NOTES AND DISCLAIMERS: Harry Potter, etc is the intellectual property of JK Rowling. I'm making no money here and have no intentions to do so ever. For Scribbulus_ink's Virgin Sacrifice challenge. Thanks to kel, Mosca, Missy and the other Sandy.



AS CHASTE AS ICE



Hermione glowered at him. She glowered and then glared and looked very much like she was one breath away from uttering an Unforgivable Curse in Ron's direction. Ron thought he might escape with only evil looks, but she said, "You're pathetic. And disgusting. And horrible." Less than he expected.

Harry looked down with a small smile, hidden from Hermione's view by her books. Harry, Ron knew, saw his side. "I have to study, Hermione."

"Oh, you're going to study. That's rich! I saw that girl walk up to you and she wasn't interested in your Charms notes." Hermione huffed. "Like anyone would be interested in your Charms notes unless they wanted to fail the class. Plus, she's a seventh-year, she's not even in our class."

Harry looked up. "A seventh-year?"

Ron grinned. "She is, Gladys Galen. Came right up to me after Potions." He stopped himself from saying, "do you believe it?" because he was sure Hermione would answer in the negative.

"Oh, she came right up to you." Hermione rolled her eyes. "It's amazing. Amazing that girls would really want to spend time with someone just because they fly around on a broom --"

Harry looked like he was trying very hard not to laugh.

Hermione continued, "And that you would say yes, when we have so much to do, there is so much going on and you're a Prefect!"

Hermione took a deep breath to start up again but Harry said quickly, "Well, don't let us keep you." Ron beat a hasty retreat.

When he returned to the Gryffindor common room, even Hermione had packed her books and gone to bed. Or she'd found another place to study, Ron thought. He'd be hearing about this for weeks. He grinned because he didn't mind that at all. He hoped she was very loud in her disapproval so everyone heard.

Tomorrow, he'd get to tell Harry all about it. He walked quietly and slowly up the stairs to his dorm.

All the curtains on the beds were drawn, even his own. He wondered if Hermione had left a Howler on his bed, or some sort of hex. Maybe Crookshanks, lying in wait.

He gingerly drew back the curtain. Harry was asleep on top of the covers, curled up on his side, on Ron's bed. Ron closed the curtain and put on his pajamas before opening it again. Harry was still there sleeping. It hadn't stopped being strange.

Ron sat down on the end of the bed and cast a silencing charm before poking Harry in the foot with his wand. Harry started and blinked. Then he said, "Oh, good, you're back." He rubbed his face and then smiled.

"You're in my bed, mate."

"I thought you'd be back sooner. I wanted to hear how it went." Harry sat up and blushed slightly.

Ron leaned back and smiled. "Oh, it went quite nice. Gladys very much enjoys Quidditch. Thinks I'm a wonderful Keeper."

Harry took off his glasses and rubbed them on his shirt. He mumbled, "Doesn't anyone think about the Seekers?"

Ron frowned and looked anywhere but at Harry. It wasn't that girls, and even some boys, too, didn't fancy Harry, it was that Harry wasn't the sort of person anyone just walked up to anymore. If he'd ever been that sort of person. Harry was pretty attractive, a little too skinny, but certainly almost handsome, memorable. Though Ron was maybe a little biased. But Harry scowled when he walked these days, or looked sad when he was simply between classes. He said, "Do you think I shouldn't've? Too much happening, like Hermione said?"

Harry frowned. "No, of course not." Harry looked up with another genuine, if ragged smile. "So tell me what happened. I waited to hear. I tried to wait, anyway. You were gone a long time."

Ron leaned forward and said, "Well. Gladys is a very sweet girl, very nice. Smart, too, and you know she's --"

"Yes, Ron, I understand, she's no 'scarlet woman,'" Harry said, grinning.

"All right, all right. So we didn't --"

"Have you ever?" Harry said quietly.

"No." To be nice he asked, and then hoped suddenly he actually did know the answer. "You?"

Harry shook his head. He frowned again. "So you didn't. And haven't. What did you do?"

"She, er, with her mouth and --" Ron gestured down and watched Harry's eyes get wider.

"Really? Right there in the classroom?"

"I'm glad it's not a classroom we have lessons in, I think I would never pay attention again. I'd stare and stare at that desk and remember her mouth and the way she --"

Harry laughed and blushed again. This was nice, Ron thought, making Harry laugh. If he'd known it would work, he might have made up a story before. Now he had the truth, though, which was better. Harry said, "I've never even, I can't believe she --"

"And she took off her robe. And she has very soft skin. Smells like berries. Probably her soap, you think?"

Harry nodded and shifted a little on the bed. He brought his knees up and rested his head on his arms. He said quietly, "What about Hermione, though? I thought you, maybe --"

"If she's going to talk all week about her two letters from Krum, I don't see why I should say no to a perfectly nice girl who wants to spend some time with me. Someone who doesn't say I'm being irresponsible or rubbish like that." Ron sighed and some of the thrill of the evening left him. "Do you think Hermione and Krum ever --"

"No," Harry said quickly. "I don't think so." He paused. "Are you going to see Gladys again?"

"I'm not sure. Maybe. If she wants?"

"Do you think she wouldn't want to?"

Ron lay down, curled on his side. "Girls are mental, Harry. I made sure she enjoyed it, too, and I think she did. She made a lot of noise. I was so worried Peeves would show up, or Filch. What a nightmare that would have been."

Harry lay down on his side across from Ron. "Maybe next time you could --"

"Maybe. She is very nice."

"Then you wouldn't be --" Harry poked at the comforter. "There are things to get done before the end, I think. Or not get done, but experience." Harry paused, "I don't want die a virgin." That look on Harry's face, Ron thought, was why Harry didn't end up in deserted classrooms with someone. There was so much sadness in his face.

Then Ron thought Harry maybe only meant the first five words. Maybe he wasn't even bothered that much about sex, and that was even sadder.

"You could do it, Harry. Lots of people fancy you. Ones that aren't mental, even." Ron tried to say it confidently, but he heard his voice waver on the first part.

"Do they now?" Harry looked somewhere over Ron's shoulder. "I don't know. You think I could do it? I think I'd just make a mess of things."

"Well, Harry, let's start with this face." Ron poked Harry's cheek. "This expression on your face? It's not exactly a Cheering Charm." He laughed and waited for Harry to smile. Or hit him, maybe. Sometimes hard to tell with Harry.

Harry laughed. "Fine, fine. Tell me more about Gladys. Details, please, no 'you know's or 'er's or anything. You clearly didn't make a mess of things."

So Ron talked about how they started kissing and the waxy taste of Gladys's lip-gloss. And her soft hands and the way she'd gripped Ron's neck while she opened his robe and reached into his trousers. Ron left out how worried he'd been since he'd never done anything like that before and how he'd thought for a split second it was all some joke put on by Fred and George or maybe Malfoy.

He was exaggerating a bit, mostly about things he'd done, but it all sounded much more thrilling that way. And it had been like the most amazing rush, like winning the Quidditch World Cup.

He was talking about the moment when Gladys sunk to her knees and then suddenly Harry shifted a little, even closer to Ron. Then Harry was kissing him.

Ron moved a little back, a smidge. He said, "Harry?"

Harry blinked. He had moved a lot closer when Ron was talking, Ron realized, their thighs were touching. Harry felt so heated, even through their pajamas. Harry said, "I thought." And then, "Right? This won't be a mess."

Ron bit his lip and thought about it. "Right," he said and shifted closer. He reached out and held Harry's jaw for a moment before they kissed again. He'd never really thought about kissing Harry, not much anyway. He should have.

Harry rolled over on top of him, heavier than Ron would have thought if he'd thought about it more than once. Strong, too, which Ron had known, Harry pushing down on Ron's shoulder and hip. Then they were lined up and Harry pressed down and it was wonderful. Maybe more wonderful than the World Cup.

Harry gasped and sat back, his eyes wide. He didn't say anything so Ron didn't know what to say. Then Harry took off his glasses and his top. So Ron didn't say anything, either. They were going to do it, then.

It was thrilling and wonderful again and then awkward. Amazing, mind-blowing thing it was to be naked with someone else, with Harry, and the kissing was definitely better than Gladys Galen. But neither of them had any real idea what they were doing besides the sorts of stories they'd heard from the twins, maybe, or other people's chats listened in on.

It was like a conversation in a way, with hands and mouth and fingers and everything else. Harry asked permission in his own way and Ron said of course in his own. And it was a longer conversation than Ron might have thought. When it was over, Harry was panting against Ron's neck and Ron thought the sum of all of it was more thrill than ache which seemed better than Fred had said about his first time.

Harry rolled over onto his back and said, "Alright?"

"Of course," Ron said, not even thinking about the answer.

Harry put his pajamas back on, smiling every few seconds and then looking blank, like he was happy and kept forgetting why and being reminded. He sat on the edge of the bed. He smiled again and said, "So now we're free to die, not virgins."

Ron felt chilled and sore suddenly. "Well." He couldn't think of what more to say but he spoke anyway. "No, we're not. We're not."

Harry shook his head. "I didn't mean it like that." The smile was wiped off his face like a flick of a wand. He said, "I didn't."

"I know." Ron leaned over and rubbed Harry's shoulder. He thought maybe he could have kissed him, his cheek, but it was still Harry. So he rolled back over and reached for his pajamas. He was still cold everywhere.

Harry almost smiled. "That was good. Good. Right?"

"Absolutely," Ron said. "Absolutely." He thought for a minute and said, "You could --"

Harry shook his head and stood up. "No," he mumbled. He looked over his shoulder as he parted the curtains, another quick if ragged smile and then the curtains fell.

Ron stretched and then pulled the covers over him, up to his neck. He'd tried, he thought. He was pretty sure he hadn't made a mess of things. Maybe he'd try again. Maybe he could try something else.

The end.

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