Disclaimer: The world of Harry Potter belongs to J K Rowling. I'm just playing with it for a while.
Author's Notes: This story grew from a challenge from SilverLeaves, so thanks to her. Also, many thanks to Birgit for betaing.
A Cat's Eye View
Humans are the most peculiar creatures.
Take my mistress, for example. She is always ranting about that boy, Ronald. Everything about him infuriates her. She hates the way he always leaves his homework until the last minute and how he cares about nothing except that stupid sport, Quidditch. She hates the way he is always teasing her and how he is always getting himself into predicaments. Most of all, she hates how he is completely oblivious to her and how just a single word from his mouth can make her cry. And yet, she likes him. She tells me about it when we are curled up together on her bed. She tickles my stomach and scratches my ears and tells me all about her precious Ron, how much she cares about him. She describes everything that the two of them did that day, and tells me how infuriating it is to see him all the time, with him acting as if everything is normal, completely oblivious to her feelings. If humans weren't too stupid to understand us felines, I would tell her to just tell him and get it over with. Not that she would, even if I suggested it. She is too afraid of his reaction to try. Instead, she keeps quiet, living in torment, day in, day out.
I just don't understand it.
However, nothing is more peculiar about them than the events of yesterday. I'll tell you about them, if you like. It's not like a cat has anything better to do on a day like this.
The mistress and I have been staying at the boy's house for a few weeks now. I personally find the place noisy and annoying, full of people just like that boy: people who like causing a racket and never leave a cat in peace. The mistress seems to like it though. She was very happy when she told me we were to stay there, so I will bear it, for her sake.
Anyway, yesterday was quite different, because the house was abnormally quiet. I suppose everyone had gone out for the day. Wherever they were, my mistress and the boy had obviously decided not to go with them, as they remained in the house. Now, normally I spend my time at that house in the garden, chasing those annoying little creatures that live there. It is the only place I can get away from all the chaos. However, as the house was so quiet, I decided to relax in my room, the one my mistress shares with that other girl, Ginny.
I was sunbathing on the bed, half asleep in the warm sunlight that filtered in through the window, when suddenly the silence was broken by the sound of my mistress's voice.
"Oh, honestly, Ron! I can't believe you're being so childish!"
I sat up, instantly on the alert. What was going on?
Another voice answered her. "I'm being childish? What about you? You're the one who won't let me read it!"
That was the boy, I was certain, which could only mean one thing. They were having a row. Again.
"Why should I let you read it? It's my letter!"
"What do you mean, so? It's my letter, so you have no right to read it!"
"I think I have every right to read it. Unless Vicky's written something too personal to share."
"Don't you call him Vicky!"
"Why not? I'm sure you've called him that at least once during your 'passionate moments' together!"
There was a long silence. If I didn't know those two so well, I would have assumed that the argument was over. I knew that it was just the beginning. He must have really upset her for her to be quiet for so long. She was probably glaring at him, breathing heavily, getting ready to...
"How dare you! How dare you suggest such a thing?"
Yes, there she went. There was no stopping her after that.
"I can't believe you would make such insinuations about me! I've never... You have some nerve, that's all I can say, Ronald Weasley! How can you even say that?"
"It's pretty easy, what with the way you two were making moon eyes at each other all last year."
'No, you stupid boy,' I thought. 'Be quiet.' He should have known more than anyone not to interrupt my mistress when she was in such a mood. Apparently, he had decided to ignore that fact. Either that, or he was just too stupid to realise it.
"Oh yeah?" came my mistress's reply. "I was making moon eyes? What about you, with that Veela girl! You started drooling every time she was in the same room as you!"
"I did not!"
"Oh yes, you did!"
"Well, that's different."
Her voice went dangerously low then, so that I could barely make out the words. "How is that different?"
"What is it about Viktor that you hate so much? Is it the fact that he was competing against Harry? Fleur was competing against him too! Maybe it's because he's older than I am? No, wait, Fleur's older than you are too. Or maybe it's because he's a famous Quidditch player, but wait, you used to idolise him for that. So tell me, Ron, what the hell is your problem?"
There was another long pause, and then she said, "Go on, then. Tell me why you hate him so much."
That was it. That was the moment when the boy would finally tell my mistress about his feelings. I couldn't believe that she hadn't worked it out earlier. I don't understand a single thing that these humans do, and even I could tell that he liked her - it was so obvious. And now he was going to tell her.
"I'll tell you why I don't like him. He's a prat!"
Or maybe not.
"What did you call him?"
"I called him a prat. I don't want you writing to him any more, Hermione!"
"You have no right to tell me what I can and can't do!"
"I'm your friend! I'm just trying to protect you!"
"Protect me from what? Poisoned ink? Letter bombs? I'm allowed to have a pen friend, Ron!"
"He doesn't just want to be your pen friend, and you know it."
I could practically hear my mistress rolling her eyes as she spoke. "Oh, we're back to that again, are we?"
"Yes, we are! You have to stay away from him! He's stupid and scheming and manipulative, and there is nothing he would like more than to get his filthy hands on you! So tell him to leave you alone, or God help me Hermione, I will make him leave you alone."
Then there was silence. At first I thought he had stunned my mistress into silence again, but then I heard feet pounding up the stairs, and I knew that the argument was over.
A moment later, she came in through the door, tears streaming down her face. I stood up and called to her, and she sat down, wrapping her arms around me.
"Oh, Crookshanks..." she muttered, her words muffled as she buried her face into my fur.
I wanted to tell her that it would be all right, that the boy was just stupid, that she just needed to ignore him, and I tried, but she just looked at me blankly, not understanding my words at all.
"What am I going to do, Crookshanks? I've got myself in such a mess. I never should have agreed to go to that stupid ball with Viktor. Ron still wouldn't have noticed that I'm a girl, but at least he wouldn't hate me."
I told her that he didn't hate her, that he loved her, but she only seemed to get half the message.
"What am I saying? He doesn't hate me. But he certainly doesn't like me, at least not in the same way that I like him. Why are things so complicated? I wish we'd never even become friends. At least that way I wouldn't have to deal with him being such an idiot."
She sniffed, and then shook her head. "Oh, but I don't mean that either. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have Harry and Ron. Except, if I tell Ron how I feel, he won't want to be around me any more..."
She started crying again, and hugged me tighter. "What am I going to do, Crookshanks?"
Well, I had no idea what she was going to do, but I had a pretty good idea of what I was going to do. I was going to teach that boy a lesson.
I sprung out of her arms, landed a little haphazardly on the floor, then stuck my tail in the air and marched out of the room.
"Crookshanks?" she called after me. "Where are you going?"
I just ignored her and set off up the stairs to the boy's room. It was usually hard to for me to find people in that labyrinth of a house, but I could hear him angrily stomping about the place, and the noise was easy to follow.
I clambered up to the top of the stairs and slipped into his room through the partially open doorway to find him pacing about, muttering to himself.
"Bloody Krum, always ruining everything... just a pen friend, yeah, I'll bet..."
He didn't seem to be paying much attention to where he was walking, and I didn't want him to stand on me, so I quickly announced my presence. Startled, he stopped pacing about to look at me.
"What do you want? Dumb cat."
I ignored his insult. The boy was such an imbecile that nothing that came from his mouth was worth listening to. The mistress didn't seem to agree with my opinion however, so I bore his stupidity for her sake.
Praying that it would work, I tried to tell him that he should go downstairs and see to my mistress. I shouldn't have expected much result.
"What? I'm not feeding you, if that's what you want."
I didn't think what he had said to me deserved a response, so I just stared at him instead.
He stared back at me for a moment, then said, "Go on, shoo! I don't want you coming in here, messing up my room."
As if it would have been possible for me to make his room any more of a mess.
I was wary of what he might do to me if I approached him, but I needed to get him to understand, for my mistress's sake, so I began to walk cautiously towards him. Apparently, it was the wrong thing to do.
"I said shoo! Get lost! Scram! Or do you want me to make a new rug out of you?"
I must remind you now that what happened next was for my mistress's sake. Nothing would have lowered me to such tactics if it wasn't for her. It's not everyday that a cat has to settle for using a technique that a common dog would use, but like I said, desperate measures were needed for this boy.
So, still wary, I marched up to him, grabbed the bottom of his trousers with my teeth, and pulled them in the direction of the door.
"What the hell are you doing? Get off me!"
I yanked harder then, determined to make him understand. It certainly wasn't a pleasant experience having his filthy trousers in my mouth, so I was desperate to get it over with as soon as physically possible.
"I said get off me!" He kicked out with his foot, but I was ready for him. I leapt out of the way, leaving his foot to swing wildly and crash into his desk.
He swore loudly and kicked at me again. I jumped clear, completely unharmed, but I was getting sick of playing games with him. There was obviously no way I was going to get him to understand me. I was going to have to go for a different method, one that would make allowances for his stupidity, maybe even take advantage of it. And then it came to me.
Dismissing him with turn of my head, I picked up a violently orange hat which was lying on the floor, and proceeded to leave the room.
"Hey! Where do you think you're going with that?"
I ignored him, praying that my plan would work.
"Come back here!"
I heard him start to chase after me, and I knew I had finally succeeded. I set off at a run down the stairs, knowing that if he caught me before I got back to the mistress's room, there would be no hope of getting my point across.
I reached my destination and swerved in through the doorway, but just as I crossed the threshold, strong arms grabbed me from behind.
"Gotcha, you mangy fleabag."
He looked up in astonishment. He obviously hadn't noticed where I had taken him in his desperation to catch me, but now he realised. Hermione was sitting curled up on the bed opposite him, tears in her eyes.
One look at her, and he dumped me unceremoniously on the floor.
"Hermione, what's wrong?"
I could have laughed at his ignorance, but I didn't want to disturb them. My part in this was over. Now all I could do was watch.
"I would think that would be obvious, Ron."
He walked cautiously towards her. "Is it about what happened earlier?"
She looked away from him then, picking absentmindedly at the duvet cover as she spoke. "What do you think?"
There was a long pause.
Eventually, he said, "I think I overreacted a bit."
"Do you?" she asked scathingly. "I think you did too."
He sat gingerly down on the bed beside her. "I didn't come here to fight."
"No," she said, holding back a smile. "You came here to chase Crookshanks."
He gazed at her in astonishment. "How do you..."
"I could hear you yelling at him from in here."
"Oh." The boy's ears went red, a sure sign that he was embarrassed about his display. Good thing, too. He should have been embarrassed about what he did to me. I had only been trying to help.
"Are you mad at me?" he said carefully.
She seemed to contemplate it for a moment. "No," she said finally. "I can never stay mad at you for long."
"Why's that?" he asked, slyly.
"Because you're so adorable when you're upset."
There was a sudden tension in the room, as they both realised what she had said. They both blushed, and my mistress looked away again.
It was quiet for a while, and then Ron said, "I'm sorry."
It was so sudden and out of the blue that my mistress looked at him again, her embarrassment forgotten for the moment.
"What for?" she asked.
"For being an idiot."
She looked at him closely and then said, "I'm sorry, too."
They both sat in comfortable silence then, neither of them looking at each other, just sitting together, thinking. After a while, she spoke again.
"Will you tell me something, Ron? Honestly, this time."
"Why don't you like Viktor?"
He looked at her for a moment, considering his answer. It seemed to me that there were only two things he could do then. He could either tell the truth and make her very happy, or lie and start another row. I sincerely hoped that he would choose the right option.
Luckily, he did.
"Because he doesn't deserve you," he replied, looking down at her.
She seemed truly surprised by his answer. "Really? Then who does deserve me?"
They both stared at each other, their eyes locked. This was it. She had given him the perfect opportunity, if only he would take it.
He leaned in towards her, until their faces were almost touching.
"Me," he whispered, and then his mouth descended onto hers.
It only lasted a moment, and then he pulled away, blushing furiously. She just looked at him, mouth slightly open, staring in disbelief. He waited a moment for her to say something, and then when she didn't, he looked away, blushing even deeper, if that was possible.
Eventually, she seemed to come to herself, and said, "I was hoping you'd say that."
"I'm sorry," he said quickly. "I don't know what I was..." Then he stopped, and turned back to look at her. "Wait. What did you say?"
"I said I was hoping you'd say that."
"Really?" he asked.
"Really," she replied, smiling happily.
This time she leant forwards, and their mouths met once again.
Now, personally, I can't see the pleasure in this kissing business. As far as I'm concerned, it's just an opportunity for two humans to slobber all over each other. It all seems very unsanitary to me. The mistress must have enjoyed it though. She was forever telling me about the dreams she'd had when Ron would kiss her, and how dirty it made her feel to have such thoughts about her friend. That didn't stop her from telling me how much she wanted it to happen in real life, though. And now it was happening.
I suddenly felt a strong urge to go and congratulate the boy for a job well done. He was a bit slow, but he wasn't all that bad really, once you got used to him. So I walked over to them and rubbed myself against the boy's legs, meowing happily.
Unfortunately, it didn't have the desired effect. Instead of graciously accepting my praise, the boy jumped, pulling away from my mistress in the process.
"What's wrong?" she asked.
"It's this stupid cat. He just attacked me!"
"I'm sure he didn't attack you, Ron," she said, laughing.
"Yes, he did! He just came up to me and attacked my legs. Didn't you, you little beast?"
I just stared at him, and hopped up onto my mistress's lap. If he was too stupid to recognise praise when he was given it then he wasn't worth wasting my time on.
"Don't call my cat a beast!" she said.
"He is a beast!"
Hermione looked down at me on her lap, and then sighed. "I don't want to argue with you again, Ron."
"Me neither," he said. "I think we should just go back to the kissing."
"Excuse me?" she asked.
"Well, it was what we were doing, before we were interrupted."
Hermione frowned at him. "You're so insensitive."
"Why?" asked the boy, looking totally confused. "What did I do?"
It was clear from my mistress's face that if he didn't know, she wasn't going to tell him.
"I think I'm going to go for a walk," she said.
"I don't think I want to stay here if you're only going to think of me like that."
"Like what? I wasn't thinking of you like anything!"
Before he could say any more, Hermione had scooped me up in her arms and got to her feet.
"Come on, Crookshanks," she said, in as dignified a voice as possible.
"I'm sorry!" he called after her desperately. "I didn't mean it! I'll never do it again!"
"Goodbye, Ron," she said, walking determinedly out of the door and down the stairs.
She just kept going, marching out towards the back door. As she reached it, I could hear the boy say, just within my range of hearing, "Yeah, well, I never really liked you anyway! Stupid girls..."
Like I said, humans are the most peculiar creatures. I'm just glad I'm not one of them.