Chapter 6 : Ron Duels It Out
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Chapter Six: Ron Duels It Out
While Harry recuperated from his head injury in the hospital wing with the help of Ginny, the duels went on at a furious pace.
Ron reentered the Great Hall just as Lee Jordan announced, "Zacharias Smith would like to challenge Ronald Weasley, the freckled redheaded git, to a duel! Mr. Weasley, do you accept?"
Ron wheeled around to stare at Lee. "Did you just call me a freckled redheaded git?" he roared angrily.
Lee held up his hands, shaking his head. "I'm just repeating the exact words of Mr. Smith!"
At that moment, Zacharias Smith ascended to stage four, smirking in what he obviously thought was a threatening manner. Ron narrowed his eyes and stalked toward the dueling stage, knocking aside a squealing Lavender Brown. "Out of my way, Lav," said Ron.
Lavender turned to Parvati, jumping up and down in excitement. "Did you hear that? He just called me Lav!"
Ron didn't bother turning back to explain that he had simply forgotten the rest of her name. All his attention was focused on Zacharias Smith. His mind was focused solely on obliterating his enemy.
"Shake hands!" cried Lee.
"Hello, Weasley," said Zacharias scornfully. "Not going to weasel out of this, are you?"
Ron responded with a bone-crushing handshake and smirked while Zacharias visibly winced.
"Ready, set--" Lee began.
"Stupefy!" shouted Zacharias angrily.
"Ten points from Hufflepuff for the false start!" said Lee, and Ron grinned. "As I was saying…ready, set, DUEL!"
"Stupefy!" said Zacharias desperately. Ron dodged the jet of red light easily.
"Not very creative, are you?" he said nonchalantly. He vaguely wondered where all this self-confidence had suddenly come from. Too bad no one was there to witness it….
"Stupefy!" Zacharias tried again. He missed again. "Come on, Weasley! Don't just stand there! Fight back, you coward!"
"I'm a Gryffindor, you bloody idiot!" Ron retaliated with a spell that he was sure his opponent had never heard of before. "Nasus oinkio!" The jet of pinkish-orange light hit Zacharias straight in the face.
Harry and Ginny reentered the Great Hall just in time to see Zacharias fall to the floor, clutching at his face. His nose had transformed into a pig snout that acted on its own accord, snorting uncontrollably.
Ron laughed loudly while Zacharias tried to undo the jinx and waved good-naturedly at his cheering audience. He even winked at a certain bushy-haired girl. Unfortunately, due to a lack of practice, his wink was directed more at Lavender than at Hermione. Lavender squealed with glee. Hermione's smile quickly turned into a frown.
Ron couldn't fix his mistake because Zacharias was back on his feet, his upturned nose returned to normal, or at least as normal as it would ever get.
"I'm going to get you for that, Weasley!"
"Bring it on, Smith!" said Ron. They both raised their wands at the same time.
"Petrificus totalus!" shouted Zacharias.
"Exuo induviae!" yelled Ron. The two jets of light met in midair and collided, merging together into one stream of light before splitting into two. The new hybrid jinx hit two unsuspecting, innocent bystanders.
Professor Snape was observing a rather boring duel between Neville Longbottom and Vincent Crabbe. Crabbe was too stupid to do anything while one out of ten of Neville's spells would actually hit its target. Snape would occasionally direct his wand at the clumsy Gryffindor and mutter a spell so Crabbe wouldn't embarrass Slytherin too much.
The Potions Master had used a Trip jinx on the Gryffindor when the combination of the Full Body-Bind curse and the Strip jinx hit him squarely in the back. At once he was frozen in place, while to his horror, his black robes dangled in the air above him. The shrieks of the girls and the guffaws of the boys told him he was being publicly humiliated. As soon as he unfroze he hexed everyone in sight before pulling on his robes.
Draco Malfoy was strutting around as usual, looking for his cronies when suddenly he was the victim of the combined forces of the Full Body-Bind curse and the Strip jinx.
"Drakie, what are you doing?” Pansy shrieked, running toward him. “You can’t just take off your clothes whenever you feel like it!”
He was frozen in mid-step, his expensive robes dangling in the air above him. He wished he had thought to strike a manly pose before this had happened to him.
Meanwhile, Ron had effectively beaten Zacharias to smithereens (no pun intended). Zacharias had turned to watch the effects of their hybrid spell and Ron had taken advantage of his inattentiveness to hit him with a triple Jelly-Legs jinx that forced the Hufflepuff who had dared to challenge him to beg for mercy. Ron was ready to leave the dueling stage and allow his adoring fans to congratulate him when Lee Jordan held him back.
"Will Hermione Granger please ascend to the stage?" Lee called out, surveying the crowd expertly. A spotlight magically shone on a bushy-haired girl, who made her way to the stage with her head held up high.
"What's going on?" said Ron, confused.
"She challenged you," said Lee.
"What?" said Ron in disbelief.
"I've challenged you," said Hermione sweetly, reaching the stage. She waved her wand at her hair, which twisted itself neatly into a braid. "Do you accept, Ron?" She fixed him with a determined, smoldering stare.
Ron couldn't speak.
"We'll take that as a 'yes,'" said Hermione to Lee, who grinned and nodded.
"Duel away!" cried Lee.
"Why the look of surprise?" said Hermione, making no move to destroy her opponent.
"I'm a bloody goner," Ron croaked at last.
"Too right you are," said Hermione, a mischievous smile on her lips. She raised her wand. "Imitatus grenouille!" she said in a loud, clear voice.
Ron watched in fear as the jet of dark green light hit him in the forehead. He experienced a strange tingling sensation and suddenly felt the explicit need to crouch down and hop around the stage. His eyes bugged out and he made strange croaking noises.
"Ribbit. Ribbit." His tongue suddenly shot out of his mouth and stretched much farther than was anatomically possible. The onlookers roared with laughter. What had Hermione done to him?
Of course, watching someone imitate an amphibian became dull fairly quickly, so Hermione moved on to the next jinx she had in store. "Mortuus dormio!"
After a final ribbit, Ron collapsed onto the stage, deep in sleep. He let out a snore. Hermione grinned triumphantly, her wand hovering over her sleeping opponent. Taking full advantage of his current state of being, she began altering his appearance. After lengthening his ginger hair and turning it purple, she enlarged his feet. To add insult to injury, she tied his shoelaces together with a wave of her wand.
"Only Ron would fall asleep in the middle of a duel," said Ginny, shaking her head. "What a moron."
Ron began mumble in between snores.
"He's been doing that quite often lately," Harry observed with the air of a psychiatrist.
"What?" said Ginny.
"Talking in his sleep."
"Oh, yes. Ron does that when he has emotional issues. The summer after his fourth year, he kept mumbling about Fleur Delacour in the middle of the night."
Harry turned his laugh into a cough. "So who d'you think he's having emotional issues with now?"
Ginny turned to face him. "I think we all know the answer to that. She's humiliating him in front of the entire student body at the moment." She smiled sweetly and Harry bent down to give her a swift kiss.
A dark-haired girl scowled when she saw this display of affection and stalked away to add her name to the list of challengers.
Meanwhile, Hermione had lifted the Dead Slumber curse and decided to let Ron see what he looked like by conjuring a full-length mirror.
Ron staggered to his feet with difficulty and immediately fell over. “What the bloody hell!” he exclaimed when he caught sight of his reflection. “I look like a whaddayoucallem, those Muggle jesters—”
"A clown?” Hermione supplied.
"Yeah! What’d you do to me? Get rid of it, please Hermione, I’m begging you!”
Hermione rolled her eyes. “As you wish.” She undid everything and waited patiently for Ron to act. He didn’t.
"Are you going to duel me at all?” she said in annoyance.
"Oh,” said Ron, a look of dawning comprehension on his face. “Right.” He glanced sideways at Lee, who gave him a look that clearly said, get on with it.
"Er—petrificus totalus?” He didn’t mean for it to come out as a question.
"Come on, Ronald!” said Hermione. “You can do better than that!”
"Tarantallegra! Stupefy! Rictusempra!” said Ron desperately, waving his wand wildly.
Hermione rolled her eyes again as Lavender began tap dancing, Parvati was knocked out, and Susan began laughing hysterically. “This is for the safety of everyone else,” Hermione explained. “Silencio!”
Ron opened and closed his mouth, still brandishing his wand like a baboon.
Hermione shot a Jelly-Legs jinx at him that he didn’t even try to dodge. As he wobbled around the stage, she decided she had had enough and ended it once and for all.
"Impeditus memoria!" she cried.
Ron wobbled to a halt in front of Hermione with glazed look in his eyes. "Yes, Hermione?"
"Reveal your deepest secret!" she said demandingly.
Without missing a beat, he said, "I'm in love with you, Hermione Granger."
"What did you just say?" said Hermione breathlessly.
"I love you, Hermione. Do you love me too?" said Ron, blushing to the roots of his ginger-colored hair.
"Yes Ron," said Hermione, beaming. "I've loved you for a long time now."
"I thought I would never hear you say that," Ron choked out, taking a step toward her.
"You never asked," Hermione answered, and closed the gap between them so their lips could at last meet in a sweet and innocent first kiss.
"Finally!" a familiar voice called out. Ron and Hermione jumped apart to see Harry and Ginny cheering for them. They blushed, smiled at each other, and left the dueling stage clasping hands. Ron couldn't believe his luck, and Hermione was very happy she had discovered Impeditus memoria in a dusty old book entitled How to Get a Man to Admit the Obvious.
There's chapter six! There are four chapters left, with Harry vs. Draco, Draco vs. Hermione, and a few others! Please leave a review!
Yours till the Ministry hires those Heliopaths,
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