DISCLAIMER: I own nothing recognisable...just the plot.
ANOTHER DISCLAIMER: Inspired by the song "You Shouldn't Kiss Me Like This" by the wonderful Toby Keith...I don't own that either! I suggest you look it up on YouTube, if you've never heard it.
WARNINGS: Pre-slash; implied slash; male/male kissing; just about everyone alive (except for Sirius and Dumbledore).
Molly Weasley leaned back in her husband's arms until she was flush against his chest. "I just wish that Charlie and Harry would find someone to make them happy."
Arthur sighed as his wife opened up the much trod conversation once more. "Molly, Love, they will, eventually. I think we should just be happy that Harry and Ginny realised that they weren't meant for each other before they actually got married."
Molly smiled slightly. "You mean you're glad Harry finally figured out that he's gay before he and Ginny got married. It would have made both of them miserable, being married to each other." She looked over to the side of the large tent where her only daughter stood with her husband of two years, Draco Malfoy. Their wedding had been the surprise of the century when it had been announced that Ginevra Weasley would be marrying Draco Malfoy. No one knew when they had first begun dating, but it had been rumoured that Harry Potter himself was responsible for their union.
Arthur looked around the tent as well, his eyes searching for someone and finally finding them. The blue eyes of the newest Minister for Magic locked on the forlorn figure of his youngest son in all but name. Harry stood off to one side of the tent, a champagne flute held loosely in his fingers, watching the happy couple, Ron and Hermione, spinning around the dance floor; they were looking into each other's eyes and the wide smile on Hermione's face told everyone how happy she was. Harry's eyes followed them and a small smile graced his lips, a smile that didn't extend to his shadowed eyes; Arthur could tell that Harry wanted to be anywhere rather than where he was at.
Harry watched his best friends whirl around in time with the music and was happy for them...honestly, he was. He just wished he could be that happy, but knew that it wasn't going to happen. He didn't seem able to tell the one person he wanted to be with how he felt; it wasn't likely that Charlie Weasley would ever look at him in a romantic sense when all the rest of the Weasley males accepted him as either a brother or son. He let his gaze drift over the huge crowd gathered for Ron and Hermione's wedding reception and heaved a sigh; Charlie wasn't even there. Harry had been told that Charlie wouldn't be able to be at the wedding because of an emergency at the Welsh Reserve where he worked; while they were all standing around in their finest dress robes, Charlie was doing whatever it was that he did.
Charlie Weasley apparated behind the huge tent his parents had set up to hold his brother's wedding reception; he was horribly late, hopefully Ron and Hermione would forgive him for missing the actual ceremony. One of the dragonets had gotten himself injured and had required emergency surgery to reattach one of his wings; Charlie hoped it healed enough to allow the dragon to fly when he was fully grown, but they wouldn't know for about a year.
He straightened his dark green dress robes and tried to tame his hair before walking into the tent; he didn't want his mother to start scolding him for looking anything less than put together at Ron's wedding. He took a deep breath and walked to stand in one of the tent openings; the inside had been charmed to resemble the Great Hall at Hogwarts, complete with floating candles. Charlie shook his head, trying to control his laughter; Hermione had threatened to do this if Ron didn't help her plan the wedding...it looked like she got her way.
He began scanning the attendees, looking for one person in particular; his heart sank when he couldn't find him. Charlie entered the tent and made his way through the crush to his parents; it was like trying to walk through a heavy surf, people kept pushing him back slightly with every step he took. Finally he reached them and gave his mother a quick hug.
"Charlie! We didn't think you were going to make it!" Molly's eyes brightened as she looked over her second oldest son; he had obviously made an effort with his appearance for the reception.
"Well, I wasn't sure I would; I didn't want to say I would be here if I couldn't make it. One of the month old dragonets had to have surgery to reattach a wing."
Arthur placed a hand on his son's shoulder and squeezed slightly. "We're glad you got here; the reception just started, so go on and enjoy yourself."
Charlie nodded and waded back into the crowd. He slowly made his way over to George's side, as Ron and Hermione were still dancing; his younger brother was bouncing one of his twin daughters on his knee, making funny faces at the toddler. Fred stood beside him, holding the other twin, tickling her and laughing with the small child while George's wife Angelina supervised. Charlie stopped and watched them for a moment, sadness trickling over him like water; he wanted that...he wanted a child that he could hold and rock to sleep. He didn't think he'd ever get it, though; for all that he had been in Gryffindor, he wasn't brave enough to tell the one he liked that he had feelings for him.
Harry placed his glass on a nearby table and walked out of the tent; he needed to speak with Draco about their combined class at Hogwarts and didn't want to be caught talking shop by Hermione. He walked around the outside of the tent until he came to the entrance near where Draco and Ginny were standing. He watched the couple until Draco looked up and met his gaze; he nodded slightly and gestured with his head that he needed to speak to Draco. Draco nodded back and bent to say something to Ginny; she turned and smiled at Harry. Draco kissed Ginny and grabbed Severus Snape's arm to bring him into the conversation.
They spoke for several minutes about the class which would combine Draco's antivenin potion lesson with Harry's poisonous snake lesson. Once that talk had subsided, Draco left to go back to his wife's side. Severus watched Harry closely as the younger man watched the couple greet each other with obvious affection. The look of longing on Harry's face made the man wonder just what was ailing his DADA professor.
"Are you quite alright, Harry? You are rather...melancholic lately."
"Hmm?" Harry's attention swung back to his employer. "I'm sorry, Headmaster; I was just thinking about something."
"Harry, I believe I've told you before that my name is Severus, please use it." Severus smirked slightly as Harry flushed and nodded. "I just asked if everything is okay with you; as I said, you seem to be taken by melancholy lately."
"I'm...I'm fine, S-Severus." The slight stutter over his name amused Severus; the obvious lie did not. "I've not been sleeping well and I have several things on my mind."
"Sometimes, Harry, it helps to share the problem. Is it something I can help you with?"
Harry suddenly gained an amazing interest in the toes of his dress shoes. "No, unfortunately it's not. If it were that easy, I would have asked for help a long time ago."
Severus felt the weight of someone's gaze on him and carefully looked around. Charlie Weasley was glaring at him as if he would like to spit roast him and serve him to the dogs. Well, well, this is unexpected...I wonder if this is the reason for Harry's mood change? Severus decided he would try something to find out. He wouldn't say anything inappropriate, but, from a distance, his actions could possibly be construed as those of a lover. He placed a finger under Harry's chin and lifted the younger man's head so that their eyes could meet.
"I wish to offer my assistance in any way I can, Harry. The mental well-being of my staff is of the utmost importance to me."
Harry flushed slightly. "Not that I don't appreciate the offer, Severus, but there isn't a way that you could help me. Not only that, but if Remus comes out here and finds you propositioning me, he'll get mad." The grin on Harry's face went a long way toward reassuring Severus that the issue was, indeed, one that could be fixed.
"I have not propositioned you, as you put it, merely offered my assistance. Remus wouldn't like it if there was a solution to your problem that I could provide and didn't. I have, since your final year as a student, looked at you as I would a son; being Remus' husband brings that relationship closer to home." Severus was well aware of how Harry's awe-struck expression would be taken by the redhead on the far side of the tent.
After spending some time with his brothers and his nieces, Charlie began to mingle. He navigated the crowd, constantly looking for a head of messy black hair; since Harry had finally hit a growth spurt after graduating, it made looking for him a little easier. He finally caught sight of him standing just outside of the the tent, directly across from where he was. He watched, curious, while Harry spoke to Draco Malfoy and Severus Snape. Malfoy was no problem; he was very happily married to Ginny...but Snape...
As he watched, Draco left the other two men to return to Ginny's side; that left Harry alone with Snape. Charlie had heard that Snape had dated Remus Lupin for a while, but didn't know if anything had ever come of that; news never quite seemed to reach him at the reserve. The older wizard placed a finger under Harry's chin and lifted his head. He couldn't read lips, so he didn't know what was said, but Harry's blush was unmistakable.
He could only guess at what Snape had said to Harry to make him blush like that, but Charlie didn't like the thoughts that ran through his mind. He wasn't about to lose his chance with Harry to that...that...THAT! He jumped as the stem to his champagne flute snapped in his hand; this was no small feat...the glasses were charmed to be unbreakable.
"Is there nothing you want to tell me?" Severus was not about to let the matter drop, now that he had been able to get Harry to speak about it.
Harry let out a humourless chuckle. "Not unless you know how to tell someone who's not interested in you that you're interested in them."
Ah, so I was correct. "Who might this other person be?"
Harry shook his head. "Nope, not getting that out of me; you'll only say something to him and embarrass me."
"Harry, I promise that I won't say a word to the man in question. I just want to help you."
Harry shook his head and smiled slightly; Severus noticed that the smile, like most of them these days, didn't reach his eyes. Severus was determined that this not be the end of the conversation, but he was interrupted by the appearance of his husband of just under a year.
Remus Lupin had been watching what was going on just outside of the tent and had wondered what, or rather who, the show was for. He noticed Severus glancing off to the side a few times and followed his gaze; Charlie Weasley was standing quite still, glaring at the older wizard. Remus kept his focus on Charlie as Severus made a few movements that, if he had not been certain of his husband's affections, would have made him see red; with a dawning understanding, Remus realised just what Severus was doing.
If it wouldn't have made people wonder if he was losing his mind, Remus would have laughed; Severus was trying to make Charlie jealous. He knew that Harry was attracted to the Weasley boy, but he hadn't known that Charlie returned those affections. Normally Remus would be concerned for his honourary godson, but, in this case, he whole-heartedly approved; Charlie Weasley was a good man. He watched as Charlie jumped when the stem to his glass snapped in half in his hand; he had to stifle another laugh as Charlie looked at his hand, confused, as if he had no idea of how that could have happened. He decided to join Severus and Harry and drag his husband off, if necessary.
"Now, Severus, no brow-beating Harry into revealing his secrets." Remus draped a casual arm around his husband's waist and grinned as Severus' arm came to rest on his shoulders. Shooting a quick look at Charlie, Remus watched as he visibly relaxed, but continued to stare at them. Deciding to help things along a bit, he turned and drew Severus' head down so that he could kiss him and then whisper in his ear..."It worked, you can stop trying now."
Severus chuckled and kissed Remus a second time before looking back at Harry; the younger man was looking anywhere but at the two of them. "Harry, please remember...if you want to talk about anything, my door is always open."
"Thank you, Headmaster...sorry, Severus...I'll remember that." Harry smiled at the two of them before walking back inside the tent.
"You succeeded quite admirably, Love; Charlie bought it."
"Yes, but then you walked up...after that, he knew that I wasn't flirting with Harry."
"True, but I'm assuming you only wanted to make him jealous, not angry. He was well on his way to being very angry; I don't think that would have had a very good outcome." Remus surreptitiously slid his hand down to grope Severus' arse, enjoying the obvious jump and glare from his husband. "He's still watching us and I want him to know that we are together, not you and Harry."
"I think he knows, even without the display; Harry walked away and left me here with you...not the actions of someone in love with me."
Remus stretched up and kissed Severus' nose. "No, that's why I'm still here with you, though."
Charlie watched as Remus practically wrote "MINE" in bold red letters across Severus' forehead; it didn't take an idiot to realise that Remus and Severus were still a couple. That left Charlie wondering exactly what he had witnessed between Harry and Severus; it had looked intimate, but that could just be his mind, going off on a tangent. Or, thought Charlie, Severus saw me watching and was trying to make me do something...but what?
Charlie began looking for Harry again, becoming panicked when he saw Harry in conversation with Roger Davies. Davies was a relatively decent looking guy...if one liked the classical definition of 'handsome'; with his dark brown hair and brown eyes, clean cut and 'Nice', with a capital N. Charlie didn't fit any of those descriptions; he was too large, too muscular, too brash, too...everything. He knew he didn't have much to recommend him to anyone, but he was willing to try...and he wanted to try with Harry.
Having made up his mind, Charlie headed across the dance floor toward Harry just as the band struck up another slow song.
Harry started to get a very bad feeling when he heard the band start to play another slow dance song; he did not want Roger to ask him to dance. As if in slow motion, he watched as Roger opened his mouth to speak...but someone else's words cut across whatever Roger had been going to say.
"Harry, would you dance with me?"
Harry looked up slightly, into the bright blue eyes he had been looking for all evening; Charlie was asking him to dance. Words failed him at that moment, but he held out his hand and let Charlie take it, drawing him out onto the dance floor; he looked back at Roger, who shrugged and found someone else to flirt with. The breath stilled in Harry's chest as Charlie drew him into his arms and they began to move in time to the music.
Molly gasped slightly as she caught sight of her second oldest son spinning Harry around on the dance floor; the sight was riveting. The way that Charlie held Harry in his arms, as if he was the most precious thing in the world, allowed Molly to see just what her son had been hiding from all of them...he was in love with Harry.
Arthur smiled as he watched the two dance slowly, sliding ever closer to each other's body as the music moved them. He had hoped that those two would find in each other what they were missing; he wondered if he had been the only one to notice the yearning looks and puppy-eyed stares when they thought no one was watching.
Ron and Hermione watched the couple begin to slow down and just shuffle together, instead of the dance that they had begun. Hermione knew what Harry was feeling; he had confided in her, only weeks ago, about how he felt for Charlie. Ron was hoping that Harry and Charlie had finally found someone to love in each other; he knew that Charlie had been in love with Harry for ages, but hadn't had the nerve to ask him out.
Fred, George, Angelina, Bill and Fleur all looked on with huge grins. Fred surreptitiously poked George in the back and held out his hand as his minutes younger twin slipped ten galleons into it. Ginny wrapped Draco's arms around her and began to sway them in time to the music; she had hoped that Harry would find love one day...all the better that it was with her brother.
Remus and Severus were dancing together, just outside of the tent, having never made it back inside after Harry left them alone. They had watched as Charlie had almost stormed across the tent to ask Harry to dance and then practically dragged him out onto the dance floor and into his arms. Remus lifted his face slightly and Severus bend his head at the same time, their lips meeting in a kiss that was as hot as it was gentle.
"They're staring." Harry's words and breath against his ear caused a shiver to wrack Charlie's body; he hoped he wasn't going to embarrass himself by becoming noticeably aroused.
"We can't help it if we're gorgeous together...they're just jealous because you're in my arms and not theirs."
Harry's body felt the shiver course through Charlie and answered with one of its own. "Or they're jealous that they're not me, being held in your arms like this." Harry's breath caught in his chest again as he felt the sweep of Charlie's lips against his left ear; if Charlie's arms hadn't tightened around him, he would have thought he had imagined it.
"They can't have you...you're mine!" The low growl in his ear almost caused Harry's knees to buckle; only Charlie's arms kept him upright. He buried his head in Charlie's shoulder and tried to take a reinforcing breath. Charlie swirled him around once more and then essentially carried him off of the dance floor and over to a secluded table, so that they could be alone.
Charlie pulled out a chair for Harry and then took one for himself, turning it so that they faced each other. He cupped a hand around the back of Harry's neck and slowly drew him in for a kiss; he did this slowly, so that Harry could pull back, if he didn't want it. Harry put up no resistance and even helped Charlie along by wrapping his arms around Charlie's neck and pulling them together faster.
When they resurfaced for oxygen, Harry's eyes met Charlie's and was stunned by the emotions he could read in them...hope, fear, surprise and love...most of all, love. "You don't know how long I've wanted to do that; I was scared you wouldn't feel the same way. All of the rest of your brothers treat me like I'm their brother, too."
Charlie rested his forehead against Harry's and chuckled slightly. "Ah, but I'm not my brothers...I'm me...and I'm yours, if you want me."
"How could I not want you? You've taken centre stage in my dreams for the last several years; I'd be a fool to not want you." Charlie pulled Harry to him again; this time the kiss was much less gentle and more passionate. They drew apart before they got carried away; they had to remember that they were still at Ron and Hermione's wedding reception.
"Harry Potter, would you do me the honour of becoming my boyfriend?" Charlie raised one of Harry's hands so that he could kiss it, keeping eye contact the entire time.
"Yes, Charlie Weasley, I will. I would love nothing more than to be your boyfriend." Their third kiss was everything either one of them could have dreamed for; romantic, passionate, gentle and loving.
Ron and Hermione Weasley's wedding made the news for more than one reason. It had been the culmination of ten years of friendship and had cemented their love story into the annals of romantic history. It also served as the springboard of another romantic relationship...the one between Harry Potter and Charlie Weasley. Their romance was everything that any romantically inclined witch or wizard could have wanted to read about...and the newspapers made sure that all of the romantically inclined people got their weekly or, in some cases, daily dosage of the Potter-Weasley courtship.
Harry and Charlie paid no attention to the papers...they had each other...what more could they possibly want?