B for Boom
By Andrew J. Talon
Disclaimer: Don't own Harry Potter, not making any money off this, please don't sue.
Author's Note: Written for Watashiwa's Iron Fic II-3. I didn't win but it's not a horrible fic.
Modern warfare between Muggles was the result of long centuries experience, won through blood and treasure in amounts that frankly made Wizarding Wars, even the most brutal goblin rebellions, drops in an ocean. It was little wonder that the Magical World viewed the Muggle World with such disdain.
Still, as Ron was learning via the simple usage of Ottery St. Pole's local library, Muggle warfare was geared towards a very specific goal-Killing as many bastards as humanly possible. Ron had to admire that part. The primordial human male love of things that went boom rose up in him as he read about bombs.
Bombs, bombs, wonderful bombs! You could make them out of bloody fertilizer if you wanted to! Imagine that-Shit being turned into bombs!
Well, Wizards had dungbombs, sure, but they just made things stink-They didn't blow stuff up.
Investigations into possible means to fight Voldemort had brought Ron here-With open war upon them after Dumbledore's death, he'd resolved to put in some real effort into helping.
Well, that and Hermione's insistence that he actually pull his damn weight around here had spurred him into action. He was not a lazy oaf, thank you! He just didn't think learning without some real benefit was particularly useful. After all, how often was he going to need to know a Shrinking Charm?
Still, this bomb business had some promise. The chemistry largely escaped him but the details of the materials seemed simple enough.
"ACK!" Ron jumped out of his chair and fell to the floor with a loud thud. "OOF!" He looked up, to see Luna Lovegood staring down at him. Her butterbeer cap necklace clinked slightly as she shook her head, as a pair of hand-shaped earrings waved with her.
"Hmm... ACK! OOF!" She copied his motions and sounds precisely, landing on the floor. Ignoring the stares of the Muggles, she giggled and raised her head to look at him.
"That was fun."
"Look, Loo-Er, Luna," Ron fought the habit, "what're you doing here?"
"I was looking up some information for the Quibbler's series on Muggle space travel," Luna explained. She looked side to side, conspiratorially, and held up a copy of a book. "They think they can hide the truth from us, but I know better," she whispered.
"Eh? Ringworld?" Ron asked. Luna nodded.
"Mmhm. Apparently the Muggles have Deep Space colonies already, and strange new subspecies of humans have evolved in unique environments. This might be connected to the Harfaust Theories supposedly discounted in the 1830s, that trolls and goblins are in fact humans from other worlds who time traveled back so they would be here to keep everything intact and form a contained time loop. Would you care to help?"
Ron's face was bright red. He blinked once. He blinked again. "Uh... No Luna, no..."
"Oh," Luna said softly, looking a bit down. Ron felt a pang of guilt, when she spoke again. "What are you doing here then?"
"Oh, um, I'm doing... Ya know... That thing where you look stuff up that can be useful to you...?" Why was he suddenly having trouble remembering? Maybe it had something to do with the fact he'd seen up Luna's skirt.
Bloody hell, never thought a girl like her would be wearing that, he thought.
"Research?" Luna gently suggested. Ron nodded.
"Yeah, that... Um..." He sat up as Luna did, and he held up the book he had been looking through. "Ya know, the Mug... Um..." Noting the eyes on him, he quickly amended his statement, "modern way of... War and stuff like that."
"Improvised explosives... Hmmm..." Luna said thoughtfully. She took the book and read through it rapidly, eyes flashing from right to left. Frankly Ron was impressed-She seemed to read even more quickly than Hermione!
"... I think I know where we can get all of this," Luna said. Ron grinned.
"Oh yes," Luna replied. "Perhaps we should also test it..."
Ron frowned. "Why?"
"If we are going to blow something up, perhaps it's best to make sure it does blow up so it will blow up when we blow it up," Luna suggested. Ron blinked, his mind slowly catching up. He nodded.
"Oh good," Luna said cheerfully. She stood up, as Ron slowly made it up to his feet. "Shall we go then?"
"Sure!" Ron said, unconcerned when they'd become a "we". If it got the job done, he was perfectly fine with it and besides, Luna seemed knowledgeable enough. If a bit mad.
Then again, Muggles blew things up with shit. Maybe it was the world that was mad...
"I cannot believe this!" Ron grumbled, as he and Luna were forced out of the home garden store. "Another store telling us we can't buy any fertilizer? What the bloody hell?"
"At least they didn't try to arrest us this time," Luna said. She hummed and scribbled down some notes. "Perhaps fertilizer is guarded closely by Muggles?"
"That is a good question," Luna said. She smiled. "Maybe this is a new case to be investigated?"
"Er, yeah, maybe later Luna," Ron said. He grumbled and kicked a rock. "This isn't getting us anywhere. How are we supposed to build a bomb if nobody will sell us fertilizer?"
"Hmmm..." Luna scratched her head. "Ronald, is it cow or horse manure they were selling?"
"Cow I think..."
"Are you certain? And were there any other kinds of manure there?" She had been distracted by all the wonderful toys and tools and odd things in the store. Ron snorted again.
"Does it matter? One kind of shit's just the same as... Another..." Ron snapped his fingers. "Luna! That's brilliant!"
"Actually I thought everybody knew that," Luna said. Ron grabbed her by the hand and pulled her off quickly. He never minded her blush-He was finally onto something!
Charlie had actually been very cooperative about the whole thing. He hadn't even asked why Ron needed bags of dragon manure-He'd just floo'd a few spares and that was that. His mother being busy with wedding preparations for Fleur and Bill, Ron and Luna had successfully gotten the supplies and headed into the woods.
"Okay... Fertilizer is tightly packed," Ron said, loading the last of it into a barrel. Luna nodded, checking off that particular instruction on her notepad. Being Luna, the instructions were in no particular order.
"Barrel is sealed," Ron said, screwing it on as tightly as he could with a grunt. "Erk! Okay... And... Detonator... Got it!" He pulled it out. In reality, it was little more than a switch to a battery connected by wires. Putting it together had taken the better part of the day-Electricity was so confusing.
"Check," Luna said. Ron lead her to a pile of sandbags they'd thrown up (why he didn't know, but the book had stressed this and he wasn't about to question it) several meters away. Both of them sat down behind the pile.
"And the switch is ready," Ron said cheerfully. "Luna, take notes! We wanna show this to Hermione!"
Luna nodded. "Of course!"
"Okay... Three... Two..."
"Hermione, may I speak to you for a moment?"
Hermione looked up from her reading, a number of useful spells for their forthcoming mission hidden within. Nonchalantly, she replied to Mrs. Weasley.
"Yes, of course, what is it?"
"Ron and Luna went out to the Muggle part of town and bought up several items, I was wondering if you could tell me what they're all for?" Mrs. Weasley asked, handing Hermione the receipts. Hermione rolled her eyes-Honestly, they had so much preparation to do and Ron, her... Well, whatever they were now, was off buying Muggle supplies? What for?
"Well, I'll see if I can figure it out... Sandbags... Fertilizer... Barrel... Gunpowder..." Hermione began to frown, and the frown grew deeper with every line. "I... No, no, there's no way..." She laughed a little. "Ron bought all this?"
"Yes, with Luna," Mrs. Weasley said. "What is it?"
"Well, there is one... But... No, no, it couldn't! Ron would never be this-"
Thunder roared and the ground actually shook, sending Mrs. Weasley screaming in terror and Hermione yelping in fright. Both women looked at each other, and then out at the nearby wood, where a plume of smoke now rose. Hermione's eyes rounded and she took off running.
"That stupid stupid IDIOT!"
Ron coughed, and slowly sat up. "W-Wow... That was... Wow," he muttered. Or at least he thought he muttered-It was hard to tell with how his ears were ringing. He reached an arm around the trembling form of Luna, who was wrapped tightly around him. "Are... Are you all right?"
Luna looked up, and nodded. "Y-Yes... That was..." She thought about it. "Unexpected," he read her lips say. He nodded-That was an understatement.
Both wizard and witch peeked up over their pile of sandbags, as the ringing in their ears slowly dampened enough for them to hear each other properly. A small crater had been formed, smoke rising from the center of the blast. Ron's jaw dropped. Luna tightened her grip.
"Bloody HELL! Now that... That's BRILLIANT!" Ron said cheerfully. He then noted their position, and looked down at Luna. "Ah... Luna? Do you wanna let go?"
"... No, not particularly," Luna said. Ron slowly nodded.
"Um... Thanks?" It did feel rather nice...
"You know Ronald, I enjoy spending time with you," Luna said. Ron slowly nodded.
"Uh... Uh huh?"
"So I was wondering-"
"RONALD BILLIUS WEASLEY!"
Ron winced. Bloody hell, he couldn't tell his mother's voice from Hermione's! He looked up and saw both women glaring furiously at him. "Ah... Mum... Hermione... I can explain...!"
Over the loud yelling and promises of punishment and pain, Luna still held tightly onto Ron. It seemed her initial plan, that of persuading Ronald to spend time with her with research for The Quibbler, had yielded little benefit. However, spending time with him and helping him with his project had gained her this.
And then Mrs. Weasley and Hermione had entered the picture. Not entirely unexpected, but she'd been caught unprepared.
"I'll have to come up with a better plan for next time," she murmured.
"Luna? What?" Ron asked.
"Oh, nothing," Luna said.
And for those of you who missed it: Yes, the story is about Luna's Plan A and B, not Ron's.