Note: This wont be done by Christmas, but hopefully New Years. I've been ultra busy so I haven't been able to write it and am just getting around to it. Please be patient with me. Also this is obviously AU. Harry was in Hufflepuff, because of how I want this story to go and if he were in Gryffindor he'd be close to the twins and Ron. You'll see later. Anyway please give it a chance. :)
Title: A Boyfriend for Christmas
Charlie's hair was testament to his emotions. Turbulent. The red strands were standing on end from having shaking hands run through it so many times. It had all started off innocently enough, or at least that's what he liked to tell himself. He'd been trying to make his mother happy, after all, and himself he had to admit by getting her off of his back.
It had been the beginning of December when the Weasley matriarch had called , on the phone that his father had demanded they use, and that his mother tolerated if only because she loved her husband. That and it was easier than fire calling over such a great distance. And so the great lie had begun.
"Oh! I have the most wonderful news for you," she had gushed, "Percy and Penelope are engaged! And I'm sure it won't be long before Ron and Hermione are too."
Charlie had known what was coming before she'd even said it. "I just wish you'd find someone. Have you? Found someone I mean?"
"Mum," he said in a long suffering tone, "Fred and George are still single too.."
His mother made a pft sound and he could imagine her waving away his comment. "I love them, dear, truly I do but I have to admit I pity any woman or man who thinks she can separate the pair of them for more than five minutes. And besides we're talking about you, not your brothers. I just worry about you in Romania all alone, with no-" Charlie cut her off, and he didn't know why he said it but he did.
"Actually, Mum, I have found someone." He wanted to take it back as soon as he said it, but had had no time in order to do so.
"Have you? Really? Oh, Charlie! That's wonderful, wait until your father hears! What's his name then?" It was no secret in the Weasley family that their second eldest son preferred wizards over witches.
"What's his name…?" Charlie's mind went blank.
"Yes, his name Charlie," and skepticism was definitely in her tone. His mind had run over the many people he worked with and settled on the one that had always stood out the most, to him anyway.
"Harry, Harry Potter!"
"That's a good name. What's he like, then?"
"Er.." Charlie coughed into his hand. To tell the truth, the didn't know much about Harry. Only that he was a British born wizard, like himself, had also graduated Hogwarts as a Hufflepuff (which was surprising considering it took some gut to deal with dragons day by day), and that he was one of the harder workers that Charlie had ever worked with. Not to mention those amazing green eyes.
"He's amazing, mum, really that's all I can say. Just amazing."
"And you'll both be at Christmas?" she had sounded incredibly excited and Charlie had come up with a suitable answer.
"I don't think Harry'll be able to make it. He's another handler, and we can only have so much staff absent. But he told me to give you his regards and that he really wished he could make it." It at least sounded like something Harry would say. In their brief conversations the dark haired man had never been anything but kind and accommodating.
"Oh," and Charlie had almost felt bad at her dissapointment. "Alright then, maybe at another time then."
They had talked a bit more about Percy's new fiancee and the wedding to take place next August at the Burrow, and then they had hung up. And Charlie put the conversation out of his mind… which had been incredibly stupid of him, because it turned out it came back around to bite him in the arse.
He had just got off the phone a little while ago with his mother, and he had no idea what he was going to do.
The phone had rang, and Charlie still not used to it, had looked around uncomprehendingly until alighting upon the stack of unorganized papers on his desk. Digging through them, he came up with the silver contraption and after fumbling with it a bit, got it open and to his ear, only to pull it away quickly as a voice bellowed in his ear.
"HELLO! CHARLIE? CHARLIE ARE YOU THERE?!"
"I CAN HEAR YOU DAD, QUIT YELLING!" Charlie yelled back, the phone held at arms length. There was silence then a mumble from the phone. Figuring it was safe he put the phone back to his ear.
"Hullo Charlie, I've got the most wonderful news!" To be honest Charlie was beginning to dread any sentences that had the words 'the most wonderful news' in them, and with good reason as his father promptly stated. "We're coming to Romania for Christmas!"
"Here?" Charlie was sure his voice had reached a pitch it hadn't since before he hit puberty.
"Yes! Here, your mum wants to talk to you. Here's the fellytone dear."
"Charlie?" Molly said and she sounded like she'd been busy. "Isn't it wonderful? The whole family together. Your father and I have been saving for a while now, and with all you children out of the house, well it's been a bit easier to put some money away. And of course all your brothers and sisters are paying their own way. It'll be great. You do have the space don't you?"
There was silence.
"CHARLIE?! Arthur, I think this things broken. I told you we should have just fire called."
"No. no, Mum I'm here. I don't know about this Mum.."
"Well, we just thought, it'd be nice if were all together and we could meet your young man."
"My young man?
"Yes, Charlie. Harry, your boyfriend? Are you feeling alright? It wouldn't do to get ill. We're looking very forward to meeting him and this'll be the first vacation your father and I have taken since that year we went to Egypt to visit Bill. But if you really don't think there's room…" her voice softened in dissapointment and Charlie had always been something of a mama's boy and couldn't stand to hear it.
"I'll make room," Charlie said, his shoulders already drooping as he mentally cursed himself.
"Wonderful! I'd better go, we have so much to get ready. Love you Charlie! See you soon!" And that had been the end of that conversation.
So here Charlie was, in his current predicament, hair on end, eyes bloodshot and his freckled complexion more pale than usual. "Why . . Am . . I . . such .. An . . .Idiot?!" Each word was punctuated by his head hitting the desk in front of him. And it was in such a manner that one of his problems addressed him.
"Charlie?" Charlie paused in his brief stint of impersonating a house elf, and glanced up, wondering if the day could get any worse. And it could, because there standing in front of him looking at him with concerned eyes, was his boyfriend.. Well the man his family thought was his boyfriend anyway.
As always Charlie found himself just staring for a moment. The man was a bit shorter than him, and not as built. Charlie ran more along the line of stocky, not taking after his lean and tall brother, Bill. No, he was more broad chested and thickly muscled, not to mention more freckled. The figure standing in front of his desk was none of these. Despite being shorter, he was all lean muscle, strong, yes, but not apparently so. When he had first come to them, begging for a job and willing to do whatever it took, he'd been wearing a pair of awful black glasses. That had been corrected easily enough. And now the emerald green eyes were perhaps the most eye catching thing about him. Besides it was definitely a risk in their line of business to depend so heavily on something to see. He had black hair that was getting a bit long and terribly unruly, but it only made Charlie want to run his fingers through it to see if they caught. He must have been staring too long, because Harry began to look even more worried.
"Maybe I'll go get Nicoleta…" he turned to leave to get their mediwitch, but Charlie called him back.
"Sorry Harry. Just having a bit of a family crisis." he said with a sigh. If anything Harry looked even more uncomfortable. "Is there something I can help you with?"
"Yeah.. I know I'm supposed to work Christmas this year, but I was wondering if it was possible if I could have it off and work New Year instead."
"No!" Charlie all but shouted.
Harry actually took a step back, eyes wide. "No?"
"No, Oh Merlin, I can't believe I'm going to do this.. Harry, please shut the door."
The green eyes took on an apprehensive look as he nodded and shut the door.
"Please sit." Harry sat, his hands gripping the knees of his flame repellant work pants.
There was silence as Charlie tried to figure out how to put his request and Harry fidgeted more with each moment, until finally one of them broke it.
"You're not firing me, are you?! Because I can't afford to lose this job! Is it something I've done? Because honestly it was Vil-- someone else who put the bow on Norbert's neck."
Charlie's lips quirked up into a smile. "I know full and well it was Vilhelm who put the bow on Norbert's neck, and why we continue to call her that is beyond me, but she seemed quite taken with the Christmas festivity. And no, Harry, I'm not firing you. Actually I have something to ask you, and I know it's crazy, but let me explain, okay?"
And he did, explaining how many brothers and sisters he had, and the expectation for each of them to find someone to settle down with and raise a Weasley sized family of their own. And then as he got into how he lied to his mother, he averted his gaze.
"So what does this have to do with me?" Harry asked, an adorable look of confusion on his face.
"Well, I kind of told them that you were my boyfriend." Charlie said, glancing back to see the other's reaction. It wasn't as bad as he thought it would be. He looked surprised, yes, but not as if he were disgusted with the idea.
"Why me?" Harry asked, his dark brows furrowed together.
And honestly he didn't understand. True, he had noticed Charlie, and not just in the sense that everyone else did, but on a more personal level. But he had never thought Charlie would notice him in the same way. A small flicker of hope sprung forth in his heart, only to be dashed a moment later.
"You were the first person I thought of, and everyone else has a spouse, or not really inclined toward well other Wizards." Charlie peered at him worriedly. "You are, aren't you?"
Harry cleared his throat, feeling somewhat uncomfortable and smarting from having his wish so clearly ungranted. He berated himself mentally. Truly he didn't have time for a relationship and things were complicated anyhow. At least, that's what he liked to tell himself. "I am, but about Christmas.." he had made a promise, and he couldn't break it, not this year.
Charlie was beginning to feel frantic again. He had begun to relax and even feel hopeful when Harry hadn't downright shot him down, and then ecstatic when he'd admitted he liked men as well. It had been one of the obstacles keeping him from actually asking out the raven haired man. That and he was pretty damn sure Harry wouldn't have said yes. But he didn't look like he was jumping to say no either.. Maybe..
"What is it you have to do on Christmas?" Charlie asked, knowing he was pushing it, and knew he might have pushed too far as Harry's expression closed. "Or did you already have someone to spend it with?" A sense of dread filled him as he thought of that possibility. Had he been too late? Perhaps that Vilhelm…
"No, not ..romantically, but I had hoped to go home and spend Christmas with my family."
"I'll pay for their portkey."
"The thing is they can't come by portkey." And Harry couldn't afford to fly them in. It would set him too far back in his original goal.
"I'll fly them in."
Harry's eyes widened. "That's too expensive, I couldn't let you.."
"And I'll of course tell my parents that you have family to spend with on Christmas day." Charlie leaned forward, his brown eyes beseeching.
Harry sighed and gave a lopsided smile. "Yeah, okay."
"Okay?" Charlie's lips turned upward into a bright and energetic smile. "Wonderful!" he got up and walked around his desk to take Harry's hands in his own. "You won't regret it. And I'm not so bad a pretend boyfriend." And that word 'pretend' dimmed both of their happiness just a little.
Please review! I'd like to hear how I'm doing!