Ron was doing something he didn't usually
do; he was pondering. Being very much a hot tempered, spur-of-the-moment
person, Ron didn't usually risk getting too deep in thoughts - after all,
he'd seen the effect that could have on people.
But today, Ron sat in the library, ignoring
his divination homework and instead working his way through a bag of Bertie
Bott's Every Flavour Beans in a despondent manner. And he was going over
yet another of his and Hermione's arguments in his head. He just didn't
get girls and the whole set of complex unwritten rules which
seemed to come with them. Take yesterday, for example. He and Hermione,
who was usually a sensible person, had just been talking normally. Then
he'd said something - Ron could hardly even remember what now - and Hermione
had started going into one of her off-the-wall utterly irrelevant speeches.
Wish I had some insight into the female brain,
Ron thought, irritated, to himself. His bad mood was not improved by the
fact that he'd just popped a disgusting Brick flavoured bean into his
mouth in his lapse of concentration. Ron gagged and hurridly reached for
another bean to take the gritty flavour of cement and granite from his
The bean he'd picked was silver - which was
strange, as Ron had never come across a silver bean before. What could
be? Metal? Then, looking more closely at it, Ron realised that it was
a blend of different colours, making it appear silvery in the light.
Ron weighed up his options. Well, anything
had to be better than having part of a wall in his mouth, he decided as
he hurridly put the silver bean in his mouth...
"Ron...Ron! Wake up!" Somebody
was shaking him awake. Ron half opened his eyes. Ginny was shaking him
"You must have fallen asleep,"
Ginny said, as Ron groggily lifted up his heavy head.
"Wha-? Oh. Right," Ron said confusedly,
catching sight of his divination text book and remembering where he was.
He opened up the book and attempted to read it, though his head felt like
he'd had too much of the strong version of butterbeer. Ron was just trying
to work out the bit about the importance of the Sun and other planets
in certain houses, when he heard Ginny's voice.
"Harry's probably at
Quidditch Practice. I wonder if...no. He probably wouldn't even notice
me, let alone sweep me up in a loving embrace..."
Ron spluttered. "Ginny, please! I am
not one of your girl-friends!" he said, a look of disgust beginning
to form on his freckled face.
"I didn't say you were," said Ginny,
looking up from her homework with a puzzled face.
"No, but I'm Harry's best friend. I'm
not exactly the best person to confide in about your crush on him,"
Ron protested. He'd thought that Ginny was over this nonsense about Harry
- but it was just another example to prove how strange females were.
"What?" said Ginny, but she turned
as red as the philosopher's stone.
"All I'm saying is, keep your girly
comments about Harry to yourself," said Ron, giving up all hope on
his divination homework.
"Ron, I haven't said a word to you about
Harry or anybody else..." Ginny said, now extremely puzzled, and
extremely red. "You must have imagined it."
Ron opened his mouth to argue, but Ginny
had already picked up her quill and started writing again. He instead
satisfied himself with muttering to himself something about girls being
mad. He started reading again, but the library hadn't been silent for
two seconds before he clearly heard his sister again.
"How on earth did he
know what I was thinking? Oh well...Poor Colin, I can't believe he asked
"Colin Creevey asked you out?!"
said Ron, incredulously. Ginny's face was a map of astonishment.
"How did you know that?" she said,
making frantic shushing gestures at her brother, and glancing around her.
"Did Colin tell you?"
"No," said Ron, wondering if his
sister was going mad. "You just did. Just now."
Ginny stared at her brother. Then something
extremely odd happened: Ron very clearly heard Ginny's voice saying,
"What is he talking about? If Colin's been spreading this, I'll curse
him." but he was equally certain
that Ginny hadn't even opened her mouth.
Ron blinked, then shook his head, vigurously.
"Are you okay?" Ginny asked (this time by means of her mouth)
"Fine, I'm fine," said Ron, slightly
hoarsely, slamming his text book shut.
"For Merlin's sake, Ron, it's not that
hard," Ron realised fo the first time that Parvati Patil was sitting
at the other end of the long table. He also noticed (distatsefully) that
she was whizzing through her divination homework.
Then, it happened again!
"Oops, almost time to
meet Padma..." Ron heard Parvati
say, and he saw Parvati check her watch, then begin to pack away her things
- but Parvati hadn't even been talking.
"Er - are you going to meet your sister,
Parvati?" Ron blurted out as Parvati stood up to leave.
"Yeah, how did you know?" asked
"Er - didn't you just say so?"
"No, I didn't say anything," said
Parvati, leaving with a curious expression.
"Are you sure you're okay?" said
Ginny, looking at her brother with a worried expression. He kept blinking,
and shaking his head. "How come you fell asleep anyway?"
Ron thought about it...how had he fallen
asleep? Then, very slowly, the memory came back. He'd eaten a bean. A
silver, glowing bean. And it had transported him to another realm, where
things were very strange..? No. Ron racked his brains...what else? He'd
been sitting there, wishing he had...
Ron stopped. Wishing that he had some
insight into the female brain.
Just then a group of girls entered the library.
For Ron, it was like being caught in a hailstorm of owls. At least ten
different loud, female voices entered his head.
"I hate the smell of
"I hope he doesn't find
"I can't believe she
"...so dusty in here..."
Ron, eyes as big as head lamps, looked quickly
from Madame Pince, the librarian, to the gaggle of girls. Not one of them
was talking, yet he still had a barrage of voices in his head. Madame
Pince hadn't kicked them out yet, which meant she couldn't hear them (Madam
Pince was an extremely short tempered lady who didn't hold with noise).
Ginny seemed oblivious, too.
"Ginny," Ron hissed. "Can
you hear that?"
"Hear what?" Ginny said. Then she
watched as her brother stood up and fled.
Ron had considered going to the hospital
wing, but he'd put his head round the door, heard Madame Pomfrey look
up and say (or think) "I thought it'd only be a matter of time before a Weasley
got sent in again," without opening her mouth once, and slammed the door behind
Okay. Okay. Ron leant again the hospital
wing door, breathing deeply. He was very slowly going mad, it seemed.
Nothing to worry about. But meanwhile, he'd like to know JUST WHAT IN
MERLIN'S NAME WAS GOING ON!?
Ron decided there was really only one person
he could go to. He sprinted down the steps.
"And what do you think has happened?"
Dumbledore asked in his usual direct manner, once Ron, feeling very stupid,
had finished his explanation.
"I think...well, I think, sir, that...I
can hear what girls are thinking," said Ron, feeling now extremely
"I see," said Dumbledore, more
serious now, though Ron saw that his mouth was twitching slightly. "How
interesting," he added, half to himself. Then he turned back to Ron,
who was now fidgeting slightly in his chair.
"Well, Mr. Weasley - I only have a very
vague theory of what may have happened to you. Magic is very complex,
you see, far more so than we can recognise. Perhaps sometimes powers come
to you when you need them. It can't be explained, but has been this way
for centuries, I believe.
"There are, however, two things of which
I am certain: the first, is that this power should only stay
with you for seven days. The second, is that if you wish to be rid of
it before then, you must prove that you don't need this power."
Ron digested all of this. "So, I have
to prove that I don't have to read witches' thoughts?" he said.
"Either that or you could wait out the
seven days," Dumbledore said. "I must say, you are in possession
of an extremely useful, if slightly strange power," he added with
a twinkle. "Much better than the power one of my own friends got
when he found himself in a similar situation."
"Harry! Harry!" Ron leant over
his friend, who was fast asleep after an exhausting Quidditch practice.
"I need to tell you something."
Harry opened one eye and rolled over, burying
his face in the downy pillows. "Ron, this had better be good..."
came the muffled moan.
"Harry - I think I've got a mind reading
"Professor Trelawny has really got to
you, hasn't she?" said Harry, amusedly from the depths of the pillows.
"No, seriously! Listen, I was in the
library earlier, yeah, and I was sitting there thinking about how me and
Hermione are always arguing, and I was wishing that I knew what girls
were thinking, or something, and it came true!"
Harry sat up. For a moment, Ron wasn't sure
if he was going to laugh or simply look astounded. He went for a mixture
of the two.
"You're saying that you can read girl's
thoughts?" Harry said, a repressed smile breaking out.
"I know it sounds barking," Ron
said, sitting down on his own bed. "But I woke up, and I swear I
could hear what they were thinking! And then I went to see Dumbledore,
and he -"
"He what?" Harry said, the laughter
dying at this.
"Well, actually what he said was, that
he needed more time to work this one out and I either have to cope with
hearing witches' thoughts for a week, or prove I don't need to. I suppose
that's him telling me I've got to work this one out by myself."
Harry stared at Ron, who was by now breathless,
but frowning in concentration. Then Harry flopped backwards onto the bed
and laughed his head off.
"Sorry, sorry," Harry apologised
once he'd stopped. "Er, okay, so what are you going to do?"
"I haven't got a clue," Ron said.
It was all very well to see the joke in this
bizarre situation, but by the end of the evening Ron was being driven
mad. It was like having a constant, raging headache. Suddenly, there were
girls everywhere he went. And all their thoughts were being shouted to
him whether he liked it or not.
"I don't want to KNOW about your lovelife!"
He at last yelled at a shocked Ravenclaw girl who'd been standing minding
her own business.
Ron tried to explain this to Harry, but his
friend who was not burdened with acting as a satellite for female thoughts,
"You've got a gift," Harry said
sleepily. They were talking in the darkness of the dormitory.
"A gift? a gift? Being able to ballet
dance is a gift. Being as brainy as Hermione is a gift. This is not a
"Ron, you can read minds. That's got
to be an advantage." Ron was about to snap back another cynical answer,
when he thought about it. How on earth could this be an advantage? He
was still thinking when everybody else in their dormitory had long been
"It's okay, everybody;
don't bother helping, after all I'm only Eloise Midgen..."
Ron looked down and saw Eloise Midgen, looking
more than a little downcast, hastily trying to gather the books she'd
dropped as people hurried to their morning classes. Ron bent over and
picked up the last of her books, then handed them to her.
"Oh," said Eloise Midgen, looking
distinctly suprised. "Thanks, er..."
"Ron," Ron said quickly.
"Of course. The one
who has a problem with my nose being a millimeter off center, like every
other typical boy/arsehole in this school."
"Who told you that?" Ron said,
suprised and embarrassed.
"Told me what?" Eloise said.
"Nothing," Ron said, running up
to join Harry.
And the worst thing was, as Ron was fast
discovering, he didn't exactly like all of what he heard. In fact, Ron
didn't know what was worse, hearing himself described as an arsehole three
times, or hearing that a Second year he'd passed earlier on thought he
"Hey, Herms, how come you skipped breakfast?"
"Library," Hermione said simply.
Ron started to gawp but then he remembered something else.
Oh no. Ron had forgotten that, due to his
new powers, he would now be party to one of his best friend's thoughts.
He just couldn't read Hermione's thoughts and look innocent. He didn't
Ron gave Harry an agonized look accompanied
with convincing gestures as Hermione went to talk to Professor Flitwick.
"It's okay, we just won't tell her,"
Harry whispered. "I mean, you know Hermione, she'll want to keep
you in isolation so that you can't infringe on peoples' privacy."
Ron moaned and smacked his forehead but Hermione had already sat herself
down next to him.
"Hi!" she said brightly. What she
thought was: "Hmm, Ron looks very pale, he's probably been eating too many
sweets" (It was all Ron could
do to stop himself shouting, "I have not!")
"Are you okay, Ron?" Hermione said
casually. "You look pale."
"Fine, I'm fine," Ron muttered.
"Slightly restless night, that's all."
"I'll say," Harry murmured with
a grin, before Ron elbowed him.
"Er, Harry, wouldn't it be easier if
you worked over here, next to Hermione?" Ron hinted.
"Oh great, they've got
some kind of boy thing going on and they don't want me to know,"
Hermione thought. Ron jumped. "I wish that I didn't have to feel like such a gooseberry half
the time I'm with them. And what's worse is, they don't even seem to notice...oh
well. It was inevitable, I suppose...boys will be boys and all that..."
train of thoughts was interuptted when she sneezed. Then she sneezed again.
And again. It seemed that she couldn't go five minutes without sneezing.
"Oh no," Hermione
groaned. "I'm allergic to something in here," she said, casting
her eyes around, looking for the culprit.
"Miss Granger, you have
permission to go to the hospital wing," Professor Flitwick squeaked.
"Oh no! I'll miss one
of my most important lessons. Aargghh! Why now?!"
Ron could hardly supress
a smile as he heard this particularly Hermione-ish thought.
"I'll bring you your
homework, don't worry, Hermione," Ron said as Hermione grabbed up
her things. Hermione looked (and was) grateful as she sneezed them goodbye.
"So, great mind reader,"
said Harry with a grin as they started off to their next lesson. "Have
you discovered the secret of what witches want yet?"
Ron shook his head, irritated.
"I've heard myself described as an asshole four times already,"
he said in a low voice. Harry cracked up.
"And you don't want
to know what girls are thinking about you, Harry," Ron added, promply
shutting up his best friend ("What? What have they been thinking
But Ron wouldn't say any
more. He instead concentrated on wondering if earplugs would work.