The Sugar Quill
Author: JK Ashavah (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Something More than Charmists  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

Disclaimer: The people, places, and situations of the Harry Potter universe. They are the property of the lovely J.K. Rowling, AOL Time Warner and respective publishers, included but not limited to Bloomsbury Publishing Plc and Scholastic Books. This is a piece of fan fiction; I am making no money, nor am I in any way affiliated with any of the aforementioned. No infringment is intended.

Author’s Note: My sincerest apologies for the lateness of this piece. My life was insane in March and April. If I had any idea how busy I would be, I would never have taken on the challenge. I’m sorry!

My sincerest thanks to Chelle for volunteering to beta this piece and of course to Elanor Gamgee for her continued support and beta reading for the past three years. Thank you to Elanor and to The Sugar Quill for being supportive and wonderful. (This is, in fact, my first even mildly R/H fic, despite having been at The Sugar Quill for three years!)

Dedication: To Jane Rucker, for Jaime’s Ron Ficathon, March 2004.

Something More than Charmists

A Ron Ficathon Piece

By JK

 

I honestly don’t understand how Ron Weasley can be so oblivious all the time.

That’s what I was thinking as he walked up to my desk in the library one evening in fifth year, looking puzzled. I sighed and returned to the parchment in front of me.

“Hermione, can you help me find some information for the Charms assignment? I can’t find the book I need.”


”Which book is it?” I asked, barely looking up.

“Er -” he said, gazing at the pile of books on the desk, “- Great Charmists of the Nineteenth Century?” Why did he need to turn that into a question?

I sighed and rolled my eyes, pulling a book from the bottom of my stack, and handing it to him.  Totally oblivious, of course, to the fact that I’ve got it sitting right in front of me.

“Oh. Er - thanks. Sorry, didn’t see it there.” He took it, shoved aside my homework planner, and sat opposite me. I looked up and glared. Couldn’t he see I was trying to work? This was the O.W.L.s, after all! They were at the end of the year, and not only did I have to get my Charms and Potions assignments done, I was quite concerned about the fact that no-one in the greater wizarding world seemed at all ready to believe that Voldemort was back.

Ron sat silently, flicking through Great Charmists of the Nineteenth Century, and I returned to my essay.

Mulgood Wheeler was one of the most influential Charmists of the period, and is particularly noted for his influence on healing. His breakthroughs in regard to dragon pox led to him having a ward in St Mungo’s Hospital -

“Hermione?”

“What?” I spoke a little too sharply; Ron seemed unwilling to reply. As he stared at me, probably trying to think what to say next, I felt sorry for being so unpleasant. We all had problems, and while mine were very important, so were other people’s. Harry was running an illegal operation, Voldemort was possibly breaking into his mind, and the Ministry was hunting down his godfather, and here I was snapping at Ron for talking to me! I put down my quill and looked at him, becoming aware as I met his eyes that he was immensely different to the boy whose comments had once left me crying in the bathroom all afternoon. His face was still thin and speckled with freckles, but it was more mature now and was beginning to look like that of a man rather than a child.

I read somewhere that the feature of men women find most attractive is their eyes. Ron’s had become deep and thoughtful over the past year. I had often wondered as I watched his reaction to my supposed relationship with Viktor if perhaps he might have had a crush on me. I didn’t really think so, though; what would Ron see in me? He never seemed to value me as anything more than the brains behind a lot of our mystery-solving. But looking back, perhaps he did and was, as I had been thinking earlier, just totally oblivious. We’d had our fights, certainly, but Ron had also been a good friend (when we were at peace with each other), like when he helped me work on Buckbeak’s defence, and this year when he invited me to stay with his family over the summer and we had a great time (or as great as we could whilst worrying about Harry). Or when he invited me to the Quidditch World Cup.

With this in mind, I met Ron’s eyes. He seemed to find my gaze disconcerting, looking away and turning pink.

“Sorry,” I mumbled, feeling that perhaps I might be colouring as well. “What did you want to say?”

He didn’t answer for some time, but sat staring at his hands as they opened and shut the Charms book. He obviously had something more on his mind. I waited, and he seemed to resolve himself.

“Look, Hermione, I’ve been thinking. Y’know all this codswallop -” I refrained from my usual scolding on language “- that,” he looked around, “the Prophet’s going on about?” I was paying full attention now; Ron had hit on one of the problems that had been bothering me for no small amount of time.

“Yes,” I said, my eagerness perhaps showing, for he seemed to take heart.

“Well, d’you think we should do something about it?”

“Well,” I said, unconsciously echoing his words, “yes, I certainly do. I’ve been trying to come up with something we could do myself, but I can’t. People believe what they read in the Prophet. The Prophet’s the primary source of news, and whoever has control over the popular media has control over popular opinion. People just don't want to believe that Harry’s telling the truth.”

Ron gave a lopsided half-grin.

“You’ve got a way with words, Hermione.” I gave a coy smile in return. As much as I tried not to show it, I always liked it when Ron (or Harry) complimented me outright instead of just implying things. Returning to the topic at hand, he added, “I’ve had an idea.”

“What?” When Ron came up with ideas, they were sometimes crazy. Sometimes, they were really useful.

“Rita,” he said, with a smug smile.

“Rita?” I repeated, puzzled. “Rita?” I stopped myself just before I rolled my eyes and sighed ceilingwards. What could he mean?

“Rita Skeeter.”

“You mean get her to write an article?” I pondered it for a moment. “But who would publish it?” Certainly the Prophet wouldn’t. Ron was nonplussed. He made a sort of grimace and shook his head.

“I don’t know. I didn’t really get that far in my plan. I thought you might be able to come up with something. It’s a bad idea, isn’t it? Loony of me, I guess. Sorry.”

Wait a minute .... Loony ....

“Luna Lovegood!” I cried. “Her father’s editor of The Quibbler! What if she can get him to publish it?” My eyes must have widened in glee at the realisation, I was so excited. Ron’s face brightened. “It’s perfect! People don’t believe it really, but a few might begin to think twice about what the Prophet says .... You know, I think people will buy it and read it, and if there’s something offering an alternative to the Prophet’s monopoly, they’ll begin to think about it, and maybe believe it! Ron, it’s wonderful!” he blushed again as I came to the end of my excited, jumbled diatribe. I could have hugged him. It was perfect! “Thank you so much, Ron!” Ron was glowing. I guessed I didn’t compliment him much, either.

The flow of my words stopped, we sat in silence for some time. This was just the solution we needed. Of course, we still had to get Harry to agree to it. He mightn’t want to. He didn’t like to talk about what had happened last year. He did it reluctantly, unless he was angry. But he was just as frustrated as we were about the lies and smears on his reputation the average wizard or witch was told and believed. Besides that, there was the safety of the wizarding world at risk. People needed to know Voldemort was back so they could be prepared. Ron recognised that, too, and I suspected that was part of why he’d come up with the idea.

When I first met him, I never imagined how dependable Ron would turn out to be. He’s been very surprising in his own way. He really shouldered the responsibility of helping look after - well, not really, more be there for and watch out for - Harry since what happened last year. And maybe if he did have a crush on me last year, maybe if he even still did ... maybe I wouldn’t mind that. I guess there’s still a lot more the two of us can learn from each other.

And not just about Charmists, either.

* * *

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