|FIC: The Weasley Feint, NC-17, Chapter Six, "Hogsmeade"
||[Aug. 12th, 2006|04:43 pm]
|||||The Hog's Head||]|
|||||CHEMICAL BROTHERS Galvanize||]|
Another installment of my Ron/Viktor WIP. Hope it's enjoyable.
Title: "THE WEASLEY FEINT"
Fandom: Harry Potter
Characters: Ron Weasley, Viktor Krum
Summary: A lot more was going on during the Trio's fourth year than most realize. While everyone was focused on Harry and the tri-Wizard Tournament, Ron was having the adventure of his life with a certain Bulgarian Champion....
Genre: Adventure, Angst, Erotica, Romance
Warnings: Adult Language, Violence, Graphic Sex, Slash, Under 18, Work In Progress
Word Count: 6616
DISCLAIMER: Not mine, never will be. All HP characters belong to JK and Warner Brothers, etc, etc, etc. No profit made from this nor offense intended.
Beta'd by evilauntiesnape with additional help from koshweasley.
Saturday, 21 November 1994
The wide corridors of Hogwarts were now teeming with boisterous students, milling about and gossiping excitedly. It took Ron quite some time to make it back to Gryffindor Tower from the showers. The common room was nearly deserted as the red-head dashed through it and up the narrow, winding staircase. Quickly snagging his pack from his dresser, he flew through the portrait hole, back down the stairs and into the Great Hall.
The scene was no less crowded or excited here than anywhere else this morning. Smiling students filled the Hall. He impatiently pushed his way through a group of whooping third year Hufflepuffs on his way to his usual seat at the Gryffindor table.
A bright flash off to his left drew his attention to the Slytherin table. Some reporter from The Prophet and her photographer were huddled about over there, surrounded by a throng of students. A second later, he noted that the reporter was leaning down very close to Krum, who was trying to pay attention to his breakfast. An Auto-Quill was busily scratching away at a floating pad of parchment as the blonde bint talked and gestured animatedly, her bored-looking assistant snapping picture after picture.
Ron absently continued navigating through the crowd, trying to recall the reporter's name. She wasn't a favorite of his Mum, that was certain, but for the life of him, he couldn't quite remember her name just now.
When he glanced back over to the Slytherin table, he gasped when he noted that Krum was looking directly at him, smiling. He felt himself blush, and nodded back to his lover. Krum winked, licking his lips suggestively. Ron was about to wink back when the hawk-faced reporter suddenly turned to see what exactly the Bulgarian was staring at.
One of her darkly penciled eyebrows arched up as the tip of her tongue flicked back and forth across her lips. With a swift motion, she glanced at Krum, then to Ron and back again.
Ron stopped dead in his tracks, frozen, as Krum looked down and quickly began digging into his porridge with renewed interest.
The blonde reporter's dark eyes bored into Ron as he was bumped sharply on the shoulder by a passing student.
He blinked, startled, turning to see who had run into him.
"Either sit down of get the hell out of the way," Harry spat as he stalked off through the crowd and out of the Hall.
Ron was too stunned to formulate an appropriate response, so he made for an empty seat at his house table. Making sure to not gaze in Krum's direction, he grabbed a plate and began piling on eggs and sausages. He was just filling his mug with pumpkin juice when the sound of someone clearing their throat interrupted him.
Looking up, he saw a smirking Hermione staring at him from across the table. Ginny was seated next to her, pointedly studying her toast and ignoring him.
Hermione cocked her head to one side as his mug overflowed.
"Shite!" Ron hissed, mopping up the juice with a napkin.
"A bit pre-occupied this morning are we?" Hermione stated sweetly. "Sleep well on the sofa last night?"
Ron sighed deeply as the soiled napkin disappeared. "Yeah, like the dead, Herm. Thanks for asking," he responded carefully, making the slightest nod towards the Slytherin table.
"Not a problem. You just look like, well, you know. And don't worry about me," Hermione trilled, "It's her you need to be mindful of."
Another flash washed over the Hall as if to underscore her statement.
"What's her name again?" Ron asked around a mouthful of sausage.
Hermione jerked her head in the reporter's direction. "Skeeter. Rita Skeeter. Right nasty piece of work, too. Little better than a gossip monger instead of a reporter. She's covering the Tri-Wizard Tournament for The Prophet."
"Yeah, that's it," Ron murmured, nodding. "Mum hates her."
Hermione huffed, sipping on her tea. "She's not the only one. Most people don't care for her, or her work. But strangely, she sells papers, so that's why she's still about." She leaned across the table, her tone hushed. "Skeeter will be virtually pasted to the Champions from here on out, Ron. The blasted woman sees and hears everything. Watch yourself."
Ginny gave the pair a quizzical look as Ron nodded and Hermione sat back up on her bench.
"Got it, Herm. I'll be careful. Besides, thanks to Fred and George, I've got an edge."
Hermione's eyes went wide. "Well, that makes me feel ever so much better," she huffed, toying with her cereal.
"Don't worry. I've got it sorted," Ron whispered, his head jerking up suddenly.
"What is it?" Hermione hissed, looking down at her bowl.
"Skeeter. She's coming this way," Ron gasped out, swallowing his last bit of egg. "I'm off!"
Hermione nodded as he gulped down the last of his pumpkin juice and pushed away from the table. Throwing a sideways glance across the Hall, he caught sight of the blonde news hawk sashaying gracefully through the milling crowd, headed directly for him. Their eyes locked for the briefest of moments before he put his head down and shoved himself through the press of students as quickly as he could. Once through the huge double doors, he turned and glanced back towards his vacated seat at the table.
Hermione had jumped up and intercepted Skeeter, blocking the reporter's path quite effectively. Ron grinned as the blonde impatiently nodded at his friend, flashing fake smiles and peering over Hermione's shoulder.
Chuckling, he strode off through the busy hallways to the Courtyard. McGonagall and Filch had assumed their usual posts, collecting permission slips from the third years and keeping a watchful eye on the older Gryffindors. He scanned the crowded space, quickly finding Neville, Dean and Seamus off in a corner, huddling under one of the leafless trees. As he moved towards them, he caught sight of Harry, standing alone in the shadows beneath one of the archways.
The brunet looked lost in thought, and just the slightest bit miserable.
"Good, the bloody wanker," Ron muttered, ambling up to the trio of Gryffindors.
Neville nodded a silent greeting, rolling his eyes at Dean and Seamus, who, amazingly, were still embroiled in their broom debate. Ron chuckled, giving Seamus a playful punch to the shoulder. The Irish Gryffindor merely nodded in response, never once ceasing his intense debate with Dean. Ron and Neville shrugged at each other, both settling in to listen as their friends prattled on over the intricacies of broom design.
A short time later, McGonagall signaled their departure for Hogsmeade. The entire group of Gryffindors trooped obediently through the central arch and down the path to the Main Gate. Once outside the grounds, most of the seventh years Apparated. The remaining students spread out and mingled with members of other houses as they trudged through the thin layer of snow towards the Wizarding village.
Ron chatted with Neville about the new Herbology text Moody had given him while Hermione and Ginny talked quietly, several paces behind. The sun made a few brief appearances through the heavy gray clouds, but the wind was growing colder by the minute, gusting strongly on occasion.
By the time Ron, Neville, Dean and Seamus crossed into Hogsmeade, they were thoroughly chilled and flanked by Slytherins to the left and Hufflepuffs on the right. Ron noticed that Harry was walking next to Cedric Diggory, the two Champions obviously engaged in some deep conversation. He snorted as the tall Hufflepuff put a hand on Harry's shoulder and leaned in very close, speaking directly into the brunet's left ear.
"Big bloody wanker," he whispered to himself.
"What was that, Ron?" Neville asked brightly.
"I said it's bloody cold. Let's hit The Three Broomsticks for a quick spot of spiced cider to warm us up, yeah?"
"Good idea, mate," Neville agreed.
A few minutes later, they were seated at a large table in the pub. Hermione and Ginny had joined the four boys, as had Angelina Johnson and Alicia Spinnet. By the time Madame Rosemerta brought by the huge tray filled with mugs of steaming, spiced cider, conversation had invariably turned to Quidditch in general and Viktor Krum in particular. Ron remained mostly silent, choosing only to make small grunts of agreement when prodded. Hermione kept throwing him knowing looks while the red-head continuously watched the large old clock over the bar. The group of Gryffindors had just started in on their second round of ciders when Fred and George blustered into the pub. The twins squeezed themselves into the already cramped table, with George plopping down next to Ron.
The discourse then moved on to the Tri-Wizard Tournament, and the chances that each Champion had of winning. The Twins were absolutely shameless as they bantered back and forth, slowly guiding the table's conversation exactly in the direction they wanted. Ron shook his head and growled when George whipped his battered little suitcase from under the table and plopped it down loudly amngst the scattered mugs of cider and butterbeer. With a pronounced wagging of eyebrows, he flicked the clasps open as Fred embarked on an obviously rehearsed run-down of each Champion's odds. He passed out betting slips while George collected knuts and sickles from the excited Gryffindors.
Ron silently fumed as George kept poking him in the ribs whenever Krum's name was mentioned.
As if on cue, the heavy, scarred door to the inn flew open. Amidst a gust of cold wind and snowflakes, Igor Karkaroff stalked into the pub, followed by Gorski, four other Durmstrangs, and Krum. Ron nearly spit out his swig of cider as the stocky Seeker immediately picked him out of the boisterous crowd and winked. George noted the brief exchange and grinned widely, patting his younger brother in the back as Fred made whooping noises. The other Gryffindors, save Hermione, failed to register the Weasley brothers' reactions, instead focusing their attentions on the champion Seeker.
Krum stood there, grinning broadly. Karkaroff sternly motioned for the Seeker to close the door. Before Krum could comply, a hooded figure leaped across the threshold, crashing into the hunky Bulgarian. The figure turned her hood back, revealing a slightly mussed blonde head of hair and pointed, green eyeglasses. Rita Skeeter smiled and gushed all over the obviously nonplussed Krum as her assistant struggled into the pub, gear in tow.
Karkaroff ignored the altercation, instead flagging down Rosemerta. The innkeeper gestured to a private alcove just beyond where the Gryffindors were seated.
The Durmstrangs made their way across the common room, with Skeeter draped over Krum, her Auto-Quill scratching away furiously. The big Quidditch champion had adopted a most sullen expression and looked as if he were ready to hex the obnoxious reporter to ashes. Karkaroff threw the blonde a menacing snarl, baring his rather yellowed teeth in the process.
Undaunted, Skeeter followed the Durmstrangs to their table as her assistant fumbled with his camera and began snapping pictures in rapid succession.
Ron hunkered down over his cider as the reporter swept by the Gryffindor table. Hermione scowled when Skeeter's elbow whacked his head as she passed.
"Absolute disgrace to the world of journalism," Hermione commented sourly.
The rest of the table nodded in silent assent as Fred shrugged.
"Well, you've got to admire her persistence," he offered in Skeeter's defense.
"And she really knows how to market herself," George pointed out.
Both twins nodded knowingly at each other as Hermione rubbed her forehead and Ron scrunched down into his chair even further.
Meanwhile, Skeeter had wedged herself next to Krum, her heavily powdered face stretched with the most insincere smile imaginable. Her hapless assistant obediently captured the moment on film. Krum looked completely miserable, rolling his eyes as Skeeter's Auto-Quill scribbled away, the tip of the bright green feather repeatedly batting him in the face.
Karkaroff stepped over and roughly pushed the photographer out of the way, attempting to make it excruciatingly clear to Skeeter that she was not welcome at their table.
Just as the reporter began to utter her rebuttal to the Durmstrang Highmaster, the door to the inn banged open again. Harry and Cedric stomped inside, shaking the snow from their robes. Skeeter's head immediately swung about, her beady dark eyes going wide at the sight of two more Champions suddenly so close by.
Without so much as another word to Karkaroff, the reporter spun about and arrowed across the crowded pub, her quill and parchment close behind.
It took Harry a few seconds to note Skeeter's advance. His emerald eyes nearly popped out of his skull as the reporter shoved her way through the press of excited patrons. Quickly grabbing the front of Cedric's robe, Harry spun the taller Hufflepuff around and pushed him back towards the exit. Cedric threw Harry a confused look which faded instantly the moment that Skeeter's shrill voice pierced through the din of the crowd.
"Helloooo, Harry! Cedric! A moment please! Hellooooo there!"
Eyes wide, Cedric flung the door open and he and Harry made their escape into the crowded street. Skeeter was only a few feet behind the pair as Cho Chang suddenly jumped up from her seat and crashed into the hurrying reporter. Skeeter lost her balance and flopped onto a table occupied by a dour group of Slytherin seventh years. Butterbeer and cider flew into the air, splashing everyone and everything within a five foot radius. Chang barely contained her rather obvious grin as she apologized profusely, quickly helping the dazed reporter back to her feet.
There was an unmistakable round of muffled giggles throughout the pub as Skeeter straightened her glasses and charmed herself dry.
Chang smiled sweetly. "I'm ever so sorry. I didn't see you coming. Are you right?"
The Ravenclaw batted her eyes as Skeeter planted her hands on her thin hips, the reporter's small, dark eyes glaring down at Chang.
"Fortunately I am fine. You need to watch where you're going, young lady," Skeeter replied tersely.
Peering around Chang at the now closed door, the reporter cursed silently. With a shrug and a final withering stare at Chang, Skeeter whirled about, intending to return to her interrogation of Krum. She nearly ran into her photographer, who was being unceremoniously ushered across the common room by two of the largest Durmstrangs.
Karkaroff followed behind, towering over them, his expression menacing. "Interview is over for today," the Highmaster drawled, arching an eyebrow. "You wish to speak with Viktor, you will be having my permission first, yes?"
Skeeter's assistant sidled away from the stern looking Durmstrangs to stand behind his reporter.
Skeeter took a step closer to Karkaroff. "Really? I should think that you would welcome any sort of positive publicity, considering your, ah, checkered past? Of course, if there is something that you are trying to hide..."
Karkaroff flushed deep red, pushing between his two students to stand a scant few inches from Skeeter. The Highmaster stared down at the reporter, trembling with anger. He reached into the pocket of his robes, slowly pulling out his wand. "Last time I say this. No interview today," Karkaroff growled. "You will be going. Now."
The photographer paled noticeably. Skeeter harrumphed loudly, adjusting her cloak and taking a tiny step backwards.
"Now, now, no need to get testy," she replied in a slightly shaky voice. "Plenty of other stories out there." With a final snort, she whirled about, drawing herself up and pointing to the door. "Bozo! We go! Potter and Diggory can't have gone far."
Her dumpy assistant nodded eagerly as the pair marched out of the pub.
Karkaroff cracked a thin smirk, motioning for his students to return to their table. As the Highmaster passed by the Gryffindor table, he slowed down the slightest bit to stare at Ron.
Ron grinned nervously and took a sip of his cider. Hermione's eyes went wide as he spilled most of it all over the front of his Durmstrang t-shirt. "Bloody hell," he hissed, wiping at his soaked shirt in vain.
"Here, let me," Hermione sighed, charming his shirt dry with a wave of her hand.
Fred and George were snickering in unison while Ginny shook her head.
"Really, Ron. How embarrassing," she muttered.
Ron shot her a wicked look. "Wow, thanks, Gin," he replied angrily.
"I'll be right back," Ron stated abruptly, pushing away from the table.
"Where are you off to?" Hermione asked, her brow furrowed.
"Loo," Ron responded casually, hooking a thumb across the pub towards a shadowy hallway.
Hermione mouthed the words 'Be careful' as he winked and walked towards the restroom. Quickly moving down the short hall, he pushed on the old wooden door marked 'Wizards' and was immediately pleased to find the small toilet empty. Stepping into the lone cubicle, he pulled the heavy curtain closed. Fumbling in his pack, he pulled out the Invisibility Cloak Fred & George had given him. It looked very similar to Harry's, save that this one was much larger. It was also very well used, and covered with a slew of tiny holes and tears.
Grinning, he threw the cloak over his head. Pulling it around him, he adjusted it so that it draped on the floor perfectly. Two people would fit underneath the cloak with ease. Exiting the cubicle, he stood in front of the pocked mirror over the sink.
"Brilliant!" he exclaimed, seeing no evidence of his reflection whatsoever.
He was turning from side to side to see if the numerous holes in the cloak were evident when the door to the lav banged open and Karkaroff strode in. He barely had time to flatten himself against the wall as Karkaroff passed within an inch of him. Ron held his breath as Karkaroff paused, his large, brown eyes scanning the toilet. After what seemed like an age, Karkaroff made a final inspection of the small room before entering the cubicle.
Ron blew out a breath, making a hasty exit. He had intended only to check out his new cloak and use it later.
"No time like the present," he whispered to himself, slowly moving down the hall toward the common room.
The pub was more crowded than ever as he carefully threaded his way over to the Durmstrang table. He grinned as he noted Hermione anxiously throwing glances toward the hallway to the toilets. Slowly passing between one of the Durmstrang's chair and the wall, he moved behind Krum's chair.
Krum was quietly listening to the conversation in progress. The stocky Quidditch players were speaking in Bulgarian, so Ron had no idea what they were talking about. What was clear, however, was that his lover wasn't really paying attention to the discussion. Krum would nod occasionally at certain points, but his attentions seemed evenly divided between Ron's empty chair at the Gryffindor table and the hallway to the loo.
Grinning, Ron leaned in close to Krum. The Bulgarian's wonderful musk sent a shiver through the his body. Carefully, he moved in as closely as he dared to the Krum's left ear.
"Don't move, love. It's me," he whispered. "I've got an Invisibility Cloak."
Krum froze for the barest of instants before a wide smile broke out across his face. Taking a small sip of butterbeer, he nodded slightly.
"I think you need to go to the toilet, yeah?" Ron breathed quietly. "I'll meet you there."
He leaned in closer, gently brushing his nose against the shell of Krum's ear. He ran his cloaked hand down the Krum's muscled chest and stomach, coming to rest on the crotch of Krum's trousers. Ron moaned softly, the tips of his fingers sensing the first stirrings of arousal there.
Krum sighed, barely moving his head closer to Ron and slowly shifting his hips upwards, pushing his hardening cock into Ron's hand.
The feel of his lover through the shimmery fabric of the Invisibility Cloak was making Ron rock-hard. Suddenly feeling short of breath, he stood up and moved as quickly as he could towards the shadowy hallway. Once there, he turned and watched eagerly as Krum moved across the crowded pub towards him. From there, he could clearly see Hermione craning her neck, watching with interest as Krum strode across the floor.
Krum was still a few feet away from him when the door to the loo squeaked open.
Ron saw the barest hint of surprise on Krum's face. He turned and saw Karkaroff standing there, adjusting his robes. Once again he was forced to plaster himself against the wall as the Highmaster flowed by. Krum nodded at his mentor, pointing to the hallway. Karkaroff grunted in response, passing by and heading for the Durmstrang table.
Krum slowed down as he neared the door to the loo, obviously uncertain as to where Ron was standing.
Before he could make a move, Krum pushed through the door and into the restroom. Ron followed, the door swiftly closing and banging him on the head.
Krum whirled about at the sound of Ron's voice, smiling. Quickly scanning the space directly inside the now closed door, he threw his arms wide in an attempt to capture the cloaked Gryffindor.
"Okay, where are you, my lion?" Krum murmured playfully.
His head still smarting, Ron grinned and flung the cloak over his head. It pooled silently about his boots. "Right here, Viktor."
Krum blew out a breath and wrapped his arms about Ron. The two teens instantly mashed their lips together, hungrily devouring, tasting and drinking each other in. Tongues battled and teeth clacked as two sets of hips ground together, breath hitching and small, whimpering moans somehow managing to escape.
Ron's hands plunged under Krum's robes, quickly sliding them inside the Bulgarian's jeans. Krum gasped as Ron firmly kneaded his muscular bum.
"Yes, yes, put your hands on me, Ron. I am yours," he panted.
"Oh, Merlin, Viktor, you feel absolutely fucking wonderful!"
"And so do you," Krum countered breathlessly as he scrabbled at Ron's fly.
Ron pulled one hand from Krum's impossibly wonderful arse and shoved it down the front of Krums loose-fitting Levi's. He curled his fingers around Krum's fully engorged cock.
Krum bucked as Ron'ss hand teased Krum's throbbing member with abandon.
"My lion, mylionohyesmyfieryfuckinglion," he murmured, ripping open the button and tearing down the zipper of Ron's jeans.
Ron whimpered as Krum grabbed his own erect prick. He bent his head down, suckling and nibbling at the wonderfully warm, soft flesh of Krum's neck. He lapped and laved at Krum with increased fervor, nipping ever harder at the wonderfully smooth skin there. Krum arched his head back as he thrust his hips firmly into Ron's.
"Ohyesohyesjustlikethatmylion," Krum moaned, his speech suddenly flowing into Bulgarian.
"Да , да , АЗ любов ти. харесвам , да , този чувствувам така добър!"
Ron flushed as his lover's warm breath washed over the already hot skin of his cheek. The sound of Krum's alien tongue was strangely arousing. He was now slurping and pulling on Krum's neck with a determined intensity. With each suck and nibble, Krum would jerk and jump, moaning with pleasure.
Krum's own lips had found Ron's neck, and he was likewise roughly suckling away.
Ron jumped as a loud thud from beyond the closed door intruded into their little world.
He pulled away from Krum, desperately drawing in the stale air. He was achingly close to release.
"Viktor," he managed to squeak out, "not here. Not now. Too many people. Need to go!"
Krum continued to kiss Ron's neck for a moment longer, finally pulling away. He was grinning, his eyes glazed with desire.
"Da, I mean, yes, yes," he nodded nervously.
He then gave Ron a quick peck on the cheek before moving over to the door. Cracking it open slightly, Krum peeked out into the dark hallway.
Ron slid in behind him, pressing his own arousal against Krum's firm bum. He snaked his arms around the Seeker, one hand caressing Krum's chest while the other stroked his still erect cock.
"I want to be with you so badly, Viktor," Ron gasped. "Let's get out of here, okay?"
Krum spun about and Ron picked up his cloak, quickly throwing it over their heads. It covered them both perfectly.
Thank Merlin for Fred and George!
Both teens pressed together firmly in a tight embrace.
"Hi there," Ron purred.
"Hello," Krum replied.
"Let's ditch this place," Ron murmured into Krum's neck.
"Da," Krum responded.
They awkwardly moved through the creaky toilet door and into the hall, nearly stumbling as they attempted to keep their bodies as closely together as possible while they walked. The pair made it a few steps before Krum sighed loudly and turned about, clumsily embracing him.
Krum pressed his warm lips against Ron's, pushing his tongue into Ron's willing mouth. He swayed his hips slightly, rubbing his erection against Krum's. The feel and scent of his lover was making Him dizzy again. He sudenly felt as if he were melting into the muscley Seeker.
And that was a good thing. But not right now! Ron pulled away from the kiss, gasping for breath.
"I think we should go before someone runs into us."
"Yes, is good idea, my lion," Krum breathed. "I am wanting to strip you down right here."
"Mmm, I'm all for that, love," Ron whimpered. "I can't wait to get you naked, either."
They both chuckled, touching their foreheads together. They were jerked apart by the approaching sound of two boisterous voices.
Dean and Seamus were nearly upon them, engrossed in their perpetual broom debate. Ron and Krum jumped out of the way in the nick of time, just as the pair of oblivious Gryffindors passed by them and into the restroom. Catching their breath, the pair snaked their way across the crowded common room. Ron was in front with Krum pressed close behind, the Seeker's strong arms encircled about his torso.
Ron noticed that both Hermione and Karkaroff were similarly scanning the common room with slightly worried expressions. He was having real trouble concentrating on navigation. The sensation of Krum's body, not to mention that of a very erect, very large member pressing into him was almost completely distracting.
Finally, the pair reached the front door. Ron gasped as Krum's tongue flicked the lobe of his right ear.
"Hey, watch that," Ron whispered desperately. "Do that again, and you'll have me yelping loud enough to give us away."
"Mmmm, and that is supposed to be making me stop?" Krum replied evilly. "I want to be hearing you yelp with pleasure."
Before Ron could formulate a response, the door flew open with a gust of wind and snow. Fleur Delacour and a group of the Beauxbatons girls wafted into the inn, their cheeks flushed and rosy from the cold.
Ron reached down and pinched Krum's arse.
"Here's our chance! Move it!"
The pair brushed past the visiting students and into the street. The wind was sharp and cut through the thin Invisibility Cloak like a knife. It was as struggle trying to keep it in position. Ron was so concerned with holding the cloak in place that he failed to notice Hagrid and Madam Maxime bearing down on them. Krum managed to alert him in time, and they jerked themselves out of the way of the laughing pair of half-giants.
"We've got to get off the main street," Ron said over his shoulder.
"Is true, but where? I can Apparate us, but I am not knowing of place to go to," Krum replied, a hint of frustration tainting his voice.
"I know where we can go," Ron answered after a brief pause. "Let's get out from under this cloak. We'll make better time that way."
They trudged several yards down the snowy street, narrowly avoiding countless brushes with other pedestrians. Ron made a sharp right, taking them down a narrow alleyway between the Post Office and the new coffee shop, Spike's. Half way down the alley, he whipped the cloak off, quickly folding it and stuffing it into his pack.
Krum gently pulled Ron close, smothering him with a deliciously hot, wet kiss. He felt his legs begin to turn to jelly.
Reluctantly pulling away, Ron drew a deep breath. Smiling back at his perpetually aroused Seeker, he pointed down the alley, away from High Street.
"This way, love. It's not very far. And if you keep that up, you'll be carrying me the rest of the way."
"Is fine," Krum giggled. "I am strong enough to carry my lion anywhere."
Ron rolled his eyes as the pair reached the end of the alley. Pulling up the hoods of their robes, they stepped out onto the side street.
Even though it was only one block over from the main drag, Hengist Street was nearly deserted. Much narrower than High Street, Hengist featured mostly private homes with a grocery, a Medical Building, and the Hogsmeade Village Offices. Ron and Krum moved swiftly by the few villagers going about their business, quickly coming to the end of the street.
Without stopping, Ron turned left onto an even narrower street.
The buildings in this area of Hogsmeade were decidedly in need of some upkeep. Krum glanced about as Ron led them to a rather large, decrepit looking inn. The weathered and splintered sign hanging from the rusty metal arm proclaimed the establishment's name as The Hog's Head. The large bank of windows on either side of the front door were so grimy they were opaque. Krum stopped short at the curb, staring. Ron noticed he was no longer right behind him.
"Viktor? What's the matter? This is the place."
"You are being sure that this is safe, Ron?"
He walked back to Krum, his blue eyes anxiously darting back and forth.
"Well, not exactly safe. Discreet is a better word," Ron offered hopefully. "I've heard Fred and George talk about this place. They've uh, used it a bit. For a few sickles, the owner looks the other way, if you know what I mean."
Krum nodded. "Very well. Where my lion leads, I follow."
He grinned widely, nearly making Ron faint.
Pulling on the huge wrought iron hog's head door handle, Ron frowned as the peeling red door opened outward with a screech of poorly lubricated hinges. The pair stepped through the entryway and into a small hall.
A flight of crooked steps led to the second floor. A set of closed double doors were on their right. Straight ahead, to the left of the stairs, a narrow door featured a sign warning 'Employees Only'.
A large archway on the left opened into the dingy common room. It looked to be about the same size as the one at The Three Broomsticks, but the feeling one got here was not nearly as airy or welcoming. A few candles burned feebly in their crooked sconces. Even though it was nearly midday, very little daylight was able to filter through the filthy window panes. A number of swarthy Wizards and Witches were scattered about the space, huddled over their drinks. A few of them looked up at Ron and Krum warily.
The two teens exchanged a glance, stepping forward into the hazy common room.
A long bar ran the entire length of the room. A grizzled old Wizard stood behind it, wiping out mugs and glasses with a dirty rag. His left eye was squeezed shut, while the other was open so wide it appeared ready to pop out of its socket. His yellowy gray hair stuck out from the sides of his bald head like bat's wings.
Ron walked up to the bar, Krum right next to him. He pulled the hood of his robe back slightly, leaning on the sticky counter and nodding at the barman.
The old man continued wiping out his mugs, silently staring back at him.
After a few moments, Ron cleared his throat.
The barman sighed loudly, slamming his mug down with a sizable bang.
"I was never any good a' Divination, so's ya might as well jus' tell meh what ya want. Mite quicker that way," he growled.
"Yeah, right, sure," Ron stammered. "Sorry about that mister....mister?"
"Woolcott's me name. Elwood Woolcott. Now that we got that outta th' way," Woolcott huffed impatiently, "I s'pose ya be wantin' a room?"
Ron blinked. "Uh, yeah, that's right. But uh, um, but how...?"
The barkman snorted as he reached under the counter.
"Ya been doin' this as long as I 'ave lad, ya jus' know."
Woolcott plunked a long brass key on the bartop.
"There ya go. Room thirteen. Up th' steps, down th' hall, las' door on th' left. Yere lucky. Best room in th' place. I call it th' Honeymoon Suite. Jus' right for a pair 'o bucks like you, eh?"
Woolcott chuckled hoarsely to himself as Ron reached for the skeleton key. Before Ron could pick it up, the barkman's meaty hand slammed down on top of Ron's. He jumped as Woolcott leaned forward, his wide grin showing off a disturbing array of brown teeth.
"Yeh be fergettin' somethin', Red. Cash on th' barrelhead, way it works 'round here."
"Oh, yeah," Ron mumbled, pulling out a several knuts and a few sickles. The red-head dumped the money on the bar.
"Is that enough to make sure that this, uh, that this remains between us? If you know what I mean, yeah?" he finished nervously.
Woolcott arched an eyebrow, shaking his head.
"Oy, big spender, eh, Red? No matter. Me lips is sealed. Yeh got two hours," Woolcott drawled as he lifted his hand away from Ron's.
Ron quickly snatched up the key and made to turn away. Woolcott grunted loudly.
"No Animagus stuff in th' room, hear?" the bald Wizard warned, wagging a grimy finger.
"Had a couple blokes change inta mules or somethin', kicked holes all through th' plaster. Sounded like th' whole ceiling was comin' down, too. If'n ya can't fix it, don' bust it! And use a silencin' charm. Don' wanta bother th' other guests wit' yere moanin' and groanin'."
Ron looked over at Krum, blushing furiously.
"Right, fine. We'll be careful. Thanks," he huffed, becoming slightly annoyed.
"One last thing, Red. I need ta see who else I'm dealin' with here, if'n ya wanta come back again."
Woolcott gestured towards Krum.
"Step on up, buck. Lemme see ya."
Ronr glanced at Krum and back to Woolcott.
"Jes' the way it's done, Red," the barkman insisted.
Ron started to protest, but Krum shook his head. The Seeeker stepped next to Ron, pulling back his hood just enough so that Woolcott could make out his features.
The old barman's one good eye flew open even wider, a huge smirk growing across his whiskered face. A second later, Woolcott began laughing, slowly at first, then a bit more loudly. The laugh turned into a wheezy cough as he grabbed a nearby glass of water and gulped it down.
Krum pulled his hood full forward again as Woolcott wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.
"Merlin on a crutch! Now I've seen it all! Bloody rich it is," he chuckled. "I jes' love it. Big tough Quidditch stud is really a nancy boy. Jes too rich it is, oh yeah," he finished, smirking.
"In light o'this new ah, development, I'll be needin' a bit more for me silence. A galleon should do it."
"A galleon?" Ron spit out. "You're whacked, old man!"
Woolcott simply grinned at him as Krum laid a hand on the bartop. When he withdrew it, a shiny new galleon rested next to the barman's grubby paw.
"Ahh, thas what I like. No muss, no fuss. Have fun, bucks."
Before Woolcott could move away, Krum's hand shot out and grabbed the old man's wrist. With a quick motion, he yanked Woolcott half-way across the bar. The barkeep's closed eye actually cracked open a bit as beads of sweat popped out on his splotched, bald head. Woolcott yelped as Krum tightened his grip.
"I will be telling you what it is I am liking," he said smoothly. "You will be showing proper courtesy to paying customers, yes?"
"Yeh, yeh, sure," Woolcott gasped.
Krum tightened his grip further.
"And if I am finding that you have breathed word to anyone about our arrangement, I am being one big nancy boy that will be twisting that ugly head from your neck before you know what is happening. We are being clear, yes?"
Woolcott nodded, wheezing loudly.
Krum released the old man, casually smoothing the front of his robes. He nodded to Ron, who was quietly snickering. The two strode out of the common room, leaving Woolcott to rub his sore wrist.
The pair of lovers were barely half-way up the rickety staircase when the front door to the inn squealed open. Ron stopped in mid-step as the unmistakable sound of Rita Skeeter's piercing laugh echoed through the small entry hall. Krum quickly placed his hand on the Gryffindor's back, pushing him firmly up the stairs.
"Bloody hell, Viktor," he hissed. "She's worse than a boarhound!"
"Yes, yes, we talk later. Best we get to room now."
Ron fought the urge to turn and look behind them as they flew up the stairs. The pair nearly ran down the dimly lit hallway, stopping in front of the door to room thirteen. He fumbled with the key, finally seating it in the battered keyhole with a satisfying clink. The lock was stiff, and Ron had to fuss with it before it would turn.
Skeeter's laugh wafted up to them from down the stairs.
"Shit!" he cursed as the lock turned, but then the door knob stuck.
"Here, let me," Krum offered.
Ron stepped aside as Krum pressed against him. With a firm twist, the knob clinked and the door popped open an inch. They pushed into the room, slamming the door behind them. A small oil lamp flickered weakly, illuminating a rather large, if somewhat shabby room.
There was a nicely sized fireplace and mantel filling one wall on the right. A meager fire had spluttered to life in the hearth. A huge bed with a visibly lumpy mattress and tattered quilt filled the wall directly opposite. There was one set of grimy, multi-paned windows across from the door. The faded curtains were riddled with Doxie holes. Two uncomfortable-looking wingback chairs flanked the windows. In the corner stood a scarred little three-drawer stand with a chipped flow blue wash basin. A large wardrobe stood to one side of the door. Cobwebs filled every nook and cranny of the low, open-beamed ceiling.
"Hagrid's old hut was nicer than this dump," Ron opined, grimacing.
Krum handed the key back to him, turning and pressing his body against the Ron's.
"Mmm, is fine. Anywhere with you is good place to be. Having only two hours, we should be getting out of these clothes, yes?"
Ron sighed, wrapping his arms around his muscley Quidditch champion.
"Whatever you say, you big nancy boy!"
A/N - The Bulgarian line from Krum translates as "Yes, yes, I love you. Please, yes, that feels so good."