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Title: Far Too Personal
Author name: Icarus
Author email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sub Category: Slash
Keywords: Slytherin Malfoy Snape Ron Personals
Summary: "'Student, tall, beater's build...' Okay, maybe not quite beater's build, but he was close enough." Ron Weasley places a personal ad and lies shamelessly about himself and his assets. Unfortunately, his date did the same.
DISCLAIMER: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Copyright © 2004 by Icarus Ancalion. All rights reserved. This story may not be reproduced in whole or part without the author's explicit permission. Ask, guys. I'm easy to reach and usually quite generous.
Author notes: Thank you to CLS and to Salix Babylon and to Adred for the Beta review. Is that overkill?
Far Too Personal
His hands were annoyingly sweaty as he licked the envelope, and tied it to the owl's leg - an anonymous post owl. He'd heard he should be careful on these things. That magazine Dean had found had little tips like that.
Two weeks later he stole a new copy of that magazine - no way he'd get caught actually buying it - and slipped out the door whistling as if he hadn't a care in the world. His first one looked a little dog-eared from sneaking it to the bathroom and hiding it under his mattress. He started out just looking at the pictures (and taking a lot of long showers), but then he devoured it cover to cover, including the fine print in the back. That's what gave him the idea. He hated to think what all this meant, though at the moment he didn't really care.
He slipped into an alley behind the store, the bricks cool against his shoulders, and flipped to the back page. And there it was, his ad:
Student, tall, Beater's build,
OK, maybe not quite a Beater's build, but he was close enough. He hoped 'student' didn't sound 'underaged', which was true in this case, but he could probably pull it off.
Minor exaggeration there, but if he said six inches they'd think he had nothing. He suspected everyone subtracted three inches from the measurements they read - he did - but nine inches sounded too big.
He chewed his lip. He'd figured he'd better top since he heard it hurt on the bottom, at least your first time.
He had no clue what that meant, but he liked how it sounded.
straight-acting, looking for same.
No way in hell was he going to get caught trying this out! It'd better be someone who wasn't obvious.
BJ, maybe more?
He cringed and decided he didn't like that last line, but it was too late. It sounded like he didn't know what he wanted. Which he didn't, but that was beside the point.
Ron sighed, and tucked the magazine into his jacket, his heart fluttering. All he could do now was wait.
The next week, he opened his post-owl box. There was only one response (He cursed. That was because of that last line he was sure of it) but - hey. It was something. He ducked into the alley and ignored the stink of a dumpster as he tore the note open and read eagerly:
"I am attractive,
Attractive? That sounded good.
They'll be matched there. Better and better.
with a Seeker's build.
Uh-oh. Ron knew what that meant. He was as skinny as a rail. Oh well, that might be okay. He didn't have any other responses anyway.
8 1/2" cut.
Yeah, right. But he'd never seen one cut. That ought to be interesting, and it wasn't something anyone lied about.
While I'm versatile, I have a preference for the bottom.
Good. So if Ron changed his mind about being on top, they could switch. Um... later on maybe. He'd almost made up his mind about this one.
Probably married. That was okay.
I'm looking for a long-term relationship, so I am only interested in serious inquiries.
Oh. Maybe not married. Serious inquiries? What the fuck... yeah, Ron was serious. He was seriously horny, and seriously interested in getting some. That should be serious enough for this guy.
Please do not bother to reply if you are not masculine.
Ron was all right there he was certain.
Send photo of bubble butt."
Oops. Ron unconsciously looked back at his own meagre bottom. He'd since learned what 'bubble butt' meant: it was what he didn't have, and Seamus did. What was he going to do now? He didn't have any other responses, so who was he kidding? If the man had written 'I am Voldemort', he still would have gone for it.
Ron squinted at the letter, and decided that the 'bubble butt' was probably the reason he got the response. He'd just have to figure something out.
He waited until he had some privacy before he opened that particular letter.
The silver letter-opener sliced through the thin paper cleanly, and a photo fluttered to the ground. A house-elf scooped it up for him, though he snatched it out of its hand before it could get a good look. Wretched creatures. He sent them away with an irritated gesture, and then examined his prize.
Very nice. The photo was a bit grainy, but the subject shifted slightly, cheeks flexing as he was rewarded with a promising glimpse of ball hair. The legs were muscular and well-toned, rather thinner than a 'Beater's build' but he had suspected as much of course. He sniffed the letter: no scent. The femmes always gave themselves away.
The cheap paper confirmed the 'student' claim as well. He was obviously too young to know anything (the question mark on the 'BJ, maybe more?' proved that much), but so long as his young friend was manly he didn't mind showing him the ropes.
It should be fun.
Besides, the last twelve ads had been pathetically effeminate - he could spot those a mile away. He made an appointment for a fine (and therefore quite discreet) restaurant, and then dictated his answer to a Tel-O-Quill.
Ron was so eager, he was reading his letter as he walked out of the owl post - screw the dangers. He stopped cold in the doorway, and irritated people had to walk around him as he reread the name of the restaurant. Wow.
That place was really expensive. Guess the guy was rich. Ron hoped that since he was the 'top' he wasn't expected to pay. No, no, he'd said he was a student. But what would he wear? Horrifying images of Yule Ball robes came to mind; though he had new dress robes from his brothers, somehow they just didn't seem 'sexy.'
The reality of what he was about to do sank in the cold pit of Ron's stomach. He began to chicken out.
Well, Ron thought, maybe Dean might have an idea. He's artistic at least.
He ran his hands through his hair and ordered a drink as he settled into a chair in the parlour. Ghost waiters floated trays about the room, conveniently see-through and not blocking his view of the door. If his young visitor was perchance not young - or looked like a gargoyle - he would be able to make a quick exit without embarrassing himself.
An elderly witch dripping with jewellery and a stiff old warlock stepped up to the maitre d' and were shown to their table. Then a gaggle of over-dressed girls giggled their way in, attempting to sound prim and not the least bit intimidated by the location of their 'girls night out.'
A man in a shabby coat was shown directly to his private room. Obviously a regular. Then a group of business wizards, who had the air of men with very liberal expense accounts, with an even more liberal client to please, were shown to one of the upper balconies, one of the private and elegant parts of the restaurant. If his date proved to be everything he wanted, that's where they would be. He was determined to impress him.
A young man entered, wearing flowing silk wizard's robes.
Oh no. He sat up and took notice, grimly noting the boy's effeminate air... and then the fragile lad held the door open for his even more fragile girlfriend.
Ah. Good. He checked his pocketwatch irritably. Five after; the young man was...
The next one through the door was very tall, and looked somewhat confused. He wore a tight, Muggle black turtleneck with elegant charcoal trousers. Both set off his red hair strikingly well, but it made no difference.
He had to escape as quickly as possible before --
-- Too late. Those clear blue eyes had already picked him out at the bar, and widened.
Professor Snape was caught in the crosshairs.
Ron stared for a good minute - what seemed like an hour - at Professor Snape, seated on the barstool by the fire. It couldn't be a coincidence he was here, especially not with him looking wide-eyed like that, lips parted in surprise. He was also dressed to kill, in a whisper-soft-looking shirt and - hell - was that a gem winking in his ear? The door tried to open behind Ron, pushing him forward, and he imagined that everyone in the place was staring at them. He hurried to get out of the public eye.
"Um," he said to Snape, who hadn't moved or even blinked. "We'd better get outta here."
Snape nodded sharply, once, and snapped up a soft elegant coat from the neighbouring barstool. They edged out the door as quickly and as discreetly as they could. Their breath puffed around them in the crisp air under the golden lamplight. Frightened as fugitives, they didn't speak for a long moment.
Slowly they recovered, the cool air sinking around them. Then, they both spoke at once:
"Which Beater were you referring to - Fred or George?"
"By what standard, attractive?" Ron fired back.
"Obviously to someone with more refined, discerning tastes than you."
"And since when are you rich?"
"Looking for a Sugar Daddy, Mister Weasley?" Severus sneered. He turned away in exasperation, throwing up a hand. "I don't believe it -- it took me weeks to get those reservations!"
"Hey, I never said anything about money. I wasn't even looking for a date! You were the one who got all fancy on me," Ron complained. "I almost didn't come because I didn't know what to wear."
"You wouldn't know what to wear to a Muggle barn-raising."
Ron reddened. "I think I did all right."
Severus had nothing to say to that, because he most certainly had. He'd done more than all right. That was the - surprise - that had frozen him in the first place. If a tatty Weasley had walked through that door, he would have disappeared like a shadow. He had his escape route carefully planned. But when Ron Weasley had stepped into the restaurant so striking in that ensemble, his red hair a dramatic contrast to such dark elegance, Severus couldn't quite grasp that this was really who he was seeing. He'd just sat there, gaping like a fish.
"And what's with the sapphire earring?" Ron pressed.
"A Weasley recognises the gem? Congratulations," Severus sniped. "You said you wanted a femme."
"I didn't specify."
"You said 'dominant.' That means -- oh, hell, never mind!" The blood rushed to Severus' ears and he looked away. What he had written to this young man, this student -- Ron Weasley of all people! -- and what could be inferred from it. Sweet Merlin.
"Oh." A light of understanding went on in Weasley's eyes. "I didn't mean - I just... I heard it's easier if you're on top the first time."
"Wonderful. A virgin, too." Not that Severus would have minded, if it were someone, anyone, but this.
"Not exactly!" Ron blushed. "Just with -- you know."
Severus gave him a disparaging glance.
They were silent a long moment, their breath misting about them, glowing slightly in the warm lamplight. Severus shivered, though Weasley seemed completely unaffected by the chill. Of course, he wasn't wearing silk.
In the calm, their adrenaline rush of fear began to subside as it sank in, finally, that they escaped the restaurant in time, before anyone spotted them together. Slowly it began to dawn on them that neither was likely to tell anyone what had happened tonight.
"God," Ron said in a strangled voice. He leaned back against the lamppost. "I can't believe this. Of all people... you're not going to tell anyone, are you?"
"Now just how would I phrase that, exactly?" Severus gave him a sarcastic look. "'Ron Weasley is interested in men. Oh -- how do I know that? I dated him once, and traded dirty notes for three weeks.'"
Weasley leaned his head back. "Shit. The letters..."
"Burn 'em. Please."
"Well. I would be hard-pressed to part with that photo." Severus' eyes raked Ron's bottom and he folded his arms; though it looked less imposing in that soft silk shirt. "Although it obviously was not a photo of you."
Ron cringed, sheepish. "Yeah. That's Seamus." Severus blinked at him. "You'd be awed at what he'll do for a bet, especially if he's pissed out of his mind. I doubt he even remembers it."
"Do remind me to stop by the Gryffindor showers some time. There seems to be, at long last, a use for your lot."
Right then, Ron Weasley's stomach rumbled. A typical teenager, if a rather striking one in that dark, skin-tight turtleneck. Such red hair.
Ron laughed breathlessly. "Well, I don't know about you, but I was so nervous I couldn't eat a thing all day," he confessed.
Severus nodded towards the road and recalled his coat. "There's a spot around the corner a few blocks down -- the 'Ugly American.' That is, if you don't mind a diner. I do believe I was buying -?"
"Yeah - I'm the starving student after all."
"At least that much was true. If a trifle younger than I planned." Truth be told, Severus was never too cautious about slightly underage partners; but he thought it wiser not to mention it under the circumstances.
Ron spread his arms in a gesture of honest innocence; dressed like that, the gesture looked entirely too good. "Hey! I'm manly!"
Yes. The essential prerequisite. That he did have. Severus carefully said nothing.
Half an hour later they perched at the counter of the diner with hamburgers and two large platters of chips, liberally dipped in vinegar, and a little salt in Severus' case. Severus had been a regular here once, years ago; as a Death Eater he'd had 'erratic' hours, and as a rule he tended to think of food as sustenance. This was as good as any. The restaurant had been just for show. Ron cheerfully kicked a rung of his stool; his pale skin and freckles were almost blue in the antiseptic bright light of the diner.
"You know... as good as that black looks," Severus observed, dipping a chip, "it doesn't really suit you."
Ron smiled. "Neither does the earring."
Severus took it off and set it on the countertop between them. "You can have it. It's not real."
Ron picked it up and spun it casually between his fingertips. "Huh" was all he had to say in the matter.
Severus sighed heavily. "I will be back momentarily; I have to cancel the reservations." Damn, damn and damn. And he'd had such high hopes for the evening.
"The restaurant and the hotel."
"Hotel?" Ron's eyebrows raised. "You're sure of yourself."
"The restaurant was to obligate you, once you had a look at me," Severus said. "Let this be a lesson to you on all the other wolves you're likely to meet in your life."
Ron shrugged and took a large bite of his hamburger. He said, with his mouth full, "I can take care of myself."
Severus looked at his round, innocent eyes and soft vulnerable mouth and rather doubted it.
"Besides, you're not so bad," he continued. "Not attractive. But okay. Not nearly as greasy as usual."
"Sweet talk," Severus snorted and asked the waitress where he could make a public firecall.
Moments later he returned, only to discover that Weasley had cleaned his own plate and was beginning to make inroads into Severus' as well. He slapped the greedy hands away. Ron spun in the stool, catching himself on the counter. God, he was a kid.
"So," Ron said slyly, edging closer. "Eight and a half cut, eh?"
"Wouldn't you like to know."
"I would, too."
His arm was warm and soft alongside Severus'; an 'accidental' brush. Like hell. Severus gazed into his curious blue eyes and bright suggestive smile.
Don't tempt me, he thought. He carefully wiped his hands on the napkin and folded it aside.
"Perhaps... when you're a bit older." And he wished, heartily wished, that he were able to keep the husky sound out of his voice right then. They both knew in that moment that neither one of them was going to burn those letters.
Severus said under his breath, "Oh shit."