themightyflynn: (Percy)
[personal profile] themightyflynn posting in [community profile] hp_bunintheoven
Title: Never Let Go
Author: [personal profile] themightyflynn
Beta: [personal profile] smirkingcat
Rating: PG
Pairing: Harry/Percy
Word Count: 4751
Content/Warning(s): Highlight to read*mpreg, slight finger kink, angst, fluff, hurt/comfort *
Summary: After arriving home from a two-day mission, Harry is blindsided by Percy’s reaction to him.
Author's Note: Written for the [community profile] hp_shoreofangst fest.
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.


Creeping along the upstairs hallway of Grimmauld Place towards the bedroom he shared with Percy was not the way Harry would have liked to have arrived home from his latest mission. He was no fool, however, no matter what certain of the more idiotic papers would have the rest of the wizarding world believe. Harry was not going to risk upsetting his pregnant husband by waking him, not after the screaming matches they had had during Percy’s first pregnancy.

The amount of time Harry had spent sleeping either on the lounge or at Ron and Hermione’s during the first pregnancy had made him a lot warier of Percy during this one. Slipping his hand into the pocket of his work-robes, his fingers closed around the edges of one of the small cardboard boxes there. No, Harry was definitely no fool; this time he had come prepared. His eyes closed automatically and his stomach dropped as he took a misstep and one of the floorboards creaked loudly.

“Harry, is that you?”

There was a strange, but slightly hopeful tone to Percy’s voice. Harry frowned, but pushed aside the sensation that crept down his spine. Taking a deep, hopefully steadying breath, he straightened and stepped forward quickly. Despite the strange tone, he knew that there was no point in delaying it now.

“Yeah, Perce, I’m right here.” Harry pushed the door of their bedroom open slowly. “Sorry, did I wake you?”

The bedroom was flooded with light when Harry stepped through the door. Percy had set up not only the fireplace, but also nearly every single candle in the room, chasing away the gloom that settled once the sun went down. Harry stood in the doorway for a few seconds, merely watching as Percy placed his hands on either side of his arse and shoved himself up the bed to lean back against all four of their pillows. A fine sheen of sweat was on his forehead, causing it to shine in the light and making Harry wonder why he was under the covers if he was overheating. He was just about to ask when some of the paperwork that Percy had scattered over the bedspread slid to the floor, causing him to scowl down at it.

“Comfortable?” Forgetting the question, Harry couldn’t help smiling a little as Percy’s scowl was turned to him. “I thought you told Kingsley that you’d not be working now that you’re nearly due.”

“If you can tell me what else I am supposed to do around this house when you are off chasing bad guys, then I am more than willing to listen.” Percy rolled his eyes when Harry raised his hands in surrender. “Mother informs me as well that I shouldn’t be working. Apparently, it puts a strain on the baby, or some such nonsense.”

Harry’s small smile turned to a true grin at the pompous tone to Percy’s voice. He was immediately drawn back to their school years, and Percy’s insistence that being Head Boy was the most important thing in the world. It had been ten years since Harry had left school, however, and he was no longer the same schoolboy who had been influenced by Ron’s views of his brothers. Percy’s reactions to the world around him more amused Harry than annoyed him these days.

“Do you want help cleaning this up, or–”

“Touch my work and I will hex you into next week.” There was a bit of strain in his voice as he leant to reach his wand on the bedside. “The last time you ‘helped’ me clean up, I was finding March papers with October papers, and receipts in with requests for months afterwards.”

Percy waved his wand, causing the papers on the bedspread and floor to leap into the air and arrange themselves in a very particular order that Harry had never been able to work out. He watched silently as Percy assembled the papers, merely admiring the very precise wandwork. While Harry had been trained in all different schools of offensive and defensive magic during his Auror training, Percy had gone the complete opposite direction. Having worked his arse off over the years since the war, Percy had managed to actually earn the title of Assistant to the Minister for Magic, rather than having it given to him due to political manoeuvring. The magic he had learned during the past ten years was intricate, and delicate, and fascinated Harry no end. Slowly moving closer, Harry couldn’t help smiling as he watched Percy’s hands manipulating the papers.

“It’s just magic, Harry.”

Percy’s voice was low, sending a shot of warmth straight through Harry. Instead of replying verbally, he stepped forward far enough so he could place a hand on the bed beside Percy. Leaning in, he grinned in the second before their lips met. The sound of the papers dropping to the floor had Harry chuckling into the kiss, but Percy refused to allow him to break it. Parting his lips, he drew Harry’s tongue into the warmth of his mouth, sucking gently.

What had started as an amusing way to distract his husband turned quickly heated, with Harry finding it difficult to get a deep breath after only a few seconds. He knew he had to pull away, though, as Percy wasn’t supposed to be putting much strain on himself at this stage of the pregnancy. The groan Percy let out when Harry broke the kiss sounded disappointed, but Harry quickly shushed him.

“I have something for you.” He could feel his cheeks warming when Percy opened his eyes to give him a heated look. “Not that kind of something.”

“Why start it if you have no intention of continuing it?”

“I didn’t start anything,” Harry muttered as he sat back so he could dig through his pockets for the packages he had stuffed in there earlier in the night. He smiled again when he finally had them all out and sitting in his palm. “You know, it’s a damn good thing the girls are at your parent’s place tonight, because I don’t think I’m up to playing referee between the three of you.”

“‘Referee’…?” Percy’s eyes widened when his gaze fell to the packages of Chocolate Frogs Harry held in his hands. “Oh, Harry…”

He didn’t snatch them from Harry’s hands, but it was a close thing. Ripping the packaging open, he grasped the first frog before it could leap away from him. Almost absentmindedly, he held the card out so Harry could collect it for the girls before biting into the chocolate. His eyes slid shut and he let out a soft sound almost like a groan.

“Perce?”

Harry kept his voice low, almost afraid to disturb Percy. He needn’t have worried it seemed, though, as when Percy’s eyes reopened, they held such adoration in them that Harry could feel his cheeks heating again.

“I take it they’re good?”

“Mmmpf.”

Percy’s long, slim fingers slid slowly into his mouth and his cheeks hollowed as he sucked melted chocolate from them. The sweet scent of sugar surrounded them, permeating the room slowly as Percy reached for a second Chocolate Frog package.

“Merlin, they are so good,” he moaned as he ripped the package open and grasped the charmed frog. “Just what I’ve been craving.”

Harry couldn’t help grinning. The mission he’d been on for the past two days had kept him from contacting Percy at all, which had left his pregnant husband alone to deal with their twin three-year-old girls. Well, as alone as a Weasley got with the amount of family who would have ‘just happened’ to drop by both days, he figured. And that included when Molly and Arthur arrived that afternoon to pick the girls up for the weekend. The Chocolate Frogs were his way of apologising, as he knew that they were something that Percy craved, but would never ask Molly or any of the others to buy for him.

“How did you know?”

There was a small pause while Harry stood and stretched, using the space from Percy to clear his head a little. The stretch of his muscles caused Harry to grin. He always forgot just how tense he got when he was away from his family for longer than the usual nine-to-five when he was filling out paperwork. Standing beside the bed, he watched as Percy devoured a third frog, only pausing to suck his fingers into his mouth to get the chocolate off them. Warmth spread through him when Percy met his eyes with a raised eyebrow.

“We’ve been married now for five years, Perce. I think that’s long enough to say that I know you fairly well.”

The warmth swirled happily through Harry’s stomach and spread out to his limbs when Percy licked his lips. He was tempted to re-take his seat on the edge of the bed, just to see what would happen, but knew he shouldn’t. Turning, he made his way over towards the wardrobe, still flexing his shoulders. He let out a groan when his shoulder popped, releasing some of the tension that had built over the course of the past two days.

“Are you injured?”

There was an odd tone to Percy’s voice, but Harry wasn’t worried. He shrugged, smiling when he felt none of the pain that he associated with the old injury that Percy was referring to.

“No, it’s just the usual. I’ll be fine.”

Harry…” This time, Harry definitely caught the warning tone to Percy’s voice. “‘Just the usual’ for you tends to mean that you’ll be hospitalised at the same time I will. Now, as much as I hate to repeat myself, are you injured?”

Harry sighed. It was only soft and there was nothing he could have done to prevent it, but it seemed to be the wrong move completely. The bed squeaked as Percy moved, causing Harry to turn in time to see him standing, his hands clenched by his sides. The flush to his face combined with a fresh layer of sweat had Harry frowning in concern. Taking a couple of automatic steps forwards, Harry reached towards Percy, knowing he wasn’t supposed to be out of bed unless it was absolutely necessary.

“I said I’m fine, Perce. Come on, back to bed.”

“Don’t treat me like a child!” Percy swayed but swatted Harry’s hand away from him. “I cannot look after an invalid as well as a newborn and two toddlers on my own. I need you to be here and to be healthy.”

“I literally just said that I am fine, Percy. I don’t need looking after and you know that I’ll always be here to help with the children. I look after Lily and Molly whenever I can; you know that.”

The warmth that had been spreading through Harry earlier was dissipating fast with the change of the mood in the room. He knew that Percy’s temper was swift – especially with all the pregnancy hormones running through him – but this was a little ridiculous. Now that Percy had started, however, it seemed that he wasn’t about to stop. His eyes narrowed and one hand went to the bottom of his swollen middle, a move that Harry knew was comfort for him more than anything else.

“‘Whenever you can’? That seems to be less and less as of late, doesn’t it? You’re always taking up the missions that take you away. Hell, you’ve just gotten back after two days away–”

“Don’t.” Slightly stunned as to how quickly the situation had devolved, Harry’s jaw clenched against the anger now flowing through him. He took a couple of calming breaths, however, in an attempt to not react. “Please don’t.”

“Don’t what? Tell you the truth?” The hand on Percy’s belly moved around to the small of his back, kneading and massaging, sending suspicion squirming down Harry’s spine. “You left two days ago, Harry. You left me alone with the girls; alone to deal with–”

He cut himself off with a groan. Bending over, he held a hand out to keep Harry away from him as he panted through what was obviously a contraction. Adrenalin coursed through Harry’s veins, bunching his muscles in an automatic reaction that he usually associated with a fear response. His eyes darted from Percy to the bed and back again, trying to work out just how long Percy had been waiting for him to come home.

“You’re in labour.”

Harry thought he could be forgiven for stating the obvious, after being confronted with such a shock so suddenly. Apparently, Percy didn’t.

“Finally noticed, have you?”

Straightening up, Percy shot him a disdainful look. His cheeks were flushed, and his breath came in short gasps, but it was clear that the contraction had subsided. At least Harry now felt justified for picking up on the strange tones to Percy’s voice since he had entered the room.

“Perce–”

“What would have happened if you hadn’t come back?”

“That won’t happen.”

“How do you know?” There was a vulnerability in Percy’s deep blue eyes that caused Harry’s insides to clench. “How can you possibly know that? Today…” He groaned, his hands clenching by his sides as he bent forwards again. “You weren’t here… You weren’t here…”

Ignoring Percy’s weak objections, Harry stepped forward and wrapped him in his arms. The tremble he could feel running through Percy’s entire body sent guilt shooting through him that he hadn’t realised that something was wrong from the second he had entered the room. Closing his eyes, Harry bent his head so he could whisper in Percy’s ear.

“I’m sorry, Perce, I’m so sorry.” Moving one hand so that it rested in the small of Percy’s back, holding him close, Harry removed his wand and sent a Patronus off to Molly, letting her know what was going on. “You know I’ll never leave; you’ve got to know that.”

While Percy didn’t move away, it was still clear to Harry that he was unhappy. He knew that he had to get Percy moving, however. If they stayed in the house too long, who knew what kinds of complications could occur? It took a lot longer than Harry was comfortable with, but eventually, Percy shifted his position, placing a hand softly on Harry’s bicep.

“It hurts…”

It was all Harry needed to hear. Relief rushed through him that was strong enough that his head spun a little. Bending so he could scoop Percy up in his arms, he held him close to his chest so he could Apparate them straight to the maternity ward of St. Mungo’s.

*~*

“He’s tiny.”

“Yes, Ronald, that’s because he’s only an hour old.”

The weariness to Percy’s voice had Harry’s insides clenching again. The birth hadn’t been easy, with Percy requiring an extra set of staff to keep both him and their baby son alive, but after six long hours, they had both pulled through. Harry was unsure whether his nerves had made it through unscathed, but that wasn’t very high on his list of priorities at that point in time.

Shifting his weight drew Percy’s attention to him, but he soon looked away. A softly cleared throat at the end of the bed had Harry glancing over to where Molly stood, her smile sympathetic. Taking the chance that she had actually wanted his attention, Harry made his way over.

“How are you, Harry?”

Wrapping his arms around his middle, Harry shifted his weight. “I’m good.”

“Are you sure? You’re awfully quiet for someone who has just witnessed the birth of his third child.”

Harry smiled, knowing that he would probably never be able to hide anything from Molly. “Er, yeah, yeah, I’m good. I swear.”

She eyed him for a few seconds, obviously taking in the fact that he was still in his Auror uniform. “Mmm hmm.”

It was all she said, but it seemed that it meant a lot more. Without Harry even really seeing her do much more than have a word in Hermione’s ear, she had the room cleared in a matter of minutes. When the only people left were her, Harry, Percy and their children, Molly smiled up at him.

“I hope the two of you can straighten whatever this is out, Harry dear.” Standing on her toes, she placed a soft kiss on his cheek. “Send the girls out when you need a moment to yourselves.”

Harry merely shook his head. How someone could be that efficient, he had no idea, but he had a suspicion that it came from having to organise seven children herself for so long.

“Dad?”

Harry knelt automatically when Lily came jogging towards him from the opposite side of the room. ‘Fast-paced-leaping’ seemed to be Lily’s slowest speed at this point in time, which did cause problems, but Harry was certain she would slow down eventually.

“What’s up, Lils?” He groaned dramatically as he stood with her in his arms, causing her to break into a giggling fit. “You’re getting heavy, you know!”

“Am not!” She wriggled in Harry’s arms, obviously demonstrating how light she was by nearly causing him to drop her. “Dad? Can I hold the baby?”

“Oh.”

Harry blinked, taken aback by the sudden question. He hadn’t considered the fact that the girls would be curious enough about the new baby to want to actually hold him. As always when he was unsure of something, he glanced automatically to Percy, seeking the answer to the question in his husband’s face. Harry’s stomach dropped when he realised just how stupid a move that was at that point. Sitting on the bed with Molly by his side, Percy held Harry’s gaze, but there was none of his usual affection there.

“I, er…” Harry stuttered, taking an automatic step away from Percy and the ice in his eyes. “I don’t know, Lils. He might be a little small…”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Harry. Victoire held both of our girls, why can they not hold their own brother?”

Harry’s eyes closed and he swallowed audibly as his muscles tensed at the cold tone to Percy’s voice. Percy hadn’t spoken directly to him since they had left the house, choosing instead to address all his comments and questions to the people surrounding them. Harry could understand his anger, to a certain extent. He knew that he should have been able to tell that there was something wrong with Percy when he had entered the bedroom that afternoon; he was more than willing to admit it if asked, as well. He also understood Percy’s desire for him to not take on any more away missions, especially with three children now underfoot. What he didn’t – couldn’t – understand was Percy’s continued anger at him. Sure, missing that your husband was in labour was grounds enough to start a screaming match, but that was over and done with now. He was dragged out of his thoughts by Percy clearing his throat.

“Oh, er, yeah, yeah, sure…” Harry hesitated when he looked up and caught a glimpse of what appeared to be vulnerability in Percy’s eyes, but it was covered quickly enough that he put it down to wishful thinking. “Here we go, Lily.”

Organising themselves on the bed so that Lily could seat herself in Harry’s lap – with Molly beside them, waiting expectantly – took a little time, especially considering how wary of Percy and his reactions to him Harry had become. It seemed to him that he had become hyperaware of everything that Percy did or said; of every little action. It was with no small amount of trepidation, then, that he reached out to take the baby from Percy’s arms. A jolt raced through Harry when he met Percy’s eyes as their hands brushed when Percy handed the baby over, but Percy quickly looked away once again.

“I, er…” Harry shook his head, bewilderment clouding through his mind. He knew he had to focus, however. “Here you are, Lil. That’s it, wrap your arms around him like this…”

Lily’s wide smile as she held her baby brother for the first time was enough to chase away some of Harry’s melancholy. He kept his attention locked firmly on all three of their children, essentially ignoring Percy as he silently sat and watched them all interacting. Neither of the girls seemed to notice anything strange between their parents, which Harry was thankful for. Harry could feel it all rippling along his shoulders, though, tensing him even further with each passing minute. By the time the girls lost interest in the baby, Harry was anxious enough that the sound of Percy’s voice caused him to jump violently.

“Perhaps you girls would like to go back out to Grandma and Grandpa?”

It was an innocuous sentence, with no obvious meaning behind it at all beyond what was stated, but it still caused Harry’s nerves to sing. His eyes darted between Percy and the door, wondering whether Percy was going to demand that he leave as well. It seemed that that fear was in vain, at least for the time being.

“Harry.”

Nerves shivered along Harry’s spine. His gaze still fixed to the tiny baby in his arms, he turned slowly to face Percy. He still couldn’t bring himself to look Percy in the eye, afraid of what his reaction would be.

“Oh, for heaven’s sake! If I truly disgust you this much, Harry, then just have the balls to leave me, alright? I cannot stand being in this limbo any longer, so if you’re going to leave, then just do it.”

“What?” Harry’s head snapped up so quickly, his muscles screamed in protest. “What?”

The second word was much more of a squeak than anything else. Harry’s eyes widened and his breathing became shorter as a strange combination of confusion, indignation, and utter disbelief washed through him. His mouth opened and closed a number of times, but nothing came out.

“Harry–”

“No.”

“Excuse me?”

“No.” Unconsciously tightening his grip on the baby, Harry staggered forward until he was standing by the side of the bed. “No, no, no, no, no. No.” When all Percy did was sit and stare at him with an unreadable expression, Harry gingerly sank down onto the bed. “Please no, Perce. Don’t do this.”

“Don’t release you from a marriage you clearly want no part of any longer?”

“Yes! I mean, no – I…” Harry sighed, running his free hand through his hair. “I don’t even know where this is coming from.”

Watching as Percy adjusted his position on the bed – and having to resist the urge to reach out to him when he winced in pain – Harry struggled to stay quiet. He’d obviously known that Percy was angry with him, but they had been fine up until that very afternoon; or they had been in Harry’s eyes.

“You clearly do not wish to be with me.” Percy held up a hand to silence Harry when he made to object. “You have spent the past few months accepting assignments that took you away from me and the girls. When you are home, you are distracted. You don’t touch me anymore; you barely even look at me. I’d thought that it was just the pregnancy, that maybe you just didn’t like the changes to my body, but then you went away again two days before I went into labour. You knew that there was a chance that you could miss the birth of your son, but you still left. I can only assume that the idea of staying with me while we waited for his arrival was too much for you to handle. I… I can accept this–”

No!” The fierceness of the growl that Harry’s voice had become took even him by surprise. Blinking away the moisture from his eyes, he leant forward, his breath coming in short gasps. “You think I don’t love you.”

The whisper was a statement rather than a question, because that was clearly what Percy was saying. It was a statement that made no sense to Harry, however. Shaking his head, he swiped at the tears that continued to form in his eyes.

“You think I don’t love you.”

The idea was simply incomprehensible. The past ten years of his life had been spent working to make a life together with Percy; to make a life for their children. Harry automatically jiggled and shushed the baby when he began to fuss.

“How… No, why would you think that?”

Percy sighed. “I have watched our relationship deteriorating over the past months–”

“Wait, I haven’t noticed anything–”

“Of course you haven’t, Harry: you haven’t been here.”

“I haven’t been here because I was working, Perce!”

“I–”

“No, shut-up and listen to me.” Leaning forward as far he dared with the baby still in his arms, Harry forced Percy to meet his eyes. “I have been working for you and the girls and the baby. I have been working so you wouldn’t have to; so you could just spend time at home with the baby and not have to worry about when you had to go back. You need time to recover, Percy. You need time to bond with the baby. And you can’t do that if you’re at work yourself, so I have been working for you. You can’t honestly think that I wanted to be away from all of you so much?”

“What else was I supposed to think?”

“Goddamn it, Perce.”

Standing, Harry carefully placed the baby in the cot that was attached to the bed. When he turned to face Percy, he caught a look at the same vulnerability that he was now certain that he had seen in Percy’s gaze earlier. Harry sank slowly down onto the bed, taking Percy’s hand in his own. He had never been good with words, but this time he knew he had to be. Apparently, his marriage depended on it.

“What you’re supposed to think of when you think of ‘us’ is how much I love you. You, and the girls, and this little guy here are my main reasons for living. You are the reason I come back safe every single time I go out on assignment. I’m sorry if I’ve been distracted, or if I ever made you feel like I didn’t want you for any reason. I have no excuse for that other than stress over the new baby.” Pausing so he could take a deep breath, Harry bowed his head. “I love you, Percy. I’m not leaving; not unless you force me to.”

The hand Harry held in his tightened for a few seconds before sliding out of his grip. His chest clenched as pain shot through him at the thought of what the action could mean, but the hand returned in the next second, this time brushing gently beneath Harry’s chin. Obeying the pressure of Percy’s fingers, Harry raised his head so he could meet Percy’s eyes. He held his breath as Percy seemed to study him.

“Perce?” Harry’s voice cracked, but he ignored it.

“Stay.”

The breath Harry had been holding shuddered through him as relief flooded his body. He hadn’t realised just how tense he had been until he practically collapsed down onto the bed when his muscles all seemed to relax at once.

“Harry?”

Without even thinking about it, Harry crawled up onto the bed. One hand went to the back of Percy’s head, holding gently to his hair as Harry drew him into a soft kiss. Percy moved with him, grasping a handful of robes and pulling Harry forward even further so he could deepen the kiss. The move ended with Harry hovering over him on the bed, braced on his free hand, with his knees spread over Percy’s lap.

“I love you, Perce.”

Harry made certain that it was a while before Percy was capable of responding in any way other than in muffled moans. When he did manage it, however, his voice was so breathless that Harry couldn’t help chuckling.

“Love you, too.”

Staring down into his husband’s deep blue eyes shining brightly with the love he had just professed, Harry shivered. No matter what happened from now on in, he was going to make absolutely certain that Percy never again had reason to doubt him. Settling down on the bed, he wrapped Percy securely in his arms, holding him close. He was determined that he would never let go.
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