Grey Girl (quite_grey) wrote in lameos_maximus,
Grey Girl

Lameos gift for shocolate

Title: All Bets Are Off
Author: quite_grey
Rating: R
Pairing(s)/Character(s): Harry/Ron
Length: One-shot (5148 words)
Warnings: None that I can think of.
Summary: Written for shocolate's bunny: Fred, George and Ginny have a bet on who can get Harry and Ron to admit they are more than friends....
Notes: I'm soooo sorry this is so very late. A plethora of utter crap got in the way of this fic getting posted in a more timely manner, but I won't bore you all with the details. I just hope it's a little bit worth the wait (though it is tragically not as porny as I was hoping for). Thanks to my beta Rayvynwood, who stepped up to the plate when I was desperate, to sdkshelly for she knows what, and to xilaria for all her encouragement.
Website: Grey's Fic Index
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

All Bets Are Off

"Ron, why were Harry's boxers tangled up in your sheets this morning?" Ginny asked sweetly across the kitchen table.

Ron spit out the mouthful of eggs he'd been chewing, spattering yolk and crispy egg whites in Ginny's face.

"Dammit!" she exclaimed, wiping her face on a napkin as the twins roared with laughter at the other end of the table.

"Shut it, you two!" she snapped, and threw her dirty napkin at Ron. "You're such a pig!"

"What the bloody hell are you doing, going through my bedroom?" Ron demanded indignantly, though his voice was decidedly higher than normal and his ears had gone flaming red.

"Mum asked me to get your laundry." Ginny smirked. "Trust me, I didn't want to go near your sheets, but I saw a pair of underwear sticking out of the side, and they were Harry's."

"How do you know what Harry's underwear look like?" Fred asked, still laughing.

Ginny shot him a glare. "I've been helping Mum with laundry all summer, I know what everyone's underwear look like--including yours, Fred Weasley. You might want to consider improving your personal hygiene habits."

George snickered as Fred replied with a grin, "You better get used to it if you ever want to make a decent wife, little sis."

Ginny snorted. "I have no intention of marrying anyone as disgusting as any of you boys--no offense, Harry."

"None taken," Harry squeaked, his cheeks pink as he added, "And I switched beds with Ron last night; I was tired of sleeping next to the wall."

"Yeah," Ron chimed in quickly, glaring at Ginny.

"Well, I guess that explains it." Ginny gave Ron and Harry a considering look across the table, and Harry dropped his silverware to his plate with a clatter.

"Ready to go flying?" he asked Ron a tad loudly, giving him a manly chuck on the shoulder.

"Sure thing." Ron stood quickly and Harry promptly followed suit.

"See you later," Harry offered to the remaining Weasleys before he and Ron rushed out the door.

"Bye, boys!" Fred and George called after them in unison, and Ginny burst out laughing.

"Who do those two think they're fooling?" she asked, shaking her head as she took a bite of her own eggs.

"Poor boys; delusional, they are," George replied, grinning crookedly.

"By the way, Gin, that was real subtle, there," Fred said, smirking as he reached for another slice of toast.

Ginny gave him a lofty look. "I intend to win this bet, whatever means necessary."

"I always thought you took after us in the sneak department, but it seems you have much to learn, grasshopper." Ginny rolled her eyes as Fred continued, "Trickery is an art, little sis--"

"Who are you trying to trick, Ginny?" Hermione asked, yawning as she walked into the kitchen. "And why didn't anyone wake me up?"

Ginny glanced at Fred and George, then looked back at Hermione.

"No one." She added hurriedly, "I figured you needed your sleep; you were up till almost two last night studying."

"And on summer hols to boot; you need to let loose, Hermione." Fred wiggled his eyebrows at her. "You should try some of the new line of soothing herbal relaxers we're working on." George nodded his agreement, his mouth full.

"Thanks, but I think I'll pass," Hermione responded dryly, grabbing a clean plate before plopping down in the chair Harry had deserted, pushing his plate aside to help herself to some eggs and bacon. "Now why are you three going on about trickery this morning? What are you up to?"

"Purely a theoretical conversation," Fred said, making quick work of his last piece of toast.

"Ginny's going to keep up the grand Weasley tradition," George added, finishing up the rest of his eggs.

"But it's the kind of thing that must be kept in the family, I'm sure you understand--"

"Shut your traps," Ginny interrupted, giving Hermione a exasperated look. "Please don't get them started again."

"Good morning, Hermione." Mrs. Weasley bustled in from the living room, levitating a duster in front of her, which she sent soaring off to swish over the tops of the cupboards. "Did you have a good sleep?" she asked, piling the first round of dirty breakfast dishes into the sink and charming her scrub-brush to get to work.

"Yes, Mrs. Weasley," Hermione replied, and Ginny, Fred and George stood almost in unison, abandoning their mostly-cleaned plates to tromp out the back door, leaving Hermione to her breakfast.

After finishing up far more food than she generally preferred to eat in the morning, at Mrs. Weasley's insistence, of course, Hermione went off in search of Harry and Ron; she was pretty sure she knew where she could find them.

She approached a small grove of trees with the tiniest of clearings between them, taking care to walk very quietly and circle behind a bit of shrubs so as not to be seen. It would seem that her efforts were needless, as the clearing appeared to be empty, but Hermione knew better. Standing off to the side, concealed by one of the tall trees that tightly circled the clearing, she heard a distinct moan, followed by equally distinct slurping.

A hint of a shiver shimmied down Hermione's spine, and she stayed absolutely still, her breath shallow as she focused all her attention on Ron's familiar, ragged gasps and Harry's subtle, wet sucking. She squeezed her thighs together, and told herself it wouldn't be fair to interrupt them until they'd come--it would be cruel, really; she had no choice but to stand there and wait.

And there wasn't long to wait; within seconds Ron was grunting, and at the last moment she realised there was another sound in the clearing, a rhythmic sort of skin-on-skin friction that could only be Harry pulling himself off, or Ron doing it for him. Squeezing her thighs together even tighter did nothing to stop the hot surge of wetness between Hermione's legs.

She fought down the images of Harry and Ron gaining sharp clarity in her mind with each sound she identified--Harry on his knees, bobbing steadily on Ron's freckled cock, taking the whole, hard length between his lips as he looked up at Ron, his eyes magnified and intensely green behind his glasses, Ron knotting his fingers in Harry's hair, desperately thrusting as Harry wrapped a hand around his own cock and tugged harshly--

The images were rather hard to force down. A warm breeze caressed Hermione's face, bringing with it Harry's strangled, orgasmic groan, and it was almost like being a part of it, like having Harry groaning in her ear as Ron spread his large hands over her hips--

She really needed to stop this. She pulled her hands from where they'd somehow strayed down to splay over her hips and straightened her t-shirt, squaring her shoulders. There was no reason for her to be standing there now, as Harry and Ron panted unevenly; they were finished, and she needed to talk to them.

Shaking her hair back over her shoulders and willing the flush from her cheeks, Hermione took a few quiet steps back before stomping loudly forward into the clearing.

"Harry! Ron!" she called, then nearly fell flat on her face as she tripped over nothing.

Harry's and Ron's heads appeared from under the invisibility cloak, which had evidently gotten caught on her foot when she tripped over them. Hermione stumbled around the clearing, trying to shake the cloak off her trainer as the boys scrambled to grab it; the edge of the cloak was rapidly dragging down toward their waists. They couldn't quite seem to get a hold of it, and they screamed in unison, "Hermione, stop!"

Hermione stopped dead in the clearing and turned to find Harry bare-chested and Ron with his t-shirt pushed up around his armpits, and she couldn't help but follow the thin, twin trails of hair, one red and one dark, that ran from bellybuttons down to...

Oh, if she'd just waited a second longer to stop!

Instead she blushed darkly and leaned over, untangling the cloak from her trainer and tossing it their way. There was a quick second when it appeared the cloak might balloon up revealingly, but Harry and Ron disappeared beneath it, and after some fervent mumbling and the unmistakable sound of two people dressing in a right hurry, they emerged again, both rumple-haired and still breathing just a tad heavily.

Hermione cleared her throat. "Listen--" she began, but Ron interrupted her.

"What is it this time, Hermione?" he snapped as he and Harry stood and brushed the grass from their trousers.

"For your information," Hermione replied haughtily, planting her hands on her hips, "I thought you two might like to know that Ginny and the twins have a bet going on to see who can get you two to admit that you're--together."

Harry and Ron shot each other identical looks of horror before turning as one back to Hermione.

"What?" Harry demanded.

"They--how would they--but--" Ron sputtered, then took a deep breath and drew himself up to his full height, his eyes narrowing dangerously. "You didn't tell anyone, did you?"

Hermione's jaw dropped, and she stomped forward until she was nose-to-chin with Ron, pushing Harry aside in the process. "Do you really think I'd do that, Ronald Bilius Weasley? What kind of friend do you think I am??" she asked shrilly.

Ron opened his mouth to retort, but Harry broke in. "Of course Ron doesn't think that, and neither do I," he said, clearly trying to soothe as he patted Hermione awkwardly on the shoulder, giving Ron a look that Hermione didn't miss, a look that she knew meant Don't get her started. Which, of course, was exactly the sort of thing that would get Hermione started, but before she could really get fired up, Harry slid his eyes over to her and continued, "But you, er, didn't tell anyone, did you?"

"Oh, honestly!" Hermione exclaimed, stomping her foot. "Why would I tell anyone that you two have been on a non-stop snog-fest since break started? What good would that possibly do? And since when can I not keep a secret?"

Harry and Ron exchanged another look. "Well, you might have thought that it was for our own good or something," Harry began slowly, and Hermione gritted her teeth; it wasn't as though she was a ticking time bomb, for heaven's sake.

"Yeah," Ron put in, though he did look a bit contrite. "Like when you turned in Harry's broomstick because you thought it had been jinxed--"

"I turned in Harry's broomstick because I thought Sirius had sent it, back when we thought he was a killer, and I was right, wasn't I? He had." Frostily, Hermione added, "And just what part of you might I think was charmed to hurt Harry?"

Ron's freckles disappeared in a wash of red. "Oh, shut up," he muttered, crossing his hands over his crotch.

"Well then." Hermione raised her chin the slightest bit. "I didn't tell anyone, and that's that. I'm sure Fred or George or Ginny must have heard you--there is a whole houseful of people here, you know."

There was a pregnant pause as the boys absorbed her words.

"What if your mum knows?" Harry whispered, the flush draining from his cheeks to leave him ashen. "Your parents let me come stay every summer, and here I am, blow--" He broke off abruptly, looking very much like he wanted to crawl under an out-of-the-way rock.

"No, no, we're quiet, no one could have heard us," Ron insisted hurriedly, and Hermione snorted.

"We are!" Ron's words were edged with obvious panic, and poor Harry's face was a caricature of terror.

"I'm sure Mrs. Weasley doesn't know," Hermione consoled belatedly, patting Harry's arm. "And there's really nothing wrong with what you're doing, I mean, it's well known that people experiment at our age, I read it in The Joy (and Agony) of Wizarding Sex--"

"Experimenting?" Ron's voice went suddenly sharp. "Who said we were experimenting?"

"What?" Hermione just stared Ron as he crossed his arms over his chest, then turned her floundering gaze to Harry. "But--aren't you?"

Harry shifted uncomfortably.

"But..." Hermione returned to staring at Ron, at an utter loss. "Why haven't you told anyone?"

"It's no one's business." Pointedly, he continued, "No one's business but mine and Harry's.".

"Oh." Hermione stepped back as though he'd given her a sharp jab with his wand. "Well. Fine then." She took another step back, her voice cold. "I just thought you might like to know that the entire house has a bet going on about you two, then, so maybe you ought to be more discreet about running off to snog every ten seconds."

"Hermione..." Harry said weakly, taking a step toward her, but she just took another step back.

"I don't know why I even bothered," she went on, as if he hadn't said a word. "You're both so bloody oblivious, I'm sure they'll manage to trick you into confessing, anyway!"

"Shut up!" Ron snapped, his eyes crackling. "Don't act like we're stupid just because you feel left out!"

Hermione saw Harry hastily elbow Ron, and past the lump rising in her throat she shouted at the both of them, "I bet you will! I bet you'll give yourselves away in no time, you--you--prats!" And with that she turned and ran from the clearing.


Lunch that afternoon was strained, to say the least.

Hermione sat as far from Harry and Ron as possible, and they didn't exactly seem anxious to join her. Harry shot more than one furtive, hunted glance at Mrs. Weasley as she set out the food, and Ron nearly leaped from his seat when Fred reached across him for the pumpkin juice.

"Why are you so jumpy today?" Mrs. Weasley asked, leaning forward to examine Ron as well as she could across the table. "There's some sort of new magical flu going around, causes people to jump right out of their skin if it's not treated promptly, and it's not easy to regrow a whole body of skin, not to mention keeping the organs where they need to be in the meantime--you don't have a fever, do you? Purple urine?"

Fred, George, and Ginny sniggered, and Hermione couldn't quite keep her lips from twitching, herself; she was sure Harry's brief coughing fit was also an aborted laugh.

"No," Ron replied vehemently, glaring around the table at large as he shoveled a large forkful of fried ham into his mouth.

Fred and George tittered.

"Quiet, you two. Magical flus are no laughing matter," Mrs. Weasley reprimanded, then turned a concerned eye back on Ron. "You and Harry haven't been getting off to places you shouldn't be, have you?"

Harry choked on his own mouthful of ham, and Ron pounded him on the back as he glared at the twins, who were snorting behind their hands. "No, Mum!"

Ron gave Harry another thump on the back, and Harry shoved him away, still coughing and sputtering. Mrs. Weasley pulled out her wand, but Harry finally managed to swallow the ham lodged in his throat and grabbed a glass of water.

"Everyone knows you slap someone's back if they're choking," Ron muttered to no one in particular, rubbing his nose absently.

"You almost knocked my lungs out of my chest," Harry rasped, wiping away the water that had dribbled down his chin as he set his glass down.

"Hey, Ron," Ginny interrupted, "one of my friends owled me yesterday, and she wanted to know if you'd like to get together with her for a sundae when we go to Diagon Alley for our school supplies."

Harry glowered at Ginny, his choking fit apparently forgotten. Hermione sat back in her chair, watching Ron's eyes go wide, then dart to Harry, then quickly over to her, but Hermione kept her face carefully expressionless. She wasn't about to go butting into anything that wasn't any of her business.

"Oh, how sweet!" Mrs. Wesley exclaimed, clasping her napkin to her chest. "Ron, isn't that sweet? One of Ginny's little friends has a crush on you!"

"That's--sweet, yeah." Ron glared at Ginny, who was smiling brightly. "I'm busy, though."

He scratched his nose as Ginny cocked her head. "Busy? What plans could you possibly have?"

"Well, I'm going to, Ha--I mean, Hermione and Harry and I already talked about--doing some stuff." Ron threw a pleading look Hermione's way, but she was too busy squinting across the table at him to notice.

Something was different about him...she just couldn't put her finger on it...

Ron wiped his nose on his napkin, and Harry peered at him, his brow furrowing.

"Oh, I'm sure Harry and Hermione wouldn't mind if you canceled, or you could go wherever you had planned after you're done with my friend." Ginny gave Ron a carefully confused look. "Don't you even want to know who it is? It's not like you have girls knocking the door down as it is, and you're not in a relationship or anything, are you?"

"Of course he's not!" Mrs. Weasley broke in, with a not-so-subtle glance at Hermione. "He's too young for relationships and that sort of thing, although there's nothing wrong with having an ice cream with one of Ginny's friends."

"I told you, I'm busy--Harry and Hermione and I made plans," Ron said weakly, giving Hermione another pleading look as he rubbed his nose, and Harry and Hermione's eyes met across the table.

"Yes," Hermione said, nodding quickly. "We made plans, and they'll probably take the whole time we're in Diagon Alley, and I'm sure Ron can see your friend later, once school starts."

"Yeah." Harry grabbed his glass of water and took a big gulp, promptly falling into another coughing fit and spraying Ron's plate with water.

"Harry! Gross!" Ron looked mournfully down at his plate. "I was eating that."

"Hey, Ron," Fred said hurriedly, "I tried to find you this morning, to see if you and Harry wanted to play some pick-up Quidditch. What were you doing?"

"Nothing," Ron replied, looking darkly at his brother. "We were just walking around, bored."

The words had no sooner left Ron's mouth when his already-long nose grew five freckled centimetres in under a second.

Ron screamed and grabbed his nose as Mrs. Weasley stood and rushed around the table to press her hand to Ron's forehead. "You are a bit warm," she fretted. "Are you sure you boys didn't go anywhere odd today? Eat anything strange?"

The twins exploded in laughter, and Mrs. Weasley waved a threatening finger at the them. "Fred! George! Is this your doing?"

Fred and George did a poor job schooling their expressions into something approaching seriousness. "I think it's a magical flu--"

"Yeah, I heard about one with rubber chickens--"

"They fall out your nostrils--"

"I heard it's mostly transmitted by bodily fluids--"

"Ron, you haven't been off snogging anyone lately, have you?"

"NO!" Ron shouted, and his nose promptly grew so long that the tip slapped down on his plate in front of him. "What did you do to me?" Ron made a grab for Fred, but he couldn't turn his head with his heavy new nose, and he only managed to flail blindly as Ginny joined in the laughter, though she was trying to hide it behind her hand.

"Mrs. Weasley!" Hermione exclaimed, jumping up and worming her way between Ron and his mum. "Maybe there's something in the medicine chest in the bathroom, a potion or something, for fevers, you know."

"Yes, I'm sure we have one--Ginny, run and fetch it, please."

"I can't. You locked up the medicine chest after Fred and George nicked all the Blood-Replenishing Potion," Ginny said, looking very much like she didn't want to miss out on what was going to happen next, anyway.

"That's completely unfounded!" Fred exclaimed, very convincingly indignant.

"Yeah, you can't just go around--"

"My nose is the size of a bloody hippogriff!" Ron shouted down at his plate, as his head was too weighed down for him to turn to anyone. "Shut up, the lot of you!"

"Now, calm down, Ron, I'll just shrink your nose, it'll be fine." Mrs. Weasley pulled out her wand. "Move over, Hermione, dear."

Hermione stepped back from between Ron and Mrs. Weasley. "Are you sure that's a good idea?" She shot a wary look at the Fred and George. "Something might happen..."

"No, go ahead and try it!" Fred said eagerly, leaning forward to get a closer look at Ron's nose.

Mrs. Weasley turned on the twins. "It was you two!" She grabbed Fred's ear and hauled him to his feet. "Go get the antidote for your brother this instant!"

"Ow, Mum!" Fred protested, trying to squirm away from her. "There isn't one, okay? It has to run its course."

"Dammit, Fred!" Ron reached over to blindly try and throttle his brother again, but Mrs. Weasley batted his hand away.

"That's enough, all of you!" She released Fred's ear and took a step back, looking around at the assorted teenagers at her table. "Ginny, you find a towel I can transfigure into a sling for your brother's nose until this wears off--an old one. Hermione, you find out from Fred and George how long this is going to last, and Harry, dear, try to keep him calm, okay? I'm going to see if I can't find something in the chest." She shot a hard look at the twins. "You two are going to be de-gnoming the garden for the rest of the week," she snapped, before turning and bustling off to the loo.

"It'll be worth it," Fred muttered, glancing slyly over at Ron. "Ron, have you and Harry been snogging?"

"Don't answer!" Harry and Hermione exclaimed together.

But it was too late; Ron had already answered loudly, "No!"

His nose stretched across the table, pushing his plate with it, and a rain of rubber chickens fell from his nostrils onto his lap, dropping squeakily to the floor. Fred and George tried to high-five each other but missed, shaking with laughter as Ginny exclaimed, "That's not fair! You can't use one of your tricks to win!"

"It detects lies or something," Harry hissed urgently at Ron, who glared at him out of the corner of one eye.

"Why didn't you bloody well say so?!"

"I didn't want your Mum to hear!" Harry was rather pale again. "Imagine the things she could ask us."

"Oh. Yeah." Ron gulped. "Good thinking, mate."

"Seems you're more than mates," Fred snorted, plopping back down into his chair. "Was that so hard to admit?"

"I can't believe you did that in front of your mum," Hermione said sharply, snatching up Fred's napkin. She stretched across the table and dabbed a bit of ham grease from Ron's nose.

"It lasts about an hour. We were planning to do it after," George said, apologetically.

"But then Harry sprayed your ham, and I didn't know if it would wear off," Fred added, taking a bite of his ham. "Besides, Mum was gone when we asked him."

"Listen," Ginny interrupted, throwing a ratty towel down on the table next to Ron. "This doesn't count, it's completely unfair--"

"Yes it does!" Fred declared triumphantly, "there was never anything in the bet about not using one of our tricks." He leaned toward Harry and Ron and said confidentially, "You see, we had a little bet going--"

"Oh, we know all about your stupid bet." Harry grabbed the small towel off the table and looked helplessly from it to Ron's meter-long nose, then glared at the twins. "You can take your rubber chickens and stick them up your arse."

"You knew?" Ginny gave Hermione a dirty look. "You overheard us, didn't you?"

"Well, obviously," Hermione snapped. "And I think it was a horrible bet, and you should all be ashamed of yourselves."

Fred rolled his eyes. "Spare us the prefect act."

"The bet's off," Ginny broke in again, insistently. "If they knew, the bet is definitely off."

"No way," Fred insisted vehemently, turning his full attention on his sister. "If you didn't want us using tricks, you should have said so when we made the bet. We won. And it doesn't matter if they knew or not."

George glanced over at Harry, who looked irate, and Ron, who looked irate and miserable, and asked, "If you knew about the bet, how is it you two still managed to give yourselves away?"

Ron groaned as another stray rubber chicken fell out of his nose.


"Well, at least your mum didn't find out," Hermione said soothingly. She bit her lip and added, "And your nose is...well, it's almost back to normal."

"This is the worst day of my life," Ron said dully, his words a bit slurred by the tip of his nose, which drooped down against his lips.

"Worse than the day that giant chess piece knocked you unconscious?" Harry asked.

"Not quite that bad," Ron admitted.

"There you go, then," Harry said, bracingly.

The three of them were sitting in the shade of a large tree a ways from the house, listening to the twins and Ginny arguing near the garden. Ron lifted up the tip of his nose with an index finger and popped a cookie into his mouth from the pile balanced precariously on his thigh.

"I'm sorry, about earlier," Hermione blurted out, and the boys both looked at her oddly.

"Huh?" Harry asked, as Ron swallowed his cookie and repeated the sentiment.

"You know, out in the grove. I shouldn't have just assumed you were...experimenting." Hermione pulled her knees up and wrapped her arms around them.

"Oh." Ron glanced over at Harry and cleared his throat. "Well, we're not really sure what we're doing, so, you don't have to feel bad about it or anything."

"I just, I guess I just felt left out," Hermione went on, fidgeting with a bit of grass by her feet. She missed the look of panic Ron and Harry exchanged.

"It's fine," Harry said hurriedly. "I mean, we're sorry, we didn't mean to make you feel left out, and we..."

Hermione looked up just in time to see the pleading look he threw Ron, who shrugged as if to say, Don't expect me to know anything about girls, I've got five brothers.

"It's okay." Hermione looked away. "I won't--bother you two anymore. When you're busy."

There was an awkward silence as Hermione stared at the grass, which Ron finally broke. "Cookie?" he offered rather lamely, scooping one up off his thigh.

Hermione gave him a watery smile. "Thanks," she said, taking it from him and leaning back against the tree to take a bite.

"No problem."

Another silence descended between them, though not as awkward this time, as Harry grabbed a cookie from Ron's lap and Ron delicately lifted his nose and shoved another in his mouth. The three of them crunched quietly.

"So you two don't like girls at all then?" Hermione asked suddenly, trying to be subtle about settling her gaze on Ron's nose.

"What?" Ron shot her a confused look. "What are you on about?"

"I'm just wondering how this works. Do you just like blokes, then, or are you bisexual? Or is it something else entirely?" Hermione looked expectantly from Harry back to Ron's nose.

"Bisexual?" Ron choked, as Harry asked, "What do you mean, something else entirely? We're not into--dogs or something!"

"I know, I know." Hermione crossed her legs Indian-style as she leaned forward to continue. "It's just, you said you're not sure what you're doing, you might just be experimenting or you might not, and I was just, you know, wondering. How...girls fit into all this."

"Girls?" Harry eyed Hermione carefully.

A slight heat rose in Hermione's cheek and she said, a bit defensively, "Yes, girls."

There was a loud commotion from the garden, and they heard Ginny shout, "Fine, you bloody won, then! But I'm not de-gnoming the garden for you gits; I'll do your chores for the rest of the summer, but not your punishments, too!"

The three of them watched Ginny emerge from the garden, the twins hot on her tail as she stomped into the house and slammed the back door in their faces.

Ron snickered and picked up a cookie that had fallen from his thigh, brushing a bit of dirt off it.

"We like girls, too," Harry said quickly.

"Why are we talking about this?" Ron asked, but Harry elbowed him in the side.

"We like girls, too," he repeated, his gaze steady on Hermione.

"Oh." Hermione cleared her throat and straightened her shoulders, smoothing her hands over her thighs. "You know, technically, I bet you two that you'd give yourselves away even though you knew what Ginny and the twins were up to, and I was right."

"We didn't really bet, though," Ron protested as he popped the cookie in his mouth, but Harry ignored him.

"What would you want, for winning?" he asked, running a hand nervously through his hair.

Hermione thought for a moment before looking Harry square in the eye and answering definitively, "A sandwich."

"A sandwich?" Ron scoffed around his cookie, but Harry elbowed him again.

"Ron...I think she means a...Hermione sandwich."

Hermione swallowed hard as Ron looked blankly back and forth between the two of them; his eyes sparked with understanding, and he promptly spit out the mouthful of cookie he'd been chewing, spattering wet cookie crumbs in Hermione's face.

"Ron!" she yelled, disgusted, as she tried to wipe her face clean with her hand and rubbed the wet crumbs off her palm in the grass.

"Sorry!" he exclaimed, scrambling to his feet and pulling Hermione up with him. "Come on, Harry, have you still got your cloak with you?"

"We don't have to--right now," Hermione said, wide-eyed as Harry jumped up and pulled out his cloak. "Shouldn't we--plan, or something? Or at least talk about it?"

"No," Harry and Ron replied together, and the three of them exchanged looks and burst out laughing.

"Oh, I've got just the thing!" Hermione's eyes were sparkling as she turned and ran back to the house, and Harry slid down the trunk of the tree to sit at its roots with a sigh.

"You know she's coming back here with that bloody sex book, right?" Ron asked, sitting down beside him and echoing his sigh.

"Yeah." Harry tipped his head back against the tree and looked over at Ron with a grin. "At least it'll be a lecture worth listening to."
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