Just for That Purpose
Percy polished his glasses on the cloth he kept just for that purpose; though it was a scrap from the pyjamas he'd had as a boy, he didn't consider it sentiment to carry it around when the soft, worn square had proven itself useful over the years. He'd rescued it from his mother's quilting pile, recognizing the slice of once-bright book covers on the faded blue flannel.
"Can I borrow that?" asked Harry shyly, holding out a hand. "Hermione knows all sorts of useful spells for glasses, but I never quite got the knack of it."
"Some things are better done by hand," said Percy, handing Harry the cloth. It felt odd to watch other hands fondle the fabric, other lenses brighten under its caress.
Harry's mouth quirked up. "A lesson for every young man," he said teasingly, handing it back. He put his glasses back on and blinked around the room, running his hand through damp hair and leaving it more messy than before.
Percy was sure he was missing something, so he just smiled and nodded, a tactic that worked with nearly everyone except the twins. "What brings you to my office?" asked Percy politely.
Much to Percy's surprise, Harry flushed. "I, ah, that is... I hope you're not mad, but Bill told me what you told him. About, um. You. And guys," said Harry, the words tumbling out in fits and starts. "So I wanted to, um, askyoutolunch."
Percy blinked, and then the late-night conversation drifted up from buried memory. He'd gone to his older brother at Christmas to ask confused questions about sexuality and wanting and what was good and right. He'd been wearing these pyjamas, though they were too short in the leg, and by the next winter they'd gone to the rag pile. After a long moment of thought, all he could manage to say was, "Why?"
Harry sighed. "Because I am, too. A pouf, that is. I think, anyway, and Bill seemed to agree, and, well, so does Ginny. So Bill sent me to you because you're, and I, and..." Harry bit his lip and shrugged. "I like you."
"Absurd," said Percy. No one liked him. Not even Penelope, really, though she'd been patient with his admittedly lukewarm attempts to assert some sort of heterosexuality. Mostly, they'd done homework.
Harry, he suspected, wouldn't want to revise.
"Which bit?" asked Harry, stepping forward. He smelled of ozone and moisture, but also warmth and shampoo and maleness, and his hair seemed less hopeless than artfully mussed when he was licking his lips like that.
Percy shrugged. "All of it, really. Well, I suppose you'd know if you were queer better than I, but the rest of it is preposterous. You've barely spoken to me since we were children."
Harry chuckled. "We were horrible together as children," he said, which seemed to Percy like agreement until he added, "but now we're both grown and I'd like to get to know the man you've grown into. Which is why we should have lunch. Er, now."
Percy followed Harry's gaze to the clock, which had indeed just clicked onto "Time for Lunch". He often ignored its promptings for things like lunch and going home, though he did enjoy the reminder for a good cup of tea every few hours, so he never bothered to try to change things around.
Percy liked it when things stayed the same.
"Everyone needs lunch," said Harry, almost as if he'd read Percy's doubts on his face.
Percy remembered Harry's persistence as a boy, always rushing in where others refused to even see the danger, and he suspected this would be the same. "I suppose that I could," said Percy, the rest of the sentence lost when Harry surged upward to press an awkward, damp kiss to Percy's mouth, lips soft and warm as they slid over Percy's and then away. "Oh."
Harry grinned shyly. "Let me take you out," he said, offering Percy one slightly rain-damp arm, which would look absurd since Percy was by far the taller of the two.
Percy grabbed his cloak, then tucked Harry's hand into the crook of his own elbow instead, feeling his cheeks grow hot as they emerged into the hallway. It wasn't so much that anyone minded if Percy was, as Mrs Tuttle often put it, a confirmed bachelor. It was more that they'd gossip, and he'd go back to the days where conversations ceased as soon as he walked into the room, rather than carrying on as if he weren't there at all.
But most of all it was that he didn't seem to mind, if it meant Harry would offer a repeat of the all-too-brief kiss.
"At least our glasses didn't hit," mused Percy aloud, forgetting for a moment that he wasn't being studiously ignored by those around him, or simply alone, as he was most of his days.
Harry's hand tightened on his arm. "Nor our teeth," said Harry with a little bounce in his step. "You're tall, but I rather like it."
Percy swallowed, looking down to find Harry glancing up shyly, smile lurking around that pink mouth. "It suits me to meet halfway," said Percy, blinking as they Apparated outside into the light rain. His cloak would keep him dry enough, though his hair would frizz something awful if he didn't duck into the loo and fix it before they ate. And of course his lenses were immediately dotted with water, breaking up his vision into wobbly rainbows.
Percy didn't really mind the wet glasses, though. After all, he had a bit of cloth, just for that purpose.
He'd even share it with Harry, if asked.
Title: Just for That Purpose