The Sugar Quill
Author: Muggle Molly  Story: Trouble in the Bubbles  Chapter: Default
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Ron Appararated into the kitchen of Hermione’s cottage and immediately glanced at the clock on the wall

 

The characters in this story come from the remarkable imagination of J.K.Rowling.  I am in awe of her talent.  Her vivid characterizations invade my thoughts and force me to write these stories.    

 

The basic story idea is not an original one, but I cannot remember where I heard it before.  I think it was from a television sitcom I watched in my childhood, possibly on “The Dick VanDyke Show”.  Yes, I’m old.

 

I send a big thank you to my beta-reader, Ara Kane.

 

I hope you enjoy this silly story.  Please review.

 

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Trouble in the Bubbles

 

by

 

Muggle Molly

 

 

 

Ron Weasley Appararated into the small kitchen and immediately a grin spread across his face.   The current tenant had to be the most organized person he knew.  Her personal touch was everywhere.  Who else but Hermione Granger would alphabetize everything in the pantry from the spices to the canned vegetables?    He glanced at the clock on the wall above the stove.  Bloody Hell, he thought to himself.  Almost eight o’clock.

 

“I’m running a bit late,” he yelled in the direction of the bedroom.  Hermione’s reply sounded muffled and he could not make out what she said.

 

“Where are you?” he called out as he walked through the cottage.

 

He heard a faint answer of “…in the bath.”

 

Ron stopped in front of the bathroom door, knocked and said, “Come on, Love, hurry up or we’ll miss our reservation.”

 

“Er, well…I don’t think I’m quite up to dinner and dancing tonight.  I’m having a bit of …trouble, Ron.”

 

“Oh, come on now.  Quit fussing with your hair, it always looks great to me.  Let’s go!”

 

“No…it’s not that, Ron.   I think I need a little, um…help,” she called out and then in a quieter voice, “I seem to be….stuck.”

 

Having no idea what she could possibly be talking about, he asked, “What do you want me to do?”

 

“Could you come in here?  And promise you will not laugh!”

 

Ron cautiously turned the knob, wondering what kind of a scene he was walking into, and slowly pushed the door open a few inches.   Crookshanks shot out of the little bathroom like a cannon, ran past Ron and straight under Hermione’s bed.

 

He peeked around the door and there she was, the girl he loved, sitting in bubbles up to her chin, hair pulled into a knot atop her head, candles burning on the edge of the tub (well at least one or two were still burning), an empty wine bottle on the wet floor and… the big toe on her left foot stuck up the tap!

 

“Don’t you DARE laugh!” she cried as a smile exploded across his face.  “This is NOT funny!”

 

“Oh, you have …never…been…more wrong …in your entire…life!” Ron managed to spit out between chuckles.   He ducked as she threw a bar of soap at him.

 

“I have been sitting in this bathtub for over an hour and a half, the water is cold, my toe is stuck and I am turning into a PRUNE!” she yelled.  Hermione held up both of her hands, showing him her wrinkled palms, to emphasize this point.

 

“Care to explain how the cleverest witch I know happened to get herself into this predicament?” Ron asked as he dragged the stool from the vanity to the side of the bathtub.  He folded his arms across his chest and sat down.  “Oh, this is going to be SO good.”

 

 

 

 

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Hermione had been looking forward to this evening’s plans all week.  Ron promised a night on the town, including dinner and dancing, to celebrate his promotion in the Department for Regulations of Magical Games, Quidditch Division.

 

She was so proud of her Ron.  He had been her Ron ever since sixth year when their friendship had definitely shifted to something deeper.

 

“Crookshanks, he’s taking me dancing!” Hermione cooed to the large ginger cat as she poured scented liquid into the tub and they both watched the thick bubbles begin to form and rise with the water level.  Having access to the Prefects’ elegant bathroom at Hogwarts for three years, she had grown rather found of a good soak in a perfumed tub.   “This could be the night, you know.  He has moved up the ladder at the Ministry and may be ready to settle down.  Settle down with me!  And you, too,” she added when the cat blinked up at her. “How would you like to share a flat with Pig, hmm?”  The feline’s tail twitched in agreement.

 

“Let’s set the mood for a little pampering and relaxation, shall we?” she said to Crookshanks as she lit several scented candles that were placed around the edge of the tub, poured a glass of Chardonnay and slipped into the steamy water. 

She reflected on just how far she had come in the world: from that eager little eleven-year-old on her first visit to Diagon Alley, to the career witch she was today.  First Assistant to the Head Librarian at the Ministry of Magic Library was quite an accomplishment for a Muggle-born of twenty-two.  Her thoughts were interrupted when something brushed her thigh beneath the bubbles.

 

Hermione fished a red rubber ball, one of Crookshanks’ favorite toys, out of the soapy water.  “How did this get in here?  Here you go, my sweet baby, want to play ball?” she asked.   She tossed it so that the ball would ricochet from one wall to the other, and having been charmed to do so, would keep bouncing until caught.  The cat immediately took to the chase, hitting the bathroom door with such force that he caused it to slam shut.

 

“Now you’ve done it.  You are stuck in here with me till I’m done, you silly.”

 

He was so intent on his “prey” that Crookshanks followed the bouncing ball right into the tub just as Hermione took a long sip from her wineglass.  A wave of water drenched them both as well as a candle or two, knocking her back as she coughed and choked on the wine.

 

 That was when it happened.  As her head went back, her legs flew up and her big toe went right up the tap opening and wedged itself in good.

 

“Oh dear!” she exclaimed.  The more she squirmed, the tighter it felt.  “Ooooh, it must be swelling!  Crookshanks, what am I going to do?  My wand is in the bedroom and I seem to be stuck!”

 

A feeling of panic rose up in her as she assessed the situation.  Her toe was stuck good and proper and it was now beginning to throb.  How humiliating this would be if someone had to come to her rescue.  As luck would have it, Ron was the only person she expected that night. She would never live this down!

 

“Right, I need to stay calm and try to relax.  Good thing the wine bottle is still within reach.  You look like you could use some, too, but seeing as you are a cat, I’ll not be sharing with you.  It’s all for me.”  Crookshanks sat on the oval rug, his back to Hermione, and began licking his fur.

 

And so she drank and soaked.  Refilled her glass and soaked.  She was starting to feel the effects of the alcohol.  That toe will slip out any moment now, she thought to herself as the warmth of the wine washed over her.  But the reality was that the toe was not budging.

 

She was getting a little drowsy, feeling a little numb and must have drifted off to sleep after a bit, because the next thing her brain registered (other than the throbbing toe) was the sound of Ron’s voice calling out to her from the front room.

 

 

 

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Ron was doing his best to keep from laughing out loud as Hermione told her tale.

 

“Will you quit smirking and cast an Enlarging Charm on that pipe so I can get OUT OF THIS TUB?”, she exclaimed.  “I’m freezing, you idiot!”

 

“Now, just a minute!  How often will an opportunity like this present itself, when I have you as such a captive audience?” Ron joked.  “Give me a moment to think of how to use this to my advantage.”

 

“Ronald Weasley, if you do not get me out of here right now, you will be sorry…very sorry!  I cannot emphasize this enough.  Ginny’s taught me some of her best hexes and I’m not afraid to use them!”  Hermione had gone past feeling embarrassed and was working up to a good rage.

 

“Okay, okay, I’ll rescue you,” he said as he pulled out his wand. “But first, you have to answer one question for me.  Your little problem has put me in quite the spot, you know.   It took a lot of effort on my part to plan a wonderful evening for us tonight and I believe many people will be disappointed now that we have to make a trip to St. Mungo’s instead of the restaurant.  Looks like you won’t be dancing tonight!”

 

“What are you going on about?  Go ahead, take advantage of my current state and ask your stupid question, you coward.  But just do it in a BLOODY HURRY so I can receive some BLOODY MEDICAL ATTENTION!”

 

“Hermione Jane,” said Ron in mock surprise, “watch your language!”

 

She shot him a scathing look.

 

He cleared his throat as he went down on one knee by the side of the tub.  “I would be honored to be your knight in shinning armor and rescue you in your time of need, my Love, tonight and every day for the rest of our lives.  I love you, Hermione.  Will you marry me?”  And with that he retrieved something from his pocket and slipped a diamond ring on her finger.  The small stone in a setting of silver was the most beautiful ring she had ever seen.   He leaned in to kiss her.

 

“Ron, my toe…please,” was all she could quietly say.

 

“Oh, yeah,” he replied as he cast the Enlargement spell.  With a loud pop, her toe was free.

 

 “Ow, now it really hurts!” she cried.

 

“Let’s get you into this robe and off to the hospital, shall we?”

 

Ron helped her to stand and wrapped a thick terrycloth robe around her. 

 

“Once I have you safely at St. Mungo’s, I’ll just pop in at the restaurant to let everyone know what happened…”

 

“NO, promise you won’t tell…wait…everyone?  What are you talking about?”

 

“Well, I just…you know… invited your parents, my parents, Harry and the rest of my family.  They’re all there waiting for…”

 

Hermione held up her hand to silence him.   “DON’T tell them what really happened!  Make something up!  Say I hit my toe on the table leg, or something.   No one needs to know the real story of what happened tonight.  This story needs to belong to just us…and our children.”

 

Ron looked deep into her eyes and held her close.  “Is that a “yes“, then?”

 

She looked up at him with the most loving gaze she could muster through her pain and said sweetly, “Only if you promise our first flat will have a shower, I’ve seem to have lost my fondness for baths!”

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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