CHAPTER SIX

Draco wasn't quite sure that he was doing the right thing. Then again, what WAS the right thing? Certainly, doing the "Malfoy thing" was not the right thing. In that case, he was doing the right thing. Talking to Ron about the situation between them was the right thing, because a Malfoy usually wouldn't. If Draco were doing what he should do, what his father wanted, he wouldn't be standing in front of the frame to the Gryffindor common room, he would on the way back to the dungeons, preparing to hurl more insults at Ron, and treat him like scum. Draco had decided that he didn't want to do that anymore, though. He wanted to fix the situation.

After lots of thinking, Draco had decided that he couldn't leave it as it was between them. He had realized that Ron was also confused about the whole situation, and it seemed Ron had realized that things had changed between he and Draco, and neither boy could change them back. So, Draco had decided that, once and for all, it was time to fix up the situation, for better or for worse. He didn't want to have to pretend to be someone else in front of Ron anymore. He didn't want to have to hold in the swirl of feelings he felt towards Ron, and he wanted to figure out, with Ron's help, what both of them felt (because he was confused on his own feelings, as well as, of course, Ron's feelings). Then, Draco could go on with life, and not stew over how he should treat Ron, or guess about what Ron felt towards him.

Draco couldn't help but feel humiliated, standing in front of the Gryffindor frame. He had been hoping that Longbottom or someone intimidated by him would let him in, but as it was, it was still dinnertime, so there was no one about. So Draco waited.

It seemed ages that he stood in front of the frame. He stood alone, wondering what Ron would say, wondering how he would phrase his question, wondering who would come to the door, wondering what he would say if Potter came along after dinner and saw him here, wondering why he gave a damn about Potter, wondering how he'd come to give many damns about Ron, and then wondering if Ron gave a damn about him.

Finally, the door opened. Standing there, a First-Aid Kit in her hand, her hair more tousled than ever, was Granger. Draco had forced himself to think of her as Granger, for Ron's sake. Ignoring the stare-turned-glare of the girl standing before him, Draco spoke before Hermione could. Clearing his throat, his stance straight, his expression neutral, he said firmly, "I need to see…ah…" Draco paused. Did he dare call Ron by his first name in front of Granger?

Shaking her head, Hermione started closing the door, saying, "No one's here but Ron and I." The frame started closing. Draco thought frantically, but came up with no ideas. Just before the frame closed, he thrust his hand through the gap left, and wrenching it open, he threw himself into the Gryffindor common room.

It was quite embarrassing to crouch on the floor in front of a wide-eyed Granger, really it was. Holding in his temper, Draco stood up, and brushing himself off, said curtly, "Weasley. Where is he?"

"Why do you want to know?"

That was it. Draco was not a patient person; he refused to wait any longer!

"Damnit, Granger, where is he? I need to see him. It's important! You wouldn't understand."

The girl raised a quizzical brow, and then, turning around, walked up the stairway. Frowning, she said, "I won't let you fight out some stupid conflict with him. He's ill. Fight with him some other time. In class, maybe; a detention would serve you well, Malfoy."

"Damnit, Granger, let me TALK to him!"

Draco started rushing up the stairs after Hermione, and had almost reached the top, when suddenly the stairway formed a hill beneath him, and tossed him to the ground. He was left lying on the floor, trying to regain his breath, as Hermione shut the door behind her.

~~~~~*~~~~~

"Herm, let him in!"

"WHAT?"

Ron groaned. Why did the stupid Slytherin come and visit, anyway? This was certainly unexpected, and unannounced. He wished he could send Draco away, but he couldn't, and he didn't want to. If the situation went on as it was any longer, Ron felt he would explode.

"Hermione, please! Let him in. We need to talk. Besides, you should go to dinner."

Hermione placed the tray with orange juice and the First Aid Kit on it at her bedside table. Ron's shoes were at the foot of the bed, and he lay with a cold cloth on his forehead. Hermione had decided that Madam Pomfrey had too many other things to do beside cure Ron's flu, and she wanted to see if she could cure Ron by herself. Ron felt too miserable to protest.

Sighing, Hermione replied, "Okay, Ron. I'll let him in, and I'll let you two talk alone. But promise you'll tell Harry and me what this is all about afterward, okay?"

Ron, feeling even sicker to his stomach at the prospect, nodded. Laying his head back down, he sighed, saying, "Will do. Can you let him in now, please? I know there's anti-boy and anti-Other-Houses spells on the stairs, but…maybe you can levitate him up?" Ron laughed just at the image in his head at the thought.

A few minutes later, and Ron had almost fallen asleep. He woke up with a jolt, however, when the dormitory door slammed close. Ron looked to his right. Standing by the door, his hair in disarray, a bruise on his right temple, a hand-mark on his left cheek, was Draco. Smoothing down his clothes, he continued to try and look dignified, chin high in the air, every step of booted heel on carpeted floor calculated to sound intimidating. It didn't work though. Ron, laughing, asked Draco, "What on earth were you thinking? Coming over unannounced, all dressed up."

The blonde stopped by the bed, pulling up a chair to sit at Ron's right. Ron couldn't help but notice how close the chair was to the bed.

"What do you mean, all dressed up? These are my normal clothes."

Ron smiled, closing his eyes. Draco's voice was soft, and gentle, much sweeter than it would be if they were out in the hallways in public. Part of Ron felt angry that Draco could pretend to be someone he wasn't in front of everyone else, whereas part of him approved of the pretense—it made his and Draco's dying enmity, now when displayed but a game of pretend, seem more realistic. And it also made him feel a little special. But most of all, Ron just wanted to DO something about the situation. He was sick of lying around waiting for something to happen that would end his confusion.

Ron closed his eyes, tossing the wet cloth from his forehead onto the bedside table. Grumbling, he pushed down another wave of nausea, and turned to lie on his stomach. For a moment, not a single sound was heard but a rustle of Draco moving, and then—Ron's eyes widened as the other boy sat beside him, and began to slowly but firmly give Ron a back massage. Frowning, although he had to admit to himself that it was quite soothing, Ron asked angrily, "What are you doing?"

"Helping you relax."

Ron couldn't help but do just that as Draco began to massage harder, knuckles pressing into Ron's skin through his shirt, hands kneading so hard Ron let out a sigh. It felt good. But for a moment, he had thought Draco was going to pound him then and there. The massaging stopped, and Draco simply sat, one hand still on Ron's back, fiddling with his shirt tag, and the other laying on the bed.

Ron tilted his head, watching as Draco pushed the covers back, and slid underneath the blankets. For a moment, Ron just stared, his eyes flitting from that head of blonde hair, to those slim, callused hands. He quickly looked away when the other boy looked back, however. Burying his head in his pillow, Ron tried to breathe evenly. Draco's leg by his seemed as noticeable as a burning torch, and the hand on his shoulder and the prospect of it moving were suddenly more scary and exciting than any spider could ever be. Taking a deep breath, Ron turned to lie on his back, upsetting the hand on his shoulder. His eyes closed tight, he slid a trembling hand down the other boy's side until he reached Draco's hand, which he then gripped tightly with his.

After a few moments of silence, in which both boys lay like this, neither moving nor looking at each other, Ron asked, "So? What…what do you plan to do? About the whole situation between us, I mean."

Draco turned to look at him. Ron found that he couldn't look away from that grey gaze anymore. It was like those eyes were magnets he was drawn to. He'd known for quite a while that there was depth to the Slytherin, more to Draco than just the labels Ron had given him, but Ron still wasn't sure what it was he saw every time he met eyes with Draco. The boy was good at remaining a mystery no matter how many times you stared at him.

"What do I plan to do? I…I guess I just plan to be the bloke you like, and not someone else. I won't be a bastard anymore. I…I want you to keep liking me. But I plan to be myself, too. I won't become a Gryffindor, or something stupid like that. And I also plan to…"

"To what?"

Draco smirked, and all of a sudden, Ron found that he liked that smirk. Ron knew there was a mischievous side to the Slytherin, a cunning, and had wondered this entire time where it had gone. When Draco smirked, however, Ron knew that that mischievousness was still there. He felt the blood rush to his ears as Draco leant in, so that his mouth was right by Ron's ear. A shiver ran through him as Draco whispered, "I plan to kiss you."

Then Draco's mouth slid to plant a feather-soft kiss on Ron's cheek. Ron, his eyes closed, found that he had missed the touch of those lips, so gentle, so smooth. But really, a kiss on the cheek? How disappointing! As Draco straddled him—Ron found himself quite keen to the idea of that body so close—Ron murmured, "C'mon, on the cheek? You are so disappointing."

Grabbing Draco's tie with a hand, Ron pulled the other boy close. For a moment, he just stared into the deep depths of those gray eyes. Then, he pressed his eager mouth to Draco's.

There was a fury to the kiss, all the pent-up whirlwind of emotions spilling out to transform into a violence that made the kiss all the more lustful. Never in all his years had Ron ever found a mouth so important to him as Draco's was, never a locking of lips feeling so perfect, so meant. A need that had been simmering inside him for far too long exploded, making him press his mouth all the harder to Draco's. In that single kiss, Ron found himself hurled into another world, the world that was Draco, the air around Draco, his lips, his tongue, his heartbeat fast against Ron's own, the smell of sweat and cologne suddenly inviting, because Ron's world suddenly revolved around Draco. Shivers ran up in delightful parties up his arms, his legs, and his spine, that tongue, that mouth against his so delicious, so hot and yet still…Ron found he wanted more.

They broke apart, and Ron leaned back, his head cradled by the palm of Draco's hand, those fingers still massaging, sending electric sparks through him with every touch. Ron was unsure of whether it was real or not, if it all was truly happening. A kiss to his throat came, a reassurance that, yes, Draco was there, was Ron's, owned Ron, was so entirely delicious, so hot, so breathtakingly, profoundly there, available to give Ron the more he desired.

When Draco's soft lips brushed his collarbone area in a flurry of soft kisses, Ron found himself seemingly frozen, unable to move. How could anyone be so fascinated by him, of all people? How could someone value his words, his thoughts, his skin, so much? Draco portrayed in his actions and his glances the feelings that he could or would not say in words: Ron was very special to Draco. It was hard for Ron to fathom this; he had never defined himself as special. He was the boy that was as non-special as anyone could be! He'd never done anything great, said anything worth quoting, or anything of the like! He was plain, just a Weasley, just a redhead, just a Gryffindor, just a boy, just RON, and yet it seemed Draco would never link the word 'just' with his name. Being with Draco, feeling special to Draco even though he'd done nothing but be himself, it seemed right. It seemed right to let the boy love him, to accept that there was something between them.

Ron looked down as Draco looked up, resulting in the two boys bumping noses. Draco laughed, the first real laugh Ron had ever heard from him. Then Draco pressed his mouth to Ron's. For a moment, both boys simply reveled in each other, eyes closed, the touch of mouth to mouth suddenly not as simple as either had imagined, and much more sweet.

Still smiling, Draco rested his arms on Ron's chest, and propping his chin on top of his hands, he said, "Can I ask you a question?"

"You just did."

Draco rolled his eyes. "No, really. Can I ask you a question? One semi-serious, kind of, and one…a thought of mine that comes to mind far too much."

Ron sat up slightly, getting more comfortable. "Sure. Go ahead. Ask away!"

"Ok. Question number one, the semi-serious one: Can I call you Ron?"

Ron blinked. Of all the things involving Draco that impacted him like a blow to the stomach, somehow, this simple thing impacted Ron the most. It made the situation they were in very clear, and a little bit frightening, too. But also, Ron thought, smiling, it's a really brilliant, neat sort of idea. Draco calling me Ron? I already think of him as Draco in my head, maybe he does the same with me. I guess it depends on whether…

Clearing his throat, Ron decided to voice his thoughts. "I think it depends on whether we're going to divulge our situation to our…well, our friends and whatnot. I mean, we're way too involved to back away from it now…right?" A pang of fear shot through Ron at the thought of abandoning the growing relationship he and Draco had.

"Right. I can call you Ron, and they'll just have to learn to deal with it. That sound all right to you?"

Ron thought about it for a moment. He, telling Hermione and Harry about all of this? His stomach twisted at the thought. But damn it, it had to be done. There was no way he was going to hide things from his friends. That would get someone hurt, in the end, and he didn't want anyone hurt!

Ron nodded, saying with a smile, "Yeah. Yeah, that sounds all right. Call me Ron."

"OK…Ron."

Draco breathed the name cautiously, slowly, as if it might be a sin to break the silence, to dare and acknowledge the understanding they shared, the feelings that linked them, as real, and out in the oxygen for others to breathe in.

Sitting up to lean against the head of the bed, Ron waved a hand in front of his face, the heat in the room seeming to surround him like a cloud. Slowly, with fumbling, impatient fingers, he began to unbutton his shirt. One button…two…three…four…five…

Ron glanced up, to find those now familiar gray eyes watching his every movement, staring at his revealed skin as if desiring to become one with his very pores. He became speechless immediately, the flame of desire burning hotter in his groin as he stared at Draco staring at him.

Then, pretending he hadn't noticed Draco staring at him, Ron continued unbuttoning, now doing so even slower than before. Each button somehow made the mood tenser, rather than less, for Ron was unsure what inevitable movement of Draco's he should expect, once the shirt was off. Unable to stop himself from grinning, Ron dared a glance at Malfoy, even as he shrugged his shirt from his shoulders. Draco was still staring at him. The Slytherin still had a bit of dignity – he was trying to be subtle, and his mouth wasn't open, and his hands weren't trembling, but Ron could tell, somehow. Draco's stare slid over him like a welcoming cooling from the hot air, and every muscle in that body was tense, clenched tightly. The trousers on Malfoy were tighter in his nervous fidgeting. Ron bit his lip hard at that thought, his body immediately alert. Shit, he'd just looked at Malfoy's crotch to try and see how tight the trousers fit! Ron's breath hitched; now it was way too obvious that he couldn't control himself.

Ron bit on his lip even harder, resisting the urge to pounce on the other boy. Squirming, he asked breathily, "So…your other question?" A low moan got trapped in his throat, transforming instead into a growl. How could Draco be so arousing with all his clothes ON? Maybe it was because Draco, too, was currently squirming – trying to hide it, and failing. Squirming was suddenly an enticement.

"My other question," said Draco, "was…"

Ron gasped as those teeth scraped slowly up his neck, the sharpness, and eagerness of the movement sending a thrilling shiver through him. A whimper came from him as Draco's tongue slid against his ear, tickling. That hot breath against his ear, coupled with a whisper of his name from memorable mouth, caused Ron to shudder. His fingers gripped the sheets and pillows around him so hard they tore like claws, bringing up pieces of cotton cloth and soft feathers, which floated around the room and made it all seem more dreamlike. It struck Ron that the color red Gryffindors were famed for was romantic – or, at the least, a color symbolizing passion. A humiliating gasp broke from his lips as Draco's hand began to slide down his chest, even as a pair of pearly white teeth and hot, moist tongue focused on giving him a hickey. Ron gave a low moan, gasping for breath in the face of such inexorable arousal.

Finally, Ron tore himself away, sitting up straight. Glancing down at Draco, who still lay down – his face alarmingly close to Ron's thigh – Ron asked, "So? What was your question? … You," he gulped audibly, "never quite finished."

~~~~~*~~~~~

Draco smirked. He never had finished his question, had he? That smooth skin littered with an array of brown-gold freckles had been far too distracting. He half couldn't believe that his fantasy, a time to carry out all other, detailed fantasies, was coming true. He was in a room, alone, with Ron, a Ron who accepted him.

Smiling, his hand on Ron's arm, fingers ghosting over freckles as he spoke, Draco said, "My question is…well, it's about your freckles, actually."

Immediately, Draco noticed, Ron became defensive.

"What, you hate them? You refuse to let me call you Draco unless I shave them off my skin? They're just stupid dots, you know! I hate 'em too, you know, but YOU'RE not the one who has to deal with them! I don't see why people who don't have freckles have such a thing against them. And—"

Draco smiled, saying, "Actually, I have nothing against your freckles."

He chuckled as Ron, eyes wide, turned to stare, his mouth hanging open. "Really?"

"Really. I like your freckles." Draco gave a kiss to the top of Ron's hand as he did this, noticing that if he sucked slightly, and added a swipe of tongue, the other boy stiffened immediately, and got that look on his face that Draco loved – a mixture of shock, confusion, and pleasure, in which his mouth opened slightly and his eyes to place a hand on the other boy's belt, Draco smirked at the shock in the other boy's eyes, and, beginning to unbuckle the belt, he leant close. A hand suddenly clasped Draco's tightly, and Draco found his hands pulled away from Ron's belt. An anger simmering down deep within him, Ron growled, "Don't. The decision to unbuckle that belt is mine. Now, what's the question?"

Draco smirked. THIS was the fiery redhead he desired, THIS was the Ron he wanted to share a bed with. He loved getting Ron riled up; the boy was so gorgeous in his anger. That fury made him all the more delectable, somehow. But he was also gorgeous in his innocence, his inexperience, and his eagerness for more. Nodding, Draco moved his hands slowly away from that belt, and instead, slid his palms slowly up the other boy's torso, to rest on Ron's shoulders.

Staring straight into that sapphire gaze, Draco whispered, "My question is…how far down do your freckles go? Are they…everywhere?"

Those blue eyes went the widest Draco had ever seen. Several things happened at once, at that moment. Firstly, Draco realized that, as he'd leaned closer to Ron, he had caused himself to straddle the other boy. This opportune position made him able to test how his words had affected Ron – the second thing Draco realized, which was that there was an undeniable, sudden hardness pressing against him. And third, that he had also elevated his own lust to extraordinary heights.

His ears flushing a deep red, Ron stared at Draco, and stammered, "I…y-your question…err, well, I…the freckles…I, I mean, you, you…. I mean, god, damn it…ah, yes. You know. Ah…yes. My answer…is…is yes."

It was Draco's turn to stare, and stammer, a bit. His ever-famous Malfoy composure slipping, he blurted, "YES? You mean…the freckles, they…do…?"

Ron grinned at Draco's loss of composure, and nodding, his ears still bright red, he said, "Yes, yes. Th-they do. The freckles. They go…all the way down. Everywhere. Even…um, there. Yeah. Everywhere."

Draco found himself at a sudden loss for words. His cheeks flushed, his hands trembling, trousers tight against him, all he could do was stare for a moment, and imagine…god, yum. Everywhere! Finally, the question he'd been wondering about forever – answered!

Smirking, Draco slid off of Ron, and then, slowly, ever so slowly, moved trembling hands down Ron's thighs. The boys' breathing matched—quick, panting gasps, the only sound that split through the air of the otherwise silent room. Trousers tight against him, Draco paused for a moment, trying to focus on the task of getting the redhead out of those trousers, rather than focusing on himself.

Gasping to get breath into his lungs, his hands on Ron's belt, Draco said, "You know what I really want to do? Other than get this belt unbuckled I mean. I want to lick."

Draco was sure Ron was wondering if his heart beat as fast as Ron's at that moment. Gulping audibly, Ron asked in a raspy voice, "Lick…what?"

"Your freckles. Every single one of them. Should I start at the top?"

A nod was Ron's answer.

Clambering back upward, Draco smiled, and then began at the top, with Ron's face. He wasn't sure if he was in a dream, or not, as he caressed each and every one of the freckles with his mouth. Feathers floated around he and Ron, and the scents of sweat, cologne, and a light rose smell the breeze carried from a nearby vase wafted to Draco's nose. As Draco proceeded south, making a trail of bites down Ron's neck, he heard a low, satisfying moan. Minutes later, Draco was at Ron's stomach, so eager he was. A tongue dipped in his navel made Ron laugh hysterically, and for a few moments, Draco simply reveled in the sound of that laughter.

Draco asked Ron quietly, "Can I get rid of your belt now?"

The very air seemed to still, and all comprehension of anything other than that face, framed by curling red, exited Draco's mind. Then, slowly, a smile beginning to twist his lips, Ron nodded.

The room was so silent, it seemed to suffocate both boys, the only sound a delightful snap and whoosh, as Draco undid Ron's belt, and then slowly slid it away, tossing it to the floor. There was a moment in which Draco was unsure of what to do, afraid he would be unable to please Ron. But then he glanced up at Ron, and the sight of that soft tongue licking those luscious lips—confirming that Ron's throat was as dry with need as Draco's—was somehow encouraging.

Draco moved to slide his tongue near the other boy's hip, smirking as an agonized whimper came from Ron. He could feel the hardness of the redhead's erection pressing against him. Licking even more viciously, Draco purposely pressed slightly down on that hardness, while pretending not to notice that he had. Every lick he gave to the strip of unusually white skin by Ron's waistline and the results that he received for it were extremely satisfying. Finally, though, Ron became too much to resist. Plus, the other boy squirmed and bucked so much Draco didn't think he could avoid it any longer; not that he wanted to in the slightest! He brushed his hands against the redhead's crotch, as if accidentally, as he slid the trousers off of Ron. Then he continued licking, moving up slightly.

Suddenly the other boy slid off the bed, kicking away his trousers. Grabbing Draco by the collar, Ron shoved the blonde hard against the nearest wall, saying hoarsely, "I know you like to torture people, but do you have to be so damn slow? I'm not a patient person, you know."

Draco nodded, moaning at the other boy's mouth on his skin, saying, "I know. That's the point. Then you get even more impatient and you…"

Merlin, this boy was good! A humiliating gasp broke from Draco's throat as Ron's hips swiveled against his just…so…and suddenly his hands were at the redhead's back, nails scraping down the soft skin, his head thrown back to let that tongue work at his neck. Slowly, slowly, Ron stopped licking, and leant heavily against Draco, his eyes closed, his panting sending puffs of hot air past Draco's neck. Draco saw his opportunity at that moment. He placed his hands over Ron's hips, prepared to slide the last bit of clothing away from that beautiful freckled skin…

The glorious moment was broken by the sound of thumping feet in the common room downstairs, and then the muffled mumble of voices ascending the stairway. Dinner was over, and people were coming back into the common room, and into their dormitories. Both boys sat frozen for a moment, eyes wide in horror. Then Draco quickly dove away, even as Ron slid his shirt and trousers back on. Draco was about to slide beneath the bed, however undignified an act it was, when Ron grabbed his hand.

Turning around, a brow raised in questioning, Draco asked, "Ron, what…?"

"Come with me," the redhead said, smiling. Draco didn't know how the boy managed to smile, when they'd just been interrupted so abruptly. But Ron's whisper of, "We'll continue later" and the sexy smirk that accompanied it was reassuring.

Stepping out onto the stairway landing with Ron, Draco glanced down at the stairs.

In a moment of clarity, both boys realized the predicament they were in. The stairs to the girls' dormitory was unable to be accessed by males, whether they were stepping up, or down.

"Shit," Draco breathed, "We're trapped."

Draco glanced at Ron, expecting a similar reaction to his, but he found the unexpected. Instead of being angry, Ron simply shrugged, saying, "They'll stay down there awhile. We're stuck here. Guess what that means for us? More time alone."

As he pressed his mouth to Ron's eagerly, Draco couldn't help but smile.

Things were less complicated, now.

THE END