The Sugar Quill
Author: Kalarien  Story: Tongue-tied  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.

Disclaimer: JKR owns all. I don't own a thing. Lucky me.

Hermione watched as Harry walked back toward the Dursleys, watched him as he walked toward what was likely to be his most miserable summer yet. Poor boy, she thought. I do hope he gets to go to the Burrow...for his own sanity. By all appearences, the Dursleys were planning even worse torture for him this year; Hermione could see the glint of extra housework in Petunia's eye, the glee of having his punching bag back in Dudley's. Vernon was just glaring. She turned to Ron.

"Let's find somewhere to talk for a few minutes, until my parents come."

Ron glanced behind himself. The twins were deep in animated conversation with Lee Jordan and Angelina Johnson who, Hermione was amused to note, was surreptitiously holding hands with Fred. Ginny was being fussed over by her mother, who wanted to make sure that the fiery redhead was all right, though the poor girl had had no part in the danger this year.

"All right, then." Ron answered, turning from his family.

They walked a little ways away. "Listen," Hermione started, "I'm concerned for Harry. This summer's going to be tough for him, if he has to stay with the Dursleys...we've got to keep him distracted."

"Hermione..."

"You keep him occupied with Quidditch scores," Hermione continued, ignoring him. "And get Ginny to write him, too. THAT will keep him distracted."

"Hermione..."

"If you don't understand what I'm talking about you must be the densest person I know."

"Hermione..."

"Honestly, Ron. Haven't you seen the way he's been looking at her kind of funny...don't tell me you haven't noticed." Her eyes rolled in they way they always did while she was talking to Ron.

"Hermione..."

"He sort of gets all distant, but then focuses in on her and...nevermind."

"Hermione..."

"Anyway, I don't know what I can tell him about, but I'll think of something." I wonder where we'll go on holiday: I could talk to him about that. Though I doubt we'll go to Bulgaria... too far away. Perhaps Wales, or Shetland Island. There's some great history out there...Focus on the conversation, Hermione. "I mean, I'll be going on holiday at some point. I can tell him about that."

"Hermione..."

"I'd have to figure out an owl, but maybe if you send Harry letters with Pig, Harry and I could use Hedwig..."

"Hermione..."

"We should get Hagrid to write him, too, wherever he is. Sirius will..."

"Hermione..."

"Oh, maybe Sirius will want to use Hedwig. I wonder how much post owls cost..." She was babbling and she knew it. Could he say anything else? Anything besides "Hermione..."?

"Hermione..." Nope.

He was looking at her strangely. "If this is about Bulgaria, Ron, I'm not going." She sighed. "I should be in England, or at least Britain, so that when your mum convinces Dumbledore to let him go to the Burrow, I can be there, too."

"Hermione..."

"There are my parents. I'd best go. I've got to let Rita out. I'll let her out in Muggle London. She wouldn't dare transfigure there."

"Hermione..." he stopped, and blushed. And Hermione understood.

"Do you want a kiss, too, Ron?" Hermione asked, wearing her favorite "inquisitive" face.

"Well..." but whatever he was going to say was cut off as Hermione planted a kiss on his cheek and pulled him into a tight hug. He smells good the part of her that she didn't control commented. Doesn't he, Hermione?

Shut up, she thought firmly at the voice. She punctuated it by squeezing him a little harder.

"We'll all be all right," She whispered, before letting him go. "He won't get us, not if I have anything to do with it." She picked up her things. "I'm off. See you, Ron."

"Hermione..." He started again, but Hermione only waved.

"Keep in touch, Ron. I'll be waiting." She knew what he couldn't say, though she wondered what owl they were going to use. Errol will get a workout, poor bird.

Behind her she heard "Hey, Fred! 'Ickle Ronniekins has a girlfriend, too!" followed closely by a double "Shut up, George!" before she crossed the barrier into the Muggle world.

A/N: Thanks again to Yolanda! I hope you're feeling better!

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