Chapter Ten

Percy stood at the counter, his arms braced and his head down. Why had no one told him about Bill? And when had it happened? Percy's thoughts were whirling, and he was growing more and more confused at the minute. "I mean, they were so, well, normal when Bill sat in Professor Snape's lap," he murmured to himself.

And they didn't say anything either, when Oliver put his arm around you.

They're all evil little…

And they seemed to just take Bill and the greasy git in stride. Not even the twins made remarks. And that was unusual. Not to mention downright scary.

I think this family is all…

Percy was pulled from his thoughts by a gentle cough from behind him. He turned slowly, hoping to see Oliver, but instead saw the last person he wanted to talk to at this moment. His brother's wife, his ex-girlfriend and the woman who had scorned Percy when he told her the truth.

"Penelope. What are you doing here?" It came out as an accusation, although he hadn't meant it that way.

Penelope blushed and said, "I thought we needed to have a little talk, Percy. It's been a while, and I wanted to clear something up with you."

Percy turned back to the sink and looked out the window to the snow falling gently to the ground. "And what's that Penelope?" Percy asked. "Do you want to tell me I'm evil and perverted again?" he whispered.

Penelope blushed and tears came to her eyes. She had known that she had hurt Percy all those years ago, but she hadn't realized just how much. She approached Percy and laid a gentle hand on his shoulder. "That's what I wanted to clear up. I was wrong all those years ago when you, erm, came out to me. I was hurt, and angry and I didn't offer you the support you needed."

Percy froze with shock. What was Penelope saying? "I don't understand."

Penelope sighed and said, "You may not have known it, Perce, but when we were dating, I fancied myself in love with you. I thought you loved me too. But as I came to find out, I was just a cover so you didn't have to face yourself. And once you did, well, it was good-bye Penny. It hurt, Perce, it hurt SO much, that I did the first thing that came into my head, and struck out at you."

"You loved me?" Percy asked incredulously, turning to face Penelope and seeing the tears in her eyes for the first time.

"I thought I did. And a young girl believing herself in love is a woman in love. But please don't feel guilty, or be mad when I tell you that what I feel for Charlie is one thousand times more than I thought I felt for you. My love for him is the forever kind of love. My love for you was more childlike in its innocence," Penelope said.

Percy smiled slightly. "And all these years I thought you hated me."

"I did, for awhile anyway. But you know how close Charlie and Bill are, and well, Bill is gay too, so I had to learn to accept him. Once I did, I could see how hard it must have been for you all those years ago. You were so fragile Percy, and delicate in a sort of ethereal way. You must have been so frightened of your feelings, and not knowing who to talk to or what to do about them, you did the next best thing, you repressed them."

"You sound like a Muggle psychology textbook." Percy quipped, feeling better about his "relationship" with Penelope by the minute. Maybe they could even be friends now.

"Well, I've read enough of them over the years. I wanted to understand why you went out with me. And now I do."

"I never wanted to hurt you, Penny, I just wanted to be normal," Percy said, his voice cracking a bit on the last word.

Penelope smiled gently and held her arms open. "You are Percy, you are normal. And I still love, you, as a brother and  as a friend."

Percy went into her arms and let her hug the years of guilt and self-recrimination away. An angry kick from Penelope's stomach caused Percy to jump and the mother-to-be to laugh.

"I guess little Chris doesn't like tight hugs much," Penelope laughed.

"Is that what you're going to call him?" Percy asked.

"Yeah. We don't know if it's a girl or a boy yet, and figured we'd call it a unisex name until it gets here."

"Thanks Penelope. For talking to me tonight. You have no idea how guilty I felt about what I did to you, and what you said really tore me up inside. I really felt like I was evil." Percy said quietly.

"You are not evil Percival Archibald Weasley. You are perfect, just the way you are," came a tear-filled voice from behind them.

Percy jumped and stammered, "Mum, how… how long have you been there?"

"Long enough to know that my son needs me right now. Penny, I think Charlie is ready to leave for the night," Molly Weasley said, coming over to the two tear-stricken figures.

Penelope gave Percy one more hug and said, "I'll see you tomorrow Percy. Goodnight, Molly." as she left.

Percy turned away from his mother's concerned gaze and sat down at the kitchen table. Molly busied herself making a pot of tea, before sitting down next to her baby boy and taking one of his hands in her own. "Percy, being gay is nothing to be ashamed of," she said firmly. "Your father and I have known that you and Bill were gay since long before either of you probably figured it out."

Percy looked astonished. "You have? How? I thought I was hiding it so well."

Molly giggled a bit and said, "Percy, you may have the most brilliant mind in our family, but whenever we went anywhere as a family, your eyes always strayed to the good looking gents. Especially one very handsome Quidditch player."

Percy blushed and gasped, "Mum. Please. Oliver and I are just…"

Molly smiled knowingly and said, "I know dear. You are just friends. With benefits if that snogging on the sleigh ride is any indication."

Percy blushed more, but declined to comment on his mother's unfortunate habit of prying. "Now," Molly said, "it's getting late and I am expecting everyone at the Burrow at ten o'clock sharp tomorrow." She got up from the table and waited for Percy to join her. Once he did he was swept into one of Molly's infamous bear hugs. "I love you, Percy. Now, go find your Quidditch player and go home."

Percy quickly left before his mother could embarrass him any further. Oliver looked at him questioningly as he returned to the living room, to see that only Harry, Ginny, and Arthur were still there. "Everyone gone home?"

"Yeah, it's late. They will all be at the Burrow tomorrow. Even Sirius and Remus said they'd come." Ginny said, smiling when she saw how Percy immediately went to stand by Oliver. It seemed her "Plan" had worked famously.

"You ready to go, Perce? I'll see you home." Oliver said, covertly sliding his arm around Percy's waist. Everyone missed Percy's blush because they were too busy laughing at Harry's.

"We are so having a Talk tomorrow, Ollie," Harry whispered as the new couple made their way to the door. Oliver nodded his agreement. Ginny was not amused.

Soon Percy and Oliver were bundled against the cold and had Apparated to Percy's flat. Percy felt a little uncomfortable as he drew out the key to the door. Should he ask Oliver in? Part of him wanted nothing more than to do just so, but the more sensible and therefore larger part of him protested that it was too soon for a quick shag.

Luckily, Oliver had realized that Percy was different from his other affairs. He was an innocent, and deserved to be loved in a way Oliver wasn't sure he was capable of, but wanted to at least give a shot. So, he took matters into his own hands.

"I had a wonderful time tonight Percy," Oliver whispered leaning down slightly to look into Percy's eyes. Percy was tall, at least 6 feet, 2 inches, but Oliver had him beat by at least 3 inches.

"I had a fantastic time too, Oliver," Percy replied, lost in Oliver's gentle gaze. He closed his eyes and waited breathlessly for Oliver to close the distance between them.

Oliver did and brushed his lips lightly over Percy's cheekbone, kissing the golden freckles that stood out so predominately on Percy's pale skin. "Merry Christmas, Percy," Oliver said, and then he was gone.

Chapter Eleven

Oliver checked his appearance one last time, before gathering up his Christmas presents and Apparating to Percy's flat. He had decided upon waking that he couldn't be apart from his gorgeous Weasley for a moment long, and would go pick him up at his flat so they could arrive at the Burrow together. He only hoped that Percy would still be around.

It seemed that Lady Luck was on Oliver's side, as he heard loud music coming from Percy's flat. Oliver knocked, but when he received no answer, he tried the doorknob and found it unlocked.

"Percy," he called, "are you here?" There was no answer, except for a faint murmur from Percy's bedroom. Curious, Oliver headed in the direction of the noise.

He stealthily pushed open the door to Percy's room, and stared in wondrous enchantment at the sight that met his eyes. Percy, clad in nothing but a pair of red silk boxers, was shimming to the sound of Jinglebell Rock while pawing through his wardrobe.

Oliver knew his jaw had dropped open, along with the packages he was carrying. He had never seen a more beautiful sight than Percy dancing without abandon. His thin body moved in perfect rhythm to the music, and his beautiful behind made Oliver want to nothing more than pounce then and there. But, he refrained himself, knowing that Percy deserved more than a lustful encounter.

Percy turned around, a pair of brown corduroys and a pale yellow sweater in his hands, and gave a startled yelp when he noticed Oliver standing in the doorway to his room. Percy blushed red, and Oliver was intrigued to notice that the blush traveled all the way down to Percy's perfectly formed collarbone.

"Oliver," Percy squeaked, "what are you doing here?"

"I came to escort you to the Burrow. I hope that's ok," Oliver replied, stepping further into the room. "You dance very nicely by the way. I couldn't keep my eyes off you."

Percy blushed and looked down at his feet as he replied shyly, "Thanks." He didn't know what else to say. He had woken up feeling uncharacteristically happy and had needed to express it in some way.

Oliver stepped closer to Percy until there was barely three inches between them. "I'm going to kiss you now Percy," he said as he lowered his head.

Percy's eyes closed and his whispered, "Please..."

Their mouths met in a soft kiss, lips gently moving together in a declaration of something more than simple lust. Percy decided to throw caution to the wind and threw his arms around Oliver's neck, pressing his slender form against Oliver's muscley one.

Oliver groaned and pulled away saying, "We're going to be late if we don't leave now. I'll wait in the living room for you."

Percy nodded, and watched sadly as Oliver left the room in a hurry. What had he done to make Oliver turn away? Maybe he wasn't desirable. Maybe Oliver was just humoring him.

Just as Percy was about to give up all hope of a relationship with Oliver, the man in question barreled back into the room.

"Fuck it," he said and drew Percy against him. "I want you Percy Weasley," he growled as he claimed Percy's lips for his own once more.

Several minutes later, after a very intense snogging session, a flushed Percy found himself looking into Oliver's darkened eyes from the bed. Oliver placed a gentle kiss on Percy's forehead and asked, "Will you go to dinner with me tomorrow night?"

Percy looked at Oliver in bemusement and then broke into laughter. Between giggles he was able to say, "Of course, Oliver. I would love nothing more."

Oliver nodded and kissed Percy's nose once more. Then he jumped up from the bed and pulled Percy with him. "Great. Now, you had better finish dressing or your mother will send out a search party for us."

Percy nodded and pulled Oliver down into one more kiss, before shoving him out the bedroom door and proceeding to finish dressing, feeling in a much better mood than he had in a long time.

***

Percy and Oliver arrived at the Burrow at fifteen minutes to eleven to a frantic Molly Weasley instructing an amused Arthur to send out a search party for her little Percy.

"Sorry we're late Mum, we were, umm, a bit occupied," Percy said, his blush leaving no one to wonder just what, or whom, he had been preoccupied with.

Fred and George, who had prided themselves on their decorum the previous evening, made their way over to Percy.

"So, Percy," George began, "what are your—"

"Intentions for our good friend—" Fred continued

"Woodsy?" George finished.

Percy blushed and gripped Oliver's hand tighter. This was just what he had been dreading--the recriminations of his family. He just knew that the twins blamed him for corrupting Oliver—

"Would you two stop tag-teaming? Geez, you haven't matured at all since our Hogwarts days," Oliver said, smacking first Fred and then George across the head. He wrapped a possessive arm around Percy's waist and placed a small kiss on his temple. "Besides, shouldn't you be asking me what my intentions toward your brother are?"

Percy colored prettily and tried to melt into Oliver to escape his embarrassment. Fred and George exchanged glances, communicating silently. Finally they shared a nod and said together, "Welcome to the family, Woodsy."

"Besides," continued Fred "if we can accept Snape—"

"Into the family fold, we can—"

"Certainly welcome you!"

Percy shook his head and spoke up for the first time. "Do you two share a brain or something?"

Fred and George laughed and went in search of their wives. Quickly taking up where the twins left off, Bill approached with a very dour looking Snape on his arm. "Percy, can I have a word?" he asked.

Percy nodded and gently extracted his hand from Oliver's. "I'll be right back," he said.

Bill, giving Snape a firm look - clearly telling him to behave himself - kissed his lover quickly and then led Percy to a relatively private corner.

"So, Percy, were you ever going to tell me you were gay?" Bill asked without delay.

Percy frowned and countered, "Were you?"

Bill smiled softly at his little brother and replied, "I thought you knew. It wasn't like it was a secret. And just what did you think of all the boys I've brought home?"

Percy shrugged and said, "I thought they were your friends." He was silent for a moment and then continued, "I didn't think anyone else was like me. I thought I was an abomination."

Bill's eyes, identical to Percy's, filled with tears and he drew his little brother into a strong hug. "I wish you had talked to me!"

Percy returned the hug and let a few tears fall down his cheeks. "I wish I had too. If I hadn't tried to cut myself off from the family, I might have noticed sooner." Percy thought for a moment and then asked, "So, how did you and Professor Snape get together?"

Bill blushed and proceeded to tell Percy about how he had discovered another side to the dour Potion's Master. "Well obviously I had him as a teacher all through Hogwarts, and I am not ashamed to say that he featured quite prominently in my schoolboy fantasies. But then I left Hogwarts and went to work for Gringotts and didn't see Sev again until this past summer." Bill smiled fondly at the memory of his chance encounter with his mate. "We were working on some ministry business together, trying to break a very obscure curse, and well, the rest is history. He's really not so bad when you get to know him. He's actually quite sweet." Bill paused for a moment before smiling wickedly and confessing, "And he is really quite masterful in the bedroom. Much like I think your Oliver would be."

Percy blushed and let out a shocked gasp. He looked around and was relieved to see that Oliver was out of hearing range. He was, at the moment, engaged in conversation with Harry and Snape. "Bill! What a thing to say!"

"Oh, come on, Perce, you can't deny it. I could sense the sexual tension between the two of you the moment you walked in the door."

"Nothings happened yet, Bill. Oliver is a perfect gentleman," Percy said, with a small amount of regret.

"So, you want him to make a move?" Bill asked, smiling knowingly.

Percy nodded in agreement. "He's the only man I've ever loved. But I don't know quite what to do. I've never, erm, well, I've never, you know…" Percy trailed off in embarrassment.

"You mean you're a virgin?" Bill asked gently, although he wasn't surprised. His brother was the type to want to wait for that special someone before committing the ultimate act of intimacy.

"Yeah, but I want Oliver to be the first." Percy paused. "I don't want him to lose interest in me if I don't, well, put out as they say."

Bill placed a hand on Percy's shoulder and said seriously, "You wait until you're ready to take that step. In my opinion, though, Oliver is quite willing to wait as long as you need."

"You think so?"

"Yes, I do. Now, he keeps stealing glances over here, so why don't we go join our men?" Bill asked. He didn't wait for an answer and led Percy over to where Oliver and company were standing.

Oliver leaned down to brush a kiss over Percy's cheek and then slipped an arm around Percy's waist. Percy snuggled against Oliver, listening as Harry and Oliver went back to discussing various Quidditch strategies to try for the upcoming season.

All too soon, Molly's magically amplified voice called out, "Ok, let's open presents!"

***

Percy glanced at his pile of unopened presents. He was please with them all. But he was even more pleased at the reactions his gifts had wrought, especially his mother's. She had teared up when she had opened the two plane tickets to Hawaii he had purchased for her and his father. To finally have the honeymoon they never were able to take, he said.

Smiling at the recent memory, Percy glanced at Oliver, who was opening the last of his presents, the one from Percy. Percy held his breath as Olivier eagerly tore the wrapping off, to uncover a slim hardcover book.

Oliver let out a gasp and tenderly ran a finger over the title. Keeper's Secrets: The Untold Story of Marcus Wood, Quidditch's first Keeper. "Where did you find this?" Oliver asked.

"A small bookstore in Hogsmeade. I remembered how you told me your father had sold your ancestor's memoirs when we were back in school. I was so shocked to happen upon it. Do you like it?" Percy asked uncertainly.

Oliver put the book down and pulled Percy into his lap. "I love it," he whispered into Percy's hair. "Open mine now," he instructed like an eager child.

Percy gently picked up his last remaining present and carefully removed the wrapping. He smiled when he saw the beautifully bound book before him. "A Midsummer's Night Dream. How did you know that was my favorite?"

Oliver smiled and replied, "A man can't give away all his secrets. Do you like it?"

"I love it. Thank you." Percy said, turning so he could look into Oliver's eyes. Their lips met for a soft kiss that continued until the amused groans and claps made their way into their daze.

"Well, who's hungry?" Molly asked, sparing a loving glance to the blushing couple. "Dinner is ready."

Dinner was a lavish affair, with enough food to feed a small army. The Weasley's and their extended family sat down and ate, thankful that they could all be together after the dark days that had plagued them only two years before.

"May we always be together!" Molly's toast was met with rowdy cheers and then everyone settled in to eat.

Chapter 12

It was close to midnight when Percy and Oliver Apparated to Percy's flat. Oliver took the keys from Percy and unlocked the door. "Do you want to come in?" Percy asked shyly.

Oliver shook his head and said, "It's late. I really should go home." He leaned toward Percy and whispered, "I had a wonderful time tonight. Your family is wonderful."

"I know, thank-you. I loved having you there." Percy closed his eyes, waiting for Oliver's kiss.

He wasn't disappointed. Oliver closed the distance between them and gently placed his lips over Percy's. The kiss was slow and sweet and gentle, and when Oliver pulled away he was pleased to notice a slight hitch in Percy's breathing. "So, I'll see you tomorrow at 7 for dinner."

"Where are we going?"

"It's a surprise, but dress nicely ok? And in Muggle clothing. No robes," he instructed. "I want to be able to see you."

Percy blushed and nodded leaning up to kiss Oliver one last time. "I can't wait."

"Me either. Good night Perce." Oliver said as he winked out of view.

Percy sighed a little and closed the door to his flat, which seemed lonely and too stifling for a moment. He shook his head and headed into his bedroom.

When he was done with his nightly ritual, he lay in bed remembering every kiss he and Oliver had shared in the past two days. If he was honest with himself, he was a little shocked at how fast everything seemed to be happening. But he had loved Oliver for so long, it seemed like forever to Percy. He only hoped that when Oliver grew tired with him, as he was sure to do, that they could part friends. Because Percy would rather have Oliver as a friend than not have him in his life at all.

***

The next morning, Oliver awoke with a smile on his face. He had exactly 8 hours to get everything perfect for his date with Percy that evening. He quickly dressed and called the cleaning service, where luckily, his usual maid was available for the afternoon. He set up the appointment and left his apartment in high spirits.

His first stop was the International Portkey Office, where he purchased a One Night In Paris Package for a ridiculously large sum. But it was worth it, he thought, just to see Percy's reaction. There was a restaurant he knew of, L'Auberge De Village, that he knew Percy would love. And a romantic stroll around the river suited his romantic date perfectly. He wanted to win Percy's heart, and had the perfect plan to accomplish it.

Next on his list of Things To Do, was a stop at Bess's Flower Emporium in Diagon Alley, where he bought three-dozen Weeping Roses, in red, and two-dozen Crystal Tear Lilies in white. He sent the flowers back to his apartment with a messenger and headed for his last stop of the day—Bert's Erotica Shop where he bought a hundred red and white candles to be delivered.

Then it was back to the apartment to make sure everything was perfect. He was just finishing rearranging the last of the candles when Harry Apparated outside his apartment, with Ron, two serious faced twins, Bill and Charlie at his sides.

"Hey, what are you guys doing here?" Oliver asked, nervously looking over his shoulder at the romantically decorated apartment. He didn't want the Weasley's and Harry to think he was taking advantage of Percy.

Harry was the first to speak. "Sorry, Ollie, but the red-heads insisted."

Charlie and Bill shouldered past Oliver and stopped dead at the sight of the roses and candles. "Well, it looks like you don't waste anytime, Oliver," Charlie said menacingly.

Oliver blushed and said, "It's not what it looks like. I just want everything to be perfect."

One of the twins, Oliver thought Fred because he had more freckles, said, "Look, Oliver, we like you and all but—"

"What you have to understand about Percy is that he's different from the rest of us." George finished.

"What do you mean?" asked Oliver in confusion. He really had no idea what they meant.

Ron spoke next, "He's always been quieter and more thoughtful than the rest of us." He paused. "It's like he's more fragile than the rest of us."

Oliver nodded and then realized that his guests-cum-interrogators were still standing and invited them in to sit on the couch. "Just be careful not to disrupt the flowers," he warned.

"Oliver, we like you, and we, meaning all of my family, think that you are a good influence on Percy. He needs to learn to live again. He was never really able to be a child, because of the war and all."

"What do you mean? We were both only about 5 or so when Voldemort was in power the first time."

"Yes, but he had to be—" Fred said.

"The big brother to us, and Ron and Ginny." George finished. Oliver was still getting used to the freaky twin thing, although he had known them for more than 10 years.

"Bill and I were away at Hogwarts most of the time, and Percy was the oldest. Mum relied on him—"

"More than she should have," Bill interrupted Charlie.

"Yes, more than she should have. And Percy had to grow up quickly. The twins have always been troublesome, and Mum had Ron and then Ginny to contend with."

"So, all we're saying Oliver, is be careful with him. And teach him to be a child again," Ron said, his brothers all nodding in agreement.

"Percy is lucky to have such great brothers. I was wondering why no one made a big deal out of us yesterday, especially you two, Fred and George, but I understand now."

"Yes, we may have teased him a lot when we were all at Hogwarts together—" That was Fred

"But we saw how it made him feel, so we've stopped. We don't want to lose our brother, Oliver." And there was George.

"So, do you understand where we are coming from, Oliver?" Bill asked.

Oliver nodded. "I do. Perfectly. You don't have to worry. I will treat Percy well. I think I love him. I think I've loved him for years, and just didn't realize it until he bumped into me two days ago," Oliver confessed, much to his confusion and the Weasley's delight.

Harry just looked uncomfortable about the whole thing. He'd had to endure the Weasley interrogation in his seventh year, when he and Ginny had first become serious, so he knew how Oliver felt. Like he was facing a redheaded firing squad.

"Ok, then," Ron said getting to his feet rather awkwardly, seeing as Hermione still hadn't seen fit to counteract the charm she had placed on him. He was getting rather sick and tired of being pregnant. Perhaps a necklace would make her change her mind. "Have a good time tonight, Oliver."

"Yeah, we're sure Percy will enjoy himself," one of the twins said with a wink. His other half just laughed, and with a few more minutes of good-byes, the Weasley's and Harry had left, leaving Oliver with only one hour to get ready himself.

***

Percy spent the day half in a dreamy state of love, and half in panic. He woke in the morning with a feeling of dread and as he remembered his date with Oliver, he felt his heart warm and his skin grow cold.

"I have nothing to wear," Percy said to himself.

I think we need to go shopping. We need to get you a really sexy outfit that will make Oliver want to ravish you!

You are disgusting. If you must buy a new outfit for your gay lover, at least take what is left of your dignity and buy something with class.

Shut up you repressed, hoity-toity old hag.

No, you shut up you dirty rotten scoundral.

No you—

"No, both of you shut up. I am done listening to your bickering," Percy shouted, and then snickered as he realized he had just told himself to stop fighting with himself.

Sorry.

Yeah, sorry.

You don't have to get all huffy about it. We are just trying to help!

"Oh, go away for awhile. I need to think without the voices in my head telling me what to do." Percy smiled and imagined his "voices" scurrying off in a snit to sulk. "Great, now I can think in peace." Percy thought a moment, and when no nosey voices barged in, he said, "What I need is the opinion of someone who knows about clothes. Ginny!"

Percy dressed in his usual drab clothes quickly and then made his way to the living room, he threw a handful of Floo Message Powder in the fireplace and cried, "Potter residence!"

Moments later, Percy's disembodied head was floating before a smiling Ginny. "Hey Percy! What brings you by my fireplace?" she asked.

Percy blushed, although it was hard to tell, as his face was green at the moment, and said, "Well, Oliver asked me out, and I have nothing to wear."

Ginny smiled and said, "So, you finally got the date with your dream man, eh?"

To his horror, Percy giggled and said, "Yes, and he's wonderful!" He sounded like a lovesick teenage girl, he thought in disgust.

"Great! Give me 20 minutes and I'll Apparate to your flat. I know this great place that has discount designer Muggle clothes. I know we can find the perfect outfit there!"

"Thanks, Ginny. I'll see you in a bit."

A half hour later, Percy and Ginny were happily browsing through a multitude of designer clothes, with labels by Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Armani. Well, Ginny was happily browsing, and Percy was trying to keep himself from having heart palpitations at the prices. For a discount, it didn't seem like much to him.

"Here, add these to the pile of things to try on," Ginny said, thrusting a yellow silk shirt and a bright blue tie in his direction. "You can try them with the gray Armani slacks I gave you."

Percy looked down at the pile of clothes in his hands, and thought he would be lucky to get out of the store by 6. He headed to the dressing room, and after almost three consecutive hours of trying outfits on, and then discarding them, and then trying on more outfits, Percy finally made it out the store, only £2000 Muggle poorer.

"Good thing I never do anything," Percy said to Ginny as they lugged the many bags of clothes, shoes, belts and other accessories back to his flat. "Or I would be completely broke."

Ginny just smiled and after reminding him of which outfit to wear tonight, she kissed Percy good-bye and Apparated back to her house.

Percy neatly put away all his new clothes, not really caring that to make room for some of them, he had to get rid of several of his dowdy pairs of pants, and uncomfortable woolen shirts. He placed the black Armani slacks, the deep burgundy silk Calvin Klein shirt and the black silk tie on the bed and then went into the bathroom to take his shower.

He stood in front of the mirror 45 minutes later, agonizing one last time about his outfit of choice. Or Ginny's choice, as it were. He had been afraid that the burgundy shirt clashed with his red hair, but Ginny had assured him that he looked fine, and that burgundy was a good color on him.

"It gives you more color in your cheeks," she had said earlier.

With one last look in the mirror, Percy went into the living room to nervously wait for Oliver. He didn't have to wait long, because at ten minutes to seven, there was knock at the door.

***

Oliver waited nervously, the dozen Crystal Tear Lilies clutched tightly in his hands. When Percy opened the door, Oliver couldn't help the in take of breath he was unable to hold back. Percy looked amazing.

"Hi," Percy said shyly.

"Hi," Oliver said holding out the flowers. "Here, these are for you."

Percy took the lilies from Oliver and inhaled the sweet scent. "Thank-you. Crystal Tear Lilies are my favorite."

Oliver blushed happily and confessed, "I know. I, um, remembered from Herbology class."

It was Percy's turn to blush. "You did? That was seven years ago."

"I know, but your reaction was memorable."

Percy remembered back to the cold winter day in his seventh year. He had caught a glimpse of the lilies in Madam Sprout's office and spent the majority of one Herbology class quizzing the professor on all the attributes and qualities of the flower.

Percy blushed and said, "Oh. Well, um, would you like to come in?"

Oliver shook his head and replied, "No, we don't want to be late for our dinner reservation."

Percy nodded and disappeared for a moment, returning seconds later with his suit jacket and keys to the flat. "I'm ready."

"Wonderful. And did I mention how wonderful you look tonight?"

Percy blushed again and said, "No, but thank you. You look wonderful too."

It was true. Oliver was dressed superbly in slate gray slacks, a deep purple shirt and a black tie. He looked both sexy and elegant at the same time. There are not many men who can wear purple and look as good as Oliver does, Percy thought.

"So, where are we going?" Percy asked, slipping his hand into Oliver's as the bigger man placed and arm at the small of Percy's back.

"I told you, it's a surprise, but one I think you will enjoy." Oliver turned to Percy as they exited the building. "Ok, we are going by Portkey, so hold on."

Percy clutched Oliver's hand and sighed as Oliver leaned down to place a kiss on Percy's lips. Percy was just getting into the kiss, when he felt that familiar pull behind his naval and was sucked up into the Portkey's force. Moments later, Percy opened his eyes and was met with the surprising sight of the Eiffel Tower in front of him.

"Paris," he breathed. "You brought me to Paris!" And much to Oliver's shock and joy, Percy flung his arms around Oliver's neck and kissed him passionately.

"Wow, if I had known I would have gotten this reaction to Paris, I would have taken you here the first day we ran into each other," Oliver remarked as the kiss broke apart.

Percy blushed and whispered, "I have always wanted to come to Paris." He looked up into the eyes of the man he adored. "With the man I love."

Oliver's breath caught and he looked down into Percy's eyes, seeing a mirror of the feelings he had reflecting back at him. He lowered his head and claimed Percy's lips once more for his own. Percy loved him and that was all that mattered to him at that moment in time. He let his feelings pour into the kiss and when they broke apart, they were both breathless.

Chapter 13

Percy looked up at Oliver with dewy eyes and whispered, "Thank-you, Oliver."

Oliver smiled down at his beloved and replied, "It was entirely my pleasure. Now, shall we go?" He offered his arm to Percy and together they made their way down the street of Paris to the restaurant.

Percy looked around the elegant décor of L'Auberge De Village in awe. He had never seen something so beautiful. "Oh, Oliver, it's perfect!" he exclaimed staring in wonder at the ornate gold plated ceiling, "I've never seen anything like this!"

Oliver was also mesmerized, but by the genuine amazement and wonder in Percy's eyes rather than the flawless setting of L'Auberge De Village. "I'm glad you like it."

Just then the maitre d came and asked for their reservation. Oliver gave their name and soon they were seated at a cozy table on the terrace, over looking the river.

The dinner went quickly, and Percy marveled over the delicious food, although he did not eat enough for Oliver's liking. "Are you sure you don't want to have dessert?" Oliver asked, having ordered a chocolate éclair for himself.

"Oh, I couldn't really. I've eaten enough already," Percy declared, although secretly he would have loved a piece of chocolate cake. But, he had eaten enough junk for one night. More, in fact, in one sitting than he had since leaving Hogwarts.

Oliver accepted Percy decision, but when his éclair came, he held it up to Percy's lips and, having no other choice without being rude, Percy nibbled lightly on the end. Then, having had a small taste of confectionary perfection, he couldn't resist the second and third bites Oliver offered him. Besides, he thought to himself, there was something very erotic having Oliver feed him in the middle of the restaurant.

When the éclair finished and the dinner paid for, Oliver led Percy out to the walk and asked, "Would you like to take a stroll down around the river? There's a very nice walkway just below here."

"I would like that very much." Percy slipped his delicate hand into Oliver's rugged one and let him lead the way down the stone steps to the river.

After several minutes of silence, Oliver asked, "Tell me something about you that no one else knows, Perce."

Percy didn't answer right away. Finally, when Oliver thought that he wouldn't answer, Percy blurted, "I never wanted to work for the Ministry."

"What?" asked Oliver, shocked. He, along with the rest of his year mates, had always assumed that Percy wanted to become the youngest Minister of Magic in history.

"I wanted to travel. Play my music. Compose symphonies and orchestras. But I knew that Dad would be disappointed if none of his sons followed in his footsteps at the Ministry. And as Bill and Charlie went off to pursue their own dreams, and the twins would never have considered it, and well we both know Ron would chafe at being behind a desk all day, and Ginny is too flighty for Ministry work, it fell to me to uphold my father's dream. That's what our estrangement was about six years ago."

 At Oliver's confused glance, Percy continued, "Right about the time You Know Who came back into power, my father and I had a huge falling out. I had told him I didn't want to work for the Ministry anymore, and he told me that in these times we all had to do things we didn't want to do. I spent almost a year resenting him before accepting that my future was not as a composer, but as a Ministry official." Percy sighed deeply. "It hasn't been so bad, I guess. And they pay is decent. But things between my father and I will never be the same."

Oliver thought that he had a little better insight into Percy now. Percy was the type to always put other's needs before his own. He had sacrificed his dream in place of when he thought his family would have wanted. He didn't know how to respond, so he simply drew Percy into a tight embrace.

"I think you should talk to your father again, Percy. Make him realize that you hate your work, and that you're unhappy. He loves you, he'll understand."

"You make it sound so easy. It's just that I don't want to disappoint him."

"Think on it, Perce. Please."

Percy nodded, burrowing closer to Oliver to soak up all the comfort the man had to give.

"How about we head back to my place now for a night cap?" Oliver asked, wanting to take Percy's mind away from unhappy thoughts.

"It sounds wonderful," Percy said winding his arms around Oliver. "Thank you for listening."

"It was my pleasure." Oliver drew the Portkey out of his pocket and soon they were standing in the entryway of Oliver's flat. "Why don't you make yourself comfortable and I will go put on some coffee."

Percy took a deep breath and took the plunge. "I don't want coffee, Oliver."

"No? Would you like tea instead?"

"I want you," Percy said, closing the scant inches between them and kissing Oliver passionately.

Oliver groaned and plunged his hands into Percy's burnished copper locks and deepened the kiss even as he backed into the flower-covered living room. Not taking his mouth from Percy's, he fumbled for his wand and instantly the candles flew to life, casting a romantic glow about the room. Oliver drew away from Percy and smiled at his beloved's gasp of surprised pleasure. "Do you like it?" he asked in a rough whisper.

"I love it. Did you do all this for me?"

Oliver answered him with a deep kiss and backed Percy up until the back of his knees hit the couch. He covered Percy's body with his own and gleefully raced his hands under Percy's sweater.

Percy groaned sweetly and sat up slightly to let Oliver draw the sweater over his head. "Oliver," he gasped, "there's something I should tell you."

Oliver latched onto the area where shoulder met neck and suckled lightly. "What's that, love?"

Percy gasped and moved his neck to the side to give Oliver better access. "I've never, oh god do that again!"

Oliver smiled and bit lightly at Percy's silky skin a second time.

"You've never what?"

"I've never done this before."

Oliver smiled and nibbled on Percy's collarbone. "I know. Are you sure you want to do this with me?"

"I love you, Oliver. And there is no one I would rather do this with than you." Percy's eyes got an unsure look in them. "Are you sure you want to do this with me?"

"I love you too Percy. I don't know when, or how, but somewhere along these past four days, I have fallen hard for you Percy Weasley."

"Make love to me, Oliver. Please?"

"It will be my pleasure." Oliver drew his shirt over his head and Percy marveled in his pure masculine beauty. He drew his hands reverently over Oliver's sculpted muscles, and wondered how someone could be so soft and so hard at the same time.

"God, Percy. You're killing me!" Oliver rasped, tracing his fingers lightly over Percy's navel, and down to his hipbones.

Percy laughed and opened his lips for Oliver's kiss. Oliver unzipped Percy's trousers and made quick work of undressing them both. They both smiled and sighed as bare skin met bare skin. They spent lazy hours exploring each other's bodies, with hands, lips and tongues. When Oliver finally sheathed himself in Percy's willing body, it felt as if he had finally found the other half of himself.

When they lay shuddering and panting in the aftereffects of such wondrous lovemaking, Oliver grabbed his wand and extinguished the candles. Then he lifted Percy into his arms and headed for the bedroom. Percy sleepily nestled into Oliver's arms and wrapped up together, they fell into a satiated slumber.

Chapter 14

The weak winter sun peeked in the window and fell on two intertwined bodies. Percy opened his eyes with shiver and a smile on his face. Oliver was still sleeping, lying on his back with arms thrown above his head. Percy sighed and reached down to pull the comforter that had fallen off during the night up over them. He snuggled closer to Oliver's warmth and sighed when one of Oliver's arms came around him.

When Percy next awoke, he was alone in the bed. He frowned until the delicious aroma of fresh coffee wafted into the bedroom. He was about to get out of bed when a naked Oliver walked in the door, a food-laden tray in his arms.

"No, don't get up!" Oliver cried when he saw that Percy was about to throw the covers off. "I brought us breakfast in bed." He set the tray at the foot of the bed and then carefully climbed in next to Percy. "Here, try one of these. They are wonderful!" Oliver handed Percy a golden, flaky croissant, the butter dripping off onto Percy's fingers.

Percy took a tiny bite of the croissant and silently moaned in pleasure. He set the pastry down and reached for the coffee mug. "Thanks, Oliver, this is wonderful!"

Oliver ran his tongue over his fingers to lick off the melted butter and then said, "So, Perce, what do you want to do today?"

"I have to go to work. I have so much work to catch up on," Percy said. He could feel the frown lines forming at even the thought of going in to work. Before their conversation last night Percy really hadn't thought of how much he disliked his job. Talking with Oliver about his long-forgotten dreams had dredged up old memories and dissatisfaction in his work-life.

"So call in sick and we can spend the day together, doing couple things."

"You don't know how good that sounds, but I really must be getting to work. What is it, 8:00am by now?" Percy asked as he finished the last of his coffee and took one more bite of the croissant.

Oliver frowned at the half-eaten croissant left on the tray as he replied, "It's 8:30 actually."

Percy jumped out of bed and with a quick cleansing charm and a simple transfiguration spell, he was dressed in perfectly pressed clothes, hardly looking like a man who had spent the night in his lover's bed. "I'll call you tonight when I get done work, and maybe we can do something then."

Oliver grabbed the sheet from the bed and wrapped it around his waist. He followed Percy to the door and said, "Ok, I'll be waiting. Don't work too late."

Percy smiled and gave Oliver a quick kiss. "I won't." He turned to leave, but before he made it out the door, Oliver pulled him back and gave him a proper kiss good-bye.

"Have a good day at work, and don't forget to eat lunch!"

"Bye Oliver," Percy said as he Disapparated from Oliver's apartment.

Oliver sighed and shut the door. He really had to have a little chat with Arthur Weasley. He knew deep in his heart that Percy was unhappy, and Oliver meant for Arthur to see it as well. Maybe then they could all do something about it.