Title: Plein Air for Two
Author: Eloise Lovelace
Pairings: Percy Weasley/Oliver Wood, Remus Lupin/Sirius Black.
Non-explicit background pairings: Ron/Hermione, long ago canon-level Percy/Penelope Clearwater and a brief reference to Percy/Tom Riddle's diary. (There, I think I've probably just offended everyone's sensibilities in some way or another.)
Summary: Percy just wants to do his job, not another guy... at least until the portraits of Messrs. Padfoot and Moony honeymoon in his office. A tale of one man's badly faltering denial, set twenty years post-war.
Rating: hard R, mostly for sex but also for naughty language (Percy says "tarnation!" and Oliver says worse).
Warnings: humor/fluff, consisting chiefly of fluff. Contains portrait sex, sex al fresco, use of chocolate in the bedroom (or on the beach as the case may be), and obviously voyeurism as well as non-portrait awkward first-time sex.
Length: 16,750 words - short enough to still be a novelette, but long enough to get the error message, "This file is too big for Notepad to open. Would you like to use Wordpad to open this file?"
Disclaimer: Although Harry Potter himself does not appear in any part of this story, most of the characters contained herein are from the Harry Potter series. They are owned by J. K. Rowling, whose seventh book is extremely unlikely to be called "Poncy Percy and the Extremely Gay Sport of Quidditch". All characters used without permission and without intent to profit.
Author's notes: This is a sequel to a short little ficlet Trompe l'oeil for two. The underlying premise makes marginally more sense if you read that first.
Dedication: To Imogene, beta and muse, for the encouragement to make forays into writing smut, even if it is Percy/Oliver and chockablock with various romance-novel tropes. Thanks also to snakelights for the original comment that spawned this fic!
Explanation of the wanky pretentious title: No, that's not a typo. Literally French for "open air", plein air is a painting technique of working outdoors, and also refers to the outdoor scenes made by such a technique (think French impressionists and their fixation with light and ambiance).
The Minister of Magic ducked out of her office, a quill stuck behind her ear, started to bid her assistant farewell, then turned about and returned to her office, muttering something about the signatures for the House Elf Rights bill.
This would not be at all unusual if it weren't for the fact that Hermione had been "just on her way out" repeating variations on this ritual for the past three hours, totally ignoring the fact that her water had broken and she was well in the throes of labor, and not in the sense of the political party, either.
Percy was beginning to worry seriously that the baby on the way might succeed in actually in making its way out before Hermione did.
When his boss left her office for what must have been the hundredth time that morning, Percy said exactly what he'd said during the first ninety-nine: "Really, Hermione, you should go," hoping against reason that repetition might be what it took to penetrate that bushy mass of hair. He couldn't help the note of hysteria that was beginning to creep into his voice, because he was squeamish and often grew ill at the sight of blood.
Percy felt very strongly that the most bloody of his occupational hazards should be paper cuts, not a dealing with a woman pushing a large baby through what he suspected was a very much smaller opening. Percy didn't have vast experience with women's anatomy, being more of a career man who really didn't have time for that sort of thing, but he wasn't really very reassured by the fact that Hermione had done this three times before and lived.
He was very fond of the carpet in this room, it being not only the vestibule to Hermione's office but also his office, and he really wanted to continue being fond of it for years to come. Even ignoring the matter of bloodstains, Ron would kill him if Hermione didn't leave soon.
"But I've forgotten to label the file on the Higginbotham Hippogriff Protection case for you..." Hermione trailed off and was drawn to the door of her office by some invisible force.
Percy grabbed her to keep her from succumbing to the moth-like impulse to fling herself back on her desk. "Hermione, it'll be fine. The instructions you left are impeccable. And you, you are having contractions, and they are just minutes apart now."
Hermione looked a bit crazed as she protested, "But the files, they're not cross referenced... they're not even alphabetized!" Percy knew this was because her due date wasn't for another three days, and she had been counting on those three days to organize things.
"I promise I'll floo call if anything substantive comes up, but I'm sure the press will be far too busy covering your happy event for the next couple of weeks for there to be much of a scandal about anything else."
Hermione sighed in agreement, but Percy didn't miss the longing glance she shot at her desk.
"Your happy event that will become a scandal by virtue of taking place in this very office if you don't go NOW," Percy dourly added.
Hermione inched towards the right door this time, the one that held the exit into the hallway, when she turned around.
"One last thing, Percy," Hermione said, sounding reluctant.
Percy snorted. He would believe it when he saw her leaving in the Ministry car. (Under these circumstances, floo was far too dizzying, and apparition was very ill-advised given the risk of splinching the baby.)
"I gave some portraits back at Hogwarts permission to use the painting over my desk. I know you'll be working mostly in my office and I just thought you should know."
Percy was so busy squiring her out the door that he didn't see her slightly guilty look.
"Yes, yes, Hermione, I'm quite sure that I won't even notice, now, look, there's your car waiting, hop along. Have a great labor and all that, cheerio!"