A/N: Part of my Cookie Jar =) This has been in the over roughly for nine months, and yes, it's finally ready to be 'born' so to speak. You can all take this as the continuation of 'Of Red Kings and Green Butterflies,' Title inspired by the pseudo Opera in the film 'Hannibal' I strongly suggest you all listen to the lyrics!
Tittle: Vide Cor Meum
Pairing: Harry Potter/ Lord Voldemort
Summary: After a devastating attack, Harry leaves. But can he come back to his old life? Can he forget? Could he heal?
Warning: OOC-ness, a bit of attempted humour on some parts, M-preg, miscarriage. Un-betaed.
Disclaimer: Not mine, if they were, Harry would be with Voldemort, not Ginny!
Vide Cor Meum
He stared at his petite green eyed lover as he got dressed for the day. He knew the other one had been awake since the devil's hour, staring at the piece of enchanted wood that used to belong to the cot of their unborn child. He knew that Harry was suffering just as much, if not more, than he was, he had been the one to carry Sebastian after all.
The Red King also knew that the attack, which had happened over a month ago now, had been worse than anything his Harry had ever imagined. Not so much for what was done to his body (even if Voldemort did take exception to it, and had been dealing with the attackers ever since) but what had been done to Sebastian (which Voldemort also took exception to and had also been dealing with the attackers ever since, with no complains from Harry one might add.)
He shivered with remembered and renewed anger as he recalled the state he had found them in. Harry barely clinging to life, crying and cuddling the five month old foetus that had been ripped from his body through magic. As he saw his Sweet cringe from the emotions coming from his end of their link, he quickly stored those murdering feelings behind heavy Occlumency walls before gathering his Sweet in his arms, lifting the unusually light body to his lap as he sat on the window sill and watched the grounds.
He had no idea what he could possibly say to his Sweet to make him feel better. He dealt with anger differently from how Harry did, so he just sat with him, resting his chin on Harry's messy black hair, not caring as his new shirt got wet and ruined with his salty tears.
"I'm ruining your shirt," came the whispered voice of his Harry, almost too low to be heard.
"It's all right, we can always buy another one," he whispered, just as quietly. Without moving too much he picked the enchanted wood from Harry, setting it down by the window and just enjoying their closeness.
"Why can't I reach you anymore?" His young lover asked, without looking up at him, just playing with the buttons on his shirt.
"What do you mean dearest? You can always reach me."
"I can't! All I feel now are muted emotions coming from you. There's this... fog... keeping you away! Why can't I reach you?" Harry asked, desperately, clutching at the older man's shirt even as a new wave of tears came upon him, his hands trembling and twitching, on the verge of hysteria.
"Calm down dearest, please!" He tried to sooth the distraught young man, holding his head in both his hands and looking deeply inside his eyes, holding his attention. "I thought you were the one keeping me away my Sweet... I though that was you... needing you space," he muttered softly, reluctantly.
"What? You thought that..." he got up from his love's lap, unwillingly putting distance between them, but he couldn't stop. "I... I needed you. And I couldn't reach you, no matter what," Harry looked at Voldemort with a slightly peeved expression, his eyes puffy and red from tears.
"Since... since I lost Se-Him! Since I lost him you've been, you've been outta reach! Are you mad at me?"
"Wha-? Of course not! Harry, I..."
"You are! I can feel it all the time, through that grey fog I can feel that you're mad, you're angry all the time! I'm sorry I lost Sebastian okay! I wish I was stronger, I wish I hadn't left the house that day, I wish I'd been able to deal with them myself and that my magic was so strong it would break those magic suppressors."
"Harry!" The Red King shouted, getting up and hugging the distraught younger man. "Calm down dearest, I'm not mad at you, never at you," he whispered, holding the Harry close to him, his fingers clutching the pale and thin body.
Time passed, perhaps a day, an hour... maybe minutes or seconds before Harry lifted his head and looked his King in the eye.
"I think... I think I need some time away... away from all of this. Away from the kingdom..." he didn't need to say that he also required time away from Voldemort, they both knew it was implied in the request.
"How long?" He asked, refusing to meet the green eyes staring at him. The thought of sending his love away hurt, but the knowledge that Harry wanted to get away from him was pain beyond anything he had ever felt.
"I'm not sure... a day, a month... five years, who knows? I just need to get away," Harry whispered, finally stepping away from the comforting embrace and turning to look at their room. It was as neat as always, neither he nor Voldemort had ever been messy people and so the house elves had little to no reason to enter their room, except maybe to change the bed sheets.
"I see... and will you come back?"
"Maybe... I don't know... eventually," he shrugged.
"I see...Are you sure about this?"
"I see... when are you leaving then?" Asked the King as calmly as he could, staring as his love turned his back on him.
"Tonight... if you don't mind that is."
"No, not at all, if that's what you need to get better... do you... do you require help packing?"
"I... I think I've got it..." the youth murmured, turning away to hide the new tears. He couldn't be weak now. He couldn't!
"Harry?" He heard the whisper and turned around unwillingly.
"Will I be able to see you?" His King murmured, and Harry couldn't help but stare at him, impeccable shirt, even with tear stains on it, dark trousers, bare feet and the most gorgeous eyes he had ever seen. This was his beloved, the only one for him, he knew that and he was still walking away.
"I don't..." he swallowed, still staring at his King. "I don't think that would be wise, I'm sorry."
With trepidation he saw those red eyes close, saw his beloved King swallow, saw how his fists held the window sill until his knuckles were white and he almost changed his mind right there and then, his King was suffering and He needed him.
But he remembered her warnings, and how she said it would be hard to leave him, it would be hard to walk away but it was something he needed to do, he needed to be away to preserve his own sanity, even if it meant hurting his beloved.
"It's... it's better this way," Harry murmured and was stunned for a moment as he heard Marvolo's shout in his mind, he knew it was unintentional but he couldn't help but treasure that moment. It had been too long since he had heard Him and Harry could feel his lips twitching in a smile.
"If you're sure," he heard the clear baritone of his love, in contradiction with the shout of 'better for who?' that he had heard.
"I am..." He whispered, trying to hide the twitch of his lips, it felt good that his King wanted him to stay. But he needed to do this. "I'm... I'm not good at goodbyes..."
"I know." The Red King whispered, getting up and taking inventory of his Sweet. He looked tired, rumpled, like someone who had the weight of the world on his shoulders. With a bitter smile and his heart clenched, he touched his shoulder, gently guiding the younger wizard into his embrace.
"I'm gonna miss you my love, so come back as soon as possible." he whispered before leaving the room and leaving Harry alone.
When he came back, Harry was not there, not any more.
Harry Potter stood on the doorway of his room in the muggle hotel, inspecting everything in sight. The décor, the bed, the view...
"He spoiled me rotten, if I'm finding this substandard," he smiled bitterly, sitting down on the bed and testing the mattress.
"I did good, didn't I Sebastian?" he whispered to himself, looking at the ceiling and willing his talk to reach his son, wherever he was.
"I left him, for a while at last... I need to heal on my own, at least that's what Hermione said. I need to be alone for a while, to connect to others." Harry bit his lip, his hands closing into fists. "But why does it hurt? It shouldn't! Not like this..." And finally he let the tears fall.
The weeks passed crawling by, Harry's depression didn't leave him completely but it did ease up on his mind, eating and sleeping became easier and the nightmares were chased off by the comfort that another day was right around the corner. And if his habits were odd and sometimes downright strange, no one commented on it.
No one, except the Weasleys.
"All right, it's been a month! I've kept quiet, thinking you might know what's happening and that you were handling it but I've had it. I was clearly wrong and Harry only acts this way when he has something on his mind, when someone gives him ideas. So let me ask you this: What did you do Hermione? What did you say to him?"
"Told him he needed to get out of that house. He wasn't happy, he couldn't, not with him around."
"Wasn't..." The redhead made a noise at the back of his throat before glaring at the brunette. "And who the hell died and put you in charge of his happiness?"
"Well... I... that is..."
"I don't want you to give him advice again..."
"Excuse me?" The brunette shouted, getting up and glaring at the redhead.
"You have this idea that Harry should be with my sister that's beyond ridiculous, Hermione. Harry would never be happy with her, so stop trying. He was happy with the Dark Lord!" Ron finally shouted, resisting the urge to get his wand and curse one of his oldest friends.
"Now who wants to be in charge of his happiness Ronald?"
"He told me that, so don't you dare try and throw my words back at me. He won't be happy with her, he's happy with the current King instead. So suck it up, get over it and leave his love life alone."
"But he wasn't happy!"
"He had just lost his son woman! He couldn't be happy at that moment but he was healing!" The redhead shouted, turning around and moving to the door of her apartment, he stopped at the door turning around to glare at her.
"I mean it Hermione, stay away from his love life!"
On the other side of the doorway, Molly Weasley sat, her expression one resembling a carved statue as she listened to her youngest son rant and rave about his best friends. She knew Harry had left the King, hell's bells, everyone knew Harry had left the King, but she had had no idea why he had done so. To hear it was because of The Attack...
She took a deep breath, gathering her courage, before she moved to the floo and called the Ministry of Magic, asking for Arthur. Maybe... maybe it was time to reopen old wounds, specially if it would help her dark haired child.
Another month went before Harry finally went out on his own again, no one had said anything about his reclusion and he sort of missed Marvolo nagging at him to eat and sleep and to take care of himself physically if not emotionally, his husband could be a pain when he wanted to (in more ways than he cared to admit) but the care he showed Harry whenever something happened... He stopped by the full-length mirror on the wall, staring at the soft skin on his stomach, when he had first received the news of pregnancy and the Healer had asked him if he had wanted to keep the foetus, he had been warned that his stomach would never be the same again. He didn't regret the decision but he wondered if his Marvolo would ever miss the tight stomach he once had.
"Doesn't matter I suppose," he murmured to himself before stepping out of the room.
If the people in the hotel found his behaviour erratic and weird no one said anything, not even a stray glance, that was why he had picked up the current hotel. Biting his lip he quickly Apparated near the Fish and Fries place he always went to ever since he could go out on his own, the guy on the other side of the counter smiled as he recognised him and went to prepare the usual, coming back with two portions.
Harry was about to tell him he was alone when that voice, the one he knew so well, interrupted him.
"Harry?" Came the slightly breathless call from behind. Biting his lip again he turned staring at the man.
Uncharacteristically he was wearing plain jeans and a shirt, one he recognised as one of his own larger ones, he couldn't help but smile a little at the sight. He was about to say something when Marvolo beat him to it, stepping towards him and picking up his order.
"Keep me company?"
"I-I... maybe I shouldn't? I mean I..." he stopped looking at his own hands, which were twisting the material of his shirt. He had missed him, there was no doubt about it. "I'd be delighted to, if you'll have me."
"Always sweetness." The other murmured, sitting by the table, well in sight of the whole establishment, he knew Harry was often uncomfortable when it came to displays of affection. He usually was too.
"What are you doing here?" Harry asked, still staring down, this time at the wooden table.
"You got me used to it Harry." The Red King smiled, the glamour dropping slightly so that Harry could see the happiness in his King's eyes.
"You're looking nice," he continued, reaching for Harry's hand and giving it a gentle squeeze. "I'm glad."
"You're... in muggle clothing." Harry stated, staring at his King and consciously dismissing the previous comment for it meant that his King still cared and that was something he couldn't deal with now, it meant he had run away, had done the cowardly thing.
"I am," he agreed, eating a chip and disregarding the awkwardness that seemed to be around them. "Can't come into muggle London looking like a wizard or a... I think some muggles called Lucius a sideshow freak with a Halloween obsession." he smirked, pleased with the grin he got.
"You've sent Lucius to get you Fish and Fries?" He asked trying to keep in his laughter from showing. God only knew what Lucius would do if he heard Harry had laughed at his expense.
"Of course, he was annoying me that day and I wanted to be left somewhat alone. But then he came back with a black eye and I decided to get my own Fish and Fries," he smirked.
"And you sent Lucius to get it? What did he say?"
"What do you say when your King orders you to get Fish and Fries?"
"You don't say anything, you do it," Harry answered, a shy smile turning into a roguish grin, the kind Marvolo was used to seeing before the attack.
"Exactly... And Lucius, the smart Slytherin that he is, did just that. Thought I don't doubt he cursed me and my whole line."
The smiled instantly vanished from Harry's face, to be replaced with a haunted look. The Red King cursed his mouth, Harry obviously wasn't over the death of their son, at least the wound wasn't healed enough so that he could joke around about cursed lines and families.
"Forgive me my Sweet, I didn't think," he muttered, staring into green eyes filled with renewed tears.
"I-it's okay... I-I... I should be over it..." Harry murmured, closing his eyes even as tears escaped, it had been over two months, he should be over it already! He should –
"No, you shouldn't," the Red King whispered, damning his own rules to hell and using a notice-me-not charm to cover their private talk. Getting out of his chair and kneeling besides his beloved, he gently guided Harry's face until they were face to face, though Harry still had his eyes closed.
"Open your eyes lovely," he whispered, touching the closed fists gently and cursing himself as he saw the flinch.
"Please Sweetness," he begged, bringing a fisted hand to his lips. Green, tear filled eyes opened at the pleading tone, his Marvolo never begged, never. Not even to him.
"I-I... you... you're..."
The Red King only nodded, staring at his Bearer.
"I am. Harry," he stopped, staring into expectant green eyes. "I'm not over the lost of our son, no... no let me say this," he whispered as he saw his beloved about to interrupt. "I'm not over Sebastian's death and I'm not the one who carried him, I know you can't possibly be over that ordeal my dear and I don't want to pressure you to heal. Take as much time as you want for that, I swear to you I don't mind."
"Do you want me to leave?"
Harry just shook his head, entwining his fingers with his King's, they spent the afternoon like that with entwined fingers and the silence of mourning hanging over their heads.
"I'd like to speak with Mr. Potter please," the plump redhead woman said, drawing the attention of the receptionist of the five-star hotel.
"I see..." the man narrowed his eyes, looking the woman up and down and noticing the odd attire. He didn't even bother to try and check the glowing box in front of him before he tried to dismiss her, "I'm sorry but we do not have any 'Potter' on the list."
"Young man I am that boy's guardian, and I demand that you tell me where he is," she said, glaring at the receptionist and trying to keep away from her wand, the laws were pretty clear 'no magic in front of muggles'.
"And I'm telling you madam that we do not have a Potter on record." the male said, not fazed by the glare.
"You listen here you-"
"Mrs. Weasley?" the soft voice interrupted what could be only called an imminent disaster. The redhead matron turned, her glare disappearing and a smile taking over her face.
"Harry, dear..." she whispered, coming closer to him and taking hold of his hands, she knew he had to be uncomfortable with human touch and so she refrained from hugging him.
"What are you doing here?" Harry asked, releasing her hand as soon as he could do so without being considered rude.
"I came to talk to you, if you don't mind."
"N-no, of course not! How did you find me?"
"Ron's been keeping... maps... blabs... something on you."
"I think you mean 'keeping tabs,'" he grinned, extending his arm for her to take and leading her to the elevators, leaving a huffing receptionist behind.
"Yes, that. Keeping tabs... such weird lines those muggles have."
"Yes well, how did he find me?"
"He saw you sometime ago on an ice cream stand and followed you," Molly shrugged, unapologetic.
"Did he... did he tell the King about it?" The youth whispered, afraid that it had all been an act, their meeting, the talk and the simple time they had had together.
"I doubt it... he's more loyal to you than to any government, even if that government is ruled by your husband," she grinned, sitting herself on the sofa and conjuring a tea set and water, setting it all to boil while she looked on the pouch she carried for the tea leaves she knew Harry liked.
"Anyway, dear, some weeks ago I heard my son ranting about you and Hermione and I heard of what happened, of the true reason you left Him," she said staring into his eyes.
Harry swallowed, nodding, resisting the urge to turn away.
"I talked to Arthur after that and... I think you should hear something from me," she smiled sadly at him, putting her hand on top of his. "I'll just ask you to not interrupt me, okay?"
And the boy nodded.
"As you know Harry... Bill and Charlie were born nine months apart. And then there's Percy, born five years after I had Charlie, then there's Fred and George, two years after Percy and Ron, also two years after the twins and finally Ginny, one year apart. What I want to tell you is why Percy is five years apart from Charlie instead of nine months or even a year."
Molly took a deep breath, willing the tears back as she thought of that period, automatically preparing tea for the two of them, adding some chamomile and passion fruit leaves along with cinnamon to keep them calm, even if they were alert.
"A few months after Charlie was born, I got pregnant again. Both Arthur and I were expecting it, we had always wanted a large family because our immediate one was so small and so the pregnancy was very welcome. What we didn't expect however was for the boys to get sick, and for that sickness to spread... the baby... it was a girl and we were to name her Amalia, but she died before the fourth month of pregnancy." Molly stopped, staring at the cup of tea on her hands, it was painful to talk about that lost, too painful.
"How... how did it happen?"
"Bill got Dragon Pox from one of the kids in the neighbourhood, passed to Charlie and it affected the baby... it was the first time I had a miscarriage and, unfortunately, it wasn't the last," she whispered, taking a sip of the tea and watching Harry, the boy was pale, much too pale.
"It wasn't... it... oh god." he whispered, before running to the bathroom seconds before the sounds of retching reached Mrs. Weasley's ears.
The woman sighed, leaning back on the sofa taking a deep breath for courage before she got up and went to the young man she still considered her charge. She didn't enter the bathroom, rather she sat outside, leaning against the wall.
"Regardless of how many miscarriages I had, that first one was the worst, the feeling of lost, of not being strong enough to keep her... feeling like a failure. And Arthur was not around at that time."
"Where was he?" Came the fearful whisper.
"Working mostly. I suspected he was cheating at the time, but that's how he deals with grieve, he works. Percy got that from him I think," Molly smiled bitterly, sneaking a glance at her charge, her crying charge. Taking a deep breath, she approached the subject that made her most uncomfortable.
The King and Harry's relationship to be specific.
"Do you know how the Dark Lord deals with grieve?" she whispered.
"No, I... sometimes I feel like I know nothing about him."
"I'm sure you know most everything, Harry, but one just cannot known a person inside out, even with the connection you're both sharing."
"You think I did the right thing leaving?" The younger male asked, biting his lip.
"Do you feel better now that you're away from him?"
"I feel... not as trapped as I did, but it hurts... it hurts so much," and Harry started to sob, hugging himself and letting the tears of grief and anger take over him.
"What does love?"
"I miss him... I miss everything! But I can't go back there, I'm broken. Too broken." he hissed, missing the flash of anger that passed through Mrs. Weasley's face, if that man had – !
"Did he tell you that?" All Harry did was shake his head and Mrs. Weasley couldn't help but let out a quiet sigh of relief, but...
"If not Him, who told you that lie?"
"I heard... I heard the women talking, wives of the Heads of Department mostly, and some from his own court, all of them saying that I should have been more alert, more paranoid and that I was too weak to loose my King's baby."
"You're not, you've been through something traumatic and those brainless morons shouldn't say anything, I doubt they would have lasted even a day in the hands of those people and you lasted until you were rescued. You King was extremely proud of you, I bet, and so was I" she muttered, finally pulling Harry towards her.
"But we got a bit off track my dear, so let me sum the story up a bit... after I lost Amalia... I left Arthur."
"I left him, after about a week I picked up the boys and left, went to my brother's house and there I stayed for two years."
"Two..." the younger whispered, staring at the one he had always viewed as a guardian. "Did you miss him? How did you get back?"
"I missed him, I missed our home but I too thought that I was too broken for him. I grieved a certain way and he, another... I thought it would be different and, one day, a few months later... I allowed him to try and heal the wound left behind." The redheaded woman smiled, placing a kiss on his forehead where the dreaded scar was carved.
"Let him heal you. If he loves you he'll try and soothe you, and bandage you so to speak, you'll help each other."
The days went back to passing by slowly, crawling and just refusing to go, but still Harry waited, waited until his King went back to the Fish and Fries shop, hopping against hope to see him again. It was by chance that he saw Him again or rather, it was by chance that the King bumped into him. For once Harry walked through Diagon Alley contemplating walking inside Flourish and Blotts when two forces collided with him, one running from the store and pushing him to the middle of the Alley and the other, a tall man who was passing through and literally tripped over him, ending up on the floor with a scowl almost on top of the green eyed wizard.
The scowl immediately left the elder as he stared down.
"My K- Marvolo?" he whispered back, blinking at the glamoured King.
"Can you still feel my glamours?" The other asked with barely hidden amusement.
"Yes, what are you doing here?"
"Was about to go to our shop to try and hunt you down actually."
"'Our Shop'? Since when?" He asked as they both got off the floor, Harry's hand easily slipping into Voldemort's, squeezing it before the elder led him to Fortescues' Ice cream.
"Since I decided it was so, obviously." the glamoured red eyed wizard grinned, throwing a notice-me-not around them after the got their order and hastily dropped the glamours, he knew how his Sweet detested it. Harry went silent as he stared at the Red King and the Red King stared back at him, finally after what seemed like forever the younger opened his mouth to try and break the silence.
"How... how did you grieve?" he asked quietly, biting his lower lip.
Harry flinched at the answer, trying to tug his hand back only to have his King squeeze his fingers gently in his grasp.
"I grieve by exchanging revenge, Harry. By inflicting ten times the pain that I received, even though I know it will never be enough."
"If it's not enough then... then why?"
"Because that's how I am. That's how I react, I thought you knew that... Severus told me that you knew."
"I didn't... all this time you were... you were..."
"I was torturing and maiming and killing those who wronged us," his eyes flashed and for a moment Harry was mesmerized, his beloved eyes were wicked and promised pain. "I do not regret it Harry, but I thought you knew."
"No," the younger shook his head, the action bringing a smile to Voldemort's lips. "I thought you were ignoring me... that you thought me weak."
"What? Never my Sweet."
The King brought his knuckles to his mouth, placing loving kisses on his hand as he stared at his beloved Sweetness. Marvolo could only sigh as he opened his mental defences and looked at Harry.
"Vide cor meum."
Harry sighed, worrying his lower lip again, he knew that sentence... he couldn't recall it from anywhere but he knew it. He shook his head, lowering his eyes and the Red King sighed again, closing his own eyes and getting up, he had yet another minion to torture after all.
"Will you allow me to see you again?"
Harry nodded again, quickly conjuring a piece of paper and scribing his current address and the phone of the hotel and handing it to his husband. Taking a deep breath he got up as well, pulling on his King's sleeve to get him to stop and quickly pecking him on the lips before leaving Diagon Alley altogether, leaving his King smiling for the first time in months.
"That boy..." the tender smile was replaced with a wicked one, he still had a minion to torture!
The first time his King showed up at the motel, was to take a good look around and deem the five-star hotel 'completely lacking and inappropriate' for a wizard of Harry's standing. Harry just laughed, sitting beside him as they begun to talk.
For the magic in him, Harry couldn't remember a single topic they had discussed, he could only remember his fingers, entwined with Marvolo's. He could remember the soft looks he got, and the embrace at the end of their meeting, the feel of his King's body against his own and the brief flare of lust he had felt for the first time in months! And the kiss! It wasn't chaste, not daring, not even heated. It was a caress on his scar, just a gentle caress of lips on skin that had left him happy the whole day.
The subsequent meetings were of the same standard, his Kings showing up, and both of them either staying at Harry's suite or going out to eat or for a proper date. And slowly, ever so slowly, Harry felt himself healing. Sometimes they found their fingers entwined, but it was rare, more often than not, there was no touching between them. It was a slow period.
And after their fourth dinner out, Harry started to retreat into himself again, feeling guilty as his grief started to heal. He started refusing touches, flinching away.
And hating himself for putting that lost look on his husband's eyes.
It was one of their dates again, and his King had simply stated that they were going out, somewhere. It was a surprise, he said. And Marvolo Apparated them to West Side.
Somehow Harry wasn't surprised when they entered the theatre and it was empty. His King always got what he wanted, and if he wanted an empty theatre... well it was empty.
"What's the occasion?" He asked, his hand and Voldemort's almost touching but not quite, was he ready? To forgive, to forget, to accept, to move on? He wasn't sure.
"My favourite Opera's playing." His King smiled at him, it was a slight upturn of his lips and his eyes were still sad, having that lost look and Harry hated himself for putting that sadness there. Marvolo, for his part, was weary of taking the slightly smaller hand in his, weary of touching and being rejected all over again.
"Tom..." Came the exasperated voice, and for a moment they could fool themselves that everything was as it used to be. "You know I don't understand Operas, you-" he was silenced with a finger on his lips, silencing him.
Their first touch in over a month.
"I know my Sweet, I know... but bear it with me, please?" It was the pleading tone that did him in, Tom never begged for anything and to have that voice, pleading him to go along, to understand, to let Voldemort continue to heal him from the inside out... and for the first time in over six months he decided to listen to his own needs, to his own heart and nodded.
"You'll have to translate it for me."
"I know, I know the lyrics by heart now and I learned the translation, so no spells today."
"Still abiding by your law?" Harry asked, amused.
"I'm trying to... you make law abiding extremely difficult."
"I do? How?"
"You make me want to use privacy spells in public so we can be alone." His King muttered, allowing himself to grip the hand of his beloved.
He swallowed as he forced himself to ask permission to do so, ask permission to touch what, whom had always been his, "is this okay?"
Harry looked at him them, eyes still guarded, but with a spark of determination the Red King hadn't seen in a long while.
"It's fine, you know it is." And they stepped inside to see the Opera.
The theatre was as empty as it could be with just the crew, the musicians and the two of them, it was quiet, too quiet, the curtains draw, the lightning too soft to be noticed in the room with heavy curtains and dark oak chairs... until it started.
There was no changes in the lightning but the curtains were pulled back and the singing started, soft, like whispers, followed by the sweet yet hollow tune of the single violin, soon followed by the orchestra.
E pensando di lei
It was a drawn out sentence, in Italian, something that confused Harry a bit since most Operas his King liked were in Russian. He could understand a bit of Italian, and he wondered if it was enough to understand the whole thing without Marvolo needing to translate for him.
An arm drew him to a hard chest, and the whisper on his ear begun as the sentence in Italian was completed.
"And thinking of him," him... Harry was sure the sentence was about a girl but... he drew a shuddering breath, Marvolo was tweaking the translation to fit him. He was sure of it.
The chorus continued, another drawn out sentence, the violins interchanging between a second voice and a melody.
"Sweet sleep overcame me." Harry bit his lip, staring at the stage. The characters were dressed in white, like ghosts and the lightning seemed like the moonlight on a full moon, the white mist made it all a bit surreal.
'It's the narrator's dream.' he remembered... he couldn't grasp the full memory, and was distracted from the hazy memory as the first character came forth, his voice strong, reassuring. Illuminated by a beam of moonlight. 'He's the physical representation of love.'
"I am your master, he, Love, says to Dante." Came the beloved whispered voice. Dante... the author, the protagonist. And then the female voice, the one who represented the love interest, Beatrice, the one who represented him in this strange setting.
Vide cor tuum
"Look at your heart." The whisper made him tremble. On the stage, Beatrice pulled the cord of cloth a silent Dante was clutching. His own heart.
His King's heart.
"And of this burning heart," Marvolo continued, on the stage Beatrice clutched the cloth as if it was her own, a fine tremor overcoming her, it was hers, it will always be hers.
His King's heart belonged to him.
On the back the chorus, the gargoyles and the maids murmured, just loud enough to be heard.
"Your heart," she trembled, holding the precious bundle to her chest, as something precious, in the back the chorus picked up force, drawing attention to the scene.
"She humbly eats." the whisper was gentle, but the breath hitched. Harry wanted to look at him, needed to look at him, but he couldn't tear his eyes away from the scene of the cloth becoming a part of Beatrice.
She was Dante's heart.
Just as He was his King's heart.
And at that moment Harry couldn't stop a tear from slipping down his cheek, to be gathered by gentle fingers. Harry shivered.
By stealing Dante's heart, Beatrice had become the physical manifestation of it, a heart outside the body, a love that would only die when they died.
He saw the moonlight shine on Love again, his face a mask of sorrow as he departed from them.
"Weeping, I see him depart from me." Harry knew it was not literal, and at the same time it was... Love had stolen his Kings heart, and given it to him, his King's heart was his now. It was him. On the play Dante left Love, for Love had no right to take something that was not his.
Just as Marvolo had been cold to Harry all those years ago. And Harry bit his lip, shaking with a silent sob. Without notice, without motive, almost unwillingly, he had become his King's heart.
And He had resented him for it.
"Joy is converted," his King continued, and suddenly Harry remembered, they had watched this very same Opera all those years before, and Marvolo had been cold at the time, resentful but unwilling to let him go.
"Into the bitterest tears," Harry whispered.
That unwillingness had torn him from inside out, until came the day they had kissed. A chaste kiss, just a peck, really, but it had opened the door to something greater, something Harry begun to cherish. And suddenly, without warning Marvolo had become Harry's own heart. He had swallowed him whole, had burned him, consumed him, had completed him, been completed and they had given in until they had ceased to be two.
And had become one.
With Harry's own gentleness,his innate sweetness and Marvolo's coldness and his burning ferocity.
They were one.
Io sono in pace
Before his King could say anything he remembered the lyrics, he had searched for them all those years ago, and had only forgotten. He had wanted to know what would make his King so disconcerted around him.
"I am in peace." Harry murmured, his eyes shinning with shed tears and even new ones.
"My heart," his Marvolo whispered, holding Harry closer, fingers leaving bruises on too thin hips.
Harry felt a single tear slid down the back of his neck. Somehow they had ended up entwined, Harry on Tom's lap, both staring at the play continued, at the metaphorical representation of them, of their relationship.
Beatrice's voice was stronger, and so was his when he finally tore his eyes away from the moonlight stage and looked into beloved red eyes.
"I am in peace."
Vide cor meum
"Look at my heart," Marvolo whispered the final line, the chorus echoing behind them. And Harry was, looking into the vulnerable red orbs, looking at his love, though he supposed love wasn't enough to express this anymore.
And his King looked back at him, willing him to understand, to know and to accept. Harry was his, belong to him, and may whichever deity help the ones who had touched him, for they would burn.
"Vide cor meum." Harry whispered, his fingers trailing the lines of his King's face.
And, finally, feeling those arms tighten around him, he allowed himself to heal. To be free of guilt.
The whole of England felt the change when their King became hole again. It wasn't that the air was lighter, the laws changed or anything like that. It was just that the feel of the court and the Ministry of Magic had changed. The tolerance of their king returned, his patience and even, on rare occasions, the praise of good work.
The returned sanity of their leader led the whole of Wizard England to celebrate. But the one who actually had cause to celebrate was the leader himself!
It was a week after Harry had returned to him, and the King and his Bearer were alone, at last, a simple dinner by candlelight, followed by the start of intimacy, a kiss. The teasing sucking of a lower lip, the trail of fingertips over the spine, the caress of fingers in dark hair. And suddenly it just wasn't enough!
Soon there was the careful discarding of clothing, the grinding of an erection against a firm thigh and Marvolo's fingers, kneading, caressing and teasing Harry's behind. The sound of a moan, the whisper of a name, and finally, the joining of two people into one.
Snape stared as his Lord and King paced back and forth in front of the closed doors. He had never, ever, thought the Dark Lord would be the standard, stereotypical image of a worried father. It was both amusing and worrisome. It was also frustrating since Severus couldn't lash out at him with a sharp tongue without being submitted to a round of crucio.
And then door opened.
A pale mediwitch stepped out, breathing heavily as she curtsied in front of her King and his lieutenants.
"He's asking for you, Master," she muttered, her voice shaky before running out of the room. For a moment, Snape swore he had seen tears in the woman's face.
The Dark Lord took a deep breath before entering the nursery. His eyes widened as he saw Harry with his wand in hand, threatening the healers. He couldn't help but grin at the sight; his Harry was breathing, panting actually, hair limp with sweat and a few adorable curls sticking out. He was as breathtaking now as he had been all those years ago when he had first kissed him. Harry was as breathtaking as he had been when Marvolo had first taken him.
"Where the hell is my husband?" the younger shouted, and Marvolo noticed the heavy curtain swaying around the room. He sighed, the way things looked, he had arrived just in time to prevent his Sweet from annihilating everyone in the room. His magic was getting out of control!
"I'm right here beloved," he said, watching hungrily as his Sweet's eyes lit up in recognition. It was true, what he had heard Severus muttering a few months ago, he could never get enough of Harry, specifically, of Harry's attention, "what do you need darling?" he asked, smiling.
"I need you here," the young man pouted, then glared and sneered at the healers. "They," he cried pointing at the healers, "say it's against protocol to have you here. But I want you to be here!"
"Well, it is!" The youngest, inexperienced, healer shouted, blushing as his King turned his attention to him.
"This baby is not coming out unless my King and Husband is here!" Harry snarled, reminding Marvolo of a possessed lion. With an amused smile he approached the bed, it was better to put an end to it before Harry was even more stressed and things started to get complicated.
"It's okay darling, I'm staying." he said, glaring at the group of healers as he started to disrobe, staying only in his pants and shirt; carefully he climbed behind his love, placing a kiss behind his ear and gripping Harry's left hand with his own.
The younger nodded, holding his King's hand in a death grip. With a nod towards the healers, he eased Harry against his chest, pouring as much love and reassurance as he could through their link as the Healers applied a numbing potion, and started the C-section.
The two men stared at the tiny being in Harry's arms, his face scrunched up, sniffing as teary, unseeing, blues eyes stared up at them.
"Better?" The red King asked, nuzzling his Sweet's neck.
"Yes, damned tired too." The younger smiled, staring at his child, their child.
"Understandable, you did a wonderful job my Sweet, he's perfect." The King whispered, fingers caressing the fine black hair on the soft cheek, until the babe turned around and latched his mouth on his father's finger.
"I think he's hungry." Marvolo said, turning to his husband in wonder. Harry just nodded, conjuring a bottle, saying the charm to get Mothere's milk and starting to feed their child and heir.
A soft knock on the door interrupted them in their gazing, the eldest Healer entering the room with a smile on her face as she stared at her King. A newly turned father... She could already see the differences, the way he glanced at his Bearer and their child, the light in his eyes that meant pure and unadulterated joy. She quietly cleared her throat, getting their attention.
"My Lord? The name of the child?" the woman tried not to show apprehension nor surprise as her King turned to his husband, a question in his eyes.
"Jonathan?" Harry questioned, staring at his child and then at his husband. "Jonathan Thomas Potter. What do you think?"
"You sure?" Marvolo grinned a bit sadly, he would never dare to call his child a Riddle, much less a Gaunt, they held too many unwanted history to be proper for his heir, unless Harry demanded it of him that is, and his Sweet never had. He felt a nod on his chest and on a whim he kissed the sweaty hair. "Then it is perfect."
He smiled at Harry, a grin full of love and teeth before said smile turned into a predatory look as his husband looked at him in excited apprehension.
"Want to start practising for another one?"
And Harry could do nothing but laugh.