The Sugar Quill
Author: zuckermauschen  Story: The Letter  Chapter: Default
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“…and that’s when he kissed me

“…And that’s when he kissed me!” shrieked Lavender.

            “No!” giggled Parvati.

Hermione rolled her eyes as the girls babbled on. She smiled as she thought of what Ron’s response to Seamus kissing Lavender would be, but then she remembered that Ron was not exactly on speaking terms with her. In fact, he probably would never be. She glanced down the table at him. His face was red, as usual, as he laughed at something his older brothers, Fred and George, had said. He looked up and saw Hermione, and his laughter ended.

Hermione quickly averted her eyes. Hermione pretended to be very interested in how her breakfast was arranged on her plate. She bit her tongue as she felt the familiar tears. She felt like she had been crying constantly since the night before. Hermione pushed her chair back and raced back to the Common Room, so she could cry in private. She was tired of none of her friends talking to her. Lavender and Parvati were not very good company; whenever she turned around, they were whispering about her. Hermione reached the Fat Lady and muttered the password. The portrait gave her a curious look but swung open, and Hermione ran up the curving stairs to her room. Hermione flung herself onto her bed and started bawling. Someone flew through the door.

            “Hermione, what’s wrong? I saw you race out from breakfast,” Ginny asked, looking very concerned. Hermione sniffled and held out a piece of parchment that Ginny immediately grabbed. Ginny’s eyes grew wider and wider as she read on,

To my dearest Viktor,

           

Ginny looked at Hermione, utterly shocked.

“You didn’t write that… did you?” she asked. Hermione started bawling again.

            “Of course I didn’t, Ginny!” she almost yelled. Ginny looked apologetic.

            “Oh Hermione, I didn’t really think you did! It’s just… It looks exactly like your handwriting. And you did visit Viktor Krum over the holidays, right?” Ginny stopped when she saw the daggers in Hermione’s eyes. “I only meant that someone who is very, very ignorant might believe that you wrote it because of those reasons.” Ginny tried, her eyes pleading forgiveness.

            “Yes, well, now Ron thinks I wrote it, and I think Harry does as well, and nobody in my year will talk to me except Parvati and Lavender, and they’re only talking to me to find out more about the letter! I’m surprised I snatched it up before anyone else read it,” Hermione said, between sniffles. “You don’t think it will spread around, do you?” Hermione asked. 

            “N-no of course not, Hermione!” Ginny said, reassuringly. “I have to go get a book from the library, but I’ll be back later, okay? Everything will be fine.” And with that, Ginny left Hermione to cry alone.

            Hermione wished it were a weekday. She had finished all of her assignments the day before, on Saturday, and had nothing to do. At one point, she got so bored, that she decided to venture out into the Common Room, but the familiar sound of her friends’ laughter stopped her. Hermione leaned on the door, listening sadly.

            “I should be down there,” she sniffled.

            “Then why aren’t you?” Ginny, who had just stepped out of her room, asked Hermione.

            “I didn’t know you were there,” Hermione tried to explain. “Well, why aren’t you down there then?

            “I have an essay for Snape due tomorrow,” Ginny groaned and stuck her tongue out. Hermione smiled. “So what are you going to be for the Halloween Feast?” Dumbledore had announced the week before that everyone was to don a costume for the feast. Most had groaned at the Muggle tradition, but Hermione had been looking forward to it. That was, until the letter had shown up.

            “Actually, I was thinking about just staying here,” Hermione said tentatively.

            “Hermione, what rubbish! You have to come! I’ll stick by you, and if anyone says something about the letter, I’ll just punch them for you!” Ginny said, determined to let her friend have some fun. Hermione smiled.

            “Thanks Gin,” she said. It was nice to know that she had one friend.

            “Now where’s this costume of yours?” Ginny asked with a grin. Hermione grinned as well as she thought of the feast.

~*~*~*~*~

            Hermione heard a knock on her door. “Hermione, you coming? It’s about time!” she heard Ginny calling. Hermione opened the door, and smiled when she saw Ginny. Ginny was dressed all in red, as a Muggle devil.

            “Ginny, you look absolutely adorable!” Hermione said. The costume was simply made for Ginny with her red hair and freckles. Ginny frowned, however.

            “Hermione, where’s your costume? I thought you were coming,” she said.

            “Oh, I wanted to come down by myself. I’ll just be a little late,” Hermione said, avoiding Ginny’s concerned look. Ginny raised an eyebrow.

            “Do you promise you’re coming?” she asked doubtfully.

            “Don’t worry Ginny! I’ll be there!” Hermione shooed her away. “Save me a seat!” Hermione made sure the door was locked behind Ginny, and began to get ready for the feast.

~*~*~*~*~

            A shimmering figure entered the Great Hall. As the beautiful young woman walked over to one of the many tables set up, heads turned.

            “Hermione,” Ginny giggled. “You look amazing! All the boys are ogling at you! Your costume’s great, but what exactly are you?”

            “I’m an angel. It kind of goes along with the same Muggle idea as your costume,” Hermione said. Behind her shining mask, her face flushed to the color of a Weasley head as she looked around and saw everyone staring at her. The boys were gaping at her golden robes that showed off her new curves. Hermione was glad that she had a mask on. She absentmindedly stroked one of her amazingly real, glittering wings and casually looked over at Ron. She saw with a flutter of her stomach that his jaw was hanging.

            “Do you think that maybe you should go over there and talk to him?” Ginny asked. She had seen where Hermione was looking.

            “N-no, I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Hermione said as Ron hurriedly glanced away.

            “Well, then, do you want to play a game? They have all sorts around the room,” Ginny asked.

            “Um, no thanks,” Hermione said, and Ginny’s face fell. A few minutes later, as Ginny and Hermione sat in awkward silence, some cute Hufflepuffs in Ginny’s year walked over.

            “Hi Ginny! Love your costume! What are you?” one of the boys asked. Ginny blushed slightly. It was the Weasley curse.

            “I’m a devil. It’s a silly Muggle thing,” she explained when she saw the boys’ looks of confusion.

            “Want to go play some games or something?” the boy asked her, timidly. Ginny glanced warily at Hermione, but Hermione waved her on.

            “Go have fun. Don’t worry about me,” she said, beginning to wish that she had stayed back at the Common Room. The boys looked over at Hermione and openly stared at her. As Ginny walked away with them, Hermione could hear the boys talking about her. She squirmed uncomfortably, thinking that maybe her robes were a bit too tight. As she looked around the room and saw everyone having fun, she began to feel lonely. She closed her eyes and tried to compose herself. When she opened her eyes, she saw Draco Malfoy standing in front of her.

            “Hey Mudblood. How long did it take you to squeeze into those ugly rags of yours?” Malfoy sneered. Hermione couldn’t take this; she was going to burst into tears any second now. “And I wouldn’t go as far as to flatter yourself thinking that someone fancied you. Even Weasley wouldn’t sink that low. But I bet if you sneaked him a sickle or two, he’d give you some action.”

            “Hey Malfoy. Shut up,” a familiar voice said. Malfoy turned around just in time to be knocked down by a tall redhead’s fist.

            “Hullo Ron,” Hermione said, surprised.

            “Hullo Hermione,” Ron said. He was dressed in a Chudley Cannons’ Quidditch uniform, and his eyes were filled with grief.

            “Ron, I didn’t write that letter. You know that right?” Hermione asked.

            “O-of course,” Ron said, but Hermione could see the look of deep relief in his face. “I wonder how whoever wrote it knew though…” he said.

            “Knew what Ron? I am NOT in love with Viktor for the millionth time!” Hermione said, unable to hold her anger about the situation any longer. Then, seeing the look on Ron’s face, she said, “Oh.” Her head pounded with thoughts. 

            “Look Hermione, if you really feel that way about me, well, just tell me,” he said. His face was turning a color Hermione had never seen before, and she had seen a lot of colors on Ron. He was avoiding her eye contact the whole time.

            “Ron,” Hermione breathed, and a wave of confidence seemed to flow through her. She put her hand on his chin and tilted his face so their eyes met. “I love you.” Ron looked at her with wonder.

            “Don’t be stupid! Why would a girl as smart as you love a guy like me?” Ron said, teasingly.

            “Ronald Weasley,” Hermione began to lecture him, but he cut her off with a kiss. They didn’t pull apart until Hermione heard the sound of clapping and a tap on her shoulder.

            “Hermione!” Ginny looked at her with a huge smile on her face. “You’ve just won Best Costume!” Hermione walked up to the stage, unable to stop grinning.

            “Again,” Dumbledore said, with a knowing smile. “For the prize of Best Costume, the lovely Golden Snitch, Miss Hermione Granger.” He winked at her, and Hermione looked at the laughing Ginny in horror. She quickly smiled again as Ron shouted, “I love you Hermione Granger! And you make a very lovely Golden Snitch!” She didn’t even care that all of Hogwarts heard him.

            “I guess I’m a better Seeker than you are for once,” Ron said to Harry with the same silly grin that Hermione had on.

 

//
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