The Sugar Quill
Author: Jack Ichijouji (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: The Dangers of Miscommunication  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: This ice is made from the water of JK Rowling, or something equally profound that doesn't sound quite so dirty.


Perfectly still and silent, she was like a statue of some red-haired goddess. Even in sleep, her body's curves seemed to emit some feline grace, giving a passer-by the idea that she might leap away without any effort whatsoever.


None of these described Ginny Weasley, who was leaning back in her chair and snoring softly. Her hand still clutched a quill that was on the table in front of her; she had fallen asleep during a History of Magic essay. She was, as a result, having dreams about a small goblin named Niptuck the Medical, who ran around making people look younger and their breasts grow, which made Headmaster Dumbledore look very strange indeed.


Suddenly, it turned to her and said, "Ginny, I need your help. Ginny? Are you awake?" Then it shoved her onto the ground, at which point she woke up.


She opened her eyes. "I'm sorry, Ginny," said Colin, standing over her fallen body. He had apparently tried to shake her out of her nap but had shaken too hard.


"S'alright, Colin," she said, still half in a post-sleep daze. There was enough of her mind awake to notice a side of Colin she'd never seen before, though. "If you're going to stand right over my head, Colin, at least wear trousers under your robes."


Colin blushed. His knees did too. He hurried to the other side of Ginny's table and sat, legs crossed and face capillaries possibly bruised for life. "What did you need?" asked Ginny, righting her chair.


"Well, see, I have this friend--well, that's a lie. I mean, I have friends, but I wasn't about to talk about any of them, I was going to talk about myself and I would have got confused anyway and now I'm nervous anyway and so--"


"Colin."


"Right. Anyway. There's this girl."


Always "this girl," thought Ginny. I hate that phrase. One day, "There's this girl" will be stricken from the lexicon of every right-thinking male, and the world will be a better place for it. Aloud, she said, "Right, go on."


"She's a Hufflepuff. Fourth year. Miranda... something. I should probably find out her name. I met her last year. There were these girls saying some things about Harry and she stood up for him."


"It all comes back to Harry for you, doesn't it?"


"What?"


"Nothing."


"Anyway, I've been thinking about asking her to study with me sometime, or to maybe have dinner with me. Something."


She felt that she was going to have some ridiculous role in the farce that was Colin's love life, so she might as well figure out what. “If you expect me to ask her out for you, you've got a great big load of disappointment coming."


"No! I just... need advice about asking girls out."


"Why me?"


"Other girls say I'm creepy. I don't know why."


Ginny felt for Colin. She did. Any comments to the contrary in the back of her mind were not in possession of all the facts. But, to quote a friend, honestly. "It's not difficult. You go up to the young lady in question and you say, 'Hello, Miranda. Would you like to study with/enjoy a meal with/kiss me this evening?'"


"I can't say that!"


"Just try not to be nervous. And be yourself." She was beginning to run out of generic advice, and was probably going to have to make it up herself. She was not good at advice concerning emotions. She was good at advice concerning the obvious, such as, "Harry, if you do not stop being an ass, I will... threaten you with bodily harm." Okay, she was no good at obvious advice, either.


"But myself is nervous!" Colin protested loudly. A few heads turned to look at him, and he slouched in his seat to avoid their stares.


"Look, just..." She struggled for an idea, and finally came up with, "Who can you think of that isn't nervous? Of all the people on the planet, who would be least likely to be challenged by asking some girl out?"


Without missing a beat, he replied, "Harry."


"Have you met Har--never mind. Just... look, try to channel your inner-Harry. Try it on me."


"Try what on you?"


"You pretend I'm Miranda and ask me out. I'll... I don't know, I'll pretend you're Harry and you can have some sort of confidence boosting... thing."


"Okay. Let me get into character." He cleared his throat and turned around. When he turned around again, he was wearing what he probably thought to be a charming smile, but it really made him look like half his face was asleep. "Hello, Miranda."


She smiled back and tried to keep from laughing at Colin's 'charm'. "Hello, 'Harry.'"


"How would you feel about going to... to..." He began to falter, but forced up some more Harry-ness, or what he thought Harry was, to finish. "How would you like to have dinner with me?"


The urge to tease her friend was becoming overpowering. The blood of tricksters flowed through her veins; she really had no choice in the matter.


---


Similar blood flowed through the veins of Ron Weasley, but it mostly inspired him to walk into the wrong room at the wrong time. There had been an incident involving a half-naked Lupin and another whose face he hadn't seen, but whoever it was had tripped three times while diving out of his line of sight.


In short, his blood played tricks on him.


He didn't see his sister when he first came into the common room, but she was close enough to the door that he did hear her. "Oh, Harry," she was saying in a weird voice. He didn't know who she was talking to, as Harry was studying with Hermione. Rather, Hermione was studying, and Harry was being studied at, as the former had turned learning into a martial art.


"Harry..." Ginny continued. Ron stopped to listen. As an older brother, he had a privilege--a right--a duty to drop eaves on his sister whenever he got the chance. "Harry, I think I love you."


Ron gasped mentally as Ginny went on. "You're all I've ever wanted in a man. You're just a walking pile of... ovary-tickling delight." Quickly, he plugged his ears and began to sing the Cannons Fight Song in his head as he rushed to Harry and Hermione.


"You will never believe what I just heard," he said, sitting down.


"As long as it has nothing to do with Nightshade and the Effects Thereof on Herbal Transfiguration and Potion Brewing," said Harry as he set aside his book and parchment. "I can't take any more of it."


"Oh, come now, Harry. We've only scratched the surface. I've already read four books on nightshade. Most of them contained much of the same information, but--"


"So, Ron," Harry interrupted, "tell us all about anything but this."


"I just heard Ginny," said Ron. "And she was talking to someone, or maybe herself, but she was acting like she was talking to you. And it was... lovey."


"Lovey? Is that a word?" Hermione asked with a smirk. She had been made to set aside her book, and if she was going to suffer, then so would someone else, even if it was in the form of biting wit.


Ron seemed to miss the irony in her voice, as he was starting to panic. "Yes. Isn't it? Anyway. She was saying things like 'I love you, Harry,' and 'You're a pile of ovary-tickling delight.'" An odd look crossed his face. "What's an ovary?"


"I'll tell you when you're older, Ron," said Hermione.


"Wait, what? Ginny can't love me. That's ridiculous, we've only just started to become friends." Harry was inclined to shrug the matter off entirely, but Hermione had a thoughtful look on her face.


"I'm not so sure. What do you know about her? She fancied you for years--"


"And gave up on it, you said," he pointed out.


"--she got you straight out of your depression thing last Christmas better than any of us--"


"That doesn't mean anything, she's just good at making me feel stupid," Harry objected again.


"--and she followed you on a potentially deadly quest to the Ministry."


Ron appeared triumphant. "See? This means she loves you, right?" Then he seemed disappointed. "Of course, that also means that she was talking to herself and is probably insane."


"Oh, come on. That was just..." Harry faltered a bit, but recovered. "She probably fancied Sirius."


"Who didn't?" said Hermione.


"What?" said Ron.


"What?"


"You just said--"


"No I didn't."


"But didn't you just say--?"


"Nope."


"Look, Hermione's complexes aside, that is the craziest thing I have ever heard, Ron. Ginny does not love me." Harry picked up his book and his essay. "Meanwhile, I have an essay to write." He turned his attention to his paper, on which he had written the title and his name over the past three hours. "On the other hand, it couldn't hurt to just talk to her." He put his book down with almost unseemly haste and crossed the room.


The last thing he heard Ron say was, "Seriously, though, what's an ovary?"


---


After Colin had scampered off to find his lady love (feeling slightly put-out by Ginny's fun) Ginny returned her attention to Niptuck the Medical. The essay was easy to write once she got going. She wrote one paragraph and the reworded it again and again until she filled the length of the essay. She got the idea from Binns' lectures, which worked in a very similar fashion.


"Ginny?"


She looked up from her essay to find Harry standing nearby, wearing a very strange look on his face. "Harry, glad you're here. I'm down to the last paragraph of this thing and I'm running out of synonyms. How do you spell 'knockers'?"


"I try not to, Hermione gets weird when I use words like that. I think there are two k's, though. Can I sit down? Or can you stand up?"


"Erm... sure, I can stand up." She put her quill down and stood.


"Great. Oh, I'm interrupted your essay, aren't I? I can come back later."


"No, no, it's fine." She stretched her back and tried to ignore the soreness in her neck. "I've been needing a break anyway."


"Great," said Harry. He looked as if he wanted to say something more, but was forced to settle for, "Do you want to go for a walk with me? They're probably setting up dinner just now."


"Sure."


"Great," Harry said again.


Five minutes later in the hallway, Harry hadn't said anything else, which was making Ginny nervous. Or, to be more precise, he hadn't said any more words. He kept trying to, opening his mouth and starting to speak, but stopping himself.


"Do--" he'd said as they'd left the tower.


"Re--" he'd added upon reaching the staircase.


"Mi--" he'd quipped outside the Great Hall.


"Harry, are you trying to say something?" Ginny said as they reached the Gryffindor table. "Because it sounds like you're getting ready to sing."


Harry sighed and looked embarrassed as he sat across from Ginny. "Look, Ron said that he'd heard you talking to yourself. Saying I tickle your ovaries, and things. And now I think Hermione is giving Ron the birds and the bees talk because of it, but that's neither here nor there."


"What?" Ginny thought back on her day. Oh, right. Ovaries. Damn Colin. "No, no, no. I wasn't talking to myself. And I wasn't talking about you. And... it's complicated. And entirely, completely Colin's fault."


"Oh! That's... that's a relief. I don't know why it's relieving that you were referring to Colin by my name, but it's relieving nonetheless."


"Is that why you've been acting so weird? You thought I was in love with you?" She snorted, but quickly sobered. "Wait a minute, what's so terrible about me being in love with you?"


"Do you really want to have this argument?"


"No, probably not. I do have one question though."


"Go ahead."


"Really, taking romantic advice from Ron? You do know Ron, right?"


"Ron knows things sometimes. And Hermione was talking too," he said defensively.


"Hermione's much better?"


"Yeah, yeah. Just... you eat."


---


After they finished, Harry and Ginny walked back to Gryffindor Tower together. "I can't help but feel like there's some sort of loose end," said Ginny. "Oh, I know!"


"What?"


"Colin's girl. I never found out what happened with her."


"Ah. Isn't that him over there?" Harry pointed to the staircase which he knew led to the Hufflepuff common room. There Colin was, talking energetically to someone he couldn't see.


"Oh, good, I get to meet the mystery lady that's taken his place in your heart."


Harry rolled his eyes. He thought about shouting to Colin, but it went against four years of experience and instinct, so he decided not to. As they came closer, Colin's friend came into view. "Oh, my God," said Harry.


"Oh, your God," agreed Ginny.


Miranda was a skinny girl with very dark hair and extraordinarily green eyes. "I recognize her from when she was Sorted," said Ginny. "Miranda Gardner."


"Gardner?" said Potter.


"Don't look so scared, Harry. It's just Colin." Because she was basically honest and very, very creeped out, she added, "And your exact double with breasts."


"Yeah. Hey, what if Ron and Hermione come looking for us? We'd better get back to the Great Hall. Just in case. And quickly."


"Indeed."


As they ran down the corridor to the Great Hall, they brushed past Ron and Hermione without realizing it. Ron, however, did see them and shouted at Harry's back, "Stay away from my sister's ovaries, you!"


I wonder how many times I used the word "ovaries" in this story? Sometimes I go on these word-using kicks. Hope I got it all out of my system.

//
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