Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Falling, Failing, Flying

Chapter Two

by sumthinlikhuman 0 reviews

After the war, things change. Everything changes. Including old grudges.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres: Drama, Romance - Characters: Arthur Weasley, Bill Weasley, Draco, Fleur, Fred, George, Ginny, Harry, Hermione, Ron - Warnings: [!!] [X] - Published: 2006-01-27 - Updated: 2006-01-28 - 4679 words

Chapter Two:

"Eight months, you said? Wow. You're huge! I don't think mum was even that big with the twins!"

Charlie was laughing at him. Ron added him to the 'Kill Later' list, and leaned back against the couch slightly, shifting his hips to get more comfortable.

They were all there--he, Hermione, Harry, Bill and Fluer, Fred and George, Ginny, Draco and all the kids--celebrating something that Ron could no longer remember. Most of the kids had fallen asleep in Bill and Fluer's kids' play room, where they'd been placed for safe keeping during the revelry. Ron silently envied the alcohol around him, but didn't even think to ask for any; he sipped at his grape juice pointedly, and pretended it was wine.

"I don't think Fluer was that big with twins," Fred jibbed. Fluer slapped his leg, and then shoved him off the arm of the sofa, laughing prettily. Ron silently wondered why she no longer had an effect on him; maybe it was the estrogen in his system, even if he was starting off his regimen.

"Thank you, can we stop talking about how much I resemble a boat now?" he demanded. Beside him, Draco chuckled breathlessly into his wine glass, finishing the last of his second glass and setting it aside carefully.

"You still haven't told anyone what sex the baby is," the blonde pointed out. Fluer, Hermione and Ginny all cheered, half drunkenly, and demanded the knowledge as well. Ron shot his cousin a sharp glare.

"To be honest," he broached through the demands until the girls quieted down, "I don't know." There were boos and hisses. He shrugged slightly. "I told Monroe that I wanted it to be a surprise."

"You're a spoilsport," Hermione groused, but she was smiling brightly. Ron shrugged again, and placed a hand on the current spot that his child was kicking violently.

"Well, we'll all find out in a little while."

"Do you have a name yet?" Charlie asked softly. Ron shrugged a little.

"I like Molly, if it's a girl." Everyone nodded to that, and those who still had wine did little toasts. Fred sniggered behind a hand, flushed from alcohol.

"How about Severus, if it's a boy." Beside Ron, Draco flushed angrily. Ron scoffed, and rolled his eyes.

"I don't particularly enjoy the idea of Snape's ghost coming to get me in my sleep. And trust me: he'd find a way to get me." There were several agreements to that, and Ron saw the look in Draco's eyes drift from distaste and annoyance towards exasperation. Ron took off on a different thread. "So, you're all coming for Halloween, right? That's my due date." Everyone nodded and agreed.

The night continued until their revelry was finished. Harry left first, followed by Hermione and Ginny, Fred and George, Charlie, and then he and Draco. Fluer shot him a little glance for the choice of escort, but he only smiled and kissed her cheek.

The truth of the matter was he didn't know why he went home with Draco. Since that late night visit three months prior, he had spent nearly as much time at Draco's flat as anyone else's. It was surprisingly pleasant to be in his company; he attributed it to the fact that the blonde agreed that, after Voldemort's death, Harry had become a bit of a twit when it came to how anybody else felt.

The few nights Ron stayed at Draco's, the blonde would willingly give up his bed for the couch. He didn't expect any different tonight as they stumbled out onto Draco's hearth rug, the blonde laughing slightly to himself and clapping as Ron nearly tripped and fell from his own weight.

"Oh shove it," the redhead grumbled, though smiling, as he bumped the blonde with his shoulder. "Mind if I raid your pantry? I'm hungry."

"Go ahead. By this point, it might as well be your pantry too." Ron smiled, and trundled into the kitchen. From the living room, Draco called, "Make sure it's something I'll eat too!" He only chuckled, and grabbed a box of crackers that seemed to be calling his name.

Draco was sprawled over the couch with the lights dimmed when Ron returned. The redhead turned off the kitchen lights and settled onto the floor beside the blonde's arm, opening the box and holding it up from his cousin to take some.

"This is nice," Draco murmured after a moment of silence where they munched crackers and contemplated the vast expanses of semi-darkness between their faces and the closest wall. "Ron?"


"Ever thought of moving in with somebody?" He thought about it for a moment, before shrugging.

"I lived with people for seventeen, eighteen years of my life. The first chance I got, I lived along. It's nice that way."

"I--." Draco stopped, and dug into the box of crackers. "Never mind."

"You meant something different. Ask again."

"No, never mind. It's nothing." He scarfed down a handful, and turned onto his back, licking his fingers and lips of salt and a bit of grease. Suddenly, he looked at Ron. "Aren't these a no-no for your baby diet?"

Ron snorted. "Like I care. I've barely followed the thing." Draco chuckled, the sound suddenly close to Ron's ear as he dug for more crackers; he flushed slightly, and slanted away just a bit, trying to ignore the little pang in his belly, excusing it for being kicked by his child once more.

"Hey," Draco suddenly whispered, still half draped off the couch. "What do you think of the name August."


"Yeah, you know. If you have a boy." Draco was picking at the nearly crashed crackers in his hands. He poured them back into the box and brushed his hands off a bit. "I always thought that name was real nice."

"I suppose," Ron mumbled, picking at the carpet. "But if I'm gonna name the kid a month, I'll name him October."

"Octavius," Draco grumbled softly, "is a horrible name. Anything that starts with 'oct' is a horrible name. It reminds people of octopuses. Octopi?" Ron heard more than saw Draco shrug. He suddenly burst into laughter, and pulled himself to his feet.

"Come on."


"You're shit-faced, Draco. You get the bed tonight." The blonde complained all the way back to his room, and through Ron helping him get ready for bed--things that seemed, to him, to mean that Ron should get the bed because he was pregnant.

Ron was only a little startled when the complaints changed from ones of self-hatred to ones of wanting him to stay. He jumped a bit--but wasn't all that surprised--as Draco grabbed his sleeve and pulled at him, and managed to whirl just enough to catch himself before crashing down onto the blonde.

He wasn't at all prepared for Draco to kiss him.
Ron looked up from cooking breakfast as Draco stumbled into the kitchen, looking bedraggled and decidedly grumpy. The redhead dug into a small bag of things he'd brought from his own flat, and placed a clear potion in front of the blonde as he sat heavily at the breakfast bar.

For a moment, Draco stared at the potion, before his eyes defied their seemingly pointed order to stay down, and darted up to Ron's carefully placid face.

"You're still here? What's this?"

"Hangover remedy." He wandered back to the stove to oversee the cooking. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Draco down the potion in a single gulp; he grabbed the small vial, and tucked it back into the bag.

Draco let out a little moan, and lowered his head into his hands.

"How much did I drink last night?" he asked, his voice ringing with annoyance. Ron rolled his eyes, and scooped a good serving of eggs onto a plate already sporting bangers and hash.


"Not hungry. How much?"

"Three vodka tonics, two rum shooters with Harry, and two glasses of wine. You were the sober one of the drinkers, trust me." He pushed the plate under Draco's nose. "Eat, or I force feed you."

Begrudgingly, Draco picked up a fork and dug into the eggs, chewing and giving Ron a 'are-you-happy-now' look. Ron served himself and joined Draco on the other side of the bar.

They were silent as they ate. Draco had a hand dug deep into his hair, and Ron could see he was doing his narrow best to eat without tasting his food, at the same time messaging his scalp with his free hand, muttering curses between bites. Ron, having finished his own meal well after Draco--who was messaging with both hands by that point--collected the plates and set them in the sink for later cleaning.

He leaned against the kitchen side of the bar, and waited for Draco to look at him. When he did, the blonde simply stared, before cursing heavily under his breath.

"Why?" was all Ron asked. Draco leaned back a little, and stopped messaging his scalp in place of rubbing his temples vigorously. Ron grabbed his hands and pulled his attention back. "Let the remedy kick in. Why?"

"Because you were there?" Ron raised a brow, releasing Draco's wrists. The blonde shrugged slightly, rubbing those wrists gently. "I don't know why. I was pissed, well and thoroughly, and you were there."

"Not much of a reason."

"Did I say I had a reason? No. Lay off and accept it." Ron growled under his breath, then gave up the curse that was there. He only scoffed, and leaned back from the counter.

"You're worse than Harry--"

"Don't compare me to that shit-faced lying scumbag!" Draco snapped, before seeming to realize what he'd said and, more importantly, who he had said it to.

And by then, Ron was to the hearth, and flooing back to his own flat, leaving his bag sitting on Draco's counter.
Monroe smiled, and left the room was a quiet statement that she'd be back in an hour. Ron lounged against the only somewhat comfortable pillows, and looked around at his family--even Tonks had managed to show up, which had surprised him a little. Harry, Hermione and Draco were still absent, but Ron knew he could hold off any attempted to deliver until after they had shown up.

Ginny and Fluer were talking off to the side quietly; both looked a little harried and strained, probably from their own children. Ron wondered if he'd turn out like that as well, but pushed the thought away. The doors had opened to reveal his missing companions; Draco and Harry appeared to be having a standoff, but Hermione rushed over and hugged Ron warmly.

"Just a little while longer," he informed to her inquiring look. She smiled brilliantly. Draco joined the bedside, and settled next to Ron's knee, which he gripped through the thin sheets, offering a little smile.

They hadn't spoken of what had happened between them. Ron hadn't stayed over since that night, though he'd visited once or twice. Draco hadn't pressed the matter, seemed to have even forgotten about it entirely; the redhead didn't blame him.

They spoke for a little while, bright and friendly, when Ron noticed that Harry was still loitering uncomfortably on the edge of their group. Their eyes met, and suddenly all that mirth that had been there when Ron had found out was back with some sort of wicked vengeance.

"So, will you be going by 'mum' now?" Hermione shot Harry a dirty look. Ron only smiled pleasantly, and spoke with a calm authority that he didn't know he possessed.

"I was hoping you'd be mum, Harry."

There was an aching maw of silence after the words left his mouth. Harry's face flushed indignantly, and he gaped for a moment, before muttering something that must have been a curse, and storming out of the ward. Ron sighed slightly, and slumped back against his pillows. Everyone else turned incredulously to stare at Ron, who huffed slightly, and crossed his arms, before gesturing wildly at his belly.

"You think I did this myself?" he demanded. Ginny looked on the verge of tears. Nobody else said anything at all, but become fitfully silent.

Monroe returned to the sharp tension, but seemed immune to it. She smiled slightly.

"They're ready for you, Mr Weasley."
Ron hadn't slept in a month and a half. Draco patted a consoling hand on his shoulder, and offered to put the baby back to bed; Ron only groaned, and buried his face in the pillow he'd claimed, seeming content to try and smother himself.

He wasn't entirely sure how Draco had convinced him, but there he was, moved into the blonde's flat with all his stuff, and his daughter, Molly Augusta Weasley. After being discharged from St Mungo's, he'd been quick about changing his address, but had conveniently forgotten to tell everyone except Hermione.

Molly had finally stopped crying. Ron uncovered his face, and looked towards the door of the guest room he'd claimed as his own. Draco was smiling down at the little girl, and then up at him; his smile was more brilliant there, and Ron felt a sharp pang that he could no longer attribute to being kicked in the gut by that little monster. He silently wondered when Draco had changed, in his eyes.

"She really is beautiful," the blonde whispered, striding into the room and sitting beside Ron. The redhead rolled his eyes slightly, but took his daughter.

"You say that because you didn't go through six months of her kicking your bladder, and thirty minutes of bleeding like a stuck pig, and a month of not sleeping." Draco chuckled slightly, and ran his slim fingers through the tousled, fine strands of dark red hair that flopped atop Molly's head. Ron smiled down at her sleeping face, and rubbed her nose with his thumb slightly. "She is pretty."

"And at least she doesn't look like a Potter, like Ginny's kids," Draco pointed out. Ron frowned a little, and nodded very slowly, still rubbing his daughter's nose.

Slowly, she blinked open what seemed like unnaturally huge emerald eyes, and cooed softly up at him. He smiled, and lifted her slowly, kissing her brow. Draco watched them, his smile soft, until he yawned widely, rubbing his eyes.

"Wow. I'm more tired than I thought. Are you going to--? Or should I put her--?"

"She likes you better," Ron grumbled softly, slowly handing his daughter back over to the blonde. "Put her to bed, would you? Maybe she'll actually sleep this time." Draco nodded slightly, and left the room. Ron flopped back against his pillows, and almost instantly fell asleep.

He woke, what felt like moments later, to Draco shaking his shoulder slightly, and saying that he'd been called in by the Ministry. With a grumble and a barely acknowledged kiss to the brow, he fell back asleep, until Molly's wailing brought him out of a particularly odd dream that involved him actually having a happy home life with the other father of his child.

Then, he jolted awake, tottered where he sat, and tumbled out of bed with a groan and mild curse. Stumbling to his feet, he wandered out of his room and towards the living room, where Molly's bassinet sat off to one side, looking massively out of place. Ron scooped her up and, yawning widely, wandered into the kitchen.

Already, the breasts he'd acquired during his pregnancy had returned to nearly normal--he attributed that to a firm and inclusive exercise regimen that Kings and Monroe had demanded he go on. The baby formula was good enough though; he mixed some up, and let it heat for a moment, still yawning. At least Molly had quieted.

She really was a very pretty baby, he had to admit, with her fair skin and red hair and bright green eyes. The milk bottle looked to be ready. He grabbed a tea towel, tested the temperature, and sat down in the living room to feed his daughter.

Draco showed up some hours later as Ron was repeating the process, just after having finished a particularly rigorous workout. For a moment, the blonde stood in his own doorway, staring at the redhead as he shucked his cloak and shut the door with one foot. It took a moment before he composed himself and strode in, throwing a shirt at Ron without saying anything. He disappeared into his bedroom, and didn't emerge until Ron was tapping gently on the door, proclaiming dinner to be ready.

Molly slept in her bassinet, and they ate chicken and rice. Afterwards, they collapsed bonelessly in the living room--Draco sprawled over the couch, and Ron dominated the space by the blonde's elbow easily, stretching his legs out in front of him. They worked their way through half a bottle of sherry.

"Any reason why you're upset?" Ron asked suddenly, running his finger along the edge of his goblet and making it sing slightly. Draco huffed a little, and finished the last of his second glass; he set it aside, and turned onto his side, lifting his head onto his hand as he shrugged a little.

"Potter was being an idiot at work. And I wasn't exactly expecting to come home to you shirtless."

"You make that sound like a bad thing." He wasn't entirely sure where the words had come from, but didn't even try to draw them back in with apologies and stumbled words. Draco shrugged a little; his hand was absentmindedly running through Ron's hair in the same fashion it ran through Molly's.

"Just unexpected." Ron made a little sound, and leaned subtly into the blonde's minor touch. Some little part of his mind growled at him venomously; he told it to go find a corner at sit quietly for a while.

They sat in silence for a while, and Ron sighed as he finished his second glass. Slowly, he stood, tottered for a moment, before chuckling, catching himself with an outstretched hand on the back of the couch.

"Maybe I should just give up drinking," he chuckled. Draco smiled up at him slightly, and Ron felt his face heat slightly as he returned the smile, somehow suddenly aware of how he was half sprawled against the blonde. He pulled back slowly, and straightened a bit, coughing subtly over his shoulder as he tried to compose himself.

"It's just that you're a lightweight," Draco murmured, grabbing their goblets and the bottle of sherry. Ron watched him put everything into it's proper place in the kitchen, and didn't realize that he had walked in there until he was practically touching Draco, who seemed content to focus on the dishes from dinner.

He didn't know what compelled him, but Draco didn't even flinch when Ron wrapped his arms slowly about his smaller waist. They stood silently for a moment, just like that, until Molly began to wail again. Ron let out a little sob, his forehead bumping against the back of Draco's neck.

"She'll be the death of me," the redhead grumbled as he lifted her from her bassinet and checked her. Apparently she just wanted the attention; she quieted as soon as Ron picked her up, who looked desperately over at Draco. Their eyes met, and Draco chuckled slightly, raising his hands defensively.

"She's your kid, not mine."

"Thanks for that. You're a big help."
"I wanna bunny!"

"Not today, Molly."

"Bu' I wan' one! P'ease, dada? P'ease can I've a bunny?"

"Not today. Come on. We have to go see Uncles Fred and George."

Molly was quiet a moment, before bursting into loud, violent tears. Ron rubbed his brow, and wondered what higher deity he'd pissed off that this should happen to him. He quickly collected his wailing three year old daughter, and hoisted her up to his shoulder, where she pounded little fists on his shoulder and neck. A couple of passing teenagers sniggered at him behind their hands.

"Molly, we'll look at bunnies later, all right? First we have to go see your uncles." She wailed something that Ron couldn't quite understand, and he muttered something that sounded distinctly like a curse under his breath. Diagon Ally was packed with parents and their children doing their back-to-school shopping.

Ron tried to remember when Molly had gotten so spoiled, and blamed it entirely on Draco. Of course, it wasn't like he was discouraging the blonde from buying her whatever she happened to want. But the result was just short of disastrous, to put it kindly. He'd have to have a talk with his 'room mate' about it when he got back.

The shop was bustling, like always, and Ron hoisted Molly onto his shoulders and held her tight so she could see but not touch. Fred spotted them first, and managed to stream over.

"Ginny's with George in the back room," he stated as he passed. Ron nodded, and waded through the masses.

When he reached the back room, he carefully lowered his no longer tearful daughter, and bumped her towards where her cousins were playing with some of the safer things the shop offered--not that it said much; Arthur was already sporting a few bruises on his hands and arms.

"Hi Uncle Ron!" Sirius chimed. Ron couldn't help but notice that he had somehow managed to become the spitting image of his namesake--midnight black hair, fair skin and maddeningly blue eyes, the same as his mother. Ginny smiled at her eldest, and then hugged her brother.

"How's life as a mother?"

"Don't call me that," Ron growled, looking towards Molly. She hadn't heard, apparently; a small godsend. "Life would be better if Draco would stop spoiling my daughter. You?"

"So when are you and Malfoy getting married?" George muttered from within a box of . . . something. Ron couldn't see what, and was suddenly too indignant to care much.

"Never! Just because I'm living--. And it's none of your--. Just butt--. Gah. Shut up." Fred came in on that, and chuckled slightly, patting his little brother's shoulder, complimenting his eloquence, which earned him a slap upside the back of the head. Sirius and Mirel sniggered, and Arthur and Molly looked up at them in confusion.

Fred blinked down at Molly, and then knelt to her level.

"My, what a big girl you are now, Molls. How old are you?"

"I's free!" She held up one chubby little hand in a fist, and slowly began to count, "One . . . two . . . free!"

"Wow. What a big girl." George laughed at his twin, and rolled his eyes. Ron crossed his arms over his chest, and frowned a bit, looking over at the now unoccupied twin.

"Any reason we're here? I have to go sate my daughter's interests in a rabbit."

"Get her a pygmy puff," Mirel put in unhelpfully as she played with her own baby-blue colored pygmy puff. Ron ignored her for the moment. George sighed a little, and settled onto the edge of his desk.

"We've just been having a bit of trouble with folks lately. Bill and Charlie both said we should think about doing just managerial stuff, now that the chain is running strong. I don't know."

"What happened?" Ginny and Ron demanded at the same time, different amounts of concern lacing their voices. George looked unsurely to Fred, who looked up from doting on his youngest niece, and shrugged slightly; it seemed to almost pain him.

"It wasn't much, until about a month ago. We'd received a few threatening howlers once or twice, unaddressed, but obviously meant to do some damage. Business has been taking a bit of a downswing, but we didn't think much of it; it was just this branch.

"A couple of weeks ago, Fred got himself landed at Mungo's--"

"I didn't get myself /landed/, it wasn't my fault," Fred objected, though his voice was behind the complaint. He abandoned the kids for a moment, and rubbed the back of his head, than waved a hand airily. "Besides, it's no big deal, George. You're overreacting."

"What happened?" Ginny demanded, her voice thick with concern and worry. Fred shrugged again, and this time it was obvious it was painful.

"Some guy jumped me in the street. It was nothing--"

"Fred Weasley! Nothing! Honestly, you'd think you'd tripped over your own feet and took a couple of bruises, the way you make it sound." Ginny sounded remarkably like their mother, which made all the boys chuckle very softly under their breaths. Fred sat beside George on the desk, leaned lightly against his twin, who wrapped a protective arm around his shoulders.

"You said Bill and Charlie thought you should give up the actual heavy lifting?" George nodded slightly, and shrugged a bit himself.

"Just until this all goes under, you know? We'd still be involved, just not directly attached to any of the stores by working there. It's more the safety of our customers and staff that we're worried about . . ." He trailed off, staring towards Ron's knee. Ron turned, and found himself looking into the large eyes of his daughter.

"Can I've a bunny now?"

Ron huffed a heavy sigh, and looked over at Mirel regretfully. The older girl grinned winningly--she was much bigger than she had been at four, but that made sense, since she was almost eight now--and grabbed her cousin's hand, pulling her out into the shop so they could look at the pygmy puffs. Fred was chuckling when Ron looked back.

"Isn't she just a spoiled little tart." Ron groaned slightly, and collapsed beside Ginny on the couch.

"It's all Draco's fault, I swear. He buys her everything, even if she doesn't need it."

"It's what you get for dating a rich boy. I'm amazed he's being a sugar daddy for your little girl and not you." Ron flushed brightly, and stiffened.

"I'm not dating Draco," he grumbled, crossing his arms. "Remember? I'm not a pouf."

"Ron," Ginny pressured, flicking his ear, "not around my children at least." Sirius and Arthur both grinned, and Arthur muttered the word under his breath. Ginny groaned. Fred and George only laughed slightly, and shook their heads.

"He doesn't even know what it means."

Ron's attention was pulled away from that argument as Sirius rounded to his side of the couch, and tugged on his sleeve. He looked down at the little nine year old, and raised a brow slowly. Sirius smiled slightly, and pulled from his robes a wand that was nearly as long as his arm.

"I got it today," he proclaimed self-satisfactorily. Ron smiled, and congratulated him softly, turning his attention back to the adult conversation; it seemed Ginny and Fred were arguing about something that Ron could no longer follow. George gestured him out onto the showroom floor.

Mirel and Molly were still inspecting the pygmy puffs, but Molly seemed more interested in the other girlie items for sale than the little pets. George slung an arm over his brother's shoulder, and sighed slightly was they watched the two little girls--Ron tried to get it past his defenses that they were not only cousins; they were half-sisters as well.

"She is very cute," George murmured suddenly. Ron nodded slightly. "And you don't look half bad either. Maybe having a kid and moving in with someone was a good idea after all."

"At least I actually eat now. And get to work on time. Most days." George leered at that, but Ron quickly cut him off with a finger pointed threateningly at his chest. "Don't even think about it. Molly goes to daycare. That's why I'm late sometimes; she can be clingy."

"Of course, baby brother." George ruffled his hair slightly, and Ron grumbled, straightening it halfheartedly. Mirel and Molly were heading back, and Molly was, sure enough, cradling a bright pink pygmy puff in her little hands. George smiled, and mentioned the price to Ron offhandedly.

Begrudgingly, Ron indulged his daughter. She really was overly spoiled.
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