Disclaimer This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by J.K. Rowling and the companies she picked. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Beta Lilac Lavender
Prompt Written for Kamerreon's and Excentrykemuse's "Love a Lion Fest" - Prompt Number 41 "During the second task, the one at the bottom of the lake was a Weasley. It just wasn't Ron!" Requested by WynterRavenheart
Pairing Percy Weasley / Harry Potter
Warnings Pre-Slash, Chan (under 15)
Summary During the second task, Harry has to rescue his long time crush
A/N Barty Crouch will be missed shortly before the third task. Percy never set foot into Hogwarts in Harry's fourth year... except of course now...
Swimming for beginners
Taking one last breath of fresh air before submerging in the ice cold water, Harry Potter thought for the thousandth time 'Stupid Tournament. Why oh why do I have to go swimming in bloody February, in the Black Lake to boot!' Grumbling to himself he watched his hands and feet becoming webbed. A tentative watery breath later, Harry began his descent to the middle of the lake, where he knew to find the Merpeople's village.
Solving the riddle had been easy after Cedric's hint, but still the Gryffindor struggled to consciously think of something "he'd sorely miss". His first and strongest guess - one of his best friends - seemed to be false. Both were sitting together in the stands watching the second task. His other year mates had wished him luck leaving breakfast, including all of the girls and, for the life of him, Harry didn't believe somebody had put his aunt, uncle or cousin at the bottom of a magical lake, no matter how often Harry had hoped to be rid of them in such a way. Ignoring the little voice in the back of his mind whispering a name and the image of bright blue eyes and red hair, Harry raced deeper, barely missing grabbing hands rising out of the seaweed. A little further away he saw Fleur didn't have that much luck. He ignored her; being in freezing cold water killed every notion of being a gentleman.
After a while he saw the first columns of the ancient city in front of him. Slowing down a bit, Harry became aware of hundreds of pairs of watchful eyes all around him. It was creepy in combination with the eerie light and ruins, particularly because merpeople looked nothing like the beautiful muggle pictures. Five minutes later he approached what seemed to be the city centre. It was little more than a larger free space with nice mosaics on the floor, framed with archways. Four unconscious figures were tied together at a large bolder. He saw a little blond girl, Cho Chang and a girl with long black hair. They must be the ones that Fleur, Cedric and Viktor Krum would sorely miss respectively. He went around the three figures to get a look at the fourth, hidden beneath the others, facing away from his position. Harry's heart skipped a beat when he identified the hostage.
There, suspended only a few meters in front of him, blue eyes closed and red curly hair wavering in the icy water was Percy Weasley. Taking a shuddering breath, he swam slowly to the older Gryffindor. Harry had never been as near to him as in this moment. Reaching out with a shaking hand he traced the freckles on his cheek reverently. It was silky soft. Without his horn-rimmed glasses Percy's normal slightly pompous face looked relaxed, almost fragile.
Harry closed his eyes. How could somebody have known about his infatuation with the older Weasley brother? It was his best kept secret, only acknowledged in the middle of the night after vivid dreams about pale freckled skin, red hair and blue eyes. Not once did he confuse those blue eyes for the ones of his best friend. After all the time Harry had spent watching Percy in the common room, he knew every small difference between him and his brothers.
Starting in first year, Harry's eyes had strayed more often than not to the tall and thin prefect. At that time he thought he'd wanted to be like Percy: tall, good looking and successful at school. Even the slightly pompous and arrogant air around the red head couldn't faze him, because he recognized it as the insecurity of the older boy that it was. In his second year he had thought he wanted him as his big brother. Third year the dreams about gentle blue eyes had started, which confused him to no end at that time. Slowly, ever so slowly he had recognized his feeling for what they were. Now, in his fourth year he couldn't mistake his feelings for anything else any more, but he tried not to think about it. He didn't think about his feelings at all. Deep inside, however, he knew he liked Percy; just not as a brother.
He understood that it was highly uncommon to have more than a major crush on an older student when you were only thirteen years old, but Harry couldn't help it. The Gryffindor didn't think he was gay. He never looked at other boys - not even in the showers after Quidditch training - but he never looked at girls either. He only wanted to look at Percy; to touch him, to hug him, to never let him go again. Ever. This year he hadn't had any chance for his "Percy Watching" besides at the Quidditch World Cup and he really missed glancing all evening at the former prefect.
Suddenly angry beyond reason that the red head had been put in danger for this stupid Tournament, Harry aimed his wand at the ropes and blasted them away. He grabbed his hostage gently around the chest, marvelling at the hard planes under his fingers, and started his way up to the surface. He didn't even notice that he was the first Champion to do so.
Harry's mind began reeling how to explain why Percy had been picked as what "he'd sorely miss". He never wanted anybody to know about his infatuation with his hostage, especially not Percy himself. Hell, even he didn't want to think about it. But now it looked like everybody and their neighbour would know of it in a few minutes or at breakfast the next morning. Surely Rita Skeeter would just love to write something juicy about him.
Near the surface his legs started cramping. Harry looked at his watch but it wasn't working any more. 'Stupid water! Stupid Tournament!' He could only guess how long he had been down at the bottom of the lake. He struggled to bring his precious cargo above the water before his Gillyweed stopped working and both would drown.
Breaking the surface, he became aware that breathable air was still not an option and submerged until only his eyes were outside of the water. The loud cheers of the crowd were muffled but the sudden silence was hard to miss as all students and teachers had recognized his hostage. Harry sighed, 'now it begins.'
The raven haired Gryffindor slowly opened his eyes, locking green with blue. Blushing brightly, Harry indicated to the stands and started swimming just as Percy opened his mouth to ask the questions his eyes clearly showed. He arrived at the stands first, frantically looking for a clock. There! Half an hour till he'd be able to get back on land. Half an hour waiting in the bloody cold water. Half an hour till all the questions would start. What a life. Still, he didn't have a clue how to answer all the questions his friends and reporters would surely think of.
'Maybe they won't wait so long and leave me alone?' Harry snorted to himself. 'Swimming in The Nile doesn't help, I'm already in the Black Lake.'
He tentatively looked over to the stands his friends and fellow Gryffindors were huddled in and met a furious glare. Startled, he watched Ginny's eyes moving back and forth between Percy and himself. For the life of him he didn't know what he'd done wrong. He glanced at Ron and Hermione only to receive bewildered looks. Sighing to himself he settled down for a long wait and an even longer interrogation later.
Now he had stopped moving the cold crept deep inside his body. Shivering slightly, he enviously watched as Percy left the lake and was wrapped in a Gryffindor-red blanket by Madame Pomfrey. He wanted to be wrapped in Percy's arms under the blanket. Blushing again Harry dipped his head under water, trying not to be noticed.
Percy watched as the blushing boy submerged again. Waking up in the middle of the Black Lake in the arms of one Harry Potter, Boy-Who-Lived and best friend of his baby brother had been a surprise. Scratch that, it had been mind blowing. The first thing he had seen were the bright green eyes of the red faced and panicking boy Percy had always admired from afar. Harry was so unlike himself. Where the red head liked to follow the rules, stood back in a crowd and kept his head down, Harry was outgoing and talked easily to nearly everybody.
The smaller boy was so shy, nice to everyone except blood purists, with a beautiful soul beneath the gorgeous face. The fact alone that in Percy's sixth year Harry had managed to rescue his little sister and the whole school had impressed the hell out of him. He himself wouldn't have had that kind of courage. He knew that the younger boy had been watching him in the common room since Harry had had started at Hogwarts. At first he didn't know why, but last year the looks changed. The former Gryffindor had then started to watch the raven haired boy in return, trying to unravel the mystery that was the Boy-Who-Lived. He only succeeded in falling for Harry, hard. He had been unsettled, that a thirteen year old boy could evoke such feelings. When did he become a paedophile? So, Percy had vowed to himself never to act on his feelings as long as Harry was still at Hogwarts. Surely, by then he would have met somebody else to fall in love with. Now, everything had changed.
While working for Mr. Crouch in the Ministry of Magic he had read how the tasks for the Tournament were chosen and carried out. For the second task, Magic herself picked the hostages for each participant based on his or her feelings and put them at the bottom of the Black Lake in a deep sleep. That could have been a lover, a sibling or favourite relative. What kind of hostage Percy was for Harry Potter was really obvious if you knew that fact and now he was sure the other Gryffindor returned his feelings. Still, he would not really touch the younger boy, but maybe he could get to know him better. He wanted to talk to him. The only problem was that Harry was still caught inside the lake, probably nearly frozen to death.
Percy approached the Headmaster and looked imploringly in his twinkling eyes. "Headmaster, is there a way to get Harry out of the cold water? He took Gillyweed but I'm not sure how much longer he'll have gills."
Dumbledore smiled at his former student. "Percy, my boy! What a surprise to find you as the hostage for Mr. Potter." Said boy barely refrained from rolling his eyes only because of his great respect for the man. Naturally, the Headmaster was aware of how the hostages were chosen. "We could always fill a bathtub with hot water. Mr. Potter is looking a little blue already."
Groaning silently to himself for his stupidity, Percy transfigured a pebble into a large claw-footed bathtub. "Aqua Eructo!" He concentrated on hot water and after a little while the tub was filled to the brink. 'Now for the hard part.' Steeling himself he approached the water's edge.
"H-Harry! I-I know it's freezing in the water. Would you like to come to m-me? I've filled a tub with hot water for you." His first words to the smaller Gryffindor started with stammering. Great.
Holding his breath he waited. Slowly, a mop of dripping black hair emerged, followed by bright green gems. Harry's eyes darted between Percy and the steaming bathtub before he swam toward the red head. Percy dropped his blanket and reached into the icy water to grab Harry securely under his arms and knees. He sprinted to the bathtub and lowered the shivering boy gently. Percy heard a small sigh and watched Harry lying completely under the water, emeralds blinking up at him. He had always imagined merpeople looking like that; pale skin with brilliantly coloured eyes, not like the scaled creatures living in the lake.
He looked around, only to meet the disbelieving stare of Ron and the twins as well as a scowl from his little sister. Percy knew nobody had guessed that he had been put inside the lake for Harry. If there was a betting pool, his name would surely have never made it in. Not wanting to discuss anything without Harry right beside him, he turned around just in time to see Viktor Krum transforming back to himself. Next to him was a black haired girl who blushed brightly, definitely not a sibling as well. Only seconds after Viktor, Cedric and a beautiful but distressed blond girl emerged, the latter without her hostage. Percy was proud to be rescued first.
A loud splash behind him alerted him of the fact that Harry's Gillyweed had stopped working. Turning around, he saw the boy climbing out of the bathtub, reaching for a towel. His shirt clung to his lean torso, accentuating how small and young the teenager was.
Harry rubbed the towel through his hair, hiding his face completely. It seemed he didn't really want to face Percy or his friends, but surely he knew there was no way around it. Taking a deep breath, the older boy started the conversation. "Hi Harry," Percy said gently, blushing slightly. "How are you doing?"
"Hello Percy," was the equally gentle answer. "I'm fine. It's really cold out here, I think I'll go inside and take a shower."
Percy's face fell at the obvious rejection, but then a determined glint entered his eyes. "I'd like to talk to you, if it's possible?"
In the background, the commentator called all Champions to the jury. Harry seemed to struggle with an answer. Suddenly he started walking toward the other Champions, calling over his shoulder "I'll be at the Quidditch pitch after dinner. Meet me there?"
"Yes, I'll be there," confirmed Percy before he turned away, butterflies swirling in his belly madly. He was resolved to make the best of the meeting. He had eight hours to think about what he was going to do and what result he wanted. Now Percy only needed to survive the questions as well as the gentle and not so gentle ribbing of his younger brothers and sister till the evening. Looking back before he got to the group, he watched smiling as Harry was presented with the first place and 50 points.
Getting away from his friends had been harder than Harry had expected; especially Ron who had seemingly known what he was up to. Directly after receiving his points, his friends had waylaid him and started to bombard him with questions, getting more and more ludicrous after some time. He recalled the questions of Seamus and blushed again. The Irish boy had wanted to know if he and Percy had been shagging each other since last year, where, in what positions and who was on top. On the other hand, Ginny had barely spoken to him all day, only sending glares his way. Harry came to the conclusion that she must be mad at him because Percy had been put in danger. He had had a hard time stopping the interrogation and getting some peace. Luckily, Neville had helped him to escape the others after nearly two hours of torture.
Harry ran full speed down the frozen green hills to the dark Qudditch pitch, hoping not to be too late. He had cursed himself twelve ways to Sunday after his foolish comment about taking a shower. Percy had finally talked to him and he had had to make such a stupid mistake, but luckily the older Gryffindor seemed to have more courage than him. After the shock at the bottom of the lake he had been overwhelmed and had started to panic. It had taken till late in the afternoon to come to terms that his crush wanted to talk to him, and it had only happened after he overheard someone explaining how the hostages had been chosen. Thereupon Harry had thought hard about what he wanted to do that evening, slowly building up his determination to make the first step if necessary. He would grab this chance with both hands and make Percy his.
Slowing down as the stands came into view, Harry tried to smooth his dark green shirt and black slacks he wore underneath his still open winter robes. It had taken almost half an hour to find something to wear; nearly panicking he would find nothing appropriate. Running a hand through his hair, he entered the pitch to find Percy waiting near the Gryffindor stands, wringing his hands in one endless motion. The older boy wore dark blue robes, accentuating his bright red hair. His pale skin glowed slightly in the light of the half moon.
The raven haired boy felt a calmness settle over him as he crossed the pitch. Harry just knew this; everything was going to turn out all right, this would be a magic moment. He took a deep breath and stepped shyly up to Percy, looking at him through lowered eyelashes. "Hello Percy."
"Hello Harry, I hope you're feeling well?" The red head reached up and caressed Harry's cheek gently. Harry was surprised by the boldness of the gesture and thought his now hot cheeks must be glowing in the dark. He saw that Percy smiled slightly at his bright blush.
Harry felt encouraged by the caressing fingers and stepped closer until there was barely space between them. "I'm feeling great now," was his breathless answer. He sensed more than saw the wide eyed look he got by that action and leaned closer, mingling their breaths. His heart began to beat at a furious pace as he waited for Percy to take the next step. Just as he was sure he had made a mistake and started to draw away, cold lips closed over his own and arms wound around his waist.
It was pure bliss.
Never in his wildest dreams had he imagined the sensations rushing through him now. His lips prickled, warmth spread throughout his body and those strong arms made him feel more secure than anything in his whole life before. His first kiss was surely the best first kiss in the world.
He decided right then that they could talk later to find out how to make this relationship work. For now, he was happy to be kissed by Percy.
All was well.1
1 Quote from the last page of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows", belonging to J.K. Rowling