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Title: Delicate
Author/Artist:  [personal profile] eruditefics 
Prompt: erm....PINCHY PINCHY! I’m a crab!
Prompt submitted by: n/a
Pairing(s): Percy/Oliver
Word Count/Art Medium: about 4000 words
Rating: barely NC-17
Warning(s): Sudden sex, healthy doses of angst as thick as Percy’s spectacles, hint at a few canon deaths
Disclaimer:Harry Potter characters are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No profit is being made, and no copyright infringement is intended.
Notes: I love you.
Summary: After the war, Percy has to come to terms with himself. The self-actualizing part he can do, the self-flagellation he’s an expert at, but letting it go? Well that’s going to take more than he’s willing to give. lyrics by Damien Rice

Oliver Wood stood in the direct center of The Great Hall, catching the first rays of sunlight to peek through the impossibly high windows. The ceiling had lost its charm, and now only charred wooden beams remained above everyone’s heads. His eyes kept roaming over the rows of bodies, laid out and covered with as much care as the situation allowed. His hands shook, still covered with Colin Creevy’s (and his own) blood. His entire body kept tensing and relaxing, waiting for another blow that he knew logically was not going to come. Harry Potter had killed Voldemort. He was there. He saw it.


Even has he surveyed the damage, trying to find the place he could be of most use, he avoiding the copse of red heads in the far corner. He had no idea what to do for them, so he did nothing. Despite many acts of perceivable bravery that day, Oliver felt like a coward. He never actually said it, but Percy Weasley was his best mate. As impossible as it seemed from the outside eye, he and Percy had remained close friends, even when he was being a complete berk to his family and Oliver felt the need to smack some sense into him.


Fred Weasley was dead. Oliver wasn’t very familiar with the cause, but he could see and hear the effects in Molly Weasley’s plaintive cries and the stricken looks on the faces of the entire family. He also knew Percy, and knew very well that Percy’s guilt was about to throw him over a ledge. He wanted to reach out to the other wizard, to comfort him in some way, but what good could he do? Oliver stood at the center of the Great hall completely powerless and lost.


“Alright, everyone!” Headmistress McGonagall’s voice sounded over the crowd. She used a Sonorus charm, but she kept her voice soft and gentle. Oliver felt a bit safer just hearing it. “I know it may seem as though there is much to do, but first, we should all get some rest. We need to put ourselves together, mourn our loved ones, and try to sleep if we can. You are all welcome to stay anywhere in the castle you find. The wards are up and strong, and you can sleep here for the day. I’ll see if I can have the house elves put something together for a late luncheon after we rest.”


Without another word, McGonagall cancelled the charm and the other Hogwarts Professors and house elves began ushering folks out of the great hall and to resting places. The Headmistress herself approached the Weasleys and began to guide them away. Oliver felt a hand on his shoulder. Angelina Johnson was looking up at him, her dark skin stained with dust and wounded with curse marks. Tears had tracked through the grime on her face and her own body was trembling as much as Oliver’s.


“Where do you even begin to offer comfort? How can I even start?” she said, sobbing against Oliver’s shoulder. He pulled her close to him and let her tears soak his shirt. He didn’t have an answer for her. He knew that she wanted to be there for George, but Oliver couldn’t even begin to imagine what George needed. He felt a tear slip down his cheek.


When he looked up, he met Percy’s eyes across the vast, sunlit room. His hands itched to touch Percy, to wipe the tears from his cheeks. Oliver wasn’t struck by the need. He’d been wanting Percy for more than friendship for some time, but Percy was always so driven and busy with his career, that Oliver thought that he hadn’t measured up. But there Percy Weasley was, gazing at Oliver with a lost, pained look on his face. Oliver met his stare, trying to tell him it would be okay, all the while rubbing Angelina’s back slowly.


“You should go over there and do what you can. Whatever you can,” Angelina said, her voice suddenly fierce with her familiar steel tone. Oliver looked down to find her glancing back at where Percy sat, alone, in the corner of the room.


She pulled away, and Oliver walked toward Percy. He wanted to run, but he knew that anyone running after what the wizarding world had just gone through would be cause for panic. It seemed like Percy was miles away, but when he finally got to where Percy was sitting, his head in his hands and his body trembling, Oliver knelt down in front of him and put his hands on Percy’s legs. The other wizard didn’t look up, but he didn’t pull away either.


“He’s gone. I turned my back on them for years, and now I can never tell him…I can never say…” Percy sobbed into his hands, and Oliver rose and sat next to Percy along the wall, leaning against him and wrapping an arm around his shoulders. “I need…”


Percy gripped Oliver’s hands tightly over his lap and leaned into the other Gryffindor’s embrace. Oliver rested his cheek on Percy’s head, sliding circles with his thumb over the back of Percy’s hands. He whispered words of comfort, hoping against hope that it was enough, that he could hold onto Percy long enough to ensure he wouldn’t fall to pieces. Percy pulled back to look at Oliver, his eyes red and his face even more pale than usual.


“It should have been me. I’m the one who deserved it. I—“ Percy started, but Oliver grabbed both sides of Percy’s face and pulled it up to look into his eyes, stopping his harmful diatribe.


“No. Your brother should not have died. Nor Colin, or Professor Lupin, or any of the other hundreds that have been laid across this room. But no one as good as you ever deserves to die, regardless of the mistakes you’ve made.” Oliver was whispering fiercely, still gripping Percy’s face.


“No, I’m not good. Nothing about me is good,” Percy whispered, trying to pull away from Oliver’s grip.


Oliver just shook his head, leaned forward and kissed Percy softly. He hadn’t intended to do that when he walked over there, but he had been so overwhelmed by being near Percy, and touching him. He had been so relieved at the knowledge that Percy was alive, that he couldn’t help himself. Listening to Percy fill himself with so much guilt and self-loathing had convinced Oliver that this was it. Percy was it for him. If he had to spend the rest of his life proving to this brilliant, passionate wizard that he was worthy, then that’s what he would do.


After what seemed like an eternity, Percy lifted his hands to Oliver’s shoulders and returned the tentative kiss. Oliver breathed out and pulled the other wizard into his lap, uncaring that Percy was markedly taller than him, or that there were still people in the Great Hall. He just wanted Percy to know. Oliver pulled away and kissed along the dirt stained, scratched line of Percy’s jaw, letting his arms roam down his back, before looking back up and meeting the red haired wizard’s deep brown eyes.


“Maybe we should find a place to rest,” Oliver whispered. A weight lifted off his shoulders when Percy nodded.


We might kiss when we are alone
When nobody's watching
We might take it home
We might make out when nobody's there
It's not that we're scared
It's just that it's delicate



They found an abandoned classroom that was still intact. Oliver held on to Percy’s hand tightly as they walked in and began moving some of the desks to the outskirts of the room. Percy remained silent as Oliver waved his wand and created cushions and blankets out of the draperies and tapestries along the walls. When he turned around to see if it looked okay to Percy, he was looking up at the board, though his expression was distant.


“This is the arithmancy classroom,” Percy whispered. “Fred and George used to make fun of me constantly for taking this class. They said…they said that I was just trying to show off and make them look bad.”


“You probably were, a little.” Oliver took a chance at a smile, and Percy smiled back sadly.


“I loved getting them riled up. It always looked like they were constantly irritating me, but I was a master of a well-placed word,” Percy said, looking at his feet.


“You still are,” Oliver answered; He put his fingers under Percy’s chin and turned his face.


They had been friends for years. It was a natural friendship, born of proximity and convenience, but built on trust and confidence that sometimes amazed them both. Oliver never once considered that he and Percy should be together, but as the walls of Hogwarts were falling down, all he wanted was to be near his best mate and make sure nothing ever happened to him again. All he wanted to do now was touch his skin and never let him go.


“Hide me, Olly. I can’t…I can’t face this right now,” Percy cried, tears running freely down his cheeks.


“I know. It’s okay,” Oliver whispered.


He kissed Percy, gently at first, until the other wizard’s body yielded to him. When Percy moaned lightly and opened his lips, Oliver could feel his cock begin to harden. Something in the back of his mind told him that he shouldn’t be in such a state after fighting a battle full of death and fear, but the adrenaline was coursing through him and the feeling of having Percy alive and well under his touch was enough to make him need to come time and time again.


Percy groaned and pressed his long, lean body tight against Oliver. Oliver wrapped his arms around the taller wizard’s waist so that their centers began to press against each other. Oliver felt a rush of lust when Percy’s hard cock rubbed along his. They both needed this, and they were both ready to drown in the feeling of each other to stave off the sorrow. Oliver kissed down the side of Percy’s face, latching on to the soft skin of his neck.


“Fuck, Olly, please,” Percy groaned, thrusting his erection against Oliver’s. He was only too willing to comply.


Oliver reached for the clasp of Percy’s robes, but Percy was too quick, discarding them and hurriedly unbuttoning his shirt. Not wanting to just stand there as each inch of pale skin was revealed to him, Oliver kissed down Percy’s chest, eliciting delicious moans that spurred him on until he was on his knees before the Head Boy.


Percy froze in his path at the clasp of his trousers, looking at Oliver uncertainly, getting ready to pull away. Oliver gripped his hips firmly, however, and pulled his clothed erection against his face. Oliver mouthed at Percy’s throbbing cock until Percy finally moved his hands and let Oliver take down his pants and trousers. Percy’s cock stood long and throbbing from a thatch of orange curls that Oliver couldn’t resist running his hands through, and when he finally wrapped his hand around Percy’s erection, he cried out.


Oliver licked the tip of Percy’s cock, causing the wizard to let out a string of expletives that he never would have expected the very proper Gryffindor to utter in his lifetime. He closed his lips around the length and moved downward, relishing the feeling of Percy’s erection weighted against his tongue. He wanted to bring Percy to climax just from his mouth, but he knew they needed more. This needed to last.


He stood up and quelled Percy’s pained whimper with a fierce kiss. His breath hitched when Percy’s long fingers found the bare flesh of his back and began to pull his shirt up over his head. Their bare chests pressed against one another, and Percy’s bony body was like perfection against Oliver’s heated skin. He never wanted to leave that room and face reality, he only wanted Percy from that moment on.


Oliver’s torn, dust-ridden jeans fell to the ground along with his pants and their cocks finally touched, skin on skin. Percy’s body stiffened even as he threw his head back, and Oliver reached up to bring Percy’s face in line with his own. Percy’s pupils were no longer blown out with lust, but fearful and uncertain.


“I’ve never…I’ve never been this way with anyone,” Percy whispered, his body shaking.


Oliver had. Blokes and women were plentiful when you were on the professional quidditch circuit, even for a team like Puddlemere United. The notion that Percy was a virgin flared up such a possessive notion in Oliver that he almost forgot why they were there. Percy needed to forget for a few hours, and Oliver needed Percy.


“S’ alright Perce,” Oliver smiled, kissing Percy lightly and pulling him in close. “Just follow me, and we can stop at any time.”


He laid Percy down on a pile of transfigured pillows and their hips thrust against one another with delicious friction. Percy’s questing fingers found Oliver’s erection and Oliver couldn’t help but let out a feral groan as Percy began to fist his cock. He felt the heat begin to coil in his stomach, and wanted to be inside of Percy before the night was through.


Percy cast a lubrication charm and began to run a now-slick hand up and down Oliver’s throbbing member. It felt so good that Oliver knew he could come just from that. He looked at Percy, pale, freckled skin flushed, eyes squeezed shut, and head thrown back. The dip at his clavicles was more pronounced and he looked so deliciously wanton that Oliver had to still Percy’s hand before his plans fell through.


His fingers circled Percy’s entrance, and his stomach contracted at the notion that he was going to be inside of the other wizard. He had never realized how badly he wanted Percy. He only ever knew he cared for him, but this day had proven to Oliver that Percy was more than that. So much more.


When his finger first slipped inside of Percy’s tight body, they both moaned and Percy opened his legs wider to take Oliver deeper. Oliver quickly added another finger, scissoring them and opening up Percy’s body wider. He curled his fingers and hit the sensitive spot, causing Percy to buck his hips upward and whisper a string of begging and pleading that made Oliver bury his head into the crook of Percy’s neck .


He lined up his cock with Percy’s entrance, bending one of Percy’s legs to gain a better angle. “Is this okay, love?” Oliver whispered, his own voice shaking.


“Yes, Oliver. Please, I need you.” Percy’s voice rang throughout the empty room like a bell, and Oliver slowly entered him.


It took a while for Percy’s body to yield to him, but Oliver allowed his hands to roam, whispering the truth about how beautiful Percy was, how much Oliver cared as he slowly moved inside of the ginger wizard. Once he was finally fully seated, he couldn’t breathe for the perfection of it. He had never experienced sex like that, and Oliver was ready to never experience anything else.


“Love you so much,” Oliver whispered, kissing Percy hard as he began to move. Percy stared back at him, his expression finally completely unguarded, and Oliver read the answer on his face, even if he couldn’t say it back.


When Percy bucked his hips up and moaned Oliver’s name, he almost sobbed in relief. He began to thrust in an out of Percy’s body, running his hand along the other wizard’s cock in time with his own movements. When Percy’s heel dug into Oliver’s buttocks and pressed him hard into his body, Oliver couldn’t help it any longer. He came in hit spurts inside of Percy, whispering his name over and over again, coupled with nonsensical moans and babble. He felt Percy’s body clench around him and knew he was coming too. He sank his teeth into the soft skin on Percy’s shoulder as they both rode out their orgasms.


When his breathing slowed, he looked up to see Percy reaching for his wand. He cast a quick cleaning charm after Oliver carefully left his body. They both lay back against the make-shift bed in the light of a hot, noon sun, looking up and not speaking. Finally, Percy’s hand found his and they wound their fingers together.


“We should get some sleep,” Oliver said, his voice hoarse.


Percy nodded and pulled Oliver against him, wrapping an arm around his bare back. Oliver drifted away in the warm grasp of Percy’s embrace and the knowledge that he would be there for Percy no matter what happened in the coming weeks.


However, when he woke up, the stars were in the sky and Percy Weasley was nowhere to be found.


So why do you fill my sorrow
With the words you've borrowed
From the only place you've know
And why do you sing Hallelujah
If it means nothing to you
Why do you sing with me at all?



4 months later


Percy stepped out of the Ministry to take his daily four-block walk to the café that made Chai Tea lattes with pumpkin spice in them. It was almost autumn, and he thought the chill in the air would be especially perfect with a bit of warm pumpkin. He always went to that shop, and always ordered oddly flavored lattes. Every day, at ten minutes past twelve without fail, he walked to that same café, nodded to the same worker, and paid the same amount of money for variations of the same drink.


He had been working as an Undersecretary to The Minister for three months. After the crippling loss his family felt from war, he’d dusted himself off and began to stand on his own two feet again. He tried to ignore the voice in the back of his head telling him that he was a cold, unfeeling, and undeserving sod. It wasn’t productive to wallow in self-pity after all. He pushed down his own self-loathing in favor of continuing to walk up the endless hill that had become his life.


The one thing he could never push down was the memory of Oliver. His tanned skin, soft hair, and impossibly light blue eyes were like a specter in the back of Percy’s mind, reminding him of the price he paid to his own shame and self-hatred. He couldn’t have Oliver. In what world would someone like him, someone so fucked up and selfish, ever be allowed to be with Oliver Wood. He radiated kindness and warmth without even knowing he was doing it.


He left Oliver that day in the empty classroom because to stay, to hold on tightly to Oliver while he watched his brother be lowered in the ground, was unconscionable. Everyone knew he was the one who should have died. He was the least-loved. He should never flaunt that in anyone’s face. Especially George’s.


Percy was so caught up in his own thoughts that he didn’t realize he had gone out of his way and was now on a residential street in Muggle London. He looked up and smiled at the neat little row houses. Maybe it was time he get a house of his own, and move out of The Burrow. He could see himself growing old in a cozy little house, alone with his quill and parchment.


Suddenly, the hairs on the back of Percy’s neck stood on end and he turned around out of reflex. As he turned, impossibly light blue eyes met his, widening with shock. Percy watched Oliver walk right past him, in a crowd of blokes in Puddlemere uniforms, and for a fleeting moment, Percy was back in that abandoned room with a heap of transfigured drapes. He closed his eyes and remembered the feel of Oliver’s lips on his.


When he opened his eyes, the crowd had passed. Percy turned his back to walk in the opposite direction, but even his willpower couldn’t win out this one. He turned around to watch Oliver walk away, to burn the image like a brand and sear into him the thought that he deserved nothing more than a view of the back of Oliver’s head.


When he turned around, Oliver was looking at him. Percy’s hands clenched at his sides to keep him from running toward Oliver at full tilt. He wanted nothing more than that brash, beautiful wizard. He wanted nothing more than to be held again, to feel safe in someone else’s arms. Percy felt like his chest was about to cave in. If he didn’t turn away from Oliver’s penetrating gaze soon, he’d fall to pieces.


Percy turned away and walked as fast as he could toward the safe harbor of his café.

()()()()()()()()()()()()()


The next day, at exactly ten minutes after twelve, Percy left the Ministry of Magic and walked toward his favorite café. He readied his exact change, and began to look forward to a sweet, spicy chai drink. However, just as he got to the corner where the quaint little shop sat, he couldn’t stop. His legs kept moving of their own volition. Within moments, Percy found himself back in the spot where he had seen Oliver just yesterday, closing his eyes and trying to remember the strong curve of his jaw and the slight arch of his brow.


“You came back,” Oliver’s Scottish lilt was like music to Percy’s ears, and he didn’t dare open his eyes.


“You were here, I had to see if that was real,” Percy said, so quiet he knew no one walking by would hear him.


“Percy,” Oliver said, sounding uncertain.


When Percy opened his eyes, Oliver was standing there, so close that Percy could bend his head slightly and their foreheads would touch. He wanted to do that so badly, he could feel his head begin to wobble. Oliver just stared back at him, brows furrowed, as though there was a complicated language written across Percy‘s face.


“I can’t…” Percy started.


“You always say that, but you always can,” Oliver said, his deep voice suddenly insistent. “You fucking CAN, but you just don’t think you should.”


“No, I shouldn’t.” Percy could feel a lump rising in his throat.


“Is that why you left that day? Is that why you wouldn’t even look at me at the memorial?” Oliver’s hand closed around Percy’s bicep, and Percy wasn’t sure if he wanted to pull away or lean in to the touch.


Percy could only nod, cut open by Oliver’s words, and compelled to speak the truth. He knew if he opened his mouth, Oliver would hear how much he wanted the other wizard, how much he needed him. How much he could never allow himself to have that.


“You’re good, Percy. You are a good person. You are here right now because deep down, your heart knows exactly where it belongs,” Oliver whispered, bringing his other hand up Percy’s arm.


“Olly,” Percy whispered.


“Don’t go this time. Please don’t go.” Oliver’s voice caught in his throat as he spoke.


Percy could feel himself shaking, from the top of his head to his toes, his body quivered with a force of wills: his will to punish himself, and his will to fall at Oliver’s feet and beg for a crumb of the affection shining in his eyes. He lifted his hands and braced himself against Oliver’s chest.


“I’m here, I’m not leaving this time,” Percy said, the words falling from his lips before he could shove them back in.


Oliver kissed him then, with so much promise and force that Percy felt he would open his eyes to find them both 30 meters tall. The keeper’s hands were on his face, the rough calluses playing along Percy’s jaw line like they had never left their home in the ginger wizard’s skin. Percy groaned and wrapped his arm around Oliver’s waist, pulling them together. He was completely unconcerned with the spectacle they must be making, and with the chai tea likely waiting for him a scant two blocks away.


All there was, all there ever needed to be, was Oliver, and Percy couldn’t fight that any longer.


We might live like never before
When there's nothing to give
Well how can we ask for more
We might make love in some sacred place
The look on your face is delicate

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