Originally written for the Romione Fluff Fest on Tumblr
Title: Late Night Snack
Prompt: The Burrow, middle of the night
Description: Nothing short of a raging war will interrupt them again.
AN: Hope you like it! FLUFF IS MY JAM
Ron woke without opening his eyes. Filtered by his closed eyelids, it seemed to him that there was no light in his room; he guessed it was all pitchblack. Through the soft mist clouding his waking mind, he realized then he had probably slept a whole day and at least half the night.
He tried to go back to sleep, but soon gave up. He opened his eyes to look around his room, a world of black and grey around him and around Harry, who was sleeping in his cot.
Harry, who had ended the war. Harry, who had insisted he would sleep in the same lumpy mattress he had gotten used to over the years, when the house had filled up with all of Ron's family after the Battle. Harry, who was now snoring away, clearly still needing to rest after all they had done and survived over the past few weeks. Over the past years, really.
But Ron didn't want to think of that. He didn't want to think of hardship and loss and grief. The war was over and it was time to think of hope and happiness and a bright future. That was what they had fought for, wasn't it? He would be honouring everyone... and Fred... if he did just that. So he got up quietly, trying not to wake Harry, promising he would focus on healing and growth and the full potential ahead. That's what you lived for, brother. I will do it for you.
He went to the bathroom, where he checked his watch to learn it was 3:32 in the morning. But he was thirsty, and he was ravenous, so he ignored the notion that going for breakfast this early would be a bad idea. He would willingly ruin his chances of settling into a normal schedule if it meant his stomach would stop rumbling, so he went straight to the kitchen. Apparently, Ron wasn't the only one who had decided to ignore sensibility, for Hermione was sitting there, her back to him, holding a steaming cup of tea in her hands.
He stopped on the doorway, hesitant to disrupt her, but she must have sensed him for she turned around on her chair to look at him.
"Hey," she said.
"Morning," he said back, and walked to the food cupboard. "Are you eating anything? I'm starving."
"I had a couple of biscuits. There are more on the jar."
"Biscuits? Nah, I need something more filling right now. Do you want a sandwich? I can make you one if you like."
It took her a moment to reply, which he knew meant she was hesitant to eat at this absurd hour. She must have been as hungry as he was, for she finally relented. "Thanks, I'd love that."
Ron worked quietly, unsure about what to say. As soon as he had seen her sitting there, he had been invaded by a million and one thoughts and visions and wants, but none seemed to distill into an idea or plan. Only one thing was clear: he wanted to somehow steer the conversation to the kiss they had shared about twenty-four hours ago, and ask whether they could do it again.
He really, really wanted to kiss her again.
The day before, once the family had done all that could be done at the school, they had used the fireplace in what had been Dumbledore's office to come home. They had had a quick bite at the castle and had not bothered eating once at home, before they had all disappeared to their bedrooms. He had hoped at the time to have some alone time with Hermione, but Ginny had looped her arm around Hermione's shoulders and had taken her straight to Ginny's bedroom to sleep. The only thing they had shared before she disappeared into the room had been a lingering look.
Maybe, alone now in the kitchen, he could fix that. It was kind of his turn, after she had jumped at him and kissed him in the Room of Requirement.
Jumped at me. Kissed me. Blimey.
He cleared his throat.
"How did you sleep?"
"Wonderful," she replied. "I don't think I've slept that deeply in months."
"Yeah, me too." He grabbed the plates and set one in front of Hermione and the other at the place next to her. Pretending like it was the most natural thing in the world, he went around the large table and sat by her side.
Silence. It was so quiet, that Ron swore he could hear her jaw working through the food.
"Tea?" she asked with no warning, using her wand to summon a cup; she filled it with the aromatic liquid, added three sugar cubes to it and a dash of milk- just the way he liked it.
"It's funny that you know how I like my tea, isn't it? And I know how you like yours: only one sugar and twice the milk I like."
She continued chewing her food, and didn't reply until she had swallowed and drunk from her cup.
"It's to be expected, isn't it?" She stared down to the table as she spoke. "I'm pretty sure we know as much about the other as any coup- any two people can. We've spent so much time together. We practically lived together over the past year. We are bound to notice these things about other people after spending all that time in each other's presence."
He had been looking at her, curious at what her answer might be. But now a hopeful smile pulled up at the corners of his mouth. He couldn't have imagined that, right? She had insinuated they were a couple, right?
"You know," he said, making up his mind and leaning to the side, so that his bicep bumped against her shoulder, "I don't know how Harry likes his tea."
She set her cup down and turned her head to look at him. "You don't?"
He could still feel the smile on his face, and saw how the corners of her own mouth curling up, even as she nervously bit her bottom lip.
"Actually, I don't, either."
Ron took a sip of tea with as much aplomb as he could muster, trying to look casual and collected. He then turned on his chair to face her and, leaning in a third of the way, asked the rhetorical question dancing in his mind.
"And why do you think that is?"
Hermione turned, mirroring his position, and lifted her face to him in a sign of courage, even as she dropped her hands to her lap and wrung them together.
"I think that, perhaps, we have been paying special attention to each other," she offered.
"I agree. I have loads of small tidbits of information about you. For example," he continued, leaning in a bit further, "I know you have a small mole behind your ear."
"And I know," she added, not biting her lip anymore but still smiling, "that you mess with your hair when you're tired."
He lifted a hand to her face. "I know that when you get sleepy while reading, you do this-" he tucked a strand of her hair behind her ear-"over and over in an effort to wake yourself up." He left his hand there, his fingertips curling around the curve of her neck.
"I know that, even when you complain, you do listen to me. You mentioned Gamp's Law and then... and then you mentioned the elves."
His heart hammered at a hundred beats a minute, but the rush did not reach his vocal chords. It got stuck in his throat, so his voice came out as a whisper.
"I know that as soon as Harry forced us to stop kissing, I was determined to kiss you again."
Ron tried to ignore the way his voice had trembled, even in its low volume, or how his stomach had rolled with butterflies.
"I know," she began and hesitated. She seemed to come to terms with something, and got closer to him with unwavering eyes and a nervous smile. "I know I would like you to-"
She didn't get to finish; Ron had interrupted her with the kiss that had waited on his lips for years. It was the kiss he had envisioned himself giving to her, on all those nights he found it hard to sleep thanks to his romantic frustration; a kiss that stopped her in the middle of a rant or well-deserved nagging, one that had been born from longing and passion and love.
She responded with as much enthusiasm as he had during the kiss in the middle of a war.
Their knees bumped together now, both fully facing each other. He lifted his other hand to cradle her head, savouring her lips and the softness of her skin. He felt her hands make contact with his chest and climb up to his shoulders, where they grabbed a handful of his ratty pyjama shirt. He was immediately ready to take it further, he-
"I knew I would find you here. I-"
Unwillingly detaching his lips from Hermione's but keeping his hands around her face, Ron looked up behind her towards the door, where a sleepy Harry had frozen in place.
"Mate," Ron warned, "please sod off."
"But... food..." Harry tried, evidently stumped.
"We're not in the middle of a battle anymore, Harry," Hermione said. "I don't want to stop what I'm doing right now, if you don't mind."
Harry looked like he wanted to argue, but he didn't. Instead, his mouth curled into a mix of exasperation and acceptance. He lifted his wand and summoned the jar of biscuits, which he promptly tucked under his arm. He opened his mouth as if to say something, but finally only shook his head, leaving the kitchen in a huff.
As soon as Harry left the kitchen, Hermione turned back. Ron, not missing a bit, leaned in back to her, his lips a whisper away from hers.
"Where were we?"
His rhetorical question was left unanswered.