A/N: Here it is, My Maroon Sweater. I came up with this idea on vacation, when I was trying to come up with some more prompts for the 24 Hour Challenge. The idea originally was, write a story about Ron's maroon sweaters, and that became this, and I never told silverlastsforever that we should do that prompt, but I decided to write a Harry/Ron fic instead. This is the first slash I've posted, but not the first I've written. I've got another slash fic written, a Sirius/Severus, and some more slash fic ideas, and if this gets a lot of positive feedback, I'll consider posting that one. Also, thanks to witchdivasirenqueen and silverlastsforever for beta-ing this for me. I hope you like it. Please R&R. Enjoy.
Warnings: This contains slash. Not serious slash, they don't really do anything, but if that bothers you, then don't read.
Disclaimer: All characters belong to J.K. Rowling.
My Maroon Sweater
"So, your mum invited me to Christmas at your family's place," Harry placed a plate of food in front of Ron, before setting down his own and taking a seat.
"That's nice," Ron nodded, picking up his fork and pushing the food around on his plate.
"And she said I should spend the night there," Harry glanced up at Ron, as if gauging his reaction, "Says that London's too busy of a city to spend all my life in, that I need to take a day or two off."
"That's nice," Ron repeated.
"She'll probably tell you the same thing. She hasn't seen you in a while. She misses you," Harry said sincerely.
"Yeah… I know she does," Ron frowned into his meal.
"Ron?" Harry asked.
Ron finally looked up at Harry. The two men were having dinner in Harry's London apartment, as they often did on Thursday evenings.
"I think you should tell her," Harry said seriously.
"No," Ron shook his head, pushing his food around his plate again.
"I think you should tell her about us," Harry repeated.
"No, Harry. No. That would be stupid."
"It wouldn't be stupid. We've been in a relationship for two years now, and your mum has a right to know."
"Why? Why does she need to know? Why can't things just continue as they are? I happen to like things as they are," Ron was growing flustered, his voice rising in volume, as it did when he was worried, or nervous, or angry.
"How things are? We rarely see your family because they ask questions. 'Why aren't you two settling down?' 'When are you going to find yourself a nice girlfriend, Ronald?' 'Are you and Hermione seeing each other?' 'Surely the Boy who Lived must have a girlfriend.' Ginny and Hermione speculate on our relationship, but they don't really know. They were hurt so many times because they thought we were still interested in them. We don't go out much during the day because we're at work; you don't come down to the office because your father works there, and none of your family knows. None of them. And you're happy with this?" Harry was growing frustrated. Not having a family of his own growing up, the Weasley's had become a sort of surrogate family to him. He felt not telling them was on the highest level of treason. Families shouldn't keep secrets. Ron shouldn't keep this from them. And he thought that his surrogate family should know of his relationship with their youngest son.
"Yes! I am perfectly fine with that! Why aren't you?!"
"Because Ron, you are lucky enough to have a family that loves you, and you're keeping a two-year relationship from them! They deserve to know!"
"And if they don't… if they're not… what if they have a problem with their son dating another man, Harry? What then? Will they still love me?" Ron shouted.
"What are you talking about? Of course they'll still love you! Your family is one of the most caring that I have ever met! They will love you no matter what! And they deserve to know what happens in your life!" Harry shouted in response, "Now I need to know that you love me, Ron," Harry's voice dropped down to an undertone, "and the fact that you won't come out and tell anyone about us makes me wonder if you still do."
"Harry," Ron stumbled to his feet and bumped into the table in the attempt to make it to Harry. He dropped to his knees and wrapped his arms around Harry, who was still in his chair, "of course I love you. You know this."
"Then why won't you tell your mum about us?" Harry whispered.
Ron sighed, defeated.
"Okay. Okay. You win. I'll tell her."
Harry kissed him.
"Thank you," Harry smiled.
Ron smiled back.
As Harry had predicted, Ron's mother invited Ron to Christmas at the Burrow, and had also invited him to stay there. Ron had tentatively accepted.
Ron seemed tense and nervous the entire time. Harry, relieved that the Weasleys would finally find out about them, was upbeat and felt as if a huge burden was about to be lifted. Ron, however, was not so convinced that it would go well. He remained silent throughout most of the day. Finally, on the evening of Boxing Day, Harry urged Ron downstairs. All of the Weasleys were in their bedrooms or milling around the house, and Mrs. Weasley was alone in the kitchen, cleaning up the large mess left by two days of heavy cooking. Harry thought it best if Ron told them one at a time, and so Ron walked nervously into the kitchen, and what he thought would be certain doom.
"Hello dear. What're you up to?" Mrs. Weasley asked when she noticed her son plod into the kitchen.
"Nothing much," Ron twisted his ratty shirt hem in his hands. Mrs. Weasley frowned as she noted him doing this.
"You know, dear, I don't make you your Christmas sweaters for you to look at. You could wear one of your lovely maroon ones instead of that ratty old thing," Mrs. Weasley smiled as she waved her wand and a set of pots flew to their places. Ron grimaced.
"Oh, yeah… they're up in my old room," Ron nodded.
"Well, I think they look much nicer than that ratty old tee-shirt. I wish you would wear them more, maroon looks so nice on you," she smiled warmly as she put a large quantity of bread in the breadbasket. Ron grimaced again.
"Was there something you wanted, dear?" Mrs. Weasley looked back at him again.
"Yeah, mum, actually, there was. I wanted to talk to you."
"Well… you know… that I haven't really been dating."
"Oh, yes, I'm glad you brought that up, dear. See, Hermione's coming round tomorrow, and I do hope you'll… well… spend some time with her. I think you'd make a lovely couple," Mrs. Weasley smiled.
"Well… about that… and Harry…"
"Yes, where is Harry? I was hoping that he would take Ginny down to the village and spend some time with her tomorrow. I know you kids don't like me meddling, and well, matchmaking, as George calls it, but I think they would look so sweet together."
"No, mum," Ron said firmly.
"What, dear?" Mrs. Weasley, who had been returning the knives to their drawer, turned around.
"I said no. Harry's not going to take Ginny down to the village, and I'm not going to get 'better acquainted,' with Hermione. I know her well enough, thank you, I've known her since I was 11. I'm not interested. And neither is Harry," Ron said sternly.
Mrs. Weasley frowned, "Now, dear, if you're not interested in Hermione, well, that's fine, but it would have been lovely to have her in the family. But I think it's Harry's decision as to whether or not he's interested in Ginny, don't you?" She gave a coy smile.
"You don't get it, do you?" Ron's temper flared, his voice rising in volume, "Harry is not interested in Ginny."
"And how would you know that, dear?"
"Because he's interested in me, damnit! That's what I wanted to talk to you about! But you kept prattling on about how I would look 'lovely' with Hermione, and how Ginny and Harry would look 'sweet.' Harry and I are not interested! Because he and I are dating! Dating!" Ron was shouting in earnest now, his face red. Mrs. Weasley looked absolutely shocked.
"For the past two years! And you never caught on! I almost hoped you would, so I wouldn't have to tell you! So I wouldn't have to face the disappointment when I told you! But there it is! Harry and I are dating."
"Ronald, is this a joke?"
"No, it's not a joke! I just didn't want to bloody tell you! Because I couldn't face you! But now you bloody know, that your youngest son is gay. There you have it. And one more thing! I hate my maroon sweater!" Ron screamed before storming out of the room.
"You shouted at your mum?" Harry sighed in frustration as Ron recapped what had happened.
"I know," Ron mumbled, his head in his hands, "I just… something in me snapped. I wanted her to figure out that we were together so I wouldn't have to actually tell her, but she didn't get it, and she kept going on and on about me and Hermione, and you and Ginny, and it just… pissed me off. So I shouted. I know it doesn't make sense, but then again, I do a lot of things that don't make sense," he managed a feeble attempt at a smile.
"I think you need to apologize to your mum," Harry said, his hand on Ron's shoulder.
"Yeah," Ron said, rising, before his knees buckled and he sank back down onto his bed, "Later though."
Ron wasn't sure if his mother would still be up at midnight, but he was. He couldn't sleep because he felt so bad about shouting at her. He made his way down to the kitchen to take a walk, and there was his mother.
She was sitting at their scrubbed kitchen table in the spotless kitchen. She always had a tendency to clean when she was upset. In front of her was a mug of tea and a bottle of Ogden's Old Firewhisky, along with a dirty rag. Her head was in her hands, and she was using the dirty rag to wipe her eyes.
"Mum?" Ron said quietly.
Mrs. Weasley looked up. She was crying.
"Mum, I'm so sorry," Ron rushed to her side and dropped down next to her, kneeling on the floor, "I didn't mean to shout at you. I just… got anxious, and upset… and I yelled. I'm so sorry."
"All these years…" Mrs. Weasley hiccupped, "I… I never knew…"
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I should have told you."
"All these years… I made you all those sweaters… and you didn't like them!" Mrs. Weasley cried.
"Oh… mum… I love the sweaters! I just… I just don't like maroon," Ron blushed, surprised.
"You don't like maroon!" she wailed, "I never knew!"
"Oh, mum," Ron wrapped his arms around his mother and held her for a few moments until she stopped hiccupping.
"Why did you never tell me you liked maroon?" she looked at him seriously.
"I… I didn't want to hurt your feelings," Ron furrowed his brows, "I'm sorry. But… that's what you're upset about? Not that I'm dating a man?"
"Yes, that's what I'm upset about. And that you kept that from me. But I still get Harry in the family don't I? Just tell me things from now on," she playfully hit the side of his head. Ron grinned sheepishly.
"You're not mad?"
"No, Ronald. You're my little boy, even though you're a grown man now, and I love you. Now, what color would you prefer your sweater to be in?"