beneath these dirty sheets
by Victoria P.

Hermione lies between them this morning, her rightful place, the only place she belongs anymore.

The sheets are tangled and damp with sweat, winding sinuously around Harry's waist and Ron's legs as their chests rise and fall in the deep, quiet rhythm of sleep. She keeps them breathing, keeps them alive, when everyone else has abandoned them.

The war is won, the peace is lost; there is chaos in the streets now, because the Ministry can no longer hide what's happening, and the Muggles can no longer ignore it.

Holed up in the disintegrating remains of number twelve, Grimmauld Place, everyone else dead or fled or no longer interested in knowing the savior and destroyer of the wizarding world, they spend their days in the Black family library, pretending research can fix everything that's gone wrong, and their nights lost in each other's bodies, the only comfort they have left now.

Ron rolls over onto his back and she can see the angry red marks scoring his fair skin. Harry's not the only one with scars these days, and Hermione's never been that good at healing spells. She brushes her fingers down Ron's chest, nails ragged and dirty because nothing stays clean in this house, in this world, and he stirs under her touch.

"Hey," he whispers.

The first moment of every morning is the hardest, the one where it hits her -- hits them -- that everything is different now. She hates seeing the hope flare and die in their eyes, but she knows she has to be awake, be there to comfort them when it happens, because otherwise, they will fall apart, and she won't allow that. Not after losing everything else. And anyway, she's never been one for lying in bed when there's work to be done.

Ron takes her hand, brings it to his mouth, and the warmth of his breath on her skin still makes her body thrill. He sucks the tip of each finger into his mouth separately, his lips lush and so very red in his pale, worn face, his freckles standing out like faded bloodstains. He is working his way up her arm with tiny kisses and licks along the inside of her wrist, her forearm, her elbow, and she can't settle her other hand in one place -- she brushes his fringe out of his eyes, trails her fingers over his jaw, down his neck, until the hot, insistent pulse between her legs demands her attention.

She whimpers low in her throat but he doesn't speed up, just gives her the old, familiar grin, the one that makes her heart ache. She knows they've woken Harry when his hand pushes away the sheet and slides over her hip, tendrils of heat uncurling along her skin as he pushes her hand out of the way to tangle his fingers in the damp, curly thatch between her thighs.

She turns her head and seeks the heat of his mouth, losing herself in the sleep-stale taste of Harry, with the lingering hint of herself and Ron on his tongue.

Ron laughs against her skin, a sound she only hears at times like this now, and he takes her hand, damp and cool with his saliva, and wraps it around his prick, hot and hard. She enjoys the feel of him -- of them both -- in her hands, her mouth, her cunt, loves that she can do this for them, as they do it for her, and for each other.

Harry's fingers work their magic, sliding in and out, thumb circling her clit until she's bucking against his hand, straining for release. Ron sucks at one nipple, then the other, electricity arcing through her, as Harry sinks his teeth into the tender flesh where neck becomes shoulder.

She comes with a hoarse, wordless cry, pleasure pulsing through her body in waves as she shakes apart, knowing only Ron and Harry hold her together.

Harry keeps his thumb pressed against her clit as Ron draws her leg over his hip, his cock slowly pushing inside her. At the same time, Harry works from behind, cool, slick fingers slipping into her arsehole. She's still not used to it, feels like they're going to split her in half when his cock replaces his fingers, but then he's moving and Ron's moving and they're moving together, rolling like the tide, and the pleasure overwhelms the pain.

Ron and Harry kiss over her shoulder, hard and wet and sloppy, their tongues grazing her skin as they fuck her. She slides her hands down Ron's body, grabs his arse to urge him on before slipping two fingers inside him, her head falling back against Harry's chest.

This is the only time now when she forgets what's going on in the world, forgets the deaths she's seen and caused, the obliteration of the life she'd chosen, in the heat and friction of Harry and Ron deep inside her, the three of them perfect together in ways they can never be alone.

She feels Ron clench around her fingers and then he's spilling himself inside her, hard and deep, and Harry swallows his moans with a kiss. Harry's hand tightens on her hip, still slamming into her from behind, a little desperate now for his own release and she bites her lip at the pain edging the pleasure. Ron licks her lips, and she opens her mouth to his tongue as the brush of his hand over her clit sends her spinning over the edge again, white light bursting behind her eyes.

She's vaguely aware of Harry shouting as he comes, squeezing her and Ron close, his hips jerking spasmodically.

They are sweaty and sticky and breathing heavily, still entangled on the dirty sheets as the grey dawn light slowly filters in through the Doxy-damaged drapes. A tapping sound at the window rouses Harry, who reluctantly pulls away and pads naked to the window, shoving his glasses on as he goes.

It is Hedwig, looking as proud as only she can, even though her feathers are no longer bright white and her eyes are more predatory than they used to be.

Harry opens the letter and his brow furrows in thought as he reads.

"Well?" Hermione demands, as Hedwig settles on her perch and begins grooming herself.

"It's from Neville," Harry says hoarsely. "He may have a lead on Professor McGonagall."

Hermione drags herself from the bed, sore and dirty but allowing herself a bit of hope for the first time in ages. Ron joins them at the window, and the soft rays of the rising sun set his hair on fire as he wraps an arm around each of them.

They stand there for a moment, and Hermione closes her eyes against wishing for more.


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