Spoilers: Through Half-Blood Prince
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Author's Note: Written for thepurpleswitch for the hetfic ficathon. She wanted Ron/Hermione, using the quote "Books are like imprisoned souls till someone takes them down from a shelf and frees them." I incorporated the quote in a roundabout way--Hermione's supposed to be the book, in this instance. :-) I don't read or write Ron/Hermione fic--like, ever--so this is more friendship than romance.
There are SPOILERS in this fic, so if you haven't read HBP yet, don't click the LJ-cut!
The kitchen at the Burrow was quiet--everyone was outside, enjoying the gorgeous summer day. Hermione Granger sat at the table, writing furiously. Ron Weasley sat down across from her. "You're not really revising for NEWTs, are you?"
Ron reached over and plucked the quill from Hermione's hand. Ink splattered on her parchment, and she clicked her tongue in annoyance. "What was that for?"
"So you'd pay more attention to me than... whatever that is." Hermione narrowed her eyes. Ron forged on anyway. "Tell me you're not revising for NEWTs." He lowered his voice. "It's not like we're going to be taking them."
"Ron, we can't talk about this here!" Hermione hissed.
He waved a hand in dismissal. "I cast a Muffling Charm."
"Oh, get over it, Hermione. We're going to need all the tricks we can get if we're going to pull this off," he interrupted impatiently before she could lecture him on irresponsible spellcasting.
She sat back in her chair, clearly unhappy. "To answer your question, of course I'm not revising for NEWTs."
He waited for her to explain exactly what she was working on, in great detail, but she merely snatched her quill back, dipped it in a pot of ink, and continued her scribbling.
Ron sighed. "Hermione..."
"What are you working on, if not NEWT revisions?"
Hermione set aside her quill, wiped her fingers on an ink-stained rag, and pushed the parchment over to him.
Ron glanced at the page. His eyebrows shot up. "Wow. You're really taking this seriously, aren't you?"
She rolled her eyes. "Of course I am! This isn't some game, you know. We could quite possibly die on this... this... treasure hunt. I want to be us to be prepared for anything that we run across."
Ron sat back, stung. "I know it's not a game! I was at Dumbledore's funeral too, you know!"
Hermione flinched. "I... I'm sorry. Of course you understand. I just..." She turned red. "I don't want to lose you. Either of you," she finished in a small voice.
Ron was silent for a moment. He stood and grabbed one of her hands. "Come on."
"What?" He tugged her out of the chair. "But I still have--"
"Bollocks to what you have to do--"
"It's a beautiful day. Who knows the next time we'll be able to just relax? Come on--we can go play Quidditch." His face lit up at the thought.
Hermione frowned, but softened at his pleading look. "Well, all right," she agreed reluctantly. "Let me just put this in a safe place." She began to gather her books and writing supplies.
She looked over her shoulder as she got to the stairs. "But if you think you're getting me on a broom, you're deluded," she said in her best know-it-all voice.
"You think so?" Ron grinned mischievously. He started to stalk toward her.
She hurried up the stairs, Ron in pursuit. "I have one word for you, Ron Weasley," she said as she opened the door to Ginny's room."
"Oh, yeah?" Ron asked. "And what’s that?"
Hermione nodded. "Canaries," she replied primly. Ron blanched.