Her smell surrounded him and the bed was warm and soft. It was like he was being swallowed up in a cocoon of Hermione's warmth. His hand was between his legs and he shifted a little to scratch his balls before his knuckles knocked against his dick and he cradled it loosely in his palm and began to slide his hand up and down.
Hermione's lips were on his neck and Ron cracked an eyelid open to see her smiling at him before trailing more kisses along his pulse point. Ron closed his eyes again and audibly sighed as he shifted in the bed and pushed his hips up into the caress of his hand.
"I can't stop touching you," Hermione whispered into his damp skin, thumbs rubbing circles around his nipples.
"Don't stop," he murmured back to her as he wrapped a leg around her body to pull her closer to him.
His hand banged lightly against her stomach as he stroked himself and she grabbed his wrist and pulled it away from his dick. Ron's back arched and he started panting excitedly as Hermione tentatively brushed the tips of her fingers against the head of Ron's cock.
"Touch it," Ron gasped, "please touch it!"
"I love you Ron," she said as her hand slid down his length and her fingers curled loosely around it.
Ron's hips lifted off the bed and he pressed himself into her palm.
"Want you!" he strained, breathing heavily and licking his slightly parted lips.
Hermione pressed her breasts against his bare chest, stroked Ron' penis, and kissed his glistening lips delicately but hungrily – as if they were made of melting chocolate.
Ron's hand moved up her back, slid beneath her nightshirt, and caressed her smooth skin. Hermione moved her fingers in a rolling motion and slid her palm up and down a little faster. Ron jerked into her hand once again and moaned into her mouth.
"Prachtige...Prachtige mond!" He yelped ecstatically.
Hermione dove for his mouth to devour a long deep kiss before sliding down his body, chest rising and falling with increasing speed, back arching and writhing and hips grinding against her touch. She kissed and nipped at his neck, his collarbone, his pectoral...
"God I love you," She breathed, lust-filled.
Down lower still, Hermione trailed kisses all the way down Ron's long lean stomach and removed her hand from Ron's cock, causing him to let out a needy whimper. She gripped his bony hips and slithered down further until she was kissing his penis. Kissing, lapping at it and then, finally, she swallowed it with a contented hum.
"Oh...ik hou van je!" Ron cried out, hands flying up to his face to cover his exclamation.
Hermione dragged her hands down Ron's parted thighs and rubbed up and down them in time with the rhythm of her neck. Ron was breathing like a marathon runner now and he grabbed a pillow to force over his face so he could scream his orgasm into it without summoning a hoard of worried friends and relations to witness the moment.
Hermione took him as deeply as she could and swallowed against Ron just as he roared into the pillow and almost levitated clean off the bed with the force of his ejaculation.
"Ik hou van je...ik hou van je...I do," Ron gasped as he threw the pillow aside and Hermione crawled back up his limp body, "I really love you!"
Hermione slumped down on top of him and looked utterly delighted.
"If I wasn't so tired I might cry," she said in a blissful daze.
Ron lifted his head and smiled at her dopily.
"Hi Ron, welcome back!" Hermione giggled.
"Hoe laat is het?" Ron frowned as he looked around the room panting.
"I Don't speak Dutch Ron," Hermione said as she laid her head upon his chest lazily.
"Wha? Oh, what time is it?" Ron repeated.
"Still morning I think," Hermione mumbled before yawning.
Ron stroked her hair and held her to him as he kissed her through her mass of uncontrollable hair.
"Hoe gaat het?" He asked her thoughtfully.
"Still English Ron," Hermione grinned.
"How're you doing? Y'alright?"
"I am so much better than alright," she beamed up at him.
They kissed happily and held each other for a little longer before the sounds of Ron's mother bashing about in the kitchen made them sit up in the bed and clean themselves up with a quick wave of their wands.
"Wil je koffie?" Ron yawned, wiping his bleary eyes.
"How do you say yes please in Dutch?" Hermione asked, able to understand that last question.
"Huh? Was I doing it again?" Ron said, trying to think back to what he'd just said.
"Post orgasm confusion I think, don't worry, I'd love a coffee. Tell me though, how do you say yes please in Dutch?"
Ron smiled at her and reached for a t shirt to pull on, it was one of Harry's and far too tight – plus it had 'Harry' written on the front but at that moment he didn't really care.
"Ja graag." He said.
"Ja graag," Hermione said with a dignified nod and a naughty smile.
"I wonder what Boo and Andrew will make of this!" Ron snorted before leaving the room and heading off downstairs.
Hermione frowned and started into space in bewilderment.
"Who the hell is Andrew?"
The cell door creaked open and Ron stepped inside. At first the Death Eater cowered away from the light but as the door swung closed again he blinked and focused on Ron standing before him.
"You!" he gasped, "You came back."
Ron looked around the cell as he wandered around it thoughtfully, not looking at the Death Eater as he struggled to sit up properly from his spot in the corner.
"They clean away the shit then, that's nice" Ron said with a smile, "you get food and water too so I'm told." Ron clicked his tongue against the roof of his mouth before looking down at the man at his feet, "so why exactly is it I'm supposed to feel sorry for you again?"
"Boy..." the Death Eater grunted as he tried to get to his feet, "...I know of your conditions in that place but you at least had hope of getting out no?"
"Don't get up," Ron said, looking down at the man with distaste and waving a dismissive hand at him, "and no, impending execution wasn't any kind of hope you moron."
The man sagged back into the dank corner and lowered his head.
"Whatever you think of me, I helped you boy, and you owe me."
Ron crouched down before the Death Eater.
"Do you want to know what I think of you?" he asked with an emotionless expression on his face, "I think you joined the Death Eaters because you thought they were the winning team. Forget all the prejudices and morals and shit, you actually joined not because of the cause but because they were winning."
Ron smiled very slightly as the man blinked back up at him wordlessly.
"Then they weren't winning any more but you'd showed your true colours and then you were buggered weren't you?" Ron laughed a little before continuing, "So your next course of action was to stay alive. You were on the losing team, everybody was after you on a shoot to kill basis, and your main objective was not to die."
"Listen," the Death Eater began, "I can explain abo-"
"I've not finished yet," Ron said with a friendly grin, "and seeing as you've asked me a very big favour I'd think you'd want to stay on my good side and not interrupt me when I'm talking wouldn't you?"
"Alsjeblieft..." The Death Eater said as he tried to crawl towards Ron and grab the hem of his robes.
"Y'see you killed people to stay alive," Ron said as he paced up and down the small cell, well out of reach of the clawing hand of the Death Eater, "You tortured people and persecuted the innocent and you cooked and served a human being to other starving human beings...possibly ate a bit of him yourself for all I know..."
"Never!" The man barked furiously.
"You did everything you could just so you could stay alive." Ron smirked down at the man, "You let me go so you could run away without having to fight. You didn't spare me, you didn't even untie my bloody hands, you did nothing but run away rather than chase and recapture your prisoner."
"I let you escape," the man wheezed in desperation.
"You did nothing!" Ron yelled, "You only cared about getting out alive. All that matters to you is staying alive. Now...now you have to live like this and suddenly I owe you a death do I? Not bloody likely!"
Ron crouched before the man again and glared at him bitterly.
"If you were even remotely sorry about what you'd done I might have actually thought about it, but you're not so I didn't. I didn't give you a thought until now."
The man stared at Ron in horror.
"You wanted to live so badly...well I'm going to make sure you bloody well do you pathetic little klootzak! You're gonna live in here until the higher powers decide you've done your time and end you. You're going to live out the rest of your natural life..." Ron narrowed his glinting eyes as he leaned right into the man's face, "just like you wanted!"
Just as the Death Eater lunged for Ron he sprung back and banged on the cell door for the guard to let him out again.
"I will send letters every day!" the Death Eater warned, threateningly, "You will never be able to forget as long as I am alive. I will not let you!"
The door opened and Ron looked back at the man and smiled.
"I use your letters to line the bottom of my owl's cage. You don't honestly think I'd waste good paper on owl shit do you eikel?"
"You are as bad as me if you let me rot jongen!" The man hissed angrily.
"You said it yourself Mr Eberman," Ron shrugged, "walking away from an enemy and letting them save themselves is a truly great gift...and now I've returned the favour. We're even. Goodbye!"
Madam Boo was sitting in her office and wondering if she should have a late lunch or an early dinner when she heard the knock on her door. She smiled, ever cautious since he'd met Andrew, Ron would always knock now. Although he was much later than he would normally be. His visits fewer and farther between ever since he and his girlfriend had broken down the intimacy barrier.
"Come in," she called out, putting away some case notes and reaching for a broken quill to set on the table just in case Ron needed to drill any further into the wood of her desk.
The door opened and closed. Soft footsteps made their way across the carpet and Boo looked up with a frown, if Ron was treading softly then he was having a bad day, only she didn't see Ron standing before her at all.
"Hi," the young black man said, hair a stack of dreadlocks and nervous smile breaking across his face, "I'm a friend of Ron Weasley's and he said...he thought...well I asked..."
"You'd like somebody to talk to Lee?" Boo smiled, knowing instantly who this friend of Ron's was from the many conversations they'd had about him.
Lee nodded and pulled up a chair.
"So you are struggling with life on the outside?" she asked, tilting her head to one side.
"Well, it's different and it can be rough but no, that's not why I wanted to talk to you...to someone." Lee shifted awkwardly in his seat.
"All right," Boo nodded, "why don't you take your time and tell me what's troubling you?"
Lee drew in a deep breath and let it out before leaning over the desk and sliding his finger up and down the groove in the desk his red haired brother had carved during sessions.
"See the thing is..." Lee began before stopping, "What it is...What's been making me so obsessive about taking care of Ron..."
Boo waited patiently during the lengthy pause Lee left before dropping his head into his hands with a huff and growling.
"I'd do anything for him," Lee said, looking up at Madam Boo intensely, she nodded and he continued, "I want him to be happy and safe and I never want him to feel the way that bastard made him feel. He made Ron feel disgusting, disgusted with himself, and he's not and he shouldn't be!"
"So why are you still troubled?" Boo asked, "Aren't you convinced that Ron's progress is genuine?"
"No, it is, I know it is! He's been great," Lee smiled before crumpling again and rubbing his hand against his forehead, "My life was about protecting him. Protecting him from feeling threatened and worrying about being perved on or touched when he doesn't want to be and the whole time I'm keeping him in the dark and it's killing me."
Boo shuffled forward in her seat and bowed her head to meet Lee's eyes.
"You're keeping a secret from Ron that you think will set back his progress?"
"Yeah," Lee nodded, "and ruin our friendship and our trust and...what if he thinks back to me sneaking into his bedroom at night and takes it to be something it's not?"
"What are you saying Lee?" Boo pushed a little, kindness radiating from her eyes.
"What if he finds out I'm gay and thinks I've been trying to get close to him in the same way the Puppet Master did when I don't think of him like that? He's my brother Madam Boo, it's not like that with him but...the only gay man Ron's ever known tried to rape him! How can I tell him that I'm like that? How can I tell anyone?"
Boo reached across the desk to offer her hand to Lee, who took it immediately, and she smiled confidently.
"The Puppet Master wasn't a homosexual, Lee," she said calmly, "to be a homosexual is to have feelings of love for a member of the same sex."
"But..." Lee began, unsure of what exactly he was going to say.
"If a man tried to rape a woman would you have described it as a heterosexual act?" Boo asked him simply.
"No," Lee blinked, "no that's not what I mean."
"If Ron is a heterosexual man and he heard that another heterosexual man had raped a woman would he then believe that all heterosexual men are like that?"
"No but this is different!" Lee said with a frustrated huff.
"Ron won't think that all gay men are a threat to him because Ron is wiser that he's given credit for, even by him himself."
"He is; he's great."
"Yes, he will remember all the times you slept at his side and held him close to you and you took care of him because he doesn't have that kind of love from his brothers and friends and girlfriend. It's a different kind of love but he'll know the difference between you loving your new brother, the person you saw suffer so much emotional and physical pain, and the obsessive sexual control the Puppet Master tried to have over him."
"But how will I explain it to him so he understands I never took care of him for any other reason? How will I explain to his brothers and his mum and dad? What do I say to Harry? What do I say to Hermione? 'I'm sorry I came between you and your boyfriend but it had nothing to do with me wanting to be with him like that!'"
"Lee," Boo asked as she squeezed his hand, "have you had trouble letting go of your closeness with Ron because you thought you'd lose him for good when he found out?"
Lee bowed his head and let out a shuddering breath.
"I was the only one he ever trusted to touch him...how could I take that away from him?"
"He's stronger now though isn't he?" Boo smiled.
Lee lifted his head and smiled a devastated smile while nodding.
"And now you think it might be time to look after yourself and let Ron help you through your problems?"
Lee swallowed but didn't say anything.
"That man damaged you too Lee," Boo said with sympathy, "he made you doubt your intentions towards your brother and you need to know that you can still be close to Ron, you can still be physically affectionate with him just like before, and neither of you will think there's anything sinister about it."
Lee took Boo's hand with both of his.
"I'm ready to stop lying to him about who I am," Lee said shakily, "I'm just not sure I'm brave enough yet."
Boo smiled at him, released his hands and reached down into her desk drawer to pull out a small paper bag.
"Well today I've got peanut brittle," she said as she pulled out a knobbly chunk of peanuts coated in hard toffee and bit into it with some considerable effort before holding out the bag to Lee, "wanna break a tooth with me?"
Harry walked through the back field behind the Burrow until he found Ron, in full on recline mode, and sat down beside him.
"I've been thinking," Harry said as he lay back on his elbows beside his best mate, "about when we move out into our own place."
"Oh yeah?" Ron said as he turned his head and squinted up at Harry.
"Yeah," Harry nodded thoughtfully, "first of all, you're not painting it orange!"
Ron cackled and looked back up at the wide open sky above them.
"Alright then, what else?"
"Well separate rooms obviously, now that you and Hermione are back on and me and Ginny are simmering away nicely..."
"Me and Hermione were never off!" Ron said with a tut, "and please, no talk of turning up the heat with my little sister...I've been traumatised enough!"
"Oh yeah, there's that other thing, the last and most important thing of all."
"Rent," Ron groaned, "Gimme time mate, I'll be earning soon, I promise, and then we can start checking out some places t-"
"Rent's not important you twat!" Harry huffed, "I'm talking about proper important stuff."
Ron sat up on his elbows and raised both eyebrows with amused curiosity.
"Go on then."
"Remember how much you used to hate it when I went off on my own, tried to leave you behind to keep you safe and then had bad stuff happen to me?"
"Well now I know what it feels like to be on the other side of that so we have to make a deal okay?"
"What kinda deal?" Ron asked with a growing smile.
"The kind of deal where we swear never to leave the other one behind again. If something big comes up I want you with me and if the same happens to you I wanna be there."
"You didn't leave me in Venlo Harry," Ron said as he rolled his eyes.
"No, I left you at the Ministry to go and meet people in expensive suits who wanted to shake the Chosen One's hand. You waited for me for hours and I let them drag me off to that stupid function and watched Moody lead you off on the mission to Holland seeing as 'you weren't doing anything'."
Ron sat right up in the grass and extended his hand for Harry to shake.
"We don't let that happen again." He said with a confident smile.
Harry took Ron's hand firmly and shook it, beaming all over his face.
"If they don't want the two of us together...then they don't really want us at all."
"Excuse me," Hermione said, clearing her throat as she cast a shadow over them, hands on hips, "the two of us?"
"As per the rules of what constitutes 'half-a-person' there are only two of us," Ron said cockily, "one whole me and the two halves of you!"
Hermione flung herself at Ron as he laughed loudly and Harry joined them in a 'two halves against one whole' tickle wresting match that lasted until sunset.
A/N So there ya go!
I hope that was what you were all hoping for when you asked for a recovery fic. I know some of you were expecting a one-shot but after all I did to them I couldn't really do much healing in one chapter could I?
As ever, I don't go in for the 'It's magic so you can just wave a wand and fix anything' crap, I try to write for the characters and not the fantasy universe.
I will probably be back whatever happens in Deathly Hallows but not right away. Remember, I posted my first ever fic in September 2005, months after Half Blood Prince, so I may take a moment to adjust to the final canon of the Potterverse. I'll be having an experiment over on Live Journal so look over there if you miss me!
I hope everybody gets what they want out of the book unless they want Harry to end up with Hermione, Percy dead or Ginny to end up being Harry's reason for living...those things will make me angry!
Snogs and Hob-Nobs to the following people:
The lovely beta-team Deena and Maaike and of course Amy for all her help with Boo.
The Steppy One
Maple and Mahogany
Rupertlovesme (say hi to your sister from me too Beth!)
Kerosinkantiser (I think I spelled that wrong)
Hermione and Ron together forever (oh what will you call yourself if we get screwed by JKR???? lol)
And all the rest of you who take the time to review.
Special love to my flist over on Live Journal.
See you on the other side of Book 7!