Leicester Square, London; 4 November 2001
It was chilly out and the mystery of their destination aggravated him to no end.
Ron walked beside his fiance and wondered for the hundredth time how he had let her talk him into this. It wasn't that he didn't like muggles or anything like that; he just would've liked to know what was going on. It seemed, to him at least, that such a thing wasn't too much to ask. Of course she disagreed—something she was was prone to do—and he knew that there was no sense in ever trying to change his girl's mind about anything.
They walked along the busy street, and it was all much more beautiful than he was willing to admit to her. There were a million lights above and around them, all in different shades and some of them twinkling or glowing in bright neon colors. The street was busy, busier than he had ever seen it, and he reckoned there was something special going on tonight but she refused to tell him what it was. No surprise there, Hermione's lips were sealed tighter that a goblin's greedy grip. It all annoyed him, and he felt his face getting redder and redder, as red as the two muggle call-boxes they had just passed. He wouldn't blow his top though; he had promised her, and he never broke one he made to her.
She stopped him and pointed at the fence that bordered the square's gardens, gesturing for him to go over to it. He walked over, feeling a little awkward when he saw her take out the little mobile phone she carried and used to talk with her folks. She was going to take his picture and he knew that he wouldn't win that argument either. So Ron smiled like he'd just won something and waited patiently for her to get the one she liked best—she was such a girl, his Hermione. He took it in stride and amused himself by peering into the garden behind him.
He and Hermione had been to the square before, and they had visited the fountain in the center of the garden during that visit. There was a statue of some writer there whose name he couldn't remember right—something Shaky—and she had read one of the bloke's poems to him that day. It had been alright, he supposed, but he didn't really get it. He hadn't told her that though; he had just smiled and pretended to like it, something any smart man would do if they wanted to keep a happy lady in their life.
He must have been smiling again because she asked him what was so funny. He pointed at a street performer who was dressed like a wizard and her face did something funny. She walked over to the fence and surprised him by taking out her wand and pointing it at his face. Now most men would laugh if their girlfriend pointed a wand at them, but Ron knew what Hermione could do with the thing and he wisely backed up and stammered a few quick questions. She told him that he needed to trust her and that she was going to cast a spell on him that would help with the surprise. He was reluctant—to say the least—but she smiled her tenderest smile and the battle was over for him, much like always.
She said something like dystraxia blixis and tapped him right between the eyes. He immediately found out that his eyes couldn't concentrate on anything. He looked at all the signs on the surrounding buildings and saw the letters were jumbling themselves and the images were blurred. He turned back to her in desperation, but she assured him that they were nearly where they were going. She took his hand then and led him on down the street like a kindly mother might guide a troubled child.
The trick on his eyes was more than a little disconcerting, and it distracted him like good food or pretty girls never could. He barely heard her when she asked a woman for two of something—tapping a hanging poster that he couldn't make out—and paid her in muggle money. He just kept following her, trusting that at least she knew where they were going.
The entered the building behind the woman in the booth and he instantly smelled the buttery odor of popcorn. She knew him well enough not to bother asking if he wanted some, and soon he had a rather large bucket in his hands and they were on their way. A few twists and turns and they entered a large room where she told him to sit down.
There weren't many people around that he could hear, but Hermione was still very careful as she pulled out her wand and quickly removed the curse from his eyes. He immediately understood that they were at the cinema—something that the presence of popcorn had already suggested—and he gave her a puzzled look. They had been to see movies before, several times, and he didn't understand all the need for secrecy. She just sighed patiently and told him that the movie wasn't the surprise, it was the subject of the film that was important. He shrugged and stood up so that they could pick their seats.
They were either late or it was free movie night. The place was packed with men, women, and more children than he could count. He wondered why they were going to watch something that would attract so many children, but she just sat mute and he resigned himself to wait for the answer.
A few minutes later the lights started to dim and the roar of the audience was reduced to isolated whispers. When the room was completely dark, the screen lit up and started showing the advertisements for new films. Hermione had explained to him that they were called trailers, and he found that he liked them quite a lot, sometimes more than the movie they had come to watch. There were a great many of them, and he became lost in the mini-stories depicted by each of them. After they were finished there were the great walls of legal text, a couple of more screens and then the feature began.
He settled back into his seat and positioned his popcorn in his lap for easy access. He had learned long ago that there wasn't near enough of it in the bucket to be an entire movie's worth, and so he had figured out how to ration it so that it would last. He he had just filled his mouth with the first bite when something he saw on the screen made him spray it right back out and onto the back of the head of the poor bloke that was sitting in front of him. He apologized quickly, but his eyes never drifted away from the words he saw on the screen.
It was Harry's name that had caught his eye. It was part of the title, and there was even a mention of the philosopher's stone there. He turned to Hermione, the question dancing wildly in his eyes, but she only patted his arm and gestured for him to keep watching. He did as he was told, sitting on the edge of his seat as his memories played themselves back to him on the big screen. It was a date night that he never forgot.
Me and my son were watching one of the movies one night and he asked me something that set my mind spinning in this direction.
This is pure rubbish,but the scene was stuck in my mind for days and it wouldn't let me write anything else. I didn't really enjoy writing this story which is strange because I usually love the process. This one was different from me than any of the others, and it seemed to pour out of its own accord, and rather painfully at times. I became rather aggravated with it and nearly stopped, but it was still up there and I knew that writing it out was the only sure way to get rid of it. I wrote it pretty quickly, posted it and read the validated copy before I saw that it was rife with errors. So I have revised it a bit to make it more readable and now I'm going to leave it alone now, probably for good.
I am posting it in case someone out there enjoys reading it more than I did writing the silly thing.