It had taken a bit of convincing to get Ron to do this to - for? - Harry. Ron was an accepting, easygoing man most of the time, but he also worried a lot, especially when it came to Harry’s wellbeing. So the thought of tying him up - restraining him - left him feeling a little queasy. Sex ed was never a major part of the Hogwarts curriculum, and Ron was completely out of his depth with something this kinky.
A joint therapy session with Healer Smith helped open up the dialogue between the pair, and a private word to Hermione for some reading helped Ron to see that it wasn’t anything wrong. Or weird. Or bad. There certainly were some things that Ron would be uncomfortable with, but this bondage that Harry was interested in could be beneficial for both of them. Both to ground Harry and help him relax, and as another way to build their trust. Ron agreed to at least giving it a go, which is all that Harry could ask for.
The next Saturday they made their way to a discrete Muggle shop to acquire supplies. They both agreed it would be safer to ensure that it was kept out of the press, and to prevent any magical mishaps that could occur with enchanted rope or whatever magical sex shops sold. Harry knew a little about the equipment they needed from the brief but intense time he had frequented Muggle dungeons, and asking the right questions of the right people led them here. The spot they apparated to faced a non-de script building that had a single sign advertising ‘adult concepts’ and an arrow which led to a mostly-concealed side entrance.
Harry and Ron entered the main room, hands joined as a bell announced their presence. They blinked in the surprisingly bright lights, taking in the scene around them. It appeared like any other modern, upper-class shop - tidy shelves, a black and white colour palette interspersed with wood and gold accents, neat labelling. Except none of the products were something you could buy on a high street. Well, most high streets.
Although Harry had been the one push for the rope purchasing, he was still nervous to be in an actual shop where they could buy the stuff. He tried not to think too much about his time in the kink scene. It was mostly filled with upsetting half-memories, situations where he was so desperate to be taken out of his mind, so filled with self loathing that he accepted anything that made him feel different. Made him feel anything at all. Harry tried to look forward to his future with Ron - exploring their dynamic together, and how safe Ron would keep him. That helped his excitement to outweigh his fear.
Now facing the task of actually acquiring the rope, Ron again felt more than a little out of his depth. This was despite his research and the counselling, both from Harry’s therapist and an exasperated Hermione. Even glancing at the products from his position by the door was overwhelming. But nothing was going to happen if neither of them moved. Ron knew that between them they needed to find some confidence, and since he was the tie-r versus the tie-ee, he felt that it was perhaps time to take charge. If only to stop them standing in the doorway like a pair of stunned shrakes.
“C’mon, let’s have a look around, yeah?” Ron said, not giving Harry much choice as he led him down the aisle at the furthest side of the room.
A Tuesday afternoon clearly wasn’t the busiest time for the business, with Harry and Ron being the only people there besides the purple-haired shop assistant. They waved at the couple from the counter where they were doing stock-take, but otherwise didn’t move to interrupt the pair. This meant Harry and Ron had all the time in the world to meander through the shop, equally intrigued and horrified at the products they perused. At some point Ron had to grab a basket for all the things they were picking up. Although Harry was much more vocal at the items that confused and amused him, Ron knew all his tells. The blushing and sudden silence when faced with something he might being interested in using, or something Ron might use on him, was obvious. Ron didn’t say anything when this happened, just placed the product in the basket. Harry was already vulnerable talking about his desires with Ron and he didn’t need teasing to add to his insecurities. Harry did try to protest a little, if only for the sheer cost of everything, but a few choice reminders about the size of his Gringotts vault left him with nothing to argue about.
After picking up some more lube, massage oil in a variety of dessert themed flavours, and a large, glittery, vibrating dildo for Harry, they found themselves in the kinkier side of the store. Ron had only just got himself back under control after picking up that last item - the thought of it actually inside Harry almost made him pull a Fawkes and combust into a pile of ash then and there. But now he was looking at cuffs and ropes and collars and imagining them on Harry, his pure want so distracting that he almost didn’t notice the shop assistant approach them. Ron quickly shoved his hand in his pocket where his wand was kept and cast a minor cooling charm. It helped his lower half calm down a bit, but his freckled face remained flushed.
“Hi, did you need help with anything?” the assistant - Alex, as it said on their name badge - asked the pair. They clearly dealt with embarrassed and uninformed customers a lot, as they seemed nothing but friendly and happy to help.
Harry was the first one to unfreeze. “Yeah, uh, hi, we were actually interested in, um, some rope, actually.”
Alex lit up at Harry’s declaration. “Great! Now I have to ask, are you beginners? That’s totally okay if you are! But we try to have our customers leave here as safe as possible.”
Ron squeezed his boyfriend’s hand for comfort as he stepped in to take the spotlight away from Harry. “Yeah, we haven’t done much, but we’ve done a lot of research and talked about it. What would you recommend?”
This was, apparently, all it took for Alex to launch into a discussion about their personal thoughts and preferences to the various options that the shop held. Material, thickness and feel were all discussed, and Ron got caught up in the sheer strategy of it all. He was determined to do all he could to get the best outcome for him and Harry, and his previous embarrassment evaporated. Harry was content to let the other two talk at length, only giving his opinion when necessary. It made him happy to see Ron so invested. It assured him that he wanted it too. Eventually they settled on a few different types, with Ron having specific ideas about what colours he preferred. Harry blushed when Ron met his eyes, the amount of attention being paid to him left him feeling exposed in the best possible way.
They left the shop promising Alex to come back if they needed anything at all, both feeling elated about their positive experience. Wandering back to the alley nearby the pair quietly apparated away, excited for what the future held.
Unfortunately life got in the way and delayed their plans. Ron and Harry were completely swamped with work and engagements for the fortnight following their shopping adventure. Even when they did have a little free time in the evenings they were both too tired, preferring instead to just cuddle and fall asleep together than muster the energy for a whole scene.
One cold Friday night Harry was down from the castle to spend the weekend at home. Often the pair would go out for dinner or even just some ice cream, but instead had chosen to stay in and celebrate Harry’s achievement of completing all his marking for the term. Since exams started next week classes had finished early for the day, allowing Harry and Ron to start their weekend wind down earlier than usual. By the time they had finished dinner and were curled together on the couch, sipping at their cups of tea like old men, it was just after eight o’clock. They were both relaxed but not yet sleepy, sitting in contented silence while the wireless played in the background.
“Hey,” Ron broke the silence, nudging Harry with his foot.
“Hey yourself,” Harry nudged him back, a silly grin on his face.
“Would you, maybe, want to use some of the stuff we bought tonight?”
“Some of the stuff we bought?” Harry looked puzzled. “I mean, we already ate that ice cream but if you want more- oh. The stuff. ” A pause. “Ronald Weasley, are you saying you want to tie me up?” Harry teased quietly. He was scared, but a lot of amazing things had happened while he scared. Such was the life of a Gryffindor.
“Why, Harry Potter, I think I am.” Ron leaned over and gave Harry a soft kiss. “C’mon.”
After brushing his teeth, Harry sat on the edge of the bed while Ron pottered around and gathered what he needed. They had both agreed that until they both felt comfortable, they wouldn’t use magic unless someone safeworded out. It felt too risky, too impersonal whilst exaggerating their dynamic in possibly the wrong way. Ron wouldn’t be able to live with himself if his actions reminded Harry of the war, so they planned to do things the muggle way. Soon enough Ron was ready. Well, ready as he would ever be.
“How’re you doing, sweetheart?” Ron asked as he stood with his hands on his hips in front of a clearly nervous Harry.
“I’m. A little worried? I think? More about me than, uh, you. Could you maybe sit down?”
“Shit, of course, sorry. Merlin, you don’t need me looming over you, do you?” Ron took a seat next to Harry, facing him and reaching for his hand.
“Yeah, it’s good.”
“So. Worried, huh?,” Ron squeezed Harry’s hand. “Me too, love. But remember that this is something we’re doing together, not just me doing it to you, yeah? You remember your safewords?” Ron waited until Harry nodded, “and we can stop at any time. I’m here, it’s just us, and I’ll talk you through the whole thing. I love you.”
Harry noticeably relaxed a bit. “Yeah, okay,” he nodded to himself, then got a little quieter. “I love you.” He stuck his chin out, a clear sign that he wanted a kiss. Ron met him halfway, softly pressing against his lips.
“I’m just. What if I don’t like it?” Harry blurted out after they separated. “I mean, we’ve put all this effort in, talking to Emily and going shopping and everything. What if it’s just some fantasy I’ve built up in my mind? Or, or, what if I like it a lot? And you don’t? Like, what if I’m just hard and tied up and you’re completely weirded out?
Ron paused as he processed Harry’s words.
“Harry, you are well within your right to not like it, okay?” He waited until Harry looked at him again. “Sure, we’ve taken some time and effort to set up for this, but that’s just so we have the best chance possible of enjoying it. If it isn’t good - for either of us - we can stop, and we don’t have to do it again.”
“The idea though is to enjoy yourself, I don’t think there’s such a thing as liking it too much. And I can assure you that I’ll almost definitely like it, okay Harry? I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this, too. D’you still want to give this a go?”
Harry stopped and thought for a moment about what Ron had said. It scared him, especially because of his murky history with kink. He had never done anything like this from a place of love before. But out of all the scenes, and all the people in the world, there was no one he trusted more than Ron. “Yeah. I do.”
“Great,” Ron smiled softly. “Could you take off your shirt, please? And your trousers if you’re comfortable with that.”
Ron and Harry stood up and stripped off, both ending up in just their pants. He figured it would help Harry relax if he wasn’t the only one exposed. Harry folded his clothes and put them on the floor with his glasses on top, sitting back down in his original position clad only in his black boxer briefs.
“Thank you, sweetheart, you’re doing so well.” Ron brushed a hand through Harry’s hair. “Can you go kneel in the middle of the bed for me? It doesn’t have to the perfect centre, just so that you won’t accidentally fall on to the floor or anything.” Harry moved into the position as Ron gathered the rope, safety shears, the bondage guide, and his wand, bringing them to the bed. He also placed two bottles of water, some grapes, and massage cream on the bedside table for afterwards. Ron knew he was a wizard and could summon literally anything at any time, but it was more practical to have the equipment ready to go. And Ron was a very practical man.
“Alright, first thing is that I love you, and nothing that happens here is going to change that, okay? Second thing is, could you tell me your safewords please?”
Harry repeated the red, yellow, green system they had agreed upon for ease of use.
Over the weeks and research the couple had had some serious conversations about just how kinky Harry wanted to be, and what kind of dynamic they were both most comfortable with. For now they had agreed to leave any formal titles or sex entirely out of their scenes, no matter how turned on they got, but Harry had always loved the pet names Ron had given him. His need for praise and reassurance translated nicely into his submission to Ron.
“Okay, so I’m gonna start with your left arm, using this tie from the book if you want to look it over. I’ll go slowly because I haven’t done this on you before, although I may have practised on a few transfigured sticks this week.”
“Only the best for you, mate,” he winked, then sobered up. “Then, if everything is still okay, I’ll do the same on the right, and then tie them together behind your back. You can speak whenever you want, not just if you need to safeword out. If something is pinching or you just decide you want to go to bed or need some water or anything. And I have the safety shears just in case I need to get you out of them quickly. Other than that we’ll sit here for a bit and then we’ll cuddle,” a beat. “Is there anything that I missed or you wanna add?”
“I love you, too.” Harry replied, prompting Ron into a grin.
“Can I hold you for a bit? I feel a bit weird to just go from not touching you to tying you up.”
Ron sat down on the bed, pulling Harry against him and half into his lap. The skin-to-skin touch was grounding, as was Ron’s familiar warmth and scent. Harry breathed him in, face tucked into his neck, slowly relaxing. Ron rubbed slow, wide circles into Harry’s back, leaving him lax with pleasure.
After a few minutes Ron eases off. “Okay, you ready to start now?”
Ron pulled over his equipment from the side of the bed, positioning the book and shears within easy reach. He uncoiled the rope as he knelt at Harry’s left side. He then gently guided Harry’s arm out to the easiest and safest position for both of them.
“Silence feels weird and impersonal so you’ll have to put up with my nervous ramblings, okay? Okay, so I start here at the bottom of your arm, tying a knot like… this, yeah, okay. You’re doing wonderful, sweetheart, just perfect. And then I draw that up… here, I think. Yeah, wait no, okay, just like that, yeah I remember this one…” so Ron preceded, tying a series of evenly spaced bands up Harry’s arm, finishing at his mid bicep.
Once Ron was satisfied, he kissed Harry’s skin softly about the final knot, easing his arm back into place. He moved back in front of him where Harry was kneeling and gently pet his hair.
“How are you doing, love? Can you give me a colour?”
“All green so far. I’m a bit thirsty, though.” Ron picked up a bottle from where he had left them, uncapping it and lifting it for Harry to drink, his other hand resting on his neck. The simple act of Ron holding the bottle for him, controlling his ability to drink, was heady. Oh, Harry missed this. Being free of the burden of choice, of responsibility. Having it figuratively and literally taken out of his hands. He felt himself slowly edge towards slipping down into that peaceful place.
Ron pulled the bottle away, still looking into Harry’s eyes. “You all good now?”
Harry blinked up at him. “Yeah. You?”
With that, Ron moved to Harry’s other side. This went slightly faster, Ron’s rambling taking on a slightly more confident tone as he progressed. It felt… good. Harry flexed his arms a bit where they rested at his sides. The rope felt comforting and soft, and the care Ron had taken to ensure that it didn’t dig into him left him feeling warm all over. The slow, repetitive movements were almost meditative - helping Harry to sink further and further into himself. It seemed in no time at all that Harry had almost identical cuffs running most of the way down his unbound arms. Ron came back to kneel in front of Harry.
“Hey sweetheart,” Ron murmured, one of his hands stroking Harry’s neck and the other running through his hair. “Can you give me a colour?”
Harry melted under the touch, completely trusting that Ron would keep him safe.
“Yeah? Nothing too tight?” he asked as he checked the knots on Harry’s arms again, tugging at each of them in turn.
“Mmm, no.” Harry’s mind went a little fuzzy at the temporary tightness. The restriction was somehow freeing, like it was holding him in and holding him down and protecting him all at once.
“Good,” Ron brushed a kiss against Harry’s forehead. “You ready for me to tie them back now?”
“Please.” Harry blinked up at Ron. His eyes were glassy and his chest was flushed, his voice edging into slight whine.
“Alright, love. You’re doing so good, such a good boy for me,” another kiss to Harry’s forehead. “I’m going to have to move behind you to do it, okay? Should be just a minute.”
Ron picked up the final length of rope and shuffled behind Harry. He pulled Harry’s wrists gently together, turning the arms to the exact position he wanted. Harry let himself be moved. He putty in Ron’s hands. He didn’t have to think about anything, do anything. Was allowed, for once, to just be.
Ron weaved the cuffs together as he continued his narration, this time a constant stream of praise and endearments. Harry barely heard him, taking in only his warm and affectionate tone. Once Ron was done, he leaned back and surveyed his handiwork.
The white rope softly wrapped around Harry’s limbs stood out beautifully against his brown skin. Harry’s head had dropped forward and his shoulders relaxed down, Ron’s hands in his keeping him balanced. The candlelight caressed Harry’s outline which turned it golden in places, as if he were glowing. Like the sun, he had always been the centre of Ron’s universe. Harry was perfect. The love Ron was overcome with felt almost tangible, as if it were expanding out from the centre of him, a palpable buzz beneath his skin. He forced himself to breathe as he kissed the back of Harry’s neck.
Ron rested his head there for a moment before easing Harry back to balance as he moved. Ron made his way back to face Harry, once in position he encouraged Harry to lean into him again with his face pressed against Ron’s bare chest. Ron rested a hand against the back of Harry’s neck as he used his other to levitate the shears and book off the bed, leaving the area clear. While he had the piece of mind he also cast a timer, knowing that he would soon get caught completely up in Harry.
“Harry? Colour?” Both of them had dropped off talking, the room only filled with the sound of their breathing. Ron didn’t want to disturb the silence any more than he had to.
It took a moment for the question to sink in for Harry, his head felt like it was filled with beautiful treacle. He knew, instinctively, somehow, that this was important so he gathered the strength to reply.
“...green,” Harry managed to respond, clearly struggling to form coherent words.
“Okay, okay, thank you sweetheart. You’re so good, so good for me.” Ron’s hand pressed into the back of Harry’s neck before sweeping down his back, stroking over the bare skin. Goosebumps broke out in his wake and Harry keened, pushing impossibly closer to Ron. Harry felt like he was deep underwater and flying all at once. It was so freeing, to not have to think, to not have to worry. All that mattered was the rope and Ron. The rest of their bedroom floated away with the rest of the world. All that kept him tethered was where he was being touched, anchors in his adrift state. He almost cried with how good he was feeling, but simply didn’t have the energy. Ron’s praise sent him soaring, melted him into a puddle until he was one unending feedback loop of sensation. He was flush all over and a sheen of sweat covered his skin and his breathing was heavy but stable, like they were in a localised climate all of their own. Time fell away. For all he knew he could have spent hours like this, wanted it to be hours spent just like this. Bliss.
Ron continued to murmur endearments into Harry’s hair, his hands slow and sure. It was awe-inspiring, to see Harry like this. So open, so trusting. So trusting of him. There was still that niggling worry at the back of his mind - about the risks of this, about him hurting Harry. But all Ron could really focus on was how beautiful his boyfriend was and how much he loved him. Harry looked divine all tied up and out of his mind. It was intoxicating.
Once he completed several more loops of Harry’s back, Ron diverged and begun to caress the ropes. Starting from the bottom, Ron traced each of the bands circling Harry’s arms, tugging at the knots in turn. Harry groaned at the pressure.
“It’s okay, Harry, it’s all good. You’re so perfect, sweetheart. The best.”
Ron eventually made his way back up Harry’s body, his hands tangling in the messy black hair as he kissed the top of Harry’s head. Ron glanced up at the timer. It felt like their small forever had gone by all too quickly. He used his grip in Harry’s hair to gently pull him away from him.
“Hey, Harry. I’m going to have to untie you soon. Can you come back to me?” Ron murmured, glancing at Harry’s far away eyes.
Ron brushed his hands over and over Harry’s neck, jaw and cheeks, slowly but surely encouraging Harry to look up and regain some focus. Harry leaned into the touch, trying to understand Ron’s words. He focused on the repetitive movements and willed himself to concentrate. Bit by bit he came back to Ron, and their room, and himself.
“Come on, sweetheart, there you go, hi, you coming back now?” Ron pressed a soft kiss to his forehead. “So good for me, Harry, so, so good.”
Eventually Harry was more present, consciously leaning into Ron’s touches and humming in response to his questions. He wasn’t quite verbal yet, still in that dreamy headspace but aware of what was happening. He gave the go ahead for to Ron untie him, if a little reluctantly. Harry would have been happy to stay bound for a long while. Ron set about undoing his work, so careful to check Harry’s circulation and skin. There were faint marks where the rope had been around Harry, but they weren’t deep or bruising. Once he was done he banished the equipment to the chair in the corner, focusing once more on Harry.
Harry was happy to do whatever Ron wanted, giving himself over completely. He slowly sipped the water when presented with the bottle, surprisingly thirsty after not doing much besides sitting there. He was more than happy to be pulled into Ron’s lap to be held and fed grapes one by one, their sweet juice bursting pleasantly on his tongue. The contrasting temperatures of the refreshments made him feel more awake and he was soon almost entirely back to reality. Harry was still high on endorphins, making him all touchy-feely, but he was aware of what was going on. Once finished with the grapes he pressed closer to Ron and snuggled into his favourite position under Ron’s chin.
“Mmmm…” Harry hummed, so content to be here and now.
“How are you feeling, sweetheart?” It seemed to Ron that Harry was feeling quite slap-happy, but still wanted to make sure.
“Gooood,” Harry drew out before bursting into giggles.
“That good, huh?”
“Mmm yeah. So good. Love you.”
“Love you, Harry. So much.” Ron brought Harry even closer to him, squeezing him slightly. “You okay to stay like this for a bit?”
“Mhmm,” Harry murmured into Ron’s neck, letting his eyes fall closed as he relaxed into the embrace.
“Okay, we’ll do that then.”
After sometime Harry came back to reality, still happy but no longer with his head in the clouds. He drew back a bit to face his boyfriend, kissed him on the nose and then asked-
“You okay, Ron?” Ron looked a little shell-shocked, not really focusing on Harry but looking off somewhere into the distance.
“Yeah, Harry. It’s just… a lot, y’know? To see you like that, so vulnerable, so trusting in me. Merlin.”
“You did well too, Ron. I trust you so much, especially to keep me safe and you did. Thank you.” Ron refocused on Harry, giving him a small smile.
“Do you need anything? This isn’t just about me you know. I think some wise, extremely handsome man told me that once.”
“He did, did he?” Ron replied, clearly amused. “Let me hold you for a bit longer.”
“As long as you want.”
Ron soon settled down. Being able to be close to Harry and to breathe together brought him out of his head and calmed him down. After a while, he spoke again.
“Harry, I need to massage your arms.”
Harry rolled his eyes. “Ron, I feel fine, really. You were so careful that the ropes weren’t too tight and to have a timer going. It’s fine.”
Ron bristled a bit at this, his voice firm but not unkind. “Sweetheart, if you trust me to run this thing, you have to let me finish it how I want, okay? I need to know that I didn’t hurt you.”
How could Harry deny his obvious concern? “Okay, Ron. Whatever you need.”
Ron carefully maneuvered Harry off his lap to face away from him. He summoned the massage cream into his hands, uncapping it and warming some of it up between his palms. He begun with Harry’s left arm as it was restrained for longer. Ron worked his way down from the shoulder, applying pressure and rubbing the cream in slowly. He paid careful attention to Harry’s wrist and fingers, delicately massaging the joints. Harry sat there quietly, happy to let Ron look after him. It was sweet, really, despite his previous protests. How concerned Ron was for him and his well-being. Harry knew that, of course. Ron showed him in hundreds of ways every single day. But such a physical, immediate reminder is what he had been craving, deep down. That Ron wasn’t doing things because he felt he had to, that it was expected. That is wasn’t some twisted sense of loyalty that kept him around, which is what Harry convinced himself of on his worst nights. Ron loved Harry, and cared for him, and wanted him to be happy. Even if that meant tying him up sometimes despite his initial hesitation, despite being scared. Especially then. God, Harry loved him.
At that moment Ron finished on Harry’s other arm, wrapping his own around Harry and hugging him from behind.
“You need anything else, Harry? I know we need to have a proper post-scene chat about how it went, but personally I just want to sleep right now.”
“Yeah, me too,” Harry agreed.
Harry climbed under the duvet while Ron pottered around for a bit, tidying the objects he had flung to various parts of the room and putting away their clothes. Shortly he was done, and he climbed in next to Harry, spooning him close.
“Thank you, Ron. This all really means a lot to me.” Harry whispered into the darkness.
Harry rolled over in Ron’s arms, his brow furrowed.
“It’s not about ‘of course’, Ron. That’s what I mean, and what I appreciate. No part of dating me meant that you signed up to tie me up, of all things. But you listened to me when I asked for it. Not only that, you made me feel safe enough to bring it up on the first place. Please don’t just... dismiss that. It’s a big thing for me.”
Ron froze, taking stock of Harry’s words. He then sighed as the tension drained out of his body.
“You’re right, love, I’m sorry. I just… felt a lot of things, today, y’know and I didn’t want it to be a big deal, I guess. Wanted to pretend it was simple and easy instead of scary and new and emotional. And I know that’s not the healthiest response. So I’m sorry for dismissing you, that wasn’t fair.”
“Apology accepted. You’re allowed to feel things, Ron. I promise. I love you.”
“I love you,” Ron kissed Harry’s forehead, breathing a sigh of relief that they weren’t exploring his emotional problems tonight. “Good night, sweet thing.”