The Sugar Quill
Author: Silver Phoenix (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Perfect World  Chapter: Chapter 3: Platonic
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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.

Author's Notes:

Author’s Notes: Oh my goodness, an update. Just when you’d given up all hope. I apologize for my horrible oversight of Rene Bouchard’s name…alas, I spelled it with two e’s, and I have been told that that makes his name feminine. This could spawn many jokes amongst the staff of Hogwarts, but I think I should fix it in later chapters, just to be nice to poor Rene.

 

To those who were wondering, the last review song was to “Sweet Dreams Are Made of These” by The Eurythmics and/or Marilyn Manson o_0. Sorry it wasn’t very good, but I was pressed for time, and Calculus owned my brain at the time. Hopefully the review song at the end of this chapter will be better.

 

And yes, I’m Canadian, to whoever asked. Proof: Roll up the rim to win! I can also hum the Hockey Night in Canada theme. Enough said.

 

Big thanks, as always, to Night Zephyr, who proved that I wasn’t insane and that Rictusempra really is the Tickling Spell; they just messed it up in the movie. ^_^

***

 

"Now I know what you're thinking!" Professor Weasley shouted, furiously pacing the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom. The desks had been pushed against the walls (by a rather violent spell of Ron’s) in order to give the class more space. The students, a collection of Hufflepuffs and Gryffindors, were all bunched together, pressed up against the wall as well and watching their teacher's pacing apprehensively.

 

"You're thinking," Professor Weasley continued, "that dueling is quick, right? Harmless! A simple Disarming Spell, and you're done. That's what you're thinking. Isn't that what you were thinking, Mr. McNeal?!"

 

The fifth-year Gryffindor shrunk against the wall. "Yes," he said quickly. "Yes, that's exactly what I was thinking..."

 

"Well you thought wrong!" Ron hollered, pounding his fist on the wall and causing Hannah Longley to shriek and jump backwards, falling into one of the desks. "Dueling is about who - can - survive - the - longest. If you're in a duel with a qualified wizard, they aren't going to mess about with Disarming Spells! Oh no, they're much…" Ron narrowed his eyes, "…much too advanced for that. They'll hurl every curse they've got at you. Freezing Spells, Blinding Spells, Memory Charms - and do you think you can block every single one of those spells, Mr. O'Connor?"

 

Shaun O'Connor paused, considering this. "Yes?" he tried. He flinched as Professor Weasley banged his fist on the wall again.

 

"No!" he snapped. "Of course you can't! You have to be fast! Alert! Practice constant vigilance!" he roared. Ron suddenly stopped and blinked, having surprised even himself.

 

He had been in a foul mood ever since Percy's wedding. Not only had he succeeded in making a fool out of himself in front of his family, all those Muggles, and the Minister for Magic, but he'd also nearly exposed the Weasleys. As a horrified Percy explained later, no Muggle would have actually tackled someone during the throwing of the bouquet - it was supposed to be a fun sort of game. Plus, it was only for single women. Ron hadn't ever felt more humiliated in his entire life, and it was all Hermione's fault. She hadn't explained the concept of the game properly! She hadn't warned him it was only for women (though she claimed she did, of course, which didn't convince him for a moment - he wasn't that pig-headed, to have missed a warning like that). And, to make matters worse, she had laughed at him along with the rest. She had stood there and laughed, she and Harry.

 

The worst part was that she still wasn't taking his anger seriously. Hermione seemed to think it was all a funny misunderstanding, and now some sort of joke. But Ron Weasley's pride had suffered a blow. And when Ron Weasley's pride suffered a blow…

 

"Good heavens, what is going on in here?" came the sound of Hermione’s voice. She stepped through the door, which had been left open, and into the classroom. Narrowing his eyes, Professor Weasley spun around, glaring at her.

 

"Oh, hello Professor Granger," he said coldly. "Why, I was just pointing out that O'Connor here is an idiot. Now if you'll excuse us…" Behind him, the students gave Professor Granger a few pleading looks.

 

Hermione gave him an amused look as she took another step into the classroom. She obviously still thought it was all a big joke. Though it was true that Ron wasn't angry with her, per se, he was still offended and irritated. And now she was strolling into his classroom as if she owned the castle.


Professor Weasley folded his arms. “We’re covering dueling,” he snapped.

 

"Really?" Hermione said lightly, a smile playing at the corners of her lips. "I wasn't aware dueling consisted of a lot of banging on the walls and yelling."

 

A few of the girls in the class giggled, while a couple of the boys snickered. Professor Weasley threw an authoritative glare their way, which quickly silenced them.

 

"I wasn't aware you were in the habit of teaching other classes, Professor," Ron countered through clenched teeth.

 

"I'm sorry, am I interrupting the lesson, Professor Weasley?"

 

"Yes, I believe we already established that, Professor Granger."

 

"Well, you're obviously the expert here, so I'll leave you to your devices, Professor."

 

The students' heads swung back and forth, watching their verbal sparring.

 

"Was that sarcasm, Professor?"

 

"Well spotted, Professor."

 

"Perhaps you'd like to teach the class, Professor?"

 

"Certainly, Professor." Hermione surprised the class, especially Ron, by taking out her wand and pointing it in the vague direction of Professor Weasley. "I expect you've covered both disarming and blocking? Because I could demonstrate - "

 

"Are you challenging me to a duel?" Ron exclaimed in surprise.

 

Hermione raised an eyebrow. "I don't believe I was,” she said slowly. “Are you challenging me to a duel?"

 

"Well, if the shoe fits…"

 

"Very well," Hermione replied coolly, rolling up her sleeves.

 

"That was a joke, Herm - I mean, Professor," Ron said quickly. He tried pushing her towards the door. "Now run along, I expect you have classes to teach - "

 

Hermione didn't budge. Instead, she folded her arms and raised an eyebrow. "Are you suggesting I'm incapable of dueling at a fifth-year level?"

 

"Was that an insult to us?" Paul White whispered to his best friend, Roger Ramone. Roger shrugged his shoulders.

 

Ron attempted to hold back. He attempted to shut his mouth. But he just couldn't resist.

 

"No," Professor Weasley grinned smugly. "I'm suggesting you're incapable of dueling me."

 

The class, now thoroughly enjoying the entertainment, let out a collective "Ooooh…"

 

Hermione's eyes flashed dangerously. She continued rolling up her sleeves, breathing heavily out of her nostrils. Now she was genuinely angry. Ron, feeling he had paid dearly for his moment of superiority, panicked.

 

"All right, all right, you win," he muttered under his breath, grabbing Hermione's arm and steering her away from the students, so that they both had their backs to them.

 

Hermione's anger died away. "It's your own fault you weren't listening to me," Hermione said contentedly. "I said, 'Single women'."

 

"No, you didn't," Ron insisted; not in order to start a fight, but he insisted all the same.

 

"I did so!"

 

"Did not!"

 

The two seemed to realize at the same instant that they were behaving like two-year-olds in front of a class full of students, who now all looked exceptionally amused. The student body had suspicions about the so-called platonic relationship between the two teachers (the fact that Hermione had grabbed Ron and kissed him at last year's graduation ceremony seemed to have fueled the suspicion). In fact, the Defense Against the Dark Arts and Arithmancy Professors were often a hot topic on the Hogwarts rumour mill. Ron caught a glimpse of the gossip-happy Flora Canter out of the corner of his eye. She was about a second away from grabbing a quill and taking notes.

 

Hermione obviously caught on too. "Ron, this is highly unprofessional," she said under her breath, as if she had just realized what she was doing. "I'm really very sorry for disturbing your class, I should have never - "

 

"That's all right, really - " Ron said hastily, relieved.

 

"All right," she responded with a smile. "Sorry to interrupt," she repeated, this time to the class. They looked thoroughly disappointed as she turned to leave.

 

"Not a problem," Professor Weasley said, turning back towards his class. "It's for the best; you would have only gotten hurt anyway."

 

Hermione froze at the door, her back going rigid. Ron mentally kicked himself - he hadn’t meant for it to come out like that. But it was too late; Hermione had spun around, wand drawn, one hand on her hip.

 

“I’ve changed my mind; perhaps it would be educational to demonstrate a duel to the class,” Hermione said coolly. This was met by much cheering on the class' part.

 

"Oooh!" Flora exclaimed excitedly, bouncing from foot to foot. "Lovers' quarrel!"

 

Hermione's stubbornness and the fact that she always had to be right, and Ron's temper and easily offended pride were always a lethal combination. Not to mention the competitiveness that had always been present between them. In a blatant disregard of all professionalism, Ron slowly drew his own wand, shaking his head. The class watched with baited breath.

 

"You've been warned…" he said. The two marched towards each other, wands drawn. They halted, inches apart.

 

"I've been waiting to do this for a long time," Ron said in a low voice, grinning. Ron had always secretly wondered who would come out on top in a duel - Hermione, who had learned everything from books, or Ron, who had learned everything from experience. He knew Hermione had probably wondered the same. Now was their chance to find out.

 

"Smirk while you still can," Hermione warned, giving him a look. They both spun around and started walking in opposite directions.

 

"Now watch closely," Ron called to his class as he walked. "I don't suppose any of you have seen an actual duel between qualified wizards and witches - not since we got rid of the infamous Dueling Club - so pay attention. On the count of three the duel will begin. Note the first spell I start out with, and remember what I told you before. One…two…" Ron chanced a glance over the back of his shoulder, just to see where Hermione was standing. Her back was to him, straight and alert. "Three."

 

"Expelliarmus!" Hermione immediately cried. It took Ron off-guard; the class watched as his wand flew into the air and towards Hermione's awaiting hand. Roger whistled loudly. The rest of the class promptly started snickering at the fact that Professor Weasley's own words of wisdom about the Disarming Spell not being used in duels had backfired on him. Ron clenched his teeth. If she wanted to play that way, he would play that way. No exceptions just because she happened to be his girlfriend.

 

"Accio wand!" Ron hollered. He looked extremely foolish, as he had no wand to summon his wand back to him in the first place. Hermione knew this, and for an instant there was a smug look on her face - but then it was replaced by shock as, to Hermione’s and the class' astonishment, Ron's wand flew back into his hand.

 

"Ha," Ron said victoriously, twirling his wand around in his hand. "Some people don't always need a wand to do magic." The class looked thoroughly impressed. "Though it helps," he added as an afterthought.

 

Hermione had recovered from the initial shock, and now looked angry. "That's cheating! Dueling is done only with wands - "

 

"My classroom, my rules," Ron said cheekily, getting caught up in the adrenaline of the duel. "But I'll stick to the rules from now on, for your sake." This infuriated Hermione even more, who decided to shut him up with a well-placed, "Locomotor Mortis!"

 

Ron fell to the ground, his legs locked together. But a flash of victory in Hermione's eyes caused him to hurl his torso, the only portion of his body that he still had control over, forward to yell, "Impedimenta!"

 

Hermione's arm seemed to freeze as she attempted another spell. She hadn't been stopped altogether, only slowed to a snail’s pace. This gave Ron enough time to perform the counter-curse to Leg Locker and scramble upwards.

 

"You see," he said to the class, "the spells that come in handy. Leg-Locker was effective in getting me to the ground, but it left me free to use my wand. Yet since Petrificus Totalus can't be used in a duel, it would have been smarter to use the Arm-Locker - "

 

Ron realized with a jolt that the slowing spell had worn off as Hermione suddenly jerked back into regular motion, crying, "Rictusempra!"

 

Ron fell to the ground, laughing madly as the Tickling Spell worked its magic. "It would have been smart to use the Arm-Locker curse," Professor Granger continued calmly, as if her opponent wasn't hysterically laughing on the ground, "if such a curse existed."

 

Ron managed to perform the counter-curse on himself somehow and once again jumped to his feet, his freckled face crimson from laughing.

 

"Furnunculus!" Hermione immediately cried, wasting no time.

 

"Bubbleboblius!" Ron quickly countered. A blue, transparent, bubble suddenly enveloped him. It acted as a shield, reflecting Hermione's curse back her way. She ducked, and it hit the wall instead, which immediately began sprouting fungus-like boils.

 

Ron's reflexes were superb; years of being an Auror obviously had not been wasted. He blocked, ducked, or avoided nearly every spell Hermione threw at him, playing the defensive for awhile. Then, when she would least expect it, he'd switch to offense and send a curse her way, which she had to work hard to avoid. He was tiring her out, trying to get the upper hand. Hermione was becoming frustrated, and thus, sloppy. She may have had almost every spell known to wizard-kind filed away in that brain of hers, but Ron had the experience of duelling and fighting much worse things than her. Finally, she seemed to give up as she was hit by a particularly nasty spell that made her short of breath.

 

"Stay…still…" Hermione huffed, trying to aim her wand at the agile former Auror.

 

"See the advantage of being quick?" Professor Weasley told his class, darting around to avoid curse after curse and quite enjoying himself.

 

"Argh!" Hermione exclaimed. Setting her jaw, she tried one last spell. "Sedimenta!"

 

"Missed me again," Professor Weasley teased as the jet of bright yellow light hit the ground beneath him. But a satisfied smile was slowly spreading across Hermione's face.

 

"I wasn't aiming for you," she said triumphantly.

 

Professor Weasley let out a startled yelp as his right leg abruptly sunk into the floor, which had suddenly become incredibly soft. This was followed by his left leg, and then the rest of his torso. Wide-eyed and struggling madly, Ron Weasley sunk slowly into the ground, feeling as if he was being dragged downwards. He finally stopped wriggling around, and his sinking slowed. By now, only his head was visible above the tiled floor of the Defense Against the Dark Arts class.

 

"I win," Hermione smiled sweetly.

 

"Wicked!" Roger Ramone exclaimed enthusiastically. "It's like, quicksand or something."

 

"No, really?" Ron snapped sarcastically. The movement of his jaw caused his mouth to sink into the floor as well.

 

"You're not going to let him sink, are you?" Annie Miller of Hufflepuff blurted out.


"Of course not," Professor Granger scoffed. "Corpus rightus."

 

Ron gave a yell as the floor spit him out, then settled itself back into its solid form. He immediately jumped up and brushed himself off, very red in the face. His class stared at him expectantly. Hermione folded her arms, still smiling in satisfaction and breathing heavily.

 

"Well then," Ron finally said, clearing his throat. "You're just lucky I let you win, Professor Granger."

 

Paul White started coughing loudly. "Like hell you did," he muttered, followed by more hacking noises in an attempt to cover it up.

 

The tiny little bell on Ron's desk suddenly leapt into the air and rang shrilly. The students, not bothering to put their desks back, gathered their books and hurried out of the classroom, chattering excitedly. Flora Canter shoved a few people aside, anxious to be the first to spread the story of the duel. Ron and Hermione both stood silently at the front of the empty classroom, watching them leave. Hannah Longley banged the door shut behind her, and Hermione suddenly made a strangled noise in her throat.

 

"Yeah, you won," Ron said savagely, violently putting the desks back into place with a wave of his wand. "Go on, gloat. Gloat and brag and - "

 

But Hermione only shook her head wordlessly and clutched Ron's arm. "You could have killed me!"

 

Ron looked slightly less peeved. "Well, yes…I suppose I could have…" he said importantly.

 

"You're a fully qualified Auror!" Hermione shrieked shrilly. "And…and in a duel…one of us could have gotten hurt…or the students! In front of the students! They could've easily been hurt! What were we thinking?!"

 

The implications of what they had just done slowly dawned on the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. "Oh…"

 

Hermione whimpered. "We are going to be in so much trouble…"

 

***

 

Harry Potter had not had a good laugh in a long time, it seemed. At the moment he was clutching his stomach, bent over, tears rolling down his cheeks as he laughed his narrow behind off. Even the antique mirror in the corner of the bedroom was having a good chuckle. In fact, the only person who didn't seem to find the story he'd just recounted amusing was Ron Weasley.

 

"Just because she beat me doesn't mean she's better," he retorted, arms folded. "I mean, it was a lucky shot, hoorah for Hermione - "

 

"Shh, shh," Harry interrupted, holding up his hands. His eyes were closed tightly. "I'm trying to fix that mental picture in my mind…you sinking into the floor, and Hermione standing triumphantly over you, and your entire class laughing…"

 

"They weren't laughing."

 

"They are in this mental picture." Harry snickered a bit, and then flopped onto Ron's bed, settling down somewhat. "Good to laugh," he sighed wistfully after a brief silence.

 

Ron became serious. "Working hard?" he asked nonchalantly as he rolled up his sleeves. Harry had been around since Percy's wedding, alternating between the Burrow, Hogwarts, and Sirius's home ("Padfoot's Pad", as the two Aurors affectionately called it). Tomorrow Harry returned to duty, and it was doubtful that he would be around very often any more.

 

Harry sat up. "Ron, I would never say this to a civilian, but seeing as you're you, I will. We're in trouble."

 

Ron looked up, alarmed. "What the hell do you mean, you’re in trouble? Last you people told me, you had four of the five scrolls. The odds are in your favour, mate."

 

"What is this, some kind of game? It doesn't matter, Ron," Harry said wearily. "That one is still out there. And it could still do a hell of a lot of damage alone. If some deranged person got a hold of it…"

 

"Who's going to know how to read them though? Aren't they written in ancient gobblygook or something?" Ron asked, folding his arms. "Besides, I had never heard of these things until Crump went berserk and sent everyone off to look for them. What makes you think these random deranged people even know about the scrolls?"

 

"There are these psychos out there, Ron. This is what they've been waiting for…" Harry said gravely, trailing off. "And now with all this anti-Muggle-born and anti-Muggle stuff Stark has started…"

 

"Stark," Ron spat out the name, narrowing his eyes. "Hasn't he caused enough trouble at the Ministry? Argh…last time we had to deal with him I was just about ready to tell him to - "

 

Ron's mirror made a tut-tutting noise as he described just what he wanted to tell Dameon Stark to do, which was probably anatomically impossible, but would've been extremely satisfactory to say nonetheless.

 

"He'd probably want to, anyway," Ron continued ranting. "He loves himself that much."

 

"Did you see the Daily Prophet yesterday?" Harry asked, disgusted. "Apparently 'witches everywhere' love him too."

 

"And I bet they love him for his mind," Ron said mockingly, pretending to swoon.

 

"He's a politician, for God's sake," Harry vented, sighing, "and he has the celebrity status of a Backstreet Boy."

 

"Who?"

 

"Never mind. I think they stopped being hip about a decade ago, anyway."

                                                     

Ron shrugged. "If you could even call Stark a politician." The former Auror rolled his eyes and walked to the window, resting his arm on the cool glass as he peered out onto the grounds.

 

Harry sighed. He stood up and stretched, glancing at his watch and starting towards the door. "Well, I'm going to turn in early if I plan to be flying back to London tomorrow. I'd go by Floo, but…"

 

Ron's mind then did a phenomenal thing; it made the most absurd few connections to arrive at the last person who was on his mind at the moment. Floo Powder - fireplace – the Burrow - Ginny.

 

"Wait a second," Ron said brusquely. He swiftly cut Harry off by blocking the door. "Sit," Ron commanded.

 

Raising an eyebrow, Harry sat on the armchair by the door. Ron paced back and forth before his puzzled, but slightly amused-looking best friend, then abruptly stopped and glared at him, as if beginning some sort of interrogation.

 

"What," Ron said sharply, "is this I hear about you and my sister?"

 

Harry's face fell, all amusement gone. "Hermione…" he muttered.

 

"Never mind Hermione," Ron retorted defensively. "Besides, you were just a tad obvious at Percy's wedding. What's going on and why didn't I know about it?"

 

Harry looked uncomfortable. "Nothing's going on," he said bitterly, "for your information. There. Finished, Big Brother?"

 

"No!" Ron exclaimed. "My best friend and my sister had a…a…thing, and I didn't even know about it! Come on Harry, I thought we were best mates. Hermione said that you two wrote each other all the time after you and I were out of Hogwarts. And then, that one Christmas when we visited my folks - "

 

"Maybe I didn't want to talk about it," Harry interrupted loudly, his face flushed. "Maybe it didn't work out, and I didn't want to talk about it, all right?"

 

Ron looked taken aback. "But I talked to you about Hermione all the time. What, you can't trust me with that kind of stuff? Or was it just because she's my sister?”

 

“No…I just…it’s just…”

 

Ron looked appraisingly at Harry for a long time, and then sat down on the edge of his bed. “What happened?” he asked in a kinder, almost sympathetic tone.

 

“You know what the job’s like," Harry said in a strained voice. "We’d hardly ever see each other…and you have to keep all these secrets…it’s impossible to have a…a relationship. That’s why none of the other blokes are married, except for Darnell, but he’s hardly out in the field now…”

 

Harry stood up, running a hand through his already rumpled black hair. "You know, sometimes I think I should've taken a page out of your book, mate," he told Ron. "But I can't leave. This is what I'm meant to do. My social life's taken a beating, but that’s what retirement’s for, right?” Harry said with a wry smile. It disappeared and he stared at the floor. “Ginny deserves someone who will be around, someone who’ll…” Harry suddenly laughed hoarsely. “See? It’s weird talking to you about this.”

 

“But you can talk to Hermione about it?” Ron asked, slightly offended.

 

"Hermione…well, she’s a girl, you know…"

 

“I’m aware,” said Ron dryly.

 

“…and she understands…about…” Harry motioned uselessly with his hands. “About…this sort of thing. I just…” He carefully avoided eye contact. “I think Ginny… felt more strongly about me than I…than I did about her…and that’s not fair to her.”

 

Sighing, Harry held out his wand and murmured something. Like a silent black cloud, his cloak floated over to its owner's extended hand. "We’re just friends now," Harry explained, his voice unreadable and his back turned to Ron as he put on his cloak. "We talked at the wedding. Everything's back to normal, I hope. We'll be good friends, just like before."

 

Ron sat quietly for a moment, and then stood up and gave Harry a small smile. "You're not a bad sort, Potter," he admitted. "I wouldn't have minded having you for a brother-in-law."

 

Harry stared at the floor. "Well…some things are just not meant to be."

 

"Ron!" Both men flinched as Hermione's voice filled the room, at least three times its normal volume. The disembodied voice sounded shrill and nervous. "Professor McGonagall wishes to speak with us. You have to come down to her office at once. I'm waiting by the second floor stairs. Hurry up!" The floating voice faded, its last words echoing.

 

"And some things are," Harry grinned.

 

***

 

"Irresponsible, immature, and careless!" Minerva McGonagall exclaimed shrilly. Seated before her desk were Professors Weasley and Granger, both looking like guilty schoolchildren. Professor Granger's face was very white, and she was slowly and methodically shredding a piece of tissue into her lap.

 

"Minerva, we're really very sorry…" Ron pleaded, trying a winning smile. McGonagall wasn't impressed.

 

"A student could have been hurt!"

 

"We know, we weren't thinking - "

 

"One of you could have been hurt!"

 

"We know, like I said - " Ron tried again.

 

"Well if you knew, why did you have a full-fledged duel, without clearance from myself or the headmaster, in an enclosed classroom in front of a group of students?!" McGonagall demanded in exasperation. She leaned back in her chair, looking bewildered. "Now Weasley, I know you're a bit of a hot-head - "

 

Ron gave a forced smile.

 

" - but Professor Granger, I really expected better from you!" the Deputy Headmistress sighed. Hermione's knuckles turned white as she started on a new piece of tissue. Not losing eye contact with McGonagall, Ron reached out his hand and clasped Hermione's, stopping her from ripping the unfortunate tissue to shreds. Professor McGonagall glanced down at their intertwined fingers and pursed her lips.

 

"Now, I understand your current…" she began with much difficulty. The Transfiguration Professor seemed to be searching for a word, "situation," she decided, looking at the two with raised eyebrows. Both professors' cheeks flushed. "Which is none of my business because, quite frankly, I don't care what you two do on your own time. Now, I don't know what your little quarrel was about, nor do I want to. Just…" she sighed again, "make an attempt to keep it professional at Hogwarts, will you?"

 

"Yes, Professor McGonagall," they both echoed simultaneously.

 

Ron could've sworn he saw the shadow of a smile on McGonagall's stoic face, but it quickly passed. "Well, that's it. Thank you for your time, Professors."

 

The two nodded wordlessly, and silently left the Deputy Headmistress' office. They emerged into the front hall, which was empty and quiet save for a suit of armour in one corner which was shuffling nervously, obviously itchy. The two had made it halfway up the grand staircase in silence before a stifled laugh slipped out of Ron.

 

Hermione whirled around on him. "I suppose you thought that was funny, did you?" she snapped, her voice high-pitched.

 

Ron couldn’t stop a slow grin from forming on the corners of his lips. "Yeah, it was," he admitted, watching Hermione carefully for her reaction, an amused expression on his face. She drew in a shaky breath, preparing herself for battle as she continued to stomp up the stairs.

 

"Oh, lighten up, Hermione!" Ron laughed, stopping on the staircase and leaning against the banister. "You have to admit, that was kind of funny."

 

Hermione stopped and made a displeased sound in reply. Ron took her lack of verbal rebuttal as a good sign and continued on. "I just hope none of the kids saw that; the two of us in there, looking like guilty students caught snogging in the hallway." Ron’s shoulders were now shaking with laughter. "And the look…on McGonagall’s face…"

 

He saw Hermione’s lips quiver. She bit her bottom lip, like she always did when she was trying to keep from smiling. Ron knew victory was nearly his.

 

"I understand your current…situation," he said in a high-pitched voice, wrinkling his nose and attempting to imitate McGonagall's pinched features and grim face. That did it; Hermione's eyes fell to the floor as she smiled and shook her head at him.

 

"Aha! The lady doth smile!" Ron proclaimed, raising his arms in victory. Hermione, the corners of her mouth still upturned, rolled her eyes and slapped his right arm, causing him to lower the arms of triumph.

 

"Oh fine, it was sort of funny," Hermione confessed, folding her arms. "But still, she had a valid point. We have been acting somewhat…er…unprofessional."

 

"Excuse me, you're the one who grabbed me and kissed me in the middle of the Great Hall last year."

 

"That was an exception," Hermione said quickly, her cheeks flushing.

 

"Yes, I know," Ron replied in a long-suffering voice. "It's me, not you. I understand. Women…they just can't help themselves…"

 

"Oh, get over yourself," Hermione huffed. "Still," she said reluctantly, after a pause. "Perhaps we should set some ground rules."

 

"Yes, Mum."

 

"Ron, quit joking just for a second," Hermione demanded, hands on her hips. Ron raised his hands in apology, and then nodded solemnly.

 

"Now, listen," Hermione said diplomatically. "We should keep a completely platonic attitude during school hours, and in front of the staff and students."

 

Ron sighed. "Agreed. Now can we go?" He put his arm around Hermione to steer her in the upward direction of the stairs. To his surprise, Hermione took an abrupt step backwards.

 

"Which means hands off," she said firmly. Ron's face fell.

 

"Come on, Hermione, McGonagall was just – "

 

"Hands off."

 

"What about in the Great Hall?"

 

"No."

 

"The library?"

 

"No."

 

"The caretaker's closet on the fifth floor?"

 

Hermione threw up her hands in frustration. "Just…keep it professional around the staff and students, all right? I…" her gaze dropped to the floor. "I don't like us being the topic of discussion at the house tables at dinner. These stupid rumours have got to stop. It's…well, it's embarrassing. The students don't have to know about our personal lives."

 

Ron nodded, finally serious. "Look, Hermione, sorry I was acting like an idiot. I totally understand."

 

"Good," Hermione smiled in relief, the colour fading from her cheeks. "And, I mean, Professor McGonagall was right," she added lightly. "Whatever we do on our own time is no one else's business."

 

Ron winked, causing Hermione to blush again. He followed her as she started back up the staircase, grinning to himself.

 

"Ah, Hermione," he murmured to himself. "The McGonagall impression will be your downfall."

 

"I heard that!"

 

 

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

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

 

So yeah, all the H/Gers probably want to kill me. Don’t get me wrong, I like H/G, but it just didn’t work in this story. I thought I’d give them a history to make things interesting, but to be perfectly honest, they’re going to remain friends like Harry said, so don’t get your hopes up. *Ducks as numerous blunt objects and/or rotten vegetables are thrown at self* I hope that doesn’t discourage some of you from continuing to read. I like to think that some stories are still worth reading even if they don’t include your favourite ship.

 

Someone suggested a review song to the theme of 7th Heaven, but sadly, I have never watched 7th Heaven, and have consequently never heard the theme song. I apologize. v_v

 

Note: I do not own Play That Funky Music White Boy, or any other funky musics I may use in my review songs. ^_^

 

*Darkness enshrouds you, the reader, then suddenly…*

 

Music: Bow wow wow wow wow wowowowowow

 

Ron: *is revealed, sporting a one-piece, sparkly, Saturday Night Fever disco outfit and an afro* Heeeeeeeeeey review it nooooooow! Wooooah yeah…

 

Once I read a little fanfic,

Entitled 'Bury the Hatchet'!

The author never had no problems,

'Cept with her keyboard, what a stupid gadget.

 

So in this certain fanfic,

Some real crazy stuff took place…

 

Fred and George: Yeah there was dancin'!

 

Harry: Romancin'!

 

Dobby: Some madmen and some poison!

 

Hermione: On SQ, they read it…

 

Dumbledore: And the reviewers turned around and shouted…

 

All: Write yourself a sequel, Silver! Write yourself a sequel toniiiiiight! Write yourself a sequel, Silver!

 

Me: So I wrote a sequel, now write me a review or else I'll cry! Or else I'll cry…

 

Music: *abruptly stops*

 

Ron: Who're you?

 

Me: …Harry Potter.


Harry: Uh, I'm Harry Potter.

 

Me: Hey buddy, your identity crisis is not my problem.

 

~Fin~

 

 

//
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