop." She closed the dresser after putting everything away. "So, what do you want to do?"

"I really donít know. I suppose we could study."

Ginny groaned. She tended to have a very Ron-like attitude about doing homework during the holidays. "I guess so," she said, biting her lip, "but why donít we do it outside?" Hermione agreed, and they gathered up their books.

Heat from the sun beat down on Hermione and Ginny as they trudged up the hill, their schoolwork in hand. The small pond up ahead glinted with silver in the bright rays. Hermione squinted, using her free hand to shield her eyes.

"Do you want to sit down under those trees?" She suggested, gesturing toward an area of shade adjacent to the small body of water. Ginny nodded, and they headed under the shadows of the little forest. Huffing, they plopped down in a patch of grass and opened their books.

Hermione wiped her forehead. It was very hot outside. Beads of perspiration were rolling down her back, causing her light dress to stick to her skin. The humidity filled her lungs, and warmth overwhelmed her whole body. All the heat was making it very hard to concentrate. Shifting in her seat, she struggled to give The Goblin War of 1418 her undivided attention, but even with her studious disposition she couldnít stop thinking of other things.

Ron...

What was his problem, anyway? She could understand arguing, sure. They always argued. But now it seemed to happen more often than it did before, was more than ever, and many times over the silliest things. For instance, last week they had started bickering over which way to fold the napkins when setting the table. Ron wanted them folded in half so that they formed smaller rectangles, while Hermione wanted them folded diagonally so that they made triangles. In the end, Harry and Ginny came to the rescue by doing both rectangles and triangles.

It was ridiculous that Ron and she could get in a heated argument over napkin folding, utterly ridiculous. Friends were supposed to get along, not bicker. Friends were supposed to trust each other, not be disbelieving and jealous. Harry did that. Harry was her friend.

Most of all, friends were not supposed to haunt your thoughts and dreams. They werenít supposed to make you ponder over them every other minute of the day.

Then if Ron wasnít her friend, what was he?

He was the boy with red hair and freckles who had shared adventures with her since the beginning of first year. He was the schoolmate who never failed to make her laugh at his antics. He was the young man who struggled to make a name for himself under the shadows of his older brothers. He was the teenager who she constantly argued with. He was the only person who could really make her relax and keep her mind off schoolwork. Ron, who overwhelmed her with emotions of hate, sadness, happiness, excitement, and love all in one package.

Then it hit her. Ron was, to her, not an enemy, not a friend, but much, much more.

Suddenly Hermione felt extremely hot and breathless, and she knew it wasnít merely because of the weather.

~*~*~*~*~*~

After about half an hour, Ginny slammed her book shut.

"Well, Iím finished with Potions," she proclaimed, wiping her forehead with the back of her hand. "Are you almost done, Hermione?"

Hermione didnít pick her head up from her book, which was rather amusing considering the fact that it was up side down. She mumbled.

"Mmmm?"

Ginny giggled, wondering what was causing her friend to be so out of it. It wasnít like Hermione at all to stare at a book and not actually learn something from it. Was it possible that her fight with Ron was still bothering her?

"Very possible." Ginny thought to herself. Well, she would fix that. She didnít want Hermione to waste the day pining over an argument with her brother. She would have to have a talk with Ron. Standing from her comfortable seat in the grass, she stretched out her back and turned toward her curly haired companion.

"Iím heading in," she lied, picking up her books and parchment. "Good luck with your history." Hermione continued to stare at the wrinkled page of her book, not even responding. Ginny shook her head, and stumbled down the hill toward the garden. She would have to get them to make up, unless Harry hadnít already started on it.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Hermione couldnít believe what she was telling herself. She liked Ron. Not just liked him, like Viktor or Harry, but liked him. She liked everything about him, from his tall, gangly body, to his freckled nose, to the way he procrastinated. For the past half-hour she had been contemplating over what to do about it, and she still hadnít come to any conclusion. She supposed she could just tell him, and see what he thought. That wouldnít be so bad, would it?

It would be worse than trying to take Fluffy for a walk.

Placing her book beside her, she stared at the sparkling water of the pond, as if it would give her an answer to her problems. It looked very cool compared to the warm and humid environment in which she sat. Very cold, very tempting.

Suddenly Hermione felt the urge to do something extremely unlike herself. Slipping off her sandals, she inched toward the edge of the shallow pool and dipped her toe in. The water was freezing, just how she wanted it. It would be the perfect escape from the heat of the day, the perfect way to wash away her confusing thoughts.

And so she jumped in, shabby sundress and all.

 

 

 

 

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