Being Ron Part 7
They had gone from snogging on their knees to slumping against the wall, an arm around the other while cradling their wine glass in the other hand, seated on the floor.
"I'm beginning to think the bed feels snubbed," Ron said as he looked at the pristinely made double bed.
"I think you are so used to 'aving to sleep on uncomfortable floors and 'agrid's armchair. A big bed is a luxury you don't think you deserve."
Ron turned his head and looked down at her smiling face.
"No, that's what you are."
She strained her neck reaching for his lips and they brushed together with a light smack before they slumped into each other's sides again. They sighed, squeezed the other, and then took a sip of their wine.
"We're never going to get into that bed are we?" Gabrielle sighed.
Ron looked at her, then glanced at the bed, and turned back to kiss the top of her head through her soft hair.
"We will. I think I terrified my cock into submission but we can go to bed together like we...like normal."
"This was nice, even without the sex, I like being like this again."
Ron looked at her once more, for a long time, and then drained his glass before nodding to himself.
"Right," he said to himself as he grunted to his feet.
He slid his arms under her and lifted her off the floor. She squealed and he carried her to the bed and set her down.
"I'm taking off my clothes now," he said, assertively.
Gabrielle's eyes widened and she made herself comfortable and watched him undress.
"I never knew agreeing not to 'ave sex was such a turn on!"
Ron's mouth curled up on one side and his eyebrow arched to match it.
He pulled off his shirt and tossed it aside, then he slid his belt through the loops and threw it to Gabrielle, who clutched it and watched him unbutton his fly. She pulled his belt tight between her hands and laid back on the bed, watching him.
He lost his dignity a little as he hopped up and down on one leg as he tried to free his other leg from his tight clothing and soon sat on the edge of the bed in his underwear, kicking away with his feet until all that were left were pants and socks.
He immediately regretted not taking off his socks earlier.
He peeled them off and threw them aside before leaning over Gabrielle and kissing her flat into the mattress.
"I feel overdressed," she gasped as she began to shimmy out of her flimsy silk dress, revealing thermal underwear.
Ron starred at her attire for a moment and then laughed.
"Very sexy," he said with an appreciative nod, "good to see you made an effort for me."
"Do you 'ave any idea how cold it is in this country?"
"Funnily enough, I do," Ron said looking down at his exposed body.
He lit the fire in the hearth and then lifted the waistband of his pants to look at his manhood.
"Give it a minute to warm up and we'll be fine."
Gabrielle laughed and threw herself at him, thermals to freckled skin, and they rolled around on the covers until she became too hot and peeled away her 'Long Johns' as Ron called them so they were both practically naked.
"You wore sexy underwear under the thermals," Ron said with a chuckle, "only you could get away with that."
"I did think about stockings and suspenders but..."
As Ron laughed, his body jiggled against her and soon his pants were tenting between them.
"Somebody's warmed up, Gabrielle said with a waggle of her elegant eyebrows.
Ron swallowed and then squirmed.
"Uh," he said as he rolled off her and then looked around the cluttered floor, "d'you remember where my wand went? I need to do a..."
"I've used the charms already," she said as she slid her knickers down her thighs and kissed his neck.
"Yeah but doubling up won't hurt will it?"
She held his face with both hands and forced him to meet her gaze.
"Don't do this again, don't worry about anything, not now."
She kissed him and closed her eyes. They rolled over on the bed so she was straddling him and she pushed down into his mouth for a deeper kiss. Ron wove his fingers through her hair as it tumbled about her milky white shoulders and lifted his hips so she could ease his pants down. She pulled them the rest of the way with her foot, while caressing his chest with one hand and gripping his hipbone with the other.
Ron's breathing hastened and their kiss broke as he gasped against Gabrielle's mouth.
"Calm," she whispered in a soothing tone, rubbing her hand up and down his arm, "calm down and kiss me."
She lowered herself back down against him and he pushed against her with both palms.
"Wait, don't!" He said in a panic.
He forced his eyes closed and gritted his teeth. Gabrielle looked worried about him and leaned forward, her hair brushing against his stomach and her breast pressing into his body.
"Oh fuck!" Ron yelped as he bucked his hips under her.
"What? Wait!" Gabrielle went from confused to panicked as she realised what was about to happen.
"Fuck, fuck, fuck!"
Ron was pumping his hips up into thin air and arching his back away from the bed. Gabrielle moved and her leg lightly brushed against he bobbing dick. That was all it took.
"Merde!" She screamed as she fell off the edge of the bed as she tried to avoid the bodily fluid canon.
Ron was rigid with tremors all over and looked as if he was about to cry, burst out laughing, and wet himself at the same time. He held a pillow over his groin and shuddered before slumping in the foetal position on the bed.
"Oh God," he whimpered.
"It's okay," Gabrielle said, peering up over the side of the bed from the floor.
"Oh my God," Ron said, eyes wide with horror.
"We can try again in a little while," Gabrielle said as she got to her feet and moved towards the bed to sit, before freezing and then opting to stand with her arms folded across her naked chest instead.
"I'm so sorry," Ron said as he cringed in on himself, "I'm really sorry."
"Ron," she moved around the bed to crouch before him, "it's all right. In a way...it's flattering."
"Flattering?" Ron sat up and looked at her as if she was insane. "Flattering!"
"You were so... You were enjoying yourself so much that..."
"I came all over myself...all over the bed...all over the room!"
"This is something I think must happen to all men at first."
"How do you know?" Ron blurted.
"I hear people talking about things."
"Did Bill do it to Fleur?"
Gabrielle shook her head and looked as if this was a ridiculous idea.
"Of course not but, boys when she was younger, she would tell me about..."
"Boys," Ron said before dropping his head and hiding his face with his palm, "so men like Bill can satisfy a woman but stupid little virgin boys like me c-"
"No!" Gabrielle snapped at him and gave him a shove. "Bill was a virgin once too. I bet it 'as 'happened to Bill and to 'arry and to...Viktor Krum!"
"Why did you say Viktor Krum?" Ron's face fell as he stared at her.
"What? I just named a sporting 'ero. Somebody masculine you might look up to."
"Oh this was the wrong name," she whimpered to herself.
"So Viktor could be man enough to fuck a woman because he's a proper man?"
"I didn't say that, I said even he would...
"Even a real man would have been as crap as me once, right?"
"Why are you putting words into my mouth?"
"Maybe because I'm not man enough to put anything else in you!" Ron threw himself off the bed and scurried to the bathroom, pillow still clamped to his groin.
He slammed and locked the door behind him and sat on the toilet in stunned humiliation.
There was silence for a moment before a timid knock made him slump and groan, despondently.
"I think you should go home."
"I'm not going to leave you like this," Gabrielle responded through the closed door.
Ron rubbed the bridge of his nose and sighed.
"I can't come out. I'm too embarrassed."
"I should have said Charlie, I'm sorry."
"It's okay. Krum is a real man."
"You are a real man!" Gabrielle said with a thump against the bathroom door.
Ron heaved another sigh again.
"This was supposed to be a nice night for you," Gabrielle said, sounding glum, "you've been so unhappy out here and I wanted you to have a nice time. Please don't feel sad."
Ron unlocked the door and opened it. The pillow was still covering him. Gabrielle smiled, sadly at him.
"It doesn't matter," she said as she pulled the pillow away and looked down at his body, "you still look like a sexy man to me."
Ron's frown didn't change. He glanced over her shoulder at the state of the bed and cringed.
"They're gonna know what happened when they come to make the bed tomorrow."
"They will know nothing," Gabrielle said firmly, before turning to march towards the bed and pull at the sheets.
"No, Gabs, don't touch it!" Ron panicked and pulled her away from the sexual disaster area.
"We need to sleep somewhere tonight," she said as she took his hand, "and I want to sleep with you, Ron."
He squeezed her hand and then looked around for his wand. Spotting it underneath a sock, he picked it up and pointed it at the bed. After banishing everything but the mattress he looked at Gabrielle and she smiled.
"We can get dressed and sleep without covers," she said as she began to gather up her clothes.
"I love you y'know?" Ron said as he appreciated her kindness.
"I love you too," she said as she watched him flip the mattress over and then set about dressing himself.
The morning sunlight spilled through the crack in the curtains and unfurled a golden ribbon across the bed, bisecting their fully clothed bodies as they snuggled together.
The candles were still flickering but their wicks were considerably shorter. A trickle of wax overflowed from the candle on the bedside table and spread in a slowly setting puddle towards the edge. The last of the hot wax to pour down from the candle rushed along the hardening pathway and dripped over the edge onto the toecap of Ron's boot.
Ron shifted and nudged himself closer into Gabrielle's body with a soft moan.
Gabrielle stirred and opened her eyes, blinking around, blearily. She looked at Ron and watched him sleeping for a second before smiling and kissing his forehead. She settled down to sleep again and then noticed the sound.
As the wax set the rhythm slowed. Gabrielle sat up and looked around.
"Uh liddle bi'more, Gabs," Ron mumbled as he cuddled into her side even closer.
"Ron, I can 'ear tapping."
He cleared his throat and then squinted up at her.
"Listen," she said as she held up a finger and held her breath.
They both listened but the sound had stopped.
Ron lifted his eyebrows and looked at her. She shook her head and lay back down beside him.
They wrapped their arms around each other and she nestled her head beneath his chin. The dawn chorus was fading away into the occasional chirp from passing birds and there was movement downstairs.
Their eyes fell closed for a while and the band of light crept up the bed until it reached Gabrielle's closed eyes, making her squint and squirm to turn and face the other way. Ron grunted and looked around, spotting the bright light and holding up his hand to shield Gabrielle's face.
They lay together, Ron blocking the sun from her face until he was blocking it from his own. She smiled and propped herself up on her elbow so her shadow covered his face.
The shared a brief smile and Gabrielle stayed in position for five minutes, stroking her fingers, lightly, through his hair. When the light fell upon the wall she settled back down beside him and they both lay in silence, looking at each other.
There were aromas of bacon, eggs and hot buttered toast wafting up from downstairs now. Ron's stomach made a wet grumbling sound and they both chuckled. Gabrielle sighed and rested her head against his shoulder.
Her hand found his and they interlocked their fingers.
It was so much like their summer in France, the peaceful mornings, and they both dwelled on memories of their simple life. Simple, uncomplicated, happy. It was strange to be nostalgic for a time only six weeks earlier.
"Since things started to be about sex between us," Gabrielle finally spoke up, "we haven't been able to talk to each other like we usually do."
"I can talk to you about anything," Ron said as he rested his head in the crook of her shoulder.
"But you couldn't talk to me about how you felt about losing your virginity."
His silence was agreement enough.
"Do you think we should be the best, best friends instead of trying to be...?"
"But best, best friends can find each other... We can fancy each other and want to...do..."
The lay in silence, staring at the ceiling, until Gabrielle spoke again.
"You could be my 'arry."
He turned to look at her, incomprehensively.
"But I'm Ron."
"And Ron doesn't mind that his best, best friend has somebody else to love in a different way." She rolled onto her side and placed her hand on his chest. "We can be like you and 'arry and other people can be other things to us."
Ron looked upset.
"But you still come to me for everything and see me every week and if our other people don't like how close we are we tell them to fuck off and get rid of them."
His eyes widened.
"And not because of last night but because," she paused and leaned closer to kiss his cheek, "because you need me to talk to about your girlfriends and you can't do that when I am your girlfriend."
He shuffled over and hugged her to him tightly.
"You've got yourself a Harry."
She clung to him in return and they both tried to stop their welling eyes spilling over. It was almost a minute before either of them spoke up again.
"Suddenly I feel inappropriate," Ron said, causing Gabrielle to giggle.
"You never do this with 'arry?" She teased.
"Not yet we haven't," he said with a chuckle.
With a deep breath in, Ron slid free and sat up on the bed. He puffed out his cheeks with the exhalation and then leaned over to look for his wand. He spotted his boot and frowned. Stooping to pick it up he examined the wax coated toecap and then followed the tell tale splashes and stalactites of set wax up to the dribbling candle.
He looked over his shoulder at Gabrielle, gave her a half smile and a shrug, and then leaned forward.
With a short, puff, he blew out the candle.
He felt hollow for the rest of the day.
The only consolation was that he could still talk to her, they were still going to see each other every week, and he really was going to be her Harry.
But the day had been strange and he'd navigated his way through it without really knowing how he'd done it. It was almost as if he'd written a diary entry for the day in great detail and it had all vanished, as if written in invisible ink, and left only the date and a blank page.
But looking back on his day, his blank page, he knew that the void he was wading in was full of words. There was no way a real person who he had complex feelings for could melt away into indescript blankness. Just because what had happened between them and what they were to each other was more than words, it didn't mean that an empty sense of loss did it justice.
He picked at the last of the dried splashes of wax on his boot and flicked it away.
He was sitting on Hagrid's doorstep and watching the lights inside the castle gradually illuminating the castle until it was ablaze with golden light and the darkness around it an impenetrable black.
He started picking the wax from his boot as he laced them up in the room. Gabrielle brushing her hair and the morning light flooding into the room as the curtains were finally drawn back.
While he waited for the assignments with the other Aurors he picked some larger pearl-like droplets from the leather toe cap. Then he had wax under his fingernail and fiddled with that while nodding along to his dull duties being read out to him.
As he sat outside during a first year flying lesson he drove his thumbnail into the groove between the tread of his boot and the stitching, bonding the leather to it, he remembered thinking about Gabrielle. He thought about her and if he'd made a mistake. He thought about what a prat he'd been that night and he distinctly remembered questioning if maybe he'd be frozen in adolescence forever.
He wondered if he'd ever grow up.
Maybe Gabrielle was as mature and emotionally ahead of him as Hermione.
He remembered that he was still thinking about it as he took off his boot and scrubbed at it with a ratty brush in Flitch's cleaning cupboard, flecks of wax scraping off and clogging the wiry bristles.
Everybody would move on and emotionally evolve and he'd just stay the same for the rest of his life. He'd always be the same prat who backed into that cabinet all those years ago.
He remembered being distracted from thoughts of Gabrielle and picking wax off his boots by the urgent need to examine himself in the mirror. He stood in Moaning Myrtle's bathroom and tried to find signs of aging on his young face. He was desperate to see some evidence of growing a year older anywhere.
He didn't look any different.
Maybe he'd never look any different.
He had a vague recollection of trying to scuff away some bits of wax that he'd missed with his other boot while standing guard over dinner in the Great Hall. He must have looked like shit because McGonagall gave him a look, that was between austere and apprehensive, and several minutes after she passed him on guard Madam Pomfrey approached him with a tiny bottle of dreamless sleep potion and whispered to him to have an early night.
So even if he didn't look older he clearly looked tired.
It was a day of no significance but a day full of thoughts, and specks of wax dried hard onto his boot, nonetheless. While a blank diary entry could have symbolically summed it up it wouldn't have done a good enough job. Emotions can't be empty, even when the emotion in question is emptiness itself.
He sat on Hagrid's doorstep and picked the last of the wax from the toecap of his boot as his host called him in for something to eat.
He took off his boots, ate a roast beef sandwich, drank a massive cup of tea and then downed his sleeping potion. All the while Hagrid didn't ask him any questions. He just talked to him about his day and Fang's new flea collar until Ron became drowsy at the table.
He woke up fully clothed in bed with Gabrielle and he went to sleep fully clothed in Hagrid's arms.
That was not a blank page day.
Hagrid set him down on his massive bed and covered him up, then fell asleep in his armchair with Fang at his feet.
So he didn't look a year older but he looked tired and unhappy.
During the night Fang drooled all over his boot.
Something had to change, otherwise Ron never would.