Title: It Happened in the Pantry
Word Count: 1062
Summary: Cliche!fic. Hermione is at her wits' end, Ron is reluctant, and Harry, as always, is in denial.
Notes: This here is what happens to my drabbles in the absence of word limits. :D
"Ron?" Harry knocked lightly, and then, hearing no answer, cracked open the door to the pantry.
"Hey, mate." Ron stared back at him, looking distinctly uncomfortable. Harry pushed the door open a bit farther and revealed Hermione standing against the opposite wall with her arms crossed. She rolled her eyes at Harry, avoiding looking toward Ron. No one said anything for a moment, and then Harry cleared his throat.
"Er, never mind, then." He silently closed the door and backed away.
"You didn't find him?" Ginny asked Harry when he rejoined her on the couch.
"Nope. No idea where he is."
"Good." Ginny made a tsk'ing sound. "I saw him sneak off with Hermione a few minutes ago. Goodness knows they wouldn't want to be interrupted."
Harry didn't know why the incident refused to leave his mind. What Ron and Hermione did alone in pantries certainly wasn't any of Harry's business. He couldn't forget it though. Why had they snuck off together, only to do... nothing? Could that mean that Ron was...?
He should have known that entertaining such thoughts could lead to nowhere good.
It happened during their weekly dish washing session—with only two of them sharing the flat, it really wasn't worth it to wash the dishes after each meal, or even daily—and there was a lag in conversation, and Harry just sort of blurted it out.
"So what's going on with you and Hermione?"
"What d'you mean? Nothing's going on," Ron grunted.
"Yeah, it is. Or, I mean, that's just the thing—nothing's going on."
Ron suddenly deflated. "She says—she says that..."
Harry intervened in the nick of time to stop the stack of plates Ron had been directing into the cupboard from flying into the fridge.
"Go on," he prodded, once the demise of the dishes had been averted.
"She says that she won't let up until, that is..." Ron stared at the spot where his heel was scuffing the tile.
"She's not breaking up with me until I can make myself admit it, because goodness knows I'd never do it if left to my own devices," Ron mumbled.
"I see," Harry said, even though he didn't.
"Yeah, so that's pretty much it." Ron ceased his examination of his shoe. "Pass the dish detergent?"
Harry levitated the bottle over, who changed the subject, leaving Harry deathly curious what it was but entirely unable to find out.
By the next time Harry went over to the Weasleys' for dinner, he was a nervous wreck, and entirely unable to stop thinking about it. Of course, nearly all the things he had come up with were complete crack, but he couldn't help it if he had an overactive imagination, or if a certain amount of wishful thinking crept in when he wasn't looking.
Thanks to his imagination, he hadn't been able to even look at Ron for the past two days. He didn't think Ron had noticed, but Hermione was here now, and she was bound to notice.
Luckily, Ginny had brought Seamus this time, so she was too distracted to prevent Harry from following Ron and Hermione when they inevitably disappeared. It was just to see, he told himself. Who knew, maybe it had all been in his imagination, and he'd catch them snogging, and it would be disgusting and he could finally forget about it.
No such luck. When he opened the door this time, they weren't staring at the walls; instead, Hermione was berating Ron in a soft but steely voice. She glanced at Harry when the crack of light from the door hit her and threw up her hands.
"You know what? I've had enough. This is absurd." Without warning, she grabbed Harry by the front of his shirt and pulled him into the pantry.
"Not one word," Hermione hissed. "I don't want to hear it. What I am going to do—" and here she jammed Harry against Ron, edging past them and out the door "—is lock this door, and not open it until the two of you have sorted this out properly." And with an exasperated huff, she slammed the door, plunging the pantry into darkness.
"So," Harry said, once it was clear Hermione was really making good on her threat. "You want to, er, explain exactly what's going on here?"
Ron made a noncommittal sound.
"Or we could just stay locked in the pantry all night, if you prefer," Harry offered.
"Look," said Ron.
"It's like this," Ron started again, at last.
Bloody it again. Harry hummed encouragingly, but it came out more like a whine.
Ron shifted, making Harry suddenly realize that perhaps he shouldn't have stayed where Hermione shoved him, but then a pair of large hands settled tentatively on Harry's stomach. Ron didn't say anything, just left his hands there, getting heavier.
Harry was hyper-aware of everything: the way the heat from Ron's palms seemed to burn through Harry's thin t-shirt, the way Ron's fingertips were somehow touching bare skin where the hem of the shirt was riding up, the way—oh, fuck—the way they were creeping downward at a glacial pace, seeking out more skin.
"You were saying?" Harry prompted after several minutes of nothing more happening. Not that he was unhappy like this. Harry felt he could withstand Ron...well, holding him like this, for long periods of time in fact. Except he had been about to say what it was, and Harry needed to know.
"Damn it, I don't know where to start!" Ron exclaimed.
"Start anywhere," Harry prompted. Ron's hands had drifted lower, and he was now cradling Harry's hips, his thumbs tracing circles on Harry's hipbones where they protruded above his waistband.
"HermionethinksIfancyyou," Ron blurted out.
"Do you?" Harry asked, holding his breath.
Something about the darkness, and the way Ron was touching him, made Harry bold. "It's a yes or no question."
"Yeah," Ron said, his heart thumping hard against Harry's back.
Harry laced his fingers with Ron's and brought them back to his stomach, right up under the fabric of his shirt, and pulled Ron's arms around him in an embrace. He laid his head back against Ron's shoulder and felt lips ghost across his neck.
"I think I fancy you too," he whispered.