The Sugar Quill
Author: Doctor Aicha (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: R/H Songfics  Chapter: Chapter Two: Love to Love You
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Hermione wondered where Harry and Ron were. It was only the third week of the term and they were already skiving off homework. Of course, her History of Magic essay was only half done, but at least she was working. They were probably off somewhere, chasing girls. Or something. Her forehead creased, and she thought of Viktor. At least he was serious about work, and commitments. Not like Ron and Harry. She sighed, then. No, Viktor wasn't like them at all.

The two boys in question burst through the portrait hole and flung themselves across armchairs in her vicinity. "What's the matter with you?" Ron asked.

"Nothing at all. Just because you two are off playing doesn't mean the rest of us don't have work to do," she sniped.

"Hermione, we haven't got any homework, except History of Magic and divination," Harry told her.

She tutted at them then. "Where have you been?" she asked.

"Practicing. Hermione, I'm trying out for the house team," Ron answered her.

She smiled then, a real smile. "That's great, Ron! I'm sure you'll make the team," she was really happy for him. Besides, she decided that Quidditch was one good way to keep Harry's mind off of Cedric's death and the reembodiment of Voldemort.

"Huh, what you know about Quidditch wouldn't fill a roll of parchment," he laughed, "but thanks for the good thought."

"You'd be surprised what I've learned about Quidditch! Viktor taught me a lot in…"

"Oh, I forgot about Vicky for just a minute. Never mind about my tryout, your boyfriend is a world-famous Quidditch player. What does the House Cup matter, with the World Cup qualifiers beginning?" Ron said cuttingly, and stood up. "I'm going to take a shower."

Hermione was furious. "This is my house and my House Cup, too, Ron Weasley!" she flung at his retreating back. "And don't call him Vicky!"

She didn't hear his reply.

Harry was looking at her. He shrugged. "Just forget it, Harry," Hermione snapped.

*****

Next morning, owls streamed through the openings at the top of the Great Hall. A barn owl dropped a copy of the Daily Prophet next to her plate just as a Sooty Owl she recognized glided in. The owl dropped a letter in her place and landed nearby. "Go on to the owlery, Ivor," she addressed the owl, giving him a bit of sausage. "You've had a long flight and tomorrow is soon enough to begin a return," she added. He hooted a small thank you, and flew away.

She opened the Prophet and began to read. "The dark mark's been seen in Stoke on Trent," she murmured, a worried tone in her voice. "Ministry wizards couldn't find any damage done, or anyone killed," she added after a moment or two.

She noticed that Ron seemed to be very red, and his expression was really quite funny. "You won't distract us as easily as that!" he said, in a voice so low that she was almost sure it grabbed more attention than yelling would have done.

"What are you on about, Ron?" she asked.

"That ruddy owl. That ruddy Bulgarian owl," he answered in that same low, dangerous tone.

"Ivor only lives in Bulgaria; sooty owls come from Australia," she answered primly, going back to her paper.

"You know what I mean," he said furiously. "I can't believe you'd sit there and talk about the dark mark in that tone all the while holding a letter from a graduate of Durmstrang," he said. "He's probably one of them! Using you to get to Harry!" Ron pounded his fist on the table.

Hermione decided then not to continue speaking to Ron until he stopped being such an idiot. "Ron, if you believe my judgment is that poor, then it's a wonder you still speak to me. I certainly shan't speak to you until you apologize for that remark." With that, she stalked out of the Great Hall.

*****

She'd read his letter. She thought back to the first time he'd spoken to her, in the Hogwarts library.

I met you on a sunny Autumn day,

You instantly attracted me, when asking for the way,

God if I had known the pain I'd make you feel,

I would have stopped this thought of us, and turned upon my heel.

She sighed. It had been nice, having a boyfriend as sweet, kind, and interesting as Viktor. A boyfriend who treated her like she was a beautiful, special girl. But she'd known, somehow, that his would come soon. She'd just hoped that it wouldn't be necessary to hurt him…

Though you should leave me,

Time make it be alright,

Though you must leave me,

Time will help you see the light,

You don't need me,

Time make it be alright,

Though you must leave me,

Believe me when I tell you…

She picked up her quill.

Dear Viktor,

I hope you are doing well on your tour of Southeast Asia. I've heard it's quite spectacular. You must be experiencing lots of great things.

As to the rest of it, Viktor. I am so sorry that I have hurt you this way. I tried so hard. I wanted to love you very much.

I would love to love you like you do me,

I'd love to love you like you do me,

There's a pillar in my way you see,

I'd love to love you like you do me,

I just can't, I'm so sorry. I can't seem to get past this other person. You were right, of course.

You recognised my barrier to love,

I know there's nothing worse than unrequited love,

So I prayed to God that I could give the love you gave to me,

But something's lying in my way, preventing it to be

Viktor, you are a wonderful person. I wanted to love you, I tried to. I tried to tell myself that you are so much nicer, so much more mature than the other boy. But my heart won't listen. And it's silly, because he doesn't even see me in that way. I mean, he doesn't even much notice that I am a girl.

You are the sweetest first boyfriend I could ever have hoped to have, and it was very selfish of me to continue the relationship when I knew that I couldn't love you the way you did me. You made me feel so special, and so wanted, and I just thought if I kept trying it would be all right.

I'm so sorry. You're right that we should end it here. I do hope we can be friends. You have to find someone else who can love you the way you deserve to be loved. I'm just not that girl. You'll find someone else really easily, I'm sure, someone who isn't a stupid girl pining over a boy she can't have while a wonderful man loves her.

Do take care, and keep in touch. I'll worry, if you don't.

With love from,

Hermione

Though you should leave me,

Time make it be alright,

Though you must leave me,

Believe me when I tell you,

I would love to love you like you do me,

I'd love to love you like you do me,

There's a pillar in my way you see,

I'd love to love you like you do me

Tears wet her face as she climbed the steps to the owlery, knowing what she was about to do. She'd brought one of Hedwig's treats for Ivor, not certain she'd even see him again.

As the owl flew away, Hermione turned back toward Gryffindor Tower.

And ran right into a furious looking Ron.

//
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