By J.C. Vascardi
Disclaimer: All characters and places featured in this story that relate to Harry Potter are the property of J.K. Rowling, various publishers, and Warner Brothers. I am not profiting from this story and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. The only things about this story that I own are the storylines, places or characters that are not in the books.
Summary: Written for yaoigirl18. Charlie senses that Harry and Cedric have more than friendly feelings for one another, so, following the first task of the Triwizard Tournament, he gives them something to help them relax after their encounters with their dragons. With their inhibitions lowered, Charlie beats a hasty retreat so the two boys can have some private bonding time.
Pairing: Harry/Cedric (with help from Charlie)
Warnings: Slash, Alternate Universe
The first task of the Triwizard Tournament had just ended and the four champions had retreated back to the Champion's tent, many of them with injuries that needed to be treated by Madam Pomfrey. Of course, as she didn't deal with dragon-related injuries on a regular basis, her methods weren't the best they could be. Cedric's face, for example, had been burned during his encounter with a Swedish Short-Snout and Madam Pomfrey had been prepared to put a thick orange paste on his face.
"Not the best way to treat that," Charlie said, before she could apply it.
"Excuse me, Mr. Weasley?" Pomfrey asked as she bristled. "I've been a practicing healer since before you were born."
"I realize that," Charlie said. "How much experience have you had dealing with dragon-related injuries though? Everyone at the reserve is required to learn how to deal with their own injuries, so we're experts when it comes to this type of thing."
"Yes, I can see that," Pomfrey said, as she eyed a rather large silvery burn on Charlie's forearm.
Noticing her gaze, Charlie said, "That burn is from a Ukranian Ironbelly. Their breath burns too hot to be healed. You get hit with it and you'll have a permanent burn mark no matter what you do. We've tried everything, including that," he said, pointing to the paste that Pomfrey had mixed up. "It doesn't work, hence the reason we didn't bring an Ironbelly for the Champions to face."
"Well, if you think you can do better," Pomfrey said, a challenging tone in her voice.
Pulling out his wand, Charlie pointed it at Cedric's face, did a complicated swishing movement and mumbled an incantation that Pomfrey had never heard before. Much to her shock, the burned flesh on Cedric's face healed almost instantly. There was some redness, but it didn't look any worse than if the Hufflepuff had been blushing. "The redness will go away in about an hour. Otherwise, he'll make a complete recovery."
"An impressive display of healing skill, Mr. Weasley," Pomfrey said, the awe clear in her voice. Her treatment would have required Cedric to walk around with paste on his face for at least twelve hours.
"I hope you know it wasn't my intention to show you up, Madam Pomfrey," Charlie said a with smile. "Merlin knows you patched me up plenty of times when I was in school. You're very good at what you do. I just have more experience with dragons, working with them on a daily basis."
Shaking her head, Pomfrey smiled and said, "Plenty of times? Mr. Weasley you were almost as bad as Mr. Potter is. In fact, the bed I had reserved for you in the hospital wing is his now."
Not long after all the scores had been announced, Viktor and Fleur left to spend time with their own schoolmates, leaving Charlie with Cedric and Harry. Grinning at the two boys, Charlie said, "What say we head on up to the prefect's bathroom and relax for awhile? I imagine after dealing with those dragons, you both could use a nice relaxing soak."
"I'm not a prefect," Harry pointed out.
"No, but Cedric here is," Charlie said. "And I'm a former prefect myself. So, I think it'll be okay. Come on. I've got something that'll help you both relax."
"It's not alcohol is it?" Cedric asked warily. "We shouldn't be drinking."
"No, it's not alcohol," Charlie said, as he led the two boys into the castle and up the stairs. "Just a concoction that we give the newbies at the reserve. Many of them get quite frazzled after their first encounters with a dragon, no matter how much they think they've prepared themselves beforehand. So, our medic developed a tonic to settle their nerves. It's nothing bad and unlike Snape's potions, it actually tastes quite good."
"Alright, you've convinced me," Cedric said as they approached the door and he said, "Pine fresh."
Charlie laughed as they entered the large bathroom. "Password hasn't changed much since I was a prefect - it was 'lemon fresh' back then."
"This is a bathroom?" Harry asked, clearly shocked, as he looked around the large room. "That tub looks like a swimming pool. Why are there so many taps?"
Grinning, Cedric said, "Well other than allowing the tub to fill faster, each one provides water with different colored bubble bath." To prove his point, Cedric turned on two of the taps nearest to where he was standing. Water tinted red and yellow soon began filling the tub, with red and yellow bubbles floating atop the water.
As the tub was filling, Charlie pulled a flask out of his robes and handed it to Cedric. "Here's that tonic I mentioned. Take two or three sips and then give it to Harry."
Nodding, Cedric unscrewed the cap, before taking a tentative sip. "Wow, this really is good," he said after a moment, before taking two more sips and then handing the flask over to Harry, who readily agreed once he'd tasted it.
"This may come as a surprise to both of you," Charlie said, "but potions in other countries often do taste good. It's only here in Britain where the potions masters seem to think that potions have to taste like something you'd scrape off the bottom of your boot. Which is probably why there's never been a single company in Britain who sells potions to stores in other countries. Nobody would buy their products."
"Well, why don't any foreign masters export their products here?" Harry asked.
"Trade regulations," Charlie answered. "The Ministry thinks it's protecting the populace by not allowing foreign potions makers to sell their products here. Many of our lawmakers would never dream of using a potion that wasn't made in Britain by a British master, so they're under the erroneous impression that ours are the best."
"Just one more reason to add to the ever-growing list of why I think our government is full of fools, I guess," Harry mumbled. He hadn't intended to say that aloud and blushed slightly when the other two laughed.
Charlie, however, knew why Harry might have said it. There was a side effect to the tonic he'd given them that he'd neglected to mention. While it worked great to settle one's nerves, it also tended to lower their inhibitions. Making them more likely to do things they usually wouldn't do for whatever reason. Like most dragon keepers, Charlie was empathic, which allowed him to sense a dragon's emotions. It was a handy skill to have, seeing as how dragons don't speak in any known language.
Of course, his empathic abilities also extended to being able to sense the emotions of other people. From the moment he'd arrived that morning and encountered Cedric and Harry in the Champion's Tent, he'd easily picked up on the fact that they were each nursing a strong attraction to one another. An attraction that Charlie had no doubt would develop into a romantic relationship, if they would simply allow themselves to explore it. Which sadly was not likely with their inhibitions getting in the way. So, yes, Charlie had an ulterior motive in giving them the tonic that had nothing to do with calming their nerves.
Confident that with their inhibitions sufficiently lowered, it was only a matter of time before they did something about their feelings for one another, Charlie took the flask back from Harry and put it away. Smiling, he then said, "Well, as nice as it was to see this place again, I have to get going back to Romania. Take care and have fun!" He was out the door before either Harry or Cedric could respond.
"Well, that was abrupt," Cedric commented a minute or so after Charlie left.
"Yeah, it was," Harry agreed. Then looking over at Cedric, he smiled and said, "Although, I can't say as I'm terribly upset about being alone with you."
'Where the heck did that come from?' Harry thought. He'd tried to flirt with the older boy when he'd warned him about the dragons, but his fear of rejection had gotten in the way. No, though, it seemed to be gone.
Before the brunet had time to contemplate that, Cedric nodded and said, "I've been wanting to get you alone for months, Harry."
'What the?' Cedric thought, as he was overcome by an overwhelming urge to pull the younger boy into his arms and kiss him soundly. 'Oh just go with it,' a voice said in his head, even as a small part of his brain told him he shouldn't.
Pulling Harry into his arms, Cedric leaned down slightly and brought their lips together in a searing kiss. It lasted only a few seconds, before Cedric pulled away and said, "I've wanted to do that for awhile."
"I've wanted you to do it, too."
"Really?" Cedric asked and Harry nodded. "I think we need to chat. Fancy a bath?"
Harry grinned. "Splendid idea, Cedric."
Sorry this took awhile to get out. I've just been pretty busy and didn't have much time to write. Anyway, I hope you like this, yaoigirl18. I think I managed to do what you asked for or at least I hope I did. I probably could have written more, but that pesky word limit got in the way again. Anyway, let me know what you think. As for the other two ficlets I haven't gotten to yet, I'll do them as soon as I possibly can.