Title: The Pyramids Sound Lonely Tonight
Harry Potter and Hermione Granger are owned by JK. The Weasleys are co-owned by JK and Dimitri. No, seriously.
Dedication: for Dimitri Aidan, who once used 'Wet Paint' and 'favorite' in the same sentence. We'll just ignore the qualifiers, such as 'one of,' 'Harry Potter' and 'one-shot.' Focus on 'favorite.' Also, because he was born. Right around now, someodd years ago.
With much thanks to the wonderfully awesome Seers for the beta job. Thanks babe!
If the first was more of a 'missing scene,' this has definitely skated off into AU.
Pairings/Warnings: Bill&Harry, various mentioned. Very brief mention of incest, threesomes. Oh, just read. It's not that bad.
Bill Weasley paced his spacious Egyptian apartment nervously. His brother and his friends would be here soon. He would be here soon. Had it really been almost four years?
He wasn't sure how this would turn out, but he had decided that he would come out to his parents regardless. He thought it might actually go over well. They had accepted Remus after that terrible breakup with Tonks, after all. It was different with family; he knew this. But with Jamie's birth just two years ago, he knew his mother wouldn't be demanding grandchildren anytime soon. As for the family name, well, with six brothers, that was surely of no concern.
Though, he supposed Fred and George wouldn't be much help in that area, either. Unless they had some bastards around from their 'questing' period, they likely wouldn't be producing any offspring. After working their way through a good part of London's magical and muggle population, the twins had informed the family that they had only confirmed what they had known since age 13: that they were only truly attracted to one another. Mum had fainted right off, but Bill thought it strangely fitting. And a little narcissistic, but he was glad to know they were happy. And equally glad that they behaved no different around one another or the family than they ever had.
He knew Charlie and Tonks weren't thinking about having children, but they'd have their own 'Bindi Sue' playing with dragons eventually. Ron and Hermione would probably be producing red-headed witchlets and wizardlings before long, from what Bill saw of them at graduation. Mum had seemed particularly proud watching them together. She had fussed over Harry that day too, of course, and made sure he was included as part of the family. None of his muggle family had come for the event. Not that Harry had anything to do with them anymore, not since the war had ended.
Bill had only come for the ceremony. He was in the middle of a job that he had wanted to finish before their visit, so he hadn't even stayed overnight. He stayed just long enough to give hugs and handshakes after, and to nudge Harry's memory charm to start wearing off. Bill wondered if the memory would be restored when Harry arrived, or if it would only be visiting him in his dreams.
Bill was glad he had done the memory charm; Harry had had too much else to deal with. After Cedric's death, Bill had stayed in London. He couldn't leave Harry, or the rest of the family. Luckily he was able to work with the Order. Fleur had known about his sexuality and his wait, though not for whom he waited. He was her beard, really. It wasn't easy carrying veela blood, after all. After the war was over, he had no reason not to return to Egypt. He saw Harry no more often living in London, and he had meant what he said, that night four years ago. He wanted Harry to… whatever, before he actively pursued him. Even now, he knew some of his nervousness was feeling like a bit of a dirty old man. He was 27 years old. Almost 18 still seemed awfully young, even if it was legal. The age of his little brother. He remembered Ron's birth. It didn't seem so very long ago, either. But, Harry wasn't his brother, and thank God for that. He had enough brothers, and would leave that kind of boundary crossing to the twins.
They arrived in the apparition reception room of Gringott's Main Office in Cairo at dusk. They were using a port key for the trip and Bill jumped back slightly when the group of them landed in a jumble of arms and legs. Harry was sprawled at Bill's feet and blushed as Bill helped him up, but said nothing. Bill turned his attention to the others... and noticed the addition of a fourth he had not expected. Draco Malfoy stood between Hermione and Ron, a hand clasped in either of theirs, his back stiff, but apprehension clear in his grey eyes.
Bill raised an eyebrow at Ron, but smiled in genuine welcome to Draco. The Slytherin youth had fought well and bravely beside Harry in the war. As Bill understood it, the surprise help from that house had not been because it was the right thing to do, but because it was the thing that would give them the most freedom. Having witnessed the servitude of their parents to a wizard bested by one of their own classmates again and again, many in the new generation decided they would rather have the chance to claim their own power, without owing allegiance to anyone.
Harry had been the one to grasp that. Just enough of Voldemort was in him to be able to think like a Slytherin, to see how they could be convinced to choose his side. By showing them that they could choose their own side - fight against Voldemort without swearing allegiance to
Harry - he secured them as temporary allies, and more importantly, ensured that they were not with the Death Eaters.
It would seem, though, watching Draco with the others on the short walk to Bill's apartment, that Draco had found more than temporary allies during the war. As he unlocked the door with a gesture and a word, he told them, "I've only made up three beds. If one of you wants to take the couch tonight, we can remedy that in the morning."
"No need, Bill, we'll work it out." Ron was smiling brightly, but at Hermione, not Bill. He shrugged and left them outside the guestrooms, heading to the kitchen to get snacks and drinks while they settled. He assumed that Ron would stay with his girlfriend, and leave the room with two single beds for Draco and Harry.
Bill returned with a tray and found Harry alone in Hermione's room. The other door was closed, with sounds of tumbling and laughing beyond. Bill looked back at Harry in surprise. He flushed. "They... well, it'll probably be just you and me, a lot of the time. They..." He looked down, hiding his thoughts from Bill.
"I'm okay with that," Bill assured, though he meant he was okay with spending time with Harry. His brother's relationship... would bear thinking at another time. "Let's go sit in the parlor."
Attempting to chat with Harry was endearing and frustrating at the same time. He was clearly attracted to Bill and was nearly paralyzed by his nerves, so the conversation was anything but smooth. But each blush and stutter made Bill want to cross to Harry's chair and sweep him into his arms. Bill thought his nudge to the memory charm must not have worked. After a spectacular blush when Bill mentioned the International Quidditch Cup, he figured it had worked, but not all the way. And Harry did not seem to believe that Bill could possibly return his feelings. After a couple of Freudian slips and unintended innuendos, Harry made quick excuses and fled to his room.
As Bill watched Harry's retreating form with appreciation, he considered that 14-year-old Harry had been more confidant despite, or perhaps because of, his naiveté. He hoped that the easy blushing would continue, though, even after he assured Harry that his interest was reciprocated.
The next evening, Bill sat on the balcony, stewing over the frustrating events of the day. Harry had barely looked at him all day. Even when the other three 'coupled' off and they were left to themselves, Harry acted as though he were alone. It wasn't that Harry was avoiding him, exactly. It was almost like he just didn't see him at all.
Bill was suddenly glad that the memory charm had not worn off yet, and was deciding on a spell to make it permanent, when Hermione joined him on the balcony, a thin robe over her bare body. As she sat in the chair beside him, Bill thought that nudity would be more modest than the robe, and noted that the skinny girl with bushy hair he remembered grew up well. An echo of a moan drifted out the door leading from the room she was sharing with his brother and Draco, and Bill watched her face out of the corner of his eye, wondering why she would choose this path, or if maybe it was less choice and more acceptance. Ron and Hermione as a couple had been inevitable. But if Ron had decided that he wanted more than that, more than her, maybe she wasn't willing to give up Ron, even if it meant sharing. Though, if that was the case, it did not seem to fit with the fiery, independent young girl she had been. She was an accomplished witch and a war hero, but maybe the war had taken a bigger toll than was apparent.
A louder groan of lust and need reached his ears and Bill came back to the moment, realizing belatedly that he was staring at Hermione, who was watching him with amusement sparkling in her eyes. She smiled when she saw she had his attention in the here and now.
"You wonder why I'm in this relationship. It's alright, you can ask." Bill opened his mouth, but couldn't think of how to word it, and was thinking he should really just apologize and retreat. Hermione's smile twisted to a smirk, and he closed his mouth. "It was harder than it needed to be, though our fears were well-founded. It could have been awful. Admitting that there is someone else you want to be with would usually ruin a relationship. But if we had been honest sooner, we could have all been happy sooner. And Draco... he was so terribly alone for awhile. Now, he is almost never alone."
"But, then why are you out here?"
Hermione smiled. "I'd rather be out here with you, just now. I'm in love with two 18 year old men; I get all the sex I want." Bill choked a little, but tried to focus as Hermione continued. "I don't get to sit in the beautiful Egyptian night chatting with my lover's brother. The man who hopes to be my best friend's lover."
Bill froze, unable to look at her. If she knew, did they all? Is that why Harry hadn't paid him the least bit of attention today? Did that answer his question for him? Harry must have asked Hermione to break it to him, so he wouldn't have to face him, wouldn't have to look in the face of his pathetic hopes--
"There you go again; slow down."
"Huh?" Bill whipped his head back to look at Hermione. Her look was still amused, but compassionate as well. She knew what it was to worry about love.
"I saw you out here fretting about it. I don't want you and Harry to miss the opportunity that Ron and Draco and I almost missed."
"Opportunity?" Bill knew he sounded like an idiot, but he could feel the hope rising once again in his chest, and needed to be sure.
"Harry looks at you the same way you look at him." She paused, her lips pursed. "When he is able to look at you." She looked hard at him, almost willing him to understand more than her words were saying.
Bill nodded slowly, not wanting to disappoint her. "Yesterday, I thought... But today, he hasn't looked at me at all. Not once." He shook his head, not understanding.
Hermione looked down a moment, then, nodding to herself, met his eyes again. "Let's say you turned into a puddle of goo every time you were around a certain person." Hermione ignored Bill's sardonically cocked eyebrow. "And let's say this person is someone you couldn't imagine you could have - someone older, more established in the world, someone almost like family, someone who lives thousands of miles away - and you have to be around this person, alone with this person, all week, and you think you would die if they knew how you felt. Oh, and imagine,"
Hermione smirked, "that you know magic. What would you do?"
Bill balked. "But you can't spell yourself out of love! It doesn't work that... way..." Bill trailed off as another idea hit him.
He barely noticed Hermione get up and move towards the door to her room. "My work here is done," she said softly, then closed the door.
Bill got up and went to his own door. He had a spell to break. Two, in fact.
Harry was alone in the single room, lying on the bed. His glasses were off, but his eyes were open, staring up at the ceiling. Bill just watched him for a moment, seeing the boy he knew and fell in love with, but also the man that boy was becoming. He had not gained a lot of height. He was the shortest of the Weasley clan, excepting the baby. Even Ginny was taller than him now, by an inch. But he was... harder, somehow, thicker than he used to be. His chest deeper, wider, his shoulders broad and his arms and legs strong, but not bulky. Wizards, even wizards at war, did not build huge muscles, but they could not be weak, either.
Harry was looking at him. Directly at him. Bill imagined he looked rather fuzzy to him, but his direct look made him wonder if the spell was on Harry's glasses. He stepped up to the bed, determined to take this opportunity.
He sat on the bed next to Harry and swiftly took one hand in his, the other resting on Harry's cheek. "Bill? What--" His eyes were wide and he tried to sit up, but Bill held him down with gentle pressure on his cheek, and moved his upper body close so Harry could see his face.
"Harry. We've both been protecting ourselves with magic. It is time to let down the walls." He released Harry's hand to touch his wand as he whispered the words to release the memory charm. As Harry's memories of that night returned to him, Bill rubbed his arm, feeling the muscles below his clothes, and letting his fingertips drift lightly over Harry's palm.
As the charm wore off completely, Harry looked back at Bill in wonder. "That... It was real? But I thought it was a dream..." Harry turned his eyes away as he examined the memory. Bill smiled when Harry groaned and flushed and tried to turn away. "Oh, you must have thought me such an idiot. You must still think that of me. I swear, Bill, I'll leave you alone. I'll... I'll go back home tomorrow. Right now, if you want. I don't want to ruin--"
Bill stopped Harry's panicked babbling with a finger on his lips. He couldn't resist the temptation to trace those lips, to wonder if it were too soon to kiss them, to imagine them kissing back, on his lips, his neck, his chest, his-- Bill stopped his thoughts and his finger, moving it to rest on Harry's chin.
"I don't want you to leave. Harry, search the memory again. Nothing has changed, for me. I still feel the same. Do you remember what I said that I would ask? Do you want me to ask?"
Harry stilled. "I... you... oh." He squirmed, and his face flushed, but not in embarrassment this time. "Here? Or do you want to go to your room?"
Bill smiled. "I would love to see you in my bed. But first, may I kiss you?"
Harry nodded, and the tip of his tongue flicked between his lips. Bill wanted to chase after it, but calmed himself, starting with a soft, dry kiss, warm lips moving over one another. Harry sighed into his mouth and wrapped his arms around Bill, clutching at his clothes to hold on, and pull him closer. Bill placed small kisses on Harry's lips and around his mouth, his nose, his chin. Harry tried to participate and growled in annoyance when he couldn't catch Bill's mouth.
Bill chuckled. "Let's go get some dessert and we can catch up on the last four years. Then we'll see where that takes us." He sat up and then stood, holding his hand out to Harry.
Harry smiled and reached for his glasses on the nightstand, unprepared for Bill to pull him up and out of reach of his goal. Bill smiled reassuringly. "Let's break the spell on those first, shall we? I want you to see me while I'm trying to seduce you."
Ron scowled at Hermione, annoyed that she was keeping both the Extendable Ear, and what she heard with it, to herself. "Well?" he asked again. He felt a hand on his arm and knew Draco was trying to keep the peace. He forced himself to calm, knowing that his occasional fights with Hermione were more disturbing to Draco than their own frequent brawls. Hermione pulled the Ear out and tapped it with her wand. It folded itself away in its case. Fred and George had greatly improved their eavesdropping tool over the years, but they only had the one and Hermione had been the one to use it because, well, Hermione got what she wanted, always. Not that Ron could complain. He would never have had Hermione before him and Draco behind him if his beautiful girlfriend wasn't the determined woman she was.
"They worked it out. Both spells are broken. They are talking, flirting, and I expect I could return to my room if I wished tonight, as the bed will be empty." She looked at the two young men on the bed, Draco wrapping himself around Ron as they stared at her, confused.
Smiling wide, she assured them, "Not that I want to be anywhere but right here, with the two of you." Stepping forward, she moved to prove to them just that.