AN: This was originally posted as part of a compilation and I decided to post it separately. Please enjoy.
The Host with the Most
"I've been thinking…"
"Oh no," groaned Ron, and Harry looked up from pouring their morning coffee and said,
Ron chucked the paper he had been reading down on the breakfast table and folded his arms, saying, "Every time you say that it always means something bad for me."
Harry smiled and said, "What are you talking about?"
"Every time you start a sentence with 'I've been thinking' it leads to me doing something I don't want to, like going for a run on Sunday mornings, or cutting out carbs for three nights a week, or giving up a third of my paycheque to put in that ridiculous savings account you insisted on."
Harry continued to pour the coffee into the waiting coffee cups, adding milk to both and a small spoonful of sugar to Ron's, smiling fondly as he did so. "You've failed to mention that all those things are things that are good for you," he said, passing Ron's cup to over him.
Ron took it and rolled his eyes, saying, "They're all things that make me suffer. I bloody hate running."
Harry gave him a sly smile and reached out with his bare foot to rub up and down Ron's calf. "I always make it worth your while, don't I? Or are you honestly telling me that you don't enjoy what we get up to in the shower afterwards?"
Ron grinned and said, "You've got me there, no way I can lie about that. I'm still not sure it's worth the torture of going for a run though. If you were any kind of husband, we'd forgo the run and just go straight to the shower."
Harry gave him a gentle kick to the shin and said, "Excuse you, Ronald Weasley but I'm a bloody wonderful husband. Your mother keeps telling me how lucky you are to have me."
"Yeah well no wonder there. You've always been her favourite," Ron replied with a snort.
"Sweetheart, you shouldn't be sensitive about the fact that your family prefers me to you."
"Prick," said Ron, returning the kick under the table, and the two men engaged in a childish game of rather athletic footsie before they nearly upended the table and Harry had to grab hold of both coffee cups to ensure they weren't knocked over, while Ron grabbed the cafetiere, both men grinning at each other like schoolboys.
"Well go on then," said Ron with a dramatic sigh, "what idea have you had now? Are we to donate plasma every third Thursday of the month, or perhaps open up our home to hippogriffs in need?"
Harry pursed his lips and tried not to smile, fixing Ron with an expression that Molly had taught him years ago but that he had never quite managed to perfect enough to subdue his husband in the way that Molly's could. "I was thinking, you thundering great prat, that we should hold a dinner party."
Ron pulled a face and said, "A dinner party? Whatever gave you that idea?"
"Well why not a dinner party?" Harry said defensively. "We're grown men, we've lived together for five years, been married for four, and we've never had a proper dinner party!"
"We've had people over plenty of times!" Ron argued.
Harry rolled his eyes and said, "Having Hermione, Gin and the twins over to eat pizza and drink tequila isn't the same thing as having a proper sit-down dinner."
"You're right," Ron conceded, "it's more fun than a stuffy dinner party."
Harry narrowed his eyes and said, "Have you not learnt yet that the best way to keep your husband happy is to shut your mouth and just agree with him?"
Ron grinned and reach for Harry's hand, giving it a good yank and pulling Harry up and out of his chair, despite heavy resistance, until Harry was finally seated in his lap. Ron tightened his arms around Harry's waist as Harry continued to struggle, moving his lips to Harry's ear and whispering,
"I know lots of ways to keep my husband happy, shall I show you some of them?"
"No," Harry said, squirming and wriggling as he tried to release himself from Ron's hold.
"Are you sure?" Ron asked as he began to nip and bite along the delicate curve of flesh where Harry's neck met his shoulder.
"Yes," Harry replied, his resolve slipping slightly as one of Ron's hands began to make its way underneath his pyjama top.
"I don't think you mean that," Ron said, his tone teasing as his hand moved up to ghost over Harry's chest. "I think you want me to take you back to the bedroom and wrap my mouth around your cock until you beg me to fuck you."
"Christ Ron," Harry said, finding himself harden immediately at the man's words. He'd stopped struggling and Ron's other hand was now free to travel across Harry's lap to rub gently over the prominent erection that was straining through the thin fabric of his pyjama bottoms.
Harry titled his head backwards to rest against Ron's shoulder as he rolled his hips to rub against the answering hardness he could feel beneath him.
"Is that what you want, love?" Ron asked, his strokes measured and firm as he continued to lay a trail of kisses along Harry's neckline. "You want me to take you in there and fuck you senseless?"
"If you don't I'll never speak to you again."
Despite being temporarily distracted from his dinner party idea by Ron's skills in the bedroom, Harry was determined to press on nevertheless. Ron, used to these little obsessions that his husband was prone to, decided the best thing was to just let him get it out of his system, hopefully with as little disruption to his life as possible.
Harry got a load of recipe ideas from Molly, who was thrilled that a member of the family was finally showing an interest in cooking something beyond the usual weeknight meal. The two sat at the kitchen table at the Burrow with their heads bent over some of Molly's most prized cooking books while she flicked through and decided which Harry should and shouldn't attempt.
She insisted that he do a couple of practice runs of the dishes he finally chose, and she supervised each one, advising and encouraging, offering tips that she had learnt through the years. Ron observed the whole thing with undisguised amusement, which only served to irritate Harry, which in turn caused Molly to tell her son off for being such an insensitive spouse.
The next thing that Harry deliberated over was the guest list. Here they were hampered somewhat as their dining table only seated six, so they could only invite four guests. Ron didn't see where the issue was, they would just invite Hermione, Gin and the twins, as they usually did, but Harry swiftly vetoed that idea.
"Why?" Ron had asked, baffled.
"Because they're not…they're not 'dinner party' guests," Harry had replied in the mithered tone he had started using when discussing The Dinner Party.
"What the bloody hell are 'dinner party guests'?" Ron had asked, beginning to think that his husband was losing the plot.
Harry had sighed and put his hands on his hips, saying "They're the kind of people that know how to have a proper sit-down meal with fancy cutlery and who can have civilised, grown-up conversations about…politics and…the state of the world and – "
"Harry, no offense love, but I work for the bloody Ministry, I don't want to talk about politics when I'm at home!"
The conversation had descended into an argument, one that was diffused, as all their arguments were, when they realised the absurdity of what it was they were fighting about and began laughing, forgetting things swiftly as they migrated to the bedroom.
It was decided, eventually, that The Dinner Party Guests would be Draco, Blaise, Hermione and her colleague, Liana, whom they had met several times and had agreed was very good company.
"Love, don't you need to heat the soup up?" Ron asked, peering into the vat of dark red liquid.
"It's not soup," Harry said through gritted teeth, "it's gazpacho, it's meant to be served cold."
"Cold soup?" Ron asked sceptically. "Sounds horrible." Harry turned around and glared at him, and Ron held his hands up, saying, "I mean lovely, it sounds lovely!"
"Why are you in my kitchen?" Harry asked. "I asked you to set the table, what are you doing in here?"
"It's all done, I thought you might need a hand."
Harry raised an eyebrow and said, "Have you set it properly, the way I showed you yesterday?"
Ron took a deep breath and reminded himself that he really did love the man standing opposite him, even if, at that moment, he would quite like to drown him in the pot of gazpacho. "Yes love, I've set it properly. I even used that charm Mum showed me to fold the napkins into swans."
Harry's face softened and he moved forward to wrap his arms around Ron's neck, saying, "Aw sweetheart, did you really?" Ron nodded as he began to run his hands up and down Harry's back. "I take back anything mean I've ever said about you."
"Mm, until the next time," Ron said, leaning down to kiss Harry, pulling him up against his body and deepening the kiss immediately, plundering the hot mouth that responded so well to him. He backed Harry up against the work surface and pinned the smaller body beneath his own, moving his hands downwards to cup Harry's pert backside.
"Not now!" Harry said, breaking away slightly but continuing to press himself up against Ron's body.
Ron grinned and said, "That would be a lot more convincing if you weren't trying to hump my leg."
"You're such a dick," Harry said, an answering grin trying to tug at his lips.
"You love me," Ron said assuredly.
"Only because no one else will, I just took pity on you years ago."
"Ah so that's why you married me."
"No, I married you because you give the best blow-jobs I've ever had in my life."
"Well I'm glad you finally admit it, I…Can you smell smoke?"
Harry sniffed the air for a second before pushing Ron away and yelling, "Oh crap! My beef wellington!" He rushed to the oven and wrenched the door open, a billow of smoke erupting from within. He wrenched the dial round to turn it off but evidently did so with a little too much force, as it came off in his hand. He stood there staring at it in his palm for a moment before he looked up at Ron, blinking in disbelief.
Ron bit down hard on his lip to stop himself from laughing, a feat that wasn't helped by the abject look of dismay on his husband's face.
"Oh love," he said, and Harry looked from the oven knob to the inside of the oven where the ends of his beef wellington were now black.
"This is a disaster," Harry said, still looking as though he was in a state of shock. "This is a complete fucking disaster."
"No it's not," Ron said firmly, moving over to him and taking the oven knob from his hand. "I can fix that tomorrow, but for now…just…cut the ends off. The middle part looks fine."
"But I don't have an oven to keep it warm now! And what about the chocolate soufflés? I can't cook soufflés without a bloody oven!"
"Harry, love," Ron said, placing his hands on Harry's shoulders, "have you forgotten that you're a wizard?"
"I…what?" Harry asked, his brain power obviously greatly diminished.
Ron gave him an affectionate smile and ran a hand through the messy thatch of black hair, saying gently, "Love, you don't need an oven, you just need your wand."
"But I didn't want to do it with magic, I wanted to do it all properly, from scratch and – "
"And I'm sure you would have done a brilliant job, but you don't really have much of an option now, do you?"
Harry looked plaintively back at the beef wellington, which was now sizzling ominously in the defunct oven. "I – " he began to say, but was interrupted by the cheery sound of the doorbell. "They're early!" he said in dismay. "I haven't opened the wine to let it breathe, or prepared the welcome cocktails, or – "
"Love, love, please remember to breathe before you pass out. I'll go and answer the door, you…do whatever you have to do with the drinks," Ron said, giving Harry an encouraging smile before leaning forward and placing a kiss to his forehead.
He moved out of the kitchen in their gorgeous little cottage, through into the living room and to the front door, opening it to find all four of his guests standing on the doorstep.
"Hello handsome," said Draco with a grin, one that Ron returned as they hugged each other in greeting.
"Takes one to know one," he replied, moving to hug Blaise, who rolled his eyes good-naturedly at both of them. Ron ushered the two men inside before hugging Hermione and giving Liana a polite kiss on the cheek before herding them into the living room too.
"Is something burning?" Draco asked, sniffing the air as he handed Ron the bottle of wine he had brought.
"For the love of Merlin don't say anything," Ron said, lowering his voice to make sure Harry couldn't hear from the kitchen. "There have been a couple of…setbacks in the kitchen, but I swear to all that is holy that if you mention it I will hex your balls off."
Draco smirked and said, "Duly noted."
"Does he want a hand in there?" Hermione asked as she removed her outer robe and smoothed her clothes down.
"Honestly, I think he'll kill anyone who dares to venture in there," Ron replied, and Hermione nodded understandingly.
Seemingly knowing that he was being talked about, Harry appeared from the kitchen, balancing a tray of interestingly coloured drinks.
"Hello everyone! Thank you so much for coming, dinner won't be a moment, but please, help yourself to a cocktail."
"This looks…very original," Blaise said in his deep voice as he took one from the proffered tray, examining the glass and holding it up to the light.
"Yes, very…unique," Hermione agreed as she took one then handed another over to Liana.
"What…what's in this?" Draco asked, giving his glass a sniff and receiving a glare from Ron.
"Well…it was meant to have a champagne base…but I forgot to get some so it's cava instead, and I didn't have the fancy pomegranate liqueur the book said to use…so it's just got a little raspberry cordial. I did have some black pepper though, and it said to add some for a hint of…something different."
"Black pepper?" Draco echoed, obviously doing his best not to laugh. "Well, that sounds…very pioneering Harry. Cheers, to our host," he said, raising his glass, the others following suit and repeating the toast.
Harry beamed at them as they all took a sip, then said, "Sorry, must just pop back into the kitchen, the starter will be ready soon. Please take your seats!"
He disappeared back into the kitchen and everyone took the opportunity to wince at the hideous taste that had assaulted their tastebuds. Hermione shivered and Blaise wrinkled his nose, looking at the glass in his hand with hostile suspicion.
"Cava?" Draco asked, looking aghast at Ron.
"Yeah…it was actually a couple of bottles left over from when we moved in here. They've been in the loft for years."
"It bloody well tastes like it!" Draco said, placing his glass on the table. "And black pepper? Where on earth did he get that idea?"
"It's no good asking me, I've been told to keep my nose out of the proceedings." He looked at them apologetically and said, "Come on, let's sit down at the table. I'm sure the food will be…much better."
He directed them all to the sweet little table at the other end of the living room and bade them sit in their appointed seats; Harry had been very vociferous as to the importance of a seating plan at a Dinner Party, and Ron wasn't stupid enough to argue.
Moments later, Harry appeared balancing six little tea cups full of the gazpacho and laid each one in front of the diners. Ron had questioned why they couldn't just have it in bowls, but the look he had been met with had told him that it was wise to ask no further questions when it came to Harry's serving choices.
"It's tomato and red pepper," Harry told them, indicating for them to start.
Ron picked up the tiny little spoon that was perched on the saucer of the teacup and scooped a healthy portion up and into his mouth. The fact that it was cold wasn't so much of a problem, although Ron would have preferred hot soup, but the overwhelming taste of salt that hit his mouth was almost enough to make him spit the whole thing out.
He gulped it down manfully and looked up at Hermione, who was obviously having much the same issue. Draco was already reaching for the water that had been placed on the table and was gallantly doing his best to fill everyone's glasses up without drawing too much attention to the action, and Liana looked as though she was trying to think of an adequate reason as to why she could eat no more than a few mouthfuls.
Hermione cleared her throat and said, "The napkins are wonderful Harry, did Molly show you how to do them?"
"Um…no…no, Ron did them," Harry said, staring down into his own teacup, his spoon poised halfway into it, obviously as unable as everyone else was to eat the salty red goop.
"Oh, well they're wonderful, Ron," said Hermione with a smile. "Molly must be thrilled that you've finally learnt something from her."
"I try," said Ron, wondering if he could vanish the contents of everyone's teacups without Harry noticing. "I think next time she'd like me to try a more adventurous shape than a swan."
"Next time?" Draco echoed with a raised eyebrow and Ron kicked him under the table, Blaise emitting a loud cough to cover the sound.
"How's work going?" Blaise said, turning his head to address Liana.
"Oh, very well thank you. Hermione and I are working on a case that looks set to be quite a tough one."
Ron tuned the conversation out as he tried to think how he could possibly salvage the situation. There was no way any of them could eat the entire teacup's worth, even he, with the best will in the world, wouldn't be able to stomach something so salty. He knew Harry had realised his error, and there was no way that he could see to protect him from the disappointment.
"You know, this was delicious, but I really should save room for the next two courses," said Hermione, placing her spoon back on the saucer and pushing the teacup slightly away from herself. The others all followed suit, nodding their agreement and giving up the battle to try and force it down.
"Of course," Harry said, ever the gracious host, but his disappointment was obvious. He gathered up the teacups and instructed Ron to come and get the wine that would go with the main course, and the two men made their way back into the kitchen, Ron casting a desperate look over his shoulder to the others on his way.
Harry placed the teacups in the sink, looking forlorn at how full they all still were. Ron came to stand behind him and wrapped his arms around the man's waist, placing his chin on his shoulder and saying,
"It was only one course, don't worry about it."
"But it was foul! I think I actually removed a layer of skin from my mouth with the saltiness of it!"
Ron bit his lip to stifle his laughter and tightened his hold around his husband's waist. "It was…really nice once you got past the flavour of the salt. It just…a lesson to be learnt for next time." He placed a kiss to Harry's cheek and gave the man an encouraging pat on the backside, saying, "You carry on with the main course and I'll go and serve the wine and keep our guests happy."
Harry nodded, casting a despondent eye over to the beef wellington that he had very little hope for. Ron grabbed the two bottles wine, a rather expensive Malbec that Harry had selected specifically to go with the beef. He moved back out into the living room and plonked one bottle in front of Draco to help himself and Blaise, whilst he poured Hermione and Liana a glass, saying,
"Look, whatever comes out of that kitchen, we eat it. Deal?"
Hermione and Liana nodded supportively and Blaise looked resigned, while Draco sipped at his wine and said, "If it poisons me, I'm suing you."
"Don't be a prat," Ron growled. "He's worked bloody hard on this and – " Blaise cleared his throat and Ron shut his mouth abruptly as Harry came back into the living room, levitating plates bearing veg, roast potatoes and huge, thick slices of the beef wellington.
He set them down in front of everyone and Ron poured him a glass of wine, which he took with a smile, then said, "Dig in everyone before it gets cold!"
Well, thought Ron as he looked down at his plate, at least it looked good. He was soon to realise, that appearances were deceiving. He discovered that his piece of beef was almost entirely raw. He was a medium rare man when it came to meat, but there was no way he could have stomached something that was nowhere near cooked. He glanced around and saw that Draco was in the same boat as him, whilst, conversely, Hermione was sawing away at a bit of beef that looked as though it would take nothing short of a chainsaw to get through it.
Harry was glaring down at this plate as though the beef had betrayed him, but it soon became apparent that the beef wasn't the only culprit responsible for ruining the meal. Blaise stuck his fork into a waiting carrot, only for it to shoot from his plate and hit Ron squarely in the forehead.
Draco let out an inelegant snort, which he tried to cover up by burying his face in his napkin, and Blaise looked mortified, while Ron dug his nails into his palms in an effort to stifle his laughter. Clearly trying to continue as though nothing had happened, Hermione gave up on her beef and moved to her own carrots, prodding one with her fork and, just like Blaise's, she sent it flying across the room, this one landing in Draco's wine.
This was too much for the blond, and he collapsed in a fit of giggles, nearly stuffing his napkin down his throat in the process. Blaise's stoic demeanour was also beginning to slip and Ron couldn't look across at the man as they both tried to maintain their composure. A snort from Hermione was the final straw and finally the whole table erupted in undignified gulps of laughter.
"It's not funny!" Harry protested, which only served to amuse the group further, and Draco began to turn a truly alarming shade of red as he struggled for air through his laughter.
Liana had tears rolling down her face and Hermione was doing her level best to try and compose herself, with very little success. Even Blaise, who could normally control himself in even the most trying of situations, had given up the fight and was leaning against Draco as he held his napkin to his lips and tittered into it.
"Fine! Fine! That's the main course over with, I'll go and get dessert!" Harry shouted over the din, and Ron couldn't summon up the effort to follow him into the kitchen to offer words of comfort. It had all gone to hell, and the best thing they could do was to go along with it.
"We need to stop laughing," Hermione said breathlessly through her giggles.
"Alright," Draco agreed cheerfully, "you first!"
"We really should try and behave ourselves," Blaise said, his cheeks flushed as he did his best to get his breathing under control.
Ron agreed in theory, but he could find no way to subdue the almost manic giggles that had taken him over. He took a few deep breaths to try and steady himself, but it did little to halt his laughter. He wiped at his eyes, glancing over to the kitchen door, and actually thought his heart had stopped for a moment as he saw Harry standing in the doorway covered head to toe in chocolate.
The room went deadly quiet, save for Draco's laboured breathing, as they all turned to look at their host, who looked utterly shell-shocked. He stood there, unmoving, unblinking, until he finally said with a voice that spoke of untold horrors,
"Apparently I used the wrong spell on the soufflés…They blew up in my face."
And that was it, the straw that broke the camel's back. The room descended into chaos and all of them were taken over by what could only be described as a fit of hysteria. Ron got up and moved over to Harry, wrapping his husband up in a big, messy bear hug until finally he started laughing too.
The others moved to join him, and through their laughter they all took turns scooping chunks of chocolate off Harry, declaring it to be the tastiest thing of the whole evening. None of them had ever laughed so hard in their entire lives and all were slightly worried that Draco would actually burst several blood vessels if he continued to cackle quite so maniacally.
Ron held onto Harry tightly as he laughed, thinking that while it hadn't been the Dinner Party that Harry had wanted, it would be a hell of a memory to look back on many years down the line.
"It was a disaster," Harry murmured as he lay in bed, Ron curled around his back.
"Yes it was," Ron agreed with a grin, "but it was the best fun I've had in ages."
"I wanted it all to go perfectly," Harry groaned. "I don't know how it all went so wrong."
"Next time, it will all go smoothly, I'm sure of it," Ron said, leaning down to pepper kisses along Harry's shoulder.
Harry snorted and said, "There isn't bloody well going to be a next time. It'll be pizza and tequila all the way from now on, I'm not going through the stress of that ever again!"
Ron began to let his hands rove over the gloriously naked body in his arms, moving to kiss Harry's neck as one firm hand snaked around his growing erection. "I can help you work some of that stress out," he murmured into his husband's ear. "It would be my pleasure."
Harry emitted a contented little moan of pleasure as Ron began to stroke him firmly, arching his body backwards to press himself against his husband. "I wouldn't turn down an offer like that," he whispered as Ron continued to work his attack on his throat.
"I'm just glad your ability in the kitchen is no reflection of your ability in the bedroom," Ron said with a grin, ready and waiting for the outraged attack as Harry turned around in his arms. He pinned the smaller man beneath him, pressing his hard length against Harry's own, ready to make Harry think of nothing but what he was about to do to him. "Let's see what we can do about relieving some of that tension."
AN: I hope this made you all smile, please leave a review and let me know!