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LEPIDOPTERA BEATITAS

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“Jumping skrewt balls, Ron!”

Ron's eyes go wide as he lunges across his bedroom to slam the door. “Yell louder, why dontcha!”

“She's gonna kill you, mate,” Harry replies. “Not exactly the most thoughtful Christmas present.”

“Really? You think?” Ron runs a hand through his tangle of red hair. “If I'd've known you'd be this much help, I'd've firecalled George or Fred instead.” He gestures to the object on his bed. “So what do you think we should do?”

We?! Why is this my problem now?” Harry approaches the object, leaning in for a better look.

Ron blows out a huge breath, waving both arms. “Sorry. I thought you were my best mate or something daft like that.” He folds his arms and commences to pace back and forth. “She's gonna kill me.”

“I think we've already established that.” Harry reaches out toward the silken shape with a tentative finger. “Eeeew. It's warm. And sticky.”

The oblong cocoon pulsates, rolling over slowly on Ron's Chudley Cannons bedspread.

“That's just not right,” Harry comments. “Tell me again how this happened?”

Ron rolls his eyes, looking away to stare out the window. “I'm totally pants at Transfiguration anyway, and because of Quidditch Practice, I sorta fell behind with the coursework.”

“Don't forget all the time you wasted horning about with Lavender.” Harry waves his wand, levitating the reddish-brown cocoon and slowly revolving it in mid-air.

“She slipped me some of the Twins' super love potion! It wasn't my fault!”

“I know, Won-Won,” Harry replies around a snigger. “You couldn't help yourself.”

Ron steps up and punches his best mate in the shoulder.

“Hey!” Harry yelps as the cocoon spins out of control.

“You knew that I was charmed and did nothing about it! You let me snog her silly for nearly a month!”

“Serves you right,” Harry splutters, ducking down as the cocoon sails by and nearly collides with Ron's head. “You let all that 'Weasley is Our King' stuff go to your head.”

“Some friend you are.” Ron makes to grab for the flying cocoon but misses. “Mind slowing this thing down, yeah? I don't want it to crash and explode or something.”

Harry regains control of the cocoon with a flick of his wand. “It's because I'm your best mate that I let things take their course with Lavender. Remember start of term and how you went on and on about 'not being sure' and all that?”

Ron pulls a face, picking absently at the neck of his tank top. “Well, yeah, but it's perfectly natural for a bloke to ponder things, innit?”

“Ron, there's useful introspection and then there's you and your hand-wringing.”

“It's a big step! Not everyone decides they're queer when they're nine!”

Harry nods, gesturing dismissively with his free hand. “Trust me, Ron. You're queer.” He stops the cocoon from its slow twirling to examine it more closely.

“There's that 'Chosen One' stuff going to your head.”

“Dumbledore's been on my arse to get that bloody memory from Slughorn. Remember?”

“Yeah.”

Harry turns to face Ron, both eyebrows high. “At all costs, Ron. He ordered me to get the memory by any means necessary.” He paused for emphasis, arching one eyebrow still higher. “ANY means.”

Ron pales. “Bleah. That's nasty, mate.”

Harry snorts. “Tell me about it.”

The cocoon undulates once more, a soft, moist and slightly disturbing scritch scritch emanating from its interior.

Both boys exchange perplexed stares.

“How long has it been like this?”

“About an hour. You should have seen it as a larva. Gross.”

Harry unsuccessfully stifles another snigger. “And this is your extra-credit spellwork for McGonnagal?”

“Yeah. Must've screwed something up.”

“Really? You think?”

“You skinny bastard!” Ron folds his arms across his chest. “Oh, now I get it. This is all about Cormac, innit?”

“Well, you're the one who can't take their eyes off him in the showers.”

“What? And you don't stare at him, I suppose? Harry, I've seen you! If I recall, you're the one who said something about his peel and eat arse!”

“He's a fit bloke. Nice to look at, yeah. But I've never srpung a stiffy over him, repeatedly, like someone who shall remain nameless.” Harry glances pointedly at the sizable bulge in Ron's sleep pants.

“It's a normal reaction,” Ron splutters, blushing. He shakes his head, waving both hands as if warding off a horde of spiders. “Bugger McClaggan! We've got this to take care of before Hermione and Ginny come back from London.”

“Well, Remus and Tonks will be here later as well; perhaps they might be of some help,” Harry smirks, trailing his fingers across Ron's stomach. “And don't get me wrong...I love it when you're aroused, although I generally prefer that I'm the object of said condition.”

“Sometimes I really think you should've been in Slytherin,” Ron replies, stepping round and behind Harry to wrap his arms around Harry's waist. “Help me figure this out, and I'll definitely make it worth your while.” He nibbles and licks Harry's earlobe as his left hand slinks down inside the front of Harry's denims.

Harry presses his backside against Ron. “Svassssh mlasssh solasss.”

“Bloody hell, I love it when you go all Parseltongue,” Ron breathes. “More, Harry. More!”

Harry indicates the now quiescent cocoon. “First things first...how long was it in what, the larval stage?”

“About two hours,” Ron replies, before returning to his suckling at the base of Harry's neck.

“And he's been like this for just over an hour, yeah?”

“Mmmmmmph.”

“Brilliant.” Harry flicks his wand, sending the cocoon to rest on an impressive pile of Ron's dirty clothes. “Nothing to do but wait, I should think.” He turns around, hooking his fingers under the hem of Ron's shirt and lifting it up. “Couldn't you have used a gnome for your experiment instead?”

Ron tosses his tank top away, not noticing that it lands directly atop the cocoon. “They're too bloody hard to catch, especially in winter.” He slides his hands up and under Harry's jumper, jerking his head toward the cocoon's corner of the room. “He was easier.”

Harry shrugs out of his jumper, his glasses askew. “I'm sure Hermione will completely understand.”

"Uh, I'd rather she didn't find out at all.” Ron bends down, leaving a trail of hungry kisses along Harry's collarbone.

“Uh-huh,” Harry breathes as Ron licks a trail down the centre of his belly. “Mmmmm, yeah, best to let things develop...”

“Yeah,” Ron murmurs as he fumbles with the snap of Harry's denims.

“...and see what we've got once Crookshanks pupates.”

 

~~~ fin ~~~