February 2005

Harry gripped as hard as he could to the back of Charlie's neck with one hand and his ass with the other, hoping to keep him close as the other man fucked him hard and fast. They kissed too, the action hard and demanding rather than soft and sweet, and Harry dug his fingers in tight to the fleshy, muscled bum-cheek, hoping to add an edge of pain.

Charlie growled when he came, baring his incisors and holding himself at his deepest point inside Harry's body. Harry had already come twice. He was still riding those good feelings when Charlie started to pull away.

Moments later he was alone in the bed as Charlie stood and cast cleaning charms over himself, then reached for his jeans.

"Why don't you ever stay?" Harry said. He'd been drinking. It was the only reason why he had the guts to ask.

Charlie gave him a long, even stare. "Because you never ask me to."


"Me and Charlie are…"

Hermione's eyes widened and she pushed the biscuit tin towards him across her desk.

"You and Charlie are what?" she asked.

Harry took a biscuit and slumped back in his chair while he nibbled at it. Ron was away on a job somewhere in France, so Harry had been seeing a lot more of the inside of Hermione's office. She knew there was something going on but was far too tactful to press. That was, until Harry started to confess.

"Fucking," Harry admitted.


One of the things that Hermione was exceptionally good at was knowing when to be quiet. Harry and Ron had decided that it was a woman thing. It was like smoking them out – Hermione's patience was endless and Harry's wasn't, so he inevitably said more than he intended to.

"For months now," Harry said.

"But you haven't… rekindled your romance?"


"I see."

Hermione helped herself to a biscuit and raised an eyebrow.

"I asked him last night why he never stays over and he said it's because I never ask him to. What the fuck does that mean?"

"I should imagine," Hermione said reasonably, "that he means you never ask him to stay over, so he doesn't feel comfortable doing so. Or assuming that it's okay."

"Of course I want him to stay over!"

"Have you told him that?"

"Well, no…" Harry muttered.

"There you go, then," Hermione said smugly. "Why don't you ask him to stay for the weekend?"

"Because…" Harry said and picked at a hole in the knee of his trousers. "Because… oh, I don't know. It's complicated."

"Is it really? You want it to happen, he wants you to ask… why don't you swallow your pride and ask him?"

Harry folded his arms and sulked.