Title: Office Scandal
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Summary: There's a bet going around the office. Draco isn't pleased.
"We need to have a discussion," Draco stated flatly as he perched on the edge of Ron's desk, almost directly on top of the parchment he had been working on.
Ron managed to push back his irritation, used to his coworker's complete disregard for others, and sat back to look up at him. "We do?"
"Yes. It has come to my attention that half of the people in the office believe that we are shagging and the other half is holding bets on when we will begin. Dickhead said the pool's up to 300 galleons."
Whatever Ron had thought the blond might come up with as vitally important to discuss, that had not been it. Stunned, Ron just stared at him for several minutes. "Sorry?"
"Everyone in the office is convinced that we're a bloody item and if we aren't, it's only a matter of time until we are!"
"But... I... how... where would they get an idea like that?" he stammered back, still in shock. Draco dragged his fingers through his hair in irritation and wiggled around as if trying to find a more comfortable position with little success.
"I don't know. Apparently being on a first name basis is enough of a complete turn-around for us to constitute a sexual relationship."
"But, we're not even gay... Or I'm not. Are you...?"
Draco glared death at him. "Of course not, Weasley! My ancestors would all rise up from their graves and tear me limb from limb for even considering a partner that couldn't produce an heir. Don't be ridiculous." He pushed his blond fringe from his eyes with a sweeping motion of irritation, and Ron momentarily wondered if he practiced that move in the mirror.
"Well, you know... Professor Snape's got that potion out now... He kind of made that argument a moot point, didn't he?" He surreptitiously attempted to slide the parchment he had been working on out from under Draco's bum. Draco noticed and sunk his feet back to the ground, settling for leaning against the desk instead.
"That potion is experimental, at best, and a failure at worst. I would never even consider attempting it, no matter how much I trust Severus' potions skills."
"Well, even so, if you didn't have to think about an heir, would you be gay?" he asked, steering the conversation back on track. He recognized diversionary tactics when he heard them, having been distracted by them on too many occasions to count before finally learning his lesson.
"Of course not," Draco snapped, a little too quickly in Ron's opinion. He ignored the indignant look the blond was giving him and focused his eyes back on his parchment.
"Then why don't you just tell Dricksthead that the betting pool is useless because neither of us is gay."
"Oh, of course that's the solution. I'll just storm out there and deny the entire thing. As though anyone would believe that. Be realistic, Weasley. They've apparently all convinced themselves that we're shagging. Any denial by us will seem to them as either a confirmation or an indication that we're both so deep in denial ourselves that we haven't seen the potential yet."
Ron's head snapped up to look at him, parchment forgotten. "Potential? What potential? I thought you weren't interested in men."
There was a momentary blush before Draco collected himself and stood straight, face a mask of impatience. "Of course there isn't any real potential, but they will see it that way! I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if a denial from us only increased the betting amounts." He huffed at the end of this rant, obviously tired of having to explain such simple concepts to imbeciles. Ron ignored him once more and turned to his parchment.
"Ignore them, then. Who cares what they say about us? We know we're not shagging and don't intend to. If the office wants to bet on the odds of it happening, that's their business. What's it to us?"
"You don't care about your reputation? Everyone is saying you're a homosexual! You don't care about that?"
"Nope. Let 'em talk." Draco stared down at his red head for a moment in disbelief before huffing again and storming out of the office, slamming the door behind him loud enough to rattle the case holding Ron's Quidditch memorabilia. Ron sighed to himself and stared after his friend, already trying to figure out what he'd said wrong.
Three weeks later…
"This is getting out of hand. Dickhead says the pool is up to 500 galleons! What are we going to do?" Draco demanded as he burst into Ron's office without so much as a knock. Ron looked up from the owl he was writing without a hint of being startled.
"Do? Why do we have to do anything? I told you to just ignore them."
"But… how can you sit there so calmly? You're usually the one that goes off half-cocked in fits of anger against things like this. They're disparaging your good heterosexual name! Don't you have something to say to that?" His cheeks reddened with indignation as he slammed his palms down on Ron's desk. Ron looked up at him calmly, which took Draco back a step. And then there was a change in his face and he slunk a bit closer over the desk. "Unless you really are a homosexual and you've been hiding it from me because you fancy me and are embarrassed."
Ron snorted and shook his head, eyes twinkling. "You're unbelievable, you know that? Why does it always come back to someone fancying you? You aren't that fit a bloke, you know."
"Of course I'm that fit a bloke. Please, Weasley, I'm the fittest bloke this side of the Channel and everyone knows it. I am the Sexiest Bachelor according to Witch Weekly, you know." He flipped his head to the side, swinging his fringe out of his eyes in a move Ron definitely knew was practiced. The twinkle went right out of Ron's eyes. He clenched the quill in his hand so hard it snapped and fought the growl pushing against his chest.
"I should have known when that article came out, you'd be impossible. Honestly, just because some magazine says you're fit doesn't mean I think so. And if you're so fit and everyone fancies you, why aren't you shagging half the Ministry? You haven't been on a date since we left Hogwarts and we both know it. Do you think there might be a reason for that?"
"Yes! Everyone's convinced I'm for men because of you and the way you hang on me like a simpering girl!" Draco snapped back. This only enraged Ron further. He grabbed Draco by the tie and pulled him bodily across the desk so that they were nose to nose and his panting breaths heated Draco's face. Draco stared at him in shock, unable to move to pull himself away.
"Look here, Malfoy. I. Do. Not. Fancy. You. Understood? If I wanted to fuck you, I'd have dragged you over this desk long ago and don't even try to pretend you wouldn't like it. So fuck off and stop wingeing at me about what everyone in the office thinks of us. I. Don't. Care." With a final growl, he shoved Draco away from him and sat back at his desk, the only sign of his outburst a slight trembling of his broken quill.
Draco stood frozen for a few minutes more, eyes wide in disbelief, before he managed to look down at where Ron sat. "I thought you said you weren't gay."
Ron's only answer was a warning snarl. Draco took the hint and left quickly, shutting the door quietly behind him.
Two Days Later…
"You really fancy men, don't you?" Draco insisted, nearly jogging to keep up with Ron's long stride down the corridor.
"Draco, if you don't stop bothering me about whether I'm gay or not, I'm going to punch you in the face. And then, I'm going to send Harry after you. Do you really want an Auror after you?"
"Well, no, but I want to know. I'm your mate, aren't I? This is the sort of thing mates should know about each other. Does Potter know?"
Ron opened his office door with a quick Alohamora and dropped his tea and parchment bundle on his desk before turning back to an impatient, foot-tapping blond. He crossed his arms over his chest and leaned back against the edge of his desk, stalling his answer so as to fluster his friend. "Harry knows everything about me, but Harry and I have been mates for quite a lot longer than you and me."
"Are you not going to tell me, then? What if I told you that I fancy men myself?"
Ron rolled his eyes. "Well, charm me surprised. I've only known that since Fifth Year."
"How could you have known? I only just made it up to coax you into admitting that you do, too. I'm for women, as you well know."
"No, you're not. If your parents had more than one son, you'd be all over me and you know it."
Apparently, this assurance offended Draco's delicate sensibilities, because he let out a loud squawk, turned on his heel, and left, slamming the door behind him. Ron sighed to himself and rubbed his forehead. "He's going to break the door one day. I know he is," he muttered to himself as he walked around the desk and prepared to start the work day.
One month later...
"I'm engaged to be married!" Draco exclaimed as he burst into the office, prancing and preening like one of his father's white peacocks. Ron rolled his eyes and turned back to his work.
"Are you? And who's the lucky bloke?" he asked, not bothering to look up. It had been three weeks since Draco had visited him, and he had been expecting some sort of outlandish entrance.
"Vivienne is not a bloke, thank you very much. She's the loveliest woman I've ever seen in person and Mother adores her. We couldn't be happier. Are you happy for me?" he asked, leaning against the desk in the path of Ron's parchment and stroking his hand along the wooden edge.
Ron did his best to continue to ignore his friend, but it was more difficult when he was blocking access to the ink well. "Very. Where'd you find her? You never said you were seeing someone."
Draco momentarily faltered, causing Ron to look up, suddenly interested in the proceedings. Draco did not meet his eye. "I met her through your sister-in-law. She's Parisian, which is why I haven't mentioned her. Ours was an owl romance until recently."
"Does she speak English?"
"No, but I speak some French."
Ron held his tongue as one too many fights with Hermione had finally taught him to do and turned back to his desk.
"She's really, very lovely," Draco offered, his voice a bit stiff. Ron was sure he was trying to convince himself of that fact.
"I'm sure you'll make beautiful babies." Assuming you can get it up,he thought to himself.
"We will," Draco said, patting his hair in a pleased manner that Ron couldn't resist rolling his eyes at.
"Does she know you play for Hufflepuff?" he asked, glancing up to see the reaction he hoped to see.
Draco was outraged by the implication to the point of stomping his foot like a Firstie and turning a deep pink shade that was as close to red as his pale skin allowed. "I have no idea what you are trying to imply, but I can see that you lashing out at me because you are jealous that you will no longer be able to entertain the possibility of shagging me. I know you have harbored the desire for many years and that sort of long-standing lust can be frustrating, but I'm afraid it will have to remain unfulfilled. I will of course send you an invitation to the wedding when—"
Ron cut him off before he could finish whatever inane thought he was about to suggest by standing abruptly and invading Draco's personal space, pressing him against the desk. "Let me make one thing perfectly clear between the two of us. If I wanted you as badly as you claim that I do, I would have had my way with you years ago. For all your denials and ridiculous excuses, we both know that you would love nothing more than to drop to your knees and suck my cock into that incessantly moving mouth of yours. If you want to marry some chit from France whom you barely know and who doesn't even speak English just to comfort yourself that you aren't as attracted to me as your late-night fantasies tell you that you are, be my guest. But do not try to stand there and pretend as though any sexual attraction between the two of us isn't entirely on your end."
Draco's eyes darkened and his skin flushed a deeper red. He opened his mouth to speak, but Ron didn't let him start. He shook his head and threw his hands up in defeat, collapsing back into his chair.
"You know what? I don't care anymore. I just want to get my work done and go home for the night. If you really think marrying this woman is going to make you happy, then I'm happy for you."
Draco hesitated, slowly straightening and brushing imagined dust from his robes. "Thank you. I hope you will come to the wedding."
"I promised Hermione I'd be her date to some charity event for war orphans."
"I didn't tell you the date yet."
Ron looked at him emotionlessly. Draco frowned, looking hurt. "Fine. Do what you like. Sorry I bothered you," he muttered, moving towards the door and slipping out with only one regretful look back. Ron didn't follow him to apologize, but neither did he get any more work done that day.
Three months, twenty-two days later…
"Well, if he's going through with it, it's happening today," Harry said, tossing the society page on Ron's desk.
Ron shrugged, nodding towards the small embossed card propped up against his desk calendar. "He sent me an invite."
"You aren't going?"
"Why? It's a farce. Why waste my time?"
Harry leant against the desk in the same place that Draco usually did, staring his friend down. "Maybe to stop it?"
Ron met his eyes with stubborn nonchalance. "Why would I want to do that?"
Harry sighed and ran his fingers through his messy hair. "I don't know. Maybe because you're in love with him?"
"I already made my position clear to him. If he still wants to go through with that sham of a marriage, let him. I don't want to waste any more time thinking about it."
"Fleur says the girl's only marrying him for his money. You want him to be robbed?"
"I want him to be happy. If faking heterosexuality will do that for him, I'm not stopping him. Can we stop talking about this?"
"Yes, but are you sure you don't want to stop him?"
Ron sat back in his chair and studied Harry. "Why do you care, mate?"
Harry blushed and looked at his trainers, peaking out of his Auror robes. "I er… sort of put fifty galleons on you shagging him before the wedding."
"Harry!" Ron exclaimed, punching him lightly on the leg. "Talk about betrayal of trust, mate. I thought you had my back."
"I do! That's why I made the bet. I know how much you want him, and I thought I could prod you into doing what you know you want to do anyway. Come on, Ron. You're head over feet for him and you know it. Why are you being so stubborn about this? How does it help anyone if Draco marries someone else? Especially when you know he's only doing it to prove a point to you."
"Well, what do you want me to do? Burst through the doors of the church shouting for him to stop, like some ridiculous fairy story? Make a fool of myself? Just because I'm bisexual, doesn't mean I want the Daily Prophet gossiping about me." Harry leveled a stare at him. Ron made a face and shoved his chair back. "Fucking hell, all right. But if they've already started the fucking ceremony, I'm not going to stop it." He snatched his traveling cloak off the hook, nearly pulling the hook off the wall in his frustration, and slammed out of the office.
Five minutes later…
Ron stormed through the doors of the church to a crowd of Slytherins, all dressed well enough to have had tea with the Queen. Narcissa sat in the front row, looking immensely pleased with herself, in the most elegant of gray dress robes, while Lucius eyed the flock of French wizards across the aisle. Ron didn't notice any of it, though. His eyes were on Draco, standing at the front of the room next to an auspicious-looking priest, looking absolutely gorgeous in black silk dress robes. Every head turned to watch Ron march swiftly up the aisle. Whispers started like a wave through the crowd. Draco finally noticed him as he rounded the final pew and stepped onto the altar without a second thought.
"Ron! What are you doing? I distinctly put dress robes on the invitation. You look like you've just come from work. Why are you coming up here? Shouldn't you be taking a—"
"You're an idiot, but you aren't marrying some silly French slag just to get my attention. You already have it." With that Ron took Draco's face in his hands and kissed him. A chorus of shocked yells rang out, many in loud and angry French, but it didn't matter because Draco was kissing him back, his hands drifting up to grab onto Ron's wrists for support as he swayed into him.
Ron would have continued kissing his soft lips for hours, but he was wrenched from Draco and unceremoniously slapped by a furious Narcissa. The bride's mother was just behind her, looking ready to hex him. "How dare you come into this church and dishonor my family in such a heinous manner! Lucius is contacting the MLE as we speak to have you arrested for assault, you vicious mongrel!"
"Mother, stop!" Draco cried, grabbing her hand before she could reach back and slap Ron again. "Don't call the MLE. I… I was hoping he would come and stop me. I only agreed to this marriage because I didn't think he was ever going to admit his feelings for me. Please don't hit him again."
Ron was tensed to take another slap, but instead Narcissa turned and slapped her son, much to the shock and horror of the crowd. "I worked hard to find this match for you! How could you throw it all away to be with someone who cannot even give you an heir? Do you want this family to die with you? I knew I should have had more children. I cannot believe you would disappoint me in this way."
The bride's mother was yelling at Ron in French, clearly not having understood the conversation between Draco and his mother. Ron had no idea what she was saying, but he backed away from her when her wand started sparking. Narcissa turned to her and started speaking in rapid French, and the woman's glare turned to Draco. Draco slunk over to Ron's side, watching the woman's wand. She and Narcissa began arguing with each other again, looking near to pulling at each other's hair. "Perhaps next time you want to declare your feelings, we should do it in a less dramatic setting?" he murmured as Ron slipped an arm around his waist.
"Blimey, don't start. You thrive on drama. Don't tell me you aren't going to flaunt the cover of the Prophet tomorrow morning to everyone you know. You and Pansy won't be able to stop gossiping about it until Christmas."
Draco ignored the accusation that he was a gossip and turned his face up to Ron's. "Mother's right, though. Our line is going to die with us. We don't even have anymore Malfoy cousins left."
"By the time we're ready for kids, Snape'll have sorted out his potion, and you can make all the heirs you want." Ron smiled, reaching up a hand to push Draco's fringe from his forehead. "I bet your mum will love having a bunch of redheaded grandchildren."
Draco looked truly horrified. "We are not having gingers!" he cried, smacking Ron in the chest.
"I suppose we'll have to wait and see, yeah?" He grinned as he leaned down to kiss Draco again amidst a chorus of renewed shouts.