A/N: So, I started writing this fic a few days before Ron's birthday this year, then abandoned it. Today, I am dedicating it to remedial-potions, azaleablueme and jenn582, who all celebrated their birthdays these last two weeks; to idearlylovealaugh, who is just a month overdue for a half-birthday gift; to aloemilk, for driving me crazy posting what I'm sure is absolutely glorious smut for a story I haven't caught up with yet, BUT I WILL; to wildegreenlight, for the dirty talk; to theperksofshippingromione, for "over and over"; and to callieskye, for the Ron swearing and the fact that I can explicitly send sex details to you without my cheeks burning :-D

I must also dedicate the knee socks to napchic :)

And here's your warning - SMUT AHEAD.


This was fucking stupid. Beyond bloody frustrating. He could see the damn castle if he squinted.

He'd been on his first real assignment as a (mostly) qualified Auror for two weeks, without Harry, which had made him miss the last Hogsmeade weekend with Hermione. And even though he knew it was useless, he was almost tempted to stomp over and pester the lead Auror in the inn next door (for the third time) about how idiotic it was to be this close to Hogwarts and not be able to see his bloody girlfriend. Irony was, he might have booked the exact room he was currently pacing across, had he been free to come here mid-February, only he wouldn't have been so alone…

After joining the Aurors in August, he had quickly realised that his relationship was impossible to properly explain to other people. Not that it would have made much of a difference in this case. But he doubted whether anyone else on his team could say they'd known their girlfriend or boyfriend since they were eleven and now consistently had trouble even sleeping alone, even after nearly six months of struggling to do it.

He just wanted to see her, face to face. The last time had been Christmas hols, and he couldn't go on like this. He'd even asked about using the floo - just for a call, not even to go through - but of course his request had been immediately denied. Not only was the floo supposed to be reserved at present for emergencies, but their whereabouts were also meant to be kept secret, and it was possibly a spark of unfortunate genius that his superiors hadn't previously mentioned to him that they'd be landing in Hogsmeade today… or else he might have found a way to tell her in advance, sod the rules.

It shouldn't have made too much of a difference, and he tried to convince himself of this, because, since passing his Apparition test, practically any location where they might end up was mere seconds from anywhere else. But it just felt different, looking out at the dreary night sky, gazing at the lights from so many Hogwarts lanterns, glowing on the horizon.

He should have been trying to sleep, but he contented himself with a bit more torture first, pulling up an old wooden chair to the window and continuing to pout in the vague direction of Hermione…

Sometime later, the downpour began all at once, pounding against the window and roof, and his vision was obscured by sheets of rain, illuminated abruptly by a flash of white lightning. Thunder rumbled in the distance, and he stretched, finally leaving his vigil but still allowing his mind to wander through a ludicrous list of strategies to see her in the morning.

The rain was so loud that he didn't hear it at first. But the rapid knocking at his door eventually faded in, cutting through the roaring of the storm outside.

He clutched his wand and cautiously approached. Short of an emergency, who would call this late at night?

"Who's there?"

"Let me in before someone sees!" Hermione's perfect voice hissed back at him.

There were so many things wrong with his instinctive response, but he laughed and flung open the door without another word anyway, grinning in awe at the sight before him.

She was positively soaked, head to toe. Her hair was plastered to her neck and cheeks, eyelashes sticking together, and her jumper sleeves were dripping on the rug.

He gave her just enough space to come inside, and then he scooped her up in his arms as the door swung shut behind them.

"How the hell did you know I was here?" he muttered happily into her drenched curls.

"Harry t-told me," she shivered, hands moving up the back of his shirt as she gripped him just as tightly in return.

"What?" He moved his face far enough back to look quizzically down into her eyes.

"He sent me an owl, yesterday. He looked at the f-file for your team, saw you'd be here overnight, so he wanted me to know."

"Oh my God, I love him."

They grinned at each other for a moment, surrounded by the continuing sounds of the ever increasing storm outside.

"I'm g-getting you all wet," she sniffed, untangling her arms from his shirt and moving back a bit.

"I've never minded," he teased, corner of his mouth twitching in his efforts not to laugh. But she did it for him, a delightfully happy sound coming from her as she playfully shook her head.

"It wasn't raining when I l-left." She glanced around him at the small, dark room. "It's f-freezing in here. Why isn't your fire lit?"

"Dunno. Hadn't got around to it? I'll do it now."

But first… he bent down and softly kissed her, fully comprehending that she'd sneaked out of Hogwarts and trudged through a storm to see him in the middle of the night. When he pulled back, she seemed to have lost her breath, slowly opening her eyes.

"D'you want some dry clothes?" he asked. "Blimey, you really are soaked."

"Just help m-me take these off," she sniffed, indicating her dripping skirt and jumper, "and we can get under your b-blankets?" Her eyes darted to his still fully made bed, and he was characteristically on the point of making a dirty joke, but the words died as he looked down into her wide, beautiful eyes.

"Yeah," he said simply, instead, in quite a low, emotional voice. Her expression turned curious and perhaps a bit concerned, but he reassured her with a smile. Fuck, he loved her. He should've probably just said that out loud…

He took her hand and led her to stand in front of the fireplace, flicking his wand to light the charred logs inside. The room instantly glowed with warmth, and she sighed lightly, but her gaze darted to the window.

"I wasn't sure how I was going to figure out which room you were in without asking," she started, "and I know you aren't supposed to have me here anyway. Then… I saw you, through the window."

"Really?"

She nodded, arms crossed and shivering again.

"Reckon we should close the curtains." He flicked his wand toward them and they floated fully shut, hiding the room away.

When he turned back to face Hermione, she had slipped off her shoes and was working her dripping jumper and vest up her body. He moved to help her tug wet cotton and wool away from her goosefleshed skin and over her head, and he tried not to focus too long on the way her nipples were hardened with cold and poking through the thin material of her bra as he draped her clothes over the back of a chair.

She reached back to the zipper of her skirt, and he moved behind her to do it for her, silently sliding it down until the pleated material fell off her hips and dropped to her ankles. She stepped forward and turned around, her back toward the fire now, wet curls glowing a deep golden brown and flickering… wearing only her thin knee socks, knickers and bra. Having her there with him seemed all at once completely natural and also difficult to believe, considering how long it had been.

"S'not fair," he muttered in a gravelly voice, and her forehead creased with a silent question. "Sneaking around to see each other like we're bloody sixteen."

"We didn't do this when we were sixteen," she teased, as he stepped over her skirt to close the gap between them.

"Should've."

She smiled and wrapped her arms around his waist, resting her cheek on his chest, and his hands spread across her bare back, already warm from the fire.

"Let's get in bed now," she whispered, and he wordlessly agreed, letting go of her again to unbuckle his belt and roughly tug off his trousers as she unmade his bed and buried her small body in a mountain of blankets, up to her neck. He yanked his shirt over his head and tossed it to the floor as he climbed in to join her.

She moved immediately closer to him, as the blankets settled over him, and he smiled at her as she reached up to touch his stubbly jaw.

"Happy birthday," she said softly, smiling back.

"Huh?" he blinked, and her eyebrows shot up.

"Had you honestly forgotten?"

"Shit, must've done. Tomorrow?"

"Technically today. It's after midnight."

"Wow. Reckon I lost track of the days."

She lightly bit her bottom lip, clearly worried about something.

"What?" he asked, shifting his legs against hers.

"This is your first birthday in three years we haven't been fighting."

He opened his mouth to protest, but she was right. The previous year, she'd still been quite upset about him leaving them in the tent, and they hadn't established more than stony glances and awkwardly polite speaking terms. The year before that, he'd been unconscious in the Hogwarts infirmary, poisoned, still technically dating Lavender Brown.

"But if you have one really good birthday," he decided, "it cancels out the bad ones." He grinned as he tugged her closer against him, and she sighed, sliding a damp, sock-covered foot between his calves.

"That puts an awful lot of pressure on this one, doesn't it."

"Already my best birthday ever, so we're good."

"I've been here five minutes," she laughed.

"You're half-naked, in bed with me," he reminded her, arching a brow.

"If I'd known that's all it would take, we could have saved last year, at least," she teased, fighting a playful grin.

"Fuck, don't say that…"

"Sorry…" She didn't sound completely sorry, and he was glad. He wanted to stay in that half-drugged sort of state that seeing Hermione after a long absence always put him in.

"You really would have- nevermind," he smiled. It was pointless to relive mistakes, even in jest. He had her. They were alive. She loved him, as unbelievable as that often was. "Anyway, half-naked, in bed with me, and pissed off isn't quite as good."

"No," she sighed, grin fading, "it's not."

But there was something more than regret over their past in the way she was looking at him, something melancholy that he couldn't quite place, shining in her eyes. He felt a bit of uneasiness creep in as he looked at her, and he couldn't stop himself from asking.

"What's wrong? There's something else, isn't there."

"Why would there be?"

Her response was cleverly dismissive, but he knew. He'd grown accustomed to her moods over so many years, even the tiniest fluctuations in her expressions.

"Just tell me," he breathed, hoping his tone hadn't come across too frustrated.

"This is ridiculous. It's nothing…"

She worried her bottom lip again, and he pointedly raised his brows.

"Fine. I'm sorry," she sighed. "I shouldn't be thinking about this now. I just can't live in the moment, can I? Every time I see you, it's like a countdown starts til the moment I have to go again."

"Yeah…" he agreed hoarsely, partly relieved that her worry was actually the opposite of negative, in a way - she wanted to be with him to the extent that it hurt her to part with him again - but it hurt him, too, and three more months seemed like it could take a lifetime.

"No one understands," she continued quietly, and his hand skated up her side to tangle in her hair. "I suppose Ginny does, but it's not the same for her and Harry, is it. I'm still not used to being away from you. Especially not now that…" She trailed off and shook her head.

"What?"

"I'm just really happy we're together."

He smiled and lifted his hand from her hair to scratch his cheek.

"Y'know it's exactly the same for me, yeah?" he assured her, as he dropped his hand back to her bare side. "I've been whingeing all day about not being allowed over to Hogwarts. Still pissed about it, actually."

"You were trying to see me?"

"Obviously," he answered, wondering how she could possibly be even the tiniest bit surprised by this news.

"I just like to hear you say it," she admitted, snuggling closer.

In spite of their serious conversation, and though he'd also been trying to wait at least until she'd warmed up from the rain, the proximity of her nearly naked body to his was doing things to him.

"How long can you stay?"

"How long do you want me?"

He tried to think of a joke, because the honest answer would cover some ground they hadn't addressed quite yet… But he met himself in the middle, as she ducked her forehead to his nose.

"Stay all night?" he suggested, running his fingertips up her back, into her hair again. "Unless you're worried about getting caught going back-"

"Mm, I'm not," she sighed, lifting her head to stare at him, very close. "Well." Mischievous fear danced in her eyes, and he grinned at her. "Of course I am, but I'm staying, anyway."

"Brilliant."

"You know, you shouldn't have let me in without making sure I was really me," she pointed out, abruptly changing the subject.

He chuckled, recalling his own thoughts about it, even as he'd been excitedly ushering her inside.

"Yeah, I thought of that as soon as I did it. But I was just obsessing over how I was gonna see you, and then you were there… and you were sort of begging me…"

"I panicked that you might lose your job if the wrong person saw me…"

"Worth it."

"Don't say that," but she laughed, tugging his arm so he'd follow her as she rolled to her back.

His knee wedged between her legs as he dragged her hand up to his pillow, by the side of her head, flattening his palm over hers.

"Hermione?"

"Yes?"

He hadn't formulated the rest of what he would say, only that he wanted to make her aware of the fact that he wasn't going to be able to keep his hands in relatively innocent positions for more than a few seconds longer… But before he could answer, she'd lifted her face toward his, lips parted, noses bumping before he caught on and sank down on top of her, kissing her deeply as she moaned into his mouth. Her arms flew around his neck, holding him tight against her.

He was surrounded so completely by warmth and the sweet scent of her skin, her hair tickling his neck, her legs parting around his waist. The contrast to so many difficult days working cases was so severe that he irrationally thought he'd never leave this bed, and why would he spend one more second without her, whatever the consequences might be? But coherent thoughts, even irrational ones, flew to the back of his mind as quickly as they'd arrived, overcome by sensations and the breathy noises she was making against his mouth.

"What do you want?" she muttered.

"Hm?"

Her tongue touched his lips, and he shivered, kissing her deeply again, conversation ignored until he finally pulled back for a breath.

"It's your birthday," she sighed, opening her eyes to stare longingly up at him. "What do you want me to do?"

He was lost for words as he realised what she was asking him, and an infinite number of fantasies quickly flashed through his mind, a surprisingly large number of them having already been transferred to reality…

"God. I dunno…" was his weak answer, instead. She smiled, cheeks flushed brilliantly.

"Tell me when you think of something."

"Mm…" He pressed a sloppy kiss to her lips, then dragged it over her chin and down her throat, pausing at her collarbone. "Can I… take the rest of your clothes off?"

"Yes."

He moved happily down the centre of her chest, but an idea struck him, so he left her bra in place and grazed his teeth across her hardened nipples through thin cotton. Her body arched into him as she gasped, prompting him to do it again. He sucked harder the second time, leaving a wet spot behind.

Digging his knees into the mattress between her legs, his right hand steadied his weight as his left thumb brushed across her hipbone before he sat back to stare down at her.

"Fuckin' hell, you're gorgeous," he muttered raspily as their warm blankets slid off his shoulders, and he always loved the way his earnest words would tinge her chest and cheeks with a lovely flush.

She briefly shook her head in protest but he ignored it and reached for her right leg. She automatically bent it for better access as his large hand smoothed down her soft, cool flesh to the top of her knee sock. He shifted slightly on his knees and hooked the tips of his long fingers under the thin material, gently sliding it down, drawing her foot into his lap. Once freed from the ends of her toes, he tossed the sock lazily over the side of the bed and ducked, fringe momentarily obscuring his vision, to kiss the newly exposed skin of her calf. He scooted back a bit for a better angle and began a serious mission to touch every inch of her with his hands and his mouth, working his way over her knee with parted lips and moving tortuously slowly up the inside of her thigh as her hand wound into his hair.

His breathing grew ragged as he pressed her leg to the bed, nose brushing the wet spot at the centre of her blue knickers. He forced himself to sit back again, and her hand dropped limply out of his hair, eyes fluttering shut for a second before finding his. He picked up her left leg this time and repeated his actions without speaking.

"It's not my birthday, you know," she said in an airy sort of voice, fists briefly clenching in the sheets beneath her as his open mouth worked its way up her thigh. He grinned against her now-warm flesh and continued his path, arriving at her knickers again and deciding that he might as well continue to work his way up with her clothes.

He tried attaching his teeth to the waistband, but even his desire to be thorough couldn't outshine his impatience, and he gave up just as she lifted her hips for him to tug the small article off her arse and down. He climbed over her left leg to finish the job, but she grasped his hand before he'd freed her knickers from her feet, letting her kick them off to escape under their blankets as he breathed shakily through his nose.

It was incomprehensible that he could do this, even after nearly ten months with her, and not only because the majority of their time had been unfortunately spent apart. It was just too good to be true, like the way she looked at him now, how he knew she loved him, even in self-doubt.

His eyes scanned hungrily up her body, the perfectly formed parts of her no one else got to see. When he paused at her chest, she shifted on her back, and he leaned forward to gently flip her over, onto her stomach, reaching for the clasp of her bra and unhooking it easily. She turned her face against his pillow in an attempt to look at him as he settled between her legs again. He ducked to meet her eyes, nose brushing her cheek.

"What do you want now?" she whispered.

"You know what I want," he slurred, bravely running a trembling hand down her back, over her arse, and between her legs.

They moaned in unison as his finger slid slowly inside her, his rumbling growl mingling with her breathy cry, slightly muffled by his pillow.

"That's all?" she asked cheekily, and her voice caused him to almost unconsciously pressed his erection to the back of her thigh through his boxers.

Without verbally answering, he withdrew his hand and sat up on his knees between her legs, adoring the shaky sounds of her anticipating breaths as he roughly shoved his boxers off his hips and down his legs, shuffling them to his feet as he lowered his body over hers and covered her naked back with his chest. He shoved her hair aside so he could plant an open-mouthed kiss to her neck.

"Ron," she moaned, shifting her arse under him.

"Fuuuck," he breathed hotly against her skin. "Do you want me to-"

"Please."

"This is gonna sound mental, but I don't care. Can we just… go slow?"

"You have me all night," she said, voice cracking.

His teeth briefly attached to her neck as he reached down and positioned himself, grasping her hip as she widened her legs. He sank into her, her soaked warmth enveloped him, and he groaned deeply, vibrating against her back.

He steadied himself with a flexing forearm pressed to the pillow in front of her face, feeling her warm breath on his skin. He seemed to melt into her, as if they could actually become one person, encouraged and floored by the gorgeous sounds she made. She reached up to grip his arm as he moved inside her.

"Still… can't believe," he panted, burying his face in her hair, "how fucking amazing you feel."

"Give me your hand," she cried breathlessly, and he didn't quite know what she wanted, but he slipped his arm closer to her, across the pillow. She tilted her head up… and pressed her open mouth to the side of his index finger. He reacted without thinking, curving the tip of his finger between her lips.

Still encased inside her, he briefly stopped moving, lips parted and staring in awe at the side of her face, half obstructed by her wild hair. She kissed him, then slipped his finger halfway into her mouth and sucked gently.

"Fuck. Ermynee. Wanna see you."

She nodded and moaned, with his finger still in her mouth. He was just able to slide out of her and move back, and only because he knew it was for a brief second, after which everything would be even better. She flipped over to her back, all disheveled and flushed and bloody beautiful, but he'd forgotten her bra was still looped through her arms. She helped him pull it quickly off her, tossing it over the side of the bed, and she arched to close the gap between their chests.

He snogged her with the desire of someone who finally had what they wanted more than anything else in the world and had promised not to take it for granted for even a second. She was positioned perfectly underneath him, her body molding to his like a puzzle piece.

"Wish there was a bigger word…" he groaned, somewhat incoherently, skating his jaw over her cheek. If there was, he could say it to her right then, over and over.

"For what?" she gasped as he entered her again, her legs wrapping around his waist.

"Love," he muttered against her ear. "S'not enough."

"I know," she whispered, sending chills down his spine. "It isn't."

He blissfully closed his eyes and kept moving slowly, focused on everywhere they were touching from her hands on his back to the tight, perfect warmth between her legs.

"Wanna make you come while I'm inside you," he muttered huskily to her neck.

"Oh my God," she cried, and he lifted his head to meet her eyes. "I love the way you say dirty things like that to me."

"Really?"

She nodded quickly, cheeks reddening a brilliant, deeper shade.

"This worked before, yeah?" he choked out, shifting his body up and back down hers to improve their friction.

"Oh, God. Yes… keep… keep doing that."

"Faster?"

She tilted her head back into the pillow and nodded once.

"Kiss me," she requested in a tiny, mousy voice, and he responded to both requests at once, quickening his pace and covering her mouth with his, tongues moving together and teeth lightly scraping.

He realised almost too late that he was done for, but as she tightened noticeably around him, he gave up, immense pleasure filling him from head to toe as she gasped his name against his swollen lips. Her nails sunk into his shoulders as he came inside her.

For several languid seconds they breathed erratically at each other, glassy eyes locked inches apart.

"Love you," he finally said, fully drained of energy, and until he found another word, love would have to express it. Her arms slipped down like jelly from his shoulders, falling limp to the bed as he attempted a deep breath and rolled off of her.

"Love you," she responded in a strained whisper, chest heaving and lips curling up into a gorgeous smile.

"C'mere," he grinned back, overwhelmed and exhausted, nerves buzzing with sensitivity.

She moved over between his arm and his chest, and he hugged her so tight to his body, successfully breathing in deep this time.

"I've missed you so much," she mumbled to his collarbone. "Feels so good to be with you."

"Bloody hell, I know. Woulda done something rash like break into Hogwarts if I had to wait two more weeks to see you."

"Three months," she sighed. "Three months and I'm never spending another night without you, even if I have to follow you on Auror missions and hide in your rucksack…"

He laughed happily and buried his nose in her hair.

"This should be our room," she suggested. "Next Hogsmeade weekend, you could come here early, and I'll meet you…"

"Brilliant," he breathed heavily, so content just then.

He could so clearly see his future, his life with her. He'd been able to picture it before but only in dim, far off fantasies. Now, it was real. Now, he knew she wanted to be with him as much as he wanted her.

She snuggled tighter up to him as he ran a hand down her spine.

"Still cold?" he asked.

"No," she laughed. "Just trying to think of that word you wanted."

"It's rubbish. Doesn't exist. You'll just have to show me," he teased, but she seemed to take his suggestion as a real challenge, pushing up from his chest to stare down at him.

"I need more time," she said. "Might even take years."

He felt like his heart could burst as he stared at her, gaze darting from her mouth to her eyes, shimmering golden in the fire light.

"Hope so," he said sincerely, waiting with lightly held breath until she softly kissed him.