The Sugar Quill
Author: Fluffy_Rose  Story: Just Fine  Chapter: Just Fine
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

Disclaimer: All characters belong to J

Disclaimer: All characters belong to J.K.Rowling, however the plot is mine…all mine…mwahahaha!

 

Ahem.

 

Thanks to Ozma for beta-reading this. You were excellent!

 

 

~ o ~ o ~ o ~

 

 

Just Fine

 

 

“Know-it-all!”

 

“Procrastinator!”

 

“Bookworm!”

 

“Cat hater!”

 

“Oy!” said Ron furiously, “I don’t hate all cats, just that ruddy git you call your pet. And anyway, how could you defend something that just bloodied up my arm with its claws? You’re nuts, you are!”

 

“You scared him!” defended Hermione. “He’s not used to people dancing maniacally around the room, shouting loudly, who then manage to collapse right on top of him, though you could see he was on that chair-"

 

Ron drowned out her cries by shouting, “The Cannons just won their first game in a century! How did you think I’d react? Say, ‘oh goody’, and sit down and play another game of chess like Vicky probably does after he’s won a match for Bulgaria-"

 

“Oh that’s it, isn’t it? Everything always comes back to Viktor-"

 

Harry tuned out the argument, as he tended to do, and twisted the dial on the wizard radio back and forth. They had just been listening to the Quidditch game between the Chudley Cannons, Ron’s favourite team, and the Worcestershire Wombats on the WWN, the Wizarding Wireless Network, and it had proved to be quite an exciting match. The Cannons’ Seeker had caught the Snitch after four hours and twelve minutes, boosting their total number of points to 170, which just beat the Wombats’ total of 160.

 

He felt a thump beside him and turned to see that Ginny had flung herself into the space next to him on the old sofa. She grinned at him and rolled her eyes towards the bickering pair. “It’s getting rather boring now, always ending up about Krum. I think they need a new programme, don’t you?”

 

Harry returned the grin half-heartedly. “Yeah, I just wish they’d shut up for two seconds. It’s really getting on my nerves.”

 

“Hmm, that could be arranged…but I don’t reckon Mum’d be too pleased if I hexed my brother to stop him shouting, not to mention what Hermione would do to me if I cursed her.”

 

Harry grinned again; Hermione was certainly not the witch to be on the wrong end of a wand to. However she did have to pause in her activities occasionally when she got a pain in her side, a remnant of the battle against Death Eaters she was in the month before-

 

-which was my fault, thought Harry miserably, if I hadn’t been so stupid as to insist on going to the Department of Mysteries then she wouldn’t have been hurt, and Sirius…Sirius would still be alive.

 

Harry shook his head; he did not want to dwell on those thoughts now. He became aware that Ginny was saying something, 

 

“-Seeker skills?”

 

“Huh?” said Harry. “Sorry, I was, umm,” he searched hurriedly for an excuse, “listening to the radio?”

 

“Harry, you just turned off the radio a minute ago when you were fiddling with the dial.”

 

“Oh, right.”

 

There was a pause.

 

“Harry, are you ok?” asked Ginny, “For a moment, you seemed miles away.”

 

“Yeah, I’m fine. So, what were you saying?”

 

Ginny gave him a look (scarily like one her Mother would give), which clearly said, I don’t believe you for a second, but repeated her question anyway. “D’you want to practise some Seeker skills out in the garden? You’ll need to regain your position on the team from me, you know, and I won’t give it up until I’m positive that you can thrash Slytherin.”

 

“Yeah, ok, that would be great,” replied Harry, getting up, and with a last exasperated look at Hermione-

 

“He’s a cat, Ron, how could he be out to get you?”

 

-and Ron-

 

“He’s a bloody menace, that’s what he is!”

 

-he followed Ginny out of the Weasleys’ living room and into the kitchen, where his Firebolt was. Harry was staying at the Weasleys’ for a few days before they all went to Number 12 Grimmauld Place together. Apparently the Order of the Phoenix was presently holding too many secret meetings at the house for them to be able to stay there at the moment. Or at least, that was the excuse Mr. Weasley was giving them.

 

Harry had stayed the first four weeks of the holiday with the Dursleys, something he hated, though the occasional visit to Mrs Figg’s meant he retained a firm hold on the wizarding world, without his Aunt and Uncle’s knowledge, unlike the previous summer.

 

But none of that mattered at the moment, because now he was just going to play some Quidditch with Ginny, and he couldn’t find anything wrong with that if he tried.

 

~ o ~ o ~ o ~

 

One hour later, a very tired and sweaty Harry made his way back to the living room, his Firebolt over his shoulder. When he was about four feet away from the door however, he paused, hearing familiar voices inside. With no wish to witness the continuation of the fight between his two best friends, he turned round, only to walk straight into Ginny, who had come in behind him. She evidently had no desire to interrupt Ron and Hermione either as she also turned to go back into the garden, but at that moment they both heard a loud crash, followed by furious cursing.

 

With a slight frown, Ginny quickly moved towards the door and gently pushed it, so it swung inwards to reveal the scene in the living room.

 

Ron presumably had been hit by a rather good vanishing curse, which would explain the disappearance of his nose. He was lying flat on his back in the middle of a pile of cookery books, which had fallen from the bookcase he’d just crashed into.

 

Hermione seemed to be in shock, frozen in the duelling position. However as they watched, she lowered her wand, leaned forwards and hesitantly offered Ron her hand. “Oh, I’m so sorry. I must have put a bit too much force into that one. Are you alright?”

 

“Yeah, just about,” muttered Ron, rubbing his head where he’d bumped it. “Er, d’you think I could have my nose back? I might need it.”

 

“Oh, yes, of course.” Hermione quickly performed the countercurse and stepped backwards, realising as she did so that she was still holding Ron’s other hand. She quickly dropped it as if it had burned her and proceeded to stare fixedly at ‘So You Want to Cook Like a Celebrity – 10 Easy Steps to Producing Culinary Delights Worthy of Magical Me by Gilderoy Lockhart.

 

In the awkward silence that followed, Ron seemed to make up his mind about something because he cleared his throat and said, “Umm, Hermione? Look, I need to say something, which I probably should have said a long time ago, but anyway…”

 

There was another pause, in which Harry glanced at Ginny to see what she made of this, only to find her staring at the scene with an almost hungry expression on her face, whispering, “Go on, tell her, tell her!

 

Thoroughly bemused, Harry turned back to Ron and Hermione. Ron took a deep breath, opened his mouth…and said nothing. Apparently his nerve had failed him. He looked up at Hermione, shook his head slightly and then said, “Right. What I wanted to say is that, is that, umm…well-"

 

Behind Harry, Ginny was hitting her head against the kitchen wall, but, though this was causing several items to rattle ominously on their shelves, neither Ron nor Hermione were taking any notice of anything but each other.

 

“Ok, well, you see, the thing is…that actually, I really…I really…like-"

 

Harry found himself inching closer to the door, aware that he was about to witness a monumental event.

 

“I really like…”

 

There was a very long pause.

 

“…Crookshanks.”

 

“No! You stupid git! You were supposed to say ‘you’!” whispered Ginny furiously in Harry’s ear.

 

Ron, due to the very confused and slightly disappointed look on Hermione’s face, felt the need to elaborate.

 

“Look. What I meant was, I know it seems like sometimes we fight a lot and we don’t get on, and sometimes I don’t approve of everything he does, and how he acts and the things he believes in,” Ron paused for breath, and continued at a slower pace, “but I know he’s brilliant, really, even if a little mental, and, though it doesn’t always look it, I do really, really, like…him,” he finished, looking straight into Hermione’s eyes.

 

“Really?” breathed Hermione.

 

“Yeah,” said Ron, his voice breaking slightly.

 

Harry got the distinct impression that neither of them was talking about the cat anymore.

 

He felt Ginny nudge him and together they closed the door quietly and made their way back into the garden. Ginny was smiling and, as soon as they were out of earshot of the Burrow, she whooped for joy. Harry grinned, really grinned, for the first time in months and mounted his broom again, watching Ginny’s hair glow brightly in the sunlight as she flew. He smiled to himself.

 

 He felt confident in the fact that there would not be as much bickering in the days to come, and for the first time since Voldemort’s return the previous year, he felt at peace with the world.

 

Life in the next few months would be hard, but maybe, just maybe, it would get better soon.

 

He knew that he would be just fine.

 

 

 

~ o ~ o ~ o ~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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