It was raining in London. That seemed to be the normal state of things as Percival Graves observed it. He did not visit often, but whenever he did it was sure to rain. It was a deluge now and he tried unsuccessfully to retreat further into the corner of the doorway he was taking shelter under. As the new Director of Magical Security at the Magical Congress of the United States of America he probably should not have been slouching in a dark doorway in Knockturn Alley at 2 AM on a Friday morning. But he had met up with Theseus Scamander earlier and nights out with Theseus always tended to go a bit awry.
Earlier at the pub Theseus had put away his usual number of pints while Percival had nursed his way through two. It had been a few months since Percival was instated as the Director of Magical Security and he had not seen Theseus since then. It had been a long day at the conference he was attending and he was glad to sit back and relax for the night. Theseus was easy company and Percival didn’t necessarily mind that his friend was getting touchy-feely under the table.
He had felt the hand as they were discussing the likelihood of Seraphina Piquery being the next president. She was one of the stronger candidates and Percival was looking forward to the primaries where he hoped she’d take the lead for her party. He was excited at the prospect of working for her and was giving an impassioned account of her stance on transnational security and cooperation when he noticed the brush of fingertips across his knee. He assumed it was unintentional until Theseus began stroking a little more firmly and with more intent. As the hand crept over the top of his thigh and started exploring inward Percival shifted slightly away to signal his set of boundaries.
“Not in public.” Percival whispered. He very firmly kept his private life out of the public eye and any hanky-panky was kept out of public spaces. He knew that in the future they were both anticipating a more intimate relationship than their current flirty friendship. He and Theseus had known each other for some years now, but they mostly communicated through letters rather than face to face. Because of the long distance nature of their relationship Percival preferred to take things slow. Theseus settled for resting his enormous hand just above Percival’s knee.
It was only a few minutes later when Theseus spotted a pair of his colleagues and waved them over with his free hand. The two aurors gracefully moved through the crowded pub until they had reached the little table Theseus and Percival had earlier claimed. It took them two minutes to explain about the stake-out they had planned to catch a potions smuggler who the Ministry had been trying to apprehend for years. According to an anonymous tip the smuggler was back in England and had been putting out feelers to find interested buyers. It was too good an opportunity to miss and it took Theseus less than a second to decide that he wanted in on the action.
Which is how Percival Graves ended up in the rain. He peered out, but couldn’t see any of his fellow aurors through the downpour. He hoped they were still in position. It had been an hour since anyone had sent him an update or even a signal.
A dark shape appeared in front of him and Percival tensed in anticipation. Then he loosened his grip on his wand when he registered the height and bearing of the figure before him. Theseus tugged his hood back a bit and his eyes became visible. He pushed the floppy wet strands of his hair off his forehead with a huff of disappointment.
“I’m thinking of calling it off,” he told Percival. “Gregson’s deals usually go down late at night. It’s getting into early morning now. Unlikely he’ll try anything.”
Percival let out a sigh of relief. “I am so cold right now,” he told Theseus. Theseus grinned and put an arm around Percival’s shoulders to pull him closer. Percival huddled into the taller man’s body heat as Theseus arranged his large cloak around them both. It was warm and technically they weren’t in public and cuddles didn’t really count as hanky-panky in circumstances that included freezing rain.
“You’re always cold,” Theseus said as he rubbed a hand up and down Percival’s arm to create a warming friction. “Do you want to head back to your hotel or come to my place for a nightcap?”
“I - “ But Percival never managed to name a preference. He was interrupted by a patronus shaped like a cat. Theseus’ easy manner vanished as he recognized who had cast the spell.
“That’s Cramer’s patronus!”
They both chased after the cat who led them through the backdoor maze of Knockturn Alley. The rain was still pelting down and more than once Percival almost lost sight of the silvery patronus in the water reflected lamplight. But he kept track of Theseus’ solid figure running two steps ahead. Theseus’ feet pounded into the puddles, sending up a spray that drenched Percival’s trousers right before his own feet submerged in the uneven holes cobbling the road.
It was not, as they had hoped, the potions smuggler that had warranted Cramer’s patronus, but something worse. It was a fanatic, one of the members of a growing movement that believed in the superiority of wizarding kind over the non magical community. Supporters of this movement were springing up across Europe. So far it was unclear if their ambitions were political or geared toward a cultural revolution, but either way they were causing trouble.
Cramer’s newly found fanatic was a bit more on the looney side than most. The man was shouting something about the coming of Grindelwald and how he would lead them out of the darkness. Cramer’s partner Thompson was being held at wandpoint and Cramer himself unable to deal with the standoff by himself. When Theseus and Percival caught sight of the scene they both skidded to a halt. A hostage situation was always precarious.
“Another auror?” the fanatic sneered. He dug his wand a little deeper into Thompson’s neck as his eyes shot between Theseus and Cramer. “Drop your wand. Either one of you moves I’ll get your friend here.”
Theseus held out his hand and let go of his wand. With the other hand he moved his fingers in a shooing motion behind his back. Percival stood behind Theseus, but was apparently hidden by Theseus’ bulk and his cloak and the rain. Briefly Percival touched Theseus’ back to give warning and then he disapparated only to appear behind the criminal. The sound of his abrupt appearance was lost to the pounding rain and the other man never even saw the stunner that hit him in the back of the head. He went down pulling Thompson with him.
Percival was helping Thompson off the ground when Theseus came and slapped him on the shoulder.
“It’s a good thing you’re so much smaller than me, Perce. He didn’t even see you back there. Nice stunner.” Theseus was obviously very pleased with the outcome. He hauled up the unconscious criminal and slung him over his shoulder.
Percival shrugged. “We’re lucky it’s raining too. Visibility is quite low.”
In short order the man was in custody and being transported to the Ministry for questioning. Percival followed Theseus, Cramer and Thompson back to the auror department where they were required to give their statements. Meanwhile their wands were checked in and documented and would be returned before they left. The rain had soaked Percival through from his coat to his skin. Puddled water squelched in his shoes. His companions were not much better off. A quick drying spell was performed on them all when they arrived, but it did nothing to stop the bone deep chill and shivers that had already overtaken Percival. He hid his discomfort throughout the process though he saw Theseus glance concernedly at him once or twice when he couldn’t suppress the shudders between his shoulders. It was almost 4:40 AM when their wands were returned and they were allowed to leave.
“Come on,” Theseus took Percival by the arm and led him to the floo. Percival hated the floo network. It seemed silly to travel through fireplaces since their purpose was to be lit with fires and he was glad that MACUSA had never bothered constructing its own network. With a handful of powder in his hand Percival was about to say the name of his hotel, but Theseus beat him to it and repeated a different address before pushing Percival through. He landed awkwardly in a moderately sized living room. Quickly stepping out of the fireplace he looked around as he heard Theseus land behind him.
“This is your apartment?” Percival asked.
Theseus nodded. “Not as grand as yours, but it suits me. Now,” he pointed his wand at the fireplace and lit a nicely sized blaze. It immediately began to heat up the room. “We need to get you warmed up.”
“I’ll be alright.”
“Perce, you’re an animated icicle right now. Sit in front of the fire.”
He pointed to the large armchair to the left of the fireplace, obviously situated at an angle that would make the most of the cozy fire on a winter’s day. There was no need for Percival to mutter a warming spell into the cushions. As soon as he sat down he could feel the warmth of the flames spreading to him. Theseus tossed him a blanket that had been hanging off the back of a rickety looking rocking chair and he gratefully tucked it around himself. He heard Theseus puttering through the apartment, but paid it little mind.
He was almost asleep when he felt a light scratching on his shoulder. With a groan he opened his eyes. Theseus’ expression was soft bordering on sentimental. His face showed signs of the upcoming energy crash that hit after an adrenaline filled night.
“Come on,” Theseus tiredly tugged Percival up. “We’re both knackered. And you can’t sleep there. It’ll kill your neck. I know from experience.”
“Ugh. What time is it?”
“Just after five. You’d barely dozed off.”
“Well, I’m warm now,” Percival yawned. “Should probably get going. I’ll have to be at the Ministry in a few hours for the conference.”
“Nothing important happens at a conference on a Friday. Skip it.”
“There’s a meeting this afternoon....”
“That meeting is with me, remember? And I doubt I’ll be attending.”
“Hmmm. You need a better work ethic.”
“And you need some sleep before you fall over. Stay here with me today.”
It was easy to agree. Theseus had already spent the night at Percival’s apartment. They had been horribly drunk at the time, but still, there was some nice hung-over cuddling the next morning. And that’s as far as they had gotten. Time to move forward another inch.
“Thank you, Theseus.” Percival raised up on his toes and looped his hands around the back of Theseus’ neck. He tilted his head up but was still unable to reach Theseus’ mouth until he tugged the absurdly tall man down to meet him. Their first kiss was simple and a bit sleepy.
“We can share the bed,” Theseus said softly. He gently guided Percival to the bedroom. The first thing Percival noticed in the room was the large double bed. It had a canopy around it, an actual canopy with closable curtains. With a little sigh he happily fell onto the mattress.
“Don’t fall asleep yet,” Theseus called from behind the wardrobe door. He emerged with a pair of dark red pajamas and tossed the top to Percival. “Put that on.”
“What is it?”
“We’re pajama sharing,” Theseus told him. “But with mine. They’ll fit better.”
“This won’t fit me at all,” Percival replied as he held up the overly large shirt.
“Better too loose than too tight.”
Once again they found themselves stripping down to their underwear in an extremely non-seductive manner. Despite being exhausted Percival neatly folded his discarded clothing before climbing into bed. As he had anticipated the shirt was far too big. But at least it was soft and clean and it smelled nice.
For modesty’s sake Theseus did not change his underwear in front of company, but after pulling on his pajama pants he did grab a fresh undershirt, turning his back to the bed as he put it on. When he swung around to the bed Percival was already burrowing under the blankets.
“You still feel cold,” Theseus said as they shifted together in the middle of the mattress. He turned to his side and pulled his knees up so that Percival could curl into the empty space along his chest and upper thighs.
“Mmm,” Percival muttered. He wriggled until he was fit like a snug puzzle piece against his larger companion. He felt Theseus’ yawn as the exhalation ruffled his hair and then he was asleep.
When Percival awoke there was a slip of orange sunlight peeking under the drawn shade. It was extraordinarily comfortable to have Theseus wrapped around him. He would have liked to turn his head into the pillow and go back to sleep but his bladder started to send out warning signals reminding him that he had yet to deal with last night’s pints. Carefully he shifted under the weight of Theseus’ arm.
“Not yet,” Theseus muttered. “Sleep.”
“I have to get up.”
“Five more minutes.”
“Now.” Percival struggled a bit as he tried to untangle himself from both his bedmate and the blankets. With a huff Theseus let go and rolled onto his back to watch through half closed eyes as Percival stumbled out of the room.
“Door on the left!” he called out helpfully.
Theseus’ eyes were closed again when a relieved Percival returned. A quick peek out the window showed that they had slept through the day and the sun was just starting to go down. With his internal clock already messed up by the change in time zones Percival’s sleep cycle would now be completely out of sync with England’s day and night. Though Theseus’ bed was a very inviting place to be, he decided that it was time to get up so that he could spend a few hours awake before going back to bed.
He sorted through his clothes distastefully, grimacing as he sniffed at them. The cuff of his trousers had no right to smell like that. His suit had been spell dried at the auror offices, but that had done nothing to wash out the stink of Knockturn Alley’s refuse laden streets. With a frustrated huff he dropped the trousers and rubbed at his eyes tiredly.
“Oh Merlin,” Theseus’ voice was warm and somewhat awestruck. He had sat up against the headboard and was now watching Percival with a broad grin. “You are adorable.”
Percival blushed when Theseus said things like that. He wasn’t used to being cooed over. He pretended he wasn’t flustered by griping, “What makes me adorable this time?”
“You look even smaller than you usually do, which means you’re that much cuter. You should always wear my pajamas.”
Percival looked down and took stock of himself. The sleeves of his borrowed shirt covered his hands almost to his fingertips and the bottom hem went more than halfway down his thighs. It was long enough that his undershorts weren’t even visible beneath. Though he knew that it was the shirt that was overlarge, wearing it made Percival feel small. He sighed to himself. Only Theseus sized clothes could make him resemble a child playing dress up.
“Theseus,” Percival tried to point between himself and his friend, but his hand got lost in his shirt sleeve and Theseus just grinned wider. Percival groaned and continued regardless, “I only look small to you because you are unreasonably big. If you compare me to everyone else I’m normal sized.”
“Normal sized,” Theseus chuckled indulgently. “As if anyone else your height could come close to being so precious.”
“Fine. Thinking that way is your prerogative.”
“I hope it is. You’re not seeing anyone else, are you?”
“Good. So will you come over here and kiss me again?”
Percival took a step toward the bed and then stopped. He tapped a finger to his mouth as if considering the request. “Only if you take me out to dinner after. I haven’t eaten in twenty four hours.”
“That can be arranged,” Theseus grinned as Percival hopped onto the bed and knelt beside him. He slid a hand down Percival’s side to bunch the dark red pajama shirt in his fist. “Then we should come back here and lounge by the fire in my pajamas.”
Percival’s answering smile was teasing as he gave Theseus a chaste kiss. “A good plan.”
“Of course it is. Now kiss me properly.”
Later, after flooing to Percival’s hotel for a change of clothes and then having a meal at the not-so-upscale Leaky Cauldron, they returned to Theseus’ apartment and donned a blue pair of his pajamas. There was only one armchair in front of the fire so Percival allowed himself to be coaxed onto Theseus’ lap. The position had the advantage of putting him at the perfect height to meet Theseus’ lips with his own.
“We fit together so well,” Percival marveled. Theseus hummed in agreement before breaking away to look Percival in the eye with a cheeky grin.
“Well, at least we can both agree that you, Percival Graves, are perfectly sized.”