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a fight for love and glory

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The Slytherin seeker, Erik moves with grace. He speeds through the pitch, misses the bludger by an inch without flinching before accelerating to chase the snitch. He’s fast - even on his old and outdated Thunderbolt VII - faster than Gyffindor’s seeker who’s using the new Firebolt. The snitch plummets down and he follows with ease -

“Charles, you’re staring again,” Moira says, raising her brow.

“I’m not staring, I’m watching the game,” Charles huffs absent-mindedly. The Gyrffindor seeker isn’t far behind him now but Erik seems to know it. He seems to be enjoying it, in fact, revelling in the fact that his opponent can finally keep up.

Moira scoffs, “No, Hank is watching the game, I am watching the game, you’re - well.”

“Hank is watching Raven because he’s besotted and half in love with her.” Charles says, in defence. Hank despises Quidditch and he’s only ever at games when Raven is playing or when Raven coaxes him into it. Besides, Charles is not staring. He’s just observing. He’s a seeker himself so it’s perfectly normal for him to focus more on the seekers.

Speaking of which, Erik is already an arms length away from the golden snitch, but the snitch swerves up towards the crowd, furthering away from him.

“And you’re not?”

“Don’t be silly, Moira.” Charles says, hoping she’d drop the topic. He is not staring, and he is definitely not half in love with Erik.

The thing is, Erik is from Slytherin, and is a seeker - not to mention, a bloody good one too. They’re practically rivals. Charles is a fantastic seeker, but games with Erik are always tough. Charles has never won them. Although Raven says Erik gets off of it - having a competent opponent specifically one whose name is Charles. It’s absurd — Charles and Erik are friends naturally after sharing multiple classes throughout the years. Erik is intelligent and they’d often pair up with each other during assignments but — that’s it.

The whistle blows, signalling timeout. Erik is already on the ground, taking a big gulp of water from a flask. Charles definitely does not stare at his throat when he drinks. He looks away immediately but does the mistake of catching Moira’s eyes who seem to have read all the thoughts Charles would rather carry to his grave. Moira only shakes her head fondly and laughs.

Meanwhile, a live cast of the crowd is projected in the pitch for the usual Kiss-Cam.

Erik hates these things, he told Charles once during their game timeout. “It ruins the seriousness of the games”, he said.

“I like it because of that. Quidditch is brilliant but one bad thing about it is the house rivalry it causes. Kiss-cams sort of lightens up the mood.” Charles had told him. They ended up spending the rest of the timeout discussing house supremacy, as they often do when they meet.

The crowd erupts, snapping Charles out of his reverie and Charles sees Alex Summers giving Jean Grey a chaste peck on her cheek on the screen. Scott is next to her, glaring threateningly at his brother.

He looks towards the pitch where Erik is standing, and sees him staring at Charles. He smiles, all shark like and looks away.

Charles watches Raven for the rest of game.

_____

It’s Charles first game of the semester against Slytherin and it’s - well.

Charles is flying after the snitch, Erik tailing behind him at full speed. Charles doesn’t know if it’s just him or the snitch is fluctuating more today - swerving up and down through the most crowded part of the pitch. It’s hard enough with Erik overtaking him every 2 minutes, now he has to avoid the bludger from giving him a concussion.

His eye is still on the snitch when Erik darts up, flying past him. Erik looks down, shooting him a mischievous grin.

Oh no, he won’t.

Charles hurls down where there are less people and obstacles and bolts after the snitch, moving at pace with Erik, the snitch in the middle. They both are just about to catch the ball when the whistle rings and the snitch plummets down alongside the bludgers.

Bugger.

While his teammates fly down to rehydrate themselves, Charles hovers, feeling a bit too restless. A screen materialises for the usual Kiss-cam segment when Charles hears a warm voice behind him, “Charles,”

It’s Erik, on his broom lingering a few feet away. He has that lopsided grin on his face that he usually gets when he wins the game. He holds out his flask, an offering to Charles, “Tired, already?”

“You wish,” Charles takes the flask, and drinks a sip from it. He definitely doesn’t think about how Erik’s mouth has touched the mouth of the flask. He most certainly doesn’t think about Erik staring at his lips after he drinks. Charles hands him back his flask and thanks him.

“Let’s see which lucky person gets a kiss today,” Erik says condescendingly.

Charles rolls his eyes and before he could stop himself, mutters, “Don’t start, darling.”

Erik only laughs in delight. Charles only realises they’re still staring into each other’s eyes when the crowd erupts and they’re chanting his and Erik’s name. He looks at the screen, and — Fuck.

Charles is on the screen. Charles and Erik is on the screen.

Charles catches Erik’s reaction, his jaw tight, his lips pursed and Charles won’t admit it out loud but he has catalogued a shit ton of Erik’s facial expressions enough to know that Erik’s angry. Of course, he’s angry. He hates Kiss-cams, and he probably hates it even more now that he’s a subject of it. The crowd is still cheering, shouting encouraging words.

“I don’t think,“ Charles says, “I don’t think they would relent until —“

Erik looks at him thoughtfully, before he grins. “You’re right. We don’t want any house rivalry happening, do we?”

Charles surprises himself when he laughs. Erik’s closer now, so Charles puts his hands on his shoulder, leans forward across the little space and kisses him. Don’t think, don’t think. It’s starts out chaste, just a touch of his lips against Erik’s, before Erik pulls him by the waist and kisses him deeply. Charles’ whole body lights up, holding Erik tighter because he feels a bit lightheaded and he doesn’t want to fall 20 feet off the ground.

They part slowly, still clutching onto each other. Erik is gazing into his lips, and Charles feels like his body had leaped into life. He knows the crowd is cheering, wolf-whistling, shouting but Charles doesn’t hear them. He only sees Erik beaming, a tint of blush on his cheeks, his hair soft and — behind him, a small golden ball flutters.

Charles doesn’t think, only catches.

_____

The celebration hasn’t stopped.

This is Ravenclaw’s first win against Slytherin in ages, so they open the doors to their common room, dance to ancient magical songs and toast with Butterbeer and Fishy Green Ale. All the houses are welcome to join, even though not a lot come.

Charles is being held by Scott and Hank, the whole room chanting his name and cheering for him. He whoops with them, holding his fist up in victory. It’s — nice.

He sees Erik at the corner of the room, staring amusedly at him. His heart plummets. They haven’t had the chance to speak yet after the kiss — after Charles caught the snitch, they had won the game automatically and his teammates immediately flew to tackle him into a hug. He didn’t even manage to see what Erik’s reaction had been like.

“Alright, put me down.” Charles says, “I’m going to get another drink,”

Charles treads carefully through the crowd, getting multiple pats in back and congratulations on the way before finally reaching Erik. He smiles, tentatively. “Hi,”

“I suppose congratulations are in order,” Erik smirks, crossing his hands against his chest. Charles certainly doesn’t think about how his biceps have tighten. “That was sly,”

“I wasn’t —“ Charles fumbles for his words, “It wasn’t like that.”

“It wasn’t?”

“No! I just — I was kissing you, and I saw the snitch, and then I caught it.” Charles tries to explain. Although Erik looks more charmed than upset so Charles relaxes. “I’m sorry. I know how much you hate the kissing segments.”

Erik looks startled at that, “I do but — it was nice. I liked kissing you,”

Charles feels like his legs have turned into water. He scoots closer to Erik, setting his hands on Erik’s hips to steady himself. “You do?”

“Yes, I like you, for a while now.”

“Oh —“ Charles finds himself laughing, resting his forehead against Erik’s chest. “I like you too.”

Erik cups Charles’ cheeks, before stroking his hair from his face and then gently kissing him just as he did back at the pitch. The kiss is slow and passionate with no rush. Charles pulls him closer by the waist, making them both giggle into each other’s lips.

“Hmm, in other news, I found a very effective tactic to finally beat you in Quidditch,” Charles told him.

Erik dissolves into laughter, “I wonder what it is.”