“I’m sure Hermione would agree with that,” Ron muttered to himself, crumpling the slip and tossing in the rubbish bin of Greenhouse Three.
It seemed like nothing could improve his foul mood lately. Truthfully, life at Hogwarts had become quite unsettling, as Ron liked to put it. He felt like he was being watched wherever he went, making his nerves stand on end. It started with students walking together in clusters, whispering to each other as they passed him, Harry and Hermione through the corridors. Sometimes, they would simply stare before sheepishly looking away. It bugged the hell out of him, only because he had no clue why everyone was acting so strange.
And then there was Harry and Hermione.
Harry was unusually quiet lately. The last time he’d seen his best mate this somber was when Sirius had passed, and that was enough to make Ron worried. If he looked at Harry closely, Ron noticed that the circles under his eyes had darkened. His lips always formed a slight frown now, and Harry seemed to be going off on his own more. Maybe it was because he wanted to give space for him and Hermione, but Ron knew that there had to be another reason. He was pretty sure Harry was trying to hide away. From what, he didn’t know. He had tried to ask Harry what was bothering him, but Harry would always change the subject. Ron usually went along with it.
When he’d gone to Hermione to ask about Harry, she had simply shrugged. Hermione was never one to let things like this go, especially if one of her friends were in trouble. She was always intent on getting to the bottom of things, which was how she had helped Harry and Ron out loads of times before. But, now, she seemed hesitant and doubtful. If he wasn’t mistaken, Ron was sure Hermione vaguely knew what was going on with Harry, but she wasn’t telling him.
He couldn’t help but feel hurt that they were still keeping secrets from him after all they’d been through together. When had they suddenly lost their trust in him?
Sighing, Ron focused on filling a pot with soil and mooncalf dung for his whinging Tinkerspud. He secretly wanted to bury the stupid plant alive so it would shut up already, but Professor Sprout would have his head if he killed one of her plants. He mixed the soil and dung with his hands, rolling his eyes when the plant started. Twitchy little thing.
It wasn’t until he felt something jab him in the ribs that he looked up to see Pansy Parkinson sliding a piece of parchment toward him. Ron scowled and was about to open his mouth but Parkinson shook her head, gesturing at Sprout. They were supposed to be working on their plants silently, as Tinkerspuds needed extra care and attention when being tended. Sprout couldn’t afford careless distractions like conversation.
The intense glare that Parkinson was giving him was what made Ron flip the note over. He was glad that McGonagall has chosen this block to meet with Harry and Hermione for their career consultations. If they saw him talking to Parkinson…Hermione certainly would probably never talk to him again.
He grabbed his ink bottle and battered quill.
The loud whinging of Ron’s Tinkerspud made him stop writing. So, for the rest of the block, he was stuck mixing more dung for fertilizer and giving his plant sips of water from a cup. Ron couldn’t be more relieved when Sprout finally announced for everyone to start cleaning up.
“You know something, don’t you?” Ron said in a low voice. He spelled the dung to levitate into a basin and raised an eyebrow at Parkinson. “Tell me.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” replied Parkinson innocently, vanishing spilled dirt from her work area. A smirk was playing against her lips.
“You know something’s been bothering Harry.”
“Potter’s not one for subtlety. He practically broods everywhere he goes.”
Ron narrowed his eyes at her. “Since when did you care about his welfare? And why are you telling me to talk to him? You don’t think I have?”
Parkinson shrugged. “Try harder.”
“Yeah, that’ll go well. Asking him what’s wrong until he finally snaps. No thanks. I know how Harry is. I’m not going to push it if I don’t have to.”
“And yet, you’re his best mate…”
“What are you trying to say, damn it?!” hissed Ron. “Spit it out, Parkinson, or I’ll make you!”
“Don’t get your knickers in a twist, Weasley,” Parkinson told him calmly. “I’m only suggesting that…he might need someone to talk to. We can’t have him going around punching people because he’s angry, now can we?”
“Don’t say he deserved it!”
“I wasn’t going to. Malfoy…just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. “
Parkinson blinked. It wasn’t until she packed up her bag that she finally looked at Ron with interest. “Weasley, maybe you’re not so thick after all.”
“Was that a compliment?”
“Look,” Ron continued, gathering his things up, “I’d never thought I’d ever defend Malfoy, but I know he didn’t provoke Harry at the time. It doesn’t really make sense they’d get in a fight, especially since Harry was the one who helped Malfoy at his trial. Unless, Malfoy really did try something! It wouldn’t be the first time…”
“Why else would Harry punch him? He must have done something to make him angry, and it takes a lot to make Harry snap. Unless they still hate each other…”
A loud snort next to him made Ron stop abruptly. “What’s so funny?” he asked with confusion.
“Oh wouldn’t you like to know?” was all Parkinson said. She sighed before putting a hand on Ron’s shoulder. “Look, I—why don’t we talk about this later? Best if we get on to Transfiguration.”
“Uh, right,” grumbled Ron as he followed Parkinson. “It’d be nice if someone could give me some answers. Is it really that hard?”
“Probably. For starters, stop asking stupid questions."
Interesting little talk there. I wonder what Pansy as in store for Ron. And we'll see if her advice abides with him later on. Who knows...maybe Ron will finally find out what's troubling our Harry. Trying as best as I can to get some belated March updates and early April updates. Hoping for to more updates by this weekend. Stay tuned for more!
Need to catch up? Start out with the first post! Don't forget to watch the community here for more updates!