The Sugar Quill
Author: Emeraldd Star  Story: A Night on the Knight Bus  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.

I do not own, nor did I think up any of the characters, places, or things below. This only excludes the characters Bill (not Weasley), Duana, and Maximus.

‘Twas a dark and stormy night; clouds thickened on the horizon and rain poured down in sheets. Worse still, Ron Weasley’s mood matched the weather. Just two hours ago his wonderful girlfriend, who was the second person for whom he had ever had any real feelings, had dumped him for some guy named Maximus.

‘Maximus,’ Ron thought bitterly, ‘what kind of name is that? His real one is probably Herman and he changed it so witches would like him better.’ Ron had spent the last two hours thinking thoughts like that, wandering around Godric’s Hollow aimlessly. Ron knew that he should go home; Harry might worry about him, seeing as it was about three in the morning.

Without really thinking, Ron stuck out his wand arm and waited for the Knight Bus. Playing with a string on his robe, Ron began to think up various torture methods for Duana Floress – his ex-girlfriend. All thoughts of undiluted Bobotuber pus were soon interrupted by a loud BANG! The huge purple mass of the Knight Bus stood before him.

A tired looking man in a purple uniform stepped out of bus and said tiredly,

“Welcome to the Knight Bus, emergency transport for witches and wizards. I’m Bill Grasburg; please enjoy your stay here in the Knight Bus. Where to?” He cocked his head to the side and looked at Ron as though he had just woken him up, or disturbed his concentration.

“L-London please, and how much will that be?” Ron stammered, his voice slightly thick from the crying he had been holding back all evening.

“Eleven Sickles,” Bill said, “Fifteen if you want a toothbrush and tea or hot chocolate.”

Ron nodded and fished around in his pocket for the money. He handed the fifteen Sickles to Bill, figuring that he’d need the tea, and stepped on to the Knight Bus. Bill pointed Ron’s bed out to him and disappeared somewhere, probably to go and drive. Ron braced himself and, sure enough, there was another BANG! He was forced down flat on his bed. For the first time in awhile he gave a half smile. The Knight Bus was always fun.

Lying so that his feet hung over the bed, Ron gave a small sigh and went back to thinking about Duana being forced to kiss someone incredibly disgusting ‘like, like Malfoy!’ Then he remembered that Malfoy was in Bermuda for the Ministry. Harry and Ron had celebrated all night when they had found out that he was leaving England for such a long time. ‘Harry,’ Ron thought, ‘what a lucky guy. He has his own Broom company and a Ginny for a girlfriend. Harry has a great flat in London and an even better roommate, me.’ Ron gave another half-hearted smile at this, but what about him?

Ron worked for the Ministry in the Committee on Experimental Charms. He had some of the best swish and flick control (or SFC) in all of England. He lived with Harry, and had a nice social circle. Ron had a fairly good life, he had friends, his family was doing wonderfully, and he even had a nice little hoard in his vault at Gringrotts. There was just about one thing missing in Ron’s life right now, and that had been there until two hours ago.

‘Duana, that cheating scum.’ Ron sighed again and went back to imagining the she-devil being beaten to death by rabid house elves that looked a bit like Dobby and Winky. Then, without warning, there was another terrific BANG and Ron was jolted back further into this bed.

He sat up to see who else was haunting the streets at this hour and saw a female figure rush onto the bus. She listened patiently to Bill’s little spiel, and went to the bed next to Ron’s. Ready this time, Ron braced himself for the tremendous jolt.

After it had passed Ron began to become curious about this strange woman. Oddly brave from his recent plots of revenge, Ron sat up and said, “’Lo there, why are you out on a horrible night such at this?”

The woman turned to him and said in a familiar voice, “I’m surprising a friend in London.” Ron gaped,

“Hermione?”

She was supposed to be in France for the ministry; why was she here?

“Ron is that you?” was the dazed and frazzled answer of Hermione. Ron nodded, still confused and quite speechless. Suddenly, almost as unexpectedly as seeing her in England, Hermione leapt up and gave Ron the largest of hugs.

“Oh Ron! I’m so surprised… what are you doing out this late?” she inquired after the tight embrace ended.

“I’m coming back from getting my heart stomped on once again,” Ron replied, suddenly annoyed, “The question really is, why are you here? I thought that you were in France. Also who is this friend in London you’re visiting?” Hermione sat down on Ron’s bed and began her lengthy tale.

“Well, as you know, I was in France to negotiate that treaty on Quick Quotes Quills.” Ron nodded.

“Well, yesterday I got really fed up and in the middle of a meeting I stood up and screamed, ‘For the love of God who really cares? This is stupid! I haven’t been in England for five months because of these stupid Quills. Just get over it! There are more important things in life that censoring quills, you people are the most annoying overstuffed idiots that ever lived!’ Then I stormed out of the room.” Hermione had to pause to wait for Ron’s laughter to subside. Then she continued.

“The next day I came to the meeting and it turns out that everyone felt the same way! Over an impromptu dinner (I hadn’t been invited to) almost all of the details had been worked out! I even got a bonus from my boss for getting us out of there! So this morning I packed my bags, and headed for the Portkey station. Unfortunately I ended up taking the wrong one and ended up in thirteen different places before I got home. When I got to the station I figured that it was much too late to go to Mum and Dad’s, so I decided to visit you and Harry. I can’t believe that I ran into you here, it’s so amazing!”

Hermione paused for a moment; as if thinking something over. Then she gingerly asked,

“Ron why are you here at three in the morning?” Ron sighed and proceeded to tell Hermione the whole story.

“For the past couple of months I’ve been dating a lovely woman named Duana. Tonight she arranged for us to meet at a wonderful little romantic restaurant in Godric’s Hollow. Once we were there, she proceeded to tell me that she had been seeing another man for about a month now!” Hermione gasped and opened her mouth, but Ron silenced her with a wave of his hand.

“So there was the basic yelling and tempers. It all ended with me walking out of the restaurant and of course our breaking up. Of course the worst part is the other guy himself- his name is Maximus. Apparently he’s some Roman actor type with perfect everything and brain the size of a Flobberworm.”

Although his words were meant to sound lighthearted, Ron knew that his voice was cracked with bitterness.

“Oh Ron, I’m so sorry.” Hermione awkwardly reached over and patted Ron on the back, and surprisingly enough, Ron felt a bit better.Then a slow wistful smile spread over Hermione’s face,

“Have you tried angry Veela pecking her eyes out?”

She asked. This time a real grin spread over Ron’s tired face.

“No,” he said, “but I have tried her being beaten to death by evil house elves.” Hermione laughed and replied, “House elves are creative, but I like angry Veela best.”

From there the topic veered to happier subjects: Ron’s job, Harry, and simple idle chat. They were enjoyed a nice conversation about Ron’s nephew, or Percy’s son Pilumnus. Percy had married his Hogwarts sweetheart Penelope Clearwater. Then, several years ago they were blessed with a son who had turned out just like the infamous Weasley twins.

“A few days ago he got into the Floo powder and just happened to waltz in on poor Snape!” Ron was telling Hermione, who was laughing at the toddler’s antics when another loud BANG and enormous jolt interrupted them. Ron and Hermione were thrown backwards and Hermione landed on top of Ron in a rather uncomfortable position.

“All off for London,” called Bill’s hoarse voice.

“Er, Hermione could you get off me? We need to get off the bus now,” said an embarrassed and very, very red Ron.

“So sorry,” muttered a crimson Hermione. Then, still red, they collected their things, said goodbye to Bill, and stepped into the dark alley near The Leaky Cauldron.

“It’s only a short walk from here and we’ll stay pretty dry if we go under the shop signs,” Ron mused.

“Alright,” replied Hermione, who was still slightly pink, as she took Ron’s hand in hers. Ron’s face turned “Weasley red” at this unexpected gesture of affection, and they started to walk to the apartment.

It may have just been the weather, but it seemed to Ron that the sky brightened slightly as he and Hermione walked down the deserted streets of London on that rainy morning. ‘Forget Duana and Maximus,’ he thought, this much was better than a thousand kisses from any girl any day.

A/N- And that children, is what we call major, major, full frontal fluff! I’m grinning like mad at this. Actually, if it seems familiar to anyone it’s a beta-ed, paragraphed version of what I had posted at ff.n. Hope you liked it, my inspiration was cold medicine (try writing under the influence of it the next time you have a cold, wheee!), buses, and my overactive imagination. Thanks to Elanor Gamee for being a ROXin beta reader and to whomever else I might send this to look over.

 

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