The Sugar Quill
Author: Mr Flying Fingers (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Cold Feet  Chapter: Default
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Cold Feet

~

A long evening in detention with Professor Snape did nothing to improve Harry’s outlook. The hallway matched his dark mood. It was late and he ruefully thought about the Transfiguration and Charms essays waiting to be finished before the morning. Granted, the essays were only a foot and a half apiece, but he doubted Ron or Hermione would be of any help. Harry suspected that the two would have already finished the essays together, and headed out for patrol.

Shaking his head, the Boy Who Lived was thankful that every cloud had a silver lining and for this evening, at least, he wouldn’t be the Boy Who Copied Homework From His Nauseatingly Flirty Best Friends. It was only a matter of time, he mused with a rough sigh. And about time, too.

Harry gave the Fat Lady the password, “Crazy Kneazle” Must be Ron’s week for passwords.

“Yes, dear.”

He stepped through the hole. He was stopped cold at the sight of his best friend making his way to the boy’s staircase. The portrait clunked shut, almost reverberating in contrast to the quiet of the common room.

“Ron, what in Merlin’s Mother’s name are you wearing those for?” said Harry in shock as he advanced and gestured to his friend’s feet.

His ears matching the color of his footwear, Ron tried to shuffle his feet underneath the ottoman he was standing near. Sheepishly, he sputtered, “Erm. Well, y’see…” He trailed off as the silence grew, thickened by the redhead’s embarrassment. He spoke defiantly, “My feet were cold.”

The sound of a door closing from the direction of the girls’ dormitories caused both boys to start.

“I see. I find it difficult to believe the six foot tall, three time Gryffindor Keeper and Quidditch captain, not to mention Head Boy would be wearing. . .fuzzy pink bunny slippers just because his feet felt a bit of a chill.”

Harry stared hard at Ron.

“Erm. My feet were cold,” repeated Ron as he looked everywhere but back at Harry.

“Repeating yourself doesn’t make you any easier to believe. You were sitting by the fire. I’m sure you were warm enough.” Harry motioned towards the remnants of what appeared to be several Chocolate Frog wrappers in between two cozy chairs by the common room hearth.

Harry thought of other things the dorm mate might be hiding from him. Does he wear women’s knickers, too? We’ve been in the same room for seven years, I would have thought…but does he…butter his toast on the other side of the bread? I thought he fancied Hermione, does that mean he butters his toast on BOTH sides? With an involuntary shudder, Harry had to ask.

“So, what gives? Um, are you, erm. Are you…What about…Y’know?” Harry made indeterminate gestures at Ron.

Nervously, his friend prompted, “What, Harry? Am I what?”

“Ron. Not many men wear slippers with rabbit ears sticking out of them. Much less pink ones. D’you…y’know…swing from both sides of the wicket?”

“What? My feet were cold. C-O-L-D. Cold. And what d’you mean, swing from both sides of…? OH.”

They were interrupted by somebody entering the common room.

“Hello,” said a sleepy eyed Hermione who had just emerged from the stairway, arms akimbo. She looked around the room as she said, absently, “Back from detention then. What are you two up talking about tonight?”

“Mmm,” muttered Harry, meaningfully.

“Errr,” stuttered Ron, meaningfully.

“Ron, did you see my book?” She looked around and spotted a book on the end table between the two chairs with the sweet wrappers. “Never mind, there it is.” She walked over to the missing copy of Ruined Runes of the Egyptians: The Phantom Phonemes of the Pharaohs and picked it up, “Ron?”

“Yes, Hermione?”

She looked at Ron’s feet, “I really hate to mention this, but…” She paused, “It’s a tad bit chilly on the staircase.”

Ron was sputtering looking about, “Um, yes, well.”

“I’d like them back, love.”

Love? She called him love?

“Right.” Ron toed off the rabbit eared slippers, losing his balance a little. The tall boy looked redder than the Gryffindor lion tapestry hung behind him.

Harry’s mouth dropped open, “They’re hers?” Both of Harry’s best friends turned and looked at him. He repeated, “They’re hers. You’re wearing her slippers.”

Harry couldn’t hear Ron as the tall boy leaned over and whispered into Hermione’s ear. She giggled and looked right at Harry before she said, “Naturally.” Ron stood grinning awkwardly at Harry as she slipped into the footwear and warmly smiled at Ron before giving his arm a squeeze. “Just because a man chooses to wear rather warm slippers doesn’t mean that he…what was it he said, Ron?”

“Swings from both sides of the wicket.”

Hermione laughed quietly. Ron just continued to grin at Harry.

Hermione turned to Ron, “I'll see you in the morning then, love.” Harry saw that she had reddened a little as she stood on her tiptoes, wrapped her arms around Ron’s neck and gave him a tentative peck on the cheek. Ron, for his part, put his hands on her waist and returned the kiss.

She kissed him. He kissed her. What the devil is going on?

As the let go of each other Ron had a sheepish grin and an affectionate look in his eyes, as he responded, “Yeah. G’night.” Hermione looked at him expectantly with a raised eyebrow. After a pause, his grin dropped a little and he added, “Um, right. Dear.” He glanced nervously at Harry. Hermione beamed at Ron, bid Harry good night, and shuffled towards the Head Girl’s room. She cast Ron a backward glance and smile as she mounted the staircase.

Harry looked at Ron as the redhead quailed under his gaze. “Did I miss something tonight?” he asked dryly.

“My feet were—”

“I know, cold.”

~

 

A/N: Once again, many thanks to ivy & Gracie for her beta work!

//
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