Author: Page of Cups PM
Ron’s on fire. Draco’s frozen. Actions to counterbalance must be taken. A holiday season piece. Probably fluffy. DMRW. ONESHOT.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Ron W. & Draco M. - Words: 4,002 - Reviews: 43 - Favs: 58 - Follows: 3 - Published: 12-12-03 - Status: Complete - id: 1637889
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Penname: Page of Cups
Pairing: Ron Weasley/Draco Malfoy
Summary: Ron's on fire. Draco's frozen. Actions to counterbalance must be taken. A holiday season piece. Probably fluffy.
Caution: Slash lies ahead. This means boys liking boys. If you are uncomfortable with this, please click back on your browser . . . now. For the rest of you, go ahead and read. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Disclaimer: If I were J.K. Rowling, Order of the Phoenix would have never included that sickening Harry/Cho display. If were associated with Warner Bros, I wouldn't be going to community college and scrounging for book money. If I were associated with Scholastic or Bloomsbury, I wouldn't have to work at Hersheypark. As all of the aforementioned things are true (e.g. Hersheypark and Harry/Cho *gag*), it would appear that no copyright infringement is intended. Please don't sue me. Of course, feel free to take my Chemistry book.
Hanging Christmas decorations in the Great Hall was something like torture. Between Peeves snatching decorations off the giant Christmas tree and pulling tinsel out of Ron's hands, he wanted to jump off the Astronomy Tower. Somehow he forgot the pain of last year's episode, and wasn't as prepared for the fight with Peeves as he should have been. Prefect duties annoyed him.
Worse than Peeves was "tolerating" Draco Malfoy. Last year, he avoided Malfoy through most of the decorating as Hermione hissed in his ear whenever he looked in Malfoy's direction. Of course, last year that hadn't been so bad, because Hermione was rather pretty and it was nice to have her face so close to his. This year, though, Terry Boot asked Hermione to Hogsmeade for Christmas, which was okay, because Ron didn't even feel a tinge of jealousy. He was just as surprised by his subdued reaction as Harry (who stared at Ron like his freckles were going to go mad and attack someone) when Hermione announced the news.
He digressed. Hermione did not hiss anything in his ear this year as she talked to the sixth year Ravenclaw prefects, Anthony Goldstein and Padma Patil (about Terry, no doubt). Luna Lovegood was the Ravenclaw fifth year prefect and stood too close for comfort, her voice rambling about mistletoe and nargles. He liked Luna just as much as the next guy, but she could invade a person's space, and he was sure that he'd just gotten off the subject a second time. This was about Malfoy, not Loony Lovegood and her Crumple-Horned Snorkacks (she was actually disappointed to have not seen one when she returned from Sweden).
Malfoy and Parkinson, while intolerable, were not nearly as bad as Peeves last year. This year, however, Peeves annoyed the Hufflepuffs (Ernie Macmillan looked murderous), which left Ron some peace, if you counted Luna as peace. The missing Peeves and Luna addition caused Malfoy to stare at Ron every ten seconds, followed by a several unpleasant snickers in his general direction. Twice Malfoy swaggered by, humming 'Weasley is Our King' and seemed to have gotten it stuck in Luna's head, as she now hummed the tune. Luna added some tinsel to the tree and stepped back to inspect her work.
"Weasley, I just wanted to know," said Pansy Parkinson, "have you finally so low as to date Loony Lovegood?"
Luna didn't flinch. Ron tried not to look downhearted.
"We're just friends."
"But she's so freaky, and look at her hair! But I guess you're used to that what with the Mudblood bitch and all. She's so ugly -"
"Have you ever looked in the mirror, Pansy?" said Malfoy, swaggering by for the third time. "Mudblood may be ugly, but you're nothing special."
Pansy stomped her foot and incoherently whined something that sounded like Malfoy's name.
"Don't call -" Ron started. He needed to defend Hermione, and he needed the blood to rush out of his face. His ears felt hot, and when Malfoy walked by with a box of decorations, he cocked an eyebrow, and grinned.
"I'll call Mudblood whatever I wish. Calm down, Weasel. Flush doesn't work on you."
"That's rich coming from you, Malfoy. I saw you when Daddy went to Azkaban. Weren't so cocky then, were you?"
"And I saw you playing against Hufflepuff last year."
"We won the Quidditch cup."
"It was lucky. I'd think you cheated, but Gryffindors are never that resourceful. You rely on that honesty thing. Let us hope I never fall victim to that."
"Oh, Malfoy, I don't think you have anything to worry about there."
"Of course, your family has no integrity, associating with Mudbloods like Granger. Bet you cried like Potter when Mudblood started shacking up with Boot. Tell you the truth, I always thought he had better taste, but Mudblood must give great hed -"
"It isn't like she's pretty or anything," said Pansy.
"Of course, the Weasleys have very low standards."
Ron shoved Pansy out of the way and stormed out of the Great Hall.
Hermione would slap him when he dared return to Gryffindor Tower. Maybe not slap him, as Hermione had never actually hit him, but he would have to suffer a long harangue on why he not only should not, but could not walk out on prefect duties. Luna followed his dramatic exit (or melodramatic) and out to the lake, where he now stood, cloak billowing in the wind. Snowflakes fluttered through the air and settled in his hair, on his eyelashes, and atop his shoulders. The snow started slow at first but picked up, and the chill nipped at Ron's face, but he refused to go inside.
Luna didn't stay long, only to find out what she should tell Hermione. She even promised not to tell where he'd gone, which she must have followed through on or Hermione would have dragged him back to Gryffindor Tower a long time ago. He couldn't help it; the littlest thing with Malfoy set him off these days. Upon return to the school after summer holiday, Malfoy barely mentioned his not-so-abysmal-anymore Quidditch skills, and Ron received detention for punching him in that pointy little face.
If he thought last year was bad with Malfoy, between 'Weasley is Our King' and the Inquisitorial Squad, that was nothing compared to the way Malfoy now chided him. He couldn't walk by Malfoy without some comment slipping from Malfoy's mouth, something so obscene that Ron often wanted to commit homicide. Granted, he was out for Harry, and succeeded in losing one-hundred points for Slytherin when McGonagall caught Malfoy trying to swipe Harry's wand. This particular incident wiped the smirk from Malfoy's face for two days before it came back, something of a record.
Ron stared at the lake and wrapped his arms around his body. It was very cold out here, almost too cold, but Ron invited it. This was the only time when Ron got any peace. It wasn't the smartest thing, sneaking out at night without Harry's invisibility cloak, but it was necessary if Ron wanted to keep his head. Between Harry, grieving over Sirius, the war, and still trying to keep up his marks, Ron struggled. Four times since the war really started, an eagle owl arrived with a black envelope attached to it's leg, and he was convinced it would land before him. How did one keep up one's studies when one's family risked their lives every day?
"I thought you'd be out here."
Ron's shoulders tensed. The snow was thick now, lying on the thin ice, which covered the lake. Ron glanced over, a piece of hair falling over his forehead. Malfoy looked like an ice sculpture, carved from the indistinguishable snowflakes on his silver hair.
"What do you want, Malfoy? Come to gloat about how you've managed to get to me once again? Think it's funny how I ran out of there?"
"You look cold."
"That was very observant."
"You come out here every night." Ron frowned, broke his gaze with the lake to really look at Malfoy. "I don't sleep most nights, but unlike you, I manage to keep in the shadows." Ron stared back to the lake. "You look cold."
"Why are you here?"
"I don't know."
"Why are you talking to me?"
"I don't know." Malfoy broke his focus and also gazed out at the frozen lake. "Why do you come out here every night?"
"To get away."
Malfoy nodded and shoved his hands inside his pockets.
"Is this all you do? Stand here?"
"Shouldn't you know? You've been stalking me."
"I haven't been stalking you. I see you come out here. It isn't like I follow you around. I'm not you, and you aren't Potter."
The corner of Ron's mouth twitched, but he forced it to still.
"Why are you here?"
"I wondered what you found so fascinating."
"That's about the thousandth time you've said that."
"On the contrary, it's the first time I said I was cold. Before that, I said you looked cold. There's a significant difference."
Ron rolled his eyes and tried to ignore the annoyance building in his chest. The desire to either hit Malfoy or push him through the thin ice was too much. This was the one thing Ron had, the one time when Ron didn't have to worry about Harry or his family or his marks and he could just live. Here was Malfoy, in the way of that. Yes, it may not be a bad idea to push Malfoy into the lake after all.
"Weasley, can I ask you a question?"
"So am I."
Malfoy frowned and turned toward the school.
"Never mind. The moment's passed."
"Can I ask you a question?"
"Why are you out here?"
"I already told you. I wondered what you found so fascinating."
"What did you find?"
Ron sighed and shrugged. "I come out here because I have so much to worry about during the day that I need time to unwind. It's quiet out here, no one ever really bothers me, and I have the chance to just be me." Malfoy laughed a soft sort of laugh that made Ron's chest pull tight. "Go ahead. Laugh at me."
"I'm not going to laugh at you."
"That's a first."
"You think I came out here to laugh at you?"
"That was my general idea, yeah."
"If I wanted to laugh at you, I'd have come out right after you stormed out of the Great Hall, especially with the way Loony chased after you."
"Her name is Luna."
"Is she your girlfriend?"
"What do you care?"
"No, Luna isn't my girlfriend."
"Can I ask you that question?"
"I don't see why you need my permission, but go ahead."
"Are you happy?"
With his back still turned toward Ron and facing the school, Ron had no way to gauge what Malfoy must have been thinking. His shoulders were back, his back aligned -- Malfoy always had perfect posture. The snow wasn't as heavy anymore, and it sprinkled off Malfoy's silver hair and onto his cloak.
Silence mounted, thickened, and clouded Ron's head. He didn't know how to answer a question like that, especially one thrown out in the open like that by Draco Malfoy. Ron cleared his throat and looked down to ground. Snow sprinkled the ground and frosted the grass in single blades of crystalline ice.
"Because I think I finally understand."
"You and me."
Ron frowned. Malfoy turned to face Ron, his face blank.
"I always thought we were opposites," said Malfoy. "I'm wealthy; you're poor. I'm ice; you're fire. I'm Slytherin; you're Gryffindor. I'm a Malfoy; you're a Weasley. I figured the only thing we probably agreed on was that we hated each other."
"Sounds about right."
Malfoy shook his head. "It couldn't be more wrong."
"Why do you say that?"
"Because we're both extremes. We're both just as unhappy. I thought you must have it so much better than me with this huge family that cares about you. I thought . . ." Malfoy trailed off and laughed again. "I actually thought that you were happy being the exact opposite of everything I am. You had to be, because I was so miserable."
"Why are you telling me this?"
"Because I think you come out here for the same reason I don't. It's cold out here, and you're already unhappy with all that warmth. You're burning up. I don't come out here because I'm already freezing."
"What about earlier? You sounded like the same old Malfoy to me."
Malfoy shrugged. "That's my persona, isn't it? That's what I'm expected to say. I'm a Malfoy."
"So what is the point of this conversation?"
"I'm not just a Malfoy, I'm Draco, too. I'm tired of just being Malfoy. I'm tired of being that extreme. I couldn't even properly argue with you in there, and you couldn't properly argue with me."
"That you're just as sick of being a Weasley." Malfoy shook his head, and the snowflakes that hadn't melted on his hair floated to the ground. His perfect hair laid mussed on his shoulders. "I'll see you around Ron."
Malfoy turned and walked back to the castle, leaving Ron in the snow, and for the first time, feeling cold.
Ron didn't see Malfoy at all the next day. Hermione followed him around school, taking every opportunity to scold him on abandoning prefect duties. When Ron looked to Harry for refuge, Harry smiled, and shrugged. He was infuriating at times.
Malfoy wasn't at breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and though Ron had Care of Magical Creatures today, Malfoy dropped the class after O.W.L.s last year. You couldn't really blame him; though an excellent student, Care of Magical Creatures was not his strongest suit. It was all for the better. Hagrid couldn't take another one of Malfoy's attempts to sabotage him.
He sat by a window in the boys' dormitory and pulled his knees to his chest. It was going on midnight, and the boys were finally settling down. Usually, Ron counted down the minutes, because he often slipped out to the lake just after midnight, but Ron didn't plan on going out tonight. Last night's encounter with Malfoy still confused him. He and Malfoy more alike than Ron thought? It was very unlikely, but so was Malfoy coming out to Ron's serene place with profound evaluations of their interaction.
Seamus and Dean talked over by Dean's bed. He hoped not about Ginny. She and Dean were still dating, and it was quite annoying to overhear how apparently attractive his little sister was. There was also that small problem that Ron's fingers itched for his wand every time he even thought of the two together. Harry went to bed ten minutes ago, as did Neville, and Neville's snores drifted through the dormitory. Harry did not snore.
Ron stared down at the lake. Moonlight reflected off the surface in a way almost beautiful. It didn't snow tonight, but frost climbed the window, and glazed the air. It sparkled in the darkness, and Ron stared at the trees in the forbidden forest, littered with snow. Movement caught his eye, however, and Ron's vision snapped to a figure moving slowly toward the lake.
For a moment, Ron stared through the window, and then grabbed his cloak from where it laid at the end of the bed. Seamus's shouts never reached his ears as Ron fled the dormitory.
"I thought about what you said."
Malfoy glanced over his shoulder and then back to the lake.
"I wondered when you'd come."
"I wasn't going to."
"What changed your mind?"
"Er . . . I don't know. I saw you. Out here. Waiting."
"What made you think I was waiting?"
Good question, Ron thought, and his mouth hung open as he searched for a reply. None came.
"You said you don't come out here because it's too cold. I thought . . . I thought -"
"That I was waiting for you."
"I was, but that isn't the point."
"Why so surprised? You seemed confident a few minutes ago."
"I thought about what you said."
"You said that already."
"And what? You didn't plan on coming down, but now you're here because you saw me, and you're running in circles. You have something to say. Spit it out."
Ron sighed, raked his fingers through his hair. He glanced from the frozen lake to the castle to the back of Malfoy's head. Like yesterday, his hair rested on his shoulders. It blocked his face from Ron's view, and he craned his neck forward in hopes of sneaking a peak. Malfoy turned his head toward Ron.
"What do you want from me?"
"What do you want from me?"
"I never said I wanted anything from you!" Ron huffed, crossed his arms over his chest, and looked back to the school. They were too noticeable, standing by the lake in the cold. Anyone could be watching them right this moment. "Maybe we should go back inside."
"Why did you really come out here?" Malfoy turned from the lake and stared at Ron. His lips were red from the cold, his face wind-bitten, and his pale skin was whiter, colder than the frost. "Why are you here after one moment of tolerance? You and I have fought since we met; last night didn't change anything."
"Yes, it did."
"What did it change?"
"I don't know what I want from you." Ron buried his head in his hands again and wrapped his fingers around the hair he could find. "Enemies don't have so much in common. You don't understand your enemy."
"I know that."
"But you understand me!"
"I know that, too."
"That means I'm not your enemy!"
"Eloquently put, and quick, too. I thought you'd run around in circles far longer."
"That changes things!"
"No, the only thing that changed was you know, now."
"But . . . I think I'm beginning to understand you, too."
Malfoy's eyebrows rose and crinkled his forehead.
"That does change things."
"I told you. . . . What do you want from me?"
Malfoy stepped closer and looked Ron over. It started at the top and ran down his body, pausing to rest on Ron's eyes before continuing the scan. His eyes narrowed, and Malfoy cocked his head, as if trying to decipher a particularly tricky problem. When he reached the bottom, his eyes rolled up again. They didn't still at the bottom; they only stopped to rest on his eyes. Malfoy took another step toward Ron.
"I want you to give me everything I don't have."
"I don't have much to give."
"You have plenty of what I want. I want your fire. I want some of that reckless Gryffindor abandon. I want someone to be so loyal to me that they'd give their life to save mine."
Ron stared, thought he must look very foolish with his mouth hanging open. Malfoy shrugged, glance back at the lake, and raised an arm as if beckoning Ron to continue the conversation.
"Isn't that asking for a lot?" said Ron, once he found his voice. Once again, Malfoy shrugged.
"It isn't like you won't get anything in return." Ron didn't answer, but stared, and Malfoy looked back to Ron. "I'll give you the ice you need. Keep you grounded. Save you from burning."
"If I save you from freezing."
Malfoy nodded. He shivered, and pulled his cloak tighter around his shoulders.
Ron hesitated, and asked, "How do I save you?"
Malfoy took another step toward Ron, and then another. Little space remained between their bodies. Malfoy lifted a hand, paused, and Ron's eyes flickered to it. Ron lifted his own hand, and brushed his fingertips across the back of Malfoy's hand. His fingers curled, slid, and twined with Malfoy's. First staring at their fingers, and then looking up at Ron, Malfoy arched his neck. Their lips met in a soft, fleeting moment.
Draco stopped shivering.
If any more holiday-type stories jump into my brain, I will write them. What can I say? I'm a sucker.
As with Ravish, this story made up itself. Somewhere along the way, Draco knew what he was doing, and pushed me out of the driver's seat. There you go.