Five Years Later
Challenge: 82. "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." The entire Wizarding World is waiting breathlessly to see who Harry will choose as his bride. But he has something a bit different in mind.
Summary: It's five years after the war and no one is married yet, or even in a happy relationship (except Neville...)
Warnings: mentioned Ron/Neville/Hannah, brief Harry/OC, past and problematic Ron/Hermione, past and slightly less problematic Harry/Ginny, mentioned Ginny/Dean and Neville/Hannah, slightly OOC Rita Skeeter
Notes: Thanks so much to triomakesmehot for the beta. Also, this didn't quite go the direction I had originally planned and the nasty nekkid sex scene refused to be written. Honestly. Deepest apologies.
I. The Article
The Great Heroes, Five Years Later
by Rita Skeeter
Much fuss has been made about the great triumphs and changes achieved by the Ministry since the end of the war. However, almost no attention at all has been given to those who ended the war and saved the Wizarding World. After doing some extensive research and personal interviews, I am delighted to bring the personal and professional lives of our greatest heroes into the public eye today.
Neville Longbottom, the pudgy and round-faced son of now-insane, but once-famous Aurors, and the boy who beheaded Voldemort's snake, has calmed down considerably since his tumultuous seventh year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He has spent the last four years traveling extensively and studying with numerous noted herbologists. Despite his young age, many of his mentors have declared him the best new mind in their field. Recently, he has settled back down in England. Several close friends of the man have admitted that this relocation is a result of love. "His girlfriend got sick of the long-distance thing," another Hogwarts alumnus told me. As it turns out, the love of Mr. Longbottom's life is Hannah Abbot, a girl he met at school and fancied from afar for several years before finally catching her attention with his heroic actions during the Battle of Hogwarts. She is short, very round, and rather shrill. It is clear to me, and to many of Mr. Longbottom's closest friends, that Abbot does not return his sweet affections, but is merely milking his fame. I am sure my readers will join me in wishing that their relationship ends quickly, before they marry and this war hero throws his salvageable love life away. If Mr. Longbottom were to slim down and bulk up, he could have his pick of many, much lovelier witches.
Luna Lovegood, whom many had hoped would woo the budding herbologist, has also done a good deal of traveling since the end of the war. She works along side her father, eccentric editor of the Quibbler, doing research on bizarre and rare creatures frequently featured in the questionable magazine. Ms. Lovegood has no love life, no true friends, and no real ambition to leave her father's ridiculous lifestyle behind.
Hermione Granger, avid defender of Ms. Lovegood's right to be as outrageous as possible, returned to Hogwarts after the war to finish her education. She received top marks in all of her N.E.W.T.s and was immediately hired by the Ministry upon graduation. Her last year at Hogwarts was not kind to Ms. Granger. She has always been plain and inexcusably controlling, but now she is downright ugly and tyrannical. She is violently forcing her way up the ranks in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, stepping on toes much smarter and prettier than her own. It is no wonder that her always-rocky relationship with Ron Weasley recently ended, to the great relief of his family and friends. "She never loved him," insists an ex-classmate and current colleague of Mr. Granger. "She only loved bossing him around. He deserves much better. She's not even that good-looking."
Ron Weasley, other than having his heart broken by unworthy trolls, has done rather well for himself since the war. He worked for a while at Weasley's Wizard Wheezes with his still-grieving older brother, George, who lost his twin and business partner in the Battle of Hogwarts. After nearly two years of this dull job, Mr. Weasley applied to become an Auror. Though he had not taken any N.E.W.T.s, he, like several other unqualified war veterans, was welcomed at the Ministry. He has recently finished his training and is on vacation now, preparing to start work as a Junior Auror in the fall. He is tall and handsome, though still quite thin. No doubt this is due to his childhood, when he constantly lived on the brink of starvation, along with his six siblings. His mother, Molly Weasley, a minor hero in the war, clearly did not give her youngest son the skills he would need to survive on his own, whether in the kitchen or in personal affairs. He dated Ms. Granger for nearly five full years before realizing that he was wasting his time with an unattractive, unloving woman. We all wish him better luck with his next relationship, and hope that he finally finds a woman who can cook properly for him.
Mr. Weasley's younger sister, Ginny, was not much of a hero during the war, but her fame as Harry Potter's girlfriend was widespread. She used this celebrity to score herself a spot on the Holyhead Harpies. As a Chaser, she has been more of a hindrance than a help to the once-great all-female Quidditch team. Her personal life is no less muddled. Ms. Weasley's relationship with Mr. Potter has been closely documented over the years, allowing us all to see her great faults. She has grown ugly over the years, both on the inside and on the outside. She and Mr. Potter have been on and off many times, but their last break-up seems like it might be permanent. Recently, she has been seen frequently with her ex-boyfriend and rising artist, Dean Thomas. He is a startlingly attractive young man, who should think carefully about Ms. Weasley's history with Mr. Potter before embarking on a serious relationship with her.
Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, the Chosen One, and the Savior of the Wizarding World, will be celebrating his 23rd birthday this summer. He, of course, has been working as an Auror for the Ministry for the past three years, having undergone his training in an accelerated two-year span. There are frequent rumours about his inevitable rise to leadership within the department. He is a hard worker, despite the drama and tragedy that still surrounds him in his personal life. His relationship with Ms. Weasley never offered much stability or comfort; his best friends, Ms. Granger and Mr. Weasley, were too caught up in their own turbulent relationship to pay him much attention; he had no parental figures to guide him, but rather had to act as a surrogate father to the orphaned son of two casualties of the war. The local magical community asks too much of their favourite hero, and the strain shows on Mr. Potter's prematurely lined face. He has always been a private man, but after his most recent break-up with Ms. Weasley, he has been even more reclusive than usual. For years, he lived with Mr. Weasley, but he has recently moved into his own flat in Muggle London. I hope that, on his own for the first time, he will be able to find true love. It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. We are all waiting breathlessly to see whom Mr. Potter will finally choose as his lucky bride.
II. Best Mates
"What a fucking cow," Ron muttered as he stared at the front page of the Daily Prophet. "Honestly. 'Lived on the brink of starvation.' Please." He tossed the paper into the trash.
"Recycle it," Harry said dully, from where he sat on the sofa, staring up at the ceiling.
Ron rolled his eyes, but moved the newspaper from the bin into the recycling. "You and the bloody environment."
"Yeah," Harry mocked mirthlessly, "who needs it? It's just the earth. No need to keep it clean or anything."
"You're such a Muggle."
"And you're such a tosser."
"Play nice, Harry." Ron sat down next to his friend and glanced up at the ceiling. "What are we looking at?"
"That crack." Harry pointed. "I think it's getting bigger."
Ron eyed the long, jagged line on the ceiling. "Muggle flats are weird."
"Come off it. Why are you so moody today?"
Harry sighed and sat up straighter. "I don't want to get married."
"You're only 22. No need to rush these things."
"You almost got married."
"Yeah. That worked out so well."
"Shut up. You know what I'm saying."
Harry sighed again and repeated, "I don't want to get married."
"Fine." Ron shrugged. "Then you don't have to get married."
Ron frowned and stood up. "How about some butterbeer?"
"No. Look, why don't you just… I'm not… I need a shower."
"I need to take a shower. I'm rank."
"You smell fine to me."
"Ron. Please." Harry looked up at his friend, pleading. "You've been here every… every day since I moved in." He was struggling to keep his voice calm and his hands were shaking as he gestured with them. "I need some privacy. Some alone time. There's a reason why I'm renting my own place now, and you being here all the damn time isn't… I just need… to take a shower."
Ron stared at the floor. "Sorry," he said, eventually. "I didn't realize… I'll just go."
"Wait." Harry stood as Ron turned for the door. "Don't get upset, please. I don't want you to be upset. I just…"
"Need some alone time?" Ron asked in a bored voice.
Harry nodded hopefully. "I have work tomorrow. And I need a shower. It's nothing personal, but I… I need to be by myself, sometimes. We're adults now… this is what adults do."
Ron nodded. "Okay. Sure. See you around." Ignoring Harry's half-hearted protests, he left quickly, slamming the door behind him.
III. Broken Trio
Harry took an extra long gulp of his wine, trying to stave off the awkwardness with alcohol.
"We've, uh, got a lead on the last Death Eater."
Hermione sighed deeply. "You're still looking for them? It's been five years."
Harry narrowed his eyes. "The last Death Eater. When Tom Riddle was in hiding, no one could find him. It could have gone on for half a century. It's only taken us five years to arrest dozens of his followers…"
She did not look impressed. Harry decided to let it go and turned his attention back to his nearly empty plate. He swirled his spoon around in the gravy, wondering if he could Accio the bill so they could leave.
"Shacklebolt said I could help out on that case when I start," Ron said, smiling slightly at Harry from across the table.
Hermione coughed pointedly as she fiddled with her silverware. Ron's smile dropped and he returned to glaring at his lap. He had been doing this during most of the disastrous diner, the first outing the three of them had made together since his and Hermione's violent break-up.
Harry scratched the back of his neck and glanced around, hoping to catch a waiter's eye. After a few seconds, he gave up and finished off his wine. Hermione nudged her full glass towards him and he began sipping it without question.
IV. Gay Bar
Harry stayed at the bar, drinking away his nerves, while dozens of attractive men moved around him and tried to get his attention. He was too unsure of himself to turn around and face the men whose eyes he could feel on his back. This was his first time in a gay bar and he had absolutely no idea what he was doing or what he even wanted.
Harry glanced to his left and smiled weakly at the blond man sitting next to him. "Hello," he managed.
"I'm Sam," the man said, holding out his hand.
Harry shook it. "Harry."
"First time, Harry?"
"Er…" Harry blinked stupidly.
Sam smiled kindly. "You just seem nervous, is all."
Harry shrugged and turned his attention back to his beer. He didn't want to be counseled by a stranger. He wanted to go home.
"How old are you?"
"23," Harry said, but then added, "almost."
"Almost." Sam chuckled and Harry scowled into his beer. "Listen. I only live one block away. Fancy coming over for a bit? We could chat."
Harry turned to face Sam, his face twisted in a drunken glare. "I don't need to chat. I'm fine. I don't need your help."
Sam held up his hands at shoulder level. "Calm down, Harry. We don't need to chat. Fine." He was silent for a moment and Harry was half turned away again when he offered, "How 'bout just a shag?"
Harry grabbed his beer and stood.
"Kidding!" Sam called after him, but it was too late.
V. Neville Longbottom
"I'll go make some tea," Hannah Abbot offered kindly as she stood and left the living room.
Neville uncrossed and recrossed his legs, sighing loudly.
"What's up?" Harry asked quietly.
Neville bit his lip and stared at the carpet. "Hannah and I have been, um, discussing… some things lately."
Harry scratched his nose. "Uh huh."
"Some… unconventional things."
"Do you?" Neville looked up hopefully.
"Uh… no. Not really," Harry admitted.
"Oh." Neville's face fell. "We've been… talking about… possibly… maybe having some sort of… threesome." He muttered the last word as a magnificent blush crept up his cheeks.
Harry's eyes popped as a grin grew across his face. "No! You? Nev… wow." He laughed to himself, trying to imagine Neville having sex with one girl, let alone two.
"I had no idea Hannah was… into that."
Neville flushed, if possible, deeper. "S'not Hannah," he whispered.
"S'not Hannah," he repeated, a bit of confidence mixing with resigned humiliation in his voice. "S'me."
"S'me that's into that."
"Into threesomes?" Harry smiled. "Well, every bloke is."
"No, I mean…" Neville sighed pathetically and looked bravely up at Harry. "We want to have a threesome with a… another bloke."
Harry's brain stopped for a second, but Neville's crushed looked snapped it back into life. "Oh. Oh. I… okay. That's fine, too."
Neville bit his lip again. "Yeah?"
"Yeah. Sure." Harry nodded encouragingly. "Lots of blokes… are into that. I think."
"Are… are you?"
Harry's insides squirmed nauseatingly. "Er…"
"Only, I… we were…" Neville took a deep breath and looked into Harry's eyes. "You're the only bloke I know… the only one I felt wouldn't laugh at me for asking."
"Asking what?" Harry asked in an empty voice.
"Asking… you. To… to be… in it. With us." Neville gestured vaguely around the room.
Harry sighed and tore his eyes off Neville's painfully hopefully face. "I would never laugh at you, Nev. There are… there are plenty of other blokes who wouldn't laugh." He scratched his eyebrow and tried not to notice Neville's embarrassed twitching. "I'm not," he tried, but nothing else came. "I just can't," he finally said. "Not… not right now."
Neville's brow furrowed. "Not right now?"
Harry ran his hand over his mouth. "I… you're a good looking bloke, mate. Hannah's a cute girl. I'm flattered, floored, really, to be asked. I'm just… emotionally, that's not really something I can handle right now." He stared avidly at his thumbnail as he spoke, feeling very awkward about his level of honesty, but knowing that Neville deserved a proper explanation.
"Is everything all right?" Neville asked, predictably forgetting his own problems and embarrassment to focus on Harry's admission.
"Fine," Harry lied pointlessly. "Everything's… you know… I'm just sort of transitioning right now. I guess. New… new things. New beginnings. New chapter. Something like that." He smiled hopefully and Neville grinned.
"You know I'm here for you, right?"
Harry nodded. "I know. Always have been, Nev."
Neville clapped a hand on Harry's shoulder as he stood. "I'm just going to check on the tea."
VI. Best Mates
"So I went over to Neville's for lunch the other day," Ron said in a tone that blatantly failed at being casual.
"Uh… how was that?" Harry asked cautiously, draping an arm over his eyes to shield them from the sun.
"Hannah's nice," Ron said after a long silence. "A lot nicer than Skeeter makes her out."
"We knew that," Harry reminded him. "She's always been sweet."
Harry grunted as he turned onto his stomach. They were lying on the grass in the backyard of the small house outside London they had lived in together until recently.
"They're kind of…"
"What?" Harry asked a moment later.
"Neville asked me to… be in a threesome with them."
Harry buried his face in his elbows. Ron sounded distinctly uncomfortable and Harry couldn't decide why he had even brought this up in the first place.
"Really?" he asked, trying to sound innocently curious and surprised.
Harry could hear Ron shifting beside him. He turned his head to look at Ron, whose face currently resembled a tomato. "If it makes you feel any less awkward, he asked me, too."
Ron looked torn between relief and anguish. "Yeah? You said no, I take it."
Shrugging, Harry hid his face again. "Yeah, well… you know…"
A few minutes of silence passed between them, broken only by the occasional bird chirping in a near-by tree.
"Well?" Harry finally asked, unsure if he could stand another second of the terrible tension.
"Is there an ending to this story?" Harry asked as he turned onto his back again.
"Um… I… dunno…"
Harry rolled his eyes, sick of the vagueness of the conversation. He really did not want to hear Ron go into a homophobic rant, but he had a feeling that it was coming, and he wanted to get it over with sooner rather than later.
"You don't know?" he demanded.
"I… I told him I'd… think about it…" Ron muttered, staring down at his stomach with an oddly devastated expression.
Harry's mind reeled. Ron was thinking about it. It. Sex with another man. Ron was seriously considering a threesome with Neville and Hannah. He heard Ron gulp and wondered if Ron could hear his heart thudding wildly in his chest. He took a deep breath, trying to calm himself enough to give a response.
"Good?" Ron choked out.
"Yeah. You know." Harry floundered. "Good… for you. For… experimenting. Or… yeah. You know. Good. Good for you. Good for Neville."
Ron breathed a heavy sigh of relief. "Yeah. Good."
Harry ran his hands over his face. "Mhm."
"Do… do you think Hermione would ever find out?"
Startled at the question, Harry lowered his hands and turned to look at Ron. "Hermione?"
"I… I dunno. Why would she?"
"She and Hannah are friends, aren't they?"
"Are they?" Harry shrugged. "Friendly, maybe. 'Friends' might be pushing it. I'm sure they wouldn't tell her if you asked them not to."
Ron nodded. "Yeah. Probably."
"How are things with her, anyway?"
Ron whined low in his throat. "Oh, just lovely. Really grand."
"Still not talking to you, then."
"No. Hell hath no fury like a dumped fiancée."
"Well," Harry said cautiously, "you did break up with her the day after you proposed."
"I thought you were on my side," Ron scowled.
"I'm not taking sides. You were right to dump her. Too many problems. Too many fights. Not enough love. Perfectly reasonable."
"But?" Ron demanded.
"But… she has a right to be upset. She got broken up with. The day after she had been proposed to. She'd already told her parents and everything."
"Her fault," Ron mumbled bitterly.
Harry sighed and sat up. "Look, let's not get into this again, okay? It's over. Nothing left to do but move on."
Ron sat up, too. "Fancy eating out tonight?"
"Sure," Harry grumbled as he got to his feet and headed toward the house for a shower.
VII. Broken Trio
"Oh, fuck." Ron paled and tried to sink into his seat. "Why me?"
"What?" Harry turned around and saw Hermione resolutely not looking over at his and Ron's table as she was seated on the other side of the restaurant with Hannah. "Oh. I guess they are friends."
"What if Hannah tells her?" Ron squeaked.
"She won't," Harry assured him. Ron seemed slightly assuaged even though he knew Harry's words were not guaranteed. "Let's get some more firewhisky, yeah?"
Ron nodded weakly as Harry motioned for the waiter. When four more shot glasses arrived, Ron downed one instantly.
"Fuck," he coughed, pressing a hand to his burning throat.
"Ron," Harry said bracingly. "It's not exactly a crisis situation, here. Just calm–"
"Calm down?" Ron whispered angrily. "You calm down! My ex-fiancee is sitting feet away with the woman I've just agreed to have a threesome with!"
Harry cocked his head to the side. "You agreed? I thought you told them you were thinking about it."
Ron sat up straighter and ran his finger around the brim of his empty shot glass. "I… I did. I'm thinking about it."
Harry couldn't help but smile. "And you've decided to do it?"
Ron's blush confirmed Harry's question, but Ron shook his head. "Could we not, here, Harry, please? They're right fucking there." He reached for another shot, but Harry grabbed his wrist.
"You need to slow down."
Nodding, Ron pulled his hand out of Harry's grip and put it in his lap instead. He watched idly as Harry drank a shot and shuddered.
"It's vile," Harry rasped. "Why do we do it?"
"Because it feels fucking amazing," Ron muttered miserably.
Harry eyed Ron carefully before sliding another shot glass across the table. "Come on. Drink that and we can leave."
"What about yours?"
"I don't want it. I'll leave it."
"But we paid–"
"It's fine, Ron. Really. I'm already drunk from the first round of shots."
"Lightweight," Ron teased before drinking his second shot. "Blech."
"Exactly." Harry motioned for the waiter again, and he came quickly over to their table.
"Anything else I can get for you gentlemen tonight?" he asked, grinning.
"Just the bill, thanks," Harry said.
"Of course." The waiter walked away, but returned almost instantly. "I hope you enjoyed your date." He winked at Harry and added, "Come again," before leaving.
Harry stared, open-mouthed, at their waiter's retreating back.
Ron reached for the last shot and downed it quickly, wincing through the disgusting burn.
VIII. Gay Bar
Harry was drunkenly pressed up against another man in the loo, his hands fumbling with sharp hipbones and hard chest muscles.
"You want – to come back – to my place?" the man panted as Harry sucked on his neck and ground their erections together.
"No," Harry whined, grabbing the man by his shirt and switching their positions so that Harry was trapped against the wall. "Why can't we just stay here?" he asked as he ran his hands under the man's shirt, tracing the defined abdominal muscles he found there.
The man laughed. "You want to shag in the loo?"
Harry's face darkened and he pulled his hands away. "Why do we have to shag?"
The man's smile wavered slightly. "Okay. We don't have to shag."
"I don't want to shag."
"Okay. We don't have to."
Harry nodded and let the man lead him out of the loo. He ordered them two shots of vodka, which they drank quickly, before asking Harry if he wanted to take a taxi or the Underground. Harry offered to pay for a taxi, so they left the bar together and hailed a car.
The ride was quiet and Harry hoped that the alcohol would calm his anxiety before they reached it. By the time the man was unlocking the door to his flat, however, Harry's hands were shaking. He put them in his pockets, hoping the man wouldn't notice his very obvious nerves.
"What's your name?" he blurted out once they were inside the small and very tidy flat.
The man looked Harry over once before answering, "Alan." Harry took the pause to mean that the man had lied about his name. "What's yours?"
"Ron," Harry said, startling himself a bit, as he had meant to say Neville.
The man eyed Harry again, then smiled. "What's it really?"
"I'm Roger." He offered his hand.
"Harry," Harry said, blushing, as they shook.
Roger raised a bemused eyebrow. "Harry?"
Roger nodded. "Who are Ron and Neville?"
Harry frowned. "I'm 23 this month."
Shrugging, Roger moved forward and put a hand on Harry's arm. "You're a virgin."
Harry opened his mouth to say something, but nothing came out. Roger smiled.
"I don't want a shag."
"So you've said. Any other rules?" He pulled Harry's still-shaking hands out of their pockets and held them loosely. "We'll only do what you're comfortable with."
"I'm not looking for a relationship," Harry blurted out drunkenly.
Roger laughed. "Neither am I."
"Do you need more liquor?"
"That would help, yeah."
"Can you still get it up?"
Harry nodded, blushing. Roger laughed again and kissed Harry briefly before going to his freezer for the vodka.
IX. Neville Longbottom
"This is really great," Harry said as Neville guided him through the greenhouse in the backyard. "There's… Merlin. There's so many." He felt slightly overwhelmed by green.
"Yeah." Neville grinned proudly. "Hannah thinks it's a bit much, but…"
"It's great," Harry repeated.
"Thanks." Neville moved over to a snoring plant and ran a finger tenderly along its spotted stem. "I heard you, uh… ran into Ginny the other day."
Harry sighed and looked up at the sun shining through the clear ceiling. "Yeah."
"How'd that go?"
"About as good as it could have gone. She was with Dean."
Neville nodded and pretended to busy himself with another snoring plant. "They're actually back together, then?"
Neville glanced over his shoulder. "You okay with that?"
Harry shrugged. "Yeah, I guess. She's allowed to be with whomever she wants. Dean's a good guy. I think… he makes her happy."
"Do you miss her?"
Harry walked along a row of plants, looking blindly at the magnificent flowers Neville was growing. "I miss being friends with her," he said finally. "She's wonderful… but I'm not in love with her."
A plant snapped violently at his shoulder and he jumped out of the way.
"Sorry!" Neville cried, rushing over to bat at the flailing tentacles. "That one's a bit rowdy."
"No worries." Harry backed away slowly from the growling plant. "Any more I should look out for?"
"Um. Best just to stay away from this whole half." Neville waved a hand and Harry retreated towards the door.
"Plants are scary, Nev."
Neville smirked and walked back out into the yard with Harry. "There are scarier things."
"True… and on a very unrelated note… have you and – and Hannah… and Ron…" Harry's words trailed off as he saw Neville turn away to hide a grin and a fierce blush. "I take it that's a yes?" he asked, unsure how to feel about the wad of jealousy sinking in his stomach.
"Yeah? Good for you guys." He hoped he sounded convincingly pleased. Neville was too embarrassed to notice anything off with his companion.
"Yeah, thanks. It was."
"Was what?" Harry asked stupidly.
"Yeah. He, uh… he – he fucked me while I l-licked, er, ate – ate out Hannah."
Harry's mind was flooded with graphic images of the threesome. His crotch gave a familiar, needy, interested throb and he cleared his throat.
"Wow, Nev. That's… that's brilliant. For you guys. Really."
Neville glanced sideways at Harry. "Thanks."
They stood in silence for a few moments, watching the sun set behind Neville and Hannah's house.
"Are you three going to do it again?" Harry asked despite his best efforts not to.
"Dunno. Didn't talk about it. It's a possibility, I guess… but I wouldn't want it to turn into a thing, you know? I'm with Hannah. And I love her."
"Right." Harry nodded, trying desperately not to think about Ron shagging other men.
"Why? You – you still interested?" Neville asked.
"What? Oh. Um. No. I mean. Fuck." He ran his fingers nervously along his hairline.
"What's up?" Neville asked, frowning.
"I don't know," Harry muttered. "I think…" he sighed shakily. "I think I might… have some… uh, feelings… f-for Ron."
Neville's jaw dropped open. "Oh! That's… oh! You should tell him!"
Harry scoffed. "Oh, sure. That'd go over well."
"But… but it would! He fancies blokes, too. He shagged me!"
"Right." Harry shook his head to clear this mental image. "But we're… we're best friends. It doesn't matter that we both… both fancy blokes. I can't… I can't lose him. I can't risk that."
"Harry. You need to tell him."
"You don't know what you're talking about."
"Harry." Neville spoke steadily, trying to get Harry to focus on him. "Harry. You need to tell him."
Harry looked into Neville's eyes and froze. "Yeah?"
X. Best Mates
Ron was looking suspiciously around Harry's flat. "What did you do?"
"Hm?" Harry asked distractedly from where he stood at the kitchen counter, pouring double shots of firewhisky.
"What did you do to your flat? It looks different."
Harry laughed as he handed Ron the glass. "I cleaned it."
"Oh." Ron glanced around again. "Right. Well, cheers to cleanliness." He knocked his glass against Harry's and held his nose as he downed the shot.
Harry drank his own firewhisky quickly, then reached for the glass of soda he had left on the counter. He took a long gulp before passing it to Ron, who drank it gratefully.
"We should stop drinking," Harry said with almost no conviction.
"It just never gets any better," Ron said, rolling his tongue around on his teeth in an attempt to clear his mouth of the taste of firewhisky. "Ready for the next?"
"Uh, no." Harry chuckled nervously. "How about some butterbeer first?"
"Brilliant. I'll turn on the wireless."
Harry pulled two bottles from a cupboard and joined Ron on the sofa. They listened to some Ministry news updates for a few minutes, fiddled around with the dials in an attempt to find something more interesting, and finally gave up and turned the wireless back off.
"How'd… how'd things go with Hannah and Neville?" Harry asked, clutching his butterbeer with white knuckles.
Ron peered into his bottle contemplatively. "Good," he said slowly. "Really good."
"Yeah? Do you – are you going to do it again?"
Shrugging, Ron took a sip of his drink. "Dunno. They didn't ask… I don't want to assume. If it comes up again…" he shrugged again.
Harry nodded to himself and finished off his butterbeer with a few hearty gulps. "Ready for more firewhisky?"
"Sure." Ron put his half-empty bottle on the floor and followed Harry to the kitchen counter. "You all right, mate?"
"Yeah, why?" Harry asked as he started pouring two more double shots.
"You usually don't drink this much."
Harry shrugged and poured another cup of soda. "I'm fine." He passed a glass to Ron and they drank the firewhisky together. Harry's hand reached the soda first and he gave it to Ron when he was done. He watched Ron drink it with closed eyes and a drunkenly flushed face.
Ron finished off the soda and Harry reached out to take the glass, putting it blindly on the counter as he pressed their lips together. Startled, Ron stepped back, but Harry grabbed his hips and moved with him. He could taste soda on Ron's lips, could smell firewhisky on Ron's breath.
"Don't. Please." He tried again, licking his lips before kissing Ron for a second time. Ron stood there stupidly, his arms hanging limply at his sides.
"Please don't," Harry whispered against Ron's lips.
"Don't what?" Ron asked, lifting one hand and brushing the fringe off Harry's forehead.
"Don't tell me you don't want this," Harry breathed.
Ron kissed Harry with such force that Harry stumbled backwards, hitting the kitchen counter. They wrestled slightly with each other, hands fighting for skin, tongues battling for dominance, lips striving for conquest. Harry dug his fingers into Ron's hair, holding the other man's head in place as they tried to devour each other. Ron gripped Harry's hips with a bruising tightness.
"Fuck," Ron gasped, pulling away from Harry's mouth and thrusting his tongue into Harry's ear. Harry's breath caught in his throat as he squirmed in Ron's broad hands. "So good," he murmured into Harry's hair.
Ron nodded as he dragged his lips down to Harry's neck. Harry looped his arms around Ron's waist, pulling him closer and pressing their groins together. Ron groaned heavily as their erections slid against each other, and Harry shuddered at the warm breath ghosting across his skin.
"Of course I want this," Ron said suddenly, lifting his head to look into Harry's green eyes.
Harry pushed Ron sideways until he slammed into the wall. They kissed bruisingly, fingers pulling at clothes, tongues curling and pushing and caressing.
"Fuck, I–" Ron tried to pull away, but Harry kissed him again. "I need–" And again. "Harry." He grabbed Harry's shoulder and pushed the other man away. "I'm drunk."
Harry blinked. "Wha?"
"I have to use the loo."
"Oh. Right." He pulled his hands out from under Ron's shirt and stepped aside.
When Ron came back, Harry was standing by the window, watching the rapidly darkening sky. Ron moved up behind him and kissed his neck.
"Did you… what did you do with Neville?" Harry asked in a whisper.
Ron froze, his hands halfway raised to Harry's hips. "I – um…"
"You buggered him," Harry offered.
Harry glanced over his shoulder as Ron's hands landed lightly on the outside of his thighs. "What else?"
Ron shrugged and dragged his fingertips over Harry's trousers, inching higher. "Nothing else. Snogging, a bit."
Ron nodded and Harry turned back around, sitting lightly on the windowsill. Ron stepped closer and leaned down to kiss Harry again.
"Have you ever…"
Harry leaned up to lick Ron's Adam's apple. "Just blowjobs." He reached out and grabbed the front of Ron's shirt. "Come on," he said as he stood, dragging Ron into his bedroom.
There, he pushed Ron up against the dresser and kissed him hungrily. Ron immediately reached for Harry's waist and started unbuttoning his jeans. They fumbled drunkenly with each other's clothes until, finally, only their pants were left. Harry hooked his fingers inside the elastic band of Ron's and looked up.
"Are you a… er…"
Ron stared hazily at Harry. "Am I a what?"
"Top? I mean, I know you… I know you were with Neville, but… I didn't know if that was your, er, preference?"
Ron blushed and answered by getting to his knees, pulling Harry's briefs with him. Harry watched as Ron licked experimentally around the head of his erection. He marveled at the sensation and at the situation, trying to recall exactly how he had suddenly ended up naked with his best mate's glorious mouth around his cock.
When Ron ducked his head down to tongue Harry's balls, Harry hissed and pulled Ron back up by the hair. "Are you a top?" he asked again.
Ron shook his head and Harry released his hair, grinning.
Harry Potter's Secret Affair
by Rita Skeeter
A few months ago, this publication ran my piece about the six famous heroes of the war and what they have been doing in the five years since leading us all to victory. I wrote that Harry Potter had broken up with Ginny Weasley and must be in search of a wife.
Much to the surprise of the entire wizarding community, Mr. Potter chose his ex-girlfriend's brother, Ron Weasley, instead. Since my previous article, Mr. Potter has celebrated his 23rd birthday, Mr. Weasley has started working for the Auror Department at the Ministry of Magic, and the pair has moved into a large flat in a wizarding neighborhood of London. When the Daily Prophet asked for a comment, Mr. Weasley simply said, "Harry and I are allowed to do whatever we want in the privacy of our own home. Please respect that. But, yes, we are dating."
Hermione Granger, Mr. Weasley's ex-girlfriend, and Ms. Weasley were both unavailable for comment. Rumour has it that they, along with Luna Lovegood, are on holiday in America.
While there have been several famous homosexual wizards (Albus Dumbledore, to name the most recent), there have never been famous homosexual couples. Perhaps the shocking news that two of the war's biggest heroes are gay and in love will change things in the usually conservative wizarding community. As for me, I always knew that there was an extra special friendship between the two men, and I wish them the best of luck.