Challenge: 29. One of the boys is gay, outright, and thus the other boy and Hermione share him.
Summary: Hermione suffers from jealousy as Harry and Ron become lovers. Will they be able to find a way to work things out?
Warning: HPB Spoilers
Notes: Thanks to hailiebu for the beta!
Hermione Granger never thought that anything was perfect. Perfection was a never-ending goal that she strived towards, but never believed that she would achieve. Everything could always be improved upon. Work, life, relationships were never complete; they needed to be looked at constantly, reworked and developed into something even better.
Yet the day she moved into a flat with Ron and Harry, she thought, yes, that day came very close to feeling perfect. The war was over and the three of them had emerged from it unscathed – changed, but alive and in one piece. They had their own flat, their friendship, and a future filled with endless possibilities.
They moved into a two-bedroom Muggle flat just outside Diagon Alley a fortnight after Harry turned eighteen, spending the first evening sitting on the floor surrounded by half-unpacked boxes, drinking wine. Hermione sat between her lover's long legs as Harry lay at their feet. They talked until well past midnight, making plans for improvements to the flat. Sounding excited about the idea, Harry suggested a gathering of family and friends over the Christmas holidays. Hermione found herself looking forward to it with giddy anticipation.
By the time Christmas rolled around, Hermione's euphoric mood had been crushed. Ron still hadn't built the bookshelves in their bedroom that he had been promising to do for months. Harry never remembered to put the toilet seat down, giving her, more then once, a startling jolt of cold porcelain and water on her bum during a middle of the night trip to the bathroom. Pig tormented Crookshanks every chance he had and Ron refused to lock him in his cage. Ginny stopped visiting when Harry had announced that he preferred blokes to birds, and from that point, things just got weirder. Harry's morning guests leftover from his nocturnal dating adventures gave breakfast in their tiny kitchen an overwhelming air of awkwardness. Eventually, Ron refused to leave their bedroom if Harry had someone stay the night, swearing the entire time that he had no problem with Harry being gay. Harry stopped bringing men to the flat after one responded to one of Ron's insults by punching him in the mouth.
The mounting friction between Harry and Ron was driving her mad. Tired of playing the mediator, Hermione immersed herself in her work, assisting the Ministry in finding paying jobs and homes for house-elves displaced during the war. On Boxing Day, she told Harry and Ron that it was necessary for her to start traveling to other countries and would be away for sometimes up to a week. Harry countered her announcement with one of his own, informing them that he was dropping out of the Auror training program to play Quidditch for the Chudley Cannons. Ron's dual congratulations sounded forced and, for some unknown reason, Hermione found it difficult to meet Harry's eyes when she offered him good luck.
The night after she returned from her first work related trip, she sat staring at a nervous, fidgety Ron. A few minutes before, she had announced that she was going to bed, but he stopped her and said they needed to talk. That was the last thing either of them had said.
"Well?" she asked, breaking the tense silence.
"Um, Harry said he wanted to – but I thought it would be better if I – if we talked about this alone." Ron stood. Pacing the room liked a caged animal, he continued. "Harry… Harry's moving out."
"What? Harry's moving out! We haven't been here a year yet. We can't afford this flat on our own."
"He said he would give us the money for his share until the lease runs out."
"Ron, is this because of your disapproval of his dating habits?"
"No. Not exactly. He…" Ron took a deep breath. "Harrysaidthathe'sinlovewithme."
Threatening to move forward from the farthest recesses of her mind were memories of numerous glances between the men that contained their unspoken feelings. She pushed them back, like she always did.
"Oh," she whispered.
For a few seconds, Ron stopped moving, only to start again as he began babbling. "Harry said that he can't move forward - find someone, while he's living here with me… us. He said it's too hard for him to be here, watching us. He wants to start a new life with Quidditch and –"
"How do you feel about this?" she asked, compelling her voice to stay steady.
"I don't want him to leave! He's our best mate! He belongs here with us!"
"Do you love him?"
Ron fell to his knees in front of her. Avoiding her question, he said something that he didn't say often enough. "I love you, Hermione."
"I know that," she said, allowing him to hold her hand. "I'm asking you if Harry's feelings are reciprocated."
Ron's cheeks reddened and he dropped his forehead to rest on her knee.
"Reciprocated means –"
"Bloody hell, Hermione!" he yelled, jumping to his feet. "I know what bleedin' reciprocated means!"
"Do you love him?" she repeated more forcefully.
"I'm not a poof! But-but of course... of course I love him. He's my best mate! I-I …" He collapsed on the couch. "Fuck! Fuck! I… I have feelings that I can't explain and I -"
"I know, Ron. It's all right. You don't have to say it."
"I love you. Please tell me that you know that," Ron said desperately.
"I do." She repeated the words in her mind, convincing herself that it was true. Not that he loved her, but that she believed it – that it would be enough.
"I tried to talk him out of it. I begged him to –"
"You can't talk him out of feeling what he feels for you. He'd stay if–if you two were involved?"
"If you two became lov-"
"What? I don't know! We didn't discuss… I didn't tell him -"
"Tell him," she said determinedly.
"Are you sure?" he whispered, sounding as if he was asking himself more than he was asking her.
"Tell him," she repeated.
Ron stood up and crossed over to her in two long strides. "I… You – I don't – and he doesn't want to hurt you." He pulled her out of her seat and into his arms.
"It's Harry," she whispered as if it meant everything.
Pulling back, he brushed the hair away from her face and cupped her cheeks in his palms. "I wish I could explain how I can have these feelings for both of you, but even I don't understand it."
She stood on the tips of her toes to kiss him, trying not to think that he wouldn't belong to only her anymore. She had been special; she had been his first and his only. During the war, after a horrifying experience of recovering a Horcrux, they had discovered themselves as lovers. No expressions of forever or vows of fidelity had been spoken; from that point, they had both just known that they were a couple.
Ron broke the kiss but continued to hold on to her tight. "If I start this… I reckon we won't be able to go back. Things will be different, but I promise – I swear they will still be great!"
The mind has a wonderful, yet dangerous capability to protect itself from things that it doesn’t want to deal with. It will bury the situation, leaving behind a twisted rationalization of what the possessor of the mind wants to believe is reality. Denial can affect anyone, even the smartest witch of her generation.
Looking into his eyes, she gave him her brightest smile. "I know. Things will be just fine."
Trying not to think about what Ron and Harry were doing during the first time she left them alone was near impossible. She had left quietly in the morning, kissing a sleepy Ron on the cheek, telling herself again that it was just Harry. And Harry would never do anything to hurt her.
She returned home to an overly attentive boyfriend, waiting for her with flowers and a home cooked meal. He swore on the Cannon's next season that he prepared it himself. The dinner was good if she overlooked the undercooked potatoes and overcooked vegetables. His efforts didn't go unnoticed and dessert was left half-eaten as they ended the evening early in the bedroom. It wasn't until he fell asleep that her thoughts turned dark and she began obsessing, wondering if Ron had slept in their bed or Harry's while she was gone.
While work became a pleasant distraction from the surreal life within the flat, Hermione soon found that she was traveling more often than not. Ron had posted a calendar on the refrigerator to keep track of her and Harry's trips. Scanning the upcoming months, Hermione noted that Harry would be out of town on Valentine's Day. Quickly, she scribbled in the box, 'Hermione HOME.' Flipping the page over, her tiny feeling of victory was quickly deflated. Marked in a bright red ink, on March 1st under a crude sketch of a birthday cake was 'Harry HOME.'
"Aw, Hermione," Ron whined, standing in the door of their bedroom watching her pack. "Can't you cancel? It's my birthday!"
"I can't." She turned and swiftly looked away when she saw the dejected look on his face. "Really, Ron. I can't." Returning to her packing, she continued explaining, "Dobby and Hagrid found a troupe of house-elves living in the Transylvanian Alps. I have to go and ask permission to bring them to England. There are loads of forms to be filled out and they need someone to find a translator for when we get them back to England."
"Can't someone else go? Harry will be home and the three of us could do something special. Maybe go to the Muggle cinema in the afternoon and my Mum is making a dinner for the family. Even Ginny agreed to be there!"
For a brief flicker of a moment she reconsidered, but something in her gut told her to go. "I'm really sorry."
"Please?" Ron begged.
She closed her suitcase and she sensed rather than saw him flinch when the lock closed.
"Sure, I understand." Ron said sullenly. He didn't. Maybe, he thought he did, but he didn't. "I reckon there will be other birthdays, huh?"
"I'll be home on the 2nd. We can celebrate then. I'll bring you back something interesting."
He leaned in a little harder than necessary when she kissed him on the cheek.
She took a hold of her Portkey and heard Ron call out, "I'll tell Harry you said hello," as the world around her swirled and she was whisked away from him once more.
The truth was that the Romanian authorities were more than happy to hand over the house-elves. A four-day trip could have easily taken two days. And when Hagrid asked, "Ain't it Ron's birthday?", guilt stabbed at Hermione's heart and she immediately sent an owl to the Ministry alerting them she would be returning a day early with sixteen house-elves that didn't speak a word of English.
Arriving home just in time for dinner, she entered the flat expecting to hear the sounds of Harry and Ron chatting in the kitchen. Sounds greeted her immediately upon entering the flat, but they weren't the sounds one would be expecting from civilized dinner conversation. Fuck… Christ… Don't stop… Harry's voice, rougher and throatier than normal, boomed throughout the flat. Feeling as if a freezing charm had been cast on her, Hermione stood paralyzed just inside the doorway.
Her first instinct was to run. The smart Hermione would've done that. The smart Hermione would've left and come back in the morning, sat them all down and talked this out. But the in-love Hermione, shrugged off all rational thought as she cast a disillusionment and silencing charm on herself and walked towards Harry's bedroom.
Not expecting her to be home a day early, the men had left the door half open, giving her a view of the bed before she reached the room.
Her first sight was of Harry, resting his back against the headboard, putting on a naked wanton display. As she drew closer, her eyes trailed down the sheen of sweat on his pale chest and stomach, until she reached the mane of fiery red hair buried between his legs. The image in front of her was something she never could have imagined. Ron – ogler of bums and tits – was sucking hungrily on Harry's cock as if it was covered in chocolate and someone told him that it was the last sweet he would ever taste.
Harry's green eyes were dark and wide, watching Ron with a fierce intensity. His hands cradling Ron's head, thumbs tenderly kneading his temples. On an upstroke, Ron raised his head and smiled provocatively at him, twirling his tongue over the head. Harry moaned and Ron engulfed the entire length, his cheeks hollowing as he lowered and raised his mouth on Harry's shaft. Frantically, Harry wrapped Ron's hair between his fingers and tugged. "Stopstopstop!" he cried.
Harry began taking long, slow deep breaths in an apparent attempt to regain his control. Ron watched him with a sinful smirk on his face and as soon as Harry looked back down at him, he moved his extended tongue back towards Harry's erection.
"Don't you dare!" Harry exclaimed playfully, sliding down on the bed as he yanked Ron up from under his armpits so that Ron was hovering over him.
"What?" Ron asked, an exaggerated look of innocence on his face. "Don't you like it when I suck your cock?"
A momentary feeling of panic paralyzed Hermione when a loud gasp escaped her throat, fearing that perhaps her silencing charm didn't work. But the men didn't stop the seductive game they were playing, and she released the breath that she had been holding.
"Like it? Like it? I love it!" Harry said, rolling Ron on his back and straddling his hips. "But this is your birthday! And if you keep that up, I won't be able to give you a proper birthday gift!"
"Aw, I can always coax another go out of ya!" Ron responded, thrusting his hips upwards.
"I didn't say I wasn't up for that too." Harry waggled his eyebrows. "Or three!"
Torn between the fear of what she was about to witness and her desire to know the facts, to see exactly what her lover and her best friend did behind her back, Hermione watched helplessly as Harry began to worship Ron's body with his mouth and hands. Ron twisted and adjusted his limbs, murmuring sounds of contentment that filled the room as he allowed Harry access to every speck of his flesh. Looking at Ron through Harry's eyes startled her. Why hadn't she ever noticed how muscular Ron's thighs were or how delectable the curve where his leg met his bum looked?
Confused by her body's reaction to the sight, Hermione tightened her thighs together, trying to stop the heat that was mounting between her legs. Willing away the unwanted sensations rippling through her body, she focused on the ugly feeling that was gnawing at her guts.
Harry finally settled in a position with his back facing her, blocking her from seeing Ron. She waited, taking short shallow breaths, trying to recall the last time she and Ron had made love. How long had they spent on foreplay? Did Ron's body melt into her touch the way it seemed to Harry's? Did they look like two pieces of a puzzle fitting perfectly together?
Ron mumbling something pulled her from her thoughts. The men were kissing passionately, licking at each other's lips. Ron was pawing at Harry, pulling at him like he was trying to make them one. Without breaking their kiss, Harry positioned himself between Ron's legs. Ron opened his legs wide, welcoming Harry between them.
Hermione thought Harry was going to do to Ron what Ron had been doing to him earlier, but Harry lifted Ron's legs to rest on his shoulder. Hermione started to feel dizzy and before she could admit to herself what was going to happen, Harry began to enter Ron.
Clutching a fist to her chest, surprised that her heart wasn't beating right through it, her mind desperately tried to process the image in front of her that would no longer allow her to deny the truth.
Ron watched Harry as he moved slowly inside of him with nothing short of a face full of love. Harry looked as if he was studying Ron, memorizing the moment for later use. Stabs of pain hit her heart over and over while viewing the intimacy between the two men. It had hurt too much to think about it before, but now… now, it was right in front of her face. They weren't just shagging, or banging, or best friends with benefits, they were making love because they were in love. Ron wasn't just curious or trying to keep Harry happy. He wasn't going to leave Harry and return to her. Yes, that was what she had thought would happen. Every night she would lay in bed playing the scene over in her mind, Ron pledging his undying love, telling her that he couldn't stand to be with anyone but her - that she was his one and only true love. She could see clearly that it wasn't going to happen that way. Ron was happy being both of their lovers. Or maybe he wasn't, maybe he only wanted Harry and felt too guilty to end the relationship with her.
"Jesus, Ron! Stop doing that or I'm going to…" Before Hermione could think what it was that Ron was doing, Harry shouted, "Oh, shit!" and pulled out of Ron. Holding himself taut on one arm, he held his erection in the other. After a few strokes, his face contorted and he came grunting Ron's name. Shakily, he sat back on his knees and eyed his handiwork. Pearly white drops of come that had splattered Ron's cock were slowly dripping onto his balls. With a look that Hermione could only describe as predatory, Harry meticulously massaged Ron's shaft until it was entirely coated in his come. A surge of red-hot anger towards Harry swelled up inside of her and she had to fight the urge to pull out her wand and blast him through the wall.
Seeing Ron arching his hips, listening to him beg Harry to make him come, pushed Hermione over the edge. Turning she ran down the hallway, her vision blurred by the pool of tears in her eyes she tripped over her suitcase and it landed with a thud. She hesitated, afraid that they had heard her. Ron yelled, "Fuck! I'm coming, Harry! I'm… Argh!" Grabbing her suitcase, she ran out of the front door, no longer caring if they heard her.
Hermione's hurt had turned into a blazing fury by the time she returned home the following evening. Spending a night at The Leaky Cauldron, stewing in her own jealousy and insecurities had driven her close to insanity. She now had herself thoroughly convinced that Harry was out to get her and keep Ron all to himself.
The flat was quiet and the first thing she noticed was that Harry's broom was gone. She found Ron sleeping soundly in their bed, stretched out on his back, dressed in only a pair of boxers. The same ones she had seen thrown on the floor of Harry's bedroom the night before. With a loud bang, she intentionally dropped her suitcase on the floor.
"Her-Hermione," Ron said sleepily, rubbing his eyes.
"Hello," she responded coolly.
"In bed so early? Late night?" she asked, not trying to mask the venom in her tone.
"Er, yeah. What's wrong? Did something go balls-up with the house-elves?"
"No. Everything went as planned."
"Great," he said, reaching out and grabbing her wrist. He pulled her down on the bed. "I missed you."
Placing a hand over her nose, she said, "Ugh! Ron, your breath smells!"
"S'ry. I'll go brush." He scrambled over her to get out of the bed and shuffled off to the bathroom.
Hermione kicked off her shoes and rolled over on her stomach, hugging a pillow. She was so tired. If only she could sleep and wake up back on their first night together in the flat, when she had thought everything was perfect and that it could only become better.
Ron returned and settled next to her in bed. Rubbing her back, he whispered, "I really missed you." He lifted her hair and placed soft kisses along the back of her neck.
"Sure, you did," she mumbled into the pillow.
"Nothing," she huffed.
Ron's hand held her firmly on the shoulder and pulled her onto her back. "Hermione, what's wrong?"
Sparked by a primal desire to possess him, she curled a hand around the back of his neck and fervently pressed her lips to his, allowing her anger and pain to drive the need behind the kiss. The flavor of mint overwhelmed her mouth and she wondered if he could taste the bitterness of jealously in hers. She rolled on top of him, stretching her body to cover as much of him that she could, feeling him grow hard against her hip. He undressed her, attempting to touch each freshly exposed piece of her flesh, chanting his empty words of adoration. Her anger flared up when he cupped her bare breasts, peppered them with kisses and recited how beautiful she was and how much he had missed her. 'Lies,' she shouted in her head. She didn't want to hear his lies. It was impossible to miss her that much while Harry was buggering him up the arse.
Her kisses turned rough as she pressed her weight harder against him. His large hands grabbed her hips, his fingers pressing into her flesh as he tried to still her. His touch made her skin recoil, but at the same time she wanted to claim him, wanted to remind him who he belonged to first. She seized his wrists, feeling his pulse beating rapidly against her fingers.
Pulling his hands above his head, she whispered huskily, "Let's play a game."
She reached out, yanking the belt from her dressing gown hanging on the poster of the bed. Without a struggle, he allowed her to wrap his wrists and tie them to the bedrails, looking at her, holding his breath, with an odd mixture of confusion and lust in his bright blue eyes. He said her name in the form of a question and she held a finger to his lips. She removed his boxers and knelt between his legs, taking a moment to study his long, lean body.
Leaning down, she pressed his cock between her breasts and crawled up his body, skimming it over her stomach, stopping when it was nestled in the wet curls between her legs.
"God, Hermione," he gasped.
"Don't make me gag you," she snarled, fisting his hair and pulling his head back to further expose his neck. Ron moaned and squirmed underneath her while she sucked and bit at his neck, covering freckles with a ring of red marks, the familiar salty tang of his sweat making her taste buds tingle.
His hips jerked frantically as he scrambled to get friction, but she was the one in control, raising her hips to stop him from getting the pleasure he wanted.
When she was ready, when she was so wet and hot and seething with anger that she thought she was going to scream, and she didn't know if she wanted to punch him or fuck him, she lifted herself up, one hand planted on his chest as the other guided him inside of her. He grunted from deep within his throat and thrust up into her. She held his hips down the best she could and began to ride him, rough and unrelenting, her frustration pouring out of her in waves through her hips. Tilting his head back, his eyes rolling back in his head, he began to babble short burst of words strung together incoherently.
"Fuck… Herm-…. S-s-slow down… So hot… Won't last…"
Ron fisted the belt binding his hands and lifted his mid-section off the bed. She felt the muscles on his thighs tightening and she knew he was going to come. Dipping her hand between their bodies, she touched herself. Falling forward, she buried her face in his neck. It only took a few light touches, and she was coming, silently, clutching the pillow fiercely underneath his head. Ron came seconds later, grunting and moaning, his whole body stretched and rigid.
Rolling off Ron, she turned her back to him, choking back tears. Panting, Ron managed to croak out, "Are you going to untie me?"
She untied him and before his hands could reach her, she was out of bed and slipping on her dressing gown. Swiftly, she sprinted to the bathroom, ignoring his calls to come back and talk to her.
Spending the rest of her life in the bathroom was clearly not an option. Ron had knocked a few times asking what was wrong, but eventually gave up. She heard him walking back and forth in the hallway and decided to come out when she heard his footsteps lead to the kitchen.
Gathering her courage, chanting in her head to not let her emotions overcome her, she boldly walked into the kitchen as if nothing strange had just occurred.
"Hermione," Ron exclaimed, almost knocking his chair over as he jumped out of it. "What-what was that?"
"Sex, Ronald. I didn't think I would have to explain that to you of all people."
"Sex? Sex? That just wasn't like you. You're angry at me - that's what that was."
He kept trying to reach out to her, but she moved around the kitchen, preparing tea, avoiding his touch. "Why do you think I'm angry with you? Have you done something wrong?"
"Hermione," he said patiently. "You were crying. Your eyes are all red and puffy. Please, talk to me."
"You noticed. I wasn't sure if you would even notice that I was home."
He finally stopped dancing around her, and grabbed her by the shoulders, holding her still. "How could you – why would you say that? I wanted you home. I wanted you here for my birthday!"
Trying to squirm from his grasp, she spat back, "It appears that didn't stop you and him from having a good time without me!"
"What?" He released her and stepped back. "How do you –"
"I came home early! I came home last night because I felt guilty that I left you on your birthday and when I got here you were in his bed celebrating your birthday just fine without me!"
His ears glowing red, he stuffed his hands in his pockets and looked at her sheepishly. "Why didn't you say… never mind, I know why. How much did you see?"
"Enough," she mumbled.
"You stayed… and watched?" he said irritably.
"That's not the point!"
"What is the point? You knew about this. You-you encouraged it!"
"I-I-I… The point is why you? Why do you get to be the one that has the best of both worlds? Why do you get to be the king of the flat?"
"Just lucky I reckon," he sniggered.
She glared at him, aghast that he had the gall to joke over something like this.
"What, Hermione, do you want me to say that I don't think I'm the luckiest bloke in the world?"
Standing face-to-face, centimeters apart, she released the emotions she had been holding in for months.
"Well, Ronald Weasley, your luck has run out!" she yelled, emphasizing each word with a point of her finger at his chest. "I am not going to share you with him!"
"Him? Why do you keep calling Harry – him? We're talking about Harry. Not some stranger!"
"That's right… it's Harry! That makes everything all right! I saw him; I know what he's doing! He was like an animal last night. Marking you…" She knew her loud and trembling voice made her sound insane. "Marking you with his… his seed!"
"You've gone mad! His seed! Marking me?" Ron chuckled humorlessly, pulling back the neck of his t-shirt and tilting his neck to reveal several, dark purple bruises spotting his neck. "What do you call this?"
Embarrassed, she disregarded his comment and continued, "It doesn't matter, because I'm not doing this anymore! It's not right! It's not – "
"Please, Hermione, I don't want to lose you," Ron said pleadingly. "Let's talk about this rationally."
"Oh! I'm irrational now! The hormonal female is out of control!"
"Blimey, you're putting words in my mouth! That's not what I –"
"You didn't have to!"
Sighing, changing his body language to a less threatening stance, he said gently, "We can work this out. You, me, and Harry… just like we always do."
"We can't," she responded stubbornly. "You have to make a choice. You have to choose between him or me."
He staggered a few steps backwards as if she had slapped him in the face. "I-I won't – I can't! Don't make me do this! You – you said things would be fine. I…"
"You have to!"
"I won't," he said, shaking his head, eerily and unexpectedly calm. "I knew this was too good to be true. I won't choose." Turning and walking out of the kitchen, he added, "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. It's all over."
She stood there, waiting for him to come back and yell at her to come to her senses, to beg her to try to work things out. She waited, standing in the same spot, for close to ten minutes before she realized he wasn’t coming back.
The flat was quiet – too quiet. Hermione was in her room, curled up in her bed, waiting for something to happen. She hadn't heard a word from Ron since he had left three days earlier. Only a note from Ginny arrived with Pig, asking why Ron was holed up in his old room at The Burrow refusing to speak to anyone. Harry had been scheduled to be home earlier that day, but he hadn't yet returned to the flat. Maybe, Harry wasn't home because he was with Ron. Did Ron make his choice? Did Ron choose Harry and now they were off somewhere together, happy that they were finally rid of her? Her thoughts turned morbid as her imagination came up with different scenarios on how Ron had told Harry.
An angry, loud voice aroused her from her thoughts. "Hermione! Hermione, I know you're here!"
As the voice grew closer to the bedroom door, she jumped out of bed and pointed her wand at the door.
"Go away, Harry! I don't want to talk to you! You're angry!"
"Fucking - yes! I'm fucking angry!" The doorknob jiggled. "Open the door!"
"No! I'm not going to talk to you when you are like this!"
"Honestly, Harry! Did you think I'm daft? I've been able to block that spell for ages. If you ever listened to me you would know which spell –"
A loud bang interrupted her and she jumped out of the way, as Harry came stumbling sideways into the room, pieces of wood from the doorjamb flying onto the floor.
"Have you gone mad?" she screamed.
"I told you to open the door!" Harry shouted back, rubbing his shoulder. "What did you do? He won't talk to me! He won't see me!"
"Calm down," she ordered, scowling at him.
"I will not calm down! Tell me what you did to make him leave?"
"What I did? How do you know it was me? It might have been something that you did!"
"Ron was fine when I left! Everything was just fine!"
"It was not fine! It was not fine for me! You want to know what I did? I told him that he had to choose between you or me."
Harry's face grew paler. He stared at her, trembling in anger. "How-how could you? You-you told him that it was okay with you to… You had no right!"
"I had every right!" She knew she wasn't being fair to him, but she didn't care. "I-I-I… I had him first!" she retorted childishly.
"AH!" Harry's lips turned up into a sneer. "Finally, after all of these years, I get to say this… You're wrong! You didn't have him first!"
"Yes, that's right," she said condescendingly. "You and Ron met on the train and bonded immediately and I was only –" Harry raised an eyebrow, a smirk spread across his face, mocking her. "Oh," she whispered. Her legs felt weak and she stumbled backwards until her knees hit the mattress and involuntarily she slumped down on the bed. "Oh," she repeated in a shaky voice. "W-when?"
Her reaction wiped the look of victory from his face. He looked deflated and defeated as if his anger and emotions had been suddenly sucked out of him with a vacuum.
"Fifth year. The night before we left Hogwarts," he said softly, sitting on the bed next to her, looking at his feet. "He… We… It just happened. I was the one that stopped it there. He swore to me it wasn't just comfort. He told me that he had wanted it too. But I didn't believe him. Didn't want to believe him. I didn't want to… you know…" He shrugged his slumped shoulders "…always be the freak. And I knew how he felt about you." He stole a sideways glance at her, and after meeting her eyes for a brief second, he quickly looked away. "He fancied you like mad, Hermione. I knew that. And I didn't know if… I didn't want him to be alone if…"
"If you died," she whispered solemnly.
"Yeah." Turning on the bed to face her, he added, "Please, don't be angry with Ron. I made him swear not to tell anyone."
"I'm not," she replied, honestly. "Did you… that night. You know?"
Vigorously, he shook his head. "No! No, we didn't. We weren't sure if we knew how… No, we just fooled around."
There it was – all of it, finally, out in the open. The dam of denial finally broken down, she could admit that she had always known.
"I'm sorry," she said sincerely. "I didn't mean for this to happen. I didn't want him to leave. I just wanted to make things right."
He reached out to touch her arm and she was suddenly on the verge of crying. "I was close to asking him the same thing. I don't know why I couldn't handle it. I thought I was used to seeing the two of you together and that I wouldn't get jealous if he and I… but I did."
"I saw the two of you together," she confessed, watching his eyes grow wide behind his glasses. "On his birthday. I came home early. That's what started this whole thing."
"That's a tad bit embarrassing," he chuckled nervously.
"It was hard. Harder than I thought it would be."
"I understand," he said sympathetically. And she knew that he did. He was the only person in the world that could understand.
Harry was looking over her shoulder with a pensive look on his face. She turned and followed his gaze. On the wall next to the bed was a picture of the three of them at Bill and Fleur's wedding. They were striking a serious pose, until Ron took a bite from a piece of wedding cake, leaving behind a gob of icing on his nose. The image of herself rolled her eyes and signaled him to wipe it off. Ron, attempting to clean off his nose, made it worse smudging the chocolate across the bridge. With a nose covered in chocolate, Ron turned towards the camera, grinning broadly and threw his arms around both Harry and Hermione, pulling them tight against his chest.
"It's not his elegance that makes him so charming," Harry said lightheartedly, nudging her in the back.
Without warning, tears began stream down her face. "You-you… mu-mu-must ha-hate meeee."
"I don't! Really! Aw, Hermione, please don't cry," Harry said, patting her soothingly on the back.
As she released the emotions that she had been holding inside for months, her mind was suddenly struck with surprising clarity. Ron had been right. The one thing that had gotten lost in the vast mass of her jealousy was that it was Harry. She realized her feelings of jealousy hadn't been just about Harry having Ron, but of them having each other – without her. She had been excluded. She remembered the pangs of jealousy she had felt in fourth year when Ron, not she, was the one at the bottom of the lake for Harry. The whole school knew that Ron and Harry were best friends and she was just the third wheel. That's why she had been spiraled so quickly out of control - she was jealous that they had each other and she was left out. She loved Harry as much as she did Ron. It was different, but it was still love.
Harry was blurry through her tear-filled eyes, but she could still see the concern in his face. Relief filled her; he was still her friend.
"Hand me a tissue," she said, pointing to the nightstand. After blowing her nose and regaining her composure, she placed her hand gently on his knee. "Harry, do you want me to leave, so that you and Ron can be alone?"
"I…" Harry stood and walked over to the window. Peering out in a dramatic fashion that made her roll her eyes, he said gloomily, "I should be the one to go. I'm the one that –"
"Harry James Potter! You are not going to be the martyr in this situation. That is not what I asked you. I asked you if you wanted me to leave."
"Fuck, Hermione! I want Ron so bad and I can't imagine being with anyone else now that we've..." He turned back from the window, facing her with red cheeks. "But… I can't lose you either. I'm sorry I've been such a prat these last few months. I can't remember the last time the three of us or you and I did something together. I miss that."
Rising from the bed, she crossed the room and wrapped her arms around his waist, resting her cheek against his chest. "I missed you too." He hugged her back and very suddenly, more than anything in the world, she wished Ron was there with them were he belonged.
She broke away and led Harry back to the bed, motioning him to sit. "Harry, we both want to make this work and I know that Ron does too. We have to learn how to share."
"I don't know. We already tried that and look where it got us."
"I'm talking about sharing… together."
"Huh? What are you… ah… Are you say-saying what I think you're saying?" he asked, shifting uncomfortably on the bed.
"This is not time to be embarrassed. We need for the three of us to become comfortable with the level of intimacy required to make this sort of relationship work."
"Ah… I… I've never been with a woman before," he confessed shyly.
"We don't have to do anything like that! We don't have to map out a plan – don't give me that look – we'll just do what comes naturally."
"Are you sure about this?"
"Yes," she replied, her head held high, trying to sound more confident than she felt. "I only hope that Ron is fine with it. I don't want to freak him out or anything."
Harry threw his head back and laughed.
"What's so funny?"
"Don't worry about Ron! He'll be more than fine with it. In fact, if he knew how, I'm sure that he'd want to videotape it!"
Deciding that there was no time like the present to put the new twist into their relationship, Harry and Hermione sent Hedwig to The Burrow with a note pleading with Ron to come home.
Hermione suggested that she talk to Ron alone while Harry waited in the bedroom, but Harry disagreed.
"We can't just pounce on him when he walks in the room!" she protested.
"Why not? He'd love it!" Harry asked innocently.
"Because… well… because…" Hermione threw her hands in the air. "I don't know. It's just not proper!"
"Hermione, this whole situation isn't very proper," he responded patiently. "Besides, Ron's not really the talking it out type."
"He'll think we've gone mad!" she argued.
"We have gone mad!" Harry retorted.
"Fine. Where do you think we should do this?" Hermione asked, attempting to sound business-like to hide her apprehension. "Your room or ours?"
"Dunno," Harry answered, running his fingers anxiously through his hair. "And what about after? Will Ron still stay in your room? Or will we share a room?"
"Good point," Hermione said pensively.
Harry snapped his fingers. "I have an idea for tonight!" He took out his wand and rearranged the furniture in the living room.
Hermione complimented him on his wordless magic and he grinned back at her. "Watch this!" he said. After flick of his wand, a large white fur rug appeared. He smiled mischievously as all the candles in the room lit and a roaring fire appeared in the fireplace.
Hermione suppressed her giggles at the ridiculously exaggerated romantic scene. Taking off her shoes and socks, she walked barefoot over the rug. She gasped, surprised at the pleasant feelings underneath her feet and between her toes. "It feels cushiony like a really thick pillow covered in fur!" She lifted the rug to see that it did indeed look like a normal rug. "Where did you learn how to conjure this?"
With a devilish glint in his eye, Harry opened his mouth to answer, but she stuck her hand up. "Never mind. I don't want to know!"
Harry looked around the room. "Ah! I know what's missing." He sprinted into the kitchen, returning a few moments later with a bottle of red wine and three glasses. He thrust one in her hand and filled the glass.
Sitting on the rug, Harry removed his socks and shoes and lay down on his side, resting on his elbow. "This does feel nice," he said, sounding very relaxed. "Here." He patted the spot next to him. "Might as well get comfortable while we wait."
And they waited. They waited through an entire bottle of wine. Harry retrieved a second bottle, shaking his head at Hermione's fuzzy recollection of her past jealously towards Ron.
"You attacked him with birds!" Harry pointed out; laughing so hard that he spilled the wine that he was pouring into her glass.
Hiding her smile behind her hand, Hermione smacked him on the arm. "It was a mistake with the spell!" she insisted.
"You don't make mistakes, Hermione."
"Fine. What about you? Dating Ginny, while the entire time you were a shirtlifter, lusting after her brother!"
"Shirtlifter!" he exclaimed.
Swiftly, he grabbed his wand and pointed it at her.
"Harry!" she screeched.
"Wingardium Leviosa," he said and Hermione's wine glass floated up out of reach. "Shirtlifter!" he repeated. "I'll show you shirtlifter." He pounced on her, grabbing her wrists with one hand.
"What are you doing?" She squealed as he lifted up her jumper exposing her stomach. "Oh! STOP!" His fingers pressed into her most ticklish spot under her ribs. "Please, Harry! That tickles… stop… I can't … stop… breathe!"
"Er, um, hullo."
Harry's head spun around. "Ron!"
Arms and legs tangled together as Harry and Hermione struggled to stand up. Panting and red-faced they stood facing him, attempting to keep sober looks on their face.
Ron was standing at the edge of the rug with his arms folded across his chest. Hermione immediately noticed the dark circles under his eyes.
"Did I interrupt something?" he asked sarcastically.
"No!" They both responded.
"Er, no, we were waiting for you!" Harry explained.
"What took you so long?" Hermione asked.
"I wasn't sure if I was going to come. I don't think there is anything left to talk about."
"You look tired. Haven't you been sleeping?" Harry asked.
"I – I've had things on my mind," he answered miserably, hanging his head.
Nudging her on the shoulder, Harry pushed Hermione forward, wordlessly telling her that it was her idea so she needed to make the first move.
"We missed you," Hermione said quietly, approaching Ron slowly.
Stepping forward, Harry nodded his head. "Yeah - we."
Standing there, feeling Harry's eyes on her back, she reached a hand out to touch Ron's face. Ron flinched slightly and her heart felt as if had dropped into her belly. All she wanted to do was to make things right again, so without another thought of jealousy or insecurity or how in the world they were ever going to make this work, Hermione flung herself in his arms. She slid an arm around his neck and the other under his arm. Hugging him tightly, she kissed him. His exhausted body reacted immediately, melting into her embrace. She had control over the kiss and she kept the pace slow, gently swirling her tongue around his.
She sensed a change in his kiss and his stance. She opened her eyes and saw his eyes were fixed on Harry. Breaking her hold on him, she turned around and held her hand out for Harry to take. Pulling Harry forward, she practically threw him into Ron's arm. Ron gasped a mere second before their lips met. They both wore expressions of relief – contentment, as if they had finally made it home after a long journey. They looked the way she knew she and Ron had looked a moment before.
She didn't know which one of them stopped kissing, but they both reached out and pulled her towards them. Her forehead rested against Ron's cheek as Harry's rested on his temple. They stood there breathing erratically, clinging to one another, until Ron broke the silence. "This is what you both want?"
"Yes." They exhaled together.
Hermione and Harry's hands enthusiastically began to roam, exploring Ron's body. Each time their hands crossed, Hermione received an unexpected, but extremely pleasurable sensation in her stomach. Harry removed Ron's jumper and Hermione's lips grazed Ron's nipples, making Ron hum contently and bury his fingers in her hair.
Harry moved behind Ron and soon after a flurry of actions, Ron was left wearing nothing but a sappy grin. Watching Harry's hands play Ron's body like an instrument, seeing Ron grow harder in his fist, stirred a heavy and urgent need within Hermione. Her and Harry's eyes met, and silently she asked for permission and he gave it to her, holding Ron's cock at the base his eyes shifted downward. She took the hint and dropped to her knees.
Deliberately running her hands over Ron's thighs and up the back of his legs, she absorbed how wonderful the contours of his muscles felt under her small palms. Harry was very slowly stroking Ron as Hermione drank in the sight of Harry's long, slender fingers gliding naturally over Ron's thick erection. She parted her lips and allowed Harry to lead Ron into her mouth. One of Harry's hands moved from the base of Ron's cock to Ron's nipple and Hermione replaced it with hers. Harry intertwined their fingers and they held Ron between the circle their joined hands made.
Like she had never before, Hermione relished the feel of Ron hard and needy in her mouth, eagerly sucking and licking, only pausing a moment as she allowed the bitter taste of his pre-come swell her taste buds and fill her mouth.
Harry was rocking into Ron, driving Ron deeper into her mouth. Ron's vocal urgings turned into incoherent babbling and Hermione quickened her rhythm. Sliding a finger to the soft spot behind Ron's balls, she realized that Harry had slipped a finger into Ron. Curious, her finger crept towards Ron's entrance. She felt it was slick and briefly wondered how Harry had done that without her knowing.
Ron's hand tangled in her hair clenched into a fist. "Damn! Are you going to –" His words turned into a strangled moan as she slipped her finger next to Harry's inside of him. It felt so alien, yet comforting knowing that Harry was there with her.
Harry began to slide their entwined fingers up and down Ron's shaft, meeting her mouth halfway. She allowed Harry to take the lead because it was growing difficult to do three things at one time. There was too much going on for her and obviously, it was becoming too much for Ron. His cock grew harder and she knew he was on the edge of his release. Picking up her pace, she glanced upwards wanting to watch him when he came. Ron's head was thrown back on Harry's shoulder; Harry's face buried in his neck, murmuring words, encouraging Ron to come.
"Yesss… I'm fucking coming!" She pulled her finger out of him and gently squeezed his balls. Ron screamed seconds before she felt his cock pulsating in her hand and his come spurt inside her mouth.
"Oh, god," Ron groaned.
Shaky on his feet, he started to slump as if his knees gave out on him. Harry held him tight and guided him on to the rug. Collapsing on the comfortable rug, he rolled over on his back, breathing heavily. Hermione and Harry slinked up on either side of him, both massaging their hands over his sweaty, red-splotched chest.
Suddenly Hermione felt her face being turned towards Harry, and she looked into his green eyes that were deep and dark with lust.
"Kiss me, Hermione," he said huskily. "I want you to share his taste with me."
Without further thought - in fact, she was quite sure any coherence had long since flown out of her head - she tilted her head towards Harry's. Over Ron's chest, Harry's tongue entered her mouth before their lips met, lapping fervently at the bittersweet tang of Ron that coated her tongue.
As Harry pulled away, he licked his lips and grinned wickedly at her. She smiled back, slyly, and it was then she realized that this was what they had needed all along - the three of them, together, just like this.
Ron's voice broke her thoughts, and both Harry and Hermione returned their undivided attention to their Ron.
"Why –" Deep breath. "Why am I the only one starkers?"
Harry's hand scrambled behind him; producing his wand, he swished and flicked it.
Hermione yelped, blushing as her clothes disappeared. She gaped at Harry, who was completely naked and erect to boot.
"Yeah, that's better," Ron muttered, putting an arm around each of their shoulders, snuggling them against his chest. "Merlin, I'm knackered."
"Ron, I'm so sorry I put you through this," Hermione began, but Ron shushed her.
"S'kay, Hermione. S'kay." He yawned. "Neither of you –"
Harry put a hand over his mouth. "It's okay." Showing off a bit in Hermione's opinion, Harry conjured a blanket and laid it over the three of them. "Get some sleep, Ron. You're exhausted."
Hermione rested her head on Ron's shoulder while Harry settled in a little lower on his chest. They lay, in silence for a few moments, Hermione thinking about what they were going to do in the morning. Would they all stay in one bedroom? Would they get another flat? Were they going to tell anyone the truth about their unusual relationship?
Ron's chest expanded and his exhale came out as a loud – very loud – snort and snore.
Harry gripped her hand on Ron's chest. "It's not his elegance," Harry whispered with laughter in his voice.
Hermione suppressed her giggles in Ron's still hot and sticky chest. In his sleep, Ron hugged them closer to him. She looked up at the peaceful, content look on his face. Turning back, she caught Harry's eye and he squeezed her hand. She settled back down and closed her eyes, ready for sleep.
Playing the past few days over in her mind, she concluded that the situation was an illogical equation – adding two pairs together does not equal a trio. But in the end it really didn't matter. This thing that they had was bigger than each of them as individuals and it could not be ignored. Ignoring it would only tear each of them apart. For none of them could truly live happily or love completely without the other two.
And she had finally found something that she thought was perfect. It was perfect because they wanted it to be perfect. They had more than a flat, a future, or just a friendship. They had something to cling to, something that made everything worthwhile, something that would most definitely break again, but they had all of the right pieces to put it back together – friendship, passion, and three hearts filled with love.