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It was nice when Ron got a job writing sports columns for The Daily Prophet because it brought him to London on a fairly regular basis. He was a distraction, but definitely the welcome sort, and Hermione's day was always brightened by the sight of him sitting cross-legged on her office floor, making last-minute changes on his column, or reading, or unpacking a picnic lunch.

Once, Hermione returned to her office after a long, unproductive meeting with the head of her department, to find Ron seated backwards on her chair, poring over the contents of her desk, a half-eaten tuna sandwich apparently forgotten at his elbow.

"'Lo," he said when she entered. "Hungry?"

"Yes," Hermione said, and gratefully snatched what remained of the sandwich. "Mmm." There were slices of tomatoes and green onions amid the chunks of tuna, and the bread was rye – her favorite.

"So, what are you doing here?" she asked after swallowing the last bite. She dabbed at her lips with her fingertip.

Ron fiddled with the Sharpie pens that stood in the ceramic mug on Hermione's desk. "Procrastinating," he said at length. "They want me to write about what the Cannons have been doing wrong for the past century. Think my editor's mad at me for something, but he's not telling me what. Stupid git." He picked up an orange Sharpie, uncapped it, and began to doodle on Hermione's stack of yellow Post-It notes. "Why d'you have so many of these things?"

"Sharpies?" Hermione shrugged. "My parents got them for me – and the rest of this stuff – when I told them I'd got this office job. I didn't have the heart to tell them I didn't need it, and I didn't want to keep it at home in case they came by and saw it. They're fun, actually. I mean, they're not as convenient as a quill that's been charmed to write in different colors, but I like seeing the color before I write with it." She took a blue Sharpie, nudged Ron's hand out of the way, and wrote in bold letters beside his doodle, CANNONS RULE.

Ron grinned up at her, and she grinned back. "Want coffee?" she asked. "I have a craving, suddenly. I think I'll Apparate down to the shop…" She replaced the Sharpie.

Ron shook his head. "I'll stay here. In case someone from the paper is there and sees me and asks how the article's coming. Get me a tea, all right?"

"All right." She kissed his nose, stepped back, and Apparated away.

When she returned ten minutes later, Ron was still sitting at her desk, but he'd taken off his shoes, socks, and shirt. Hermione took his bare chest and his grin, then slowly took in the fact that her walls were now covered with little yellow Post-It notes, all of which read, I LOVE YOU, HERMIONE.

She almost dropped the tea and coffee. "Oh," she said stupidly. It wasn't as if Ron had never said it or written it before. It was just that she'd never seen it quite so many times at once.

Ron stood and took the drinks from her hands, and put them on the desk. He picked up a green Sharpie and wrote across his forearm, Don't feel like working. Let's have fun.

Hermione bit her lip. "You shouldn't. I mean, I don't think it's safe—"

"We can wash it off with a spell," Ron said dismissively. "C'mon."

Hermione considered him for a moment. Then she took the Sharpie from his hand, knelt, and began to write across his flat belly, which quivered beneath her hand.


She drew a heart around his navel, capped the Sharpie, and sat back.

"What's it say?" Ron asked, looking down at himself.

"It says I love you, idiot," Hermione said, grinning.

"I'm not an idiot."


"Well, at least I'm your idiot, right?"

"Right," she agreed.

"C'mere. I've got a few choice things to write about you."

He grabbed for her. She squealed and stumbled backward, evading his hands. Pretty soon, though, she let herself be caught. She let herself be undressed, let him write his words of love on her bare body.