The Sugar Quill
Author: mioneatheart (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Quill-less  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.

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A/N: Happy Birthday to the Sugar Quill, Happy Birthday to the Sugar Quill…Congratulations you guys! The site is wonderful and I hope you have many more Happy Birthdays to come! As for my story…I hope it’s up to snuff. I know that I—much like our dear Ronniekins—would be very upset if our beloved Quills were banned. I did borrow a few extra things from JKR in this particular Fic (you know other than the characters, setting… ;o) The article from the Daily Prophet bears a very close resemblance to the articles in “Quidditch Through the Ages”, and for a very good reason—I am trying to make it seem that all the articles were written by the same reporter. ;o) To wrap this up (I don’t want my A/N to be longer than the Fic…hehehe) I would like to thank my wonderful Beta-Reader Christina Teresa—you ROX girl!

Part One “Dreams”

The sun rose as it would on any normal day at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It crept up over the hills, casting a golden glow across the grounds. Fingers of light climbed up the walls, casting the first rays into the classrooms and dormitories.

Ron Weasley had been awake for hours. Lately, sleep had been hard to find. The moment his eyes shut the cold, evil shadow would appear high in the night sky, poisonous and green. He would hear desperate, pleading screams. He ran, trying to save them, to help, but it was impossible. The farther he ran the further away the mark would retreat. He knew those voices. He had to save them…run…faster…faster…

And, he would wake. Panting, cold sweat drenched his maroon pajamas. He never saved them; he was never fast enough.

Ron never told anyone of his dreams, not even his best friends. God knows, Harry has enough on his mind. Ron knew Harry still felt guilty about the death of Cedric Diggory and uprising of the Dark Lord in the previous year. He held himself accountable. Ron knew, as everyone else did, that the incidents were not Harry’s fault. But Harry couldn’t see it. And Hermione…Ron felt his cheeks redden at the mere thought of telling her hi s dream. He would be more likely to tell the Dark Lord himself than Hermione. You just didn’t tell girls about dreams like that. They would think it was sweet or some such rubbish. No, he could definitely not tell Hermione…

Ron rose from his bed and pulled on his robes. He glanced over at Harry who was sleeping fitfully. He was talking in his sleep again. “No…no…I WON’T!”

Ron shook his friend’s shoulder. “Harry! Harry—wake up!”

“Wha-what?”

“You were having a dream.”

“Oh—one of them again…which one? Imperious? Cedric? Moody…” Harry began to count them out on his fingers.

Ron had to laugh at his friend’s ability to joke on the subject. “Sounded like Imperious.”

“Ah--that’s a good one…”

They rolled their eyes together.

“Want to go down to breakfast?” Ron asked.

Harry nodded.

Part Two “The Daily Prophet”

The Great Hall was still fairly unoccupied; after all, it was very early. There was, however, one person seated at the Gryffindor table.

“Hermione! What are you doing here this bloody early?!”

“I could ask you the same thing Ron.” Hermione raised her eyebrows in a superior stare.

Ron turned to Harry and rolled his eyes as he took a seat across from Hermione. As he was helping himself to some bacon, Hermione starting giggling. Hermione doesn’t giggle—I wonder what’s going on…He raised his eyebrows questioningly at Harry who was looking nearly as surprised as he felt.

“Um—Hermione? What’s wrong?” Ron said this very timidly as if he was afraid his friend had gone quite mad.

Hermione pressed her hand to her mouth to suppress the giggles; Ron was strongly reminded of Parvati Patil. She was quite red in the face before she regained enough control to respond.

“It’s…nothing…just this article…” The first words came out more as gasps than words, but they knew what she meant all the same. She held up The Daily Prophet with a shaking hand, “So stupid…”

Ron snatched the paper from her hand. Harry leaned in to read over his shoulder:

A Nation Quill-less

A nation, a people, left Quill-less. It became clear last night that the Ministry of Magic is indeed banning Sugar Quills, the beloved and popular wizarding candy.

“As you may have noticed,” said an irritable Ministry representative last night when asked to comment, “Sugar Quills were created to cheat employers and educators out of workers’ and students’ attention. They cause slow, lazy, and too-laid-back work environments, and create the inability for students to concentrate. I mean, really, just last week, I went in to the dentist--a dentist of all people--and he was too busy sucking on the danged Quill to pay attention to what he was doing.” The official stopped at this point to show me his four missing front teeth. “Nearly lost all my teeth, I did. We’re banning ‘em and that’s that!”

At this point the official was forced to leave the area, due to the sudden hailing of Sugar Quills thrown by angry demonstrators. Although the protest was stopped later with only a few casualties, the nation is left with a sadness, caused by the loss of their Sugar Quills.

“T’won’t be the same,” said a very sorrowful student. “What’ll I do without my Quill?”

It looked as if Ron didn’t find this nearly as humorous as Hermione, in fact he looked downright furious.

“They’re banning Sugar Quills?!? The good-for-nothing ********!” (“Ron!”) He started waving the paper quite violently and Harry had to duck to avoid a blow to the head. They could tell he was gearing up for one of his great temper tantrums (Hermione preferred to call them “episodes”).

“Oh honestly, Ron!” Hermione was looking quite back to normal now, and she rolled her eyes as she spread jam on her toast, “They’re just Quills for goodness sake.”

“Just Quills?!? Just Quills?!? Sugar Quills aren’t just Quills, they’re…well they’re…they’re…” but just what Sugar Quills were exactly Harry and Hermione never found out. Ron stood up, red faced, and stormed out of the Great Hall, still waving the paper above his head.

Harry turned to Hermione who was frozen in her seat, looking half surprised and half utterly horrified. They sat there for minutes before either said a word. Finally Hermione’s lips formed a single word, “Wow.”

Part Three “Ron-less”

Harry and Hermione weren’t too worried about Ron at first. They were used to his outbursts. But when he didn’t show up for Charms they began to get worried. Very worried.

This just isn’t like Ron. Hermione looked anxious as she scrawled a quick note to Harry. We should go look for him; I just hope he hasn’t done anything too drastic.

Harry read the note and nodded firmly. We’ll go straight after class.

Soon the pair were hurrying down halls, looking in spare classrooms, and calling out for Ron.

Hermione was looking quite wild as she wrung her hands. “Oh, Harry! Where could he be?”

“Dunno, Hermione. We’ve looked every--” Harry stopped dead in the hallway and grabbed Hermione’s arm. “The Marauder’s Map!”

Both turned and sprinted for Gryffindor Tower.

***

A few minutes later the pair were in the Gryffindor common room with the map spread out before them.

“I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.” Harry tapped his wand to the parchment and words blossomed across the page.

And sure enough, there was the dot, neatly labeled, “Ronald Weasley.”

Hermione slapped her hand to her mouth. “I can’t believe it! Ron’s…Ron’s in the… the library!”

Harry laughed. “Oh come on Hermione, we’re not as bad as that! We do go to the library sometimes…”

“I know, Harry.” She gave him a small smile. “But can I ask you a favor?”

Harry looked quite surprised at the request but said, “Of course, what?”

She looked absolutely gleeful. “Harry? Can I go down and get Ron myself?”

Now he was really confused. “Er…um…yeah...okay…”

“Oh thanks, Harry, you’re wonderful!” She kissed him on the cheek and practically bounded out of the room.

Harry stared after her, “That’s it. Both of my friends are completely nutters.”

Part Four “Quillers United”

Hermione raced down the stairs and had settled into a rather jaunty walk by the time she reached the library. Oh--she was going to get Ron so good! All the times he had tortured her about running to the library. He was going to pay. She was humming quite merrily as she entered the library. She grinned at Madam Pince, who acknowledged her with a rather affectionate glare.

She found Ron fairly quickly (who could miss that flaming hair?) seated at a table with mounds of books, all towering over his head.

She grinned.

But as soon as she saw his face, all thoughts of teasing him were dismissed. He looked desperate, frantic. He was flipping through a particular book quite violently, and muttering vehemently. He hadn’t even noticed she was there. It took Hermione a moment to get up enough courage to say something. She was a very brave girl, a Gryffindor, and she’d faced a 3-headed dog for Pete’s sake…but this was quite another matter. Ron looked as if he could lash out quite horribly at any moment.

She cleared her throat in hopes that he would look up. Nope. She was going to have to say something…Okay here goes…

“Er—um…Ron?”

His head snapped up and wild brown eyes settled on her. “Listen, Hermione--I’m kind of busy right now.”

“Ron, are you okay?”

He didn’t even look up from his book, “Of course I’m not okay! Can you believe what the Ministry is doing? Banning Sugar Quills!” his voice lowered slightly, “And with everything else that’s going on…”

She felt a sudden rush of annoyance, “Oh, Ron, honestly! I can’t believe you’re getting so…” she stopped short, suddenly realizing what he just said: everything else that’s going on. Of course! Why had it taken her this long to realize the obvious?

Her tone softened, “Ron—this doesn’t have anything to do with Sugar Quills, does it?”

His eyes met hers again, “What else would it be about, Hermione?”

This was so hard to say. What if she was wrong? But she couldn’t be… “Ron…” it all came in a rush after that, “ Ron, I know that you are upset about everything that’s going on, everyone else is too…but you just can’t keep your feelings all inside you know. You don’t have to.”

Ron look completely dumbfounded, a blush was rising steadily up his freckled cheeks, his ears already crimson. “I—uh—well…”

“That’s what you’re so upset about, isn’t it?”

“Um…”

“You can tell me, Ron.”

Ron looked as if he was going to protest, but as quickly as his rage had set in that morning he became shy. He averted his eyes to the floor and mumbled, “Well, I guess…”

Hermione pulled up a chair and pushed a great stack of books away from them. “Ron, it’s okay for you to be upset you know.”

“Yeah…I know…” more mumbles. “But I—I’m…”

“A guy?” she supplied, “You’re a guy so you’re not allowed to be scared, right?”

“Well—er…”

“Ron, that’s just ridiculous! Harry is a guy and we both know that he is scared sometimes. It’s not something you need to be ashamed of.”

“Yeah.” And for the first time in their conversation Ron looked right at her. “I’ve just always tried to be strong.” Quickly realizing what he had just said he recovered, “you know, for Harry. He always has so much to deal with, he doesn’t need his friend getting all mushy…and you know, for you, too…”

“Oh, Ron!” Hermione leapt up and hugged Ron. He looked quite embarrassed, but pleased all the same. After a minute he pulled away.

“Do you want to go back up to the common room now? Harry’s probably wondering where we are…”

“Yeah.”

As they reached the door, Ron turned to Hermione. “You know, I was worried about that other stuff…but it really is ruddy insane to ban Quills.”

Hermione smiled. “Planning on starting a ‘Rights for Sugar Quills’ campaign?”

“I just might…how about ‘Sugar Quill Liberation Front’?’

“Quillers United!”

“We could team up with Spew…for ‘wizarding rights everywhere’!”

“It’s S.P.E.W., not Spew!”

“You could be Vice President and Harry could be Treasurer…” he turned and winked at her, “and of course we’ll have to make some great buttons…”

“Oh Ron! Honestly!”

The End

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