A/N: This is written for Ladyoftheknightley's School Subjects Competition, category Ancient Runes (someone needs to solve a mystery), for Owluvr's Honeydukes Competition, category Ice Mice (write a drabble) and for Budapest All Over Again's Creatures Of Hogwarts Competition, category Flesh Eating Slugs (write about food). I used the prompt "find" from the Family Boot Camp.
Ron tiptoed through the dark and empty corridors. It had to be here somewhere… He kept throwing worried glances over his shoulder, though he was certain no one could see him. He wasn't wearing Harry's Invisability Cloak for nothing now was he? He felt a tad guilty. He had just taken Harry's cloak when was vast asleep. But he didn't think Harry would mind and besides, he was really hungry.
Fred and George had told him once that the entrance to the kitchens was somewhere in the basement. But on the other hand, they were Fred and George. Maybe they were standing some way off, laughing at his stupidity. He had walked the corridor up and down again at least trice already but he still could not detect the entrance to the kitchen. All he could see where some stupid paintings. Most of them were depicting historic scene or wizards and witches that had been important for either the school or the magical community as a whole. He didn't recognise any of them. He guessed that he would recognise them if he had paid a bit more attention in History of Magic, but it was just so dull! He just knew that if Hermione were here with him, she'd point ad each and every painting, telling him who or what it was about. He smelt the sweet sense of apple pie and knew that he must be very close. His stomach rumbled and he groaned under his breath. He really, really needed something to eat.
A sudden noise made him nearly shriek, but he managed to clasp a hand over his mouth. He could not betray his presence. He pressed himself against the wall, even though already nobody could see him. One of the portraits down the corridor swung open and Ron just knew that he had to move in that direction, because he was positive that the kitchen were located behind that painting. A House-Elf appeared, confirming Ron's suspicions.
When the coast was clear and the house elf had left the corridor, Ron carefully moved in the direction the Elf had come from. He counted the paintings. One, two, three, four… this ought to be it. He stopped and looked at the painting. It was a painting of a bowl of fruit. But there was no doorknob to be found. He scorned himself. Of course there wouldn't be a doorknob, or he'd had noticed already, wouldn't he? He examined the painting closer in search of any unevenness in the paintwork. There was none. He tried touching every single fruit on the painting, but nothing opened the door. Ron was sure the painting was the only thing that stood between him and an apple-pie. Now if only he could find how to get in… But no matter what he tried, the painting wouldn't swing open like the Fat Lady did.
"Right, what am I to do, tickle the pear or something?" he said semi-sarcastically to himself when one after one of his ideas turned into nothing. His stomach was rumbling again, more loudly this time. In frustration he tickled the damn pear and then something 'clicked' and to his big surprise, a doorknob was forming at the place where the pear had been. His mouth fell open, but then a big grin appeared on his face. He had done it. He, Ron Weasley, had unraveled one of the mysteries of Hogwarts: he had found the kitchens. He opened the door and entered.
Now how could was he to convince the House Elves that he desperately needed a piece of apple-pie ?