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"Well. That's it then."

"Yeah." Percy looked around. He'd always hated this stupid platform with its fussy means of access but he couldn't quite believe this was the last time he'd be standing on it as a student. "When are the try outs, again?"

"July 15th, and I find out at the end of the month. It's compressed this year because of the World Cup."

"You'll let me know?"

"Of course, of course." Oliver put his hands in his pockets and rocked back on his heels. "When do you start your job?"

"In a week. They gave me more time but I want to get in there, get started." Oliver already knew this, though, and Percy knew he knew it. But he couldn't bring himself to say what they needed to say. It was his own fault, really; Oliver had never asked him to break up with Penny and they'd never made any real plans for after they left school. It had been a near-mythic date far off in the future, only here it was and neither of them were ready. Well, he knew he wasn't, but he could tell by the desperation in his touch the night before that Oliver wasn't, either. At one time Percy had almost allowed himself to think something different and he still did for himself, suspected that Oliver had spoiled him for women and maybe even for most men. But there was nothing for it now; they were no longer schoolboys but men and it was time to stand on their own and stop clinging to each other.

Oliver's father shouted for him and Oliver shouted back over his shoulder. "Right," he said to Percy before pulling him into a somewhat unexpected bear hug. "Keep in touch," Oliver said into his neck. Then too quickly for anyone to see he kissed Percy just below the ear and pulled away. "I'll write to let you know about Puddlemere."

"Please, do that," Percy replied.

Oliver lifted up one end of his trunk. "See you" he said, waving, and then he stepped into the crowd.

Percy stared after the familiar dark head until it went through the barrier and was gone. "See you," he whispered, though he knew it was unlikely. Oliver was sure to make the Puddlemere roster—he was far too good of a player not to—and then, Percy supposed, he'd be living off in Dorset half the year.

It was a bright sunny afternoon at the end of June in his seventh year at Hogwarts but all Percy could see were endless gray skies.


No one in their right mind actually lives in Puddlemere. It isn't even a town, more like a cluster of pubs with cheap rooms above them to facilitate the drinking and passing out of United fans. Instead, the players lived in a block of flats near Diagon Alley during the season and pre-season training; the main room had a direct floo to the pitch. Thanks to this, Puddlemere players (men and women alike) were likely to be seen in the pages of the Daily Prophet, rampaging through the pubs and clubs of the city with a trail of groupies (men and women alike) before stumbling back to their quarters in the wee hours only to be up and ready to practice at dawn.

Oliver Wood was that year's only addition to the Puddlemere roster, and his initiation to the world of professional Quidditch was rough and immediate. He quickly learned that it was never called "Quidditch" but only "the Game"; that yes, one can endure a grueling all-day practice with a bitch of a firewhiskey hangover and go out again that night; that early-evening naps are your friend; to guard his socks jealously; and that male groupies were definitely more appealing than the female sort.

Oliver lived with this new awareness during the autumn, letting it settle in his brain. On his next day off he visited his parents, who reacted with the same vague bafflement they had to his decision to play the Game professionally, particularly when he insisted that he was very much still planning on having children. His teammates certainly didn't care—after all, first-string Keeper Barry Ryan was poncy as anything but he had a World Cup ring on his finger—though they couldn't resist a few old jokes about what part of their anatomy Keepers really used to block Quaffles.

Then, just before Christmas, he ran into a friend in Diagon Alley and the little something that had been niggling in the back of his mind suddenly fell into place. "Well, Percy Weasley!"

Percy started, as though he had been deep in thought, and turned. "Oliver Wood!" he said, surprised. "How are you?"

"Doing well, doing well. Even got to play a game last week."

"Let me guess, against the Cannons?" Percy asked, smiling.

Oliver laughed and nodded. "And you? I hear you are involved in the TriWizard Tournament."

Percy leaned closer. "They have trusted me with some very important business. Very important." He leaned back, raising his eyebrows.

"You know, I have a free week between Christmas and New Year's. Let's have dinner, say the Thursday after Christmas?"

Percy looked at him, blinking. "Er, I don't have any plans . . . "

"Brilliant, Thursday it is. I know just the place; I'll send you an owl post with the address." He shook Percy's hand, grabbing his upper arm with his other hand. "I can't tell you how glad I am to find you. See you soon!"

Percy raised a hand to wave. "Looking forward to it," he said.


"Percy? You still sleeping?" Oliver whispered. Hearing no answer, Oliver lifted the covers and slipped under them to spoon against Percy and the mattress sagged slightly under his weight.

"Mmph." Percy stirred, his left hand clasping the one Oliver had wrapped around his waist. "Oliver? What time is it?"

"Mmm. Early. I'm lonely."

"You're horny."

"Same thing," Oliver replied, smiling against Percy's neck. "Shouldn't waste the morning," he continued, leaning forward to kiss Percy at his hairline as his hand slid down Percy's stomach.

Percy hummed. Oliver had learned all the key places and he used them when he wanted something, which was unfair. "You mean, shouldn't waste your morning erection," Percy said when he'd found his voice again.

Oliver chuckled, his breath stirring Percy's hair. "Ah, Percy. My devil in the details. Turn 'round."


"I want to kiss you. Turn 'round."

Percy did as he was told and Oliver's hand moved from his belly to the small of his back, pulling them closer.

"Can you see me?" Oliver asked. When Percy nodded he leaned in and gave him one of the languid, sweet-hot kisses that Percy was trying desperately not to become accustomed to. "I meant both," he said, and kissed him again. "A morning's never wasted with you."

As Oliver slid down his body, kissing him along the way, his words echoed in Percy's head. Even though this was nothing more than schoolboy messing about, no one had ever even hinted to him before that time with him was time well spent. Not even Penny, even though she seemed to be responding happily to his attentions. Perhaps that's what it meant to have friends.

It was a cold February morning in his sixth year at Hogwarts but Percy Weasley had never felt so warm.


They met at a new Italian restaurant Barry recommended and were seated in a corner booth near the back. It was one of those places where the kitchen kept sending little plates of food out to the tables at random intervals on top of the food that Percy and Oliver had actually ordered. Conversation was as easy as it ever had been between them at school, as Oliver shared nearly every detail of his adventures in the Game and Percy discussed his new responsibilities at the Ministry.

After the entrée dishes were cleared Oliver sat back, a tumbler of Chianti in his hand, and sighed, smiling.

"What?" Percy asked.

"It's just—isn't it nice, that we're being paid to do what we talked about at school? I'm surrounded by people who want to talk about the Game all day and I'm paid to play, can you imagine? And you, you get to think about nothing but the finer points of rules and regulations. I missed hearing you talk about that."

"You did?"

Oliver shifted in his seat a little, but made sure that his knee was still just touching Percy's under the table. "I did. Passion is passion, Percy. It doesn't matter what one is passionate about."

Percy nodded a bit, looking down at the table. The waiter came and took their coffee and dessert orders.

After so much talk silence could have been welcome, but Oliver sensed his friend's unease. "Percy? What is it?"

Percy looked up. "I don't think anyone in my family misses my talking about regulations." One corner of his mouth pulled back into a joyless half-smile.

Oliver sat up, grabbing hold of Percy's hand where it lay on the table. "Tough being back at the Burrow full time?"

"I don't belong there," Percy said, low, staring at his and Oliver's hands entwined. "Maybe I used to, maybe I never did, I dunno, but I don't belong there now."

"You don't," Oliver said, soft but firm. "You belong with me."

Percy looked up sharply.

"You know that, don't you?" Oliver asked.

Percy nodded, slowly.

"I'm sorry it took me a little longer. Not to know; I always knew, I just didn't understand what it meant until recently. But I do now."

The cakes and coffee came then, though the only notice paid to the waiter was a soft "thank you" from Oliver.

"Things like this don't happen to me," Percy said, finally.

"They do now," Oliver replied. "Here, have some tiramisu." He held out the spoon to Percy, who took the bite. "See? Completely ordinary, real life. Eat your cannoli."

Percy picked up the pastry in his left hand and bit into it, something Oliver was sure he'd never done before. The hard shell crumbled and the pastry crème oozed into his mouth on one end and over his pinky finger on the other. He looked over at Oliver, who was smirking around a forkful of tiramisu.

"What?" Percy asked, licking an errant bit of shell from his upper lip.

Oliver leaned over and muttered, "Later you'll have your mouth around something else that's round and spurts out crème."

"Oliver!" Percy shouted, indignant and starting to blush.

Oliver laughed, and suddenly he could see his whole life ahead of him, at tables like this, making Percy a little bit more messy than he wanted to be, with their children, for Oliver was very sure that somehow there would be children, and Percy would be sort of funny and scared but that was okay because he was also sure, and so was Oliver.

"Anyway, I have to work tomorrow," Percy said.

Oliver shrugged. "I'll be up earlier than you. Practice is at seven, so you'll have the shower to yourself. You know, if you want that." Oliver winked.

Percy put on the stern face, which never went far with Oliver so he wasn't sure why Percy kept using it. "But my robes!"

"We can resize something of mine. Charm's not that difficult and it will hold for one day."


"Percy," Oliver said, "stop dithering. You're coming home with me tonight and that's the end of it."

Percy stopped, and sighed a bit, and then his shoulders sagged. Oliver squeezed his hand a little. "All right then, if you say so," Percy said, squeezing his hand back.

"I say so," Oliver replied, and smiled.


"C'mon, Percy, didn't your brothers tell you about this?" Oliver whined.

"Not really, no," Percy replied, wondering why Oliver had singled him out for this particular task.

"Well, you can't practice on a girl, because then it will get around that you're not a good kisser, and you need to be able to tell her what you want, so you practice on your mates." Oliver slid a little closer to Percy on the bed. "So let's practice."

"Practice kissing?" Percy asked, pushing at his glasses nervously.

"Yeah, and other things. I mean, it's nice to have someone else help you out, yeah? Boring to just do it yourself."

"Sure, but does that mean—"

"Nah. 'S just what boys get up to at school, is all. Still like girls."

"Okay," Percy said.

"Okay? Really?" Oliver asked. "Brilliant!" He reached up and took Percy's glasses off. "These get in the way. Can you see me? Am I close enough?"

"Yeah, I can see you," Percy replied.

"Good," Oliver said, smiling, and then he leaned in and kissed him.

It was a warm April evening in his fourth year at Hogwarts but Percy Weasley still shivered.


"It's tidy," Percy said when they got to Oliver's flat.

"You mean tiny," Oliver said, hanging up their cloaks and placing their wands on the bedside table. His flat consisted of one small room, with a kitchenette and a small table with two chairs along one wall, a double bed in the opposite corner, and a few bookshelves. A wireless sat atop one of the bookshelves with a pile of recordings next to it. A wardrobe and bureau sat between the windows on the far wall, and a door led to the small bathroom. The only personal touches were a Gryffindor banner above the wireless, some photos here and there, and a practice schedule stuck to the front of the ice box.

"Bigger than my room, anyway," Percy replied, leaning against the small table in the corner.

Oliver walked over between Percy's outstretched legs; with Percy leaning they were eye to eye. "I missed you," Oliver said, mussing his hair, then resting his hands on Percy's shoulders.

"It was only six months," Percy replied, sliding his hands around Oliver's waist.

"Too long," Oliver said, moving a little closer. "Never again."

"Oliver, we should—"

Oliver put his finger on Percy's lips. "Oh, we'll take it slow. I don't want to mess this up. Besides, we'll have to; I'm on the road half the time anyway. Okay?"

Percy nodded, then kissed Oliver's fingers, making him smile. He moved his hands along Oliver's waist, untucking his shirt and touching the skin beneath.

"Percy! Undressing me and we haven't even kissed yet?"

Percy replied by pulling him even closer and wrapping his legs around Oliver's thighs. They kissed, and it was the same soft, sweet-hot kiss that Oliver had been dreaming of since June. He pulled back a little, pushing Percy's hands away so he could pull his shirt off over his head, and heard Percy hiss.

"Wow, Oliver. You have been working hard." Percy ran his hands over the thick, strong muscles, now free of their former layer of babyfat. Oliver's stomach was hard as a rock, with the hint of a six-pack, and his pecs and arms were even larger now than they had been at school. But the new muscles were still covered by the same smattering of baby-fine dark hair.

Oliver smiled, feeling suddenly shy as he kicked off his shoes and undid his belt and trousers. Percy had moved his hands back to the table, so Oliver reached under them to pull at his jumper and Percy raised his hands to let Oliver remove it. Oliver stood back a bit more and pulled Percy to his feet by the belt buckle. "To the bed," he said, walking the two steps before sitting down and pushing off pants, trousers and socks. He slid back across the bed, grabbing the covers and pushing them down out of the way. Percy followed him, slipping off the rest of his clothes and joining him on the bed.

"Ah, Percy, so lovely and lean," Oliver said, and he meant it, though he also saw with concern that Percy had grown thin, much as he did in the summers without Oliver there to nag him about eating breakfast and lunch as well as dinner. But that would be soon mended, and to comment would only make Percy shy. Oliver was quite enjoying this very not-shy Percy crawling over top of him for more kisses. Oliver grabbed hold of Percy's shoulders and arched up against him, feeling their half-hard cocks brushing against each other. He slipped off Percy's glasses and placed them on the pillow. "Can you see me?" he asked.

"Mmm, all of you, yes," Percy muttered.

They rolled around on the bed, kissing and stroking, reassuring themselves that the old spots were still the good ones, renewing acquaintance with burly muscles and secret freckles. It was still quite early so there was time enough to be slow and deliberate as they mapped each other's bodies. After a while things became more urgent, as they do, and Percy found his hands lingering on Oliver's arse, so firm and round one could probably bounce a sickle off it.

"Ya like that, do ya?" Oliver mumbled against Percy's shoulder.

"Feels good," Percy said, slipping his middle finger into the cleft.

"Want in?"

"Are you sure? We usually—"

"I know," Oliver said, running his thumb along Percy's lower lip, "but like I said, I want inside that proper mouth of yours. I can have you tomorrow morning, in the shower, or later tonight even. Give you something to think about."

Percy rolled off Oliver, reaching out to get their wands and place his glasses on the table. They each wrapped a hand around both wands to cast the protective charms (so hot, Oliver thought, to watch Percy's mouth form those Latin words) and a lubricating charm on Oliver before casting them aside. Percy started to slide down but Oliver stopped him.

"No, after. After." Percy stared at him, and Oliver suddenly felt that there wasn't nearly enough air in the room. He bent his legs, spreading open for Percy and pulling his knees to his chest.

"God," Percy whispered, seizing his lips even as he slid Oliver's legs over his shoulders. "God, Oliver." He grabbed hold of Oliver's strong, thick biceps and started to ease his cock in slowly, slowly. "God, so tight, Oliver, so tight."

"Please, Percy," Oliver mumbled. Percy's cock was long and slender like the rest of him, so this part wasn't too bad, really; it was the fucking later, those long strokes, and Oliver shivered in anticipation. "Just fuck me. It's good, just fuck me."

Percy pushed in faster, sliding nearly all the way in before pulling back again, getting into the rhythm, holding onto Oliver for dear life. "Ol, so good, God."

"Mmm, faster, please, more Percy," and Oliver moaned into the kisses Percy was giving him, and shouted, and it was so good with Percy all around him and holding onto him and his own cock so hard between them. "More, do it, fuck me, more."

Percy changed angles and went deeper with each stroke, moaning all the while, and Oliver kept shouting, "more!" Then Percy went silent and tense, pushing Oliver harder into the bed, and his mouth flew wide open with the biggest shout ever.

They stopped, laying still to catch their breath, staring at each other all the while. At last Percy eased out of Oliver, pulling his legs straight as he slid down Oliver's body.

He licked his lips, then took just the head into his mouth, sucking it into the place where it perfectly fit, and that was all it took for Oliver to come with a force that surprised them both. Percy coughed a little, having not been quite ready, and glanced up to see Oliver looking rather sheepish.

"Sorry," he said. "Didn't mean to be such a hair trigger."

Percy shrugged. "I am when you fuck me, so."

Oliver nodded. "Water in the bedside table."

Percy grabbed two small bottles and put their wands back on the table before flopping down on the bed next to Oliver. He handed one bottle to Oliver, then drank his own in two long gulps. "That was, wow," he said, gasping.

"Yeah," Oliver agreed, smiling at Percy's inarticulateness. He finished his water and threw the bottle on the table at the other side of the room. Percy placed his carefully on the bedside table next to him and dimmed the lights, though the ambient light from the street outside glowed through the window. "Cold," Oliver added as he pulled up the covers over them.

They snuggled down into the bed, on their backs but looking at each other, and Percy said, "Shower in the morning, is it, Oliver?"

Oliver stretched, loving the feel of Percy's body alongside him. Comfortable, laying between him and the wall, even if he was a bit squashed. "Yes, Percy. Lots of showers, lots of mornings."