VII.

Harry felt dry-mouthed and rock-hard. Ron's eyes were shining in the dim glow from Harry's hand and the faint starlight struggling through the dirty window; and his voice held what sounded like a dare and a promise, there in the firewhisky-scented dark.

"When did you know?"

Harry thought of all the possible replies: the self-denials and retellings and exaggerations that could come so easily. But this is Ron. And I- I might love him. I definitely fancy the arse off him.

"About half an hour ago," he admitted.

Ron's thighs trembled under Harry's shoulders and head, and he realized his friend was stifling laughter. After a moment Ron let out a fake cough and said, "In the Pensieve?"

"In the Pensieve," confirmed Harry. "When- when Hermione kissed you."

The fingers that had been stroking Harry's neck were suddenly removed as Ron had to put both hands over his own mouth, which was as effective as laughing out loud anyway.

"What?" demanded Harry, rolling over to grab the bottle and again fill their glasses. "This is my coming out speech, you git, stop sniggering."

He wriggled forward a little to make the pouring easier, bringing his stomach onto Ron's legs, and almost ground his erection into the side of his friend's thigh before he checked the movement. Just as he was congratulating himself on both not spilling the firewhisky and not inadvertently humping his best mate's leg, Ron's hands descended onto Harry's back.

Harry gave a muffled squeak. He managed to set the bottle upright on the floor and then felt himself melting as long, strong fingers began to massage his lower back. It was a little awkward because of the angle, but nevertheless Harry felt a delicious, soothing warmth start to spread through him. Knots in his muscles that he hadn't known were there started to soften and untie. Oh, please let me spend the rest of forever drinking firewhisky and being massaged by Ron, alone in the dark together.

"You're very tense here," said Ron seductively after a couple of minutes, as his hands moved lower.

It was Harry's turn to splutter with laughter. "I'm also not a girl, Ron. I thought that was the whole point."

Ron gave a wry, self deprecating chuckle. "Yeah, sorry mate, that was pretty crap." His hands continued their work though, kneading now at either side of the base of Harry's spine.

"Why were you laughing, anyway?" Harry enquired, trying to distract himself from how the warm feeling was turning from soothing into arousing with every further movement of Ron's hands. Harry's cock, which had relaxed a little along with the rest of him, was hard as a rock again.

"Just thought it was funny. We both realized at the same time, only it took you about a year longer." Ron removed one of his hands to pick up his glass, but the other stayed around the top of Harry's jeans, stroking in slow lazy circles that made Harry want to stretch and, frankly, purr. Ron clinked his glass gently against Harry's and drank.

Harry pushed himself back and up onto his knees, so that when Ron lowered his now half empty glass and looked at him quizzically, their faces were very close together. Ron opened his mouth to say something and Harry leaned in and kissed him.

Ron's mouth was sublime, warm and spiced with firewhisky, both welcoming and hungry. Brilliant, thought Harry, and tentatively swept his tongue across Ron's. Dimly he heard a glass hit the floor with a dull thunk as both Ron's arms encircled him, and he found himself being kissed in earnest. One of his hands fumbled up Ron's back to cup the back of his best friend's head, and the other caressed Ron's chest without Harry really being aware of what he was doing. His cock was aching, his skin yearning for further contact; it seemed only natural for him to throw one leg over Ron's thighs and straddle him. Their mouths came apart and Ron bent his head to kiss Harry's neck. Harry moaned. Ron giggled softly between kisses. Harry's fingertips found Ron's right nipple through his shirt, and remembering what he'd seen in the Chamber of Secrets, he gave it a firm pinch and twist. Ron gasped loudly and thrust upwards, the movement impeded by Harry, who felt a rush of excitement and a strange thrill of power- not evil (and Merlin knew Harry could tell the difference) but the power of igniting Ron's arousal; seeing his best friend writhe and keen under his touch. It was a very new emotion to him.

Harry sat back a little and picked up his drink, sipping this one more slowly than any other he'd had tonight, regarding Ron over the rim of the glass.

"Where did you get a Time Turner, anyway?"

Ron rested his hands on Harry's thighs, and began massaging in small circles with his thumbs. Glancing down, Harry saw that Ron was obviously, encouragingly, and quite massively hard under his jeans. Having noticed this, he could barely tear his eyes away.

"My dad brought it home from work for me?"

Harry's gaze returned to Ron's face, which was wearing the dead giveaway 'Are You Going To Fall For This?' expression.

"Professor McGonagall, bless her tartan socks, had to go through all kinds of stuff to get hold of one for Hermione; and that was for school. You don't really expect me to believe you just asked your dad and he got you one, do you? It's not like it's a box of paperclips," said Harry. He leaned in and kissed Ron again; and the thought that he could, if he wished, kiss Ron, was almost as good as the deed.

"What- what are paperclips?" gasped Ron after a while, when Harry decided it was time to sit back and observe how very horny Ron looked when he'd been thoroughly kissed.

"It's a Muggle thing. Time Turner?" Harry reminded him.

"Right," said Ron, and took the refilled glass of firewhisky Harry handed him. "Do you remember that time in the Ministry, when- when I went a bit funny?"

Harry felt the familiar prickle of grief. He breathed in and out, and was able this time to let it slide away quickly.

"Do you mean what Hermione affectionately calls the Accio Brain Incident?" he said, and the sound of Ron laughing made him tingle. Ron's fingers were drawing complex patterns on Harry's thighs, celtic knots of slow, irresistable arousal.

"Yeah, that. I must have picked one up at some point in the confusion; shiny objects were very important to me in the state I was in." He drank a little. "I guess I shoved it in my pocket, totally forgot about it, and the clothes I was wearing then came home with me in a bag. I threw it in the bottom of my wardrobe- come here, you're too far away-" This last was said as Ron suddenly pulled Harry closer to him with one long, strong arm. Harry's hands went to Ron's waist automatically, bringing them snugly together. This feels more right than anything I've done since walking off to die, Harry thought fleetingly before Ron kissed him again and all thought was lost for a little while.

Harry was straddling Ron's hips and the hardness that was straining Ron's jeans was pressing up into his arse. Harry wanted to grind down onto it, but he also wanted to hear the rest of Ron's explanation. He settled for wriggling a little as though to get comfortable, and the way Ron's face reflected his own desire gave him that thrill of power again.

"You threw the bag in the bottom of your wardrobe...?" he prompted Ron, who was now cupping Harry's arse with both hands.

"Wha- Oh, yeah, I did..." Ron mumbled into Harry's neck. His breath was warm, the tongue that followed in its wake warmer. Harry tipped his head back and gasped as his cock grew yet harder against Ron's belly. He felt Ron smile against his neck, felt an answering smile spread across his own face in the warm darkness.

Ron leaned back and gazed approvingly at the wanton expression on his best friend's face. Slowly he moved his hands from Harry's arse, sliding them up his back a little way and then around to the front, where for a ticklish moment they skated across his belly before settling warmly over his ribs. Harry's hoody rode up over Ron's wrists, and he glanced down to see the black denim bulge of his own erection revealed and undeniable against the pale skin of his stomach.

Ron began stroking his thumbs back and forth just underneath Harry's nipples, and absently said "And I forgot about it."

"Huh?" Harry had completely forgotten what they were talking about. All he could think presently was, Is he going to touch my nipples? Is he going to twist them? It looks like it hurts, but he liked it. I might like it. I want to like it. If he doesn't touch them, I'm going to explode soon. If he does... I'll probably explode straight away.

"I forgot all about it, and the jeans stayed in the bottom of my wardrobe," Ron explained. "Until Hermione went rooting about in my room, looking for clothes I wouldn't miss so she could put them in that charmed bag she had." His thumbs moved fractionally higher, and Harry felt as though every nerve ending he had had relocated to his nipples, begging for touch.

"I remember those- aah... -those jeans," he half gasped. "They were extremely tight..."

Ron grinned. "It's much smaller than the one Hermione had, it's probably only good for going back a couple of hours or so. I guess it must have been wedged right into the corner of the pocket, because it didn't turn up until Shell Cottage. Bill lent me some clothes and I found it while I was getting changed." His tone was matter of fact, but his eyes were burning, and watching Harry for every tiny response to his touches and strokes.

His thumbs had skirted around Harry's nipples and up to his collarbone, then trailed downwards and around beneath his nipples again, the movement repeated and straying ever closer to the sensitive, hardened nubs. Harry squirmed, not even trying to disguise the movement now; half-formed fantastic thoughts swirled through his head, all of them centered around the mingled dread and excitement of everything he wanted Ron to do to him.

"So you decided that kissing Hermione-"

"Wasn't nearly as good as this," said Ron, dipping his head to nuzzle and lick at Harry's neck again. Harry's hands, without conscious instruction, had traveled up Ron's sides and were exploring the compelling curve where his ribs met his belly. Ron bit down gently on Harry's neck and finally, finally ran his thumbs over Harry's nipples. Harry gasped and it was a good minute before he could continue,

"And you, oh, that is so good- you went back- oh-"

"So I could tell her on our own, when I'd had at least a minute to think about it and realize that girls really weren't doing it for me-"

"Like this is?" Harry wriggled back a little and his fingers, emboldened by the heady rush of lust Ron's thumbs on his nipples had released, found their way to the prominent hardness of Ron's cock and began to stroke it through the taut denim.

"Oh, Merlin, like this is," gasped Ron. His pretended detachment had disintegrated at Harry's touch, his eyes closed and he bucked upwards once again. Harry tightened his thighs around his friend and gasped at the effect Ron's expression had on him- the way Ron surrendered to the arousal Harry kindled in him, the way that surrender demanded more. Ron's thumbs and forefingers suddenly grasped Harry's nipples and squeezed, and it was Harry's turn to arch backwards in supplication as a torrent of lust flooded him. He moaned and ground his cock against Ron's, the fabric between them providing an almost painfully delicious friction.

Ron, panting, dropped his hands from Harry's nipples to the top button of his jeans but as he fumbled it open, he raised his eyes to Harry's face and caught something in the expression there that made him stop. A half-grin tugged at his gently swollen lips, and he moved his hands back to Harry's waist. Harry breathed deeply, and made an attempt at nonchalantly picking up his glass and drinking (spoiled only by his hand shaking slightly, and the size of the two gulps he took).

"So, Hermione destroyed the badgery cup of doom, and we went back upstairs to find you, and not kiss. Much better." Ron also reached for his glass, clinked it against Harry's again, and drank.

Harry watched the sudden beauty in the angles of Ron's neck as he swallowed. He realized this was going a bit too fast for me. He knows me that well. A wave of appreciation and warmth surged through him. I could love this man.

Ah, c'mon. I already love this man.

"We should get back to the party," said Harry with no sincerity whatsoever, snuggling up against Ron again. "Has the guest of honor finally turned up?"

"No," replied Ron, putting his glass down and encircling Harry's waist with both arms. "He stuck his head out of the fire about half an hour ago to tell us he's been delayed but he's on his way. Mum wasn't best pleased, but it has been ages and you know what she's oh fuck Harry oh yes oh fuck-"

Harry, having just experienced a little of how good it could feel, had worked his hands beneath Ron's shirt and slowly begun squeezing and gently pinching his friend's nipples. Ron made a sound between a moan and a growl which Harry decided was the most arousing thing he'd ever heard.

"You didn't change anything else, then?" Harry said casually, more for the sake of teasing Ron by mocking his earlier detached tone, than anything else. He released the pressure and savored Ron's gasp.

"No, why would I?" replied Ron, staring directly into Harry's green eyes. He was panting and pink around the ears. "Do that again."

"What, this?"

"Aaaaaaaaaaaaah... fuck..."

"Or this?"

"Oh! Ooohhhhhhh... oh... yes... Harry..."

"Harry?!"

They had been oblivious to everything, including two sets of feet coming up the stairs.

"Fred?" Harry, disoriented by this sudden interruption, looked up in confusion at the familiar ginger head poking around the door.

"Of course not," exclaimed George, taking in their debauched disarray.

"I'm Fred- bloody hell!" Fred exclaimed as his head appeared around the door too. "Can't a bloke go off to Bolivia for three months to grow an extra organ-"

"'Ere, 'ere!" interjected George, pointing to his magically attached new ear.

"-without his little brother stirring the Cauldron of Wizardly Luuuuuuurve-"

"I hear the sound of romance! In stereo!" George capered about with his hands behind both ears, obviously delighted.

"-with The Boy Who Lived? Harry, does that mean you're now The Boy Who Luuuuuuurved?" Fred was grinning broadly and rubbing his thighs.

"The Boy Who Lived To Luuuuuuuurve," proclaimed George, copying his twin.

Ron gave up trying to look annoyed and burst out laughing. Harry seemed to be having a fit of the giggles, and rested his head on Ron's shoulder. He felt better than he had in weeks. He didn't even care that the bottle of firewhisky was empty, and the urge to find another one seemed less compelling than the urge to find a proper bed and coax that growling moan out of Ron, over and over and over again.

"Fred, it's brilliant to see you. I'm really glad you're back," Ron said happily. "George, the ear looks even better than the old one. Now, both of you, shut it." He kissed Harry, briefly but firmly.

The twins grumbled good-naturedly and started back down the stairs.

"Are you coming?" yelled one of them.

"Or are you going to join us downstairs?" called the other.

TEH END.

A/N- Why yes, this entire story did grow from an overwhelming need to find a plausible (?!) way of bringing back Fred. Harry and Ron getting it on, and George regaining an ear, were simply happy coincidences of plot.