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Title: Skinny Dipping
Author name: Icarus
Author email: icarus_ancalion@yahoo.com
Count:
Category: Slash
Sub Category: Humor
Rating: NC-17
Pairing: Harry/Percy
Summary: Set just before the 'Goblet of Fire'. The water has it's own rules and reality, while water under moonlight is a powerful force of nature. "The lake glistened deep blue and silver with moonsplash..."
DISCLAIMER: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. Copyright © 2004 by Icarus Ancalion. All rights reserved. This story may not be reproduced in whole or part without the author's explicit permission. Ask, guys. I'm easy to reach and usually quite generous.
Author notes: Thank you to Sue Barrett for the swift beta review. Welcome to my new addiction, space-fans.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Skinny Dipping
by Icarus

The night air was cool after such a hot summer's day, and Harry brushed through the bushes, almost losing his footing on the rough ground as he followed the vague rustling shape in front of him. He ducked, just as a branch came whipping back into his face. "Ow. Hey -"

"Sorry." The two of them crunched through the darkness softly, staccato steps and the swish of trousers. Harry's eyes began to adjust, slowly. Trees formed themselves out of moonlight and darkness, more crisp and vivid, no longer ethereal foggy shapes to stumble against.

"C'mon," Ron's voice floated back to him. They both whispered for no reason they could understand except that it was dark, and the moon glistened on the leaves around the Burrow and it seemed as if all the world was asleep. That and the fact that they weren't supposed to be awake, let alone out. "It's just over this rise. Weird, how everything looks different."

It did. They had been this way earlier that day under the fresh summer sky, dripping with sweat, but were called back to dinner all too soon, before they could do anything. Ron had said they'd sneak out and come back tonight, shhh. Well, Harry climbed the last little hill that hadn't seemed so steep or treacherous earlier - here they were.

A cool breeze lifted his hair first; its lingering touch on Harry's cheek was scented and damp with lake-smell, slightly fishy but clean, almost too cold now. It was hard to picture swimming actually, but Ron said it would be great. Harry caught up with Ron and paused at the top of the slight rise, and they gazed down a short little path that wandered between brambles. At its end below them, the lake glistened deep blue and silver with moonsplash, half-hidden by the sweep of willow trees. It was little more than a pond by daylight, but the night had transformed it into a beckoning mysterious paradise, alight under the half moon.

They both looked for a breathless moment; and then Ron, who had clearly seen this before, tore off down the hill. "Race you!"

His voice bounced off the water, far too loud, shattering the peace - but he was quickly far ahead. Harry bounded after him, poured on speed to overtake him, ignored the catch and pull of prickers as he dodged left, then right, down the narrow path, soon close behind the panting Ron, who looked back, but couldn't seem to go any faster. Harry ignored the stray thought that Aunt Petunia would kill him if he got rips. Though maybe she'd be forced to get him new clothes. Newer, rather. The crash of the bushes was raucous, but Ron won with that head start and Harry nearly ran into him at the sudden edge of the water and skidded to a halt, both of them panting and giggling.

Ron bent over with his hands on his knees, laughing and breathless, like he had a stitch in his side. Harry could see his face now, blue and grey in the sudden light. He was grinning like a fool; he toed off his shoes.

"Gotcha," said Ron. His voice was low, but still carried across the water.

"Oh, right. I would have won if you hadn't cheated!" Harry whisper-laughed. It was surprising how loud they were, even when they were trying to be quiet. The wind shifted, bringing a sweet flower-scent. He pulled his T-shirt over his head, and, as the cool air hit him, glanced at the water with trepidation. This seemed like a much better idea when it was broiling hot outside. But they had only one more day free before the World Quidditch Cup.

"Hunh. Well, colour me Slytherin then, but it was still nice to win for a change." Ron kicked off his jeans and yanked his shirt up by the collar; the fabric scruffed up under his arms. "You'd think being tall would be good for something..." His grumble was nearly lost in fabric.

Harry blinked at Ron standing there in his boxers, his head buried in and struggling out of his tight T-shirt. Harry hadn't brought any swim trunks, and for some reason that just occurred to him. For one thing, he didn't own any. The Dursleys never took him swimming, probably in hopes that he wouldn't learn how to swim and drown someday. Anyhow, the idea of wearing Dudley's hand-me-down swim trunks was too disgusting for words.

"Um. I didn't bring any swim trunks," he confessed. The water was probably ice-cold anyway, Harry tried to reassure himself and quash his blooming disappointment. Ron won free of his shirt and tossed it to the ground.

"Don't worry about that. We don't need those - no girls here." Ron grinned, and promptly pulled down his pants. He stepped out of them, naked as a jaybird, not that Harry was looking at the bouncing cock that seemed astoundingly, disturbingly white in the moonlight. It was just - weird - to see so much of Ron all of the sudden. "Hurry up!" Ron said. "It's freezing out here, and I'm not waiting for you. I bet the water's perfect."

He turned, and gingerly stepped to the water's edge, suddenly lifting a foot with a wince like he'd stepped on a pebble. Then he dipped in a toe between the rushes and water lilies. His skin was whiter than white: Ron didn't tan, he just got more freckles. Harry raised his eyebrows at him. If there was a half moon in the sky, he was getting the full moon right now. Ron had a big arse.

"Ohhh," Ron sighed, rolling his eyes in bliss, "it's practically bath water!" He waded out with a slight splash, and the water shivered in broken moonlit sparkles about him. "Well - c'mon," he told Harry impatiently.

Harry shook off his reverie and began to work at his belt, considerably more nervous than Ron had been. This midnight swim had suddenly taken on new uncomfortable meaning, and he didn't want to miss a bit of it. He pulled his trousers and pants down together with a jingle of belt buckle, and only then realized that he hadn't taken off his shoes. Bare-bottomed, he sat on the gravel-sand-grass, with much of it sticking to sensitive skin as he untied and yanked off his shoes; he blushed. But Ron didn't mention it, or maybe didn't notice as he played in the water. Harry regretfully pulled off his glasses.

Ron had waded out further, and was now a dark splotch against silver, surrounded by shadow lilies and cattails. The water made a playful tinkling sound as he stroked his hands in a circle along the surface.

"The first inch or so is the warmest," he purred.

Harry was willing to bet Ron was making all this up, just to see his face when he stepped into freezing cold water - sometimes Ron could be as bad as his brothers - and he vowed to wade in slowly. The cool air made him shiver, pebbled his bare skin as he braced himself for the plunge; even his balls winced at the idea. It just didn't seem possible the water could be warm. Harry could not have felt more naked and vulnerable as he tried to hide himself behind skinny arms.

Suddenly, the dark Ron-shape bent to the water, his hands skimmed the silver and, gliding with a gentle splash, disappeared in an eerie shimmer.

Moments later he broke the surface with a resounding whoosh, further out. The surface of the lake shattered. He shook his head, cascaded water and a splatter of droplets, laughed and spluttered. He called out:

"Whew! Are you gonna to stand there bare naked all night, or are you gonna swim?" He splashed an arc of water at Harry.

That was it. Harry plunged the first few feet into the water; the muddy bottom squelched between his toes.

He was astonished. Ron was right. It was like bath water poured onto cool water and not given a chance to mix, and immediately the cool air seemed icy and unbearable. He crouched, waded, then sank into the water's warm embrace; he half-waded and half dog-paddled towards the middle of the lake. He was nervously aware that he was sharing this lake with someone who wasn't wearing anything. Ron, Harry reminded himself. He winced and determined that certain parts of him were going to stay underwater if they didn't start behaving better. Being fourteen was as unpredictable as hell.

But Ron had vanished. There was only a shudder of wavelets where he'd been, moments before. Harry stood, suddenly alarmed. His mind went to the giant squid at Hogwarts and he wondered if anything like that could fit in a pond this small.

Suddenly, a slick grip wrapped around his ankle and Harry found his ears ringing - and underwater. It was dark, colder at the bottom, shockingly silent as he struggled. Harry choked and immediately got a mouthful; in slow motion he flailed and managed to kick his foot free, to break for what he hoped was the surface. Hands grabbed him again, about the hips and something warm and slippery nudged up beneath him...

...and he broke the surface, hoisted onto Ron's shoulder. For three seconds. Before Ron tossed him into the cold air, arms spinning, backwards to smack with a solid splash on rock-hard water.

Harry stood and breathed, coughed a bit. Several (safe) feet away, Ron snickered, then burst out laughing.

"You fucking bastard," Harry laughed. He shook his head and dove at Ron before he could escape.

Ron tried to run through the water instead of swimming, hampered with loud, thick splashes - a critical error; Harry quickly seized an armload of sleek stringy muscle, easily overbalanced as Harry landed on his back with all his weight. They both went under.

When they surfaced, spluttering and laughing, they found they'd rolled in what turned out to be knee-deep water. And muck. Ron had seaweed and a slimy lily pad trailing down his back; his chest heaved. Harry was smeared in mud, and laughed at Ron as he made a face and slowly reached up to peel off the offending lily pad with two fingers and exaggerated distaste. He dangled it over the water.

The moonlit tableau of the two naked boys froze; the willows whispered in what was suddenly a very wet, very cold breeze. Ron's grin widened, and Harry watched his next idea play clearly across narrowing gleam of his eyes.

They both moved at once - Harry seized a handful of lily pad as he dodged Ron's slimy missile. Ron had another in hand as Harry missed badly, and dove sideways to the safety of deeper water; he felt the thwack of slimy seaweed hit his back. Shit.

The battle raged on for a good twenty minutes. Ron babysat the 'ammo' keeping Harry at bay. Harry relied on his superior speed and ability to dive, vanish, and catch Ron unawares; but his incursions were always successfully repelled by a barrage of green slimy-best-not-to-think-what-it-is muck.

Stalemate. Panting, they grinned at each other across the silvery water, thoroughly churned and riddled with the floating carnage of their seaweed war. Harry had ceased to notice Ron was naked, and in fact, had forgotten he was as well. Their strategies were clearly evenly matched, and something had to give. Harry knew that he'd have to be more daring in the attack. Ron, a worthy opponent, was clearly waiting for him to wear out. What's more - he was right! Harry circled slowly, recovering, while Ron taunted him to attack before he was rested.

No dice. Harry wasn't falling for it. Ron threw a couple of out-of-range splatters, just to keep him moving; he dodged lightly. Harry laughed breathlessly, his exhaustion revealed in the ragged edge of his voice. Whoops. Oh shit. Ron knew he was almost done for, that this next attack had to be it. Ron circled the slime patch warily, with the squared shoulders of the certain victor.

What Harry needed was reinforcements, or failing that - a distraction. He searched the sky. Another splatter skittered across the water, sent mini silver wavelets and missed by a mile; Harry didn't even dodge. The stars twinkled peacefully above, unaware of their war. Meanwhile the willows on the shore did no more than brush the surface of the water with their leaves. No help there either.

"Ron!? Harry Potter? What on earth are you doing up? This is not our property!"

Percy. Saved!

Ron looked around in sudden guilt and Harry seized the advantage, barrelling down on him and grabbing lily pads on the way. Ron's eyes widened; he uselessly flung up an arm at the sudden barrage of slime as Harry leaped -

... the slick, smooth slide of skin on skin, the burble of underwater chaos as Harry got clipped on the ear with an elbow but by the time they surfaced, Harry was definitively on top. He pinned Ron's legs to the murky bottom, but let Ron sit up on his elbows in the shallow water.

Ron wore a layer of half-rinsed decorative slime and was cursing a blue streak... and he laughed, and laughed and laughed.

Percy rustled down the hill, an irritated bustle through the thorn bushes. Though he clearly knew the way, Harry noted.

He was already shouting at them as he came into view. "Ron Weasley, you are lucky that I won't wake mother at this indecent hour, but when I tell her, you -!"

He stopped mid-sentence. His vague shadowy shape registered shock in every line as he squeaked, "What are you doing?"

Ron and Harry looked at each other, puzzled. What was wrong?

Then they realised at once: they were stark naked. Harry was straddled over Ron's lap. Oh, wow, this looked dodgy. And suddenly felt really strange, too. Harry was instantly aware of where his cock slid along Ron's thigh, how cool his skin was underwater. The slop and play of water against his back. He scrambled up, the murky water splashed, and Ron quickly crab-crawled away in a backward scuttle.

Of course, this was not wise, as Percy could now see clearly Harry was quite naked, a fact hidden by the lake a moment before. Harry sat back down in the warm water quickly, not sure what to do. An instant later he understood with a flash how guilty their sudden dash must have looked, too. Oh God....

Ron must have realised the same thing, because he put his head in his hands with a groan and laughed weakly. But he recovered quickly. He turned to face Percy.

"Hey, Percy, come on in!" Ron called out. "Come swimming - the water's great."

Good save, Harry thought, relieved. "Yeah. Come on in, Percy," he added. He kind of wanted to see that, all of the sudden. Who had ever seen Percy relax?

"Is that what you're doing? Swimming?" Percy's voice came from the shadows on the shore, several meters away.

"Of course it is. What do you think we're doing?" Ron splashed a bit in Percy's direction. It pattered along the shore, and the vague shape shifted away. Of course, they damn well knew what Percy had thought.

"Oh." Percy said, softly. "Oh, well then. Never mind." He took a breath, and clearly tried regather his outrage, though it was half-hearted at this point. "You're very loud and some people have to get up in the morning -"

Harry looked quizzically at Ron, who mouthed "light sleeper."

"- and you ought to be in bed. You didn't even bring your emergency Portkey!" He held out something that crinkled like a used candy wrapper. Portkey? Harry wondered what that was. "Mother would be worried sick if she noticed. What if something had happened? You're coming back with me, right now. Both of you."

"All right, all right. But with the World Cup coming, this was pretty much our last day of summer -" Ron began.

" - I'm not hearing any excuses from you, Ronald Weasley." Harry squinted and could vaguely make out Percy folding his arms on the shore. Trust Percy to spoil their fun. He probably didn't know how to swim.

Ron sighed heavily, and started to get up; water dripped off of him dispiritedly. "Don't suppose you brought any towels?"

"And you didn't?" Percy's tone was exasperated.

"Nah. But it's all right. We'll just dry off with our t-shirts."

Harry moved in close to where Percy stood, but was reluctant to get out of the water just yet. He stood. It was a little deeper here, and the water lapped around his waist. Being naked with Ron was one thing - they were best friends, and had shared a dorm for three years already. Anything that they hadn't seen would had to have been due to blindness. But he had an audience now.

"Harry's our guest, Ron. You don't make him dry off with his t-shirt. Go fetch some Kwik-Dri towels - here." He tossed Ron the strange crinkly object. He missed, but it floated and Ron scooped it out of the water.

"Be right back," Ron waved cheerily. And he suddenly vanished.

Circles of subtle waves expanded from where he'd stood just a moment before, and Harry glanced about, nonplussed. But Percy acted as if this were entirely natural, so he supposed it was.

The air stilled, and Harry noted the trail of moonlight on the water had shifted somewhat. The water lapped against the shore gently, a soft wet sound.

Percy sat down on the shore with a sigh. "Sorry. It'll be a while. Emergency Portkeys are one-way. That one goes straight to the Burrow. Ron will still have to dry off, get the towels, get dressed, walk all the way back - and knowing him, he'll probably stop for a snack too, while he's at it."

Harry chuckled. Ron had been eating like a horse lately.

Percy seemed to brighten a little at this response, and Harry decided he was probably a little lonely, stuck up in his room all summer long. What would it be like, to not have summer hols anymore? He returned to his original idea.

"So come swimming." Harry grinned. His arms stroked under the surface of the water.

"Oh, ah, no. I - I shouldn't."

"Why not?" Harry asked. "You're here anyway. You said yourself Ron won't be back for a while. Why sit on the shore and be bored, if you can swim? You can swim, can't you?"

"Of course I can!" Percy said, indignant. Harry smiled to himself; he was not surprised that got under his skin. "I just haven't... in a while."

Harry waited, stroking the warm water languidly. It was so nice, what was the problem?

"I didn't bring any swim trunks..."

Harry snorted. "That's no problem. You saw my, er, swim trunks."

"Oh..." Percy began to cave. He stood and glanced around surreptitiously, as if his boss might be here to catch him taking an illicit break. Harry could almost see him lick his lips. "Oh, all right. But don't look!" he admonished.

His shirt rucked up under his arms as he pulled it off with alacrity, and Harry noted that Percy was a lot slimmer than Fred and George, but more filled out than Ron, probably because he was older. He had a very long waist though, while Ron was all leg.

Percy's skin was suddenly luminous-pale as he carefully set aside his shirt with an embarrassed air, glancing around as if he were doing something very naughty, rather than just going for a simple swim. He had very few freckles, surprisingly, and he almost glowed, ghostly, in the moonlight. He pulled down his trousers. He had kind of skinny legs. Maybe that was his problem. Otherwise, Harry didn't see anything to complain about. He had a nice chest.

Harry realised that he was looking after all. But he hadn't considered looking until Percy mentioned it, and now he couldn't quite look away. It was like telling someone "don't think of an olive" - suddenly, that's all you can think of.

Percy's eyes met Harry's briefly, but he didn't look annoyed that Harry was staring. Not at all; in fact, if Harry were to guess, he seemed, well - pleased. Flattered. But he did carefully turn away as he pulled down his pants. Oh, that wasn't fair. He'd seen all of Harry.

Percy looked over his shoulder at Harry then, and made a brisk spiralling motion for Harry to turn around. Harry sighed, and obeyed, though he couldn't resist a surreptitious glance as that pale, lean body gingerly stepped into the water. It wasn't as if he could see much without his glasses anyway. Percy of all people should know that.

Then a voice whispered, a soft breath just over his shoulder, "Okay, you can turn around now."

Harry spun so quickly he clipped Percy with an elbow. "Oh. Sorry." How'd he get so close like that?!

"It's okay." Percy's voice seemed so soft. Not what Harry was used to. At all.

They were standing very close, though of course they had to, since they both had their glasses off, right? Harry's heart did a little flutter. The water here came up to his waist, but Percy was somewhat taller, and the silver waves lapped at his hips, barely covering...

Harry forced his eyes up. His breath sped, light and shallow.

He had a really long smooth waist and narrow chest that was nicely sculpted, not muscular, no, but still nice. They both stood there, so close, looking each other up and down. He really had very smooth skin, too, it looked as silky as the water, and Percy looked different, rather naked without the glasses. An odd hysterical thought flitted across his mind that he didn't look naked, he was naked, and if Percy were wearing his glasses right now, would he be any less naked, really? His eyes were very soft, and dark, and rather compelling. Not at all like the Percy he knew from school.

And then he saw Percy swallow.

That's when he knew.

Harry berated himself mentally. How stupid was it, to not think there were gay wizards? But he hadn't pictured it, really. He had thought of it as a Muggle thing somehow, something not of the wizarding world. Otherwise he would have figured it out sooner, why Percy gave in so easily, and was in the water, devouring him with his eyes. Harry glanced down. And although he couldn't tell - it was too dark and the moonlight reflected off the water brilliantly - it was all too easy for him to picture Percy growing hard under the surface. Harry certainly was.

Not now! Not now! he told himself, not that it listened. Fourteen was hell.

Percy took a shuddering breath, and looked away miserably. "I... I shouldn't. This wasn't such a good idea."

"No, no, it's okay," Harry whispered desperately. His hand was on Percy's arm of its own accord - he'd touched him! And oh, his skin was like silk and so warm - before Percy could turn away. "It's all right," he said, though he truly wasn't picturing what it was that was all right. But he didn't want Percy to turn away.

"Really?" Percy said. His eyes lit with hope.

"Oi! Harry!" Ron crashed through the brush. "You got Percy into the water! Good for you!"

He threw off his clothes again with amazing speed.

Percy and Harry of course were already miles apart - they had spun away even faster than Harry and Ron had.

"But I don't have enough towels now," Ron complained. The water splashed in white fountains at his legs as he plunged through.

"Harry can use my towel," Percy said graciously. Their eyes met for brief meaningful moment.

"Great!" Ron clapped Harry on the back, which left a cool, wet handprint, then said in a stage whisper: "Let's dunk Percy."

They rounded on Percy, who had his arms out, fingers spread as he backed away with a nervous laugh. "Oh no, no you don't..."

Bad move, Percy. He backed towards deep water, where he couldn't escape.

Harry was wickedly glad of the excuse.


Harry lay awake on a soft pillow with unintelligible thoughts and images and feelings whirling through his mind. They got back not quite as late as he'd feared, and Ron now breathed soundly, fast asleep.

He and Percy had dunked each other more times than was strictly decent, and he was more than sure he'd been groped a couple of those times. Certainly Harry had taken advantage. Percy had been hard under the water. Harry thought of that with a blaze of heat. If Ron noticed it, he'd chalked it up to the unpredictability of male anatomy and didn't comment. Or tease, which was more likely where Percy was concerned.

Harry counted mentally, and noticed that Percy had been very careful to dunk Ron and Harry an exactly equal number of times. And that was a good word to describe Percy: careful. Which didn't bode well for the future, especially considering Harry had only one more day at the Burrow, and Percy had to be at work for all of it. Why didn't this happen last year, when they were both at school?

Harry turned over and sighed with frustration. Ron had to come back just then, didn't he?

He heard a faint clunk. Downstairs, through the floor. He listened again. Soft footsteps on the wood floor. It was coming from the kitchen.

Harry stumbled in the grey darkness of Ron's room, felt about for his jeans. He pulled them on and listened once more. No sound. He might be too late. He decided to abandon the idea of finding his t-shirt in Ron's mess and slid out the door.

His heart pounding in his throat, Harry tiptoed down the stairs. He winced at the step that squeaked, right at the bottom. Forgot about that. He glanced up the stairs at the twins' room, figuring they were the most likely disaster. Nothing stirred.

He looked towards the kitchen again... and found a shadowy someone now standing in the kitchen doorway. None of the lights were on. Harry's heart thumped.

Percy.

Harry couldn't breathe.

Percy was in his dressing-gown, which looked so hopelessly old-fashioned, and so... Percy. Harry found it painfully sweet all of the sudden. Percy's glasses were on again, which was strange in this context, because Harry was now used to seeing him without them. Without a lot of things, in fact. He liked it better without them. Harry was intensely aware of his own bare chest and the soft sound of breathing in the darkened room.

Percy said softly, "I, ah, couldn't sleep."

He gestured politely towards the kitchen, a weird courtly mannerism, and Harry remembered why people made fun of Percy, with his horn-rimmed glasses and old-fashioned, snooty ways. Harry flushed at the jokes he recalled, because he remembered, now, how piercingly vulnerable Percy had been at the lake. Harry padded into the kitchen. Since Percy was dressed, Harry wished he'd put on his t-shirt.

"Would you like some warm milk?" Percy asked.

Warm milk!? Number one - ugh! Number two, just how old did Percy think he was?

"I had some," Percy said, with a little laugh, "but it didn't work."

Oh.

Percy hovered at the table, but didn't sit down. Harry leaned gingerly against the kitchen doorjamb. It felt cool on his bare back. The moon was still up, and it filtered through the windows. Percy looked Harry up, then down. Harry shivered slightly. He had a sudden sense that he looked really good in just his jeans, as Percy looked again.

"I have to go to work. In a few hours," Percy said.

This sounded very familiar. Harry swallowed, and waited, for the second time that night. But this time he knew what he was waiting for.

Percy didn't add anything.

"Okay," Harry said, vaguely disappointed.

"It would be really irresponsible..." Percy sighed.

Yes! That was a yes! Harry's heart soared as he tried not to smile.

"You're up anyway," Harry shrugged. He tried so hard to be casual, but couldn't.

Percy looked at him, eyes intense behind the glasses. A subtle smile played at his lips.

"You won't sleep anyway," Harry pressed his advantage.

"True enough..." Percy said breathlessly. He took a few steps towards Harry. Then brushed through the kitchen door. "I'll get my jeans, okay?" He was close enough for Harry to feel the heat of him, to see the glimmer along his glasses and those dark, dark eyes. What colour were Percy's eyes? Harry realised he didn't know.

Harry panicked for a moment, even as he nodded. Don't go! What if he changed his mind, and stayed upstairs? He leaned towards him a little at the painful thought, unintentionally. Percy paused a moment, his eyes suddenly open and so dark, his face oddly young and innocent. His lips touched Harry's softly, unexpected, and Harry gave a startled whimper. Then opened to him, devoured in heat.

Too soon, Percy pulled away, "Not here." His voice was almost a whimper, too, and he was breathing hard. It was a promise. Harry didn't worry about him leaving now. Harry didn't think to get his t-shirt, but just waited.

They didn't need to decide where to go.

On the walk to the lake, they stayed very close to each other, an intense wordless communication, but didn't touch. At the top of the little hill they paused.

The moon had sunk low in the sky and was huge and brilliantly orange. The familiar cattails and willows were outlined against the play of orange water.

"It's beautiful," Percy murmured, his voice shocking after so much urgent silence. Harry merely swallowed and nodded, his head spinning as it had in Ron's room. They were really going down there...

They walked single file down the trail, Harry slightly ahead of Percy, and it seemed a lot longer than Harry remembered.

They reached the shore and Harry remembered his earlier embarrassment with Ron with a kind of nostalgia. Now this, being here with Percy, was embarrassing. There was a sound of crickets that he hadn't noticed earlier, a few rustles in the bushes that perhaps Ron's mad dash had scared off before.

Percy, so sensitive, seemed to notice Harry's hesitation. He paused in the shadows under a willow, hovered close to the trail like he might go right back up it.

"You don't have to, you know." That gentle voice, so different from the Percy he knew.

Harry blinked at hearing his doubts echoed.

And that would be it, wouldn't it? Gone. He would go to school, Percy would go back to work. And there would never, ever, be another chance.

No way.

Harry sat down on the grass, and began to untie his shoe, making that his answer. Harry was grateful to hear the relieved sigh.

"Here," Percy sat down next to him, "let me help." Which was a good thing, because Harry's hands were shaking so much. But Percy's hands shook, too. Harry wondered if he hadn't done this very much? and looked up at him, a little startled.

But Percy chewed his lip nervously as he pulled off Harry's shoe, and didn't notice.

Could one even ask a question like that? Harry decided not to - at least not right now.

And it was weird, because up close, breathing against his face, was Percy, with Percy's glasses, and Percy's clothes. Ron's brother. Who was a Prefect and Head Boy and worked for the Ministry, and was so much older than him. It was too much Percy, and not the sleek, beautiful creation that he had swum naked with earlier.

He touched Percy's hand. Percy looked up, with a flash of orange moonlight on his glasses. "I want to see you naked," Harry said. He couldn't explain why.

Percy moaned softly then, and stripped his shirt off with the alacrity Harry remembered from earlier that night, and his cock swelled almost immediately. Everything was fine. Harry's lips parted as soon as he saw his chest, creamy-pale, curvy and long. Percy glistened with sweat and moonlight.

The glasses came off, and there were those soft, soft eyes. Shadowed, touched with faint light. A shy smile.

"Could you take your glasses off?" Percy asked wistfully. Harry understood.

They were both stripped of their identities now, and a trifle blind. Harry blinked at him, and Percy's fingers stroked through his hair, tried to smooth it. Harry shook his head, whispered, "It doesn't go flat," as if that mattered right then.

Harry experimentally ran his hand across Percy's chest in a shaky trail, snagged on a nipple; he was so warm, even out in this cool air. He slid his hands up the gentle curve of his sides, like he had wanted to so badly earlier, traced the arch of his back, mapped the smooth plane of his shoulders; and a shiver of want went through Percy. His hands paused shyly at the waistband of his trousers.

The loud rasp of Percy's zipper made Harry's breath catch, and a stripe of white was exposed. Trousers slid over skin with a whisper.

White seams outlined a very hard shape that Harry's hands went to quite naturally; he pressed Percy backwards to the grass. Percy arched slightly into the pressure of his hand as he kneaded, traced the warm shape of him trapped in too-tight underwear, found and toyed with the soft curve of his balls. Harry leaned on his elbow with the blunt grass tickling his sides as he explored and marvelled. There was no sound other than the lick of the water on the shore, Percy's soft pants and little breathless moans, and the occasional shift of willow trees.

Breathing heavily, Percy rose up onto his hands and knees and they pulled down his underwear, awkwardly wrestling the tight fabric over his hips. His cock sprang free, long and thin, longer than Harry had thought only a moment ago. He circled the head, which was tiny, arrow-like, slid down his length, then stroked around and gripped his broad base. Harry had the unexpected desire to lick it, which was not something he imagined before; he shoved that crazy idea out of his head.

With a jolt of bug-eyed shock, Harry felt Percy's hand between his legs. He froze - and that was just silly, wasn't it? Considering? So he opened for Percy slightly, and lay back with a soft grunt, his eyes shut, as he was cupped and stroked through his jeans. Something in Harry ached, that he couldn't quite explain.

"Hey..."

Harry looked over at the soft face in the grass beside him; all Percy's hard edges were blurred by desire. Then Harry realised his hand had stopped on Percy's cock. Distracted. Oh.

"Sorry..." Harry said, "it's... complicated." How did people juggle all this? Percy smothered a giggle. He was stretched out next to Harry, completely naked on the cool grass, like an offering.

Harry rolled over on top of him, pinning him suddenly to the ground. He was rewarded with a louder, less smothered giggle, and Harry couldn't resist tickling him.

Percy flailed and cried, "Stop! Stop! Don't -!" shrill enough to wake the Burrow, but Harry was remorseless. He rocked his pelvis into him, unable to resist that either. Percy eyes glazed over but he raised Harry half off of him, "Ooh - hey, watch it there, ow - jeans - that's really rough on the - "

Percy suddenly rolled him over with a mock-growl - he was a lot stronger than he'd acted a moment before. Harry was surprised, and instantly suspicious.

Hurried, breathless, and giggling absurdly they stripped Harry out of his jeans and underwear, cool skin exposed to the damp lake air. It was a novel experience to feel Percy's smooth, naked skin on his own. So soft. Harry ignored the little pebbles digging into his bare back and under an elbow because - who cared? Percy was long, and satiny and so sleek as he climbed between Harry's thighs, rocking forward with a blissful expression. Harry could touch that silky firm chest, pluck his nipples till he gasped... and Percy responded, raised up on his arms over Harry, and pressed their cocks together. He was not good at this; Harry reached around and squeezed his arse to move him into a better angle that - oh - shot stars into his vision. And they both moaned, did it again, rocked into a frustrated frenzy, nowhere near enough.

Harry was pretty clear that his earlier question was answered. If this wasn't Percy's first time, with a boy at least, it was close to it. He liked that. Harry grinned up at him. Percy just gave him a bemused look.

Their lips met finally, soft and hungry. Harry moaned. Something so simple as a kiss should not feel like that. He rolled Percy onto his back, devoured him, delighted in his soft gasps and the pulse of hips as he thrust against Harry's thigh. There was a wetness there that was not water, and Harry broke away. Whoa. This was serious now. Percy looked up at him with gleaming white teeth and half-lidded eyes.

"Let me..." he groaned, and nudged against the inside of Harry's thigh again.

What? Harry wasn't sure what he meant.

Percy studied his eyes a moment, searched his face; then said with a little shake of his head, "It's okay."

"What's okay?" Harry whispered hoarsely. It felt strange to talk, like you weren't supposed to or they had forgotten how.

But Percy simply shook his head.

Harry reached for Percy's cock and winced. It was reddened and looked raw; Harry stroked him, but he could tell it was a little rough by the slight painful crinkles at the corners of Percy's eyes. He himself was feeling a little... this was going to be over if it got sore, but there was only water around which was no good. An idea sprang to mind.

"Hold on..." Harry said. Percy looked at him quizzically, but leaned up and let Harry untangle himself from his legs. "I'll be right back."

Harry blinked at the outside world, which he had virtually forgotten. The moon was lower on the horizon and the air still and warm; but perhaps he was simply used to it now. It was quieter, as if the night creatures were asleep. He stepped into the warm lake.

He'd forgotten his glasses, but what he was looking for was outlined plainly on the orange-gold water. Sure enough, it was as slick as he remembered. He gathered several extra, just in case. Harry splashed a little louder on the way back, pleased with his ingenious solution.

On the shore Percy leaned back on his elbows, with one leg up, and it struck Harry how casually naked they were, as if they did this every day. Every day. Now that was a heady thought. Harry handed Percy a water lily blossom he'd picked, plunked down on the grass and snuggled up alongside him again. It was much warmer here.

"What's this?" Percy delicately spun the flower between his fingers.

"It's for you," Harry answered off-handedly.

Percy's mouth opened as if to say something, but no words came out. But Harry had no time for that.

"I've something else," he said. Percy nodded briefly and carefully set the water lily aside with a lingering glance. Harry reached for Percy's cock, and found himself watched with soft, dark, cautious eyes.

"Ai, that's cold!" Percy gasped, pulled away. But Harry's hand quickly warmed the slick substance, stroked soothingly along his length. "Oooh..." Percy eyes shut, and he lifted his chin slightly. "Hmmm... What is that?"

"Nice, huh?" Harry smirked.

Percy nodded.

"We'll last now." And Harry was rewarded with one of Percy's incandescent, sudden smiles, which few people ever saw.

"Sooo..." Percy's hand curved around Harry's hip. "...did you have anything particular in mind?" His eyes lowered, scanning Harry, and if it weren't so dark Harry would swear he had seen him blush.

He raised his eyebrows. "Do you?"

"I...um. No. That's all right. -- Yes."

Harry suddenly understood what Percy meant, with a shock. Oh. Wow. But that was what blokes did with other blokes, wasn't it? Er...

"That is, if you want to." Percy looked at him, licked his lips then looked at the ground. He traced a little circle in the grass with his fingers.

"Um..."

"We can do something else," Percy said hastily, backing off the idea quickly, as if he'd expected a refusal. "Here, we, um... let's see." He reached for his shirt, settled the lily a slightly safer distance away, and then laid the soft cotton on the ground. "Here."

Harry stretched out a little nervously onto his stomach, pillowing his head on his arms. The cool shirt was a definite improvement - he could still feel the sand and little rocks, but they weren't sticking to him anymore. Then Percy's warm weight draped over his back, pressed along his thighs. Oh. Harry's eyes widened, and he glanced over his shoulder at Percy, who was carefully nudging his cock between Harry's legs. Harry let his legs fall open to help.

"No, keep your legs together," Percy said in that irritating, controlling voice Harry knew all too well from school; but Harry complied anyway. His head sort of spun, as this was the first reminder he'd had that this was Percy on top of him. Percy. It was weird, but also kind of hot, too, in a rebellious, bizarre kind of way. Harry chuckled.

"What's so funny?" Behind him Percy sounded a trifle annoyed - classic Percy, which made Harry snicker even more.

"What?"

"This is just... kind of weird," Harry confessed.

"Oh." Harry could almost hear Percy's face fall in that small, disappointed sound. "Well, if you don't want to..." He started to get up.

"What? No! I mean - yes! I do." He tried not to whine, but - please. Don't stop now.

"Really?" Percy's light voice sounded genuinely surprised.

Harry huffed a sigh of exasperation sound and wriggled into Percy's thigh. Please. He heard Percy's breath catch, and Harry grinned into his arms.

"Well, if you're absolutely sure..." and that warm, teasing voice - Percy! Teasing! - was probably the most pleasantly strange moment of the night. Percy murmured into his ear as he snuggled into Harry's back, "I'll see what I can do..."

His cock slid with a slight wet sound between Harry's thighs, and Harry pressed his legs together, hoped that was tight enough. Percy gasped a little and thrust back in with a slight moan. Harry squeezed harder. Percy's cock slid just along his balls, nudging the base of Harry's cock. It tickled, but felt good.

It occurred to Harry that if someone were to see them now, this would look really bad.

He struggled desperately not to laugh. His shoulders shook as snickers escaped.

"What is it now?" Percy said into the back of his hair, though he didn't stop thrusting; the touch of his breath sent a tingle down Harry's spine.

"This would look pretty, uh."

Percy tittered. "Yes." He lifted up, his arms a warm embrace over Harry, to get a different angle, "thought of that... looks really, really bad." Harry glanced over his shoulder at Percy's white smile, and they shared a moment of pure wicked delight and then writhed together.

Percy readjusted his cock to slide along the crack of Harry's arse. And - oh - that had potential, didn't it? Harry rocked back against him, in that pulsing rhythm. Hmmm.

"Percy?" Harry asked tentatively. It still felt strange to say his name. "Do you want to...?"

Percy froze, though Harry didn't expect an argument, and got none. "I'll need more, well, whatever that was," he said, hurried and breathless, as if hoping Harry wouldn't change his mind.

Harry nodded and found the extras he'd set aside, and slid his hands along the broad base of the leaf. There was plenty. He realized he hadn't used any on himself, but he really didn't need it right now.

This time he rubbed his hands together to warm it first. He missed the weight and heat of Percy on his back. The air felt very cold. Percy was probably missing it more. Harry's gaze travelled down Percy's torso where he kneeled in front of him on the rumpled shirt; his cock looked achingly hard, its end plump and dark.

Percy's chin lifted as Harry stroked him, exhaled. "That's nice..."

Then Harry got back onto the shirt, and lay down.

"Maybe you want to be up a little higher."

So Harry got on his hands and knees, feeling a little, well... exposed... as Percy gently spread his cheeks apart and tickled the opening. It seemed to squeeze tighter every time he touched it. Harry whimpered, and spared a moment to feel grateful Percy had, after all, a rather skinny (if long) dick. Then Percy grasped his hips with hot hands, and Harry felt a pleasant blunt warmth against his arse, and then a gentle pressure. But it was huge! What was that, his elbow? His knee? Harry glanced back and saw that it couldn't be either.

Oh God. Harry set his jaw and braced himself.

Nothing could have prepared him for this. Harry yelped as a searing heat he could feel to the back of his throat split him open; he was spitted. "Ow! Stop! Stop!" He shook.

Percy paused, shock in his voice. "But I'm hardly even in."

"Getoutgetoutgetout!"

Percy finally came to his senses and - slowly, very gently - pulled out. Harry could tell from his motion that it was maybe an inch. But it was the longest inch in the world.

Harry panted, his eyes wild.

"My... I'm so sorry." Percy blinked at him, still stunned. "Are - are you all right?" His hands brushed Harry's face. His voice reeled between worry and disappointment.

Harry nodded.

Percy gathered him up in his arms, and with a nod from Harry, they curled up together on the shirt. "Is this okay?" Percy whispered, stroking his hair. Harry nodded again. He was beginning to get his breath back.

"Perhaps that wasn't such a bright idea after all," Percy said in a distant, rather small voice.

Harry snorted, then stared up at Percy - and realized he was serious! Percy had finally recovered from his disappointment and was gazing down at him, brow furrowed in anxiety. Harry burst out laughing, decided he liked being with the master of understatement. He stretched up and kissed him, and watched the relief spread over Percy's face.

They cuddled and relaxed there comfortably a while, listening to the slosh of the water and the crickets, occasionally brushing away a buzzing mosquito. While they were moving the bugs had left them alone, but now they were fair game. The moon had either set, or disappeared behind a cloud, but the damp air from the lake was warm, and Percy smelled undefinably sweetish; a little like lakewater, a slight trace of sweat and a honey-scent that was just him. It was nice. Harry could almost sleep right there in his arms. Their hands travelled and wandered all over almost of their own accord, explored and enjoyed each other's bodies without the pressure of sex.

Then Percy's hand wandered to Harry's balls, a whisper of a touch. He was instantly hard again. Harry smiled. Then pressed up into his hand.

Percy whispered, "I think I know something that you will really, really like..." and slid his arm out from under Harry's neck. He kissed a trail across Harry's chest, and down his stomach, then nuzzled with a hot, wet breath between his thighs.

"What're you doing?" Harry squirmed, sat up slightly in the half-light. He couldn't see Percy's face.

"You'll see..." Percy murmured; his breath licked the soft down between his legs. Then -

"Oh..." Wet sounds and wet heat as Percy lapped at him, licked a slick line up the shaft of his cock that turned hot and immediately cold as the cool air mixed with Percy's breath, and Harry gasped and moaned and arched almost painfully. His mind skittered in a thousand untracked directions, and he squeezed up into the agonizing sensation...

His heart stopped, as suddenly, Percy enveloped his young cock, whole. Sweet bloody hell! Merciless, Percy's tongue proved that yes, his cock was connected to every ringing nerve in his body.

Then Percy lifted off, or tried to. Harry discovered he was holding Percy to his lap, and let go.

Percy took a shuddering breath, sat there heaving for a moment, very smug. "Such language." His voice was silvered with laughter, but his eyes were bright. "I take it you liked that?"

Harry's chest swelled with deep heaving breaths, and he looked up at Percy with awe. He had definitely done that before. He slowly grasped that Percy had asked him a question, though he hadn't a clue what it was.

Grinning, Percy seemed satisfied with his response, and lowered his head to his lap again. Harry closed his eyes and dug his fingers into the wet grass...

Much, much later, eons by Harry's reckoning though that was probably distorted by Percy's very talented tongue, Harry's body was virtually liquefied, trembled with small, subtle aftershocks. Harry brought Percy up for a lazy, sloppy-deep kiss. He could taste his own musk on his mouth mixed with Percy's sweet dark honeysuckle scent, and found he didn't mind it at all. Or not much anyway. In slow motions he was learning to appreciate everything Percy could do with that mouth. He thought Percy was beautiful... had a perfect chest... he had a nice cock and a long neck ideal for nibbling... he was a wonderful kisser and could... um. Harry's kiss turned fierce, building heat between them.

When they broke apart with a sultry wet smack, Percy asked in a warm voice, "Could you do me?"

Harry flushed. "I..." Already, Harry knew him well enough to predict the crestfallen look. "No! I want to," he said quickly before Percy's mood could crash, "it's just the stuff we used. I don't want to lick that."

"Wha -? What did you use?" A tiny puzzled frown creased Percy's forehead, close enough to Harry's blush to feel the heat of it. "What was it?"

"Well... it's from the bottom of a lily pad." Harry winced.

"What?!" Percy jolted and sat up. "You put pond scum on my - "

"It worked really well!"

"Ack!" Percy sprinted for the water and started immediately splashing his crotch, scrubbing his cock. "I can't believe you!"

"It worked didn't it?" Harry pointed out. "You didn't complain before!"

Percy jawed worked in soundless amazement, staring at Harry. Then he started scrubbing again. "That's because I didn't know what it was!"

Harry splashed into the water after him. "No. It was because you didn't care."

"Well. I do now," Percy said petulantly. He groaned. "I've got it all over me..."

He sank into the water up to his shoulders, then ducked under. Percy surfaced again with a splash, spitting and gasping. He stroked his hair back, and swiped the water off his face with a dainty gesture and a sniff. How Harry hadn't noticed he was gay, he could no longer imagine. Percy couldn't be more obvious if he carried a sign that read: "queer wizard here." Harry wondered briefly if wizards used the same terminology, or if they had their own. He suspected that if they had their own terms, given the feeling towards Muggles and 'Mudbloods,' the wizard versions weren't polite either.

Harry rinsed off the slime that had stuck to his hands, though he had mostly wiped them clean on Percy's shirt earlier.

He decided not to mention that. Percy was mad enough as it was.

"I'm sorry," Harry said finally. "I didn't know what else to use."

Percy frowned at him. Then sighed. "You're unbelievable."

Harry chuckled, while Percy from his expression seemed to struggle to remain offended. He finally smiled ruefully and looked around. "Moon's almost gone," he obsevered.

And so it was. An enormous orange globe hovered on the horizon, seeming to touch the ground. The sky around it was no longer black, but a deep, rich blue, and Percy was backlit in colour, surrounded by the offending lily pads. Harry wanted to kiss him. There was no trace of dawn on the horizon, but morning was near.

Harry stepped forward, then glided under the water, like Ron had earlier. He broke the glistening golden surface right next to a rather startled Percy.

Harry swallowed. "Well. Now that you're all washed off..." he said hoarsely.

He led Percy to shallower water that lapped and moved just below Percy's hips. Then he sank to his knees. The water buoyed him a little, so it took a minute for him to get his balance, and he had to hold onto Percy's waist to do so. Harry had no real idea how to do this (though he certainly knew how it felt), and suddenly realized he'd given himself a handicap. But from the terribly young, hopeful look on Percy's face, he thought it probably didn't matter if he was all that good at it anyway.


A soft tinge of yellow circled the horizon, and they shivered in the cold breeze as they walked home. Harry really regretted not bringing his shirt, though, somewhat unfairly he knew, he was glad Percy had had to peel his shirt off the ground and that it was far too dirty to wear. He wasn't sure when he'd get another chance to see Percy without a shirt, sleepy-eyed, staggering and satiated.

He caught Harry looking, gave him a shy smile, and looked at the ground, still smiling.

Harry wanted to kiss him on the front porch, seize their last opportunity, but Percy held his hand out and shook his head urgently. Harry wasn't sure if the rest of the family even knew Percy was gay, so he regretfully let the idea go, though a rebellious corner of his mind grumbled and plotted how he could get Percy alone again.

They tip-toed into the Burrow. Soft golden light suffused the corners and windows of the living room, at angles and colours Harry had never seen, as he was never up at this hour. Wood glowed with a fresh, gentle light, and dust floated in sunbeams that touched the ceiling and painted the upper walls. The front door squeaked, but the wonderfully warm house slumbered.

It felt strange, being here now, like they'd been gone a lot longer than just the night. Or as if they were coming back from some fairy-tale and reality didn't quite seem solid yet. The clock hand with Percy's picture moved from 'Travelling' to 'Home,' and Harry paused, grateful it didn't have a setting that said 'At The Pond Having Sex With Harry Potter.' Which was quite possible in a magical world.

Harry felt light-headed from exhaustion and - whew - everything else. He looked at Percy in wonder.

Percy blinked at the living room like he'd never seen it before, and rubbed his eyes sleepily, swaying slightly on his feet. Harry wondered what he looked like when he first woke in the morning. Although Percy wouldn't let him kiss him here, Harry stepped a little closer and stroked his bare back. Now Percy's skin was chilled. He wilted under Harry's hands.

"I've got to be at work in three hours," he complained softly into Harry's ear. He was morphing back into the Percy Harry had always known, though the line between this Percy and the Percy at the lake had grown rather blurry. "I have such a busy day, with the Quidditch World Cup and all the preparations. Mr. Crouch is going to need me to be on my toes." He sighed heavily and whined. "Oh, why do wakefulness charms have to be addictive?"

"You could probably do it once, couldn't you?" Harry suggested helpfully. He hadn't heard of addictive magic, or wakefulness charms. Those could be useful for exams.

Percy looked away guiltily. "Ah. I'd better not."

Softly, they climbed the stairs together. The bottom step squeaked, and they glanced at the twins' room in the same moment. Then they looked at each other and smiled, and Harry saw the same memory in his eyes, of the two of them meeting in the dark, just hours before. It seemed a long time ago. Percy sure seemed different now.

Then they reached the top of the stairs, and Harry quickly stole a kiss. Percy looked startled but kissed him back, briefly.

"Good night," Harry whispered.

"Good morning," Percy corrected primly. And Harry chuckled, rolled his eyes and shook his head.


"Mr. Crouch relies on me a great deal," Percy said. "I dare say he wouldn't be able to get on without me. I mean, he's a great man, but he has so many demands on his time. People don't realize it. And half the staff is completely incompetent unfortunately...."

Ron rolled his eyes at Harry, and muttered under his breath, "If he says 'Mr. Crouch' one more time, I swear - justifiable homicide. I'm sure of it! No jury would convict me."

Harry grinned at his friend and had to agree. They sat in a rough circle under a brilliant blue sky with the twins, Ron, Mr. Weasley, and some wizard whose name Harry had forgotten already. He looked at Percy, shook his head and sighed. He let his words wash over him, still feeling exhausted. Was it only a day and a half ago? Amazing.

There was one thing that had been bothering him since that night, and try as he might, he couldn't get Percy alone again to answer it.

Finally, he sat up, not caring if he interrupted.

"Percy..." Harry said. "Take off your glasses."

Everyone looked at him in surprise and cringed at Percy, as if expecting a tart response and refusal. Of course, they didn't know recent history.

"I beg your pardon?" Percy said. He looked confused, and his glance darted from one face to another, cautiously.

"Take off your glasses." It was light enough out, Harry thought. He caught Percy's nervous look and shrugged. Percy seemed to recognize that no one would guess anything.

Percy reached up and pulled his glasses off, blinking in the bright sun at Harry.

There were uneven dark gold flecks in his eyes, more in one eye than the other. But his eyes were light-coloured, not dark like Harry remembered, lighter even than Harry's.

They were a pale, watery green.

"Thanks," Harry said. He had wondered.

And as he and Ron wandered off, although it didn't look as though Percy were watching, he could feel the weight of that green gaze as it followed him.

Harry smiled.

Finis.

A brief little follow-up.

~*~*~*~*~

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