The Sugar Quill
Author: mdelaur  Story: And Now You Know How I Feel  Chapter: What Can I Say Other than I Love You?
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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.

A/N: Thanks to my beta, Elanor Gamgee, and to my reviewers

Added A/N: Sorry about the mixup. Another author’s chapter was posted instead of mine. I apologise for all problems.

 

Original A/N: Thanks to my beta, Elanor Gamgee, and to my reviewers. I admit it- I’m American. Could you tell because of the cookie comments? I apologise to those who refer to them as biscuits. I hope the comments don’t bother any readers too much. Thank you.

 

Chapter Three: What Can I Say Other than I Love You?

 

            “Keep the poem, huh?” Fred said under his breath as Ginny walked away. “Hmmm...” His eyes lit up in realization. “This poem is exactly the push they need.” He turned on his heel and headed for Ron’s room.

 

            “Harry? Harry?” Ron called out, sticking his head into his room. Where is Harry? He turned to look further but stopped when a piece of parchment on his bedside table caught his eye. He walked quickly over to it and nearly fell onto his bed in shock.

            “What is this? Who… who? Oh…” Ron muttered, his eyes transfixed on the words. “Hermione, oh…”

 

And now you know how I feel.

 

            Has she always felt this way? Surely she can’t love me?

            “What am I saying? This is terrific!”

 

            Hermione paced back and forth in Ginny’s room, her wet hair dripping onto her T-shirt.

            “What to do… what to do?” she said out loud, thinking.

            “What to do about what?” asked Ginny, entering the room.

            “Well,” Hermione hesitated, indecisive, “I’m pretty sure Ron likes me.”

            “Really? I don’t doubt it. So what are you going to do?” asked Ginny, jumping on the bed so that she lay facing her roommate.

            “That’s just it,” Hermione said as she slid down the wall and sat on the floor, her legs gathered in. “I have no idea about what I should do. Let him down easy, I guess.”

            Ginny raised an eyebrow quizzically. “Is that what you want to do?”

            “Yes! No… maybe.” Hermione let her words hang in the air between the two.

            “Maybe you should talk to him about it, get his feelings on the matter. Anyway, what makes you think that he likes you?”

            “Well… oh, it’s nothing really,” said Hermione with a shrug of her shoulders.

            “To be honest with you, I think there’s something in the water here.”

            Hermione looked puzzled and asked, “What do you mean?”

            “Well, Harry sort of said that he had feelings for me…” Ginny trailed off.

            “That’s great! What do you plan on doing?”

            “Oh, I don’t know. I actually thought I’d let him down easy,” she said with a laugh. Her expression changed suddenly and she looked down sorrowfully at her fading bedspread of yellow daisies.

            “Oh, Ginny,” Hermione said softly, coming close to her bed and raising Ginny’s chin. “You do what your heart tells you to.”

            Ginny nodded and gathered her friend in a tight hug. “You too, Hermione, you too.”

 

            “Harry! Harry!”

            “What?” replied Harry, slightly annoyed, as he entered the kitchen through the back door. Its hinges squeaked as they settled back in place.

            “Oh, never mind,” said Ron gloomily, his face falling.

            “No, really, I’m listening,” Harry said as he pulled out a weathered chair from the large kitchen table.

            “I said never mind.”

            Harry felt his skin grow hot and his head begin to throb with anger. He took a calm breath and swallowed his anger before getting up and plodding up the stairs. Ron watched him leave with a mixture of emotions, mostly anger and a need for someone to confide in.

 

Mrs. Weasley pushed in the kitchen chair that was left in the middle of the kitchen, pulled out from the table. She sighed, reached a hand to her hair and glanced at the empty plate where a pile of cookies had once been stacked. Now all that was left was crumbs. Good, she thought, Arthur found the poem.

She picked up the plate and placed it in the sink. She bent over to pick up an abandoned cookie that lay on the floor. Picking it up, she felt a compelling reason to wash the dish that she had placed in the sink by hand and did so, turning on the tap and grabbing a bar of soap from inside a cupboard. She began to sing an old Irish song under her breath.

 

“Over in Killarney, many years ago,

 

Me Mother sang a song to me in tones so sweet and low.

 

Just a simple little ditty, in her good old Irish way.”

 

She grabbed a dishtowel from a rack nearby and dried the plate. Opening the cupboard, she placed the plate inside. She stopped and stared out the window at the weed-trodden back garden still singing quietly.

 

“Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, Too-ra-loo-ra-li.

 

Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, Hush now don't you cry!”

 

            She started toward the back door, thinking of her husband and of their time at Hogwarts. She sat down on the mossy cobblestones, the tune echoing in her mind, and she counted the immense number of blessings she had been given.

 

“Ginny? Can I talk to you for a minute?” Harry asked seconds after he left Ron, sticking his head inside the girls’ bedroom after knocking. Ginny sat on her faded bedspread, her knees gathered inward. She was facing Hermione who lay cross-legged at the head of Ginny’s bed.

Ginny nodded and exchanged looks with Hermione. She sat up and scooted off of her bed, her hair dipping down as she did. Harry caught his breath.

She followed Harry out into the hallway where they stood for a few moments both waiting apprehensively.

“What is my favorite kind of cookie?” Harry asked quickly, his face blank and unnatural.

“What- what do you mean?” Ginny replied, backing up and leaning against the wall.

Surprise appeared on Ginny’s face as Harry grabbed her hand and pulled her upright. He said simultaneously as he dropped her hand, “Ginny, my favorite kind of cookie is chocolate chip.”

Ginny’s hands lay limp by her sides. She nodded.

“And how do you know that?”

When she didn’t answer, he repeated, “Ginny, how do you know that?”

“Harry, you’re acting really strange,” Ginny murmured.

“Answer me!” Harry said, equally quiet but with an underlying force such as that made Ginny’s stomach knot.

“You… told me last summer,” Ginny’s voice wavered.

“Come with me.” And with that Harry grabbed the same hand that he had dropped, but this time forcibly, and pulled Ginny after him and down the stairs. Ginny had no option but to follow, a frown deeply set on her face and betrayal in her heart.

She sat down at the kitchen table across from Harry.

“Ginny,” he began… “I don’t know what to think. On one hand I… I’m honored, but on the other hand… I don’t know….” Harry trailed off.

“You are what? Rude? Vulgar? Disrespectful? Ignorant? Disappointed? Foolish? Angry? Frustrated? Afraid?” she listed, the adjectives turning to describe her own hurt feelings.

“Ginny, I don’t understand!”

“That’s just it. You don’t understand…” Ginny trailed off.

“Fine! Can we leave it at that?” Harry asked puzzled.

“Yes. Excuse me,” Ginny replied with a forced smile, her insides still smarting from the insult of the situation, “I’m sorry.”

“That’s alright,” he answered. “Can we mark this off as P… PMS then?”

“Yeah, that’s right. It’s just PMS.”

Satisfied with Ginny’s answer, Harry smiled what he thought was sympathetically, but was more than anything queasy and a bit confused. He sort of backed out of the kitchen awkwardly and headed once again for the back door.

 

Mrs. Weasley got to her knees and brushed off her rump before heading back into the house. The last lines of the song came back to her then and she sang them sweetly, enjoying the moment.

 

“Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, Too-ra-loo-ra-li.

 

Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, That's an Irish lullaby.”

 

            She finished off softly. She passed Harry, placing a reassuring hand on his shoulder upon seeing the worried look he wore. She entered the kitchen and stopped quickly upon seeing her daughter’s head resting in her arms on the table, and the shaking of her shoulders.

 

“Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, Too-ra-loo-ra-li.

 

Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, That's an Irish lullaby.”

 

            Mrs. Weasley swept towards the child and brought Ginny close in a tight hug.

            “Oh, Mum,” Ginny whispered, tears streaming down her face and lightly salting her lips.

            “Oh sweetheart,” Mrs. Weasley said, rocking her daughter slightly in comfort, “hush now don’t you cry. Hush now don’t you cry…”

 

//
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