Chapter 1 : The Perils of Romance
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I think I must be some kind of girl magnet.
If Hermione’s taught me anything, it’s that you’re not allowed to make big claims like that unless you’ve got evidence to back it up. As soon as I realized my probability as a girl magnet, I said to myself, ‘Now, Ron, take a step back. Can’t be getting a big head about this unless you deserve it.’ So I looked for some proof and what do you know? I found it to be in abundant supply! I think Hermione would be impressed by this sort of careful science-y deduction, not that I could give two whiffs about her opinion.
After all, I have loads more important things to be thinking about than what she thinks. And trust me, she thinks she knows everything. Which she doesn’t. I mean, if she did, she’d be getting top marks in Potions, wouldn’t she? And she’s not. Harry of all people is absolutely killing it in that subject. Besides that, she gives me evil death glares and harps at me more than my mother. Just what I need! Two mothers!
Demand for my lips is higher than ever. They constantly taste like cherry lip gloss and I don’t even have to apply it to myself. It just gets that way naturally from another person’s mouth putting it on me. A girl’s mouth. Because I snogged her. And that’s how the transfer of lip gloss happened.
Yesterday I woke up and Lavender had already saved the last poached egg for me, and used her teeth on someone to get me some bacon, too. She let me copy her homework (twice!), although most of the answers were wrong because she’d originally copied it off Neville. She sent me about ten notes that were folded up in weird ways so that I had to rip the parchment in order to read them, and had to squint because she'd written in bright pink ink. She uses hearts in all of her punctuation. She signed the ‘o’ in my name with a heart, too.
I think my irresistible charm has started to become a problem, to tell the truth. I forgot one of Lavender’s notes in the Transfiguration classroom the other day and she found it an hour later. No one had opened it or anything, and it was just this stupid little paragraph about how she can see the back of my head sometimes when she goes for nighttime rides on her broom past the Gryffindor boys’ dormitory window, but she yelled at me for about twenty minutes over it: “Oh my god, what if McGonagall had found it? Oh my god, what if Dumbledore had found it?”
I tried telling her that Dumbledore and McGonagall probably wouldn’t have been able to figure out how to open the damn things, either, but by then we were snogging again and now we’ve come to the other reason why I think my manly appeal has turned into a curse.
She’s taken to following me around lately. At first I didn’t notice it, and only figured it out because she started kissing me when I wasn’t paying attention, but then I started seeing her in places one wouldn’t expect. You know that feeling you get when you think you’re being stared at? The little hairs on the back of your neck stand on end and you turn around and BAM, it’s Lavender. And her eyes are all big and creepy and she’s usually making hand gestures that I’m supposed to understand, which she says is our secret communication language that she invented and told me about in one of the notes I never opened.
She kind of reminds me of a mime when she does all this arm-waving. Harry tells me not to discourage her because it amuses him to watch.
So it sounds innocent enough, right? Just miming and notes and extra bacon at breakfast. If it was just the bacon, I could even deal with Hermione’s death glares and the way she always gets the last word in before she storms out of the room. But it did not stop at the bacon. You see, Lavender started to want me all the time. And what she wanted was, well…
Obviously, no one could blame her. I’ve been told that I have pillow lips and a very shapely bum. I should have expected for our relationship to spiral into this. But sometimes it’s difficult to pay attention to my very important coursework when I can feel her foot poking under the bottom of my chair to touch my ankle. She does it slow-like, pretending she’s not doing it on purpose, but eventually her fingers wind up in my hair and she sometimes gets so enthusiastic about it that she rips a little out. I’ve got a bald patch now. Just ask Hermione, she points it out to anyone.
I’ve also realized that the notes she gives me are not only full of hearts, but also illustrations of her undergarments and descriptions of dreams she has about us (which keep me awake all night just remembering them). I didn’t know this before because half the stuff she writes is in code (a code she provided in another note I never read), but she writes some really smutty things! She's good at it, too. I think she could do this professionally.
Not going to lie, I keep the smutty ones. I read them to myself when I don’t have anything else to do, but I made the mistake of leaving one such note at the foot of my bed when I was distracted and had to run down to dinner. Neville found it and while he insists he didn’t touch it, his ears were red for an hour so I knew right away what had happened. He’d read Lavender’s imaginings of what she thinks I look like without clothes on. (I think she must examine the naked cherub paintings in the Restricted Section of the library for reference because her drawings aren't doing me much credit in certain places.)
But she doesn’t just keep this stuff confined to notes. Sometimes she says it. Out loud. Like yesterday morning I was innocently sitting in –
Oh, no! It’s her! I would recognize that cologne anywhere, because she stole it from me. Quick, pretend not to hear her. Must focus on these notes. What notes are these? They look like squiggles.
Oh. It’s just a blob of ink. I let my quill rest on the page for too long.
I can feel my whole face filling up with blood, but I’ve got to play it cool. If I don’t acknowledge her, she can’t see me. I am fairly certain that is how she operates.
“Ron. Ron. Ron.” She’s kicking the back of my chair now with her knee, making my seat tip forward, so I lean as close to my books as possible and pretend to write something. If only I could actually do my assignments this fast. I would look like a genius. I admire my handiwork for a minute. I’ve written my name forty-two times in a row. Towards the end I started spelling Weasley wrong. Now it looks weird no matter how I spell it. What kind of letter is ‘W’, anyway? If anything, they look like double V’s, not U’s.
“Won-Won, someone wants you,” a cold voice says, and this gets my attention. I glance sideways at Hermione, flipping my fringe a little because Lavender says it’s quite sexy, but Hermione’s already looking away. She’s got one hand in the air and the other is taking notes faster than anything I’ve ever written in my life. For a second I wonder if she’s just writing her name forty-two times.
It’s no use pretending now. I turn around and give Lavender a quick smile. She’s hunkered down so low in her seat that I can only see the top of her head. What the bloody hell is that woman doing? And then it hits me. She’s got her feet wrapped around my waist.
I don’t think I’ve ever heard Harry snorting so hard as he’s doing right now. Why didn’t he tell me Lavender’s got her feet all over me? This is disgusting. I do not want these things on me. I feel a little offended. She’s in my personal space. Lavender blows a kiss at me and I’m nearly bowled over with another epiphany: I have been objectified. I cover myself with my arms and hunch my shoulders inward. As an independent, self-respecting man, I cannot possibly put up with this.
“Pssssst.” I hope desperately that someone’s cauldron has boiled over and what I hear is just a sizzling noise, but it’s Lavender again. “Pssst.”
“I’m trying to pay attention,” I murmur out of the corner of my mouth.
I can feel Hermione rolling her eyes. The temperature of the room has gone up at least five degrees, so I know that Lavender must be doing something bad. It’s because of the indescribable glower Hermione has on her face that I turn around.
Lavender is undoing the buttons on her robes.
I face the front so rapidly that I get a crick in my neck. I can sense Hermione’s eyeballs boring holes through my brain, watching my reaction. Lavender is poking the back of my neck with something. I am pretty sure it is her hair. There is a chance it might be her foot – nope – it’s her hand. Her hand is extremely cold. Someone should tell her she’s got terrible blood circulation going on.
Her fingers start rubbing all over my cheeks. Is she giving my face a massage? They work their way down to my mouth and I consider biting them, but then all of a sudden her fingers have gotten jammed up my nose somehow and I’ve just sneezed all over her.
Hermione is making sounds like a dying elephant. Harry has excused himself to the loo. I wish I could crawl under my desk and die but I can’t because Lavender’s hiding under my desk right now, pulling one of my socks off. She touches my knee in a weird spot and I accidentally kick her – I did not mean to do that! She’s got a – oh, God. Her nose is bleeding. I mumble some nonsense at it with my wand but I think that made it worse.
I don’t know what else to do. I raise my hand and scream that I have to go to the loo.
When I get there, Harry’s got his hand stuck inside one of the toilets. He says he dropped something in there and I don’t even ask, I just go over to one of the mirrors and examine myself. Same long nose. Same freckles. Same fluffy ginger hair. I couldn’t see exactly what about my appearance had changed so drastically over the summer that made me the Most Eligible Man Alive, but it’s growing burdensome. It is harder than I anticipated to be a beautiful person. Oh, what I wouldn’t give to be average! I must get some tips from Harry on how to be less desirable.
Harry and I look at each other, our eyes huge. He tries to dive inside the toilet and I run right into the wall, smacking my forehead so hard that it is quite possible I now have a concussion. I cannot be responsible for any comments I make from here on out.
Suddenly, there are lips on my face. I open up my eyes to make sure it’s not Hermione, because it would be so awkward if Hermione were to suddenly have her lips on my face. I mean, it would be inappropriate. I’ve got a girlfriend. If Hermione started snogging my face off, I would have to reprimand her very sternly and then give her the silent treatment, because I would not at all approve of such a thing. At all. I am off-limits.
I start to imagine kissing Hermione and Lavender pulls away, gasping for air. “Wow!” she exclaims. “Are you trying to swallow me?”
But all I say is, “What are you doing in the boys’ toilet? You’re not allowed in here.” I look down and notice that she’s got her hands in the back pockets of my robes. I slap her away, offended again on behalf of my gender. You can’t just have your way with us, you know! We like to be properly wooed.
She winks at me, I think. I can’t tell anymore because she does it a lot. She might just have a twitch, I dunno. It’d be rude to ask. “Now that we’re out of class, d’you want to go somewhere?”
My stomach rumbles, and my eyes brighten. “Let’s go to the kitchens!” I suggest. It is a brilliant idea. I should have gone there in the first place.
Lavender sighs loudly. I suspect it's not a real sigh. “I meant somewhere more private,” she presses. Her mouth is on my face again but I wiggle out of it, holding her at bay with my arm. "Let's go get lost in the dungeons."
“You’re going too fast. If we want this relationship to work, we have to take this slowly and seriously.” I’m amazed at myself. That is the most mature thing I have ever said.
“Don’t you love me?” she pouts, her lower lip jutting out.
I think a part of me has died. “Love you?” I squeak, and she jumps up and down. Oh, no. She’s taken my answer as a confirmation. NO. NOOO!
“Yes!” she shrieks. “Yay, yay, yay!” I look all around for Harry so that he can fix everything but it appears he has made a run for it. I scowl at my reflection in the mirror. Lavender is attached to my back, her hands yanking on my hair. I spin around and she cups her hands over my eyes.
“Argh! Geroff!” I dump Lavender onto the floor, then streak the hell out of there. Back to my classroom! Thank heavens! Never thought I would be so excited to see Flitwick in my life. I don’t stop running until I’m in the Charms classroom. Apparently they have all divided into pairs to practice some spell I have no idea about because I’ve been too busy writing my name. Harry is with Hermione and my heart is rolling all over the floor. I groan so loud that several people stare. I’m stuck with that crazy –
“Ron!” It’s Lavender, of course. She’s breathless and her hair is everywhere. I get a little bit excited before remembering to respect myself, and stalk off without explanation. I butt in between Harry and Hermione and am on the verge of bribing Harry to switch places with me (and my offer of extra bacon for breakfast is a pretty solid deal, if you ask me), but Hermione coldly sells me out.
“Don’t you have to get back to Lav-Lav?” she asks sweetly, crossing her arms. I think she could perform open-heart surgery on me right now just by using her angry eyes as laser beams. I make a rude hand gesture at her that Flitwick sees, and he gives me a detention for Saturday.
Victory! That means no Lavender on Saturday!
I remember Quidditch practice and swear loudly. Flitwick hears. Now I’ve got two detentions and Lavender has a finger in my ear. I don’t think she’s even supposed to be in this class right now.
“I’ll be your partner,” she says in a tone that means she’s talking about something else. She’s being coy. I’m not entirely sure what that means but Hermione really hates it, at any rate. Ahh, Hermione. She just can’t understand why the girls are jumping all over me these days. It’s her problem if she neglects to realize my charms. I reiterate: her problem. Not mine.
Hermione’s laughing at something Harry just said and I’m jealous for not having heard it and frustrated with Lavender for talking so loud that I couldn’t hear myself speak if I tried. Stupid Harry! Harry, what did you say to her? I have to make a mental reminder to ask him about this later. Not that I care, of course. Hermione can laugh at whatever she wants. She can go laugh her head off with Krum.
Stupid Krum. What kind of a name is Krum? Stupidest name ever, that’s what!
I shove Lavender off me without knowing it. Seamus and Dean are sniggering, watching me constantly wrestle her away from my personal space. She has no respect for personal space. I waltz over to Hermione and stand right next to her, trying to get as close as possible without trying to be obvious about it, pretending I have something I want to say to Harry. She rolls her eyes at me.
“Coward,” she says dryly. “Go hide behind someone else.”
“So, Harry,” I begin casually, but it’s no use. Lavender is licking my hand. Harry’s told me countless times that he can’t take me seriously when Lavender’s licking me while I’m trying to talk to him.
“Can you leave me alone for a minute?” I grumble, lowering my voice so that no one else can overhear.
Lavender’s entire face crumples. “Stop yelling at me!”
Panic ensues. “No!” I hastily amend. “I wasn’t yelling, I’m just –”
It’s too late. Lavender is flinging herself out of the classroom. Everyone is staring at me. I turn to Hermione, offering her a hopeful, sloppy smile; it’s so pitiful that she actually smiles back at me before rolling her eyes again and concentrating on her wandwork. It takes her three tries before she gets the spell right. I know for a fact that it should have only taken her one try, since she mastered that spell two years ago.
Overall, a very good day. A very good day, indeed.
The title and plot can be credited to CambAngst, as I wrote this story for him as a prize for placing in my Gift-It challenge.