As bad days went, Ron supposed, he'd had worse. Fred's funeral—that had been utter hell. The day that Lestrange bitch had made Hermione scream so loudly Ron had felt his heart got ripped out of his chest—that had been a bad one, too. The day he'd buggered off in a fit of pique only to discover that he just might have lost the two people most important to him—forever—well, that had been one for the ages.

This wasn't catastrophic, really. It just...well it just sort of sucked arse, is what it did.

First off, he'd have liked a few more hours sleep to make up for the two he'd lost when his little girl's voice woke him up in the middle of the night with "Daddy, I did it again. Please don't tell Mummy," which always made him feel horribly guilty because not telling Hermione felt like lying, but he didn't want to cause his wife pain by letting on that their daughter was afraid of letting Mummy down. It wasn't that Hermione would have scolded her, really. Just that look of disappointment, and Ron knew as much as anyone how difficult it was to live up to a perfectionist's expectations.

And anyway, thinking about all that had got him thinking about other things, like how marriage was not much like he'd expected it to be even though he'd known for years how he and Hermione worked together. Building a life together was nothing at all like two separate lives that ran on a parallel track that sometimes merged together for an evening of catching up and a night of marathon shagging. This was more like two locomotives trying to share a track that often wasn't big enough for both of them, especially when life's stresses seemed to be determined to pry them apart.

It wasn't that he wasn't mad for the girl. He loved her so much it hurt sometimes, and he still knew in his heart that he was hers to his very last breath. It was just that they were so very, very different.

Or maybe, he thought as he tried to go back to sleep, it was his sadly neglected cock taking over his brain and pouting. The idea was confirmed as it perked up hopefully with one look at the familiar lines of Hermione's shoulder and spine and that sexy breathy sound she made in her sleep that almost, but not quite sounded like a moan.

He'd sighed and rolled over, trying to get it out of his mind...
Snape in a bikini...
Oh, god, no, the point was not to vomit...
Bulstrode in a bikini...
Bulstrode in a bikini...
Parkinson in a bikini...
Greengrass in a bikini...
the Patil twins in bikinis...
Hermione in a bikini...
Hermione untying the bikini...
Hermione letting it fall...
Hermione looking up through her lashes and laughing at the look on his face...
biting her lip...
Oh fuck, yeah, that's hot
Wasn't the point to get less turned on, not more...?

When that didn't work, he briefly considered waking her up—it wasn't that she'd mind, really, in fact they'd had some of their better shags that way—when she was all sleep tousled and relaxed and pliant (oh, bad idea, you're only making it worse.) But she'd been awake long after he got home, muttering and scribbling on that damn report. She was presenting it the following morning and all of her funding depended on it going just right, especially because McAuliffe (un-affectionately referred to as Scrooge by Hermione and most of the Ministry) had got elected in a landslide by a magical Britain infuriated by the spendthrift ways of Minister Slughorn. She needed to be focused, not shag-sore and sleep deprived.

Besides, his right hand had been taking care of that sort of tension for fifteen years at least and didn't show any signs of flagging. It had done the job, anyway--he hardly even remembered coming—it seemed that one moment he'd managed to conjure an image of Hermione and Lavender mud wrestling while that German bird Charlie'd brought home who wore really short skirts (and had a way of sucking down cigarette smoke that ought to have been illegal) looked on—and the next moment, his clock was screaming at him to "Get the fuck out of bed, you wanker! Or are you deaf as well as stupid and lazy?"

(Side note to the uninitiated: never let George use the toilet attached to your bedroom without strict supervision. The alarm clock became abusive, the telly showed only porn--and mostly gay porn at that--and Hermione's 'toy' collection would probably never work quite the same way again)

At any rate, he'd been confronted in the hallway by Hugo—with a leaking nappy, of course—and that meant more laundry on the pile and a bath for the both of them, getting them dressed and fed, choking down burnt toast and two-hour-old coffee because he'd forgot to pick up tea during his lunch hour. While setting the clothes to washing, Ron realised he'd also forgot to get laundry soap, so he tried to remember whether dish soap could be transfigured into wash soap or if it would result in a house filled with pine-scented bubbles. Shrugging his shoulders, he went ahead and tried it. It wouldn't be the worst thing the house had been filled with (he still wasn't quite sure what those furry little bastards were or how they managed to reproduce so quickly, but he suspected George had something to do with it. The sheer volume of poop had been unbelievable.)

He cut himself shaving, got blood on his favorite shirt, bollixed up the charm to remove it and scorched the collar. Hugo toddled in just as he noticed the smoke, and started mimicking daddy's "bugger, buggering arse and fuck!" and even came up with a little dance to go with it while Ron winced and tried to distract him, hoping by all that was magic that the little demon would forget it by that evening when his mum came to pick him up.

Rose spilled pumpkin juice on her shirt, and Ron had to change her into the only one left, which she'd probably outgrown about six months before. He threw the stained one onto the ever growing laundry pile with a sigh, thinking longingly (for about the millionth time) that House Elves were hiring themselves out these days. Not that he dared mention it to his wife if he wanted to keep his bollocks intact.

Just when he finally herded the kids into the Floo, Rose started searching her bag for 'Boo,' the ratty bit of old blanket (looking more gray than blue these days) and which she generally kept hidden in her pockets in order to roll it between her fingers when she was feeling uncertain.

Ten minutes later, they found it tucked inside her pillowcase, and by this time Hugo had managed to rip open a bag of crisps (the bright orange cheese flavoured kind, of course) and his fingers and cheeks and the front of his jumper were covered in orange powder. Sighing, Ron pulled them back into the Floo--his mum would probably be able to make that disappear easily enough, and knowing Ron's luck that morning, he'd have probably stained it scarlet in the process.

Why Hermione insisted on so many white or light-coloured things, Ron didn't know. All the brightly coloured and patterned clothes of his childhood may not have been the height of fashion, but when you spilled something on them, odds were no one would notice. It was only now that Ron was beginning to appreciate his mother's genius.

They stepped out of the Floo in the Burrow's kitchen and into pure chaos--his mum and sister were shouting at each other, something about Mum needing to mind her own business and Mum replying that her children were her business, but it was enough to have Hugo clinging to him just a bit. Normally, Hugo rushed out of his arms to go looking for Freddie, but this time, he was apparently going to give Ron a hard time about leaving him there, and Ron was already running late.

Naturally, his mum had also run out of tea, and to top it off she'd made that morning's muffins with sultanas and Ron couldn't stand them. He had to content himself with the last sad little sausage remaining from his father's breakfast, finding to his disappointment that his father had also apparently taken The Prophet with him. Ron refused to give a Knut of his money to the rag on principle (and thus enrich its still horrid Editoress-in-Chief), but borrowing his dad's paper didn't count, did it? After all, he did want to know if the Cannons had signed Josefsen.

After ten minutes of trying to distract Hugo, he finally kissed his tear-stained cheek and took Rose by the hand to walk her to Luna's. He really wished she didn't hate Apparating so much, but he knew that even if he cajoled her into it, he'd be kissing another tear-stained cheek and feeling more guilt roiling around in his stomach by the time he left. Rose hated feeling as if she was going to suffocate, and he didn't blame her a bit. In an unconscious gesture, he rubbed at the scar on his shoulder. He'd always hated Apparition.

Once Rose was safely delivered into Luna's (surprisingly capable) hands, Ron made his way to the bottom of her lane and Apparated to the Ministry. Or to the cafe around the corner, to be specific, because he hadn't actually got a proper breakfast and he really, really needed some tea. They were out of his favorite chocolate croissants, so he had to settle for the blueberry crumpets. Someone had left a paper on the table, though, so he thought that perhaps his luck was going to change and tucked it beneath his arm as he made his way to the entrance. Naturally, there was a line at the lifts, but that gave him plenty of time for him to scan the magical sports page. He very quickly wished he hadn't--Josefsen had signed with Holyhead in the end and the Cannons were going with Anderson, who couldn't block a Quaffle to save his life. Ron sighed. Another losing season.

He was tempted to throw the paper away in disgust, but he wanted to see if they were going to say anything about budget cuts in Hermione's department.

It was then that he saw it, and in a section that had to have been one of that Skeeter bitch's worst ideas: Who's Who in the Magical World. Basically, it was supposed to be 'human interest,' a way of exposing readers to the diversity of the magical world of Britain and beyond, but for the most part, it was more of the same old rubbish. There were ordinary folk featured, sure, and lots of pictures of cute little kids or teenagers with outrageous robes or haircuts, (and occasionally the odd blast from the past, like Stubby Boardman attempting a comeback or Gilderoy Lockhart hawking his hair care line) but for the most part it was an excuse for photographers to further violate the privacy of the rich or famous. And apparently--either through his role in the war or his relationship to the Minister for Muggle Relations or his marriage to one of the magical world's most noted activists--- today was his turn.

Ron looked closely at the picture, smiling at the sheer determination on his daughter's face. She'd been so anxious to get just the right shoes for her first day of school. Hugo had had enough of shopping at that point, and the sugar in the ice cream that had conveniently pacified him an hour or so before was now causing him to whine and pout and generally be determined to do the exact opposite of what Ron wanted him to do. He'd also had to shop for his parent's anniversary, as well as Ginny's birthday and Percy's victory party. If he got elected, that was—and it was looking as though he would.

At any rate, the picture made him smile. A normal day, but made special because he'd managed to send his daughter off to school feeling confident, (at least in her appearance, which meant a lot to a girl—even Ron knew that—hell, it meant a lot to boys too) and because that day Hugo had used the toilet for the first time ever.

Only apparently The Prophet hadn't seen it that way:

Ronald Weasley: Hero, or Harried Husband?
Auror Ronald Bilius Weasley, best friend of the boy wonder Harry Potter and a member of one of Britain's most prominent (and prolific) wizarding families, the very same man who so neatly dispatched the terrifyingly ravenous Fenrir Greyback, apparently can't stand up to his wife, noted magical theorist Hermione Granger-Weasley. Auror Weasley (whose rapid rise through the ranks of Magical Law Enforcement cannot entirely be attributed to his connections) is described by close family friend and former school mate Cormac McLaggan as "utterly wand whipped—the poor man can't seem to say 'boo' without his wife's permission." Several witnesses have come forward to describe encounters with the formidable couple, describing in painful detail the way that she 'picks him apart like last week's knitting...'

Ron closed the paper in a hurry, looking around the crowded elevator, certain that everyone around knew what he was reading and agreed with the caption. Maybe that was why Ginny had been in such a hurry to leave—usually, she couldn't get enough of Hugo. And his mum, she'd been decidedly shifty when he asked about the paper. She had to have seen it. And Luna, well, she probably didn't know (she only read The Quibbler on principle) but still, her eyes had seemed almost...sympathetic?

Unfolding the paper reluctantly, Ron read one more time and then he looked up; feeling that prickle at the back of his neck that always meant someone was watching him. Naturally, when he looked around, he discovered that most people on the elevator seemed unwilling to meet his eyes. There, that bloke—definitely looked away in a hurry. But then again, if it hadn't been for the article, Ron might have described him as shifty, probably hiding something, like maybe in his pockets, a bribe for an official or dodgy potions to keep you working like a house elf—he'd heard of things like that—all these Slytherins working for the Ministry, now, trying to act all contrite or claim they never agreed with the Death Eaters, that they were only protecting their families. Oh, see how hard they were working to rebuild—longer hours and less pay, taking the jobs no one else wanted, only they were getting ahead, somehow, promoted by their apparent selflessness into positions of more power, or maybe they were using potions the way their parents had used Imperius, not as easy to get caught with potions, and no sentencing guidelines, but, oh, hell, he was probably just paranoid, the fucking newspaper was doing that to him, it was probably just someone who was trying to figure out if he was that Weasley or one of the countless others swarming round the Ministry.

Ron wanted to tell him to sod off, wanted to tell the entire elevator to get stuffed and mind their own business, wanted to take the newspaper and cram it down that Skeeter cow's throat.

However, maturity had taught him that would only compound the problem, or maybe it would only lead to another headline: 'Has the Ministry lost control of its Aurors? ' Or, 'Henpecked husband finally cracks,' or 'Is Auror Weasley a bad influence on the Chosen One?' or 'Trouble in Paradise--Behind the Granger-Weasley's crumbling marriage,' probably linking him to someone ridiculous like Luna or Pansy fucking Parkinson.

Swallowing down his anger and resentment, he smiled at the people around him, thinking about the day ahead. More paperwork, of course, and perhaps he'd have a report on his desk from the potions lab finally getting some answers on the vials in that chest they'd confiscated from the warehouse just off the dodgiest part of Knockturn Alley.

Or maybe a good call would come in, a robbery or a murder--not that he wanted to see someone murdered, mind you, but something to make him feel useful and important wasn't too much to ask, was it?

Everyone looked away as he walked past the doors of the Auror Department, but Ron brazened it out and smiled brightly, greeting each person by name, even stupid, arsey Doyle. It wasn't easy to keep the smile up when he saw how much the pile of parchment on his desk had grown overnight, but Ron set down the paper teacup he'd hardly touched, sat down in his chair, and began plowing through them one at a time. Harry was out on assignment, had been for days, the lucky sod. Ron hadn't' really developed a close friendship with any of the other blokes, so it wasn't as though anyone was going to good-naturedly take the mickey out on him about the article the way that say, Seamus or Dean might have back at school, thus allowing him to get it out in the open and dealt with. Instead, it hung over the office like a dark cloud, and Ron's neck tingled almost constantly for the next two hours. At one point, he leaned back and stretched, rubbing at his neck and sucking down the last drops of glorious tea when he spotted Montague out of the corner of his eye, standing at the desk to the left of him, looking around shiftily as his hand moved over his coffee cup. Ron tried to watch him while appearing absorbed in the report in front of him, but other than noticing that the stupid snake seemed to be drinking down his coffee in rather a hurry, he couldn't see anything out of the ordinary. Well, maybe he was spiking it with a bit of whisky; he wouldn't be the first on the Auror Squad with an alcohol problem. Still, it was something to remember in the future. Ron didn't want to be stuck out in the field counting on him when his wandwork was shaky.

He'd finally got to the report about the warehouse raid and still had no corresponding report from the Potions lab. Why couldn't they ever hurry? he wondered. It was just a diagnostic spell-- hell; he could have done it himself faster. Stupid procedures. Perhaps it was time for a stretch of the legs, and, depending on the sex of the person working the window at the lab, a bit of charm or a bit of menace. At least then he might get the damn file off his desk.

As he made his way out the door, the file tucked under his arm, he had a thought and grabbed the mug Montague had left behind when he went to the bathroom. It was one of the Department's mugs, and he could always say he was taking it to the sink, right? Common courtesy in an office that sometimes reeked of spoilt milk from old drinks.


As he parted ways with Lowenstein at the Floo Corridor late that evening, Ron's supervisor patted his back. "Great catch today, Weasley. Energy potions, they call them, but the main ingredient was Erythroxylon coca. We questioned Montague and managed to catch his supplier smack in the middle of a transaction with the head of International Magical Cooperation. His robes were full of hidden pockets. Pepper Up mixed in with Muggle drugs, Felix Felicis, Polyjuice—you name it, he had it. I'm putting you in charge of questioning his list of clients, starting tomorrow. Potions abuse been a perplexing problem in the Ministry for years, it's just so hard to spot 'em, you know? Keep up the good work, Weasley. You keep listening to that gut of yours; you'll make captain before you're thirty."

It ought not to have been as gratifying as it was—certainly he'd earned the praise, even if he was only doing his job, but it never ceased to thrill Ron when he managed to do something to make him stand out from his family, his wife, his best friend, and his colleagues. Let them say now that he'd got into the program on Harry's coattails...


He arrived at home nearly an hour after he should have, knowing full well that he was going to hear about it from Hermione, who'd probably be drained by the stress of her day and even more drained by the effort of feeding the kids and getting them ready for bed. Once again, Ron let himself imagine how nice it would be to just come home and relax—the solution was so simple, but with Hermione's views on elf rights...

As he reached for the door, Ron sighed and tried to shake off his bad mood. It wasn't the kids' fault he'd had such a bad day, and it wasn't Hermione's either, not really. They didn't deserve to have his frustration taken out on them. Setting his shoulders back, he put a smile on his face, expecting to open the door to pure chaos and hopefully a couple of tackle hugs. Instead, he found silence and near darkness. Puzzled, he drew his wand and moved quietly to the kitchen, which was empty, though a couple of Chinese takeaway boxes were sitting on the counter. Also empty, but they sure smelled good.

He then made his way down the hall to Rose's room, which was also deserted. Feeling a bit of panic creeping into his veins, he went on to Hugo's room, coming up short again..

There was a light under the door to his bedroom, but after the day he'd had, he was almost afraid he'd open it and find his family tied up and held at wand point. As quietly as possible, he turned the knob, bracing himself for any possibility.

He was greeted by the sight of his wife's shapely (and practically bare) arse sticking out of the closet. For a moment, he stood slack-mouthed, wondering if he was dreaming. However, the doorknob under his hand felt reassuringly solid.

"H-Hermione?" he said, his voice cracking in a way it hadn't since he was thirteen.

Hermione apparently hadn't heard him coming, for she jerked her head up and banged it on a closet shelf. Ron winced, swearing softly, wanting to reach out and make the pain go away somehow. It was an instinct his kids had brought out in him, for the most part, but with Hermione, it had always been so. Well, Harry, too, he supposed. Rubbing hard at the crown of her head, (and making her hair go completely wild in the process) Hermione rose to her feet, shrugging her shoulders.

"That wasn't part of the plan," she said, sounding almost sheepish.

Ron was a bit distracted by the get-up she was wearing, but the word 'plan' did register. "Wasn't it?"

"I was looking for shoes, you see."

"Shoes?" he repeated, wondering how she still managed to be able to reduce him to idiocy after all these years. "Where are, you going?"

"Oh nowhere," she replied, and stepped closer, wringing her hands a bit. "I just—I mean—the stockings do look better with heels, right?"

His eyes following her vague gesture toward her legs, Ron licked his lips. "Well, yeah, but...I think they're all right without them."

Hermione smiled. "Are they?"

"Fuck, yeah," he said, and grinned, his fingers itching to touch her. "Brilliant. Really hot. So—are we celebrating, then?"

"Hmm...?" she asked, looking him up and down. "Oh! The funding, you mean? We'll know in a few days, he said. But it went well. Or at least I think it went well. I hope it went well."

"Oh, right," he said. "Typical."


"Fucking bureaucrats," he added.

"Well...yes. Fucking bureaucrats. There really isn't a better adjective, is there?"

"Probably not," he said. "So...where are the kids, anyway?"

"Your mother's house. I thought...well, I thought maybe you could use a break."

Ron snorted softly. Apparently she'd read the damn thing too. "Reckon I could," he said, wondering if she was going to try to convince him that he wasn't dragged around on a short leash. Which he knew he wasn't, not really, but still, sometimes...

At any rate, it was hard to work up any resentment while his wife was wearing...well, he didn't know what it was called, probably some fancy French name, but whatever it was, it was the sexiest thing he'd seen in ages.

Hermione watched his eyes move down her body and a slow smile spread over her face, causing his body to stir in reaction. She stood up a bit straighter, pushing her shoulders back, brushing her hair out of her eyes.

"You've been shopping," he said.

"Well, yes, actually. After the meeting...I suppose I felt I'd earned a few hours off."

"That you have," he said, reaching out to almost but not quite touch the strap that was just beginning to slide down her shoulder. Instead, he let his fingertips brush at a wayward curl. "I like it."

"Do you?" she asked, and her smile widened. "I'm glad. I tried to pick...I mean I was trying to think of what you might buy, given the opportunity."

Well, that certainly proved she knew a thing or two about him after so many years. But then again, what didn't she know? "Always knew you were bloody brilliant."

She took a step closer. "You're brilliant," she said. "Brilliant and
hard working and supportive and just...amazing with the kids, and...I
hope you know how much I appreciate-"

Swallowing down the lump that was rapidly forming in his throat, Ron stepped toward her and pulled her into his arms. Part of him wanted to tell her to shut up, that he knew all this already, but another part really, really needed to have it said. But more than anything, he just needed to touch her, to just have her focused on him for a change. As she tilted her head up to look at him, he kissed her, still amazed that something so simple could feel so bloody good. It seemed like forever since he had done this.

"I love you," he murmured against her lips.

"I love you so much", she replied, clutching and twisting at the fabric between his shoulder blades. "I wanted to surprise you, I had this huge plan: kids gone, and you were going to come home and find me dressed up and tied up and ...well, it sounded better in my head, perhaps. And of course, there wasn't enough time. There never is, is there?"

"It sounds pretty good to me," he said. "But I've always thought that anything you came up with in that brilliant brain of yours was a good idea, haven't I?"

"Well, apart from S.P.E.W.," she pointed out.

"Yeah, well-" Ron sighed, feeling rather guilty for having coveted a house elf for half the day. Best to change the subject. "So, about that plan..."

"Oh!" she said, "Well, I suppose you could always go back out while I find the shoes and charm the ropes-"

"No," he said. "Well, yes to the shoes, I mean." He rather liked it when she wore heels, it made it much easier to kiss her standing up and he liked that very much indeed. It always felt like the first time, but that got him thinking about house elves and that was probably a very bad idea. "But no tying up, if you don't mind. Unless I'm the one to do it." Sometimes Ron still got nightmares about the night at the Malfoys and the idea of Hermione even pretending to be helpless and scared got his stomach twisting and his chest hurting.

Hermione got that wicked smile on her face that always sent all the blood in his body rushing south. "I'll keep them handy, then. Now go out and get a beer. I'll finish getting dressed."

Ron made a face, though he had trouble holding back a smile. "Bloody harpie, always bossing me around..."

"As if you didn't like it," she said as she smacked his bum and pushed him out the door.

Grinning, Ron made his way into the kitchen, thinking that maybe this wasn't going to be such a bad day after all. A look at the takeaway boxes got his stomach growling, and he wondered what had happened to the food. A walk over to the dining room gave him an answer. She'd even got out the nice plates, the ones her parents got them that really only came out when they came over for dinner, the rest of the time taking up space in the china cabinet. There were candles, too, the nice-smelling ones, and linen napkins and a bunch of irises artfully arranged in a vase. The only question was whether she'd planned on them eating pre or post-shag. When he heard his stomach growl again, Ron grabbed an egg roll and started munching on it, careful not to get any crumbs on the tablecloth. Honestly, he didn't know why they even owned a white one with the kids they had, but it did look nice.

The egg roll was gone in moments, and seeing as there were six, he supposed she wouldn't miss another. At the fifth gulp of beer, he began feeling the alcohol spreading a sense of calm throughout his body. Not a bad way to end a shit day, he thought again, only to jump when he felt a hesitant touch on his arm. He spun round, his cheek still full of egg roll. "I couldn't wait," he muttered around it.

Hermione's face fell. "I'm not your mother, Ron. I bought the food for us to eat. I'm not going to smack your hand for starting without me."

For the first time, it occurred to Ron that she might have been even more hurt by the article than he'd been. He'd merely taken it as an affront to his masculinity, but she couldn't much like being portrayed as a heartless, controlling bitch, could she? It never ceased to amaze him—the sort of damage words on paper could do.

Hurriedly swallowing down the lump of food, Ron was trying to muster up an encouraging smile when he finally got a really good look at her.

"Fuck," he muttered, swallowing down a different sort of lump in his throat. Those electric lights in their room hadn't done her justice. In the candlelight, she looked lit from within, or maybe it was the way that white brought out the golden tones of her skin or the color blazing in her cheeks. She always got self-conscious when wearing anything really sexy--she always said it was pointless, like putting a thong on a book. Still, Ron suspected she liked the reaction she always wrung from him very much indeed, and tonight was no exception. As his eyes roamed her body hungrily, the blush spread down her body, and she began doing that thing where she bit on her lip and wrapped a curl around her finger, managing to look all- knowing and uncertain at the same time.

"I wanna fuck you so bad right now," he found himself exhaling.

"Badly," she corrected.

"Shut up," he said, and had the satisfaction of watching her smile widen even further. Oh, it was like that, was it? Deliberately setting the beer down, Ron took a step closer. God, he could almost hear her heart thumping from here, or maybe it was his own pounding in his ears. All he knew was that if he didn't touch her immediately, he was going to explode. Reaching out, he grabbed her and pulled her close, practically crushing her with his embrace, his lips open on hers, desperate to get inside, to feel that connection with her body.

She seemed to have the same idea, for her hands were everywhere, grasping, tugging at his clothes, apparently desperate for bare skin. Maybe there was something to be said for a sexual drought, because Ron hadn't felt this sort of hunger since that summer after the war, when he'd spent two long months trying to convince her to take the next step, and the next, and the unsated longing had almost made him forget his grief—at least temporarily.

He let his hands move down her body, tracing the laces of her...well it seemed to be a corset of sorts, ending just at the top of her bum, which seemed to be covered only by a string, all the way down to the lace tops of her stockings. "Fuck," he repeated against her lips, and spanned her arse with both hands, squeezing at the soft flesh, causing her to moan against his mouth. She wrapped her arms around his neck and he lifted her, wrapping her legs around his hips, maximizing the contact against his prick, which had gotten into the spirit of things nearly as fast as it had when he was fourteen and eternally horny.

She clung to him, wrapping her legs tighter, the spike heels of those come-shag-me-shoes catching the fabric of his trousers. It was everything he'd been needing, but nowhere enough, and he was tempted to lay her down on the table and have her then and there. Maybe he didn't have to carry her all the way into the bedroom. It wasn't as though the kids were going to come out and catch them at it, and that old sofa could have told countless stories of the years when they'd been newlyweds. As had the kitchen counters, for that matter, not to mention the kitchen door, which was sturdier than it looked. But then Hermione pulled away from his mouth and started doing that thing to his ear that always drove him completely spare, whimpering and whispering naughty words, squeezing him with her thighs, her tits pressed against his chest, practically spilling out of that lacy thing she was wearing, and his hands were itching to touch them, god, she had great tits, soft and responsive and absolutely gorgeous, the shape so familiar and beloved to his hands that he could have molded a perfect replica in his sleep.

"Fuck it," he said, his voice raspy from breathing so hard. So much for foreplay, he thought, and took a step toward the table. It had been a wedding gift from Bill and Fleur and Ron suspected they'd chosen a sturdy one on purpose, given what he had come across during one of those nights at Shell Cottage when he'd awoken with the munchies.

There was room, but only just, and as he set her bottom down on the edge of the table, the plates rattled ominously and the flames wavered. Not that he cared, much, nor did she, apparently, because she gasped and braced herself with one arm on the table, using the other one to begin working on his flies. Ron swore softly, bending lower to nip at her neck and grab a handful of breast, which then got her pressing forward into his hand. "God, it's been so long," he murmured against that spot where she smelled the best, just where her neck and shoulder met, with his face surrounded by all that gorgeous wild hair and soft fragrant skin.

She'd finally got the top of his flies unbuttoned and had reached in to caress him against his pants. "It was last Tuesday," she said breathlessly.

"Exactly," he said, and she laughed against his ear, sending a shiver down his spine.

He'd managed to get her breast free from the bodice of her--whatever it was, and he had her nipple between his fingers, rolling it the way she liked best. "Yes, that," she sighed, pressing harder against him and trapping her hand between their bodies.

He really didn't think he was going to be able to wait much longer, but the way she was squeezing at him, she seemed nearly as desperate as he felt. He slid his hand up her thigh, letting his thumb linger against the soft bit of skin between the top of her stocking and the edge of her knickers. No, he took it back; that was where she smelled the best. He pulled back rather abruptly and pushed her none-too-gently back onto the table, letting his hand drift down over the center seam of her bodice and pause for a moment at the top of her thighs. She hissed and opened her legs even wider.

"Anxious, are we?" he asked, letting his thumb brush over the lace of her knickers.

"So says the man with an enormous erection sticking out the top of his pants."

Ron chuckled, letting his thumb push aside the elastic, just a bit. "Enormous, is it? Tell me more..."

Hermione snorted. "I just stroked his cock, now he wants me to stroke his ego..."

"But you're so good at it..." he said, pressing further underneath her knickers and finding her utterly soaked. "Well, fuck me-"

"That was the general idea," she said.

Ron responded by looming over her, letting his thumb make a long, slow, pass over her cunt, feeling absurdly pleased when she whimpered in response. "A quick, hard, fuck on the dinner table? That's not like you. I thought all you birds wanted wining and dining and romance? Your poor, henpecked man waiting for you to come home with flowers and dinner and wearing one of those frilly aprons?" His thumb was moving back and forth along her in a more steady rhythm now."

"Only if you wear just the apron," she said, and it sort of turned into a moan at the end.

Ron laughed, pressing his face between her breasts and inhaling. No, this was where she smelled best. "Wouldn't Rita Skeeter pay big money for a photo of that?"

"I wouldn't worry about that bitch anymore," Hermione said, reaching her arms above her head and arching her back. "I've taken care of her…"

"Language, Hermione," Ron chided, circling her nipple with his tongue. He pulled his thumb away from her slick flesh and replaced it with two fingers.

"Oh, that, there, yes," she moaned. "Anyway, the idea was for me to greet you at home with a frilly apron and a nice dinner, and..."

"That's never been what I wanted," Ron interrupted.

"...and a blow job..."

"Well, that I might have liked-"

"Oh, oh, ok," Hermione said, and started sitting up. Ron pushed her back down almost immediately.

"Don't you dare fucking move," he growled and grabbed her hips to pull her close, reaching down to finish opening his flies.

"Not that you don't give the best blow jobs I've ever had," he added, dropping his trousers and pants.

"More like the only ones you've ever had," she corrected, and he shrugged. "But I did do a lot research—I mean, reading," she hastily added.

Ron snorted," Yeah, I'm sure there was a whole paragraph on it in Hogwarts, a History."

"Of course—Professor Dumbledore's contribution to the amended version," she said on a giggle, and he might have laughed if he hadn't been busy pushing aside her knickers.

"Nice try, but I don't think even that would get rid of this thing at the moment," he said, pressing into her just a bit and sucking in a breath at how bloody good it felt.

"I could talk about your mother..."

"Shut up, witch" he muttered, and pressed a bit further.

"Or Percy and Audrey--she tells me he's quite a sex machine..."

"Bloody hell, Hermione, do I need to get out the gag?"

She probably meant to laugh, but it came out as more of a moan as he pushed all the way inside. "No, but the handcuffs, maybe. We can play the 'big bad Auror' and the 'slutty suspect.'"

"Fuck," he hissed, and tightened his grip on her hips, pulling back and slamming into her. She cried out, and water splashed over the rim of a goblet, putting out one of the candles and making the other one sputter a bit. She reached back above her head, trying to get a grip on the edge of the table, gathering up a bit of the linen.

"Maybe later," she said breathlessly. "After all, we have all night," she added, and Ron groaned, thinking this was pretty much the best day he'd had in ages.

He reached forward to grab at her tit again, tugging down her bodice so the other one sprang free. Gods, he loved when he could watch them bounce like that, and so he thrust even harder, and Hermione started whimpering again.

She shifted her position a bit, lifting her hips up and bracing her torso against the table, letting him go deeper at the end of each thrust, and Ron threw his head back, all the tension of the day seemingly gathered up at the base of his cock and ready to be completely got rid of. He reached between them, trying to finger her and get her going a bit more, but somehow managing to knock down a wine glass with his elbow in the process.

"Shit," he hissed, having the absurd impulse to blot it or something before it stained, but Hermione said, "Leave it, don't stop, don't you dare fucking stop," her thighs squeezing him so tightly he didn't think he could have got away if he wanted to. Besides, her thighs weren't the only thing squeezing him, with each thrust he made., the harder she contracted around him, and he thought he was pretty much the luckiest sod on earth, and if The Prophet really wanted a story, all they had to do was get a picture of her laid out like that, tits bouncing with every thrust he made, every inch of that delectable body his to explore, that brilliant mind completely focused on him, and how he was making her feel—on the verge of losing all that tightly held control—he couldn't imagine anything hotter, and then he could feel the change in her body, could almost pinpoint the second when she was pushed over the precipice, her eyes widened and then rolled back in her head a bit and her body contracted around him, impossibly tighter than before, and her spike heels were digging into his bum and she was knocking over the saltshaker as she clutched at the tablecloth, and the crash as it fell to the floor and shattered echoed the moment when he lost it altogether, or maybe it was the fact that she apparently didn't give a shit about the mess that had him practically howling to the ceiling.

"Holy shit," he finally said, when he recovered the use of his voice.

"Mmmm..." she practically purred, stretching her arms above her head yet again. "Tell me again why we don't do more of that?"

"Might traumatise the kids," Ron said, leaning forward and kissing her as he pulled out of her body. He loved how she always seemed to moan in protest as he did it. "Not great for the china, either," he added, as he gestured toward a broken plate.

"But well worth it. Besides, are you a wizard or not?" she asked, laughing softly as an old memory came to both of them at the same moment. "Use your wand."

"Thought I just did," he pointed out.

"Ha, ha," she said dryly, and then sat up, looking utterly, gloriously debauched and disheveled. 'Though I suppose I should get the tablecloth to soaking. Or maybe I'll just let it go and ask Winky if she knows a good spell tomorrow morning."


"Yeah, she's coming by tomorrow for an interview. Honestly, I'm not sure how these things work. Should I clean the house to make sure she doesn't think we're slobs and too much trouble or should I leave something out like the wine stain and ask for her expertise, so she feels empowered? Maybe I should ask Kreacher?'

"Winky?" Ron repeated stupidly.

"Yes, Winky, you know her, she's doing ever so much better now—no butterbeer at all—but apparently she's still not happy at Hogwarts, she's been just itching for young children to care for. I think perhaps she might be just what Rose needs, pure devotion without all our expectations to live up to, you know?"

" hired a house elf?"

"Haven't you been listening? I mean, it still kills me that they ask so little in pay, but...if they're to have freedom and self-reliance, they have to be given good job opportunities, right? And it's abundantly clear that we need the help."

Ron dropped the won ton he'd been about to put into his mouth, rushing forward to kiss his wife soundly. "Hermione, have I mentioned that I fucking love you?"

Hermione sighed and wrapped her arms around him, burying his face in all that glorious hair. "Tell me something I don't know."