Authors Note: Firstly there's nothing missing from this chapter. Secondly, thanks to the people who reviewed this fic Constance1, Amy, DcSolstice (here it's lemons :), I wonder why there's a difference, thanks for pointing it out though), and fan (not sure what hm. is supposed to mean but thanks all the same).


Chapter 14: House Husband

Next morning, Harry woke alone. He instantly felt something akin to fear start in his gut. Where the hell was Oliver? He wondered, as he stared at the vacant space beside him on the bed, what if? Harry quickly pushed that thought from his mind.

Straining his ears, he listened intently, hoping to pick up a sound to indicate Oliver was somewhere nearby, but there was nothing. He couldn't hear the faint hiss of the shower coming from the bathroom or even far away noises from downstairs. In fact, as he was forced fully awake by the anxious churning in his stomach, Harry realized there was a certain stillness to the air and it made him think that he was alone in the house.

He sat up in a start. His fearful eyes hastily swept the room. When he didn't find Oliver hiding at the foot of the bed as he dared to hope, his face sank with visible disappointment and his mind filled with doubts. What if this was Oliver's way of telling him that now that he had got what he wanted Harry should just run along home? A sort of 'thanks for the shag, I'll call you if I ever feel the urge again'. It would certainly fit with all the things Fred had told him about Oliver's 'love life', Harry thought to himself, eyes still flicking around the room searchingly.

It was then that his gaze fell on the bed and he noticed that on top of Oliver's pillow lay a small piece of parchment. It was folded in half and had his name written on one side in the same messy handwriting he'd seen on his invitation to the house warming.

"Panic pants," Harry muttered under his breath, feeling like the worlds biggest prat. He reached for the parchment eagerly, flipped it open and smiled as he read the words inside:

Harry, Sorry I had to leave so early, we have practice this morning. Last night was amazing! Please don't leave before I get back, I have plans for you. I should be back around noon, make yourself at home, Oliver

Talk about panicking over nothing. Oliver hadn't tired of him yet; far from it, the boy had plans for crying out loud. Plans!

Harry felt his heartbeat return to normal, the anxious churning in his stomach fade, and he realised he was going to have to stop overreacting every time Oliver did something odd like disappear. The mental anxiety was bad enough but the effects on his body couldn't be good for him.

He had no real experience in dealing with men with reputations like Oliver's but so far the other boy had given him no reason to think he was just toying with him. At times Oliver seemed just as nervous as Harry frequently felt and, come to think of it, he had spent a great deal of time just getting to know Harry before he had tried to take the relationship to another level. It had been he, Harry, who had initiated their proper sexual encounters, even if Oliver had always quickly taken over.

This might very well end up being on of Oliver's brief meaningless affairs but if they were going to get anywhere, he was going to have to start thinking more positively, Harry reasoned. If he continued with these fits of insecurity the relationship would never work; couldn't, not with someone like Oliver.

After spending a moment mentally reaffirming his new outlook Harry leant over to put the note on the bedside table and, glancing at the alarm clock, he almost cheered out loud. It was already 11:30 and Oliver would be home very soon. All of a sudden he felt very energetic and he flicked back the covers and practically leapt out of bed. He stretched his arms above his head, groaning happily as his muscles tingled to life, readying for what Harry hoped would be an exhausting afternoon.

If he was going to spend a rigorous afternoon between the sheets, he realised he would have to do something about the stench that had settled over him during the night. Full of purpose, he strode over to the lavish bathroom and started to prepare himself for Oliver's arrival. He went to the toilet, washed his hands and body as best he could without actually having to have a shower, and then rummaged through the cabinet drawers in search of a spare toothbrush. Luckily, Oliver seemed to have a few on hand just in case.

Harry suspected the bathroom had been designed with the specific intention to impress and in many ways it was very impressive, but he found it more amusing than anything else. Even if he had of somehow managed to stumble this far without realising, one look at the bathroom would have told him that Oliver was definitely something of a playboy.

So that Oliver could set the mood, the lights in the room had dimming features and there was also a liberal stack of candles positioned around the bath. All the fittings, the bath and shower, seemed to be made for two. at the very least. It was all so obvious that there something sleazy about it and the whole thing seemed rather bizarre to Harry.

He had no direct experience of this side to Oliver's personality, he'd only heard about it from Fred and sort of seen it when he'd witnessed that scene between Oliver and Siobhan. Looking around him, Harry suffered a momentary bout of pity for the poor, unsuspecting sods that had fallen unwittingly into Oliver's trap. This however was quickly superseded by a desire to sample the bath, and preferably with Oliver. It was long and deep, and Harry could easily imagine getting up to all sorts of mischief in there.

Back in the bedroom, Harry stood with his hands on his hips and looked around for something to do. Why did time seem to tick more slowly when he was stuck in someone else's house? He could spend hours in his own house doing absolutely nothing and never feel even a moment of boredom, yet in a strange house it was torture. Harry supposed he could go downstairs to get something to eat but he would have to get dressed for that and he really could not be bothered. And anyway, Oliver would be home soon, best if he stayed by the bed ready to execute Oliver's plans.

Noticing the clothes they'd discarded the night before still lying on the floor, Harry shrugged his shoulders and went over to pick them all up. It certainly wasn't a particularly interesting thing to do but at least it kept him busy for a minute or two and for that Harry was grateful. After taking the time to fold each item carefully, he took them over to the couch in the corner of the room where he left them in a neat pile.

With nothing else to do Harry made for the bed to start 'the wait'. There wasn't long left now, merely ten minutes or so, presuming Oliver got back when he said he would. Harry got himself comfortable on the bed. He rested his back against the headboard, shut his eyes and allowed his mind to drift off to thoughts of the night before. He had to admit the whole experience had been entirely different to his expectations.

Whenever he'd wondered about it in the past, he'd imagined Oliver would be rather brutish in bed. He'd fully expected to just be bent over and well. but it hadn't been like that at all. It had been rather sweet; like the first time he'd ever had sex only minus the bumbling and excruciating agony. Both times it had felt like he was being worshipped and well, coming from someone like Oliver, that had sent Harry completely off his rocker.

A small smiled played across his face at the memory and he wished he had a Pensieve on hand so he could check it all out from another angle. Still, even without the Pensieve, the memory was rather satisfying and by the time he became aware of the voice calling out his name from somewhere downstairs, he had quite the pressing problem between his legs.

Hearing footsteps pounding up the staircase, Harry's eyes snapped open and he looked down at himself thoughtfully. He briefly contemplated covering his lap with a corner of the silky sheet but dismissed the idea as prudish and absurd in the face of recent events. He also decided against taking himself in hand, that would have been going too far in the other direction. No, best to save that for another time.

Harry looked towards the door and when it opened, he quickly schooled his features into an innocent expression. It took all his self-control not to piss himself laughing at the look of shock on Oliver's face. Whatever Oliver had been expecting to come home to, it clearly wasn't this and Harry felt very proud of himself, and quite sexy at the same time.

Oliver hastily stepped into the room and shut the door quickly. There was an air of panic about his movements and Harry wondered if perhaps Jackson was somewhere nearby but he didn't particularly care enough to ask.

"I'm not complaining or anything," Oliver said, eyes fixed on Harry's lap, "but what are you doing He gestured vaguely towards the bed.

Warming to his new role as sex kitten, Harry pretended to think it over. "Sitting?" He suggested airily.

Oliver's eyebrows shot up in surprise and a smile twitched at the corners of his mouth. "Do you do this often?" he asked in a deep voice.

Harry wasn't of course one for swanning about in the raw but Oliver seemed so excited by the idea that he found himself nodding anyway. "But only on Tuesdays," Harry said, giving a careless shrug.

Oliver laughed softly, his eyes crinkled, up at the sides and Harry took to opportunity to study the other boy. Despite the laughter, Oliver was obviously still in a state of shock because he was still standing rather awkwardly by the door. He had on his Quidditch robes, buttoned up to the top, his hair was slightly damp with sweat and his cheeks flushed as though he hadn't long since finished on the pitch.

"Didn't you even bother to shower?" Harry asked, assuming a disgusted voice. It would have sounded quite cutting if only he could have kept the smile off his face. As it was, Oliver laughed at him and moved away from the door.

"I thought I might do that with you." He came over to stand at the foot of the bed, dropped his sports bag onto the floor and looked pointedly at Harry. "Although I did plan on getting sweaty again first."

"Is that so?"

"Yes, exercise is very important, Harry," said Oliver in an earnest voice. He reached for the top button of his Quidditch Robe and Harry didn't know what to do, so he gulped audibly.

Could his day possibly get any better? He had the prospect of either a bath or shower with Oliver ahead of him and right now, a striptease. Harry didn't think he would be able to cope with much more. God he was already hard as a rock and Oliver hadn't removed a single thing. Still, he was fully prepared to enjoy himself.

Eyes glued to Oliver, he edged forward on the bed, silently willing him to hurry up. The other boy however, took an age undoing the robe. It didn't help that he paused half way to brush off imaginary pieces of lint and to inspect his pockets though he failed to produce a single thing from any of them. By the time he finally dropped the robe on the floor, Harry had shuffled half way down the bed and he groaned in disappointment when he saw that Oliver had a jumper on underneath.

Oliver seemed to want to pay Harry back for his earlier cheek because instead of pulling off the jumper as Harry had hoped, he turned around, bent over and started to undo his shoes. It wasn't much of a punishment because quite frankly Harry very much appreciated the view he had of Oliver's firm backside.

"You want to be careful waving that around," Harry murmured and he received the most delicious chuckle in return.

The older boy stood back up and turned around to face Harry. He had a sly little smirk on his face and Harry instantly felt worried. Whatever Oliver had in store for him was clearly going to drive him mad.

And Oliver did just that. He spent what felt like an age removing his jumper, making Harry wait until he was pleading before he started to properly tug it over his head. As he did, the t-shirt he was wearing underneath rose up and Harry licked his lips at the sight of the tanned skin. At the back of his mind he realised that Oliver had usurped him from his role as sex kitten but he couldn't find it in him to care. The older boy dropped the jumper to the floor and his hands moved down to hold the bottom of his t-shirt. He lifted it a couple of times as though he was hot and fanning himself and he chuckled evilly at the look of sheer desperation on Harry's face.

"You look a bit flushed," Oliver observed and Harry wished he had some galleons to throw at the boy, anything to make him hurry up.

"Just get on with it," Harry muttered through gritted teeth.

Oliver rubbed a hand over his stomach. "I don't know, I think I feel a bit hungry now."

Harry thought of a positively filthy reply but he couldn't bring himself to utter it out loud, so he crawled to the edge of the bed. He sat back on his haunches and stared at Oliver with an impatient expression on his face. He wasn't exactly sure what he would do if Oliver dared to leave, probably wrestle him onto the ground or something equally bestial, but there was no way he was going to be left wanting.

"Oh, alright then," Oliver said, giving an exaggerated sigh. "But just a quickie." He pulled off his t-shirt in a flash and moved towards Harry before the smaller boy even had a chance to appreciate the skin he'd waited so long to see. Oliver weaved his fingers through the unruly dark locks and his mouth covered Harry's. The kiss started out quite slow but Harry quickly deepened it, making up for the other boy's teasing.

When Oliver straightened up again, Harry was left staring at the dark trail of hair leading down to Oliver's groin. It was fast becoming his favourite part of Oliver, but then he'd also thought that about his chest, bum and other bits at one time or another. Oliver's nimble fingers started to undo the button of his Quidditch trousers and Harry felt his breath hitch in his chest.

He quickly shifted on the bed so that he was sitting on the edge, swatted Oliver's hand away and started on the task himself. There had been some things he'd wanted to try out and now seemed as good a time as any. Oliver seemed to think so too because he threaded his fingers through Harry's hair again and when Harry finally freed his hardness Oliver groaned.

"What's your problem?" Harry said and, mouth hovering by Oliver's groin, he grinned up at the boy mischievously.

A long while later.

"Harry!" Oliver called from the bathroom. "The bath's ready!"

So much for him being hungry, Harry thought, smiling as he rolled off the bed. He padded over to the bathroom with a new spring in his step and just as he neared the door, he heard a large splash followed by the sound of water sloshing over the side of the bathtub to hit the floor.

Wondering if Oliver had hurt himself, Harry raced the rest of the distance and could only watch in amusement as a spluttering Oliver emerged from underneath the water. He should have looked like a drowned rat, but he didn't. He looked as good as always only wet and Harry quickly decided it really suited the older boy.

Being careful to inject the right amount of concern into his voice Harry asked if Oliver was alright.

"I'm fine thanks, Harry," Oliver said a little breathlessly. He shook his head so that droplets of water flicked off his hair onto the wall behind and then pointed down at the water in the bath. "Get In!"

Oliver used his Quidditch captain voice and Harry found himself hurrying to obey the command. In his haste he slipped on the water the other boy had splashed onto the floor and he had to put a hand on the bathtub to stop himself falling in headfirst.

"Ah, thanks," Harry said, accepting the hand Oliver offered to him, "Can you slide back a bit?"

He waited patiently for Oliver to give him more room, and then he carefully stepped into the bath. Only the water was so hot he hissed in pain and shifted his feet in a pointless attempt to cool them down.

"Shut up you," Harry mumbled when he noticed Oliver watching him in amusement.

"Just sit down you wimp."

Harry muttered a quiet obscenity under his breath but again he did as he was told, it was like he was having flashbacks to the days when Oliver had been his Quidditch Captain. Harry sniggered as he lowered himself to the water, realising he was presenting Oliver with a bird's eye view of his arse. He heard the other boy chuckle as well only he didn't have time to tell him to be quiet because the next moment his bum hit the water. If he'd thought it hot before that was nothing compared to how much it stung the soft non-weathered skin on his bottom.

Howling in pain, Harry lifted his hips so that his bum hovered over the water. He felt a calloused hand smooth over the burning flesh and long fingers sweeping between the cleft.

"I didn't hurt you did I?" Oliver asked, voice full of concern.

It took Harry a moment to realise Oliver wasn't talking about the water and when he did he couldn't help but burst out laughing. "Its just the water, you tit," Harry said fondly.

He was just thinking how sweet and considerate Oliver was when he felt fingers grip his hips and he found himself pulled unceremoniously into the water. It created an almighty splash, water sloshed over the side of the tub as the momentum of Oliver's movements sent them sliding back and forth in the water.

"How's your bum now?" Oliver chuckled in his ear and he slid them both backwards until his back was against the bath.

"To be honest, I'm still in shock, I can't even begin to think about the pain in my arse," Harry lied.

The pain had most definitely receded. All he could feel now was the tingling underneath his skin where his body touched Oliver's. Harry quickly decided that his brief scorching had been well worth it and he leant back against Oliver, wriggling until he was comfortable.

"Are you quite alright?" Oliver asked, peeing over Harry's shoulder to where the smaller boy was using his bent legs as a handy armrest.

"Yeah, I'm really comfortable thanks." He wriggled against Oliver's chest again and smoothed his hands over the boy's knees to prove his point.

Although he had used communal showers and spent time in spas in the past, Harry had never taken a bath with anyone before. When he was a child his Aunt Petunia had always considered him to be far too freakish to bath with her precious Dudley (not that Harry had minded). Two minutes into his first experience of bathing with someone else, Harry decided he liked it, and very much at that. There was something very soothing about lying in a body of water while Oliver drew lazy patters on his chest. Harry felt himself drifting off to sleep. That was of course until it occurred to him quite suddenly that something was missing.

"Oliver?" Harry waited until he received a quiet 'hmm' in response before he continued. "How come you haven't dimmed the lights of lit any candles?" Harry suspected the answer was because Oliver considered him a sure thing. which was fair enough really.

"Fuck you, Harry," Oliver snickered and he squeezed his arms around Harry tightly as a punishment. Harry could feel the other boy's cheek burning where it touched his and he couldn't be sure if it was from the steam wafting up from the bath or if, in fact, Oliver Wood was embarrassed.

He didn't even get the chance to check for himself because Oliver drew back from him suddenly and the next moment he pushed Harry in the back. It was quite a gentle push but it sent the smaller boy sliding towards the centre of the bath, and obviously, that was where Oliver had intended him to end up.

"Just get the soap, Harry." Oliver chuckled when Harry turned to glare at him over his shoulder. "Its in that thing," He said, pointing at the soap tray attached to the wall on Harry's right. Oliver then leant over to pick up a sponge from the side of the bath.

And that was when it hit Harry; Oliver Wood was about to become his private wash boy. There was only one thing he could do - he lunged for the soap tray in an instant, picking up the slippery white bar before sliding back towards the wash boy.

Oliver peered over the smaller boys shoulder and started to rub the soap into the sponge methodically.

"So how was Quidditch?" Harry asked conversationally as he watched Oliver's hands in fascination.

"Boring," Oliver grunted.

"Boring? What did you have to do? Are they as hard on you as you were on Gryffindor?" Harry asked with a chuckle.

"I was a picnic compared to these people."

"Huh." Harry mumbled doubtfully. Oliver had been an absolute nightmare of a coach.

"Its true!" He poked Harry in the ribs in retaliation, making Harry squirm. "This morning alone, I had to swim for an hour, spend another in the gym, another one going over plays and then we had two hours on the pitch."

"Bloody hell, really?" Harry grasped, craning his neck back so he could look at Oliver. That was what, five hours of constant training. It sounded inhuman to Harry and he hoped for Oliver's sake that he only had to go through it once a week.

"Yes really. Now put this back, you seem to have got yourself filthy."

At last, Harry thought eagerly. He snatched the soap from Oliver and practically threw it back into the soap tray.

"Okay, wash me," Harry said in a dreamy voice, settling back against Oliver.

As Oliver started to run the sponge over his chest, Harry rested his head on the other boy's shoulder and shut his eyes.

"And what did you do while I was away?" Oliver murmured in his ear, gently tugging the lobe between his teeth.

A wicked grin spread across Harry's face, "I slept."

"You can't have been, you were pretty wide away when I got home."

They shared a snigger and Harry let his eyelids flick open so he could see Oliver out the corner of his eye. "Its true. I only got up at half past eleven," Harry confessed.

"You lazy sod," Oliver muttered, "I had to get up at six!"

Now that didn't just sound inhuman, it was inhuman. They had still been up at three that morning, Harry remembered, they'd been having their second go. Sorry though he felt for the other boy, it wasn't his problem - it was Oliver that had decided to be the professional Quidditch player after all, and Harry certainly wasn't going to feel guilty about lazing in bed.

He shut his eyes again and let himself simply enjoy the experience of having Oliver wash him. He did notice that Oliver seemed obsessed with working up lather on his skin. After swiping the sponge over his arms and chest Oliver's other hand would then follow the same path. He repeated this process continuously and Harry felt his chest become a soapy mess. Sometimes the hand would dip lower, down to Harry's belly. It would linger there. Sadly, he never went as far down as Harry would have liked. Harry suspected this was because Oliver didn't want to rinse off the sponge and he wished he had of thought to keep a hold of that soap.

"I thought you weren't going to be here when I got back," said Oliver. His voice was quiet, thoughtful. Harry wondered if perhaps Oliver hadn't meant to say the words out loud but even so, hearing them made little butterflies flit around in his stomach.

"It must have come as quite a surprise when you got home then?"

"A pleasant one," Oliver murmured. He kissed Harry on the check and threw the washcloth into the water. "My turn now."

He coaxed Harry to sit up and then grabbed him by the arms. As he had no idea what Oliver was trying to achieve, he just allowed himself to be manhandled. It was hard going, Harry ended up flashing his arse at Oliver numerous times, but when Oliver was finished, he found himself sitting in the middle of the bath with his legs around Oliver's waist. It was quite cosy; Oliver was so close to him he could see the fine lines at the corner of his eyes and mouth. They were rather cute, Harry decided as he tapped his hand around in the water, searching for the sponge.

Harry gave the sponge a couple of cursory swipes, and after a moment of quiet contemplation, he chose to start with Oliver's shoulders and arms.

"I could get used to this," Oliver murmured lazily, watching Harry from between hooded lids. "My very own house wife - waits for me to get home, washes me."

"House Husband," Harry pointed out crossly. He didn't mind being a homebody, actually it sounded rather fun, just so long as he got to be a manly one.

"And there I was thinking you were a girl," Oliver muttered. A cheeky smile appeared on his face and he dipped his hand below the water to briefly take hold of the contrary evidence. "But obviously not."

Harry would have liked to think that he sniggered in response but it was most definitely a giggle. It was rather high pitched and Harry was so embarrassed to hear the sound come from him, and right after he'd been proving his masculinity as well, he put up a hand to cover his mouth and his cheeks flushed with mortification. Oliver could have so easily teased Harry about it but he seemed to find it endearing and he chose to pull the hand away and covered Harry's mouth with his own instead. The kiss was warm, lazy, and it seemed to last forever.

Eventually Oliver did pull back. His lips were parted slightly and he stared at Harry with a strange look on his face. Harry found the sparkle in his glazed eyes enchanting and he wondered what Oliver was thinking about. After a moment the older boy shook his head, as if trying to clear his mind, and his gaze dropped to Harry's neck.

Lowering his face to nuzzle the smooth skin, he murmured, "Wash my back, Harry."

He could feel Oliver smiling against his throat. Cheeky prat, Harry thought.

"I've got the sponge," - Harry groaned as Oliver bit his shoulder - "I'm in control," he finished his sentence even though he did realise the words were completely untrue. Oliver hadn't even needed to break out the Quidditch voice, one bite and he was hurrying to obey. He was whipped already and it had been barely two days!

For some strange reason, this made Harry laugh and he most pleased to hear that it was a deep, rich chuckle and not a flipping giggle. Still he stifled his laughter by placing his mouth against Oliver's shoulder and got on with washing the boy's back as ordered.

It didn't take him long to realise why Oliver had taken such joy in soaping him up. There really was something about soapsuds and skin. The lather contrasted with Oliver's tanned flesh and made it look sleek, even more tempting then usual. It made him want to follow the trail of soap with his tongue even though he knew for a fact that soap tasted revolting. As he couldn't reach, Harry turned his head and nibbled the other boy's ear instead. His hand continued to wash over the firm back, though every so often Oliver biting his neck would distract him.

After a while, Oliver pulled back from Harry slightly and asked, "What are you doing for the rest of the day?"

"Nothing. Why?"

"Good," he said and he kissed Harry on the check, "because you're not going home today." Oliver then pushed Harry off his lap and slid away from him. "But I think we should get out now, or." - He made a lewd gesture with his hands - "and we really need to eat, you haven't even had breakfast yet."

"I can wait," Harry said and, full of intent, he started sliding back towards Oliver.

"Harry!" Oliver warned and he hastily got to his feet.

Damn, he would have to wait, Harry realised.

"You'll need sustenance, I have an absolute marathon planned for you later."

Well that at least sounded promising, Harry thought and he got up and stepped out the bath.

He thought that perhaps they would dry each other off but Oliver didn't seem to think it was such a good idea. He handed Harry a towel and stood as far away as possible while they dried themselves.

"Come on, this is distracting," Oliver said, looking at Harry's chest pointedly. He took him by the hand and pulled him out the bathroom. "We'll get you some clothes."

They padded across the bedroom together to the door between the full-length mirror and the chest of drawers. Though he had never been inside, he guessed that it lead to a walk in robe of sorts. However, when Oliver opened the door, Harry was quite literally dumbfounded by the sight. It was a wardrobe. But what a wardrobe. It was bigger than his bedroom at home and considerably neater.

Racks of clothing lined three of the walls, ordered into neat sections by colours and types. The one on the far wall was long and Harry could see Oliver's robes hanging there neatly. Along both sides, the racks doubled up so that there was one at the top of the wall and one halfway down, creating more space. These shorter racks were filled with shirts, jumpers, jackets and trousers in a whole range of styles, fabrics and colours. On the wall behind him, Harry saw that pigeonholes had been attached around the doorframe. They covered the whole wall and in each box was a pair of shoes.

Who would have guessed that Oliver wood, the burly Quidditch player, was a shopaholic in disguise? And a thoroughly convincing disguise it had to be said. Harry for the life of him could not imagine the Oliver he knew traipsing around London in search of the latest fashion. The very idea would have been comical if only it weren't so obviously true.

And here was the sort of thing he didn't need to know about a person until much, much later. Way down the road when he wouldn't so much as bat an eyelash if he saw Oliver pick his nose. Somehow, Harry thought, he would have been less shocked to discover a room full of body parts.

He had a vision of Oliver morphing into Fred flash through his mind. The vision came complete with that piercing sound affect they used in horror movies. Harry shuddered at the thought and then burst out laughing. It was too ridiculous. There was absolutely no way Oliver would start obsessing about his clothes.

"This is a whole side to your personality that I didn't know about, or want to." Harry murmured quietly.

"Piss off, you prat," Oliver said in amusement, quickly catching onto Harry's train of thought. "I didn't buy all this, I get sent it from shops and that."

Harry was quietly very relieved to hear this little piece of information. Having a secret shopping obsession wasn't that bad but it would have definitely altered his perception of Oliver. There would always have been that little hear in the back of his mind that Oliver would turn into the red headed menace. "Fred hasn't seen this room has he?"

"No," Oliver said as he rummaged through one of the racks. "Why?"

"I didn't think so." It wasn't the sort of thing Fred would have left unsaid. He probably would have declared it a temple. Harry could just imagine him coming to pray at it daily, brining ritual gifts of hats and belts as offerings. He snapped out of his amusing imaginings when he felt something soft hit him in the face.

Looking down, Harry saw a pair of pants on the ground. "Oh, thanks," He muttered, bending over to pick them up. They were light cotton sleep pants and they looked pretty bloody comfortable. He pulled them on, tying the cords as tight as they would go. When he looked up again, Oliver was dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, and he was holding out another t-shirt for Harry to take.

He watched Harry struggle into the oversized t-shirt and he laughed when he saw that it almost came down to Harry's knees. "Come on, I'm starved."

Feeling like he was wearing Dudley's clothes again, Harry followed Oliver down to the kitchen. Oliver made straight for the Spellmaster that lived on the bench and spoke into it in a clear voice. They were having ham sandwiches with pumpkin juice apparently and, wonder of wonders; they were having it out in the courtyard. He hadn't even known they had a courtyard but then Oliver had only dealt with the outside areas briefly at the housewarming.

With his task complete, Oliver stepped back from the appliance and the kitchen clattered into action.

"I don't know how you do it, Oliver." Harry shook his head.

"Cooking is just one of my many talents," Oliver retorted as he made for the door to outside.

"Cooking?" Harry snorted. When the appliance did all the work, did it really count as cooking? He didn't think so.

Even though it was gloomy outside, the sun hidden behind dark clouds in a grey sky, Harry liked it out in the courtyard. A small hedge surrounded the area. In the centre was a small table with chairs around it and to the side there was a small birdbath.

"Do you like birds?" Harry asked curiously, watching Oliver take a seat at the table.

Oliver surprised Harry by throwing his head back and laughing. "It came with the house, Harry," He said, taking Harry by the hand and pulling him into his lap. "My wardrobe? My birdbath? What are you trying to do, slyly find out all my quirks?" Oliver chuckled in his ear and Harry had to admit the boy had a point.

It would seem that way to Oliver, and maybe it was even true. Perhaps he was reading too much in things and he should start waiting for things to reveal themselves naturally. Still, he couldn't help being curious.

"Do you have many quirks then?"

Oliver rolled his eyes, "A few," He grinned. "On Tuesdays I like to tie a midget in an oversized t-shirt to my bed."

Midget? Harry knew he was being insulted and that he wasn't really that short, but he had to laugh. He imagined Oliver with a real midget tied to his bed and he found the image mind boggling, and slightly disturbing.

"What do you do to the midget?" Harry said, glancing at Oliver cheekily.

"Nothing. I just leave him there and go hang out with Jackson." Oliver looked at Harry in triumph and drew a line on his imaginary scoreboard.

Not to be out done, Harry replied.

This childishness continued and by the time the meal came whizzing out the backdoor, Oliver was in Marrakech and Harry had magiced himself off the bed and was being fed artichokes by a guy named Clyde. Harry liked to think this meant he won their fun game of one-upmanship but Oliver was also looking very smug.

As the Spellmaster set up his lunch on the opposite side of the table, Harry had to get out of his very comfortable seat on Oliver's lap so he could go around to the other side of the table. Although looking down at the sandwiches piled high on his plate, Harry realised just how hungry he was and he tucked in quickly. Unlike the limp sandwiches he made at home, these were delicious. There was almost an indecent amount of ham on each and the bread was both tender and fresh.

A companionable silence settled between the boys as they ate their lunch, both of them lost in their own private worlds. Harry's thoughts were neither particularly deep nor interesting. All that he really thought about was that he was having a nice time and how it had been such a long time since he remembered having enjoyed himself quite like this. He did, though, wonder how long they would be able to continue like this. Oliver looked rather thoughtful and Harry soon uncovered why. He was halfway through his sandwiches when Oliver finally spoke.

"Is this what you do everyday?" Oliver peered at Harry over his glass.

"What? Hang out with famous Quidditch players eating ham sandwiches?" Oliver glared at him in exasperation. "Oh, you mean, do I basically do nothing everyday." Harry laughed nervously.

"Yeah, well, I know you said you're still trying to work out what you want to do, so I was just wondering."

He left the words hanging there but Harry knew what he meant. At one point or another Harry had had this conversation with everyone he knew and he hated it. They always seemed to think that it was amazing he hadn't yet died of boredom, which always made Harry feel defensive and as though he had to justify his existence. And this was always a difficult task because as soon as he was questioned he suffered a mental blank, forgot about all the things he did during the day. Harry thought it might be because time travelled a bit differently when you didn't have to rush off here and there to do very important things.

"I do lots of things really," Harry said and he was most definitely stalling for time. "Sometimes I have to do things because of my shares in Fred and George's company, go to meetings and that. But when I'm not doing that I listen to music a lot, read," He was possibly ending up worse than Hermione in that respect - "I do a bit of gardening and then there's the Playstation of course, I'm getting pretty good at that." Harry concluded without thinking.

"Would now be the time to remind you that I know for a fact you're rubbish at Playstation?"

"Its just that one game. honestly. I'm good at the car racing ones," Harry whined in protest.

Oliver rolled his eyes to show he didn't believe Harry for a minute but refrained from commenting. He took another bite of sandwich instead, which surprised Harry. So far, the other boy hadn't said anything disapproving of his lifestyle choice, he seemed merely curious; something Harry wasn't used to at all.

"Is that enough for you?" Harry looked down at his half eaten plate of food in confusion. "Doing nothing I mean," Oliver amended with a smile.

"Yes and no. I've already been something, if you know what I mean?" Oliver nodded in understanding but he didn't question Harry about Voldemort and the final battle. Harry was grateful for this; he wouldn't mind talking to Oliver about it another time. Just not now, while he was already talking about something difficult and especially not when he was feeling so happy.

"So I don't miss having that in my life. I don't know, though, I'll have to do something eventually. I mean I'm already nearly twenty and I don't know how much longer I can do nothing for."

"But if you get money from Fred and George, surely you could."

Harry shook his head. He'd thought that at first but he was starting to realise it would never work. And he was glad he finally had someone other than Ron to talk to about it, someone who was interested and not judgemental, someone who most definitely would not say I told you so.

"Its not healthy. I totter around doing bugger all really until Ron gets home or Fred pops over. I don't go out very often anymore and I'm becoming boring apparently."

"I don't think you're boring," Oliver said and he looked put out. "Who said you're boring?"

"Fred mostly. But then he does get pissed off because I don't go to clubs with him," Harry grinned evilly.

"Wait a minute. I re-met you in a club."

"But that was because Fred came over and nagged me all day."

He did owe Fred an enormous debt of gratitude for that, Harry realised. Without that little adventure he wouldn't be here now. Perhaps he should buy him a present.

"So start going out at night and spend your days doing nothing."

"There's a plan," Harry agreed amiably, though he did think that would be beside the point.

"How about we go out tonight? I can't be bothered cooking."

"What do you mean you can't be bothered cooking? You don't bloody do anything when you do cook!"

"Shut up, Harry," Oliver chuckled, leaning back in his chair. "As I was saying, we should go out to dinner, there's this new restaurant just off Diagon Alley, and we could go to a club af. Harry, what's wrong?"

"Nothing, it's just," Harry gulped. It had hit in an instant. One mention of them going out in public and he felt sick. He recalled Ron's teasing words about the night before and how he would have to appear in the paper and he felt even sicker. So much for him thinking he would do anything to be with Oliver; he didn't want to, wasn't ready for that and Oliver seemed to understand...

"You don't want to attract attention to us yet."

"Sorry," he said and though he meant it, he avoided looking at Oliver.

"You don't have to apologise, Harry," Oliver reached across the table to take Harry's chin in hand. He forced Harry to look at him. "If you're not ready yet, it honestly doesn't matter. It was just a suggestion."

"So you're not pissed," Harry smiled, clearly relieved.

"No, not at all. I understand completely. The media gives me the shits and I expect its always been worse for you. I remember they used to write some horrible stuff about you before," Harry nodded, he would never forget that. "We'll go muggle, or get take away, I'm easy," Oliver smiled reassuringly.

"Come on, let's go in, it's getting cold out here."

As things turned out, they didn't end up going anywhere that night. After spending all afternoon and the early evening upstairs in Oliver's room, neither boy could seem to muster the energy to go anywhere anyway.