Ron Weasley sat in the library,
What Witches Want - Part
01 - by Katherina Black
Ron was doing something he didn't
usually do; he was pondering. Being very much a hot tempered,
spur-of-the-moment person, Ron didn't usually risk getting too
deep in thoughts - after all, he'd seen the effect that could
have on people.
But today, Ron sat in the library,
ignoring his divination homework and instead working his way
through a bag of Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans in a
despondent manner. And he was going over yet another of his and
Hermione's arguments in his head. He just didn't get
girls and the whole set of complex unwritten rules which seemed
to come with them. Take yesterday, for example. He and Hermione,
who was usually a sensible person, had just been talking
normally. Then he'd said something - Ron could hardly even
remember what now - and Hermione had started going into one of
her off-the-wall utterly irrelevant speeches.
Wish I had some insight into the
female brain, Ron thought, irritated, to himself. His bad mood
was not improved by the fact that he'd just popped a disgusting
Brick flavoured bean into his mouth in his lapse of
concentration. Ron gagged and hurridly reached for another bean
to take the gritty flavour of cement and granite from his tongue.
The bean he'd picked was silver -
which was strange, as Ron had never come across a silver bean
before. What could be? Metal? Then, looking more closely at it,
Ron realised that it was a blend of different colours, making it
appear silvery in the light.
Ron weighed up his options. Well,
anything had to be better than having part of a wall in his
mouth, he decided as he hurridly put the silver bean in his
"Ron...Ron! Wake up!"
Somebody was shaking him awake. Ron half opened his eyes. Ginny
was shaking him awake.
"You must have fallen
asleep," Ginny said, as Ron groggily lifted up his heavy
"Wha-? Oh. Right," Ron
said confusedly, catching sight of his divination text book and
remembering where he was. He opened up the book and attempted to
read it, though his head felt like he'd had too much of the
strong version of butterbeer. Ron was just trying to work out the
bit about the importance of the Sun and other planets in certain
houses, when he heard Ginny's voice.
probably at Quidditch Practice. I wonder if...no. He probably
wouldn't even notice me, let alone sweep me up in a loving
Ron spluttered. "Ginny,
please! I am not one of your girl-friends!" he said, a look
of disgust beginning to form on his freckled face.
"I didn't say you were,"
said Ginny, looking up from her homework with a puzzled face.
"No, but I'm Harry's best
friend. I'm not exactly the best person to confide in about your
crush on him," Ron protested. He'd thought that Ginny was
over this nonsense about Harry - but it was just another example
to prove how strange females were.
"What?" said Ginny, but
she turned as red as the philosopher's stone.
"All I'm saying is, keep your
girly comments about Harry to yourself," said Ron, giving up
all hope on his divination homework.
"Ron, I haven't said a word
to you about Harry or anybody else..." Ginny said, now
extremely puzzled, and extremely red. "You must have
Ron opened his mouth to argue, but
Ginny had already picked up her quill and started writing again.
He instead satisfied himself with muttering to himself something
about girls being mad. He started reading again, but the library
hadn't been silent for two seconds before he clearly heard his
earth did he know what I was thinking? Oh well...Poor Colin, I
can't believe he asked me out..."
"Colin Creevey asked you
out?!" said Ron, incredulously. Ginny's face was a map of
"How did you know that?"
she said, making frantic shushing gestures at her brother, and
glancing around her. "Did Colin tell you?"
"No," said Ron,
wondering if his sister was going mad. "You just did. Just
Ginny stared at her brother. Then
something extremely odd happened: Ron very clearly heard Ginny's
voice saying, "What
is he talking about? If Colin's been spreading this, I'll curse
him." but he was
equally certain that Ginny hadn't even opened her mouth.
Ron blinked, then shook his head,
vigurously. "Are you okay?" Ginny asked (this time by
means of her mouth)
"Fine, I'm fine," said
Ron, slightly hoarsely, slamming his text book shut.
"For Merlin's sake, Ron, it's
not that hard," Ron realised fo the first time that Parvati
Patil was sitting at the other end of the long table. He also
noticed (distatsefully) that she was whizzing through her
Then, it happened again!
almost time to meet Padma..." Ron heard Parvati say, and he saw Parvati
check her watch, then begin to pack away her things - but Parvati
hadn't even been talking.
"Er - are you going to meet
your sister, Parvati?" Ron blurted out as Parvati stood up
"Yeah, how did you
know?" asked Parvati.
"Er - didn't you just say
"No, I didn't say
anything," said Parvati, leaving with a curious expression.
"Are you sure you're
okay?" said Ginny, looking at her brother with a worried
expression. He kept blinking, and shaking his head. "How
come you fell asleep anyway?"
Ron thought about it...how had he
fallen asleep? Then, very slowly, the memory came back. He'd
eaten a bean. A silver, glowing bean. And it had transported him
to another realm, where things were very strange..? No. Ron
racked his brains...what else? He'd been sitting there, wishing
Ron stopped. Wishing that he
had some insight into the female brain.
Just then a group of girls entered
the library. For Ron, it was like being caught in a hailstorm of
owls. At least ten different loud, female voices entered his
the smell of the library..."
"I hope he
doesn't find out..."
believe she just..."
dusty in here..."
Ron, eyes as big as head lamps,
looked quickly from Madame Pince, the librarian, to the gaggle of
girls. Not one of them was talking, yet he still had a barrage of
voices in his head. Madame Pince hadn't kicked them out yet,
which meant she couldn't hear them (Madam Pince was an extremely
short tempered lady who didn't hold with noise). Ginny seemed
"Ginny," Ron hissed.
"Can you hear that?"
"Hear what?" Ginny said.
Then she watched as her brother stood up and fled.
Ron had considered going to the
hospital wing, but he'd put his head round the door, heard Madame
Pomfrey look up and say (or think) "I thought it'd only be a matter of
time before a Weasley got sent in again," without opening her mouth once, and slammed
the door behind him.
Okay. Okay. Ron leant again the
hospital wing door, breathing deeply. He was very slowly going
mad, it seemed. Nothing to worry about. But meanwhile, he'd like
to know JUST WHAT IN MERLIN'S NAME WAS GOING ON!?
Ron decided there was really only
one person he could go to. He sprinted down the steps.
"And what do you think has
happened?" Dumbledore asked in his usual direct manner, once
Ron, feeling very stupid, had finished his explanation.
"I think...well, I think,
sir, that...I can hear what girls are thinking," said Ron,
feeling now extremely stupid.
"I see," said
Dumbledore, more serious now, though Ron saw that his mouth was
twitching slightly. "How interesting," he added, half
to himself. Then he turned back to Ron, who was now fidgeting
slightly in his chair.
"Well, Mr. Weasley - I only
have a very vague theory of what may have happened to you. Magic
is very complex, you see, far more so than we can recognise.
Perhaps sometimes powers come to you when you need them. It can't
be explained, but has been this way for centuries, I believe.
"There are, however, two
things of which I am certain: the first, is that this
power should only stay with you for seven days. The second, is
that if you wish to be rid of it before then, you must prove that
you don't need this power."
Ron digested all of this.
"So, I have to prove that I don't have to read witches'
thoughts?" he said.
"Either that or you could
wait out the seven days," Dumbledore said. "I must say,
you are in possession of an extremely useful, if slightly strange
power," he added with a twinkle. "Much better than the
power one of my own friends got when he found himself in a
"Harry! Harry!" Ron
leant over his friend, who was fast asleep after an exhausting
Quidditch practice. "I need to tell you something."
Harry opened one eye and rolled
over, burying his face in the downy pillows. "Ron, this had
better be good..." came the muffled moan.
"Harry - I think I've got a
mind reading power!"
"Professor Trelawny has
really got to you, hasn't she?" said Harry, amusedly from
the depths of the pillows.
"No, seriously! Listen, I was
in the library earlier, yeah, and I was sitting there thinking
about how me and Hermione are always arguing, and I was wishing
that I knew what girls were thinking, or something, and it came
Harry sat up. For a moment, Ron
wasn't sure if he was going to laugh or simply look astounded. He
went for a mixture of the two.
"You're saying that you can
read girl's thoughts?" Harry said, a repressed smile
"I know it sounds
barking," Ron said, sitting down on his own bed. "But I
woke up, and I swear I could hear what they were thinking! And
then I went to see Dumbledore, and he -"
"He what?" Harry said,
the laughter dying at this.
"Well, actually what he said
was, that he needed more time to work this one out and I either
have to cope with hearing witches' thoughts for a week, or prove
I don't need to. I suppose that's him telling me I've got to work
this one out by myself."
Harry stared at Ron, who was by
now breathless, but frowning in concentration. Then Harry flopped
backwards onto the bed and laughed his head off.
"Sorry, sorry," Harry
apologised once he'd stopped. "Er, okay, so what are you
going to do?"
"I haven't got a clue,"
It was all very well to see the
joke in this bizarre situation, but by the end of the evening Ron
was being driven mad. It was like having a constant, raging
headache. Suddenly, there were girls everywhere he went. And all
their thoughts were being shouted to him whether he liked it or
"I don't want to KNOW about
your lovelife!" He at last yelled at a shocked Ravenclaw
girl who'd been standing minding her own business.
Ron tried to explain this to
Harry, but his friend who was not burdened with acting as a
satellite for female thoughts, shrugged.
"You've got a gift,"
Harry said sleepily. They were talking in the darkness of the
"A gift? a gift? Being able
to ballet dance is a gift. Being as brainy as Hermione is a gift.
This is not a frigging gift!"
"Ron, you can read minds.
That's got to be an advantage." Ron was about to snap back
another cynical answer, when he thought about it. How on earth
could this be an advantage? He was still thinking when everybody
else in their dormitory had long been asleep.
okay, everybody; don't bother helping, after all I'm only Eloise
Ron looked down and saw Eloise
Midgen, looking more than a little downcast, hastily trying to
gather the books she'd dropped as people hurried to their morning
classes. Ron bent over and picked up the last of her books, then
handed them to her.
"Oh," said Eloise
Midgen, looking distinctly suprised. "Thanks, er..."
"Ron," Ron said quickly.
course. The one who has a problem with my nose being a millimeter
off center, like every other typical boy/arsehole in this
"Who told you that?" Ron
said, suprised and embarrassed.
"Told me what?" Eloise
"Nothing," Ron said,
running up to join Harry.
And the worst thing was, as Ron
was fast discovering, he didn't exactly like all of what he
heard. In fact, Ron didn't know what was worse, hearing himself
described as an arsehole three times, or hearing that a Second
year he'd passed earlier on thought he was "cute".
"Hey, Herms, how come you
"Library," Hermione said
simply. Ron started to gawp but then he remembered something
Oh no. Ron had forgotten that, due
to his new powers, he would now be party to one of his best
friend's thoughts. He just couldn't read Hermione's thoughts and
look innocent. He didn't want to.
Ron gave Harry an agonized look
accompanied with convincing gestures as Hermione went to talk to
"It's okay, we just won't
tell her," Harry whispered. "I mean, you know Hermione,
she'll want to keep you in isolation so that you can't infringe
on peoples' privacy." Ron moaned and smacked his forehead
but Hermione had already sat herself down next to him.
"Hi!" she said brightly.
What she thought was: "Hmm, Ron looks very pale, he's probably
been eating too many sweets" (It was all Ron could do to stop himself shouting,
"I have not!")
"Are you okay, Ron?"
Hermione said casually. "You look pale."
"Fine, I'm fine," Ron
muttered. "Slightly restless night, that's all."
"I'll say," Harry
murmured with a grin, before Ron elbowed him.
"Er, Harry, wouldn't it be
easier if you worked over here, next to Hermione?" Ron
they've got some kind of boy thing going on and they don't want
me to know," Hermione
thought. Ron jumped. "I wish that I didn't have to feel like such
a gooseberry half the time I'm with them. And what's worse is,
they don't even seem to notice...oh well. It was inevitable, I
suppose...boys will be boys and all that..."
Hermione's train of thoughts was interuptted when she sneezed.
Then she sneezed again. And again. It seemed that she couldn't go
five minutes without sneezing.
Hermione groaned. "I'm allergic to something in here,"
she said, casting her eyes around, looking for the culprit.
Granger, you have permission to go to the hospital wing,"
Professor Flitwick squeaked.
I'll miss one of my most important lessons. Aargghh! Why
Ron could hardly
supress a smile as he heard this particularly Hermione-ish
you your homework, don't worry, Hermione," Ron said as
Hermione grabbed up her things. Hermione looked (and was)
grateful as she sneezed them goodbye.
mind reader," said Harry with a grin as they started off to
their next lesson. "Have you discovered the secret of what
witches want yet?"
Ron shook his
head, irritated. "I've heard myself described as an asshole
four times already," he said in a low voice. Harry cracked
don't want to know what girls are thinking about you,
Harry," Ron added, promply shutting up his best friend
("What? What have they been thinking about me?")
But Ron wouldn't
say any more. He instead concentrated on wondering if earplugs
A/N All thoughts
should be highlighted in orange, but it's not coming out on
ff.net - so I've underlined them instead...I'm sure you
noticed, you clever clogs. All other chapters should be orange.