TITLE: Confessions of an Embarrassed Kind
RATING: 13 (with suggestion/hints)
WORD COUNT: 1,833
DISCLAIMER: The characters aren’t mine, they are the property of JK Rowling, Raincoast, Scholastic, Bloomsbury, Warner Bros…etc etc etc…
DEDICATION: Again to Laura :), just because
FEEDBACK: Not sure what I think of this, just realised that this is the first time EVER that I have written Percy.
SUMMARY: Percy’s life is about to get turned upside down.
She knew that it was going to take a lot for her to say anything. She took a deep breath and walked through the front door of the small two bedroom flat she had been sharing with Percy for the last three years, ever since his marriage to Penelope had broken up, and she had realised that living with her ex-boyfriend was not the best of situations.
They shared the space really well, Hermione tended to start work later in the mornings and finish at around seven in the evening, Percy was an early bed, out of the flat by six-thirty and back in the flat at about four. They did a rota for the chores, Percy preferring his own cooking to the takeaway that Hermione always bought when it was her turn to cook
Last month though, everything had changed, and all it had taken was half a bottle of red wine and a tub of macadamia brittle ice cream. Today Hermione was going to have to make a confession, and it was one that she was dreading, one that she would willingly put off, but it wasn’t something that could wait.
Percy was sitting at the kitchen table, a pile of papers at one elbow, a cup of steaming tea in front of him. His glasses were slipping down his nose, slightly fogged up from a recent sip of his hot drink. He looked up as the kitchen door swung open; the hinges needed oiling and were squeaking just enough to be heard. “Have a good day?”
Their routine never deviated – except for on that night over a month ago – Hermione would get home from work and one of them would prepare the dinner while the other set the table, poured the wine and they both talked about their day in the office. Hermione worked in the Archives department while Percy had been promoted and now worked directly under the Minister of Magic, Rufus Scrimgeour, although he admitted sometimes the job was more suited to someone who actually liked the man who had been chosen some years previously to succeed the incompetent Cornelius Fudge.
“I have had an absolutely crappy day,” Hermione walked through the front door, dropped her over-heavy bag on the floor by the shoe-rack, toed off her plain black court shoes, and padded, barefoot, into the kitchen. She slumped down on the chair next to Percy and lifted her feet into his lap. “My feet are killing me…massage them?” she tried hard not to pout at him in a way that she had seen Lavender pouting at Ron on one of their less lovesick days, and closed her eyes when she felt one of Percy’s hands slowly rubbing against the sore sole of her left foot. A quiet sigh escaped her lips. “If you ever get bored working in that stuffy office of yours you could always set up a massage place in Sensu Alley.” She arched her back a little when his thumb dug into a particularly tense pressure point on the sensitive arch of her foot, a faint smile on her face.
“I can hardly see mum approving of that. She is still irritated with Ginny over the lingerie she designs, says that she should settle down and have a family like other good girls her age.” Percy dropped all pretence that he was actually working on the documents had brought home with him from the office, and turned his attention fully on Hermione’s feet, kneading the aching flesh until quiet groans of pleasure filled his ears.
“So what does that mean she thinks of me? Am I corrupting you? Keeping you away from finding that nice girl you should settle down with?”
Percy laughed at this. He blushed a little, lowering his face, focusing intently on the task of soothing Hermione’s feet, “Hardly. She keeps on asking when I am going to finally ask you! Now that Ron’s married to Lavender, and Harry is seeing Pansy, she is sure that the reason we live together is because we are at it all the time!” Just the memory of what his mum had said the last time there had been a family dinner gave him the shivers. ”When are you going to make an honest woman out of Hermione?”
“How about I order takeout tonight? We could go to that Chinese place you like, we can get a bottle of wine, it’s not as though we’ve got to go into the office tomorrow, it’s Saturday!” It was Hermione’s turn to cook, but as she never did, the proposal that she go and get a takeaway wasn’t unexpected. What was surprising that she was offering to get him Chinese, she hated Chinese food. Not one to pass on the offer of Crispy Chilli Beef and Kung Po Chilli Chicken from his favourite restaurant, Percy pushed Hermione’s feet from his lap and stuffed his feet back into his shoes, wondering why he had never invested in a pair of practical, and comfortable trainers.
“I’m not going to say no to that.” With a faint smile he walked into the hall, coming back a few moments later with Hermione’s discarded shoes and her cloak.
Raising one eyebrow, she took the proffered shoes and cloak, groaning as her feet again squeezed rather uncomfortably into the shoes that were always all right when the day started, but seemed to shrink by the time six-thirty came around. “So are you going to try anything different this time, or should we floo ahead to get them to start on your beef and chicken stuff?”
By the time they had decided that they were going to walk round to the restaurant, which was about twenty-minutes away, and then actually eat there, something of a novelty for them both, as they rarely went out anywhere to eat, it was nearly eight-thirty. Hermione’s stomach was rumbling rather loudly, and Percy had started to get a little bit irritable, something that always happened when he was hungry.
The restaurant was rather quiet for a Friday night, but that suited them both fine. They had no trouble getting a table set in the far corner, right in front of the rather large back window, overlooking the rain-drenched Oriental garden. Percy ordered his usual. Hermione decided to stick with something plain and familiar, boiled rice with sweet and sour chicken balls – she usually picked off the thick heavy batter and ate the cube of chicken inside. They both ordered a glass of red wine, and had already finished it by the time their food arrived at the table.
It was gone midnight when they finally walked through the front door to their flat, Hermione was clinging to Percy, having already taken her shoes off, holding them in one hand at her side, wondering why she had actually trusted Ginny’s judgement where practical footwear was concerned. Percy was trying hard to ignore the fact that Hermione’s free hand was stuck in the back pocket of his trousers, her fingers curled into his flesh, kneading it like a cat kneads the carpet. Through the haze created by the copious amount of wine he had consumed, he realised that Hermione’s hands had moved. Her shoes clattered to the floor beside her as she wrapped her arms around his waist, nuzzled her face against his chest for a few moments before lifting her lips starting to press drunken kisses against his throat.
Part of him knew that what they were doing was wrong. She was his younger brother’s friend, but more than that, she was his best friend. They shared everything, he knew what her favourite food was, he knew that she cried whenever she read Sense and Sensibility, she knew that Penny had lied when she told everyone that she had thrown him over for someone else, he had let everyone believe it because he didn’t want everyone to know that she had been cheating on him with some Muggle she met at a train station.
Passion blinding him to the reality of what he was about to do, Percy pushed her cloak off her shoulders, lifted her arm into his arms and carried her to his bedroom.
Neither of them had spoken about what had happened since, but Hermione couldn’t keep quiet any longer. For the last seven weeks she had been trying to ignore the way her feelings had changed. Had tried to ignore the way her heart broke a little more each time he looked away from her, but no more, tonight she was going to confront him. Several times she had been tempted to propose that they sell their flat and go their separate ways, but the thought that she would never again hear his singing in the shower was enough to keep her mouth shut.
“Percy,” her voice startled him so much that he dropped the quill he had been using, a splatter of ink slowly seeped out onto the papers in front of him. “I think we need to talk.”
Inclining his head he acknowledged, without words, that she was right. She sat down in the chair opposite him and waited as he packed away the documents he had been working on, trying not to smile as he muttered to himself about the ‘stupid quill’ and how he would never be able to get the ink stains off the page they were splattered across.
“Okay, what is it?” he had been avoiding her for the last week. He had sensed that something was wrong, that perhaps she wanted to leave; if she couldn’t tell him then it wouldn’t happen. He leaned back in the chair, using one hand to push his glasses up his nose before crossing his arms over his chest.
“Uh…I don’t know how to say this. Things have been so awkward since…well, you know. Percy, you’re my best friend, I don’t want to lose that.” She shifted uncomfortably on the chair and then fixed a smile on her face as she forced the next sentence out. “I’ll understand if you want me to leave. I know that you’re embarrassed about what happened.” Mortified that Percy hadn’t said anything at all at this point, she ploughed on, determined that she was going to get to her confession before she lost her nerve. “I’m pregnant!”
Percy, who had been trying to figure out something to say suddenly slid off his chair, the back of his head hit the chair leg before the sound of his skull thumping against the tiled floor echoed round the room.
Forgetting for a moment that she was angry with Percy for ignoring her, Hermione jumped up and rushed over to him. Cradling his head in her lap she started to smooth his hair back from his forehead.
Blinking up at her, Percy grinned inanely, the bump on the head finally having knocked some sense into him. “I have a confession to make, Hermione. I hoped you were!”