Chapter 1 – Sick

"Ron? Are you alright?" No, Ron wasn't alright, lately he felt like he was never going to be anything but terrible as long as he lived; but he sat up a little, eyes heavy as he grimaced and replied.

"Yeah, I think…" His voice was a little raspy. "I'm just really tired. Didn't sleep much last night." Harry walked over to his friend, sat on his bed and felt his forehead, biting his lip.

"You are a bit hot." Ron forced himself not to dwell on the possible double entendre and sank sleepily back into his bed a little. His best friend looked down on him mildly worried with sympathy in his eyes. "And on a Hogsmeade visit day? Bad luck." Nodding vaguely, hoping Harry would leave him alone soon, Ron murmured a vague response and was relieved when his friend sighed and stood, promising to bring him back some of his favourite sweets. Soon the dormitory became quiet again, everyone having already left. Closing his eyes, Ron sighed heavily. He hated lying to Harry, but it was the only way to- The door opened. He opened his eyes a fraction to see Hermione striding towards him as if on a mission.

"Hermione? I'm sorry I can't co-" She interrupted him curtly.

"You don't have to act for me Ron." He coughed unconvincingly.

"What do you mean?"

"Please, this is me we're talking about, I know the real reason you don't want to go to Hogsmeade is because you don't want to see Harry with-" It was his turn to interrupt her, his voice normal now, pleading.

"Hermione! Please…" His sad eyes dampened her irritation and she sighed.

"Ron, I know it's hard. But, well, they seem to be really strong, I think-"

"I'm just going to have to get used to it. I got it, I know." She said nothing after his little outburst, seeing his shift in emotion. He twisted the sheets between his fingers and said softly. "I love them both so much. In the end, I think they're perfect for each other." He spoke with a little more force suddenly. "If my little sister has to even be with anyone-" Hermione tilted her head, chastening.

"Ron, you know how-"

"Yeah, yeah, she's happiest when she's with him. I know." He looked down, avoiding her sympathetic gaze, his copper hair slightly damp from sticking his head under the covers to make his forehead hotter. For a moment, both were lost in their own thoughts; Ron mourning the impossibility of the situation and Hermione feeling sorry for his position in all of it. She breathed deeply as she reached for his hand.

"Ron-" Head snapping up when he recognised the tone, he narrowed his eyes slightly, faux-cheery voice harsh in the quiet dormitory.

"Bring me back some Bertie Botts won't you?" Realising she would get nowhere, she nodded sadly.

"Course. You get some rest now." Smiling a little he nodded and settled back down as she left, heart heavy.

Ron gave it a good twenty minutes before he dared venture out of bed, slip on some muggle clothes and leave the Gryffindor tower. Navigating the empty corridors easily he came to a particular classroom and darted inside. It was empty so he sat on a nearby desk and waited. Stomach bubbling with shame about lying to Harry and full of nerves, he bit his left thumbnail distractedly; why did he have to do this again? It's not like he couldn't stand not to do it. He could stop these meetings whenever he wanted, he could go without them. He just didn't want to. They made his pain more manageable, if a bit messier. The door opened and a lithe blond slipped in, reptilian smile uncoiling the pale lips as he advanced almost hungrily towards the waiting boy.

Harry grinned like an idiot. He always felt a rush from holding her hand, her warm and smooth palms against his made him smile. They sat in Honeydukes, a little table near the back. Despite his previous disaster in that place, Ginny made it bearable, made it fun; she always found a way to blast away the bad memories with near-uncontrollable laughter. She had such energy to her, her eyes sparkling along to her motor-mouth; much like Ron. Harry blinked hard, no, he had to stop comparing them. Ginny wasn't a replacement of her brother. The raven-haired boy felt a break in conversation and felt himself slipping into familiar thoughts. Who was he kidding? Being with Ginny was the closest he could get to being with Ron in public, the way he really wanted to be with him. Whenever he was with Ginny, his eyes would always wonder over her brother, tall and cheeky and warm and kind and gentle and sexy- Harry jerked back to the café as Ginny began talking again and tried to concentrate hard on her comments on the latest Quidditch game to calm down his growing erection.

Ron felt the corners of his mouth lifting slightly as he heard the unmistakeable gasps of pleasure from the body beneath him. The Slytherin's crotch jerked against his head and his back arched as Ron played with his balls. He had to admit that the first few times he'd sucked the blond off had been a bit strange and uncomfortable, but Malfoy was a good teacher and when he'd got some practice he actually started to enjoy doing it. In a wrong way. It was completely wrong, what he was doing, it went against his principles and made him feel nauseous if he lingered on it too long. He felt a kind of sick satisfaction when he made the other boy come, a rush in his gut that pumped his heart furiously with an energy he couldn't really label. Malfoy clenched his fists in Ron's hair as he came and the Gryffindor forced himself to swallow, knowing the Slytherin had the power to punish him if he didn't. Licking his lips reluctantly as he drew back, Ron closed his eyes and his breathing hitched as the favour was repaid.

Hermione sat in The Three Broomsticks with the Patil twins and some Gryffindor boys trying to appear interested in whatever it was the group was talking about. She had seen Harry and Ginny peel off from the group and head for the romantic café; they'd looked so happy. Biting her lip she thought about those sad blue eyes pleading to her earlier. She'd known about Harry and Ron for a while and had accepted their feelings for each other, well, Ron's feelings. During the summer she'd overheard the two arguing about Harry asking Ginny out and another time saw them kissing behind the tool shed at the bottom of the garden at the Burrow. Ron had confessed almost immediately when questioned and out had come concerns about Harry's intentions regarding Ginny, worries that Ron would be pushed aside and guilt for not being happy for the two. She had tried to reassure Ron all she could, but had stopped short of talking to Harry, even letting him know that she knew; Ron had insisted that Harry would not take it well, hinting that Harry had asked Ron not to tell anyone, including Hermione, about their relationship.

Hermione wondered if Ginny suspected her boyfriend's feelings for her brother. No, she couldn't have; Ginny wasn't the type to keep her thoughts to herself… apart from unrequited love. That was another question. Did she really love Harry or was it just still lingering feelings from her crush? She hadn't talked to her about it for ages, and hadn't talked about it to Harry either, maybe it was time to do some investigations… Knowing she'd reach no conclusions until she'd done some digging, she went back the conversation on her table and her Butterbeer.

The spent red-head managed to get back into bed a mere ten minutes before the Gryffindors returned. Harry kissed Ginny sweetly on the cheek before climbing the stairs to the dormitory. He put a bag of sweets on Ron's bedside table before sitting on the bed again, hand on the slightly sweaty forehead.

"How are you feeling?" Ron faked waking up and managed to smile weakly as he looked up at those glittering eyes.

"Better, thanks." The room was noticeably quiet. It was usually quite noisy between the five of them, even in the middle of the night. Smiling back, Harry conjured a cloth from thin air and wetted it a little, pressing it against Ron's forehead.

"There, better?" The invalid nodded softly before he blurted, stomach fit to burst.

"How was your date?" He couldn't hide the bitterness. Harry looked away to the bag of sweets on the bedside table, beginning slowly.

"Ron…"

"I know, I'm sorry." Ron whispered quickly, genuinely sorry for being unable to contain himself. Gently, Harry leaned forward and planted a tender kiss on the clammy forehead.

"I'm sorry too." Ron knew what was happening, but he just couldn't help but fall for it, again; shivering at Harry's soft caress he pulled himself up into an aching kiss. The raven-head braced himself on the headboard and pushed his other hand up his lover's neck and into his red hair, as he opened Ron's mouth with his hungry lips. He felt Ron's hands on his back as both of them breathed heavily, bodies itching to inch closer. Footsteps interrupted them, they always did. Both sprang apart, Harry striding over to his own bed whilst Ron pulled the covers over himself and curled up, wincing slightly as he felt where the Slytherin had made his mark earlier. Who was he kidding? He couldn't resist either of them and what they offered; he wasn't even sure if he deserved more than what he could get. Sighing, he closed his eyes and begged Merlin for sleep.