The Sugar Quill
Author: Artemay  Story: A Fighting Chance  Chapter: Chapter 3: A Game of Wits
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Harry had finally arrived early that morning to Ron’s surprise

A Fighting Chance

Chapter 3:  A Game of Wits

 

To Ron’s surprise Harry had arrived early that morning with Dumbledore.  Unwilling to keep it from his friends any longer, Harry had decided to tell both him and Hermione about the prophecy.  It was uncomfortable seeing Hermione after the short conversation they had had over a day ago, but both instinctively knew that they had to put their “relationship” aside in order to focus on Harry. 

 

Neither can live while the other survives...

 

Ron replayed what Harry had told him about the prophecy over and over again.  This thing with Hermione can’t get in the way of what really matters right now, Harry.  She seems to have put it behind her and I guess I have to, too. 

 

Harry entered Ron’s room and collapsed onto the bed next to him.  “So how have things been without me?  Let’s see, what’s the word I’m looking for… relaxing?  Stress free?”  Harry grinned at his redheaded friend. 

 

How can he be so carefree?  Voldemort wants to kill him and all he can think about is how I have been all summer?  “Well, you know…” Ron trailed off. 

 

“How about Hermione?”  Harry asked, looking intently at Ron. 

 

“What about Hermione?” he said nervously. 

 

“I mean, have you talked to her to at all since she’s been here?”  Harry reiterated.

 

“Well, yes…” 

 

“Come on Ron! Did you tell her how you feel?” he said incredulously. 

 

“Well I didn’t actually tell her how I felt but we ended up in this awkward position and almost kissed.  She talked to me afterwards but I don’t think she wants to take it any further than a friendship,” Ron informed him. 

 

“Are you sure she said that?”

 

“I was standing right there! Do you think I was hearing things?” he said irately. 

 

“Okay, okay, I’m sorry,” Harry said.  “But I know she likes you.”  

 

“Well it doesn’t matter.  Hermione and I aren’t the priority anymore and we never were,” Ron said, looking firmly at Harry. 

 

“What do you mean?” Harry asked uneasily.  Ron knew that Harry knew where this was going and probably didn’t particularly care for it. 

 

“It’s better that I tell you this rather than have Hermione do it, she’d get too emotional.” Ron smiled at the thought of her but quickly shoved her out of his mind.  “You, Harry.  You’re the priority.”

 

Ron saw the look of anger on his best friend’s face and swiftly said, “I know that you don’t want to hear me out, but please just listen to me.”

 

Harry did not look at Ron, but nodded his head, saying nothing.

 

“I for one am not going to let you do this alone and I know Hermione feels the same way,” Ron explained, still trying to catch Harry’s eye.  “We both know that you love to play the hero, and you don’t want to put us in harm’s way, but we aren’t going to stand around feeling helpless.  We are your friends Harry and we want to help.”

 

There was a gap of silence between the two friends until Harry whispered, “I can’t wait until all of this is over.”

 

Ron smiled weakly, mostly because he was relieved that Harry wasn’t about to tear his head off.  “Me neither.  You want to go see if Ginny and Hermione want to play a game of Quidditch?” 

 

“Are you sure you want to invite Hermione?  She’s terrible.” Harry grinned.

 

“But that’s the whole fun of it,” Ron said, as if teasing Hermione was a science.  “It’s something she can’t beat us at no matter how hard she tries.” 

 

Harry and Ron walked out of the room talking animatedly about Quidditch and went to find Hermione and Ginny. 

 

*     *     *     *     *

 

“I think that’s the best you’ve ever played, Hermione,” Ginny said breathlessly as the four of them walked back to the Burrow for dinner. 

 

“I still played horribly,” Hermione admitted.  Ron smirked at her.  They caught each other’s glances for a moment, and then swiftly looked away. 

 

Is our friendship ever going to be the same?  I am not going to be able to take these uncomfortable silences, Ron thought desperately. 

 

They walked outside onto the porch, each carrying a plate piled with food.  “She assumes that we can all eat this,” Ron said exasperatedly.  “I’m not a hog.”

 

“I wouldn’t be too sure about that,” Hermione teased. 

 

Ron flung a bit of potato at her with his silver fork.  “Do you really want to get into this?” 

 

Hermione slowly wiped the potato off of her cheek and licked it off her finger, “You can’t beat me at everything over summer break.  So how about I beat you at a game of wits?” 

 

“You’re still going to lose,” Ron said. 

 

“Hey, Harry, why don’t we go inside,” Ginny firmly grabbed his hand forcing him up.  Ginny came to the quick conclusion that she and Harry should stay out of the competition that was soon to take place between Ron and Hermione.  “I have to get rid of my plate.” 

 

Harry nodded stupidly, unable to find any words that were appropriate to say at that moment. 

 

Wanting to get Ron back, Hermione loaded her spoon with a glob of sticky mashed potatoes and lobbed it at Ron.  It splattered all over his face, “You’re dead Hermione!” 

 

Hermione grinned as she sprinted across the lawn away from Ron. 

 

“Come on, Ron!  You’re letting her outrun you?”  Harry shouted from the doorway.

 

“Shut up Harry,” Ron yelled over his shoulder.  He was gaining on Hermione with every long stride he took.  As he was just about to catch up to Hermione, she tripped and toppled onto the grass, causing Ron to stumble.  Hermione winced as she watched him descend toward her.  Much to Hermione’s appreciation, Ron put his hands out to support his fall so that he wouldn’t land directly on her chest.

 

Ron could feel the heat from her body course through him as he looked into her deep brown eyes.  He couldn’t bring himself to tear away.  I have never felt this way about anyone before, and I didn’t think it was going to be Hermione.  All of a sudden something clicked into gear and he realized that he was on top of Hermione.  Literally on top of her. 

 

He blushed furiously and hoisted himself up.  “I’m so sorry Hermione, I didn’t mean to… well…” Ron leaned down to grab her hand.  Hermione stood on her feet and Ron realized that her cheeks were even redder than his. 

 

“Thanks,” Hermione said softly as she quickly let go of his hand.  She turned to walk away but Ron put a hand on her shoulder, making her turn around to face him. 

 

“Hermione, we need to talk,” Ron said earnestly.  He had to tell her.  

 

 

 

 

Author Notes:  I am sorry that it took me so long to post this chapter! Believe me I have a good excuse.  I wrote a 50,000 word novel in the month of November with an online program call Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month).  The month of March was called Nanoedmo (National Novel Editing Month).  With this program, the deal was to put in 50 hours of editing one novel, and I just barely finished a few days ago.  But now that Nanoedmo is over with, I can hopefully start posting more often.  Once again, I am sorry for the month delay in my posting and I also want to thank the people who reviewed my last chapter, I really appreciate the feedback! J

 

 

  

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