Harry/Ron, PG, 700 words.
For the Harry/Ron FQF.
Premise: Harry, Ron, and some tea.
"I'll put the kettle on," Ron said and went into the kitchen. It was what he always said, whenever Harry walked through the door or climbed out of the fireplace.
That was about twice a week, these days.
The front room was chilly and Harry left his jacket on. The curtains were open and twilight forced its way inside, shadows creeping up the bare walls, covering pale rectangles where pictures used to hang. Six months ago, Harry had brought Ron a painting, a mediaeval jousting scene. Harry didn't know what Ron had done with it.
Harry followed Ron into the kitchen. It was warmer there and there were no windows to leach away the light.
"How's the Ministry?" Harry said.
"Oh, well," Ron said. He poured boiling water into the teapot and leaned against the counter. "Nothing much happening these days." Ron's hair was falling over his forehead and he pushed it back with an impatient hand. He never remembered to get it cut.
"I suppose so." Harry hung his jacket over a chair. "Did you watch the match on Saturday?"
"I'm sorry," Ron said. He turned around and opened a cabinet door. "I couldn't make it so I gave the tickets to Botts at the office." He set a biscuit tin down on the table. "But I read about it afterwards. Congratulations."
"Thanks," Harry said. He sat down. Ron put out mugs, chipped white enamel, stained brown inside. Harry always had the same one. There was a tiny crack in the surface and it looked a bit like an arrow, flying towards nothing in particular.
Ron poured the tea through a silver strainer with a long handle.
"You can get self-straining teapots, you know," Harry said. He watched Ron add sugar. Two spoons, stir and stir and stir.
"It's fine like this," Ron said. He opened the tin. Lemon cream and shortbread iced with chocolate.
Harry looked at Ron's hand curled around his mug. Long, pale fingers, a few brown freckles on the back of his hand. An inkstain on his index finger.
"I heard from Charlie," Ron said. "He says hello."
"How is he?"
"Doing well, fewer burns than usual." Ron smiled a little and Harry drank his tea. The steam fogged his glasses for a moment. "He won't be home for Christmas," Ron said. He took a biscuit and pushed the tin at Harry. Harry shook his head. "And what have you been up to? Found yourself a girlfriend yet?"
"No," Harry said. "Not yet." Ron's hair was brushing his forehead again and Harry watched him push it away.
Ron poured more tea into his mug. He wrapped both hands around it and leaned over it, like he was warming himself over a fire. His hair slipped down again. "'You think everything can be solved by a cup of tea,' she said. I never knew what she was on about."
Harry didn't answer. He never knew what to say. He wanted to get up, to go over to Ron. He should put his hands on Ron's shoulders, he should pull Ron against his chest and rub Ron's back and take all the hurt away, take it all away until nothing was left. Nothing except Harry and Ron.
"I should go after her," Ron said. He looked up. His eyes were sad and there was a smudge of chocolate on his upper lip. "Should I go after her?"
"I don't know, mate," Harry said. "America's a long way."
Ron nodded and bent down over his mug again for a few minutes. "Sorry," he said at last. "Must be the weather. More tea?"
Harry nodded and they sat together until the pot was empty.
"Bring someone with you next time," Ron said, like always, and shook Harry's hand. "I should think they'd be lining up for you."
"Sure," Harry said, like always, and let go Ron's hand. "Good night."
Harry went home. Next time he would say something, he thought. Next time he would act. Next time.
completely unrelated to the foregoing
Harry was already awake when he heard the bang. He turned over and found Ron setting a cup down on the bedside table. "Brought you some tea," Ron said and grinned.
"You shouldn't be here," Harry said.
"It's all right." Ron sat on the edge of the bed and ran his hand up Harry's arm and over his chest. "She doesn't know I've gone. She thinks I'm in the bath."
"But--" Harry was cut off when Ron leaned down and kissed him. And then Harry forgot what he was going to say, forgot himself, and kissed Ron back, arms around his neck and body arching up against him. Harry could never get enough of Ron. One more taste, one more touch, one more minute. Never enough. He stroked Ron's face as Ron sat up. He caught at Ron's shoulders.
"Your breath is foul," Ron said. He kissed Harry once more, a quick buss across the mouth. "Clean your teeth for Thursday, all right?" Another bang and then he was gone, empty air in Harry's arms. Harry rubbed his hand over his mouth. It was a long time until Thursday.
The bedroom door opened. "You ought to have your plumbing seen to," Draco said. "It's knocking." He picked up the cup and took a drink. "Don't you have any coffee?"