Every One Unique
“Oh come, Ron! You know it’ll be fun!” She grabbed the bright red sled by
the side of the door and pulled Ron down the stairs.
“I must be mad to let you talk me into this,” he said, but he knew he
couldn’t refuse her.
It was Christmas and Ron had invited Harry and Hermione to spend the break
with him at the Burrow. That morning, Ron and Harry had woken up to a soft
knocking on their door, followed by Hermione rushing into the room and hugging
them both while joyfully muttering, “Happy Christmas!” Ron’s eyes had flown
open when she had thrown her arms around his neck and held him tightly. He had
climbed out of bed, a grin plastered on his face, and started towards the pile
of gifts by his bed. Harry was already ripping open his first present.
“Wow, Hermione! That’s fantastic!” said Harry, who held a thick book in his
hands. Ron couldn’t believe Harry would get so excited over a book - that was,
until he caught a glimpse of the title: Quidditch
Through The Ages: Special Collector’s Edition. Now
even Ron was impressed. He looked closely at the present Hermione had given
him. It looked like a book. He wrinkled his nose and pushed the present to the
side, to open last. Soon, they had opened all of their gifts. Harry sat by the
foot of his bed, wearing a blue Weasley sweater with
a large ‘H’ embroidered on it and biting into the Chocolate Frogs Ron had given
him. Ron sat next to Harry, Hermione on his other side, and felt the Peppermint
Toads hopping in his stomach; they had been part of Harry’s gift for him. He
remembered he still had Hermione’s present to open and reached over her to pick
it up. Hermione quickly put her hand out to stop him.
“Open it later,” she whispered. Ron nodded and just then he noticed the
snowflake charm bracelet around her wrist. He felt his ears turn a deep shade
of red and he turned to face Harry, but Ron was inwardly pleased that Hermione
was already wearing it. When they got up to go down to breakfast, Hermione
stopped Ron at the door.
“Harry, you go ahead, we’ll be right down,” she said. Harry shot them a
curious look and then shrugged and proceeded towards the stairs. Once Harry had
left, Hermione reached for her gift to Ron. “Here,” she said, “Open it”. He
took it from her, intrigued, and tore the paper off.
“The Chess Player’s Guide to Strategy,” he read aloud. His hopes fell
to the pit of his stomach. After everything Hermione had done, he had expected
something a bit more exciting. Instead, he had gotten a book, a bloody book. He
should have known; he had known.
“Not that you really need it,” Hermione whispered, her voice barely audible,
“but there’s more”.
“More?” Ron opened The Chess Player’s Guide to Strategy and a bit of
parchment fell out of it. It was folded in half and when he opened it, a small,
round, glass disk fell into his hand.
“It’s a crystallinus charm.” She pulled an
identical disk hanging on a chain out from under her shirt. “I have its
brother. They’re supposed to bring good luck and clear the minds of the
wearers. They’re also supposed to establish or maintain an emotional connection
between the wearers of the charms. They come in pairs.” She blushed furiously
as Ron thumbed the charm. “I know I don’t usually believe in this kind of
thing, and it’s usually nonsense, so I have good reason.” Ron smiled at the
memory of her storming out of Professor Trelawney’s Divination class. “But
they’re very nice, and, oh, I don’t know. It just seemed… right.” Now, Ron
joined her in blushing.
“Thanks, Hermione,” he managed, and she could tell he really was grateful.
He pointed to the charm bracelet he had given her. “You know, every one of the
snowflakes is different, like real snow.” Hermione’s hand flew to her wrist and
she fumbled with the different snowflakes. Ron knew that this had always fascinated
her, that every year billions and billions of snowflakes fell, each one unique.
When she smiled up at Ron, he smiled back.
“Come on. Let’s go downstairs,” she said.
“Where exactly did you get that slad
anyways, Hermione?” Ron asked, as she pulled him outside and into the snow. It
was quite cold outside, and he was glad they had worn their warmest hats,
gloves, and cloaks.
“Sled, Ron. Not slad. And, well, I had
written to my parents about how enchanting it is when it snows here and how I
haven’t been sledding since I started going to Hogwarts. They sent it to me
with my Christmas gift so we could use it,” she explained.
“Oh,” Ron muttered. He looked at the sled warily, it seemed rather flimsy to
him, “and you say Muggles sit on them and slide down hills?” Hermione
nodded and Ron chuckled. He could almost picture Hermione sitting on that bit
of red plastic and throwing herself down a hill. They would look absolutely
ridiculous, he decided.
Hermione rolled her eyes, but she had to contain her own laughter. Ron
laughed now, but she couldn’t wait to see his face when they sped down on the
sled. She was sure he would be terrified, just as she had been at first.
Harry had stayed behind at the Burrow that afternoon. When Hermione had
mentioned sledding his eyes had widened and he had let out a nervous laugh.
“It’s alright, Hermione. You take Ron and have fun sledding,” he had said, “I
spent all morning outside with you two and I have to, er,
talk to Fred and George about something anyways. Yes, I have to talk to them,”
he had said, as if reassuring himself. Hermione figured he had had a bad
experience with sledding and assured him they would return shortly. She had
felt awful leaving him behind and had tried to talk him into coming along, but
he had refused and she wasn’t about to miss out on taking Ron and seeing his
They had been walking for a while now, though quite slowly for the snow was
thick and high, and they took turns dragging the sled behind them. Hermione’s
nose was pink from the cold and she was breathing a little harder than usual,
Ron noticed. Their journey had been mostly uphill, and had gotten steeper
recently, but Ron had managed, using his long legs as an advantage. Hermione
interrupted his thoughts by stopping and dropping the sled. Ron turned and
looked around. They had climbed to the top of a large hill and Hermione was
positioning the sled to face the bottom.
“We’re finally here,” she exclaimed as she sat down on the sled
enthusiastically, almost causing it to careen down the hill immediately. The
sled was large enough to fit two people and Hermione sat looking up at him.
“Well, what are you waiting for, Ron?” She patted the spot behind her on the
sled. “You can sit in the back since it’s your first time,” she said. Carefully,
Ron sat behind Hermione in an awkward position. She rolled her eyes again.
“Ron, you’re going to have to put your legs around me and sit with them
stretched out in front of you.” He quickly uncrossed his legs and did as she
had instructed. “Okay, now I’m going to hang on to this.” She grabbed a cord
attached to the front of the sled on both sides. “It’s used for grip and
steering. If we lean forward when going down, then we’ll go faster, but you
don’t want to lean too much to the sides or we might tip over.” Ron nodded.
“Oh, and you’ll want to hang on to me tightly,” she added. Ron nodded again,
but he noticed that she seemed to have left out something rather important.
“But, Hermione, how do we sto - AAAH!” He was cut
short when Hermione pushed forward with her hands and sent them speeding
downhill at what seemed quite a fast rate to Ron. He had quickly managed to put
his arms around Hermione’s waist and hang on for dear life. Hermione seemed to
be enjoying herself and leaned forward, laughing, as they sped up. Soon, Ron
had relaxed and had begun to have fun as well. He was enjoying the feeling of
Hermione in his arms and the cold wind felt nice as it pushed his hair out of
his eyes, though it stung a bit as it slapped his face. Ron felt lucky that Hermione’s
hair was tucked safely under a hat, which spared him from having her hair in
his face, too. When they reached the bottom of the hill, the sled slowed down
and reluctantly, Ron let go of Hermione.
“That was bloody great!” Ron exclaimed as they stood up and got off the
sled. Hermione smiled at him.
“I know. I haven’t done that in ages. But admit it, you were frightened at
first,” she teased.
“Of course, I wasn’t!” His ears turned red, giving him away.
“Sure,” said Hermione, “and that squeal you let out meant nothing”.
“I did not squeal! Hermione, stop that!” He leaned down and gathered some
snow in his hands, which he threw at her for laughing, and smiled. “I’ll get
you for that,” he said as she imitated his scream and ran through the snow. Ron
chased her, laughing. He caught up to her, taking long strides, but she thought
quickly, grabbed some snow, and threw it in his face as he reached her.
Laughing, both of them fell down into the snow.
“Let’s do that again, Ron,” she said, and he responded with a grin. They got
up and took the sled back to the top, where they mounted it and pushed off,
sending them quickly downhill. And this time, Ron was in the front.
“Ron, maybe we should start heading back,” Hermione said as she looked
around and then at him. It was getting dark and it had started snowing lightly
a while ago, but now it was picking up again. Ron narrowed his eyes and looked
past the hill. In the distance, he could see the outline of the Burrow, which
was now getting fainter as snow started falling heavily.
“Yeah, this doesn’t look too good,” he agreed, “and Mum will be worried if
we’re not back soon”. They picked up their sled and tried to find their tracks
from earlier, but the fresh snow had covered them, so they headed in the
general direction of the Burrow. The snow fell heavily now, and the growing
darkness made it even harder to see where they were going. Hermione had
attempted to better the situation earlier, but it had not worked. She had
pulled out her wand and whispered, “Lumos,”
but the light coming from the tip of her wand seemed dim and did little to
improve their visibility through the sheets of falling snow. They had walked
for a few minutes in silence when Ron spoke again.
“Hermione, shouldn’t we be at the Burrow by now?” He watched as she strained
to see through the snow.
“We can’t be far now,” she said, but after a few more minutes she stopped
Ron. It was dark now, and there was a cold wind blowing. It beat hard against
them as they had struggled to keep walking. Hermione wasn’t sure if she could
feel her toes and the melting spell she attempted didn’t do much to the
abundant and steadily falling snow covering the ground in front of them. “Ron,
I can’t tell where we’re going anymore.” Her voice was heavy with concern.
“Neither can I,” he said softly. “We’ll have to
keep looking for the Burrow, or at least for somewhere
where we can take cover.” Hermione nodded.
“You’re right,” she said, “we should keep moving.” They roamed for a couple
of minutes, keeping close to each other for warmth. Ron could feel Hermione
shivering next to him as they walked in silence, but the storm showed no sign
of dwindling. He thought he saw something nearby, the Burrow maybe? No, it
wasn’t large enough. He thought he was imagining it, but as they neared the
dark figure, he could make out what looked like a cabin.
“Hermione, do you see that?” She nodded, and they trudged through the snow a
bit faster. Eventually, they reached the door of an old cabin and Hermione
pulled her hand out from underneath her cloak and knocked loudly.
“Is anyone in there?” She had to shout through the whistling of the storm.
“I don’t think anyone is, Hermione,” Ron said. She nodded and turned the
doorknob. It opened freely into a dark room. Hermione pulled Ron inside.
“Lumos,” she whispered, and the light from
her wand lit the room. In the far corner of the small cabin there was a single
bed and blanket with a small table next to it. Two chairs were positioned close
to the door. “Well, it’s better than I expected,” Hermione said. The room was
covered in dust and she noticed some cobwebs in the corners. They took off
their cloaks, hats, gloves, and scarves and set them on a chair. Ron sat in the
other chair while Hermione inspected the cabin curiously and lit a candle she
found on the table next to the bed. “It seems pretty abandoned,” she reasoned.
“No, really,” said Ron sarcastically. Hermione shot him a look.
“Don’t start with me now, Ron. We’re going to have to stay here for the
night,” she said. “Ugh, it smells horrible in here!” Ron thought so too, but he
didn’t say anything. He moved his chair to the left, trying to get comfortable
against its hard wooden back, and jumped when he saw something green scuttle
across the floor. Next to him, he found there was a patch of what looked like a
green fungus, except it had multiple eyes, which were blinking up at him. A
smaller bit of it was what he had seen scuttling to a dark corner of the room.
“Ah! Hermione, look!” Hermione walked over to him.
“What?” she said, impatiently. Ron pointed at the fungus-like creatures.
“I saw a bit of it run off that way! What should we do?” He didn’t want to
admit to her that he was slightly alarmed by these creatures. Sure,
Ron. Only slightly, who are you kidding, mate? They’re just as bad as spiders!
He backed away and stood behind Hermione.
“Bundimuns! That must be
what that horrible stench is!” Ron looked at her, confused, and she elaborated.
“They look like a fungus, but really are creatures on tiny legs that secrete a
substance that rots the foundations of the space they infest. They cause that
terrible smell, too. Oh, Ron, don’t be stupid. They’re not going to hurt you;
they’re only a pest and a nuisance. We’ll have to get rid of them, the smell is
terrible and there’s too many!” Ron didn’t move. Hermione shot him a meaningful
look and pulled out her wand. “Scourgify!” But
her spell missed as the patch of Bundimuns moved
together in another direction. “Oh!” she exclaimed, angrily. She tried again
once the Bundimuns had stopped. “Oh… Oh no! What did
I do?” Instead of disappearing, the Bundimuns seemed
to be multiplying continuously. Hermione panicked. “Ron, help me! Ron, don’t be
a prat! If you don’t help me these bloody things will
overrun us!” She looked away angrily, trying to decide what to do. Ron’s mouth
dropped open. Hermione always nagged him about cursing, but she had just sworn
herself. He pulled out his wand and slowly approached Hermione, who was
standing very near the Bundimuns.
“Scourgify!” he exclaimed, and a couple of
the Bundimuns disappeared. Hermione looked at him,
and quickly snapped out of her silence and joined him in cleaning them off.
Shouts of the cleaning spell filled the cabin, and once they were done, Ron and
Hermione sat back in the chairs, exhausted.
“Well, at least they’re gone,” said Hermione, breaking the silence inside
“Yeah,” said Ron. Silence overtook them again, both unsure of what to say
next. It was cold inside the cabin and the only light came from the candle on
the small table by the bed. Hermione stood up. She walked over to a small
window and looked out.
“Well, I can’t see much, but I reckon the storm won’t be letting up any time
soon,” she sighed. “We should at least try to get some sleep so tomorrow we can
find our way back.” She walked over to the bed and pulled the blanket off of
it. “Where do you want me to put it for you?” she asked.
“What?” His voice cracked a bit when he questioned her.
“I said where do you want me to put the blanket for you?” She seemed
surprised at the confused look Ron had on his face. “Well you didn’t expect to
sleep on the bed did you?” she asked him.
“And why not? I’m not sleeping on the ground
with those bunt…bunde… bundemal...
those things!” he shouted.
“Ron, they’re gone! We got rid of them ourselves! And it’s just so
kind of you to offer me the bed, isn’t it? Always thinking of yourself, aren’t
you?” she fired the questions at him one after the other.
“No, I’m not! But you seem to be!” he shouted. Hermione looked appalled.
“Well, Ron, if you think that I’m going to sleep on the floor, you’re wrong!
And I thought you would be a gentleman and offer me the bed. Well, apparently,
I was quite mistaken!”
“I can’t believe you want me to sleep on the floor with those things,
Hermione! That’s just cruel!” Ron stared at her until she was forced to
“Well, I’m not going to either! Any other decent boy would let me take the
bed!” she screamed.
“Oh, like who? Vicky, maybe? You always
expect me to be just like him! Well, I refuse! And I bet you he wouldn’t want
to sleep on this floor either, not that it would make much of a difference for
the great oaf!” he snapped.
Hermione’s face turned a bright red and anger sparkled in her eyes.
“Don’t bring him into this, Ron! You always do, and this has nothing to do
with him! And his name is Viktor, not Vicky! How can you be so rude? Really!” Hermione looked fit to burst. She threw the blanket
onto the bed in fury, and stomped her foot.
“I’m not being rude, it’s the truth! Ever since you met him, it’s as if we
all have to be just as great as Vicky is. And frankly, I’m still not
going to sleep on that floor!” Ron’s ears had turned a shade similar to his
hair. He despised Krum with every part of his body. You’re just jealous
because Hermione likes him,
said a voice in the back of his head. But he refused to believe it. It
continued anyway, of course if you keep treating her like that she’s never
going to like you. Ron let out a grunt of frustration and Hermione looked
even more taken aback. Now look what you’ve done.
“Well, you don’t expect us to sleep in the same bed, now, do you?” she
“Well, why not? I’m not going to attack you!” he said. Hermione laughed
“Oh really, because I thought that’s what you were doing right now! Look
Ron, there’s no way. We are not sleeping in the same bed!”
“And why the bloody hell not?” he bellowed, furious at Hermione’s words. He
could hear his heart throbbing in his ears and his fists were clenched.
“Look, I don’t care! Let’s just go to sleep, I can’t take this anymore!
Well, come on!” Ron walked over to the other side of the bed, grabbed the
blanket and threw it at Hermione. He rested his head on an old, lumpy pillow
and stayed as far to his side of the bed as he could. He closed his eyes and
heard Hermione climb in next to him. She threw the blanket over them and
extinguished the candle rapidly. The room went pitch black and all that could
be heard was the roar of the storm outside as Ron lay quietly, fingering the crystallinus charm in his pocket.
Hermione lay silently, her eyes still closed. She
was half-asleep and had not bothered to rush and get up or even look around.
Her bed had never felt this comfortable. She wriggled closer to the pillow next
to her. It felt warm and snug against her body. She was caught by surprise,
however, when her pillow mumbled. Except that it wasn’t a pillow, she
realized, it was Ron! Only then did she remember their situation and where they
were. She had expected to open her eyes and find herself in the girl’s
dormitory at Hogwarts. Instead, when she opened her eyes, a bit startled, she
found herself looking at Ron’s shirt. They were quite close. Hermione’s head
rested against his chest and Ron’s arm was wrapped loosely around her waist.
She held his other hand; their fingers were entwined, and she found that their
legs were entangled as well. Odd, the things that happen
She did not want to move, but what if Ron woke up? What would he say? She
remembered now their last row. Ron had been a complete prat.
She couldn’t forgive him so easily, yet she still found it difficult to pull
herself out of his embrace. Carefully, so as not to wake him, she squirmed out
of his arms and let go of his hand. Hermione sat on the edge of the bed,
watching him. Ron muttered something groggily and rolled onto his stomach,
burying his face in the pillows. Hermione laughed. Ron’s orange hair was a complete
mess, but she reckoned her own brown hair wasn’t faring any better. She brought
her small hands up to her head and tried desperately to flatten out her bushy
curls. With a sigh, she gave up; she realized there really was no use. She got
up off the bed and wandered back over to Ron.
“Ron,” she whispered. “Ron?” she said a bit more loudly, “Ron, you have to
wake up. Your mum will have worried herself sick by now!” She reached out and
shook him gently. He only mumbled unrecognizable words into the pillows.
Hermione released a sigh of impatience. She tried again to rouse him from his
sleep, and failed miserably. Finally, she turned him so he faced up and patted
his cheek. “Come on, Ron. Wake up.” His eyes opened slightly and he immediately
squinted from the light.
“Hermione?” he yawned.
“Get up, you great big lazy oaf.” She tugged on his sleeve. He murmured
something about her being insane and ungodly hours of the morning as he sat up
drowsily. Hermione rolled her eyes as he rubbed his eyes and looked around the
room, a look of confusion crawling onto his face.
“Where the hell… oh,” he said, more to himself than to Hermione.
“That’s right, get up now. We have to get back to the Burrow.” She rubbed
the fog from the small window with the sleeve of her robes and looked out. “It
seems the weather’s finally calmed down.” She threw Ron a disapproving look -
he was still sitting stupidly in the middle of the bed. “Well, what are
you waiting for Ron! I don’t even want to think about
the nightmare we’ve probably caused back at the Burrow,” she fumed. Ron rubbed
the back of his neck slowly as he slid off the bed. The blanket fell to the
floor beside him as he stood. He brushed the hair out of his face, still
looking lost. If he continued like this, Hermione’s eyes would get stuck in the
back of her head, but she couldn’t deny that her heart fluttered when he did
so. They rapidly put their cloaks, gloves, hats, and scarves back on and Ron
gave her a weak smile as he picked up the sled. She walked briskly towards the door
and pulled it open. Ron followed. They stepped out into the freshly packed
snow, which was now much higher than it had been when they had left the Burrow
the day before. Ron whistled.
“It sure came down heavily,” he said. Hermione nodded in agreement. Now that
it was clear out, she could see the Burrow in the distance. They began to walk
towards it slowly, amid an awkward silence. Hermione toyed with the chain
around her neck. The crystallinus charms didn’t seem
to be doing them much good. They had bickered pointlessly over another
redundant matter and this morning hadn’t started out much better. She hadn’t
believed they would actually change anything, but she had hoped that
maybe, just maybe, they might bring her and Ron closer. Her attempt seemed to
have drastically failed. But Ron never ceased to amaze her.
“Look, Hermione,” he almost whispered, “about last night. Well, er, you know those bindleminy
things weren’t exactly what I’d consider friendly, and I know I was, er, well I wasn’t exactly nice to you and all, but
look, I’m sorry, I just…” He faltered. It had all seemed to spill out rather
quickly and his words jumbled together, but Ron thought that she seemed to have
gotten the message.
“It’s all right Ron,” she said quietly. He stuffed his hand in his pocket
and looked at his feet as they walked. Hermione held the small snowflake charms
of her bracelet between her fingers as they walked. Soon, they paused and
looked down. At the bottom of the hill stood the Burrow,
waiting for them. She had started forward again when Ron reached out and
pulled her back. He placed the sled eagerly in front of them and then looked at
“Oh, Ron,” she laughed. They climbed into the sled and Ron pushed forward.
She clung tightly to him as they sped down the hill. As they reached the
bottom, Ron threw his weight towards the left and they flew out of the sled,
landing in the soft snow. Ron rolled onto his side to face Hermione and before
she could realize what had happened, he shoved snow into her face.
“Ronald Weasley, I’m going to get you for that!”
she screamed playfully. As he staggered forward in the snow and attempted to
stand up, she grabbed the back of his cloak and pulled him back down next to
her. Ron fell backwards, and Hermione felt a smile tug at her lips. She made to
brush a few sparse snowflakes off her shoulder, but he reached out to stop her
“Don’t,” he murmured, “there will never be others like them again.” She
gazed into his blue eyes as she lowered her hand. He was right. His ears burned
bright as she softened her stare and looked away.
After ruffling his hair, Hermione stood triumphantly. She extended her hand
out to help him up, and he smirked up at her. “Don’t you dare pull me back
down, Ron,” she said. He shook his head innocently and grabbed her hand,
hoisting himself up. With his other hand, he picked up the sled. Then, Hermione
saw Mrs. Weasley’s anxious face through the window.
Upon sighting them she threw her arms into the air and disappeared from the
window, Hermione assumed, to greet them at the door. Ron and Hermione smiled at
each other before blushing and looking away shyly. As they walked up to his
house, he didn’t let go of her hand.
Maybe these crystallinus charms aren’t so bad
after all, she decided, as she watched Ron shake the snow out of his hair.
A/N: Lady Silver Challenge. I broke the under 2000 words rule, though. Sorry,
couldn’t help myself. Anyway, I know, it was pure fluff. Well hope you enjoyed
it anyways. And as always, some reviews would be wonderful. Challenge: