Cormac leaned against the wall and watched as person after person stepped through the International Floo Port, but so far none of them had been the git he expected. He sighed for the thirty-fifth time and wondered how he had been roped into such a boring task. Honestly, sometimes he was simply too kind-hearted.

It had been bloody Hermione Granger, of course. Hermione Weasley, he corrected with a frown of annoyance. Why he still carried a torch for her after all these years was anyone's guess. Then again, his attraction had muted into more of a close friendship once she had made it clear—over the course of five long years of working together—that she was madly in love with her annoying husband and had no intention of ever leaving him. At least she had stopped treating him as though he were a sort of incurable fungus.

Regardless of her feelings for him, or lack thereof, Cormac often found himself giving in to her every request, although sometimes he did so only to annoy Ron Weasley. He wryly reflected that Ron's jealousy had most likely kept the fires burning hot and heavy in the Weasley home, contributing to Hermione's happy marriage rather than destroying it.

The Floo flared green again and an older woman staggered out with a massive flowered tote. He vaguely wondered what sort of crap old women carried around with them that required a purse the size of luggage. And where the hell was he?

He nearly pushed away from the wall to pace, but that would have disclosed his agitation and he preferred to appear cool and collected. The pose served him well when Hermione's brother-in-law stepped from the green flames at long last.

Cormac's jaw gaped and for a moment he was certain he had been mistaken. This was not Percy Weasley. He remembered Percy Weasley well from Hogwarts—thin, prissy, disapproving, and self-important. He was a veritable prat and hadn't changed much during his tenure at the Ministry of Magic, looking down his nose at anyone unable to further his career.

Apparently the war had changed him. Hermione had given Cormac sketchy details about the man he was to meet. Percy had quit the Ministry and gone to live with his brother Charlie in Romania. The very thought of Pompous Percy facing a dragon had nearly sent Cormac to the floor with laughter, but this…

Cormac pushed away from the wall and walked forward uncertainly. Perhaps he was confused and this was really Charlie Weasley?

"Percy?" he asked tentatively.

Blue eyes locked onto his and then an easy smile curved the man's lips. "Cormac! How nice to see you again. I hardly recognized you, looking so fit."

Cormac stared at him for a moment longer, hardly able to process the words. It really was Percy Weasley, although one Cormac would never have imagined. This Percy had close-cropped hair and a ready grin. He wore a Muggle t-shirt that displayed more manly curves than Cormac had seen in quite some time, as well as low-slung Muggle jeans. The jeans were held on with a wide leather belt and a carved stone belt buckle threatened to drag the denim down completely and expose…

Cormac blanched when he realized he had just wondered what sort of pants Percy Weasley wore—or if he wore pants at all. He dragged his eyes quickly away from the faint outline of a potentially very nice package and focused on Percy's face, instead. An amused smirk twisted Percy's lips, something that was altogether too seductive for Cormac's comfort. What the hell had Charlie been teaching him?

Cormac swallowed hard, knowing that was a foolish question. Charlie Weasley was known globally as a hard-working, hard-playing sort. It was rumoured that he would sleep with anything that walked on two legs. Perhaps Percy had learned a thing or two from his brother's man-whoring ways?

Percy was still watching him without speaking and Cormac mentally chastised himself for acting like a complete fool. "Right, then. Hermione asked me to escort you to the hotel to freshen up and then take you to the Conference."

"Brilliant," Percy said. "Lead the way, fair guide."

Cormac tried not to blush at the odd compliment. He still could not quite mash his memory of the old Percy Weasley into this muscular, confident man who stood before him. He fumbled in his pocket for the Portkey and thought about kicking himself for fumbling. Cormac McLaggen did not fumble! He was the very picture of glacial cool. He scowled and tried to regain his usual aplomb. "Here we are," he said brusquely and brandished his wand to cast a Tempus Charm with one hand while displaying the small egg-shaped Portkey with the other. "Two minutes to go."

Percy stepped closer. He cupped Cormac's hand and leaned down to take a closer look at the Portkey, which was a simple, boring rock. Percy's breath tickled Cormac's palm and his fingers twitched slightly in reaction. "Jasper, if I'm not mistaken," Percy said.

"You're a geologist now?" Cormac asked, instantly mortified when his voice came out not only unsteady, but several octaves higher than normal. His pulse jumped when Percy's fingers squeezed gently. What the fuck was wrong with him?

It jumped again when the redhead cocked his chin to the side and locked eyes with Cormac before giving him yet another knowing smirk. "I am a lot of things now, Cormac." The pure seduction in his tone sent a jolt straight to Cormac's cock, something that had never happened with a bloke before, not even the vaunted Charlie Weasley. Then again, Charlie had never paid him much mind and he had certainly never held his hand while looking at him as though considering how Cormac would taste.

Before Cormac could reply, there was a lurch and the Portkey yanked them away.

Cormac stared out the window and wondered where the hell his normal personality had gone. By most accounts, he was an utter prat. He had few friends, no lovers willing to stick around longer than a fortnight, and even casual acquaintances didn't seem to like him much. He only admitted to himself that his outward arrogance concealed a bitter sense of loneliness.

He glanced toward the bathroom where the New and Improved Percy Weasley had closeted himself after tersely demanding that Cormac wait for him. "I won't be a minute," Percy had insisted.

Cormac was not allowed to leave, anyway. Hermione had ordered him to take Percy to the Conference, so Cormac would be taking Percy to the Conference. He considered Hermione to be one of a tiny handful of friends and he'd be damned if he would fuck up that relationship.

But Percy Weasley was perplexing, an opinion that was further validated when the man exited the bathroom. The hotel was for wizards, therefore the "shower" was a magical construct of Cleaning, Moisturising, and Massage Charms, completely water-free. Even so, he wore only a towel wrapped around his slender hips, as though just stepping out of a bath.

He grinned at Cormac. "Left my clothes out here." He walked to the rucksack on the bed and hefted it with one muscular arm before sauntering back into the bathroom. Cormac watched him the whole way before turning back to the window with a muttered curse.

He wondered how Percy had gotten the long scar on his right shoulder, the one that trailed down over his back to end near his spine. Dragon tooth? Claws? Something else? And Merlin, what a fine arse. Who would have suspected?

Cormac turned back to the window again and thought about abandoning his post. Percy could find his way to the Conference alone, right? And then Cormac could Apparate to the nearest pub and get utterly smashed for having lustful fantasies about bloody Percy Weasley.

Just about the time Cormac convinced himself that abandonment would be the lesser of two evils, Percy returned from the bathroom fully dressed. The change was startling. For a moment, he almost looked the way he had at Hogwarts—prim and proper and almost arrogant the way he flicked at his sleeve.

And then he lifted his head and smiled at Cormac, flinging the old image out the window once more. "Ready?" he asked.

Cormac nodded, trying not to notice that skinny Percy Weasley had grown into a bloody fine body over the past few years. Broad shoulders, tapered waist, amazing arse, and an incredible pair of legs, all of which were only highlighted by the royal blue dress robes he wore. They were edged in startling white, buttoned up to his throat, and open from the waist down, exposing trousers in the same shade.

Percy walked forward gracefully and put his hand on Cormac's arm. "I don't look like much of a dragon tamer, do I? Should I have worn something more Charlie-esque? Dragonhide trousers, perhaps? A leather vest?"

Cormac shook his head, trying not to picture Percy in either item, and failing miserably. "No," he managed. "Just be yourself. You will probably get more funding this way than dressed like some sort of…"

"Wild man?" Percy prodded.

Cormac nodded again, mouth dry.

Percy laughed. "Well, I've been trying to live up to Charlie's example, but I fear I'm simply not much of a wild man. I'm still more at home in the office than out wrangling the terrifying creatures."

Cormac doubted the truth of that statement. No one walked with the confidence Percy exhibited without some sort of life experience to back it up. Belatedly, he remembered Percy had also fought in the war. He suddenly felt unworthy.

"Come on," he said to cover his increasingly foolish thoughts. He placed his hand over the one gripping his arm—to keep him in place, he told himself—and Apparated them to the International Conference for the Protection of Magical Creatures.

Cormac secreted himself behind a tall potted plant and sipped at his drink while he watched Percy Weasley chat with a handsome delegate from Norway. Was Percy flirting? Did he even like men? He'd had a girlfriend at one time, hadn't he? Prunella, or something. Cormac glared and downed his drink before snatching another from a passing waiter. One good thing about these stupid Ministry events—they always made certain everyone was well-inebriated.

Percy reached out and poked the blond delegate in the chest. The man laughed uproariously and Percy laughed with him, although it seemed forced to Cormac. Percy's eyes drifted across the room and landed on him, seeming to lock in with tangible force. Cormac's heart gave a lurch when Percy looked away, only to nod farewell at the delegate and make his way in Cormac's direction.

Cormac finished his drink in three swallows, welcoming the burn as the alcohol slid down his throat. He admitted that he was quite possibly pissed. Percy looked like sex on legs and Cormac noted with alarm that the top three buttons of his robes were undone. Apparently, Percy had no shirt on beneath the blue robes. Cormac wondered idly if he had no pants on beneath the trousers.

Percy stopped before him and took the empty glass from his hands. "Cormac," he said in a teasing tone. "Hiding behind a plant? For shame. Are you not supposed to be chaperoning me?" He sniffed at the glass and then wrinkled his nose.

Cormac swayed slightly and blinked at him. "Chaperoning you? You seem to be doing just fine without me! Why not go back and chat up Mr Norse God over there?" Cormac waved a hand at the blond, who seemed to be watching Percy with a speculative expression that made Cormac want to walk over and deck him.

Percy glanced over his shoulder and then turned back to Cormac with a grin. His blue eyes seemed to glow. "Sigurd? I certainly wasn't chatting him up. He's far too burly for my type. I like them a bit more… civilized." As he said the last word, Percy's hand reached out and trailed over the lapels of Cormac's rust-coloured robes. They were not dress robes, as he was not an official attendant; he was more like the hired help. "Are you civilized, Cormac?"

"I can be," Cormac said. His voice came out a hoarse rasp. The empty glass floated from Percy's hand and onto a nearby passing tray.

Percy leaned in close, crushing the hand on his lapel between them. "Would you like another drink, Cory, or would you prefer something else in your hand?"

Cormac felt almost faint at the question. He licked his lips, unable to form words, and saw Percy's eyes fixate on the gesture, making him want to whimper. Percy's short, ginger hair looked almost golden in the backlight. "What…? What did you have in mind?" Cormac asked and then nearly gasped aloud, unable to believe he had asked such a question.

Percy's smile was wolfish, more at home on a Slytherin than a former Gryffindor and Ministry drone. "Would you like me to take you back to the hotel so I can show you?"

Cormac's heart nearly stopped, but he found himself nodding like a puppet. Percy could have asked him to strip naked and walk through the crowd and he would have considered it as long as he asked with that promise in his voice.

In the blink of an eye, they were back at the hotel, standing next to the bed. Cormac would have staggered at the transition, but Percy held him tightly. "Easy! Are you all right?"

Cormac nodded and tried to regain his senses, but they eluded him. The alcohol was affecting him, but also the nearness of sodding Percy Weasley, who had gone away a complete prat and returned home as some sort of sex god. It wasn't fair. Percy wore a worried frown and Cormac thought he looked far better with a sexy smirk. He decided it was his duty to remove the frown, since he was a chaperone and all.

He leaned forward and kissed Percy.

Cormac lost himself immediately. His head was swimming and Percy tasted far better than the drinks he had consumed that night. Without conscious thought, he found himself clutching Percy's short hair in both hands, wrestling his head into the best position for Cormac to devour him, licking and sucking at his lips and tongue in a manner that had frightened off many a fragile girl.

Percy was no girl. He stood his ground, matching kiss for kiss, neither fainting nor crying out. His hands twisted in Cormac's thick hair, pulling it only to drag him closer. During one pause for air, Percy fairly growled against Cormac's lips.

He inhaled sharply. "Where did you learn…? You certainly were not like… this… at Hogwarts."

"I was a pompous prig," Percy said, sounding breathless. "One cannot live with Charlie Weasley and his neverending procession of sexual partners parading in and out without going utterly mad… or learning to indulge. I learned."

Cormac's hands tightened, earning a wince from Percy. "I see," he said roughly, startled at how much the image of Percy with dozens of partners disturbed him. It seemed wrong, somehow.

"Well, twice," Percy admitted. "For me, that was a massive indulgence."

Cormac's hands relaxed. "Twice?" He felt suddenly ashamed of his own infrequent one-nighters, casual encounters that meant nothing. And this? Did this mean nothing? It was certainly different, at any rate.

Percy tried to pull away, frowning. "Not enough experience for you?" he asked, suddenly sounding like the old Percy, the one no one had liked.

Cormac smiled and held tightly. "No, I think I like it," he replied. "Both blokes, then?"

"No, just the last one. But I liked it… better," he admitted.

"Well, you're one up on me, then," Cormac said wryly. "I've never… you know, done anything. With a man."

"Nothing at all?" Percy's eyes seemed to light up gleefully and Cormac found himself blushing.

"Not even a kiss. I was just…" Fixated on Hermione, he admitted to himself.

Percy laughed, a low, husky sound that reminded Cormac of where they stood, next to a bed, and even through his drunken haze he felt a rush of desire at the sound. Percy's hands moved down until they cupped Cormac's arse and drew him forward. The first touch of his growing erection against Percy's very evident hardness was blissful, dragging a groan from his throat.

"Good," Percy said in a smug tone and kissed him again. Cormac lost himself in it, so much so that he did not even notice Percy unfastening his trousers until they dropped to his feet. He toed off his shoes and stepped out of them without breaking the kiss.

Percy's blue robes joined the clothing pile on the floor a moment later.

"You're really good with your hands," Cormac commented.

"Mmmm, instead of playing Quidditch, I spent my time in the Prefect's bath doing... other things. Want to see what I learned?" With that, Percy slipped a hand into Cormac's pants and gripped his cock with sure fingers.

"Merlin, yes," Cormac breathed and bucked forward.

"Let's get you more comfortable," Percy whispered and turned them until Cormac sprawled on the bed. Percy's hand only released him for a moment, long enough for him to finish removing the dress robes. Cormac still wore his robes, although they gaped open, as did his unbuttoned shirt. He felt completely naked in the heat of Percy's gaze.

When Percy's trousers dropped, Cormac found his attention drawn immediately to Percy's erect cock, which sprang from a thatch of red curls. Cormac studied it unashamedly and mentally recorded the differences between it and his own. He had the sudden, surprising, urge to taste it.

Percy crawled onto the bed, pushing up Cormac's robes to bunch them beneath his arse and avoid constricting their movements. Cormac thought to offer to remove them, but even that brief idea fled when Percy gripped his cock once more. Percy smiled, outwardly the picture of confidence but for a frown line between his eyes.

"You okay with this?" Percy asked and then cheated by stroking, as if Cormac would be stupid enough to deny himself that sensation.

"Less talking, more fucking," Cormac said roughly and then gasped when he realized what he had just said when coupled with his current position.

"My pleasure," Percy all but purred, once more oozing confidence as his stroked grew surer. Cormac fought not to cry out, but he was loud by nature and it was difficult.

"Merlin, the sounds you make," Percy said. "So fucking hot."

Cormac did not bother to hold back, then, moaning and babbling with ever increasing fervour, until he realized he needed more. He groped for Percy's cock and latched onto it, earning a surprised gasp. He smiled wickedly. It felt brilliant, far better than touching a woman had ever been, probably because he had a more intimate acquaintance with how it felt. He twisted experimentally in a manner he particularly enjoyed and felt a flare of satisfaction when Percy made a choked whimper.

"Ungh, Cormac," he murmured. "I'm going to... prepare you."

Cormac wasn't completely sure he liked the sound of that, but Percy released him long enough to lift his wand—and where had he been keeping that?—and cast a succession of spells.

"Merlin!" Cormac yelped, nearly levitating off the bed in surprise.

"Sorry. Should've warned you."

"You think?" Cormac asked, but once he got used to the bizarre sensation in his nether parts—he felt strangely loose and damp down there—he relaxed back onto the bed. He bit his lower lip when he realized what it meant. Percy was about to—

"Still all right, there, Cormac?" Percy asked with a hint of amusement.

Cormac glared. "Fine," he snapped. "But yeah, a bit of warning next time?"

Percy smiled widely and Cormac blanched when his words registered.

"Yeah, next time," Percy whispered and kissed him again. He detached Cormac's fingers from his cock with a gentle grip of his hand, and a moment later, Cormac thought the spells might not have stretched him quite enough, because Percy's cock felt enormous as it pushed into him. He clutched involuntarily at Percy's arms.

Percy stilled immediately and effectively distracted him by simultaneously snogging him until he could hardly see straight, and massaging his cock with one hand. It had begun to soften under the onslaught, but Percy's grip effectively restored it to an appropriate hardness. By then, Cormac had grown used to the strange discomfort of being breached, and Percy started to push forward once more.

He forced himself to relax and it became easier to bear, especially with Percy's continual distractions in the form of molten kisses and firm strokes.

"Cormac, you're so tight, I don't think I can last."

Cormac was torn between the need for Percy to pull out and the fact that he could feel an orgasm fast approaching. Something inside sent a spike of pleasure curling through him, enough to make his gasp and arch into Percy.

That seemed to do it for Percy, who gave a sharp cry and then pumped even more furiously, grazing whatever it was inside that made Cormac want him to keep going until—that! He fairly screamed aloud as he came, twitching in Percy's hand as his fingers and toes curled reflexively. He could not remember the last time he's come so hard.

After long moments, he became aware of Percy staring down at him, wide-eyed and panting. Sweat beaded his skin, making him look covered in dew.

"All right, then?" he asked and Cormac knew he would never again hear the words all right without thinking of Percy. He smiled.

"Yeah," he said and realized it was true.

Percy's fingers brushed over his forehead, pushing the clinging damp hair back from Cormac's eyes. "Gorgeous," he said.

Cormac rolled his eyes, but he felt a blush rise into his cheeks. Bloody hell, he was acting like a complete girl over Percy fucking Weasley. Although the name had entirely different connotations, now.

Percy pulled out and cleaned them up with another succession of spells. Cormac felt a moment of awkwardness—this was usually the time he got up and fled the scene—but a hand on his arm halted his half-hearted movement.

"Stay." It wasn't quite a question.

Cormac sighed and then nodded, startled into a laugh when Percy tackled him, shoving him back into the pillow.

"Good, because I'm not done with you yet."

"When will you be?" Cormac asked and then mentally slapped himself.

"Not for a very, very, very long time," Percy replied and kissed him.

Cormac supposed he could live with that.