A sharp crash, followed by a loud shriek that he recognized as his son, sounded from the kitchen and spurred Remus forward, away from the front door he'd just stepped through and bursting through into the kitchen. His heart was racing in his chest as he burst into the room, and it took a moment and several blinks to realize that Teddy was not, in fact, in any kind of danger. The five-year-old boy stood in front of the counter beside his laughing godfather, peeking up at the door from beneath a large, overturned bowl that rested on his head.
"Sorry if we scared you, Remus," Harry said with a grin, reaching over to take the bowl off Teddy's head. Even through the thick coating of flour over his face and in his hair, Remus could make out the tell-tale shade of turquoise that always signalled Teddy's good moods. "Someone didn't listen when I told him to wait for me to give him a lift up before trying to help."
"'m sorry, Harry," Teddy mumbled, looking down and twisting one trainer in the dusting of four on the kitchen floor. He turned his hair a sad, flat shade of blue for good measure, until Harry and Remus both laughed.
"It's fine, Teds," Harry said. Remus smiled fondly as he watched Harry reach out and ruffle Teddy's hair, and then shake his hand to rid it of the flour that came off on his palm. "Why don't you go wash up, and your dad and I can clean up the mess?"
Teddy nodded enthusiastically, sending puffs of flour out of his hair before he dashed around the counter and latched himself onto Remus' leg. "You'll help Harry clean, right Da?" Chuckling, Remus nodded, dropping his hand to pat Teddy's head.
"Of course I will, Teddy. Now, go on and wash." He hardly had a chance to finish before Teddy was off, tearing up the staircase to the next level to the bathroom, leaving a thin dusting of flour behind as he went. A snort from Harry drew his attention away from watching Teddy go, and Remus looked at him. "What?"
Harry nodded his head at him, glancing pointedly at the leg of his trousers, and Remus glanced down to see a Teddy-shaped mess of flour clinging to his trousers and the lower hem of his shirt. A flick of his wand had his clothes clean again, and Remus shook his head with a smile as he stepped further into the kitchen while Harry cleaned the mess on the floor with a wave of his own wand.
"I suppose the day went well, then?"
Grinning, Harry nodded, pulling out the bag of flour to refill the bowl Teddy had toppled over. "Doesn't it always? Honestly, Remus, he's never a trouble. I tell you that every time."
"Well, the one time I don't ask will be the time he behaves like a little terror, I'm sure," Remus returned, his tone teasing, and Harry nodded again.
"Like father, like son, I suppose?" he asked with a wink.
Remus let out a soft chuckle and shook his head, drawing his wand to Accio a broom, just as Harry did the same for the dustpan. "I certainly hope not. I was a bit of a menace at his age, I'm afraid. Even before the..." He trailed off with a wave of his hand, and Harry just nodded again, understanding him without a need for it to be spelled out.
They settled into silence for several moments while they cleaned, Harry crouched down to hold the dustpan steady while Remus swept the flour into it. Only once the floor was thoroughly swept did Harry cast a cleaning charm, to ensure they'd cleared away all of the flour, and then he turned away to empty the dustpan into the bin.
"Do you want to stick around for dinner?" he asked with his back still turned to Remus. "You know you and Teddy are always welcome..."
There was a long pause while Remus considered the offer. Harry kept his back to him still, despite being finished emptying the dustpan, and Remus bit back a sigh. A month ago, he wouldn't have hesitated to accept the offer. But the last time that he had, Teddy had fallen asleep not long after dinner, and he'd put him to bed in a guest room before settling in for a drink with Harry. One drink had quickly turned to several, and somehow, on his way to retire for bed, he'd found himself with Harry half in his lap and their lips pressed together in a heated, if rather messy, kiss.
It hadn't gone any farther than that, although it had been obvious that Harry wanted it to. Even through the haze of alcohol in his mind, though, Remus had mustered up the willpower to gently push him away. Not that he hadn't enjoyed the kiss, or hadn'twanted more, but he had too many worries about beginning anything with Harry when neither of them was fully in their right mind. Especially when he hadn't thought for a moment the attraction he felt was mutual before the moment Harry's lips were pressed against his own.
"I'm not sure if tonight is the best night, Harry."
Harry let out a weary sigh and turned, looking Remus in the eyes. "How long are you going to avoid spending time with me, Remus?" Before he could open his mouth to retort, Harry tossed the dustpan down in its place and continued in a hurt tone. "I get it, all right? You don't feel the same, and that's fine, Remus. Really. But avoiding me altogether is a lot more hurtful than just telling me flat out that you're not interested, so that we can just move past it." Ducking his head, Harry made to move around Remus with a muttered, "Forget it," but was stopped short by Remus' hand curling around his wrist.
"I said tonight is not the best, Harry," Remus said softly, keeping his grip on him light and refusing to meet his eyes when he turned to look at him. "Not that I didn't wish to spend time with you ever again." He could feel Harry's pulse quicken beneath his thumb, and met Harry's gaze then, seeing the hopeful expression in Harry's eyes. "Tomorrow night, perhaps?"
Harry broke into a grin at that and nodded, looking for a moment as though he were about to throw his arms around Remus before clearing his throat and stepping back, his grin turning sheepish. "Tomorrow would be great. You and Teddy, or-"
Remus shook his head. "Andromeda asked to have him there this weekend. It will be just you and me."
"Brilliant!" Harry opened his mouth to say something more, but fell silent quickly as Teddy skidded into the kitchen again and flung himself at him with enough force to nearly knock him off his feet. Bursting out with a laugh, Harry stooped down and hooked his hands under Teddy's arms and hoisted him up into a hug.
"Come on, little buddy," he said as he placed Teddy up on the counter, pulling out the flour and a new bowl and then setting them beside him. "Let's hurry up and finish our baking before your dad has to whisk you off, yeah?" He shot a questioning look at Remus as he spoke and then offered Teddy the measuring cup sitting on the counter when he received a nod of approval.
Grinning brightly, Teddy proceeded to dump cupfuls of flour into the bowl while Harry counted them out with him. With a soft chuckle, Remus shook his head, leaning against the counter to watch, noting with interest the looks Harry shot him out of the corner of his eye when he made it seem he wasn't really paying attention.
"Take away?" Remus asked, looking at the boxes on the low table in front of the sofa. He reached out to pick one up, lifting the lid and feeling his mouth water as the strong smell of curry spices invaded his senses. "Curry take away, even." Setting the box down again, he turned to look at Harry as he circled around the sofa with two cups of tea in his hands, sitting beside Remus and offering him one of the cups.
"So you like it, then?" Remus nodded, curling his hands around his cup of tea and smiling at Harry over it. "I'm a bit addicted to it, myself," Harry admitted, waving a hand at the take away boxes with a sheepish grin. "That's why I got us both our own boxes. Last time I got one to share around, Ron swears I tried to attack him going for the last few bites."
"I can almost imagine it, although I'm sure he's exaggerating it a bit."
"Of course he is," Harry said as he pulled open one of the boxes and dove in with his fork, stuffing a bite of chicken into his mouth before he continued. "If I'd really wanted to attack him, I could've just started casting non-verbal hexes, not gone after him with my fork." Harry brought a hand up to cover his mouth as he laughed, and Remus found himself chuckling along at the image his words created, shaking his head as he picked up his own take away box.
"So, Teddy's with Andromeda for the whole weekend?" Harry asked after several minutes of silence had passed between them. Nodding, Remus set aside the now empty box and picked up his tea.
"She likes to take him a few days at a time, so it's easiest for her to have him over the weekend. And it gives him something to look forward to all week, since it's become a bit of a routine for him."
Harry smiled. "And it gives you a few days a week all to yourself."
Remus chuckled softly and nodded, looking down at his tea. "There is that." Silence settled between the two of them, and Remus could see Harry watching him from the corner of his eye. When Harry continued not to speak for several moments, Remus turned his head to meet his gaze and watched as Harry leaned over to set down his tea.
"Can we talk about what happened, Remus?" he asked quietly once he'd straightened again.
Remus hesitated for a moment before he inclined his head in agreement. "I suppose we ought to." He avoided Harry's eyes as he set down his own tea, taking a deep breath and steeling himself before turning to face Harry. He'd known the conversation would likely happen sooner or later, after Harry's outburst the day before when he'd said no to dinner, but he'd hoped to put it off just a bit longer until he'd properly gotten his mind around that night himself.
"Listen," Harry sighed after a brief pause, looking down at his hands rather than meet Remus' eyes. "I know we'd both had a bit to drink, and I'm sure it was really unexpected, I just..." He swallowed and raised his eyes. "I'd been holding that in for a while, Remus. It wasn't just some spur of the moment thing – I mean, well, it sort of was, because I hadn't planned to sort of attack you like that, but it wasn't just the Firewhisky that made me do it or anything."
"And if you don't feel the same, that's all right," he continued quickly, before Remus had an opportunity to speak. "I'm sure that was really weird for you, since I never really said anything, and that wasn't the best way I could have gone about telling you how I felt. I just thought that maybe-"
Caught up in his rambling, Harry hadn't seemed to notice Remus moving closer until he pressed his lips against his to silence him. Harry went still for a brief second before leaning into the kiss, his arms moving up to twine around Remus' neck. Swiping his tongue across Harry's lower lip, Remus waited for his lips to part for him before delving his tongue into Harry's mouth, tangling it with his. After several moments, Remus drew back, leaving both of them flushed and panting softly from the kiss.
"Now that I can get a word in edgewise, I never said that I wasn't interested in you, Harry." Harry opened his mouth to speak and Remus silenced him again quickly by placing a finger against his lips. "I pushed you away that night because neither of us were in our right minds, and if anything were to ever happen between us, I could not bear for it to start that way." He leaned forward until his forehead rested against Harry's, lowering his voice to a murmur. "I'm far too old for drunken one-night stands, and I had no way of knowing whether it would be anything more than that, for you."
Harry nodded and Remus dropped his finger from his lips.
"So you want to give this a go, then, Remus? See what we can make of it?"
Despite himself, Remus let out a soft laugh, shaking his head before pulling back, pressing a kiss to Harry's forehead and then brushing a shaggy lock of hair out of his eyes. "I had assumed the thorough snogging session was evidence enough of that, but I could make it clearer, if you wish?" His answer was a brilliant smile from Harry, though he only had a moment to appreciate it before he found Harry in his lap, arms wrapped around his neck and lips crushed against his in another kiss.
"I think it's clear enough, Remus," Harry murmured against his lips. "But another snogging session couldn't hurt. You know, just to be sure we both know how much we both want this..."
Remus chuckled in answer, reaching a hand up to tangle his fingers in Harry's hair and pull him flush against his chest. "I actually agree about that. One can never be too clear about things like this, I think." Smiling as Harry melted into his embrace, Remus leaned in and pressed their lips firmly together once again.