(Four months later…)
My muscles were aching when I stepped through the floo into our flat. We'd had practice in high winds, making every maneuver with my broomstick a hundred times harder. Not to mention that complete nob Lisby had knocked me through one of the hoops when he hit the Quaffle with his beater's bat, but that was kind of embarrassing so I'd leave that detail out when I whined to Harry.
Speaking of which…I rolled my shoulders with a wince, dropped my gear to the floor and followed the sound of the wireless down the hall to Harry's old bedroom, which was now Harry's office.
I opened my mouth to start my campaign for sympathy (which would lead to him cooking and maybe a nice massage) but when I caught sight of him, I just leaned against the doorframe and watched him with a smile. Harry sat at his desk with his back to me, a pencil tucked behind his ear and another between his teeth while he flipped open a folder and dug through the contents. He looked like a proper journalist. I don't know why he even bothered to get dressed on the days he was simply finishing an article. He said it made him feel more normal, and I guess I could get that, but when you have a job that you can do in sweatpants, putting on a button up shirt seems like a crime. Though…his button up was kind of rumpled and the buttons at the top were undone and the sleeves were rolled up toward his elbows, which was kind of amazingly hot. Yes, dressing up for work at home was a brilliant idea. In fact, he should wear a tie…to help him feel professional and all.
I crept up behind him while he was absorbed in whatever notes he was taking, grabbed the back of his swivel chair and tipped it back. Harry jumped, startled, then tilted his head back to look up at me with a playful glare. He plucked the pencil from his mouth. "You're an evil git who's going to give me a heart attack one of these days, you know." He reached up and pulled my head down so our lips met in an upside-down kiss.
I hummed contentedly against his mouth. I knew that one day I'd probably take being able to kiss Harry for granted, but that day hadn't come yet. It was too easy to remember Craig draped over Harry on our couch, and every time I thought of it, I couldn't help but snog him harder. Because he was mine now when he almost wasn't. Hell, it was a miracle he was even alive after the bookshop psycho.
My hand clenched his shirt at his shoulder before I calmed myself. He was here and I was allowed to touch him whenever I wanted. I was dead lucky.
I pulled back and walked around his chair so I could lean against his desk. A few papers shifted and I pushed them back onto the desk before they fell. "You know, I'm possibly developing a new fantasy."
Harry smiled brightly and waggled the pencil in his hand. The collar of his shirt was parted enough to see his collarbone. I liked that body part.
"Oh yeah?" he said. "Do I get to know what it is?"
"Something with you looking exactly like this. I haven't figured out the rest."
Harry smirked. "So basically me wearing my work clothes into the Cannon's locker room after a game?"
Oh. That sounded really good. "Yeah. That works. You could be doing an interview with me and then…" I waggled my eyebrows.
Harry laughed—a bright, twinkling sound that always caused this surge of feeling in my chest. His laugh had gotten a lot brighter since we'd got together. It was my greatest accomplishment. "I doubt they'd let me publish anything that came out of that interview." He looked back to his desk. "Speaking of which, give me five minutes to get the rest of this article together and out and you'll have my full attention."
"What's it on?"
Harry was already turning back to his work. "Mm, ten Quidditch moves that are just for show. Got the Hogwarts teams to illustrate." He handed me the folder of pictures.
I smiled proudly as I flipped through. Writing for Quidditch Weekly had been my idea. A job having to do with something Harry loved where he didn't have to worry about being a risk to anyone. He'd been hesitant, arguing that with no background in writing or professional Quidditch, the only way he could get the job was to use his name. I'd told him that it was about time being the Chosen One did something good for him and that he should do something with his name that would make him proud to be Harry Potter. So he did. And everyone wanted to read it, knowing who he was. But I made sure he remembered that he did deserve this. That Harry Potter also meant the youngest seeker in a century. I made sure he pinned each of his articles on the corkboard I stuck on the office wall. And it worked. After getting past that first bit of unease about it, I think having his fame do something good for him finally was making him feel better about who he was. He was happy. That was all that mattered.
I frowned at the last picture. "Hey, I did the Pumperton Pop a few games ago."
"And it looked very impressive." Harry reached out and patted my thigh. "It would have been more practical to keep on your broom, but it served a good purpose. Spectacle inspires crowds and imitates opponents, which is all in here." He jabbed a finger at a piece of parchment covered with Harry's neatest handwriting, meaning it was the final draft of his article, the one he'd send in. "Which I am almost finished with." He tugged his file of pictures back from me.
He bent over his parchment and started writing again. I should have used the time to go take a shower, but I watched Harry write instead. A minute went by, the wireless station went to commercial. My foot began to bounce. He put his pencil down and picked up the parchment, eyeing it carefully from behind his glasses.
"You're done?" I asked eagerly.
"Proofreading," he muttered, eyes tracing the lines on the page.
"You have editors for that."
"Don't want them to think I'm an idiot."
"Not an idiot…just busy."
Harry wasn't even listening anymore. I walked up behind his chair and leaned over. My hands moved from his shoulders down along his chest.
Harry's breathing hitched. "Ron, just another couple minutes. You could take your shower while I finish."
"Or you could be finished now and you could take a shower with me." Which was just practical, really.
He tipped his head back and looked up at me. I delivered my most innocent grin, which worked because he tossed the article onto his desk and stood. I pulled him against me and kissed him, running my fingers inside his open collar, along his soft, smooth skin.
"Git," he muttered against my lips and tugged my shirt from my Quidditch trousers.
"Not a git. Just smart. Cinema tonight?"
Harry just snogged me and ran a hand up my stomach. I took that as a yes.
He broke away from my mouth and his eyes met mine. "You're the perfect boyfriend, you know."
And you know, I kind of was. For him, anyway. Nobody knew Harry like I did. Nobody could love him as much as I did. I might not have been the smartest or best looking bloke in the world, but ever since we were eleven, while everyone looked to Harry to protect them, I knew that he needed someone to protect him. I assigned myself the position—Harry Potter's protector. His second. His knight.
These days he was happy. Finally, truly happy. And, while that was a victory for Harry after what he'd been through, it was one for me too. It was proof that I'd done my job right. And if I got to be this happy right along with him, well, that was just icing on the chocolate frog.