The Sugar Quill
Author: LadyAnabelle  Story: A Tale of Two Prefects  Chapter: Default
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A Tale of Two Prefects

 

A Tale of Two Prefects  


Ron sighed quietly as Professor McGonagall continued going over their Prefect assignments for the month of December; apparently with the holidays approaching they were going to be busier than ever. He wondered how they were supposed to keep up with their homework and patrol the halls with that git Filch. It was already after nine and he wished she’d hurry up so he could finish his Potions essay before it was due tomorrow morning. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Hermione bite back a yawn, and realized she was desperately trying to stay awake. After what seemed an eternity to Ron, Professor McGonagall finally finished and dismissed them with a stern look, bidding them all goodnight before taking her leave.

Ron stood up and stretched his muscles, which had tightened from sitting still for so long. He was exhausted, and he was surprised to see that Hermione hadn’t moved an inch.

“Hermione, are you ready to head back to the tower?” he asked, frowning down at her.

“Not really.” She sighed heavily and continued, “I’m not sure I’m ready to go back and deal with Harry.” She hung her head as if ashamed of her thoughts.

Ron sat back down and muttered, “He’s so angry. I’m not sure what to do.” He turned his head so he could look at her, reading the anxiety and concern on her face.

“I know, I guess it’s to be expected. . .” she said as her voice trailed off into the stillness of the room. Hermione frowned slightly and met Ron’s eyes. “I just wish he’d stop taking it out on us.”

Ron nodded his head in agreement. Harry was angry and he had every right to be. “I don’t think he means to. I think that we’re the only outlet he has.” He paused a moment before continuing, “I don’t blame him for being angry. He feels like he’s being kept in the dark, and after what happened this summer--well, I guess it hurt him.”

“We didn’t have a choice, Ron. . . We did what Dumbledore asked, but I can’t help wondering if it was the right thing to do.” Hermione’s eyes filled with tears and she looked towards the window.

“Do you ever regret making friends with Harry?” he whispered, meeting her eyes in the glass. “Do you ever think you might have been better off if you’d never come into our train compartment?”

Ron had often wondered after last year if perhaps she wouldn’t be better off not knowing either of them.

“No! I wouldn’t take one minute of it back,” she whispered furiously as she turned her head to look at Ron. “Do you wish you hadn’t wandered into his compartment that day?”

“No, he’s my best mate. .. and, well. . . he’s family,” Ron said earnestly. “I just wondered if you might have been better off not being friends with the boy who lived.”

They stared silently at each other for a while, and finally Ron had to ask, “Hermione, do you ever regret being friends with me? I know I’m not much of a friend to you.”

“No, I don’t regret being your friend, Ron,” she whispered, her gaze never leaving his. “But, sometimes…”

“Sometimes what?” he whispered back. He suddenly wanted to grasp her hand in his and never let go. His heart pounded as he waited for her response.

“Sometimes it’s hard being your friend,” she answered, biting her lip as if expected him to blow up.

Ron felt his heart plunge as an overwhelming wave of regret hit him. Memories of the rotten things he had said to her washed over him and he suddenly wanted to apologize. He opened his mouth to speak but nothing came out, and he was left gaping at her.

“I mean, we get into a lot of rows.” She shrugged her shoulders and looked away.

“We haven’t really rowed since last Christmas, have we?” Ron asked, “Let’s be honest, Hermione, our disagreements aren’t that horrible. You and I enjoy challenging each other, admit it.”

She turned and looked at him, seeming quite thunderstruck as the truth hit her. “You’re right, we haven’t. We don’t really argue. It’s more like bickering.” The surprise in her voice was evident.

“For your information, Hermione, sometimes our disagreements get me through the day.”

 His heart beat faster as she settled in beside him again and relaxed.

“Me too,” she admitted, stifling a yawn, “and I don’t want to hear you say you aren’t much of a friend again.”

He felt his palms go sweaty as she laid her head down on his shoulder; he could feel her soft curls tickling his neck, and the vanilla scent of her shampoo filled his senses.

“What are you getting Harry for Christmas?” she whispered sleepily as she snuggled closer to him.

Ron tried for several moments to compose himself; his heart was racing, and he was sure she could hear it pounding from her position against him. He willed his voice not to crack and had to stifle a groan when it did. “I was thinking, maybe several different types of sweets.”

He waited for her to reply and briefly wondered why she didn’t. He risked a glance down at her and found her sleeping with a soft smile gracing her features. The urge always to protect her, and the need to continue to see that smile every day overwhelmed him. He fought the desire to reach down and entwine their fingers together. Even more startling was that he was desperately fighting the need to kiss her. He was stunned at the tidal wave of feelings that washed over him, and before he could stop himself he bent his head slightly and kissed the top of her head. He grinned when she snuggled closer to him and sighed in her sleep.

They should get back—he was going to have to wake her in a moment because at this point they were seriously out of bounds, but for a few minutes he was going to be content to let her lie there sleeping against him.

 

 

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