It feels strange, taking Binky to bed that first night. It’s what Harry wanted, but now he’s less certain – Ron watching attentively doesn’t help one bit. It’s embarrassing, and Harry almost decides to stop it all then and there. But then Ron holds his arms open, and he can’t withstand.
“We can do this,” Ron murmurs into his hair. “We’ll work it out together, you’ll see.”
Harry sighs, but doesn’t contradict. Ron’s heartbeat is strong and slow, his warmth seeping into Harry. Binky’s fur is soft against Harry’s cheek. They can do this. Together.
Harry snuggles in closer and sleeps.
Harry’s eyes go wide as Ron produces the picture book. They’ve spoken about this, but it’s obvious now that Harry didn’t believe it would happen.
“Does Binky want to look too?” Ron asks and a flush rises into Harry’s cheeks. He nods, though, and Summons the toy from the bedroom.
It’s bizarre, reading a picture book to a grown man, but curled up on the sofa against him, Binky clutched tightly, with his eyes glued to the pictures, Harry doesn’t seem so much like an adult right now.
When it’s over, he can’t seem to look Ron in the eye.
Sometimes, what they’re doing is frightening Harry.
The weird thing about it is that they haven’t done much. For six weeks now, he’s been sleeping with Binky; Ron reads to him and has sung him a lullaby a few times. Other than that, everything is perfectly normal – they’ve cuddled before this, and just yesterday they had amazing sex.
Still, there is something, some undefined feeling that warns him. He wants all of this, wants more, so much that it hurts. But he can’t go on with it.
He’s afraid he’ll open the door to something he can never take back.
“We were wrong. It’s too embarrassing! I can’t . . . it’s just freakish!”
Harry is frowning deeply, and Ron sees that he’s got difficulties holding back tears. He knows he can never imagine how it must have been with the Dursleys to make Harry need this. But he knows Harry, knows that he’s lying to himself because he’s afraid.
Harry goes stiff as a board when Ron wraps his arms around him. Ron ignores it.
“It’s all right,” he says firmly, thinking carefully as he speaks. “You’re not freakish. You’re my little boy, and you’re safe now. I’m here. Daddy is here.”
Harry wants to run and hide in the cupboard, wants to punch Ron in the face for what he said. Later, he can’t tell how they made it to the sofa; all that he can focus on is Ron’s embrace and how much his ribs hurt from crying after a while. This is what he was afraid of: letting go. Giving in. And whatever might follow.
Slowly, bit by bit, his sobs quiet down under Ron’s hands on his hair and his soothing murmurs.
“It’s all right, Harry, it’s all right.”
And maybe it is. Because now, Daddy is here.