Disclaimer: The quoted lyrics are not mine, but are from Desire's song "Under Your Spell."

~000~

Under Your Spell

~000~

I don't eat

I don't sleep

I do nothing but think of you

You keep me under your spell

~000~

"Has something happened?"

Jacob couldn't speak at first. What a question to ask! Of all the things that'd been happening to him, which were bad and which were not bad? Which were all right and which were not all right? His head had been a fog for the past three days. He was actually surprised that it had taken her so long to ask him what was going on. It was only natural that someone should notice that something was off, from the way he'd been sleepwalking through his routine lately.

He forced himself to focus on Leah's wide concerned eyes. He smiled vaguely.

"Yes, but I think everything is going to be okay."

She frowned, "What the hell does that mean?"

He laughed. "How should I know?"

She rolled her eyes and headed for the shop's door. "Call me when you get your head together. You're a grown-ass man, and I'm tired of worrying about you."

"Yes, ma'am."

Alone, he ran over the source of his mental haze with a dreamy smile on his face.

Three days ago, he went to the bank to apply for a small loan so that he could expand the shop. Normally he did all of his banking online, but this obviously called for a visit. It was as he was leaving the office of the banking representative that he saw him.

He stood at the end of the hall, directly within Jacob's line of sight. He was scowling at a trio of interns gossiping by the magical copier device. It was only nine in the morning but he looked 3 or 4 cups the worse for strong coffee, and somebody had already pissed him off once that morning, maybe twice.

He wore a surprisingly-fashionable three-piece suit and carried a thick sheaf of folders, obviously occupied with Important Business.

And Jacob imprinted. For years he thought that he wouldn't, that he just didn't have the gene. It was possible, and his dad had mentioned one of their ancestors experiencing the same lifetime of singlehood. It wasn't a pleasant thought, but he had made his peace with it. Besides, what else could explain why he was still single at twenty-nine, when the last of his pack had imprinted by his twentieth birthday?

Somehow he made it home. He had wanted nothing more than to hang around the bank and watch that man from the windows, but he knew better. He really needed that loan, and acting like a crazy stalker was not the way to get it. It was by the grace of his guardian spirits that he did not experience a collision during the drive home. His head felt like someone had opened the top and pureed everything inside with a hand mixer.

He wanted desperately to see that man again, but hadn't even gotten a good look at his face. If asked to describe it to one of those police artists, he would have been at a loss. All he remembered were exceptionally lovely lips and fashionable thick-rimmed glasses. For all he knew, that man had been a visiting executive and he would never see him again. His chest ached at the thought.

He finished his work a little before five and called his clients to inform them that they could pick up their vehicles anytime the next day.

That accomplished, he headed home on foot. With his head in the state it was, he had taken to travelling on foot, shunning even a bicycle.

At home there was a letter from the bank asking him to come in for a follow-up appointment in two days. It sounded positive, so he let himself hope that he was approved. This was very quick, but he got the impression that his small local bank was not frequently inundated with requests for loans.

He asked Leah to carpool with him, since she was planning to go to town that day to have lunch with some girlfriends. She agreed, but with bad grace, as was to be expected. He didn't know how her husband endured her moodiness. Hell, Simon actually seemed to like her shrewishness, frequently joking that her sass kept him young. Nearly fifteen years Leah's senior and marred by the decades he had spent as an alcoholic prior to joining Alcoholics Anonymous, it was silently acknowledged by the pack that he needed all the youth he could get.

He stood in the kitchen looking at the letter. He wasn't thinking about the loan, but instead about his imprint. Closing his eyes, he sent a prayer to the Great Spirit that he would not only see him again, but find some way of becoming a part of his life. At this point he didn't care if the romance never bloomed between them. He just wanted to be close to this man.

~000~

The Great Spirit was listening, because he came face-to-face with none other than his imprint that Friday when the bank receptionist escorted him to the loans office. His eyes were green behind those glasses, and by god he had not been wrong about the lips.

Jacob's tongue seemed to swell up inside his mouth, prohibiting speech. He smiled instead and offered his hand to shake, even though it was not strictly necessary under the circumstances. The man smiled politely back and shook his hand. His skin was cool and dry, and his hand bore calluses to rival Jacob's. Jacob wondered if he had a hobby, or if he just played sports.

He introduced himself as Harry Potter, and explained that he was filling in for the man Jacob had met earlier because he had had a very unfortunate traffic accident. Jacob nodded and managed to murmur sympathy for the absent representative, never mind that he had forgotten his name and all of his distinguishing characteristics beyond the ugly brown-and-mustard tie he'd been wearing.

The man started to talk about loans. Jacob tried to pay attention, but all he could think about was that every night for the past week he had dreamt that he was running his lips down this beautiful man's spine. He swallowed and crossed his legs.

Thankfully they were interrupted before Jacob could miss something really vital. A dark-eyed young woman peeped in through the door with roguish coyness and announced in a tone that implied some kind of hidden joke that the manager had come in today and would prefer to handle this business personally.

Harry nodded, smiled at Jacob again, and gathered a briefcase that had been hidden out of Jacob's sight.

Before he left, he said, "It was a pleasure meeting you, Mr. Black, and I hope that you have success in your venture regardless of the answer my manager gives you."

Jacob mentally filed away the way Harry's vaguely-accented voice pronounced the word "pleasure" and said something along the lines of goodbye, he couldn't be sure what. His head began to feel heavy again after Harry left, and he felt a small but steady ache begin to take over his chest. He knew it was for his own benefit that he discussed this important matter with someone he didn't desperately want to have sex with, but he wanted to be with Harry for just a little longer.

Already his scent of evergreens and breath peppermints was dissipating.

~000~

He got the loan, and talked Leah's ear off about the logistics of constructing an addition to the shop during the entirety of the ride home regardless of her lack of interest. He didn't particularly want to talk about that just then, but if he didn't he would be forced to think about Harry. Thinking about Harry would then result in arousal, which Leah would smell and ridicule him for, and then use to humiliate him in front of the entire Pack.

As soon as he got home, he called the shop to tell Shane, the most trust-worthy of his employees, that he would be taking the afternoon off. He knew that he wasn't really needed this afternoon, and wanted to go for a run as a wolf.

Deep in the woods, he allowed himself to become human once again. In a fit of romantic sentimentality, he threw his arms around a moss-covered tree. If only this tree were Harry. Harry: what a lovely name! Never mind that prior to his imprint he had hated it as out-dated and reminiscent of grandfathers everywhere. Now, it was the name of an angel.

Now that he knew that Harry wasn't going anywhere, he needed to find a way to see him again. He could haunt the town until he found an opportunity to casually bump into him, but what if Harry noticed him hanging around and got spooked? He could be upfront about his interest, but if Harry turned him down, there would be no chance of friendship. He could…

Jacob ran out of plans. He released the tree and sank down to its foot with his bare back resting against its trunk.

What was he supposed to do?

~000~

Harry solved Jacob's dilemma by making the first move. On a Saturday more than a week later, while Jacob was picking up his mail at his P.O. Box, Harry came strolling into the office. His box was directly beside Jacob's. While Jacob sweated from the ecstasy of being in Harry's presence to the point that he couldn't pick up his mail, Harry had ample time to recognize him.

"Hey, you're Jacob Black, right?"

Jacob pretended to be surprised. "Oh! Hey. Yeah, I am. You're that guy from the bank."

"Indeed. I don't mean to be too familiar; I just remembered you because you're very distinctive."

Jacob was intrigued, "How so?"

Harry gestured vaguely, "You're…big."

Jacob looked down at himself, feigning surprise, "I am?"

Harry caught on to what he was doing and rolled his eyes with a laugh. Tension wound its way around them as his laugh faded away. Jacob swallowed.

Harry opened his mail box, and asked casually without looking at Jacob if he had any plans for that afternoon.

"No; I was just going to get some groceries and then maybe head home. But I'm not really in a hurry to get back. Why?"

Harry shrugged and gave him a smile. "This might seem kind of weird, but I just moved here a month ago and I haven't really made any friends outside of the office yet. I guess what I'm trying to do is ask you if you have any plans this afternoon. I'm not asking for anything definite, though; you can say no if you're busy or don't want to. It would just be nice to socialize with some people I don't know from the bank. If you're not interested-"

"No, I'm definitely interested!"

Harry looked taken aback by his enthusiasm, and Jacob flushed with embarrassment.

"Sorry. That came out kind of extreme. I have the same problem, that's all. It's not that there's anything wrong with my usual crowd, but sometimes you feel like you're in a rut and you just want to talk to someone new."

Harry nodded, "Exactly. Well, cool. I'm glad you are open to hanging out. What do you do for fun around here?"

Jacob's mind was a blank. He hadn't done anything "fun" outside of Pack parties since he was in high school. "Um…this is a small town. That is kind of a foreign concept."

Harry snorted and began to toy with his mail, "Well, how about some coffee? There's a shop next to the bait shop that I haven't tried yet. We can pretend that trying a new coffee shop is something cool and exciting to do."

"That sounds good to me; and if we are feeling really gangster, we can drive a few towns over and see a matinee."

Harry snickered and followed him outside. He stashed his mail in his laptop bag and escorted Jacob to the parking lot so that Jacob could store his mail in his glove compartment. It wasn't raining, so they walked to the few blocks to the coffee shop.

"I know you have probably been asked this a billion times already, but where are you from? You have an accent."

"It's alright; I don't mind. I grew up in Britain, but I left when I was twenty-two for Greenland, and then I kind of hopped around from place to place. I spent some time in India, and before coming here I lived in Brazil for three years."

Jacob almost tripped over his feet as he walked. He had never been outside of Washington, and felt helplessly sheltered in comparison to this global citizen. How was he supposed to be interesting enough to keep this man by his side?

"Why did you travel so much? Did you just like traveling, or was it for work?"

"It was to get away from my work, to be perfectly honest. I started a career as a sort of policeman in England when I was barely eighteen because it was what my father had done, and at the time it seemed like a good fit. But all the depressing petty crime and human malice that I had to deal with day after day started to really get to me. I haven't mentioned this, but I am an orphan, so I felt really guilty for not liking my work. It was as though I was betraying my dad somehow. As much as I hated it, I was really good, so I kept getting more and more cases transferred to me. They gave me the ugliest and most horrible crimes to deal with. I started missing a lot of sleep. It was too much work for my partner and me. After the few nights that I could sleep, I would wake up feeling sick to my stomach because I knew that I had to go to work.

"This went on for two years. By that stage I was running on autopilot, powered by a sense of duty, and growing more resentful by the day. Something had to give, and give it did. I threw in the towel one day, had a huge row with my boss in front of everyone, and left. I haven't looked back since."

"Just like that?"

"Yes."

They arrived at their destination. The coffee shop was a little hole in the wall with a dingy fluorescent light advertising it as "Nina's". Jacob held the door open for Harry. Just as they entered, it began to drizzle and shortly afterward to pour.

"Perfect timing," Harry commented, standing with hands in his pockets watching the rain come down.

"Excuse me; are you going to buy something?"

They turned as one. The woman behind the counter was frowning at them. She was a tall, straight figure of a woman with a plain face and a great mass of brown hair. Her name tag declared her name to be "Nina," so Jacob assumed that this was her shop. He had seen her at the grocery store once or twice, and she had always been frowning as though thinking really hard about a serious problem.

She was frowning now.

"Yeah, we'll buy something," he turned to Harry, "Do you know what you want?"

"No, go ahead. I need a minute. I didn't drink coffee until I moved her, so I am enjoying trying all the different varieties."

Jacob ordered a basic black coffee. He had never bothered to try anything fancy on the menu; he didn't drink coffee like he drank liquor. Coffee was fuel to him, and the simpler it was, the cleaner his engine ran. That and he needed a loan for a reason, and couldn't afford to spend as much on his coffee as he did on his lunch.

Nina asked him if they were staying or going. When he said that they were staying, she grabbed a mug from the shelf of mismatched crockery behind her and poured him a mug from the pot. She didn't smile, but he gave her as generous a tip as he could afford anyway. He also owned a small business, and he knew how every little bit of profit helped keep the lights on and the water running.

Her frown softened the smallest bit when she saw the tip he left her. Jacob tactfully gave no sign of noticing and headed for the small couch against the wall. It was the ideal place to sit. Not only did it allow him to watch the rain with more comfort than from a wooden stool, it would also most likely result in Harry sitting next to him.

He mentally swore at the juvenile turn his thoughts had taken. He was a grown fucking man, for god's sake, and needed to stop thinking about seating arrangements and focus on the task at hand.

Harry sat beside him just then, and he stopped thinking altogether. The size of the couch made Harry's thigh press tightly against his for a moment before he adjusted himself more comfortably against the arm. That warm pressure, even though it lasted a mere second, sent a jolt through Jacob.

He was sitting next to his imprint, someone he had given up on meeting less than a month ago. They were having coffee together and getting to know one another.

Harry smelled wonderful.

Harry had ordered a macchiato, whatever the hell that was. The smell of it blended with Harry's already-heady scent, raising it to intoxicating levels. To distract himself, Jacob tried to pick up their conversation where it had left off, but couldn't remember the specifics.

"What were we talking about?"

"My old job, but we can talk about something else."

"No, no, it was getting interesting. I want to know what you did after you left England."

Harry took a sip of his macchiato and grimaced. "This smells really good, but the taste is a little sweet for me. Moving on, I basically already told you what I did. I always wanted to travel, so I went wherever I wanted. I would find part time work, and then when I got bored or restless I would leave."

"Does that mean that you'll be leaving Washington soon? I can't imagine that you would decide to settle here after all of the other exciting places that you've been." The thought of losing Harry so suddenly made his eyes prick, but he hid his emotion and did his best to sound casual.

Harry gave him a sidelong look. "You might be surprised. Sure, I hopped around a lot, but I'm getting older now and travelling doesn't mean what it once met to me. I guess you could say that I got saturated. Everywhere started to look the same, because there are some things that stay the same no matter where you go."

"What do you mean?"

"God, I'm not doing a very good job of explaining myself, am I?"

Jacob shook his head, "You're doing fine. I'm just really interested in what you're saying, and want to make sure that I'm not missing anything."

Harry glanced at him and smiled wryly, "When I'm done telling you, I want to hear about your life, to be fair."

"Fair enough."

"…anyway, I guess what I meant was that, no matter where I went, I was still going there with myself. I had some unresolved issues, and they weren't going away on their own. When I started missing sleep again, I tried to settle down for a while and sort myself out, because I didn't want to live my life as an insomniac. I was in Berlin at the time, which is a perfectly decent place to settle down, but something about the city didn't feel right. I felt, I don't know, disconnected from nature…alienated somehow.

"So I moved again. And again, and again. Nowhere felt right. I finally made myself choose a continent from a hat. I got North America. I then opened a map, shut my eyes, and pointed. I got America, and Washington State specifically. I continued this process with smaller and smaller maps until I got to towns. And here I am."

Jacob shook his head, marveling at the miracle that had resulted in their meeting. If Harry hadn't chanced to point to even this county, they never would have met, because Jacob rarely travelled farther than a few miles from home.

"And how long have you been in America?"

Harry thought for a minute, "I've been here for about a month and a half now. Wonder of wonders, I like it here. It's not exciting or famous, but I like that. It's peaceful, nobody bothers me, and I feel at home. I think I'll stay for a while."

"I'm glad."

Harry turned from the window and met his eyes. Jacob realized that his voice must have betrayed his emotions somehow. The air thickened between them as neither looked away for a long moment. Then Jacob snapped out of it. Quickly, he asked, "So, what did you want to know about me?"

Harry blinked slowly, as if waking up, and then murmured, "Oh, anything. I'm sure your life is very interesting, seeing as it will be from the perspective of a giant."

Jacob pursed his lips, "I'm not that big!"

"Oh really? How tall are you?"

"…six feet and eleven inches."

Harry threw up his hands with a look of triumph, "If I remember the U.S. customary units properly and if my mental conversions to metric are even partially correct, you are a giant!"

Jacob just smiled and looked out the window. The rain was still coming down pretty hard. "Okay, I'm a giant. But it's not my fault that you're short."

Harry appeared outraged, "I am not short! I am considered to be on the cusp of tall, thank you very much!"

In his indignation, his accent became much stronger. Jacob was, typically at this point, turned on by this new development. He wondered, helplessly in the grip of lust, if Harry's voice would revert to its natural tones during sex. What would his name sound like, said in that voice? Or maybe Harry wouldn't talk during sex, only make incoherent noises. He doubted it, but appearances could be deceiving.

"What are you thinking about? You've gone all red."

Jacob mentally punched his sex drive in the face for embarrassing him.

In hindsight, he wasn't sure how he managed it, but he covered his sexual fantasizing somehow. After their coffee, they decided to go and see if there were any good movies showing in the next town over. Harry wanted to walk, but Jacob explained that the heaviness of the rainfall would put them at risk from drivers who might not be able to see them. The visibility of pedestrians was greatly decreased by the precipitation.

They continued to talk during the drive. Harry was fascinated by Jacob's upbringing as a Native American, and asked tons of questions about his childhood.

When Jacob spent time with his peers from the Pack, they didn't talk like this. In fact, he couldn't remember ever enjoying talking to somebody like he was with Harry. Even in high school and junior high, before he found out that he was a shapeshifter, his conversations with his peers were characterized by uncomfortable silence and banal chatter about mutual friends and obligations.

He wanted to confide in Harry. He wanted to tell him about the dreams he had about his dead mother, how he felt about being a shapeshifter, and explain his relationship with his father. He wanted to tell him the ridiculous saga of misfortune that was his past involvement with Bella Swan (even in his head he refused to acknowledge her new last name).

And he wanted Harry to confide in him. Although Harry had done most of the talking earlier, he still felt like there was so much he didn't know about him. What was he like in school? Why did he choose to become a banker? Who raised him, if his parents were dead?

After the movie, Harry said that he had to go home and do some laundry. Jacob invented an obligation so that he wouldn't sound lonely. They exchanged phone numbers and parted ways with promises to spend time together again later.

~000~

"Later" turned out to be every Saturday. Jacob would drive into town, do his shopping, get his mail, and then hang out with Harry. His dad started getting mad at him for putting off buying perishables like milk and eggs, so Jacob eventually rearranged his schedule to hang out with Harry first and then do his shopping right before heading home.

The only downside to this was that it interfered with any actual nightlife activity. He couldn't go to the bar and then go shopping; he would get a weird reputation.

There weren't very many things to do in town, so they spent most of their time together taking long walks. Sometimes they would see a movie or go to a diner if they got hungry, but for the most part they were alone together in the woods.

Harry didn't make an effort to keep up a steady stream of chatter, which Jacob liked. It allowed him to relax and just enjoy being with him. But Jacob also wanted to get to know him better, which meant drawing him out when he felt that Harry would be amenable to talking. As much as Jacob subtly pried, Harry kept a certain wall between them, even the few times that they drank together.

This went on for some time. Every weekend at around noon, Jacob would drive into town, meet Harry at Nina's, and they would plan their activities. They usually finished around seven or eight at night, said goodbye, and then went to their respective homes. Jacob longed to see Harry more frequently, and even suggested that they have lunch together during the week. Unfortunately for Jacob, Harry was still a new employee at the bank and worked through his lunches to show his boss that he was dedicated. And so Jacob had to content himself with Saturdays.

Somewhere around the third month of this, their pattern was broken. It was one in the morning on Saturday and Jacob was in the shop, up to his elbows in grease. His dad was out and he didn't want to be alone in the house, so here he was, working overtime.

His phone rang.

"Hello?"

It was Harry. Jacob couldn't understand what he was saying at first because he was slurring his words, but he eventually made out that Harry had gone out to drink with some coworkers in La Push out of solidarity, and his ride had taken off without him by mistake.

"I am really, really sorry to ask you to do me this huge favor. Were you sleeping?"

"No, I wasn't. And it's okay. I'll be there as soon as I can."

He hung up and then grimaced at the grease he had gotten on his phone in spite of wiping them with a rag before picking up. He went to the sink and scrubbed the worst of the grease off of his hands and face, and then delicately cleaned his phone with some wipes. In the office, he used the shop computer to Google the bar and confirmed its location.

Dressed in his street clothes and sans coveralls, he got into his truck and started driving.

Harry was sitting on the curb in front of the bar with his head in his hands when Jacob arrived. It was raining, and he was soaked to the bone. Jacob rushed out and bundled him into the car.

Harry let Jacob strap him in, strangely passive. Jacob bit his lip. Harry smelled like a mini bar, which was surprising because Harry had confessed that he didn't like to get drunk frequently.

They drove in silence for a while, and then Harry seemed to come to himself and murmured, "Thanks, Jake. I really appreciate this."

"No problem," Jacob dismissed, sending him a quick smile. Harry was slumped against the door, facing him. There was a soft little smile hovering around his lips. His wet hair stuck to his cheeks, and he was shivering. Jacob turned up the heat.

"So where is your apartment?"

He hadn't been to Harry's apartment yet, and Harry had not been to his house. He was hoping to take that step when they were both sober, but this would have to do.

Harry gave him directions, and sent them in the wrong direction twice. When Harry said that they had arrived, Jacob told him to wait in the car so that he could go and check the buzzers to see if Harry really lived there. Sure enough, there was a sticker labeled "Potter, H."

He retrieved Harry from the car and helped him unlock the door. Harry swayed suddenly, and pressed his face into Jacob's chest. Jacob patted him awkwardly, unsure of how a straight man was supposed to react. For obvious reasons, he had kept his sexuality a secret from Harry so far.

"Will you carry me?" Harry asked, removing his face from the damp flannel of Jacob's jacket to give him a goofy smile.

Jacob couldn't resist. He knew deep down that this was crossing a line, but he didn't really give a shit right now. He swung Harry into his arms bridal style and scaled the dingy stairs to his apartment. Harry handed him his keys, and Jacob set him down carefully against the wall. He unlocked the door and held it open for Harry. Harry caught hold of his sleeve and pulled him inside.

He appeared to be struggling with his shoes, so Jacob knelt and unlaced them for him. Harry smiled down at him and gently touched his face. Jacob closed his eyes, swallowed, and stood.

"Will you help me undress?" Harry slurred, pulling ineffectually at his sweater. Jacob snorted at the ridiculous sight and agreed.

Harry was soaked to the bone, so it was necessary to remove everything short of his briefs. Jacob hunted in the chest of drawers by the bed until he found a set of pajamas. Harry was shivering, so he added a pair of socks to his little stack.

Harry managed to dress himself, but he needed help with the socks. Once Harry was bundled up, Jacob went and got him a glass of water and an aspirin. Harry obediently consumed both, went to the bathroom, and then came back. He curled up under the covers.

Without his glasses and wearing a pair of pale yellow pajamas, he looked suddenly childlike. Jacob smoothed his hair back from his forehead, and Harry's eyes fluttered closed. He licked his lips, and then opened his eyes. They looked more lucid now than they had been before.

"Don't go. Stay with me."

Jacob tried to laugh. "Where will I sleep? You don't have a couch."

"Sleep here, with me. There's room even for you, giant."

Jacob hesitated, and Harry whispered, "Please? I don't want to be alone."

That settled it.

"Okay."

He removed his wristwatch and laid it on the bedside table. He took off his jacket, then his hooded sweatshirt, and then the checkered flannel shirt beneath. He took off his jeans and thick hand-knitted socks (a present from one of his sisters). Dressed in his boxer shorts and t-shirt, he lay down on top of the covers beside Harry. Surprisingly, he dropped into sleep after what seemed to be only a few minutes.

~000~

The next morning, he awoke to the smells of food. He turned his head and saw Harry sitting beside him eating a large breakfast and reading the newspaper. He smiled when he saw that Jacob was awake.

"Good morning."

"…morning."

Jacob got up to use the bathroom. When he returned, Harry indicated a second plate on the crate currently serving as a night table. They ate together in silence for a few minutes.

"Hey Jake? Thanks for staying last night."

Jacob gave him a shy smile. He wasn't sure how to interpret Harry's request from last night, but he had decided to be optimistic. Last night he had slept beside his imprint. Surely that was progress?

~000~

It was progress. Jacob invited Harry to his house for lunch, and Harry accepted. Harry's office had a party, and Harry invited Jacob. When Jacob's family celebrated the birth of his sister Maria's third child, he brought Harry along. Slowly but surely, they began to meet the people that comprised one another's lives.

Six months after Jacob imprinted, they were celebrating his birthday. Like all parties where the entirety of his pack was present, it was decidedly out of hand. He escaped outside to the shed for a breather, and was surprised to find Harry there. Harry started and then smiled when he saw who had entered.

"Hey. Are you bailing on your own party?"

Jacob shrugged, "I'm 30 years old; that makes me a grown man by even Victorian standards. If I want to leave the party being held for me in my house, I will leave the party."

Harry grinned. "Congratulations, by the way. I know what your friends are like, and it's a wonder you've lived as long as you have."

Jacob laughed, "I know, right? But you're having a good time?"

Harry nodded, "Yeah. Want to go for a little stroll? It's not raining, and it smells like petrol in here."

"Sure."

They walked some time in silence, and then Harry stopped. They were beneath one of the behemoth-sized trees, and its wide spreading branches were so heavily draped with moss that it resembled a weeping willow. It was as though they had stepped into a living green room.

"Jacob?"

"Yeah?" Harry had whispered, so Jacob instinctively lowered his voice as well.

"I don't really know the right words to say what I need to say, and I'm sorry. I've thought about how to say this for a long time, and the right words just won't come. I am tired of waiting for them, so here it goes. I…like you. I like you as an individual, and I like the person you are around others. I like what you do, and I like that you live with your dad instead of sending him to a home or to one of your sisters. I like that you are so fucking big that you are constantly banging your head on things. I like that you're always so warm, and I like your sense of humor. I like that you freak out when we're at the gym and you think I am handling weights that are too heavy for me. I like you, a lot."

Jacob had stopped breathing shortly after Harry started speaking, and now he was forced to take a breath. He sucked it in silently, feeling dizzy.

Harry met his eyes. "Jake, do you know what I'm trying to say?"

"I hope so," Jacob choked out, equally at a loss for words. He chose action instead. Before he could lose his nerve, he swooped down and kissed Harry. He attempted to pull away and see how that was received, but Harry wouldn't let him. Harry had Jacob in the palm of his hand from the very first day, and Jacob didn't think that that was going to change any time soon.

~000~

End Under Your Spell

~000~

Note: I made up Jacob's sister's name. I don't know what his sisters' names actually are. Heck, he might not even HAVE sisters. What do I know?

(What have we learned? Answer: The author knows nothing).