The Sugar Quill
Author: Jack Ichijouji (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Of Tongues and Duels  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.

Disclaimer: (A Dialogue)

Disclaimer: (A Dialogue)


“How do you pronounce parody?”


“Icky... Ichyjow... Ick... Joooooowow...”


“Ichijouji, you pronounce it Ichijouji.”


“Are you sure? It seems like there’d be more p’s and fewer “jouji’s”.”


AT ANY RATE, the characters enclosed within are the sole property of J.K. Rowling and her soul would cry tears of blood and acid if she had the slightest idea what I was doing to them in the name of mockery.


“Why am I doing this? I'm a Prefect! This is an aberration of everything I stand for as a human being!” All of these thoughts were trying to enter Hermione Granger's head, but Hermione Granger's head was a bit busy focusing on Ronald Weasley's tongue.


The two could hear voices and footsteps as people walked by, but the entangled teens ignored the passersby. They were safely hidden behind the suit of armor, so unless someone had business in that area, they were relatively safe.


“Well, well, well,” said a voice. Hermione and Ron dutifully ignored it.


Well, well, well...” it said again, more insistently. Hermione moaned into Ron's mouth, or possibly Ron into Hermione's. Difficult to tell from this angle.


“GRANGER! WEASLEY!” The two teenagers jumped apart as if hit with a spell specifically dedicated to pulling apart snogging teens. Such as a Snogging Teen Be Gone Charm. Anyway. The two took notice of the person to find them: Severus Snape.


“Shit,” said Ron.


“Shit,” Hermione agreed.


“You two are in a lot of trouble,” Snape said, with a sinister smile on his face.


“Erm, I suppose it's too late to say ‘it's not what it looks like?’” Ron said hopefully.


“Somehow, Weasley, I feel that your plea would be better received if you were wearing a shirt.” Indeed, Ron's shirt had been parted from his body, in the manner that clothing often is during a session of snogging. “Come with me,” Snape spat.


Ron was taller than Snape (as well as most other people) but the Potions Master managed to drag Ron out of the space behind the armor and in the direction of the Great Hall. Hermione took a brief moment to attempt fixing her hair, or at least make it less obvious that Ron's fingers had been running through it, and ran after Ron. She barely remembered to scoop up his shirt on the way.


---


Arriving in the Great Hall, the shirtless student and the irate professor stormed (or rather, Snape stormed, and Ron was stormed with) up to the Head Table, where sat Professors Dumbledore and McGonagall. “Hello, Headmaster, Professor McGonagall,” Snape greeted coolly.


“Hello, Severus,” Albus said. He looked at Ron. “Is there a reason you have a half-naked Gryffindor in tow?”


“I caught him and Granger,” he said, motioning to the girl who had just entered the Hall at a run, “committing acts unbefitting Prefects in my spot—er, behind one of the suits of armor.”


Ron had been certain up to that point that Snape was incapable of such human acts as blushing, but Ron was certain that he saw Snape's cheeks become slightly less pallid for a moment.


“Is this true, Weasley?” McGonagall asked, peering at the boy.


“Yes, Professor,” Ron said, bright red. Oh, how he was glad that it was conveniently the winter holiday and no students were in the Great Hall. Himself excluded, of course. And Hermione, who was standing near the doors talking with the Astronomy professor and still holding Ron's shirt.


“Well, then,” McGonagall said, awkwardly. She was silent for a moment, and then looked at Snape. “What do you expect me to do about it, Severus?”


Snape looked at her as if he was mad. “Strip him of his badge!” He spared a brief glance at Ron. “Not that there's much left to strip.”


“Well, there's no actual rule against kissing behind suits of armor, Severus. It's not a public place, since they wouldn't have been caught unless you went looking for them,” McGonagall pointed out.


I've got to read Hogwarts, a History sometime, Ron thought. Out loud, he said, “Can I have my arm back now, Professor Snape? I need it for heavy lifting and such.”


“Ten points for your cheek,” Snape hissed, releasing Ron's arm. To Dumbledore, he said, “What do you suggest then, Headmaster?”


Dumbledore shrugged. “There's nothing you can do. If it bothers you so much, challenge the boy to a duel.” The way he said it, it was obvious that it was a perfectly logical progression of events and not simply the stupidest plot device since the invention of deus ex machina.


“How would that solve anything?” Ron asked nervously, rubbing his wrist where Snape had been gripping it.


Snape grinned. “Don't be daft, boy. Dueling has solved wizard feuds for millennia. The terms shall be so: when I win, you shall swear never to hide behind that armor for all your days.” There's something to be said of Snape's oratory skill that he could make “all your days” sound frightening. “If, by some chance of fate you win... I'll add fifty points to Gryffindor... or something.”


Snape was offering him a choice? There was a catch.


“And if you decline to duel altogether, you can serve week of detentions for disobeying a teacher.”


Ah, there it was. Ron nodded dumbly. “Very well. It shall be tomorrow at sunset. Do not be late.” Snape stormed out of the Hall, stormed back in, took a muffin, and stormed out again.


Hermione hurried to Ron and asked, “What happened?”


“I have to duel him,” he said.


He heard a noise that sounded suspiciously like a throat being cleared by someone who was used to being a cat. “Cold, Weasley?” Professor McGonagall asked.


“Ack!” He grabbed his shirt from Hermione, put it on backwards, and rushed awkwardly out of the Great Hall.


---


Tomorrow became today, and today became yesterday, and last week remained last week because last weeks are funny that way, and it was time to duel. Ron was already there when Snape hurricaned onto the grounds.


“Are you prepared, Weasley?” Snape asked.


“Do you care?”


“No.”


“Then no, no I'm not.”


“I don't care.”


“I knew you wouldn’t.”


“Then why did you answer?”


“You asked!”


Before this conversation could sink to still lower levels of stupidity, Hermione bid the duel begin.


They followed the traditional bits that always come before beating one's opponent half to death, and stood facing each other on the frozen soil. “Tarantallegra!” Snape yelled. The spell flew through the early evening darkness and hit its target on the mark, assuming its target was a tree about fifty yards behind Ron. The stupid boy had ducked!


“Expelliarmus!” Ron cried, getting to his feet. His spell formed a ball of glittery light that sailed toward Snape.


“Protego!” Snape yelled, raising his wand to block the spell. It ricocheted off the shield and headed back to Ron, who made his own Shield Charm when the hex came his way. It bounced again and headed toward Snape, and then back to Ron, like some demented game of Pong. Ignoring, of course, the fact that neither duelist had ever heard the word “pong,” and if they had, would probably have tried to imagine it on toast.


Faster and faster the spell bounced, borrowing power from each of the shields until finally, Snape raised when he should have lowered, and was thrown back. “Did I just win?” Ron asked Hermione.


“Yes. Idiot.”


“There's no need to call me an idiot!”


“Well, you've obviously won! Otherwise Professor Snape wouldn't be on the ground like that!”


“He's an experienced fighter. Of course I'm shocked to have won!”


“Don't be stupid; you've fought before too!”


“Only with you, and that's enough of a challenge, I don't mind telling you.”


“Obviously not.”


“Peace!” Benedick Ron cried. “I will stop your mouth.” He kissed her, but this time Snape stood up before anything could progress.


“Enough! Dear Lord, if I'd had known Potter went through this every day, I'd have felt more pity for him a while earlier. Take your points and get out of my sight. I'll find somewhere else to take her.”


“Her? The Astronomy professor?” Hermione asked, not really expected an answer. To her mild surprise, one was provided.


“Yes. Not that it's any of your business, but we frequent that... spot. She once threw a coffee mug at me,” he added, apparently talking to himself.


“We were snogging in Snape's love nest?” Ron had a look of utter disgust on his face. “Merlin's beard! That's disgusting! I think I'll be ill. I'm never going there again.”


Hermione led Ron back into the castle, presumably to become violently ill.


“Does this mean I win?” Snape asked himself. Then, realizing that he'd just lost a duel to a student, he tried to salvage his pride. “Of course I win,” he told no one. “That was my plan all along. I just didn't know it. I am truly brilliant. Wherever did Auriga wander off to?”


Snogging is such a romantic word, isn’t it? It makes me feel all a-twitter every time I hear it.


Snogging. Woo. All tingly.


Auriga Sinistra is the property of JK Rowling, except that She's a Star has completely stolen her and made her her own. Auriga, that is. She stole Auriga. Not JKR. Although that would be cool too, maybe she'd fill us in on book six.


//
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