In the Midst Of It All
This is the tale of the strenuous relationship between Harry Potter and Bill Weasley while being faced with the past, jealous brothers, a slightly manipulative Dumbledore, and of course Voldemort. Greek Mythology crossover. Rated M for slash, sexual references, language and a bit of Mpreg at the end
Disclaimer: I don't own anything, sadly.
That was all fifteen-year-old Harry Potter could think of this summer. He worked in his aunt's garden. It was now a daily sight for a neighbor to see him slaving away in the front of the house or the backyard, the garden; day in and day out. He worked himself to the brink of exhaustion, and any of his neighbors could account for it. They believed it was good to 'keep that criminal at work.' Harry found that he liked the exhaustion.
Harry was a special boy; he was an extraordinary boy and he was going through a natural phase of grieving. He had recently lost his godfather, Sirius Black. He was in the 'Acceptance' phase of grieving. He had watched as his godfather fall through the Veil in the Ministry of Magic's Department of Mystery. He knew something had happened, he just did not know what that something was.
He was a person with a terrible weight on his shoulder. The fate of the Wizarding World, more specifically. He was a teenage boy with a normal, though to him it was terrible, testosterone and hormonal imbalance. That was tough enough but still there was the shaving and the worrying about his appearance, his masculinity, and his sexuality. And to top it all off, he was a celebrity.
What was a celebrity doing slaving away in a garden? No, it was not for charity. It was actually something he wanted to do.
So he really was not slaving away in the garden for all those days, but before this summer 'slaving away in the garden' would have been an understatement. He had done it since he was able to push a lawnmower. Surprisingly, that was when he was at the age of eight. His guardians were not the best kind of guardians when he was younger. That was a large understatement. But recently, his aunt had changed.
She was more like a surrogate mother to him now. And she was an extremely good actress. Which was vital for her recent performance pretending to pretend to be civil to Harry. She treated him like a criminal in public, but also as if afraid to criticize him publicly. She acted as if she were being forced to be nice to him while she was around her family, and she was motherly to him in private.
She had not always been nice to him. She and Uncle Vernon had been unnaturally tough on him when he was growing up. They hated what Harry was and what his parents were, even though they were his last blood relation. Aunt Petunia was his mother's sister and yet she had never, up until recently, struck him as his truly blood-related aunt.
He had been a worthless, ungrateful, abnormal miscreant to his Uncle Vernon. He believed that hard labor, inadequate living conditions such as the cupboard under the stairs as a bedroom, and meager ration of everything little children are entitled to - food, love, toys, the good stuff - would be enough to knock the abnormality out of him. Uncle Vernon, along with the accomplice Aunt Petunia, spent years convincing him that he was the lowest of the low, that he was nothing to anyone. Together, they did everything they could to keep the truth from coming out. The fact that Harry's abnormality was from his being a wizard.
He was a wizard. A wizard is a wise man, sage, someone skilled in magic, Harry had, while being bored mind you, looked it up in the dictionary. He was a somewhat smart and skillful person. He was not wise at all. He rushed into things without thinking. Without warning his thoughts went back to his godfather.
The Veil. Dumbledore, Voldemort, Lestrage, that damned Order, they were all reasons for this. But still the blame went back to him for being foolhardy enough to be tricked by Voldemort. A well of emotions built up inside of him. There was so much going on last year at Hogwarts, his mind could not wrap around it all.
And just as he was going to start thinking back on the year previous, a voice suddenly called out to him. "Harry, you'd better not be working in one of those shirts I just bought you!" Came his aunt's angry whisper out of the kitchen window.
Without hesitation or a response, Harry took off his clingy T-shirt and went to check out the front of the house.
His aunt was very peculiar about what she said to him in front of others. She would never congratulate Harry on a job well done, or even call him Harry, in front of the neighbors for fear of news getting back to Uncle Vernon. And once more, she was like a surrogate mother to Harry nowadays. She and Harry quickly grew to like each other. It was not hard for her to act out a performance, she had done so all her life. It was hard, terribly hard, for Harry though. He had never been able to lie, let alone act, a day in his life.
But he was getting help from his aunt and the threat made by the Order members, his guards, to his aunt and uncle at Kings Cross. Actually, the threat caused the friendship between him and his aunt as well as helping with the acting.
Their threat was both a blessing and a curse to Harry. Uncle Vernon had to be at least civil to him now and Aunt Petunia, after a 'mishap' with Dudley, now had her own excuse for being civil to him. But before the 'mishap' with Dudley, she was in the same boat as Uncle, crude and forced to be civil. They did not ask him to do much; they even gave him luxaries to "keep him quiet and keep him writing those notes." While he did enjoy the pleasantries that were denied to him as a kid, he felt a little ungrateful. What had he done to receive such gifts?
In wake of his godfather's death, all he had received was a few letters of condolences from people in the Order who had known his godfather on a personal level. Along with those were some letters from Ron and Hermione, these were all overly-sympathetic and Harry did not want that. He wanted and needed what he got from his aunt: work, discipline, and strict guidelines. And he had also received nightmares, though these were not from his aunt.
The nightmares were so unnerving and frequent in his first week back that Harry was kicked out of his old, small bedroom and into the newly sound-proofed and refurbished basement because of the screaming. Still this was an act that Harry was none too appreciative of. He was too out of sorts, at that moment in time he was blaming himself completely for not being able to save Sirius, but he was sure that he did not deserve the furnished basement. The Dursleys agreed with him wholeheartedly, though silently.
But still, that room along with all of the freedom and luxaries that came with it, only seemed to increase the intensity of his nightmares. He, at the time, found himself solely to blame for Sirius' death. He was the one to lead the little rescue mission into the Ministry of Magic. He was the one who was not thinking at all, who underestimated Voldemort. That won't happen again, Harry thought to himself as he aligned the potted plants that bordered the path up to the door.
He had since gotten over the 'guilt' phase with some difficulty.
But the nightmares and his Aunt and Uncle's bribery did not compare at all to what he went through every day in his second week back. Harry still went red from the memory.
From the nightmares, a sense of restlessness washed over him. He could have not sat still and done nothing for long periods of time, his mind would keep wandering back to the death of Sirius. He had needed to move. He had tried to use this restlessness as a distraction, and tried to work more around the house. This was where the Order members' threat to the Dursleys began to smite him. The Dursleys were afraid to let him work, even if he did so voluntarily. Harry had believed that the Dursleys thought that he was trying to work to purposely make the wrath of the Order fall upon them.
So he simply took it upon himself to do all of the work in the house. When that was not enough for the restlessness, he went outside and did the work. But that was still not enough for the nightmares to recede entirely. He was too tired to sleep some nights but then when insomnia began to kick in, the thoughts came back to him. He took up a neighborhood job, mostly maintenance. Aunt Petunia did not want other people to take his remodeling and gardening skills from her.
The Dursleys had then treated Harry as if he were an invisible servant, and he had been content with their treatment. Everything was somewhat normal. Then Dudley, Harry's cousin, involved himself in Harry's problem with insomnia. He made one act that changed the threading of Harry's life, for the good actually. Harry snorted out loud as he trimmed the potted plants down to a respectable height. Dudley was too thick to even realize that he changed Harry's life. He had tried to ruin Harry's summer because Harry had been making him look bad by his, Harry's, over-helpfulness.
Harry had lived a repressed life, so he was not familiar with things pertaining to the media, such as television and music. He had, before this summer, occasionally watched the telly at the babysitter's house or when the Dursleys left him home alone, something that did not happen very often. Therefore Harry knew neither the finer, respectable nor the more disgraceful points of the television, aside from the images painted in his head by the kids his age and above in school.
So when Dudley approached him with the idea of some "hypnotic insomnia-curing programs," he was of course skeptical and cautious but he tried them nevertheless.
Videotapes. Harry cut one on after a long, tiresome day and was asleep before the program started.
Three days passed with him using Dudley's 'treatment'. Immediately, he noticed that he was receiving more energy out of sleep than usual. It was almost as if he were being rejuvenated every morning. That was not the reason he chose the treatment but it was accepted, he figured why look a gift-horse in the mouth. Suddenly his nightmare-filled dreams were filled with different types of dreams, not the old ones of Voldemort laughing at him and Sirius falling through the Veil at the Ministry of Magic; no these new ones were more of the sexual genre.
Harry had spent the last two years sharing a dorm with one of the most, in no better words, horniest guys ever to walk the face of the earth, Seamus Finnigan; and though he was not on good terms with Harry and frankly ignored him, he had described in heavy detail, erotic dreams he had of girls preforming unmentionable acts on him. Harry's dreams were similar, but instead of there being two or more girls as there were in Seamus' dreams, there were two or more guys.
Guys that Harry had met at one point or another in his life. Boys from Hogwarts, Seamus, Ron, even some with the male Weasleys, minus Mr. Weasley, were in his dreams. Harry had a reaction after he remembered some of the dreams. Harry had figured that it was just a phase and that his reaction to it was normal, so he did not mull over it.
After two more nights of such dreams, and reactions, Harry's sleep was disrupted by a shriek.
His eyes had flown open. His eye-glasses were on his face and his wand was in his hand in an instant. His aunt was at the foot of his bed and jumped slightly as he awoke but never took the angry look off her face. She waved something at him angrily.
"What is this?" She yelled, throwing the object on Harry's stomach. Harry had blinked, not registering the fact that there was no danger and looked down at the object. He gasped. It was the cover to some videotapes, but there were naked guys on the cover doing things to one another. Just like from my dreams, he thought.
He looked to his aunt as she stood with a slightly crazy and triumphant smirk on her face.
"I found them in Dudley's room. He told me that he found them in a box under your bed. He only took the covers because you probably would not miss them. He had planned to tell about it today." She gave a slightly displeased look. "He told me you were down here doing odd things, and here I was expecting magic." Her voice had risen a pitch. "How dare you bring this… this into our normal household. After all the things we've …" She continued on.
Harry tuned his aunt out and brought his attention back to the covers that his aunt was throwing at him furiously. Some of them mirrored his sex dream perfectly, almost to the point that he had wondered if… but it was not possible. Is it possible, he thought to himself, could the dreams be caused by… It struck him like a bolt of lightening. Dudley had set him up. He should have foreseen this; the movies with no covers, the dreams with an unknown origin, the fact the Dudley was helping him at all!
He tuned back in and looked to his aunt who was still raging at the top of her lungs. There was a soft thumping from above them. His eyes bulged and the thumping slowly grew louder. There was the sound of someone's name being called. His heart began to pound painfully, he lost his breath, and had gone pale.
"They were from Dudley." She stopped ranting as Harry said that.
"Petunia, is everything all right down there? The boy's not dead, is he?" Aunt Petunia gave Harry a puzzled look.
Harry saw a chance to prove his innocence and took it. "Honestly, I didn't know. I thought they were for helping me get some sleep." He pleaded innocence quickly.
"And you've never watched them?" She said with sarcasm and motioned to the television where the program was just finishing up.
Harry felt himself blush as he searched for the remote control. "Wait until Vernon hears about this." Harry had paled and nearly fainted at that very moment.
Uncle Vernon was a very homophobic person. Harry had only experienced a slight taste of his uncle's anger to homosexuality. When he and Dudley were around nine-years old, they got into a rather loud fight and with soon had them rolling around on the carpet in the living room. Uncle Vernon watched from the stairs with a satisfied look on his face. Harry had actually managed to get the upper arm in the fight towards the end. He was on top of Dudley when Dudley cried out that Harry was homosexual.
At that moment, slightly under his sheets Harry had felt a chill go through him as he remembered the beating that ensued from Dudley's statement. But not only had Harry been punished, but Dudley as well. The fact that he had said the word made Uncle Vernon punish him. Granted, Dudley's punishment was not as bad as Harry's, it was the first and the last time, up to that moment in which Harry sat in his bed, that Harry had seen Dudley physically and/or verbally punished by either of his parents.
The very thought of what Uncle Vernon could do to him, even with there being Order members outside the house, was unsettling. He knew at that moment, his fate was resting in his aunt's hands.
"Aunt Petunia, you have to believe me. I've never watched the movies. I-I was asleep before they were on. I swear, I didn't even know that they were these types of movies." She seemed to have been taken aback, but she did not yield her attack.
As he looked back on the memory, Harry wondered what exactly had been going through her mind at that moment. They had talked about that night so rarely now, and when they did it was to rant about Dudley.
"Really, how could you not know what they were when there were covers. You had to know what they were to buy them! And lucky for me, Dudley spotted the filth." She said with a wicked smile on her lips. The thumping upstairs grew louder; it sounded like Uncle Vernon rummaging through something in the cupboard under the stairs. Harry's heart beat faster.
"I didn't buy them. How could I, I don't have the money! I can't go beyond a hundred-meter radius of the house. I-."
"Then you ordered them by mail! What if the postman saw it!" She said outraged.
"With what credit card?" Harry snarled. She had begun to irritate him.
"You used Dudley's didn't you, you filthy, evil-."
"If I took his credit card to buy these tapes, don't you think that he would have told you about that instead of the covers!"
"No, he gave me the tapes without the covers. I told him about my insomnia problem and he told me that the tapes would help. He said I should cut them on before I go to sleep. They did work thou-."
"Where did you get them?" His aunt towered over him threateningly. She had looked both shocked and incredulous.
Harry, reflecting, wondered whether or not she was acting at that time. A brief smile wrapped itself on his face and he continued to trim. She is one heck of an actress. He shook his head and continued with his reminiscing. After that moment where Aunt Petunia looked shocked, Harry found the remote and cut the television off, though the program was off already.
At that very moment Uncle Vernon's large frame came pounding down the stairs. "Petunia dear, is everything all right?" He eyed Harry as if he already knew what was going on.
Aunt Petunia glanced at Harry and immediately began hyperventilating on the spot.
As he looked back, Harry was still wowed by her act of sudden improvising just as he was weeks before. He had asked her why she had not gone into acting, she still hasn't come with an answer. But as he remembered that night and that particular action taken by his aunt he could not help but remember what he was thinking at that moment. Is she putting on an act to get me into even more trouble? He had begun sweating as he thought that.
She had turned to Uncle Vernon, her face was pale and her movements jittery. When she had opened her mouth, the words had come out in a rush, very much squished together manner. She visibly pulled herself together, still jittery though and spoke more calmly. "I-I saw a-a mouse in t-the kitchen and came to get the boy to kill it." Harry remembered being completely baffled at that moment and opened his mouth to ask his aunt what she was playing at when Uncle Vernon suddenly went pale and being jumping up and down on the stairs frantically searching for the non-existent mouse.
He remembered being extremely confused, but very much amused by the actions made by his screaming uncle. "Boy, k-kill the mouse." He said in a frightened tone.
"I think it was... mice." Aunt Petunia whispered just audibly, emphasizing the plural form of mouse. Uncle Vernon gave a scream and raced up the stairs as fast as his pudgy feet could carry him. The stairs immediately groaned at the withdrawal of his extreme weight.
Aunt Petunia jumped into and out of her act with professional quickness. It seemed to Harry, even at that moment, that she was a natural at such things. She then explained to Harry, in a somewhat detached tone, that Uncle Vernon had a fear of mice ever since he was little. His father had placed a live one in his bed when he was very young, and he fainted when he awoke. Ever since then, he had the irrational fear of mice. Which made sense to Harry now, it would explain why he wants the house clean to unusual degrees.
Aunt Petunia went silent for a moment. Harry remembered being unsure of what to do or say. As soon as he opened his mouth for an explanation she spoke. "Wait till I get my hands on that little fibber. He tricked me, the little swine tricked me. He had me wrapped around his little finger." Harry remembered resisting the urge to snort, though he did now, as he remembered thinking that nothing about Dudley was 'little'.
Harry had been thoroughly expecting her head to pop off. He had, up until that moment, never heard his aunt badmouth Dudley or Uncle Vernon.
She turned and looked Harry straight in the eye as she spoke. "He double-crossed and used me. His own mother, Harry!" That was the first time she had said his name. "I think," she continued her rant, "I think you will be having a garden buddy very soon-." Harry interrupted her rant cautiously.
"Um, could you not order him to work with me. I would rather not hear his whining and-." Her left eyebrow rose considerably. "Sorry, I didn't mean-."
"I know what you meant to say and I happen to sympathize. But this act cannot go unpunished, Harry." She slammed her fist into her palm for emphasis.
Harry remembered thinking at that moment, what on earth has she been drinking!
She had stopped her ranting. Harry realized he should clean up the tapes just in case someone happened to come down the stairs again, namely Uncle Vernon. He looked at the clock and realized that it was nearly three in the morning. Insomnia was kicking in. He might as well get started on the work load for the day. Aunt Petunia scrutinized him in his worn boxers. He had figured that it was from the lack of apparel.
"Just be happy you did not catch me sleeping in the buff." He said carelessly. Both of her eyebrows rose this time. He realized that he was treading on thin ice.
"I'll pretend that I didn't hear that. You can do your own bedspreads from now on." Harry released a relieved sigh. She still eyed his apparel with dislike. "When was the last time you got some new clothes?"
And it had gone from there. Aunt Petunia was more than civil to him, in private, afterwards. She was one hell of an actress she: was civil him in front of the other Dursleys, but not enough to bring on suspicion from her family; she was strict to him in public, but to a certain point. He had not minded the slight subliminal favoritism she showed him in front of Uncle Vernon and Dudley. Nor did he mind the talks about his life that they had in private.
He admired her then and still did. How could he not? The woman had multiple personalities, multiple talents, and managed to keep herself sane. She was evening teaching Harry how to hide his personal feelings and keep up a public act and facade. Harry was absorbing what she taught him like a sponge.
They had become quick friends.
Harry was so engrossed with the memories of the past weeks that he failed to notice a pickup truck pull into the driveway. It looked very out of place in such a neighborhood, he thought. It was old and slightly worn and was making odd noises. Unlike the new, efficiently smooth and quiet cars the men of the neighborhood were obsessed with showing off to each other.
"Hey, kid. We're looking for Dursley, P. or Potter. H., do ya know where we can find 'em?" One called out from the driver's seat, getting his attention. Harry wiped the sweat off his face and torso with the shirt.
He was hiding the fact that he was trying to calm his surprised heart. They had startled him. Not trusting his mouth at the moment, Harry waved the guy over. He got out of the truck and approached Harry with a clipboard in hand. He came closer, Harry examined him.
He looked like a muscled version of Harry's uncle. Heavy set, but he seemed sure on his feet. He was not at all clumsy like Uncle Vernon. He had a worldly look on his face, like he had faced the world and was ready to face it again.
Examining people was the first thing Aunt Petunia taught him. "It gives you a good picture of how to act around a certain person." But, sometimes, first appearances are facades. Interact with the person before you pass judgements, his aunt had told him.
His eyes scanned the truck and noticed other guys in there. They were an interesting looking bunch. They were a dirty, sweaty bunch to be more exact. Muscles bursting from their shirts, and, oh how the shirt clung to their skin.
Harry quickly cleared his mind of the upcoming sexually pictures. Those tapes really had messed up his mind. And yet, I still watch them!
Harry indulged himself with one more detail about the guys in the truck, they seemed to be about his age. He shook his head slightly and tried to focus on the man before him, but one of the guys in the truck let loose a wolf-whistle. Harry smiled.
"All of the pillars go to the back," Harry said recalling from memory what Aunt Petunia had told him, "the slate and the statues can go on the path in the garden. The- oh just put everything on the path to the garden." He told the guy with an amicable, yet slightly commanding, tone. None of the guys moved.
"Who are you?" The man before Harry asked, curiously.
"Oh, I'm Potter, H." Harry held out his hand and the man shook it. Harry had been forced to learn to be social by Aunt Petunia. She made him meet many of the neighbors and start conversations with them.
"Rus." The man said with a smile. He held out the clipboard to Harry. "Sign here, here, here, and here." He said indicating with his finger. Harry made sure to read before he signed. It was a simple agreement, if anything was broken the company would pay for it unless it happened after the unloading. As he handed the clipboard back to the man, the other guys began to work on unloading.
Harry saw two guys strain slightly as they carried a pillar to the back, two more guys immediately followed with another pillar, and so on until they had a system going. The pillars seemed to weigh a lot, and not wanting to stand around while they were carrying stuff, Harry spoke to the man in charge with the clipboard.
"Just out of curiosity, how much does one of those pillars weight?" Some of the guys laughed as they continued to unload the truck.
"Believe me kid. You don't want to mess with them. It takes two of us together to barely lift one. And we've been moving heavy stuff for years." One guy said heaving a beautiful angel onto a dolly.
"I believe you." Harry said successfully keeping the quiver out of his voice and the blush off his face as he watched the guys work.
The guy in charge looked Harry over. "You seem to be a fit lad, if you would like a summer job." Something denying the offer must have shone on Harry's face because the man soon added, "It pays good."
"Oh no, I would love to have a summer job, but is next year go-." The guy had a business card in his hand before Harry finished his sentence. The man went over to inspect the work of the guys and Harry went to inspect the merchandise. When his uncle had said, quality over price, Harry had not believed him but this stuff seemed to be of the best quality and Harry was sure that the Dursleys would not be going on that trip to the Bahamas like they had planned for a long time. But the thought of seeing his uncle and cousin on a beach wearing- he shuddered away from that thought. Maybe it was worth it, he shuddered again.
He moved away from the truck, he did not want to get in the way of the hard-working guys. Suddenly, a guy appeared in his path, almost as though through Apparation. Harry's wand hand twitched involuntarily. Harry tried to walk around the tanned guy but he followed Harry. Harry did his best to ignore the guy but luck did not seem to be on his side.
"If you need any help with the constructing, I'm…available." It sounded like a pickup line straight out of Seamus Finnegan's mouth.
Harry calmed his ever-so-eager heartbeat and headed towards the house. "I can do with the help. How much will it cost?" Harry tried to keep his tone professional. He turned to face the guy and jumped at their suddenly closeness. "Wait, I forgot to ask you your name. How rude of me." Harry said casually, but not liking the look nor the demeanor of the guy in front of him.
"Peter's the name. Friends call me Pete." He stepped closer to Harry. Harry bravely stood his ground with nonchalance. "But you can call me whatever and whenever you like." He wiggled his eyebrows suggestively. Some of the other guys snickered.
Harry did not like the direction in which the conversation was going. He tried to ignore his hormones and his own slight nudity, but it was hard enough to keep from blushing. He stilled his thoughts and spoke in a strong voice. "I think lame will do for now." The other guys laughed even harder. Harry smiled inwardly at how well he controlled himself and his emotions. But there came an urge to examine the guy and it took over before Harry could control it.
He had been doing it a lot lately. He would examine people, more often guys, to a very elaborate and often sexual point along with the way his aunt had taught him to examine people. Pete looked about his age, more likely older. He was tall, tanned everywhere Harry's eyes could follow. He had a perfect body. It was almost like it was sculpted by an artist with skill beyond imagination. There was not a thing out of place on his face; "poster boys," Aunt Petunia called his type.
And that smell! Harry couldn't understand how he could find the sweaty, slightly musty smell of this guy arousing when he had always been around guys that smell like that.
With his back turned to the guys laughing and working, Harry studied that facial expressions of the guy before him with ease. The guys behind Harry stopped laughing and the guy in front of Harry seemed to be deep in thought. Harry prepared to tell him that he was not interested. Not that he really was interested, he was just curious. I'm going to have a hard time convincing myself of that!
Just as he opened his mouth to respond, a hand was suddenly on his shoulder. He jumped but did not turn around, afraid of who he would see there. Dear Merlin what if it's Remus, how bad does this look!
"Harry is there a problem." Harry did not recognize the voice immediately. Pete took a step back. Harry swung around slightly to see the hard face of one Bill Weasley staring at him. Harry's heart beat fast as he wondered why Bill would be on Privet Drive.
I hope nothing happened to the Weasleys. He was lost in his thoughts until Bill's voice brought him back to earth. "Huh"
"I asked, Harry, if there was a problem."
Bill's face went colder. Harry trembled slightly, before gaining control of his emotions, somewhat. "I- ye- there- he- no problem." Try as he might, he could not string together a sentence. Bill raised an eyebrow and squeezed his shoulder as if to tell Harry to tell the truth. Harry composed himself enough to answer in a complete sentence but Pete spoke before him.
"I was just telling Harry that I was … available if he wanted me." Bill was glaring daggers at Pete and the grip on Harry's shoulder was not any better. Pete eyed Bill with resentment and Harry suddenly wished to be back among his flowerbeds.
"I think I can solve that problem." Bill said in a tight voice. Harry had no idea why he was afraid of Bill at that moment, but seriousness of his tone was unnerving. Suddenly, Bill let go of Harry's shoulder. "Come Harry." Bill said placing an arm around Harry's waist and pulling Harry to his side possessively. Harry cringed slightly and opened his mouth to protest then Bill looked at him sharply and Harry fell silent. Bill pulled him away sharply, almost dragging Harry along.
As soon as they were out of hearing distance, he asked. "Bill, what the hell are you doing?"
"Preventing you from making a big mistake." Harry looked back at Pete. Pete sent him a quick suggestive wink. Bill must have seen the wink for his grip on Harry tightened.
"Maybe I wanted to make a mistake."
Bill gave him a surprised then an exasperated look. "Not with him Harry."
"Why not?" Bill's jaw twitched just like Aunt Petunia's left eye did when she was mad. "I'm kidding, Bill. But it is always good to have a backup, and Pete's my extremely hot backup."
Bill still seemed slightly surprised, and disturbed in a way that Harry could not figure out why, by his words. "Whatever. Look, Dumbledore says we will pick you up in three weeks time."
Bill led him towards Mrs. Figg's house. "I though it was one week, not that I'm complaining. Extra time here isn't unwanted." He turned to look for Pete. Bill forced Harry's face towards his with his hand. He had not removed the arm that was around Harry's waist.
He removed his arm from around Harry's waist. "Pay attention, Potter! Dumbledore said it was just in case You-Know-Who-."
"Voldemort-." Harry tried to correct casually.
"YOU-KNOW-WHO!" Bill whispered furiously, his hand on Harry's face gripped harder. "If he found some pattern in you r departure time, we'd be in trouble."
"SO you going to make me stay-."
"Dumbledore says it's important!" His hand on Harry's face clasped even harder.
Harry's mouth was being painfully constricted. He found that he could only open his mouth to a certain degree. He was beginning to get scared as he looked into Bill's eyes and saw the unimaginable anger brewing there. Why wasn't he fighting Bill off? He asked himself but his nerves did not seem to respond to him anymore. He couldn't fight Bill; Bill was Ron's brother!
Harry started to shake with fright. "B-Bill, you're h-hurting me!" He whispered. Bill's grip lessened instantly but he still held on.
A few moments later he let go altogether. "Sorry." He had said the word, yet Harry did not feel that he meant it. He had a slightly smug look on his face that was mixed with unhappiness and the fury Harry's had saw there earlier.
"Yeah right, anything else, Brawny?" Harry asked angrily rubbing his aching jaws and wincing when a wave of pain came to him. It really hurt! What the hell is wrong with him!
"No." He said quietly. He tried to look Harry in the eye but Harry determinedly dodged his eyes.
"Well, bye." Harry said flatly. Harry turned quickly, his wand hand twitched once more and there was an odd feeling in his stomach.
"Aren't you in a hurry." He put a hand on Harry shoulder and pulled him back around. Harry pushed the hand away but his eyes met Bill's. Bill actually looked sad. That almost saddened Harry, then he remembered how much his face hurt…
"Tell Remus I said 'hi'." Harry said stiffly and walking away quickly, still massaging his jaw.
The moving guys were coming from the backyard. The truck was parked in front of the house and Harry went towards it. They all seemed to watch him. He tried to ignore it but their stares were very pointed and calculating. They were very unnerving.
Pete parted from the others and approached him cautiously. He looked worried. "Are you okay?"
Harry looked around them. Bill was entering Mrs. Figg's house. At least I know where their base is. Harry noticed that he was standing in front of an empty truck. He also noticed Pete was talking to him. They were alone, the other guys seemed to be giving them space. "You're talking to me?" He asked and Pete nodded. "I'm sorry, I was… distracted."
Pete nodded once more. "Is some- what happened?" He seemed to give up on the question that he had asked twice before and used a more direct one. Why he did that, Harry did not know. Why would he think that something was wrong. He asked Pete just that.
Pete searched his face for a moment. "This." He swiped a finger across Harry's face. It was a very soft touch, yet Harry could not restrain the hiss that escaped him with a flinch. What had Bill been thinking holding him so hard. His jaw still ached. "Your face is a little bruised." He said holding the finger in front of him.
Harry looked at the finger and found moisture on it. He touched his face. Tears. He had been crying, when? "No nothing's wrong. He… he doesn't realize his strength. He's a sweet guy though." Harry said own touching his face tentatively. Is he really a sweet guy, did he do it on purpose, Harry wondered as he spoke. Harry hoped not.
"Did the creep hi- did he break up with you?" He asked showing great sincerity. Harry's eyes shifted to the other guys. They were watching the exchange intently. They thought Bill and me were together! Well, how could they not with Bill acting the way he was! "We weren't together to begin with. He's just the over-obsessive brother of one of my best-friends." Pete did not seem to believe it; he just smiled and stepped forward. Foreseeing Pete's mission and thinking quickly, Harry asked, "Are you guys on break?" Showing interest in the truck's emptiness.
"No, we're done." Pete said attempting to close the distance between them.
Harry took a step back. "That quickly."
"Yes, 'that quickly', it was only a few things. Oh, I put the stuff in easy-to-maneuver piles." He stepped closer. His musk was paralyzing Harry's mind.
Harry stopped himself from leaning forward. He put on a gratifying face, facade.
"Thanks. Should I tip you…"
Pete smiled. He looked around them quickly, more so in the direction of Mrs. Figg's. Being satisfied with what he saw, or who he did not see, he placed his hand behind Harry's head and, with his head tilted to the side, he lowered his lips slowly onto Harry's. Harry felt as if he was beginning to have an outer body experience. The musk had overwhelmed him.
So this is what it is like to be kissed by a guy, to be held by a guy. After all of those nights of fantasizing of what it would be like to kiss or be kissed by another guy. He always woke with the feeling of being lonely. This- this is… He could not explain it. It awoke something inside of him, something unusual. Harry ignored it and focused on the sensations from the kiss.
His tongue found Harry's lips and pried them open. The kiss got deeper and hotter. Harry had lost control over himself. When did I get so straight-forwarded? He could not stop himself, he responded to the kiss with passion, he did not want to stop himself. His tongue met Pete's and furiously fought for the territory. Harry was so enthralled with the kiss that he did not understand anything going on around him. It was not until a car's horn honked and a piece of paper was being slid in between his fingers that he realized that he was pressed up against the running truck. The other guys were cheering wildly. Harry pulled away from the kiss.
He tried to get his voice to work properly. It came out slightly higher than usual. "You do realize that I'm not even sixteen yet." He soon added. "Not for another week." Pete did not falter.
"I'm seventeen going on eighteen. The gap isn't that big." His voice was deep and he was still close. Harry had to think of something to distract him from the taste of Pete's mouth and his smell. He was pressed up against the front of the pickup and he noticed Pete was too close for comfort.
"What's this?" Harry asked looking at the paper ignoring the racket that other guys were making. He pushed away slightly, putting some distance between Pete and himself. Pete was at his side once more. This time they were in the driveway.
"It's my number, call me." He gave Harry a quick, loud peck on the mouth before hopping into the back of the pickup with his cheering friends. His teeth tugged at his bottom lip in the most erotically appealing way and he made a hand gesture for Harry to call him.
As the truck drove away, Harry gave a few small waves, letting the paper slip between his fingers in the process.
He rolled his eyes and headed back to the bushes. That was a good waste of my time. Bill was right, Pete's not the one for me, I just wish it hadn't taken him crushing my face for me to realize it, he thought to himself. Good kisser though. He was almost to his bushes when he was interrupted, again.
"Hey." Someone called out. Harry had to bite the inside of his cheek to keep from screaming. What is today, 'disturb Harry while he wants to work' day?
"Yes." Harry said stiffly while turning around. A guy was standing a few feet away from him. Already Harry liked the guy. For some reason he did not know, he liked the guy. It was almost as if someone put the idea into his head to like the guy. He shook his head, mentally, to clear it. Once more he was analyzing a guy.
With the guy's shy, yet calm, demeanor, Harry found himself resembling the guy. The only difference was within their looks. He was about Harry's height, though he was a little taller; he was slim, yet muscularly built with dark, short hair. He was smiling shyly. Harry tried to force himself to look the guy in the eye, he wore an open shirt and Harry could not help but stare.
The guy held out his hand to Harry, Harry found himself entranced by the guy's eyes. They were like turquoise diamonds. Harry had to force himself to look at the hand instead of the eyes. A small piece of paper was being clutched. Oh please tell me he's not coming on to me, Harry thought, I've had enough of that today.
"You dropped this." He said in the most innocent manner.
Harry tasted the unique taste of Pete's mouth on his lips and Pete's smell still occupied his senses. "You can dump it. I don't think he's my type." Nor do I want Bill to bruise my face again, Harry added to himself. He rubbed his jaw absentmindedly, thankful that the pain had dulled. The guy put the slip in his pocket.
The guy shifted nervously from foot to foot. He seemed to be struggling with something. Harry noticed that the guy avoided his eyes. And is that a blush on his face? "If you don't mind me saying this… but, well, you did not seem that put out over the kiss." Harry immediately hated the fact that the guy denied him the pleasure of looking him in the eyes while he said that.
Harry was still shocked none-the-less. "You were watching us kiss!"
The guy gave an affecting look that completely melted Harry. "Me and the rest of the neighborhood." He gave a wave of his hand to emphasize his point. Harry looked around them and saw groups of people suddenly bustling about. Windows and doors of both cars and houses shut simultaneously. People peeking from curtains, shut them. Un-fucking-believable!
Harry thought he felt a blush coming on but for some reason it did not. Only a shake of his head, showed any feelings he had at that time. "I guess I can change my name to The-Boy-Who-Gets-Around-Too-Much. Or they might have already done it for me." He whispered to himself, still studying the people around them. A group of guys was standing strangely a few houses down from Harry, whispering amongst one another.
The guy in front of him laughed, bringing Harry's attention to him. " 'The-Boy-Who-Lived' is much better for good publicity."
"Yeah?" Harry said warily. He did not have to ask the guy if he was a muggle or not. Harry smiled one last time before picking up some of the tools. When he finished, the guy was still there. "Can I help you with something else?"
The guy was so red in the face that Harry almost blushed from lookihn at him. He set about picking up the rest of the tools. I should not have bent over. The guy opened his mouth to say something but nothing but only stutters came out. "I-I will you- can we …" Harry picked up the rest of the tools but this time in a squat; he was almost afraid to bend over again.
Harry was close to leaving when the guy finally spoke.
"Will you go out on a date with me?" Harry was stunned in the least.
It would do me some good to get out of the house even if I'm not sure if I'm gay or not. It might be a good experience. But this was so quick. For Pete's sake! He'd never even met the guy before. You let a guy you've never meet before kiss you, he probably thinks I'm easy. Harry was preparing to decline the offer when his mouth opened as if not under his control. "Sure. When!"
Aunt Petunia will tear him apart for going on a date with a guy after he had so viciously proclaimed his heterosexuality. They argued constantly over his sexuality. He was not sure if he was gay, yet she felt that he was. That made him forget about the fact that he had not wanted to go on the date seconds earlier.
The guy seemed to be overwhelmed. He gave a shout of 'yes'. Harry had waited patiently; the guy spoke after he calmed down, considerably. "Um. How about tomorrow night?"
That question struck something inside of Harry. Aunt Petunia had told him, not that he wanted to hear it, that when going on a date, "with or without a guy, one should have control." He looked the guy in the eye, in spite of his insides churning, and spoke. "No good." Though he thought hard, he could not think of an excuse to why tomorrow night was not a good night.
The guy was starting to look around them. Harry's wand hand twitched for the second time. The guy was a wizard, though something was making him trust the guy, who knows whom he stands with in this war. Harry followed the guy's now smiling gaze. It was directed at the group of guys a few houses down that Harry had noticed earlier today. The guy saw Harry watching him and was suddenly nervous again.
"How about Friday." Something fishy is going on.
"Sure." Harry gave a seductive smile. Something as definitely going on and he was going to get to the bottom of it.
"Eight o'clock?" He placed his hand over Harry's. Harry nodded. "So Friday, eight o'clock?"
Harry quickly skimmed through his memory of anything important happening Friday night. He was going to do some reading, the teachers really did not assign any work for them over the summer, only to be prepared for the next term. And Friday nights were the only time Harry could get a break from the world of house managing. It could be a good experience. I'll give it a go.
"Fine." He straightened his back and tilted his head to the side, letting all of his hair cover one side of his face. It was derived from a look that Aunt Petunia had taught him. He had to customize it. It was a look that showed his seductive and alluring side, and a look that showed his dangerous side. The guy leaned forward as if to kiss Harry. With speed and grace, Harry avoided the kiss and began heading towards the house. For some reason, he felt that he was forgetting something, yet his stomach would not allow him to turn back to face the guy. The guy. Shit, I forgot his name, way to go Potter!
"Wait, don't I get a kiss?" And just like that, Harry was not so fond of the guy. He grabbed Harry's hand and Harry turned around.
"I'm not easy, you'll have to work up the balls and get the kiss out of me." The guy was taken aback. "Besides, I don't even know your name." Harry said with a cold tint in his voice.
"Kevin. Kevin Peterson." He brought Harry's hands up to his lips and kissed it. The ache in his stomach exploded into a million butterflies. And the guy hand done so without even the tiniest of blushes.
"Kevin, you've earned yourself your first point in my book. And the kiss was great and would have been better if I had not used that hand to plant weed-killer in the backyard." Kevin spit into Harry's flowerbed. "Not in my flowers! Not the sidewalk! Not the grass either- oh just skip it!" Harry said as Kevin went back to spitting into the flowers.
"I'm sorry." Kevin said apologetically.
"It's all right. I guess I won't have to worry about planting weed-killer in this part of the yard." Harry said sarcastically. Harry suddenly closed that distance between the two of them and placed his mouth close to Kevin's. As close as he could get without touching. "Call me." He blew a kiss to Kevin from the close proximity that they were in and swiftly dashed into the house. The fluttering in his stomach increased ten-fold.
He closed the door and he dropped the tools he had in his hands immediately upon entry. He sighed and rested up against the door as the events of the day caught up with him. He was slightly relaxed and thus completely startled when someone spoke from the livingroom.
"Great act my young padawan. Taught you well, I have." Aunt Petunia said with a smile. Harry rolled his eyes, ever since they saw that Star Wars movie, she had been speaking like Master Yoda. "And I was right," She continued, "You are gay."
"I'm exploring new boundaries." She snorted in disbelief. Harry tried another line in vain. "I'm… fishing the sea." Harry heard her mumble something along the lines of 'a sea of men'. A sea of men, naked and… Harry shook his head and Aunt Petunia smirked in an all-knowing way. "Seriously, I'm only going on a date with him to see what it's like. I've had a horrid date with a girl named-."
"And you just had a great kiss with the 'bronzed-god'. I swear I've never seen so much tongue in my life!" She brought her hand to her eyes.
Harry blushed crimson. "His name is Pete. And how did you see us kissing- never mind- how did you see the tongue?"
She held up a pair of binoculars. "Every self-respecting housewife has a pair in her livingroom and one hanging in the kitchen." She paused and gave Harry her 'I want to ask you something' look. "I also saw that scene with the redhead in front of Mrs. Weiss' house?"
She approached him and tentatively touched his face. There was the dull ache but nothing serious.
"That's going to leave a mark." She said with that motherly disapproval.
"Don't worry, he didn't mean it." Harry said with a final tone in his voice but with some uncertainty.
"You don't sound as if you believe your own words, so why should I?" With one last scornful look at that mark on his face she cheered up considerably. "Come on, let's talk about what to do on your date. This should be fun. I've always wanted to have a girl-to-girl talk with a daughter, but a gay nephew is close enough." She clapped her hands together, the binoculars swinging around wildly.
"I'm not gay!"
"You're gay!" She said with conviction as Harry began picking up his gardening tools that were scattered across the floor. Careful to avoid all blades, he placed the tools in the shirt and started to carry them into the kitchen. His aunt blocked the entrance.
"No entrance until you admit it." She said stubbornly.
Oh not again! Harry remembered the first time she did that. Instead it was the bathroom, not the kitchen, and Harry had to use the toilet. He had almost wet himself, which was the only reason why she had let him through that time. "Must we go through this again?"
"YES! For heavens sake, you're going on a date with a guy."
"So." Harry said nervously. She had him, he knew it and she knew that he knew it.
" 'So', you're a guy. You're a guy going on a romantic date with another guy. Therefore, you're homosexual. Admit it, you're gay!" She said briskly.
"No, I'm 'exploring'."
She gave a shout of disbelief. "Fine. Be stubborn as long as you like." She slid effortlessly into her dramatic tone. "But one day you're going to make a mistake, and I will be there to shout it to the world, 'I TOLD YOU SO'." Harry had to hide his amusement. If there were only one person alive who could turn an argument into an acting debut, that person would be his aunt. She suddenly dropped her act. "Go clean up and help me with dinner." She eyed his use of the shirt with disdain. But he was doing his own laundry so she did not have anything to complain about.
Harry placed the tools at her feet and bowed to her before he made his way up the steps.
After a quick shower, Harry was the fastest 'shower-er' in the house, he made his way down the stairs to the first floor in an only towel. He could hear his aunt in the kitchen, cooking. He hoped she stayed there. The last time Harry had been caught in only a towel, she made him wear it for the rest of the day. Luckily for him, Uncle Vernon and Dudley were out. Unluckily for him, Aunt Petunia was holding a Book Club reading that night. Ten middle-aged ladies… Harry shuddered as he remembered having to bend over slightly to serve tea.
He tiptoed as quietly as he could. He was almost to the door that lead to the basement when-
Harry heard the scurrying of feet. There was a gasp and he sighed. His aunt stared at him from the kitchen. Her left eye twitched noticeably. She slowly stepped out of the kitchen.
"I'll get it."
"You'd better." Harry watched her fly back into the kitchen.
He opened the door. There stood Kevin. He was in mid-knock.
With his hand still out stretched, he blushed when he noticed Harry's lack of apparel. "I-I…" Harry waited as he tried to get his sentence together. Harry tried not to smile as he noticed the effect he had on Kevin.
"I-I forgot… your number…" Harry turned and searched for a pen a piece of paper in the drawer of the telephone stand. Aunt Petunia was very meticulous when it came to taking messages. When he found it, he scribbled the number on it quickly and handed it to Kevin. The butterflies were coming back to him.
"Can I-." He started to ask a question leaning toward Harry.
Harry turned his head. "I don't know can you?" He closed the door slowly. He saw Kevin smile challengingly. And he returned the smile. Harry ran to the basement door. Five minutes later, a fully dressed Harry was in the kitchen helping Aunt Petunia with dinner.
"So…" His aunt said from the stove.
"Don't even think about saying anything!"
She paid no attention to his statement. "I've never seen you so flushed."
"We are not having this discussion!" Harry said appalled.
She let him take over the stove as she went to the salad. "I'm just saying! You seem a little hypocritical to me-."
"YES, I am indecisive. But I told you I'm-."
" 'Exploring'. Yes, you've made that point already. But have you ever gave into the slight notion that you might be gay." She said glancing nervously at the clock above the door.
Harry flipped the steaks. "I don't remember you giving Dudley these speeches. He was the one with the tapes." He said angrily.
Aunt Petunia did not respond. She continued to slice the lettuce. Harry was sure he heard her murmur 'he will pay for that'. He was not paying that much attention though. It was six o'clock. Harry stirred the mashed-potatoes for the final time before he served it onto the plate. Next came the steaks. When he went for the vegetables, he heard a car pull into the driveway.
He looked to his aunt. "What's the genre for tonight?" He quickly finished up with the vegetables. Every time she had that vengeful look on her face, which Harry had only witnessed twice before, she was planning something dramatic. She began to reply, but the sound of car-doors shutting caused her to halt. She gave him her 'just follow my lead' look.
As soon as the front door was unlocked and opened, Aunt Petunia started superficially hyperventilating.
"How dare you defile this house, even more so, with your depravity! You just wait untill Vernon gets home." Harry could not help but once more marvel her acting skills. Though he wondered where she was headed with this.
A little improvisation could not hurt him. "What are you talking about?" Harry tried to sound angry.
His aunt gave him a harsh look. "Don't you dare take that tone with me, I saw you two in the basement. Like Marge's dogs in heat!" Harry still had no idea where she was heading with this. More improvisation, he thought.
"We weren't doing anything!" Uncle Vernon and Dudley entered into the kitchen like two walruses in clothing. Aunt Petunia's attention snapped to them.
She shot Harry one of her old smug looks. Though she was still breathing as though she had just run a marathon, she managed to have that victimized look.
"Petunia flower, what's the matter?" Uncle Vernon glared and took a few steps towards Harry. "What did you do boy?" In a few seconds, despite of his obesity, he had crossed the distance between them quite quickly.
Aunt Petunia answered for Harry in her hysterical voice. "I came in from telling the moving men where to put the garden equipment that we bought, which he signed for but left me to handle." Uncle Vernon growled at Harry. "I was just coming through the door when I heard a noise from the basement." Harry was beginning to see where she was going with this and he was not sure if he liked it. Like a murder witness at trail, pointing to the murderer, Aunt Petunia pointed to him. Harry forced himself to pale.
If she could play this game, so could he. Harry began shrinking away from his momentarily motionless uncle. Aunt Petunia took a dramatically enhanced breath, one Harry suspected, was taken to stall them and to give her time to think through her story, after a moment she continued. "At first, I thought the boy was doing some of his weird things. Then I heard it again. I realized what it was, something no one in this house had heard in a long time, a feminine moan." Heads snapped towards Harry and he put on a scared and guilty mask to hide his laughter.
Aunt Petunia had the most interesting ways of bringing out the faults in Dudley and Uncle Vernon, but the way in which she tells them are hilarious. She would always make desperate sounding jokes about and Uncle Vernon's sex life, she claimed that she missed it; both she and Harry knew she "detested sex with Vernon in general". She had told Harry that herself once. She just would not go into details. Which had Harry wondering why the milkman was on speed-dial.
Dudley was a parody all together. They could not go a day without denouncing or doing something to him or his things, discreetly of course.
"What have you been doing in my house boy?" Uncle Vernon yelled. Harry resisted the urge to shudder and wiped the spit off his face. His uncle grabbed a fistful of his shirt and pulled him closer. Harry saw a flash of worry cross his aunt's face.
She may have been concerned but she still continued. "She was," Her volume increased, "one of his kind." She looked towards the window. "She was twice his age."
Harry quickly picked up after her. "She's a teacher from Hog- my school. She was just checking on me."
Aunt Petunia snorted with indignity. "With her tongue down your throat! What do you take us for!" Her eyes bulged. Harry knew that as a sign that meant that she wanted his attention. Her eyes flickered over to Dudley. It took a moment for Harry to realize Dudley's significance in their little act.
"We weren't doing anything. If anything, you should be checking on Dudley not me." Uncle Vernon grabbed another fistful of his shirt.
"Don't you dare bring Dudley into this. He had nothing to do with your… abominations." Dudley looked worried as Harry smirked.
"When was the last time you checked Dudley's drawers or under his bed?" Harry asked boldly and loudly. Aunt Petunia paled and seconds later went slack into a chair with a gasp.
Uncle Vernon let go of Harry and was at Aunt Petunia's side in a flash. "Petunia flower, are you all right. Are you too exhausted from yelling at the boy?" He threw Harry an acrid glare. Aunt Petunia paid no attention to Uncle Vernon but focused unwaveringly on Dudley.
"Those tapes. Those tapes." She murmured to herself. Dudley's pig-like eyes widened nervously. She gazed at him still.
"What tapes, my flower?" Aunt Petunia jumped at the sound of her husband's voice. Harry resisted the urge to laugh at her dramatization.
"Gay porn, under the boy's bed" She whispered. Uncle Vernon toppled out of his seat. As soon as he righted himself, he lunged at Harry. Harry turned his head and prepared to be smacked. When the smack did not come he opened his eyes and saw his aunt pulling Uncle Vernon back with one hand.
"Let me get the boy!" He growled but Harry saw that he was not putting up much of a physical fight against Aunt Petunia.
Aunt Petunia did not speak for a moment. "Let me tell you what I saw first." Uncle Vernon did not calm down and Harry was beginning to worry that Uncle Vernon was going to overpower Aunt Petunia and pummel him. "I watched him cut the movie on and then go to sleep without watching it." She spoke in a quiet and oddly tamed voice. "I asked him about it later that day and he said that the sleep-enhancing tapes were from Dudley, and that they were Dudley's idea."
"And you believed him!" Uncle Vernon asked with pure shock.
"No!" She exclaimed with a tinge of disgust in her tone. "But Dudley told me that Harry was doing something in the basement. Dudley knew about it."
"You still believed him over your own flesh and blood!" Uncle Vernon sound outraged. Harry was preparing to remind his uncle that he was Aunt Petunia's flesh and blood as well, but Aunt Petunia spoke as if sensing what he was about to say.
"After I sent the boy outside, the doorbell rung. It was the father of one Dudley's friends." Harry did not remember that occurring. Aunt Petunia would not lie about this, it could be brought up to her disadvantage, she only did variations of the truth. She gave Harry a look, her 'I'll tell you about it later' look. "He ranted about some unholy tape that was given to his son by ours. He called us unfit parents and kept yelling about us keeping our 'depraved and hell-bound son' away from his. I didn't know what to do. He threw the tape to the ground, smashing it. I saw the tape's label and knew." Dudley paled instantly.
"H-Harry forced me, he waved his thing at me." Harry smiled and ignored Uncle Vernon's reaction. Dudley had chosen his words wisely but they were in Harry's favor.
"I'm not allowed to even draw my wand at a muggle, let alone do magic." Uncle Vernon did not believe him and was steaming like a bull in front of a red-colored, moving wall.
The corners of Dudley's mouth twitched. "He said if I didn't give it to Piers, he would do things to me." He chose his words wisely once more. This time it had the desired effect on Uncle Vernon. Harry saw something snap in Uncle Vernon as he charged. He soon had his hands around Harry's neck, cutting off Harry's air supply.
Aunt Petunia was on her feet attempting to stop him. Harry felt as though his lungs were going to collapse. "Vernon, his friends." He let go and Harry gasped for air.
"I had nothing to do with that," Harry gasped. "I didn't even know the tapes were that kind of tapes."
"Liar! Who knows what they teach you at that freak school of yours."
Harry massaged his neck. Why is everyone manhandling me today? First Bill, now Uncle Vernon. "We aren't allowed electronics in or even around our school. There are wards to prevent such." Suddenly, Aunt Petunia got up and left the kitchen.
Was she crazy? She can't leave me with these two maniacs!Harry felt like a mouse trapped between two fat, ravenous cats.
She soon returned but with a medium-sized posting-box in hand. She handed the box to Uncle Vernon. "It came in the mail a few days ago, it's signed to and by a 'Dudley Dursley'. It came the day before that man came. I thought it was the boy's fault just like you did, but it is too much evidence and too many coincidences pointing in one area." Dudley paled and Uncle Vernon gave Harry a glance full of disbelief.
"He made me do it, I swear it."
Aunt Petunia's left eye twitched. Oh that's not a good sign. Poor Dudley, Harry thought happily.
Uncle Vernon, who had put some distance between he and Harry after Aunt Petunia's warning, was back in Harry's face. "So you bring this filth into this house with Dudley's name on it, so when we found out, we would blame Dudley-."
"He couldn't." Aunt Petunia said to him softly. "You need a valid I.D. for that. He and Dudley look nothing alike. And he has no money, unless we give it to him. Dudley, however, works with you at Grunnings and gets his own money. And we gave Dudley a credit card, not him. The shipment of this needed both a valid I.D. and a credit card. I didn't think much about it before, but now everything seems to fall into place." Uncle Vernon seemed incredulous for a moment but then turned to her.
"So what does this mean?" She gave him a look that clearly said 'you know what I mean, don't play dumb'.
"Besides, I'm not…" Harry started. Aunt Petunia gave him a real, bone-chilly glare.
Uncle Vernon advanced upon him, brandishing a fist. "And Dudley is?" He asked threateningly. Dudley watched the scene with anticipation and definite anxiety. Uncle Vernon was definitely pissed about not having anything to blame on Harry.
He is in definite denial.
"Well…" Harry said. He saw resignation and fatigue dawn upon his uncle.
"Take your dinner and go to your room." He said staring at the table. Harry did not know to whom he was talking to but he took his plate and placed it in the warm oven before heading out the back door with his garden tools in hand. He was just closing the door when Uncle Vernon spoke again.
"Dudley, that means you too." He said in his 'Boy' tone. Harry paused. He had never heard him use the tone on Dudley. Dudley and Aunt Petunia looked surprised as well. Aunt Petunia had a satisfied look on her face that Harry enjoyed seeing. Dudley, however, did not seem to understand what his father was saying.
"Excuse me?" Dudley asked bluntly. Aunt Petunia gave Harry a small smile.
Uncle Vernon looked from Dudley to Harry. "Boy, close the door when you leave." Harry left immediately afterwards, closing the door like he was asked to do. He paused for a moment, preparing to eavesdrop but decided against it. Aunt Petunia was likely to tell him what happened anyway.
He made his way to the shed. When Harry started on his cleaning spree, Uncle Vernon had said something about not trusting Harry near his good equipment, so he put all of the good tools in the garage. He left Harry a shed full of rusty, hard to use, and out-of-date tools. Uncle Vernon made sure he kept all other tools under lock and key.
He passed the pillars and statues for the garden on his way back. "Maybe I should have kept Pete's number." He said aloud as he tried picking up one of the pillars.
Those things are really heavy! The pillar was roughly his height; it probably weighed three-times as much as he did! How on earth did they lift five of them, when he could not even lift one?
"Oh, I should've definitely kept his number." He said before trying once more to lift the statues.
"I'm still warning you against it." Harry almost dropped the statue on his foot as he jumped in surprise.
"I wish you would stop sneaking up on me, Bill."
He turned and saw Bill watching him innocently from the path that lead to the front of the house.
"Want some help?" Bill offered.
"Yeah, did you by chance happen to see a small slip of paper in front of the house. And, by chance, do you have a cell phone so I can call Pete?" Bill's eyes narrowed and he turned away walking towards the street. Harry, laughing slightly, ran to catch him. "Come on Bill, you know I was kidding. Anyway, since when have you been interested in my sex life, we barely know each other." Bill turned and faced him; his face was extremely red. Harry was not sure whether it was from anger or embarrassment.
"See you in a week, Harry." He said stiffly, going as if to walk off.
"Wait, you told me three weeks." He eyed Bill suspiciously.
"Oh yeah, well, see you then." He promptly disappeared afterwards.
Harry was trying to figure out what was wrong with Bill as he headed into the house through the kitchen door. He stopped when he saw a red-faced uncle and an erratic breathing aunt. Harry hoped they did not notice his arrival as he quietly closed the door.
"Boy," Harry jumped and his heart began pounding against his ribs, "What did Dudley call the tapes when he gave them to you." Harry could smell the hidden agenda behind the words almost immediately. Uncle Vernon was trying to make him make a slipup.
" 'Hypnotic insomnia-curing programs'," Harry said in a tired voice, the day was beginning to catch up with him.
"And you did not see anything odd about that?" He asked incredulous.
Aunt Petunia's glare intensified on Uncle Vernon. "Where are you going with this?" She asked with a tinge of threat in her voice.
"If the boy was keeping Dudley's problem a secret, he should be punished as well."
"Don't divert your lack of parenting skills onto the boy." She gave Harry a look that he knew even without it being labeled. He rushed to the stove, retrieved his dinner from the oven, and headed out of the kitchen.
" 'Lack of parenting skills' who's the one who pampered Dudley obsessively. It's your fault he's- he's what he is."
"Oh really. This is your fault for chastising the boy for things that Dudley had obviously done."
Uncle Vernon was growing louder by the second and Harry just tiptoed by. "What does that have to do with anything?"
"How do you think he was almost able to get away with it? You immediately blame Harry without addressing what Dudley did. You let him get away with everything and now look what happened."
Harry closed the kitchen door to the hallway. Their voices were muffled but still loud. Harry made his way towards the basement nibbling on the steak. The phone ringing turned his direction. When no one went to answer it, Harry did.
"Dursley residence." He said automatically.
"Harry, is that you?" That voice…
"Kevin?" Harry heard him clearing his throat to cover something in the background.
"Hi, it's Kevin."
"Yes, we've already established that point."
"Oh, yeah." He paused and spoke again. "I was wondering if I could come over tomorrow?" That is weird, Harry thought.
"Well, sure. But I won't have much time to sit and talk, I have things to build." There's the excuse I was looking for. "I've got to put together the centerpiece in the garden." Harry heard yelling in the background before Kevin cleared his throat again.
"That's fine, I could help you. Hold on Harry." Harry was not given any time to reply before Kevin was gone. Harry heard a little bustling through the receiver before someone picked up.
"Um, hello?" A younger male voice spoke.
Harry was a little confused. "Uh, hi?"
"Oh you're Harry Potter, aren't you?" Must be one of Kevin's siblings.
"Yes, I am."
He had barely finished his answer when the guy spoke again. "Is it true that you killed a million year-old snake at your school with your bare hands?" The question was asked in such innocence that Harry had to answer.
"It was a Basilisk. It could have only been a thousand years-old. And I had plenty of help fighting it." Harry said honestly. It was the first time he discussed something like that with someone other than Ron and Hermione. But still, he did not mind the interrogation at all.
"That's not what I read. In the book…" Harry had a feeling that was going to come up.
"Authors sometime exaggerate points, making things seem more extreme than they really are just to sell their books."
"So you really didn't-." There was another bustle on the phone.
"I'm still here." Harry said with a smile. He liked whoever the kid had been.
"Sorry about that, I had to do something. I hope my brother wasn't bothering you."
"Oh no, he actually enlightened me." Harry heard a small gasp from Kevin. "Kevin is everything all right."
"Everything is fine. SO, I'll see you tomorrow?"
There was a pause; neither of them knew what to say to the other.
"Uh, well, see ya." Kevin hung up quickly.
"See you, later." Harry said softly, hanging up the phone.
This has been one hell of a day, he thought. He headed towards the basement in a trance. Before he knew it he was sitting on his bed watching one of Dudley's movies and eating his dinner. The door was locked and the sound was down. It could not hurt him now, and he really was interested in what was on the tapes. It was relaxing to him, even when he was awake. The events of the day left him and the only images floated through his mind were those replicating, fantasizing along the lines of what was on the screen.
The tape was almost over and he was thoroughly enthralled by it when he heard his door being unlocked from the opposite side. He immediately turned the movie and the television off before pulling his blanket off the bed and onto the floor where he was. Just in case he needed to hide his reaction to the movie. His wand was in his hand just in case.
The door opened and then closed softly. Harry knew it was not his aunt or his uncle. Both had very distinctive mannerisms that subconsciously alerted Harry of their presence, Dudley as well, but his aunt and his uncle were the only one with keys. Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon turn the lights on before descending into the basement. If only he had left his lights on, he could see the intruder!
"Harry." Someone called out softly.
Harry knew the voice immediately. "Kevin? What in the bloody hell are you doing here?" Harry mentally chastised himself for watching that movie; he had a reaction to it. Harry made sure the blanket covered him from the waist down.
"I'm sorry for sneaking in on you but we didn't know where else to go."
Harry's head was beginning to hurt. "We?"
"My brother and I." Harry saw the outline of another, smaller, person on the stairs. The lights cut on and Harry saw a younger version of Kevin descended the stairs shyly followed by Kevin. There was something shimmering in the boy's hand. An invisibility cloak.
Like brother, like… brother, Harry thought as he noticed the boy's rather flamboyant clothing. Kevin still wore the clothes Harry had saw him in earlier that day. The clothes seemed a little ruffled and Kevin and his brother seemed cautious in their descent down the stairs.
"What's wrong?" Harry said trying to keep his voice proficient. His reaction was gone and he was able to stand up now. Kevin had a bruise under his eye. What the hell is going on? Why on earth are they here, what happened? Was this a trick?
"How-," Harry cleared his mind of most previous thoughts. Harry changed his motives immediately. Harry did not like others in his business so why should Kevin? He turned his attention to the little boy who was staring fixated at everything in Harry's room, including Harry. "And what's your name?" He asked blithely.
"I'm Eric. Nice to meet you." Harry did a quick check of his room. It was too clean with one or two things out of order. It was a pretty big basement. He had a bookshelf to hold all of his books from the past five years and the ones for this years; Dumbledore had sent his sixth-year schoolbooks already. Six years of books and notes were not at all going to fit in his truck unless it was magically expanded. But that was out of the question, for now. Though there weren't that many notes.
The floor was carpeted and the ceiling, plastered to hide all of the pipes. Uncle Vernon was worried about him breaking a pipe and causing a disaster. The walls were painted a dark blue, to match the color of the basement carpet. The ceiling's plastering and the new furniture were the only additions to the basement; it had already been painted and carpeted a few years back.
It was good enough for more than one person to live there comfortably. Though, Harry hoped that there would be only one person living there.
Harry took the tape out of the VCR and put it into his truck with the others before closing and locking it. "Eric, why don't you try to find something good to watch on television while your brother and me have a small chat." Eric nodded excitedly and seated himself on Harry's blanket. As he picked up the remote and began flipping through cable channels, Harry gestured Kevin over to the other side of the basement where a medic-kit was kept.
Aunt Petunia said that his mother left it for her but that Harry could have it. He pushed Kevin into one of the chairs before applying some magical healing ointment under his eye. Kevin sucked in a breath and jumped.
Harry's previous thoughts came back to him in a rush. And it all led up to one question, why can't I have a moment of rest. "Will you tell me what is going on?" Harry said seriously. He noticed the quietness of the house and the individuals above him. The television was low and Eric was enthralled with a slightly pornographic night show from America, Harry was going to interfere but Kevin began to speak.
"M-My dad, he's a- he's homophobic and-."
"No need to continue." Harry said softly. He continued to dress Kevin's eye and massaging the unusually red areas of his face.
"Oh …" Kevin moaned. Harry smiled softly as Eric turned to face them. Harry blushed slightly at the curious look Eric was giving them. Kevin ceased with his moaning. "He got drunk and we got into an argument… I-I couldn't leave my little brother with him." He said softly.
"How old is Eric?" Harry asked trying to draw Kevin's attention away from his dad.
"He's nine. It's hard for me to believe it though; he acts older than his years. He's eleven to me. Just get into a conversation with him." He said with a proud smile. Harry smiled too, remembering his conversation with Eric. "I can't wait until he's old enough to begin training as a wizard."
"Where do you go to school? I think I would remember you if you were from Hogwarts." Harry said holding a piece of magical cloth over the ointment.
"We're home-schooled by our mom."
They descended into an awkward silence. "Why would you come here, not that I'm saying you have to leave, I'm just a bit curious?"
"Where else can I go? And I did say I would be over tomorrow, which is today." He pointed to the clock; it showed ten pass twelve.
"Yeah, yeah you did." Harry went back to massaging Kevin's face. He could not help but notice the reaction Kevin was having to his touch, it was killing Harry inside. He forced his mind away from the thoughts of Kevin that came rushing into his mind. "Why didn't you go to your mom's?" Harry asked facing Kevin. They were very close with Harry bent over, his face in Kevin's face. He examined the eye closely, ignoring his inner more sensual thoughts.
Another thing running through his head was slightly selfish but completely human. He could not help but feel that his space was being intruded upon. He could refuse but something with strong hold over his heart and mind would not allow it, feeding him with thoughts of feeling horrid about putting the two out. Sending them back to an 'Uncle Vernon'- Harry shuddered.
Kevin looked at him with fear in his eyes, for a moment Harry thought Kevin knew what was going through his mind. "Are you all right? Are you cold, do you need to sit?"
"I'm fine-." Harry said becoming a little embarrassed as Kevin soon had forgotten about his own problem and was fretting over him.
"No you're not, you were shaking," He said getting up, "What's wrong?"
Harry was getting abashed and irritated. "Nothing! Sit!" Immediately Kevin sat in his seat. I can get use to that, he thought. "I'm fine," Kevin prepared to object, "but I'm curious as to why you did not go to your mom's or your friends. You seem to have plenty of them and they seem to be quite tight with you."
"My mom has her own family to take care of," At Harry's puzzled look he quickly added, "our parents are divorced."
"And your friends?"
"Those so-called friends are only with me because I attract attention." Harry's eyebrows raised questioning. "The attention of the opposite sex. Are you trying to get rid of me?" He said while changing the topic of their conversation quite abruptly. "Cause if you are, I don't think I can leave after having you this close to me." Harry felt as if he should be blushing but something was stopping the blush, it was odd and puzzling. He was confounded for a few moments but regained his standing quickly enough.
"I don't see how you can be gay with all of the feminine attention." Kevin looked shocked by Harry's levelness. He leveled his gaze at Harry.
"I'm shy." He said honestly. "I did not want their attention and it took them some time to realize it and the guys to take advantage of it."
"Really." Harry said while applying a second layer of medicinal paste onto Kevin's face and began massaging it in. Kevin moaned softly against his hands.
"I know girls flock to you. And you're gay." Kevin said.
"Girls don't flock to me, reporters do-," Kevin laughed, "And I'm not gay." Harry said proudly. He was shocked when Kevin froze in shock and then started laughing again.
"You don't read the tabloids much, do you?" Harry shook his head. What did the tabloids have to do with his sexuality. His mind froze and he was caught off-guard as Kevin suddenly pulled him into his lap.
Harry's immediate thought was to get up, yet something inside of him kept him down in Kevin's lap, almost against his will. "What are you doing?" He said not moving a muscle, not that he could move a muscle.
"I'm testing you. A straight guy would not just sit in my lap in the way you are." He spoke sensually, giving Harry a kiss on the neck. "You wouldn't allow me to do any of this." His voice deepened and lowered as he finished his sentence. Harry watched in awe and with a little excitement as Kevin wrapped his arms around him and lowered his lips to the area, a very tender area, under Harry's chin. After a few moments of this pleasurable torture, Kevin kissed him on the mouth.
"Get a room you two." Harry pulled away from Kevin and shot Eric a smile.
"We have a room already." Kevin said. He turned to Harry to continue the session.
Though he wanted to continue the session, something came over him and he was suddenly filled with limitations. He and Kevin just meet, and already he was moving in. "Where am I going to put you two?" He asked looking around. "Eric, there is a sleeping-bag under my bed. Kevin, you can have the bed." Harry said.
"Thanks Harry." Kevin asked taking off his shoes. He looked around. "And where are you going to sleep?"
Harry avoided Kevin's face for a reason unknown to even him, he picked up the medicinal equipment and replied in a steady voice. "I can start on my garden renovation work. I've got security watching me."
Kevin stared at him briskly. "No."
"I said no. You will not be working in the middle of the night." Harry was stunned at his temerity. "And that's some security, we got here under an invisibility cloak." He said as if to evoke something out of Harry. Harry remembered the shimmery object he saw earlier in Eric's hands. But Harry was not surprised, the only person to Harry's understanding that had the ability to see through invisibility cloaks was Mad-Eye Moody and he had the morning shift. Harry had met him on one of his terrible weekly runs. Dumbledore could as well but he did not count being as he was not on guard duty, to Harry's knowledge.
"Why don't you both take the bed?" Eric asked. Harry felt a blush rising onto his cheeks without any resistance from his mind, something that he was now expecting.
Kevin was glaring at his completely innocent looking brother. Eric looked expectantly to Kevin for an answer, judging by Kevin's stunned demeanor Harry knew there would be no answer coming from him.
"W-When you get older, your body responds more quickly to things. And it's hard to control yourself." Harry said with a straight face as Kevin's face went red.
"You mean like desire taken to the next level." Eric asked. Harry's eyes widened. "That's what our mom calls it." Harry heard Kevin mutter under his breath, "Told her not to give him the sex-talk." Harry tried not to laugh.
"I prefer the word 'impulse' Harry said gaining control of himself. "But your meaning is good too." Harry said taking off his shirt. Kevin gasped and soon blushed.
"For heavens sake, grow up Kevin!" Eric said unrolling his sleeping bag. Harry picked up the blanket. "What's this?" Eric asked suddenly, he held up a videocassette cover. Harry swore inwardly as Kevin reached Eric before he did.
"Harry, you dog you." Harry rolled his eyes as Kevin held up the cover to a tape specifically the tape Harry had just got through watching. Kevin took off his shirt and his pants before jumping into Harry's bed.
(A friend and I completed this but it was very explicit and was very extreme on sexual content, so I had to cut it. It's the next chapter, if you don't want to read it, skip to the third chapter. As to the briefness of Bill in this chapter and the repetition of Kevin, you'll have to read on.)