Dedication - This is a birthday present for my friends The Steppy One and Charma 10, who are Hermione girls.
Talking In Your Sleep
It was the dull thud that first penetrated her peaceful sleep but she didn't stir too much and was soon settling into her pillow to drift back into her deep slumber.
The elbow in the ribs made sure she woke up, however.
She huffed and pushed herself up on her elbows, glaring at her husband through the darkness, but he didn't turn on the light to have a conversation with her and he didn't begin nuzzling her into some middle of the night sex.
She prodded him in the side and waited to see if he was awake or just fidgeting in his sleep. She felt the bed moving a little beneath her body and heard skin slapping against skin.
"Ron's the light's off, I can't see you," she huffed as she leaned over him and turned on the bedside lamp.
Ron was laying on his back, mouth hanging open and eyes shut, and Hermione stared down at him and frowned. She looked down to see if Ron was sleep-wanking but no, his hands were above the covers. In fact the covers were more dishevelled that usual and both Ron's arms were splayed out across them.
She wondered if maybe Ron was having an intense dream and decided not to pinch him awake to scowl at him for waking her up. She sighed and leaned over him once again, reaching to turn off the lamp, when Ron's arms jerked upwards and hit her body before falling back down again.
"What are you doing?" She huffed, still keeping her voice low enough not to rouse him.
Ron's chest rose and fell with a deep sigh and his mouth closed for a moment before he shifted his head into a new angle on the pillow and then his lower jaw flopped open again.
Hermione stroked his hair gently and leaned over to whisper into his ear.
"Settle down, it's just a dream, roll onto your side and give me a cuddle eh?"
Ron cleared his throat and his brow furrowed before he tapped at his breast bone with his right index finger before pointing forward and away from him.
Hermione sat right up.
Ron sighed once more and his arms fell heavily at his sides again. Hermione blinked and worried her lip between her teeth. Ron didn't sign in his sleep. He always tried to talk, mouthing silently like a grounded fish and waking up with a dry throat, and in all the years since his voice had been taken from him he'd always been able to talk in his dreams.
Ron sighed yet again and rubbed his face, clumsily, with his hand.
Hermione put her hand, lightly, on his shoulder and spoke to him.
"You're worried about next week?" She was fairly certain that's what Ron had clumsily signed.
Ron smiled and waved his index finger in a circle before his face.
Hermione couldn't help but grin at him making the sign for pretty on hearing her voice.
"You're very charming when you're unconscious," she said before kissing him on the cheek and then snuggling into his side and moving against his body until he wrapped his arms around her and settled down again.
While he had hold of her he didn't seem to need to sign anymore, though she felt sure, as she drifted off, that she felt his hands twitch a couple of times.
"So what's happening next week then?" Hermione said as she stepped out of the bathroom, towelling her hair dry.
Ron was crunching on a piece of buttered toast and he scrunched his eyebrows together and wagged his index finger from side to side like a metronome.
"Last night you were talking in your sleep," Hermione said as she sat down at the table and reached for a piece of toast from the rack and rolled her eyes at the state of the lid of the jam jar, "Honestly, do you scoop the jam out with your bare hand or something? How does this happen to every jar in the house?"
Ron patted himself on the chest and shook his head.
"Well it's not me either," Hermione said as she wiped her sticky hand on a tea towel.
Ron whistled and slapped both hands to his thighs, Marmalade the Weasley red retriever bounded over to him immediately, and Ron pointed down to his dog before forming an 'O' shape with finger and thumb at the side of his mouth and moving it down towards the animal with a nod.
"What do you mean ask him?" Hermione exclaimed. "You know me, Ron, I'm willing to blame Marmalade for almost everything that goes awry in this place but I think unscrewing jam jars is beyond even him."
Ron stuck up his thumb and passed it across his forehead, nodding down to his dog once again, the silly dog still wagging its tail, happily.
"He's not that clever!" Hermione snorted, "It takes more than wits to grow opposable thumbs overnight, my love."
Ron grinned sheepishly and sat down. He made a circular movement before his chest with his palm. Hermione didn't respond, not to his apology or his puppy dog eyes, and she scraped some jam over her slice of toast with the cleanest looking knife from the table.
Ron watched her for a moment before frowning and tapping the table top with his fingernail to get her attention.
Ron interlocked his splayed fingers before his chest, pulled them apart and locked them again, before pressing his thumb tip to his temple.
"How did I know what?" Hermione asked, holding the piece of toast before her lips and waiting to see what her husband was talking about before taking a bite.
Ron extended both index fingers and tapped one hand on top of the other before bringing both fingers and thumbs before his eyes and closing them together as if mimicking his eyes closing.
"Because you were talking in your sleep." Hermione explained.
Ron huffed and shook his head. Then he brought his fingers and thumbs together in 'O' shapes and drew them apart from each other before shaking his head and pointing away from his ear.
"Well, last night you were signing, not talking without making any noise, you woke me up."
Ron looked taken aback by this news, and ever so slightly saddened. Hermione knew what was wrong instantly.
"There's nothing wrong with being a mute in your dreams, Ron."
He forced a smile onto his lips and gave a small nod. His dog was an intuitive as she was and had moved to his master's side to push his head beneath Ron's still hand and pant up at him, happily. Ron ruffled the dog's fur behind his ears and his smile relaxed into a genuine one.
"There's three of us in this marriage," Hermione muttered to herself, "I feel like Diana. I'm in competition for my husband's affection with a dog."
Ron looked up at Hermione in confusion.
"Never mind me, talk it out with your life partner," Hermione said before taking a hefty bite out of her toast.
Ron grinned at her mischievously and slid one palm down the other before shrugging and looking around the room.
But Harry's not here!
"Don't push your luck," Hermione warned him, covering her full mouth with her hand.
Ron's forearms flipped upwards, flinging Hermione's arm from his chest where she had draped it in her sleep and causing her to wake with a start, and both his hands waved around with thumbs and little fingers raised.
Hermione squinted and saw the sign for 'party' illuminated in the blue monochrome light of the full moon and groaned as she slumped back down, cheek resting against Ron's round shoulder.
"Ron," she said as she gave him a little shake, "love," she shook a little harder, "wake up. You're signing."
Ron waved his hand before his face and then closed it before jerking his hand slightly forward and down.
"Remember apples?" Hermione said in confusion before giving Ron and rough shake, "Wake up you gibbering wally!"
Ron cleared his throat and jumped awake. He looked around the room and then down at Hermione before rubbing one eye with the heel of his palm and then stroking his fingertips forward from his temple twice.
"You woke me up again," Hermione answered, grumpily, "at least when you were talking in your sleep the old way I slept right through. This way I'm getting knocked awake every night."
Ron looked put out about being blamed for something he had no control over. Hermione instantly felt bad about how that must have sounded and pulled him back down onto his pillow and kissed him.
"I'm sorry," she said as she pulled his head onto her chest and wrapped both arms around him, "it's not your fault, I'm just not used to so much movement from you at night. I can sleep through you tossing and turning but then you sign you're all elbows and slapping hands."
Ron lifted his head from her chest and looked at her, worriedly. He pointed to himself, shaking his head, and also his hands as he moved them down his chest and pointed to her.
"No, you didn't hurt me," Hermione said as she kissed him again."
Ron held his open hand to his chest and then moved it towards Hermione giving a hesitant thumbs up as he did.
"I'm fine, really, it just startled me. Don't worry, I'll get used to this soon enough and soon enough I'll be sleeping through it no matter what you do."
Ron looked doubtful, as if worried he was going to hit her in his sleep, and she grabbed him by the wrists and pulled his arms around her waist, wriggling into his side so her back was pressed against his bare chest, and settled down on her side with him spooning behind her.
"When you did it last time I wrapped your arms around me and you didn't do it again. You held me all night."
She felt Ron's breath on her neck and then felt his soft lips and scratchy stubble against her shoulder as he kissed her. He lifted one of his large hands up, stroking along her body as it moved, before pressing it against her chest and over her heart.
"I love you too, goodnight."
The two figures and their dogs, golden and orange retrievers, walked into the shop. They were arm in arm, one tall and thin, one short and plump.
The salesman straightened his jacket and then his tie before beaming and making his way across the shop floor towards them.
"I'm telling you, Ron," the woman said, flushing in the face ever so slightly, "I might not know much about Muggles but I do know that if you want to buy an apple you go to a greengrocer."
The tall man with red hair, Ron, gave a tut and then unhooked his arm from hers to tap her and then direct her hand to the approaching salesman. He shook her hand.
"Hello, I'm David, hopefully I can help you find exactly what you're looking for."
"Hello David," the woman said, her mass of wild curly hair swamping her round face, "I'm Jess, this is my friend Ron, and these are our dogs, Honey and Marmalade."
"They're beautiful dogs," David said with a nod before nodding towards the sign on the door, "guide dogs right? If they are it's fine but if not you'll have to tie them outs-"
"They are, and don't worry, they won't poop on your carpet!" Jess said with a cackle.
Ron snorted and elbowed her in the side before looking at the man and smiling.
"So Ron," David smiled, "how can I help the two of you today?"
Ron smiled, shrugged and nodded towards Jess.
"He wants to buy his wife an apple," Jess said, cringing as if she thought they were about to be laughed at for some reason.
"Great, I'm sure she'll love it," David said, looking to Ron again, "was there any particular..."
"He can't talk," Jess said, staring into the space the man's face had just moved away from, "I can't see and he can't talk. You're in for a fun transaction!"
"Oh, right," David said, looking at Jess and smiling at her before realising she couldn't see this and turning back to Ron again, "so, I'll just..." he glanced to Jess, unsure of who he should be talking to."
Ron tapped his ear and then put his thumb up with sarcasm.
"Sorry, yes, you're not deaf. I'm confusing myself, sorry." David stammered.
"It's okay," Jess laughed, "everybody does that to him."
Ron sighed and rolled his eyes.
"So," David said to Ron before gesturing along the aisle on the far side of the shop, "all our Macs and notebooks are this way."
"Wait, no, he wants an apple." Jess said, fretfully.
Ron crooked his elbow and placed Jess' hand upon it before leading her towards the Apple section of the computer shop.
"Apple is the name of a computer manufacturer," David said, glancing at Ron to make sure he wasn't being patronising.
Ron gave him a polite smile before clicking his fingers at Marmalade and moving his hand, palm flat, downwards. The orange dog sat down, obediently, and as soon as the golden one saw this it followed suit.
"Wow, your dogs speak sign language!" David said, impressed.
"His does, mine just speaks dog," Jess said, "she does what her brother does."
"Okay," David nodded, getting even more lost now, "so let's look at...let's talk...let's... How about you tell me exactly what you're hoping to buy your wife, eh sir?"
Hermione sat up in bed reading a book while Ron sprawled on his front, face down in the pillow.
It used to worry her, when he slept like that, she'd always roll him over or wake him up out of fear that he'd suffocate but he never did and always ended up grumpy with her. It became clear that he'd never stay engulfed in his pillow for very long anyway and would fling himself over onto his side or his back when he needed to take a proper breath.
She turned the page of her book and read on, speculating on to whom the inheritance really belonged and if the rich hero would still want the prim heroine when he found out that she wasn't in line to get any of it.
Ron rolled over and took a deep breath before yawning and rubbing his face. He looked up at Hermione with bleary eyes before noticing the book and then rolling his eyes towards the clock on the wall and frowning as he saw the late hour. He turned back to her and pointed to her before moving his finger and thumb to his eye and then pulling them wide apart, mirroring the movement with his own eyelid behind them.
"Yes," Hermione sighed, closing the book but keeping her place with her finger, "I'm still awake. I was hoping this would send me off to sleep, the cover looked incredibly dull, but it's getting really good."
Ron laughed, silently, before banging the curve between both thumbs and index fingers together and waggling his eyebrows.
"Not sex good, plot good!" Hermione chuckled.
Ron make a disapproving clicking sound with his tongue and settled back into his pillow, eyes falling closed. Hermione let her book fall back open and swapped hands so the one nearest Ron could play with his hair.
"You go to sleep, love, I'll just keep going until I get to the end of this chapter and curl up next to you."
Ron nodded his head and Hermione wove her fingers through his copper locks as he yawned a second time. One eye cracked open and he peered up at her, clearly unable to drift off to sleep again while she was watching him.
"Sorry, I was just thinking how you're a lot like the woman in this book."
Ron rolled his eyes and jiggled his thumb and forefinger beneath his chin.
"I'm not joking," Hermione said, with amused sincerity, "she's a wonderful character and she reminds me of you. I'm not saying anything about your masculinity."
Ron stuck out his chin and gave a single nod before he closed his eyes and buried his face into her side so she couldn't watch him any more.
By the time she reached the cliff-hanger at the end of the chapter, read the following chapter to make sure the heroine wouldn't be taken away to debtors' prison in Halifax before her letter was delivered to the hero in Dumfries, and set the book down on the bedside table for the night, Ron's hands were already twitching.
She slid down under the sheets and against his body, dragging her hand along his chest and then rubbing his flat stomach, soothingly.
"Shhhh, settle down chatterbox," she whispered as she watched his face.
Ron's lips pouted, briefly, and he furrowed his brow before touching the side of his finger to his mouth and then moving it away, ahead of him, as he shook his head.
"Don't tell? You've got a secret?" Hermione asked him before pausing to kiss his chest. "Is that what's making you so talkative at nights?"
Ron sighed and waved his hands, fingers splayed a little, before his face in small circles.
"Poor you," she said as she rubbed his stomach again and watched the frown lines ease away from his face, "you've got a lot of your mind eh? Come here, give me a cuddle."
Ron rolled a shoulder back for her to nestle her head comfortably into the crook of and his arm raped along her back, fingers brushing against the small of her back, while his other arm clung to her and pulled her in towards him.
"Whatever's confusing you, talk to me about it in the morning and it'll make you feel better." She smiled and settled down to sleep.
She felt Ron's fingers curling loosely behind her back and against her side and he moved them up and down, lazily, brushing his knuckles against her skin. It was like the sign for excited. That seemed to help her drift off at last, the possibility that her sweet Ron wasn't worried after all, but excited about something good.
Ron was looking down at the fireplace, nodding and then holding his index finger to his cheek and moving it forward, before touching his chin with the same finger and his middle finger and moving them in an arc, downwards.
"What's happening tomorrow afternoon?" Hermione snapped as she stepped through the doorway and into the living room to see Harry's startled face bobbing in the green flames.
"Ron," she ignored Harry's clearly guilty greeting and looked at her husband, accusingly; "you're not making plans for tomorrow are you?"
Ron's eyes were wide and he turned his head to glance at Harry but Hermione stomped between him and the fireplace and put her hands on her hips.
"Don't look at him, look at me!"
"I'm gonna go," Harry said just before the green flames fizzled out behind her.
"Ronald Weasley, you tell me now what day tomorrow is otherwise I'm going to pack a bag and spend it at my mother's house!"
Ron jumped forward, as if expecting her to take off for her parents' home immediately, but when she didn't move he held his hands before him and found himself speechless and signless.
He seemed to be thinking something through before he did anything. She saw the resignation on his face before he held both hands before him, as if holding something round at chest height, and moved them forwards in synchronisation in a presentation gesture.
"So you haven't forgotten then, that's a small mercy I sup-"
Hermione's lips were still pursed in the shape of the letter 'p' as she froze and looked at her crestfallen husband's posture. She too let her shoulders fall and her words died on her lips. It was at times like this she wished she couldn't talk either, it would spare her from putting her foot in it so badly.
"That's why you've had so much on your mind, talking in your sleep and signing about being worried and excited and...and a party. I'm so sorry I've ruined your lovely surprise."
Ron shook his head and threw his arms outwards before letting them fall to his sides, heavily. He sighed and looked up at her thorough his fringe before banging his fists against his chest, despondently.
"It's not your fault, I was being nosey and I ruined all your effort and planning," she said as she slid her arms around his body and squeezed him tight.
Ron tried to pull back to sign but she crushed him tighter.
"No, I won't let you pout about you giving it away. You put a lot of thought into this and," she clicked her fingers, "there, it's gone, I know nothing. I'm having a quiet lazy day at home with my husband for my birthday and don't know any different. La-la-la, maybe I'll wash my hair and sit around in my dressing gown and slippers all day!" She delivered the last of her fake memory-wipe in a sing-song voice.
She felt Ron laughing and loosened her hold on him to lean back in his arms and look up at his face.
He kept one arm curled around her and then wiggled his fingers back and forth down the length of his freckled nose and shrugging.
"I will be a sprightly young twenty five, thank you very much!" Hermione responded. "In civilised society a man doesn't ask a lady's age."
Ron struck two pairs of fingers together repeatedly and carelessly. He lifted one hand in a loose fist before his face before opening his fingers slowly like a blossoming flower and then stroking a finger down his cheek twice.
"Oh I think you would care if I wasn't such a beautiful woman," Hermione said, unable to keep from giggling and glowing in the cheeks at Ron's image of her being so far detached from her image of herself.
She reached up and stroked his face. He smiled at her curiously. Hermione let her hand fall and press against his chest before patting it.
"I love you, you gorgeous man," she whispered.
He grinned and dipped his head to kiss her, tenderly, before lifting both hands and finger spelling back to her, signing the long winded way to make it mean more. Any declaration of love from Ron meant everything to her, though. She took his hands as he finished signing the 'u', index finger pointing at the tip of his ring finger, and lifted them to her mouth to kiss them.
Ron took a bracing breath in and stepped back away from her before pointing his hands past his head and behind him while shrugging and shaking his head. He then stroked his fingertips forward from his temple twice and walked away from backwards so she could continue to read his signs. Making circles with each hand, left hand clockwise and right hand anti-clockwise, and then holding his left palm still as if supporting an open book he moved his right index finger up against it, suddenly. He finished by pointing his finger at his cheek and swiping it against his cheek in a semicircular movement.
I don't understand what you're on about, nothing's happening tomorrow.
"Nothing at all," she said with a firm nod.
Ron grinned and turned to head towards the kitchen, whistling for his dog to follow as he went.
On the morning of Hermione's 25th birthday she was woken, at dawn, by the forearm of her beloved husband banging into her nose.
She put her hand to her sore nose and rolled away and out of reach, eyes watering, and watched as her sweet and gentle Ron banged the sides of his hands together in a clumsy 'x' shape before shaking his head against the pillow and flinging himself over onto his side.
Hermione felt her throbbing nose and winced before mumbling a happy birthday to herself and then shuffling back across the bed to rub her hand up and down Ron's back.
"It's okay, don't upset yourself, it'll work out just perfectly."
Ron pulled an arm out from beneath his body and tried to sign something that looked like 'should' only he ended up catching himself a glancing blow across the face.
"Oh no, you're not going to beat yourself up as well, wake up love. Wake up, you're talking in your sleep again," Hermione shook Ron awake and then reached for her wand to heal her aching nose.
Ron jerked into a vague wakefulness before blinking, sighing and then rolling over to throw an arm and leg over Hermione's body and snuggled into her to sleep again. Hermione just about managed to point her wand at her face, despite her arm being trapped beneath Ron's head, and healed her injured nose.
"If you get this worked up about planning a surprise party for me just imagine how much you'd be chattering to yourself if you knew you'd hurt me?" Hermione whispered and then kissed Ron's head through his hair.
Ron idly shook one finger.
"Yes, you have a problem." Hermione agreed with him. She lifted one of his limp hands and put it to his head before floating it away, "Dream Ron, you're dreaming with your hands."
Ron pulled his hand away and made an unreadable gesture before yawning and then blinking his bleary eyes open. He rubbed his face and them pushed himself up and off of Hermione, looking down at her with a dopey kind of surprise that she was awake and staring at him.
He yawned and then gave a smile and a wave at her.
"Morning," she said in return, "it's ridiculously early, go back to sleep."
Ron stretched and then rubbed his palms together before moving them forward as if offering up an invisible cake.
"Thank you, I want to sleep longer though, come back to sleep with me."
Ron nodded and began to wiggle back under the covers and mash his face into his pillow to create a divot for his head to settle into.
"Arms under the covers," Hermione suggested as she rolled her wand between her fingers and thumb.
Ron sniffed, wrinkled his nose momentarily, and then pushed both arms under the bedding. Hermione flicked her wand at the top sheet and magically charmed it to pull tight around Ron and hold his arms to his sides.
After waiting a few seconds to see if Ron would wake up because of being uncomfortable, she put her wand back onto the side table and kissed Ron's parted lips, softly.
"Maybe my birthday treat tonight can be tying you up eh? We could kill two birds with one stone."
After everybody put on a big show of surprising Hermione, despite knowing the surprise was ruined, and Hermione acted out enormous surprise that was so obviously rehearsed and far from genuine the party began.
The cake had been cut and toasts had been made, Hermione had managed to keep Arthur from taking her new computer apart to see how it worked on the inside, and now she was discussing Ron's sleep-signing with Neville, in the hope that he had heard of some herbal remedy for such a thing.
"Do you ever get that feeling where you're just dropping off to sleep and then jump awake again?" Neville asked.
Everybody who was listening nodded, including Ron, and Luna's face lit up.
"That's the Sludgebucket! They're nocturnal and we're only aware of their presence and movement in our homes just as we're crossing over from awareness to unconsciousness. We feel them, hear them, sense them and sometimes see them and jump out of our sleep to catch them but by then they're gone."
Neville looked at Luna, blinked, and then smiled and nodded.
"Or," he said, as he turned back to Ron and Hermione, "some say that people have this instinct in them from back when we were living in the trees. We'd have this automatic physical charge in our heart to increase our heart rate and jolt us awake if our brain thought we were going to fall out of the tree."
Luna looked at Neville as if he was some gullible fool telling a foolish story he'd heard in a bar to his friends as if it were fact. Hermione nodded, however.
"It's like adrenaline or something, one of our baser physical responses." She lifted her drink to her lips and took a sip.
Ron frowned and shook his head as he held his open his hand near his face and then closed his fingers into a fist.
"Well if you remembered you'd have been doing it deliberately." George shrugged.
"Did you talk in your sleep a lot before you lost your voice, Ron?" Jess asked as she clutched a paper plate loaded with a chunk of birthday cake to her chest.
"All the time!" Hermione, Harry and Neville all replied before laughing.
Ron rolled his eyes and huffed while Fred threw an arm around his shoulders and chuckled.
"Did you try handcuffing him to the bed?" He asked his sister-in-law with a cheeky grin.
"What makes you think I would own handcuffs?" Hermione said with a tut.
"The fact that Georgie-boy told me he'd got you a pair for your birthday present!" Fred grinned widely and Ginny sputtered her drink out of her mouth and back into her glass, choking for air.
Hermione fought back the blush creeping across her cheeks and lifted her chin with dignity.
"If I need to restrain my husband I am quite capable of doing it myself."
Ron quickly downed his drink, smacked his lips and then shook his empty glass in front of him, pointing over his shoulder and rushing off to the kitchen before anybody could say anything else.
Hermione was about to follow when Jess grabbed her skirt and tugged at it before extending her hand and waggling her fingers in Hermione's direction to encourage her to take her hand.
"Let's leave the men to be...well, men, and come and sit down with me for a proper chat."
"Okay, that would be nice Jess." Hermione smiled and positioned Jess' hand upon her elbow so she could guide her over to the settee and then drop down onto it with her.
"So, girl-talk," Jess said as she fidgeted into a comfortable position and shooed her dog, Honey, away to go and play with her brother, Marmalade, "do you give Ron blow-jobs when you're having your period to make up for not having normal sex?"
Hermione had just popped a peanut into her mouth and launched it back out and across the room with her exclamation of shock.
"What?" Jess asked, with a shrug. "Neville is a very sexual man and I get a very heavy flow so it's just a mess if we try to keep it up through th-"
"Why are you telling me this?" Hermione blurted her interruption as she shifted along the seat to get closer and lower her voice.
"Well you and Ron have such an active sex life, I was wondering how you control his appetite during your period."
"How on earth do you know, or think you know, about our sex life?" Hermione whispered, eyes wide.
"Ron told me," Jess said, simply.
"He what? Why?"
"Because we're friends and we walk our dogs together and after the weather and the Cannons there's little else to talk about between a blind woman and a mute man."
"But," Hermione glanced around to make sure nobody could overhear them, "I know you can talk without an interpreter to a certain degree, he fingerspells on your hands, but he's not...literally...spelling it out to you is he?"
"No!" Jess swatted at Hermione and barely made contact. "I ask his advice about what to feel for to turn Neville on. Ron's all hands, and a man of course, and I have to find erogenous zones by touch alone so Ron was giving me some tips."
"Ron's been telling you how to satisfy Neville in bed?" Hermione said, clamping her hand to her mouth as she realised that she wasn't whispering anymore.
Out of the corner of her eye she saw that Ginny's back had straightened, then she had stood very still, and then she relaxed and laughed at something George was saying. Hermione groaned, her sister-in-law had definitely overheard her. That would take some explaining over a mid week lunch she thought.
"He told me about things that girls don't tell you, or don't know," Jess said, pulling a chunk of cake off her hefty slice and then stuffing in her mouth and continuing with her mouth full, "I mean would you have known to stick your finger up Ron's arse as he comes to climax if somebody else hadn't told you?"
Hermione turned away from Jess' crumb spraying mouth and cringed at the thought of Ron telling his friend that his wife liked to push her finger up his bottom during sex.
"Anyway, we were talking about oral sex and how he didn't know what to do with his hands while he was giving you head and I told him what feels nice for me and then he told me this technique for blow jobs and Neville loves it."
"Oh my God," Hermione hid her face in her hands, this was the most bizarre birthday celebration she'd ever experienced.
"But when I'm 'on' I like to give Neville some satisfaction but blow job after blow job after blow job...I'm afraid he'll get bored." Jess clasped Hermione's hand with both hers, tightly, "Hermione, what do you do to keep Ron from thinking 'not another blow job'?"
Hermione took in a deep breath and let it out before looking the blind woman in the eyes.
"Jess, there is no such thing as a man who gets bored of blow jobs."
"Really?" Jess frowned.
Hermione nodded before realising her mistake and answering.
"But if I had the same type of sex every time I'd get bored."
"We have many pleasures," Hermione said, leaning in close and lowering her voice, "but men are their penis. As long as their penis is happy, they're happy."
"Oh," Jess said as she sat back in her seat and thought about what Hermione had said.
Harry stepped out of the group and joined Hermione on the sofa, giving her a kiss on the cheek and opening his mouth to let Jess know he had joined them.
"Just so you know," Jess said to Hermione, bright smile on her face, "Ron's penis is very happy indeed!"
Harry froze with his bottle of beer barely touching his lips and eyes bulging so much they were almost touching the lenses of his glasses. Hermione put her palm to her forehead and shook her head in resignation.
Harry made a cracked gurgling sound from the back of his throat before shaking his head to clear out the daze Jess' comment had thrown him into and looking around the room in desperation.
"Was that the door...phone...wife? Gotta go!"
"Was Harry just here?" Jess said, feeling around in front of herself and knocking Neville in the back of the legs.
"Hey Jess, having fun?" Neville smiled down at her.
"Yes darling, I was just talking to Hermione about female issues."
Fred and George overheard this and shuddered before grabbing Neville and pulling him along with them.
"Step away from the conversation Nev!" George warned.
Hermione saw Ginny smirking at her from across the room and rolled her eyes before mouthing the word 'help'.
All in all it had been a lovely birthday, despite the uncomfortable conversations and the fact she'd barely seen Ron since the first guests started arriving, but now it was over and all that remained was the debris of a Weasley dominated party.
Ron steered her through the mess and towards the stairs while she protested that she was going to feel awful when she came down to such a sight in the morning.
He patted himself on the chest and then rubbed his hand over the other palm before dragging his fingertips from the left hand side to the right hand side of his chest.
"You always say you'll do it tomorrow and it never gets done," Hermione said with a shrewd glance back at him.
Ron huffed and put his finger to his lips and then brought it down as he changed his hand into a flat palm chopping down onto his other, open hand below.
"Promises, promises," Hermione sighed with a shake of the head.
Ron narrowed his eyes and charged up the stairs after her. She squealed and ran ahead but Ron caught her at the top and threw her over his shoulder to carry her to the bedroom.
"Ron, don't, you've been drinking!" Hermione laughed and slapped her husband on his backside. "You'll drop me."
Ron stood in the bedroom doorway and soon Hermione stopped happily protesting and slapping his bottom to wriggle around and try to see what he had stopped playing for.
He bent his knees and set her down before nodding towards the bed, a little pink in the face. Hermione turned and saw a pair of boxing gloves sitting on her pillow with a little yellow card with a picture of balloons on the front of it.
She moved around the bed and sat on the side while Ron crawled along it from the bottom to the top and sat on his feet to watch her reading the birthday card.
She opened the card and an orange balloon whizzed out of it and around the room as it deflated with a farting sound. She read the distinctive handwriting in magenta ink.
Happy Birthday honorary sister! (and it is an honour to be related to us)
We heard about our brother and his night time gesticulations and thought you might want these to defend yourself.
Fred and George
Hermione chuckled and then showed Ron the card. She pulled on one of the gloves and, just as Ron gave a tut at his brother's humour and tossed the card back onto the bed, she planted a gentle punch to his jaw. Ron turned his head so he was following the mild punch through and then pretended to reel with the blow and fall back onto the bed.
Hermione laughed and crawled on top of him.
"Maybe I should put these on you, soften the blows during the night," Hermione teased.
Ron's smile faded and he sat up, moving Hermione back as he went, and then rubbed his knuckles in a circle against his chest.
"Hey, I was joking, I know you d-"
Ron crossed his arms at the wrist and then drew them apart horizontally with an emphatic movement. He shook his hands down his body from shoulders to waist and then waved a hand at Hermione while looking away from her, shame-faced.
"I know you don't mean to hurt me. Of course I know. You never have to say that to me, Ron."
Ron tapped the side of his head with his thumb and looked down at the bedcovers.
"You don't look like you know it," Hermione said as she pulled off the boxing glove and rubbed her hand up and down his thigh.
Ron slapped his hand to his chest, fingers splayed, and made a disgusted face as he pulled his hand away from himself. Then he lifted both hands before him with index fingers raised and moved them together and apart. His arms dropped again and he sighed.
"Don't be so hard on yourself. You know what I hate about this thing? I hate how its making you feel."
Ron drew in a breath and his chest swelled with it. He lifted his head and looked her in the eye with determination. He brought his index fingers together and then moved the right one forward against the left before holding both hands outwards and making a pushing motion.
"If you try to stop yourself from doing it you'll never sleep," Hermione said as she crawled forward and wrapped her legs around him.
They kissed and Hermione smoothed his hair with both hands while coaxing his guilt away with kiss after kiss.
"It's my birthday, I'm a quarter of a century old, you should be comforting me."
Ron snorted and she kissed the upturned corner of his mouth.
"That's right, you should be smug, you're six months younger than me. For the rest of our lives you're going to be six month younger than me...just to spite me."
Ron grinned and nodded.
"I'll be fifty and you'll be forty-nine and a half." Hermione unbuttoned Ron's shirt. "I'll be of pensionable age and you'll still be in your prime." She pushed the shirt off his shoulders and down his arms. "I'll reach triple figures before you do."
Ron shook his head and smiled. He drew his finger across his throat, a cruelly ironic sign considering the scar he had there, and then waved his hand over his shoulder.
"We'll be dead by then?" Hermione exclaimed.
Ron nodded before pointing between the two of them and then grabbing himself around the throat and miming strangulation. Hermione threw back her head with laughter. Ron moved his arms around behind her to untie the back of her party top from behind her neck and then lift it over her head.
Hermione lifted her arms to assist him before letting them fall around his neck and started kissing him deeply and thoroughly. She pushed Ron flat down onto his back and moaned into his mouth as she raked her hands down his body until she was fumbling to unbutton his fly.
Ron's hands were squeezing her buttocks beneath her skirt, which he'd somehow eased up without her noticing it, and his thumbs were pushing into her knickers and sliding the ivory lace downwards.
"I do like that I've got a sexy toy boy though," Hermione said as she rocked her hips against his groin.
Ron rolled over on top of her but Hermione kept up the momentum and rolled him flat onto his back again. She pinned him down with a wicked grin and then lowered her face down to his.
"You're mine tonight Mr Weasley, my birthday present, all unwrapped and ready to be enjoyed."
Ron lifted is head to meet her as she descended upon his mouth and they kissed, lips smacking noisily, while Hermione moved herself into position and sank down onto Ron's hard-on.
"Luna's a clever girl really, she was in Ravenclaw after all," Hermione said as she began to rock her hips.
Ron looked at Hermione with aroused confusion, clearly wanting his wife to stop talking about Luna while they were making love.
Hermione reached for her wand and twirled it in ever increasing circles around one of his hands and then the other before drawing a glowing trail of light around Ron's body and flicking her wand away to end the spell.
"Her father's going a bit senile, Luna has to create a magical barrier around him while he sleeps to keep him from getting out of bed and wandering off"
Ron's eyes rolled back in his head as Hermione thrust against him before he swallowed and then twirled his finger in bewilderment.
"She was telling me she's going to work with the twins to make a magical baby play pen, the baby can't cross the circle the parent makes but can play quite happily within." Hermione smiled down at Ron and rubbed her hands up and over her body. "Touch me, Ron."
Ron lifted his arms but found them pushed back like two magnets repelling each other. He frowned and blinked.
"So you can talk as much as you like without worrying about hitting me," Hermione smiled, leaning right over to kiss his speechless lips, "and I get to be the one who uses her hands for a change."
Hermione began to move around Ron, deep inside her, and let her fingers do the talking.