The Sugar Quill
Author: Carma  Story: Lace  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.







He had been at it all afternoon.  “Determination, Destination, Deprivation!”


Ron anxiously tapped his wand against his forehead, trying to jog his memory. “No.  That’s not it.” To think, only a month without practicing and he’d forgotten the rules of Apparation.  He wouldn’t be able to Apparate if he couldn’t remember the 3 D’s.  “Destination, Determination, Delegation!” After mumbling a plethora of swears, he shut his eyes and tried to remember that cheesy little slogan that had helped him to almost pass his test.  “Destination, Defamation, Dilution, Dissertation…Defibrillation? DAMN!” Ron was so frustrated with himself that he muttered under his breath while he stomped down to his sister’s bedroom.  “Should’ve passed the first time.  Bloody… eyebrow… who ruddy cares? I don’t need a piece of my blasted eyebrow!  What the hell are eyebrows for, anyway?”  


He knocked on her door.  She had her music blaring again.  “Oi, Gin?”  He didn’t get a response.  Making a fist, he pounded on his sister’s door again.  “GINNY? Where’s my bloody Apparation manual?” The radio seemed to blast louder, and he continued to knock on the door until he became impatient and let himself in.  “Will you turn that rubbish-” He froze mid-sentence, staring open-mouthed at the scene before him.  His sister stood in front of her full-length mirror; her hair was tied up all fancy, and she was dressed to the nines in the dress robes she wore to Professor Slugmonster’s Christmas party last winter.  She was using her wand as a makeshift microphone, lip-synching to some WWN tune into the mirror.  “I will never, ever understand witches,” he mumbled to himself, completely dumbfounded as he watched his sister putting on some sort of performance for her reflection.


When Ginny spotted him, she turned five shades of red, and Ron ducked out of the way of a vicious Bat-Bogey Hex just in time.  She uncannily reminded him of their mother, and that terrified him.  “Ronald Bilius Weasley! Get the hell out of my room! How dare you come in here without knocking?”


“You almost took my bloody head off!” he shouted back, holding his wand at the ready just in case she threw another.  “If you’d turn that ruddy music down, you’d’ve heard me knocking!  I just want my-”


“I heard you, I was just ignoring you!” She angrily grabbed the worn manual and stormed over to Ron, shoving the booklet in his chest.  “Hell of a help you’ll be Horcrux hunting if you can’t even Apparate.” 


Ron glared at her, the tips of his ears going scarlet.  “Why do you think I’m practicing?” he asked through gritted teeth.  “And why are you all fancied up?” 


“I’m making sure this still fits for Bill’s wedding next weekend.  Fleur decided to let Gabrielle wear pink.” Ginny lifted her chin into the air, batting her eyelashes obnoxiously, trying to impersonate Fleur’s heavy accent. “Eet iz terrible zat you are not flattering in peenk, eet iz Gabrielle’s bezt color.  Wear whatever you want, Geeny.  I am sure you will look abzee-loutely wonderful!”  She rolled her eyes.  “So I’m going to wear this again.”


He was about to defend Fleur’s honor when he heard a loud crash downstairs, followed by the hissing of a rather loud cat.  “Hermione’s here?  I thought she wasn’t coming ‘til Saturday.”


Ginny rolled her eyes at him.  “It is Saturday, you prat.  Go get her trunk and bring it up here while I shower.”


Ron took the stairs two at a time, quickly running his hand through his messy red hair.  He grinned when he saw her standing by the fire, struggling to remove that mangy beast who seemed to have attached himself to her shirt with his claws.  “Just throw him outside and let him chase the gnomes or something,” he said as he approached her, hesitating before pulling her into a quick hug. 


“You know how he hates to Floo.  He’s prone to motion sickness,” she said absentmindedly, stepping back from the brief embrace to put Crookshanks on the floor.  She brushed the soot off of her jeans.  “How’ve you been, Ron?” she asked casually, tucking her hair behind her ears. 


“Fine.  You, er… had a few nice weeks with your mum and dad?”


“Yes, I suppose.  I’ve cancelled their subscription to the Prophet.  I don’t want them knowing about Prof—what’s happened last year,” she muttered, suddenly very interested in her cuticles.  She cleared her throat, composing herself instantly as she reached for her trunk.  “I’m going to go run this upstairs and see if there’s any milk in the kitchen for Crookshanks.” 


Ron was quicker.  He grabbed the handle, waving her away.  “No, you go on.  I’ll get this up to Ginny’s room.”


“Thanks, Ron.  I’ll be up in a minute.”  She grinned appreciatively. 


Ron pulled the impossibly heavy trunk up one flight of stairs, headed down the second floor corridor, and then turned to heave it up the second flight of stairs to Ginny’s room on the third floor.  He made it halfway up when Pig landed right on his head, making him jump and drop the trunk.  It fell back down to the landing with a crash, opening as a few items fell out.  “Ruddy useless bird!”  he shouted at pig, running back after the trunk as he thoughtlessly began to re-pack it.  He tossed back what looked like her copy of Hogwarts, A History (he couldn’t be sure, it looked as if the cover was so worn it was faded), a pale yellow t-shirt, a pair of night slippers, and… “No bloody way!”  Ron’s eyes were saucers, his cheeks reddening as he jumped away from the trunk, dropping the remaining article of clothing on the floor.  His hand flew to his mouth when he realized that he was quite loud, and the walls of the Burrow weren’t exactly soundproof.  He stared at the garment in disbelief.


It was a bra.  Correction:  Hermione’s bra.  He gulped, crouching back to the floor, daring to pick it up again.  His mind was reeling.  Throw it back in the trunk, Weasley.  This isn’t your business.  Hermione’s unmentionables are sitting in the hallway.  Just throw it back in the trunk, shut the lid, carry it upstairs, and get on with your Apparation practice.


Ron reached to throw it back, but when he touched it again, the material felt… odd against his fingertips. 


It was lace.  Lace!  Who would’ve thought his best friend of seven years, Hermione Jane Granger, bookworm extraordinaire, would purchase undergarments that were so… risqué.

Sexy, even!  Lost in his thoughts, he couldn’t stop images of a half-naked Hermione from creeping into his seventeen-year-old, sexually-charged brain. 


His thoughts were interrupted suddenly; he heard footsteps rapidly coming up behind him in the hallway.  Panicking, he turned around and shoved the bra into his back pocket, just before he saw its owner walking towards him. 


“Ron?” She eyed him suspiciously, surveying the scene.  Ron stood a few feet away from her still-opened luggage.  “Why did you open my trunk?”


“I didn’t!” He said a little too quickly, uneasily reaching up to scratch behind his neck.  When he realized he was speaking directly to her chest, he forced his eyes up to hers, the trademark Weasley blush betraying him.  “Pig… he… flew… and… it… it fell down the steps.”  He forced a laugh which he hoped came out casual enough.  “It’s not my fault. I mean, what’ve you got in there, the entire Hogwarts library?”  His voice was several octaves higher than usual.


Ron knew that Hermione was far from stupid.  She knew something dodgy was going on, and he knew it was written all over his face.  “No, just a few defensive spellbooks,” she said slowly, crossing her arms over her chest.  Her eyes narrowed in on his jeans.  “There’s something sticking out of your pocket,” she said suspiciously.


Damn! Was he staring at her chest again?  He stuffed the bra strap that was, sure enough, hanging out of his pocket, back inside.  “Handkerchief,” he said uneasily, before he feigned a yawn.  “Blimey, I’m knicker—uh, knackered!”  He winced.  “I’ll... I’m going to grab—uh, have a nap before dinner.”  Before he could make a bigger arse of himself, he turned to walk up the steps.


Ron didn’t make it half way before he heard Hermione say very clearly, “Accio!” as the bra flew out of his pocket.  He tried to grab at it, but it was too late.  He turned to see it land in her hand. 


Ron watched the expression on Hermione’s face turn from shock, to embarrassment, to pure anger.  He suddenly had a flash of a dozen yellow canaries bulleting towards his face and winced as he launched into explanation.  “All right, Hermione. Just… calm down!  This isn’t what it looks like!  Pig flew at me, and your trunk, it just—it opened, and your stuff fell out, and I was just putting it back in, and… and I panicked and I…”


“Thought you’d take a souvenir?”  Hermione was absolutely livid.  She slammed her trunk shut and hit it with a Locking Charm.  Her face was possibly pinker than his.  “What, Lav-Lav didn’t give you enough of her own lingerie to choose from?” Her fists were clenched so tightly at her sides, her knuckles went white.  Her voice was trembling with anger as she spoke.  “Or is it for your personal collection?  Is cross-dressing your new hobby now that there aren’t any brainless tartlets around to snog?”


Ron pulled a face.  “Oi!  It’s not a big deal, Hermione.  It’s just a… bra!  I was just a bit shocked ‘cause it was lacy, that’s all!  I always thought you were the granny-knickers type.  I never pictured you would wear something so…”


“So what, exactly?” Her cheeks could’ve rivaled the shade of the Hogwarts Express.  “Just because I don’t go around snogging every bloke in sight, doesn’t mean I’m the epitome of innocence!  I can’t believe… you still don’t think I’m a girl!”


“Blimey, ‘Mione.  I used to think you were a girl.” A small smirk tugged at the corners of his mouth.  “But now I’ll definitely picture you more like a woman,” he said with a forced chuckle, trying to lighten the mood. 


Hermione glared daggers at him, obviously not finding that comment funny in the slightest.  She walked up to him, holding her bra in her hand.  Her other hand reached out and smacked him, hard, across the face. “Don’t picture me at all, you… perverted sex fiend!” She grabbed her trunk and hoisted it past him, ran up to Ginny’s room and slammed the door shut. 




Ron had hoped that Hermione would come around and see how ridiculous she was being.  It wasn’t his fault!  Pig hooted happily in his cage beside his bed-stand, and Ron huffed.  “It’s all your fault,” he said to his owl, who only flapped around more excitedly. 


The wedding was in three days and Ron had yet to speak to Hermione.  Whenever he would enter a room she was in, she would leave.  She never made eye contact with him and made excuses to eat meals in Ginny’s room.  He didn’t know what to do.  He felt like a complete prat.  He was almost thankful for the complete state of chaos the Burrow was in at the moment, so there was always something to occupy him to try to take his mind off of Hermione. 


To be completely honest with himself, he was more fixated on her lacy bra.  He knew he shouldn’t think of it, but once the shock wore off, Ron found terrible thoughts creeping into his head.  Did she have lacy bras in other colors?  With matching knickers?  Images of Hermione wearing skimpy outfits raced through his thoughts, and that’s when he realized that Hermione wasn’t exactly angry with him, she was more embarrassed.  She knew him, and she knew he was thinking those exact hormonally-charged thoughts about her.  That’s why she couldn’t look him in the eye.


Ron suddenly felt very guilty.  He scribbled a quick note on a piece of parchment.



Don’t be embarrassed anymore.  I didn’t mean what I said.  I really am quite a big fan of lace.  It’s a brilliant material, and it suits your brilliant self well.  Forgive me?



“There, that should do it.  Take this to Hermione in Ginny’s room, and be quick about it.”  He let Pig out of his cage and tied the note to his neck, and sure enough, the hyperactive bird returned just ten minutes later with her reply.






“Damn,” he muttered, wondering what he wrote that was wrong.  Utterly at a loss, he made his way towards the kitchen, hoping food would inspire him.  As he passed Bill’s old room, he noticed that the light was on.  Ron peeked in, thankful that it was his brother in the room, sans fiancée, writing at his desk.  “Er, Bill?” He knocked, opening the door as he did so.  “What’re you doing?”


Bill looked up, a bright smile drawing attention away from his scars.  He set his reading glasses on the table, rubbing at his eyes.  “Trying to make seating charts for this weekend.  Fleur put me in charge of putting people at tables, ‘cause our family’s so much bigger than hers.  But her family is very traditional.  Everyone’s got to have specific seats, and wear uniform dress robes.  It’s right exhausting, I tell you.”  He ruffled through his papers, motioning for Ron to come in as he found the page he was looking for.  “Ah, here it is. Would you rather Fred and George sit with you, Ginny, Harry, and Hermione, or would you rather have Uncle Brutus and Auntie Muriel?” 


Ron’s face paled.  “Anyone but Auntie Muriel, for Merlin’s sake!”


Bill chuckled and penciled in the twins on the paper.  “Oh, right.  Horrid bright pink lipstick wouldn’t exactly match with your brand new dark blue dress robes, now would it?”


“Look, can I ask you something?” Ron didn’t wait for a reply and asked before he lost his nerve.  “What do you do when Fleur’s hacked off with you for doing something stupid?”


“Me?” Bill set down his quill, a mischievous grin tugging at the corners of his mouth.  “Seduce her and shag her senseless.  Make-up sex is quite worth the row, didn’t you know?” he said matter-of-factly. 


Ron flushed, clearing his throat uncomfortably.  “Er, yeah.  Yeah, of course I knew that,” he lied, not wanting to seem too innocent in front of his oldest brother.  “But I meant, uh, what do you do if you hack off a friend?”


A knowing expression settled on Bill’s face.  “What did you do to her this time?”




“Mum.” Bill rolled his eyes. “Hermione! What happened?”


Blushing harder, Ron lowered his gaze.  “Oh, er…  I sort of embarrassed her.  I didn’t mean to.  It was an accident, and well… I’m not going into details,” he added, once he looked up at Bill’s rather curious expression.  “But I’ve already apologized, and it’s not good enough.  She’s still furious with me.”


Bill sat back in his chair, considering.  “Hmm,” he started.  “You embarrassed her?  Well, you’ve got to make it up to her.”


“How?  Should I buy her a gift or something?”


“Would Hermione forgive you if you bought her a gift?”


Ron sighed.  “No.  She’d probably say I’m an insensitive wart who’s trying to buy her feelings.”


“Well then, I’m sure you’ll think of something.  Perhaps… if you embarrassed her, maybe a little self-embarrassment might fix things?” 


“Self-embarrassment?”  Ron pondered this for a moment, when an idea flashed into his head.  He jumped up suddenly, heading for the door.  “I’ve got it!  Thanks, Bill!”


“No problem, Ronnikins,” he said with a snicker, rolling his eyes again as he returned to his seating charts.




Ten minutes later, Ron knocked on Ginny’s door, his other hand behind his back.


Ginny answered.  “Go away, you stupid git.  Hermione doesn’t want to talk to you.”


“You’re her secretary now, are you?” He glared lightly down at his sister. 


“I don’t want to talk to you.”  Hermione’s voice carried through the room, but Ron couldn’t see her, since Ginny had only cracked the door open. 


“C’mon, Hermione!” he yelled over Ginny’s head.  “You can’t avoid me forever!  We’ve got a lot of things to do together, after Bill’s wedding. Just hear me out.”


He hoped that she’d realize that they needed to be a team again in order to help Harry with Horcrux-hunting.  Ginny opened her mouth to tell him off again, when Hermione appeared behind her. 


“You have twenty seconds,” she said when she stepped around Ginny, shutting the bedroom door behind her to give them some sort of privacy.   She crossed her arms over her chest, and her lips were pursed, which scarily reminded him of Professor McGonagall. 


“Er, here,” Ron started, when he revealed the bunched up, bright orange material in his hand.  He held it out to her, and she took it questioningly.


“What is this?” she said impatiently, unfolding the messily folded piece of cotton.  Her eyes went wide when she realized what it was.  “Underwear?” she hissed incredulously.  It was a worn pair of boxer briefs with a faded Chudley Cannons logo on the front.  Her cheeks went scarlet.  She threw the garment in his face, and he caught it.  “Why are you mocking me, Ronald Weasley?”


This was not the reaction he’d anticipated.  He thought she’d have a laugh with him and they’d both be embarrassed together.  “No!  I just thought…”


“Haven’t you ever been embarrassed before?” she shot back, tears stinging her eyes. 


“Yes!  I haven’t showed anyone else my Cannons boxers before! I thought this would make us even!”


Even?  You aren’t embarrassed!  If anything, I’m even more embarrassed now!  Oh, we are far from even.”  With that, she ran back into Ginny’s room and slammed the door in his face. 


Ron slumped against Ginny’s door, sliding to the floor and burying his face in his hands.  It was only a moment later that he heard his sister’s maniacal laughter, followed by a very loud, “I’d wash your hands, Hermione!  Merlin only knows if it was a clean pair!” 


Fuming, Ron stomped back up to his bedroom.  He passed by Bill’s room on the way up to the attic and tossed him a rude hand gesture. 




Saturday had finally arrived, and the expansive yard of the Burrow was magically transformed into a beautiful garden.  There were rows of white chairs lined up facing the archway, which was intertwined with white lilies.  The aisle was littered with flower petals as well, and the sun brightly shining down upon Ottery St. Catchpole made the scene seem heavenly. 


Hermione hadn’t said a word to him since the boxer-brief incident.  Even as Ron stood in between Charlie and George with the rest of the groomsmen, all wearing similarly styled, brand new dress robes (courtesy of Fred and George), his eyes were locked on Hermione, who sat a few rows behind his parents, watching the ceremony take place. 


She looked beautiful.  Her hair was done up in some sort of fancy twist, a few curls springing free to frame her lightly made-up face.  She seemed to have purchased a new set of dress robes as well, and they were form fitting, a soft shade of pastel green.  Ron wished he hadn’t made such a mess of things, because he would’ve loved to have finally gotten the chance to prove to her that he wasn’t a complete idiot.


He wanted to have a dance with her.  He’d been waiting for this day ever since Professor Dumbledore’s funeral, when he noticed for the first time just how right she felt pressed up against him with her arms wrapped loosely around his neck and her head on his shoulder.  Lavender had him in that position countless times before, but she just didn’t fit.  Not like Hermione did. 


Ron knew that he had ruined his chance.  If only he hadn’t panicked and pocketed that damn lacy bra.  Now her embarrassment would forbid her to even speak with him, let alone dance with him. 


And what if this was his only chance?  They were going off Horcrux-hunting with Harry tomorrow morning.  They would constantly be fighting and messing with Dark magic.  There was a war going on, and this could be their last chance to enjoy peace with family and friends.  Hermione should be smiling.


But she wasn’t, because of him.


Ron was faintly aware of the minister pronouncing Bill and Fleur as wizard and wife, the crowd erupting into cheers and, in his mum’s case, tears.  As they happily strutted back up the aisle, he noticed that Hermione had finally dared to meet his gaze. 


She blushed again, apparently still embarrassed.  She looked so unhappy that Ron felt his heart wrench.  He needed to do something to fix this.  He would never forgive himself if she had a terrible time at his brother’s wedding because of him. 


As the guests moved to the back of the Burrow for the reception to begin, Ron snuck through the crowd the opposite way, back into the house.




An hour later, the party was underway.  When Ron appeared at the party, he held his head high in determination, no matter how many guests turned and laughed at him. 


“Oi! Ron! That getup went out of style…. Well, I’m not exactly sure if it was ever in style!” Fred yelled over the crowd, who then turned to stare at Bill’s youngest brother and groomsman.


Ignoring Fred’s taunts, Ron strutted right up to their table, where Hermione was engaged in a conversation with Ginny, though she looked a bit disengaged whereas his sister was blabbing on.


“So I told him, I said, ‘Why don’t you go shove your wand right up-’ Ron!” Ginny gasped, looking over at him.  She burst into a fit of giggles.  “Why the hell are you wearing…Merlin, are they your Yule Ball dress robes!?” She nearly fell off of her chair. 


Ron kept his face calm, though he did blush a bit when he realized that almost everyone was gawking at his change of attire.  His old, bright maroon, hand-me-down-for-generations dress robes were clearly pulled straight out of the bottom of a trunk in the attic; there were wrinkles on the sleeves (which only came to just past his elbows), the seams frayed.  He tried to do a Stretching Charm on the material so it would fit him better, but he only managed to get one pant leg to extend to the floor, the other remaining halfway up his calf.


Ignoring his sister, he stared straight down to Hermione.  “Hi,” he managed, trying to ignore all of Fleur’s veela friends and family, who were blatantly laughing at him.  


Hermione’s expression was a cross between puzzlement and amusement.  “Hi,” she said slowly, looking up at him questioningly.  “What are you doing in your old dress robes, Ron?”


“Embarrassing the hell out of myself, what does it look like I’m doing?” he said with a nervous laugh, running a hand through his hair.  He looked over at Bill, who was grinning in admiration and tossing him a wink.  This gave him the last bit of courage he needed.  “Dance with me?”  he asked, holding out his hand.


Hermione hesitated, her brow raised curiously.  “Dance with someone as foolish-looking as you?  But that would be embarrassing, Ron,” she said teasingly, rolling her eyes slightly before slipping her hand into his.


A perfect fit, Ron noticed.  He didn’t realize he’d been holding his breath until a small sigh of relief was released.  He led her over to the corner of the dance floor, bravely taking her into his arms as they swayed slowly to the music.  “So, are we even?”  he asked hopefully.


Hermione looked around, taking note of the many people who were pointing and laughing at Ron.  She nodded.  “We’re even.”  She timidly reached up to trace her fingers lightly over his collar, eyes going wide in realization.  “You’re wearing lace?”


Ron grinned, nodding slowly.


Hermione leaned closer to him, resting her head against his chest contently.  “Me too,” she whispered, smirking excitedly as she heard and felt the rather rapid acceleration of his heartbeat.






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