This was written for the SugarQuill's First Anniversary Fanfic
It's been a great year, filled with both good humor and times, and
always worked when fanfiction.net (die, evil spawn!) was down. May
Quill live long and prosper. Special thanks to Manu, who Spenk and
adore, and TheRealMaraJade, who made excellent beta suggestions.
A/N; I'm going on the assumption that since sugar quills look so
like the real things, they must be pretty soft and feathery. I
them to be a lot like cotton candy, except finer, and I also think
to be capable of writing. Because if some kid had a quill that he
sucking on, and then switching it for another? That's suspicious.
and none of the characters, places, etc. belong to me. I'm just a
in the game of fanfic. And my dad came up with the title. He
know what this is about, what it's for or anything, but I needed
so I asked him for sayings that involve feet. Much hilarity
and the result was "Playing Footsie."
Ron threw down his quill in frustration. "Is this even possible?
did you get?"
"I've got a blank piece of parchment," said Harry, a look of
annoyance on his face. "What does this stuff even mean?" He passed
copy of When Transfiguration Goes Wrong: the Headless Horseman
Other Such Accidents over the table.
The page was filled with pictures of wizards with four arms and
heads, and one witch had a squirrel's tail. Ron slammed the book
and tossed it back to Harry. "I don't think it's in English."
caught it one-handed, not looking up from what he was writing.
are you saying?"
"Harry Potter, Year Five, Transfiguration." Harry looked up and
"I don't think you should copy that bit."
"Very funny." Ron wrote his own name on his parchment and stared
the blank expanse beneath it. It was depressing to see. He idly
on a sugar quill while racking his brain for something to babble
but nothing came to him. Well, he
"I'm going to ask Hermione for
He said it decisively, his tone leaving no room for arguments.
face broke into a look of mock terror.
"I know the homework's bad, but we'll get through this!"
Ron rolled his eyes at Harry's only slightly melodramatic
"I think I will be ok." When Harry saw that Ron was resolute in
decision, he added, "Ok, if you want to risk it... But don't do
stupid!" Ron grabbed his parchment and his trusty sugar quill and
off to the corner of the Common Room where Hermione was
As he walked towards her, his courage faltered a bit. Saying he
going to ask Hermione for help and actually doing it were two
different things. Back in the day it would have been no problem to
across the room and bug Hermione into giving him answers (or at
try to), but lately she'd been... unpredictable. Anything was
to set her off, and Ron had the feeling that asking for help on
that he'd left until the very last minute to do would be a perfect
for her to explode.
She sat propped against the arm of her favorite loveseat, sitting
with her feet dangling over the edge. Her socks were a very
shade of yellow. She had a book in her lap, but he couldn't see
title. All in all, she looked extremely intimidating.
He realized that he was clutching his parchment a little too
and he felt annoyed. This was *Hermione*, for crying out loud. He
deal with her. 'I'll just have to win her over with my
"Hello, Hermione. Good book?" She looked up, clearly suspicious.
"Hi. Yeah, it's not bad." She looked back down at the pages of
novel. "If this is about the Transfiguration homework I heard you
Harry moaning about at dinner..."
Ron held back a scowl, wondering how she did that. "Actually, it
We're having a bit of a problem with it."
She didn't remove her eyes from what she was reading. "And the
"The Transfiguration homework." She groaned and rolled her eyes,
looking at him. He could tell she was about to start in on him, so
spoke first. "I was thinking. Since you already did the
"...you could help me and Harry out a little, right? Since we're
best friends in the world?"
Darn it. He was giving her the Look. Or *one* of the Looks, at
Ron had a very large arsenal of Looks, ranging from the seldom
"I'm Sorry But Don't Want to Say It Aloud So Forgive Me," to the
popular "Will You Smack Malfoy Again, Please?". When he gave her a
it was all she could do not to give in. And right now he was
his "I'll Die Without Your Help So Just Give Me the Answer!" Look,
it was very hard to resist.
It made Hermione angry. He *had* to know what it did to her.
"You're so manipulative!" she muttered under her breath.
"What?" he said eagerly, posing his quill to write.
His shoulders sagged. "That wasn't very nice," he said
"teasing me like that." This would have provoked her into yelling,
she was so grateful that he had stopping Looking at her that she
really mind. He looked impatient. "So are you gonna make this
or are we going to have to do it the hard way?"
"What's the easy way? Letting you copy off the essay that I spent
of hard work on so that you can benefit from my job well
He grinned at her, which was almost as bad as a Look. She took it
mean yes. "Then I guess it will have to be the hard way."
"Are you sure?" He continued to grin, and it made her a little
"It'll save you a lot of pain if you just let me see your work."
glared at him tight-lipped. "No? Well, alright. But remember that
wanted it this way." He immediately whipped out his wand and
it at her, saying the spell for the Leg-Locker Curse.
Her legs sprang together and hung out stiffly over the edge of
loveseat, pointing straight ahead. It was an exceptionally
position to be in.
He was still grinning, but this time it didn't stop her from
angry. She grabbed for her wand, which was lying on a nearby
but he snatched it up. "Ronald Weasley, you Unlock me this
she shrieked. "I can't believe you would *curse* me just to get
"Really?" He looked truly surprised. "If I were you, I'd have
it completely possible." His grin came back. "I guess that means
"What it *means* is that I was obviously wrong!"
He pretended to be shocked. "You were... what? Wrong? Harry," he
over his shoulder, "we've got front page news here! Call the Daily
Several people looked over to see what was so newsworthy, and many
them began to laugh as they realized what Ron had done. Hermione's
turned scarlet and she considered trying to hop away. But with the
she was at, she didn't think she'd make it off the couch without
a spill to the floor.
She looked around Ron, trying to find someone who would help her
of this mess. She saw Harry sitting at a table, watching
with interest. "Harry, help me!"
"What?" he mouthed, putting one hand behind his ear.
"I know you heard me! Come over and save me from this idiot!"
He looked confused, and shrugged his shoulders. "I can't hear
he mouthed, and then propped his chin up with a hand and continued
watch the proceedings with a huge grin on his face.
"Don't be angry with Harry," Ron said, obviously amused. "He just
needs help too."
"I don't care!"
"That negative attitude will get you nowhere." He sat down on the
trying to look serious. "Are you going to cooperate now?" She
out her chin and shook her head. "Tsk tsk tsk. You really should
to be agreeable." She glared at him with as much potency as she
muster, but he was completely unfazed. "I guess I'll just have to
this even more unbearable for you." He shook his head as if she
disappointed him greatly.
"What are you going to do?" she asked, more than a little
He temporarily faltered, looking around for something to torture
with. His eyes passed over his quill and parchment, continued to
the room... and then went back to the sugar quill. She watched his
light up. He looked at her and smiled maniacally. "What?" She
to imagine a way that he could torture her with a piece of candy
came up blank. And then he glanced down at her feet.
Comprehension dawned on her. She attempted to stand so she could
to safety, not caring if she hit the ground first or not. Ron
quickly, snatching up his quill and racing to grab her feet. In
she found herself held quite firmly in place. If she continued to
escape, her upper body would end up dangling from the cushions.
"I *hate* you," she said with more feeling than she would have
possible. He ignored her as he removed her socks, exposing her
"Phew!" He waved his hand in front of his nose. "And I always
Charlie was bad..."
"I'm going to get you for this." She heard Harry chuckling and
to make him pay as well. He was an accomplice, after all.
"It's not too late to get out of this, you know," he said,
her with freedom. "All you need to do is let me take one little
She made a tutting noise. "Right, I'm going to give in." She
her eyes. "I don't think so. I will *not* let you cheat!"
"Fine." The sugar quill titled dangerously close to the bottom of
left foot. "You asked for it." He held her gaze for a last moment,
looking down at her feet and brushing the quill lightly across the
of her foot.
She suppressed a giggle and tried to squirm away before
that she couldn't move. That was possibly the worst part; she
able to move her bottom half in any way, not even curl her toes.
hands clenched at a pillow as she tried not to laugh, not wanting
to know just how very ticklish she was. If he didn't think it
her, maybe he would stop and go away...
And then the quill swept unexpectedly across her right foot. She
help herself; she screamed with laughter. She could hear Harry
almost as hard as she was, and decided to punish him even more
That was, as soon as she wasn't trapped on a loveseat by a
idiot. Gods, this was horrible. Maybe she could tell Ron just a
Ron briefly halted in his torment. "Ready to give in?" The
release from the tickling sensation was enough to clear her head,
she again stood strong in her resolve to tell him nothing.
He sighed and started torturing her again, this time using the
tip of his half-eaten sugar quill to tickle the spaces underneath
between each toe. As hard as she tried she couldn't stop herself
roaring with hysterics, and she used the pillow to muffle the
she was making. She could feel people staring. It was bad enough
she had to suffer the indignity of this situation, but Ron had to
it in a public place. She would kill him for this. Painfully. And
use hot pokers. She said as much out loud between giggles, but he
looked at her with his eyebrows raised. He obviously wasn't
He just kept tickling with a vengeance.
"Ron? What in the world is going on?" She looked out from behind
pillow and saw Ginny standing by the other end of the couch,
on her face. Hermione had never been more glad in her life to see
"Help me!" she said, hoping that Ginny wouldn't find the
as funny as Harry did.
"It's not what it looks like, Ginny. I was just-" Ron's
wavered. Hermione chucked the pillow at his head as a distraction,
when he ducked out of the way she tried once again at escaping.
almost made it, but then Ron dove over the edge of the loveseat in
attempt at grabbing her feet again, overbalancing them both. Ginny
and hopped out of the way as they crashed to the ground, Ron
his funny bone on the table in the process.
The whole of the common room burst into laughter and applause.
untangled her upper body from under Ron and pushed him off, but
legs were still under his. "A little help, Ginny?"
"Of course." Ginny pulled out her wand and muttered the
counter curse, and then turned to glare at her brother. "Honestly
what were you thinking?"
"That I'd rather not flunk Transfiguration," he said sullenly,
his elbow. He looked at Hermione, who was rubbing the feeling back
her legs as she also glared at him. He grinned in the way that
seen Fred and George try on their mum. It worked on Hermione just
as well as it did on Mrs. Weasley, though, and she did not smile
"So... I don't get to borrow your homework?"
Hermione let out a frustrated groan and slapped him on the back
his head. "Ow!" He glared at her as Ginny (and Harry, from the
safety of his table) laughed. "I'm already injured!"
"Injured? You humiliate me like that in front of all these
then cry about how you're 'injured'?" She was so angry with him
then that she could barely see straight.
For the first time that night he started to look a little
"Well nothing!" she cut him off, ready to hit him again.
And then he started Looking at her. That rarely seen apologetic
took most of the fight out of her. She sighed and let her hand
"Give me my socks," she ordered, tired and resigned to the fact
she was no longer angry.
He dug them out of his pockets and handed them over. "They're
socks." Hermione rolled her eyes; it was a good try, but Ron's
didn't impress her.
"I'm going to bed." She was halfway standing when she turned to
at Ron. "You know that I'll be getting you back for this, right?"
looked more than a little worried, and she left without a
Ron watched her leave. He knew that she'd get her revenge, and
it would probably be pretty humiliating. But he was confident that
could take it. After all, nothing could top what he'd just done.
it? Ok, maybe he was a little nervous...
Harry interrupted his thoughts. "That was excellent!"
Ron grinned up at him. "You think so?"
Harry nodded, but Ginny didn't. "I don't think it was excellent
all. You embarrassed her, Ron!"
"She'll get over it." Ginny looked ready to pull a Mrs. Weasley
him, so he changed the subject. "What are we gonna do about the
"Dean said we can use his." Harry threw himself onto the couch.
how long do you think Hermione will be mad at you?"
"I don't know... She said she's going to get revenge. I think
gonna try to kill me." "Good riddance!" Ginny declared, and was
by Ron as Harry smirked.
"I don't know, but at one point she mentioned hot things." He
about that for a moment. "I don't feel very threatened."
"You know that she'll be mad at you now, right?" Harry asked.
"Then why did you do it?" Ginny yelled.
And even though he could definitely see Mrs. Weasley in her face,
just grinned at her. "It makes things interesting." As Ginny
at him, he added, "You could say it... keeps me on my toes!"
Ginny groaned as Harry and Ron laughed uproariously. "Wait, I got
Harry said. "Remember how we used to think she was a
They laughed again as Ginny rubbed her temples, shaking her
"Yeah, I remember... And then we beat the troll, and it was an
"Hermione's pretty mad, I guess she doesn't have... happy
They went on in this vein for some time.
Finally, Ginny couldn't take it anymore. "Next time you want to
footsie with Hermione, make sure you do it somewhere a bit more
This shut up Ron quite effectively, though Harry laughed harder
"I wasn't..." he started, feeling the need to defend himself. But
cut him off, slapping a high five with Ginny.
"That was the best one!" Ginny smiled and blushed only the
"Since you're all *against* me..." Ron said, standing up to
"I guess I'll be going to bed now." And with ears reddened, he
Ginny and Harry watched him go. "I guess he'll be copying that
tomorrow during History of Magic, then."
"I guess so." Ginny's eyes were still on Ron's back. "They are
"It won't be long now. Not long at all."
Harry was more confused at ever. "What are you talking
Ginny smiled at him. "Nothing. Good night!" And she raced away up
girls' staircase, her hair flying out behind her. Harry pondered
she said for a while. Did she mean... No. It couldn't be! Ron
said... No way. But then he remembered the Yule Ball, and the
He shook his head and went back to his table, content just to
Dean's essay in peace. He'd think more about that later.