Chapter 2 : Halloween Day - Two
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“Ron.” She said, licking her lips.
She was standing right in front of him. His entire body was tingling. He felt a wave of desire wash over him.
“Ron!” She said, rather loudly. He reached out and caressed her face.
“Oh, Hermione.” He said softly. Looking at her.
Ron felt something hit him. He blinked his eyes.
“No, it’s Harry.” He looked at Hermione oddly. That was Harry’s voice coming out of her. Then Ron felt something hit him again, harder, and he woke up.
He looked up and Harry was grinning at him. Apparently, he had been sleeping rather soundly. And dreaming about Hermione. Again! Ron sat up in bed, making sure his lower extremities were covered, as he was painfully aroused. Again! Talk about Déjà Vu. He shook his head.
“Harry, quit hitting me with a pillow to wake me up.” Ron groused, looking over at Harry who was fully dressed, his book bag slung over one shoulder.
“You’re going to miss breakfast.” Harry said as he walked out of the dormitory.
Ron was alone in the dorm and he sat up, frowning. Well, most days did rather run together, he thought, standing. He rubbed his face with his hand, and pushed his shaggy red hair out of his face. He had better shower and get dressed quickly if he didn’t want to miss breakfast.
Ron walked into the Great Hall, and noticed the Halloween decorations were still up. That’s odd. Why didn’t the house elves take them down? Or one of the teachers? He sat down at the Gryffindor table. Hermione had her nose in a book, and Harry was laughing at some joke Seamus had said.
“You almost missed breakfast, Ron.” Hermione said, barely looking up from her books.
Well, apparently she was talking to him again. That was a relief. Although he should probably say he was sorry. You know, for good measure.
“Hermione.” Ron said whispered, to get her attention, but not let Harry or the others hear. “I’m sorry about last night. I didn’t mean to call you, a, uh, social pariah.”
Hermione looked at him oddly.
“I don’t remember you calling me a social pariah.” She said tartly. “And I think I would’ve remembered that.” She slammed her book shut with a huff. “I’m heading off to Potions, then.”
Harry glanced over. “What was that all about? Are you arguing with her again?”
“I was trying to apologize.” Ron said, frowning.
“I dunno. I think you aughta start off with ‘I’m sorry Hermione’ next time.” Harry rolled his eyes. “C’mon, we should head off to Potions. Although, it’s just not right to have double Potions on Halloween!”
Ron looked over at Harry. “You’re mental, Harry. Halloween was yesterday. We had double Potions yesterday. Today we’ve got Charms.”
“You’re mental. Look at the decorations! Of course it’s Halloween. C’mon, we’re going to be late. And I don’t want to give Snape a reason to give us detention. We’ve got Quidditch practice tonight.”
Ron shook his head. What was going on? He followed Harry down to the dungeons for Potions silently. Had he dreamed yesterday? They sat down next to Hermione who was ignoring Ron. He sighed and took out some parchment. On the board was written the directions for today’s Potions lesson, “Patefacio Portavi Praeteritus”.
He looked at the title, shocked. No, this was way too weird.
“Harry, I’m telling you, I’ve done this potion before.” He whispered to Harry. “Yesterday. I know this potion. I did it yesterday! Well, not well, even with Hermione’s help, but still.”
Just then, Snape breezed into the dungeon, setting down a large bundle of what he knew was sage leaves onto his desk. “Class. I’m glad you’re all on time. This is a lengthy potion, and we will need the entire time to prepare it. The instructions were on the board, hopefully you have already copied them down.”
Snape whipped his wand out and waved it at the board, ”Vappario! and the board cleared. “Now, get started if you want to finish before the end of class. You have two and a half hours.”
Ron looked down at his blank parchment. Bloody hell!
He turned to Hermione, who was starting to grind scarab beetles in her pestle.
“Hermione. I’m sorry about yesterday, this morning – everything. But you need to listen to me.”
Hermione looked over at him, sighing. “You’ve got pumpkin tart crumbs right here.” She said, pointing to the corner of her mouth.
While he stared at her, amazed over the unfolding of events in such similar ways, she reached up and brushed the crumbs away herself. She then seemed to realize what she was doing, and she blushed, pulling her hand away.
Ron’s face was tingling. He looked back at Malfoy, and he was telling some joke to Crabbe & Goyle. “Hermione, you’ve got to listen to me. I’m in some sort of time loop-”
“Weasley. Granger.” Snape was standing in front of their desk, glaring down at them. They looked up guiltily. “Five points from Gryffindor. Would you two like a private moment to finish? Or are you ready to continue the lesson?”
He could hear Malfoy and his cronies laughing behind him.
“We’re ready, Professor Snape.” Hermione stated primly, lining up her ingredients, but making sure to leave her instruction parchment in full view of Ron.
“Good.” Snape said, walking back to his desk. “No more talking.”
Ron tapped his fingers on his desk. His potion was coming along marginally better than yesterday. The color was actually in the blue family. He was pretty sure he had forgotten the medusa snake venom yesterday. And he forgot to stir it counter clockwise for three minutes after adding the beetles. And he didn’t crumble the sage leaves yesterday. There was something to be said for practice, after all, he thought.
He filled up his vile with the Patefacio Portavi Praeteritus potion and turned it into Snape who eyed him suspiciously.
“I can’t believe Snape assigned two feet of parchment on the uses of Sage in potions on Halloween.” Harry griped.
Ron pulled them aside, out of the flow of students, into a small alcove.
”Guys, you have got to listen to me. I, you, we – we all lived this day yesterday. You’re saying and doing the exact things you said and did yesterday. Don’t you guys see it? Or is it just me? We’re in some sort of time loop.” Ron searched both of their expressions.
“Ron, are you sure? Nothing feels out of the ordinary to me.” Hermione said.
“I dunno, Ron.” said Harry.
“Are you funning me, Ronald?” Hermione said suddenly, then started to walk away. “We’re going to be late for Transfiguration.”
Ron ran to catch up with Hermione. He grabbed her arm to stop her.
“No! I’m not funning you. I’m serious. I can even prove it to you. I know what our spell will be today in Transfiguration. Cinis cineris. It is a spell that turns a rock into ashes.”
Harry and Hermione were looking at him strangely.
“I dunno, Ron.” Harry said again, looking serious now.
“Let’s just get to Transfiguration and you’ll see.” Ron led the way.
McGonagall was already in the classroom when they got there, and there were small rocks on everyone’s desks. Harry and Hermione looked at him.
“Today we’re going to work on the spell Cinis cineris, which can be quite useful. The key is the flick in the wrist. Wands out, books away. Today is a practical lesson.” Professor McGonagall took out her wand, and with a flick of her wrist and Cinis cineris!, she turned a rock on her desk into dust.
Ron turned to Hermione and Harry, who were looking at him.
“See! I told you so.” Ron took out his wand, flicked it at the rock, said “Cinis cineris!”, and his rock crumbled into dust.
McGonagall had noticed this from her desk. “Excellent Ronald. Five points to Gryffindor. Anyone else?” The professor looked around the room. Soon the classroom was full of students trying the spell.
“Wow, Ron.” Harry looked rather impressed. Ron smiled and turned to Hermione who was looking pensive.
“Ron. This might be serious.” Hermione leaned closer. He caught a whiff of her hair. It smelled like coconut. “After Transfiguration I’ll go to the library and have a look in Common Magical Ailments and Afflictions. And I’ll think I’ll cross reference Hogwarts; A History. Maybe there is a precedent of this happening before?”
“Thanks Hermione.” He paused, smiling shyly. “And thanks for believing me.”
“Of course.” She smiled back. “Have you told Dumbledore yet?”
“You are going to tell him, right?
“Well, I hadn’t really thought about it. I mean, I am still not sure what’s going on here. I just woke up, and it’s Halloween again. I don’t know what to think. I don’t want to bother him.”
“But-” Hermione started.
“Ron’s right.” Harry said.
“I am?” He looked at Harry in confusion.
“Yes. Why don’t we just do some research first, and see if we can figure it out on our own. We don’t want to be running to Dumbledore every time something happens around here. He is bound to be busy with Voldemort and the Order and everything.” Harry said, pulling out his wand and looking at his rock. “Ron, can you help me with this spell?”
“Well, that’s a first.” Ron laughed.
“What?” said Harry.
”Someone asking me for help with a spell!” Ron grinned. “It’s all about the flick.”
Quidditch practice had gone fairly well. He had blocked most of the quaffles; it had been easy – he could still remember were most of them had come from yesterday. He even had plenty of time to daydream about Hermione’s tan in between saves. Of course, he didn’t block one hundred percent of them. But he still wasn’t concentrating on the game fully.
They were sitting in the Great Hall eating the Halloween feast and enjoying the butterbeer, but Hermione was noticeably absent.
”Where do you think Hermione is? Still at the library?” Ron craned his neck around, ignoring how his voice cracked, and how Seamus and Dean were sniggering. “Do you suppose I should go look for her?”
“Uh-huh.” Harry didn’t seem too concerned. He was paging through Flying with the Cannons and eating a ham and cheese pie absently.
“What does that mean?” Ron stood, not waiting for an answer. He pocketed a pair of smallish pies. “I’m going to go check on her.”
He walked into the quiet library, and looked around. At first he didn’t see Hermione, but then on the far right, past the restricted section, was a giant pile of books on a desk. It was a good bet that Hermione was behind that pile.
He walked over to her and she was totally engrossed in huge tome that she was taking notes from.
”Hermione?” He said.
She looked up suddenly. “Hi, Ron. I didn’t hear you come in.” She looked at her watch. “Oh, I missed dinner.”
“Not exactly.” He pulled a pie out of his pocket and handed it to her. His finger brushed hers, and she pulled her hand away quickly, blushing. He could feel his ears reddening.
“Thank-you, Ron.” She took a small bite of the pie.
“Um. Did you, you know, find anything about this time loop? Or whatever it is.”
“Not really.” Hermione sighed. “I’m really sorry. I looked through all of these books and I don’t see any precedent. Nothing that even sounds similar. I mean, perhaps it’s in here-” She started pulling the books out and paging through them quickly. “Halloween and It’s History, I had a theory-” She paused to take a bite of the pie, and continued, “that it has something to do with Halloween. Did you do anything or wish anything yesterday? Perhaps it’s in Magical Wishes and Their Consequences of the 21st Century? I feel rather like I’m searching blind.” She sat back and sighed.
“It’s okay. I trust that we’ll figure it out.” Ron said, eating another pie.
Hermione laughed. “How many pies did you bring?”
“Just these two.” Ron sat down next to her. He caught a whiff of her again. She still smelled like coconuts. His gut clenched. He wanted to kiss her.
“Can I help?” He looked at the scattered books around the table and picked up the closet one called Time Warps and Portals in History. A paper slid off the table onto the ground as he lifted it.
He reached down and picked it up, and held it out to Hermione. He glanced down at it, expecting it to be homework. Then he noticed the first line of it: “Dear Viktor”.
“‘Dear Vicky?” He spat out. “Are you in here writing to this git, when you were supposed to be helping me?” Ron stood up angrily.
”Supposed to be?! I was helping you as a favor, Ronald Weasley.” Hermione stood up, pulled the parchment away from Ron, and started to gather her things.
“Well, apparently you had better things to do. Like writing Vicky. Why did you even bother?” Ron turned away and started walking towards the door, wanting to be away from her first. Apparently she didn’t feel anything for him like he felt for her.
“Ron, you can be such a bloody idiot.” She was rushing up behind him, tugging on his arm to get him to stop. They were standing in the corridor outside the library
“What?” He stopped but shrugged off her hand. “What do you want? Why don’t you go write Vicky. I’ll go ask Harry to help me or something.”
He turned around to give her a contemptuous glance before stalking off, but she was crying, and his face fell. He hated when they had these fights.
“Hermione.” He sighed, pushing his hair back from his face. He didn’t want to apologize. He didn’t feel sorry. Well, he felt sorry that she was crying, but his feelings were hurt, too. It was quite painful to think she preferred that prat, Krum, over him.
“Ron.” She was looking down, fingering the edges of the large textbook she was holding in her hands. “I’m sorry, I-”
It was dark and quiet in the corridor. He could just see the outline of her face in the dim light.
“No. You don’t have to apologize. You can write whoever you want to.” Ron said, grudgingly. “It’s just. I don’t understand why you like him. There are other boys here at Hogwarts that are better.”
“Oh, Ron.” She said softly. “I know.”
He felt like his heart was about to burst out of his chest, it was beating so hard. His hands felt sweaty. Oddly, his mind chose that moment to insert memories of his early morning dream. What would she do if he kissed her? Could he just do it? What if tomorrow he woke up and she didn’t remember any of this? There was always that chance. That way if she rejected him, he would know how she really felt – but they wouldn’t be awkward. What an opportunity, he thought happily. This could be to his advantage.
Before he lost his nerve, he stepped closer to her, put his hand on the side of her face and pressed his lips against hers. Testing the waters, so to speak. She seemed to let out a surprised squeak, but after a few seconds passed, he could feel her leaning into him. He brought up his other hand and touched her hair. It was surprisingly soft. He deepened the kiss, feeling himself on fire. Dimly, he was aware of Hermione dropping her books and putting her arms around his waist, pulling him closer.
He wasn’t sure how long they would’ve stood there kissing if Professor Snape hadn’t have chanced upon them.
“Weasley. Granger.” Snape sneered as they jumped apart guiltily. “Ten points from Gryffindor for skulking about the corridors past curfew. This isn’t exactly Gryffindor Prefect behavior, is it? I may have to report this. And don’t you have a Potions essay to be writing?”
They were both blushing furiously. Hermione hastily picked up the books that she’d dropped earlier, and they started down the corridor towards Gryffindor tower.
As they walked, he didn’t know what to say. He was quite interested it what she was thinking, but he couldn’t exactly think of how to ask her. What did this mean? Man she tasted good. Where they going out, now? Her hair was so soft. Was he supposed to kiss her goodnight? Her tongue felt like…like…he couldn’t even think of anything it felt like. It just felt like the best thing. Better than flying. What was Harry going to think?
Next thing he knew, they were at the Fat Lady, Hermione was saying the password, and entering the common room. He didn’t even have time to stop her and kiss her goodnight. He wanted to kiss her again. He followed her into the common room, where most of the Gryffindor students were doing homework, or playing games.
“Hermione…” He said, unsure.
“Goodnight, Ron.” She said crisply and started up towards the girl’s dormitory.
“Goodnight, then.” He followed her with his eyes as she left. Then he turned to where Harry was sitting with Neville, Dean and Seamus. It looked like they were working on their potions essay.
“Did you fight with Hermione again?” Harry asked, somewhat annoyed.
“No.” Ron said.
“She looked kinda upset.” said Harry. “Did she find anything in the library to help you?”
“No.” Ron sighed. “I’m going to bed, too. Goodnight.”
He climbed the stairs to their dorm, and wondered what tomorrow would bring.
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