Word Count: ~450
Rating: PG this part, NC-17 overall
Challenge: hp_may_madness 2016 Day #23: saved, shot, shoes
Author's Notes: Unbeta'd.
"Are you going to tell us what's going on with you and the ferret?"
"Ron!" Hermione chastised.
"What?" Charlie asked. Ron, Harry, and Hermione had come over to hang out in Charlie's chambers during one of their free periods, and Ron had been acting particularly strange. Apparently Charlie was about to figure out why.
"Err, I think Ron's asking about you and Malfoy." Harry said, rubbing the back of his neck, his cheeks turning strangely red. "We've seen you two together a lot these past few months."
"It's bloody weird."
Charlie sighed. It was only a matter of time before he had to tell his friends and family about him and Draco, but he didn't feel comfortable telling them the whole story without talking it through with Draco first. Still, maybe he could get them used to the idea.
"I've been helping Draco with his Care of Magical Creatures project. He's studying dragons."
"You seem awfully friendly for a professor just helping his student with a project," Ron said suspiciously.
Charlie stared at his shoes and took a deep breath. "I understand that you don't like him, and I don't blame you for that. But he's learning from his mistakes. Holding grudges isn't going to help anybody."
"Yeah, but it's Malfoy," Ron whined.
"Come on, Ron," Harry said. "Malfoy hasn't been that bad this year. He hasn't bothered us once."
"That's probably only because you testified for him and his family after his mum saved you from Voldemort."
"Nobody's asking you to be friends with him, Ron, but I'm a grown man and I'm perfectly capable of choosing who to spend my time with. However..." Harry, Ron, and Hermione all turned to look at Charlie as he hesitated.
"But…?" Hermione asked.
"It might be worth giving Draco a shot. I think he's going to be...around more often."
Harry's eyes widened and Charlie bit his lip at the look of slowly dawning horror on Ron's face.
"Are you saying…"
"I'm not saying anything. But I don't intend to stop...hanging out with Draco anytime soon. You're going to have to get used to it." In just a few months Draco would be leaving Hogwarts, and Charlie had no intention of letting him leave Charlie's life, too.
When Charlie decided to leave Romania and come work at Hogwarts, he never could have imagined that he would find somebody he cared about as much as he cared for Draco. It was completely unexpected, but Charlie already couldn't imagine his life without Draco in it.
Charlie didn't mind giving his family time to adjust, but they'd have to acclimate eventually. If Charlie had anything to say about it, Draco would be sticking around for a long while.