Title: Chez Ron
Author name: Plumeria
Summary: Ron tries his hand at cooking dinner for Hermione. Short and lighthearted
DISCLAIMER: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Author notes: I blame the Good Ship R/Hr for inspiring this. Damn plot bunnies. Forgive the teeny-tiny slash reference. I had to do something to counter-balance the fact that my latest two fics have been het. *g*
Ron rushed over to the little pot - clearly too little - and yanked it off the flames before more sauce could bubble over the sides. He looked around helplessly for a place to set it down while he looked for a larger container, but every available surface was covered with wooden spoons, bowls, cookbooks, piles of vegetables and other items still awaiting processing. What had he gotten himself into?
In desperation he grabbed his wand from a pile of excess flour, wiped it on the flowered apron he wore, and pointed it at the pot of sauce. "Wingardium Leviosa!" he shouted.
Obediently it rose straight into the air, where it hovered just over his head. Please stay up, please please please he prayed silently, as he dug in the nearest cupboard for one of the few remaining saucepans. The last thing he needed right now was for the whole mess to suddenly dump on his head. Miraculously, it obeyed him, and he was able to simply pluck the pot from the air and transfer the contents to the new, larger container.
He tossed the smaller pan into an ever-growing pile of dirty dishes in the sink, then turned back to the task he'd been contemplating when the overflowing sauce had interrupted him. Onions. The recipe called for "one medium". How big was a medium onion? He picked one up out of the bundle he'd bought at the market, and curled his fingers around it. It looked like a perfectly average onion to him, but what did he know? He wished, for what felt like the hundredth time, that he'd taken Bill up on his offer of help - his eldest brother was home on holiday at the moment, and had assured Ron that cooking a meal was a sure way to charm and impress any girl. Bill knew what he was talking about - his frequently solitary work as a curse-breaker had forced him to learn to fend for himself, and there was certainly no lack of women in his life. He'd surely know how big an onion should be for any given recipe. And he probably would have chosen the right size saucepan in the first place, too.
But Ron had stubbornly refused the assistance, wanting this night to be purely his -- something he alone would create for Hermione. With a sigh, Ron decided that the onion in his hand was close enough, and set about to chopping. In minutes he had a new problem - he couldn't see what he was doing; the pungent aroma flooded his eyes with tears, and he found himself squeezing them shut involuntarily against the stinging onslaught. He remembered the Impervius charm Hermione had once cast on Harry's glasses as a way of shielding them from the rain, but somehow doubted the charm would work directly on his eyeballs against something so amorphous as onion fumes. Maybe his mum's cookbook "Edible Enchantments" had some sort of solution, but he couldn't afford the time to look. In resignation he wiped his eyes on his sleeve - repeatedly - and doggedly finished chopping.
As he continued to slog his way through the various recipes, he wondered how his mother managed. Every step of the way, a new issue stymied him. How did one separate an egg? How much rice should he make for two people? What was that spell his mum always used to take the skin off chicken pieces? In the end he did a lot of guessing and a lot more manual work than he suspected was really necessary; he also wasted a half dozen eggs.
Finally, with everything nearing completion, he waved his wand and used some much-needed cleaning charms on the kitchen. This, at least, was something Ron was very familiar with; Molly Weasley had taught every one of her children this spell at an early age so they hadn't any excuse for not keeping their rooms reasonably tidy, or for not helping with the dishes after dinner. He used the remaining ten minutes to sprint off to the bedroom, where he yanked off his grubby clothes (despite the apron, he'd still managed to get quite a lot of flour, grease, and other kitchen grime all over everything), took an extremely hurried shower, and dressed in a pair of navy trousers with a brighter blue shirt. Although he was willing to wear almost any colour as long as it wasn't maroon, he was especially fond of blue - Hermione had once remarked that it brought out the blue in his eyes, and he figured every little bit might help save him, should dinner turn out to be inedible.
The expected knock came just as he was hastily running a hand through his hair. He squinted in the mirror; it would have to do.
"I'm not early, am I?" Hermione said worriedly, as he opened the door.
"Nope, you're right on time. Why?"
"Oh, it's just that you looked like you were out of breath, so I thought maybe I'd come at the wrong time."
He waved her comments aside. "I'm fine. Dinner might not be fine, but I'm fine."
"Why, where are we going?"
"Nowhere. I uh I cooked dinner."
Her mouth fell open. "You cooked? For me?" Normally they went out to eat, or got takeaway, although once Harry had cooked them a rather nice meal before disappearing home to Draco. "I - I can't believe you'd do something like that!" She threw her arms around him and gave him a resounding kiss.
"You may not be so appreciative-" Ron mumbled between kisses, "-when you taste it."
She stepped back and looked at him. "Did you follow a recipe?"
"Welll mostly." He made a face. "And don't tell me I should have been more precise, the way you always did in Potions."
Hermione laughed. "All right, I promise. Besides, it certainly smells all right." She sniffed the air appreciatively as she followed him into the kitchen. "In fact, if it tastes anywhere near as good as it smells."
"Then what?" he prompted, when her voice trailed off. "You'll do the dishes?" He grinned, as he began pulling things out of the oven and filling the serving bowls.
"I suppose there's that." She dipped her finger into a bit of sauce that had splattered to the edge of the dish, and tasted it. "Mmmmm. On second thought, I think you deserve a great deal more than that."
Ron grinned at the mischievous glint in his girlfriend's brown eyes. "I don't suppose we could just skip dinner, could we? Reheat it later?"
She shook her head in mock seriousness. "Ron Weasley, how many times have I told you the importance of proper nutrition? No, no - you made dinner, so we should eat it." Then the grin returned. "Just make sure you save room for dessert."
They laughed as they set the food down at the table and took their seats. With his wand, Ron extinguished some of the candles in the room, hoping he was achieving a romantic balance in lighting between "too bright" and "where's my plate?" Then, water goblet in hand, he toasted the reason for all his hard work.
"Bon appetit, Hermione."
She raised her glass in return. "Bon appetit, my love."