|percyficmod (percyficmod) wrote in percy_ficathon,|
@ 2007-08-31 14:51:00
|Entry tags:||percy/harry, pg. fic, slash|
A gift for acidpop25!
Title: Untraditional since 1615
Disclaimer: I don’t claim to own Percy or Harry and I’m not making any profit.
Summary: Percy unconsciously seduces Harry. Or vice versa.
Notes: Only barely within the set parameters. Thanks to A for encouragement and L for the beta.
Percy is pretending to have a good time in the Muggle pub as he sips from his bottle of Grolsch. He doesn't really like lager, but his friends tease him enough for ordering a bottle instead of a pint; he doesn't particularly want to hear the jibes he'd receive from ordering a glass of wine.
He doesn't mind that the pub is Muggle. Percy knows plenty of wizards who would say he was slumming it, but Percy actually prefers it. Cleaner than a wizarding pub, at any rate. His friends agree, and they've all got used to the gleaming wood, occasional bursts of loud music, and constant football on the wall-mounted televisions.
Percy's also got used to not seeing anyone he knows. Besides his friends, the faces he sees in the pub always belong to familiar strangers, and he finds he likes that, too. So it's a bit of a shock, one evening, to see Harry Potter sitting in a corner, nursing a short glass of something brown.
Percy hasn't seen Harry in over a year, and he doesn't know anyone else who has, either. Ron and Hermione resigned themselves and stopped looking months ago, and Ginny -- well, Percy's not exactly sure what Ginny thinks about it, only that she's been seeing a bloke named Blaise for six months.
If Harry had wanted people to know where he is or what he's doing, he could have owled or flooed. He wouldn't be sitting in the corner of a Muggle pub nursing a glass of spirits. Still, Percy doesn't know what to do. Duck out the back way and pretend he never saw him? Turn his head and act like nothing is out of the ordinary? Or walk over to Harry and reassure him that he won't be telling anyone he saw Harry here?
The choice is taken away from him when Harry lifts his head and meets Percy's eyes.
"Fit bloke," Spence says, elbowing Percy. "You going over there?"
"Um," Percy says. "I don't think that's a good idea."
"Ah, playing coy, are we? That's right, wait for him to come to you."
Of course, Spence doesn't recognize Harry. His sister Gwen works with Percy at the Ministry, but Spence himself is a Muggle.
Harry raises his eyebrows, reminding Percy he's been staring for a good five minutes now. His face feels a bit warm, but that's probably because Spence's assumptions are a bit embarrassing. Percy's never felt anything romantic for his little sister's husband. Ex-husband, now.
Although he has to admit that Spence is right on one count -- Harry is good looking. Not that he's never noticed that before; he has eyes, after all.
Percy looks at his bottle of lager and fiddles with the flip-top. Ingenious things that Muggles invent. Really, he wishes potions came with these things, rather than the traditional stoppers.
"Don't look now, but he's heading this way," Spence says in an undertone.
Which of course startles Percy into doing the exact opposite and then he's staring into Harry's eyes, and Harry is only a couple of feet away. If Percy were to stand, he could reach over and touch him.
"Tosser," Spence says affectionately, and then excuses himself with a nod.
"Harry," Percy says, the same time Harry says, "Percy."
Percy doesn't feel as conscious of the heat creeping into his face when he sees Harry's cheeks tint pink. It's good to know he's not the only grown up man who blushes. Not that he makes a habit of it.
"Er, long time," Harry says, and gives Percy a crooked smile.
"A year," Percy says. He knows he sounds inane, but it's better than blurting out, 'My sister is dating a Slytherin', which would be spectacularly tactless.
"I've only just got back to London," Harry says, putting his hands in his pockets and looking at the floor. "I reckon everyone's been worried."
"Mum has been," Percy admits, "but Ron and Hermione gave up looking, figured you just didn't want to be found. They'll be glad to see you, though."
Percy can see a small frown through Harry's fringe, and Harry scuffs one shoe against the other. He looks more like a teenager than a man of -- what is he now? That's right, he's twenty-seven, same as Ron. Percy doesn't quite know what to say to break the awkward silence.
"And, er, your sister?" Harry says, finally lifting his head and biting his lip. "Is she--"
"Ginny's well," Percy says slowly, trying to think of how to phrase the next bit without sounding callous. "She's ... moving on with her life." He can't help but wince at the way that must sound to Harry.
Surprisingly, Harry's face relaxes and he looks almost happy to hear that.
"You want to ..." Harry makes a gesture over to the table where he'd been sitting before, and Percy nods and follows.
Once they're both sitting down, it's easier to look at Harry, really look. He tells himself it's because he wants to see if there's any differences there, whether Harry looks as bad as he didn't right before he left, or if the lost look is gone, or if maybe he looks worse. Percy allows himself to study Harry, because it's only right. They're family of a sort, after all.
Harry's not as pale as Percy remembers, and his eyes don't look bruised and uncertain. They look brighter, clearer, and his face isn't sunken anymore. His skin is lightly tanned, not brown exactly, just healthy. Sunkissed. It still looks just as soft as ever, only now it looks less fragile. His lips aren't set in a flat line or turned downward, but instead look fuller, more lush, and an enticing shade of pink that's almost red.
"Do I have something on my face?" Harry says, swiping his thumb across his bottom lip.
"Oh, no! You look, um, you look good," Percy says. "I mean, good as in, better than you did. Not that you didn't look good."
"Happy, I mean," Percy explains. "You look happier than I remember."
Harry nods thoughtfully, his mouth curving into a smile. "I am, actually. A lot happier. It feels that way, anyway."
"Are you back? For good, I mean. Or are you just visiting?" Percy asks awkwardly. It's been a while since he's felt like this, his stomach too full, no matter if he's eaten or not, his chest and throat a little too tight to make breathing comfortable. It's been a year, actually.
"For good, I think," Harry says. "I never really meant to stay away as long as I did, really. And it was never going to be a permanent thing."
"Oh," Percy says, his heart beating a little faster. "Well, that's good then."
"I just had a few things to work out." Harry bites his lip and looks up at Percy. "At first I thought if I figured it out, I could come right back to everything I had before, but ... it just didn't work out that way."
"You mean Ginny?" Percy blurts.
Harry's mouth quirks into what looks like a self-deprecating smile. "Yeah, I suppose. I thought ..." He trails off and runs a hand through his hair. "I s'pose it doesn't really matter what I thought, or what I thought I wanted, right?"
Heart sinking, Percy can only nod.
"Right," Harry says softly. "I'm not ready to deal with everyone yet, though, you know? So if you could just not say anything--"
"I won't say a word," Percy says firmly. "Don't worry about it."
"Thank you, Percy," Harry says. Percy can't remember him ever speaking his name that way before, and underneath the irrational disappointment, he feels a spark of equally irrational hope.
Harry finishes his whisky with one last gulp, and he sets the glass down gently on the scarred wooden table. He looks as if he's trying to say something again, but then he shakes his head.
"Look, I need to go home, I've work in the morning," Percy says regretfully. "But maybe we can get together some other time? To talk, if you want."
The breath Harry takes sounds sharp. "Tomorrow?"
Puzzled, Percy nods. "If you want," he says, but there's nothing hesitant about the way he's feeling.
"I'd like that," Harry says, smiling widely now, and he reaches across the table to squeeze Percy's hand. It's a fleeting touch, there and gone in just a moment, but it sends warmth down to Percy's toes.
"I ... here, again? Or you could come over to my flat," Percy says slowly. "We could get a takeaway, if you want."
"Brilliant," Harry says. He stands and Percy follows, and Percy doesn't quite know what to do now. Harry solves the problem just as Percy's extending his hand by clasping him on the shoulder, though Harry's hand was close enough to his neck that he could be construed as something a little more intimate. Even though Percy's not an optimistic man, he can't help but think it pleasant.
An owl finds Percy at work the next day. A short note is attached, and Percy thinks before he opens it that it has to be from Harry, a regretful cancellation. It is from Harry, he finds when he opens it, but it's a reminder that Percy never gave Harry the floo address to his flat.
His cheeks burning with embarrassment, Percy quickly pens a reply with the floo and street address.
Percy doesn't usually leave work earlier than six o'clock on weekdays, and he's never left before half five, but he's in his flat at five minutes past the hour with a bottle of elf-made wine and a plan.
Five minutes later, he abandons the plan in favor of going mental. He has fifty minutes before Harry arrives, and he still has to dress, shower, phone the dinner, and choose what to wear.
Not necessarily in that order.
A shower is probably the first thing he should do. Or, no, perhaps not. He should choose his clothing first. Something casual, yet posh. Not too posh. Casual and yet tailored. Or perhaps not casual. Not too casual, of that he's certain. But he should look presentable. He's vaguely aware of time passing as he stands in front of his wardrobe and stares in dismay and confusion, but it's a distant thing.
Tailored. Presentable. Nothing too stuffy. Nothing too casual. A jumper is out of the question. Jeans -- if he owned a pair of jeans, they would be out of the running as well. A suit is too professional for takeaway and drinks, not to mention it practically screams, 'I am your former brother-in-law, much older than you and thoroughly uninteresting!'
He snorts to himself. He's not that much older than Harry. Several years ago, it wouldn't have been a done thing, but it doesn't matter much now.
Harry is straight though, so it's a moot point. Percy still wants to look -- presentable, though. And he's not entirely sure Harry is as straight as he seemed, he could be a bit bent, after all. Flexible, maybe.
Percy once had a boyfriend who bought him a blue jumper and nearly salivated whenever Percy wore it. Perhaps a jumper is not entirely out of the question. Paired with a nice pair of dark grey trousers, or-- No, corduroy is much too casual. Fine wool trousers, dark grey, with the blue jumper, that's perfect.
He nearly gasps when he looks at his watch and realizes how long he's spent simply staring at nothing.
Showers don't normally take this long, do they? Percy thinks as he scrubs. His hair is getting too long, he should cut it again, but he doesn't have time to worry about that as he rinses out the shampoo. Extra scrubbing under his arms, his crotch, and his arse -- he's deluding himself that he needs to wash that well, but he'd rather be deluding himself than embarrassed later.
He's left his wand in the living room and doesn't have time to dry off completely, so he wraps a towel around his waist and hangs another around his neck and hopes to air-dry by the time he throws his clothes on.
He slips his spectacles on and turns toward the bedroom, then collides with a solid warm body. He swallows the high-pitched scream that wants to erupt when he realizes it's Harry standing in his hallway.
"The floo was open," Harry says, half-catching Percy. His hands are warm on Percy's damp shoulders, skin on skin, practically indecent.
"I'm ... oh," Percy says dumbly. His glasses are sliding down his nose and a bit foggy still, and his hair drips onto his back where the towel doesn't catch. "I'm not dressed."
Harry smiles, though there's something intense in his face that Percy can't quite read. "I can see that. I didn't think I was early, though." He removes his hands, though Percy's been steady for a few moments now.
"I should go and get dressed," Percy says weakly.
"Wait, just," Harry says, and gently slides Percy's spectacles back into place. "There."
"Right," Percy says breathlessly. "Right."
Harry's smiling widely, almost laughing. "I'll wait in the living room."
Percy can feel Harry's eyes on his back until he closes his bedroom door.
He takes the time to dry himself thoroughly with the towel, not rushing since Harry's already here and Percy's already embarrassed himself anyway. When he looks in the mirror before he slips the jumper over his head, he can see his blush extending down his chest, which is not quite a bad thing, though he's glad he'll be properly covered and hopefully Harry won't remark on it if he noticed before.
His hair won't dry completely with just a toweling, and his wand is still in the living room, so he does what he can with it while it's damp, combing out the snarls that always seem to come when he allows his hair to reach any length other than short. How he is the only Weasley to be blessed with curly hair, he's not sure. At least it's soft, he tells himself, and not dry and coarse.
Dressed and combed, Percy takes one last deep breath for fortification and heads to the living room.
Dinner is less awkward than Percy is expecting, and Harry doesn't bring up the towel incident. The small talk isn't awkward so much as boring, and Percy has to stop himself from talking about work in case Harry wants to say anything important. That's the point of the dinner after all, Percy reminds himself. Harry wants to talk, and is probably taking his time to think about what he wants to say. That's what Percy would do in his situation, at any rate.
But Harry still hasn't said anything when they clear the dishes and carry them to the sink together, when the leftovers are stored in the fridge and the table wiped down with a simple charm.
Harry doesn't say anything until they're both seated on the sofa, a glass of good wine in hand, and a few candles burning here and there instead of the electric lamps.
"I didn't want to leave her."
Harry's voice is soft but almost too-loud in the quiet room. Percy's heart sinks.
"I told myself it wasn't necessary, that there had to be a way for me to work it out on my own, without going anywhere. Ginny was talking about having kids, and I wanted that, you don't know just how much I wanted that, but it kept getting harder and harder."
Percy's throat feels dry but he manages to ask, "What was?"
"Being that bloke," Harry says, running a hand through his hair. "The one with the family and the nice, steady job. Being normal. It never ... it never felt real."
Percy doesn't know what to say. He's trying to understand what Harry is saying, trying to see where Harry is coming from. He's felt that way himself, in the past, when Mum was pushing him to marry Penelope and it all felt so constructed, completely unreal.
"I kept thinking to myself, 'What's wrong with you? Why can't you just be happy, for once in your life?'" Harry says softly. "But it was like I just ... I couldn't. I didn't know how, not like that."
"Where did you go?" Percy asks softly. He doesn't want to push, but Harry seems to need to talk about it, and maybe a little push is what he needs.
"Not far, not at first," Harry says, staring into his wine glass. "Just to Edinburgh, but it was too close. I knew I'd lose my nerve and end up back home if it was so easy, so I went further."
"You wanted to ...?"
"I wanted to go back to Ginny and try again, even though part of me knew, completely, that I'd just end up back where I was, lost and becoming more and more miserable as I went on," Harry says. "But it was ... it was a nice thought, having a wife and a home of my own, planning a family."
"And now?" Percy asks, not knowing if he wants the answer or not, but forcing himself to ask anyway.
"Part of me still wants the house and the kids, and ... Ginny," Harry admits softly, and Percy feels something inside him crack.
"And the other part?"
Then Harry lifts his head and smiles right at Percy. "I'm happy with what I have right now."
Percy isn't expecting it when Harry leans in and presses his lips gently against Percy's cheek, so much so that he jumps a bit and then goes very, very still. "Harry?" he whispers. It's hard to convey total disbelief in just a whisper, but he thinks he manages quite nicely.
Pulling back, Harry gives him a crooked smile. "I'm sorry, I thought you-- Well, I thought maybe--"
"No, it's okay," Percy says quickly. "I just didn't. I wasn't expecting it, is all."
Percy nervously sets his nearly empty glass aside and takes a breath before turning back. "It's okay. I'm. It's okay." He swallows. "I'm expecting it now."
Harry smiles brilliantly, and it lights something in Percy, something he thought was cracked and broken. Harry kisses him softly, chastely at first, as if he's testing to see what it is, exactly, that Percy wants.
That won't do at all. If this is real, if it's actually happening, Percy wants it all.
Percy pushes any and all negative thoughts away as he pulls Harry closer, and that seems to be all it takes for Harry to lean in, harder, and take Percy's face in both his hands. Percy opens his mouth and licks at Harry's lips, and then, yes, Harry finally kisses him the way he wants. As if he's let go of tentativeness in favor of taking Percy's mouth completely.
A groan sounds, and Percy isn't sure if it was Harry's or his, although it was loud enough to be the both. He isn't sure how it happens, but he's pressed back against the cushions completely and Harry is ...
Harry is leaning back now, panting, staring at Percy as if he's about to pounce at any second. He says something, but Percy is too busy trying to pull him back into a kiss.
"Wait, Perce, stop," Harry says, and Percy reluctantly does. "I didn't mean to, that's not why I came tonight."
Percy feels something fall out from under him. "What?"
"No, I mean, it's great, I'm not saying it isn't," Harry says, tucking a loose curl behind Percy's ear and then running his fingers across Percy's cheek. "I just don't want you to think that's why I came. I mean, I wanted to, but mostly I just wanted to talk. It wasn't a ... a scam or something, I really do appreciate it."
Percy can't help but let out a choked laugh. "Harry," he says, smiling, "are you trying to tell me you don't want to take advantage of me?" He finds the creeping blush on Harry's cheeks absolutely endearing.
"That's not what I meant," Harry mumbles. "Just didn't want you thinking I'd planned this or something. I'm not-- It wasn't meant to be a ... a seduction scene."
"No, it wasn't," Percy says, eyeing the wine glasses on the coffee table and the candles burning in the room. "Well, not completely."
Harry follows his gaze and then turns back with a surprised look that melts into something close to glee. "Oh really?"
"It's more comfortable," Percy says defensively. "Candlelight is relaxing, everyone knows that. And I like wine."
Harry nods in mock solemnity. "And there was the towel thing--"
"I was running late!"
"--water dripping artfully down your alabaster skin--"
"I didn't think you'd be standing right there in the hall!"
"--all those lickable freckles on display--"
"I'd simply spent-- What?"
Harry nods again and runs his thumb between Percy's collar and his skin. "Not to mention how gorgeous you look in this jumper."
Percy's never been so thankful for his ex in his life. At least, not since they broke up.
But then Harry pulls back and stops touching Percy and it's a bit disconcerting. Hadn't he just been flirting and calling Percy 'lickable'?
"But it's too fast, isn't it?" Harry asks. "We haven't seen each other in, what, a year?"
Percy feels a scowl coming over his face. "You can't be serious."
Harry ducks his head. He looks almost like a teenager again. "I've only had, you know, one-night stands. Um, with men," he says.
If Percy had been a religious man, he's sure he'd be praying for patience right about now. "Harry?"
"Stop thinking," Percy says firmly, and pulls him close again.
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