emiime requested Percy/Harry for celandineb. Prompt: Hope and doubt.
Standing in the entrance of Madam Rimplestock's Gift Emporium, Percy Weasley remembered very clearly why he did not do things on impulse. This was a mistake; he was out of his element. He turned to duck out, but one of the saleswitches had just spotted him and was calling out, "Evenin' sir, anythin' I can help you find?"
Politeness required that he at least answer her. Percy turned around, catching another whiff of some oily perfume on one of the cluttered display tables that were crammed into every free inch of space. "Sorry, I was just on my way out."
The saleswitch eyed him as she approached. She was probably taking inventory of him, seeing what she could talk him into, Percy thought with an inward sigh. He needed to get out of here before he was late for dinner. Some impression that would make for a first date! If that was even what it was.
"Jus' leaving?" the saleswitch echoed. "But you only jus' got here. Are you looking for a gift?"
Well, he had ducked in with the thought of buying some sort of gift, hadn't he? Reluctantly, Percy nodded.
The saleswitch beamed. "Let's see if we can' find you somethin' nice! Is it for your mum? Sister? Girlfriend?"
Percy cringed at the last. How to explain... "It's... a friend of mine. Male. I don't think there will be anything here that he--"
The saleswitch had grabbed his arm and was ushering him to a back corner of the shop. "Oh, we have lots of things for men here, too. What's the occasion? Birthday? 'Ouse-warming? Going away present?"
"On second thought, I'm not really sure a gift would be appropriate," Percy said. He wasn't even sure it counted as a date: they'd had dinner before, at the office while working late on one project or another, but this time they were going to a restaurant, with no pretense of work-related business, just two blokes sharing a meal. That might be a date.
"Now then, "the saleswitch said, ignoring his protest. "What does he like?"
They had come to a halt in front of several small tables with sheleves on the wall above. Knickknacks and decorative carvings were interspersed with small books, tiny bottles of cologne or potion, and miniature reproductions of real-world tools and games.
Percy drew a blank. "Er. He likes Quidditch?"
The saleswitch nodded. "'Ave a look at this." She pointed out a miniature Quidditch field, the hoops no farther apart than Percy's hand was long, complete with fourteen players on brooms, zipping about. "It keeps score an' everythin'." As he watched, one of the players trapped the tiny flickering snitch, and a bell went off to signal the end of the game.
Percy considered. He couldn't imagine showing up at dinner with something like this. How could he possibly explain it? Oh, just happened to have this lying around, thought you might like it. Ridiculous.
He looked across the array of merchandise, feeling more foolish than ever, feeling somehow... defeated. Then he had an idea.
When he arrived at the restaurant and met Harry at the table, there was an awkward moment just as Percy had expected. Harry had stood up, and Percy had shifted the shopping bag from his right hand to the left to shake hands, but they'd known each other for a decade and who shakes hands anymore, anyway? He'd finally ended up giving Harry a friendly sort of clap to the shoulder, as he'd seen Bill do with friends, and then set the bag on the floor and sat down.
He saw Harry glance at the shopping bag, and noticed the uncertainty in those captivating green eyes. He let himself wait just one more moment before reaching down to lift the box out of the bag and setting it on the table.
Harry looked at him now, his expression bordering on fearful.
"It's for Mum," Percy said, nudging it towards Harry. "Her birthday's next week."
Harry's face relaxed visibly, and he lifted the lid, revealing a delicately carved swan that shook itself and stretched out its long, graceful neck.
"I'm sure she'll love it," Harry said, and they grinned at each other.
ednama asked for a Snape/Lupin gift for dungeons_master. Prompt: Cooking, baking.
"I think I'll bake a cake today," Remus announced at breakfast.
Severus lowered the Daily Prophet he had been contemptuously snorting at, as he did every Sunday morning, and looked at Remus intently. "You don't look unwell," he said. "What other symptoms are you having?"
Remus smiled indulgently. Nothing in the world could spoil his mood today, he was sure. The sun was shining, the flowers in the garden were just beginning to bloom, and he had Severus to himself for a whole week in between conferences and assignments of one sort or another. "What kind of cake do you like best, Severus? It seems strange we've managed to avoid that topic in the past three years, but..."
Severus raised the newspaper again, obscuring Remus' view of his face. "I don't like cake."
Nothing could be allowed to spoil his mood! "Don't be silly; everyone likes cake."
The newspaper rustled as a page was turned.
A wicked thought came to Remus then, and he moved his chair and slid his hand lightly onto Severus' thigh. "Come on, now, what shall it be? Pound cake, bundt cake, lemon cake? Angel's or devil's food, perhaps?" Severus was pretending to ignore his hand, but he wouldn't be able to ignore it when Remus reached farther, sliding it around to--
The newspaper came down suddenly, Severus' arm pinning Remus' wrist in place. "I prefer pie," Severus said.
Remus considered. Pies could be tricky. "What sort?"
"Sugar cream pie," Severus said smugly, and Remus blinked. He'd never heard of that one, and he didn't put it past Severus to make something up on the spot just to be difficult.
"Do you have a recipe?" he asked, without much hope.
Severus folded his newspaper carefully and set it down on the breakfast table. "A recipe?" he scoffed. "Of course not. Do remember who you're talking to. I'll just have to give you instructions as you go."
Ah, so that was it! Severus didn't want to be left out of the day's activities. In his own manipulative way, he was telling Remus that he could use a little reassurance.
Remus leaned towards Severus. "That sounds perfectly fine with me," he murmured just before their lips touched.