"Are you in pain?" the Healer asked, and Harry groaned. He'd been through this, over and over again for hours.
"Yes," Harry said, gritting his teeth and trying to be patient.
"No. When I'm standing it hurts."
The Healer nodded and made some notes with a long, black quill. The feather tickled his nose and he sneeze, displacing his pince-nez. Out of the corner of his eye, Harry saw Charlie hide his grin in Lily's belly.
They had been through enough tests that Harry felt like a performing monkey. He'd changed into his Animagus form and back again several times, had submitted himself to undignified prodding and poking when in his eagle form. Charlie had been there the whole time, being alternatively supportive and teasing when Harry's mood changed.
He had walked for the Healers with crutches and splints, then with splints alone. He'd done ridiculous tricks on a broom just to show off. He'd sobbed in pain when Charlie helped him out of his boots and his feet swelled and ached.
"Well, Mr Potter," the Healer said, "I'm quite confident that the pain you're experiencing in your feet is in reaction to your defiance to the curse."
"The curse is doing this?" Charlie asked.
"Mr Potter's insistence on partaking in activities that should be impossible for him-"
"Are you trying to say I should just sit around and do nothing? Not walk anywhere? Because with all due respect, Healer, fuck that."
The man recoiled a little, then smirked. "I understand your… enthusiasm, Mr Potter. But the simple fact is, if you persist in attempting to walk, you will continue to suffer this pain."
"Okay, so what about the movement?" Charlie said. "When he first got hurt he couldn't move at all. It was like his legs were a dead weight. Now…"
"We cannot say for sure, Mr Weasley," the Healer said gently. "It does seem that there is now a range of movement – however small – that we were not seeing previously. But I am unable to make any guarantees as to what will happen in the future."
Harry nodded. He'd expected this – had come to terms with the realities of his disability a long time ago.
"I'm not going to stop walking," Harry said.
"Can you give him something that will help with the pain? A potion or something?"
"I don't need a bloody potion," Harry muttered and rolled his eyes. From her place in Charlie's arms, Lily started to fuss.
"I will do some more research and owl you," the Healer said. "Your progress is promising, Mr Potter. But it is in no way conclusive."
That night, with Lily sleeping in the next room, Harry sprawled out on the bed, laying on Charlie's chest. The cat had finished his night-time prowling and was curled up in a patch of moonlight on the windowsill and Charlie's fingers stroked reassuringly over Harry's back.
"I want her to be… smart," Harry said. They'd been playing this game for a while.
"Hermione Granger smart, or James Potter smart?" Charlie asked.
"Um… Lily Potter-Weasley smart," Harry said with a grin. "I want her to go out there and totally defy expectations."
"You know you're going to teach her how to conjure a Patronus and become an Animagus before she even gets to Hogwarts," Charlie said affectionately. "She'll walk in on her first day and know the entire first year syllabus."
"No. Maybe," Harry conceded.
"I want her to be beautiful," Charlie said. "Not like, supermodel beautiful, but you know when someone is confident and loving and secure and happy? They sort of look beautiful to the whole world. I want her to be that."
"I want," Charlie said, "for her to know that her dads love each other. She knows now that we love her, but I want her to see all the time the sort of love I saw between my parents. I think that's important. For her to grow up in a family that's so full of love."
Harry leaned in and kissed him, ever so gently. This was everything.
"We're not going to have any more kids, are we," Charlie asked softly.
"No. I don't think so."
"This one is perfect."
Harry grinned. "Yeah. Plus, just look at how many cousins she has already. I think it's going to be good, the three of us."
Charlie pushed his fingers through Harry's hair and tugged him down into a kiss. This one was slow and sure, tongues and lips and teeth and the stirrings of something else.
"Make love to me," Harry murmured.
"Yeah, okay," Charlie said with a grin. "How do you want it?"
"Um, on my side… like this." He rolled off Charlie's chest and pulled his knees up.
As always, it took a while for Harry to be ready for sex as the passive partner, not that he was ever really passive, even when he bottomed. He often wondered if he would have ever experienced this were it not for Charlie Weasley coming into his life and changing it completely. The act seemed too intimate for him to share with anyone other than this man – the one inside him.
"Oh," Harry said, then moaned as Charlie filled him again.
Charlie smiled and kissed his shoulder, retreated, then pushed in again. While making love like this Charlie often propped himself up on one arm, leaving the other to play with Harry's body, with the added advantage of being able to see everything.
"Your mind is so open to me right now," Charlie murmured, brushing Harry's hair back from his face. "Let me in?"
Where Harry had never been able to specifically master the skills of Occlumency and Legilimency, Charlie was good at both. Harry had learned other skills in his years as an Auror to protect his mind… but he let Charlie in from time to time.
"You're so kinky," Harry said with a laugh. He ran the flat palm of his hand over his own chest, tweaked a nipple, then rubbed down to his cock and caught it between his fingers. "Yeah, okay."
"Let me know if you want me to stop."
It was a whole different level of intimacy. Harry was just about used to Charlie invading his body, occasionally his mind, but both at the same time?
He whimpered as images filled his head, pictures that Charlie was painting there as he showed Harry exactly what he was seeing. It was strange in a way, being aroused by his own body, by the way Charlie saw it. When Charlie looked down Harry could see too, the picture of Charlie's cock moving in and out of his own body. He could see it, and feel it, and it was overwhelming but there was no way he could stop.
Charlie took, too, as well as giving him those incredible images – took the love that Harry still had such a hard time expressing, took the feelings of deep desire and intimacy, took the memories of their first times together and combined it with his own.
Harry barely remembered his orgasm – it mixed with other feelings so the physical pleasure blended seamlessly with an emotional climax that left him physically shaking. He realised that Charlie had come too, come inside him, and he trembled hard again.
"Shh," Charlie said softly, kissing down Harry's neck as their bodies finally disconnected. "I've got you. I've got you."
His strong arms wrapped around Harry's chest and pulled him back. Harry gripped onto Charlie's forearms and kissed the back of his hand.
"I know. It's okay."
Charlie pulled the duvet up to cover them both and settled back, content to hold Harry like this all night if he had to.
"Too much?" Charlie asked.
"No." Harry leaned back and placed a soft, soft kiss on the corner of Charlie's mouth. "Perfect."