“You should go talk to him.”
Ethan jumped, his cheeks flushing red from embarrassment. He tore his eyes away from the other side of the library where a certain dark haired Ravenclaw sat writing out an essay for Charms class. He looked down at his own essay, a mess of scratched out sentences. He was too distracted too actually focus on it.
He scribbled out the last thing he wrote and shook his head. “I don’t think I’m his type.”
“What makes you say that?” Aiden asked, his essay for Potions class equally as undone as Ethan’s Charms one. He was doodling on his and most likely wouldn’t be turning in anything.
Ethan didn’t answer at first. He just sat there and played with the red and gold tie around his neck. He looked up at Aiden after a minute to see his brother was staring at him in annoyance. “Ethan, go over to that table and ask if you can work on your essay together.”
Ethan glanced over at the other side of the room. “But Jackson’s over there and I’m sure the two of them don’t want me to interu-“
“Sometimes I really wonder how you ended up in Gryffindor,” Aiden said, closing his book and looking at the time. “Well, I think I have just enough time to have some Quidditch practice before dinner.” He got up and walked over to the table where Ethan watched Aiden ask his fellow Slytherin to accompany him to the Quidditch pitch. Jackson looked past Aiden and smiled when he saw Ethan trying to pretend he wasn’t watching.
Jackson got up and left with Aiden, leaving Danny and Ethan alone in that section of the library. Danny watched his best friend leave before turning towards Ethan. “You working on your Charms essay too?" Ethan only managed to nod. Danny smiled softly. “Want to work on it with me?”
“I-I don’t know how much help I’ll be. I’m not as smart as you.”
Danny smiled again and Ethan felt his heart skip a beat. “Then I can help you.”
Ethan packed up his stuff and moved to sit in front of Danny, his heart beating fast as he looked at the Ravenclaw. While they were in the same group of friends, they weren’t alone together very often. “So, what do you got so far?”
Danny glanced down at the parchment as Ethan pulled it out. He gave Ethan a smile. “Well, it’s a start, right?” Danny closed his book and pulled out another piece of parchment and handed it to Ethan. “This might help you. I brainstorm my essays beforehand, makes them easier to write.”
They sat in the library until dinner time, Ethan managing to get his essay halfway done. They packed up and walked to the Great Hall together, Ethan’s heart beating fast as Danny walked so close to him.
“If you need any more help, don’t hesitate to ask,” Danny said. “Maybe we could meet up in the library again tomorrow? Same time?”
Ethan looked up at Danny and smiled. “Yeah, I would like that. Maybe we could sit outside? I heard it’s supposed to be a nice day tomorrow.”
Danny smiled back. “Great. It’s a date.”
Ethan stood there in shock for a moment, his heart skipping at Danny’s words. He watched Danny open the door before stopping and turning back. “Coming?”
They parted ways once they walked inside. He could see Aiden at the Slytherin table as he passed giving him a thumbs up. He went to the Gryffindor table and sat next to Scott and Allison, the two of them talking. They looked up at him as he sat down and smiled.
“Hey, Ethan,” Scott greeted. “You’re normally the first one down here.”
“I was in the library working on that Charms essay,” Ethan said, looking over his shoulder towards the Ravenclaw table where Danny was sitting with Lydia. “Danny was helping me with it.”
“Danny? You’ve been pining over him since first year,” Allison said. “Finally did something about it?”
Ethan turned back towards his friends and shook his head. “No. We’re just studying together.”
“Well, maybe something could come out of it.”
“If I were his type, then maybe.”
“Whose type?” Kira asked, sitting on the other side of Ethan and reaching out to grab a glass of pumpkin juice.
“Danny Mahealani,” Allison answered, getting up and sitting down next to her girlfriend. “He and Ethan were studying together this afternoon.”
“You and Danny? Finally?”
“It was just us studying,” Ethan said. “We both had the same assignment so we worked on it together. It wasn’t anything big.”
“For now,” Kira said, giving Ethan a gentle nudge. “Maybe it’ll lead somewhere.”
“Yeah, Danny’s a good guy,” Scott said. “I think you and him would be a cute couple.”
Ethan felt himself blush. “Thanks guys, but I doubt it would ever happen.”
“You never know, Ethan. You never know.”
The next day, Ethan walked outside after his Potions class. He could see Danny lying near the lake, his robe off and looking up at the sky with a smile on his face. Ethan walked closer to where Danny lay and stopped for a moment, just watching as Danny enjoyed the sun. He smiled softly before sitting down next to him.
Danny slowly sat up and smiled at Ethan. “It’s just as nice as you said it would be. Almost too nice to get any work done.”
“Are you suggesting we don’t finish the essay?”
“We still have a few days before we have to turn it in. A little procrastination wouldn’t hurt. What do you say?”
“I say, what the hell? Let’s do something other than homework.”
“Want to go see what new creature Professor Deaton has brought in?”
Ethan nodded. “I would love to.”
They headed down to the hut near the edge of the Forbidden Forest where Professor Deaton was feeding a Hippogriff. They both bowed once they got close before walking closer and petting him when he bowed back.
“Danny, Ethan, what brings you two out here?”
“I heard there was a new magical creature you brought in.”
“Oh yes,” Deaton replied. “A very rare one too.”
“May we see it?” Danny asked.
Deaton smiled and nodded, beckoning the two of them towards the hut. He let them inside and they took a seat at the table as Deaton brought over a cage with two small, yellow birds. Danny gasped as Deaton reached inside and took one out. “Golden Snidgets? How did you get these?”
“They are on loan from a protected area. Once I am done teaching about them, I must send them back.”
“They’re beautiful. Can I hold one?” Danny asked. Deaton nodded and held a bird out towards Danny who took it, his face lighting up. Ethan watched, a smile forming on his own face as Danny cooed at the bird. Ethan scooted his chair closer to Danny and reached out, running his finger along the bird.
“I can’t believe I’m actually looking at one of these,” Ethan said as the bird hopped out of Danny’s hands and into Ethan’s. “Wow.”
“He likes you,” Danny said. He leaned closer to him and their shoulders bumped. Ethan turned his head towards Danny, sucking in a breath when he realized just how close he was. Danny looked up, their faces inches apart.
Ethan had to force himself to look away again, his cheeks burning, and set the bird on the table, watching it hop around. Danny started to laugh when the other bird flew out of the cage and started to chase the other one around. Ethan looked over at him again and felt himself smile, deciding right there and then that he was going to make Danny laugh as often as possible.
“Out with Danny again?” Scott asked, when Ethan ran to the Gryffindor table twenty minutes into dinner.
Ethan collapsed into the empty seat next to Scott and nodded. “Yeah, except we didn’t get any work done.”
“Ooh! Details!” Allison said.
“Danny wanted to see the new creature Professor Deaton brought in for the Care of Magical Creatures class and we kinda lost track of time. It wasn’t what you’re thinking.”
“It’s nice though,” Kira said. “You and him getting closer. I hope you at least become really good friends.”
“I’m sure that’s all we’re ever going to be.”
“Don’t say that, Ethan. You never know what’s going to happen.”
“There’s a Hogsmeade trip this weekend,” Scott said. “You should ask him to go get a butterbeer with you. Or visit the sweet shop, but something for you to share. That’s where Isaac and I like to go. It doesn’t have to be a date, Ethan. Just two friends spending time together.”
Ethan was silent for a moment before looking over at Scott. “Do you think he’d say yes?”
“There’s only one way to find out. You gotta ask him.”
Ethan ended up chickening out every time he was alone with Danny and ended up staying behind during the Hogsmeade trip, opting to do some school work instead. He was sitting alone in a corner of the library, looking up information for his Herbology essay when a shadow fell over him. He looked up to see Danny standing there with a smile on his face. “Would you like some company?”
“Uh-why aren’t you at Hogsmeade?”
Danny took a seat across from Ethan and grabbed one of his textbooks out of his bag. “Same reason as you. I needed to get work done. Besides, there will be another trip again.”
Ethan looked up from his book and looked at Danny for a long moment. “Do-do you maybe want to go together next time? Get a butterbeer?”
Danny smiled at him. “I would love to.”
Ethan let out a breath he didn’t realize he was holding and smiled back. “Great. Can’t wait.”
Danny scooted closer to Ethan and sat beside him. “So, what are you looking up?”
“It’s for Herbology class,” Ethan replied. “What are you working on?”
“See anything in my future?” Ethan joked, giving Danny a gentle nudge.
“Well, I could read your palm,” Danny said, holding his hand out. “If you wanted me to.”
Ethan hesitated for a moment before he held his own hand out. Danny took it and turned it palm up, running his finger along one of the lines. Ethan sucked in a breath as he watched him, hoping Danny didn’t feel his palms getting sweaty.
“Have you had this done before?”
Ethan shook his head. “No.”
“Well, you give a lot of thought before doing something and you try to live life to the fullest,” Danny said, moving his finger to each line as he spoke. “But you’re also very cautious about who you open yourself to.” He paused for a moment as his finger traced another line. “Hmmm…”
“Your heart line is curved. It shows you’re a romantic,” Danny said, looking back up at Ethan. There was a slight blush on the Ravenclaw's cheeks, mirroring Ethan’s own burning cheeks. “And you will take every opportunity to show you love someone.”
Ethan stared at Danny finding it hard to think. His heart was beating fast and he wanted nothing more than to confess his feelings to Danny. Danny’s finger continued to trace the lines on his hand, but he never looked back down. Ethan found it hard to look away. “And-and what does yours say about you?” Ethan asked.
Danny’s hand moved, and he threaded their fingers together. “Mine? I’m-“
Danny yanked his hand away from Ethan’s like he had been burned and turned towards the person who interrupted them. They were in Slytherin robes and Ethan had seen him with Danny before, remembered purposely averting his eyes when he came across them in the halls.
“What do you want?” Danny asked, sounding annoyed.
“Can we talk?”
“Now?” There was a small stretch of silence before Danny gave an angry sigh and stood up. “Fine. I’ll be back in a moment, Ethan.”
Ethan didn’t wait for him. He shoved all his things back in his schoolbag before taking off towards Gryffindor Tower and hiding in the dormitory. He ended up missing dinner, cocooning himself in his blankets and staring at the curtain around his bed.
Scott pulled the curtain aside sometime later and sat on the edge of the bed. “What’s wrong?”
“What? Nothing’s wrong.”
“Something is if you missed dinner,” Scott said, reaching out and placing a hand on Ethan’s shoulder. “What happened while we were gone?”
Ethan was quiet for a moment, just staring off into space. When he spoke, it was quiet and Scott had to lean closer to hear him. “I went to the library to work on some work and Danny showed up. He had stayed behind to get some homework done too.” Ethan fell silent again, tugging at a loose string on his sheets. Scott gave his shoulder a gentle squeeze and Ethan started speaking again. “I-I don’t know what happened. We were talking and I-I asked him to read my palm because he was working on his divination homework and we got so close and…”
Ethan turned away from Scott and mumbled the rest. “Ethan, I can’t hear you when you mumble.”
“You heard me.”
Ethan sighed heavily. “His boyfriend showed up.”
“Boyfriend? Danny doesn’t have a boyfriend. They broke up.”
“I’m sure it’s back on again,” Ethan said. “Out of all the guys in this school, why did it have to be him? Why did I have to have a crush on Danny? Why does it have to be someone I can’t have?”
“I don’t think he’s as unattainable as you think he is,” Scott said. “I saw the break up between them. I don’t think they’re getting back together.”
“You don’t know that.”
“And you don’t know if they got back together,” Scott said. “Take a chance, Ethan, you might be surprised with what happens.”
Ethan was quiet for a moment before he looked over his shoulder at Scott. “Do you really think I have a chance?”
Scott smiled. “I think that you won’t know unless you try. He’s a good guy, Ethan, and I think the two of you would be good together.”
“No problem,” Scott said, tugging at Ethan’s blanket. “Come downstairs, I brought some dinner up for you.”
The next time he saw Danny was two days later in Herbology. Even after his talk with Scott, he avoided the library and anywhere Danny might be. He had ended up being a little late for class, being held back by his last professor to discuss his latest test score.
He tripped over a bag on his way to join Scott and a pair of arms reached out and grabbed him, making him fall face first into their chest instead. He could feel his cheeks heat up from embarrassment and slowly lifted his head to see Danny looking down at him. ‘Of course it would be him,’ Ethan thought.
“I’m sorry,” He mumbled, pulling away from Danny.
Ethan nodded. “I’m fine. Thank you. Sorry.”
Danny’s hands lingered keeping Ethan from moving. Danny was so close and Ethan could feel his heart start to race. Danny looked ready to stay something until the professor coughed and Ethan became aware of all the eyes on them. He turned to walk away but Danny grabbed his hand. “Sit with me today. Please.”
Ethan glanced from Danny to Scott. Scott gave him the thumbs up and Ethan hesitated for a moment before dropping his bag on the floor and sitting down next to the Ravenclaw.
“Now, can I resume class?” the professor asked, making Ethan look down at his desk and his cheeks burn more.
“You took off the other day,” Danny said, as they knelt down in the dirt later in the class to re-pot some Fanged Geraniums. Ethan cursed when the plant in his hands bit him, and he dropped it. Danny grabbed his hand. “Are you okay?”
Ethan pulled his glove off to show the wound starting to heal. “Werewolf.”
“Sometimes I forget you guys are,” Danny said, dropping one of his hands to Ethan’s knee. “What happened the other day, though? You were gone when I got back.”
“Something came up,” Ethan said, wanting to push Danny’s hand away but at the same time, wanting to pull him closer. “Sorry I didn’t say anything.”
“It’s okay. I just thought-I thought maybe...” Danny trailed off and looked back down at his own plant.
“You thought what?”
Danny shook his head. “Nothing.” He fell silent and finished re-potting his plant before looking back up at Ethan. “Meet me tonight on top of the Astronomy Tower.”
“Midnight? Are you suggesting we break the rules?” Ethan asked, narrowly missing being bitten again when he looked up at Danny.
“Like you’ve never snuck out in the middle of the night before.”
“Never,” Ethan said, smiling.
Danny rolled his eyes and gave Ethan a gentle push. “You’re a terrible liar.” His hand fell to Ethan’s knee again, his thumb gently rubbing. “So? Will you meet me there?”
Ethan nodded. “Yeah. I’ll be there.”
When class was over, they parted ways; Ethan headed for Potions and Danny for his Divination class. Scott caught up with him and gently bumped him in the shoulder. “You and Danny seemed to be pretty close in class today.”
Ethan blushed and looked down at the ground. “So you saw?”
“Ethan, everyone saw,” Scott replied. “So? What happened?”
“He-he asked me to meet him in the Astronomy Tower tonight.”
“Ooh, sounds like a date.”
“It’s not a date.”
Ethan looked up at his friend. Scott was a Prefect, but he also knew he wouldn’t tattle on him. He never tattled on any of them for sneaking out. “Midnight.”
“Midnight? Are you completely sure he didn’t ask you on a date?”
“It’s not -̶ it can’t be a date,” Ethan said. “We’re just friends.”
“Are you going to go?”
Ethan nodded. “Yeah, I think I am.”
Scott gave his shoulder a squeeze. “I told you not to give up. Good luck, Ethan.”
Ethan became more and more anxious as midnight got closer. He had snuck out of his house twenty minutes before and was dodging Prefects and teachers. He almost got caught but managed to get into a secret passage just in time.
When Ethan arrived at the Astronomy Tower, Danny was leaning against one of the edges and looking up at the stars. Ethan stood in the doorway for a moment, just watching, before Danny looked over his shoulder and smiled at him. “You came.”
“Did you think I wouldn’t?”
Danny looked back up at the stars. “People tend to stand me up a lot.”
Ethan walked over to stand next to Danny. “I would never do that to you.”
Danny smiled again. “I really like coming out here at night. Look up at the stars. See the moon. Of course, this is the first time I’ve ever brought anyone up here with me.”
Ethan turned towards Danny. “You never brought any one up here? Even your boyfriends?”
Danny laughed. “This was my getaway. I came up here because I wanted to be alone.”
“Then why ask me?”
Danny was quiet for a moment before looking over at him. “Because I thought you would appreciate it as much as I did.”
Ethan felt Danny’s hand move over his and he had to look away again as he felt his cheeks heat up. “I do.” He turned his palm up and intertwined their fingers. “Thank you, for thinking of me.”
“I brought a blanket if you want to lay down instead of standing here,” Danny said, giving Ethan’s hand a gentle squeeze before walking away to grab a blanket. He laid it on the ground and laid back, patting the spot next to him.
The blanket was small, meaning they would be lying super close to each other. Ethan hesitated for a moment before lying down next to Danny, their shoulders bumping. He smiled and moved his arms behind his head and looked up at the sky. “Much better.”
“You can see Pegasus,” Danny said, pointing out the constellation. He moved his hand to point out another one. “and Aries.”
“And there’s Andromeda,” Ethan said, pointing it out.
Danny reached out and took Ethan’s hand, moving it slightly to the right. “There’s Andromeda, that was Triangulum.”
Ethan blushed and pulled his hand away. “I-I knew that.”
“It’s okay, sometimes I mix them up too,” Danny said, moving his hand to rest on Ethan’s leg, making the Gryffindor’s heart skip a beat. “How did you do on the Transfiguration test the other day?”
“I got an E on it,” Ethan said. “I’m actually really, really good in Transfiguration.”
“I’ve heard,” Danny said, looking over at Ethan. “Want to show me something?”
Ethan laughed, feeling himself blush. “I -̶ umm…I really don’t like to show off.”
Danny shrugged. “That’s okay. You don’t have to.” Danny glanced up at the sky and was silent for a moment before looking over at Ethan again. “So, are we still on for Hogsmeade next weekend?”
“Won’t your boyfriend be jealous that you’re going with another guy?”
“I don’t have a boyfriend,” Danny said. “I haven’t had a boyfriend for a while now. I want one but…” Danny trailed off and looked up at the stars once more.
Danny was quiet for a moment before turning on his side to face Ethan. “Have you ever been completely crazy about someone but you don’t know if they feel the same way?”
Ethan nodded. “I do, but I know he doesn’t feel the same way.” He sighed and looked away from Danny. “I mean why would he? Why would anyone like me?”
Danny reached out and gently touched Ethan’s chin, making him look over at him again. “You’re smart, Ethan, and kind and sweet. I’m sure whoever he is would be lucky to have you.”
Ethan wanted to say something, wanted to tell Danny it was him that he had a crush on, but the words wouldn't come out. He turned away to look up at the stars again. “Even if he did feel the same way, why hasn’t he said something?”
“Why haven’t you?”
“Because I’m scared,” Ethan whispered.
“Maybe he is too,” Danny said, taking Ethan’s hand in his. “I know I’m scared.” He looked up at the stars, sighing softly. “Maybe if we wish upon a star.”
“Will you tell me what house he’s in? This guy you like?”
Ethan was quiet for a moment before softly saying, “Ravenclaw.”
He didn’t remember falling asleep. Ethan last remembered talking about the boys they liked and then he was waking up, the sun just starting to rise. He could feel an arm wrapped around his waist and a body pressed against his side. It took him a moment to realize he was still in the Astronomy Tower and Danny was with him.
He turned his head to look at Danny, the Ravenclaw still sleeping peacefully. He watched him for a moment, knowing he should wake him up before they were caught. He reached out and gently ran his fingers along Danny’s cheek. He looked beautiful, even in his sleep, and Ethan couldn’t look away.
Danny slowly opened his eyes. Ethan could feel his cheeks heating up at being caught. He started to pull his hand away but Danny stopped him and intertwined their fingers. Ethan looked at their hands; Danny’s thumb gently stroking his skin.
Ethan didn’t know what he was doing, but he let go of Danny’s hand and leaned over the Ravenclaw. Danny looked up at him, something unreadable in his eyes. The hand not holding him up went to Danny’s cheek, gently caressing it as he looked down at him.
He leaned in and pressed his lips against Danny’s in a soft kiss. There was another gentle kiss before Ethan pulled away. Danny’s eyes were closed but they opened as Ethan pulled away. “Ethan.”
Suddenly regret flooded him as he heard his name and he jumped up. It wasn’t him Danny had been talking about last night, it couldn’t have been. “I’m-I’m sorry. Oh my God, Danny, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that. I-I’ll leave now.” He ran out the door before Danny could say anything or try to stop him.
He trudged down to the Great Hall after changing, catching the last twenty minutes of breakfast. Scott looked up as he sat down. “You didn’t return last night.” Ethan didn’t answer him, instead he busied himself with filling up his plate instead. Scott gave his shoulder a squeeze. “Ethan, did something happen?”
Ethan shrugged off his friend’s hand. “Nothing happened.”
It was after Quiddicth practice a few days later that Scott sat him down and made him talk. They sat alone in the locker room once the rest of the team filed out. He hadn’t been paying much attention during practice and nearly got hit several times when he zoned out.
“Talk,” Scott commanded softly. Ethan didn’t speak right away, twirling his bat in his hands and looking away from Scott. Scott reached out and put his hand on Ethan’s knee, giving it a gentle squeeze. “Ethan, you can talk to me.”
Ethan sighed and looked up at his friend and alpha. “I didn’t come back because we fell asleep,” Ethan said, wiping at his eyes. “And when we woke up, I-I kissed him.”
“And what? I ruined everything,” Ethan said. “We had a great night and then I kissed him, and he probably didn’t even want me to. He probably wasn’t even talking about me.”
“What do you mean?”
“We-we didn’t say names but we confessed to liking someone and-and maybe I had hoped it was me?” Ethan said. “I thought I had a chance.”
“What did he do after you kissed him?”
“I-I didn’t let him do anything,” Ethan said. “I was terrified that he was about to reject me so I apologized and ran out. And now he probably hates me.”
“He doesn’t hate you,” Scott said, scooting closer and wrapping an arm around Ethan’s waist. Ethan rested his head on Scott’s shoulder and closed his eyes, trying not to cry. “Danny could never hate you.”
“You don’t know that.”
“Neither do you,” Scott said, rubbing Ethan’s back. “I think you need to talk to him.”
“I-I don’t know what to say to him. I can’t do this. I can’t face him.”
Scott hugged him tight. “You can’t hide from him forever, Ethan. Just take a few days, think about what you want to say to him and then go talk to him. Whatever happens, I guarantee that Danny will not hate you. Okay?”
Ethan nodded. “Okay.”
“Alright, let’s get cleaned up and ready for dinner. You’re going to be okay, Ethan. I promise.”
The day of the next Hogsmeade trip, Ethan sat in the Common Room with his wand out and floating one of the roses from the vase of fresh flowers someone brought in, his mind on Danny. He had avoided him for days, afraid of rejection, afraid of what Danny thought of him.
“Oh no. No, no, no,” Scott said as he waltzed down the stairs with Allison and Kira. “You are not staying in. You are coming with us and the rest of the team to blow off some steam before the next game.”
“I don’t want to go.”
“We’re not giving you a choice,” Allison said, grabbing one of his arms while Kira grabbed the other. “You are coming with us. No ands, ifs, or buts about it.” The two girls lead him out of the portrait, not letting him bail no matter how much he tried.
When they arrived at the Three Broomsticks, Ethan ended up between Scott and Allison who blocked him in so he didn’t run off. He didn’t talk as the rest of the team arrived, instead looking down at his drink that he barely touched. He lost track of how long they been in there, jumping when he felt Scott’s hand on his shoulder.
He looked over at Scott who pointed towards a table near the corner. Ethan looked over to see Danny sitting there drinking alone.
“You should go talk to him.”
“Scott, no I can’t.”
“Too late,” Allison said, taking a drink of her butterbeer.
Ethan looked up again to see Danny was walking towards the table. He seemed nervous as he approached, his eyes never leaving Ethan. “Hi.”
“Hey, Danny,” Scott said when Ethan didn’t speak up. “How are you?”
“Fine, I-I was wondering if I could talk to Ethan. Care to join me at my table? I mean, if the team is done talking?”
Allison stood up to let Ethan out. “He would love to talk to you.” Ethan looked up at Allison, eyes wide. She just smiled at him and helped him out of the booth. Before she let go, she leaned in and whispered, “Good luck.”
Ethan grabbed his butterbeer and followed Danny to his table. They sat across from each other in awkward silence for several minutes, Ethan staring down at his drink trying to think of what to say to Danny.
“You ran off the other day,” Danny said, finally breaking the silence after what felt like hours but was only a couple of minutes. “You seem to do that a lot.”
“I know, I’m sorry.”
Danny reached out and seemed to hesitate for a moment before dropping his hand near Ethan’s. “This… this isn’t really a conversation for a crowded place, is it?” He downed the rest of his drink before standing up. “Come on, there’s a place I know where we can be alone.”
Ethan looked up at Danny for a moment before finishing his own drink and following Danny out of the place. He glanced at the team to see Scott and Allison were giving him the thumbs up while Kira whispered ‘Good luck.’
Danny led him towards the Shrieking Shack, taking a left before reaching it. It was a secluded spot, surrounded by trees with a river running through it. Danny sat down by the river, pulling his knees up to his chest.
“Why did you run off?” Danny asked when Ethan sat down next to him.
Ethan looked over at Danny to see him watching the water, a look of sadness on his face. “Did-did you want me to stay?”
Danny was quiet for several minutes, drawing random shapes on the ground. When he spoke, his voice was barely above a whisper. “Yes, I did.”
“Even though I kissed you?”
Danny looked over at Ethan. “Especially because you kissed me.”
Ethan sat there in shock, his mouth falling open. “I-I--What?”
“I like you, a lot.”
Danny nodded. “Yeah, I do. I mean, you’re smart and sweet and incredibly good looking. I just-I could never muster up the courage to tell you how I feel about you. Then you kissed me, and God, Ethan, it was a dream come true. I liked you for so long but I-I didn’t know how you felt about me. Then you ran away. Do you have any idea how that made me feel? I felt rejected.”
“I wasn’t rejecting you, Danny,” Ethan said. “I-I was scared. You… you’re perfect, Danny, and I just never thought someone like you could like someone like me. I ran away because I was scared you were going to reject me or that you were going to tell me to never speak to you again. You asked me that night if I knew what it felt to be completely in love with someone and not knowing if they felt the same. That’s how I felt about you, Danny. I didn’t know.”
“But now you do,” Danny said, scooting closer to Ethan and cupping his face with one hand. “Now you know how I feel.” Danny leaned in. “And I know how you feel.”
Ethan’s eyes flickered from Danny’s eyes to his lips and back again. They were so close, just a few more inches and-- “This isn’t a dream, is it?” Ethan asked.
Danny smiled. “No, it’s not a dream.” He closed the distance between them, his hand going to the back of Ethan’s neck, holding him there as he kissed him again. Ethan kissed back, wrapping his arms around Danny and pulling him closer. It was perfect, better than their first kiss and Ethan didn’t want it to ever end.
Danny pulled back a few minutes later with a breathless laugh. “Wow.”
Ethan could feel himself start to smile. “So, I can expect a lot more of that now?”
Danny nodded. “Definitely.” He leaned in for one more kiss. “Do you maybe want to go to Honeydukes and get some sweets? My treat?”
“Yeah, I would like that.”
Danny got up and held his hand out towards Ethan, helping him up. They made their way back to Hogsmeade hand in hand, Ethan finding it hard to not smile as they walked through the street. Aiden spotted them just before they reached the sweet shop and stopped them. “Do my eyes deceive me? Did you finally ask Danny out?”
Ethan blushed and Danny laughed, pressing a kiss to his cheek and making him blush more. Danny replied, “Yes, I am officially dating your brother.”
Aiden smiled. “I’m glad.” He placed his hand on Danny’s shoulder and gave him a semi-serious look. “I just want you to know, that if you hurt my brother I hurt you.”
“Aiden!” Ethan hissed.
Danny shook his head, wrapping his arm around Ethan’s waist pulling him closer. He looked down at him and smiled. “I wouldn’t dream of hurting him.” He leaned down and gave Ethan a kiss before looking over at Aiden. “Now excuse us, we are on a date.”
Leaving Aiden with a half-smile, half-scowl for being dismissed, the two made their way to Honeydukes and enjoyed the rest of their date hand-in-hand, with the biggest grins on their faces.