A/N Previously posted on Livejournal as a birthday present for jocap and beta'd by my Within These Walls beta Nutnatz. Based on a true story and the 'treatment' scene was taken from a first hand description of how the British Army dealt with a mass infestation during WWII in Italy. Read this and pity the crew of the Monkey 2!
For more experimental one-shots and challenge-fics go over to my profile and click on my LJ link.
I've Got You Under My Skin
One week ago
Ron staggered into the Auror's sleeping quarters with his eyes already falling closed, half his clothes removed and strewn all over the floor, before he'd even reached his bunk.
Just as he threw back the covers, with a yawn that threatened to turn his head inside out with the enormity of it, a deep voice pulled the covers back and grunted at him.
Ron glanced around him and wondered if he'd got the wrong tent. He saw McKenzie on the top bunk and Lewis and Fishman snoring contentedly in that synchronised way of theirs and turned back to what was obviously his hijacked bed.
"Piss off outta my bed you arsehole. I'm knackered!"
"Plaistow's shagging… can't sleep next door… too noisy," the invader said by way of explanation before rolling over and pulling the covers around himself tightly.
"I don't fucking care," Ron declared as he yanked the covers back again, "I've been running drills half the day and digging trenches for the rest of it. I want my bed and I don't I don't want it with you in it. Out!"
There was a growl as the covers were snatched back and the body within them rolled around a couple of times to cocoon himself inside before mumbling grumpily.
"Digging trenches is a piece of piss ya whiny sod, go and sleep in the communal quarters."
Ron kicked at the bed with annoyance.
"For your information I had to dig manually 'cause there were Muggles around," he turned and gathered up his clothes from the floor, "Fucking communal quarters! I'll be lucky if I can find a bed that don't stink of piss!" he grumbled under his breath.
"Do you mind?" the invader said, "I'm trying to sleep!"
Ron turned and scowled at the wizard shaped lump in his bed and thought about hitting him with his boot before smirking as a better idea dawned upon him.
"Oh and, while you're mummified in my sheets, I think I'd better tell ya something," Ron saw the wizard's lazy eyes open a crack, "I wank twice before I go to bed and once again in the morning so if the sheets feel a little crunchy you know why."
"Ugh!" a voice from across the room groaned while another, supposedly sleeping lump in a bed in the far corner chuckled.
Ron stomped out and, swearing under his breath the entire time, crossed the deserted Mess tent before throwing his things to the ground and dropping face down into the first available bed.
The last thing he heard before he fell asleep was a small voice at the door.
"Got room for one more?"
"Crabs! They've got crabs!" the cry runs through the serried ranks.
Ron grimaced and put his breakfast tray back on the stack at the exit before heading out to report for duty.
"Nah mate," one of the middle ranking Aurors said as Ron tried to pass, "'Fraid everybody's got to report to the Healer before they can resume active duty. Rules is rules."
"And crabs is crabs," Edgington said with a grin from behind Ron.
"What are you so happy about?" Ron huffed, "You've got to have Nitty Nora combing your crotch as well y'know?"
"In fact, I don't, my possibly infested friend!" he beamed in that "you're utterly screwed and I know how" way of his.
Edgington had been Ron's partner in Auror assignments ever since Ron had accidentally blinded him in training and, while attempting to restore his sight, 'Edge' had sent a garbled defensive spell into Ron's lower intestine which caused him to shit live eels for three hours. Things like that tend to bond young wizards. After all, things can't get any worse after you've gone blind and shat live eels can they?
Well as it turns out they can...
"How d'ya mean?" Ron frowned.
"Well it seems that a certain skanky bike has been doing the rounds in the 'Communal' sleeping quarters," Edge made air quotations around the word communal and seemed to be delighted about what he was saying, "and she's given everyone who's slept there in the last couple of weeks crabs!"
Ron's face fell.
"The communal sleeping quarters?" he repeated.
Edge nodded gleefully.
"And I'd never sleep in there for all the Galleons in Gringotts so I know I haven't got anything."
"But I didn't...I didn't..." Ron sputtered, "I've got a girlfriend back home!"
The senior Auror raised an amused eyebrow and folded his arms across his chest.
"And half the boys currently scratching their bollocks right now are happily married Auror Weasley."
"But I didn't!" Ron protested, "She's a troll!"
"Well if you've been spending days and weeks away from your soft and fluffy loved one it's only understandable that you might see her in a more favourable light Ron," Edge, the champion shit-stirrer, mused, "If you squint, or close your eyes completely, then she's not such a bad bet after all."
"I didn't shag her!" Ron declared, far louder then he had intended and he cringed at the smattering of applause he received, "I haven't shagged anyone since I got here. Why d'you think I'm so bloody horny?" Ron hissed.
Edgington was almost dancing with delight at Ron's anxiety, which only wound him up even more, and the panicking red head turned back to the senior Auror and whispered under his breath.
"Seriously sir I have not...done...anything or anyone to get crabs. I don't have crabs."
The Auror's eyes looked down to Ron's crotch and then back up at Ron again.
"So you're not feeling at all itchy down there then Weasley?"
Ron swallowed before crossing his legs and squirming slightly.
"Well with all this talk I'm bound to get the creeps aren't I? Like when people talk about head lice and you start scratching your head?"
"You've got nits too?" Edge said excitedly as he plunged both hands into Ron's hair and began to roughly examine his scalp.
"Will you piss of Edge? You're not helping!"
Edgington sniggered and took a step back.
"But it's so funny."
"It is not funny!"
"It is when it's happening to you and not me!" Edge grinned.
Ron punched Edge in the shoulder and the senior Auror took Ron by the elbow and led him out of the Mess tent.
"Look Weasley, it's a precaution that everybody who slept in that area have to take," he explained, "There's no insinuations that you banged anyone but you need to be screened and there's no getting away from it."
Ron looked over his shoulder to the now hysterical Edgington.
"I'm gonna find out who that git was that stole my bed and I'm gonna kill him!"
"Give him ya crabs!" Edge said as he collapsed to the floor and began to laugh at such a high pitch that Ron felt sure dogs all over Monte Santa Maria were heading his way.
"I hate you," Ron said with total sincerity, they tended to use this expression so often with each other now that is was a flippant as saying 'pass the salt' to both of them.
Edgington could no longer speak and was rolling around on the filthy Mess hall floor. Ron hoped he absorbed every vile bacterium that those cooks produced in the name of nourishment and would have to spend a week on the bog, purging himself at both ends.
"Come on son, let's get your 'nads looked at," the senior Auror said casually.
Ron sat with his head in his hands and whimpered.
"Come now Auror Weasley, it's not the end of the world," the Healer smiled sympathetically.
Ron lifted his head and stared at the man in utter disbelief.
"I have a girlfriend."
"Well she doesn't have to find out does she?" the Healer gave him a pat on the back.
"But I've got leave in two days," Ron said with a squeak breaking his voice.
"Ah," the Healer said, his smile faltering, "Well maybe she won't want to..."
"We haven't seen each other for four months!" Ron said with desperation.
"How do I explain to her that I can have sex with her?" Ron said hoarsely, addressing the floor more then the Healer.
"Well she may not want to just, um, go at it eh?"
Ron looked up at the Healer and heaved a deep sigh.
"You don't know my girlfriend."
"And there'll be the added problem of not being able to share a bed with her of course, hard to explain that one away with 'I've got a headache' isn't it?"
"What?" Ron cried out, "Please be joking!"
"I'm afraid not, crabs can live in bed sheets for quite some time."
Ron exhaled and shook his head despairingly.
"She's gonna kill me."
"Come now, I'm sure she'll understand."
"Are you insane?" Ron leapt to his feet and began to pace, "Of course she won't bloody understand! Hi Hermione, good to see ya. What's that? You want a hug? Well put on these rubber knickers and get your arse on over here!"
"Auror Weasley I'm sure it won't be as bad as you think," the Healer said, trying and failing to suppress his laughter.
"She's gonna think I've been shagging around. She's going to take this as proof I've been shagging around. What am I going to tell her? Crabs just fell into my crotch did they?"
"Calm down, please calm down," the Healer said as he got to his feet and grabbed Ron securely by the shoulders, "None of the women on this mission have it Auror Weasley. It's only amongst the men."
"That's supposed to be better? That sounds better to you?" Ron ranted, "Now I come home to my girlfriend, tell her we can't have sex after all, tell her that I have crabs and then I tell her that I caught them...from another man!"
"Well when you put it like that," the Healer winced.
"It sounds bloody awful!" Ron completed the sentence.
"I don't know what to say Auror Weasley. I'm sorry," the Healer shrugged before pulling back a curtain that revealed a huge open field in the Italian landscape with a dozen or so showers erected in the far corner of it, "Strip off. Have a thorough wash down with the others. Wash all over, as hot as you can possibly stand it understand?"
Ron's shoulders slumped and he plodded dejectedly out to join his other infested colleagues.
"Whichever one of you is responsible for this I will make you pay," Ron growled as he peeled off his clothes.
After the searing hot shower, the crab ridden had been summoned, naked and now shivering, into another Healer's tent where there was no sign of anybody to tell them what to do next.
There was a table with a row of small tins, each with a large blob of cotton wool beside it, and a voice called out from outside the tent.
"Right! Each man grab a tin and a blob of cotton wool. Dip the cotton wool into the tin and dab it generously over all the infected parts...quickly now, quickly!"
Ron approached the table and peered inside. He saw a clear mauve liquid. One of the lads chucked at a friend of his moaning 'unclean, unclean!'
The 'unclean' Aurors applied the stuff; Ron guessed it was a magical remedy of some sort, liberally to their affected areas. Then, to be safe they slathered it around their balls, backs and bellies as well. It took about ten seconds to act. Then everyone's balls caught fire.
It was raw alcohol.
Every single one of them bounced around on their tiptoes. They hopped and danced and rolled on the ground with their hands clenched firmly between their thighs as if they were caught in a bear trap. Some of them were running around, some could only manage to skip. Ron doubled up over the table and his whole body tried to contract into the size and shape of a marrowfat pea! He slipped off the table and hit the floor hard before drawing his knees up to his chest and fanning his 'wedding tackle' with his hand.
"Your clothing will be destroyed, please find clean underwear in the bags at the door and leave," the voice said again, still from outside the tent.
"What do we do then?" one of the Aurors, a wizard a few years older then Ron with a wide face and thin mousy hair called back.
"Well then I'd like to think you will all put some bloody clothes on!" the voice said back incredulously.
"Right," the wizard mumbled before making his way over to the separately bagged underwear.
"And don't forget to destroy all your bed linen and get fresh ones from the supply tent."
There were grumpy murmurs from everyone and the disembodied voice was gone.
"I can't believe I got crabs and that bastard Plaistow didn't," the wide faced Auror said as he pulled on the clean boxers, "the number of skanks he puts it to..."
The wizard shook his head and made to leave.
Ron was hopping up and down on one leg as he wrestled his own fresh underwear on when he suddenly froze and glared at the departing Auror.
'Plaistow's shagging… can't sleep next door… too noisy...'
'...crabs can live in bed sheets for quite some time.'
Ron's eyes were wide and he pulled the underwear right up before launching himself at the Auror's back.
"What the fu...?" the wide faced Auror exclaimed as he tried not to fall over.
"You gave me crabs you bastard!" Ron roared, "You slept in my fucking bed that night and rubbed your crabby bollocks all over my sheets."
"How do I know you didn't give them to me you wanker?" the man protested as he tried to throw Ron off his back.
"It was you!" Ron snarled, more livid then he could ever remember being in his life.
Ron was finally shaken off and he hit the ground with a thump before scrambling back to his feet and glaring at the cause of all his problems.
"What if it was? Get a grip and burn your sheets and it'll be like it never bloody happened."
Ron was breathing slowly and deeply as his rage threatened to explode out of him all at once with dangerous ferocity.
"I have leave to be with my girlfriend in two days; my girlfriend who I haven't seen for months; my girlfriend who is going to want to do stuff! I want to do stuff too but now I won't be able to because you...gave...me...crabs!"
"Oh," the older wizard cringed apologetically, "I don't suppose you'd be willing to accept my apology then?"
Ron's eyes were wide and furious.
"I'm gonna fucking kill you!"
Now Ron had one more thing to explain to Hermione. He had to tell her exactly why he was on three-weeks' probation for fighting another Auror, in front of the whole senior division, while dressed only in their underwear.