Author's Notes: Written for the Passage of Time Challenge at hpgw_otp on LiveJournal. Many thanks to sherylyn and ohginnyfan for the super-quick and amazing beta jobs.
It's my own fault. I don't have a problem admitting that. I was the one to get the two of them together, after all. And it worked brilliantly, if I do say so myself.
But I didn't think it all the way through, obviously, because I keep walking in on the two of them. And what I'm seeing isn't pleasant, if you get what I'm saying.
I mean, how many people want to see their best mate and their favourite sister doing...well. Doing that. I mean, I like doing that with Hermione, but I don't want to see them doing that. Ergh. I need to Scourgify my brain now.
I need another plan. Something to help protect my poor innocent eyes. Because really, the two of them? They're disgusting.
Hermione doesn't agree with me (no surprise there), so she keeps telling me to mind my own business. She says she thinks it's romantic. I can't help myself when she says that--I always roll my eyes at her, which, of course, makes her angry. But really, if she'd just use that considerable brain of hers, she'd see I'm right. Romantic? Ha! As if Harry Potter has a hint of romance in that scrawny little arse of his.
So, she won't help me. Mum's right out, too--she wants Harry and Ginny to get married. More than just about anything, I think. She's got that glint in her eye, the same one she got when I asked Hermione to marry me. Dad... nah. Dad won't do. Percy's too caught up in his new girlfriend, Bill's got Fleur and Victoire to worry about, Charlie's got...erm...Charlie's got his dragons. That's a little disturbing. Maybe I need to put him in my matchmaking queue, after George and Angelina.
Maybe George… Blast. He's no good, either—too busy angsting over Angelina (I really need to get to work on the two of them; they're getting to be almost as bad as Harry and Ginny were) and inventing new Wheezes. I'm going to have to do this all on my own. Again. Damn.
Don't get me wrong. I don't want to break them up or anything like that. I spent too much time trying to get them together to do something stupid like tear them apart. Besides, they're happy, and that's all I ever wanted for the two of them.
All I want is to be able to Apparate into our flat and not have to worry about burning my eyes out with the snogging and the hands and... I don't think that's too much to ask for, do you? But it's all they ever do. Well, they may do more, but I don't know for certain. Luckily, I haven't caught them when they've been that involved.
And I don't want to, either. I would probably have to Scourgify more than just my brain if I did.
I'm going to have to talk to them about this.
I get Ginny alone first, which is amazing in and of itself. Well, not really, since I planned it that way. Harry's got his first chance for a lie-in in about a month, so he's asleep—I can hear him snoring through the door. I knew he'd sleep late (or at least later than normal), so I made sure I got up and out before he woke up. Ginny's got to be at the stadium early this morning—the Harpies are playing the Falcons today—so I know she'll already be up by the time I manage to Apparate to The Burrow.
Sure enough, I find her at the table, nursing a cup of tea.
"Morning, GinGin," I say, ruffling her hair, just to irritate her. She hates being called "Gin," despises "GinGin," and can't stand having her hair mussed. What? It's a brother's job to harass his baby sister.
"Git," she mumbles, making a gesture with her hand that would have Mum up in arms in the time it takes to say Chudley Cannons. "What're you doing here?"
"Aren't I allowed to come and visit my favourite sister?" I ask cheekily as I make my way over to the pantry. If I'm lucky, Mum's got some biscuits or something hidden away in there.
She sighs. "What do you want, Ron?"
I start to protest and tell her I don't want anything, but she gives me one of those looks—you know, the ones that make it look like she's been taking lessons from Mum or something.
"Well," I say, drawing the word out as I pull a plate of small cakes out of their hiding place. "See, it's like this. Hermione and me? We were talking—"
"Does Hermione know you're blaming this on her?"
"—and we were wondering," I ploughed on, totally ignoring her, "if you and Harry could, you know…"
"You know?" she asks, her voice sharp.
"If you two could maybe tonethepublicsnoggingdown a little bit."
She blinks and looks at me as if I've lost my mind. "You want us to hold back on the snogging a bit?"
"Only in public," I say, relieved that she understood my meaning.
"Let me get this straight. You—"
"And Hermione," I hastily interject.
She ignores the interruption. "—think that Harry and I need to stop kissing in public."
"Well, yeah. And maybe stop…touching each other so much, too. I mean, the hand-holding and stuff. It's a bit much, isn't it?"
She stares at me for a minute, her eyes narrow. If it weren't so early in the morning, I would've remembered that look and what happens when she uses it, but I'm just so relieved that she's taking my suggestions so well that I miss that, well, she's not taking my suggestions very well.
I begin to understand, though, as I'm running out the back door with Ginny flinging Stinging Hexes at my arse and calling me a filthy hypocrite.
Damn. Harry had better hope he never makes her angry. Those hurt.
So Ginny's a non-starter. Really, if I'd been using my brain, I would've just gone straight to Harry. I don't know what I was thinking, going to Ginny first. Oh well. Chalk that up to a lesson well-learned. Hopefully, I'll remember that next time.
I finally catch him alone by the coffee pot at work. It's only taken me three days to get this far, but not for a lack of trying on my part. He's just always surrounded by people. Here at work, it's usually Gawain Robards or Kenneth Matthews, Harry's partner. At home, it's Ginny, of course. If I were more suspicious, I might think he's trying to avoid me. But he's my best mate, and of course he'd never do something like that.
"Harry, mate," I say. "Look. We've got to talk. Can you leave for a bit?"
He raises his eyebrows at me. I hate it when he does that. But he goes and sticks his head in Robards' office to tell him he's taking a break and will be back soon. It's not like Harry taking a break will be a problem. The bloke works harder than the rest of us combined.
We walk in silence for a few minutes, getting on the lifts and going through the Atrium and outside. It's not until we feel the warmth of the spring sunshine on our faces that he turns and asks, "What's all this about, Ron?"
Trust Harry to come right to the point.
"Well," I say. "Well." This is harder than I thought. I don't know why I'm worried—this is Harry I'm talking to here, not my hex-happy little sister.
Harry gives me a look, too, just like Ginny did. I don't know if it's his I'm-an-Auror-and-I'll-make-you-talk look or if he's been taking lessons from Mum, as well, but it works and the words just tumble out. "Look, mate," I say, "it's nothing personal, not really. But I'm getting to where I'm uncomfortable coming into the flat, because I never know what I'm going to find. So I was wondering if, well, you know..." I trail off, hoping he'll get what I'm saying, and I won't have to actually say it.
"You want me to move out?" he asks. He sounds hurt. He looks hurt. Bugger.
"What? No!" I hastily correct him. Daft git. Where did he get that I want him to move out of the flat? I mean, eventually, yeah, I do, because I think it'd be weird to have him living there after Hermione and I are married. Plus, it'd put a real crimp in our love life, because Hermione won't do anything beyond a little hand-holding or kissing if there are other people around. But we're not ready for him to move out now—the wedding's not until next summer (Hermione's planning it, and she won't be rushed. I'd be happy to just go to the Ministry and do a quick and dirty wedding right there, but she won't stand for it.)
"But you just said..." He trails off this time, looking decidedly confused. It's not a good look for him, by the way.
"I just asked for you and Ginny to stop groping in public, is all," I say. "Or something. The two of you are going to burn my eyes out if you don't stop."
"You're one to talk," he says sarcastically. "Mr Thrashing-About-Like-An-Eel-With-Lavender-Brown."
"Oi! That was years ago," I protest. "We were sixteen. What did you expect?"
He folds his arms. "Yeah? Well, what about that time last week, when I walked in on you and Hermione in the loo? You two were going at it like—"
"That's beside the point." I interrupt him and fix him with my patented look. Except it doesn't work very well. "Can we just come up with a plan or something? Some sort of warning system so I'll know to be prepared when I'm coming in?"
He looks at me very seriously. "I think, actually, that I'm going to have to take your first suggestion and find my own place."
"Wait. I didn't mean it like that. And I took it back," I say quickly. I don't want this to get in the way of our friendship.
He shrugs. "I've been thinking about it anyway," he says. "I'm going to need to be out in the next year anyway, because you and Hermione don't want me living with you."
"True, that", I admit—I'd just thought the very same thing not five seconds ago.
"And Ginny and I don't want you living with us, either." He stops and looks at me, like he's waiting for a reaction.
"Well, of course you don't want me living with the two of—"
He looks at me expectantly.
"You're going to be living together?" I ask.
"Once we're married, yeah," he says.
"You're getting married?" I'm starting to sound like one of those broken Muggle recording albuminum thingies my dad keeps going on about.
He grins, this silly, sappy, entirely-too-happy grin, like nothing in the world can go wrong. "We haven't told anyone yet," he says sheepishly. "I asked her last week, and she said yes."
"But…ring?" I sputter.
"We went and picked it out together. We're going to go pick it up tonight—we're going to make the announcement at dinner."
I blink stupidly at him—I can tell I must look like a complete idiot. "Married. You and Ginny are getting married."
"Yes, Ron," he says. "In September. Is it really such a shock?"
"But…but…you just started dating."
"A month ago," he reminds me.
"Aren't you two taking it a little fast?" I mean, they only got back together five weeks ago. Seems like they're rushing things. "Don't you want to…I dunno…get to know each other better?" Yeah, they need to get to know each other better. I can't see my little sister married and doing that with my best mate quite yet. I always knew they'd get married. But in years. When, you know, I got used to the idea. After Hermione and I were married and doing those things all the time. Then maybe I could stomach the idea of Harry and Ginny marrying. Or maybe not.
"Here," he says, leading me over to one of the benches outside the Ministry building. "Sit."
I do as I'm told. Harry has a very commanding voice when he's issuing orders.
He joins me on the bench and looks off into the crowd of people rushing by. "Ron," he says, "how long have I known Ginny?"
"Since…since second year, I reckon. I mean, you met her at King's Cross our first year, but you never really talked to her until…" I fall silent, remembering our second year.
"How long has she had feelings for me?"
"Forever," I say simply. He nods.
"And me, Ron? How long have I had feelings for her? And how long did we stay apart, even though we knew we belonged together?" He turns to face me. "It's been long enough. We've wasted enough time."
"But, Harry…married? Really? To my sister?" I ask weakly. I don't really have a problem with them getting married, but I just can't wrap my brain around it completely.
"Ron, you knew it would happen sometime. Why not now?"
I shake my head. "It's just…"
"It's just what, Ron? You can't get past us snogging and doing—"
"Well, that, too, but it's just…she's my little sister, Harry. I can't believe she's getting married."
"You know I love her, right?" Harry says. "You know I'll take good care of her. She's my life, Ron. She got me through all the shit I had to get through to get to this point in my life. And if you think I'm waiting any longer to make her mine, you're wrong."
Well, if he puts it that way… I nod solemnly and stick out my hand. "Welcome to the family, mate."
Dinner, as I'm sure you can guess, was a complete madhouse. Mum squealed with happiness when Harry and Ginny made their announcement and then went into a full-blown panic when she realised the wedding was only five months away. Dad's eyes got a little watery when he looked at Ginny. I could just tell he was thinking some sappy rubbish about his sweet baby girl. George passed Percy a Galleon—apparently they had bet about when Harry and Ginny would get engaged and Percy won.
And me? When Ginny stood up and snogged the hell out of Harry, right there in the kitchen…I grabbed Hermione and did some snogging of my own.
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, yeah?