Actions

Work Header

Tidings of Comfort and Joy

Work Text:

"So, we’re agreed, then?" Harry said in a business-like tone. "It’s the best plan we’ve been able to come up with."

The fire crackled merrily, suffusing the lounge with a golden warmth and cheerfulness that was not shared by the three inhabitants who were having a serious discussion.

Hermione and Ron each nodded their heads slightly. "I really hate this," Ron said glumly.

"It’s only for a few days. Besides, it’ll be really great when we get back together," Harry repeated while squeezing both their hands. "And you two haven’t seen your families in so long. I know they’ll be glad to have just you with them."

"But Harry, you’re family too," Ron countered. "Mum’ll kill me if you don’t show up."

"Look, it’s just easier this way. Everyone is going to be there for the first time in ages, and I think this is the best thing. I’ll come by after the holiday rush." He gave Ron a wan smile. "Tell your mum that I’m jealous and want her all to myself after all those other sons clear off."

"Can’t we just Apparate to be together, even if it’s just to open presents and spend some time together?"

"Look, we know Hermione can’t really get away with all her Muggle relatives, and the Ministry’s taken her parent’s house off of the Muggle exemption list," Harry reasoned, hating every word that came out of his mouth. "No offence, but it’s just too much to try to coordinate. Besides, I thought we were going to hold off telling your families about…um, us."

"I can’t believe we’re not going to spend Christmas together, our first Christmas," Hermione said softly, bringing Harry’s hand to her lips for a kiss.

"We’ve spent loads of Christmases together, ‘Mione," Ron interjected.

"You know what I mean, you insensitive git," she said without heat. "It’s our first Christmas as a couple…er, trio…er, you know, being together together." She blushed. "I will never get used to calling us a trio. It sounds so...so, perverted."

"You? Perverted? Never! But gods, you give good head," Ron leered as he leaned in for kiss to her cheek.

Hermione slapped him lightly and scooted closer to Harry. "I’m really concerned about you. If you don’t go to Ron’s or my parent’s, that means you won’t be with family."

"I told you. The team has a big tour in America, we’ll be playing the All-Southern team in Orlando on Christmas Day. Big bonus in store for us. I’ll be having lunch with some Quidditch mates and get to hang out by the pool at some swanky hotel, beating off the pretty American witches. Besides, Draco’s going to join us in Florida since he’s also escaping the Big Weasley Family Blowout," Harry said, putting his arm around Hermione. "It’ll be the perfect guy day. Later on, I’ll get to watch American telly and belch and scratch myself without embarrassing anyone."

"Well, except for Draco. You’d never catch him doing that," she giggled.

"Ha, that’s what you think," Ron said, spinning around and lowering his head into Harry’s lap. "Draco can belch with the best of us."

"God, and here I thought he was my one shining example of a civilized male," she said, stroking Ron’s coppery hair. "Between his upbringing and Ginny’s influence, I would have thought he’d escaped being corrupted by you two." She laid her head on Harry’s shoulder and sniffed. "I’m going to miss being with you both."

Harry hugged her, then kissed her soundly. "It’s only a few days. Besides, think of the mind blowing sex we’ll have after not having any during that time."

Ron raised up and kissed Hermione, then Harry. "Think of the sex we’ll have in the next few days, you know, to store up."

*~*

"Do it again, Uncle Ron!"

Ron sighed. He levitated his niece and nephew in ever-higher spirals into the falling snow. They shrieked with delight as they chased the snowflakes. Bill and Fleur lived in southern France where it hardly ever snowed, thus their children’s fascination with it.

He had been tying to escape the madness inside the small house for hours. Days, actually. Two and half days with his ever-expanding family was beginning to wear on him. Everyone was pressed shoulder to back, laughing all the time, and the children arguing, shrieking, crying, screaming—sometimes all at once. He thought he would go mad. He couldn’t even find peace in the small bedroom at the top of the house anymore. He was sharing that with two of his nephews, who at ages five and eight, were intensely curious about their childless, spouseless Uncle Ron, the only adult in the house who did not tell them to eat up or go to bed. He was, in short, their hero.

On top of that, he was horny as hell. The first night there, he had had a dream about his lovers which left him gasping and sweating and sticky. Their last night together had been filled with passion and desperate lovemaking, knowing they would not be together for several days. Hermione had ridden him hard—her groans always made him frantic and eager. And Harry. Gods, the things Harry could do with his talented tongue and that stiff, long cock. It made Ron twitch at the very thought of Harry whispering in his ear, "I’m going to make you come so hard." And he did.

Ron sighed. With all his brothers around with their wives and knowing that they were having sex—the walls were pretty thin—made him jealous and a bit angry at his predicament. Not that he was embarrassed by his own love life. Far from it. But they still had not yet worked out when they were going to break it to his family about their rather unusual arrangement. What would they think about him with Harry? What would they think about Hermione with the two of them? What would they say when he said he wanted to marry them both?

The thought of the "m" word and a shrill French-accented voice pulled him out of his reverie. "What are you doing?" Fleur Delacour Weasley called from the back door. "Ron, are you being careful with them?"

"Yeah, don’t worry about it I’ve got ‘em," he yelled back. Then, he muttered to himself, "If you’ll leave me alone, I’ll be just fine."

"Make sure Juliette has her mee-tins on," Fleur called. "And don’t let them go too high. Arthur will have a nosebleed."

"And that’s why Charlie married a Healer," Ron mumbled under his breath, watching the children still floating about in the swirling snow. "Poor kids don’t have a chance to go out and get dirty properly with that worry-wart for a mum."

"What did you just call my wife?"

"Hey, man. Nothing, nothing. Well, nothing, really. Doesn’t Fleur remember how it was to be a kid? You know, going out, having a snowball fight, getting a really snotty nose and all that?" Ron said, as his eldest brother walked up and handed him a mug of a steaming drink that smelled strongly of whiskey and lemon. "Thanks."

"Aw, she’s not that prissy about the kids. They get plenty rough and tumble back home," Bill said genially. He looked at Ron who was now lowering the children into the snow. "You’ve been kinda edgy for the past few days."

"Who me? What have I got to be edgy about?" Ron said, taking a pull on the mug. "Whoa, this is really good. Who made it?"

"Claire did. She claims she needed to make them extra strong to kill off all of the familial germs we’re sharing in such a small space," Bill said, slurring his words slightly. "Medical people sure can justify anything in the name of good health."

"God bless Claire." Ron raised his mug in the general direction of the Burrow. "A couple more of these and I think I can stand the chaos."

"Says the man without any children. Say, what about you and Hermione? You two ever going to make it legal and have kids, live out the sedate life of a wizarding couple?"

Ron choked a little his drink. "Me and Hermione? What gives you the impression we’re living together?" Bill snorted. "Oh, yeah, we are living together. But not that way, we’re just sharing a house, you know. It’s good. I mean, I’m not living alone, I’ve got her and Harry around for company, we get along great, share the chores; I’m saving my Galleons. Every once in a while we can convince her to cook." Ron grinned as he built his tale.

"Mum says you all went to Switzerland in the fall."

"Oh, yeah. That was a lot of fun. Never been there before." Ron swirled the dregs of his mug.

"So what did the three of you do for an entire week?" Bill was slowly becoming not-very-subtle in his quest to unearth as much information about his brother’s relationship with the other two.

"Gods, Hermione holed us up in a fucking archives as research assistants," Ron groaned. Bill threw back his head and laughed. "I can’t believe how much crap she made us read and take notes on. All that damn legal history stuff." Ron gulped down the rest of his toddy. "And, I met a Muggle woman who took me all over the city."

"Do tell!" Bill clapped his youngest brother on the shoulder. "We didn’t hear about that one."

"That was great, we…"

But just then the sound of a clanging bell rent the air, followed by the shrieking of more children. "Uncle Ron! Uncle Ron! Do it to me! Do it to me!"

"Your fan club awaits," Bill said, and he sauntered off, chuffing each child on the head as they headed for Uncle Ron.

"Yeah, just leave me here, you big prat," Ron grumbled. He looked up to see an owl headed his way.

*~*

Hermione was so bored she thought her head might explode. It had been quite a while since she had seen her parents’ siblings, and now she remembered why they were not at the top of her most favorite list. Her father’s brother and his wife were sedate accountants from Leeds. They droned on about taxes and their grandchildren and their latest travels to someplace equally boring. Her mother’s two sisters were only slightly more interesting. At least the elder one was single and led a somewhat swinging life beyond work. However, when she started in on her latest gardening escapades, Hermione felt a despair-filled sigh welling up inside. On top of it all, the weather was dreadful so she couldn’t use the need to exercise as an excuse to get away from the crushing desolation that was conversation with her relatives.

"Hermione, dear, tell us again what it is you do?" intruded the voice of her uncle who blinked owlishly behind his oversized glasses at her.

"Oh, I’m an attorney," she said, lifting her tea to her lips and taking a sip. Please, just leave it at that.

"You know, it’s odd," he went on, "I asked our staff barrister about you and he said that he’d never heard of you at all. Which firm are you with?"

Damn. "I’m in a very specialized field, and I don’t do trial work. It’s mostly research for councils and official agencies," she said as truthfully as she could. "I’m not surprised that I’m not listed in the usual attorney lists."

"Did you not take the bar?" he pursued.

Damn. "Yes, I did, and I passed on the first go," she said lightly. "But since I do mostly research and writing, not many people outside my office have heard of me."

"Ah, so you’re a shy one, are you? Seems to me you’d make a fine solicitor what with your fine mind and quick thinking," he said patronizingly.

"Yes, I am. Tell me, what’s Howard up to these days?" Hermione changed the subject to their oldest son.

"Howie’s doing very well. He’s interning at St. Anne’s Hospital in London. You live in London, don’t you?" Her uncle simply wouldn’t leave her be.

"Actually I live outside of London in the far western part of the city," she said, rising to take her now-empty cup to the kitchen. "May I get anything for anyone?"

Hearing murmurs of disinterest, she casually walked to the kitchen. Once inside and shut off from her relatives, she sagged against the counter, folding her arms, her head drooping.

Gods, she missed them so much. Ordinarily, she would not have missed them after such as short time, but her relatives made her twitchy and she hungered for the laughter that filled her home and her heart, the laughter of the two loves of her life. Thinking about Ron’s fetching smile and his large warm hands and Harry’s brilliant emerald eyes and his gentle kisses sent a shiver through her that warmed her to her core, then caused every part of her to ache for them, for their touches…

Her hand brushed her right breast, and she closed her eyes at the spasm of desire it caused. She allowed her thumb to rub the nipple, so sensitive still from when Harry had worried it over and over and over again with his tongue and teeth the last time they’d made love. She remembered the soft sucking and the sharp teeth and his tender words and sighs of passion. Ron massaged her thighs and belly and her clit as she straddled him, his cock buried deep within her. She could feel the moan rumble through her as she felt Harry’s own rubbing deep in the cleft of her. . .

"Hermione, are you okay?" her mum, asked as she bustled into the kitchen with a tray with the leavings of their tea.

She nearly jumped at the sound of her mother’s voice intruding on her sensuous memory. "Wha-? Oh, sorry, yes, of course I’m fine," she stammered as she whirled around looking for something to do with her hands, her face burning.

"You don’t look fine," her mum continued, as she unloaded the tray. Hermione quickly grabbed the sugar bowl to put it in its place in the cupboard. "You look flushed, dear."

I’m fine, really, Mum. Look, I-I need to go out to the garage for a moment. I think I left a book in the back seat." And before her mother could say anything else, she fled from the kitchen.

Without looking at anyone in the lounge, she headed straight for the back entryway where she stored her heavy cloak. She lifted it from the hook and swirled it around her as she reached for the doorknob. Remembering that she needed something else, she reached for her bag that was in the closet and walked out into the snowy afternoon to the garage behind the house.

Breathing deeply, she stood quietly trying to still her racing heart. She needed them to know, to tell them how much she missed them and how bad an idea she thought being away from them was. It was reckless and risky, but they needed to know.

Stealing away, she crawled into the front seat of the car. She pulled two small pieces of parchment and a fountain pen out of her bag and quickly wrote identical notes. Completing that task she walked further outside to a small shed behind the garage where two owls were sitting quietly. To the first one she tied a note to its leg and whispered, "To the Burrow." To the second, she gave more complex instructions, telling him, "This is for Harry Potter. Go to the International Post at the Ministry in London." With an affectionate stroke to each one’s head and a treat, they flapped off with her missives.

I don’t know how much more I can stand.

*~*

"Geez, Potter, you’d think after all this time, you could hold your drink better than that."

"Sod off, Malfoy. I can hold my drink, it’s just that I drank twice as much as you in half the time."

"Lightweight."

"Amateur."

"Wanker."

"Tosser."

Two very inebriated wizards were sprawled haphazardly across plush carpeting in the sitting room of a well-appointed hotel suite. The brilliant Florida sun spilled in through the large glass doors that opened out onto a balcony that overlooked a tree-filled courtyard and sports complex. Both men were dressed casually in cotton trousers and shirts.

"Christ, what was in those things?" Harry groaned, holding his head. "I haven’t hurled like that since Hogwarts."

"Ah, rum punch, the drink that conquered the Caribbean," intoned Draco Malfoy, who was just as wasted as his compatriot but would rather die than admit it. He, too, held his head gingerly in his hands. "Funny drink, rum. Sneaky, rather like a Slytherin. I think I shall propose to make it the house drink at the next alumni gathering."

"Figures you’d compare it to them," Harry said, sitting up slowly to lean against the sofa. "How many did you have? I think I drank a couple of pitchers’ worth."

"You were downing them at a rather steady pace."

"Well, the volleyball game made me work up a thirst, you know."

"That, and the bird pouring the drinks was certainly eager to please you."

"I seem to remember her fawning a bit over you as well."

Draco laughed suddenly. "And neither of us refused."

"Not on your life."

"Maybe on yours."

"Shut it, Malfoy. You voice is beginning to hurt my ears."

"Cute. How long did it take to come back with that one?"

Harry tossed a sofa pillow at his companion so that it smacked him in the face. He grinned as the blond man yelped indignantly at the assault. "I’d come over there and whup your arse, Potter, but seeing as I can’t feel anything I’ll let you live another day."

"Ha! You are soused."

"And it’s taken you how long to figure that out?"

Harry giggled. The still-functioning part of his mind marveled at the fact that he was in America, in a hotel, seven sheets to the wind with his childhood arch-enemy, the one boy who made his life a living hell for nearly seven years, and loving every minute of it. Harry still found the son of one of the most evil wizards he’d ever met a snarky bastard, especially when it came to any discussion involving Hermione and Ron. It ticked him off royally that Draco held to his father’s beliefs on Muggleborns. Most times he had learnt to hold his tongue around Harry when the subject came up. Draco Malfoy may have some outmoded views on many topics, but he could be downright funny. He also was something of a party animal and could often convince the shy Harry Potter to take in a couple hours worth of clubbing and mingling. Right now, Harry Potter could not have found a better person to spend Christmas with. Except for Ron Weasley.

God--Ron. Harry’s breath hitched at the thought of his flame-haired mate, the true mate of his soul, the only man who could make him sigh with pleasure. And of the true love of his life, the woman whose smile and wicked laughter and sexy moans could reduce him to a mass of incoherent babbling. Together, they filled him with the breath of life, completed him, made life worth living. He smiled at the thought of both of his partners. Another part of him responded as well.

"Earth to Harry." Draco had finally pulled himself together enough to crawl over to where Harry was sitting. Harry opened his eyes to find two gray inquiring eyes staring at him. He startled, and then smiled as the gray eyes filled with amusement.

"I’ve been talking to you for a full minute, but you didn’t hear a word," Draco said without accusation. "So who is she?"

"Who?"

"The girl who completely took over your being in the last minute. She must be someone special to have that kind of affect on you."

"What?"

"C’mon. We’re guys. We’ve been friends long enough to share secrets. Besides, I’m man enough to admit that I appreciate your assets, and at this moment, your asset is impressive." Draco sat down closely to Harry and laid his head on his shoulder.

Harry giggled again. "Checking me out, were you? I didn’t think you played for that team, Draco."

Draco half-heartedly punched him in the arm. "I don’t, you git. Like I said, I’m man enough to admit I noticed you were filling the loose space in your trousers, and I want to know who she is. Now, spill."

"What makes you think it was a girl?" Harry responded finally, mischievously.

"Ho-HO! Harry Potter is bent!" Draco cried, slapping his thighs. "Damn! When did this all happen?"

"C’mon, I’m just fooling with you," Harry said, blushing furiously. He paused, hoping to clear his mind enough to pull off and reasonable comeback. "Well, she is someone very special."

"Does Granger know her?"

Harry paused again. "Why do you think she’d mind?"

"I dunno. You’ve talked about her and Weasley incessantly since we got here," Draco said. "It’s as if you have no life beyond them. Don’t you have any other friends besides those two?

"’Course I do. What the hell do you think you are?"

"I am a mere Christmas convenience. We’re two pathetic souls who don’t have anyone to go to during the holidays." Draco sighed dramatically. "If it were any other time, you wouldn’t give a shit about me."

"I hear violins playing, Malfoy. You really don’t do the ‘poor woebegone me’ routine very well. Besides, it’s me you wouldn’t deign to hang around if your job didn’t demand it," Harry whumped a sofa pillow over Draco’s head.

"Hey, watch the hair!" Draco exclaimed, grabbing the pillow away from the dark-haired wizard and putting it behind his head. "Let’s get back to the original question in which I am about to excoriate you for not growing up and beyond your childhood. Isn’t it about time you gave them up?"

"Why would I do that? Just because most of your classmates are now in prison doesn’t mean you’ve ‘grown up’. Besides, weren’t you just telling me you went clubbing with Zabini last week?"

"Yes, I did. But the difference between Zabini and Weasley is that Zabini is cool. Weasley is decidedly not," Draco finished with a jab to Harry’s arm.

"Depends on your definition of cool, then. So why are you going out with his sister?" Harry said in mock outrage. "God, Malfoy, if you’re going to be insulting, at least be consistent."

"Ginny is the definition of cool. Her brother is not. Potter, you’re never going to make it to the upper echelon of Wizarding society with friends like that."

"Malfoy, I’ve seen who’s in that supposed upper echelon, and believe me, I am not impressed. Thanks, but no thanks," Harry said as his head dropped back onto the sofa. "Can we not talk for a while? I think my brain hurts."

"Just trying to give you a little advice."

"Again, thanks, but no thanks."

"Ingrate."

"Snob."

"Guilty."

Silence.

A sharp rap at the door roused the two men from their collective stupor. Draco leapt up as gracefully as a wobbly hippogriff to answer the door.

"Hey, lover boy, mail," he said, dropping the parchment note onto Harry’s lap before collapsing on the sofa that held the dark-haired wizard upright.

Harry opened the note and smiled. Draco read it over his shoulder.

"’I need you—H,’" Draco read. "’I need you’. Gods in all their halls, is that Granger’s handwriting?"

Harry’s head whipped around to look at his companion. Whoops, too much movement. He winced at the rattling that commenced in his brain and the sight of two, maybe three, of Draco’s smirking pointy face.

"Shit, do you mind?" Harry snarled. "This is my mail and you’ve gone and read it."

"Don’t read it with me sitting behind you then. So, it is her, isn’t it? There’s a lot more going on in that house than just friendly chess games, eh, Potter? A bit of the hanky-panky in dark corners when the Weasel is off with the Cannons?"

Harry gulped. "It’s not like that. Hermione and I—we’re—just friends, you know. And I’ll thank you not to call Ron by that immature childhood name. Talk about not growing up!" Harry looked at the note, desperately willing his alcohol-addled mind to think quickly for a reason why Hermione would send an express international owl for a reason other than the one he knew it was really for. "There must be something terribly wrong if she’s sent a note." That was it—the cover story! "I’d better go and call her."

He got up, swayed for a second or two before he got his bearings, then headed to his room. A few months ago, Hermione had convinced both he and Ron to acquire cellular telephones so that they could be in touch with each other quickly. Since the British telecommunications system had seen fit to construct towers all around the country, it wasn’t difficult for them to alter the phones magically so that they would work within the Wizarding world.

Harry unearthed the phone from within his bag and punched up Hermione’s phone.

"Darling, what is it?"

From the other room, a sharp-eared Slytherin listened to the muffled conversation while he picked up the discarded note and regarded it closely. It wasn’t a note of panic. She would’ve called if it had been a true emergency. No, Draco decided, this was definitely a note of passion, reminding her mate that she had need of him.

This is going to be a lot of fun, he thought. And then he smiled.

*~*

Bill trudged up the stairs to the attic room, his arms full of clean socks and trousers for his son. Snow was a wonderful thing for a kid to play in but it also meant parents worked overtime to clean and dry clothes that were already in short supply. The International Floo network only allowed so much luggage with each family. Still, he thought ruefully to himself, wish he’d wear one pair of trousers to play in.

He reached the small room that belonged to Ron and reached out his hand to push open the already ajar door. He stopped in mid-air and inclined his head towards the door as he heard what he thought was his brother moaning in pain. He listened and then decided that no, that was not pain.

"Quit doing that to me. I can’t stand it knowing you’re doing that to yourself and I’m not there to bring you off. Stop it," Ron whispered.

Bill was aghast that he was overhearing what was obviously a private and extremely personal conversation between Ron and…who? And who could be in there with him? No, all he could hear was Ron’s voice, no on one else. Just what in the hell was going on?

He nudged to door open just a little more. He could see through the small opening his brother lying on his bed, his back to the door. He was holding a small device to his ear. Ah, a tellyphone. But how? Oh, one of those mobile tellyphones that he sometimes saw Muggles using on the beach. But how and why did Ron acquire one?

"Yes, I know. I miss you both so much." Pause. "Okay, I’ll get away tomorrow after supper, about 8:00. I don’t know, I’ll make something up. You just end that match as soon as you can. Right. God, I love you too. Bye."

Ron said the last few words with such longing and passion that Bill was sure he was conversing with someone who wasn’t just a friend. He knew that tone all too well. But now, how to get out of the jam he seemed to be in?

Bill quietly and carefully backed down the last few steps, then stomped on the stairs loudly as he reached the landing. He knocked on the door, then opened it.

Ron was still lying on his bed, though he had rolled over. He had a rather deer-in-the-headlights startle on his face.

"Hey," Bill said casually as Ron bolted upright. "Need to put some stuff up for my boy."

"Hey yourself. Everything all right down there?" Ron was definitely panting.

"Sure, why wouldn’t it? Look, Mum’s gonna need some help with dinner in a few. I’ve got to take Fleur into the village for something last minute that she just has to have, so if you don’t mind," Bill said bending over to put the clean clothes in the bottom drawer of the chest.

"Yeah, I need to get up. Thought I could sneak a couple of wanks, Imeanwinks, in before supper," Ron blushed furiously.

"Know the feeling. It’s not easy sleeping in the same room with a couple of little kids, eh?"

"How do you do it?" Ron groaned, standing up. "They never seem to stop moving."

"No rest for the wicked, little bro," Bill said, clapping Ron on the shoulder.

Ron got up and scooted past him and out the door. Bill looked thoughtfully after the retreating figure of his youngest brother. Something is definitely up with him, he thought. I wonder…

*~*

"Can I come in, dear?"

Hermione straightened up from the floor where she had been packing away the last of her clothing into the small valise. Chessie, the trio’s Labrador retriever, lifted her head to check out the intruder into her mistress’ bedroom. Seeing who it was, she laid her head back down on her paws with a quiet snuffle.

"Hi, Aunt Caroline. I was just packing up some clothes I won’t be needing."

"I see," said the older woman. "May I?" she inquired, pointing to the end of the bed.

"Please do." Hermione sat beside her. Of all her older relatives, Aunt Caroline was the most perceptive and fun. She traveled extensively and had a worldly view on things. Hermione also suspected she had a clue about her, Hermione’s, true identity.

"Miss them, do you?"

Hermione looked into her aunt’s mischievous brown eyes, startled. "Miss who?"

"Well, I know you share a house with two men, neither of whom are your husband, but two men who obviously mean a great deal to you," Aunt Caroline began. "You haven’t stopped talking about them since you arrived."

"I’ve known Harry and Ron since I was eleven. We had quite a few adventures in school together," Hermione said shyly, looking down at her folded hands. "After we graduated, we went our separate ways for a while, but last year we got together and decided that we wanted to renew our friendship. We were all looking for new living quarters, and decided that it made sense to pool our resources and get a really nice house. It’s big and has a fantastic backyard. I’ve always wanted a dog, so after we got this place, we acquired Chessie." The beast got up at the mention of her name and walked over to Hermione and put her head in lap. Hermione laughed. "Yes, girl. You were the best part of the whole deal."

"She’s a nice pet," the older woman agreed, rubbing the black dog’s back. "But, correct me if I’m wrong, these two young men are much more than just friends?"

Damn her aunt’s intelligence! "I—we, well," Hermione began, not really knowing what to say.

"A long time ago, I, too, had two gentleman callers. Both had their benefits and advantages. I enjoyed their company immensely. And they knew about each other, and accepted the fact that I was seeing them both. It went rather well for a while, until one demanded that I choose," Caroline sighed. "Stupid boy. He had to go all caveman on the situation"—Hermione laughed out loud—"and I told him to shove off. Shame, too. He was my adventurous lover." Hermione goggled at that admission. "Oh, yes. I’ve had sex. I’ve had a generous amount of sex. I came of age in the ‘60s when it was the ‘in thing’. Actually, people have been having sex without the benefit of marriage for centuries. It’s only now that it’s so freely admitted. About time, too," she concluded.

"I guess I’ve never thought of it that way," Hermione admitted. "So what happened with the other one?"

"Well, he was my intellectual. I loved talking to him, but the sex was merely mundane. I realized that I needed the other one to satisfy my wanton sexual needs to offset Herbert’s lack of abilities," Caroline went on freely. "Soon, I broke it off with him. Your mother was scandalized that I was sleeping with two men at once. I told her to sod off. It was none of her business."

Hermione gained a whole new respect for this liberated and daring woman who was divulging her deepest secrets. Especially someone who could get away with telling off her strong-willed mother! She began to sense in her a kindred spirit and perhaps someone who would understand.

"With Harry and Ron," she began, "it’s...well, there’s absolutely no competition. The’re different, but alike, d’you know? I can’t separate the two from my heart. I could never choose between them. But then again, I don’t think they’d ever make that kind of demand. They love each other too much." She looked up at her aunt, gauging her level of shock at that admission.

Aunt Caroline took her hand gently. "My dear, you are so very lucky. You have found ménage à l’amore. I knew several threesome couples who tried to form a ménage à trois, literally a ‘household of three. But it didn’t work. One of the members, usually the other of the same sex, became jealous or two decided to pair off more frequently. If your two lovers love each other, well then, you have a perfect house of love. I think it’s grand."

Hermione impulsively threw her arms around her aunt’s shoulders and heaved a deep sob of relief. "I—I didn’t think I’d ever find anyone who would understand, but you do." She pulled back, one tear trickling down her cheek. "You really do understand."

"I do," the older woman said softly. "Don’t be ashamed of what you have, none of you. Besides, from what I know of the Wizarding world, those sorts of things are more accepted, are they not?"

"How did you—"

"Herbert was a wizard, but he chose to live in the Muggle world," Caroline said with a smile. "I’ve always found that term about us mere humans rather charming." Hermione giggled. "Anyway, Herbert trained at that school in France and was something of a whiz at—what do you call it? Potions?"—Hermione nodded, still amazed. "He’s a crack chemist and has made quite a bit of money in pharmaceuticals. Shame about the sex, though."

"I can’t believe he told you. We wizards keep that very quiet."

"Obviously. But remember, Herbert and I liked to talk. He and I came to trust each other implicitly. We’re still good friends." Caroline took her niece’s hand again, squeezing it. "I recognized your abilities very early on in your life. When I described them to him, he knew you were probably exhibiting the early manifestations of magical ability. How do you think your parents were so accepting when you got your letter?"

Hermione stared hard at her aunt. "I—I guess I never thought about that. Herbert prepared them for it?"

"He did."

"Aunt Caroline, I don’t know what to say." Hermione felt a whirlwind in her mind. "I mean, all of a sudden, you seem to be a very different person to me. Mum and Dad rarely talk to me about magic or my years at Hogwarts or anything about my life. They understand my being a solicitor, but they never ask about my research or my abilities or anything. And now, I have you to thank for my life." Again, Hermione felt a sob welling up. "I-I just don’t know how to thank you. For everything. For understanding." Now, she was sobbing. "And being able to tell you—to tell anyone—that I’m in love with two men who mean everything to me…"

Her aunt hugged her tightly, rocking her quietly, and allowed her to cry tears of relief. Finally, Hermione lifted her head. Caroline wiped the tears from her face.

"It is quite a load, isn’t it?"

Hermione laughed and hiccupped. "Oh god, yes! I just want to shout to the world how happy I am, but I’m so scared someone is going to destroy our happiness. I don’t think Harry would allow anything to get in the way, but Ron sometimes worries about how this will look. His dad’s the Minister of Magic, and he’d die if anything were to taint that for him."

"I see," Caroline said. "Well, you’ll just have be a little selective about who finds out. Tell me about your lovers."

For the next hour, Hermione excitedly told her aunt all about their friendship, about trolls and three-headed dogs, about flying broomsticks and a gentle werewolf, about complicated charms and nasty professors, and about the power of a love so strong that it defeated the most evil wizard of all time. She showed her a wizarding photo of Harry and Ron, smiling and laughing and waving, their arms about each other.

When Hermione had finished, Aunt Caroline pulled her close and for a long while, neither spoke. Then, the older woman said, "My dear, what’s keeping you from going to them?"

*~*

Christmas night was clear and cold when Harry Apparated into the small side-room that was warded off from the rest of the house. He quickly released the wards and stepped into the quiet kitchen. He had half-expected them to be waiting for him but no one was about. Even their big friendly Labrador retriever wasn’t there to greet him; she had gone with Hermione. Harry acutely missed the beast’s enthusiastic slobbering.

"Welcome home, Harry," he smiled softly to himself and shivered in the cold.

Spending several days in the warmth of the Florida sun had been such a pleasant relief from the harsh cold that gripped England over the past weeks. Harry found himself wearing as little as possible at pool-side, much to the delight of the young witches who tried to ingratiate themselves to Harry Potter, International Quidditch Hunk. Sometimes it was good to be a star. But when the crush of celebrity became more than he could take, he escaped to his sunny suite and his sarcastic Christmas-time buddy, Draco Malfoy. Neither man was partaking of the local female sweetness, but both enjoyed the attention nevertheless. Draco was well-spoken for, and Harry knew that it wasn’t Ginny’s wrath that kept the blond on the straight and narrow. No, Draco was well and truly in love, and nothing and no one could pull his heart from his flame-haired love.

But Harry? Draco had had way too much fun trying to figure out who possessed his heart. Harry giggled at the questions Draco lobbed at him at times when he thought Harry wasn’t paying attention. Fortunately, after the encounter with the demon rum, Harry scaled back on his alcohol intake both to keep his wits about him and to stay in shape for the Quidditch match on Christmas morning. The All-Star English team had played a good match with the American South team. Harry had allowed the Snitch to get away from him a couple of times to sustain the match to a reasonable length of time, giving the fans their money’s worth. He had even scored a goal or two in what turned out to be a high-point match. But finally, Harry’s mind wandered to the promise he’d made to spend that night with his love mates, and he ended the match with a rather spectacular and daring grab for the winged golden ball.

"So, golden boy. You gonna take your pick of the crowd for your prize?" Draco had chided, as the women swarmed around him outside the locker room.

"Oh, I don’t know," Harry had to shout back at him. He signed yet another program from a lovely young woman with large breasts. "I’m too hungry at the moment to think about anything else."

Draco laughed. "At the rate you’re going you’ll never get laid."

"Hey, I resemble that remark," Harry retorted, laughing. Another witch, this one not quite so young, grabbed Harry’s head and gave him a kiss on the cheek. She also seemed to be trying to smooth down his wild hair.

Harry signed more programs and allowed more women to kiss him. One refused to let go of him and began to pull him down onto the ground with her. Draco sniggered at the look of surprise that crossed his companion’s face. But when the crowd tightened the circle around Harry, Draco took out his wand and cast a dispersion charm on them. Bodies moved back several feet in all direction, leaving Harry struggling to extricate himself from his fan’s clutch.

Draco pointed his wand and muttered, "Petrificus Totalis!" at the young woman and she loosened her grip. Harry caught her and laid her gently to the ground.

"Thanks for the save," Harry said as he rubbed his neck. "She had me in a death grip."

"Nothing to it. I think it’s time to make a graceful exit."

The lunch with their American counterparts had been good natured and cordial. Draco once again ingratiated himself with the women and their American hosts. Who thought Draco Malfoy, prickly little twit of Hogwarts, would turn out to be a gracious Undersecretary in the International Relations Ministry? Harry often had to shake his head at the sight of a smiling, though somewhat oily, Slytherin.

Remembering, he almost missed the scrunch of tires outside the back door. A slamming door and the excited barking of a large dog brought him around quickly, and he moved to fling open the door with an excited, "Hermione!"

*~*

Damn, that was close, thought Draco, as he stood stock-still in the trio’s Apparition room. Fortunately, he was keyed to the wards, so he quickly let himself into the kitchen, covered in his Invisibility cloak. He moved into the small alcove off the kitchen where he could look around the door, yet stay out of the way.

Hermione came through the door first, carrying a bag and saying, "…so stupid. How could we have even thought about being apart for our first Christmas?" Her face was glowing from the cold, her lips red as if she’d just had the life snogged out of her.

Harry followed with a larger suitcase; Draco noted with delight his lips were just as red. "I don’t know. At the time, it seemed a good solution. But now, well, maybe we should come clean…" His final words trailed out of range as the two wound their way down the hall away from Draco’s current position.

Listening for a moment longer, he walked quietly into the central hallway that ran the length of the house. Two bags had been deposited at the foot of the stair case. A soft glow and a faint radiation of heat came from the formal lounge. A large Christmas tree ablaze with the glittering radiance of hundreds of tiny magical stars lit the room. A roaring fire in the fireplace gave off the heat, though an additional charm had been cast about the room. But there in the middle of the floor on their knees and in a state of semi-undress were his quarry, oblivious to anything about them except the other’s lips and hair and, ooops, Harry just found her arse.

Oh, yeah.

He watched as Hermione gently lifted Harry’s glasses off of his nose and carefully placed them under the Queen Anne sofa nearby. The black-haired wizard smiled so sweetly, so adoringly at her, Draco was overcome by a flood of déjà vu, a feeling that he had seen that smile somewhere else, on another’s sweetly adoring face; a smile that had been meant just for him. Then, Harry leaned in and gave the woman a kiss that was not sweet and adoring; this one was needy and passionate and rather dirty, if truth be told. It was a kiss not meant for public, but one shared in private between knowing and experienced lovers. They moaned simultaneously as the kiss continued and their nimble fingers unbuttoned buttons and unzipped zips and declothed torsos and limbs.

Damn! Granger’s got a fine arse. And Harry, well I knew it was…

Draco stopped his rambling thoughts as the two laid on the rug and began squirming closely together. Inexplicably, their voyeur noticed that he, too, was having a very tangible, very real reaction to the passion displayed before him. Damn, but it was arousing, seeing them doing things he never imagined they could…oh, my. Now, Harry had raised up and began kissing his way down her body, pausing to nibble each red, taut nipple, eliciting a breathless gasp. His hand gently stroked her folds; he smiled as she moaned. Suddenly, Harry straddled Hermione’s body, his erect cock bobbing in her face, and buried his mouth in her mound. Hermione moaned even louder, and took Harry’s length in her mouth, working her head up and down.

*~*

Meanwhile, Ron was tapping his foot nervously. Bill observed that he had looked at his wrist watch exactly twenty-eight times in the course of three minutes. It was 8:10. Ron’s mind had been wandering out the door for the past couple of hours. His young nephew—what was his name again?--had him embroiled in a chess match that was now going into quadruple overtime. Bill decided to have some fun.

"So, Ron," he started, dropping onto the divan next to the thinking nephew, "how’s the recruiting season going?"

"Oh, it’s good. Haven’t we talked about this already?" Ron was alternately looking at Bill and studying the board, nodding his head as if counting out his imagined moves.

"Have we? I guess I’ve forgotten. It seems we haven’t had the chance to talk at all, what with all these people." Bill grinned as Ron checked his watch again.

"Going somewhere?"

"I, uh, well…" Ron stammered.

"It looks like to me you’d rather be anywhere but here." Bill took another sip of his firewhiskey sour. He picked the empty glass beside his youngest brother’s hand. "Let me get you another one. Claire’s just mixed up another pitcher."

Ron started. He did love Claire’s drinks and Bill may just have handed him a way out of his no-way-out situation. "You stay seated, let me get them." He had half-risen from his chair.

"Oh, no. I wouldn’t dream of interrupting your game. I’ll get you a refill." Bill walked into the kitchen just as Ron said, "Checkmate!"

"Let’s play again!" came a young, distressed voice.

"Dude, I’ve taken you four times. How much more punishment can you stand? Look, here’s your cousin. He’s been chomping at the bit, so why don’t you two play?"

Wails of protest went up. "No! I want to play Uncle Ron!" "You’ve played him four times already!" "But you played six matches yesterday."

Ron ducked out whilst the three boys commenced to arguing over who was the better player. He casually walked into the kitchen, observing that Bill was nowhere to be seen; perhaps his insatiable wife had spirited him away for an assignation elsewhere. Ha, now was his chance. Ron reached into the Floo powder container and made to take a pinch to make his escape, when—

"Uncle Ron, where ya goin’? Percy’s oldest son, one of his squirmy roommates, was looking at him, expecting an answer.

"Uh, well, I need to go take care of something." He saw the lad start to protest. "But I’ll be back. I promise. It might be late."

"Does it have anything to do with the Cannons?"

"Sort of." Ron brightened as his nephew handed him an excuse. "I need to go talk to a Quidditch player about coming to play for us, yeah." He rubbed the boy’s head affectionately. "He’s a good one, too. Played for All-England in the World Cup last year."

"Really? Can he save the team?"

"Hey! We prefer to use the term ‘help us achieve our objective.’ No saving needed, my man."

"Right, Uncle Ron." Smart boy.

"Why don’t you go set up a board in our room, and I’ll be along later to kick your arse again?" Ron smiled gently at the youngster. Gods, but he was as tedious as Percy.

"Okay." And with that, he scampered off up the stairs.

Ron breathed an apology to the spirits that watched over families and bald-faced liars alike. "Sorry, but he just wouldn’t understand what I need to do here."

He whirled around and took a generous pinch of powder. He stepped into the fire and shouted, "Godric’s Hollow cottage!"

He never saw Bill skidding into the kitchen with a feral grin on his face. "Excellent."

*~*

Draco sagged against the door jamb, his jaw slack, and his hand rubbing over his rising member. It had been a very, very long time since he had witnessed something as erotic, as arousing, as scene of the two before him. Harry lifted his head and gasped, "You’ve got to stop. Now."

Hermione instantly released him, panting and swallowing noisily. "We can’t come. Not yet."

Harry swung his leg over and pulled her up by her hands, and wrapped his arms about her trembling figure. "No," he said quietly, "not yet."

At that very moment, the grate rattled and admitted one soot-covered Weasley. Weasley? What the—

"RON!"

The two naked housemates jumped up and surrounded their friend with enthusiasm. "Oh, god, I’m so glad I’m here." Ron kissed Hermione soundly. "It was a bloody conspiracy to keep me from you." He turned and kissed Harry with equal force and passion. Draco’s eyebrows shot up to his hairline. "I missed you both, so much." And with that final declaration, he crushed them both to his body. "Hey, you started without me." Before he could complete the protest, the other two started pulling, unbuttoning, unzipping, and unclothing the sooty red-head.

Draco nearly passed out at the sight of the three who were hungrily and frantically making out. He could have guessed Harry and Ron were banging Granger separately, but good gods almighty, all three of them giving it to each other at the same time? Now that was a revelation of epic proportions. They moved towards the hallway close to Draco. Weasley’s thatch reminded him of another Weasley’s. He mentally slapped himself for the comparison. Focus, man. You have a… But it was tough to keep up his mental berating as he watched the three move as one toward the stairs, hugging, stroking, kissing each other.

"Shower, now. No soot in the bed."

"Race you!" Hermione shrieked as Ron sprinted up the steps and Harry pulled her along. The sight of three wiggling, naked arses was as comical as it was arousing.

Draco leaned against the door jamb of the living room as he heard the dull explosion of water from somewhere upstairs. Just as he was contemplating his next move, the grate of the fireplace rattled slightly, and out flew with considerable grace, Bill Weasley. Draco instinctively moved back, and gaped as the older wizard looked about with practiced ease; he then cast a very cool and obviously enhanced disillusionment charm over himself, one that made him nearly as invisible as a cloak. Draco could barely make out the ripple caused by Bill’s movements as he made his way from the living room and up the stairs, following the noises above.

Draco began to move toward the kitchen, now that his mission was complete. He had no real desire to see the three of them going at it. But…. Not wanting to be left out, Draco changed his mind and moved stealthily behind Bill, who was cautiously picking his steps; barely discernable sussing sounds caused Draco to realize that Bill was casting cushioning charms on the steps. Nice touch, Draco thought appreciatively. Worthy of any good Slytherin. He’d definitely have to have a more in-depth discussion with his girlfriend’s oldest brother sometime very soon; there was more than mere Gryffindor bravery at work this night.

*~*

Suddenly, the water shut off, and there were liberal amounts of gasps and moans coming from the large bedroom around the stairwell to the left. Bill continued moving slowly, casting tread softly charms on the wooden floor. Even though the cottage was of new construction, his training in surveillance taught him to trust nothing, especially a house where the environment was rapidly changing since its inhabitants had returned and cast warming charms to dispel the chill of disuse. He entered the bedroom and was transfixed by the scene before him.

Three heads of brown, black, and red hair were tangled in a heap of pale skin and arms and legs. Sounds of passionate kissing were interrupted only by soft moans and an occasional entreaty. He watched his brother—his youngest brother!—ardently kissing the brown haired head, whilst the black haired head licked the back of his neck. Dear god, Harry was working his hand between Ron’s legs, and Ron liked it! Ron released Hermione’s lips, gently throwing back his head as he moaned, "Oh, yes. Oh, god, Harry!" Bill could not believe what he was witnessing, could not process the fact that Harry was preparing to … and that Hermione was going to watch. No, wait, she was on her back, spreading her legs and holding out her arms to accept Ron and to guide his….Dear god, were they really going to….? Holy fucking Merlin on a stick! They were!

Suddenly, Bill came to the realization that he really, truly, absolutely did not need, want, or have to witness this. It wasn’t that he wasn’t turned on by it—Merlin forgive him, but he was!—but this was his little brother, his adult little brother, engaged in an intimate relationship with two people he had known for nearly half his life. Two people with whom and for whom he had walked through hell and back, and lived to tell the tale and celebrate the victory. Two people who had defended him as vociferously and unconditionally as he had defended them on many occasions, and whom he loved like family. Well, obviously not just as family. Harry and Hermione were his family, his intimate family. His soul mates. And the passions of his body as well. In that second, there blossomed within Bill a fierce protectiveness of the three, the triumvirate of friends, who had discovered that their friendship could nurture eros as well as agape.

He backed away slowly, taking each step carefully, and had just cleared the door when…

*~*

Draco took up his stance just inside the bedroom. Watching the three Gryffindors rolling about on a bed that seemed to go on forever was both comical and erotic as hell. He was still lightly rubbing his reaction to the earlier encounter, but now, now it had returned with a rage. He didn’t think he’d ever find two males making love to each other anything but disgusting, but watching Harry worship Ron’s body with his lips, hands, his love, his very being, Draco could not have seen anything more powerful and mesmerizing and …beautiful, though later, he’d be loath to admit it. He knew the profound emotions running between the three; he felt the same every time he made love to Ginny. Suddenly, he realized that what he was watching was no less sacred than those intimate moments he shared with his beloved, and that this, too, deserved privacy and respect. When the cold, clear comprehension of his situation hit him, he began to back slowly away when…

*~*

…he heard the low growl of a dog very close by.

*~*

Bill and Draco both turned to find Chessie, the trio’s normally amiable black Labrador retriever, standing in a classic defensive posture: ears laid back, tail rigid, neck hairs bristled, and lots of gleaming white teeth bared. She had padded up the stairs looking for her humans and sensed, as only dogs can, the presence of deception.

Draco knew Bill had no idea he was there, but Chessie was closer to and directly confronting him. He slowly withdrew his wand from his pocket. Sorry, old girl, but I gotta do this… "Stupefy!"

Just as the spell hit the beast, Bill realized the there was someone else there. He whipped out his wand and cried, "Stupefy!" in the direction of the spell that hit Chessie.

Draco fell to the floor, releasing his grip on the cloak; it slipped partly off, exposing his legs. Bill quickly cancelled the disillusionment charm and felt around the area where the disembodied legs were; he felt the cloak and ripped it back.

"Bloody hell! Bill! What the fu--? Malfoy? What the hell is Malfoy doing here?" Ron was the first to reach the door, wand drawn, with Harry right behind him.

"Oh, god. Ron, I’m sorry," Bill said, his face flaming with embarrassment. "I-I, oh hell. I’m busted. Hex me now, get it over with."

"Wait a minute," Harry said as he nudged his way past Ron. "Just what are you doing here?"

Bill decided to simply come clean as he stood up; he looked up at Ron and Harry, studiously looking at their faces, and trying very hard not to notice that both were still quite naked. "I’ve been wondering about Ron since he got to the Burrow. He’s acting like, well, like he’s in love, frankly." He glanced away again. "Look, could you two put something on so that I can confess properly and have the shit hexed out of me?"

Harry and Ron went back into the room and returned in dressing gowns.

"Hey, what the hell did you do to my dog, you prat!" Ron’s voice went up several decibels. "I can take you spying on me, but not hexing Chessie." He raised his wand.

"Draco did it," Bill said quickly, his hands out in a gesture of entreaty. "That’s when I discovered I wasn’t the only, um…well, the only. . .um, spy. . .uh, arsehole here.

Harry cast Ennervate on the dog, who rolled back onto her feet quickly and commenced barking ferociously. Harry put his arms around the upset beast and murmured softly in her ear, calming her immediately to frantic high-pitched whimpers. Harry looked up at Bill with a stormy countenance.

"Draco did it," came Hermione’s hard voice. "Well, isn’t that convenient. Wake him."

Bill pointed his wand at the unconscious blond and roused him. Draco rotated slowly with a groan, groping about for the cloak and looked up to see two wands very close to his nose.

"Care to explain how and why you came to be on the second floor of our house?" Harry said in a deadly calm and rather dangerous tone, "or shall I just let Chessie sort you out?"

Draco scrubbed his hand through his disheveled hair and winced at a sore spot. "I was reluctant to let you go. When you took the early portkey home, I followed."

Harry snorted. "And just why on earth would you want to follow—oh, wait, I get it. You wanted to know if I was doing it with Hermione, didn’t you? After that note. You are such a—a…"

"Well, you are, aren’t you? I was right, ha!" Draco said smugly. "However," he continued, his gaze drifting to Ron’s outraged face, "the discovery that you’re doing both of them comes as a bit of a shocker." He laughed, but cut it off with a gulp when Ron’s wand poked him under the chin. "Okay. I’ll admit it. I’m a nasty git. Now, can I get up?"

Draco slowly got up off the floor. Chessie continued her agitated whining and growling at the two, though Harry kept her at bay with gentle strokes to her head.

"Start talking. Now," Ron commanded.

Well, I-I was just curious," Draco started, praying that a hole would open in the sky and carry him off. "I mean, after Granger sent that note, Harry started acting kind of, well, like, he couldn’t relax…."

"You know, Malfoy, after everything we’ve been through, after all the meals you’ve eaten in my house, after all the projects we’ve worked on together, you still call me by my last name," Hermione said bitterly. "What is your problem?"

"Sorry. Just a hard habit to break," Draco said with a shrug. "I’ll do better, Hermione."

Hermione acknowledged his apology and indicated that he should continue with a flick of her wand.

"So, when he decided to leave Florida earlier than planned, I thought I’d tag along and see if it was true. I’m a nosy prat. So, sue me," he finished lamely.

"And what’s your story?" Hermione turned to confront Bill who was standing as far away without looking like he was trying to flee.

"Oh, same thing. I’m just being nosy. Look, I am really sorry. I’m out of line; following Ron here was, well, it was just plain wrong of me."

"Too right, that," Ron said. "I can’t believe you did this to me, to us." Ron visibly drooped and then he looked up at Bill with bright eyes. "You betrayed me," he whispered.

"Ron," Bill gulped. "I’m so very sorry. But," and he paused, considering his next words. "Why didn’t you say anything about this?

"Right. I can hear it now," Ron snorted. "’Mum, Dad. I’m in a ménage with Harry and Hermione. Good news! You’re not just gaining another daughter, but another son as well.’ Yeah, they’ll understand that. Can you see the look on Percy’s face when he finds out? Gods, he’ll go spare. It’ll ruin his precious career. George and Fred’ll have a field day with it." Ron was getting extremely wound up.

Bill intervened before Ron could evaluate the reactions of everyone in the family. "Whoa! Hang on, little bro. Take it easy. You’re right, it’s not going to be something that everyone’s going to accept at first.. Let’s face it, it’s not every day that something like this happens. But you three—you’ve got something so special; you are special! I’ve always known this was a strong friendship, and I gotta tell you, I’m delighted that this has, uh, developed into something more." Bill clapped Ron and Harry on the shoulders.

During this exchange of brotherly approval, Hermione watched Draco’s face carefully. Though it remained mostly impassive, she could see the subtle changes flit through the gray eyes and pointed nose. No, Draco was definitely not sharing Bill’s enthusiastic approval for their relationship. When Bill pulled Ron and Harry to him in a hug, Draco’s lip curled into a moue of displeasure. She quickly made her calculations and whispered, "Oblivate."

"Draco, are you okay?" Harry said suddenly, as Draco seemed to freeze for an instant.

"What?"

"Are you okay?"

Draco looked around at the three men. "What?" He shook his head. "What am I doing here?" He looked around, confused. "Weren’t we just in Florida? What are we doing here at your house? And why does Weasley look like he’s seen a ghost? What’s the matter with you, Weasley? Wait, too many Weasleys." He shook his head and looked at Bill and Harry, slightly rattled. "What the fuck has happened?"

Behind him, Hermione made a pointing gesture at her head and waved her wand. Harry immediately picked up on her signal.

"Well, Draco, we got really tired of sitting in the sun and drinking rum punch. As I recall, you consumed quite a bit at lunch and I had to levitate you out of there." Harry moved over to take the confused blond by the arm and started leading him toward the stairwell. "You passed out, so I brought you here. You don’t remember that?"

"No, but my head does feel a little fuzzy. Tell me," he leaned closer to Harry, "did I say or do anything stupid?"

"Nothing that would cause an international incident, I’m sure," Harry soothed. "But I believe you did try to kiss a few of our gentile hostesses."

Draco blanched. "I did?" He scrubbed his hands through his hair. "Merlin help me, but I can’t remember a damn thing."

Bill walked up behind Harry and Draco and threw his arm around Draco’s shoulders. "Tell you what, I was just going back to the Burrow. Why don’t you come with me, eh? I’ve got this sister-in-law who’s a helluva healer. She’ll put you back to rights in no time with a mean hangover cure." He led Draco down the stairs, and waved back up at the three. "Ron’s going to stay here, so there’s an extra bed. I’m sure Ginny will be overjoyed to see…" and Bill’s voice trailed off as they reached the first floor and entered the living room.

Once the two spies were away, Harry and Hermione moved immediately to embrace their trembling mate. The equally upset Chessie rubbed up against Ron’s leg, whining and begging to comfort him. Ron bent over to pet her head gratefully, as the other two rubbed his back.

"So, that’s it? We’re just going to let them get away with this—this travesty?" Ron was outraged.

"Oh, I wouldn’t say that," Hermione said as they moved into their bedroom, and removed her dressing gown. "I managed to cast a very light Non-erectile hex on them both as they passed by me. They won’t be getting any for several days."

"Nice one," Harry replied, slipping his gown off and giving Chessie a final pat before she trotted over to her bed in the corner. "I got a Confundus incidentalis on them. If they try to say anything about our conversation, they’ll find that they simply cannot get the words out." He put his wand on the bedside table and reached out his hands to Ron and Hermione.

Ron looked at his two naked lovers now kneeling on the bed with their hands entwined and entreating him to join them. "That’s some very Dark Magic you just performed. Bill may be a toad-sucking bastard, but he’s still my brother." He folded his arms and looked as though he expected some explanations.

Harry sighed, and leaned over to pull the obstinate red head onto the bed with them. "Why are you upset at this?" he said soothingly. "Besides the hexes aren’t really Dark, just…inconvenient. Last I checked neither were on the Dark list, are they?"

"No, they aren’t. They don’t cause any injury," Hermione explained as she pulled the robe off of Ron’s shoulders. "Harry’s gets a bit into the memory charm category, but again, it’s not that they don’t remember, it’s just that the victim can’t talk about a particular incident," Harry wrapped his arms around him and pulled him close.

"I think it’s time to stop talking about them, don’t you?" he whispered into Ron’s ear in a low voice.

"Oh, most definitely," Hermione breathed as she licked the skin behind Ron’s ear. "What do you want, my love?"

"You," Ron gasped, and he kissed Harry hard, thrusting his tongue instantly into his mouth. "Both of you."

"Tonight, we’re yours." Harry leaned over to retrieve the bottle of lubricant as Hermione drew Ron’s member into her mouth.

Ron released a strangled gurgle as Hermione took him deep and Harry devoured Ron’s mouth hungrily. They stayed like that for several minutes until Ron withdrew from Hermione and pushed Harry onto his back, who instantly drew his knees up, knowing Ron wanted a hard, fast fuck. Hermione laid beside them and smiled. "I want to watch you; you two are so beautiful when you make love," she said, kissing her raven haired lover.

"I’ll take care of you in a minute," Harry laughed softly as he tweaked her nipple. Ron slid two slick fingers into Harry’s entrance, and Harry sighed. "Gods, I’ll never get tired of that." Ron quickly pushed a third in and worked them in a slow pumping. "I’m ready. Do it now."

Ron pulled the fingers out and replaced them with his engorged cock, thrusting in quickly and setting up a powerful rhythm, slapping up against Harry’s thighs. "Oh, god. So tight. So. Damn. Good." He gripped Harry’s hips and wrapped the long, wiry legs about his waist. "Love you," he said roughly as he reached out to stroke the other man’s cheek.

In one fluid motion Hermione rose and straddled Harry to kiss Ron. "Slow down, Ron!" Harry managed to gasp. The pounding lessened to a gentle roll, enabling Harry to part her folds with his fingers and bury his tongue into her soft wetness, seeking the hard button of her release. Finding it, he sucked it, gently nipping every so often such that she jerked with each pinch.

Hermione was in heaven, kissing her beloved’s now-swollen lips and having her more intimate parts lovingly tantalized by their mutual lover. Her mind swirled with the overload of sensations sizzling every cell of her body. For the first time, she felt completely, totally, overwhelmingly free to give herself to these two men as shared themselves with her. Thank you, Aunt Caroline, for accepting my house of love, she breathed prayerfully. Then her world shattered, and Harry slipped his hand into her vagina, urging her orgasm to completeness. With her last rational thought she reached between herself and Ron to find and stroke Harry’s forgotten weeping cock. As her hand glided over the head, Ron gasped and poured himself into Harry with a final thrust upward to hit his love’s prostate. Another pass had Harry crying out his release as his come spurted over Hermione’s hand and his chest.

Exhausted, Ron and Hermione collapsed into a hug over Harry’s prone body and seconds later, they slid over to the side and off of Harry. The three laid panting heavily, none able to speak, move or even make an effort to crawl under the covers. Finally, Harry made a gargantuan effort to spin around to embrace Hermione. He buried his head in her bushy hair with a sigh as he found and grasped Ron’s arm.

Ron spoke first. "Damn."

"I second that damn and raise you a ‘wow,’" mumbled Hermione.

"You know, the make-up sex is great and all, but let’s not do this again," Ron said. "I don’t care who knows about us. I’m ready to tell the world." He rolled over to feel about on the bedside table for his wand. Finding it, he renewed the warming charm over the room and then cast a gentle Scorgify over their sticky bodies. Warmed and clean, he returned to the spooning two and looked at them with affection. "We’ll just let Chessie take on any negative press."

Harry raised his head. "Too right, that." Then he gave Ron a little grin. "Remember that comment, the one about your parents gaining a daughter and a son?" Ron turned slightly red at the memory. "Anything you want to say to us, Ron?" Harry’s emerald eyes twinkled.

"Oh…uh, nothing right now, anyway," he muttered.

Harry and Hermione shook with quiet laughter as Ron flopped down and hid his face in her bushy hair. "Don’t worry, we know it just slipped out," Hermione said still giggling. "We’re not pressuring you to pop the big question."

"Let’s just take this one thing at a time," Harry said as he pulled Hermione up with him. "First thing, under covers, now."

The three wearily reached up to tug down covers and arrange pillows. As they settled in, Harry said, "I sense a change in things, or is it just me misreading?"

"No, you’re quite right," Hermione said sleepily, squeezing his arm. "I told my aunt about us. She made me feel so much better and is quite happy for me. For us." She snuggled closer to him. "Maybe we can start by having her to dinner sometime."

"I’d like that," Ron said. "I know my parents love you both, but it’s just…I don’t know. I think they’ll be okay with it. Eventually." He was silent for a heartbeat or two. "I know they only want me to be happy."

"Well, I know I’m happy," Harry said, raising up on one elbow to reach over Hermione’s now sleeping form and touched Ron’s hair. "Hang the world. I love you."

Ron grabbed and kissed his hand. "Love you, too." Then, he giggled. "I’ll bet right about now, Ginny and Fleur are really frustrated."

Harry snorted softly. "Serves the gits right." He kissed Hermione’s temple, and said, "I’m so glad she sent that owl, even if it did get Malfoy all riled up. It was just what I needed."

"Yeah. Strange how just a little note like that makes you feel all, well, smooshy inside."

"Smooshy? Did you just say smooshy?" Harry laughed.

Ron reached over and lightly smacked Harry’s head. "I did. Deal with it."

"Mmmm…smooshy," breathed Hermione. Both men smiled.

"Our cue to stop this," Ron said, leaning over to kiss Hermione’s cheek. "Sleep well, love."

"You, too, smoosh-meister." Harry yawned, and he dropped onto the pillow beside Hermione’s head.

Ron rolled onto his back, his fingers laced with Hermione’s relaxed, pliant ones. How does that Christmas song go? The one about ‘merry gentleman’ and ‘tidings of comfort and joy’? Yeah, that one. Comfort and joy. That’s what this is all about. Comfort and joy.

And he drifted off in joy.