Author’s Note: Many thanks to all those who lent a hand (or a pair of
eyes) to help with this story—I greatly appreciate it! Special thanks to Night
Zephyr for her wonderful beta-reading job. Hope you all enjoy reading the
story as much as I did writing it! Oh, and of course, standard disclaimer
The First Known Sighting of the Crumple-Horned
-by: Mingo Cortez-
know, Ronald, Hermione Granger fancies you.”
spun around so fast that he stumbled. He steadied himself on one of the tall
Lovegood was sitting in a small window seat, doodling a wild drawing on a large
sketch pad that she had propped against her knee. She was wearing a shocking
orange beret with matching carrots dangling from her ears.
you say something?” Ron asked. Luna wasn’t even looking at him now. Maybe he
was hearing things.
said: You know, Ronald, Hermione Granger fancies you.”
stared at her, dumbfounded. “What?”
said: You know, Ron—”
heard you!” he quickly cut her off.
finally looked up at him with her large blue eyes. “No need to shout,” she
said, calmly blinking at him.
felt his ears go red. He cast a glance at Madam Pince, who hadn’t seemed to
catch his outburst. Then he stole a look at the table where Hermione was
sitting. Her face was hidden behind a book; only a silhouette of her bushy
hair was visible.
was still staring at him, apparently waiting for his response.
rubbish,” Ron sputtered. He’d never heard anything so crazy in his whole
life. Hermione didn’t fancy him, she fancied… Krum. Ron
blinked at him again, then shrugged and resumed sketching.
turned, feeling nettled, and proceeded to the section on Transfiguration, despite
the fact that he could no longer remember the title of the book he was after. Loony
Luna. He snorted. What kind of a thing was that to say? Hermione
Granger fancies you. He peeked through the row of books. Hermione was
visible now, scribbling furiously on a sheet of parchment. She paused, chewing
her lip in thought, and shook her hair back over her shoulder before resuming
her vigorous note-taking. Ron smirked a little. He loved the way her hair
seemed to creep up on her, like it had a mind of its own…trying to disrupt her
studying. Ron liked to do that sometimes—purposely interrupt her while she was
working, just to see her reaction. She’d huff and roll her eyes with an Honestly,
Ron, and he’d just grin to himself, somehow satisfied.
heaved a sigh. Luna’s voice repeated annoyingly in his head. No one had ever
said anything so… so bizarre to him. True, perhaps he had made
one or two shows of it himself over the past two years. That whole miserable
Yule Ball incident… Hermione furious and shouting at him. Fraternizing with
the enemy. Ron winced. That had certainly been a disaster.
those novels she was still writing to Krum! If Hermione had really fancied
him, wouldn’t she stop carrying on with Vicky?
Ron was certain. Hermione couldn’t like him that way. It was just
impossible. Completely and totally impossible. This had to be Luna’s craziest
story yet. If Hermione fancies me I’d better see a Crumple-Horned Snorkack
right around the corner. Ron tried to grin at his own joke. But his grin
fell short. Instead, Hermione Granger fancies you, echoed in his mind.
let out another irritated sigh. This was never going to do. Forgetting his Transfiguration
book, he marched back over to Luna.
do you mean, Hermione Granger fancies me?” he hissed.
didn’t seem bothered by his tone. In fact, she didn’t even look up at him.
Instead she hummed a few bars of something sounded oddly familiar. “She just
does, that’s all,” she replied, in a singsong voice.
she doesn’t.” Ron felt the blush creeping back.
course she does, Ronald,” Luna leaned against the window, admiring her art
Ron crossed his arms over his chest.
heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing,” she quoted, vaguely.
made a noise of exasperation and then cleared his throat, attempting to keep
his voice even. “I mean,” he said slowly, “why do you think that she fancies
me?” He felt the blush spreading down his neck.
just obvious,” Luna shrugged, fixing Ron with her stare again.
shook his head, as if to point out that it wasn’t at all obvious to him. She
doesn’t have a clue what she’s talking about, he decided. She’s just
making up one of her mad stories. As if Hermione could fancy me.
Ron nodded, and turned away.
she kissed you before your Quidditch match.”
your first match against Slytherin.”
had kissed him. On the cheek. Ron had almost forgotten—he had been so
nervous… and then the game. He’d wanted to crawl into a hole after that game.
The memory of that kiss had seemed to fade away with his hopes of being a good
Quidditch player. Of course, Ron told himself, that was before
we won the Cup. But then… Hermione had kissed Harry before, too, at Kings
Cross. True, she wasn’t going to see Harry for the summer… and that business
with You-Know-Who and the Tournament… but still…
turned back to Luna. “So? She kissed Harry at Kings Cross.”
closed her eyes when she kissed you,” she said simply.
furrowed his brow. “What does that mean?”
means,” Luna replied, as if stating something plainly apparent, “that she
fancies you.” She bent back over her drawing.
stared at her blankly. That didn’t make any sense. Girls close their
eyes when they kiss people they fancy, but keep them open when they don’t?
Mental. But girls were mental in a way. Ron thought of Harry and all the
hassle he’d gone through with Cho. And Ginny, going with Dean. Mad.
And Hermione—she was the worst of them all, with those lumpy hats she sat up
half the night making, and the way she studied on a Saturday afternoon, and how
she somehow knew the answer to every question asked in class.
it was possible that Luna was right? She was a girl, after all. Maybe
she knew those sorts of things. Maybe Hermione really did fancy him. Ron
couldn’t help grinning slightly. He took a big breath of air, puffing up his
chest, and rocking on the balls of his feet. Hermione Granger fancies you.
are you drawing?” he asked, still grinning.
Luna glanced back up at him, as if she had forgotten he was there. “A Crumple-Horned
Snorkack. Would you like to see?”
coughed, almost choking. “What?”
Crumple-Horned Snorkack. Would you like to see?”
If Hermione fancies me I’d better see a Crumple-Horned Snorkack right
around the corner.
peeked over at Hermione. She was scanning through the index of a book, tracing
her finger quickly down the page. Suddenly, she paused and looked up. Their
eyes met. Ron felt a bit of a shock go through him. He stared at her, unabashedly,
from across the library. Hermione bit her lip, her cheeks turning slightly
pink. She dropped her eyes quickly back to the book, her hair tumbling back over
her shoulder as she shifted.
grinned, turning back to Luna. “Yeah, sure,” he replied. “I think I’d like to
have a look.”