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The Thing You'll Miss The Most
More than friends, closer than brothers....
shadowfiction
shadowfiction
32. PRESUMPTION (PG-13) BY IAMSHADOW
Title: Presumption
Author: iamshadow
Ship: Ron/Harry
Word Count: 1,603
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Angst. Hurt Feelings. Lumpy mashed potato. Fighting. A little bit of dirty talk.
Summary: Too many people act or speak based on faulty or biased assumptions.
A/N: Two POVs in this one - first Ron, then Harry. I hope that's clear enough.


The Teapot 'verse Series
Chapter List HERE

Future Fics HERE

Teapot Cookie Fics HERE



With a new scandal to sink their teeth into, people seem to quickly lose interest in the fact that Harry and I are flagrantly queer for each other. In the space of less than a week, the flow of Howlers and vitriolic letters slow to a trickle. Harry takes The Trap back to work, along with a tin of Mum’s shortbread. (The presence of the latter makes Harry the most popular man in the Auror Department for the short space of time it takes the team of hardened professionals to demolish the treat like hungry schoolchildren.)

And of course, first George, then me, are back to working at Wheezes fulltime.

It is almost like nothing has happened. Business is good, and if we have the occasional rude customer, well, that’s just one of the joys of working in customer service. But every so often, something happens that is so jarring that it is impossible to ignore the fact that the world at large knows that I fancy blokes.

Well, one particular bloke, anyway.

Like the day I step out of the Floo to find George Scourgifying the shop front to remove a word I could decipher even with half the letters missing.

“Should have spelled this window to repel graffiti months ago,” George says casually, giving his wand one last little flick. “It used to be, I’m sure. The charms must have worn off.”

Or when parents hastily shepherd their children away when I approach them in Wheezes. That hurts. It doesn’t happen that often, really, but the first time it does, and I realise why she’d dragged the boy out the door so quickly, I hide in the back room for a good ten minutes trying not to bawl my eyes out.

Walking back out into the shop after that is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. It must show on my face, because George doesn’t even harangue me for the time he’d had to work alone, as is our custom when one of us disappears for more than a few moments.

“All right, there, Ron?” he asks, almost gently.

“Fine,” I reply, attempting to sound relaxed.

“This order’s just come in, and it really needs processing before the end of the day,” he says, flapping his hand in the direction of a stack of crates near the door. “I’ll keep an eye on things out here, if you go through it.”

He is giving me an escape route and I am more grateful than I can possibly say, but before I can thank him he shoos me away, the crates levitating themselves after me.

I calm down before the first box is even sorted. I still feel horrible, but the mind-numbingly boring monotony of checking an inventory that’s in some weird hodgepodge of English and some Slavic language is soothing in a strange, indefinable way.

*******************


Friday night swings around again. The year is getting closer to half over every day, and Ginny will be coming home in two days, before taking off again a week later to travel round Ireland with Seamus.

“Finding a cheap room somewhere in Dublin to shag like bunnies, more like,” Ron sniggers.

Everyone at the Burrow seems to be eating as though it’s their last meal. The table isn’t as full as it could have been, since Bill and Fleur are absent, but it’s still pleasantly crowded. Fleur is now so big that she doesn’t walk, she waddles, and Flooing is too dangerous. Molly has just announced that she is leaving tomorrow to stay at Shell Cottage until after the baby is born, since Apolline Delacour is delayed in France, tending a sick relative.

“You’ll be fine,” Molly says, beaming at the assortment of glum faces. “Ron and George did beautifully when I was running the shop.”

“Great,” Ron says mournfully. “Another two solid weeks of burnt bangers and lumpy mash.”

I pat his arm consolingly. “I’m on early rotation at work for the next month,” I reassure him. “I’ll cook.”

He gives me a pathetic, puppy-like look of eternal gratitude.

I’m cleaning up afterwards when Percy pulls Ron aside. Over the clatter of dirty dishes I catch the phrase “help you with your public relations problem”. I know it’s rude to eavesdrop, but I can’t help myself. They’re not speaking in hushed voices, and I’m not exactly lurking outside a closed door. I’m in the same room, only a handful of feet away.

Percy is looking self-satisfied and smug. Admittedly, that’s common for Percy, but this is his ‘I’ve got a fantastic solution’ variety of smugness. “- function at the Ministry in a weeks’ time,” he continues. “- couple of nice witches in my office...already asked them...more than happy to –”

“No.” Ron’s voice is hard and angry, and it cuts Percy off mid sentence.

“Oh, don’t be obstinate, Ronald,” Percy replies impatiently. “They don’t expect anything. It’d just be for appearances’ sake. You understand, surely.”

“You’re bloody right I do,” Ron snaps. “You want me back in the closet.”

“What? Closet? I don’t-” Percy begins, baffled by the Muggle expression.

“You want me to pretend I’m not with Harry. You want people to think that I’m straight,” Ron says with distaste.

“Don’t you?” Percy responds, clearly stunned that anyone would consider the alternative. “Now that that Skeeter woman has been discredited, a few public appearances here and there by yourself and Harry in the company of some eligible witches your own age and this whole thing could blow over.”

Ron is turning a deep shade of crimson and there is an atmosphere of tension in the room like the pressure of a rising storm. “What if I don’t want it to blow over?” Ron’s voice is quiet, but menacing. “What if I don’t care that people know we’re together?”

Percy has obviously missed the dangerous tone, because he gives a little derisive laugh. “This isn’t all about you, Ronald. Think about Harry. He has a real chance at a good career, and it’d be pretty selfish of you to spoil that for him just because you don’t want to be...discreet about it.”

“Oh, I’m sure this is all about someone’s career!” Ron sneered, moving to stand very close to Percy. “What’s wrong? Does the Ministry not give promotions to the brothers of faggots?

“Ron-” I say, moving towards the pair, but neither of them even spares me a glance.

Percy winces and reddens at Ron’s blunt aggression, but he seems frustrated now, too. “I am trying to help you! This has nothing to do with my-”

Ron brushes aside Percy’s protest. “Everything has to do with what you think is important! Career first, family second-”

Percy looks annoyed, even a touch hurt. “I have only ever tried to do what’s best for this family-”

“Siding with Death Eaters and trolls like Umbridge?” Ron retorts, his voice dripping with sarcasm. “You’d rather I was married to some stupid Pureblooded bint and miserable than be with a man and the happiest I’ve ever been because it’d make you look better!” Ron’s voice is raised, and he is trembling with fury.

“That is not true!” Percy protests hotly, but a telltale expression of guilt flashes briefly across his features.

“A huge embarrassment, that’s all I’ve ever been to you!” Ron shouts.

“Ron, love-” I put my hand on his shoulder, but he shrugs it off.

“Boys?” echoes Arthur’s voice from the sitting room. I can hear the sound of rapidly approaching footsteps.

“I’ll tell you what, Percy,” Ron says, now so close their noses are almost touching and his breath is creating little patches of fog on Percy’s glasses, “you take your fabulous idea and shove it up your arse! You never know, you might just find out you like having something up there.”

“What’s going on here?” Arthur asks sharply. He, Molly and George are clustered in the doorway.

“Nothing,” Ron mutters, shouldering roughly past Percy and out of the room. I follow in his wake, avoiding the faces of the worried Molly and Arthur and the avidly curious George. As I start to climb the stairs, I hear the sharp crack of Percy Disapparating.

I walk slowly into our darkened bedroom and sit down beside Ron on the edge of his bed, my leg pressing against his, my arm slipping around his waist.

“Was he right?” Ron’s voice is small; his anger has given way to his self-doubt. “Is being with me going to stop you being an Auror?”

“No,” I say firmly. “Who you’re fucking doesn’t matter. All they really care about is that you fire your spells in the right direction and take orders. How else do you think I got in?”

It’s not much of a joke, but it’s enough to make him crack a smile. “You might still be in trouble then, mate. You’re not too good at taking orders.”

I feign hurt. “I am very good at taking orders.”

Ron just looks at me, his eyes mocking, an amused twist to his mouth.

“I am!” I insist.

He snorts disbelievingly.

“I seem to remember you thought I was very good at it last night,” I say with a pout, hoping secretly that I look alluring and not petulant, letting my fingers slide lightly up his thigh. “You were all ‘right there, Harry!’ and ‘faster, yes!’ and ‘don’t stop, please!’.”

Ron licks his lips. “Harry?” he says a little roughly.

“Yes, Ron?”

“Shut up.”

I do.

Then Ron leans in close to brush his lips against mine, and pretty soon we’re doing something far more interesting than talking.


<- 31. Persecution c@r 33. Enlightenment ->

Tags: , ,
Current Mood: okay okay

25 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
oncelikeshari From: oncelikeshari Date: December 20th, 2007 12:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
*puts crocodile clips on Percy's nipples*
shadowfiction From: shadowfiction Date: December 20th, 2007 12:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
You never know, he might like that...

I like the idea of Percy as a kinky sod, somewhere deep down.

*thinks of shoc's Harry/Percy fic with the pink g-string*
earth_dragon From: earth_dragon Date: December 20th, 2007 12:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
omg, do i ever know about people like percy. that's my own brother through and through. i've never hidden the fact that i'm bi and wiccan, and i've seen my brother and his wife say and do things to try to keep that hidden from people they know.

glad to see harry and ron are able to comfort each other.
shadowfiction From: shadowfiction Date: December 20th, 2007 12:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think everybody knows somebody like Percy. There's a lot of them out there in the world.
roelliej From: roelliej Date: December 20th, 2007 12:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Some people are so narrow minded. I know a few people, too, who avoid the gay/bi- subject. Sometimes it's frustrating that everyone expects you to be straight. Well, I'm as gay as it can be, and I'm bloody proud of it!! *sighs heavily* ;).

Love the story very much :D
shadowfiction From: shadowfiction Date: December 20th, 2007 01:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
I feel for both Ron AND Percy in this argument. Ron, for the obvious reasons, but Percy, because he's so confused. He honestly thought he was doing a good thing, and can't see where it all went wrong. He doesn't mind that his little brother loves a man, but he does have the rather old-fashioned view that it's not the sort of thing one flaunts in decent society. I think Percy sort of presumed that Ron would be a "bachelor" or get himself a token wife, and keep his homosexuality quiet, if not entirely secret. It never crossed his mind that Ron would want to be open about it, because if Percy were 'that way', he wouldn't be open about it.
suzanne78 From: suzanne78 Date: December 20th, 2007 01:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Is it really bad that I still actually *like* Percy, and I want him and Ron to make up and everything over a nice game of wizard chess and some hot chocolate? That said, the confrontation was a long-time coming, and I'm glad you addressed it.


That said, excellent chapter in the aftermath of Rita Skeeter. The moments in the Wheezes was heartbreaking, but I do agree with the idea that wizarding society would be all backwards wtih the idea of alternative lifestlyes...I mean, they won't even let Lupin teach, and Dumbledore remained int eh closet his entire life (well...that's what I'm fanwanking...)

shadowfiction From: shadowfiction Date: December 20th, 2007 01:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Is it really bad that I still actually *like* Percy, and I want him and Ron to make up and everything over a nice game of wizard chess and some hot chocolate? That said, the confrontation was a long-time coming, and I'm glad you addressed it.

No! It's not bad at all. See my above comment.

They *will* make up, but the Percys of the world tend to cause friction, so Ron and he will butt heads from time to time.

I had to address it somehow. Percy was always going to be the member of the family that had some issues with Ron and Harry. That being said, I wanted to make it a bit more subtle than just making him a raging homophobe.


That said, excellent chapter in the aftermath of Rita Skeeter. The moments in the Wheezes was heartbreaking, but I do agree with the idea that wizarding society would be all backwards wtih the idea of alternative lifestlyes...I mean, they won't even let Lupin teach, and Dumbledore remained int eh closet his entire life (well...that's what I'm fanwanking...)

I don't think I've really made my wizarding world that much different to real life. I've read a whole spectrum of approaches in fanfic to homosexuality in the wizarding community, from total acceptance right through to being gay being punishable by breaking a witch or wizard's wand and sending them to Azkaban. All of them can be plausible, because alternative sexuality just isn't touched on in canon. Even with the announcement that Dumbledore is gay, we still don't know if he was truly 'closeted' or just chose to forgo romantic attatchments in favour of magical and scholarly achievements after what happened with Gellert Grindlewald and his sister Ariana.
suzanne78 From: suzanne78 Date: December 20th, 2007 02:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, gosh, I'm definitely not saying that your approach isn't realistic. From the fanfiction I've read, I've gathered the same approaches at both ends of the spectrum. I'm actually writing a story where it does fall in between--archaic Anti-Wizarding Decency statutes that could be enforced, given the right situation (It's barely a plot point, for now, merely background...) I'm originally from a fairly conservative state, and I've heard of situations where the courts threw the books at two individuals even if they've been in a consensual alternative sexual relationship. Now, I'm living in one of the more liberal states in the US, and there's still the occassional hate-crime that rattles the news up here. It's always sort of like no-step/one-step forward and two-to-five steps back with progressive movements.

That's true about Dumbledore. Maybe, in my conception of the wizarding world, I think I've had things far more conservative in my head ;0)

Wow--hopefully that's coherent for a Thursday morning. H/R gets your brain working!
shadowfiction From: shadowfiction Date: December 20th, 2007 02:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, gosh, I'm definitely not saying that your approach isn't realistic.

I didn't think you meant that! I was just saying I sort of took the "middle" approach rather than going to either extreme.


That's true about Dumbledore. Maybe, in my conception of the wizarding world, I think I've had things far more conservative in my head ;0)

I sort of think of Dumbledore as somebody who got badly burned at a young age, and threw his passion into his learning and academics in lieu of a romantic tie. That being said, I don't think he was "out" (or suspected of being gay) in the wizarding world, because a) his sexuality wouldn't really have been dwelt upon by others as important, because he lived a very asexual life and b) if anyone had known for sure, Rita Skeeter would have been all over it like a rash.
hpuckle From: hpuckle Date: December 20th, 2007 01:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Or when parents hastily shepherd their children away when I approach them in Wheezes. That hurts. It doesn’t happen that often, really, but the first time it does, and I realise why she’d dragged the boy out the door so quickly, I hide in the back room for a good ten minutes trying not to bawl my eyes out.

People like that make me sick! I want to scratch their eyes out!

“You’d rather I was married to some stupid Pureblooded bint and miserable than be with a man and the happiest I’ve ever been
So very Ron, and so very sweet!

You have Percy down to a tee!

xxx

shadowfiction From: shadowfiction Date: December 20th, 2007 02:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
People like that make me sick! I want to scratch their eyes out!

Me too. So many people out there think gay man = paederast. I mean some of the wank in that vein that went on on TLC alone post Dumbledore-is-gay was disgusting.

Anyone who actually did the tiniest bit of research would know that the average paederast holds a job, is married, has kids of their own and identifies as heterosexual, whether they abuse boys, girls or both.


So very Ron, and so very sweet!

You have Percy down to a tee!


I'm glad you like what I did with Percy. I wanted him to be frustrating and so wrong, but in his own mixed up way trying to be a good big brother.

And Ron is wrong too, in this argument. He instantly jumps to the conclusion that Percy's motivations are completely self serving, and doesn't stop to consider that he might be judging Percy too hastily.
mrsquizzical From: mrsquizzical Date: December 20th, 2007 02:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
oh percy you great noong. *sigh*

a great update. i miss this story! they're such a lovely bunch of weasleys.
shadowfiction From: shadowfiction Date: December 20th, 2007 02:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
*whaps both Percy AND Ron*

You're up late, love. Can't sleep?
mrsquizzical From: mrsquizzical Date: December 20th, 2007 02:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
about to go try again. thought i'd check the flist quickly before i go. so this was a nice treat. :~)
ms_worplesdon From: ms_worplesdon Date: December 20th, 2007 05:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love Ron getting all aggressive and defendy thingy! Roar! Harry cooking just makes me melt. And I know I've offered before, but something about the way Percy is behaving makes me not want to give him the spanking he so richly deserves.

But someone has to do it...
shadowfiction From: shadowfiction Date: December 21st, 2007 04:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Ron getting all aggressive and defendy thingy is hot! I think it's more hurt and angry in this case though. He sees this as Percy completely reverting to form, and feels like he's been lied to when Percy was 'previously' supportive (see Verisimilitude).

Of course, Percy is shocked and upset because he's trying to help, and can't see why what he's offered is extremely offensive and hurtful to Ron, because of his own views (see my comment further up about Percy's 'old-fashioned' attitude to sexuality).

While he might have privately thought that it would be 'easier' if Ron ignored his unconventional sexuality and kept it hidden (hence the guilty look) he certainly isn't so cold as to expect Ron to feign heterosexuality for the good of his own career, but of course Ron immediately thought this was what Percy wanted.

*sighs and pats her boys*

Is it wrong of me that I feel more sorry for Percy than I do for Ron? He's trying so hard to be a good big brother and failing catastrophically.
redsnake05 From: redsnake05 Date: December 20th, 2007 07:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Such a Percy reaction. I imagine Ron must be feeling the younger, less resigned-to-it version of how I feel when my birthday card from my gran contains an exortation of one type or another to discard my evil athiest ways and embrace Jesus. It used to infuriate me, but now I am completely resigned and understand that she's doing it with the best of intentions, no matter how misguided. Stil irks me - and I can see that same sort of intention (slightly less altruistic) here. It made my skin crawl, I tell you, because I know she'll start on Squeak as soon as she thinks she's big enough. That will really get me riled up.
shadowfiction From: shadowfiction Date: December 21st, 2007 04:41 am (UTC) (Link)
My mum used to ride me really hard about my abandoning the church and getting together with Emma. It was really stressful for a couple of years.

Fortunately, she remarried and that mellowed her out a lot, and now she just pretends to herself that we're just 'good friends'. Amazing what sex will do to relax high-strung people and make them more tolerable.

I hope Squeak can handle herself when the time comes. Friction to do with religion and sexuality is terrible in families.
shocolate From: shocolate Date: December 20th, 2007 07:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
ooooh - all TERRIBLY protective and sad and *thwaps Percy* and yes, Harry, you were definitely alluring and not petulant...
shadowfiction From: shadowfiction Date: December 21st, 2007 04:42 am (UTC) (Link)
I always feel terribly self-conscious when I make an effort to be 'sexy' and I thought that with how awkward canon!Harry is with sex, he'd feel just as silly as I do!
aniwde From: aniwde Date: December 24th, 2007 01:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
I really like the way you show that, even though Skeeter has been discredited, that doesn't mean the bigots have gone away.

Everyone eating like it's their last meal because Molly won't be there to cook for them made me giggle. And Harry offering to cook for Ron was so sweet - he knows the way to keep him happy ;)

As for Percy... I want to feel annoyed with him, but I can see where he's coming from, you know? Granted, he's acting partly out of self-interest, but he really does think he's helping his brother. From his viewpoint, all the 'unpleasantness' could be avoided if Ron and Harry simply 'played straight' - letting everyone believe that Skeeter had made the whole thing up. He just doesn't understand that some things are more important than fitting in and keeping up appearances. Hopefully he'll learn ;)

Anyway - it's very late and I have to get to bed so I can be up early to cook vast quantities of food - lol! Have a wonderful Christmas, both of you.

Love and hugs

Matty :)
shadowfiction From: shadowfiction Date: December 26th, 2007 06:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Bigots, like death and taxes, are inevitable.

And the way to a Weasley's heart is through his stomach!

I'm glad you get what I was aiming for with the Percy thing. I did wonder if everyone was just going to be frothing about him, and I was going to be the only one actually feeling sorry for him.

Merry Christmas!
plotbunniofdoom From: plotbunniofdoom Date: May 28th, 2008 02:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh Percy, you wally.

*sigh*
shadowfiction From: shadowfiction Date: May 28th, 2008 09:31 am (UTC) (Link)
He is, a bit. But he's their wally. Every family has at least one.
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