The Sugar Quill
Author: Grim Lupine  Story: The Portrait  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.

Her breath puffed in little clouds in front of her as she stopped in front of the dimly lit shop

Disclaimer: Harry Potter does not belong to me.

A/N: I’m trying to upload this again, as it didn’t exactly work the first time. If it comes out screwy again, then I might just give up. So, if there are no spaces or something, it’s my computer’s fault.

 

Her breath puffed in little clouds in front of her as she stopped in front of the dimly lit shop. Huddling into her cloak for warmth, she stared, mouth agape, at the crisp art set hanging in the window. Regretfully, as she poured out the contents of her coin purse into her hands and counting, her lips silently moving, she made up her mind and turned her back on the musty little bookshop three doors down. She abruptly turned about, disappearing into the tiny art shop.

0 0 0

The moment she was home she vanished to her room, impatiently tying her sodden hair into a loose bun. She flicked on the lights and threw her coat on her bed.

For several minutes she looked down at the package in her lap, itching to put pencil to paper, but wanting to choose a worthy subject first.

Her love of art in general, painting, sketching, was one thing that she had never shared with the boys. It didn’t feel right—her drawings were hers, and hers alone. Besides, Harry wouldn’t understand, and Ron would just scoff.

Ron. She turned slowly to her dresser, her eyes fixing on the red haired boy waving at her from the silver framed picture, and she dimly realized that his birthday was in a month and a half, and she had yet to give him a present. Her heart thudded at the thought of drawing him, handing him what was basically a piece of her soul.

Within moments she had unfolded her easel and set a clean, white piece of paper on it. She ran her fingers lovingly over the smooth, coolness of the sheet, and ripped open the art set.

0 0 0

She drew. For hours, days, even weeks, that was all she did, sketching and erasing, kneading her forehead, as her drawing took on a life of its own. Sometimes she took her model from the little picture on her dresser, but half the time he was out of the frame or peeking above the edge slightly while taking a nap.

That was all right, though, because if she closed her eyes tightly she found that he was already, firmly in her head. She closed her eyes and realized that she knew how far his thick layer of freckles spread, and which one of his ears had the tiny scar at the top.

She closed her eyes and drew.

0 0 0

Her parents knew what she was like when she was drawing, so, unalarmed at the prolonged periods of time that she spent in her room, they left her alone. For the most part.

One day she heard her parents talking in the outside hallway.

“…you seen what, or who, she’s drawing?” asked her dad in his mellow voice, an audible frown in his tone.

“Yes,” her mother answered. “It’s that lovely boy, Ronald.”

“Exactly! She’s drawing a boy!”

“And this is a problem because…”

“…”

“Oh, dear, stop griping. You know Hermione is a sensible girl, and you liked Ronald yourself.”

“I liked him when he was an awkward, gangly kid, not potential boyfriend material,” her father’s voice grumbled as their voices drifted away when the moved off.

She smiled fondly. Her dad was overprotective, but he loved her to death.

…And he did have some basis for his concerns.

She faced her drawing again, and studied it for a moment, her head cocked to the side. She reached a thumb up and drew it under his mouth, smudging carefully and adding a light shadow.

I wonder what it would be like to do this in real life, a small part of her brain thought.

She drew back as if she had been burned.

0 0 0

And finally, after three weeks, it was done. She added one last freckle, erased a stray lock of hair, and suddenly she knew that she could do no more. She stepped back and looked it over.

It was good; probably some of her better work. He looked alive, awkward, embarrassed, shy, painfully endearing all at once, and she smiled happily in answer to his small grin.

She rolled it up carefully. Ron’s party was tomorrow.

0 0 0

“What did you get him?” Ginny hissed. She shook her head, suddenly nervous. What if he hated it? What if he laughed?

“You’ll have to wait and see,” she whispered back.

The room was filled with the trademark Weasley hair, and Ron was seated in the center of it all. He picked up the last present: hers.

She chewed her lip, a habit she thought she had broken years ago. Slowly—to her it felt as if hours went by—he unrolled the simple white scroll and held it up to the light.

A gasp went around from those who could see it; those who could not stood up and craned their necks. The rest of the family peered at it in amazement, and told her how wonderful it was, but she had eyes for only one person.

He looked up at her and smiled, and that made weeks of work worthwhile.

0 0 0

Everyone else had gone upstairs, but they still sat there in a comfortable silence, two plates of chocolate cake sitting between them. She ate methodically, glancing up at him once in a while.

He had seemed to like the drawing, but now she wasn’t sure. Why wouldn’t he say anything?

Her fears were put to rest, however, when he smiled at her, his eyes sparkling, as their eyes met. She smiled back and started eating her cake with more gusto. When she looked up again she noticed a dark smear on his face.

“There’s chocolate on your face,” she started to say, reaching up with her fingers to swipe under his lower lip. Abruptly, she remembered her idle thought from before, and she froze slightly. Her finger stilled on his lip, and she looked down at her feet, a heated blush creeping up her cheeks.

Her hand came down slowly, and there was silence once more.

Gently, he pulled her fingers up to his face again.

“You missed a spot,” he said softly.

 

//
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