Stumbling Into Darkness

Written for the Percy ficathon, for Schubertiad. Set at the beginning of Chamber of Secrets.

It was late when Cedric headed for the Prefects' bathroom. He'd had his hands full with the younger Hufflepuff students. The first years especially had been constantly coming up to ask questions which made him feel like a father with twelve noisy children.

He was proud of the fact he'd dealt with them reasonably well. At least, none of them had burst into tears or gone screaming off to find someone else. He'd seen two Slytherin girls do exactly that after approaching one of their own Prefects.

But he hadn't really been prepared for the responsibility. He'd had a
week of it already, and the only thing it had shown him so far was that he didn't ever plan on having any children of his own.

He reached the entrance to the Prefects' bathroom, and couldn't help but glance up and down the hallway like an intruder. Taking a firm grip on himself, he said, as clearly as he could, "Mouse tail!"

The door swung open and he entered the bathroom. He'd been here for the first time three days ago when Richard had brought him round, showing him the place. Richard was a sixth year student and Hufflepuff Prefect, although he seemed perfectly willing to let the new Prefects handle all the duties. 'Sink or swim!' he'd said with a maniacal gleam in his eye, before wandering off to leave Cedric alone with a hysterical first year boy.

The bathroom was empty, and Cedric relaxed. His curfew didn't start for another half hour, and it would be nice to have no one and nothing clamouring for his attention for a whole thirty minutes.

"Oh, pardon me."

Cedric started, then stared. Percy Weasley had come in behind him; Cedric realised he was standing right inside the door, blocking the way.

He stepped aside, and gave Percy a glare. He still hadn't decided what to do about *this* problem.

Percy gave him a curious look as he spotted Cedric's expression, but he moved on into the bathroom as though intending to completely ignore him.

That decided it. "Of all the nerve!" Cedric snapped, feeling the anger he'd been trying to suppress all summer.

"I beg your pardon?" Percy looked mildly confused, as though nothing Cedric had to say was worth too much of his attention.

Cedric stormed over, and clenched his fist, raising it, but then held himself back from striking Percy. "Smug, aren't we? I should put a stop to it. I can, you know. You and Penelope."

Percy's eyebrows rose. "How did you-- what do you mean, put a stop to it?" His eyes narrowed, and he crossed his arms. "What are you on about?"

The trouble was, Cedric hadn't quite figured out what he intended to do. He'd been thinking about Percy ever since he'd heard from a friend whose older sister was Penelope's best friend. Devon had been complaining about having to listen to his sister gossiping; he'd had no idea that Cedric would care about hearing that *Percy Weasley* had a girlfriend.

"You've got no business dating her," Cedric said.

Percy gave him a smile. "You might be a Prefect, but you haven't got *that* sort of power. Even if she were in Hufflepuff."

He wanted to smack the smile off Percy's face. "I"m not talking about being a Prefect. I'm talking about other things. Things that maybe she should know about."

Percy stared at him for a long moment. His face went dark, and he finally said, in a low voice, "If you're referring to *that*, I should like to point out that a... a single incident a year ago means *nothing*."

The word hit him, hard, and Cedric poked Percy in the chest, wishing he could just haul off and hit him. If he didn't think they'd get into trouble -- he didn't fancy trying to explain this to Professor Sprout or worse, Dumbledore. Keeping a firm hold on his courage, though, he asked, "You don't think she'll mind hearing about it, then?"

Percy laughed. "You'll be saying worse about yourself, if you do. I'd don't think you're going to be telling anybody."

Cedric smiled, as he realised what he *could* do. "I don't have to tell her it was me. I can just say I saw you with another boy."

"And when she asks you which other boy?" Percy was still glaring back at him, not looking at all worried.

Cedric shrugged. "I'll tell her I couldn't see his face."

"Then how would she know I wasn't just chatting with another student?"

Cedric smiled, feeling an odd sense of triumph. "I'll tell her I saw his cock in your mouth. That'll rather prove you weren't 'chatting.'"

He could tell he'd scored a hit. Percy didn't say anything, and he quickly got his composure back -- not that there had been much to see save a look in his eyes. Cedric could only recall once ever seeing Percy lose control.

He wanted to see it again, wanted to see Percy up against the wall, head back, fist in his mouth to muffle his moans. Wanted to make him forget all about dating some girl who didn't care about *him* but only wanted a successful, ambitious boyfriend.

He wondered if he oughtn't have told Percy what he'd heard Penelope telling Clarise. Perhaps he'd broken up with her....

But Percy said, "I'll just tell her it isn't true. Who is she likely to believe?"

"You'll lie to her, you mean."

Percy just shrugged. In a quiet, determined tone, he said, "When I graduate, I intend to take an important job. Work for the Ministry. I'm not going to have schoolyard rumours chasing me, causing scandal. Penelope is exactly the sort of girlfriend I want."

"Looks good on the resume, you mean?" He was starting to regret choosing to fight this with words. He would have won a fistfight; Cedric was no longer sure he was going to win *this*.

But he'd scored again, from the way Percy's jaw clenched. Percy snapped, "Penelope is a very decent girl."

"Yeah. She doesn't deserve a boyfriend who cheats on her with another boy." He moved forward, quickly, grabbing onto Percy's robe and reaching inside with his other hand. Shoved his hand up against Percy's cock, and pressed himself as close as he could, hanging on as Percy tried to shove him away. "Have you kissed her, yet?"

"Of course!" Percy was still trying to push him away, but Cedric was stronger, and just a bit taller, and had all the leverage he needed to keep him from getting free.

"Have you done more? Felt her up under her blouse? Got her hand down your trousers?"

"I will *not* gossip about my... about anything... that is certainly not any of your business!" Percy tried giving him a shove, having got his hands onto Cedric's chest. But Cedric held fast, and kept rubbing his hand on Percy's crotch.

"Has she ever wrapped her hand around your cock? Got her mouth on it?" Cedric was pulling at the zipper to Percy's trousers, and he could feel Percy starting to respond.

Percy was giving him a look that would kill. "How dare--" was as far as he got, before Cedric removed his hand. He tugged Percy's robe and they stumbled together, as Cedric kissed him.

"Do you *love* her?"

Percy didn't answer right away. He was panting, no longer trying to struggle out of Cedric's grip. Cedric didn't let go, though he had no idea what he wanted. Push him down and remind him that what they'd done wasn't nothing. Yell at him, demand he break up with Penelope. Turn around and walk away and forget any of this had occurred.

After a moment, Percy straightened up and stepped back. Cedric let him go and stood there as Percy simply regarded him. His face had gone closed again, all traces of anger or arousal or... anything, were gone. "If you'll excuse me." Percy's voice had gone dead, and despite the fact he walked over towards the pool -- where he'd strip, and get into the water and it would have been a perfect invitation -- but for that look, and that tone.

Cedric turned around and left, closing the door behind him carefully, because he felt somehow that if he moved too fast he'd explode.