Harry Potter and the PB&J Sandwich: How the Boy Who Lived Met a Sticky End
Harry Potter and the PB&J Sandwich: How the Boy-Who-Lived Met a Sticky End
A/N: None of these characters belong to me, they are the property of JK Rowling, and I'm just having a bit of fun. And I want to thank the Gov for not only convincing me to get the story out of my head, but also convincing me to submit it. Enjoy.
The day dawned clear and bright. Harry smiled to himself as he set about getting dressed. Perfect! He thought. He quietly made his way out to the kitchen, not wanting to wake Ron, who wasn’t much of a morning person. Harry really liked mornings—they were so quiet and peaceful. He felt, at least first thing in the morning before he dealt with a grumpy Ron, that anything could happen. He felt as though he could express himself and his feelings and maybe even…well, better not to continue that train of thought. Instead, he began quietly opening cupboard doors and rifling through them, looking for something. He finally found it, and chuckling, set about his preparations. Today is going to be so much fun! He flicked his hair out of his eyes, and got to work.
Ron stumbled out of his room about an hour and a half later. He was reaching into the cupboard for a mug so he could pour himself some coffee, when he saw his flat mate sitting in the rocking chair with a goofy grin on his face.
“Morning, Ron!” Harry said cheerily. Ron grunted in response. “I didn’t think you were ever going to get up.” Ron began to pour himself a cup of coffee. “I made hazelnut, your favourite.” Ron gave him a weak smile, and lifted the cup to his lips for a sip. “I also suggest you hurry, since the girls will be here in about ten minutes. Well, maybe fifteen for Ginny and five for Hermione.”
Ron spat out his coffee. “I…You…What?” he sputtered.
“Well, Ginny’s usually a little late, and Hermione’s always early, so I thought I’d adjust the—“
“Not that part, the part about them being here this early at all,” Ron said flatly, finally managing to string together a sentence.
“Oh, that,” Harry said, his eyes sparkling. “Well, it is my turn to plan, after all, so I told the girls that they should be here by ten.”
“But…That is…I…” Ron had returned to incoherent babbling.
“And if my watch is correct, you had better get moving, instead of wasting time trying to yell at me.” Harry grinned. “Unless, of course, you want your girlfriend and your sister to see those.”
Ron looked down at a set of pink boxers that had little hearts and Hermiones all over them, a gag gift from Harry for his birthday. “Right,” Ron muttered as he headed off to his room. “But I’ll get you back for this, Potter!”
Ten minutes later Harry and Hermione watched as a suitably groomed Ron reappeared from his room. Hermione had arrived about five minutes earlier, just as Harry had predicted.
“Ginny not here yet?” he asked. Harry shot him a smug grin that told him he was right. Resisting the urge to strangle Harry, Ron went over and sat beside Hermione, giving her a quick peck on the cheek. “Morning, love. So has this stupid git told you why we had to be up so bloody early?”
Hermione laughed. “It’s not that early, Ron. And no, he hasn’t told me. That wouldn’t be fair to Ginny, and you know it.”
It had all started about three months after they had gotten jobs. Harry, Ron, and Hermione had all arrived independently at the same conclusion: the other two worked too hard. So they determined that one Saturday a month, they would take a break from “the real world” and just spend time together. When Ginny had finished Hogwarts, Harry had immediately suggested including her on their adventures. The suggestion was mostly to prevent himself from feeling like a third wheel, but he did genuinely enjoy her company. This month, it was Harry’s turn to plan, and seeing as it was the first really nice weekend of the year, he had a special surprise.
“That’s right, I’m not telling until Ginny gets here.”
There was a soft pop, and Ginny appeared. “What is he telling?”
“What we’re doing, now that you’ve dragged your lazy self here,” muttered Ron.
Ginny made a show of putting her wand slowly away. “What was that, brother dear?”
Ron looked a little nervous. “Just…uh, just saying that since we were all here, Harry could tell us what we’re doing.” Harry stifled a laugh. He probably just saved himself from an acute case of Bat-Bogeys later.
Harry got up, a little nervous about telling them, and cleared his throat. “Right, so, well, it was my turn to plan our monthly outing. And, well, since it turned out so nice, I thought that it might be fun to do something we don’t normally do. And—“
“—Are you going to tell us what it is we’re doing, or are we going to waste this gorgeous day inside listening to you ramble?” Ron cut in. “Not that we don’t love listening to you ramble, since that’s something we don’t normally do, but—“
“I get the point, Ron,” Harry said sarcastically. He once again cleared his throat, stalling for time. What if they don’t like it? What if I’ve made a mistake?
“It’s ok, Harry, whatever it is, we’ll like it.” Ginny’s statement was rather quiet, but jarred him out of his thoughts.
“Right then. Well, I figured that we could go to a park and have a picnic.” It all came out in a rush.
“That’s it?” Ron asked. “That’s why you made us get up so early? For a bloody picnic?!”
“Ron, stop that! I think it’s a marvellous idea, Harry. Do you have a place in mind? Do you have any other activities planned for us? Oh, this could be lots of fun! I think I have a book on parks at my flat, if you need suggestions, Harry. I was thinking that I should spend more time outside, since I’m always indoors for work and everything, and…now I’m rambling, aren’t I?” Hermione blushed as she realized they were all staring at her. “I do have a tendency to get carried away. Harry, you were telling us what you had planned for the day?”
“Right. So, I thought we’d go into London, to Hyde Park. And I’ve made us lunch.” He gestured towards a large picnic basket by the flat’s door. Ron looked like he was going to say something, but a quick glance at Hermione’s glare prevented him from saying anything. “And,” Harry continued a little nervously, “I thought we could have a kite-making contest between the four of us. I bought a book on kites, and all the materials we’ll need. I’ve heard what Ron and Hermione think, but, Ginny, what’s your opinion?”
Ginny, who had been quiet, looked up at him with a happy smile on her face. “I think it sounds like the perfect way to use this beautiful day.”
“Good. Shall we go, then?” As the others all rose, Harry turned back. “Oh, one more thing. We’re going to pretend to be Muggles. No magic allowed, especially during the kite making.”
“But…” Ron protested.
“Ron, this was Harry’s turn to plan. You’re going, and that’s final.” Hermione sent him a glare as Ginny’s hand reached threateningly for her wand.
“All right, all right, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.” For the second time that day, he shot his flat mate the stare of death. “And he knows how much I hate losing to Hermione, too.”
Hermione grinned. “What was that, dear?”
“Oh, just saying how much I was looking forward to the picnic, my love.”
“This was a great idea, Harry.” Ginny had come up behind him to look at his kite over his shoulder.
“Done, then, Gin?”
So was Hermione, who was now regaling them with facts about Hyde Park. She had popped back to her flat to get the book she had mentioned, and still managed to finish her kite before the rest of them. Every few minutes, she would stop reading to check on Ron’s progress, point out a flaw in his design, and then return to reading aloud.
“Think your kite will fly?” Ginny asked, looking down at his kite.
“Well, I hope so. I’m pretty good at following instructions,” he replied as he put on the finishing touches. “Especially when Snape isn’t breathing down my neck. A better question is if Ron’s will work.”
Ginny laughed. “Very, very true.” They both contemplated Harry’s kite as they heard Hermione reading to Ron.
“Another feature of Hyde Park is the Speaker’s Corner. Located in the northwest corner of the park, the Speaker’s Corner is the home of an old tradition. A person can set down a box, stand on it, and give a speech. People come from all over to hear these “soapbox” speeches.”
“Oi, Hermione, hold up there for a moment!” Ginny shouted. She grabbed Harry’s arm, and pulled him over to where Ron was furiously trying to finish his kite. “What’s this about a Speaker’s Corner and speeches?”
“Well,” Hermione said, clearly glad that someone had been listening to her, “it seems that it is an area of the park set aside for those people who want to make their opinions heard. I imagine that you see all sorts of strange people there.”
Ginny’s eyes were sparkling, and Harry wasn’t so sure he was going to like what she said next. “How about we make the day a bit more interesting? That is, if Harry is agreeable, since it was his day, after all?”
“What did you have in mind, Ginny?” Harry asked warily.
“Well, I was thinking that we could add to the contest, a wager on whose kite was the worst. Overall looks, performance, that sort of thing.” Harry looked nervously over at his kite. “Oh, no, Harry, not you. You’re the judge, since you planned the day.”
Harry gave an audible sigh of relief. “Ok, I think that sounds like a good idea, but what happens to the worst kite-maker?”
Ginny glanced over to Ron. “He, or she I suppose, has to make a speech in the Speaker’s Corner.”
“What…But…That’s not fair, I’ll lose!” Ron bemoaned. “You know how much I hate speeches!”
“Pity you spent more time looking at Hermione than working on your kite, then, eh big brother?” Ginny shot Hermione a grin.
“I think it’s a wonderful idea, Ginny,” Hermione said, smiling.
“Well, then, it’s all settled,” Harry agreed, getting into the spirit of things. “But what’s say we have lunch first? I’m starving.”
“Anything to stave off my impending doom. I suppose there’s no hope that we’ll all get food poisoning from lunch and forget about the stupid contest?” Ron asked hopefully.
“Not a chance.” Harry went over to the picnic basket and pulled out a red-checkered tablecloth. Hermione and Ginny helped him unfold it and set it out on the ground.
Once everyone had sat down, Harry began pulling out other objects from the basket. First came four bottles of butterbeer, followed by paper plates and napkins. He then began pulling sandwiches out of the basket, and handed one each to Ron, Hermione, and Ginny.
“I made enough for everyone to have two, so eat up. There are also Chocolate Frogs for dessert.” Harry bit into his sandwich, and had started to chew when he noticed no one else was eating. “Ith thomething wong guyth?” he asked around his mouthful. He took a quick swig of butterbeer. “I really didn’t poison them.”
Hermione spoke up first. “I think we all just want to know what kind of sandwich it is.”
“Oh, right,” said Harry, clearly embarrassed. “PB and J, of course. Can’t make anything else.” The three still stared blankly at him, so he explained further. “I guess it must just be a Muggle thing, then, and you wouldn’t know about it. Dudley saw them one time on TV, and insisted Aunt Petunia—or rather me—make them for him. That’s all we ate for one summer, before Dudley got sick of them. I got quite good at fixing them up.”
“Harry, what does PB and…and G stand for?” Ron asked.
“PB and J, Ron, get it right,” input Hermione. “So what does it stand for, Harry?”
Harry laughed. “Peanut butter and jam. Haven’t you ever had one before, Hermione?”
“No, Harry, I’ve barely even heard of one. Isn’t that an American thing?”
Harry looked a little crestfallen. “Not really sure, it might have been an American show, come to think of it. We don’t have to eat them, I can magic them into something else.”
“How about corned beef, right, Ron?” Ginny asked, elbowing her brother.
“Don’t worry about it, Harry,” Ron said quickly. “You know I don’t like corned beef much anyway. Always willing to try anything once, so here goes.” And with that, Ron took a gigantic bite, chewing slowly. “Hey, thith ith weally goodth!” He swallowed. “Really, really good.” He began to wolf the rest of the sandwich down.
Ginny smiled and tried a much smaller bite of her sandwich. She chewed slowly, looking thoughtful. She finished a second bite before offering her opinion. “For once, I think Ron is right. These are really good.”
Hermione, who had been waiting for an opinion that wasn’t Ron’s, gingerly took a bit of hers. “Harry, these are quite good.”
Harry, who had been holding his breath, let it out with a big whoosh. “Excellent. Glad you like it, then.”
The four of them ate in silence until Ron reached for his third sandwich.
“Hey, I only made two for everyone!”
“It’s ok, Harry, I’ll share my second one with him,” Hermione said.
Ron grinned. “Knew there was a reason I was dating you. Wonderful woman, you are,” he said happily before he bit into it. Hermione reached over, grabbed the sandwich, and tore it in half. “Hey, what did you do that for?”
“I decided I wanted half of my sandwich after all, Mr. Weasley.”
“Oh. Well, at least I got an extra half.”
Harry and Ginny started laughing at this little exchange. Hermione smiled at them, and began eating her half of the sandwich. When she had finished, she glanced over at Ron, and then asked, “So if everyone’s done with lunch, we’d better get on with the kite flying, don’t you think?”
Ron groaned. “I suppose I should just get it over with anyway. At least I had one last, good meal before I die of embarrassment. Hey, Harry, got any more peanut butter and jam back at the flat? I’ll need something to cheer me by the time we’re done here.”
They were on their way to the Speaker’s Corner. The kite contest had really been no contest. Hermione’s kite had worked perfectly, Ginny’s respectably, and even Harry managed to get his up in the air. Ron’s kite, however, was a disaster. He tried for at least half an hour after everyone else had their kite in the air before giving up and asking Hermione for a go at hers. Hermione had grinned as she handed him her string.
And now they were walking through the rest of the park. Ginny and Hermione seemed in quite a hurry, but Harry was trying to enjoy the scenery. Ron was dragging his heels, stopping at every vendor he could find. He had even spent ten minutes examining chalk drawings done by a man “oo called isself Bert”. Eventually, despite all of Ron’s protests, they reached the Speaker’s Corner.
There were two other people there, standing on boxes, giving speeches, and quite a crowd had gathered around one. Ron wanted to pop over for a listen, but Hermione insisted on dragging him over to the second, who seemed to be getting ready to leave.
“Excuse me, sir, but can we borrow your box? My friend here really wants to make a speech, but he forgot to bring one.” Hermione smiled her thanks as the former speaker gestured for them to go ahead.
“All, right, Ron. As the…winner…of the contest, it’s time to make your speech!”
Harry, Ginny, and Hermione retreated a bit from the box to be his “audience” while Ron was climbing up. Ron began speaking, but it was so quiet none of them could hear him.
“Oi, Ron, speak up!” called Harry.
“Ro-on, play fair!” That was Hermione.
Ginny didn’t say anything, merely reached for her wand, aimed it surreptitiously at Ron, and muttered “Sonorus.”
Though his eyes were glued to his feet to avoid looking at them, Ron’s voice boomed out. “Good thinking, Gin,” whispered Harry, before turning his attention back to Ron, who had not realized yet how loud he was.
“—lost a stupid bet involving kites. Though I may be a rotten kite maker, at least I’m not Ginny Weasley, Harry Potter, or Hermione Granger. They’re all terrible, horrible people, and I don’t know why I’m friends with them. I’ll start with Ginny, and why she’s so terrible.” It was obvious that Ron didn’t know they could hear him. Ginny looked like she was going to change that, when Hermione grabbed her to get her attention.
“No, Gin, don’t. Wouldn’t you rather hear what he’s got to say?” she whispered. Grudgingly agreeing, Ginny turned her attention back to Ron.
“—worst surprise ever, she was a girl. Not only that, but she followed me around everywhere. And then when we were both at school, she still followed me around, but it was only so she could be closer to my best mate, Harry. She was always a little cry-baby around Mum, and she’s always coming up with rotten ideas like this stupid bet. She is simply the worst little sister I could ask for.
“Now, moving on to Harry-bloody-Potter. So, what do you say about the person who you think is your best mate, and then betrays your trust by agreeing to a bet he knows you’ll lose? I always knew there was something fishy about Harry, but it took until today for me to realize it: he’s just in it for himself. He’s always had a crush on my little sister, and took advantage of me to spend time with her. What kind of a best mate is that?
“And then, finally, there’s the girl who was the love of my life until earlier today. Hermione Granger, whatever am I to do about you? I know you like teasing me, but really, this goes beyond that. You knew you would win, you insufferable-know-it-all, but you agreed anyway to my public humiliation. I guess I shall just have to go find someone else.”
At this point, Ron noticed that a crowd had begun to gather, and that they did not look happy. He realized that his voice was booming out for all to hear, and figured out he had been tricked. Never one for thinking quickly on his feet, he knew he had to fix things before the crowd got really rowdy.
“Yes, well, um…just kidding about that last part. She is an insufferable-know-it-all, can’t be denied, but I do love her anyway. And Harry and Ginny too. I was just saying all that stuff because I lost the bet, and I hate losing. I don’t quite know what I’d do without any of them, especially Hermione. She puts me in my place right good, that one does, but I need it. She’s really quite wonderful, and I want the whole world to know: I, Ronald Weasley, love you, Hermione Granger.”
Ron’s audience “aw”ed appropriately, and Hermione was blushing. Ron, realizing that he had the upper hand for once, continued on.
“You are the best thing that ever happened to me, and I need to make sure you know that. To conclude my speech, I stink at making kites, Ginny’s a wonderful sister, Harry’s an amazing friend, and Hermione’s all I’ll ever need. Oh, yes, and I love peanut butter and jam sandwiches. Quite possibly as much as I love Hermione. Thank you for your time.”
At this, he made a bow, and climbed down of his box, and made his way through the crowd, searching for his friends. Ginny quickly cancelled the spell, so that Ron wouldn’t be shouting when he found them.
Ron arrived, went straight for Hermione, and kissed her soundly. Harry looked away, a bit discomfited. “I want you to know that everything I said up there is true, at least, after that bit about breaking up with you.” He turned to glare at Harry and Ginny. “Which one of you do I have to kill? What happened to being Muggles for the day, anyway?”
Ginny giggled. “You have to admit, Ron, it all turned out well anyway. But really, to say you love a sandwich more than Hermione? What an ending!”
Ron’s anger faded into embarrassment. “They were bloody good sandwiches, Gin!”
Harry walked through the door one night, about two weeks later, to sounds in the kitchen. Even though he liked walking home from work, he still usually got back before Ron, and Hermione never came over unless Ron was already home. Harry pulled his wand out, and held it at the ready. Constant vigilance and all that...
He snuck quietly into the kitchen, and was quite surprised when he saw a familiar red-headed figure at the counter. “Ginny?” he questioned. “What are you doing here?”
Ginny turned around, and Harry couldn’t stop laughing. Ginny was covered with strawberry jam, which hid her blush quite nicely. “Don’t laugh, it’s not funny! I just…I remembered how good the sandwiches were from the picnic, so I kept trying to make them. I couldn’t get them to taste the same, so I thought I would see what kind of peanut butter and jam you had used…and then, they were right here, and I didn’t think you would mind if I made just one sandwich…and…”
Harry stopped laughing and rummaged around in a drawer, looking for a cloth. He pulled one out, and wet it with some tap water. “Here,” he said, handing it to Ginny. “It’s ok. I had to put spells on them. You see, after we got back, Ron was so obsessed, he kept eating all of my peanut butter and jam, and then denying that he had eaten it. That was a problem, because I like taking them to work for lunch. So I…Well, I put a spell on the jars so that I could tell when he opened them. He stopped really quickly after that.”
Ginny had been trying to wipe her face off while he had been talking. “So I owe Ron, that’s what you’re telling me? I’ll have to think of something really good to pay him back for this one! Oh, Harry, you don’t have to make me a sandwich,” she exclaimed when she realized what he was doing.
“It’s ok, Gin, we both have to eat dinner anyway. We might as well eat it together.” He finished the sandwiches and handed her one.
She took a bite. “Now this is the sandwich I remembered. What’s your secret?”
Harry grinned. “If I told you, you wouldn’t have to come back for more. Now eat that sandwich before I decide I want half.”
“Ha! This one’s all mine, Potter!” They ate together in companionable silence. When they were cleaning up, Harry noticed Ginny still had some jam on the end of her nose. She looked so cute sitting there, he hated to wipe it off, but he knew Ginny wouldn’t want to leave it there. He picked up the cloth and started to wipe her nose off.
“What are you doing, Harry?” she whispered.
“Just cleaning you up, Gin,” he whispered back. “You have a beautiful nose.”
“You have a beautiful nose.”
Ginny was clearly flustered by this statement. “Well, you…You…have some jam by your mouth. Give me the rag, and I’ll clean it up for you.”
Harry grinned. It’s now or never, Potter. “I can think of a way to clean it up without using the rag.”
“Oh? What’s that?” asked a puzzled Ginny.
He leaned over and he kissed her tentatively. She wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him back. Harry gently ended the kiss. “There, is it gone?”
“Is what gone?” Ginny murmured, a little confused. “Oh, right, the jam. Yes it’s gone.” She shook her head a little sadly, and then brightened a little. She reached over to the jar of jam, scooped out a glob, and wiped it on his lips. “Problem solved,” she said, just before she kissed him again.