Ron brought the cigarette slowly to his lips and slipped the yellow filter between them, but did nothing else. Harry nodded his head, smiling. Ron sucked, pulled the cigarette away, and coughed roughly. Handing it back to Harry, Ron reached for his drink and gulped it down.
"It takes a while." Harry called to the bartender for more firewhisky. He put the cigarette between his lips as he slapped some galleons on the counter and turned away, gripping his drink. Ron grabbed at his drink and slurped it, letting it slowly burn his throat. He watched Harry suck expertly at the cigarette, fascinated by its function and Harry's description of it's effects. Originally, Ron had little interest in trying Muggle nicotine, but, this drunk, he forgot small scruples.
An hour passed and Ron was slouched against the bar, watching the great mass of people dancing a few feet away. He turned to Harry to suggest getting another round of drinks, but found no one next to him. Frowning, Ron tried to search the crowd but failed, managing only to make himself dizzy. He ordered a butterbeer and drank it slowly, wishing Harry were still there. Finally, almost done his drink, Ron spotted his friend in the crowd of dancers. Carelessly tossing the butterbeer on the counter, Ron strode towards Harry and leaned against him heavily.
"Harry, let's-let's..." Ron stared at the girl Harry had been dancing with and smiled. "Hi there. I'm Ron... Ron Weasley? Harry Potter's best friend, you know?"
Harry frowned and grabbed Ron's wrist and spun, aiming for their apartment. They landed in the lobby of the building and Ron fell, letting go of Harry. The receptionist looked away from the television at the noise.
Harry smiled weakly and pulled Ron forcibly to his feet. "He's fine... just a bit drunk." Without waiting for a response, Harry dragged Ron into an elevator. "Fuck you." Harry threw Ron off and turned away as Ron hit the side of the elevator and sunk to the floor again. He hit the button for the twelfth floor and stared, impatiently, at the doors. When they opened, he glanced down at Ron, who was sitting against the wall with his eyes closed and a drunken smile plastered across his flushed face. Harry kicked Ron's leg and walked out of the elevator and down the hall.
Ron, without opening his eyes, reached up for the handrail and slowly, clumsily, pulled himself up. Attempting to hit the button to make the doors open again, he hit the level fifteen button and stumbled as the elevator began to move again. Ten minutes later, Ron made it to his apartment and locked the door behind him. Harry was standing in the kitchen with a glass of water. When Ron walked in, Harry turned away.
"What's wrong?" Ron shed his jacket and, absentmindedly, began to undress. "Harry?" He called, dropping his pants to the floor.
Harry turned and looked at his friend. Ron was grabbing at his shirt, trying to pull it off. Sighing, he muttered, "Nothing," and walked over, reaching out and pulling Ron's shirt over his head. "'Night." Clutching Ron's shirt, Harry went into his bedroom and shut the door.
In the morning, Harry was sitting at the kitchen table eating toast and reading the Daily Prophet when Ron emerged from his room, looking like he had just, with great effort, escaped death. Harry glanced up as Ron made his way to the bathroom, clutching his stomach. Rolling his eyes, Harry grabbed his wand and muttered a silencing spell at the bathroom door before turning back to the newspaper.
Ron emerged a few minutes later, looking remarkably well composed. Harry vaguely wondered if Ron knew a hangover-curing spell, but didn't ask. Ron sat down and reached for a piece of toast, but Harry slapped his hand away.
"Fuck off." Harry pulled his plate closer.
Ron raised his eyebrows. "What the hell, Harry?"
"You're a bloody... git." Harry did not seem satisfied with his insult, but said no more.
Ron glanced around the room, looking for an explanation. He saw his clothes flung across the floor. "Did..." Ron cleared his throat nervously. "Did we... shag?"
Harry's head shot up. "N-no…" His heart was thrashing wildly against his ribcage.
Ron glared at Harry from across the table. "Then what?"
Harry couldn't bring himself to say anything else. He looked back down at the paper.
"Harry, stop pissing around and talk to me."
Harry slammed the Prophet on the table and glared up at Ron. "Last night, at the club, you went up to a girl and introduced yourself as Harry Potter's best friend."
Ron froze. Harry avoided his gaze. "Mate..." Ron shifted uncomfortably. Harry grunted in response. "Harry, I was drunk."
After a long pause, Harry spoke quietly. "I know."
"Harry... Harry, I'm sorry. You know I don't do that, mate... you know I would never do that, if... if I knew what I was doing."
Harry grunted again.
"Well…what do you want me to say?" Ron asked, pulling his chair closer to the table.
"Nothing." Harry spoke clearly. "There's nothing you can say, Ron."
"Harry..." Ron bit his lip.
"Shut it." Harry sighed and stood. Without looking at Ron, he took the newspaper and shut himself up in his room.
Ron slumped down in his chair.