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Sugarquills, Anthony/Hermione. Summary: Anthony is distracted

Originally Posted: February 9, 2006

The school shouldn’t allow the consumption of sweets. Anthony was considering sending an owl to the Headmaster explaining the dangers of sweets at school complete with a chart and possibly some graphs to show how distracting such things happened to be. He knew from personal experience, though he’d never actually use his own name so Subject A would be necessary to protect his identity.

Today it was a sugarquill. It was green and smelled of apples, strong enough of a scent he could smell it from his table a reasonable distance from her own. It was ridiculous to expect him to finish his Arithmancy lesson with such distractions. Who could concentrate on numbers when Hermione Granger was eating a sugarquill?

The problem, he decided as he analyzed the situation once again since he’d realized the danger of sweets when consumed by the brunette Gryffindor he’d never particularly noticed beyond competition for high marks until he’d noticed her eating some sort of chocolate concoction with a messy filling that had her licking her fingers while reading and---he lost his train of thought as that memory came back to him quite vividly and he ignored his mind’s desire to immediately place said brunette witch on her knees in front of him licking far different things than her fingers.

He coughed and shifted in his chair, glad that the lighting in the library was not conducive to noticing the blush that now stained his cheeks. Oh, yes, he’d been dissecting the problem of sweets. Anthony wasn’t able to give his full concentration to said analysis at the moment because Hermione Granger was assaulting a sugarquill. Of course, had it been any other girl, he’d have thought it might be deliberate. The way her tongue curled around the sweet and slid up and down as she concentrated on her homework. The way she sucked the end into her mouth and he knew, just knew, that her tongue swirled around it until all the sugar was gone.

However, this was Granger the Gryffindor who had her head in the books more than even more the people in his own house. She had no idea the reaction such lurid assaults on defenseless candy could possibly cause. She was completely oblivious to her effect on anyone, never even looking up from her own book to notice anyone watching her. He had heard somewhere, not that he had actually been asking about her, that her parents were dentists in the Muggle world. Perhaps he should draft a letter of warning to them about the dangers of sweets so they would force her to not indulge any longer and he could finally focus without such distractions.

Anthony watched her finish the sugarquill and then lick her fingers before she turned the page of her book. She pushed her hair away from her face and his keen powers of observation, as he was notorious for being quite attentive to details, noticed that her hair was shorter. True, it was only two inches, possibly two and a half if his mental measuring ability was spot-on that afternoon, but he had noticed nonetheless.

He looked down at his parchment, scowling at the spot of ink that had been caused when his quill dripped while he’d been watching her assault of the sugarquill and thinking thoughts that had no place whatsoever in his mind. Anthony didn’t know what possessed him to stand up and walk over to her table. He certainly would have protested actually speaking to her had he been aware that he intended to do so.

She looked up at him and blinked a few times before she smiled pleasantly. “Hello, Anthony.”

Her voice was melodic and low with just a hint of huskiness that proved to be far more distracting than her sweets. He licked his lips and felt suddenly foolish. It was all over school, of course, that she apparently fancied that doltish Weasley who couldn’t form a magical theory on his own under any circumstances, couldn’t possibly converse with her about anything except foolish sports, and appeared to have his mouth permanently stuck to that vapid Brown girl who seemed to titter and giggle more than any female Anthony had observed. Weasley, though, was tall and well-built, according to Lisa Turpin who displayed girlish ridiculousness over Quidditch players, and Anthony was, well, an average height and skinny. He also had neatly trimmed black hair that barely touched the back of his neck whereas Weasley had a shaggy red mop of hair.

“Did you need something?” she asked curiously and he blushed as he realized he’d been staring at her without speaking for a good two minutes.

“You cut your hair,” he informed her before he cringed at how stupid he sounded.

“Yes, I did,” she confirmed with a slight twisting of her lips that indicated she was fighting a smile.

“It’s…nice,” he told her before his gaze fell to her lips. He reached up and wiped his thumb along the corner. “You have sugar on your mouth.”

Her gaze met his and he was relieved to see her cheeks turn pink as he dropped his hand upon realizing he’d just touched her without permission. “Thank you,” she said softly as she reached up and touched her lips to make sure there was no more sugar remaining.

“Yes, well, I should go back to my studies,” he stammered slightly as he took a step back.

“Anthony, would you like one?” she asked as she held out a sugarquill.

He took the candy from her, his fingers brushing against her palm, and he bit his lip as he gripped the sugarquill. “Thank you, Hermione.”

He hastened back to his table and sat down. What on earth had he been thinking? Anthony ran his fingers through his hair and glanced up to see that she was watching him. She looked away and focused on her book but eventually looked up to stare at him with an intrigued and somewhat puzzled expression on her pretty face.

The sugarquill was still in his hand. He hadn’t told her that he wasn’t very fond of sweets. He unwrapped it and studied it, trying to determine if it was possibly the candy that was distracting. His conclusion was that it required being in her hand and against her lips to be dangerous. Anthony arched a dark brow and discreetly looked over at her, pleased to notice that she was having difficulty focusing now. Good. She deserved to suffer as much as he did, he decided.

It was time to conduct an experiment. He brought the sugarquill to his lips and licked it, the taste of somewhat sour sugar making him blanch. Another lick, however, wasn’t nearly as bad. He heard the sound of a chair creaking by the time he curled his tongue around the sugarquill and sucked it into his mouth. She was looking at him, watching him in much the same way he’d been watching her for weeks, and he wondered if his face was as flushed as hers seemed to be whenever he watched her. He was pleased to be distracting her and began to think of other sweets that might draw her attention to him.

The owl to the Headmaster could wait. He’d do more research first to validate his belief that sweets were distractions and dangerous to the mental well being of the students, particularly when consumed by a certain pretty sixth year Gryffindor he’d call Subject B. Anthony thrived on research and experiments so this would be an enjoyable experience for him. He glanced up at met her gaze as he sucked the sugarquill, forgetting about his experiment and hypothesis when she looked at him in that way.

He’d buy her more sugarquills during the trip to Hogsmeade this weekend.

The End