"This photograph is my proof."
"Don't be daft, Hermione. That's not proof of anything," Ron said dismissively.
"Have you looked at it?"
"I don't have to. I know what I know and I know that for once, you're wrong."
"Look," she commanded, shoving the picture into his hands.
It was a wizarding photograph of Sirius and Professor Lupin when they were younger. They were wearing dress robes, and he recalled Hermione saying it had been taken at Harry's parents' wedding.
Sirius had one arm slung over Lupin's shoulders, and they swayed drunkenly. Every few seconds, Sirius pressed a kiss to Lupin's ear or jaw; Lupin smiled and flushed.
"They're drunk. It doesn't mean anything."
"Who's drunk?" Harry asked, climbing through the portrait hole. "What have you got there?"
"The photos from your parents' wedding," Ron said, rising from his chair and showing Harry. "Hermione's got this insane idea that Sirius and Professor Lupin are-- were--"
"They were lovers, Ron. You can say it," Hermione said.
Ron rolled his eyes. "She's a nutter, Harry. Tell her."
Harry looked down at the photograph, a wistful smile on his face replacing the blank look he'd worn for months. "She's not wrong."
"I found out at Christmas last year. I went to ask Professor Lupin for help on something for the DA, and I walked in on them snogging."
"Shut up, Hermione," Ron said absently, trying to absorb this new information. "You didn't tell us."
Harry shrugged. "It's none of our business."
"They were happy, Ron." Harry shook his head. "Isn't that all that matters, in the end? They didn't have a lot of time, but they made the most of it while they had it." He slipped the photograph into his pocket, took the album from Hermione, and left them sitting there in silence.
Ron turned Harry's words over in his mind, casting speculative glances at an equally thoughtful Hermione. Was there some kind of warning implicit in what he'd said? Did Harry think Hermione really would find someone else before he ever found the courage to tell her how he felt? Did Harry know something he didn't?
Not to mention they could all be dead come spring. Sirius had fallen through a curtain and he was gone, just like that. And that was after he'd lost twelve years of his life by trusting the wrong friend instead of the-- man (Ron knew he'd be stumbling over that for a while, because he'd never really considered the possibility before. And Professor Lupin. It was weird.) he loved.
Ron didn't want to make the same mistakes. He wanted Harry to trust him, depend on him, and he wanted to do the same in return, for both Harry and Hermione. And he wanted even more from Hermione. He wanted her to look at him the way Lupin and Sirius had looked at each other in that photograph, dazed, slightly drunk. Happy. He wondered how to go about doing that.
"Does it, does it really bother you, Ron?" Hermione asked finally.
"What?" Ron shook his head, trying to blink away the image of himself kissing Hermione.
"Sirius and Lupin?" She sat down next to him on the sofa, and his whole body tingled at her nearness. He laid one arm along the back of the couch, fingers naturally gravitating to her hair. He twirled it with his fingers, enjoying the soft feel of it against his skin.
"Nah. I just-- it's like thinking about your parents having sex." He shuddered.
"Your parents obviously have a lot of sex, Ron. I don't see how you can not think about it."
"Hermione, please!" he said. He'd never have the nerve to say something if she nattered on about his parents and sex, two things he firmly believed should never, ever be mentioned in the same sentence, regardless of reality.
She turned to him and smiled, and he wanted to do whatever was necessary keep that smile on her face. "You're so silly." He smiled back and slid the hand in her hair up to cradle the back of her head. "Ron?" she said warily.
He brushed the fingers of his other hand over her cheek. "Hermione, I--" He leaned in and pressed his lips to hers.
Warm, soft, right. Like the feel of the new wand he'd got after Charlie's broke. He finally understood Muggle electricity -- it was humming through his veins and buzzing in his ears.
When the kiss ended, he looked down at her. She hadn't smacked him, and she wasn't crying, so he figured he'd done it right.
"Teaspoon, eh?" he murmured, running his thumbs over the arch of her cheeks, wondering how he was ever going to stop touching her, wondering how he'd never touched her like this before.
She smiled and said, "Shut up, Ron." She slid her hands into his hair and pulled him down for another kiss.
He was grinning foolishly when he went up to bed. Harry gave him a questioning look and he said, "You were right. Best not to waste time. Kissing is good."
Harry laughed and threw a pillow at him. "Finally. So it was okay?"
"Okay? It was the best thing ever. Better than flying. Better than punching Malfoy."
"Better than the Cannons winning the League Championship?"
Ron thought for a moment. "Yeah. I think so."
"It's about time."
Just before he pulled the curtains on his bed he said, "Thanks, Harry. And, I'm sorry if I was rude before, about Sirius and Lupin."
"S'all right," Harry answered sleepily. "I'm just happy you and Hermione finally--"
Ron slept well that night; he dreamt of Sirius, who smiled at him in approval.
Achromatic: http://www.unfitforsociety.net/musesfool LJ: http://musesfool.livejournal.com
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Fandom: Harry Potter
Title: Seize the Fish
Author: Victoria P. [email]
Details: Standalone | PG | 5k | 04/17/04
Pairings: Hermione Granger/Ron Weasly
Summary: Ron didn't want to make the same mistakes Sirius had.
Notes: Thanks to Jen, Dot, Meg and Pete'n'Melissa. For eponis, who gave me this sentence: "This photograph is my proof." Thanks to Paulina for the title, which comes from Buffy’s mistranslation of "carpe diem."
Disclaimer/Other: I own not. You sue not.
Archive: Lists, Achromatic.
Feedback: Is delightful, delicious and de-lovely.
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