The challenge was
Valentine’s Gone Wrong. I got to thinking that we already had a
wonderful story of a Valentines Day that went as wrong as it could. But what was happening while Harry was
blindly pursuing Cho? Therefore I offer
The Worst Valentine’s Day Ever
Ron sighed as he watched Hermione laugh with Ginny. She was sitting with Crookshanks on her lap
and chatting merrily as a pair of knitting needles flashed in mid-air in front
of her. He turned back to the mound of
homework that was once again threatening to overtake him. They had only been back from Christmas
holidays for a week and he was already behind.
Another weekend with my nose
buried in books, Ron thought with an inner groan.
“Saturday? That’s Valentine’s.”
“I want a
full day’s training. We have to get up
to playing standard. This meet with
Hufflepuff is critical. Now I want
everyone on the pitch at nine o’clock, sharp.”
Angelina wheeled around and strode towards the changing room before any
more protests could be lodged.
much mumbling and grumbling as the remaining team members gathered their
equipment and left the pitch. Ginny put
the Snitch into the ball trunk and watched as Jack Sloper
latched the top securely and hefted it onto his shoulder. She turned and stomped up the rise toward the
you in such a state about?” Ron asked as she caught up with him.
plans for tomorrow, you know.”
snorted. “Corner? He’ll live. Don’t know what you see in that git.”
wouldn’t, would you?” she sniped, pushing her way through the door and letting
it fall shut in Ron’s face.
dragged himself into the changing room and collapsed on a bench. He could, he supposed, shower and change down
here, but he preferred to shower in the slightly less draughty Gryffindor
Tower. Yep, that’s what I’ll do. He
sat on the bench fingering his broom. I’m going to go straight up and take a nice
warm shower. He looked toward the
door as he heard several people leave. Here I go. He leaned against the locker behind him. I’ll
just rest a mo.
Move your broomstick, it’s poking me.”
opened his eyes with a start to find Ginny standing over him, hands on hips and
a grin on her face.
Ginny, you gave me a fright. You sounded
just like Mum.”
I meant to. You fell asleep you
know. I tried poking you, but you didn’t
wake up, so I went for more drastic measures.
If you don’t hurry you’ll miss supper.”
tired, I’m not even hungry.”
her hand to his forehead. “We’d best get
you up to the hospital wing.”
slapped her hand away.
on,” Ginny said, reaching out a hand to pull Ron off the bench. “You’ll feel better with a full
stomach.” Together they trod up the
slope to the castle.
entered the Great Hall they found only a few people left at the Gryffindor
table. Ron collapsed onto the bench next
up an appetite?” Harry asked as Ron heaped mashed potatoes onto his plate.
Ron mumbled as he poured gravy over everything on his plate.
gave him a sideways glance and then turned back to Ginny and Hermione. Ron, despite his protests otherwise, was
starving. He cleaned his plate and took
second helpings of the roast beef and buttered peas. He ate silently, watching his friends laugh
and talk. Ginny was describing a
disastrous play at today’s practice.
Harry smirked. Hermione’s face
lit up and her eyes glinted with amusement at the antics of the novice
beaters. Ron scowled. Hopefully Ginny wouldn’t tell them about his
practice. He grabbed the apple crumble
and pulled it towards him, scooping out a large helping and diving into it.
hunger finally sated, Ron looked up to find only Hermione left at the table.
She had her chin in her hand, watching him with a faint smile.
told me about practice tomorrow. I’m
sorry. Do you want me to get you
looked down at his empty plate. He had
been looking forward to tomorrow.
will you be okay by yourself?”
be fine,” Hermione said, a little too brightly. “Besides, it’s not like I’ll be
all by myself. There will be a couple
hundred other students swarming all around.”
“Oh…yeah.” He pushed off from the table. “Guess I’d better head on up. Gotta get cleaned
up and get started on that essay for Trelawney.”
The next day rose fresh and breezy. Ron rolled over to find Harry standing in front
of the mirror mashing his hair down.
“Hey, is that my good shirt?”
“Um, yeah. D’ya mind?”
“No. Not like I’ll
be needing it today.”
“Er…thanks.” Harry attacked his hair again with a comb.
Ron sat up on the edge of his bed and pulled on the Quidditch
robes he had discarded the night before. Nope,
don’t need a nice shirt on the Quidditch pitch. He dug through the pile of clothes by his bed
and found two socks that vaguely matched and pulled them on violently. Not
like there’s anybody there that I need to dress up for. Pausing in front of the mirror, he ducked
down and ran a quick hand through his hair.
“Urgh, you smell like Limburger,”
Harry said, wrinkling his nose.
“That bad, eh?”
Ron went to his trunk and rummaged around, producing some
spectacularly orange socks and clean underwear.
A quick change and he was back at the mirror.
“A bit. You know,
you could leave those robes to be washed.”
“Yeah. Fred and
George said they never washed theirs.
You know, for luck? But I guess
it wouldn’t make any difference with me.”
Harry shrugged. “I wash mine all the time…or I did.”
The silence was sharp.
A couple of mumbles and they were out the door, heading for breakfast.
Just as they sat down at the Gryffindor table the post owls
came swooping through the windows at the top of the hall. A large brown owl flapped down in front of
Hermione, overturning Ron’s juice glass.
“Oi, watch it!” he called,
grabbing napkins to dam the spill before he had a damp lap.
“And about time! If
it hadn’t come today….” Hermione was nattering on to Harry.
Ron heaped his plate with eggs, sausages and toast and
began working on it. Just as he
swallowed a large gulp of juice and turned to say something to Hermione, she
jumped off the bench, clutching her letter in one hand, a piece of toast in the
other and dashed out of the hall. Ron
gritted his teeth. Probably a sodding Valentine from bloody
Krum. Ron turned back to his
breakfast that didn’t look as appealing as it had a few minutes ago.
“Are you coming later?”
Ron realised Harry was talking to him. He shook his head glumly. “I can’t come into Hogsmeade at all. Angelina wants a full day’s training. Like it’s going to help; we’re the worst team
I’ve ever seen. You should see Sloper and Kirke, they’re
pathetic, even worse than I am. I dunno why Angelina won’t just let me resign.”
Harry gave him a look.
Ron looked back at his plate. He
knew Harry would have given almost anything to be playing and here he was
whinging about having to. They continued
to eat in a cold silence.
As Ron finished his toast and took a last swig of juice he
saw Harry attempting once more to tame his hair in the reflection on the back
of a spoon. Ron pushed himself up from
“Yeah, see ya. Um, have a…um…good practice.”
“Yeah.” Ron answered morosely. He picked up his broom and left the hall.
He slumped through the main hall, trying to ignore the
queue of upperclassmen waiting to be released.
About halfway down the line he saw Hermione standing with Luna. His step faltered, but he took a breath and
continued. As he passed her, she turned
and smiled at him. He stumbled to a
“Have a good practice, Ron.”
“Thanks. Um…” he
stared at a seam in the stone floor.
“Ah, yeah. Thanks.”
He looked up to see her with a small smile in her eyes.
“I’ll see you at supper,” she said quietly.
Ron smiled at her and headed for the pitch with a bit more
of a bounce in his step.
had been exhausting. Ron had managed to shower this time, and taking Harry’s
suggestion, put his robes in the dirty clothes pile. He really should have brought down the books
for the homework he had to finish before Monday, but instead he sat sprawled on
the couch in the common room with his eyes closed, too tired to even
think. He half heard the portrait hole
open, but didn’t bother to look.
Suddenly a pair of feminine hands was over his eyes. He grabbed them and pulled, catching the
culprit off balance and bringing her over the back of the couch. Hermione landed in a heap partially off the
seat, jacket and shoulder bag, flying over with her.
“Hermione! I thought you were Ginny!”
scrambled into a sitting position beside him.
that’s what you get for thinking,” she retorted, smoothing her jumper down.
sorry. She does that to me all the time.
I’m sorry,” he repeated, ears turning red.
side by side looking at the fire. Ron
was very aware of her hand resting on the seat between them. How could she be so relaxed when he had a
million thoughts zooming around his brain?
How do I tell her what I want?
was your day?” Ron groaned to himself. Oh, how lame. Some conversationalist he was.
nice. I, ah…I brought you something.” She
reached into the shoulder bag and pulled out a Honeydukes
bag. She offered it to him shyly, with a
faint pink tinge to her cheeks.
opened the bag, and looked back at her with a grin on his face.
their three pound assortment. Bit of
everything there,” she explained.
his hand in the sack
spoil your appetite,” Hermione warned.
chance,” he said, sticking a coconut ice in his mouth. He offered the sack to Hermione, who, with a
grin at him, reached in and chose a fat, buttery toffee.
sat back on the couch, resumed gazing at the fire and enjoying the sweets
melting on their tongues.
She put her hand there again, Ron thought with a rush of warmth.
He looked down the hand. What if he just
laid his hand next to hers, like this? There, that’s easy enough. Slowly he inched his hand till it was
touching the side of hers. Well, she
hasn’t moved away, that’s something, I suppose. Hermione turned and gave
him that little smile she had that seemed to come from her eyes. Emboldened, Ron lifted his little finger and
laid it over hers. She lifted her finger
just slightly in response and their fingers linked. He let out a breath he
hadn’t even realised he was holding.
wasn’t the worst Valentine’s Day after all.