The Sugar Quill
Author: That H.P. Guy (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Getting It Right  Chapter: Chapter One: Charmed, I'm sure
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Disclaimer: It's all JKR's

Set at the end of the summer before the Trio's fifth year at Hogwarts

 

Ron marched into the living room at The Burrow, a look of determination on his face. He spotted Hermione right away, sitting in an armchair, reading through one of their fifth-year textbooks. He advanced on her, drawing his wand. Before she could take notice of his presence, he gestured towards her with it, saying, “Finite Incantatem.”

A small rip opened at the hem of Hermione’s walking shorts, one that he had watched his mother repair two days before, after Hermione had caught it on a bush in their yard. Otherwise, there was no change. Ron stared at her owlishly.  Hermione looked down at the tear, then back up at Ron in consternation.

“Why did you do that? We’re not supposed to use magic over the summer! Now I’ve got to fix it all over again,” she complained.

Ron continued to look at her, looking for other changes that he had at first missed, but finally replied, “We tend to get away with it here. There’s no real reason for the Ministry to suspect any magic here, because it’s a wizarding house.”

Fine, Ron,” said Hermione, sounding irritated, “but that still doesn’t explain why you just cast that spell on me.”

Ron finally stopped staring and said, “Nothing. No reason.” His voice softened, “Sorry, do you want me to fix that for you?”

While he had been speaking, Hermione had rummaged for her own wand, and quickly fixed the tear again. “You must have had some reason to dispel any magic on me. Did you see something unusual? Did Fred or George try one of their Wheezes out on me?” They’d been trying to trick Hermione into being their guinea pig since shortly after she’d arrived at the house.

“No,” Ron stammered, “nothing like that. Just…just forget about it, alright?”

Hermione gave him a look that had to mean, ‘you’re nutters!’ but stopped questioning him. “Alright, Ron, I’ll drop it. Are you ready to go for that walk?”

“Sure,” said Ron, “Harry said he’d meet us out front.”

“Okay, let’s go then,” she said, collecting up her bag and leading the way.

Ron followed, still looking confused. Hermione had not had any spells on her to dispel, but that just didn't make any sense!

~ * ~

It had started when she’d come to the Burrow for the last two weeks of the holiday. Hermione had appeared in the fireplace and all it took was one look for Ron to realise that there was something different about her. His mouth had gone dry immediately and his welcoming ‘hello’ had stuck in his throat. And it wasn’t just the Muggle clothes she had been wearing, no matter how scandalous they were compared to their Hogwarts robes.

Hermione hadn’t seemed to be similarly afflicted, as she had closed the distance between them and given Ron a very large and extremely unnerving but completely wonderful hug.

It wasn’t Ron’s first hug from Hermione. She'd made a habit of hugging him, when times were stressful, after all. It was, however, the first time he’d ever noticed how soft the skin on her arms was, how nice her hair smelled, faintly of green apples, or how well she fit against him, her head falling just under his chin. It was also the first time he’d noticed that there was a distinct something between them, something soft and decidedly feminine and also decidedly off limits, no matter how many times his mind wandered back to the feeling of Hermione’s chest pressed against his own.

It hadn’t stopped there, either. She had come to a picnic that Ginny had put together wearing a pair of denim shorts that were very nearly indecent, showing off the lower third of her thighs, and Ron had stared at her legs for nearly a quarter of an hour, entirely losing the thread of the conversation that Harry, Hermione and Ginny were having. In retrospect, it hadn’t made a bit of sense. They were just legs for Circe’s sake! But Hermione had lain down next to him, her chin propped on her palms, and he couldn’t help but look. They had these curves in such interesting places, and weren’t pale and sprouting hair like his own were, but looked soft and were colored like rich double cream, with occasional chocolate chip freckles here and there.

When Ginny had called him out of his reverie, he’d found himself lightly stroking the back of the calf closest to him, and Hermione had put her head down on her crossed arms and looked quite content to be…stroked by him. He’d jerked his hand back as though stung, and Harry and Ginny had had a good laugh at his expense, but while Hermione had smiled, she hadn’t laughed at him. He was quite grateful for that, and for the fact that she rolled away from him and sat up, so that her legs weren’t quite so available. Especially when Harry kept giving him knowing looks.

He’d been able to keep control of himself for the rest of the picnic, and even teased Hermione a bit, just like old times. She had told him off as fiercely as ever, but there was something strange about the look in her eyes. By the time the four of them had packed up the leftovers from their lunch, Ron felt pretty good about his ability to stay in control of himself and stop thinking strange thoughts about Hermione. And then it had fallen all apart again.

Hermione and Ginny had headed off first, with Harry and Ron trailing, Harry carrying the blanket on which they’d been sitting, Ron the basket. Glancing ahead, Ron had caught sight of Hermione. He’d tilted his head to the right, slightly, as he’d watched her walk. He’d never once noticed, in nearly four years of friendship, the way that Hermione’s hips swayed when she walked. Of course, most of that time he’d seen her in voluminous black robes, so he had had an excuse, but no longer. She was hippier than Ginny, maybe even what you’d call curvaceous. It was hypnotic, watching Hermione’s muscles slide smoothly under the denim. And very…sexy?

Ron had noticed what he was doing, just where he was staring and what he was thinking, and immediately felt his ears heat. He’d looked rapidly away, and started looking at the trees and the garden around him in what he hoped was a nonchalant way. Harry, walking beside him, had looked fit to burst. He’d given Harry a withering look, daring him to make a sound, and walked faster so as to avoid looking at Harry altogether.

The rest of the summer had proceeded in much the same way, with Ron vacillating between complete control and an apparent leave of his senses. One minute he’d be giving Hermione a hard time about having been made a prefect, and all the trouble they were going to have to avoid because of it, and the next he found himself watching her reading, of all things, and reaching over to push a lock of her soft, wavy, brown hair out of her face and behind her ear for her. She had glanced over at him and smiled so sweetly that his heart had skipped.

Fred and George had nearly wet themselves with laughter when, out of the blue, he’d pushed Hermione’s chair in for her at the dinner table. Unable to leave well enough alone, Fred had theatrically pushed a giggling Ginny’s chair in and George followed suit with their mum’s and even Harry’s. At that same meal, however, he’d hardly spoken to Hermione, having become engaged in an argument over Quidditch with Harry and George.

It had taken until yesterday for him to find out what was going on. He’d almost walked in on a conversation between Hermione and Ginny, but stopped himself, content to listen and watch from the doorway.

Ginny had been hugging herself with apparent glee. “I’ve certainly never seen him act like this, that’s for sure. Even about that Cannons chaser, Elizabeth something-or-other, that he had a crush on back when he was younger. He’s smitten, Hermione.”

 

Hermione’s cheeks had gone pink, but she'd seemed quite happy. “Mum said, ‘Just use your feminine charms,’ and I guess she was right!”

Ron had quietly fumed in the doorway. Charms! She’d used magic on him, to get him to fall for her. That explained everything! Why he’d been such a prat about her lately, and why she was letting him be a prat. She’d used a love charm on him.

So he’d made his plan then, and waited until this morning to try it out. And it had failed. Where did that leave him? There wasn’t any magic on Hermione, and he’d already cast it on himself. So why, oh why, had he been acting this way?

//
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