A/N- Some totally out of
season fluff. Thanks to my SQ beta Jo Wickaninnish for putting up with me and
my pathetic inability to utilize commas. I love ya, darling.
This takes place at Grimmauld Place
Ron shoved the rest of his
sandwich into his mouth and stood up. Gulping down his milk, he pushed his
chair in with his knee and then proceeded to wipe his white moustache off with
the sleeve of his jumper.
“Ok Mum, let’s go!” he said,
irritated that she was still taking dainty bites of her ham and cheese sandwich
while reading some novel or other.
“Not yet dear,” she said
absently. “My, can’t you wait ten minutes?”
“Mu-um! I NEED to get a gift
for Hermione!” Ron was almost hopping up and down with impatience. “Christmas
is TOMORROW, in case you haven’t noticed!”
Mrs. Weasley stopped reading
and glanced up at Ron with a sharp glare. “Yes, Ron, in fact I did notice. I
also noticed that Harry already HAS a gift for Hermione. Since you were
obviously not deprived of the opportunity to shop while at Hogwarts, I see no
reason why you can’t just wait a couple minutes longer.”
Ron groaned and sat back down
in his chair, muttering under his breath.
“What’s that, dear?” asked
Mrs. Weasley cheerfully. “You really must speak up.”
Ron sighed and put his
forehead down on the table, resigned. “Nothing, Mum.”
Mrs. Weasley smiled knowingly
and went back to her book.
Presently, George walked into
the room. Rather, “Evil Twin #2”, as Ron was coming to know him. Grinning like
a fool, George sauntered over to the table and poked at a few apples,
apparently searching for the best looking. Selecting one, he went over to the
counter, cut the apple carefully in half, and proceeded to examine it.
Ron, who had been watching
him from the corner of his eye, lifted his head from the table with a half
quizzical, half wary expression. “George?” he questioned carefully.
“Yes, my dear, sweet
Ronniekins?” George answered in a singsong voice as he peeled back a little bit
of the apple’s skin and tasted the inside.
“What the bloody HELL are you
“RON!” Mrs. Weasley
admonished, never one to miss a beat.
“I’m testing the apple,”
George answered, as if it were completely obvious. In fact, it was, but that
was not the point.
Ron rolled his eyes. “I don’t
even want to know,” he muttered.
“Actually,” commented George.
“You probably do. Unless of course you would like to go back to Hogwarts with a
mottled purple nose, in which case you are henceforth not related to me.”
“That’s IT!” exclaimed Mrs.
Weasley, putting down her book with a bang. “You can’t even eat in this house
any more with you and Fred around! Hand over those apples right NOW!”
His mother now fully occupied
with George, Ron concluded with a sigh that it was going to be a long while
before they did any shopping. Not wanting to listen to the war that was
unfolding between George and his mother, Ron got up and wandered into the
living room, where Sirius was humming Christmas tunes and putting final touches
on some decorations.
“Hey Sirius,” he said,
throwing himself down into a chair and staring moodily out the window at the
falling snow outside.
Sirius greeted him
boisterously, insisting that he help him decorate. “Come ON! T’is the season!”
“Not really in the mood.” Ron
Sirius set down the rather
scary shears that he used for cutting ribbon and flopped down on a chair beside
Ron. “So are you going to tell me what’s wrong, or must I force it out of you?”
Ron grinned a bit. “Nothing’s
wrong, really, I’m just having a little trouble thinking of a gift for
Sirius nodded. “And...?” he
Ron continued staring out the
window, but his ears flushed red. “Well...” He figured it would be easier to
get it all out in a rush. “IreallylikethisgirlandIdunnowhattogetherforChristmas.”
He said, looking everywhere but at the man’s face.
Sirius suppressed a smirk.
“What was that, Ron? Didn’t quite catch what you said, there.”
Ron turned bright red all
over. “Never mind, Sirius. I just need to get a present for Hermione, and I
don’t know what to get her, that’s all.”
Sirius turned his head to
hide the grin that spread across his face. “Well Ron, let’s see. I think I have
just the thing for you.”
“Really?” Ron asked,
“Be right back.” Sirius
replied, bounding out of the room.
A minute later, he returned
with a huge, leather bound tome.
Ron grinned. Of course. He
should have known. A book.
Sirius plunked the book in
Ron’s lap. It weighed a ton.
Sirius had a pathetic, dog
like grin upon his face. “C’mon Ron! Open it!”
Ron opened the worn cover and
started glancing through the pages. His grin grew weaker and weaker as he read
some words on each page.
“All thoughts, all passions,
all delights...” He skipped ahead a couple pages, a confused look on his face.
“The winds of heaven mix forever... with a sweet emotion...” his eyes were
growing bigger and bigger, and there was a pained look in his eyes. “Wild
nights... should be our luxury!” Ron finally jumped up, now sure of the books
content, with an expression of horror on his face. “LOVE POEMS?” He bellowed,
shaking some plaster from the worn ceiling. “YOU WANT ME TO GIVE HER A BOOK OF LOVE
Sirius had a rather wicked
look upon his face and he said nothing, choosing instead to watch Ron, who had
begun to pace back and forth, wiping the perspiration from his forehead.
Ron was muttering to himself.
“Well- well that just proves... completely missed the point...” Vaguely he
wondered where the strange sense of déjà vu was coming from. He dismissed the
thought, and instead turned to face Sirius, who seemed to be stifling laughter.
“S’not funny.” muttered Ron.
“What would she do with a book of love poems anyway?”
Sirius looked crestfallen.
“So you won’t be needing it?” He asked.
“No.”, Ron firmly replied. He
handed Sirius the book and fled the room.
He slowed down as he rounded
the corner, wondering where he could go next. Knowing his mum, he figured there
was still a good half hour before they’d be leaving the house. He was racking
his brain, trying desperately to come up with something to give Hermione
when he walked more or less head on into Fred. A box tumbled from his hands,
noisily scattering it’s colourful contents all over the floor.
“Bloody hell Ron!” he whispered
loudly. “You wanna wake the wailing hag, or what? Quick, help me pick these up
before mum finds them.”
Ron, who knew better than to fool around so close to the curtained painting of
Sirius’s late mother, knelt and began dumping handfuls of the bright,
individually wrapped candies into the shoebox Fred had been holding. “What the
hell are these things, anyway?” he asked, realizing too late that he probably didn’t
want to know.
“These, my good man, are
Bowel Busters!” Fred answered cheerfully, shoving the last of them into their
container and closing the top. “Better than whoopee cushions... these babies
cause the real thing.”
Ron raised his eyebrow. “And you’re gonna sell them?”
“Well yes, as soon as we get
the kinks worked out, of course.”
Ron definitely didn’t
want to know what those kinks were.
“If you’ll excuse me, I have
an appointment with Sirius.” As he turned to walk down the hallway, Ron thought
He turned on his heel and
looked back at Ron quizzically. “What, you wanna buy some?” A light suddenly
gleamed in his eye. “So he hasn’t gone completely Prefect on us, then!”
“No, no, no, that’s not what
I meant!” Suddenly he was annoyed. What a stupid idea anyway. What would he
know about buying gifts for girls? Angelina... whispered a voice in the
back of his head. Jeez, I’m desperate, he thought. Taking a deep breath, he
cringed and said “Um... I haven’t gotten Hermione a present yet, and...” God,
he was an idiot.
“You want to buy some for
Hermione?” Fred looked confused. “Sorry mate, but something tells me she
wouldn’t be the most appreciative recipient.”
Ron groaned. “I didn’t mean those!
I just...oh...nevermind. Forget it.”
Fred looked intrigued, but
the sound of Sirius singing Christmas carols in the next room caused him to
remember his original purpose. “Yeah, whatever Ronniekins...” he jerked his
head in the direction of the living room. “Sale transactions call!” He then walked down the hallway,
leaving Ron alone with his thoughts yet again.
Groaning, Ron hit his
forehead against the wall. With all the people in his family, you’d think at
least one of them would be normal. Not that he thought he was
normal or anything. Agonizing over a gift for Hermione? One of his two
best friends in the entire world? The one who watched him barf slugs
in second year? Yeah, he definitely was not normal.
Suddenly, he felt a hand on
his shoulder. He jumped and spun around, pulling his wand as he did. Ginny
Ron leaned against the wall
to catch his breath. “Bloody... don’t you ever.. do that... again,” he said,
“Well, someone’s a bit jumpy
He glared at her. “I’m not jumpy!
I was just thinking, that’s all.”
“Of course, I forgot how much
concentration “thinking” requirs from someone with such a small brain.”
Ron rolled his eyes. “Not
“I wasn’t trying to
“Whatever.” Ron started to
walk away down the corridor, when a sudden thought made him turn back. “Hey
“That... hair... thing...” He
pointed to the red and green tinsel ball tied to her ponytail.
It was Ginny’s turn to roll
her eyes. “Ron, think. Does this look like something Hermione would
Ron didn’t wonder how she knew
what he was asking, Sirius had probably told the whole house by now. (Ronald
darling is looking for a gift for his giiirlfriend)
“Get her a necklace or
something,” she advised. “She’d love a gift like that.”
Ron’s face suddenly relaxed.
“Yeah... a necklace!” He wondered why he hadn’t thought of that himself.
“Thanks Gin!” Without a backward glace at the knowing look on her face, he
sprinted down the hallway towards the kitchen. Suddenly, he came to a grinding
halt as a thought sprung into his mind. “No...” He moaned, grimacing. A
necklace would never work. What did all the boys in Gryffindor give to
their girlfriends? Jewelry. It was no good. He didn’t want her to think he liked
her or anything. Why not? asked that idiot voice in his ear. She is
rather pretty... A stupid look crossed his face as he imagined
Hermione, her gorgeous curly hair surrounding her small, soft face... He shook
himself. Ronald Bilius Weasley. He commanded himself. Never, ever,
under any circumstances, think of her that way again. Ever. Satisfied that
he had completely wiped that picture from his mind, he continued down the
hallway with a sigh.
As he passed by the small
study, he looked in to see Remus Lupin sitting at the desk, feet propped up,
reading what Ron supposed was a letter, written on slightly yellowed parchment.
Knowing that his mum was probably about ready to leave and this was his last
proper chance to get any good advice, he took a deep breath and knocked softly
on the wooden frame of the open door. Remus looked up and, shoving the
parchment into the top drawer of his desk in the manner of a man whom has just
been caught doing something he most certainly should not, waved Ron into the
“Hullo Professor,” Ron
mumbled, stepping into the doorway and suddenly grasping the fact that he was
asking a teacher, albeit not a current one, but still, a teacher,
what he should get for Hermione.
“Well, don’t just stand
there... come in!” Remus reached over the desk and dragged some papers off of
the worn red armchair and gestured toward it with his free hand.
Reluctantly, Ron shuffled in
and sat down. Deciding he should get this over with as soon as possible, he
said quickly, “Well, I know you’re really busy right now and all...” Remus
glanced at the top drawer with a look of slight discomfort as Ron continued,
“But I was wondering if you had any advice on... well... you know... what I
should...” He realized he sounded like a total idiot. “What do you think I
should get Hermione for Christmas?” He knew he was blushing.
Remus suppressed a smirk.
“Well,” he said, trying not to laugh, “I suppose you’ve asked most of the rest
of the household for their opinions?”
Ron nodded, feeling more than
“And you’ve finally come to
me, after turning each one down in your head for various, and almost certainly untrue
Ron thought it best just to
Remus felt the corners of his
lips tugging up, but he fought to keep his face somber. “And I assume,” he
said, “That your mother is just about ready to leave the house and take you
shopping for said gift?”
The tips of Ron’s ears were
now thoroughly pink.
“Well, I can’t say you’ve
come to the right man,” Lupin said, swinging his feet to the floor and pulling
a drawer open, “But since you have come to me, and since you’ve probably
already had to deal with advice from some rather insane people, bless them,
then I will try to be as helpful as I can be.” He began rummaging through the
drawer, his greying hair the only part of him that Ron could see. He briefly
considered bolting from the room, but there was a muffled “Aha!” from somewhere
behind the desk and Ron knew it was too late.
“Aha.” Remus said again,
sitting up in his chair and putting his feet back on the desk, where Ron
suspected they had long ago taken permanent residence, judging by the shoe
scuffs in the wood.
“Ron,” said Remus, reading
from a small piece of paper in his hand, “A man once said, A friend is one
who knows you and loves you just the same.’”
Ron looked at him blankly,
feeling stupid. Obviously, this was supposed to mean something profound, and it
just didn’t click.
Remus, seeing the look on
Ron’s face, chuckled. “I’ll elaborate. Hermione has been your friend for a very
long time, hasn’t she?”
Nearly five years, Ron thought, which makes this even more
“And I’ll assume,” Remus
continued, “That you hold each other...” he bit his lip to keep from laughing,
“In very high esteem. Now Ron, if I may ask, have you had any arguments? Fights?
Bellowing at each other from across the common room type of things?”
Ron wondered how he knew.
“Well, yeah.” He answered.
“And you have, in all cases,
forgiven each other?”
“Because you’re friends,
right? And you would never let petty things like the these get in the way of
that friendship, correct?”
Ron nodded again.
Remus sat back and smiled
serenely. “Well then, I think we have arrived at the solution to your dilemma.”
“Um, have we?” Ron asked,
feeling a bit lost.
“Ron,” Remus said, laughing a
bit, “The solution is, of course, to stop worrying. Get something that you
think she would like, but then stop stressing about it. I promise you,
unless it is something truly disgusting, she won’t hate you for getting her a
gift. In fact, she will love that you thought of her.” Remus knew he had hit
upon the right word. Love.
A slow grin spread upon Ron’s
face. “Yeah, you know what? You’re right. She won’t hate me for thinking
of her... I mean, it’s not like I’m accusing her of fraternizing with the
enemy... or murdering my rat... yeah, this is good!”
Remus had a quizzical look on
his face, but he didn’t press the matter. “I’m so glad I was able to help you,
Suddenly, there were
footsteps sounding down the corridor and a familiar voice calling, “Ron dear!
We’d best be leaving now, if you want to go all the way to London!”
Ron jumped up, thanked Remus,
and then flew out of the room.
A few minutes later, he was
walking down a crowded street in Diagon Alley. His mum was off doing some of
her own last minute Christmas shopping, so he thankfully wouldn’t be getting
any motherly input. Not that he disliked his mum or anything, it’s just that
every time he mentioned Hermione, she’d get a knowing look on her face and
start talking about when she and his father had first met. It was honestly
He walked slowly, peering
into all the windows of every store, looking for something that reminded him of
Hermione. He wanted, he had finally decided, something original. Something that
nobody else would have thought to give her. Now that he wasn’t as worried about
whether or not she would still like him after he gave it to her, he found it
much easier to think about the present. He passed the Quidditch Supply Shop and
had to forcefully tear his eyes away from the broomstick in the window. He had
walked past Madame Malkin’s and was just getting tired when he saw it. The
The shop didn’t have a name,
as far as he could see. It was tiny, almost like it had been smushed between
the two store on either side of it, and it was probably dark and musty inside.
It wasn’t the actual shop that concerned him, however. It was what sat in the
window display that caught his eye.
A bell tinkled as he
entered. The inside of the shop, as he’d guessed, was stuffy and shadowed. A
bit like Ollivander’s, he thought. Only smellier. Indeed, the small space of
rich with scent, and not all of it was necessarily good. As he passed the
labeled rows of candles, incense, and perfumes, he spied quite a few rotten
smells amongst the lavender, musk, and violet. Skunk, for instance. He wondered
what kind of woman wore skunk voluntarily. Then he wondered what kind of woman
wore lilac voluntarily. Weren’t those smells made for outside? He
decided it was best not to think about that anymore, and hurried over to the
It was small, he knew, and he
couldn’t even begin to guess what the scent was supposed to be, but he loved it
anyway. The perfect, golden stopper in the top caught the sun and glinted the
colour of Hermione’s hair, then the light spiraled dizzyingly down through the
glass container, splaying a rainbow across the floor behind it. It was filled
with a liquid, light pink substance (Ron assumed this was the actual perfume)
that, although it wasn’t a particularly attractive colour, seemed to somehow
give it’s the container warmth, and a strange beauty. Kind of like Hermione,
Ron thought to himself absently. He bought it.
As Ron walked out into the
late afternoon sun, he whistled a tune. He was, he realized, happy. Truly happy
for the first time in, well, a very long time. It was Christmas Eve, and he had
friends who loved him, no matter what. Even Harry, prat that he was being, had
a place for Ron in his heart. And when he met back up with his mum, he let her
wear her knowing smile and talk about his father. Perhaps, just perhaps, she
knew what she was talking about after all.
A/N- (word that Cap’n Kathy
hates)! Writing this certainly made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Man I
love those Weasleys... As usual, the nature of the relationship between Sirius
and Remus is entirely up to the discretion of the reader, although I daresay
Sirius didn’t have that Big Book O’ Poems hidden up there for nothin’. Oh yes,
and Remus’ letter is also something I will let you fill in on your own. I’m
planning on writing a little ficlet to cover it, but at the moment I’m kind of
occupied with Ginny and Draco’s Major Big Butt Novel of the Century. (No I
don’t actually SHIP them, I just WRITE them... oh, nevermind...) :-* Smooches!
Disclaimer- All the
characters mentioned here belong to JK Rowling, goddess that she is. The
perfume also comes straight from Book 5. Excerpts of poems that Ron reads come
from, respectively, “Love” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “Love’s Philosophy” by
Percy Bysshe Shelley, and “Wild Nights!” by Emily Dickinson. Quote that Remus
read (yes, he does have a collection of quotes in his bottom drawer; I think
this is adorable) was originally uttered by Elbert Hubbard. Oh yeah, and Bowel
Busters are the creation of my three brothers, bless them. They’re getting sick
of whoopee cushions, I daresay.