Chapter 5 : Soppy - Friendship and the Like
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“It wasn’t my fault!” Ron flared up, incensed, “If that bloody Malfoy git weren’t such a – such a git then we would’ve been far better off than we are – ”
“But we went with the knowledge that we knew he was a git, so you should’ve ignored any git like actions! You know how that git tries to provoke you!”
“How many times do you like we can say “git” in the same sentence you angry git?” Ron tried to make Harry laugh, something that was easier said that done when he was cross.
“Git git git git git,” Harry reeled off, collapsing into his chair feeling as though he had wasted his entire morning on a futile mission that he should’ve known would be deemed to fail. A bold plan doomed to fail. That was the phrase for it.
“You’re meant to help me pick out glasses later by the way,” Ron said, leaning back in his chair and putting his feet on his desk whilst Harry clutched at his hair in despair.
“Since when did you need glasses?” Harry scoffed, “You can see perfectly fine.”
“No you idiot. Glass glasses. For drinking out of,” he added, just in case Harry misunderstood a second time.
“Why do I need to help you pick out glasses?” Harry asked wearily.
“Hermione told me to. She has so much other stuff to do that I offered to help out.”
“Why can’t George do it?”
George was Ron’s other best man.
“Because he’s helping me with the flowers to go in the button hole things.”
Harry groaned; why had they been assigned such girly tasks? They were men and should be doing manly things like – like choosing Firewhisky brands or – or grunting whilst looking at broomsticks.
He knew nothing about glasses, and neither, come to think of it, did Ron. What was Hermione thinking, letting her beloved fiancé do something like this? Along with his best friend, who was also hers, so therefore she must’ve known the chaos the pair were capable of.
“I don’t think I could choose glasses,” Harry said stiffly, rubbing the bridge of his nose where his glasses had gouged little red grooves.
“Oh it’s easy,” Ron said in a blasé voice, “Just pick the ones that you don’t get your nose stuck in when you try and drink out of it.”
“And they let you test for that in shops do they?” Harry said sarcastically; the run in with Malfoy had not put him in a very good mood.
“Some do,” Ron shrugged, “When I out choosing mugs with Hermione, they actually let me chuck them on the floor to see how much force they required to break.”
“And this is a wizarding shop? In Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade?” Harry said sceptically, “Are you sure you haven’t just gone into a Muggle shop and Confunded everyone who works there?”
Ron’s freckled face tinged slightly pink.
“So what if it was?”
Ron arrived home five hours later with the imminent threat of shopping for glasses with an irate Harry. They would be meeting in a mere hour’s time, and Ron was as of yet unsure as to which type of shop they would venture into: Muggle, or Magic?
Muggles were easy to Confund and therefore Ron could spend far longer than was necessary or deemed proper to look at glasses without arousing suspicion or funny looks. Magic shops were likely to have a far wider range of glasses on display, from ones that refilled (guaranteed to get people dancing) to ones that screamed at you if it thought you had had quite enough alcohol for one evening and should go and get a drink of water.
These reminded Ron forcibly of Hermione and his mother, so he thought he’d give these a miss. Some of his family also exhibited angry tendencies when they were drunk, so Ron figured having glasses that shouted insults at you would be a bit troublesome should they fall into the hands of Percy. An unexpectedly raucous drunk, Percy had dropped a cake on the floor (on purpose) and upended a flowerpot (with a plant and soil in it) the last time he had had a little too many alcoholic beverages. Ron couldn’t risk having such rowdy disruptions attacking his wedding so he decided that choosing a glass that didn’t have the ability to shout would be a good plan.
“Ron! You’re home!” Hermione walked into the hallway just as Ron was closing the front door, “How was work?”
“Awful. I had a skirmish with Malfoy.”
“A – a skirmish?” Hermione repeated, obviously intrigued at this new word, “That’s a different one.”
“Yeah. He tried to hex me because I was trying to tell his girlfriend about how he hated us at school or something and that upset him and I called him a ferret and it all escalated from there really.”
Ron lifted his arms and then dropped them to his sides to symbolise the uneventful-ness of his day. Hermione looked a little stunned but didn’t ask him too many questions. She had other things on her mind.
Their house was small, and it sat contentedly in the Tinworth countryside. The sea was not too far away; you could hear it gushing away at the cliffs if you listened. Hermione loved it dearly, after all, she and Ron had had to empty most of their vault at Gringotts to obtain it, and had to spend the best part of the summer in the year 2000 to make it into a fit state to live in. It had been a marvellous summer that one, with the majority of the Weasleys and friends coming down to help when they could. Neville had come down to charm paintbrushes up the walls, Luna had come along to float around in her own little world and advise on the best way to keep such common household pests such as Nargles out. Naturally no mistletoe plants should be allowed, and upstairs doors should always remain open, unless they were painted lilac of course.
Iced flagons of pumpkin juice would always appear from Harry and Ginny who lived a mere mile away, and ham sandwiches would arrive from Bill and Fleur, who lived a couple of miles in the other direction. They occasionally brought along their beautiful daughter Victoire, who would chat away happily in French about how disgusting she found the colour scheme Hermione had chosen.
Harry and George would bash roof tiles into place whilst Ron levitated slate after slate up to them, as they desperately tried to fill in the gaping holes that were causing seaside gales to sweep through the house. Mr Weasley had learnt how to operate a Muggle power drill so used this to erect haphazard window frames, which consisted of no ninety angles and made fitting the glass a next to impossible task. Ginny thought it would be funny to paint all the doors yellow, which greatly offended Hermione but after jinxing most of them white again, she relented and allowed the front door of the house to be yellow.
Hermione did not think there was a more beautiful place anywhere on earth. Ron secretly agreed.
“I’m meeting Harry in about an hour,” Ron explained, throwing his robes off over his and leaving them on the carpet, “We’re going to look at glasses.”
“Oh…” Hermione said, trying to digest that Ron was just walking around in his underwear, again.
She eventually understood what he wanted.
“Erm, Ron?” she said plainly, “Do you want to go upstairs and finish what we started earlier?”
“I thought you’d never ask!”
Fifty-five minutes later Harry Potter rang the doorbell to Ron and Hermione’s home, not expecting to hear a thud and a cry of “Oh damn!” from upstairs, a series of muffled thumps and then the clattering bangs that suggested Ron had just thrown himself down the stairs.
Ron opened the door and tried his best to look nonchalant, though his hair was inexplicable (it could’ve rivalled Harry’s) his t-shirt was on back to front and his trousers were undone.
“You’ve just have sex haven’t you?” Harry said.
“You can read me like a book mate,” Ron rubbed his neck awkwardly, zipped up his trousers and gestured Harry to follow him inside. The scuffles from upstairs made Harry suppress a grin.
The pair rounded the bend in the hall in silence, before entering a cosily cluttered kitchen with a table and chairs that had been crammed into a corner yet still took up most of the space. They stood in an awkward (in Ron’s case) and amused (in Harry’s) silence, before Ron suddenly said:
“We don’t always do it in the afternoons, this was a one off – ”
“Shut up Ron. Shut up now, please,” Harry implored, smiling nicely and holding his hands protectively over his ears.
“I just don’t want you think that we’re rabbits.”
“You know… that breed a lot.”
Harry gulped; all he’d wanted was to collect Ron so they could go and buy glasses for Ron’s wedding. If that wasn’t weird enough, here was Ron trying to justify that he wasn’t a rabbit with his girlfriend.
“Can I interest you in a cup of tea?” Ron asked in a dignified voice just as Hermione entered the room, looking impeccable apart from a bite mark on her nose.
“Go on then,” Harry said, having to turn away from Hermione’s bitten nose before he let out a snort that was likely to empty the contents of his nose. He pretended to admire the view out of the misshapen window, looking out over the fields and the sheep and the grass –
“Are you all right Harry?” Hermione asked worriedly, for Harry’s body had just started to shake and he was gripping the sideboard with all his might. Luckily she couldn’t see his face. Perhaps she thought he was crying.
“Leave it Harry,” Ron warned him, his ears going red, “It’s not that funny.”
“What? Are you laughing?” Hermione grabbed his shoulder and pulled him roughly round to face her.
Harry had hastily arranged his red face into an expression of polite curiosity, hoping that his watering eyes wouldn’t give him away. Unfortunately, upon the appearance of Hermione’s bitten nose again, he collapsed into uncontrollable mirth.
Hermione stepped back as Harry slid down the kitchen cupboards, barely able to breath and laughing like a lunatic. It wasn’t often that anyone had seen Harry laugh like this, so when it happened it was always a shock. Ginny was the one who usually ended up giving herself a hernia through laughter.
“Come on Harry!” Hermione was stern, “What’s so funny!”
“You – you – ” he pointed at her face, tears streaming from his eyes, “have a – a – bite – a bite mark on your – on your NOSE!”
Hermione went a proud shade of red and gingerly felt her nose with her hand.
“And – and you’re meant to be – the – the well - well behaved ONE!” Harry clutched his side, “Who – who knew you’d – be the – the KINKY ONE AS WELL!”
“That’s enough Potter!” Ron said, as Hermione progressively moved through shades of red, each more festive than the last. Perhaps they were both shocked that Harry had said “kinky”.
Harry barely had time to pull himself together and splutter “I’m sorry” before Ron emptied an entire cup of tea over his best mate’s head.
“That was a bit out of order, wasn’t it Ron?” Harry asked as he blew hot hair from his wand over his hair. He and Ron were just walking through Ron’s back garden to the fence, where the enchantment stopped that prevented people from Apparated directly into their home.
“I guess,” Ron agreed, “But you were laughing at Hermione. I have to protect her from people that do that since we’re getting married next week.”
“But – but surely I’m allowed to laugh at her?” Harry tried to reason, “I let her laugh at me.”
“Fair enough,” said Ron, “Sorry about the tea then.”
Harry continued to dry his hair before Ron stopped him and said:
“That’ll never get the tea out, here let me – ”
Clearly desperate to make up for the tea-pouring incident Ron cried “Aguamenti!” and a jet of water gushed over Harry’s head, soaking his entire body.
“Oh for Merlin’s sake!” Harry seethed, shaking his leg and arm, trying to get all the water off.
“I didn’t think all that water would come out,” Ron said curiously, looking down at his wand, “How odd.”
Harry splashed around in an angry circle before performing the complicated wave that made hot air stream from his wand tip once more, and he and Ron eventually Apparated to Diagon Alley, en route to “Gloria’s Glassware.”
Gloria was a blonde, friendly witch, and slightly short and round. She was essentially a well-mannered spirit with a smile that could warm even the most murderous Death Eater, except maybe Voldemort’s but he was dead so this didn’t matter. Her shop was a festoon of glass and mirrored surfaces, so it became very confusing to navigate. The expanse of windows that she had, ranging from stained glass to sheet glass meant that rays of sunshine were always pouring in and reflecting off the crystal goblets before splitting into miniature rainbows.
The bell to her shop tinkled and in walked two young men. She recognised them instantly as a damp Harry Potter (who didn’t know him?) and Ronald Weasley, who she knew had worked in the joke shop down the street and was also fairly famous for the whole You-Know-Who lark.
“Hello!” she chimed as they wandered in warily, looking at the glasses wondering how so many types could possibly exist.
Some of it changed colour, shifting through the spectrum like Teddy Lupin’s hair, some of it shattered and then repaired, leaving the fluid contents perfectly in place. Ron made a beeline for these, intrigued by how the champagne inside them used for display did not spill.
“Amazing,” he muttered, bending close to it and narrowing his eyes “Tricky to hold though, whilst it’s smashing like that…”
“I like this one,” Harry said, picking up a fine-stemmed emerald goblet from a marble display table.
“S’only ‘cause it matches your eyes,” Ron murmured, deeply impressed with the smashing glasses.
“No it isn’t,” Harry said stubbornly, “I just think they’re nice.”
Harry moved gingerly round to another table, and picked up a tall slim goblet that was in a bright blue.
“How about this one?”
“Now it matches my eyes,” Ron said, annoyed at the slowness of his friend, “We’re trying to be unique here!”
“Well I’m terribly sorry Mr I-know-all-about-colour-even-though-art-isn’t-even-an-offered-subject-at-the-school-I-attended!”
“Blimey,” said Ron.
“We could have brown,” Harry said scathingly, “So it matches Hermione and Ginny’s eyes.”
“Have you been looking at my sister in the eye?” Ron said, putting his hands on his hips, “Because I warn you – ”
“What! What!” Harry backed away, “It’s better than looking at her breasts isn’t it? Or her bum?”
“Have you been looking at her bum?”
“Glasses Ron glasses!” Harry diverted him back to why they were there, “So we’re not getting brown?”
“I don’t think so.”
“Well said,” Harry selected a frosted white crystal goblet with roses patterned into it, “How about these ones?”
A sunshine yellow glass was selected with red birds engraved round the sides.
Florescent orange glasses that turned hot pink when lips were set upon them.
This scenario continued in vain for about twenty minutes before Gloria eventually intervened and pulled out a dusty box from underneath her counter. Harry and Ron watched apprehensively as she opened it, desperate for it to be the right one, desperate for it not to be of the angry shrieking kind that would send Percy into a murderous fairy-cake stomping rage –
“Oh that’s gorgeous,” said Ron, exhaling a long breath.
It was a clear blue glass goblet, transparent as the sky and when it hit the light small diamonds could be seen sparkling down the slim stem.
“Hermione’ll like that,” Ron breathed, “Please may I have the set.”
“The whole set?” Gloria repeated.
“That’ll be seventy-five Galleons.”
“I’ll get them,” Harry said, digging around in his pocket for a moneybag. He had meant to purchase the glasses anyway as a wedding gift.
“No, no Harry. I’ll choose some other ones, it’s fine,” Ron went to walk away, but Harry grabbed his arm and pulled him back.
“I’m getting them Ron. They’re my present to you and Hermione, because you’re my best friends and I want to.”
Ron said nothing as Harry made the transaction, buying ten glasses for each of the more important guests that were attending. These glasses were placed into a wooden box, lined with cobalt blue silk. The others could make do with plastic cups.
Once they were outside the shop Ron stopped Harry, and seemed to struggle with himself before saying hastily:
“Thanks for that. Really means a lot mate.”
“You and Hermione have done far more for me than I’ve ever done for you,” Harry justified, “This doesn’t really feel like enough. I don’t think it ever will to be honest.”
Ron shook his head, avoiding Harry’s eye.
“Don’t be mental.”
“You’re not going all soppy on me are you?” Harry laughed, and Ron finally looked up and returned Harry’s smile, “’cause I can’t handle hugs when I’m carrying boxes full of glass.”
“Put it down then.”
Harry put it on the ground just as Ron leapt on Harry, wrapping his legs round his waist and giving him the biggest man-hug he’d ever had.
“GAY!” came a yell.
Funny how it seemed to come from the direction of Weasleys’ Wizards’ Wheezes.
As much as I love Ron/Hermione, I love Ron/Harry equally. Though not in that way... I just think they're perfect friends! They're so cute together.
HANDS UP WHO THINKS RON AND HARRY ARE CUTE FRIENDS??!!
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