February 2004

Harry was breathing hard, each breath rattling in his chest. He clung hard to Will's strong back, adoring each measured, intimate thrust of the other man's cock inside him.

Harry had climaxed a few minutes ago but had urged Will to keep going, to finish inside him. In those moments he felt almost hyperaware of his body; each bead of sweat, each muscle contracting and releasing, all the little hairs standing up on his arms.

"Harry," Will groaned and shuddered . He kissed over Harry's shoulder, up to meet lips that met his hungrily. "Harry."

They were in no rush to move. These lazy, middle of the night fucks were a frequent occurrence. Harry had learned to suppress the instinct to cast cleaning up spells and was content to let Will wipe them down with a damp flannel, then change the sheets in the morning.

Will slumped onto Harry's chest with a grunt, making Harry laugh as he carefully smoothed the hair back from his lover's face.

"You okay?" Will asked.

"Mhmm."

"Okay, good."

They were closing in on almost two years together, and Harry was no closer to telling Will about his magic than he was at the start. As time had gone on it got harder and harder – how was he supposed to tell his partner he'd been hiding such a fundamental part of himself all this time?

Their relationship wasn't difficult. Things seemed to go smooth and easy for them, even through the hard stuff like working overtime and not having enough time for each other.

Will trailed his finger's up and down Harry's side, making him shiver.

"Harry."

"Mm?"

"Move in with me."

Harry sighed. They lived on opposite sides of the city to each other and even though he could get from his flat to Will's in a few seconds, it took Will almost an hour on the underground. And because Will was such a nice guy, he insisted on them spending an equal amount of time in each other's homes.

"I don't know."

It was a conversation they'd had more than once. "It just makes sense."

"I'll think about it," Harry promised. He kissed Will on the head and shifted on the bed so they could fall asleep back-to-back, like they always did.

xXx

"Oh, Harry," Hermione said with a sigh, pulling him into her arms. "What happened?"

"Nothing, yet," he said, giving her a quick squeeze before letting go.

She sat back in her corner of the sofa and tucked her feet under her legs. It was still cold out, even if the snow had melted already. Harry sat down in the opposite corner and, with a wave of his hand, stoked the fire that he'd just come in through.

"I think Will and I are going to break up," he said with a rush.

Hermione raised an eyebrow. "You haven't already?"

"No."

"Oh."

"I've just come from his place and… I don't know. I was thinking that even after all this time together I'm no closer now to telling him about everything than I was when we met."

"Have you got any intention of telling him?" Hermione asked.

"No. I… no. It wouldn't be the right thing for any of us."

"So where is this going for you then, long term, I mean." She tucked a loose curl behind her ear and gave him an intense sort of look.

"Nowhere," Harry said with a sigh.

"Be kind to him," Hermione offered. "He's a lovely person."

"I know. I wish-"

"What?"

"I wish I loved him enough to bring him in."

"I think you love him too much to bring him in," Hermione said.

"Yeah," Harry said softly. "Maybe I do."