The Sugar Quill
Author: bluedaisy (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: The Lost Arm of Vicky Krum  Chapter: The Lost Arm of Vicky Krum
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.


Disclaimer: Do you really think I'm this clever? I'm flattered, but no. I own nothing, much as I wish I did.


A/N: This was a fairly early attempt of mine at fanfiction so I'm still playing around with characterization. Constructive criticism is always welcome.


***


The room was dark and Ron knew it must have been very late. He could hear Neville snoring and the sounds of Seamus, Dean and Harry breathing deeply, all asleep. Ron, however, was still fuming.


He was sure the whole school was asleep by now, with the possible exception of Filch and maybe Dumbledore. Ron occasionally wondered if that man ever slept.


Everyone else though, he was sure they were all fast asleep. Fleur in her carriage with Madam Maxime, Hagrid in his cabin across the grounds, Cedric, Padma.... Krum. Ron clenched his jaw and made a fist. And in his same tower, he was sure, Hermione was sound asleep as well.


Hermione.


He wasn't sure whether he was angry or depressed. Perhaps both. All he knew was that the second he had seen Hermione walk in on Krum's arm he had been filled with a strong desire to punch something. Preferably Vicky's face.


He let out a frustrated groan and sat up, knowing there was no way he would get to sleep now. Running over the events of the night was not helping and Hermione's face, cheeks pink from dancing, grinning ear to ear, kept popping into his mind. Almost mocking him.


"Are you happy?" He muttered to the face in his head. She already occupied his mind too much during the day. Now she was affecting his sleeping.


And then there was Krum. The great prat. What made him think he could come in here and ask Hermione out? His Hermione?


Ron's brow furrowed and he shook his head. Where had THAT come from? He certainly didn't see Hermione as his, did he?


Of course he did, he reasoned with himself. She was HIS friend. As such, he had certain rights, certain privileges. If he needed a date to the ball, it was her duty as a friend to go with him.


Ron almost snorted at this thought. Even in his head it sounded stupid.


So why, WHY did it bother him so much that Hermione had gone with Krum instead of him?


Trying desperately to stifle the reasons that began flooding his head, Ron reached over into his nightstand to pull out one of his secret stash of Chocolate Frogs (they always helped him think straight. None of this "you're jealous" business).


He reached in, but his hand didn't find a chocolate frog. Instead it found...


Vicky.


Ron pulled out the tiny action figure and flung himself back down onto his bed, holding up the figurine and staring at it.


The miniature model of Krum scowled.


Ron scowled back.


"Stupid git."


As ludicrous as it seemed to talk to this inanimate object, Ron found that it made him feel better. Even better still, the figurine couldn't talk back. Ron smirked, feeling slightly less annoyed.


"She doesn't really like you, you know," Ron whispered to the scowling Krum, which shifted uncomfortably between his fingers.


But there was that nagging voice again. If she didn't like him, why did she go to the ball with him?


Because he asked, Ron reasoned.


That didn't seem right either. He knew Hermione was polite, but if she didn't want to do something, she didn't do it. If she had really wanted to go with Ron, she would have said no to Vicky. But she didn't. She had said yes. She had said yes to the insufferable git and no to him, Ron, her best friend.


What are you complaining about? whispered a little voice in his head. You got what you wanted. You got to go with Padma Patil. She was really very pretty.


But I wanted to go with Hermione, said a small, truthful voice before he could stifle it.


"Okay, okay, so I wanted to go with Hermione," he whispered to the miniature model of Viktor Krum. "Of course I did, she's my best friend. It would have been more fun to go with her."


Then Hermione's words echoed in his head. "So you just want to go with the prettiest girl who will have you?"


He had said yes. Okay, so she had been right (why did she always have to go and do that, proving him wrong? Insufferable, really), it was a stupid idea. She probably knew all along he'd have a rotten time with someone like Padma. So why didn't Hermione go with him?


Because you didn't ask.


That small, annoying, and painfully truthful voice had returned and it was sounding more and more like Hermione.


He glared at the tiny Krum in his hands. "I WOULD have, if it wasn't for you, you great prat." It was becoming less and less satisfying to sit there and carry on a one way conversation with the mute Viktor Krum and the conversation moved back inside his head.


So what if she did go with Krum? The three of them could have still hung out, she, Ron and Harry, like always. Then why did it bother him that she had gone with Krum? Why did he care?


Some small, incessant, honest part of his brain answered. He was jealous. Jealous, jealous, jealous. When it came down to it, she had picked anyone but him to go with. Vicky, of all people, had come before him. Okay, so maybe he hadn't realized he had wanted to go with her right away, but when he did, she could have changed plans. But she didn't. She didn't want to go with him. And that irked him.


Ron poked the Krum model. "Git." he muttered.


As if the Krum model could sense his feelings of inadequacy, it smirked at him. Ron just glared, then he threw back his head and laid his hands at his sides, still holding on to that stupid Krum figurine.


"It's just not fair," he muttered, now talking to himself.


The image of Hermione in her dress robes appeared when he closed his eyes. With her hair up, her eyes shining. She was really quite pretty...


Ron's eyes snapped open. No, he wasn't doing this. Not now. It had been enough that in the past few weeks he had begun to notice certain things about her. How she smiled with her new teeth, the way her eyes flashed when she was angry, how when her arm brushed his...


Stop. Stop it. This was insane. She was HERMIONE for Merlin's sake! What was he thinking?


And yet he couldn't seem to stop himself. Little things had been getting to him ever since that day he had tried to ask her to the ball. Her words from that day stuck in his head. Yes, he had finally realized she was a girl. A pretty girl, as a matter of fact. Even without her hair up and fancy dress robes.


That's all this is, he thought to himself. Just... just your average teen hormones. That's all. She was just another pretty girl. He noticed her like he did any other pretty girl.


But she WASN'T just any other pretty girl. He didn't get jealous when other pretty girls danced with other blokes. He didn't want to punch in the faces of those other blokes. He hadn't cared one bit when Padma had gone off to dance with the boys from Beauxbatons. But with Hermione... it was different.


He tried to tell himself that this was just because she was his friend. He wanted to protect her. But he knew that was a lie. And he had already given up on the "fraternizing with the enemy" theory. He had to admit he would have been angry if she had gone with anyone. Except perhaps Neville. Then he might have laughed.


The fact was he was angry that she'd had such a lovely time with someone else. Someone who wasn't him.


And as he thought about it, remembered watching them dancing together, a thought struck him. He wanted to punch Vicky, yes, but more than that, he wanted to BE Vicky. Not because he was famous or amazing at Quidditch or even because he had a flock of girls that followed him around. No, he wanted to be Krum because maybe then Hermione might see him as something more than a friend. Maybe then Hermione could find him intelligent enough for her, interesting enough. Special enough. Maybe then she could feel about him the way that he-


No, these thoughts were leading to bad places. He didn't want to think about this right now. He was going temporarily insane. Someone had spiked his pumpkin juice. There was a rational reason for all of these thoughts and he would find it. Maybe tomorrow.


He held up the Krum model once more. It was beginning to look rather bored, unaware of Ron's inner turmoil. He sighed.


"It's just not fair," he told the fake Krum once more, closing his eyes. This was a mistake. The second his eyes shut, he saw Hermione dancing with Krum, much too close. Hermione grinning at Krum, that excited glint in her eye. Hermione, bellowing at Ron from across the common room. Hermione telling Krum good-night... And suddenly his imagination was running away with him. Without thinking, he gripped the model Krum's arm and began to bend it back. And the images kept coming...


Krum walking along those romantic paths with Hermione...


Stretch...


Krum leaning in close to whisper to Hermione...


Stretch...


Krum pulling Hermione closer to him...


Stretch...


Hermione smiling shyly...


Stretch...


Krum touching Hermione...


Stretch...


Krum kissing Hermione...


SNAP!


Ron opened his eyes, feeling worse than he had when he'd closed them. It was a moment before he realized what the snap had been.


There, in his clenched fist, was his model Krum, suspiciously missing an arm. Ron glanced around, but the arm must have fallen, or been launched when it snapped off.


Krum scowled worse than ever.


"Don't look at me like that," Ron muttered. "You deserved it."


Krum did not take this well at all. He began to squirm and mouth what Ron was fairly sure to be profanities, though no sound came out.


On a whim, Ron stood, walked over to the window, and chucked the scowling, squirming Vicky Krum figurine as far as he could in the direction of the Durmstrang ship.


"Take that, you ugly prat!" Ron called, as loud as he dared without waking the other fourth-year boys.


With that, he closed the window, walked over to his bed and laid down, feeling a tiny bit better but sincerely wishing he had spent the galleons from that figurine on some Chocolate Frogs instead. Whatever this rubbish with Hermione was, he was sure he wasn't ready to deal with it yet. Life was already too confusing without unwanted feelings popping up like this. Still, Ron knew he could only postpone the inevitable for so long. Eventually he would have to face this like a true Gryffindor.


Eventually, he thought as he drifted off to a restless sleep, but not tonight.


//
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