Ficlet: A Muggle Affliction
Posted here first. 1 out of 7.
Title: A Muggle Affliction
Prompt: at the very ports they blow
Rating: G, or PG for romantic angstiness
Word Count: 444
Summary: Ron has an eye-opening flashback. Analogies and Enlightened!Ron ensue.
Author's Notes: Originally intended to write sugary fluff, but it seemed inappropriate for the prompt's ominous tone--switched to a new point of view (for me) as well. Warnings: regretfully un-beta'd, and even more regretfully unoriginal, I'm afraid. American spellings abound.
You'd think that she'd have noticed by now. She knows everything, picks up on evry detail, can read the nuances in your face faster than you can say "Hogwarts, a History".
But every step you take remains unnoticed. Since the "Won-Won" debacle, you've been making the biggest effort you possibly can to get back to the way things were--no, the way things were heading, because they way things were won't ever be enough again, will they? You've stopped chewing with your mouth open. You've taken to helping her through doors and puuling out chairs. Hell, you've even refrained from goggling at Fleur in her presence, though that's not as hard as you thought it'd be, isn't it, not with that hair--bushy brown, not silvery-blonde--and those eyes, and those other parts that eradicate all traces of doubt--she is definitely a girl. A woman, in fact.
She doesn't realize how beautiful she is. She doesn't have Lavender's classic patrician beauty, or Fleur's ethereal mystery. But when she looks at you, whether her eyes are rolling in exasperation, or probing yours when she's asking you a question, or blazing fire when she's hacked off at you, your defenses start to crumble and you're a Knut's throw away from spilling all your secrets.
You are four years old, and your father has taken you and your older brothers to watch ships unload cargo by the coast. "Ingenious," he mutters absently, marveling at the complex pulley systems. Not even sparing a glance at the twins, who have just managed to turn a dandelion into a boot, he stares at the massive vessels, transfixed. Your eyes are not on the bizarre Muggle contraption, however; further off into the horizon you spy two similarly sized ships, about four lengths apart. As your eyes ease into focus and you adjust to the distance, you see there are two men, one on each deck, and they seem to be signaling each other. They're waving their arms about and making funny wiggly motions, and it looks as if they want to get closer, in order to make some kind of exchange.
Their efforts are fruitless. Either they misunderstand each other, or somehow the intent isn't being communicated to the captain at the bow, because they just float there, drifting, circling. Muggles, you snort, and your young mind attributes the confusion to non-magic inefficiency.
You sigh, older--and perhaps, wiser--you know that it's not just a Muggle affliction. Wizards and Muggles and everyone human gets lost and confused and loses their way. After all, you've been doing this dance with your best friend for the past six years.