Hi, there! First off, I wanted to say thank you for organizing such a great challenge. I enjoyed it immensely!
This story was brilliant. I laughed non-stop as I was reading it, which isn't the most dignified thing to do when you're sitting at work. But it was worth it. I feel like my day is already off to a great start.
I apologize in advance; this is probably going to wind up being one of those reviews where I spend an awful lot of time copying and pasting my favorite lines and gushing about them. This isn't because I'm too lazy to properly deconstruct and analyze your work -- well, at least that's not the main reason... -- it's because I think you did such an amazing job of capturing Ron's inner voice in all its hilarious brilliance. At every turn, you put this spin on the events that sounds exactly like Ron Weasley. He's a little full of himself, coming on too strong to begin with, and then retreating toward Harry and especially Hermione when he realizes that he's in way over his head. This story was a perfect reflection of the way I remember Ron from the time of the Gryffindor-Slytherin Quidditch match in HBP until the Battle of the Astronomy Tower.
Only Ron could generalize one girl's intense, borderline-creepy obsession into believing that he's a girl magnet. Even as he glories in his newfound "science-y" revelation, it seems like it's Hermione's standards that he's subconsciously measuring himself against, which was a very realistic touch. And the little mental dig at her for not being able to do Potions better than the Half-Blood Prince was really clever!
Demand for my lips is higher than ever. They constantly taste like cherry lip gloss and I donít even have to apply it to myself. It just gets that way naturally from another personís mouth putting it on me. A girlís mouth. Because I snogged her. And thatís how the transfer of lip gloss happened. -- Genius, from start to finish!
I love the gradual way that Ron's thoughts descend from the heights of "I'm god-like" to the depths of "Oh, god, what have I done?" You start to show us the cracks in his magnificent edifice from nearly the beginning, and then we get to watch them grow. You did a good job with describing Lavender's little love notes and Ron's frustration with trying to open them and keep up with them all. As a guy, I can readily attest that I never really "got" the way that those worked.
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. - One of my favorite things you've done is the way that Harry isn't letting him off easily. In fact, Harry seems to be having a ball. Good on him. He owes Ron after the whole Triwizard Tournament debacle.
Neville found it and while he insists he didnít touch it, his ears were red for an hour so I knew right away what had happened. - Poor Neville. Our little boy is growing up too fast!
I love the panic Lavender's advances send Ron into. The whole scene just cascades from one funny moment to the next. Ron, desperately scrawling his name to look busy, Hermione viciously selling him out, Lavender trying to do god-knows-what with her feet around Ron's waist and Harry loving every second of his best mate's torment. The role reversal as Ron feels objectified and violated was just brilliant!
The temperature of the room has gone up at least five degrees, so I know that Lavender must be doing something bad. Itís because of the indescribable glower Hermione has on her face that I turn around. Am I wrong to think that Hermione probably got very close to hexing, cursing and/or punching Lavender at some point during Ron's relationship with her? Because Hermione did have a little bit of a violent side to her, at least in my opinion. Draco found this out the hard way.
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 canít because Lavenderís 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 Ė I did not mean to do that! Sheís got a Ė oh, God. Her nose is bleeding. I mumble some nonsense at it with my wand but I think that made it worse. - Bahahaha! This is the paragraph where I just lost it. My coworkers think I'm so strange sometimes...
She follows him into the bathroom! Wow, the girl is beyond shameless. And then this: I start to imagine kissing Hermione and Lavender pulls away, gasping for air. ďWow!Ē she exclaims. ďAre you trying to swallow me?Ē Oh, I love it! Small hints of where his heart really lies...
And then he runs back to the classroom and Hermione sends him right back to reality by selling him out again! She has so much spirit, even when she's so upset. Or maybe it's because she's so upset. Either way, I adore her in this. I get the feeling that she probably never lost an argument to Ron in all the years they were married, and it isn't just because she's brilliant. She has enough ammunition to last a lifetime.
Harryís told me countless times that he canít take me seriously when Lavenderís licking me while Iím trying to talk to him. - I have to say, I can see Harry's point there. I do love the way that Ron is constantly trying to retreat back into his "safe zone", aka Harry and Hermione. And the way you ended it, with Ron finding that the whole day was salvaged by the little smile that Hermione lets slip and the slightly distracted way she's going about her schoolwork, was really beautiful. You stayed so true to him throughout...
Sarah, this was magnificent! I feel honored and privileged to have been the recipient of this gift. You took a silly idea that had been hanging out in the back of my head for a while and turned it into something really, really special. Thank you!
Author's Response: I really suck at responding to reviews in a swift manner. -hangs head-
I'm so thrilled you liked this! Challenges of any sort are really appealing to me, so the idea of handing out one-shots as prizes was an exciting way to see how I can interpret someone else's idea for a story. I was especially excited to write from Ron's perspective. I've only written him one other time, in third-person narrative, and was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I can identify a lot with Ron because we have similar personalities, so it was fairly easy to get inside his head.
Confession: I totally did the whole confusing note-folding thing back in the day. I couldn't remember how to do it now if I tried, but the way I shaped those things was practically origami.
I would be surprised if Hermione /didn't/ secretly hex Lavender at some point in time. After all, she did share a dormitory with her. Hermione's clever enough to be able to cause her all sorts of problems without anyone being any the wiser. It's the simple, vindictive triumphs like pouring stinksap into shampoo or turning Ice Mice into real mice that would be gratifying enough to placate Hermione's bitterness but still mild enough to fly under the radar. (I think that revenge tactics are biologically instilled in females. At any given moment we can think of 100 ways to get back at someone who has wronged us.)
Ron's true feelings showing through were so much fun for me to write. I'm not sure he was even totally aware of these feelings. His thoughts just kept gravitating to Hermione, both positive and negative. Romione is my absolute favorite ship in all of Potterverse, so I couldn't resist the little bit of Romione poking through throughout. :P
Thank you, once again, for participating in my challenge and for giving me the opportunity to write such a fun plunny of yours!