The Sugar Quill
Author: That H.P. Guy (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Fantastic  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

During fifth year, Ron's impulsive, Hermione's insulted and Harry's just along for the ride. So, pretty much, business as usual.

Disclaimer: The characters, the location, all belong to JKR. I just wind them up, put them in compromising positions and let them go.

Dedicated to Elanor Gamgee, my long-suffering beta-reader. I finally sent her a fic that she could unreservedly say she loved.

~ * ~

“Now, add the horned slug extract…slowly…and as soon as the potion turns red, remove it from the flame.” Hermione read the instructions as Ron scraped the extract into the cauldron and Harry pulled on his dragon hide gloves, getting ready to pull the cauldron from the flames at a second’s notice.

The viscous potion began to darken, and quickly acquired a pink tinge. Harry hefted it from the base onto a cooling rack, and watched as the color darkened further, becoming a brilliant vermilion. “Give it a few minutes to cool, and we can try it out.”

Once the potion had cooled, and the color deepened, Ron extracted a tiny portion with a dropper. “Whose turn is it to be the guinea pig today?” he asked.

“It’s not me this time!” Harry quickly asserted. “I can still taste the antidote that Snape had to use on me after your Pepper-Up Potion turned me bright orange.”

“Well, it can’t be me. I’m allergic to anything with slug in it, as well you know, after that incident in second year.” Ron turned to Hermione with the dropper in hand. “And so that means it’d best be you, Miss Granger.”

“Why do I suspect a plot against me?” Hermione’s brows gathered and her face became stern.

“Now, now, why would you suspect that? All this potion will do is make you susceptible to suggestion. It won’t make you do anything you don’t already want to do deep down.” From the look on Harry’s face, the expression on Ron’s must have appeared positively evil. Hermione looked like she could see the wheels turning inside Ron’s head as she considered how they would test the potions efficacy.

Hermione crossed her arms and gave in with very little grace. “Alright, give it here.”

“Nope. Open wide!” Ron held the dropper out and Hermione assumed a long-suffering expression and reluctantly opened her mouth. He applied two drops to her tongue.

She made a horrible face. “Oh, that’s terrible. Far worse than the potion Madam Pomfrey gave me to change me back from being a cat.” Harry and Ron laughed good-naturedly at her obvious discomfiture.

They waited several minutes, to make sure it had a chance to work. Harry asked, “So, Ron, how’ll we make sure this thing works as intended?”

“Oh, I’ve already got that figured out.” Ron smiled placidly. He turned to Hermione and said, nonchalantly, “Say, Hermione, give us a kiss, will ya?”

Hermione stood up from her seat and walked over to Ron, whose eyes were getting larger and larger as she approached. She wrapped her arms around his shoulders and leaned in close. Then he felt her lips against his own, pressing hard. He recovered enough to kiss back, and felt her mouth open over his, felt her tongue tease his own. Ron’s heart skipped several beats when Hermione nibbled on his lower lip. His arms encircled her without conscious thought on his part.

After what seemed an eternity, she pulled back and looked down at Ron’s flushed face. And she slapped him, as hard as she’d slapped Malfoy back in their third year.

“Ron! How dare you take advantage of me like that?”

Ron quickly gathered his shattered mind back together; he was stammering when he finally found his voice. “What? Hermione! Don’t be upset. It was f…”

He never got to finish. “It was funny?” she hissed. Her eyes narrowed dangerously. “Is that what you think? Ron Weasley, don’t you ever speak to me again!” She stalked out of the Potions classroom, completely forgetting her bag and her books on the floor by her vacated chair.

“Harry? What happened?” Ron looked confused and very worried. “I was going to say it was fantastic. Just…fantastic.” 

~ * ~

A loud thump made Hermione look up from her homework with a start. Someone had very decisively set a small vial of red potion down on her table. Her eyes narrowed when she saw that it was Ron standing in front of her. She deliberately ignored him and went back to writing out her Arithmancy homework.

“Alright, Granger. That about does it. I’m sick to death of getting your cold shoulder treatment. So, I think it’s time we get it settled once and for all.” With that pronouncement, he turned to the others in the common room and, raising his voice, called, “Alright, everyone, observe!”

Ron waited until he had gathered the attention of most of his housemates. He picked up the bottle he’d brought, dropped three drops of the liquid on his tongue, and pulled a nasty face. “Hair of the dog that bit me! Now, Hermione, you can have your revenge. It’s payback time.” He crossed his arms and waited for her to instruct him.

Hermione closed her Arithmancy text with a snap. “Alright, Ron, if that’s how you’d like it to be, I’ll play along.” She stood up and issued her first command. “On your knees!” There was a whispered “Ooh!” from the crowd, but though Hermione flushed, she persevered.

Ron obediently dropped to his knees before her, resting on his haunches. He looked up at Hermione expectantly. A few laughs were heard throughout the scattered students, and Harry simply shook his head in disbelief.

“Now, bark like a dog!” she ordered.

Ron barked, alternately yapping and growling. He even went so far as to lift his arms and bend his wrists, imitating a begging dog.

“Alright, alright, that’s enough,” Hermione shouted, and Ron subsided, but began to pant. The Creevey brothers looked like they were about to pass out, they were laughing so hard.

Hermione considered for a moment, and then suggested, “Okay, how about the School Song—in falsetto!”

Still kneeling, Ron’s shrill voice rang out, “Hogwarts, Hogwarts, hoggy-warty Hogwarts…” He continued to belt out the song in its entirety, accompanied by the giggles of Lavender and Parvati. Ginny was laughing so hard that she literally fell out of her chair.

“Alright, Ron, just one more thing then.” Hermione smiled mischievously and adopted Ron’s southern accent, “Give us a kiss, will ya?”

There were gasps from the assembled Gryffindors as Ron hopped to his feet and walked toward her. She began to back away from him. “Stop, Ron!” she called.

“I think you forget how that potion works, Hermione. He’s only compelled to do things he wouldn’t mind doing ordinarily!” Harry called back, amidst much laughter and more than a few catcalls.

Ron finally caught up to Hermione, and backed her into a corner, his arms on either side of her, preventing her escape. He looked down into her face, and she looked back up at him, nervous and afraid. He moved his hands from her sides to her shoulders as he lowered his face to meet hers. He pressed his lips against Hermione’s, and she felt herself immediately melt against him.

Even with an audience of dozens, Ron didn’t hold back. Hermione’s lips opened against his own, and she felt his hot breath mingled with hers. He kissed. He nibbled. He ran the tip of his tongue over her lips and against her own. She answered in kind, and with tiny, happy, mewling noises.

He pulled back from the kiss abruptly. Hermione’s eyes were still closed, reveling in the bliss she was feeling. Her eyelids fluttered open, and she stared into Ron’s eyes. Her face quickly flushed as the room erupted in cheers, applause and wolf-whistles. She broke away from Ron and ran quickly upstairs to the girl’s dormitory.

~ * ~

Harry waited for Ron to approach. Ron’s face was red as he faced his housemates at last, but he was smiling. The two of them started to leave the room for their own dormitory when Ginny called after him. “Ron, can I keep the rest of this potion?” She looked over at Harry and blushed a bit, but didn’t elaborate further.

“No, Ginny, you’d better throw it away.”

Harry was dumbfounded. “Ron, that potion is a pain to make. Are you sure you want to get rid of it?” The rest of the Gryffindor fifth years were just as amazed; they’d all slaved over their own batches of the Suggestivus potion that week, and knew how hard it was to brew.

“Why not? That particular potion is pumpkin juice with a coloring charm on it.” And Ron exited the room while everyone else stood in stunned silence.

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