Summary: It's a Percy thing.
"—but what did Ron say, when you told him?" Percy asked Harry.
They were on their first date.
"Er, 'It's catching, isn't it?'"
"Yeah, but at least he wasn't mad," Harry said, picking at his food.
"Why should he have been mad?"
Harry flushed. "Ginny?"
"Ah, well, she isn't mad, and it's none of Ron's business."
"Right, like you weren't worried about what your family thought."
Percy coughed, and shoved his glasses back up onto the bridge of his nose. "Perhaps I was."
Harry gave in and took a bite, chewing slowly while watching Percy try not to watch him. It was cute. Percy was cute. No, Percy was hot. And smart. And listening to him wield regulations like a sword earlier that afternoon had been a turn-on, which was why he'd invited him to dinner. Which was good. But it would have been better if he could have thought of something more to talk about than coming out stories.
"You're nervous," Percy announced.
Harry grinned in self-defence. "Perhaps I am."
Harry snorted. "You're direct, aren't you?"
"Yes," Percy replied, raising an eyebrow.
Well, fuck. Harry couldn't think of an answer to that.
Percy smirked. "Why are you nervous, Harry? We've known each other for years."
"Er . . . ."
"Is that it? You've asked me out only to realise that we've known each other for years? Is it a brother thing, like with Ron?"
Harry, who'd picked up his glass and sipped from it, found himself choking so as not to spit his water.
Percy leant back in his chair and crossed his arms.
"Just choking a bit."
"Spluttering, you mean. So, not a brother thing?"
"Hell no. I never thought—I mean—damn. . . . Sorry, Perce. Perhaps this wasn't a good idea."
Percy adjusted his glasses again and reached into his robes. That made Harry, who was mortified by his lack of conversational skills, want to adjust himself through his robes, but his attention was drawn to the sheaf of papers that Percy was suddenly handing him.
"What are these?"
"Unit reports, Auror Potter. Yours."
Harry took them, his stomach knotting even more as it occurred to him that Percy'd only agreed to eat dinner with him to correct his reports. "What's wrong with them? They're perfect! I made sure of it when I knew they were going to you."
"I'm flattered," Percy said, his voice gone rough.
Harry looked up from the reports to see Percy leaning forward, his glasses barely resting on his nose. The expression on his face was . . . hungry. Yeah, hungry was the only way to describe it.
"Not a misspelling, not an omission, not one mistake—perfect."
Harry shivered to hear "perfect" roll off Percy's tongue like the purr of a satisfied cat, and he shifted in his chair, swallowing. "Yeah?"
"Gentlemen, would you care—"
"Go away," Percy ordered, without taking his eyes off Harry's.
And that sent a shiver down his spine.
"You said yes because of reports?"
"You asked because of my regulations. Didn't you?"
"I like perfection," Percy continued, his voice normal again as he straightened his back and pushed up his glasses. "And you seem to enjoy . . . watching someone take charge."
Yes, take charge.
"You may have noticed," Percy said, gesturing for the waiter to return, "that I'm completely comfortable in that role."
"H—hard—to miss! Hard to miss."
"I'm also fond of books, and Ron tells me you read like a fiend during mission down-time."
"He says that you enjoy picking mysteries apart because you notice every little detail. I enjoy that, myself."
"What are you reading now?" Harry asked, gratefully seizing upon a conversational topic he knew that he could explore.
He lost track of how many times Percy told their waiter to leave them alone after that; they talked until the restaurant closed.
"Gentlemen, if that will be all?"
Harry looked at Percy, whose expression had turned quizzical. "No, I don't think it will be," he said, before tossing a large handful of Galleons onto the table.
"I know it won't be."
Falling from his lips, Percy's words sounded like a promise. "I like directness."
"And I like your arse," Percy replied, as they were ushered out.