The Practical

By Jude

Ginny thought everything was going along swimmingly. And then Hermione pulled the book out from under her pillow.

"Um. Hermione? What are you doing?"

"Er. Checking something."

"Checking what, exactly?"

"This diagram."

"What dia-- Hermione. Dear."


"Why do you need a diagram for something that's in front of you?"

"I... er... want to make sure I'm, um, doing this right?"

"A book isn't going to tell you if you're doing it right. I'll tell you if you're doing it right."

"Oh, well, yes, of course, but I like to know..."

There was a pause.

"You have performance anxiety, don't you?"

"Me? I... I... that's silly, of course I... yes... yes, I do."

"Why? I mean, we're alone, we're not going to be interrupted -- for a change -- and we can figure it out together."

"I don't want to disappoint you."

"You won't."

"... I just like to get things right, you know."

"I know. Harry knows. Ron knows. Hell, even Snape knows."

"Thanks. I'm glad I'm so widely discussed."

"Oh, you know what I mean. You don't need to worry about it, though. I'm not grading you or anything."

"Let's not even suggest teacher-student fantasies, shall we?"

"Aw, come on, you know you want McGonagall."


"Got you to think of something else, didn't I?"

"That's an image that will drive me straight away if I can't get it out of my head."

"Well, let me give you another image to replace it."

"That image was distinctly tactile."

"What, you want tap dancing on the tables in the Great Hall instead?"

"Not protesting! Not protesting! Just saying..."

"How about this?"

"Tactile and visual. I like it."

"Put the book down, Hermione."

"Right. Yes. Of course."