Title: Hermione's Helping Hand
Summary: Hermione helps set things right after Ron's Charms homework goes horribly awry.
Disclaimer: These characters belong to J.K. Rowling. I am merely using them for my own twisted amusement. The title is borrowed from Chapter Eleven of Rowling's sixth book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I hope that my innocent perving will be taken as such, seeing as I have received no monetary compensation for it. And now…without further ado, I give you…
Hermione's Helping Hand
"Engorgement charms," squeaked tiny little Professor Flitwick from atop his usual stack of books, "are quite as tricky as they are useful. As Professor Sprout will no doubt have informed you, they are the mediocre gardner's greatest boon."
A few of the more inept Herbology students perked up, including Ron. Harry, seated next to him, listened with polite interest, but was really very preoccupied with the Quidditch tryouts that he planned to hold at the weekend. Flitwick continued.
"Can anyone tell me what makes Engorgement charms more difficult than other charms?" The tiny wizard's eyes moved reflexively to Hermione, seated on Ron's other side, whose hand shot into the air so fast that Ron felt the breeze ruffle his hair. After six years, this was quite routine. As no one else looked at all inclined to venture a guess, the professor smiled at the bushy haired girl and acknowledged her. "Yes, Miss Granger?"
"Engorgement charms, if performed inexpertly, are difficult to control. Growth can easily get out of hand. It is, therefore, important that one also be familiar with the Disengorgement charm. Also with regard to fruits and vegetables, produce which has been enchanted in this way is often blander than that which has been grown using more traditional means," she finished quoting from the Standard Book of Spells: Grade Six. Then she added, "Hagrid's Halloween pumpkins, for example, are probably not fit to eat."
"Very thorough," said Flitwick smiling. "Observe." He conjured a cucumber from thin air and presented it for the class's inspection. "Inelesca," said the wizened little man with a smart flick of his wand.
Several more boys sat up interestedly. They watched transfixed as the cucumber began to swell obscenely. A few of the girls began to giggle behind their hands. Within five seconds, the cucumber had doubled in size. Professor Flitwick found that he had Harry's, Ron's and every other boy in the class's full attention.
Across the room from Harry, Ron and Hermione, Parvati Patil nudged Lavender Brown with her elbow, leaned toward her, and whispered something inaudible which caused Lavender to turn bright pink and cast a very unsubtle sidelong glance at Ron. Ron, however, did not notice as he was still staring agog at the cucumber which was now the size of a very large zucchini. It took at firm tug at his sleeve from Hermione to get him to tear his eyes away from the highly suggestive vegetable.
"What?" said Ron, sounding startled.
"What is everyone laughing at?" asked Hermione, clearly annoyed at not being in on the joke. At these words, Ron noticed that everyone, all the girls at least, were sniggering, tittering, chuckling, or giggling. It seemed that most of the boys, like Ron, were gaping at the growing gourd. How to explain this to Hermione, he wondered. "Ron?" she pressed him. He looked guiltily at her
"Um…well…you see, Hermione…um...," Ron cast about for some delicate way to put it, but nothing occurred to him.
"I thought you knew everything, Hermione," interjected Harry as he leaned forward and shot her a look of feigned shock around Ron. Hermione scowled at him. She whipped her head haughtily back to face Professor Flitwick and raised her hand.
"Yes, Miss Granger?" he called on her.
"Professor, it can't just carry on getting bigger and bigger like that, can it?" To Hermione's surprise and annoyance, her question was met with a wave of uncontrolled laughter and a barrage of hearty snorts. "What is so bloody funny?" she asked in an undertone to no one in particular, having already not got a satisfactory answer from Harry or Ron.
"A very good question. As a matter of fact, it can, Miss Granger,…," Flitwick's answer incited several howls of laughter. The tiny wizard continued, "…until it bursts." The effect was instantaneous. The class went utterly silent, but continued to stare at the bright green cucumber which had reached nearly two and a half feet in length before the Charms professor waved his wand again and said, "Desinolesca." Hermione looked smug.
"If, for any reason, you must shrink something, it'll be a reverse flick along with the incantation Fierialiquantulus. Got it? Good!" he said without waiting for an answer. "Now. One more word of caution to you before we begin practicing," he piped. "I advise you against trying this charm on ANY part of your body. This charm's effect on flesh and blood is quite unpredictable. Should you attempt it, the BEST you can hope for is a trip to Madam Pomfrey. Off you go!" chirped Flitwick cheerily, passing around a bowl of fruit for them to practice on.
By the end of the period, Harry, like many others, was covered in bits of fruit, having succeeded only in detonating two apples, an orange, and several grapes. The class encountered myriad problems. Dean Thomas got quite excited when skin of the tangerine he was working on grew to the size of a quaffle, but he was disappointed to find that the fruit within had actually shriveled to the size of a snitch. The opposite problem seemed to be afflicting Seamus Finnigan, who cursed loudly and repeatedly as grapefruit after grapefruit outgrew its skin. Lavender and Parvati both ended up with kiwis that, though quite large, had grown an inexplicable pattern of lumps and horns.
Unsurprisingly, Hermione left with ten perfect, glossy cherries each the size of her fist. She had, of course, experimented a bit to discover the best size to flavor ratio. And, as much to his surprise as anyone else's, Ron had produced two impressively large and well proportioned bananas and an orange nearly the size of his head.
"I seem to have quite a knack for exploding things today," said Harry resignedly. Then, he brightened, "Perhaps I'll have a go at Malfoy's head, shall I?" Ron and Hermione snorted in unison. "Good on you, though, Ron," Harry smiled at his friend as they walked back toward the Gryffindor common room.
"Alright," said Hermione after a few minutes, "Perhaps, now that we're out of class, the two of you can tell me what was so riotously funny." Harry caught Ron's eye and they exchanged a significant look before they both began to chuckle once more. "Seriously," said Hermione, a bit more shrilly than she meant to, "what on earth is so funny?"
"Come off it, Hermione," grinned Ron, not quite meeting her eyes. "You can't possibly be this thick." She looked at him with an expression of puzzlement and annoyance.
"Let's think about this," said Harry smiling kindly. He tried not to sound patronizing. It was very novel to have to explain something to Hermione and it amused him greatly. "An Engorgement charm. Now, what might boys think it would be a good idea to engorge?" Harry cast a very pointed glance toward the floor. Hermione stopped in her tracks looking at first surprised, then deeply scandalized.
"Oh, honestly!" she burst out. She glued her eyes to the end of the corridor. Her face was on its way to matching the shade of her enchanted cherries.
"Banana?" asked Ron, failing his attempt not to grin impishly as he offered her one of his comically large bananas.
"I've no interest, whatsoever, in your bananas, Ronald," she snapped, making a much better, though not wholly successful, attempt at not smiling. Harry and Ron sniggered noisily and continually all the way back to the common room. Hermione, on the other hand, pretended not be amused in the least.
Dinner that evening presented a plethora of opportunities for Harry and Ron, mostly Ron, to offer Hermione vaguely suggestive and naughty sounding things. A dish of marinated cucumber slices even appeared as an appetizer. Bangers and mash arrived with the entrees. Ron forked the largest sausage in the casserole and plopped it onto Hermione's plate with a grin.
"There you go Hermione," said Ron spooning potatoes and gravy onto her plate as well, "a big, lovely sausage for you." Across the table, Harry snorted into his pumpkin juice. He noticed that Hermione began slicing her sausage somewhat more savagely than was strictly necessary.
"Be careful now, Ronald," Hermione had taken to calling him by his full name when he made jokes of this kind, "You'll get my expectations up." Ron's ears began to burn. He had fallen silent and blushed deeply by the time desserts replaced the main courses.
"Spotted dick?" asked Harry conversationally, offering her the dish with a grin. Hermione eyed the pudding suspiciously, and then shot Harry a stern look.
"Quite," she said coolly. But Ron noticed that she was unable to keep the corners of her mouth from twitching a bit.
The common room was extremely crowded that evening. Finally finished with the particularly nasty eighteen-inch essay that was due to Snape the following day, Harry was skimming through the Prince's copy of Advanced Potion Making, looking for useful or interesting notes. It had lately become a favorite pastime of his. Dean and Seamus were playing and enthusiastic game of Exploding Snap; Neville was looking fretful about something contained in his Charms notes; but Ron was nowhere to be seen. Though it was rather early, he had told Harry that he was going to bed.
"Harry," called Hermione as she appeared at the foot of the staircase that led to the girls' dormitories, her schoolbag over her shoulder, "if you're finished with my Defense notes, I'd like to check my essay against them once more. Have you got them down here?" she asked, setting down her things in the empty chair next to Harry.
"No. They're lying on my night table, if you want to just pop up and get them," Harry answered, not looking up from his book. "Ron's sleeping."
"At this hour, you're joking?"
"He said he was going to bed," Harry shrugged. Hermione turned to go. Looking up from his book at last, Harry called, "Thanks again, Hermione." She nodded and smiled over her shoulder.
Hermione opened the door to the boy's dormitory soundlessly. Orange sunlight still streamed in through the mullioned windows. The crimson hangings around Ron's four poster were drawn. Surely he wasn't sleeping, Hermione thought.
She saw her notes on Harry's night table. Then, she looked back to Ron's bed. Hermione had a sudden, strange urge to throw back Ron's curtains and see what he was really up to, but she thought better of it. All the same, she stood still for a moment, listening. As her ears adjusted to the silence, she heard Ron whispering. It was very faint, but at the same time frantic, desperate.
"Ferolanquatus…forilaquantilus…fiero…" Hermione smirked. She padded silently toward Ron's bed. Halfway there, a floorboard creaked underfoot. The whispering stopped immediately. "Hello? Harry?" called Ron. He sounded unaccountably nervous, perhaps even a bit embarrassed. No longer concerned with stealth, Hermione walked briskly to the bedside.
"You mean," she said gripping the curtains, "Fieri…" She flung open the velvet hangings. Her eyes sprang wide with shock and she screamed at the sight that greeted her. There sat Ron, sweating, his trousers open. His tadger stood out rigid from between his slim hips, almost exactly the size of the giant cucumber Flitwick had Engorged earlier that day. It was deeply red, the head nearly purple, and it was steaming slightly.
At the sight of Hermione, Ron yelled too. He tried hastily to cover himself, but met with little success. Neither his trousers nor his robes would close over his enormous member.
"What in bloody hell are you doing up here!" shouted Ron.
"Me?" shrieked Hermione, "I came for the Defense notes I lent Harry! What are YOU doing!" She was torn between horror, amusement, and indignation that Ron had dared ignore Flitwick's caveat. Realizing that she was staring, she quickly averted her eyes.
"I…I…," Ron stuttered, thinking it was really perfectly clear what he had been doing and that she was more than a bit daft for asking. "I'm practicing my Engorgement charm."
"Well congratulations. It looks as though you've got it well in hand," she said in a high voice. Ron snorted. A nervous giggle slipped out when she cottoned on to her own very bad pun. "I'll leave you to it then, shall I?" she squeaked before making dash for the door, forgetting completely about her notes.
"Wait, Hermione. I…," She stopped, her hand on the door, but Ron seemed to have lost the nerve to say what he had been about to say. She waited a few seconds, though it seemed to her like hours, before asking tentatively,
"I…I've got the Engorgement charm under control…obviously," on the last word, he sounded sheepish. He pressed on, "But the…um…the …I'm having a little trouble remembering the incantation to reverse it," more sheepishly still, a look of positively vermilion embarrassment etched across his long face.
Hermione rounded on him, prepared this time for the sight of Ron and his ludicrously enlarged appendage. Still, she was torn between amusement and indignation; but something else altogether seemed to be tickling at the back of her mind. Was it curiosity?
"It would serve you right if I left you like that," she said in her most supercilious voice. "Perhaps Harry will lend you his cloak. Though, personally, I think it might build more character if you had to walk to the hospital wing, frightening little girls with that ridiculous thing along the way. Come to think of it, I'm not even sure the Invisibility cloak could cope with that," she said eyeing him sharply. "You'd just end up looking like a giant disembodied knob wandering down the hall." With her every word, the horrified expression on Ron's face grew more comical until, unable to maintain her composure any longer, she brayed with laughter.
"Hermione…please?" he smiled pitifully at her. Once she had got herself under control again, she huffed once and rolled her eyes.
"Oh, very well." She crossed the dormitory, stopping again at Ron's bedside. "Just remember, you're very lucky it hasn't gone all deformed, or exploded even." Ron winced. "Does it hurt?"
"A bit," he admitted, staring around and his bedclothes, looking anywhere but at Hermione. If he had, he would have seen the most curious little smile on her face, and the most startling gleam in her eyes.
"Good," she said venomlessly. She drew her wand, made a perfect reverse flick and said, "Fierialiquantulus" At once, his organ began to diminish. Hermione watched unabashedly. Within just a few moments, it had ceased shrinking; having returned to what Ron knew to be its usual erect size.
"Thanks," he said, glancing hesitantly at her from beneath his still flushed brow. He began to close his robes.
"Wait," said Hermione sounding puzzled. "It doesn't seem to have worked properly, does it? That can't be…I mean, surely it's not…," she trailed off, continuing to stare unshamefacedly at Ron's still considerable length. Ron's freckles disappeared completely as his blush deepened even further. He grinned cheekily at her, waiting to hear what she would say next. For a moment, she strongly resembled a fish out of water, her mouth opening and closing several times as though her voice had simply gone on holiday. Finally, with an incredulous look at her grinning friend, she cleared her throat noisily and asked, in a timid little voice, most unlike her own, "Isn't it going to get any smaller?"
"Not with you here," he said, somewhat more boldly than he felt. Now, it was Hermione's turn to blush. Both fell silent, and remained so for some time. She looked around the room, her cheeks and the back of her neck burning. Odd, she mused, that she had never fully appreciated the lovely mahogany crown molding in this room. But even the fine Hogwarts woodwork could not put from her mind the question she so desperately wanted to ask. Nearly a full minute passed before Hermione, again unable to contain herself, asked in that same timid voice,
"Ron…may I…may I touch it?" Her neck, ears, and face now fully ablaze, she forced herself to look him in the face. A look of delighted disbelief lit Ron's face, and he nodded mutely.
Hand trembling, Hermione reached out. Ron closed his eyes and swayed forward a bit as her hand closed around his thick shaft. She stroked him lightly, experimentally, feeling the incredible warmth and springy resistance of his flesh. He gasped at the sensation. She wasn't sure, but she thought she heard him breathe her name. Another thought occurred to her.
"Ron?" she asked gently. He opened his eyes and smiled gratefully at her. She took it as an acknowledgement and continued, "Have you ever thought about me when you…," she trailed off again, "you know?". He gazed earnestly into her large brown eyes and nodded. He expected her to be angry or repulsed or both. To his great surprise, however, she beamed at him as he had never seen her beam before. "Will you show me, then? Help me to do it properly?"
Once she had seated herself beside him and made herself comfortable on the scarlet duvet, Ron covered her slender hand with his larger one, encouraging her to tighten her grip a bit. Ever the ready student, it took Hermione only a few strokes to progress past any need for his continued guidance. Ron lay back against his pillows. Sometimes he watched her delicate hands as they rubbed and caressed his length. Sometimes his eyes involuntarily rolled back and fluttered closed when her clever fingers lingered to tease at his deliciously sensitive glans. Within mere minutes, her efforts had earned her several throaty moans and a gasp or two.
Ron's eyes were shut tightly, now; his breathing heavy. Hermione watched with great satisfaction as his face began to contort with the pleasure she gave him. This, surely, must be magic, she thought. She could feel the tension building rapidly within him as he strained, fought against the urge to succumb immediately. It was a short-lived battle.
"It's…coming…," he groaned, barely articulate now as the already intense sensation compressed to a white-hot point, low in his belly. She had pushed him the needful, aching point at the very edge of endurance. "Hermione…," he whimpered her name as he shuddered his release, wave after wave of raw, throbbing ecstasy washed over him. He collapsed, still and spent on the soft bed.
"Evanesco," whispered Hermione. Instantly, the aftermath of Ron's surrender was gone from robes, hands, and bedclothes alike.
"Thank you, Hermione," he whispered, utterly, mercifully relaxed at last. "That's the first time anyone's ever…I'll remember that…always." When he managed to open his eyes again, Hermione was glowing down at him, the tiniest smile at her lips and in her eyes. "Was that…okay?" he asked awkwardly. This time, it was Hermione who was unable to speak, but she nodded eagerly. After a moment, she spoke again.
"We'll still be friends, won't we?"
"O' course we will! I…."
"Good. Because that's most important, isn't it?" she interrupted him. The subject of becoming more than friends, it seemed to Ron, was closed.
With a little pang of regret that he hadn't quite the courage to tell her how he really felt, to say the words that he needed to say as much as she needed to hear them, Ron closed his trousers and robe, and then made room for Hermione to lie down beside him. She was about to when they heard footsteps on the dormitory stairs.
"Weren't your notes on my night…Hermione?" Harry stopped dead in the open doorway. "Ron…?" He cast the pair of them a curious, incredulous sort of smile where they sat, sprawled indecorously across Ron's bed, both looking heartily guilty. Harry couldn't quite believe that his two best friends had been cloistered up in the boys' dormitory snogging (at the very least) by the looks of it; but Ron was definitely not asleep, Hermione's notes, he noticed, were still lying untouched on his night table, and there was an odd, but not altogether unfamiliar smell hanging about the room.
Hermione had managed to compose herself and pull her face into a relatively innocent expression. Ron, however, continued to goggle at Harry. Harry waited. One of them was going to have to speak. Thinking quickly, Hermione decided that the best tack would be to tell the truth.
"Ron decided not to go to bed after all, Harry. He ran into a little trouble with Flitwick's homework. I was just giving him a hand," she said as airily as she could. Ron snorted. "Bless you," she said quickly, shooting him a fractious look. "Right!" she said, suddenly brisk, "off to check over that essay." She sprung up from the bed, snatched her notes from the table and was out the door before Harry could say more than,
"I think I'll have her look over mine too, mate," said Ron.
"But…?" said Harry again. Ron grabbed his bag as well and rushed out after Hermione.
The three of them got settled into squashy armchairs around a table in the common room and pulled out their Defense assignments. Hermione checked her essay against her notes. Evidently satisfied, she began rummaging in her bag, putting her notes away as Harry and Ron passed her their papers. She resurfaced a moment later with several of the fist-sized cherries. Placing them in the middle of the table, she said,
"If either of you fancy my cherries, help yourself." A gale of raucous laughter interrupted her reading almost before she had begun. Looking up in alarm, Hermione huffed at Harry and Ron, and then, in a tone strongly reminiscent of Professor McGonagall, she asked, "What on earth is so funny?"
AN: Ha! So now we know why Hermione went all wonky when Ron and Lavender got together! Reviews are much appreciated, so lemme know what you think, huh? DR