The Sugar Quill
Author: Doctor Aicha (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: R/H Songfics  Chapter: Chapter Three: I Don't Like Anyone
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The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

A/N: The last installment was based on the song "Love to Love You," by the Irish band the Corrs. This one is based on "I Don't Like Anyone," by teen pop sensation Dream.

 

Ron was standing in the common room when he saw Hermione slip out. She hadn't even looked his way, and he was pretty sure she hadn't seen him. She had a letter in her hand. Without stopping to think, he followed her out the portrait door.

She was going toward the Owlery, he decided, about five minutes later. There wasn't much else she could be doing, going in this direction and without books. She seemed to be oblivious to the fact that he was following her. Evidently, she was thinking about Viktor.

Ron fought the urge to spit on the ground as he thought of Krum. The guy was at least eighteen, Ron knew, and Hermione was Ron's own age. He felt a little ill as the thought of what Krum might have tried to do with her in Bulgaria. Snogging was the least of his worries. What if he'd tried to… Ron snorted then, a small, disgusted sound that filled the corridor and seemed to echo around him. He froze, and then pressed himself up against the wall, tucked out of sight behind a suit of armour.

He needn't have bothered, as she was not paying any attention to her surroundings. She disappeared into the Owlery. Ron wondered, for a minute, what he should do. He stood behind the slightly opened door, listening. He could hear her cooing to that ruddy Bulgarian owl, and he could hear the rustlings of a witch tying a letter to a bird's leg.

He felt a wave of fury wash over him. A small voice in his head asked him why he was angry, and he found wasn't entirely sure. She wasn't supposed to be consorting with the enemy, was she? Was that the only reason?

HE stepped through the door then, again, without conscious thought. He seemed to be acting on impulse quite often lately. When she turned to him, her tear streaked face only increased his fury. She was crying over Krum?

Hermione faced him. "What are you doing here?" she asked.

"Followed you, of course," he replied. He was still furious. "How can you cry over him, Hermione? What's he done? I'll kill him…"

"Nothing, Ron, he's done nothing." She sighed then, and tried to push past him.

"What are you doing up here?" he asked, blocking the doorway.

"I was just posting a reply to Viktor, of course," she said.

"I can't believe you," he said in a low, angry voice. "Sending him letters, crying over him… he's got to be some kind of dark wizard; Hermione, he went to Durmstrang."

She shook her head at him, unable to believe he was on about that, again. "Ron, I told you that I wasn't going to speak to you until you dropped that nonsense," she told him, suddenly as furious as he seemed to be. "He was here all last year and he was perfectly respectable."

Ron was taken aback, at this. "Well, I know he was ok last year, but you know…"

"What? I know he's a decent, kind person. And I also know he loves me."

Ron was floored. Krum loved Hermione? He loved her? "But he's eighteen, for Merlin's sake, a man, he's way too old for you…" he stammered out.

"Ron, you're being an idiot," Hermione had raised her voice for the first time. "My dad is four years older than my Mum!"

"They didn't get married when they were fifteen!" he yelled, irrationally.

"I'm not marrying Krum, you idiot, I'm writing him a letter!"

"Don't write him letters!"

"Why not! Why do you care what I do?" she yelled back.

"Because! You're Hermione."

The whole argument was completely irrational. He briefly wondered why it did matter so much to him.

"That's not a reason! That's silly. Honestly, Ron, you're nutters!" She looked a bit shocked. "Now let me pass! I'm not going to have this argument with you any more!"

Ron felt a little of his anger seeping away. "Just don't marry Krum, Hermione. Don't date him or write him letters…."

She gave him a little shove, and he stepped aside. "Don't tell me what to do, Ron! If you don't want me to date him, you know what the solution is, don't you? I don't like anyone the way I like you!"

With that, she stepped through the door.

Ron stood there, surprised, for a long time.

******

Hermione dashed through the common room and headed up to the Tower. She shunted aside Ginny's questions…

Why don't they leave me alone...

Bad boys, jealous girls

Been there, done that, I just wanna fantasize

Starring at the ceiling thinking 'bout you

It's a freaky feeling, what can I do...

She lay on her bed and thought about Viktor and Ron. She cried a little over Viktor and a bit more over Ron. She wiped a hand across her eyes and sternly told herself to stop being such an idiot. Then she thought of Ron again… she imagined different endings to the Owlery argument and she imagined that Ron had taken her to the Yule Ball. She fantasized that he would declare his love in the Great Hall… that they'd walk hand in hand in Hogsmeade…

They think I'm a little obsessed

Up here sending mental telepathy

I'm concentrating on you...

I want to give you everything

But if I do, will you think the less of me

Everybody else, just wasting my time

I don't like anyone, the way I like you

I don't go anywhere, if you're not there too

It's not as if I'm hard to please

You're the only one good enough for me

Those others just won't do

I don't like anyone but you

Oh god. She'd as good as told him she fancied him. Her face burned and she buried it in her pillow. Why hadn't she been able to love Viktor? Why did she have to feel this way about Ron, when all he wanted to do was yell at her? Ron was… Ron. He was so brave, and loyal, and… he was adorable the way that he blushed when you gave him even a little compliment. He was good at Quidditch and pretty good in classes. He'd be better if he studied… It was funny the way he liked sweets so much…

It's not as if I'm hard to please

You're the only one good enough for me

Those others just won't do

I don't like anyone but you

A voice broke through he thoughts. "Hermione?"

********

Ron had stood in the Owlery for about 20 minutes, thinking about Hermione. Her funny, bushy hair, the way her eyes twinkled at him. A warm feeling spread through him. She fancied him! She fancied him, not Krum.

He had to see her.

*****

Ron came through the portrait hole with a determined look on his face. He spotted his sister sitting near the fireplace. "Have you seen Hermione?" he asked, not even bothering to pretend it was a casual question.

"Upstairs," Ginny answered, wisely keeping further comment to herself.

Ron took a breath and went up the staircase toward the girls' dormitory. He opened the door marked "Fifth Year" and stood for a moment.

Her back was to him. She was lying on her side with her back toward the door. She either hadn't heard him come in or she was trying to ignore him. "Hermione?" he said, with a question in his voice. What if he'd gotten it wrong? What if she didn't mean it?.

"Go away, Ron," she murmured. "I can't fight with you any more today."

He felt his heart swell with her words. Her sad tone was his fault. "I didn't come up here to fight with you," he stammered. "I came to apologize," he stated, his words coming more forcefully.

She turned to him then, sitting up. "Really?"

"Yeah. I… I reckon I haven't been terribly fair to you, and I just wanted to tell you why I was such a… such a prat."

She raised an eyebrow. "Well?"

"I didn't want you with him, because I wanted…" he broke off, his courage failing him. He could face an angry giant wizard's chess queen, but he couldn't look Hermione in the eye and tell her he fancied her.

He took a few steps toward her, and she stood up, so he wouldn't tower over her. "I mean to say, Hermione, that I wanted you with me." There, he'd gotten it out.

She frowned, wondering exactly what that meant. She'd made fool of herself once that day and she didn't intend to do it again.

Ron blushed. "Well, you know." He wondered why she was being intentionally dense. He crossed his arms over his chest and looked at the floor. She was very close to him, and he was uncomfortably aware of her intense gaze. "Um, wouldyougotoHogsmeadewithmesomtime?" he mumbled.

"Oh Ron! Yes! I'll go with you!" A broad smile broke across her face. He grinned then, and pulled her close for a hug. Unbidden, his lips found their way to the top of her head.

"That's great," he murmured into her hair, "that's just great." He released her then. They could hear footsteps on the stairs. "The next weekend is the first one in October. Please?"

She looked at his face, his wonderful, funny face. "Yes."

//
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