Notes and Disclaimers: Harry Potter et al ain't mine. No profit garnered or wanted ever. Thanks to Mare & Amy for awesome beta action. This is a remix of a story by Jintian: http://thedoublehelix.org/jintian/north.html

NORTH (GATHER ME UP REMIX)



He could never find words for some things, not the right ones, not when he needed them.

Ron always remembered how he told Hermione and Harry that there were seven hundred ways to foul in Quidditch and players weren't allowed to see the full list as they might get ideas. Harry's eyes grew wide behind his glasses and Hermione had gone off checking Quidditch Through the Ages to make sure he wasn't putting her on, always doing her research. It mystified both of them. "So you don't know," Harry had said. "If you've broken the rules."

"You can probably guess you're not supposed to do it," Ron had said, laughing. It just seemed so obvious, really.

But maybe Harry and Hermione wouldn't guess. Still Muggles underneath and after everything. Some things just aren't in books.

Ron felt strange at first, having to explain things like how the sky is blue, birds fly, galleons are gold, but he got used to it eventually.

A few weeks earlier, when Harry stood in the doorway watching Ron and Hermione kiss, it was natural to reach for Harry. Like oceans made waves. He could see in their eyes and their shoulders that this was one of those things Muggles didn't know. Ron had two sets of cousins twice removed who lived three to a family, both in Leeds. His mum said it was probably something in the water, but her smile turned wry when she said it and never reached her eyes. He was revising for History of Magic his fifth year when he realized that that's where Grindelwald's last battle had been. Hermione and Harry didn't notice how often it happened, not that often, certainly, but not never, because they didn't know to look. He'd tried to say that but he knew they didn't get it in their heads yet.

Harry thought he was scary, that people he cared about were in danger greater than anything ever. It was true enough, but Harry and Hermione didn't get that wizarding life was about powerful people and there had always been someone cracked in their heart that thought they could get what they wanted with killing. Auroring was a career because You-Know-Who was only different in his accomplishments. They're everywhere, Ron thought.

This one was very powerful, this one was very scary to Harry, but Hermione and Ron weren't in any kind of danger that Ron's parents -- and grandparents and great-grandparents on back to the first Wizard -- hadn't known.

Seven hundred fouls, Ron thought. It was like that look in Harry's face when he woke from a nightmare, almost attacking Hermione.

"Bloody hell," Ron said. Harry took it all on himself. Hermione started to reassure Harry and Ron sat down next to him. He tried to give Harry back his wand but Harry wasn't having it.

Like always, Harry said, "No! It was my fault." Hermione attempted to quiet him and Ron pitched in, but there was no way to explain seven hundred fouls or birds' wings when Harry was so convinced he would be the ruin of them.

"Think we'll do all right without the guilt routine, mate," Ron said.

"Ron's right," Hermione said. "Don't go down that road, Harry."

Harry still looked convinced he was as bad as You Know Who or nearly. Ron looked over at Hermione and smiled. Words weren't going to work here. He didn't waiver, not this time. She still had that set in her shoulders like she didn't think it could be quite right to be happy with two. Six years of learning things about each other in the making and he kept looking at her, waiting. She smiled back at him, tentatively. He reached out, touched her hand with the tips of his fingers and she sighed but she did the magic to keep them from being interrupted.

"Better lock it, too," Ron said. Harry was trying to look away but Ron wouldn't have that. Better to live outside his head for a bit, for as long as Harry would allow himself. For as long as Ron could make him to.

"Don't shut us out again, Harry, please," Hermione said.

"Leave off," Harry said. As if Ron would consider that. He almost smiled as he leaned in and forced Harry to open up and kiss him back. Ron always knew kissing Harry would be brilliant. Even this kiss, when Harry was almost resisting.

"Stop thinking about it," Ron said. Harry had an unfortunate gift for thinking even when the most wonderful things were happening, like Ron kissing him or Hermione touching his face, removing his glasses. Even if those things were everyday moments, they were still extraordinary. Ron, for one, couldn't think past Harry and Hermione, he didn't want to.

Harry got the idea, finally and reached out for Ron, kissed Hermione. Ron hoped he was getting through to Harry, somehow.

He kissed Harry on the mouth again and then his jaw and his neck. He could nearly feel the brush of Hermione's hair as she kissed Harry. It was another kind of magic without words, that they didn't need to have a big plan to get Harry's shirt open or his trousers undone. Harry groaned and reached out for Ron, first his hip and then opening Ron's trousers. Hermione nearly smiled as she sat on Harry's thighs, pushing against him and bracing herself on Ron's neck. He had to kiss her and when he turned to her, she was already there, mouth wet.

Harry cupped her breasts and Hermione flushed to her ears. Ron himself must have been glowing like a tomato, but all the heat was pooled in his fingers and mouth and prick. He needed more. Harry shifted, Hermione leaned forward and Ron held Harry's wrist. He guided Harry's hand to where Ron wanted it.

They had a rhythm. Ron held Hermione's knickers to the side while she lowered herself onto Harry. He could feel the two of them together, the shuddering heat.

Harry's hand faltered. Ron thought he'd come, but when he looked up Harry's face was contorted, his eyes shone and the tension in his shoulders twisted them into a hunch.

Then Harry was embarrassed and limp, Hermione was sitting by his side and Ron was leaning on Harry's other side. Ron felt like a child with his sweets taken away when he'd only smelled them. He didn't want to whine but he could see a hint of pink between Hermione's legs and he could almost smell her. Harry was simply breathing. He was thinking his way into corners and ignoring what mattered. It probably made sense to Harry.

Ron knew what made sense to him. Someone should get their sweets. Harry wouldn't take them. Maybe he needed an example.

He let go of Harry and crawled across his lap. "Hermione," he said. He smiled at her as he tugged at her knickers. "We'll just get these off, all right?" She looked confused and then smiled as he twirled the pink thing about his finger before shooting it across the room. Even Harry made a choking sound that could have been a laugh.

He grabbed Hermione's hip and pulled her closer. He licked her thigh in quick little circles while stroking her with his fingers. Step one was to get her making noise and he had that in a minute. Hermione made hiccuping little gasping noises when she wasn't thinking at all. It was like music. She gripped his head when he'd moved up her thighs to put his mouth where his fingers were. That was step two.

They had part of their rhythm back. Ron was grinding against Harry's thighs the same beat as his fingers were pushing into Hermione and she was nearly tearing Ron's hair out in her enjoyment. And maybe step three was when Ron felt his trousers being pulled down and the touch of Harry's hand on his bottom. And he didn't have to explain anything at all, didn't need any words and hoped they would both understand in their heads and hearts that it wasn't as bad as all they thought. For once, when Ron hadn't thought of a step three, it was a good thing. The most brilliant thing, he hadn't ever thought of.

THE END.

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