"Do you know much about Hogsmeade?" asked Hermione
keenly. "I've read it's the only entirely non-Muggle settlement
"Yeah, I think it is," said Ron in an offhand sort
of way, "but that's not why I want to go. I just want to get inside
"What's that?" said Hermione.
"It's this sweetshop," said Ron, a dreamy look coming
over his face, "where they've got everything . . . . Pepper
Imps-they make you smoke at the mouth-and great fat Chocoballs full
of strawberry mousse and clotted cream and really excellent sugar quills,
which you can suck on in class and just look like you're thinking what
to write next-"
Sugar Quills were the greatest idea in the world. It was marvelous
how something so sweet could make you look so smart. Ron wished he knew
who invented them so he could thank him. They were every student's dream
. . .well, his at least.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
Ah, this was the stuff. Sugary goodness drifted passed his taste
buds. Ron sucked again, melting more of the quill's candy. He propped
his head up on his elbow, letting his eyes fall out of focus, all the
while keeping them on Professor McGonagall.
She had gone into explaining something or another. The words she
spoke reached his ear, knocked politely, desiring admittance to his
brain. When no answer came they pounded irritably and still there was
no response. Fortunately, they found the door unlocked and entered.
Unfortunately, the door lead down the hall, to another unlocked door,
out the other side of his head. Frustrated and annoyed, the words gave
Ron dirty looks and plotted revenge.
Ron savored the taste in his mouth before he swallowed. Yes, these
certainly were the best-
McGonagall's words lay panting in exhaustion at the bottom of Ron's
brain. They had finally found a tiny opening in the hallway and had
spent several minutes rattling around before these particular words-sharp
and heavy-had finally awakened him to consciousness.
Ron opened his mouth in surprise, then reluctantly took out the
sugar quill to speak. "Yes, Professor?"
McGonagall's eyes behind her square spectacles examined him. "I
find it astounding and amazing . . ." She studied him more closely.
"Were you actually paying attention for once, Mr. Weasley?"
Ron blinked. "Huh?"
"It is obvious you were thinking hard about this lesson by
the way you were chewing your quill. I am impressed."
The blank void in Ron's head gave way to a feeling of pride. He
smiled modestly. "Well, I try, Professor."
"You will be sure the Headmaster will hear of this. He will
be very pleased." McGonagall actually beamed at him.
All around him, Ron's classmates clapped their approval. Harry
was going wild. "My best friend, you know!" Hermione gave
him a shy smile. Ron grinned at her as everyone patted him on the back,
feeling as if he'd won the Quidditch World Cup.
Quite pleased, Ron placed the sugar quill back into his mouth and
let the tingle of sugar tease his tongue.
Tangy, sweet, mouth watering. Ron's sugar quill melted slowly in
his mouth as he sat with Harry and Hermione in the library-he couldn't
quite remember how he'd gotten there, but that didn't matter. All thoughts
to their history paper had been forgotten in the advent of sugar. He
stared, dreamily and contentedly, his mouth slack. A book lay open before
him, and though it seemed his eyes were upon it pages, in truth they
stared passed it, passed the table, passed the floor.
"Ah, Mr. Weasley," came a voice that miraculously found
an entrance to his brain. "Studying hard, I see."
Ron looked up to see Professor Dumbledore. He pushed his vacant
thoughts away and held his sugar quill, as if ready to write something
truly scholarly. He smiled. "That's right, Professor."
"Excellent! I've talked with Professor McGonagall and I see
she's right. You are very intelligent."
Ron shrugged. "It's a gift, Professor."
Dumbledore leaned in secretively. "Because of your intellectual
demonstration, I've decided to make you a Prefect."
Ron gaped. "Prefect?!"
"Hmm, you're right. That doesn't suit you." Dumbledore
rubbed his chin. "Head Boy, then."
Had Ron still had the sugar quill in his mouth he would have lost
it when his jaw dropped. "Head Boy," Ron murmured to himself.
A lopsided grin formed on his face. "Wicked."
Dumbledore pinned a Head Boy badge on Ron's robes. All over the
library came ooo's and ahh's, Madam Pince joining in on
"Head Boy, Ron!" Harry exclaimed. "I never
could have done it! Good show!"
Hermione leapt into his arms and kissed him passionately on the
lips. "Oh, Ron," she said in a throaty, seductive voice,
that didn't sound like Hermione at all. "I am so proud of
you! You're the only boy for me."
Ron stuck the sugar quill roguishly between his teeth and pulled
Hermione toward him with and arm around her waist. "It's you and
"Oh, Ron!" She melted into him.
Percy came up and grabbed his free hand, pumping it wildly in excitement.
"You're definitely smarter than me, Ron. Would you like me to shine
Ron waved a hand away, only to be handed a Firebolt broomstick.
Oliver Wood looked ecstatic. "We've taken a vote and we've decided
you should be Quidditch Captain!"
The rest of the Gryffindor team cheered as Oliver made this announcement.
"Excellent," said Ron, accepting the position. The cheers
Malfoy fell to his knees next to Ron. His looked up at him with
terror on his face. "Is there anything I can do for you, Sire?
I live only to serve you, Sir."
Lazily, Ron shoved Malfoy onto his back by stepping on his face.
"Very good, Sir."
Hermione hugged him tighter. "You're so brave, Ron!"
Filibuster Fireworks, set off by the twins, climaxed this most
perfect of moments. Ron felt giddy, the sugar getting to his system.
He worked his tongue over the edge of the quill-definitely the sweetest
thing he'd ever tasted. He chewed the end thoughtfully, wanting to burst
out laughing due to his sugar high.
On impulse, Ron dipped Hermione and kissed her, all the while everyone
chanted his name. "Ron! Ron! Ron!"
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
"Ron! Ron! Hello, Ron!"
Ron blinked. Harry and Hermione watched him worriedly from across
the Gryffindor table. Harry's hand was still on his shoulder from where
he'd shaken him. "Ron, you okay?"
"Huh?" A partially chewed sugar quill fell from his mouth.
"We lost you for a moment," Hermione said. "What
were you thinking of?"
"Er . . . nothing." Ron picked up his sugar quill and
looked at it as if he'd never seen it before.
Hermione shook her head. "Well, don't do that again. You scared
Ron smiled at her reassuringly. "Sure thing." He wrapped
his tongue around his sugar quill and bit the end of it, savoring its
sweetness. Yes, sugar quills really were the best candy . . .