|Scene Title||Books vs. Quidditch|
|Synopsis||Ron and Hermione argue about which is better - books or Quidditch. Guess who is on which side.|
|Date||Jul 04 1994|
//The Weasley residence is a brisk walk back off the main road, hidden by the greenery and a few magical enhancements. Upon first glance, this looks like a normal little country home. The grass is lush and green with the odd weed poking up, the hedges are kept neatly trimmed. There are even a few chickens pecking around in the yard. As stated earlier, this residence appears normal, until you get a glance of the house. It looks as if it were once a stone pigpen, and rooms had just been built to and around it. The home looks as if it has four stories and there are five chimneys poking out of it. There is no way that this home could be staying upright without the aid of the supernatural. Behind the house and to the side is a shed where Mr. Weasley tinkers about. A pond is nearby with overgrown grass around it. Every now and then a garden gnome races across the yard with a mad giggle of glee adding to the occasional noise provided by the family ghoul.
Inside the home, the kitchen is a small and quite cramped room. Occupying the center of the room is a wooden table surrounded by chairs. Placed against the wall is a grandfather styled clock with only one hand. Instead of numbers on the clockface it has things like 'Time to make tea,' 'Time to Feed the Chickens,' 'You're late,' 'At Work,' and so forth. A fireplace with a large mantelpiece occupies a large portion of the inside wall. Magically oriented cookbooks are kept stacked across the fireplace mantel. Placed upon the mantel next to the books is an old radio tuned into the Wizard Wireless Network. Despite the low income, it seems something delicious can always be found cooking in here.
The sitting area contains a fireplace with a stone mantel. Placed upon the mantel are photographs of the family and a muggle style clock. Positioned back a safe distance from the fireplace is a squashy sofa of indeterminable color. A thin and faded rug is on the floor in front of it. Small end tables have been placed at either end of the sofa. Lamps have been placed on each one, on top of lace doilies. Two lace curtained windows look out into the front garden.//
It's a quiet day at the Burrow. Or, as quiet as the Burrow gets with as many people who live there in the chaos. Hermione is visiting, with the permission of her parents, her best friends. And for now, she's even put away her new books from Flourish and Blott's. For now. She's still thinking about them, of course. So, she's a little distracted even as she helps out with the chores. Since students aren't allowed to use magic outside of classes, she's doing it all by hand. Which she's used to, having grown up without magic until four years ago. Wrist deep in soapy water, she scrubs at a few plates.
"Mum has you cleaning now?" Ron says as he enters the kitchen, flopping down into one of the many chairs around the table. He has a stack of what appears to be comic books, and the title is clear as day when he sets them down on the table, even if they're a little faded. The Adventures of Martin Miggs, the Mad Muggle. Alongside them he sets down the very last of his Every Flavor Beans. Having to stretch them out over the holidays has been a chore in and of itself, but today he'll be finishing them off. It's the holidays! There's no such thing as work as far as he's concerned.
Well, that may be Ron's idea of what vacation is, but to Hermione just because it's vacation doesn't mean there's no work to be done. There's always something to do. "Your mother has nothing to do with this. I offered to clean and she tried to stop me. But if I'm staying here, I feel like I should help out some way." Her eyes trail to the comic book he has. "Those are awfully offensive, Ron. You know it's hard enough for Wizards to get a good idea of how Muggles operate anyway."
"You volunteered?" Ron says, taking his eyes off of the comic books to look up at Hermione. "Bloody hell, Hermione, it's the holidays! You shouldn't be working. We're supposed to be relaxing, having fun!" Of course, Ron's definition of reading material is far, far different than Hermione's. You wouldn't catch him reading Hogwarts, a History, that's for sure. "Besides," he says, turning his attention back down to his comics, "you read for fun, and this is my way of reading for fun."
"Of course I did." It's Hermione. This is what she does. "If you came over to my house to stay for a week, you'd offer to do chores, I'm sure. It's just a way to show you're grateful for someone who's putting you up." She'll have her delusions about Ron doing chores. "And I'll relax once these dishes are done. Grab a towel, would you?" Because she's not going to let him just stand there watching while she does his dishes. "That's not fun, Ronald, it's degrading. The Mad Muggle? It's merely ingraining stereotypes of Muggles to most of the Wizard race. Muggles aren't mad. You're simply misunderstanding them."
There's not much in response from Ron about going over to Hermione's house and staying a week, but whether it's because he has nothing to say or something else is anyone's guess. "Why do I need a towel?" Ah, obliviousness. Faked obliviousness, more than likely. "It's a comic book, Hermione, it's not… anti-Muggle.. well, it's not anti-Muggle. It's just a comic book!"
It's a hypothetical! Because Hermione has come over to the Burrow to stay for a bit, she's just reversing the scenario. "To help me with the dishes. Honestly, Ron. You aren't a very good host if you're letting your guest do all the work and standing there holding a comic book that insults her parents." She raises an eyebrow at him. "A comic book that plants sinister ideas into the minds of kids."
There's a very elaborate, overplayed sigh from Ron, and he places the comic down on the table as he stands. He grabs a nearby towel, moving to stand next to Hermione at the sink. Grabbing one of the freshly cleaned, wet dishes, he begins to dry it with the towel. "Mum can do all of this with magic, you know. Wouldn't you rather be outside playing Quidditch?"
"Yes, just like she can do everything with magic. But we can't. A little elbow grease never hurt anyone." Even if Ron may think it may. Holding out the next plate, still dripping with water, Hermione gives Ron a look. The long suffering, can't you just get with it? look that she so often gives her red-headed friend. "And you know how I feel about playing Quidditch." Mostly, that she doesn't. Flying always frightens her. It's one of the few things she's bad at and won't work on. "If you want to go out and play Quidditch, you'll have to wait for Harry. And for when these dishes are done."
"Gee, Mum, you're starting to look more and more like Hermione everyday," he says, voice kept a notch lower than his normal inside voice, avoiding that long suffering look he sees so often. He sets his now dry plate aside, reaching into the sink to grab another one. "You should really give Quidditch a try, Hermione. It's a lot more fun than you think! We wouldn't have to fly that high— we can't, really, since we have to stay below the trees, but Harry and I can teach you."
"If you call me your mother one more time, I'm going to tell her what you did at school last year." Hermione huffs and shoves another dish in his direction for him to dry. Tilting her head up, she finishes up the last dish and stacks it up for him to finish. And she'll watch him like a hawk to make sure that he does. "If you two want to go chasing bludgers and snitches, that's fine. I'll stay with my feet on the ground, thank you."
"Sorry, sorry," Ron is quick to reply, finishing the current dish. He takes the next one, drying them quickly, but making sure that he dries them very thoroughly under the watchful eye of Hermione Granger. "It's more fun than you think. Why won't you, anyway? You never play Quidditch with us. It's a big part of the wizarding world, Hermione! You already know that, but— it's… it's Quidditch!"
"And it will keep being Quidditch even if I don't play it." Hermione settles into a seat at the kitchen table, overseeing the whole operation. "If everyone played Quidditch, nobody'd be around to watch and cheer the others on. So, don't worry so much about why I don't play." And don't mention the fact that she can't really fly at all. It's a sore spot.
"So what do you want to do for fun, then?" Ron says, drying the last dish. He sets it with the other clean dishes, dropping the towel on top of them and turning around to face Hermione. He leans against the edge of the counter, head tilted slightly to the side as he regards her. "And don't say read, because if I can't read my comics, then you can't read your books."
Hermione opens her mouth, but Ron's quick quashing of anything having to do with books makes her shut it again. Stewing, she frowns to try and think something else over. As she thinks, she rolls her eyes again. "Reading wouldn't hurt you, Ron. In fact, it may help you with your marks at Hogwarts. We've got OWLS coming up, you know."
"OWLs?" Ron asks, a little bit incredulous. "Bloody hell, Hermione, those aren't until our fifth year! We haven't even started our fourth!" He moves back to the table, taking a seat across from the brunette, shaking his head with his eyes on the table. "OWLs. Honestly." Suddenly, he looks up, a smile tugging at his lips as he watches Hermione. "I'll make you a deal. You play Quidditch with us, and I'll read any book you want me to read."
"They're very intensive," Hermione sniffs at Ron at his flippant dismissal of those very important exams coming up. "I've already started to study for them. And you should, too, if you would like to do anything serious once you graduate." Frowning at the offer, the bushy-haired witch sniffs. "You should be reading anyway. You keep talking like reading's boring. It's really not! I'm rubbish at Quidditch, Ron. You should just play with Harry."
"What if I want to hang out with my mates playing Quidditch all the time after I graduate?" Ron says, grinning at Hermione. He's just poking at her at this point, and hopefully he isn't treading dangerous waters. "Besides, reading is boring! I get why it's important, but they could make it fun somehow. Like Martin Miggs! That's fun to read."
"Then you'll end up poor and homeless and wished you would have studied for your OWLs." Hermione crosses her arms and leans back in her chair. That's obvious to her, at least. "That's not reading, Ron, that's looking at pictures. And it's also wizard-centric. It's no better than Slytherins thinking they're better than everyone else."
"I'll live with you," Ron says nonchalantly, shrugging at the same time. It's obvious he's joking, but he's not even ready to begin thinking about OWLs. "Still," he continues, sitting back down at the table, scooting one of the comics in his direction. "History of Magic. How do you stay awake in that class? That is a class that needs something to make it less boring."
"Not if you don't do dishes and think all you'll do is sit around and read comics all day." Hermione sniffs and eyes the thin book that he's nudging about the table. "Oh, Ron, that's not boring! It's talking about the history of everything! Of course, Professor Binn's could put the class in more exciting context, but the books themselves are quite interesting. I thought it'd be something you would like. All it talks about is wars and battles and a lot of bloodshed. Especially during all the goblin revolts. Don't you remember?" Snaking a hand forward, she attempts to take the comic from him to see what it is he's so involved in.
"Trying to remember what Slurg the Sharp did or Brogy the Bloodshedder did in 1756 isn't interesting," Ron states flatly, reaching for a new comic when Hermione takes his current one. He opens it up, throwing an elbow on up the table and resting his head in his hand as he scans the comic idly. "Maybe if we studied while playing Quidditch."
"See!" Hermione crows triumphantly when Ron says the names. "You can pay attention. Though, it was Broody the Bloodshedder, not Brogy. And it was in 1765." Even when encouraging, she can't help but correct. Flipping idly through the pages of Ron's comic, she lets her distaste for his reading material be known by her expression. "How can you read this? It's all nonsense." With a sigh, she tosses it back onto the table. "Maybe you should just drop out of school and try to be a Quidditch player, then. It would make things easier for you." Pause. "Isn't there that Quidditch match coming up?"
There's a snort from Ron at the notion of him being a Quidditch player. "You would never let me drop out of school, much less /mum/ letting me drop out of school. I don't want to think about what she would do if I even tried." He closes the comic in front of him, looking up with an almost dreamy sigh. "There is a match coming up. It would be wicked if we could go."
"And just imagine how upset she'd be if you did poorly on your OWLs." Hermione's trying to get a point across here. "I'm honestly just trying to help you here." Finally, she's gotten him to stop reading that blasted comic book and so she keeps the subject at. "Can't we? Are tickets really that expensive?"
"She'll get over it— yeah, they're pretty expensive," Ron says, leaning back in his chair, propping his feet on the table. He stares at the ceiling, tipping his chair back as far as he can without falling, and he's getting dangerously close. "The things they do in professional Quidditch… it makes the school matches look like nothing."
"She won't have to get over it if you do well." Hermione rolls her eyes. "I'll help you study, Ron. I've already made up quick reference cards for most of what we've studied already in the past three years. It makes it all really easy. I'll let you borrow them." As for Quidditch, she shrugs her shoulders. "I've read about some of the techniques in one of the books I got from Flourish and Blott's. You could borrow that too, if you'd like."
"Oh, I can't wait to read the reference cards," Ron says, rolling his eyes at Hermione. "We'll start first thing on the train back." After, you know, he and Harry get snacks and generally don't do anything the entire ride there. They'll be at school after that, and there won't be time for reference cards! Leaning forward, his chair hitting the floor with a loud bang, Ron looks over at Hermione. "Which book?"
Sometimes oblivious to sarcasm - for how much she can use it - Hermione will take Ron's words at face value this time. "Oh, I thought so! They're quite helpful. I've used them more than once studying for an exam and they've pulled me out of a jam when I couldn't remember what a bezoar did." There is always time for reference cards. "You'll chip the floor if you keep doing that," she adds, attempting not to sound like Mrs. Weasley as she does it. "It was a book about the history and technique of Quidditch, actually."
"I can borrow it?" See! A book about Quidditch. He'll actually read this one, too, seeing it's a book about something that is not boring. If the goblin revolts involved some high-flying Quidditch matches, he would be on board in an instant. "Thanks, Hermione. I guess you're excited to go back to school so you can make even more reference cards."
"Honestly, I should find some way to make history into a Quidditch match for you both." Hermione rolls her eyes, but she's pleased that he'll be reading something. Something that may have sustenance for his brain. And is not a comic book about a mad Muggle. "Of course I'm excited to go back to school. Not for reference cards, obviously. I can't wait to see what we'll learn. This is really the years we start to learn really complicated spells."
"And Harry and I will have you right there to help us with all of our homework and the new, complicated spells." Help? Do, perhaps. Standing from the table, Ron begins rummaging through the kitchen. "I'm hungry," he says, stomach growling slightly as if to re-enforce this point. "Do you want anything?"
"You mean try to make me do it for you." Hermione is wise to their ways. "You'll never learn any of it on your own if you don't do the homework. If you two had it your way, you'd make it so I could do your spells for you, too." Watching Ron's rummaging with interest, she shrugs her shoulders. "You both really are good at spells, you just need to work on it. Oh, I'll just have whatever you're having."
"Well, if you want to," Ron says, voice muffled as he sticks his head inside one of the cabinets. "Harry and me won't stop you, that's for sure." Pulling his head out, he frowns, turning to look at Hermione. "I'm going to find mum and see if she'll cook something," he says, heading out of the kitchen, calling for the matriarch of the Weasley family.
Ginny comes in from the front door, her arms full of a canvas bag full of books, her upper lip slightly pink and sticky from strawberry ice cream. "Mum! Ron! Everyone! I'm home!"
With another roll of her eyes, Hermione stands up to go help him rummage. "You can be quite helpless, you know that, right?" She tells the departing Ron, but it's too late. He's gone. And she didn't even get a chance to tell him to do his own spells! Whirling around at the sound of the door opening, he brunette smiles and gives a wave to Ginny. "'Lo, Ginny! Been school shopping?"
Ginny smiles at Hermione. "Hi, Hermione. No.. a girl from school recommended some books to me and I thought I'd pick them up for some summer reading. Not much to do around here until the Cup. What have you been up to?"
"I've been trying to tell Ron that studying for the OWLs isn't the end of the world. But if your mum finds out that he fails them, it could be." Closing the cabinet doors that she had started to open, Hermione turns around fully in order to talk to Ginny properly. "I did that earlier. I already my school shopping loads earlier. I still have some supplies to get, but I've gotten all the books. There's some really interesting things in store for this year!"
"Mum insists on doing all the school book shopping. She collects our lists and does it all in bulk. Says she knows Blotts, and he gives her discounts on the lot. Bit pesky, but that's mums for you. Would Ron really fail his OWLs, do you think? He's not as quick as you when it comes to booklearning, but he's not /that/ thick." Ginny sounds like she's being gracious.
Though Hermione's always hard on Ron and Harry about their studying, it's only because she doesn't want to see them do poorly. "No, I don't think he'd fail. He just doesn't want to touch a book unless it has pictures in it or has something to do with Quidditch." She gives the red-headed girl a smile with a roll of her eyes. "But, I can't let him know that. The minute he thinks he'll do alright is when he'll stop studying." As for buying books, she gives a shrug. "Mum and dad wouldn't be able to get to Diagon without me, but they like to accompany me sometimes. They don't always understand the Wizarding world."
Ginny grins at Hermione. "So maybe if he thinks he's constantly on the verge of failing, he'll work harder? That's wicked, Hermione. You're very devious." She puts the bag of books on the table, and begins to take each copy out, sorting them by subject. There are Muggle books as well as Magical books, including some popular Muggle fiction and a few books about charms. "I bet your parents like Diagon. It's so.. alive. I watched some of the owls in the Owlery.. I wish Mum would let me get one."
At being called devious, Hermione merely waves a hand. "Some of the time, it's not just what he thinks." Unfortunately, it's not until Hermione starts actively bugging the two of them before they really do their work. Seeing the Muggle books on the pile, the know-it-all becomes more interested. "Oh, what Muggle books did you get?" It's a subject that's close to her heart, after all. "They thought it was pretty different. They prefer Oxford Circus, though, mum said. Less of a chance of being accidentally perched on by an owl. And no books that can bite." Her mother never quite got over her Care of the Magical Creatures Book and insisted that it be kept in a box in the closet all summer. "Owls can be more hassle than they're worth. You should think about getting a cat." Though, she knows that the trouble isn't why Ginny's not allowed to get an owl.