Ron slammed down a glass. He had come to a decision and refused to drink his courage. A few startled Gryffindors turned in his direction, but he ignored them.
Well, it wasn't really a decision so much as something Ron had to do, before he went barking mad as he watched Draco, in little glimpses, though a sifting crowd of half-hearted partygoers. Watched him laugh and smile, surrounded by sycophants. Ron knew Draco had no respect for that crap -- why did he do it?
Ron wasn't possessive. He just… hadn't much left now, that was all, for all that his family and friends managed to survive the war intact. Thank God. After his rescue, and the collapse of the Death Eater Ministry where he, Draco and the other prisoners had worked for far too long, Ron ought to have felt overjoyed. Free. But Ron had had something there, at the Ministry, believe it or not. Now it was all just slipping away.
Those who tried to place his old life back in his hands didn't understand that he didn't belong in that old life anymore.
Every attempt to explain fell on deaf ears. It was too complicated. Ron understood now why Draco never explained himself. How could he?
So Ron found himself marooned at this pathetic, stupid, dull Hogwarts "reunion" dance, a useless attempt to pretend things were normal when Hogwarts was half-empty, and nobody felt like dancing.
Ron stood up before any second thoughts sank in… or perhaps some sanity… and stalked across the Great Hall to Draco Malfoy. He was not sure what he planned to say.
Draco's eyes narrowed suspiciously at Ron's approach. Then the hard smile plastered itself across Draco's face, as Ron brushed through puzzled Slytherins. It was Draco's worried, what-do-you-want? look.
The Slytherins, of course, didn't know Draco had lived with Ron all those months in house arrest at the Ministry. That they worked together for the Death Eaters, and for Lucius Malfoy. Laughed and drank together. Planned Lucius' death. Neither he nor Ron dreamed that they'd survive it. Would they have been so crazy if they had ever thought they'd be facing each other at Hogwarts again? Ron wasn't sure. But he knew that he didn't regret a moment of it.
Draco gave Ron a fake smile, and a slight breathless laugh. "Weasley." Months of memories went into that uncomfortable sound.
"Gonna tell me to fuck off, Draco?" Ron said. He already had his answer though, as Draco followed him aside.
"How literally would you take that?" Draco said challengingly, the ice clinking in his glass as he took another sip. Huh. As if Draco hadn't been a very willing participant.
"Wouldn't want you to look bad to the Draco Malfoy Fan Club," Ron crossed his arms. It would be great if Draco would be cooperative, just this once. Outside of bed, that was. Draco leaned an arm laconically against the wall and gave Ron an amused glance.
"I'm a god to them," Draco said with a dismissive gesture. "I brought down Lucius Malfoy. I can do what I want." That wasn't exactly what happened, but Ron decided to let it be. "For example, I can tell them what great blow jobs you give."
Ron blinked. "I thought you said I was terrible…?"
"I lied," Draco said unrepentantly.
"You're really hard on the ego."
"It was good for you," Draco drawled.
"No, it wasn't!" Ron rolled his eyes in disgust.
"I suppose not. But it was fun." Draco grinned maliciously. "So. Have you come here to ask me to dance?" His smile heated. Daring Ron.
Yes. It was Draco who had taught Ron how to dance, teased him, those drunken nights where there was nobody else in the world. There were probably no other blokes dancing with blokes in the Great Hall. But, hell, it was a piece of Ron's old life back. Without a word, he led Draco by the hand out onto the dance floor and slipped his arms comfortably around Draco's waist. Yeah sure, he could feel the slight stir as people noticed.
Ron leaned his head on Draco's shoulder, smelling the familiar scent of his hair. Anchored, finally, in a world that looked the same, but was strange and changed. He felt Draco nuzzle and lean into him, and Draco's slight shiver, that meant he felt the same as Ron did. So lost in it all.
To his surprise, Ron seized Draco's shoulders as they danced almost to a standstill. He leaned down and kissed Draco, deeply, tilting his head for a better angle. Draco quickly responded, his breath a hiss. Ron was in far over his head, and he knew it. He couldn't stop. Wouldn't stop.
Detached from the world, Ron circled in his own private heaven. Light about them flooded out the outside world, intruders in the reality he and Draco had built over long months. Ethereal music floated around them, carried him away as he folded his arms around Draco, drinking him in, smoothed his back. Draco's heartbeat was warm and real against him. Ron's eyes shut in bliss.
He plundered Draco's lips again, as if they were safely alone again in his rooms at Lucius' Ministry, dancing to contraband Muggle music once more. That was the real world, where everything was upside-down and insane, but unexposed to this uncaring, too-bright light of expectations, family and friends. This world that could never understand who he'd become and why. At the Ministry he could just love and feel and there wasn't a future, so who cared, and so what? To Ron, freedom felt more like a cage than Lucius' prison had.
He realised this probably meant he was seriously fucked up. But so was Draco, so it was all right.
Draco sighed gently. Sex was the only time he was gentle. Then he snickered into Ron's mouth, "Potter just dropped his silverware."
Ron grunted softly, not liking the intrusion. "Harry… he can get another fork." Ron promised himself he would tell Harry about these, uh, details he'd left out. Later.
"Well, surprise, surprise. I never figured you for the 'let's shock everyone' type. I thought you were more the 'explain carefully so we don't offend anyone even-if-that's-not-possible' sort." Draco's voice was silvery. His hand slipped around to cup Ron's balls. "I like it."
A small warning spun through Ron that he shouldn't let Draco grope him in front of all Hogwarts, but that meant thinking. It meant giving in to what 'they' - whoever they were - wanted. He refused to do that. He shut Draco up with a kiss. That usually worked. Ron decided he wanted to go down on Draco. Watch him writhe for twenty minutes. At least.
"Got anyone to share your bed tonight?" Ron mumbled into Draco's ear.
"You're really drunk, Weasley," Draco snorted, his breath a hot pant on Ron's shoulder.
"No, I'm not, actually. Do you?"
"Then you're really desperate."
Ron pondered that a moment, returning to the gentle movements of the dance. Well, when Draco was right, he was right.
"Do you?" Ron kissed his hair, trying not to hope too much. Draco was just the right kissing height.
"Of course I do."
Ron's face fell. He'd found someone else already? Oh, of course he had. He was Draco Malfoy.
Draco's hand slid over the front of Ron's robes again. "You. Obviously. Nice of you to save yourself for me. Judging by the size of things, you haven't come at all today. Yet."
His smile was evil. Draco enjoyed making Ron twitch. Ron smiled grimly, and ran his hand through Draco's hair. He would get Draco for that. And he knew exactly how.
"Let's go," Ron tugged Draco in the direction of the door.
"The music's still playing!" Draco complained. Ron rolled his eyes and huffed a sigh. "You plan to leave. In front of everyone. Together?" Draco laughed. "You're disgusting…" Draco's grey eyes glinted.
"…Let's go," Draco smirked.
They filtered through the small crowd; vague faces that looked familiar and changed gave them peculiar looks and dumbfounded stares. Those people - they hadn't been there at the Ministry. Hadn't been prisoners. They didn't know. Ron couldn't really face the looks he was getting, especially when Draco deliberately grabbed his arse in front of the Gryffindor table. But Ron stole another kiss in the archway of the Great Hall, feeling better than he had in a while.