A/N: Alright guys, I'm sorry this took so dadgummed long to post, but I've only been out on one actually successful date that didn't end up going bonkers on me, so writing date scenes with my track record... not easy at all, but I've fought through it and I hope the end result will come out better than I think it has. The chapters should, after this one, be much easier to pop out and should come out more quickly. No promises on that, but I'm gonna try to update more regularly. The random plot bunnies who've attacked me with ideas not for this story haven't been much help at all either, but I guess that's what happens when you invite too many to your brain storming parties. Anyways, enjoy and I shall do my best to type up another chapter asap!
Disclaimers: Anything recognizable as someone else's just ain't mine. They belong to the geniuses who came up with them before I got my oddball lil hands on them and started making them play dress-up and taught them to tap dance to any tune I decided to play, the poor dears.
Warnings: Hmm…. this is complete randomness in which there may be sweet moments, mad moments, crazy moments, bashing moments, and a few random curse words should I be in the mood… not sure as I've not typed the chapter yet. Heck, my story muse is mad at me and has been throwing ten ideas at me at once, so there's really no telling what will be in this one. Heh, good luck? ^.^
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Charlie was; for all intents and purposes, ready to murder Sirius for waiting so long to ask Brandyn the one question that could've helped him in planning this date at his own leisure. As it stood, he'd done the best he could within the time constraint he'd been given. Luckily he knew his fiancé well enough to plan accordingly and hadn't had any trouble at all in falling asleep. That couldn't been because Bran was curled against him and he'd always been able to relax with his love so close, but he'd allow his rested mind to be a factor in his peaceful and restful night. Honestly, the oddest thing about the night had been his dream. In it, he'd seen himself and Bran meeting at the burrow. They'd been picking up their children, twins, a sweet faced boy and girl with dark auburn curls and brightly brilliant amber eyes.
He didn't mention the dream to Brandyn only because he thought it odd himself that he'd had such a dream before they'd be able to make love without disrespecting the trust Bran's fathers put in them to wait. They'd spent their morning talking softly, as they cuddled in Brandyn's bed, about their plans for the future. And now, well, he was freaking out while in Severus' rooms with Zaine, a bag with neatly packed outfits in it at the foot of the guest bed in the- here's a shocker for ya-guest bedroom. His hands were trembling, just enough to show his nervousness, and he couldn't see himself picking Brandyn up from their rooms in any of the outfits he'd brought. He was, to put it in clear prospective, panicking serverely.
Zaine was, to put it mildly, amused. He couldn't help but grin as Charlie fussed over his plans and nigh on panicked when he realized that he hadn't even thought to have his out on the town clothes laundered in preparation of the coming night. Oh no, he'd only brought his more neat and tidy clothes he'd worn on special occasions at the reserve; which were different from special occasions elsewhere by miles in the redhead's mind. Chuckling, he touches Charlie's shoulder, his hand resting on it firmly. "If we hurry Charles Weasley, we can go out and buy something suitable and you can get ready here before you pick up your Brandyn. My advice to you right now is to chill kiddo, you'll be fine."
Charlie, still freaking out inside out of a fit of insecurity that Bran will absolutely abhor what he's planned and put together on short notice, nods and lets out a long, weary sigh. "I think I will leave my outfit to you Zaine. I'm too busy worrying about the date to pay attention to my clothes. He's going to hate it isn't he? I didn't have enough time to plan it well."
Zaine smiles, understanding all too well the panicky feeling. "Sev did the very same thing to me that Sirius helped Brandyn do to you. It's a test of how well you know his likes and dislikes Charlie. Your adamant refusals of some of the ideas we tossed at you and your quick choices show how very well you know him. He'll love it. Even if it was the worst date in the world he'd still adore it because it's a date, an actual date, with you. Question is, dear dragon tamer, would he actually mind your dragon reserve clothing as much as you seem to think he would, or are you panicking far too much to remember what he loves about you?"
Charlie blinks, startled out of his panic, and thinks before he answers that patient question. He was, after all, intelligent enough to know that Zaine wasn't trying to get out of clothes shopping with him. The man was just trying to help a friend, and he'd managed it well. "Bran would love to see me in one of the outfits from the reserve." His grin is full of love and affection. "He's been teasing me about his big, strong, sexy dragon tamer hiding in a bookworm's clothing."
Zaine grins broadly. "Then show him yourself Charles Weasley. That is who he wants as his husband, after all. The bookworm is only a part of his love, the spirited dragon handler with the easy and reckless smile and laid-back manner is the man he first met and began to fall in love with. I'd tease Severus if he were to abandon his cauldron for months on end, as Brandyn teases you for being a bookworm. You may be a professor now, but it shouldnt change or hide those parts of you that you gained while you worked at the reserve for so many years. His teasing is telling you to let loose sometimes and show him the man who handled those dragons so well. Brandyn wants all of you, not just the tame parts."
Charlie smiles. "Is this coming from the submissive partner's perspective Zaine?"
"Of course it is. Brandyn's attracted to all that manly sexiness you exude as Charles Weasley, dragon handler turned professor. The bookworm in you is only a small piece of your charm. I wasn't kidding when I told you to go wild on your date. He'll adore what you've planned for him. You knew that already in your heart when you planned it."
With a soft sigh, Charlie pulls out what was jokingly termed a 'dress uniform' at the reserve and changes swiftly. Smooth black dragon-hide pants fit him in the most sinfully sexy way possible, clinging gently to his hips and arse and gradually flaring from the leg down in a boot cut that covers the tops of his black boots. The shirt he's wearing is a blue one that laces up at the top with leather string and fits closely to his chest. Over that is a black jacket made of a softer, more leather of a smaller animal like dragon-hide. Easily taming his hair, Charlie ties it back with a ribbon the same shade of blue as his shirt. He'd nearly forgotten just how comfy his old work clothes were. Maybe Zaine was right about his losing a part of himself to become what he thought Bran wanted him to be, completely forgetting that Brandyn had fallen in love with the man he'd always been. Maybe this date wouldn't be the disaster he feared it would become after all.
/Follow your heart, let it lead the steps you take, and you'll find what you seek, and cherish the memories you make.../
Brandyn was only slightly confused by the dress code change Zaine had flooed him about, but took off the blazer he'd been modeling in the mirror. Gazing at himself critically, he jerks off the tie and unbuttons the top three buttons of his dark red button up shirt. He couldn't help but wonder at the change in the dress code Charlie had finally decided upon. The smile that curves his lips is warm and amused. His Charlie had finally relaxed into the date idea and, knowing both Charlie and Zaine as he did, Bran knew it would be a wonderful evening out with his beloved. He was, but for Dobby popping in now and then and the napping Miaka, perfectly alone in his own bedroom. He didn't need the moral support or encouragement that Charlie did simply because Brandyn's only worry was whether or not Charlie calmed down enough to remember to be himself.
He'd fallen in love with the dragon-loving man with the big heart and hearty laugh. He'd fallen even deeper in love with that very same man when he'd proved to be a cuddly bookworm who could love Bran as much, or perhaps more than, he loved his dragons. That same man was also a very brilliant professor when he chose to teach and was loved for himself, ALL of himself, by Brandyn. Bran could remember the time he'd been confused between Severus and Charlie, and why he'd been so confused as to who he would be with. His fathers had seen straight through to his heart and had helped him by simply pushing the dragon handler in his direction when he'd needed him most. It had been what helped Brandyn figure himself out and realize just how much he actually loved Charlie. Severus was his brother at heart now, but Charlie was the man he'd spend his forever with for as long as that forever lasted.
Miaka had, of course, acclimated well to the change in sleeping areas. All Brandyn had needed to do was simply move her bed into Charlie's room and sit it on the rug before the fireplace and she was more than happy to curl around her Brandyn plushie, tucked in beneath her blankie and fall fast asleep. It had only been one night thus far, but still, the little dragon was happy to sleep in the same room as her master. She was also quite fond of Dobby and did not mind it one bit that he'd be the one catering to her every need and whim while Bran and Charlie were out on their date. Miaka could admit to being spoiled with love and affection from the two wizards and one little elf who so obviously adored her from her shiniest, most iridescent scale to her dingiest, most tarnished scale. They were already an odd little family, but she knew that they would soon grow in number. Tonight's date was a way to get Bran away from the castle, away from Albus, as the evidence the young man had slipped Amelia Bones was being processed against the crazed coot. With Fudge wanting Dumbledore out of commission, it would not take long at all to have the man arrested for his multiple crimes. So date night served more than one purpose.
Brandyn, looking over himself just one more time, smiles simply at the knock on the door and rushes to answer it. What he sees when the door swings open makes him gaze longingly at every sexy inch of his Charlie in his full dragon handler regalia. The man was gorgeous and Brandyn fell even more in love with the man he'd first seen the night he'd come for Norbert. He had apparently found himself again and Bran absolutely adored him for that. "Damn but I wish we were married already. Stupid rules..."
Charlie laughs, slightly startled at the immediate reaction, but was glad that he'd let Zaine talk him out of his panic now. When he calms, he leans closer to Brandyn and steals a quick, playful, kiss. "You're looking yummy enough to eat yourself spitfire, so I completely agree with you. You know we'll be glad we waited though, so it's honestly a small price to pay to ogle all our sexiness without being naughty. It'd be a shame to stay in and miss out on what I've got planned for the two of us. I think that we should bring Miaka with us though. She'd enjoy this too, and it would have the side benefit of giving dear Dobby a break. The poor guy dragon sits every time we go for a night out."
Brandyn grins and whistles softly, not having to look to know that Miaka is flying to him. Feeling the little dragon land lightly on his right shoulder, Bran looks at her and smiles. "Looks like you're along for the ride on this date Miaka." He chuckles at her pleased rumble and smooths a finger over the top of her head as he looks at Charlie once more. "Are we going to allow her a family reunion while we paint the town Char?"
Blue eyes glittering, Charlie nods. "We sure are. Kyla requested a meeting so that she may check on her hatchling and see how Miaka is. It's a chance for mother and daughter to meet and discuss things without us around them. Besides, I know Romania well enough to take you on the date you wanted. According to Zaine, it's best to take your date only to the places you personally have been."
"Sounds like good advice when it comes to dating. The better you know the area you're in, the easier it is to switch from the place you had in your mind to a different one if something happened that made the place you wanted to go to close. It's a good backup plan. And by 'Kyla requested' you mean she caught her daughter's scent on you and refused to let go of you until you agreed to bring her with us?"
Charlie laughs, amused, somehow knowing that Brandyn would catch on to that little tidbit without Charlie having to tell him how she'd requested that little reunion. "Yes. Zaine laughed himself silly when he saw that I couldn't get away from her until I figured out what she wanted with me, and agreed with her not so subtle demands. I laughed myself silly when Kyla growled at him and scared him enough to make him let out a very manly squeal of fright."
Bran laughs and allows Charlie to pull him by the hand out of their chambers and down the corridor.
/"Strength lies in differences, not in similarities." -Stephen Covey-/
The Romanian Dragon Preserve was beautiful to Brandyn and Miaka. They'd been introduced to many handlers, healers, and even the director of the preserve. There were dragons and their hatchlings who enjoyed carrying on a conversation with Bran and his familiar, all curious about the lives of their handlers outside of the preserve. It was an educational sort of thing that was only cut off by the need to visit Kyla, which those who spoke to their favorite handler's intended and his familiar understood completely and sent them off with cheerful goodbyes. Kyla herself was resting peacefully on a haphazard pile of autumn leaves in a small forest clearing. Her beautiful orange scales glistened in the shards of sunlight that managed to pierce through the thick canopy of the trees surrounding the small clearing they currently stood in.
Miaka, excited to finally see the mother who had laid her and gifted her to her beloved friend, launches herself from Brandyn's shoulder and flies to her mother, purring at her affectionate welcome when Kyla nearly wraps herself around her hatchling. Once they've greeted one another properly, Kyla moves over to Brandyn and nudges him gently in the chest, grinning in her dragon-like way when he smoothly runs a firm hand over the scales on the bridge of her snout. He chuckles at her contented purr and allows her to lift up and touch noses with him. It was something that Miaka often did, and it helped him feel the affection the elder dragon already had for him. It was an amazing thing to experience and he could only laugh when she decided to lick him.
Charlie, standing tall and strong beside his love, smiles indulgently at the teen Kyla had become so very fond of by scent alone. She'd always been an amazing judge of character by first scent of a person or creature. He enjoyed knowing that his best creature friend loved, and approved of, his husband-to-be. She'd been wanting to meet Brandyn for a very long time... from the first scent of him on Charlie's clothes the night that he'd brought Norberta to the reserve. She'd known then who the person she'd scented on him would become to him. It had simply taken him a bit longer to understand his feelings and learn what the wise little dragon had immediately known. She'd also known back then who Brandyn himself would choose, even though the teen had not known that he had a choice between suitors at the time.
"She's always been fond of you through your scent Bran. Since the night Norberta was brought here and Kyla caught your scent on my clothes, she's wished to meet the one she claimed to know as my mate."
Bran smiles and places a kiss on Kyla's head. "Then I must bow to the wisdom of this great lady Char. She has the gift to see what is meant to be when we are so very blind to it all. Maybe it was her job to prepare you so that you would be willing to take a chance with me, to help you to see a runt like me with new eyes. The night you picked up Norberta, you saw me as nothing more than the best mate of your youngest brother. With an open mind at the Tournament, you were able to see past the mask to the person beneath the image projected. You've said before that you fell in love with the man you saw battling a dragon with no intention of harming her. It means that I owe this great lady my eternal gratitude for opening the eyes of my life mate so that he could see me for the person I am."
Charlie, a bit surprised to be honest, blinks and smiles wryly. "We may owe Kyla a great deal for helping me keep an open mind love, but if we don't leave soon we're going to miss the show I've planned on taking you to see. We will be back for Miaka once we've finished with our date."
Brandyn grins and affectionately presses his nose to Kyla's snout before lifting his head and laughing at finding Miaka in his face, touching nose to snout with her as well. A soft expression crosses his face as he speaks to his beloved familiar, "Enjoy your time with your mum Miaka, we shall be returning to you after we have had our alone time together."
Miaka growls her delight and curls around Bran's neck in an odd sort of hug before flying back to her mother happily. Bran and Charlie share a look, they would have to bring Miaka for visits as often as they possibly could. The dragonlet deserved to know her mother's love as well as she knew the love of Brandyn, her master and dear friend. Because Miaka was a sweetie, it would only be fair for her to have a treat now and then via a trip to the reserve. She could even play around with the other hatchlings. Brandyn had a feeling that they'd end up living either inside of or near the Romanian Preserve some day. Charlie loved dragons deeply and Brandyn loved Charlie too much to keep him from his dragons for long. He thought that maybe after they were married and he found himself pregnant with their firstborn that he would move to this place with Charlie. He loved Charms, that much was true, but he could also become a tutor or even teach at one of the smaller schools in the area. There was much one could do with a Mastery, after all.
Brandyn couldn't help but fall in love with the quaint little village that existed just outside of the gates of the Dragon Preserve. It was rustic and beautiful, yet boasted a fair amount of both wizard and muggle shops, as well as wizarding shops that showcased items that were technologically advanced and showed how well the blend of the two cultures existed here and how they could co-exist. He could admit that Charlie really had done a good job of picking an area that held such things on the short notice he'd had. He's a tad surprised though when they stop outside of an actual acting theater than outside of a movie theater. The signs that were posted liberally on the walls showed the mixing of the cultures as well in that there were apparently a mixture of muggle and magical actors and actresses who gave their talents on the stage in a myriad of plays. As Charlie guides him inside with a gentle, but firm, hand on the small of his back, Bran finds himself in awe of the classical beauty of the building. Victorian in its small version of grandeur, The wood was intricately carved into breath-taking designs that lead your eyes up to the even more intricately worked arches that gave the illusion that this small building had high, vaulted ceilings. The mixture of ivory and eggshell white was subtle, yet smartly one and was enhanced by the heavy velvet hangings that were a deep crimson pulled back by golden cords with tassels hanging on the ends. The floors were carpeted here, to muffle the sounds of footsteps as the audience traveled from room to room. Brandyn knew that it would keep the sound pure as the stages would be made in a way that enhanced the sound quality of the act that was being preformed in each room of the theater house. He was glad that this seemed to be one of the more informal places to come and enjoy this art form as many were dressed in semi-casual clothes as he and Charlie were.
He smiles as Charlie looks at him, "I think I'm going to enjoy this far more than the cinema. You sir, have done very well in planning this so far."
Charlie smiles, he hadn't been too sure about a real theater at first, but knew that he'd like to see if Brandyn would enjoy this secret love of his. His family had no idea that he loved places like this one, and he'd only wished to share it with the one he loved above all others. "I love places like this, seeing the talent in real life instead of on a screen after things have been edited and mistakes have been taken out. Here, it's much more real and the mistakes are casually brushed off as a part of the show and often add a touch of comedy to the act. Some actors are so flawless and have been playing their parts for so long that they have come to the point where they make no mistakes. I think it's much more interesting to see their artistry on stage than to witness and edited version on the screen."
Brandyn grins, "That's why I think I'm going to love this. I like that it will be a show of an actor's skills without the aide of a director or special effects designer. If you can entertain people without relying on anything more than your own talents and the talents of the others around you, as well as the props given, then I think that is the definition of true skill and talent. Actors of the screen have the advantage of multiple takes to get a scene right. Actors of the stage have practice and their memories and then it's time to go. Both types of actors are impressive in their skill set and work ethic, but I like the aspect of seeing a play live."
As they chat, Charlie leads Brandyn to the correct room and they soon find their seats in the middle of the bottom set of theater seats. They were close enough to see the stage clearly, but not too close that they couldn't see the whole stage and every aspect of the play itself from props to the actors themselves from head to toe.
/I believe that the middle that exists between every beginning and end is the most important part, but there is no middle without a beginning and no end without both a beginning and a middle. We're all born, the beginning is the start of life. We all die, and that is the end. It's the life lived as we walk towards that end that people remember most about us.../
Laughing together at the memory of the comedy they'd just enjoyed, Charlie places a hand on the two wrapped around his right arm and he smiles at how beautiful Bran's amber eyes are when dancing in laughter. He was happy that they had one more thing in common that they could enjoy together as a couple. Charlie knew that they'd be good together either way, but it always helped when you found out things that the two of you could do together even while you both did some things separately, or put up with a dislike of yours for the other person's sake. The streets of the village were not too crowded and they were able to make it to the restaurant that had different types of sitting areas both inside and out. You could sit at a fancy table, a picnic table, or even a simple quilt on the grass. The owner was a witch who'd married a muggle man. Luckily, these were a people who had their folklore and mythology and had accepted the magical truths they were shown easily enough to live together in peace and cohabitation with their magical brethren. Thanks to that, it had been easy for Charlie to fulfill the basic requirements chosen for this date.
After being seated on a quilt beneath a huge Elm tree, the two men sat in quiet company and watched the sun throw brilliant colors onto the clouds that hung about in the sky. It was that time of day that existed just before dusk, where it looked as if a great artist had taken his colors and generously shared them with the sky.
As they sat there, one of Charlie's hands covered Brandyn's and the younger wizard looked at him with a content and happy smile. He followed the urge to kiss those smiling lips with a tenderness he wasn't all too aware he'd had within him. Though he'd been stressed about this date and planning it, he knew he'd go through all of it again if only because he loved Brandyn enough to do it. Honestly, there was nearly nothing he wouldn't do for the younger man, and Charlie knew that the reverse was true for Bran as well. There was almost nothing they wouldn't do to see the other happy, and to show how much they loved one another. He was also more than happy to give Brandyn a break from Dumbledore. The old man had been doing his level best to get closer to Bran and it unnerved Charlie to think of the man's obsession with his fiancee. He could only hope that they would not need to deal with the old goat too much longer. He was far too dangerous a threat to ignore. For now, though, he chose to simply enjoy this time spent with Brandyn and revel in the love they shared and the promises of the future to come.
Brandyn awoke to an odd sound at the door of the room he and Charlie had chosen to share. He cracks one sleep crusted eye open and groans out a soft, "Good morning Dobby." He curls more into Charlie's warm body. His lips beside the man's left ear, Brandyn nibbles on the lobe playfully and murmurs sleepily, "Charlie, love, it's time to get up."
Charlie, as much of a morning person as Brandyn is, lets out a soft groan like whine. "But Bran'yn, it's a Sunday. We didn't make it back to the castle til two in the morning... it's six now. Why are we to be tortured today?"
A soft chuckle is heard. "Because the monthly teachers meeting is in our rooms today. We have until seven thirty to be ready, but knowing us we'll need an hour and thirty minutes to get ready, so I erred on the side of caution and asked Dobby to get us up now. Sorry love. On the bright side, Dad and Papa have agreed to take over our Monday classes so we can have a bit of a lie in and rest day. We're just lucky they've got no classes scheduled on Mondays. Dad's taking over for you and Papa's taking over for me."
Charlie opens his eyes and stares blurrily at Brandyn before pulling him closer (he'd found a way) and giving him a chaste kiss so that no morning breath was shared. "You are the best thing that's ever happened to me. A Monday off... uninterrupted cuddle time... not even your dads get to interrupt like they usually do until our usual free period or at lunch Monday if we don't eat in the Great Hall. Why didn't I ask you to marry me sooner?"
Snickering, Brandyn answers, "Because it would've made you out to be a pedophile who couldn't wait til I was of a marriageable age to propose. Now you're just a patient man who loved me enough to wait for me. Makes you out to be the romantic darling you are inside of that rough around the edges dragon handling sex on legs exterior. Apparently, I happen to have a thing for sex on legs dragon handlers because dad felt last night to be the right time to tell me how he knew I'd choose you in the end because of the supposed hearts in my eyes whenever I look at you. According to he and papa, I was making those same eyes at you from the second time I saw you. Which was at the Triwizard Tournament when you were with the dragons. I was beneath my cloak at the time, but I told Dad about it and he'd grinned at me and teased me about having a crush on you when I told him all about how awesome you were at your job. He'd said that, for a long letter, it sure had a lot about you in it."
Charlie, grinning, forgoes holding back because of morning breath (seeing as they both had it anyway, why should it matter so much?) and kisses his love deeply. He pulls back so that his lips just lightly brush Brandyn's when he softly speaks. "I just saw you as a cute kid until I saw you outwit Morgana. You didn't actually try to harm her, you simply did your best to get away as unscathed as you possibly could. Victor, Fleur, and Cedric used spells that harmed the dragons they battled against, but the only spell you actually thought to use was the spell that summoned your Firebolt to you. It was a brilliant bit of flying, and the way you did everything caught my interest in a way it honestly shouldn't have when concerning my youngest brother's friend. But, it was then that I decided to stay behind and watch you throughout the tournament and I began to see you as the man you are on the inside rather than a friend of my kid brother. Bill had a grand time teasing me for having a crush on you. And then it just got worse and now he's insufferable, the git."
Brandyn laughs and drops a light kiss on the tip of Charlie's nose with a playful smile. "We'll prank him when he least expects it, I can promise you that. I believe it's time we got ready for the day and had breakfast before our lovely guests arrive to bore us to tears."
Charlie gives in to the urge to pout and lets out a soft sigh. "Ugh, fine, I'll dream of sleeping when I'm trying not to doze off during the bloody meeting."
Brandyn, amused, laughs again as he makes his way to the bedroom door so he can advert the temptation of sharing a shower with Charlie this morn. "Maybe if we hurry we can sleepy cuddle on the loveseat while we wait for the others to arrive. We still have that book to finish, after all, and they can all let themselves in."
Charlie, perking up a bit at the suggestion, grins at his once again closed door and hurries off to his own bathroom, intent upon getting through his usual routine before their guests came so he could have that precious one on one time with Brandyn that he loved so much. He was, of course, still tired and ticked at himself for forgetting the time difference between Scotland and Romania. The international portkey they'd used had been set to portkey them at a specific time. The only problem was that it had malfunctioned and had sent them home at four am, Romanian time. Bran and Charlie had both been a bit panicked until they'd noticed that it was two am here in Scotland. Had Charlie remembered the difference he could've calmed them both out of thinking they would miss the morning staff meeting by being so dead tired that Remus and Sirius would've had to awaken them. That would not have been a pretty sight... you know, the one everyone else would see once he and his beloved had gotten through with the idiots foolish enough to wake them up. Both of them hated mornings enough to become demons when someone took their sleep from them forcefully as Bran's fathers enjoyed doing. Luckily for them, Dobby had always hidden in their rooms and gotten to them before the two marauders had otherwise the men would know exactly why only Dobby was safe from their wrath. He was an elf who understood that you always awaken the submissive partner first so that the sub could awaken his potentially more deadly dominant partner up in ways that diffused demon-hood completely before coffee could finish trying to make him a morning person. Yes, that Dobby was truly a life saver.
/Help! It's a conspiracy I swear! I know you think I'm crazy when I say this, but I really am out to get me!/
Had they been in a group by themselves in that moment, all of Bran and Char's colleagues would have agreed aloud that the couple made an adorable picture as they sat, Bran lounging back against Charlie's chest while sitting between the larger man's legs and Charlie with his strong arms wrapped securely around the smaller man's waist and his chin on Bran's shoulder as they read together on the loveseat, in a peaceful sort of quiet only interrupted by the sound of rustling paper as Brandyn turned the pages while they finished reading each one together. They were in sync in a way that few ever truly were and it showed in the way they were together. Their date the night before had been wonderful for both men. Charlie loved making Brandyn happy and showing him how very much he was loved and he'd accomplished that during their date. Even sleep could not wipe the smile off of Bran's face when they'd finally curled up in bed for some rest.
The quiet moment between them is intruded upon by Remus and Sirius, who take a picture before announcing their presence. Sirius is the one who speaks up. "I see that the two of you really do need Monday off to recover from your date night. Was it that bad Bran?"
Brandyn glances up from the book as Charlie takes it from his hands and closes it with their bookmark keeping the page for them, and he smiles at his dad. "No, the date was wonderful in how very perfect it was. I met Charlie's dragons, one of which was the Horntail I battled in the tournament. Her name is Morgana and she thinks of me as her own hatchling. She followed us around the preserve just to make sure none of the other dragons would so much as think of harming me. She found us after we'd come back to pick Miaka up. We'd left Miaka with her mother, Kyla, to spend time together while we were in the area. Then we went to see a play, then had a picnic and a walk through a park and gone shopping until it was time to go outside before the portkey went off. Thanks to a delay in the portkey, we didn't get back until two in the morning. So if we look tired, we've got a good reason. Miaka is going to be returned to me by one of Charlie's friends when she decides she wants to come home. It's a chance for her to have a break from being surrounded by humans for a while."
Charlie yawns softly and nods in agreement. "We barely made it to bed at three and then we had to be up and ready for the meeting at six. It has been agreed upon that the moment this meeting is over and everyone is gone, we're curling back up in bed and sleeping the day away. Food we can get easily from Dobby when we need it, and without Miaka to wake us up we'll get the rest we need. I love the little dragon but she doesn't allow sleep when she's wide awake and she's usually wide awake when we want to sleep in. It's why we don't sleep in on the weekends unless she's with Hagrid."
Remus chuckles and sits on the couch the lovebirds are on once Charlie shifts and has Brandyn curled up in his lap, cuddled against the bigger man. Sirius sits beside his husband as Remus speaks. "Then we will be sure to leave as soon as the meeting is over and the others should get the hint that if we're leaving you two alone, it must be for a good reason and they will follow suit. I bet that Miaka will be enjoying the time she has with her mother."
Sirius sits beside Remus. "She probably misses Brandyn. She is his familiar after all and they've been together since she hatched."
Brandyn grins tiredly. "Nah, she'll miss me a bit, but she's happy for the chance to learn at her mother's side and be able to play with her brothers and sisters and the other hatchlings there. It'll be sort of like a child going to a school like this.. they miss their parent or guardian until they make friends and figure out that it's not leaving home forever so much as it is finding a way to be independent and making new connections and friends that you would have missed out on otherwise. She will return when Kyla has taught her what she needs to know about herself as a dragon and has made some friends and learned more about who she is outside of her connection with me. She needs that, I think."
Sirius blinks, "I didn't think of it that way."
Brandyn shrugs lightly, "Well, you would if you put yourself in another's place. Human or creature, the species doesn't truly matter, sometimes we're all after the same things and that's what counts. Like right now, I'm after getting this dern staff meeting over and done with so that Charlie and I can recover from our all-nighter of a date. Merlin be with anyone who decides to disturb us once we are asleep again. We will not be awakening until we choose to do so tomorrow. Anyone who decides it to be a good idea to try and get us up before then will suffer the twin demons of doom."
A familiar voice drawls from the doorway, "Thank you for the warning. I will be sure to heed it."
Brandyn grins at Severus and the other professors and does his best to stay awake as everyone takes a seat and the staff meeting begins. This was going to be a long one wasn't it? Eh, he didn't much mind that it would be so long as they got to sleep sooner or later. He was content and happy and it was all due to one man. He snuggles into Charlie quietly and smiles when the strong arms around him tighten gently. Love wasn't perfect all the time, but those moments of wonderful bliss were worth going through those rocky moments that made you want to give up or pull your hair out and strangle your beloved person. There was, after all, a motivation behind every upward climb that made you ignore the falling boulders for the prize that you would soon hold in your hands in triumphant defiance to the forces that tried to keep you from it or discourage you from continuing to reach towards your goal. He'd be sure to hold on as tightly as he could no matter the storms they'd face in the future. Love was worth everything they'd face, and no matter what, they would always face everything together and weather the storms and that's what counted most...
/\/\/\/Every end is another beginning in disguise.../\/\/\/
A/N: Oh, just to clarify, I don't have more respect for a stage actor than a screen actor. I just see the fact that an actor of the stage has less room for mistakes than an actor on the silver screen. On the screen, you have multiple takes that make that movie where all the best parts that have no mistakes are cut and pasted together into a full movie. The actors still work their butts off, but I do feel that you get a real feel for the talent of an actor when you see them on a stage. There is no second to twentieth take, there is no real margin for error, and those people have had to practice and work their butts off even more to learn routines, songs, lines, movements, you name it... just to entertain their audience. Projecting voices so that they're heard all the way in the back and the balcony and such. I respect that both types of actor work their hind ends off every day for their art, but I also tend to have more of a respect for the dedication and skill set it takes to get through a play that's just as long as an edited feature film without a mistake, or with one so small it doesn't distract from the play itself. So I'm not hatin on one or the other. Don't snipe at me for that. And don't twist my words around either. I love movies as I love plays, there are just different things to respect about the actors of each entertainment type and some even do both. I hope you enjoyed the chapter and hopefully my muse will not revolt on me again and I can get out another chapter soon. I've been trying to get this one out forever now because dates are hard for me to get through without glossing over a majority of them and going back to them as a memory that's summarized in a vague way. I almost gave up on this chapter and went for the vague flashback, but I thought you guys deserved more than that, especiaky after having to wait so long for an update, which I do apologise for. Thank you all for the nudges I got to continue and get this chapter out. The more people started putting this on alerts and reviewing the more I thought of how to finish this chapter so it'd be easier for me to update it regularly. The ending for this chap kinda sucks but... eh.. it's out now and hopefully will be followed by the next. I'm still trying to figure out what to do with Dumbles and Ron, but I'll figure it out soon. This was, by the way, the result of two different attempts to start and finish this chapter off. I hope I didn't disappoint you guys. Thank you for sticking with me through my writer's block!