The Sugar Quill
Author: Paleologus (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Owls Over Bulgaria  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.

 

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Dear Harry,

I hope that you have arrived home all right and that your summer is going well- I feel terrible that after all you've gone through you should be stuck with the horrible Dursleys. Please keep Ron and me posted, and let us all know that you are all right- we will worry!

You do know that Viktor invited me to visit him this summer in Bulgaria? Well, I am going to go, much to my own surprise! I had pictured the scene: "Dad, can I go by myself to a former Eastern bloc country to visit an eighteen-year old boy? Oh, and he's a professional athlete!" I didn't even think I would have the nerve to bring it up. But Viktor's mum wrote ahead, inviting me on behalf of his whole family (my parents have gotten used to receiving the occasional owl-post). It was a very sweet letter, and commendable considering Viktor told me he speaks the best English of anyone in his family. Mum and Dad seemed to be very charmed by this, and not only are they letting me go but they are paying my Muggle-airplane fare to Sofia. I swore I'd never ride in one again without at least a levitation charm or a dozen broomsticks strapped to each wing, but it's the only practical way to go.

Well, I feel really embarrassed to be asking about this, but do you think I should tell Ron that I'm going? He seems to get very dodgy when it comes to the subject of Viktor. In fact he gets downright nasty. I am sure that if I told him he would give all sorts of silly reasons why I shouldn't go. I don't want to feel bad about this, and honestly it's not his business. Anyway, what do you think? I'm really sorry to bother you about it.

Stay in touch!

Love from

Hermione

Hermione,

I'm doing all right, thanks. It's been really quiet around here- Dudley's old enough now to go out terrorizing all the neighbourhood kids with his stupid friends, so I get to stay in the house while Aunt Petunia's little Diddly-kins runs riot. Except for the couple of hours' worth of chores Aunt Petunia ropes me into every day I get pretty much left alone, which suits me just fine.

Yes, I know what you mean about Ron. Tell him that you're going- I think he'd be angrier still if he found out later. But maybe I can talk to him. I am sure that he doesn't mean to be nasty. We are all three of us, well, protective of each other, and it's his way of showing it. He's gotten used to having you around, and wouldn't like to think there was something that could split us up, especially now. I will see what I can do.

Harry

Dear Harry,

That would be very kind of you if you could talk to him. You're right, of course. I will let him know.

Love from

Hermione

Hi Ron,

How are things at the Burrow? Sorry I haven't written yet. I just got a letter from Hermione last week telling me that I must write to all of you often so that you won't worry. I'm doing well- Dudley's out of the house most days now so as long as I stay in my room I can live almost as if the Dursleys didn't exist. So you both will have to write to me a lot too so I don't get bored!

Did you hear from Hermione? She'll be going to visit Viktor in Bulgaria. She was sure she wouldn't be allowed. That will be quite an adventure for her. Look- maybe it's not my place, but I wanted to say that we should be pleased for her. Do you promise me you won't be angry?

Say hi to Fred, and George, and Ginny, and, well, you know the whole list! And give your mum a hug from me.

Harry

Hi Harry,

What an odd thing to say- why would I be angry? It's up to her if she wants to risk her neck on one of those dirty great Muggle brooms to go visit some mountain shack halfway round the world. I'm not angry, and in fact I'll be delighted to hear when she's got back safe in one piece.

Everyone here is well.

Ron

P.S. Hermione is right- write to us a lot.

Hi Hermione,

How smashingly delightful- I hope you have a flipping great time in Bulgaria. I hear it is very lovely in summer. Please say hello to Viktor for me, and stay in well-lit, crowded places.

Regards,

Ron

Ron

Thank you for your good wishes. I'm sure I'll have a marvellous trip, you infuriating prat.

Love from

Hermione

Dear Harry,

Oh, I have had it with Ron! Did you see what he wrote to me? I've enclosed the letter. You can burn it when you're done. I didn't expect him to be pleased but does he have to be cruel like that? Thanks for speaking to him- it made all the difference! Sorry, I am not blaming you- nobody can do miracles. Anyway, I am going tomorrow, and you can let Hedwig know to find me in Bulgaria. Please do keep writing, even if it's just a hello- it always makes me feel better to hear from you.

Love from

Hermione

Hi Ron,

I hate to be the one to tell you this, but you are an idiot. Hermione told me about the letter you sent her. I think she managed to read between the lines and spot a note of sarcasm. Continue like this and you are really going to spoil it.

As you both instructed me, I am writing often, but it's beginning to get a bit wearing! You might want to write Hermione a bit of an apology, but promise you'll let me read it over first.

Harry

Harry:

Spoil what, exactly?

Ron

Hi Ron,

Do I have to spell it out! She's not gone to get married, you know.

Harry

Harry:

I do not know *what* you are on about.

Ron

P.S. Ginny says hi. (That enough, Gin?)

Hi Hermione,

How is Bulgaria? I do hope you are having a good time there. I was hoping I'd hear from you by now, but I expect your time is all taken up. Have you heard from Harry? He seems to be doing well, having a quiet summer, which really is the best for the poor fellow, don't you think? At least his cousin is off his back.

We are all well here. Ginny, Fred, George and Mum all wanted to make sure I said hello.

Regards,

Ron

Dear Harry,

Do you see this letter? Does he imagine he can say things like that then just have a nice chat? I have absolutely no intention of writing to him- you can tell him I am having a wonderful time.

In fact I find it very strange here, very lonely. Everyone's friendly enough, in fact I'm a bit of a local celebrity. Apparently during the Communist era wizards went so deep into hiding that they hardly had any contact with the outside world, so everyone in the town is just astonished to see a foreigner. Everyone just calls me "Angleshka", the English girl, and nobody except Viktor bothers with my name (he's finally learned to drop the "ninny", though!) It's a beautiful but forlorn country- we are near the mountains. Viktor's family lives in a very small house- it seems in Bulgaria even Quidditch stars don't make a ton of money. I am sharing a room with three girls. All in all I don't get any time alone with Viktor (and I don't think I'm supposed to- my parents certainly have no reason to be concerned!) but I spend a lot of time with great crowds of wonderful people I can't even speak to.

Harry, I feel awful, everyone is being so kind, but I can't wait to be home.

Love from

Hermione

Hermione,

I am sorry to hear that. I hope as you get used to the place you will have a bit more fun. Are you learning any Bulgarian? I've bet with Ron that you'll be fluent in two weeks.

I need to ask you a favour, though. Will you please, please write to Ron? I know how insufferable he can be, *trust* me. But the last letter of his you sent to me sounds a lot more like the real him than the angry one, don't you think?

Harry

Dear Harry,

I nearly cried when I read your last letter. You are so right, as always. Right now fifteen seconds of Ron yelling at me would be like a drink of water in the desert. I will write to him, you can tell him I meant to but my owl lost her way. I'm having a bit better time, getting used to the place, and yes I am learning a few words of Bulgarian, but you'll lose your money if you bet I'd be "fluent"! I even got to go on a bike ride through the countryside with Viktor yesterday, almost got out alone, but his sister was sent along with us. I don't think I'll mention that to Ron though, appreciate it if you didn't (I'm not *that* thirsty!)

Love from

Hermione

P.S. Keep writing!!!

Hey Harry,

You know what? Hermione wrote to me! I was sure she wouldn't, seeing as she hasn't even written to you yet. It sounds like she's not having a very good time. I feel terrible for her- wish we could go cheer her up, eh? She and Viktor hardly get any time alone, what with relatives and all, and nobody speaks English. Poor girl.

Here's your birthday present- hope you like it. You know what else? Mum's having a great big birthday dinner tomorrow in your honour. She's made a huge cake, just like the one here, and we'll be having that after dinner, and toasting your health! Wish you could make it here, but Dumbledore told Dad you should stay put for now. By the way, Ginny insisted on writing to you. Her letter's in the box.

Ron

Hello Harry,

How are you? I hope you are well. We miss you.

Happy Birthday!

Ginny

Hi Ron

Thanks a lot! Thanks for the party- my ears were red all through dinnertime yesterday! You guys are so great. Yeah, I heard from Hermione too. You're just lucky she's so nice, though- you really ought to apologize to her. She notices everything, you know.

Say thanks to Ginny, will you? Tell her I'm fine, and that I miss her too.

Harry

Harry

What do you mean, "she notices everything"? You're our little expert on women, aren't you? I passed on your message to Ginny last night, and she was inconsolable- she ran up to her room and wouldn't come out for an hour. I would have thought she'd faint when you said you missed her. Who knows.

Anyway, I'm writing to Hermione now. I'll try to apologize for whatever, I guess, but she'll probably think I'm cracking up.

Ron

Dear Harry,

Is Ron cracking up? He just wrote me a wonderful long letter. I never even knew he'd put two sentences together if he could help it. Oh, how mean of me- it was really very kind. He told me all about the birthday party they had for you. Aren't the Weasleys the best people on earth? I am sorry I did not send you your present yet. I bought it before I left then forgot to send it, in all the excitement of leaving! I will send it to you first thing, when I come home next week. I did not forget you on the 31st, though! Viktor wishes you a happy birthday too.

Hope we can get together before the summer's out!

Love from

Hermione

P.S. He even apologized for being so nasty about Viktor. Did you put him up to that?

Ron:

Good *one*.

Harry

Harry old chap!

How are you doing? We never thanked you properly for your investment. Thought the least we could do is send you a free sample of our latest. Couldn't help showing it off.

WEASLEY'S WIZARD WHEEZES PRESENTS

AMAZING CRYPTO-STATIONERY PARCHMENT

The infallible way to send secret messages!

Got a private message to send by owl? Got something to get off your chest, but you just don't know when is the right time to bring it up? Just write your message on one of these sheets, and people will be able to read it *only if it says something they want to hear!*. Otherwise all they see is a trite, polite hello!

Give it a whirl, Harry- it works, we've tested it!

Regards,

Fred (and George)

Dear Ron,

Thanks for your letter- you were so kind to send me all that news. I re-read all of your and Harry's letters every night before bed, to make me think of home. I'll be flying back tomorrow. I had a good time here, I suppose, but very different from how I expected. I can't wait to see you both to tell you all about it.

Love from

Hermione

Hey Harry

I think you're getting funny ideas. I owed Hermione a proper letter, didn't I? Nothing more to it than that. So let's drop it, all right?

Dad says maybe you'll be able to come down a week or so before term starts, but he's trying to make some arrangements with the Ministry first, without raising Fudge's eyebrows. It'll be tricky, but hopefully we can get you out of there soon. Everything seems to be quiet for now, everyone just waiting for something to happen. Dad's not telling much, though.

Did Fred and George show you the stuff they came up with? It's unreal- it even works on yourself. Last night I wrote "Ron loves Moaning Myrtle. Regards, Ron." on the paper and when I looked back at it, all I could see was "How are you? I am well. Regards, Ron." Guess I'm not quite ready to face up to that reality, eh?

Ron

Dear Harry,

I just got home an hour ago and I am exhausted and depressed. I wanted to write to you, because it's not exactly something I can talk about with Mum and Dad- on the ride back from the airport it was all about how terribly interesting Bulgaria is. It's just not going to work, this whole thing with Viktor. He's too far away, he comes from a place that is very strange to me, he's really a lot older... I feel like I've wasted three weeks. Which is terrible because Viktor's family tried to show me the best time they could, and it was very interesting as an adventure and as, I don't know, a cultural thing. I had a terrible, terrible awkward parting with Viktor- he's not exactly demonstrative, especially in English- but I think he knows how strange I felt and it breaks his heart. And mine too. We'll still write, but- well you know.

I am so confused.

Don't tell Ron any of this, please, although I'm sure he'll be thrilled to hear the whole thing was a fiasco. I am so unhappy. Do write me back soon- shame on you for being so far away!

Hugs!

Love from

Hermione

Hi Hermione

I'm so sorry- I don't know what to say. And I think I can speak for Ron by saying he'd be very upset to know you were that unhappy, no matter what the reason. There aren't too many more days, I hope, before we are all together again at the Weasleys'. It certainly has not been a dull summer, though, has it?

Fred and George sent me this paper. Can you believe them? Try using a sheet of it to write to me- I'd love to see if it works.

Hugs back to you

Harry

Dear Harry,

Forgive me for my last letter. I shouldn't be dumping all that all over you. I am just very confused, and there's nobody to tell except you. And maybe Ron. I'm sure you're right that he would not be happy to see me upset. But if he is cruel to me like that one more time, well, at a time like this I'd just break into pieces.

Right now I am just glad to be home, looking forward (I hope) to seeing you soon, going back into my books (as I hope you are, by the way!). Sorry to make you worry- you have much more important things on your mind, I'm sure.

What an odd invention this is. How could it possibly be useful?

Love from

Hermione

Hi Hermione

Can you believe, that paper works like a charm (well, I suppose it *is* one, isn't it). I was reading your letter last night and Dudley tore it out of my hands, and said, "Some good friends you have, eh? 'How are you? I am well.' ".

Hermione, don't be ridiculous- please "dump" whatever you like on me, whenever you want. Only I'm a bit busy with my own reading now, of course, heh heh.

Harry

Ron

I heard from Hermione yesterday. She's really down. I don't think her trip went too well after all. I suggest you write another super-nice letter to her- sounds like she needs cheering up.

Sorry, friend, but I won't "drop it". She is telling me all sorts of stuff I think she should really be telling you, and she isn't, just because she's afraid you'll jump down her throat. Pretty stupid situation, isn't it, seeing as you are mad for her. Try to deny it and I'll come over and punch you in the nose, Dumbledore or no Dumbledore.

Harry

P.S. My compliments to Fred and George! Tell them from me that I think they're a menace.

Hi Harry,

Ouch. Maybe you want to just write to me using Fred and George's parchment from now on, there's a good chap? Nevertheless, I will write Hermione as you suggested, and I swear it will be the nicest letter ever quilled. I promise.

Regards,

Ron

Hey Hermione,

How are you doing? I'm well.

Love,

Ron

P.S. Please don't show this one to Harry.

Dear Ron,

Erm, I'm fine, thanks.

Dad says we'll be down Sunday about 4. Hope we can have a bit more of a chat then.

Hermione

P.S. Donít worry, Iím keeping it to myself.

Harry old pal,

Dad has the go-ahead to pick you up next Sunday morning. You'll be staying in the garden-shed.

Regards,

Ron

Dear Viktor,

How are you? I am well.

Dear Ron,

How are you? I am well.

Dear Harry,

How are you? I am well.

Dear Hermione,

How are you? I am well.

Love from

Hermione

Dear Hermione,

How are you? I am well.

Love from

Hermione

Dear Hermione,

How are you? I am well.

Love from

Hermione

THE END

 

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