The Sugar Quill
Author: Silver Phoenix (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Perfect World  Chapter: Chapter 2: Trenchcoats and Berets
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"Mum, where's my bow tie

Author’s Notes: I was really overwhelmed with all the amazing responses to the first chapter! I’m glad everyone enjoyed the first chapter, and I’d like to thank everyone for their amazing constructive criticism. I tried to remedy the it’s/its thing in this chapter. ^_~ As always, big thanks to my beta, Night Zephyr, who pointed out that Ron elbows people in the ribs far too much.

 

This was a really fun chapter to write. After reading Order of the Phoenix, of course, I wanted to change the twins’ occupations in this fic. But since I’d already established them as Quidditch players in Bury the Hatchet, I thought I should keep to it.


For those of you anxiously awaiting the plot, do not fear. It shall come. This chapter actually does have something to do with something, believe it or not.

 

***

 

"Mum, where's my bow tie?"

 

"Hold still, Ginny, I almost have your hair up…"

 

"Forget it! It's hopeless!"

 

"Mum, where is my bow-tie?!”

 

"That's it! I'm not going!"

 

"You're going to miss your own brother's wedding because your hair won't co-operate?!"

 

"Yes!"

 

"Does anyone here know where the bloody hell my bow tie is?!"

 

"Good heavens, Percy swore!"

 

"The apocalypse has come!"


"Save the women and children!"

 

"Shut up you two! I - need - my - bow-tie!"

 

"Percy, I can hear you from the other side of the house! What are you wailing abou - "

 

"Can't see the bride! Can't see the bride!"

 

"Penny, get out of here!"

 

"Charlie! Do not eat those cookies, or so help me…"

 

"Why don't I just shave my head? It'd make things easier!"

 

"I should've gone with the blue…"

 

"Molly! The photographer's here!"

 

"Mum…where…is…my…bow-tie?!"

 

"George! Find your brother's bloody bow-tie!"

 

"I'm Fred!"

 

"Fine! Fred! Find your brother's bloody bow-tie!"

 

"Why do you always ask me?! George never has to do anything around here!"

 

"I knew I should've gone with the blue!"

 

"No, Ginny, not the curling iron!"

 

"Hullo, folks, I'm - whoa."

 

It was a chaotic sight that met the poor photographer on that momentous day in Weasley history: a sea of bright, fiery red hair; Penelope Clearwater stumbling backward out of the Weasley's tiny kitchen, attempting to shield herself from her groom's sight with a wooden cutting board; the loving groom, red-eyed and tousled-haired, searching wildly on his hands and knees under the table for a bow-tie; two thirty-somethings stuffing cookies into their mouths; one extremely distressed girl furiously throwing a hot curling iron across the room; another curly-haired witch frantically whipping out her wand to prevent the curling iron from hitting the curtains and setting the house on fire; a sad-looking redhead staring at his tie; one plump, older woman who looked about as ferocious as a lion; her stressed-looking husband; and two identical twins reveling in the pandemonium. All this, packed into the tiny kitchen of a tiny little house called the Burrow.

 

Thus, Percy Weasley's wedding day began.

 

"Quiet!" Molly Weasley shrieked at the top of her lungs. The photographer toppled backwards in surprise as a heavy silence descended upon the cluttered kitchen. Even the clock seemed to freeze as Mrs. Weasley’s fierce glare bore into them all.

 

"Percy, last I saw, your bow-tie was in your old room," Mrs. Weasley said through clenched teeth. "Fred, George, I don't care which one of you is which, go fetch everyone else and tell them the photographer's here. Bill, Charlie, put that tray of cookies back where it belongs. Ginny, your hair looks fine. Hermione, try to breathe. Ron, no one cares about your tie. And hello, I'm Molly Weasley," the mother of seven said with an unsettlingly calm smile. The photographer slowly approached her, equipment in hand. Sidling through the crowd of people, he followed Mrs. Weasley outside, where Penny was now waiting.

 

"We'll call the rest of you when it's your turn," Molly Weasley said curtly. She disappeared through the door. There was silence for a moment.

 

"….Way to go, Gin," Ron said accusingly. This prompted a whole new shouting match. Hermione threw up her hands in the air and stomped out of the kitchen, and Percy sat on the floor despondently, his head in his hands.

 

***

 

Despite the arguing, hair disasters, and frantic searches for articles of clothing, three hours and about a hundred photographs later, Ron Weasley was sitting in a pew at his brother's wedding.

 

Of all the Weasley children, Ron never pictured Percy as the first to be married. He had always assumed that Bill would be the first to tie the knot, followed by the rest of the Weasleys in chronological order. He mentally excluded the twins, of course, who he was pretty sure would explode or something if they had to settle down with someone. And yet there he was - Percy Weasley, former Prefect and Head Boy of Hogwarts, Head of the Department of International Magical Co-Operation, fussy, bossy, and, Ron had assumed, completely incapable of a gushy emotion like love. Horn-rimmed glasses and all, Ron's brother was getting married. And irritating as Percy sometimes was, Ron suddenly felt a strange little twinge somewhere near his ribs as he realized the Weasley family would never be the same again.

 

Ron was vaguely aware of some music being played before Hermione hauled him to his feet. Everyone craned their necks as Penelope and her rather pudgy father slowly and painstakingly made their entrance into the church.

 

Most of Penelope’s family were Muggles, and both Mr. and Mrs. Weasley had made sure to be adamant about the Weasley family's behaviour. Though Penelope’s immediate family were, of course, "Muggards" (the term Fred and George had brilliantly created to use when referring to Muggles who were aware of the wizarding world), the majority of the people standing on the opposite side of the church had absolutely no clue that the group of red-haired people on this side of the aisle were wizards. Though a few members of the Weasley clan looked a tad suspicious (Ron's third cousin Evan was wearing his tuxedo backwards, and his Aunt Holly was wearing Christmas tree lights and tinsel in her hair), they had managed to pass for Muggles so far. Hermione was filling Ron in on all the bizarre Muggle traditions for weddings as they were occurring.

 

"Why's she wearing that thing over her face?" Ron whispered.

 

"It's a veil…when they get up to the altar, her father will flip it back to show her face," Hermione sighed, sounding very sentimental. "It's tradition."

 

"And why are they going so slow?"

 

"So everyone can see, and take pictures…it's tradition, Ron."

 

"And what's with the music? It sounds like a funeral march."

 

"It's not a funeral march, it's the wedding march." Hermione suddenly held her finger to her lips as Penelope’s father gave her away to Percy. There was much sniffling in the crowd as Percy beamed and the two of them turned to face the priest, who began droning on about beloved deers or something of that sort. As they sat down, Ron watched his brother slowly reach out and grasp Penelope’s hand while the priest continued. A secretive sort of smile slowly lit up Penelope’s face as Percy caressed her gloved hand with his thumb. Another chorus of sniffles echoed throughout the church. Ron furrowed his eyebrows as he watched a couple of the Muggle women start blubbering and crying quite loudly.

 

"What in the world?" Ron said in a hushed tone to Hermione, staring at the Muggles and shaking his head. "Why're they so bloody sad? They're getting married! It's supposed to be - " but he abruptly stopped as he realized his shoulder was getting very damp, because Hermione was crying on it. Ron shook his head and put an arm around her, patting her shoulder comfortingly.

 

"There, there," he sighed. "Crazy Muggles," he added in an undertone, though it was not without a note of fondness.

 

***

 

"And then he said, 'Speak now or forever hold your peace,' and we just kind of sat there for a minute like someone was going to show up and crash the entire wedding," Fred was telling his date, a tall blonde who looked as if she'd stepped right out of a page of Witch Weekly. The Weasley twins, fame having gone slightly to their large heads after their Quidditch careers had really taken off, seemed to pick up new girlfriends every month or so. This month's models were named Lana and Marsha, and both seemed to be wearing the same short black dresses and the same vacant expressions.

 

"Really?" Lana said absently, staring at her nails. The female fascination with things that grew out of their fingers never ceased to amaze Ron. "Muggles are so strange," Lana continued very loudly, in a whiny sort of voice. "I can't believe your brother agreed to let them all come to his wedding." Ron distinctly saw Hermione roll her eyes in his peripheral vision.

 

"Hey, keep it down, will you?" Bill interrupted, glancing around the reception hall. Percy, beaming so much that he was practically glowing by this point, was greeting guests with Penelope by his side, while his teary-eyed mother fussed over him in-between greetings. Most people were mingling a bit before dinner began, even though the wizards and witches in the room seemed to be keeping their distance from the Muggles.

 

"Why don't you just yell out the M word for the entire hall to hear? And try not to look like you're superior to everyone else just because you can wave a wand, will you?" Bill added, looking pointedly at Marsha, who was watching a group of Penelope’s relations with a look of disdain. Ron grinned; one could always count on Bill.

 

Marsha shot Bill a dirty look, and then turned to Fred, whom she thought was George. "I'm going to the powder room," she announced, and spun on her heel to march away.

 

"Okay!" George, who was halfway across the room, yelled after her.

 

"Oh, just call it the loo like everyone else," Hermione muttered under her breath. "Really." Ginny snorted.

 

"Can't stand those types," Charlie piped up, shaking his head as Fred and Lana went to get something to drink. He made sure to keep his voice low. "Think they're better than Muggles. Snobs, the whole lot of them."

 

Sarah, Charlie's long-time girlfriend and now fiancée, nodded in agreement. "Penny's probably got more talent in her little finger than the two of them put together," she said, referring to the blonde duo. "And I'm sure her Muggle relatives could pull off a spell to make their hair all straight and shiny too," she added quietly, smiling wryly. "Some self-proclaimed Purebloods…like that Stark idiot they're always talking about in the papers lately. I read the Prophet for news, not to read six different articles on the rubbish he’s spewing."

 

The "Stark" idiot Sarah - who was rather outspoken - was referring to was Dameon Stark, a fresh face in the wizarding world who had recently burst onto the public scene. A self-proclaimed Pureblood, and fervent supporter of the importance of wizard and Pureblood status, it was rumoured that he was considering running for Minister for Magic in the upcoming Ministry elections. He was well-known for critiquing the Muggle-related offices at the Ministry, particularly the Department of Wizard/Muggle Relations and Department of Muggle Security offices. "Waste of space, time, and money," seemed to be a popular phrase thrown around in the papers lately.

 

“That kind of attitude is disgusting and old-fashioned,” sighed Ginny. “I wish people would smarten up.”

 

Charlie, Ron, and Bill grinned and voiced their agreements. Evidently their father's long-winded speeches about Muggle rights and ignorant, old-fashioned Pureblood attitudes over dinner hadn't been lost on the Weasley children. Hermione smiled and squeezed Ron's arm.

 

"Hullo there!" a loud voice to the left of the group suddenly boomed. Ron jumped despite himself, his hand automatically going to his pocket (where his wand was hidden) out of habit. But rather than a hag, troll, or three-headed monster, there stood a familiar-looking, pudgy, balding man in a tuxedo. His face was shiny, and he wore a large, if nervous, smile. Standing a little ways behind him were two men around Fred’s and George's ages, looking slightly uncomfortable with their hands in their pockets. They had identical mops of dark, curly hair.

 

"No need to ask who you all are, eh?" the pudgy man laughed, wiping his sweaty brow with a handkerchief. "You must be Percy's brothers…and sister," he added, nodding to Ginny with another chuckle. "Albert Clearwater, Penelope's father…pleasure to meet you all!" he extended a moist, chubby hand which the Weasleys and their respective dates all shook, exchanging introductions.

 

"Our brothers Fred and George seemed to have disappeared," Bill said apologetically.

 

"Don't worry, you're not missing much," Ron added dryly.

 

Mr. Clearwater chuckled heartily. “Very funny lot, you Weasleys!” He abruptly stopped chuckling and glanced around, then leaned in closer to the assembled group. "And I sort of mean funny funny, too, if you get my drift…there's one chap around here wearing a trenchcoat and fedora…"

 

"Oh, that's our Great Uncle Maury," Charlie said quickly. "Not really right in the head, if you know what I mean."

 

"Ah, I see," Mr. Clearwater said knowingly. One of the men standing beside him coughed, and he spun around, seeming to remember they were there. "Oh, of course, how foolish of me! These are my nephews, Raymond and Clarence," Mr. Clearwater said jovially, as the two reluctantly stepped forward.

 

"How do you do?" Raymond said with a small smile.

 

"All this anti-socialness!" Penelope’s father boomed, shaking his balding head. "You'd think the red hair was scaring everyone off! So I thought I should start some mingling going on here, if we're all going to be kin," he said matter-of-factly.

 

"Too true," Ron agreed.

 

"Well, I'll leave you all to have a talk, then!" Mr. Clearwater finished, glancing over to where his wife was standing with Percy and Penelope. "Pleasure to meet you all!" He bounded off, still mopping his brow, leaving the two Muggles standing there, looking as if they'd really rather rejoin the rest of the Clearwaters on the opposite end of the hall. Ron cleared his throat loudly to break the awkward silence, but it was Hermione who came through, as usual.

 

"So, are you from around London as well?" she asked politely. The Clearwaters lived outside of London, or so Ron had been told. He marvelled at the fact that Hermione had remembered this.

 

"Recently moved to Wales, actually," Clarence said shortly.

 

"Oh," Hermione nodded, smiling and taking a sip of the drink she'd been carrying around. There was a long silence once more.

 

"So, what line of work you two chaps in?" Ron asked brightly.

 

"Law," Clarence answered.

 

"We're both partners in a legal firm," Raymond added; he seemed to be making a bit more of an attempt than his cousin. "And you?" he asked of Ron politely.

 

"Teaching," Ron replied. Then, in an attempt to make his profession sound as impressive as theirs, he added, "At a teaching firm." He distinctly heard Hermione snort into her drink.

 

"Ah," Clarence said, glancing at Raymond.

 

"What subject do you teach?" the latter inquired.

 

"Defense Against the Dark Arts," Ron responded promptly. Bill shook his head and Hermione excused herself and walked off, now giggling madly.

 

"Oh," Clarence said, puzzled, exchanging another look with Raymond.

 

"Er…you mean self-defense?" Raymond asked. "Karate and that sort of thing?"

 

"Yes," Ron answered quickly. "Yes, exactly." He gave Ginny, who was snickering quietly, a scathing look. Hermione returned, looking slightly more composed.

 

"What form of self-defense do you specialize in?" asked Clarence suspiciously.

 

Ron could feel his face slowly becoming hot. "Er…"

 

"You dare ask the master of his art?" a voice behind them said in a shocked tone. "He dares not speak its name - it is both sacred and fantastic," the voice said solemnly. Ron didn't have to turn around to guess who the voice belonged to, but there was no need anyway, as Hermione suddenly shrieked it out for the world to hear.

 

"Harry!" she exclaimed, launching herself at the third member of the trio. Harry Potter, surprisingly decked out in a suit and tie, nearly fell backwards as Hermione gave him a bone-crushing hug. Though it was utterly and completely unfounded, Ron couldn't help but feel a tiny twinge of jealousy and possessiveness. But it disappeared quickly once Hermione had let go, looking both relieved and excited. Ron stepped forward, rolling his eyes at Harry as he gripped his former partner’s hand. Both Clarence and Raymond, now somewhat frightened, saw their chance and quietly escaped from the circle of wizards.

 

"Did you get my last owl?" Harry inquired, once he'd firmly shaken hands with and got a slap on the back from both Bill and Charlie. He was careful to keep his voice down at the word 'owl'.

 

"Yeah, but I didn't think you'd actually show up," Ron shrugged.

 

"Oh ye of little faith," Harry countered, shaking his head. He glanced over at Penelope’s cousins, who had slipped back into the crowd of Muggles on the other end of the hall. Ron and Hermione followed his gaze.

 

"'Sacred and fantastic'," Ron said wryly. "Thought that was quite clever, didn't you? Made me look like a fool in front of those people…thanks a lot."

 

"Well, you obviously had absolutely no clue what you were going on about," Bill pointed out. Ron nonchalantly elbowed him in the ribs.

 

"I thought you were managing to make a fool out of yourself alone quite nicely, actually," Sarah said sweetly. Ron considered elbowing her in the ribs as well, but if there was one thing he refused to do, it was hit a girl, so he refrained.

 

"That beard," Hermione abruptly said out of nowhere. It took a second for Harry to realize what she was talking about; once he had, the Boy Who Lived grinned and stroked the stubble on his chin.

 

"You look so…argh…unshaven, Harry," Hermione said matter-of-factly, hands on her hips.

 

“Well, yes, that tends to happen when one does not shave,” Harry said wryly.

 

"Oh Hermione, lighten up," Charlie said in an off-hand way. "It's the rough, rugged look. That's what's - " he made quotation marks in the air - "in now." His fiancée gave him an odd look.

 

Hermione still looked skeptical. "Do you want to portray that appearance?"

 

"Why not?" Harry replied with a grin.

 

Ron glanced at his former partner. "So, where's the Dragon?" he asked dryly.

 

"Diana?" Harry responded, looking unimpressed with Ron's clever nickname. "I don't really think she's one for weddings…" Harry trailed off as he noticed Ginny, standing behind Bill and attempting to make herself look occupied by smoothing her dress over and over again. "Hey, Gin…" Harry said in a completely different tone of voice.

 

"Hi Harry," Ginny replied quietly. Puzzled, Ron looked from one to the other before Hermione cleared her throat loudly.

 

"Everyone's sitting down," she pointed out. "Shall we?"

 

Ron nodded and reluctantly followed Hermione to their table, where much to his chagrin, his old friends Raymond and Clarence were already seated. The two shifted uncomfortably and exchanged glances again as Ron and Hermione sat down. Clarence leaned over to the woman next to him and muttered something under his breath to her.

 

"Hullo," Ron tried. The Muggles nodded curtly then turned their attention to the front of the hall, where a rosy-cheeked Percy had grabbed a funny-looking stick with a black ball perched atop it.

 

"What's that?" Ron whispered, evidently too loudly, because Clarence gave him a funny look.

 

"A microphone," Hermione explained matter-of-factly. She shushed him as Percy began to speak.

 

"Hullo everyone!" Percy said loudly, swaying slightly on the spot. He jumped backwards as the microphone made an ear-splitting noise. He stared at it incredulously for a moment before chuckling nervously. It was apparent that he'd had a tad too much wine, or some other alcoholic beverage, and Penelope seemed to be quite busy folding and refolding her napkin, shaking her head slowly.

 

"I'm Percy," the third eldest Weasley announced loudly. Ron slapped his forehead and Charlie started laughing madly. "As you probably all already know! Anyway…yes! Thank you all for coming," he said very matter-of-factly. Penelope sighed and stood up, taking the microphone away from her new husband.

 

"Yes, thank you all very much," she repeated formally. Percy stared at her, smiling in a goofy sort of way. Penelope’s eyes darted over to him, and she couldn't help but smile as well, looking at the ground. She cleared her throat as she put her hand in her new husband's. "We won't bore you with a long speech or anything like that, but we'd both especially like to thank our parents…my mother and father, Albert and Virginia, and my new parents," Penelope beamed, "Molly and Arthur."

 

Penelope’s relations clapped politely while a deafening roar went up from the very enthusiastic Weasleys. Penelope flashed a huge smile, and Percy grabbed the microphone from her once more.

 

"I'd also like to thank my boss, Mr. Crump, for coming!" he said into the wrong end of the device. "And we'd like to wish him luck in the upcoming elections!"

 

More resolute applause emanated from the wizarding folk, while most of the Muggles looked puzzled. Issac Crump, the current Minister for Magic, stood up and waved to everyone.

 

"Elections?" Raymond whispered to a frumpy-looking Muggle woman dressed in bright green, also seated at their table. "Which elections?"

 

"Let's eat!" Percy yelled. Ron applauded loudly to this, and then looked expectantly at his plate. Nothing happened. He was vaguely disappointed as he realized that there were waiters and waitresses hurrying from table to table, dropping off food.

 

"What a waste of time," Ron murmured to himself. He jumped as a peculiar sound began to fill the hall. It sounded somewhat like plates breaking. Hermione stifled laughter as Ron glanced around, confused.

 

He soon realized that the sound was coming not from shattering china, but from many people loudly banging their forks on their glasses and plates. Ron looked to Hermione for help, but his unspoken question was answered as Penelope pulled Percy to his feet and whispered something in his ear. Percy laughed and pulled his new bride towards him, kissing her earnestly. Everyone cheered.

 

"I like that tradition," Ron decided, grinning. He banged his spoon against his wine glass ceremoniously, and then leaned in to kiss Hermione, who laughed against his lips as Ron continued hitting his glass with his spoon. She suddenly shrieked as Ron's spoon went right through his glass, sending both wine and glass flying everywhere. The Muggles at their table immediately began whispering amongst themselves, and the frumpy woman letting out a high-pitched giggle quite unbecoming of her. Hermione only stared at Ron's slowly reddening face before bursting into laughter. They both ducked under the table to clean up the mess.

 

"Can't do anything right," Ron muttered savagely, gathering up the shards of glass on his hands and knees. "They must all think I'm crazy."

 

"Oh well," Hermione said briskly, still trying to smother laughter. "At least you didn't show up in a trenchcoat and fedora." Ron shook his head, still muttering under his breath.

 

The rest of dinner passed quite uneventfully, even peacefully. Hermione and the frumpy woman seemed to have found something in common - both their parents were dentists - and were carrying on quite amicably. Clarence was even slightly civil to Ron. Raymond went so far as to compliment him on his tie during dessert. In fact, Ron was beginning to believe that the wizards in the hall were going to pull off the night without any other incidents…when the dancing commenced.

 

"What ever happened to Laura and Maria or whatever their names were?" Hermione asked in amusement as Fred and George cut across the dance floor, wildly dancing with each other to the slow, romantic type song that was being played. Ron, who was simply enjoying the fact that Hermione's arms were tightly around his neck and her body pressed up against his, snapped out of it briefly. He glanced over at Fred and George, who were now doing a tango.

 

"Those girls? They probably left," Ron shrugged. "Don't worry…they'll buy new ones."

 

Hermione laughed and stood on her tip-toes to kiss him on the cheek, just as Mr. and Mrs. Weasley danced over. Mrs. Weasley's face was very shiny where patches of tears were drying, and she kept stopping in the midst of dancing to blow her nose loudly.

 

"Oh, Ron!" she sniffed, spotting her youngest son. "Hermione! Look at you two, pretty as a picture…"

 

Mr. Weasley grinned as his son turned a bright shade of red. His wife continued on, "First Percy, now Charlie…" she shook her hanky at the pair, smiling slyly. "You two will be next, mark my words!"

 

"Sure," Mr. Weasley teased. "One minute you're wailing about Percy leaving home and the next you're trying to marry off the rest of our children."

 

"Oh Arthur, be quiet," Mrs. Weasley laughed, hitting her husband on the shoulder. "It's just a matter of time…you wait," she said knowingly to the young couple. She blew her nose again, and Ron's father whisked his wife away.

 

Ron and Hermione's eyes locked then dropped to the floor, both of them smiling nervously. Ron pulled Hermione closer, feeling his warm hands slip on the silky material of the new red dress she had bought for the occasion. It matched his tie. Ron grinned to himself as Hermione rested her head on his shoulder.

 

"What a lovely wedding," she murmured in his ear. "Your mum and dad look overjoyed, Percy and Penny are adorable together…"

 

"Percy and Penny, Penny and Percy," Ron smirked. He started tracing circles on the small of Hermione's back with the hand he had around her waist. "And they'll wear matching outfits for the rest of their lives and have six children and two dogs, all of who will have names beginning with the letter 'P'. Percy and Penny and Peggy and Perry and…hullo there," Ron frowned as the two of them danced past Harry's table. Harry and Ginny were the only two left sitting there, and seemed to be talking quietly and seriously. The expression on Harry’s face looked pained. His tie had been loosened and his jacket was open. Harry ran a hand through his untidy black hair and leaned forward, speaking.

 

"What's with that?" Ron commented bluntly. Hermione stepped back and stared at him incredulously.

 

"You don't know?" she said in a surprised, but superior kind of tone.

 

Ron sighed indignantly as he grabbed her round the waist and started slowly revolving on the spot with her again. "No, I don't know. What's going on?"

 

"Harry never told you," Hermione said in shock, shaking her head. "He was your partner for seven years and he never told you…"

 

"No, Hermione, he never told me," Ron said impatiently. "Out with it, woman!"

 

Hermione glanced around, as if she was about to tell some dirty little secret, then leaned closer. "Harry and Ginny…well, they had a thing," she said cryptically.

 

Ron was glad Hermione couldn't see the look on his face. He stared forward blankly, unimpressed. "All right, yes, and that means…"

 

"Well, after graduation, they wrote to each other a lot, and…I still can't believe Harry never told you!" Hermione interrupted herself in amazement. "And Ginny didn't either! Your own sister! I hadn't spoken to either of them in seven years as of last year; I know, and you don't?"

 

"Okay, yes, we get the point, I'm a horrible person. Hurry up. What happened?" Ron said. He was half-annoyed that, as Hermione said, he didn't know about this alleged 'thing', and half-annoyed that she kept rubbing it in his face.

 

"Well, they wrote to each other a lot after Hogwarts, apparently," Hermione continued in a dramatic fashion. Ron could tell that she was enjoying the fact that she knew something about his best friend and sister that he didn't. "Harry finally realized, the great idiot, that he'd had feelings for Ginny all along - surprise, surprise - just like I always told him."

 

Ron scoffed; he never remembered Hermione breathing a word about Harry and Ginny together. In fact, when were Harry and Ginny even thought of us a potential couple at Hogwarts? Sure, he and Hermione had been teased all of the time, but Harry and Ginny? Harry and his baby sister? Ginny had just had a stupid crush in her first year, that's all…

 

"And then evidently," Hermione continued. "One Christmas when you two came home for awhile or something like that, they…" Hermione frowned, searching for the appropriate word. "…got together, if you will."

 

"What?!" Ron exclaimed.

 

"Shh, keep your voice down! Like I said, I'm surprised Harry or Ginny didn't tell you about it. Then again, maybe Harry didn't want to…" she trailed off thoughtfully.

 

"Go on…"

 

"Well, I'm not sure exactly what happened, but he and Ginny had a fight or something about your…occupations," Hermione said in a pained sort of voice. It was only a few months ago that she and Ron had had the same argument - about the sacrifices and responsibilities of an Auror. Ron had given it up because he loved teaching, and because he loved Hermione. But Harry would never give it up. He couldn't. That was just Harry.

 

" -  and then Harry left without saying goodbye, and they haven't spoken since, or so I hear," Hermione finished.

 

"What a prat…" Ron said bluntly.

 

"Well, I don't want to pass judgement on Harry, but…I mean, he wasn't very responsible, was he? Poor Ginny - " Hermione began to agree.

 

"…not telling me about all that. What kind of a best friend is he?" Ron interrupted, feeling rather betrayed. Hermione rolled her eyes. The two continued dancing in silence. For the rest of the song, Ron closely watched Harry and Ginny over Hermione's shoulder. Ginny, obviously upset, abruptly stood up and began swiftly walking away, her dress swishing behind her. Harry jumped out of his seat and followed, calling her name.

 

"Prat," Ron muttered again just as the music wound down. He and Hermione broke apart, the latter staring worriedly at Harry's retreating form.

 

"Ladies and gentlemen!" George's voice suddenly boomed from the microphone. He stared down at it in surprise, evidently taken aback by the Muggle device's power. A sly grin slowly spread over his face. "I have been asked to announce that it is now time to chuck the beret!"

 

"Bouquet, you idiot, bouquet!" Percy, who seemed to have sobered, hissed.

 

"Bouquet!" George cheerily corrected himself. "So…apparently, all the single ladies get out on the dance floor to catch a thing of flowers! Yeah!"

 

"What's going on?" Ron asked Hermione as she looked almost wistfully at the bunch of flowers Penny had been carrying around all night.

 

"Penny throws the bouquet in the air, and all the single women try to catch it," Hermione said dreamily. "And whoever does is - "

 

"So it's like a contest, then?" Ron interrupted, narrowing his eyes. He glanced over at Raymond and Clarence. Here was his chance to really impress them…by besting them at their own strange kind of sport. It would make up for all the stupid slip-ups from before.

 

Hermione evidently saw the telltale gleam in Ron Weasley's eye, and shook her head slowly. "Ron…single women…" she repeated, but her warning fell on deaf ears. A stressed-looking Harry rejoined the two just as Ron determinedly stomped onto the dance floor.

 

"Ron!" Hermione tried again.

 

"What's he doing?" Harry asked, wrinkling his forehead.

 

"I have no idea," Hermione laughed, shaking her head. She held up her hands defensively as the two watched the fiery redhead. "I had no part in this. Let him do what he wants."

 

"Ready…" George yelled into the microphone. "Three…two…Ron? What the bloody hell are you - "

 

But the bouquet had already been thrown. Many anxious pairs of eyes followed the perfect arc it made in the air, and then it's slow descent downwards, towards the eager hands below. One Muggle woman jumped into the air to catch the bunch of flowers, her fingers nearly grazing it…

 

But it was not to be; the woman shrieked as a black-and-red blur came out of nowhere, and tackled her to the floor. The two fell, taking quite a few other single women with them, and landed with a resounding thud on the dance floor in a tangled mess of limbs, clothes, and flowers. Hermione and the rest of the weddings guests stared in transfixed horror at the twisted jumble of limbs on the ground. Then, quite suddenly, a hand shot out of the confusion, triumphantly holding on to a quite sad-looking array of trampled flowers.

 

"Yes!" Ron Weasley's muffled voice shouted. "Ha! Caught it!"

 

It was amazing how fleeting his glimpse of victory became, as the entire hall burst into hysterical laughter.

 

----------------------------------------------------------------

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And now, without further ado, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. The infamous review song. ^_^

 

Reviews are made of these,

Whether you like this or disagree,

You can give your opinion of me,

Everybody’s got to say something.

 

Some of you want to peruse through,

Some of you want to be perused,

Some of you may say, “what the deuce?

How can someone be perused?”

 

Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh

 

All right, so that wasn’t that great. Perchance I am losing my touch. Or perchance I am just really, really tired and hate Calculus too much to form a spectacular review song. Yeah, that must be it. v_v

//
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