It was an incredible party, truth be told. Ron hadn’t felt this buzzed since the mother of all parties they’d had after the fall of Voldemort four years ago. He and Harry had been the guests of honour at the party, to celebrate their qualification as full-time Aurors at the Ministry.
After Voldemort’s fall, Harry had been swamped by the enormous increase to his fame and the responsibilities that had been thrust upon him, from tracking down the fleeing remainder of the Death Eaters, the arrests and prosecutions of sympathisers to Voldemort’s regime including Umbridge, the comforting of victims, the commemoration of the Battle of Hogwarts (and the whole ribbon-cutting ceremony to that blasted monument), the lobbying to include Snape as a legitimate Headmaster of Hogwarts, and endless other obligations. Ron had helped Hermione track down her parents in Australia (which had been a right mess all on its own before her parents had, mercifully, stopped freaking out over their loss of memory), after which he’d done his best to help his family settle back down to normalcy and support Harry where he could. Harry and he had only now had the time to complete the required certification to be full-blown Aurors, even though they’d been for all intents and purposes more than qualified. The Ministry had insisted they do the tests, however, so that they wouldn’t been seen to be ‘playing favourites’. Merlin, Ron hated politics.
He, Hermione, Neville, Luna and others had gained some fame of their own, a reflection of Harry’s fame, which unnerved and consternated them. Ron felt he understood Harry much better now.
Now they’d all been letting off steam at the Burrow, and the party had run its full course for many wonderful hours until the crack of dawn. Tired, drunk and happy, people had finally been packing up and leaving.
The number of people slowly dwindled until it was only the Weasleys still living at the Burrow, Harry and Hermione left.
Ron held Harry in a farewell hug as Harry was going to return to Grimmauld Place.
“Don’t Splinch yourself,” he said as he clapped his best friend on the back.
Harry laughed. “Hey, at least I didn’t try to Apparate on top of Proudfoot!” he said, referring to the incident in their training period when they’d been assessed for their duelling skills and where Ron had inadvertently Apparated on top of Auror Proudfoot as they dodged his spells.
Ron laughed in return and punched Harry lightly on the shoulder. Harry turned to Hermione.
Smiling at the boys’ antics, Hermione came forward to give Harry a hug of her own. Ron noted the deep level of affection Hermione had in her eyes and the way she came into physical contact with Harry. In turn, he saw how Harry held her to his body as they bade each other goodbye.
There was something between Harry and Hermione, and Ron had an (as he’d concluded after thinking about it afterward) odd but surprising reaction to it.
He liked what he saw.
A few minutes later, he joined Hermione in their bed. He breathed in her scent as he laid his hands on her. Slowly he began to fondle her as he leaned in to kiss her on her neck.
“Please, Ron,” Hermione whispered. “I’m tired.”
“I’m horny,” he replied.
Hermione gave a snort of laughter. “No, really, Ron.” The two gazed at each other.
“You looked so beautiful,” he told her. “Tonight. At the party.”
She sighed. “It’s dawn, Ron. Be quick.”
Ron shifted between her legs as they moved about on the bed. He guided his hard cock to her entrance and quickly slid in. They moved together in a dance that by now was comfortably familiar after several years together. When they’d first been together, their sex had been wild, ardent, exploring together.
Now they’d become used to one another.
Hermione simply lay as Ron moved inside her; her eyes were closed and her face had shifted to one side, making her look like she was asleep. Ron thrust into her again and again, seeking release from his burning need. He started panting as the seconds ticked by.
Unbidden, an image of Harry and Hermione in a passionate embrace appeared in Ron’s mind. His cock swelled up, the intense feeling of orgasm rushed up through him, and he cried out as he thrust hard into her as he released his seed.
Panting hard, he rolled off her, spent. Hermione had a faint indulgent smile as she shifted on her side, slipping off into sleep.
For a while images played around in Ron’s mind: of how he’d enjoyed that, the idea of Hermione and Harry being more than friends; the time when the locket Horcrux had played on and twisted his feelings on the subject, which he hadn’t understood at the time; the level of ease and comfort he had always had of Harry spending time around Hermione, of the time Harry and Hermione had spent in that tent while he’d stalked off to home like the fool he’d been.
He'd obsessed over the thought of Harry and Hermione secretly shagging behind his back, especially after he’d abandoned them there in the tent, his perspective warped by the locket. When he’d Apparated away and realised the mistake he’d made, he’d been sure that he’d royally messed up and that he’d made his fear a reality. As the days and weeks went by, he’d struggled to make sense of what he’d felt. Jealous of Harry being more than friends with Hermione?
Now Ron understood that, deep down, he enjoyed the idea. His younger self, with no experience to fall back on, hadn’t understood what to make sense of the visceral reaction he had. The locket, being Dark magic of the worst kind, had twisted what had already, probably had always, been there in his heart. Twisted and subverted into something ugly, a means to drive a wedge between him and the people he cared for the most.
Ron was now mature enough - Hermione’d be highly amused at the thought of him being mature - to understand that he could forgive himself for his mistakes, that the locket was probably equally as much or more to blame for the fiasco, and it was never too late to acknowledge what lay in his heart.
Ron nodded quietly to himself as the seeds of an idea began to form inside his mind.
5 months later
Ron had continued to entertain the idea he’d cooked up. The more he thought about it, the more firm he’d become in seeing whether he could make it happen. As Harry had gone on one of his breaks with Ginny – again – he’d been brooding far more often lately than Ron’d liked.
Ron had organised outings and events where the three of them got together, and quite purposefully, found convenient times to disappear for a while to give Harry and Hermione some alone time. After those times, Harry had always seemed happier. Ron had watched both him and Hermione carefully, and concluded that there was definitely a bit of chemistry between the two that couldn’t be put down as merely platonic affection. After such outings, Hermione had been more agreeable to Ron’s sexual advances and Ron enjoyed every second of it.
As they’d become so familiar with each other sexually over the years, their sex life had become somewhat routine; Ron felt that Harry’s influence on Hermione, however subtle, was a positive effect.
Over the past few weeks, they had seen little of Harry as Harry had been swamped with his myriad responsibilities and had had little spare time to spend with them. Commensurately, Ron had found that his frisky times with Hermione had fallen back into the old pattern of bored familiarity.
He decided it was time to broach the subject and the scheme he had thought up. He found Hermione reading in their bedroom one evening after he had finished work.
“Hey love,” he said.
Hermione looked up at his voice, before returning her attention to her book. “Welcome home, love. How was work?”
“Oh, same old, same old.” Ron shrugged off the question. “I’ve been thinking.”
“Ron Weasley? Thinking?” Hermione pretended to gasp. Her playful wink told him she was joking.
He smirked. “I’m full of surprises, I know.” He rallied after the slight derailment of the conversation.
“I’ve been thinking,” he repeated, “about, you know, us.”
Hermione gazed at him.
“What do you think of us? When we have sex, I mean.”
Hermione’s eyes rose in surprise at Ron’s question. She pursed her lips as she thought.
“I haven’t noticed anything different.”
“No? Don’t you think we’ve become … bored?”
“Bored?” Hermione frowned. She looked cute when she did that, Ron thought.
“I suppose … now that you mention it, maybe? Not all the time,” she added quickly. Ron smiled to show he wasn’t offended.
“Hermione, love, remember when we first got together? You talked about how important it was that we communicate clearly with each other.”
“Well, I’ve felt that our sex life could use a little spicing up.”
“Hmm. I wouldn’t quite say that I agree, but if you want to say that we could use … a little ‘spicing up’. What are you thinking of?” Hermione asked, her gaze keenly focused on him.
Ron took one of Hermione’s hands and held it in his own.
“Hermione, you know that I love you.”
“And I love you very much, Ron. Now what are you beating about the bush for?”
Ron had to smirk inwards at Hermione’s impatient sharp mind.
“Good. Knowing that we love each other, what do you think of Harry?”
Hermione blinked. “I’m not sure what you mean.”
“I know you like him.”
The book fell out of Hermione’s other hand as she looked at him in shock. “W-what?”
Ron grinned. “I’ve seen how you look at him, you know.”
“But – but that’s not –“
Ron’s slow grin turned into full-blown laughter, drowning out Hermione’s weak protestations. “Now you’re blushing,” he teased.
“I’m not!” Hermione denied even as her cheeks burned.
Ron continued to chuckle even as he picked up the dropped book and set it aside on the bed. He took both of Hermione’s hands back in his own.
“Hermione, love, I know you have feelings for Harry, and I’m fine with it. Blimey, if I wasn’t a bloke myself I’d go for him!”
Hermione had no idea what to say, so surprised was she at this unexpected turn of events. She settled for clasping Ron’s hands as she floundered within herself, before she decided to hear more of this … unanticipated … proposal of his.
“We’ve all been together through so much … it’d be weird if there were NO feelings involved, I reckon. That stupid locket turned me into a git … and I know Harry shares those feelings for you, too.”
“Who are you and what have you done with Ron Weasley?” Hermione had found her voice at last.
Ron shrugged. “I grew up.
“To be a pervert,” he added, leering suggestively at her.
Hermione burst into laughter and smacked him on the arm. “Prat! But seriously?”
“So, what do you think?”
“I don’t know …” Hermione hesitated. She gazed into his eyes and saw that he was serious about this idea. She licked her lips.
“What does Harry think? Does he know?” she said at last.
“Let me talk to him. I know he’s been feeling a little down since he and Ginny went on another of their ‘breaks’ …”
“Oh, honestly?” Hermione huffed her mild exasperation at this news. Ginny and Harry had always been a passionate couple, but they’d gained some notoriety in the family for their constant breaking up and joining back together again.
“All right, talk to him,” she concurred. Ron did not miss the way Hermione bit at her lip. Merlin, that tiny action, the way she’d squeezed his hands as she agreed, and the whole situation of this talk was making him hard. He returned to the present as he heard Hermione keep talking. “If he agrees, well, maybe we could think up something.”
“That we’ll do,” Ron beamed. He leaned down to capture her lips in a loving kiss.