"Of course I don't have to," he agreed wryly. "But that's never stopped me before." He did miss the slight warmth of her hand when he let it go, but though Penny made him more comfortable than anyone else, he was still unused to a lot of physicality. He came from a family of huggers and ticklers and touchers, but their physicality seemed to end where Percy began. Even his mother had always been somewhat restrained with Percy.
Which, no doubt, was his own doing. Something he projected without even knowing it, no doubt.
So he kept himself from stepping too close, or touching her arm, or brushing strands of wayward hair off her forehead as she looked up at him.
Warmed-over butterbeer and the leftovers of a roast dinner his mum had prepared the night before, and he had felt like such a pathetic arse for not having more he could do for her.
He chuckled, shaking his head at the memory. "As I recall I spent a good twenty minutes trying to describe the lavish dinners and giants flats I'd be able to get you for your birthdays once my career was made. And you didn't want to hear a thing about it. You were perfectly happy..." He hesitated, his smile fading a bit before he pushed it back up. "Happy in my shambles of a bedroom. And here you are now, center of attention in a bar brimming with people. Surely it's more exciting, at least."