Genre: Fluff, romance. Pure schmoop.
Length: 1,162 words.
Disclaimer: Definitely not mine.
Summary: Ron gets a job at a Muggle ice-cream parlour.
“He’s what?” Hermione spluttered, unable to keep the surprise out of her voice.
George Weasley laughed and raised an eyebrow at her, pausing with one hand over the magical cash register, a customer’s money in his grip. “Why, Hermione,” he teased. “Didn’t you think ickle Ronniekins had it in him?”
“No, that’s not…” she began, and then huffed. Without thinking, she irritably tucked a stray piece of hair behind one ear. George hastily turned his amused snort into a cough, and her brows snapped together. “You’re telling the truth.”
It wasn’t a question, and the red-headed wizard rolled his eyes up at her. “It’s not worth my hide to try and trick you over something so trivial.” He cleared his throat and unceremoniously dumped the coins into the register’s drawer. There was a grin dancing about his face when he glanced back up at her. “Not that I ever would, mind.”
Hermione folded her arms, but a smile tugged at her lips. “Innocent until proven guilty, I suppose,” she conceded, and George made a triumphant sound, leaning over the counter at her. “You’re sure about this.”
“He’s not just making up an excuse to get out of helping you?”
George’s grin was positively wicked. “Not even Ron’s that – er, thick,” he said, changing tack mid-way through at the bemused expression on Hermione’s face. “What I mean to say is, he –”
“I’m sure you think very highly of your little brother,” Hermione cut in, unable to keep the amusement out of her voice, “but some directions would be nice.”
George promptly saluted (Hermione gave a snort of a laugh) and then produced his enchanted map of London with a flourish.
It took Hermione a little over ten minutes to find the right street – it was fairly close to Diagon Alley, and had she not taken a wrong turn right near the start, she would have found it much sooner – and once she was there, it was very easy to find the shop. When she’d said to Ron two weeks ago that he should find a job, she hadn’t thought he would manage to find one this quickly – well, one that wasn’t in his brother’s shop this quickly. Needless to say, the place he had picked wasn’t the sort she would have envisaged.
There was no question as to what sort of place it was – there was a fantastically bright, larger than life (much larger) ice-cream cone hanging gregariously over the front door, underneath a sign proclaiming the shop’s name. Plastered over the windows was the slogan: Fresh, and just like home: the traditional taste of Italy!
Hermione sincerely doubted it, having been to Italy once with her parents, but she pushed the door open anyway. A cringe-worthy, excessively cheerful tune of a doorbell announced her appearance; there were a fair number of people waiting for their gelato, however, and no-one took notice. She took up a position leaning against the back wall and proceeded to appear very interested in the large sign proclaiming the wide assortment of flavours the shop had on offer. A Muggle ice-cream parlour – of all the places she’d expected Ron to get work, this would not have even entered into her thoughts. The gelati on show did look good, Hermione had to admit – even though she was certain it was nothing at all like traditional gelati.
It was probably a chain franchise.
Hermione discreetly made sure her wand was securely tucked away, out of view, and peered over at the area behind the ice-cream display. Her eyes lit up with amusement when she saw him. Ron’s vibrant red hair was sticking out in all directions under a comical white cap, and the logo embroidered on his white tee was just as loud as she would have imagined. A goofy grin was sloppily fixed on his face as he charmed and served each customer, although Hermione caught the few hungry glances he sent at the cold, sweet dessert when nobody was looking.
She shook her head slightly, smiling to herself in amusement, before moving forward in the queue. Although she hadn’t planned on it, two scoops of nice fruity gelato certainly wouldn’t go astray, Hermione thought…
That same annoyingly cheerful doorbell followed them out as the door clanged shut behind them, Hermione thoroughly enjoying her two scoops of lemon gelato, despite her misgivings about the establishment. Ron, it had turned out, was right near the end of his shift, and had helped himself to a rich scoop of chocolate, leaving five quid on the counter as they left. Hermione watched him out of the corner of her eye until sticky, cold, melted gelato dribbled onto her hand and she gave a gasp of alarm. Ron laughed at her misfortune, and she ignored him in favour of cleaning up.
“Never too cold for ice-cream,” he said brightly.
“Technically, it’s gelato,” Hermione informed him, having taken care of the mess.
Ron rolled his eyes. “Yes, ‘Mione.”
They’d walked in silence for a little while, heading back to Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes and each enjoying their frozen treat, before Hermione looked sideways at her boyfriend with one eyebrow raised.
He paused mid-slurp. “It was you that said I needed a job,” he pointed out, having correctly guessed what she was about to say. “‘If you’re going to work in law enforcement, even as an Auror, you need to experience the lives of the people you’re going to represent,’” Ron quoted, nose in the air and voice pitched exactly to imitate Hermione.
“Yes, but they’re Muggles, Ron,” she interjected, swatting his arm playfully and dropping her voice. “You’re not likely to be dealing with them directly as an Auror.”
“Oooh,” Ron taunted playfully. “Sounding very anti-Muggle there, Miss Granger.”
“Honestly,” she replied, shaking her head slightly. “You know what I mean.”
Ron grinned at her as they rounded the corner, taking a bite of his waffle cone and proceeding to get chocolate gelati all over his chin, although he didn’t seem to notice. “It’s not just Muggles that go there, though. I’ve seen quite a few wizards. And besides, nothing says I won’t be saving a Muggle’s skin one day.”
“As long as you’re finding it educational, I suppose,” Hermione conceded, and then giggled, noticing the mess the Weasley had managed to make. “You’ve got a little something…” she began, and then as he turned promptly smirked and licked it off.
Ron blinked and then laughed, pulling her in for a kiss. He tasted of chocolate and Hermione was sure she tasted of lemon; the combination was sweet and a little intoxicating, and when they broke apart she informed him of her conclusion. Ron said nothing, instead choosing to help himself to a large portion of her gelati.
“Fair trade – I got some of yours,” he told her with a grin, and then rushed ahead, leaving Hermione to jog to catch up with him, expression caught between laughter and a scowl.
*Well, I haven't written Ron/Hermione in a while. Or fluff, for that matter. A change is as good as a holiday, right?