Title: Harry's Best Man, part 1/2
Rating: Adult (R, poss. NC-17 traditionally)
Challenge: Harry gives up the wizarding world and Ron goes to find him.
Notes: I was watching way too many off-the-wall movies when I wrote this, and I know there is at least one Flying Circus quote burried in here. This began as a serious fic until Harry and Ron decided to completely misbehave! Now I can go read the other challenge fics, yippie!
The wedding of Ginny Weasley and Harry Potter was to be a grand, healing event after Voldemort's defeat. It was to be a spot of brightness in the dreary lives of wizards and witches everywhere who had suffered through the horrors of war. The love of Ginny and Harry was a wonderful example of how life could go on. The media had latched onto their impending union with the fierceness of starving dogs after a juicy steak. The Daily Prophet ran stories on Ginny’s robes. On Ginny’s hair. On Harry’s Hair. On Harry’s complexion. On Ginny’s waistline. On the wedding party itself, until the journalist responsible for an article on the horrors of Hermione’s hair unexpectedly became a rhinoceros.
The day of the grand event arrived, and Ron had dolled himself up in the crisp, navy robes Ginny had so lovingly shoved at him a few days earlier. His hair had just the slightest bit of goop in it that apparently, "worked wonders" according to the tube. Ron checked his reflection once more and the mirror whistled and propositioned him. He looked really good for a freckled faced carrot. He felt like vomiting.
"Harry? Do you need any of this wonder goo for your hair?" Ron called, poking about the flat he shared with his best mate. Harry didn’t answer, but Ron found him standing before the mirror in his own room. "Harry," Ron said again, ignoring the completely inappropriate lurch in his stomach at the sight of Harry in emerald robes. Harry was glaring at his reflection, his mouth in an adorable a pout that Ron didn’t notice. "All right, mate?"
Harry turned with a swirl of robes so that the gaudy rhinestones stitched to the fabric glinted in the afternoon light. Ron was reminded of Lockhart for a moment. Not helping the queasiness, he thought.
"You look… nice in that color," Harry blurted, scrubbing his hands across the decorative embossing on his own nuptial robes. He looked so very twitchy. Nerves, Ron guessed.
This felt quite awkward for some reason Ron didn’t want to verbalize. They stared at each other for a few moments, though Ron was quite sure Harry wasn’t having the same thoughts. Unless Harry really was imagining peeling Ron’s robes off with his teeth. Ron doubted that. Harry’s lips finally curled into a wistful smile, and he brandished a comb from one of the many pockets on the sparkly robe.
"My hair’s being awful," he said as he tried flattening the wild portions of his unkempt locks. "Ginny cut it short yesterday, but it all grew back overnight. She says I can’t get married with wild hair."
Best man to the rescue. Ron was fairly sure he could help here. "Do you want my goo?"
The comb dropped from Harry’s fingers and his eyes popped open wide. "What? You said what?"
"Goo? Did you want my goo for your hair?" Ron sighed in frustration at Harry’s startled look and held out the tube.
Harry was flushing for some odd reason when he reached for it. Ron didn’t know why, but he didn’t know why this entire wedding production was happening in the first place. He just went along with everything like a good little puppy as long as it would keep Harry happy.
"Ron. You’re really my best man, no matter what happens. You know that, right?" Harry wouldn’t meet his eyes and just slathered the goop into his misbehaving hair.
Ron thought perhaps Harry had gone a bit weird from the whirlwind week of wild wedding wonders, so he just nodded in agreement at the odd statement. "Of course Harry. Best man. Your best man just needs to go check on something and we can portkey to the site." Ron caught Harry’s nod as he turned from the door but failed to notice Harry’s lips mouth the word goodbye. He headed down the hallway and was about to enter his room when he heard the unmistakable crack of disapparation. What in England?
Ron scooped up the portkey and ran back toward Harry’s bedroom, ignoring the queasy feeling in his stomach. Something wasn’t right. "Harry? Harry!" he called out. The room was completely empty. Ron turned to the mirror. "Did he leave?" he asked the mirror. It didn’t answer and so he kicked the bottom of it, trying not to panic. It still didn’t answer. Ron swore when he realized that Harry’s mirror was an inanimate muggle object.
"Don’t panic," Ron said aloud, panicking. "He went early, that’s all. One thing to do as best man and you muck it up," he scolded his reflection. Perhaps it was best that this mirror couldn’t talk. His eyes went back to the mirror again, and he realized it was reflecting something written on the window with opaque hair goop. " ‘ENOG’? What the bloody hell is ‘enog’?" He turned sharply and faced the window to read it properly. Ron was surprised by how immensely relieved he felt.
The next few minutes were a jumbled mess for Ron. The portkey activated. Ron was dropped in the middle of Salisbury Plain and was swamped with reporters. Everything was noisy and garish – a swirling cacophony of everything spinning and people shouting things and flowers all over the damn place and dancing bears and wizards and witches everywhere… he did a double take at the dancing bears and continued to run towards where Hermione was pacing next to Ginny.
"Where’ve you two been?" Hermione snapped and smacked at his shoulder. Ginny’s back faced them so he whispered, "Harry’s Gone. He’s not showing. "
Hermione screeched, "Whaaaat!" like a banshee and Ginny turned. So much for subtly.
"I lost Harry," he repeated. "Harry’s gone. Vanished. Not here. He’s an ex-groom." Hermione and Ginny just stared at him wordlessly. He thought perhaps they needed assistance. "Harry…," he mimed putting the thumb and index finger on each hand like a circle and held them over his eyes, "is gone!" He made a poof with his hands. Hermione and Ginny just stared longer. Some of the wedding guests picked up on the gossip and began muttering all around Ron. He was nearly hopping in place as Hermione and Ginny kept staring. Oh hell. "HARRY IS NOT COMING!" he bellowed and the crowd and media and tutu clad bears all froze. Ginny’s eyes rolled back into her head, and she promptly fainted.
"That went well," Ron said.
Nearly a year later
Ron paused before a metal door and sucked in a deep breath. His pale skin and freckles looked odd in the glow of a neon sign that scrawled, "Hen and Cock" in red letters across the dark of a late summer evening. This would be the third muggle gay club he would be visiting this week alone. Despite its name, this was one of the more sophisticated establishments Ron had entered. The room was dim, and crowded tables were spaced from wall-to-wall. The bar itself was some sort of rich, polished wood, and well-dressed men were talking quietly as they sipped at their drinks. Ron found a stool near the wall and ordered something sweet. He was rubbish at the silly name of these muggle drinks.
A year ago, he would have never thought he’d be scanning the crowds at primarily homosexual clubs for any sign of Harry. Especially muggle pubs tucked into the gritty corners of various towns across Great Britian. Of course, he also never expected the conversation he had participated in with Ginny back then either.
It was twenty four hours after The-Event-That-Must-Not-Be-Named, and Ginny was well on her way to empting a bottle of firewhisky as they sat at the scrubbed wood table in The Burrow kitchen. Even Ron couldn’t stomach that much alcohol, so he stuck with a mild butterbeer. They all had been taking turns on Ginny-watch, alternately searching for Harry by checking the usual haunts and watching for his magical signature.
Ron had tried everything he could to comfort his sister, but alcohol seemed the easiest distraction. Instead of crying, Ginny was babbling things about floral arrangements that Ron found oddly fascinating. After quieting down for a few minutes, she blurted, "Harry used to call your name when he would come." Ron spit his butterbeer across the kitchen.
"That’s what I mean!" Ginny had wailed. "I thought I could ignore it. I would be the one married to him. So what if he would arch his back, his body taught with lust, his face contorted with pleasure as he stroked deep within my body calling, ‘Ron, oh fuck Ron!"
"What did it matter if I had snuck into the bathroom once while he was showering and caught him softly moaning your name with his fist around his cock, water rolling down the muscular curves of his fit stomach."
"Er, Ginny, I need to…"
"If we were married, I could turn a deaf ear to the way he would groan, ‘oh, yes, suck it, Ron’ as I cupped his perfect arse in my palms and I ran my tongue over…Ron? Ron? Where are you going?"
Six months ago, he had run up the stairs two at a time to his bedroom in order to freely wank over the images of Harry that had assaulted his mind. He vowed then and there to declare his boundless love the next time he saw Harry. The problem was Harry had efficiently disappeared from the magical world. One owl arrived several weeks after the Event-That-Mustl-Not-be-Named stating, "Sorry about this Ginny. I’m alive, I’m fine, Dumbledore knows where I am. Don’t look for me. I’ve given up magic for a while. – Harry." Ginny, Ron, Hermione and Molly had stormed to Hogwarts, demanding the location of Harry, but Dumbledore refused. He would only say that Harry was safe, enjoying a new lifestyle, and to be happy for him.
Ron had begged to differ. He was not happy for Harry. He most likely wouldn’t be happy until he had Harry’s cock up his arse, and he made sure to tell Dumbledore so. It was quite embarrassing in retrospect. After his mother, sister, and other best friend had left the room, Dumbledore busied himself with some odd contraptions on is desk. He had glanced over at Ron and casually said, "When a relative of mine needed to escape public scrutiny after a few mal-adventures with a goat, he found a lovely neighborhood for those of alternative lifestyles where no one would question his tastes."
So Ron had kept up a search for the last year, watching for signs of Harry or his magic in case he used it again, hitting dead end after dead end until three days ago. As he was leaving an obnoxious club in which the thumping base had left his ears ringing, he had almost crashed into a rather fit blond fellow with piercing, green eyes behind rectangular wire frames. They checked each other out rather obviously –Ron might have a goal but he didn’t mind peeking at pretty things on the side-- until a breeze kicked up the blond’s messy fringe, revealing a scar on his forehead. Ron gaped for a moment, not believing his eyes, and the blond took the opportunity to vanish into the crowd.
Perhaps his mind was playing tricks on him. Maybe he had been searching for so long that he was hallucinating. It might be that he had repressed fantasies of some combination of Harry and Draco Malfoy. That one was a little too creepy. Whatever it was though, Ron needed a closer look in that town, which was what had led him to the "Hen and Cock" this evening.
Ron sipped at the chocolately thing that the bartender had set before him after rolling her eyes at the ice-cream drink order. So it wasn’t the most elegant of choices with its pink, whipped topping, but Ron’s wasn’t really here to make an impression. A rather attractive bloke of Indian decent was making eyes at Ron from across the bar, while a dark haired man in a stylish suit joined the bar at Ron’s left, subtly brushing against Ron’s thigh as he took his seat. Interesting choices, Ron thought, but not who he was searching for. He swirled his index finger in the whipped topping, just watching.
A few drink offers and one rather forward Welshman later, Ron was ready to abandon his search for the evening. He had a half-kilometer stroll to the apparition safe point, so he thought it best to visit the loo first rather than find some sort of shrubbery to water later. Ron made his way to the back of the establishment and turned the handle to enter.
The toilets were decorated lavishly with a chandelier, soft carpeting, elegant wood paneling, and plush furniture. As lush as this room was, Ron realized this obviously wasn’t as sophisticated of an establishment as he thought when he rounded the corner and had to freeze. Thrusting before him was his blond, trousers scrunched to his ankles, and Dumbledore be damned if he wasn’t fucking some bloke into the wall. His hair might have been pale, his eyes might have been shut, but Ron would know that lightning bolt scar anywhere.
Ron spun and backed out as quietly as he could, swallowing his shock and collapsing against the wall near the door. "Strategy…strategy," Ron whispered to himself, trying to push away the arousing and disturbing visions of Harry’s naked backside as he slid into that lucky bloke. Figures the first part of the prat I would identify would be his arse, Ron thought. Ron didn’t know what type of reaction to expect, but he was too close to give up. He waited what seemed to be a relatively safe amount of time, and he pushed the door back open. Wonderful. They were done. Mr. Just-fucked was crashed out on the carpet and Most-likely-Harry was refastening his trousers. Well, Ron thought, No time like the present.
"Harry?" He said softly so as not to startle him.
Harry’s head snapped up, that awful blond hair flopping back, and he gasped. Loud. That was when things started exploding. Ron ducked his head when every light-blub thing in the chandelier popped, shattering glass everywhere. Startled shouts from outside the toilet confirmed that glass was shattering all over the bar as well. Ron peaked though his fingers and spotted Harry running out the door. "Oh no you don’t!" Ron nearly snarled, taking off after his friend.
Harry was already at the exit, and he knocked over someone as he pulled the door open. Ron wove between the frightened muggles, blurting, "Pardon me," and "there’s a ghost here," to anyone who tried to grab at his elbow and halt his running. Harry was already far ahead, those golden locks bright in the moonlight, but he was running like a muggle. Ron figured things were already ballsed-up enough, so he disappartated right in the middle of the street. He apparated with a crack near a bakery, two storefronts from Harry, and stood fast. Harry skidded to a stop in front of him a few seconds later.
"Harry. Stop. Don’t Run!" Ron reached for Harry’s forearms and held tight while Harry caught his breath.
"You found me." A wild understatement, but Harry’s voice held no accusation. He sounded rather surprised that someone would even bother to look for him, and the tone nearly broke Ron’s heart.
"I found you," Ron reassured him, letting his arms fall to show he trusted Harry. He noticed that muggles were watching them curiously and asked, "Do you have a better place where we could talk, or would you rather have an audience? And did you need to go back for your…friend?"
Harry glanced towards the lingering muggles and lowered his own voice. "I didn’t really know him. And are you alone? I don’t want anyone…"
"No one knows I’m here Harry. Hermione might suspect something, but they don’t know I was looking for you this way." Ron tried keeping himself in check so he wouldn’t scare the hell out of Harry by tackling him to the ground in the street on reflex.
"Follow me then. I’ve a flat not far from here."
They walked silently, shoulders brushing. Ron couldn’t even think of something silly to say to lighten the mood. He found Harry! Nearly a year of searching, and he found his Harry! His Harry, who seemed to be happily shagging his brains out less than an hour earlier. They paused near a two-flat, and as Harry stopped to pull his keys out, something occurred to Ron. What if Harry truly didn’t want anything to do with him? Ron had envisioned various fantasies about his reunion with Harry, some featuring Angry!Harry followed by hard angry sex, and some filled with fluffy words and smooches and lovemaking. Never did it occur to Ron that his first real confirmation of Harry would be of his backside as he thoroughly screwed some random bloke.
The entered the dark flat and Ron made himself comfortable on the squishy chair while Harry paced. "So you’re probably wondering why," Harry said. There was no need to complete the sentence.
"I know a little, Harry," Ron said, working hard to keep the hurt out of his voice. "You didn’t want to marry my sister, and rather than announcing to the wizarding world that you like cock, you decided to leave and quit using magic. Oh, and you tripped and fell into someone’s arse at that pub."
Harry finally settled into a chair across from Ron. "You don’t want to punch me, do you?"
Ron blinked. "What are you on about?"
"I thought that because I had hurt Ginny, you or one of your brothers or your mum might hunt me down." Harry fidgeted with a rectangular thing bearing small buttons and numbers and looked up at Ron mournfully from under that blond fridge. Ron had another awful vision of Draco Malfoy.
"No…no. Ginny sort of figured it out." Ron couldn’t help staring as Harry’s fingers toyed with the muggle thing. "Although your hair seems to be triggering my ‘thwap now, ask questions later’ reaction. What exactly were you thinking when you decided to channel Malfoy?"
Harry hopped to his feet and began his frantic pacing again. Ron considered tying his friend to a chair, but that led to all sorts of bad thoughts and Ron needed to focus on this. "The hair… creepy isn’t it? A few months ago, I nearly saw the Patil twins in a shop, so I had to run. When I caught my breath, my reflection looked like this." Harry brushed his fingers through several strands of the silver-blond hair. "I’ve had it grow back all the time when my Aunt Petunia would cut it, but it’s never done this." He pushed the rectangular wire frames up on his nose and looked over at Ron. "And these… let’s just say what happened with the glass at the bar isn’t the first time things have gone all wonky on me. Glasses are expensive when you aren’t using reparo."
"Harry… you don’t have stop using magic. You’re a wizard. I thought you liked being that way!" Ron hopped to his feet and reached for Harry’s hand. "You’re probably doing all this wandless magic because it has no outlet. It’s all stuffing up in your body and ready to burst out!"
"No! Magic is what made me odd! Uncle Vernon was right! I am a freak!" Harry jerked his hand from Ron’s and a teacup that rested on a nearby end table began vibrating.
"Harry," Ron began, but Harry was in full bellow mode now.
"Do you know that sometimes, when I look in the mirror, it feels like my face is changing? A little freaky and abnormal, isn’t it? Just like how I never looked at boys a certain way until I was truely a practicing wizard. I should have been happy with Ginny. She’s really a wonderful person! But no… all I could think about was…" Harry trailed off, backing up toward the door the entire time he spoke. "And all those reporters and the ministry and the wizards and witches in the wizarding world all expect great and wondrous things from me when I all wanted was to just settle into a quiet life…and even now, months later, you’re all I can think about, no matter who I’m with...." Harry slapped a hand over his mouth, horrified.
All at the same time, the teacup and the glass lamp on the end table shattered, a llama materialized on the settee, Harry whirled for the door, and Ron dove across the room for Harry. He slid across the hardwood floor and smacked his face on the door just as Harry slammed it shut. Ron shook it off and leaned back against the door to create a new plan of attack. Apparently, the fluffy words and smooches and lovemaking would need to wait, Ron thought. Onward to the angry sex.